Producer David Grumbach-Led Group Acquires France’s BAC Films

October 21, 2013 – 7:43 pm

PARIS — French indie distributor BAC Films Distribution has been acquired by film financier and producer David Grumbach and a consortium of European investors.

Grumbach, who works under the Luxembourg-based Juliette Films and Paris-based Jaya Productions banners, recently produced Ari Folman‘s Cannes entry The Congress.

VIDEO: Live From Cannes: The Cast and Crew of ‘The Congress’

Under the new structure, Grumbach will become CEO. Luxembourg-based financier Eric Chinchon will board as CFO and current managing director Mathieu Robinet will continue to oversee all acquisition, distribution, international sales and productions.

The sales team, headed by Gilles Sousa, will remain in place. They’ll be taking a slate that includes Paolo Virzi‘s Human Capital and Helene Cattet and Bruno Forzani‘s The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears to AFM in November.

Founded in 1986, BAC Films Distribution had been a subsidiary of the publicly traded BAC Majestic, with Paris-based animation house Millimages the majority shareholder since 2003. With the announcement of today’s deal, BAC Majestic entirely cedes BAC Films Distribution and its back catalog to the new owners.

Since its founding in 1986, the company has distributed 8 Cannes Palme d’Or winners, including Cristian Mungiu‘s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days and the Coen BrothersBarton Fink.

Grumbach acquired the company with hopes to make the indie distributor into “a full-service European mini-major” that can house a film from beginning to end through development, financing, production and distribution.

In a statement, Grumbach said he is enthusiastic about combining BAC’s team expertise with his experience in international production and financing and intends to maintain the same proactive, cooperative approach that has worked for him as a producer as BAC Films increases the scope of its activities.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/thr/film/~3/RcHVtFFIqRM/story01.htm
Category: EBT   Léon Foucault  

Not Part Of Talks, Israel Still Tries To Sway Iran Nuclear Talks

October 19, 2013 – 7:53 am

Israel is keeping a close eye on the Geneva talks on Iran’s nuclear program. Israel is not party to the negotiations but its leaders say they have a big stake in the outcome. A cabinet statement Tuesday warned of “cosmetic [Iranian] concessions that could be reversed in weeks. In exchange, Iran demands an easing of the sanctions, which have taken years to put in place.”

Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=234887644&ft=1&f=1004
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Errol Morris Convinces Appeals Court to Protect ‘Tabloid’ Journalism Film

October 17, 2013 – 7:36 am

Getty Images

Errol Morris

Three years before Errol Morris experienced a victory at a California appeals court on Tuesday, the famed documentary filmmaker tweeted, “I prefer the truth with some varnish on it. (Where did that nonsensical phrase – the unvarnished truth – come from?)”

Morris could have hardly picked a better subject to illustrate the point than Joyce McKinney, who became famous in the 1970s after British tabloids presented her as the so-called “Manacled Mormon,” a former American beauty queen who was alleged to have gone to England, abducting Kirk Anderson, a Mormon missionary, and then raping him. Years later, McKinney kicked off another press firestorm after she had her pit bull successfully cloned.

Q&A: Errol Morris on Facing Off Against Donald Rumsfeld in ‘Unknown Known’ 

McKinney’s story was told by Morris in Tabloid, a 2010 film aimed at showing how two British tabloids published wildly different accounts of the incidents for which McKinney had been arrested.

Afterwards, McKinney sued Morris and others responsible for the documentary. There were wild and bizarre allegations worthy of its own documentary. Among other things, McKinney said she was tricked into giving an interview for the film based on the representation that it would be a Showtime television series about the paparazzi that would help clear her name. She alleged that defendants wrongfully took control over some of her property, including photographs and home movies, and that co-defendant Mark Lipson, a Tabloid producer, broke into her home with a release form and said if she did not sign the paper, her dog would die. She even had a professor of psychology declare that Tabloid included subliminal messages that led its viewers to “the development of rogue beliefs.”

A Los Angeles judge dismissed many of McKinney’s allegations, including that the film had defamed her and violated her likeness and privacy, but allowed other causes of action including fraud and breach of contract to survive.

McKinney appealed the judge’s narrowing of the lawsuit, contending that the judge had wrongfully applied First Amendment standards. As a result, a California appeals court had to make an almost metaphysic examination of what happens when the camera is turned on the paparazzi’s appetite for salaciousness.

In her ruling on Tuesday, California appellate Judge Elizabeth Grimes is presented with a series of issues.

The first is whether the the subject of Tabloid is a matter of public interest. McKinney argued that the story of the “Manacled Mormon” may have been a matter of public concern 30 years ago, but not now, and not in America. She further argued that the film couldn’t be found to concern the broader subject of tabloid journalism because it didn’t provide any direct critical analysis of tabloid journalism.

The appeals judge rejects that contention, saying that Morris had creative license and that the overall theme of the documentary concerned tabloid journalism and not plaintiff’s persona.

“We conclude defendants’ film presents a view of how the tabloid media operates as seen through the lens of plaintiff’s personal experiences in the maelstrom of the Manacled Mormon media circus,” writes Judge Grimes. “The subjects of tabloid journalism and the oftentimes questionable tactics of tabloid reporters and paparazzi photographers are matters of widespread public interest. Along with the related issues of the overnight rise of ’celebrities’ from tabloid coverage and reality television, the subject is so prevalent, it borders on a societal obsession. It is not mere coincidence Tabloid was released, as defendants note, at a time when the News of the World phone-hacking scandal was making international headlines.”

Next, having established that Morris’ film concerns conduct protected by the First Amendment and California’s anti-SLAPP statute, the question turns to McKinney’s likelihood of prevailing on her claims. A key factor here is whether McKinney is a “public figure.” If so, she’d have to demonstrate malice on the part of filmmakers in presenting any untruths.

Judge Grimes concludes that “by expressly agreeing to participate in a taped interview to be used in a production for a broad public audience, plaintiff voluntarily and affirmatively injected herself into a public discussion about the tabloid media, their tactics and how they purportedly present or misrepresent the truth, and ‘destroy’ privacy.”

McKinney argued that she was misled about the final format of the presentation, but the judge says she was nonetheless willing to give a taped interview, showing how she injected herself. McKinney also pointed to the fact that she had declined numerous offers in the past 35 years to tell her story, but the judge says that it only goes to demonstrate how the “public remained interested in her story.”

In other words, she was damned by agreeing to do an interview. And she would be damned by refusing to give one too.

Still, the possibility remains that McKinney could show malice on Morris’ part. But the judge curtails the ways that McKinney might do this. The method by which the defendants allegedly attained her consent to participate in the film “raises an inference of ill feelings or callousness toward plaintiff personally,” says the judge, but isn’t focused on the “truth or falsity of the material presented in the film.” And statements made by Morris and Lipson in promoting the film don’t indicate any “subjective belief” about the inaccuracy of the film nor demonstrate ill will toward McKinney.

And so, McKinney can’t revive her claim of defamation, among others previously rejected.

That doesn’t mean the dispute is over. The case now continues at a trial court where McKinney will continue to push her theory that Morris misrepresented his film to her and caused her emotional distress. The plaintiff still hopes for a trial showdown to show that Tabloid isn’t what it was supposed to be, nor what it appears to be. Of course, truth is tricky. Even Morris seems to appreciate that.

E-mail: Eriq.Gardner@THR.com
Twitter: @eriqgardner

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/THREsquire/~3/uhQFLRB_l7I/story01.htm
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Rita’s Italian Ice Fights Childhood Cancer

June 5, 2013 – 9:28 pm

Rita?s Italian Ice, the nation?s largest Italian Ice concept with over 625 outlets in 20 states, announced its annual Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign and eighth annual partnership with Alex?s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF), a national nonprofit dedicated to finding a cure for all kids with cancer. Beginning June 5 and continuing through June 18, all Rita?s Ice outlets will encourage guests to donate $1 for a paper lemon to raise money for the charity. The lemons will be used to build a ?Wall of Hope,? a visual tribute to the community?s participation in the fundraiser, at each Rita?s Ice location.

?

Since 2006, Rita?s has been a corporate partner of ALSF and implemented the paper lemon campaign to help raise funds for pediatric cancer research, one Lemon at a time. In honor of the Foundation?s namesake, the late Alexandra ?Alex? Scott, Rita?s renamed its Lemon Ice flavor??Alex?s Lemonade.? Lemon, one of Rita?s original flavor offerings when the company was established in 1984, is still one of the company?s most popular flavors.

?

Last year?s Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign generated more than three hundred and fifty thousand dollars in donations. Over the past seven years, Rita?s has collectively raised more than $3.5 million for pediatric cancer research, becoming one of the leading corporate fundraising partners for Alex?s Lemonade Stand Foundation.

?

?We couldn?t be more proud of our Rita?s franchisees and their treat team?s efforts in raising funds and awareness for children battling cancer,? says Jonathan Fornaci, president of Rita?s Italian Ice. ?This year we hope our Paper Lemon Fundraising Campaign raises even more money for the fight against childhood cancer.?

?

This year, Rita?s has established ?Rita?s Fund of Hope?, which will ensure that the travel needs of families whose children are battling cancer are met. ?Our new goal is to raise $1 million over the next 2 years,? Fornaci said.

?

?We are continuously amazed by the ongoing support Rita’s Franchise Company has provided to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation over the past seven years, and we?re thrilled to introduce Rita?s new Fund of Hope,” says Jay Scott, Alex’s father and co-executive director of ALSF. “By enlisting the support of their Guests, Rita?s helps to continue our daughter’s legacy and allows us to take strides toward fighting childhood cancer.??

Source: http://feeds.qsrmagazine.com/~r/QSR_IndustryNews/~3/zz31y5_NSZE/ritas-italian-ice-fights-childhood-cancer

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Judge accepts Holmes’ insanity plea

June 5, 2013 – 6:59 pm

[Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET]

CENTENNIAL, Colo.?After a judge allowed Aurora, Colo., shooting suspect James Holmes to plead not guilty by reason of insanity on Tuesday, he dealt a major setback to the defense by granting the prosecution access to a key piece of evidence.

By Monday at the earliest, prosecutors will get to see a notebook and package Holmes mailed to his university psychiatrist, Dr. Lynne Fenton, days before the July 20, 2012, shooting spree. Fenton never received the package, and it has since been sealed.

Judge Carlos A. Samour ruled that any evidence pertaining to Holmes? mental illness was no longer shielded by doctor-patient privilege now that the court has accepted the insanity plea. This includes the notebook, which defense attorney Daniel King argued was a unique piece of evidence that the prosecution shouldn?t see because Fenton herself hadn?t seen it, and it could have altered her opinion of Holmes? mental health.

?The argument advanced by Mr. King is a creative one,? Samour said on Tuesday, ?but I am not persuaded by it.?

Under Colorado statute, once a defendant pleads insanity, any evidence related to mental illness is no longer protected and is covered under an evidence waiver.

?I conclude that the package that was sent, even if it was privileged, is covered by the waiver,? Samour said.

The release of the notebook and the insanity plea mark significant movement in the case, which has been mired in arguments over the notebook and Colorado?s laws related to the death penalty.

Holmes is accused of fatally shooting 12 Aurora movie theater patrons last summer during a midnight screening of ?The Dark Knight Rises,? the latest Batman movie. Fifty-eight others were injured. The Arapahoe County district attorney is seeking the death penalty.

Marcus Weaver, a victim who was shot in the arm, hailed Tuesday?s developments.

?The trial is moving forward finally,? Weaver said after the hearing. ?I feel it is a step forward for a lot of the victims. We?re happy there is momentum.?

The decision is a defeat to Holmes? defense team, which since August has sought to keep the prosecution and other witnesses from learning the contents of the notebook, which reportedly contains violent imagery and detailed descriptions of the attack. Law enforcement officials thumbed through the notebook in the University of Colorado?s mail room days after the attack. But because the court ruled last fall that Holmes was under Fenton?s psychiatric care at the time, lawyers and witnesses couldn?t discuss or see the notebook?s contents.

Also at Tuesday?s hearing, Samour advised Holmes that the state will administer an evaluation at the Colorado Mental Health Institute in Pueblo, south of Denver. The exam will be finished by Aug. 2 after the doctors and clinicians conducting the exam sift through thousands of pages of evidence provided by prosecutors.

?Every person is presumed to be sane,? Samour said.

However, he noted that in Colorado, once an issue of insanity is raised, the burden is on the prosecution to prove the defendant is sane. The judge will allow Holmes? defense team to have a doctor of its choice also evaluate Holmes.

In an order last week, Samour denied the defense?s request for more time to prepare to discuss the notebook in court.

?The privilege issue related to the [notebook] has been briefed and discussed before,? Samour wrote. ?It is true, of course, that the defendant?s not guilty by reason of insanity plea, if accepted, may alter the analysis, but the parties have been aware of that for some time.?

Indeed, attorneys have discussed the notebook vis-a-vis Holmes? mental state as far back as August, when prosecutors tried to convince the first judge in the case that Fenton was more akin to a general practitioner than a mental health professional and, thus, the notebook wasn?t privileged. The prosecution abandoned its quest for the notebook at the time.

Courtroom sketch of Dr. Lynne Fenton and shooting suspect James Holmes (Bill Robles)

Samour read a lengthy advisement to Holmes during the hearing that detailed what his insanity plea means, including what happens to Holmes should he not cooperate with the mental illness exam. The defense lost its bid last week to strike down portions of Colorado state law, arguing that government psych exams could violate Holmes? right to a fair trial in a capital case.

The hearing, originally scheduled for last Thursday, was moved to Tuesday at the defense?s request. The prosecution agreed on the condition the hearing would address the notebook privilege issue.

The defense filed its objection to that compromise on Friday, noting that it was pulling ?extremely long hours? to comply with the court?s Monday deadline on noncapital-punishment motions as well as work related to Holmes? insanity plea.

?Counsel simply cannot complete all the work that needs to be done on those motions,? the defense wrote in that filing.

The defense filed dozens of motions late Tuesday, most related to noncapital issues.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/prosecutors-could-soon-look-james-holmes-notebook-094230715.html

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American, Nepalese children disagree on social obligations with age

June 5, 2013 – 5:30 pm

June 3, 2013 ? Preschoolers universally recognize that one’s choices are not always free — that our decisions may be constrained by social obligations to be nice to others or follow rules set by parents or elders, even when wanting to do otherwise.

As they age, however, American kids are more prone to acknowledge one’s freedom to act against such obligations compared to Nepalese children, who are less willing to say that people can and will violate social codes, finds a cross-cultural study by Cornell University development psychologists published in the current issue of the journal Cognitive Science. The findings, researchers said, suggest that culture is a significant influence on children’s concepts of choice regarding social norms.

“We know that adult views on whether social obligations constrain personal desires differ by culture, so this study helps us to determine when those variations emerge,” said first author Nadia Chernyak, a graduate student in the field of human development. “We can understand which ideas are universal and how culture influences individual ways of thinking.”

Led by Chernyak and Tamar Kushnir, professor in the College of Human Ecology, the research team interviewed children in the two nations to understand their beliefs on free choice and the physical, mental and social factors that limit choice.

Co-author Katie Sullivan, a human development major with a minor in global health, aided the project while studying abroad in 2009 through the Cornell Nepal Study Program — a joint venture with Nepal’s Tribhuvan University. Sullivan took courses, learned the language and immersed herself in the culture before working with Chernyak and Kushnir to adapt their survey into a culturally appropriate version for Nepalese children. Partnering with Rabindra Parajuli, a Nepali research assistant, she worked with village and school leaders to arrange and conduct interviews with children.

Researchers read a series of nine vignettes to 45 Nepalese and 31 American children — hailing from urban and rural areas and ranging in age from 4 to 11 — about characters who wanted to defy various physical, mental and social constraints, asking kids whether the characters are free to follow their wishes and to predict if they will do so.

Nearly all children, across ages and cultures, said the characters could freely choose when no constraints were evident — opting for juice or milk at a meal or whether to draw with a pen or pencil, for example. Kids also universally agreed that one is not free to choose to go beyond one’s physical and mental abilities — opting to float in the air, or to surpass the limits of one’s knowledge and skill.

Developmental and cultural differences emerged, however, in children’s evaluation of choice in the face of social constraints. Younger children in both cultures said that various social and moral obligations limit both choice and action — that one cannot be mean to others, act selfishly or break rules and social conventions, for instance. But by age 10, American kids tended to view these obligations as choices — free to be followed or disregarded based on personal desires. Nepalese children continued to believe that such constraints override individual preference.

“As children become more exposed to their own culture and adult behaviors, they are more likely to adopt their culture’s ways of thinking,” Chernyak said. Chernyak said also that future research could try to define what contributes to these differing views.

Source: http://feeds.sciencedaily.com/~r/sciencedaily/living_well/~3/Dqb-IGQjg1Q/130603135612.htm

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Mariners add to slumping White Sox woes

June 4, 2013 – 6:57 pm

By DAIMON EKLUND

Associated Press

Associated Press Sports

updated 1:09 a.m. ET June 4, 2013

SEATTLE (AP) – After getting himself in a two-strike hole, Raul Ibanez did everything he could to stay in the at-bat against John Danks.

For a dozen pitches, Ibanez hung in there. On the 13th pitch he won the struggle, hitting his 10th homer for the decisive runs in the Seattle Mariners’ 4-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox on Monday night.

“At that point you just forget about the count, you forget about everything that’s happening,” Ibanez said. “At one point in the box, I said, `I think that’s 3-2.’ Then I said to myself, `It doesn’t matter. At this point, it doesn’t matter. You’re just fighting.”‘

After swinging and missing at the first two pitches he saw in the third inning, Ibanez fouled off the next three before taking a ball. He fouled off four more before hitting the 13th pitch into the right-field seats for a two-run shot.

According to the team, it was the most pitches a Mariners hitter had seen before homering since at least 1988.

“I just ran out of ideas,” Danks said. “We threw hard away, soft away, hard in, soft in. I thought I had him looking in, and threw a cutter away and it was up a little more than I like.”

The White Sox have lost seven straight games, their longest slide since dropping seven in a row in September 2011. Chicago had won its previous eight games in Seattle, but even the formerly friendly venue and a starting pitcher with a history of success against the Mariners couldn’t stop the losing streak.

Danks (0-2) allowed four runs – three earned – and seven hits in six innings, striking out five and walking one in his third start of the year. The defeat snapped Danks’ seven-game winning streak against the Mariners – in his last eight starts against Seattle, he was 7-0 with a 1.31 ERA.

Seattle starter Joe Saunders (4-5) returned to his winning ways at Safeco Field , allowing one run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings with one walk and five strikeouts. Saunders is 10-1 at the Mariners’ ballpark. The lone loss came in his previous home start against Texas on May 24, when he gave up eight runs in five innings.

“First and foremost, it’s nice to get a win to start off a series,” Saunders said. “We’ve been kind of struggling of late.”

The Mariners snapped their own two-game skid. Tom Wilhelmsen, who had blown three of his last four save opportunities, gave up a two-out RBI single to Adam Dunn in the ninth but earned his 13th save.

“It’s nice for once to see things go the right way in the ninth,” Wilhelmsen said.

Wilhelmsen walked Alex Rios leading off the inning but regrouped to strike out the next two batters before Dunn’s hit.

“You can’t try too hard, or you’re going to overthrow and walk people like I’ve been,” Wilhelmsen said. “Just relax and know you’ve done it before, and just try to stick with that. That was something I told myself today.”

In the third inning, Kyle Seager beat out a bunt single and Kendrys Morales drove him home with a double off the center-field wall before Ibanez capped the inning with his long at-bat and home run.

“That was one of the best at-bats I’ve ever seen up there,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “Left on left, him fighting through so many different pitches, fouling them off, tough pitches – neither guy was giving in. For Raul to get him in the end there, that was pretty special.”

Chicago opened the scoring in the second. Dayan Viciedo hit a bloop double to center and scored on Jeff Keppinger’s single.

Seattle answered in the bottom half when Jesus Sucre’s RBI single tied it at 1.

NOTES: White Sox bench coach Mark Parent was ejected by plate umpire Dale Scott in the seventh. … The Mariners held a short, closed-door team meeting before taking batting practice. “I just wanted to talk about where we’re at,” Wedge said. “We’ve had a lot of tough losses these first couple months, more so than I’ve seen, and I’m proud of the way they’ve handled it.” … Seattle OF Franklin Gutierrez (right hamstring strain) ended his rehab assignment with Triple-A Tacoma, but remains on the disabled list. Mariners head athletic trainer Rick Griffin said Gutierrez still has lingering hamstring issues, and the Mariners plan to put him on another rehab assignment. … The White Sox activated infielder Gordon Beckham from the 15-day disabled list and designated infielder Tyler Greene for assignment.

? 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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??HBT Daily: Craig Calcaterra suggests MLB umpires get a longer fuse when discussing a passionate Yadier Molina’s ejection.

Source: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/52090696/ns/sports-baseball/

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Addressing biodiversity data quality is a community-wide effort

June 4, 2013 – 4:27 pm

[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 3-Jun-2013
[ | E-mail | Share Share ]

Contact: Lee Belbin
lee@blatantfabrications.com
61-419-374-133
Pensoft Publishers

Improving data quality in large online data access facilities depends on a combination of automated checks and capturing expert knowledge, according to a paper published in the open-access journal Zookeys. The authors, from the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) welcome a recent paper by Mesibov (2013) highlighting errors in millipede data, but argue that addressing such issues requires the joint efforts of ‘aggregators’ and the wider expert community.

The paper notes that aggregations of data openly exposed in facilities such as the ALA and GBIF will contain errors, and both organisations are fully committed to improving the quality of these data. Errors will arise in a multitude of ways. For example, an observation of a species may be misnamed, the name could have changed or the pre-GPS location could be in error. The card entry of this observation could then have been incorrectly transcribed into a digital record by a museum or herbarium. When the record was translated into a standard form for communication with the ALA or GBIF, other errors could have been introduced. At each step of the process, errors can be detected, introduced or corrected.

The authors argue that one of the most powerful outcomes of publishing digital data is that such problems are revealed, providing an opportunity for the whole community to detect and correct them. The paper points out that Mesibov’s detection of data issues was only possible with convenient public exposure of a large volume of biological data through the ALA and GBIF.

The ALA and GBIF also run a comprehensive range of automated data checks, for example flagging records whose coordinates lie outside the stated country of the observation or specimen. Such automatic checks will not detect all errors. Specialist expertise therefore remains necessary to detect and correct a wide range of data issues.

Agencies such as the GBIF and the ALA have infrastructure that simplifies error detection and correction. Aggregating many records of a species improves the chances of errors being detected. For example, one observation may be geographically isolated from other records. In the ALA, anyone can annotate an issue exposed in a record. Such annotations are sent to the data provider for evaluation and correction. It then depends on the resources of the provider to ensure that record is updated.

The ability to identify and correct data issues is the responsibility of the whole community and not any one agent such as the ALA. There is the need to seamlessly and effectively integrate expert knowledge and automated processes, so all amendments form part of a persistent digital knowledge base about species. Talented and committed individuals can make enormous progress in error detection and correction (as seen in Mesibov’s paper) but how do we ensure that when an individual project like that on millipedes ceases, the data and all associated work are not lost? This implies standards in capturing and linking this information and maintaining the data with all amendments uniquely documented. To achieve this, the biodiversity research community needs to be motivated and empowered to work in a collaborative fashion.

Data should be published in secure locations where they can be preserved and improved in perpetuity. The ALA and GBIF are moving beyond storage of data by individuals or institutions using stand-alone computers that do not have a strategy for enduring digital data integration, storage and access.

###

The ALA is funded by the Australian Government to discover and aggregate on one web site, the wealth of Australia’s biological observation and specimen data. GBIF is funded by national governments and operates through a system of national nodes, including the ALA, currently bringing together 400 million biodiversity records from more than 10,000 datasets freely shared by 486 institutions worldwide.

Original Source:

Belbin L, Daly J, Hirsch T, Hobern D, Salle JL (2013) A specialists audit of aggregated occurrence records: An aggregators perspective. Title. ZooKeys 305: 6776, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.305.5438


[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail | Share Share ]

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AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.


[ Back to EurekAlert! ] Public release date: 3-Jun-2013
[ | E-mail | Share Share ]

Contact: Lee Belbin
lee@blatantfabrications.com
61-419-374-133
Pensoft Publishers

Improving data quality in large online data access facilities depends on a combination of automated checks and capturing expert knowledge, according to a paper published in the open-access journal Zookeys. The authors, from the Atlas of Living Australia (ALA) and the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) welcome a recent paper by Mesibov (2013) highlighting errors in millipede data, but argue that addressing such issues requires the joint efforts of ‘aggregators’ and the wider expert community.

The paper notes that aggregations of data openly exposed in facilities such as the ALA and GBIF will contain errors, and both organisations are fully committed to improving the quality of these data. Errors will arise in a multitude of ways. For example, an observation of a species may be misnamed, the name could have changed or the pre-GPS location could be in error. The card entry of this observation could then have been incorrectly transcribed into a digital record by a museum or herbarium. When the record was translated into a standard form for communication with the ALA or GBIF, other errors could have been introduced. At each step of the process, errors can be detected, introduced or corrected.

The authors argue that one of the most powerful outcomes of publishing digital data is that such problems are revealed, providing an opportunity for the whole community to detect and correct them. The paper points out that Mesibov’s detection of data issues was only possible with convenient public exposure of a large volume of biological data through the ALA and GBIF.

The ALA and GBIF also run a comprehensive range of automated data checks, for example flagging records whose coordinates lie outside the stated country of the observation or specimen. Such automatic checks will not detect all errors. Specialist expertise therefore remains necessary to detect and correct a wide range of data issues.

Agencies such as the GBIF and the ALA have infrastructure that simplifies error detection and correction. Aggregating many records of a species improves the chances of errors being detected. For example, one observation may be geographically isolated from other records. In the ALA, anyone can annotate an issue exposed in a record. Such annotations are sent to the data provider for evaluation and correction. It then depends on the resources of the provider to ensure that record is updated.

The ability to identify and correct data issues is the responsibility of the whole community and not any one agent such as the ALA. There is the need to seamlessly and effectively integrate expert knowledge and automated processes, so all amendments form part of a persistent digital knowledge base about species. Talented and committed individuals can make enormous progress in error detection and correction (as seen in Mesibov’s paper) but how do we ensure that when an individual project like that on millipedes ceases, the data and all associated work are not lost? This implies standards in capturing and linking this information and maintaining the data with all amendments uniquely documented. To achieve this, the biodiversity research community needs to be motivated and empowered to work in a collaborative fashion.

Data should be published in secure locations where they can be preserved and improved in perpetuity. The ALA and GBIF are moving beyond storage of data by individuals or institutions using stand-alone computers that do not have a strategy for enduring digital data integration, storage and access.

###

The ALA is funded by the Australian Government to discover and aggregate on one web site, the wealth of Australia’s biological observation and specimen data. GBIF is funded by national governments and operates through a system of national nodes, including the ALA, currently bringing together 400 million biodiversity records from more than 10,000 datasets freely shared by 486 institutions worldwide.

Original Source:

Belbin L, Daly J, Hirsch T, Hobern D, Salle JL (2013) A specialists audit of aggregated occurrence records: An aggregators perspective. Title. ZooKeys 305: 6776, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.305.5438


[ Back to EurekAlert! ] [ | E-mail | Share Share ]

?


AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.


Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-06/pp-abd053113.php

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Brighter Launches A New, Free Version Of Its Dental Service To Bring Affordable Care To The Uninsured

June 4, 2013 – 2:58 pm

Screen shot 2013-06-03 at 2.57.05 PMIt was just about two years ago that Jake Winebaum (who had previously sold Business.com for $360 million) quietly launched Brighter.com, an online marketplace for discounted dental care. Within a few months, Winebaum and Brighter, which had launched with $5 million in its coffers, added another $8 million from Benchmark, Mayfield Fund and a few others.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/3X-0iQOvxX8/

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Heat off to Finals, beat Pacers 99-76 in Game 7

June 4, 2013 – 6:47 am

MIAMI (AP) ? Their season, their legacy, their reign atop the NBA was all at stake, and the Miami Heat responded in a manner befitting defending champions ? with a blowout.

LeBron James scored 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds, ailing Dwyane Wade matched his postseason high with 21 points, and the Heat ran away from the Indiana Pacers 99-76 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night.

The Heat will play the San Antonio Spurs for the NBA title in a series that starts Thursday in Miami.

Miami led by as many as 28 points, a shocking amount for a series that had an aggregate score of Heat 569, Pacers 564 entering Monday night. The Heat actually trailed by six in the early going, were still down 21-19 after the first quarter and it was starting to look like it was going to be one of those down-to-the-wire nights.

Not even close.

James exited with 5:08 left, shaking retired soccer star David Beckham’s hand as he made his way to the Heat bench for a relatively subdued celebration. Not long afterward, security personnel started what’s become a familiar task in Miami ? surrounding the court and stretching out a yellow rope, preparing to hold people at bay for the looming on-court trophy presentation.

More than a few people didn’t stick around to see the East title formally presented. After all, it’s an all-or-nothing season for the Heat ? and this trophy isn’t the one that will satisfy them.

Ray Allen added 10 points for Miami, which earned its 78th victory of the season, matching the 11th-best, single-season total in NBA history.

Roy Hibbert scored 18 points for the Pacers, who got 14 from David West, 13 from George Hill and 10 from Lance Stephenson. All-Star Paul George was held to seven points on 2-for-9 shooting and fouled out early in the fourth quarter.

George was the last Indiana player on the floor as Miami prepped for its postgame celebration, shaking any hand he could find before being walked toward the visiting locker room by Pacers coach Frank Vogel, who slung an arm over his star’s shoulder.

His time will likely come ? someday.

Not yet, though. Not with this Miami team built for titles. It’s the fourth trip to the finals for the Heat, who won the title in 2006 and have now been there all three years of the “Big Three” era, falling to Dallas in 2011 and then topping Oklahoma City in five games last year.

Miami went 2-0 against San Antonio this season, though neither of those games should be considered harbingers of what’s ahead. The Spurs rested four regulars in the first meeting, the Heat were without three injured starters in the second matchup.

James delivered an inspirational address of sorts to his team Monday morning, publicly revealing no details of what he said afterward other than insisting that the Heat would be ready.

He was right. After 5 minutes, it was 12-6 Indiana. After that, the rest of the half was pretty much all Miami.

Once the Pacers cooled off a bit, the Heat immediately went into pull-away mode. Over the final 19 minutes of the half, Miami’s edge was 46-25. Over the final 11 minutes, it was 33-14, as James and Allen outscored the Pacers by themselves.

Allen did less pregame shooting than usual on Monday. He was at the arena several hours before game time ? as is his custom ? and got in a pregame workout, but once he found a groove, he decided that was enough. And after going 13 for 46 in the first six games of the series, the NBA’s career leader in 3-pointers had to believe that he was simply overdue to get going.

His first shot on Monday was a 3-pointer that connected, giving the Heat a 26-23 lead.

The Heat never trailed again.

By halftime, it was 52-37, with James scoring 18 points, Chris Bosh and Wade combining for 17 and Allen adding 10 more. And what had to be most troubling to the Pacers at halftime was their 15 turnovers, a number Vogel said earlier Monday would spell trouble if his team committed that many in the entire game.

And in the third, the run the Pacers so desperately needed never arrived. Indiana was still within 13 with 3:37 left in the period when Hibbert picked up his fourth foul. Ordinarily, that would mean someone goes to the bench, though Game 7 on the road for a trip to the finals hardly could be classified as an ordinary occasion.

So Vogel ? who was second-guessed for not having Hibbert on the floor for the final moments in overtime of Game 1, when James got to the rim easily for a game-winning layup ? left his center out there with four fouls.

Barely a minute later, it backfired. Hibbert picked up his fifth late in the third, and George got to five fouls by getting whistled twice in the final 46.1 seconds of the quarter.

By then, the outcome was obvious.

It was Miami’s night, and another trip to the finals awaited.

NOTES: Miami’s Norris Cole and Indiana’s Jeff Pendergraph were ejected with 2:17 left after exchanging some heated words. … Heat F Chris Andersen’s streak of 18 straight field goals made (he had been 15 for 15 in the series) was snapped in the first half. … Beckham, who is deciding whether he wants to bring a Major League Soccer team to Miami, was seated next to the Heat bench for the second straight game. Justin Bieber and Flo Rida were also in the crowd, as was reigning American League MVP Miguel Cabrera. … The Pacers fell to 2-4 all-time in Game 7s, including 0-4 in road editions of winner-take-all games to decide the Eastern Conference title. … Hibbert did not elaborate Monday about his comments that drew a $75,000 fine after Game 6, saying he wanted to focus on basketball instead.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/heat-off-finals-beat-pacers-99-76-game-032232249.html

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