Fake GPL worker jailed for fraud

first_imgEdward Dodridge, who pretended to be a Guyana Power and Light (GPL) employee to obtain money, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, much to his dismay, when he appeared before Georgetown Magistrate Leron Daly on Friday.He pleaded guilty to a charge detailing that between August 9 and 22, 2017 at Cane Grove, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, he fraudulently obtained $157,000 when he visited the home of the virtual complainant posing as an employee of the Guyana Power & Light Inc.According to Police Prosecutor Richard Harris, Dodridge visited the virtual complainant’s (VC) Cane Grove home on August 9, whipped out a fake badge with his photo, and informed the VC that he was there to remove her GPL electricity connection as a result of money she owed the power company.Dodridge, however, instructed the VC that if she should pay him, he could have the matter settled. Thus the VC reportedly gave him $30,000.However, on August 22, accompanied by her sister-in-law, the VC visited the GPL Main Street branch, where the defendant was contacted and given some $157,000. When the defendant disappeared with the money, the matter was reported to the Brickdam Police Station, and Dodridge was later apprehended and charged with the offence.After listening to the prosecution’s facts, Magistrate Daly sentenced Dodridge to 12 months in prison, and his entreaties for mercy were all to no avail.last_img read more

Epigenetics Leads the Genetics News

first_imgMore and more studies are revealing systems that regulate DNA.  Here are some recent samples.Stress response:  PhysOrg headlined, “Study finds stress triggers widespread epigenetic changes that aid in disease resistance reported.”  A study by the Salk Institute made it clear that epigenetics involves a code: “The scientists found that exposure to a pathogenic bacteria caused widespread changes in a plant’s epigenetic code, an extra layer of biochemical instructions in DNA that help control gene expression. The epigenetic changes were linked to the activity of genes responsible for coordinating a plant’s response to stress, suggesting that the epigenome may help organisms develop resistance to pathogens and other environmental stressors.”A primer on PLoS Biology, similarly, emphasized the role of chromatin in stress response (Smith & Workman, “Chromatin: Key Responders to Stress,” PLoS Biology, July 31, 2012).Developmental switches in lampreys:  Science Daily reported on a study that shows that lampreys have a way of sequestering genes after their use in development to prevent re-expression.  “In effect, by undergoing programmed genome rearrangement and gene loss during embryogenesis, the sea lamprey “seals” the genes away in the small germline compartment so they cannot be misexpressed and thereby create untoward problems (such as development of cancer, for example).”  This mechanism differs from epigenetic switching in mammals.  “The strategy removes the possibility that the genes will be expressed in deleterious ways,” the article stated.  “Humans, on the other hand, must contain these genes through other ‘epigenetic’ mechanisms that are not fool-proof.”  The authors probably did not intend to convey the notion that evolution is going downhill.Caste system:  Epigenetics may be responsible for converting ants that have the same genetic code into workers and queens – the castes in an ant colony.  “The first ant methylomes uncover the relationship between DNA methylation and caste differentiation,” PhysOrg reported.  Methylation is one epigenetic mechanism whereby genes are tagged for repression by the addition of a methyl tag.Mobile protection:  Science reported on August 3 (Vol. 337 no. 6094 pp. 529-530, DOI: 10.1126/science.1227095) that exposure to trasnposons (foreign mobile elements in DNA) triggers a response by “Piwi” proteins and piRNAs to mount an “enhanced response” to “actively repress transposons to safeguard the genetic information.”  The immediate response triggers another response by small RNAs to preserve the memory of the invasion for future generations, a kind of inheritance of acquired characteristics.  The complexity of this epigenetic response is coming to light, along with possible new functions for “junk DNA”:Once piRNAs have managed the immediate threat of a foreign element, 22G-RNAs establish an epigenetic memory that mediates transgenerational repression. Although initiated by piRNAs, permanent silencing soon becomes independent of the Piwi pathway and is stable for generations. Consistent with an impact on transcription, the repressed target region becomes packaged with silent histone (heterochromatic) marks. Genetic screens and candidate approaches identify nuclear WAGOs, chromodomain protein, and putative histone methyltransferases, among others, as key components of the machinery required to maintain this repression over generations. The studies by Bagijn et al. and others provide a global view on how foreign elements are silenced—from the initial trigger by piRNAs, to a heritable state via 22G-RNAs. Like worm piRNAs, some mammalian Piwi proteins are invested with millions of uniquely mapping piRNAs, but with no known function. It can be envisaged that with relaxed engagement rules, these might also participate in genome surveillance.Stem cell stemness:  Epigenetics may also play a role in keeping stem cells from differentiating until the time is right.  “In a finding that could be important to the use of all kinds of stem cells in treating disease, scientists have discovered the crucial role of a protein called Mof in preserving the ‘stem-ness’ of stem cells, and priming them to become specialized cells in mice,” PhysOrg wrote of a study at University of Michigan.  “It plays a key role in the “epigenetics” of stem cells — that is, helping stem cells read and use their DNA.”Genome stability:  A new open-access paper in PNAS suggests that epigenetic processes contribute to stabilize the genome (Birchler and Veitia, “Gene balance hypothesis: Connecting issues of dosage sensitivity across biological disciplines,” PNAS, Aug 20, 2012, 3/pnas.1207726109).  Specialists may wish to explore the implications for evolution of the “Gene Balance Hypothesis” by Birchler and Veitia.  For example, “with a greater number of protein–protein interactions involved with macromolecular complexes, there are increasing negative fitness consequences of single gene duplication, which manifests as a stoichiometric imbalance.”Another code?  PhysOrg reported (without much detail) about an “exceptional breakthrough” by an interdisciplinary team that rivals the discovery of the base-pairing genetic code of Watson and Crick: a code that determines the recognition of RNA transcripts of DNA.  It involves pentatricopeptide repeat (PPR) proteins.  “The new paper in PLOS Genetics describes for the first time how PPR proteins recognise their RNA targets via an easy-to-understand code,” the article claimed, without describing the code itself.  “This mechanism mimics the simplicity and predictability of the pairing between DNA strands described by Watson and Crick 60 years ago, but at a protein/RNA interface.”  Because of the lack of detail in this article, the claims may require further analysis; nevertheless, the word “code” clearly dominated the story.For more on the increasing awareness of the importance of epigenetics, see our July 4, 2012 entry, “Epigenetics: the 21st Century Scientific Revolution.”We recommend again the popular-level introduction to the subject, The Mysterious Epigenome: What Lies Beyond DNA by Woodward & Gills.It’s interesting that few of these articles mentioned evolution.  No wonder; the discovery of regulatory codes above the already-challenging genetic code would scare any Darwinist needing to account for them.  Darwin was known to have stomach aches most of his life.  One can imagine how sick he would be to hear about the genetic code.  It would be downright cruel to then tell him about epigenetic codes.  Codes are not conducive to a healthy GI tract for those committed to unguided, materialist theories. 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Massive task!

first_imgDebris from MH370 is expected to wash up along the Western Australian coast over the next few months as search crews race against the impending winter weather to locate the Boeing 777.The herculean task of locating MH370 will be the most complex international effort in aviation history and it may be years before the main body of wreckage is located.It took almost two years to find Air France Flight 447 and that was in calmer mid Atlantic waters, after debris was found just six days after the crash in 2009.According to the lead investigator of the AF447 crash Alain Bouillard, searches face a “colossal task” that is “far, far harder”.Mr Bouillard London’s Telegraph the location of MH370 is “one of the most hostile environments in the world”.However, searchers are expected to learn from the lessons of the AF447 recovery, observers said.In that recovery a team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution operating full ocean depth autonomous underwater vehicles used sidescan sonar, to locate the main debris field at a depth of 4000m. More than 104 bodies were recovered.Without doubt the biggest challenge in locating and recovering MH370 will be the sea condition with winter swells as high as 25m (75ft).The location of the MH370 is at the convergence of three currents – the South Indian Ocean Current, which becomes the West Australian Current, the Leeuwin current and the Antarctica Circumpolar Current.Those underlying currents work below the sea swells which move in a broad easterly and north-easterly direction depending upon the frontal activity.Oceanographer Dr Erik Van Sebille told Channel 7’s Sunrise the currents are extremely strong at up to 2cm a second and would get worse.“The current varies every day and has vortices and debris can move 100km a day [in all directions].”With the new satellite data from Inmarsat, along with increasing amounts of drift data searchers will try to zero in on MH370’s initial impact area.An Australian warship is expected to be tasked with deploying US locator equipment. Yesterday a 5m long 800kg Bluefin drone and a Towed Pinger Locater arrived in Perth aboard a special G550 jet from the US.MH370’s black boxes are key to solving the mystery of why the plane veered so far off course. In theory, the black boxes containing flight data and cockpit voice recordings will continue emitting tracking signals for about another two weeks, with an average audible range of 2 to 3km.“Picking up a signal from the beacon seems an outside chance,” a member of the team that hunted the black boxes from Air France flight AF447 said.In that accident the signals were not heard at all as one transmitter had failed and the other had fallen off on impact and was never found.The sea bed where MH370 is thought to be is up to 5km deep. But the cockpit voice recorder only tapes the last between 30 minutes and two hours – depending upon the model – of the pilot’s conversation and investigators will never hear what happened around the time the plane first changed course.MH370 Tributes Pagelast_img read more

Italy Attacks Web Democracy with Google Convictions

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Italy today attacked the very basis of the read/write Web we focus on here at ReadWriteWeb when it convicted three of four Google employees on trial for failing to comply with the Italian privacy code. In essence, Italy just said that website owners are legally responsible for all content posted to their site, whether or not they have any part of it and comply with local laws once notified.This sort of ruling attacks the foundation of the Internet as we use it today. If corporations and website owners are to be held responsible in this way for user-created content, the Web as we know it will die a fast and painful death.Google explained the details of the situation early this morning in a blog:In late 2006, students at a school in Turin, Italy filmed and then uploaded a video to Google Video that showed them bullying an autistic schoolmate. The video was totally reprehensible and we took it down within hours of being notified by the Italian police … a public prosecutor in Milan decided to indict four Google employees –David Drummond, Arvind Desikan, Peter Fleischer and George Reyes (who left the company in 2008). The charges brought against them were criminal defamation and a failure to comply with the Italian privacy code. To be clear, none of the four Googlers charged had anything to do with this video. They did not appear in it, film it, upload it or review it. None of them know the people involved or were even aware of the video’s existence until after it was removed. Reuters reports that the three executives were sentenced to six months in jail. The ruling sets a very dangerous precedence. As we wrote earlier this month, “Nicola D’Angelo, a commissioner in Italy’s Communications Authority, say these new rules would make Italy ‘the only Western country in which it is necessary to have prior government permission to operate this kind of service.’”The simple fact is that users should be solely responsible for the content they create, as long as the publishing entity takes reasonable steps to ensure that laws are followed within a timely manner. Had Google allowed to sit on the website in defiance of the laws, then we would be having a different discussion. As Google argues in its blog post, “If that principle is swept aside and sites like Blogger, YouTube and indeed every social network and any community bulletin board, are held responsible for vetting every single piece of content that is uploaded to them — every piece of text, every photo, every file, every video — then the Web as we know it will cease to exist, and many of the economic, social, political and technological benefits it brings could disappear.”Google says it will “vigorously appeal this decision”, a move we strongly back. But we have to wonder why it won’t take this same sort of stance in China, where it has threatened, but still has yet to remove censorship on its search results. Just as the argument here is that people need to be allowed to create, and websites allowed to host, content, people need to be able to access that content. Freedom consists not only of the ability to express opinions, however disparate, but to access those opinions. So, in reference to standing up to Italy, we say an enthusiastic “here, here!” and only hope to see the same, instead of idle threats, in the company’s dealings with China. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Google#Government#web#YouTube center_img mike melanson Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

The Open Data Initiative’s Benefits Go Far Beyond Improved Customer Intelligence

first_imgDespite all the ways enterprises can slice customer data, they’ve struggled mightily to put the pieces together into a coherent customer profile.This past September, Microsoft, SAP, and Adobe announced they’re taking on that unglamorous challenge with their Open Data Initiative. In what’s widely seen as a challenge to Salesforce’s dominance of the customer relationship management market, the three tech giants are partnering on a one-stop model that exchanges and enriches customer data between previously siloed systems.“Microsoft, Adobe and SAP understand the customer experience is no longer a sales management conversation,” SAP CEO Bill McDermott said in a joint press release. “CEOs are breaking down the silos of the status quo so they can get all people inside their companies focused on serving people outside their companies. With the Open Data Initiative, we will help businesses run with a true single view of the customer.”One View; Many ObstaclesOn the surface, creating a “true single view of the customer” may not sound like much of a challenge for companies with terabytes of customer data. But the truth is that up to 73 percent of companies’ data is never even analyzed.Why is so much data gathering dust? Departments within the same company often went digital at different times while using different tools. At the same time, many of the software companies that serve them refused to collaborate with competitors. The result has been a twofold headache of incompatible systems and department-specific data depots.Take sales and marketing, which should share data about everything from customers’ pipeline progress to lifetime value projections. Sales went digital first by a wide margin: Salesforce was founded way back in 1999, one of the first SaaS tools on the market. Almost no marketing technologies debuted for more than a decade afterward, with just 150 on the market by 2011. By then, most sales teams already had their own systems humming along and were woe to change for the sake of another team.Unfortunately, because the marketing technology space is so young, tools tend to have few functions and even less intercompatibility. Given that the average enterprise uses 91 separate marketing technology solutions, just 9 percent of marketers report they’ve managed to construct a fully functional marketing stack — much less hook those 91 tools up to their sales software.Why Compatibility CountsThe firms behind the ODI see that siloed data and platform compatibility are two challenges that cannot be separated from one another. Equally intertwined are the benefits businesses realize by solving them:1. Streamline the customer experience.Although eight in 10 customer experience leaders say their company will soon compete “mostly” or “entirely” on the basis of their company’s CX, just 22 percent of them report they exceed customers’ expectations. But if companies see CX as so central to their business strategy, then why can’t they deliver experiences they know customers want?In a blog post about the ODI, Brad Rencher, EVP and general manager of Adobe’s digital marketing business unit, blamed not a lack of data, but lacking data accessibility. “Companies looking to transform customer experiences need customer data that is real-time, intelligent and predictive, to deliver relevant and personalized customer experiences at scale,” Rencher wrote.2. Break down compliance barriers.One of the biggest headaches of siloed data became immeasurably bigger this past May, when the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect. In order for compliance professionals to know exactly what data they have on which customers, they must be able to search across departments, tools, and data storage schemes. And if a customer requests that his or her data be expunged, compliance professionals need to know that no “rogue” deposits remain after clearing known databases — no small feat, given that two-thirds of companies have such hidden depositories.But U.S. companies that don’t deal with EU consumers’ data aren’t off the hook. Sweeney Williams, Vision Critical’s senior director of security, privacy, and compliance, argues the ODI can help companies prepare for similar compliance challenges coming to the California market. “One underappreciated side benefit [of the ODI] is its potential to enhance a company’s ability to act on data requests, such as those required under GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act,” Williams points out.3. Simplify data security.For the same reason fortresses are tight nests of structures rather than separate clumps, companies make data security radically simpler when they store their consumer data all in one place: Data silos must each be guarded with their own set of access controls and security protocols.Companies that sign onto the ODI will rely on a common data lake within Microsoft Azure. To help them defend it, Microsoft revealed alongside the initiative that it would be building its cybersecurity reporting feature, Secure Score, into Azure’s Security Center to protect hybrid cloud data. “I’ve been bullish on Secure Score since its unveiling — I’ve long held that the enterprise needs a proper, standardized security benchmark system,” security analyst Patrick Moorhead wrote in Forbes.Microsoft, Adobe, and SAP may be selling their Open Data Initiative on the promise of comprehensive customer profiles, but its impact goes far beyond marketing and sales. Data silos threaten not just the customer experience, but also an enterprise’s own efficiency, compliance, and security. The ODI may not be a sexy project, but its sponsors know it’s the one enterprises sorely need. Leveraging Big Data that Data Websites Should T… Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Related Posts How Data Analytics Can Save Lives AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Tags:#compliance#customer experience#CX#data#data security#data silos#database#GDPR Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content development. Deanna RitchieManaging Editor at ReadWritelast_img read more

Parents of Path Students Worry Less

first_img Some 1,007 cooks who prepare lunches for PATH beneficiaries are now being paid $323.8 million in salary directly from the Government, so that parents no longer have to worry about paying for their lunch.Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said there was a 47 per cent increase in the 2017/18 budgetary allocation to the PATH programme, and with parents asked to pay $50 daily for the lunches for the students, the Government decided to take over the payment of cooks’ salaries, so parents who are poor no longer have to pay it.Senator Reid was addressing parents and teachers who attended a Sensitisation and Consultation Session at Glenmuir High School in Clarendon on August 28.“If the child is hungry, he won’t learn, and we don’t want them to stay away from school because they have no lunch money. There should be no embarrassment, victimisation or discrimination. The children will get lunch five days a week,” the Minister said.Senator Reid told the parents that in high schools where a concessionaire provides lunch, PATH recipients will also get their lunches from them.“There are some concessionaires with whom we have worked out a formula between them and the school as to how to use additional funding support, because, as a policy, we are saying to schools, all the children who are vulnerable and poor must be supported by the Government,” he said.On transportation, the Minister cited studies that showed some 20 per cent of students being absent from school because of transportation difficulties.He said that the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), which now services some parts of St. Catherine, is highly subsidised, so the cost of transportation for parents in urban areas is much less than it is for those in rural Jamaica.“We have built out capacity in 12 parishes, targeting the poorest of the poor, those who would not be able to send children to school because the bus fare is not there. We have given money to the school to contract private contractors to pick up your child from home, take them to school and back; so there is no excuse,” Senator Reid said. He said that the Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC), which now services some parts of St. Catherine, is highly subsidised, so the cost of transportation for parents in urban areas is much less than it is for those in rural Jamaica. Some 1,007 cooks who prepare lunches for PATH beneficiaries are now being paid $323.8 million in salary directly from the Government, so that parents no longer have to worry about paying for their lunch. Story Highlights Senator Reid told the parents that in high schools where a concessionaire provides lunch, PATH recipients will also get their lunches from them.last_img read more

Zuckerberg unveils plans for Facebook dating service

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Facebook’s quarterly profit, revenue, users and shares Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg announced Tuesday the world’s largest social network will soon include a new dating feature—while vowing to make privacy protection its top priority in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. “Security isn’t a problem than you ever fully solve,” Zuckerberg said, outlining the slew of efforts by Facebook to battle election interference, misinformation, spam among other challenges.”This is an arms race; we are going to be working to stay ahead of our adversaries forever.”Zuckerberg’s blend of humor, humility, confidence and determination in a keynote presentation seemed to resonate with the gathering of developers, who credited Facebook with taking responsibility for problems and working on fixing them.”I respect that they came out with it and didn’t do a cover-up,” said Malik Gillins of Movez, a startup behind an app crafted to streamline social event planning.CCS Insight analyst Geoff Blaber was among analysts who felt Zuckerberg struck a successful balance between addressing the data privacy scandal and keeping outside developers focused on building apps to enhance the social network.”Defiant message from Zuckerberg at #F8,” Blaber wrote on Twitter. “Feels like the first time they’ve been on the front foot in this saga.”Message translationFacebook separately announced that its popular Messenger app would soon be able to translate missives in real time, deploying artificial intelligence to enable text conversations between people using different languages.The feature will launch in the United States with English and Spanish translations of conversations in the Marketplace section of Facebook, and will be extended to general Messenger use in coming weeks, the service said in a blog post.Facebook joins internet giants Amazon, Google and Microsoft in offering artificial-intelligence based translation features—most prominently Google’s Pixel ear buds which promise real-time translation across dozens of languages.Plans were also revealed to simplify the Messenger app, which critics contend has gotten clunky, and add group voice and video calls to Facebook’s other messaging service WhatsApp.The slew of announcements at the developer-centric “F8″ conference also included the arrival of a stand-alone Oculus Go headset to widen support for virtual reality by supporting social experiences such as watch parties. UK MPs pressure Zuckerberg to testify on Facebook data breach Facebook is also reviewing applications overall as well as auditing those that accessed large amounts of data to make sure access isn’t abused, he said. Citation: Zuckerberg unveils plans for Facebook dating service (2018, May 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-zuckerberg-facebook-dating.html Explore further Zuckerberg unveiled the plans as he addressed Facebook’s annual F8 developers conference in San Jose, California—emphasizing that the focus would be on helping people find long-term partners.”This is going to be for building real, long-term relationships, not just hookups,” Zuckerberg said in presenting the new feature, noting that one in three marriages in the United States start online—and that some 200 million Facebook users identify as being single.Under the new feature, users will be able to create a separate “dating” profile not visible to their network of friends, with potential matches recommended based on dating preferences, points in common and mutual acquaintances. It will be free of charge, in line with Facebook’s core offering. The announcement sent shares in the online dating giant Match.com tumbling, finishing the formal trading day down 22 percent.The 33-year-old CEO also said the dating offer was built from the ground up with privacy and safety in mind, as he underscored the firm’s commitment to boosting privacy protections.Facebook’s closely-watched developer conference comes as the giant faces intense global scrutiny over the mass harvesting of personal data by Cambridge Analytica, a British political consultancy that worked for Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign.Facebook has admitted up to 87 million users may have had their data hijacked in the scandal, which saw Zuckerberg grilled at length by the US Congress last month.”We need to make sure that never happens again,” Zuckerberg told the audience, lightening the talk by sharing that friends made on online streaming video watch party at the social network of his hours testifying before Congress.’Clear history’In a related move, Facebook announced an upcoming feature called “Clear History” that will allow users to see which apps and websites send the network information, delete the data from their account, and prevent Facebook from storing it.The social network has already moved to limit the amount of data it shares with third-party applications and plans further steps to prevent a repeat of the Cambridge Analytica debacle, Zuckerberg said. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled plans for a new dating feature in a speech at Facebook’s annual developers conference in California © 2018 AFP read more