On top of the flu

first_imgHarvard statisticians have devised a new method to track the flu via Internet search data, potentially providing public health officials and consumers alike with advance warning this flu season.The system adopts an approach — tracking searches for key words and phrases such as “flu,” “flu symptoms,” “treating the flu” — that has been tried before with varying levels of success, but combines it with additional data to improve accuracy.The result, according to Samuel Kou, a professor of statistics, is the most precise method yet.“If you see a spike in search volume, it probably indicates that something is going on,” Kou said.The history of tracking the flu using search data goes back several years. The most notable effort, Kou said, was that of Google Flu Trends, released in 2009 and discontinued last summer. Though Google Flu Trends used sophisticated algorithms and was revised repeatedly, its predictions often missed the retrospective analysis of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which tracks actual reports of people with flu-like symptoms seeking medical attention across the country.CDC data are considered something of a gold standard in disease surveillance, Kou said, but it takes one to three weeks for reports to be compiled, making it hard for public health officials to stay ahead of the flu.Though most sufferers recover relatively quickly, the disease can be deadly, killing 500,000 annually around the world. In the United States, it kills an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people each year.Kou worked with Ph.D. student Shihao Yang and Mauricio Santillana, a lecturer in applied mathematics, to deliver results in real time.The approach, called ARGO, for AutoRegression with Google search data, combines Google data with historical records from the CDC and information on seasonality of the flu. It also accounts for changes in the inner workings of Google’s search engine and shifts in search behavior. People learn as they search for information, Kou said, changing their queries and becoming better searchers.“If I want to search for something, I do it better now than I did two years ago. Besides, Google’s search engine evolves, and so does the interaction between people and the engine,” Kou said.The project began about a year ago after a casual conversation on the topic between Kou and Santillana, who also has an appointment at Harvard-affiliated Boston Children’s Hospital. The team is currently working to make ARGO open source and widely available.last_img read more

Red Sox struggling to contain frustrations as Rick Porcello flings dugout water cooler

first_imgRick Porcello is not happy pic.twitter.com/fM2h1lGWha— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) April 6, 2019Porcello’s frustration is understandable as he threw a wild pitch which put a runner in scoring position during the inning and had a line drive dropped at second base by Brock Holt.Unbelievable pic.twitter.com/avlxEIcmbA— Red Sox Stats (@redsoxstats) April 6, 2019All of the runs wound up being earned in the fourth, but it was an annoying one nonetheless for a pitcher who is characteristically cool on the mound.MORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp,’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNAnd, to see Porcello visibly upset in the dugout is odd but it gives a pretty good indication of how the season has gone so far for the defending champions.Boston has made nine errors through nine games this season which is good for 27th in MLB. The team’s .970 fielding percentage entering Friday’s game is also 27th. Those errors have led to eight earned runs already. The Red Sox are off to a bad start this season and Rick Porcello is clearly feeling the frustration.After a four-run fourth inning in Boston’s matchup with the Diamondbacks on Friday, Porcello took out his anger on a water cooler in the dugout. That’s a big reason why the Red Sox came into the contest with a 2-6 record and found themselves down big early to the Diamondbacks.The team is frustrated early in the year and it’s hard to blame them.last_img read more

Wright County COVID-19 cases jump by 40 — immediate listening area total increases to 148

first_imgDES MOINES — Wright County saw 40 more cases of COVID-19 confirmed over the 24-hour period between 11:00 AM Wednesday and 11:00 AM Thursday according to the latest statistics from the Iowa Department of Public Health. That brings the total for the county to 65.Eight other confirmed cases have been confirmed in our immediate listening area — four in Hancock, and two each in Kossuth and Winnebago. One case was reduced from Cerro Gordo County and reassigned to another county’s total.The total number of cases in our listening area now is at 148 — the 65 in Wright; 19 in Cerro Gordo; 14 in Butler; 11 in Flory; nine each in Hancock and Winnebago; seven each in Franklin and Kossuth; four in Mitchell; and three in Worth. 54 area cases have recovered, three more than reported on Wednesday morning.Looking at the state numbers, 20 more deaths were reported for a total of 403; 420 new cases were confirmed for a total now of 15,954; 269 more people have recovered to bring that total to 8505.last_img read more

Auslagern nach Sudafrika

first_imgDa Unternehmen weltweit auf den zunehmenden Kosten- und Preisdruck reagieren, transformiert sich Sudafrika zu einem international bevorzugten Standort fur die Auslagerung von Geschaftsablaufen.Das Outsourcing von Geschaftsablaufen ist ein weltweiter Trend und die Branche, die einen Jahresumsatz von 130 Milliarden US-Dollar vorweisen kann, wird nach Erwartungen in den kommenden funf Jahren um ca. 50% wachsen.Bei dieser Art des Outsoucings werden bestimmte Geschaftsablaufe, die in der Regel unternehmensintern abgewickelt werden, einem Dienstleister (z. B. Kundenbetreuungs- oder Callcenter) uberlassen.Als Schlusselsektor im Regierungsprogramm zur Ankurblung des Wirtschaftswachstums wurde das Outsourcing von Geschaftsablaufen erkannt. In diesem Bereich rechnet das Land mit 25.000 direkten und 75.000 indirekten Arbeitsplatzen, die bis 2009 die Wirtschaft des Landes um 7,95 Milliarden Rand bereichern werden.IT-Outsourcing ist ebenfalls eine Wachstumsbranche in Sudafrika. Die Vielfalt des lokalen Marktes (Know-how aus den Industrielandern und die Gegebenheiten eines Entwicklungslandes) macht das Land zu einem idealen Testlabor fur neue Innovationen.IT-Outsourcing macht mehr als ein Drittel des 30 Milliarden Rand schweren Marktes fur IT-Dienstleistungen, wie eine 2008 durchgefuhrte Studie der Unternehmensberatung IDC belegt.Die internationale Forschungsgruppe Gartner sieht Sudafrika unter den wichtigsten 30 Outsourcing-Lander fur Software-Entwicklung, womit das Land 2007 gleichauf mit Israel in der Region Europa, Nahost und Afrika sowie mit Australien und Indien weltweit liegt.Calling .ZADer Zeitschrift Business Day zufolge ist die lokale Callcenter-Branche seit 2003 um ca. 8% pro Jahr gewachsen. 54.000 Arbeitsplatze bietet dieser Bereich, der mit 0,92 zum Bruttoinlandsprodukt Sudafrikas beitragt.Ein 2007 lanciertes staatlich finanziertes Outsourcing-Unterstutzungsprogramm zielt auf die Verbesserung der sudafrikanischen Wettbewerbsfahigkeit ab und bietet 1,1 Milliarden Rand an Investitionsanreizen. Der Plan konzentriert sich auf:Eine breit angelegte Marketing-Strategie.Ein staatliches Unterstutzungsprogramm mit Investitions- und Schulungszuschussen.Gute preisliche Rahmenbedingungen im Bereich Telekommunikation.WettbewerbsvorteileFur Sudafrika sprechen viele Faktoren, wie z. B.:Ein erstklassiges Serviceniveau im Callcenter-Bereich.Eine hohe Management- und Dienstleistungskompetenz in Kombination mit umfassendem Finanz-Know-how, insbesondere in den Bereichen Versicherungen, Hypotheken/Darlehen und Inkasso.Zeitzonen-kompatibel mit Europa.Eine hervorragende Beherrschung der englischen Sprache: neutrale Akzente, die fur westliche Markte leicht verstandlich sind.Ein gunstiger Wechselkurs.Ein hohes staatliches Engagement.Staatlich unterstutzte Anreize wie z. B. Existenzgrundungs- und Expansionszuschusse und reduzierte Telekommunikationskosten.Eine hoch entwickelte und im Wachstum begriffene Telekommunikationsbranche.Die Regierung ergreift Maßnahmen zur Gewahrleistung einer preisgunstigen und besser verfugbaren Bandbreitenkapazitat zur Ermoglichung von preiswerteren internationalen Telefongesprachen. Großprojekte zur Verlegung von Unterwasser-Glasfaserkabeln entlang der Ost- und Westkuste Afrikas zur Verbesserung der Kommunikation des Kontinents mit dem Rest der Welt werden in Angriff genommen.Die ganze Welt in einem LandZu den internationalen Unternehmen, die sich bereits fur Sudafrika als Outsourcing-Land entschieden haben, gehoren: IBM, Fujitsu Siemens, Lufthansa, Virgin, Sykes, Avis und Car Phone Warehouse.Sudafrikas Engagement fur die Outsourcing-Branche wurde 2007 mit der Entscheidung zum Bau eines 125 Mio. Rand teuren Callcenters mit 1.500 Arbeitsplatzen im Gewerbepark Coega, außerhalb von Port Elizabeth in der Provinz Ostkap, bekraftigt.Der BPO-Park erstreckt sich uber funf Hektar im Coega-Gewerbepark und umfasst Schulungseinrichtungen und Freizeitangebote. Nach Bekunden des Verwaltungsunternehmens ist das Areal auf verschiedene Szenarien ausgelegt und bietet optimale Voraussetzungen fur eine Vielzahl von Investoren.Weitere Beispiele fur kurzlich erfolgte Investitionen: Im Mai 2008 eroffnete der Ölkonzern Royal Dutch Shell ein Callcenter in Kapstadt. Dieses Callcenter wird Shell-Kunden in Belgien, Luxemburg und den Niederlanden betreuen. Afrikaans-sprechende Mitarbeiter werden fur Gesprache in niederlandischer und flamischer Sprache speziell geschult.  Im November 2007 begann der US-amerikanische Outsourcing-Riese TeleTech mit dem Bau einer neuen Niederlassung (der ersten auf dem afrikanischen Kontinent) in den Außenbezirken von Kapstadt. Letzte Aktualisierung: September 2008SAinfo reporter. Quellen (Englische Websites):South Africa YearbookBusiness Process Enabling South AfricaDepartment of Trade and IndustryCoega Development CorportationBusiness Daylast_img read more

8 days agoArsenal utility ​Maitland-Niles: How I get Aubameyang the ball…

first_imgAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Arsenal utility ​Maitland-Niles: How I get Aubameyang the ball…by Ansser Sadiq8 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal youngster Ainsley Maitland-Niles has spoken about his form this season, and the connection he shares with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.The England U21 star has already set up Aubameyang for two goals in the Premier League this season.And he mentioned how working on the timing of his runs have allowed him space to deliver quality crosses.”I only got two assists last season and I’ve got two already this season, which is a good start,” he told the club website.”Hopefully I continue with my assists and maybe create more opportunities to get my stats higher this season.”I worked on it a lot when I was younger because I used to play on the wing, so the timing of my runs is everything to me. “That’s what’s going to get me in on goal, that’s what’s going to get me behind the defence to either pass to someone else or to shoot on goal myself. It was very important for me to learn how to time my runs and create opportunities for others.” last_img read more

2 days agoReal Madrid coach Zidane praises Rodrygo, Valverde for Galatasaray win

first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Real Madrid coach Zidane praises Rodrygo, Valverde for Galatasaray winby Carlos Volcano2 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane was delighted with his young players for their Champions League defeat of Galatasaray.Real won 1-0 thanks to Toni Kroos’ goal.On Rodrygo and Fede Valverde, Zidane said: “They’re part of the squad and I made the decision that Rodrygo would play. “He’s performing and training well. In a 4-3-3 formation his natural position is as a right winger and we’re happy with his performance. Nothing changes with regards to him. Today we’ve just got to focus on this game. “He’s a member of the first-team squad and he can play for Castilla also. He did well tonight and I’m pleased with his performance. We’ll have to see what happens in the next game.” last_img read more

Uber Is Offering Free Rides If Rutgers Upsets Ohio State Tonight

first_imgUber promotes free rides if Rutgers beats Ohio State.Rutgers UberNo. 1 Ohio State is on the road tonight in New Jersey, taking on Rutgers. It will be J.T. Barrett’s first start of the season at quarterback, and the Buckeyes are heavy favorites.If the Scarlet Knights spring the upset, there will surely be Pandemonium in Piscataway. Any fans partaking in celebrations will be able to travel around campus and in the neighboring city of New Brunswick for now cost, as Uber is offering free rides if Rutgers wins. If by chance you’re a sad #Buckeyes fan tonight here’s something to make the ride home easier. Uber with free rides. pic.twitter.com/ONkGCYKp2I— Jeremy Birmingham (@Birm) October 24, 2015This is a pretty cool move by Uber. Odds are they won’t have to pay up but this is tremendous promotion.last_img read more

White House welcomes Senate vote killing consumer rule

first_imgWASHINGTON – The White House is welcoming a congressional measure killing the ability of millions of Americans to band together to sue bank or credit card companies to resolve financial disputes in a major win for Wall Street.The Senate narrowly voted late Tuesday night to nullify the rule, with Vice-President Mike Pence casting the final vote to break a 50-50 tie. The measure now goes to President Donald Trump for his signature.“President Donald J. Trump applauds the Congress for passing,” the resolution, the White House said in a statement shortly after the vote that highlighted its own Treasury Department report criticizing the rule. “The rule would harm our community banks and credit unions by opening the door to frivolous lawsuits by special interest trial lawyers.”The banking industry had been lobbying hard to roll back the regulation from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The bureau had moved to ban most types of mandatory arbitration clauses found in the fine print of agreements consumers often enter into when opening a checking account or getting a credit card.The vote reflects the effort of the Trump administration and congressional Republicans to undo regulations that the GOP argues harm the free market.Democratic lawmakers said the CFPB’s rule would have given consumers more leverage to stop companies from financial wrongdoing. They cited the sales practices at Wells Fargo and the security breach at credit company Equifax as examples of misdeeds protected through forced arbitration.“So who does forced arbitration help? Wall Street banks and other huge corporations that never pay the price for cheating working people,” said Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.Richard Cordray, director of the consumer bureau, said: “Tonight’s vote is a giant setback for every consumer in this country. Wall Street won and ordinary people lost. This vote means the courtroom doors will remain closed for groups of people seeking justice and relief when they are wronged by a company.”Republicans said the arbitration system has worked wonderfully for consumers. They said the payouts for the average consumer in arbitration cases are generally much larger and come more quickly than when compared to the relief gained through class-action lawsuits.“The effort to try to characterize this as some devious system that has been created to try to stop consumers from having access to fairness is simply false,” said Sen. Mike Crapo, the Republican chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. “We have a very fair system that has been working for over 100 years in this country.”Crapo said the average pay-out for consumers in class-action lawsuits against financial companies was just $32, but lawyers stood to make millions.Democrats argued that consumers generally don’t have the time and means to pursue claims in arbitration, and since most disputes revolve around small amounts, they typically just give up. They said banks and other financial firms know that in the end they won’t have pay a real price for taking advantage of a consumer.But class-actions would serve as a powerful tool for consumers, they said.“Once again, we’re helping the powerful against the powerless,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., as the Senate neared the vote, sensing the Democrats would lose.Two Republicans sided with Democratic lawmakers to keep the rule — Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John Kennedy of Louisiana.The advocacy group Consumers Union and several veterans groups, including the American Legion, lobbied to keep the rule. They said consumers would still have the option to use arbitration to resolve a dispute, if both parties want to go that route.“Without the CFPB rule, consumers can be forced into a rigged system where they have no recourse. It’s a disgrace,” said Linda Lipsen, CEO of the American Association for Justice, an advocacy group that works to improve the legal system.The American Bankers Association cheered the Senate vote. “Today’s vote puts consumers first rather than class-action lawyers,” said Rob Nichols, the group’s president and chief executive officer.last_img read more

UK agency investigates midair collision with casualties

first_imgLONDON – An aircraft and helicopter collided in mid-air Friday northwest of London and a “number of casualties” were reported, authorities said.Fire and ambulance services rushed to the scene at 12:06 p.m. GMT (7:06 a.m. EST) near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. Two ambulance crews, two ambulance officers and a rapid response vehicle were deployed, the South Central Ambulance Service said.“We’re aware of a number of casualties following an incident this afternoon,” Thames Valley Police said in a tweet. “There were a number of road closures following the incident, which have now been lifted.”The Air Accidents Investigation Branch said it was sending a team to the site of the accident, which is in dense woodland.The crash took place near Waddesdon Manor, which is managed by the Rothschild Foundation, a family charitable trust, on behalf of the National Trust. The manor said the crash did not happen at the site and there were no casualties at the manor.A nearby military base, RAF Halton, also said no military aircraft were involved.last_img read more