Tasmanian business team headed for India next week

first_imgNew Delhi, Sep 1 (PTI) A high-level business delegation led by Premier of Tasmania Will Hodgman is scheduled to visit India next week to discuss ways to deepen bilateral economic ties.The delegation includes Minister for State Growth Matthew Groom, Tasmanian ambassadors and renowned cricketers Ricky Ponting and David Boon, senior government and business leaders from the Tasmanian education, energy, tourism, food and beverage sectors.Besides the national capital, the team will visit Mumbai, a release said, adding that this visit would give India direct access to this growing region.”Meetings with the Indian government and business officials will seek to deepen economic links while showcasing what the island state of Tasmania has to offer visitors, students and investors,” it said.The delegation aims to finalise some important business and sporting exchange programmes. Tasmania offers India expertise in areas like agribusiness, aquaculture and renewable energy.Tasmania is Australias only island state and is located on the south coast.Tasmania and India already have strong business ties, with Indian enterprises sourcing goods worth more than 90 million Australian dollar in 2015. PTI RR ARDlast_img read more

Veteran journalist dies after falling into river

first_imgChennai, May 17 (PTI) Senior journalist C P Pradeep Kumar died after he fell into the Adyar river here while crossing a causeway over it, police said today. Pradeep Kumar (58) was heading the Sports desk of city based English eveninger News Today where he had joined only two months ago. In a career spaning over 30 years, he had worked with newspapers including the The New Indian Express, Times of India and The Statesman in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and New Delhi. Besides sports, he has covered other fields too, including politics. Police, quoting eyewitnesses, said Pradeep reportedly tripped and fell into the river on Monday night. The low-roof causeway has no parapet walls and it is too close to the river. Also, the area is poorly lit. Efforts of local men and police to save him turned futile as they could not locate him in the sludge amid darkness. His body was found floating yesterday and it was handed over to the family today after completion of formalities, police said. The journalists body is being taken to his home town of Kollam in Kerala, for the last rites. He is survived by his wife, a daughter and son. Pradeeps wife Smitha is a senior civil servant with the Puducherry government.PTI VGN BNlast_img read more

Is 2017 the year of the voice interface?

first_imgShare this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Automotive, Communications, Consumer, EDA, Industry, Medical Other Alexa skills include useful things, like ordering food from a variety of eateries or hailing an Uber, and random amusements, like asking magic 8-ball questions, Seinfeld trivia, and learning new facts about fruit. Collaborations between Amazon and companies like Whirlpool and GE will also strengthen Alexa’s aptitude in the smart home, by adding capabilities to control household appliances like washing machines, refrigerators, lamps, and more.Currently, Amazon seems to be in the lead in this market, but others are making huge efforts (and investments) to catch up. Mark Zuckerberg recruited Morgan Freeman to be the voice of his artificial intelligence (AI) voice assistant. According to a note describing how he built it, Zuckerberg spent a year developing the application as a simple AI to help run his home “like Jarvis in Iron Man” (he named it Jarvis, too). Jarvis purportedly identifies who is talking by their voice, and also recognizes faces, so it can let authorized people in at the door while reporting to Zuckerberg.Another interesting contender is a Japanese Amazon-Echo-like-device called Gatebox, which features a holographic character named Azuma Hikari.Japan’s answer to the Amazon Echo (Source: Gatebox) On top of a simple speaker, the device utilizes a screen and a projector to bring the virtual assistant to life visually, as well as audibly. In addition to microphones, it also has cameras and motion and temperature sensors that allow it to interact with the user in a more holistic way.How does that far-field voice pickup work? How does a device listen to and understand your voice commands while playing music on the other side of the room? There are many components involved in enabling this feat, but a few of them are paramount. First is the automatic speech recognition (ASR) engine, which enables machines to convert the sounds we make to executable instructions. For the ASR engine to work properly, it needs to receive a clean voice sample. This requires noise reduction and echo cancellation, to filter out the interferences. The following are some of the most important technologies enabling far field voice pickup:Deep Learning has a huge role in this. The ability to understand natural language was established quite a few years ago, but recent refinements have brought it close to human-level capability. Using learning-based techniques like Deep Neural Networks (DNNs), both language processing and visual object recognition have equaled or surpassed human performance in many test cases. DNNs are generated using massive data sets during the training phase. After the training has been performed offline, the DNNs are used to perform their function in real-time.Adaptive Beamforming is key for a robust voice-activated user interface. It enables features like noise reduction, speaker tracking in case the user is moving while talking, and speaker separation for when several users are talking simultaneously.Beamforming using a hexagonal microphone array (Source: CEVA) This method uses multiple microphones in fixed positions relative to one another. For example, The Amazon Echo uses seven microphones in a hexagonal layout with one microphone at each vertex and one in the center. The time delay between the reception of the signal in the various microphones enables the device to identify where the voice is coming from and cancel out sounds coming from other directions.Acoustic Echo Cancellation is necessary because many of the products performing automatic speech recognition also produce sounds themselves; for example, playing music or delivering information. Even while performing these actions, the devices must be able to hear so that the user can interrupt (barge-in) and stop the music or request a different action. To continue listening, the machine must be able to cancel out the sound that it generates itself. This is called acoustic echo cancellation (AEC).Acoustic echo cancellation (Source: CEVA) To perform AEC, the device must be aware of the sound it is making, either by analyzing the output data or by listening to the generated sounds with an additional dedicated microphone. Similar technology is also applied to remove echoes bouncing back from walls and other objects around the device.A multi-microphone development platform for modeling DNNs, beamforming, and echo cancellation algorithms (Source: CEVA) Another type of echo is generated by the user commands themselves when they bounce back from objects or from the walls. Cancelling such unpredictable echoes requires yet another algorithm called dereverberation. The sound is then filtered and the machine can listen for commands from the user.Today’s voice interfaces are far from perfect On the one hand, 2017 looks like being a noteworthy year for voice interfaces considering how widespread they have already become. On the other hand, even with all the impressive advances of the past few years, there is still a long way to go.There remain many problems with current implementations of voice interfaces in mass-produced devices, but that will be the topic for a future column. In my next post, I plan to look at some of the flaws and missing features that afflict the voice interfaces of today. Be sure to tune in.Eran Belaish is Product Marketing Manager of CEVA’s audio and voice product line, cooking up exquisite solutions ranging from voice triggering and mobile voice to wireless audio and high-definition home audio. While not occupied with the fascinating world of immersive sound, Eran likes to freedive into the mesmerizing silence of the underwater world. Over the past few years, significant advances in automatic speech recognition (ASR) have led to an abundance of devices and applications that use speech as their main interface. The IEEE Spectrum magazine has declared 2017 the year of voice recognition; ZDNet reported from CES 2017 that voice is the next computer interface; and many others share similar views. So, just where are we with regard to the advancement of voice interfaces? This post will survey the current state of voice interfaces and its enabling technologies.How many of your devices get conversational with you? Voice activation is all around us. Almost every smartphone has a voice interface, with flagships like the Apple iPhone 7 and Samsung Galaxy S7 including always-listening features. Most smartwatches offer voice activation, as well as other wearables, and especially hearables, like Apple’s AirPods and Samsung’s Gear IconX. In most of those devices, there is no convenient way to integrate any other interface, making voice an ideal and necessary solution. New cameras, like the GoPro Hero 5, can be operated using voice commands, which is great for selfies. Voice activated car infotainment systems have become a commodity, making it much safer to change the station while driving.The Amazon Echo ignited the conversational assistant trend, which is on fire with Google Home trying to contend and a variety of similar clones showcased at CES 2017. The Echo’s voice service, named Alexa, comes with several built-in skills. For example, you can say “Alexa, tell me a joke” (very wry delivery), “Alexa, did the Warriors win?” (of course they did), or “Alexa, who starred in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey?” (no one else seems to know). There are also a bunch of amusing Easter eggs, like the response when you say “Alexa, initiate self-destruct sequence.” (see also this video demonstrating some of Alexa’s Easter eggs).In addition to the built-in functions, new capabilities can be added to Alexa by third parties using the Alexa Skills Kit (ASK). This ASK enables developers to teach Alexa new skills so that she (or it?) can control and interact with more products and services. As you can see in this video, for example, one person hacked his iRobot Roomba and added a skill to control the vacuum cleaner robot. Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. Continue Reading Previous Flashing LEDsNext Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at ESC Boston 2017last_img read more

Addressing functional safety in automotive human machine interfaces

first_img≥ 97% Target MelBrandle says: June 13, 2019 at 5:48 am ASIL D Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Design Methods ≥ 90% Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. < 10 -7 / h(< 100 FIT) < 10 -8 / h(< 10 FIT) ≥ 90% PMHF Continue Reading Previous Advantech takes accelerated computing from the Cloud to the Edge with NVIDIANext Logic Technology: Insyde speeds BIOS development for new platforms ASIL C ≥ 60%center_img ≥ 99% ASIL B “It is always towards our own benefits to be utilizing what technology has got to offer us today. The more advanced technology systems get, the higher the standards of the platforms that we use. We need to ensure that the solutions we have put in place are LFM Figure 1: ASIL and Residual Risk. Standards Standards exist for functional safety in different application sectors. These standards provide guidelines and allow the comparison of different systems.IEC 61508, first released in 1998, is a central standard for electrical, electronic, and programmable electronic safety-related systems (E/E/PE). This standard can be seen as the parent standard from which other standards have been derived for many specific applications. These standards have been published and give guidelines on how to address functional safety within a certain application sector.ISO 26262 is an international functional safety standard specifically designed for the application sector of electric and/or electronic systems (E/E) within road vehicles. It is intended to be applied to safety-related electric and electronic systems that are installed in series-production passenger cars with a maximum gross vehicle mass up to 3,500 kg. The ISO 26262 was first published in 2011, with a second edition in 2018. This is the standard which is applicable to automotive HMI systems.“How much safety” is required for a system depends on the automotive safety integrity level (ASIL). This ASIL is determined through a hazard analysis and risk assessment and considers the severity, exposure, and controllability of a hazardous situation.ISO 26262 recommends three key metrics:1. Single point fault metric (SPFM): One fault leads directly to the violation of the safety goal. Example: A fault in the injection coil could block the engine directly and could stall the car, causing severe injuries to the driver.2. Latent fault metric (LFM): Multiple-point faults caused by a combination of independent faults whose presence is not detected by a safety mechanism nor perceived by the driver within the multiple-point fault detection interval. Example: Loss of a single low/high beam light wouldn’t cause a hazardous situation for the driver because as a safety mechanism the non-working light could be replaced by the working light. However, if both the beams are not working, then it could lead to a major accident.3. Probabilistic metric for random hardware failures (PMHF): The failures in time (FIT) are the probability of a hardware failure. FIT is the number of failures per billion hours of operation.The below table shows the ISO 26262 metrics for different classes of ASIL: 1 thought on “Addressing functional safety in automotive human machine interfaces” SPFM ≥ 80% < 10 -7 / h(< 100 FIT) Log in to Reply The automotive industry is changing rapidly, and vehicles are becoming more advanced, autonomous, and comfortable. The number of processors, sensors, memories, and other electronic components in today’s automotive applications is increasing, which will ultimately make transportation less dangerous. These automotive subsystems utilize connectivity and self-driving technology to increase driver safety, but can only achieve this if they operate reliably and predictably.Inside the automotive cabin, human machine interfaces (HMI) are advancing in concert with new capabilities and infotainment systems. Capacitive sensing buttons and touchscreens are common, for example, to play/pause a song or to select an AM/FM channel. They are also increasingly used in safety-critical functions such as engine start/stop buttons and cruise control.Beyond the automotive industry, there are many application sectors where failure is not an option because it can lead to physical injury and/or property damage. Critical systems in nuclear power plants, some types of industrial machinery, and airplanes are obvious examples. Even everyday appliances such as microwave ovens or washing machines can harm people in case of a malfunction. Systems that have the potential to harm people need mitigation measures, and the goal of any functional safety program is to minimize the risk of physical harm, property damage, and liability.This article examines the role of functional safety as it pertains to automotive HMI systems, but the concepts are applicable to a broad range of applications and industries. We place more and more of our trust in systems to perform our everyday tasks, and these systems need to earn our trust by delivering on safety and reliability. Functional safety Whenever we rely on the correct operation of a system, we need to take care of the functional safety to minimize the risk to people in case of a malfunction. Two aspects must be addressed to achieve functional safety: Prevention : A preventive measure avoids or at least reduces systematic failures during the development phase of a system. If something is specified, designed, or implemented incorrectly, the system may fail. The higher the quality, the less risk remains for a failure of the system. Detection : The second class of failures are random hardware failures. These are failures that happen during the operation of the system. These failures are observed after production and any outgoing quality checks. The source of a random hardware failure could be, for example, the environment such as temperature, pressure, vibration, radiation, pollution, or aging. The nature of such failures can be permanent or transient, which means they can either only be fixed by repair or replacement of a device or in the case of transients, they will disappear after some time like with a bit flip in a memory. Any system can break at a certain time and measures are required to detect or control such a failure and prevent the system from endangering people.last_img read more

D.C. United aiming for MLS Cup in Rooney’s final season

first_imgWayne Rooney is leaving MLS, and D.C. United is hoping to make his final season in the league a successful one. As if the club hadn’t made that obvious enough with the moves made ahead of the league’s transfer deadline, general manager Dave Kasper has now come right out and said it.  With United having landed forwards Ola Kamara and Emmanuel Boateng and added midfielder Felipe, three MLS veterans, over the course of the last week, Kasper says it’s time to focus in on the closing run of the season and a potential tilt at the MLS Cup title.   Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? “This being Wayne’s last year, we want to finish strong and make a deep run,” Kasper said to MLSsoccer.com. “Wayne knows what lies with his future, his teammates know what lies with the future and the group collectively can say ‘Listen, we’re now in the final stretch, we know who we are, what we have, especially with the new additions. Let’s get to work and let’s compete for a trophy this year.'” Rooney’s move back to England at the end of the season caught many people off guard, but he’s not the only transfer target in United’s ranks.  Midfielder Luciano Acosta has been linked with a move away from MLS in recent windows, with PSG having come close to his signature last winter before the deal fell through.  The 25-year-old’s contract runs out at the end of the season, and Kasper says the club is prepared to listen to offers for their star playmaker.  Luciano Acosta DC United MLS 05042019“I think there’s flexibility with that,” Kasper said via phone. “If he does move in the European window, or any league that has a window that extends beyond ours in Major League Soccer, we will be prepared for it. If he stays, we’ll have him as an option to make a deep run in the playoffs.” Making the playoffs will be the first job for United.  The club currently sits fifth in the Eastern Conference with the top seven teams earning a playoff place.  The capital club is just four points clear of eighth-place Toronto and has been struggling through a poor run of form, picking up just one win in its last seven outings.last_img read more

Talks Continue on SLB Financing

first_imgMONTEGO BAY – Minister of Education, Rev. the Hon. Ronald Thwaites, says that discussions continue with the private financial institutions towards a workable solution for the financing of the Student Loan Bureau (SLB).He was speaking at the official opening of the 12th Annual Conference of the Association of Caribbean Higher Education Administrators held on July 11, at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in Montego Bay.Mr. Thwaites said the talks to date have focused on how private capital could supplement state funding to the bureau, to enhance loan provisions for tertiary-level students.He said that while there seems to be an apparent “rigidity” on the part of the financial sector to give their blessings to such an arrangement, “discussions will nonetheless proceed with great optimism and anticipation”.The Education Minister said that despite the challenges, the Government is determined to meet its target of providing access to tertiary education for 50 per cent of the age cohort by 2015, in keeping with Vision 2030 Jamaica, the national development plan.“We do not have to go over the great significance and irrefutable importance of extending tertiary education in the Caribbean. The task (may) look difficult… but we cannot resile from the importance of doing so,” he stated.He said that in extending access, the state will ensure that quality is not comprised, noting that the Jamaica Tertiary Education Commission (JTEC) and the University College of Jamaica are charged with establishing standard-driven regulations, oversight and quality assurance for the sector.CONTACT: GLENIS A. ROSEJIS REGIONAL OFFICEMONTEGO BAYlast_img read more

Caterpillar to Showcase New Solutions at International …

first_img My location 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站?确定 Print  Close zoom Caterpillar Marine Power Systems will highlight its wide array of U.S. EPA Tier 3/IMO II certified marine power solutions at the upcoming International Workboat Show held October 9th – 11th in New Orleans, Louisiana.On display at the Caterpillar booth this year will be the Cat® C32 ACERT™ EPA Tier 3 certified marine engine, which is now also offered as an EPA Tier 3 certified auxiliary engine and an EPA Tier 3 certified generator set. Cat C32 marine power solutions are ideal for the tug and salvage industry, ferry and offshore applications, specifically crew boats, platform supply vessels and offshore supply vessels.The C32 ACERT marine propulsion engine is available at ratings that meet both EPA Tier 3 and IMO II emissions regulations, while still offering seven Wide Operating Speed Range (WOSR) ratings. The C32 now has a separate circuit aftercooling system (SCAC) for three power ratings, ‘A’ through ‘C.’ The SCAC system is a significant benefit for customers as the system removes seawater from the coolers, resulting in longer service intervals. Additionally several design changes have been engineered into the platform to lower operation costs, including longer oil change intervals. Customers will also be able to select from an increased amount of attachments and options when ordering the C32 ACERT Tier 3 engine, including a class-approvable alarm and protection system.Other benefits include the proven engine’s extensive operating history and performance iron with thousands of validation testing hours for quality and durability. The C32 ACERT marine engine is backed by the stellar product service and support of the extensive Cat global dealer network as well as Caterpillar’s 60 month standard warranty.“We’ve been very pleased with the success of the C32 in the field. We have accumulated over 50,000 hours of field testing to date, specifically in workboat applications.” Chad McIntosh, Caterpillar product definition manager said. “Built on the proven performance of the trusted C32 platform, the new C32 offering provides customers with design enhancements as well as the flexibility to operate in regulated waters with a Tier 3 certified power plant.”Also available as of spring 2013 are the C32 auxiliary engine and generator set, both of which are EPA Tier 3 compliant. The auxiliary engine and generator set feature the same benefits and design enhancements offered on the C32 marine engine platform. The C32 generator set is also available in new voltage offerings and performs with an increased electrical power output of 3% on average. Caterpillar, October 11, 2013last_img read more

AAI starts yearlong study to improve future slot allotment at 6 major

first_imgNew Delhi: The Airport Authority of India (AAI) has started a year-long study to analyse air traffic, slot distribution and infrastructure at six major airports Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata in order to improve the mechanism of slot allotment, said its senior officials. A slot is a specific date and time at which an airline can arrive or depart at an airport. It is allocated by a committee that comprises officials from the respective airport, aviation ministry, AAI, airlines, aviation regular DGCA, etc. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepAfter one year, the results of this year-long study will be presented back to the DGCA and the ministry to take a call on how to improve slot allotment in the next year…We will take help of the central ATFM (air traffic flow management) in this year-long study, a senior AAI official said. The AAI owns and manages more than 100 airports across the country. Recently, when Jet Airways temporarily shut down its operations on April 17, a tussle had erupted among the other airline companies in India to corner most of the Jet’s vacated slots, especially the ones at congested airports of Bengaluru, Delhi and Mumbai. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsThe fight for slots had erupted as there is no written mechanism in India to allocate slots if an airline in this case it was Jet Airways – temporarily shuts down its operations. Another senior AAI official said, “Six major airports Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai – have been identified where the analysis needs to take place. This exercise has been started in the month of May this year, and it will continue till March 2020. We have been asked to study all aspects air traffic, slot availability and its allotment, infrastructure availability and its future requirement, etc. so that slot distribution mechanism can improve from next year onward, the official added. The official said the AAI is doing one year of analysis as the flight schedule changes every six months. “This happens due to summer season and winter season. The wind keeps changing. That is the reason why airlines also keep asking for different slots in these two seasons, the official said.last_img read more

Pakistan starts to get Saudi Arabian oil on deferred payments

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan will start getting oil supplies worth USD 9.9 billion from close ally Saudi Arabia from Monday on deferred payments for three years, the kingdom’s embassy here said on Monday. Cash-strapped Pakistan and oil-rich Saudi Arabia inked a financing agreement for the import of petroleum products, crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) on February 17 during the visit of Saudi crown prince to Islamabad earlier this year. “Pakistan will start receiving monthly oil supplies worth USD 275 million from Saudi Arabia with effect of July 1, 2019,” the Saudi embassy said in a notification. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed'”These supplies will continue over the next three years, with a total value of USD 9.9 billion,” The Express Tribune quoted the notification as saying. Pakistan expects the generous Saudi facility to help ease pressure on the balance of payments. “This package the keenness of the Saudi leadership to support the Pakistani economy for achieving financial stability and help the government to overcome the economic challenges and push the comprehensive development in Pakistan, and to emphasise the depth of relations between the two brotherly countries and peoples,” the embassy statement said. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi JinpingPakistan is trying hard to avoid a balance of payments crisis, with the help of close allies like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Islamabad is also negotiating a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund. The oil facility had been announced in November and it was initially expected to become operational from January 1. However, due to various procedural and regulatory issues it took seven months to make the facility operational by July 1, which coincides with the start of new fiscal year, the report said.last_img read more

Morocco Victim of Rape Prostitution Tells Her Poignant Story

Rabat – “I am fine, for the time being at least,” is what I say when asked such questions. The reason why I am the person I am now may be because of you. Sorry for pointing fingers at you that way, but it lessens my agony and tantalization for a moment, since there is always someone to blame. For so many reasons I would not step into a territory where my safety is in jeopardy. Yes, I am a sex worker, and I have been dehumanized. You might ask by whom, but I won’t answer because you already know. I have been looking for the missing “me: for ages, and I am sure I will never find her, for now I know I am the men’s sexual object.I will tell you a little secret. When I was sixteen, I was my father’s little toy: obedient, soft, loving, and even submissive. I never asked my dad for anything I knew he could not afford because I believed that being petulant towards him all the time would not bode well for the family’s welfare.I imagined every single thing in my little brain my dad could not get me. I loved him to the extent that I used to cry on his lap when he was at his lowest point, due to some familial duties he could not execute. Forlornly, it was a laughing matter for him because he was preparing a commodity for which he would get millions a month. You might wonder what that thing is. Well, it is the person you are interviewing now. I was seventeen back then, and the only thing I ever wanted was for my dad to be with me. He, however, sold me, and I was raped by a 45-year-old man who was a merciless monster. I was commodified by a man who has brought me into being. Clients would come every night and my dad was the welcoming host.Now I am 21 years old, fatherless, motherless, and even homeless. I am a street prostitute asking for people to buy my sex services. Now I know why my father sold me, and I won’t blame him, for I know he would not have done it if there were an option. He violently estranged me, and now I just want to know who I am and why I am not the person I am supposed to be.”“H” replied to a question I asked her with drops of tears streaming down her yellow cheeks.When compared to you and me, “H” is no different. However, she insinuates that she is so much different from us and that she is an animate being whose mere function is to be turned into a working instrument and be used for sexual gratification. For some reason, she is not what she is supposed to be—a normal person. She is deprived of her social life and even of possessing her own body, to which she has every right. Additionally, she thinks that she dwells in a world where monsters come in the form of men.It is not difficult to seek out the reasons behind the phenomenon of prostitution. Rather, it’s salient to ask questions related to the way females are being treated in the modern societies, regardless of the sort of job they occupy. Prostitution may be a vocational choice out of financial necessity, but a dignified person never chooses to be dehumanized and molded into a thing whose existence is more or less dependent on the kind of services provided.A society in which human bodies are commodified and brutally used is categorically animalistic. Moroccan society, more often than not, lacerates the sex-selling individuals for being the persons they are, but it never criticizes itself for being the reason behind the existence of this phenomenon in the first place.A society, irrespective of the political trend, is created for one and only one reason: which is to guarantee its subjects’ dignity and social acceptability and tolerability. This is elucidated by Immanuel Kant, whose moral doctrines are to be taken seriously and obligatorily, and responsibly applied in our present context. For Kant, persons should not be used merely as means, because doing that breaches the fundamental right of self-ownership—they are to be respected and deemed as persons themselves.So much of what has been claimed so far comes into play by asking some questions related to the parties involved in the sex trade: the supplier, the consumer, and even the viewer are to be blamed. Undeniably, these three parties contribute to the commodification process.The financial need drives the supplier to objectify herself to survive. The consumer is no different from the supplier, as he is the victim of his sexual desires. The viewer, however, is wholly different from the aforementioned parties, for he is aware of the commodification process, but he keeps pretending to be blind. Thus, the viewer is also objectified by his inactivity and dormancy. Clearly, the three parties are now objectified. Based on what was just proposed, a question should be asked: who is more blameworthy?In contrast, “H”s only aim now is to regain what rightly belongs to her. She believes, according to her answer, that she is nobody but who she made herself to be. Her only ambition is to know herself and be seen as a human being. Moreover, she is a person who only exists for others, and her existence makes no difference for those for whom she is existent—because once their sexual satisfaction is met, her existence as a rational being is gone.It’s a wake-up call for everyone to pay a close attention to the way we conceive of other’s individuality and humanity. Certainly, no one likes to be commodified and treated as a mere means. Every being is to be respected and dignified. It’s time to think of a way to get rid of prostitution and honor every individual as an end. No one would like to be a prostitute if she’s provided with the necessary means to survive.  Strangely enough, the blame is always put on the woman, but I think that every thinking individual has to give some thought to the collective consciousness of our society regarding this phenomenon.Edited by Katrina Bushko© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed read more

World Bank Approves 100 Million Loan to Morocco to Support Employment

Washington – The World Bank (WB) board of executive directors approved last Tuesday a USD 100 million project in support of Morocco’s ongoing efforts to boost employment and improve the quality of jobs. The project will focus on ensuring the skills taught in universities and vocational training programs match the needs of the labor market, increasing the efficiency of employment services and broadening their reach to disadvantaged segments of the population, WB said in a release.It also aims at promoting micro-enterprises while formalizing the employment conditions for the many currently employed by them, and reinforcing the governance of the labor market. The Second Skills and Employment Development Policy Loan (SEDPL2) is the second in a programmatic series of two projects aimed at addressing employment.A principal aim of the SEDPL2 is to support the development of a clearer path from school to work, the same source added.The reform of educational and training programs will improve the job prospects of graduates, by equipping them with the right skills, while more effective employment services will match them with available jobs.The project will also support government plans to expand the reach of the national employment agency, ANAPEC, beyond graduates, to offer services to less-qualified individuals.Another policy initiative supported by the SEDPL2 will be to create a new legal status for self-employed individuals who want to exit the shadow economy and pay taxes, in exchange for a package of benefits; including access to credit and affordable social security.Finally, the project will contribute to improving the quality and availability of information needed to make employment policy decisions.“As a result of the reforms supported by this project, we hope to see more people employed in more productive jobs with better working conditions”, said Nadine Poupart, World Bank Task Team Leader for the project. read more

Enbridge plans 50kilometre pipeline to serve Hangingstone oil sands project

CALGARY — Enbridge Inc. says it has an agreement to build a 50-kilometre pipeline to serve the Hangingstone oil sands project, jointly owned by Japan Canada Oil Sands Ltd. and China’s CNOOC Ltd.Pending regulatory approvals, the 12-inch lateral pipeline would connect Hangingstone to Enbridge’s regional system at Cheecham, Alta.The agreement also provides for an optional eight-inch line to transport diluent to the project, Enbridge said in announcing the deal Thursday.Financial terms were not disclosed.JACOS and Nexen Energy ULC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Chinese government-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp., are partners in the project, which is operated by JACOS.The newly constructed pipeline will have the capacity to transport 40,000 barrels per day of diluted bitumen produced at Hangingstone to the Enbridge terminal in Cheecham.First oil from the project is expected in early 2016, with initial volumes of 18,000 bpd.The initial term of the transportation agreement is 20 years, with JACOS and Nexen having the right to extend the agreement in successive five-year terms.“Enbridge is pleased to enter into this agreement with JACOS and Nexen, which provides further confirmation of the sustainable growth in oil sands production,” said Stephen Wuori, Enbridge president for liquids pipelines and major projects.“This project, the 10th to connect into our infrastructure in the Athabasca region, will contribute to our ongoing strategy of connecting new oil sands projects and expanding access for production growth from the region.”Enbridge is Canada’s dominant oil shipper, with a vast network connecting markets across North America. It also has a natural gas distribution business and a growing renewable energy portfolio. read more

Two highlevel committees formed to strengthen UN secretariats direction

The 12-member Policy Committee will meet once a week to consider issues requiring strategic guidance and decisions and identify emerging issues, and will have its own secretariat in the existing Strategic Planning Unit, Annan’s Chief of Staff, Mark Malloch Brown, said in a letter to all UN staff last Friday.The Management Committee, with seven members, will meet once a month on internal reform and management-related issues, he said.The two committees, to be chaired by the Secretary-General, will replace several existing single-issue coordination mechanisms, which had been formed on an ad hoc basis, according to Mr. Malloch Brown.A Management Performance Board, chaired by Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette, will monitor and analyze the performance of managers to ensure that they properly discharge their responsibilities.Two Under-Secretaries-General have been asked to sit on the Board – in their individual capacities – for two years. They are UN Emergency Relief Coordinator Jan Egeland and Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management Jian Chen. Former World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Executive Director Namanga Ngongi will serve as the external third participant, required to have extensive experience at the UN.The Under-Secretaries-General of Management and Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) will also sit in on the Board’s meetings.The existing Senior Management Group will now meet every two weeks for exchanges of information and experiences among a wider group of managers and to provide guidance on important, cross-cutting issues, he said. read more

Mens soccer loses Big Ten opener at Indiana 20

Sophomore midfielder Zach Mason (7) slides for the ball during a match against Wright State Sept. 17 at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium. The teams tied, 0-0.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorThe Ohio State men’s soccer team (2-5-2, 0-1) opened Big Ten conference play on a rainy Sunday, losing to Indiana by a score of 2-0. Two first-half goals were all it took for the Hoosiers to give OSU its third consecutive loss.The Buckeyes ended the match with a season high 19 fouls and were outshot 33-10. Buckeye redshirt-junior goalkeeper Alex Ivanov fell to 2-4-1 as a starter and tallied 10 saves, matching his season high.Ivanov said despite the weather conditions, he was pleased with the way the team played.“With the unforgiving conditions, we did all right, but obviously, it was unfortunate end result,” he said. “I’m always thinking, ‘If I can prevent them from scoring, we’ll always have a chance,’ and as a goalkeeper I can’t change the game by scoring, so hopefully next time I can get 12 saves and we can get a better result.”OSU’s struggles with finishing on scoring plays continued as it was unable to score off of 10 shots, five of which were on target. The team has recorded just one goal in the last five games on 54 attempts.Buckeye coach John Bluem said that he is impressed by how well the team is handling the unlucky slump of not netting a goal.“I sound like a broken record, but we had a nice stretch in the first half, but we failed to come up with a goal again,” Bluem said. “And it seems like we really should have had one.”Bluem said that in practice, the team will watch film and hopefully be able to get a goal in the team’s next outing.“We’re going to look at video again and continue to try and improve in areas where we can get better,” he said. “I think the guys are responding well to this difficult stretch, but it would obviously help if we could get a win and build our confidence.”Preseason No. 1 and 2012 NCAA champions, Indiana (4-4-1, 1-0 Big Ten) opened the match quickly taking five shots and a corner kick in the first six minutes, but multiple saves by Ivanov kept it scoreless for the first 30 minutes.The Hoosiers continued their assault in the first half firing 25 shots and connected on two of them, ending the half with a 2-0 lead. The Buckeyes were outshot 25-4 and Ivanov recorded seven saves.Both teams created multiple scoring opportunities in the second half, but neither was able to connect. The Buckeyes’ best chance at a goal came in the 57th minute when senior captain and defender Sage Gardner blasted a shot from nearly 10 yards outside the box. Gardner almost squeaked it into the upper right corner of the net, but Hoosier redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Michael Soderlund was able to block it just before going in. Eleven minutes later, sophomore Buckeye midfielder Zach Mason attempted a long-distance shot of his own, which almost mirrored Gardner’s shot exactly.Gardner said afterwards he was just trying to place the ball inside the box to a teammate on the play, and he believes the team will eventually find a way to score after continuously working on it in practice.“I think ultimately, it’s the mentality, so we just got to instill confidence in each other,” he said. “We know we can create opportunities to score against these teams, now it’s just if we can capitalize on them.”OSU is scheduled to return to Columbus play Wednesday to face off against No. 18 Louisville. read more

Major Wii U launch window titles delayed including Pikmin and Wii Fit

first_imgWhen Nintendo first unveiled its list of early Wii U games, it promised to have more than 50 titles available for the console by the end of March 2013 including high-profile additions to the Wii Fit and Pikmin franchises. Now that the March deadline is starting to approach, however, Nintendo is singing a different tune.If you’ve gone out to GameStop or Best Buy lately, you may have noticed that the Wii U section looks pretty much like it did last week, and the week before, and the week before. I could go on, but you get the point. There has been hardly any Wii U activity since the holidays, which was to be expected, but gamers were hoping this drought would be over soon.Unfortunately, now, Nintendo has declared that Game & Wario, The Wonderful 101, Wii Fit U, and Pikmin 3 are all being delayed. After originally pledging that these games would be available no later than March 31, Nintendo is now offering the much more vague “first half of the year” time frame.Wii U sales have been decent. The fact that anyone could go out and buy the console just a matter of days after the launch day supply sold out, is probably more related to tepid consumer interest than it was excessive supply. When the Wii was released, people continued to line up outside stores for months because of insatiable demand.Of course, that was before the world of $200 PS3s and Xbox 360s, which are quickly becoming the “good for the whole family” entertainment market which used to be Nintendo’s bread and butter. Little missteps like these Wii U game delays are more severe when consumers still need a good reason to go out and buy the system. The question on everyone’s mind was whether or not Nintendo could hold on to the momentum that it got during the Wii U launch. So far, the answer isn’t looking great.last_img read more

Bicyclist struck killed by vehicle in Sifton neighborhood

first_imgA bicyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle early Wednesday morning in Vancouver’s Sifton neighborhood, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.The crash was reported at 12:15 a.m. in the 12200 block of Northeast 76th Street. Deputies arriving on scene performed CPR on the cyclist before EMS personnel arrived and pronounced the rider dead, a bulletin from the sheriff’s office said.The driver was not injured.The name of the cyclist and the driver, both described as adults, were not released early Wednesday. Further details on the crash were not released. Detectives with the Clark County Traffic Unit responded and will continue with the investigation.last_img read more

State Vancouver unfair to police union leader

first_imgVancouver police administrators deliberately passed over police guild President Officer Ryan Martin for a special assignment in 2009 because of his union involvement, a state agency for employee relations has ruled.A Dec. 23 ruling by the state Public Employment Relations Commission found that police administration “deprived Martin of an ascertainable right, benefit, or status,” and broke the law when it did not choose Martin to fill one of two open traffic enforcement positions in June 2009.The commission ordered the city to give Martin a spot in the Motor Officers Unit within 30 days, read the decision aloud at a city council meeting and post the order “in conspicuous places.”To view the full Public Employment Relations Commission ruling, visit http://www.perc.wa.gov/Databases/ULP/10621-A.htmOn Thursday, Martin called the decision “a big deal.”“We’ve been saying for years now that this type of stuff has been taking place internally,” he said. “It shows there continues to be bias and discrimination in the department. When is it going to end, when is it going to stop?”last_img read more

DOD Seeking Change in Water Cleanup Standards

first_img ADC AUTHOR The Pentagon has been pushing the White House and Congress to ease clean water standards, according to the Military Times, citing a New York Times report.DOD faces costs of more than $2 billion to clean up PFAS-contaminated water on or around 126 installations.Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) said DOD wants to raise the amount of acceptable contamination to reduce the number of sites it needs to clean up.A Pentagon spokeswoman said DOD does not want to skirt its responsibility, Military Times reported.“DOD is not seeking a different or weaker cleanup standard but wants the standard risk-based cleanup approach that is based on science and applies to everyone,” DOD spokeswoman Heather Babb said.U.S. Air Force photo of water cleanup at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., by Senior Airman Ashley Maldonadolast_img read more