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City of Imperial beach proposing to add public bathrooms

first_imgCity of Imperial beach proposing to add public bathrooms KUSI Newsroom KUSI Newsroom, 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO ( KUSI) – The City of Imperial Beach is proposing to add public bathrooms at the corner of Beach Avenue and Sea Coast Drive.The Port of San Diego and the City of Imperial Beach held a public meeting where the potential bathrooms would be placed.Residents were invited to voice their opinions on the proposed plan. June 25, 2019 Posted: June 25, 2019 Categories: California News, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more

Huge leaps in AI have made facial recognition smarter than your brain

first_imgPropelling 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.” Facial recognition: Your face, your passwordThis 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.last_img read more

Russian opposition leader arrested at Moscow protest

first_imgPolice officers detaining Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny during an unauthorised anti-corruption rally in central Moscow. Photo: AFPHundreds of people including top Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny were arrested on Sunday as thousands of Russians defied bans to stage protests across the country against corruption.Navalny had called for the marches after publishing a detailed report this month accusing Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev of controlling a property empire through a shadowy network of nonprofit organisations.The report has been viewed over 11 million times on YouTube, but so far Medvedev has made no comment on the claims.Sunday’s march in Moscow was one of the biggest unauthorised demonstrations in recent years, with police putting turnout at 7,000-8,000 people.Police detained Navalny, who has announced plans to run for president in the 2018 election, as he was walking to the protest, putting him in a police minibus.The crowd briefly tried to block it from driving off, shouting “Shame!” and “Let him out!”“Guys, I am all right, go on along Tverskaya,” Navalny tweeted from the van, referring to Moscow’s main central street.Police said about 500 people had been arrested in Moscow, while OVD-Info, a website that monitors the detention of activists, said at least 933 had been detained, as well as dozens in other cities.The Interfax news agency said 130 people were arrested in Saint Petersburg, where about 4,000 people gathered in the city centre.“We’re tired of the lies, we have to do something,” Sergei Timofeyev, a 23-year-old protester in Saint Petersburg, told AFP.A spokeswoman for Navalny’s Anti-corruption Foundation (FBK) said on Twitter than he would be held overnight before being brought before a judge on Monday.He will face charges of calling a rally that disrupted public order, and could be held for up to 15 days.From his cell, Navalny posted on Twitter that he was “proud” of the protesters and said the mass detentions were “understandable”.“The thieves defend themselves this way. But you cannot arrest everyone who is against corruption. There are millions of us,” he wrote.The United States condemned the arrests as an affront to democracy.“Detaining peaceful protesters, human rights observers, and journalists is an affront to core democratic values,” acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.‘They steal and lie’Thousands of people filled central Pushkin Square, some shouting “Russia without (President Vladimir) Putin”. Some climbed on to lamp posts and the monument to poet Alexander Pushkin, shouting “impeachment!”Dozens of police vans and rows of riot officers were lined up as a police helicopter hovered overhead.“We have all seen the movie, it gives specific examples of corruption, and there has been no reaction,” Nikolai Moisey, a 26-year-old factory worker, said of the claims against Medvedev.“They steal and they lie but still people will be patient to the end. The protest is a first push for people to start acting.”Police officers moved to detain protesters and clear the square, with some using truncheons and pepper spray to disperse the crowd, AFP correspondents said.Police also searched FBK offices over alleged incitement to hatred, and “Everyone was detained and brought to the police,” the organisation’s spokeswoman Kira Iarmych said.‘99 cities’Despite the dramatic scenes in Moscow, state TV did not cover the protests, instead showing soap operas and nature films.“The whole country is tired of corruption on such a scale,” 50-year-old Natalia Demidova said. “Medvedev should be fired once such exposes come to light.”Elsewhere, about 2,000 gathered in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk, carrying signs such as “No to corruption,” according to local news website Sib.fm.Some held up images of yellow rubber ducks, following reports that Medvedev has a special house for a duck on one of his properties.Local media estimated about 1,500 people turned out in each of the Siberian cities of Krasnoyarsk and Omsk.The Russian constitution allows public gatherings, but recent laws have criminalised protests unauthorised by city authorities, who frequently refuse to grant permission for rallies by Kremlin critics.Navalny said on his website that 99 Russian cities planned to protest, but that in 72 of them the local authorities did not give permission, citing reasons such as street cleaning, a bell-ringing concert and rival events by various pro-Kremlin groups.There were also protests in Vladivostok and Yekaterinburg, according to local reports.Navalny, a 40-year-old lawyer by training announced plans to run for the presidency after he won a surprise 27 percent of the vote in the Moscow mayoral election in 2013.But he has been the subject of several legal prosecutions in recent years, and in February he was found guilty of embezzlement and given a five-year suspended sentence which could make him ineligible to run in next year’s vote.last_img read more

PostHarvey Houston Officials Hope Congress Is Up For Funding Ike Dike

first_imgGraphic by Todd WisemanMayor Sylvester Turner on Tuesday gave his strongest endorsement to date for constructing a physical coastal barrier to protect the region from deadly storm surge during hurricanes.Though such a barrier system would not have guarded against the unrelenting and unprecedented rain Hurricane Harvey dumped on the area, Turner — one of the region’s last leaders to endorse the “coastal spine” concept — said at a Tuesday news conference that he believes it is crucial. “We cannot talk about rebuilding” from Harvey “if we do not build the coastal spine,” he said.With Harvey — which was downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reached Houston — “we again dodged the bullet.” Constructing such a system has been a point of discussion since 2008, when Hurricane Ike shifted course at the last minute, narrowly sparing populated communities like Clear Lake and the Houston Ship Channel — home to the nation’s largest refining and petrochemical complex — from a massive storm surge. Scientists have modeled worst-case scenario storms that make clear the potential for devastation, which The Texas Tribune and ProPublica detailed extensively in a 2016 investigation. They also have urged local, state and federal elected officials to pursue infrastructure solutions, which they expect the federal government to fund.Last year those scientists and officials told The Texas Tribune and ProPublica that a catastrophic storm likely would have to hit Houston before they could convince Congress to fund such an endeavor — estimated to cost some $5.8 billion for the Houston area alone and at least $11 billion for the entire six-county coastal region. Such an ambitious public works project has never been built in anticipation of a natural catastrophe.Turner and other leaders are clearly hoping Harvey fits the bill.They have suggested that the federal government could provide funding for a storm surge barrier — often referred to as the “Ike Dike,” a proposal first offered up by Texas A&M University at Galveston in 2009 — and a variety of other storm protection measures as part of an overall Harvey relief package. But the $15 billion Congress has approved for Texas so far can’t be spent on a coastal barrier; the money can only go toward rehabilitating flooded areas. That means local and state officials will either have to depend on Congress to fund something completely separate — a scenario many are doubtful of — or cobble together other funding. At both the state and federal level, talk of protecting the Houston area from big storms has in recent years been dominated by the coastal barrier concept. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush have been leading an effort to secure federal funding for the coastal spine; in April, they and other officials, including Turner, wrote to President Trump urging his support.But the Ike Dike would only protect coastal areas from catastrophic storm surge; it would do nothing to prevent flooding damage from torrential rain, which is almost entirely responsible for the damage Houstonians suffered from Harvey. Other flood protection ideas — either underfunded or long-abandoned — have received renewed attention since Harvey.On Tuesday, Turner joined local officials in expressing support for a long-delayed reservoir project that experts say would’ve saved thousands of Houston homes from flooding during Harvey, along with three bayou widening projects estimated to cost a combined $130 million.Turner said the city shouldn’t have to choose one over the other as it seeks federal funding. “I don’t think we need to pick one,” he said. “… We know we need another reservoir. We just need to step up and do that — the same thing with the coastal spine.” A spokeswoman for U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul said Tuesday that the Austin Republican “has been working with FEMA, Gov. [Greg] Abbott and local officials to identify options for flood mitigation to protect Houston and the surrounding areas from future flood disasters.”McCaul may hold extra clout as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. But Adrian Garcia, a former city councilman and Harris County sheriff, said he’s not optimistic Texas will get much funding for these projects from Congress beyond the multi-billion dollar short-term aid package. “They thought [the Ike Dike] would be the answer to a lot of these problems,” Garcia said. “And obviously it is not.” Turner’s advocacy for the coastal barrier concept is relatively new.   Early last year, amid the Texas Tribune/ProPublica investigation, Turner declined an interview request to discuss the need for such a barrier. Instead, the city sent statements dismissing the potential impacts — and not indicating whether Turner supported such a project, which dozens of area city councils had enthusiastically endorsed.“Only a small portion of the city of Houston is in areas at risk for major storm surge,” the statement said. “Consequently, hurricane-force wind poses the major threat for the majority of the city.” Reminded of a climate change-driven storm scenario FEMA presented in 2014 — in collaboration with the city — that projected a 34-foot storm surge that put downtown Houston underwater, Turner’s office provided a follow-up statement acknowledging that the issue “continues to be a concern.” It also placed the onus on the federal government to take the lead on a coastal barrier project.A few months later, in August 2016, Turner wrote to state leaders studying the coastal barrier concept and said he supported it.On Tuesday, Turner spoke passionately about the impact Hurricane Ike could have had — and the impact Harvey did have — on the region’s industrial complex and the national economy. “When Hurricane Ike hit in 2008 there were $30 billion in damages,” he said. If Ike’s direction hadn’t changed “we could have lost refineries, jet fuel and the entire Houston Ship Channel, not only destroying the jobs of many Houstonians, but there would have been an impact on the nation as a whole.”During Harvey, Turner said, “the Houston port did close and business was shut down and the country as a whole was impacted.”“That was a tropical storm,” he added. “Can you imagine if Hurricane Harvey had come closer, what the devastating effects would be?”   Sharelast_img read more

Overweight Dont ponder over it all the time

first_img“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. IANSlast_img read more

Microsoft Cloud services DNS outage results in deleting several Microsoft Azure database

first_imgOn January 29, Microsoft Cloud services including Microsoft Azure, Office 365, and Dynamics 365 suffered a major outage. This resulted in customers experiencing intermittent access to Office 365 and also deleting several database records. This comes just after a major outage that prevented Microsoft 365 users from accessing their emails for an entire day in Europe. Users who were already logged into Microsoft services weren’t affected; however, those that were trying to log into new sessions were not able to do so. How did this Microsoft Azure outage happen? According to Microsoft, the preliminary reason behind this outage was a DNS issue with CenturyLink, an external DNS provider. Microsoft Azure’s status page read, “Engineers identified a DNS issue with an external DNS provider”. CenturyLink, in a statement, mentioned that their DNS services experienced disruption due to a software defect, which affected connectivity to a customer’s cloud resources. Along with authentication issues, this outage also caused the deletion of users’ live data stored in Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) databases in Microsoft Azure. TDE databases encrypt information dynamically and decrypt them when customers access it. As the data is stored in encrypted form, it prevents intruders from accessing the database. For encryption, many Azure users store their own encryption keys in Microsoft’s Key Vault encryption key management system. The deletion was triggered by a script that automatically drops TDE database tables when corresponding keys can no longer be accessed in the Key Vault. Microsoft was able to restore the tables from a five-minute snapshot backup. But, those transactions that customers had processed within five minutes of the table drop were expected to raise a support ticket asking for the database copy. Read more about Microsoft’s Azure outage in detail on ZDNet. Read Next Microsoft announces Internet Explorer 10 will reach end-of-life by January 2020 Outage in the Microsoft 365 and Gmail made users unable to log into their accounts Microsoft Office 365 now available on the Mac App Storelast_img read more

Sunwing Vacations extends Zero Deposit promotion

first_imgSunwing Vacations extends Zero Deposit promotion << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Sunwing Posted by Travelweek Group center_img Share TORONTO — Sunwing Vacations has extended its popular Zero Deposit promotion until Aug. 31 for now bookings with departures between Dec. 21, 2016 and Oct. 31, 2017.With the promo, travellers can now choose from a variety f vacations and book with no money down all summer long. In addition, they’ll benefit from Sunwing’s Price Drop Guarantee and early bird pricing. With Price Drop Guarantee, if the client’s vacation price drops outside of 21 days prior to the intended departure date, they will be entitled to claim up to $400 per person back. A $50 per person administration fee will be applied to all claims submitted.Included within the promotion are a host of Sunwing Selection resorts that are perfect for families and couples alike. A popular choice among families are Sunwing’s Smile Resorts, featuring Kids Stay, Play and Eat FREE deals all year round, plus no single supplement for one-parent families.For more information go to sunwing.ca. Friday, July 22, 2016 last_img read more