#SmartCity: Miami Earns Top Digital Cities Award for Innovation Efforts

first_imgMiami, Florida – The City of Miami and its Department of Innovation and Technology (DoIT) have been recognized by the Center for Digital Government for their ongoing, wide-ranging efforts to drive innovation into all facets of the local government and the residents it serves.Miami earned first place in the 2019 Digital Cities Survey for cities with a population between 250,000 and 499,999 for the work of its DoIT team, which has is focused over the past year on making the department more agile in its operations and service delivery.“This is a welcome recognition for the City of Miami and shows that our commitment to organization-wide innovation is moving the needle in terms of better serving our residents and operating more effectively,” said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “I applaud our DoIT team for their efforts and for advancing a new way of working and delivering public services.”As it endeavors to be more agile in its operations and service, Miami’s DoIT technologists have focused their efforts on several key areas for change or improvement:Providing citizen-centric solutions that place users firstCreating data-driven efficienciesIncreasing cybersecurity measures to safeguard public resourcesBoosting network resilience by moving City’s data center to a fortified siteEstablishing clear data governance standardsPromoting innovation techniques throughout the entire City organization through the Miami Innovation AcademyIn the past year, the City’s technology professionals have launched and completed several projects that support these focus areas. From adopting a mobile-first approach for online content, to gathering feedback through continuous user testing, to moving paper-based permitting processes online, to completing the physical relocation of the City’s data center, DoIT has taken decisive steps to improve how the City delivers services to the public.“I’m proud of our DoIT team for being true champions of innovation and making huge strides over the past year in how we work, deliver services to the public and strengthen our assets for the long term,” said Mike Sarasti, the City of Miami’s Chief Innovation Officer and Director of DoIT. “We’re all-in on innovation here in the Magic City and appreciate the Center for Digital Government for recognizing our efforts.”The Center for Digital Government announced the winners of the 2019 Digital Cities Survey late last week. Now in its 19th year, the annual survey recognizes cities using technology to tackle social challenges, enhance services, strengthen cybersecurity and more. The survey is open to all U.S. cities and selected national leaders in the Top 10 characteristics of a Digital City: Leadership Alignment, Citizen-centric, Efficient, Data Governance, Secure, Resilient, Staffed/ Supported, Connected, Innovative, and Best Practices.last_img read more

Arsenal and Liverpool transfer blow! Top summer target ‘wants to stay at Lyon’

first_imgArsenal and Liverpool target Nabil Fekir is happy at Lyon and has no plans to leave the French club.The winger has been in stunning form this season, scoring 12 goals in 30 appearances and helping Lyon climb to the top of Ligue 1.The 21-year-old’s performances have attracted interest from a host of top sides, most notably Arsenal and Liverpool.But with Lyon on the cusp of European football and potentially a first league title since 2008, the Frenchman has revealed he’s happy where he is.“I want to stay at Lyon; this is a club where I feel good,” said Fekir.“I want to enjoy the Champions League here.” Lyon starlet Nabil Fekir 1last_img

Local Roundup: American Legion Area One tournament begins in Arcata Wednesday

first_imgArcata >> The city of Arcata will host the 17-and-under American Legion Area One Tournament beginning Wednesday and running through to Sunday’s championship game.Two local teams, the Humboldt Knights and Northern Humboldt Giants, will tussle with teams representing Chico, Napa, Davis, Oroville, Auburn and either Redding or Shasta in the eight-team, double-elimination tournament. The Giants defeated the Knights 10-0 to win the district championship on Saturday at Redwood Fields in Eureka.Games …last_img

Neural Darwinism: The Evolution of Truth

first_imgCan evolutionary theory build a bottom-up explanation of higher cognitive functions?  David Papineau (King’s College) doubts it.  In his review of The Physiology of Truth: Neuroscience and Human Knowledge by Jean-Pierre Changeux (transl. Malcolm DeBevoise, Belknap Press: 2004), published in the June 3 issue of Nature,1 he gives the author high marks, but concedes that this neurophysiologist with outstanding credentials falls into the usual trap:Can neurophysiology cast any light on the human condition?  Books that set themselves this ambition, and there are plenty, are invariably disappointing.  The problem is not that we lack information at the neuronal level – a great deal is known about cell receptors, neurotransmitters, re-entrant connections and so on.  Rather, the difficulty lies in relating this microscopic knowledge to higher human faculties such as thought, emotion and consciousness.    To get round this, popular-science books by the likes of Francis Crick, Joseph LeDoux or Antonio Damasio typically have the following trajectory.  We start with a few chapters on the neuronal nitty-gritty.  But then the gears surreptitiously change, and we switch to speculation about the mind’s higher powers.  However, any serious theorizing at this level tends to be ‘boxological’, rather than physiological — we are given flowcharts connecting posited brain modules, but there is no bottom-up, cell-level account of how these modules might work.    Perhaps this is unsurprising, given the kind of evidence that is currently available about the large-scale operations of the mind.  In recent years, functional-imaging data have been added to findings from studies of brain lesions.  But even these new data are at too gross a scale: it is like trying to figure out how a computer works by noting when different bits get hot and what goes wrong when certain parts are broken.  With luck, this might give us some idea of where certain operations are located, but it is not going to tell us about the mechanisms that make them possible.So is the mind Freud’s black box?  Cognitive psychologists seem to be in the same boat as the evolutionists Michael Behe described in Darwin’s Black Box.  They can watch the inputs and outputs, but have no idea how to get from one to the other; they end up with vague, handwaving, “boxological” explanations.  That does not prevent Changeux from proposing a “neural darwinism,” a tentative mechanism based on “selective favouring of some spontaneously formed synaptic connections over others during development.”  Papineau is unconvinced this makes any progress. Changeux has plenty to say about neural darwinism, and touches on functionalism [the belief no molecular mechanisms can explain higher cognitive functions] in passing, but he doesn’t quite spell out the connection between them.  Still, his book presents a more satisfying picture of the brain than most of its competitors in this crowded market.  On standard accounts, it can simply seem frustrating that we never get any bottom-up explanations of higher cognitive functions.  If the structure of the brain is laid down by a definite genetic plan, then why can’t we find out about the underlying mechanisms? Changeux’s book fails to identify any such mechanisms too, but at least he gives us some insight into why the search for them may be doomed to permanent frustration.David Papineau, “Mind the gap,” Nature Nature 429, 505 – 506 (03 June 2004); doi:10.1038/429505a.If truth evolves, it isn’t the truth.  As usual, Darwinists want to explain everything, even the intangibles, in terms of unguided materialistic processes.  But in the area of the mind, have they even begun?  Papineau says no, despite the crowded market of contenders; they all reveal it to be an exercise in “permanent frustration.”  The result is simplistic just-so stories, as unsatisfying as “presto, Changeux.”    We know the mind influences the body, and the body influences the mind, but neither can be reduced to the other.  Consider what a conundrum it must be to a materialist to realize that though our individual brains are composed of quadrillions of neurons, which all join together in unique ways during development – making each of us one-of-a-kind in the universe – we still can hold conversations and understand quite a bit about each other.  Scientists can peer review each other’s papers and judge the merits of their arguments.  That indicates that the capacities for relationships and logical thinking were designed into us from the beginning.  It also points to an intangible nature expressed through, but not reducible to, our bodies.  We also have a sense of self, a conscience, and a hunger for ultimate meaning.  None of these can be reduced to molecules.    The Bible teaches that we are more than matter in motion.  To a dichotomist, we have a body and soul.  To a trichotomist, we have a body, soul and spirit.  Either way, we are not just a body.  According to the Bible, the spirit of Jesus Christ existed eternally from the beginning (John 1).  He inhabited a physical body for a time, but His spirit remained alive while his body was dead (I Peter 3:18-22), and then returned into His body during His resurrection.  This means our soul and/or spirit can endure apart from the atoms and molecules of our bodies.  Even if the whole world melted in a nuclear holocaust, our natures would live on (II Peter 3:8-13).  What a profound thought: we’re going to live somewhere forever.  It makes good sense, therefore, to learn how to live.  We will all be doing it, one place or the other, for a long time.Suggested reading: Ecclesiastes 12, I John 5.(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Zuma to promote SA’s plans for growth at Davos

first_img21 January 2015We will market our successes and share our plans to deal with our challenges, President Jacob Zuma said as the South African delegation touched down in Switzerland on Tuesday, ahead of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in the village of Davos.Zuma said South Africa was looking forward to a successful session in the Swiss village, where it would promote the National Development Plan (NDP) to the world.More than 40 heads of state and government, as well as 2 500 leaders from business and society will convene at the 45th WEF annual meeting from 21 to 24 January.“We are ready to communicate our country’s successes and also to share our plans to deal with the challenges that we face,” said Zuma.Job driversSouth Africa would market its identified six job drivers that are designed to achieve much-needed growth with decent jobs, the Presidency said in a statement on Tuesday.The six job drivers are infrastructure development, agriculture, mining and beneficiation, manufacturing, the green economy, and tourism.“Under infrastructure, energy ranks high up given the challenges that the country faces with regards to energy constraints,” the Presidency said.South Africa will also market the new flagship project, Operation Phakisa, especially the component dealing with promoting the ocean economy.“Areas of focus are marine transport and manufacturing activities such as coastal shipping, trans-shipment, boat building, repair and refurbishment, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture and marine protection services and ocean governance,” said the Presidency.Promotion of InvestmentIt said the country had further enhanced the investment legislative environment through the Promotion and Protection of Investment Bill, which had been concluded after “extensive consultations”.“The Bill aims to update and modernise South Africa’s legal framework to protect investment and ensure that South Africa remains open to foreign investment.“It is also designed to ensure that the country’s legal framework does not override existing legislation protecting investment.“[It] ensures a balance between the rights and obligations of investors and of government, particularly in respect of Constitutional obligations to advance the public interest and clarifies standards of protection for investors – both foreign and domestic – by setting out provisions ordinarily found in Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) in a manner that is consistent with the South African Constitution and existing legal framework,” the Presidency said.Economic blueprintThe Presidency said the NDP – South Africa’s plan to boost the economy and eradicate poverty and unemployment by 2030 – was already being implemented by all government departments.“The plan shapes government’s budget allocation as we move towards 2030. Through the NDP, we also aim to position South Africa as a key destination for foreign direct investment. Key elements of the plan do not require additional resources and long lead times.“Business has a significant role to play in the success of the NDP. It is crucial for business and government to work together to drive competitiveness and promote long- term growth, as well as the creation of jobs,” Zuma said.Team South Africa in DavosFollow Team South Africa at WEF Davos on @Brand_SA #SAinDavos or @Brand_SA #CompetitiveSA.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

Found A Startup And Found A Family, Just Not At The Same Time

first_imgGuest author Jonathan Barouch (@jbarouch) is founder and CEO of location-based startup Roamz. Roamz is a mobile app that intelligently curates location-based social content to show people what’s going on nearby.Now, before you jump up and down to disagree, hear me out. I have two beautiful children for whom I am grateful every single moment of the day. However, I can’t help but contrast my experience of founding my first startup as a single 17-year-old with my second, having gained a wife, toddler and a baby who was born just eight months post-launch. And while the tech community has fostered a culture of learning from each other’s successes and failures, what I think is missing from the dialogue is an open and honest discussion about the challenges involved in the co-existence between an entrepreneur’s startup life and their personal life.While I wouldn’t change my personal circumstances for anything in the world – and I appreciate that each person and their family is different – I would, nonetheless, offer the general advice that it is a bad idea to have a child at the same time as founding a startup.Agree or disagree with my argument, but my hope is that entrepreneurs will continue to share their startup experiences including how the choices they make in their personal life impact their startup and vice versa.Being A Founder And A Parent Is Like Running Two Marathons SimultaneouslyIt was midnight last night, and I was waiting for a call from a potential client overseas. I had just re-settled my newborn after his feed and I knew that both he and my three-year-old would be awake for the day in less than five hours. Five hours! It was at that lightbulb moment that I realized that, no matter how much you tell yourself that your personal life won’t impact your work life, in the startup world that simply isn’t true. The closest analogy for what running a startup feels like is running a marathon that never seems to finish. As the business gets to scale, it appears like the race slows down to the point where you can just catch your breath, but you never stop running. Ditto taking care of a newborn. Founding a startup while parenting a baby is like running two startups – one commercial and one human.Look, I’m not suggesting that other types of jobs aren’t difficult when you’ve got young kids. You might argue that lots of people hold challenging jobs, and they still manage to raise a newborn. Or your response may even be: “What about senior executives and CEOs? Many have had children during their tenure.”Sure they do. But there’s a key difference between a startup founder versus an executive. The founder faces an existential threat to their business every single day. Every extra hour, every moment of thought, every pitch can mean the difference between success or failure.There Are Never Enough Hours In The DayDuring my first startup, I would go to any networking event I could talk my way into. I built up great relationships with the press, with companies that subsequently developed into customers, and even with other entrepreneurs who provided support and who eventually also became friends. Would I have gone to these events if it meant missing out on seeing my toddler grin from ear-to-ear when I walked through the door in the evening? Similarly, some of my favorite moments in founding a startup are working with my team late at night and watching everyone’s faces when some milestone is hit or some large problem is solved. If you miss these defining moments at your startup the culture and camaraderie will change. When you have a family it’s a constant trade-off.To create a successful business, in the early days, an entrepreneur needs to be “always on,” whether it be responding to emails at all hours, listening to feedback on social media or pitching the product or service to anyone who will listen. This necessity to be “always on” is completely incompatible with being the parent of a newborn.But on the other hand…Being A Parent Makes Me A Better CEOWhile I believe that it’s a bad idea to have a child at the same time as founding a startup, I have definitely also benefitted from being a parent and a founder simultaneously. I am a better CEO the second time around, and a lot of it has to do with being a parent.Apart from becoming more mature after having kids, I have found that I am able to better empathize with people. I also find that I can cope with the stresses of a startup much better since having children (a server meltdown is nothing compared to a toddler meltdown). I got a different sense of perspective that is hard to explain. It isn’t that I treat the business any more or any less seriously than before, but I feel that I am now better able to separate what’s important for the business from what’s not.Running a startup is a roller-coaster ride where some days everything goes your way and other days are just a constant struggle. Being able to come home to the smiling face of a child who thinks you are fantastic melts away the things that went wrong that day and helps you push through to fight the next battle.Don’t Found A Company And Have A Child At The Same TimeWhile I don’t seriously think anyone is going to base their decision of when to have kids on this article alone, I thought it was worthwhile sharing my experiences of founding one startup with kids, and one startup without. Not having children in the first one to two years of founding my first company gave me a lot of freedom and flexibility that I didn’t realize I had at the time. Equally the process of becoming a parent and managing a newborn has given me skills that are unexpectedly useful when founding a company.Entrepreneurs plan every detail of when and how they will start their first venture but one part of the equation that is often forgotten is how they will manage their personal life. Perhaps it is time that we start hearing about how other entrepreneurs balance their work with their private lives. Now I’m off to grab some sleep before that 5 a.m. wake-up call.Photo credit: Greg McBean China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … jonathan barouch How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star…center_img How to Get Started in China and Have Success Tags:#parenting#Pause#startup Related Posts last_img read more

ARRI Delivers a Knockout With Its First Large Format Camera System

first_imgOnce again, ARRI is making waves in the industry with the announcement of their new native 4K, large-format camera system.Top image via ARRI.Today at the BSC Expo in London, ARRI unveiled their next step in camera and filmmaking innovation with the announcement of their new large-format camera system that is accessible while still pushing industry boundaries. The new addition will be a welcome option instead of the usual upscaling from 2.6K to 4K. Unlike the ALEXA 65, the new ALEXA LF aims to be much more accessible to working DPs. Let’s take a look at what these industry leaders have released into the wild.ALEXA LFImage via ARRI.Featuring a large-format sensor slightly bigger than full frame, ALEXA LF records native 4K with ARRI’s best overall image quality. Filmmakers can explore a large-format aesthetic while retaining the ALEXA sensor’s natural colorimetry, pleasing skin tones and proven suitability for HDR and WCG workflows. Different sensor modes cover any deliverable requirement and versatile recording formats-including efficient ProRes and uncompressed, unencrypted ARRIRAW up to 150 fps-provide total flexibility.With this insane new sensor, ARRI is releasing 16 ARRI Signature Prime lenses — 12mm all the way up to 280mm. These will be fitted for the new ARRI LPL mount.Image via ARRI.ARRI is also offering a new lens mount:The new LPL lens mount has a wider diameter and shorter flange focal depth, allowing the ARRI Signature Primes and all future large-format lenses to be small and lightweight, with a fast T-stop and pleasing bokeh-a combination of features that would not be possible with the PL lens mount. The LPL mount will also be available for other ARRI cameras and is being licensed to third-party lens and camera manufacturers.Though the new lens mount and lens system is far superior to anything they’ve put out in the past, the new mount will still be compatible with previous PL mounts and other ARRI accessories.ARRI provided a few working cinematographers early access to the new gear to see what they thought. The interviews and video clips are available here.Here are some specs:4448 x 3096 recording (native 4.5K)Electronic rolling shutter, 5.0º – 358.0ºWeight — 7.8kg/17.2 lbs62mm LPL Lens MountRecording Codecs — QuickTime/ProRes (422, 422 HQ, 4444 & 4444 XQ)last_img read more