Video: Colin Cowherd, Joel Klatt Explain Why They Believe Michigan State Can Win It All

first_imgColin Cowherd previews the Big 10 Championship on The Herd.colin cowherd joel klatt high on michigan stateMichigan State has an all-important contest this Saturday, as the Spartans take on undefeated Iowa in the Big Ten title game. The contest, which is being played between the No. 4 and No. 5 ranked teams in the College Football Playoff rankings, is a de facto national quarterfinal.Thursday, FOX Sports radio host Colin Cowherd and guest Joel Klatt debated whether they believe the Spartans are capable of not just winning that game – but winning the national championship. Both do, citing Connor Cook, the team’s offensive line and the fact that they’re getting healthy at the right time.Michigan State and Iowa kick off at 8:00 PM on FOX.last_img read more

The World Chess Championship Comes To New York City

6Levon Aronian2786 PLAYERELO RATING 1Magnus Carlsen2853 Source: 2700chess.com 3Vladimir Kramnik2811 7Viswanathan Anand2779 5Wesley So2794 10Pentala Harikrishna2770 4Maxime Vachier-Lagrave2807 One chess grandmaster represents the most democratic country in the world. The other supports, and is supported by, Vladimir Putin. Last night, inside the Plaza Hotel in midtown Manhattan — that urban palace and President-elect Donald Trump’s captured rook — the two prepared to do battle.The World Chess Championship has come to New York City. The tournament captured this city’s imagination once before, in 1972, when its favorite Brooklyn son, Bobby Fischer, clashed with the Soviets in Reykjavik. But this year New Yorkers can only watch, as the Norwegian defending champion Magnus Carlsen and his Russian challenger Sergey Karjakin vie for the game’s highest title. They’re both kids: Carlsen is 25 and Karjakin is 26, yet they’ve lived half their lives as grandmasters. The match is being billed as the youngest championship ever.Here in New York, the faces of chess are diverse, from the outdoor hustlers lining park tables in Washington Square or Union Square to the excellent middle school chess program of I.S. 318 in Brooklyn. But last night, at the pre-tournament Black & White Gala at The Plaza, the guests were nearly all white. Under potted palm trees and crystal chandeliers, the steak was carved and the champagne and martinis flowed, and the scene recalled a VIP cocktail hour in a Vegas penthouse suite before a heavyweight prizefight. (At least the ones I’ve seen in the movies.) 2Fabiano Caruana2823 9Sergey Karjakin2772 8Hikaru Nakamura2779 As both baby-faced competitors faced the camera flashes and microphones, Carlsen looked calm. He has reached the championship before, after all. Karjakin looked a bit lost — nervous, maybe — his voice barely audible above the reporters’ din. And indeed, despite Karjakin’s slightly earlier prodigious bloom, the consensus heavy favorite is Carlsen. He’s rated No. 1 in the world, while Karjakin is No. 9.The best-of-12 match could stretch past Thanksgiving. Game 1 begins Friday afternoon, in downtown Manhattan. My own Elo-based simulations1I simulated 10,000 matches using the players’ current Elo ratings, and assumed that they draw half of their games, which is historically what grandmasters tend to do. The methodology is similar to what I used to simulate the 2014 world chess championships. give Carlsen an 88 percent chance of defending his title. Bookmakers put his chances somewhere between 80 and 85 percent. I’ll be reporting from the match, here and on Twitter. read more

The Ridiculousness Of Conference Tournament Locations In 6 Maps

To someone who doesn’t follow men’s college hoops, a cursory glance at the location of the conference tournaments might suggest that New York City is the nexus of the basketball universe. Last week, Madison Square Garden played host to the Big Ten, a conference primarily made up of schools in the Midwest.1Aside from Rutgers, which the conference added almost solely to get a toehold vaguely near New York. The Big East is now playing its tournament on that same floor, as it always does. And across the river, the ACC is simultaneously playing its championship in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.But in reality, of course, NYC is a far cry from a college-basketball hub.2With all due respect to FiveThirtyEight favorite St. John’s. Rather, this is a symptom of conference tournament locations that increasingly range from the dubious to the downright illogical.To judge just how out-of-whack some of these tournament venues have gotten, we first computed the geographical center of each of the six major conferences,3By which we mean, the Power Five and the Big East. based on the locations of the member schools’ campuses. We then compared each conference’s geographical center4Technically speaking, we calculated the centroid of each conference by finding the shape that covered all of its schools, while keeping its area as small as possible, and then determining the center of that shape. with where its tournament is being played. The Big 12, for example, is playing its conference tournament in Kansas City, which is at least in the same state (Missouri) as its geographic center, near Gentryville, MO. The total distance between the two? Just under 200 miles as the crow flies. That’s the closest any of the six tournament sites is to its conference’s geographic center. And it’s a far cry from the nearly 700 miles that separated the tournament site of the Big Ten and the middle of where its teams, you know, actually are.Below are the tournament sites, ranked by the smallest distance between them and their conference’s geographic center. As a bonus, we also computed suggested tournament sites for each conference based on raw distance — essentially, the closest city to the conference’s geographic center that either contains an NBA arena or has a population of at least 300,000 people. *Suggested tournament location is the closest city to the conference’s geographic center that either hosts an NBA team or has a population of at least 300,000.Based on data from the NCAA and Simple Maps U.S. Cities database 4Pac-12WashingtonSeattle, WACherry Creek, NV648.6 ACCReidsville, NCRaleigh, NC73.2 Big EastMelmore, OHNew York, NY476.9 Big 12Gentryville, MOKansas City, MO196.1 mi 2Big 12West VirginiaMorgantown, WVGentryville, MO699.1 14SECTexas A&MCollege Station, TXHatley, MS516.7 Which schools warp their conference’s shape the most?Biggest distances between campus locations and geographic center of schools’ respective conferences for top six men’s college basketball conferences In fairness, the Big Ten’s tournament isn’t always in New York. From 1998 through 2016, it was played in either Chicago — which is actually our suggested site — or Indianapolis, which is a reasonable 108 miles away from the conference’s center. It was only last year, when the tournament was held in Washington, D.C. — a whopping 533 miles away — that the Big Ten began branching out into seriously unnatural locales. After this year’s dalliance with the Big Apple (which meant the tournament took place a week earlier than usual so that MSG could also accommodate the Big East tourney), the Big Ten will be returning to its more familiar digs of Chicago and Indianapolis for the next few years.Some of these aberrant tournament locations are also being driven by the changing shapes of the conferences themselves. Here are the schools in the conferences we’re looking at whose locations tug on the geographic centers the most: ACCReidsville, NCBrooklyn, NY428.3 Big EastMelmore, OHColumbus, OH73.7 SECHatley, MSMemphis, TN123.1 Conf.geo. Centersuggested tourney locationdistance from center 10Big 12TexasAustin, TXGentryville, MO550.9 Big TenKnox, INChicago, IL65.4 Conf.SchoolLocationGeo. CenterDistance Conf.geo. Centeractual tourney locationdistance from center Pac-12Cherry Creek, NVLas Vegas, NV257.8 3Big EastCreightonOmaha, NEMelmore, OH670.3 12Big TenMarylandCollege Park, MDKnox, IN535.6 5Big TenRutgersNew Brunswick, NJKnox, IN637.9 Remind me … where does our conference play again?Distance from the municipalities closest to the geographic centers of the top six men’s college basketball conferences to their 2018 conference tournament locations and to FiveThirtyEight’s suggested* locations Big TenKnox, INNew York, NY659.5 8Big 12Texas TechLubbock, TXGentryville, MO581.7 6ACCBoston CollegeChestnut Hill, MAReidsville, NC613.2 Big 12Gentryville, MOMemphis, TN175.3 mi 11Pac-12Oregon StateCorvallis, ORCherry Creek, NV535.7 9Pac-12ArizonaTucson, AZCherry Creek, NV574.7 SECHatley, MSSt. Louis, MO336.2 Pac-12Cherry Creek, NVSalt Lake City, UT168.6 Based on data from the NCAA and Simple Maps U.S. Cities database 13Big TenNebraskaLincoln, NEKnox, IN524.9 7Big EastProvidenceProvidence, RIMelmore, OH608.1 15ACCNotre DameSouth Bend, INReidsville, NC509.9 1ACCMiamiCoral Gables, FLReidsville, NC735.6 mi Surprisingly, the presence of a team from Nebraska (Creighton) in a conference whose name contains the word “East” is somehow not the strangest location for a school relative to its conference’s center. No, that honor belongs to the University of Miami, which is over 735 miles from the ACC’s geographic center in Reidsville, North Carolina. (Miami joined the ACC in 2004.) Almost as strange is West Virginia’s membership in the Big 12, which really stretches the conference’s eastern boundary — and of course, Creighton remains a downright odd choice for the Big East.Because of late-comers like the Bluejays, the current Big East’s geographic center sits almost 500 miles away from its longtime conference-tournament site of Madison Square Garden. But New York used to be a much better fit with the original Big East, whose geographic center lay in Pardeesville, Pennsylvania — about 85 miles northwest of Philadelphia and a mere 105 miles away from New York City. When its teams were compressed into a much smaller region in the Northeast, there was a reason the old Big East tourney was the stuff of legends and why it made sense for MSG to play host to the proceedings.These days, we’re treated instead to odd venues like the ACC tournament being held in Brooklyn (what?) instead of North Carolina and the SEC playing in St. Louis (where the only remotely close SEC team is Missouri). It’s just another reminder that in modern college sports’ conference roulette, money dominates any shreds of tradition, geography or common sense.CORRECTION (March 7, 2018, 5:50 p.m.): A previous version of this article used incorrect coordinates for the location of Boston College. The maps, tables and text have been updated. The corrected coordinates changed the geographic center of the ACC to Reidsville, North Carolina, and the suggested conference tournament location to Raleigh, North Carolina. read more

Workarounds for Common Open Source Bugs

first_imgOpen Source CMS PLatforms are certainly no exception to the occasional tech glitch. On one hand, publishers using open source solutions have access to a vibrant online community, which makes it easy to ask questions in a forum and receive help within a few business days. But for immediate open source gratification, it’s helpful to be armed with workarounds that solve platform gripes.“If there’s a bug, we always fix it in the next release,” says WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, “so it’s never around for more than a month or two. The most common issues aren’t ones that are bugs, but generally mistakes from users, typically when they’re trying to modify their template or CSS.” NMP (National Mortgage Professional) Media Corp. relies on Drupal’s modules and executive vice president Andrew Berman has found that common glitches are “most likely to happen in the way you create your themes. Sometimes Web editors want the themes to be a certain way, and the implemented CSS won’t allow them to do this.” But for Berman’s site, which sees “a few thousand uniques per day,” his more recent dilemma posted in the Drupal forum is how to best optimize their database (to free up server space) due to a recent traffic increase. Fixes for Common OS Issues Regardless of the glitch (or a mistake on the part of the user, as Mullenweg classifies the majority of these bugs), knowing what modules are available as well as the workaround options can’t hurt. While there are certainly a number of widely-used systems, Drupal expert Chris Free, director of Web development for Chicago-based firm Chromatic, which works on sites including The Great Political Debate, and Louis Landry, development coordinator at Joomla, offer ideas on how to get solve common open source complaints. While experts confirm that glitches within Drupal, Joomla and WordPress—and the majority of OS systems—are generally remedied in a few months’ time, here are some quick fixes for the time being:Optimizing Servers. With Joomla, the most common problem publishers have is that their servers are not set up optimally, says Landry. As a result, there are problems installing extensions and “doing other things that require proper handling of file ownership,” he says. He recommends that servers have suPHP, fcgi, PHPSuExec, or an equivalent. More importantly, the Joomla Extensions Directory can modify the limitations in the current version of the platform. Caching. “We constantly hear from our clients that things aren’t publishing out,” Free says of Drupal. “The trick is to empty the system cache for the actual CMS.”Category and Structure. One limitation within Joomla is the section/category structure, says Landry. To work around this without using an extension is to rely on the menu system rather than on-the-fly navigation. This means having one master menu and then structure all content using sub-menus and has the advantage of giving you detailed control over your URLs, which is probably the other most commonly discussed topic. To set up your site to take full advantage of menuing, Landry suggests mapping out plans for hierarchical navigation. Then create one master menu with sub-menus to reflect that. In Joomla, presentation of menus is done via modules. Depending on how the site looks, publishers may want to make a separate module (a copy of the main module, but with slightly different parameters) for each sub-menu. Another approach is to use one module and control which levels are displayed. Experiment with start level, end level, and whether to display sub-menu items to get the display you want. Browser Issues. Does your content publish correctly on Firefox but not Internet Explorer? There’s a reason. “That’s a bug in the Drupal system,” says Free. “Typically we tell people to use Firefox when managing content since it does the least amount of damage to markup (IE is a prime culprit).”Formatting. For anyone knee deep in the OS world, formatting can be the bane of your existence. The trick, says Free, is not to copy and paste text directly from Microsoft Word, but do everything in a plain text editor and suggested online resources that can strip out these egregious markups. “It’s not foolproof, but is helpful,” he says of the available modules, which are like plug-ins. After finding and installing these modules, the editors create rich text and function as other word processors (albeit very basic) that write the corresponding HTML as you type.”Permissions. A general complaint with regard to Drupal is “‘I’m trying to change a page on the site and my changes aren’t sticking,’” says Free. Enable the “content permissions” helper module that comes packaged with the CCK as a first step. If it’s already enabled, check the field permissions for that user at “admin/user/permissions.” By default, only users with administer CCK privileges can edit/view each field, he adds.SIDEBAREvents for CMS EnthusiastsHalf the battle in troubleshooting common open source bugs is engaging in open dialog, as well as developing a broad understanding of the platform. While most users may have a love-hate relationship with their open source solution, one of the incentives to is the robust community—both online and in person. Here, some events and groups that offer face time with developers, colleagues and OS experts to gain solutions to CMS gripes:Bay Area TYP03 Users GroupFebruary 4, 2010San Francisco, Californiawww.meetup.com/Bay-Area-TYPO3/?ref=cmswireDrupalCon April 19-21, 2010San Francisco, Californiasf2010.drupal.orgCMS Expo 2010May 3-5, 2010Evanston, IllinoisCmsexpo.net More on this topic Workarounds for Common Open Source Bugs Comparing Open Source CMS Social Media Apps For CMS Making Sense of CMS Options Making Sense of CMS The Rise of the Web CMSJust In The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move TIME Names New Sales, Marketing Leads | People on the Move Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring Shanker Out, Litterick In as CEO of EnsembleIQ PE Firm Acquires Majority Stake in Industry Dive Bonnier Corp. Terminates Editor-in-Chief for Ethics BreachPowered bylast_img read more

Wide colour gamut displays are expected to be pres

first_imgWide colour gamut displays are expected to be present in 17% of the total area size of display shipments in 2018, according to IHS stats.The research firm said that the shipment area of wide colour gamut (WCG) displays is expected to reach 32 million square meters in 2018 – including organic light-emitting diode (OLED) and quantum dot technologies.“As competition in the display market intensifies, display and TV manufacturers are looking for new and emerging technologies to differentiate their offerings from competitors and to provide consumers with higher screen resolution. WCG technologies are therefore becoming more popular,” said Richard Son, senior analyst, IHS Technology.last_img read more

On May 1 2012 Porter Stansberry and I made a bet

first_imgOn May 1, 2012, Porter Stansberry and I made a bet. Porter predicted that oil would go below US$40 per barrel within 12 months. I stated that there was no chance that this would happen (my reasons are presented at the link above). Putting our money where our mouths are, we both agreed to bet 100 ounces of silver on the matter. I have a lot of respect for Porter, who is a very smart man. When he talks, I listen. But when he discussed the reasons why he thought oil was going below US$40 per barrel, I knew I had him – this was going to be one of the easiest bets I have ever made. One of Porter’s main arguments was that a global shale-oil revolution would push volume way up and prices way down. It is definitely a sensible argument, yet it was missing something very critical: timing. The shale gas boom that happened in the United States did not occur in a vacuum. Rather, it was built upon decades of experience in new technologies such as hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. This was then based off of more than 150 years in conventional oil and gas exploration. Today in North America, there are thousands of rigs and hundreds of thousands of skilled oil and gas workers to work on the projects. This simply does not exist in the rest of the world. For a new shale discovery – however large it may be – it would take years just to prove up its commercial viability, another few years to get the infrastructure running, and even more years before it produces enough to matter. This means there are tremendous opportunities to profit – for those who are in the know – while we wait for the rest of the world to catch up. A similar situation is shaping up in the nuclear sector. Many countries rely on nuclear power and are planning to expand its use – the US among them – yet companies involved in the mining and refinement of uranium remain in a slump. We at Casey Research have created a webinar discussing these issues; it’s titled The Myth of American Energy Independence: Is Nuclear the Ultimate Contrarian Investment?, and it will premier May 21 at 2 p.m. EDT. Featured participants include Chairman Emeritus of the UK Atomic Energy Authority Barbara Thomas Judge, former US Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, and former Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Herb Dhaliwal. We will provide an expert, insider’s perspective on the global nuclear power scene, showing you how to leverage its rising importance in your portfolio for potentially life-changing gains. Learn more about the free webinar and reserve your place today.last_img read more

For some older adults private Medicare Advantage

first_imgFor some older adults, private Medicare Advantage plans next year will include a host of new benefits, such as transportation to medical appointments, home-delivered meals, wheelchair ramps, bathroom grab bars, or air conditioners for asthma sufferers. But the new benefits will not be widely available, and they won’t be easy to find, during this fall’s enrollment period.Of the 3,700 plans across the country next year, only 273 in 21 states will offer at least one. About 7 percent of Advantage members — 1.5 million people — will have access, Medicare officials estimate. That means even for the savviest shoppers it will be a challenge to figure out which plans offer the new benefits and who qualifies for them. Medicare officials have touted the expansion as historic and an innovative way to keep seniors healthy and independent. Despite that enthusiasm, a full listing of the new services are not available on Medicare’s web-based “plan finder,” the government tool used by beneficiaries, counselors and insurance agents to sort through dozens of plan options. Medicare officials see the added benefits as a key to helping Advantage members prevent costly hospitalizations. Federal approval of new supplemental benefits is “one of the most significant changes made to the Medicare program,” said Seema Verma, the head of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, at an insurers’ meeting last month. She added that she expects plans to expand the number of services in coming years.Medicare Advantage plans, which are an alternative to traditional Medicare, serve 21 million beneficiaries and limit their out-of-pocket expenses. But they also restrict members to a network of doctors, hospitals and other medical providers. They often offer benefits not available in traditional Medicare, such as dental and vision care, hearing aids and gym memberships. The federal government pays the plans to help cover the cost of each member. Enrollment is underway now for choosing a Medicare Advantage plan, as well as for people in traditional Medicare who want to buy a policy for drug coverage. The deadline for both plans is Dec. 7.Among the new benefits that some Medicare Advantage plans said they will offer are:Trips to the pharmacy or fitness centerin addition to doctor’s appointments for plan members, depending on where they live or their health conditions.A monthly or quarterly allowance for over-the-counter pharmacy products such as cold and allergy medications, eye drops, vitamins, supplements and compression stockings. Doctors or other health care providers who make housecalls, under certain conditions.A home health care aide for a limited number of hours to help with dressing, eating and other daily activities, sometimes including household chores and light housekeeping.However, plans offering these services will likely have only some of the options and will have different eligibility criteria and other limitations. Advantage members will need a recommendation or referral from a health care provider in the plan’s network. Then they may need to have a certain chronic health problem, a recent hospitalization or meet other eligibility requirements.Also, the same services likely won’t be available in every county the plan serves. For example, next year Humana Medicare Advantage members in Texas and South Florida in just two of the 43 states Humana serves will be able to get a free in-home personal care aide for up to 42 hours a year if they can’t be left alone at home. And more than half of the members in Cigna-HealthSpring Advantage plans will have access to free transportation services in all but five of the 16 states and the District of Columbia where the company sells coverage. To find these supplemental benefits, seniors can go to the online plan finder. After they enter their Zip code and get a list of plans available locally, they can click on a plan name. That will take them to another page that offers more details about coverage, including a tab for health and drug plan benefits. That page might say whether the new services are offered. But often the website will simply say that some benefits are available and advise consumers to contact the plan for more information.”There is a lot of information on the plan finder, but there is a lot of information missing that requires beneficiaries to do more research,” says Deb McFarland, Medicare services program supervisor at the Southern Maine Agency on Aging.There are also other variables to be considered when choosing an Advantage plan, such as which health care providers and pharmacies participate in a plan’s network, what drugs are covered and costs. Where available, however, several insurers say the services will be free with no increase in monthly premiums. “We certainly believe that all of the ancillary benefits we provide will help keep our members healthy which is good for them and it’s good for us in the long run,” said Steve Warner, head of the Medicare Advantage product team at UnitedHealthcare, which insures about 5 million seniors or one out of every four Medicare Advantage members.Insurers are betting that services will eventually pay for themselves.Dawn Maroney, consumer president at Alignment Healthcare, which serves eight counties in Southern California, says it’s much cheaper to give an air conditioner to someone with congestive heart failure to keep that patient healthy than to pay for expensive medical treatment. But if the new benefits are such a good idea, they should be available to the majority of older adults in traditional Medicare, says David Lipschutz, a senior policy attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy. Medicare Advantage plans have extra money to spend on benefits next year because the federal government increased its payments an average of 3.4 percent, seven times more than the rate of increase in 2018. For free help with Medicare Advantage and drug plan enrollment, contact the Senior Health Insurance Information Program (www.shiptacenter.org) or the Medicare Rights Center (800-333-4114 or www.medicareinteractive.org). Find Medicare’s Plan Finder at www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx or call 800-633-4227.Kaiser Health News is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

An unusual species of human apparently lived on th

first_imgAn unusual species of human apparently lived on the island of Luzon in the Philippines as recently as 50,000 years ago. Based on teeth and bones found there, scientists suspect that these early humans probably stood less than 4 feet tall and had several apelike features. Yet, the researchers say, the bones are distinctly human — from a previously undiscovered species. The first clue was a bone that surfaced in 2007. Archaeologist Armand Salvador Mijares was digging in a cave on the island of Luzon and found a toe bone. He says it didn’t look like a modern human bone. “There’s something peculiar with this bone,” he recalls thinking. But one bone wasn’t enough to say for sure who or what it belonged to.Mijares, who’s with the University of the Philippines, was part of a team looking for bones of early humans. They kept digging for four more years. In 2011, they hit pay dirt — more toe bones, as well as finger bones, part of a thigh bone and seven teeth. And none looked like it belonged to modern humans. “We agreed that this could probably be a new species,” Mijares says.Discovering a new species of ancient human is a career-maker in anthropology — or career-breaker, if you’re wrong. So the team spent another eight years studying the bones and teeth. They now conclude that the skeletal fragments are from three individuals who lived sometime between 50,000 and 67,000 years ago. Writing this week in the journal Nature, the scientists call them Homo luzonensis, after the island.And, says paleoanthropologist Shara Bailey of New York University, these three are pretty unusual.”We tend to define species based on unique combinations of traits,” Bailey says, “and that seems to be what’s going on here.” She says it’s “super-surprising” how the teeth and bones exhibit some “very primitive traits” along with modern ones.For example, one toe bone is more curved than modern human toe bones. In fact, it looks just like the toe of a tree-climbing, ape-like creature, Australopithecus, that lived millions of years ago — well before the first humans evolved.Even the mouth combines an unusual mix of past and present: Some of the teeth look much like ours, while others are more like the teeth of ancestors that lived millions of years ago.Bailey calls the find a “mosaic” species: “I think it just opens up so many new questions,” she says. “It’s exciting.”One question is: Were these creatures related to the Hobbits (no, not the movie characters).”Hobbit” is the widely used nickname for another tiny, primitive human species that lived on an Indonesian island from about 100,000 years ago until 50,000 years ago. More formally called Homo floresiensis, the Hobbits were discovered 15 years ago. They, too, had a surprising mix of primitive and humanlike bones and teeth.Paleoanthropologist Matt Tocheri at Lakehead University in Canada is an expert on the Hobbits. “Here we are not that much later, and now we’ve got a similar thing popping up on an island in the Philippines,” Tocheri says. “They’re living out on these oceanic islands — and they’re essentially there at the same time [as] our species is, you know, conquering the world.”With two puzzling species in Southeast Asia, scientists are also wondering what it tells us about the migration of human ancestors out of Africa.The standard view holds that the first species of human to leave Africa was a large-bodied, fairly big-brained group called Homo erectus, almost 2 million years ago. Homo erectus spread through Asia and Europe.One possible explanation for the existence of Homo luzonensis is that a population of Homo erectus got to the Philippines long ago — maybe hundreds of thousands of years ago — and stayed put. As they evolved, some of their physical traits became more like those of modern humans — some of the teeth, for example. But other traits, like toes, did not evolve or may even have regressed to a more primitive form.That’s the view of Florent Détroit, a paleoanthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and one of the discoverers of the new species. He says evolution plays some unusual tricks, especially on organisms that live in isolation.”This is yet another piece of evidence to show that the features [of the body] definitely do not evolve at the same speed,” Détroit says, “especially in different species in different geographical places.”But Tocheri says there may be another explanation: a different migration out of Africa, not by Homo erectus but by some other more apelike species that settled in remote parts of Asia.”That’s where it gets exciting,” Tocheri says. “Because, if it’s true that the other species of early Homo also made it out [of Africa], it means that what we’re finding in Asia is even more complex and more interesting than we ever dreamed of.”With two oddball species of early human turning up in the past two decades, paleontologists are wondering what the findings mean for the history of humanity.”The evolution of Homo is getting weirder and weirder,” says Rick Potts, head of the Human Origins Program at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History. “Species are fluid entities, which makes them highly malleable, subject to change,” he says.These discoveries, Potts says, “are going to play havoc with any easy classification” of our ancestors and with the notion that there was a fairly orderly progression from primitive to more “modern” traits.What is becoming clearer, anthropologists say, is that early humans came in a lot more shapes and sizes than scientists once thought. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Its a brand new rankingCalled the Sustainable De

first_imgIt’s a brand new ranking.Called the Sustainable Development Goals Gender Index, it gives 129 countries a score for progress on achieving gender equality by 2030.Here’s the quick summary: Things are “good” in much of Europe and North America.And “very poor” in much of sub-Saharan Africa.In fact, that’s the way it looks in many international rankings, which tackle everything from the worst places to be a child to the most corrupt countries to world happiness.And there are a lot of rankings. Alexander Cooley, a professor of political science at Barnard College and the author of Ranking the World: Grading States as a Tool of Global Governance, used to keep track but stopped counting.”It’s so hard to keep up. I’ve just sort of given up,” he says. In 2015, he counted 95 different indexes, with over two-thirds launched after 2001.”Countries can get index fatigue, not know where to prioritize, become complacent and refuse to pay attention to them,” notes Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa, an international lawyer based in East Africa.And you do have to wonder: What’s the value of creating so many indexes to measure human and economic development when they usually come to the same predictable conclusions?Why we love to rankIt’s easy to understand why groups like to rank. “Rankings appeal to our notion of who’s on top, who’s below. And they generate competition,” says Cooley.Even though the top and bottom countries are often markedly similar, international groups believe that there are benefits to the sorting and ordering.For starters, a ranking can “name and shame” countries into trying to do better, says Cooley.Consider the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index, which measures how easy it is for a company to set up shop in a given country. It looks at everything from construction permits to access to electricity. It’s not a ranking that the general public has likely heard of. But it’s a big deal in the world of economic development.In fact, it’s so influential that Vladimir Putin in 2012 vowed publicly to move Russia up from 120th place in the Doing Business index to 50th by 2015.Russia did not quite succeed (it landed in 62nd place that year). But the index has spurred real-life policy change.From June 2017 to May 2018, for example, the World Bank found that 128 governments “introduced a record 314 reforms” to benefit small- and medium- business entrepreneurs, enable job creation and spur private investment. Another index that has moved countries to action is the African Development Bank’s Africa Visa Openness Index. It shows which African countries are making improvements that support free movement of people across the continent.”Since this index has been in place, several countries, including Ghana and Ethiopia, now allow Africans to get visas on arrival at a border post,” says lawyer Musiitwa.The researchers with Equal Measures 2030, the new gender index, hope their new index can also inspire change: positive steps for laws and policies that benefit girls and women.Sarah Hendriks, director of gender equality at the Gates Foundation (a funder of this blog and NPR), worked on the index. She says the goal was to “put data in the hand of gender advocates” so they can inform their government ministers “where their country is doing well, where they are falling behind and how the country is performing in meeting [women’s] needs.”To ensure that the index reflects the priorities of those advocates, the researchers teamed up with local organizations in countries like El Salvador, India, Indonesia and Tanzania, and drew from surveys from nearly 600 policymakers and gender advocates.And that’s the way things should go, says Dapo Oyewole, an Aspen New Voices fellow working within the Nigerian government. He says that rankings are only useful if there’s local buy-in. “The rankings are only relevant if there’s a local champion willing to drive the local changes — and an appetite from the government itself,” says Oyewole.The rankings gameOf course, there is a potential risk when countries try to move up. They can game the rankings.Cooley cites an example in a 2015 piece for Foreign Affairs. In 2006, Georgia was in 112th place in the World Bank’s Doing Business index. The country put together a working group to “rapidly pass laws and promulgate administrative rules” to shoot the country to 37th place in 2007.”The evidence suggests that the change was more cosmetic than structural,” Cooley wrote of Georgia’s rise up the index. He found that the country’s ranking had not improved on “comparable” indexes, nor did Georgia produce “a sustained increase in foreign investment.”In response to this criticism, World Bank spokesperson Chisako Fukuda told NPR: “To improve their scores, substantive legislative changes need to be made, which require a strong commitment by governments to improve their business environment.”Squishy dataOther rankings come in for criticism of another type: They’re just kind of vague.Consider Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, which attempts to rank the world’s countries by how corrupt their public sectors are. “A fuzzy concept like corruption isn’t amenable to unpacking,” says Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development and the author of Results Not Receipts: Counting The Right Things In Corruption.A long-standing criticism from the international community is that the index relies on the perception of corruption to create its rankings.The rankings are based on questionnaires with “experts and business leaders,” according to the group. They’re asked about a wide range of factors, from evidence of bribery to protections for whistleblowers.That vagueness can make it difficult for local anti-corruption advocates and nonprofits to figure out what they need to do to fight the scourge in their countries: “Should I try to make the police less corrupt or should I join a government partnership to reduce corruption?” says Kenny.When NPR asked Transparency International if it has seen any direct links to reform, spokesperson Ferenc Gaál responded: “It is difficult to draw clear causal links between the Index and concrete impact in the form of improvements of the corruption situation in any one country’s public sector.”The group, however, has seen its index make an impression. Advocates against corruption in Nigeria, for example, have cited the country’s poor ranking (144th place out of 180 in 2018) in op-eds calling for government reform.Same old stories — but some surprisesAs for the fact that many rankings look the same at the top and bottom, one reason has to do with money. Many indexes are correlated with GDP per capita, a measure of a country’s prosperity, says Kenny. That includes the World Bank’s Human Capital Index, which measures the economic productivity of a country’s young people; and Freedom House’s Freedom in the World index, which ranks the world by its level of democracy, including economic freedom.And countries that have more money can spend more money on health, education and infrastructure.Musiitwa says it “annoys” her when countries in Africa get poor ratings. It can have a negative effect on a country’s financial opportunities, she says.”I know that when investors are looking to do business in Africa, they look at indexes,” she says, citing the Doing Business index and the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report. “The rankings provide some kind of guide to show that a country is well-placed to receive an investment, to figure out how stable the environment is.”But what is more frustrating, she says, is “when these countries and others that have been good performers slide back.”Perhaps the true value of the rankings, says Kenny, lies in the outliers: The surprising stories of countries that “demonstrate that there’s space to do better.”Rwanda, for example, is often at the bottom of economic rankings. But in the World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap report in 2018, which ranked countries by how equal its men and women are, the country was in the top 10.Even for wealthy countries, there are lessons to be learned about what they need to address.Consider the U.S. in Equal Measures 2030’s new gender equality index.Although the U.S. is one of the world’s wealthiest nations, when it comes to creating fair policies for women and girls, the country is nowhere near the top. The U.S. comes in at 28th place, in between Bulgaria and Greece. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

Many employers have developed wellness programs to

first_imgMany employers have developed wellness programs to help manage health care costs and foster a workplace culture of wellness. These initiatives often start strong but suffer from waning interest over time.A majority of those employers that have analyzed the financial impact of their wellness programs have found one- to three-dollar decreases in their overall health care costs for every wellness dollar spent, according to a report from the International Foundation.1This report details how companies experiencing a positive ROI are more likely to have a broader, value-based health care strategy that offers initiatives such as health screenings, stress management programs, health risk assessments and fitness and nutrition programs.Measure what mattersWhile controlling costs and saving money is important, it shouldn’t be the only target to measure a wellness program by. Other metrics, such as a workforce’s average body mass index (BMI), blood pressure or cholesterol levels may be useful measurements, too. At Aurora Health Care, we understand the important role health and wellness play, both as a large employer (approximately 30,000 employees) and as a leading health care provider. By designed wellness initiatives focused on achieving healthy weight, our employees shed more than 44 tons of excess weight during the past three years.Create some social media buzz To avoid boredom and falling participation rates, liven up your wellness offerings by tapping into social networking. Social media allows employees to challenge each other in wellness activities and can increase participation. These online peer-to-peer interactions tend to increase employee engagement.Consider creating Facebook groups for your employees tailored to their specific wellness interests and fitness goals. With social networking, employees can create their own groups to share the progress they are making toward their goals. Being connected through social networking can help employees stick with the program long term. Working toward your wellness goals is easier (and more fun) when you’re not going it alone.Through social media, employers can post health and wellness information, share employee success stories and promote upcoming health and wellness events in their communities.Social media can also encourage healthy, friendly competition among different departments, locations and competitors. Wellness challenges can be related to weight loss, exercise or team challenges that benefit nonprofit charities, such as fundraising runs or walks.A customized approach pays dividendsMore and more organizations are using wellness incentives and communication tools such as social networking to achieve a positive return on their wellness investment.Customized wellness strategies tailored to your workplace can encourage a wellness culture that helps manage health care costs over time while improving your employees’ health, happiness and productivity in the process.Click here to learn more about Aurora Health Care’s Employer Solutions.“A Closer Look: Wellness ROI,” International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, 2012. Get our email updatesBizTimes DailyManufacturing WeeklyNonprofit WeeklyReal Estate WeeklySaturday Top 10Wisconsin Morning Headlines Subscribelast_img read more

Apple Urges Government to Form Commission on Encryption Issues

first_img Apple Urges Government to Form Commission on Encryption Issues Apple Next Article Apple Inc., fighting a demand by the U.S. government that it unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters, has called for the creation of a government commission or panel of experts to discuss the implications of the demand on issues such as national security and personal freedoms.”Apple would gladly participate in such an effort,” the company wrote in a post on its website entitled “Answers to your questions about Apple and security.”Apple said “the best way forward would be for the government to withdraw its demands” to unlock the phone.The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking the company’s help to access shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s phone by disabling some of its passcode protections.Farook and Tashfeen Malik attacked a holiday party in San Bernardino, Calif., on Dec. 2, killing 14 people and injuring 22. The pair were killed later in a shootout with police.Apple argues that while it is technically possible to bypass the security features of the iPhone by building a new operating system, such a move would set a dangerous precedent.The company said it has not unlocked iPhones for law enforcement in the past but has extracted data from an iPhone running older operating systems under a “lawful court order.”The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion on Friday seeking to compel Apple to comply with a judge’s order to unlock Farook’s iPhone.”We’ve handed over all the data we have, including a backup of the iPhone in question,” Apple said in the blog post. “But now they have asked us for information we simply do not have.”Representative Adam Schiff, the House Intelligence Committee’s top Democrat, said last week that the complex issues raised by the Apple case “will ultimately need to be resolved by Congress, the administration and industry, rather than the courts alone.”Some victims of the attack will file a legal brief in support of the U.S. government’s attempt, a lawyer representing the victims told Reuters on Sunday.Apple could not be immediately reached for comment.(Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Supantha Mukherjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Ted Kerr) February 22, 2016 Image credit: Pres Panayotov / Shutterstock Enroll Now for $5 Add to Queuecenter_img 2 min read Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Reuters –shares Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand This story originally appeared on Reuterslast_img read more

MadHive Inscape Partner To Enable CrossPlatform Linear OTT Planning Activation and Attribution

first_img Adam HelfgottInscapeMadHiveMarketing TechnologyNewsTEGNA’s PremionTV advertising solutions Previous ArticleReelTime VRs New ReelTime Virtual Room May Be Coming to a Hotel or Home Near YouNext ArticleStudy Shows Two-Thirds of Consumers Prepared to Flee to Brands Offering Superior Service Ad Platform Known for Powering OTT Advertising for Station Groups Integrates Data from 11 Million Smart TVs to Deliver the First Local TV Market Solution at National ScaleMadHive, the advanced TV advertising solutions company best known for delivering evidence-based accountability with cryptography, today announced a strategic relationship with Inscape, the leading provider of smart TV viewing data. Integrating Inscape’s glass level TV viewing data from more than 11 million smart TVs into MadHive’s proprietary AI advertising platform enables broadcast networks to sell linear advertising alongside data enriched OTT inventory, as well as providing brands with the ability to easily plan, target, measure and optimize cross-platform linear and OTT campaigns in real-time.MadHive is currently powering linear to OTT reach extension, targeting, and fraud detection in 95%+ of the DMAs across the United States, giving local broadcasters the ability to offer addressable advertising and enabling brands to reach local markets. By incorporating Inscape’s data, Madhive can now deliver the ability to plan, buy, and analyze OTT performance against linear TV data, allowing true optimization across screens at the local level, translating to significant incremental reach.Marketing Technology News: L.A. Lakers Partner Wish Jumps to No. 1 in Earned Social Media Value Among NBA Jersey Patch Sponsors“OTT allows advertisers to leverage the precision targeting of digital on the TV screen, but at the same time it’s also contributing yet another platform to an already fragmented media landscape,” said Adam Helfgott, CEO at MadHive. “This partnership enables advertisers to holistically analyze cross-screen linear and OTT campaigns, while calibrating audiences to drive real business outcomes.”“Advertisers are increasingly looking to take advantage of optimized OTT ad buys especially using local broadcaster inventory,” said Jodie McAfee, SVP of Sales and Marketing at Inscape. “This deal brings optimized cross-platform advertising to all local TV markets in the U.S. regardless of what service provider a home uses to bring OTT into the home”.Marketing Technology News: BabbleLabs Raises $14 million Series A Financing from Dell Technologies Capital and Intel Capital to Accelerate Speech TechnologyThis partnership comes on the back of TEGNA’s Premion announcing integration with MadHive, leveraging the advanced advertising company’s full stack solution to generate better targeting for advertisers and cryptographic proof for buy-side transactions. “OTT not only has the capacity to extend an advertisers reach, but working with MadHive we are able to measure a campaign’s impact on select business outcomes,” said Jim Wilson, President of Premion.Marketing Technology News: Tellius Named by Gartner as a 2019 Cool Vendor in Analytics MadHive, Inscape Partner To Enable Cross-Platform Linear, OTT Planning, Activation and Attribution For Local TV Broadcasters and Advertisers MTS Staff WriterJune 13, 2019, 8:03 pmJune 13, 2019 last_img read more

Echocardiography may aid in patient selection for TMVR

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 18 2019Clinicians should use echocardiography, an ultrasound that shows the heart’s structure and function, when determining whether patients with heart failure and a leaking heart valve are likely to benefit from valve repair, according to research presented at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session.The new study offers additional insights on the COAPT trial, which investigated the use of a procedure called transcatheter mitral valve repair (TMVR) in patients with secondary mitral regurgitation, a condition where the mitral valve does not close properly due to problems with the heart’s pumping chambers. In 2018, COAPT researchers reported that patients undergoing TMVR with the MitraClip device had significantly better rates of survival at two years compared to those receiving standard medications alone.To help translate COAPT’s findings into practical guidance for clinical decisions, the new study details how echocardiography can be used to diagnose secondary mitral regurgitation, along with how the researchers used a multi-parametric algorithm adapted from the American Society of Echocardiography and ACC guidelines to determine which patients were eligible to participate in the study and track the valve’s function over the course of two years. While clinicians routinely use echocardiograms when assessing mitral regurgitation, there is no worldwide standard for diagnosing secondary mitral regurgitation with this tool, limiting its application. As a result, details on the study methodology are important for informing clinical practice, researchers said.”We found echocardiography is valuable for assessing patients with secondary mitral regurgitation on multiple levels,” said Federico M. Asch, MD, director of the Echocardiography Core Lab at MedStar Health Research Institute, associate professor of medicine at Georgetown University and the study’s lead author. “Echocardiography should be used to determine which patients are candidates for TMVR, and it should also be used after MitraClip implantation to see the results of the procedure.”COAPT enrolled 614 patients treated at 78 medical centers in the U.S. and Canada and randomly assigned them to receive the MitraClip or maximally tolerated medical therapy as recommended by clinical guidelines, which typically includes diuretics, beta blockers and other medications, and sometimes cardiac resynchronization therapy (a pacemaker). All participants had heart failure and moderate to severe secondary mitral regurgitation at the start of the trial. Heart failure is a condition in which the heart is too weak to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Secondary mitral valve regurgitation frequently coexists with heart failure, worsens patients’ symptoms and affects their quality of life and survival.Related StoriesOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustResearchers used echocardiography to image participants’ hearts before enrollment and during follow-up visits at one, six, 12, 18 and 24 months. They developed an algorithm that was used by expert echocardiographers to interpret the heart images, evaluate the functioning of the valve and determine whether patients were appropriate candidates for the MitraClip procedure. Follow-up assessments revealed that the repaired valve was effective at preventing backward flow of blood through the valve (mitral regurgitation), and that this effect persisted throughout the two years of follow-up.In addition, the study focused on identifying characteristics of the heart, measurable with an echocardiogram, that may predict which patients would have a better or worse response to TMVR. In this analysis, researchers found that TMVR was equally beneficial across all subgroups analyzed, including the size, function or pressures of the heart’s chambers, leading them to conclude that all patients with similar characteristics to those in the trial should be considered for this intervention.”MitraClip was shown to be beneficial in the study population in all sub-groups analyzed, regardless of patients’ echocardiographic characteristics,” Asch said. “While we learned that patients with higher pulmonary hypertension are at higher risk after they receive the MitraClip, they still do better than if they would not have had the intervention done. Doing an echocardiogram is critical in determining if a patient is a good candidate for MitraClip and in following these patients to evaluate results of the procedure in the long run.” Source:https://www.acc.org/last_img read more

Texas guv confirms Amazon visit to Austin Dallas

©2018 The Dallas Morning News Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Half of Amazon’s HQ2 finalists have overvalued housing markets Citation: Texas guv confirms Amazon visit to Austin, Dallas (2018, March 12) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-texas-guv-amazon-austin-dallas.html Explore further Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed on Thursday that Amazon HQ2 scouts have been to Austin and Dallas as he accepted an annual award that recognizes the top performing states for business and job creation. The Dallas Morning News this week had already confirmed that Amazon had been to North Texas and that the e-commerce giant has narrowed its local preference to downtown Dallas.”Amazon officials have been in the state of Texas talking with my office as well as talking with leaders in Austin and in Dallas as they continue the process going nationwide to figure out which locations would be the best match for them,” Abbott said after accepting Site Selection Magazine’s 2017 Governor’s Cup award.It was the sixth consecutive year for Texas and the state has won the award 14 times, more than any other state.Abbott hasn’t shown any favoritism between Dallas and Austin when it comes to Amazon HQ2. Both cities are among the 20 that made the cut when Seattle-based Amazon released its finalists in January.Cities are vying for a second headquarters location that Amazon said will employ as many as 50,000 people over the next decade.”We believe both Dallas and Austin would be perfect fits for Amazon,” Abbott said in response to a question from a KVUE-TV reporter in Austin.”Amazon executives have told me personally they believe Texas has a premier workforce,” he said. “When you couple that with our reasonable regulations, low tax rate, low cost of living and the ease of doing business, you can see that Texas is the right fit for the Amazon expansion.” 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. read more