Monthly newsletter from Richard Neufeld

first_imgA tax rebate of 50 per cent for all school property taxes will be returned to light and heavy industry to help some of B.C.’s oldest and largest employers. It will save industry about $115 million over the next three years and is on top of the approximately $24 million in annual benefits to heavy industry announced in the 2008 budget. This demonstrates our commitment to have the lowest corporate income tax rate in Canada by 2011.These measures, and the remaining points of the Economic Plan, account for an additional accumulation of $485 million in tax relief and support for businesses, families and individuals over the next three years.Our province is in a very positive position compared to the global economy but we have to take steps to ensure B.C. weathers any future storms.  These tax cuts will help rural B.C. reinvest in small business and enjoy further growth.Click here to review the entire plan: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2005-2009/2008OTP0260-001612.htm.Advertisement – Advertisement -Provincial Plan Supports Rural EconomyNortheast B.C. is fortunate to continue enjoying positive growth thanks largely in part to the oil and gas industry.  However, that doesn’t allow us to ignore the current state of the global economy and the potential impacts it could have on our region and our province.That is why Premier Campbell made a special address broadcast on most major television stations on October 22 laying out our government’s 10 Point Economic Plan.I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the key measures that will benefit our region.There will be an accelerated personal income tax cut of five per cent, retroactive to January 1, 2008.  This includes the two per cent tax cut that took effect July 1 of this year as well as the planned three per cent reduction that was to take effect January 1, 2009.  Taxpayers will see the retroactive benefit on their 2008 tax return. This step will put an additional $144 million in the pockets of British Columbians.Communities will enjoy accelerated tax relief for small business, effective December 1, 2008.  The small business income tax rate will be reduced to 2.5 per cent from the current 3.5 per cent. This supports the income tax rate reduction from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent on July 1, 2008 with a plan to reduce them to 2.5 per cent by 2011. This will accelerate that tax cut by two years, resulting in a 44 per cent tax cut for small business this year alone. The savings to small business will be $146 million over three years allowing for further investment in business operations and stimulating job creation.  At a time where small businesses may be facing additional pressures, we believe it is important to support them. Advertisementlast_img read more

Pair of first-half goals propel Eureka boys soccer past McKinleyville

first_imgEureka >> The ability to apply the pressure and adjust to pressure is what did it for the Eureka boys soccer team. The Loggers scored a pair of first-half goals to claim a 2-0 win over the McKinleyville Panthers at Albee Stadium on Saturday evening to move within two games of first-place Fortuna in the standings.A strong first-half performance saw the Loggers 3-2 H-DN, 5-4 overall) maintain a slight control of the ball in the defensive third of the Panthers (2-3 H-DN, 3-4 overall). “Our …last_img read more

Kingdom of David and Solomon Supported by Growing Evidence

first_imgThe evidence is coming together to support the Biblical record of David and Solomon. An Israeli publication updates the latest finds.In Haaretz, an Israeli news site, you can watch Bible stories rise from the dust. For decades, liberals critics have said that Biblical kings David and Solomon were mythical heroes invented by later Bible writers. It’s hard to say that any more. Philippe Bohstrom has done a service to those who prefer to trust the Bible over man’s changing opinions, pulling together in one place the latest findings that support the great kings of the united monarchy.The headline is: “Did David and Solomon’s United Monarchy Exist? Vast Ancient Mining Operation May Hold Answers.” Bohstrom opens his survey of Davidic archaeology by sharing the latest findings from Timna, a copper mining site dating from Solomon’s time (1/12/17). “Archaeology has provided precious little evidence for the biblical account of a powerful Judaic kingdom 3,000 years ago, but the sheer extent of copper mining in Timna, when Egypt was in a state of collapse, is otherwise hard to explain.”The opening paragraphs read as if written by a skeptic, complaining about the lack of evidence for “the grandeur described in the biblical accounts of David and Solomon.” But then Bohstrom starts putting the pieces together. (Visited 2,891 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Egyptian carving at Timna. David Coppedge, 2006.The Timna copper mining site was much larger than previously known. Located in the Arabah just north of the Gulf of Aqaba, archaeologists have recently found indications of a major operation going on when David and Solomon lived, including textiles, living quarters and even donkey dung that shows the animals lived well.Radiocarbon dates of some of the organic remains at Timna date from the 10th and 9th centuries BC, the time of Solomon.The Egyptians had been at Timna earlier, as seen from hieroglyphs found, but Egypt was too weak to manage the site when the Bible has Solomon running his empire.Additional copper mines in Edom and two other sites were also major operations. “More than 100,000 tons of slag from the Iron Age have been discovered in the area,” Bohstrom says. Think of the water, food, and equipment needed to run such an enterprise. “The sheer scale of copper production at Timna and Faynan would have required the support of a major polity, scholars studying the Aravah agree.” Moreover, a substantial bureaucracy would have been required in Jerusalem to manage the faraway operation.Edomites were involved in the mining operations, but the question is who was in control. All the other empires near the Levant in that period—Egypt, Edom, Greece, Anatolia and Babylonia, were in a downward spiral when the mines were active.A large stone building in the City of David (south of Jerusalem’s current walls) is being interpreted as King David’s palace by lead archaeologist Eilat Mazar.Stepped Stone Structure, City of David, Jerusalem. David Coppedge, 2006.The “Stepped Stone Structure” below David’s palace appears to be the “Millo” supporting the palace, as described in the Bible. It could have been started by King Saul, the article says.The Tell Dan inscription, found in at Biblical Dan in the north of Israel, marked with the words “house of David,” was the first extra-Biblical reference to David found. Incidentally, a new paper in Science Advances discusses the city of Dan and how its inhabitants handled water and climate.Solomon made extensive use of copper when building the Temple. Detailed descriptions in the Bible have the verisimilitude of truth. They would be unimportant if the narrative only had theological purposes. Archaeologist Gabriel Barkay notes, “There is no reason to specify these technical details that basically are instructions to the contractor.”Khirbet Qeiyafa, a spectacular find south of Jerusalem near where David killed Goliath, with its Judahic style buildings and Hebrew inscriptions, shows that the site was a significant fortress outpost of a powerful king, not a tribal chieftain as minimalists complain.Pottery found at Hazor, far north of Jerusalem, dates from Solomon’s golden age. The “Solomonic gates” found there, according to archaeologist Amnon ben-Tor, who has spent his career excavating the site, fit with the Bible: “Hazor is well-planned, with fortifications, gates and well-built domestic buildings that could not have been built by semi-nomads,” he says.An Egyptian inscription confirms that Shishak, described in the Bible, invaded Judah around the time of Rehoboam, the successor to Solomon.Bohstrom is careful not to overstate the case. Some of the findings can be interpreted different ways. In fact, he appears willing to believe that the Biblical record was embellished by later writers. “Apparently sometimes the Bible is right, other bits have been distorted, and often we simply cannot know,” he says. By this and other statements, we know he is not writing from a conservative view of the inspiration of the Scriptures. But one take-home lesson from his pictorial review of the archaeological evidence is that the minimalists seem to be on the run. Bohstrom gives ample time to minimalist Israel Finkelstein, for instance, to give his views. At one point he lets Finkelstein speculate about Jerusalem’s origins, then responds, “It is a convenient theory, but there is not one shred of evidence to support it.”One other argument he makes deserves attention. Why do historians have no problem with other historical figures, when the archaeological evidence is even weaker? “Today, Homeric kings such as Agamemnon, Nestor, Diomedes and Odysseus are widely accepted as historical figures,” he notes. The implication is that we should not be surprised that much of the evidence for the United Kingdom of David and Solomon has been lost, given that Israel has been repeatedly invaded and destroyed by numerous empires since those famous kings lived.Bohstrom is clearly not a Biblical conservative or apologist. He thinks much of the story of David and Solomon could be mythological. In a way, that makes his article more valuable for Bible believers, because he cannot be said to have an “agenda” to defend the Scriptures. Bible believers need to be aware of how strong or weak the evidence is at this current time, realizing that much of what we would like to see has been lost over the past 3,000 years of this war-ravaged land. Nevertheless, what we do see is consistent with the Biblical record, and nothing repudiates it as false. Be wary of skeptics who have an agenda to disprove the Bible. Arguments from silence are risky.Realize, too, that very little in the land of Israel has been excavated. Think of the revolutionary discoveries in recent years, at Khirbet Qeiyafa, in Jerusalem, at Timna, and at Tell Dan. And it’s only the earliest of the kings that are in dispute; no one doubts the historicity of Omri, Ahab, Jehu, Joash, Hezekiah and later kings. Those later kings, corroborated by extra-biblical evidence, did not pop into existence out of nowhere. They were already established in kingdoms that had founders: David and Solomon. Those kings of the United Monarchy are also book-ended by earlier archaeological evidence of the conquest by Joshua, and of the Exodus (see Illustra film at TheJohn1010Project.com). You can’t read the Old Testament without being impressed by the tremendous amount of detail about David (his movements, numerous officials named, the Psalms, etc) and of Solomon (ditto on historical details, plus Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon). You come away feeling that these writings have the ring of truth. There is no guile in the accounts, no gratuitous embellishment. No writer trying to glorify these great kings would include their dark sides, describing shocking details of their sins and personal flaws. Inscriptions by the Assyrians and Babylonians never do that, because their purpose was to exalt the glory of their rulers. The Bible is unique in the world: historically accurate, yet morally compelling, always requiring truth. We should use the Bible to validate archaeology, not the other way around.Bible believers do not put their trust in archaeology, since the word of God speaks for itself. It’s exciting, though, to watch the pieces falling into place.last_img read more

Wine tourism network grows

first_imgStellenbosch is just one of thebreathtakingly beautiful wine-makingareas to be found in the Cape winelands.By Vuyiseka GezaSouth Africa’s wine lands located in the Cape floral kingdom boast the most beautiful geographical surroundings. It is this natural beauty that has boosted wine tourism in the Western Cape. Famous for producing new-world wines, a rather peculiar term for an industry that has been around for more than three centuries, the Cape wine lands rank among the best in the world, and so do the wines they produce.The secret to these flavoursome wines lies in the diversity of soils along with that of climate, forming the perfect “terroir”. It is for this natural gift that the wine routes have incorporated hospitality into winemaking, creating a combination of natural beauty, upmarket accommodation and world-class restaurants.“Our wineries are diverse, offering many different wines and experiences and we work on each member’s strengths. There is a lot of sharing of information and knowledge,” says Bonita Malherbe, manager of the Robertson Wine Valley.Linking-up with the Great Wine Capitals Network, the Cape wineries have mixed traditional with cutting-edge technology. Quoted in Winescape magazine, Clarence Johnson, Cape Winelands District Municipality Mayor, says, “The network provides an important forum for the public and private sectors to explore business and investment opportunities. Through the exchange of information and expertise, we can enhance not only wine tourism, but also South Africa’s global competitiveness.”Unique ambienceDue to soil, climate and cultural diversity, the Cape wine lands are a combination of Bilbao-Rioja (cultural sites, cuisine and food), Florence (scenery, olive groves and art galleries), Melbourne (seaside resorts, mountains and diverse climate), and San Franscisco (golf resorts, food and wine festivals) all in one. They are purely for you to enjoy, relax and be inspired.The winemakers have taken responsibility for land conservation by supporting the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative to conserve over 50 000 hectares of land. This will be achieved by conserving one hectare as a natural habitat for every hectare of vineyard farmed by 2010.Lush vineyards surrounding first-world wine cellars at the foot of the mountains, sea views and the beautiful valleys all create a unique ambience. And each of the destinations makes a unique contribution to wine tourism.Where to stop on the wine routeAt the Robertson Wine Valley you can enjoy the half marathon mountain biking challenge, boat cruises, sunset game drives, live music, wine tastings, children’s activities, hiking, picnics and wine museum tours. The Robertson Wacky Wine Weekend, at the beginning of June, is already booked out for this year – but don’t miss it next year. In 2010 the festival will take place from 4- June before the World Cup.Only 10 years ago Durbanville Hills celebrated its first wines, and they now constitute one of the most popular premium ranges in the country – for those with expensive taste. This is no surprise, as their chardonnay was awarded a gold medal at Veritas.At Tulbagh you can look forward to experiencing the heritage and magnificent country living, tranquillity being the operative word. They host the most beautiful and memorable country weddings. You can also indulge in cheese, chocolate and olive tastings, enjoy cape cuisine and see art museums.The Wonderful Wines of Darling is what the wine evenings are called at Darling Wines, where you can enjoy the wines with gourmet braais.South African brandy is made from distilled wine, so it makes sense that the wine routes would comprise of brandy routes as well, which make a different contribution to the panorama. Brandy and chocolate complement each other, which is why the Western Cape and R62 Brandy Routes offer exclusive brandy and chocolate tastings.In Stellenbosch, South Africa’s first dedicated house of sparkling wines – JC Le Roux – situated in the heart of the picturesque Devon Valley, has reopened its doors after extensive refurbishments. Here you can expect insightful cellar tours and tastings in the ultra-modern cellar, fun-filled picnics in the sun and mouth-watering meals at the deli-style restaurant. The new oyster bar, with sea-fresh oysters and the finest bubblies, is the ultimate hotspot for a pick-me-up pampering.At Santé Wineland Estate you will be pampered at their wellness centre with vinotherapy (using products made from grapes).With all this on offer, what more could one ask for? Lest you forget! After the Winter Season festivals, Springtime is Sauvignon Blanc time and you know the Western Cape is where it’s at. A toast – to variety!Useful linksGreat Wine Capitals NetworkCape WinelandsWines of South AfricaRobertson Wine ValleyDurbanville HillsTulbaghStellenboschSouth African Tourismlast_img read more

Traditional Styling, Passive House Construction

first_imgShort of training as a Passivhaus consultant, one way to immerse yourself in Passivhaus technology and practice is to have a home built to the standard and then live in it. That’s what Sarah Evans and her husband, Stuart Rue, have done with their two-story project in Salem, Oregon, which broke ground in August 2009 and earned certification by Passive House Institute U.S. last month.Planted on a roomy corner lot, the three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath house has about 1,880 sq. ft. of space divided almost evenly between the two floors. Evans and Rue hired local, green-minded experts to help them shape their vision for the house and get it in the ground: builder Bilyeu Homes Inc. and architect Nathan Good, both based in Salem. And like many other homeowners, designers, and builders who venture into the still-rarefied realm of Passive House construction, the couple blogged about the process and posted lots of photos.The Evans-Rue house features advanced framed double-stud walls (just over a foot thick) and exceptional airtightness, having achieved .20 ACH at 50 Pascals in its last blower-door test. It also features exterior detailing that honors the traditional look of much older homes in the Northwest, including the 100-year-old house that, until about 12 years ago, had occupied the Evans-Rue lot. Evans credits Good with forging a compatible design.“We wanted our house to fit in with the surrounding neighborhood and Nathan really made that happen,” she told Earth Advantage, a nonprofit green building and rating program based in Portland, Oregon, that certified the house with a Platinum rating, its highest, based on the building’s high level of energy efficiency.“We have received two power bills constituting a little less than two months of electricity service at the new house,” Rue wrote on July 16. “We have averaged a tiny bit less than 14 kW per day. By way of comparison, the average American house uses about 30 kWh per day, according to the Department of Energy. Except for a few days last week, the weather since we’ve moved into the house has been very temperate, so we weren’t expecting a huge bill. Still, it’s nice to see such a low bill, especially considering that electricity is our only energy source.”For more information on the house, see Net Zero Energy Homes Case Study 2: Rue Evans Passive House.last_img read more

Tell and Sell: Why Stories Build Trust and Sell Things For More, with Paul Smith – Episode #78

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now Tweets you can use to share this episodeWhy stories are a primary way of building trust in #sales, on this episode Click To TweetDo media and technology help us tell better sales stories? Find out on this episodeClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address below Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 31:25 — 28.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSEvery salesperson needs to learn how to tell and sell. Simply put, you need to know how to tell better stories to increase your sales numbers. There’s a great new book out by a guy named Paul Smith, “Sell With A Story.” Paul considers himself a storyteller, not a sales guy – but the book is packed with insightful things about the way humans build trust and the role of stories in that process. If you listen to this episode you’ll want to go right out and get the book. It’s a great read and a very convincing argument for why you need to tell better stories in your sales presentations.Tell and Sell: Why Stories Build Trust and Sell Things For More, with Paul Smith – Episode #78Click To TweetWhy stories are a primary way of building trust in sales.Sales professionals tend to rely on their data and slide decks far too much when they should be learning to tell stories of successful clients, of difficult scenarios their company has worked through, and of preferable futures their clients want to attain. That’s because stories are one of the primary ways human beings build trust between each other – and sales is all about building trust. On this episode, expert storyteller Paul Smith is on the show to give us some ideas about how we can include more stories into our sales pitches to increase trust, and thereby increase sales overall. It’s a fascinating idea that you’ll benefit from greatly if you learn to apply it to your professional life.If you don’t learn to tell you won’t be able to sell.Many times a sales presentation goes sideways when the slide deck is put away and all the stats and figures have already been said. That’s because the prospect throws out a scenario they foresee happening and asks the salesperson what their company would do in that situation. If the salesperson doesn’t know how to tell a compelling story about a time the company faced a similar problem and overcame in spite of the difficulties, they’re going to come across as too good to be true and inauthentic. The possibility of trust will be lost. Paul Smith says that sales pros need to have hundreds of company stories in their sales arsenal and on this episode he’s going to tell us how to start building that repertoire.If you don’t learn to tell you won’t be able to sell, on this episodeClick To TweetDo media and technology help us tell better sales stories?It used to be that the only thing you had at your disposal to weave a compelling story was your own voice and ideas. But today we have so much more. Video, audio, images, animation – the list of potential tools we can use to tell good sales stories seems limitless. But we can become too dependent on a flashy new technology when what we really need is a better understanding of what makes a good story and how to tell it in a compelling way. Paul Smith is on the show to give us some ideas of how we can improve our storytelling and apply it to the sales profession.If you learn to tell a good story you can actually sell things for more.There are stories circulating on the internet about virtually worthless items being sold on eBay and other marketplaces for thousands of dollars. What caused the buyer to imbue the worthless item with so much value? It was the story that accompanied the item. Situations like that show us that sometimes the value of a thing or service has more to do with the way the benefits of it are described and woven into a real life scenario by the salesperson. When people can picture the setting and feel the emotion of what it would be like to experience the product or service in action, the deal is sealed. Paul Smith, a master storyteller is guest on this episode of In The Arena.If you learn to tell a good story you can actually sell things for more. More on this episode @LeadWithAStoryClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Why everyone is a storyteller and introduction of Paul Smith, storytelling trainer. How Paul realized that storytelling was an important skill he needed to learn well. Why do salespeople leave out the obstacles when telling their own stories? What does a salesperson get from being vulnerable in their stories? Why do people trade stories in the first place? Why do salespeople think cold facts and figures are more effective than stories? Does media and tech help us tell better stories? How stories can increase the value of what is being sold. What makes a story portable (where anyone can use it)? Who does Paul consider to be a great storyteller today? What Paul is reading right now.Our Sponsors:Heroic Public Speaking – Michael Port’s incredible public speaking programThe Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever NeedResources & Links mentioned in this episodePaul’s website: http://leadwithastory.com/08144371170814420303 081443357X08144377610062316095The theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinolast_img read more

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