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Michael Buble and wife Luisana Lopilato welcome baby girlMichael Buble and wife Luisana Lopilato welcome baby girl

first_imgJuno host Michael Buble and his wife Luisana Lopilato attend the red carpet arrivals at the 2018 Juno Awards at Rogers Arena on March 25, 2018 in Vancouver. (Phillip Chin/Getty Images) Advertisement Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Buble’s rep says the family is “beyond overjoyed.”Vida’s middle names are in honour of her parents’ mothers: Amber is Buble’s mother’s name, while Lopilato mother’s name is Betty.Buble, who is Canadian, is a four-time Grammy winner with hits like “Haven’t Met You Yet.”center_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment NEW YORK — Michael Buble and Luisana Lopilato are the now the proud parents of a baby girl.Buble’s representative tells The Associated Press that Vida Amber Betty was born Wednesday in Vancouver. She is 6 pounds, 1 ounce.Buble and Lopilato have two sons, Elias and Noah. Lopilato, an Argentine TV actress, posted a photo of her baby girl’s hand Thursday on Instagram. Login/Register With: Twitterlast_img read more

Kanesatake council racks up 31000 legal bill in only six days fightingKanesatake council racks up 31000 legal bill in only six days fighting

first_imgBy Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsThe Mohawk Council of Kanesatake is facing a $31,000 bill for just six days of legal work battling its own grand chief and the board of the community’s health centre, according to an invoice submitted to the band council by the Delegatus law firm, based in Montreal.The invoice document is circulating through the community, which sits west of Montreal and was at the centre of the Oka crisis in 1990.It seems the court battle has come at a high financial cost for the band, which is already facing an about $4 million deficit.The legal battle has triggered the loss of insurance coverage for the health centre’s board. That means the centre could be taken over by a federally appointed Third Party Manager. Recently the financially-troubled health centre was in danger of failing to meet its payroll, forcing the Kanesatake Grand Chief to pay $6,500 out of his own personal savings to help cover the shortfall.At the centre of the trouble is a divided band council.Grand Chief Serge Simon stripped two band chiefs (in Kanesatake band councillors are known as chiefs) of their health portfolios and removed them from the health centre’s board. According to Simon he wanted to separate politics from the running of the health centre. However, four chiefs on council said Simon’s actions were illegal. They slapped both Simon and the health board with court action.The council has been split this way since the 2011 election. Four chiefs nicknamed “the quorum” have consistently blocked Simon and his minority of two of his supporters on council.The legal battle between the four band councillors and the health centre’s board is ongoing, a court date is set for the end of August.Chief Sheila Bonspiel, part of the group that launched the legal battle, blames Simon for the trouble. She says he refused mediation on the health board issue.“That is part of business, we have a responsibility,” said Bonspiel. “We had no choice but to defend the collective interest of the people…. (Simon) just wants to take us down.”As for the legal bills, Bonspiel said the law firm lowered their rates after negotiations. She said bill represents the bulk of the preparatory work for the legal battle.The document shows that legal work ranged from preparing a motion for the injunction, strategic meetings, a review of the final motion and an appearance before the Quebec provincial court, among other tasks.Simon could not be reached to comment on the issue of the legal bills.While the “quorum” chiefs are using band council moneys for their legal fees, Simon said he paid his lawyer out of his own pocket.Simon tried to remove his opposition in a non-confidence referendum on earlier this month.The “quorum chiefs,” which include chiefs Bonspiel, Shannon Nicholas, Kathy Daye and Sonya Gagnier, lost that vote on June 15.Simon and his supporters on the council, chiefs Clarence Simon and John Canatonquin, won.Aboriginal Affairs, however, won’t recognize the referendum’s outcome.The quorum chiefs agree with that decision and say the non-confidence vote was illegal.Bonspiel said many community members “boycotted” the referendum which saw about 230 people vote. About 550 people voted during the 2011 election.Simon also paid for the referendum from his own pocket, a move Bonspiel said delegitimized the process.“It’s more than unethical, it’s unbelievable, there was no impartiality in that vote,” she said.Simon, however, says the referendum reflected the will of the community and has previously pointed out that the 212 non-confidence votes Bonspiel received in the referendum topped the 211 votes she received as councillor in the August 2011 vote.Simon received 305 votes for grand chief during that vote and 209 votes of confidence in the referendum.Simon recently sent a statement to APTN National News blasting Ottawa for refusing to recognize the referendum’s results.“It’s clear that our human rights are being violated,” said Simon, in the statement. “The government must stop its interference in our internal affairs.”Simon said he plans to hold a public meeting and hopes to hold a general election in September.jbarrera@aptn.ca@JorgeBarreralast_img read more

Hunger striking Al Jazeera journalist in Cairo speaksHunger striking Al Jazeera journalist in Cairo speaks

By Kevin Kriedemann – LondonFootage has emerged for the first time of Al Jazeera’s hunger striking journalist Abdullah Elshamy.The reporter is currently effectively missing, after being abruptly moved from his cell by the Egyptian authorities on Monday morning. His whereabouts since then have still not been ascertained. Al Jazeera is extremely concerned about his wellbeing, especially given the duration of his hunger strike, which began on 21 January 2014. Looking frail and emaciated, with sunken eyes, in a video he recorded before he went missing, Elshamy reiterated that he was jailed simply for doing his job. He says in the video:“My name is Abdullah Elshamy, I’m Al Jazeera Arabic’s news reporter. I have been detained since 14 August 2013 in Cairo while I was covering the dispersal of Rabaa al Adawiya sit-in. I was doing my job as a reporter and despite the authorities knowing this, I have been detained for 266 days without any charge and without committing any crime.”“I record this video after I have reached 106 days of my hunger strike to hold the Egyptian government, the Egyptian judiciary and the General Prosecutor responsible. If anything ever happens to me, I have requested several medical checkups from independent sources and yet this help has not been provided. I also haven’t had any medical care here inside the prison and this is a record for the history and for the sake of documenting my state and thus if anything happens to me, whatever it is, either my health fails totally, or anything happens to my safety, I hold the Egyptian regime responsible for that.”An appeal against Elshamy’s latest 45 day detention will be heard in court today. Elshamy is being held along with around 700 people who were arrested at the same time on 14 August last year. Al Jazeera says his case should be treated separately as he is a journalist.Also today, Al Jazeera English’s three journalists will have the eighth hearing of their trial.Al Jazeera spokesperson Osama Saeed said, “Abdullah needs urgent independent medical attention. The authorities should grant this and reveal where they are holding him. The best thing of all they can do is release him and end this nine-month ordeal. Abdullah is a journalist and journalism is not a crime.” read more

Top UN human rights official repeats concern about situation in ColombiaTop UN human rights official repeats concern about situation in Colombia

In a statement released in Geneva, Mrs. Robinson noted the state of emergency declared by the Colombian Government on Sunday, and said that she recognized the legitimacy of measures available to States to defend themselves against grave threats to the life of their nations.The measures adopted by governments in the exercise of exceptional powers have to be consistent with commitments derived from international human rights laws, the High Commissioner added. “These laws regulate the limits of public powers when they place restrictions on human rights and fundamental freedoms,” she said. “Any such restrictions must be submitted to the control of the judiciary.”Mrs. Robinson also pledged that the UN field office in Colombia would continue to monitor and provide advice on the implementation of the emergency measures. read more

Afghanistan Blast hits car transporting electoral staff but registration continuesAfghanistan Blast hits car transporting electoral staff but registration continues

Speaking to the press in Kabul, Manoel de Almeida e Silva said it was not yet clear whether the four staffers and their driver, who all escaped with only minor injuries before their car was engulfed in flames, were deliberately attacked. “It could have been just a mine that was there and the vehicle hit it or it could have been a targeted attack by remote control device,” he said.The Government is investigating and deminers have been sent to the area to determine whether the blast was caused by a mine or a remote controlled improvised explosive device, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).Meanwhile, over 2 million Afghans have been registered so far, including over 600,000 women.Jean Arnault, the UN envoy to Afghanistan, has welcomed the news that members of Hezb-i-Islami, who recently announced their commitment to renounce the use of violence and join the peace process, have made known their intention to register and participate in the elections.Hezb-i-Islami leaders are expected to register on Monday in Kabul.Mr. de Almeida e Silva stressed that the electoral process “is indeed inclusive and open to all Afghans irrespective of political affiliation who wish to exercise their constitutional right to elect and to be elected.”Recent incidents of violence, he pointed out, “have so far not had any impact on the planning for voter registration.”At the same time, he stressed that the issue of security is being taken “very seriously.”Earlier this month, two international staff and their Afghan interpreter were killed while scouting locations for voter registration sites in the country’s mountainous northeast. read more

EPA report Largescale mining in Bristol Bay region could hurt fish AlaskaEPA report Largescale mining in Bristol Bay region could hurt fish Alaska

JUNEAU, Alaska – A government report indicates a large-scale copper and gold mine in Alaska’s Bristol Bay region could have devastating effects on the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery and adversely affect Alaska Natives, whose culture is built around salmon.The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday released its final assessment of the impact of mining in the Bristol Bay region. Its findings are similar to those of an earlier draft report, concluding that, depending on the size of the mine, up to 94 miles of streams would be destroyed in the mere build-out of the project, including losses of between 5 and 22 miles of streams known to provide salmon spawning and rearing habitat. Up to 5,350 acres of wetlands, ponds and lakes also would be lost due to the mine footprint.“Our report concludes that large-scale mining poses risks to salmon and the tribal communities that have depended on them for thousands of years. The assessment is a technical resource for governments, tribes and the public as we consider how to address the challenges of large-scale mining and ecological protection in the Bristol Bay watershed,” EPA regional administrator Dennis McLerran said in a statement.The battle over the proposed Pebble Mine has been waged far outside the state’s borders, with environmental activists like actor Robert Redford opposing development. Multinational jewelers have said they won’t use minerals mined from the Alaska prospect, and pension funds from California and New York City pressured London-based Rio Tinto, a major shareholder of mine owner Northern Dynasty Minerals Ltd., to divest last year.The Bristol Bay watershed produces about 46 per cent of the world’s wild sockeye salmon, and salmon are key to the way of life for two groups of Alaska Natives living in the region, Yup’ik Eskimos and the Dena’ina. The report said the response of Native cultures to any mining impacts was unclear, though it said it could involve more than the need to compensate for lost food and include some degree of cultural disruption.EPA initiated the review process in response to a request in 2010 from tribes and others in the region concerned about the impact of the proposed Pebble Mine on Bristol Bay fisheries. The report, however, is not meant to be about a single project.Some see the mine as a way to provide jobs in the region, but others fear it would disrupt or devastate the local way of life. A citizens’ initiative scheduled to appear on the August primary ballot would require legislative approval for any large-scale mine in the region.Supporters of the EPA process hoped it would lead the agency to block or limit the project, while opponents saw it as an example of government overreach and feared it would lead to a pre-emptive veto.EPA has said its goal with the watershed assessment is to get the science right. In the report, EPA said the assessment will inform possible future government actions.EPA said the report is not an in-depth assessment of a specific mine but a study of the possible impacts of reasonably foreseeable mining activities in the region. The agency said it drew on a preliminary plan published by Northern Dynasty Minerals and consulted with mining experts on reasonable scenarios.The president of Northern Dynasty Minerals, in November, said if it appeared EPA was moving to take pre-emptive steps to in any way restrict permitting, the company would probably launch the permitting process on its own without waiting for a new partner.The Pebble Partnership has called the mine deposit one of the largest of its kind in the world, with the potential of producing 80.6 billion pounds of copper, 107.4 million ounces of gold and 5.6 billion pounds of molybdenum over decades.While EPA focused on the effects of one mine, the agency, in its report, said it’s possible that several mines could be developed in the watersheds studied, each of which would pose risks similar to those highlighted in the report.The report also found that polluted water from the mine site could get into streams through runoff or uncollected leachate, even with the use of modern mining practices, raising in-stream copper levels that could affect salmon. It noted that culvert blockages or other failures could impede fish passage and that failure of a tailings dam —where mining waste is stored— could be catastrophic though the probability of such a failure is considered quite low. EPA report: Large-scale mining in Bristol Bay region could hurt fish, Alaska Native culture AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press Posted Jan 15, 2014 11:57 am MDT read more

Rebuilding homes in Fort McMurray Alta going faster than expected CMHC saysRebuilding homes in Fort McMurray Alta going faster than expected CMHC says

by Dan Healing, The Canadian Press Posted Jul 20, 2017 9:22 am MDT Last Updated Jul 20, 2017 at 3:00 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Builders work on a new home in the Beacon Hills area after wildfires last year destroyed most of the neighbourhood in Fort McMurray, Alta. Friday, April 21, 2017. The federal housing agency says rebuilding efforts in Fort McMurray, Alta., are going faster than expected, with reconstruction underway on one-third of the homes destroyed in last year’s wildfires. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol Rebuilding homes in Fort McMurray, Alta., going faster than expected, CMHC says Rebuilding efforts in Fort McMurray, Alta., are running ahead of expectations, with reconstruction underway on one-third of the homes destroyed in last year’s wildfire, according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp.In a report Thursday, the federal agency said the rebuilding of 844 housing units has started and that number is expected to rise to about 1,000 this year. It said 122 of the projects were started last year and 722 in the first half of this year.CHMC market analyst Tim Gensey said the agency underestimated how many construction workers would come to Fort McMurray when it suggested last December only 600 units per year could be rebuilt.He said the strong numbers also reflect the devotion of residents.“One of the fears I’ve heard around the community is that people might just take the insurance money and leave Fort McMurray,” he said.“However … the people who live there permanently love their community and they are staying.”Gensey said about 550 of the units being rebuilt are single-family detached houses and most of the rest are townhouses.“We’re ahead of schedule. It’s been exceptional,” said Sheldon Germain, a municipal councillor and member of the recovery task force in Fort McMurray.He said the speed at which housing units are being rebuilt is due to factors including competent local builders, a communities reconstruction management plan and the municipality’s target of issuing building permits within 48 hours of completed applications.The fire that swept through the community of about 70,000 last year caused an estimated $3.8 billion in insured property damage and destroyed nearly 2,600 homes, including almost 1,900 single-family houses.At the current pace, all home rebuilding activity should be complete in three to four years, CMHC said.The agency pointed out a total of 59 new housing units — not rebuilds — have also started since the wildfire was extinguished.On its website, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, which governs Fort McMurray, reports that 86 rebuilt dwellings had been completed and received final inspections as of June 30.CMHC says about 99 per cent of the destroyed housing units in Fort McMurray are expected to be rebuilt, adding the exceptions are between 21 and 35 lots in the Waterways area being set aside as part of the municipality’s flood mitigation plan.Resale housing prices averaged $435,500 in the second quarter of 2017, up from $407,000 in the first quarter, a difference CMHC attributed to more condos and mobile unit sales in the earlier period.It said home prices have been in decline since 2013 and they aren’t expected to rebound until oil prices strengthen, improving prospects for the surrounding oilsands industry.CMHC reported Fort McMurray’s apartment vacancy rate fell from almost 30 per cent in 2015 to about 18 per cent in 2016 as residents displaced by the fire took up temporary accommodations.The rate is expected to drop to 10 per cent this year as workers from outside arrive to help with rebuilding.Follow @HealingSlowly on Twitter. read more

Noonan says bank debt deal cannot be actively pursued until 2015Noonan says bank debt deal cannot be actively pursued until 2015

first_imgFINANCE MINISTER MICHAEL Noonan has said that any active pursuit of retroactive recapitalisation of Ireland’s banking system cannot be done until 2015.Noonan was speaking after a meeting with the head of the eurozone’s permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), Klaus Regling who repeated his belief that he currently cannot foresee unanimous consent to Ireland getting a deal on its bank debt.The government has been pushing for the use of the ESM to retrospectively recapitalise its pillar banks, AIB and Bank of Ireland, which received billions of euro in State funding at the height of the financial crisis.Regling has previously indicated that such recapitalisation using the fund that he heads “doesn’t seem very likely” and said today: “There is just a general reluctance in a number of countries to provide financing retroactively, because it’s based then on the past.”Crucial to any retroactive recapitalisation is the establishment of a Single Supervisory Mechanism for the eurozone which is not likely until November of this year. “We’ll continue to pursue retroactive recapitalisation of the banks and we will do that actively as soon as the instrument is in place, which means 2015, and at all levels in government we will pursue that as an objective,” Noonan said.‘Something for the medium or long-term’The Minister reiterated the commitment made by European leaders on 29 June 2012 to break the link between the banking debt and the sovereign and said this had been reinforced by subsequent statements from the French and German leaders.He said: “Obviously we will continue to explore the possibilities of delivering on these commitments but until the instrument is put in place, to which Mr Regling referred, it doesn’t arise. So it’s something for the medium or long-term.”Noonan said that the State is “not going to wait around” for a deal and will continue to bring down its cash buffers as well as purse any possibilities to sell its estimated €11-12 billion worth of shares in the banks.“We’re not flying on one wing and simply waiting for European assistance. We have an active policy for dealing with our debt as well.,” the said.Regling congratulated Ireland on its recent emergence from the Troika programme but said that this successful exit did not mean that it would be more difficult for Ireland to get a bank debt deal.He said that although he does not see consensus on giving Ireland debt relief there are “many other developments [that are] moving in the right direction and will help reduce the debt burden for the Irish economy and the Irish budget”.Read: Taoiseach admits his own deadline on bank debt deal will be missedRead: ‘Ireland wasn’t a victim of the Euro, the Euro was a victim of Ireland’s banks’- Barrosolast_img read more

Explainer Why is Sean Fitzpatrick in court next monthExplainer Why is Sean Fitzpatrick in court next month

first_imgThe trial in relation to these 16 charges was meant to start on 13 January but legal teams asked for extra time as they were not ready.This was granted and a date of in or around the 4 February is now expected. The trial will last between three and six months.That’s a pretty long time. Who will the jury be?You and I. In the general sense. Ordinary citizens have been called for duty. About 1,500 of them.The Courts Service expects about 500 men and women to turn up for empanelling which takes place just before the trial begins – probably 31 January.The prosecution also intends to ask for extra jurors under the amended Juries Act.New laws introduced last January allow for up to 15 jurors to be sworn in for trials that will last longer than two months. Usually, there are just 12 members of a jury.So, what’s the second trial about then?In an unrelated case, Fitzpatrick faces 12 charges of making false or misleading statements to corporate auditors.On 21 December, he was charged with several counts of failing to disclose the true amount of loans made by the bank to him or to parties connected with him, and for failing to disclose loans between Anglo and Irish Nationwide Building Society, to auditors Ernst & Young.The offences are alleged to have occurred at various dates, each at the end of November or beginning of December, in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007.The loan values were between €5.1 million and €139.8 million. THERE IS NO exact date yet but Seán Fitzpatrick is due back in court at the start of next month in relation to how he did business at Anglo Irish Bank, the financial institution he ran over two decades.He will be joined in the docks by his colleagues Willie McAteer and Pat Whelan.The three men face 16 charges relating to the provision of unlawful financial assistance. They allegedly gave that ‘help’ (loans to buy shares in Anglo) to 16 people, which includes Sean Quinn’s wife, Patricia, and their five children and the so-called Maple 10.The Maple 10 are Paddy McKillen, Séamus Ross, Brian O’Farrell, John McCabe, Gerard Maguire, Patrick Kearney, Gerard Conlon, Gerard Gannon, Seán Reilly and Joseph O’Reilly. Read more about the Maple 10 here.According to prosecutors, the offences took place in July 2008 in an attempt to inflate the bank’s share price and prop up public confidence in the bank.At the time of the deals, Fitzpatrick was the chairman of the now-defunct financial institution, McAteer was the finance director, while Whelan was the managing director of lending.He has been in court lots already. What makes this time different?Fitzpatrick faces two different trials (we’ll come back to the second one later).The statement is still a valid one, though. There have been a number of pre-trial hearings to which the banker had to attend.The 65-year-old’s first appearance was in July 2012 when he was charged with a breach of section 60 of the Companies Act. He had been arrested the same day after making arrangements with authorities to return to Ireland from the US.Gardaí detained him at Dublin Airport at 5.37am under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act but was later re-arrested under section 60 of the Companies Act.Under bail requirements, Fitzpatrick signs into Irishtown garda station every Wednesday between 9am and 9pm. He needs to give officers 48 hours notice if he intends to change address or leave the State.On 8 October 2012, he – along with Whelan and McAteer – were served with the books of evidence against them at the Circuit Criminal Court in Dublin.The number of documents relating to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and the Garda Bureau of Fraud Investigations were kept in nine boxes – three for each defendant.The maximum sentence for breaches of section 60 of the Companies Act is two years imprisonment plus a fine.The legislation states:it shall not be lawful for a company to give, whether directly or indirectly, and whether by means of a loan, guarantee, the provision of security or otherwise, any financial assistance for the purpose of or in connection with a purchase or subscription made or to be made by any person of or for any shares in the company, or, where the company is a subsidiary company, in its holding company.center_img Read all 12 charges, in full, here.The charges come under section 197 of the Companies Act (1990), which states:An officer of a company who knowingly or recklessly makes a statement to which this section applies that is misleading, false or deceptive in a material particular shall be guilty of an offence.If convicted, each offence is punishable with five years in prison and/or a fine up to a maximum of €12,697.Could there be more charges brought?Yes, the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement told the High Court this week that this is a distinct possibility.The court also heard that the legal proceedings following the complete capitulation of Anglo could drag on for years.Another case, involving Dennis Casey, Peter Fitzpatrick (both of Irish Life & Permanent) and Anglo’s John Bowe, is also ongoing. The trio were charged with conspiracy to defraud contrary to common law over the alleged back-to-back deposits transactions.Related: Trial date for Seán Fitzpatrick and former Anglo execs to be set shortlylast_img read more

GeoHot now works at FacebookGeoHot now works at Facebook

first_imgGeoHot will probably be forever known as the guy who hacked the PS3 and released the console’s private key, but those days are officially over as he has got a legitimate and high-profile job. GeoHot now works at Facebook.We’ve already had one hacking surprise today as LulzSec announced over the weekend that they had disbanded. Now we are hearing George Hotz, the hacker Sony targeted in a recent lawsuit, has landed himself a job working for Mark Zuckerberg.AdChoices广告Hotz apparently tried to keep his new job low profile and managed to do so for a couple of months. He actually started working at the social network in May, and it wasn’t until the middle of June that he told friends through Facebook.Sony and Hotz settled the PS3 jailbreak lawsuit back in April. Hotz agreed not to release anymore code, but also did not have to admit he did anything wrong. Since then he has kept quiet and seems to have realized being in the media and crosshairs of companies like Sony is not what he wants for his future.There’s no denying that George Hotz is a talented individual on a computer, and Facebook clearly realized this. Lets hope they’ve got him working on Facebook security as who better to thwart hackers than a proven hacker.Read more at TechunwrappedMatthew’s OpinionEver since the Sony lawsuit the focus has been on Hotz and Sony, but we have to remember he was also quite prolific when it came to hacking the iPhone and iPad.His decision to go legitimate will come as a surprise to a lot of people, but it is the right thing to do. If he kept hacking he would only end up facing more lawsuits and possibly even jailtime and some big fines. This way he gets to earn a decent wage working at a forward-thinking company that could really test his skills. I also doubt there’s going to be a lack of hackers willing to continue circumventing hardware security, although Apple may have stopped an untethered jailbreak eve happening on future iPhones. Whoever manages to overcome that hurdle for iPhone 5 will surely share the status GeoHot managed to attain in the hacking community.last_img read more

This is just a little pit stop The week in quotesThis is just a little pit stop The week in quotes

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article ‘This is just a little pit stop’: The week in quotes Here’s what was said and who said what this week. For daddy, nothing will change, we can’t turn back time.Dee Fitzpatrick, the daughter of one of the 13 patients at Wexford General Hospital who probably had a bowel cancer misdiagnosis, spoke what her family went through during the investigation. America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies, and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength.President of the United States Donald Trump set out his vision for his presidency in his inaugural speech. Source: C-SPAN/YouTubeThis is just a little pit stop.Barack Obama retained a positive focus on the next four years under President Trump. Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTubeI always knew it would always turn back to the way it was … which is nice too.Ollie Hayes, the man who served Obama a pint of Guinness, told us about life in the town several years on from the presidential visit. Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTubeThe whole street is dying and we’re all struggling. https://jrnl.ie/3198556 No Comments Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube Share2 Tweet Email Moore Street trader Marie Cullen spoke about work on the street is affecting business. Source: Shutterstock/Jamie WilsonIt is clear that many adults who, in the place of parents, were meant to provide love and care to children, failed in a catastrophic manner to protect and nurture their precious charges.Bishop of Kilmore Leo O’Reilly on a report on ‘widespread abuse’ at Catholic-run children’s homes across Northern Ireland. Source: PA Wire/PA ImagesWe must continue to move forward. Dialogue is the only option.Sinn Féin’s Martin McGuinness announced he was stepping down from politics. I think it’s important to reflect on the fact that we would not be where we are in Northern Ireland in terms of having stability, peace and the opportunity to rebuild our country if it hadn’t have been for the work that he put in, especially with my father, at the beginning of this long journey.A tribute to McGuinness came from an unlikely source – Ian Paisley Jr. By Nicky Ryan Sunday 22 Jan 2017, 7:30 PM Jan 22nd 2017, 7:30 PM Short URL 15,067 Views last_img read more

Easy Friend Request pour devenir amis sur Facebook via NFCEasy Friend Request pour devenir amis sur Facebook via NFC

first_imgEasy Friend Request : pour devenir amis sur Facebook via NFCLe laboratoire d’expérimentation d’Orange, le Labs prime zone, vient de dévoiler une nouvelle application qu’il nous propose de tester. BaptiséEasy Friend Request, elle permet de se faire des amis sur Facebook grâce à la technologie Near Field Communication (NFC).L’Orange Labs Prime Zone met en avant sur son site Internet une application baptisée Easy Friend Request. Son but ? Permettre aux adeptes de Facebook de se faire de nouveaux amis sur le réseau social en utilisant la technologie sans contact NFC.À lire aussiDes pelures d’oranges contre la déforestation, l’étonnante histoire d’une expérience oubliée pendant 20 ansPour ce faire, il suffit que les futurs amis Facebook aient tous deux installé l’application sur leurs téléphones ou tablettes. Ils devront ensuite placer le widget Easy Friend Request sur leurs écrans, puis le toucher pour lancer l’application, tout en s’assurant d’être connectés au réseau social. Il leur suffira ensuite de rapprocher les deux terminaux pour qu’ils deviennent amis. L’action devra ensuite être validée en cliquant sur “faire des amis”.Une application qui tend à démocratiser la NFC et à la faire sortir du seul champ commercial auquel elle est cantonnée. Reste qu’il existe pour l’heure encore peu de terminaux équipés de cette technologie permettant une connexion entre deux appareils proches. Samsung, RIM et Nokia en comptent toutefois dans leurs catalogues.Le 18 novembre 2011 à 18:00 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Vancouver City Council updates accessory dwelling units rulesVancouver City Council updates accessory dwelling units rules

first_imgVancouver city councilors were split over whether an ordinance updating accessory dwelling units standards should become law as is, but at the end of Monday’s council meeting it narrowly passed 4-3.The ordinance makes several changes to the way Vancouver regulates ADUs, secondary residential units built within or next to single-family homes. The more controversial changes that passed eliminate on-site, off-street parking requirements and owner-occupancy requirements, which means both the main house and ADU can be rentals.Encouraging ADU development by relaxing restrictions was a recommendation of the Affordable Housing Task Force that met between May and December 2015. Mayor Tim Leavitt, along with Councilors Alishia Topper and Anne McEnerny-Ogle, sat on the task force. Rules and regulations around accessory dwelling units haven’t changed substantially since 2004, and only about 65 have been legally built since 2000. Prior to Monday’s meeting the updates had been discussed at an open house and city council and planning commission workshops.Before Monday evening’s vote, people spoke for and against the changes.Stephanie Turlay, Councilor Bill Turlay’s wife, said she finds it difficult to understand the “pack ’em and stack ’em attitude” considering existing congestion in Vancouver. She’s worried about property values going down as ADUs are built.“I do not see that the city has any business changing the integrity of neighborhoods as they now stand,” she said, adding that the old ADU requirements worked fine. “To me this whole thing is really basically unenforceable.”last_img read more

Bloodworks Northwest Blood donations urgently needed after derailmentBloodworks Northwest Blood donations urgently needed after derailment

first_imgBloodworks Northwest issued an urgent plea for blood donations following the Amtrak train derailment Monday morning in DuPont.Bloodworks had issued more than 150 units of blood within a few hours of the derailment, responding to emergency orders from hospitals receiving people injured during the incident.Supplies for some blood types are at critical levels, with just one or two days’ worth of supplies compared with the normal four-day inventory. Bloodworks has a special need for Type O blood, AB plasma and platelets.Many of the injured have been transported to south Puget Sound hospitals that rely on Bloodworks for blood supplies. Bloodworks Northwest also supplies both Vancouver hospitals.“We need to replenish our supplies to meet the needs of injured people today, and in the days ahead, as well as to meet normal needs,” said Dr. James P. AuBuchon, president and CEO of Bloodworks Northwest, in a news release.last_img read more

Googles Pixel 4 could have the Project Soli chipGoogles Pixel 4 could have the Project Soli chip

first_img Pixel 4 and 4 XL rumors: Release date, leak details, design, specs and more Google Review • Our Google Pixel review: Pure Android at its absolute best Now playing: Watch this: CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Google Pixel The Pixel 4 could be getting gesture control. Angela Lang/CNET Google’s Pixel 4 phone — recently confirmed by Google, for reasons we can only speculate — could come equipped with the tech giant’s Project Soli chip, according to a report. Project Soli, Google’s radar-based motion sensors, would allow users to operate phones via hand gestures.Google had unveiled Project Soli at I/O back in 2016 with a video showing how people could use the technology to control their smartwatch and smart speakers by moving your hand and fingers.9to5Google reported on Tuesday it had heard that the Project Soli chip is being integrated into the upcoming Pixel 4 flagship phone. How To • How to transfer your data from an iPhone to Android phone 0 3:00 Tags Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Google’s upcoming Pixel 4 smartphone is also rumored to have a square camera module on the back of the phone as well as  a notch, two speaker grills on the edge at either side of the USB-C port, volume and power on the right-hand side of the phone. It will reportedly lack a fingerprint scanner and buttons on the left side.The Pixel 4 is rumored to launch in October, and will likely run Android Q. It could also be bezel-less, have a hole-punch screen, two rear cameras for four cameras in total and improved dual-SIM capabilities. Share your voice See itcenter_img Post a comment Now playing: Watch this: 4:59 Phones Mobile Project Soli: The best thing we saw at Google I/O 2016 News • Google Pixel 3A: Where is AT&T? Google’s Project Soli: Controlling devices using hand… Google’s Pixel 4 In December 2018, Google was granted approval by the Federal Communications Commission to deploy and operate the Project Soli sensors at high power levels and aboard aircraft.Google had applied for the waiver in March 2018, with the sensor allowing Google to capture motion in a 3D space using a radar beam. This enables the touchless control of devices.”Grant of the waiver will serve the public interest by providing for innovative device control features using touchless hand gesture technology,” Julius Knapp, the FCC’s chief of Engineering and Technology, wrote in the order at the time.Commentary: Pixel 4 leak signals a whole new Google Mentioned Above Google Pixel (32GB, Quite Black) $219 Preview • Pixel and Pixel XL unveiled: Google’s post-Nexus phones come out swinging (hands-on)last_img read more

Apple Watch Series 4 Brings LifeSaving Improvements to the Popular WatchApple Watch Series 4 Brings LifeSaving Improvements to the Popular Watch

first_imgStay on target Apple Brings Contactless Student IDs to More UniversitiesCelebrate World Emoji Day With Diverse New Characters Apple Watch Series 4 was one of the highlights of Apple’s Special Event today, broadcast live from the Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino, CA. The new version of the popular Apple Watch, which Apple noted was now the number one watch in the world, period, has a veritable treasure trove of new design and feature ideas meant to help make life easier and safer for anyone who uses it.The new watch, aside from rocking a few aesthetic and performance improvements, amazingly has a series of new heart-centric health features meant to keep its users more aware of their physical health. The watch will be able to utilize new features that will help assist it with screening the wearer’s heart rhythm for any abnormalities that may be related to conditions such as bradycardia, tachycardia (slow or fast heartbeat) or even atrial fibrillation, which is essentially an irregular heart rhythm.Perhaps astonishingly is the new addition of the electrocardiogram (EKG) feature, which will allow users to perform an EKG directly from the Apple Watch. This will mark the first consumer-grade EKG that’s ever been available to consumers without having to visit a clinic to have the procedure performed. What’s more, Apple has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration to have the Apple Watch Series 4 classified as a medical-grade device in this manner. Users can open an app on the watch, place one finger on the digital crown dial, and measure their EKG in seconds without having to go to the doctor’s office or pay expensive testing fees.To that end, the watch has also implemented a new fall detection feature, which lets the watch figure out if you’ve taken a nasty tumble, and can automatically call 911 or a predetermined number for you if you remain unmoving for over a minute after falling down. This will be especially useful for those with limited mobility or elderly parents or other family members in the home.Major changes have come to the Watch’s physical form, too. The screen is now almost edge to edge, with a new larger display in both 40mm and 44mm sizes. The display itself has become 30% bigger, and there’s more to watchOS as a result. The new UI has been altered so that it really makes use of the bigger display screen. There’s also a new watch face with eight built-in complications.The watch’s overall body has been altered in meaningful ways as well with the digital crow now including haptic feedback and a special LTE ring indicator that flashes red when looking for service. It’s also significantly louder than it used to be, with an improved speaker. Finally, the back of the watch features a sapphire crystal and black ceramic with the electrodes that allow for the aforementioned electrocardiogram recordings to be done.The battery may have remained the same, but this is clearly overall the most feature-packed Apple Watch yet. Best of all, you can continue to use the same bands from your previous models if you don’t feel like purchasing a new one. There are new gold and stainless steel finishes to choose from, and it’s all going to be releasing a lot sooner than you may have expected.The Apple Watch Series 4 goes live to preorder on Friday, and it will begin shipping on September 21, starting at $399 for the GPS edition and $499 for GPS + LTE versions. If this is one Apple device you’re interested in snapping up, you’d better go ahead and get that preorder in, as this one will undoubtedly sell like hotcakes.For more on Apple’s other releases check out why the iPhone SE is the last good iPhone as well as some upcoming Android phones worth checking out. And everything you need to know about Apple’s new phones.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

Using optogenetics to program yeast to produce more isobutanolUsing optogenetics to program yeast to produce more isobutanol

first_img © 2018 Phys.org A team of researchers at Princeton University has developed a way to cause yeast to produce more isobutanol, a possible candidate for use as a biofuel. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes their use of optogenetics to increase isobutanol production by yeast. As the search for alternatives to petroleum continues, scientist continue to look for new sources of biofuels. In this new effort, the researchers genetically altered yeast to produce more isobutanol in the absence of light.As the researchers note, it would be convenient if yeast could produce isobutanol all the time, but that does not appear to be possible, because isobutanol is actually toxic to yeast—if it builds up, the yeast will die. Because of that, yeast must be allowed to go into a growth phase in which the yeast builds up precursor substances that it needs to remain healthy. Prior efforts have shown that it is possible to get yeast to switch between production and growth phases, but such efforts have not been uniform, which has resulted in the production of disappointing amounts of isobutanol. In this new effort, the researchers looked to optogenetics to provide a more efficient means for getting the yeast to switch between the two phases.Optogenetics involves programming cells to respond to light. To that end, the researchers added a light-sensitive transcription factor obtained from a marine animal into the yeast. They also introduced changes to another gene, enabling it to block transcription factors. The end result was a yeast that could be switched on and off using light—when light was present, the yeast produced ethanol as normal; when it was turned off, it produced isobutanol.The researchers found that the modified yeast is capable of producing 8.5g of isobutanol per liter of a glucose solution, which they note is five times more than any other method has delivered. Unfortunately, they note, that amount is still not high enough to make the process commercially useful. Explore further In experiments, researchers used light to control yeast. Credit: Sameer Khan/Fotobuddy 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. The team plans to continue their research, looking to further optimize the process to see if they can improve yields. They are also considering adding biosensors that can switch the light source on and off automatically, possibly improving efficiency and making the process easier to carry out.center_img Citation: Using optogenetics to program yeast to produce more isobutanol (2018, March 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-optogenetics-yeast-isobutanol.html Journal information: Nature Reversible OptoEXP system based on VP16–EL222 that is sensitive to 450 nm light. hν indicates the energy of photons. HTH, helix–turn–helix DNA-binding domain. Credit: Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/nature26141 More information: Evan M. Zhao et al. Optogenetic regulation of engineered cellular metabolism for microbial chemical production, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/nature26141AbstractThe optimization of engineered metabolic pathways requires careful control over the levels and timing of metabolic enzyme expression. Optogenetic tools are ideal for achieving such precise control, as light can be applied and removed instantly without complex media changes. Here we show that light-controlled transcription can be used to enhance the biosynthesis of valuable products in engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We introduce new optogenetic circuits to shift cells from a light-induced growth phase to a darkness-induced production phase, which allows us to control fermentation with only light. Furthermore, optogenetic control of engineered pathways enables a new mode of bioreactor operation using periodic light pulses to tune enzyme expression during the production phase of fermentation to increase yields. Using these advances, we control the mitochondrial isobutanol pathway to produce up to 8.49 ± 0.31 g l−1 of isobutanol and 2.38 ± 0.06 g l−1 of 2-methyl-1-butanol micro-aerobically from glucose. These results make a compelling case for the application of optogenetics to metabolic engineering for the production of valuable products.Press release Engineering cells for more efficient biofuel productionlast_img read more

The trailer for the Sense8 series finale is here to give youThe trailer for the Sense8 series finale is here to give you

first_imgThe end is coming | Photo: YouTube/Netflix GAYSTARNEWS- The sci-fi drama, created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski, follows a diverse group of people known as sensates. They are inexplicably emotionally and mentally linked to one another.Since its start, critics and fans alike praised the show for its diversity — both in cast and topics. The series explores things like gender, sexuality, politics, and religion.The trailer shows all of that and more.[embedded content]A dramatic historyNetflix initially canceled the series after two seasons. This spring, the sensates gather one final time in the series finale of Sense8. Netflix released the official trailer for the beginning of the end and it’s sure to have evoke plenty of feelings. Fans, naturally, were not happy about that and petitioned the streaming giant to bring it back — and it worked!The finale isn’t a full season, but rather a final movie. Still, it’s more than plenty other canceled TV shows have received in the past.The 2-hour finale hits Netflix on 8 June.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us .center_img eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… WATCH: Here are the steamiest moments from Sense8 you’ll never hook up with againNetflix sitcom One Day at a Time features non-binary characterSense8 is coming back to Netflix thanks to its fansRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/trailer-sense8-series-finale/last_img read more

Considerations for VNA ImplementationConsiderations for VNA Implementation

first_img Videos | Radiology Business | August 02, 2019 VIDEO: Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019 Association for Medical Imaging Management (AHRA) President … read more Sponsored Content | Case Study | Radiation Dose Management | August 13, 2019 The Challenge of Pediatric Radiation Dose Management Radiation dose management is central to child patient safety. Medical imaging plays an increasing role in the accurate… read more Implementing for the Right ReasonMake sure you implement a VNA for the right reason. In other words, you should have a good idea of why you want a VNA to start with.The initial motivation for VNA purchases was in most cases to eliminate the “pain” of having to migrate images every time one changes PACS vendors, which can be costly, labor-intensive and time-consuming, often taking more than a year to get them all moved to the new PACS system. Over the past several years, the migration argument has become less important as other benefits emerged, in particular the capability of having patient-centric access to images, i.e., getting the complete set of studies, independent of whether or not a different specialty or department produced them.An additional advantage of a VNA is that it provides a convenient “gateway” for a universal viewer, often integrated with an EMR. A physician can review the patient history and reports, and simply click on an icon if there is an image available, and it will show up in the EMR portal. The VNA is also ideally suited to serving multiple institutions needing to share and access images on an enterprise level. Technology | Cybersecurity | August 07, 2019 ScImage Introduces PICOM ModalityGuard for Cybersecurity ScImage Inc. is bridging the gap between security and functionality with the introduction of the PICOM ModalityGuard…. read more The majority of U.S.-based healthcare facilities are either considering or implementing the consolidation of their medical image archiving in the form of a vendor neutral archive (VNA). Early experiences have taught that it is not trivial to select the right VNA, and have revealed several pitfalls during the implementation phase. Key Topics for Radiology Administrators at AHRA 2019Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 7:33Loaded: 2.15%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -7:33 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button. Due DiligenceImplementing a VNA is not for the fainthearted, especially if one takes a top-down approach and is implementing a fully featured VNA, which transcends more than one department. The standards supporting the VNA are still emerging, notably the IOCM profile for synchronization, encounter-based workflow, XDS-I, HL7 and DICOM web services. However, one should not let this discourage or delay a VNA implementation. Simply be aware of the potential pitfalls, and make sure to select the right vendor as your partner on this journey.Herman Oosterwijk is president of OTech Inc., and is a healthcare imaging and IT trainer/consultant specializing in PACS, DICOM and HL7. He authored this article on behalf of Novarad Corporation, in order to promote awareness and knowledge of Enterprise Imaging. FacebookTwitterLinkedInPrint分享 News | PACS | August 09, 2019 Lake Medical Imaging Selects Infinitt for Multi-site RIS/PACS Infinitt North America will be implementing Infinitt RIS (radiology information system)/PACS (picture archiving and… read more News | PACS | August 08, 2019 NetDirector Launches Cloud-based PDF to DICOM Conversion Service NetDirector, a cloud-based data exchange and integration platform, has diversified their radiology automation options… read more Use the Right ApproachThere are two different approaches for implementing a VNA. The first one is top-down, i.e., one installs the VNA hardware and software, which could be from a vendor other than your current PACS vendor(s), and connect the various image sources. The second approach is bottom-up, by expanding an existing PACS archive and adding the functionality to make it into a VNA.The approach often depends on the scope or range of the image archive consolidation. Five different VNA classifications can help determine the correct strategy.Departmental VNA. This is the scenario when there is only a single department feeding the images into the VNA. The images and other objects (reports, documents, JPEGs, possibly waveforms) are all in a DICOM format and the main reason for implementing a VNA would be its “neutrality,” i.e., to facilitate future migrations and possibly to function as a portal to an EMR. An important feature is the automated synchronization of any changes that occur in the PACS and its subsequent changes in the VNA.Multi-departmental VNA. In this case, there could be multiple departments feeding the VNA. The VNA must ensure that key identifiers are cross-referenced or made unique by adding prefixes to indicate their source — in particular non-unique accession number and patient identifiers.Multi-specialty VNA. The difference between this implementation and the multi-departmental version is that specialties such as ophthalmology, dermatology, endoscopy and others have different workflows (encounter-based vs. order-based) and often deal with non-DICOM objects such as PDFs, JPEGs, video clips, etc. The latter means that there is a need to support the XDS protocol for data submission and retrieval.Enterprise VNA. In this case, the VNA covers multiple sites, e.g. 1-15, which is typical for covering a metropolitan area by a small-scale IDN, a province in Canada or region in the U.K., or a Veteran’s Integrated Service Network (VISN) by the U.S. Veteran’s Affairs (VA). In this scenario, tag morphing becomes essential, and if the architecture includes a HIE, the VNA should support XDS and supporting PIX/PDQ profiles defined by IHE.Corporate VNA. In this case, all of the images from a major healthcare consortium such as Kaiser, HCA, Tenet and others are consolidated in a central location. One could consider this as having one’s own “cloud solution.” High availability, scalability and redundancy are required features. Security is also critical, as there is a higher risk for hacking resulting from many more potential data access points. One consortium is actually starting to encrypt all data on their VNA because of the increased security exposure.For a departmental, multi-departmental and specialty use case, a bottom-up approach might be feasible, i.e. slowly adding more features. For the enterprise and corporate VNA implementations, a top-down strategy is more effective.center_img Feature | Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) | January 31, 2018 | By Herman Oosterwijk Considerations for VNA Implementation This article originally ran as an introduction to the Vendor Neutral Archives comparison chart in the January/February 2018 issue. The chart can be viewed here. News | Artificial Intelligence | August 08, 2019 Half of Hospital Decision Makers Plan to Invest in AI by 2021 August 8, 2019 — A recent study conducted by Olive AI explores how hospital leaders are responding to the imperative read more News | Artificial Intelligence | August 05, 2019 Montefiore Nyack Hospital Uses Aidoc AI to Spot Urgent Conditions Faster Montefiore Nyack Hospital, an acute care hospital in Rockland County, N.Y., announced it is utilizing artificial… read more News | Radiology Business | August 01, 2019 Philips Completes Acquisition of Carestream Health’s HCIS Business … read more News | Electronic Medical Records (EMR) | August 01, 2019 DrChrono Teams With DeepScribe to Automate Medical Note Taking in EHR DrChrono Inc. and DeepScribe announced a partnership so medical practices using DrChrono EHR can use artificial… read more The CT scanner might not come with protocols that are adequate for each hospital situation, so at Phoenix Children’s Hospital they designed their own protocols, said Dianna Bardo, M.D., director of body MR and co-director of the 3D Innovation Lab at Phoenix Children’s. Related Content Feature | Information Technology | July 31, 2019 | By Greg Freiherr How Smart Devices Can Improve Efficiency Innovation is trending toward improved efficiency — but not at the expense of patient safety, according to… read morelast_img read more

Build a Neural Network to recognize handwritten numbers in Keras and MNISTBuild a Neural Network to recognize handwritten numbers in Keras and MNIST

first_imgA neural network is made up of many artificial neurons. Is it a representation of the brain or is it a mathematical representation of some knowledge? Here, we will simply try to understand how a neural network is used in practice. A convolutional neural network (CNN) is a very special kind of multi-layer neural network. CNN is designed to recognize visual patterns directly from images with minimal processing. A graphical representation of this network is produced in the following image. The field of neural networks was originally inspired by the goal of modeling biological neural systems, but since then it has branched in different directions and has become a matter of engineering and attaining good results in machine learning tasks. In this article we will look at building blocks of neural networks and build a neural network which will recognize handwritten numbers in Keras and MNIST from 0-9. This article is an excerpt taken from the book Practical Convolutional Neural Networks, written by Mohit Sewak, Md Rezaul Karim and Pradeep Pujari and published by Packt Publishing. An artificial neuron is a function that takes an input and produces an output. The number of neurons that are used depends on the task at hand. It could be as low as two or as many as several thousands. There are numerous ways of connecting artificial neurons together to create a CNN. One such topology that is commonly used is known as a feed-forward network: Each neuron receives inputs from other neurons. The effect of each input line on the neuron is controlled by the weight. The weight can be positive or negative. The entire neural network learns to perform useful computations for recognizing objects by understanding the language. Now, we can connect those neurons into a network known as a feed-forward network. This means that the neurons in each layer feed their output forward to the next layer until we get a final output. This can be written as follows: The preceding forward-propagating neuron can be implemented as follows: import numpy as npimport mathclass Neuron(object):   def __init__(self):       self.weights = np.array([1.0, 2.0])       self.bias = 0.0   def forward(self, inputs):       “”” Assuming that inputs and weights are 1-D numpy arrays and the bias is a number “””       a_cell_sum = np.sum(inputs * self.weights) + self.bias       result = 1.0 / (1.0 + math.exp(-a_cell_sum)) # This is the sigmoid activation function       return resultneuron = Neuron()output = neuron.forward(np.array([1,1]))print(output) Now that we have understood what are the building blocks of neural networks, let us get to building a neural network that will recognize handwritten numbers from 0 – 9. Handwritten number recognition with Keras and MNIST A typical neural network for a digit recognizer may have 784 input pixels connected to 1,000 neurons in the hidden layer, which in turn connects to 10 output targets — one for each digit. Each layer is fully connected to the layer above. A graphical representation of this network is shown as follows, where x are the inputs, h are the hidden neurons, and y are the output class variables: In this notebook, we will build a neural network that will recognize handwritten numbers from 0-9. The type of neural network that we are building is used in a number of real-world applications, such as recognizing phone numbers and sorting postal mail by address. To build this network, we will use the MNIST dataset. We will begin as shown in the following code by importing all the required modules, after which the data will be loaded, and then finally building the network: # Import Numpy, keras and MNIST dataimportnumpyasnpimportmatplotlib.pyplotaspltfromkeras.datasetsimportmnistfromkeras.modelsimportSequentialfromkeras.layers.coreimportDense,Dropout,Activationfromkeras.utilsimportnp_utils Retrieving training and test data The MNIST dataset already comprises both training and test data. There are 60,000 data points of training data and 10,000 points of test data. If you do not have the data file locally at the ‘~/.keras/datasets/’ + path, it can be downloaded at this location. Each MNIST data point has: An image of a handwritten digit A corresponding label that is a number from 0-9 to help identify the image The images will be called, and will be the input to our neural network, X; their corresponding labels are y. We want our labels as one-hot vectors. One-hot vectors are vectors of many zeros and one. It’s easiest to see this in an example. The number 0 is represented as [1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0], and 4 is represented as [0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0] as a one-hot vector. Flattened data We will use flattened data in this example, or a representation of MNIST images in one dimension rather than two can also be used. Thus, each 28 x 28 pixels number image will be represented as a 784 pixel 1 dimensional array. By flattening the data, information about the 2D structure of the image is thrown; however, our data is simplified. With the help of this, all our training data can be contained in one array of shape (60,000, 784), wherein the first dimension represents the number of training images and the second depicts the number of pixels in each image. This kind of data is easy to analyze using a simple neural network, as follows: # Retrieving the training and test data(X_train,y_train),(X_test,y_test)=mnist.load_data()print(‘X_train shape:’,X_train.shape)print(‘X_test shape: ‘,X_test.shape)print(‘y_train shape:’,y_train.shape)print(‘y_test shape: ‘,y_test.shape) Visualizing the training data The following function will help you visualize the MNIST data. By passing in the index of a training example, the show_digit function will display that training image along with its corresponding label in the title: # Visualize the dataimportmatplotlib.pyplotasplt%matplotlibinline#Displaying a training image by its index in the MNIST setdefdisplay_digit(index):label=y_train[index].argmax(axis=0)image=X_train[index]plt.title(‘Training data, index: %d,  Label: %d’%(index,label))plt.imshow(image,cmap=’gray_r’)plt.show()# Displaying the first (index 0) training imagedisplay_digit(0)X_train=X_train.reshape(60000,784)X_test=X_test.reshape(10000,784)X_train=X_train.astype(‘float32’)X_test=X_test.astype(‘float32′)X_train/=255X_test/=255print(“Train the matrix shape”,X_train.shape)print(“Test the matrix shape”,X_test.shape)#One Hot encoding of labels.fromkeras.utils.np_utilsimportto_categoricalprint(y_train.shape)y_train=to_categorical(y_train,10)y_test=to_categorical(y_test,10)print(y_train.shape) Building the network For this example, you’ll define the following: The input layer, which you should expect for each piece of MNIST data, as it tells the network the number of inputs Hidden layers, as they recognize patterns in data and also connect the input layer to the output layer The output layer, as it defines how the network learns and gives a label as the output for a given image, as follows: # Defining the neural networkdefbuild_model():model=Sequential()model.add(Dense(512,input_shape=(784,)))model.add(Activation(‘relu’))# An “activation” is just a non-linear function that is applied to the output# of the above layer. In this case, with a “rectified linear unit”,# we perform clamping on all values below 0 to 0.model.add(Dropout(0.2))#With the help of Dropout helps we can protect the model from memorizing or “overfitting” the training datamodel.add(Dense(512))model.add(Activation(‘relu’))model.add(Dropout(0.2))model.add(Dense(10))model.add(Activation(‘softmax’))# This special “softmax” activation,#It also ensures that the output is a valid probability distribution,#Meaning that values obtained are all non-negative and sum up to 1.returnmodel #Building the modelmodel=build_model()model.compile(optimizer=’rmsprop’,loss=’categorical_crossentropy’,metrics=[‘accuracy’]) Training the network Now that we’ve constructed the network, we feed it with data and train it, as follows: # Trainingmodel.fit(X_train,y_train,batch_size=128,nb_epoch=4,verbose=1,validation_data=(X_test,y_test)) Testing After you’re satisfied with the training output and accuracy, you can run the network on the test dataset to measure its performance! A good result will obtain an accuracy higher than 95%. Some simple models have been known to achieve even up to 99.7% accuracy! We can test the model, as shown here: # Comparing the labels predicted by our model with the actual labelsscore=model.evaluate(X_test,y_test,batch_size=32,verbose=1,sample_weight=None)# Printing the resultprint(‘Test score:’,score[0])print(‘Test accuracy:’,score[1]) To summarize we got to know about the building blocks of neural networks and we successfully built a neural network that recognized handwritten numbers using MNIST dataset in Keras. To implement award winning and cutting edge CNN architectures, check out this one stop guide published by Packtpub, Practical Convolutional Neural Networks. Read Next: Are Recurrent Neural Networks capable of warping time? Recurrent neural networks and the LSTM architecture Build a generative chatbot using recurrent neural networks (LSTM RNNs)last_img read more