Why a credit union car loan is better than a PCP!

first_img*Carzone Motoring Report 2018** For a €25,000, 5 year variable interest rate loan with 60 monthly repayments of €497.88, an interest Rate of 7.24%, a representative APR of 7.5%, the total amount payable by the member is €29879.94. Information correct as at 21/05/2019.For further information please contact: Letterkenny Credit Union on 074 91 24166 or email [email protected] a credit union car loan is better than a PCP! was last modified: May 26th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:carLetterkenny Credit UnionLoan “For many people, headline rates on PCP agreements can at first look more attractive, but these can easily distract from the fact that essentially PCPs are lease schemes and the buyer will need to be conscious of the mileage they are racking up, because the balloon payment, or guaranteed minimum future value (GMFV), of the car will have been calculated with their annual mileage in mind” Ciaran explains. Ciaran Haran, Chairperson of Letterkenny Credit Union explains why he feels there has been a renewed interest in the traditional car loan.“A credit union loan is transparent and carries no hidden fees or charges. The buyer owns the car outright once they buy it, while with other more complex finance options, such as a PCP agreement, the buyer has effectively hired the car for a period of time while they make payments.“At the end of the PCP agreement, they will have to make a balloon payment in order to actually own the car, which can prove to be quite the financial sting in the tail if it hasn’t been budgeted for.” The Carzone report however also found that 72% of people who had spent more than €20,000 on their last car had used a finance options such as a PCP agreement.So while PCPs can be complicated, have a raft of additional charges and a good deal of inflexibility, they are proving popular with car-buyers in the over €20,000 market. Could this be down to the fact that a lot of consumers don’t fully understand what they are signing up to with a PCP? “In contrast, with a car loan from the credit union, the buyer simply borrows the money to pay for a car, which they own immediately, and which they can drive as much as they please. They can also sell the car on at any time they wish, should they need to, whereas they do not have this option with a PCP. Credit unions are ethical lenders. “We will work with our members to structure repayments that suit their individual circumstances. At Letterkenny Credit Union our car loan is available at an affordable APR rate of 7.5%**, and is typically approved within 48 hours. We also offer car insurance to make the whole process as convenient as possible for our members.“I would really encourage anyone thinking about going the PCP route to have a chat with us first at Letterkenny Credit Union before making the final decision. We are happy to see all our members, no matter how long it has been since they did business with the credit union, and of course we are always happy to chat to anyone who has never been a credit union member.” Close to four in ten consumers in Ireland will buy a new car in 2019.Over half plan to spend more than €10,000 on their new set of wheels, according to the most recent Carzone Motoring Report (2018).The study also found that one in four consumers who spent between €10,000 and €20,000 on their previous car, used a credit union car loan to fund the purchase.* Credit union loans have always been popular amongst car buyers for their straightforward terms and conditions and flexibility, and look set to be a top choice again in 2019.  Ciaran also says potential buyers should familiarise themselves with the below checklist before signing the dotted line on a PCP agreement:• Be aware that to extend the term of a PCP you may be charged a rescheduling fee.• Take note of the cap on the number of miles/kilometres you are allowed to clock up over the period of the contract.• You may be requested to commit to certain car servicing agreements. • Ensure you always enquire about additional fees and charges, you are entitled to a list of all additional charges so ask the garage for this before you sign any agreement.last_img read more

Kitten dumping in Donegal becoming ‘an epidemic,’ charity says

first_imgKitten dumping in Donegal is becoming an epidemic. That’s according to Donegal charity Animals In Need (AIN) who said the problem is getting worse and more frustrating.The animal charity said kittens have been dumped in plastic bags and boxes throughout the county this year. This included two tiny kittens sealed inside a plastic bag filled with water which was then left in a bin outside a takeaway in Ballybofey.Kittens rescued from Pettigo riverbank by touristsAn Animals In Need (AIN) spokesperson said: “In this case, some heartless person deliberately put the kittens into a plastic bag, filled it with water, sealed it shut and then dumped it in a rubbish bin.“The outcome they had planned for these little ones is clear and it was only a fluke they were found alive.’ “Thankfully local residents heard the freezing cold, soggy kittens crying and they were brought to Animals In Need where they fully recovered.“Less than a week later two more kittens were found left inside a carrier bag on the main street in Killygordon, which proved to be the start of a spate of kitten dumping around Donegal.”The AIN spokesperson added: ‘We have had kittens being found all over. We’ve had kittens dumped inside a box in Stranorlar, seven kittens found in a wheelie bin in Carndonagh and brought to the Garda in a plastic bag, three more kittens were sealed inside a box in Convoy and left to suffocate and five new-born kittens were found inside a plastic bag left on Donegal Pier.”The animal rescue volunteer added that this is just the tip of the iceberg, continuing: “Most of these kittens were only found by luck, they weren’t meant to be found.“There were five friendly kittens found on a quiet country road by a man who happened to be taking his grandson for a stroll, two kittens recently found in the middle of nowhere in Inishowen and two more by the masts in Raphoe and another two were found by tourists on the riverbank in Pettigo.”Under Irish law is it is an offence to abandon an animal, including kittens or unwanted cats. Dumped in a bin in Ballybofey – kittens on their adoption dayThe charity added that it is currently inundated with kittens who have been let outside at too young an age and are consequently getting lost or travelling in car engines.“Kittens should not be allowed out until they are at least 6 months and have been neutered or spayed,” AIN advise.With over a hundred gorgeous kittens and cats currently looking for homes at AIN, if you would like to add a furry feline friend or two to your family, please contact AIN’s cat helpline at 087 764 4420 or take a look at the Cats for Adoption album on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AINDONEGAL/Kitten dumping in Donegal becoming ‘an epidemic,’ charity says was last modified: October 14th, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Animals In Need Donegallast_img read more

Origin of Life Theory Invokes Resurrection

first_img(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Some scientists from Europe and America believe in the resurrection – of proteins.“Resurrected protein’s clue to origins of life,” writes Simon Redfern at the BBC News about an experimental “resurrection” of a presumably ancient protein.  Spanish and US scientists theorized that thioredoxin, an important protein that “has a number of metabolic functions in cells” and can tolerate heat up to 110 °C, was essential to the first life.  Using genetic comparisons, they “resurrected” the presumed original, ancient form of the gene, had a bacterium build it into protein, and tested its properties.  They speculate that this protein arose around 4 billion years ago, helping the first life get established on a “hellish” earth coming out of the presumed “Late Heavy Bombardment” of meteor strikes.Tia Ghose at Live Science also preached the resurrection, adding a little background to the secular mystery religion:Exactly how life emerged on Earth more than 3 billion years ago is a mystery. Some scientists believe that lightning struck the primordial soup in ammonia-rich oceans, producing the complex molecules that formed the precursors to life. Others believe that chemical reactions at deep-sea hydrothermal vents gave rise to cell membranes and simple cellular pumps. And still others believe that space rocks brought the raw ingredients for life — or perhaps even life itself — to Earth.The intelligently-designed thioredoxin had some nice properties, if one can believe it “arose” without design in the unobserved past:They then recreated the protein in the lab. The “fossil” protein was incredibly stable, bound to many different chemicals and functioned well in a highly acidic environment.“That makes a lot of sense because 4 billion years ago, many people think that the temperature was high and the oceans were acidic,” Sanchez Ruíz told LiveScience.Nevertheless, there are problems with the idea.  The BBC article noted that the protein cannot tolerate much tinkering:Prof Eric Gaucher of Georgia Tech, US, helped with the ancestral gene sequence reconstruction and commented: “A gene can become deactivated by as few as one or two mutations.“If our ancestral sequences were incorrectly inferred by having a single mistake, that could have led to a dead gene. Instead, our approach created biochemically active proteins that fold up into three dimensional structures that look like modern protein structures, thus validating our approach.”Another problem is that the work had to rule out gradualism, a core tenet of neo-Darwinism:The results suggest that biological systems might evolve at the molecular level in discrete jumps rather than along continuous pathways, as has been suggested from studies of the evolution of species.Ghose realized that there is no way to know if the designed protein in the lab had anything to do with a hypothetical lonely protein in an imagined hot sea:“There is no way to make absolutely certain unless we invent some kind of time machine,” Sanchez Ruíz said. “But we know that the properties we measure for these proteins are consistent with what we would expect of 4-billion-year-old proteins.“But shouldn’t the earliest proteins be simple, not complex, stable, and possessing multiple functions?  And what would it function with, if not a cell filled with many other proteins and genes?The BBC article ended with Ruiz speculating that thioredoxin arose on Mars, then was transported to Earth in meteorites.  “Four billion years ago Mars was a much a safer place than Earth,” he said.  “Maybe we have resurrected Martian proteins. Maybe the last universal common ancestor (the first life) formed on Mars and transferred to Earth.”  No life or products of life have yet been discovered on Mars.Before deciding how life “arose,” astrobiologists had better figure out what life is.  On Astrobiology Magazine, Gerald Joyce gave his opinions; but can evolutionists define life without begging the question of evolution?  (See Evolution News & Views 7/29/13).Has it come to this?  The tale makes Fantasyland look like science class.  It’s unbelievable that the BBC, Live Science and other sites in the Darwin echo chamber can print this malarkey in all seriousness and call it science.  The perhapsicouldness index is off the charts: “maybe” this, “perhaps”that, it “could” happen. What do you want to bet that NASA’s Astrobiology Magazine website will regurgitate this story in a day or so?One cannot look at highly-complex proteins in living cells, functioning as parts of complex networks, and assume that they “emerged” in a mythical, unseen ancestor.  One cannot “resurrect” something already alive that was never observed to be dead.  This is crazy.  But it’s not unique; the OOL lit is rife with perhapsicouldness.  Another story on Science Daily alleged that “protocells may have formed in a salty soup.”  DNA and RNA molecules (however they “emerged”) may have clustered together without a cell membrane at first.  But even that storyteller needed a reality check: “A functioning cell must be entirely correct at once, in all its complexity,” admitted Wilhelm Huck.  Well, huck yes.  Tell us how that happened.  Was it a miracle?The take-away message should be that origin-of-life (OOL) studies are futile exercises in imagination that contradict one another.  Ghose tells us about three kinds of OOL researchers who “believe” this or that.  Who cares what they “believe”?  Science is supposed to be about observable, repeatable, testable experiments.  All these scientists observed, repeated, and tested were their own intelligently-designed proteins in the present, not ones that they “resurrected” like conjurers calling up a mythical past.  Their house of cards includes a mythical Late Heavy Bombardment, mythical life on Mars, mythical jumps and starts.They want a time machine to be “certain,” they say.  We would love to watch them hit the wall a few thousand years ago and land on dry land on Day Two, then stick around for a few days more to see if life evolved or was designed.  Then we would like them to go back to the future to about 31 A.D. to learn some truth about Resurrection.last_img read more

‘Spend wisely, avoid the debt trap’

first_img14 January 2009In the context of grim market conditions characterised by high inflation and interest rates, as well as record over-indebtedness, the National Credit Regulator is urging South African consumers to think twice before applying for credit.“Consumers are advised to borrow money responsibly and wisely, especially at this time of the year,” NCR senior education and strategy manager Peter Setou said in a statement this week.Setou pointed out that consumers were often desperate for financial assistance at the beginning of the year, and might recklessly take out various forms of credit, which included credit cards, clothing accounts, overdrafts, and long- and short-term loans.“This entails borrowing money without planning how to repay the loan, borrowing money from unscrupulous credit providers, signing loan contracts they do not understand, and eventually finding themselves in worse financial predicaments,” he said.Consumer rightsSetou pointed out that it was paramount that consumers be familiar with their rights as borrowers in order to protect themselves from unscrupulous lenders.The National Credit Act, he said, was aimed at regulating South Africa’s credit granting industry, curbing reckless lending, and ensuring that consumers were protected from harmful business practices by lenders.Key features of the Act are to ensure that interest rates and fees are regulated, and that the advertising and marketing of credit contain prescribed information on the cost of credit.“Compare interest rates and other costs from different providers, always ask and make sure you understand what the total monthly payment, including insurance and all other charges is,” Setou said. “Avoid paying over too many months; it will cost you more in the end.”In addition, a credit provider cannot legally enter into a credit agreement unless the provider has given the consumer a pre-agreement statement and a quotation in the prescribed form, as well as giving the consumer a copy of a document that records their credit agreement.‘Must haves’ vs ‘nice to haves’Setou pointed out that while many consumers received their bonuses and other extra income during the festive season, they did not plan on how to spend their money – ending up spending their extra income on “nice to haves”, instead of “must haves”.He explained that consumers failed to plan for the New Year, for essentials such as school fees, uniforms, rent, transport and electricity, and were left with no money as they had exhausted all their income.The NCR, together with partners like the Department of Trade and Industry, provincial consumer affairs directorates, the Financial Services Board, and the Council for Medical Aid Schemes, have been running awareness campaigns countrywide to educate consumers about their rights and obligations.“We believe that an informed consumer is a protected consumer,” Setou said.SAinfo reporter Would you like to use this article in your publicationor on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Water war in Iowa less than heavenly

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest In the 1989 movie, Field of Dreams, there is a magical scene where Shoeless Joe Jackson appears from the cornfield surrounding the ball diamond that farmer Ray Kinsella has built. Shoeless Joe inquires, “Is this heaven?” Ray Kinsella replies, “No, it’s Iowa.”The other morning, while reviewing some online legal updates, I discovered a case pending in federal court in the Hawkeye State. My immediate thought was, “Is this hell? No, it is Iowa.”Let me explain. The Des Moines Water Works (a regional utility that provides drinking water) sued three rural, northwest, sparsely populated Iowa counties (Sac, Calhoun and Buena Vista) in federal court. All three operate drainage districts. The lawsuit accuses the counties of threatening the health of 500,000 central Iowans by discharging large amounts of nitrate from drainage ditches into the Raccoon River without a federal permit, in violation of the Clean Water Act.This is creative lawyering, to say the least. The utility is arguing that pollution that originated on scattered farms is subject to permit requirements set out in the U.S. Clean Water Act, which has always exempted runoff from farms from regulation. Agricultural surface water runoff has been exempt because it comes from many sources. Typically, the Clean Water Act is designed to require permits that limit pollution from single sources or “point sources” that can be regulated. These facilities, which include some large livestock confinement operations, as well as sewage treatment plants and factories, regularly emit pollution that can be directly measured. In the case of runoff, the nitrogen can come from farms, yards, golf courses and other sources, and it would be difficult, perhaps impossible, to trace back to specific sources.Des Moines Water Works asserts that the water in question in the lawsuit is not surface water, but ground water because it flows from field tiles. Iowa has over 3,000 drainage districts. Like much of the Midwest, Iowa is prime agricultural land because of field tile. It will be interesting to see how this argument plays out in federal court. For years, farm drainage tile has not been considered a point source of pollution.What is disturbing is the behavior of Des Moines Water Works. They point the finger directly at agriculture for nitrates in the water in Des Moines, yet this same utility dumps the nitrate they remove back into the river that heads downstream toward Ottumwa. What’s good for the goose…The trial is a year away. The legal fees to date have been high. Furthermore, the case has divided citizens into anti-farmer and pro-farmer, with polls showing the anti group with more members. Farmers are disgusted because many have embraced wise environmental practices for years. In addition, Iowa recently passed the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy that offers multiple methods farmers can use to voluntarily address environmental issues.Should the utility prevail, the U.S. EPA could make radical changes requiring permits of Iowa’s 3,000 drainage ditches that could lead to regulations on individual farms. This case could be precedential as other entities in other states march to the courts. It is also possible that the EPA could install a general permit category for farms that would change little.If the counties win, voluntary conservation efforts continue. The bad will generated by legal action, however, likely remains.It seems to me that the goal of safe drinking water is universal. It is unfortunate that the utility chose to sue rather than to work towards the common goal. To date, the only winners are the lawyers who are profiting from this divisive action.In the meantime, I watch for updates about this case and hope for a happy ending. And I think of that scene from Field of Dreams. “Is this heaven?” “No, it’s Iowa.”last_img read more

Sonos Music System Comes to Android

first_img Tags:#music#web 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Sonos is releasing an Android version of the controler for its wireless music system today. The company, which allows users to listen to their downloaded music or to subscriptions on streaming services from Pandora to Spotify to Rdio, says it doubled in revenue last year and does 60% of its business outside the United States. One Sonos S5 unit retails for $400 for single room. I’ve been testing out two review units for the past few weeks and am really enjoying them. I didn’t know what the point of the Sonos was – until I had it in my house and under the control of my iPhone. Sonos co-founder Tom Cullen says that’s a common experience. “The iPhone made this business grow,” Cullen says. “We’ve had a lot of products we’ve introduced to change the growth rate of this company and there’s nothing like the iPhone that’s done it. We released that in October ’08 and saw a 15% uptick in a week. We expect the Android to do the same.”In addition to the standard Sonos options, the Android controler will allow users to search for music by voice. Cullen says that even when music is playing loudly, the Android voice recognition is effective.What does the future hold for Sonos? Cullen says that getting costs down is key to the company’s growth and that sounds about right – it would be great to be able to outfit rooms at less than $400 a pop. Logitech makes a wireless speaker system for under $100, but it doesn’t appear to offer the software, user experience or audio quality that Sonos does.Sonos raised $25 million in venture capital from Index Ventures last year, part of a big increase in investment across the music technology industry last year.Internet music is what Sonos serves today, but the company aims to grow broader in its feature set inthe future.“The S5 [model] is a smart speaker,” Cullen says. “We expect that in the future, all speakers will have power and a brain. They will work one way for movie sound, another way for music. You’ll take your smart phone and connect to any smart feature. We are a sound company and we’ll cover every part of sound in the home.” 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…center_img 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Related Posts marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

7 Ways Your Business Should Be Using Machine Learning Today

first_imgAI Will Empower Leaders, Not Replace Them AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Bart Schachter Machine learning has been defined by Stanford University as “the science of getting computers to act without being explicitly programmed.” It’s machine learning that is now behind some of the greatest advancements in technology, driving new industries like autonomous vehicles.From machine learning, a whole new world of concepts has developed, including supervised learning and unsupervised learning, as well as algorithm development to build robots, Internet of Things devices, chatbots, analytics tools, and more. Here are seven ways you can put machine learning to work right now:1. Analyzing Sales DataThe sales function has benefited from the growth in sales-focused data thanks to the increase in digital interaction. Sales teams can tap into metrics from social media platforms, A/B testing, and website visits. Yet with so much data to sift through, sales teams are often bogged down by the time and analysis it takes to pinpoint the necessary insights.Fortunately, machine learning can significantly speed up the process of uncovering the most valuable information. Not only does machine learning do a lot of the heavy lifting in the time-consuming process of reviewing all the sales data, but it can also do much of the analysis for your team. For example, Growbots applies machine learning in order to connect sales teams with the best leads for them. In return, sales teams are able to focus only on those leads that have the greatest potential, accelerating their outbound sales process.2. Real-Time Mobile PersonalizationDigital personalization is becoming a more sought-after process to engage prospects and customers, as well as enhance the overall experience so they regularly return to buy your products or services. This has become particularly important in the mobile environment with the advent of tablets, smartphones, and wearables.Now, mobile marketers and app developers are looking for a way to leverage all the information they can find about each customer’s context so they can develop a highly personalized mobile experience that pleases the consumer and delivers a greater return. Enter machine-learning applications.Flybits is one company that uses machine learning to enable companies to deliver real-time personalization. This context-as-a-service product allows you to have instant cloud access to internal and external data to develop personalized mobile channels.Yet as Facebook’s recent experience has shown, companies that fail to protect consumers’ personal data can expect a backlash. According to Hossein Rahnama, founder and CEO of Flybits, “Flybits promotes data transparency and a proactive approach to privacy. Our enterprise customers want to protect the privacy of their customers, and Flybits makes this easy. First, our customers maintain full control over their data — we do not own it. In addition, we follow Privacy by Design to embed security into our software and use tokenization to anonymize all customer data. Our customers have total control over the opt-in choices that they offer.”3. Fraud DetectionWith consumers’ growing preference for shopping online, criminals have gained an enormous opportunity to commit more fraud. Businesses have employed many types of online security measures but are finding that more are needed. The rise in online transactions also means that many of the measures available to check them make each transaction take longer and slow down the purchase experience — and still often don’t work to stop fraud. The result is increased chargebacks that cost money and impact a brand’s reputation.Luckily, machine learning is available to improve the fraud detection process. For example, PayPal is using machine-learning tools to look for fraudulent transactions (including money laundering) and to help separate these from legitimate transactions. Machine learning assists by examining specific features in a data set and then building models that provide the basis for reviewing every transaction for certain signs it could be fraudulent. This helps stop the fraud in process before the transaction is even completed.4. Product RecommendationsIf you are in the online retail environment, then you know that your customers like having personalized recommendations delivered to them. It improves the shopping experience in their eyes and offers you a way to sell more products. While Amazon was one of the first to introduce an algorithm to improve the product recommendation process, machine-learning tools have ramped up what you can do.As John Bates, senior product manager for data science and predictive marketing solutions at Adobe, observes: “By leveraging machine learning and predictive analytics, brands can look beyond what customers are searching for and start connecting the dots on what they likely want. It’s cross-selling at scale — matching customers to specific products or content that will nudge them towards more conversions and greater lifetime values.”Ecommerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba have already jumped on the machine-learning bandwagon. Amazon has improved upon its own product recommendation process with its artificial neural networks machine-learning algorithm, while Alibaba created the “E-commerce Brain.” Its product recommendation machine-learning mechanism has helped the retailer to significantly raise revenues just by populating billions of personalized product recommendation pages.5. Learning Management SystemsThere is greater understanding of the value of ongoing learning opportunities across all learning segments, including virtual training management software. As a result, the global eLearning market is growing by leaps and bounds. In 2010, it was approximately $32 billion. By 2015, it grew to $107 billion. Now, it is projected to reach $325 billion by 2025.For example, eLearning Industry is an online media and publishing company that was established in 2012 to create a comprehensive knowledge-sharing platform for eLearning professionals. In order to create the most relevant platform for this industry, machine learning became an important differentiating tool. For the tools and platforms that companies create to serve the LMS industry, machine learning is a core competitive advantage because it can generate the most relevant, personalized training management experience possible.Christopher Pappas, founder of eLearning Industry, writes: “What if you could create eLearning content and then let the system take care of the more tedious tasks, such as reviewing charts and statistics to detect hidden patterns? What if you could provide immediate personalized eLearning feedback and steer online learners in the right direction without any human intervention? Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence have the potential to automate the behind-the-scenes work that requires a significant amount of time and resources. In the future, AI can help you develop and deploy more meaningful eLearning experiences that bridge undisclosed gaps.”6. Dynamic PricingThe travel and retail industries see opportunities to change pricing based on a need or the level of demand. However, incorporating the concept of dynamic pricing can seem impossible across a large enterprise, as there are multiple locations or segments of customers that would need to be taken into account.That’s where machine learning can make the dynamic pricing model work. For example, both Uber and Airbnb use machine learning to help create dynamic prices for each user on the fly. Plus, Uber uses it to minimize wait time and optimize the ride-sharing aspect of its services. Uber can temporarily change pricing in that area to gain a higher revenue stream. Also, it can reduce rates where demand is much lower.Machine learning can utilize existing data to predict where demand may occur. In addition, if online companies or app developers can determine where a visitor’s country or city of origin, then they can charge a price based on what that person is comfortable paying in his or her home location.7. Natural Language ProcessingThere are so many functions where it would be great to have a stand-in to take care of tedious tasks. These include tech support, help desks, customer service, and many others. Thanks to machine learning’s capability for natural language processing (NLP), computers can take over. That’s because NLP provides an automated translation method between computer and human languages. Machine learning focuses on word choices, context, meaning, slang, jargon, and other subtle nuances within human language. As a result, it becomes “more human” in its responses.Using this capability, chatbots can step in and serve as communicators in place of humans for various roles. In addition, NLP applies to situations where there is complex information to dissect, including contracts and research reports.As these examples show, machine learning is ready to step in and make many business areas more efficient, effective, and profitable. The time to implement the technology of tomorrow is today. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Tags:#AI#AI Machine Learning#Machine Learning Bart Schachter is an investor, operator, and tech affectionado, with a passion for business operations, team building, product design, finance, and deal making. Bart has been an entrepreneur, VC, corporate executive, and turn-around operator. He lives in San Francisco and all his view are his own. Related Posts last_img read more

ESPN’s Mike Golic Will Attempt To Eat 36 Mini-Doughnuts In 1 Hour Tomorrow

first_imgESPN's Mike Golic.NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 12: Sports media personality Mike Golic attends the Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald, BGC and GFI at Cantor Fitzgerald on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald)ESPN radio host Mike Golic will attempt an interesting feat Thursday morning. Golic, in response to a bet from Jon “Stugotz” Weiner over at The Dan Le Batard Show, will try to eat 36 mini-doughnuts in an hour, live on-air during Mike & Mike. Stugotz accomplished the feat in a three-hour time period last week, but had a rough time in the process. Tomorrow, @espngolic will attempt to eat 36 powdered mini donuts in ONE HOUR! Retweet if you think he will do it. https://t.co/x9qtyV0uaC— Mike & Mike (@MikeAndMike) November 11, 2015Wondering just how big these doughnuts are? Here’s a shot of Stugotz’ plate before he started chowing down.Happy Thursday from the @LeBatardShow!!! pic.twitter.com/KMf6a53O2F— Charlie Hulme (@charlie_hulme) November 5, 2015The stakes? Should Golic finish the doughnuts in an hour, Stugotz will have to shave his head. If Golic cannot get through them, he’ll have to do something on the Le Batard Show’s “Grid Of Death.”Will he pull it off? We’ll find out tomorrow morning.last_img read more

Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Jordan Coaches’ Hat Revealed

first_imgJim Harbaugh speaks as he is introduced as the new Head Coach of the University of Michigan football team.ANN ARBOR, MI – DECEMBER 30: Jim Harbaugh speaks as he is introduced as the new Head Coach of the University of Michigan football team at the Junge Family Champions Center on December 30, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Jim Harbaugh’s new coaching hat has been revealed.Alejandro Zuniga of MaizenBrew posted a photo on Twitter today of the Michigan head coach’s new Air Jordan hat that he will wear on the sideline.Here it is:Jim Harbaugh’s hat for the 2016-17 football season: pic.twitter.com/DVibrXctVX— Alejandro Zúñiga (@ByAZuniga) July 29, 2016Harbaugh’s coaching shirt (which he designed) was revealed earlier this month. This (but in blue and w/ a thin M) is Jim Harbaugh’s new coaching shirt. He designed it. pic.twitter.com/8ID6UFE44K— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) July 20, 2016Michigan officially becomes a Nike school on Aug. 1. The Wolverines signed a $173 million contract with The Swoosh that will run through 2027.As part of the deal, the Wolverines’ football team will be outfitted by Nike’s Jordan brand. All of the football gear – including the uniforms – will have the Jumpman logo.The football jerseys are set to be unveiled at a special ceremony in Detroit on Tuesday.last_img read more

Its Always A Bull Market For Tom Thibodeau

Among the stranger storylines this NBA offseason is the near-constant Thibs Watch, which lights up like a Bat Signal whenever a former player of the Timberwolves coach becomes available on the free-agent market.The legend grew a bit more Monday when Luol Deng, who played for Tom Thibodeau in Chicago, reached an agreement to rejoin his old coach in Minnesota, pushing the total number of former-Bull Thibs disciples to four before training camp even starts.We’ll come back to the questions about whether this is actually a good thing, but it’s worth noting that Thibodeau and the Wolves are flirting with NBA history.With four of Thibodeau’s former players on the roster,1The Timberwolves also had four former Thibodeau pupils last year, when they featured Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Derrick Rose and Aaron Brooks. the club again sits in a second-place tie for the largest collection of former pupils that a coach has ever accumulated.2Larry Brown and the 2009-10 Charlotte Bobcats also had four. The record for ex-players being reunited with a coach is five, set by Kevin Loughery and the Washington Bullets in 1986-87, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Thibodeau could tie this mark if center Joakim Noah — reportedly on his way out of New York, perhaps through the stretch provision — eventually ends up joining the Timberwolves, too.Of course, the key difference here is that Thibodeau, unlike Loughery, also serves as Minnesota’s team president and has final say over personnel matters. None of the four TimberBulls were on the roster before Thibodeau joined the organization3Charles Jones, Dan Roundfield and Ennis Whatley had all been on the Bullets before Loughery was installed as the head coach there. in 2016. Butler was acquired via trade, while Gibson, Rose and Deng were all picked up in free agency.And to an extent, what Thibodeau is doing makes sense. Minnesota transitioned somewhat quickly from being an upstart with a pair of young, talented players to having very real expectations after the trade for Butler. Having familiar veterans around can potentially flatten a young team’s steep learning curve. In trying to change the team’s culture — especially the way Thibodeau goes about establishing his — it’s helpful to have people in place who set the tone at a previous stop. Thibodeau’s standards on defense and in practice sessions are well-known, yet not everyone is prepared to give the effort that he requires on a daily basis. Deng understands that better than most.“I came in here, and I thought no one was here,” Deng told ESPN’s Nick Friedell years ago about a practice in Chicago. “And I tried to get some shots up, and then he came down [from his office]. He put me through one of the toughest workouts I’ve ever done. That’s when I knew [that playing for him] was going to be no joke.”Deng’s comment touches on an inherent problem with the sort of continuity Thibs is keeping: The coach appears to be drawn to players he knows he can push to the limit physically.4This isn’t to blame Thibodeau for the injuries many of his key players have suffered. There isn’t any evidence to draw a direct correlation between his coaching style and the injuries of those players.This stood out to me a year ago when I was in Minneapolis for T-Wolves media day. Thibodeau was asked whether he planned to dole out minutes more conservatively, and he reeled off these numbers: Minnesota was going into the 2017-18 season with five of the NBA’s 17 players who had appeared in all 82 games the year before. His response may have been read as suggesting that he doesn’t need to dial back certain players’ minutes because they’ve shown before that they can handle the workload. (Point guard Jeff Teague, one of those who had played all 82 the year before — and then missed time with an injury this past season — was on record saying he felt the Wolves’ bench needed to play more and that Minnesota starters got tired.)Beyond that, there’s also the question of whether some of Thibodeau’s former players really fit together on the court anymore. Almost no one would turn down an opportunity to have Butler or Gibson on their team, obviously. But Rose, despite being a bright spot during the playoffs, was a controversial signing, and he took playing time from Tyus Jones, who is one of the more efficient players in the entire league. The dynamic is obviously different than it was in Chicago; this is clearly Butler’s team. But Rose and Butler never truly jelled in Chicago, and ball movement wasn’t particularly crisp in the limited moments they shared this past season. (Minnesota reversed the ball less than once per 48 minutes when that pair played together — down from almost 13 reversals per 48 minutes when Butler played without Rose, according to Second Spectrum.)5In fairness, the Timberwolves did produce a whopping 20 net rating in that limited 32-minute sample that Butler and Rose played together, according to NBA Advanced Stats, perhaps providing some hope for next season.There’s reason to believe in the Deng signing — regardless of his history with the coach — as he fills a positional need and has suffered limited wear and tear on his body the past two seasons, since the Lakers hardly used him. Deng may not be a particularly solid scorer anymore, but the Timberwolves — top four on offense but bottom 10 on defense — can likely do without his offense if he has anything left to give on D. It would seem harder to advocate for a Noah signing, should he and the Knicks part ways in the coming weeks. While the former defensive player of the year could potentially mentor Karl Anthony-Towns, who still has much to learn as a rim protector, there isn’t as natural a spot in the rotation for him, given that Towns, Gibson and Gorgui Dieng can all play center.In any case, if Noah becomes a free agent in the coming weeks, don’t be surprised if Thibs’s Bat Signal lights up the sky. At this point, it would be more surprising if it didn’t. read more