A monkey first in South Africa

first_imgThe unique colobus monkey is a big hitwith visitors at the wild life park. Parrots are just some of the 27 exotic birdspecies found at Mystic Monkey’s andFeathers Zoo. A mother and baby white rhino spottedduring a game drive at Genius Loci. Zuba, a cub born to one of the lions at theGame Ranch.(Images: Genius Loci)Khanyi MagubaneBoasting one of South Africa’s largest collections of primate species, the Mystic Monkeys and Feathers Wildlife Park is not a typical zoo in the city.Its animals live unconstrained and are able to move around freely in their natural habitat.Based at the Genius Loci Game Ranch in the Limpopo province, the wildlife park is home to 33 primate species and it has a large collection of chimpanzees, and it also has 27 different types of exotic birds and rarely seen animals such as lemurs and sloths.Some of the birds found in the wildlife park include variations of toucan, cockatoo, macaw and eclectus birds.History made at the parkThe unique wildlife park recently made headlines after it welcomed its second baby monkey on 13 July, born to an exotic Angolan colobus monkey Kiki.The first colobus monkey(Colobus guereza) to be born in South Africa was Essie, to her Angolan mother Zeta in April.Zani Olivier, the wild park’s marketing manager, says they are excited by the arrival of the two babies. “We are very excited, because these two baby monkeys born here, are the only ones of their type in South Africa.”As Olivier explains, when the colobus monkey is born, its fur is first white in colour, which then darkens to a grey and after three months, the young animal starts developing the black and white fur, this she says, makes them very unique.The name colobus is derived from the Greek word meaning, mutilated, as unlike other species of monkeys, the colobus monkey doesn’t have thumbs on its feet or hands.Other interesting features of the colobus monkey are its behavioural patterns.According to the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), of all African monkeys, the colobus is the only monkey rarely seen on the ground, as it usually suspends itself on a tree.Its movement is usually swinging from tree to tree and it can swing up to 50 feet (15m).“They leap up and then drop downward, falling with outstretched arms and legs to grab the next branch. Their mantle hair and tails are believed to act as a parachute during these long leaps,” reads AWF’s website.Colobus monkeys prefer to live in groups of about five to 10 animals, usually consisting of a dominant male, several females, and their offspring.Essie and the yet to be named newborn monkey, are siblings from the same father Lacoste, a monkey of Angolan origin.Lacoste, Zeta and Kiki were bought from their previous owner in the Czech Republic, although all three were born in Angola.The wild life park was started six years ago when the owner of the Genius Loci, Christa Saayman, started collecting different exotic monkeys and birds as a hobby.However, as her collection grew, Saayman decided to apply for a Nature Conservation Board (NCB) permit to have the animal collection classified as a zoo.The NCB regulates permits for the capture, hosting or hunting of animals, fishing, as well as the growing, exporting or picking of plants and trade in endangered species in South Africa.Healing for animalsOne of the services that they offer at the wild life park is an animal therapy centre.Olivier, Genius Loci’s marketing manager and animal specialist, administers the therapy to those who’ve had traumatic experiences, who suffer from depression, anxiety, anger, neuroticism or even insomnia.During animal therapy, Olivier works on stimulating the endorphin levels, which stimulate the “feel good” hormone serotonin.Adults and kids are encouraged to engage with animals for the therapy to work.Animals used during therapy are horses, monkey, lion and cheetah cubs, birds, cats and dogs.The animal therapy sessions have attracted clients from around the world, and sessions are now offered on a weekend, weekly, or monthly packages.Included in the therapy package are spa treatments at the famous Mangwanani African Spa, which are thought to have a healing element.In addition to the spa treatments, patients who attend the animal therapy sessions are treated to healthy food for the duration of their stay, are encouraged to get plenty of rest and have scheduled contact time with the animals on a therapeutic level.According to Emthunzini (a Zulu word meaning “in the shade”), a non-profit organisation that helps abused children and traumatised animals; animal therapy can have far reaching on humans.“Children who haven’t spoken for years due to trauma have uttered their first words to horses and dolphins.“Those who have been so abused that they are scared to be touched by a human have shown their first sign of emotions and love to animals,” reads their website.According to the organisation, animal assisted therapy has been proven to work for both children and adults in South Africa and other parts of the world.Do you have any comments or queries about this article: Email Khanyi Magubane at: Khanyim@mediaclubsouthafrica.comUseful linksGenius loci Game RanchEmthunzini African Wildlife Foundationlast_img read more

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Young South Africans, take the test!

first_img1 December 2011Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has called on young South Africans leaving school and those in the country’s colleges and universities to get tested for HIV/Aids.Speaking ahead of World Aids Day on Wednesday, Nzimande said young people should ensure they were well informed about the pandemic and avoid exposing themselves to the risks of contracting the virus.“I particularly want to call upon those who are about to start at institutions of higher learning, who will for the first time in their lives be independent and away from direct parental supervision, to get information and knowledge so that they may behave in a way that does not expose them to the risk of contracting HIV.”World Aids Day serves as an important reminder to all South Africans that HIV/Aids has not gone away. There is still a vital need to increase awareness, strengthen support and improve education.The Department of Higher Education and Training has made a commitment to incorporate the fight against the HIV/Aids pandemic in all its skills development initiatives at colleges and universities.A study released by the Higher Education and HIV/Aids Programme (HEAIDS) last year revealed that, among students who reported having had sex, HIV prevalence was about 4 percent.The study was conducted two years ago using a sample of 17 000 students, 1 880 academic staff and 4 433 administrative and services staff.“We have incorporated the fight against this pandemic simply because as a country, we cannot afford to train our youth and young adults for the grave,” Nzimande said.“We need them for the workplace and effective participation in our society’s social and economic activities.”Nzimande appealed to youngsters to delay involvement in sexual relationships. “However, those who choose to be sexually active should always use a condom, be faithful to their partner, and at all costs avoid multiple and concurrent sexual partners.”Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Weekly Wrapup: Augmented Reality Apps, Top U.S. Websites, Tweeting Teens, And More…

first_imgIn this edition of the Weekly Wrapup – our newsletter summarizing the top stories of the week – we explain why augmented reality is ramping up (and look at three new iPhone examples), analyze the top websites in the U.S., check out new Twitter statistics suggesting that teens don’t tweet, review recent Wikipedia changes, and more. We also check in on our two new channels: ReadWriteEnterprise (devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ trends and products) and ReadWriteStart (dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs). Subscribe to Weekly WrapupYou can subscribe to the Weekly Wrapup by RSS or by email (form below).RWW Weekly Wrap-up Email Subscription form: Purchase The ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community ManagementOur First Premium Report for Businesses Recently we released our first premium report: The ReadWriteWeb Guide to Online Community Management. Businesses seeking to engage with online communities on their own websites or all around the social web will find the guide invaluable in getting up to speed on the state of the art and making sure their employees have the foundation they need to be effective. The report is a 75 page collection of case studies, advice and discussion concerning the most important issues in online community. You will also get a companion online aggregator that delivers the most-discussed articles each day written by experts on community management from around the web. All of this is available for purchase at a price of $299. You can download a free sample section of the report here. Web TrendsAugmented Reality: 5 Barriers to a Web That’s Everywhere Teens Don’t Tweet? They May Start Soon“Teens don’t tweet.” Over the past few weeks, this fact has been reported time and time again by analysts, bloggers, and mainstream media. But before all you adults get too comfortable with your Twitter dominance, take a look at the recent data from comScore. It appears that the youngest Twitter users – those in the 12-24 bracket – are now the fastest-growing segment of Twitter’s population.SEE MORE WEB TRENDS COVERAGE IN OUR TRENDS CATEGORYA Word from Our SponsorsWe’d like to thank ReadWriteWeb’s sponsors, without whom we couldn’t bring you all these stories every week!Mashery is the leading provider of API management services.WeeBiz, a business community where you can find and share new business opportunities.Domain.ME, the official registry for all .ME Domains.Codero, Dedicated Hosting with Backup & Managed Services.Mollom, stop comment spam and build your community.Crowd Science gives you detailed visitor demographics.hakia is a semantic search engine.Rackspace provides dedicated server hosting.Aplus provides web hosting services for small business hosting needs.IronScale, Managed Hosting. The Cloud Gets Physical.MediaTemple provides hosting for RWW.SixApart provides our publishing software MT4. ReadWriteEnterpriseOur channel devoted to ‘enterprise 2.0’ and using social software inside organizations. Why Zoho Wants You to Sign in With Google Apps Not long ago, Google revamped its sign-on system using the federated protocols of OpenID. Now Zoho, a major provider of SaaS productivity and enterprise tools, has decided to support Google Apps accounts for anyone logging into its services. Although the two companies have overlap in areas such as online document editing, the majority of Zoho’s suite is not in competition with Google.ReadWriteStartOur channel ReadWriteStart, sponsored by Microsoft BizSpark, is dedicated to profiling startups and entrepreneurs.When and How Founders Should Hire a Professional CEOThis is one post/chapter in a serialized book called Startup 101. For the introduction and table of contents, please click here.There are two schools of thought about founders as CEOs. One school says that founders rarely make good CEOs: the skill sets are simply different. The other school says that no one has as much passion, drive, and deep market and technological understanding as the founder, and so they are best off remaining as CEO.SEE MORE STARTUPS COVERAGE IN OUR READWRITESTART CHANNELWeb ProductsThe Wall Has Fallen: 3 Augmented Reality Apps Now Live in iPhone App StoreFirst Paris Metro, then Yelp, now London Buses. The newest is even selling database layers through in-app purchases.It has been widely reported that the API required to display Augmented Reality (AR) layers of data on top of the camera view of a non-jailbroken iPhone 3Gs would not be publicly exposed until the launch of the next version of the iPhone Operating System, expected this Fall. Many developers are patiently waiting, but some have now found a way around the restriction. This week we discovered 3 AR-enabled apps hitting the iTunes store.Confused About Wikipedia’s Flagged Revisions? What’s Really Happening Wikipedia’s new ‘flagged revision’ policy will radically change how entries about living persons will be maintained. There seems to be some confusion about the extent to which these new policies, once implemented, will change the nature of Wikipedia. According to some, Wikipedia will cease to be free and open. Instead, a group of editors with dictatorial powers will patrol the site. The reality, however, is far less dramatic.Opera Mini Is Most Downloaded Mobile App The Opera Mini application is now considered not only the world’s most popular mobile browser, but also the world’s most downloaded app. According to independent applications marketplace GetJar, the browser has been downloaded more than 25 million times from its store. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Tags:#web#Weekly Wrap-ups Bing Continues to Grow, But Yahoo Loses Market Share Since the launch of Bing, watching the developments in the search engine market is finally interesting again. According to the latest data from Compete for July, Bing continues to grow slowly but surely. At the same time, though, Compete notes that Bing has not been able to convert its growing search share into a rise in paid clicks on ads on the site. SEE MORE WEB PRODUCTS COVERAGE IN OUR PRODUCTS CATEGORYThat’s a wrap for another week! Enjoy your weekend everyone. Fifty years after its invention by the British Royal Navy for use by fighter pilots, the technology of layering information on top of our naked view of the world may soon cross over the line between science fiction and mass consumer experience. “The internet smeared all over everything.” An “enchanted window” that turns contextual information hidden all around us inside out. A platform that will be bigger than the Web. Those are the kinds of phrases being used to describe the future of what’s called Augmented Reality (AR), by specialists developing the technology to enable it. Big questions remain unanswered, though, about the viability of what could be a radical next step in humanity’s use of computers.5 Ways Sentiment Analysis is Ramping Up in 2009 The New York Times had an article this week about sentiment analysis, a trend which has been accelerating on the back of the Real-time Web – and Twitter in particular. Sentiment analysis is no short-term hot trend. It will eventually become a key feature of search engines, which will integrate the aggregate sentiment of the crowd into search results. In our post we take a look at five examples of how sentiment analysis is starting to ramp up on the Web. Top 50 U.S. Web Properties: Facebook Enters Top 5 For The First TimeAnnual changes of note: Facebook #5 with a rocket; Twitter entered Top 50 in June; Demand Media, Answers.com and Break Media sites to watch. comScore has just released their latestMedia Metrix rankings for the Top 50 U.S. Web Properties. If we compare the top 50 to one year ago, we see that the top 4 is still the same: Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, AOL. But there’s one notable entrant to the top 5: Facebook. Last year the same list by comScore had Facebook ranked number 16. As of July 2009, it is number 5; Facebook’s highest ranking yet. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… richard macmanuslast_img read more

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The argot of the aces: Common terms for the big data enthusiast

first_imgReadWrite Sponsors Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Follow the Puckcenter_img Big data is loaded with big words. Having a good grasp of common data terms helps you not only understand, but also join in and influence conversations around data initiatives. Check out vital discussions around data evolution and revolution at www.datamakespossible.com.Okay, let’s get started and demystify some terms you’ve heard before and introduce a couple that may be brand new.Data scientist Combining equal parts of science, business, and art, the Data Scientist uses knowledge of algorithms, tools, and processes to extract some value out of data. A data scientist will often run machine learning or artificial intelligence to mine, group, or analyze data sets. Heteroscedasticity and heteroscedastic data HeteroWHAT? This may be a new term for you, so let’s walk through a very basic example of what this means. Some data is constant and never changes. Yesterday’s weblogs are a constant. Until we invent time travel, you won’t be able to go back and change what someone did yesterday. The next level of complexity for data is linear. A queue or voicemail is an example of linear growth. If one worker can process ten messages per hour, then we’d need five workers to handle 50 messages per hour. Data that grows in quadratic fashion would grow at 4x (or greater) the rate. An example of this might be social media. When you write a post, 4, 10, 100, or even millions of people may read it. Those people may share your post, comment on it, or otherwise generate some metadata that changes every second. This is where we start getting into heteroscedasticity. It’s defined by high velocity (it moves and changes quickly) with high variability (i.e. no easy way to predict who comments, shares and likes a post, or what the speed of response will be).Another great analogy is cooking. When cooking a meal, we’re combining ingredients in different ways to try to create something that’s (hopefully) delicious. As anyone who’s tried to cook knows, any number of small changes—adding a little salt, cooking for 2 minutes too long, chopping the tomatoes too large or small—can have a profound impact on the outcome and to the convergence of the final recipe for that signature dish. Even if you’ve never used this term before, heteroscedasticity is something you’ll run into more and more with industrial IoT workloads. This is especially true when dealing with high-velocity data (like streaming), or frequently when dealing with unstructured, rapidly changing data like HTML pages that the Google web crawler traverses.Janet George, Fellow and Chief Data Scientist, Western DigitalMachine learning Machine Learning (ML) is a field of computer science that enables computers to recognize and extract patterns from raw data through rigorous training of data models. ML enables “the three C’s of big data” — classification, clustering, and collaborative filtering. Classification is the problem of identifying to which set of categories/ sub-categories or population/sub-population a new pattern belongs to training sets of data that contain that pattern or instances where the category is already identified and known. For example, classification might involve training an algorithm to say, recognize tumors in a set of MRI scans, then asking the algorithm to identify other scans that have tumors. Clustering involves grouping raw data points into sets or “clusters”. An example here might be an ML algorithm that runs over web logs in real time, grouping valid traffic (to allow) in one category and possible attacks (to block) in another. Collaborative filtering is just a fancy word for “recommendations.” An example is determining and displaying products that show some affinity with each other. Much of what we do in ML is called “shallow learning.” Deep learning is usually a component in true Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence Artificial Intelligence (AI) encompasses and expands on ML by providing computers with the ability to perform a deep cognitive analysis. Whereas ML typically involves some sort of initial human intervention in the way of algorithm creation, tuning, or training (like feeding scans of tumors to the computer), AI enables the computer to select, tune, and train itself to perform some specific function. Ultimately AI uses deep learning to emulate human decision-making and learning processes.You might not realize it, but, AI is probably part of your daily life.  More on this in the NLP definition below.Virtual reality Virtual Reality (VR) allows users to step into virtual worlds that look and sound completely different from their physical surroundings. VR enables entertainment experiences like virtual roller coasters, but also has significant commercial applications. VR typically requires a digital display headset. Augmented reality Augmented Reality (AR) strives to overlay digital artifacts on top of the real world, enabling interaction. Recently, AR has become widely successful with the popularity of gameplay apps. Natural language processing Natural Language Processing (NLP) allows computers to parse and understand written or spoken human language. If you talk to your phone or home, you probably have experienced NLP. NLP is a great place to explain the difference between deep and shallow learning. First generation NLP (shallow learning) focused on breaking a sentence up into tokens (words), and then applying some rules to the tokens. Today’s deep learning NLP, however, looks at the whole context of a statement and reasons out the true meaning. Imagine a written web review. Shallow learning would simply look at a limited number of data tokens like “number of review rating stars” and basic “sentiment analysis.” This may involve counting the number of positive vs. negative words. These data points are fed through an often-brittle set of rules to arrive at a conclusion about whether the review was positive or negative. A deep learning engine applies more intelligence to this analysis—almost like what a human might surmise if they read the same review. For example, if a review had lots of “positive,” like five-star ratings, good positive to negative count ratio, etc., a shallow NLP engine might conclude it was a positive review. A deep learning NLP engine, however, might interpret (as a human would) that the review was actually negative upon reading “I will never buy this product again.” That sentence alone negates any positive sentiments a user may have provided. Image recognition Image recognition gives computers the ability to suss meaning out of a simple visual image. It is frequently bundled in a provider’s ML or AI offerings (along with NLP). Image recognition allows computers to identify objects like written language using Optical Character Recognition or OCR (text in billboards), tag objects (like “mountain”, “tree”, “car”, “skyscraper”) and even perform facial analysis (like drawing bounding boxes around faces). Image recognition is currently being taken to a whole new level by the automotive industry with their application of facial analysis to detect and alert drivers who may be feeling fatigued.Structured, unstructured, semi-structured data Historically, much of the data we worked with was heavily structured. This means it fit nicely into a row / column format (like databases). As a result, many computer systems were designed to ingest and generate that form of data. Humans are a different beast. We excel at generating and consuming unstructured data like free-flowing text, voice, and images like camera snapshots. All of this data inherently has no “structure” to it. We can’t “depend” on certain languages, words, intonations, etc. Semi-structured data sits somewhere in the middle. A good example is email. It has some structure like “subject”, “to”, “from”, “date”, but the main payload is a blob of unstructured text in the “body” of the email. Only in the last 10 years, have our computer systems become powerful enough to perform analyses on unstructured data.Data lake Any analytics engine, like Hadoop, will provide both storage and compute, often, in a tightly coupled arrangement. Every time you add more processing, you inherently add more storage. Many organizations however are sitting on mountains (petabytes) of data that they want to durably retain, but not analyze immediately. One reason for delay is the pre-processing and cleansing the data might need prior to analysis.A data lake provides a low-cost, highly durable, accessible-from-anywhere storage with limited compute. It allows for much greater retention of data than what is processed at one time. Looking at a recipe paradigm, a data lake is like your pantry of raw ingredients (vegetables, rice, bouillon). Only when you want to cook, do you pull out the right subset of ingredients, per the recipe, and prepare them for that meal. Database What we commonly refer to as “a database” is also known as a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) or an OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) system. Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server are all common examples of this. Many small “transactions” that (typically) come from end users characterize RDBMSes. Think of retail ecommerce websites. At any given moment, several hundreds of thousands of users are performing small reads (queries) and writes (inserts) when they browse for products, read reviews, generate orders etc. There is an expectation that these systems perform these queries very quickly.Data warehouse A data warehouse (also known as an enterprise data warehouse or EDW) is where the company runs analytics to answer several important business questions. What is our fastest growing product line? Which product categories have the best ROI? What are our worst performing regions, categories, salespeople, and so on?EDWs are typically only used by a handful (maybe a dozen or few dozen) internal users, running long-running queries on massive (possibly hundreds of TB or dozens of PB) datasets. VisualizationA visualization tool provides a visual front end to do complex analytics. Using simple drag-and-drop, even unskilled interns can build a good deal of complex reports like quarterly sales, bestselling products, growth, etc.These systems typically require that the engine you’re connecting them to have a SQL interface, which (not coincidentally) every RDBMS and EDW provides. If you’re like a lot of data analysts, 95% of your interaction with your systems will be via one of these visualization tools.Hope you’ve enjoyed this quick walkthrough of common terms we find in big data. Feel free to now impress the folks at the water cooler by discussing how the visualization of unprecedented data growth, the advantages of creating a data lake, unlocking the value heteroscedastic data through ML and AI is thoroughly changing the world. Curious about data’s impact on the world? Now that you speak the lingo, please join the discussions at datamakespossible.com. This article was produced in partnership with Western Digital. The author is Fellow and Chief Data Scientist, Western Digital, and is shaping, driving, and implementing the Big Data platform, products, and technologies, using advanced analytics and pattern matching with semiconductor manufacturing data at the firm.  Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Tags:#AI#AR#Hadoop#Internet of Things#IoT#Machine Learning#NLP#VR#Western Digital last_img read more

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