Here’s one anniversary Oakland A’s will never celebrate

first_imgAnyone with a sense of Oakland A’s history probably didn’t even raise an eyebrow when hearing the team just drew its smallest crowd of the season.They’ve seen the Coliseum much more barren than when 12,270 paid to watch the A’s get pounded 9-1 by the Astros on Tuesday night.Like what happened 40 years ago Wednesday on what remains the bleakest night in Oakland’s history.The boxscore from April 17, 1979 tells us 653 people were on hand when the A’s beat the Mariners. It’s believed the 653 …last_img

Begleite uns auf einer Tour durch das Groundspeak Headquarter

first_img SharePrint RelatedNa klar! – Natürlich lernen die Lackeys DeutschApril 5, 2011In “Deutsch”Nie alleine cachen: Geocaching-Gruppen und -OrganisationenAugust 20, 2019In “Deutsch”Besucht das Geocaching HauptquartierNovember 5, 2019In “Deutsch” Share with your Friends:More Jeden Freitag um 14:00 Uhr kommen Geocacher von Nah und Fern, von den benachbarten Bürogebäuden bis China, um das Groundspeak Headquarter zu besuchen. Egal von wo sie kommen, eines haben sie gemein: eine große Liebe zu Geocaching und eine Geschichte, die sie erzählen möchten. Groundspeak verwandelt sich augenblicklich vom geschäftigen Treiben der Lackeys in eine Empfangshalle voller Geocacher aus aller Welt die sich hörbar vergnügt unterhalten, Trackables ablegen und zusammen sitzen.Sara und NicoleZusammen mit Nicole (Louie Bliss), einer Kollegin aus dem Community Relations-Team bin ich  (gonzogrrl) eine der glücklichen Lackeys, die jedes mal anwesend sind und Cacher begrüßen, wenn sie den epischen HQ Cache, GCK25B suchen. Oft fragen Cacher: “was macht ihr hier”?Wir beantworten täglich E-Mails und Anrufe und helfen den Leuten bei der Lösung von Problemen um ihnen das bestmögliche Geocaching-Erlebnis zu ermöglichen. Wenn Geocacher eintreffen, unterbrechen wir die Arbeit und begleiten sie, wenn sie den Cache suchen, Fotos in der Fotokabine machen, Souvenirs kaufen und auf dem großen Kartendisplay in Echtzeit verfolgen, wie weltweit Caches geloggt werden.Sole SeekerWenn Du vorbeikommen möchtest, kannst Du sehr einfach einen Termin bekommen. Schicke einfach eine E-Mail an contact@geocaching.com. Erzähle etwas über Dich, woher Du kommst und wann Du uns besuchen kannst und wir schicken Dir die Koordinate des Büros (Hinweis: wir befinden uns nicht in der Mitte des Lake Union. Schockierend, ich weiß). Wir haben viel Arbei, deshalb versuchen wir, Besuche auf Freitag, 14:00 Uhr zu terminieren. Manchmal ist auch einer der Gründer oder einer der anderen Lackeys anwesend. Wir freuen uns, die Leute zu treffen, die aus dem Spiel mehr machen als “Tupperware im Wald”!Ich habe sehr viele Cacher getroffen aber ich kann mich immer noch an einige ihrer Geschichten erinnern. Da ist Sole Seeker, der uns besucht hat, um seinen 10.000. Fund zu feiern und der überrascht war, als wir für ihn ein Schild gemacht und Ballons aufgeblasen haben, um mit ihm zu feiern. Und da ist J&J Brown der uns von seinem großen getarnten Cache in seinem Vorgarten erzählt hat, der alle Sucher narrt weil er (Achtung, Spoiler) wie ein Baum aussieht. Und foomanjoo, ein weltreisender Fotograf, der ein paar Caches in Korea gefunden hat und auf dem Weg zu seinem nächsten Abenteuer, Geocaching entlang der Route 66, war.Aber egal wer Du bist und ob das HQ Dein fünfter oder 5000. Fund ist, wir heißen Dich willkommen auf dem Lilypad. Wir hoffen, Du kommst bald.last_img read more

Technology Is No Substitute for Building Better Salespeople

first_imgMistakes are being made. One of the biggest is the substitution of technology for the things that produce real results. This substitution, or more accurately, the replacement of mind sets and skill sets is a factor that is causing sales results to decline—even though the intention is quite the opposite.Some are collapsing mind set and skill set into tool kits, and in doing so, they are reversing John Boyd’s axiom, “People. Ideas. Technology. In that order.” They are putting technology first, believe that technology is the idea, that automation is what is needed. This is to confuse efficiency with effectiveness, preferring things that can be counted over what cannot, what is objective over what is subjective, mostly because it can be quantified.The CRM is not a replacement for the relationships that are supposed to exist between the client and the person who owns that record in the CRM.A list of generated leads is not a substitute for a well-defined list of target accounts, or what I call dream clients, who would perceive what you do as compelling, differentiated value. Nor is it a replacement for knowing the people inside those dream clients and nurturing them.A slide deck put together by marketing to provide insights is not the same as a salesperson with real business acumen and situational knowledge. That slide deck is not going to be a trusted advisor, a title that is only available to those who have both trust and advice, the proof of which is determined only by the client’s experience and opinion of working with that individual.The social tools are not a substitute for prospecting. If anything, they are simply a tool that provides some value above the funnel, especially as it pertains to shaping mindshare if you have the content to do so. It doesn’t replace referrals, nor does it replace the need to call your dream clients to create new opportunities.The web demo is not a substitute for value creation, the catch-all concept for serving the client’s needs, having an excellent sales process, or knowing what commitments your dream client needs to make. The demo may remove the barrier that is physical distance but it does nothing to remove the barriers to change.All of these technologies are important. They all have the potential to create efficiencies. None of them, however, improve effectiveness. If there is a gap in sales performance, you are not likely to find the answer in technology. That gap is a competency issue that lives inside a salesperson or salespeople, and that gap is not going to be addressed without helping the individual or individuals improve what they do and how they do it.last_img read more

Pingris wants showdown with Ginebra in playoffs

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games With the match-ups now set, Pingris’ focus is on Star’s cohesion as it seeks to further develop its teamwork in the quarters with reinforcement Kristofer Acox in tow.“What’s important here is the chemistry we’re building. We changed imports so he needs to understand our games and know that it’s always going to be our defense which will help us win games,” he said. Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Pingris went to as far as comparing the meeting to a championship series.“Every time we face Ginebra, we feel like we’re in the Finals. The history is there with Manila Clasico and a lot of fans are watching.”Pingris, though, will have to wait until the finals for his dream matchup to come true and given that both teams survive their respective quarterfinals and semifinals duels.Meralco’s 104-101 victory over San Miguel in the final eliminations game on Sunday propelled Ginebra to the No. 3 spot and Star to four.The Gin Kings will face the Grand Slam-seeking Beermen in the playoffs, while the Hotshots will have an early rematch with the NLEX Road Warriors, whom they beat 101-93 on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Read Next Fajardo takes blame for SMB loss to Bolts E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight LATEST STORIES PBA IMAGES“To be the best, you have to beat the best.”And that’s exactly what Marc Pingris wants Star to do as he wishes for a collision course with defending champion Barangay Ginebra in the playoffs.ADVERTISEMENT Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  View comments “Even if we’re twice-to-win, I want Ginebra,” said the energetic forward.Pingris has no problems even if the odds will be stacked against the Hotshots knowing that their team will be tested early, and what better opponent to have than the reigning Governors’ Cup champion to gauge themselves.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 shutout“It’s a great feeling to play because you’ll be facing a strong team. If you can’t beat them, how can you be a champion? It’s better to face a strong team early,” he said.Since coach Tim Cone left for the Gin Kings, the Purefoods franchise are 4-10 against its fierce rival and has lost its last four duels. MOST READ LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMClast_img read more

Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul future uncertain as Supreme Court adjourns BCCI-COA hearing

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Committee of Administrators (CoA) case hearing after appointing PS Narasimha as the new Amicus curiae, who will assist the court with the case after senior advocate Gopal Subramanium stepped down from the role.The next hearing will be held after the new Amicus curiae can appear before the court.There were differences of opnions over the appointment of the ombudsman. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the BCCI, said that an ombudsman cannot be foisted on. He said the BCCI is a private and elected body.Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) on the other hand, said it had no objection to the appointment of an ombudsman provided he was appointed by the Indian cricket board.MCA lawyer told the court that they have not received funds from the BCCI and are facing serious problems. In reply, the CoA lawyer pointed out that state units not complying to the Lodha reforms will not receive money from the board.The said lawyer from MCA also told the court that the CoA can’t continue and the BCCI should be allowed to be constituted by election.Meanwhile, the CoA lawyer pointed out that an ombudsman is necessary and cited the delay in the handling of the Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul case. CoA lawyer also insisted that the two players can’t return to playing cricket until the ombudsman decides their plea.Notably, both the cricketers were suspended pending an inquiry following their controversial comments on Koffee with Karan.advertisementCOA also submitted its status report before the Supreme Court. They also pointed out that once the draft constitution had been approved by the court, no amendments could be made by state associations.Not a single state association has yet fully complied with the RM Lodha recommendations which were approved by the Supreme Court in 2016.Several other issues were also brought to the notice of the Supreme Court on Thursday.AM Singhvi of Porbandar Cricket Association said the Saurashtra association was violating their rights: “I am not being given voting rights in the Saurashtra Cricket Association because we allow any individual to become a member and don’t require enrolment of district associations.”BCCI’s lawyers also pointed out that there was stalemate between the two CoA members Vinod Rai and Diana Edulji. Rai and Edulji have had serious differences over three main issues: the Rahul Johri sexual harassment allegation, the appointment of the women’s cricket team coach and the Hardik Pandya-KL Rahul case.last_img read more

Goodbye, Rahul Gandhi?

first_imgOn May 25, two days after the disastrous performance of the Congress in the Lok Sabha election, when Rahul Gandhi offered to resign as party president at a Congress Working Committee (CWC) session, many Congress insiders and almost everyone outside the party saw it as nothing but drama. It was expected to proceed along predictable lines: Rahul will offer to resign but CWC members will persuade him to stay on, he will take back his resignation and the party will continue to conduct its affairs as usual. Though Rahul kept reiterating that his intent was serious, the party veterans were unwilling to accept his decision and kept requesting him to reconsider.Young and mid-level office-bearers offered their resignations; there was even a farcical suicide attempt outside the Congress headquarters. However, nothing could shake Rahul’s determination and, on July 3, the Congress scion posted a letter on Twitter, stating unequivocally that his decision was irreversible. Placing the party in an unprecedented position, this development has precipitated three major challenges before it: find a non-Gandhi leader who can keep the Congress united; urgently rebuild its organisational structure and strengthen its presence across the country and, finally, create an acceptable, alternative narrative to electorally counter the unbeatable duo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his deputy and home minister, Amit Shah.What next?The first challenge before the Congress is to find a president or, at least a provisional president, as a CWC member puts it, till the name is ratified in a Congress plenary. Though the Congress constitution provides for election of a president, it’s unlikely to happen under the current circumstances. There have been only two occasions when the party has elected its president, and though Rahul in 2017 opted for an election, no one stood against him and he was elected unopposed.advertisementThe Congress in its current avatar was formed in 1969 when Rahul’s grandmother Indira Gandhi led a successful coup against the then leadership of the party to form the Congress (R). These leaders had blamed her for the disastrous performance of the Congress in 1967 in the assembly elections to several Hindi heartland states and wanted to dethrone her as the prime minister. The Congress (R) became the Congress (I) in 1978 and, finally, the Indian National Congress, in 1996. The original Congress, meanwhile, died a silent death.Between 1970 and 1977, Indira Gandhi appointed three loyal lieutenants as presidents. Kasu Brahmanand Reddy, another choice of hers, was elected in 1977 but by 1978, Indira Gandhi officially took charge of the party. Since then, it was only between 1992 and 1996 that a Gandhi has not been at the helm of the Congress. This was in the interim between Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination in 1991 and Sonia’s reluctance to join politics.In 1991, the CWC had chosen P V Narasimha Rao, a retired politician who had packed his bags to head home to Hyderabad. The idea was that a leader in his fading years would remain submissive to the veterans who would control the party till a member of the Gandhi family was ready to take charge. But Rao turned out to have a mind of his own, taking firm control of the party and government and sidelining several veterans. His tenure saw multiple splits in the party and the departure of several heavyweights, such as Madhavrao Scindia, Arjun Singh and Narayan Dutta Tiwari, who went on to form their own parties. Following the defeat of the Congress in the 1996 general election, the party chose its treasurer Sitaram Kesri, to replace Rao. Kesri, only the second Congress president to have been elected after 1969, was unceremoniously removed from the post once Sonia Gandhi decided to join politics and took charge of the party in 1998.Ever since, the presidency stayed with the Gandhi family, with Rahul taking over as recently as in December 2017. His resignation has flung the already beleaguered party into a fresh crisis. With the FamilySonia, Rahul and Priyankaitself reluctant to get involved in the process of choosing the next president, the CWC will have to accomplish this challenging job. Like in 1991, Gandhi family loyalist and Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor, Ahmed Patel, will have to lead this process of selection of the new president.The CWC members will do well to remember the lessons from the Rao and Kesri stints and be extremely cautious in selecting Rahul’s successor. There is one big difference, though, between 1991 and 2019. In 1991, the Congress had returned to power and Rao wielded the official authority to extend his grip over the party. Whoever is chosen Congress president now will not have that luxury. Rao was also dealing with a BJP that was just beginning to emerge as a force, on the back of the Rath Yatra wave and the Ram temple movement. The new Congress president will have to fight a now firmly entrenched BJP, armed with a formidable electoral machinery and in an India where the Hindu nationalist sentiment is running high. He or she will also have to preside over a party electorally devastated and organisationally hollowed out.advertisementFormula for a new president?On July 6, Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh posted a sensational tweet asking for the leadership of the party to be vested with someone young. Many assumed he was indirectly hinting at giving the charge to Rajasthan deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot, who is close to the Punjab veteran. After all, Pilot spent five years working on the ground and, in December 2018, led the party to a victory in Rajasthan, earning huge political capital in the process. Pilot’s elevation to the top post will also bring an end to his power tussle with Rajasthan chief minister, Ashok Gehlot. However, a senior CWC member, who spoke to Singh after the tweet, claimed that the Punjab chief minister was talking of someone in his 60s. Irrespective of the age bracket that Singh chooses to define as young, his tweet is an explicit reminder to the CWC members that the party must make a statement of intent by choosing a young and energetic president instead of finding a stopgap arrangement in someone who will be a puppet in the hands of the Gandhis. The new India needs a face they can bank on, not a low-profile consensus candidate.Under these circumstances, the party is gradually evolving a formula to retain a balance between the wisdom of the veterans and the energy of the young generation. A veteran will be chosen as the provisional president of the party and several young vice-presidents will be appointed under him. Every vice-president will be given independent charge of a particular region or organisational department and will be held accountable for deliverance. Another alternative is to appoint a provisional president who will remain accountable to a core committee chosen by the CWC. But that will need some tinkering of the party constitution. Whichever formula the party adopts, the big question remainswill this be a workable solution? The party certainly needs more than a workable solution as it’s in a desperate need to jump-start the organisational structure. This delay in filling up the leadership vacuum will certainly have a disastrous effect on the electoral outcome in three states going to polls later this yearMaharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand. Not only is there no clarity on who will lead the party in these states, there’s nothing like a coherent strategy either to fight the electoral battle, right from choosing winnable candidates to finding a narrative that could convince voters.What happens to the Gandhi family?The departures of Rao and Kesri made it evident that were two sets of rules for Congress presidentsone for those from the Gandhi family and another for non-Gandhi presidents. Rao and Kesri were blamed for the party’s poor performance in 1996 and 1998 but Rajiv Gandhi had escaped such allegations even when the party’s tally in the Lok Sabha plummeted from 414 in 1984 to 197 five years later. Under Sonia Gandhi’s leadership, the party won lesser seats in 1999 than it had won under Kesri a year ago, but there was no demand for her resignation. She was the Congress president in 2014, too, when the party touched the historical nadir of 44 seats in the Lok Sabha.advertisementIn this context, Rahul Gandhi’s offer to resign is a first in the history of the party. However, more than that, his departure could lead to the irrelevance of the Gandhi family in Indian politics. One of them has always controlled the central government or the party or, at times, both. Indira Gandhi always had loyalists as presidents of the party when she was prime minister; Sonia Gandhi relinquished the post only to have her son installed on it. Neither does Rahul have a loyalist to succeed him nor is the party in power at the Centre.Even as he is stepping down as party president, Rahul has already stated emphatically that none of his family membersmother Sonia or sister Priyankawill take up the top post. Does that mean that the Gandhi family will fade into oblivion? The answer is a categorical no. As he makes it clear in his letter on Twitter, he will continue to be a member of the party. And if his actions in the past one month and especially in the past week are any indicator, he is certainly going to be more vocal and visible in the future. He delayed his trip abroadto see his brother-in-law Robert Vadra who had a surgeryto appear personally in two defamation cases. Outside the court, he reiterated that he will continue to fight the RSS and BJP idea of Indiaan RSS sympathiser had filed the first case in Maharashtra and Bihar deputy chief minister Sushilkumar Modi had filed the other in Bihar. This was his way of sending out the message that he outlines in his letter as wellhe will continue his battle against the BJP-RSS in a new avatar–as an ordinary Congressman.In doing so, Rahul is hoping to achieve two goalsto nullify the campaign that Prime Minister Modi and the BJP have built around him, and tell his party leaders to focus more on performance than on posts. Unhappy with how top Congress leaders sought tickets for their children, he openly admonished two chief ministersKamal Nath and Ashok Gehlotand former Union finance minister P. Chidambaram. And by giving up his post, he hopes to lead by example in eliminating nepotism in the party. Emphasising twice in his letter that the Congress needs radical changes, he has begun the process right at the top. Much to his dismay, however, the top leaders have not followed suit. He resigned to set an example. And he expected those who were in key positions to do likewise if they had failed to deliver results, and to make way for new leaders, says a CWC member who lost the Lok Sabha election.But the larger goal has been achievedof nullifying the Modi-BJP charge of him enjoying the privilege of being a dynast. From calling him shehzada and naamdaar, Modi has not spared any occasion to highlight that Rahul owes his political ascendancy solely to his lineage. The prime minister will not have this line of attack against the Congress the next time he goes out to campaign. Rahul’s associates see his resignation and the family’s determined decision to stay away from the top post as a throwback to the sacrifice his mother made in 2004 when she declined the prime minister’s job. His decision to step down is possibly also influenced by the realisation that in the changing shape of the Indian democracy, which seems to be listing toward a presidential style of election, Rahul will need to reinvent himself to counter the personality cult of Modi. And the first step towards doing that is to present himself as a commonerfrom appearing in a lower court to watching films like an ordinary man.Whether Rahul manages to achieve this or not, the Gandhis will never be commoners within the party. Their influence cannot be wished away in the top organisational structure and political narrative of the party. As a CWC member puts it, their approval will most likely be sought while finalising the name of the new president. While Rahul will now just a member of the party, Priyanka has not quit as general secretary. In fact, in the past one month, not only has she held a review meeting in Uttar Pradesh, admonishing workers for not working hard enough, but also been very active on Twitter, responding to developments in different fieldsfrom politics to sports. The unusual influence that a Gandhi family member wields in the party has resulted in multiple power centres in the past and it could well happen again. When Sonia had not even joined politics, several veterans had woven their political web around her to counter the authority of Rao and Kesri, reiterating the sloganSonia lao, Congress bachao. Between 2014 and 2017, there was a cold war between the old guard, who expressed loyalty to Sonia, and the young turks, who preferred Rahul. If the new president is not given enough space and the Gandhi family continues to indirectly call the shots, there will soon be a clamour to bring back a Gandhi to the top post.The challenge for the Congress and the Gandhis, therefore, is not just to find a new president but also create a healthy working environment where roles and domains are clearly demarcated. Rahul has till now walked an unconventional path. For the party to have a smooth journey ahead, he will have to chart out a safe path for his successor too.READ | Small is beautifulWATCH | Will fight 10 times harder than I did in past 5 years, says Rahul Gandhilast_img read more

a month agoEx-Liverpool star Sturridge could face another betting ban

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Ex-Liverpool star Sturridge could face another betting banby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Liverpool star Daniel Sturridge is in even more trouble regarding betting offences.The Englishman, who is now in Turkey with Trabzonspor, could be facing another ban.Per The Sun, the Football Association is appealing the decision that saw Sturridge get a fine and a six-week ban for breaching betting rules.If The FA are successful, it is possible that Sturridge will get an even lengthier ban.The Association believes that Sturridge should be made an example to ensure that players do not even think about placing bets related to games or transfers that involve themselves.Sturridge told his brother Leon to bet on him signing for Sevilla in the January 2018 transfer window. last_img read more

Robotassisted surgery for thoracic and abdominal indications provides few advantages despite high

first_imgMay 28 2019Clinical studies on robot-assisted surgery for indications in the thorax and abdomen have so far shown few advantages for this cost-intensive surgical method. This is the result of a recent analysis by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Health Technology Assessment, which examined relevant international clinical studies. In fact, the data situation is currently very unsatisfactory, as there are few larger, high-quality studies available.Robot-assisted surgery allows minimally invasive interventions with high precision. One might therefore expect advantages for patients in the course of surgery and subsequent recovery, compared to other procedures such as laparoscopy or open surgery. A comprehensive study by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Health Technology Assessment (LBI-HTA) has now investigated whether this is actually the case for indications in the thorax and abdomen. A total of 28 relevant controlled clinical studies with at least 10 patients each were included in the HTA study. The results have now been published as part of the European Network for Health Technology Assessment (EUnetHTA).Hardly any advantages – weak data In summary, it can be said that for the indications analyzed there are few indications of clear advantages for the efficacy and safety of this new surgical technique.”Priv. Doz. Dr. Claudia Wild, Director of the LBI-HTA This result is particularly difficult because robot-assisted operation systems are expensive, tend to require longer operation times and require intensive training and frequent practice. Differences in surgeons’ experience, the study authors emphasize, contributes to difficulties in comparing different studies. The studies provide little systematic information on the extent to which experience and frequent practice can have an influence on the patient outcome.Related StoriesCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatmentBordeaux University Hospital uses 3D printing to improve kidney tumor removal surgeryTen-fold rise in tongue-tie surgery for newborns ‘without any real strong data’For nine of the 13 procedures examined in thoracic and abdominal indications, no sufficient evidence could be found from comparative clinical studies that would have made it possible to determine the benefit of robot-assisted surgery compared to other methods.Complications possibly reducedFor a small number of procedures, certain advantages could be identified, albeit with a high degree of uncertainty, even if only for some and not all outcomes. For example, robot-assisted oesophagectomy (removal of the oesophagus) probably reduces postoperative complications and improve patients’ postoperative quality of life compared to open surgery. When used in gastrectomy, robot-assisted surgery may improve postoperative complications compared to laparoscopic surgery. Robot-assisted surgery may also lead to fewer or milder complications during and after surgery compared to other methods for gall bladder removal. A robot-assisted rectal resection (partial removal of the rectum) may improve sexual function and reduce postoperative complications, but may increase intraoperative complications and worsen sleep function.As this study shows, the evidence for the advantages of such surgical techniques is often not convincing. With regard to robot-assisted surgery in the thorax and abdomen the evidence situation is expected to improve significantly over the next five years. Another result reported is that numerous studies are already underway on this topic, involving up to 5.000 patients.center_img Source:Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Health Technology Assessmentlast_img read more

Beware the fax machine some hackers target old gadgets

first_imgWhat could be less threatening than the old office fax machine? Nothing. That’s precisely why it’s used as a backdoor for hackers to get into an organization’s network. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Check Point, a cyber security firm in Israel, said Sunday that their research discovered security flaws in tens of millions of fax machines.The hack works by sending an image file through the phone line—or a file that the fax machine thinks is an image file—and that is coded to contain malicious software. When a company receives the photo, the image is decoded and uploaded into the fax-printer’s memory, allowing the hackers to take over the device and spreading the malicious code through the network.”Many companies may not even be aware they have a fax machine connected to their network, but fax capability is built into many multifunction office and home printers,” said Yaniv Balmas, group manager of security research at Check Point.The researchers focused on Hewlett Packard’s OfficeJet Pro all-in-one fax printers—the global market leader for fax machines. Hewlett Packard quickly fixed the issue—a patch is available on their support page—but the same vulnerabilities are present in most fax machines, including those by Canon and Epson.Many machines are too old to even update. That means it will be difficult for companies to stop hackers from entering their system.Globally, businesses use an estimated 45 million fax machines. Faxes are still widely used in healthcare, banking, and law, sectors in which highly sensitive data is stored. In the U.S. medical sector, 75 percent of all communications are sent by fax.To prevent organizations’ networks from becoming compromised, experts recommend that companies check if their fax machines can be updated, or place fax devices on a secure network that is separate from the networks that carry sensitive information. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Security flaw could have let hackers turn on smart ovenscenter_img Citation: Beware the fax machine: some hackers target old gadgets (2018, August 13) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-beware-machine-hackers-gadgets.html 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 furtherlast_img read more

Humor is both a hurdle and a gauge to improve AI human

first_img 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. Ask any smart virtual assistant to tell you a joke and the response is, well, lackluster. A flat, robotic voice drones out some simplistic humor. No laughter, no tone and no concern if you are even listening. Explore further Provided by Purdue University Credit: Shaw Nielsencenter_img AI-based research toward autonomous robots and drones Today’s technology has reached a level where interaction between humans and computers is vital in everyday life. Unfortunately, natural communication between both sides has lagged far behind many other advances.Julia Rayz is conducting artificial intelligence research involving humor, among other areas, to determine what is necessary through computational algorithms to create computer-human interaction that rivals a common conversation between people.”I don’t try to teach computers to tell funny jokes; I want to use artificial intelligence to get computers to a point where they understand why we think something is funny or not,” said Rayz, an associate professor in Purdue University’s Department of Computer and Information Technology.That goal, however, is easier said than done. Current artificial intelligence systems perform well at working “inside the box,” finding the correct rules and relationships in decision-making when the logic involved is pretty black and white.”But when there are no clear rules – and there are no clear rules in human communication – what are we going to tell the computer to do, find rules that don’t exist?” Rayz said. “Whenever the box doesn’t have clear outlines, it’s turning into a royal mess. You can’t find enough examples that are going to describe every possible communication scenario.”Advances allowing artificial intelligence to communicate in a natural way with humans can help people work better, increasing potential performance in the business world and allowing for human-computer collaborations that take on more complex challenges and devices.Rayz’ research involves trying to provide artificial intelligence with understandings of what makes a joke a joke, looking at facets such as delivery, context and emotion. To reach comprehension, the computer also needs to have a lot of background knowledge about the situation that the joke describes.Finally, the artificial intelligence must have a perfect understanding of every single meaning that is used in that joke and be able combine it together and interpret the meaning behind what is being said.The work is second nature for people, but a huge hurdle for artificial intelligence to overcome.The research isn’t confined to computers, with linguistics, psychology, sociology and anthropology experts also taking on the task.Rayz has humor comprehension projects ongoing as part of Purdue’s Applied Knowledge Representation and Natural Language Understanding Lab, which she directs. But, she said, research doesn’t have to focus on just humor in order to make progress toward humor processing.However, the facets involved in humor make it a perfect litmus test for computer-human interaction. If the system can identify a joke, it can understand the nuances that accompany other text and conversation, such as sarcasm and irony.”Artificial intelligence should be able to handle more natural conversation and understand when you are joking and when you are serious,” she said. “If you are giving a command in a sarcastic manner, the computer needs to know it does not need to follow that command.Not all of Rayz’ research is in the lab. She truly appreciates a good joke and is always thinking about how she can make the transition to artificial intelligence.”You can just sit at a café with coffee and observe people and their reactions and modify your algorithms in your mind,” she said. “There are some types of humor I hear and think, ‘Really? You can do better than that.’ But, in conversations especially, you hear a response or hear someone say something, you think ‘Oh wow, that’s complex. I need to incorporate that.’ Citation: Humor is both a hurdle and a gauge to improve AI, human interaction (2019, February 26) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-humor-hurdle-gauge-ai-human.htmllast_img read more