zoom Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) and The Baltic Exchange Limited (Baltic Exchange) have agreed on the terms for a recommended offer by SGX for the entire issued share capital of the Baltic Exchange.The announcement follows a period of extensive consultation with Baltic Exchange shareholders and other stakeholders.Under the terms of the proposed acquisition, Baltic Exchange shareholders will be entitled to receive GBP 160.41 in cash for each Baltic Exchange Share and GBP 19.30 in cash per Baltic Exchange Share as a final dividend.In aggregate, the cash price and the special dividend value Baltic Exchange’s entire issued ordinary share capital stands at GBP 87 million (USD 113.9 million).“The proposed acquisition will accelerate the growth and development of the Baltic Exchange beyond what it could achieve on its own. Already a trusted business partner, SGX has committed to retaining the Baltic’s ethos as a membership organisation, retaining our London headquarters and further consolidating the Baltic’s value, influence and reach within the global shipping community,” Guy Campbell, Chairman of the Baltic Exchange, said.Declaration and payment of the special dividend is subject to approval by Baltic Exchange Shareholders and is conditional on successful completion of the proposed acquisition.The proposed acquisition is expected be finalized towards the end of November 2016.
Mumbai: John Abraham is set to star in and produce a biker film. The untitled film is currently in pre-production and will be directed by Rensil D’Silva. John said the story of the film revolves around motorcycles, his longtime passion, which the actor first showcased onscreen in the 2004 blockbuster “Dhoom”. “I decided to develop a film on riders and their love for motorcycles in-house two years ago. A lot of research and time has been spent on the subject since then. Also Read – I have personal ambitions now: Priyanka “I’m happy to have Ajay Kapoor and Rensil on board for this project. I am especially excited that we will film the action sequences in the Isle of Man, the home of racing on real roads,” the actor said in a statement. D’Silva, who directed 2009 film “Kurbaan”, said directing an adventure film on bikes with John is a dream come true for him. “I’ve grown up on films like ‘Days of Thunder’ and ‘Top Gun’ and it’s a dream come true to make an adrenaline pumping, emotionally charged bike racing film like this with John,” the filmmaker said. Also Read – Salman Khan remembers actor Vinod Khanna Kyta Productions, the banner behind John’s last “Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran” and his upcoming espionage thriller “RAW (Romeo Akbar Walter)”, is attached to co-produce. Ajay Kapoor of the production house said he is excited to collaborate with the actor’s JA Entertainment again. “I know how passionate John is about motorbikes. It has been a pleasure collaborating with him and his production company so far on all our projects, and it will be an absolute treat to see him play a biker now! We look forward to our other collaborations with him in future too,” Kapoor said. Remaining cast of the film is currently being locked and the film go on floors in July.
PITTSBURGH — The FBI has shut down a website it says was a gateway to illegal marketplaces on the darknet and announced the arrest of its two alleged Israeli operators. They are accused of making millions of dollars in kickbacks for their services.The FBI announced the actions Wednesday in Pittsburgh. A grand jury returned indictments against the Israelis on charges of money laundering conspiracy. One of them lives in Brazil.The website seized under court order was identified as DeepDotWeb, accessible on the darknet under a slightly different name. The darknet is part of the internet but is hosted within an encrypted network and accessible only with anonymity-providing tools.The FBI said DeepDotWeb provided users with access to illegal marketplaces selling illegal drugs, assault rifles, hacking tools, stolen financial information and other contraband.The Associated Press
UNICEF has also deployed 10 mobile water treatment plants for communities needing safe water in concert with the country’s Department of Public Health and Engineering. The agency said in its latest update, released yesterday, that deaths resulting from diarrhoea have been avoided to date – despite 15,000 reported cases – thanks to the availability of oral rehydration salts to treat dehydration. “It is critical to recognize that in this situation the children and women, especially children of female-headed households, are the most affected,” said UNICEF’s Representative in Bangladesh Louis-Georges Arsenault. “Our assessments of the situation confirm that there are some very specific needs… such as for special nutrients for children, pregnant and lactating women, which must continue to be addressed.” So far, UNICEF and the UN World Food Programme (WFP) have distributed 90 tons of high-protein biscuits in Bangladesh and plan to deliver another 24 tons this week, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York yesterday. An estimated 45 million people across India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan have been affected by the flooding, with many of them forced to leave their homes. At least 2,200 people have been killed. The UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has already announced that it is increasing its support of South Asian governments as they respond to the flooding, including by drawing from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). 15 August 2007One month after floods devastated Bangladesh, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) continues to provide food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and shelter to those affected by the monsoon rains.
In the event the no-confidence motion is given priority over the 20th Amendment to the constitution, the 35 UPFA MPs may withdraw their signatures from the motion, Senaratne told a group of journalists at a private function last night. A group of 35 United People’s Freedom Alliance (UPFA) Parliamentarians have threatened to withdraw their signatures from the no-confidence motion on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said that the 35 Parliamentarians have said they first want the 20th Amendment to the constitution tabled in Parliament. Nanayakkara said that, subsequently party leaders of the UPFA met yesterday and discussed the motion.He said that the UPFA party leaders, including the opposition leader, approved the motion to be handed over to Parliament.Nanayakkara said that a group of UPFA members then met the Parliament Secretary General last afternoon and handed over the motion to him and he will now take the next step. (Colombo Gazette) UPFA member of parliament Manusha Nanayakkara said that the no-confidence motion contains the signatures of 112 MPs.The no-confidence motion on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was first handed over to Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa on Thursday. The no-confidence motion on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was handed over to the Parliament Secretary General last afternoon.
“At present Sangakkara is playing the County matches (for Surrey) in London. The official invitation will be made to him on any day once the new ministers are sworn in on September 4”, Palitha Pelpola, the personal secretary to the president, said exclusively over telephone from Colombo. Sangakkara, who was surprised with the offer when it first made to him on August 24, has not made his decision public.Interestingly, the present acting High Commissioner Dr. Channaka Talpahewa is also a keen sportsman. He was the first Sri Lanka Rowing captain and is also a winner of South Asian Games medals. Kumar Sangakkara is yet to receive the “official proposal” to be the Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner to UK, the Pakistan Observer reported.The 38-year-old former wicket-keeper and the left-handed batsman was offered the post by his country’s president Maithripala Sirisena during his farewell Test match which ended on August 24 at P. Sara Oval in Colombo. It would have indeed been a remarkable step had this offer been made to Panesar, who once urinated publicly on bouncers in a night club in England. The hon. president is likely to speak to Sangakkara in person and convey the offer officially, it is learnt here. He holds two Sri Lanka rowing records as well. It could not be confirmed whether the president spoke to him about his new likely successor. Dr. Talpahea was recently on a vacation in Sri Lanka.In the meantime, the speculation was rife in Sri Lanka that taking a note of Sri Lankan president offering job to a retired cricketer, the British prime minister David Cameron has offered Monty Panesar the post of the British High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. Even Ian Botham’s name was also discussed, the media had reported recently.“The news is untrue”, Ms. Priya, the official said from Colombo.
“We know that AIDS is far more than a health crisis. It is a threat to social and economic development as a whole,” Mr. Annan said in opening remarks to the second Asia-Pacific Ministerial Meeting on HIV/AIDS. “The response to this complex challenge must engage every part of society – Government, business, civil society and people living with HIV/AIDS,” he added. Noting that in recent decades, more people in Asia and the Pacific have escaped from poverty than in any other part of the world, the Secretary-General stressed that such gains must not be reversed by HIV/AIDS. “More than eight million people in your region are now living with HIV/AIDS, and the number is rising fast,” he said, warning that left unchecked, the disease would not only devastate millions of lives, but also impose huge burdens on the region’s health systems and soak up badly needed resources for social and economic development. “So the fight against HIV/AIDS requires constant vigilance and renewal. We know, from experience elsewhere, that the spread can be turned back when – but only when – there is a coordinated response, from all sectors of society and every branch of Government. It requires leadership at every level,” he said.
“One indicator of this growing insecurity is the very high number of closed schools in central and northern parts of the country, which may deprive many children of their right to education,” Suliman Baldo, the Independent Expert on Mali, said in a news release issued by the UN Office of the High Commissione for Human Rights (OHCHR) at the end of his eight-day mission to the country. Mr. Baldo deplored the rise in roadside checkpoints that are monitored by dissidents and armed groups and which have contributed to a rising number of attacks, which include vehicle theft, on people travelling. He also expressed shock at the number of attacks on humanitarian workers, which have made the UN multidimensional peacekeeping operation in the West African country, known by its French acronym, MINUSMA, one of the deadliest in the world today. The Expert urged all parties to the 2015 Mali peace accord, which includes the Government and armed combatants, to take steps to ensure the safety of local populations and to allow the return of state authorities throughout the region, as agreed to in the accord. “The parties owe it to the Malian people to continue to find consensual solutions to their differences and to accelerate the deployment of state resources, including security forces and administrative and judicial personnel, to northern and central areas of the country,” he said. “The well-being and security of the communities that the parties claim to represent is at stake,” he added. The announcement of the unification of several violent extremist groups under the Al-Qaida banner in the Islamic Maghreb last week showed that the groups were determined to fight the progress made in implementing the peace agreement, Mr Baldo warned.
BP and Rio Tinto have formed a new jointly-owned company, Hydrogen Energy, which will develop decarbonized energy projects around the world. The venture will initially focus on hydrogen-fuelled power generation, using fossil fuels and carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to produce new large-scale supplies of clean electricity.Decarbonized energy projects are based on the conversion of fossil fuel feedstocks such as coal, petroleum coke (a refinery by-product) or natural gas, to hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases, with the carbon dioxide being captured and sent for permanent storage in geological formations deep beneath the Earth’s surface.In power projects, the hydrogen would be used to fuel a gas turbine for generation of industrial-scale supplies of electrical power. Full integration with CCS technology would ensure that 90% of the carbon dioxide which would otherwise have been emitted to the atmosphere would be safely captured and stored.There is rapid worldwide development of new power generating capacity as older power stations are replaced and new plants built to meet growth in demand, particularly in the rapidly expanding economies of the developing world. According to the International Energy Agency, about two-thirds of the generating capacity that will be needed in the next 25 years has yet to be built. Much of the growth will be in countries where coal is abundant and so the fuel is expected to be a significant part of the energy mix.The recent UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report into the potential to mitigate the effects of climate change recognized that reducing carbon dioxide emissions from power generation will be vital and that technologies such as CCS will have a key role in meeting the challenge. It also recognizes the role of governments in putting in place appropriate regulatory and support mechanisms to enable this to happen.Hydrogen Energy will benefit from the world-leading capabilities of both parent companies: Rio Tinto’s expertize and world-class assets in coal extraction and supply; and BP’s experience and expertize in chemical processing, low carbon power generation and carbon capture and storage.Tom Albanese, Chief Executive, Rio Tinto: “Coal is a key part of Rio Tinto’s energy business and we believe it has an essential role in generating clean power in the future. The investment we are making in Hydrogen Energy will allow us to deliver decarbonised energy and carbon capture and storage. Although initial projects may be based on non-coal feedstocks, they will be significant building blocks in the development of coal gasification on an industrial scale. Investing now means we will be well-placed to create value for shareholders from opportunities in the emerging clean power market.”Tony Hayward, BP Group Chief Executive: “Projects such as these have the potential to help deliver the carbon emission reductions which companies and countries around the world are now seeking. This will only be possible if companies work together and work alongside governments. The combination of skills and experience which BP and Rio Tinto bring will allow us to accelerate the development and deployment of these important new technologies and projects.”Hydrogen Energy, whose final formation will be subject to regulatory approvals, will identify and secure opportunities for decarbonised energy projects worldwide, working with governments to determine appropriate policies and regulatory regimes, and develop and operate the assets, with partners where appropriate. The projects will typically use coal or petroleum coke as feedstock; although in some cases natural gas may be used.Previously announced hydrogen-fuelled power projects in Peterhead, Scotland and Carson, California will become part of Hydrogen Energy. As part of the agreement, Rio Tinto will make a cash payment to BP of some $32million, subject to post-completion adjustments.Hydrogen Energy will be headquartered in Weybridge in the southeast of England and will initially have a staff of 75 seconded from the parent companies. The Chief Executive of Hydrogen Energy is to be Lewis Gillies, formerly head of BP’s hydrogen power business and its CFO is to be Peter Cunningham, formerly head of business evaluation for Rio Tinto. www.hydrogenenergy.comBP, together with Scottish and Southern Energy, announced plans in June 2005 for its first hydrogen power project, in Peterhead, Scotland. The planned project would use natural gas as a feedstock, generating some 475 MW electricity and capturing and storing some 1.8 Mt/y of CO2 in the North Sea Miller oilfield. Injection of the CO2 into the oilfield would also increase recovery of oil from the reservoir by an estimated 50-60 million barrels. Engineering design for the project is complete and the partners hope the project will be able to take part in the competition the UK government has announced to select which such project should be supported. If the decision to go ahead with the project were taken at the beginning of 2008, it would be expected to be in commercial operation in 2011.The second planned hydrogen power project, in Carson, California, USA would use petroleum coke as feedstock. In January 2006, BP and partner Edison Mission Group announced plans to develop the 500 MW power project alongside BP’s Carson refinery, about 32 km south of Los Angeles. The project would capture some 4 Mt/y of CO2 and transport it for reinjection into geological formations in southern California for permanent storage. Subject to the successful outcome of engineering studies and appropriate policy being in place, it is anticipated the final investment decision could be taken in time for the plant to be operational by the end of 2012.
GARDAÍ ARE APPEALING for witnesses to a serious three-car collision that took place in Co Galway last night.Athenry gardaí are appealing for witnesses to the serious road traffic collision, which occurred on the M6 at Newford, Athenry, Co Galway at approximately 7pm last night.All three vehicles were travelling westbound towards Galway when the incident occurred.Five people were taken to University Hospital Galway, and a five-year-old girl was subsequently transferred to Temple St hospital in Dublin. Her condition is described as serious.Anyone who may have witnessed this collision is asked to contact Athenry Garda Station on 091 844016, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any garda station.
A TEN-YEAR-OLD boy called 911 because he didn’t want to go to bed, according to police.Cops in Brockton, Massachusetts said the boy – plainly a sharp operator – made the emergency call just after 8 pm on Wednesday. He told the dispatcher he was calling to report his mother because he did not want to go to bed.There was no emergency. (Other than the bedtime emergency.)The Enterprise reports that according to the police log, an officer went to the boy’s home and explained to him when it’s appropriate — and when it’s not — to call 911.No one was charged.104-year-old woman ‘had to lie about age’ to join Facebook>Here’s an arthritic otter dunking a basketball>
The Muslim holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sun up until sun down, is drawing to a close. Since Islam follows the lunar calendar, the dates of the fast change every year. This time around, it falls on the longest days of summer in Alaska, when the sun hardly sets. But for some local Muslims, that’s not the obstacle they worry about.Download AudioWomen pray at the masjid in Anchorage. (Hillman/KSKA)As soon as the call to prayer begins at the masjid, or mosque, in Anchorage, Faten Najjar offers me a plate of dates.“What we keep doing, the first thing, we keep eating dates,” she explains. “And then we drink water, and then we pray.”We chew on our fruit then head into the small room where the women pray. This evening, Najjar, her daughter, and I are alone. They face a TV screen that shows what the religious leader is doing in the men’s room. In Islam, men and women pray separately.After a few minutes, it’s time to really eat. The table is filled with large dishes of fish, meats, and rice, many of which Najjar cooked to share. This is a time of joy for her.“When I fast, I feel… like rest between me and God. I feel what I’m doing now, cooking, I feel happiness with this.”We settle down to eat, but here’s the catch. It’s only a little after 7 pm, and the sun is still up. Youssef Barbour, one of the masjid’s religious leaders, explains that for communities in the far north, with extreme daylight hours, Muslim scholars decided it was okay to follow the sunlight clock for Mecca, Islam’s holiest city. That means fasting for about 15 hours, not 19.“We like to follow the Prophet Muhammad’s laws [peace be upon him] and everything he does,” he says. “So we find ourselves here in Alaska, in a place that we know that the Prophet Muhammad has never been in such a place, and so to fast until sunset, according to the sun and not according the tradition is really a guess. What would the Prophet Mohammed do if he really was in such a place?”Barbour says some people follow local time and others follow Mecca; it depends on what feels right to each person. He says the timing isn’t as important as the fast itself, which helps people become more conscientious of God. And when people fast together as a community during Ramadan, which is also a season of blessing and forgiveness, they are supported through the struggle.Community members bring food to share during iftar, or the nightly breaking of the fast of Ramadan. (Hillman/KSKA)This is Aisha Jackson’s first fast. She just converted to Islam four months ago. “It’s going good. I’m very, very happy. I feel great. Alhamdulillah. Let’s just say it was hard at first, but now I’m okay.”This year, Jackson decided to fast by Mecca time, but she doesn’t think she will in the future. “I just feel that this, this is good, but I think Allah put you where you are supposed to be and you should be going with where you’re supposed to be but he knows where you are so he wouldn’t do anything too hard for you. So, I think, insha’Allah [God willing], I’ll do Alaska, or local time.”For Jackson, her biggest challenge isn’t the fast. It’s working up the courage to wear her hijab, or headscarf, in public.“Yeah, with everything that’s in the world you know…It makes me a little fearful. Insha’Allah, God will make it right.”Najjar expresses similar concerns. She doesn’t wear her hijab to work because people look at her differently, and she’s scared that she could be fired. Her friends have similar fears and have been harassed for covering their hair. She says she already hears many negative comments about Islam and violence, especially in the wake of the Orlando attack.“Always ‘Muslim, Muslim, Muslim.’ ‘Muslim bad.’ What can I do?” she sighs. “I get quite. I get hurt feeling.”Islam does not condone violence, especially against innocent people.Another family, who follows local time for the fast, decided not to be part of this story because they also feared community backlash against Muslims.Despite these feelings of unease in public, Najjar still comes to the masjid every night to break the fast and pray with others.“I will be so sad when Ramadan over. Because this is the month that God [grants] forgiveness. This is the month that God will give more hasana, more good blessing to the person.”For Najjar and others, it’s a time for community and connection, when a long summertime fast isn’t a burden, but a blessing.
Labourers, who set up the venue, sit under a wall with a billboard displaying a photo of Imran Khan, chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), political party, as they listen to him during a campaign rally ahead of general elections in Karachi, Pakistan on 22 July 2018. — ReutersFrom creating 10 million jobs to building an Islamic welfare state and restoring Pakistan’s tattered image abroad, new premier Imran Khan is facing a problem of his own making: runaway expectations raised by his lofty rhetoric.A cricket legend and firebrand nationalist who is hero-worshipped by supporters, Khan swept to power in last month’s election on a populist platform vowing to root out corruption among a venal elite and lift people out of poverty.But he inherits control of a volatile nation facing mounting problems at home and abroad, including a looming economic crisis and a fracture with historic ally the United States over Pakistan’s alleged links to militants. Ties are also fraught with neighbors Afghanistan and nuclear-armed rival India.Opponents in parliament talk of forming a grand coalition against Khan, dubbing him a “puppet” and accusing him of entering into a Faustian Pact with the powerful military, which has a history of ousting prime ministers and clashing with civilian governments over control of foreign policy.Khan denies all accusations that the military covertly helped him win the election.And in his victory speech, Khan offered an olive branch to India and called for mutually beneficial ties with the United States.Whether Khan can become the first Pakistani prime minister to complete a full five-year term in office will depend on his relationship with influential generals, analysts say.If his ideas on foreign policy differ from theirs, analysts say Khan would suffer a similar fate to other civilian leaders who have failed to see out their term.“Then his future will be the same as anybody else’s,” political commentator Aamer Ahmed Khan said.GREAT EXPECTATIONSForced to rely on smaller parties for a razor-thin majority in parliament, and with the opposition controlling the Senate, Khan’s coalition government could struggle to push through legislation without major compromises. An increasingly assertive judiciary could also hold it back.Yet the mood in the country is one of unbridled optimism, especially among Khan’s young supporters, who believe he can build a corruption-free and prosperous “New Pakistan” for the country’s 208 million people.“His biggest challenge is managing expectations among his followers and voters because he’s almost promised them the moon,” said Raza Ahmad Rumi, the editor of Pakistan’s Daily Times newspaper.During Independence Day celebrations this week, when flag-waving Pakistanis flooded the streets of Islamabad, many voiced confidence that Khan would deliver on promises to build world class hospitals and improve education in a nation where the illiteracy rate hovers above 40 percent.“I have moved my daughter (from a private) to a government school, because we are confident that Pakistan is going to change,” said Sheikh Farhaj, 40, who volunteered for Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party during the elections.Others were delighted Khan has broken the decades-long dominance of the two dynastic powerhouses, the outgoing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party of jailed former premier Nawaz Sharif and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) of the Bhutto family.“We have great expectations from Imran Khan,” said Shah Sultan, 38, a roadside flag seller. “We are lower class people and I voted from Khan because what the politicians have done to our country. They have left it with nothing.”LOOMING ECONOMIC CRISISBut Khan’s campaign pledges are likely to be checked by a worsening economic outlook, analysts say, especially his vow to build a welfare state.The central bank has devalued the rupee four times since December, but the current account deficit is still carrying the currency toward a crisis, while the fiscal deficit has ballooned to 6.8 percent of GDP.Economic growth is running at nearly 6 percent, but given the unsustainability of these deficits it is easy to predict Pakistan’s growth is heading for a fall.Khan’s government must urgently decide whether to request more loans from China, deepening Islamabad’s economic reliance on its neighbor, or ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for what would be its 15th bailout since 1980.Both lenders are likely to ask for more fiscal discipline, requiring drastic spending cuts.Shafqat Mahmood, Khan’s new education minister, said the economic woes pose a major problem but the party is determined to deliver a welfare system and enact badly-needed reforms.“Everyone in the party realizes we will have to work overtime to meet these huge expectations,” Mahmood said.Mahmood said Khan’s image as a politician untainted by corruption could boost faith in the government and convince more people to file taxes in a nation where less than 1 percent of the population pays income tax.Khan has touted his “100 Day Plan” but many of the reforms PTI is proposing, from turning around loss-making state-run enterprises to reforming the tax collection bureau, will take far longer to accomplish.Ending government corruption outright, or repatriating plundered wealth, is also unlikely.“(Khan’s supporters) have a simplistic idea that if there is a clean man on top, the entire machinery becomes clean. That’s never the case anywhere in the world,” said Rumi.
Operators can reconfigure a virtual network programmatically. Image credit: Nicira 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: Nicira promises virtual networks will transform networking (2012, February 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-nicira-virtual-networks-networking.html Explore further More information: nicira.comvia: Technology Review Fujitsu Develops Technology Employing 10 Gbps Virtual Switch to Substitute for On-Server Virtual Switch Functions Network virtualization could lead to a number of advantages. One of the most important may be its ability to open the doors for cloud computing by eliminating the limitations imposed by the existing network, which cause insecurity and unreliability. Installing the NVP software on servers in a data center essentially provides each application with a private connection to the rest of the Internet, which keeps data more secure. Nicira has also demonstrated that the software can transfer Internet services to another data center without interruption, a move that currently requires all the hardware on the new network to be reprogrammed. This ability could be useful for companies with multiple data centers in different locations, as well as for emergency situations in which a data center loses power.Because the NVP software simplifies network reconfiguration, it enables operators to add new applications in minutes instead of days or weeks. The simplification could also lead to innovative applications that are currently too expensive or technically impossible to produce. Overall, by using virtual networks, Nicira estimates that companies with large data centers could save tens of millions of dollars in infrastructure costs.”Network virtualization is the biggest change to networking in 25 years,” said Stephen Mullaney, Chief Executive Officer of Nicira. “NVP provides the final pivotal piece to cloud computing, the most transformational change to IT in a generation.”The NVP can be deployed on any existing network without the need to change any network hardware, and future changes to the network hardware won’t disrupt the virtual network. NVP only requires an IP address, making the physical network hardware less important. Once installed, the virtual network operates completely independently of the physical network, whose main role is to forward data packets. The company explains that the concept of network virtualization decoupling an application from the network is similar to server virtualization, which decouples an application from the underlying server. Overall, the technology enables the creation of tens of thousands of independent and secure virtual networks.Nicira isn’t the only company pursuing software-defined networking. But it has already raised $50 million in funding from venture capitalists and has several large customers, including AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, Fidelity Investments, eBay, NTT, and Rackspace. The software is commercially available on a monthly subscription-pricing model in which customers pay only for what they use. (PhysOrg.com) — For the past four years, founders of the start-up company Nicira have been developing cutting-edge software that they predict will transform the networking technology underlying the Internet. Today Nicira has debuted the software, called the Network Virtualization Platform (NVP). As its name implies, the NVP software acts as a virtual network by simulating the routers, switches, and other physical hardware used in data center networks. Yet the virtual network is completely independent of the physical network hardware. This software-defined networking means that operators can reconfigure any piece of a network programmatically rather than having to manually reconfigure the physical hardware. © 2011 PhysOrg.com
Kolkata: To help make the journey of public transport commuters more efficient and seamless, Google Maps on Tuesday announced three India-first features.Google Maps users will be able to see bus travel times from live traffic across 10 of the largest cities in India. They will get live train status for Indian Railways trains and get mixed-mode commute suggestions that now combine auto-rickshaw and public transport. Announcing the new India first features, Taylah Hasaballah, product manager, Google Maps, said: “Google Maps is being used by over a billion travelers to navigate and explore their world, wherever they are. And we at Google are focused on building Maps features that will help deliver a more relevant, accurate and reliable experience for commuters.”
Facebook researchers have collected and compiled a new dataset providing 5 million personas and 700 million persona-based dialogues. The aim with this dataset is to enhance the performance of their end-to-end dialogue systems by training them using personas. This will result in increased and improved engagement between human beings and computer agents. Generally, end-to-end dialogue systems are mostly based on neural architectures like bidirectional LSTMs or Memory Networks. These are trained directly by gradient descent on dialogue logs and have been showing promising performance in multiple contexts. One of their major advantages lies in the fact that they rely on large data sources of existing dialogues to learn various domains without any expert knowledge. However, these dialogue systems show limited engagement and lack of consistency. To solve this issue, a team of researchers at the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and Facebook AI introduced the PERSONACHAT dataset. This dataset comprises dialogues between different pairs of agents with text profiles, or personas, attached to each of them. This leads the path for end-to-end personalized chatbots as the personas of the bots are short texts that could be easily edited by most users. “However, the PERSONA-CHAT dataset was created using an artificial data collection mechanism based on Mechanical Turk. As a result, neither dialogs nor personas can be fully representative of real user-bot interactions and the dataset coverage remains limited, containing a bit more than 1k different personas” reads the research paper. So, the researchers have built another large-scale persona-based dialogue dataset using conversations that were previously extracted from the REDDIT dataset. ”With simple heuristics, we create a corpus of over 5 million personas spanning more than 700 million conversations. We train persona-based end-to-end dialogue models on this dataset” mentions researchers in the paper. Read also: Best Machine Learning Datasets for beginners The goal is to learn to predict responses based on a persona for a wide range of personas. Researchers have built a dataset using the data from Reddit of following examples: Persona: [“I like sport”, “I work a lot”] Context: “I love running.” Response: “Me too! But only on weekends.” Persona-based Network Architecture The persona consists of a set of sentences which represent the personality of the responding agent, the context refers to the utterance that it responds to, and the response is an answer which is to be predicted. The researchers then went ahead and trained the persona-based end-to-end dialogue systems using their newly developed dataset. Systems that were trained on this dataset outperformed other conversational agents (which were not trained using personas) and held far more engaging conversations. “As pretraining leads to a considerable improvement in performance, future work could be done fine-tuning this model for various dialog systems. Future work may also entail building more advanced strategies to select a limited number of personas for each user while maximizing the prediction performance,” say researchers in the paper. For more details, check out the official research paper. Read Next Google launches a Dataset Search Engine for finding Datasets on the Internet How to create and prepare your first dataset in Salesforce Einstein 25 Datasets for Deep Learning in IoT
November 28, 2012 424 Views New home sales barely budged in October, dropping 0.3 percent to 368,000 after September├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós report was revised sharply downward from an original 389,000 to 369,000, the “”Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development””:http://www.census.gov/construction/nrs/pdf/newressales_201210.pdf reported Wednesday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the report to show a sales pace of 387,000. [IMAGE]Both the average and median price for a new home fell from September but remain sharply higher than October 2011.Sales for July were also revised downward to 366,000 from the last report of 373,000, changing the momentum of new home sales. In the original report, sales had reached a 30-year high. This report is likely to dampen the enthusiasm of builders, who have seen the Housing Market Index compiled by the National Association of Home Builders increase steadily from 24 in April to 46 in November. While the current sales component of the index has seen a similar increase (25 in April to 49 in November) the buyer traffic component, which tracks visitors to model homes, has been relatively flat for the last three months at 35 after jumping from 23 in April.Even with the slow growth in October, sales are up 17.2 percent from October 2011. However, the year-over-year gain was weaker than the 25.3 percent annual growth reported for September.This report is based on sales contracts, not closings, and Hurricane Sandy may have had an impact, as sales dropped sharply in the most heavily impacted areas: the Northeast, where sales were down to 21,000 from September├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós 31,000, and the South, which saw sales drop from 199,000 in September to 176,000 in October. New home sales rose in October to an annual pace of 60,000 in the Midwest from 37,000 in September, a statistical correction since home sales in the region averaged about 50,000 in the 12 preceding months. Home sales in the West rose to 111,000 in October from 102,000 in September.The parallel report from the National Association of Realtors–its Pending Home Sales Index–will be issued Thursday.The number of new homes for sale at the end of the month rose to 147,000 from 145,000 in September, adding pressure to prices. Builders completed 542,000 single-family homes in October, up from 524,000 in September.The increase in inventory added pressure to prices, and indeed both the median and average price of a new home dropped for the second month in a row. The month-over-month drop in the average price–affected by the range of home sales–was the largest since February 2011 and the monthly decline in the median price the steepest since last November.Homes with price tags of less than $300,000 represented 69 percent of October sales, up from 65 percent in September.This sales report could be reflected in builder activity. Permits for new single family homes rose in October to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 562,000 from 550,000 in September, while October starts were reported as 594,000, essentially flat to September├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós 595,000. October New Home Sales Dip, September Revised Downward Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Census Bureau Demand Edward DeMarco First-Time Homebuyers For-Sale Homes Home Prices Home Sales Homebuilders HUD Investors National Association of Home Builders National Association of Realtors Service Providers 2012-11-28 Mark Lieberman in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing Share
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