Self-styled YouTube-meets-Reddit video-on-demand service Vidme is to shut down, citing competition from Google and Facebook.The US-based streaming service, which provided videos curated by community members across a range of categories, was created in 2014 and claimed at its peak to have close to one million registered content creators and 25 million unique monthly users.Vidme has disabled new sign-ups and uploads to its site. Existing videos will be playable and exportable until December 15, after which they will be permanently deleted from Vidme’s servers.The company has suspended all of its paid-for subscription services. Subscription videos will be available only to their creators. Vidme said it would pay out any outstanding earnings on verification within 90 days.In a blog posting, founder and CEO Warren Shaeffer said that the service had been unable to “find a path to sustainability”.Vidme introduced drag-and-drop publishing of videos and raised finance from the likes of NEA, Upfront Ventures, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, SV Angel and Mucker Capital.Shaeffer said that Vidme has delivered over six billion views to audiences globally to date. He said the service became one of the top 1,000 most popular destinations on the web, reaching over 200 million people annually.Identifying reasons for Vidme’s demise, Shaeffer said that advertisers increasingly want to target specific audiences, putting services that don’t store deep personal data at a disadvantage. Facebook and Google, which have mastered this, now control 60% of online advertising spend in the US.Shaeffer said that advertisers also want to ensure that their products are promoted alongside ‘brand-safe’ content, which is expensive and difficult to monitor, and that few advertisers are wishing to negotiate direct deals with platforms that don’t have the scale of the global giants.Vidme was also over-optimistic in projecting that CDN and data storage costs would decline rapidly. While this has happened to some extent, Shaeffer said that Vidme’s costs “still outpaced our ability to generate meaningful revenue”.Shaeffer also said that the definition of scale had changed since Vidme’s launch, with eight out of 10 of the most popular apps now being owned by Google or Facebook.“Both Facebook and YouTube also actively deprecate content shared from competing platforms,” said Shaeffer, highlighting the decline in Vidme’s social traffic “once Facebook began to prioritise its native player”.When Facebook and Instagram began “aggressively soliciting video content and courting video creators”, he said, Vidme’s prospects further deteriorated.“When we started we knew that we were taking a calculated risk, but in hindsight we underestimated the speed with which the competitive landscape would change,” said Shaeffer.Shaeffer said that despite the collapse of Vidme, his team would more forward with plans to launch a new- undisclosed product, next year.
By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDNov 21 2018Mannose is a sugary nutritional supplement that has shown promise in slowing down the growth of certain cancers in laboratory mice. The results of the five year-long study from Glasgow were published in the latest issue of the journal Nature.The team of researchers gave mannose to mice with simulated pancreatic, lung or skin cancers. There were no side effects while the cancer growth slowed significantly. Mannose is also found naturally in cranberries and other fruits, the authors explain. Researchers warn however that it is too early to know the direct connection and people should not start supplementing with mannose because it carries risk of side effects. The team of researchers gave mannose supplements to mice with the cancers that were also being treated with anticancer drugs such as cisplatin and doxorubicin. On administration of mannose the chemotherapy effects were enhanced, they add. The tumours shrunk in size and the mice lived longer. The team then exposed other cancer cells from bone cancer (osteosarcoma), leukaemia, bowel cancer and ovarian cancer and found that some of the cells responded while others did not respond to mannose in the laboratory set up. They noted that cells that contained high levels of the enzyme phosphomannose isomerase (PMI) were less likely to respond to mannose.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancerStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryAccording to lead author Prof Kevin Ryan, from the Cancer Research UK Beatson Institute, the principle behind mannose and its benefits in tumours was the fact that it could block the uptake of glucose by the tumour and thus effectively starve it and slow its growth. Mannose did not affect the surrounding healthy cells which led to the side-effect free profile. He said, “This is early research, but it is hoped that finding this perfect balance means that, in the future, mannose could be given to cancer patients to enhance chemotherapy without damaging their overall health.”The team hopes that they can start testing the supplement on human cancer patients soon and would know if it actually worked in humans as well. The team needs to understand why some cancers respond to mannose while others do not, Prof Ryan said.Martin Ledwick, Cancer Research UK’s head nurse warned that these results have not yet been extrapolated in humans and people with cancer should not start supplementing their diet with mannose. Dr Helen Rippon, chief executive of Worldwide Cancer Research too lauded this study saying, “This is a brand-new discovery and only the first step in working out whether mannose might help treat cancer.”This study received support from the Cancer Research UK and Worldwide Cancer Research.Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-018-0729-3 Cranberries, a natural source of mannose. Image Credit: Tim UR / Shutterstock
Malaysia’s government said Saturday that it has approved a new attempt by a private company to find the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, nearly four years after its disappearance sparked one of aviation’s biggest mysteries. Citation: Malaysia OKs new search by private company for missing plane (2018, January 7) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-malaysia-oks-private-company-plane.html Scientists potentially narrow MH370 search area to 3 spots Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: oceaninfinity.com/ The Houston, Texas-based company Ocean Infinity dispatched a search vessel this past week to look in the southern Indian Ocean for debris from the plane, which disappeared March 8, 2014, on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew members.The governments of Malaysia, China and Australia called off the nearly three-year official search last January. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s final report on the search conceded that authorities were no closer to knowing the reasons for the Boeing 777’s disappearance, or its exact location.”The basis of the offer from Ocean Infinity is based on ‘no cure, no fee,'” Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said Saturday, meaning that payment will be made only if the company finds the wreckage.”That means they are willing to search the area of 25,000 square kilometers (9,653 square miles) pointed out by the expert group near the Australian waters,” he said.However, he said, “I don’t want to give too much hope … to the (next of kin).” He said his government was committed to continuing with the search.He did not offer other details.Ocean Infinity said in a statement that the search vessel Seabed Constructor, which left the South African port of Durban on Tuesday, was taking advantage of favorable weather to move toward “the vicinity of the possible search zone.”In the initial search for the plane, a 52-day surface search covered an area of several million square kilometers (square miles) in the Indian Ocean west of Australia, before an underwater search mapped 710,000 square kilometers (274,000 square miles) of seabed at depths of up to 6,000 meters (20,000 feet). They were the largest aviation searches of their kind in history, according to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).Despite other methods such as studying satellite imagery and investigating ocean drifts after debris from the plane washed ashore on islands in the eastern Indian Ocean and the east coast of Africa, the 1,046-day search was called off on Jan. 17, 2017.However, the ATSB’s report said the understanding of where the plane may be is “better now than it has ever been,” partly as a result of studying debris that washed ashore in 2015 and 2016 that showed the plane was “not configured for a ditching at the end-of-flight,” meaning it had run out of fuel.The search team also looked back at satellite imagery that showed objects in the ocean that may have been MH370 debris. The report said this analysis complemented work detailed in a 2016 review and identified an area of less than 25,000 square kilometers (9,650 square miles)—roughly the size of the U.S. state of Vermont—that “has the highest likelihood of containing MH370.”The search was extremely difficult because no transmissions were received from the aircraft after its first 38 minutes of flight. Systems designed to automatically transmit the flight’s position failed to work after this point, the report said. In this March 6, 2016, file photo, well wishes are written on a wall of hope during a remembrance event for the ill fated Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The Malaysian government has approved a new attempt to find the wreckage of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
“To be able to establish a research environment with such talented colleagues at KTH is great fun,” says Thomas Schön, Professor of Automatic Control at Uppsala University Provided by Uppsala University It has been almost a year since IT researchers at Uppsala University and KTH received 24 million kronor from the Swedish Research Council for the formation of the research environment “NewLEADS”. However, preparations for the project “New approaches for model-based learning of dynamical systems” were initiated already in January 2016. Collaboration between the research groups goes even further back, says Thomas Schön, Professor of Automatic Control at Uppsala University.”We know each other well from before and have co-written research papers. To be able to establish a research environment with such talented colleagues at KTH is great fun. Together we can do amazing things that would be impossible for only one individual to pull off.”When it comes to dividing the work between the two universities, it mainly comes down to each research group’s expertise.”Uppsala’s focus in this project is to build mathematical models of dynamic systems that can identify and deal with uncertainty. No matter how talented we are, models still never align perfectly with real life—we can never cover all possible aspects. However, we can construct mathematical manoeuvres that help machines to make independent and reliable decisions,” says Thomas Schön.Safer decision-making systemThe challenge of constructing algorithms for dynamic systems is in the nature of those systems: they are in constant change. Traffic cameras, radar, and inertial sensors are some of the devices delivering the information the algorithm requires. Now another extremely dynamic system is becoming more central to Thomas Schön’s and his colleagues’ projects: the human body.”We are increasing our work in the medical field and looking in particular at automated diagnosis as a tool for physicians. Today, Swedish x-rays are sent for examination by physicians in reverse time zones such as Australia. They then e-mail their reports to their colleagues in Sweden who can study them when getting in to the hospital in the morning. I believe that kind of review will to some extent be automated even if significant challenges still remain,” says Thomas Schön. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Behind every self-driving car, self-learning robot and smart building hides a variety of advanced algorithms that control learning and decision making. Some of the mathematical models that make up the backbone of automated systems are currently under construction by researchers from Uppsala University and KTH. Citation: The algorithms of our future thinking machines (2018, January 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-algorithms-future-machines.html Researcher seeks to tame ‘ghost’ of uncertainty in complex dynamic systems Explore further The uncertainty inherent in the mathematical models are no different from the ubiquitous uncertainty in today’s diagnoses, he says. Physicians cannot possibly assimilate all new medical information. There, automated diagnosis constitutes support and contributes to new questions. In addition, a solution based on machine learning is able to quantify the uncertainty in the prediction, which according to Thomas Schön also presents the physician with important information before making the final decision.”All the data coming in results in a huge bank of knowledge for everybody to use. This is the great opportunity and the great challenge.”Breadth of qualificationsAccording to Thomas Schön, NewLEADS focuses mainly on basic research. At the same time, they maintain exchanges with projects of a more applied nature. Uppsala’s research group also includes Fredrik Lindsten, Peter Stoica and Dave Zachariah with qualifications in automatic control, signal processing and machine learning.The KTH researchers have a similar background but with a slightly different profile. One focus is to design experiments that extract as much information as possible from a particular system that is to be modelled, explains Håkan Hjalmarsson, Professor of Automatic Control at KTH. His group includes Cristian Rojas as well as Bo Wahlberg, initiator of NewLEADS. In addition, there are some ten doctoral students and post-docs involved in NewLEADS at both universities. Several Ph.D. courses are in the works.There are very good conditions for the new research environment, according to Håkan Hjalmarsson.”I hope of course that KTH and UU will be able to build a good theoretical base that is easy to implement in various applications of dynamic systems such as smart climate control of buildings and self-driving vehicles, and that we get to see them put to good use,” he says, and adds:”In six years, we probably won’t have achieved our every goal, but we stand a good chance of having come a long way. We are a fantastic team.”
Actors’ movements can be easily recorded using commercial drones, which greatly reduces the technical effort required for animated film. Credit: ETH Zurich / Tobias Nägeli Citation: Using drones to simplify film animation (2018, December 5) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-drones-animation.html “What makes our system so unique is that it can also reliably capture sudden and fast movements,” explains Nägeli. “Of course, this kind of demo system is not good enough to meet the requirements of the film industry yet. But it does offer a promising approach.” As the young researcher explains, the system could also be extended with additional drones to capture movement in even greater detail. It is also conceivable that the current approach with light markers could be replaced by automatic image analysis, thus reducing the technical complexity of film production even further.Sport motion analysis by drone?The team conducted various tests to show how the system can be used to track human movement over longer distances – something that makes the approach interesting for sport motion analysis. “Until now, it has been impossible to perform a comprehensive motion analysis on runners, for example, because it is much too complicated,” explains Nägeli. “With our system, it’s very easy now to examine how a runner’s kinetics changes over a period of time.”For the time being, this is still just a vision. Now, the challenge is to continue developing the system for practical applications. Together with two colleagues, Nägeli plans to tackle this task at the new start-up company Tinamu Labs. And who knows – maybe he and his drones will soon land in Hollywood. Drones are going to change the film industry in a major way. Tobias Nägeli, for one, is sure of that. The computer scientist, who recently finished his doctoral thesis with Otmar Hilliges, a professor of computer science and head of the Advanced Interactive Technologies Lab, was able to show about a year ago that spectacular, highly technical film scenes could be shot in a much easier way by using these mini aircraft. In a further project, which he presented at a conference in Tokyo in early December, he demonstrated that drones also have great potential for animated film.Drones to replace dozens of cameras”It’s a very time-consuming task to make figures look realistic in an animated film,” explains Nägeli. “For the figures to appear natural, the first step is to film an actor performing the movements. The second step is then to build the animated figure around this.” In order to reconstruct the actor’s movements for the 3-D animation, they must first be recorded with at least two cameras simultaneously. Sequences of motion that cover a great deal of space in particular create an enormous amount of technical work, so two well-positioned cameras should be able to cover the entire scene. This requires either installing numerous cameras in different places, of which only a few can be used at the same time, or other tricky installations.This complicated technique may soon be rendered obsolete. Nägeli and his colleagues at ETH Zurich and Delft University of Technology have developed a system that, in its simplest configuration, consists of two commercially available drones and a laptop. The drones follow the actor’s every move and automatically adjust their position so that the target can always be shot from two angles. This reduces the amount camera work required, since the cameras only have to be in the spots where they are actually needed. Impressively, the system anticipates the actor’s movements in real-time and then calculates where the drones need to fly in order to keep the actor in the frame. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further The team conducted various tests to show how the system can be used to track human movement over longer distances. Credit: ETH Zurich / Tobias Nägeli To minimise the volume of data generated, infrared diode markers are fixed to the actor’s joints. The drones, which are equipped with a true light filter, record only the light from the markers, greatly simplifying data processing. The system only sees a few points, from which it then determines the body’s position and directional movement. Provided by ETH Zurich Spectacular images thanks to an efficient algorithm Producing realistic animated film figures is a highly complex technical endeavour. ETH researchers have now shown how drones can be used to greatly reduce the effort required in the process.
COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE Faced with a colossal electoral defeat, the Congress was riven by internal turmoil with Rahul Gandhi insisting on quitting as party president while its governments in Rajasthan and Karnataka teetered on the brink. In the midst of the disquiet, several state Congress chiefs, including Punjab’s Sunil Jakhar, Jharkhand’s Ajoy Kumar and Assam’s Ripun Bora, also offered to resign following the party’s drubbing in the elections, party insiders said. Congress sources said Gandhi is insisting on resigning his post and is understood to have conveyed to several leaders that it is time for the grand old party to look for a new chief. The Congress won only 52 out of 542 parliamentary seats in the Lok Sabha polls, just six more than its 2014 tally. The party could not open its account in 18 states and union territories.Taking responsibility for the defeat, Gandhi on Saturday offered to resign as the party’s president at a meeting of the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the highest decision-making body of the party, but it was “unanimously rejected”. At the CWC meeting, Gandhi accused three senior leaders — Ashok Gehlot, Kamal Nath and P Chidambaram — of placing their sons above the party. His sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said the entire top brass of the party left Rahul Gandhi alone to fight it out against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.Existential crisisAs the party grapples with a severe existential crisis, its governments in both Karnataka and Rajasthan face a tough time with reports suggesting the BJP may try to wrest power in both states.It is learnt that Congress legislators Ramesh Jarkiholi and Dr Sudhakar visited BJP leader SM Krishna’s residence in Bengaluru on Sunday along with several other BJP leaders and they are understood to have deliberated on dethroning the incumbent dispensation.Sources said a number of Congress legislators in Karnataka are understood to be unhappy over the party’s electoral loss.In Rajasthan, there have been reports of internal turmoil with several ministers demanding fixing of accountability and seeking action against those responsible for the poll debacle in the state. The Congress drew a blank in Rajasthan as the NDA won all 25 seats. In Karnataka, where it formed a government with the JD(S) in May last year, the Congress managed to win only one Lok Sabha seat out of 28.The party was crushed in most of the 29 states, including Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh, where it had defeated BJP in the assembly polls in December. ‘Rumour mongering’As crisis beset the opposition party, its chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala on Monday urged everyone to respect the sanctity of the CWC meeting and asked the media not to fall into the trap of “conjectures, insinuations, gossip and rumour-mongering”.Surjewala said it is a democratic forum for exchange of ideas and taking corrective action. It was a “closed-door” meeting and any speculation about it was unwarranted and uncalled for, he added. He was reacting to news reports about happenings at the May 25 meeting, the first of the CWC after the Congress’s humiliating defeat in the parliamentary polls.“The Congress party expects everyone, including the media, to respect the sanctity of a closed-door meeting of the CWC. Various conjectures, speculation, insinuations, assumptions, gossip and rumour-mongering in a section of the media is uncalled for and unwarranted.“The CWC held a collective deliberation on the performance of the party, the challenges before it as also the way ahead, instead of casting aspersions on the role or conduct of any specific individual. The gist of the deliberations was made public in the CWC resolution of May 25, 2019,” the Congress leader said in a statement. All India Congress Committee (AICC) Elections 2019 May 27, 2019 COMMENT Published on Congress president Rahul Gandhi loses in Amethi. – Bloomberg
BJP MLA’s daughter, Dalit partner likely to marry in court next weekSources said BJP MLA’s daughter Sakshi Misra and her partner will get their marriage registered in court on July 16 after making a request to the court.advertisement Indo-Asian News Service LucknowJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 10:16 IST Their inter-caste wedding created a huge controversy.Sakshi Misra, the daughter of a BJP MLA from Uttar Pradesh, and her husband were now expected to opt for a registered marriage in court, after their inter-caste wedding created a huge controversy.Sakshi is a Brahmin, while her husband Ajitesh Kumar belongs to a Dalit family.This is being done after the priest of the Ram Janki temple in Prayagraj, where they reportedly exchanged vows and even have a certificate to prove that they tied the knot, denied the marriage, adding that the certificate was fake.According to sources, the couple will be appearing in the Allahabad High Court where their petition will be taken up for hearing on July 15.”They will get their marriage registered in court on July 16 after making a request to the court itself,” the sources said.Sakshi and her husband, who have been on the run since July 3 when they left their respective homes, made an appearance on Friday on a news channel where they again alleged that the Bharatiya Janata Party MLA from Bareilly, Rajesh Misra was against their marriage purely on caste grounds.The couple and Ajitesh’ father Harish Kumar have alleged that SSP Bareilly Muniraj G had refused to respond to their calls for protection and security.However, after the matter hit the headlines, the SSP has now said that the couple would get police protection so that they can safely appear before court.READ | Bareilly BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit moves court, seeks protectionALSO READ | Soch badlo papa: BJP MLA’s daughter who married Dalit boy makes emotional appeal to dad on live TVALSO WATCH | Please change your thinking: BJP MLA’s daughter’s emotional appeal to her fatherFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byKritika Bansal Tags :Follow BJP MLA Next