Canadians are carrying more debt than ever before

OTTAWA — Canadians are more in hock today than ever before, Statistics Canada said Thursday in releasing fresh data on household debt.The new report shows household debt to annual disposable income reached a new high at 164.6%, from 163.3% the previous quarter.Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney has named rising household debt a key risk to the Canadian economy, but noted this week he was encouraged that credit growth appeared to be slowing.[np_storybar title=”BoC’s interest rate warnings drove homeowners to lock in mortgages: Carney” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2012/12/11/bocs-interest-rate-warnings-drove-homeowners-to-lock-in-mortgages-carney/”%5DTwo prominent voices made the case on Tuesday that Canada’s housing market is currently undergoing a soft landing, and that a “sustainable” path is around the corner.Read full story here.[/np_storybar]Still, Carney has also said he expects the debt-to-income ratio to keep rising over the next couple of years. That is in part because of a lag in time between purchase decisions — such as a new home — and when the debt gets registered.In the July-September period, households borrowed $27.3-billion, $18.4-billion of that in mortgages, while consumer credit levels increased by $7-billion to $474-billion.The high debt-to-income number may surprise Canadians who only a few months ago were told it was just above 150%. But Statistics Canada has recently revised how it calculates the measure to make it more representative of actual household finances.There was some good news in the report. The agency noted that the pace of growth in debt slowed during the period.As well, household net worth rose 1% to $197,800 in the July-September period, mostly due to gains in holdings in stocks, including mutual funds, and increased value of pension assets.Economist Jimmy Jean of Desjardins Capital Markets said the report is unlikely to change the perception of Canada’s debt problem.The debt-to-income ratio has been setting new records since 2003, but remains below the peak reached south of the border before the 2007 housing crash. StatsCan says using equivalent measurements, Canada’s ratio is about 10 percentage points below the peak reached in the U.S. prior to the housing crash in 2007.The Bank of Canada, Jean notes, shouldn’t be shifted from its interest rate stance given “the evolution of debt seems to tie in to its expectations.” He pointed out that the effect of mortgage tightening rules brought in July had only begun to be felt in the third quarter numbers.But while managing debt doesn’t appear to be a major concern at the moment, thanks to super-low interest rates, the danger signs continue to flash red, economists warned.“The high level of debt leaves households more vulnerable to a rise in interest rates than they have been in the past,” said TD Bank economist Diana Petramala.“Given the prospects that interest rates will eventually rise, households must cool their spending and borrowing further.”On a national accounting level, Canada’s net worth increased by more than $9-billion in the third quarter to $6.8-trillion. That translates to $194,100 per person.However, an increase in net foreign indebtedness dampened the gain, the agency said.This higher net foreign debt was largely a result of increased Canadian borrowing abroad, as well as a decrease in the value of Canadian investments denominated in foreign currency because of the rising value of the loonie. The Canadian Press read more

Arthur C Clarkes DNA in space

The diminutive spacecraft will be carried as a secondary spacecraft aboard a Falcon rocket 1,499,908 kilometres from Earth, where it will be released into space. The DNA is to be contained in a ‘BioFile’. Other so-called MindFiles, including images, music, voice recordings, and the like, provided by people all around the globe, will also be included in the cosmic archive for future generations – or perhaps other civilisations – to see. This NASA-funded technology demonstration is designed to highlight the efficacy of solar sails for space propulsion applications; it’s now being built by Sunjammer team leader L’Garde, Inc, based in Tustin, California.“Sunjammer will morph – much like a butterfly – into a Space Shuttle-sized ship capable of manoeuvring solely by riding the photonic pressure of the Sun,” Nathan Barnes, president of L’Garde, told the website.The ship will launch in the fall of 2014 on a 3,057,753 kilometres voyage to the Sun from Cape Canaveral, he said. Called the Sunjammer Cosmic Archive (SCA), the flying time capsule is a first in the history of space travel, carrying digital files of human DNA including Clarke’s aboard the sun-powered space ship, FoxNews.com reported. “Clarke certainly imagined himself going to space someday, and that day is finally arriving,” said Stephen Eisele, vice president of Space Services, Inc, a NASA contractor on the project.Simply put, the technology is a ‘solar sail’ that gathers light from the Sun and turns it into a propulsion source for a spacecraft, Unger said.It seems like something out of Clarke’s sci-fi writings, which is one reason that his DNA, which he left to science upon his death, is the payload for the mission, Eisele said. NASA is planning to send the DNA of famed British science fiction writer Sir Arthur C Clarke into space – five years after his death, the Press Trust of India reported.The author of the novel ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ died in 2008 in Sri Lanka, and now NASA scientists have announced plans to send his DNA into orbit around the Sun in 2014 aboard the Sunjammer, a solar-powered spacecraft which gets its name from the writings of Clarke. read more

As Nigers hunger crisis worsens UN agencies greatly increase emergency appeal

“With the situation deteriorating over recent weeks, our main objective is to save lives,” UN World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director James Morris said. “Whole families are suffering because of a desperate shortage of food, which has forced them to eat just one meal a day of maize, leaves or wild fruits.”The impoverished West African country’s so-called lean season (April-October), combined with serious food shortages due to last year’s drought and the worst invasion of crop-devouring locusts in 15 years, has obliged WFP to revise the cost of its life-saving operation from $16 million to $57.6 million, the third adjustment in six months.Meanwhile the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has increased its appeal to $14.6 million. Just a week ago, the overall UN appeal for Niger stood at $30.7 million.“If donors had responded earlier, the cost of this operation would be hugely reduced, as the situation has deteriorated severely over recent months,” Mr. Morris said.Under the expanded operation, WFP will target 2.5 million severely hungry people in southern Niger, epicentre of the crisis, providing supplementary food to children and mothers and family rations until the end of the lean season. Rations for three months following the October harvest are provided for a further 500,000 people to serve as a safety net in case of need.The agency is not only doubling the number of people receiving food assistance, but also giving them a wider variety of nutritious foods. By building up blanket feeding of children under five as well as providing supplementary feeding to pregnant and lactating mothers, WFP aims to bring down acute levels of malnutrition – exceeding 20 per cent in many areas.There is only a very short window of opportunity in which to move food quickly to those who need it most before the height of the rainy season makes access difficult. The need to hasten the operation has significantly increased transport costs.After a slow start, the international community has rallied over the past two weeks to support the world’s second poorest country with some generous donations; WFP’s previous request for $16 million is now fully funded. But donors have been playing catch-up with the unfolding tragedy ever since failing to heed warnings from WFP, other UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) at the start of the year, when Niger faced one of its worst ever hunger crises.Donations only started flowing in after television pictures showed heart-rending images of Niger’s hunger from feeding centres in Maradi, southern Niger. “This was a desperately needed wake-up call, but the response we have received so far is encouraging. We can still save lives,” Mr. Morris said.UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Rima Salah was due to arrive in Niger today for a first-hand look at the needs of hundreds of thousands of youngsters suffering from severe and moderate under-nutrition. The agency says 3.6 million people have been made vulnerable by the current crisis, including 800,000 children under five years of age.“For our relief efforts to be the best they can be I feel I have to see what’s really happening on the ground,” Ms. Salah. “I want all the people who have suffered so much, and all those who are working so hard on the relief effort to know that UNICEF considers this an urgent priority.” Ms. Salah will meet with children, their families, community leaders, NGOs and senior government officials as well as with other UN officials. read more

Hudak launching campaignstyle tour while Liberals duke it out in final debate

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Hudak launching campaign-style tour while Liberals duke it out in final debate TORONTO – While seven Liberal hopefuls duke it out in Wednesday’s final leadership debate, Progressive Conservative Leader Tim Hudak will be launching a new roadshow to convince voters that he’s the one who should be in the premier’s seat.Tory insiders describe the multimedia presentation, called “When the Money Runs Out,” as an “honest assessment” of the province’s financial troubles and what will happen if urgent action isn’t taken to lift Ontario out of the red ink.“Tim is the only leader who’s recognized the magnitude of the problem Ontario finds itself in, and spent the last year mapping out his plan to address both the debt and jobs crisis,” Hudak’s campaign manager Ian Robertson told The Canadian Press.“This tour is about sending a wake-up call to the other parties that now is the time for urgent action, and they aren’t prepared to lead. Tim is.”The Opposition leader will be taking the campaign-style presentation on the road for the next few months, targeting Liberal ridings particularly in Windsor, Ottawa and London, Robertson added.Hudak will address the Liberals’ argument that their government didn’t create the 2008 recession and the $14.4-billion deficit isn’t their fault.“But the truth is that Ontario was, and is, much worse off that we should have been,” he says in prepared remarks obtained by The Canadian Press.Government spending has outpaced economic growth, taxes and energy prices have gone up, and the province has lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs, yet added the same number of jobs to the “already-bloated public sector payroll” that eats up about half of Ontario’s $120-billion budget, he says.“When the only ‘growth industry’ in Ontario is government, something is wrong.”Hudak is also expected to take aim at public sector unions. They supported the government during elections and in return, the government gave the unions what they wanted — and more — during labour negotiations, Hudak says.“The trouble is, Ontario taxpayers couldn’t afford it,” he says. “Their money was running out.”The province’s debt has doubled to $260 billion, which is putting all the services Ontarians value, such as health care and education, at risk, he says.“Ontario can’t afford to kick the can down the road any longer. Not only are we about to run out of money, we’re also about to run out of time.”The province needs a leaner public service, a premier with the skills to balance the budget and “the courage to make the tough decisions” needed to tackle the debt, Hudak is expected to argue.His speech includes many of the ideas he’s floated in seven so-called “white papers,” covering topics such as the economy, labour, health care and taxes. There are four more to come, dealing with health care services, education and social services.The trial balloons include having Ontario get out of the gambling business, making it a “right to work” province by giving people the right to decide whether to join their workplace union, and potentially selling the LCBO. But they aren’t official party policy.His ideas have created waves. Just a few weeks after Hudak talked about allowing corner stores to sell alcohol, the Liberals quickly countered it by announcing a pilot project to sell liquor and wine in 10 grocery stores.The tour appears to be part of Hudak’s political makeover since his party’s poor showing in the 2011 election, which saw the Liberals reduced to a minority.If there’s an election this year, the Tories will be ready, Robertson said.“The one thing that Tim’s made clear is he’s going to be in a position to share a positive vision of the province, and be in a position to share a plan with the province and ask for a clear mandate to grow our economy and bring our province back to balance,” he added.Finance Minister Dwight Duncan said only Ontario Liberals have a plan for smart investments in public services and eliminating the deficit.“It’s too bad Mr. Hudak hasn’t realized that what’s running out for him is time,” Duncan said. “Ontarians have no time for him or his Tea Party antics.”NDP MPP Gilles Bisson said New Democrats are always interested in positive ideas for change, “but most of what we’ve seen so far are recycled schemes that have left families falling behind.” by Maria Babbage, The Canadian Press Posted Jan 8, 2013 8:07 pm MDT read more

The Warriors Didnt Need Kevin Durant To Be This Good

The narrative going into the 2016-17 Warriors season was how unfair it was that one of the best teams of all time added one of the best players of all time to become unstoppable. And after the Warriors posted the best winning percentage in NBA postseason history and their star acquisition won the NBA Finals MVP, the narrative coming out of the season is much the same, only louder. But easy to lose in this narrative is the simple fact that the Warriors probably didn’t need Kevin Durant for the team to be this good — or at least almost this good. While adding Durant has been a success, it didn’t end up breaking basketball any more than the Warriors had broken it already.Counting the regular season and playoffs, the Warriors won 84 percent of their games this year — up from 83 percent last year and 81 percent the year before. Teams have only won 80+ percent of their combined season games 11 times in the 70-year history of the NBA.1The Bucks (1970-71 season) and Celtics (1985-86) have done it once each; the 76ers (1966-67, 1982-83), Lakers (1971-72, 1986-87), and Bulls (1995-96,1996-97) have done it twice each. The Warriors have now done it three years in a row.2The Warriors won 18 of the 22 games — 82 percent — that Durant didn’t play in this season.But the Warriors’ mission isn’t just to win titles, it’s to guarantee them. And Durant is both icing and insurance policy — a guarantee that the Warriors will always have an MVP-caliber, one-man offense available. Though he makes them a little bit better in his own right, his main value comes from making what happened to them in the 2016 playoffs less likely.So what does make them so good? And, more broadly, is greatness a matter of refining all aspects of a discipline, or does it stem from being freakishly good at one thing? The Warriors are the first dynasty in the ball-tracking era,3Tracking cameras have been installed in every NBA stadium since the 2013-14 season. which gives us an opportunity to measure their greatness in ways that we couldn’t for dynasties past.This, in turn, may also help answer the question of just how likely the Warriors are to regress to the mean. If their greatness is a confluence of factors, then there’s a whole lot of things that could go wrong to bring them back to earth. On the other hand, if their greatness is more about one thing, then maybe they can keep crushing the game indefinitely.The most dominant three-year dynasty everThe Warriors are an offensive juggernaut — but they’re more than that as well. We can see how much they’re contributing to their margins elsewhere by comparing their offensive rating (points scored per 100 possessions) to their SRS (margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule), like so: This uses the SportsVu optical tracking data to judge offensive and defensive shooting versus league averages — it’s pretty similar to offensive and defensive ratings, but with rebounding and fouls taken out so we can concentrate on just shots taken and defended. Over their three-year run, the Warriors have been the best on both ends of the floor when it comes to both making and defending shots. Even so, their offensive prowess is particularly absurd.Another thing we can do to compare their offense and defense is to break them down two-dimensionally: by the quality of the shots taken or allowed (based on each shot’s modeled expectation), and then by how good a team was at scoring or preventing each shot, given that expectation. This relies heavily on my shot-value model, which accounts for shot type, shot location, shot clock, dribbles, time held, home court, defender position, defender distance, defender height and more.4The “more” is that I include one of STATS/SportsVu’s proprietary “shot difficulty” metrics as a variable in my model, though it isn’t weighted very heavily. While they’ve scored about 7 more points per 100 possessions than league average, they’ve also been 10.6 points better than their opponents overall — so about a third of their edge seems to come from something other than offensive efficiency.But it isn’t rare for teams with stronger-than-average offenses to also have stronger-than-average defenses. This is a bit counterintuitive — it seems like a great offensive team would be more likely to be weak on defense, since those are two very different skillsets and trade-offs must be made. And teams do, in fact, have to choose between more offense or more defense, so it’s significant that the relationship isn’t negative at all.The offense can make the defenseTo understand the sometimes complicated relationship between offense and defense, take the case of Dennis Rodman. Despite being known as a great defensive player, Rodman’s teams defended just about as well with or without him. And despite him being unable (or unwilling) to score himself, his teams were significantly more efficient on offense when he was on the court (even after accounting for his offensive rebounding). I suspect this is because having Rodman in the game allowed his teams to devote fewer resources to defending and rebounding, diverting those energies to offense instead. Similarly, having a highly efficient outside offense may allow a team to divert resources to the other end of the floor — not to mention that having your offensive players hang out more in the space between their opponents and their opponent’s basket can make their defensive job easier.So let’s compare the Warriors’ offense and defense a bit more directly: The Warriors are respectable at shooting inside the arc, but have been more than twice as good as the next-best team at shooting 3s in this period. They’re so good at it that there’s an argument that they should be doing it even more often, and that Curry — still the best shooter the game has ever seen — should be doing it way more often.You can throw more defense at them, and teams have done so — as you see in the breakdown chart above, they’re pretty close to average in 3-point shot quality already. But the Warriors are still better at shooting 3s than any other team is at anything — 3s, 2s or defense. And diverting more and more resources toward keeping them from scoring 130+ points per game (as they would if they got off a typical Warriors dynasty-era 3 on every possession), comes at a price. Opponents are working so hard to stop the 3 that they’re almost certainly losing something from their offense or 2-point defense, which likely helps explain why the Warriors get so many open looks inside the arc.Part of being good at lots of things is being really good at a couple of things. Curry’s ridiculous shooting opens up the Warriors’ offense. Not only are his shots incredibly efficient, but he also draws so much of his opponents’ attention that he makes his teammates look amazing — and makes his team immensely better. Looking at NBAWowy, which tracks how teams perform with a given player on the court versus on the bench, the Warriors outscored their opponents by 3.1 points per 100 possessions when Durant was playing and Curry was not; that number jumped to 16.1 points per 100 possessions with Curry on the court and Durant on the sidelines.5And 19.5 points per 100 possessions when they were both playing.While Durant may be the story of the season, the Warriors’ dynasty was built and is still being propped up by Curry’s ability to throw the ball into the hoop from great distances. Provided he keeps being able to do that, expect Golden State to keep the game broken. This shows that the Warriors appear to have a lot of players who are better at defense than they should be. Perhaps being free to focus on defense more than rebounding and offense helps. Perhaps they play bigger than their size in part because they’re typically in better position than you would expect from players on a more conventional offense whose goal is literally to get behind the other team. Perhaps opponents have to play offense with an extra eye on defense, or with more defenders than they would usually play.Also, having people like Stephen Curry and Durant as the offensive centerpieces may allow you to surround them with players who are more defense-oriented. Much like Rodman, someone like Draymond Green’s value may be fully realized precisely because he isn’t required to carry his offense. For a power forward, his responsibilities don’t include that much penetrating and collapsing the Warriors opponents’ defenses. Thus, despite being somewhat undersized for his position, Green has thrived — and indeed, may be one of the most valuable players in the league — in his current role.And Curry’s shooting makes the offenseWhile the link between Golden State’s offense and defense is speculative, the relationship between their 3-point shooting and their other shooting is easier to track.Golden State’s relentless barrage of 3s tends to make people forget that the Warriors are also good at 2-point shooting. The difference is that much more of their value on 2s comes from getting good shots, while more of their value on 3s comes from making the shots they get. Typically there is a relationship between how good a team is compared to expectation for both 3- and 2-point shooting, which is unsurprising since we’d expect good shooters to be good shooters, no matter where they’re shooting from. But the Warriors are not only unusually good at 3-point shooting, they’re also better at 3-point shooting than other shooting by an unusual margin. Comparing the two directly, we can see where the Warriors really butter their bread: read more

Strahinja Milic leaves RK Vardar Skopje

← Previous Story Katarina Bulatovic again at ZRK Buducnost Podgorica Next Story → VIDEO: Where is the ball? RK Vardar SkopjeStrahinja Milic Strahinja Milic left RK Vardar Skopje after six and a half years!The 28-year old Serbian goalkeeper couldn’t lose weight and that was problem which put border between him and the club.Club wanted to decrease his salary, which Milic declined and decided to open a new chapter in his career.Milic was a part of EHF Champions League winning squad in 2017.

Rolf Harris sentenced to 5 years and 9 months in prison

first_imgROLF HARRIS HAS been sentenced to five years and nine months in prison for 12 counts of indecent assault.The TV star was found guilty on Monday of the offences which occurred between 1968 and 1986 against four girls.The youngest victim was aged seven or eight and the other four teenagers were between 14 and 19 at the time of the abuse.The 84-year-old will serve about half of that time in jail and will be released on licence within three years.Harris, who arrived at the court today with a striped suitcase, has been taken to Wandsworth jail.During sentencing, the judge told him that his reputation was in ruins but that he had nobody to blame but himself.Victim impact statements were read to the court today. BBC News reports how one said the abuse had a “catastrophic effect” on her, destroying her “childhood innocence”.Harris’s lawyers argued today that because of his age (he is 84 years old), each day in prison will shorten his life.Barrister Sonia Woodley said he was “already on borrowed time”. She also claimed that he had been punished by being publicly shamed and stripped of his various honours.However, in his sentencing the judge was quite harsh on Harris, telling him that he caused one of his victims severe psychological harm and that he took advantage of his celebrity status.He also noted that he showed no remorse towards his victims.ImagesProsecutors revealed today they would not pursue allegations that Harris downloaded sexual images of children, saying it was “no longer in the public interest”.During court arguments that can only now be reported, his lawyers had contested the age of models found in pornographic images found on his computer.‘Grubby and disgusting’Before the final sentencing, London’s Southwark Crown Court from another victim, one  of his daughter Bindi’s childhood friends.The abuse against her began when she was 13 and on holiday with the Harris family, and continued for a period of 16 years, prosecutors said.“The attacks that happened have made me feel dirty, grubby and disgusting. The whole sordid saga has traumatised me,” the woman said in a statement read out by a lawyer.Harris admitted having a sexual relationship with the woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but said it only began when she was an adult.In mitigation, Woodley said that, with the exception of his daughter’s friend, all the assaults involved brief encounters and were “opportunistic rather than predatory”.“There are two sides to him and it’s a fact that he has a good side to him,” she said.Harris’s stature was once so great that he was made a CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2006 – one of the highest honours Queen Elizabeth II can bestow – and even painted the monarch’s portrait on her 80th birthday.There was also revulsion at his spectacular fall from grace in Australia, the home country that he left at the age of 22 but which treated him as a national hero.After the guilty verdict on Monday, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he was “gutted and dismayed”.‘Dark side’During the trial, Harris made the most of the charm that once enraptured viewers, singing his hit “Jake the Peg” and describing how he invented the “wobble board”, an instrument he used in his song “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport”.But proceedings darkened when witnesses now in their 40s and 50s took the stand to describe how Harris assaulted them when they were children or teenagers.Harris told the court he was good at disguising his “dark side” while prosecutors said he was a “Jekyll and Hyde” character.Reports suggest the entertainer, known for hit songs such as “Two Little Boys”, could now be stripped of his CBE, while there is also the prospect of further charges.Since Harris’s conviction, a dozen more women from Britain, Australia and New Zealand have made fresh allegations against him.Additional reporting by AFPRead: More people who say they were abused by Rolf Harris have come forwardMore: Rolf Harris found guilty on all charges of indecent assaultRelated: I’m a “touchy-feely sort of person”, Harris tells sex assault triallast_img read more

The 50 Greatest Wario Ware Microgames

first_img ‘Star Wars Pinball’ Has Your Favorite Brand in Ball Form‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ Was Final Mission From Late Nintendo President Stay on target Wario Ware Gold drops this week, as Nintendo returns Mario’s nemesis to his natural habitat: the world of short attention span microgames that increase in speed and difficulty until your brain dribbles out of your ears. Gold has a whopping 300 little games in it, both new offerings and reruns from older titles. To celebrate this bounty, we decided to replay and rank the top 50 microgames from Wario Ware history.We’re not going to go into fantastic detail about most of these because the whole point of Wario Ware is to keep it short and snappy, but this is the definitive ranking of microgames across the series. Argue with us at your peril.AdChoices广告Super Wario Bros.As one of the first microgames in the original Wario Ware, this clued you in right away on the kind of game you were playing: a ridiculous funhouse mirror version of Nintendo’s classic gameplay.AlignmentA weirdly realistic Wario makes this Twisted minigame about straightening out his spine that much more disturbing. You’re not licensed to practice chiropractic medicine in this state!Apple ShrapnelOne of many “mash the button as fast as you can” microgames, this one is oddly satisfying as you use the gold-crazed Wario’s brute strength to crush fruit with your bare hands.Wrap SheetSome of our favorite microgames are ones that simulate everyday activities that you’d ordinarily never get to do in a video game, like this bubble wrap popping bit from Wario Ware: Touched.Driver’s EdThis bite-sized Smooth Moves driving game puts you behind the wheel for just long enough to dodge away from trees and animals in the road.Forced FeedingPulling alien cheeks to get them to open up for food isn’t something that we’d ever consider for a game, but it’s fun as hell in Twisted.Nail CallPounding down a nail with a hammer is the perfect mix of satisfaction and aggravation, and this microgame has appeared multiple times in the Wario Ware series.Temple TrapSorting through the enormous legion of downloadable minigames made with Wario Ware D.I.Y. was a daunting task, but this one definitely stood out.Dungeon DilemmaThe “boss games” are longer and harder than the regular microgames, and one of our favorite came at the end of Orbulon’s original stage, which transformed a Wizardry-esque dungeon crawler into a test of button mashing timing.Peak-a-boo-booRipping off bandages is a pain that we’ve all suffered, but in Wario Ware Twisted the mysterious Fronk would sometimes make you turn your Game Boy Advance to swiftly expose a wounded knee.Wet Your WhistleWho knew that drinking water could be so dramatic? This Smooth Moves minigame made you tilt the Wii Remote to steadily deliver fluid down a man’s throat, with unpredictable and bizarre results.Worm SquirmWhen this microgame starts, you’re confronted with a group of wriggly worms around a puddle and you need to figure out which one you control and get it into the water.Urban ChampionWidely regarded as one of the worst first-party NES games, somehow Urban Champion becomes much more fun in much smaller increments as you move the D-pad to block punches and strike back at your thuggish foe.BirdcicleThere’s something oddly comforting about using the DS stylus to line up ice blocks for the cute little penguin to trundle across the frozen river on.Pumped PoserA common microgame genre is “imitate this shape,” and this beefy bodybuilder-themed entry is one of the best examples of the form (no pun intended).MoleFrom Game & Wario, this required you to count the blemishes on a person’s face in a short period of time, made more difficult by flies and bugs crawling around masquerading as moles.Spirit SpotPassers-by walk in front of mirrors and you need to identify the one that doesn’t have a reflection and tap them to exorcise the ghost. Oddly fun.Find My BehindThe weird Fronks are sort of the unofficial Wario Ware mascots, and this game – where you have to use spatial reasoning to match the front of one to the back – is a solid contender.Cyclone KickThere’s something very satisfying about this Twisted minigame that has you tilting the Game Boy Advance to make Wario kick away a horde of faceless foes.Secret IngredientMoving the Wiimote back and forth to reduce a cell phone, safe or even the entire planet Earth into shreds for a recipe is absurdly fun.Wario’s AdventureThe first “boss minigame” of the series, this super-simplified side-scroller has returned in several of the series’ installments. It’s got a goofy, primitive graphical style that we love.Paper PlaneOne of the few microgames that also has a “full” version, steering a paper airplane through obstacles is about as simple as games get, but still weirdly amusing.Crack DownAs a defenseless bird toting around an egg almost as big as her body, you need to jump right when the mallet hits the ground to keep it from cracking. This one was also seen as a Super Smash Bros stage.Shave The WorldAnother Twisted game, this one had you wielding a massive electric razor and using it to buzzcut the continents and oceans off the Earth to reveal messages written on the rock below.Face FinderAnother solid Orbulon game, this one has you hunting down a little pixel figure who matches a specified set of facial features.Wario Dance CompanyThis boss game from Smooth Moves is both difficult and unsettling, as the buns of the four dancing figures pulse in time with the music and when you screw up their bizarre featureless Wario faces glare at you in horror.Pet PeevedIt’s like Whack-A-Mole, but instead of bopping burrowing rodents on the dome with hammers you’re petting adorable kitty cats. Definitely an improvement.Power ChordMany of the best Wario Ware minigames use music as their starting point, and this gleefully idiotic one from Touched has you strumming your stylus to motivate a heavy metal concert to bang their heads.Punch OutActual games of Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out were arduous affairs of waiting and dodging. Reducing it to microgame duration makes the whole experience much more fun.B. FightTrue heads know that the “Balloon Trip” mode of NES game Balloon Fight has not only one of the best soundtracks in console history but also expert design. This bite-sized version is just as good.Farm HandsAshley’s food-themed games are a highlight of Wario Ware D.I.Y., and one of the best involves tapping hands to squeeze the correct udder and fill a pail with milk.ChiritorieBefore Nintendo made video games they dabbled in all sorts of stuff, like a remote controlled vacuum cleaner called the Chiritorie. Control it once more in this minigame.Pushing ButtonsThis bizarre but amusing meta-microgame from Touched had players rotating 3D models of Nintendo handheld consoles to press the indicated button.RaaaarrrrggghhMoving a giant monster to scare away throngs of helpless citizens is a mechanism that could be a full game, but it’s just as fun in five second increments.He Who Smelt ItWaving the Wiimote to disperse the noxious clouds of fart gas billowing from Wario’s ass is a perfect encapsulation of everything this series is about.Tuft It OutPulling out ingrown hairs is pretty gross, but using the DS’s touch screen and stylus to do it was bizarrely fun in this Mona minigame from Touched.Stop That!Wario is an essentially annoying idividual, so this D.I.Y. game that has you flicking rocks at a poor schmuck running by is very aesthetic.Shake!One of the weirdest things that happened in the original Wario Ware was when you got to Dr. Crygor’s games and the familiar pixel graphics were replaced by bizarre low-res digitzed photographs. Shake! had you tapping the button to shake paws with a dog, and if you missed the dog cried.Praise Or HazeA game where you insult people (or compliment them)? It’s like a dream come true, especially if you can read quickly.Maze MaestroThis clever D.I.Y. downloadable has you evaluating three different mazes rapidly to tap the one that’s solvable. It’s a clever gimmick that’s just hard enough.Stab In The DarkFending off silent samurai who try to impale you is a remarkably deep experience, as they feint and fake you out, requiring the player to pay close attention.Rainbow JuiceFill a dancing bucket up with drops of colorful juice from a rainbow! No, there’s nothing weird about this at all, why do you ask? The effect when it tips over is a deeply sad thing.Funky FountainOkay, so the thing you’re spraying with water from a curiously bidet-like fountain is supposed to be some kind of pinwheel, but it really looks like a butthole. It’s amazing that they managed to sneak this game by Nintendo.Nighttime AllergiesPost-nasal drip isn’t a topic that many video games have dared to tackle, but Wario Ware let you hammer the A button to suck that snot back into a pretty anime girl’s nose so she could enjoy her vacation at the beach.Hot Dog HogThis iconic microgame has the player tap the A button to close Wario’s open gob on a hot dog, requiring multiple bites to choke down to successfully complete it.Hot FlashIt’s a game where you have to rapidly strip off Wario’s clothes so he doesn’t get too sweaty. How could it not rank highly on this list? Stupid sexy Wario.Clog ItCan an entertaining and challenging digital experience be created based around unrolling an entire roll of toilet tissue to obstruct the plumbing? The answer is yes.Extreme Patty-CakeThis ridiculous game from Smooth Moves has you violently thrust the Wiimote forward to knock the poor schmuck you’re patty-caking right on their ass.Gold DiggerOne of the most notorious microgames in the catalog, this one appeared in the first installment and has returned several times since. It’s another timed button press game, where the goal is to drive the extended finger (or fingers) deep into the nostrils to pull out juicy boogers.PyoroI can’t even begin to count the number of hours I wasted on this after unlocking it in the original Wario Ware. It’s a relentlessly addictive action game that has you flicking your tongue at falling fruit until one bonks you on the noggin.If you enjoyed looking back on Wii’s WarioWare you’ll also dig revisiting some of our other favorite consoles. Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

One dead in fatal collision in La Mesa

first_imgOne dead in fatal collision in La Mesa LA MESA ( KUSI) – A man was fatally struck by a car Tuesday on a street near Lake Murray.The pedestrian was hit by a westbound vehicle about 3:30 p.m. on Lake Murray Boulevard, near Marengo Avenue in La Mesa, said Sonny Saghera, spokesman for Heartland Fire & Rescue.The victim, believed to be roughly 50 to 60 years old, died at the scene. His name was not immediately available.The fatality forced the closure of traffic lanes near the road crossing. Police asked motorists to avoid the area if possible.Any witnesses to the collision are encouraged to contact the La Mesa Police Department at (619) 667-1400. KUSI Newsroom, Categories: California News, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter Posted: June 25, 2019center_img KUSI Newsroom June 25, 2019 Updated: 5:46 PMlast_img

14yearold kidney recipient Kassidy Thomas meets her donor for the first time

first_img KUSI Newsroom July 10, 2019 KUSI Newsroom, 14-year-old kidney recipient Kassidy Thomas meets her donor for the first time 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – 14-year-old Kassidy Thomas was finally able to meet the woman who gave her a second change at life through a living organ donation.Seven years ago, Kassidy was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease and was quickly placed on a waiting list for a transplant at Rady Children’s Hospital. After several years passed with no luck, Kassidy found a match with living donor Bristol Hartage.Wednesday, Kassidy met Bristol for the first time.Afterwards, Kassidy spoke with Anna Laurel in studio to tell us all about the life changing experience. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings Updated: 6:39 PM Posted: July 10, 2019 Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Committed to uproot Left Wing Extremism Shah

first_imgNew Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah has asserted that the Left-Wing Extremism has no place in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of new India. Addressing a review meeting on the Left-Wing Extremism (LWE)here on Monday, Shah said India’s fight against those who try to subvert democracy with violence would continue relentlessly. He said LWE is one of the major internal security challenges faced by the Nation for the last several decades. Also Read – Shah urges women to shun plastic bags Advertise With Us The Home Minister observed that LWE organizations are against democratic institutions and use violence to subvert the democratic process at ground level. They actively seek to prevent development in the least developed regions of the country. He said, their strategy is to misguide people and keep them ignorant. Noting the success of security forces against LWE violence, Shah said, that the last few years have seen a decline in the number of districts that saw LWE incidents, and the number of incidents as well. From 96 districts affected by Naxal violence in 2010, the number of districts affected was reduced to 60 in 2018. Also Read – Free bus travel for women gets Cabinet nod Advertise With Us Shah observed that states play a key role in maintaining law and order, therefore, a synergy between the centre and states can effectively address the issue of LWE. He assured the State Governments that the Centre would cooperate fully in eliminating Left Wing Extremism. He also called upon the states to rationalize their surrender policy to mainstream innocent individuals caught in the trap of LWE violence.last_img read more

Foyzurs friend put on 7day remand

first_imgFoyzur Rahman (second from right). Prothom Alo file photoA Sylhet court on Monday placed Sohagh Mia, an associate of Foyzur Rahman, on a seven-day remand in a case filed over the knife attack on eminent writer professor Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, reports UNB.Sylhet metropolitan magistrate Saifuzzaman Hero passed the order when police produced him before the court with a seven-day remand prayer.Following the confessional statement of Foyzur Rahman alias Faizul, the prime accused in the case, police arrested his friend Shohagh Mia from Kalibari residential area in the city early Monday, said Abdul Wahab Mia, additional deputy commissioner of Sylhet metropolitan police.Zafar Iqbal came under knife attack on the campus of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST) on 3 March. Police arrested Foyzur, 25, from the spot.Later, a court here on March 7 placed Foyzur Rahman alias Faizul on a 10-day remand in the case.Foyzur also made confessional statement under section 164 before the court on Sunday.last_img read more

Islami Andolan places 10point demand for fair polls

first_imgIslami Andolon holds a grand rally at Suhrawardy Udyan on Friday. Photo: Sajid HossainIslami Andolan Bangladesh ameer, Syed Mohammad Rezaul Karim, on Friday placed a 10-point demand for holding a fair, neutral and acceptable election.He also raised the demand for holding of the next parliamentary election under a neutral government after dissolution of current parliament.The demands were made from a grand rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the city.Rezaul Karim, also Charmonai Peer (religious leader), presided over the meeting attended by leaders and activists from across the country.Huge number of activists with party symbol ‘Hatpakha’ (Hand Fan) joined the rally.Rezaul Karim said the people did not go to cast vote in the 5-January 2014 election boycotted by major opposition parties including BNP.The 10-point demand includes formation of a poll-time government after discussing with all registered political parties, reconstitution of the election commission, deployment of army with magistracy power during the election, creating a level-playing field for all political parties and dropping the initiative of using Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in election.In a bid to realise its demands, the party would hold demonstrations in the capital on 12 October, demonstrations in all districts on 14 October and submission of memorandum to the president on 16 October.Earlier, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) placed a seven-point demand and the National Unity Process led by eminent jurist Kamal Hossain placed a five-point demand seeking a fair election under a neutral polls-time government.last_img read more

What do you love about Baltimore

first_imgBy Rev. Dorothy S. Boulware, Special to the AFRONo one would deny Baltimore is a city with its own unique challenges, but it is so much more than tally-marks in negative columns. Ask any Baltimorean, native or transplant. Baltimore rises above continually and it’s because of the people, the neighborhoods, the indomitable spirit of the collective…it’s because Baltimore is destined to soar, to compound the victory of its beginnings with ingenuity, technology, faith and sheer human determination.Because of that, it’s always a good time to celebrate our city and that’s exactly what the AFRO is doing with its upcoming publication, “The Thing I Love About Baltimore.” It’s a book compiled of chapters by local – teachers, students, preachers, leaders, young people, not-as-young people, singles and couples. It’s a declaration that there’s so much to love about Baltimore as each writer, people you know well, highlights different aspects, different places, different concepts that all spell out the beauty of Baltimore.What do you love about Baltimore?In the coming weeks, we will print your Baltimore “loves” in the paper, and select the most interesting of them to include on a page in the book. I love the Inner Harbor. I love City Hall Plaza. I love the Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the people who created it. I love the squeegee guys. I love the folks who defend the squeegee guys. I love the people who weep when the “running man” is assaulted. I love the folks who show up at City Hall when things aren’t going well. I also love the ones who show up to celebrate Resurrection Sunday. I love the debaters. The policy makers. The scout leaders. The marching bands. I could go on and on.What do you love about Baltimore? Send your responses, 100 words or less, to afrolovebaltimore@gmail.com as soon as possible so they can be published. Look for them in the paper and online at Afro.com. And maybe even on the locals’ page of “The Thing I Love About Baltimore.”“The Thing I Love About Baltimore” can be preordered by calling the AFRO front desk at 410-554-8200 or at webmistress@afro.com.last_img read more

Professor Shonku now on celluloid

first_imgOne of the most popular and well known characters in Bengali science, Professor Shonku will come back to life as SVF, eastern India’s largest production house is all set to produce a Bengali feature film on the same. Featuring the fictional scientist created and popularised by the maestro, legendary writer-filmmaker Satyajit Ray, befittingly, the film will be directed by none other than Sandip Ray – a renowned filmmaker in his own right. The film is an adaptation of one of the most spell-binding stories in the Professor Shonku series called Nakur Babu O El Dorado. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShooting of the film begins early next year, and the film is likely to release by the end of 2018. Veteran actor Dhritiman Chatterjee will play the lead role of Professor Trilokeshwar Shonku (his full name), an eccentric inventor who lived in Giridih with his servant Prahlad and cat Newton. Subhashis Mukherjee will play Nakur Babu. The title of the film is – Professor Shonkhu o El Dorado. As the popular Nakur Babu tale is set to morph into a movie for the first time, SVF co-founder and Director Shrikant Mohta announced, “We are elated to make a film on Professor Shonku, who, over the years, has delighted and captivated fans of all ages, especially children and teenagers, through a series of science stories that have defied beliefs. The stories written by the great Satyajit Ray, will come alive at the hands of gifted director Sandip Ray, and we at SVF will ensure that the first Professor Shonku film sets new standards for the creative and technical excellence that are the hallmarks of all our content.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDirector Sandip Ray said, “I have always wanted to make a film on Professor Shonku. Such a character is unparalleled in our science fiction. Books, with the written word, are like the theatre of the mind, and every reader conjures his or her own picture of their favourite character. In that sense, therefore, it will be an interesting challenge to take the fictional character of Professor Shonku, the highly talented inventor with quirky manners and who was way ahead of his time, and to bring him convincingly to life on celluloid. I am looking forward to doing this with the veteran actor Dhritiman Chatterjee and the commitment of SVF by my side.” Mahendra Soni, SVF co-founder and Director, said, “It is a great honour for us at SVF to be able to do a film on Professor Shonku, who has been close to the hearts of millions of lovers of Bengali fiction for years now. We are certain that audience will enjoy watching this incredible scientist.”Writer and maker of the detective Feluda series, Satyajit Ray has modelled Professor Shonku on Professor Challenger (of the Arthur Conan Doyle books) and Hesoram Hushiar, a character of Sukumar Ray, writer and father of Satyajit Ray. Son of Dr Tripureshwar Shonku, Trilokeshwar Shonku was a precocious child who passed matriculation when he was barely 12, and B.Sc. with honours in physics and chemistry at merely 16 years of age. A polyglot with knowledge of 69 languages, he became a professor at Kolkata’s Scottish Church College at the young age of 20.last_img read more

Smart Algorithm Extracts Data from Radiology Reports

first_img Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more Feature | Information Technology | June 27, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr Smart Algorithm Extracts Data from Radiology Reports SIIM talk details early experience with data mining News | CT Angiography (CTA) | August 06, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Improves Heart Attack Risk Assessment When used with a common heart scan, machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence (AI), does better than… read more Greg Freiherr is a contributing editor to Imaging Technology News (ITN). Over the past three decades, he has served as business and technology editor for publications in medical imaging, as well as consulted for vendors, professional organizations, academia, and financial institutions. Greg FreiherrRadiology reports may contain information essential to figuring out a patient’s condition. But this information is often locked in free text, which can make it difficult to search, analyze and summarize report data.  That’s where natural language processing (NLP) might come in.On June 26, 2019, IBM researcher Ashutosh Jadhav, Ph.D., described at the annual meeting of the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) in Denver an algorithm that uses artificial intelligence to extract information from the free text of radiology reports. “There is a lot of information hidden in these reports,” Jadhav told ITN after his presentation during the Natural Language Processing session. Included in that information are things like the physician’s findings. The extracted data might be used to automatically populate data fields in PACS.Automatic structuring of radiology reports could unleash the power of information otherwise locked in these reports, he told an audience attending his presentation titled “Automatic Extraction of Structured Radiology Reports.” Jadhav and his colleagues are working to further improve the prototype, he said, noting that he cannot predict if or when the algorithm will be productized. “Our work is majorly focused on the research aspect,” he told ITN after his presentation. Jadhav is a research staff member at IBM Research Almaden, IBM’s Silicon Valley innovation lab. Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Walkaround AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:25Loaded: 11.42%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:25 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Editor’s note: This article is the seventh piece in a content series by Greg Freiherr covering the Society for Imaging Informatics in Medicine (SIIM) conference in June. News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more Related content:Why Blockchain Matters In Medical ImagingDeepAAA Uses AI to Look Automatically For AneurysmsMaking AI Safe, Effective and Humane for ImagingCinebot: Efficient Creation of Movies and Animated Gifs for Presentation and Education Directly from PACS5 Low-Cost Ways To Slow HackersImaging on Verge of Game-changing TransformationHow to Fix Your Enterprise Imaging NetworkImaging on Verge of Game-changing TransformationVIDEO: AI That Second Reads Radiology Reports and Deals With Incidental FindingsAI Detects Unsuspected Lung Cancer in Radiology Reports, Augments Clinical Follow-up  FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 PreviousNext The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. Technology | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 Shimadzu Medical Systems Receives FDA 510(k) for FluoroSpeed X1 RF System Shimadzu Medical Systems USA, a subsidiary of Shimadzu Corp., announced they have received U.S. Food and Drug… read more Extensive ResearchIn developing the NLP algorithm, Jadhav and colleagues had to overcome challenges including missing section labels, inconsistent section ordering, and inconsistent section formatting. Differences among institutions and individual radiologists should not be issues, he told ITN, because “we have a really big sample size and we are processing reports from multiple institutes.”Radiology reports from more than 200,000 chest X-rays were used to develop the algorithm. These reports were randomly split into training and testing data sets. The training data set, comprised of about 80 percent of these reports, was used to develop NLP rules. The remaining 20 percent comprised the data set used for testing. Some 200 reports, randomly selected from the testing set, were used to determine how well the algorithm identified sections and corresponding section texts. Related Content Videos | Radiographic Fluoroscopy (RF) | August 09, 2019 VIDEO: Demonstration of the Shimadzu FluoroSpeed X1 Radiographic Fluoroscopy System Shimadzu displayed the FluoroSpeed X1 conventional radiographic fluoroscopy (RF) system at the Association for Medica read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 13, 2019 Artificial Intelligence Could Yield More Accurate Breast Cancer Diagnoses University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers have developed an artificial intelligence (AI) system that… read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 08, 2019 Half of Hospital Decision Makers Plan to Invest in AI by 2021 August 8, 2019 — A recent study conducted by Olive AI explores how hospital leaders are responding to the imperative read more Greg Freiherr News | Artificial Intelligence | August 05, 2019 Montefiore Nyack Hospital Uses Aidoc AI to Spot Urgent Conditions Faster Montefiore Nyack Hospital, an acute care hospital in Rockland County, N.Y., announced it is utilizing artificial… read morelast_img read more

Technologys Impact on Homebuying and Investment

first_img Share Homebuyers Investment Technolohu 2019-07-02 Seth Welborn Technology’s Impact on Homebuying and Investment July 2, 2019 244 Views center_img With technology making the homebuying easier than ever, experts believe the practice of buying a home online could lead to “a far more efficient and affordable housing market — or another devastating bubble,” said Karl Smith, former assistant professor of economics at the University of North Carolina’s school of government stated on Bloomberg.“iBuying,” Smith notes, involves firms using algorithms to provide sellers with fixed-price offers on their homes. However, the seller is the one who has all the information, leaving buyers and investors cautious. Algorithms, however, can read disclosures, do market comparisons, evaluate timing, assess nearby rental vacancies and consider a host of other factors to arrive at an estimate of the house’s value, allowing iBuyer firms to give an instant price. According to Smith, around 5% of the homes sold in Phoenix, Arizona, were sold through instant buying last year, and investors own as many as 22,000 houses in the area.As the market slows, these instant sales will become more popular, and more properties could end up in the hands of big investors. As this instant sale technology becomes more popular, “click-to-buy,” may pick up on the other end. “Together, these two technologies could serve as a kind of market-maker: A platform that allows buyers and sellers to find each other,” said Smith. “As an asset that can be easily bought and sold at known prices, real estate would be coveted by investors, who are willing to accept a lower return on their investment in exchange for the convenience of easy trading.”With houses as easy to buy and sell as stocks, home prices are likely to rise, but this is dependent on the nation’s ability to build more housing stock. “In either case, emerging technology has the potential to radically transform the economics of housing,” said Smith. “It could lead to an expansion of supply, making housing more affordable; or it could result in the financialization of housing, the end of the owner-occupied era and new source of economic instability. Policy makers will have to keep an eye out for which scenario is emerging and what if anything they can do about it.” in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Origination, Technologylast_img read more

Cyprus at top of scale in quest to eliminate human trafficking

first_imgCyprus is in the group of countries doing the most to try to eliminate human trafficking after slipping back to a Tier 2 ranking last year, according to the US state department’s 2018 Trafficking in Persons report.The government of the Republic of Cyprus made key achievements during the reporting period, the report said, therefore the country was upgraded to Tier 1, as it fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking.“These achievements included convicting more traffickers and increasing victim protection efforts by improving the quality of service, increasing resources to NGOs, and holding monthly trainings for government-run shelter staff,” the report said.It added however, that although the government meets the minimum standards, it has not reduced the length of trials and victims face bureaucratic delays in accessing health care. Observers, it said, reported that key witnesses left the country before trial due to long delays, ‘hindering prosecution efforts’.It also said observers reported that potential forced labour victims remained undetected, partly due to a lack of resources for labour inspectors. They also reported a lack of proactive identification efforts at the Kofinou Reception Centre and anecdotal accounts of exploitation.The report said that observers reported a need for an independent evaluation of anti-trafficking policies and programmes, while the multidisciplinary coordinating group (MCG) continued to operate with limited participation from civil society.The government has increased law enforcement and victim protection efforts, the report said, and maintained prevention efforts, while the police academy continues to train police officers on trafficking issues, including new recruits, immigration police, and community police. The government separately organised 18 training programmes for police officers and three training sessions attended by approximately 220 government officials on victim identification and referral. It also trained first responders in a region with a high concentration of migrant labourers in agriculture and separately trained marriage officers and social welfare officers on proactive identification.The report recommends that Cypriot authorities, “vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers under Law 60(I) and impose strong sentences; proactively identify victims among vulnerable populations, including migrants, asylum-seekers and agricultural workers; improve cooperation of all relevant actors, including NGOs, in the MCG; reduce delays in court proceedings; strengthen the capacity of the labour inspectorate to identify and refer victims of forced labour; reduce delays in accessing health care; increase access to support for victims identified outside of business hours of support service providers.”It also calls for an improvement in victim-centred investigations and prosecutions, the implementation of witness protection measures when necessary and the development of a robust monitoring and evaluation framework for anti-trafficking policies and efforts.Regarding the north of the island, the state department said it continues to be a zone of impunity for human trafficking.Authorities in the north do not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and are not making significant efforts to do so, the report said, adding that if the ‘TRNC’ were assigned a formal ranking, it would be Tier 3, which is the lowest ranking.Authorities in the north do not keep statistics on law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders, it said, while the north lacks shelters as well as social, economic, and psychological services for victims.Local observers reported authorities were complicit in facilitating trafficking, and police continued to retain passports upon arrival of women working in nightclubs.“Reportedly some ‘parliament’ members were clientele of the nightclubs,” it said.During the reporting period, it said, authorities in the north issued 1,084 six-month ‘hostess’ and ‘barmaid’ work ‘permits’ for individuals working in nightclubs and two pubs operating in the north.It added that nightclub owners hired female college students during the reporting period to bypass the cap on the number of employees legally permitted in each club and avoid taxes and monitoring.  Most ‘permit’ holders came from Moldova, Morocco, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine, while others came from Armenia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uzbekistan.Authorities, it said, made no efforts to punish labour recruiters or brokers involved in the recruitment of workers through knowingly fraudulent employment offers or excessive fees for migration or job placement. Furthermore, there is no ‘law’ that punishes traffickers who confiscate workers’ passports or documents, change contracts, or withhold wages to subject workers to servitude. You May LikeFuture of Personal HealthYour First Clinical Trial: What to ExpectFuture of Personal HealthUndoJobs in Dubai | Search AdsGetting a Job in Dubai From India May be Easier Than You ThinkJobs in Dubai | Search AdsUndoHealthZapSize Of Engagement Ring Made Her Question Her DecisionHealthZapUndo Korkolis brings magic to the stageUndoHigh temperatures increase risk of firesUndoTwo of serial killer’s victims buried in PhilippinesUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more