Willow Fiddler APTN National NewsMore than 130 youth have gathered in Thunder Bay this week for the Feathers of Hope culture, identity and belonging forum.
TORONTO – The trade actions of the U.S. government have created uncertainty for investors in G7 countries, but cooler heads and common sense should prevail, federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Wednesday.The minister said it’s a “challenging time” after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico and Europe, but the government hopes to provide certainty as it works to improve Canada’s relationship with the U.S.“I can’t in any way sugar coat that for investors… We will work towards making sure that Canada and our other allies are put in a better situation in our relationship with the United States,” Morneau said.The minister’s comments came during a news conference with Environment Minister Catherine McKenna and institutional investors from the G7, including the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan and Quebec’s largest pension fund. Together, they announced initiatives aimed at boosting opportunities for women in finance and investment, developing more expertise in infrastructure financing and development and improving climate-related disclosures.The moves aimed at boosting G7 countries’ long-term economic future comes after the U.S. metals tariffs were put in place last week and Canada’s response of countermeasures on a long list of imported U.S. goods, set to take effect on Canada Day.While the tariff issues are not expected to have a substantially negative impact in the short term, Ontario Teachers’ chief executive Ron Mock said he’s “not overly excited about the trajectory.”“I’m still in the camp that cooler heads will prevail and, quite frankly, that self interest will prevail,” he said during the news conference. “Which means that we will start to back away from the trajectory we appear to be on at this point in time.”Michael Sabia, the CEO of Caisse de Depot du Placement du Quebec, said Ottawa has done “the right thing” in the face of the U.S. government’s actions.“We will get through this, and I am confident that the world is not going to descend into what’s called a trade war,” he said.Meanwhile, another issue that looms large for the Canadian economy is the fate of the controversial Trans Mountain pipeline, which Ottawa has agreed to acquire from Kinder Morgan for $4.5 billion with the hope of seeking a buyer down the line.The Caisse would not comment on a potential purchase, but Ontario Teachers’ did not rule it out.“If it is an opportunity for our members and for our organization in support of our fiduciary duty, then we will take a look,” Mock told reporters.“But where we sit today, it is still very, very early days.”
20 November 2008The United Nations Mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) has handed so-called reinsertion kits to some 400 newly demobilized former rebels as part of the effort to resolve a crisis that first divided the West African country into a rebel-held north and Government-controlled south in 2002. The kits, packages of work tools and some cash that UNOCI hopes will ease the return of the former combatants to regular civilian life, were handed over at a ceremony in Bouaké, the former rebel stronghold.This is the second group of former rebels to complete the UN-backed disarmament, demobilization and reinsertion programme. Earlier this month, some 200 former fighters completed the programme in Seguela, a town near the Ivorian border with Mali.Elections, which have recently been postponed for a third time since the signing of the north-south peace pact, are now scheduled for next year.
The General Assembly today approved a budget of $5.16 billion for the 2010-2011 period, in a move immediately welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.In a statement issued by his spokesperson, Mr. Ban “wishes to state his commitment to utilize the resources made available to the Organization in the most effective and efficient way.”He also “wishes to work with all Member States in full partnership and through a transparent process during the upcoming biennium with a view to jointly realizing the important goals of this Organization.”The Secretary-General expressed his gratitude to Assembly President Ali Treki for his leadership during the body”s session, to Ambassador Peter Maurer, who chairs the Assembly”s Administrative and Budgetary Committee, for steering the discussions, and to others for their efforts during this session.“This demonstrates the commitment of Member States to the financial well-being of the Organization,” he stressed, adding that he is pleased that the scales of assessment for both the regular budget and peacekeeping operations for the coming biennium have been decided.The measure was among a host of resolutions adopted by the Assembly as it wrapped up its work for year, which also included texts on an upcoming sustainable development conference and the human rights situation in Myanmar.It also adopted a resolution that maintains the current scale by which nations are assessed dues to the UN, reflecting a compromise between the need to review that formula and maintain a balanced approach to assessments. 24 December 2009The General Assembly today approved a budget of $5.16 billion for the 2010-2011 period, in a move immediately welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
MONTREAL — The head of Canada’s largest railway says crude oil tank cars must be redesigned to avoid another tragedy like last summer’s deadly explosion in Lac-Mégantic, Que.[np_storybar title=”Rapid rise in oil-by-rail shipments poses threat to public safety, warns TransCanada CEO” link=”https://business.financialpost.com/2013/11/19/transcanada-russ-girling-rail-pipelines/?__lsa=b5e9-b099″%5DTransCanada Corp. is playing up anxiety over crude-carrying trains in an explicit warning that the growing number of tank cars crisscrossing the continent poses a risk to public safety.Continue reading. [/np_storybar]Canadian National Railway CEO Claude Mongeau told a business group Tuesday that tanker design was one of the “most important systematic issues” associated with the accident.“That question is central,” he told the Montreal Board of Trade, adding that railway industry associations in Canada and the United States have recommended the gradual replacement of old cars with new, reinforced tankers.But he said there is no easy solution because the tankers are mostly owned by railway customers and leasing companies.“It will take money and time to make sustainable changes in this area.”Mongeau said CN is committed to safety and does far more than what is required by regulatory standards. He described the company’s safety record as “solid” and continuously improving. The number of accidents have been cut in half over the last decade because of significant investments in infrastructure maintenance and detection technologies.While the risk of accidents can’t be eliminated, he said 99.997% of CN shipments arrive without incident at their destination. And last month’s incident in Gainford, Alta., demonstrated the railway’s ability to respond quickly when problems do arise, he said.There have been four train derailments in Alberta in the past two months, including one in October that sparked a dangerous petroleum fire that forced the evacuation of the village of Gainford.CN dispatched its top brass, led by chief operating officer Jim Vena, to handle the crisis after 13 cars carrying crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas came off the tracks and caught fire west of Edmonton.“You can rest assured that we are taking account of Lac-Megantic and carefully reassessing risks in context,’ he said, adding that CN has reviewed its train securement practices in line with the Transport Canada directive earlier this summer.It also extended the U.S. policy to moving dangerous goods to all flammable products moved in both countries.CN is also increasing detection capability by adding track testing equipment to detect problems before they arise, even though inspections have increased by 70% in the last five years.A rail safety audit completed just days before the deadly July train crash found “significant weaknesses” in Transport Canada’s oversight of federally regulated railways.Those weaknesses include a lack of knowledge of rail routes used to transport dangerous goods, too few safety auditors, poorly trained inspectors and an absence of follow-up or sanctions when safety problems are found.Auditor-General Michael Ferguson found that only 14 safety audits of Canada’s 31 federally regulated railways had been completed in the previous three years — just a quarter of the audits Transport Canada had expected to carry out.And eight of those 14 audits focused on just the two largest operators, CN and Canadian Pacific, leaving Canada’s smaller operators largely unchecked.One of those small rail companies was the Montreal, Maine and Atlantic, whose unattended, single-operator train carrying 7.6 million litres of volatile crude oil derailed and exploded in the middle of Lac-Mégantic on July 6, killing 47 people.
Each school will receive a Chevrolet Bolt, General Motors’ new electric car, to work on. Intel will provide the computers needed and third parties will provide sensors.The rest will be up to the students.Next spring the schools will enter the first phase of the competition that will test straight roadway driving and object avoidance. By the third and final phase, which will take place at General Motors’ test facility in Yuma, Ariz., the cars will be navigating a complex urban setting, according to General Motors Canada spokesperson Uzma Mustafa.The upshot for General Motors is simple: they’re looking to create a pipeline of well-trained engineers to hire in the company’s big push towards self-driving cars and related technologies.At an event with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last June, the Detroit-based car company announced it was looking to hire about 700 engineers in the next few years, many of whom will work at a new automotive software development centre in Markham, Ont.“We have cars being tested in the United States and this is a good talent pool to see where the ideas are,” Mustafa said.There’s something about turning a robot into a vehicle that really captures people’s imaginationsDerek Rayside, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the University of Waterloo who is overseeing his school’s team, said the competition is unique because it is geared for undergraduate students.Artificial intelligence research is a booming field at his school, he said, with at least 20 professors working on various aspects of it, including many in the automotive area. But much of that research is limited to professors, post-doctoral fellows and graduate students.“At the undergraduate level, it’s often difficult for those students, to get into that area of research,” Rayside said. “You can’t just do this on your own — you need all this infrastructure, like the car, the computers, the sensors.”Canada’s oil industry ponders its fate as the threat of electric cars looms in the rearview mirrorRide hailing, electric vehicles, self -driving cars : Ford Canada wants to be ‘auto and mobility’ companyBoth schools say their teams will be large.Barfoot thinks his team will have 100 students, but he’s now scrambling to figure out how to accommodate everyone who is interested. Rayside thinks his team will be upwards of 50 students, but admits that could number could grow.“There is huge, huge interest here, in just a few days,” Rayside said, noting his university has already selected a name for the car: WATonomous.The goal is to achieve what’s known as “level four” autonomy by the end of the competition, Rayside said.“That’s a very ambitious goal, but it’s good to have ambitious goals,” he said.Level zero is no automation, Rayside explained.“Level one is stuff like lane-keeping, so you start drifting out of the lane and the car can nudge you back into the lane and that’s on the market now,” he said.“Level two is stuff like the car senses there might be a collision and it applies emergency braking before you can get your foot down. That is on the market now and there is data that shows that this is making the world a safer place.”At level three, the car starts driving on its own, which isn’t available to the public, but exists at research facilities, he said, including at the University of Waterloo, where the self-driving “Autonomoose” — developed by a team of professors, researchers and graduate students — is being tested.“For levels three and four, the car is allowed to ask the human for help, if it’s confused and not sure what to do,” Rayside said. “At level five, the car is not allowed to ask for help. Nobody can do level 5 and nobody is even close to level 5.”The Canadian Press Two Canadian universities have been chosen to participate in a North American competition to develop a self-driving car in three years.The University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo will compete against each other and six American schools with the goal of autonomous driving in an urban setting by 2020.General Motors and SAE International, an engineering association, have launched the competition designed for undergraduate students that they’ve dubbed the “AutoDrive Challenge.”Tim Barfoot, an engineering professor with the University of Toronto who is overseeing his school’s team, said student demand is intense just days after last week’s announcement that the university had been accepted as a competitor.“There’s something about turning a robot into a vehicle that really captures people’s imaginations,” Barfoot said, adding 250 students have expressed interest in joining the team.“When you can sit inside the robot and it’s driving around, that’s a totally different experience than watching it from the outside.”The other schools competing are Kettering University, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, North Carolina A&T University, Texas A&M University and Virginia Tech.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
3Bucks1551511740.6 13Jazz3702613725.6 25Bulls226194816.3 15Grizzlies3742713324.9 8Pistons189148529.5 27Pacers232114415.4 22Suns4392910918.9 21Mavericks4071910119.1 24Cavaliers216205117.7 2Nets1431313746.7 18Trail Blazers3912611020.9 9Hawks189208428.5 1976ers210195920.4 29Raptors24910289.8 11Lakers3922815727.2 7Rockets3383616330.3 TOTAL MINUTES SPENT … 12Clippers3952515627.0 16Wizards212126422.3 How teams have fared against the Warriors, from 2014-15 to 2016-17 TEAMBEHINDTIEDAHEADPERCENTAGE OF TIME AHEAD After the Warriors accomplished the inevitable — winning a championship with relative ease after adding superstar Kevin Durant to a 73-win core — there were two natural questions looming for the rest of the NBA: What will it take to dethrone this budding dynasty, and when will that realistically happen?The answer, as far as oddsmakers are concerned, is seemingly no time soon. Even Cavs star LeBron James, the greatest player of his generation, sounded unsure of how to beat the Golden State going forward after the club extinguished Cleveland in five games.“Teams and franchises are going to be trying to figure out ways that they can put personnel together, the right group of guys together, to be able to hopefully compete against this team,” said James, whose team needed a historic shooting night to stave off a sweep. “They’re assembled as good as you can assemble, and I played against some really, really good teams that was assembled perfectly, and they’re right up there.”By examining the Dubs’ handful of losses in recent seasons, a formula does appear to emerge, albeit in a regular-season setting. And while that doesn’t answer the larger question about dethroning them, it helps illustrate what teams have consistently done to knock Golden State off stride.The league’s other 29 teams were less likely to beat the Warriors by playing an inferior version of Warriors basketball. Cleveland needed to practically burn down the nets with its 3-point shooting to win a Game 4 shootout. But opponents have been more successful by taking Golden State out of its element: having enough defense and length to disrupt the Warriors’ shooting, while having enough offense to keep up with the inevitable points allowed.Opponents with top-12 defenses1The top-12 defenses that knocked off the Warriors this past year included the Spurs (twice), the Grizzlies (twice), the Jazz, the Heat, the Bulls and the Celtics. fared best against the Dubs this past season, accounting for eight of Golden State’s 15 regular-season losses. More broadly than that, beating the Warriors will likely require slowing them down2The Warriors averaged 23.7 points on fast breaks in wins, and 17.7 in losses this season., not only in transition, where they’re far and away the best in the league, but also in half-court scenarios.The clubs that have the most success against them have smart, versatile defenders who possess the length to contest Golden State’s sharpshooters3During ABC’s broadcast of Game 5 on Monday, announcers discussed a graphic showing that Kevin Durant’s release point on his jump shot was 10 feet, 3 inches high, making it a nearly impossible task to defend him without considerable height, length and athleticism. — the team shot 41 percent from 3-point range in its regular-season wins, but just 27 percent in its losses — and the height and size to switch defensive assignments and neutralize the Warriors’ highly unusual methods for setting screens. Includes regular season games since 2014-15.Source: ESPN Stats and Info 4Heat1582510536.5 5Celtics1712310334.6 23Magic213225318.4 14Kings4072814525.0 1Spurs1842926755.6% 6Thunder3462416330.5 20Pelicans3873810820.1 26Hornets232114515.5 10Nuggets3242313828.4 17Timberwolves3883311221.0 28Knicks242133311.5 That partially explains how long, rangy teams such as the San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks have done better against the Warriors during the past three regular seasons than just about anyone else. They have respectable defenders they can throw onto the Warriors’ best scorers, and the ability to force Golden State far later into the shot clock — where efficiency plummets — than most other teams can.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/spursd.mp400:0000:0000:20Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.Video Playerhttps://fivethirtyeight.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/bucksd.mp400:0000:0000:22Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.It’s abundantly clear that shutting down this offense altogether is a pipe dream. Aside from tying for the most efficient regular-season offense of all-time, the Warriors scored at least 113 points in all five games of the NBA Finals. You also need to be able to score on them to have a chance. This past season, it often took a team that moved the ball4Eight of the Warriors’ 15 losses came to teams that ranked in the top 12 in the league in passes thrown per game. and shot well (opponents who walked away with victories hit 38 percent of their 3s against the Warriors, up from 31 percent in defeats) to win. Because of how the Warriors’ defense can smother an opponent, it also helps to push the ball in transition without turning it over too much (think Wizards or Clippers).Or, if you play a more deliberate style, you may be able to find points in half-court situations if you’re willing to set multiple screens that shed seconds off the shot clock (like Utah, which played at a snail’s pace but was among the NBA’s most efficient teams in late-clock scenarios). Then, of course, there are the Cavs, who, with James and Kyrie Irving, can create scoring opportunities for themselves regardless of how well the Warriors defend.But as we saw in Game 3: Even a duo going off for a combined 77 points might not be enough to win a single game against Golden State, let alone four in seven tries.It’s easy to look at Milwaukee’s and Utah’s rosters and see considerable upside5The Jazz, of course, need Gordon Hayward to re-sign with the club in order to continue their upward trajectory.. The same is true of Boston, which has the No. 1 pick in this loaded draft. But most contending clubs look at least one star away from truly competing with the Warriors in the next year or two, if not longer. The Spurs — who had a promising start to Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals before Kawhi Leonard was knocked out for the series — will become a greater challenger if they manage to pry Chris Paul away from the Clippers. And Cleveland, if it manages to find solid, attentive wing defenders somehow, may be capable of doing better next season.In the meantime, don’t be surprised if more teams than usual decide to take the long view in the years to come. The Warriors can be beaten, but doing that requires near-perfection — something almost no other team can produce anywhere near often enough to unseat them.
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Énergies renouvelables : la France et le Maroc signent trois accordsRabat, Maroc – Lors d’une visite du ministre de l’Écologie Jean-Louis Borloo, trois accords ont été signés jeudi dernier entre le Maroc et la France. Ils portent sur de nouvelles coopérations en matière de déploiement des énergies renouvelables.A l’occasion de la journée de la Terre, Jean-Louis Borloo et son homologue marocaine Amina Benkhadra ont, selon une source citée par l’AFP, signé trois accords sur les énergies renouvelables. Le premier porte sur une étude de faisabilité d’une ville à faible consommation d’énergie dans la région de Chrafat. Un projet pilote pour lequel la France a débloqué une aide de 520.000 euros. Le second accord de coopération concerne le financement du Programme d’électrification rural global au Maroc (Perg). Il prévoit que l’Agence française de développement (AFD) contribue à hauteur de 30 millions d’euros au financement de la dernière tranche du programme, qui a déjà atteint 95% de ses objectifs d’électrification dans les zones rurales.Enfin, le troisième document concerne une “coopération dans le domaine des énergies renouvelables et des technologies propres” entre l’Agence française de l’environnement et de la maîtrise de l’énergie (Ademe) et l’Agence marocaine de développement des énergies renouvelables et de l’efficacité énergétique (Aderee). Cette convention prévoit également la mise en place de campagnes de sensibilisation aux enjeux du développement durable et impacts du changement climatique.Se félicitant de la signature de ces trois accords, Jean-Louis Borloo a assuré que “la bataille mondiale dans le futur concernera les énergies renouvelables”, assurant que le “Maroc est l’un des leaders en la matière. L’Afrique a besoin de lui”.Le 26 avril 2010 à 18:28 • Emmanuel Perrin
Photo Captions:Header: The Hon. Peter Turnquest, Deputy Prime & Minister of Finance, gives welcome remarks at the Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s 35th Executive Council and 20th General Conference of Ministers during ICT Week at Atlantis Paradise Island. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna)Insert: Deputy Prime & Minister of Finance, the Hon. Peter Turnquest takes a moment with Bernadette Lewis, CTU Secretary General during the Caribbean Telecommunications Union’s 35th Executive Council and 20th General Conference of Ministers, Atlantis Paradise Island. (BIS Photo/Patrick Hanna) Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#Bahamas, November 29, 2017 – Nassau – During ICT Week’s 20th Meeting of the General Conference of Ministers of the Caribbean Telecommunications Union (CTU), and 35th Meeting of the Executive Council at Atlantis on Tuesday morning, November 28, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance the Hon. Peter Turnquest welcomed the delegates and affirmed the CARICOM mandate of February of this year for organizations like the Caribbean Telecommunications Union to look more comprehensively on how the region could effectively embrace Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) as a foundation for national development and regional interaction.Expressing support for the embrace of technology to fuel national and regional development, Mr. Turnquest explained that the government as a relatively new administration, committed to transparency and seeing a need for a different approach to economic expansion — “understood the rapidly evolving global environment, influenced and driven in large measure by the technological revolution that is impacting every aspect of national, regional and global development.” He said: “We knew that the different approach to national development, and a more significant regional and global participation required a commitment to embrace technology as fundamental to this new approach.”As such, said the Deputy Prime Minister, “The Government of The Bahamas is convinced that embracing ICTs and making them the foundation of every project and initiative we undertake as a nation, will serve as the catalyst for our economic resurgence and social development, creating a self-sustaining machine for future growth.“This commitment to embracing ICTs is evident in the ongoing transformation of the Public Service. We are strengthening the ICT structure and capacity within the public service to further expand the use of technology to provide improved levels of customer service efficiency, transparency and accountability. We are employing technology to establish the new digital workflow that will redefine the way the Government does business with the public.“We are undergoing major technological advancements in the Ministry of Finance and its agencies, including Bahamas Customs and the Department of Inland Revenue. We are currently rolling out a new electronic Vehicle and Driver’s licensing process. We are working to ensure that, despite the challenges and obstacles, we can systematically employ technology throughout the public service and through policy, inspire and encourage the private sector to continue its evolution as well.”Mr. Turnquest said that the Government of The Bahamas is committed to economic expansion through ICTs and has designated the island of Grand Bahama, “the centre for technology investment and development,” and, therefore, “we envisage the creation of diverse investment and career opportunities through the effective utilization of ICTs.”DPM Turnquest pointed out: “This commitment is reinforced by the recent passage of the Commercial Enterprise Legislation that is designed to attract a broad range of new business opportunities for The Bahamas, embracing Information Communication Technologies as the foundation of this new business development and economic expansion thrust.”The aforementioned initiatives, together with the commitment to technological transformation, highlights, he said, “The Bahamas’ endorsement of the CTU’s Single ICT space. We believe that the creation of such a platform could have far reaching positive implications for regional development through trade and cooperation.”Mr. Turnquest continued, “We also endorse the Caribbean Spectrum Planning and Management Project, the ICT Collaboration Forum, and its many other collaborative ICT development initiatives that augur well for national and regional growth and development.“Ministers, we must see our roles as pivotal to the creation of the new technologically integrated Caribbean Region that provides the strength for small states to effectively compete in the new global environment.“Finally, we would like to thank the CTU and all of you Ministers for joining us here in The Bahamas for this week of meetings, workshops and seminars. We do hope that the deliberations are productive and meaningful to all member states. Please do not leave without embracing the opportunity to sample our culture. Get a taste of the Bahamian islands and be sure to return for both business and pleasure. Thank you.” Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
Comments Bill Fernandez holds an Apple I. Photo courtesy of Bill Fernandez EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published on December 8, 2014 and is being republished today to commemorate Apple’s 43rd anniversary (April 1, 1976). At Apple, Bill Fernandez rode shotgun on the creation of the personal computer industry. He was on the original Mac team that made decisions that defined the modern user experience. He worked on QuickTime, which helped define Web video. He worked on HyperCard, which helped inspire HTML and the Web. So clearly, the man has some ideas about what makes a user interface work.He also gets props for this: He’s the guy who introduced Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.Fernandez became the first official full-time employee at what was then known as Apple Computer Inc. Except for a brief absence early on, he remained with Apple until 1993 and became an expert in user interfaces.I wrote an in-depth feature on TechRepublic about Fernandez’s remarkable career. During the interviews with Fernandez, I got to pick his brain about the current state of user interfaces, his take on cutting-edge technologies, and what’s next in computing. Not all of that material made it into the TechRepublic long form article, so I’ve pulled it together here — there’s a lot of wisdom about today’s challenges in UI and a gut check on the sci-fi visions of the future.I broke down Fernandez’s comments into the most forward-looking topics.The current state of UI”The true user interface is the gestalt of many things: industrial design, ergonomics, internal hardware, performance, error handling, visual design, interaction, latency, reliability, predictability, and more. For this reason I’m glad to see my profession moving from the concept of user “interface” (where the user interacts with the screen) to user ‘experience’ (where more the above factors are considered),” said Fernandez.”I can design the best user interface in the world on paper, but if it’s not implemented well by the hardware and software engineers (e.g. the product is slow or buggy) then the product will fail. If you do a really good job of designing a product then everyone who sees it thinks it’s so obvious that they could have done it themselves.” 0:50 7 17 Photos Share your voice Wozniak on humans and technology Now playing: Watch this: Apple’s biggest milestones The challenge of flat design”We are in a time of transition, and like the water becomes brackish where river water meets the ocean, the state of UI design is messy,” said Fernandez. “There’s some great stuff out there, much more than there used to be, but there’s still a lot of trash, and there’s a lot of well-meaning but misguided efforts. One example of this is in the migration from three-dimensional, photorealistic UI elements (window frames, push buttons, sliders, etc.) to ‘flat’ UI design. Years ago a friend asked what I thought Web pages of the future would be like and I said ‘like magazines.’ I thought we’d see flatter designs, expert typography, beautiful, magazine-advertisement-like page layouts, etc. That prediction is coming true with the trend toward ‘flat’ UI design…”But in moving towards flat design we are losing much of the wisdom that was embedded in the old 3D style of UI, for example: a user must be able to glance at a screen and know what is an interactive element (e.g., a button or link) and what is not (e.g., a label or motto); a user must be able to tell at a glance what an interactive element does (does it initiate a process, link to another page, download a document, etc.?); the UI should be explorable, discoverable and self-explanatory. But many apps and websites, in the interest of a clean, spartan visual appearance, leave important UI controls hidden until the mouse hovers over just the right area or the app is in just the right state. This leaves the user in the dark, often frustrated and disempowered.”Tech’s biggest obstacleBill Fernandez talks to Homebrew Computer Club members at the reunion in 2013. Daniel Terdiman/CNET “There have always been dreamers and visionaries of the future: flying cars, personal jetpacks, video phones, cashless payments, etc. The limitation has always been the hardware technology, which is always the limiting factor both in what is possible and in what is affordable by the masses,” said Fernandez. “There are technological advances of the last decade in batteries, semiconductor sensors, low-power systems-on-a-chip, displays, spread-spectrum radio protocols, etc. that are just now finding their way into products. It seems unlikely to me that we’re just around the corner from having teleportation, boundless free energy, interdimensional travel or magic that effortlessly transmutes lead into gold. But I do expect the relentless progress in science and technology to continue, and progressively for the science fiction of the past to become the hot new consumer product of today.”Look for lots of new categories of personal devices — like personal health trackers — to emerge over time. One of the big things holding back the development of many kinds of products is our batteries. At present there’s a new wave of wrist-mounted devices — from Pebble, Google, Motorola, Samsung — but batteries are really holding back what is possible. When a watch battery can hold as much energy as a car battery, and a large-screen computer-display-projector can be built into a watch, look for all your smartphone apps and capabilities to migrate into a wrist-mounted device rather than a belt-mounted device.”‘Minority Report’-like touch panels”The idea of having the transparent panels like you see on ‘Minority Report’ and ‘Iron Man’ and ‘Avatar’ are for the most part, impractical,” said Fernandez. “By waving your arms, you don’t get any precision. Tony Stark in ‘Iron Man,’ he’s designing things. In real life, he’d have to spend hours drawing schematics, making precise mechanical diagrams, and there’s no way you’re going to do that in the air waving your hands. Your arms are going to become tired. So that’s not really practical. It looks really good on the screen when you can take the camera through one of these displays to a person… But in real life people don’t actually have that stuff…”On the other hand, when we have things like ‘Blade Runner,’ which showed advertisements on every surface and when you saw ‘Minority Report’ where you’d walk down a hallway and an ad would be shown to you that’s targeted, that’s very definitely part of our media future. We already have it on websites, where you get targeted ads on each page that you go to. And [with] Apple’s iBeacons where you can put your beacons in stores and your phone can show you ads for products that you’re passing by. So, we’re definitely stepping into that world.”Google Glass”Years before Google announced their Glass project I used to paint this picture of the future: We will see a time when folks will be sitting in Starbucks gazing off into the distance, twitching their heads, waving their hands in mystical-looking incantations, and muttering to themselves,” Fernandez said.”Why? Because they will have projectors projecting virtual data screens into their eyes. As they move their heads their virtual data screens will update to show things (books, bookcases, apps, etc.) that they have arranged in space around them. Rings on their fingers will sense the positions, orientations and gestures of their hands. Voice interaction will let them speak voice commands and hear synthetic speech. So, for example, a user will turn his/her head to see a book, reach up to grab it and drag it down in front of him/her. Use a voice command to open the book to a section of contacts, use a combination of voice commands and gestures to find a desired contact, point to the one he/she wants and say ‘dial that one.’ So there will be a seamless, multimodal UI experience using sight, sound, voice, head motion, arm movement, gestures, typing on virtual keyboards, etc. There have been pieces of this in research for decades. Only now are we beginning to see some of these things emerge into the consumer market: with Google Glass, Siri, etc. We have further to go, but we’re on the road.”Oculus Rift”Oculus Rift is an interesting thing in that finally it looks like someone is putting high-quality virtual reality scenes into a product that will be affordable. It is, of course, going to be of very limited use because you have to be sitting somewhere. You can’t be [using it] going about your daily life or driving a car,” said Fernandez.”[But] I like seeing things like Oculus Rift and Google Glass as kind of steps in the direction of actually bringing this vision I’ve had for years to life. So that’s very interesting to see that happening in little baby steps.”Read TechRepublic’s in-depth story: “Apple’s first employee: The remarkable odyssey of Bill Fernandez” Tags Computers
Out of all the breakups Bollywood has seen over the years, one break-up that broke a million hearts was that of Kareena Kapoor and Shahid Kapoor. While both, Kareena and Shahid are happily married now and we love seeing them with their respective partners; there was a time when the entire country wished Kareena and Shahid would get back together.Cracks became visible in Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor’s relationship while the duo was shooting for Jab We Met. And while the film went onto become one of their career’s biggest hits, their relationship died slowly on the sets of the film. Talking about himself and the kind of boyfriend he is, Shahid had once said in an interview with Cosmopolitan that he is very moody and while sometimes he gets all romantic and takes Kareena for long drives, there are times when he gets quite sporty and takes her for jet-skiing. Talking about how they fell-in-love, Shahid said in the same interview, “We were dating within the first week of meeting each other…so you can say that, yes, we hit it off the moment we met!”Talking about what keeps their relationship going, Shahid had said, “The fact that we have such different personalities. She is extremely outspoken and impulsive. I am the opposite. We fill in each other’s empty spaces, balance out each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and that’s what keeps us together.”While Shahid Kapoor now is a loving husband to Mira Rajput and a proud father to two kids – Misha and Zain, Kareena is married to Saif Ali Khan and together they have the most adorable celeb kid – Taimur Ali Khan.
Advertisements of Paytm, a digital wallet company, are seen placed at stalls of roadside vegetable vendors in Mumbai, November 19, 2016.Reuters filePaytm Payments Bank Ltd. (PPBL) will commence operations as a banking entity on May 23, becoming the third payments bank to do so after Airtel and India Post. The final licence to its founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma was issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in August 2015 along with 11 entities, three of which — Tech Mahindra, Cholamandalam Finance and Dilip Shanghvi-IDFC Bank-Telenor JV — subsequently dropped out.In accordance with RBI guidelines, Paytm will transfer its mobile wallet operations to PPBL.The public notice about the development was issued by Paytm and had updates for existing customers of Paytm.”Your current Paytm Wallet will now move to the Paytm Payments Bank,” the notice said.Customers also have the option to discontinue availing of the services. “If you choose not to enjoy the benefits of Paytm Wallet, please email at firstname.lastname@example.org or login to paytm.com/care to notify your choice of opting out and redeeming your balance by one time transfer to your bank account,” the notice added.For those who have not done any transactions on their Paytm Wallet in the past six months, the transfer will happen only if the customer consents to the same.The RBI had come out with the first set of guidelines for payments in November 2014, along with the rationale. “The objectives of setting up of payments banks will be to further financial inclusion by providing (i) small savings accounts and (ii) payments/remittance services to migrant labour workforce, low income households, small businesses, other unorganised sector entities and other users.”Among other things, payments can accept savings and current deposits from individuals and small businesses up to Rs 1 lakh, and are allowed to issue debit cards but not credit cards and cannot undertake lending activities.The minimum paid-up equity capital for payments banks is Rs 100 crore. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seal is pictured on a gate outside the RBI headquarters in Mumbai, India, February 2, 2016.Reuters file
Apache Kafka, the open source distributed data streaming software, has just hit version 2.0.0. With Kafka becoming a vital component in the (big) data architecture of many organizations, this new major stable release represents an important step in consolidating its importance for data architects and engineers. Quick recap: what is Apache Kafka? If you’re not sure what Kafka is, let’s just take a moment to revisit what it does before getting into the details of the 2.0.0 release. Essentially, Kafka is a tool that allows you to stream, store and publish data. It’s a bit like a message queue system. It’s used to either move data between different systems between applications (ie. build data pipelines) or develop applications that react in specific ways to streams of data. Kafka is an important tool because it can process data in real-time. Key to this is the fact it is distributed – things are scaled horizontally, across machines. It’s not centralized. As the project website explains, Kafka is “run as a cluster on one or more servers that can span multiple datacenters.” What’s new in Apache Kafka 2.0.0? There’s a huge range of changes and improvements that have gone live with Kafka 2.0.0. All of these are an attempt to give users more security, stability and reliability in their data architecture. It’s Kafka doubling down on what it has always tried to do well. Here are a few of the key changes: Security improvements in Kafka 2.0.0 Simplified access control management for large deployments thanks to support for prefixed ACLs. “Bulk access to topics, consumer groups or transactional ids with a prefix can now be granted using a single rule. Access control for topic creation has also been improved to enable access to be granted to create specific topics or topics with a prefix.” Encryption is easier to manage – “We now support Java 9, leading, among other things, to significantly faster TLS and CRC32C implementations. Over-the-wire encryption will be faster now, which will keep Kafka fast and compute costs low when encryption is enabled.” Easier security configuration – SSL truststores can now be updated without broker restart and security for broker listeners in Zookeeper can be configured before starting brokers too. Reliability improvements in Kafka 2.0.0 Throttling notifications make it easier to distinguish between network errors and when quotas are maxed-out. Improvements to resiliency of brokers “by reducing the memory footprint of message down-conversions.” Unit testing Kafka Streams will now be easier thanks to the kafka-streams-testutil artifact. You can read the details about the release here.
Last minute deals and early warm weather are boosting the number of travellers flying into Queensland for Spring break, according to Tourism Queensland acting chief executive Leanne Coddington.Ms Coddington explained that while holiday forward bookings were strong, the sun has helped sway Aussies to purchase last minute bookings into the region.“Queensland’s regions are offering some fantastic holiday deals such as bonus nights, upgrades and meals and while bookings have increased over the past week or so, there are still vacancies across most destinations,” the acting head said. “We are advising holidaymakers that if they want to go away they should get in quick.”Among the last minute deals available include discounts on Gold Coast attraction passes as well as accommodation specials for people travelling in pairs.She added that popular regions for late Aussie bookers include Bundaberg, Discovery Coast and Capricorn Coast. “Seasonal activities such as whale watching on the Fraser Coast are also likely to attract good crowds in coming weeks,” she said. “On the mainland, businesses are reporting a good level of bookings at beach properties near Mackay but there are still vacancies available for holidaymakers who decide to travel towards the end of the break.” Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J
Mortgage affordability has remained mostly favorable, causing demand for homes in the market to rise at a rapid pace but supply remains at a disadvantage.In addition to affordability factors, job creation is increasing and banks are loosening credit standards, so it is no wonder that mortgage applications are up by 30 percent year-over-year, according to Capital Economics Property Economist, Matthew Pointon.On the downside, growing demand in the housing market is not being met with an increase in supply. Pointon reported that the months’ supply of homes for sale recently hit at 10-year low. This mismatch is causing home prices to skyrocket.”Buyers can only benefit from those low mortgage payments if they can get a mortgage in the first place,” Pointon explained.”Home builders may be a little hesitant in the confidence arena but despite the lack belief in the market, they do appear to be building more homes in the U.S. This rebound in homebuilding is expected to continue throughout the year, but will it solve persistent inventory issues?The U.S. Census Bureau and the HUD on Wednesday jointly released new residential construction statistics for February 2016, which showed single-family housing starts bounced back more than expected in February to their highest level in five months, led by a the largest jump in single-family units in nine years.According to the data, February’s housing starts rose 5.2 percent to an annual rate of 1,178,000, compared to January’s estimate of 1,120,000. Year-over-year housing starts experienced major gains, rising 30.9 percent compared to the February 2015 rate of 900,000. Overall starts have not been this high since September 2015 when the figure was 1,207,000.On the singe-family side, housing starts were at a rate of 822,000 in February, up 7.2 percent from the revised January figure of 767,000. Single-family starts have not been this high since November 2007 when they were at 833,000.”The very positive single-family report further supports other housing and general economic reports that the housing recovery continues unabated,” said David Crowe, National Association of Home Builders Chief Economist and SVP. “Low mortgage rates, increases in employment, continued US economic expansion and growing pent up demand particularly among existing home owners are supporting more single-family home building.In the midst of tight supply, heightened competition for buyers, and unpredictable financial markets, U.S. home prices continued to rise in the fourth quarter.The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) shows that home prices rose 5.8 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter of 2015. Prices increased 1.4 percent from the third quarter of 2015, marking the 18 consecutive quarterly price increase in the purchase-only, seasonally adjusted index. Home prices were up 0.4 percent month-over-month for December.“Instability in financial markets did not seem to put much of a drag on home prices in the fourth quarter,” said Andrew Leventis, FHFA Supervisory Economist. The 1.4 percent rise in home prices “was in line with the extremely steady—but historically elevated— appreciation rates we have been observing for several years now.” Housing Demand Heats Up Amid Stifled Inventory Affordability Capital Economics Home Prices Housing Demand Inventory 2016-04-06 Staff Writer April 6, 2016 587 Views in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News Share
File – In this Oct. 31, 2015, photo, Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (38) is pictured during an NCAA college football game against Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) Top Stories ESPN Insider’s Andrew Healy evaluated the biggest needs of the eight NFL contenders from a season ago, and it turns out the Arizona Cardinals stand alone as the only of those teams that needs to upgrade their pass rush.That might be good news for Arizona when it comes to the 2016 NFL Draft, if only because there won’t be the need to jostle a few spots up in the draft order to leap over a team going after the same player. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments Share The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Four of the eight contending teams that draft around the Cardinals, who pick 29th overall, need help along the offensive lines. None of the remaining three teams have the need for a pass rusher.So how might the Cardinals address their biggest need?Like many other mock drafts, Healy has Arizona selecting Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah with its first-round draft pick.For 2016, the Cardinals need to find a 3-4 outside linebacker who can get after the quarterback. Oklahoma State’s Ogbah would fit that bill and could be available late in the first round. Ogbah’s balanced production — 12.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and 19 quarterback hurries — projects well; big numbers across those categories are less likely to be a fluke than a big sack total by itself.At the NFL Combine, the 6-foot-4, 275 pound Ogbah was second among defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.63 seconds. He also recorded a 35.5-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 10 feet, 1 inch.
Go back to the e-newsletterThe Ritz-Carlton, Singapore’s signature Cantonese restaurant, Summer Pavilion, has earned its first Michelin star in the inaugural Michelin Guide Singapore 2016. It is the only Chinese restaurant in a hotel in Singapore to receive this accolade.“I am thrilled that Summer Pavilion has garnered a one-star rating from the world-renowned Michelin Guide, an achievement that demonstrates our commitment to culinary excellence in a city that is well known as a gourmand’s paradise. This recognition would not have been possible without our ladies and gentlemen in the restaurant operations and culinary teams, who are dedicated towards crafting a memorable and exceptional dining experience for all our guests,” said Peter Mainguy, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.Chef Cheung Siu Kong has been with the restaurant since 2003. In 2014, he was appointed Chinese Executive Chef and underwent a relentless drive toward culinary perfection to propel the restaurant to Michelin heights. Following an extensive transformation in late 2015, Summer Pavilion became a contemporary restaurant with six private dining rooms.In celebration of winning this prestigious accolade, Summer Pavilion has launched special menus which feature some of Chef Cheung’s signature dishes. These include the barbecued Iberico pork with honey sauce, marinated South African abalone with roasted sesame dressing, double-boiled sea whelk soup with fish maw and chicken served in a whole coconut, poached rice with lobster and sautéed diced Japanese wagyu beef.Marriott International proudly touts 17 Michelin stars across its portfolio of brands.Go back to the e-newsletter
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