SPORT-GOLF-OPEN 2 LAST

first_imgGoing into the final round would give Chawrasia a sense Going into the final round would give Chawrasia a sense of deja vu as he had a similar two-stroke cushion ahead of Bangladeshs Siddikur Rahman last year with Anirban a good seven strokes behind. But fortunes fluctuated on the final day as Chawrasia sunk with a 76 and Anriban forced a play-off after carding 69 and eventually won the title with a birdie. “Honestly, the Hero Indian Open is a very important tournament for me and for sure I want to win it because I have finished second over here four times,” Chawrasia said. “My next goal is to play in the Olympics, so if I manage to win over here, I will make it to the team,” he signed off. Despite bringing a blemish-free 68, his best card of the week, Lahiri was frustrated to miss chances in the back nine. “It was a good round but I am disappointed with my back nine. It was frustrating that I could not get as many birdies as I would have wanted. A lot of chances went abegging. I didnt putt too well, missed 10 to 20 feet putts at least 6 or 7. I missed a green but I am happy that I didnt drop a shot today,” he said. “The front nine is faster than the back nine as in the afternoon the grass grows and it doesnt roll as much. I could have shot a couple of shots better but I have put myself with a chance. Lets see how it goes tomorrow. Traditionally, leaders dont hit high scores on the final day. “If the wind is down and it is dead calm tomorrow then it will be difficult to shot say nine under or catch the leader. I dont expect the leader to go back, I cant control how others play or how the weather behaves, I know that I have to putt better to make a dent tomorrow,” Lahiri added. PTI ATK CM CMadvertisementlast_img read more

Forget Samsung Galaxy S8. At Rs 38,990 LG G6 is the phone to buy this season

first_imgConsumer Reports data may suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S8+ (and Galaxy S8) is the top smartphone of the year, but, come to think of it, it’s the LG G6 that you should totally buy this season. Provided you’re in India. This is because LG is now offering its flagship phone, the G6, at a price as low as Rs 38,990 via Amazon India, provided you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber. The LG G6, to recall, was launched here at a price of Rs 51,990 in April. With the offer in place, prospective buyers can get their hands on the G6 at Rs 13,000 discount, which is fairly substantial to say the least.The G6 is LG’s best phone ever. In fact, it’s safe to say, that it’s among the best flagship Android phones in the market right now. It may not look as good as Samsung’s Galaxy S8, but, that’s not really what LG’s phone is going after. For the first time in a very long time, LG is chasing practicality. With the G6 it has achieved most of it. Without compromising on gimmicks.At Rs 38,990, there’s even more to like about the G6, now more than ever. Take a look at what it brings to the table. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, meanwhile, cost Rs 57,900 and Rs 64,900 respectively.Design and build qualityThe LG G6 is carved out of glass and metal. And it feels solid. While the rear of the G6 is carved out of Corning’s Gorilla Glass 5, the display on the front has a healthy dose of Gorilla Glass 3. What’s important, at the end of the day, is that the LG G6 is built like a tank. The G6 is built to last long with bending resistant materials and shock-dispersing design, according to LG. It has passed Military-grade MIL-STD 810G tests which include 26 different angle drop tests from chest height, it claims. It’s quite reassuring, the G6.advertisementWhile its closest rival, the Samsung Galaxy S8 takes great pride in its gorgeous curves, the G6 takes a flat minimalist approach. LG’s phone is as flat as they come, and also it has sharp corners that are a little raised out so the phone could bear accidental drops and come out unscathed. Samsung’s Galaxy S8 doesn’t look like it could take a beating. LG’s phone is a lot more practical in comparison.Next to Samsung’s phone the G6 feels rather chunky, but, only marginally. It is as slim as Samsung’s phone though. The flat surface and sharp edges ensure it sticks to your hand and stays put, but then, the Galaxy S8 is an ergonomic marvel as well in spite of all those extra curves. It is super-glossy and a fingerprint magnet. But, so is the Galaxy S8. Only it takes me a lot longer to wipe LG’s phone. I really don’t like that, but, that’s a small price you pay for an all-glass and metal design. What really concerns me, however, is that the rear of the G6 is extremely prone to scratches. It may survive a fall or two, but, it will most definitely leave a mark.The LG G6, in addition, is also IP68-certified for water and dust resistance.Performance and user experienceThe LG G6 is powered by a 2.35GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor clubbed with 4GB RAM and 64GB internal memory which is further expandable by up to 256GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. While not exactly next-gen, the Snapdragon 821 inside the G6 when combined with LG’s Android 7.0 Nougat-based UX 6.0 doesn’t leave a lot to be desired unless of course you’re someone who’s hard pressed about paper specs and say, “a Snapdragon 835 would have been nicer.” You’re better off buying the Samsung Galaxy S8 in that case. The LG G6 isn’t the one for you.But, if you’re willing to give the G6 a chance, well, there’s not a lot really to complain about LG’s new phone as far as all-round performance is concerned. The G6 has absolutely no trouble whatsoever in dealing with tasks, both basic and hard-grinding. Graphical games are handled well, with no lag at all, even at maxed out settings.LG’s UX software may not be the best looking in the business — in fact it’s ugly and cluttered — but at least it’s well optimised with the available hardware.LG’s new phone gives you a spring board of apps and widgets spanning multiple home screens much like it is in the iPhone to begin with. There’s a way around LG’s approach to bring back the app drawer for those who like a more stock Android look and feel. That it can be done without deploying any third-party themes is a plus. You can either use the pre-installed EasyHome theme or download and install the Home 4.0 launcher from its app store.advertisementLG’s UX may take some time getting used to initially but once you’re through that phase it’s pretty much a smooth ride. The software also offers a lot of customisation options, which should impress those who like to tailor-make the way their phone looks.The mono speaker setup on the G6 gets very loud, louder than most rival phones with little or no distortion at peak volume. The LG G6 India model also comes with a Hi-Fi quad DAC for enhanced audio via any wired headphones.The 3,300mAh battery inside the G6 lasts longer than the Samsung Galaxy S8 which frankly speaking has pretty disappointing battery life. Most users with a more generalised usage should get at least one full day of usage on single charge. The G6, needless to say, also supports fast charging. The India model doesn’t support wireless charging though.CameraThe LG G6 comes with a dual camera system on the rear, consisting of two 13-megapixel sensors — offering a 125-degree wide angle — with one working ‘specifically’ to offer the wider field of view. The rear camera system is further assisted with f/1.8 aperture, 3-axis Optical Image Stabilisation, phase detection auto-focus and dual-LED flash. On the front, the G6 sports a 5-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture.In the LG G6, while one of the rear cameras has what you can call a regular lens, the other one has a wider lens. A wider lens means the phone’s rear snapper can cover a larger area with a distinct fish-eye effect on the edges. It kind of gives you a 3D-like panorama sweep of what you’re clicking without having you to move your phone in a certain manner.Switching between the two lenses happens seamlessly with just a tap on a toggle that rests comfortably on the screen all the while that you have the camera app up and running. It’s actually quite fast to switch and is as fast to focus and shoot.As for image quality, it’s fantastic especially in good light. Both the rear cameras boast of excellent dynamic range. Images clicked with them have no visible metering issues so that level of detail stays put on almost all occasions. The image quality of the wider lens toting camera is more or less in the same league as the regular, but it more than compensates for its hit-or-miss performance courtesy its wider scope.The G6 can stand toe to toe with the best in the business, when it comes to low-light photography. The G6 clicks pretty detailed — if a little over-sharpened — photos in tricky and low light situations making it one of the best flagship camera phones in the market right now.Full Vision displayThe USP of the G6 is its ‘big screen that fits.’ The phone comes with ridiculously slim bezels allowing the display to take up over 80 per cent of its front side: a concept also seen in Samsung’s Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+. The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ are however a lot more curvier in comparison, and also they offer more screen-to-body ratio — an 83 per cent — than LG’s phone.advertisementThe 5.7-inch QHD+ 18:9 Full Vision display of the G6 boasts of a 2,880×1,400 pixel resolution. Although there’s lots of screen it’s no match for the Galaxy S8’s super-punchy Super AMOLED display panel. Colours on-board the G6 appear muted in comparison. But, viewing angels are quite good, so is peak brightness.The G6, however, has one ace up its sleeve in the display department. It is the world’s first smartphone to support Dolby Vision (and HDR 10) for enhanced videos, a feature which was until now limited to high-end TVs.Dolby Vision content is less for now, although, Netflix and Amazon Prime do offer a good catalog. But, because the LG G6 has an 18:9 aspect ratio — instead of the regular 16: 9 — a lot of that content (in fact all of it) is going to broadcast in letter-box format which means black bars on either side. Force to fit might result in frame rate issues and content chopping here and there.Content suitable for the G6’s unusual aspect ratio is even lesser than content that supports Dolby Vision. The same is true for games as well. Web pages should work fine though. LG has a nifty way around the whole thing though. The G6 comes with something called as App Scaling that lets you manually adjust the screen size of downloaded apps. You can chose to run them in standard or full screen format. Then again, every app will respond differently since not all apps support 18:9 yet.Also Read: LG G6 review: The dark horselast_img read more

Not Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara is the prized wicket for Josh Hazelwood

first_imgSpinner Nathan Lyon’s prized wicket of Virat Kohli for 17 triggered scenes of jubilation but Australia paceman Josh Hazlewood said the India talisman was not Australia’s singular focus.”No definitely not. I probably see [Cheteshwar] Pujara as the big wicket as far as when I’m bowling, the glue that holds them together I think. He’s batted the most balls this series and scored nearly the most runs.”I see Pujara as a big wicket and Ajinkya Rahane as well. So the Nos. 3, 4, 5 as the key wickets and we see it a bit unstable in the other parts of the order. Certainly not all the focus is on Virat Kohli,” Hazlewood told reporters at the end of fourth day’s play in the Perth Test.Chasing an improbable target of 287 for a win, India crawled to 112 for 5 at the close of play on Day, with Hanuma Vihari 24 not out and Rishabh Pant unbeaten on nine.India need 175 runs to take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series, Australia need 5 wickets to go on level terms.Hazlewood said Australia would not celebrate an expected victory prematurely.”It has been a long time between drinks but there is a lot of work to be done tomorrow [Tuesday],” he said. “We just have to stay disciplined and patient. There is enough there in the wicket, we just have to hit the right areas.”Hazlewood said Paine had grown as a leader since assuming the captaincy from the suspended Steve Smith.”I think he is getting more confident,” he said. “He is an experienced player and he keeps things calm and doesn’t get too flustered.”advertisementEven though emotions frayed, Hazlewood denied there was ill-feeling between the teams.”I think it was all good fun, it’s quite competitive out there as you know and there’s going to be words from time to time but it was all in good spirit,” Hazlewood said.”I don’t think we read too much into it, we go about our work as we see fit and the Indians can do what they like. We control what we control and our behaviour is what we control. We’ll worry about that and let everything else take care of itself.”Australia seek to end a barren six-Test run and provide Tim Paine with his first triumph as skipper.(With inputs from Reuters)Also Read | Virat Kohli best batsman but world’s worst-behaved player: Naseeruddin ShahAlso Read | Prithvi Shaw ruled out of Test series in Australia, Mayank Agarwal named replacementAlso Read | Hardik Pandya to join Team India in Australia, likely to play Boxing Day Testlast_img read more

Nasdaq Warns Paragon Shipping

first_imgzoom Athens-based dry bulk specialist Paragon Shipping has received written notification from Nasdaq indicating that the company no longer meets the minimum bid price requirement for the Nasdaq Global Market because the closing bid price of its common stock for the last 30 consecutive business days was below USD 1 per share.The Nasdaq Listing Rules allow an 180-day applicable grace period for a company to regain compliance, which in case of Paragon runs until November 10, 2015.Paragon can cure this deficiency if the closing bid price of its common stock is USD 1 per share or higher for at least ten consecutive business days during the grace period.In the event the company does not regain compliance within the 180-day grace period and it meets all other listing standards and requirements, it may be eligible for an additional 180-day grace period if it transfers to the Nasdaq Capital Market.Paragon’s common stock will continue to be listed and trade on the Nasdaq Global Market during the grace period.The company’s current fleet consists of sixteen dry bulk carriers with a total carrying capacity of 980,399 dwt, with two Ultramax and three Kamsarmax dry bulk carriers scheduled to be delivered in 2015.last_img read more

Energy Planning and Regulatory Improvements Highlight Discussions

first_imgENERGY–Energy Planning and Regulatory Improvements HighlightDiscussions Atlantic Canada’s energy ministers are working on plans toincrease security and sustainability of energy supply in theregion. At a meeting today, Feb. 16, in Sydney Mines, the fourministers addressed a broad range of issues centred aroundregional energy co-operation. The meeting was hosted by Nova Scotia Energy Minister CecilClarke. It was chaired by Jamie Ballem, Minister of Environmentand Energy for Prince Edward Island, and attended by Ed Byrne,Minister of Mines and Energy, Newfoundland and Labrador, andBruce Fitch, Minister of Energy, New Brunswick. “Co-operation means working together to address our ownchallenges,” said Mr. Clarke. “It also means taking a commonapproach to dealing with Ottawa. Today’s discussions identifiedhow we can move forward together with our federal counterparts ina positive way.” Key energy topics raised at the meeting include: climate change; regional co-operation on electricity markets and generation; encouraging offshore exploration by eliminating tariffs on drilling rigs and addressing the uncertainties surrounding offshore boundaries in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; building energy supply through liquified natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) technologies; support for Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador in their efforts to become the principal beneficiaries of their offshore resources.center_img “Meeting future energy needs in a manner that is botheconomically and environmentally sustainable is a priority forPrince Edward Island, as it is for our Atlantic counterparts,”said Mr. Ballem. “Today’s meeting marked another important stepin exploring ways we can all benefit by taking a co-operativeapproach to address our shared challenges and opportunities inthe energy sector.” With respect to climate change, the ministers see a stronger rolefor both renewable energy sources and for improved energyefficiency. To achieve this, they believe the federal governmentmust clarify further development of the climate change plan andexplain how that plan will impact the Atlantic region. “I am pleased that all minsters recognize the significantcontribution renewable energy developments including wind andhydro electricity (in particular projects like the LowerChurchill) and a suite of energy efficient opportunities can playin addressing climate change,” said Mr. Byrne. “We will pursueappropriate recognition for these in subsequent discussions withthe federal government on climate change.” The Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador ministers alsostressed the importance of continuing to work with the federalgovernment to maximize the economic potential of each province’snatural resources. This would ensure that continued investment ismade in exploration and development. The four ministers also agreed to work toward establishing aprocess to develop clear administrative boundary lines andrelated regulatory regimes, both of which would help provide thepetroleum industry with a predictable regulatory framework. The ministers will also encourage Ottawa to proceed quickly withthe proposed moratorium on import duties on mobile drilling rigs. They said that, in order to ensure energy availability andaccessibility in the region, both liquified natural gas (LNG) andcompressed natural gas (CNG) are viable options that couldsupport infrastructure development and augment natural gassupply. The ministers said high levels of demand for electricitygeneration and the challenges faced by adding new generation haveprompted them to move toward establishing a regional approach. “With its ties to PEI, Nova Scotia, Quebec and Maine, NewBrunswick is positioned on the grid as an integral part of aregional plan for transmission and generation,” said Mr. Fitch. It was agreed to establish a working group to report back to theministers on electricity issues in late spring. As chair of the group, Mr. Ballem will contact the federalgovernment to arrange a meeting of the Atlantic energy ministersand the appropriate federal ministers. The Atlantic ministerswill ask that Federal Environment Minister David Anderson jointhem at the Atlantic energy roundtable on oil and gas. The roundtable is a federal-provincial partnership with industry andregulators on offshore on oil and gas issues. At their meeting in Corner Brook on Feb. 12, the Council ofAtlantic Premiers encouraged the provincial energy ministers tolook at opportunities for greater regional co-operation on energypolicy. The energy ministers will soon report back to the Councilof Atlantic Premiers on their progress in that regard.last_img read more

Incredible Picnic Celebrates Local Food Across the Province

first_imgNOTE: A list of Incredible Picnic communities and locations follows this release.———————————————————— Farmers, chefs, musicians, and vendors will join together to celebrate local food at the 2nd annual Incredible Picnic on Sunday, Aug. 23, in communities across the province. The Incredible Picnic is a celebration of local food mixed with live music, children’s activities and learning opportunities. Participating vendors include more than 100 producers, wineries, restaurants, and farms in 11 communities. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. “A publicly supported buy-local initiative is a beginning for a more competitive and profitable agriculture sector,” said John MacDonell, Minister of Agriculture. “We hope people will take the opportunity to enjoy the Incredible Picnic in their community, where they can buy fresh, local food.” The event encourages the agriculture industry to work together to showcase local food and raise awareness about the benefits of buying local food. More details about vendors, live music and activities are available at www.selectnovascotia.ca .last_img read more

YZ v Halifax Regional Municipality Hearing Resumes

first_imgAn independent Nova Scotia human rights board of inquiry in the case of Y.Z. v. Halifax Regional Municipality is scheduled to resume on Monday, April 18. An identity publication ban has been issued by the board chair to protect the complainant’s identity. The complainant alleges racial discrimination by the employer, Halifax Regional Municipality. The board of inquiry will begin at 9 a.m., at the Holiday Inn Harbourview, 101 Wyse Rd., Dartmouth. The board chair is Lynn Connors, who is independent of the commission, which is a party representing the public interest at the board of inquiry. -30-last_img read more

Feds will make marijuana legal in Canada on Oct 17 Trudeau says

first_imgOTTAWA – Canadians will have to wait until Oct. 17 — one month longer than expected — before they’ll be able to legally purchase and consume recreational marijuana.Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the date Wednesday during the last question period in the House of Commons before MPs departed for a three-month summer break.He said the government delayed the timetable for lifting the almost century-old prohibition on marijuana at the request of three of the larger provinces, including Quebec, which asked for more time to make the transition to a legal regime for regulating the production, distribution and consumption of cannabis.“The provinces have asked us for more time than they originally thought they would need in order to get the implementation right and I think we all agree it’s important to get this right and not rushed,” the prime minister told a news conference wrapping up the spring sitting of Parliament.By taking the extra time, Trudeau added: “It is our hope that as of Oct. 17, there will be a smooth operation of retail cannabis outlets operated by the provinces, with an online mail delivery system operated by the provinces that will ensure that this happens in an orderly fashion.”Still, he acknowledged that legalization is “a process, not a single-day event,” recognizing that there may be kinks that will have to be worked out as the country adapts to the new regime.The extra month still wasn’t enough to satisfy Manitoba’s justice minister, Heather Stefanson.“We’re happy that they’ve listened to us, that they’ve pushed that date off, but I still do have concerns that we’re not going to have certain things in place prior to that (October) date,” she said.For instance, Stefanson said she’s concerned that reliable roadside testing devices for cannabis won’t be available by then.On Tuesday, the Senate approved Bill C-45, the bill establishing the new legal regime, after seven months of intensive study and debate.Senators also dropped their insistence on amendments to the bill, most notably one that would have authorized provincial and territorial governments to prohibit the home cultivation of marijuana plants if they choose.On Wednesday, the Senate also passed a companion bill, C-46, that tightens impaired driving laws. Senators dropped their insistence on an amendment that would have gutted the bill, stripping the centrepiece provision that authorizes police to conduct mandatory roadside alcohol breath tests, without needing to have reasonable grounds to suspect a driver is impaired.Both bills are to receive royal assent Thursday, although C-45 will not go into force for another three months.Passage of the bills had Trudeau and his ministers basking in the glow of finally delivering on one of the Liberals’ biggest campaign promises in 2015.Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould called the legislation “transformative.”“C-45 marks a wholesale shift in how our country approaches cannabis,” she said.“It leaves behind a failed model of prohibition, a model that has made organized crime rich and left our young people vulnerable. In its place, we will have a new system that will give adults the opportunity to purchase and consume cannabis legally from authorized suppliers.“Most importantly, our shift in policy will protect youth from the health and safety risks of cannabis and keep those same criminals from profiting from its production, distribution and sale.”Conservative critics and some experts have doubted the government will achieve its objective of eradicating the black market in illicit marijuana. Indeed, most experts have said it will take time to displace organized crime.But Trudeau boldly predicted Wednesday that “at the beginning we’re going to take a significant part of the market share — right now occupied almost entirely by organized crime — away and over the following months and indeed years, we will completely replace or almost completely replace the organized crime market.”Wilson-Raybould used a separate news conference to remind Canadians that pot remains illegal in Canada until the new law goes into effect in October.“I urge all Canadians to continue to follow the existing law until the Cannabis Act comes into force,” she said.“I would like to also remind the public that driving while impaired by drugs is, and will remain, illegal.”It was clear, however, that there are still more questions than answers about what Canada’s nascent legal-pot landscape will look like — how police will test motorists, what to do about those with prior marijuana convictions and just how the rules governing home cultivation will work.Quebec, Manitoba and Nunavut have already decided to ban home-grown weed, despite the fact that the new federal law stipulates that individuals may grow up to four plants per dwelling.Wilson-Raybould said the federal government has no intention of challenging provincial bans on home-grown pot, but she noted that some individuals may well launch legal challenges.In the Commons, New Democrat MP Don Davies attempted to pass a motion calling on the government to immediately pardon Canadians convicted of simple cannabis possession — something that will no longer be a crime as of Oct. 17. The motion did not muster the necessary unanimous consent.At his subsequent news conference, Trudeau said it would be “illogical” to pardon people before the law has changed.“Until the actual coming into force date happens and the law is changed, there’s no point looking at pardons while the old law is on the books,” he said. “We’ve said we will look at next steps once the new coming-into-force happens but, between now and then, the current regime stays.”— With files from Steve Lambert in Winnipeglast_img read more

Pharrell Williams Announces Clothing Created From Plastic Recycled From The Oceans

first_imgPharrell Williams, Creative Director of Bionic Yarn, will announce “RAW for the Oceans”, a long-term collaboration between denim brand G-Star RAW and Bionic Yarn, at an event at the American Museum of Natural History.RAW for the Oceans is a G-Star collection that will be made with Bionic Yarn created out of plastic recycled from the oceans and their shores. RAW for the Oceans is a long-term creative exploration, where Bionic Yarn and G-Star RAW joined forces to innovate denim and to make a serious impact against plastic pollution.Also expected to attend and walk the blue carpet: Adrienne Bailon, Chanel Iman, David LaChapelle, Denise Vasi, Joe Jonas & Blanda Eggenschwiler, Meek Mill, Skylar Grey, The Wanted, Tyson Beckford, and others.The collaboration is a creative exploration, where Bionic Yarn and G-Star joined forces to innovate denim. Together they will create a collection made with recycled materials from the oceans in stores from August 2014. In addition to the joined seasonal collections, G-Star will integrate Bionic Yarn material into existing product lines.The RAW for the Oceans collection will be available at selected G-Star RAW stores, and online from August 15th.DATE: Saturday, February 8th, 2014WHERE: The Museum of Natural History Central Park West Milstein Hall of Ocean LifeWHEN: 6:00-6:30pm Press Conference 6:30-7:30pm Blue Carpet6.30-8.30pm Cocktails + Fingerfoodlast_img read more

HANDMAIDS TALE SHOWRUNNER BREAKS DOWN A DARKLY HEROIC SEASON THREE FINALE

first_img Login/Register With: That said, the show’s most recent finale is undeniably impactful, as June realizes the toll this world has taken on her, and joins with several other women in an act of potential self-sacrifice to save nearly 100 children from meeting the same fate. In the end she and her fellow rebels are victorious, loading dozens of children on a plane to Canada.But showrunner Bruce Miller knows better than anyone that heroism like this comes at a cost—both for June and those she leaves in her wake. Speaking with V.F. ahead of the season finale’s debut, he said that this season was shaped, in part, by that force: the cost of becoming a conquerer.Vanity Fair: When we spoke at the end of season two, we talked about June becoming a rebel. We definitely got that this season, but the show also zoomed out to show bigger issues surrounding Gilead and the refugee situation it’s creating in Canada. What were your storytelling goals coming into this season?Bruce Miller: I think the storytelling goals were just to follow June and her natural progression towards rebelling, and to show how hard it was. I think that we’re kind of sold a bill of goods on TV that one person who really feels strongly about something and tries very, very hard can change the world.  READ MORETHE HANDMAID’S TALE CLOSES A MESSY SEASON WITH A SURPRISINGLY SATISFYING FINALEJune embarks on a dangerous mission, as the show attempts to justify its recent creative choices.Every week, a few members of the Vox Culture team gather to talk out the latest episode of The Handmaid’s Tale, Hulu’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s 1985 novel. This week, critic at large Emily VanDerWerff and staff writer Constance Grady discuss “Mayday,” the third season finale.Emily VanDerWerff: Watching a largely satisfying finale to a season of TV that never quite came together can feel like watching the ending of a different story than the one previously being told. It’s as if, for a brief moment, the show has provided a glimpse into an alternate universe where the season was everything it could have been. READ MORE11 PHOTOS OF THE HANDMAID’S TALE CAST BREAKING CHARACTERThe Handmaid’s Tale will wrap up its third season this Sunday, August 18 in Canada. (Don’t Google it – it aired earlier this week in the U.S. and spoilers abound.) As we wait for the sure-to-be heart stopping season finale, here’s a look at all the behind-the-scenes moments documented on Instagram, with a lot more smiles and laughter than you’ve probably come to expect from the show.Rita (Amanda Brugel), Alma (Nina Kiri) and June (Elisabeth Moss) casually enjoying a read at Indigo in Mississauga’s Erin Mills Town Centre, no less.Alma and Janine (Madeline Brewer) take a selfie.  READ MORE Advertisement Advertisement Advertisement Facebookcenter_img LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment The Handmaid’s Tale (by Sophie Giraud/Hulu) This post contains spoilers for the Handmaid’s Tale season three finale.HANDMAID’S TALE SHOWRUNNER BREAKS DOWN A DARKLY HEROIC SEASON THREE FINALEBlessed Be The Fruit. How the series will interact with Margaret Atwood’s sequel novel, how the writers room discusses race, and whether June’s plot armor has gotten too thick.In its third season, The Handmaid’s Tale turned its protagonist, June, into a ruthless rebel—an at-times morally ambiguous hero forged by unthinkable circumstances. In some ways the series has broadened its perspective in this latest chapter, offering viewers a look at international relations between Gilead and various countries, especially Canada. In others, however, it’s felt somewhat trapped by its own premise—bound to Gilead when the most poignant story is what’s happening to refugees outside of that dystopian hellscape, and confined to June’s perspective, blind spots and all. Twitterlast_img read more

States still show a lack of awareness over torture but it must

“What is always strange to me if I go on a country mission and then speak to high Governmental officials, speak to the heads of prisons, of police stations etc, [is] a lack of awareness that torture is one of the most serious human rights violations,” the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Manfred Nowak, told reporters in New York.“The Convention against torture [adopted more than 20 years ago] is very clear: it says States have an obligation to criminalize torture with adequate sanctions and if we look what the Committee against torture says is adequate, that is a prison sentence where the maximum penalty should be at least 10 years or more.”“Torture is a very, very serious human rights violation and there is a wide practice of impunity; very, very few cases are actually brought to justice and then even when people are finally sentenced then they get these kind of disciplinary sanctions or it’s treated as a misdemeanour.”Mr. Nowak spoke to reporters after briefing the General Assembly’s Third Committee earlier in the day, when he also spoke of his fact-finding visits over the past two years to Georgia, Mongolia, Nepal, the People’s Republic of China and Jordan. He also said that a large part of his work since his appointment in 2004 had been focused on the issue of torture and counter-terrorism.“I spent much of my time in relation to the question of the relationship between torture and counter-terrorism strategies. In particular after 9/11 the absolute prohibition of torture has been put into question, not only by academics but also by Governments, in saying you have to balance the prohibition of torture with national security concerns.”However, quoting from the UN Convention against torture, Mr. Nowak points out that it states that “no information, no confession that is established to have been extracted by torture shall be used as evidence in any proceedings.” read more

UN welcomes Germanys offer to resettle residents of Iraqs Camp Hurriya

“Germany’s offer follows a similar one by the Albanian government to relocate 210 residents in Albania, and I am very grateful to both countries for having offered durable solutions for the residents of Camp Hurriya,” said Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Martin Kobler. Camp Hurriya serves as a transit facility for more than 3,000 exiles, most of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran, where a process to determine their refugee status is being carried out by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). With the latest offer, 10 per cent of the camp’s residents now have offers to relocate to third countries. Mr. Kobler added that “this announcement also follows the Secretary-General’s repeated public and bilateral appeals to Member States to offer residents resettlement opportunities.”In the same statement, UNHCR Representative in Iraq, Claire Bourgeois, encouraged other countries to follow Albania and Germany’s lead, “This generous offer by Germany is a demonstration of international solidarity and burden-sharing for a vulnerable population.”Last month, following the offer by Albania Government, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he “unequivocally supports” Mr. Kobler’s efforts “to courageously and creatively, in exceptionally difficult circumstances, help resolve this situation.”In addition, in his recent report about the situation in Iraq, Mr. Ban urged those who express support for the residents of Camp Hurriya and the remaining residents of another camp, New Iraq, to stop spreading insults and falsehoods about Mr. Kobler, who heads the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and instead help to promote a durable solution.Also today, Mr. Kobler expressed his deep concern that Iraq continues to implement the death penalty. The most recent execution of 21 prisoners took place on 16 April, according to UNAMI. “I regret that repeated calls of the United Nations to suspend the implementation of death sentences were not heard,” Mr. Kobler said.“I urge once again the Iraqi government to immediately suspend all pending death sentences and to apply without delay the moratorium on the death penalty, in conformity with General Assembly Resolutions 62/149 (2007), 63/168 (2009), 65/205 (2010) and 67/176 (2012),” he added.Meanwhile, final preparations are underway in parts of Iraq for the 20 April Governorate Council Elections. Mr. Kobler today urged eligible Iraqis to actively participate for the success of the poll, “I am calling on all women and men to cast their ballots for a better future for them and their children.”“My appeal goes particularly to the young Iraqis, because you are the future of this country,” he added.Stressing that it is the duty of all political leaders to safeguard the integrity of the democratic process, Mr. Kobler underlined that “consolidation of democracy will depend on the willingness of Iraq’s political leaders to collectively ensure a transparent and peaceful election, free of intimidation or political interference”.“Of equal importance is my appeal to the Iraqi security forces to remain on heightened alert and to enable voters to reach polling centres and cast their vote in a safe environment, without fear of violence,” he concluded.At least 15.5 million Iraqis are eligible to vote in upcoming polls, according to official estimates, where more than 8,000 candidates are reportedly vying for 378 seats. read more

Water central to global peace development UN deputy chief tells London summit

“Around today’s world, we see how a lack of access to water can fuel conflict and even threaten peace and stability,” Jan Eliasson pointed out as he delivered the keynote address on “Tackling the Global Water Challenges: What’s Next?,” to the Summit, which was organized by The Economist.The Deputy Secretary-General stressed the need for “hydro-diplomacy, or water diplomacy” as degraded access to water stemming from climate change, or population pressure risks creating social tensions, political instability and intensified refugee flows. The Summit features several presentations and panels including on the challenge of urbanization, sustainable approaches to agriculture and sanitation and a senior-level discussion on water security. Participating in the Summit are ministers of water and the environment from Uganda, Singapore, and Mongolia, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations, the private sector and several publications.During his address, the Deputy Secretary-General recalled seeing water used as a weapon of war during the Darfur conflict in Sudan.“On one trip in 2007, to the North of Darfur as we arrived in a village, we were met by a group of women chanting, ‘Water, water, water.’ The enemy militia had poisoned their well, they said,” Mr. Eliasson told Summit participants. And most recently, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has also exploited access to water to expand its control over territory and to subjugate the population. And from Tajikistan to Ethiopia, upstream/downstream tensions related to large hydroelectric projects remain an issue. But water tensions are not exclusive to conflict ridden and developing countries alone. In recent years, the world has witnessed a surge of water-related crises from the dried up eastern basin of the Aral Sea to the unprecedented three-year drought in California. In addition, rapid urbanization has put huge pressure on water use and infrastructure, making water an increasingly scarce and expensive resource, especially for the poor and marginalised.“Let me share with you some numbers. Demand for water is projected to grow by over 40 per cent by 2050. An estimated 1.8 billion people will soon live in countries or regions with water scarcity,” the Deputy Secretary-General said. There is good news, however. Thanks to global mobilization inspired by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), two billion people have benefited from access to improved water sources, a result of smart investments and policies. “Still, let us remember that 750 million people today do not have access to safe drinking water,” said Mr. Eliasson.Roughly 80 per cent of global water is discharged in untreated ways into oceans, rivers and lakes. Nearly 2 million children under the age of five die every year for want of clean water and decent sanitation. One billion people in 22 countries still defecate in the open, said Mr. Eliasson, adding that the UN on 19 November will celebrate the first ever official World Toilet Day. “We want to break the silence and taboo surrounding toilets and open defecation. These words must be natural elements of the diplomatic discourse on development,” he added. Recalling that sanitation was “nowhere to be found” in the initial MDGs but is now one of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the period 2015-2030 because “experience has shown that sanitation and sound hygiene practices are critical drivers of development,” Mr. Eliasson added. He appealed to the private sector to engage actively with UN Global Compact– the world body’s main corporate sustainability initiative – which has already committed more than 125 companies to advancing corporate water stewardship and better sanitation practices. “Corporate engagement on sanitation ensures healthy work-forces and societies. Sanitation is also a business opportunity, as there are millions and millions of people in need,” he said. Tensions over water will clearly be exacerbated by climate change but “we must not lose site of the opportunities that water offers as a source of cooperation”. Water can and should drive cooperation and conflict resolutions. Over 90 per cent of the world’s population lives in countries that share rives and lake basins with potential for shared management. Almost 450 agreements on international waters were signed between 1820 and 2007. He called for smarter water management approaches, better waste management to protect rivers and more creative use of technology to “explore the frontiers” of desalination. Global partnerships are critical as well. “No single Government can implement the water agenda alone,” the Deputy Secretary-General added. read more

Maingears Solo 21 allinone is fully upgradeable including the motherboard

first_imgCustom PC manufacturer, Maingear, has added a new desktop to its arsenal in the form of an all-in-one media hub; a first for the tower PC and laptop builder.The Solo 21 has a display that offers 21.5-inches of 1080p HD goodness, with the option to turn it into a 10-point touchscreen for the added fee of $129. The chassis is black plastic with an easel stand, which may seem somewhat similar to Lenovo’s ThinkCentre all-in-one series.A base configuration costs $999 and comes with an Intel Core i3-2125 (3.3GHz) processor, integrated Intel HD graphics, 4GB of DDR3-1333 RAM, and an 8x dual-layer DVD player. Some of the more luxurious features come in the form of a 32GB SSD cache drive, which works with the primary 500GB 7,200rpm drive without the hassle of having a dual-drive setup. User’s with this setup will see faster boot and application launch times–making for a more time-efficient system. The Intel Thin Mini-ITX motherboard also makes upgrades easier, if you’re the kind that likes to crack open a PC panel. But for those of you thinking of adding on a GPU, there’s no discrete graphics support, so you’ll be limited to whatever integrated graphics support the CPU offers.Software-wise the Solo 21 comes with your choice of 64-bit Windows 7 operating system, and that’s it–no bloatware, trial-ware, or proprietary software to worry about. It boots up and is ready to go out of the box; as all PCs should.The Solo 21 doesn’t come with any video inputs, which may be disappointing to college students or more thrifty users that want to utilize its 21.5-inch screen as a monitor to plug in their game console — it comes with DVI-I and HDMI video outputs instead. Additional ports include, eSATA, USB 2.0 ports (double as charging dock for any USB device), USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet, audio-in and -out, and a 6-in-1 media card reader. WiFi and Bluetooth wireless radios are on board. If you truly want to make this machine the ultimate media hub, Maingear gives you the option to add a TV Tuner for $229 and upgrade to a Blu-ray player for $220.If you’re interest is piqued then check out Maingear’s dedicated Solo 21 page to see more, or perhaps configure your own.last_img read more

Apple to offer Internet radio service in 2013 to combat Pandora

first_imgApple has been the undisputed king of digital music sales for a long time, having successfully kept the likes of Amazon and Google at bay. Now young upstarts like Pandora are starting to steal away some music purchasers with streaming radio and rumors are swirling once again that Apple is going to get into the Internet radio business to stomp out Pandora.Apple is reportedly in talks with the recording industry to set up the streaming service in 2013, which would likely be built into iOS devices and OS X. The company’s long standing relationship with record companies could make an Apple streaming service much more attractive than the competition. However, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Apple charging a small fee for its streaming radio service, whereas Pandora is free for limited use. Remember that Apple charges $25 per year for iTunes Match.Pandora relies on a compulsory license that severely limits what users are able to listen to. New releases are usually held back, and you can only skip a limited number of tracks each hour. These are features Apple might be able to improve on by getting even cozier with the recording industry.The huge number of iOS devices on the market gives Apple a big advantage. If Cupertino decides to push an update to all the iDevices out there adding a streaming music app, it could easily surpass Pandora in users.Apple also has the money to push this service for as long as it takes. Pandora, on the other hand, has seen its stock price dip 21% since last Spring.via Bloomberglast_img read more

Shrine in Turkey uncovered as tomb of ancient Greek boxer

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram What was believed to be a saint’s shrine in Turkey, has been uncovered as the final resting place of ancient Greek boxer, Diagoras of Rhodes.The 2,300-year-old tomb was believed to be a burial place of a holy person by locals in Turgut, located near Turkey’s Aegean coastal town of Marmaris. For years it has been a place of pilgrimage, with many young men known to take a handful of dirt from the site as good luck ahead of joining the army to complete their military service.In the 1970s however, the religious roots of the site were called into question, and according to reports by Turkish newspaper Milliyet, was raided.Now over 40 years on, and it would appear the findings were onto something, with experts now confirming that the tomb has ancient Greek roots. They have discovered that it belonged to Diagoras who lived in the fifth century BCE.A descendent of Damagetus, King of Ialysus and Messenian hero, Aristomenes, he was celebrated for many of his own victories, believed to have won at the Olympics twice, four times in the Isthmian, twice in the Nemean, and once at in the Pythian Games, and the subsequent achievements of his sons and grandsons.A statue of the boxer can be found on the Dodecanese island today.Experts also discovered an inscription in the tomb, stating “I will be vigilant at the very top so as to ensure that no coward can come and destroy this grave,” Milliyet reported.A statue in Rhodes of Diagoras (C) being carried into a stadium by his sons Damagetos and Akousilaos. Photo: rhodesprivatetours.comlast_img read more

Les centrales helvètes résisteraient à un séisme

first_imgLes centrales helvètes résisteraient à un séismeLes quatre centrales nucléaires présentent sur le territoire suisse seraient capables de résister à un important séisme selon l’Inspection fédérale de la sécurité nucléaire (IFSN). Elles ne constitueraient pas de danger pour les habitants et l’environnement.Selon un communiqué de l’IFSN, “les centrales nucléaires suisses résistent à un tremblement de terre comme il s’en produit au maximum un tous les 10.000 ans”. Le responsable de la division Centrales nucléaires, Georg Schwarz, a souligné que “la protection de la population et de l’environnement face à une dose de radioactivité trop élevée est garantie”.À lire aussiLe pied d’éléphant, cette effrayante masse radioactive cachée dans les entrailles de TchernobylSelon l’organisation, le refroidissement du cœur de la centrale et le refroidissement des piscines de stockage d’éléments combustibles restent garantis en cas de tremblement de terre. “La limite légale de dose de radioactivité de 100 millisievert est nettement respectée lors de ces incidents”, a par ailleurs indiqué l’IFSN.En ce qui concerne la centrale de Mühleberg (dans l’ouest de la Suisse), l’exploitant a également vérifié la résistance de l’installation face à une défaillance d’un barrage hydraulique situé à proximité, rapporte 20minutes.fr.Toutefois, l’an passé, suite à la catastrophe de Fukushima (mars 2011), le parlement suisse avait approuvé la sortie progressive du nucléaire. Le pays, qui compte actuellement quatre réacteurs nucléaires, mettra hors service l’ensemble de ses centrales d’ici à 2034.Le 14 juillet 2012 à 21:00 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Get 50 Percent Off on Premium Pro Training Programs From RedVector

first_img Sonic Soak Is the Tiny Washing Machine That Goes AnywhereThis $500 SEO Tool Is Only $24 Today Feel stuck in a dead end job? Switch things up by training for a lucrative future as a certified cyber security or project management professional with elite technical programs from RedVector. They’re fast, convenient, and have been discounted by 50% to just $99 for a limited time.If you’ve ever changed careers, then you already know how difficult retraining can be. First you have to scrounge up the cash for tuition, fork out even more for books, and then find the time to fit classes into your busy schedule. For some, these barriers are a deal breaker. And that is precisely what makes training with RedVector such a viable alternative.RedVector is an industry leader in technical training. Their programs are delivered exclusively online so there are no schedules and their fees are far less expensive. When you consider how effective their programs are — they boast over one million graduates to date — it’s easy to understand why it’s such a popular option. If you want to train for a professional career but don’t have the patience for on-campus classes, then RedVector may be right up your alley.The RedVector IT Cybersecurity Pro e-training program, discounted by 50% to just $99, offers all the education you’ll require to become a skilled network security pro. You’ll receive access to over 500 courses that’ll explain ethical hacking, security planning, and leadership. And, upon completion, you’ll be able to apply your skills to earn valuable, industry respected credentials that could help you land your dream job in under a year.Also available is RedVector’s Project Management Professional program, marked down by 50% to only $99. This package offers access to over 100 courses that explain project management fundamentals, how to manage risks, costs control methods, and more. In less than a year, students will have the skills necessary to become a Certified Project Management Pro and be able to compete for jobs in this demanding and lucrative field.Why pay thousands of dollars for traditional classroom learning when you can get the exact same education from the comfort of home for far less? Start your career as a cybersecurity or project management professional today by training with RedVector and pay just $99 for a limited time.Want your products featured in the Geek.com Deals store? Learn more about how to sell your products online! Stay on targetlast_img read more

Mobile Media Solutions

first_imgHearst Corp. recently created a new opportunity for itself by combining popular topics like celebrities and sports with the growing interest in mobile applications via its creation of LMK (“Let Me Know”), a digital company that curates, designs and delivers content on popular topics over Apple’s iPhone.LMK offers nearly 70 topic-specific apps dedicated to subjects like pop music star Lady Gaga, and the New York Yankees baseball team. Each app, which starts at $0.99 and is available for download on the iPhone and the iPod Touch, provides “curated news” and a photo stream that is continuously updated from third party sources. Hearst plans to add specific product enhancements over the coming months that will expand LMK’s delivery experience.“We saw an interesting market opportunity to break through the clutter of Internet search results and build digital products that curate, package and deliver the most authoritative content on subjects that matter to consumers,” says Michael Gutkowski, president of LMK.Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has also been focusing on building up its mobile offerings in 2010. In February, the company released its first app for iPhone and iPod Touch users targeted toward readers of Everyday Food. The app allows users to access recipes and daily dinner ideas, create grocery lists and find store locations. “The Everyday Food app is the best expression of our mobile strategy,” says Janet Balis, executive vice president of sales and marketing at MSLO. “In its first week in the Apple iTunes store, it became the number one most downloaded app in the paid lifestyle category.”But MSLO also realizes that while iPhones and smartphones are growing in popularity, not everyone is ready to make the switch. That is why the company is working on branded communication via Short Messaging service. “We want have the opportunity to interact with consumers through text,” says Balis. “It’s a key vertical for us.”MSLO has also been experimenting with mobile barcode technology through SnapTag. In the November 2009 issue of Everyday Food, readers were prompted to snap and send photos of an icon found in the ad pages of the magazine and then opt-in to receive promotional info as well as additional info from the editors. “We saw phenomenal results, “Balis says. “We received 6,500 responses, which is three times more than the prior best in the industry.” The April issue of Martha Stewart Living will be a “Snapped” issue with advertisers including GMC, Uncle Ben’s, Rembrandt and Neutrogena participating. Condé Nast’s Golf Digest is also experimenting with mobile barcode technology. With its November 2009 issue, it became the first title to utilize Microsoft’s High Capacity Color Barcode technology, which prompts consumers to scan a code found in the print magazine using the internal camera on a smartphone. In Golf Digest, readers are directed to an online video that demonstrates the golf techniques featured in the magazine. “When the concept came out, we automatically knew that it was right for our readers, who are tech savvy and early adapters of smartphones,” says Tom Bair, VP and publishing director of Golf Digest Publications. “About 45 percent of our readers have purchased iPhones in the last 12 months. So it was a great opportunity for us to roll out the technology from an editorial standpoint.”The technology has been used in every issue of Golf Digest for both editorial and advertising purposes and over 250,000 downloads have been recorded, according to the company.  The magazine is also launching two branded iPhone apps—one that mirrors the magazine’s annual “Hot List” feature and highlights the best in golf equipment, and another called “Tips Plus,” which provides golf instruction. “The bulk of our readers are still getting the content from our magazine, but we always want to be able to reach them wherever they are,” says Bair.Meredith has also launched two iPhone apps this year, the Parents-branded “iPlay ‘n Learn” app, which features educational games and activities for preschool and kindergarten children and has been downloaded 20,000 times so far, and the “Mixing Bowl” app, which allows members of the MixingBowl.com community to extend their social activity to their phones.  “When it comes to mobile, it’s not simply pushing magazine content onto handsets,” says Wendy Riches, chief strategy officer, Meredith National Media Group. “It’s about extending our brand relationship and providing real-time value to consumers through their phones. For some consumers, the mobile experience may be their first contact with our brands and we’ll look for opportunities to deepen the relationship.”The company, however, took an even bigger strategic step as far as its involvement in mobile technology by investing in mobile marketing firm Hyperfactory. Although the company had little to do with Meredith’s current iPhone apps, the firm will assist Meredith in its future mobile efforts. Meanwhile, Meredith is connecting the dots between print and mobile with the April issue of Traditional Home. Five stories plus the Editor’s Letter are “tagged” with a special icon that when scanned using the Microsoft Tag Reader app transfer to a video or Web extension of the article. Article tags are found within the features and readers can also identify selected videos through a special tag marker in the magazine’s  table of contents. One “Tip Clip” features an industry show tour with Traditional Home’s Krissa Rossbund taking readers inside the recent New York International Gift Fair. Beyond the iPhoneWhile the iPhone has rapidly become the dominant platform for mobile apps targeting the consumer market, a new crop of mobile Web developers such as Handmark, Moblico and PageSuite are working with publishers to get their content (and advertising) on other platforms, including the Android and Blackberry. The Forbes.com Reader for Blackberry (developed by Handmark) offers users direct access to all recently published Forbes content and helps readers track investments with a live stocks list. Full stories are downloaded to the device and can be accessed with or without a data connection.Forbes uses standard RSS formats and the XIgnite stocks API to deliver content. “We know that our audience increasingly relies on their mobile devices to stay informed and make business decisions and we developed for the dominant platform for business users,” says Jeff Bauer, product and creative director at Forbes. “We also know that they are constantly engaging, so we offer a great experience even when they might not have a data connection.”  Handmark also works with smaller consumer and b-to-b publishers, including FierceMarkets. “We’ve got the cost model down to where we can do this for local press,” says Handmark CEO Paul Reddick. “From a development perspective there is not a lot the publisher has to do unless they’re not digital, although they should at least have a Web site and RSS or XML feeds we can pull from.”Custom media company Ascend Integrated Media has signed deals with two separate mobile specialists to create a series of mobile products. A partnership with Moblico will offer targeted messages and coupons to clients across different categories such as healthcare, gifts, fashion and home décor.Earlier this year, Ascend partnered with Handmark to create and distribute smartphone applications, which include Web and landing page access, e-newsletters, digital magazines and newspapers, buyer’s guides, interactive maps and exhibit guides and directories.“The business model is evolving,” says David Doherty, director of ad sales and sponsorships at Ascend Integrated Media. “Historically, we were a print publisher and over the last few years we’ve added a significant layer of digital. This year, we’ve added mobile and the last component is integrating all of that with social media.”Much of Ascend Integrated Media’s focus has been on the live event space and it is developing mobile apps to serve event clients. “Those apps contain a lot of the same content that we distribute at our events and in print and online,” says Doherty. “It could be an event guide or a floor map or a daily news publications. Now they’re distributed in another vehicle. The powerful part of mobile is that it’s at a place where you can take action on the content.” With Moblico, Ascend has concentrated on texting. “Texting can do a few things,” says Doherty. “If you’re doing a marketing campaign or have an event, you can do basic communications—reminders, venue changes, notification that new a DVD is coming out.” The next step is mobile couponing—a marketer can text a keyword to a consumer to receive 10 percent off at a restaurant. At an event, sponsors can use texting to offer more exhibitor content and drive traffic to their booth. “It’s no different from the way we used to use direct mail,” says Doherty. Ascend is monetizing apps primarily through banner advertising. “It’s early days but mobile has learned a lot from the interactive world and we can already report on metrics,” says Doherty.  “Mobile requires more education for advertisers but this is a sexy media channel right now and people want to be a part of it.”On the texting side, there are a few more revenue opportunities, according to Doherty.  When a text goes out, it can feature “brought to you by” ads with a URL link or phone number. Sponsors can purchase 25 percent, 50 percent or 100 percent of the ad messages in the communication. At the event level, a sponsor could buy a promotional message that goes out to the attendee list. Big Results For Local MagazineLocal publishers are benefitting from mobile as well. 435 Magazine, a regional publication for Kansas, developed a mobile program with Moblico for Smallcakes, a specialty bakery in Kansas City. The partners created a mobile coupon promotion that was featured in the magazine, offering a free cupcake to customers who redeemed a mobile code. By texting to accept the giveaway, consumers then presented the confirmation in the store and collected their treat.In the first three weeks the offer was live, the store had 123 people redeem the coupon—60 percent of which were new customers. Additionally, every single person who claimed the offer made purchases beyond just collecting the free cupcake.“We were pleased with the return we were getting on our advertising spend with the magazine, but the response we have received through the mobile promotion completely exceeded what we’d seen with the regular ads,” says Smallcakes owner Jeff Martin. “The customers we have been attracting, people in their 20’s and 30’s, are exactly the demographic we’ve been after.”Working With Developers Mobile vendors typically seek an ad revenue split with publishers. “Publishers want the services to come from them to advance their position and differentiate themselves from their competitors and we’re more than happy to support a white label ‘powered by’ type model,” says Moblico CEO Pierre Barbeau. “They tend to start with the simple stuff like text messaging, but it doesn’t take them long to ask for more, and that’s typically driven by the questions customers are asking.” Handmark charges publishers a startup fee and monthly rate unless the publisher generates significant traffic, in which case it may forgo the minimum fees and move directly to a share agreement with the ad revenue. “If we see there’s enough advertising revenue, we’ll blow past that,” say Reddick. “Our model is to make money on revenue sharing as opposed to being an outsource development shop.”The revenue share varies based on whether Handmark sells or fulfills the advertising or the publisher does. While Reddick wouldn’t share specific numbers for the startup fees, he says a small publisher could offer mobile apps for less than five figures per year.Digital magazine vendors have been busy working on solutions across a variety of devices. iPhone apps are most ubiquitous, with offerings from Nxtbook, Texterity, Advanced, Qmags, iMirus and Zinio, among others. Enthusiast publisher Premier Guitar recently teamed with Texterity to introduce a new branded iPhone app that’s available at Apple’s App Store. The app serves as a way to connect Premier Guitar’s multiple approaches, including print, digital edition, Web site, gear and social media presence. Fresh content is fed in every time a reader opens the app (which is free). Readers can search current and past issues and post comments.  “We instantly had thousands of downloads and thousands of sessions,” says Peter Sprague, CEO of Gearhead Communications/Premier Guitar. “I am sure downloads will continue to escalate and we’re receiving rave visitor reviews which you can see in the iStore directly.” Universal Publishing While hype and expectations soar for the app-like interface, some are advising a level head. “Selling dedicated app solutions makes sense. We’re getting calls about it every day,” says Marcus Grimm, marketing director at Nxtbook, which just introduced its Syndicator service which boasts cross-platform content functionality. “But we pay close attention to the metrics. One of our first publishers to go on our mobile platform said 15 percent of his readers accept a digital magazine. And 15 percent of that 15 percent will actually read it on an iPhone. He realized he’s only reaching about 2 percent of his audience.”Instead, Grimm says Nxtbook is focusing on “Web apps”—content delivered to an iPhone via a link to a smart phone-optimized, Web-based digital edition. While Nxtbook can develop an iPhone app, Grimm says the Web offers a cheaper and device-independent alternative. “It’s not an app in the App Store, it’s a Web app,” says Grimm. “You click on the link and it pulls up an optimized Web site.”Similarly, consumer enthusiast publisher Harris Publishing recently started using the new Mygazines Mobile service, which uses the mobile Web browser (rather than creating device-specific apps) to offer digital editions across mobile devices ranging from the iPhone to the Android.“We’re trying to find extra ways for our subscribers to get the content of the magazines,” says Chris Searle, digital manager and graphic designer with Harris. “We’re giving them multiples ways to view it or access it at their convenience. When we were looking at digital magazines, we didn’t want it to be another Web page full of additional information. We wanted to make sure it still had the look and feel of the magazine with its own identity.”SIDEBAR #1Advertising Guidelines for MobileEvery six months, the Mobile Marketing Association provides updated recommendations for the global ad units broadly used in mobile advertising in the following channels: Mobile Web, messaging, applications and mobile video and TV. Below are MMA’s current recommendations for two of the most common formats for publishers doing mobile: mobile banner ads and Short Messaging Service (texting). Mobile Web Banner Ad UnitsAspect ratios: The recommended universal aspect ratios are 6:1 and 4:1. Key considerations for providing universal aspect ratios include:*Keeping the aspect ratio constant simplifies re-sizing of images and reduces effort. *Both aspect ratios provide sufficient creative space to ensure an effective advertising experience, yet small enough not to be intrusive. Having two aspect ratios gives publishers flexibility in terms of layout and positioning in different contexts. Dimensions: The recommended universal Mobile Web banner ad widths are 120, 168, 216 and 300 pixels. Media Formats: The recommended formats for mobile Web banner ads are GIF, PNG, or JPEG as universal formats for still images. GIF for animated images. Text Messaging (Short Messaging Service)Format: SMS is a text-only medium. It does not support rich media. However, some mobile phones with click-to-call or click-to-Web capability will display colored links and underlining of URLs and phone numbers. The font size is entirely controlled by the mobile phone and is not under the control of the advertiser or publisher. Length: Current practice is typically ads under 20-26 characters, although some may go as high as 80 characters. Shorter copy allows for increased publishing inventory availability. Location: Ad copy will be inserted only at the end of the content portion of the SMS. In the cases where the sender uses a personal SMS signature, the ad should be inserted after the signature. SMS Ad Indicators: The publisher or advertising insertion partner is responsible for including an ad indicator in initial (Appened) SMS ads. There should be a clear separation between the text message content and the ad. A carriage return or line break is recommended, however not all carriers support line breaks, so an ad indicator should precede the ad copy. Acceptable ad indicators are:• “*” (single asterisk)• “**” (double asterisk)• “AD:” (or similar local language abbreviation)• * “-“ (dash)SIDEBAR #2 MPA Launches Magazine App DirectoryRecognizing the growing interest and development of magazine-related mobile applications by its members, the Magazine Publishers of America last month launched “mapps,” a directory of mobile apps produced by magazines and media companies. The launch coincided with last month’s Magazines 24/7: The E-Reading Revolution conference.“As technology advances, devices proliferate and consumer adoption increases, we expect healthy growth in magazine app development, and in turn, in our database,” an MPA spokesperson tells FOLIO:.Currently, the database includes 120 apps with links to download them. Several of the apps are free (Epicurious’ “Recipes & Shopping List,” Vogue’s “Stylist,” and several from Hearst’s recently launched LMK) while a number are paid. The most costly is the Women’s Health “Eat This, Not That!” app at $4.99.MPA said the directory is growing and will include apps across not only mobile phones but also e-reader devices like the forthcoming Apple iPad.  SIDEBAR #3 3 Developers and Do-It-Yourself iPhone AppsThese days it’s hard to find a magazine publisher (at least on the consumer side) who isn’t interested in an iPhone app but it’s even harder to find one with in-house apps expertise. However, every day a new online solution seems to emerge that gives the end-user the power. The list of solutions is almost endless but here are three for publishers to consider: Appcelerator (www.appcelerator.com): Requires knowing code but users can build iPhone apps with HTML, JavaScript, CSS, Python, PHP and Ruby. eBook App Maker (http://ebookapp.com): While not free, this service develops iPhone apps from ebooks and can be used with PDF, doc, ZIP, HTML, RTF and other formats. It also supports a wide range of different fonts.  Kanchoo (www.kanchoo.com): A platform designed for news organizations that lets content producers create native iPhone apps. Users must give Kanchoo an iPhone applications icon, a splash screen (in .png format) and a description of their application which will be used in the iTunes App store. Users can then leverage Kanchoo’s online tools to build their own apps by uploading the content which can include text news articles or photos and other images. Mobile marketing has had its share of starts and stops in recent years but the release of smartphones gives publishers and their advertisers unprecedented opportunity to reach their audiences in a new, much more targeted way. But how do print publishers, most of which are still struggling to develop meaningful online strategies, adapt to such a new format? In this article, FOLIO: covers a range of approaches, from cutting-edge mass consumer publishers to dedicated mobile development firms to options for smaller publishers looking to join the game as well (often with help from their digital edition provider). The Market leaders: Build (Or Buy) Your OwnWhile fostering a mobile presence isn’t a new strategy for the “big guys” in consumer publishing, the last year has brought a new set of challenges as the technology continues to evolve and expand. Publishers are now focusing on developing mobile apps for iPhones and smartphones in addition to building out their mobile Web sites—and that’s before even tackling the onslaught of e-readers and the highly anticipated iPad. last_img read more

Army to Eliminate Four National Guard Helicopter Units

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR Army National Guard aviation battalions in Arizona, Idaho, Missouri and Pennsylvania are slated for elimination, after the Army decided to adopt a compromise offered by the National Commission on the Future of the Army to its cost-cutting 2014 Aviation Restructuring Initiative. The Army initially proposed eliminating all eight National Guard AH-64 Apache battalions and transferring those helicopters to active-duty units. Apache battalions would remain in North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah, in addition to a battalion which is based in Texas but includes a company from the Mississippi National Guard, reported the Fayetteville Observer. Under the latest plan, all four National Guard Apache battalions will train with 18 helicopters and receive six more to maintain a full complement of 24 when they deploy.“It’s extremely bad news for some states, and great news for the other states,” Utah National Guard Lt. Col. Ricky Smith told the Salt Lake Tribune, comparing the loss to a “massive layoff.”USAF photo by Staff Sgt Caycee Cook 080904last_img read more