Share This!Earth popcorn is so terrestrial! With Kat Saka’s Kettle coming soon to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to serve the popcorn of Batuu, it’s no surprise that Pandora has also decided to get in on the popcorn action. At Windtraders, the retail establishment in Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can find Pandora-themed prepackaged popcorn. And yes, it’s Na’vi Blue.As alien as the popcorn looks, the flavors sound pretty tasty if you’re a fan of sweet, flavored popcorn: blueberry-almond. Although I personally prefer the blending of cherry-almond, this flavor combination also makes for a great blend, and the popcorn includes dried blueberries and almonds. Each bag is $7.Is this a flavor of popcorn you’d want to try, or would you want to stick with the other flavors of prepackaged popcorn found at Walt Disney World? Let us know in the comments.
It was an honor to be included in Dr. Bob Nelson’s new book “1001 Ways to Engage Employees”. I shared a case study with Dr Bob which showcased how we used the SCARF methodology to enhance a major technology company’s performance management strategy.Managing employee performance has moved from annual write ups to high touch, systematic career development. The example I shared with Dr Bob was effective for two reasons:The process was simpleThe employee was afforded a range of performance objectives to stack rank in order to help their manager better understand their motivationFailure in performance-based systems occurs when too much user input is required or when employees are forced to conform to initiatives that don’t align with their personal career goals.Behavioral Modeling starts with a menu of 5 Intrinsic Motivators:AutonomyMasteryPurposeProgressSocialWe can structure a motivation path around rewards (carrots) or certifications (sticks) but employees would rather be inspired by an element of intrigue.Application Buyers in the HCM space face a logic bending hurdle:Sun-setting legacy technology involves 12 months, 2 FTE’s and a significant loss in opportunity cost.You don’t have to overhaul legacy systems to enhance program access. There are elements of performance management than can be written on a napkin.Trust and Transparency drive Employee Engagement. Giving employees choice for career path empowers them and provides a guide for development.Revisiting the Engagement Ecosystem If you had to take 12 e-learning courses to be rewarded $50, would you do it?If the knowledge afforded in the learning path is beneficial to your career development, won’t the attainment of knowledge present applicable reward?Do you need to be paid to thank your peers?If you knew recognizing an overworked, underpaid member of your support team would put a smile of his/her face, would that not be incentive enough to encourage their effort?If you complete a project on time and under budget would you prefer a gift card or a week off?The amount of money one makes does not drive engagement, it sets expectations.Purpose-driven work that is consistently challenging is the only path to true success.1. Allow employees to chose their path to success2. Make programs easy to access and operate3. Reward fairly4. Create new challenges Originally published on Dave’s Weekly Thought blog.
Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Analysis#web A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… As you can see, they look at the musicians I listen to a lot and then recommend people that are either similar in sound or people who were influencers of or influenced by my favorites. These are followed by recommendations from friends and music-based groups on the site.So, collaboratively filter and recommend or die?These are only some of the major players that have embraced (CF) and personalized recommendations – Netflix and Amazon come to mind among others. As you can see from above, it is certainly possible to have a good collaborative filtering system without a recommendation engine (as seen in Flickr). It is optimal, however, for the users (because their experience is better) and your site (because users will participate more often and generally be happy with your product) if you throw in some recommendation system a-la Last.fm, the most robust of the lot by far.This is a guest post by Muhammad Saleem, a social media consultant and a top-ranked community member on multiple social news sites. You can follow Muhammad on Twitter. muhammad saleem 1 Collaborative Filtering (Wikipedia definition) is a mechanism used to filter large amounts of information by spreading the process of filtering among a large group of people. Unlike mainstream media where there is either one or very few editors setting guidelines, the collaboratively filtered social web can have infinitely many editors and gets better as you increase the number of participants.There are two basic principles involved in Collaborative Filtering. 1. The Wisdom of Crowds and Law of Large Numbers suggest that as communities grow, not only does a large (diverse, independent, etc.) community make better decisions than a handful of editors, but the larger a community gets, the better its decisions will be. Therefore, we can hypothetically create a Collaboratively Filtered newspaper, television channel, radio station, etc., which would be better (for the community) rather than any other arbitrarily selected medium. In fact, as we will see, services like Digg, YouTube, and Last.fm, are trying to do exactly that – (CF) based media outlets.2. The second principle of Collaborative Filtering suggests that in any such large community, with enough data on individual participants and on how the individual participants collaborate or correlate with each other, we can make predictions about what these users will like in the future based on what their tastes have been in the past, i.e. develop a collaboratively filtered recommendation engine. This, of course, relies on the fact that people’s interests, preferences, and ideologies don’t change too drastically over time.The two aspects of the (CF) system result in two very different and important results.The first gives you new, interesting, entertaining, and newsworthy information as judged by the community (in a way this is content that is the average of the interests of the entire community) and a good example of this is Digg’s front page. Not all the content will be directly relevant to your tastes and in fact some of it will be completely irrelevant to you. However, as the community grows and becomes more diverse and independent, the average news story promoted to the front page will be of interest to the average community member. Not satisfied with averages? This is where the second aspect comes into place.The second aspect of the (CF) system collects information on what kind of content and commentary you like and dislike, and based on your submission and voting habits, it does user-data-profiling. This user profile helps the site recommend content that has been submitted by users (or from sources) you generally agree with and find interesting, as well as topics that you usually vote up and tend to comment on. What this means is that by collecting enough information on how you interact with the site and with other users, the (CF) system can recommend content to you. The system finds the content and deliver it to you rather than it requiring you to scout for it. Furthermore, the more you use the recommendation system and vote up or down, the better it becomes with its recommendations.The important thing, one that not many social sites realize, is that a (CF) system that doesn’t automatically match content to your preferences, is inherently flawed. The reason for this is simple: Unless you can achieve perfect diversity and independence of opinion, one point of view will always dominate another on a particular platform. The dominant point of view on the social web is a left-leaning one, and without the ability to get the most appropriate pieces of content to the people that care most about them, the right-wing point of view gets buried almost every time.A perfect example of this was the Ron Paul supporters and the ease with which they were able to manipulate the social news sites. Now if you could match the right-wing viewpoint to the right-wingers, and the left-wing viewpoint to the left-wingers, and get both points of views across to people that are interested in healthy debate rather than partisan politics, you’re getting closer to the ideal system. A filtering system with preference-based recommendations, in essence, is the future of the social web.Who is using what system?The (CF) system is without a doubt the lifeblood of the social web. Even though different platforms apply it to varying extents, the system is still there at the core, and the social web would look more like rush hour in downtown Lahore if the community wasn’t actively policing the traffic.Social NewsIn the social news space, Digg and Propeller just use the system insofar as the front page is concerned (although Digg is set to release their recommendation engine this week). Once the content is promoted to the front page, the system’s job is done. The system works in that you get rid of spam and unoriginal thought, but it isn’t the best because it relies on averages rather than direct preferences of each participant. While these sites try to catch up and develop recommendation engines of their own, Reddit and StumbleUpon have leapfrogged them for a while now by having recommendation engines in place. These two sites also have similar concepts of a community front page (based on the average interests of the average community member) but they enhance your experience and incentivize increased participation by using your history of likes and dislikes to deliver the most high-quality and most relevant content to you. Furthermore, the normalization of Reddit’s front page shown how a one-front-page-for-all approach forces conformity and dilutes the individual experience, whereas normalization ensures that each user controls how content is distributed to him or her.Ultimately, even though there are some sites with little or no filtering (Slashdot, Fark, etc.), sites that use their (CF) based recommendation engines will continue to diminish the importance of active filtering from upcoming submission queues and improve the quality of user experience on an individual level.Video Streaming and SharingOnline video sites hosting and sharing sites are not much different. Site’s like YouTube have multiple filtering mechanisms that often perform the same functions without requiring votes per se. Viewability, for example, is determined by:1. Number of people currently watching a video2. Number of comments on a video3. User ratings and favorites.The problem with impressions-based system (like the one used by now understandably dead content aggregator Spotplex) is that just because you viewed something or commented on something doesn’t mean that it’s good. In fact, there are dozens of YouTube videos that I click on, don’t like them and then close the window (I see other people writing negative comments in poor English but I doubt that helps either). Some other sites like Break and Funny or Die use a StumbleUpon-like up/down voting system to determine what gets promoted to the front page. Again, while there are options to view similar/related videos and more videos from a user you like, there is no recommendation system using your rating and favoriting habits (and tags you like).Blogging and MicrobloggingFor the most part, blogs use a combination of most viewed, most linked, most commented, and highest rated, as mechanisms for displaying content that you might like. While this is a better idea than letting people go through trial and error, it doesn’t ensure that every visitor will be happy with what they see. For example, two very different posts on two entirely different topics can be the most viewed posts on your blog, and I might like one and not like another. At the same time, one has to wonder, at what point is it economical or time-efficient to start monitoring each individual user?StumbleUpon solves this problem for the ‘big guys’ by letting you StumbleThru one site for the content that you might like the most. The feature, however, is not available for all sites yet.Most Microblogging sites, unfortunately, have no filtering system at all. The signal to noise ratio debate rages on with respect to Twitter and its ilk. FriendFeed, however, launched a rudimentary recommendation feature that simple displays the top ‘liked’ and commented links.Photo Hosting and SharingWhen I was thinking about the concept of (CF) systems, photo-sites like Flickr and Photobucket weren’t even on my radar. Part of the reason for this is how most people I know use these sites, i.e., primarily for hosting and sometimes for finding creative commons images for embedding on their sites. I was, however, quite pleasantly surprised to see that Flickr has gone a long way to help people explore and discover excellent photography.The feature that most people are probably familiar with is Interestingness. The feature is quite robust. It takes into account things like where the referral traffic to the image is coming from, who is commenting on it and when, who marks it as a favorite and how many people like it, among other more nuanced things. But in addition to that, the site also has other great features such as exploring based on geotagging on a map of the world, popular tags, subject-based and quality-based groups, camera finder, and most recent uploads.The only thing left to add is a ‘photos you might like’ based on photos you have liked and commented on.Music Streaming and DiscoveryThe best implementations of a Collaborative Filtering (CF) system along with a preference based recommendation/discovery system that I have seen are always on music streaming and discovery sites. The implementation on Last.fm for example, is almost perfect in my opinion. First of all, whether you use their online streaming widget or use their desktop software, they monitor every single song you listen to and aggregate that data. They also track how artists jump on and fall off your radar on a week to week basis. They use that data to make specific recommendations and automatically create a radio station for you that plays Last.fm’s recommendations for you based on what you like.While that in itself is more than enough, they don’t stop there. They have another radio station for you that plays songs you usually like to listen, they show you what the entire Last.fm community is generally listening to, what your friends are listening to, and what your friends are recommending. It is a very robust system for aggregation, filtering, and recommendation. Here’s how the recommendation engine works: Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts
Representative Mikie Sherrill (D–NJ) on Capitol Hill earlier this month Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call By Jeffrey MervisMay. 30, 2019 , 5:35 PM Bipartisan bill would create forum for discussing how to counter U.S. academic espionage Those who complain that the U.S. government prefers to talk about the nation’s problems rather than solve them may think creating two forums to discuss science and national security is not a very constructive idea. But academic leaders say more dialogue is urgently needed on one issue now bedeviling the U.S. research community: how to best protect the country against its economic and military competitors without choking off international scientific collaborations and the free flow of people and ideas.Responding to that concern, a bipartisan group of legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives today introduced a bill designed to promote talk that will spur action. The Securing American Science and Technology Act (SASTA) of 2019 would create a roundtable at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) in Washington, D.C., for stakeholders to discuss the tensions between science and security, as well as an interagency working group within the White House that would tackle the same issue. Backers hope the forums will help identify practical steps universities and research funders can take to protect valuable intellectual property without stifling global cooperation.The SASTA proposal comes as universities and researchers, particularly scientists of Asian origin working in the United States, have become increasingly alarmed by recent government actions aimed at preventing foreign governments, especially China, from unfairly reaping the fruits of federal research investments. Recently, those efforts have led two U.S. universities to oust at least five biomedical researchers who they allege failed to properly disclose ties to Chinese institutions or committed other violations. 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The best way to eliminate the uncertainty, science advocates say, is through ongoing conversations about how universities should monitor the research activities of faculty members, what types of research may require extra safeguards, and even whether some foreign interactions should be proscribed.“The U.S. research enterprise is one of our nation’s greatest assets, which is exactly why foreign governments and individuals seek to attack and unduly influence it,” says Peter McPherson, head of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C. “As schools work to better safeguard their research, this bill would help direct needed coordination between federal science and security offices and universities.”The threat is real, says the bill’s lead sponsor, Representative Mikie Sherrill (D–NJ). “There are serious and legitimate concerns about academic espionage at our universities,” says Sherrill, a former federal prosecutor and Navy helicopter pilot who was elected to Congress in November 2018. “That’s why we’re proposing a unified approach to protect research without creating overlapping or contradictory federal requirements.” Representative Jim Langevin (D–RI), a chief co-sponsor of the bill, says it “will give schools the tools to defend themselves while also protecting the important academic and cultural contributions that international students bring to our country.”Speedy passage soughtSherrill and Langevin lead subcommittees of the House science committee and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC), respectively, which have jurisdiction over the topic. (Sherrill is also a HASC member.) Their legislation has received the backing of the chair of the science committee, Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D–TX) and its top Republican, Representative Frank Lucas (R–OK), as well as Langevin’s counterpart on the military panel, Representative Ellen Stefanik (R–NY), and freshman Representative Anthony Gonzalez (R–OH) of the science committee. The scope and composition of that team should help the bill’s chances of moving through the House.Supporters are hoping that attaching the bill’s provisions to the annual policy guidance from Congress to the Department of Defense (DOD) will further improve its chances. Known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), it is one of the few pieces of legislation that traditionally makes it into law every year.HASC is expected to take up the NDAA on 12 June. If SASTA is folded into the massive reauthorization measure, seeking ways to reconcile science and national security will automatically become part of negotiations with the Senate over whatever version of the NDAA is approved by that body. On 23 May, the Senate Armed Services Committee completed its work on a bill that did not contain any such language.The idea for a NASEM roundtable is modeled after a long-running academies forum that brings together research leaders from industry, universities, and the government. The new bill authorizes three agencies—the National Science Foundation, DOD, and the Department of Energy—to spend $5 million over the next 5 years to support the roundtable’s activities, which would include periodic reports on ways to mitigate and manage the risk of foreign collaborations.“The National Academies has a long history of advising the federal government on striking the right balance between fostering international collaboration on science and technology while protecting U.S. economic and national security,” says National Academy of Sciences President Marcia McNutt. “We are ready to provide a neutral forum for stakeholders to examine the issues and continue this critical dialogue.”NASEM has already taken a step in that direction. On 10 May it hosted a 3-hour meeting where senior administrators from major federal research agencies and national laboratories aired their concerns and their desire for better coordination of government policies to protect the U.S. research enterprise. The meeting was convened by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, and participants included Kelvin Droegemeier, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).Divvying up the workloadThe issue was already on Droegemeier’s radar. On 6 May, he announced the creation of a new “joint committee” on academic engagement within the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC), which coordinates federal research activities. Its membership draws from two standing committees, one on science and one on science and technology (S&T) enterprise; “protecting American research assets” is one of its four focuses.However, each of these standing NSTC committees already has its own portfolio. The science committee oversees research initiatives spanning the natural, food, and agricultural sciences, whereas the panel on the S&T enterprise was created in 2018 to carry out a White House directive to improve research efficiency.The new joint NSTC committee is also tackling three other issues that have long plagued the research community. One is the excessive regulation of federally funded research. The second is scientific misconduct and other questionable research practices. The third is a hostile work environment, including sexual harassment and barriers to the entry and retention of women and minorities. Since joining OSTP in January, Droegemeier has repeatedly listed those four topics as priorities for his office and promised to make progress on each one.Federal lawmakers believe the issue of foreign ties is sufficiently important to warrant its own group within NSTC. They are also concerned that the topic will get lost among the welter of issues Droegemeier wants the joint committee to ponder.SASTA’s sponsors “are supportive of efforts at OSTP to take on the issue of protecting American research assets,” Sherrill says. “This bill reflects how Congress thinks those efforts should be organized to address it.”
Indian team director Ravi Shastri will not be travelling to Zimbabwe with the Indian team next month. According to Cricbuzz, the veteran will be back with the squad for the Sri Lankan tour in August. Shastri, who had informed the board about his decision before the Bangladesh series, is likely to manage the team till the 2016 T20 World Cup. Meanwhile, Indian support staff Sanjay Bangar, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar are likely to get two-year contracts ahead of the Zimbabwe tour.Will the regulars go to Zimbabwe? The question over the availability of key players MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Ravi Ashwin will be answered when the national selectors meet in Delhi on Monday. The chances of a Dhoni-led side touring Zimbabwe are high as there is no limited over cricket in the schedule for the next four months after the African tour.
Indo-Vietnamese tennis pair of Sumit Nagal and Nam Hoang Ly earned a straight sets victory to enter the boys’ doubles semifinals at Wimbledon here on Friday.The eighth seeds needed only 53 minutes to defeat Japanese combination of Yusuke Takahashi and Jumpei Yamasaki 6-2, 6-3 on grass Court No.6 of the All England Club.Nagal and Ly will next take on Serbian-Norwegian pair of Miomir Kecmanovic and Casper Ruud for a place in the final.
The cost of travelling across such a vast country — with long stretches of highway between each big city — is expensive in itself. Nash says a dwindling number of attractive venues makes hitting the road an even bigger gamble. New owners will take control of the space — which has hosted Canadian favourites like Joel Plaskett and Ron Sexsmith — as renovations begin and Campbell eases out of his role. Technological trends, changing listener tastes and a challenging business model are threatening the dedicated performing spaces once home to young hopefuls and grizzled veterans. While Hugh’s Room shows were often sold-out, Carson says he struggled when artists didn’t promote their own gigs. And CD and merchandise sales no longer contributed to the bottom line like they used to. LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment “They haven’t completely ruled out the idea of keeping some sort of live music component,” he says. In the coming days, Carson plans to scour the industry for reasonable options that could save Hugh’s Room. It may include restructuring the business or the option of embracing a not-for-profit model. Having fewer small venues across Canada makes it tough for many independent artists to tour, suggests Toronto singer-songwriter Jory Nash. Advertisement Toronto’s Hugh’s Room became the latest to join the death-watch list when its owner Richard Carson abruptly closed the venue last week to weigh his options. Advertisement The 200-person capacity restaurant and music venue opened in 2001 as a stage for both local and international performers, and hosted a hearty list of tribute concerts for Canadian legends like Gordon Lightfoot and Stompin’ Tom. Hugh’s Room also struggled with declining attendance on some nights and hoped to buck the trend by appealing to Toronto residents with families. Not only did the venue welcome kids, but its performances started and finished early enough to accommodate a reasonable bedtime. While it’s impossible to pinpoint a single reason for why Canada’s smaller concert stages are under so much pressure, there are a few recurring challenges. “You use certain anchor dates to help you when you’re planning tours, just to make it work,” he says. Follow @dfriend on Twitter. “That used to be part of how I paid my box-office staff,” Carson says. He also blamed a barrage of burdensome local bylaws and years of ongoing downtown Halifax construction for contributing to the Carleton’s demise. “Some of these venues, like a Hugh’s Room, can be critical.” Other similar money-losing music hubs have seen their hopes dashed in recent years. Login/Register With: And two years ago, Vancouver lost its only jazz club when the Cellar Jazz Club folded. Facebook Mike Campbell didn’t want his prominent Halifax venue to join the growing list of Canadian musical haunts forced to close. Vancouver’s Railway Club left a void in the local music scene when it couldn’t find a buyer last year. Its stage, which once welcomed acts like the Tragically Hip, kd lang and the Barenaked Ladies, was recently leased by a new tenant. Twitter While Carson says nothing is etched in stone yet, he’s still hunting for a viable solution that would keep Hugh’s Room alive. The longtime champion of East Coast music tried everything, including a crowdfunding campaign to save the Carleton. His appeal to music fans fell short of its goal and Campbell was forced to give up the dream. Advertisement Or, in the social media age, they may not meet in person at all. “I’m hoping we can figure out a way to keep going.” For one, audience habits have significantly changed, Campbell suggests. A few years ago it would’ve been common to hit up a pub for drinks before heading to a nightclub, he says, but now many people favour pre-drink gatherings at home. “It’s no longer necessary to get together with a bunch of people in a physical social space,” Campbell says. But when the former co-host of MuchMusic’s 1990s series “Mike and Mike’s Excellent X-Canada Adventures” soon hands over the keys to the Carleton Music Bar and Grill, at least he’ll know he fought to keep it alive. David Friend – The Canadian Press Independent artists have increasingly turned to streaming music services instead of investing in CDs to sell at shows. “But it’s definitely not going to be the way it was.”