Valdez: Vietnam really prepared for us

first_imgAlyssa Valdez is unfazed of THS— Marc Anthony Reyes (@marcreyesINQ) August 25, 2017KUALA LUMPUR—Alyssa Valdez, one of the country’s most vaunted scorers, was left in awe of Vietnam’s performance after the Philippines lost a crucial group stage match Friday in the Southeast Asian Games.“They really prepared against us. They showed too much energy and confidence against us,” said Valdez in Filipino after the team lost to Vietnam, 26-24, 25-12, 25-23.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut the 23-year-old Valdez maintained the PH women’s team played well.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program READ: PH volleybelles bow to Vietnam, draw Thailand in semis UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games SEA Games: PH adds silver to lawn bowls medal haul LATEST STORIES “We have no regrets. We gave it our all in today’s game,” added Valdez.“It’s a learning experience for us, for the team and the whole Philippine volleyball,” added Valdez who scored 11 points. “Hopefully this would motivate us against Thailand.”The Philippines will face Thailand in the cross-over semis Saturday.ADVERTISEMENT Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnessescenter_img Read Next MOST READ PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games PLAY LIST 03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View comments SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s weddinglast_img read more

Aussies still very vulnerable: Pietersen

first_imgEngland batsman Kevin Pietersen thinks Australia are still “very vulnerable” despite levelling the Ashes series and claims the hosts’ new verbal aggression shows they are “under huge amounts of pressure.”In an interview with English media, Pietersen escalated vocal sparring between the teams, describing England’s 267-run third Test loss at Perth as a “hiccup” and saying they were still confident of an historic series win.Australia have credited their third Test win to their return to a more aggressive approach, shelved after their 2008 Sydney Test against India sparked a public and official backlash against “sledging” – the slang for verbal assaults on an opposing team.In recent days, Paul Marsh, head of the Australian Cricketers’ Association, said fear of the consequences of sledging had affected Australia’s form and opponents had been quick to exploit its “weakness.”Marsh said Australia’s win over England in Perth, which followed their innings and 71 run loss in the second Test at Adelaide, had resulted from a return to its “natural instincts.”Verbal sparring between the teams has noticeably increased. England wicketkeeper Matt Prior criticised Australian fast bowler Peter Siddle for giving him a verbal “send-off” after his dismissal in the third Test.Siddle responded by saying England only complained because they lost.”We won the game. That’s why they’re making such a big deal of it,” he said.Pietersen increased the ante on Thursday. “When you’re under extreme amounts of pressure, you talk a lot more,” he said. “And the good thing about our team is we’re on a plateau. We do what we do.advertisement”We made a hiccup last week. Yes, we were constructive in the criticism that we chucked around the team meeting about preparation and whatever. But we haven’t come out and made any bold, huge statements about this and about that.”Pietersen said the English squad is aware of Australia’s vulnerabilities.”There are a lot of areas in their team that are very vulnerable and we just need to do what we do and wipe the slate clean and forget Perth,” he said. “Think about Adelaide, think about how well we did there, and how well we did in (the drawn first Test in) Brisbane. We’re absolutely fine.”England haven’t won an Ashes series in Australia since 1986-87 but Pietersen said the current team remained confident of revising history.”I just think we’ve got a wonderful opportunity to do something that hasn’t been done for 25 years,” he said. “That’s driving us all on to do something amazing.”Australian captain Ricky Ponting looks increasingly likely to play in Melbourne after breaking the little finger on his left hand attempting a slips catch in Perth. Pietersen said he was not surprised.”I’ve played in a series with a finger broken,” he said. “You just ring-block it. It’s not a huge drama. You just numb it so you don’t feel the pain.”Ricky Ponting might bat without gloves he’s so tough!”last_img read more

A mouthful of tricolour dishes

first_imgThis Independence Day, restaurants in the national capital are offering a taste of patriotism with ‘tricolour’ dishe. Cheesecakes to chocolate brownies and hara kababs to achaari paneer tikka, mouth-watering delicacies will be served in colours of the national flag– saffron, white and green.Like at Zing in The Metropolitan Hotel where one can enjoy a sumptuous three-course tricolour meal.Relish kulfi, a thali and mocktail – all sporting green, white and saffron colours and priced at Rs.1,200 plus taxes.”We love our country and want our guests — be it Indians or foreigners — to remember and celebrate the day through the food,” said Rajesh Khanna, the hotel’s head of food and beverage. “Last year too, we had a colourful menu to salute the Indian flag,” Khanna told IANS.At Royal China, an unlimited and colourful dimsum brunch is on offer. One can relish steamed prawn dumplings with coriander, vegetarian dumplings, mushroom buns and seafood dumplings in the three colours and wash them down with Chinese tea.The restaurant is also offering a special chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce in tricolour. The menu is priced at Rs.1,350 per person plus taxes.”We were looking for a special theme on Independence Day and the tricolour theme was the best. Last year we introduced ‘tricolour’ dishes and mocktails while this year, chocolate brownies in the three colours are the highlight,” says Eric Khoo Thium, the chef.”Giving such offers on important days helps us fetch footfalls. It also allows us to participate in the patriotic fervour,” he says.Khaaja Chowk restaurant too is celebrating Aug 15 with special vegetarian and non-vegetarian kebab boxes– each carrying 20 pieces. Vegetarians can enjoy hara kababs and achaari paneer tikka priced at Rs.549 plus taxes.Those who love non-vegetarian dishes can try galauti kababs, murg malai tikka and chicken tikka and many more for Rs.649 plus taxes.Blues bar and restaurant is not only offering a tricolour menu but also a ‘tricolour’ ambience. It serves ‘tricolour’ lasagne, chilli chicken with steam rice, non-vegetarian pasta with arrabiata, bolognaise sauce, garlic bread and biryani. The decor of the place has been changed to match the day’s mood. It is offering 60 percent discount on the menu.”We have done up the place with kites and balloons in tricolour to give the visitor a patriotic feel,” says Sammir Chawla, the bar and restaurant’s owner. Those who have a sweet tooth, Mocha has tricolour cheesecakes, priced at Rs.150 plus taxes.advertisementlast_img read more

2 days agoBurnley manager Dyche delighted with squad competition

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Burnley manager Dyche delighted with squad competitionby Paul Vegas2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBurnley manager Sean Dyche is delighted with the competition within his squad.The Clarets currently have intense battles in a variety of positions, including left-back, striker and central midfield.”There is real competition,” said Dyche.”We have lost very important players but it shows we have other players who are just as important.”I thought Jeff (Hendrick) did well in midfield alongside Westy which is not easy when you play two v three. There was a tactical understanding there of when to press and when not to.”Robbie came in and he is getting back to true fitness and match sharpness that it takes which is why he came off and Jay got a start as well.”I like that competitive element to the squad.” last_img read more

Indigenous activists say homeless in Montreal unfairly targeted for ticketing

first_imgTom FennarioAPTN National NewsAbout two dozen protesters took part in an act of civil disobedience Tuesday afternoon in downtown Montreal by sitting on a stretch of sidewalk where Indigenous homeless have been receiving tickets.“The fact is that, where are these people to go?” asked Daybi, a Cree outreach worker who works with Montreal’s disproportionately large Indigenous homeless population.“People want to just brush them away so that they’re out of sight and out of mind, but in reality that’s never gonna happen, this has always been an area where people have congregated.”(Daybi, a Cree outreach worker who works with Montreal’s disproportionately large Indigenous homeless population. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)Across the street from the protest sits Cabot Square, a place where the city’s homeless and vulnerable Indigenous population, particularly the Inuit, have been frequenting for decades.Daybi helped organize this action after a rash of tickets were recently issued outside Restaurant Miso on the corner of Sainte Catherine and Atwater.“We had complaints from more than one merchant, and also from some citizens,” said Community Officer Adalbert Pimentel of the Montreal Police. “Different complaints, consumption of alcohol, obstructing the sidewalk, also littering on a public domain.”For 10 years Pimentel has patrolled this area.He said in his experience, police officers use their discretion when handing out tickets, and that usually it’s the last resort.According to a 2015 survey, 10 per cent of Montreal’s homeless population is Indigenous, even though they make up less than one per cent of the city’s total population.“There is a lot of warnings, most of the time there is a lot of mediation done trying to find solutions but yes, it could end up in a municipal infraction,” said Pimentel.“These cops never stop”(Osyris Jackson holds up one of his latest tickets. Photo: Tom Fennario/APTN)But 24-year-old Osyris Jackson said that hasn’t been his experience.“These cops never stop, I got a ticket one time for sleeping,” Jackson told APTN News at the Open Door shelter, located one block south of Cabot Square.“I just get tickets. At least give me a warning and I will move, that’s not a problem.”Jackson said he’s been living on the streets for about five years.He showed APTN two tickets for drinking in public, each for $149.“Max, in total I owe the government over a $1,000 in tickets,” he said.$20,000 in tickets…David Chapman is the director of the Open Door Shelter.He estimated that about 40 per cent of the people who come here are Inuit.Chapman said the shelters get many unpaid tickets because it’s used as a mailing address by the people who use it.He brought out a box crammed with about 100 tickets which he said is from the last two and a half months.“Having an open can of alcohol, smoking too close to a bus shelter, jaywalking, sleeping on a bench in the metro, relatively minor and arguably unnecessary infractions,” said Chapman, who added that one of his clients has over $20,000 in unpaid fines.“What happens is, knowing that you have thousands of dollars to pay, and you don’t actually have the ability to repay it, it creates a psychological dysfunction that drives you back to the addiction of choice,” said Chapman.Pimentel said that if merchants and citizens repeatedly call 911, it can’t just be ignored.“When we have a complaint, we have an obligation to take action,” he said.Meanwhile, people at the sit-in emphasized that the rapidly gentrifying area needs to accept the people who were here before them.“There’s deeper social issues at hand, there’s more to the money behind the development of this area, maybe at that level, they could be more considerate of actual people,”  said Daybi.As for Jackson, before leaving the Open Door he inquired about borrowing some clothes for his upcoming court date.“It’s bad man, how are we supposed to pay all this?” he adds, tickets in read more

Kudelski Group owner of content security speciali

first_imgKudelski Group, owner of content security specialist Nagra, has named Dave Luken as CEO of Skidata, the Group’s Public Access division, which develops solutions to manage access to parking facilities, ski resorts, stadiums, fairs, and amusement parks.Luken will report to André Kudelski, CEO of the Group, and will lead the Public Access business into the next phase of its evolution. His initial focus will be to improve profitability and cash flow generation by optimising operations and leveraging tighter cooperation with the other global product units and support functions of the group and he will also further develop Skidata’s global strategy for its next generation of solutions for people and vehicle access management.Luken previously worked at Honeywell, where he held several positions before being appointed VP of its global Airlines Business Segment. Following his time at Honeywell, Dave joined Zero Mass Water, a technology company advancing global water quality and resilience.“We are very pleased to welcome Dave Luken to the Group. Dave is a recognized global technology leader,” said Kudelski. “I am confident he will further build on the successes that the Skidata team has achieved over the past years. I would also like to thank Hugo Rohner for his positive contributions, particularly in expanding the global footprint of Skidata, and I wish him all the best for the future.”After a transition period, Rohner will pursue new opportunities outside of the Group.last_img read more

In This Issue… More thoughts on bonds … RBA

first_imgIn This Issue… * More thoughts on bonds … * RBA greases the tracks… * German DAX outperforms S&P… * Yen repatriation is over… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Strong PMI’s All Around The Globe! Good day… And a Tom Terrific Tuesday to you! A tricky, but successful first day on our brand spanking new computer system was had yesterday… Still some things to work out, but as our first IT guy used to say, “it’s not a bug, it’s a feature”, still rings true! So, onto day 2, and let’s see what’s in store for us today! Which is very similar to the currencies and metals… let’s see what’s in store for them today, eh? The volatility continues to rain down on these two asset classes… But in the whole scheme of things, the dollar remains in the down trend, and will remain there, with blips higher from time to time, until we correct the debt / deficit problem, or at least, get on the road to correcting them, but as I like to say in my presentations, the U.S. GPS navigation system isn’t working, for they can’t even find the road to correction! Ok… I spent a lot of time yesterday talking about the nearing end of the long standing bond rally… Here’s another thing to keep in mind regarding that thought, and that is: That the Fed’s Twist & Shout, I mean, Operation Twist, will end in the 2nd QTR… which means that the market will have to absorb more than 70% more in bonds per quarter going forward… and that alone could very well be enough to send yields even higher! Well, yesterday I also talked about the Chinese PMI (manufacturing index) and how strong it printed… Well, it must be something that’s catching around the globe, because not only did the U.S. too print a stronger than expected PMI (we call it ISM), but so too did Canada! And that’s a real good sign for global growth, folks… And like I said yesterday, the proxy for global growth has always been the Australian dollar (A$), and I do believe the A$ will continue to be supported by the global growth machine that’s beginning to show up around the world. Right now, the A$ is feeling a bit pinched because the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) sounded quite dovish last night, and mentioned rate cuts in their statement, which sounded like…. “Interest rate expectations are going to fall, and this will continue weigh on the Aussie dollar”… As I said yesterday, I don’t see the need for the rate cuts, given the data I’ve seen, but this whole scenario plays well with James Rickards’ book Currency Wars… The thing I didn’t talk about yesterday, with China’s manufacturing report is that the reports of a hard landing for the Chinese economy seem to be exaggerated, eh? Recall that I’ve said all along that I believed that the Chinese economy would “moderate”, not collapse… The U.S. stock rally continues to amaze me… But then, the Fed has been priming the stock market pump for some time now, so eventually, we should have seen a stock rally… But I saw something this morning that caught my eye… The German DAX is beating the S&P 500 by the most since 2006… Again, this is a result of the global growth news… But let’s not downplay this move in the DAX, for the German stock index has topped every developed market tracked by Bloomberg this year… As I’ve said for some time now… if we could just buy Germany… but we can’t, not without all the baggage… Speaking of the baggage, while everyone is focused on Spain… Ireland is beginning to rumble again… But yet, the euro gains in value… It’s called relative value… Here in the U.S. we saw a data print on Friday, that I failed to talk about yesterday, basically because the news item was buried in the over 850 emails I had to sift through yesterday… Recall me talking about the TV commercial from the world famous St. Louis rock station, KSHE, where the daughter is appalled that her dad hears the opening chords to the song, Brown Sugar, and begins to play the air-guitar, and she cries… “Mom, he’s doing it again”… Well, that same thing could be played out for the U.S. Consumer… Once again, we are on a path to destruction, as we spend more than we make… Personal Spending in February was stronger than expected at .8%, while Personal Income was up only .2%, thus causing a drop in the savings rate from 4.3% to 3.7%… But it’s not just one month here folks… January and December spending rates were revised upward… When will we ever learn? When, will, we, ever, learn? But this is what the Fed wants… they’ve primed the pump for another bubble, folks… you never know where a bubble is going to pop up, but with all the Quantitative Easing, stimulus, and everything else that’s gone into reviving the U.S. Consumer, a bubble was imminent… While I’m on stuff here in the U.S., this Friday will be the Jobs Jamboree for April, using March jobs data… This Friday is also Good Friday for those of us that observe Easter, which means the stock market will be closed, so a large piece of the markets will be missing… and that could cause some very volatile reaction to the jobs number… Right now, the “experts” are thinking that 205,000 net jobs were created in March… But going back over the years on Good Friday, the Jobs Jamboree has held some HUGE surprises for the markets… Since 1994, there have been 5 previous Good Friday Job Jamborees, and 3 of the 5 held some HUGE surprises to the upside for the Jobs Jamboree participants… So, we need to keep that in mind as we head into Friday… The price of Oil rebounded by $2 yesterday, back to $104… but for the most part, the petrol currencies are not reacting to that move… There comes a time when the volatility in the asset prices just becomes noise, and the assets just don’t react to the daily gyrations… As I like to say, they become Comfortably Numb… The Brazilian real has really fallen on difficult times, as once again the Brazilian Gov’t complains about Currency Wars, but then goes about doing what it can to weaken its own currency… We’ve seen several of these moves to weaker values in the real over the years, only to be eventually reversed… I don’t know if this is another case where a reversal will be seen, but at least you are armed with the fact that the real has reversed in the weak moves in the past… The price of Gold is pretty flat this morning… I read a report from Jeff Clark of Big Gold yesterday that really made sense to me, and plays well with my “everyday observations”… What Jeff wrote about was that the price of Gold is being supported by the fact that “real interest rates” in the U.S. are negative… He points out that the Fed continues to say that current rates will remain near zero for at least another year, and maybe longer. He then points out what I’ve pointed out for some time now that inflation continues to grow higher, which means the “real interest rate” will remain negative… For those of you new to class, “real interest rates” are derived from the net of bellwether, 10-year Treasury yield, minus inflation… Ok… enough of that! The Japanese yen continues to defy gravity… The need for the “safe haven” trade in yen is over… but I think for the most part that March repatriation of yen which is what we see every year, offset the unwinding of safe haven trades… So, Bullwinkle, what do you have up your sleeve to amaze the markets now? I still don’t think yen is a so-called safe haven, and I certainly don’t think that it has much else going for it, at this point. Then There Was This… So… did you hear about the CFTC (Commodities, Futures Trading Commission), accusing the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) of “wash trades”? here’s the skinny and then my thoughts… From the Wall Street Journal… “U.S. regulators alleged a “wash trading scheme of massive proportion” by Royal Bank of Canada, which was accused in a lawsuit of unlawfully trading hundreds of millions of dollars in stock futures in order to get tax benefits. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission filed the civil lawsuit against the Canadian bank in the Southern District of New York on Monday. The CFTC alleged that Royal Bank of Canada broke laws banning “wash trades,” or trades a firm does with itself to make it look as if stocks or other securities have been bought and sold.” Chuck again… OK… RBC denies these claims, and said, the allegation was “absurd.” And the spokesperson went onto say that, “The lawsuit is “meritless and we will rigorously defend ourselves against such baseless allegations.” Well… that’s all fine and good… but I want to know when the CFTC is going to do anything about the allegations that the whistle blower made about metals price manipulation… To recap… Manufacturing around the world is on an upswing, which is good news for the global growth campers… China, the U.S. and Canada all reported stronger than expected manufacturing index numbers. The RBA left rates unchanged but greased the tracks for future rate cuts… I still don’t believe they are necessary, but the RBA seems to have an axe to grind here. Be careful of the Good Friday Jobs Jamboree this week… Currencies today 4/3/12… American Style: A$ $1.0380, kiwi .8225, C$ $1.0085, euro 1.3345, sterling 1.6015, Swiss… $1.0185, … European Style: rand 7.6680, krone 5.6705, SEK 6.5865, forint 220.10, zloty 3.0945, koruna 18.4375, RUB 29.28, yen 82, sing 1.2515, HKD 7.7645, INR 50.67, China 6.2862, pesos 12.75, BRL 1.8315, Dollar Index 78.80, Oil $104.44, 10-year 2.18%, Silver $32.98, and Gold… $1,678.55 That’s it for today… Congrats to the Kentucky Wildcats on their NCAA Basketball Championship… I held Kentucky in our office pool that we do for fun… it just means I get to buy lunch! I feel bad for missing this, but it was my first day back yesterday… But Happy Birthday to both Tim Smith and Antione Lawrence who celebrated birthdays on April 1 and 2 respectively… I got to see Alex play a little at his Water Polo game last night. His team was winning by a large margin, so the freshmen all got more playing time… Last week, he scored 6 goals in a game! Little Braden Charles was at the game, and we exchanged Aw’s before he fell asleep. How anyone can sleep at a Water Polo Game is unbelievable, but he did! And with that, I’ll get out of your hair for today… I thank you for reading the Pfennig, and hope you can go out and have a Tom Terrific Tuesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 read more

In This Issue US data sends the dollar higher

first_imgIn This Issue. * US data sends the dollar higher… * Could the Fed begin the end of bond their bond buying??? * Chinese home prices rise. * Gold continues to see selling. And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! Both Consumer Confidence and Leading Indicators surprise on the upside. Good day.  Storms knocked the power out at my house last night, so I woke a bit later than I wanted to and had to scramble to get ready by the light of my phone (yes, I have finally caught up with the rest of my family and have become dependent on my phone for more than just phone calls).  I saw a number of branches littering the roads on the drive in, so the wind must have been pretty strong.  The weather man said we will be getting more storms this morning, I hope Chuck was able to sneak out of here down to Houston for his ‘regularly scheduled maintenance’ with his docs down there. The dollar continued to power its way higher on Friday as both the confidence report and Leading Indicators showed the US economy will continue to improve.  As both Mike and Chuck suggested last week, the markets have been all about the growth story here in the US and that has boosted the dollar.  Friday’s data supported the recent ‘love fest’ for the US$ as the U of Michigan Confidence reading came in at 83.7 compared to expectations of 77.9 and substantially higher than last month’s reading of 76.4.  This was the best reading since the summer of 2007 and shows the resiliency of Americans as they have faced down a combination of higher taxes and federal spending cuts.  Many believe the increase in confidence is a direct result of the record levels of the US equity markets and the beginning of a housing recovery.  I guess all the work the Fed has been doing in keeping the printing presses in overdrive is beginning to show up in the attitudes of US consumers.  But I still worry about the labor market here in the US, and while confidence can certainly be pushed higher along with the stock market, you can’t ‘spend’ confidence at the store, so we continue to need to see more improvement in the labor markets. The leading indicators were also released on Friday and painted a fairly rosy picture for the near term future of the US economy.  The Conference Board’s gauge of the economic outlook for the next 3 to  6 months climbed .6% in April, a big turn-around from  a .2% drop in March.  Economists had predicted the leading indicators to come in at a .2% increase so the markets were surprised by the strength of Friday’s data.  This strong reading supports the thought that the US economy will start to pick up steam in the second half of this year which could mean an early end to the quantitative easing efforts of our Federal Reserve. This thought is what has been rallying the dollar over the past few weeks, as more Fed heads have been talking about beginning an exit from the $85 billion monthly bond buying program which began in September of last year.  Fed Bank of San Francisco President John Williams made the speaking circuit rounds at the end of last week suggesting the central bank may begin to taper the bond buying sooner rather than later.  This is a big change for Williams who is generally seen as a dove when it comes to monetary policy.  Williams joins three other Federal Reserve regional bank presidents who have been calling for phasing out the month purchase of mortgage backed securities.  Dallas President Richard Fisher, Philadelphia President Charles Plosser, and Richmond President Jeffery Lacker have all been calling for an end to the bond buying.  “It’s not good for the bank to be holding lots of mortgage paper” Plosser said on Friday.  Fisher warned that if the bond buying continues at the current levels, the Fed could eventually be buying up to 100 percent of the MBS issuance which is “not only excessive, but also potentially disruptive to the proper functioning of the MBS market.”  The FOMC will release minutes of its April 30th meeting on Wednesday, and traders and economists will be looking for indications that an end of QE is starting to come into focus.  We won’t have any big data releases here in the US today, nor any tomorrow so the markets will have to look overseas for any news on the global economy. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will testify before the Joint Economic Committee this Wednesday which could produce some good ‘Pfennig pfodder’ as our congressional leaders push him for more information on when he plans on ending QE.  Chuck should have plenty to write about as the end of the week will be chock-full-o data.  We get the existing homes data on Wednesday followed by the weekly jobs claims and some more housing data on Thursday.  These housing numbers have taken on an even greater importance with the positive data we saw on Friday.  If the housing data comes in strong, it would support the thought that the US economy will be able to withstand the reduction of federal spending which will accompany the end of QE.  And Friday we will close out the week with April’s reading of durable goods orders which are predicted to show a positive 1.5% increase after a fairly large drop in March.  In Europe, car sales rose in April for the first time since September of 2011 adding to signs that the latest recession in Europe may be short-lived.  Another report showed consumer confidence in Europe increased in April to the highest level since July of last year.  Last weeks trade data showed European exports expanded 3.4% from a month earlier as the EU trade surplus widened to 8.1 billion euros from just 1.6 billion euros in February.  German auto sales finally showed an increase, jumping 3.8% in April ending five consecutive months of falling sales.  The largest increases were in the UK where registrations increased 15% and in Spain where they were up over 11%.  Both France and Italy showed drops in the number of cars sold.  Interest rate reductions by the ECB were given some credit in turning around the auto data, and ECB President Mario Draghi said he is still considering further cuts if the economic outlook deteriorates.  But with rates near zero, any additional cuts could move rates some rates below zero, and the overall impact of negative interest rates is still largely unknown for an economy the size of Europe. The Japanese yen finally strengthened a bit after Japan’s economic minister Akira Amari warned that further losses in the currency could negatively affect Japanese citizens.  Amari suggested that the dramatic drop in the value of the Japanese yen has already corrected a lot of the imbalances in the Japanese economy.  This was the first indication from a Japanese leader to suggest the Japanese yen is getting close to where they would like to see it.  I guess the 20% move of the yen over the past six months is just about what the Japanese leaders were wanting, and they apparently would like to see the yen take a breather while the markets digest this huge move. Staying in Asia, China’s housing inflation accelerated to its fastest pace in two years.  Average new home prices rose almost 5% from a year ago after a 3.6% increase last month.   The rising prices add complexity to the job of Chinese leaders who would like to be able to spur a stronger overall economic recovery.  These leaders have been trying to cool the housing market with measures aimed directly at this sector, but many thought these moves weren’t broad enough to have a  meaningful impact.  Home prices continue to move higher in the large Chinese cities, with prices in Beijing rising 10.3% and Shanghai prices up 8.5% both of which were the fastest YOY gains since January of 2011.  With property inflation edging higher, Chinese leaders will have less room to enact measures to try and stimulate their economy. Closer to home, Mexico’s peso fell again on Friday heading for its worst week since last June after data showed GDP rose at the slowest pace since 2009.  GDP rose just .8% in the first quarter from a year earlier, much slower than Mexico’s leaders would like to see.  The data may force Mexico’s central bank to cut rates which would definitely be a negative for the Mexican peso.  Holders of the peso have enjoyed a nice 12% increase in the currency over the past year, partially due to the higher rates available to  investors.  A cut in rates, which could be seen to be necessary to stimulate the Mexican economy, would definitely be a negative for the Mexican peso. And the Canadian dollar continued to get beat up on Friday as inflation data bolstered recent calls for relaxing monetary policy.  Consumer prices in Canada rose just .4% in April down from a 1% increase the month before.  This was the slowest pace of price increases in Canada since October of 2009.  As Chuck suggested on Friday, the new Prime Minister Stephen Poloz has supported trade policies in the past which would seem to indicate he may reverse outgoing BOC Governor Mark Carney’s bias toward higher interest rates.  While most investors felt the BOC’s next move would be higher, the change in leadership along with softer inflation data has many thinking rates could be headed lower. Commodity currencies were softer across the board, as the Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, and South African rand all followed the Canadian dollar down over the weekend.  The slower global inflation is what seemed to be weighing on all of these currencies.  A consumer confidence measure in New Zealand helped put a floor under the kiwi, showing confidence ‘down under’ climbed to a three year high.  And another report showed producer prices in New Zealand rose .8% in the first quarter, the most since June of 2011. Gold had another off day, dropping nearly $30 on Friday and another $10 over the weekend.  With the dollar rising to nearly a 3 year high (according to the dollar index) there continues to be increased selling pressure on the precious metals, which have had an inverse relationship with the greenback.  Talk of an exit from QE programs here in the US has added to the selling in gold, as inflation expectations seem to be softening.   I still think these levels represent a great place to add or better yet start the accumulation of a position in the precious metals. To recap. Data released on Friday sent the dollar higher as both the consumer confidence and leading indicators surprised on the upside.  Fed heads are starting to discuss the exit from QE, and some believe we could now see a reduction in bond buying in the next few months.  No data here in the US today or tomorrow, but the end of the week will bring Chuck plenty to write about.  European car sales increased, perhaps the recession will be short lived?  Chinese home prices shot higher, but Chinese leaders still want to stimulate their economy.  And the commodity currencies all fell over the weekend as global inflation expectations caused a sell-off in precious metals and raw materials.  Currencies today 5/20/13. American Style: A$ $.97746, kiwi .8140, C$ .9723, euro 1.2859, sterling 1.5192, Swiss $1.0327. European Style: rand 9.4649, krone 5.8355, SEK 6.6724, forint 225.95, zloty 3.2522, koruna 20.3023, RUB 31.2895, yen 102.56, sing 1.2554, HKD 7.7622, INR 55.1062, China 6.1998, pesos 12.3216, BRL 2.0352, Dollar Index 84.042, Oil $95.53, 10-year 1.95%, Silver $21.685, Gold. $1,354.16, and Platinum $1,445.55. That’s it for today.  Congratulations to all of the new graduates!  I attended the high school graduation of my niece (and goddaughter) Meaghan yesterday evening.  The event was held outdoors under the massive oak trees in front of her high school, and the weather cooperated to make it a wonderful event.  Unfortunately the weather prediction isn’t so good for the second phase of her graduation, the beautiful ‘Maypole’ dance which all of the senior girls are scheduled to perform this evening.  They have been practicing for months now, and there is no ‘indoor option’ so I really hope the storms move through quickly and leave them a window of opportunity this evening.  Meaghan graduated with honors, and is now on her way to Rhodes College where she will play field hockey and study psychology and art.  Next week her twin brother will graduate and then head off to Georgetown University.  I am extremely proud of both of them, as they have worked hard in high school and have set themselves up to be a success in life.  Time really flies, it seems like I was holding the twins in my arms just a few years ago! I’ll get this out the door now, and call home to check and see if the power is back on.  Thanks for reading the Pfennig, and I hope everyone has a Marvelous Monday! Chris Gaffney, CFA Vice President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837last_img read more

U°OS Network — a Universal Portable Reputation System — Launches Beta

first_img Betadecentralized financial transactionsMarketing TechnologyNCDawareRankNewsSocial MediaU°OS Network Previous ArticlePeerLogix OTT Data Insights: Game of Thrones New Episodes Provide Significant and Progressive Boost to Streaming LibraryNext Article98.55% of People use at Least 4 Social Media Platforms Daily U°Os AIMS to Become the Digital Reputation Standard on the Web, Making Network Economies More ProductiveU°OS, a blockchain protocol that translates economic and social actions into reputation, proposes a universal portable reputation system and aims to become the standard on the Web. Adjustable to any e-commerce, social media, review platforms, and any network in general, the U°OS Network is underpinned by a unique Delegated-Proof-of-Importance consensus algorithm, developed in-house, and based on NCDawareRank. After being in research and development for over a year, U°OS is launching the public beta on May 15, 2019 with the top EOS block producers on board.The emergence of distributed protocols has taken the first step in creating the Web 3.0. U°OS are moving towards a true peer-to-peer interaction without an intermediary that holds the keys to their digital selfhood. While cryptocurrencies enable decentralized financial transactions, infrastructure protocols let them run decentralized apps on the chain, the truly peer-to-peer social communications, reputation, and identity systems have just started showing their green shoots.“Centralized services have a biased incentive structure for interpreting reputation data and disproportionate power to modify it. We are not controlling our reputation — it is confined to a single platform and context, thus cannot be detached and transferred to another place. This translates into a time-consuming task to understand who is truly behind the digital avatar of an individual or an organization. The absence of a universal and distributed reputation system is the reason why the decision-making process is slow and costly” — John Sneisen, two times best-selling author, monetary history expert, and U°OS Advisor.Marketing Technology News: Cloudinary Identifies Opportunities to Raise Visual Storytelling Impact in its Inaugural State of Visual Media ReportThe U°OS reputation model enables people to interact in the digital environment as sovereign individuals, solving the problem of not having complete and unequivocal ownership of one’s digital selfhood and network influence. U°OS allows digital entities — individuals or organizations — to have a unified reputation for a natural decision-making process about the trustworthiness of the peer. The U°OS reputation is multi-context, transparent, and distributed.The key characteristics of the U°OS reputation system are:Transparency — the blockchain-recorded data is public and increases trust to a digital entity;Universality — the system can be integrated into any existing application via API and OAuth;Portability — algorithmic operation on the public ledger without belonging to any centralized authority;Privacy-friendliness — users are not required to reveal their identity to use the system;Marketing Technology News: BlueVenn and London Research Release Customer Data Platform Maturity Model“Despite being seemingly complex, U°OS is already neatly packed into user-friendly interfaces and APIs to make the user experience as smooth as possible for casual users as well as developers” — Andrew Perepelitsa, U°OS Head of Developer Relations.The U°OS beta launches with U°Community — a decentralized application to run Decentralized Autonomous Communities (DAC) and Decentralized Autonomous Communities (DAO). The beta will also see the very first plug and play case: integration with the U°Today, a news, research and educational agency covering the blockchain industry and new generation technology.Marketing Technology News: Three Quarters of Retailers Believe Their Model Needs to Change for Them to Remain Relevant U°OS Network — a Universal Portable Reputation System — Launches Beta PRNewswireMay 16, 2019, 2:03 pmMay 16, 2019 last_img read more

Preliminary estimation of contaminants and aromatic substances in diapers

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 7 2019The report “Sécurité des couches pour bébé”, published by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES), deals with hazardous substances in disposable panty diapers. In the following paragraphs, the BfR provides a preliminary estimation of the levels of contaminants and aromatic substances measured in the diapers. The BfR cannot currently make a detailed estimation of the other substances mentioned in the report for which ANSES has prepared a health assessment.Estimation of the contaminants detected in diapersThe detection of ubiquitous contaminants such as dioxins and furans, dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (dl-PCB) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the trace range is to be expected, as very small quantities of each substance can be ubiquitously detected with modern analytical methods. This also applies to residues of substances used in the manufacture of diapers or in the production of raw materials such as cotton (e.g. glyphosate). Yet, the detection of these substances does not necessarily involve a health risk.ANSES used four different test scenarios to examine potentially health-damaging substances in diapers. These scenarios serve to estimate the exposure in terms of skin contacts with the substances under consideration. In one scenario, for example, the substances were extracted from pulverized diaper parts using an organic solvent. In another scenario, the diapers were prepared with a urine simulant (artificial urine) in order to determine the transfer (migration) of the substances to the artificial urine. The approach chosen by ANSES serves as an approximation method to estimate maximum exposure. To what extent this estimation involves uncertainty cannot currently be estimated by the BfR, as some of the necessary information is still missing.Because different test and/or exposure scenarios are used, the report sometimes produces different qualitative risk statements (no risk vs. possible risk) for one and the same substance. This is partly attributable to the fact that, depending on the scenario, worst case (conservative) assumptions of varying severity were made through the intentional (risk-covering) overestimation of exposure.Mainly conservative assumptions are used as the basis of the exposure parameters in both the worst case as well as the refined exposure estimation. It is assumed, for example, that every single diaper worn in the course of infancy is contaminated with the highest concentration determined for each substance. The method of assuming conservative values for the exposure parameters is common and also used by the BfR when assessing the health risks of consumer products. The purpose of this is to ensure that a possible health risk will not be underestimated. The result of this, however, is the tendency of an overestimation of exposure and therefore of the risk too. The probability of the occurrence of an undesired effect is therefore lower in reality. Risks established in this way therefore might indicate a need for research and potential action (e.g. under REACH).Related StoriesScientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchLoose double-stranded RNA molecules spur skin rejuvenationComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchAccording to the exposure estimation in the ANSES report, the latest available knowledge indicates that the analysis values for glyphosate and/or the metabolite aminomethyl-phosphonic acid (AMPA) do not constitute a health risk.Estimation of contact allergenic aromatic substances detected in diapers Potentially contact allergenic aromatic substances were detected in one of the 19 diaper products examined (ANSES, 2019). Perfumes and aromatic substances are added to diapers during the manufacturing process for the purpose of enhancing the “aesthetics” (Kosemund et al., 2009; Rai et al., 2009), i.e. the appeal of the product. According to the information of the manufacturers, perfume is commonly used in diapers or certain parts thereof in such a way that no direct skin contact occurs (Rai et al., 2009). As the theoretical possibility of indirect skin contact still exists as a result of the backflow of urine from the absorbent diaper core (Rai et al., 2009), this was taken into consideration by ANSES. The BfR is not currently aware of any experimental examinations that go beyond this.Contact allergenic aromatic substances entail the potential of sensitization. This means that an allergy can develop if the skin comes in contact with substances of this kind. Once a person has become sensitized, it has to be assumed that the allergy will last for a lifetime and that health impediments are possible. The subsequent formation of contact eczemas can only then be prevented by avoiding contact with the allergen.No specific legal provisions exist for the use of contact allergenic aromatic substances in disposable diapers. There are no bans on use or any declaration obligations (unlike cosmetic products). If the aromatic substances used in diapers (to an allergologically relevant extent) can get into contact with the skin, the aromatic substances that are banned from use in cosmetic products, or which have a high sensitization potential, should not be used in the opinion of the BfR.Regulations on diapers The basic rule is that responsibility for compliance with legal provisions on the health safety of products lies initially with the manufacturer or distributor. Monitoring of legal regulations in Germany is the responsibility of the Federal States (“Länder”). In addition to this, the BfR published tips on the assessment of intimate hygiene products (BfR, 1996) in which it recommends that specifications should be established for the raw materials used in the manufacture of panty diapers and diaper liners.Source: read more

How artificial intelligence is reshaping our lives

Provided by University of Alberta Can artificial intelligence be used to study gut microbes in patients? The many faces of AIFor some, it can be hard not to see artificial intelligence as a science so advanced and complicated that it exists only in the realm of movies.For Patrick Pilarski, artificial intelligence exists on the same technological continuum as a stick.At one time, a stick was an essential tool to poke things, to lean on, and so forth. In the same way, he says, artificial intelligence is a tool that can be used to amplify a person’s abilities and allow them to accomplish tasks needed for day-to-day living.”We’ve been slowly improving our ability to interact with the world through technology since the early days of our species. We might be doing it faster than we used to … but interacting with machines remains something prominent in our daily lives,” says Pilarski, an assistant professor at the university, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Machine Intelligence for Rehabilitation.”Those machines make us smarter, they make us better able to see the world, they make us better able to interact with or change the world, and they make us better able to think about the world.”Artificial intelligence is the branch of computing science that develops machines that can act with the intelligence we normally associate with humans. It allows machines to sift through massive amounts of data to find patterns and even develop intuition through trial and error.The discipline has been developing since the 1950s, but its popularity and promise—in scientific circles and beyond—has ebbed and flowed through the years.”I’ve been working on machine learning since the 1980s,” says Russ Greiner, a computing science professor at the university. “We’d work on problems that we made up and, deservedly, the rest of the world said, ‘Who cares?’ But when we started deploying it, people paid attention.”People might pay even more attention if they understood the extent to which AI influences their lives already. In the past eight years, the capacity for computation has increased exponentially, allowing researchers to apply the research in more practical ways. At the same time, the world’s biggest technology companies have started investing heavily in the field.The result is changing how we live our lives.Artificial intelligence allows for credit card fraud detection (computer programs know when a purchase appears to be out of the normal range for a particular client); it’s the basis for our familiar friend, Siri (voice recognition and natural language processing are major branches of AI); it powers your smartphone’s ability to identify faces on your camera roll (likewise, image recognition is a common use); and it’s used to encourage people to make Internet purchases, based on their past purchasing and browsing habits.”We’re a data-rich society and we have been for years,” says Schaeffer. “What AI does is allow us to take data and turn it into knowledge. To have a billion pieces of information is useless unless you can distil it into something meaningful.”Teaching machines to learnIf artificial intelligence allows machines to act like humans, there’s no more explicit example of that than reinforcement learning.U of A professor Rich Sutton is the world-leading pioneer on the subject. More than 20 years ago, he used his psychology background to take a learning approach to artificial intelligence—but his work is perhaps having its biggest impact today.Reinforcement learning is behind the Internet advertisements that automatically appear on your computer screen, and it powers stock market trading. The basic tenets of reinforcement learning likely fuel billions of dollars in economic activity every year.At its core, the approach mimics how humans learn through trial and error.”If good things happen, you keep doing those things. If bad things happen, you stop and go on to something else. It’s that simple, that obvious, that plain,” says Sutton.”If you’re on your bike and you’re about to fall over, you turn your steering wheel and you recover … you should learn three things from that. One, that at first you thought you were fine. Two, that you hit the stone and you weren’t as safe. And three, that you did some moves and you felt safe again.”Similarly, a reinforcement learning program must decide what’s “good” or “bad” based on a final, desired outcome. It will run through millions or tens of millions of scenarios to figure out for itself what puts it in a “good” position or a “bad” position, vis-à-vis its desired outcome. It will then adjust its actions to achieve that outcome.Sutton’s work is about as close as we get to having machines that think like humans. But computers still have limitations.Schaeffer, the computing scientist and dean, describes a person’s brain as being “general purpose.” We might not know how to fix a burst pipe in our home, but we know how to deal with the problem. A computer, on the other and, will only do what a person tells it to do.”We’re building lots of idiot savants. The driverless car knows how to drive but it doesn’t know how to spell-check a document,” he says. “We’re sentient. There’s independence of thought. We do what we want. Computers only do what I tell them to do.” It’s late and probably time for bed, but—without prompting—your Netflix screen fills with promotional shots for more shows. There’s one about a female detective in Denmark and another about a British inspector who weaves between both sides of the law.It’s a familiar scenario to any Netflix watcher—when the service seems to magically suggest programs that fit your latest pop-culture craze.And it’s an instance of artificial intelligence at work.These days, the computer algorithms that allow Netflix or Amazon to make purchasing suggestions are a normal part of life. But sometimes, it’s hard not to feel a sense of awe when a machine – that square and immobile box in the room—connects with you on an intimate level. A nagging question lingers: “How did it KNOW that?”In the coming years, people will be asking that question of their cars, phones, banking systems, and virtually every piece of technology with which they interact every day. Artificial intelligence is expected to reshape all of those facets of life, and untold others.Companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook are spending billions of dollars to develop the AI capabilities of their products and services. Meanwhile, some of the biggest breakthroughs and most consistent research in the field have been happening at a public university in Edmonton.The University of Alberta has been growing its AI team with some of the discipline’s best minds for more than a decade. Its bona fides as a top-tier school were cemented last year when Google’s DeepMind announced its first satellite campus outside of London in partnership with the U of A.It was a huge coup for the university, but not entirely surprising for the faculty who have spent years building, testing and proving concepts. Those research findings are already transforming fields from health-care research to investment banking. And the ripple effects are just starting.”Artificial intelligence has the potential to impact any industry,” says Jonathan Schaeffer, a computing scientist and dean of the university’s Faculty of Science.”Within 10 years, artificial intelligence will be extremely disruptive.” Explore further It’s Saturday night and you’ve just finished watching the last episode of a Swedish crime drama that you somehow stumbled upon, although you can’t quite remember how. Netflix’s movie recommendations, Amazon’s uncanny ability to anticipate your next shopping purchase, and the voice assistant on your tablet that understands your natural speech are all examples of how ingrained AI systems have already become in modern life. Credit: University of Alberta This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: How artificial intelligence is reshaping our lives (2018, April 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from read more

Deep learning stretches up to scientific supercomputers

first_img Citation: Deep learning stretches up to scientific supercomputers (2018, August 14) retrieved 18 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence, enjoys unprecedented success in commercial applications. However, the use of machine learning in high performance computing for science has been limited. Why? Advanced machine learning tools weren’t designed for big data sets, like those used to study stars and planets. A team from Intel, National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), and Stanford changed that situation. They developed the first 15-petaflop deep-learning software. They demonstrated its ability to handle large data sets via test runs on the Cori supercomputer. Using machine learning techniques on supercomputers, scientists could extract insights from large, complex data sets. Powerful instruments, such as accelerators, produce massive data sets. The new software could make the world’s largest supercomputers able to fit such data into deep learning uses. The resulting insights could benefit Earth systems modeling, fusion energy, and astrophysics.Machine learning techniques hold potential for enabling scientists to extract valuable insights from large, complex data sets being produced by accelerators, light sources, telescopes, and computer simulations. While these techniques have had great success in a variety of commercial applications, their use in high performance computing for science has been limited because existing tools were not designed to work with the terabyte- to petabyte-sized data sets found in many science domains.To address this problem a collaboration among Intel, the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, and Stanford University has been working to solve problems that arise when using deep learning techniques, a form of machine learning, on terabyte and petabyte data sets. The team developed the first 15-petaflop deep-learning software. They demonstrated its scalability for data-intensive applications by executing a number of training runs using large scientific data sets. The runs used physics- and climate-based data sets on Cori, a supercomputer located at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. They achieved a peak rate between 11.73 and 15.07 petaflops (single-precision) and an average sustained performance of 11.41 to 13.47 petaflops. (A petaflop is million billion calculations per second.) Artificial intelligence may put private data at risk More information: Thorsten Kurth et al. Deep learning at 15PF, Proceedings of the International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis on – SC ’17 (2017). DOI: 10.1145/3126908.3126916 Researchers delivered a 15-petaflop deep-learning software and ran it on Cori, a supercomputer at the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, a Department of Energy Office of Science user facility. Credit: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Provided by US Department of Energylast_img read more

Questions loom over Tesla deal after CEO reveals Saudi link

first_img © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Explore further If everything falls into place, Musk plans to buy Tesla from any existing shareholders willing to sell using money raised through Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.Until his Monday blog post , Musk hadn’t identified the source for financing a deal that analysts estimate could cost anywhere from $25 billion to $50 billion.But when he initially dropped his bombshell in an August 7 tweet , Musk stated he had “funding secured” to buy Tesla stock at $420 per share—23 percent above its August 6 closing price.That assurance caused Tesla’s stock to surge 11 percent in one day, boosting the company’s market value by more than $6 billion to the dismay investors who had been betting Tesla’s shares would decline.It now appears as if financing for the deal is far from locked up, although Musk wrote on Monday that he was encouraged to pursue the buyout in a July 31 meeting with the managing director of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.Discussions have continued this month, Musk wrote, while adding the caveat that the deal remained “subject to financial and other due diligence and their internal review process for obtaining approvals.”That contingency contradicts the financing guarantee that Musk issued in a tweet that already has opened an inquiry by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to published reports. At least two lawsuits seeking to become a class action also have been filed against Tesla, alleging Musk broke securities laws by making it sound like all the financing for the buyout had been lined up.”‘Funding secured’ wasn’t exactly funding secured,” said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University in Detroit and former SEC lawyer. “There are some issues here.”After reading Musk’s Monday post, former SEC commissioner Joseph Grundfest concluded the chances of regulators taking action against Musk are now “quite high.” He believes Musk, who runs cutting-edge aerospace company SpaceX in addition to Tesla, opened a “self-inflicted wound” by announcing the buyout in last week’s nine-word tweet instead of spelling out the situation like he did in Monday’s post. Citation: Questions loom over Tesla deal after CEO reveals Saudi link (2018, August 14) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s elaboration on his plan to engineer a buyout of the electric car maker could get the Silicon Valley maverick into legal trouble by revealing that the deal is far more uncertain than how he initially described it in his brash tweet last week. “What Elon Musk is trying to do with electric cars and rockets is hard enough without creating more problems for yourself with bad Twitter hygiene,” Grundfest said.Tesla wouldn’t comment on a possible SEC investigation or why it took a week for details to be released in the blog. The SEC also declined comment Monday. Six of Tesla’s nine board members said last week they there are evaluating Musk’s proposal, which would end Tesla’s eight-year history as a public company and relieve some of the mounting pressure to reverse its long history of losses.Besides making assurances about the deal’s financing, Musk also sent out another tweet that asserted the only uncertainty was whether the majority of shareholders would approve it.That statement also helped drive up Tesla’s stock, irritating investors such as Mark Spiegel, whose Stanphyl Capital investment firm has been a long-time “short seller” of the shares. Short sellers borrow shares in a company’s stock and sell them immediately on the premise they can be replaced at a lower price in the future.”My guess is he was fooling around,” Spiegel said of Musk’s early tweets about the buyout. “He probably was getting a good laugh out of it.”Although Musk only recently broached the possibility of buying out Tesla with its board, he wrote Monday that the Saudi Arabian fund had approached him about taking the company private multiple times during the past two years.Founded in 1971, the Public Investment Fund ranks among the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds, giving it the means to buy out Tesla. It already holds about $250 billion investments around the world, according to the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, including a $3.5 billion stake in the biggest ride-hailing service, Uber.Buying all of Tesla’s stock would currently cost $72 billion, but a buyout of the Palo Alto, California, company probably wouldn’t require as much money. That’s because Musk owns roughly 20 percent of Tesla’s stock and he envisions two-third of the company’s current shareholders retaining their stakes in a newly created special fund.If only one-third of Tesla’s stock is sold in a buyout offer, it would cost nearly $24 billion. Other analysts have estimated financing a Tesla buyout would cost closer to $50 billion.Investors are much more skeptical about Musk being able to pull off a buyout than they were after his first tweet about the deal. Tesla’s stock crept up 92 cents Monday to close at $356.41, well below Musk’s proposed bid.Even if the financing is in place, the deal might not come together because it would involve foreign interests buying at least one-third of a U.S. company that is trying to revolutionize the auto industry with its electric vehicles.The government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States would likely would review this deal because of Tesla’s technology and the likelihood that a foreign country would get at least one board seat to gain some control over a U.S. company, said Jeremy Zucker, co-head of the international trade practice at Dechert LLP in Washington, D.C.Whether it’s technology pertaining to longer-life batteries or technology pertaining to what’s behind the dashboard in a Tesla car, “I can see CFIUS viewing these technologies as of potential national security interest,” he said. In this June 14, 2018, file photo Tesla CEO and founder of the Boring Company Elon Musk speaks at a news conference in Chicago. Musk says he’s in talks with the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund about taking the electric car and solar panel maker private, but no deal has been finalized. Musk says in a blog posted Monday, Aug. 13, that most of the funding would be in stock rather than debt. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File) Tesla CEO Musk taunts short sellers amid legal scrutiny This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

A new carbon material with Na storage capacity over 400mAhg

first_img (a) Schematic illustration of charge-discharge voltage profiles of the carbon anode and Na0.9Cu0.22Fe0.30Mn0.48O2 cathode, respectively. Electrochemical performance of the carbon anode//Na0.9Cu0.22Fe0.30Mn0.48O2 the full cell, (b) Charge-discharge curves, (c) Rate capability and (d) Cycling performance. Credit: Science China Press Electrochemical properties of this anode in half cells. (a) Galvanostatic discharge-charge curves, (b) CV curves, (c) Cycling performance and (d) Rate capability. Credit: Science China Press Developing high-capacity carbon anode materials can further improve the energy density of sodium-ion batteries (NIBs). Recently, researchers from the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOP-CAS), reported a high-capacity carbon anode (~400 mAh g-1) for NIBs. The results are published in Science Bulletin. A lightweight carbon nanofiber-based collector Electrochemical properties of this anode in half cells. (a) Galvanostatic discharge-charge curves, (b) CV curves, (c) Cycling performance and (d) Rate capability. Credit: Science China Press (a) XRD pattern of the as-prepared sample indexed with amorphous and graphitized peaks. (b) Raman spectra of D, G, D+D”, 2D, D+G and 2D’ bands. Credit: Science China Press Since 2010, sodium-ion batteries (NIBs) have been intensively investigated because of their cost and resource advantages and possible applications in large-scale energy storage systems. However, the energy density of current NIBs remains a serious challenge, hindering large-scale commercial applications. Hard carbon is one of the most promising anodes in the early commercial NIBs for high capacity (~330 mAh g-1), good cycling stability, high initial Coulombic efficiency, reasonable cost, and the natural abundance of precursor materials.Although extensive efforts have been devoted to the development of high-performance carbon anode materials, a consistent behavour in the discharge-charge curve is often presented with two distinct regions: a slope region above ~0.1 V and a plateau region below ~0.1 V. Usually, the plateau region exhibits a higher capacity than that of the slope region, and a high-capacity carbon anode often shows a large proportion of the plateau capacity, which could further increase the energy density of a full cell in terms of the average voltage to some extent. Therefore, designing and discovering a carbon anode with a large proportion of the plateau capacity can be a potential approach to increase the energy density of NIBs.Recently, the team of Prof. Yong-Sheng Hu at the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IOP-CAS) reported a bi-honeycomb-like architecture carbon material by carbonizing a kind of charcoal in a high-temperature graphite furnace at 1900 °C. This carbon anode shows a high capacity of ~ 400 mAh g-1, which is higher than the ~ 330 mAh g-1 capacity of current hard carbon materials. About 85 percent (> 330 mAh g-1) of its total capacity is derived from the long low-potential plateau below ~ 0.1 V, which differs from the curves of typical hard carbon materials of NIBs. When coupled with air-stable Na0.9Cu0.22Fe0.30Mn0.48O2 layered cathode, a high energy density of ~240 Wh kg-1 was obtained with good rate capability and cycling stability. The discovery of this promising carbon anode is expected to draw further research toward high-energy-density NIBs for large-scale electrical energy storage. Explore further (a) Schematic illustration of charge-discharge voltage profiles of the carbon anode and Na0.9Cu0.22Fe0.30Mn0.48O2 cathode, respectively. Electrochemical performance of the carbon anode//Na0.9Cu0.22Fe0.30Mn0.48O2 the full cell, (b) Charge-discharge curves, (c) Rate capability and (d) Cycling performance. Credit: Science China Press This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Provided by Science China Press Citation: A new carbon material with Na storage capacity over 400mAh/g (2018, September 20) retrieved 17 July 2019 from More information: Chenglong Zhao et al, High-temperature treatment induced carbon anode with ultrahigh Na storage capacity at low-voltage plateau, Science Bulletin (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.scib.2018.07.018last_img read more

If youre traveling July 4th be careful with free WiFi and protect

first_img Explore further Citation: If you’re traveling July 4th, be careful with free Wi-Fi and protect your data (2019, July 4) retrieved 17 July 2019 from You can protect yourself during the holiday weekend if you change your passwords twice, subscribe to a VPN app, encrypt your data and avoid using public Wi-Fi in a hotel, restaurant or airport, says security expert Ted Harrington. Beef up your passcode for the phone, to ensure that your data is safe. For instance, don’t be like rapper Kanye West, who displayed his iPhone passcode, 000000, during a televised meeting with President Donald Trump. Make it a little more challenging to the hacker, by skipping on your birthday, home address or other easily Googled personal info. Remember that the keys also have letters, and a 6-character code could be your favorite song or place you’ve visited. Say you went to San Francisco in 2018, and your code could spell out San F 18, or 726318.Two-FactorApple and Google also encourage the use of two-factor authentication, which sends you a text after you log in, for the second level of security. This extra step will usually stop hackers from your case, as they move on to easier prey, says Harrington.Change passwordsIt’s a pain, but important because as Harrington notes, hackers look for simple ways to get into your account, like people who use easy to crack passwords like 123456 or their address.To ease the pain of having to remember the constantly changing passwords, try a password manager.”This adds another level of protection against passwords and data being stolen if a phone or device is hacked,” says Harrington.Popular managers, which create the new passwords for you and remember them, include LastPass (starts at $3 monthly) and Dashlane ($5 monthly.) Dashlane’s services come with a free VPN service that “encrypts your online activity on unsecure Wi-Fi networks to always keep your personal information safe and private.” However, users have to remember to open the app and turn on and off the VPN feature.Back homeHarrington says you should change passwords again, just to be safe, especially from any website where you input personal data, like social media, work, e-mail, communication and collaboration platforms.The odds are, you probably won’t do this, so just remember—when using the free public Wi-Fi, please don’t do anything sensitive like banking of financial planning, or anything that involves social security and other important numbers. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Okay, that seems rather extreme, but he does have a point.Public Wi-Fi is a great way for hackers to tap into your personal information, especially during high trafficked times like a holiday weekend.The service “may be monitored by malicious attackers, especially in airports or hotels,” says Harrington, executive partner at Independent Security Evaluators.But the fact is, you are going to use Wi-Fi over the next few days, without thinking twice about it. So how can you be safe? Let’s look at Harrington’s tips. Perhaps there are a few you’ll sign up for.Buy your own Wi-FiYou can pick up a personal hot spot device (usually known as MiFi units) from a wireless provider, which will give you your own private Wi-Fi network. The bonus is that you get to access Wi-Fi from anywhere you are. The downside is that they are very pricey. Verizon’s starts at $150 and demands a two-year $29.99 monthly contract. Retailers like Best Buy have several less costly options starting at around $29, plus $10-a-month service fees with companies like UnrealMobile.A less costly option is to turn your phone into a hot spot to connect to the computer (this bypasses the public Wi-Fi). However, if you’re on a limited data plan, you may not have enough data available to pull this off, or the costs of going over your limit may be prohibitive.An alternative: Buy a pre-paid wireless card from a big box retailer, and use that service instead. Net10, for instance, offers 4 gigabytes of data for $35, as a one-time charge. The 4 GB won’t last long but should be enough to check travel arrangements, e-mail and post on social media on a week trip.Get a VPN appA VPN (virtual private network) “allows you to create a secure connection to another network over the internet,” and shields “your browsing activity from prying eyes on public WiFi,” says Harrington. Three popular VPN apps include NordVPN ($6.95 monthly for one year), SurfShark ($5.99 monthly for one year) or TunnelBear ($4.99 monthly for one year.)Encrypt Bypassing popular passwords This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (c)2019 U.S. TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.last_img read more