An Emergency Idol competition in Kentville and a demonstration of public alerting on The Weather Network are two of several events being held in Nova Scotia next week to mark Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada, May 6-12. Primary to Grade 6 students will compete for prizes at the 4th annual Environment, Health and Safety Expo at the Kentville Fire Hall and Arena on Sunday, May 6. The show is presented by the Annapolis Valley Safe Communities Coalition. The Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia has donated prizes, including battery-powered, hand-crank AM-FM radios with built-in flashlight and siren alarm. “I encourage all Nova Scotians to think about their own families’ needs in an emergency, and to plan ahead,” said Emergency Management Minister Carolyn Bolivar-Getson. “There are many easy-to-use planning tools available to help people look after themselves in the first 72 hours of an emergency, so first responders can assist those in more urgent need of help. Those resources are on our website at gov.ns.ca/emo, and the federal site at epweek.ca.” Ms. Bolivar-Getson adds that families should make sure they have up-to-date emergency kits for their homes and vehicles. The Emergency Management Office will also broadcast test messages to Nova Scotia viewers of The Weather Network, on Wednesday, May 9. “The public needs to be aware of emergency situations so they can take action to protect themselves and their families. The Weather Network is pleased to work with the province of Nova Scotia to demonstrate how our unique technology allows provincial authorities to warn the public in times of an emergency,” said Paul Temple, vice-president at the Weather Network. “The demonstration on May 9 will help raise awareness of the importance of public alerting in times on emergencies.” Other events and advertising include: — a full-page newspaper ad in the Halifax Chronicle Herald to promote the 72 Hours – Is your family prepared? message. The ad is co-sponsored by EMO Nova Scotia, Public Safety Canada, Aliant, Nova Scotia Power, RCMP emergency services section and the Canadian Red Cross; — feature interviews on The Weather Network with EMO CEO Craig MacLaughlan and Emergency Management Planning Officer Dominic Fewer, to be broadcast nationally during Emergency Preparedness Week; — distribution of brochures and posters to municipal emergency measures co-ordinators, provincial government offices, libraries, law enforcement agencies, first responders and media outlets; — an EMO presentation on the new technology behind the joint emergency operations centre in Dartmouth, to the Emergency Management Association of Atlantic Canada education conference, Friday, May 11; — the introduction of a new training workshop to help persons with disabilities prepare for emergencies. The workshop was developed in co-operation with the Persons with Disabilities Emergency Preparedness Committee, and will be delivered to organizations throughout the province following completion of a train-the-trainers program. — a mall display promoting Emergency Preparedness Week at the community kiosk in the Halifax Shopping Centre. Emergency Preparedness Week is a national event that promotes the need for individuals to care for themselves and their families in the first 72 hours of an emergency. It was first introduced in 1996. A comprehensive list of tools and resources is available on the Emergency Preparedness Week website at www.epweek.ca . The Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia is responsible for ensuring prompt, co-ordinated responses to emergencies. Its head office is located in Dartmouth, with regional offices in Sydney, Truro, Kentville and Lunenburg.
Google announces creepy/useful features by Martin Brinkmann on May 17, 2017 in Companies, Google – Last Update: May 22, 2018 – 14 commentsCreepy? Useful? Both? Google announced a slew of new features coming to Google Photos, Gmail and other company products designed to make life just a tad easier.Google Photos got Suggested Sharing and Shared Libraries for instance. Suggested Sharing is a new feature that suggests contacts to share photos with based on who is on these photos. If you take a photo of your friends at a party, Google Photos might identify those on the photos, and suggest you share the photos with them.Shared Libraries on the other hand brings photos from different phones together in a single library based on things or people that you want to share with another person. A couple could select to share photos of their children for instance, or their dog. For that, all that it would take is to select photos that show people or objects, so that Google may identify them in future photos taken on the device or uploaded to Google Photos.Gmail’s Smart Reply feature on Android or iOS makes replying to emails easier by suggesting short answers.If you look at these features, you may find them useful, or not, depending on how you use Google services and devices.If you like to share photos for instance, you may find the two new Google Photos features useful. Gmail users who get a lot of emails that require just a simple response, may like the new Smart Reply feature.If you dig a bit deeper however, you will realize that Google needs access to information for that functionality. If Google cannot read emails for instance, its algorithm cannot come up with replies to messages.And if it does not use facial recognition or object identification when you upload new photos to Google Photos, it cannot really help you with the sharing functionality. Also, it needs access to contact information to connect people or objects to the list to find suitable sharing candidates.As Alex Cranz points out correctly on Gizmodo, Google’s business is to know as much as possible about each and everyone in order to make as much money as possible using those information.This does not mean that Google users don’t benefit from these information as well, as Google pushes out a constant stream of new features or apps that makes life easier for Google users who use them.But how easy is easy enough, especially if you weigh this against the privacy implications? Do you really need reminders by an algorithm when it comes to sharing photos on your devices? Or automatic replies for emails?You might say that it does not really matter anymore at this point, as Google is already reading your emails, and probably also using object identification algorithms to find out more about what is shown on photos.Still, you may wonder where all of this will end. Will an AI take over the sharing, emailing and communicating for you in the future?Google revealed today that more than 500 million people are using Google Photos to back up more than 1.2 billion photos and videos per day.Now You: Do you find these features useful? Do you use others that Google or other companies rolled out in the past?SummaryArticle NameGoogle announces creepy/useful featuresDescriptionCreepy? Useful? Both? Google announced a slew of new features coming to Google Photos, Gmail and other company products designed to make life just a tad easier.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisement
Internet Services Tech Industry Artificial intelligence (AI) Facebook Tags Comments Share your voice 3 Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer says Facebook’s AI can distinguish between images of marijuana (left) and broccoli tempura (right). Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET Facebook uses both human beings and artificial intelligence to combat some of its toughest problems, including hate speech, misinformation and election meddling. Now, the social network is doubling down on AI.The tech giant has come under fire for a series of lapses, including its failure to pull down a live video of terrorist attack in New Zealand that killed 50 people at two mosques. Content moderators who review posts shared by the social network’s 2.3 billion users say they’ve suffered trauma from repeatedly looking at gruesome and violent content. But AI has also helped Facebook flag spam, fake accounts, nudity and other offensive content before a user reports it to the social network. Overall, AI has had mixed results.Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer on Wednesday acknowledged that AI hasn’t been a cure-all for the social network’s “complex problems,” but he said the company was making progress. He made the remarks in a keynote at the company’s F8 developer conference.Schroepfer showed the audience photographs of marijuana and broccoli tempura, which look surprisingly similar. Facebook employees, he said, built a new algorithm that can detect differences in similar images, allowing a computer to distinguish which was which.Read more: CBD: What it is, how it affects the body and who it might helpSchroepfer said similar techniques can be used to help machines recognize other images that might otherwise escape the social network’s detection.”If someone reports something like this,” he said, “we can then fan out and look at billions of images in a very short period of time and find things that look similar.”Facebook, which doesn’t allow the sale of recreational drugs on its platform, discovered that people tried to work around its system by using packaging or baked goods, such as Rice Krispies treats. The social network can now flag those images by putting together signals like the text in a post, comments and the identity of the user.”This is an intensely adversarial game,” Schroepfer said. “We build a new technique, we deploy it, people work hard to try to figure out ways around this.”Identifying the right images isn’t the only AI challenge the company is facing. When the company was building a smart camera for its Portal video chat device, Facebook had to make sure the technology wasn’t biased and could recognize age, gender and skin tone.Facebook is also trying to train its computers to learn with less supervision in order to tackle hate speech in elections. But as the social network uses AI to moderate more content, it also has to balance concerns that it’s being fair to all groups. Facebook, for example, has been accused of suppressing conservative speech, but the company has denied those allegations. And people might disagree about what’s considered hate speech or misinformation. Facebook data scientist Isabel Kloumann said in an interview that when the company is determining what is hate speech the identity of the person could be an important factor along with who they’re targeting. At the same time, Facebook has to balance safety concerns with whether they’re treating groups of people equally.”We don’t have a silver bullet for this,” she said. “But the fact that we’re having this conversation is the most important thing.”Originally published May 1, 1:46 p.m. PTUpdate, 5:19 p.m.: Adds comments from Facebook data scientist and more background.
zoom Port of Rotterdam was proclaimed ‘Port of the Year’ during the annual ‘Containerisation International Awards’ in London. The expert jury praised the port for its substantial investment programme in Europe’s leading logistics hub and industrial complex. The jury also compliments the port with its attention to sustainability with their modal shift objectives and groundbreaking initiatives like InlandLinks and NextLogic that contribute to it.Emile Hoogsteden, director of Containers, Breakbulk and Logistics at the Port of Rotterdam Authority: “Winning this award is a tremendous achievement and recognition of our efforts. As the port of Rotterdam, we are constantly working on new investments and innovations. We don’t do this alone, but in partnership with as many market parties as possible. This is the only way we can continue to improve our port and pursue our ambition to be the most efficient, safe and sustainable port in the world. A good example of this is obviously the development of Maasvlakte 2. This is a project with which we are investing in the future and not only responding to the increasing volume size of containerships, but also taking steps towards optimising the logistical supply chain. At the same time, we enable our clients to achieve economies of scale. That’s the aim of joint ventures like P3, which will also boost our total throughput in the short and long term. Rotterdam leads today, by planning for tomorrow.”Increasing volumeAccording to the World Economic Forum, Rotterdam had the best port infrastructure in the world in both 2012 and 2013. During the period 2008-2015, businesses will make joint investments totalling over €11 billion in the port of Rotterdam, €1.2 billion of which is in container terminals. With this Rotterdam is responding to the increasing number of large 13,000 – 18,000 TEU vessels, already reflected in P3’s decision to send their largest ships to Rotterdam. Volume in the port is expected to further increase once the container terminals on Maasvlakte 2 become operational. Ben Vree, European CEO at APM Terminals: “Although the frequency of calls made by container vessels to Rotterdam may decline in the coming year, the volume will continue to increase. Combined with the state-of-the-art infrastructure and the improved efficiency in ship and cargo handling, Rotterdam’s future looks very bright. So I think the port of Rotterdam deserved to win.”About the Containerisation International AwardThe Containerisation International Awards is an initiative of publisher Containerisation International. Every year, prizes are awarded to businesses and private individuals which made a unique contribution to container liner shipping and the logistics sector in the previous year by being innovative, proactive and/or pioneering. The nominees for the ‘Port of the Year’ award were DP World’s Jebel Ali Port, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Port of Long Beach and the Port of Rotterdam.Port of Rotterdam, October 25, 2013