Improved West Indies product will help Sabina – Heaven

first_img “I believe when you look at the CPL (the Caribbean Premier League Twenty20 tournament), nobody could deny the attendance there during those games. I believe if we market the product properly and if we have a product that is competitive, both West Indies and territorial, then I don’t believe the location is necessarily an issue in terms of bringing the crowd in to Sabina Park.” Heaven said he is aware that the park cannot survive on revenue received solely from cricket matches and added that the JCA and Kingston Cricket Club (who also operates and maintains the ground) have taken the decision to have more non-sporting activities hosted at the venue. “I believe more and more that Sabina Park will become a multipurpose stadium as well, with the focus on cricket as the primary activity to be played at the park,” Heaven added. “But we have to introduce other activities without damaging the possibility of playing cricket there because we have to protect the pitch and the outfield.” Heaven told The Gleaner that he wants to create a cricket museum at Sabina Park. “It has to be more than cricket that we offer at a cricket venue,” he said. “I still have it on the table to establish a cricket museum at Sabina Park. I’ve seen where people come to Sabina Park just to have a view of the venue and to see a historic place. Now, if we have memorabilia (branded goods) on sale there, and a museum, that in itself would be an attraction outside of cricket. So we have to diversify what we have at the park … to sell more than cricket.” Jamaica Cricket Association (JCA) President Wilford ‘Billy’ Heaven said that Cricket West Indies (CWI) is not doing enough to market the product, which he believes has a negative effect on Sabina Park’s attraction as a host venue. Heaven believes that this is what has led to what he describes as poor Test match attendance at the venue in recent years. Of the last seven Test series played by the West Indies senior men’s team in the Caribbean since 2012, only four matches took place at Sabina Park. However, CWI President Whycliffe ‘Dave’ Cameron recently said that other nations in the West Indies had embraced cricket more than Jamaica and that some persons do not see Kingston as a tourist destination, which hurts Sabina Park’s chances of hosting Test matches frequently due to low attendance. Heaven said that this cannot be true since the ground used to be filled for Test matches decades ago. “My difficulty with that is that once upon a time, Sabina Park would be full,” Heaven said. “If it’s not a tourism destination now, it certainly was not then. So, to me, it is more than that. I believe some of the issues impacting Sabina Park relate to the quality of the product offering and also, when you have a dollar to spend on sport, people may be going for other competitive sports that they may show a preference for over cricket. So the quality of the team and marketability of the product need improvement. PROPER MARKETING NEEDEDlast_img read more

Certain test strips used with homeuse devices may provide inaccurate results warns

first_img Source:https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm624904.htm Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 2 2018The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today is warning patients and doctors, who use at-home or in-the-office medical devices to monitor levels of the blood thinner, warfarin, that certain test strips used with the devices may provide inaccurate results and should not be relied upon to adjust the drug dosage. Roche Diagnostics issued a voluntary recall of certain test strip lots used with its CoaguChek test meter devices. The recall involves more than 1.1 million packages of CoaguChek XS PT Test Strips that were distributed nationwide from Jan. 12, 2018 to Oct. 29, 2018. Today, the FDA announced this action as a Class I recall, the most serious type of recall, which means use of these devices may cause serious injuries or death.The FDA is warning patients and health care professionals that they should not rely on these test meter devices to monitor warfarin levels if they’re using test strips affected by the recall. Instead, they should have blood drawn from a vein and have their levels measured by a laboratory test or use an alternative meter device.”These strips are widely used and we are working diligently to warn health care providers and the public about the dangers associated with this recall. Using faulty strips can lead to serious errors in medication dosage that could cause serious harm or death in some patients,” said Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “We are also working with the company on the swift removal of the recalled strips and to ensure the new corrected strips are distributed to patients and health care providers as quickly as possible.”Millions of Americans take the blood thinner warfarin (also known by the brand names Coumadin and Jantoven) to prevent and treat blood clots. The drug may be prescribed for patients with certain types of irregular heartbeats, blood clots in the legs or lungs, or certain medical device implants such as artificial heart valves. Achieving the correct warfarin dosage is crucial, and patients need regular monitoring to test how long it takes their blood to clot. The response is measured by a blood test to check the International Normalized Ratio, or INR. This test can be performed by an accredited laboratory on blood drawn from a vein or with a fingerstick blood draw using an INR test meter at home or in a doctor’s office.The FDA’s warning concerning the CoaguChek XS PT Test Strips is based on medical device reports submitted by Roche Diagnostics to the agency indicating that the test strips may provide results that are higher than the actual INR. As a result of incorrect INR results, some patients may be prescribed an insufficient warfarin dose or instructed to interrupt warfarin use, which may increase the risk for dangerous blood clots. Approximately 90 medical device reports and two serious patient injuries involving strokes were reported to the FDA.Related StoriesScientists turn type A blood into universal type O, potentially doubling blood transfusion stocksBlood stem cell breakthrough could spare some patients from side effects of cancer treatmentsRadiometer’s ABL9 blood gas analyzer awarded Red Dot Design AwardIncorrect INR results are of particular concern for individuals at an increased risk of blood clots including those with mechanical heart valves, atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat) who are at a high risk of stroke, or those who had a recent blood clot. It is important to note that problems with the CoaguChek XS PT test strips are not likely to be evident to the patient.Roche Diagnostics attributes the cause of the problem to a recent re-calibration of the test strips to a different international standard that occurred earlier this year. They plan to provide new batches of re-calibrated test strips, based on the previous international standard, to their customers by the end of November; the FDA reviewed validation data submitted by the company for these recalibrated strips. The test strips are used with the CoaguChek XS plus, CoaguChek XS Pro, CoaguChek XS professional, CoaguChek XS PST and CoaguChek Vantus test meter devices.Patients who are using CoaguChek meters should contact their health care provider to get information about alternative test methods and to address questions regarding their individual testing schedule. Patients should also contact their patient self-testing service providers to find out when they will be getting their corrected test strips. Health care providers and patients may contact Roche Diagnostics to learn more details about the recall.All health care providers, patients and caregivers, are strongly encouraged to voluntarily report INR test meter problems directly to the FDA through MedWatch, the FDA’s voluntary reporting program. Problems should be reported whenever one suspects that there may be an issue with an INR test meter such as a malfunction or incorrect result, or that the meter caused or contributed to a serious injury or death.The FDA is committed to continuing to communicate publicly on this issue and will provide updates related to this recall when available.last_img read more

Targeting antidiuretic hormone vasopressin shows promise for autism

first_imgFurther Reading Image Credit: Zahraa Saleh / Shutterstock Intranasal vasopressin improves social deficits in children with autismThe first study was conducted on children with autism. Karen Parker, a behavioural scientist at Stanford University, explains that the study of the effects hormone on lab voles was one of her earlier research work. Now she works as the director of the university’s Social Neurosciences Research Program and recruited human children with autism for the study. The study results appeared in the latest issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine this week (1st May 2019). The study was titled, “A randomized placebo-controlled pilot trial shows that intranasal vasopressin improves social deficits in children with autism”.The team writes that they examined the vasopressin levels in the children with autism spectrum disorder. They noted that these children have less amount of vasopressin in their spinal fluid compared to children who were not on the spectrum. They also noted that the symptom severity rose with lower levels of vasopressin. This included severe language and speech difficulties and increase sensitivity, poor IQ and cognitive skills etc.As a next step, Parker and her colleagues conducted a double blinded randomized controlled trial including 30 children with ASD aged between 6 and 12 years. The children were given a nasal spray containing either vasopressin (17 children) or placebo (13 children) over a period of four weeks.Results revealed that children with ASD who were given vasopressin nasal spray had significantly improved social skills and had little or no side effects due to the drug. They noted that the children improved on social communication and also improved on assessment of facial emotions of other people. They could better guess the thinking and feelings of other people. Parents as well as doctors assessing the children reported these improvements. “The parents saw improvement, the clinicians saw improvement, and the children’s performance on lab tests also improved with vasopressin compared to placebo,” Parker said. What is Autism? Autism Causes Autism Mechanism Autism Classification Autism Screening Autism Management Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Autism The Reward System and Autism Autism and Junk DNA Picky Eating and Autism: Tips & Advicecenter_img By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDMay 2 2019Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder with no known drug treatment up until now. Researchers have finally found tweaking certain hormones could help patients with autism. There were two independent clinical trials including children and adults with autism that altered the effects of the hormone vasopressin and to assess the effects on social functioning.Researchers explain the vasopressin is an important hormone in the body that helps to maintain and regulate the kidney functions and blood pressure. Animal studies in the labs revealed that vasopressin has more complex actions in the brains. The hormone can affect social behaviours of the lab animals as well as their bonding with their mates, the researchers noted. There are studies showing the effects of administering vasopressin in healthy humans as well as in humans with dementia and other cognitive problems. The hormone when administered leads to improvement in memory and social skills of the humans, researchers have found. Antonio Hardan, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Stanford University and co-author of the study said, “Autism is a very heterogeneous disorder. It may be possible, with autism, to see abnormalities that relate to either too much vasopressin or too little.”Parker in one of her statements said, “This is a pilot trial, so it’s important to acknowledge that. But there were significant improvements in kids on vasopressin. And we saw this convergent evidence on parent ratings, clinician evaluations, and laboratory tests of children’s performance.” She added that large trials with more number of children are necessary to prove the efficacy of the hormonal nasal spray in showing improvement. She explained that in her trial there were only 5 girls on ASD since boys were more commonly diagnosed with ASD than girls. She said that larger trials with equal gender representation may be needed to see if there was any gender specific efficacy of the drug.Vasopressin V1a receptor antagonist shows improved adaptive behaviors in men with autism spectrum disorderResearchers at Roche a Swiss-based pharmaceutical company also conducted a double-blinded, randomized, and controlled trial among adult men on the autism spectrum. The study results appeared in the latest issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine this week (1st May 2019). Senior researcher Dr. Paulo Fontoura senior vice president of neuroscience and rare diseases clinical development at Roche Pharmaceuticals led the study titled, “A phase 2 clinical trial of a vasopressin V1a receptor antagonist shows improved adaptive behaviors in men with autism spectrum disorder.”For their study the team administered an experimental drug balovaptan or placebo to 223 men with autism. Various doses of the experimental drug was administered (1.5, 4 or 10 milligrams of balovaptan). The mechanism by which the drug acts is by blocking one type of cell receptors in the brain that connects with vasopressin. Fontoura said in a statement that balovaptan has the potential “to improve the core characteristics of social interaction and communications in adults with ASD.” The drug therapy was administered for 12 weeks. Social skills and behaviour in this study as well was measured using the Social Responsiveness Scale.The results of the study showed that there was no significant improvement in the social skills of the men with the drug compared to placebo. The assessment of improvement was made by the primary care givers of the patients. One set of assessment questionnaires were given to patients directly to assess their perception of improvement in the social skills. Results revealed that self-reported benefits in social skills and communication was noted with second-highest and highest doses of the experimental drug.Expert speakThese two sets of researchers had not collaborated on their studies and the studies were independent. Experts have suggested that although one of the trials did not show an outright success, there is a possibility in exploring vasopressin in autism. As a next step, Parker and her team is working on recruiting a large group of children (100 children) on the spectrum to assess the efficacy and safety of their nasal spray. Similarly Roche is also planning a second set of trials with children on the spectrum aged 5 to 17 years. One of the studies is a Phase II trial among children and adolescents while the other phase III trial is among adults.Dr. Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioural pediatrics at Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, was sceptical about the efficacy of vasopressin in autism. He said in a statement, “These two studies, taken together, suggest that treatments to increase vasopressin levels in the brain may be helpful for some patients with ASD. However, much more research is needed in terms of the long-term benefits and safety of this type of treatment.” He warned that vasopressin is approved as an antidiuretic to be prescribed by a physician. The hype caused by these studies may tempt patients to use the medication for autism. He said, “I think families and physicians need to be cautious in using this medication on the basis of a single short-term study.” “Given that there are very few if any good medication options for the treatment of ASD, I am sure there will be great interest in this novel treatment approach. That said, I think much more research is needed before we can feel comfortable recommending vasopressin as a safe and effective treatment for one of the core deficits in children with ASD,” he said.Kevin Pelphrey, an autism researcher at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, spoke about the conflicting results saying, “I’ve never seen this before.” He called the results exciting though adding that the role of vasopressin in the brain is to be studied with renewed interest.Angela Sirigu, neuroscientist at CNRS, in Bron France, is also investigating neurohormones for the management of autism. She called the results exciting.Eric Hollander, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, in his statement regarding the studies aid, “These two studies provide important information that the vasopressin or vasopressin and oxytocin systems are important in social communication. Different agents affecting these systems may ultimately be helpful in terms of new treatments for autism.”Lawrence Scahill, director of clinical trials at the Marcus Autism Center in Atlanta also warned about misinterpreting the results of these studies. He said, “Both of these studies suggest that the mechanism is worth further study. But I think we want to be careful not to overinterpret the findings.”Elizabeth Hammock, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Florida State University in Tallahasse added that both the studies looked at two approaches of using vasopressin. She said, “They’re really divergent approaches to targeting the vasopressin system. And we don’t know for sure how either is working.”last_img read more

Fox rejected an offer from Comcast before Disney buyout filing

Media giant 21st Century Fox, which was sold to Disney in December, rejected a higher buyout offer from Comcast over fears of regulatory risks © 2018 AFP The joint regulatory filing by Fox and Disney said a buyout by cable operator Comcast “carried a more significant risk of exposure to a range of negative outcomes for 21CF” while “a transaction with Disney would provide superior closing certainty as a result of the lower regulatory risk faced by Disney.”The decision came in the wake of the US Department of Justice legal challenge to a mega-merger between Time Warner and AT&T.Comcast also refused to provide compensation if the transaction was blocked by competition authorities, while Disney proposed $2.5 billion.Comcast had offered $34.40 per share compared to Disney’s $29.On December 14, Disney announced the purchase of many of Fox’s assets for $52.4 billion, though a final approval by antitrust authorities is not expected before 2019.Comcast was reported in February to have relaunched its bid, according to reports, offering to assuage some of Fox’s concerns.The media landscape is undergoing accelerated upheaval as traditional TV and film players seek to merge with cable operators to better combat tech giants, including Netflix and Amazon and their video streaming platforms. Explore further Media giant 21st Century Fox, which was sold to Disney in December, rejected a higher buyout offer from Comcast over fears of regulatory risks, a filing showed Wednesday. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Fox rejected an offer from Comcast before Disney buyout: filing (2018, April 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-fox-comcast-disney-buyout.html Comcast ponders new bid for 21st Century Fox: US media read more

Novel machine learning technique for simulating the every day task of dressing

first_imgPutting on clothes is a daily, mundane task that most of us perform with little or no thought. We may never take into consideration the multiple steps and physical motions involved when we’re getting dressed in the mornings. But that is precisely what needs to be explored when attempting to capture the motion of dressing and simulating cloth for computer animation. More information: Paper: www.cc.gatech.edu/~aclegg3/pro … ess-synthesizing.pdf Computer scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Google Brain, Google’s artificial intelligence research arm, have devised a novel computational method, driven by machine learning techniques, to successfully and realistically simulate the multi-step process of putting on clothes. When dissected, the task of dressing is quite complex, and involves several different physical interactions between the character and his or her clothing, primarily guided by the person’s sense of touch.Creating animation of a character putting on clothing is challenging due to the complex interactions between the character and the simulated garment. Most work in highly constrained character animation deals with static environments which don’t react very much to the motion of the character, notes the researchers. In contrast, clothing can respond immediately and drastically to small changes in the position of the body; clothing has the tendency to fold, stick and cling to the body, making haptic, or touch sensation, essential to the task.Another unique challenge about dressing is that it requires the character to perform a prolonged sequence of motion involving a diverse set of subtasks, such as grasping the front layer of a shirt, tucking a hand into the shirt opening and pushing a hand through a sleeve.”Dressing seems easy to many of us because we practice it every single day. In reality, the dynamics of cloth make it very challenging to learn how to dress from scratch,” says Alexander Clegg, lead author of the research and a computer science Ph.D. student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. “We leverage simulation to teach a neural network to accomplish these complex tasks by breaking the task down into smaller pieces with well-defined goals, allowing the character to try the task thousands of times and providing reward or penalty signals when the character tries beneficial or detrimental changes to its policy.” Explore further Clegg and his collaborators at Georgia Tech include computer scientists Wenhao Yu, Greg Turk and Karen Liu. Together with Google Brain researcher Jie Tan, the group will present their work at SIGGRAPH Asia 2018 in Tokyo 4 December to 7 December. The annual conference features the most respected technical and creative members in the field of computer graphics and interactive techniques, and showcases leading edge research in science, art, gaming and animation, among other sectors.In this study, the researchers demonstrated their approach on several dressing tasks: putting on a t-shirt, throwing on a jacket and robot-assisted dressing of a sleeve. With the trained neural network, they were able to achieve complex reenactment of a variety of ways an animated character puts on clothes. Key is incorporating the sense of touch into their framework to overcome the challenges in cloth simulation. The researchers found that careful selection of the cloth observations and the reward functions in their trained network are crucial to the framework’s success. As a result, this novel approach not only enables single dressing sequences but a character controller that can successfully dress under various conditions.”We’ve opened the door to a new way of animating multi-step interaction tasks in complex environments using reinforcement learning,” says Clegg. “There is still plenty of work to be done continuing down this path, allowing simulation to provide experience and practice for task training in a virtual world.” In expanding this work, the team is currently collaborating with other researchers in Georgia Tech’s Healthcare Robotics lab to investigate the application of robotics for dressing assistance. Robot teaches itself how to dress people The researchers’ method then updates the neural network one step at a time to make the discovered positive changes more likely to occur in the future. “In this way, we teach the character how to succeed at the task,” notes Clegg. Citation: Novel machine learning technique for simulating the every day task of dressing (2018, November 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-machine-technique-simulating-day-task.html Provided by Association for Computing Machinery This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Computer scientists from the Georgia Institute of Technology and Google Brain, Google’s artificial intelligence research arm, have devised a novel computational method, driven by machine learning techniques, to successfully and realistically simulate the multi-step process of putting on clothes. Credit: SIGGRAPH Asialast_img read more

Boeing 737 MAX certification followed US rules

first_img Boeing crashes cast spotlight on US aviation regulator Explore further Questions have been raised about why the Boeing 737 MAX was approved so quickly, despite flaws to its flight system Boeing said Monday that the flight stabilization system under scrutiny following two deadly 737 MAX plane crashes, met all US regulations. Citation: Boeing: 737 MAX certification followed US rules (2019, March 18) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-boeing-max-certification.htmlcenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2019 AFP “The 737 MAX was certified in accordance with the identical Federal Aviation Administration requirements and processes that have governed certification of all previous new airplanes and derivatives,” Boeing said Monday.Boeing and regulators face increased examination over the stall prevention system, the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS, which authorities have said was likely a factor in deadly crashes in Indonesia in October, while the crash in Ethiopia earlier this month showed similarities.”The FAA considered the final configuration and operating parameters of MCAS during MAX certification, and concluded that it met all certification and regulatory requirements,” Boeing added.Since the Ethiopian crash, which claimed 157 lives, questions have been raised not only about Boeing, but also the FAA and its close relationship with the company.While it may take months for definitive conclusions, experts are asking why the MCAS was given the green light despite objections by American pilots who had voiced concerns with the system.Investigation into the Lion Air crash in October implicated the MCAS which can erroneously force the plane down when the autopilot is engaged, if it detects the plane may be at risk of a stall. Both crashes happened shortly after takeoff.American pilots had complained of the flaw, and Boeing has been working on a software upgrade to the system and issued new instructions about how to override the issue in the meantime.In service since May 2017, the 737 MAX 8, one of several variants of the 737 MAX, has now experienced two deadly tragedies, a scenario that is unprecedented for a new aircraft.The US Transportation Department’s inspector general is probing the FAA’s approval of the MCAS, the Wall Street Journal reported.The newspaper also said the criminal division of the Justice Department was looking into the development of the plane.The 737 MAX was certified as a variant of the 737 Next Generation, the plane it replaced, despite major differences in the engine and the MCAS, according to documents available on the FAA’s website.But because of budget constraints, the FAA delegated aspects of the approval process to Boeing itself, according to sources.Under a program, known as the Organization Designation Authorization (ODA), employees of Boeing are accredited by the FAA to assist in approving the aircraft—including design, production, flight tests, maintenance and other systems—as well as signing off on the training procedures of pilots on new planes.last_img read more

Study questions current regulations on light pollution and calls for paradigm shift

first_img Citation: Study questions current regulations on light pollution and calls for paradigm shift (2019, May 10) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-current-pollution-paradigm-shift.html Explore further Light pollution: The dark side of keeping the lights on Bright lighting conditionsMore specifically, when we go about our activities under dark lighting conditions, the human eye does not operate in the same way as it does in brightly-lit environments, but rather with what is known as mesopic vision. The characteristics of mesopic vision are particularly pronounced in settings such as very poorly-lit roads in rural areas, nature parks, areas near observatories, and so on. In this regard, the main characteristic of human vision in low lighting conditions is that white light is more effective.”Even though this is a known fact, the regulations governing light pollution are based on brightly-lit conditions. This means that the amount of white light necessary in light-protected areas has been overestimated,” says Dr. Peña.In short, in poorly-lit areas, the same effect in terms of visual perception and safety can be achieved by using a lower level of white light compared to the yellow light the law dictates for such areas.The study, which was conducted by Dr. Peña in collaboration with Adam Sedziwy of the AGH University of Science and Technology, Krakow, compared the scattered radiant flux, directed skyward, together with the electric energy consumed on a road in a light-protected area, under white light conditions (which is prohibited in this type of area) vs. the commonly-used yellowish light.”Although there is greater scattering when white light is used, the lower level of power needed to achieve the same degree of visual efficiency as light with a yellow hue more than makes up for this effect, and it produces a very significant energy saving. Specifically, the results we obtained show that white light provides an energy saving of 18 MWh per year, for every 5 km of road. And in both cases, the effect of the two types of lighting on drivers’ circadian rhythms are negligible in this type of setting, the dimly-lit road,” the researcher emphasizes.Dr. Peña warns that, although upwardly-directed scattered radiant energy is not directly comparable with the electric energy consumed, the savings achieved by using white light—in energy, environmental, and economic terms—together with the identical level of user safety it provides, should lead the government and regulatory bodies to approach the fight against light pollution from this much broader and more holistic perspective. An international study involving researchers from the University of Granada (UGR), Spain, and the University of Krakow (Poland) has found that Spain’s current regulations on light pollution are inadequate, as they fail to take into account all the necessary factors—including the key factor of human vision itself. Light pollution is a major problem, in energy, environmental, and economic terms. Credit: UGRcenter_img More information: Antonio Peña-García et al, Optimizing Lighting of Rural Roads and Protected Areas with White Light: A Compromise among Light Pollution, Energy Savings, and Visibility, LEUKOS (2019). DOI: 10.1080/15502724.2019.1574138 In an article published in LEUKOS, the high-impact US Journal of the Illuminating Engineering Society, the scientists call on the government and regulatory bodies to use white rather than yellow light to illuminate areas that require special protection from light pollution (for example, those close to scientific observatories or nature parks). They claim white light is much more beneficial, both economically and environmentally.In their study, the researchers propose a change in the current paradigm, to approach the fight against light pollution “from a much broader and more holistic perspective.” Light pollution is a problem of the first order, in terms of energy consumption, the environment, and the economy. Its effects on public health, the equilibrium of ecosystems, and observational astronomy, to name but a few areas, have led governments worldwide to pass laws to minimize it.In simple terms, light pollution is caused by artificial night lighting that provides more light than is strictly necessary (over-illumination) or that is misdirected to somewhere it is not wanted or needed. Examples of the latter include the outdoor lighting that can trespass into homes, potentially altering people’s circadian rhythms, or the typical spherical street lamps that cast light skyward, where it is of little use and can adversely affect certain ecosystems and activities such as astronomical observation.These two causes of light pollution are not difficult to control, despite their proliferation in many municipalities around the world. However, there is a third cause that has captured the attention of researchers, but its eradication can be a source of controversy: the white light used in most outdoor LED illumination, which is dispersed throughout the atmosphere. This phenomenon is known as scattering.To avoid light scattering in the night sky, many countries prohibit the use of white light in protected areas such as observatories and nature parks. However, “this approach to light pollution, which almost exclusively focused on scattering, overlooks fundamental aspects of the visual perception of users and, therefore, their very safety,” explains Antonio Peña García, researcher at the UGR’s Department of Civil Engineering, director of the university’s Lighting Technology for Safety and Sustainability Research Group, and principal author of the study. Provided by University of Granada This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Sonias special show for Telangana pollsSonias special show for Telangana polls

first_imgSHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on Telangana Mallial town in Karimnagar district, 200 kms from Hyderabad, hit national news in June 2014 for building a temple for Sonia Gandhi, who was then the president of the Congress, as a gratitude for creating a separate Telangana State.Telangana was born on June 2 and the Congress ended up not in power but in the opposition. The Telangana Rastra Samithi (TRS), led by K Chandrasekhar Rao, came to power winning the larger part of the sentiment.Four and half years later, Sonia Gandhi is all set to enter Telangana and face the people in Medchal on the outskirts of Hyderabad, 150 kms from Mallial. This time, the top leaders of the Congress like Uttam Kumar Reddy, Revanth Reddy, Jana Reddy and veterans S Jaipal Reddy and V Hanumantha Rao are confident that the tide is in their favour and Sonia Gandhi’s visit will provide the impetus.Maiden rallySonia Gandhi has shown special interest in Telangana. When she will deliver a speech on Friday in Medchal, during a three-hour visit, it will be her first election rally in the five States — Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram and Telangana — which are facing polls for the Legislative Assemblies.The meeting will be a total Sonia Gandhi show with Rahul playing a second fiddle.‘Important State’It shows the importance of polls in Telangana for the grand old party, desperately trying to revive and put up a fight with the BJP in 2019. A victoryin Telangana, where it has also cobbled up an alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Communist Party of India and Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), will bolster Rahul Gandhi’s leadership and boost opposition parties’ chances of forging a winnable alliance for the Lok Sabha (LS) polls.The State Congress leadership is banking on her address and telling the people how the Congress was instrumental in the creation of Telangana right from the first announcement by P Chidambaram in 2009, to passing the bill in LS in 2014. TRS Chief, K Chandrasekhar Rao thanked Sonia Gandhi in 2014 after the LS passed the Bill.As the last day for nomination withdrawal ended on Thursday, the stage is set for the most gruelling phase of the elections scheduled for December 7.The TRS Chief KCR and his son KTR have been on a hectic electioneering in the State. While KCR is focussing on districts, the IT Minister is concentration on Hyderabad and neighbourhood.The next week will see the big guns of the BJP, Amit Shah, leading that party’s charge on a three-day visit from November 25. He will be followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi the next week.AICC president Rahul Gandhi will have an extensive electioneering during November 28, 29 and December 3. During that time, Rahul and Chandrababu Naidu, who have struck a new bonhomie are expected to campaign for the Mahakutami candidates and even share the dais at a few places. She will deliver a speech on Friday in Medchal SHARE COMMENTS November 22, 2018 COMMENTlast_img read more

Technology fished out 10 million fake ration cards says Fadnavis

first_imgPublic distribution system SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT COMMENTS SHARE Published on Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis (file photo).   –  THE HINDUcenter_img Maharashtra February 20, 2019 e-governance social welfare Maharashtra to adopt RFP model for tender contracts in two months Maharashtra has found as many as 10 million fake ration cards using technology tools, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Wednesday.He also announced the new model request for proposal (RFP) while tendering out IT contracts, developed by Nasscom and the Union Ministry of Electronics and IT.“The public distribution system (PDS) has changed through technology initiatives. With all the digital initiatives, we have actually found out 10 million fake ration cards,” Fadnavis told the annual Nasscom leadership forum here.The Western state, having a population of over 11 crore, is using technology across all spheres to drive efficiency and for better allocation of resources, he said.Technological tools have taken down malnutrition related deaths to zero in Harisal village of Amravati district, Fadnavis said.Tender contracts through RFPOn the industry’s long-standing demand of tender contracts structuring, Fadnavis announced that the model RFP will be adopted in two months by the state.It can be noted that the IT industry has had concerns regarding selection of bidders and payments for IT contracts.The industry says an IT contract is different from other works and the government cannot insist on aspects like lowest bidder and also payments only at the end of the work.Paperless officeFadnavis said 55 million transactions have happened using the state government’s citizens portal, Aaple Sarkar, which has benefitted one million citizens.He said a special CM’s dashboard has been created to monitor all the projects and schemes centrally, and added that the war room on infra projects also uses a lot of technology to monitor progress.The government demand for paper is also coming down and has halved over the last few years, the chief minister said, adding that the broad objective is to be paperless in future.Fadnavis said technology will help bring equity in the society through democratisation, and will be used more aggressively as the government goes about meeting its social sector goals.He said the state is targeting to be a USD 1 trillion economy by 2025 from the present USD 400 billion.The services sector will have to grow at 15.5 per cent, industry at 13 per cent and agriculture at 6 per cent to achieve this target, he said, inviting the tech industry to set up base in the state.Nasscom president Debjani Ghosh said the domestic IT industry has become a USD 180 billion behemoth, employing four million people directly and serving 75 perc ent of the Fortune 500 companies.She said four global sourcing centres got added in 2018, taking the total number of such centres to 1,000.The challenges before the IT industry are trust, governance, maintaining a balance between privacy and innovation, and the huge talent crisis, she said. last_img read more