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22 KPBSD School Sites To Host Budget Development Forum

first_imgAt 6:00pm, on Tuesday, October 30, KPBSD school principals will meet with site-councils and the public after a live video-streamed presentation from the district to all 22 school sites in the district. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The process is rolling forward for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 budget planning process for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District. Participant input will be synthesized and presented to the KPBSD school board during future board meetings and work sessions.Link: KPBSD Finance Department Pegge Erkeneff, KPBSD Communications Liaison: “This year in particular we’re really focusing on site councils and everybody that has any interests in ours schools, or concerned about our school remaining high quality schools should come out to one of our site councils.” center_img Erkeneff: “We will video stream from the district office, and then after the video stream locally at each site the principal will be meeting with the community that is gathered there for that school.” According to Erkeneff, the meeting will provide an opportunity to learn about reductions which have been considered in the past—some implemented, some not—as well as potential new or additional revenue will be explored.last_img read more

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Senator Micciche Talks Impacts Of Wildwood Closure

first_imgMicciche: “130 people showed up for that meeting, and now we have community members coming to Juneau to help the administration understand that closing down Wildwood does not save money it actually costs the state money.” Micciche: “It’s a great statement from the community. I have never had this number of people come down on their own dime, these are not people with a lot of money,these are folks that realize that the community partnership with Wildwood is working. The partnership is stopping recidivism, turning lives around, and it is remarkably successful.”  Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Governor Mike Dunleavy’s plan to close a major portion of Wildwood Correctional Complex could have a major economic impact on the Kenai Peninsula. Roughly $12.8 million of the savings will come from a plan to send 500 inmates to prisons outside of Alaska. The other savings would come from closing the sentenced facilities of Wildwood Correctional Complex. The Department of Corrections made the announcement to employees at Wildwood via email shortly after Governor Dunleavy unveiled his upcoming budget plan. Correctional officers, former inmates, and staff at Wildwood Correctional Facility flooded the Borough Chambers to testify against the proposed closures at Wildwood prior to a town hall meeting in February. Senator Peter Micciche (R-K-Pen), has continually challenged the plan to close parts of Wildwood. Over the last week a number of Kenai Peninsula residents have flown to Juneau to advocate for Wildwood as well. According to budget documents, the move would eliminate 46 jobs and save the state roughly $6 million. Sarah Gallagher, Public Information Officer with DOC: “46 jobs will be impacted, but it is our goal to work with those individuals who wish to stay working within the Department of Corrections.”last_img read more

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North Fork and Caribou Lake Fires On Kenai Peninsula Showed Little Growth

first_imgThe Caribou Lake Fire was reported Monday. It is 23 miles northeast of Homer. The 100 acre fire is a little over a mile to the northwest of Caribou Lake and is burning in the area of the 2007 Caribou Hills Fire. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Two fires burning on the southern Kenai Peninsula are receiving a strong response. The Zigzag Hotshot crew from Oregon is reporting this morning to the North Fork Fire burning six miles northwest of Homer. The hotshots will join the Chugachmiut’s Yukon Wildland Fire Crew, an initial attack crew of Palmer, to complete a hose lay on the dozer line that encircles the fire. There was no reported growth overnight and is estimated to be 59 acres. A “Ready” alert is NOT a notice to leave. This alert means that people must be ready for potential evacuation. This includes assisting family members with special needs, arrange to move mobile property (boats, trailers, ATV), and prepare pets or livestock. There are no road closures associated with this fire; however, traffic is restricted to local and fire traffic only. Residents living along North Fork Road north of the fire and in communities along the Diamond Ridge Road to the south were placed on a Level 1 “Ready” notice due to the proximity to the fire.center_img A load of smokejumpers parachuted near the fire and started building fireline along the southern perimeter with the assistance water scooping Fire Boss aircraft, two heavy airtankers, and the local Alaska Division of Forestry helicopter. There are no cabins or structures immediately threatened by the fire. This morning firefighters have been joined by a dozer to construct fire line on the south end of the fire. Residents should not access the area by ATVs for their safety as local traffic in this area will impede fire operations. Air operations cannot fly when civilians are in the affected area.last_img read more

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Audi Toyota Waymo and others launch selfdriving car education group

first_img Car Industry Self-driving cars are on the way — but does the public understand their abilities and limits? Toyota Automakers and suppliers are working hard to develop autonomous cars and other self-driving technologies. But ensuring members of the public understand what those technologies can do — and also what they can’t do — is a different challenge. That’s why Audi, Daimler, General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen, Waymo and several suppliers have founded a new partnership to provide that information.PAVE, or the Partners for Automated Vehicle Education coalition, was announced at a press conference at CES on Monday. The group intends to teach people about self-driving technology using three key strategies. First, PAVE will work to get both consumers and policymakers (i.e. legislators) behind the wheel with driver-assistance technology. Second, the group will hold educational workshops on the technologies for legislators. And finally, PAVE will offer “educational materials” that car dealers and service centers can offer to customers. Although the coalition also hopes to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities on American roads, PAVE does not necessarily plan to endorse only certain types of technologies. “It’s not about lobbying for one specific type of technology or one way to do things,” says Deborah Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council, one of PAVE’s members. Instead, she says, the goal is “to help Americans better understand the potential and the promise of these technologies.” “We want to dispel the confusion about this technology that’s often misunderstood,” Hersman said. “We will provide clear and factual information so consumers understand this technology and what to expect.” Post a comment For automakers, many of whom are already PAVE members, the group’s education efforts should also ensure that car shoppers understand the benefits of driver-assist features in new models, as well as future self-driving cars. “No matter how good or ready the technology is, we need to ensure that society develops a level of trust with this automated technology,” said Kelly Kay, executive vice president of the Toyota Research Institute. Kyle Vogt, founder of Cruise Automation, agreed with the need for more public education. He said that his company likens today’s push for autonomy to the space race — the difference is, he said, that it’s being led by private companies who need to build trust with consumers. “People need to understand the technology to feel comfortable with it and ultimately to trust it with their lives,” he said. 9 Photos Share your voice 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better CES 2019 Tags 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealouscenter_img 2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value Self-driving cars: Stay up to date on all the latest news in autonomy.CES 2019 schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. Here’s the self-driving car you can take around Las Vegas during CES More From Roadshow 85 Photos All the cool new gadgets at CES 2019 0 Audi Toyota Self-driving carslast_img read more

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Feds Coast Guard Officer Targeted Supreme Court Justices

first_imgBy MICHAEL KUNZELMAN Associated PressROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — A Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling guns and compiling a hit list of prominent Democrats and network TV journalists looked at other targets: two Supreme Court justices and two executives of social media companies, according to federal prosecutors.Those new allegations are contained in a court filing Tuesday in which prosecutors urge a magistrate judge to keep Christopher Hasson, 49, detained in custody pending trial on firearms and weapons charges.This file image provided by the U.S. District Court in Maryland shows a photo of firearms and ammunition that was in the motion for detention pending trial in the case against Christopher Paul Hasson. Hasson, a Coast Guard lieutenant accused of stockpiling guns and compiling a hit list of prominent Democrats and network TV journalists looked at other targets: two Supreme Court justices and two executives of social media companies, according to federal prosecutors in a court filing Tuesday, April 22, 2019. (U.S. District Court via AP, File)The filing doesn’t name the two justices and two company executives but says Hasson searched online for their home addresses in March 2018, within minutes before and after searching firearm sales websites.“The defendant conducted an internet search for ‘are supreme court justices protected’ approximately two weeks prior to searching for the home addresses of the two Supreme Court justices,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Windom wrote in a footnote.Hasson, who is due back in court Thursday for a detention hearing, is renewing his request to be released from custody while awaiting trial. A lawyer who represented Hasson at a Feb. 21 detention hearing accused prosecutors of making inflammatory accusations against Hasson without providing evidence to back them up.Prosecutors haven’t charged him with any terrorism-related offenses since his Feb. 15 arrest and subsequent indictment in Maryland. Hasson’s attorney, Liz Oyer, wrote in a court filing last week that prosecutors recently disclosed that they don’t expect to seek any additional charges.In an email to The Associated Press, Oyer declined to comment Wednesday on the prosecutors’ new allegations.In a February court filing, prosecutors called Hasson a “domestic terrorist” and said he “intends to murder innocent civilians on a scale rarely seen in this country.” They also said he is a self-described white nationalist who espoused extremist views for years and drafted an email in which he said he was “dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth.”Hasson’s internet search history “lays bare his views on race, which in turn inform his criminal conduct,” Windom wrote.In November 2017, according to the prosecutor, Hasson searched for “please god let there be a race war.” And the defendant did an internet search for guns with a search term that used a racial slur for blacks in March 2018 before visiting firearm sales websites.Prosecutors have said Hasson appeared to be planning attacks inspired by the manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik, the Norwegian right-wing extremist who killed 77 people in a 2011 bomb-and-shooting rampage. Windom said “it cannot go unnoticed” that the terrorist who perpetrated the deadly New Zealand mosque attacks in March also was a “devotee” of Breivik.In 2017, Hasson sent himself a draft letter he had written to a neo-Nazi leader and “identified himself as a White Nationalist for over 30 years and advocated for ‘focused violence’ in order to establish a white homeland,” prosecutors said.That letter also refers to “Missouri,” a person with whom Hasson has a “long history,” Windom wrote. In 1995, according to federal prosecutors, Hasson and “Missouri” went to a home in Hampton, Virginia, where the homeowner arrived by car and asked them why they were there. The victim identified Hasson and Missouri as “skinheads.”“Missouri,” wearing a black jacket with Swastika patches, aimed a handgun at the victim’s face and pulled the trigger, according to a police report cited by prosecutors. When the gun didn’t fire, “Missouri” beat the victim with it.“Chris Hasson was standing there with the suspect when this occurred,” Windom wrote.Investigators found 15 guns, including seven rifles, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition at Hasson’s basement apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland, prosecutors said. Hasson’s Feb. 27 indictment also accuses him of illegal possession of tramadol, an opioid painkiller.Prosecutors claim Hasson drew up what appeared to be a computer-spreadsheet hit list that included House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and presidential hopefuls Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris. Several network TV journalists — MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Joe Scarborough and CNN’s Chris Cuomo and Van Jones — also were mentioned.During the February detention hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Day agreed to keep Hasson held in custody but said he was willing to revisit his decision if prosecutors didn’t bring more serious charges within two weeks.Hasson pleaded not guilty last month to charges of illegal possession of firearm silencers, possession of firearms by a drug addict and unlawful user, and possession of a controlled substance. He faces a maximum of 31 years in prison if convicted of all four counts in his indictment.“The silencers serve one purpose: to murder quietly. The defendant intended to do so on a mass scale, and his detention has thwarted his unlawful desire,” Windom wrote.Hasson, a former Marine, worked at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington on a program to acquire advanced new cutters for the agency. A Coast Guard spokesman has said Hasson will remain on active duty until the case against him is resolved.last_img read more

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The Mission of Marie Ojiambo

first_imgBy Lauren Poteat, NNPA Newswire CorrespondentIt’s been more than 100 years since sickle cell disease was first discovered in America.Today, the rare hereditary blood disorder continues to affect millions of people throughout the world.Sickle cell disease – or SCD – affects approximately 100,000 Americans and occurs among about 1 out of every 365 African-American births, according to medical experts.While she champions research and viable medications and solutions, Ojiambo also emphasized the importance of being regularly tested. (Courtesy photo)Nearly 1 in 13 African American babies are born with the sickle cell trait, which medical experts said means that an individual has inherited the sickle cell gene from one of his or her parents.During its annual convention, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), a trade organization that represents African American-owned newspapers and media companies throughout the U.S., partnered with Pfizer Rare Disease (Pfizer) to host a forum on this rare disease.“I was diagnosed with sickle cell disease at the age of one,” said Marie Ojiambo, a consultant for Pfizer, during the forum moderated by NNPA President and CEO, Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.“And always wanted to be a support system and advocate for research, for other young women, going through the same thing,” Ojiambo said.“Because of this, I always felt like it was important for me to not only introduce myself by my profession, but also as a sickle cell warrior,” said the Kenyan native.“When I competed in the Miss Africa USA pageant back in 2014, I made sure that my pageant platform, represented the same personal goals I had for myself and advocated for, sickle cell disease awareness,” she said.Dr. Chavis emphasized, “The NNPA is grateful to Pfizer for introducing Marie Ojiambo to the Black Press of America.  Ms. Ojiambo is an excellent role model for millennials, and in particular for young African and African American women, who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields of study.  Marie Ojiambo’s outstanding success as a research scientist is truly inspiring as she did not allow the challenges of Sickle Cell Disease to prevent her from achieving her professional career goals.”According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the sickle cell disease trait is most commonly found in places like Africa, India and Southeast Asia.However, it is not exclusive to one race.Also, as the Hemoglobin disorders follow the malaria belt around the globe, those who have the trait are relatively protected from malaria.Although most who carry the sickle cell trait remain healthy, medical statistics show that if two healthy people who carry the trait join to conceive a child, there’s still a one in four chance with every pregnancy that they would have child with active SCD.Ojiambo, who graduated from St. John’s University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in New York and who specializes in pre-clinical Pharmaceutical Research, is also the founder of the Sickle Strong Initiative—a Kenyan-based NGO whose mandate is to raise awareness around sickle cell disease and advocate for better health care opportunities for patients suffering from the disease in Kenya.While she champions research and viable medications and solutions, Ojiambo also emphasized the importance of being regularly tested.“Both of my parents were carriers of the sickle cell trait and so when they came together, I received the disorder,” Ojiambo said.“It is so important to know your status and to get tested regularly,” Ojiambo continued.“Take part in clinical trials and work to make sure you have access to primary care physicians and a good hematologist.”last_img read more

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Roku Removes Infowars Channel Following Backlash

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Jones and Infowars have frequently posted conspiracy theories about the 9/11 terrorist attacks as well as the Sandy Hook school shooting. Prior to being banned from most major platforms, Jones also had individual videos removed for hate speech and other terms of use violations.Jones spread the false claim that the Sandy Hook shooting was a hoax, and last week, parents of children murdered in the tragedy won a legal victory against the pundit. A judge ruled that the families of the victims must be granted access to financial records and other documents as part of the discovery process in an ongoing lawsuit against Infowars.An attorney representing several of the families also criticized the company for carrying Infowars in a statement released Tuesday afternoon:“Roku’s shocking decision to carry Infowars and provide a platform for Alex Jones is an insult to the memory of the 26 children and educators killed at Sandy Hook. Worse, it interferes with families’ efforts to prevent people like Jones from profiting off innocent victims whose lives have been turned upside down by unspeakable loss. We call on Roku to realize this and immediately pull the program.” Popular on Variety The company originally responded to the controversy by saying Infowars wasn’t currently violating its terms of use. Digiday first reported that Roku added Infowars six months after major platforms, including Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Apple’s app store, removed Jones and his outlet from their services.Infowars had been on Roku for years with a channel apparently created by Infowars contributor Paul Joseph Watson. In recent weeks, the company added another channel that seems to have been created by an outside web development company. Roku has taken the Infowars channel off its platform after the streaming device faced criticism for carrying the controversial program hosted by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.“After the InfoWars channel became available, we heard from concerned parties and have determined that the channel should be removed from our platform,” stated the company’s tweet on Tuesday evening. “Deletion from the channel store and platform has begun and will be completed shortly.”last_img read more

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Elderly woman dies after falling from multistoreyed building in Ballygunge

first_imgKolkata: An elderly woman died after falling down from the roof of a multi-storeyed apartment at Ballygunge on Thursday morning. The deceased, identified as Jamini Desai (64), was a resident of Earle Street who had been living in the apartment for the last five years.The police are investigating to ascertain whether the fall was accidental or suicidal, with the local residents alleging that her family members were late in taking the lady to the hospital even after she fell from the roof. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”We were having a cup of tea in the tea stall adjacent to the apartment. Suddenly, we heard the noise of something falling on the ground. We found that the elderly woman was lying in a pool of blood. When we raised an alarm and called her family members, they came down and took her inside the house instead of rushing to the hospital. They did so after ten minutes,” said local resident Budheshwar Das.Das added that the woman was alive after falling from the roof and rushing to the hospital might have saved her. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe sexagenarian was, however, declared brought dead at a nearby hospital.According to police sources, the victim had gone to the roof of the apartment at around 7 am in the morning for plucking flowers. She loved flowers and there were a number of flower pots with a variety of flowers blossoming on the rooftop garden, which she herself used to water.The woman was accompanied by the domestic help of the Desai family, Prem Mondal. However, when she told him to fetch the ladder, he came downstairs. It was at that time that the woman fell down.Police have come to know that the victim had been suffering from lung ailment for quite some time. Her family members have informed police that she was also suffering from mental depression due to her ill health.”We are exploring all angles,” an officer of Ballygunge police station said.last_img read more

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Creating a chatbot to assist in network operations Tutorial

first_imgIn this tutorial, we will understand how to leverage chatbots to assist in network operations. As we move toward intelligent operations, another area to focus on is mobility. It’s good to have a script to perform configurations, remediations, or even troubleshooting, but it still requires a presence to monitor, initiate, or even execute those programs or scripts. Nokia’s MIKA is a good example of a chatbot that operations personnel can use for network troubleshooting and repair. According to Nokia’s blog,  MIKA responds with an alarm prioritization information based on the realities for this individual network and also compare’s the current situation to a whole service history of past events from this network and others, in order to identify the best solution for the current problem. Let’s create a chatbot to assist in network operations. For this use case, we will use a widely-used chat application, Slack. Referring to the intelligent data analysis capabilities of Splunk, we would see some user chat interaction with the chatbot, to get some insight into the environment. This tutorial is an excerpt from a book written by Abhishek Ratan titled Practical Network Automation – Second Edition. This book will acquaint you with the fundamental concepts of network automation and help you improve your data center’s robustness and security. The code for this tutorial can be found on GitHub. As we have our web framework deployed, we’ll leverage the same framework to interact with the Slack chatbot, which in turn will interact with Splunk. It can also interact directly with network devices so we can initiate some complex chats, such as rebooting a router from Slack if need be. This eventually gives mobility to an engineer who can work on tasks from anywhere (even from a cellphone) without being tied to a certain location or office. To create a chatbot, here are the basic steps: Create a workspace (or account) on Slack: Create an application in your workspace (in our case, we have created an app called mybot): Here is the basic information about the application (App ID and Client ID can be used along with other information that uniquely identifies this application): Add a bot capability to this application: Add the event subscriptions and mapping to the external API that the messages will be posted to. An event subscription is when someone types the reference to the chatbot on the chat, then which API will be called with the data that is being typed in the chat with this chatbot: Here, a crucial step is once we type in the URL that accepts chat messages, that particular URL needs to be verified from Slack. A verification involves the API endpoint sending the same response back as a string or JSON that is being sent to that endpoint from Slack. If we receive the same response, Slack confirms that the endpoint is authentic and marks it as verified. This is a one-time process and any changes in the API URL will result in repeating this step. Here is the Python code in the Ops API framework that responds to this specific query: import falconimport jsondef on_get(self,req,resp): # Handles GET request resp.status=falcon.HTTP_200 # Default status resp.body=json.dumps({“Server is Up!”})def on_post(self,req,resp): # Handles POST Request print(“In post”) data=req.bounded_stream.read() try: # Authenticating end point to Slack data=json.loads(data)[“challenge”] # Default status resp.status=falcon.HTTP_200 # Send challenge string back as response resp.body=data except: # URL already verified resp.status=falcon.HTTP_200 resp.body=”” This would validate, and if a challenge is sent from Slack, it would respond back with the same challenge value that confirms it to be the right endpoint for the Slack channel to send chat data to. Install this application (or chatbot) into any channels (this is similar to adding a user in a group chat): The core API framework code that responds to specific chat messages, performs the following actions: Acknowledges any post sent to Slack with a response of 200 in three seconds. If this is not done, Slack reports back: endpoint not reachable. Ensures any message sent from chatbot (not from any real user) is again not sent back as a reply. This can create a loop, since a message sent from a chatbot, would be treated as a new message in Slack chat and it would be sent again to URL. This would eventually make the chat unusable, causing repetitive messages on the chat. Authenticates the response with a token that would be sent back to Slack to ensure the response coming to Slack is from an authenticated source. The code is as follows: import falconimport jsonimport requestsimport base64from splunkquery import runfrom splunk_alexa import alexafrom channel import channel_connect,set_dataclass Bot_BECJ82A3V(): def on_get(self,req,resp): # Handles GET request resp.status=falcon.HTTP_200 # Default status resp.body=json.dumps({“Server is Up!”}) def on_post(self,req,resp): # Handles POST Request print(“In post”) data=req.bounded_stream.read() try: bot_id=json.loads(data)[“event”][“bot_id”] if bot_id==”BECJ82A3V”: print(“Ignore message from same bot”) resp.status=falcon.HTTP_200 resp.body=”” return except: print(“Life goes on. . .”) try: # Authenticating end point to Slack data=json.loads(data)[“challenge”] # Default status resp.status=falcon.HTTP_200 # Send challenge string back as response resp.body=data except: # URL already verified resp.status=falcon.HTTP_200 resp.body=”” print(data) data=json.loads(data) #Get the channel and data information channel=data[“event”][“channel”] text=data[“event”][“text”] # Authenticate Agent to access Slack endpoint token=”xoxp-xxxxxx” # Set parameters print(type(data)) print(text) set_data(channel,token,resp) # Process request and connect to slack channel channel_connect(text) return# falcon.API instance , callable from gunicornapp= falcon.API()# instantiate helloWorld classBot3V=Bot_BECJ82A3V()# map URL to helloWorld classapp.add_route(“/slack”,Bot3V) Performing a channel interaction response: This code takes care of interpreting specific chats that are performed with chat-bot, in the chat channel. Additionally, this would respond with the reply, to the specific user or channel ID and with authentication token to the Slack API https://slack.com/api/chat.postMessage. This ensures the message or reply back to the Slack chat is shown on the specific channel, from where it originated. As a sample, we would use the chat to encrypt or decrypt a specific value. For example, if we write encrypt username[:]password, it would return an encrypted string with a base64 value. Similarly, if we write decrypt , the chatbot would return a after decrypting the encoded string. The code is as follows: import jsonimport requestsimport base64from splunk_alexa import alexachannl=””token=””resp=””def set_data(Channel,Token,Response): global channl,token,resp channl=Channel token=Token resp=Responsedef send_data(text):global channl,token,resprint(channl)resp = requests.post(“https://slack.com/api/chat.postMessage”,data='{“channel”:”‘+channl+'”,”text”:”‘+text+'”}’,headers={“Content-type”: “application/json”,”Authorization”: “Bearer “+token},verify=False)def channel_connect(text):global channl,token,resptry: print(text)arg=text.split(‘ ‘)print(str(arg))path=arg[0].lower()print(path in [“decode”,”encode”])if path in [“decode”,”encode”]:print(“deecode api”)else:result=alexa(arg,resp)text=””try:for i in result:print(i)print(str(i.values()))for j in i.values():print(j)text=text+’ ‘+j#print(j)if text==”” or text==None:text=”None”send_data(text)returnexcept:text=”None”send_data(text)returndecode=arg[1]except:print(“Please enter a string to decode”)text=” argument cannot be empty”send_data(text)returndeencode(arg,text)def deencode(arg,text):global channl,token,respdecode=arg[1]if arg[1]==’–help’:#print(“Sinput”)text=”encode/decode “send_data(text)returnif arg[0].lower()==”encode”:encoded=base64.b64encode(str.encode(decode))if ‘[:]’ in decode:text=”Encoded string: “+encoded.decode(‘utf-8’)send_data(text)returnelse:text=”sample string format username[:]password”send_data(text)returntry:creds=base64.b64decode(decode)creds=creds.decode(“utf-8”)except:print(“problem while decoding String”)text=”Error decoding the string. Check your encoded string.”send_data(text)returnif ‘[:]’ in str(creds):print(“[:] substring exists in the decoded base64 credentials”)# split based on the first match of “[:]”credentials = str(creds).split(‘[:]’,1)username = str(credentials[0])password = str(credentials[1])status = ‘success’else:text=”encoded string is not in standard format, use username[:]password”send_data(text)print(“the encoded base64 is not in standard format username[:]password”)username = “Invalid”password = “Invalid”status = ‘failed’temp_dict = {}temp_dict[‘output’] = {‘username’:username,’password’:password}temp_dict[‘status’] = statustemp_dict[‘identifier’] = “”temp_dict[‘type’] = “”#result.append(temp_dict)print(temp_dict)text=” “+username+” “+passwordsend_data(text)print(resp.text)print(resp.status_code)return This code queries the Splunk instance for a particular chat with the chatbot. The chat would ask for any management interface (Loopback45) that is currently down. Additionally, in the chat, a user can ask for all routers on which the management interface is up. This English response is converted into a Splunk query and, based upon the response from Splunk, it returns the status to the Slack chat. Let us see the code that performs the action to respond the result, to Slack chat: from splunkquery import rundef alexa(data,resp): try: string=data.split(‘ ‘) except: string=data search=’ ‘.join(string[0:-1]) param=string[-1] print(“param”+param) match_dict={0:”routers management interface”,1:”routers management loopback”} for no in range(2): print(match_dict[no].split(‘ ‘)) print(search.split(‘ ‘)) test=list(map(lambda x:x in search.split(‘ ‘),match_dict[no].split(‘ ‘))) print(test) print(no) if False in test: pass else: if no in [0,1]: if param.lower()==”up”: query=”search%20index%3D%22main%22%20earliest%3D0%20%7C%20dedup%20interface_name%2Crouter_name%20%7C%20where%20interface_name%3D%22Loopback45%22%20%20and%20interface_status%3D%22up%22%20%7C%20table%20router_name” elif param.lower()==”down”: query=”search%20index%3D%22main%22%20earliest%3D0%20%7C%20dedup%20interface_name%2Crouter_name%20%7C%20where%20interface_name%3D%22Loopback45%22%20%20and%20interface_status%21%3D%22up%22%20%7C%20table%20router_name” else: return “None” result=run(query,resp) return result The following Splunk query fetches the status: For UP interface: The query would be as follows: index=”main” earliest=0 | dedup interface_name,router_name | where interface_name=”Loopback45″ and interface_status=”up” | table router_name For DOWN interface (any status except ): The query would be as follows: index=”main” earliest=0 | dedup interface_name,router_name | where interface_name=”Loopback45″ and interface_status!=”up” | table router_name Let’s see the end result of chatting with the chatbot and the responses being sent back based on the chats. The encoding/decoding example is as follows: As we can see here, we sent a chat with the encode abhishek[:]password123 message. This chat was sent as a POST request to the API, which in turn encrypted it to base64 and responded back with the added words as Encoded string: . In the next chat, we passed the same string with the decode option. This responds back with decoding the information from API function, and responds back to Slack chat, with username abhishek and password password123. Let’s see the example of the Splunk query chat: In this query, we have shut down the Loopback45 interface on rtr1. During our scheduled discovery of those interfaces through the Python script, the data is now in Splunk. When queried on which management interface (Loopback45) is down, it would respond back with rtr1. The slack chat, On which routers the management interface is down, would pass this to the API, which, upon receiving this payload, will run the Splunk query to get the stats. The return value (which, in this case, is rtr1) will be given back as a response in the chat. Similarly, a reverse query of, On which routers the management interface is up, will query Splunk and eventually share back the response as rtr2, rtr3, and rtr4 (as interfaces on all these routers are UP). This chat use case can be extended to ensure that full end-to-end troubleshooting can occur using a simple chat. Extensive cases can be built using various backend functions, starting from a basic identification of problems to complex tasks, such as remediation based upon identified situations. Summary In this tutorial, we implemented some real-life use cases and looked at techniques to perform troubleshooting using chatbot. The use cases gave us insight into performing intelligent remediation as well as performing audits at scale, which are key challenges in the current environment. To learn how to automate your own network without any hassle while leveraging the power of Python, check out our book Practical Network Automation – Second Edition. Read Next Preparing and automating a task in Python [Tutorial] PyPy 7.0 released for Python 2.7, 3.5, and 3.6 alpha 5 blog posts that could make you a better Python programmerlast_img read more

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TravelManagers procure Ensemble Travels Luxury and Experiential Produ

first_imgChief Operating Officer – Grant Campbell TravelManagers procure Ensemble Travel’s Luxury and Experiential ProductTravelManagers procure Ensemble Travel’s Luxury and Experiential ProductTravelManagers is delighted to announce the signing of a new partner supplier agreement with the North America-based Ensemble Travel Group (Ensemble). Established in 1968 Ensemble is one of the world’s leading providers of luxury and experiential travel products and services.“This new partner agreement further highlights TravelManagers’ continual commitment to adding value to its personal travel manager network and market leading dominance in the luxury and experiential holiday market,” says TravelManagers Chief Operating Officer Grant Campbell.TravelManagers through its refined partner status with Ensemble will enhance its current high end and unique product offerings.“Our agreement will incorporate specialist products and experiences providing personal travel managers the ability to offer expertly designed and bespoke luxury holiday experiences that cater to our client’s individual requirements. We know this is what our high value clients are looking for and further strengthens TravelManagers’ position as Australia’s premium travel network,” says Campbell.Ensemble will enable TravelManagers to procure unique luxury holiday components including access to authentic experiences and exclusive elite value added benefits.“As a consequence of being a part of an enhanced global presence our personal travel managers now have access to an increased range of luxury cruising, accommodation, on-location destination management companies and unique specialty programmes around the world. We will also have the opportunity to leverage benefits achieved through higher sales volumes so it’s a real win-win for clients and personal travel managers,” says Campbell.Ensemble’s Senior Vice President and General Manager Trish Shepherd is excited about their new partnership with TravelManagers.“We look forward to working with Australia’s premium travel network and contributing to TravelManagers continued growth in the luxury travel market by providing personal travel managers a wide range of unique and tailor-made products and experiences.”Personal travel managers will receive a full update on the new agreement with Ensemble in the upcoming November round of state meetings.“This will be followed by comprehensive product training to ensure personal travel managers are confident and ready to start selling the products for the 2017 travel season,” says Campbell.For more information or to speak to someone confidentially about TravelManagers please contact Suzanne Laister on 1800 019 599. TravelManagers Australiabecome a Personal Travel Manager todayAbout TravelManagers TravelManagers operates in all Australian States and is a wholly owned subsidiary of House of Travel, Australasia’s largest independent travel company which has a forecast turnover of $1.5 billion for 2015. TravelManagers is a sister company to Hoot Holidays, also owned by House of Travel, and has more than 490 personal travel managers throughout Australia with a dedicated support team at the company’s national partnership office in Sydney. TravelManagers places all customer money in a dedicated and audited Client Trust Account which is separate from the general business accounts, ensuring client funds are only used for client purchases.About Ensemble Travel® Group Established in 1968, Ensemble Travel® Group is a proactive, member-owned organization of approximately 850 top-tier, independent travel agencies in the U.S. and Canada, with new expanded international presence in Australia/New Zealand. With a membership that represents billions of dollars in travel sales each year, Ensemble Travel® Group has achieved a 45+ year record of boosting members’ profits and delivering high-volume sales to its preferred suppliers. Source = TravelManagers Australialast_img read more

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OTT operator Viewster has cut programming deals wi

first_imgOTT operator Viewster has cut programming deals with a raft of distributors, picking up drama series from All3Media, Shine and Starz among others, TBI has learned.The Swiss based over the top provider’s ad-supported VOD service is carried in 120 countries and the premium drama titles it has picked up are primarily for the US, Australian and European markets.Viewster has acquired 240 hours of content in all. From All3Media International Viewster has picked up teen drama Skins (left), taking exclusive rights in Australia and Germany.From Shine International it has acquired BBC drama Mayday and comedy series Moving Wallpaper.From Starz it has also acquired Ving Rhames drama Gravity, comedy series Hollywood Residential and Jeff Goldblum movie Head Case from Starz.It has also picked up various drama series from Korea’s KBS including popular Korean drama Boys Over Flowers.Viewster CEO Kai Henniges said: “We are making a significant new investment in content that we can provide on an ad-supported basis and that is also attractive to our young and growing audience across the globe that prefers on-demand over appointment viewing.”He added that Viewster is tailoring its acquisitions strategy by region.“In the United States, we follow a multi-niche approach with in-demand series from Europe, Asia and other regions. Our U.K audience receives an ever-increasing library of national and international top titles. In Australia and the German-speaking countries, we strongly count on U.S. and U.K. titles that cannot be easily found otherwise,” he said.last_img read more

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Walter Mischel a revolutionary psychologist with

first_imgWalter Mischel, a revolutionary psychologist with a specialty in personality theory, died of pancreatic cancer on Sept. 12. He was 88. Mischel was most famous for the marshmallow test, an experiment that became a pop culture touchstone. But, he said, the thrust of the experiment and its results were often misinterpreted. (You can hear Mischel explain why in the video by Marcie LaCerte at the top of this page).Born in Vienna in 1930, his family fled to the United States when Mischel was only 8 years old. After graduating from New York University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in psychology, he went on to get a Ph.D. from the Ohio State University in 1956. Mischel’s education left him frustrated with the orthodox research models of the time, many of which were influenced by the likes of Freud. Mischel believed these models failed to adequately consider context, both the particular experimental situation and people’s internal goals. So, he set out on different path in 1960, using preschoolers from Stanford University’s Bing Nursery School as his study subjects. His idea, which you’ve probably heard of, was simple enough. First, you sit a kid in front of a delicious marshmallow. Then, you tell her she will get two marshmallows if she can resist eating the marshmallow while you leave the room. His experiment was a test of delayed gratification and, over the years, the test epitomized the idea that there are specific personality traits that we all have inside of us that are stable and consistent and will determine our lives far into the future. Despite some follow-up studies that failed to replicate the results, the lesson our society has drawn from the marshmallow test is that children who are able to delay their own gratification are destined to be more successful as adults than those that can’t. There was just one problem with that conclusion, as Mischel himself explained to Alix Spiegel, in an episode of the podcast Invisibilia called “The Personality Myth.” He told her: “That iconic story is upside-down wrong — that your future is in a marshmallow — because it isn’t.” So why does this myth seem to persist? Well, it seems one crucial detail was left out of conversation. Some kids were given strategies to help them resist the tempting treat, such as closing their eyes, while others were not. And, it was the kids who were best at deploying these strategies who had greater success in later life. “People can use their wonderful brains to think differently about situations, to reframe them, to reconstrue them, to even reconstrue themselves,” Mischel said.Nearly fifty years after the publication of his early iconic work, Mischel was still on the forefront of correcting the entrenched orthodoxy of static personalities, as well as the psych myth that his famous study had become. In 2014, he wrote The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control. “What my life has been about is in showing the potential for human beings, to not be the victims of their biographies — not their biological biographies, not their social biographies,” he said. “And to show, in great detail, the many ways in which people can change what they become and how they think.”Julie Carli is an intern with Invisiblia. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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Centro Releases Universal Pixel for Easy Creation and Management of FirstParty Audiences

first_imgNow Available in Centro’s Basis Platform to Automate Tracking and Measurement of AudiencesCentro, a global provider of advertising technology, announced the launch of universal pixel on its comprehensive platform, Basis. Universal pixel technology uses a single pixel to automate the creation and organization of first-party audiences, eliminating the need for multiple audience and conversion pixels.This new Basis feature makes it easier and faster for advertisers to measure conversions and track customer actions. Beta tests show that media buyers are upping performance and saving time using universal pixel to segment and group customers into categories based on their actions within a domain.Basis is the industry’s most automated, comprehensive and intelligent digital media platform, converging planning, buying, operations, campaign analytics, business intelligence, and billing reconciliation. No other DSP combines high-grade programmatic advertising features with holistic media workflow technology. Basis seamlessly assembles the tools that media businesses need to move towards full automation.Marketing Technology News: DAA Announces Enforcement Deadline for ‘Political Ad’ Guidelines and Transparency Icon“As the steward of top tier brands, we have an enormous responsibility to drive KPIs for clients and do it with efficiency,” said Matt Mordarski, senior digital media specialist at Perich Advertising + Design. “Automating our business through Basis already gives us an edge in the market. Now we are capitalizing on new tools such as universal pixel to enhance the tracking of first-party audiences and increase the agility of our team.”“With our campaigns, we are continually measuring and improving upon our performance. Generating and managing pixels is an essential part; but until now, it has been a tedious and lengthy process. Having the ability to use only one pixel to create various models for targeting, attribution and subsequent optimization makes us more efficient while improving ROI for our clients,” said Jessica Behal, founder of Spherical Strategies. “Since using universal pixel in tandem with the full agency toolset in Basis, we have seen considerable improvements in campaign performance.”Traditionally, marketers have had to use multiple pixels to create first-party audiences and track unique actions from site visitors. This meant hours of work to create many pixels, coordinate placement, and verify deployment. Thanks to the introduction of universal pixel, that work has been eliminated.Marketing Technology News: SentinelOne Announces $120 Million Series DAs marketers’ needs change, they use Basis to modify the data a universal pixel gathers. One pixel has the capability to segment audiences based on any combination of actions they take (search, click, browse, convert, etc.). Any number of combinations can be assigned to a single pixel.“Universal pixel illustrates how digital media automation is realized, as it improves a typically laborious process of tracking how customers interact with a brand. Its impact on campaigns ranges as far as the creative thinking of the media team,” said Tyler Kelly, president, Centro. “With this feature seamlessly implemented in Basis, our customers have more capabilities that save time, reduce human error, and are easy to use.”Marketing Technology News: New Global Report Reveals 9 in 10 Companies See ‘Self-Service’ as the Future for Customers Centro Releases Universal Pixel for Easy Creation and Management of First-Party Audiences Globe NewswireJune 13, 2019, 6:51 pmJune 13, 2019 advertising technologyCentroMarketing TechnologyNewsPerich Advertising + DesignTyler Kellyuniversal pixel Previous ArticlePipelineDeals Launches the Women in Tech ScholarshipNext ArticleReelTime VRs New ReelTime Virtual Room May Be Coming to a Hotel or Home Near Youlast_img read more

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Galectins play a key role in the degeneration of cartilage in osteoarthritis

first_img Source:https://www.meduniwien.ac.at/web/en/about-us/news/detailsite/2018/news-im-dezember-2018/network-of-proteins-influences-the-advancement-of-osteoarthritis/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 19 2018A network of carbohydrate binding proteins – so-called galectins – plays an important role in the degeneration of cartilage in osteoarthritis. A research group at the MedUni Vienna was able to demonstrate this correlation, in cooperation with international study partners. In osteoarthritis, certain galectins are produced by the cartilage cells themselves and accelerate the degeneration process of the cartilage matrix.Whilst galectins do play a role in cartilage development during childhood growth, they essentially do not occur in healthy adult cartilage. The researchers working with Stefan Tögel from the Department of Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery at the MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital have now discovered that the quantity of galectin-8 found in the cell samples was correspondingly greater with an increasing severity of cartilage degeneration. After its production, this protein is released by the cartilage cells and connects with the cell surfaces, where it causes inflammatory processes and accelerates the matrix degradation of the cartilage tissue. Other galectins, which are otherwise able to perform various functions in the cell, apparently also play an accelerating role here.Research in the field of glycobiologyIn previous studies, Stefan Tögel’s research group has succeeded in demonstrating for the first time the functional significance of glycobiology for the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis, and has identified galectin-1 and galectin-3 as being inflammation accelerators. Glycobiology essentially describes the structure and function of glycans (sugar chains), which are able to influence a broad spectrum of biological processes through interaction with carbohydrate binding proteins (e.g. galectins).Related StoriesGlucosamine supplements could benefit the heartResearchers report new regenerative medicine approach for treating osteoarthritis of the kneeNew type of treatment for osteoarthritis shows promise for use in humans”Our approach in researching the role of glycobiology in osteoarthritis and other degenerative cartilage diseases is very new”, explains Stefan Tögel. “We are essentially treading new ground with our studies.” The aim is new therapy approaches in the treatment of osteoarthritis, which will halt its advancement. Because once cartilage tissue is lost, it can no longer be regenerated. For this purpose, it could be possible to develop antagonists for the respective galectins, which will prevent them from attaching to the cell surfaces. “Galectins may also be suitable as biomarkers, which will enable an early diagnosis through a blood test or with a sample of the synovial fluid”, explains Tögel.Osteoarthritis – a widespread diseaseOsteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease, which leads to a change in the structure of cartilage and bone, and can even result in joint deformity. It usually results from many years of over-straining. Joint diseases are among the leading causes of chronic pain and immobility in old age, and constitute a serious socio-economic factor in the health sector due to the increasing life expectancy of the population. No treatment has been available to date, which could halt the progressive loss of cartilage tissue in an osteoarthritic joint, or even reverse this.last_img read more

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Higher coronary artery calcium levels in middleage linked to increased risk for

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 16 2019Higher coronary artery calcium levels in middle-age were associated with structural heart abnormalities linked to future heart failure, particularly among blacks, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging, an American Heart Association journal.Coronary artery calcium (CAC) is the buildup of calcified plaque made up of fat, calcium and cholesterol. The calcium found in this type of plaque is not related to dietary calcium. Elevated cholesterol levels in the blood can contribute to plaque buildup, known as atherosclerosis, which narrows the channel within an artery and reduces blood flow.CAC is a risk marker for heart health problems, and CAC screening was added to the American Heart Association’s 2018 cholesterol management guidelines to further improve early detection of heart health abnormalities, especially among people who might be at a higher risk. A CAC score of zero indicates there is low risk in the absence of other high-risk conditions, while a score above zero indicates increasing risk.In this study, researchers tracked 2,449 people (52% white, 57% women) from young adulthood to middle-age. Non-invasive computed tomography imaging tests were used to gauge the participants’ vascular health, with participants’ imaging tests and CAC scores compared at years 15 and 25 of the study period.By year 25, participants’ average age was about 50. Seventy-two percent of the group had a CAC score of zero compared with 77% a decade earlier. Moreira and team found that increases in CAC scores were independently related to increasing age, male sex, black race, higher systolic blood pressure, higher total cholesterol, diabetes mellitus and current smoking, as well as the use of medications to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, they found: Related StoriesImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesWeightlifting is better for the heart than cardioBlacks already face a greater risk and burden of heart disease and stroke: 60% of adult black men and 57% of adult black women have some form of cardiovascular disease, compared with 50% of white men and 43% of white women.”Racial differences in our findings may be due to genetic factors or perhaps greater exposure to cardiovascular risk factors that usually appear earlier in blacks,” Moreira said. “We need more research to examine the link between coronary artery calcium and heart health.””Prior studies have shown that presence of CAC and higher CAC scores are associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in young to middle aged adults. The results of this study are important as they highlight that presence of CAC and higher CAC scores may also be associated with echocardiographic markers of subclinical LV systolic and diastolic dysfunction,” said Salim Virani, M.D., a member of the writing committee for the American Heart Association’s 2018 cholesterol guidelines and director of the Cardiology Fellowship Training Program at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. “Given the burden of morbidity and mortality associated with heart failure, these are important findings. Prior studies from this cohort have also shown that a better risk factors profile in young adulthood is associated with much lower CAC and therefore, these results further highlight the importance of primordial prevention and risk factor modification in early adulthood.”Source:American Heart AssociationJournal reference:Moreira, H.T. et al. (2019) Coronary Artery Calcium From Early Adulthood to Middle Age and Left Ventricular Structure and Function. Circulation: Cardiovascular Imaging. doi.org/10.1161/CIRCIMAGING.119.009228. Compared with patients who had CAC scores of zero, those who had higher CAC scores at middle-age had a 12% increase in left ventricular mass and a 9% increase in left ventricular volume, independent of other risk factors including demographic information and cardiovascular risks. Abnormalities in the left ventricle means the heart had to work harder to effectively pump blood, and as a result, became enlarged and thickened, a risk factor for heart failure. These findings were even more significant among blacks. For every one-unit change in a CAC score, blacks had four times higher increase in left ventricular mass compared with whites. While progression in CAC over the follow-up was strongly related to higher left ventricular mass in blacks, this relationship was not significant in whites. We looked at early adulthood to middle-age because this is a window in which we can see abnormalities that might not be causing symptoms, but could later increase the risk of heart problems. Prevention and control of these abnormalities are key, so early identification of risks can be crucial.”Henrique Turin Moreira, M.D., Ph.D., study co-author and an attending physician at Hospital das Clínicas de Ribeirão Preto at the University of São Paulo in Brazillast_img read more

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New mobile phone application can measure impaired breathing

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 18 2019Signal researchers in Oulu have developed a mobile phone application that can measure impaired breathing. The results can lead you to determine whether you have a respiratory disease. In the future, this invention can also help people suffering from asthma or allergies with remote care and self-care. The mobile measurement tool is an easy, fast and cost-effective alternative to expensive hospital examinations.The mobile respiration measurement tool uses the existing sensors and measurement technology in your smartphone. The actual innovation is the mobile application developed to collect and analyze respiratory signals. In a measurement event, chest movements reveal how heavy your breathing is and whether the problem is in the upper or lower respiratory tract. This information is important for targeting treatment.Related StoriesWorld No Tobacco Day 2019: Respiratory groups urge to strengthen WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco ControlNew drug provides hope for patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophyScientists develop new, rapid test to diagnose bacterial lower respiratory tract infectionsAccording to Tapio Seppänen, Professor of Medical Technology at the University of Oulu, the respiratory signal analysis is based on signal measurement using artificial intelligence. In other words, the program has been trained using mathematical models to find abnormal signal forms that indicate impaired breathing.Professor Tapio Seppänen, Head of the Physiological Signal Analysis Group, has studied respiratory wave signals with his research team since the 1990s. The development of the Respiratory effort test has also involved Olli-Pekka Alho, Professor of Medicine at the University of Oulu, and researchers Tiina Seppänen and Niina Palmu from the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the University of Oulu.Medication guided by dataThe Respiratory effort test is a convenient method for assessing the effectiveness of treatment and for home monitoring. Measurements can be made several times a day in various situations, indoors and outdoors. Continuous data improves the reliability of measurements and indicates the response to treatments such as asthma medication.The Respiratory effort test has been found reliable during patient testing at the Seinäjoki Hospital. Clinical testing is still ongoing. For further development, the focus is on providing guidance with the test; the device must indicate whether the measurement was carried out correctly.Researchers hope to have the test available on the commercial market in a few years. A global patent application has been submitted for the Respiratory effort test. Source:University of Oululast_img read more

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Daily outdoor activity reduces progression of nearsightedness in children

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 25 2019New research suggests that adding 30 minutes of daily outdoor activity reduces the progression of nearsightedness, called myopia, in children if the activity is continued. The study, conducted by researchers in Beijing, China, is published in the May 2019 issue of Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST).Myopia is recognized as a major public health issue in East Asia, particularly in China, and is expected to affect half of the world’s population by 2050, according to a 2016 study out of the Brien Holden Vision Institute. Evidence shows that severe myopia increases the risk of developing glaucoma or a detached retina, diseases that can lead to vision loss. Myopia is caused by the lengthening of the eye, which impacts how light is bent when entering the eye and, as a result, affects vision.Related StoriesWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionScientists, led by Dr. Yin Guo of the Tongren Eye Care Center, Beijing Tongren Hospital at Capital Medical University, studied 382 children ages 6 and 7 at two Beijing-area schools for one year in a prospective interventional study. Students in the study group jogged for 30 minutes outdoors daily. The control group did not add this extra outdoor activity to their schedules.Examinations at the end of one year showed that students in the study group without myopia at the baseline had lower incidence of myopia compared with students in the control group. Students with myopia at baseline also showed slower progression of myopia compared with students in the control group. Annual follow-up exams following the conclusion of the one-year study showed that in year four, incidence of myopia was similar among the study and control groups. Our research provides further evidence and confirmation of an association between increased outdoor activity and decreased prevalence and incidence of myopia. This study also indicates that increasing outdoor activity may delay the progression of myopia for up to two years. We now need to translate these findings into action among children in China and around the world in order to help preserve their vision.”Dr. Yin Guo of the Tongren Eye Care Center The authors also indicate that their results could have implications for how China and other countries structure childhood outdoor activity levels to combat the increasing incidence of myopia and its progression.This latest study on myopia and activity in children adds to a growing body of scientific research on this topic. Additional studies were presented at the ARVO 2019 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, pointing to increased contact with man-made and indoor environments as potential causes of myopia. Additional information on myopia research is available in a February 2019 special issue of IOVS, International Myopia Institute (IMI) White Papers. Source:Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)Journal reference:Guo, Y. et al. (2019) Outdoor Jogging and Myopia Progression in School Children From Rural Beijing: The Beijing Children Eye Study. Translational Vision Science & Technology (TVST). doi.org/10.1167/tvst.8.3.2last_img read more

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US Senate votes to restore net neutrality rules

Protesters in Washington on February 27 urged lawmakers to reverse regulators and restore “net neutrality” rules that require all data to be treated equally Citation: US Senate votes to restore ‘net neutrality’ rules (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-senate-votes-net-neutrality.html Explore further © 2018 AFP The 52-47 vote is likely to be symbolic, however, since the measure faces an uphill battle in the House of Representatives and would need enough lawmaker support to overturn a probable presidential veto.The vote marked the latest step in a contentious fight over rules governing online access over the past decade including court challenges and various moves by regulators.In December, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 along party lines to reverse a 2015 order which established net neutrality and which itself had faced court challenges and intense partisan debate.In the Senate, three Republicans joined Democrats in the vote under the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overturn a regulatory body.FCC chairman Ajit Pai, appointed by President Donald Trump, has argued that the 2015 rules were “heavy-handed” and failed to take into account the rapidly changing landscape for online services and were discouraging investment in advanced networks.Net neutrality backers have argued that clear rules are needed to prevent internet service providers from blocking or throttling services or websites for competitive reasons.Some activists fear internet service providers will seek to extract higher fees from services that are heavy data users, like Netflix or other streaming services, with these costs passed on to consumers.The battle has been largely along party lines, and has also been split with large tech firms supporting neutrality and telecom operators backing more flexible rules.Although the Senate vote may not succeed in restoring neutrality rules, backers said it would allow voters to know where their lawmakers stand.Democratic Senator Ed Markey said on Twitter the vote would “show the American people who sides with them, and who sides with the powerful special interests and corporate donors who are thriving under the @realDonaldTrump administration.”Ferras Vinh of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a digital rights group, welcomed the vote.”Without net neutrality protections, internet service providers will have an explicit license to block, slow, or levy tolls on content, which will limit choices for internet users and suffocate small businesses looking to enter the market,” Vinh said.”These protections are the guiding principles of the open internet, facilitating innovation and enabling the spread of new ideas.”But USTelecom, an industry group representing major broadband carriers, expressed disappointment.”This vote throws into reverse our shared goal of maintaining an open, thriving internet,” said association president Jonathan Spalter.”Consumers want permanent, comprehensive online protections, not half measures or election-year posturing from our representatives in Congress.” The US Senate voted Wednesday to restore so-called “net neutrality” rules aimed at requiring all online data to be treated equally, the latest step in a years-long battle on internet regulation. Top tech lobby joins legal battle to keep ‘net neutrality’ 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

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