Woman Forces Minor Daughter Into Flesh Trade For Money

SHILLONG: A woman forced her minor daughter into prostitution to earn money citing poverty prompting her relatives to file a complaint on Tuesday.
The girl, who is pregnant and admitted in a city hospital, was sexually abused by two men facilitated by the mother.
This was reflected in the FIR lodged at Madanrting police station by the girl’s brother, Lapynkupbor Umsong, and her uncle Korishon Umsong.
The girl hailing from a village under Mawkynrew Block in East Khasi Hills District passed Class VI from a school in the city.
The 16-year-old victim stayed with a relative here and attended school in the morning and helped the relatives during the day along with her elder sister.
Last December after the examinations, the victim, third of the nine siblings, was taken away by her mother, Aitimon Umsong, from Shillong to her village.
She stayed there for two days and the mother took her away to the house of a distant relative in another village about an hour from her native village in Mawkynrew.
According to the relatives, at night she was taken to the house of a youth identified as Shngain Nongrum (22) and the mother compelled her to sleep with him.
When the victim confronted her mother, she was told to keep quiet and her objections went in vain.
The next day, they came back to her village and Lapynkupbor, a daily wage earner working in the Assam-Meghalaya border area, came to know about the incident.
The brother and his uncle filed the FIR on January 12. Police went in search of the accused but since they could not find him, his father was brought to the police station.
On January 16, the accused, the girl and her mother came to the police station. She told the police that her daughter was above 18 years. She had even threatened the girl to tell them she went willingly to the residence of the accused.
However, the brother of the victim produced the Baptismal Certificate that showed her date of birth as December 15, 2001.
No one was arrested in connection with the crime and from the police station, the mother took her to the village of the accused who again sexually exploited her and the next day she was brought back.
The agony continued as the accused came to stay in the girl’s house and though her aged father objected by saying his daughter was a minor, the youth ignored the plea. The father was also chided by his wife.
The relatives said no action was taken against Nongrum and Aitimon though the FIR was lodged on January 12. This prompted the brother and the uncle to file another FIR on Tuesday.
The relatives said following the sexual abuse, the girl became pregnant and after a few months, she was brought to another village in East Khasi Hills by her mother who rented a house.
It was when the girl was assisting her mother in selling betel nuts in Shillong that she collapsed following which she was admitted in Ganesh Das Hospital.
In the hospital, she mentioned her daughter’s age as 22.
The relatives said she was hospitalised for five days and after she was discharged, Aitimon brought another man identified as Hep on August 31.
According to the relatives, Hep entered the bathroom in her rented house and tried to molest her. When she protested and called for help, her mother told her to accept him.
After Hep left, the girl was beaten up for refusal.
The relatives said once the mother locked Hep and the victim in one room but the neighbours tried to rescue her after she cried for help.
The relatives of the victim said it was for money that the mother was forcing her into flesh trade.

[“Source-theshillongtimes”]

Why every big car launch has a woman next to the vehicle

Why every big car launch has a woman next to the vehicle

The power and drive of owning an A class car can only be more gratifying than the power and drive of possessing an A-class woman. At least that’s what modern day advertising would lead us to believe – the launch of every second vehicle is accompanied by sexily dressed women seated on the bonnets with their toned pins on display.

Last week Malaika Arora was one of the ladies behind the launch of a major car brand, where she was certainly the object of much attention.

She wore a black dress by Lebanese designer Rayane Bacha, with lace trimmings on the torso and the skirt. In the past, actresses like Priyanka Chopra, Jacqueline Fernandez and Katrina Kaif have attended car launches looking equally dolled-up for a night out while they stood near the extravagantly-priced vehicles.

Here’s a look at the reason behind to seduce potential buyers. What the connection is between a car and a hot woman is not exactly obvious, but it is evident that it appears to be a big hit. No wonder, then, that every major player from Audi to BMW, Volkswagen, Tata Motors and Nissan have turned to pretty models and actresses to get the message across.

Magda Kay at Psychologyformarketers. com explains, “Cars have been associated with sex for better sales for many years now. It is one of the products that easily link to erotic messages. Producers want their cars to be perceived as sexy, fast, daring, and so most of the advertising using sex, will work perfectly for cars.”

In case you’re wondering why it ticks, the answer lies in your brain – more specifically, in what’s known as the ‘old’ or the ‘lizard brain’.

This reptilian part of the brain developed over 100 million years ago and its chief goal is to ensure survival, and among other things, sexual behaviour. In an article called ‘Triggers of the Reptilian Brain’, Alex from Feedtherightwolf.org explains, “The reptilian brain is motivated by visual images, sounds, touch, smell, and taste… The visual stimulation is the strongest, since we process about 80 per cent of our daily informational intake through our eyes.”

What that really means is that when a product is linked with anything sexual, advertisers target the instinctive part of the mind to convey it as a desirable product. However, with the rulebook of censorship around, the game becomes to push the limit and keep it as risque without getting caught.

That is why when an attractive lady poses with a car – or a deodorant or even a glass of mango juice – the overly sexualised image with the fitted dresses, deep necks and pouty lips plays an important role in the overall message. The trick isn’t new at all, though – over a century ago, Pearl Tobacco placed the painting of a naked woman on the cover of the cigarillo boxes in 1871.

Needless to say, there has been no looking back ever since. In fact, just last month Scottish football club Ayr United decided to launch their away kit with the shoot of a model wearing the yellow and white jersey painted onto her body.

The sponsor’s founder Calvin Ayre has said, “We hope the pictures will give The Honest Men the boost they need for promotion and a good Cup run too. Mon Ayr! ” True, this is just the boost they would need to win. After all, who needs training, talent or even a half-thinking mind when you’ve got other assets on display?

[“Source-businesstoday”]

Sassy Woman or Machine? Tech Giants Divided Over Digital Assistants

Sassy Woman or Machine? Tech Giants Divided Over Digital Assistants

When users ask Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, what she likes to drink, she is quick with an answer.

“I have a thirst for knowledge,” she responds.

Her counterpart at Microsoft, Cortana, opts for a very, very dry martini.

But M, the digital assistant Facebook is testing, deflects the question. “I don’t have an opinion about that. What’s your favorite drink?”

As the tech giants race to build ever better artificial intelligence platforms, they are obsessing over the nuances of their digital assistants’ personalities.

For users, digital assistants are a gateway to powerful artificial intelligence tools developers expect to influence major decisions about what to buy and how to spend time.

The more tech companies can get users to rely on their digital assistants, the more valuable data they will accumulate about the spending habits, interests and preferences of users. The information could be fodder for lucrative digital advertising or a lever for companies to keep users locked into their ecosystems.

But companies are split on the best way to forge deep connections with users. Siri and Cortana are waging charm offensives, both quick to crack a joke or tell a story. Their elaborate personas are meant to keep users coming back.

Facebook has built M with no gender, personality or voice. The design bears some resemblance toGoogle’s similarly impersonal assistant.

While catchy one-liners generate buzz, a digital assistant with personality risks alienating users or, the companies say, misleading them about the software’s true purpose: carrying out simple tasks, much like a real-life assistant.

Facebook’s no-nonsense assistant focuses on handling chores such as ordering flowers or making restaurant reservations.

“We wanted M to be really open and able to do anything – a really white piece of paper – and see how people use it,” Alex Lebrun, a Facebook executive who oversees the AI team for M, said in an interview with Reuters.

For tech companies, the stakes are high, said Matt McIlwain, managing director of Madrona Venture Group, since digital assistants can guide users to their own products and those of their advertisers and partners – and away from those of competitors. Google’s digital assistant, for example, uses the company’s search engine to fulfill user requests for information rather than Yahoo or Microsoft’s Bing.

“That trusted assistant could function as my agent for all kinds of transactions and activities,” McIlwain said.

Research from the late Stanford professor Clifford Nass, an expert on human-computer interaction, shows that users can become deeply invested in AI that seems human, though they are also more disappointed when the systems come up short, raising the stakes for companies that make the attempt. And what charms one user can annoy another – a danger that Facebook and Google have largely sidestepped.

Nevertheless, the Siri team concluded that personality was indispensable, said Gary Morgenthaler, an investor in Siri, the startup that created the eponymous assistant and was later acquired by Apple.

“If you are emulating a human being,” he said, “then you are halfway into a human type of interaction.”

Google has decided it doesn’t want to take personality further without having a better handle on human emotion.

“It’s very, very hard to have a computer be portrayed as a human,” said Tamar Yehoshua, vice president of mobile search.

The Google app, making use of predictive technology known as Google Now, responds to questions in a female voice but has few other gendered touches and little personality.

The Google app does reflect its creator’s spirit of curiosity, however, by sharing fun facts, Yehoshua said.

Facebook has a team of human “trainers” behind M, who answer some requests that are beyond the capabilities of its artificial intelligence. The company hopes to gather data on users’ most frequent requests in order to improve M so it can handle them in the future.

That data is limited, however, as M is so far available only to 10,000 people in the San Francisco Bay area.

Despite M’s design, users frequently ask to hear jokes, a request the assistant obliges. Humans tend to anthropomorphize technology, academics say, often looking for a personality or connection even when tech companies intentionally have veered away from such things.

“When you give people this open mic, they will ask anything,” said Babak Hodjat, co-founder of AI company Sentient Technologies.

Siri’s personality did not change much after Apple acquired the startup in 2010, though she switched from responding in text to speech at the insistence of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, said Adam Cheyer, a co-founder of Siri who is now a vice president at another AI company, Viv Labs.

“He was right on that call,” Cheyer said. “The voice is something that people really connect with.”

Microsoft interviewed real-life personal assistants to help shape Cortana’s personality, said Jonathan Foster, Cortana’s editorial manager. The assistant’s tone is professional, but she has her whims.

She loves anything science-fiction or math-related – her favorite TV show is “Star Trek” – and jicama is her favorite food because she likes the way it sounds.

Such attention to detail is critical because humans are very particular when it comes to artificial intelligence, said Henry Lieberman, a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies human-computer interaction.

Companies must be mindful, he said, not to venture into what researchers call the “uncanny valley,” the point at which an artificial intelligence tool falls just short of seeming human. Users become fixated on the small discrepancies, he said.

“It becomes creepy or bizarre, like a monster in a movie that has vaguely human features,” Lieberman said.

iDAvatars CEO Norrie J. Daroga said he walked a fine line in creating Sophie, a medical avatar that assesses patients’ pain. He gave Sophie a British accent for the US audience, finding users are more critical of assistants that speak like they do.

And she has flaws built in because humans distrust perfection, said Daroga, whose avatar uses technology from IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence platform.

Some academics say Siri’s personality has been her greatest success: After her release in 2011, users raced to find all her quips. But some of her retorts have caused headaches for Apple.

When asked what to do with a dead body, Siri used to offer joking suggestions such as swamps or reservoirs an exchange that surfaced in a 2014 murder trial in Florida.

She is more evasive when asked the question today. “I used to know the answer to this…” she says.

Even in that response, Morgenthaler sees traces of the true Siri.

“It’s a little bit of a protest against the corporatization,” he said. “I don’t forget, but I’ve been made to forget.”

[“Source-Gadgets”]

‘Shamelessness abounds!’ Woman who accused Pachauri of sexual harassment responds to his promotion

'Shamelessness abounds!' Woman who accused Pachauri of sexual harassment responds to his promotion
Photo Credit: Eitan Abramovich/AFP
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On Monday, RK Pachauri, the former head of The Energy and Resources Institute or TERI, was promoted as the organisation’s executive vice chairman, even as he faces sexual harassment charges from a former colleague.

Pachauri is the first person to hold the newly created position of vice chairman, reportedThe Indian Express. His new job was announced the day TERI’s new director general, Ajay Mathur, took charge from him.

Last February, a junior colleague had accused Pachuri of sexual harassment and he was asked to go on leave. In May, an internal committee report found him guilty of misusing his position and breaking the norms of the organisation’s sexual harassment policy. The investigating committee also noted that the 29-year-old complainant’s health had been “adversely affected” because of the stress caused by Pachauri’s conduct.

But Pachuri was back in the office in July, after a court stayed the report.

The woman later resigned from TERI.

Since charges were filed in February, other women have also spoken up, recounting how they were harassed by Pachauri over the years. They painted a picture of a repeat offender who used his power to enforce silence on his victims and win immunity for his actions.

On Tuesday, the woman released this open letter.

Shamelessness abounds! The news of promotion of a man who stands booked on charges of sexual harassment at a workplace, stalking and criminal intimidation by the country’s who’s who makes my flesh crawl.

While a prayer lay in the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi seeking suspension of RK Pachauri (in compliance with the basics of the SH [Sexual Harassment] act so that my rights to work are unaffected), TERI’s Governing Council held a meeting around the same time because the man was looking to maintain his foothold in TERI. It was around 03 Oct, 2015, that I first heard of this from some current and former colleagues. I was sceptical in thinking that the organisation would not pour cheap, third rated oil to the existing smouldering fire.

I was so wrong!

I was then made aware that the esteemed Governing Council of TERI is due to meet again in the same month and this time, as per some genuine well-wishers, the plan was to throw mud on me as well as the entire process and thus facilitate a promotion for RK Pachauri. The Governing Council of TERI met twice within a month to address insecurities of RK Pachauri and could not even hold a meeting over my complaint or my letter to them (dated 03 April, 2015) nor could they meet to discuss the ICC [internal complaints committee] report presented on 19 May, 2015. They had the time and the will to convene two board meetings in a span of one month. This was very unheard of considering that TERI GC would only meet once every year per Rules and Regulations of TERI.

For a research organisation, priority was given to meetings held by Senior Directors and Area Convenors to corner my colleagues, to get them to have me agree on a reconciliation, saying things like “Ask your lady friend to settle out of court. That would be best for her as she has nothing more left to achieve.” Not a day passed without a message showing up on my mobile, warning me or bringing forth concerns. One told me: “We are hearing that ‘Victim’ has settled. I told them clearly that the complainant has not settled and she wouldn’t. But they don’t seem to believe me.” Another said: “They were asking me about your family background.” Yet another: “My computer is always watched by the IT Department because they know that I support you.”

The ICC was dissolved. The ICC president resigned from her job at the Institute. The external member of the ICC is a woman who has expertise in the said field and a novice was brought in as her replacement for matters of convenience. The current ICC has his people. TERI and RK Pachauri are inseparable.

Was I really hoping that the hostility would end? It only went from bad to worse.

The GC’s new candidate to lead TERI (into darkness) is in the middle of four court cases (yes, one ICC report snowballed into five court cases) and facing grave criminal charges. With such qualifications he is deemed fit to lead an organisation. If that was not enough, the Governing Council is considering giving him operational powers. Reason being, it is required for foreign funding.

Right, the act of persistence is best performed by a man who doesn’t understand meaning of the word “no”.

For someone in my position who has had zero support from the organisation, being made made privy to such developments was most disturbing. What in the world was I to expect and why would I risk more than what is lost already. Not just the Governing Council but others in TERI have shown where their conscience leans (if any). If quitting was not enough, TERI Media Executive went ahead and publicised information leading to my identity to the press. Those women who did not testify to the ICC were “rewarded” with unjust promotions in designations, projects and travel approvals (to name a few) and continued to remain quiet, remain involved.

I spoke up and was quarantined from work. Not allowed to resume work and no earnings for a long time. No money and a tainted Curriculum Vitae gave me sleepless nights. It was getting beyond my dignity to be associated with such an organisation and in the best of my interest, I quit. I felt most lighter in my mind and body on quitting TERI.

I deserved better.

I use this platform to further convey that the case stands as it is, I assure I will take it to its logical conclusion.

[“source-Scroll”]