BHP selects DNV GL as Verification Body and Classification Society for Trion FPU. (Credit: DNV GL.) DNV GL will verify that the new infrastructure built for the BHP Trion project is compliant with local and global safety, as well as other requirements. The Verification Body and Classification contract specifies DNV GL, the leading independent expert in risk management and quality assurance, to participate in design review activities and site surveillance during construction, commissioning, and installation of the floating production unit (FPU).DNV GL announced it has been awarded a multidisciplinary contract by BHP Billiton Petróleo Operaciones de México, S. De R.L. De C.V. (BHP) to provide classification, verification, and independent analysis of the Trion FPU. Located approximately 19 miles (35 kilometers) south of the U.S./Mexico border and approximately 112 miles (200 kilometers) from the Mexican coastline, the FPU will be installed in a water depth of approximately 8,200 feet (2,500 meters). BHP holds a 60% interest in the development and PEMEX a 40% interest.“The Trion oil field development is historic in the Mexican gulf and a milestone for all of us involved,” said Frank Ketelaars, Regional Manager, Americas, DNV GL – Oil & Gas. “It is indeed a recognition of DNV GL for our competence in professionally executing mega projects of this scale internationally. DNV GL is honored to be the Classification Society involved in such a significant project, and we look forward to the growth of our partnership with BHP for years to come.”The contracted verification scope DNV GL will carry out includes full project compliance to the Mexican offshore regulations, NOMs (Official Mexican) standards and BHP’s safety case requirements. The scope of work also includes several independent analyses from DNV GL to be conducted during the front-end engineering design and detailed design phase of the project.“I am delighted BHP has recognized that we possess the technical expertise and knowledge, particularly with respect to local regulatory requirements, to assure the safety and compliance for this deepwater project,” concluded Ketelaars. “We have worked with BHP on many different projects around the world and this contract win is a sign of the strength of our relationship with BHP in the Americas.” Source: Company Press Release The work also includes several independent analyses from DNV GL to be conducted during the front-end engineering design and detailed design phase of the project
An Oxford professor has attributed a spike in the sales of fondue sets to the global financial crisis, geopolitical tensions in the Korean peninsula, and Brexit.The traditional Swiss dish has seen something of a comeback in recent times, with retailer John Lewis seeing a tripling of sales last year, as online hits for cheese fondue recipes soar.While the reason for this surge in popularity is still up for debate, food psychology expert and fellow at Somerville College, Charles Spence, has claimed that Brexit and North Korea might be responsible for the fondue renaissance.Writing in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science, Spence said that the sales spike may seem surprising at first “given that fondue doesn’t fit with either current trends toward healthy eating or the rise of more Instagrammable dishes”.However, he goes on to argue the fondue craze can be better explained as an embodiment of social angst about the future – prompted by events such as Brexit.He notes: “The nostalgic (reassuring) element of fondue may be particularly appropriate at the present time when the world seems like such an unpredictable and dangerous place, what with the recent global financial crisis, the North Korean situation, Brexit, the Migrant Crisis, etc.“In this sense, [Claus-Christian] Carbon’s observation that consumers tend to shift toward rounder cars at times when world seems like a dangerous place, and toward more angular forms when all is well with the world may be relevant.“It would not seem unreasonable, I think, to suggest that nostalgic comfort foods become more appealing/fashionable at those times of local/global uncertainty too.”Professor Spence, who is also known for helping design many of Heston Blumenthal’s famous dishes, also believes the Swiss origins of fondue are particularly pertinent from a “gastrodiplomacy” perspective.“One can’t help feeling that at a time when the UK is figuring out if/how to separate from the rest of Europe, that this nostalgic food stands originates from a part of Europe that stands outside the European Union but is still connected with the rest of the EU in much the way that many Brits would hope to achieve.“Perhaps, then, the resurgence of the fondue can partly be explained by Brits trying, implicitly or otherwise, to convey an impression, or identity, through the food we eat of the future we would like for ourselves.“In this regard it would be hard to imagine Black Forest Gateaux, Brie, or Bratwurst having anything like the same appeal at the present time here in the UK.”Spence also speculates that the practice of dipping bread into gooey cheese is key to the dish’s revival, noting that it is well established that a person enjoys food more when they feel they have helped create it – a phenomenon known as the ‘IKEA effect’.“One can, of course, argue about whether dipping pieces of meat into hot oil or stale bread into a bubbling pot of gloopy cheese really counts as participatory, but it certainly seems like an idea worth countenancing.”
For the sixth year, students from kindergarten to fifth grade got a sneak preview of Ocean City’s Quiet Festival on Thursday afternoon.Lily Floras, 6, shows off her paper aircraft.Participants in the Ocean City Tabernacle Son Club After-School Program made, decorated and flew paper airplanes — the quietest of aviation pursuits.Ken and Betty Thorpe showed children how to fly the planes, and they ran contests that measured distance and accuracy (tossing a plane through a bull’s eye target).Ocean City Public Relations Director Mark Soifer said he first met Ken Thorpe at the Ocean City Airport Festival, where the pilot was volunteering to run similar paper plane contests. Soifer said he figured paper planes would be a natural for the festival.The annual Quiet Festival — Ocean City’s tribute to all things soothing, serene and silent — takes place on Friday and Saturday.Quiet Festival opening ceremonies are set for the Gazebo Park across from City Hall at Ninth Street and Asbury Avenue starting at noon on Friday (Nov 13).The Quiet Pet Contest, Snore at Shore, Turtle Singers, Beadamania and many other quiet events will be held in the Senior Center at the Ocean City Community Center, 17th Street and Simpson Avenue, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday (Nov. 14).See full schedule in the PDF below.Ocean City’s Son Club expanded last year to include kindergarten and first-graders, and now includes K-8 students, according to Eric Hitchner, director of family and community relations for the Tabernacle.The event was a hit with the waves of students that came to participate on Thursday.Download (PDF, 123KB) Jesus Serrano, 6, takes aim at a target with a little guidance from Ken Thorpe on Thursday at the Ocean City Tabernacle’s Kull Youth Center.
Get well soon, Lindsey! Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham recently underwent open heart surgery, which resulted in the 69-year old musician damaging his vocal cords.Buckingham’s wife, Kristen, shared the news in a length statement. She explains,I am sad to say that late last week Lindsey underwent emergency open heart surgery. He is now recuperating and home and each day he is stronger than the last. While he and his heart are doing well, the surgery resulted in vocal cord damage. While it is unclear if this damage is permanent, we are hopeful it is not.Last April, news broke that Buckingham had been fired by Fleetwood Mac after decades with the group. Shortly thereafter, Buckingham’s former Fleetwood Mac bandmate and longtime romantic companion Stevie Nicks expounded on the band’s decision to part ways with Lindsey in an interview with Rolling Stone.A few weeks later, Buckingham broke his silence on his dismissal from Fleetwood Mac to his audience at a solo performance, noting,It’s been an interesting time on a lot of levels. For me, personally, probably some of you know that for the last three months I have sadly taken leave of my band of 43 years, Fleetwood Mac. This was not something that was really my doing or my choice.I think what you would say is that there were factions within the band that had lost their perspective [a female fan shouts, ‘F **k Stevie Nicks!,’ prompting Buckingham to raise his hand]. Well, it doesn’t really matter.The point is that they’d lost their perspective. What that did was to harm — and this is the only thing I’m really sad about, the rest of it becomes an opportunity — it harmed the 43-year legacy that we had worked so hard to build [another admirer chimes in, ‘That you built, Lindsey’]. That legacy was really about rising above difficulties in order to fulfill one’s higher truth and one’s higher destiny.Read Kristen Buckingham’s full statement regarding Lindsey’s surgery below, as well as some of her sentiments towards the couple’s last year.
How can Artificial Intelligence save you money? There is no shortage of ideas in which we might be able to use Machine Learning to change the way our businesses operate. This is certainly the case for many of the world’s leading retailers who are looking at how to use Machine Learning to improve the overall operations of their business on many different fronts, from the edge to the core to the cloud. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of how we’re able to provide a Machine Learning solution to enhance the shopping experience in partnership with Malong and their RetailAI software stack. We are excited to share a tangible, working use case to show how Dell Technologies, in conjunction with NVIDIA’s GPU-accelerated EGX platforms, provide an unmatched experience in terms of inference throughput and latency.What is Machine Learning? Machine Learning is just as it sounds: a machine that can learn. Simply put, it is teaching a computer to learn and make decisions based on its learning. And in the retail world, it can cut costs and save time.Figure 1 – Rethinking LossDeploying Machine Learning Deploying Machine Learning at the edge isn’t as easy as training a model and testing it with data from the real world, also known as a “test set”. There is still a process that needs to be followed much like modern software stacks and this looks and feels like what is known as Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). NVIDIA’s EGX platform simplifies this process by providing a set of tools, utilities, and packaging spanning model training, deployment, and monitoring, while at the same time providing unmatched performance within the industry for Deep Learning workloads. The familiar challenges of configuring and deploying the many versions of hardware drivers along with version of NVIDIA CUDA and CuDNN has been solved by NVIDIA through their EGX [Fig 1] platform from hardware drivers on through to Kubernetes specific plugins. The EGX platform pushes this one step further and also provides vertical specific solutions such as healthcare and smart cities, or in this case retail, specifically using the NVIDIA DeepStream SDK. DeepStream streamlines the tools, utilities, and processes required to deploy a use case such as this. Figure 2 provides a quick visual overview of the architecture of the ML pipeline.Figure 2Dell Technologies is the number one technology infrastructure provider, providing an end-to-end portfolio in networking, compute, and storage and there is no denying the need for all of these components in a production Machine Learning scenario. Throughput of an end-to-end Machine Learning pipeline depends on the throughput of all constituent components of the system. Dell and NVIDIA continue to showcase their performance as outlined below.Figure 3In this use case we will be utilizing the Dell PowerEdge R7425 [Fig 3], which is our latest 2-socket, 2U rack server. It was designed specifically with an eye on complex workloads that require different properties of compute such as scalable memory, CPU, and networking options. This platform also allows for flexible storage requirements in the myriad environments that it’s deployed, and anyone who has been in production environments for any amount of time understands how variable these environments are. This is at the heart of why we designed and engineered such a flexible platform to begin with.The modularity and scalability of this platform enables scaling up and down respective of the requirements of the environment. Within this platform we’re also leveraging NVIDIA T4 [Fig 4] accelerators that afford us access to Tensor Core technology and it’s multi-precision capabilities to speed up inference on our platform.Figure 4Malong AIWhen we leverage everything outlined above we are able to realize the impact that these technologies have on how we own and operate our businesses today. In our partnership with Malong AI we are able to utilize the Dell Technologies and NVIDIA platforms described above to accelerate the identification of fraudulent scanning of items on Self Check Out (SCO) lanes in a retail environment. There are many ways in which a person can attempt to perform scan fraud with respect to an SCO system. Some of the most common include mistakenly (or intentionally) failing to scan a barcode on an item. While others are more nefarious in that a person will perform something called “ticket switching” and replace the barcode of the item they’re scanning with something less expensive.Malong’s technology comes into play leveraging Deep Neural Network based computer vision methods to classify the items that are scanned and identifying whether or not the correct SKU is registered within the SCO system. It is important to note, as well, that Malong’s model is one of the best performing _for this task_ in the world, winning the 2017 WebVision competition by a wide margin of a relative error of 50%. This model runs on top of the Dell EMC PowerEdge R7425 shown in figure 3, which also contains the NVIDIA T4 GPU shown in figure 3. The Malong AI software stack is built on top of NVIDIA Metropolis, which is part of the Smart City solutions encompassed by the EGX platform. Combined, these solutions from Dell and NVIDIA allow an end-to-end Machine Learning pipeline to be run physically on-site in a given retail outlet. This is the quintessential definition of an edge deployment and it proves to provide immense value to those retailers willing to re-think the way they approach loss prevention.In Figure 5, we can see the performance numbers of this platform for this use case.Figure 5Between utilizing the Turing architecture of the NVIDIA T4 GPU and some optimization respective to TensorRT, we’re able to provide a 480%+ increase in throughput of the pipeline. This time savings quickly translates to less lost revenue from product either innocently or intentionally being mis-scanned. Which in turn translates to real savings for retailers who face these loss-prevention challenges day in and day out.Dell Technologies and NVIDIA, along with their large partnership ecosystems, are the perfect fit to help with your digital transformation leveraging Machine Learning to help your retail company save time and money at the edge, within your loss-prevention strategies and investments. H. Zhao, O. Gallo, I. Frosio and J. Kautz, “Loss Functions for Image Restoration with Neural Networks,” in IEEE Transactions on Computational Imaging, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 47-57, March 2017 L. J. Buturovic and L. T. Citkusev, “Back propagation and forward propagation,” [Proceedings 1992] IJCNN International Joint Conference on Neural Networks, Baltimore, MD, 1992, pp. 486-491 vol.4. S. Guo, W. Huang, H. Zhang, C. Zhuang, D. Dong, M. R. Scott, and D. Huang. “Curriculum Net: Weakly Supervised Learning from Large-Scale Web Images,” in the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV), September 2018. B. Patel, M. Scott, H. Wei. “Retail Analytics with Malong RetailAI® on DELL EMC PowerEdge servers” October 2019.
Image by Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.ALBANY — While the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Western New York are declining, they are not where state officials want them, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said late Monday morning in a press conference.“It appears to be stabilized right now,” Cuomo said. “We would like to get it down lower but it is day by day. It’s stone by stone across the morass.”Regional numbers have been between .9 and 1.6 the last few days, but Cuomo wants the numbers to fall below 1 percent of positive cases.“We have dispatched teams, we’ve worked very hard on the messaging around compliance, we’ve stepped up operation on bars etcetera,” he said. “It appears to be having an effect, the numbers have been under 2 percent for a couple of weeks,” he said.“You’re only as good as your performance yesterday. We’re going to keep the caution flag out because it is higher than we’d like to see,” Cuomo said. “We’d like to see it under 1 percent and they are at 1.6.” Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)
5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr A U.S. Senate bill that would limit federal banking regulators’ ability to restrict depository institutions from entering into or maintaining a relationship with specific customers unless certain criteria are met has the full support of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). The Financial Institution Consumer Protection Act of 2016 (S. 2790) is a companion to H.R. 766, which passed the House in February.Specifically, the bill would place limits on the Department of Justice’s Operation Choke Point, which allows investigations of financial institutions and payment-processing companies to determine if they have enabled fraudulent activity by serving certain customers or members.“While we strongly support the government’s role in ensuring the integrity of financial markets and eliminating fraud, the program’s broad enforcement tactics could create unnecessary risks to consumers and to the economy,” wrote CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle.In addition to limiting the ability of regulators to discourage or restrict financial institutions from a financial services relationship, S. 2790/H.R. 766 would require regulators to have a material reason for termination. The reason cannot be based solely on the reputational risk posed by the consumer. continue reading »
TOWN OF DICKINSON (WBNG) — Children as young as 8-years-old will get the opportunity to build apps, games and more at the first hackathon held at SUNY Broome Community College. They say the hackathon will feature mentors from local colleges, tech companies and developers. SUNY Broome is located at 907 Upper Front St. in the town of Dickinson. The AT&T Binghamton Youth Hack will be held in the campus’s Applied Technology Building Room 014 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event aims to showcase the region’s future technology and entrepreneurs. AT&T says there will be a focus on stopping cyber bullying. Participates will also learn about online safety.
Dark or fish? / Photo: Pexels.com Underwater protection so-called. “No take” zones would make Croatian diving tourism much more attractive, and the benefits would be felt by everyone, from diving schools to fishermen and local communities. “As a diving destination, we are mostly complained that you cannot see fish in our seabed and that is a fact. We have the example of our neighboring Italy, which was also completely devastated, but they decided to protect several zones, which led to a real tourist boom. Today, in one such zone, Portofino, diving is 3,5 times more expensive than in Croatia. In our country, the average price of a dive is around 25 euros, and with them around 70”, Points out the president of the Diving Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce Vedran Dorušić, adding that we in Croatia should also protect certain zones because they would quickly become attractive for diving tourism and attract more guests. How much money diving tourism actually brings is shown by the example of Egypt, which has become one of the leading diving destinations in the world with its smart underwater protection policy. Today, the diving attraction and wreck of the sunken ship SS Thistlegorm brings them more revenue than the pyramids at Giza. Photo: Pexels.com The establishment of a “no take” zone with the aim of protecting the underwater world would flourish diving tourism, according to the gathered members of the Diving Tourism Association of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce. Photo: Pexels.com These are small protected areas, of a few square kilometers, which do not have to be in an important fishing zone, but must be suitable for spawning. This is determined in agreement with biologists, and once established, they regenerate very quickly and become known to them. It is a special form of protection that completely prohibits any exploitation of the seabed for the protection of ecosystems and cultural assets, and they have proven to be excellent in preserving biodiversity, but also in economic development. As Dorušić points out, numerous scientific studies, from the Mediterranean to the Pacific Ocean, show that biomass in protected areas is on average 670 percent higher than in neighboring unprotected areas. Fish from protected areas live longer and are much larger than specimens from the surrounding unprotected sea, and it could be the secret of rapid population recovery in size. Namely, research has shown that larger specimens of fish produce much more eggs. Thus groupers 50 centimeters in size produce about a million eggs, while only ten centimeters larger females produce about 3 million. When asked if Croatia has such attractive diving locations, Dorušić believes that we have many such locations, in fact, that we are certainly number one in Europe, and even in the top of the world in terms of the number of wrecks in the sea that have attractiveness and historical importance. “But the problem is that apart from that iron you don’t see a niche, there are no fish, while in other similar locations you can see huge groupers and teeth coming to you and not afraid of the diver. It attracts people, but we are not yet sufficiently aware of how much wealth we have, so it happens that people drop anchors in locations where we have shipwrecks that are cultural assets.”, Explains Dorušić, noting that the protection of selected areas would quickly restore the fish stock, which would immediately attract divers. This type of protection usually encounters resistance from small fishermen, but it is actually great news for them because with the renewal of the fish stock comes the effect of the so-called. overflowing fish into adjacent areas where hunting is allowed. Again, everything is in education and communication and such an important synergy with the local population, and in this case with local fishermen. And a larger number of guests is good news for everyone because they are mostly tourists of higher purchasing power who spend only one fifth (18 percent) of their budget on diving, while the rest is spent on accommodation, food, souvenirs, etc. So, with four fifths of the budget they strengthen the economy of the local community, and as they come a little earlier than the peak season and stay longer, like boaters, they extend the tourist season. “Today, with the help of video surveillance and ultrasound probes, you can see in real time what is happening in protected locations and alert the competent services, so that the problem of control can no longer be an excuse. After all, according to the experience of other countries, no special protection is needed, because most of these zones are guarded by divers themselves and they report to the police if devastation occurs. “, explains Dorušić and points out that in tourism it is most difficult to fight the competition by doing what everyone else knows, such as renting rooms and apartments. It is unfortunate that in the 21st century, the digital age where we have all the information and decades of tourism, we have to talk about this topic today and that we have not been leaders in this segment for a long time. Or at least systematically engaged in the development and “fought” to be at the top, both the protection of our seabed and the development of diving tourism. Whatever segment we touch in tourism, we have chaos, which is just another proof that more and more is happening to us more and more spontaneously, and that there is not so much key strategic and sustainable development of tourism and tourist destinations. “You have a great example of New Zealand where small-scale fishermen fought against bans in protected areas, and today they insist on establishing more protected zones because they have better catches in the surrounding areas.”, Emphasizes Dorusic, adding that the problem is in the competent institutions, which have always referred to the problem of supervision, under the pretext – what if we declare it a protected zone, and we can not control it. “But when you have a product that is different, more interesting and more specific, like diving, then it is not so difficult to reach the guests and you will always be filled. We need to fight for the protection of the seabed because it brings benefits to all, and if we do not do it ourselves, no one else will do it for us”, Concludes Dorušić. Yes, we definitely need the protection of our submarine as well as the “no take” zone, as the first basis for strategic development in general. We are late again, if not more then at least 10 years, and we are still not dealing with challenges, but we are still just talking. While we are not engaged in development and stagnation, others are growing, and the jazz between the successful and us is getting bigger and bigger.
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