4 more awarded death penalty for war crimes

first_imgwar crimesThe International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on Tuesday handed death sentence to four war criminals for committing crimes against humanity in Rajnagar upazila of Moulvibazar during the 1971 liberation war, reports UNB.After the Awami League came to power in 2009, more than a dozen opposition leaders who allegedly opposed the liberation war of 1971 were sentenced to death or life-term in prison. So far, six of them were executed.The four latest condemned convicts are Akmal Ali Talukdar, Abdur Nur Talukdar alias Lal Miah, Anis Miah and Abdul Mosabbir Miah. Of them, Akmal Ali is now in jail while the others remained absconding.The three-member tribunal, led by Justice Shahinur Islam, passed the order.Two allegations brought by prosecutions were proved against the criminals.They have been sentenced to death in one allegation and in another one, the ICT sentenced them to jail unto death.Earlier on Monday, the tribunal fixed today (Tuesday) for delivering its judgment against four war criminals.On 27 March, after concluding the hearing on the arguments from both sides, the tribunal kept the verdict pending.All of them were accused of committing genocide, murder, abduction and torture between 7 May to 24 November during the 1971 Liberation War carried out in Panchgaon and Paschimbhag villages in Rajnagarupazila.Earlier on 7 May 2017, the tribunal framed charges against them.On 26 November 2015, the ICT issued warrants for the arrest of four war crimes suspects. Police arrested Akmal Ali on that day from his village home.last_img read more

Stripping down to Speedos lands Aussie group in hot water

first_img Share Stripping down to Speedos lands Aussie group in hot water The Canadian Press Posted by KUALA LUMPUR – A group of Aussies learned the hard way that being cheeky isn’t always the best idea.According to TravelTalk, a group of nine Aussies were arrested during a Formula One race in Kuala Lumpur after stripping down to Speedos emblazoned with the Malaysian flag. The men, reportedly aged between 25 and 29, were celebrating Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula 1 Grand Prix win.Photographs of the scantily-clad revellers have surfaced on social media following the race on Sunday. Images show them standing in a circle, some with their pants round their ankles and others wearing none at all, waving an Australian flag above their heads.They were arrested on site, and were photographed looking despondent in front of a white bus under the watchful eye of Sepang police, reports The Daily Mail. The group is being investigated for ‘intentional insult with intent to provoke a breach of the peace’, which is a minor offence under Malaysian law.More news:  Carnival Cruise Line enhances HUB app for families and youthAn assistant police chief said the men will be remanded for four days, and did not rule out further action being taken against them.Malaysian social media users have lashed out against the men, calling their behaviour unacceptable. One Twitter user wrote, “Shame on those Aussies by doing this. So inappropriate.”center_img Tuesday, October 4, 2016 Tags: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more

Hurricane protection free with ACV until May 14

first_img<< Previous PostNext Post >> Hurricane protection free with ACV until May 14 Posted by Share Travelweek Group center_img MONTREAL — Air Canada Vacations is offering free StormGuard protection to select destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean, for bookings made by May 14.StormGuard allows clients to rebook their vacation package if the US National Hurricane Center declares a tropical storm warning within three days (72 hours) of scheduled departure. Protection typically costs $49 per person but for a limited time ACV is waiving the fee.“In the Caribbean, the summertime is typically known as hurricane season; however, StormGuard gives travellers peace of mind when booking their vacation with ACV,” said Nino Montagnese, Managing Director, Air Canada Vacations. “Plus, the now waived fee will make it even easier for travel agents to add-on this protection plan to client bookings.”More information about StormGuard and applicable destinations is at aircanadavacations.com. Tags: Air Canada Vacations Wednesday, May 3, 2017 last_img read more

CouncillorDEPARTMENT OF HEALTHsandra duffySinn Fei

first_img CouncillorDEPARTMENT OF HEALTHsandra duffySinn Fein‘Partnership is key to Health Review’ – Duffy PATIENTS and staff must be fully involved in a review of urgent and emergency care across the North’s hospitals, Sinn Féin spokesperson for health Councillor Sandra Duffy has said.She was commenting after the Department of Health confirmed it would be conducting the review with the aim of establishing a new regional care model for the North.Said Cllr Duffy: “Urgent and emergency care is a vital service that is under huge pressure. Winter brings additional pressures and we have been engaging with all health trusts on their preparations for this winter period. ShareTweetcenter_img “Increasing demands on urgent and emergency care is partly driven by an ageing population. Health inequalities and barriers to accessing primary care services are also increasing demand on urgent and emergency care.“It is important to review these services but Department of Health must do so in partnership with patients and staff-from the outset if they are to be successful.”‘Partnership is key to Health Review’ – Duffy was last modified: November 27th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags:last_img read more

For most women under 65 a visit to the gynecologi

first_imgFor most women under 65, a visit to the gynecologist often includes an unpleasant necessity: a Pap smear to check for cervical cancer risk.The test involves letting a doctor or nurse scrape cells from the back of the cervix, which are visually inspected for signs of abnormality.There’s a simpler way to screen for cervical cancer risk, by directly testing for the human papillomavirus, or HPV, which causes 99 percent of cervical cancer. A study published in JAMA Tuesday suggests that method might be preferable for women age 30 and over.The FDA in 2014 approved the first HPV test, which tests vaginal and cervical secretions (which can be gathered with a swab) for the presence of HPV.The new study, called the HPV FOCAL trial, compared the HPV test with traditional Pap smear screening among 19,000 Canadian women over four years. It adds to a body of research suggesting that HPV testing might be more accurate.”In our world this study is going to be a pretty big deal, in a good way,” says Dr. Kathleen Schmeler, a gynecologic oncologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Schmeler says that in the U.S., it has been hard to justify replacing the Pap smear with the HPV test because there has not been a head-to-head comparison until now.The issue is not resolved. Some are still skeptical of relying on HPV testing alone, and co-testing, or using both the HPV test and a Pap smear, is still the standard.Cervical cancer screening is essential because nearly 13,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer annually. More than 4,000 women die from it, even with screening and treatment. Current screening guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommend women ages 30 to 65 have a Pap smear every three years, or every five years if an HPV test is done at the same time.But draft recommendations issued last fall by USPSTF recommended just one or the other — a Pap smear or an HPV test — instead of co-testing for women 30 and up. The organization has yet to issue final guidelines. This new study could prove important in deciding practice guidelines.At the start of the HPV FOCAL trial, some women received HPV testing and some had a Pap smear; those in the Pap smear group who tested negative had a second Pap after two years. Both groups were tested again using both methods after four years. Neither method was foolproof. The final round of co-testing found additional abnormal cells in some women who originally tested negative in both groups. Women who originally had the Pap smear were more than twice as likely to have abnormal cells. Of the women who tested negative on the HPV test only 22 women showed abnormal cells (grade 3 or worse), while from the Pap smear group, 52 women ended up with abnormal cells.”What our study shows is that by using HPV testing, we detect precancerous lesions earlier,” says lead author Dr. Gina Ogilvie. “If women have a negative HPV test, they are significantly less likely to have a precancerous lesion four years later, meaning we can extend screening time.”Ogilvie, a professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, says this study shows that the real value of co-testing actually comes from the HPV test, not the Pap smear. Studies like this one could lead to a change in guidelines, according to Dr. Chris Zahn, the vice president of practice for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. “This study adds evidence to those that evaluated use of HPV as a primary screening modality, and the findings support the use of HPV only as a primary screen,” he wrote in an email. Even if guidelines do change for women over 30, the Pap smear is still important for women ages 21-29. They can’t rely on HPV testing, Schmeler says, because almost everyone in that age group will contract HPV, and in many cases it goes away on its own. If the virus persists until their 30s, that’s where problems come in. “If you tested everyone for HPV in their 20s, they are almost all going to be positive, but there’s going to be all of this intervention that’s not needed,” she says.Moving away from co-testing may not be a good idea, says Mark Spitzer, an OB-GYN and past president of American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology. He wrote in an email that this new study actually shows the small but significant benefit of co-testing. He cites the small group of women who had abnormal cells discovered through a Pap smear at the end of the study period.”In the U.S., co-testing is currently the recommended gold standard, and neither doctors nor their patients should be willing to give up the added benefit you get from screening with a Pap test and HPV test together,” he says.Dr. Diane Harper, a professor of medicine who researches HPV at the University of Michigan, argues that the study was “extraordinarily well done” and moving away from co-testing could result in a decrease of false positives.”The whole reason for [co-testing] is that you get a slight improvement in sensitivity,” Harper says. “But your false positive rate blows up. It’s up to 30 percent of people [who] are falsely positive.” Women who have a positive Pap smear generally get a colposcopy, which is an even closer examination of the cervix, vagina and vulva for signs of disease. A false positive could mean going through a biopsy during a colposcopy. Biopsies come with risks like bleeding, infection and pelvic pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Harper says false positives bring unnecessary costs and fears to patients. “That’s a lot of women that are unnecessarily worried,” she says.Women can get a clear result from a simple HPV test and those who receive a negative result will be able to trust those results for several years, she says.”It’s really amazing — there’s no other test that gives us this level of reassurance for that period of time for a cancer,” Harper says. Pap smears rely on the human eye to get results, she says, and it’s far preferable to detect problems on a molecular level.One caution about the study findings, says Dr. Carol Mangione, a USPSTF task force member and UCLA professor of medicine, is that screening — either kind — is what saves lives. She says the method of testing comes second to being sure that all women, especially high-prevalence groups like black and Hispanic women, are able to get the testing they need. “Most cases of cervical cancer happen in women who have not been regularly screened, or who have been screened, but don’t have access to appropriate treatment,” she says. “When we think about cervical cancer screening, we want to think about it in the framework of how do we get this test in the hands of all women?”Sara Kiley Watson is the Science desk intern at NPR. You can follow her on Twitter: @sarakileywatson Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

As students enter college this fall many will hun

first_imgAs students enter college this fall, many will hunger for more than knowledge. Up to half of college students in recent published studies say they either are not getting enough to eat or are worried about it.This food insecurity is most prevalent at community colleges, but it’s common at public and private four-year schools as well.Student activists and advocates in the education community have drawn attention to the problem in recent years, and the food pantries that have sprung up at hundreds of schools are perhaps the most visible sign. Some schools nationally also have instituted the Swipe Out Hunger program, which allows students to donate their unused meal plan vouchers, or “swipes,” to other students to use at campus dining halls or food pantries.That’s a start, say analysts studying the problem of campus hunger, but more systemwide solutions are needed.”If I’m sending my kid to college, I want more than a food pantry,” says Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University in Philadelphia, and founder of the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice. “I want to know that they’re addressing high food prices on campus and taking steps to ensure no student goes hungry,” Goldrick-Rab says.One of the reasons the issue hasn’t received great attention may stem from a misperception about what today’s students are really like, says Katharine Broton, an assistant professor in educational policy and leadership studies at the University of Iowa, who has published research on food and housing insecurity in colleges.Many students don’t fit the stereotype of someone who attends a four-year institution full-time and doesn’t have a job, Broton says. Rather, about 40 percent of students these days are working in addition to going to school. And nearly 1 in 4 are parents.The juggling act can be hard to maintain. “Most of the students, we find, are working and receiving financial aid, but still struggling with food insecurity,” Broton says.Adding to the stress is the fact that while tuition and fees continue to rise, financial aid hasn’t kept pace. In the 2017-18 school year, after accounting for grant aid and tax benefits, full-time students at two-year colleges had to cover $8,070 in room and board, on average, while those at four-year public institutions faced an average $14,940 in room, board, tuition and fees.Hunger researchers credit students with both sounding the alarm about the problem on campus and in some cases offering ingenious solutions.Rachel Sumekh, who founded the Swipe Out Hunger program with friends several years ago, when she was a student at UCLA, says they wanted to do something useful with the unused credits from the meal plans that they were required to buy. The program now counts 48 schools as participants, and Sumekh says in the past year they’ve seen a “dramatic” increase in the number of colleges that are reaching out to them about getting involved.”Free dining passes have given me chances to eat when I thought I wouldn’t be able to,” one student wrote to the Swipes program. “I used to go hungry and that would make it hard to focus in class or study. [The passes] really helped my studying and may have helped me get my GPA up.”The University of California, Berkeley is part of Swipes. That program is one element in a multipronged effort at Cal that targets students who may need extra support to meet their basic housing, food and other needs, says Ruben Canedo, a university employee who chairs the campus’s basic needs committee. (He also helps govern a similar committee for all 10 UC campuses.)According to a survey of UC Berkeley students, 38 percent of undergraduates and 23 percent of graduate students deal with food insecurity at some point during the academic year, Canedo says. In particular, the school reaches out to groups known to be at risk for food insecurity — including students who are parents, low-income or who identify as LGBTQ, as well as those who are first-generation college students.Canedo says a key focus this fall will be to enroll eligible students in CalFresh, the California version of the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, informally known as food stamps or SNAP.Under federal rules, students generally must work at least 20 hours a week to qualify for SNAP, something many cannot manage. But states have flexibility to designate what counts as employment and training programs, says Elizabeth Lower-Basch, director of income and work supports at CLASP, an anti-poverty advocacy organization. In California, for example, students who participate in certain educational programs at school are eligible for CalFresh, she says.”That’s our first line of defense,” Canedo says. “Students are being awarded about $192 per month.”For students who don’t qualify for CalFresh, the school sponsors a parallel food assistance program that also provides benefits. There’s a food pantry that offers regular cooking demonstrations.But what Canedo says he’s particularly proud of is a 15-week nutritional science course that students can take that teaches them about healthy eating, prepping food, budgeting and grocery shopping, among other things.Some of those skills can help students learn to manage their money and food, he says, to help those on a particularly tight budget get through their time at school without running short.Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit news service , is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, and not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. You can follow Michelle Andrews on Twitter: @mandrews110. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

Meagre new funding announced by the government w

first_img“Meagre” new funding announced by the government will do nothing to solve the “full-blown social care crisis”, disabled campaigners have warned.They spoke out after the government announced that it would ring-fence an extra £240 million for councils to spend on adult social care next year, as well as allowing local authorities to bring forward council tax increases that were already set to raise further ring-fenced social care funding.But user-led groups, disabled activists, disability charities and cross-party politicians say the extra funding will be inadequate for dealing with the crisis.The announcement last week by communities and local government secretary Sajid Javid (pictured) will mean councils can raise council tax by up to three per cent in both 2017-18 (an extra £208 million) and 2018-19 (an extra £444 million), instead of two per cent in each of the next three years.He also announced that £240 million from changes to what his department calls the New Homes Bonus – rewarding councils for new homes built in their areas – will be ring-fenced as a new adult social care grant.Campaigners and social care experts pointed out that the rise in council tax will raise far more in wealthy areas than less prosperous local authorities.And a Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman confirmed that the £240 million was a one-off grant, and would not be repeated next year.Professor Peter Beresford, co-chair of the national service-user network Shaping Our Lives, said: “Social care seems to have become the policy that anti-spending governments have decided can safely be ignored and left in crisis. So it goes on.“Another year where all the weak-willed efforts of social care’s self-appointed leaders and big charities to encourage policymakers to make some real investment have again failed.“Also where all the desperate efforts of grassroots disabled people’s users’ and carers’ organisations have been ignored.“But you heard it here first. Social care may well be the policy – because of the scale and impact of its failure – that irrevocably damages this government and brings to an end the evils of austerity and anti-welfare policies. It is hurting too many.”Linda Burnip, co-founder of Disabled People Against Cuts, said the government’s “inadequate response” to the “full blown crisis in social care” had been criticised by both opposition and Tory politicians.She said the rise in council tax “leaves areas with the highest levels of need unable to raise sufficient money”.She pointed to evidence from Ray James, the immediate past president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, who has told MPs that the most affluent areas raise about two-thirds of their council spending through council tax, compared to the most deprived areas that raise less than 20 per cent, so increasing council tax “raises least money in areas of greatest need”.Burnip said that the government’s pledge to redistribute funding from its Better Care Fund (BCF) to areas unable to raise enough money through increases in council tax had also been criticised, because this would “reduce the amount available for transformation and integration of care, the purpose for which the BCF was originally established”.She said: “Further, but of vital importance, particularly to the disabled people’s movement, these proposals are aimed at providing basic social care only and do not in any way address issues of the right to live independently in the community.“A loss of this [UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities] article 19 right is one of the major areas of criticism aimed at the government by the recent damning UN report.“Independent living is a right and aspiration that disabled people in the UK must never lose sight of as a basic and fundamental human right.”Sue Bott, deputy chief executive of Disability Rights UK, said she agreed that the extra money was not enough, that raising extra funding through council tax increases was unfair, and that the government did not appear to have a plan for solving the social care funding crisis.She added: “My fear is that the meagre additional funds that do become available will go straight to social care service-providers who are becoming a well-organised lobbying force, rather than to disabled people who want to have choice and control by employing our own personal assistants.”Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has written to the prime minister to ask for “urgent talks at the highest level” on averting the “deepening crisis in social care”.John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow chancellor, has written to chancellor Philip Hammond, calling on him to authorise further spending, and describing the rise in council tax as “inadequate, and fundamentally unfair”.Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat shadow health secretary and a former social care minister, described the extra money as “a truly feeble response to a national crisis”.And Dr Sarah Wollaston, the Conservative MP who chairs the Commons health select committee, called for urgent cross-party talks to secure “a long-term, fair, sustainable settlement for both health and social care”.The prime minister, Theresa May, told MPs on the Commons liaison committee this week that the government was starting to work on a long-term plan for addressing the funding of adult social care, but gave no hint as to what that plan might be.Clive Betts, the Labour chair of the communities and local government committee, told May that the number of people receiving social care had fallen from 1.7 million to 1.1 million over the last six years, while there were now about one million people who should be entitled to social care but were not receiving it.Real terms spending on social care fell by nine per cent over the last parliament, he said.But May said: “It is wrong to assume that the only solution in social care is a solution about funding.”She said there were different standards of delivery of social care across the country, with some “very good examples” of integration between NHS and social care, and areas where there were “virtually no” delayed discharges from hospital caused by a lack of social care in the community.Betts said that Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, had told his committee last week that even if all councils were brought up to the standard of the best-performers and there was full integration of NHS and social care, it would still not solve the social care funding pressures.Betts said: “The idea somehow that this problem is going to go away if we slightly improve performances in some local authorities and we integrate health and social care better, simply isn’t true, is it?”May said the government accepted there were “short-term pressures” and a more medium-term problem with “delivery”, as well as a longer-term issue of ensuring a “sustainable system of social care going into the future”.She said: “The government is already starting internally to look at this issue in relation to long-term social care.“We want to make sure that we have got a solution that is going to be sustainable, but this isn’t going to be an immediate ‘let’s have a quick review over a matter of weeks, and that’s it’.”She resisted requests to ensure that this review of future funding was carried out on a cross-party basis.last_img read more

6 Things You Should Never Ask a Job Applicant

first_img Allison Linn Add to Queue 6 min read –shares Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. This story originally appeared on CNBC 6 Things You Should Never Ask a Job Applicant What’s your greatest weakness? If you’re trying to find the best employees, it could be just asking that question.Many of the common questions people ask in job interviews aren’t actually that helpful in predicting how well a person will do in a job, experts say. Instead of finding the best job candidates, they end up finding the people who are best at selling themselves in job interviews.”There are some really good people out there who are not glib, and because they’re not glib they’re not getting the job,” said Priscilla Claman, president of Boston-based consulting firm Career Strategies.In general, researchers say the entire job interview process can work against finding the best candidate because it favors people who are sociable, practiced at interviewing and have physical traits such as being tall or having nice teeth.”What it does is it amplifies all the biases that we have,” said Lauren Rivera, an associate professor of management and organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.Rivera’s research has found that employers also tend to hire people they’d like to hang out with.Of course it’s important for employees get along, but Rivera said there’s a danger in relying too heavily on that, and not enough on whether the person has the skills to do the job.”There are a lot of well-liked people who aren’t particularly competent,” she said.Instead of asking cutesy, hypothetical or casual questions, researchers say employers are better off asking every candidate consistent, concrete questions that are directly related to the job the person is going to be doing.Jeffrey Daum, CEO emeritus at the consulting firm Competency Management, said he urges employers to base their questions on the qualities they see in the best employees they already have. Those may not be the same skills that make people good job interviews, like being extroverted or extremely well spoken.”If the person isn’t going to be a public speaker as the primary aspect of their job, then their ability to communicate in a flowing manner is far less important than the content of what they’re communicating to you,” Daum said.Here are some of the worst offending questions:What’s your greatest weakness?Questions about a person’s greatest strength or weakness don’t do much more than tell you how well a person has been trained to answer interview questions, researchers say. Ditto for the old nugget, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”Rivera’s pet peeve: “Tell me about a time that you demonstrated leadership.””It tests someone’s familiarity with the6 type of stories you’re supposed to tell an employer,” she said.How many garbage cans are there in New York City?Jobseekers have been inundated in recent years with oddball logic questions like, “How many red cars are there in Cleveland?” or “If you were a pizza deliveryman, how would you benefit from scissors?”These questions are meant to show how a person thinks, but the answers are way too subjective to give you a good idea of how you can do a particular job, Claman said. They also work against people who just don’t see the logic in being asked a question that’s totally unrelated to their ability to do a job.”It won’t pick the person who says, ‘What the hell is this person asking this stupid question for?'” she said.”What three things would you bring to a desert island?”These related oddball questions revolve around theoretical personal choices, such as “What celebrity would you have dinner with?” and “If you were 80 years old, what would you tell your children?”Experts say that can tell you a lot about what a person is like, and whether you have similar tastes in music or survival gear. But it’s not going to give you a good idea of whether the person will show up on time or can write great lines of code.As the economy slowly improves, researchers say, there’s another danger to asking these kinds of cutesy questions instead of practical ones: You’ll alienate your best candidates.That’s why Donald Truxillo, a professor of industrial and organizational psychology at Portland State University, dislikes questions like, “How many uses could you have for a spoon?””Unless someone has come up with a really good scoring key for that, all it does is make the interviewer feel clever,” he said.Are you planning to have children?One of the biggest mistakes an interviewer can make is to ask personal questions that are at best inappropriate and at work legally questionable. Pro tip: Don’t ask candidates if they are married, have kids or are pregnant, even in casual conversation.What’s your SAT score?There’s been a mini fad lately of asking people who are long out of college to provide such data as SAT scores or college grade point averages.Experts say there are two problems with this line of questioning: These tests and measures aren’t necessarily predictive of your ability to succeed in the working world, and they can be biased toward people from certain socioeconomic backgrounds.Claman suspects people are asking these questions because they want a piece of hard data to evaluate candidates on. The problem is that it’s not a very useful piece of hard data, she said.Hypothethically speaking …Hypothetically speaking, it sounds like a good idea to ask candidates what they would do if they were given a particular task at your company.In reality, Daum said, it’s much more useful to have the job candidate tell you about something they actually did, and to keep drilling down on real examples that show how they work in real-life settings.You can even have the person show their skills by actually writing a few lines of code or doing another hands-on project.”A lot of people are good at giving a hypothetical example, but they’re not so good at actually doing it on the job,” Daum said. March 21, 2014 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Next Article Enroll Now for $5 Human Resourceslast_img read more

AWS Announces General Availability of Amazon Personalize

first_img Amazon PersonalizeAmazon Web ServicesApplication Programming Interfacemachine learning technologyMarketing TechnologyNews Previous ArticleThe Mars Agency Introduces Marilyn, the First End-To-End, AI-Enabled Predictive Commerce Intelligence Platform for Marketing to ShoppersNext ArticleClarity Insights Recognized as a Leader in Customer Analytics Report by Independent Research Firm AWS Announces General Availability of Amazon Personalize PRNewswireJune 11, 2019, 7:40 pmJune 11, 2019 Amazon Personalize Enables Developers to Build Applications With the Same Machine Learning Technology Used by Amazon.Com for Real-Time Personalized Recommendations – With No Machine Learning Expertise Required Yamaha, Subway, and Zola Among Customers Using Amazon PersonalizeAmazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS), an Amazon.com company, announced the general availability of Amazon Personalize, bringing the same machine learning technology used by Amazon.com to AWS customers for use in their applications – with no machine learning experience required. Amazon Personalize makes it easy to develop applications with a wide array of personalization use cases, including specific product recommendations, individualized search results, and customized direct marketing. Amazon Personalize is a fully managed service that trains, tunes, and deploys custom, private machine learning models. Amazon Personalize provisions the necessary infrastructure and manages the entire machine learning pipeline, including processing the data, identifying features, selecting algorithms, and training, optimizing, and hosting the results. Customers receive results via an Application Programming Interface (API) and only pay for what they use, with no minimum fees or upfront commitments.Now available: Amazon Personalize, enabling developers to build applications with the same machine learning technology used by Amazon.com for real-time personalized recommendations – with no machine learning expertise requiredAmazon has pioneered the use of machine learning for recommendation and personalization for more than 20 years. During that time, customers have asked for access to these capabilities so they could enjoy similar benefits when running their businesses. However, the technology can be challenging to deliver effectively across a variety of use cases because there isn’t a single, master personalization algorithm. Each use case – videos, music, products, or news articles – has its own specificities, which requires a unique mix of data, algorithms, and optimizations to create a result. Today’s general availability of Amazon Personalize provides a major step toward putting the power of Amazon’s experience in machine learning into the hands of everyday application developers and data scientists at businesses of all sizes across all industries. Amazon Personalize reduces the time to build a custom model from months to days. When using Amazon Personalize, customers provide the service an activity stream from an application (e.g. page views, signups, or purchases) along with an inventory of the items to recommend (e.g. music, videos, products, or news articles), and receive recommendations via an API. Amazon Personalize does this by processing and examining the data, identifying what is meaningful, selecting from multiple advanced algorithms built and refined over years for Amazon’s retail business, and training and optimizing a personalization model customized to the data. During the whole time, all of the data is kept completely private, owned entirely by the customer.Marketing Technology News: SRAX and The ALS Association Give BIGtoken Users a New Way to Donate Real Money with Their Data Earnings“We are excited to share with AWS customers the expertise we’ve developed during two decades of using machine learning to deliver great experiences on Amazon.com,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of Machine Learning, Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Customers have been asking for Amazon Personalize, and we are eager to see how they implement these services to delight their own end users. And the best part is that these artificial intelligence services, like Amazon Personalize, do not require any machine learning experience to immediately train, tune, and deploy models to meet their business demands.”Amazon Personalize is available today in US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Singapore) and EU (Ireland) with additional regions coming soon.Yamaha Corporation of America (YCA) offers a large assortment of high-quality musical instruments and audio products to U.S. customers. Their products include Keyboard, Guitar, Winds and Strings, Percussion, Professional Audio and Consumer Audio. “Amazon Personalize saves us up to 60% of the time needed to set up and tune the infrastructure and algorithms for our machine learning models when compared to building and configuring the environment on our own. It is ideal for both small developer teams who are trying to build the case for ML and large teams who are trying to iterate rapidly at reasonable cost. Even better, we expect Amazon Personalize to be more accurate than other recommender systems, allowing us to delight our customers with highly personalized product suggestions during their shopping experience, which we believe will increase our average order value and the total number of orders,” said Ishwar Bharbhari, Director of Information Technology, Yamaha Corporation of America.Marketing Technology News: Informatica Unveils AI-Powered Product Innovations and Strengthens Industry Partnerships at Informatica World 2019The Subway restaurant chain offers guests in over 100 countries quality ingredients and flavor combinations with nearly 7 million made-to-order sandwiches created daily. “At Subway, guest experience matters,” said Neville Hamilton, Interim Chief Information Officer at Subway. “Using Amazon Personalize, we can quickly deliver personalized recommendations for our endless varieties of ingredients and flavors to fit the unique lifestyles of our busy guests. Amazon Personalize lets our team use simple API calls to curate recommendations without requiring machine learning expertise. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Amazon Personalize to provide the best experience to our guests who want to eat fresh. We have already successfully tested using Amazon Personalize to provide recommendations to guests making orders from our app, and are excited to expand into personalized app notifications in the near future.”Zola is the fastest-growing wedding company in the country using design and technology to create the easiest wedding planning and registry experience for couples. “At Zola, we develop innovative wedding planning tools. We want to be there along the entire wedding journey and provide the best possible recommendations to our customers based on their style, interests, or preferences. Until now, those recommendations have been implemented via rule-based ranking, popularity, or more recently, via a similarity model calculated internally. These methods were difficult to maintain and scale. Amazon Personalize provides us with state-of-the-art algorithms and an end-to-end personalization solution that enables us to provide recommendations and personalized content in real time. Being a small team, using Amazon Personalize will allow us to quickly deliver capabilities that would have otherwise taken a much larger team and several months development time,” said Stephane Bailliez, Vice President of Engineering at Zola.Marketing Technology News: Tata Elxsi is a Certified Widevine Partner, Selected as the System Integrator for Google Widevine CAS solutionsSegment provides customer data infrastructure allowing companies to collect, unify, and connect their first-party customer data to over 200 marketing, analytics, and data warehousing tools with just a flip of a switch. “Today’s consumers expect real-time personalization and recommendations, yet the reality for most companies is that the amount of engineering required makes that experience very hard to create, let alone deliver,” said Tom Pinckney, Head of Partnerships at Segment. “Amazon Personalize brings Amazon’s world-class machine learning technology to every company. By combining it with Segment’s Customer Data Infrastructure, our customers can deliver these highly individualized recommendations at scale and in real time. We have been impressed and plan to extend its functionality for Segment with further integration in the future.”last_img read more