Video: Most tree ants can swim for their lives

first_imgWhen an ant tumbles into a river, will it sink or swim? It depends on the species, according to a new study. To learn about how swimming evolved in the insects, scientists dropped 35 types of tropical forest ants into water. Certain ones, like the Odontomachus bauri seen above, took to the liquid like an Olympian. In all, more than half of the tested species could swim. Some, like Gigantiops destructor, reached top speeds of 16 centimeters per second, whereas others lagged behind—but still made it to shore—at a snail’s pace of 1 centimeter per second. Those that weren’t able to keep afloat were more likely to be better gliders, meaning that if they were falling, they might be able to maneuver to a safe landing zone. With so many different kinds of tree- dwelling ants demonstrating the ability to paddle, the researchers think that the skill evolved independently among various groups in response to the danger of toppling off foliage. (Other ants build rafts on the backs of their young.) The study, published today in The Journal of Experimental Biology, suggests that for ants that can’t glide, learning to swim was essential to increase survival chances.(Video credit: Stephen P. Yanoviak)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Cocolife quiets Smart super import for 1st win

first_imgRead Next Klisura delivered 11 kills, two blocks and an ace for 14 points while new recruit Royse Tubino had 10 markers for Cocolife, which logged its first win in three games.With setter Tina Salak and Klisura employing solid net defense, Silva, Smart’s gem of an import, went quiet in the third set, allowing Cocolife to turn a 15-11 lead into a 20-12 cushion.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSilva, a member of the Cuban national team, had 32 kills in just 77 attempts for 33 points for the Giga Hitters, who are still waiting for the arrival of their second import from Serbia.“I was impressed,” said Cocolife coach Moro Branislav. “Their Cuban import was very good. But they (Smart) have yet to develop their game so we beat them in three sets. They will surely be back, especially when their second import arrives.” Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. A night of sports heroes LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving MOST READ Cocolife survived an explosive performance from Cuban import Gyselle Silva to pull off a 25-20, 25-22, 25-13 victory over Smart in the Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix Tuesday at Muntinlupa Sports Center.Sara Klisura led the scoring parade, but it was a total team effort for the Asset Managers, who spoiled Smart’s debut.ADVERTISEMENT John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus View commentslast_img read more

Novak Djokovic reaches 3rd round at Madrid Open

first_imgSerbia’s Novak Djokovic celebrates after winning a their ATP Madrid Open round of 64 tennis match against US Taylor Fritzat the Caja Magica in Madrid on May 7, 2019. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)MADRID — Top-ranked Novak Djokovic advanced to the third round of the Madrid Open with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Taylor Fritz on Tuesday.Djokovic broke Fritz’s serve once in the first set and twice in the second, conceding only one break opportunity at the “Magic Box.”ADVERTISEMENT Djokovic is seeking his second title of the year, and third overall in Madrid. He began the year by winning the Australian Open.Stan Wawrinka ended a three-match losing streak in Madrid by defeating Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-2, 6-3, while Brazil Open champion Guido Pella upset 12th-seeded Daniil Medvedev 6-2, 1-6, 6-3.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsOn the women’s side, third-seeded Simona Halep defeated Johanna Konta 7-5, 6-1 in the second round. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next ONE: Geje Eustaquio knows what he’s up against in South Korean foe SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting View comments DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Philippine Arena Interchange inauguratedlast_img read more

Lionel Messi’s journey: Goals, heartbreak and unparalleled greatness

first_imgFactbox on Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi, who said he was quitting international soccer after Sunday’s loss on penalties to Chile in the Copa America Centenario final and failing again to lift a major trophy with his national team.Born June 24, 1987 in Rosario, Argentina.EARLY CAREER- Joined Barcelona as a 13-year-old in 2000 and shone in the youth ranks before then-coach Frank Rijkaard gave him his senior debut at the age of 16 in a friendly against Porto in 2003.- Made his La Liga debut in October 2004 and scored his first La Liga goal the following May in a match against Albacete at the Nou Camp.- Scored six goals in 17 appearances in 2005-06 as Barca won La Liga for the second year in a row but did not feature in their 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the Champions League final.- Messi played a key role as Barca claimed six trophies in the calendar year of 2009 including the Champions League, La Liga, the King’s Cup and the Club World Cup.- Won the first of four consecutive World Player of the Year awards.- Won La Liga again in 2010 and retained the World Player award, beating shortlisted Spanish World Cup winners and Barca team mates Andres Iniesta and Xavi.- Inspired Barcelona to a 3-1 win against Manchester United in the 2011 Champions League final, scoring one goal and creating another.- Helped Barca to a third consecutive La Liga title in 2010-11 and was on the scoresheet as they beat Santos 4-0 to win the Club World Cup.advertisement- While Barcelona failed to retain either La Liga or the Champions League, Messi completed 2012 with an extraordinary total of 91 goals in all competitions, a record for a calendar year.- He smashed the La Liga scoring record for one season in 2011-12 with 50 goals.- Equalled the Champions League scoring record of 71 goals set by former Real Madrid and Schalke 04 forward Raul when he struck twice against Ajax Amsterdam at the end of 2014. Has since been overtaken by current Real forward Cristiano Ronaldo.- Turned in a series of scintillating performances in 2014-15 as Barca romped to a treble of Champions League, La Liga and King’s Cup titles.- Won his eighth La Liga title and fourth Spanish Cup with Barcelona in 2015-16ARGENTINA- Led Argentina to the title at the 2005 World Youth Championship, scoring two penalties in a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the final.- Made his debut for the senior side in a friendly against Hungary in August 2005 but was sent off less than a minute after coming on as a substitute for elbowing an opponent who had pulled his shirt.- Played only a bit-part role at the 2006 World Cup. Argentina were knocked out in the quarter-finals by hosts Germany after a penalty shootout.- Led Argentina to the gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.- Part of the Argentina side coached by Diego Maradona at the 2010 World Cup that was beaten 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals. Messi failed to score and struggled to find his best form at the tournament in South Africa.- After a season disrupted by injury, captained Argentina to the final of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, where they lost 1-0 to Germany. Messi, who scored four goals at the finals, won the Golden Ball award for the tournament’s best player.- Played his second Copa America final for Argentina in Chile in 2015, losing the final on penalties to the host nation.- Scored a hat trick in 18 minutes after coming off the bench in Argentina’s 5-0 win over Panama in the 2016 Centenary Copa America in Chicago.- Set a record of 55 goals for Argentina when he scored in the 4-0 win over the United States in the semi-finals.- Was on the losing side again after a penalty shootout defeat by Chile in the centenary final and said he was retiring from internationals.last_img read more

Vertonghen injury puts derby involvement in doubt

first_imgJan Vertonghen’s hamstring injury will keep him out until December, Tottenham have confirmed.The left-sided defender joined Dele Alli and Christian Eriksen on the sidelines when he was forced off at half-time of the 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town at the end of September.Belgium boss Roberto Martinez last week drew criticism from Mauricio Pochettino for revealing Vertonghen was likely to miss November’s Nations League matches. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! The club’s updated timeframe now rules the 31-year-old out of key Premier League fixtures against Manchester City and Chelsea, while his involvement in the derby with Arsenal on December 1 is also in doubt.”Jan Vertonghen sustained a hamstring injury against Huddersfield Town on 29 September, which has been monitored closely over the past 12 days,” read a Tottenham statement.”Further investigation has shown a good initial response to rehabilitation.”The Belgium international defender will now continue his recovery with a view to returning to full training by December.”Vertonghen was an integral part of Belgium’s run to the World Cup semi-finals and started each of Spurs’ first seven Premier League fixtures this season.last_img read more


first_imgSioux City police are searching for two suspects wanted for an armed robbery at a westside residence Thursday afternoon.Police say the suspects entered the home in the 1600 block of West 19th Street around 12:45p.m. and found one occupant inside.It’s not known what if anything the suspects stole and they reportedly ran out of the back of the home.The occupant of the home was not injured.Police were searching the neighborhood area for a teal colored vehicle that may be involved.No description of the suspects has been released.Photo courtesy KMEGlast_img

A New Year’s Eve Party Playlist to Ring in 2019

first_img Are Whiskey Stones Better Than Ice? Breaking Down the Best Ways to Chill Whiskey We here at The Manual have participated in our fair share of New Year’s Eve revelry. We get that the old adage is often true that New Year’s Eve is amateur night and it’s not uncommon if you’re actually going out to clubs or venues and dropping a bunch of cash just to find yourself broke, depressed, and wondering what the big deal was when you wake up all groggy in January. This playlist has been marinating in some extra zesty subsonic sauce to help you cook up a very tasty pregame or, even better, to help you get a proper house party thumping in such a manner that even the stiffest booty might find itself unabashedly shaking with glee. Editors’ Recommendations 6 Biggest Ski Gear Innovations to Look Forward to in Winter 2020 For maximum impact and best results, be sure and turn the lights way down low as you begin the playlist. Nothing intimidates the casual dancer more than the harsh bright lights of a house or apartment. Pairing some well-placed darkness (and these affordable bottles of bubbly) with the crowd will help them loosen up and lose their public performance inhibition. You should find your friends progress through the three stages of grooving good times: 1) nodding their heads to the beat and 2) pulling some very minimalist “dance moves” and swaying their shoulders side to side before getting into 3) fully letting their collective freak flags fly as they bust out their deepest most secretive body-rocking routines to the awe and amazement of your party guests.Beck is an ideal ice breaker when it comes to getting people up for getting down. He’s user-friendly, eclectic enough to wow the hipsters, and unafraid to fully rock the eff out. His album, Colors, is great and the track “Up All Night” makes for the perfect clarion call to the masses to indeed come out and “stay up all night” with you and yours. The bulk of the remaining tracks are also recently released tunes that have been keeping our various Manual devices bumping over the course of 2017 (with a few gems from recent years gone by like “Smile,” “Los Calientes (Swing Ya-Mix por Diego Ro-k),” and “Tear The House Up” thrown in for good measure).A rock-solid early highlight is “Ease Up” with its life-enhancing advice for the coming year: “Ease up, cool down, be kind to yourself” by Justin Jay. This producer/DJ/multi-instrumentalist puts on incredible shows and it’s great to see him hitting his stride with his album, Home. Things begin to properly heat up with personal favs, Stanton Warriors (from the UK), and the ribcage-rattling booty electro bass of “Keep On Doing.”Keystone-France/Getty ImagesPlatinum Doug and his track, “Play With Me,” rather deftly samples the riff of David Bowie & Queen’s “Under Pressure” (not “Ice Ice Baby” by Vanilla Ice) to great bass-driven effect. Walker & Royce’s “My Own Thang” give us some serious vibe as we move into the more advanced realm of the funky freshness to follow. Billy Kenny & Kyle Watson and their shuffle dance-inspiring “Wiggly Worm,” along with a nice smattering of hard-hitting grooves,  flush with dank bass, help us finish strong — ideally in a rapt state of transcendent subwoofer-y and enlightenment.May this mix empower you and your friends to shake what your mama gave you and enjoy yourself this New Year’s Eve! Bonus: After we ring in 2019, this mix is also great for working out, driving fast, and getting motivated. Pro tip: Go to your Spotify settings and turn on “crossfade songs” (we recommend anywhere from eight to 12 seconds) to keep the flow rolling. Cheers!Article originally published December 2019, 2017.center_img Where to Drink White Wine in the Willamette Valley America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene The Physical and Mental Benefits of Cold Showerslast_img read more

Solmar Hotels & Resorts Reaffirms Commitment to Los Cabos’ Natural Resources

first_imgWith the addition of the plastic ban to its roster of eco-friendly initiatives, the Mexican hotelier is setting the sustainability standard across the destination LOS CABOS, Mexico (March 11, 2019) –Solmar Hotels & Resorts, a collection of seven all-suite properties in Los Cabos, Mexico, is leading the destination’s eco-friendly vision by implementing local sustainable regulations and developing eco-friendly projects as pioneers of this movement. Proven most recently with the launch of a plastic ban initiative throughout its seven all-suite properties, the hotelier reaffirms its commitment to replace plastic items used at restaurants and pool areas with biodegradable compostable foodservice items, ensuring the least possible impact to the environment of Los Cabos. “The transition to biodegradable items goes hand in hand with our pledge to preserve the diversity of Los Cabos and its natural wonders as it has been our home for more than 45 years,” said Ricardo Orozco, Solmar Hotels & Resorts vice-president of operations. “With this new implementation, we hope to create a more conscious traveler and leave a sustainable impact for future generations that visit Solmar Hotels & Resorts.” The eco-friendly initiative consists of removing all plastics and Styrofoam products from operations and consumer centers and replacing them with disposable, biodegradable items made from avocado seeds, cornstarch, palm leaves, and recycled paper. Solmar Hotels & Resorts has trusted World Centric Products for their new eco-friendly food packaging as they are non-polluting, non-toxic, environmentally responsible, made from renewable resources and decompose in between 90 and 240 days. With these sustainable changes in place, Solmar Hotels & Resorts aims to reduce the consumption of chemicals found in single-use plastics and Styrofoam, as well as reduce the amount of water used to wash foodservice utensils at the properties. The integration of the biodegradable items will be executed in the following three phases: –          Phase 1: Replacement of all plastic cups used around swimming pools, entertainment areas, and themed events. –          Phase 2: Substitution of current plastic and Styrofoam containers for meal boxes made from recycled paper. –          Phase 3: Switch all plastic trash bags and cleaning materials at the resorts with an eco-friendly alternative. Sustainable practices are no stranger to the resort collection as Solmar Hotels & Resorts has consistently put the preservation of Los Cabos’ varied environment first, even prior to breaking ground. Particularly at Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort Golf & Spa, the collection’s latest property, 106 acres of the total 834 acres that make up Rancho San Lucas will be preserved as natural areas, with an additional 186 acres dedicated to the golf course. Together totaling 292 acres, this area represents 35% of the entire site. Setting aside this significant amount of land from development helps maintain low density in the entire complex. The natural beauty of the site and its open space are additionally preserved by burying utilities underground and out of sight. Additionally, the design of the resort emphasizes preserving as much of the natural environment as possible, along with the use of native plants, especially cacti. For instance, the golf course is landscaped using all endemic species that are naturally adapted to the dry climate of the region, minimizing water usage in its maintenance. Finally, roads throughout the complex were engineered and contoured to preserve centuries old trees and cacti. The sustainability efforts within the landscaping of Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas are also a boon to the native fauna, helping to nurture wildlife. Beauty and functionality are combined in the landscaping through the creation of watering holes to attract local species; from birds and hares to deer and bobcats, while simultaneously creating pleasant oases for the residents of Rancho San Lucas. The golf course also introduced a man-made lake at hole 17 that has become a sanctuary attracting ducks, cranes, egrets and other birds. Furthermore, the properties dutifully abide with local regulations in place, from over-development to eliminating extra waste. For example, the properties have eliminated straws throughout all restaurants and bars and provide unobstructed, sweeping views of Los Cabos and the Pacific without interrupting regulated height limits, as the buildings remain at a maximum of six stories. Solmar Hotels & Resorts is welcoming this transition to its replete roster of eco-friendly initiatives, which include the installation of solar panels, reduction of energy waste by implementing Multistack technology and replacing of LED lights in pools and common areas, and more, proving a devout commitment to making an impact in both travel and the environment of Los Cabos. For more information and reservations, visit www. About Solmar Hotels & ResortsSince 1974, Solmar Hotels & Resorts has been welcoming guests to its collection of seven all-suite resorts located in Baja California Sur’s most desired beach destinations. Within the award-winning portfolio is Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa, Grand Solmar at Rancho San Lucas Resort Golf & Spa, Grand Solmar The Residences at Rancho San Lucas, Playa Grande Resort & Grand Spa, The Ridge at Playa Grande, Solmar Resort and Quinta del Sol by Solmar. Offering the quintessential, authentic Baja Mexico experience, Solmar Hotels & Resorts prides itself on providing high caliber service standards and warm hospitality.  For more information about Solmar Hotels & Resorts, visit, Instagram @SolmarResorts and Facebook page.last_img read more


first_img Twitter Advertisement Facebook HALIFAX – DHX Media (or the “Company”) (TSX: DHX, NASDAQ: DHXM), a global children’s content and brands company, has signed a definitive agreement to sell its Halifax animation studio. The sale is part of the Company’s ongoing strategic shift to focus and streamline its production operations.“The sale will generate operating efficiencies by consolidating animation production, and aligns with our objectives of rationalizing costs, simplifying our organization and focusing resources,” said Michael Donovan, CEO and Executive Chairman, DHX Media.DHX Media is headquartered in Halifax. The sale does not include This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which continues to be owned by DHX Media and produced in Halifax. Login/Register With: LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement The sale is expected to close on or about December 31, 2018, and is subject to customary closing conditions, applicable third party consents and the execution of certain ancillary agreements.About DHX MediaDHX Media Ltd. (TSX: DHX, NASDAQ: DHXM) is a global children’s content and brands company, recognized for such high-profile properties as Peanuts, Teletubbies, Strawberry Shortcake, Caillou, Inspector Gadget, and the acclaimed Degrassi franchise. One of the world’s foremost producers of children’s shows, DHX Media owns the world’s largest independent library of children’s content, at 13,000 half-hours. It licenses its content to broadcasters and streaming services worldwide and generates royalties through its global consumer products program. Through its subsidiary, WildBrain, DHX Media operates one of the largest networks of children’s channels on YouTube. Headquartered in Canada, DHX Media has offices worldwide. Visit us at Advertisementlast_img read more

James Cameron shaken by tar sands visit

first_imgAPTN National NewsHe went from Tinseltown to the tar sands.Hollywood director James Cameron wrapped up his tour of Alberta’s massive oil mining projects Wednesday.After meeting with First Nations communities, the Avatar director had a message for Canadian and the world.APTN National News reporter Noemi LoPinto reports.last_img

Googles AI personal assistant sparks concerns about future of communication

first_imgTORONTO – Aimee Morrison doesn’t look forward to the not-too-distant future when she might have to constantly doubt whether she’s speaking on the phone with robots powered by artificial intelligence, or reading emails composed by algorithms.Earlier this week, Google unveiled demos of new A.I. services that had the web abuzz, including Duplex, which would allow users to outsource the drudgery of booking appointments with businesses by phone to a virtual personal assistant.Google released recordings of calls it says were placed to businesses — including booking a restaurant reservation and a hair salon appointment — in which the employees answering the phone seemed to have no clue they were interacting with a robot.In calling about the restaurant reservation, Google’s A.I. was able to seamlessly handle a series of questions in a nearly minute-long conversation and was not flummoxed when told a booking wasn’t necessary since the eatery wouldn’t be busy. In both calls, the computerized voices occasionally dropped some “umms” and “mm-hmms” in the script to appear more life-like.“The Google Duplex technology is built to sound natural, to make the conversation experience comfortable. It’s important to us that users and businesses have a good experience with this service, and transparency is a key part of that. We want to be clear about the intent of the call so businesses understand the context. We’ll be experimenting with the right approach over the coming months,” Google wrote in a blog post about the technology, adding “it cannot carry out general conversations.”“I live in fear of a Google Duplex world where I have to make a hair appointment and the person on the other end treats me like a robot and is awful to me and how am I going to prove that I’m a human?” said Morrison, an associate professor at the University of Waterloo who studies technology’s impact on culture.“Is it going to make all of our conversations with each other deeply suspicious and mistrustful? Is it going to encourage rampant disrespect and awfulness as we learn that some human voices are not really human?”University of Toronto Prof. Gerald Penn called the execution of the Google demos “brilliant” but said that’s partly because the A.I. targeted an unsuspecting target. Someone who knew they could be talking to Google’s software would likely be able to outsmart it, added Penn, who studies natural language processing.“There are going to be some rigid boundaries as to what Duplex can do, and if you’re interested in tricking the system and determining if it’s a human on the line or not, you could certainly do that,” he said.The technology could eventually have a significant impact on the customer service industry, which would have to begin catering to robot callers, he added.“What’s going to happen to small retailers when a significant part of the phone calls they’re receiving are not from people? Because that could turn into a kind of negative spiral where they’re disincentivized to provide any kind of decent phone support, because they’re just talking to robots anyway.”Google also unveiled a feature for its Gmail service called Smart Compose, which provides users with suggested strings of text for emails. Beyond simply predicting the word the user is typing, the software tries to anticipate their whole thought and attempts to offer complete suggested sentences.“Because they’re running Gmail they get all the data, all the emails that people compose, and they can probably train a system to provide replies that would mimic how others have composed their emails before and provide that to users who can simply select some potential replies,” said Prof. Pascal Poupart of the University of Waterloo, who studies artificial intelligence and machine learning.“And the beauty of this system is whenever people are going to select something, that provides a feedback that Google can then use to further improve (the service) because it will know which types of replies are effective.”He found Smart Compose less controversial than Duplex, noting “it’s common already that very, very busy people will often have an assistant who replies to emails on their behalf.”“There’s already this kind of delegation happening and now the only difference is we’re delegating that to a machine,” he said.But Morrison is disturbed by the potential outcomes of the feature becoming popular.“Duplex is trying to make machines pass as humans and what the email assistant is trying to do is make humans sound more like machines. So they’re taking the human out of the conversation at both ends,” she said.“What those things have a tendency to do is really collapse the variety and joy of human conversation into a serious of stock phrases … and literally erase other ways of expressing yourself.”last_img read more

Gabonese President Ali Bongo to Finish Recovery in Morocco

Rabat – International media, including Jeune Afrique, reported that King Mohammed VI has “managed to convince” the family of the Gabonese president to transfer him to Morocco instead of London.Bongo was recently hospitalized in Saudi arabia. He spent nearly a month at King Faisal hospital in the Saudi capital following a stroke on October 24. His absence gave rise to several speculations.Some media even went as far as  announcing that Bongo may have died during hospitalization in the Saudi hospital. The president fell  ill in Saudi Arabia during his participation in the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh last month.Read Also: Tangier Charms Gabonese President Ali BongoConcern over the president’s extended absence was such that, earlier this week, Gabon’s top court ruled that Gabon’s Vice-President,  Pierre Claver Maganga Moussavou, could take over in the absence of his boss.The court authorized Moussavou to chair the Council of Ministers and handle urgent matters in the country.It remained to be seen whether Bongo’s family will change their heart to transfer the ill president to Morocco for recovery.Bongo visited Morocco for several times. King Mohammed VI and Ali Bongo maintain good relationship. In 2017, the Gabonese president shared a picture of him and King Mohammed VI as teenagers, demonstrating the long-standing friendship between them.Local news outlets also said that King Mohammed VI  paid Odimba a private visit in December 2017. read more

EU commission urges legal action against Italy over debt

BRUSSELS — The European Commission is recommending that legal action be taken against the Italy because it failed to respect EU debt rules last year and looks like doing so in coming years, too.The commission made the recommendation Wednesday and EU member states must now assess the extent of any action against Italy. It could face billions of euros in fines.Italy’s public debt stood at over 132% of GDP in 2018, far above the EU’s 60% limit.The country only won EU approval for its 2019 budget plan after agreeing to reduce the deficit to acceptable levels.The action comes at a time of rising tensions between Brussels and Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini, who has been emboldened by his right-wing League party’s strong gains in last month’s EU elections.The Associated Press

Security Council debates measures to protect civilians in armed conflict

Speaking at the outset of the Council’s meeting, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the question is among the most urgent, and most important, for the Council and for the UN as a whole in addressing the effects of fighting around the world.”Civilians account for the vast majority of victims of armed conflicts today,” he noted. “Millions of them are directly targeted, displaced from their homes, subject to appalling human rights abuses, and denied assistance in times of war.”The Secretary-General stressed that strengthening the protection of civilians is a key to achieving a sustainable peace. “The question is whether we show the will and the determination to make protection an inescapable duty for all parties in conflicts,” he told the meeting chaired by Foreign Minister Carolina Barco of Colombia, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency. Noting that today is Human Rights Day, the Secretary-General also emphasized the “unambiguous linkage” between improving the security of the individual person and securing and sustaining peace and preventing violent conflict, calling for practical measures and a clear path from policy to implementation. “We need to move forward and develop a more systematic approach to this issue,” he said, urging a solid structure through which analysis and policy, and an awareness of best practices, can be translated immediately into action that makes a difference in people’s lives.”The protection of civilians does not stop with a ceasefire, but must continue in the immediate post-conflict phase,” the Secretary-General said. “Ensuring that they receive needed humanitarian assistance, ending and reversing forced displacement, tackling the scourge of landmines and small arms, and beginning processes of justice and reconciliation: these are not only worthy efforts in themselves, but they are also the building blocks for peace and recovery.”In his statement to the Council, Kenzo Oshima, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, noted that the world body had been raising awareness of the vulnerability of civilians in armed conflict as a number of long-standing conflicts had been making progress toward peace. The establishment of the culture of protection, however, was still a distant goal, as civilians remained the main victims of current conflicts.The Council’s “aide-memoire” of last March was a centrepiece of a new strategy for civilian protection, Mr. Oshima said, and had already proved useful in Sierra Leone and the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. What ultimately mattered, however, was the implementation of the recommendations made in such conferences and reports. Such momentum must be matched with action, he stressed. read more

Womens Basketball Ohio State picked as favorites to win Big Ten

Ohio State then-redshirt junior Linnae Harper takes the ball up the court against Purdue in a Big Ten tournament semifinal game in Indianapolis. Credit: Ashley Nelson | Station ManagerOhio State will enter the 2017-18 women’s basketball season as the favorite in the Big Ten. The conference’s coaches and media picked the Buckeyes to finish first in the conference Monday afternoon. The media unanimously selected Ohio State as the No. 1 team in the Big Ten.Maryland and Michigan were selected to finish second and third, respectively, by Big Ten coaches. The teams tied for second in the media’s preseason rankings. The Buckeyes finished as Big Ten regular season co-champion last season as they finished 15-1 in the conference, losing just once to Michigan State. Overall, Ohio State was 28-7 and was eliminated by Notre Dame in the Sweet 16. Ohio State is led by senior guard Kelsey Mitchell, a two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, and redshirt senior forward Stephanie Mavunga, who averaged a double-double last season. Both players were honored as preseason All-Big Ten selections.Ohio State’s season tips of at 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at St. John Arena. read more

Defense special teams carry Buckeyes to victory

No offense, no problem.Ohio State’s (5-1, 3-0) defense and special teams fueled a 31-13 win over previously unbeaten Wisconsin (5-1, 2-1) Saturday at The Horseshoe.Three of the Buckeyes’ four touchdowns were non-offensive.“When you get two defensive touchdowns and then a kickoff return touchdown, that’s more than you could ever wish for,” coach Jim Tressel said.Senior safety Kurt Coleman returned from a one-game suspension and returned an 89-yard interception for a touchdown to give OSU a 7-0 lead. “I don’t want to take much of the credit for it,” Coleman said. “It was the whole defense that really helped me out with that pick. But it’s definitely a great feeling for me to come back after a week off and really help this team out as much as I can.”After intercepting quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the Badgers faked a field goal and rushed for a 12-yard touchdown to tie the game.That score was the only touchdown Wisconsin managed on offense, even though they possessed the football for nearly 43 of the 60 minutes. The Badgers certainly had opportunities, as they ran 89 plays to OSU’s 40.Buckeye coaches “always preach to the defense that we have to be ready to go 60-plus minutes, and more if we have to,” Coleman said. “At the same time, we definitely were looking for a few breaks out there, but we know that we’ve got to be ready for anything at any moment.”Still, the Buckeye defense never really tired, ceding just a pair of field goals after the trick-play touchdown.OSU’s defensive line “got pressure on their quarterback the entire game, and you could tell that he was rattled,” senior linebacker Austin Spitler said. “We did a good job of rotating and keeping players fresh, so we were able to wear them down.”For the brief time the Buckeye offense spent on the field during the first half, it struggled. Pryor led the group to just one first down before an 88-yard touchdown drive gave OSU a 14-10 halftime lead.Pryor connected with sophomore receiver DeVier Posey for a 32-yard score.“We knew we needed to get a touchdown when the score was 10-7,” Posey said. “Coach told us that we were going to get a touchdown, so we pulled together as an offense and got it done.”Wisconsin started the second half with the ball, but only until safety Jermale Hines returned an interception 32 yards for another touchdown, padding OSU’s lead to 11.“We strive to score a defensive touchdown every week,” senior safety Anderson Russell said. “So it was huge to get two.”Following a Wisconsin field goal, senior receiver Ray Small returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards to push the Buckeyes’ advantage to 28-13.“It was almost like he was shot out of a gun,” Tressel said. “I saw him take that thing and he downshifted and he was gone.”Despite such a significant advantage in time of possession, Wisconsin never found a rhythm on offense. Sophomore running back John Clay, who entered the game fourth in the nation in rushing, was limited to 59 yards on 20 carries.“It came down to stopping the run first,” defensive lineman Cameron Heyward said. “Clay is a great back. And after that, we have to get pressure.”OSU’s defense placed constant pressure on Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien, sacking him six times.“We just basically attacked,” Heyward said. “We just had so many guys that we could rotate in and out, that we just kept getting off the ball.”Overall, just about every offensive statistic favored Wisconsin. The Badgers recorded 22 first downs to OSU’s eight, and Wisconsin doubled the Buckeyes’ total yardage output, 368 to 184.Even so, OSU’s trio of touchdown returns were too much for Wisconsin to overcome.“Anytime you give Ohio State points without their offense being on the field, you’re going to have problems,” Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema said. “I’m glad to be heading back home to Wisconsin.”The victory gives OSU sole possession of first place in the Big Ten, with a 3-0 conference record. Iowa, the only other team with an unblemished league record, sits at 2-0.The Buckeyes travel to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on Purdue Saturday at noon. read more

Bus driver freed of Nismes fatal accident charge

By Shemuel FanfairThe minibus driver who was accused of being at fault for causing the death of motorcyclist, Timothy Emanuel Assing, at the Nismes Public Road last year was earlier today (Thursday) freed of the offence.Deceased: Timothy AssingFor the last several months, former accused Nazeer Mohamed has been appearing at the Wales Magistrate Court on the police account that during an early morning collision on August 7, 2016, between his minibus and a motorcycle, Assing was killed. Assing’s pillon rider, Shellon Glasgow had also been injured in the accident.Reports had indicated that the minibus had been travelling south on the eastern carriageway of the Nismes Public Road, West Bank Demerara, while Assing was travelling north on the motorcycle, in the company of his pillion rider, Glasgow. Back then, it was also alleged that Assing, a former Old Road, La Grange resident, was blinded by the headlights of the oncoming minibus and veered into its path on the eastern carriageway. This had resulted in the head-on collision which caused the minibus to end up in the trench on the eastern side of the public road.Assing and Glasgow had been rushed to the West Demerara Regional Hospital where Assing had died whilst being transported to the medical facility.Glasgow received treatment for injuries to her mouth. Mohamed’s case was initially presided over by Senior Magistrate Clive Nurse, who was recently installed as resident Magistrate in Linden.Thursday’s decision was handed down by West Demerara Magistrate Rushell Liverpool. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedOne dead, another injured in early morning accident at NismesAugust 8, 2016In “latest news”Nismes fatal accident: Cops detain bus driverSeptember 28, 2016In “Crime”Police seeking biker in fatal hit-and-run accidentJanuary 29, 2019In “Crime” read more

HSV Hamburg signs Alexandru Simicu from HCM Constanta

HSV Hamburg found a person that will take over Domagoj Duvnjak’s number four in the team, who left for THW Kiel. The newest signing is 25-year old Alexandru Viorel-Simicu from HCM Constanta, who’s playing on the left back position. He has been voted Romanian player of the Year 2013, and won last year the Romanian championship with HCM Constanta, and the transfer to the world’s strongest league is the real test now for the Romanian left back. ← Previous Story Aljosa Cudic to Slask Wroclaw Next Story → Mijailo Marsenic to RK Metalurg! alexandru simicuhandballHCM ConstantaHSV HamburgHSV Handball

Eosinopteryx un dinosaure à plumes bien plus ancien que les autres

first_imgEosinopteryx, un dinosaure à plumes bien plus ancien que les autresDécrite dans Nature Communications par une équipe internationale, une nouvelle espèce de dinosaure à plumes, Eosinopteryx, dont les restes fossiles ont été découverts en Chine, remettrait en cause les théories actuelles sur l’origine de l’aptitude au vol.Avec 30 centimètres de longueur seulement, Eosinopteryx , une nouvelle espèce de dinosaure dont le fossile a été retrouvé dans le nord-est de la Chine, n’a guère de quoi exciter l’imagination. Il est cependant d’une grande importance aux yeux des paléontologues de l’Université de Southampton (Royaume-Uni) et de leurs collègues chinois et belges.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?En effet, ce spécimen est doté de plumes mais remonte au Jurassique qui s’étend de – 200 à – 145 millions d’années. Il est ainsi bien antérieur à la plupart des dinosaures théropodes à plumes connus à ce jour, qui, eux, vivaient au Crétacé ancien, soit vers -130 millions d’années, et dont certains sont généralement considérés comme les ancêtres des oiseaux. D’après les chercheurs, la structure osseuse de Eosinopteryx est propre à limiter sa capacité à battre des ailes et l’envergure réduite de celles-ci ne lui permettaient probablement guère de voler efficacement. En revanche, la forme de ses doigts de pieds, la faible couverture de plumes de sa queue et de ses pattes devaient en faire un bon marcheur et coureur. N’importe : “cette découverte jette un doute supplémentaire sur la théorie selon laquelle le célèbre fossile Archaeopteryx – le ‘premier oiseau’, comme il est parfois appelé – a été déterminant dans l’évolution des oiseaux modernes. (…) Nos résultats suggèrent que l’origine du vol est beaucoup plus complexe qu’on ne le pensait”, a déclaré le Dr Dyke, un des auteurs de l’étude.Le 27 janvier 2013 à 09:40 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more