Gaana looking to breakeven in next 45 years

first_imgNew Delhi: Music app Gaana expects to achieve break-even in the next 4-5 years with 100 per cent year-on-year revenue growth and traction of paid users on its platform. The company is also planning to invest in non-music genre to increase the engagement time of users on the platform. Industry will become profitable when 50 per cent of Indian people start using streaming apps, and ‘paid music’ as a model becomes the norm, Gaana CEO Prashan Agarwal told PTI. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal “Our revenue have been growing 100 per cent year-on-year. We expect to reach break-even at this rate in next 4-5 years,” he added. The Times Internet Group firm expects to double the number of monthly active users on its platform to 200 million in the next two years representing around 50 per cent share of the overall market. “In next 3-4 years, we expect 500-600 million users will start using music app out of which we expect 30 million to start paying for music. This will take music streaming segment towards healthy profits. We will maintain our share of over 50 per cent in this kind of market as well,” Agarwal said. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost The company raised USD 115 million last year, which includes USD 100 million from Chinese company Tencent and USD 15 million from Times Internet. Besides music, Gaana is now expanding non-music content to enhance user engagement. “We are basically focussing on content from motivational speakers, meditation, workouts, comedy and story telling. This will enhance engagement of users on our platform,” Agarwal said. Gaana has also partnered with Google Playstore to launch an instant app for listeners who want to experience the app without actually downloading it. “This feature is targeted towards the next 100 million users coming online. We have registered a 5 per cent surge in app installs per day as more people are realising the convenience of being able to listen to their favourite songs anytime anywhere even before they download our app,” Agarwal said.last_img read more

Yukon couple accused of trying to kill cop snuggles during first court

first_imgAPTN National NewsWHITEHORSE–A Yukon RCMP detachment commander has been sent to Vancouver hospital for treatment after shots were fired during a police chase.RCMP Cpl. Kim MacKellar was injured while pursuing a vehicle near the small town of Haines Junction, which is about 160 kilometres west of Whitehorse.The RCMP says one or more shots were fired during the chase, but won’t reveal how MacKellar was injured, citing a court publication ban.Christopher Cornell, 29, and Jessica Johnson, 21, are charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, assault with a weapon and several other offences.The Whitehorse Star reported that Johnson and Cornell hugged and kissed during their first court appearance.Johnson also reportedly ran her fingers through Cornell’s hair and whispered in his ear, making Cornell smile.The two were eventually ordered separated by the Justice of the Peace.The RCMP officer, who is detachment commander in Haines Junction, was investigating a break-and-enter at Madley’s General Store Tuesday before he set off in pursuit of a vehicle.last_img read more

DJ Snake unveils new single

first_imgLos Angeles: French artiste DJ Snake has shared his new single ‘Enzo’, a hip-hop anthem featuring rappers Offset, 21 Savage, Gucci Mane and Sheck Wes. ‘Enzo’ has been released via Geffen Records. “‘Enzo’ out now. Offset, 21 Savage, Gucci Mane and Sheck Wes,” he tweeted on April 24. DJ Snake had earlier teased ‘Enzo’ as part of his set at Coachella Weekend two. Meanwhile, he will be in Las Vegas this week for the Latin Billboard Awards, where he has five nominations including Crossover Artist of the Year, Producer of the Year, and Hot Latin Song of the Year for the song ‘Taki taki’ featuring famous singers from Hollywood – Selena Gomez, Ozuna and Cardi B.last_img read more

QRTs falter in sixth phase due to lack of state police officials

first_imgKolkata: The presence of the quick response teams (QRTs) was allegedly not felt properly in the sixth phase of elections on Sunday, when eight Lok Sabha constituencies of Bengal went to polls.In previous phases, the QRTs had moved quickly to the areas where incidents of clashes were reported. But in the sixth phase, QRTs were not as quick in their movement. Various political party leaders alleged that the QRTs failed to turn up on time when there were incidents of violence in any of the eight constituencies. In previous phases of elections, the QRTs were led by state police officers as they were well acquainted with the locations of the polling booths. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaAfter some allegations surfaced against the state police force, the Election Commission tried to adopt a separate method to conduct the elections in a free and fair manner. Special Police Observer Vivek Dubey had decided to deploy Central Force officials to lead the QRTs, keeping the state police at bay. The QRTs had faced difficulties in identifying the polling booths where the clashes were reported from, as the Central Force commandants who were supposed to give them directions had no idea about the geographical locations of the polling booths. Most of the Central Force commandants were from other states. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayAs a result of this, clashes broke out outside various polling booths and the trouble could not be quelled in time. Keeping in mind the geographical locations of the districts which were once infested with Maoists, the Election Commission decided to deploy two QRTs in each police station area. Each team comprised eight jawans. There were around 547 QRTs in the sixth phase of elections and 108 additional QRTs which were led by ad hoc commandants. According to sources in the office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), the election officials in the state were not convinced with the idea of deploying Central Force commandants as the head of each QRT. The Election Commission has already submitted a report to the Election Commission of India in Delhi in this regard.last_img read more

Why Gretzky Had It Easy

One of the most interesting statistical nuggets I ran into while researching a piece about NHL goalies was the improvement in leaguewide goaltending over the past 30 years. It hasn’t just been a small improvement — the league’s save-percentage leaders during the 1980s and early 1990s put up statistics that would rate below-average in recent seasons.Here’s the league’s average save percentage since the 1983-84 season, when the NHL began tracking shots against:Save percentage rapidly increased during the so-called dead-puck era of the 1990s and early 2000s. It’s no coincidence that over that period, the NHL’s rate of scoring also dropped sharply. A lot of fans blame strategies such as the neutral-zone trap and left-wing lock for triggering the dead-puck era, but more of the blame belongs to better goalies.As for why goalies are so much better now, well, that’s a subject of much debate in hockey circles. One of the most popular explanations is that the sheer size of goaltending equipment has exploded since the 1980s. That’s hard to argue when you look at how pads have grown over time. But since pad size first became a talking point in the mid-to-late 1990s, the league has gone to some lengths (no pun intended) to police the dimensions of puck-stopping technology — and it’s had scarcely any effect on save percentages.Instead, I think a bigger reason save percentages improved so sharply in the 1990s was a dramatic change in the goaltending techniques being employed.During the 1980s, the prevailing style was still the so-called stand-up method, in which a goalie largely remains upright on his skates while making saves, using his stick and skates to stop low shots. In the middle of the decade, though, goaltending phenom Patrick Roy made his NHL debut. Emboldened by recent advances in arm and chest protectors, Roy used a different technique — the “butterfly” — wherein the goaltender drops to his knees to make saves, effectively sealing off most shooting targets along the bottom third of the net.Using the butterfly, Roy was sensational — he backstopped the Montreal Canadiens to the Stanley Cup as a 20-year-old in 1986 — and it wasn’t long before the butterfly style spread throughout the league. The effect was profound. Stand-up goalies who were the mainstays of the mid-1980s were almost completely phased out of the game within a decade, replaced by a younger generation who used the butterfly or at least a hybrid technique featuring butterfly elements.In retrospect, this seems like an obvious tactic — it’s a goaltending truism that the majority of goals are scored on shots at or near ice level — but older equipment made dropping low a dangerous proposition. Once falling to the ice became safer, goalies no longer had to rely purely on reflexes, instead being able to stop a greater percentage of low shots on technique alone. It’s no surprise that save percentages skyrocketed when one of the most common subsets of shots suddenly became much tougher.One final note: Watch the Wayne Gretzky highlight reel below and pay particular attention to the goalies in the early portion of the video, when the Great One was with the Edmonton Oilers.Compared with today’s game, you can really see the difference in goaltending technique (notice how many of the goalies tried to stop Gretzky’s shots without dropping to the ice). Modern goalies are more athletic and mobile, and, yes, their pads are plainly bigger. But they’re also using a style much more grounded in the probabilities of where pucks are shot. read more

Womens Hockey Ohio State Braendli shuts out No 1 Wisconsin in 10

Ohio State then-freshman goalie Andrea Braendli (30) prepares for a shot in the game against Minnesota State on Oct. 11. Ohio State won 4-0. Credit: Wyatt Crosher | Assistant Sports EditorOhio State freshman goalie Andrea Braendli pitched a shutout as the No. 7 Buckeyes women’s hockey team stole a victory from the No. 1 Wisconsin Badgers Friday night.Braendli made 32 saves as the Buckeyes (15-6, 9-4 WCHA) survived being outshot 32-20 to hold onto a 1-0 win against No. 1 Wisconsin (19-2, 9-2 WCHA) in the first game of a home series.Buckeyes head coach Nadine Muzerall praised her star freshman goalie for her performance against a Wisconsin team that had won 11 straight games dating back to Oct. 27.“Andrea has said numerous times that she loves to play against competitive teams,” Muzerall said. “Great players, they all want to play those types of games. Andrea is the perfect fit for our team, not just because she’s a stellar athlete, but because she’s got the right character and she’s a team-first person.”Physical play between the conference rivals began early, as a flurry of Wisconsin penalties set up an Ohio State power play goal from redshirt junior defenseman Jincy Dunne seven minutes into the period. It would prove to be the game’s lone score.Dunne’s slap shot goal was her second of the season and came courtesy of assists from sophomore forward and team points leader Emma Maltais and freshman defenseman Sophie Jaques.Faced with defending the net against the No. 2 goal-scoring attack in the nation, Braendli shut out the Badgers, who had only been held scoreless in one other game this season.Despite a stellar individual performance, Braendli credited the trust of her teammates as the catalyst for the victory.“That was a team win,” Braendli said. “They made me look good, actually. It’s amazing to play with them, it’s really an honor.”Though the Badgers entered the game with the nation’s best power play at 29.5 percent, Muzerall said it was Ohio State that gained momentum with the man advantage.In the first period, Muzerall said the four Wisconsin penalties allowed the Buckeyes scoring opportunities as Badgers rotated in and out of the penalty box.“That got us, obviously, in a rhythm,” Muzerall said. “They were all deserving. We were relentless and kept our feet moving, and when we did that we drew penalties. I think we surprised them with our speed.”Ohio State was on the defensive for most of the second and third periods, challenging Wisconsin redshirt junior goalie Kristin Campbell with just 11 shots after the first period, while the Badgers managed 13 in the third period alone.Muzerall said the shot discrepancy wasn’t a concern for the Buckeyes against a Wisconsin offense that came into the game outscoring opponents 81-23.“We weren’t concerned about what the shots were going to be, we just knew we had to play smart defensively,” Muzerall said. “We knew we couldn’t give up anything knowing how hard it is to score on Campbell and Wisconsin.”Wisconsin redshirt senior forward Annie Pankowski, No. 2 on the team in goals and points, put up just three shots on the night and snapped a seven-game goal streak.Muzerall said the upset will give the Buckeyes momentum and confidence moving forward.“People doubted us,” she said. “It’s a good way to prove to people we are the Buckeyes and we’re on the rise and we can play with the best of them.”Braendli said Ohio State will need to muster a similar performance Saturday in order to make it four-straight victories against Wisconsin dating back to last season.Ohio State will go for the series sweep as they face off with the Badgers again on Saturday at 3:07 p.m. at the OSU Ice Rink. read more

Smoke Free Workplace Bill Passes

first_imgIt passed the Senate early this morning. Written within the bill allows local communities to opt out of the proposed law via local elections. The bill sponsored by Senator Peter Micciche (R-Soldotna) passed the House 32-7 on Saturday. The measure will ban smoking on buses and in cabs, and in places including office buildings, hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. It also restricts outdoor smoking in certain areas. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Alaska Legislature has passed a statewide smoke-free workplace bill.last_img read more

Wilmington Pop Warner To Hold Registration Night On April 2

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Pop Warner is holding a Registration Night for interested football players (Grades 2-6 for next school year) and cheerleaders (Grades 2-8 for next school year) on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, from 6pm to 8pm, in the Town Hall Auditorium.All new players must have original birth certificate with seal.Fore more information and registration details, click HERE.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington Pop Warner To Hold Registration Night On April 3In “Sports”Wilmington Pop Warner To Hold Registration Night On April 24; Online Registration Now OpenIn “Sports”Wilmington Pop Warner’s Foresyth, Penney, Roberts, Smolinsky, Williams & Zaccagini Named ‘All-American Scholars’In “Sports”last_img read more

Chinese yuan to become international currency by 2020 Central Bank Governor

first_imgChina will deliver a slew of economic and financial reforms over the next five years, which will help the yuan become an international currency by 2020, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said in an article.The reforms will also include improving central bank communications and guiding market expectations to enhance monetary policy, Zhou wrote in the Caixin article published on the magazine’s website.Zhou said the government will strengthen supervision of its financial system to prevent “systemic risk”, explaining China’s proposed 13th Five-Year economic plan for the years 2016 to 2020.The comments around policy priorities come amid growing doubts in global markets about China’s commitment to see through comprehensive financial reforms.Those doubts were sparked after Beijing intervened in the stock markets during a share price rout that started in June and saw the main Shanghai Composite Index plunge as much as 40 percent.Beijing has also intervened in its currency market after an abrupt devaluation by the central bank in August caused widespread worries over the yuan’s future value.Zhou said China will foster new mechanisms to promote financial liberalisation and development, as well as “enhance the efficiency of the financial system to serve the real economy.””It will effectively use and develop financial risk control tools, and reduce levels of leverage so as to prevent systemic risk,” he said.Zhou pledged to improve central bank communications on policy intentions, but didn’t offer details on whether policy makers will provide routine briefings to accompany rate announcements similar to other developed economies.last_img read more

Suicide of physician wife confesses to illicit affairs

first_imgMustafa Morshed Akash,Tanjila Haq Chowdhury MituTanjila Haq Chowdhury Mitu, who was detained in connection with reported suicide of her husband physician Mustafa Morshed Akash, has confessed to having extramarital affairs with others, police claimed on Friday, reports UNB.She, however, kept mum about various other important issues, Chittagong Metropolitan Police’s additional deputy commissioner (South) Md Mizanur Rahman said at a press briefing in the city.”She was detained over her husband’s Facebook status before killing himself and his family’s verbal complaint,” Mizanur said.A team of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit picked Mitu up from Nandankanon on Thursday night, hours after her husband reportedly killed himself with an insulin overdose.A Chattogram court later sent her to jail when police produced her before it showing her arrest in a case filed over the incident.Victim’s mother Jobeda Khanam filed the case against six people, including Mitu, her parents and two friends, with Chandgaon police station in the afternoon, said its officer-in-charge Abul Bashar.The five other accused are Mitu’s father Anisul Haq Chowdhury, mother Shamim Shely, sister Sanjida Haq Chowdhury Alisha and two friends – Indian national Uttam Patel and Mahbubul Alam.Police said they will investigate whether any of Mitu’s friends was involved in the instigation.CTTC unit chief Mohammad Shahidullah said they had interrogated Mitu. “She has admitted to cheating and conjugal disputes but avoided answering some other questions,” he said.Police said they had seized the mobile phone used by Akash and the physician’s Facebook status about his wife has been deleted.Akash, 33, a physician of Chittagong Medical College Hospital’s medicine department, reportedly killed himself over family feud in Chandgaon residential area in the city after an altercation with his wife, also a physician who used to reside in the USA, about her alleged illicit affairs.Family members said before his apparent suicide, Akash had shared photos of his wife on his Facebook profile and wrote about her alleged extramarital affairs before announcing his decision to end his life.last_img read more

15 more jailed in Vietnam over economic zone protests

first_imgA court in Vietnam has handed out prison sentences to 15 protesters arrested during mass demonstrations last month against proposed special economic zones in the Southeast Asian country, state media reported on Tuesday.Despite sweeping reforms, communist-ruled Vietnam tolerates little dissent. The country’s constitution allows freedom of assembly, but protests are often broken up by police.At least 31 people have been jailed for taking part in the nationwide demonstrations, triggered by fears that investors from China would dominate the 99-year land leases up for development in the zones.In a trial which ended late on Monday, the People’s Court of Bien Hoa City, in the south of the country, sentenced the protesters to between eight to 18 months in prison.Five others were given 12- to 14-months probation on charges of “causing public disorder”, Voice of Vietnam Radio said.They were arrested when taking to the streets on 10 June and “caused traffic jams”, the report cited the indictment as saying.Their lawyers were not immediately available for comment.Earlier this month, 16 people were jailed under identical charges in Binh Thuan province. June’s protests had turned violent in the province, with protesters hurling bricks and petrol bombs at police.Monday’s trial came less than two weeks after a court in Ho Chi Minh City ordered the release and deportation of William Anh Nguyen, 32, an American man of Vietnamese descent who was also arrested for “causing public disorder” during the protests.”They have done nothing wrong,” Nguyen wrote on his twitter account after Monday’s sentencing. “The fight for justice and democracy continues”.last_img read more

Learning About Diversity And Deescalation Tactics Is Part of Police Training In

first_imgListen Al OrtizImmigration lawyer Silvia Mintz (right) gave a lecture to cadets from the Houston Police Department when they visited the Denver Harbor Multi-Service Center, which is located in a part of Houston where many residents are immigrants from Latin American countries, as part of HPD’s diversity tour initiative.The quality of the training of police officers in Texas has been in the spotlight recently and incidents such as the arrest of Sandra Bland in Waller County last year and the shooting of Alva Braziel in Houston this past summer have raised questions about how law enforcement deals with diversity and de-escalation tactics.One of the measures the Houston Police Department has taken recently is a tour of the city to teach cadets about its diversity.The tour makes stops in African-American, Asian, Latino and Muslim neighborhoods.“We recruit nationwide and, so, many cadets don’t really understand the history of Houston and, so, we’ll take them out to Acres Homes, we’ll take them out to Meyerland, we’ll take them out to the Fifth Ward and community members will engage them and speak with them and then they’ll take the bus tour and kind of get a cultural history of Houston,” explains Assistant Chief Charlie Vazquez, who oversees the Professional Development Command at HPD.Vazquez says learning about Houston’s diversity is useful for the cadets because they are introduced to members of the community who can help them establish trust in the groups they will be working with and that is a trust that eventually should lead to more effective policing.Cadet Egla Flores says the tour allows trainees to learn small details that will help them when they interact with the public.She gives an example of something she learned at the Islamic Society of Greater Houston when she took the tour.“If we try to shake the woman’s hand they probably wouldn’t shake our hand, they would place their hands over their chest. It’s just little things that we learn from different communities,” Flores notes.But Houston is not the only city where police officers learn about diversity.The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement requires that diversity and multiculturalism are part of the curriculum used for the basic training all police officers go through in the state.The courses are a reflection of the changing demographics in the United States because of the growth of minorities and they also teach why police officers must avoid racial profiling.There is also a class on basic Spanish due to the large Latino population of Texas.“My sense is that minimal requirements for understanding diverse peoples are probably being met adequately across the board,” comments Phillip Lyons, dean at the Criminal Justice College of Sam Houston State University.Lyons also thinks initiatives like HPD’s diversity course represent an added value for the training of its future officers.In addition to diversity, the concept of de-escalation has also become an increasingly important component of the training through the years.“I think the actions of the police have come under heightened scrutiny as it relates to how we deal with folks who have mental health problems or who are in crisis and, as a result of that, there is more attention given to training,” Lyons adds.Some of the tools police officers are instructed to use to de-escalate tense situations are prioritizing self-control and not behaving in an aggressive or condescending way, but paying attention to the nuances of non-verbal communication for certain communities can also be important.For example, officers are taught that some Latinos may prefer not to make eye contact not because they are lying, but because it is the way they show respect.Knowing how to work around personal space is relevant as well.Officer C.K. Traxler, who works for the Pasadena Police Department and teaches crisis intervention, explains that they teach cadets and police officers who go through training “to look for signs of stress in the person as you are approaching and if you see their stress level going up, you stop at that point or maybe even back up a little bit to reduce the stress that they’re already feeling.”Police officers frequently conduct traffic stops, which can present situations that turn confrontational and those are situations in which the training is useful.The protocol for police officers is that they must always say what is the reason for the stop and allow the driver to give an explanation for the traffic violation the officer deems he or she has committed, which can lower the stress of the situation. 00:00 /04:07 X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharelast_img read more

DC Jazz Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Top Artists

first_imgEsperanza Spalding will perform at the DC Jazz Festival.The DC Jazz Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year with over 125 performances across more than 60 venues throughout the Washington area. The festivities run from June 10 to June 16 and aid in the DC Jazz Festival’s mission to diversify the jazz audience and expand its following.The festival lineup will feature the musical styling of a variety of artists, including the Afro Horn Sextet, The Bad Trio plus renowned saxophonist Joshua Redman, the Charlie Hunter Trio, Academy Award-winning rapper Common, the seven-member Cookers band, and bassist/singer/composer sensation Esperanza Spalding as well as up and coming talent.Since its inception, the festival has sought to provide, “enriching and entertaining jazz performances and programs that introduce students and adults from all walks of life to jazz, our nation’s singular original art form,” according to its organizers.Joshua Redman will perform at the DC Jazz Festival.The festival also offers “pay-as-you-can” and free performances throughout the week as part of one of its major features, Jazz in the ‘Hoods.In its fifth consecutive year, this series partners with varies venues throughout Washington – from local clubs to galleries to bring the musical influences of jazz to communities that might not otherwise have the exposure.Common will perform at the DC Jazz Festival.This is especially true for the East River JazzFest, which caters specifically to residents of Ward 7 and Ward 8, both east of the Anacostia River, where performances will be held at local libraries and senior wellness centers.Other festival programs include DC JazzFest at the Yards June 12 and 13 in Yards Park at Capital Riverfront, DC JazzFest at the Hamilton hotel from June 10 to 16 and the Capital Bop DC Jazz Loft Series from June 11 to 13.The festival also features an education component through its Roberta Flack Education Program. One is Jazz for a Healthier Generation, which uses the genre to promote a healthier lifestyle and encouragement for the ill. Another is Jazzin’ at Sitar, “a year-round weekly instrument and jazz history sessions for Sitar music students,” according to dcjazzfest.org.For more information on DC Jazz Festival, including event schedules and artist biographies, visit the official website, www.dcjazzfest.org.last_img read more

Sony is considering a PS3PS Vita bundle

first_imgIt looks like there could be a new PlayStation bundle on the way, which would include both the PS3 and the Vita. That’s the suggestion of Fergal Gara, the PlayStation UK managing director.When he was questioned in a recent interview with CVG on whether the PS3 and Vita will ever be bundled together, Gara said it wouldn’t be out of the question and that such a bundle could even happen this Christmas. He even went so far as to suggest the bundle could include games that feature cross-play as well as a PS Plus subscription, which of course would work on both your PS3 and Vita. Gara also said Sony wants to promote the partnership between PS3 and the Vita, but was unsure if creating a bundle would be the best way to do that.Personally, I believe it’s the perfect way to do that. Sony is aiming to make people realize the Vita is the perfect partner for your PS3 with cross-play, cross-buy, and now a shared PlayStation Plus subscription. However, a Vita/PS3 bundle would be expensive and would cost consumers at least $500. That’s a lot to spend on someone, even at Christmas, hence the reason why Gara is a bit unsure such a bundle would be the best idea.Sony will be up against a tough opponent in the form of the Wii U this Christmas, and it might be the last oppertunity the Vita gets to do well at its current price point. Sony is currently pushing the cross-play function more than ever to show the Vita can do just as much as the Wii U’s new gamepad. Will it win over consumers? We’ll find out as 2013 rolls around.via CVGlast_img read more

CBI has become BJPs policing agency alleges Mamata Banerjee

first_imgNew Delhi: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Wednesday alleged that the Criminal Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has become the BJP’s policing agency. The Trinamool Congress chief’s remarks come amid the ongoing spat between two top officers of the agency. “CBI has now become so called BBI (BJP Bureau of Investigation) – very unfortunate!” Banerjee tweeted. The government has divested CBI Director Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana of all powers amid the ongoing spat between them, sources said, calling it the first such case in the history of the agency. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The prime minister-led Appointments Committee Tuesday night gave charge of the director to Joint Director M Nageshwara Rao with immediate effect, a government order said. According to the law, the CBI director is appointed for a fixed tenure of two years. Earlier, Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wondered if Verma was “sacked” for his keenness to probe the “layers of corruption” in the Rafale scam and sought an answer from Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There was no immediate comment either from the government or the ruling BJP on the allegations levelled by opposition parties.last_img read more

A tribute to Kishore Kumar

first_imgTo pay tribute to the legendary playback singer – Kishore Kumar, the Kishore Kumar Memorial Club organised a cultural programme at Pyarelal Bhawan, New Delhi recently. The programme was inaugurated jointly by an eminent promoter of Art and Culture in the country –Lala Ram and Amarjeet Singh Kohli, who is the Chairman of the organisation ‘Sakha’. K J Alphons, Tourism Minister, Government of India was invited as the Chief Guest at the event. Besides, the 17th Kishor Kumar Awards were also conferred to deserving artists who were present on the occasion in his memory. Apart from that, The Tourism Minister also released the book written by Kamal Dhiman on the life and times of Kishore Kumar ‘Filmmaker Kishor Kumar’ on the occasion. A rare Photo Exhibition on the life and works of Kishor Kumar was also organised on the occasion to commemorate this great play back singer of the country.last_img read more

Industry Acadmia conclave begins at VIT

first_imgVELLORE: Internet of Things 2018 – an Industry Academia conclave began at Vellore Institute of Technology. R K Shenoy, Senior Vice President at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Private Limited, inaugurated the event at Kamaraj Auditorium recently. Anand A Samuel, Vice Chancellor of VIT and Anil Prakash, General Manager, Training and Development, Global Mobility, University Relation of Robert Bosch were also present at the ceremony organised by the School of Electronics Engineering (SENSE). Also Read – Add new books to your shelfElizabeth Rufus, Dean of SENSE, welcomed the gathering along with M Arun, event coordinator, who outlined the objectives of the conclave and Professor P Karthikeyan who thanked the gathering. Presiding over the function, Dr G Viswanathan, Founder and Chancellor of VIT, said that the Industry Academia Conclave was being held at VIT for the second year in a row. Towards this endeavour, VIT had tied up with over 1,000 industries and had also taken up research that was required for these industries. Further, they also provided opportunities for people to take up research at the University. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDr Viswanathan said that such industrial academic tie-ups would pave the way for devising means to increase industrial production and also to establish new methods to devise low cost means while at the same time implement high-end technological processes in industrial production. Along with an increased output in agricultural sector and growth of industries, India would become a developed nation. In his address, Shenoy said that it was very important for industries to work closely with educational institutions for increasing production and also for creating new innovations. The impact of these findings will significantly improve the quality of life of people. He said that there were many industries that were struggling to devise new means of production. And, adding that such conclaves would help in addressing the problem. More than 300 academicians, industry representatives, experts, young research scholars and students are taking part in the event, where the speakers would be discussing and also exchanging ideas on subjects like cloud computing, data analytics, security and block chain.last_img read more

How Bots Can Benefit Businesses According to Messengers Director of Global Partnerships

first_img 8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Bots are the talk of the town, and Anand Chandrasekaran is helping to create the buzz. The former CPO of both SnapDeal and Bharti Airtel, the third largest mobile provider in the world, has plenty of experience with big ideas and global strategy. But he has really been stretching his wings as Global Director of Platforms and Product Partnerships for Messenger at Facebook. With the integration of open-API bots into Messenger, Facebook’s marketing strategy has changed considerably, and Chandrasekaran was kind enough to share some of those thoughts with me.In part two of a two-part, in-person interview, I asked Chandrasekaran about how businesses can best benefit from chatbot technology, and to share some of the use cases he’s seen that have stood out as the most innovative and successful.Newlands: How can businesses and entrepreneurs benefit from understanding how bots work with Messenger?Chandrasekaran: The bot can be the solution, but that’s after first defining what the problem is.If you’re a brand, entrepreneur or developer — using those words interchangeably — there are over 1.2 billion monthly users on Messenger, and they are using Messenger for a greater amount of time every day.If you’re an entrepreneur, this is a platform that you can’t afford to ignore. The way we think about it is, it’s your customers who are on that platform. Wherever you are on that spectrum, if you’re a developer, a brand, or selling a digital service, it’s your customers, fans and users who are on that platform. That is the main benefit for anyone who is looking at Messenger.Related: Top 10 Best Chatbot Platform Tools to Build Chatbots for Your BusinessNewlands: It seems that some bots struggle to be an effective and engaging experience – why is this? And what are solutions for that?Chandrasekaran: I wouldn’t necessarily define this notion as “struggling”, but I will say that when the purpose of the bot is not well-defined, it leaves the user with too many options. Like I said before, our best practices for developers is to always to start with a problem to solve, because when you define the problem very clearly, it becomes very obvious what part of makes sense to automate. That’s when AI functions very well.One of my favorite bots is called Brew the Way; they’ve had iterations of the the bot where it says, “Do you want to buy a coffee, or do you want to fool around?” The joke is that almost everyone who uses a bot wants to trick the bot into doing something silly — it’s everyone’s favorite trick. But what we find is when the goal is clearer, the bot does the fantastic job. So when the bot introduces an experience like, “If you want to order a coffee, here are three steps, but if you want to just play around, we can take you there.” Then they do fantastic job of setting expectations clearly and creating an experience of play that’s fun and engaging for the user, rather than making the bot completely open-ended.Related: How to Create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot For Free Without CodingNewlands: What are some of the advantages that AI and bots provide for businesses? Chandrasekaran: AI allows people to solve basic problems. Sometimes people ask some very basic questions, many of them repetitive, and those are problems best suited for AI to solve. Especially where there is training data available, and there is a use case that is fairly repetitive on top of that training data; even something like, “Are you open right now?” That’s a fairly easy question for an automated system to answer without a human getting involved.One compelling success story is Globe Telecom in the Philippines. They have a hybrid bot called Gie that they’ve given a personality, a woman with a playful nature. When people ask the most obvious questions like, “Can you show me what my balance is,” or “What are your most popular plans,” those don’t necessary need to be escalated to a live person, because they will probably give the same answer. They’ve built an AI layer to respond to those questions promptly. Gie also has the ability to know when the question is a bit personalized or complicated, and can say, “Can you hold on a bit while I ask for a live person?” The question is passed thoughtfully to a human, and then the human can answer the question and pass control back to the bot. What we find is these kinds of purpose-built AI end up being super valuable for developers.You may know that about 15 or 16 months ago we acquired a NLP engine called wit.ai which we use for basic heuristics and basic NLP. It is doing extremely well, and powering a large chunk of AI and NLP today on top of Messenger.Related: 7 Ways Chatbots Can Benefit Your Marketing StrategyNewlands: What about sales?Chandrasekaran: With sales we try to narrow the definition of the problem even more. Sales for a developer is customer acquisition; sales for a commerce provider is revenue; sales for someone who tries to generate awareness is like someone coming back and re-engaging. What we try to do is, regardless of the size of partners or the entrepreneurs that we speak with, we try to sculpt the problem down to: What is the problem statement, and what does success look like? Because the more generic the problem, the harder it is to measure if the project was successful or not.Related: Social Media Marketing Strategies With ChatbotsNewlands: Where are customers engaging with Messenger and what are the business cases of engaging with Messenger? How do you see people do that?Chandrasekaran: If you look at the funnel of interacting with customers, they are engaging throughout that funnel, depending on where you slice it. On the top end of the funnel it’s just generating awareness. At Facebook, we talk about this “generating awareness” case study of Call of Duty. They created a Messenger experience when they launched the game where you answered a bunch of questions in character and in the same language as the game, and if you answered all those questions correctly, you got an unlock code to see the trailer of the next game. If you are Call of Duty fan, it’s awesome that you got an exclusive piece of content for engaging with the Messenger bot. It was purely awareness generation, just to create buzz for the game coming out, and they were able to see about 6 million messages within 24 hours of launching the game, purely with the bot from Messenger.Similarly, we have seen companies like Swelly and SnapTravel succeed on Messenger. They’ve gotten to a place where they are primarily focusing on Messenger as the only thing on which they spend developmental resources. This is, of course, music to our ears, because when you think about where you’re going to find your first five to 10 million users, you can’t put too many of your eggs in one basket or you get into an iteration cycle. It’s great that they choose Messenger, because consumers are there and they are looking for great experiences. These companies are getting a lot of success both in terms of user growth as well as revenue on the platform.The last use case I see towards the second half of the cycle is customer care. The comparison between calling a number, being on hold, and giving them a lot of context information and just pinging a business on Messenger to get a response back is incredible. The awesome thing is that messaging between two people doesn’t need to be synchronous. A customer can go and get dinner and come back to respond to the message, or the agent could look it up, take five minutes and respond. It’s not like they need to respond right away on the phone, so it plays with human nature a bit more and it’s also super convenient. From an agent or call center perspective, we have a couple case studies — like Rogers Telecom in Canada. They actually got a 65% increase in CSAT by using Messenger as a channel.If you look at awareness generation, enabling new functionality, acquiring customers, and well as customer care, those are the four top areas where businesses can really utilize Messenger. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global April 21, 2017 Register Now »last_img read more

Live News traffic and weather updates for North Staffordshire South Cheshire on

first_imgHello and welcome to StokeonTrentLive’s breaking news service bringing you all the latest updates from Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire on Monday, February 18. Our team of reporters will be updating this live service with all the latest on the traffic and travel and weather updates – as well as news and entertainment through the day. We’ll be bringing you the very latest updates in our live news feed below. For the latest news and breaking news visit www.stokeontrentlive.co.uk Get all the big headlines, pictures, analysis, opinion and video on the stories that matter to you. Follow us on Twitter @SOTLive – the official Sentinel account – real news in real time. We’re also on Facebook – your must-see news, features, videos and pictures throughout Stoke-on-Trent, North Staffordshire & South Cheshire. Want to tell us about something going on where you live? Let us know – Tweet us @SOTLive or message us on our Facebook page . And if you have pictures to share, tag us on Instagram at StokeonTrentLive . 22:23M6 StaffordshireDelays cleared, earlier accident on M6 Northbound from J14 A34 (Stafford North) to J15 A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent).Lane one (of three) was closed for recovery work until around 21:45. Lane two re-opened at around 21:25. 20:28Planned roadworks20:19Live: Two lanes closed on M6 due to ‘multi-vehicle collision’ (Image: Highways England)Traffic had to be temporarily held on the M6 because of a ‘multi-vehicle collision’.The busy motorway had to be closed on the northbound carriageway between junction 14, Stafford North, and junction 15, Stoke-on-Trent, at 8pm this evening.Read more.19:27A34 Trent ValeSlow traffic on A34 Newcastle Road between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange).19:21A50 accident A50 Eastbound partially blocked, queuing traffic due to accident, three vehicles involved at A5007 Victoria Place Link (Heron Cross / Fenton). Traffic is building towards A500 D Road, Officers on scene are currently awaiting recovery. 18:30M6 StaffordshireOne lane closed and slow traffic due to broken down lorry on M6 Northbound between M6 (Stafford Services) and J15 A500 D Road (Stoke-On-Trent). Lane one (of three) is closed. Stafford Services is located between J14 and J15.18:08A34 Trent ValeSlow traffic on A34 Newcastle Road between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). 17:41A500 D RoadUsual congestion on A500 D Road Southbound before M6 J15. 16:54Longport trafficUsual congestion on Brownhills Road / Davenport Street / Newcastle Street between A500 (Porthill Bank) and Tunstall. 16:29Moorland RoadMoorland Road busy but moving at A5272 High Lane / A5272 Hanley Road / Bank Hall Road (Smallthorne Roundabout).16:27A50 westboundQueuing traffic on A50 Westbound from Meir Tunnel towards the A500 D Road (Sideway Roundabout). 16:27A500 delaysHeavy traffic on A500 Queensway Northbound between A53 Etruria Road (Basford Roundabout) and A527 Porthill Road (Porthill Bank). Travel time is four minutes.16:03Chell StreetA5272 Chell Street busy but moving at A5272 Merrick Street / B5047 Hulton Street (Providence Square).16:02Old Mill Road, SandbachVery slow traffic on A534 Old Mill Road in both directions at M6 J17 (Sandbach / Crewe). Not helped by the M6 delays.15:32Porthill Road A527 Porthill Road clear at A500 D Road / Longbridge Hayes Road / Longbridge Hayes Road (Porthill Bank). 15:15Werrington Road, Bucknall A52 Werrington Road Westbound busy but moving before A52 Leek Road (Lime Kiln Traffic Lights). 15:09CrossCountry TrainsTrains not stopping between Stoke-on-Trent and Stockport and delays and some cancellations on CrossCountry Northbound between Stockport and Macclesfield due to points failure at Cheadle Hulme. Some services may be delayed or diverted via Crewe. 15:06A34 Trent ValeUsual congestion on A34 Newcastle Road between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). 13:16Slow traffic on A34 Newcastle Road between Springfield Retail Park and A500 D Road (Hanford Interchange). 13:16If you are heading north from the Midlands to the North West this afternoon, Long/Severe delays emerging #M6 J16 – J17 due to multi-vehicle collision. You may wish to consider your route, further details here: https://t.co/xXk9Eww6WB https://t.co/ylZsIuqYYq— Highways England (@HighwaysWMIDS) February 18, 201913:13#M6 J16 to J17 NORTHBOUND Multi vehicle RTCDue to the diesel spillage the c/way will need treating before we can open it as it is not safe for us to allow traffic to passIt is anticipated it will remain closed for the next couple of hoursPlease find an alternative route pic.twitter.com/IamwYcwuVB— North West Motorway Police (@NWmwaypolice) February 18, 201913:12Severe delays on M6The M6 northbound has severe delays of at least 90 minutes between J16 (Stoke-on-Trent/A500) and J17 (Sandbach) due to a multi-vehicle collision incident. Police and Highways England resources are working to clear the incident. All traffic is now stopped on the northbound carriageway between J16 and J17 with severe delays continuing to build.Strategic traffic heading to the North West from the Midlands and South regions this afternoon may wish consider alternative strategic routes.Road users should allow extra time for your journey.12:44Car fire at Sandbach servicesThe scene at Sandbach services (Image: Cheshire Police/Cheshire HGV Cops)More here.12:43One lane blocked and queueing traffic due to multi-vehicle accident on M6 Northbound between J16 A500 (Stoke-On-Trent / Crewe) and J17 A534 Old Mill Road (Sandbach / Crewe). In the roadworks area.Cameras show lanes one and three (of three) are blocked. Traffic is squeezing through using lane two. 12:03A5272 Chell Street clear at A5272 Merrick Street / B5047 Hulton Street (Providence Square). 12:03A527 Biddulph Road coming from Brinley Ford Southbound clear at A5272 High Lane roundabout. 10:19A527 Biddulph Road coming from Brinley Ford Southbound clear at A5272 High Lane roundabout. 09:28A500 fully open again now. Thanks— PenkhullPC (@PenkhullPC) February 18, 201909:09Police have closed the A500 after a man fell from a bridgeThe scene on the A500 (Image: Steven Brown)More here.08:39A500 D Road Northbound closed, stationary traffic due to police incident from B5045 to A53 Etruria Road (Basford Roundabout).Closed from 08:30.last_img read more

The launch of SESs latest satellite SES4 has bee

first_imgThe launch of SES’s latest satellite SES-4 has been rescheduled for February 15. It had originally been set for a December launch but was delayed due to last-minute technical problems.Equipped with 52 C-band and 72 Ku-band transponders, SES-4 will launch from Baikonur, Kazakhstan at 01:36 local time. It has C-band beams serving the eastern hemisphere of Europe and Africa, full coverage of the Americas, and a global beam to support mobile and maritime customers. Four high-power, regional Ku-band beams will provide service to Europe, the Middle East, West Africa as well as North and South America with channel switching capability between C- and Ku-band. It will replace the NSS-7 satellite at 338° East.last_img read more