SEPTA buys rail cars from NJ Transit to deal with crowding

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SEPTA buys rail cars from NJ Transit to deal with crowding

By | September 16, 2017

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

As gas prices have risen in the United States, the regional transport authority for southeastern Pennsylvania, SEPTA, has seen a sharp increase in ridership, which has caused overcrowding on the trains.

“As fuel prices have continued to rise, SEPTA ridership has steadily increased and is the highest in 18 years,” said SEPTA General Manager Joseph Casey. Monthly ridership was 22 percent higher last month than a year ago.

“They have crushed loads on their rail lines, already where people are standing, and there’s not enough seats,” said Rich Bickel, the director of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

“At peak times some railcars are standing room only and commuter parking lots are nearly full. All Regional Rail lines are running near full capacity and the train station parking lots are at about 90 percent capacity or more,” SEPTA spokesperson Felipe Suarez said.

While SEPTA awaits new Silverliner V trains from Hyundai Rotem, which begin arriving in 2009, it had hoped to lease eight rail cars from New Jersey Transit, at an agreed-upon rate of US$10,000 per month. However, due to problems with insurance and liability indemnification, the deal fell through, according to Casey.

SEPTA has entered a new agreement to purchase the eight rail cars from NJ Transit. The transit authority will pay US$670,000 for the cars and assorted supplies plus one additional inoperative car which will be used for spare parts. The rail cars will be operated using a SEPTA provided locomotive as they are not self-propelled.

The cars are being disposed of by NJ Transit because it has switched from single-floor cars to double-decker cars.

SEPTA is expecting to raise US$3.1 million by selling rail that has been out of service since 1981 at auction.

Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

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Computer professionals celebrate 10th birthday of A.L.I.C.E.

By |

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

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More than 50 programmers, scientists, students, hobbyists and fans of the A.L.I.C.E. chat robot gathered in Guildford, U.K. on Friday to celebrate the tenth birthday of the award winning A.I. On hand was the founder the Loebner Prize, an annual Turing Test, designed to pick out the world’s most human computer according to an experiment laid out by the famous British mathematician Alan Turing more then 50 years ago. Along with A.L.I.C.E.’s chief programmer Dr. Richard S. Wallace, two other Loebner prize winners, Robby Garner and this year’s winner, Rollo Carpenter, also gave presentations, as did other finalists.

The University of Surrey venue was chosen, according to Dr. Wallace, not only because it was outside the U.S. (A.L.I.C.E.’s birthday fell on the Thanksgiving Day weekend holiday there, so he expected few people would attend a conference in America), but also because of its recently erected statue of Alan Turing, who posed the famous A. I. experiment which inspired much of the work on bots like A.L.I.C.E. University of Surrey Digital World Research Centre organizers Lynn and David Hamill were pleased to host the event because it encourages multi-disciplinary interaction, and because of the Centre’s interest in interaction between humans and computers.

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Dr. Wallace gave a keynote address outlining the history of A.L.I.C.E. and AIML. Many people commented on the fact the he seemed to have moved around a lot in the last ten years, having lived in New York, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, Maine, Amsterdam and Philadelphia, while working on the Alicebot project. The A.L.I.C.E. and AIML software is popular among chat robot enthusiats primarily because of its distribution under the GNU free software license. One of Dr. Wallace’s PowerPoint slides asked the question, “How do you make money from free software?” His answer: memberships, subscriptions, books, directories, syndicated ads, consulting, teaching, and something called the Superbot.

Rollo Carpenter gave a fascinating presentation on his learning bot Jabberwacky, reading from several sample conversations wherein the bot seemed amazingly humanlike. Unlike the free A.L.I.C.E. software, Carpenter uses a proprietary learning approach so that the bot actually mimics the personality of each individual chatter. The more people who chat with Jabberwacky, the better it becomes at this kind of mimicry.

In another interesting presentation, Dr. Hamill related present-day research on chat robots to earlier work on dialog analysis in telephone conversations. Phone calls have many similarities to the one-on-one chats that bots encounter on the web and in IM. Dr. Hamill also related our social expectations of bots to social class structure and how servants were expected to behave in Victorian England. He cited the famous Microsoft paperclip as the most egregius example of a bot that violated all the rules of a good servant’s behavior.

Bots have advanced a long way since philanthropist Hugh Loebner launched his controversial contest 15 years ago. His Turing Test contest, which offers an award of $100,000 for the first program to pass an “audio-visual” version of the game, also awards a bronze medal and $2000 every year for the “most human computer” according to a panel of judges. Huma Shah of the University of Westminster presented examples of bots used by large corporations to help sell furniture, provide the latest information about automotive products, and help customers open bank accounts. Several companies in the U.S. and Europe offer customized bot personalities for corporate web sites.

Even though Turing’s Test remains controversial, this group of enthusiastic developers seems determined to carry on the tradition and try to develop more and more human like chat bots. Hugh Loebner is dedicated to carry on his contest for the rest of his life, in spite of his critics. He hopes that a large enough constituency of winners will exist to keep the competition going well beyond his own lifetime. Dr. Wallace says, “Nobody has gotten rich from chat robots yet, but that doesn’t stop people from trying. There is such a thing as ‘bot fever’. For some people who meet a bot for the first time, it can pass the Turing Test for them, and they get very excited.”

Car bomb kills at least three in Dagestan, Russia

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Car bomb kills at least three in Dagestan, Russia

By |

Thursday, January 27, 2011

According to police, at least three civilians were killed and three others injured by a car bomb in the Republic of Dagestan in Russia.

Reports say the blast occurred outside the Karavan Cafe in Khasavyurt and only killed those inside the cafe.

An unconfirmed report says one of the injured died while receiving medical treatment.

There are nearly daily attacks in Dagestan from Islamic militants, wanting to form an Islamic state. The militants usually target police and other security officials.

Militants from Dagestan are suspected in an attack earlier this week at the Domodedovo airport in Moscow, killing at least 35 and injuring 110.

Choosing The Best Video Marketing Campaign For Your Business

By | September 15, 2017

By M. Wooden

Do you find yourself wondering How do I know that Im choosing the best video marketing campaign? Many individuals wonder the exact same thing. Everyone wants to be choosing the best video marketing campaign that they can. Whether youre new to choosing campaigns or youre a veteran you can find out if youre choice is the best or not by looking at a few key points.

Having Multiple Versions

Not all products require multiple versions, but if your product covers a wide range of ages then you will want to have multiple versions of a video made. For example if youre trying to target brownies to an 18 year old youll obviously approach it differently than if youre trying to market it to a 60 year old. You will want to create multiple versions because of this. If youre choosing the best video marketing campaign for the internet, you will have an easy time editing and publishing your videos. Therefore to have one of the best campaigns you may want to target multiple age ranges through multiple versions.

Using Branding

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Many people are familiar with branded videos and they don’t even know it. If you are choosing the best video marketing campaign you will defiantly want to look into branding as an option. Branding a video means taking a certain name brand or a product and placing it repeatedly throughout the video. It is usually used discreetly, so you don’t even realize what is going on. The goal of this marketing is to make you buy the product and associate it with the actor or actress.

Viral Videos

Viral videos are becoming one of the most popular choices for business choosing the best video marketing campaign. These short clips don’t have to be polished and perfected as long as they are capable of gaining a lot of attention. Just as the name suggests, a viral video is passed around to as many people as possible within a few days. The viral video will be linked to a company website, often using the technique of multiple versions to do so.

Commercial Advertising

Some companies think that it is best to stick with the traditional forms of commercial advertising when it comes to choosing the best video marketing campaign. To gain the most views, businesses pay to put their short commercials at the beginning of popular films so that people have to watch their commercial before they can watch the video. Many times, some type of infomercial will be available on the company’s home page.

You can use any one of these techniques when choosing the best video marketing campaign. They are even more successful when you bring multiple techniques together as one. If you plan on making your own marketing video it is very important that you research a bit more about some of the basics to creating a marketing video before you get started. By the time you are done, your video will be one of the most viewed of all.

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