News Article | April 17, 2017
What is the volume of water in lakes on Earth? Using a mathematical analysis, researcher David Seekell, at Umeå University, and his American collaborators now suggest that the mean depth of lakes is 30 per cent lower than previously estimated. Shallower lakes implies less fresh water and has consequences for our understanding of climate change and the carbon cycle. The results have been published in Geophysical Research Letters. "Our estimations measure around 190,000 km3, which is a very small amount of water. In comparison, the ocean contains 1.3 billion km3 of water. If we poured the water of all lakes on Earth together into one big lake, the mean depth of the lake would be 42 metres. The mean depth of the ocean is 3,682 metres," says David Seekell, associate professor at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Sciences and the Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) at Umeå University in Sweden. A possible conclusion is if lakes are shallower, they release more methane into the atmosphere than previously estimated. Measuring the volume of the lakes on Earth seems like a simple task. Nevertheless, the challenges to carry out a measurement on a global scale are huge. Satellites can measure the volume of very large lakes, such as for instance Lake Vättern in Sweden or Lake Superior in the United States and Canada, but measuring the tens of millions of small lakes spread across the surface of the Earth requires time-consuming field work. A commonly used method is GPS positioning and depth sounder by boat. The researcher is required to row around on the lake until he or she has collected a large number of depths. The depths and coordinates are later used to build bathymetric maps which the volume and mean depth can be derived from. The approach works well for small lakes, but is expensive due to the time-consuming process and only a small number of lakes can be mapped. So far, there have been few estimates of the volume of fresh water in lakes on Earth, and those that exist vary greatly and are typically presented without any data or methods. "We decided to use a theory driven approach. We assumed that the surface of the Earth is self-affine. This basically means that if you zoomed in and out of a cross-section of the Earth's surface, the statistical characteristics of the vertical topography are predictable based upon a stretching factor," says David Seekell. "We were able to use the model to estimate the mean volume of lakes at each given lake surface area, but also for variations in volume of lakes with the same surface area. Given the total lake surface area on Earth - which can actually be accurately recorded by satellite, even for small lakes - we were now able to estimate the total volume and assess the uncertainty in the estimate," says David Seekell. The research team assessed that there are 184,000-199,000 km3 of lake water. The reason behind the variation can be explained by how lakes are counted and how their surface area is measured, particularly the smaller ones. The majority of lake water can be found in a few very large lakes such as the Caspian Sea, Lake Superior, and Lake Baikal. In fact, about 80 percent of lake water can be found in the 20 largest lakes alone. The quality and quantity of lake water can rapidly change due to human activities. For example, in some regions many ponds and reservoirs have been built for ornamental purposes, for irrigation, to generate electricity, or to store drinking water, which increasing the volume of fresh water. On the other hand, some large lakes have dried up and disappeared. For example, Lake Poopo in Bolivia previously had a surface area of about 3,000 km2 and was one of the largest lakes in Bolivia. Due to climate change and water diversions for agricultural production, there is almost no water left, which greatly affects local communities. A very similar story can be told about the Aral Sea - once the fourth largest lake on Earth - where climate change and water diversions for agriculture have left only a tiny fraction of its former surface. It is not only quantity that is of great concern at the moment. The water quality of the largest lakes on Earth are subject to degradation due to human activities. For example, Lake Erie in the United States and Canada with a surface area of about 25,667 km2 has been exposed to nutrient pollution and harmful algae blooms. This has rendered the lake an unreliable source for drinking water for communities along the shoreline. As a consequence, over 400,000 people even lost access to drinking water due to neurotoxins in the lake water associated with algae bloom in 2014. "Our study emphasizes the relative scarcity of lake water, and how rapidly human activities can change the quality and quantity of water resources," says David Seekell.
News Article | May 24, 2017
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cerveau Technologies, Inc. today announced a research collaboration with the Clinical Imaging Research Centre (CIRC), a joint venture by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and the National University of Singapore (NUS), to support various research projects studying the stages of Alzheimer’s Disease and other Neurodegenerative disease. These research projects will utilize an investigational imaging agent (MK-6240) to be used in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scans for assessing the status and progression of neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) in the brain. NFTs made up of aggregated tau protein are a hallmark of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease. As part of the agreement, Cerveau will provide support for various research projects at CIRC and will supply the MK-6240 precursor needed for the initiatives. Professor David William Townsend, Director of CIRC, stated, “Imaging tau protein in the brains of Alzheimer patients is now recognized as an extremely important step. These research projects will therefore provide valuable information about the stages and progression of the disease. CIRC’s collaboration with Cerveau Technologies will leverage this unique technology to support various research initiatives within the industry.” “At Cerveau, we are focused on providing information and technologies to researchers and clinicians to improve brain health,” said Rick Hiatt, President of Cerveau Technologies, Inc., “We are excited by the opportunity to work with the CIRC and the pharmaceutical industry to provide access to this novel imaging agent to the broader scientific community. The collaboration with CIRC will be an important component of our strategy of developing an international network of key collaborators and production sites to allow broad access for scientific research and clinical trial support.” Cerveau Technologies, Inc. is a partnership between Enigma Biomedical Group, Inc. and Sinotau Pharmaceutical Group. Cerveau's vision is to globally develop diagnostics and technology that positively impact patients with neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease. Established in 2008, the Clinical Imaging Research Centre (CIRC) is a joint venture between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). CIRC undertakes world-class research using state-of-the-art imaging tools and technology, and is a shared national resource for clinical imaging research in Singapore. CIRC will have as focal points:
News Article | March 1, 2017
HONG KONG, CHINA--(Marketwired - Mar 1, 2017) - CITIC-Prudential Life Insurance Company Limited ("CITIC-PRU Life") recently received approval from the China Insurance Regulatory Commission ("CIRC") to commence preparatory work for the establishment of a new branch in Sichuan province. This closely follows CITIC-PRU Life's expansion into Anhui province, announced in November last year. Situated at the upper reaches of the Yangtze River in south-western China, Sichuan is China's fourth-largest province, with a population of 82 million1. In line with accelerated economic growth and ongoing modernisation in Sichuan, demand for life insurance products has grown strongly in the province in recent years. In 2016, it recorded RMB99 billion in Life Gross Written Premiums2, a 43 per cent year-on-year growth. Tony Wilkey, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia, said: "Our strategy is to provide families with the protection and savings products they need to secure their financial futures, and the opportunities for us in the Chinese life insurance market are very significant. Over the last five years, our new business sales and profit in China have more than doubled3, as has the number of active agents. With Sichuan, we will have a presence in the top 10 provinces in China in terms of Life Gross Written Premiums. We are very excited about this further extension of our reach to include Sichuan." CITIC-PRU Life has a comprehensive network of 169 sales offices in 69 cities across 15 provinces. The addition of Sichuan means CITIC-PRU Life is represented in provinces that generate 75 per cent1 of the country's Gross Domestic Product and have a population of 940 million people1. Prudential Corporation Asia is a business unit of Prudential plc (United Kingdom)*, comprising its life insurance operations in Asia, and its asset management business, Eastspring Investments. It is headquartered in Hong Kong. Prudential is a leading life insurer that spans 12 markets in Asia, covering Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Prudential has a robust multi-channel distribution platform providing a comprehensive range of savings, investment and protection products to meet the diverse needs of Asian families. Eastspring Investments manages investments across Asia on behalf of a wide range of retail and institutional investors. It is one of the region's largest asset managers with a presence in 10 major Asian markets plus distribution offices in the US and Europe. It has £104.9 billion (about US$140.3b) in assets under management (as at 30 June 2016), managing funds across a range of asset classes, including equities and fixed income. *Prudential plc is incorporated in England and Wales, and its affiliated companies constitute one of the world's leading financial services groups. It provides insurance and financial services through its subsidiaries and affiliates throughout the world. It has been in existence for over 165 years and has £562 billion in assets under management (as at 30 June 2016). Prudential plc is not affiliated in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc, a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America. Prudential plc is listed on the stock exchanges of London (PRU.L), Hong Kong (2378.HK), Singapore (K6S.SG) and New York (PUK.N). Established in 2000, CITIC-PRU Life is the first Sino-British insurance joint venture in China and has maintained a leading position among foreign joint venture companies in the country. With the strong support of its joint venture partners, Prudential and CITIC, CITIC-PRU Life has grown rapidly over the years and currently has branches in Guangdong, Beijing, Jiangsu, Shanghai, Hubei, Shandong, Zhejiang, Tianjin, Guangxi, Shenzhen, Fujian, Hebei, Liaoning, Shanxi, Henan and Anhui. While the company has identified the Pearl River Delta, Yangtze River Delta and the Bohai Economic Region as its pivotal development areas, it plans to continue its expansion into central and western China to achieve country-wide coverage. CITIC-PRU Life has more than 30,000 agents, 2,400 employees and one million policyholders. The company has won numerous awards over the years, including the 'Best Foreign Insurance Company' by China Internet Information Center and 'Best Health Insurance Product of the Year' by China Insurance News in 2016. 1 Source: China National Bureau of Statistics, 2015 2 Source: China Insurance Regulatory Commission 3 From Half Year 2011 to Half Year 2016
News Article | February 15, 2017
Hamilton, Ont., Canada. -- McMaster University's innovative experimental co-location between an academic research centre and a rapidly growing startup company has begun to yield successes. The university's Computing Infrastructure Research Centre (CIRC, which is a research centre in the Faculty of Engineering, shares space with its founding industry partner Cinnos Mission Critical Inc. at the McMaster Innovation Park. CIRC's team of researchers and students are focused on developing cutting-edge technologies for data centres. Cinnos is a technology start-up forged in the McMaster Innovation Ecosystem, and designs and sells appliances for rapid, low cost, and highly efficient deployment of scalable data centre facilities. Breaking with the traditional industry-academic research paradigm, Cinnos and McMaster decided to collocate their resources by forming CIRC. The space is designed such that researchers and students at CIRC mingle freely with Cinnos entrepreneurs, enabling a close alignment between the market opportunities and customer needs of the industry with research and technology. This seamless collaboration between the two organizations has already brought tremendously successful products into the market place, such as the Cinnos flagship Smart MCX, the world`s first data centre in a box, as well as the Smart MC-M, a modular, data-driven, intelligent monitoring system for computing facilities. "CIRC is founded on a pioneering model of university-industry collaboration," says Suvojit Ghosh, the centre's co-founder and Executive Director. "It magnifies the impact of research, through accelerated translation of research for both economic and societal benefits, in a competitive real-world environment. Further, our students not only get a deep and meaningful research experience, but they also learn about the importance of the customer needs and market opportunities in defining and driving that research. These are things that could not happen if CIRC and Cinnos did not share the same space and similar visions." "Thanks to our innovative model, Cinnos proprietary MCX has sales both in Canada and internationally in less than 18 months from our inception. In addition, we have recently raised over $2M in financing to fund our global expansion. We simply could not have achieved this feat without the world-class team of CIRC and the strong and unwavering support from McMaster University and the Faculty of Engineering," said Hussam Haroun, CEO and co-founder of Cinnos, and among the architects of CIRC. With ambitions to be a global leader in the data centre industry, Cinnos envisioned a strong R&D program from its inception. This manifested in six projects that are designed to transform archaic and wasteful practices in the data centre industry. They were architected in a close collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering at McMaster University. The projects are funded through over $3M committed by Cinnos, and augmented by grants from multiple Government agencies. Cinnos has developed and commercialized the world's first data centre appliance that enables immediate deployment and a pay-as-you-grow model for data centre providers. Furthermore, thanks to its proprietary modular design, The Cinnos Smart MCX™ enables immediate deployment of data centres for a fraction of the cost of traditional mission critical facilities (MCF), hence accelerating revenues and bringing dramatically higher ROI to our customers as compared with the traditional construction-based MCF. Founded by Hussam Haroun in June 2015 following his graduation from McMaster MEEI program, Cinnos achieved breakeven in less than twelve (12) months of operations. For more information, please visit http://cinnos. CIRC, or the Computing Infrastructure Research Centre at McMaster University, is the first research centre focused on data centre innovations in Canada. CIRC was founded earlier this year, and is mandated to develop, promote, and advocate for technologies and products that eliminate wasteful practices in data centres, addressing a $100B+ global industry. The R&D functions of CIRC are unique in their emphasis on market validation from the conceptions stage, ensuring research relevance and guaranteed economic, societal, and environmental impact. This has manifested in high ROI on R&D expenses: within the first year of its existence, CIRC has developed technology that has led to revenue generating product lines for Cinnos.
News Article | November 1, 2016
Aujourd'hui, 250 leaders mondiaux du cancer et de la santé se sont réunis à l'occasion du World Cancer Leaders' Summit (WCLS) dans le but d'appeler à une résolution exhaustive et robuste sur le cancer de la part de l'Assemblée mondiale de la santé (AMS) en 2017. Il s'agit d'une réponse aux pays ayant besoin de toute urgence de directives sur la création de programmes nationaux de lutte contre le cancer de qualité afin de contribuer à la concrétisation de l'objectif de l'Organisation mondiale de la santé visant une réduction de 25 % de la mortalité précoce imputable aux maladies non transmissibles (MNT) d'ici 2025. La nécessité et la finalité de cette nouvelle résolution sont le fruit d'un rapport de référence, le premier de son genre, qui a été publié aujourd'hui et qui identifie les défis majeurs en matière de lutte contre le cancer qui doivent être relevés immédiatement. Publié par l'Union Internationale Contre le Cancer (UICC), le Rapport sur la mise en œuvre de la Déclaration mondiale sur le cancer2016 révèle que malgré les progrès significatifs qui ont été réalisés dans des domaines clés, comme la planification du cancer et les politiques anti-tabac, des efforts supplémentaires doivent encore être déployés afin d'atteindre les objectifs suivants : « Avec un peu moins de 10 ans restant pour atteindre l'objectif visant à réduire de 25 % les décès précoces imputables aux maladies non transmissibles, les gouvernements et les responsables politiques doivent agir dès maintenant pour assurer un accès équitable aux services dans le but de permettre aux individus de vivre avec un cancer et d'y survivre. Avec la publication aujourd'hui du Rapport sur la mise en œuvre de la Déclaration mondiale sur le cancer 2016, l'UICC appelle les leaders du monde entier à tirer des enseignements des succès obtenus à ce jour en matière de lutte contre le cancer, mais aussi à s'assurer que des ressources et une attention suffisantes sont employées pour renforcer les systèmes de santé face aux défis considérables que pose l'augmentation soutenue des cas de cancer », a déclaré le Professeur Tezer Kutluk, président de l'UICC. L'impact du cancer à travers le monde est épidémique. À l'heure actuelle, une personne sur trois (36 millions au total) est affectée par le cancer à l'échelle mondiale, et plus de huit millions de personnes décèdent de cette maladie chaque année, dont quatre millions de façon précoce (âgées de 30 à 69 ans). D'après les estimations, ce chiffre devrait augmenter de manière alarmante pour atteindre six millions de décès précoces imputables au cancer par an d'ici 2025, à moins que des mesures supplémentaires ne soient prises pour réduire la prévalence de cette maladie. Le Rapport sur la mise en œuvre de la Déclaration mondiale sur le cancer 2016 consolide les contributions de plus de 150 organisations de lutte contre le cancer de 113 pays à travers le monde. Pour télécharger le rapport complet, rendez-vous à l'adresse : http://www.uicc.org/sites/main/files/atoms/files/UICC_WorldCancerDeclaration_Progress_Report_2016_Book.pdf Organisé pour la première fois en 2006, le World Cancer Leaders' Summit (WCLS) est la réunion politique annuelle de haut niveau la plus importante dédiée exclusivement à influencer la stratégie mondiale de lutte contre le cancer. L'événement réunit des responsables politiques de haut rang du monde entier et encourage un dialogue d'actualité sur les questions urgentes liées au cancer. Il joue le rôle de forum vital pour assurer une réponse mondiale et intersectorielle ainsi que la responsabilisation en matière de lutte contre la montée en flèche de l'épidémie du cancer. Le WCLS 2016 est organisé en partenariat avec le Centre international de recherche sur le cancer (CIRC), l'Agence internationale de l'énergie atomique (AIEA) et l'Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS), en conjonction avec le Congrès Mondial contre le Cancer 2016. 250 dirigeants et responsables politiques y participent afin d'élever leur voix influente sur les progrès réalisés jusqu'à présent dans leur pays et région, parallèlement à la célébration du dixième anniversaire depuis la publication de la première Déclaration mondiale sur le cancer et à l'arrivée à mi-parcours de l'atteinte de l'objectif mondial visant à réduire de 25 % les décès précoces imputables au cancer d'ici 2025. Pour en savoir plus sur le sommet ou consulter des annonces de presse, rendez-vous à l'adresse : À propos de l'Union internationale contre le cancer (UICC) L'UICC est la plus importante organisation internationale de lutte contre le cancer, comptant plus de 1 000 organisations membres réparties dans 160 pays, représentant des sociétés en cancérologie, des ministères de la santé, des instituts de recherche, des centres de traitement et des groupes de patients parmi les plus éminents au monde. L'organisation se consacre à prendre les commandes en matière de mobilisation, de renforcement des capacités et d'initiatives de défense qui regroupent la communauté dédiée à la lutte contre le cancer en vue de réduire le fardeau mondial du cancer, de promouvoir une plus grande équité et d'intégrer la lutte contre le cancer dans l'agenda mondial de la santé et du développement. L'UICC vise à poursuivre sa collaboration avec des chefs de file du monde entier afin de les encourager à accroître leur soutien des mesures de lutte contre le cancer, et de les encourager à respecter les engagements contre le cancer pris dans le cadre de la Déclaration politique des Nations Unies sur les MNT et des Objectifs de développement durable. L'UICC s'appuie sur des opportunités de mobilisation clés telles que le World Cancer Leaders' Summit, le Congrès mondial contre le cancer et la Journée mondiale de lutte contre le cancer pour promouvoir les éléments suivants : L'UICC et ses partenaires multisectoriels se sont engagés à encourager les gouvernements à se tourner vers la mise en œuvre et l'élargissement de programmes durables et de bonne qualité qui s'attaquent au fardeau mondial que représente le cancer et les autres MNT. L'UICC est également un membre fondateur de la NCD Alliance, un réseau mondial d'organismes de la société civile qui représente aujourd'hui près de 2 000 organisations dans 170 pays. Contacts auprès des médias : Leah Peyton E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org Tél. : +44(0)208-392-8041 / +44-778-819-1434 Abby Purdy E-mail : email@example.com Tél. : +44(0)20-8392-6929 / +44-7890-914969
News Article | November 24, 2016
BEIJING, Nov 24, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The board of directors (the "Board") of China Life Insurance Company Limited (the "Company") (NYSE: LFC; HKSE: 2628; SSE: 601628) announced today that the Company has recently received the Approval of Qualification of Zhao Lijun issued by China Insurance Regulatory Commission (the "CIRC"), pursuant to which the qualification of Mr. Zhao Lijun as the person in charge of finance of the Company (equivalent to the Chief Financial Officer) was approved by the CIRC and became effective on November 15, 2016. Mr. Zhao Lijun was nominated by the Board as the person in charge of finance of the Company following the resignation of Mr. Yang Zheng as a Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer of the Company on August 8, 2016. Mr. Zhao Lijun, born in July 1963, became a Vice President of the Company on July 20, 2016. From May 2014 to April 2016, he served as the Chief Financial Officer and General Manager of the Finance Department of China Life Insurance (Group) Company. From 2012 to 2014, Mr. Zhao successively served as the Deputy General Manager (responsible for daily operation) and General Manager of the Data Center of the Company. From 2010 to 2012, Mr. Zhao served as the General Manager of the Legal and Compliance Department of the Company. From 2008 to 2010, Mr. Zhao served as the Deputy General Manager of the Shandong branch of the Company. From 2003 to 2008, Mr. Zhao successively served as the Assistant to the General Manager and the General Manager of the Finance Department of the Company. Prior to that, he successively served as a cadre in the Planning & Finance Department of the People's Insurance Company of China, the Director and Deputy Manager of the Planning & Finance Department of China Reinsurance Corporation in Hong Kong, the Deputy Manager and Manager of the Planning & Finance Department of China Insurance H.K. (Holdings) Company Limited, the Deputy Director, Director and Assistant to the General Manager of the Planning & Finance Department of China Life Insurance Company. Mr. Zhao graduated from the Accounting Department of Anhui Finance & Trade College with a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance in 1987, and from Tsinghua University with an EMBA in 2010. Mr. Zhao is a senior accountant. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/china-life-announces-the-appointment-of-mr-zhao-lijun-as-chief-financial-officer-300368443.html
News Article | November 23, 2016
HONG KONG, Nov. 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On November 20, 2016, Insurance Association of China and Fosun Group co-hosted the 2016 Global InsurTech Innovation Forum at the Shangri-La Hotel, Pudong, Shanghai. Over 400 people attended the Forum. Participants included government officials, representatives of insurance and re-insurance companies, CEOs and entrepreneurs of InsurTech companies, experts and scholars of diverse fields. They exchanged views on global InsurTech innovation. Keynote speakers included Zhou Yanli, former Vice Chairman of China Insurance Regulatory Commission (CIRC); Sheila Bair, former Chairperson of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC); Zheng Yang, Head of Shanghai Municipal Financial Service Office; Pei Guang, Head of CIRC, Shanghai Bureau; Zhu Jinyuan, Chairman of Insurance Association of China; Luo Sheng, Deputy Head of Department of Development and Reform at CIRC; Zeng Yujin, Chairman of Shanghai Insurance Exchange; Guo Guangchang, Chairman of Fosun Group; Kang Lan, Vice President of Fosun Group; Jing Xiandong, CEO of Ant Financial; and Ren Huichuan, President of Ping An Insurance Company of China. In his opening speech, Zhou Yanli, former Vice Chairman of CIRC, said "China's Insurtech is evolving into its version 3.0 which is centered on innovation in business model. In the future, China's Insurtech may show four characteristics: 1, An even brighter prospect for the industry; 2, The upgrading of the industry driven by innovation; 3, Enhanced security; 4, Cross-industry cooperation is poised to take place." Sheila Bair, former Chairperson of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), said that the market penetration of InsurTech in the United States was not as high as that in China because the differences between the federal laws and regulations of different states made it difficult to make the overall planning. As a result, many start-ups face resistance from traditional insurance companies. Ms. Bair said she would like to see better opportunities for innovation in China in the future, and she hoped that the United States could catch up. Ms. Bair also added, "I have a vision of the development of China's internet-related insurance in which many innovations will complement the conventional system for insurance. There is no conflict between the conventional and the innovated system. Such innovations will enable the insurance firm to provide services to customers at a lower cost and a more convenient way. We hope to see better innovations in China's insurance industry. I think some new companies which specialize in internet licensing will emerge and they will set their sights on entering the US market." Zhu Jinyuan, Chairman of Insurance Association of China, noted at the Forum that technological changes in recent years had been directly subverting ingrained patterns and traditional business formats in the insurance industry. Big Data, cloud computing, mobile internet, and other underlying technologies have provided strong support for the development of InsurTech. Mr. Zhu said that blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), gene diagnosis and treatment technology and other emerging technologies will revolutionize the insurance industry. Consumer insurance has boomed on the back of the expansion of network platforms, and network platform has added impetus to the traditional mutual insurance business. The flourishing of innovation has truly promoted cross-industry integration of market players. Guo Guangchang, Chairman of Fosun Group, shared Fosun's thoughts on globalization and "Insurance + Innovation". He noted that an insurance company must be driven by two "wheels", namely the "asset-side" and "liability-side" wheels and that both the "wheels" must be strong. Mr. Guo said that if one wheel was not strong, then, just like flying a plane, you might be able to fly but you could not land. He said that it would be dangerous if the "asset-side" and "liability-side" were unbalanced. Fosun's focus in the future was to keep a balance between liabilities and assets. Kang Lan, Vice President of Fosun Group, President of Fosun insurance business, said that Fosun had taken roots in China with a global vision and adopted an innovative approach to investment, pressing ahead with its "Insurance +" strategy with Fosun's characteristics. Fosun believed that its insurance business should meet consumer needs by innovating in every section of the value chain of the insurance industry with technology, and by increasing the efficiency and profitability of the company's operations through enhanced business management. As to its investment, Fosun will seek out "unicorns" for both vertical and horizontal integration. Fosun has now formed a comprehensive portfolio of investments in the insurance sector all over the world, and will build on it by enhancing its global insurance innovation capabilities with a view to contributing to the innovation and development of China's insurance industry. The participants in the forum exchanges their ideas with each other and made recommendations on the future development of InsurTech from different perspectives, with special in-depth analyses of such aspects as scenario orientation, Big Data applications, product innovation, trading market and integration along the value chain of the insurance industry. The participants held discussions about six hot topics in InsurTech: The Forum also formally released the 2016 China Internet Insurance Development Report. The report focuses on basic information on growth in InsurTech in 2015. China's InsurTech industry made rapid progress in 2015: rapid growth in the number of InsurTech firms; steady increase in the number of industries which are engaged in InsurTech; a surge in revenues from InsurTech, and consistently high market concentration; significant changes in the product mix with personal insurance accounting for more than property insurance for the first time; and profound changes in the channel structure with domination by the third-party platforms. The rapid growth in InsurTech has attracted various types of investors to the industry. Such investors are building up their business presence in the market for InsurTech. This development has greatly enriched the business ecosystem but has also increased the risk due to a lack rules in that industry. Wang Min, Deputy Secretary-General of Insurance Association of China, and Wilson Sun, Vice President of Fosun insurance business, two of the moderators of the Forum, said that as China was adapting its InsurTech to the overseas markets around the world and as international exchanges in InsurTech became more frequent, Fosun, together with Insurance Association of China, would invite more domestic and foreign counterparts to strive to build a better platform for international exchange of views on financial innovation, and to jointly contribute to the innovation and development of China's insurance industry.
News Article | February 21, 2017
Projected global warming will likely decrease the extent of temperate drylands by a third over the remainder of the 21st century coupled with an increase in dry deep soil conditions during agricultural growing season. These results have been presented in Nature Communications by an international collaboration led by the US Geological Survey and members from seven countries, including Scott Wilson at the Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) at Umeå University in Sweden. "I was impressed by the scope of the computer model: with many components of the water cycle calculated daily for 30 years, at 20,000 sites. All of this to simulate the current climate as well as 16 possible future climates. The variety of possible future climates gave pretty consistent outcomes, lending credibility to the results," says Professor Scott Wilson, visiting researcher at Umeå University and researcher within CIRC. Dryland habitats expanded by 4-8% in the 20th century and now cover 40% of the global terrestrial surface. As the global climate warms this expansion will likely continue. Forecasting the changes in precipitation and soil moisture for tropical and subtropical regions as a result of global warming is well constrained due to soil moisture patterns being closely linked to Hadley Circulations. However, until recently, much uncertainty still existed concerning temperate drylands. The certainty of the forecasts is particularly important as warming leads to shifts from temperate to subtropical drylands, which leads to changes in precipitation and soil moisture, which in turn has profound effects on ecological services, provided to humanity, including the viability of certain temperate agricultural systems. This uncertainty is changing because of improved supercomputer modelling of the movement of water through ecosystems, based on 20,000 locations around the world. The results suggest that climate change will convert much of the area currently occupied by temperate grasslands and deserts to subtropical vegetation with effects on associated wildlife and human populations. Specifically, these results predict a loss of 15 to 30 per cent of temperate grasslands by the end of the century with a substantial increase in deep soil drought conditions. The impacts can have large consequences for humanity. "For example, with the expansion of subtropical drylands as temperate drylands warm cool season crops such as wheat and potato would no longer be economically viable," says Scott Wilson. "Further, these subtropical drylands are home to aggressive diseases such as dengue and schistosomiasis. Given the predicted changes to dryland habitats globally, the outcome of this research is essential for developing strategies for adaptation by policy makers." The Climate Impacts Research Centre (CIRC) conducts research, education, and outreach with focus on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Arctic and alpine environments. The aim is to integrate new knowledge in ecology and biogeochemistry to get a better understanding of current conditions and making projections for the future. The operations are based in the Abisko Scientific Research Station, 200 km north of the Arctic Circle in Sweden (68.35° N, 18.82° E).
News Article | September 26, 2016
IRC in 2016 seems so innocent. Internet relay chat (IRC) is a fundamentally primitive technology, a precursor to social networks, and, especially, chat services like Slack and Hipchat. Slack, in particular, has been quietly decimating IRC as mass chats and chat-supported collaborations make the jump from the relative anarchy of IRC to what is perhaps a new group-chat standard (and is based on a fancy newish network protocol called WebSockets). A quick poll of open-source projects (the first 10 or so that came to mind) finds that Slack is just about ubiquitous where public chats are in use by contributors. The heart of an IRC channel is a server. On this server exists a daemon, which is basically a background computer program that waits around for something in particular to happen. Here, the daemon waits for incoming network connections on certain designated ports. For every incoming IRC connection, the IRC server maintains a TCP connection with some client, who can read messages that live on the server and also add messages. There are also commands that can be entered by clients for things like requesting channel invites or finding users by name. IRC networks expand by adding additional servers, and, with them, clients. Every server in an IRC network shares the same global state. So, a client can post a message to one server, and that server will make sure it's mirrored to the other servers. Freenode, the largest IRC network, employs a couple dozen servers, which then serve some 90,000 to 100,000 averages users across 35,000 to 45,000 channels. IRC is an application layer protocol. This layer is the top of the network technology stack and it's where regular end-users interface with networks. Other protocols at this level include HTTP (where webpage-formatted content is transferred), SMPT (email), FTP (file transfer), SSH (remote command shells), and DNS (domain name resolution). These are all just message formats corresponding to different network-application functions. The format for IRC, which was first formalized by the IEFT in 1993 after several years of increasing popularity, is lightweight: message target ("to:"), IRC channel, IRC server, and then the message itself. IRC is basically text messaging over the internet, but usually featuring multiple recipients. The maximum size of an IRC message is 512 characters. This has to include not just the message to be displayed to other users, but the meta information as well, including the nick (client nickname) along with any commands and command parameters. The actual message payload, the thing to be communicated to other users (read: content), is prefaced by a command (PRIVMSG) and is transported in the form of a parameter to that command. (Note that many of the IETF specs for IRC are routinely violated by various IRC networks; protocols are really just things that clients and servers agree upon.) At its 1988 inception, IRC was intended to be an extension of a BBS (bulletin board system) at the University of Finland called OuluBox. Its creator, Jarkko Oikarinen (the "WiZ"), basically wanted a real-time BBS, featuring a real-time Usenet-style discussion board service. The chat feature of Oikarinen's future-BBS was the first thing to be implemented, which is a good thing because he would soon have to nuke the whole real-time BBS idea. It was too unrealistic. Still, IRC was in place and so BBS users could at least chat in real-time. At first, this was only among universities in Finland, but soon enough servers at the University of Denver and Oregon State University were connected as well. By the end of 1988, IRC had spread across the internet at-large and encompassed 40 servers, according to an IRC history by cURL creator and IETF member Daniel Stenberg. Over the next several years, IRC would split several times, resulting in not just a single IRC but several, including Anarchy net, EFnet, IRCnet, Dalnet, and others. In 1998, Freenode launched as the Open Projects Net. It was to be the IRC network supporting the open-source movement and it remains as such. A chat client is how a user and-or administrator interacts with IRC. There are a whole lot of them. I picked CIRC, which is a Chrome app. LimeChat (Mac) and HexChat (Windows) both come recommended as free standalone clients. Open up your client and set your nickname ("nick") like this: /nick is the command, followed by whatever your nickname is going to be. Freenode is generally supposed to be for "on-topic" chatting—that is, chatting about open-source projects. There's a whole lot of flexibility in there, but for now let's set up our channel at IRCnet, which is about as OG as IRC gets. In our chat client, all we need to do is issue the /server command along with the hostname of the server. /server irc.us.ircnet.net The hostname is one of several US IRCnet servers in the United States. It's the first one I found when Googling. If your nick is already taken on the server, it will be automatically tweaked. When I tried to connect with "mike," the server changed it to "_mike". I changed my nick to "byrneio" and found no conflict. Now for the big anticlimax. Let's make a channel. We do this with the /join command, like so: \join Part of what makes the IRCnet network interesting is that it doesn't support registration. Nicks and channels are first-come first-served. How does one actually administer a channel then? IRCnet offers this guidance: The short answer - with experience, resources, and patience. In other words, the old fashioned way. As a channel op, it is your job to run your channel. Generally I advise that you do not try to run a channel unless you already have at least 5 and preferably 10 trusted friends with 24/7 connections to give you a "critical mass". Then you guys can pass ops back and forth and not lose ops. So, you basically need to keep your channel active so that no one can drop in and grab it. It's possible to script IRC commands, so that would certainly help, though it's a bit beyond the scope of this tutorial. If your new channel is feeling a bit lonely (as #byrneio is), type in the command /list. This will list every active IRCnet channel on the current server. Go out and make some new friends. Hack This: Programming with the Twitter Firehose
News Article | October 27, 2016
SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--CirTran Beverage., a subsidiary of CirTran Corporation (OTC BB: CIRC) and Play Beverages, will file for a new trial and Judgement Notwithstanding the Verdict against Playboy Enterprises International