Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 32 n° 126

Posts Tagged ‘alaska’

America’s census looks out of date in the age of big data

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 23 gennaio 2020

A DOG-SLED or a snowmobile is the surest way to reach Toksook Bay in rural Alaska, where Steven Dillingham, the director of America’s census bureau, will arrive to count the first people in the country’s decennial population survey on January 21st. The task should not take long—there were only 590 villagers at the last count, in 2010—but it marks the beginning of a colossal undertaking. Everyone living in America will be asked about their age, sex, ethnicity and residence over the coming months (and some will be asked much more besides). This census has already proved unusually incendiary. An attempt by President Donald Trump to include a question on citizenship, which might have discouraged undocumented immigrants from responding, was thwarted by the Supreme Court. His administration has also been accused in two lawsuits of underfunding the census, thus increasing the likelihood that minorities and vulnerable people, such as the homeless, will be miscounted. America’s constitution mandates that a census take place every decade so that legislators “might rest their arguments on facts”, as James Madison put it in 1790. The government has become more reliant on this knowledge as its responsibilities have grown. In 2016 census data were used to direct some $850bn of funding for programmes such as Medicaid, food stamps, school lunches and roadbuilding. The results are also used to apportion seats in Congress, as well as by academics, genealogists and even supermarket chains deciding where to open new shops.Population counts long predate the founding fathers. Babylonians recorded their numbers on clay tiles as far back as 3800BC to work out how much food to grow. In ancient Athens administrators counted piles of stones, one added by each citizen, to gauge military capability and tax revenues. And Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem after Emperor Augustus decreed that “all the world should be registered”. By the 18th century, reliable and regular population counts were common in European countries, and enumerators (as census-takers are known) were being sent out to colonies around the world.A decennial survey of every household, as has just begun in America, is a tried and tested method. It provides a snapshot of an entire population. Citizens can state how they wish to be recorded and the resulting treasure-trove of data is publicly accessible. But the cost and scale of such an undertaking is growing. America’s previous census cost $92 per household, up from $16 in 1970 (in 2020 dollars). China mobilised an army of 6m enumerators to roam the country in 2010. The UN Population Fund calls a census “among the most complex and massive peacetime exercises a nation undertakes”.Migration and changing lifestyles are making it more difficult to reach everyone. Renters are trickier than homeowners to count reliably, because they move more often and live in less stable households. One study projected that this year’s American census could undercount the population by 1.2%, rising to more than 3.5% among black and Latino populations, who are less likely to own their home.Is there a better way? For the first time this year, Americans will be able to fill out the census online. This risks missing hard-to-reach groups such as indigenous populations and the old. It also introduces unforeseen headaches. In 2016 Australia’s census website crashed, leaving millions unable to submit their responses and venting their anger with the hashtag #censusfail.Nordic countries have ditched the unwieldy undertaking altogether, turning to other sources of information. In Sweden each citizen is given a personnummer, an identity number linked to government data on individuals’ health, employment, residence and more. These data are cross-referenced to produce statistics resembling the results of a traditional census. Denmark, Finland and Norway take the same approach. As societies share more information, wittingly or otherwise, new statistics can be produced. Mobile-phone records, for example, have been used to estimate commuting patterns. The Netherlands, meanwhile, conducts what it calls a “virtual” census. This is similar to the Nordic model, but also uses small-sample surveys to produce data not already held by the state, such as education levels and occupation.As long as each citizen has a unique identifier, such counts are cheaper to carry out—the Dutch government boasts that its census in 2011 cost just $0.10 per person—and can be done much more regularly. But the accuracy of the data is harder to guarantee. Population registers are never completely up to date and anyone not already on them will be missed. In Europe, two-thirds of countries are expected to use data from existing registers to some extent in the next round of censuses. This is up from just a quarter 20 years ago, according to analysis by Paolo Valente, a statistician at the UN.Making such a change is a slow process. Bernard Baffour, a researcher at the Australian National University, points out that it took decades for Sweden to implement a fully register-based census, partly because Swedes had to be reassured that their data were secure. As he puts it, “When a doctor asks how much you drink or smoke, are you happy for that to be linked with all the other information on you?” Frank de Zwart, a professor at Leiden University in the Netherlands, also criticises register-based censuses for neglecting a key political function of censuses. For minorities such as native Americans, filling out a census is a powerful assertion of their place in society. A virtual census would deny them this opportunity. That said, self-reporting is far from perfect: 177,000 Britons implausibly claimed to be Jedi knights in the census of 2011.Even though Britain does not have identity cards, common in the rest of Europe, in 2013 the government tried to replace the census with other administrative data it already held. An outcry from MPs and statisticians forced ministers to shelve the idea. The public had rejected an attempt in 2006 to introduce identity cards, and recent scandals such as the harvesting of personal data from Facebook deepened Britons’ worries about privacy. Iain Bell, the statistician in charge of the census at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), emphasises the importance of public trust in producing official figures: “If people don’t want a single register of the population, we have to respect that and look to other sources.” Francis Maude, then a government minister, told MPs in 2014 that he hoped the next census, due to take place next year, would be the last. In 2023, the ONS will report back on whether this is achievable.Political rows over America’s census have shone a light on a function of government that most people consider only a handful of times over their lives, but the results of which affect them every day. Recording each member of every household seems outdated in the age of big data, whether the data are held by governments or private companies. But in this sense, at least, America’s federal government is not big enough; its social-security system is too incomplete, and other information still too patchy, to replace the old-fashioned head-count. Will Mr Dillingham be the last enumerator to visit Toksook Bay? Don’t count on it. (font: The Economist)

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Alaska Communications Awarded Multi-Million Dollar

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 22 luglio 2019

Alaska Communications (NASDAQ: ALSK) secured a pre-funded contract to build a high-capacity network in Alaska and to provide network services to a major international telecommunications carrier and its customer. The agreement is expected to generate significant revenue annually over the next 10 years with the opportunity to extend for another 10 years.While meeting the broadband needs of Alaska Communications’ carrier partner and its customer, the contract enhances the company’s network at key locations. Further, this pre-funded project yields significant upfront cash flows and generates long-term revenue.“We’re pleased to expand our relationships with telecommunications carriers and their customers to deliver high-speed broadband service,” said William H. Bishop, Alaska Communications Interim CEO. “We continue to win in the marketplace thanks to our proven ability to be a reliable, local, trustworthy network partner with a customer-first focus.”
Alaska Communications (NASDAQ: ALSK) is the leading provider of advanced broadband and managed IT services for businesses and consumers in Alaska. The company operates a highly reliable, advanced statewide data network with the latest technology and the most diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous U.S. For more information, visit http://www.alaskacommunications.com or http://www.alsk.com.

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Alpinismo: François Cazzanelli e Francesco Ratti sulla vetta del Denali in Alaska

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 2 giugno 2019

François Cazzanelli e Francesco Ratti, guide alpine valdostane, raggiungono per due volte in una settimana la vetta del Denali (fino a pochi anni fa McKinley), in Alaska, 6190 metri d’altezza, la più elevata del Paese e dell’intero continente nord americano.
L’annuncio del 30 maggio 2019, della ripetizione della via “Cassin” – una via che gode della massima considerazione nel mondo alpinistico – arriva dai social di Cazzanelli e fa eco al post di settimana scorsa dove la guida alpina di Cervinia faceva sapere di aver raggiunto la vetta del Denali con il collega Francesco Ratti percorrendo la “West Rib” (il 23 maggio 2019).
Il successo dell’Alaska Expedition 2019 di Cazzanelli e Ratti ha una doppia valenza: è importante in quanto l’Alaska è una terra poco battuta dagli alpinisti italiani, si segnalano infatti solo poche ripetizioni della “Cassin” da parte di nostri connazionali, la prima nel 1993 da Franco Dobetti, Bruno Dossi e Bruno Rota; la seconda ripetizione italiana nel giugno 2009, organizzata dal gruppo Gamma e composta da Giacomo Bianchi Bazzi, Roberto Chiappa, Massimiliano Gerosa, Eugenio Manni, Fabio Valseschini. Quella di François Cazzanelli e Francesco Ratti, è la terza ripetizione, del 30 maggio 2019, quindi a 10 anni di distanza dall’ultima spedizione italiana che ha tentato questa via e a 58 anni dalla sua apertura.
Ed è altrettanto importante in quanto la giovane cordata italiana ha raggiunto la vetta due volte in una sola settimana: il 23 e il 30 maggio 2019.
Il 23 maggio alle 21 (ora locale) Cazzanelli e Ratti raggiungono per la prima volta la vetta del Denali percorrendo la “West Rib”: partiti alle 12 (ora locale) dal campo 4 e raggiungendo la vetta alle 21 (ora locale), dopo 9 ore di scalata in una giornata meteorologicamente “pazzesca con il sole sopra un mare di nuvole dove in pochi secondi tutto si è ghiacciato” racconta Cazzanelli. Il ritorno sulla via normale è stato di tre ore, dalla vetta al campo 4.
Il 30 maggio alle 7 (ora locale), dopo una sola settimana, Cazzanelli e Ratti ritornano sulla vetta del Denali, per un’altra via, la mitica “Cassin”, aperta da una cordata italiana nel luglio del 1961 guidata per l’appunto da Riccardo Cassin assieme ai “Ragni di Lecco”. La “Cassin” è una via molto lunga, circa 2.500 m di dislivello dalla terminale fino in cima. L’arrampicata è varia, tra cascate di ghiaccio, tiri di misto ed una cresta con cornici di neve, mentre l’arrampicata tecnica è piacevole, su granito solido di alta qualità. Dal canto loro, anche l’altra coppia della cordata italiana formata da Roger Bovard e Stefano Stradelli, alla loro prima esperienza internazionale, ha raggiunto la vetta del Denali salendo per la “West Rib” lo scorso 29 maggio 2019 alle 20.

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Alaska Communications to Present at the 21st Annual Needham Growth Conference

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 6 gennaio 2019

Alaska Communications (NASDAQ:ALSK) today announced that Anand Vadapalli, president and chief executive officer, will present at the 21st Annual Needham Growth Conference on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 2:50 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (10:50 a.m. Alaska Standard Time). Additionally, Mr. Vadapalli will host one-on-one meetings on January 15 and 16. Interested investors should contact conferences@needhamco.com for availability. The conference will be held at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel in New York City, New York.A live webcast, including a slide presentation, will be accessible from the “Events Calendar” section of the company’s website (www.alsk.com). The webcast will be archived for a period of 90 days.
Alaska Communications (NASDAQ: ALSK) is the leading provider of advanced broadband and managed IT services for businesses and consumers in Alaska. The company operates a highly reliable, advanced statewide data network with the latest technology and the most diverse undersea fiber optic system connecting Alaska to the contiguous U.S.

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First National Bank Alaska Declares Dividend for Third Quarter 2018

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 1 agosto 2018

At the Board of Directors Meeting held July 26, 2018, First National Bank Alaska (OTC PINK: FBAK) declared a post-split cash dividend of $3.20 per share, payable on September 15, 2018, to shareholders of record as of September 1, 2018.This decision follows a 10-1 stock split approved at First National Bank Alaska’s annual meeting on April 24, 2018, effective August 10, 2018. It is the intent of the Board of Directors to increase the bank’s annual dividend per share to $128 per common stock, or $12.80 per common stock post-split, subject to continued favorable results and other factors the bank’s Board may deem relevant. Alaskan-owned and operated since 1922, First National proudly meets the financial needs of Alaskans with ATMs and branches in 18 communities throughout the state. In 2017, Alaska Business Monthly readers voted the bank the “Best of Alaska Business” in five categories, including the Best Place to Work for the second year in a row and best Customer Service, Corporate Citizen, Family-Owned Business and Alaska Ad Campaign. In January 2018, MSN.com named First National the most admired company in the state.

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The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 24 febbraio 2018

The Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation (“APFC”), the Public Institution for Social Security of Kuwait (“PIFSS”), RPMI Railpen (“Railpen”) and Wafra, a leading manager of private equity and alternative investments, today announced that they have established a new entity called Capital Constellation (“Constellation”). Constellation will provide catalytic investment capital to next generation private equity and alternatives managers and will be advised by Wafra. Combined, the founders will initially commit $700 million to the venture and Constellation is expected to deploy over $1.5 billion in the next five years.Constellation will bring together the expertise and capital base of three of the world’s premier institutional investors, spanning Europe, North America, and the Middle East. Constellation leverages Wafra’s existing capabilities to form partnerships with promising investment teams who demonstrate the investment and operational expertise required to generate strong investment performance and business growth.Constellation’s mission is to assist talented alternative investment managers in breaking through the challenges of initial fundraising, specifically by providing strategic and operational support and an aligned, substantial and long-term capital base. In return, Constellation’s unique structure is designed to generate consistent, long-term value for its members’ pensioners and citizens.
“We are thrilled to bring together three of the world’s premier institutional investors to establish Constellation,” said Russell Valdez, Senior Managing Director of Wafra and a founding Board member of Constellation. “We believe this innovative investment platform will be a key resource for investment managers as they launch and build the next generation of successful and enduring private equity, real estate and other alternative investment franchises.”“We are pleased to create a platform that leverages our shared competitive advantages of stability, long-term orientation, and scale. Constellation adds a unique source of value to our portfolio that will help us continue to deliver substantial and lasting value to the State of Alaska,” added Steve Moseley, Head of Private Equity and Special Opportunities at APFC and a founding Board member of Constellation.“Combining forces with leading institutional investors through Wafra will enable us to find future stars in the investment space. Looking for long-term partnerships should be a key to our success,” stated Meshal Al-Othman, Chief Investment Officer of PIFSS.

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Caccia Tornado in Alaska

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 6 giugno 2010

12 cacciabombardieri Tornado del 6° Stormo di Ghedi (Brescia) e il 50° Stormo di Piacenza, decolleranno per la base USAF di Eielson ( Alaska), per partecipare a due esercitazioni multinazionali: ’Red Flag’ dal 10 al 25 Giugno e alla ‘Distant Frontier’ dal 28 Giugno al 9 Luglio. L’obiettivo delle due attività negli Stati Uniti, anche alla luce degli attuali impegni della Forza Armata nei Teatri Operativi all’estero, è quello di addestrarsi ad operare in modo perfettamente integrato con  altri assetti aerei multinazionali, alleati e non, attualmente impiegati in operazioni reali. Tale addestramento è, inoltre un’occasione importante per sviluppare la capacità di rischierare a notevoli distanze dall’Italia, in condizioni ambientali spesso molto diverse da quelle presenti sul territorio nazionale, unità complesse capaci di inserirsi efficacemente all’interno di moderni contesti operativi.  La ‘Red Flag’ si configura come uno degli scenari più realistici al mondo nello sviluppare l’integrazione e la sinergia degli assetti aerei presenti per lo svolgimento di operazioni aeree complesse, con una particolare attenzione alla validazione delle tattiche relative al supporto aereo alle truppe di terra. Durante le due esercitazione infatti, equipaggi di volo e cellule di forze terrestri lavoreranno a stretto contatto, provando ‘sul campo’ le tattiche più appropriate per gli attuali Teatri Operativi. I Tornado italiani, presenti a Eielson nell’ultima versione First Upgrade, effettueranno in tale contesto sia missioni di penetrazione in territorio nemico ‘Air Interdiction’, che missioni di supporto alle forze di terra, oltre coopereranno nelle missioni per il recupero di personale in territorio nemico. All’interno delle unità americane rischierate sul terreno opererà un team italiano composto da elementi appartenenti alle forze speciali del 17° Stormo Incursori dell’Aeronautica Militare di Furbara (Roma). I Tornado opereranno insieme a circa 110 assetti aerei americani (F-16 nella versione CM e CJ, F-15C, A-10C, AV-8B, B-1, C-130, E-3 Sentry (Awacs), KC 135 ) alleati (C-130 belgi) e del Giappone (F-15J, KC 767, C-130)
La ‘Distant Frontier’, è un addestramento durante il quale i Tornado effettueranno sganci di armamento di precisione, attività di addestramento alla bassissima quota operativa e Guerra Elettronica all’interno del PARC (Pacific Alaskan Range Complex), un enorme poligono dedicato all’addestramento in volo delle unità americane. I velivoli  ‘Aggressor’, che dovranno simulare le tattiche nemiche più avanzate e quindi più impegnative da contrastare, saranno invece costituiti dagli F-16C+ del 18° Gruppo di Eielson con il supporto dei piloti e dei mezzi del Gruppo  di Nellis (Nevada).

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