Digital vaccine certificates could enable international students to return: minister


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“If a vaccine works and stops the spread, and it can be rolled out effectively in source countries and we can have surety over vaccination certificates, then there is the potential to be able to bring in more international students without them having to quarantine,” Mr Tudge told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

“In part, that would be facilitated by the fact that we’re digitising the incoming passenger card. Our aspiration is that we would then be able to electronically staple an authenticated, biometrically connected vaccination certification to that card.”

Mr Tudge first raised the proposal in December at a meeting with international education experts when he was acting immigration minister.

Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly said earlier this month the government was closely considering the concept of a vaccination passport but added ″⁣for the moment, vaccination will not be an alternative to 14-day quarantine″⁣.

Mr Tudge said there were about 164,000 international students enrolled in Australian universities who were unable to enter the country due to the border closure.

The risk posed by protracted border closures to Australia’s international education system – one of the country’s largest exports and worth $40 billion to the country’s economy – is one of the biggest challenges facing Mr Tudge this year.

He was appointed Education Minister in December after a reshuffle in which his predecessor Dan Tehan was promoted to Trade Minister.

Universities have reported steep declines in applications and enrolments from new international students for semester one, fuelling concerns Australia is at risk of losing market share to rival countries such as Canada and the UK, which have opened borders to offshore students.

In December, the Australian National University’s vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to issue a positive message to foreign students that they would be welcomed back as soon as it was safe to do so.

Mr Tudge said he “strongly encouraged” offshore students to continue enrolling in Australian institutions and to start their visa application process.

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“My message to those international students overseas is, of course we want to bring you back to Australia and we are working on how to do that safely and without impacting the number of Australians who can come home,” Mr Tudge said.

“My advice would be to start your online studies with an Australian university and apply for your visa so that you are ready to go when the border situation changes.”

The Morrison government first announced plans for the “Digital Passenger Declaration” in October, which can be filled out using phones and computers, as a replacement for the paper-based incoming arrival passenger card.

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Unity has acquired RestAR to enable AI-based 3D capture


Game engine maker Unity has acquired RestAR, a Tel Aviv-based computer vision and deep learning company that enables fashion brands, online retailers, and marketers to scan and render physical consumer products in high-quality 3D, using only a mobile device.

This acquisition is coming on the heels of the launch of Unity Forma, a new tool that enables marketers to create and publish interactive experiences from 3D data. RestAR will enable marketers to generate a digital twin of any product or object in 3D. The deal is one among many for Unity, which is competing with Epic Games, the maker of the Unreal Engine, for talent related to digital entertainment, games, and digital commerce.

With the acquisition of RestAR, Unity will enable brands, retailers, and consumers to engage in digital marketing for almost any product, Unity said.

Creating realistic 3D models is normally a time-consuming, manual, and expensive process that few companies can afford. With RestAR, scans take about a minute to complete. More than 95% of scans are processed successfully, RestAR says, with no need to retake the video or apply manual touchup. Users capture a video, and they don’t need technical knowledge or special hardware. The video is processed and highly compressed in the cloud using AI-based technology.

RestAR works with fashion brands and ecommerce platforms such as UGG, Off-White, Wix, Dafiti, Hoka One One, Palm Angels, Heron Preston, and others.

RestAR CEO Bar Saraf said in a statement that the pandemic has accelerated the expansion of retail and other industries into the world of digital commerce. He added that RestAR’s purpose is to help those companies with their digital visual needs. His employees will join Unity and continue working from RestAR headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel.

This acquisition complements the recently announced Unity Forma, which enables businesses to transform 3D product data into interactive 3D configurators, stunning images, and more.


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Advance could enable artificial intelligence on household appliances while enhancing data security and energy efficiency — ScienceDaily


Deep learning is everywhere. This branch of artificial intelligence curates your social media and serves your Google search results. Soon, deep learning could also check your vitals or set your thermostat. MIT researchers have developed a system that could bring deep learning neural networks to new — and much smaller — places, like the tiny computer chips in wearable medical devices, household appliances, and the 250 billion other objects that constitute the “internet of things” (IoT).

The system, called MCUNet, designs compact neural networks that deliver unprecedented speed and accuracy for deep learning on IoT devices, despite limited memory and processing power. The technology could facilitate the expansion of the IoT universe while saving energy and improving data security.

The research will be presented at next month’s Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems. The lead author is Ji Lin, a PhD student in Song Han’s lab in MIT’s Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Co-authors include Han and Yujun Lin of MIT, Wei-Ming Chen of MIT and National University Taiwan, and John Cohn and Chuang Gan of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab.

The Internet of Things

The IoT was born in the early 1980s. Grad students at Carnegie Mellon University, including Mike Kazar ’78, connected a Cola-Cola machine to the internet. The group’s motivation was simple: laziness. They wanted to use their computers to confirm the machine was stocked before trekking from their office to make a purchase. It was the world’s first internet-connected appliance. “This was pretty much treated as the punchline of a joke,” says Kazar, now a Microsoft engineer. “No one expected billions of devices on the internet.”

Since that Coke machine, everyday objects have become increasingly networked into the growing IoT. That includes everything from wearable heart monitors to smart fridges that tell you when you’re low on milk. IoT devices often run on microcontrollers — simple computer chips with no operating system, minimal processing power, and less than one thousandth of the memory of a typical smartphone. So pattern-recognition tasks like deep learning are difficult to run locally on IoT devices. For complex analysis, IoT-collected data is often sent to the cloud, making it vulnerable to hacking.

“How do we deploy neural nets directly on these tiny devices? It’s a new research area that’s getting very hot,” says Han. “Companies like Google and ARM are all working in this direction.” Han is too.

With MCUNet, Han’s group codesigned two components needed for “tiny deep learning” — the operation of neural networks on microcontrollers. One component is TinyEngine, an inference engine that directs resource management, akin to an operating system. TinyEngine is optimized to run a particular neural network structure, which is selected by MCUNet’s other component: TinyNAS, a neural architecture search algorithm.

System-algorithm codesign

Designing a deep network for microcontrollers isn’t easy. Existing neural architecture search techniques start with a big pool of possible network structures based on a predefined template, then they gradually find the one with high accuracy and low cost. While the method works, it’s not the most efficient. “It can work pretty well for GPUs or smartphones,” says Lin. “But it’s been difficult to directly apply these techniques to tiny microcontrollers, because they are too small.”

So Lin developed TinyNAS, a neural architecture search method that creates custom-sized networks. “We have a lot of microcontrollers that come with different power capacities and different memory sizes,” says Lin. “So we developed the algorithm [TinyNAS] to optimize the search space for different microcontrollers.” The customized nature of TinyNAS means it can generate compact neural networks with the best possible performance for a given microcontroller — with no unnecessary parameters. “Then we deliver the final, efficient model to the microcontroller,” say Lin.

To run that tiny neural network, a microcontroller also needs a lean inference engine. A typical inference engine carries some dead weight — instructions for tasks it may rarely run. The extra code poses no problem for a laptop or smartphone, but it could easily overwhelm a microcontroller. “It doesn’t have off-chip memory, and it doesn’t have a disk,” says Han. “Everything put together is just one megabyte of flash, so we have to really carefully manage such a small resource.” Cue TinyEngine.

The researchers developed their inference engine in conjunction with TinyNAS. TinyEngine generates the essential code necessary to run TinyNAS’ customized neural network. Any deadweight code is discarded, which cuts down on compile-time. “We keep only what we need,” says Han. “And since we designed the neural network, we know exactly what we need. That’s the advantage of system-algorithm codesign.” In the group’s tests of TinyEngine, the size of the compiled binary code was between 1.9 and five times smaller than comparable microcontroller inference engines from Google and ARM. TinyEngine also contains innovations that reduce runtime, including in-place depth-wise convolution, which cuts peak memory usage nearly in half. After codesigning TinyNAS and TinyEngine, Han’s team put MCUNet to the test.

MCUNet’s first challenge was image classification. The researchers used the ImageNet database to train the system with labeled images, then to test its ability to classify novel ones. On a commercial microcontroller they tested, MCUNet successfully classified 70.7 percent of the novel images — the previous state-of-the-art neural network and inference engine combo was just 54 percent accurate. “Even a 1 percent improvement is considered significant,” says Lin. “So this is a giant leap for microcontroller settings.”

The team found similar results in ImageNet tests of three other microcontrollers. And on both speed and accuracy, MCUNet beat the competition for audio and visual “wake-word” tasks, where a user initiates an interaction with a computer using vocal cues (think: “Hey, Siri”) or simply by entering a room. The experiments highlight MCUNet’s adaptability to numerous applications.

“Huge potential”

The promising test results give Han hope that it will become the new industry standard for microcontrollers. “It has huge potential,” he says.

The advance “extends the frontier of deep neural network design even farther into the computational domain of small energy-efficient microcontrollers,” says Kurt Keutzer, a computer scientist at the University of California at Berkeley, who was not involved in the work. He adds that MCUNet could “bring intelligent computer-vision capabilities to even the simplest kitchen appliances, or enable more intelligent motion sensors.”

MCUNet could also make IoT devices more secure. “A key advantage is preserving privacy,” says Han. “You don’t need to transmit the data to the cloud.”

Analyzing data locally reduces the risk of personal information being stolen — including personal health data. Han envisions smart watches with MCUNet that don’t just sense users’ heartbeat, blood pressure, and oxygen levels, but also analyze and help them understand that information. MCUNet could also bring deep learning to IoT devices in vehicles and rural areas with limited internet access.

Plus, MCUNet’s slim computing footprint translates into a slim carbon footprint. “Our big dream is for green AI,” says Han, adding that training a large neural network can burn carbon equivalent to the lifetime emissions of five cars. MCUNet on a microcontroller would require a small fraction of that energy. “Our end goal is to enable efficient, tiny AI with less computational resources, less human resources, and less data,” says Han.



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‘Pokémon Go’ gets AR Mapping tasks to enable more realistic effects


Pokémon Go players may see a new tag marking some PokéStops next time they check the app. Niantic has officially launched AR Mapping tasks for level 20 Trainers and up, almost five months after the company announced that it’s launching the feature. When they spin a PokéStop marked with the “AR Mapping” tag, they’ll get a Field Research task that will require them to open the AR scanning screen and to explore the area.

Niantic first announced that it’s working on a PokéStop Scan feature back in May in an effort to improve Pokémon Go’s augmented reality effects. By getting players to scan locations, the developer will get what it needs to be able to create 3D maps of PokéStops. They can then use that data to make critters interact with real—world objects, so they can hide behind a tree trunk instead of just float in front of it. Niantic started testing the better AR effects feature called “Reality Blending” back in May, as well, though it’s limited to users with certain newer Android phones.





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Dettori denied as Enable gets stuck in mud in bid for historic third Arc win


At one stage, Enable became the meat in a sandwich, as can happen to horses not travelling well, but while it did not help her, it hardly hindered her either and so a great career concluded with a bit of a damp squib but, for racing and everyone involved with her, it has been a great ride.

On the face of it the withdrawal of Aidan O’Brien’s four runners because of contaminated feed the night before might have opened up the goal a little for Enable.

But, one suspects, had Sovereign and Serpentine been involved, the pace might have been that much stronger than that set by the miler Persian King, enabling him to get home in third behind the soft-ground specialist In Swoop.

Jockey Cristian Demuro and Sottsass race to the win. Credit:AP

However, Dettori was quick to blame the heavy ground for “killing” Enable’s action. He was level with Sottsass turning into the straight and if anything travelling better. It was just that Enable was unable to pick up in it.

“I went to make the running but for the first 200 metres she was out of her comfort zone,” he explained. “She came good later and at the 500 I got a good spot, but there was nothing there. She couldn’t pick her legs up, like the last furlong last year.

Trainer John Gosden, who watched from home, added: “The jockey said it was deep and holding and drying out. We could have done with a shower of rain. He never felt comfortable. I thought he might go on, but he chose not to. The one thing about Aidan’s runners, it wouldn’t have been a trot and a dash. Pace and the ground – it’s as simple as that, it’s not very complicated. That is horse racing. Pace and conditions are always key factors – sometimes they work in your favour, sometimes they don’t. If you can’t take the punches in this game you shouldn’t be in it, but I’m very pleased to see Jean-Claude win it.

Enable, pictured last month at Kempton Park Racecourse.

Enable, pictured last month at Kempton Park Racecourse. Credit:Getty Images

“She seems great after, she didn’t blow hard, and we’ll see what the owner wants to do. Stradivarius was the same. He likes a target and was three wide throughout and was having a play afterwards. They’ve both gone to France for a lovely piece of work in horrible ground!”

Lord Grimthorpe, Khalid Abdullah’s racing manager, said there were no regrets at having tried again for a third Arc.

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“Enable has given us so much, to Prince Khalid and the whole sport. She has been such an important part of our lives. We have no complaints, no excuses. She didn’t handle the ground as well as we hoped,” he said.

“She’s happy, she retained her enthusiasm, she loves racing, her routine, the sport, and somewhere along the line she loves Frankie, that’s been a fantastic relationship. It’s been a huge bonus having her another season.

“Expectation was enormous but to win a third King George on its own is something fantastic. But three King Georges, two Arcs, A Breeders Cup, Eclipse, an Oaks, Yorkshire Oaks, Irish Oaks – it’s an extraordinary CV.”

Rouget, who learned his trade as an assistant to Ian Balding and Paul Cole in England and is based at Pau and Deauville, hatched his plan to win this year’s Arc the moment Sottsass finished third behind Waldgeist and Enable a year ago.

“This year we had problems to build the best programme for him, but I was encouraged by his run in the Irish Champion Stakes,” said the trainer.

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SC to organise workshop to enable staff to cope with stress during COVID-19 pandemic


The Supreme Court is organising an interactive workshop on Tuesday to ensure overall wellness and to create awareness amongst its officers, Registry officials, advocates and litigants to enable them to deal with the strain, fear and anxieties induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The apex court, which on Monday issued a press note in this regard, termed the current situation as “unprecedented” and said the workshop, ‘Mind Matters’, is being organised on the directions of Chief Justice S A Bobde, who noticed the stress, fear, anxiety and worries that are common responses due to uncertainty raised during COVID-19 Pandemic.

The workshop will be organized in collaboration with the Director, Institute of Human Behavior and Allied Sciences, Delhi on Tuesday.

All the officers of the rank of Registrars and Additional Registrars will join the workshop. Learning from the experience of the workshop interactive programmes will be arranged for others staff members and stake-holders in future. Mental wellness Helpdesk & tele-consultation is in contemplation for future in the Supreme Court of India, the press note said.

The Supreme Court Administration has been focusing on physical aspect and ensuring the physical safety of all concerned from the contagion of COVID-19. But the studies have indicated long term psychological distress of the pandemic.

In the wake of these stressful and testing times, the leaders in the administration need to lead from the front and ensure overall wellness of all the subordinates, besides keeping themselves mentally strong and well equipped to cope up with the stress and anxiety, the note said.

It said that learning from the experience of the workshop interactive programmes will be arranged for other staff members and stake-holders in future.





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AG Barr: Mail-in ballots enable fraud, voter coercion


President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf arrive at Andrews Air Force Base after a trip to Kenosha, Wis., Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020, at Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

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UPDATED 8:14 AM PT – Thursday, September 3, 2020

Attorney General William Barr vowed to prevent voter fraud related to mail-in ballots in a heated interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

During the exchange, Barr said the Department of Justice has reviewed hundreds of claims of fraud and coercion with mail-in ballots over the past 10 years.

“The only time the narrative changed is after this administration came in, but elections that have been held with mail have found substantial fraud and coercion,” he explained. “For example, we indicted someone in Texas…1,700 ballots collected from people who could vote, he made them out and voted for the person he wanted to.”

Barr also compared mail-in voting to “playing with fire” by saying it may further erode public confidence in the federal government.

RELATED: President Trump shares report of 20K suspicious mail-in ballots cast in Detroit primary





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How support for disability can enable us all


If we make our communities much more inclusive of folks with disability, all people in modern society will advantage, writes Nicholas Haines.

“Can you give me a elevate residence?”

He is normally eager to validate that at the conclude of the change, I will push him dwelling. The option is that his father arrives to decide him up. He dislikes that solution simply because it implies a lot less time out, considerably less time with me.

“Can we have lunch in the park?”

He generally checks that I will stay and have lunch with him in the park around his residence. He wishes the camaraderie of the shared food. He needs to increase the time with anyone other than his dad and mom.

The moment, to the finish of a change, we have been in his regional Woolworths when he brushed my arm and murmured, “Someone’s there.” It was his father, standing near a verify-out. Quietly we designed our way out of the retail outlet without becoming recognized. He didn’t want to be noticed due to the fact he sensed that his father would conclusion the change then and just take his son property. That isn’t what he required. He required to squeeze as considerably freedom as he could from the day. 

My colleagues and I simply call him BFG — after the key character in Roald Dahl’s book, The Massive Welcoming Big

BFG towers in excess of most persons. His voice is mild and earnest with good friends and strangers alike. He reads people’s moods and is brief to show problem. His mind retains names and info and information them absent for long term use. BFG asks usually just after the welfare of somebody he satisfied in the past. He receives along very best with men and women who are mild, like him.

Autonomy is important to BFG. He craves time away from his mothers and fathers. He wants to do and delight in the common errands and transactions of day by day lifetime. He needs to accumulate matters — books, CDs and DVDs. He revels in the ritual of combing the shelves for a cut price. He has a deep appreciate for the resourceful arts.

BFG belongs to a music group. When he listens to audio he moves his large human body with one thing that resembles languid finesse. He is tasting everyday living and refining his palette.

Regimen is critical to BFG. Routines deliver stability, convenience and identity. Routines aid his social growth by bringing him into make contact with with the similar folks 7 days after 7 days. He is welcomed by the owners and employees of the document trade retail store, the comedian book store and the chance shop. He enjoys familiar faces.

One day, an prospect store volunteer requested us regardless of whether we would be intrigued in volunteering at Lifeline Bookfest. I arranged for us to fulfill the volunteer manager at Uniting Treatment Neighborhood headquarters in the metropolis.

BFG found her welcoming and agreed to volunteer. We have considering that volunteered at several Bookfests. We tidy the rows of textbooks when they turn out to be unwieldy. BFG can take satisfaction in the task. He brings a packed lunch. He likes wearing his volunteer’s uniform. There is a perception of mission, of goal — of contributing. He is trying out a operate job. His everyday living tasting proceeds.

BFG is a gracious host. When he hosts pizza evenings at his house, he checks that snacks are circulating amid the visitors and that anyone has plenty of to consume right up until the pizzas slide scorching and golden from pizza-maker to plate. At a occasion, he incorporates everyone. BFG sees when another person hasn’t been acknowledged for a while. With astute timing, he turns to a visitor and nods. He smiles and dispenses a short remark or issue.

The highlight of BFG’s social calendar is Halloween. He is fascinated by the occult. He delights in decorating his home with skeletons, ghouls and werewolves. He adores costumes — the much more intricate the better.

BFG is an lively learner. He perceives details and designs and expresses his knowing of principles. He pays near consideration to the planet about him and he enjoys to men and women-watch.

The NDIS leaves workers behind

He finds attractiveness in the most unlikely destinations. Drawn to the cross-river ferry, BFG is only lukewarm about the CityCat. Most likely it is because the cross-river ferry is cosy and faded, with an engine that you can see and listen to and smell. In the cross-river ferry, you can feel the sloshing of the drinking water. The CityCat is significant and sleek and glides smoothly and quietly. The inside of of the CityCat has the aesthetic of a company conference space. Maybe that is why BFG often asks, “Can we acquire the little ferry?”

BFG conjures up me to be entirely existing with people — to be grateful for their firm. Simply because of him, I am much more attentive when socialising. I value my independence and autonomy significantly much more than I did right before I knew him.

When I battle to resolve a challenge and aggravation looms, I believe often of BFG’s gentle curiosity and I make that the lens by means of which I look at the earth.

https://www.youtube.com/look at?v=vW6cr93qTh8

Nicholas Haines works in the disability aid sector in Brisbane, Australia. He has a Master’s Diploma in Progress Exercise from the College of Queensland.

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