LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Advertisement Curtis Stange, President and CEO of ATB Financial, congratulated Rondeau and all the entrepreneurs who participated in the competition.“We are thrilled to have been part of so many success stories,” Stange said. “Local businesses are vital to the health of our economy and ATB prides itself on helping entrepreneurs like these get started.”ATB’s Build Her Business competition was a campaign to encourage more women to use crowdfunding as a way to start and grow their business. People contributed to the campaigns in exchange for a reward which varied depending on the size of the contribution.Participants launched their campaigns February 1, 2019 and were supported and mentored throughout by ATB.Rondeau was one of seven semi-finalists whose campaigns were judged by some of the biggest names in business including Angela Brown, CEO of Moneris, Marcela Mandeville, CEO of Alberta Women Entrepreneurs and ATB vice-president Ed Straw.Of the 22 participants in the competition, 19 met their crowdfunding goal. The competition raised close to $230,000, an average of over $12,000 per crowdfunding campaign.“ATB recognizes women entrepreneurs face unique challenges when it comes to accessing capital and connecting with the right networks,” Stange said. “We are committed to supporting women in overcoming those barriers and helping remove them when it comes to innovative banking solutions.”All 19 participants who met their goals will be able to keep the money raised through crowdfunding.As the winner, Rondeau will also receive a personal mentorship session with Manjit Minhas, ATB board member, venture capitalist and dragon on CBC’s Dragon’s Den. She will also receive a $5,000 MasterCard from Moneris and ATB and a three-month coaching program with Anita Kemp, of The Purposeful Entrepreneur, valued at $1,500.“Alberta is a province full of remarkable entrepreneurs and this competition proved it once again,” said Minhas, who has been part of the campaign since its launch. “These women are creative, tenacious and embody the true entrepreneurial spirit. As someone who has seen thousands of sofas pitches, I can honestly say these are the cream of the crop! I look forward to watching and hopefully investing in their journey to change the world.”Other finalists include:Designer Jolanda Slagmolen-Flores — Sencillo Cabinets (Calgary)Artist Stephanie Hoogveld — Women of Wonder (Calgary)Herbalist Aga Wajda-Plytta — Herbologie (Edmonton)Health care professional Kathleen Cesarin — AOS (Edmonton)Workwear designer Jess Black — Jess Black Inc (Edmonton)Baker Ashley Prince — More Fun! Gourmet Sweets (Leduc)About ATB FinancialWith $54.9 billion in assets, ATB Financial is an Alberta-built financial institution. But don’t let that fool you—we’re so much more than a bank. We got started in 1938 to help Albertans through tough economic times, and today we have 176 branches, 143 agencies, a Client Care Centre, four entrepreneur centres, and mobile and online banking. And did you know we’re fast becoming the digital bank and the bank for entrepreneurs? We’re already the place to work for our more than 5,500 team members who love to serve our 760,000-plus customers in 247 Alberta communities. To find out more, visit us at atb.com. Login/Register With: Advertisement CALGARY – A Calgary entrepreneur is one step closer to expanding fashion choices through her business Curvy Collective after winning ATB Financial’s Build Her Business crowdfunding competition.Aymie Rondeau raised just over $9,000 in her winning campaign to create an online shopping platform that offers inclusive designer fashion not otherwise available in Canada. The chartered accountant came up with the idea after becoming frustrated with the lack of fashionable, high-quality designs available for plus-sized, professional women.“We believe that plus-sized women deserve safe, non-judgmental spaces to shop in, and the same quality of service and design, and quantity of fashion that is available to straight-sized women,” Rondeau said. “Curvy Collective’s goal is to change the conversation around how the world views and accepts people in larger bodies, and how plus-sized women view themselves: as confident, capable and worthy.” Facebook Calgary entrepreneur Aymie Rondeau is the winner of ATB Financial’s Build Her Business crowdfunding competition. Rondeau’s campaign Curvy Collective, to create an online shopping platform that offers inclusive designer fashion, raised over $9,000. (CNW Group/ATB Financial) Twitter
Rabat – A man died during prayer at a mosque in Berrechid near Casablanca.In a video posted on YouTube, the mosque’s security cameras recorded the shocking moment the man drops dead while praying Al-Fajr prayer.The incident apparently took place in November. Two men rushed towards the victim who was having a heart attack in what appeared to be at first an attempt to rescue him. They simply moved him aside and continued with their prayer.No one was shown in the video trying to perform CPR or intervene to save the man who was left dying alone against a pillar.The indifference of the mosquegoers towards the man has angered many social media users, describing what happened as the result of “ignorance”.
Kamal requested the prime minister to take steps to speed up the preparatory work for finalising the FTA. Kamal raised the issue of the coastal shipping agreement, which has been pending for three years.The maritime shipping connectivity will help Bangladesh’s shipping cargoes to reach their final destinations in the west via Colombo Port.In 2016, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka agreed to sign the FTA. Bangladesh has urged Sri Lanka to sign the free trade agreement and the bilateral coastal shipping deal quickly to enhance trade between the two countries, The Daily Star reported.Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal made the call during a meeting with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in Hanoi, Vietnam, on the sidelines of the Indian Ocean Conference, according to a statement of the planning ministry. The bilateral trade between the two nations amounts to only $150 million and it will receive a boost if the FTA becomes effective, the planning minister said. Wickremesinghe assured that Sri Lanka will expedite the FTA and maritime agreements.He said a good number of Sri Lankans are working in Bangladesh in a very friendly environment, mostly in technical and managerial positions, supporting the manufacturing and service sectors. In March this year, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed said Bangladesh will sign the agreement in October. (Colombo Gazette)
A three-month old killer whale, the last to be born in captivity at SeaWorld, died Monday after serious health problems, including what’s likely to be pneumonia, according to the park. CNN reports.
. Some 450,000 people are currently displaced and the number continues “to increase rapidly,” the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Iraq said. Humanitarian partners are trucking water to eastern Mosul at a rate of 2.3 million litres every day. Nearly 28 neighbourhoods now have access to clean drinking water in the east.However, “in newly retaken areas of western Mosul city, water trucking has already begun on a small scale, but significant increase in scale is required,” OCHA said.The UN is also working with partners to re-establish a functioning city-wide water network.In addition to water, emergency food and hygiene supplies are being distributed to families close to the front lines. More than 2.1 million people received urgent aid since October.As the fighting rages, ensuring that trauma casualties receive the specialized treatment they need in a timely manner remains a high priority, UN and humanitarian partners have said.Since mid-October, more than 8,100 people have been referred to hospitals in Mosul and surrounding areas. New field hospitals have also been created, one for emergency reproductive and obstetric healthcare.In addition, the UN and its partners are working to house families and provide protection, particularly to women and children.More funding is needed. The 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan for Iraq requesting $985 million is currently 17 per cent funded, according to OCHA. About $331 million of that is sought for the Mosul operation.VIDEO: Mosul couple come home to ruins. Credit: UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
A father and his three children in Douma City, Syria, after having returned from displacement in Al-Dwair, one of the sheltering sites in Rural Damascus that received people from East Ghouta fleeing heavy fighting. 1 July 2018. UNHCR/Vivian Tou’mehIt details how in under six months this year, as pro-Government forces moved to recapture large swathes of territory, more than one million Syrian men, women, and children were displaced in six key battles.Most now face dire living conditions, Hanny Megally, Member of the Commission of Inquiry, told journalists in Geneva.“Many of them are living in tents,” he said. “Many of them are living in destroyed property…So any further deterioration of their living situations is of great concern.”Witnesses consistently recalled the distinctive smell of chlorine at the affected sites and on victims’ clothing – Commission of Inquiry report on SyriaThe panel’s 24-page report highlights intense fighting between January and June in Aleppo, northern Homs, Damascus, Rif Damascus, Dara’a, and Idlib governorates. Most battles were marked by war crimes by all belligerents, it says, including launching indiscriminate attacks, deliberately attacking protected objects, using prohibited weapons, pillaging and/or forced displacement.In other instances, parties to the conflict failed to take all feasible precautions to protect civilians, as required by international humanitarian law.Noting the “extremely high cost” to civilians of the battle to regain territory, Mr Megally said that some areas including Yarmouk camp in Damascus and parts of eastern Ghouta had been so heavily destroyed “that there is no foreseeable possibility of civilian return”.The panel’s findings also detail alleged chemical weapons attacks by Government forces in heavily populated areas of Douma, eastern Ghouta, earlier this year. “Witnesses consistently recalled the distinctive smell of chlorine at the affected sites and on victims’ clothing,” the report reads. On the munitions allegedly used in the Douma attacks, the report indicates that “material evidence…indicated a type known to have been used only by Government forces or, rarely by militias”.“What we’ve identified is rockets that were manufactured in Iran, that have been adapted in Syria and have been adapted in a way that they could be used, it seems, to then be filled up with chlorine and used in some of these chlorine attacks,” Mr. Megally said. “All the other disasters would be minor events compared to what can happen in Idlib,” said Paulo Pinheiro, chair of the Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic.At a press conference in Geneva, to discuss the panel’s latest findings on rights violations committed in Syria, Mr. Pinheiro called on “all parties to the conflict and those estates who support them, to do everything in their power to prevent a massacre in Idlib”.The development comes amid growing international calls for a de-escalation of violence in and around the north-west region, which is home to nearly three million people. They are some of the victims of an “unprecedented” level of internal displacement across Syria, according to the report.On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged those involved in the more than seven-year war to avoid a further escalation, warning that failure to do so would unleash “a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict” so far.The UN chief also underscored that while the presence of terrorist groups sheltering in Idlib could not be tolerated, fighting terrorism “does not absolve warring parties of their core obligations under international law”. Some 10,000 fighters that have been identified as terrorists by the UN are believed to be living in Idlib, in among 2.9 million civilians, Mr. Pinheiro said. The protection of civilians was paramount, he insisted:“Of course, you don’t have anything against fighting against terrorists, but something has to be done to protect the rights of three million people and one million children. I think that this is something that has to move the powers involved in this decision.”Unprecedented levels of civilian displacementThe latest Commission of Inquiry report is its 16th update on the conflict, as mandated by the Human Rights Council in August 2011.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Gardeners across the country looked despondently at their brown, parched flowerbeds during the heatwave last year. Now, the Royal Horticultural Society is advising British people plant brightly coloured Mediterranean trees and flowers to drought-proof their gardens.The charity has released a list of ten attractive, colourful plants which can be put in the ground from April and can survive extremely dry conditions.Included in the list are the bright magenta rock rose, aromatic rosemary and lavender, silvery Russian sage and the bright yellow Spanish broom.This advice comes from the charity’s recently-recruited environmental horticulture team, which is coming up with new ways to protect British gardens from the effects of climate change and extreme weather.Mark Gush, Head of Environmental Horticulture at the RHS, said: “It may seem counter-intuitive that while much of the UK is under snow and ice gardeners should be considering Mediterranean plants for their gardens this summer.However, with the UK expected to experience warmer, drier summers over the coming years, hardy exotic varieties that can cope with periods of drought will enable gardeners to better manage water resources in their gardens.”RHS Garden Hyde Hall in Essex is situated in one of the driest parts of the country but its Dry Garden survived – even thrived – last summer, and has lasted an astonishing 18 years without being watered, instead capturing only the occasional rains that fall.”Of course, early establishment is imperative so plants have good root structures deep in the soil meaning it’s important gardeners plan ahead.”The new team will research and advise on sustainable resource management, soil health and ecosystem services, including how the UK’s 27 million gardeners can contend with weather extremes, air and noise pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Findings and advice will be shared with industry and the public.
We can always count on the FCC for giving us some early insight into upcoming smartphones. The latest phone to be featured on the FCC’s runway is the BlackBerry Curve 8980 codenamed Atlas. The 8980 is the next generation Curve smartphone replacing the 8900 previously offered by AT&T and T-Mobile.BlackBerry Bold 9700This latest smartphone by RIM looks very much like the BlackBerry Bold 9700. The major difference between the two seems to be the keyboards and the lack of a textured finish on the back of the 8980. Engadget believes that according to the information in the filing the phone is EDGE-only, much like its 8900 predecessor, which is a bit hard to believe considering 4G networks are currently being rolled out and 3G network connectivity seems to be pretty standard for smartphones these days.Another surprising spec is that it is being offered with the BlackBerry 5 OS rather than BlackBerry 6 and only comes with 256MB of RAM. Other specs include a 3.2-megapixel camera with flash, Wi-Fi b/g/n and quad-band GSM antennae.WirelessGround.com believes the Curve 8980 is actually destined for China as supported by CrackBerry which stated it saw the phone with China Mobile branding. That would make sense since 2G smartphones are popular there. The question then becomes why did RIM go through the trouble of getting FCC approval for sale in the U.S.? I think most people would agree that if the Curve 8980 is offered in North America it will look as technologically advanced as a typewriter sitting next to a computer.Read more at Engadget, CrackBerry, WirelessGround.com and the FCC
Ryanair launches new package holiday service The low-cost carrier has launched ‘Ryanair Holidays’ in Ireland, the UK and Germany. Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary Image: Richard Drew/AP/Press Association Images Thursday 1 Dec 2016, 2:55 PM Dec 1st 2016, 2:55 PM 35,032 Views Share144 Tweet Email1 43 Comments Take me to Fora Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary BUDGET AIRLINE RYANAIR has launched a new holiday booking service.The low-cost carrier today announced it was partnering with Spain-based tour operator Logitravel and accommodation provider World2Meet to offer ‘Ryanair Holidays’ packages.The service is available through the Ryanair website in Ireland, the UK and Germany, where the carrier is looking to aggressively expand its operations, with more markets expected to follow suit in 2017.“Consumers have been paying too much for package holidays for years and more and more want to put their own packages together themselves,” the airline’s marketing chief Kenny Jacobs said.“(Ryanair Holidays) is another significant step in our journey to becoming the Amazon of air travel.”The service will mostly chase after travellers looking for winter sun, family holidays and city breaks.Ryanair has already mooched into Hertz and Trivago territory with a car hire and hotel booking service. Today’s announcement signals another move in the carrier’s bid to diversify its business model. Short URL Read: Mark Little is leaving Twitter Ireland – six months after taking over as its new bossRead: One-third of UTV Ireland staff facing the axe in merger with TV3 Ryanair’s Kenny Jacobs (centre) Source: RyanairBigger than air faresEarlier this year, chief executive Michael O’Leary predicted its travel app would become bigger business than selling airline fares over the next 10 years.Although Ryanair expects to swell its passenger numbers from 100 million to 200 million over the next eight years, O’Leary suggested at the time that air fares will be a “smaller part of the business” in the future.He said he thinks the company will make most of its money through add-ons in the ‘MyRyanair’ app.“We have set this goal that at some point in the future all fares will be free (and) the bigger part of the business will be MyRyanair,” he said.“I think by about mid next year we won’t allow you to make a booking on Ryanair unless you join up for the MyRyanair programme.”He said that he expects the app will make money by selling add-on services to Ryanair’s passengers.“The way we will continue to lower the cost of travel is by encouraging more people to shop. We will get them to shop on Ryanair, but only for the services that they want.”Written by Conor McMahon and posted on Fora.ie Image: Richard Drew/AP/Press Association Images http://jrnl.ie/3113991 Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: By Fora Staff Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Physically, the Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED Multicolor is identical to a normal lightbulb of its size. It’ll fit into any E26 socket so you don’t need to buy some fancy new smart lamp or hub to take advantage of its features. And we suppose you could just use it as a regular lightbulbBut then why buy a smart bulb if you aren’t going to play with it? This bulb can display 16 millions beautiful different colors. After connecting it to your home network you can use a mobile app or digital assistant voice commands to customize those colors. You can also set IFTTT routines to turn the bulb on and off throughout the day or create certain mood lighting for certain rooms at certain times. It won’t interface with every smart home ecosystem out there like Apple HomeKit or other third-integrations. But it’s still plenty versatile.Beyond creating different color sets and schedules, the bulb will also tell you how much power it consumes. So if you use it efficiently, you may save some money will adding some extra color to your home lighting.For more on the Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED Multicolor check out the extensive review on our sister site PCMag. For more on light look at this time-lapse of the Southern Lights from space and check out this sideways lightsaber galaxy.More on Geek.com: Stay on target Geek Pick: Shure MV88+ Is An Excellent, On the Go Microphone KitGeek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your Walls How smart can a lightbulb really be? You turn it on, it makes the room look brighter, you turn it off. That’s it, right? Wrong. With the power of Wi-Fi even the most straightforward appliance can become a more intelligent and more futuristic version of itself. And with the Sengled Smart Wi-Fi LED Multicolor ($25) that future can come pretty cheap. Geek Pick: Philips Hue Play Light Bar Lights Up Your MediaGeek Pick: JBL PartyBox 300 Is a Huge Karaoke SpeakerGeek Pick: Ikea Sonos WiFi Speaker Is the Light of Music
It’s nothing like the whiteouts that walloped Dallas, Chicago and New York earlier this winter. But the forecasted snow storm meteorologists must have been nervous about having predicted did, in fact, materialize.Residents throughout Clark County woke up to snow-dusted streets and schoolchildren were rewarded with a seemingly elusive snow day.Some parts of northern Clark County received up to 5 inches of white powder. In downtown Vancouver, it was more of a light dusting that may have accumulated to about an inch. Columbian weather blogger Steve Pierce wrote this morning that between 2 and 5 inches fell in other parts of Vancouver. Most area schools have canceled classes today. C-Tran has suspended some routes and is running other buses on snow routes. For information, visit www.c-tran.com or call 360-695-0123.Icy roads contributed to about a half-dozen minor wrecks Wednesday night. Vancouver Fire Capt. Scott Willis said engines are equipped with chains but all has been quiet since the several crashes that occurred just as the snow started falling Wednesday.City and county public works crews are treating arterials and other heavily-traveled streets with de-icers and snowplows. If you have to drive today, drive slowly and allow more space between vehicles.
Consumer magazine deal value more than tripled over 2006 numbers to $7 billion, thanks largely to late-year deals by Macrovision and Bauer, which bought Gemstar-TV Guide ($2.8 billion) and Emap’s consumer magazine division ($2.3 billion) respectively. JEGI’s report adds that the 54 consumer magazine transactions-a 20 percent increase over 2006-included “significant” activity from private equity, highlighting the sale of Dennis Publishing to Quadrangle and Primedia’s enthusiast group to Source Interlink. B-To-B Magazine Deals DownDeal volume in the b-to-b magazine sector did not fare as well. Volume performed just as it did in 2006, sliding slightly by just under 10 percent in 2007 to 38 transactions. Total value fell as well last year to almost $3.2 billion, a 47 percent decline from 2006, which, admittedly, saw the $11 billion sale of VNU. The highlight b-to-b deal for 2007 was the $630 million sale of ALM to Incisive.Media and Information Industries M&A Activity (January – December 2007 v. 2006)Source: JEGI transaction database, 1/2008. More on this topic JEGI: 2006 Deal Activity Rises 18 Percent, Value Up 12 Percent Number of Magazine and Trade Show Deals up 41 Percent, Dollar Value Climbs 75 Percent in 2006 Media M&A Activity Slows in 1H First Half Media Deal Values Plummet 65 Percent Lots of Smaller Deals Are Driving Media M&A Activity Overall M&A Volume and Value Continue to Climb Through Q3Just In TIME Names New Sales, Marketing Leads | People on the Move Four More Execs Depart SourceMedia in Latest Restructuring This Just In: Magazines Are Not TV Networks Meredith Corp. Makes Digital-Side Promotions | People on the Move The Atlantic Names New Global Marketing Head | People on the Move Shanker Out, Litterick In as CEO of EnsembleIQPowered by At first glance, last summer’s credit crunch seems a distant and negligible memory in the face of 2007 M&A numbers compiled by investment banking firm Jordan, Edmiston Group, Inc. According to its end-of-year report released today, 838 transactions were recorded across 11 industry sectors with a total value of almost $109 billion. Overall deal volume is up 32 percent and value is up a whopping 79 percent.A closer look at the numbers, however, reveals another declining year for b-to-b magazine deals and that the credit mess did, indeed, impact the deal pipeline. B-to-b activity was down almost 10 percent in volume and 47 percent in value, and $75 billion of the $109 billion in overall deal value was reported in the first half of the year. Billion-Dollar Deals Lift BoatsThere were some big, billion-dollar deals that got done, despite the tighter credit market, and these helped propel their respective categories well beyond 2006 numbers. Online media and marketing services deals led the way with 555 recorded transactions valued at $43 billion and buoyed by ad network deals from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL.
A paper mill worker reportedly was killed in his factory when he was caught up in the machine at Roufabad under Bayazid Bostami police station of the port city on Wednesday morning, reports UNB.The deceased is Md Rakib, 21, son of Abdul Mannan of the same police station area.Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) outpost sub-inspector Md Alauddin Talukdar said Rakib got stuck in machine while he was on morning duty around 6.30am, leaving him injured seriously.Later, he was admitted to CMCH where physicians declared him dead, the SI added.
Michael Hagerty/Houston Public MediaThe Battleship Texas, docked on Buffalo Bayou near La Porte.Plans are for the retired Battleship Texas to weigh anchor and sail away from its longtime berth at the San Jacinto Battleground.Bruce Bramlett, of the Battleship Texas Foundation, said the 107-year-old veteran of both world wars will be moved permanently after the end of the year from the slip that’s been its berth for 70 years. Bramlett said the ship isn’t seeing enough paid visitors to pay for its aging maintenance.The recent session of the Legislature unanimously approved a measure to provide $35 million to repair the leaky battleship before it’s moved.The bill calls for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to enter into a “memorandum of understanding” with a non-profit to operate and maintain the ship.“The Battleship Texas Foundation will be the appropriate nonprofit partner and will submit a preservation plan to the Legislative Budget Board for their consideration and approval,” the department said in a statement. “That plan will also dictate the Foundation’s wishes for the ship’s ultimate berth location after repairs are made.”Bramlett said the legislation, which awaits Gov. Greg Abbott’s signature, doesn’t specify a new home site. But Rep. John Cyrier of Lockhart, one of the bill’s sponsors, has suggested Galveston as a new home.The battleship’s current home is a state historic site. The parks department is waiting to see if the measure approved by the Legislature becomes law. Steve Lightfoot, a department spokesperson, said there are no plans for the vessel until then.“There’s a lot of discussion that’s going to be had,” he said. “I don’t know if any formal conversations about a plan can even take place until that time.” Share
For A few artists one medium of art isn’t enough. They use various visual mediums to express themselves. One such artist is Puja Bahri who in her on-going exhibition Blow Horn, exhibits not only paintings but documentaries, photographs and multimedia installations.In her documentaries, she has recorded her experiences as a young woman, disguised as a man travelling in a truck on the national highways.Each of her paintings represent a rich tapestry of images and ideas inspired by her encounters during exploratory photographic voyages. Some show the struggles of people at busy intersections, on city streets or at bus stop waiting endlessly or at work. Her multi media sculptures are modeled through photographic intervention and installed with built-in video manipulation of recordings of street sounds and voices. Sounds interesting? Not to be missed we say! WHERE: Chawla Art Gallery WHEN: 1-30 Sep
During a press conference, yesterday, Nick Saban was asked a non-football question about a topic that’s on everyone’s mind, the upcoming solar eclipse. Well, it’s on everyone’s mind but Nick Saban.Saban said some arrangements have been made for players who want to watch it, but he isn’t really interested. He already got the full scouting report on the eclipse from The Weather Channel and would rather just watch it on TV. Watching it in person isn’t going to help win any more football games.Make no mistake, if staring into the solar eclipse without glasses would guarantee Saban another national championship, he would be the first in line, too.Nick Saban has no time for your universe’s rare occurrence pic.twitter.com/6PuP7NkRUL— SEC Mike (@MichaelWBratton) August 20, 2017 Advertisement
Blizzard, an American video game development company is all set to demonstrate the progress made by Google’s DeepMind AI at StarCraft II, a real-time strategy video game, tomorrow. “The StarCraft games have emerged as a “grand challenge” for the AI community as they’re the perfect environment for benchmarking progress against problems such as planning, dealing with uncertainty and spatial reasoning”, says the Blizzard team. Blizzard had partnered up with DeepMind during the 2016 BlizzCon, where they announced that they’re opening up the research platform for StarCraft II so that everyone in the StarCraft II community can contribute towards advancement in the AI research. Ever since then, much progress has made on the AI research front when it comes to StarCraft II. It was only two months back when, Oriol Vinyals, Research Scientist, Google DeepMind, shared the details of the progress that the AI had made in StarCraft II, states the Blizzard team. Vinyals stated how the AI, or agent, had learned to perform basic macro focused strategies along with defence moves against cheesy and aggressive tactics such as “cannon rushes”. Blizzard also posted an update during BlizzCon 2018, stating that DeepMind had been working really hard at training their AI (or agent) to better understand and learn StarCraft II. “Once it started to grasp the basic rules of the game, it started exhibiting amusing behaviour such as immediately worker rushing its opponent, which actually had a success rate of 50% against the ‘Insane’ difficulty standard StarCraft II AI”, mentioned the Blizzard team. It has almost become a trend for DeepMind to measure the capabilities of its advanced AI against human opponents in video games. For instance, it made headlines in 2016 when its AlphaGo AI program, managed to successfully defeat Lee Sedol, world champion, in a five-game match. AlphaGo had also previously defeated the professional Go player, Fan Hui in 2015 who was a three-time European champion of the game at the time. Also, recently in December 2018, DeepMind researchers published a full evaluation of its AlphaZero in the journal Science, confirming that it is capable of mastering Chess, Shogi, and Go from scratch. Other examples of AI making its way into advanced game learning includes OpenAI Five, a team of AI algorithms that beat a team of amateur human video game players in Dota 2 – the popular battle arena game, back in June 2018. Later in August, it managed to beat semi-professional players at the Dota 2 game. The demonstration for DeepMind AI in StarCraft II is all set for tomorrow at 10 AM Pacific Time. Check out StarCraft’s Twitch channel or DeepMind’s YouTube channel to learn about other recent developments that have been made. Read Next Deepmind’s AlphaFold is successful in predicting the 3D structure of a protein making major inroads of AI use in healthcare Graph Nets – DeepMind’s library for graph networks in Tensorflow and Sonnet DeepMind open sources TRFL, a new library of reinforcement learning building blocks
Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Police block a road out of Simferopol, Crimea, Monday, May 18, 2015, while young Tatars walk away during a march to commemorate the 71st anniversary of Soviet dictator Stalin’s mass 1944 deportation of Crimean Tatars. Some people were detained, while minors went free. (AP Photo/ Alexander Polegenko) New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober MOSCOW (AP) — Police in the capital of Russia-annexed Crimea have detained demonstrators trying to take part in an unauthorized motorcade to observe the anniversary of the mass deportation of Crimean Tatars.Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group, ruled the Black Sea peninsula from the 15th century until Russian conquest in the 18th century. In May 1944, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin accused the Tatars of collaborating with German forces and ordered their deportation, many to Central Asia. Tatars commemorate the deportation on May 18. This year’s events in Simferopol were much smaller than those before Russia’s March 2014 annexation of Crimea, which most Tatars opposed.Crimea’s chief of inter-ethnic affairs, Zaur Smirnov, said Monday about 100 motorcade participants were blocked and the men among them were taken to a police station to be interrogated.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology Top Stories Patients with chronic pain give advice Comments Share Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of
December 17, 2018 794 Views in Daily Dose, News, Secondary Market, Servicing FHFA HARP loans Refinances 2018-12-17 Seth Welborn Refinances Take a Turn According to the latest Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Refinance Report, the average interest rate on a 30‐year fixed rate mortgage rose to 4.83 percent in October from 4.63 percent in September. Total refinance volume increased in October after falling throughout most of the year.The report notes that borrowers completed 507 refinances through HARP in October, with the total refinances since the program’s inception now up to 3,493,512. Harp refinances make up just one percent of the total refinance volume nationally, and six percent of the loans refinanced through HARP had a loan‐to‐value ratio greater than 125 percent.According to the FHFA, the decreasing refinance volume throughout the rest of the year was a reaction to rising mortgage interest rates. Additionally, The FHFA states that borrowers who refinanced through HARP had a lower delinquency rate on average compared to borrowers who were eligible for a HARP refinance, but did not refinance through HARP. As of October 2018, borrowers with loan‐to‐value ratios greater than 105 percent accounted for 16 percent of the volume of HARP loans.The report also notes that nine states and one territory (Puerto Rico) accounted for over 70 percent of the nation’s HARP eligible loans with a refinance incentive as of June 30, 2018. Puerto Rico made up the largest number of HARP eligible loans, at 4,522, closely followed by Illinois with 4,511. Other states with high numbers of HARP eligible loans include New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Alabama, and Georgia. In total, 38,818 loans were eligible for the HARP refinance initiative as of June 30, 2018.In Florida, Georgia, and Illinois, HARP refinances represented two percent of total refinances compared to one percent of the total nationwide. In several states, underwater borrowers made up a large portion of HARP refinances. Underwater borrowers represented 20 percent or more of HARP refinances in Nevada, Florida, and Michigan.Read the full report from the FHFA here. Share