Qualified Forest Program bills signed into law

first_imgOn hand for the ceremony were from left: Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director; McBroom; Sen. John Moolenaar; Gov. Rick Snyder; Rep. Frank Foster; Sen. Darwin Booher, Rep. Bruce Rendon; and Sen. Tom Casperson.Legislation to encourage owners of the 11 million acres of private forestlands in Michigan to join the state’s Qualified Forest Program for timber harvesting and management was signed into law today. The nine-bill package, which includes a measure sponsored by Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, updates the program’s property tax incentives and offers educational and technical assistance.The program is capped at 1.2 million acres but less than 80,000 acres have been enrolled in the program designed to ensure and increase a steady, sustainable supply of timber to an industry that generates $14 billion annually and directly employs 26,000 residents. The package includes Public Acts 42-50 of 2013. 06Jun Qualified Forest Program bills signed into law Categories: Newslast_img read more

Kahle Senate panel approves bill to attract skilled trade teachers

first_img Legislation will expand career instruction in K-12 classroomsThe Senate Economic Development and International Investment Committee today approved state Rep. Bronna Kahle’s plan to expand professional trade instruction and provide career-oriented development in Michigan high schools.“We all know of the incredible impact that good teachers can have on their students and we need to open the door to experienced skilled trade professionals to share their experience in our classrooms,” said Kahle, of Adrian. “There is a talent gap across the state and these skilled professionals can be crucial to bridging this gap. This plan will help across the state, addressing the current demand and expected future needs for talented professionals into skilled fields.”Specifically, her legislation will permit schools to hire professional trade instructors to teach classes that align with their expertise in which they hold a license or certificate, leaving the decision to local school districts when considering teachers for these high-demand positions. Kahle’s bill is part of a four-bill package developed from the Michigan Career Pathways Alliance, which includes state K-12 education and employment leaders working together to help strengthen Michigan’s future.In addition, the legislative package will:Create a K-12 model program that emphasizes career learning and themes for each grade level, while focusing on engaging with parents, community businesses and industry interests;Provide continuing education and professional development credit for teachers who spend time engaging with local employers and professional trade centers;The legislation has the support of Mark Haag, superintendent of the Lenawee Intermediate School District; Dan Garno, executive director of Staff Resources at the Lenawee ISD; and Dan Rogers, director of Center for Science and Industry in Hudson. Each joined Kahle in testifying in support of the legislative package in October 2017.“Young people need to know about these education and career options, get practical real-world instruction and have the opportunity to train in these fields,” Kahle said.House Bill 5141 advances to the Senate for its consideration.##### 07Jun Kahle: Senate panel approves bill to attract skilled trade teachers Categories: Kahle News,Newslast_img read more

UK digitalterrestrial service Freeview is now use

first_imgUK digital-terrestrial service Freeview is now used on the main TV set in more than 11 million homes, a record figure for the service, according to new company stats.Freeview said that homes with Freeview on a main or second TV is also now almost 20 million, or 76% of UK television homes.It added that HD uptake was also on the rise, with the total number of homes with Freeview HD on their main set reaching 3.53 million. Cumulative Freeview HD equipment sales standing at 7.6 million three years on from launch.The news comes as the BBC launched its BBC2 HD channel, replacing the older BBC HD channel feed on TV platforms in the UK. Freeview said, subject to regulatory approval, a further 10 HD channels could launch on Freeview by the end of the year.“The last 12 months have been a landmark year for Freeview. For the first time, the whole of the UK was able to receive Freeview and Freeview HD following the completion of digital switchover,” said Freeview MD Ilse Howling.last_img read more

German hybrid network operator NetCologne now serv

first_imgGerman hybrid network operator NetCologne now serves over a third of its customers via its own fibre network. The Cologne area operator had 139,000 fibre customers at the end of last year, up 16,000 year-on-year, out of a total fixed line customer base of 381,000.NetCologne grew its TV subscriber base last year by 12,000 to end the year with about 200,000 TV homes.Over 45,000 apartment buildings, homes and business premises are now reached by NetCologne’s own broadband network, up from 41,000 a year earlier.The operator has also signed a series of partnership agreement with municipalities, cities and utilities, recently beginning work in Wesseling, Frechen and Pulheim, with plans to expand in Windeck, Siegburg, Burscheid, Betzdorf and Niederkassel.NetCologne reported net income of €15.8 million on sales of €242 million. Operating profit for the full year grew by 7.6% to €56.9 million.last_img read more

And one that seems particularly appropriate At

first_img And one that seems particularly appropriate: At 73, I can attest to the fact it is been a fun ride so far, and I am having too much fun to even think about getting off. Until next week… Our wealth is disappearing, and we need to speak up now. In a recent article for the Casey Daily Dispatch, I took Obama’s budget proposal and the effect it would have on Social Security to task. The president’s proposal offers three alternatives for funding Social Security – the Chained CPI; an expanded Social Security tax; or additional limits on IRA and 401(k) contributions. I don’t like any of these “solutions” one bit. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Kelly Greene and Vipal Monga reported that pensions represent an increasingly smaller portion of Americans’ retirement savings. The authors wrote: “The portion of private-sector US workers covered only by so-called defined-benefit plans fell to 3% in 2011 from 28% in 1979, according to US Department of Labor data compiled by EBRI.” Unless you work for the government, pensions have gone the way of the dodo bird. Private-sector employers have switched from defined benefit plans to defined savings plans like 401(k)s and IRAs. If you don’t want to end up trying to survive on Social Security alone, you’re going to have to save quite a bit of money. And the financial shenanigans our government likes to pull make retiring even tougher. As I mentioned in my book, Retirement Reboot, when the government bailed out “too big to fail” banks, my retirement plan had to change radically. Treasuries and FDIC-insured CDs paying three times the inflation rate went out the window. Those safe, high-yield investments have gone the way of private-sector pension plans. To make matters worse, our annual Social Security cost of living increases don’t come close to covering rising expenses. The Chained CPI, moreover, would only further jerry-rig benefits, helping the spendthrift federal government at our expense. Many seniors have already taken a huge income cut as their portfolios struggle. Recently, my wife Jo and I looked at a 55-plus community on the outskirts of Phoenix. It was a pretty, upscale community – one we might be interested in. When Jo pulled up information on the community, some of data highlighted how much retirees are struggling. The statistics were: Population in 2010: 1,811 Population change since 2000: + 27.6% Median age of residents: 70.4 Estimated median household income in 2000: $86,248 Estimated median household income in 2009: $73,875 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) inflation calculator, if one had an income of $86,248 in 2000, one would have to earn $116,586 in 2013 to have the same buying power. Now, that is using the official – AKA bogus – government-calculated inflation rate. I shudder to think what the real figure is. Jo and I spoke with several realtors who said housing prices had escalated since 2000, but the population mix had not changed. It is safe to conclude that a household with the 2013 median income now has about 74% of the buying power it did in 2000. This only confirms what I see and hear from our subscribers all over the world. Many folks – baby boomers and seniors in particular – are understandably frightened.Enough Money to Enjoy Time with Your Grandchildren The first question in any retirement calculation is: “How much do we need to retire?” I think of the answer as a two-part number. First, how much do we need to survive? Second, how much do we need to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle where we don’t stress out about money, can visit our grandchildren, and can even do some fun stuff with them? Last summer we took two of our grandchildren to a Cubs game, and the tickets alone were $150 for the four of us. That does not include transportation, hot dogs, drinks, and souvenirs for the kids. While it was an unforgettable day, it was expensive. Even taking grandchildren to the movies and buying popcorn puts a dent in a lot of retirees’ budgets. It’s quite sad to hear stories about young grandchildren asking Grandma and Grandpa to take them on a trip or visit on their birthday, and the answer is “no” because of financial worries. Many folks who were positive they had enough money to retire comfortably have had to adjust their lifestyles. Too many retirees have simply had to hunker down into survival mode.Investing from the Inside Out I don’t want to spend too much time on the politics that affect retirement issues. However, we should all let our elected representatives know how we feel. Most of us worked hard, played by the rules, and saved our money. Our Social Security benefits should not be reduced or taken away because our government can’t rein in its reckless spending. While we do not have direct control over Congress, we can control how we manage our life savings. There is no way to sugarcoat the fact that it takes work. We all have to manage and invest our life savings wisely, or risk losing it along with our retirement dreams. While many folks have already cut expenses and are looking for alternative sources of income, some are still overlooking the best investment they can make: investing in themselves. That means not blindly throwing money into a “black box” mutual fund; we have to actually learn about our investments now. Don’t let the process intimidate you. The education and skills that allowed us to build our nest eggs will also help us make it last. Learning about our investments is no different from learning about the thousands of other things we already know; we just need to put in the time, energy, and resources. Stockbrokers have been feeding us a line for too many years. They don’t have secret information or some sort of magic formula. The only magic formula is education and hard work.The Money Forever Plan Our subscribers have voiced their needs loud and clear. Every day more folks are taking the time to invest in themselves. They are no longer blindly investing their nest eggs. They want more than just another newsletter that gives stock tips; they want to know how to manage a retirement portfolio over the long haul. Our subscribers want the most out of retirement, and we work alongside them to make sure they get it. The folks who are thriving during retirement are the ones who have stepped up and embraced the learning curve. “Set it and forget it” is now a surefire way for our retirement dreams go up in smoke. In the April issue of Miller’sMoney Forever, we looked at portfolio allocation and the nuances of diversified investing. We took an in-depth look at why we had recommended certain investments, where they fit in our portfolio, and what percentage of our portfolio each pick should represent. The Money Forever portfolio is diversified, safe, and full of income-producing investments, but that’s just the starting point. We also walk you through how to incorporate our recommendations and tactics into your existing portfolio. Just a few minutes each day spent learning how to invest your money wisely can provide a huge return on our time and money. Many subscribers have been kind enough to send us testimonials outlining how well they have done with some of our picks. Every hour they invest in educating themselves pays dividends (pun intended). The solution is so simple that it baffles me why more folks don’t catch on. Once you educate yourself, you have the skills and confidence to make your own investment decisions. You never again have to wonder if the real reason your stockbroker called you about a hot stock was to generate a commission. Instead, each investment decision you make will be based on sound logic. I’d like to thank our readers for their feedback and suggestions. You’ve made it clear that, in addition to some doggone good stock recommendations, you also want an education on how to retire successfully. So please, keep the emails coming. The more you share concepts or products you want us to explain or focus on, the better job we can do for you. I am one of you, a retiree who came to Casey Research looking for answers. When we recommend a stock, we invest right along with you, but only after our requisite, companywide waiting period has elapsed. Seniors and savers, we are all in this together. I spent most of my career teaching adults, and I know that complicated information can be taught in simple, easy-to-follow ways. I don’t know about you, but geek talk just frustrates me. That’s why we explain money matters in plain English, so there’s no need to get a Ph.D. in economics or keep an investment dictionary handy when you subscribe. I’m sure we have all told our children and grandchildren that an education is one thing that can never be taken away. In our case, a financial education can keep us independent and in the game (and, if we want, we can take the grandchildren along). The current the price of a subscription is affordable – less than that of a typical morning newspaper. The best part is you can take advantage of our 90-day, no-risk offer. You can cancel for any reason, no questions asked, within the first 90 days. As you might expect, our cancellation rates are very low, and we aim to keep it that way.On the Lighter Side For those who are fans of the Hostess Twinkie, they should be back in grocery stores sometime late this summer. I have never been a Twinkie lover, but I have never been unable to eat just one Ho-Ho in a package of two. My wife Jo tells me they come two to a package so they can be shared. Yeah, right! I buy two packages, and we can share that way. We are now back in Illinois for the summer, where I grew up. A friend recently said something to the effect that I was “going home for the summer.” I had to stop for a moment as I realized I no longer look at it as home. It has gone through so many changes in my 73 years that it is more like a place where I have fond memories. It’s just not the simple, easy life like it was when I was growing up. And finally… I have mentioned our friend Toots many times, who was a high school classmate of mine. She was younger, and graduated at 17 among the top five in our class. I like to remind her that it was folks like me who helped make the upper half of the class possible. We made the mistake of making fun of her because of her young age, as she had to wait a year longer to get her driver’s license. She is now getting her revenge. Knowing I had a birthday recently, she sent me some bumper stickers reminding me that I was one of the older folks in our class.last_img read more

Immunotherapy increases survival in some patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer

first_img Source:https://www.esmo.org/Press-Office/Press-Releases/IMpassion130-atezolizumab-nab-pac-triple-negative-breast-cancer-Schmid Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 22 2018Immunotherapy improves survival in some patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer, according to late-breaking results from the IMpassion130 trial reported at the ESMO 2018 Congress in Munich.Prof. Peter Schmid, first author, said the results “will change the way triple-negative breast cancer is treated”. “Atezolizumab in combination with nab-paclitaxel is the first targeted treatment to improve survival in metastatic triple negative breast cancer,” said Schmid, Clinical Director of London’s St. Bartholomew’s Breast Cancer Centre, Barts Health NHS Trust, UK and lead of the Centre for Experimental Cancer Medicine, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, UK. “It is also the first immune therapy to improve outcome in this cancer. Most of the survival benefit was in patients with PD-L1 positive tumors.”Triple negative breast cancer is the most aggressive type of breast cancer. It is relatively rare and often affects younger women. Once the disease becomes metastatic, the median survival is around 12 to 15 months. Triple negative breast cancer does not have receptors for the hormones oestrogen or the protein HER2, meaning it cannot be treated with hormone therapy or drugs targeting HER2. The main drug treatment is chemotherapy and most patients develop resistance to chemotherapy within a few months.The phase III IMpassion 130 trial enrolled 902 patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer who had not received prior treatment for metastatic disease. Patients were randomly allocated to standard chemotherapy (nab-paclitaxel) plus atezolizumab, an antibody targeting the protein PD-L1, or to standard chemotherapy plus placebo. The two main objectives were to see whether the drug combination could slow cancer growth (progression-free survival) and prolong life (overall survival) in all patients and in those expressing PD-L1. The median follow-up was 12.9 months.The combination therapy reduced the risk of disease worsening or death by 20% in all patients and 38% in the subgroup expressing PD-L1. In the entire study population, the median progression free survival was 7.2 months with the combination and 5.5 months with chemotherapy alone, with a hazard ratio (HR) of 0.80 (p=0.0025). In the PD-L1 positive group, the median progression free survival was 7.5 months with the combination and 5.0 months with chemotherapy alone (HR 0.62, p<0.0001).More than half of patients were alive at the time of analysis, so this was an interim assessment of overall survival. In patients with PD-L1 positive tumors, the median overall survival was 25.0 months with the combination compared to 15.5 months with standard chemotherapy alone (HR 0.62). In all patients, survival was 21.3 months with the combination versus 17.6 months with chemotherapy alone which was not statistically different, likely because of the short follow-up.Related StoriesStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyThe proportion of patients responding to treatment (objective response rate) was higher with the combination compared to chemotherapy alone for all patients (56% versus 46%) and those with PD-L1 positive tumors (59% versus 43%).Schmid said the combination therapy was well tolerated. Most side effects were due to chemotherapy and occurred at a similar rate in both treatment groups, although there was a minor increase in nausea and cough in the combination group. Side effects related to immune therapy were rare, the most common being hypothyroidism which occurred in 17.3% of patients receiving the drug combination and 4.3% receiving chemotherapy alone.Schmid said: "Immune therapy on top of standard chemotherapy prolonged survival by ten months in patients with tumors expressing PD-L1. This combination should become a new treatment option for patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer."Commenting on the results for ESMO, Dr Marleen Kok, Medical Oncologist, The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, said: "This is the first randomized phase III trial providing evidence that adding immune therapy to standard chemotherapy increases progression-free survival in metastatic triple negative breast cancer, particularly in patients with PD-L1 positive tumours, and extends overall survival in the PD-L1 positive subgroup. While the benefit in terms of progression-free survival was relatively small, around three months, the gain in overall survival in the PD-L1 positive subgroup was impressive with a ten-month benefit. Around 40% of the tumours were PD-L1 positive. The IMpassion 130 data will probably change the treatment landscape for our metastatic triple negative breast cancer patients."Kok noted that it is still not clear what the best chemotherapy backbone is for anti-PD-(L)1 treatment and that many trials are ongoing, evaluating the additional effect of anti-PD-(L)1 on top of chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer but also for early breast cancer patients. "This should help answer the question of which chemotherapy backbone is most effective in combination with anti-PD-(L)1." she said. "We also need more studies to determine a biomarker for selecting patients most likely to benefit from this treatment."last_img read more

Drug cocktail that increases lifespan discovered

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 22 2018A team of researchers led by Principal Investigator Dr Jan Gruber from Yale-NUS College has discovered a combination of pharmaceutical drugs that not only increases healthy lifespan in the microscopic worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), but also delays the rate of ageing in them, a finding that could someday mean longer, healthier lives for humans.The study, published in the peer-reviewed international journal Developmental Cell on 8 October 2018, lays crucial groundwork for further research into designing drug combinations that produce the same effect in mammals.”Many countries in the world, including Singapore, are facing problems related to aging populations,” said Dr Gruber, whose lab and research team made the discovery. “If we can find a way to extend healthy lifespan and delay ageing in people, we can counteract the detrimental effects of an aging population, providing countries not only medical and economic benefits, but also a better quality of life for their people.”Dr Gruber is an Assistant Professor of Science (Biochemistry) at Yale-NUS College and Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry of the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore (NUS). The study was carried out by Dr Gruber’s research team in collaboration with researchers from the Singapore Lipidomics Incubator (SLING) at the Life Sciences Institute of NUS.Dr Gruber’s team wanted to find out to what extent healthy lifespan could be extended by combining drugs targeting several pathways (underlying biological mechanisms) known to affect lifespan. For instance, the drug rapamycin is currently administered following organ transplants to prevent the body’s immune system from rejecting the transplanted organs, but previous experiments by other research groups showed that it extends the lifespan of many organisms, including the C. elegans worms, fruit flies and mice.Dr Gruber’s team administered combinations of two or three compounds targeting different aging pathways to C. elegans. Results showed that two drug pairs in particular extended the mean lifespan of the worms more than each of the drugs individually, and in combination with a third compound almost doubled mean lifespans. This effect is larger than any lifespan extension that has previously been reported for any drug intervention in adult animals.The drug treatments had no adverse effect on the worm’s health. The researchers also discovered that across all ages, the treated worms were healthier and spend a larger percentage of their already extended lifespans in good health.Related StoriesNew research links “broken heart syndrome” to cancerAbcam Acquire Off-The-Shelf Diploid Library of Over 2,800 Knockout Cell LinesNanoparticles used to deliver CRISPR gene editing tools into the cellThis is an important point for potential future human aging interventions as increased health span, not just increased lifespan, would have significant medical and economic benefits. “We would benefit not only from having longer lives, but also spend more of those years free from age-related diseases like arthritis, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or Alzheimer’s disease,” Dr Gruber said. “These diseases currently require very expensive treatments, so the economic benefits of being healthier for longer would be enormous.” He cited a 2017 study that determined that if US citizens’ aging rate was decreased by 20 percent, the US government would save US$7.1 trillion in public health costs over the next 50 years.Dr Gruber’s lab also collaborated with Yale-NUS Associate Professor of Science (Life Science) Nicholas Tolwinski, who is also an Assistant Professor with the Department of Biological Sciences at the NUS Faculty of Science, and found that a species of fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) treated with a similar drug cocktail also experienced significant lifespan extension. That two such evolutionarily-distinct organisms experience similar lifespan extensions suggests that the biological mechanisms that regulate these drug interactions on aging are ancient, making it more likely that similar interactions between aging pathways could be targeted in humans.According to Dr Gruber, this study is a proof-of-principle, showing that pharmacological intervention targeting multiple aging pathways is a promising strategy to slow aging and dramatically extend healthy lifespan in adult animals.The next steps for this research will focus on three large areas. The first will be to extend this approach with the aim of designing interventions even more effective than the ones developed in this study. The second area will involve determining the molecular and biological mechanisms of how the drugs interact to delay aging and increase lifespan in order to develop computer models to simulate these interactions, allowing researchers to test thousands more combinations through computer modeling. The ultimate goal of this line of research would be to develop drug interventions safe enough slow aging in humans, a goal that is also pursued by many other research teams around the world.Source: https://www.yale-nus.edu.sg/newsroom/yale-nus-researchers-discover-drug-cocktail-that-increases-lifespan/last_img read more

Novel personalized medicine tool for assessing inherited colorectal cancer syndrome risk developed

first_img Source:https://huntsmancancer.org/newsroom/2018/12/researchers-develop-personalized-medicine-tool-for-inherited-colorectal-cancer-syndrome-risk.php Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 10 2018An international team of researchers led by Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) has developed, calibrated, and validated a novel tool for identifying the genetic changes in Lynch syndrome genes that are likely to be responsible for causing symptoms of the disease. The results were published this week in the journal Genetics in Medicine.Lynch syndrome is a hereditary condition that results in higher rates of colon, endometrial, and other cancers. If unmanaged, individuals with Lynch syndrome have a 75 percent lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer. It is believed that approximately five percent of all colorectal cancer cases are associated with this syndrome.Millions of distinct changes are possible in genes that control health, and it is a massive undertaking to identify which specific changes are associated with developing disease. Some genetic changes are believed to have no impact at all, while others carry significant risk.Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute work to understand and classify which gene changes are likeliest to cause disease, as well as to identify appropriate strategies to help manage disease risk.This groundbreaking study was led by Sean Tavtigian, PhD, a cancer researcher at HCI and professor of oncological sciences at the U of U. The work was built on a decade-long international collaboration. “Correctly identifying which of the genetic changes we observe actually result in disease is fundamentally important in clinical care,” said Tavtigian. “Having clarity on this issue has the potential to add years to patients’ lives, reduce anxiety about disease risk, and use health care dollars more efficiently.”Related StoriesAdding immunotherapy after initial treatment improves survival in metastatic NSCLC patientsSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyCancer killing capability of lesser-known immune cells identifiedThe team used a laboratory test previously developed by the group of Niels de Wind, PhD, associate professor of human genetics at the Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, to characterize genetic changes associated with disease risk. The lab test, called the Cell-free in vitro MMR Activity (CIMRA) assay, improves classification of variants of uncertain significance in Lynch syndrome. “The test is rapid and accurate,” said de Wind. In the current study, the test was thoroughly calibrated and validated, such that its results could now be integrated with computer-based modeling and clinical data. As a result, this study provides an analytical tool suitable for clinical use to assess the potential of changes in Lynch syndrome genes to cause disease.”A key point is that we believe the accuracy of the tool combining the CIMRA test with the previously published computational analysis to be about 97 percent, making it appropriate for clinical use,” said Tavtigian. de Wind added that the work “represents a new pinnacle in the classification of genetic variation.”The authors believe that routine utilization of their methods will dramatically increase the rate of risk classification for genetic changes that previously were poorly understood. Moreover, this calibration strategy provides a template for the development, validation, and calibration of reliable strategies for the diagnostic assessment of other hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes and genetic disorders.last_img read more

Ford gets record fine in Australia for unconscionable conduct

The US$7.6-million penalty on Ford for “unconscionable” conduct matches the largest-ever handed down under Australian consumer law Citation: Ford gets record fine in Australia for ‘unconscionable’ conduct (2018, April 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-ford-fine-australia-unconscionable.html The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) began legal action against Ford last year after the car manufacturer failed to properly deal with thousands of complaints about shuddering in PowerShift transmissions fitted to its Fiesta, Focus and EcoSport models.”Despite knowing that shuddering was a symptom of the quality issues with the vehicles, Ford frequently told customers that shuddering was the result of the customer’s driving style,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.”Ford knew that the symptoms of the quality issues with the vehicles were experienced intermittently, but required customers to demonstrate them on demand in the presence of a dealer in order for repairs to be undertaken.”The payout matches the largest-ever handed down under Australian consumer law, the ACCC said, equalling a $10-million penalty against supermarket chain Coles in 2014 for misusing its bargaining powers against suppliers.”Ford knew that its vehicles had three separate quality issues, but dealt with affected customers in a way which the Court has declared to be unconscionable,” Sims said.About 75,000 cars fitted with the PowerShift transmission have been sold in Australia and over 10,000 people may be eligible for remediation after making complaints between May 2015 and November 2016.”We were overwhelmed with the volume of complaints and, while it was not intended, over a ten-month period our processes were inadequate and information provided was either inaccurate or incomplete,” ‎President of Ford Motor Company Australia Graeme Whickman said. “We let our customers down and for that we are sorry,” he said in a statement. Car giant Ford is set to pay out Aus$10 million (US$7.6 million) for its “unconscionable” handling of gearbox complaints in Australia after a court on Thursday slugged the auto manufacturer with a record penalty. Explore further Appliance giant Thermomix fined in Australia over burns defect © 2018 AFP 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. read more

New analysis methods facilitate the evaluation of complex engineering data

first_imgFor less noise: high-resolution simulation of flows in a car air conditioning system. Credit: Fraunhofer SCAI 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. Provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft A further increase in the performance of supercomputers is expected over the next few years. So-called exascale computers will be able to deliver more precise simulations. This leads to considerably more data. Fraunhofer SCAI develops efficient data analysis methods for this purpose, which provide the engineer with detailed insights into the complex technical contexts. Using machine learning for the early detection of anomalies helps to avoid damagecenter_img Citation: New analysis methods facilitate the evaluation of complex engineering data (2019, January 30) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-analysis-methods-complex.html Explore further Simulations on supercomputers answer important industrial questions, such as how air flows behave in air conditioning systems, on rotor blades or for entire airplanes. In the coming years, new approaches to hardware design will make computers available which have a capacity of one trillion computing operations per second. So-called exascale computers have a computing speed a thousand times higher than previous supercomputers. This enables them to overcome complex problems that are not yet solvable. In addition, they deliver more accurate results and thus more economical solutions for industrial tasks. However, exascale simulations also generate significantly larger amounts of data. This creates new challenges in data analysis.Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Algorithms and Scientific Computing SCAI have addressed this problem. They develop methods which perform data analysis during simulation. This approach minimizes memory requirements and computing time. In this way, even huge amounts of data can be analyzed efficiently. The SCAI scientists concentrate on methods for the comparative analysis of simulation data. For example, the comparison of the data enables engineers to see at a glance how a modified component shape affects the flow behaviour inside an air conditioning system and thus the aerodynamic noise generation level. Eventually, that will help to design better products.As a member of the newly founded “Competence Center of the European Union for Engineering Applications” EXCELLERAT, Fraunhofer SCAI works together with 13 partners from 7 European countries. The aim is to make the best possible use of the new potentials of supercomputing and thus strengthen Europe’s competitiveness in this field. Over the next three years, the participants will deal with six selected program codes and associated workflows, such as data analysis, management and visualization. In addition to the efficient handling of large amounts of data, the project focuses on the scalability of the codes. In this context, scalability means that programs work efficiently on both laptops and exascale computers. Since EXCELLERAT should also help to expand the use of supercomputing in industrial contexts, the project team will optimize the codes using twelve application examples from industry. Among others, these include the simulation of flows in car air conditioning systems as well as the calculation of combustion chamber emissions. Moreover, a common knowledge platform is to be developed.last_img read more

Black boxes Crucial to air crash probes

first_imgA top priority for air crash investigators is to locate and analyse a plane’s two black boxes which hold vital clues to what caused it to go down, including cockpit conversations. 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. On Sunday, an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed, killing all 157 people on board.The airline said Thursday that the black box flight recorders from the crashed plane had been flown to Paris for analysis by the BEA, France’s aviation investigation and analysis agency.It is uncertain how much of their content can be retrieved as both the aircraft’s black boxes, found Monday, were damaged in the crash.What are black boxes?Introduced in the late 1950s, black boxes help explain nearly 90 percent of all crashes, according to aviation experts.All commercial planes are required to have two of them on board—a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder.The data recorder stores up to 25 hours worth of second-by-second information including on speed, altitude, engine performance and flight trajectory.In the case of the October Lion Air accident in Indonesia killing 189—the first of two Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashes within five months—black box analysis showed that there was a problem with the aircraft’s speed when it went down. Black boxes: crucial to air crash probes Ethiopia asked the French aviation investigation agency to run the probe with its cutting-edge technology Black boxes are not actually black © 2019 AFPcenter_img Explore further The voice recorder picks up conversations by pilots and flight attendants and also other sounds on board, including possible alarms.All black boxes used in civil aviation function the same way according to a common user protocol, regardless of their make, the BEA said.It can take weeks for investigators to retrieve the data inside, and results are typically withheld from the public until the information has been thoroughly examined—which can take years.How do they look?The recorders are housed in boxes built to survive extreme shocks, fire and lengthy periods underwater.Despite their name, the two boxes are in fact bright orange, with reflective stripes to make them easier for search teams to spot.They each weigh seven to 10 kilogrammes (15 to 22 pounds) and can survive in water as deep as 6,000 metres (almost 20,000 feet) or for an hour at 1,100 degrees Celsius (2,012 degrees Fahrenheit). To make them easier to find, they are fitted with a beacon which can emit a signal for one month.Missing at seaIn January 2004, the black boxes of an Egyptian charter plane that crashed into the Red Sea were found after a two-week search, 1,000 metres down.And in 2011, after 23 months submerged at a depth of 3,900 metres in the Atlantic Ocean, the intact black boxes of Air France flight AF447 were found, allowing investigators to determine what caused the 2009 crash.Lion Air flight JT610 came down in water some 30-40 metres deep and both black boxes were found within 10 metres of each other, authorities said.Long-haul Airbus A350 and A380 passenger jets will soon come equipped with ejectable black boxes that can float, making them easier to find after accidents over water. Citation: Black boxes: Crucial to air crash probes (2019, March 14) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-black-crucial-air-probes.html It can take weeks to retrieve and analyse flight data and sound recordingslast_img read more

Grand alliance has neither leader nor policies Modi

first_imgMayawati sets riders for alliance with Congress in poll-bound States September 09, 2018 Published on politics Poll-mode Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) and BJP President Amit Shah at the party’s National Executive meeting in New Delhi on Sunday   –  PTI Can ally with TDP in Telangana: Congress PM asks party workers to expose ‘Opposition’s falsehood’ Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah expressed confidence that the BJP will retain power in 2019 and urged party workers to bust the Opposition’s “lies” by doing proper homework. Modi said the grand alliance against the BJP will be defeated as it neither has a leader nor a set of policies. Addressing the BJP national executive meeting here on Sunday, Modi said the aim is to create an India that cannot be subjugated and a BJP that remains atal (firm). Talking to reporters after the meeting, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Modi told the meeting that the BJP is using power for change and development. “Gujarat is an example. We don’t see power as an instrument to occupy the chair, but we see it as a work to empower people with dedication,” Prasad said quoting Modi.He said the BJP’s work is based on principles. “We change our tactics from time to time. We don’t see a challenge. In a democracy, there must be an Opposition. But those who failed in the government have also failed as an Opposition. They haven’t raised any real issues. We are ready to take questions on our work,” Prasad said. “Let’s ask questions on 48 years of family rule and 48 months of a party’s rule. The comparison will reveal whom they were working for,” Prasad said.Modi also told the meeting that the Opposition’s campaigns are based on falsehood. “This must be defeated firmly with the great work we have done in the last four years,” Modi said. center_img COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT SHARE RELATED last_img read more