Pakistan’s Mystery Abductions: Slain Salman Taseer’s son Shahbaz still remains untraceable

first_imgPolicemen inspect the car that Shahbaz Taseer was driving when he was abducted in Lahore.Shahbaz Taseer, the billionaire son of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer noticed the black Landcruiser and motorcycle shadowing him around 10 a.m. on August 26. By then, it was too late. Four unidentified men dragged the,Policemen inspect the car that Shahbaz Taseer was driving when he was abducted in Lahore.Shahbaz Taseer, the billionaire son of slain Punjab governor Salman Taseer noticed the black Landcruiser and motorcycle shadowing him around 10 a.m. on August 26. By then, it was too late. Four unidentified men dragged the 28-year-old out of his shiny two-seater Mercedes sports car in Lahore’s posh Gulberg area and bundled him into their vehicle. They tossed his laptop and mobile phones back into the Mercedes roadster before driving away.Police said Shahbaz was driving to his office in Gulberg without his usual police escort. A Taseer family driver later spotted the Mercedes parked in the middle of the road, doors ajar. No group claimed responsibility for the sensational kidnapping and no ransom call was made. A high-ranking law enforcement official told India Today on condition of anonymity that Shahbaz was kidnapped by intelligence agencies as they “doubted his loyalty” to the nation. The agencies have, in the past, illegally detained people on mere suspicion.Shahbaz Taseer was kidnapped on August 26Kidnapping for ransom has now spilled over from Karachi, Peshawar and the lawless tribal areas of Pakistan, to enter Lahore. Children, tourists and middle or upper class Pakistanis and businessmen are common targets for ransom that range from Pakistani Rs 20 lakh to Rs 10 crore.Shahbaz’s is the third high-profile kidnapping in the past two months. A Swiss couple, Divid Oliver Och and Daniela Widmer, were abducted from their camping van in Quetta on July 1, allegedly by gunmen belonging to the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). An American aid official, Warren Weinstein, 70, was also kidnapped from his Lahore home by six assailants on August 13. No ransom calls were made in any of these cases. This has led to speculation of political motives behind the kidnapping.advertisement”The agencies abducted more than a hundred innocent people during the Pervez Musharraf era and the practice continues,” says Amna Janjua, chairman of an NGO, Defence of Human Rights. Janjua’s husband, Masood Janjua, an educationist, went missing in May 2005. Janjua claims he has been detained by security agencies.Swiss couple Daniela Widmer and Dividoliveroch were abducted from their camping van in Quetta on July 1.However, the Federal Investigation Agency and police have claimed that they have arrested a dozen suspects and are pursuing investigations into the Shahbaz kidnapping. Some theories linked the abduction to extremists who are seeking the release of Shahbaz’s father’s assassin, Malik Mumtaz Qadri, now lodged in Adyala jail in Rawalpindi. Shahbaz was a vocal critic of Pakistan’s harsh anti-blasphemy laws. An official of Pakistan’s Investigation Bureau said three of the arrested suspects belong to the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa group, a charity arm of the Lashkar-e-Toiba, and frequently visited Qadri in prison.”Shahbaz’s kidnapping is an eye-opener. Where are the government, law enforcement agencies and intelligence agencies?” said a member of the Taseer family on condition of anonymity. “The government has failed to safeguard the lives and property of people,” she added.Shahbaz took over as the director of the family’s businesses, founded by his father, following the latter’s assasination on January 4. They include real estate firm Pace Pakistan, brokerage firms First Capital Equities and First Capital Securities Corporation, as well as Media Times that controls the leading English newspaper Daily Times, Urdu Daily AajKal, kids channel Wikkid Plus and satellite channel Business Plus. He and his wife Maheen Ghani were offloaded from a New York-bound flight at San Francisco on August 19 last year when a hoax caller said they were potential hijackers. The couple filed a lawsuit against the airline in March this year.The kidnapping of the scion has sent a wave of fear and anger across the country, particularly in the ruling PPP, of which Salman Taseer was a member. Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani contacted Shahbaz’s mother and assured her of the government’s support. He directed the Punjab police chief to take all measures to find the missing billionaire. President Asif Ali Zardari also telephoned Shahbaz’s mother and assured her that efforts would be made to find her son. A hurried meeting called by the Chief Minister of Punjab province, Shahbaz Sharif, was attended by the chief secretary, home secretary and inspector general of police. Police have apprehended two suspects who were allegedly shadowing Shahbaz.The case has clearly embarrassed the Punjab provincial police. Chief City Police Officer of Lahore, Malik Ahmed Raza, denied police negligence. He said Shahbaz did not use his security cordon of 17 policemen. Provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah blamed Shahbaz for leaving his security detail at home.advertisementThe Crime Investigation Branch says that 47 people were kidnapped for ransom last year. Thirteen people were kidnapped in the first three months of 2011. The principal suspects are militant groups who kidnap high value targets, such as businessmen, and use the ransom to purchase arms and ammunition from Afghanistan and Iran.last_img read more

Push-button generation of deep neural networks

first_img antedeluvian says: 3 thoughts on “Push-button generation of deep neural networks” The term “deep learning” refers to using deep (multi-layer) artificial neural networks to make sense out of complex data such as images, sounds, and text. Until recently, this technology has been largely relegated to academia. Over the past couple of years, however, increased computing performance coupled with reduced power consumption and augmented by major strides in neural network frameworks and algorithms has thrust deep learning into the mainstream.When I attended the Embedded Vision Summit recently, for example, I saw an amazing demonstration of machine vision in which a deep neural network (DNN) running on an FPGA was identifying randomly presented images in real time (check out this column to see a video). As an aside, one of the best lines I heard at the summit was “You can’t swing a dead cat in here without some deep learning system saying ‘Hey, that’s a dead cat!’ “ But we digress…As another example, take a look at this column describing how researchers at MIT used a deep learning algorithm to analyze videos showing tens of thousands of different objects and materials being prodded, scraped, and hit with a drumstick. The trained algorithm could subsequently watch silent videos and generate accompanying sounds sufficiently convincing to fool human observers.(Source: CEVA) Two of the most popular frameworks for deep learning are Caffe-based networks and Google’s TensorFlow-based networks. Caffe is a well-known and widely-used machine-vision library that ported Matlab’s implementation of fast convolutional nets to C and C++; it was created with expression, speed, and modularity in mind; and it’s primarily employed by academics and researchers with some commercial use. TensorFlow is a relatively new alternative to Caffe that is supported and promoted by Google; it features a software library for numerical computation using data flow graphs; and it’s scalable and applicable to both research and commercial applications.Caffe was designed for image classification and is not intended for other deep-learning applications such as text or sound. By comparison, TensorFlow has been created from the ground up to address a wide range of target applications.The original deep learning frameworks supported only linear networks. Modern frameworks, like TensorFlow, support more sophisticated topologies involving multiple layers per level and multiple-input-multiple-output.(Source: CEVA) There are several steps involved in creating a deep neural network. The first is to define and implement the network architecture and topology. Next, the network undergoes a training stage, which is performed offline on a powerful computing platform using tens or hundreds of thousands of images (in the case of a machine vision application). The result is a floating-point representation of the network and its “weights” (coefficients).(Source: CEVA) The final step is to take the floating-point representation of the network and its weights and transmogrify it into a fixed-point equivalent suitable for running on a target platform.All of which brings us to the fact that CEVA has just announced the second generation of its CEVA Deep Neural Network (CDNN2). CDNN2 is a neural network software framework for machine learning that features the CEVA Network Generator. In turn, the CEVA Network Generator can take a floating-point representation of a network — Caffe-based or TenserFlow-based (any topography) — and transmogrify it into a small, fast, energy-efficient fixed-point equivalent targeted at the CEVA-XM4 intelligent vision processor (the CEVA-XM4 can be realized as a hard core on an SoC or as a soft-core on an FPGA).(Source: CEVA) CDNN2 supports the most advanced neural network layers in use today, including the following:Input manipulation layer (pre-process stage resize, jittering and more)ConvolutionalNormalizationPooling (Average and Max)Fully ConnectedSoftmaxActivation (ReLU, Parametric ReLU, TanH, Sigmoid)New: DeconvolutionNew: ConcatenationNew: UpsampleNew: ArgmaxNew: Custom user layer attaching a specific functionalityThe folks at CEVA boast that taking a floating-point network, transmogrifying it into its fixed-point equivalent, loading it into a CEVA-XM4 engine, and running it is a “push-button” approach. Of course, we’ve all seen (sometimes given) demonstrations involving a little slight-of-hand and “Here’s one I prepared earlier,” so the guys and gals at CEVA have prepared this video showing the entire process in a single (less than 10-minute) shot.CDNN2 is intended to be used for object recognition, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), Artificial intelligence (AI), video analytics, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and similar computer vision applications.Coupled with the CEVA-XM4 intelligent vision processor, CDNN2 offers significant time-to-market and power advantages for implementing machine learning in embedded systems for smartphones, advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), surveillance equipment, drones, robots and other camera-enabled smart devices.The CDNN2 software library is supplied as source code, extending the CEVA-XM4’s existing Application Developer Kit (ADK) and computer vision library, CEVA-CV. It is flexible and modular, capable of supporting either complete CNN implementations or specific layers for a wide breadth of networks. These networks include Alexnet, GoogLeNet, ResidualNet (ResNet), SegNet, VGG (VGG-19, VGG-16, VGG_S) and Network-in-network (NIN), among others.As noted earlier, CDNN2 supports the most advanced neural network layers, including convolution, deconvolution, pooling, fully connected, softmax, concatenation, and upsample, as well as various inception models. All network topologies are supported, including Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output, multiple layers per level, fully convolutional networks, in addition to linear networks (such as Alexnet).Click Here for more information on CEVA, CEVA-XM4, and CDNN2. Log in to Reply Log in to Reply elizabethsimon says: Log in to Reply Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Automotive, Communications, Consumer, Industry Clive”Max”Maxfield says: July 1, 2016 at 4:07 pm “I think it’s not so much that they are smarter. It’s just that they have devoted a lot of time to figuring these things out.nnThe way I look at it, it takes folk like us to turn this stuff into real products.nnAs much fun as it would be to work on som Continue Reading Previous How to run your own secure IoT cloud server for $8/yearNext Metrics we need – Part 2 “I know what you mean — I look at today’s DSP algorithms and they make my eyes water — but then I think to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to … it’s just that I don’t have the time (I believe anything I tell myself :-)” “All I can say is that there are lots of people way smarter than I am. Going to shows like EVS leave me with a massive inferiority complex. “ June 30, 2016 at 10:26 pm July 1, 2016 at 5:41 pm Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.last_img read more

Market watch Sensex sheds 175 points after Infosys trims revenue guidance

first_imgThe S&P BSE Sensex fell 175 points on Monday after India’s second largest IT firm Infosys trimmed its dollar revenue forecast for the current fiscal year.The Sensex closed at 26,904 points, down 0.65%, while the 50-share Nifty fell by 43 points, or 0.56%, to end at 8,143.Investors booked profits at higher levels after Infosys revised down its guidance to 6.4 to 8.4% in dollar terms from a previous estimate of 7 to 9%, despite posting a forecast-beating net profit for the second consecutive quarter this fiscal. Infosys net profit rose 9.8% to Rs 3,400 crore in the July-September period on a sequential basis, while revenue stood at Rs 15,635 crore.In a surprise move, the company’s chief financial officer Rajiv Bansal announced his resignation; he will be replaced by senior executive MD Ranganath.Following a cut in revenue estimates, Infosys shares fell nearly 4% to close at Rs 1,122 on the BSE, while other IT stocks also witnessed selling pressure. India’s largest IT firm Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) shares fell by 1.4%, while Wipro stocks were down by over 1%.”Infosys delivered a strong operational performance in Q2 FY16 with constant currency revenue growth exceeding expectation and margin improvement in-line. However, a cautious growth outlook for H2 FY16 impacted stock sentiment as it endangers incremental growth recovery in FY17. Heading into a transient challenging period, the stock may not offer further material upside after a significant outperformance in the past few months,” said Amar Ambani, Head of Research, IIFL.TCS is scheduled to release its second quarter results on Tuesday and investors will watch the company earnings closely, as it disappointed the Street’s estimates in the past few quarters.Among the BSE sectoral indices, IT was the top loser ending 2.1% lower, followed by healthcare and FMCG. However, metal stocks gained sharply taking a cue from rising global commodity prices. While the Vedanta stock ended 7% higher, Hindalco shares were up nearly 6%.Reliance Power (up 3.9%), BHEL (up 1.8%), Tata Motors (up 1.7%) and NTPC (up 1%) were the other top gainers among Sensex stocks. DLF (down 2.7%), Cipla (down 1.9%), HDFC (down 1.7%) were among the top losers.On the global front, Chinese stock markets soared on expectations of further stimulus from the country’s authorities. China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite ended 3.3% higher, lending support to other Asian markets. While Japan’s Nikkei was up 1.6%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed 1.2% higher.Gold prices rose sharply by Rs 170 to Rs 26,870 per 10 gram, tracking the strength in the overall markets. Silver prices also ended Rs 275 higher at Rs 37,000 per kg.last_img read more

Alien hunter spots UFO in images taken during Apollo 12 lunar mission

first_imgNASA/ET DATA BASEIt was in November 1969 that NASA launched the Apollo 12 manned lunar mission. The mission became successful, and the United States space agency successfully landed humans for the second time on the moon after the historical leap made by Neil Armstrong. Now, almost 60 years after the historical mission, prominent alien hunter Scott C Waring has claimed to have discovered a UFO in one of the reexamined Apollo 12 archive photos.”The UFO is hovering over the horizon but at a tilted angle, much like Bob Lazar said about the UFO he worked on in Area S4 needing to tilt to move. The astronauts must have seen it, its not like there is a lot to see on the moon but dust and rocks, but a UFO of this size hovering…must have really blown their minds,” wrote Waring on his website ET Data Base.Waring also added that the possibility of this object being a glitch on the camera is very low.It should be noted that the anomaly spotted by Waring is so small on the real photograph, and he enlarged it to take a close look. Interestingly, the shape of the object spotted in the photo seems very similar to the alleged Black Knight satellite that is out there on earth’s orbit to monitor human activities.Conspiracy theorists also believe that this black knight satellite is deployed by an advanced alien race which is now working hand-in-glove with NASA. A video uploaded by Waring to YouTube that features this new finding has now emerged as the hottest debating point among conspiracy theorists and alien enthusiasts. After watching the video, followers of Waring also put forward several possible theories to explain this bizarre UFO sighting.”That is really cool Scott. Great find. The astronauts supposedly said that they where being watched. Looks like you found proof. Could be the Black Knight or some other type of craft,” commented Terrys Theories, a YouTube user.”Reminds me of the black knight satellite? Looks different at different angles. It is rumoured to an alien craft that shifts around,” commented Corey Frady, another YouTuber.last_img read more

Ndeal raises Karat Oppn hackles

first_imgThe Opposition has come down heavily on the Modi-government over their India-US civil nuclear agreement, which was inked on Sunday. While CPM general secretary Prakash Karat raised the liability clause attached with the deal, the Congress slammed the government for not keeping them in the loop about it.Karat while citing the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy said, “We all know what happened in Bhopal and we should be prepared to protect the interests of our people in case of any mishaps and accidents. It should not be compromised and the US was exerting immense pressure to circumvent this condition.” Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIKarat went on to say, “Now that both governments have arrived at an agreement over the nuke deal, the Indian government should disclose its stand on the liability clause that has been incorporated.” He also said that America had been strongly opposing this clause “due to excess pressure from the nuclear suppliers lobby.” The Left leader said, “Such a tough policy was vital to ensure that defective and sub-standard nuclear materials are not routed to India.” Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindMeanwhile senior Congress leader and former external affairs minister Salman Khurshid, while referring to the deal, said, “I am not sure yet what the content is. It should be shared with our leadership, Soniaji and Dr Manmohan Singh.” When reportedly asked about the ‘break-through’ deal being a result of Modi’s camaraderie with Obama he said, “Diplomacy is a lot more than body language. Body language can also be a matter of command performance.  We are interested in content and substance and not in stage performances. As long as the performances look good, who can complain?”“If they are following the path that we have set out for them, we can’t complain. Who made the nuclear law and under what pressure? The agreement almost brought down the (then UPA) government and the trust vote (held in Parliament over the deal) was forced by the BJP,” said Khurshid, adding, “We do deserve an acknowledgement that there was an attempt at interference or else we could have achieved this breakthrough long ago.”last_img read more

Workshop held to prevent fire in IT offices of Sector V

first_imgKolkata: Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA) will henceforth not allow construction of mezzanine floors in Salt Lake Sector V to prevent fire in institutional buildings.A workshop to prevent fire in offices was held in the auditorium of Unnayan Bhavan on Friday. Sujit Basu, minister of state for Fire and Emergency Services, Director General of Fire Services Jag Mohan and Debashis Sen, chairman of NDITA, were present at the workshop. Representatives of various offices in Sector V also attended the workshop. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe Fire and Emergency Services department will provide six more motorcycles fitted with firefighting equipment to NDITA, taking the total strength of the fleet to 10. The motorcycle fleet will tackle fire in buildings situated on narrow roads. NDITA discussed the key issues that have come up in the fire audit it had conducted on buildings. It was found that many IT offices in Sector V had constructed mezzanine floors to expand the offices. These floors pose a serious hazard and hence NDITA has decided not to allow construction of mezzanine floors in institutional buildings anymore. It was also found that the computer servers in IT offices run 24×7 and only one AC is kept in the server rooms, which is not enough. The AC machine becomes hot, leading to electrical short circuits which cause fire. NDITA has urged the representatives of the IT firms to keep two ACs in the server rooms from now.last_img read more

Ladies This Smart Menstrual Product Texts You From Down There

first_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 4 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img October 9, 2015 Aunt Flo is a stress case. When a woman has her period, she’s often preoccupied, worried that she might have an embarrassing accident at any moment. If she’s not careful, things could get messy quick. It’s hard to know when a tampon or a pad has reached its limit. Not so with Looncup, a “smart” menstrual cup that just zipped past its goal on Kickstarter, with 20 days to go.The unusual internal wearable, which its creators claim is the first of its kind, measures, tracks and analyzes the volume, color and regularity of your menstrual flow. Made of clear, medical grade silicone and embedded with a special sensor, the flexible, egg-sized receptacle even dispatches notifications to your smartphone or smartwatch to let you know when it’s full. Sayonara, dreaded mishaps, at least in theory.   Related: These Two Innovative Diagnostic Devices Just Scored Big FundingAs the Bluetooth-enabled Looncup fills, it sends “gentle alarms” in increasing intervals to your smartphone, so you’ll always be aware of precisely when it needs to be emptied. Taking tracking your time of the month to the next level, it also detects the color of your fluid.Kate Lee, marketing director for Loon Labs, the San Francisco-based, 8-person startup behind the innovative device, says that analyzing the hue of the blood and tissue shed (via RGB sensor) offers a window into a woman’s overall health. Specifically, as she told Mashable, it could potentially lead to the earlier diagnosis of premature ovarian failure and uterine fibroids, among other health issues. Lee personally tested the battery-powered cup for functionality and fit, as did the four other females on her team.Loon Labs says you can think of its inaugural product “as your monthly period partner, a good friend who drops by when you need her, helping you feel better yourself, and making sure you take care of your body during this special time.” Sounds kind of dreamy, doesn’t it? We’re all for anything that makes that not always so “special” time of the month less of a headache and generally more bearable.Related: How These 10 Marketing Campaigns Became Viral Hits100% Backed in 1week!! Huge THANKS! http://t.co/MpJxPrg3fZ— LOONCUP (@LOONCUP) October 9, 2015The soft cup, which has raised $73,000 of its $50,000 crowdfunding goal so far, pairs with a free companion app out of the box. The app, available for iOS and Android devices, is slated to go live in January 2016, when Loon Labs hopes to ship its first Looncups. That’s a rough launch estimate, though, with the company refreshingly noting that the actual ship date depends on product revisions and additional tests.On top of being a creative, high-tech way to better cope with and calibrate your flow, the reusable Looncup also ups your eco cred. Another added bonus: It eliminates your exposure to a toxic cocktail of nasty chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, fragrances, etc.) often used in pads and tampons.Related: Far Out: Radiation-Blocking Underwear Also Protect Men’s FertilitySomewhat surprisingly, Looncup is not the first menstrual cup to kill it on Kickstarter. The Lily Cup by Intimina, a hot pink collapsible repository billed as capable of doing the work of 1,625 tampons, raised a whopping $325,660 last year. The difference: Lily isn’t “smart” like the Looncup, unable to send heads-up texts, let alone from inside your body.We’re curious, ladies. What do you think of the Looncup? Would you buy one? (Tell us in the Comments section below.) If yes, you’ll have to shell out $40 for a single connected cup. All of the less expensive options on Looncup’s Kickstarter campaign have already been scooped up.Related: Hanky Panky: Building a Business on Empowering Womenlast_img read more