Daniel Ellsberg on WikiLeaks

first_imgNews Help by sharing this information Organisation Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked Pentagon Papers, defends WikiLeaks center_img January 31, 2011 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Daniel Ellsberg on WikiLeaks RSF_en last_img

Tales of Transformations: Brooks Serves Up Science

first_imgMeet Brooks Weisblat, VP of Technology at Frost Science, who – as he says – is responsible “for everything that has a button on it.” That’s very modest. In fact, the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science is a 250,000 square foot state-of-the-art marvel. Every part of it, from the exhibits to the wildlife tanks to the gift shop, uses the latest technology to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Building these interconnected systems was a massive undertaking for Brooks and a small team of developers.Brooks started his career as a web developer at a small science museum in Miami… and two decades later, he was planning the technological backbone for a $330 million new building. Have a look at how Dell Technologies centralized infrastructure helped Brooks make it happen. Here is his Tale of Transformation:A modern infrastructure enables Brooks and his team to spend their time being creative and helping the museum’s staff think big.If you want to learn more about how Brooks melded creativity and technology to help create a state-of-the-art modern marvel, check out this podcast.Are you ready to modernize your infrastructure? Then learn more here.last_img read more

Franjo Tudjman Airport has a record number of passengers

first_imgThe month of July, both for tourist destinations and for the Franjo Tuđman Airport, was a record for the number of passengers.As many as 351.532 passengers passed through Zagreb Airport last month, an increase of 14,5 percent compared to the same month last year. The busiest day was July 17, when 12.598 passengers were recorded, and in addition to that, more than 12.000 passengers were recorded for three more days, which has not happened in the history of Zagreb Airport.Exceptional traffic growth of 10 percent, lasts all year round, and the services of the busiest airport in Croatia were used by more than 1,6 million passengers in the first seven months, point out Franjo Tuđman International Airport (MZLZ) and add that the volume of work and traffic has increased followed by an increase in the number of employees, so that since the opening of the new passenger terminal, a total of 118 new employees have been hired, of which 96 have been hired, while the rest have been hired for ancillary work. “The growth of the number of passengers was certainly contributed by the establishment of eight new routes, three of which are the routes of two new airlines Monarch and Emirates. The national carrier Croatia Airlines has opened four new destinations from Zagreb, and the existing airlines have increased the number of frequencies and capacities of the aircraft, which all directly affected the significant continuous increase in passenger traffic. ” stand out from MZLZ.Thanks to the existing flights, but also the introduction of new ones that connect Zagreb with other destinations and make it more accessible to a larger number of visitors, the number of passengers is expected to exceed three million for the first time by the end of the year.Related news:Will the announced strike of Croatia Airlines staff land aircraft in the middle of the tourist season?last_img read more

ESG roundup: New COVID-19 bill to provide legal certainty about AGMs [updated]

first_imgThe UK government has introduced legislation that stands to provide legal certainty to companies about annual general meetings (AGMs) and shareholder communication in light of social distancing needs linked to the coronavirus, it has been said.Introduced in parliament yesterday, the bill consists of insolvency and corporate governance measures to address challenges faced by companies resulting from the impact of the coronavirus.One of the measures, which is temporary, is to allow businesses to hold closed AGMs and conduct business and communicate with members electronically; filing deadlines have also been extended. The bill provides for the temporary measures to be retrospective.Andrew Ninian, director of stewardship and corporate governance at the Investment Association, said: “AGMs provide a vital forum for shareholders to hold companies to account and for companies to get the required approvals from their shareholders. “This bill will provide legal certainty to companies that have held or are due to hold their AGMs allowing them to respect the social distancing measures currently in place.“We would continue to encourage all companies to consider how they can engage with their retail and institutional shareholders in lieu of the physical AGM,” he added.Simon Rawson, director of corporate engagement at responsible investment campaign group ShareAction, said the bill was helpful in that it clarified that companies could lawfully hold virtual AGMs even if their articles of association didn’t permit them, but “unhelpful in that it doesn’t discourage ‘closed door’ AGMs”.According to Gareth Sykes, lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills, the legislation would allow companies to hold fully virtual AGMs via an app but also puts “on a firmer footing” the approach that most companies have been taking in the past couple of months of discharging the AGM business with the minimum number of shareholders required to make up the quorum.This can be only two or three directors, with the bill making clear that they could discharge the AGM business over the telephone or via Skype rather than having to meet at a physical venue.Sykes said the legislation made it very clear that shareholders do not have a right to attend the AGM in person and are only entitled to participate in voting.The article was updated to add comments from Gareth SykesMSCI makes more ESG metrics publicMSCI has made public more environmental, social and governance (ESG) information, having today announced it has done so for ESG fund ratings for 36,000 mutual funds and ETFs, and ESG metrics for all of MSCI Limited’s EU-regulated equity and blended indices covered by the EU Benchmark Regulation.The ratings and metrics are available as part of two new search tools available to anyone on the MSCI website.The index-level search tool was launched to comply with a new EU regulatory requirement for benchmark administrators, also providing information about whether the EU-regulated equity and blended indices include ESG metrics. It said it would disclose ESG metrics for its fixed income indices in the coming weeks.The index-level metrics being provided are based on recommendations in the final report of the technical expert group advising the European Commission on sustainable finance, as the relevant final regulations have not been implemented.In November MSCI released ESG ratings of over 2,800 issuers.Remy Briand, head of ESG at MSCI, said: “We are proud to provide investors and industry stakeholders with publicly available ESG metrics for tens of thousands of funds, companies and indexes, helping to drive awareness, educate the market and raise ESG disclosure standards.”Folksam pumps SEK2.5bn into municipal green bondsSweden’s Folksam invested SEK2.5bn (€237m) in a SEK5bn green bond issue from Swedish local government debt agency Kommuninvest, it has announced.The SEK442bn pensions and insurance group said that after buying the bond, which has three years to maturity, it now has a total of around SEK30bn of its assets invested in green bonds.Michael Kjeller, Folksam Group deputy chief executive officer and head of asset management and sustainability, said: “This investment contributes to pension money providing double benefits to savers, by allowing the local transition to continue while pension money grows.”The firm said Kommuninvest issued green bonds to finance schemes by Swedish municipalities that contributed to climate mitigation, adding that the tally of such green projects had increased significantly to number 329 at the end of last year.Folksam said it was dividing the investment across its subsidiaries, with municipal pensions subsidiary KPA Pension taking SEK1.2bn of the issue, the group’s life insurance arm investing SEK1.1bn and general insurance division Folksam Sak investing SEK200m.According to Kommuninvest, the green bond issue 1.6 times oversubscribed, with 15 investors participating.LAPFF lays down COVID-19 corporate governance expectationsThe UK’s Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF) has said it will “demand the highest standards of corporate governance from company boards as they tackle the fallout from COVID-19”.Councillor Doug McMurdo, chair of the LAPFF, said: “Responsible investors always need to be sensitive to the varied and variable operating markets that companies inhabit.“However, this does not mean giving companies a free pass in hard times, which would be self-defeating. It is time now to double down to protect sustainable business practices and long-term shareholder returns in the downturn and lay the foundations for their growth in the recovery.”LAPFF is an association of 82 UK public sector pension funds and six asset pooling vehicles iwth combined assets of around £300bn.S&P Global launches ESG scoresS&P Global has followed up its acquisition of the SAM ESG ratings and benchmarking business units from RobecoSAM in January with the launch of proprietary ESG scores for more than 7,300 companies, representing 95% of market capitalisation.The scores are based on the SAM Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), a widely recognised annual evaluation of companies’ sustainability practices that came with the acquisition of SAM earlier this year.The scores will be made available to investors through S&P Global’s flagship data feed management solution.Martina Cheung, president of S&P Global Market Intelligence, said: “We are seeing more and more decision-makers across all segments leverage the benefits of Xpressfeed to accelerate data integration and analysis for their business strategy.“The S&P Global ESG Scores are backed by 20 years of SAM’s comprehensive assessments enabling market participants to optimize their portfolios and allocate capital towards positive ESG performance.”“Simply asking companies questions without providing feedback and encouraging improvements would not be classified as an engagement”UBS Asset ManagementUBS engagement trackingUBS Asset Management has published a new metric to keep track of progress made during meetings with companies that meet its definition of engagement.Last year the asset manager introduced an “enhanced” internal tracking system to assess progress against defined engagement objectives, and in its recent stewardship report it disclosed the metric resulting from that for the first time.It said that since introducing the system, 23% of engagements it has undertaken “showed progress against identified areas for improvements to manage risks and take advantage of new opportunities”.“As this is a new metric and for some of our engagements formalised engagement objectives have only recently been introduced, we expect future reporting to record increased numbers in terms of engagement progress,” it said.The asset manager held more than 1,400 meetings with prospective or investee companies last year, but only counts a quarter (358) of them as amounting to engagements.“Corporate engagement implies a two-way dialogue between investors and companies,” it said. “Simply asking companies questions without providing feedback and encouraging improvements would not be classified as an engagement.”UBS asset revealed that from this AGM season, its proxy voting policy allows it to vote against the board of directors of a company due to poor dialogue and progress on climate change risks and opportunities.To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

With the regular season over, the field is now set for 2017 Dick Niclai Tournament

first_imgWith all 18 area high school basketball teams having completed their regular season schedules, all eyes now turn to what’s in store for postseason play over the next month.First stop, the annual Dick Niclai Tournament.Sitting over on the horizon, the North Coast Section playoffs and beyond.The six-team fields are officially set, with both the Arcata boys and girls basketball teams looking to defend their tournament titles for yet another season. Dusty Scofield and the Arcata girls have won …last_img read more

Is a Tech-Based Social Credit Score a Good Idea?

first_imgFrank is a freelance journalist who has worked in various editorial capacities for over 10 years. He covers trends in technology as they relate to business. Frank Landman Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Related Posts China is currently developing a kind of social credit system, not dissimilar to a financial credit system, designed to reward people for doing good deeds and demonstrating honesty and integrity while punishing people for committing untrustworthy acts. The details of this system are still fuzzy; it’s not certain whether it will be a compilation of big data from multiple sources or whether it will be one centralized platform. However, it’s certainly going to rely on big data and high-tech analysis to make evaluations.On the surface, this kind of system sounds like something out of Black Mirror­—a nightmarish evaluative hierarchy that would needlessly segment people into classes and exclude them from living a normal life. But are there merits to such a system, and should we consider implementing one?Comparisons to Financial CreditIn a sense, we already have a similar credit-based system in place: financial credit, with the FICO score being the main type of credit score considered. Many of the criticisms of a social credit system could also be applied to our current financial credit system, yet we still rely on it for the majority of our loan decisions and have become comfortable with it.For example, as you’ll see, one of the biggest criticisms for this type of system is the type of limitation it would impose on people with a low credit score. However, there are currently and would always be options for people with low credit; it’s entirely possible to get a credit card if you have bad credit, and it would be entirely possible to build a family and lead a normal life if you have bad social credit.Similarly, both systems allow you to improve your score over time. Rather than being permanently blacklisted based on one action or mistake, your score is fluid, and will automatically adjust if and when your behavior is corrected.InfractionsOne major point of contention is deciding which infractions, behaviors, or habits would be most likely to impact your social credit score. Some obvious infractions would be met with near-universal agreement. For example, when someone commits a premeditated, violent crime, it should be reflected on their social credit score. This isn’t much different than recording and reporting standards for felonies as they exist today. Lesser crimes, like jaywalking or littering, would come with a marginally less serious penalty on your social credit score.The real controversy comes into play when you consider relatively innocent infractions. For example, in China, failing to visit an elderly parent or putting out the wrong items with your recycling could result in damage to your social credit.PunishmentsThe punishments also need to be considered. If the consequences of a low social credit score are minimal, few people would object to the system. But if they’re too lax or are not incentivizing, the system would be practically useless.Currently, the system will impose restrictions on travel if your social credit falls below a certain mark. You may also have trouble getting your children into private schools, which is much more impactful. Your credit score may also influence your social status; for example, some dating apps in China will publish your social credit score, which could influence how you pursue romantic interests. It could even spur bias in hiring decisions, preventing people from getting a job they might otherwise be qualified for.Deciding on a SystemThe biggest issue isn’t with the nature of a social credit system, since most of us act as if there’s an informal one in place already. Instead, it’s with how the system is created and implemented.For starters, will this system be centralized, with one set of standards for determining how a credit score is calculated and how punishments or rewards are doled out? Or will there be multiple sources of information coming together as one? Either way, who will be making this decision, and how will that decision be implemented?There are several problems to work out here:Which infractions count, and how are they reported? The first question most people have is which social infractions or good deeds are going to count, and how are those infractions going to be reported? For crimes, this is straightforward; in addition to creating a writeup or making an arrest, a law enforcement officer could easily submit a report to the central social credit agency or each of several minor social credit agencies. It would take a lot of time, but would be somewhat clear-cut. Lesser infractions would be a bigger issue, since they would often rely on peer reporting. Peers aren’t typically reliable witnesses, so it wouldn’t take long for the system to be entirely compromised.How will discrepancies be resolved? There are multiple discrepancies that could potentially arise. For example, if there’s only one database, what happens if someone sees an infraction reported that they’ve never committed? Or what happens if a single infraction is reported multiple times? More importantly, what happens if you’re using multiple social credit reporting systems, and two of them conflict with one another? A blockchain-like system of verification could help here, but it wouldn’t solve everything.Who can “see” or request social credit? Your credit score can only be accessed by certain individuals and organizations, so would your social credit score be similarly protected? For example, would an employer be able to find your social credit score if they were considering hiring you? What about a vindictive neighbor who’s trying to find a reason to have you evicted?Who’s creating the analytic system? Bias is prevalent in almost any algorithm. No matter how “smart” your AI is, if it’s been created by humans, it’s going to have flaws. There would need to be a series of checks and balances to make sure the system being created is as fair and unbiased as possible.Can social credit be appealed? What can you do to improve or appeal your social credit? Is there a statute of limitations for when and how infractions can be reported? Do infractions expire after a certain amount of time?The Potential BenefitsObviously, a social credit system would be incredibly complicated to develop and roll out, so it would need to have some massive benefits if it’s going to be considered.There are some potential benefits—most notably, the incentive for people to avoid committing crimes and favor doing good deeds. A society where people have a strong reason to engage in honest business practices, or be positive contributors to their environments, is a society that functions harmoniously.There are also side benefits to consider for companies and organizations; companies would hypothetically be able to hire more trustworthy people, resulting in more efficient operations and better economic growth, and even advertisers could get in on the action, targeting ads to people with high or low social credit, or offering services for rebuilding a social credit score that has fallen to dangerously low levels.Are the Benefits Enough?Those benefits aren’t free, however. To get them, we’ll need to consider the right infractions to track, the right methods for processing the data, the right system or combination of systems to record everything, and enough checks and balances to ensure the overall system is as unbiased as possible. Such an undertaking would be ridiculously expensive and require lots of tech talent. It would also likely go through several iterations before we settle on a final setup—iterations which would be problematic for many citizens.Overall, a social credit system is fine in theory. It has a ton of perks and doesn’t necessarily predict a dystopia. The problem is, there are too many variables to consider for something as subjective as a person’s social trustworthiness, and unless we’re confident in our assessments, we shouldn’t be condemning people to any lifestyle or freedom-based punishment. Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industrylast_img read more

Expansion of Maharashtra Cabinet on the cards

first_imgAs the State government gets ready for the last session of the current Assembly, the news of a possible Cabinet expansion is making the rounds again. The monsoon session begins on June 17. While details of a meeting between senior BJP leader and Revenue and Relief Minister Chandrakant Patil with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray on Monday were not made public, sources said it was to discuss the possibility of expansion.State Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, in an interaction with mediapersons, said, “Yes, there is a possibility of Cabinet expansion. The ultimate right to decide rests with Chief Minister. More ministers would mean better governance. Therefore, there is a possibility that cabinet expansion may take place,” he said.Political circles are also discussing the possibility of former Leader of Opposition and senior Congress leader Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil joining BJP and getting a cabinet berth. However neither BJP sources nor Mr. Vikhe-Patil’s aides have confirmed this yet.last_img read more

18 days agoArsenal defender Calum Chambers: Much more to come from us

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Arsenal defender Calum Chambers: Much more to come from usby Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal defender Calum Chambers has no doubts about the potential of their young team.Even though Arsenal sit in the Champions League places, with just one defeat so far this season which came away to early pace-setters Liverpool, Chambers feels there is still room for improvement in the coming weeks.Asked if there was still more to come from the team, the defender replied: “Yes, we have got a really strong squad, a lot of quality players.”We know we have got quality and we can see that, we have just got to keep working hard and believing in ourselves and the results will keep on coming.” last_img read more

Groom Had Awesome Kentucky Basketball Cake For His Wedding Saturday Night

first_imgKentucky cheerleaders on the court at Rupp Arena.LEXINGTON, KY – DECEMBER 10: Kentucky Wildcats cheerleaders perform during the game against the Boise State Broncos at Rupp Arena on December 10, 2013 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)It’s a great time to be a Kentucky fan. The Wildcats, who arguably have one of the greatest college basketball teams ever assembled, are sporting a 31-0 record heading into both the SEC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament. One UK supporter apparently wanted to celebrate both his upcoming marriage and Wildcats hoops in the same day.Saturday, a meteorologist named T.G. Shuck tweeted out a photo of his friend’s groom’s cake. It’s made in the shape of a basketball with the Kentucky logo and some cut-down [email protected] Grooms cake at my best friend’s wedding tonight! 31-0! pic.twitter.com/LbfrcMoEER— T.G. Shuck (@TGweather) March 8, 2015The groom would have quite a year if he both got married and saw his favorite team win the NCAA Tournament.last_img read more

Here’s A Cool Video Of Deshaun Watson Leading Clemson In A Round Of “Tigerjacks”

first_imgDeshaun Watson leading the team in "Tigerjacks" at practice.Deshaun Watson Clemson TigerjacksClemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is only entering his sophomore year with the Tigers, but it’s clear that he’s going to have to be a leader during the 2015 campaign. It looks like he’s having no problem playing that role so far.Saturday, Clemson posted an Instagram video of Watson leading the team in a round of “Tigerjacks.” It’s a short clip, but it’s enough to get Tigers fan pumped up for the upcoming season.  Deshaun Watson leading the Tigerjack breakdown. #ClemsonA video posted by Clemson Football (@clemsonfb) on Aug 15, 2015 at 8:21am PDT Clemson opens with Wofford on Saturday, September 5.last_img read more