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KZN residents warned about salmonella outbreak – NEWPAPER24

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KZN residents warned about salmonella outbreak

2018-11-10 09:00:00


DURBAN – At the least 20 individuals have been hospitalised following salmonella poisoning in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.

Lancet Laboratories alerted docs within the area about instances in each youngsters and adults.

Among the many objects affected, in response to exams, embrace orange juice, eggs, recent greens, frozen dinners, dairy merchandise and peanut butter.

The laboratory says non-typhoidal salmonella species are the main reason behind bacterial foodborne sicknesses.

Signs range from delicate to extreme diarrhoea, vomiting and fever.

It comes simply months after a listeriosis outbreak claimed over 200 lives in South Africa.

Officers have urged individuals to follow correct hygiene and meals security.

Meals must be stored beneath four levels Celsius.

Individuals have additionally been urged to scrub their arms and recent meals earlier than consuming.

The general public can also be suggested to correctly cook dinner meals till it is nicely executed.

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Bloomingdale’s to start out promoting high-end home equipment as Sears struggles – NEWPAPER24

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Bloomingdale’s to start out promoting high-end home equipment as Sears struggles

2018-11-14 11:00:00


Luxurious division retailer operator Bloomingdale’s is making a push to promote home equipment forward of this vacation season, seeing a Share of the market up for grabs.

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Name of Responsibility ‘swatting’ loss of life prankster pleads responsible – NEWPAPER24

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Name of Responsibility ‘swatting’ loss of life prankster pleads responsible

2018-11-14 13:01:04

Picture copyright Getty Pictures
Picture caption There have been a spate of incidents involving players which have led to prank calls to the police

A California-based gamer faces as much as 20 years in jail after admitting crimes together with making a hoax name to US police that resulted in them capturing an harmless man lifeless.

Tyler Barriss made the decision after changing into concerned in a dispute with different video players engaged in a web-based Name of Responsibility match.

The 25-year-old had meant to direct the police to a different participant’s house.

However as an alternative he gave the deal with of the sufferer, a Kansas-based father-of-two.

Barriss had initially claimed to be harmless however on Tuesday modified his plea to responsible.

“With out ever stepping foot in Wichita, the defendant created a chaotic scenario that shortly turned from harmful to lethal,” US Lawyer Stephen McAllister mentioned in a press release.

“His causes have been trivial and his disregard for the security of different individuals was staggering.”

As well as, Barriss admitted to having made hoax bomb threats to the FBI, colleges, universities, procuring malls and TV stations amongst different crimes.

As a part of his plea settlement, he has agreed to contribute in the direction of the sufferer Andrew Finch’s funeral prices and to be supervised for 5 years after his launch from jail, in keeping with native newspaper the Wichita Eagle.

Faux quantity

Prosecutors referred to the prank name as being an instance of “swatting” – an try and idiot armed police or different emergency companies into disturbing a goal at their house or different deal with.

It will get its identify from particular weapons and techniques (Swat) police items within the US.

Picture copyright Newpaper24
Picture caption Tyler Barriss pleaded responsible to a complete of 51 costs

On this case, Barriss is alleged to have been requested by one other gamer to “swat” a 3rd after there had been a battle over a Name of Responsibility World Battle II battle involving a $1.50 (£1.16) wager.

On discovering this, the meant goal is alleged to have claimed he was residing at an deal with he had the truth is moved out of and went on to dare Barriss to ship the police there.

Barriss did so by claiming that he lived on the property, had shot his father within the head and was holding different relations hostage.

He disguised his phone quantity when doing so to make it seem to the Wichita Police Division that he lived domestically.

Mr Finch knew nothing of this when police autos arrived at his house and he stepped out to see what was happening.

The police mentioned he had then did not adjust to an order to maintain his palms up within the air, main to 1 officer capturing him with a rifle.

The officer in query was cleared of wrongdoing earlier this 12 months.

Picture copyright Activision
Picture caption A row over a Name of Responsibility WWII sport is alleged to have provoked the swatting name

The opposite two players concerned within the affair – Casey Viner, 18, from Ohio, and Shane Gaskill, 20, from Wichita – deny the costs in opposition to them and are awaiting trial.

Barriss is about to be sentenced on 30 January.

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This US Agency Desires to Assist Construct China’s Surveillance State – NEWPAPER24

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This US Agency Desires to Assist Construct China’s Surveillance State

2018-11-14 12:00:00

In a nondescript workplace tower a mile from the Las Vegas Strip, two ladies toil in a windowless room filled with bikinis in each dimension, model, and hue. It’s the stockroom of Bikini.com, a web-based swimwear retailer. Down the corridor, colleagues are working to interrupt into China’s red-hot marketplace for surveillance software program powered by synthetic intelligence.

Bikini.com is owned by Comment Holdings, a small public firm with Hollywood producer Brett Ratner on its board and monetary ties to TV’s Dr. Mehmet Oz. Comment’s leaders try to rework the unprofitable, debt-loaded web site operator right into a supplier of company AI expertise in Asia, notably China. Comment’s enterprise and Share value are struggling, however its peculiar AI undertaking has made some progress.

In March, Comment stated it had signed a take care of a Thai conglomerate that operates greater than 10,000 7-Eleven shops in Thailand, amongst many different companies. Charoen Pokphand Group hopes to acknowledge the faces of shoppers for loyalty applications, and of shoplifters for safety functions, in response to Athikom Asvanund, an govt who advises CP Group’s chairman, Soopakij Chearavanont. In a press release, Chearavanont says Comment’s expertise might additionally assist Chinese language insurance coverage large Ping-An, through which CP owns a stake, with duties like processing claims.

China is the principle focus of Comment’s AI undertaking. The corporate has a number of subsidiaries within the nation, the place engineers are low-cost and work six days every week. One subsidiary constructed expertise to be used by police in China’s fifth largest metropolis, Hangzhou, that analyzes surveillance video to determine bikes driving on streets the place they’re banned. Comment additionally helps a Chinese language grocery store group determine frequent consumers by means of facial recognition software program. Comment CEO Shing Tao, a cheery native New Yorker, says his firm is utilizing the expertise to clock in staff and forestall them from working double shifts at Chinese construction sites, and that he’s angling for police contracts that may use the expertise to identify fugitives in public.

Comment is making an attempt to faucet into China’s seemingly infinite urge for food for surveillance, for each safety and industrial ends. A nationwide technique launched final yr declared the nation will rival the US in AI by 2020. Fast adoption of facial recognition in China means your physiognomy can now get you money from an ATM—or plucked from a live performance crowd of 20,000 by native police, as one man suspected of stealing potatoes discovered in Could. Tao says the nation’s openness to the expertise and extra lax method to privateness make it a logical goal for Comment. “China is the low-hanging fruit,” he says. “They actually perceive and settle for what AI is, and so they’re able to go.”

Comment is tiny in contrast with the large US tech firms on the forefront of AI analysis; its AI push is constructed on a shoestring. Comment reported $70 million in income final yr, principally from its journey enterprise; that’s lower than Google generates on a mean day. Comment’s chief expertise officer, Jason Wei, says his builders in China lean closely on open supply instruments launched by Google and lecturers, and honed their facial recognition software program partially with images scraped from Chinese language and US social media websites together with Fb.

That’s not precisely a recipe for world-beating AI expertise. Comment’s AI choices haven’t netted the income Tao advised traders they might, and the corporate’s Share value has slid 70 p.c this yr. US sanctions and China’s thriving ecosystem of home AI suppliers additionally pose challenges to Comment’s efforts to construct a enterprise within the nation. Requested about Comment, Hao Lu, chief innovation officer at Yitu Know-how, a number one facial recognition startup, had by no means heard of the corporate or its Chinese language model.

Comment created software program to observe over restaurant kitchens and log situations of staff eradicating hats or face masks.

Courtesy of Shing Tao

Nonetheless, the notion {that a} small-time web site operator is constructing AI choices reveals how shortly advances in areas reminiscent of picture recognition unfold, with the assistance of open supply software program. 4 years in the past, it will have been implausible for a small firm with few expertise chops to create instruments able to recognizing faces or objects reminiscent of bikes. Now, a developer with out machine studying expertise can cobble collectively a system that detects some frequent objects moderately effectively in 4 months, says Reza Zadeh, founding father of Palo Alto video recognition startup Matroid. Such software program wouldn’t be simple for patrons to make use of or aggressive with extra refined merchandise like Matroid’s, however it would possibly work effectively sufficient to win a deal. “That’s the stuff you will notice startups which are inexperienced attempt to peddle,” says Zadeh, who can also be an adjunct professor at Stanford.

Smaller gamers like Comment might really feel freer to take AI expertise locations that firms with extra title recognition can’t, or received’t. Google and Microsoft each have AI analysis labs in China, however it’s exhausting to think about them or different main US software program firms bidding for police facial recognition contracts there. Google, for instance, just lately pledged to not renew a Pentagon contract through which it utilized machine studying to drone imagery after protests from its staff. Requested whether or not he has qualms about working with Chinese language authorities, Tao says he merely needs to assist clients function extra successfully, whether or not they’re in retail or imposing native legal guidelines. “We’re not breaking the foundations,” he provides.

How Stuff Works

Comment didn’t begin as a tech firm. It was created in 2006 as a spinout from Discovery Communications known as How Stuff Works Worldwide, or HSWI, to market variations of the favored rationalization web site in rising markets. When that enterprise proved much less profitable than hoped, HSWI in 2009 cofounded a web-based well being web site known as ShareCare, alongside companions together with the founding father of WebMD, Dr. Oz, and Oprah Winfrey’s manufacturing firm. Comment nonetheless owns 5 p.c. In 2011, HSWI modified its title to Comment Media, and began a broader enlargement, buying Bikini.com, and later Vegas.com, which gives lodge and present bookings.

The acquisitions bolstered Comment’s income, however Tao frightened media and ecommerce have been threatened by rising expertise firms. He was named CEO in 2012 after a stint on Comment’s board; beforehand, he had labored as an investor on offers involving Taiwanese expertise firms, and sat on the board of Playboy Enterprises. “It was very clear that we wanted to have some sort of expertise, some sort of edge, that nobody might compete with,” recollects Tao.

Tao turned to Wei, now the CTO, to evaluate what sort of expertise an organization with minimal expertise experience would possibly develop. Wei had been introduced in to enhance Bikini.com’s publishing system, however beforehand labored at Toshiba and based a virtual-world startup.

Wei tinkered with making a wearable digicam for pets—examined on Tao’s canine—and a tool to forestall texting and driving. Neither appeared promising, and engineering prices mounted. Wei estimates his explorations burned by means of greater than $100,000 in two months. “We determined, OK, possibly we must always strive China, as a result of in Chengdu that a lot cash in all probability can final us for a yr,” he says.

In Chengdu, Wei assembled software program engineers to construct a social-media evaluation service for entrepreneurs. The software program skirted obstacles to scraping put in place by social networks and picked up public updates and images from networks reminiscent of Weibo and Fb. The aim was to determine accounts belonging to the identical particular person, and index them by topic and site. Wei says names and figuring out private data reminiscent of telephone numbers have been scrubbed to guard privateness.

That undertaking led Comment to the AI expertise taking off in Silicon Valley. Wei studied how a method known as deep studying had just lately made computer systems significantly better at classifying photos. He borrowed concepts and open supply code from firms reminiscent of Google and main lecturers. He describes College of Oxford professor Andrew Zisserman, who additionally works with Alphabet, as his workforce’s “hero” for releasing ready-to-use deep studying fashions that may acknowledge objects and faces in images. “By means of the photographs, by means of facial recognition, we’re in a position to put numerous items collectively,” Wei explains.

Comment launched its social media analytics service beneath the model KanKan, or see and discover in Mandarin. Shoppers included Aston Martin’s advert company in China, in response to Tao. He additionally modified his firm’s title to Comment Holdings, and commenced pitching its picture processing software program to firms and public businesses in Asia. “We’d constructed up a powerful base of information, and through this time the prices of AI form of got here down,” says Tao.

Monitoring Faces

At Comment’s places of work in Las Vegas, Wei eagerly connects the feed from the boardroom’s videoconferencing system to his workforce’s software program. In a single mode, the software program attracts packing containers round every face within the room, transferring because the particular person strikes. In one other it traces the motion of individuals’s limbs, and accurately says {that a} WIRED reporter wears glasses and is between 30 and 40 years previous. Wei says one other piece of his workforce’s software program can decide dozens of facial expressions, though many with solely low accuracy. “Primary ones like a smile, crying, offended, nervous—these are helpful sufficient for retail shops to find out if their clients are glad or an worker is doing the right job,” he says.

Wei additionally performed video from a digicam mounted above six busy staff in a bustling restaurant kitchen. Digital pink packing containers tracked the faces of two staff not carrying face masks. He stated the software program was developed to bid for a pilot undertaking in Shanghai—just like one described in a report from state-owned Chinese language media—through which authorities put in cameras in restaurant kitchens that routinely alerted metropolis inspectors to breaches of meals security guidelines. In a close-by assembly room, Wei confirmed off black steel circumstances housing computing boards from graphics chipmaker Nvidia, whose highly effective chips have turn into central to main AI initiatives, and safety cameras from Hikvision, a number one video surveillance firm partly owned by the Chinese language authorities. Comment installs its software program on the computer systems, that are then hooked as much as cameras, Wei says. He described a check of Comment’s facial recognition expertise through which it accurately noticed employees mingling with crowds on the Vegas strip.

All that expertise hasn’t boosted Comment’s funds as a lot as Tao projected. In March, he advised traders that KanKan would contribute $50 million in income in 2018. By means of the primary six months of the yr, Comment’s expertise enterprise generated simply $4.6 million in income, in response to an organization submitting.

“It’s an unimaginable story,” says Anne Stevenson-Yang, cofounder of Beijing-based monetary analysis agency J Capital Analysis, who issued two trenchant analysis notes about Comment’s AI desires this yr. They describe her failure to verify contracts Comment claims to have with Chinese language banks. Her conclusion: The corporate’s expertise is minimal and wildly oversold. “It’s to pump the inventory and promote the inventory, that’s all,” she provides. J Capital’s webpage for her Comment reviews notes that the corporate’s shoppers could also be shorting Comment’s inventory.

Tao says Comment’s AI income hasn’t met his expectation as a result of contracts took longer to finish than anticipated, and elevated authorities scrutiny on banks derailed initiatives through which Comment helped with credit score checks. He advised traders final yr that the Shanghai restaurant system was destined for two,000 eating places in a deal price “seven figures,” however now says it has been delayed by metropolis paperwork.

Tao confirmed WIRED a memorandum of understanding between Comment and grocery store operator Beijing Hualian for expertise to trace consumers that mentions facial recognition. Different contracts present a Comment subsidiary pledging to supply the restaurant commentary system to a Shanghai firm working with town’s Jing’an District, and the motorbike detection system to be used by police in Hangzhou. Tao says it covers greater than a dozen intersections, and routinely flags photos of offending autos. He shrugs off J Capital’s reviews, saying his enterprise companions shouldn’t be anticipated to disclose all to nosy analysts, and that accusations he misled traders don’t make sense. “Why would we put our core enterprise in danger?” Tao asks. He factors to Comment’s look on leaderboards rating the accuracy of facial recognition software program hosted by lecturers on the state universities of Massachusetts and Washington, though neither independently confirm the code behind outcomes submitted by contributors.

Facial recognition was a sizzling matter in China’s canal-crossed historic city of Wuzhen final week, on the annual World Web Convention. China’s authorities makes use of the occasion to undertaking an image of digital innovation—inside rigorously outlined political bounds.

Final yr, Apple CEO Tim Cook dinner and Google CEO Sundar Pichai every gave keynotes. This yr, beneath the pall of the Trump commerce warfare, the highest American CEO attending was Steve Mollenkopf of Qualcomm. Comment was current, internet hosting a sales space on the expo flooring. On Thursday, the corporate tweeted a photograph of Tao presenting the KanKan AI platform on stage. A couple of hours earlier, Tao mirrored on China’s openness to AI and the alternatives for Comment, if it could actually ship expertise that works. “AI is reworking the world, and China is main the world on adoption of this expertise,” he stated.


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