Wednesday, 22 February 2017
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News: Thouvard to lead Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Thailand

Added: 22.02.2017 11:41 | 0 views | 0 comments

Denis Thouvard has taken up the position of general manager of Centara Grand Beach Resort Samui, Thailand. Thouvard is French national who firstly joined Centara Hotels & Resorts team in 2009 as general manager for the opening of Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket.

News: Finamore takes up leadership role with Fairmont Hotels

Added: 22.02.2017 11:32 | 0 views | 0 comments

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has welcomed Peter Finamore to the role of regional vice president, Pacific North-west and general manager of Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver, BC.

From: feedproxy.google.com

EPA's Scott Pruitt enters a hotbed of anti-Trump resistance: his own agency

Added: 22.02.2017 9:57 | 0 views | 0 comments


Usually, new administrators at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are welcomed at headquarters without too much fanfare. That is, until today.  Scott Pruitt — the new EPA administrator nominated to the position by President Donald Trump — gave his welcome address to his agency Tuesday after garnering more "no" votes on the Senate floor than any other EPA nominee since the agency was founded in 1970.  SEE ALSO: One of the shortest bills ever was just introduced in Congress, it's basically just 'KILL THE EPA' In taking on the job, Pruitt is facing a daunting challenge: stiff resistance from within the agency itself, with current and former employees having protested his nomination, with some taking the nearly unheard of step of openly advocating for senators to vote "no" when it was brought to the Senate floor.  For some scientists in the agency, his first speech was probably the equivalent of Voldemort himself walking into Hogwarts and assuming the top job. Faces in @EPA crowd watching Pruitt be confirmed = Hogwarts student expressions when Umbridge becomes head of school. @jk_rowling — Perrin Ireland (@experrinment) February 21, 2017 Pruitt openly doubts mainstream climate science findings, including that human-caused emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause of global temperature increases. Pruitt was confirmed only hours after a judge in Oklahoma ordered the release of nearly 3,000 emails between Pruitt and fossil fuel companies from his time as attorney general. Those emails are due to be released by the end of the day on Tuesday. Pruitt quoted Muir's famous "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread" line in 1st speech to @EPA staffers. Clearly never read full passage: pic.twitter.com/MvrafpFEd6 — Tim Sohn (@tfsohn) February 21, 2017 In his first speech to agency employees on Tuesday, Pruitt spoke of federal environmental regulations as needing to be tailored for the benefit of regulated parties, rather than to protect the public.  “Regulations ought to make things regular. Regulations exist to give certainty to the regulated,” he said. Pruitt clearly aims to shrink the agency's mandate and footprint, and is expected to quickly move to reverse the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which regulates global warming-pollutants emitted from coal-fired power plants, along with a landmark water pollution regulation.  As Oklahoma attorney general, Pruitt sued the EPA more than a dozen times, including in opposition to the Clean Power Plan. Pruitt did little to antagonize the EPA rank and file in his speech, saying, "civility is something that I believe in very much." But he also didn't say much that would immediately quell the internal resistance to him, either. “This environment in which we live today, forgive the reference, but it is a very toxic environment,” he said. “I seek to be a good listener.” Pruitt even went so far as quoting famous naturalist John Muir, who founded the Sierra Club, in his comments.  "We need to be open and transparent" says Scott Pruitt, new EPA administrator who refused to release emails btwn his office and industry — Natasha Geiling (@ngeiling) February 21, 2017 In response, the Sierra Club put out this blistering statement: "John Muir is rolling over in his grave at the notion of someone as toxic to the environment as Scott Pruitt taking over the EPA." A lot is at stake if and when Pruitt and the Trump administration move to dismantle the Clean Power Plan. The Obama administration had turned to the EPA to lead the charge on global warming, and without other rules to drive down emissions, getting rid of the Clean Power Plan would jeopardize America's ability to meet the emissions targets it agreed to under the Paris Climate Agreement.  Pruitt did not mention climate change, or any other specific environmental challenge, in his speech, instead giving general nods to the need to return more of a role for environmental protection to the states.  “We can be both pro-energy and jobs and pro-environment,” he said. While his tone was conciliatory, Pruitt still has his work cut out for him in winning over rank and file staff members. One longtime EPA employee, who wished to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak to the press, said there were two notable absences in Pruitt's speech. The first was the lack of any mention of public health, which is part of the agency's mission.  In addition, the EPA staff member said it was "super condescending" to have Pruitt explain "obvious fundamentals of doing our jobs," such as following the laws set forth by Congress. "Really we have follow the statutes? Work well with states? You don't say." If you are a federal employee, scientist or citizen scientist who sees climate science and policy shifts at federal agencies and wishes to alert the media, we want to hear from you. Please send an email from your personal email account to science@mashable.com. You can also contact science editor Andrew Freedman via the secure messaging app Signal, with detailed information in his Twitter bio, or at afreedman@protonmail.com. BONUS: 2016 was Earth's warmest year on record, continuing a three-year streak

LinkedIn will help people in India train for semi-skilled jobs

Added: 22.02.2017 7:52 | 1 views | 0 comments


Microsoft has launched Project Sangam, a cloud service integrated with LinkedIn that will help train and generate employment for middle and low-skilled workers.
The professional network that was acquired by Microsoft in December has been generally associated with educated urban professionals but the company is now planning to extend its reach to semi-skilled people in India.
Having connected white-collared professionals around the world with the right job opportunities and training through LinkedIn Learning, the platform is now developing a new set of products that extends this service to low- and semi-skilled workers, said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella at an event on digital transformation in Mumbai on Wednesday.

US-led coalition expects to stay in Iraq after Mosul

Added: 22.02.2017 5:57 | 0 views | 0 comments


The commander of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group said Monday he expected its forces would be allowed to stay in Iraq after Mosul is recaptured. "I don't anticipate that we will be asked to leave by the government of Iraq immediately after Mosul," Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend said. The US commander was speaking at a press conference in Baghdad wrapping up a brief visit by the new Pentagon chief, Jim Mattis.

Uber hires ex-U.S. Attorney General Holder to probe sexual harassment

Added: 22.02.2017 5:57 | 0 views | 0 comments


Uber Technologies Inc has hired former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to conduct a review of sexual harassment claims at the ride-hailing service made by a former employee. Holder and Tammy Albarran, who are partners at the law firm Covington & Burling, will look into the complaints about a manager at Uber, as well as general questions about diversity and inclusion, Chief Executive Travis Kalanick told his employees in a memo on Monday that was seen by Reuters. Last year, Airbnb hired Holder, who served under former President Barack Obama, to help craft a policy to combat discrimination occurring through the online lodging service's platform.

This new iPhone 8 feature might end up blowing our minds

Added: 22.02.2017 5:57 | 0 views | 0 comments


Amid rumors that the iPhone 8 will incorporate advanced facial recognition features, the Hebrew-language website Calcalist (via ) is reporting that Apple recently acquired Realface, an up-and-coming Israeli startup with impressive real-time facial recognition software.

Lending credence to rumors that the iPhone 8 may forgo the use of Touch ID in favor of facial recognition, Realface's software is said to be sophisticated enough such that it can reliably be used as a foundation for mobile-based biometric authentication.
As is often the case when Apple acquires a company, Realface's web presence has already been wiped from the web. Still, thanks to the magic of Google, we were able to poke around and dig up some intriguing nuggets of information about the company's promising technology.
Realface boasts that it's AI software rests upon deep learning methods and is so reliable and quick that the end-result is an absolutely seamless user experience.
"Our technology provides our customers and end-users with the highest level of authentication and security available on all platforms," says Realface. "We have proprietary IP in the field of frictionless face recognition and effective learnings from facial features." Incidentally, Realface's technology is also capable of filtering out photos of faces and advanced sculptures designed to trick the software into thinking that a device's camera is honed in on an actual human face.
Further, Realface claims that its software can recognize faces with a 99.67% success rate, an impressive figure that is even higher than the average 97.5% success rate exhibited by humans. To this point, a from last year relays that the company's technology is so advanced that it can even distinguish between identical twins with alarming and impressive accuracy.
Below is a quick and dirty demo of the software in action.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNlkxGmIgW0
What's particularly interesting is that Realface's technology is not only capable of discerning individual faces, but can also analyze specific facial expressions as a means to determine a user's mood. If this sounds somewhat familiar, Apple last year , a company with similar AI technology of its own.
Now as for what Apple is planning to do with its growing portfolio of AI-based facial recognition software, well, that's the million dollar question. While initial speculation centered on Apple rolling out augmented reality features, perhaps similar to what the beloved MSQRD app does, more recent rumblings suggest that Apple wants to position facial recognition as a means to identify users and securely authorize sensitive transactions. Again, there are even reports that facial recognition might ultimately serve as a replacement for Touch ID.
While this seems far-fetched, Ming Chi-Kuo -- an analyst with the best track record regarding Apple rumors -- seems to think otherwise. In a recently issued research note, Kuo claims that the iPhone 8's rumored edgeless design cannot, for whatever reason, coexist peacefully with Touch ID. Consequently, Kuo relays that Apple wants to eventually replace Touch ID with a facial recognition solution.
When it comes to Apple, the old adage that when there's smoke, there's fire is generally true. That being the case, it stands to reason that facial recognition will be a huge and incredibly exciting component of the iPhone 8 user experience.

After Trump comments, the reality of crime and migrants in Sweden

Added: 22.02.2017 4:57 | 0 views | 0 comments


US President Donald Trump's remarks over the weekend that Sweden is paying a high price for its generous asylum policy, including mention of a non-existent terror incident, have baffled Swedes. - What did Donald Trump say? "You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden.

Top N.C. Democrats want Supreme Court to drop voting law review

Added: 22.02.2017 4:52 | 1 views | 0 comments

Gov. Roy Cooper​ and Attorney General Josh Stein say they’re ending state efforts to persuade top U.S. court to revive a GOP-backed voter ID law, but GOP lawmakers say they will continue pushing for the high court’s review

McMaster will need Senate confirmation to serve as NSA

Added: 22.02.2017 4:18 | 1 views | 0 comments

Though the national security adviser post is not one that requires the Senate's sign-off, McMaster's rank as a three-star general triggers the confirmation requirement

From: feeds.cbsnews.com

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