NASA and Harvard team up to form NASA Tournament Lab (NTL)

first_imgResearchers at NASA and Harvard University have established the NASA Tournament Lab (NTL), which will be housed at the Institute of Quantitative Social Science under the leadership of Professor Karim R. Lakhani, who specializes in distributed innovation and crowd sourcing at the Harvard Business School. Lakhani will be working with London Business School Professor Kevin Boudreau, an expert on platform-based competition and chief economist for the NTL.The purpose of the lab will be to design and field a competition to create the best computer code for NASA systems. Software developers will compete with each other for the prize and, upon completion of the competition, a finished software package will be delivered at a comparatively low cost. This approach is often referred to as “crowd sourcing” and, with the creation of the NTL, Lakhani, Boudreau, and others will be able to conduct research into the optimal design parameters for innovation competitions of this type, facilitating the use of these tournaments within the public and private sectors.last_img read more

Smart Tree.

first_img There’s a saying in south Georgia that goes, “Don’t plant until the pecan leaves are as big as mouse ears.” Now that we’re having hard freezes again, those new buds will likely be injured. The more normal weather will set plants back again.The weather is playing a trick on us and nature right now. We’re all fooled except for the pecan tree.There’s a saying in south Georgia that goes, “Don’t plant until the pecan leaves are as big as mouse ears.” That’s because the pecan tree is one of the last trees to pop its new buds in the spring.And that makes pecan trees smart! I know this is going to sound totally ridiculous, but pecan trees are smart. You may wonder how in the heck a tree can know anything. A tree is a tree, and trees don’t have brains. So how can a pecan tree be smart?Well, look around you.My Bradford pear tree is just about ready to pop out in bloom. And if you have Bradford pears, I bet your trees are beginning to show signs of popping out in bloom, too.Spring Bustin’ Out All OverDaffodils are beginning to wake up and break the ground with their spring growth. Star magnolia, fragrant honeysuckle and forsythia are all beginning to break buds. The warm mid-70-degree weather we’ve had lately is gearing nature up for spring.Seed catalogs are coming in the mail and garden supply stores, and the big one (you know the store I’m referring to) is now stocked with garden supplies and plants.Yep. This warm weather is teasing all of us and is even tempting us to plant something. It has us and even nature fooled.But It’s Not Spring YetThe problem is: it’s not spring yet. It’s still winter.Plants need so many chill hours to meet their dormancy requirements. The number of needed chill hours depends on the plant.Below-40-degree temperatures allow the plants to meet these chill requirements. Once they’re satisfied, then warm weather triggers them to come out of dormancy.A Normal PhenomenonThat’s what we’ve been seeing lately. This is a normal physiological phenomenon. There ain’t nothin’ you can do about it because there’s no way you’re going to hold them back.last_img read more

Guaidó: ‘The Armed Forces Are Essential for the Stability of the Country’

first_imgBy Diálogo May 31, 2019 Caracas — In an interview for el Nuevo Herald and Diálogo — initially published in el Nuevo Herald — Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó addresses the talks in Norway that ended without agreement, the role of the military in rebuilding the country, and Cuban interference, among other topics. Diálogo: How would you describe what happened in Norway? Venezuelan Interim President Juan Guaidó: As one more initiative. We are facing a dictatorship that for years has shown itself to use this type of initiative to delay, to gain time, to confuse public opinion, and to make us look weak. In this case it didn’t work for them. Venezuela is out of time, the children of [pediatric hospital] J.M. de Los Ríos [in Caracas] are out of time, the person without food in Maracaibo is out of time; we are going through the worst humanitarian emergency in the history of this continent. And it was created by human factors, bad policies, corruption, and incompetence. The agenda is very clear: the cessation of usurpation, transition process, and free elections. The approximation to this [talk in Norway] would be to equate [Nicolás] Maduro’s government with the FARC [Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia], if we want to compare it with any process, the mediation of a country like Norway; and 90 percent of the population [of Venezuela] wants change and has been taken hostage by a small group in power. How do I see Norway? As one more initiative. I’m not in love with the means; I’m in love with Venezuela. We are not going to confuse means with objectives; Norway was going to be a means to facilitate the objective. Diálogo: On June 3, the European Union’s International Contact Group on Venezuela will meet with the Lima Group. What do you hope will come of this process? Guaidó: What I would like? What I would have wanted from Norway, an end to usurpation, a transitional government, and free elections. But we Venezuelans have learned that there haven’t been any magic solutions. We would be bringing together the efforts of Europe and Latin America, understanding that the crisis is escalating. Diálogo: Is the crisis escalating? Guaidó: Six children died in Venezuela’s main pediatric hospital [J.M. de Los Ríos] in a week. As we speak, there is no electricity in Maracaibo today [May 29]. We are on the verge of a catastrophe. Diálogo: The National Assembly approved re-entry into the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance or TIAR. What are your thoughts on this? Guaidó: For us the inter-American system is key. Dialogue with countries around the world and recognition from the OAS [Organization of American States] is key. It’s important in the face of the humanitarian emergency we are experiencing. Diálogo: What role will the military in Colombia and Brazil play to end the usurpation? Guaidó: They are giving the crisis more visibility, the unrest that exists within the Armed Forces, exerting pressure on the regime, on their brothers, on their colleagues in arms, who must do the right thing, who must be on the side of the Constitution. And they will have a role in the reconstruction of Venezuela; they will keep their ranks and their positions according to the amnesty law. Both my grandparents were service members. And they will have a key role in exercising sovereignty. The ELN [National Liberation Army] is on the Venezuelan border and there are already 11 states where paramilitaries and guerrillas are present. The Armed Force is essential for the stability of the country. Diálogo: What is the ELN role in the Venezuelan crisis? Guaidó: I don’t know about its specific political participation, but it seems that Maduro’s government allows it to participate in Venezuela. It seems that there is explicit complicity; this is very serious because it would make Maduro a dictator who sponsors terrorism. Colombian intelligence has already said that an ELN member, who was in Venezuela for a long time, allegedly perpetrated the attack on the police academy in Bogotá. Diálogo: Can we talk about Cuban interference or that of other countries in Venezuela’s internal affairs? Guaidó: Mainly from Cuba, I don’t see other countries with such intensity, I see Cuba, Cuba does [interfere], clearly. It’s involved in decision-making, it’s the inner security ring; Maduro relies so little on the Armed Forces that his closest security ring is Cuban. That’s the way it is. The service members who sided with the Constitution said that Maduro’s inner security ring is Cuban. Cuba leads intelligence and counter-intelligence to terrorize and frighten; Cuban officials carry out part of the torture on Venezuelan service members, which upsets the Armed Forces a lot. Cuban interference and intervention in Venezuela is very serious. Diálogo: After the departure of General Cristopher Figuera, how is the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service [SEBIN], how is Maduro’s intelligence and security apparatus today? Guaidó: Imagine that in another country, in the United States or Colombia, the head of intelligence makes a stand against the current president. And not only that, Cristopher’s assistant was assassinated, which Gen. Cristopher himself denounced. Imagine that the head of intelligence of a country X accuses the president of murdering his assistant, because of political retaliation. Imagine how serious this is, so much so that he [Maduro] had to bring back a general who was removed for not trusting him [Gustavo González, former head of SEBIN, who was removed after the death in custody of Councilman Fernando Albán, was reinstated in early May]. So how serious is it [the SEBIN]? Very serious. Diálogo: After Norway, how is the relationship with the United States, with the rest of the international community? Guaidó: Very positive, productive in the face of the cessation of usurpation. I just spoke with [U.S.] Vice President Mike Pence, he is very concerned about the humanitarian crisis and we spoke for several minutes. They are also very worried about the persecution of 15 deputies whose immunity was violated, who were persecuted and abducted, such as Édgar Zambrano, vice president of the parliament. Diálogo: This doesn’t stop; the government continues to act against the Assembly… Guaidó: The regime has been acting since 2015 to weaken the power, and only the regime was weakened. Although it operationally hits and tries to generate fear, since the attack on the parliament began, it’s a minority, fewer people worldwide recognize them; they have fewer loans; they have sanctions. They hit very hard extrajudicially, but don’t have judicial backing. Diálogo: What did Vice President Pence say to you when you told him that Norway didn’t bear fruit? Guaidó: The international community no longer believes in this regime. A few who in good faith are still trying to mediate persevere, but we are very much aligned with our U.S. allies and the Lima Group. Many things brought us to this point. Operation Liberty must continue in the streets and with the Armed Forces, to stir awareness and souls. Diálogo: The J.M. [de Los Ríos hospital] situation has been devastating… Guaidó: That happens every day in [the states of] Portuguesa and Táchira. Those little babies put a face to the tragedy we are living in Venezuela. That’s the face of 7 million Venezuelans today. Diálogo: Canada approached Cuba about the Venezuelan crisis… Guaidó: Yes, I spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau two weeks ago. It’s not like we believe in the good faith of the Cuban regime, which helped build this and maintains part of the intelligence and counterintelligence apparatus. Yet again, we will exhaust all efforts. We have international support. Diálogo: Will oil production continue to fall with the regime and what can be done to recover it? Guaidó: Unfortunately, production will continue to fall, first because they are incompetent, and then because they mortgaged the state-owned oil company at an all-time high. They mortgaged it. They indebted Citgo, our grandchildren’s interests. When Venezuela changes, which won’t be long, Venezuela’s economic potential is very high, not only because of the oil reserves, but also because of its geographical location and the labor force. The recovery is going to be very, very quick. With the political change, benchmark changes will be very fast. I am sure that many would like to come and interfere with a stable country. Diálogo: How do you counter Cuba’s influence on intelligence? Guaidó: The way we’ve been doing it. The intelligence network has diminished in a way, as the supply of oil to Cuba was cut off with the support of our allies, leaving those networks without funding. Through these actions, that network is weaker than it was a year ago. For example, when they had Cuban doctors present, which is no longer the case due to the crisis, they had an intelligence network as well. It continues to be a fear factor, but it’s weaker. Diálogo: What would a military intervention in Venezuela look like? Guaidó: We wouldn’t be able to talk about military intervention in the case of Venezuela, should we request cooperation. The parliament is the only one that could authorize foreign military missions in the national territory, which already exist with the Cubans and the ELN, and with Russian military planes. Those are illegal and illegitimate and should be an outrage. The best solution is the one with the lowest social cost. The best solution is for Maduro to leave today, but that’s not going to happen voluntarily. We will be on the streets again […]. We’re deciding our fate.last_img read more

Members want their money to move as quickly as they do

first_imgLiving life in the fast lane means people want to access their money – and information about it – as quickly as possible. “Real time” is an often used industry phrase to describe faster money movement and management but what exactly does it mean to consumers?When it comes to financial transactions, 69 percent of households define real time as immediately or within a few seconds, according to the household finances module of Expectations & Experiences, the Fiserv quarterly consumer trends survey conducted by Harris Poll among more than 3,000 U.S. banking consumers. Just 11 percent of households surveyed equate real time with same-day results. And there are generational differences. Fifty-three percent of Generation X say real time means immediately, while 29 percent of seniors define real time as same day.“Consumer expectations for speed are being reset by broadband technology experiences, and people don’t understand why moving money should be any different than streaming on Netflix,” said Matt Wilcox, senior vice president, Marketing Strategy and Innovation, Fiserv. “People expect options for real-time money movement – for funds to be credited immediately. Their patience for anything less is approaching zero.” continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

What “Brangelina” can teach your credit union

first_img 45SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Melina Palmer Why do people say one thing and do another? What really drives behavior? How does the brain actually work – and how can we best communicate with it? What does that … Web: Details September 20, 2016…a day that will live in infamy. People will remember this day and ask, “Where were you when you learned Brangelina was over?”The news coverage, memes, talk show commentary, video mockery, and rumors are flying so fast I’m surprised they haven’t broken the internet yet. Especially since, according to some sources, the split caused a series of earthquakes in California…(I truly hope those comments were in jest).So, I figured, if everyone else is talking about it…we should at least learn something!Here are my lessons:The things people care about aren’t always the important things. CNN pushed coverage of bombings in New York off to the side to splash the news of Brangelina as widely as possible. Logically, we know what is important, but the human mind isn’t always logical. Often emotion guides us. Think about that when you are building products, talking about budgeting with your members, or creating your advertisements. How can you communicate the things people need to know in a way they will care about?People file thoughts away…they don’t forget. Even though Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston split over a decade ago, pictures and videos have been dusted off to produce thousands of memes in the Brangelina aftermath. The Aniston/Pitt conversation wasn’t even relevant anymore…until it was. Picture this: you have done thousands of projects over the years, and for the last decade everything has been smooth sailing. Then, there is a glitch with your mobile upgrade causing a member-facing delay. Suddenly, members you thought were happy are complaining that this “always” happens, and remind you of a core upgrade that went awry in 2002. Sound familiar? Try to remember the past when planning for the future so you are prepared for the fallout if it comes.The age of the internet has turned our world into a giant game of telephone. The gossip is everywhere. The craziest Brangelina comment I’ve overheard so far was that “She left him because he let the kids eat McDonald’s.” Now, I’m not an expert on the Brangelina relationship…but I am willing to bet that is not the root cause of her decision. Truth often gets lost in the grapevine when traveling at breakneck speed. And, even though we all know you can’t trust everything you read on the internet…sometimes that gets forgotten. Try to communicate in short snippets that will be easy for people to remember and repeat accurately – and expect some items will still get lost in translation.Lastly, you never know what the next big thing is going to be. And while not everything is relevant for your credit union to pick a side in or comment on, sometimes you can strike gold. (For example, did your credit union seize the Pokémon day and become part of that conversation? Why or why not?) Knowing what everyone is talking about – and being prepared for anything – can help you stay relevant in the post-Brangelina world.last_img read more

How RBFCU cultivated staff’s skills while saving members’ finances

first_img continue reading » The lenders at Randolph-Brooks Federal Credit Union ($10.8B, Universal City, TX) are in phase two of helping as many of its nearly 900,000 members as possible cope with the financial fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.The first phase began March 17 with skip-a-loan payments on consumer loans and credit cards and forbearances and similar provisions for mortgages and commercial loans.Phase two, which includes the final wave of branch lobby re-openings, began June 8. The biggest difference for phase two lending relief comes in the form of availability.“Although the first round of consumer lending assistance was broadly available, the second phase requires proof of financial hardship,” says Heather Sullivan, RBFCU’s senior vice president for consumer lending. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

PREMIUMIndonesia welcomes intra-Afghan peace talks

first_imgLog in with your social account Linkedin #Afghanistan Afghanistan peace-talks #PeaceTalks Indonesia #Indonesia Indonesia welcomed an initial step toward peace in Afghanistan after decades of conflict on Saturday, which marked the start of the negotiation process between the Kabul government and the Taliban.The intra-Afghan negotiations follow an agreement between the United States and Taliban in February.The agreement outlined the withdrawal of foreign forces starting May next year in exchange for peace guarantees and Taliban promises to open negotiations with the Afghan government, which the group had previously refused. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Doha on Saturday to attend the opening ceremony as the Kabul government and Taliban insurgents are scheduled to sit face to face in the Qatari capital from Sunday.“The choice of your future political system is, of course, yours to make […],” Pompeo said as quoted by Reuters. “The United States… Facebook Topics : Google LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Forgot Password ?last_img read more

Robin van Persie sends message to Bukayo Saka after ‘brilliant’ assist against Leicester

first_img‘Absolute brilliant run & assist from Saka,’ said Van Persie.The Dutchman then followed up his tweet with a series of hashtags that included ‘pace’, ‘technique’, ‘vision’ and ‘player’.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityDespite an impressive performance from Saka, Arsenal were unable to hold onto their lead.Eddie Nketiah was sent off less than two minutes after he entered the field for a high challenge on Leicester full-back James Justin and that gave the Foxes the extra encouragement they needed to flood forward.Jamie Vardy eventually scored with around six minutes left on the clock when he converted Demarai Gray’s cross.Arsenal’s failure to collect all three points all but finishes off their hopes of finishing in a Champions League spot, while Leicester maintain are a point behind Chelsea in fourth.MORE: Nathan Ake, Tyrone Mings and Alessio Romagnoli on Manchester United’s centre-back shortlist Advertisement Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 7 Jul 2020 11:35 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link4.6kShares Advertisement Absolute brilliant run & assist from Saka #pace #technique #vision #player 🔥— Robin van Persie (@Persie_Official) July 7, 2020center_img Comment Robin van Persie sends message to Bukayo Saka after ‘brilliant’ assist against Leicester Bukayo Saka provided a fine assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Picture: Getty)Former Arsenal star Robin van Persie described Bukayo Saka’s assist Leicester as absolutely ‘brilliant’ following the Gunners’ 1-1 draw against the Foxes.The teenage sensation kept up his stunning form with a sublime assist for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the first half, which put Mikel Arteta’s side one up against Brendan Rodgers’ men.Saka left former Manchester United ace Jonny Evans in a heap with his quick movement and he slid a perfectly weighted ball across the box with his weaker right foot for Aubameyang to tap home.The 18-year-old has been Arsenal’s standout performer this term and supporters were overjoyed that he signed a new long-term deal last week to commit his future to the club.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENTAnd Van Persie appears to be similarly impressed with the Duthcman describing Saka’s assist as ‘brilliant’.last_img read more

Australian and Canadian pension funds join Dutch SDI platform

first_imgAustralianSuper and British Columbia Investment Management have joined the Sustainable Development Investments Asset Owner Platform announced by Dutch pension investors APG and PGGM last year.The vehicle will offer insight into how investable companies contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).The commercial launch of the project – originally foreseen for the first quarter of this year – will take place at a virtual event in September, as of when interested investors can subscribe to the standard and data provided through distribution partner Qontigo.The four pension investors are looking for “a maximum of three” additional asset owners to join the platform, Claudia Kruse, managing director global responsible investment at APG, told IPE. A larger number would hamper effective decision-making, she said, adding that conversations with other pension investors to join the platform are ongoing.Though the initiative will thus remain restricted to a maximum of seven asset owners, Kruse expressed hope the SDI platform, the first of its kind in the world, would reach “a critical mass of investors who together define the meaning of investing in the SDGs”.To reach this goal of broad adoption, the four investors have decided to now share the SDI data generated by the platform publicly.Since APG and PGGM first published an SDG taxonomy in 2017, the pair have had “many queries from fellow investors who have asked us whether they could use our taxonomy to classify their own investments”, said Kruse.These other investors can now also use the underlying data and SDI classifications for their own investments, she added. These data will be available to the broader market in September.The platform has hired data science company Entis to develop a model which feeds the participating asset owners’ policy and current investments into the assessment process.“Entis collects relevant data on what products and services of companies can be attributed to which SDG,” Kruse explained. “The model focuses on the impact the products produced by a company have on the SDGs.” It doesn’t take into account environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria or metrics such as a company’s carbon footprint.Kruse gave Dutch engineering company Arcadis, in which APG has a €163m stake, as an example: “According to our data, the infrastructure projects undertaken by Arcadis have an impact on SDG 6 – clean water and sanitation; SDG 9 – industry, innovation and infrastructure; SDG 11 – sustainable cities and communities; SDG 13 – climate action and SDG 15 – life on land.”The SDI classification contains more granular data too, she said, for example on the relative importance of each SDG versus total revenues, and this will be available to subscribers.The SDG taxonomy is different from the green taxonomy currently being developed by the EU, Kruse stressed. “The EU taxonomy focuses on climate change and environmental protection. That’s a very different starting point, but the EU taxonomy is still of use to us as a reference to inform our efforts.”Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here.last_img read more

Bros arrested for illegal gambling

first_imgThe suspects were detained in the lockupfacility of the San Carlos City Police station. Officers of the San Carlos City policestation served the warrant issued by Judge Jose Meno Ruiz of the Regional TrialCourt Branch 57 in San Carlos City dated Nov. 27, 2019. BACOLOD City – Charged with illegalgambling, two brothers were arrested in Barangay 5, San Carlos City, NegrosOccidental. The court recommended a P30,000 bailbond for their temporary liberty./PN The 22-year-old resident Omar Dirindigunand resident Abdul Wahed Dirindigun were caught on the strength of an arrestwarrant around 9:45 a.m. on Jan. 18, a police report showed.last_img read more