The Liberia Football Association (LFA) has provided a check for US$10,000 to Knockout Champs, BYC II, in fulfillment of a promise to secure a home victory against Moroccan Club Kawkab Marrakech.LFA President Musa H. Bility said the club was assured US$10,000 if they won the home, and the 2-0 convincing victory proved the point.Bility presented the check and a certificate of recognition for the historic win yesterday in Monrovia.“We are happy to present this certificate and the US$10,000 check…and also happy that you were able to break the record of which clubs have not done for a very long time,” Bility said. “This a promise fulfilled.”Though, BYC ll’s win didn’t rotate their 3-0 defeat in Morocco in the first leg, their home victory sustained fans’ morale.Mr. Bility also thanked Robert A. Sirleaf – the club’s CEO, Mr. Sekou Konneh – BYC Football President, including the coaches and players.The president and skipper of BYC ll, Mark Tweh and goalie Alpha Jaloh, in separate remarks praised the LFA for providing the US$10,000 and pointed out that they would maintain their pride.It may be recalled that BYC ll participated in the 2013 CAF Confederation competition but lost Tanzanian Club AZAM FC after advancing ahead of Johanson of Sierra Leone in the preliminary round.Besides BYC ll, Liberia’s football giant Nimba United was thrown out by Cameroon’s Union Sportive de Douala, after bowing 1-0 in Cameroon and 3-1 at home.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Mitchell Starc didn’t like the concept of playing with a pink ball under lights when the first-ever day-night Test match was initially put on the schedule.Now, as he readies to lead the Australian attack against New Zealand in what is essentially a live trial for the concept, Starc may have a more open mind. Taking eight wickets (5 for 28 and 3 for 62) with the pink ball for New South Wales in an interstate Sheffield Shield match against South Australia last month prepared him well for the Test starting Friday at the Adelaide Oval.Starc has been Australia’s form bowler since the start of the year, helping his country capture a World Cup title – capped with a win over co-host New Zealand in the final – and last week bowling the fastest delivery ever recorded officially in a Test match at 160.4 kph (99.7 mph).Also read: Day-night Tests could be outstanding, says McCullum He’ll have more responsibility now as the senior bowler after veteran pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson retired following the drawn second Test in Perth.”Obviously, losing someone of the quality of Mitchell Johnson is always tough for a team, but I think Mitchell Starc is going to step up and fill that role,” Australia captain Steve Smith said. “We saw last week the way he bowled was extremely impressive to bowl 37 overs above 145 kph (90 mph) consistently, that’s pretty impressive so hopefully we can a lot more of that.”Starc took six wickets in Australia’s 208-run win over New Zealand in the series-opener at Brisbane, and four more in Perth.advertisementWith Johnson out, and with selectors sending backup spinning option Steve O’Keefe home on the eve of the Test, Australia’s attack will most likely focus on the pacemen supporting Starc. Josh Hazlewood has played in the first two Tests, with veteran Peter Siddle and James Pattinson vying for the other spots in a combination that will have Nathan Lyon as the only spinner and Mitch Marsh as the allrounder. Shaun Marsh will replace injured batsman Usman Khawaja and bat at No. 5.Smith said the pink ball had been refined to the degree that it should satisfy critics concerned about its durability, and the first day-night Test match should generate some extra excitement – and bigger crowds than the previous matches in the series. Organizers expect 40,000 spectators on Friday.”It’s a really exciting concept I can’t wait to get out and give it a crack,” he said. “I think the crowds have rolled in. Obviously, the first two Tests were a bit disappointing in terms of crowds. There’s some big numbers expected for at least the first three days here. So I think it’s really exciting for us moving forward.”With some concern over new-ball bowler Trent Boult’s back problem, New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum hasn’t settled on a starting XI.”Trent bowled yesterday in the nets and I thought he bowled with good pace,” McCullum said. “He sent a couple of bouncers in there as well just like all the other bowlers did last night.”He said Boult would be given time to prove his fitness, and the bowling combination was still undecided because of the unusual conditions.”We’ve got some considerations in terms of the wicket and just some slightly different quirks and with the game obviously being played a bit later, I wouldn’t think we’d name an unchanged 11,” he said. “It’s just a matter of working out what the best balance is.”McCullum dismissed the notion that the pink ball would give bowlers an advantage under the lights.”There’s a lot been made that it’s almost unplayable during those times, but it’s just a little bit more challenging during that stage,” he said. “It doesn’t mean you can’t get runs, or survive, and ensure you’re there to bat the next day when conditions will be easier. It is a quirk of this Test match.”New Zealand hasn’t lost any of its last seven series, and needs a win in Adelaide to extend the sequence.Squads:Australia: David Warner, Joe Burns, Steve Smith (captain), Adam Voges, Shaun Marsh Mitchell Marsh, Peter Nevill, Mitch Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Peter Siddle, James Pattinson, Nathan LyonNew Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (captain), B.J. Watling, Doug Bracewell, Mark Craig, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Neil Wagner.
March 13, 2019 New lawsuit targets Prevagen, challenges claims that the supplement to improve memory Updated: 1:48 PM Sasha Foo, Sasha Foo Categories: Health, Local San Diego News, National & International News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – A popular supplement that claims to boost memory is the target of a new lawsuit. The supplement called Prevagen is sold in nearly every major retail store in the country, but critics say it’s worthless.In advertisements on TV and online, the manufacturer of Prevagen says the product will support a “sharper mind,” “clearer thinking” and “healthy brain function.”The product label says that clinical tests demonstrated some improvements in cognitive function in as little as 90 days.However, the plaintiffs in a class action suit fled in Texas in late February said those claims are false, deceptive and designed to “dupe consumers ” into buying a supplement that has no effect on the brain.Prevagen contains a synthetic protein called apoaequorin, modeled on a protein found in jellyfish.Dr. Neal Devaraj, a biochemist at the University of California San Diego said a protein taken orally would be broken down in the digestive process before it could reach the bloodstream. Since apoaequorin is a large water soluble protein, Devaraj said it would be unlikely for it to pass the barrier from the bloodstream into the brain.Even though many may question the scientific basis for Prevagen’s claims, the manufacturer is still permitted to make its claims through its commercials, on the product package and on the bottle itself. Miro Copic, a professor of marketing at San Diego State University said that products marketed as dietary supplements face much less regulatory oversight.“The dietary supplement space is kind of the ‘Wild, Wild West,’ ” Copic said. Unlike pharmaceutical drugs, Prevagen isn’t subject to review by the Food and Drug Administration.The supplements are covered by a 1994 law that’s less protective of consumers.In the stores we visited, we found that the product was nearly sold out. A bottle of the extra strength formula sells for $60 a bottle, for a 30 day supply.Two years ago, the company that makes Prevagen was sued by the Federal Trade Commission. In its defense, Quincy Bioscience, based in Madison, Wisconsin argued that it had performed clinical trials to support its claims.The FTC countered that the initial studies were inconclusive. However, the judge hearing the case ruled in Prevagen’s favor, after the supplement maker went back to the data, and selectively picked data subgroups to support its marketing claims.While Prevagen prevailed in that 2017 case, last month a federal appeals court overturned the decision, setting the stage for the latest lawsuit. Copic said the suit poses challenges for the plaintiffs.“You’re not being forced to buy this. It’s not a prescription.They’re making no claims that it will help you specifically. That’s why a lot of times, lawsuits in this arena are really hard to win,” Copic said.Quincy Bioscience declined our request for an interview about the lawsuit.A company spokesperson told us, “Nevertheless, we believe the claims are baseless and we will continue to fight these allegations on behalf of the millions of consumers who take Prevagen every day to improve their memory.”The class action lawsuit filed several weeks ago is seeking reimbursement for the amount the class members spent on Prevagen and the difference between Prevagen and the market price of generic protein pills of a similar quantity and type. Posted: March 13, 2019
At first glance, Square Off looks exactly like any other chessboard albeit a bit thick. That thickness houses rechargeable batteries, a processor, Bluetooth and robotic arms with magnets — all of which give the board its special sauce. You press a button on the side to start a game. When you move a piece, you tap it once on its current square and tap it again on the square you’re moving it to. An audio beep confirms your move. Pieces move automatically by themselves. Infivention Now here’s where things get magical. When your online opponent moves a piece on their board, the move is mirrored by pieces gliding across on your board all on their own. There is a Wizards Chess from Harry Potter quality seeing a wooden knight glide across the board all by itself. Square Off connects to your phone via Bluetooth. You can play with anyone who has the Square Off app or, what seems more appealing, with someone else who has their own Square Off board. You can even play against the board itself, which has 20 different levels of competition. If you want to develop more as a player, you can review moves from previous games via the app. But an analog online chess set doesn’t come cheap. The Square Off costs $369 for the Kingdom set (about £290 or AU$515) and $445 for the larger rectangular Grand Kingdom set. I’ll let the sticker shock sink in. At CES, the company also showed off a special all-black version of the Grand Kingdom set, also $449, and said that it’s partnered with Chess.com to allow its board to work with the website. That means you can challenge a base of 24 million potential users around the world.If you are a serious chess player and want the benefits of both online play and a physical board, it’s worth a look. After all, it is a game of life. (Disclaimer: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page.)First published Jan. 6 at 5 a.m. PT. Update, Jan. 8 at 3:15 p.m. PT: Includes hands-on experiences with the device.See Square Off Chess Set on Amazon 1 A chess board that can move its own pieces wows at CES… 1:26 Tags Comment The most surprising revelation when I interviewed GZA from Wu-Tang Clan last year was that his favorite game was chess. “It’s the best board game ever. Monopoly doesn’t compare, and checkers is not in its league,” said GZA aka The Genius. “It’s a game of life.”After years away from chess, GZA’s words inspired me to play online. But my virtual obsession felt a bit off. The convenience of playing chess on my phone came at the cost of using a screen as the board. I missed the feel of an actual chessboard and picking up pieces. With the help of robotics, magnets and AI, the Mumbai-based Indian company Infivention made Square Off, a physical chessboard designed to be played online. It is nothing short of magical. Share your voice 26 Photos CES 2019: See all of CNET’s coverage of the year’s biggest tech show. CES schedule: It’s six days of jam-packed events. Here’s what to expect. These are the weirdest products of CES 2019 The SquareOff chessboard doesn’t need a human to beat you. CNET I’m staring at the SquareOff Grand Kingdom set chessboard, tucked away in a tiny booth near the rear of the Sands Convention Center, part of the Tech West side of CES 2019. The physical chessboard set is smart enough to move the pieces by itself, and I watched with wonder as it automatically followed my moves.In a show known for massive televisions and flashy press conferences, this was one of the most subtly fascinating demonstrations of technology. The chessboard can run on its own artificial intelligence with 20 difficulty levels. But it can also connect to other human opponents, who can play with you remotely through an app or online.The player on the other end can make a move on the website, and you’ll see the move replicated on your board. This can help connect family members from remote distances or allow players with physical disabilities who can’t move the pieces but can swipe a smartphone touchscreen to participate in a full-fledged, physical game of chess. While the board seems haunted, underneath it is a robotic arm with a magnetic that pilots the wooden pieces, which each have their own magnet too. To play, you need to press down on a piece, which elicits a quiet beep, make your move and press down a second time to confirm the position. When you put your arms around the board, you can feel the rumbling of the arm as it moves the chess pieces around. Now playing: Watch this: CES 2019 CES 2019 Must-See Toys and Tabletop Games Gadgets CES Products Artificial intelligence (AI)
The Films and Theatre Society offers audiences a five-day Winter Theatre Festival as a New Year’s present featuring some blockbuster performances. The festival that spans from January 8 to 26, will be held at the Capital’s Kamani Auditorium in Mandi house and it will see Rakesh Bedi, set the stage on fire with his famous play Massage in which he plays as many as 24 different characters as the festival opens. And the curtains will be drawn by play Kahani Teri Meri starring legendary actor and costume designer Dolly Ahluwalia. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The interesting feature of this festival as is that all the plays are of different genres. After Massage on January 8, one will witness an Indian adaptation of Shakespeare’s Merchant Of Venice, called Saudagar followed by Wo Lahore, A family drama set up in the times of partition and Draupadi, an all-woman musical drama depicting the story of world’s most blessed as well as most-cursed woman. “In the last five years, our aim has been to present before our audiences a different play and this festival confirms it. We have roped in Dolly Mam as Boodhi Kaaki in my play Kahani Teri Meri, earlier known as Koobar aur Kaaki and getting to see Dolly mam perform live on stage is a chance not everyone gets. She lives her character,” says Atul Satya Koushik, the director of the festival. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“We make sure that we are taking our plays to various cities like Jaipur, Lucknow, Mumbai, Chandigarh and as we move around, we realize that even Delhi is missing out on some amazing performances in those cities. That’s how we got the idea to invite Rakesh Bedi’s play Massage to our festival,” adds Koushik, who is also the writer-director of 15 plays produced by the society.Massage, a two-act play, is a monologue in which Rakesh Bedi portrays several characters which can be seen vividly as the play progresses. Written by one of the most prolific and hard-hitting writers of modern India, Vijay Tendulkar, Massage tries to peep into the underbelly of today’s society through the escapades of Happy Kumar, who comes to join the film industry to become an actor while Saudagar is an Indian adaptation of one of the most famous plays of William Shakespeare – Merchant of Venice. This adaptation is peculiar for recreating quintessential Shakespearian moods on stage in an Indian set-up. Wo Lahore, a musical drama, is set in the middle of twentieth century’s India which has been the most-written, most-performed and most-talked-about part of Indian history. This is a story of an ordinary woman, a mother of three sons, who tries to keep her family intact amongst everything that is happening around. This play shows the internal conflicts and turmoil prevailing in an ordinary Indian family with the struggle for freedom, social beliefs of those times and the then partition in the backdrop.Draupadi has always been a celebrated character of the epic of Mahabharata and many myths, conventions and perceptions have been associated with her in various versions of her life’s story. This plays takes excerpts from the story of Draupadi as known to everybody and adds to it some imaginative sequences to bring out the real essence of association between Draupadi and today’s women. Kahani Teri Meri, earlier known as Koobar aur Kaaki, is an amalgamation of Munshi Premchand’s Boodhi Kaaki and Dharamveer Bharti’s Gulki Banno. Atul Satya Koushik has merged the two stories in such a way that their essence and the exquisiteness remain unharmed. The vision and mission of the director transcends the stories to an incredible level. The play depicts the various desires of human beings.When : January 8 to 26 Where: Kamani Auditorium, Mandi House
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailA motorist has been arrested after a car was driven through a wall tonight. Police in Congleton were called to the incident this evening. A Cheshire Police spokesman said: “Male arrested for drink driving in Congleton after crashing through a wall.” Police in the Cheshire town have been carrying out breath tests at checkpoints around the area in recent days. Across the border in Staffordshire there have been a number of accidents in the past few hours – including on the A518 in Stafford – with motorists being advised to take extra care on the roads due to heavy rain in the area. Additional police officers are on patrol this evening (Friday December 21/Saturday December 22), to deal with ‘Mad Friday’. Emergency services traditionally see a surge in demand on the last Friday before Christmas, usually known as Black Eye Friday or Mad Friday, due to the large number of people heading into town after finishing work for Christmas. Read MoreSpeeding BMW driver JAILED after claiming his car had been cloned to avoid a £100 fine 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 .
The ethics of artificial intelligence seems to have found its way into just about every corner of public life. From law enforcement to justice, through to recruitment, artificial intelligence is both impacting both the work we do and the way we think. But if you really want to get into the ethics of artificial intelligence you need to go further than the public realm and move into the bedroom. Sex robots have quietly been a topic of conversation for a number of years, but with the rise of artificial intelligence they appear to have found their way into the mainstream – or at least the edges of the mainstream. There’s potentially some squeamishness when thinking about sex robots, but, in fact, if we want to think seriously about the consequences of artificial intelligence – from how it is built to how it impacts the way we interact with each other and other things – sex robots are a great place to begin. Read next: Introducing Deon, a tool for data scientists to add an ethics checklist Sexualizing artificial intelligence It’s easy to get caught up in the image of a sex doll, plastic skinned, impossible breasts and empty eyes, sad and uncanny, but sexualized artificial intelligence can come in many other forms too. Let’s start with sex chatbots. These are, fundamentally, a robotic intelligence that is able to respond to and stimulate a human’s desires. But what’s significant is that they treat the data of sex and sexuality as primarily linguistic – the language people use to describe themselves, their wants, their needs their feelings. The movie Her is a great example of a sexualised chatbot. Of course, the digital assistant doesn’t begin sexualised, but Joaquin Phoenix ends up falling in love with his female-voiced digital assistant through conversation and intimate interaction. The physical aspect of sex is something that only comes later. Ai Furuse – the Japanese sex chatbot But they exist in real life too. The best example out these is Ai Furuse, a virtual girlfriend that interacts with you in an almost human-like manner. Ai Furuse is programmed with a dictionary of more than 30,000 words, and is able to respond to conversational cues. But more importantly, AI Furuse is able to learn from conversations. She can gather information about her interlocutor and, apparently, even identify changes in their mood. The more you converse with the chatbot, the more intimate and closer your relationship should be (in theory). Immediately, we can begin to see some big engineering questions. These are primarily about design, but remember – wherever you begin to think about design we’re starting to move towards the domain of ethics as well. The very process of learning through interaction requires the AI to be programmed in certain ways. It’s a big challenge for engineers to determine what’s really important in these interactions. The need to make judgements on how users behave. The information that’s passed to the chatbot needs to be codified and presented in a way that can be understood and processed. That requires some work in itself. The models of desire on which Ai Furuse are necessarily limited. They bear the marks of the engineers that helped to create ‘her’. It becomes a question of ethics once we start to ask if these models might be normative in some way. Do they limit or encourage certain ways of interacting? Desire algorithms In the context of one chatbot that might not seem like a big deal. But if (or as) the trend moves into the mainstream, we start to enter a world where the very fact of engineering chatbots inadvertently engineers the desires and sexualities that are expressed towards them. In this instance, not only do we shape the algorithms (which is what’s meant to happen), we also allow these ‘desire algorithms’ to shape our desires and wants too. Storing sexuality on the cloud But there’s another more practical issue as well. If the data on which sex chatbots or virtual lovers runs on the cloud, we’re in a situation where the most private aspects of our lives are stored somewhere that could easily be accessed by malicious actors. This a real risk of Ai Furuse, where cloud space is required for your ‘virtual girlfriend’ to ‘evolve’ further. You pay for additional cloud space. It’s not hard to see how this could become a problem in the future. Thousands of sexual and romantic conversations could be easily harvested for nefarious purposes. Sex robots, artificial intelligence and the problem of consent Language, then, is the kernel of sexualised artificial intelligence. Algorithms, when made well, should respond, process, adapt to and then stimulate further desire. But that’s only half the picture. The physical reality of sex robots – both as literal objects, but also the physical effects of what they do – only adds a further complication into the mix. Questions about what desire is – why we have it, what we should do with it – are at the forefront of this debate. If, for example, a paedophile can use a child-like sex robot as a surrogate object of his desires, is that, in fact, an ethical use of artificial intelligence? Here the debate isn’t just about the algorithm, but how it should be deployed. Is the algorithm performing a therapeutic purpose, or is it actually encouraging a form of sexuality that fails to understand the concept of harm and consent? This is an important question in the context of sex robots, but it’s also an important question for the broader ethics of AI. If we can build an AI that is able to do something (ie. automate billions of jobs) should we do it? Who’s responsibility is it to deal with the consequences? The campaign against sex robots These are some of the considerations that inform the perspective of the Campaign Against Sex Robots. On their website, they write: “Over the last decades, an increasing effort from both academia and industry has gone into the development of sex robots – that is, machines in the form of women or children for use as sex objects, substitutes for human partners or prostituted persons. The Campaign Against Sex Robots highlights that these kinds of robots are potentially harmful and will contribute to inequalities in society. We believe that an organized approach against the development of sex robots is necessary in response the numerous articles and campaigns that now promote their development without critically examining their potentially detrimental effect on society.” For the campaign, sex robots pose a risk in that they perpetuate already existing inequalities and forms of exploitation in society. They prevent us from facing up to these inequalities. They argue that it will “reduce human empathy that can only be developed by an experience of mutual relationship.” Consent and context Consent is the crucial problem when it comes to artificial intelligence. And you could say that it points to one of the limitations of artificial intelligence that we often miss – context. Algorithms can’t ever properly understand context. There will, undoubtedly be people who disagree with this. Algorithms can, for example, understand the context of certain words and sentences, right? Well yes, that may be true, but that’s not strictly understanding context. Artificial intelligence algorithms are set a context, one from which they cannot deviate. They can’t, for example, decide that actually encouraging a pedophile to act out their fantasies is wrong. It is programmed to do just that. But the problem isn’t simply with robot consent. There’s also an issue with how we consent to an algorithm in this scenario. As journalist Adam Rogers writes in this article for Wired, published at the start of 2018: “It’s hard to consent if you don’t know to whom or what you’re consenting. The corporation? The other people on the network? The programmer?” Rogers doesn’t go into detail on this insight, but it gets to the crux of the matter when discussing artificial intelligence and sex robots. If sex is typically built on a relationship between people, with established forms of communication that establish both consent and desire, what happens when this becomes literally codified? What happens when these additional layers of engineering and commerce get added on top of basic sexual interaction? Is the problem that we want artificial intelligence to be human? Towards the end of the same piece, Rogers finds a possible solutions from privacy researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis. Lewis wonders whether one of the main problems with sex robots is this need to think in humanoid terms. “We’re already in the realm of devices that look like alien tech. I looked at all the vibrators I own. They’re bright colors. None of them look like a penis that you’d associate with a human. They’re curves and soft shapes.” Of course, this isn’t an immediate solution – sex robots are meant to stimulate sex in its traditional (arguably heteronormative) sense. What Lewis suggests, and Rogers seems to agree with, is really just AI-assisted masturbation. But their insight is still useful. On reflection, there is a very real and urgent question about the way in which we deploy artificial intelligence. We need to think carefully about what we want it to replicate and what we want it to encourage. Sex robots are the starting point for thinking seriously about artificial intelligence It’s worth noting that when discussing algorithms we end up looping back onto ourselves. Sex robots, algorithms, artificial intelligence – they’re a problem insofar as they pose questions about what we really value as humans. They make us ask what we want to do with our time, and how we want to interact with other people. This is perhaps a way forward for anyone that builds or interacts with algorithms. Whether they help you get off, or find your next purchase. Consider what you’re algorithm is doing – what’s it encouraging, storing , processing, substituting. We can’t prepare for a future with artificial intelligence without seriously considering these things.