first_imgDONEGAL TD Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has expressed his concern at a letter which suggests that the government may introduce charges for home helps and care in the home.The letter which was issued by the Minister’ s office to the Regional Health Forum West refers to legislative powers to introduce such charges and states that ‘It is Government policy to increase the part played by community services in supporting older people in line with the preferences of older people themselves’.Commenting on situation, Deputy Mac Lochlainn said: “This government has introduced savage cuts in relation to home helps and the most vulnerable people in society; provoking larges protests on the streets of Letterkenny and throughout the state. “I am therefore extremely worried when I see government departments referring to the power to introduce charges for home help.“Minister Varadkar must immediately clarify the intent of this letter. He must assure the elderly people of Donegal that there will be no charges introduced on the vital services they receive.“The most vulnerable in our society must be protected. This has to be the priority of any government which prioritises the wellbeing of our citizens. Elderly people can never become another ‘cash cow’ for this government to raise revenue.”  DONEGAL TD FEARS CHARGES WILL BE INTRODUCED FOR HOME HELP SERVICES was last modified: October 14th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:care workerschargesdonegal tdhome helpPadraig Mac Lochlainnlast_img read more

Record level of students appeal Leaving Certificate results

first_imgA record number of Leaving Certificate students are appealing their exam results this year, it has emerged.According to the State Examinations Commission (SEC), more than 9,000 candidates have made applications to appeal more than 17,000 grades.This is a 74% increase on the number of students appealing compared to last year, and an 87% increase on the actual number of grades appealed, according to RTE.  The rise follows significant publicity surrounding the appeals process over the past year, following a successful High Court challenge to appeal procedures this time last year.Rebecca Carter took a case to the High Court alleging an unreasonable delay in the processing of appeals after she narrowly missed out on a college place due to the slowness of the process.Following a High Court ruling in her favour, the SEC introduced changes this year to speed up the appeals process.Students now receive the outcome of any appeal more than three weeks earlier than previously, in mid-September. There has been a 192 per cent increase in the amount of music students appealing their final grade – with 479 applications received.Design and communication (187 per cent), Higher-level Irish (161 per cent), Biology, French, Spanish, German and engineering are among the subjects being appealed in huge numbers.Around one in five papers are upgraded after an appeal.The SEC said the increase in appeals is greater than it anticipated.However, it said it wants to reassure candidates that the planned issue date of the week beginning 16 September will be achieved. During the appeal process the original marking of an exam is reviewed by an appeal examiner who was not involved in the original marking.Last year, 16% of appeals were successful for candidates, resulting in upgrades. However, five papers were downgraded during the process.Record level of students appeal Leaving Certificate results was last modified: August 30th, 2019 by Staff WriterShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Fortuna’s Bailey Foley remains hospitalized as large community rallies to aid

first_imgSanta Rosa >> Fortuna High School football player Bailey Foley remains in a medically-induced coma after doctors said the 17-year-old running back/linebacker suffered a stroke following a hematoma during the Huskies’ 41-18 loss to Cardinal Newman on Friday in Santa Rosa. In the waning moments of the game, Foley went to the sidelines complaining of cramps before suffering from seizures. He was rushed to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital where he was found to have bleeding in his brain. Doctors …last_img read more

Microsoft Demos A Star Trek-Style Universal Translator [Video]

first_imgMicrosoft has showed off research that takes us significantly closer to a Star Trek-style universal translator: natural language translation, in real time, in the user’s own voice.The demonstration by Microsoft chief research officer Rick Rashid (see embedded video below) at Microsoft Research Asia’s 21st Century Computing event was part of a speech to about 2,000 students in China on October. 25, and doesn’t actually represent a product in the works. “This work is in the pure research stages to push the boundaries of what’s currently possible,” a Microsoft spokeswoman said in an email. The potential value of such capability is enormous, and obvious. On Star Trek, the universal translator made alien relations possible. For business travelers and tourists, speaking even a few words of the native tongue, let alone fluently, can make a big difference. For immigrants, learning the language of their new country is often the biggest barrier to assimilation. That’s why Microsoft – and competitors like Google, among others – have worked for years to develop real-time translation systems. Rashid’s demonstration shows a real-time speech-to-text translation engine, with a similarly real-time assessment of its accuracy. (Microsoft didn’t say how it generated the accuracy measurement.) According to Rashid, however, the accuracy has been improved by more than 30% compared to previous generations, with a current error rate as little as one in seven or eight words, or 13% to 14%. (Disclosing the error rate is significant, as competitors like Nuance usually compare recognition rates against their own products.)Translation Needs Big DataMicrosoft is no stranger to automated translation; on Halloween, the company announced that it would be working with researchers in Central America to buid a version of the Microsoft Translator Hub to preserve the Mayan language. The Hub lets users create a model, add language data, then use Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud service to power the automated translation. The idea, as Microsoft took pains to explain, was to preserve the dying language through the next b’ak’tun, the calendar cycle that ends this December, prompting waves of end-of-the-world predictions, including movies like 2012.As Microsoft’s Translator Hub suggests, translation is predicated upon big data. The calculations are immensely complicated, not just dealing with the phonemes that make up each word, but also working out how thoughts are organized into proper grammar, as well as other elements like the genders of certain nouns, honorifics, and other cultural nuances. Microsoft built in speech-to-text tools inside of Windows XP, as Rashid points out, but the technology suffered arbitrary speech errors of about one in every four words. Although speech-to-text (and text-to-speech) has remained inside of Microsoft’s software as an accessibility tool, it hasn’t yet served as a general replacement for the keyboard – even, as Scott Forstall’s departure from Apple demonstrates – with some of the top minds in the industry powering technologies like Apple’s Siri.Typically, machine translation is improved through training, as the software learns how a user pronounces various phonemes and generally becomes familiar with how the user says individual words. His Master’s VoiceRashid’s demonstration went a step farther, however. The software not only learned what Rashid was saying, but also parsed the meaning, reorganizing it into Chinese. It also took his voice and recast the Chinese phonology in Rashid’s natural voice. How? By using a few hours speech of a native Chinese speaker and properties of Rashid’s own voice taken from about one hour of pre-recorded English data – recordings of previous speeches he had made.Real-time voice translation isn’t exactly new. In the mobile space. Both Microsoft and Google, for example, have released apps that can translate text that a smartphone camera sees. And both offer “conversational modes” that are actually more akin to a CB radio: one person talks, taps “stop,” the phone translates and plays back a recorded voice, the other person speaks, and so on. What Rashid’s demonstration showed off was a much more conversational, continuous, natural means of translation.And as Rashid’s blog post and the video highlight, the crowd applauded nearly every line. That’s the type of response every business traveler and tourist wouldn’t mind when trying to make herself understood.Lead image from Memory Alpha. Related Posts Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Tags:#cloud#Microsoft markhachman Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more