MALTA ENGLISH COURSES and Language evolution in your Dictionary

MALTA ENGLISH COURSES and Language evolution in your Dictionary

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Do you fire up the e-cigarette if you’re feeling a bit meh?

Or maybe you leave the twitterati, throw on some jeggings or a skort and twerk on the dancefloor?

These are just some of the 500 new words added to the official Oxford English Dictionary.

And, perhaps surprisingly, ‘twerk’ is the oldest of the new additions.

Researchers found that the word then spelled ‘twirk’, was first used as a noun in 1820, describing a ‘twisting or jerking movement’.

The verb followed in 1848, and by 1901 the current spelling was in popular use.

Twerking, made popular by singer Miley Cyrus, is defined in the dictionary as dancing “in a sexually provocative manner, using thrusting movements of the bottom’.

Here are some of the new words:

Auto-tune: Device or software used to correct a singer if they hit a bum note

E-cigarette: A battery-powered cigarette-shaped smoking device containing nicotine

Handsy: A person who cannot resist touching others

Hyperlocal: Local to a very small area

Jeggings: Trousers with the stretch of leggings, but the appearance of jeans

Meh: Used to signal lack of enthusiasm, or a state of boredom. Popularised by The Simpsons in the 1990s

On-trend: Highly fashionable

Photobomb: To insert yourself into someone else’s photo uninvited

Twitterati: People who are highly active on Twitter, and tweet regularly

Webisode: A short online video of a longer-running series

http://www.bay.com.mt/index.php/world-news/293-feeling-meh-twerking-is-now-in-the-oxford-english-dictionary.html

An executive’s guide to machine learning

An executive’s guide to machine learning

Machine learning is based on algorithms that can learn from data without relying on rules-based programming. It came into its own as a scientific discipline in the late 1990s as steady advances in digitization and cheap computing power enabled data scientists to stop building finished models and instead train computers to do so. The unmanageable volume and complexity of the big data that the world is now swimming in have increased the potential of machine learning—and the need for it.

Dazzling as such feats are, machine learning is nothing like learning in the human sense (yet). But what it already does extraordinarily well—and will get better at—is relentlessly chewing through any amount of data and every combination of variables. Because machine learning’s emergence as a mainstream management tool is relatively recent, it often raises questions. In this article, we’ve posed some that we often hear and answered them in a way we hope will be useful for any executive. Now is the time to grapple with these issues, because the competitive significance of business models turbocharged by machine learning is poised to surge

What does it take to get started?

C-level executives will best exploit machine learning if they see it as a tool to craft and implement a strategic vision. But that means putting strategy first. Without strategy as a starting point, machine learning risks becoming a tool buried inside a company’s routine operations: it will provide a useful service, but its long-term value will probably be limited to an endless repetition of “cookie cutter” applications such as models for acquiring, stimulating, and retaining customers.

We find the parallels with M&A instructive. That, after all, is a means to a well-defined end. No sensible business rushes into a flurry of acquisitions or mergers and then just sits back to see what happens. Companies embarking on machine learning should make the same three commitments companies make before embracing M&A. Those commitments are, first, to investigate all feasible alternatives; second, to pursue the strategy wholeheartedly at the C-suite level; and, third, to use (or if necessary acquire) existing expertise and knowledge in the C-suite to guide the application of that strategy.

The people charged with creating the strategic vision may well be (or have been) data scientists. But as they define the problem and the desired outcome of the strategy, they will need guidance from C-level colleagues overseeing other crucial strategic initiatives. More broadly, companies must have two types of people to unleash the potential of machine learning. “Quants” are schooled in its language and methods. “Translators” can bridge the disciplines of data, machine learning, and decision making by reframing the quants’ complex results as actionable insights that generalist managers can execute.

Are we any nearer to knowing whether machines will replace managers?
It’s true that change is coming (and data are generated) so quickly that human-in-the-loop involvement in all decision making is rapidly becoming impractical. Looking three to five years out, we expect to see far higher levels of artificial intelligence, as well as the development of distributed autonomous corporations. These self-motivating, self-contained agents, formed as corporations, will be able to carry out set objectives autonomously, without any direct human supervision. Some DACs will certainly become self-programming.

One current of opinion sees distributed autonomous corporations as threatening and inimical to our culture. But by the time they fully evolve, machine learning will have become culturally invisible in the same way technological inventions of the 20th century disappeared into the background. The role of humans will be to direct and guide the algorithms as they attempt to achieve the objectives that they are given. That is one lesson of the automatic-trading algorithms which wreaked such damage during the financial crisis of 2008.

No matter what fresh insights computers unearth, only human managers can decide the essential questions, such as which critical business problems a company is really trying to solve. Just as human colleagues need regular reviews and assessments, so these “brilliant machines” and their works will also need to be regularly evaluated, refined—and, who knows, perhaps even fired or told to pursue entirely different paths—by executives with experience, judgment, and domain expertise.

The winners will be neither machines alone, nor humans alone, but the two working together effectively.

http://www.mckinsey.com/Insights/High_Tech_Telecoms_Internet/An_executives_guide_to_machine_learning?cid=Digital-eml-alt-mkq-mck-oth-1506

 

Will High rise help Sliema environment?

Will High rise help Sliema environment?

Get our advice for real estate in Malta for living and investing and go through our huge properties’ database in Malta and Gozo

Two proposed tower blocks of 30 and 40 stories apiece would help Sliema’s environment, according to Chamber of Architects president Christopher Mintoff.
“Sliema is a mess, its skyline looks like a bad grin full of missing teeth,” Mintoff said in an interview with MaltaToday. “One of the biggest plagues of the Maltese urban environment is the support wall [hajt tal-appogg]: blank walls separating buildings of different heights, with no windows or features. They’re hideous. Xemxija, for instance, is full of them. You won’t have that with tower blocks. And high-rise also puts more pressure on architects to come up with good designs…”
When questioned as to whether Malta’s recent high-rise craze boils down to ego, Mintoff admitted that Malta is heading towards a “culture change”.
“When you see one application after another, one for 30 storeys, another for 40… it’s a little like the [Donald] Trump mentality, yes. We’re heading in that direction. So yes, it is a culture change. It is a new architectural direction, but it has its restrictions, too. In our profession we are limited by a number of constraints. In the case of high-rise, it’s floor-to-area ratio that matters. You can only build 50% of the footprint, the rest must be given up as public space…”

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/interview/54527/high_rise_will_help_sliema_environment__chamber_of_architects_president#.VZDf1_ntmko

MALTA FASTEST GROWING EU FUND JURISDICTION

LOAN FUNDS, CELL COMPANIES, DE MINIMIS REGIME: MALTA FASTEST GROWING EU FUND JURISDICTION

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Malta’s reputation as a hedge fund domicile was established with the island’s accession to the European Union in May 2004. Malta regularly receives high rankings in benchmarking reports and the World Economic Forum ranks Malta above average for almost every metric in financial market development. Oliver Wyman recently analyzed all European fund domicile jurisdictions, and Malta came out as the one with the strongest growth.

Flexible regulation, transparency and good governance have long been some of Malta’s key advantages, as well as its status as a cost-effective domicile for funds, asset managers, fund administrators and for custodians catering to the thriving fund industry.

Malta’s banking system is well regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA). On 1 May 2004, the Central Bank of Malta joined the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and on 1 January 2008, it became part of the Eurosystem.

While this Roundtable highlights some of the strong points for Malta like geography, low labor costs, etc., what fund managers and fund promoters are really interested in is how the regulator works. Here Malta stands out for its approachability of the regulator and a strong drive to innovate, obviously within the larger European framework.

Passporting Opportunities for Funds and Fund Managers

EU membership positioned Malta on a level playing field with other European Union countries, and introduced passporting rights so that investment services and UCITS schemes may be registered in Malta and passported to any EU country.

The basic structure used for collective investment schemes is the SICAV, which offers a variable capital nature and the possibility to establish sub-funds. To date, this is the most widely used vehicle, particularly in the non-retail sector and it can be structured to include master feeder funds and umbrella funds with segregated sub-funds.

Professional Investment Funds (PIFs) retain their popular regime, targeted at increasingly financially literate investors. PIFs refer to the Experienced Investor Fund, the Qualifying Investor Fund and the Extraordinary Investor Fund. The PIF regime is a very attractive structure for non-harmonised Funds of 1 and Family Office Funds.

From licensing regime for de minimis managers to Recognised Incorporated Cell Companies, Loan Funds and SME financing

The creation of a new regime for Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs) is one of the biggest recent developments in Malta. But Malta also created a licensing regime for de minimis managers. The MFSA decided to regulate de minimis managers with a stricter regime than what is prescribed in the Directive. In the interest of investor protection and financial integrity, a licensing regime was seen as more preferable than registration.

Malta’s legislation also provides for the setting up of UCITS and non-UCITS retail funds. It has also created a private collective investment scheme structure, in terms of which the private CIS is subject to recognition by the MFSA. These structures are exempt from the AIFMD.

Moreover, a new vehicle was added to Malta’s repertoire of cellular fund vehicles in 2012, called the Recognised Incorporated Cell Company(RICC). Directly targeting fund platform providers, this is a structure which allows the RICC to provide, in exchange for payment of a platform fee, certain administrative services to its Incorporated Cells (ICs). This cell structure is meeting a lot of interest, more and more securitization transactions and structures are now set up in Malta.

In 2014, the MFSA has issued — again, as one of the first jurisdictions in Europe — a Loan Funds regime where funds may originate loans to unlisted companies and SMEs, and may also buy loan portfolios. At the moment the MFSA is working on finding new ways how for SMEs can to go directly to the market and raise funding themselves without having to go to the banks or prepare huge prospectuses. Sometimes the companies only need a little bit of money, and the professional fees will be more than the actual amount of money they need to raise.

The Opalesque 2015 Malta Roundtable, sponsored by Eurex and IDS, took place in May at the office of the MFSA

The group also discussed:

  • Why Malta retained the Professional Investor Fund Regime (PIF) after AIMF. Benefits for fund managers.
  • Doing business in Malta: High employee loyalty, low comparative costs, diversity of languages
  • Malta’s new private equity structure
  • Benefits of a real compliance culture
  • How to avoid having regulations going against their own objectives
  • Who is coming to Malta: An influx of people and companies – educational initiatives, quality of life

http://www.opalesque.com/RT/MaltaRoundtable2015.html

 

Productivity is falling globally: “Internet of Everything” is everywhere except in the productivity statistics

The productivity paradox is back. Productivity is falling globally, especially in the US and China.“Internet of Everything” is everywhere except in the productivity statistics

Those of us that are immersed in the innovation economy may find this hard to believe, but we are not, as a whole, actually more productive when we are in the midst of an innovation cycle boom. New technologies take time to absorb, refine and make mainstream. Computer software can be reprogrammed quickly. Humans can’t.

Optimists maintain that the official statistics fail to capture marked quality-of-life improvements, which may be true, especially in the light of promising advances in biotechnology and online education. But this overlooks a much more important aspect of the productivity-measurement critique: the undercounting of work time associated with the widespread use of portable information appliances.
In the US, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the length of the average workweek has held steady at about 34 hours since the advent of the Internet two decades ago. Yet nothing could be further from the truth: knowledge workers continually toil outside the traditional office, checking their email, updating spreadsheets, writing reports, and engaging in collective brainstorming. Indeed, white-collar knowledge workers – that is, most workers in advanced economies – are now tethered to their workplaces essentially 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a reality that is not reflected in the official statistics.
Productivity growth is not about working longer; it is about generating more output per unit of labor input. Any undercounting of output pales in comparison with the IT-assisted undercounting of working hours.

In the late 1980s, there was intense debate about the so-called productivity paradox – when massive investments in information technology (IT) were not delivering measureable productivity improvements. That paradox is now back, posing a problem for both the United States and China – one that may well come up in their annual Strategic and Economic Dialogue.
Back in 1987, Nobel laureate Robert Solow famously quipped, “You can see the computer age everywhere except in the productivity statistics.” The productivity paradox seemed to be resolved in the 1990s, when America experienced a spectacular productivity renaissance. Average annual productivity growth in the country’s nonfarm business sector accelerated to 2.5% from 1991 to 2007, from the 1.5% trend in the preceding 15 years. The benefits of the Internet Age had finally materialized. Concern about the paradox all but vanished.
But the celebration appears to have been premature. Despite another technological revolution, productivity growth is slumping again. And this time the downturn is global in scope, affecting the world’s two largest economies, the US and China, most of all.
Over the past five years, from 2010 to 2014, annual US productivity growth has fallen to an average of 0.9%. It actually fell at a 2.6% annual rate in the two most recent quarters (in late 2014 and early 2015). Barring a major data revision, America’s productivity renaissance seems to have run into serious trouble.
China is witnessing a similar pattern. Although the government does not publish regular productivity statistics, there is no mistaking the problem: Overall urban employment growth has been steady, at around 13.2 million workers per year since 2013 – well in excess of the government’s targeted growth rate of ten million. Moreover, hiring seems to be holding at that brisk pace in early 2015.
At the same time, output growth has slowed from the 10% trend of the 33 years ending in 2011 to around 7% today. That downshift, in the face of sustained rapid job creation, implies an unmistakable deceleration of productivity.
Therein lies the latest paradox. With revolutionary technologies now driving the creation of new markets (digital media and computerized wearables), services (energy management and DNA sequencing), products (smartphones and robotics), and technology companies (Alibaba and Apple), surely productivity growth must be surging. As a modern-day Solow might say, the “Internet of Everything” is everywhere except in the productivity statistics.
But is there really a paradox? Northwestern University’s Robert Gordon has argued that IT- and Internet-led innovations like automated high-speed data processing and e-commerce pale in comparison to the breakthroughs of the Industrial Revolution, including the steam engine, electricity, and indoor plumbing. He maintains that, although these innovations led to dramatic transformations of the major advanced economies – such as higher female labor-force participation, increased transportation speed, urbanization, and normalized temperature control – these changes will be extremely hard to replicate.
Indeed, as taken with today’s revolutionary technologies as we are – I say this staring at my sleek new Apple Watch – I am sympathetic to Gordon’s argument. If US productivity figures are to be taken at anything close to face value – a persistently sluggish trend interrupted by a 16-year spurt that now appears to have faded – it is possible that all America has accomplished are transitional efficiency improvements associated with the IT-enabled shift from one technology platform to another.

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/america-china-output-per-worker-productivity-paradox-by-stephen-s–roach-2015-06

 

Le dieci spiagge piu’ belle di Malta e Gozo : scarica la nostra guida gratuita alle spiagge

Le dieci spiagge piu’ belle di Malta e Gozo : scarica la nostra guida gratuita alle spiagge

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Un ultimo consiglio : non dimenticatevi di leggere  la nostra Guida completa di Malta  ”GUIDA DI MALTA : un viaggio attraverso i 5 sensi. Il giallo e il diavolo, mela!!!”

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UNI MALTA: a place to be for an European student

UNI MALTA: a place to be for an European student

 

Contact us to know the way and to attend an english course to get the certification required for the enrollment

Accounting, management, economics faculty most popular at university

1,741 students were enrolled in courses within the Faculty for Economics, Management and Accountancy within the University of Malta as of the 2014-15 academic year, more than in any other faculty.
The information was tabled in Parliament by Education Minister Evarist Bartolo in response to a parliamentary question by Labour MP Anthony Agius Decelis.
1,287 students were enrolled in courses within the Faculty of Health Sciences, 1,186 within the Faculty of Arts, 1.063 within the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery, 1,043 within the Faculty of Laws, 920 within the Faculty of Education, and 822 within the Faculty for Social Wellbeing.
410 were enrolled in courses within the Faculty for the Built Environment, 62 within the Faculty for dental Surgery, 475 within the Faculty of Engineering, 328 within the Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, 247 within the Faculty of Media and Knowledge Sciences, 399 within the Faculty of Sciences, and 182 within the Faculty of Theology.
In total, 11,476 students were enrolled in courses within faculties, institutes, centres and academies within the University of Malta.
The University also employed a total of 2,554 staff as of the most recent academic year, 1717 of whom were academic staff. Their salaries, allowances and bonuses cost €65,718,995 in 2014, continuing the upwards trend that has been present since 2000.

http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/54418/accounting_management_economics_faculty_most_popular_at_university_

Scaring Europe??? Forget Greece, Portugal and… are the eurozone’s next crisis

Scaring Europe??? Forget Greece, Portugal and… are the eurozone’s next crisis

In the end, they kicked the can a little further down the road. After keeping the markets on a cliff-hanger for the last week, wondering whether the Greeks might end up getting kicked out of the eurozone, a deal of some sort looks likely.

It won’t fix Greece, and it won’t fix the euro EURUSD, +0.0178% either. But it will patch the whole system up until Christmas — and that will buy everyone some time to concentrate on something else.

And yet, in reality, the real crisis may not be in the east of the eurozone, but right over in the west. Portugal is the ticking time-bomb waiting to explode.

Why? Because the country has run up unsustainable debts, most of the money is owed to foreigners, and with the economy still in deep trouble it may have to default as well. The elections later this year may well trigger the second Portuguese crisis — and that will reveal how the problems in Europe involve far more than just Greece, even if that attracts most of the world’s attention.

All the evidence suggests that, once the debt-to-GDP ratio climbs into the 130% bracket and above, it is basically unsustainable.
Back in 2011 and 2012, when the euro crisis first flared up, three countries went bust.

Of those, Greece is still in intensive care, and looks likely to remain so for the foreseeable future — the Greeks look willing to do just enough to stay in the eurozone, while the rest of Europe is willing to offer it just enough money to stay afloat while making it impossible to grow (it is a reverse Goldilocks — probably the worst of all possible solutions).

Ireland, which was always the strongest of the three bankrupt nations, is now growing again at a reasonable rate, helped along by the robust recovery in the U.K., which is still its main export market.

And then there is Portugal — which is not in Greek-style permanent crisis, and yet does not seem capable of a sustainable recovery.

On the surface, Portugal looks in much better shape than it did three years ago. It has exited the bailout scheme, leaving the program in May last year, after hitting European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund targets. The economy is starting to expand again. Gross domestic product rose by 0.4% in the latest quarter, extending the run to a whole year of expansion, taking the annual growth rate up to 1.5%. It is forecast to expand by another 1.6% this year.

If Portugal can indeed recover, that would be a big win for the EU and IMF. Their catastrophic mix of internal devaluation and austerity looks to have been a complete failure in Greece, but if they can make it work in both Ireland and Portugal, the reputation of both institutions could be salvaged.

After all, two out of three is not too bad.

The trouble is, Portugal may not be ‘saved’ after all.

The recovery does not look very durable. It is mainly is driven by consumer spending and a cyclical uptick in investment. But exports continue to fall, and unemployment is still rising — the latest figures show it up to 13.7% of the workforce.

The real issue, however, is debt. According to the latest figures from Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency, Portugal’s debt-to-GDP ratio has climbed to 130%. Rather more worryingly, 70% of that is owned by foreigners.

Some countries such as Finland or Latvia have most of their debt held by foreigners — but are in the fortunate position of not having very much of it. Other countries, such as Italy, have a lot of debt, but are in the fortunate position of having most of it owned domestically.

The Portuguese are close to unique, in both having very high debts, and most of it being owned abroad. Nor does it just end there. Once household and corporate debt is added into the equation, Portugal has more debt in total than any other eurozone country, Greece included (which mainly has government debt to deal with). There aren’t any reliable figures on who that debt belongs to, but it is fair bet that is mostly foreigners as well.

So long as the economy is stable and the government is secure, that might not be a problem. Portugal doesn’t appear to have that luxury. The government of the center-right leader Pedro Coelho has to call an election before the end of October. Antonio Costa’s Socialist Party is likely to make sweeping gains on an anti-austerity platform. If it wins the election — and the polls put it ahead — then it is likely to slow the pace of austerity, provoking the wrath of the ECB and the IMF.

If Podemos, the Spanish protest party, does well across the border in that country’s elections, it will embolden a left-of-center Portuguese government to reject the cuts in spending demanded of it.

So far, there is little evidence of investors getting nervous about that. Yields on 10-year Portuguese bonds have spiked back up to 2.7%, from the 1.6% they reached earlier this year, but are nowhere close to the 14% they reached at the height of the crisis. Portuguese stocks have recovered most of their losses suffered as the country went bust, even if they are not quite back to 2011 levels.

But they should be. All the evidence suggests that, once the debt-to-GDP ratio climbs into the 130% bracket and above, it is basically unsustainable. A country has to grow at 3%-plus simply to keep its debts at the same level — and there is absolutely nothing to suggest Portugal can achieve that or anything like it.

At some point, all those foreign holders of Portuguese debt are going to realize it will have to be written off, at least in part. Once that happens, there will be a stampede to sell — and the elections later this year could well be the trigger for that.

Right now, the markets believe Greece can be contained. Perhaps it can. But Portugal as well? That seems unlikely. Most people think the center of the eurozone crisis is in Athens — but it might well be in Lisbon instead.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/forget-greece-portugal-is-the-eurozones-next-crisis-2015-06-24?page=2