Friday, January 29, 2016
Posted by CAMACOL at 1/29/2016 08:28:00 AM
Thursday, January 28, 2016
La FTC alega que DeVry engañó a los estudiantes respecto de las perspectivas de empleo e ingresos, elementos centrales de la publicidad y marketing de la escuela
Posted by CAMACOL at 1/28/2016 10:15:00 AM
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Father of AI, Marvin Minsky, dies at 88, leaves legacy of challenges to tackle and broad thinking to emulate
Visionary scientist and pioneer of artificial intelligence provided an example of intellectual exploration, paving way to discoveries in computer science, robotics, drones, and more.
On Sunday, January 24, esteemed scientist, mathematician, and father of artificial intelligence, Marvin Minsky, died in Boston. Best known for his role in the development of AI, Minsky began studying the relationship between man and machine—how machines could become intelligent—back in the 1950's, long before the widespread use of computers.
Minsky studied at Harvard, Princeton, and MIT. He created a wired neural network learning machine, called "Snarc," while at Princeton in 1951. Minsky also co-founded the MIT Artificial Intelligence Project—now the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)—in 1959.
But, he may be most famous for The Society of Mind, published in 1985, a seminal and wide-ranging book exploring the role of thought in machines.
Minsky's explorations into mental processes continued with his last book, The Emotion Machine: Commonsense Thinking, Artificial Intelligence, and the Future of the Human Mind, published in 2006 as an attempt to break down the natural workings of the mind.
SEE: Educate yourself on AI: Seven books to get you started
What he meant to research
Minsky had ties to Harvard and MIT, becoming a professor at the MIT Lab (where he was a founding member) and CSAIL. "Marvin Minsky helped create the vision of artificial intelligence as we know it today," said CSAIL Director Daniela Rus. "The challenges he defined are still driving our quest for intelligent machines and inspiring researchers to push the boundaries in computer science."
According to Carnegie Mellon University professor Siddhartha Srinivasa, Minsky made "the first connection between computational intelligence (thinking smart) and physical intelligence (acting smart), which led to much of robotics research."
It is hard to understate Minsky's impact on the world of AI. His influence touched both his friends and colleagues, as well as almost any computer scientist, engineer, philosopher, or mathematician entering the field.
Of course, not everyone in robotics agreed with Minsky. Joe Jones, original founder of the Roomba, believed that "building robots that work in the real world is an important component of advancing AI," whereas "by some accounts, Marvin saw robots as more of a distraction." Still, said Jones, "he and his deep insight into the field will be missed."
SEE: 10 artificial intelligence insiders to follow on Twitter
And while Minsky is known for AI, he was also seen as a "universal genius who made contributions to our understanding of humor, aliens, music, meaning, education and many other subjects," said Roman Yampolskiy, director of the Cybersecurity Lab at the University of Louisville. "He joins Aristotle, Leonardo da Vinci, John von Neumann and other polymaths as a role model, demonstrating that all knowledge is interconnected."
Professor Srinivasa thinks of Minksy as his "academic great-grandfather."
"The word 'visionary' has lost some of its credibility lately," said Srinivasa, "but he is one of the few who truly deserves that accolade."
Posted by CAMACOL at 1/27/2016 08:46:00 AM
Tuesday, January 26, 2016
When is the travel industry going to catch on?
Check into any middling U.S. hotel and chances are good that the Wi-Fi is free. Have a white-gloved butler escort you to the Penthouse suite, however, and your lavish lodgment may well bill you for Internet access.
The wealthiest among us have noticed this disconnect, and they are not pleased.
A report on the habits and preferences of the wealthiest 1 percent and 5 percent of travelers finds that complimentary Wi-Fi is the top “desirable amenity” for more than half this demographic. Fifty-one percent called it “extremely important,” while 66 percent said it was at least "very important” to have at a hotel.
The research is drawn from a survey of 2,391 travelers by Resonance Consultancy. The top 1 percent was defined as those with annual income of $400,000 or more or a net worth above $8 million. The 5 percent were classified as earning at least $200,000 per year or having $2 million or more. (The former group represented 724 of those surveyed.)
Many of the priciest hotels charge extra for the Wi-Fi simply because they can—guests are traveling for business and expensing the cost or are wealthy clients who don’t care about paying a bit more, said Henry Harteveldt, a travel consultant with Atmosphere Research Group in San Francisco.
“It’s a glaring inconsistency in the hotel business, and frankly it’s just a flat-out stupid approach to doing business,” he said.
The issue is likely to continue roiling many upscale lodging chains that are weighing where and how to offer Wi-Fi and whether it will need to become complimentary. For now, many luxury brands, including Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group, offer free Internet access to guests who join their loyalty programs.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, for example, offers free Wi-Fi in public spaces and to members of its loyalty program, provided the rooms were booked through the hotelier’s website or mobile app. That helps reduce the company’s distribution costs. Its lower-cost chains—Aloft, Element, and Four Points—offer free in-room access, while guests at its luxury St. Regis properties have complimentary Wi-Fi, period. Yet in the middle of Starwood's hotel-room price pack, the W and Westin brands charge guests additional fees to access Wi-Fi in their rooms.
InterContinental Hotels & Resorts offers free Wi-Fi to all members of its loyalty program. Even if you don't join it, Internet is free at seven of the company's lower-cost brands, including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza. No such luck at the luxury InterContinental chain, though.
It's not clear why a $500 (or more) hotel room doesn't offer some level of free Internet when countless Starbucks, airports, and coffee shops have figured out the economics of doing so. It could be that most hotels consider the road to free Wi-Fi easy enough and see it as a critical way to drive greater participation in loyalty programs and direct bookings.
Bowing to Demand
Others have capitulated to demand. Nearly a year ago, on Valentine’s Day, Hyatt Hotels made Wi-Fi free in rooms and public spaces at its more than 500 properties worldwide. (Meeting rooms are not covered by the policy.) “Wi-Fi had quickly become a basic expectation for travelers, as essential as a comfortable bed or clean room,” Hyatt Hotels spokeswoman Stephanie Sheppard said via e-mail.
Such hotel operators as Hilton Worldwide Holdings offer free basic Internet access but levy fees for greater bandwidth use, including video streaming. This trend partly reflects the growing inventory of Wi-Fi gadgets travelers now pack: typically, a laptop, tablet, and smartphone per person, Harteveldt said. Lodge a couple with two teens in a hotel, and bandwidth needs multiply rapidly.
Still, the apparent gap between room prices and free Wi-Fi is not lost on many travelers. It also helps explain why so many trendy hotel lobbies are clogged with guests pecking at phones and laptops.
“It’s just a jarring inconsistency and a black mark on what is otherwise a wonderful guest experience,” Harteveldt said.
After free Wi-Fi, privacy was the second-most requested hotel amenity for affluent travelers, according to the report. Tennis was the least attractive hotel option, just below kids' programs.
Posted by CAMACOL at 1/26/2016 11:12:00 AM
Monday, January 25, 2016
Bacteria that resist last-resort drugs were identified two months ago in China. Now scientists are finding them all over.
Just two months ago, researchers in China identified a gene that can make bacteria resistant to a last-resort antibiotic called colistin. It was a bombshell discovery for people who follow superbugs. Now that gene has been detected in at least 19 countries, and scientists are alarmed.
Colistin is what doctors give you in the U.S. when nothing else works. Because it’s toxic, it can have some harmful side effects, but colistin can help defeat infections that shrug off every other antibiotic in their arsenal. If bacteria resist everything, including colistin, you're out of luck.
A map detailing where colistin-resistant bacteria have been detected.
Since the paper identifying colistin-resistant E. Coli in China was published in the the Lancet Infectious Diseases journal on Nov. 18, the gene has been detected in 19 countries in bacteria from farm animals, retail meat, or humans, according to a new tally by the Natural Resources Defense Council, which advocates for reducing the use of antibiotics in farm animals. It is in Southeast Asia, Europe, Canada, and Japan.
That doesn't mean the gene, known as MCR-1, has spread to all those places in two months. Scientists are finding it retrospectively in older samples of bacteria now that they know what to look for. In Denmark, for example, the gene was found in bacteria from food inspections as far back as 2012, when the current system of monitoring was started.
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria sicken 2 million Americans each year and kill 23,000, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control. These are such bugs as CRE (Carbapenum-resistant Enterobacteriaceae) or MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). It’s not clear how many people are affected by colistin-resistant strains. The gene hasn’t been identified in samples from the U.S. yet.
But scientists fear that colistin-resistant bugs will become more widespread. The bacteria themselves can travel on people, live animals, and food. The gene that makes a bug resistant to colistin is particularly slippery because it can jump easily from one type of bacteria to another.
"I say it’s shopping for a home,” said Lance Price, a professor of environmental and occupational health at George Washington University. "The thing that really frightens a lot of us is that it’s going to find its way into a bacterium that’s resistant to everything but colistin,” he said.
That’s a dark scenario. Colistin is used to treat the kind of infections that the CDC calls “nightmare bacteria,” which kill half the people who get them. These bugs typically spread in health-care settings whose patients are already vulnerable, though healthy people can carry the bacteria in their gut without knowing it. Add to the mix colistin-resistance, conferred by a gene that’s easy to spread, and the nightmare gets worse. “We have the fuel to set off a fire,” Price said.
I asked him how worried we should be. "I don’t want to be a fearmonger,” he said, but the November paper "sort of ruined my Thanksgiving."
Drugmakers used the World Economic Forum in Davos this week to call for more investment to develop new antibiotics. The NRDC says widening resistance to a last-resort medicine is the latest urgent warning that the world needs to use the medicines we have more carefully, particularly in raising livestock. The drugs are widely deployed on industrial-scale farms, not just to treat sick animals but to prevent disease and promote faster growth.
Price agrees. "When you misuse antibiotics in food animal production, there are major potential risks to human health,” he said. Colistin isn’t used in farm animals in the U.S., but it is used in China and elsewhere.
The U.S. government and food companies responding to pressure from consumers have taken some halting steps to curbing antibiotic use in American livestock. The challenge of drug-resistance, though, is similar to climate change: It requires big, coordinated actions on a global scale. A superbug fostered by one country’s loose practices can arrive in another in a shipping container of beef or in the gut of a traveler getting off a plane.
Posted by CAMACOL at 1/25/2016 10:04:00 AM
Friday, January 22, 2016
Es la temporada de impuestos, y tú sabes lo que significa: los ladrones de identidad que quieren robarte tu reembolso de Impuestos están manos a la obra. Averigua cómo frenarlos durante la Semana de Concientización sobre Robo de Identidad Relacionado con Impuestos del 25 al 29 de enero.
La FTC y sus agencias colegas están patrocinando una serie de eventos para ayudarte a comprender qué es el robo de identidad relacionado con impuestos, cómo minimizar los riesgos de convertirte en una víctima y qué hacer si los ladrones te han robado tu reembolso de impuestos. Échale un vistazo a la lista de eventos:
- 26 de enero a las 2 p.m. – Un seminario web de la FTC para consumidores, copatrocinado por la Red Fraud Watch y el Programa Tax Aide de AARP. Entérate de cómo se produce el robo de identidad relacionado con impuestos y aprende lo que tienes que hacer si te sucede a ti.
- 27 de enero a las 11 a.m. – La FTC y la Administración de Veteranos (VA) realizarán chat en Twitter con información sobre el robo de identidad relacionado con impuestos para los veteranos de guerra. Súmate a la conversación en #VeteranIDTheft.
- 27 de enero a las 2 p.m. – La FTC, la Oficina del Inspector General del Tesoro para la Administración del Contribuyente (TIGTA) y la Administración de Veteranos (VA) realizarán un seminario web con información sobre robo de identidad relacionado con impuestos para los veteranos de guerra.
- 28 de enero a la 1 p.m.: La FTC, y el IRS copatrocinarán un seminario web con información para ayudar a las víctimas del robo de identidad relacionado con impuestos.
- 29 de enero a las 2 p.m. – La FTC y el Centro de Recursos para Víctimas del Robo de Identidad (ITRC) copatrocinarán un chat en Twitter sobre el robo de identidad relacionado con impuestos. Súmate a la conversación en #IDTheftChat.
Ayuda a promover la concientización sobre el robo de identidad relacionado con impuestos. Tenemos recursos gratuitos para compartir con los miembros de tu comunidad. ¿Quiere saber más sobre el robo de identidad en general? Visita www.RobodeIdentidad, el recurso centralizado del gobierno para ayudar a las víctimas del robo de identidad a recuperarse de este delito.
Posted by CAMACOL at 1/22/2016 10:45:00 AM
Thursday, January 21, 2016
The Military Sealift Command joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) - designed for rapid intra-theater transport of troops and military equipment. Source: U.S. Navy
- Austal's Expeditionary Fast Transport ships need bow repairs
- U.S. Navy adopted a flawed design to save weight, report finds
The U.S. Navy is spending millions of dollars to repair new high-speed transport ships built by Austal Ltd. because their weak bows can’t stand buffeting from high seas, according to the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester.
“The entire ship class requires reinforcing structure” to bridge the twin hulls of the all-aluminum catamarans because of a design change that the Navy adopted at Austal’s recommendation for the $2.1 billion fleet of Expeditionary Fast Transports, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, said in a report to Congress.
“The Navy accepted compromises in the bow structure, presumably to save weight, during the building of these ships,” Gilmore wrote lawmakers, including Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, in a September letter that wasn’t previously disclosed.
“Multiple ships of the class have suffered damage to the bow structure.”
The speedy catamarans are designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo and as many as 312 troops for 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots. They’ve been deployed to Africa and the Middle East as well as to Singapore as part of the U.S.’s Pacific rebalance and are being considered by military officials for expanded use there by the Marines. The vessels fill a transport gap between larger, slower vessels and cargo aircraft.
Michelle Bowden, a spokeswoman for Henderson, Australia-based Austal, deferred comment to the Navy. Captain Thurraya Kent, a Navy spokeswoman, said the service accepted Austal’s recommendation because the company’s analysis showed the lighter-weight bow met criteria of the American Bureau of Shipping and Pentagon requirements. She said in an e-mail that Gilmore’s report confirms that the vessel “meets and in certain area exceeds” key performance parameters.
The Navy bought 10 of the shallow-draft vessels, at about $217 million each. Five have been delivered and are in operation, while the other five are under construction at Austal’s Mobile, Alabama, shipyard. Senator Richard Shelby, Republican of Alabama, is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which added $225 million for an 11th vessel to the fiscal 2016 defense spending bill last month.
So far, the Navy has spent almost $2.4 million strengthening the bow of the first four vessels delivered since late 2012.
Repair costs include $511,000 on the initial vessel, the USNS Spearhead, which was damaged during deployment by waves slamming into the superstructure, according to test data cited by Gilmore and the Military Sealift Command.
The second, third and fourth vessels cost as much as $1.2 million each to repair and a fifth vessel, the USNS Trenton, awaits its bow reinforcement during its next scheduled shipyard visit, Tom Van Leunen, a spokesman for the Military Sealift Command, which owns the vessels, said in an e-mail.
The retrofits have added 1,736 pounds to the ship’s weight, displacing 250 gallons of fuel but having a minimal impact on the vessel’s range when fully loaded, Gilmore said. His concern about the vessel is likely to be highlighted in his annual report on weapons testing that’s scheduled to be released by Feb. 1.
“Since the repairs are still in progress, there has been no heavy weather testing yet to verify if the fixes are sufficient,” Marine Corps Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a spokesman for Gilmore, said in an e-mail.
Even with reinforced structures, the fast transport ships operate under sailing restrictions because “encountering a rogue wave” can “result in sea-slam events that causes structural damage to the bow structure,” Gilmore wrote. The operating restrictions include requiring vessels to wait out the highest seas or travel at speeds much lower than their maximum, according to Gilmore’s report.
Van Leunen, the Military Sealift Command spokesman, said that “the Navy routinely diverts ships during transits to avoid heavy weather” and this ship is no exception. Its primary missions will often be in coastal waters that offer “some protection from weather and sea state when compared to open ocean transits,” he said.
The vessel’s latest sea tests also were marred by the poor reliability of generators made by Fincantieri SpA that supply electrical power, according to Gilmore. The generators failed “at a much greater rate than predicted.”
Required to operate 8,369 hours between major failures, the generators failed as soon as 208 hours at some points, improving to 1,563 hours in the most recent tests.
Fincantieri spokesman Antonio Autorino said in an e-mail that “the concerns described in the report have been resolved and this information was provided to the Navy, yet was not included in the report.”
Posted by CAMACOL at 1/21/2016 11:19:00 AM
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
Thursday, January 14, 2016
A startup known for annotated pop songs and bawdy executives enlists President Obama and Spotify in its vision for the Web.
For much of its young life, the startup Genius didn’t seem to be headed in a direction leading to the White House. The website launched with a focus on annotated music lyrics, and its founders were pilloried for immature behavior, racial insensitivity, and a general aura of non-seriousness. When the Obama administration laid out its plans for this year’s State of the Union, however, it included an online presentation of past speech texts that were annotated, using Genius’s technology.
Genius originally focused on rap lyrics, with a platform that allowed users to explain or interpret each line in, say, Ten Crack Commandments by The Notorious B.I.G. Click on a highlighted line in the text and the annotations left by other users pop up. On Tuesday, in a move unrelated to the evening's big presidential speech, Genius announced a partnership with Spotify that turns user-submitted comments into something that feels very similar to VH1’s Behind the Music. That's exactly the sort of pact that fits with the musical legacy of the website.
But the company has also expanded to many other types of text as it tries to turn itself into a tool that can be used elsewhere, with online publishers and authors embracing the annotation tool. For the last several months Genius has focused particularly in politics. A partnership with the Washington Post last year produced annotations for political debates, and Hillary Clinton’s campaign used the service to promote her kickoff speech. Getting a small role in the State of the Union is a culmination of the startups push into politics.
Neither the White House nor Spotify are directing their audiences to Genius.com. Instead, Genius will help annotate texts hosted by the U.S. president and the popular streaming-music service. Genius supplies little more than the technology and in some cases, the people looking to post annotations. A post on Medium about the State of the Union by Jason Goldman, the White House’s chief digital officer, didn’t even mention Genius’s name.
The idea for Genius is a broader vision, both in terms of subject matter and the way it reaches people. Tom Lehman, one of the company’s co-founders and its chief executive, has been talking about a way to annotate anything on the Internet since its inception. Mark Andresseen, the co-founder of Netscape whose venture capital firm invested in Genius in 2012, wanted to include such a feature directly into his Web browser.
Genius has been slowly trying to divorce its service from a single website over the course of this year, but Lehman says that the plan is still in early stages. He would like the service to be a part of the Web’s infrastructure, just the way a Facebook “like” button shows up on pretty much any website you visit. “It doesn’t make sense to put the State of the Union on Genius.com,” he said. “Genius should follow you and live in the natural place for you to experience content.”
Getting a presidential endorsement is a good step in that direction, but ubiquity is pretty difficult to achieve. Lehman says dozens of publishers are making it possible for their users to annotate with Genius's tools.
Spotify, which use apps rather than websites, makes the the technical challenge even harder. For now, Spotify users can’t annotate songs as they listen to them; instead, the two companies are selecting a few songs and hand-crafting a way to read comments that have been left on Genius.com in advance.
Presumably the way to turn such a service into a business will involve advertising. But Genius hasn’t firmed up how it plans to make money off either its website or its distributed annotation service. Lehman’s plan, for now, is to find as many publications as he can that are willing to use Genius as a way to annotate their sites. It’s not the only place to come up with this idea; Medium.com allows in-text commenting, and the New York Times has experimented with it as well.
Opening up content to annotations from the public will probably make some websites nervous, especially if it means working with an outside company. But Lehman thinks Genius can persuade publishers that they’ll have to loosen their grip. “They want editorial control,” he said. “But they they don’t want to do the work.”
Posted by CAMACOL at 1/14/2016 01:40:00 PM
Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Posted by CAMACOL at 1/12/2016 12:26:00 PM