‘Trump & Dump’ program aims to profit off Trump tweets

The "Trump & Dump" artificial intelligence program identifies Trump's market-moving tweets, assesses instantaneous

Techies have devised a program to execute quickfire stock trades to take advantage of President Donald Trump’s Twitter habit of blackballing individual companies.

And the president’s tweets are saving puppies, since when the program earns money, the funds are donated to an animal welfare group.

The “Trump & Dump” artificial intelligence program identifies Trump’s market-moving tweets, assesses instantaneously whether the sentiment is positive or negative and then executes a speedy trade.

Ben Gaddis, president of Austin, Texas marketing and technology company T3, said the idea was sparked by watching Trump’s actions during his transition, when twitter attacks of companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin sent the share prices tumbling.

“Everyone is asking themselves how to deal with the unpredictability of Trump’s tweets,” Gaddis told AFP. T3’s response was to develop a “bot,” a piece of software that does automated tasks, to trade on the information.

The company has so far been pleased with the results, which yielded “significant winnings” on two occasions and a “slight” loss on a third trade, Gaddis said.

In early January, T3 scored a “huge” profit by betting Toyota’s share price would fall after Trump lambasted the automaker for building cars in Mexico, it said in a short video on the T3 website.

The time lag between the Trump tweet and T3 trade was only a second, according to a short video on the T3 website.

T3, which has pictures of numerous dogs on its website and describes itself as having “dog friendly offices” is donating the earnings from the bot-directed trades to American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

“So now, when President Trump tweets, we save a puppy,” the video.

 

 

 

[Source:- Phys.org]

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[Source:- Infoworld]

 

Drones take off in plant ecological research

Image result for Drones take off in plant ecological research

Long-term, broad-scale ecological data are critical to plant research, but often impossible to collect on foot. Traditional data-collection methods can be time consuming or dangerous, and can compromise habitats that are sensitive to human impact. Micro-unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, eliminate these data-collection pitfalls by flying over landscapes to gather unobtrusive aerial image data.

A new review in a recent issue of Applications in Plant Sciences explores when and how to use drones in plant research. “The potential of drone technology in research may only be limited by our ability to envision novel applications,” comments Mitch Cruzan, lead author of the review and professor in the Department of Biology at Portland State University. Drones can amass vegetation data over seasons or years for monitoring habitat restoration efforts, monitoring rare and threatened plant populations, surveying agriculture, and measuring carbon storage. “This technology,” says Cruzan, “has the potential for the acquisition of large amounts of information with minimal effort and disruption of natural habitats.”

For some research questions, drone surveys could be the holy grail of ecological data. Drone-captured images can map individual species in the landscape depending on the uniqueness of the spectral light values created from plant leaf or flower colors. Drones can also be paired with 3D technology to measure plant height and size. Scientists can use these images to study plant health, phenology, and reproduction, to track disease, and to survey human-mediated habitat disturbances.

Researchers can fly small drones along set transects over study areas of up to 40 hectares in size. An internal GPS system allows drones to hover over pinpointed locations and altitudes to collect repeatable, high-resolution images. Cruzan and colleagues warn researchers of “shadow gaps” when collecting data. Taller vegetation can obscure shorter vegetation, hiding them from view in aerial photographs. Thus, overlapping images are required to get the right angles to capture a full view of the landscape.

The review lists additional drone and operator requirements and desired features, including video feeds, camera stabilization, wide-angle lenses for data collection over larger areas, and must-have metadata on the drone’s altitude, speed, and elevation of every captured image.

After data collection, georeferenced images are stitched together into a digital surface model (DSM) to be analyzed. GIS and programming software classify vegetation types, landscape features, and even individual species in the DSMs using manual or automated, machine-learning techniques.

To test the effectiveness of drones, Cruzan and colleagues applied drone technology to a landscape genetics study of the Whetstone Savanna Preserve in southern Oregon, USA. “Our goal is to understand how landscape features affect pollen and seed dispersal for plant species associated with different dispersal vectors,” says Cruzan. They flew drones over vernal pools, which are threatened, seasonal wetlands. They analyzed the drone images to identify how landscape features mediate gene flow and plant dispersal in these patchy habitats. Mapping these habitats manually would have taken hundreds of hours and compromised these ecologically sensitive areas.

Before drones, the main option for aerial imaging data was light detection and ranging (LiDAR). LiDAR uses remote sensing technology to capture aerial images. However, LiDAR is expensive, requires highly specialized equipment and flyovers, and is most frequently used to capture data from a single point in time. “LIDAR surveys are conducted at a much higher elevation, so they are not useful for the more subtle differences in vegetation elevation that higher-resolution, low-elevation drone surveys can provide,” explains Cruzan.

Some limitations impact the application of new drone technology. Although purchasing a robotic drone is more affordable than alternative aerial imaging technologies, initial investments can exceed US$1,500. Also, national flight regulations still limit drone applications in some countries because of changing licensing regulations and restricted flight elevations and flyovers near or on private lands. Also, if researchers are studying plant species that cannot be identified in aerial images using spectral light values, data collection on foot is required.

Despite limitations, flexibility is the biggest advantage to robotic drone research, says Cruzan. If the scale and questions of the study are ripe for taking advantage of drone technology, then “using a broad range of imaging technologies and analysis methods will improve our ability to detect, discriminate, and quantify different features of the biotic and abiotic environment.” As drone research increases, access to open-source analytical software programs and better equipment hardware will help researchers harness the advantages of drone technology in plant ecological research.

 

[Source:- SD]

Student Taken Off Plane After Arabic Call

201015 USA Southwest Airlines plane on the ground in Baltimore

A California university student has claimed he was removed from a flight at Los Angeles International Airport because a fellow passenger overheard him talking on the phone in Arabic.

Southwest Airlines said in a statement that the passenger, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, was removed from a flight from Los Angeles to Oakland on 9 April for questioning and the aircraft took off while that was happening.

Mr Makhzoomi, a 26-year-old senior at University of California, Berkeley, said he had been calling his uncle before the flight to tell him about a speech he had attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

He told the New York Times: “I was very excited about the event, so I called my uncle to tell him about it.”

The student said he was talking to his uncle about asking a question on the Islamic State group at the event, and used the phrase “inshallah” – which means god willing – at the end of the conversation.

A woman on the aircraft sitting in front of him then turned around and began staring at him, he said.

“That is when I thought, ‘oh, I hope she is not reporting me’,” he said.

Mr Makhzoomi said an Arabic-speaking Southwest employee escorted him off the plane and asked him why he had been speaking in the language.

He said he told the employee “this is what Islamophobia got this country into”, and he was then told he could not get back on the plane.

The FBI in Los Angeles said in a statement it had investigated the situation and found no further action was necessary.

Southwest Airlines said it could not comment until he has spoken to Mr Makhzoomi. It added that it regrets any less-than-positive experience by a customer, but said its primary focus is on safety and its crew members followed protocol.

It added the company “neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind”.

Mr Makhzoomi was able to book a flight on another airline and arrived home eight hours later than planned.

He told the New York Times: “Human dignity is the most valuable thing in the world, not money.

“If they apologised, maybe it would teach them to treat people equally.”

 
[Source:- Skynews]