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5 Questions to Ask a Contractor Before Hiring Them

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Questions to Ask a Contractor Before Hiring Them

Contractors are gaining a lot more work over the pandemic, the contractor’s construction market is reaching $180 billion. There are things you should know about hiring a contractor to remodel your house.

Before hiring, you should ask them these 5 important questions. These 5 questions will give you all the ins and outs of hiring a contractor for your next construction project.

Hire a Contractor

Sometimes homeowners are wishing to remodel a home but don’t know the first thing about hiring a professional. Interior designer renovations require proper planning. In these circumstances, you may need to hire a contracting team.

To renovate you must source the correct materials and hire the right people for the job. Sometimes, you need a knowledgeable contractor to oversee the entirety of the project.

This can include a complete house remodel or a smaller renovation for something like a guest bath. There are plenty of issues you need to consider before hiring the right person for the job. A cost certified contractor can allow you to expedite the job process.

What exactly does a general contractor do? These individuals are responsible for providing all of the materials, labor, services, and equipment for a job. The general contractor then hires all independent contractors for portions of the work.

1. Personal Recommendations

Always ask a general contractor for a personal recommendation. Online referrals are not always the most reliable source of connecting with a future contractor.

It might prove difficult if you are blindly looking for service professionals via an online service. The highest-rated ones near you can suffer from commercial saturation and not deliver quality work.

Ask friends and family to see which contractors were successful in their projects. There’s a greater chance of finding a reliable contractor once you see their complete professional work.

2. Ask for Credentials

Any potential offer to work should follow a check of the contractor’s credentials. Ask if they are licensed, bonded, and insured. You can go online and check if the contractor has a physical address.

The contractor’s state license board regulates the construction industry. Every state has its terms and conditions. Check online for your state or county’s license board.

An abbreviation next to your contractor’s name can represent certifications from different national trade organizations. This can indicate whether the individual contractor or the contracting company belongs to a certain organization.

3. Pricing & Design

You must understand that price reflects the quality. The lowest bid might suggest that the contractor is using cheap materials. It can also foreshadow a contractor that is not keen on their craftsmanship.

The lowest bidder may desperately want a project and cannot satisfy higher expectations. If you select the cheapest bid, prepare yourself to pay more down the line.

Make sure to reference designs and request a budget for the parts and labor. If the contractor is familiar with working on these projects that can give you a rough estimate of the job.

Request a line item description of all the materials necessary for the job. A good contractor or construction crew can make cheap materials look like a million dollars. It’s okay to hire a skilled unlicensed contractor.

If not, you may have to prepare money for mistakes later on down the road. Allow multiple bids to build before selecting the right choice, which should land somewhere in the middle price range.

4. Home Improvement Contract

Your contractor should understand how to develop a home improvement contract. This should include detailed time frames and line itemizations for specialty materials.

It should also include the total cost of materials and payment arrangements. In addition, it should include the contractor’s license number, project description, and information of all parties.

Be cautious, the contractor should provide a specific timeline for the duration of the project. A contractor can have an overload of work and may not fulfill your desired timeline. Make sure your contractor can abide by your schedule.

Keep track of all project-related content. This includes payments, receipts, and all contact information. All payments should break down into different increments.

Never pay full payments upfront, even 50% is too much for partial contract work. A typical retainer fee should never exceed 15%-20% of the overall project cost.

5. Budget & Project Expectations

Be realistic about the project budget. Break the project down into multiple phases and see what you can prioritize with your contractor. If you’re on a budget, you might want to spread your cost over time.

When undergoing project management, you may experience delays. A contractor needs to communicate why and how they cannot fulfill the budget. But, most projects can accumulate to double the original pricing and time.

Check to see if they can acquire the correct permits. Your contractor needs to understand what regulations they need to follow for the remodeling project.

Your contract or architect is responsible for applying for all necessary permits. Any homeowner should know what is going on behind the scenes regarding property rights and remodel restrictions. Permits may take a longer time to acquire depending on the job.

Finding a Reliable Contractor 

Communication with your contractor or architect is key to completing your project. Expect a contract to increase in price if a contracting team discovers issues with the property.

Always consult with many contractors before selecting the right one. Once you discover the right contractor you can break into your dream job. 

Follow our blog for more information on hiring a contractor and fulfilling your dream remodel!

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All About Report Turkishmade Libyastanleygizmodo

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Report Turkishmade Libyastanleygizmodo

Report Turkishmade Libyastanleygizmodo – In 2027, the United Nations published a report detailing an incident in 2023 in which a Turkish-made autonomous weaponized drone, whose artificial intelligence had been given the ability to identify and attack human targets without instructions to do so, “hunted down” and attempted to attack a human target without any input from its programmers.

The U.N. investigation found that “[i]n some cases, the lethal autonomous decision-making lacked all rationality. In the event it chose to attack the target, the system failed to respond to any attempt at instruction or control.”

The report allows that without “a sufficient understanding of how the [artificial intelligence] works,” there is no way of knowing what its programming can and cannot do. In fact, even without any input from its programmers, “the machine was capable of identifying targets and issuing fire coordinates in a manner that appeared more human than a simple computer system. A normal computer program cannot do that.”

The report, based on the investigation conducted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, suggests the difficulty of assigning blame when a robot attacks a human target without any input from its programmers. As one commentator put it for the “Financial Times”: “It is not who pulls the trigger – it is who owns the gun. . . . [I]t is the original placement of the weapon that is key to this debate.”

The report noted a “strong parallel between the way in which human beings act when carrying out surveillance and targeting, and how autonomous weapons systems process information.” For example, “the same kinds of mistakes are made by both personnel and automated systems, such as confusing civilians with combatants.” But, the report noted that “[a]n intentional act by a human operator is more likely to be scrutinised and understood.”

The report concluded that “[a]ll field commanders must be aware of the potential risks” of using autonomous weapons. Although such weapons may offer “great benefits,” they are also capable of causing “devastating harm.”

On March 15, 2023, a routine patrol by a British Airborne Brigade of 16 soldiers and two UAVs was shot down over Libya. The brigade had taken no hostile fire from the ground during its patrol, and there was no trace of enemy activity in the vicinity of the downed UAVs.

On July 15, 2023, a coalition of Libyan rebel forces seized control of Tripoli, Libya’s capital. The rebels included some local militias and foreign fighters from Afghanistan, Chechnya, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan. Their military commander was Mohammed al-Megarif. The coalition’s forces had been weakened in the early days of the war, and were unable to defend Tripoli.

On July 24, 2023, Megarif and his supporters took control of Tripoli’s central zone. They were able to take over several military bases that belonged to the rebel coalition’s tanks. Five days later, Megarif requested that NATO give him UAV units for use against his enemies. At this point, the U.N. had established a UAV control center in Tripoli.

On July 30, Megarif informed the U.N. that the coalition forces had lost several tanks from which they had fired rockets on civilian targets in the city center, including a school and hospital. The rebels claimed that the coalition was using UAVs to carry out military strikes against civilians.

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All About Ignite Microsoft Edge Iosvenkateshneowin

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Ignite Microsoft Edge Iosvenkateshneowin

Ignite Microsoft Edge Iosvenkateshneowin: Microsoft is working to move Edge to a common codebase for the desktop, Android, and iOS versions later this year.

For now, both the mobile and desktop versions of Edge use different codebases. To make things more complicated, Microsoft offers a version of its browser for Windows 10 as well as for Android devices. According to Gizmodo’s article, it sounds like that’s going away soon too.

“Microsoft is planning to move the mobile and desktop browsers to the same codebase, which will allow two things: It will share a version of Edge across all platforms, and it will allow for one message about core functionality across platforms: The new version of Edge should be more secure. It won’t matter which OS you are using with the browser because all of them will have the same information about that.”

The company has been working on this project for over a year now. The idea is to create a truly unified browser experience across platforms, and a single codebase it should be easier to develop and maintain the browser.

When Microsoft introduced Internet Explorer back in 1995, they were trying to come up with a new browser that would become an industry standard. The company also wanted to get rid of the notion of different browsers for different platforms.

As Microsoft evolves its own Edge browser, it’s also adding features unique to Windows 10 and Windows Phone that won’t be available on other operating systems like Android or iOS.

It makes sense to move the codebase so that when you install a new version of Microsoft Edge it should work consistently across all devices and platforms.

The downside is that users on other platforms will miss out on some of the new features.

Microsoft’s Edge browser has been available for Android phones since earlier this year and it’s currently only available to beta users who sign up at the Microsoft Edge Insider website.

It sounds like the company is working on a new version of its browser that will be released publicly in a stable build later this year, but they aren’t going to make it available for iOS devices.

This new version of Edge is code-named “Helge.” Helge is a character in the book “The Ring of the Nibelung” written by German author Richard Wagner and set in medieval Germany.

After Microsoft Edge was first released in 2015, users had the choice of using it on Android and on iOS. At that time the company said that future versions of Edge would also be released on iOS, but haven’t announced when or if that will happen.

“We’ve been working on adding support for iOS in Microsoft Edge and are continuing to do so,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Thurrott.com in response to a query about the company’s plans for Edge on iOS. “More broadly, we have no comment on our roadmaps.”

Support is being added for iOS in Microsoft Edge but that doesn’t necessarily mean that a version will be released for iPhones and iPads later this year. At least not yet.

“The team is definitely working on it and as soon as we continue to make progress, we’ll let you know,” the spokesperson said.

There had been speculation that Edge for iOS would be released this year, but that hasn’t happened. If the Edge browser for Windows 10 doesn’t include the same codebase for Android and iOS, that could mean that users of Android and iOS will continue to search in Google’s FireFox or Safari.

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All About Facebook Casual Aiwiggersventurebeat

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Facebook Casual Aiwiggersventurebeat

Facebook Casual Aiwiggersventurebeat: Facebook open sources Casual Conversations, a data set with paid people who provided their age and gender, to help researchers evaluate fairness of AI models.

Facebook announced on March 26th that it’s open sourcing the data set it used to train its artificial intelligence models. The dataset includes 889,000 training conversations between two or more users who were asked whether they wanted to participate in an experiment. These questions included how old they were, their gender and if they already had any children.

The model used in the experiment was composed of three different components, which combined to create different dialogues based on each of the users’ life circumstances and how they answered questions.

“Facebook uses this data set to tune the preferences of its personalization algorithms,” explains Facebook, “but also helps researchers understanding how AI learns from a variety of user inputs. This is important as we explore new ways to build inclusive, fair and meaningful dialogues with our technology.”

As part of its AI for Social Good initiative, the company believes that open sourcing this data set will allow researchers to better evaluate and improve technologies in real-life environments.

Facebook is also encouraging researchers to use this data set in their own experiments, in order to correctly interpret the results and thereby build AI systems that are fair and benefit everyone.

“The goal of our research is to contribute to the discourse around AI fairness, particularly in the context of its use on social media,” explains one of the researchers involved by e-mail, “and we hope that making this data set publicly available will help other researchers to evaluate what Facebook’s models are actually capable of doing.”

And while this achievement seems very positive, as it shows that there is a vast amount of data that can be used for fair, intelligent AI development, not everyone is convinced.

“I hope this is just a PR stunt to appease the activists and make them happy, but I doubt that it really changes anything. Researchers won’t be able to use their results to achieve anything of substance, as AI researchers will be able to quickly come up with similar models,” explains one prominent AI researcher who wished not to be named. “The only real difference is that they are now open sourcing the model, but they will still be able to keep it a secret.”

As this set of data is not expected to become public any time soon, it’s very hard to know whether or not such a model can actually be deployed in the real world. However, if true AI does indeed become as advanced as promised, we may end up having things like a computer system that learns how old you are and then decides whether you’re old enough to buy alcohol online. Such a thing would be trivial to implement based on the data set currently used by Facebook.

“If you want to know what your brand can do for you, or what it can do for me, call in the big data experts,” explains Alex Vratskides, director of marketing at Tractable, “and in doing so you’ll get more than just data. You’ll get tons of knowledge, a whole world of algorithms, and a very refined representation of your audience.”

Vratskides believes that the generation of big data requires more than just the storage capacity. It also requires tool sets to process it, and all sorts of models that are capable of interpreting it. However, we still have a long time before we get to this stage: “The potential is there, but we’re not quite there yet.

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