COVID-19: Ride-hailing apps temporarily disable ‘ojek’ service as part of PSBB policy

first_imgMulti-service apps Gojek and Grab have disabled their ojek (motorcycle taxi) option for customers in Jakarta following the implementation of large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) that prohibit their drivers from transporting passengers amid the fight against COVID-19.Customers will still be able to hail a car, send packages and get food delivered.For Grab, users are directed to the GrabCar service instead, while Gojek users in Jakarta will not see the Go-ride option on the app’s home screen at all, Kompas Tekno reported. Topics : Grab Indonesia managing director Neneng Goenandi confirmed that Grab had temporarily disabled its GrabBike feature to support large-scale social restrictions.“The GrabBike feature can still be used by users in Depok [West Java], Tangerang [Banten], Bekasi [West Java], as well as other cities in Indonesia,” Neneng said in a written statement received by The Jakarta Post on Friday.Neneng added that Grab had prepared 1,000 cars equipped with plastic partitions to separate the driver and passenger seats as part of preventive measures. The company has also prepared 1,000 GrabBike motorcycles across Indonesia to help transport medical workers to and from the hospital.Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan said on Friday that Jakarta would follow Health Ministry Regulation No. 9/2020 on large-scale social distancing, which states that ride-hailing services can only be used to transport goods and not passengers.Jakarta is imposing the PSBB for 14 days starting on Friday, during which public transportation is restricted and large gatherings prohibited in order to stem the spread of COVID-19.last_img read more

Trump threatens permanent freeze on WHO funding in 30 days

first_imgIn the letter, Trump lists what he says are examples of the WHO’s shortcomings in managing the pandemic, including ignoring early reports of the emergence of the virus, and being too close to China.”It is clear the repeated missteps by you and your organization in responding to the pandemic have been extremely costly for the world. The only way forward for the World Health Organization is if it can actually demonstrate independence from China,” Trump said in the letter.”If the World Health Organization does not commit to major substantive improvements within the next 30 days, I will make my temporary freeze of United States funding to the World Health Organization permanent and reconsider our membership in the organization,” he said.Earlier Monday, the WHO said it would launch an independent review of the response to the coronavirus pandemic. Topics : During a virtual assembly, Tedros acknowledged there had been shortcomings and told the assembly he welcomed calls for a review.center_img President Donald Trump threatened to permanently freeze US funding to the World Health Organization unless “substantive improvements” were made within the next 30 days.Washington suspended payments to the WHO in mid-April, accusing it of being too close to Beijing and covering up and mismanaging the coronavirus pandemic.On Monday, Trump tweeted images of a letter he sent to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, saying the letter was “self-explanatory.”last_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 6, 2016)–With a modest Pick Six carryover from Friday of $40,671 stoking the pari-mutuel fires, $579,499 in “new money” was wagered Saturday at Santa Anita, creating a total Pick Six pool of $620,170.No doubt helped by four graded stakes that fell within the popular two dollar wager, many betters took the approach that with Songbird heavily favored (1-9 at post time) in the Grade II Las Virgenes Stakes and Mor Spirit heavily favored (3-5 at post time) in the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes, the wager was reduced, for all intents and purposes, to a Pick Four, which encouraged the monetary deluge.With both Songbird and Mor Spirit winning their respective races, there were 200 winning Pick Six tickets, each worth $1,753.20. There were 3,457 “fives,” each worth $38.20.Special early first post time for an eight-race card on Big Game Sunday at Santa Anita is at 11 a.m. Admission gates will open at 9 a.m.last_img read more


first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (June 22, 2016)–Recent Santa Anita Handicap winner Melatonin, streaking Second Summer, Grade I winner Hoppertunity, defending champ Hard Aces and multiple (turf) graded winner Bal a Bali head a field of eight 3-year-olds and up in Saturday’s Grade I, $500,000 Gold Cup at Santa Anita, to be contested for the 77th time at a mile and a quarter.Won by the legendary Seabiscuit in its inaugural running at Hollywood Park in 1938, the Gold Cup is one of North America’s most prestigious races at the distance and has been won by a “Who’s Who” of equine all-time greats including Noor (1950), Citation (1951), Swaps (1956), Round Table (1957), Native Diver (1965-67), Ack Ack (1971), Affirmed (1979) and Cigar in 1995. The Gold Cup will be run for the third consecutive year at Santa Anita on Saturday. MELATONIN: Trained by David Hofmans, he ran the race of his life when allowed to run freely on the front end in the Grade I Santa Anita Handicap March 12. A rousing 4 ¼ length winner of the Big ‘Cap, Melatonin earned a career best 107 Beyer Speed figure and was subsequently sent to Oaklawn Park, where he showed the way early and ended up second, beaten a length, by Effinex. A 5-year-old gelding by Kodiak Kowboy, Melatonin has come to hand quickly this year for Hofmans, as he was advised by jockey Joe Talamo to try the deep waters of the Big ‘Cap following a solid second condition allowance score going 1 1/16 miles here on Feb. 5. Owned by Tarabilla Farms, Inc., look for Melatonin to be sent to the front on Saturday. Melatonin has earned $786,000 this year, a substantial portion of his career haul, which stands at $918,552. His overall mark now reads 12-4-3-3. HOPPERTUNITY: Third, beaten four lengths by California Chrome in the Grade I Dubai World Cup March 26, Bob Baffert’s Hoppertunity was just up to win the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles San Antonio Stakes by a nose on Feb. 6. Winless in three tries at a mile and a quarter, the venerable 5-year-old has been keeping graded company since February of 2014 and he’s very competitive at Santa Anita with a 3-4-2 mark from 10 tries here. Owned by Mike Pegram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman, Hoppertunity would be well served by a fast pace. The leading money earner in the field with earnings of $2,872,675, his overall record stands at 19-5-6-4. SECOND SUMMER: In search of his fourth consecutive win, he comes off the best race of his career, a one length score in the Grade II, 1 1/8 miles Californian here on May 22. Long considered better on turf, this 4-year-old Summer Bird gelding was switched to the main track by trainer Peter Eurton on Feb. 15 and he responded with a solid second place finish at a mile and a sixteenth. He’s since rattled off three consecutive wins and is considered by some to be the “now” horse for the Gold Cup. Second Summer, who is owned by Sharon Alesia, Ciaglia Racing, LLC and Ferrell, has a stalking style and he’ll be ridden for the third time in a row by Mario Gutierrez. With an overall mark of 13-4-2-1 and earnings of $270,610, the Gold Cup will be his first try at a mile and a quarter. HARD ACES: Best suited as a deep closer, last year’s winner will have to hope someone can engage Melatonin early and thus ensure a legitimate early pace. Trained by John Sadler and owned by his primary client, Hronis Racing, LLC, Hard Aces has been winless in eight starts since last year’s Gold Cup, but comes of a much improved runner-up effort to Second Summer in the Californian and could be poised for another top effort on Saturday. A 6-year-old full horse by Hard Spun, Hard Aces, who was originally in the care of Larry Jones, will be making his 13th start for Sadler as he seeks his seventh win from 32 career tries. He has earnings of $879,645. THE GRADE I GOLD CUP AT SANTA ANITA IN POST POSITION ORDER WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTSRace 9                                                Approximate post time 5:45 p.m. PDT BAL A BALI: A graded stakes winner on turf in America, this 6-year-old Brazilian-bred, who was a four-time Group I winner in his native Brazil, will try the main track for the first time in the Gold Cup. A three-time winner at a mile and one half on turf and one for two at a mile and a quarter on turf, stamina certainly is not a question, but his ability to act on dirt remains unknown. Trained by Richard Mandella, he’ll be making his 10th stateside start in the Gold Cup. Attentive to the pace in most of his turf starts, it’ll be interesting to see what style suits him best on dirt. Owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms, Inc. and Siena Farm, LLC, he has 13 wins from 21 starts and has earnings of $763,478. ICONIC GOLD CUP IS A BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE RACE FOR $6 MILLION BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC AT SANTA ANITA NOV. 5 Bal a Bali – Flavien Prat – 120Second Summer – Mario Gutierrez – 120Hard Aces – Santiago Gonzalez – 122Lieutenant Colonel – Martin Garcia – 120Win the Space – Gary Stevens – 120Hoppertunity – Mike Smith – 120Melatonin – Joseph Talamo – 124Imperative – Rafael Bejarano – 120The Gold Cup at Santa Anita is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Race, with the winner assured a berth in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita on Nov. 5. For scratches, late changes and complete morning line information, please visit read more

Hunter Pence finds a new baseball home, agrees to minor league deal

first_imgHunter Pence vowed that he wouldn’t give up hope that he could return to Major League Baseball in 2019.Now, Pence will have his chance.The Texas Rangers announced they signed Pence, who will turn 36 in April, to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league spring training. The 12-year major league veteran spent the last six-plus seasons in San Francisco, where he became a fan favorite and helped lead the Giants to World Series titles in 2012 and 2014.Thankful for this …last_img read more

Of Brontosaurus, Cartoons, and Revisionism

first_img(Visited 40 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 With the resurrection of Brontosaurus as a valid dinosaur name after a century of repudiation, what’s a kid to think? Thoughts on science’s arbitrary and tentative nature.Eight-year-olds used to brag about correcting their parents who said “Brontosaurus.” The correct name is “Apatosaurus,” the kid would be quick to say. Now the parent has a comeback: Brontosaurus is a valid name for some of the members of the Diplodocidae, according to a new reclassification of the giant sauropods by a team led by Emanuel Tschopp from Nova University of Lisbon, according to Nature. His team studied all the known fossils of the beasts and concluded that Edward Cope’s name Brontosaurus (“thunder lizard”) is valid, because there are enough distinguishable traits to distinguish it from Othniel Marsh’s earlier find that he had named Apatosaurus (“deceptive lizard”).Tschopp says he did not start out to resurrect Brontosaurus, but his team’s analysis decided enough differences warranted the reversal. “The Smithsonian Institution accused USPS of favoring ‘cartoon nomenclature to scientific nomenclature,’” Michael Balter writes in Science Magazine. “It didn’t help that the stamps were officially launched at Disney World.” The cartoonists may have the last laugh. Undoubtedly some parents will enjoy rubbing it in to their kids: “See? I was right!” dad will say. “We were both right!” may be the retort.Old dinosaur hunter Bob Bakker welcomes the change, because it gives him new evolutionary themes to work on: “this group of critters, the long-neck Apatosaurs, evolved faster than we’ve been giving them credit for,” he said in Live Science. Did you hear the one about Brontosaurus being really an Apatosaurus with the wrong head? That’s a “popular myth,” says the BBC News.According to the new names, “thunder lizard” and “deceptive lizard” are distinct genera. But maybe both names are wrong; these dinosaurs are not lizards at all. Lizards have legs splayed out to the side, and dinosaurs have them underneath. But then “dinosaur” means “terrible lizard.” Will there be terrible thunder at this deceptive naming scheme that depends on ‘saurus’ (lizard)? What’s in a name, anyway?Obviously the dinosaurs didn’t call themselves Bronto- or Apato-saurus. They just lived and ate and fought. It’s humans that are obsessed with pigeonholing things into classification schemes. The lumpers want more items in bigger bins; the splitters want fewer items in smaller bins. The “bone wars” between Marsh and Cope in the 19th century track the classification wars of taxonomists. It cannot be ruled out that some future day a taxonomist will want to lump the diplodocids into bigger bins. Maybe he or she will keep Bronto and ditch the “deceptive lizard” Apato, leading future kids to tell the parents, “The correct name is Brontosaurus.” The bones won’t have changed; just the human scheme.This is a take-home lesson about scientific hubris, Balter concludes:Some paleontologists have reservations. “It’s going to force us to ask questions about what we really mean by genus and species in a paleontological context,” says paleontologist John Whitlock of Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania. “Is it more useful to distinguish specimens as Brontosaurus and Apatosaurus than it is to distinguish A. excelsus from other species of Apatosaurus? I don’t know, but I hope it’s the start of a conversation.” He and others, including Tschopp himself, note that the characters used aren’t cut-and-dried and could be scored differently by others.Upchurch thinks this kind of detailed taxonomy could help resolve questions such as how diverse dinosaurs were just before they went extinct about 66 million years ago. Others welcome the resurrection of an icon. “Brontosaurus has a prominent place in the public imagination,” Mannion says. “It can only be a good thing that it is back with us. … It shows that science develops through time and that it’s possible to change our minds, even about long-held views.”Would it be possible to change long-held views about subjects like evolution or global warming? Think about all the recent overconfidence by climatologists about anthropogenic climate change, resulting in global conferences determined to force draconian measures on nation’s economies. News flash! This just in! Quirin Schiermeier writes in Nature,Climate science needs more mathematicians and physicists. So say prominent climatologists who are trying to spark enthusiasm for their field in budding researchers who might otherwise choose astrophysics or cosmology. Talented physical scientists are needed to help resolve mysteries that are crucial to modelling the climate — and, potentially, saving the planet — the group says, such as the ways in which clouds are formed.There is a misconception that the major challenges in physical climate science are settled. “That’s absolutely not true,” says Sandrine Bony, a climate researcher at the Laboratory of Dynamic Meteorology in Paris. “In fact, essential physical aspects of climate change are poorly understood.”With that kind of thunder in the clouds, maybe climate science will have its Brontosaurus moment. The article doesn’t doubt anthropogenic climate change, but if “essential physical aspects” that feed the models are “poorly understood,” and the models generate all the media hype, what’s an observant layman to think?  “The perception that climate science is ‘solved’ is an inadvertent result of pressure on climatologists to convey a simple message to the public,” one climate modeler stated. Another added, “We too quickly turn to the policy implications of our work and forget the basic science.”Scientific nomenclature can be matters of economic viability. Is the “delta smelt” an “endangered species”? There’s no question its numbers are down, but how diverse is it from other species of smelt? National Geographic talks about the little fish that is at the heart of California’s “water wars”. Massive efforts to save this fish have destroyed farms and left millions of acres of land fallow for years, due to policy decisions to cut water delivery in the central valley to save the fish instead of people’s livelihoods. Scientific nomenclature can also be matters of life and death. Is it useful to call depression a mental illness? And how definitive is the label “depression”? Does it help to add the adjective “clinical” in front of it? In the wake of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz’s “conscious decision” to commit murder-suicide in a Germanwings aircraft, killing 154 people, Peter Kinderman of the University of Liverpool argues in Live Science that the labels have no explanatory value. “Individuals commit murder-suicide, not the ‘mentally ill’,” his headline reads. Instead of applying labels, he advises, we should be on the lookout for combinations of traits and actions that put people at risk for heinous deeds.These are just a few recent examples of revisions that undermine science’s claim to progress in the knowledge of truth. Zacharias Maniadas thinks that economic theory can help science’s ‘credibility problem’. “Science is considered a source of truth and the importance of its role in shaping modern society cannot be overstated,” he says in The Conversation. “But in recent years science has entered a crisis of trust.”  He advises that “implementing the transparency proposals will help science fulfil [sic] its purpose of discovering the truth.” But the transparency proposals are built on models; what if essential aspects of those models are also poorly understood? After all, human nature is much more complex than the way clouds are formed. The old question comes up again: who watches the watchers?Science becomes much more fun when you see the blowhards as cartoon characters. Real scientists are humble. Always be wary, because despite the thunder in the media, deceptive lizards are not extinct.last_img read more

Time to Ditch the Drake Equation

first_imgFrank Drake’s equation for the probability of space aliens is chopped-up ignorance mushed into pseudo-scientific sausage.Paul Sutter has a way with words. In a article entitled “Alien Hunters, Stop Using the Drake Equation,” he says, “The Drake equation is simply a way of chopping up our ignorance, stuffing it into a mathematical meat grinder and making a sausage-guess.” What is the Drake equation, you ask?For the precocious hunter of off-Earth life, the Drake equation is the ever-ready, go-to toolkit for estimating just how (not) lonely humans are in the Milky Way galaxy. The equation was developed by astronomer Frank Drake in 1961 in a slight hurry so that attendees of an upcoming conference would have something to confer about, and it breaks down the daunting question “Are we alone?” into more manageable, bite-size chunks.What Is the Drake Equation?The SETI Institute portrays the Drake Equation with vivid colors and graphics, followed by a definition of its seven factors:Drake Equation (SETI Institute)N = The number of civilizations in the Milky Way Galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable.R* = The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life.fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life.fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges.fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space.L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space.“The Drake equation is simply a way of chopping up our ignorance, stuffing it into a mathematical meat grinder and making a sausage-guess.” —Paul Sutter, astrophysicistNo Scientific ValueAn equation needs certainty, Sutter argues. Without some grasp on precision with the factors in the equation, it becomes useless, no better than a wild guess. The equations of physics deal with measurable factors that can be ascertained often to many decimal points of precision. How do you specify the uncertainty in some of Drake’s factors?The equation starts with some straightforward concepts, such as the rate of star formation and the fraction of stars hosting planets. But it quickly moves into tricky terrain, asking for numbers like what fraction of those planets that could host life actually end up evolving intelligent species and what fraction of those planets blast out friendly signals into the cosmos, inviting us Earthlings to a nice little chat.Frank Drake with his famous equation (SETI Institute)Because the right side of the equation is a series of factors multiplied together, any one factor that is unknown with at least some empirical range of error renders the entire calculation of N (number of alien civilizations) worthless. It becomes the weak link that breaks the chain.You may think you’re making good progress on nailing down this prediction, but as long as a single parameter still has unknown uncertainty, you haven’t made any progress.That single unknown can undo the hard work poured into the entirety of the rest of the equation. Until you know all of it, you know none of it.Beyond those issues, there are other reasons the Drake Equation fails as a guide to knowledge:The Drake equation is simply a way of chopping up our ignorance, stuffing it into a mathematical meat grinder and making a sausage-guess. It doesn’t have any predictive power greater than randomly pulling a number out of a hat. What if you didn’t accurately estimate one of your uncertainties? The answer isn’t reliable. What if you missed a parameter, some crucial element in the steps from stars to sentience? The answer isn’t reliable. What if you had too many parameters, introducing an element that turned out not to matter? The answer isn’t reliable.No Philosophical ValueThe Drake Equation fails as a scientific tool for making predictions, Sutter argues. But maybe it offers something for philosophers. Maybe it’s a conversation starter that can direct the attention of scientists and the public toward useful scientific discussions. Maybe it has value for chopping up a big problem (the number of alien civilizations) into smaller chunks. Nope, he says; it fails on that count, too. It actually makes our discussions harmful, by misdirecting our attention to a pseudo-scientific equation offering an assumption of knowledge it cannot provide.There’s a risk we will spend more time unhelpfully discussing the parameters of the model and less time gainfully trying to go out there and actually search for life. Debating over the particular value of, say, the number of life-bearing planets that will give rise to intelligence (a number which must be 100 percent made up) will not give us a clearer picture of the chances of chatting with another intelligent species — instead, we just end up clouding our perspective through an intrinsically warped formulation.Sutter finds more value in actually going out and looking for evidence than in engaging in armchair analyses of our ignorance. Because the Drake Equation creates a false sense of knowledge and precision, it’s an obstacle. “Prediction is what makes an idea useful,” he ends. “And if an idea isn’t useful, why keep it around?”Talk about fake science and pseudo-science! Many of the world’s astronomers who are SETI enthusiasts have used this gimmicky tool, with its false image of mathematical rigor, without critical thinking. For 57 years, this visualization ploy, proudly displayed by Drake’s friend Carl Sagan and still promoted on the SETI Institute website, has buffaloed the public into perceiving SETI as a scientific research project. In effect, the Drake Equation is very useful – as propaganda.Exercise: Search the internet for “Drake Equation” and look at all the images of it. Ponder how many students and adults are being fooled by this visual propaganda tool. (Visited 542 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

South Africa’s fifth undersea cable

first_img14 May 2012 The West African Cable System (WACS), the fifth submarine cable system to link South Africa to the rest of the world, was formally launched on Friday, promising further improved bandwidth connectivity down the west coast of Africa. WACS was initiated by the South African government as a collaborative effort of African governments and leading telecommunications operators. “Through Broadband Infraco, the South African government is proud to be a pioneering partner on the West African Cable System, a cable that will light up large areas of the west coast of Africa,” Public Enterprises Deputy Minister Ben Martins said at Friday’s launch. “For the first time in Africa’s history, open access connectivity will liberalise African ICT markets in Namibia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Togo,” Martins said. South African state company Broadband Infraco’s investment in WACS entitles the company to 11.4% of the system’s total capacity, which will help the country meet its target of providing broadband connectivity to all South Africans who need it by 2020. It will also help the company’s to further reduce the cost of telecommunications in the country. One of the main objectives of the cable, Broadband Infraco said on Friday, was to “secure international connectivity and capacity in support of projects of key national importance … being championed by various state vehicles”. Mandla Ngcobo, chairperson of Broadband Infraco’s board, said broadband access and speed was crucial to the government’s economic growth and job creation plans. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

What Success Is Not

first_imgThis post was written as part of the IBM for Midsize Business program, which provides midsize businesses with the tools, expertise and solutions they need to become engines of a smarter planet.Success isn’t easy. This is why a lot of people don’t achieve the level of success they desire.Success isn’t fast. This is why many people quit too early.Success isn’t certain. This is why many never begin.Success is not someone else’s definition of success. This is why some don’t realize they have it or pursue the wrong path.Success is not a straight line. This is why some give up.Success is not for the lazy and unmotivated. This is why they will never get close.Success is not for the uncourageous. It takes an act of courage.Success is not for those who are afraid to get their hands dirty. It’s not for prima-donnas.Success is not for those who avoid conflict. It only comes with adversity.Success is not for those that aren’t willing to do the work. It’s the only path and its own reward.Success is not for those that wait for permission. It’s for those who to take action.Success is not for those that believe their critics or their raving fans. It’s not about your press clippings.Here is what success is.QuestionsHow do you define success?What is success?What makes success so elusive for so many? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more