Government Distributes GED Preparation Books to Public Libraries

first_imgMore Nova Scotians will have access to the materials they need to further their education thanks to the distribution of 113 new General Education Development (GED) preparation books to public libraries across the province. The Department of Labour and Workforce Development partnered with the province’s public libraries to increase the number of GED preparation books in library collections. Now, GED support is available to Nova Scotians, wherever they live, in both French and English. “Government’s continued partnership with the public library system has provided many Nova Scotians with free educational resources that support a culture of life-long learning in this province,” said Labour and Workforce Development Minister Marilyn More. “This is another example of government’s support for making education and training available for all Nova Scotians.” About 1,000 Nova Scotians write the GED tests every year. It is an internationally standardized high-school equivalency test that has been offered in the province since 1969. The GED is a series of five tests — language arts, reading, writing, mathematics, social studies and science — typically written over a two-day period. The majority of tests are multiple choice, and there is one written essay. To write the GED, you must be 19 or older on testing day, not have a high school diploma and have been out of school for more than a year. “The province’s libraries are the knowledge centres of a community,” said provincial librarian Jennifer Evans. “This resource helps our libraries support the continuing education of Nova Scotians.” Before the new books, there were only 37 GED prep books available across the province, with none in French. Now, 130 English, and 20 French books are available for borrow; a savings of up to $40 for the student. “Government is working hard to maintain and build an educated and skilled workforce in this province, and we hope more Nova Scotians will take advantage of programming, like the GED, to help us achieve that goal,” said Ms. More. The Nova Scotia High School Graduation diploma for adults, offered through the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning, is another option for adults who have not graduated from high school. For more information about educational options for adults visit .last_img read more

Mezouar May Be Next Brazils President According to BBC

Taroudant – The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) mistakenly published a photo of Salaheddine Mezouar, the Moroccan minister of foreign affairs, in a story covering Michel Temer, the man next in line to take over the highest office in Brazil if President Dilma Rousseff loses her position.At the top of the article, titled “Who will lead Brazil if Dilma Rousseff is impeached?,” a BBC correspondent wrote that “most Brazilians would be forgiven if they saw a picture of Michel Temer and did not recognize him.”Apparently it’s the BBC who could not recognize Michel Temer, leading the renowned news source to inadvertently use a picture of the Moroccan diplomat smiling and giving a “thumbs-up” to the camera, instead of an image of Temer. Admittedly, there is a slight resemblance between the facial features of Mezouar and Temer. The news service corrected the mistake within two hours of the article’s publication.Michel Temer is a Brazilian lawyer and politician who has been the vice president of Brazil since January 2011. The BBC said, in an otherwise well-reported article, that Temer “may soon become Brazil’s next president – and lead the country amid its most serious political and economic crisis in decades – if President Dilma Rousseff loses the battle against impeachment.”Salaheddine Mezouar has been the foreign minister since 10 October 2013, when the Moroccan government shuffled the positions assigned to its top officials. He is also the head of National Rally of Independents (RNI), which is part of the ruling coalition. read more

Security Council mission to Kosovo holds talks with European Union officials

The 15-member delegation met with NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Ollie Rehn, UN spokesperson Michele Montas told reporters in New York.Brussels is the first stop on a six-day trip that will also take stops in Belgrade, Pristina and Vienna so that Council members can gain a first-hand understanding of the social, political and economic situation inside Kosovo. It is the fourth such Council mission since April 2000.Led by Ambassador Johan C. Verbeke of Belgium and comprising representatives from the Council’s current membership, the mission is tasked with assessing Kosovo’s progress since the UN took over its administration in 1999, particularly on the implementation of the agreed standards, a set of eight overall targets that include building democratic institutions, enforcing minority rights, creating a functioning economy and setting up an impartial legal system.Last month, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the future status process, Martti Ahtisaari, concluded that independence in a phased process with initial supervision by the international community was the only viable option for Kosovo. Mr. Ahtisaari said in his report to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that the province, where ethnic Albanians outnumber Serbs and other minorities by nine to one, could only become politically stable and economically viable if it was independent because Kosovo’s Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG) and Serbia could not reach agreement on even small, practical issues. Any further delay in reaching a permanent solution would cause further stagnation, threaten democratic development and imperil any hopes at ethnic reconciliation, he said, adding that an international civilian and military presence would be needed for some time, focused especially on such areas as minority community rights, the rule of law, decentralization and the protection of the Serbian Orthodox Church. 25 April 2007The Security Council delegation heading to Kosovo on a fact-finding trip to help determine the permanent future status of the Serbian province with an ethnic Albanian majority stopped in Brussels today for talks with European Union (EU) and NATO officials. read more

Cisco to Tuck In Voice AI from Voicea

Let Your Bots Do the Talking Andrew Prokop August 22, 2019 AudioCode’s Voice.AI Gateway lets enterprises voice-enable bots and call them from any telephone, UC system, or WebRTC endpoint. In addition, Cisco will bring a level of security and privacy to EVA that Voicea would have had trouble achieving on its own. Over the past five years, Cisco has been obsessed with ensuring the highest levels of security for Webex, and that diligence will extend to this service. Cisco said it expects to close the purchase this quarter, which began on Aug. 1. Voicea will become part of the Webex portfolio led by Sri Srinivasan, SVP and GM. With Voicea, Cisco has the potential to take cognitive collaboration to the next level, and I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next with it.Tags:News & ViewsM&ACiscocognitive collaborationvoice AIVoiceareal-time transcriptionAI & Speech TechnologiesAI & Speech TechnologiesEmployee ExperienceIndustry NewsMeetingsNews & ViewsVendor Strategy Articles You Might Like Cisco will integrate Voicea into the Webex portfolio to automate the process of creating real-time transcripts that can unlock the value kept in voice interactions. That’s just the starting point for Cisco and, as they say in infomercials… “But wait, there’s more.” Other areas of integration include: handshake-3298455__340.jpg Speech Applications Are Vulnerable, Too Gary Audin October 04, 2019 Are you really in control of your voice-enabled devices and applications? Cisco obviously didn’t buy Voicea to be a standalone product. The real value will come from Voicea’s integration into Webex and how it can further Cisco’s cognitive collaboration story. Webex Meetings and products like it enable colleagues to meet, collaborate, and get work done. The problem with most meetings is that capturing the full value is near impossible. Participants can take pictures of whiteboards and other physical mediums to retain information, but with voice much of the value is lost unless someone is diligently taking notes. With the addition of Voicea, Cisco should be able to deliver Webex customers a wealth of new capabilities and accelerate teamwork and collaboration. The victors in the digital wars will be those companies that are able to make the best decisions in as short a time as possible, and now collaborative teams will be able to work with speech interactions. From a user standpoint, Voicea is dead simple to use. Users simply invite EVA to a meeting and the transcription automatically starts. The transcription is available in real-time in the Web application; for later review, with searching available, a company can archive the transcriptions, too. The automation is critical in that it takes the onus of remembering to hit “Record” off the user. Vonage to ‘Turbocharge’ AI Efforts Beth Schultz August 13, 2019 Acquisition of conversational AI platform gives the company much-needed talent for deepening expertise in AI and machine learning. Cisco this week announced its intent to acquire privately held Voicea, an early voice AI market entrant, for an undisclosed amount — a classic acquisition tuck-in for the company. See All in AI & Speech Technologies » No Jitter Roll: Five for Friday Ryan Daily August 30, 2019 A look at the latest news coming from Google, Oblong, Expereo, Nureva, and Verint. Via a recently launched a mobile client, users can control the transcription services. During a meeting, users can view live transcriptions, record key highlights, set up action times, and see the conversation inbox all from their phones. The mobile app also highlights key portions of conversations and summarizes meetings before later review. The Voicea real-time voice AI engine provides automated speech recognition, transcription services, voice searching, meeting highlights, and action items. Among an increasingly crowded field for tools of this sort, Voicea’s strength is its Enterprise Voice Assistant (EVA), which is a smarter version of most transcription tools in that it uses an algorithm able to understand words unique to a company. The algorithm to find custom words isn’t fully automatic but it does provide recommendations that a company can then confirm. This is a significant improvement over having to decide on keywords and then enter them manually. In verticals like healthcare and legal, which use so many industry-specific words, this feature alone can be invaluable. Video analytics — Cisco has shown numerous Webex demos in which it’s able to tag video participants with their identities. The combination of Voicea and video analytics will enable Webex to understand who is talking and provide the ability to “voice tag” individuals. This can make a big difference in meetings with several people.Accompany — The Accompany dataset comprises external information about meeting participants, surfacing data such as place of employment and professional background. Voicea will make it possible to add meeting minutes and key transcript information to a profile, thus providing another level of intelligence to Accompany.Translation — Cisco has been working on real-time translation capabilities for some time now. Mixing transcripts and translation is a no-brainer, as it will let anyone, in any language, understand what was said in meetings and quickly capture the value. Google Ups its Game in Contact Center Speech Recognition Beth Schultz July 23, 2019 Introduces updates that will improve conversational and transcription accuracy, for use by virtual and human agents alike Log in or register to post comments read more

The NFL Draft Is Looking More And More Like Signing Day

20120.8954Trent Richardson0.9972 YearAverage RatingPlayerRating 20090.8782Andre Smith0.9994 2019*0.9135Rashan Gary*1.0000 * ProjectedPlayers who weren’t rated in high school were assigned a rating of 0.7.Source: Highest Rated 20100.9020Eric Berry0.9986 20160.9044Robert Nkemdiche1.0000 Everybody will be watching Josh Allen on Thursday night, four years after Allen struggled to find anybody to watch him. The former two-star recruit out of Montclair, New Jersey — now projected to be taken in the top five of the NFL draft — had only one initial Division I offer, from nearby Monmouth. But late in the 2015 recruiting cycle, when Kentucky had missed out on a handful of players and needed bodies, the Wildcats took a flier on Allen and gave him an SEC offer. Allen did the rest, breaking out with 17 sacks last season and winning the Bednarik Award as the country’s best defensive player.How does a 6-foot-5, 262-pound pass rusher end up overlooked? Allen didn’t always fit the mold of a future star. Kentucky’s 2015 roster listed him at just 210 pounds, and he didn’t start playing defensive end until his senior season in high school, after moving from Alabama to New Jersey.There will always be top NFL draft picks who were missed by the high school recruiting ratings. Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz, drafted No. 2 overall in 2016, was unrated out of high school, while Chicago pass rusher Khalil Mack, drafted fifth in 2014, was a two-star recruit like Allen. But those stories are the exceptions — the first round is still filled with players who caught the eye of recruiting websites while still in high school. We looked at the past 10 years of first-round picks and their ratings entering high school and found that players unrated or receiving a rating equivalent to less than three stars averaged just four slots in the first round. And in that time frame, the recruitment ratings of the first-round picks have actually been getting higher overall.These ratings of high school and junior-college players are based on highlight tapes, game stats, observations and recruiting camps. publishes a composite ranking, which averages the ratings from its own site, and A perfect score would be 1.000, with the five-star prospects typically above 0.980. In 2009, the first-round picks averaged a 0.8782 rating in’s composite rankings, which combine the listings from all of the major recruiting services. That average peaked at 0.9156 in 2017. In’s 2019 composite rankings, that jump from 0.8782 to 0.9156 would equate to more than 300 spots (from 549th to 216th). Last year, the first-round average dipped back to 0.8961, the inexact science proven by Baker Mayfield, the other Josh Allen, unrated Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch and pitcher-turned-tight end Hayden Hurst.This year’s projected first round was similarly highly recruited. We isolated the average top 32 picks using mock drafts, and those picks averaged a past recruiting ranking of 0.9135. Only Duke quarterback Daniel Jones, with a recruiting ranking of 0.7898, had a lower score than Allen’s 0.7965 of our projected first round.There were 10 future first-round picks among the top 50 high school recruits in 2014, eight among the top 50 in 2013 and 10 in 2012 — all high marks since 2008. For now, the 2015 recruiting class is off to a good start, after six of the top 50 recruits became first-round picks last spring, three years after graduating high school. Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray and Clemson’s Christian Wilkins are poised to join that group Thursday, pushing the total in the range of 2012-2014.The 2016 class of high school recruits will get started, too, when names like Dexter Lawrence, Rashan Gary, Ed Oliver and Nick Bosa — all juniors — break in. Then comes Alabama sophomore Tua Tagovailoa (most likely) in 2020, and Clemson freshman Trevor Lawrence in 2021. There are still plenty of opportunities for unsung high school recruits like Allen to make their mark in college, but the highly rated players are getting most of the attention in the NFL draft. 20130.8980Sharrif Floyd0.9970 20140.9012Jadeveon Clowney1.0000 20110.9015Julio Jones0.9992 20170.9156Leonard Fournette0.9996 20180.8961Derwin James0.9982 20150.9086D.J. Humphries0.9980 High school stars are getting lots of NFL loveThe average high school recruitment ratings for first-round NFL draft classes since 2009, along with the rating for this year’s class as projected by mock drafts read more

Worried well really do make themselves ill study suggests

first_img Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Doctors should take into account that people who are worried about their health are more likely to get sick Doctors should take into account that people who are worried about their health are more likely to get sick The worried well – people who are anxious they will develop a series illness – really do get sick, researchers have found.A new study discovered that those people who were convinced there was something wrong with them, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, were 73 per cent more likely to develop heart disease within 10 years.Nowegian researchers from the University of Bergen says the finding could leave doctors in a quandry about how best to treat patients, who show no symptoms, but are clearly worried about their health.Dr Line Iden Berge, Division of Psychiatry at Bergen, said: “These findings illustrate the dilemma for clinicians between reassuring the patient that current physical symptoms of anxiety do not represent heart disease, contrasted against the emerging knowledge on how anxiety, over time, may be causally associated with increased risk of disease.”Anxiety is a known risk factor for heart disease, and health anxiety, which describes persistent preoccupation with having or acquiring a serious illness, appears to be no exception say the researchers. The findings are based on a study of 7,052 people in their 50s who were questioned about their health, lifestyle and anxiety. They were followed up over 10 years and within that time those who scored highly on the anxiety tests were nearly twice as likely to have developed heart disease, even when other health conditions, diet and smoking were taken into account.The proportion of those succumbing to heart disease was twice as high (just over 6 per cent) among those who displayed health anxiety compared with around 3 per cent for those.Once the other factors were taken into account, those with health anxiety at the start of the study were 73 per cent more likely to develop heart disease than those who were not in that state of mind, the analysis showed.“Our research further indicates that characteristic behaviour among persons with health anxiety, such as monitoring and frequent check-ups of symptoms, does not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease events,” the authors conclude.The research was published in the BMJ Open. last_img read more

US moves to bar Haitians from seasonal work visas

Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedBelize reacts to US ban from temporary work visasJanuary 19, 2018In “latest news”Rush for US visas in JamaicaAugust 8, 2016In “latest news”5 illegal Haitians arrested in LindenSeptember 25, 2016In “latest news” WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) — The US administration has moved to prohibit Haitians from applying for the visas which permits them to temporarily work in the country.The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has also given notice that nationals from Belize and the South Pacific nation of Samoa are no longer eligible for the H2A and H2B visas.The visas allow businesses to bring in workers from other countries — the H2A visa is for agriculture and the H2B is for non-agricultural seasonal work in places such as resorts.In the notice, published online, DHS said that Haitians applying for the visas “present extremely high rates of refusal” and Haitians who have been granted H2A and H2B visas “have demonstrated high levels of fraud and abuse and a high rate of overstaying the terms of their H2 admission.”“Eliminating this visa eliminates the only lawful channel some Haitians have to come temporarily work in the United States,” said Michael Clemens, an economist with the US Centre for Global Development in an interview with NBC News. “That is not the way to address illegal migration. That is a way to encourage illegal migration.”The prohibition comes less than a week after senators said President Donald Trump insulted Haiti in a White House meeting and was accused of referring to African nations as “s***hole countries.” The DHS secretary designates which countries’ residents are eligible for the visas. The list of eligible countries expires after a year and has to be renewed.The Trump administration also recently ended temporary protected status for about 60,000 Haitians granted them after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.Clemens said barring Haitians is the first concrete step from the administration to close off a legal migration route.“What’s incredibly clear is the administration and its staffers in Haiti have a broad-based policy of massively slashing legal immigration opportunities.”DHS is designating 82 countries as eligible for the H2A and 81 eligible for the H2Bs in 2018.Concerning Belize, DHS said it stopped taking Belize applications because the country is not complying with US anti-trafficking laws. read more

Time for change UK committee finds British government responsible for addressing Northern

first_img 11,632 Views By Cónal Thomas 13 Comments The Committee has made clear that the Government is responsible for delivering urgently needed change on abortion and calls for a timeline and framework to be set out.“This must include addressing the human rights breaches found previously by a UN Committee, and their recommendations to decriminalise abortion.”The UN report in February 2018 found that women are subjected to “grave and systematic violations of rights through being compelled to either travel outside Northern Ireland to procure a legal abortion or to carry their pregnancy to term.”It also concluded that ”a restriction affecting only women from exercising reproductive choice, and resulting in women being forced to carry almost every pregnancy to full term, involves mental and physical suffering constituting violence against women.”Teggart has said that devolution and the breakdown of power-sharing also should “not relieve the UK Government of their obligation to protect and promote the rights of women in Northern Ireland.”“Inaction is no longer an option. The UK Government cannot remain complicit in the harm caused by the existing abortion regime – the time for change is now.” A woman calling for abortion reform in Northern Ireland takes part a march in Belfast. Source: Niall Carson/PA ImagesA WESTMINSTER COMMITTEE has found that the British government is responsible for addressing Northern Ireland’s contentious abortion laws.The Women and Equalities Committee’s report, published today, raises concerns with the North’s abortion laws and makes a series of recommendations on policy and practice governing abortion access for women in Northern Ireland.It also calls on the UK Government to address the rights breaches found by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women in February 2018. Northern Ireland’s abortion laws have been a contentious issues for several years. In 2017, just over 900 women from the North of Ireland travelled for an abortion. British Prime Minister Theresa May has said that abortion is a matter for the devolved Stormont Assembly in Belfast. However, with the power-sharing assembly at Stormont suspended for nearly three years, today’s report has said that devolution does not absolve the the UK government as a whole of its own human rights obligations.“Devolution does not remove the UK Government’s own responsibilities to comply with its international obligations and internal laws cannot be used to justify a failure to comply with human rights standards,” today’s report notes. Although it is “rightly the responsibility” of the Northern Ireland Assembly to legislate on abortion laws, there are also “specific obligations for the Northern Ireland Assembly not to pass Acts that are contrary to the UK’s international obligations.”The current laws in Northern Ireland mean that women cannot access an abortion unless there is a serious risk to their life. The British abortion law that was brought in in 1967 does not extend to Northern Ireland.After the result of the referendum on the Eighth Amendment last year, DUP leader Arlene Foster said that her party (which is a firmly against a change in abortion law) is taking note of the results.Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín rejected the view that Westminster is responsible for changing Northern Ireland’s abortion laws.“Reversing devolution on such a fundamental right as the right to life is contrary to the logic of devolution. Indeed Aontú believe that we need to devolve far more power from London to Ireland rather than less.”He said that Aontú is the only all-Ireland party that supports the right to life.“We seek a humane and compassionate response to unwanted pregnancies. Aontú will fight for the economic supports necessary so that all mothers have the confidence to raise their children to their full potential.”‘Systemic violations’Amnesty International UK and the Family Planning Association have welcomed the Westminster report today and called on the UK Government to take action.Grainne Teggart, Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Campaign Manager, has said the report’s decision makes it clear that it is up to the UK government to deliver change.  ‘Time for change’: UK committee finds British government responsible for addressing Northern Ireland abortion laws Laws in Northern Ireland mean that women cannot access an abortion unless there is a serious risk to their life.center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Thursday 25 Apr 2019, 6:10 AM Short URL Share Tweet Email1 Apr 25th 2019, 6:10 AM last_img read more

Un immense iceberg se détache du glacier Mertz en Antarctique

first_imgUn immense iceberg se détache du glacier Mertz en Antarctique Antarctique – Un iceberg d’une superficie semblable à celle du Luxembourg a heurté un glacier au large de l’Antarctique, entraînant la rupture d’un immense bloc de glace. Ce dernier a commencé à dériver, à environ 100 à 150 kilomètres au large de l’Antarctique.Aux alentours du 12 février, suite à sa collision avec un immense iceberg d’une centaine de kilomètres de long baptisé B-9B, le glacier Mertz, une langue de glace de 160 km, s’est divisé en deux. Le nouvel iceberg (78 km de long et environ 39 de large) a depuis commencé à dériver aux côtés de B-9B. Il est l’un des plus grands blocs de glace dérivants formés en Antarctique depuis plusieurs années.Si les scientifiques assurent que cet évènement n’est pas directement lié au réchauffement climatique, ils s’inquiètent de l’impact qu’il pourrait avoir sur les niveaux d’oxygène des océans de la planète. Le déplacement massif de glace sur l’eau non gelée entourant le glacier a en effet une influence sur les courants océaniques. Comme l’explique Steve Rintoul, un expert climatique, cette eau non gelée circule dans les bassins océaniques et alimente les courants en oxygène. Ce phénomène se produisant dans très peu d’endroits dans le monde, un ralentissement du processus se traduit par une diminution de l’oxygène fourni.”Il pourrait y avoir des régions des océans du monde qui perdent de l’oxygène, et ensuite, naturellement, une grande partie de la vie qui s’y trouve mourra”, a souligné Mario Hoppema, océanographe à l’Institut allemand Alfred Wegener pour la recherche polaire et marine.Le 6 mars 2010 à 09:29 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Colony welfare association to fight over issues

first_imgSerilingampally: Netaji Nagar Residents Welfare Association on Monday resolved to exert pressure on both people’s representatives and officials for getting the colony problems solved. President of the association Shekhar Sagar presided over the meeting. The members discussed problems like underground drainage, lack of CC roads, indifference of GHMC in sanitation, water supply, mosquito menace, non-functioning streetlights, lack of ration shop for the poor. Also Read – JIH organises Eid Milap for sanitary workers Advertise With Us The meeting resolved to approach the government for starting construction of a school building in a local park which the association was guarding from encroachment. Among those who attended the meeting were honorary president of the association Satyanarayana Mudiraj, general secretary Venkatesh Goud, additional general secretary P Krishna Mudiraj, treasurer Mallesh, adviser Ramesh, vice-president K Narsimha swamy, joint secretaries Venkatesh, Asha Begum, organising secretary M Santosh, Syed Safar, G Manimedhalaya, executive member S Sumati, and A Lakshmi.last_img read more

Brazil rejects 20 million G7 aid to fight Amazon fires calls support

first_img IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:00/1:04Loaded: 0%0:00Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-1:04?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … While the Brazilian Armed Forces have been deployed and are currently operating in nine Amazon states to contain the fire, international communities have stated that Brazil needs help from allies in containing the extreme wildlife fires.Canda has offered to contribute C$15 million ($11.30 million) in aid and send water bombers to Brazil.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the G7 summit on Monday said, “One of the things we have seen over the past years as Canada has faced increasingly extreme wildfire events is there is a global network of support and friends that lean on each other.”Chilean President Sebastian Pinera described a two-fold strategy of implementing emergency efforts in containing the fire.”Countries urgently need firefighters and specialised water bombers. This will be the first step that will be implemented immediately. The second phase is to protect these forests, protect the biodiversity they contain and reforest this region of the world,” he said.Describing the fires as a global emergency, Macron announced France’s willingness to offer military support. He also mentioned, according to Reuters, that the G-7 countries – the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States – will draw an initiative for the reforestation and conservation of biodiversity in the Amazon, that will be launched during next month’s UN General Assembly in New York.Personal riftTensions between Macron and Bolsonaro have deteriorated and turned personal after the Brazilian President mocked Macron’s wife on Facebook.The French President, addressing the incident on Monday stated, “He (Bolsonaro) said very disrespectful things about my wife. I have great respect for the Brazilian people and can only hope they soon have a president who is up to the job.” The Amazon rain forest is on fire Fire in Amazon rainforest near Porto Velho, Rondonia State, Brazil, August 21ReutersBrazil on Monday rejected aid worth $20 million offered by G7 countries to fight the Amazon fires and told French President Emmanuel Macron to take care of “the forests in Europe”.”We appreciate (the offer), but maybe those resources are more relevant to reforest Europe,” Onyx Lorenzoni, Chief of Staff to Brazillian President Jair Bolsonaro, told state media G1 news.The Brazilian official slammed the G7 countries’ offer of emergency aid to help extinguish the blazing Amazon rainforest as a colonialist gesture. “Macron cannot even avoid a foreseeable fire in a church that is a world heritage site. What does he intend to teach our country?” he said.Bolsonaro stated that Brazil was being treated like “a colony or no man’s land” and said the aid was an attack on the country’s sovereignty.The emergency fund for the fire in the rainforests, described as “the lungs of the world” due to its capacity to absorb carbon dioxide, was initially welcomed by Brazilian environment Minister Ricardo Salles.The fire has spread 950,000 hectares (2.3 million acres) according to latest inputs.The Brazillian government affirmed its stance against the emergency funds after a meeting with top officials. “Brazil is a democratic, free nation that never had colonialist and imperialist practices, as perhaps is the objective of the Frenchman Macron,” Lorenzoni said.Amazon and the blazing diplomacyHowever, Macron told news channel France 2 on the sidelines of the G7 summit that while he respected Brazil’s sovereignty, the Amazon fires is a global issue.”The Amazon forest is a subject for the whole planet… We cannot allow you to destroy everything,” Macron said.The fires have made international headlines, drawing attention to the rampant deforestation in Brazil, which has reportedly increased after President Bolsonaro took office in January. Reports suggest that the fires were a deliberate attempt to clear the forest in order to sell the land to farmers and ranchers. According to a report by Brazil space research agency INPE, compared to last year, deforestation in the Amazon has increased by 67 percent. Closelast_img read more

Googles Chrome Browser Gets Support for Oculus Rift VR Headset

first_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 VR support within Chrome is part of Google’s efforts to incorporate the emerging WebVR standard into the browser. This allows developers to deploy VR applications over the web, without the need to have users download apps through storefronts, and more easily reach users across a variety of headsets.Google added initial support for web browsing in VR, and WebVR, to its own Daydream VR headsets last September. The company has also launched a number of WebVR experiments, and has been highlighting web-based VR experiences built by third-party developers on a dedicated website.“WebVR brings virtual reality to the web, making it easier for anyone to create, enjoy, and share VR experiences,” that website explains. “With WebVR, you can open up a browser and get into VR just by clicking a link.”Google isn’t the only company investing in WebVR. One of the other major supporters of WebVR is Firefox maker Mozilla, which even announced a dedicated AR/VR browser dubbed Firefox Reality earlier this month. Google just extended virtual reality (VR) support for its Chrome browser to work with VR hardware made by Facebook’s Oculus: The Windows version of Chrome now works natively with the Oculus Rift headset and Oculus Touch controllers, according to a new browser flag spotted by a Reddit user.The functionality has since been confirmed by another Reddit user, who wrote: “Just tried it and yep, it works (had a quick look at the Google Mars surface demo). Without the flag enabled, you just get an option for a desktop 360 view. Enable the flag though and an option to view in VR is there, and it launches it straight to the headset.”Support seems to be limited to the Oculus Rift for now; there is no word on whether Google plans to add support for Samsung’s Gear VR headset as well. The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.center_img Popular on Variety last_img read more

Disney NBCU Turner CBS and More Join VizioLed Addressable TV Advertising Consortium

first_img“We all recognize the most important goal of this initiative is to drastically enhance the TV experience for people at home,” Vizio founder and CEO William Wang said in announcing the launch of Project OAR.The goal of Project OAR is to give owners of TV ad inventory, whether programmers or distributors, the technical ability to monetize TV impressions through segment-based audience targets and dynamic, addressable ad insertion.“TV programmers reach a massive and passionate audience, but have lacked the precision targeting of digital,” said Mike Dean, CBS’s SVP of advanced advertising and automation. “Through OAR, CBS will combine relevance with our reach to deliver a better experience to our viewers and better ROI [return on investment] for our advertisers.”Added Jesse Redniss, EVP of data strategy/product innovation for Turner and GM of the WarnerMedia Innovation Lab: “It’s important for us to come together as an industry and create connective experiences that matter to fans, and that includes how we use data to inform and broaden spaces like addressable TV.”To be sure, there’s still a lot of heavy lifting need before Project OAR’s vision comes to fruition.Vizio has pledged that once the standard is developed, it will deploy support for OAR addressable ads on its footprint of smart TVs, which is currently around 10.5 million. But it remains to be seen whether other TV and connected-device manufacturers, like Samsung Electronics, Sony or LG Electronics, will join the effort to give Project OAR the scale it will need to be commercially viable. Inscape has held conversations with several TV manufacturers but “we’re not in a position to announce any,” said SVP of sales and marketing Jodie McAfee.Another unanswered question is how Project OAR’s addressable ads will be measured. Nielsen, long the TV measurement standard, has its own addressable-advertising strategy for internet-connected TVs. The company recently formed Nielsen Advanced Video Advertising, after acquiring addressable TV technology provider Sorenson Media in a bankruptcy-court proceeding. Nielsen claims it has all the components to build an “end-to-end, AI-optimized platform” for targeted TV ads that encompasses delivery, data-driven targeting, unified campaign management, and measurement. Can the TV biz finally get its act together to target ads to viewers the way internet companies have done for years?A new consortium, led by TV manufacturer Vizio, is promising to assemble the right technology platform and media partners to make addressable ads on television a reality — as soon as early 2020.The group, dubbed “Project OAR” (for “Open Addressable Ready”), said it will define technical standards for TV programmers and platforms to deliver targeted advertising in linear and on-demand formats on smart TVs. The founding members include Disney Media Networks (which includes ABC, ESPN and Freeform), Comcast’s FreeWheel and NBCUniversal, Discovery, CBS, AT&T’s Xandr and WarnerMedia’s Turner, Hearst Television and AMC Networks.OAR’s enabling technology will be developed by Inscape, the automatic content recognition (ACR) and data-tracking company owned by Vizio — but the group says the technical standards will be fully open and available to all comers. The consortium aims to have a working product to demo this spring 2019 with full deployment targeted for early 2020. Popular on Variety ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 It’s possible that the Project OAR and Nielsen initiatives could be aligned, but for now they’re on separate tracks. For Project OAR, “the group understands and agrees that there will be a need for a measurement solution, and we’re discussing what that will be,” McAfee said. As for working with Nielsen, “that’s an option we would absolutely consider.”[UPDATE: In a statement provided to Variety, Kelly Abcarian, GM of Nielsen’s Advanced Video Advertising Group, said, “We’re excited to see momentum in the industry toward an addressable future. We believe that the quickest way to collectively make addressable advertising scale is to come together.”]The business model enabled by Project OAR works like this: The group’s members will co-develop the open specs and provide them to any interested parties. Once that’s functional, publishers (the inventory owners) can negotiate deals with Vizio or other OEMs to facilitate the delivery of addressable ads. “We view ourselves as an enabler. We’re not in the inventory business,” McAfee said. “Our position is, a rising tide lifts all boats.”A key design goal for the OAR standard will be to deliver a system that adheres to privacy requirements and is technologically robust, while still giving TV networks the ability “to create unique and enriched advertising experiences” on top of that, McAfee said. “We are making this flexible enough to enable interactivity and other bells and whistles that have yet to be imagined.”The consortium has launched a website,, with more info on the initiative. The discussions for Project OAR began last year, with the group formalizing the consortium at the 2019 CES trade show in Las Vegas.Project OAR members have contributed fees to the consortium but McAfee declined to disclose what the funding amounts are. “Everyone has made a commitment in terms of resources to the group,” he said. “We all have skin in the game.”last_img read more

Watch Quadcopter Drone Tows Wakeskater Down River

first_img For some wakeskaters and wakeboarders, certain bodies of water are just too shallow, and too unrideable. But by using a drone to tow him along, pro wakeskater Brian Grubb glided his board into new territory.Famous for wakeskating insane locations, such as rice terraces in the Philippines and a volcanic valley in the Jordanian desert, Grubb recently teamed up with Infineon Technologies to build an electric-powered quadcopter drone that could tow him down a river in the Julian Alps of Slovenia.The result was a 53-pound flying machine that features a battery as powerful as 158 smartphones put together (1.5kWh/51.8V/30Ah) and with rotor blades stretching 80 centimeters in diameter. The drone was designed to tow Grubb for up to 10 minutes  — even lifting him up into the air if necessary.AdChoices广告And because it was electric, the drone posed no negative impacts on the environment.The drone was designed to tow wakeskating pioneer Brian Grubb for up to 10 minutes. (Photo Credit: Starelation / Red Bull Content Pool)The 38-year-old Grubb, a Red Bull athlete, chose an electric winch to start the drone-wakeskating attempt. To be able to switch to drone power, Grubb completed the world’s first winch-to-drone handle pass.Once underway, Grubb skimmed along the surface of the crystal-clear river. He jumped over half-sunken trees and boulders, at times gliding over water just inches deep, and even flying the drone under a bridge.When he was in tow of the Infineon Technologies quadcopter drone, Grubb was able to navigate the river’s tight turns deep in the Julian Alps of Slovenia. (Photo Credit: Starelation / Red Bull Content Pool)“Skimming across the surface of a beautiful river, handle-passing from winch to drone on the go, tricking nice little wooden features and flying the drone under a bridge feels pretty damn good and tastes even sweeter when you know your good times aren’t causing any harm to the beautiful surroundings,” Grubb said.More on Wacky Sport of ‘Extreme Ironing’Watch: Gymnast Sets World Record for Insane BackflipThis Gamer Has the World’s First Bionic Arm Based on a Video Game Basketball Pro Suspended When Drug Test Revealed He Was ‘Pregnant’Nothin’ But Net for Toyota’s Guinness Record-Winning Basketball Bot Stay on targetlast_img read more

The DCEU is Going Virtual and Patrick Wilson May Be its Next

first_img Batman Loses a Dad Again, Another Ben Affleck Update & More DC Movie NewsSecret Aquaman Role, Wonder Woman’s Throwback Photo, & More DC Movie News Not for long. @creepypuppet— patrick wilson (@patrickwilson73) March 27, 2017@creepypuppet is Aquaman director James Wan, who was also behind Furious 7, Insidious, and Saw. Wilson’s tweet appears to hint that Aquaman‘s villain will be a full fleshed out character in his own right. That only makes sense, given who Wilson is playing. Sure, he has every reason to talk up his role, but you’d think he wouldn’t respond quite this way if he wasn’t at least a little confident in the movie’s ability to back it up.Wilson will play Ocean Master a.k.a. Orm Marius, the Ocean Master. He’s Aquaman’s half-brother, meaning he also has a claim to the Atlantean throne. Since Aquaman is half-human, Orm believe’s he’s the rightful heir to the throne. This sibling rivalry has the potential to be more interesting than the one between Thor and Loki if the DCEU handles it right. (That is a big “if” right now, I know.) With both brothers having a legitimate claim to the throne, that leaves room for much stronger characterization. Though Ocean Master will undoubtedly be the villain, there’s hope that the conflict will be a little more complex than what comic book movies have given us in the past. Stay on targetcenter_img The new Justice League movie is on its way this year, and Warner Bros. is fully committed to making its movie universe a legitimate competitor to Marvel. While it remains to be seen whether Zack Snyder’s third film in the series can actually accomplish that, the burden is shared by the much better-looking Wonder Woman and the surprisingly exciting Aquaman. Warner Bros. is hoping to expand their universe even more by bringing virtual reality into the mix.According to a press release on PR Newswire, Warner Bros. is creating original VR tie-in experiences for the new VR centers IMAX is experimenting with. The company has already opened one VR center in Los Angeles, and plan to open more in New York City, the United Kingdom, Shanghai and at least one more California location. The idea is you would go to one of these centers and sit in VR pods that would let you move around a virtual environment. The hope is that IMAX’s tech would work better (and come with less sticker shock) than current home VR setups.The first tie-in experience will appear alongside Justice League, with Warner Bros. developing at least two more in the future. One will be released with Aquaman, and the other would be tied to a future DC adaptation not yet named. What could that be? The Flash would be cool in VR, but I’d worry about the potential for motion sickness when you’re moving that fast.Whatever the future of the DCEU, superheroes are great showcases for VR technology. When you can feel like you’re flying alongside Superman, it doesn’t seem to matter how much his last movie disappointed you. I got to try the Avengers: Age of Ultron VR demo at a comic con a couple of years back, and despite being a limited experience on a consumer headset, it was still more memorable than most of the actual movie. Standing next to a life-size superhero is just cool, no matter what you thought of the source material. We’ll have to wait until later this year to see what these VR experiences are actually like, but it’s not a stretch to imagine them becoming the most fun thing about the DCEU.Virtual Reality isn’t the only thing that could make the DC movies fun. Actor Patrick Wilson has been talking up his role in the upcoming Aquaman movie. Given that Aquaman was one of the best parts of the last Justice League trailer, expectations for his solo flick are suddenly high. After The Hollywood Reporter tweeted an article asking why superhero villains are often faceless, Wilson fired back a short, teasing response.last_img read more

Solar project lending startup Wunder Capital raises 112 million as renewable

first_imgAs renewable energy continues to gobble up more and more of the new energy capacity coming online, the solar project lending company Wunder Capital has raised $112 million in primarily debt financing to boost its business.The 90 percent debt and 10 percent equity commitment came from the multi-strategy investment firm Cyrus Investments, which has backed renewable energy projects for years through its investment in RePower Group.“The debt component is going to blow out the lending opportunity,” says Wunder chief executive Bryan Birsic.Wunder chose to consolidate the debt and equity round with a single lead investor to simplify the negotiation process on both sides of the table, Birsic said. “Since Cyrus is an equity holder in the company we can come to better terms,” on debt facilities and repayment, he said. Wunder lends money to commercial solar energy development projects throughout the U.S. and its business has been buoyed by a flood of demand for new solar energy projects coming online.Since its launch in 2016, the company has financed more than 180 projects throughout the U.S., which are generating somewhere in the range of 50 megawatts (or enough electricity to power roughly 32,500 homes).The Boulder, Colo.-based company makes money in three ways: It charges closing fees, a servicing fee and annual interest rate on the debt it provides — typically Wunder will pull in between 4 percent and 5 percent off of each loan it provides to a project.And business… for renewable energy… is booming.For instance, the industry appears to have shaken off concerns over price increases stemming from the tariffs imposed on solar panels as part of broad punitive measures President Trump has taken against China (which supplies most of the world’s solar panels).“It was really pleasant to see that folks were less reactionary and more responsive to the data,” says Birsic. The headlines, Birsic explains, were worse than the reality for the industry. The headlines in January predicted a 30 percent tariff on solar panels, but banks thought those increases would ultimately result in a 3 percent price increase for residential solar installations and a 4 percent price increase for commercial solar.Those price increases would only bring costs in line with what they were at the end of 2017, since over the course of the year prices on installations declined 10 percent, Birsic says.“We’re very cool with the economics as it existed in 2017,” he said.last_img read more

Related The Skys the Limit the impact of deregu

first_img RelatedThe Sky’s the Limit – the impact of deregulationnegotiators from the European Commission and the United States, reached agreement on a new “Open Skies” policyArticle 50 and Brexit: What does this means for EU travel?Article 50 has now been triggered, and so begins the formal process of the UK leaving the European Union. But what does this mean for your travel plans? Can you still travel within Europe? Do you need a visa for that city break now? We’ve put together this no-nonsense guide…Airlines ‘must pay’ for cancellationsPassenger power has been given a boost by indications that the European air travel industry is to come in for a major shake-up. A group of low cost airlines have come together to demand that the European Union (EU) gets the ball rolling on harmonising European air traffic management and implementing the long-awaited Single European Sky initiatives.The European Low Fares Airline Association called on the EU to start converging national aviation authorities into one efficient body – and deliver passengers and the environment considerable gains.A central recommendation urged the creation by 2010 of a single European aviation authority to handle both traffic management and safety issues, using the existing national authority headquarters as regional bases.Ryanair chief executive and also founding member of the European Low Fares Airline Association, Michael O’Leary , said: “The European Union’s Single European Sky project … has been gathering dust for over ten years because those responsible for the gross inefficiency of the system … are dragging their heels. Removing this inefficiency would equate to eliminating the emissions of 70 short-haul aircraft operating non-stop for a year and would deliver massive benefits to consumers and to the environment.”The UK’s National Air Traffic Services recently launched a parallel consultation on air traffic management over the south-east of England, announcing plans to pool the opinions of 3,000 MPs, local politicians, airport committee members and environmental stakeholders in a bid to improve congested air traffic zones.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more

LNG plant talks finally back on track

first_imgBy Elias HazouFACE-to-face talks between the government and Noble Energy on the construction and operation of an LNG plant are finally back on track.A government-appointed negotiating team – which includes the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company – was set to hold meetings with the Texas-based firm on Tuesday and again on Wednesday.The negotiations between the government and the Block 12 partners – Noble, Delek and Anver – are aimed at concluding a final project agreement for an LNG terminal.Talks were to all intents and purposes suspended in November when Noble decided to allow the government time to make up its mind on several issues relating to the onshore LNG facility.One such question concerns the degree of the state’s participation in financing. In fact the talks with Noble broke at around the same time the government received a report advising that the facility should remain exclusively in the hands of private investors.Gas Strategies, a London-based consultancy, outlined for the government three main options regarding the LNG project, by order of preference: complete absence of the state from the multi-billion investment; holding a minority stake in the joint venture; and retaining a controlling interest.Cyprus is already behind schedule. Back in June 2013, the government signed a preliminary, non-binding agreement or MoU with the Block 12 partners for developing an LNG plant at Vassilikos on the southern coast.That deal was the first in a series needed for the implementation of the LNG project. A target date of December 31, 2013 had then been fixed for the completion and signing of a final project agreement, which was to set up a joint venture between the parties – a special-purpose vehicle – seeking investors for the multi-billion euro facility.Noble is planning to drill a second well in its Block 12 concession later this year.Noble reps will meanwhile be attending as guests a Search and Rescue (SAR) exercise, codenamed Nemesis 2014, taking place Thursday.Participating in the drill are SAR units and personnel from Cyprus, Israel, Greece, and the United States of America.The aeronautical exercise scenario deals with a serious accident in open sea within an area where oil and gas rigs are operating along with their supporting vessels.Training exercises will focus on MEDEVAC and SAR operations, confronting of maritime pollution, asymmetric threats and associated security issues that might arise either on cargo or passenger ships and/or platforms in the Eastern Mediterranean. You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementCardiologist: This Is What Happens When You Eat GlutenGundry MD PrebioThrive Probiotic SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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They can officiate at baptisms, and the 8GB iPhone 5c is free (both with two-year contracts). and the head of Taiwan’s Mainland Affairs Council, and if they don’t, on the orders of the Gov. Johnston was charged with possession of an unregistered destructive device. others have no trouble with. have even been getting snowfall for the first time in decades. just as I thought I would proceed into the spiritual life. read more