An order issued by the public sector Jaipur Vidyut Vitaran Nigam Limited (Jaipur Discom), making it mandatory for its employees to use a newly launched mobile app for digital payment of their electricity bills, has created a controversy here, with the Congress taking up the issue.The Jaipur Discom has been trying to popularise its ‘Bijli Mitra’ app among consumers.Salaries conditionalIn its September 6-order, the discom directed its 16,000 employees in the 12 districts covered by its operations to give an undertaking that they have downloaded the app and started paying their domestic power bills through the new mode.“Officers and employees will be paid their salaries for September 2018 and the subsequent months only after they submit the undertaking in the prescribed format,” stated the order.Pradesh Congress president Sachin Pilot took exception to the discom’s decision and said it was a “whimsical order”.‘Autocratic manner’ “In this anti-employees’ regime, even the discom is working in an autocratic manner. You are free to accept online bill payments, but why are you targeting the salaries,” he asked.Jaipur Discom Chairman & Managing Director (C&MD) R.G. Gupta claimed that the decision had been taken with the “willingness” of all employees. “It is a convenient mode for both consumers and employees and is being liked,” he said.Mr. Gupta retweeted a message of a discom Junior Engineer, Umesh, in support of the decision. It said that if the discom employees did not make bill payment through the app, how would they suggest it to their consumers? The employees were already receiving their salaries through the digital mode, it said.Promoting appThe discom has also introduced a monthly lottery system to promote digital payments through the Bijli Mitra app. The lottery randomly selects 100 consumers using the app every month. The winner gets a prize of ₹5,000, which is adjusted against their future electricity bills.
Six children and a woman constable riding a stunt motorcycle were injured on Saturday when the two-wheeler slipped at a State-level Republic Day parade organised in Gujarat’s Palanpur. The stunt-motorcycle slipped after it lost balance and hit a group of children in the 11-12 age group who were part of the audience, said Banaskantha Superintendent of Police Pradeep Sejul.“Six children sustained minor injuries as also the rider, woman constable Rekha Gohil,” Mr. Sejul said. The injured were taken to Palanpur civil hospital and Chief Minister Vijay Rupani, who was attending the function, rushed to the hospital along with State Chief Secretary J.N. Singh and Director General of Police Shivanand Jha. The function was organised at a ground near the city’s Rampura chowk.
The first jallikattu — a traditional bull-taming sport of Tamil Nadu — of the year 2019 was conducted with 500 bulls in Ariyalur district. The event, organised without prior permission, was stopped midway and a case was filed in this regard.Bulls were brought by owners from Ariyalur, Thanjavur, Trichy and Perambalur.Close to 300 bull-tamers registered themselves and participated in the event. Ten were badly injured and taken to a nearby hospital. Gold coins, cycles and cots were given as gifts to the winners.JallikattuJallikattu is believed to be a tradition as old as 2,500 years. It is a sport conducted as part of Mattu Pongal, the third day of the four-day-long harvest festival Pongal.Temple bulls from different villages are brought to a common arena where jallikattu happens.Ban on sportOn May 7, 2014, the Supreme Court of India banned jallikattu after a 10-year-long battle put up by animal activists and welfare organisations like Federation of India Animal Protection Agencies (FIAPO) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).The Supreme Court ruled that flouting the ban would attract penalties and upheld the ban on January 14, 2016, when the Government of India passed an order reversing the ban imposed.In January 2017, lakhs protested at Tamil Nadu’s Marina Beach against the ban, after which the state government passed an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The events were permitted again after the amendment was approved by the President. PETA challenged the amendment again after which the Supreme Court said a constitutional bench would decide whether jallikattu is a cultural right.advertisementInputs from Shalini Lobo and Akshaya NathAlso read | All you need to know about JallikattuThrowback | Jallikattu: Protests to continue till permanent Ordinance is in placeWatch | Jallikattu: Protests to continue till permanent Ordinance is in place
World Cup ‘Ronaldo is irreplaceable’ – Real Madrid star sets Portugal standard for Silva Harry Sherlock 23:10 6/12/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal v Spain Portugal v Morocco Iran v Portugal Morocco Spain Portugal Iran The Portugal superstar is 33 and this summer may well be his last chance to win the World Cup with his country Cristiano Ronaldo is irreplaceable, according to his Portugal team-mate Bernardo Silva.With the World Cup looming, the Euro 2016 champions are gearing up for their first group stage game, a mouthwatering tie on Friday against Spain, regarded as one of the favourites to win the competition.Ronaldo will, of course, be pivotal to any chance Portugal may have in Russia and, with the Real Madrid superstar now 33, this may be his last chance at securing the trophy. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move Silva, who enjoyed a solid first season with Manchester City, believes that Portugal have a squad deep enough to maintain their current level, but he accepts that they will not be able to merely replace Ronaldo, who has developed into a phenomenon since winning his first cap in 2003.”It’s important that people understand that he’s irreplaceable,” Silva said, per Marca .”When he wants to leave, there will be a group with a very high level and I think we can maintain that.”I hope to be one of those players, I have ambition and obviously I will give my best to help.”When Cristiano goes, we will lose the best player in Portuguese football.”We will try to keep this level with the national team, but it doesn’t worry me right now seeing myself in the role of the fan’s idol.”These things can happen or not, but they have to be natural.”While talk of Ronaldo’s exit from the international stage may well prove premature, Silva insists that he and his team-mates are all trying to follow the example set by the former Manchester United attacker, who is refusing to rest on his laurels.“Ambition is [Ronaldo]’s strong point,” he added.”He’s a player that has five Ballons d’Or and five Champions Leagues, who has spent 10 years scoring more than 40 goals a season… All together it’s tremendous.”That he’s managed to maintain that level gives you an idea of what he represents as a player. The majority with two or three Ballons d’Or want to relax and enjoy the easy life, he keeps pushing for a higher level.”He’s our reference point, an example for everyone and we hope that he’s in his best form because only if he’s good can Portugal hope to achieve big things.”Portugal will also face Iran and Morocco in the group stage, as they bid to add the World Cup to their surprise European Championship triumph this summer.
Print Close My location 此页面无法正确加载 Google 地图。您是否拥有此网站？确定 zoom The U.S. Navy accepted delivery of the third joint high speed vessel, USNS Millinocket (JHSV 3), from Austal USA in Mobile, Ala., March 21.Delivery marks the official transfer of the vessel from the shipbuilder to the U.S. Navy and is a major milestone in the ship’s transition to operational status.“Today, the Navy received a tremendous resource,” said Strategic and Theater Sealift program manager Capt. Henry Stevens, “Millinocket’s speed, agility and cargo capabilities will be an asset to operations around the world.”Millinocket, the third ship of the JHSV class is commercially designed, with modifications made to suit military needs. The ship will transport troops, equipment, and supplies to littoral offload points over operational distances. She is designed to transport 600 short tons of military cargo 1,200 nautical miles at an average speed of 35 knots.“The JHSV ship class – including USNS Millinocket – will play an important part in the future of our joint forces in terms of affordability, flexibility, speed and agility,” said Rear Adm. T.K. Shannon, commander, Military Sealift Command (MSC).JHSV 3 is equipped with a flight deck and an off-load ramp which allow for vehicles and helicopters to quickly access ports and quays. Littoral operations and port access are further enhanced by the ship’s 15-foot shallow draft, ability to interface with roll-on/roll-off discharge facilities, and ease of access to austere and deteriorated piers. This makes JHSV an extremely flexible asset, capable of supporting a wide range of operations including non-combatant evacuation operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.USNS Millinocket will be owned and operated by MSC and will be manned by a crew of 22 civil service mariners. America’s Navy, March 25, 2014
zoom Qatar Navigation’s (Milaha) net profit for the nine months of this year ended September 30 has reached QR 363 million (USD 99.7 million) considerably down when compared to QR 759 million for the same period in 2016.The company’s operating revenues came at QR 1.66 billion for the nine-month period, against QR 1.99 billion reported in the corresponding period from last year.“The weakness in the shipping and offshore marine sectors continued to negatively impact our results, however, I’m pleased to say that net profit improved significantly quarter-on-quarter from Q2 and Q3. We believe we have good momentum going into Q4,” said Ali bin Jassim Al Thani, Chairman of Milaha’s Board of Directors.“We are naturally taking concrete steps to manage our costs, however, we also feel encouraged to see a number of new growth opportunities in the short and medium across our portfolio of services, which will allow us to strengthen our market position,” said Abdulrahman Essa Al-Mannai, Milaha’s President and CEO.Milaha Maritime & Logistics’ net profit declined by QR 13 million year-to-date. However, an increase in net profit was marked quarter-on-quarter, from QR 5 million in Q2 2017 to QR 70 million in Q3 2017, driven mainly by volume increases in container shipping and port services.Vessel oversupply and depressed rates that have impacted most of the tanker and gas carrier sectors in which Milaha operates, pushed Milaha Gas & Petrochem’s net profit down by QR 138 million.The pressure from oversupply and lower demand was felt by Milaha’s offshore business which booked a lower net profit by QAR 126 million, including one-time impairments of QR 57 million.Milaha Trading’s net profit declined by QR 5 million due to lower sales volumes of marine fuels and lubricants, while Milaha Capital saw a dip in net profit by QR 115 million due to lower held-for-trading investment returns and an available-for-sale investment impairment from the first quarter of 2017, the company said.As disclosed earlier in an interview with World Maritime News, Milaha is evaluating tonnage acquisitions across several sectors at the moment.Speaking of the strategic investment plans in vessels, taking into account the attractive tonnage pricing of both second-hand ships and newbuildings at the moment, Milaha’s CEO said he hopes to be able to announce some of these tonnage acquisitions before the end of the year.
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 9, 2013 8:46 am MDT Canadian dollar rises amid positive housing starts data, rising commodities TORONTO – The Canadian dollar advanced Tuesday as housing starts in March came in better than expected while commodity prices got a lift from tame Chinese inflation data.The loonie was up 0.1 of a cent at 98.4 cents US as Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reported that housing starts in Canada were at an annualized rate of 184,028 units last month, up slightly from 183,207 in February. That was well above the 175,000 economists had forecast.But economists sounded a note of caution.“While the 184,000 pace marks an improvement from the winter lull, it is still well below the pace seen late last year and continues to point to an overall deceleration in homebuilding,” said CIBC economist Emanuella Enenajor.“Indeed, on an annual basis, starts are down 13.6 per cent from year-ago levels.”Government data Tuesday showed China’s consumer prices rose at a 2.1 per cent rate in March, down from the previous month’s 3.2 per cent and well below the official target of 3.5 per cent for the year. Wholesale prices in the world’s second-largest economy declined by 1.9 per cent compared with last year.The showing gives China some leeway in being able to take further measures to stimulate growth, particularly if industrial production figures due out next week show activity weaker than expected.China is the world’s biggest consumer of copper and the metal was up seven cents at US$3.44 a pound.June gold bullion gained $14.20 to US$1,586.70 an ounce.Oil prices shed early declines and the June contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange closed up 84 cents at US$94.20 a barrel.
ALMOST €450,000 WORTH of cannabis plants were seized by gardaí after the discovery of two growing operations in Kilkee, Co Clare today.Three people are being held in custody after today’s searches by gardaí targeting the sale and supply of controlled drugs.The first search was carried out at a house in Lislanahan where about 200 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of €160,000 were discovered. Two people, a man and a woman both aged 23, were arrested at the scene and are being held in Kilrush Garda Station.A second operation was then carried out by gardaí in the Tullaroe area of Kilkee where about 300 cannabis plants with an estimated street value of €280,000 were seized at a property. A male in his 50s was arrested and is currently being detained at Ennis Garda station.Analysis of the drugs obtained is to be carried out by gardaí.Only last week hundreds of cannabis plants valued at close to €500,000 was found by gardaí at another property in nearby Carrigaholt, Co Clare.Read: Hundreds of plants seized at cannabis growhouse in Clare >
Not too long ago we wrote about a Japanese giant mech you could own for $1 million. Few will ever be able to afford that, but we might be able to claw enough money together for a ride on Stompy, a giant six-legged robot that’s being funded by a Kickstarter project.He’s 18ft wide, 10ft tall, weighs 4,000 pounds, and resembles a mechanical spider with six legs. If you can’t imagine how big that is, he’s so tall and wide a car could drive underneath him. His name is Stompy and he’s being created by Project Hexapod, a team made up of three instructors, one teaching assistant, and fifteen students.The ultimate aim of the project besides building a rideable robot is to make building giant robots easier as well as encouraging more people to get involved in robotics.Stompy is a work in progress. Part of him has been built, but the team need more money for materials as it costs around $6,000 per leg to build. The Kickstarter is only asking for $65,000, and if the team gets over their target they upgrade Stompy further. If they get to $300,000 they say they’ll develop a zoo’s worth of rideable robots.When Stompy is finished he will be taken on tour to a number of trade shows so people who pledge can ride on him or even take control of Stompy. However, you’ll have to pay out quite a sum to do so. To ride Stompy you must pledge $300 or more, while driving him costs a minimum of $1,000.With 500+ backers, Stompy has earned over $33,000 at time of writing. Hopefully the pledge target will be reached as well as some extra on top for upgrades.More at KickStarter
For Ed Woodward, the English Premier League giants are united and working together to get the best results possible in all competitionsManchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has insisted that there’s no division at the club.There have been many rumors about how Jose Mourinho has had problems with the different Red Devils footballers.But for Woodward, the club is really united.Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…“On the pitch, we remain well positioned in the Champions League, and although we’ve had a mixed start to our domestic campaign, the squad and manager are fully united in their determination to regain our momentum in the Premier League,” he told Sky Sports.“Over the summer we had a good pre-season tour to the US and while we couldn’t have all of the first-team squad with us, due to many of our players advancing deep into the knockout stage of the World Cup, it provided a good opportunity for many of our emerging prospects to experience being part of the first-team set-up.”“We’re looking forward to a number of them making the successful transition to the first-team, like many before them, including Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira of the current squad,” he added.“Our financial strength enables us to continue to attract and retain top players and to invest in our academy, as we look to drive the success on the pitch that the club and our fans expect,” Woodward said.”
TV and Movies Culture Then comes a cackle Star Wars fans know well — Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid). Could the true evil of the galaxy, Darth Sidious himself, be back decades after Darth Vader threw him to his death on the Death Star in Return of the Jedi?McDiarmid stepped onto the Celebration Chicago stage after the trailer ended, apparently confirming Palpatine’s return. “Roll it again,” he said in the signature croak he gave Palpatine.The actor made a fun reference to this moment during Monday’s panel celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace, where he played a younger version of the character.”Friday, I just happened to be in the area,” McDiarmid said. “So I thought I should just drop in for a laugh.”The title, first teaser trailer and more details were revealed as director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and cast members took the stage to deliver delicious hints about the movie.Abrams said he’s currently in the editing and visual effects stage of the film, but did give a plot tease.”This movie, it’s about this new generation, and what they’ve inherited, the light and the dark,” Abrams said, seeming to reference Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe (Oscar Issac) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).A first look at the start of an adventure from Star Wars Episode 9. Star Wars Abrams noted that the new film will not take place immediately after The Last Jedi — some time has passed — but that Carrie Fisher’s Leia Organa will be a part of the story as previously confirmed.”You don’t recast that part and you don’t have her disappear,” Abrams said, noting that the team found a way to work with her even though she’s no longer with us. “What if we could write scenes around her,” the director said, regarding the process of finding a way to include Leia in the film.J.J. Abrams noted that despite Carrie Fisher no longer being with us, he worked with her a lot for Episode 9. Star Wars Legacy cast member Billy Dee Williams took the stage to note his Lando character has never left him, and that joining the new movie was a surprise. We also got a shot of Lando in one of his signature flashy outfits.”I get sick and tired of getting accused of betraying Han Solo … he was up against Darth Vader, he had to figure something out! By the way, did anybody die?” Williams quipped on stage. 41 Photos Naomi Ackie joined the stage with the cast to reveal her new character Jannah. While very little is known, she did tease that her character will be on a “wicked” adventure. When moderator Stephen Colbert asked if Jannah is Lando’s daughter as has been rumored, she neither confirmed nor denied.”Lando is a very charming man, so he can have children all over the universe,” Ackie teased.John Boyega revealed that thanks to the time jump, Finn is now going to be a full-fledged Resistance fighter, with a new haircut to boot.Finn and Poe having a light moment in Episode 9. Star Wars But regarding his longtime nemesis Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), Boyega confirmed he has closure. “Phasma, yeah, she dead,” Boyega said.Could the actor be faking us out?Oscar Isaac’s Poe is seen being close to his bestie Finn in a new photo from the film, with Isaac noting that Poe is very serious about their friendship.Daisy Ridley’s Rey in a new outfit for Episode 9. Star Wars A new outfit for Rey was revealed when Daisy Ridley spoke during Star Wars Celebration, with the actress noting that Rey may not have read all of the Jedi texts she took from Ahch-To.”As we saw those books are pretty large, she may have started,” Ridley teased. She deflected questions about whether she has any new Force powers, though.Ridley did reveal though that Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber did survive the events of The Last Jedi, so looks like that legendary blade — made by Anakin Skywalker during The Clone Wars and passed down through generations — is coming back into play after splitting in half in Snoke’s throne room.Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren in Episode 9. Star Wars And a look at Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren was also teased, with Ridley revealing that scenes involving Kylo will keep the character clothed, as opposed to the shirtless telepathic conversations the two had in The Last Jedi. However the two likely will keep some version of their personal connection, although Ridley couldn’t say much.”I guess the Kylo and Rey thing … we’ll have to see,” she said. Meet new droid Dio. Star Wars And BB-8 will have a new friend in the form of the droid Dio, who rolled out onto the Celebration Chicago stage.Of course, Hamill himself had a cheeky tweet ready for the title reveal. Tags More on Star Wars: Episode 9 “It’s not #EpisodeIXFromHisNap or even my suggestion: #EpisodeIXABunchMoreStuffHappens- It’#EpisodeIXTheRiseOfSkywalker!” he wrote. “It’s time for the 8 months of speculation to begin. Is that Skywalker KYLO? LEIA? ANAKIN? LUKE? A previously unknown SKYWALKER? Is REY a Skywalker? #CoolTitle”Star Wars: Episode 9 premieres Dec. 19 in the UK and Dec. 20 in the US and Australia, If you want to catch up or revisit the saga in the meantime, check out our guide to watching all the movies online in chronological order.Celebration Chicago runs through Monday. Here’s what you should expect from the rest of the weekend. Star Wars Celebration Chicago cosplay Now playing: Watch this: Comments 3 Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker is coming to theaters in December. Star Wars The circle is complete. Lucasfilm revealed Star Wars Episode 9’s title, The Rise of Skywalker, on Friday to kick off Star Wars Celebration Chicago.The Rise of Skywalker trailer opens with Rey standing in the desert. “Every generation has a legend,” it reads, echoing the 1998 trailer for The Phantom Menace.Then, a hint Rey may be in communication with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).”We have passed on all we know, a thousand generations live in you now,” Luke says in a voiceover. “But this is your fight.”Rey is then seen speed-wielding her blue lightsaber (seemingly repaired after The Last Jedi) and backflipping onto a ship that looks a lot like Kylo Ren’s TIE Silencer. We don’t see his face in the cockpit though.Further shots show Kylo repairing his helmet; a quick look at a laughing older Lando Calrissian on the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca; Finn and Poe in the desert; BB-8 with cute new droid Dio; Rey embracing Leia; and what look to be remnants of a destroyed Death Star battle station.”No one’s ever really gone,” Skywalker says, just before we learn that might apply to the light and dark sides of the Force. It’s not #EpisodeIXFromHisNap or even my suggestion: #EpisodeIXABunchMoreStuffHappens- It’#EpisodeIXTheRiseOfSkywalker! It’s time for the 8 months of speculation to begin. Is that Skywalker KYLO? LEIA? ANAKIN? LUKE? A previously unknown SKYWALKER? Is REY a Skywalker? #CoolTitle👍 https://t.co/avfffLvC1z— Mark Hamill (@HamillHimself) April 12, 2019 2:04 Share your voice Star Wars Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker trailer tees… Disney Star Wars Rise of Skywalker sees Emperor Palpatine rise again Meet new Star Wars character Jannah Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is a galactically stupid title
US President Donald Trump (L) congratulating Senior Counselor to the President Stephen Bannon during the swearing-in of senior staff in the East Room of the White House. AFP file photoSteve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, has lost his seat on the powerful National Security Council in a high-level White House shakeup.Trump’s elevation of Bannon to a permanent spot on the NSC had been widely criticized as injecting politics into White House deliberations on sensitive defense, foreign policy and intelligence matters.The move revealed Wednesday was seen as a setback for Bannon, the controversial former head of the far-right media website Breitbart, who is one of Trump’s most trusted advisors and sometimes dubbed the real power in the White House.And it appeared to boost recently appointed National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, who is putting his own stamp on the crucial advisory body.Trump made no statement on the shift, but Bannon described it as part of a process of getting the council under control after it grew rapidly under president Barack Obama’s national security advisor, Susan Rice.“Susan Rice operationalized the NSC during the last administration so I was put on NSC to ensure it was ‘de-operationalized.’ General McMaster has NSC back to its proper function,” Bannon said in a statement.Normally out of the news, the NSC has been the focus of uncommon controversy in the first months of the administration.Trump’s first national security advisor, Michael Flynn, was forced out in February after he made misleading statements about conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak after the election.The White House then struggled to replace Flynn, with potential candidates wary of political infighting and staffing issues. On February 20 Trump tapped respected Army lieutenant general McMaster, promising him “full authority” to hire his own staff.Power figure behind TrumpAs chief White House strategist, Bannon has helped shape into policy the nationalist and anti-government ideas that helped propel Trump to the White House.He is closely tied to the sharp turn away from several decades of an expansive, globalist US foreign policy since Trump became president on January 20.Bannon’s inclusion in the NSC at the end of January raised concerns that the critical reports and recommendations that US spy and defense agencies present to the president could be politicized. The move had come as Trump leveled strong attacks on the intelligence community over leaks to the media.Little seen or heard from in public, Bannon appeared to have an impact on most aspects of administration policy. One of his mantras has been to “blow up Washington,” which he viewed as a city of calcified elites.“What we are witnessing now is the birth of a new political order,” he told the Washington Post as the new government took office.Critics assailed his influence. Time magazine called him “The Great Manipulator” and others dubbed him “President Bannon.”Despite the loss of his NSC seat, he will likely remain a powerful figure behind Trump. He was reportedly working this week on a new health care plan after Congress failed to repeal Obama’s landmark Affordable Care Act, as Trump has promised.Return to orderIn a presidential order issued Tuesday, Bannon’s position, assistant to the president and chief strategist, was removed from the list of NSC members and its principals committee, which includes several top cabinet, military and intelligence officials.At the same time, the director of National Intelligence, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon’s Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Secretary of Energy were restored to the principals committee after being left out in the January configuration.The move to drop Bannon garnered approval from both political parties. Republic Senator John McCain told Politico it was a “good move.”“I said at the time that I didn’t think a political adviser should be a member of that body because it’s never been, so I think it’s the right thing to do,” he said.Democratic Representative Eliot Engel called the move “long overdue.”“Steve Bannon should never have been on the National Security Council in the first place,” he said.
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals This story originally appeared on PCMag Register Now » Move over, GoPro: Facebook just unveiled its own 360-degree video capture system — and you can make it yourself.Designed by the social network, the Facebook Surround 360 video camera and software system is meant to produce spherical, 3-D content. The rig boasts 17 synchronized cameras: 14 along its edge, plus one fish-eye camera at the top and two on the bottom.Image credit: GoProFacebook will not be selling this rig; instead the social network plans to release the designs on GitHub this summer. In a Tuesday post, Facebook Engineering Director Brian Cabral said the company is open-sourcing the camera and its software to “accelerate the growth of the 3D-360 ecosystem.””In designing this camera, we wanted to create a professional-grade end-to-end system that would capture, edit, and render high-quality 3D-360 video,” Cabral wrote. “In doing so, we hoped to meaningfully contribute to the 3D-360 camera landscape by creating a system that would enable more VR content producers and artists to start producing 3D-360 video.”When Facebook first started this project, all the existing 3-D-360 video cameras on the market were either proprietary, so the community could not access their designs; available by special request; or simply “unreliable,” Cabral wrote. Most, he said, would overheat, plus the rigs weren’t sturdy, and stitching had to be done by hand. The Facebook Surround 360 camera, he said, solves these issues.Facebook’s stitching and rendering software, for instance “drastically reduces post-production time,” by stitching your content into one seamless video for you. In other words, what used to take weeks to do manually can now be done by Facebook’s algorithm overnight.Image credit: GoProThe system exports 4K, 6K and 8K video for each eye. Facebook said the output file can be viewed on VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and Gear VR, and can, of course, also be shared on its News Feed.Just don’t expect this rig to come cheap. Fast Company reported that it will cost “at least $25,000 to build.” That cost could go up to around $30,000, depending on the components you use.The news comes as Facebook is rolling out a number of new features for its Live video service, including the ability to go live in Facebook groups and events, add filters to your stream, and post varied reactions as a viewer. The new features will be rolling out on iOS and Android “over the coming weeks,” so if you don’t see them right away just sit tight. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 3 min read April 13, 2016
Researchers took an off-the-shelf robot arm and programmed it with a “self image.” (Credit: Kwiatkowski and Lipson, Sci. Robot. 4, eaau9354 (2019))In The Matrix, Morpheus tells Neo that their digital appearance is based on their “residual self-image.” That is, the characters look how they imagine themselves to look, based on their own mental models of themselves.In the real world, scientists have been trying to teach robots that trick as well. That’s because, unlike the warring machines of the matrix, a real-life robot with an accurate self-image might benefit humanity. It’d allow for faster programming and more accurate self-planning, and help a device self-diagnose when something’s gone wrong. It could even help a robot adapt to any damage it sustains.And on Wednesday, a pair of scientists from Columbia University said they’d given a robotic arm this self-awareness, and, in the process, new potential to learn. Their research is published in the journal Science Robotics.A Robot Arm’s Self-ImageThe paper’s surprisingly readable, and its abstract reads, in its entirety: “A robot modeled itself without prior knowledge of physics or its shape and used the self-model to perform tasks and detect self-damage.” (Sounds like a Netflix movie description … I’d watch it!)The researchers bought a standard model of robotic arm — the intimidatingly named WidowX — and taught it to visualize itself. They ran it through 1,000 random trajectories, and, basically, had it observe what happened: how certain movements felt, what was possible, what was inefficient, everything. The authors even compared it to a human first learning the capabilities of its own limbs, writing, “This step is not unlike a babbling baby observing its hands.”Armed with all that data, the robot used deep learning to generate its own self-image, i.e., an accurate model of itself. It took a while, with the initial models generated being way off the mark, but after about 34 hours of training, the self-model was accurate to within 4 centimeters. That was good enough to allow it to become an expert at picking up and moving small balls around — a typical stand-in for robotic dexterity. The robot’s self-image was good enough that, without any further training, it could perform a totally different task: handwriting a word with a marker. (The robotic arm says “hi,” by the way.)Bigger Robot ThingsThen, to simulate a sudden injury or bit of damage, the researchers replaced the arm the robot had been using with one that was slightly longer and deformed. The machine quickly updated its self-image to account for the new situation, and was soon back to performing the same tasks with about the same level of accuracy.Overall, the authors make a convincing case that getting robots to create accurate self-images may be the best way to create accurate, self-diagnosing and efficient machines. “Self-imaging will be key to allowing robots to move away from the confinements of so-called narrow AI toward more general abilities,” they write. Then they go a little bit further: “We conjecture that this separation of self and task may have also been the evolutionary origin of self-awareness in humans.”It’s definitely cool and all, just as long as we stop making our machines too much like the ones in The Matrix.
Twenty-one international carriers are facing a class-action lawsuit in Korea for years of allegedly price fixing foreign freight services for years. The class-action follows the issuing of a combined 120 billion won (US$98.9 million) in fines to 19 local and foreign freight companies by the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) for years of price fixing, reports the Korea Herald. Two international carriers also received warnings from the FTC, who described the companies involved as part of the “biggest global cartel”, following their practices of unfairly introducing or changing fuel surcharges between 1999 and 2007. A group of Korean cargo transport companies are heading the class-action, which is one of only two class-action lawsuits ever to be brought against Korean cartel members by a consumer group.The second consumer group led class-action is still in progress and accuses LPG companies of fixing LPG prices between 2003 and 2008, according to legal and retail officials. The FTC has said that it will work with the consumer groups towards compensation. “Cargo companies were seriously damaged by carriers’ price-fixing practices over the years and we are to bring an action for damages against them,” said Lee Dae-soon, a lawyer representing the consumer group. “The level of disciplinary action taken by the FTC was lower than what we expected in the beginning for they even reduced the amount of fines to carriers that self-reported their business malpractices,” he added. The original fines imposed by the FTC were the first of their kind to be given to a global cartel by the state-run watchdog. But legal experts have reportedly cast doubt on the class-actions’ chances of success, as only securities-related class-action lawsuits are recognized in current Korean law.The 19 airlines listed by the Korea Herald as having received fines are Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Singapore Airlines, Air France, Air France-KLM, Air Hong Kong, British Airways, Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Cargolux Airlines, Cathay Pacific, KLM Airlines, Qantas Airways, Thai Airlines and Polar Airlines. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/2a2a3/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: S.F
Buyers Home Buyers Home Prices Home Supply homes HOUSING Housing Demand Inventory Mortgage Rates sales Sellers 2018-02-27 Radhika Ojha in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, News Share February 27, 2018 681 Views Demand for Homes Remains Upbeat Despite Headwinds The demand for housing is on the rise despite headwinds like inventory shortage, increased mortgage rates, and volatile stock markets according to online brokerage firm Redfin, which released data for its Redfin Housing Demand Index on Tuesday.The index is based on data from Redfin customers requesting home tours and writing offers, with a level of 100 representing the historical average for the three-year period from January 2013 to December 2015. The index began the year at 130.5 up by 0.5 percent on a month-over-month basis and increased 4.8 percent when compared with January 2017. While the number of buyers requesting a tour went up 13.7 percent during the year, the number of buyers making offers slid 9.7 percent on a year-over-year basis. However, the data indicated that the number of buyers making an offer grew 1.2 percent between December 2017 and January 2018.According to the data January offers and sales of homes were heavily restricted registering a 19.9 percent year-over-year decline in housing inventory, with January marking the thirty-second consecutive month of declining supply of homes. “Inventory has been deteriorating for more than two years, yet 2018 started off with buyer demand stronger than in any previous January we’ve measured,” said Nela Richardson, Chief Economist at Redfin. “Along with inventory declines, buyers contended with rising mortgage rates, an overhaul of the tax code and a jumpy stock market. However, strong local labor markets helped keep buyers enthusiastic about homeownership despite headwinds.”According to Redfin, homes in the affordable price ranges are feeling the effects of inventory shortage the most, with homes that get listed in these ranges selling within days and above the asking price.
by Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press Posted Jul 3, 2018 12:39 pm PDT Last Updated Jul 3, 2018 at 1:00 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Beach Boys versus Sara Evans at July 4th rival TV concerts FILE – In this July 4, 2014 file photo, fireworks illuminate the sky over the U.S. Capitol building and the Washington Monument during Fourth of July celebrations in Washington. PBS’ tradition of broadcasting music and fireworks from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol is facing competition from a different live concert in the same city at the same time hosted on the White House’s South Lawn. Though each event will feature competing “American Idol” alums, the PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth” has the bigger stars: The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett, Pentatonix, Chita Rivera, Luke Combs, The Temptations, Renee Fleming, CeCe Winans, Joshua Bell and “American Idol” singer Lauren Alaina. It will be hosted by John Stamos.(AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File) NEW YORK, N.Y. – The Fourth of July is usually a time for national unity, when Americans of all political stripes often turn their gaze to Washington as part of a patriotic lovefest. But there promises to be some division this year when it comes to what to watch.PBS’ tradition of broadcasting music and fireworks from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol is facing competition Wednesday from a different live concert in the same city at the same time hosted on the South Lawn of the White House. Each event will also feature competing “American Idol” alums.PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth” has the bigger stars: The Beach Boys, Jimmy Buffett, Pentatonix, Chita Rivera, Luke Combs, The Temptations, Renee Fleming, CeCe Winans, Joshua Bell and “American Idol” singer Lauren Alaina. It will be hosted by John Stamos.The entertainers appearing at the 90-minute White House event on the Hallmark Channel include singer-songwriter Sara Evans, pianist Lola Astanova and former “American Idol” finalists Jonny Brenns and Jaxe. Both shows will feature the night’s big draw — the fireworks show from the National Park Service, which has blessed both rival city concerts.The White House announced the Independence Day counterprograming late last month, with Melania Trump saying in a statement: “Americans will be able to tune in from their homes and be part of the festivities.” The first lady and Donald Trump are also hosting a picnic for military families.Hallmark and the National Park Foundation first established a partnership in 2016 when the broadcast channel aired the National Christmas Tree Lighting from the White House lawn. The foundation hopes to use Hallmark to help raise awareness of America’s 417 national parks.A representative for PBS declined to comment on its new rival to the country’s longest-running live national July 4th TV tradition. Evans also declined comment, citing travel and rehearsal demands.Russian-born Astanova, a classical pianist who has both met the Trumps socially and performed for them, will be on a piano for the national anthem. She said the experience will be very humbling.“Obviously, it’s a tremendous honour to play the national anthem on the Fourth of July at the White House. It’s a tradition that goes back 200 years ago and, for me, as a first-generation American, this is extremely meaningful,” she said. “You may even say it will be emotional.”Astanova said the event isn’t political or “about any specific administration or president. This is about our nation’s birthday.” She said she got the invitation from Hallmark and juggled her schedule to attend.“If there’s one day when we should put our political differences aside and things that divide us and focus on what unites us and really celebrate what we love about this great country, I think this is the day,” she said.Both Washington shows will compete with the annual Macy’s 4th of July concert and fireworks display in New York City. That will be on NBC and will feature Kelly Clarkson, Ricky Martin, Blake Shelton, Keith Urban, American Authors and Brandon Victor Dixon. Matt Iseman and Akbar Gbajabiamila from “American Ninja Warriors” will host.Trump, a former reality TV star, has had difficulties attracting top-notch talent to his celebrations. At his inauguration, he lured Michael Flatley, YouTube quartet The Piano Guys and Tony Orlando. Controversy broke out when some Rockettes chose to skip the festivities and Jennifer Holliday dropped out following criticism.___Mark Kennedy is at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits
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