Computer-generated news on the increase

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By JORDAN SPARR AND CULLAN STAACK/Montana State News

Algorithms are quickly taking the place of traditional human journalists in many news sources across the industry.

According to a case study done by Automated Insights, an industry leader in producing algorithms for news organizations, the Associated Press is now generating quarterly earnings reports at twelve times the rate previously achieved without employing the use of algorithmic journalists.

The same report states that AP generated only 300 earnings reports per quarter before utilizing the new computer generating journalist bot. After using this new technology, AP started generating 3,700 earnings reports each quarter using the new software developed by Automated Insights called Wordsmith.

Wordsmith, along with similar products produced by competitors such as Narrative Science, are algorithms that scan massive amounts of communication on a given subject to replicate human language within the context required. More

Reactions mixed to MSU beer-branding proposal

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By JARED MILLER/Montana State News

A new proposal to brand local microbrews with Montana State University on local has caused controversy and mixed feelings throughout campus.

Recently, the idea to permit the school to put its logos and trademarks on various alcoholic beverages has been suggested.

If the proposal passes, the university would have to change its standing policy of prohibiting the use of school trademarks on firearms, tobacco, recreational drugs, and alcoholic beverages, according to MSU’s website.

The proposal has caused mixed feelings among students and community members alike. While several view the potential policy change as associating the school with alcohol in a negative way, some don’t see any issue. More

Workforce housing efforts considered in Big Sky

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By MICHELLE BURGER/Montana State News

A brand new housing opportunity for the workforce in Big Sky may just be the answer to the employee-housing crisis.

The new proposal, Penny for Housing, conquers employee-housing head on. This new bill outlines three major options Big Sky could go with in order to succeed, according to the Chamber of Commerce in Big Sky.

The first, allocating a sum of money every year from the 3 percent resort tax to pay for the new housing, is already in the works.

Second, a single lump sum of the funds goes directly to the new housing project.

Third, raising the resort tax to 4 percent and allowing 1 percent to go towards employee housing every year.

As information on this proposal arises, there are some who wish to stop it right away. Businesses already having to pay with the 3 percent resort tax are against the tax increase of 1 percent. More

Demand drives up liquor license prices

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By EMMA HAMBURG/Montana State News

 The cost of liquor licenses have skyrocketed in the last five years, prices have averaged anywhere from $320,000 to $800,000 in Bozeman city limits.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the growth in Bozeman, increasing demand, and low supply of licenses is creating a secondary market for buying and selling license.

 In light of recent issues, multiple conversations have taken place regarding liquor distribution in the Gallatin County.

Obtaining a license is becoming increasingly difficult, especially for those looking to start a business on a smaller budget. In comparison, according to the Idaho Press, a liquor licenses in Boise, Idaho on average goes for $140,000.

A recent remodel of a historical downtown building, The Taproom on the corner of Rouse and Mendenhall, has again brought attention to the licensing scene in Bozeman. More

Food waste a global, and local, problem

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By SARA SAXTON/Montana State News

There are 800 million people around the world suffering from hunger, according to National Geographic.

We could feed those 800 million starving people more than twice with the excess 2.9 trillion pounds of food waste we produce annually, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

During the month of April there will be four free showings of a movie called “Just Eat It” in various places in Bozeman. This movie talks about how humans waste 40 percent of what we grow and raise.

The producers of this movie want to know if the food that is being wasted in eatable and if it can be salvaged. A lot of the food that is being wasted is food that grocery stores consider to be crooked and deformed.

Food waste is not only happening in other parts of the world,.It’s also happening in Bozeman.

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Medical marijuana restrictions contested

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By ADAM SCHREUDER/Montana State News

Unlike the 23 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana, Montana maintains its illegality.  The efforts to keep medical marijuana available to patients have been ongoing since 2011, when legislators restricted caregivers to a three patient maximum.  This tight restriction forced many caregivers out of business and sent many patients back to pharmaceutical remedies.

“I just don’t know if I can deal with those side effects again. I don’t feel like myself when I’m on a constant cocktail of Oxycontin and Valium, or whatever antibiotics they think works these days,” said Trevor Swahn, a victim of Crohn’s disease.

Although legislators technically restricted the availability of marijuana in 2011, activists continually delayed the restriction through legal  appeals until .  Medical marijuana supporters were not shocked that the procrastination tool of appeals was eventually defeated by the legislature, but they are now faced with the reality of taking the now illegal industry back underground.

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Wine barrel-brewed cider a first for Lockhorn

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By NATALIE WALTERS/Montana State News

Glen Deal, the current owner of Lockhorn Cider House, started the business with the help of Adam Olsen, a carpenter, who became one the of the cider makers. Both Deal and Olsen are now looking forward to tasting their first wine-barrel fermented cider, which has not been named yet.

Currently, Lockhorn produces and sells cider flavors from bourbon barrels, but their wine-barrel fermented cider will be something new for the duo. Lockhorn Cider House is one of first cider houses in the state of Montana to prepare tasting a dry cider fermented in a 2014 Lodi Cabernet Sauvignon barrel, according to Lockhorn’s monthly newsletter.

A dry cider is traditionally fermented in an oak barrel, according to Olsen. However, Olsen anticipates that the new unnamed cider will pick up a lot of the oak and berry taste from the wine. According to Lockhorn’s monthly newsletter the Lodi wine is described as a “smooth, bold, full bodied, slightly tannic (acidic) and bitter” wine.

Due to the brightness of the wine berry, Olsen thinks that the cider is going to be “more of a magenta color, or close to a rose color.”

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