Categories: Iden News,Iden Photos PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Brandt Iden welcomed U.S Olympic Soccer star Lindsay Tarpley to the floor of the Michigan House of Representatives. Tarpley is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, winning gold at the 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. Tarpley attended Portage Central High School, where she led her team to an undefeated season and a state championship. 06Jun Rep. Iden welcomes Olympian to state Capitol
OK I’m going to admit something personal to you all – I’m not a millennial. And, guess what? Neither are most of the bigwigs in the cable and satellite industry. Maybe this is the reason why it has taken until early 2016 for a company as large as Liberty Global to get a handle on what these young ’uns are getting up to on their mobile devices.We’ve known that TV – or maybe we should always just call it ‘video’ from now on – viewing has been changing for the last few years, and that’s about how long John Malone’s company has been doing a takeover-come-merger dance with Vodafone. The largest cable operator outside the US and the world’s biggest mobile operator have been looking at ways to join together for their mutual benefit at the speed of two giant oil tankers slowly altering course.Meanwhile, those millennials have been sprinting all over the place. I loved a recent Enders Analysis report that said consumers in their 20s change platform 27 times per hour, implying that millennials are shifting from YouTube to Facebook to Instagram to Spotify to Snapchat to WhatsApp at almost one platform every two minutes. Talk about attention deficit disorder. How do you make them stay, and if you are Twitter, Facebook or any of the digital giants, how do you make them pay?Mobile is a big part of the answer. Mobile advertising now represents a whopping 80% of all Facebook advertising and was the principal driver behind the stronger profit margins that were reported by the social media giant for the last quarter of 2015. Facebook gets much better pricing for ads on smartphones because these appear inside users’ newsfeeds, where Facebook can charge more.So hallelujah that last month Liberty Global and Vodafone finally agreed to embrace, albeit in a limited way, by agreeing to merge their Dutch assets into a €19 billion mobile-and-cable operator, leveraging each other’s assets to create a true quad-play giant.Given that Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries says that Europe is becoming a quad-play market where bundling TV, broadband, telephone and mobile is fundamental for growth, the Dutch merger is likely to be a precursor of similar deals to come.Who knows, given the pace at which the cable industry works, where the video-on-mobile market will be by the time the pair finally join forces in fully functioning completeness, but you can bet it won’t be less significant. Global mobile data traffic rose 65% in Q4 of 2015 compared to the same period the year before, according to Ericsson, and a big portion of that is mobile video.Liberty Global wants to tackle cord-cutting. The company lost 400,000 video subscribers in 2015 across its operations. It’s not alone in this, nor in its strategy to address the problem. Elsewhere, Vodafone has invested in cable. In the UK fixed-line giant BT recently spent £12 billion (€15 billion) on the purchase of mobile operator EE. Other consolidation moves are also in the works, although they are provoking concern among European regulators that fewer communications companies will mean higher prices for consumers.However, it’s not just cable and telecom operators that are trying to get to grips with the millennials and lure them back to their platforms. Pay TV operator Sky will launch a virtual mobile network in the UK some time this year. I can’t imagine that its sister operations in Germany and Italy won’t follow suit.And don’t forget the likes of Netflix and what it might do. A recent report by analyst group IHS says the integration of this OTT service on pay TV platforms is proving to have a “net positive” effect on subscriber numbers. But if the kids watch Netflix more and more on their mobile devices, how’s that going to work in the future?Basically, the millennials are different to anything the media business has ever seen, and understanding them is taking quite a long time. Perhaps Liberty Global’s Dutch merger with Vodafone could be a tipping point for a wave of consolidation that will ultimately help both pay TV platforms and mobile platforms capture the kids, but then again perhaps it all comes back to that old phrase “content is king”. Last October, Liberty Global took a US$10 billion (€9 billion) stake in the UK’s Bigballs Media, the parent company of Copa90, a YouTube fan-focused football channel, while in the US, AT&T recently penned a deal with US multichannel online video network Fullscreen. These deals are about finding content that is mobile-friendly and works across platforms.Maybe Liberty Global’s affection for Bigballs will serve as a template. Among Bigballs’ original content is a comedy drama made in conjunction with Working Title TV called You, Me and the Apocalypse. It aired on Sky and NBC and it’s about what you would do if you had only 34 days to live. Isn’t this the kind of show that is a win-win for everyone including the millennials? It might even help avoid the cord-cutting apocalypse.Kate Bulkley is a broadcaster and writer specialising in media and telecommunications. firstname.lastname@example.org
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 25 2019A team of Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers, working with the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), has discovered genetic associations with blood pressure that could guide future treatments for patients with hypertension.The study, an international effort using data from sources including the VA Million Veteran Program (MVP) and United Kingdom (UK) Biobank, is published in the January issue of Nature Genetics.MVP is a national effort by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to collect blood samples and health information from one million veteran volunteers.Researchers discovered over 250 new genetic variants, and also identified over 400 new genes associated with blood pressure through changes in gene expression. The findings also suggest that several existing drugs not currently used to treat high blood pressure could be used to potentially lower blood pressure.”We’re redrawing the map of blood pressure genetics,” said Todd Edwards, PhD, associate professor of Medicine in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and one of two senior corresponding authors with Adriana Hung, MD, MPH.Related StoriesPoor sleep associated with high blood pressureHealthy blood vessels could help stave off cognitive declineNew ACC/AHA guidelines could improve detection of gestational hypertensionWhile large swaths of the map remain to be filled in, the researchers said they are closer than ever to being able to improve the treatment of high blood pressure based on the patient’s genetic make-up.”The door is wide open,” said Vanderbilt research fellow Jacob Keaton, PhD, whose identification of gene-drug interactions was a key part of the study. “We’re bringing findings to the table that we can do something with to have an impact on precision medicine.”The study analyzed the relationship between genetic variants and blood pressure traits utilizing the electronic health records of more than 300,000 MVP participants and more than 140,000 UK Biobank study participants.Thirty percent of the MVP participants were African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans — making it one of the most racially diverse genetic inquiries of its kind, said Hung, associate professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. Researchers replicated their findings by analyzing 17,000 samples from the Vanderbilt University biobank, BioVU, and 300,000 from large genetic consortia of blood pressure studies.”Blood pressure is incredibly complicated,” Edwards said. “It may be that as we increase the sample size of these kinds of studies … we’ll discover that no place in the genome has a zero effect on a trait like blood pressure. It’s just that some of the effects are incredibly subtle.”Much more needs to be learned.Currently “we can’t accurately say what your blood pressure’s going to be at age 65 by looking at your genotype,” Edwards said, “but we might be able to tailor your treatment a little more accurately with some of the results we have from this study.”Source: https://ww2.mc.vanderbilt.edu/
The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), an international committee headed by an EPFL professor, has just unveiled JPEG XS. With this new format, the image-compression process uses less energy, and higher-quality images can be sent with low latency over broadband networks like 5G. JPEG XS will have applications in areas such as virtual reality, augmented reality, space imagery, self-driving cars and professional movie editing. JPEG XS could come in handy whenever images and videos need to be sent to a processor as fast as possible. Potential applications include the “eyes” of drones and self-driving cars – technologies where long latency represents a danger for humans.The new format has also attracted the attention of the European Space Agency (ESA). The low-power algorithms used by JPEG XS would be a boon for space probes, which need to take very high-quality photos using only a tiny source of energy. Smartphones and other everyday devices with limited memory will continue to use the legacy JPEG format to store pictures.Another advantage of JPEG XS is that, like all previous JPEG formats, it is open-source. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), based in Hollywood, is already considering adopting JPEG XS as its editing format. “With JPEG XS, professional movie editors can take images created with different devices and import them directly into their editing software,” says Ebrahimi. Currently, every brand of video camera that uses high-dynamic-range (HDR) imaging techniques has its own proprietary coding format. That means individual files must be transcoded before they can be edited. JPEG XS will change this situation by providing a universal format.In addition to coordinating the development of the JPEG family of standards, Professor Ebrahimi came up with a new evaluation methodology together with his team in order to assess how well JPEG XS performs. These tests proved that the technological side of the new format is sound. The multimedia industry is currently awaiting final approval by the member states of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Once that is obtained, JPEG XS-based products and services can be launched.”In the immediate future, JPEG XS will be put to use in professional applications like movie editing, space imagery and professional-grade cameras. Consumer electronics will come next, including self-driving cars, virtual reality, augmented reality, and wireless connections between multimedia devices and TV monitors or projectors,” says Ebrahimi. “To be able to use JPEG XS, consumers will need to own the next generation of devices. In terms of software, they will probably just need to run an update, like they do from time to time on their computers and smartphones anyway.” Why do virtual reality headsets make users nauseous? One reason is latency, or the almost imperceptible amount of time it takes for a display image to change in response to a user’s head movement. However, the Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) has just introduced a new image compression standard that could resolve this problem. This working group is headed by Touradj Ebrahimi, a professor in EPFL’s School of Engineering (STI).With JPEG XS, images and videos maintain an extremely high level of quality thanks to a compression process that is simpler and faster – and thus more energy efficient. The compressed files end up being larger, but that’s not a problem thanks to broadband networks such as Wi-Fi and 5G: the aim is to stream the files instead of storing them in smartphones or other devices with limited memory.This means that you could use your smartphone, tablet or computer to project a high-definition movie or a video game onto a large-screen display almost instantaneously. No cables would be required, and the image quality would be extremely high.”We want to be smarter””For the first time in the history of image coding, we are compressing less in order to better preserve quality, and we are making the process faster while using less energy,” says Professor Ebrahimi, who runs EPFL’s Multimedia Signal Processing Group. “We want to be smarter in how we do things. The idea is to use less resources, and use them more wisely. This is a real paradigm shift.”JPEG compression, which has been widely popular over the past 25 years (see inset), typically reduces image file sizes by a factor of ten. This compression process was developed so that images could be stored in cameras, with their limited memory, and easily shared over communication networks. Yet the process needs to evolve in response to new applications, more efficient broadband networks and technological advances. The JPEG XS standard compresses files by no more than a factor of six and is not meant to replace the popular JPEG format. “Compressing the images with JPEG XS doesn’t compromise quality at all: even experts can’t tell the difference between an original and a compressed picture or movie,” adds Ebrahimi. “JPEG changed our world” Touradj Ebrahimi, head of JPEG. Credit: group©7tin.cn Citation: A new JPEG format for virtual reality, drones and self-driving cars (2018, April 9) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-jpeg-format-virtual-reality-drones.html Wide array of applications Provided by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne Explore further 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.
LONDON (Reuters) – British online fashion retailer ASOS (ASOS.L) dented profit expectations for the third time in eight months on Thursday, saying problems in ramping up warehouses in the United States and Germany had hit sales and increased costs. FILE PHOTO: A model walks on an in-house catwalk at the ASOS headquarters in London April 1, 2014. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/File PhotoShares in the one-time stock market darling plunged as much as 22% in early trading. They were down 12.5% at 0740 GMT, extending losses over the last year to more than 60%. “Clearly management need to rebuild credibility in their financial guidance,” said analysts at Shore Capital. ASOS, which sells fashion aimed at twentysomethings, issued a shock profit warning in December, and in March said its new U.S. warehouse was struggling to cope with demand, hitting sales there and adding to challenges in France and Germany. The group said on Thursday total sales rose 12% to 919.8 million pounds ($1.14 billion) in the four months to June 30, with sales in its United Kingdom and rest of world division robust, up 16% and 14% respectively. However, in the European Union and the United States sales were held back by operational problems at its new warehouses in Berlin and Atlanta, up 5% and 12% respectively. “Embedding the change from the major overhaul of infrastructure and technology in our U.S. and European warehouses has taken longer than we had anticipated, impacting our stock availability, sales and cost base in these regions,” said Chief Executive Nick Beighton. “We are clear on the root causes of the operational challenges we have had, are making progress on resolving them, and now expect to complete these projects by the end of September.” The group said it was reducing expectations for its 2019 financial year accordingly. Pretax profit is now expected to be 30-35 million pounds after 50.5 million pounds of transition and restructuring costs. According to Refinitiv data, analysts had been expecting pretax profit of 55 million pounds. ASOS reported a profit of 102 million pounds in 2018. For the balance of the year, the group sees sales broadly in line with its year-to-date performance of up 13%. Full-year retail gross margin is forecast to be down 250 basis points year-on-year. Capital expenditure guidance has been kept at about 200 million pounds, but year-end net debt is now expected to be about 100 million pounds. “Clearly the warehouse transition in both Europe and the U.S. have seen significant growing pains in recent months, which in our view, have been self-inflicted by the company,” said the Shore Capital analysts. Reporting by James Davey; Editing by Kate Holton and Mark PotterOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
healthcare policy SHARE COMMENT Published on June 25, 2019 Kerala While Kerala remains the healthiest State in India, Uttar Pradesh remains the most unhealthy, said NITI Aayog as it released the second edition of its State Health Index. Some States such as Rajasthan have improved their health status, but what is worrisome is that States such as Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have not improved at all, it said.The index analyses overall performance and incremental improvement in the States and the Union Territories for the period with 2015-16 as the base year and 2017-18 as the reference year. “In Bihar, the deterioration between, Base Year of 2015-16 and Reference Year of 2017-18 was primarily due to the performance related to total fertility rate, low birth weight, Sex Ratio at Birth, Tuberculosis treatment success rate, quality accreditation of public health facilities, and time-taken for National Health Mission fund transfer,” said the report. Only 56 per cent of mothers deliver babies in health facilities in Bihar, which is worse than the national average. Also, Bihar is in red because more low birth weight babies are being born as compared to 2015-16. “Uttarakhand’s Health Index score decreased mainly because of deterioration in neo-natal mortality rate, Under-five mortality rate, stability of tenure of key administrative positions at district level, functionality of First Referral Units (FRUs), and NHM fund transfer,” the report said. The slide in Odisha’s Health Index score was mostly due to worsening of the full immunisation rate and TB treatment success rate; and in the case of Madhya Pradesh it was reduction in level of birth registration and TB treatment success rate, it said. Even in the better-performing States, Tamil Nadu dropped from third position to ninth position, while Punjab dropped from second position to the fifth. The position of the second-best State has been taken by Andhra Pradesh, and the third by Maharashtra. Incremental performanceNITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant also lauded among the larger States, Haryana, Rajasthan and Jharkhand that were the top three in terms of incremental performance.The report has also compared health outcomes of Kerala to that of Argentina or Brazil, with neo-natal mortality rate (NMR) which is the probability of a baby dying in first 28 days of birth, being as low as six per 1,000 live births. NMR in Odisha which stands at as high as 32 per 1,000 live births is close to that of Sierra Leone, states the report. “It is imperative that the States spare at least eight per cent of their budget for health,” said VK Paul, Member (Health), NITI Aayog. SHARE SHARE EMAIL NITI Aayog Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar have shown no improvement in health status NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant; Rajiv Kumar, Vice-Chairman and member V K Paul releases the second edition of ‘Healthy States, Progressive India’ report, in New Delhi, Tuesday, June 25, 2019. – PTI COMMENTS