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Class Act Books Welcomes Debut Author and Returns with Another Series Entry Port Townsend, WA, April 20, 2017 --( This month's new author is Paul McDermott, writing from across the Pond, where his part of the United Kingdom was well immersed in intrigue during World War 2. Paul's novel, "The Spear of Destiny," is set during the last days of WWII. Delving into Hitler's obsession with the supernatural, the scene is presented through the eyes of Überlojtnant Herbert Nollau, commander of U-boat U-453. With the war lost and surrender imminent, Nollau must decide whether to follow his orders - and deliver a mysterious package to an equally mysterious and unknown recipient - or listen to his conscience, and abandon the plan and follow the supernatural urgings of the secret artifact. Paul lives in Liverpool where a great deal of history happened during the war. He was inspired to write The Spear of Destiny after the U-435 was refloated from the waters off Denmark where it had been sunk during the war, and has now been placed as a permanent exhibit in Liverpool’s Maritime Museum. Interviews with people who were members of the Danish Resistance (“Mødstandsbevægelsen”) and research in non-fiction accounts of major action in the North Atlantic give his novel an authentic tone. Sinbad’s War is Book 6 of the popular scifi/space opera authored by veteran author Toni V. Sweeney. It was previously published and is now being re-released in an edited and expanded version by Class Act Books. The Federation is again at war, having survived a surprise attack by the Severani, a barely-noticed planet sudden blooming with militaristic might. When his own planet is invaded and those he love perish in the following bombardment, Sinbad and his sons enlist in the fight, bringing with it startling acts of heroism and surprising discoveries affecting their lives when they return home. Toni V. Sweeney currently has 53 novels in publication. As well as being a writer, she is a professional reader certified by netgalley.com, and a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books. Her current series, The Adventures of Sinbad, was previously awarded one of the Top Five Science Fiction series of 2014 by the Paranormal Romance Guild's Critics’ Choice. Class Act Books came under new ownership in 2013. Since that time, it strives to provide the best in literary entertainment in all genres to its readers. Its novels are available from amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, as well as the publisher's website, in all genres and paperback. It recently added Drafts2Digitgal to its list of distributors of its novels. Port Townsend, WA, April 20, 2017 --( PR.com )-- Class Act Books' April releases include a novel by a debut author and the sixth entry in a current SciFiction series.This month's new author is Paul McDermott, writing from across the Pond, where his part of the United Kingdom was well immersed in intrigue during World War 2. Paul's novel, "The Spear of Destiny," is set during the last days of WWII.Delving into Hitler's obsession with the supernatural, the scene is presented through the eyes of Überlojtnant Herbert Nollau, commander of U-boat U-453. With the war lost and surrender imminent, Nollau must decide whether to follow his orders - and deliver a mysterious package to an equally mysterious and unknown recipient - or listen to his conscience, and abandon the plan and follow the supernatural urgings of the secret artifact.Paul lives in Liverpool where a great deal of history happened during the war. He was inspired to write The Spear of Destiny after the U-435 was refloated from the waters off Denmark where it had been sunk during the war, and has now been placed as a permanent exhibit in Liverpool’s Maritime Museum. Interviews with people who were members of the Danish Resistance (“Mødstandsbevægelsen”) and research in non-fiction accounts of major action in the North Atlantic give his novel an authentic tone.Sinbad’s War is Book 6 of the popular scifi/space opera authored by veteran author Toni V. Sweeney. It was previously published and is now being re-released in an edited and expanded version by Class Act Books.The Federation is again at war, having survived a surprise attack by the Severani, a barely-noticed planet sudden blooming with militaristic might. When his own planet is invaded and those he love perish in the following bombardment, Sinbad and his sons enlist in the fight, bringing with it startling acts of heroism and surprising discoveries affecting their lives when they return home.Toni V. Sweeney currently has 53 novels in publication. As well as being a writer, she is a professional reader certified by netgalley.com, and a reviewer for the New York Journal of Books. Her current series, The Adventures of Sinbad, was previously awarded one of the Top Five Science Fiction series of 2014 by the Paranormal Romance Guild's Critics’ Choice.Class Act Books came under new ownership in 2013. Since that time, it strives to provide the best in literary entertainment in all genres to its readers. Its novels are available from amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords, as well as the publisher's website, in all genres and paperback. It recently added Drafts2Digitgal to its list of distributors of its novels. Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from Class Act Books


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

The Boston Athletic Association will make it easy to check race results for Monday’s Boston Marathon. The elite men’s division of the 26-mile, 385-yard race starts at 10 a.m. EDT, but before that the disabled and women’s divisions take their turns. To check for a particular entrant, look here. The entry list is searchable by bib number or by name (plus address, country of residence, citizenship, age and gender). On race day, results will be posted live here. You can search past marathons here. If you’re interested in the top 10 finishers from last year, they can be found here. See the video below for last year’s finish line. Running the marathon is not easy. For some tips, see the video below: The race, which attracts 500,000 spectators, is run from Hopkinton to Boston’s Copley Square, passing through Ashland, Framingham, Natick, Wellesley, Newton and Brookline along the way. Some 32,500 runners are entered in this year’s contest, well below the record 38,708 who entered in 1996 for the Marathon’s centennial. Entrants include both professional and amateur runners. The race is the second longest, continuously run foot race in North America, second only to the Buffalo Turkey Trot. Its first winner was John J. “JJ” McDermott, who ran what was then a 24.5 mile course in 2:55:10. The current record for the race was set by Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya in 2011, 2:03:02. The race initially was a local event but soon began attracting international contestants. The initial prize was a wreath woven from olive branches. That since has given way to corporate-sponsored cash prizes, the first awarded in 1986, as a way of attracting professional athletes. Women were not allowed officially to enter the race until 1972 although Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb was the first to run it in 1966. Kathrine Switzer registered at K.V. Switzer to gain a birth in 1967, making her the first woman to finish the race with a bib number. By 2015, 46 percent of entrants were women.


News Article | April 25, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Strong Start to 2017 with Increased Guidance due to Increased Profitability and Cash Flow Strategic MOU with Saudi Aramco Supports Leadership Position in the Middle East Implementation Underway of First-of-its-Kind Software Platform to Deliver Best Industry Solutions for Project Lifecycle Acquisition and Sale Leaseback of Deepwater Pipelay and Construction Vessel Amazon Continued Focus on Company Taking the Lead Safety Culture led to 1-year LTI Free Company Wide Company to Host Conference Call and Webcast Today at 7:30 a.m. Central Time HOUSTON, April 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- McDermott International, Inc. (NYSE:MDR) (“McDermott,” the “Company,” “we” or “us”) today announced financial and operational results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. “McDermott saw a profitable and strategic start to 2017 and I am extremely pleased with our first quarter performance.  Excellent project execution and customer alignment led to cost savings, better than anticipated closeouts and customer driven change orders, driving McDermott’s profitability.  Over the past few years, we have worked to stabilize and optimize the business and are now taking long-term strategic steps to transform McDermott for sustainability and growth,” said David Dickson, President and Chief Executive Officer of McDermott.  “During the first quarter, we signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with Saudi Aramco for a land lease at the new maritime facility at Ras Al Khair in Saudi Arabia, which we believe strengthens our leadership position in the Middle East.  We announced the strategic acquisition and sale leaseback of the Amazon vessel to build our ultradeepwater capabilities when upgraded as planned; and we also began implementation of a first-of-its-kind project lifecycle management software platform that will leverage data and analytics to improve efficiency and productivity and create a digital twin to mirror the as-built physical state with a living, up-to-date 3D model.  This new technology will position McDermott as a valued partner for our customers from concept to decommissioning.  Additionally, with continued focus on our Taking the Lead quality and safety culture, we achieved an outstanding full year LTI-free as a company.  While there were limited material contracts awarded in our market during the quarter, we still see a solid revenue pipeline, and these strategic investments help position McDermott for continued success as the market recovers.” First quarter 2017 earnings attributable to McDermott stockholders, computed in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), were $21.9 million, or $0.08 per fully diluted share, compared to a net loss of $2.2 million, or $0.01 per fully diluted share, for the prior-year first quarter.  We generated first quarter 2017 net income of $21.9 million, or $0.08 per fully diluted share, for which there were no adjustments from GAAP, compared to an adjusted net income of $36.3 million, or $0.13 per adjusted fully diluted share, excluding restructuring charges of $6.4 million and impairment charges of $32.3 million, in the prior-year first quarter. The Company reported first quarter 2017 revenues of $519.4 million, a decrease of $209.6 million, compared to revenues of $729.0 million for the prior-year first quarter.  The key projects driving revenue for the first quarter of 2017 were the ONGC Vashishta, Saudi Aramco Long Term Agreement II (“LTA II”), KJO Hout and INPEX Ichthys projects. The decrease from the prior-year first quarter is primarily due to reduced activity on Ichthys as the project progresses through the installation phase. Our operating income for the first quarter of 2017 was $56.0 million, or an operating margin of 10.8%, compared to $36.0 million, or an operating margin of 4.9%, for the first quarter of 2016.  Our operating income for the first quarter of 2017 was $56.0 million, or an operating margin of 10.8%, for which there were no adjustments from GAAP, compared to $74.7 million, or an adjusted operating margin of 10.2%, for the first quarter of 2016, excluding the restructuring charges and impairment mentioned above.  Operating income for the first quarter of 2017 was primarily driven by fabrication and marine activity under the Saudi Aramco LTA II, marine activity on Karan-45 and progress on the Marjan power system replacement, fabrication activity on Yamal and fabrication on Abkatun-A2. These activities were partially offset by a decrease in activity on Ichthys and a decrease in active projects in AEA compared to the same quarter last year. Cash provided by operating activities in the first quarter of 2017 was $48.5 million, a decrease compared to the $59.3 million of cash provided in the first quarter of 2016. The decrease was primarily driven by higher receivable collections from Pemex in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2017. We report financial results under three reportable segments consisting of (1) the Americas, Europe and Africa (“AEA”), (2) the Middle East (“MEA”) and (3) Asia (“ASA”). We also report certain corporate and other non-operating activities under the heading “Corporate and Other”. Corporate and Other primarily reflects costs that are not allocated to our reportable segments. In the first quarter of 2017, we implemented changes to our financial reporting structure to better align with how we operate the business. Corporate expenses, certain centrally managed initiatives (such as restructuring charges), impairments, year-end mark-to-market (“MTM”) pension actuarial gains and losses, costs not attributable to a particular reportable segment, and unallocated direct operating expenses associated with the underutilization of vessels, fabrication facilities and engineering resources, are no longer apportioned to our reportable segments. Those expenses are now reported under “Corporate and Other”. As of March 31, 2017, the Company’s backlog was $3.9 billion, compared to $4.3 billion at December 31, 2016. Of the March 31, 2017 backlog, approximately 85% was related to offshore operations and approximately 15% was related to subsea operations. Order intake in the first quarter of 2017 totaled $96 million, resulting in a book-to-bill ratio of 0.2x.  At March 31, 2017, the Company had bids outstanding and target projects of approximately $3.1 billion and $12.6 billion, respectively, in its pipeline that it expects will be awarded in the market through June 30, 2018.  In total, the Company’s potential revenue pipeline, including backlog, was $19.6 billion as of March 31, 2017. In the Americas, Europe and Africa (“AEA”) Area, during the first quarter of 2017, detail design and fabrication of the compression platform for the Abkatun-A2 project progressed with the project continuing to advance on schedule.  Front-end engineering and design (“FEED”) and early detailed engineering for a Caribbean gas development continued throughout the quarter and is progressing ahead of plan.  During the quarter, we were awarded the Hess Penn State subsea scope, which includes installation of a rigid pipeline that is scheduled to be fabricated in our Gulfport Spoolbase and reeled onto the NO 105 for installation offshore.  The project scope also includes installation of a 4,500 foot umbilical and four electrical flying leads, fabrication and installation of two pipeline end terminations (“PLETS”) and pipeline pre-commissioning and system start-up support. In our Altamira fabrication yard, upgrades to increase skidway and loadout capabilities are substantially complete, and the blast and paint facility foundations and framing have been installed. These upgrades are on track for completion early in the second quarter of 2017. In the Middle East (“MEA”) Area, fabrication activity increased steadily through the first quarter, with the Jebel Ali and Dammam facilities operating at high levels of utilization.  Regional marine assets continued to operate in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the Khafji Neutral Zone.  Qatar marine activity was focused on the RasGas Flow Assurance and Looping project, with the umbilical installation scope completed ahead of schedule.  Additionally, the DLV 2000 has now relocated to the Middle East, where she is expected to remain busy on existing contracts for most of 2017.  Installation of the KJO Hout structures was completed during the quarter, with pipeline activity and platform hook up and commissioning still remaining.  Project completion is still expected in the second quarter of 2017.  Engineering and procurement on the Saudi Aramco Lump Sum LTA II project are in the final stages, with focus now transitioning to fabrication.  Progress on the three Saudi Aramco projects awarded in the second quarter of 2016 remains on target.  The Safaniya Phase 5 and 4 Jackets and 3 Observation Platforms projects are in the engineering and procurement phases, with both slightly ahead of the overall planned progress. The Area’s exceptional QHSES performance was maintained through the quarter, now reaching 54 million man hours lost time incident (“LTI”) free. In the Asia (“ASA”) Area, during the first quarter of 2017, the LV 108 carried out subsea construction and pre-commissioning works to prepare for the arrival of the floating facilities on the INPEX Ichthys project.  Also on Ichthys, we continued working collaboratively with INPEX and the supplier to rectify the subsea connector component issue identified in January 2017.  Engineering, procurement and fabrication of the pre-lay structures, in-line tees (“ILTs”) and PLETs for the Woodside Greater Western Flank Phase 2 pipeline project commenced in February, and the project is progressing on schedule.  In India, the ONGC Vashishta project continues to achieve significant progress with the completion of the shallow water section of pipelines and umbilical installation by the DB 30.  The fabrication of pipe stalks for the deepwater pipelay was completed utilizing McDermott’s mobile spoolbase in our consortium partner Larsen & Toubro’s fabrication yard in Kattupalli, along with the first and second loadouts onboard the NO 105.  The NO 105 also completed the installation of the first two deepwater pipeline sections and continues to install the remaining two.  The DB 30 is scheduled to mobilize at the end of April 2017 for the Brunei Shell Petroleum offshore pipelines installation.  In our Batam fabrication yard, fabrication of the modules for the Yamal LNG project is reaching the final completion stage with sailaway scheduled in April 2017.  Also in Batam, the fabrication of 14 jackets for Saudi Aramco is progressing well, with 3 of the 14 jackets complete and sailed on a fast transport vessel to Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia. In the first quarter of 2017 for Corporate and Other, costs were mainly attributable to selling, general, and administrative costs of $12.9 million and unallocated direct operating expenses of $27.3 million. Unallocated direct operating expenses were primarily driven by the underutilization of marine assets which incurred less than standard activity during the first quarter. These expenses were offset by a gain of $3.4 million on the sale of certain thrusters. The increase in 2017 guidance is mainly attributable to increased profitability and cash flow due to closeouts from excellent project execution in the first quarter of 2017, as well as customer driven change orders awarded this quarter.  While we expect change orders, close-outs and settlements to continue as part of our normal business activities, the period in which they are recognized is largely driven by the finalization of agreements with customers and suppliers and, as a result, is difficult to predict.  We previously reported it was reasonably possible costs on the INPEX Ichthys project could increase by an additional $10 million due to a failure identified in a supplier-provided subsea-pipe connector component, which had previously been installed. However, we have continued to mitigate the $10 million risk and now believe the range of reasonably possible additional costs has decreased to $5 million. Costs forecasted under Corporate and Other include $115 million of unallocated direct operating expenses resulting from the expected underutilization of our marine assets during 2017. Weighted average common shares outstanding on a fully diluted basis were approximately 282.3 million and 239.1 million for the quarters ended March 31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.  Additional shares of 38.0 million related to the Tangible Equity Units (“TEUs”), as well as other potentially dilutive shares, were included in the quarterly dilution calculation for the quarter ended March 31, 2017.  Subsequent to quarter end, on or about April 3, 2017, we delivered 40.8 million shares of our common stock related to the settlement of the TEUs. McDermott has scheduled a conference call and webcast related to its first quarter 2017 results today at 7:30 a.m. U.S. Central Time.  Interested parties may listen over the Internet through a link posted in the Investor Relations section of McDermott’s website. A replay of the webcast will be available for seven days after the call and may be accessed by dialing (855) 859-2056, Passcode 2104294. In addition, a presentation will be available on the Investor Relations section of McDermott’s website that contains supplemental information on McDermott’s financials, operations and 2017 Guidance. McDermott is a leading provider of integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (“EPCI”), front-end engineering and design (“FEED”) and module fabrication services for upstream field developments worldwide. McDermott delivers fixed and floating production facilities, pipelines, installations and subsea systems from concept to commissioning for complex Offshore and Subsea oil and gas projects to help oil companies safely produce and transport hydrocarbons.  Our customers include national and major energy companies.  Operating in approximately 20 countries across the world, our locally focused and globally integrated resources include approximately 13,500 employees, a diversified fleet of specialty marine construction vessels, fabrication facilities and engineering offices. We are renowned for our extensive knowledge and experience, technological advancements, performance records, superior safety and commitment to deliver.  McDermott has served the energy industry since 1923, and shares of its common stock are listed on the New York Stock Exchange. To learn more, please visit our website at www.mcdermott.com This press release includes several “non-GAAP” financial measures as defined under Regulation G of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. We report our financial results in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”), but believe that certain non-GAAP financial measures provide useful supplemental information to investors regarding the underlying business trends and performance of our ongoing operations and are useful for period-over-period comparisons of those operations. Non-GAAP measures are comprised of the total and diluted per share amounts of adjusted net income (loss) attributable to the Company and adjusted operating income and operating income margin for the Company, in each case excluding the impact of certain identified items.  The excluded items represent items that our management does not consider to be representative of our normal operations.  We believe that total and diluted per share adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted operating income and operating margin are useful measures for investors to review because they provide a consistent measure of the underlying financial results of our ongoing business and, in our management’s view, allows for a supplemental comparison against historical results and expectations for future performance. Furthermore, our management uses adjusted net income (loss) and adjusted operating income as a measure of the performance of our operations for budgeting and forecasting, as well as employee incentive compensation. However, Non-GAAP measures should not be considered as substitutes for operating income, net income or other data prepared and reported in accordance with GAAP and should be viewed in addition to the Company’s reported results prepared in accordance with GAAP. The Forecast non-GAAP measures we have presented in this press release include forecast free cash flow, adjusted free cash flow and EBITDA, in each case excluding the impact of certain identified items. We believe these forward-looking financial measures are within reasonable measure.  We define “free cash flow” as cash flows from operations less capital expenditures.  We believe investors consider free cash flow as an important measure, because it generally represents funds available to pursue opportunities that may enhance shareholder value, such as making acquisitions or other investments.  Our management uses free cash flow for that reason.  Additionally, adjusted free cash flow represents free cash flow plus cash expected as a result of the sale leaseback arrangement for the acquisition of the Amazon vessel.  We define EBITDA as net income plus depreciation and amortization, interest expense, net, and provision for income taxes.  We have included EBITDA disclosures in this press release because EBITDA is widely used by investors for valuation and comparing our financial performance with the performance of other companies in our industry.  Our management also uses EBITDA to monitor and compare the financial performance of our operations.  EBITDA does not give effect to the cash that we must use to service our debt or pay our income taxes, and thus does reflect the funds actually available for capital expenditures, dividends or various other purposes.  In addition, our presentation of EBITDA may not be comparable to similarly titled measures in other companies’ reports.   You should not consider EBITDA in isolation from, or as a substitute for, net income or cash flow measures prepared in accordance with U.S. GAAP. Reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures and forecast non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable GAAP measures are provided in the tables set forth at the end of this press release. In accordance with the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, McDermott cautions that statements in this press release which are forward-looking, and provide other than historical information, involve risks, contingencies and uncertainties that may impact McDermott's actual results of operations. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements about backlog, bids and change orders outstanding, target projects and revenue pipeline, to the extent these may be viewed as indicators of future revenues or profitability, our beliefs with respect to the expected benefits to be derived from recent strategic activities, including the MOU signed with Saudi Aramco, the planned upgrades to the Amazon and the implementation of the project lifecycle management software platform, the expected scope, execution and timing associated with the projects discussed, the expected timing of upgrades to our Altamira fabrication yard, the expected utilization of the DLV 2000, McDermott’s earnings and other guidance for 2017 and expectations related to the guidance, expectations with respect to change orders, close-outs and settlements,  our expectations with respect to the range of additional costs on the Ichthys project related to the subsea-pipe connector component issue identified in January 2017 and the expected underutilization of our marine assets in 2017. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that those expectations will prove to have been correct. Those statements are made by using various underlying assumptions and are subject to numerous risks, contingencies and uncertainties, including, among others: adverse changes in the markets in which we operate or credit markets, our inability to successfully execute on contracts in backlog, changes in project design or schedules, the availability of qualified personnel, changes in the terms, scope or timing of contracts, contract cancellations, change orders and other modifications and actions by our customers and other business counterparties, changes in industry norms and adverse outcomes in legal or other dispute resolution proceedings.  If one or more of these risks materialize, or if underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected.  You should not place undue reliance on forward looking statements.  For a more complete discussion of these and other risk factors, please see McDermott's annual and quarterly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. This press release reflects management's views as of the date hereof. Except to the extent required by applicable law, McDermott undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement.


News Article | April 17, 2017
Site: phys.org

Deep learning is in fact a new name for an approach to artificial intelligence called neural networks, which have been going in and out of fashion for more than 70 years. Neural networks were first proposed in 1944 by Warren McCullough and Walter Pitts, two University of Chicago researchers who moved to MIT in 1952 as founding members of what's sometimes called the first cognitive science department. Neural nets were a major area of research in both neuroscience and computer science until 1969, when, according to computer science lore, they were killed off by the MIT mathematicians Marvin Minsky and Seymour Papert, who a year later would become co-directors of the new MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. The technique then enjoyed a resurgence in the 1980s, fell into eclipse again in the first decade of the new century, and has returned like gangbusters in the second, fueled largely by the increased processing power of graphics chips. "There's this idea that ideas in science are a bit like epidemics of viruses," says Tomaso Poggio, the Eugene McDermott Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at MIT, an investigator at MIT's McGovern Institute for Brain Research, and director of MIT's Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines. "There are apparently five or six basic strains of flu viruses, and apparently each one comes back with a period of around 25 years. People get infected, and they develop an immune response, and so they don't get infected for the next 25 years. And then there is a new generation that is ready to be infected by the same strain of virus. In science, people fall in love with an idea, get excited about it, hammer it to death, and then get immunized—they get tired of it. So ideas should have the same kind of periodicity!" Neural nets are a means of doing machine learning, in which a computer learns to perform some task by analyzing training examples. Usually, the examples have been hand-labeled in advance. An object recognition system, for instance, might be fed thousands of labeled images of cars, houses, coffee cups, and so on, and it would find visual patterns in the images that consistently correlate with particular labels. Modeled loosely on the human brain, a neural net consists of thousands or even millions of simple processing nodes that are densely interconnected. Most of today's neural nets are organized into layers of nodes, and they're "feed-forward," meaning that data moves through them in only one direction. An individual node might be connected to several nodes in the layer beneath it, from which it receives data, and several nodes in the layer above it, to which it sends data. To each of its incoming connections, a node will assign a number known as a "weight." When the network is active, the node receives a different data item—a different number—over each of its connections and multiplies it by the associated weight. It then adds the resulting products together, yielding a single number. If that number is below a threshold value, the node passes no data to the next layer. If the number exceeds the threshold value, the node "fires," which in today's neural nets generally means sending the number—the sum of the weighted inputs—along all its outgoing connections. When a neural net is being trained, all of its weights and thresholds are initially set to random values. Training data is fed to the bottom layer—the input layer—and it passes through the succeeding layers, getting multiplied and added together in complex ways, until it finally arrives, radically transformed, at the output layer. During training, the weights and thresholds are continually adjusted until training data with the same labels consistently yield similar outputs. The neural nets described by McCullough and Pitts in 1944 had thresholds and weights, but they weren't arranged into layers, and the researchers didn't specify any training mechanism. What McCullough and Pitts showed was that a neural net could, in principle, compute any function that a digital computer could. The result was more neuroscience than computer science: The point was to suggest that the human brain could be thought of as a computing device. Neural nets continue to be a valuable tool for neuroscientific research. For instance, particular network layouts or rules for adjusting weights and thresholds have reproduced observed features of human neuroanatomy and cognition, an indication that they capture something about how the brain processes information. The first trainable neural network, the Perceptron, was demonstrated by the Cornell University psychologist Frank Rosenblatt in 1957. The Perceptron's design was much like that of the modern neural net, except that it had only one layer with adjustable weights and thresholds, sandwiched between input and output layers. Perceptrons were an active area of research in both psychology and the fledgling discipline of computer science until 1959, when Minsky and Papert published a book titled "Perceptrons," which demonstrated that executing certain fairly common computations on Perceptrons would be impractically time consuming. "Of course, all of these limitations kind of disappear if you take machinery that is a little more complicated—like, two layers," Poggio says. But at the time, the book had a chilling effect on neural-net research. "You have to put these things in historical context," Poggio says. "They were arguing for programming—for languages like Lisp. Not many years before, people were still using analog computers. It was not clear at all at the time that programming was the way to go. I think they went a little bit overboard, but as usual, it's not black and white. If you think of this as this competition between analog computing and digital computing, they fought for what at the time was the right thing." By the 1980s, however, researchers had developed algorithms for modifying neural nets' weights and thresholds that were efficient enough for networks with more than one layer, removing many of the limitations identified by Minsky and Papert. The field enjoyed a renaissance. But intellectually, there's something unsatisfying about neural nets. Enough training may revise a network's settings to the point that it can usefully classify data, but what do those settings mean? What image features is an object recognizer looking at, and how does it piece them together into the distinctive visual signatures of cars, houses, and coffee cups? Looking at the weights of individual connections won't answer that question. In recent years, computer scientists have begun to come up with ingenious methods for deducing the analytic strategies adopted by neural nets. But in the 1980s, the networks' strategies were indecipherable. So around the turn of the century, neural networks were supplanted by support vector machines, an alternative approach to machine learning that's based on some very clean and elegant mathematics. The recent resurgence in neural networks—the deep-learning revolution—comes courtesy of the computer-game industry. The complex imagery and rapid pace of today's video games require hardware that can keep up, and the result has been the graphics processing unit (GPU), which packs thousands of relatively simple processing cores on a single chip. It didn't take long for researchers to realize that the architecture of a GPU is remarkably like that of a neural net. Modern GPUs enabled the one-layer networks of the 1960s and the two- to three-layer networks of the 1980s to blossom into the 10-, 15-, even 50-layer networks of today. That's what the "deep" in "deep learning" refers to—the depth of the network's layers. And currently, deep learning is responsible for the best-performing systems in almost every area of artificial-intelligence research. The networks' opacity is still unsettling to theorists, but there's headway on that front, too. In addition to directing the Center for Brains, Minds, and Machines (CBMM), Poggio leads the center's research program in Theoretical Frameworks for Intelligence. Recently, Poggio and his CBMM colleagues have released a three-part theoretical study of neural networks. The first part, which was published last month in the International Journal of Automation and Computing, addresses the range of computations that deep-learning networks can execute and when deep networks offer advantages over shallower ones. Parts two and three, which have been released as CBMM technical reports, address the problems of global optimization, or guaranteeing that a network has found the settings that best accord with its training data, and overfitting, or cases in which the network becomes so attuned to the specifics of its training data that it fails to generalize to other instances of the same categories. There are still plenty of theoretical questions to be answered, but CBMM researchers' work could help ensure that neural networks finally break the generational cycle that has brought them in and out of favor for seven decades. Explore further: How the brain recognizes faces: Machine-learning system spontaneously reproduces aspects of human neurology More information: Tomaso Poggio et al. Why and when can deep-but not shallow-networks avoid the curse of dimensionality: A review, International Journal of Automation and Computing (2017). DOI: 10.1007/s11633-017-1054-2


Dassault Systèmes (Paris:DSY) (Euronext Paris : #13065, DSY.PA), « The 3DEXPERIENCE Company », leader mondial des logiciels de création 3D, de maquettes numériques en 3D et de solutions de gestion du cycle de vie des produits (PLM — Product Lifecycle Management), publie ce jour ses résultats financiers non audités en normes IFRS pour le premier trimestre clos le 31 mars 2017. Ces résultats ont été revus par le Conseil d’administration le 25 avril 2017. Bernard Charlès, Vice-président du Conseil d’administration, Directeur général, a déclaré : « Lors de la conférence qui s’est tenue à Milan début avril, Dassault Systèmes a réuni des spécialistes de l’innovation venus du monde entier qui ont démontré que nous étions effectivement entrés dans une nouvelle époque, celle du « Design in the Age of Experience ». Dans cette nouvelle ère, il s’agit de créer des expériences, de concevoir de nouveaux modèles de business, de tirer parti des connaissances scientifiques, de mettre à profit les leçons de la nature et de réaliser ainsi pour le consommateur des expériences uniques, grâce à un meilleur accès aux technologies de réalité virtuelle et augmentée. Dans cette perspective, notre portefeuille de logiciels est bien positionné pour répondre à ces nouveaux besoins du marché et contribuer au succès de nos clients. Ainsi Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, a récemment choisi notre solution « Drive Emotion », accessible sur la plateforme 3DEXPERIENCE, afin de fédérer ses studios de design et de développer les expériences de mobilité de demain. Avec la technologie 3DEXCITE, Ford Motor Company et DS Automobiles, une marque de PSA, ont créé pour les consommateurs des expériences de réalité virtuelle immersives. Enfin, en partenariat avec l'Institut National de Recherche Aérospatiale et au sein du nouveau campus dédié à l'innovation de la Wichita State University, le Centre 3DEXPERIENCE ouvre ses portes. Il s’agit d’une nouvelle initiative, dédiée à l'industrie aérospatiale, qui a pour mission de contribuer au développement de nouveaux matériaux composites, d’améliorer l’efficacité de la production industrielle, avec notamment les procédés de fabrication additive et la multi-robotique. Concernant notre performance financière, l’étendue de notre offre s’est traduite au premier trimestre par une croissance de 8% du chiffre d’affaires non-IFRS à taux de change constants. Nos deux plus grands secteurs industriels, l’automobile et les biens d’équipements, ont largement contribué à ces résultats. Par ailleurs, nos secteurs de diversification, qui représentent 32% du chiffre d’affaires logiciel au premier trimestre, bénéficient de notre développement dans la « High-Tech » et de remarquables performances des secteurs Biens de consommation – Distribution et Architecture, Ingénierie et Construction. » Le 6 avril 2017, Dassault Systèmes a annoncé que le fabricant global d'accessoires de mode Fossil Group, a choisi « My Collection », la solution destinée aux entreprises de biens de consommation et de distribution, afin de développer et maîtriser le cycle de vie de produits nombreux et différenciés. Fossil Group, dont les marques détenues en propre et sous licence sont commercialisées à travers le monde, cherchait à promouvoir sa vision stratégique long-terme pour développer ses activités dans le monde. Le Groupe recherchait en particulier une solution évolutive pour rationaliser le développement de ses collections de montres, de bijoux et de sacs à main, faciliter la créativité et l’innovation, améliorer la gestion de la chaîne logistique et lancer des produits plus proches des désirs des consommateurs. Le 4 avril 2017, Dassault Systèmes a annoncé que Groupama Team France, l’une des cinq équipes engagée dans la 35ème Coupe de l’America, utilise l’industry solution experience « Designed for Sea », pour concevoir et simuler un catamaran de course léger et performant qui respecte les exigences de conception et de calendrier de la compétition. S’appuyant sur la plateforme 3DEXPERIENCE de Dassault Systèmes, l’industry solution experience « Designed for Sea » permet à Groupama Team France avant que ne débute toute construction de concevoir virtuellement, simuler et optimiser le poids, la performance, la stabilité, la résistance et la sécurité du catamaran dans un environnement digital collaboratif. Le 5 avril 2017, Dassault Systèmes a annoncé que Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, le septième constructeur automobile au monde, a commencé à déployer l’industry solution experience « Drive Emotion » basée sur la plateforme 3DEXPERIENCE dans l’ensemble de ses studios de design. Le style d'un véhicule crée un lien émotionnel avec les consommateurs et constitue pour beaucoup d’entre eux un critère d'achat important. Une style réussi implique que les concepteurs exploitent cette force émotionnelle dans le contexte d’une expérience client plus large et collaborent avec différentes disciplines, depuis l'aérodynamique jusqu’au marketing, afin de créer une expérience produit complète. Le 28 mars 2017, Dassault Systèmes a annoncé que McDermott International, Inc., un important prestataire de services d’ingénierie, de fourniture d’équipements, de construction et d’installation, a choisi la plateforme 3DEXPERIENCE pour améliorer son efficacité et ses performances. Pour sa clientèle de compagnies pétrolières, McDermott va utiliser les solutions « Integrated Plant Engineering », « Optimized Plant Construction » et « Efficient Plant Operation » afin de développer, créer et exploiter des installations de production offshore fixes et flottantes, des pipelines et des systèmes sous-marins. Le 21 mars 2017, Dassault Systèmes a annoncé qu’Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. (ABFRL), la plus grande entreprise de mode d'Inde, a choisi la solution « My Collection » pour accélérer la mise sur le marché de ses collections de mode et accroître le niveau de satisfaction de sa clientèle. ABFRL est numéro un du « life style » et de la mode en Inde. L’entreprise a récemment mis en œuvre une stratégie centrée sur le consommateur afin de développer des collections innovantes, inspirées par les lanceurs de tendances de mode, vendues dans plus de 7 000 points de vente, magasins multimarques haut de gamme et grands magasins. Avec « My Collection » de Dassault Systèmes, l’entreprise dispose d'une solution numérique unique pour gérer la vie de ses collections, depuis le concept initial jusqu’à l’expérience de vente. Le 9 mars 2017, Damen Shipyards Group, groupe international spécialisé dans la construction navale, a choisi la plateforme 3DEXPERIENCE et les solutions développées pour l’industrie Marine & Offshore de Dassault Systèmes pour mener la transformation numérique de ses opérations. Les industry solution experiences « Designed for Sea », « Winning Bid for Sea », « Optimized Production for Sea » et « On Time to Sea » de Dassault Systèmes intègrent les activités de ventes, marketing, conception, ingénierie, construction et services. Avec 32 chantiers navals et 9 000 employés, Damen Shipyards a pour objectif d’améliorer la collaboration, optimiser ses produits, ses processus et services existants tout en accélérant la conception de produits innovants et modulables. Le 2 février 2017, Dassault Systèmes a annoncé que Doosan Infracore, l’un des premiers fabricants coréens de matériels de construction, déploie avec succès la plateforme 3DEXPERIENCE pour mener à bien sa stratégie de transformation de l'entreprise et devenir leader mondial dans le secteur des services aux infrastructures. Les industry solution experiences « Single Source for Speed », « Simple Solution Selection » et « Ready to Make », associées à la plateforme 3DEXPERIENCE, offrent à Doosan Infracore de puissantes applications virtuelles de gestion de l’innovation, de contrôle des coûts et d’amélioration de la qualité de l’ensemble de ses treize sites de fabrication, quatre centres de R&D et de ses quarante-six points de vente à travers le monde. En février dernier, pour le secteur industriel Produits de Grande Consommation-Distribution, Dassault Systèmes a annoncé le lancement de trois nouvelles industry solution expériences ainsi que l’amélioration de son portefeuille produits basé sur la plateforme 3DEXPERIENCE. Ces nouvelles solutions comprennent « My Design » qui offre des capacités de design en 3D, de tests et de simulation de performance, de visualisation et de rendu pour une conception créative et détaillée. Pour définir les processus et l'usinage optimal pour une fabrication flexible « My Production » permet la conception d’outillages, la documentation des produits, la simulation de l’usinage, l'analyse en temps réel de la qualité, de la traçabilité et de la conformité. « My Operations » optimise des systèmes logistiques intelligents, une production flexible et des capacités d’ordonnancement s’ajustant à l’offre et la demande afin d'améliorer la productivité et les marges d'exploitation. Concernant nos perspectives, nous anticipons une année d’amélioration de la croissance de notre chiffre d’affaires nouvelles licences, accompagnée à partir du deuxième trimestre, par le ralentissement prévu de la progression du chiffre d’affaires logiciel récurrent à un niveau d’environ 6%. Les facteurs de croissance du chiffre d’affaires sont la 3DEXPERIENCE, qui ouvre le marché de la plateforme d’innovation, l'expansion dans nos principaux secteurs industriels et de diversification, grâce à la continuité numérique que procure notre portefeuille de solutions industries ; ces différents éléments donnent à nos clients la possibilité de bâtir leur propre chaîne de valeur. Pour 2017, nous confirmons nos objectifs financiers et les ajustons pour tenir compte de l’effet favorable des taux de change au premier trimestre. L’objectif de croissance du chiffre d’affaires s’établit à environ 6 à 7% à taux de change constant, soit une fourchette de chiffre d’affaires de 3 290 à 3 315 millions d’euros, avec une marge opérationnelle non-IFRS d’environ 31,5% et une augmentation du BNPA non-IFRS comprise entre 7% et 9%. » Les objectifs 2017 non-IFRS décrits ci-dessus ne prennent pas en compte les éléments comptables suivants et sont estimés sur la base des taux de change 2017 indiqués précédemment : le traitement comptable des produits constatés d’avance, estimés à environ 12 millions d’euros, les charges relatives à l’attribution d’actions de performance et de stock-options et les charges sociales associées, estimées à environ 81 millions d’euros et l’amortissement des actifs incorporels acquis, estimé à environ 161 millions d’euros. Les objectifs ci-dessus ne prennent pas en compte l’impact des autres produits et charges opérationnels, nets, essentiellement composés de charges liées aux acquisitions et de charges d’intégration et de restructuration. Enfin, ces estimations n’incluent pas d’éventuelles nouvelles attributions de stock-options ou d’actions de performance, ni de nouvelles acquisitions ou restructurations survenant après le 26 avril 2017. Dassault Systèmes organise ce jour, mercredi 26 avril 2017, une réunion à Londres retransmise simultanément par webcast à partir de 8h30 heure de Londres / 9h30 heure de Paris. Le Groupe tiendra également une conférence téléphonique à 9h00 heure de New York / 14h00 heure de Londres / 15h00 heure de Paris. Cette réunion retransmise en webcast et cette conférence seront accessibles par Internet sur le site http://www.3ds.com/fr/investisseurs/. Veuillez-vous rendre sur le site au moins 15 minutes avant le début de la réunion retransmise en webcast ou de la conférence pour vous enregistrer, télécharger et installer tout logiciel audio nécessaire. Les enregistrements de la réunion retransmise en webcast et de la conférence seront disponibles pendant 1 an. Ces perspectives d’avenir sont fondées sur les vues et hypothèses actuellement retenues par la Direction du Groupe et prennent en compte un certain nombre d’incertitudes et de risques connus et non connus. En conséquence, les résultats ou les performances qui seront réalisés sont susceptibles d’être substantiellement différents des résultats et des performances anticipées, du fait de plusieurs facteurs. Les perspectives du Groupe pour 2017 prennent notamment en compte l’existence d’un environnement économique incertain. Compte tenu des incertitudes persistantes, au niveau mondial, sur les conditions économiques, sociales et géopolitiques ainsi que l’évolution du milieu des affaires, le chiffre d’affaires, le bénéfice net et les flux de trésorerie pourraient progresser plus lentement que prévu, que ce soit sur une base annuelle ou trimestrielle. Bien que le Groupe mette en œuvre tous les efforts possibles afin de faire face aux perspectives macroéconomiques incertaines, ses résultats pourraient cependant évoluer différemment de ses anticipations. De plus, le délai entre une amélioration de l’environnement économique et des conditions de marché et son impact sur les résultats du Groupe pourrait être important. Les résultats et performance du Groupe peuvent également être affectés par les nombreux risques et incertitudes mentionnés dans la section « Facteurs de Risques » du Document de référence 2016, déposé auprès de l’AMF le 22 mars 2017 et également disponible sur le site internet du Groupe www.3ds.com. Pour fixer ces perspectives, le Groupe a pris l’hypothèse de taux de change moyens de 1,10 dollar U.S. pour 1,00 euro pour le deuxième trimestre et de 1,09 dollar U.S. pour 1,00 euro pour l’année 2017 ainsi que d’un cours moyen du yen de 117 JPY pour 1,00 euro pour le deuxième trimestre et de 118 JPY pour 1,00 euro pour l’année 2017, avant couverture. Cependant, les variations des cours des devises peuvent affecter significativement les résultats du Groupe. Les données complémentaires non-IFRS présentées dans ce communiqué de presse comportent des limites inhérentes à leur nature. Ces données ne sont basées sur aucun ensemble de normes ou de principes comptables et ne doivent pas être considérées comme un substitut aux éléments comptables en normes IFRS. En outre, les données financières non-IFRS du Groupe peuvent ne pas être comparables à d’autres données également intitulées non-IFRS et utilisées par d’autres sociétés. Un certain nombre de limitations spécifiques relatives à ces mesures non-IFRS et les raisons de présenter une information financière en non-IFRS sont détaillées dans le Document de référence 2016 déposé auprès de l’AMF le 22 mars 2017. Les tableaux accompagnant ce communiqué détaillent l’information complémentaire non-IFRS sur le chiffre d’affaires, le résultat opérationnel, la marge opérationnelle, le résultat net et le résultat net dilué par action. Ils excluent, le traitement comptable des produits constatés d’avance liés aux acquisitions, les coûts d’attribution d’actions de performance, de stock-options et les charges sociales associées, les amortissements des actifs incorporels acquis, les autres produits et charges opérationnels, nets, certains éléments financiers non-récurrents, ainsi que l’effet fiscal des ajustements non-IFRS et certains effets fiscaux non récurrents. Les tableaux présentent aussi les données financières les plus comparables en normes IFRS et une réconciliation des données non-IFRS. Dassault Systèmes, « The 3DEXPERIENCE Company », offre aux entreprises et aux particuliers les univers virtuels nécessaires à la conception d’innovations durables. Ses solutions leaders sur le marché transforment pour ses clients, la conception, la fabrication et la maintenance de leurs produits. Les solutions collaboratives de Dassault Systèmes permettent de promouvoir l’innovation sociale et offrent de nouvelles possibilités d’améliorer le monde réel grâce aux univers virtuels. Avec des ventes dans plus de 140 pays, le Groupe apporte de la valeur à plus de 220 000 entreprises de toutes tailles dans toutes les industries. Pour plus d’informations : www.3ds.com. 3DEXPERIENCE, le logo Compass et le logo 3DS, CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, ENOVIA, DELMIA, SIMULIA, GEOVIA, EXALEAD, 3D VIA, BIOVIA, NETVIBES et 3DEXCITE sont des marques déposées de Dassault Systèmes ou de ses filiales aux USA et/ou dans d'autres pays. Les chiffres clés non-IFRS excluent le traitement comptable des produits constatés d’avance liés aux acquisitions, les coûts d’attribution d’actions de performance et de stock-options et les charges sociales associées, les amortissements des actifs incorporels acquis, les autres produits et charges opérationnels, nets, certains éléments financiers non-récurrents ainsi que l’impact fiscal de ces retraitements non-IFRS et certains effets fiscaux non récurrents. Les données complémentaires non-IFRS présentées dans ce communiqué de presse comportent des limites inhérentes à leur nature. Ces données ne sont basées sur aucun ensemble de normes ou de principes comptables et ne doivent pas être considérées comme un substitut aux éléments comptables en normes IFRS. En outre, les données financières complémentaires non-IFRS du Groupe peuvent ne pas être comparables à d’autres données également intitulées non-IFRS et utilisées par d’autres sociétés. Un certain nombre de limitations spécifiques relatives à ces mesures non-IFRS et les raisons de présenter une information financière en non-IFRS sont détaillées dans le Document de référence pour l’exercice clos le 31 décembre 2016 du Groupe déposé auprès de l’Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) le 22 mars 2017. Pour pallier cette difficulté d’utilisation, les données financières complémentaires non-IFRS ne doivent pas être lues indépendamment, mais toujours associées aux éléments de comptes consolidés préparés selon les normes IFRS. (1) Dans le tableau de rapprochement ci-dessus, (i) tous les retraitements des données de chiffre d’affaires IFRS correspondent à l’exclusion du traitement comptable des produits constatés d’avance liés aux acquisitions, (ii) tous les retraitements des données de charges opérationnelles IFRS correspondent à l’exclusion de l’amortissement des actifs incorporels acquis, des coûts d’attribution d’actions de performance et de stock-options et les charges sociales associées, tel que détaillé ci-dessous et des autres produits et charges opérationnels, nets, (iii) tous les retraitements des données de produits financiers et autres, net IFRS correspondent à l’exclusion de certains éléments financiers non récurrents, (iv) tous les retraitements des données de résultat net IFRS correspondent à l’impact combiné de ces différents ajustements, plus, en ce qui concerne le résultat net et le résultat net par action, l’impact fiscal des retraitements ci-dessus.


News Article | April 30, 2017
Site: news.yahoo.com

FILE - In this Monday, March 9, 2015, file photo, Buffalo Bills general manager Doug Whaley reacts to a question about the future of the team during a news conference at the Ralph Wilson Media Center in Orchard Park, N.Y. The Buffalo Bills fired Whaley in a move that came a day after the NFL draft, and further solidifies rookie head coach Sean McDermott's control over the team. Team owner Terry Pegula announced the move Sunday, April 30, 2017, saying he reached the decision after a lengthy review of the team. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert, File) ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Whether it was sitting together in a golf cart watching training camp or sharing dinner and drinks at a nearby restaurant, Bills owner Terry Pegula and general manager Doug Whaley were nearly inseparable last summer. Some nine months later, their professional relationship soured to such an extent that Pegula fired Whaley and his entire scouting staff on Sunday. The decision was reached shortly after the two met at 8 a.m., a day following the NFL draft, and it completed a front-office purge that began with coach Rex Ryan being fired in the final week of last season. Pegula's voice cracked briefly with emotion when discussing the latest move, saying: "There were a few tears around the building, to be honest with you. He's a good guy." But not good enough to keep his job, with Pegula saying he reached the conclusion following a lengthy offseason review. It's a shake-up that further solidifies the influence rookie coach Sean McDermott has gained in the three months since being hired. The 42-year-old detail-oriented defensive specialist has become the voice of the franchise in discussing all team-related topics, including free agency and the draft. Pegula said the timing coincided with the end of the draft, but he declined to detail the reasons why the overhaul was necessary. Nor would Pegula explain his reasoning for showing Whaley the door while praising the collaborative approach that took place between the GM and McDermott in the draft room. "We have certain aspects we need to get a little better in," Pegula said. "(Whaley's) a smart man, but we made the decision. And the reasons remain private to us." Pegula said "things change," when asked why he signed Whaley to a four-year contract extension in January 2016, and then backed him this January after Ryan was fired. Pegula also took the emphasis off McDermott's authority by saying the decision to fire Whaley was made by him and his wife, Kim. The Bills also dismissed player-personnel director Jim Monos and Kelvin Fisher, the team's former amateur scouting director who had previously been demoted to an advisory role. Pegula will immediately begin a GM search and said it was too early to speculate on candidates. He said McDermott would have some input. One possible candidate is Carolina Panthers assistant GM Brandon Beane because of his ties to McDermott, who spent the previous six seasons as the team's defensive coordinator. McDermott on Saturday praised Whaley's role in the draft process but sidestepped questions regarding the GM's job security. The Bills made six picks and swung several trades in addressing immediate and long-term needs. Buffalo opened by acquiring two selections, including a first-rounder next year, in a trade with Kansas City to move back 17 spots and select LSU cornerback Tre'Davious White at 27th. The Bills have now gone through six general managers during their 17-year playoff drought — the longest active streak in North America's four major professional sports. It's the first GM search for the Pegulas, who retained Whaley when they purchased the team in October 2014. Whaley worked up the scouting ranks with the Pittsburgh Steelers, before the Bills hired him as an assistant general manager in 2010. He was groomed to become the GM and took over the job in May 2013 when Buddy Nix stepped down. The Bills' drafting history had been spotty this decade. Of the 35 players Buffalo drafted from 2010-13, only defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and left tackle Cordy Glenn remain on the roster. Whaley has been second-guessed on a number of selections, including the decision to trade two draft picks — including Buffalo's 2015 first-round selection — to Cleveland to move up five spots and pick receiver Sammy Watkins with the fourth selection in the 2014 draft. It was considered a high price to pay in a draft that produced a bounty of top-flight receivers. Whaley acknowledged he took a gamble and suggested his tenure in Buffalo might well be judged on that one move. Both of Pegula's Buffalo-based sports franchises are hitting the reset button. Pegula fired Sabers GM Tim Murray and coach Dan Bylsma 10 days after the NHL season ended two weeks ago. Without going into detail, Pegula said he is close to hiring a general manager. Between the two teams, the Pegulas have now employed a combined seven coaches and three GMs since purchasing the Sabres in February 2011. Pegula chalked up the rate of change as being common in sports, and disputed the notion it reflects poorly on him. "We're going to try to make the best decision we can in the future," Pegula said. "We've made big decisions all our lives." For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL


News Article | March 1, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

HOUSTON, March 01, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- McDermott International, Inc. (NYSE:MDR) announced today a contract award from Hess Corporation for subsea tieback work for its deepwater Penn State Deep (PSD) field in the Gulf of Mexico. “This marks our first project with Hess Corporation in recent history and we look forward to providing industry best operational excellence, quality and safety,” said Scott Munro, McDermott’s Vice President for Americas, Europe and Africa. “Once again, we have demonstrated that we can provide the best total solution for our clients.  We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Hess.” The PSD field is located in the Garden Banks 216 block in approximately 1,500 feet of water. Discovered in 1996, the PSD field began production in 1999. The lump sum contract will be reflected in McDermott’s first quarter 2017 backlog. About McDermott McDermott is a leading provider of integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) services for upstream field developments worldwide. The Company delivers fixed and floating production facilities, pipelines and subsea systems from concept to commissioning for complex offshore and subsea oil and gas projects to help oil companies safely produce and transport hydrocarbons. Our customers include national and major energy companies. Operating in approximately 20 countries across the world, our locally focused and globally integrated resources include approximately 12,400 employees, a diversified fleet of specialty marine construction vessels, fabrication facilities and engineering offices. We are renowned for our extensive knowledge and experience, technological advancements, performance records, superior safety and commitment to deliver. McDermott has served the energy industry since 1923.  As used in this press release, McDermott includes McDermott International, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. To learn more, visit our website at www.mcdermott.com. Forward-Looking Statement In accordance with the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, McDermott cautions that statements in this press release which are forward-looking, and provide other than historical information, involve risks, contingencies and uncertainties that may impact McDermott's actual results of operations. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, statements about backlog, to the extent backlog may be viewed as an indicator of future revenues, and the expected scope, execution and timing associated with the project discussed in this press release. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that those expectations will prove to have been correct. Those statements are made by using various underlying assumptions and are subject to numerous risks, contingencies and uncertainties, including, among others: adverse changes in the markets in which we operate or credit markets, our inability to successfully execute on contracts in backlog, changes in project design or schedules, the availability of qualified personnel, changes in the terms, scope or timing of contracts, contract cancellations, change orders and other modifications and actions by our customers and other business counterparties, changes in industry norms and adverse outcomes in legal or other dispute resolution proceedings.  If one or more of these risks materialize, or if underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected. For a more complete discussion of these and other risk factors, please see McDermott's annual and quarterly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2015 and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q. This press release reflects management's views as of the date hereof. Except to the extent required by applicable law, McDermott undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement.


DUBAI, Feb. 27, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Leading EPCI contractor McDermott International, Inc. (NYSE:MDR), today announced it reached 50 million man-hours without a lost time incident in its Middle East Area. “Everyone at McDermott had a part to play in reaching the 50 million man-hour milestone; it was achieved through mutual regard for each other and dedicated teamwork,” said Linh Austin, McDermott’s Vice President, Middle East and Caspian. “Safety isn’t just a procedure for us, it’s a culture deep-rooted within every function and division of our business. It is our number one priority.” The industry-leading safety milestone, which was reached on January 27th 2017, was achieved in part through the company-wide adoption of McDermott’s Taking the Lead program and implementation of McDermott Operational Values (“MOVs”).  These programs seek to embed excellence in safety performance and a “safety-first” attitude and behaviors into the company culture.  The MOVs were created to identify key procedures and processes needed for safety success. The achievement dates back to October 22, 2013 and since then McDermott has fabricated and installed 38 topsides and 47 jackets with a combined weight of 89,978 tons (81,537 tonnes) – the equivalent in mass to about eight Eiffel Towers or nearly twice the weight of steel rebar used in building the Burj Khalifa. In addition, McDermott installed a total of 135 miles (217 kilometers) of pipelines and 194 miles (313 kilometers) of cables. As a company, McDermott recently reached one year without a lost time incident, which includes the Company’s four global fabrication facilities, two spool bases, 12 McDermott-owned/operated offshore vessels and offices around the world. About McDermott McDermott is a leading provider of integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) services for upstream field developments worldwide. The Company delivers fixed and floating production facilities, pipelines and subsea systems from concept to commissioning for complex offshore and subsea oil and gas projects to help oil companies safely produce and transport hydrocarbons. Our customers include national and major energy companies. Operating in approximately 20 countries across the world, our locally focused and globally integrated resources include approximately 12,400 employees, a diversified fleet of specialty marine construction vessels, fabrication facilities and engineering offices. We are renowned for our extensive knowledge and experience, technological advancements, performance records, superior safety and commitment to deliver. McDermott has served the energy industry since 1923.  As used in this press release, McDermott includes McDermott International, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. To learn more, visit our website at www.mcdermott.com.


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

HOUSTON, Feb. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- McDermott International, Inc. (NYSE:MDR) announced today it has acquired the newly built pipelay and construction vessel Amazon to better position the Company for ultradeepwater and SURF projects. A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/a4d679f2-029c-4f98-be24-f63e722974c8. “This is a great opportunity for the Company to expand the technical capabilities of our global fleet and grow in the deepwater and SURF markets and greatly increase our ultradeepwater project coverage,” said David Dickson, President and Chief Executive Officer of McDermott. “Due to current market conditions and the opportunistic nature of the transaction, we were able to acquire what is essentially a new, enabling asset at a fraction of the original build cost.” McDermott plans to upgrade the vessel to address the ultradeepwater market with a state-of-the-art J-lay system outfitted with the latest vessel technology. In the near term, the Company plans to make minor capital expenditure investments to bring the vessel up to Company standards. As McDermott finalizes its upgrade plans, the Company plans to use the vessel on existing construction and pipelay projects. Funding for the vessel acquisition has been secured through a sale and leaseback arrangement under which McDermott has control of the vessel in exchange for a daily charter-hire rate. The planned upgrade to the state-of-the-art J-lay system and related financing are expected to be considered in line with market conditions. Completed in 2014, the Amazon is equipped with 49,514 square feet (4,600 square meters) of deck space complete with two 440-ton (400-tonne) cranes, a service speed of 12 knots and accommodation for up to 200 crew and service staff. For more information about the vessel acquisition, visit McDermott’s Investor Relations web page. About McDermott McDermott is a leading provider of integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) services for upstream field developments worldwide. The Company delivers fixed and floating production facilities, pipelines and subsea systems from concept to commissioning for complex offshore and subsea oil and gas projects to help oil companies safely produce and transport hydrocarbons. Our customers include national and major energy companies. Operating in approximately 20 countries across the world, our locally focused and globally integrated resources include approximately 12,400 employees, a diversified fleet of specialty marine construction vessels, fabrication facilities and engineering offices. We are renowned for our extensive knowledge and experience, technological advancements, performance records, superior safety and commitment to deliver. McDermott has served the energy industry since 1923.  As used in this press release, McDermott includes McDermott International, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. To learn more, visit our website at www.mcdermott.com. Forward-Looking Statement In accordance with the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, McDermott cautions that statements in this press release which are forward-looking, and provide other than historical information, involve risks, contingencies and uncertainties that may impact McDermott's actual results of operations. These forward-looking statements include, among other things, our beliefs and expectations with respect to the benefits and opportunities for McDermott resulting from the Amazon, McDermott’s plans with respect to vessel fleet strategy and market position, the expected plans, timing and utilization of the Amazon, as well as the expected scope, timing and sources of funding of potential upgrades to the Amazon. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in those forward-looking statements are reasonable, we can give no assurance that those expectations will prove to have been correct. Those statements are made by using various underlying assumptions and are subject to numerous risks, contingencies and uncertainties, including, among others: adverse changes in the markets in which we operate or credit markets, our inability to successfully execute on contracts in backlog, changes in project design or schedules, the availability of qualified personnel, changes in the terms, scope or timing of contracts, contract cancellations, change orders and other modifications and actions by our customers and other business counterparties, changes in industry norms and adverse outcomes in legal or other dispute resolution proceedings.  If one or more of these risks materialize, or if underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those expected. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.  For a more complete discussion of these and other risk factors, please see McDermott's annual and quarterly filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016. This press release reflects management's views as of the date hereof. Except to the extent required by applicable law, McDermott undertakes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement.


HOUSTON, Feb. 22, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- McDermott International, Inc. (NYSE:MDR) announced today that Scott Munro, Vice President, Americas, Europe & Africa, will speak at the DNB Annual Oil, Offshore & Shipping Conference in Oslo, Norway on March 1, 2017 at 3:25 p.m. Central European Time/8:25 a.m. Central Time. McDermott will post the slides to be used prior to the presentation in the Investor Relations area at www.mcdermott.com. About McDermott McDermott is a leading provider of integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) services for upstream field developments worldwide. The Company delivers fixed and floating production facilities, pipelines and subsea systems from concept to commissioning for complex offshore and subsea oil and gas projects to help oil companies safely produce and transport hydrocarbons. Our customers include national and major energy companies. Operating in approximately 20 countries across the world, our locally focused and globally integrated resources include approximately 12,400 employees, a diversified fleet of specialty marine construction vessels, fabrication facilities and engineering offices. We are renowned for our extensive knowledge and experience, technological advancements, performance records, superior safety and commitment to deliver. McDermott has served the energy industry since 1923.  As used in this press release, McDermott includes McDermott International, Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. To learn more, visit our website at www.mcdermott.com.

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