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Boston University’s athletic teams are scoring big where it matters most — off the field, in classrooms, earning diplomas.

According to the NCAA, which tracks graduation data of students on athletic scholarships at Division I institutions, BU’s Athletics Department earned an overall graduation success rate (GSR) of 94 percent for students intending to graduate in the classes 2003 to 2006. Women’s basketball, golf, rowing, soccer, tennis, and men’s and women’s swimming put up perfect scores.

Nationwide, the graduation rate for Division I students receiving athletic aid during the same period was 79 percent, although the national figure factors in sports such as fencing, gymnastics, bowling, skiing, and football, which BU doesn’t offer.

“It’s another indication of the quality of student-athlete we have here at BU,” says Michael Lynch, assistant vice president and director of athletics. “They’re focused on achievement in school as much as they are on the playing field, on the ice, on the tennis court. Our student-athletes graduated 4 percentage points better than the University’s general student population , which I’m really proud of.”

Terrier men’s basketball and crew, men’s and women’s cross country and track and field, women’s lacrosse, softball, and wrestling achieved GSR scores of at least 90 percent. Of BU’s 23 varsity sports, rates for 17 were reported, because cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field are compiled as one sport per gender. Women’s ice hockey did not become a varsity program until the 2005-2006 season.

Three BU teams earned GSR scores in the 80 percent range, including men’s ice hockey, at 82 percent, which Lynch says mirrors the national average. He points out that a few Terrier icemen leave school periodically to play professionally, therefore fewer graduate. Of 18 players on athletic scholarships during the period analyzed, two left for the NHL and one graduated beyond the study’s six-year time limitation.

“One good thing about ice hockey, and all our sports, is that when players leave without attaining their degree, we will encourage and help them come back,” Lynch says. “Throughout their career, Coach Jack Parker will keep in touch with them about completing their degrees. We’ve had guys come back after 10 or 11 years of pro hockey.”

Lynch is especially proud of men’s basketball. Nationally, graduation rates among men’s hoops and football players have been low, although those figures are slowly rising as a result of reforms. For all collegiate b-ball players who entered in 2002, 66 percent earned diplomas. For the entering class in 1995, the first year of data collection, that figure was 56 percent.

“While we don’t have football, our men’s basketball numbers have been fantastic, as well as our women’s basketball,” Lynch says. “A couple of years ago, we had perfect scores in men’s and women’s basketball, and the last couple of years they were in the high 90s.”

The NCAA’s GSR was developed to provide more accurate graduation data than that provided by the methodology mandated by the federal Student Right-to-Know Act, which calculates based solely on freshman matriculation, not including students who transfer in, not excluding those who transfer out.

The federal rate offers the only method to compare student-athletes with the general student body. According to those figures, 80 percent of the general Boston University student body matriculating between 1999 and 2002 graduated within a six-year time span, whereas 84 percent of all Terrier student-athletes earned degrees during the same period.

“We have a great support system in place,” Lynch says. “Our student-athlete support services group is top-notch, dedicated to making sure our athletes do what they need to do in the classroom. Our coaches follow up on student-athlete progress in the classroom and the community as well. How you do on the field is important, and we want to win, but we want to do it in a way that allows our students-athletes to achieve what they can in the classroom, too.”

Caleb Daniloff can be reached at [email protected].

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The Top 5 Exciting Real

The Internet of Things (IoT), and augmented reality, (AR) are often discussed separately. However, the applications are often compelling. AR and IoT could be even more powerful when combined in the same project.

Although such combinations are not yet mainstream, they are becoming more popular. AR IoT projects can produce impressive results if people have the ability to rely on both technologies simultaneously.

1. Enabling Real-Time Navigation and Location-Based Information

Mobile app developers must be aware of the customer’s needs and preferences as well as how technology can help them make the most of their experience. Brand leaders can capitalize on the opportunities presented by IoT or AR.

The IoT offers a way to gain valuable information about customers without being intrusive. Imagine a situation where a retail manager finds many customers first landing on a website when they say a smart speaker prompt.

The store’s tech team may develop a smart speaker skill to make it easier for customers to use verbal commands and find the right item. Voice-enabled device interactions could eventually replace chatbots and customer service representatives, according to some.

There are many other opportunities than retail. Factory leaders may encourage employees to use the connected wearables to identify which activities are most likely to cause injury. They could then make changes to improve safety. The possibilities for people to navigate in unfamiliar environments are especially evident when AR and IoT are used together.

One discount pharmacy chain wanted to place thousands of IoT sensors inside retail stores. They would then use AR smartphone apps to provide store guidance. People could then quickly find what they were looking for, even if it was not in the pharmacy. This would decrease frustration and increase the likelihood of people returning to the pharmacy.

AR IoT projects have been developed during the research phase to show what is possible. One was using dynamic and connected LED markers to provide safer walking routes in a smart urban area. A second portion of the discussion was dedicated to traffic management and accessibility.

2. Filling the Talent Gap and Training Gap

It is difficult to learn all that professionals today need through traditional learning methods like lectures and textbooks. The Internet of Things can be a great tool, but it can also pose security risks to companies that use it. A study on businesses using IoT solutions revealed that only 37% of respondents had tracked cyber exposures due to third-party entities.

Companies that specialize in cybersecurity education may be able to modernize their curriculum by offering AR-enhanced modules. When people move from training to the real world, they need to be better prepared to identify, prevent and address online threats.

Manufacturing is also experiencing skills shortages. Some leaders in this space recognize that AR IoT projects can close the gap. It could also improve training and make it more relevant for future generations. People will be more inclined to stay in their jobs if they feel that their workforce education is relevant and engaging. They might even invite friends to join them in their workplace.

Training with AR and IoT could help employees make better decisions faster. Many workplaces use wearables to monitor metrics such as their body position when lifting heavy objects or sitting at a desk. These IoT devices can detect problems and provide real-time instructions on how to correct them. This helps them to form good and lasting habits.

3. Improve Maintenance Calls with AR IoT Projects

The IoT has made it easier for company leaders to keep critical equipment running smoothly. Smart sensors can collect 24/7 data so that maintenance teams can spot problems before they become disruptive failures. A predictive maintenance strategy could save up to 40% from over-reactive strategies. Augmented reality with IoT allows technicians to view what’s going on with a machine from a distance without having to visit the site.

Augmented reality is often referred to as the IoT’s interface. If someone is working with complicated machinery, they will appreciate the guidance that tells them which part needs to be addressed. While the IoT provides that guidance, its sensors gather data to inform the technician of any problems.

This combination of IoT-AR was valuable during the COVID-19 epidemic. One company offered remote assistance to 200 employees in the midst of the health crisis. This allowed them to continue making service calls and not have to travel. Remote access to a machine with AR can also be a time-saving and cost-saving tool. This is especially important when the equipment is malfunctioning.

In-person inspections often require people to examine the problem, order the part, and then return to the place it. The process could be more efficient if AR and IoT sensors showed what was happening earlier.

AR and IoT can be used together to provide real-time assistance for newer technicians. It is easy to see the benefits of using AR apps to diagnose a problem and then use the checklist or manual to resolve the issue.

4. Use the IoT/AR During Emergency Evacuations

While people might carefully review the safety recommendations when responding to emergency situations, it is often difficult to apply what they have learned to everyday life. AR IoT projects can help people practice using a fire extinguisher, or finding safe exits by tracking their position and providing feedback.

Cloud-based IoT solutions can help property managers evaluate the real-time risks from problems like fires, gas leaks, or electrical problems. If the products are equipped with artificial intelligence, they can reduce threats. What is the best way to use augmented reality on these IoT platforms for this purpose? AR is a project that a schoolboy uses to create a green path in someone’s real-world surroundings to help him escape from a fire.

This tool can also point you to nearby alarms or fire extinguishers. This is vital as people can get lost in fire-related emergencies. The AR app will soon have a “rescue-me” button. The app would transmit the location of the person to firefighters to help them get to safety as quickly as possible. This would allow the person in distress to view live streaming footage via their smartphone’s camera.

AR IoT projects can serve multiple purposes, including keeping people safe in dangerous situations. One system can detect gas and send fire to connected sensors. It sends emergency messages via smartphones to warn people of the danger. An AR component then guides the person to an evacuation route that takes them from their current location to a safe area.

These solutions will be even more useful as taller, larger buildings are built to accommodate urban growth. These options can help to get occupants safe.

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5. Supporting First Responders’ Resource Utilization

First responders are responsible for arriving at the scene of injuries, illness, or other distress as quickly as possible. They have to figure out how to get to the destination fastest, as well as deal with weather and traffic.

The CHARIoT Challenge was a project that combined AR and the IoT in order to help first responders with their demanding jobs. The IoT component of the initiative increased situational awareness by providing previously unobtainable information. The AR aspect provided dispatchers with actionable data to support public security. The AR interface can help responders avoid traffic backups and make it easier to find the fastest route to the scene.

AR and IoT Can Make a Perfect Pair

The best way to combine augmented reality and the Internet of Things requires time and money. It’s good to know that both technologies are more commonly used and readily available in today’s society. It should therefore be easier to find viable use cases and technology providers that can help bring your ideas to life.

When considering exploring AR and IoT, people should have clear goals and expectations about the technology’s ability to meet them. This will make it easier for decision-makers to see the benefits of their investments and make meaningful impacts.

How To Win The Pr Game

I sometimes find myself amazed at just how some people approach public relations. Public relations or PR is all about one thing: enhancing a company’s reputation.

Consumers don’t expect companies or people to be perfect but they do expect them to own up to problems right away and offer a remedy, not excuses for what has gone wrong. Sure, the threat of legal action often looms large in slowing corporate responsiveness, but leniency can be received from the affected parties when a remedy and sincere apology are offered.

But it is often the little things that mess up PR or at least takes the wind out of its sails. Whether you consider yourself a journalist, writer or blogger, there are certain things you want to get from businesses when considering running their story or using it as a springboard for a fresh discussion.

Specifically, any one of the following points can spell the difference between a company winning or losing the PR battle:

Generalized Release — Sharing news via a press release is still an important way for getting the word out. So why do some companies send out their news without taking the time to address that information to an actual person and adding a personalized note? Never assume that your news will get read or shared if you’re too lazy to connect with key influencers. Anything less is considered spam.

Belittling the Competition — Competitiveness is to be admired, but it shouldn’t happen at the expense of putting down a competing product. Consumers are much more sophisticated than what you suppose and are looking for solid, factual information. If you have something to say about your competitor’s product offering, then do so by explaining how your product lasts longer or performs better under certain conditions. Brand loyal consumers don’t take kindly to having their favorite products bashed and won’t make the switch if you make them feel stupid for buying a competing product.

Say What?! — Clarity, brevity and common sense are attributes of any good news story. Your news wins if you make your points succinctly, but you’ll lose if you’re long winded, off topic or offer news that is not clearly defined.

As companies work to build up their reputation it makes sense to elicit feedback from a dispassionate third party first to see if a proposed PR campaign is strong. An idea hatched in the bowels of the corporate marketing department may make sense to the PR wonks, but do lasting damage if ill-conceived or presented without proper care.

Why Does Pseudoscience Win At The Olympics?

The newest sensation sweeping the Games is cupping, an ancient bloodletting practice originally used to purge chi. Nowadays, it’s typically extolled as a device to remove “stagnant blood, expel heat, treat high fever, loss of consciousness, convulsion, and pain.” There’s no scientific consensus as to how bursting capillaries with heated cups accomplishes this, but it can certainly have some medical effects … like possibly necrosis.

Coagulated blood from a cupping session. Wikimedia Commons

Nevertheless, the real heydey of Olympic quackery is long gone. For a while, from the 1904 Olympics’ Anthropology Days for “savage” races, on through the 1936 Games, which saw doubt that the black Jesse Owens could outpace the Aryan ideal, the principles underlying Olympics-related scientific theory was just eugenics pseudoscience.

As fascination with proper breeding waned, biomechanics started becoming the common denominator of Olympic progress. The high jump, alone, went through seven popular techniques before settling on the whimsically named Fosbury Flop in 1968, as the most efficient. External factors became more important, too. Running outfits evolved from three-quarter length combos to form-fitting duds. Carbon fiber bikes began popping up in the ’80s, alongside mens’ speedos–a far cry from the old baggy two-piece suits. Then, in ’92, Speedo debuted the s2000 suit that cut drag by 15 percent, which would later give rise to the 2008 LZR suit that would be banned for its effectiveness.

Michael Phelps and Australia’s Eamon Sullivan wore the now-banned LZR Racer swimsuit at the 2008 Olympics. Wikimedia Commons

Cupping may be making headlines, but by no means is it the extent of modern Olympic pseudoscience. Since 2008, the games have popularized kinesiology tape, which, somehow, “alleviates discomfort and facilitates lymphatic drainage” using slight lateral tension on the surface of your skin. Only, it doesn’t.

In addition to cupping, some Olympians are turning to acupuncture, which, although it has no evidence behind its use to treat disease, has been shown to reduce pain, (physical pain, at least)–regardless of where the needles are stuck. In other words, the placebo pain reduction of wanton needling is nearly as effective as precision pricking.

Then there’s the paleo diet, acclaimed by swimmer Amanda Beard, which comes with a good principle: “eat what we’re made to eat, and we’ll be healthier.” Except, hunter-gatherer diets came in lots of different types, with the general macronutrient split ranging from 19-35 percent for protein, 22–40 percent for carbohydrate, and 28–58 percent for fat. Not to mention things like widespread lactose tolerance show that our digestive systems have evolved alongside our diets.

Even icing sore muscles, a widely accepted practice, is often abused as an unscientific recovery panacea before going back into the game–though the Olympics are hardly the only culprit. Most evidence to date suggests that using it as a stopgap before returning to activity could potentially do more harm than good.

There’s more, to be sure, including Olympic endorsements of vitamins, which nutritionists generally contend are unnecessary for most Americans–and which decades of mortality rate tracking for at least 429,000 individuals has demonstrated are actually more likely to be counterproductive to health.

High-speed motion capture is helping Olympians swim better than ever. Graham Murdoch

Yet it’s hard to fault athletes. Through the last few games, more so than ever before, records have fallen thanks to small-scale engineering, from silica nanoparticle-loaded racquets to carbon nanofiber golf clubs, and Big Data analytics that digitize athletes, model their movements, catalog performances, and help formulate strategies.

When the best arrows in Olympians’ quivers are among science’s most abstract, jargonistic, and near-mystical, it’s not surprising they’d find pseudoscience indistinguishable–or perhaps even more plausible due to its seeming simplicity.

How Is Ai Transforming The Real Estate Business

With everything going online and with each possible stream of data available for scrutiny just like a distributed database, the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is growing faster than before. The seamless availability of information and management in the similar fashion shows the real transformation AI has brought into our lives. Machine learning and AI are revolutionizing every other industry be it law, medicine, education or real estate. The replacement of human jobs by automation has always been a topic of discussion. But before that one must have a closer look at the ways by which Artificial Intelligence is coming out as a boon not just for buyers or potential customers but for agents and real estate business firms. Real Estate is a territory which is eagerly seeking an integration with AI for desired and timely results accompanied by comfort. Virtual Access to Real Estate: Artificial Intelligence has led to a breakthrough in the responsive system for buildings. Smart LED lights and self-programming thermostats are a few examples of how the inclusion of AI can be seen. This technology will help in estimation of costs and come out with optimized structures. Having said that, there is still a lot to be done in this field to make buildings that are self-responsive. Tenant-Owner Interaction: Installation of smart technology in homes is nothing new. Brokers and AI: One way is to adopt the new technology to deliver an unmatched customer experience and the other is to lose your job. On one hand, AI provides integrated services with the requirement for lesser agents but it also puts several functional jobs in dilemma. It is absolutely true that AI offers the wide range of relative information to the potential buyer at one go making it easier for both the parties to come to a decision. But it can be disruptive when it comes to human jobs. It is efficiency versus jobs. Security Breach with AI: Earlier we talked about how smart homes have now become a thing and a virtual tour is more of comfort and how a stay office access to all the information makes the job less painful and more efficient. Amongst all these perks the security breach scenario and the danger of being hacked are some of the cons alongside. There are enormous risks associated with technology interfering our lives.

In 2023, IBM’s X-Force Ethical Hacking team conducted a penetration test on a customer’s building automation system and found numerous vulnerabilities in the HVAC system that would allow a malicious intruder to gain access to the enterprise’s central server, proprietary customer data.

The Future with AI in Real Estate: With the current level of inclusiveness of AI in real estate, the business has to balance the jobs and automation of the same. The benefit of efficiency and savings cannot be led to overpower the human jobs. If that happens, it will only lead to depletion of the hard-earned trust of the field in the market. Technology must be invited but one has to figure out a way to make space for it by not replacing something completely. Certainly, there are a few areas where AI aid is much needed like customer relations and customer services, employee management etc.

The Real Peril: Truecaller Data Available For Sale

Truecaller data available for sale

Report: Statistics from caller identification program Truecaller, such as names, telephone numbers and email addresses of consumers globally, is available for sale on personal online fora, as reported by a cybersecurity analyst that tracks such trades.

Information of Indian consumers, that constitute 60-70% of Truecaller’s worldwide user base of almost 140 million, has been marketed for approximately Rs 1.5 lakh ($2,000) about the so-called black net, the person said. Data of international users is priced as large as $25,000.

The program, which also provides payment solutions via the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) to its own Indian customers, denied any violation of its own database. On the other hand, the business said it has discovered cases of unauthorised copying of information termed scratching — from its users. Truecaller also provides a premium version, where consumers can look for an infinite set of numbers to the stage to get a payment.

No Break: Truecaller

“It’s been recently brought to our attention that a number of users have been abusing their account,” an agent for Truecaller stated in a statement. “In light of the event, we’d love to strongly affirm at this point that no sensitive consumer information was obtained or expressed, particularly our customers’ fiscal or payment information,” the spokesperson said in response to inquiries from ET.

ET examined a sample data collection that was available and discovered it contained personal identifiers in addition to users’ condition of home and cellular service provider. An investigation of arbitrary numbers on the Truecaller app came up outcomes that matched the information shared with ET from the analyst.

“The group was investigating the matter, and it has discovered a huge proportion of the sample information doesn’t match or isn’t Truecaller data,” the Swedish firm said.

Cyber specialists are of the opinion that such a massive chunk of information could only be retrieved by breaking up the database of Truecaller. “It isn’t just this information, there’s data available from numerous financial institutions. Organisations must take precautions, track the dark net and guard client information,” said J Prasanna of Cyber Security & Privacy Foundation, a Singapore-based firm.

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