Monday, 25 September 2017

Challenges of Living in Small American Towns

When people talk about America, they often picture it out as the land of greener pastures. And in part, it has been the main motivation for people to go see this part of the world. Many people dream of coming to and living in America because it is the land of milk and honey where you get paid in dollars but they tend to forget that while you earn in dollars, you spend dollars too. If you look at the current American demographics today, a big number of the population are comprised of foreign immigrants who found a new home in the land of Uncle Sam.

Most immigrants actually settle down in big cities where there are plenty of job opportunities for smart and skilled workers like them. However, to really experience authentic American living, go visit or live in small US towns where everybody knows everybody, residents leave their doors unlocked, and crimes are generally low. These small towns show you what the real US of A is all about and shows you a glimpse of American history and culture that is now mostly lost in big and crowded cities.

The Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget calls for deep cuts in non-defense discretionary spending, including a 21 percent reduction for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  And the town of Goldendale, Washington, population 3,400, is one of many rural communities that could see those budget cuts at USDA and other federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Interior Department and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, play out at the local level.

These agencies are deeply involved in rural life and economics in America, managing vast federal lands across the West, as well as rivers and streams, mining and energy development, air quality, fire suppression and hydropower.

Goldendale is on the high, dry prairie east of the Cascade Mountains, surrounded by farms and ranches. Like many small towns, the downtown is struggling, with boarded-up storefronts sporting “For Lease” signs next to long-established shops and restaurants.


It is never easy living in the heart of America. True-blooded Americans face the harsh realities of fewer opportunities and lacking federal support, a common sentiment felt by those living in small American towns. Add to that the challenges posed by climate change on crop production or poultry farms; it can take its toll on an ordinary small-town farmer.

While completely abandoned towns like Okaton may be unusual, it exemplifies a much larger pattern of rural flight. As young people flock to cities to pursue jobs and education, the demographics of rural America have become older and whiter. According to The Atlantic, rural areas lost an average of 33,000 people a year between 2010 and 2014. In 2016, just 19% of Americans lived in rural areas, compared to 44% in 1930. One of the reasons for the draining of rural areas is the migration of jobs to more densely populated cities. As the American economy has shifted from agricultural to industrial to technical, automation has replaced many of the jobs that rural areas have traditionally been dependent on. For example, in 1900, 40% of Americans worked in agriculture, and today fewer than 2% do. 

As jobs became automated and fewer people were needed to run farms, rural men and women moved to cities, where opportunities for education, higher pay, and better jobs were abundant. They never came back. 

You can taste the despair in towns like Okaton, the slow death creeping in through the weeds in the sidewalk and the fallen chips of paint. For many of these towns, the only hope of survival is the intelligent promotion of self-employment through technology. However, when surveyed about their county’s economic strife, most residents of Jones County hoped for a return to the past, for a return of the railroad or lumber companies that once ushered in prosperity. However, just like rural dwellers who moved to cities, those jobs will never come back.


Many of these small towns now look like ghost towns because most of the residents have long since packed their bags and abandoned their homes in search of their fortune in bigger cities where education and employment opportunities are plenty. Indeed, there are pros and cons to living in a small American town like just about anything else there is.

But despite its flaws, you can’t deny the beauty and allure of living in a world not yet tainted by modern living. It would even be better if dilapidated and faded store signs get a new lease on life but really, small towns have a unique appeal that not generally appeals to the masses but it gives us a grasp of what life used to be in America when it was less crowded and things were much simpler.

The blog post Challenges of Living in Small American Towns is courtesy of Popego


Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Increased Hardware Demand Because Of AI

Computers are continually evolving. The technology of today may be rendered obsolete a few years from now. That’s how fast computing advances take place. The dream of experts is to make artificial intelligence a reality for all of us and they are almost there now but first, computer makers should be able to make their hardware artificial intelligence-friendly. Advanced computer chips are the technology we need to make this happen.

CPUs or central processing units not only power your PC but even make online services work as they should be. But if big companies dream of tapping into artificial intelligence that requires deep neural networks, they would need additional processors aside from their existing CPUs because CPU power alone is not enough to analyze huge data as well as perform language translation and face and object identification in photos.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and robots are both hot topics for Computex 2017 and will become focuses for the IT industry for the next several years. Taiwan's PC and server supply chains are expected to greatly benefit from the business opportunity because of the technology's heavy reliance on PC calculation.

Quanta Computer chairman Barry Lam recently pointed out that AI is a new milestone for technology development. For devices such as smartphones and smart TVs, what the IT industry did was made them smarter, but AI is different. The technology can learn, correct its mistakes and choose a better solution for problems and in the next several years, it will create many applications and commercial values for the market.

Lam said that AI can be applied onto many different kinds of applications including medical care, autonomous driving, automation and smart city management. Currently, players such as Google, Microsoft and Facebook are all aggressively investing resources on related development. Consumers will be able to use their AI services with cheap prices and these AI and big data's analysis will help society to advance and create business opportunities for industries.

Quanta and Nvidia are also forming partnerships to develop AI super computers because of GPU's calculation performance. Technologies such as face recognition, autonomous driving and robots can all be supported by GPU compute.


The public now enjoys the benefits of cloud computing but the artificial intelligence market requires so much more than what the current chip technology can offer. The technology asks for the network to work in two stages: the training stage and the execution stage. The former is when the neural network is trained by the company to do a specific task and the latter is when you ask the neural network to do something for you. The thing is that the chips chosen by companies like Google have a big impact on the industry itself and to other companies that are in the business of making chips like Intel.

Apple is reportedly working on a chip called the Apple Neural Engine, which would be dedicated to carrying out artificial intelligence (AI) processing on its mobile devices.
The addition of this type of capability would catalyse the use of AI on mobile devices. Although it is already being used extensively to power digital assistants like Siri and Google Assistant, these technologies rely on computer servers to process data sent to them rather than the processing happening on the mobile device itself.

Augmented reality and digital assistants are not the only applications of AI that will become important on mobile devices. Once the capability is made available to all mobile application developers, it will bring new types of capabilities to mobile devices.

Health applications, for example, will be able to tell when body readings from sensors on the phone or associated wearable devices are abnormal and need acting on. But the uses are potentially limitless and will bring about a new phase in how we rely on applications and our mobile devices in everyday life. And they will work, even when the device is not connected to the internet.


And big companies like Apple aren’t just limiting their technological forays into computing systems but even to their mobile devices as well. Digital assistants and augmented reality will soon be a reality in mobile gadgets as mobile applications are further developed to support artificial intelligence without compromising user security.

Many industry insiders are looking forward to this development considering how much we rely on our smartphones in our day-to-day. While many are undoubtedly a fan, many are also worried about the implications of such advanced technologies in the hands of an ordinary person. But until then, we can only wait and see how the technology unfolds and impact our lives.

The following article Increased Hardware Demand Because Of AI is available on


Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Travel Alert For Europe

It seems that terrorists are busy spreading havoc especially in busy European hotspots that it prompted the US government to issue a travel ban to Americans planning to go to Europe anytime soon. This move is actually acceptable compared to the other travel bans issued by the Trump government so far. After all, who aren’t afraid of terrorists, right? They make our spines shiver at the thought of suicide bombers and all the things they are capable of doing that is the stuff of nightmares.

This travel ban makes perfect sense considering that summer is just around the corner in the US and many Americans are probably headed to different parts of the globe for a much-needed summer getaway. These travel warnings are issued when there is a higher risk for citizens to get hurt during their stay in that country. For example, terrorist attacks like the recent one in a Manchester concert, civil war or an unstable government. That’s when the government issues a travel warning, strongly urging their citizens to avoid going to these high-risk areas for the meantime. Meanwhile, a travel alert can also be issued and is often in effect for a short term only unlike travel warnings that can go on for years.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for all of Europe on Monday, alerting citizens to the potential risk of terrorist attacks.

The alert, which is intended to inform travelers rather than deter travel, states that U.S. citizens “should always be alert to the possibility that terrorist sympathizers or self-radicalized extremists may conduct attacks with little or no warning.” The alert expires on Sept. 1, 2017 (although alerts are frequently updated or extended).


This travel ban remains until the situation improves. Citizens should be wary as to what country the government has issued these travel warnings before making any plans for traveling abroad.

State Department is warning Americans living in and traveling to Europe of the ongoing threat of terrorist attacks on the continent through the summer.

In a new travel alert issued on Monday, the department said ISIS, al-Qaeda and their affiliates retain the "ability and to plan and execute" attacks in Europe. It said the U.S. officials remain concerned about the potential for future attacks, following a series of strikes in France, Russia, Sweden and Britain.


Being vigilant can help you in a lot of potentially dangerous situations and this is just what the state is asking. And it is for your own good too. If possible, aside from ticking off Europe, for instance, on your summer go-to bucket list, try to steer away from large crowds as well since who knows if a terrorist is lurking nearby and have something else in mind.

The alert mentioned recent attacks in France -- which heads to the polls next week to choose a new president -- Russia, Sweden and the U.K., noting that extremists tend to focus on tourist hot spots.

A US official told CNN in February that the terror threat in Europe was as high as it's ever been.

Recent estimates from Europe and US say as many as 1,900 foreign fighters have returned to Europe after stints in Iraq and Syria, the official said. Some remain committed to terror groups like ISIS, but others returned disenchanted.

The alert expires September 1.


Terrorists are often Muslim religious extremists who don’t have second thoughts of killing another person. Their terrorist acts are often centered on large crowds like concerts, malls, and even government offices where people converge all the time. It can also be an airport, churches, restaurants or any place that is flocked by people all the time. If it’s not really urgent for you to go to these places or travel to Europe anytime before September 1 perhaps, try to put them off your list for a while longer until there is no more threat to be wary of.

The following post Travel Alert For Europe was first seen on The Blog


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Safety Tips When Going To Concerts

Many are scared to go out in crowds amidst the recent Manchester attack and various terrorist activities happening all over the globe. Since terrorists want to sow fear and stir up confusion and panic among people and nations, they prefer to stage their terror tactics in crowded places where there can be many casualties. Among the most recent is an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK where fans died and got injured when the bomb went off.

However, there are individuals who can’t help themselves but go to the concerts of their favorite artists they like because it is that once in a lifetime opportunity for them to go see these celebrities for real regardless of the risks now involved. If that’s the case, then you should know about concert safety tips that may save your life in the event of a terror attack or an unfortunate accident.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May deployed military troops to work with police at concerts, sports events and other public gatherings the night after a suicide bomber claimed 22 lives outside a pop concert at the Manchester Arena, the New York Times reports. After meeting with top intelligence officials, May raised Britain's terrorism threat level to the highest level, "critical," for the first time in a decade. 

"I do not want the public to feel unduly alarmed," May said in a statement earlier. "This means that their assessment is not only that an attack remains highly likely but that a further attack may be imminent ... It is a possibility we cannot ignore that there is a wider group of individuals linked to this attack." 


Increased police visibility at large-scale events has helped ease the fear and panic that people in the UK now feel in the wake of the terror bombing that took away the lives of Ariana fans and left many injured.

In addition to making the access to events more tedious, added security could lead to higher ticket prices to cover costs.

"Just like when we stopped allowing liquids on planes, and started requiring you to take your shoes off at the airport, it’s a nuisance, but it’s a necessary nuisance," said Manuel Gomez of MG Security Services. "As these things evolve, we evolve with them."

Whatever form new security measures take, experts said they are likely to be implemented quietly. "A promoter or venue will never say, 'Because of Bataclan we're doing X,' or 'Because of Manchester we're doing Y,' because they don't want to worry people," said Steve Adelman, vice president of the Entertainment Safety Alliance.

Indeed, the government has reviewed their security guidelines and ensured that nearby areas are also included during big events with thousands of people in attendance.

Before the Event / When You Arrive:

  1. Review the seating chart and familiarize yourself with the layout of the venue and the location of your seat. You may want to download the chart to your phone.

  2. Do a search online to see if the event or performers have been a target of violent threats.

  3. Check the venue's website to see if there's information posted about its security efforts.

  4. Parents: Consider requiring adult supervision for kids and teenagers.

  5. With the rest of your party, think ahead about what your game plan will be in the event of an emergency: What will you do? How will you communicate? Where will you go?

  6. When you get to the venue, keep an eye out for the emergency exit closest to your seat — just like on an airplane.

  7. Take note of where event staff or security/police officers are posted.


Knowing all these tips can help you make it out alive in big crowds in the unfortunate case of a terror bombing that seem to be happening all over the globe right now. Terrorists are becoming more brazen and they want to destroy the world order by dividing people and destabilizing the government. The threat may be real these days but it does not mean your life should end because of it. You can still live life to the fullest and follow your heart just as long as you exercise enough precautions when you are out in large groups.

Safety Tips When Going To Concerts is republished from