26 October 2010Aaron Mokoena’s services to football and charity will be recognised when the Bafana Bafana and Portsmouth captain receives the Freedom of the City of London on 10 November.Mokoena was nominated for the honour by Alderman Andrew Parmley, who met the South Africa skipper during President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to the UK earlier this year.“I was impressed by what Aaron has achieved in his football career as captain of South Africa and Portsmouth FC and by his determination to ensure young people in South Africa have access to sport and education opportunities through his charitable foundation, which he established in 2009,” Parmley said in a statement.‘I am honoured’Mokoena said he was honoured by the award. “London is such a fantastic city, and to be presented this award as a South African playing football in the UK is a very proud moment for my country, my family and myself.”Portsmouth Football Club’s CEO David Lampitt described Mokoena as “a great role model for young people and all Portsmouth fans.“The club has been fully supportive of the work Aaron is undertaking in South Africa through his foundation,” Lampitt added. “The club congratulates him on this wonderful accolade.”Kaizer MotaungKaizer Chiefs’ owner Kaizer Motaung told The Sowetan: “I believe it is a good thing to follow the successes of the likes of Doctor Steve ‘Kalamazoo’ Mokone, a legend that represented the apartheid-oppressed talent of South African football abroad,” Motaung said.“We must also not forget the towering Lucas Radebe, who carved a name for himself in the City of Leeds when he played there. There have been a lot of South African exports to other countries, and one can only marvel at how they set up new arrivals to fly our country’s flag.“Aaron Mokoena’s achievement has therefore crowned a successful career in the tough English football fraternity, and is worthy of receiving our fullest respect,” Motaung said.“I just hope other youngsters will emulate such heroic feats that demonstrate the quality of our exports that have raised the standard of our football abroad.”History of the awardThe Freedom of the City of London is believed to have begun in 1237 and enabled recipients to carry out their trade. Today, people are nominated for the Freedom because it offers them a link to the historic City of London and one of its ancient traditions.The Freedom is also offered to individuals by the City of London Corporation to help celebrate significant achievements.CareerMokoena became the the first South African to play in 100 internationals when he ran out against Guatemala in May this year.He captained South Africa on home soil in the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the first World Cup to be held in Africa.During his club career, he has played for Ajax Amsterdam, Germinal Beeerschot, Racing Genk, Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Hammer & Hand, a well-known construction company in the Pacific Northwest, has posted its Best Practices Manual online.Used by Hammer & Hand carpenters in the field, the guide includes 180 step-by-step illustrations on dealing with a range of details, including crawl spaces, rainscreens, window installation, and wall penetrations.“We’re launching this section of our site in the spirit of collaboration,” co-owner Sam Hagerman wrote. “The details contained within have been developed through extensive in-the-dirt experience and informed by our building science training and research. They’re details that we have found combine durability, performance, and constructability in our Pacific Northwest climate.”The company, founded in 1995 by Hagerman and Daniel Thomas, has offices in both Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, where it’s housed in the Bullitt Center. The company has tackled a variety of high-performance, high-end designs, including projects built to the Passivhaus standard, and also makes custom wood doors for Passivhaus buildings.Hammer & Hand has won a number of awards, including Custom Builder of the Year in 2014 from Earth Advantage.
Everyone starts somewhere. Before they found big-time Hollywood success, these directors were making the most out of small budgets and developing their techniques on the sets of music videos.Image via Annapurna PicturesThere are plenty of paths into the larger world of filmmaking. Corporate video. Wedding video. Agency ad work. While these jobs aren’t exactly glamorous, they do offer an opportunity to get your hands dirty and get paid to shoot some actual footage.Music videos are another excellent first step for aspiring film and video creatives. You’ll learn how to work with crews and shooting schedules and likely make a few solid connections. Best of all, making a music video provides a little wiggle room. Even with a low budget and time and gear constraints, you can still make something inventive and engaging while demonstrating your hard-earned skills and ability to execute a vision.If you do put yourself out there and book a music video gig, know that you are in good historical company; some of the biggest feature-film directors working today got their start making music videos.1. Antoine FuquaAfter working as a production assistant in NYC and shopping his first short film to record labels, Antoine Fuqua found himself helming music videos for artists like Prince, Arrested Development, and CeCe Peniston. Fuqua was soon approached by none other than Jerry Bruckheimer about directing a music video for Coolio’s “Gangster’s Paradise” from the soundtrack of 1995’s Dangerous Minds. Sure enough, the video was a hit, eventually winning Best Rap Video at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards.Fuqua went on to direct the gritty crime drama, Training Day, for which Denzel Washington took home the Academy Award for Best Actor.2. David FincherOne of David Fincher’s earliest impressions on the mainstream might just be the most David Fincher thing ever: a 1985 American Cancer Society commercial featuring a fetus smoking a cigarette.Before moving on to become one of the most respected directors in Hollywood, Fincher enjoyed massive success and acclaim in the music video industry, working with a who’s who of 80s/90s music superstars like Madonna, Aerosmith, Paula Abdul, Billy Idol, and The Rolling Stones.His impact and influence was substantial — in addition to winning two Grammys for Best Music Video and three MTV Video Music Award for Best Direction, the production company he co-founded (Propaganda Films) helped shape the careers of some of the most talented directors in the business, including Gore Verbinski, Michael Bay, and Zack Snyder.3. Francis LawrenceWielding possibly the most stacked music video resume of this list, Francis Lawrence has worked with some of the biggest acts on the planet, like Akon, Jay Z, Third Eye Blind, Justin Timberlake, Will Smith, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and many, many more.After working as a second camera assistant on the 1990 film Pump Up the Volume, Lawrence would grind for many more years before breaking into the mainstream as the director of films like I Am Legend and the final three adaptations of The Hunger Games.4. Spike JonzeLike David Fincher, Spike Jonze made his name by pushing boundaries with a surreal, outside-the-box approach to storytelling. After honing his chops through skateboarding photography and video work, Jonze ventured into music video just in time for the alternative-music explosion of the early 1990s, working with some of the era’s most influential artists, like Sonic Youth, Beastie Boys, Weezer, Dinosaur Jr., and R.E.M.His first feature film, 1999’s Being John Malkovich, earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Director. He picked up several more industry nominations for 2013’s Her — and took home the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, the Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, and the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Original Screenplay.5. Michel GondryGondry’s first forays into film were music videos he created for his French pop band, Oui Oui. Those wildly inventive clips caught the eye of Icelandic avant-garde powerhouse Björk, resulting in the iconic Gondry-directed music video for “Human Behavior” (and seven other music video collaborations.)Gondry went on to work with musical acts like The Rolling Stones, Foo Fighters, Beck, and Daft Punk before directing his feature film debut, the Charlie Kaufman-scripted Human Nature. His second film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, led to a Best Actress Academy Award nomination for Kate Winslet, with Gondry (and fellow co-writers Kaufman and Pierre Bismuth) winning the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.6 & 7: DANIELSDANIELS —Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert — is a recent phenomenon. In addition to their viral (and deceptively profound) short films and engaging brand work, the unconventional duo is responsible for some of the most original music videos in recent memory, working with acts like Foster the People, Battles, Tenacious D, and The Shins.With the recent big-screen release of their feature-length Swiss Army Man, the story of DANIELS serves as an excellent example of the power a modern filmmaker wields with resources like YouTube and Vimeo at their disposal.Got any music video work experiences you’d like to share? Do so in the comments below!
Usain Bolt has finished his football trial at Central Coast Mariners and will leave the club after failing to agree commercial terms, the A-League side said on Friday.The Olympic sprint champion’s mission to win a professional contract in Australia at the age of 32 dominated the A-League’s pre-season and proved a marketing boost to the sleepy Central Coast region north of Sydney.But his performances in training and trial matches over the last two months did little to remove doubts about the eight-time Olympic gold medallist’s chances of making the grade.Central Coast Mariners make contract offer, says Usain Bolt’s agentMariners owner Mike Charlesworth said the Mariners had been “thrilled” to have worked with the Jamaican.”Despite the fact that we could not come to an agreement that would continue Usain Bolt’s football journey with the Central Coast Mariners, we’ve been thrilled to have the Olympic champion sprinter and world record holder as part of our Club for these past eight weeks,” he said in a joint statement with Bolt.READ – Usain Bolt scores brace in crucial football matchThe Mariners said they had worked with Bolt and his agent Ricky Simms to engage with external partners in a bid to strike a commercial deal.”Despite several promising potential partners, both Bolt and the Central Coast Mariners have amicably concluded that they will not be able to settle on a suitable deal in a timely manner,” the statement said.READ – Usain Bolt surprised with drug test notice in AustraliaadvertisementBolt thanked the club and wished them well for the new season.”I would like to thank the Central Coast Mariners owners, management, staff, players and fans for making me feel so welcome during my time there. I wish the club success for the season ahead,” he said.READ – Usain Bolt rejects Maltese club to stay with Central Coast Mariners in AustraliaBolt drew thousands of fans to Mariners’ pre-season games that would normally struggle to draw a few hundred, and his two goals in a match against a local amateur side generated headlines worldwide.However, it was not enough for the Mike Mulvey-coached club to produce a contract before the season started last month.With the league’s next registration period not opening until Jan. 3, that left Bolt as little more than a high-profile cheerleader.Football Federation Australia CEO David Gallop also said he would not dig into the A-League’s marquee fund to secure a contract with Bolt.(With Reuters inputs)
Australia opener Usman Khawaja was cleared of serious injury after taking a nasty blow to the head and being forced to retire hurt from a World Cup warmup against West Indies in Southampton on Wednesday.Khawaja underwent scans on his jaw after being struck by an Andre Russell bouncer in the second over of Australia’s innings and escorted from the Rose Bowl’s Nursery Ground. Australia went on to win the match by seven wickets.”It was very scary,” Australia batsman Shaun Marsh, who scored 55 not out batting at number five, told reporters.”It copped him on the side of the cheekbone, I think. The main thing is he is okay and can bounce back pretty quickly.”Obviously (he was) a bit shaken, as you are when you get hit on the head, but Uzzy’s a tough cookie and he’ll be ready to go.”Marsh and returning former captain Steve Smith put on 109 for the third wicket as Australia chased down West Indies’ tally of 229 inside 39 overs.Smith hit seven fours and two sixes in his 76 and Marsh said it was good to see him and former vice captain David Warner, who scored 12, back in the groove after the end of their one-year bans for the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.”(Smith) has just come back and just done what he’s usually does and scored runs,” Marsh added.”It’s just fantastic to have them both back in the team. They are both really valuable players for us.”With Smith and Warner back, Marsh is not certain of a place in the side for the World Cup opener against Afghanistan in Bristol on June 1 but he thought his versatility might work in his favour.advertisement”I think I’m nice and flexible,” Marsh said. “I’ve batted from one to six over my career so I’ll just enjoy the last two warmup matches and we’ll see.”The defending champions’ next warmup is against World Cup hosts England, who top the world rankings, at the main Rose Bowl ground on Saturday.”I think it’s going to be a great challenge and we’ll see where we’re at,” Marsh concluded.Also Read | Made sure I trained well after IPL: Vijay Shankar before departing for World Cup 2019Also Read | Ajinkya Rahane becomes 3rd Indian batsman to hit hundred on County debutAlso See
The growth has been bolstered by what Considine calls a “soft rollout.”American Googlers were coming to the U.K. version in droves, she says, but the format wasn’t ideal for them There was opportunity to improve.Studying the patterns and conducting audience research, the U.S. site has changed obvious elements-pricing items in U.S. Dollars instead of British Pounds, for example-along with some more obscure features-“The word ‘flavor’ has a ‘u’ in the U.K., so we had to make sure we took that out,” Considine says.To this point, expansion plans have, of course, been based on market considerations, but location has been a factor as well. With an October launch in Australia-the third TechRadar site-the site’s network is now staffed 24 hours a day.Breaking stories originating in the U.K. will be passed off to TechRadar staff in San Francisco at around 7 p.m. GMT. In turn, the Australian staff will pick up where the San Francisco team left off when they go home at 7 p.m. PT, and so on.South America has been posited as the next market, although Considine could not confirm whether plans had advanced past the testing stage.PlayStation: The Official Magazine Shutting DownDespite the success of TechRadar, another Future property, Playstation: The Official Magazine, will shut down after the holiday issue is released this winter.An official statement will not be released.The shuttering of PTOM comes months after Future announced that it would also cease publication of Nintendo Power at the end of the year.”It’s not the space, I think that the space is amazing,” Considine says. “We’re just going through a console life-cycle change, so you’re really just seeing the space in general is evolving, and I actually think it’s only going to get better.”PTOM and Nintendo Power have been in publication since 1997 and 1988, respectively. PTOM has a circulation of 139,000, according to Future.To stay updated on the latest FOLIO: news, become a Facebook fan and follow us on Twitter! It was a mixed week for Future plc who announced record growth for TechRadar’s U.S. website, while also revealing that it would close long-time gamer title, PlayStation: The Official Magazine.Just six months after its launch, Future’s U.S. incarnation of TechRadar.com reached 5.4 million unique visitors in September, surpassing the established U.K. site audience by more than 1 million. Although the size of the markets varies greatly, Rachelle Considine, Future U.S. COO, is happy with the results.”I don’t think we expected to grow this quickly,” she says.
Propelling the spread of facial recognition systems are huge leaps in artificial intelligence, the technology that seeks to give computers some of the ability, versatility and even creativity of human thinking. The biggest improvements have come through a specific area of AI called neural networks, inspired by the actual workings of human brain cells. Hardware and software improvements enabled an approach called deep learning — multiple layers of digital neurons that provide increasingly refined image analysis. Overall, it’s a profound change. Recognizing and interpreting human faces is so important to us that whole sections of our brains are devoted to it. As we teach computers those skills, our interactions with them become more convenient — less like submitting database commands and more like dealing with the natural world in which we evolved. On the flip side, facial recognition can undercut privacy as our anonymity evaporates. How neural networks work In a training phase, neural networks scrutinize vast numbers of images of faces, learning on their own what’s important in the recognition process. It’s more accurate than the old way, with programmers describing what eyes, noses and mouths look like. “Some layers capture color and texture and gradients,” said Amit Roy-Chowdhury, chair of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, Riverside. “As you go deeper, they capture the shape of different parts of the object and ultimately the shape of the object itself.” This is part of a CNET special report exploring the benefits and pitfalls of facial recognition.After training, neural networks create a stripped-down mathematical representation for each face. That representation can be compared rapidly with those of other faces, letting a facial recognition system decide if a person entering an office is on an authorized employee list or raise an alert when a potential shoplifter also appears on police arrest records. To work well, facial recognition systems need images with well-illuminated, clear faces that give a neural network detailed, accurate data. That’s why passport photos require even lighting, plain backgrounds, neutral expressions and subjects facing straight toward the camera. “You try to make your input as consistent as possible so your analysis can be easier,” said Raj Minhas, leader of Xerox’s PARC Interaction and Analytics Lab. Errors in the system Facial recognition systems are getting better, but can still return errors. False positives match a face when no match should exist, such as when a person’s image isn’t in the database. A false negative occurs when the system misses a match it should have made. Top-notch facial recognition systems today are 99.7 percent accurate with good lighting conditions, a 2018 study from the National Institute of Standards and Technology found. One way to reduce errors is to tune the system by pushing some of the data apart to make it clearer for the neural net, reducing the likelihood of a false positive, said Marios Savvides, director of the CyLab Biometrics Center at Carnegie Mellon University. Savvides’ team is also blending modern AI with an older approach called correlation filters that allows neural networks to improve facial recognition accuracy when faces are obscured, poorly lit or facing away from the camera. Overall, Savvides’ team is able to reconstruct faces even when they’re looking away or obscured by breathing masks, he said. “We live in a time where AI can surpass the human brain’s capability,” he said. Another way to improve facial recognition is to pair it with other attributes, such as fingerprints, voice prints and other biometric data, or factors such as passwords. That might not work well when a system is just scanning people walking into a store, but it’s pretty common for controlled situations where people are logging into a network. Artificial intelligence (AI) Laptops Tech Industry Security 16 Share your voice Facial recognition: Get to know the tech that gets to… Comments Now playing: Watch this: Royal Caribbean Cruises has begun using facial recognition systems to speed passengers on their way through security and ID checks. Royal Caribbean Cruises You and your family are at the pier, giddy to board the massive cruise ship docked nearby. Ahead lies a week of sunny beaches, indulgent buffet feasts and lounging around doing absolutely nothing. And then you see the long lines for security, baggage and ID checks. It often takes 75 minutes for passengers to check in, but the Pool Deck looks a lifetime away. Royal Caribbean Cruises thinks it has the answer to getting passengers aboard faster: AI-powered facial recognition. In December, passengers started taking part in a pilot program at a company embarkation point in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Passengers take selfies with the company’s app, then at the port, an AI-powered database matches their faces. After a quick double-check, Royal Caribbean’s staff members direct guests to their cabins. The result: all-time high customer satisfaction. “We wanted to turn what was a cold transaction into a really welcoming moment,” said Jay Schneider, who runs the Miami company’s digital operations. The goal is to get passengers “from car to bar in 10 minutes.” Royal Caribbean Cruises is hardly alone. Facial recognition technology is used to spot friends on Facebook and unlock your iPhone. It’s been rolled out in airports, at cash registers and on home security systems. It may soon be inescapable. We live in a time where AI can surpass the human brain’s capability. Marios Savvides, director of the CyLab Biometrics Center at Carnegie Mellon University 5:11 Tags “We call it irrefutable identity,” said Vishal Gupta, chief technology officer at Unisys, which sells biometric authentication technology to the US Customs and Border Protection agency, among other customers. Unisys’ facial recognition system alone is 99 percent accurate, but with an approach it calls fusion that blends in other biometric factors, the company reaches 99.9 percent or 99.99 percent accuracy. Facial recognition promises convenience, but it isn’t without concerns. Privacy advocates worry it will usher in an era of Big Brother monitoring or companies secretly tracking you. It also raises questions about AI bias; if you train a system using images of mostly white people, a common practice, the system might have difficulty recognizing people of color. Bias can creep into data sets in other ways, too, based on the data sets that are used to train the AI. If the photos used to train an AI show women cooking, the system might automatically conclude that women are likely to be in the kitchen. “There’s no good way to know your data set is biased until you notice it failing,” said Broad Daylight security consultant Nick Merrill. “And by the time a biased algorithm wreaks real-world havoc, it’s too late.” Still, many companies are thinking about how to use facial recognition to enhance the experience of their customers, visitors, patients and guests. They want facial recognition to make interactions easier, not creepy. Hello, hospital Northwell Health, which serves 3.5 million patients and is the largest health care provider in New York, is using a facial recognition program to streamline patient visits, reduce clerical errors and ultimately improve health. Its system, whose hardware and software are made by RightPatient, uses sophisticated cameras that photograph faces and irises of patients. When a patient arrives for a checkup, the receptionist’s computer confirms the patient’s identity and pulls up his or her chart for the doctor. If there’s no record, the patient is enrolled with an ID check. We’re literally putting a face with a name. Laura Semlies, vice president, Northwell Health The system offers a number of advantages besides a smoother arrival in an office with less fumbling for ID. It’s less susceptible to problems of duplicate records for the same patient. If you’re already in the system, it’ll recognize you even if you got married and changed your name. Identity theft — think people trying to snatch prescriptions — is reduced because you can’t fake a face. In emergencies like car accidents, the system would be able to identify an unconscious patient so that nurses and doctors could find medical histories and family contacts. “We’re literally putting a face with a name,” said Laura Semlies, vice president of digital patient experience. “It just makes for a better clinical relationship.” Biometric data is protected with encryption and is subject to the same strict privacy limits as other health data, she said. Only about 12,000 of Northwell’s 3.5 million patients are enrolled so far, but now the network is spreading it more broadly around its facilities. Facial recognition ahoy Royal Caribbean Cruises has twice as many passengers as Northwell has patients, and more of them, too, will see facial recognition as the program expands, project leader Schneider said. After finishing selfie and passport-scanning homework, passengers using the optional system can head to the port. As they arrive, passengers see a live view of themselves captured by cameras arrayed across the entrance. They’re arranged to avoid airport-style bottlenecks. Behind the scenes, a computer matches their faces to the ones on record. Once there’s a match, passengers see a green box around their faces on the screens. A human agent verifies the matches, greets the passengers by name and checks their passports. Royal Caribbean is required to have passenger photos, so the facial recognition system doesn’t significantly add to the data the company has. The company deletes passenger photos when the cruise ends, said Schneider, the cruise company’s digital chief. The result is a system that whisks passengers aboard and gets the holiday started more quickly than before. “Guests didn’t feel like they were on vacation until day 2,” Schneider said. “We wanted to give you that day back.” Originally published at 5:00 a.m. PT.
“Realising you are an overweight individual, in itself, is likely to be quite stressful and results in making healthy choices in your lifestyle more difficult. It is a tricky finding for doctors,” said Dr Eric Robinson from the University’s institute of psychology, health and society.The team found that those who identified themselves as being “overweight” were more likely to report overeating in response to stress and this predicted subsequent weight gain. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The researchers looked at the lives of 14,000 adults in the US and Britain.They analysed data from time periods after the children had reached adulthood to find out their perception of their own weight —whether or not it was correct —and their subsequent weight gain over time. You would hope that making a person aware they are overweight would result in them being more likely to adopt a healthier lifestyle and lose some weight.“What is important is to tackle stigma in society. People with a heavier body weight have body image challenges. That is not surprising given the way we talk about weight as a society,” Robinson added in a paper published in the International Journal of Obesity.There are ways of encouraging people to make healthy changes to their lifestyle that don’t portray obesity as a terrible thing, the authors concluded. IANS
If you missed the Azure announcements made at Microsoft Ignite 2018, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the biggest changes and improvements the Microsoft Azure team have made to their cloud offering. Infrastructure Improvements Azure’s new capabilities to deliver the best infrastructure for every workload include: 1. GPU enable and High-Performance VM To deliver the best infrastructure for every workload, Azure has announced the Preview of GPU-enabled and High-Performance Computing Virtual Machines. The two new N-series Virtual Machines have NVIDIA GPU capabilities. The first one is the NVv2 VMs and the second virtual machine is the NDv2 VMs. The two new H-series VMs are optimized for performance and cost and are aimed at HPC workloads like fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, energy exploration, weather forecasting, risk analysis, and more. The first VM is the HB VMs and the second VM is the HC VMs. 2. Networking Azure has announced the general availability of Azure Firewall and Virtual WAN. They have also announced the preview of Azure Front Door Service, ExpressRoute Global Reach, and ExpressRoute Direct. Azure Firewall has a built-in high availability and cloud scalability. The Virtual WAN will provide a simple, unified, global connectivity, and security platform to deploy large-scale branch connectivity. 3. Improved Disk storage Microsoft has expanded the portfolio of Azure Disk offerings to deploy any app in Azure, including those that are the most IO intensive. The new previews include the Ultra SSDs, Standard SSDs, Larger managed disk sizes – to help deal with data-intensive workloads. This will also ensure better availability, reliability, and latency as compared to standard SSDs 4. Hybrid Microsoft has announced new hybrid capabilities to manage data, create even more consistency, and secure hybrid environment. They have introduced the Azure Data Box edge, Windows Server 2019 and Azure stack. With AI enable edge computing capabilities, and OS that supports hybrid management and flexibility for deploying applications, Azure is causing waves in the developer community Built-in security & management For improved Security, Azure has announced new services for preview, like Confidential Computing DC VM series, Secure score, improved threat protection, and network map (preview). These will expand Azure security controls and services to protect network, applications, data, and identities. These services are enhanced by the unique intelligence that comes from the trillions of signals we collect in running first party services like Office 365 and Xbox. For better Management, Azure has announced the preview of Azure Blueprints. These blueprints make it easy to deploy and update Azure environments in a repeatable manner using composable artifacts such as policies, role-based access controls, and resource templates. Azure cost management in the Azure portal (preview) will help to access cost management from PowerBI or directly from your own custom applications. Migration To make the migration to the cloud less challenging, Azure has announced the support for Hyper-V assessments in Azure Migrate, Azure SQL Database Managed Instance, which enables users to migrate SQL Servers to a fully managed Azure service. To help improve your migration experience, we are announcing that if you migrate Windows Server or SQL Server 2008/R2 to Azure, you will get three years of free extended security updates on those systems. This could save you some money when Windows Server and SQL Server 2008/ R2 end of support (EOS). Automated ML capability in Azure Machine Learning The problem of finding the best machine learning pipeline for a given dataset scales faster than the time available for data science projects. Azure’s Automated machine learning enables developers to access an automated service that identifies the best machine learning pipelines for their labelled data. Data scientists are empowered with a powerful productivity tool that also takes uncertainty into account, incorporating a probabilistic model to determine the best pipeline to try next. To follow more of the Azure buzz, head to Microsoft’s official Blog Read Next Microsoft’s Immutable storage for Azure Storage Blobs, now generally available Azure Functions 2.0 launches with better workload support for serverless Microsoft announces Azure DevOps, makes Azure pipelines available on GitHub Marketplace
Last week, the team at ParaSail, released a new version of the parallel programming language, ParaSail 8.0 (ParaSail stands for Parallel Specification and Implementation Language). This programming language is designed for supporting the development of inherently safe and parallel applications that can be mapped to multicore, heterogeneous, or distributed architectures. It provides support for both implicit and explicit parallelism. All the ParaSail expressions are defined to have parallel evaluation semantics. What’s new in ParaSail 8.0 Debugger This release comes with an interactive debugger that is automatically invoked when the interpreter encounters a precondition, assertion, or postcondition that fails at run-time. This release comes with fully analyzed pre- and postconditions that are checked at run-time. ParaSail LLVM-based Compiler This release comes with a translator that translates PSVM (ParaSail virtual machine) instructions to LLVM (Low-Level Virtual Machine) instructions, and from there to object code. Language design principles According to the new design principles, the language should be easy to read. The readability should be emphasized over symbols and should be similar to existing languages, mathematics, or logic. As the programs are usually scanned backward, so ending indicators should be as informative as starting indicators for composite constructs. For example, “end loop” or “end class Stack” rather than simply “end” or “}”. Parallelism should be built into the language so that resulting programs can easily take advantage of as many cores as are available on the host computer. Features that are error-prone or that can complicate the testing or proof process should be eliminated. Language-defined types and user-defined types should use the same syntax and have the same capabilities. All the modules should be generic templates or equivalent. The language should be safe and the compiler should detect all potential race conditions as well as all potential runtime errors. Enhanced ParaSail syntax In this release, the back-quote character followed by a parenthesized expression may now appear within a string literal. Also, the value of the expression is interpolated into the middle of the string, in place of the back-quoted expression. Reserved words A list of words is now reserved in ParaSail. Few words from this list are, abs, abstract, all, and, block, case, class, concurrent, const, continue, each, else, elsif, end, exit, extends. Object reference Now a reference to an existing object can be declared using the following syntax: object_reference_declaration ::= ’ref’ [ var_or_const ] identifier [’:’ type_specifier ] ’=>’ object_name ’;’ Deprecations ParaSail has removed a few of the features for ensuring safe parallelism: The global variables have been removed so that operations may only access variables passed as parameters. The parameter aliasing has been eliminated so that two parameters passed to the same operation don’t refer to the same object if one of the parameters is updatable within the operation. Pointers have been removed so that optional and expandable objects and generalized indexing can provide an approach that allows safe parallelization. Run-time exception handling has been eliminated so that it is possible for strong compile-time checking of preconditions and establish support for parallel event-handling. The global garbage-collected heap has been removed so that automatic storage management is provided. Explicit threads, lock/unlock, or signal/wait has been eliminated so that parallel activities are identified automatically by the compiler. Many users are not much happy with this news. Some are unhappy with the CSS and are asking the team to fix it. One of the comments on HackerNews reads, “Please fix the CSS: I have to scroll horizontally every single line. I stopped at the first one. Tested with Firefox and Chrome on Android. Firefox reader mode doesn’t work on that site.” Another user commented, “I was able to read it on my Android device in Chrome by using landscape mode. Until I scrolled down a little. Then a huge static navigation popup appeared taking up 40% of the screen!” Few others think that Fortran is better than ParaSail as it lets developers to name the loops. Some others are excited about pre/post conditions. One of the users commented, “Having built in pre/post conditions is pretty nice.” Read more about this news on ParaSail’s official website. Read Next Racket 7.2, a descendent of Scheme and Lisp, is now out! Typescript 3.3 is finally released! Announcing Julia v1.1 with better exception handling and other improvements