first_imgA passenger demanded a window seat so the flight attendant did this Tags: Funny, Japan Travelweek Group Posted by Sharecenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Monday, November 12, 2018 TORONTO — A word to the wise: never mess with a flight attendant.On a recent flight in Japan, a passenger who had requested a window seat threw a bit of a hissy fit after discovering he was seated in a row without a window.According to fellow passenger @koo_TmS_suke, who shared his story on Twitter, the unidentified male passenger demanded the crew give him a window seat as they came around for drinks service.A flight attendant then walked away before returning with a piece of paper. As it turns out, the crew member had drawn a window on the paper, complete with an ocean view and two clouds in the sky.But that’s not all. The flight attendant went so far as to tape the picture to the wall next to the passenger.Voila! Automatic window seat.Twitter reacted in full, with many praising the flight attendant’s quick thinking and creativity. One Twitter user wrote, “That’s really clever” while another said, “Great thinking by the attendant”.More news:  Save the dates! Goway’s Africa Roadshow is backThe airline has not been identified. No word as to whether the seat in question has been upgraded to Premium status due to its newly enhanced views.last_img read more

first_imgThe Survey of Tourist Accommodation for the year ending June 2014, released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, shows some mixed results, according to the industry body the National Tourism Alliance (NTA).The Survey measures activity in 4,200 accommodation properties across Australia.National Tourism Alliance chief executive officer Juliana Payne, said that the years’ figures show some increases in some areas, however there is still room to improve.“In the year ending June 2014, the figures show that while average occupancy of rooms across the country was slightly down on the previous year, the average room rate charged saw a slight increase, the lower occupancy probably reflects a slowdown of activity in the resource States,” Ms Payne said.“There is still a huge amount of activity going on in the accommodation sector, with well over 53.5 million room nights occupied nationally, generating nearly $9 billion in room revenue, hotels drive a lot of economic activity: they are big buyers of local goods and services, and they employ hundreds of thousands of people.”“With the Australian dollar coming down, it’s important that the industry is placed to take advantage of that; Australia needs to increase its marketing efforts nationally and internationally to attract the visitors who spend money and create jobs here.”Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterAs a member of the the Small Luxury Hotels of the World group, The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach presents the best of Seychelles within a unique and warm space. Inspired by authentic cultural hues and featuring touches of indigenous art and materials, The H Resort represents a tranquil space for travellers to unwind.Discover the treasures of SeychellesThe resort is conveniently located in the north west of Mage, Seychelles’ largest island, on a glorious three-kilometre stretch of glistening white sand and clear waters, making it the longest beach in Seychelles. The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach embraces the island’s natural landscape making the serene and distinct accommodation units almost camouflaged by the entire scenery.The H Resort interior design was envisaged and created by the world-renowned Montreal based designer, Andres Escobar & Associates. The designers’ intent was to provide a relaxed atmosphere, with eclectic rounded furniture and a calm ambiance, in the midst of a natural surrounding. A common element found throughout The H Resort is the ceiling fans, natural oval palm leaf blades that provide comfort and heighten the refreshing vannswet breeze.The newest five-star property on shore, the H Resort is where the majestic lush mountains, home to Seychelles’ local takamaka trees and coconut palms meet the pristine shores. Featuring some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders, The H Resort draws on a unique heritage of hospitality and tradition to create heart-warmingly honest guest experiences that blend space and sensation.AccommodationThe H Resort provides a diversity of gracefully crafted accommodation, which simultaneously reflect the authentic expressions of Seychellois heritage and offer modern and luxurious comforts and services. With 46 Junior Suites, 38 Garden Suites, 14 Beach Villas and 2 Grand Beach Villas, the property offers an array of choices.Each beach Villa encompasses 150 square metres of serenity, with the sea literally at their doorstep. While the stunning Grand Beach Villas, that can be configured to one or two bedrooms, ranging from 300 to 450 square metres, are inclusive of expansive entertaining spaces.Seychelles-inspired diningDelightful creations that are masterfully prepared by a number of expert chefs complemented by spectacular views, The H Resort offers a collection of culinary destinations. Trader Vic’s, home to the original Mai Tai, is an iconic brand 80 years strong that set the world standard for tropical sophistication with its eclectic Polynesian fusion cuisine, exotic cocktails, music and authentic decor. Vasco’s is a spacious, Mediterranean restaurant with Seychellois influences and is open for buffet breakfast and dinner. Poolside venue Ripples exudes an air of casual charisma, setting the scene for a laidback experience daily. Eden provides a romantic, tucked away, beachside sanctuary complemented by seafood and fresh meat cuts from the barbecue.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

first_img19Jul Rep. McCready highlights legislation aimed at helping residents in 40th district Categories: McCready News,News In the first six months of his third term in the Michigan House of Representatives, state Rep. Mike McCready remains committed to working with the 99th Michigan Legislature to promote bills that better the way of life for residents in Bloomfield Hills, Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and West Bloomfield Township.McCready serves in House Committees on Commerce and Trade, Families Children, and Seniors, Financial Services and Financial Liability Reform.Among the recent legislation touted by McCready:• A 2017-18 budget that provides record funding for roads and bridges. A total of $450 million will be provided for the upcoming budget year, and $1.2 billion annually by 2021. In addition, legislation has also been approved to strengthen warranties so repaired roadways last longer. The budget will include $35 million for the Michigan Infrastructure Fund to be used to address the state’s water, transportation, energy, and communications infrastructure.• A $41 million allowance within the budget to expand skilled trades programs. This is an increase of $11 million from the current year. An additional $1.2 million will be used for the Agricultural Workforce Initiative to increase agricultural occupations.• Business development grant and loan funds through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation totaling $115.5 million.• Several programs set to be enacted that will provide services for the state’s mentally-ill population, helping to promote a better culture of life.• An increase in revenue sharing for local communities, including cities, villages and townships, totaling over $6 million. This will allow continued and effective police, fire and medical services locally.“These budget measures will be felt at the local level and I’m excited to see the results within my district,” said McCready. “It’s a package that, among other things, addresses the state of our roads and helps get people out in the workforce. Those are two concerns I frequently hear about from the people I represent, so I was pleased to work with my colleagues to focus on those issues.”The budget plan includes an increase of $3.6 million for home delivered meals and senior in-home services. The increase, along with previous investments, will help correct wait list issues within the programs.“Protecting our seniors was a pivotal part of this budget,” said McCready. “Seniors in my district won’t be left behind or forgotten with the plan we have implemented.”McCready also championed a series of 10 bills updating Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) laws. The bills enact a new Legislative Open Records Act beginning in 2019, which provides for public inspection of legislative records. The Governor, Lieutenant Governor and their employees will also be subject to FOIA requests.“We need to be an open book for the people who are electing us to hold these offices and serve them,” said McCready. “Transparency within our government is essential and people within my district have voiced their concerns about how open and honest our government process is. I was part of 10 unanimous votes in favor of these bipartisan bills to show people in my district that I am committed to the transparency they seek.”last_img read more

first_imgTomasz ZuranskiTomasz Żurański, CEO and president of Polish operator Vectra, discusses the company’s strategy and some of the big issues facing the cable industry today.What do you think are the key challenges facing the European cable industry in 2016? Linear pay TV as a declining product is one challenge – mainly due to changing customer habits and newcomers who make the competition tenser.How much of a risk is posed by over-the-top (OTT) content providers like Netflix and does it make sense for operators to partner with these kinds of services?OTT certainly might be a part of the problem for linear TV. Nonetheless, each market is, to some extent, unique and requires a different approach. In general I strongly believe that for both sides cooperation is a much more promising option.What is the strategy behind Vectra’s new SVOD service Filmklub? Will this help Vectra to reach new audiences? Filmklub is only part of our wider strategy for TV Everywhere and VOD, which is intended mostly to increase customer convenience and satisfaction – at least in the short term perspective.How important is content investment for operators in 2016?Big investments in content, especially in exclusive rights, are not an obvious choice. Especially for small and medium sized operators. However, it is an asset that no one can ignore.Do cable operators risk becoming ‘dumb pipes’ for other companies’ content?It depends. I believe operators are accommodating to changes. However some support from EU would be appreciated.What measures would you like to see brought in from a regulatory point of view to help the future development of the cable industry – both in Poland and in Europe more generally?Governments, [and the] EU should somehow protect companies – namely cable and telecommunication operators – that heavily invest in infrastructure and enable other players to offer their services via the internet.In today’s market how important is it for cable operators today to also offer mobile and quad play options?Mobile matters, especially in the context of transactions like the joint venture between UPC and Vodafone in the Netherlands. The market will evolve in that direction, it is just a matter of time.last_img read more

first_imgWARNING: Please Do NOT Watch This SHOCKING Video at Work…Is what this woman doing on camera even legal? How many more people did we catch in this same suspicious act? This video could change your life. Watch the OUTRAGEOUS video to discover this mysterious behavior… Huge Discount Ends TodayWe’ve arranged a huge discount and a free supplementary year for one of our favorite financial research services in the industry. It focuses on a unique way to trade ETFs (no options or futures or risky assets) and can help you conservatively pile up 100%+ gains, year after year. Learn more here…  Recommended Links Gold just set its most important high in two years.This morning, the price of gold topped $1,300 for the first time since August 2014. Gold is now riding a six-day winning streak, and is just a few percentage points from setting a new two-year high.If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know gold stormed out of the gate this year. It jumped 16% during the first three months of the year, its best quarter in three decades.Then, gold cooled off. It went nearly two months without setting a new high.We told you it was healthy for gold to take a “breather” after such a hot start to the year. But we also said it would likely head higher soon. We encouraged readers to use the break in the action as a buying opportunity.Last Tuesday, gold started rallying again. It’s up 22% on the year.• The Federal Reserve gave gold a big push yesterday…Yesterday, the Fed said it will keep its key interest rate at 0.38%…well below its historic average of 5.0%.The Fed slashed rates in 2008 to encourage borrowing and spending. It’s kept them near zero for eight years in an effort to “stimulate” the economy.It hasn’t worked. The U.S. economy is growing at its slowest pace since World War II. And America’s real median household income is about $2,500 lower than it was in 2007.The Fed effectively makes money “cheap” when it keeps rates low. That’s bad for the U.S. dollar, which is a paper currency. Yesterday, the U.S. Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar’s performance vs. major currencies like the euro and Japanese yen, fell 0.4%. It’s now down 4.2% on the year.As regular Casey readers know, what’s bad for the dollar is good for gold. That’s because gold is real money. It’s protected wealth for centuries because it has rare set of qualities: It’s durable, easily divisible, and easy to transport. No matter where you go, folks immediately recognize gold’s inherent value.• Many investors thought the Fed would raise rates…Last month, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said a rate hike was likely “in the coming months” if the economy improved.A week later, the Labor Department said U.S. companies are hiring at the slowest pace since 2010. The miserable May jobs report was the latest sign the economy is moving in the wrong direction.Yesterday, Yellen hinted that “headwinds blowing on the economy” played into her decision to not hike rates.• Yellen is also worried Britain will leave the European Union (EU)…If you’ve been following the news, you’ve probably heard this is a possibility. The media is calling this scenario a “Brexit.”According to CNNMoney, this also played into the Fed’s decision:“Brexit…is something we discussed and I think it’s one of the factors that factored into today’s decision,” Yellen said. She said the U.K. decision could have consequences for the economic and financial conditions of the global financial markets and will play a role in future decisions.Great Britain will hold a vote on June 23 to decide if it will stay in the EU or leave.• The Fed still said investors could expect one or maybe two rate hikes this year…Yellen even added that a July rate hike was not “impossible.”Some investors think a rate hike would hurt gold. The thinking is that gold doesn’t pay a yield, so it becomes less attractive if rates rise. That’s because investors would rather own bonds and other assets that pay interest.Our colleague Steve Sjuggerud says the conventional wisdom is dead wrong. As you may know, Steve is one of the smartest analysts in our industry. He’s got a PhD in finance…experience running a mutual fund and a hedge fund…and one of the best trading track records in the business.In his short note below, Steve says the Fed’s decision shouldn’t affect gold’s rally. Gold is going to do what it wants.Here’s Steve:The next Federal Reserve rate hike is on hold… for now.Yesterday, the Fed announced that they won’t raise rates this week. But they did tell us that at least one (and maybe two) rate hikes are possible through the end of the 2016.If you own gold, this probably has you worried…But should you be worried?In short, no…The last time the Federal Reserve raised rates was from 2004 to 2006. Rates went from 1% all the way to 5.25%.If gold was truly affected by the Fed raising interest rates, then you would think that the dramatic move we saw from 2004 to 2006 would have a devastating effect on the gold price… right?You’d be wrong. Gold was unaffected. Its price just kept going up while the Fed was raising interest rates. Take a look:Specifically, exactly one year after the Fed’s first interest rate hike in 2004, gold prices were up more than 10%.The story was the same the previous time the Fed started hiking rates… in 1999. One year after the Fed started hiking interest rates, the price of gold was up more than 10%.Just because gold went up 10%-plus in a year the last two times the Fed raised interest rates doesn’t mean that it has to happen again…We can’t say that gold will go up 10% or more. But we can say you shouldn’t worry so much about the Fed right now.The last time the Fed started raising interest rates, gold was in a bull market. And higher rates didn’t hurt gold.Today, I believe we’re in a new bull market in gold – one that would also be unaffected by interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, just like we saw from 2004 to 2006.Look, the media might try to spook you about gold and the Fed in the coming weeks…Pay no attention to it… You know the truth. Gold doesn’t care about the Fed, especially when gold is in a bull market. • If you want to make big gains in this gold bull market, we suggest you check out Steve’s research…That’s because Steve recently discovered a “Magic Number” that appears before EVERY big move in gold and even gold stocks.According to his research, you could have used this number to make gains of 66%…382%…and an extraordinary 1,160% gain in one gold stock. There are countless examples like this.You can learn more about Steve’s “Magic Number” by watching this short presentation. You will also learn how you can get access to Steve’s research for 50% off the regular price. This deal ends at midnight tonight, so you must act soon. Click here for more information.• REMINDER: Casey Research founder Doug Casey will be in Poland this weekend…Doug and International Man editor Nick Giambruno will be in Warsaw this weekend for the Polish launch of Doug’s classic book, Crisis Investing.They will also be presenting at the “Alternative for Difficult Times” seminar on June 18 and 19. They’ll be discussing the impending global financial hurricane, the state of freedom around the world, and how you can protect yourself and even profit from these trends.You can learn more about this event by clicking here.Chart of the DayGold miners soared to new highs today too…Today’s chart shows the performance of The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX), a fund that tracks large gold stocks.As you likely know, gold stocks are leveraged to the price of gold. A small jump in the price of gold can cause gold stocks to soar. Yesterday, a modest 0.5% jump by gold caused GDX to surge 3.9%. Today, GDX is up another 2.6%, and is now up 97% on the year. It’s trading at its highest level since August 2014.That’s a huge move for such a short period of time. Remember, we’re not even halfway through the year. Still, gold stocks could just be getting started. During the 2000–2003 bull market, the average gold stock rose 602%. The best ones surged 1,000% or more.Keep in mind, gold stocks are incredibly volatile. It’s not uncommon for a gold stock to swing 10% or more in a day. If you can’t stomach that kind of volatility, stick with physical gold. Its value could easily double or triple in the coming years.Regards,Justin SpittlerDelray Beach, FloridaJune 16, 2016We want to hear from you.If you have a question or comment, please send it to We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. – —last_img read more

first_imgWorkplace wellness programs that offer employees a financial carrot for undergoing health screenings, sticking to exercise regimens or improving their cholesterol levels have long been controversial.Starting January 1, they may become even more contentious. That’s when a federal judge’s decision to overturn existing rules about the programs takes effect. The decision casts uncertainty over what the appropriate upper limit for these types of financial incentives should be — specifically when employers offer them to workers to participate in programs that require clinical testing or the disclosure of their personal health data.Under the Americans with Disabilities Acts and genetic privacy law, an employer can’t force someone to disclose this kind of private information — any disclosure must be voluntary. The central question is how truly voluntary something is when a large financial incentive is attached.As a result of the court decision, consultants say, workers may find their employers starting to offer smaller incentives for these programs.Also, the programs might include more options for qualifying for those incentives — a choice, for instance, between undergoing a medical exam or completing online health education training.About 4 in 10 employers participating in an informal survey by Mercer, a benefits firm, said they are not sure what they will do about their workplace wellness plans in light of the judge’s ruling.”Some are modifying. Others are taking a wait-and-see-attitude,” says Steven Noeldner, Mercer’s senior consultant in total health management specialty practice.Eighty-five percent of large employers offering health insurance included a wellness program designed to help people stop smoking, lose weight or take other healthful actions, according to a 2017 survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Just over half of those included some type of medical screening.Rewards or incentives to participate in these programs vary. The most common are gift cards, fitness trackers or other merchandise, but some offer significant discounts on what workers pay toward their health insurance coverage.For instance, the Cleveland Clinic’s version is more extensive than most, says Dr. Bruce Rogen, chief medical officer for the initiative. He describes it as a “population health program,” with differing goals for workers who have chronic diseases like diabetes versus those who don’t.Full participation, which may require losing weight, keeping blood sugar levels in check or hitting a gym at least 10 times a month, can save workers 30 percent off the cost of their insurance premiums. That could be as much as $1,443 a year.”Part of what makes the plan work is the fact we can offer that benefit discount,” Rogen says.Thirty percent is the maximum an employer can offer, according to rules put out in 2016 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.Shortly after the EEOC’s guidance was issued, AARP challenged it in court, arguing that workers who did not want to provide their private medical information might feel coerced to do so because not participating would cost them substantial sums — ranging from hundreds to thousands of dollars.The argument — from AARP and other critics — is essentially that when incentives become large enough, employees may no longer feel that sharing their medical data is voluntary — because, how can they afford not to participate?”You and I can look at the same incentive and you will find it’s truly voluntary and I would say, given my financial circumstances, I feel I’m being compelled,” says Tom Luetkemeyer, an attorney specializing in employment law at Hinshaw & Culbertson in Chicago. (He was not involved in the AARP case.)In his first ruling in August 2017, D.C. Circuit Court Judge John Bates noted that the EEOC had failed to provide justification for how it settled on the 30 percent limit. He also pointed out that 30 percent of a worker’s health insurance costs could be “the equivalent of several months’ worth of food for the average family, two months of child care in most states, and roughly two months’ rent.”Bates ultimately ordered the 30 percent limit vacated as of Jan. 1, 2019, after the EEOC said it would not produce that justification or a new number until 2021.Now employers who are putting together next year’s health benefit programs don’t have specific rules to follow.The advice they are receiving from benefit consultants ranges widely, from “drop all incentives and penalties” to “stay the course.”Few expect employers will stop offering wellness programs outright — because most hope the programs will hold down health costs by getting workers to take steps to improve their well-being. Critics, however, point out that studies show little evidence that workplace wellness programs achieve these goals.The ruling does not affect some wellness program efforts, such as offering financial incentives for going to the gym or walking a certain number of steps per day.Substantial financial incentives that are used to get people to quit tobacco are also not covered by the ruling — as long as there is no medical test required to check for nicotine use.But “you can’t fine them for not getting their weight down, because then you have to measure their weight and that becomes clinical,” says Al Lewis, who runs Quizzify, an employee health literacy company.Some employers say they will stick with their existing programs — even if they hit the 30 percent level — because the EEOC is unlikely to challenge companies that stick with the rescinded percentage while they await the new rules.The Cleveland Clinic’s Rogen, who credits the wellness program for holding medical costs almost flat for the past five years, says clinic officials plan to leave it at that level next year, despite the uncertainty.Not all benefits consultants would agree with that choice.”The way we interpret the ruling is that financial incentives that relate to physical exams, including questions about health history, would not be allowed starting Jan. 1,” said Noeldner, of Mercer.Others suggest that interpretation is taking the judge’s ruling too far. After all, the Affordable Care Act provides a precedent for the 30 percent threshold — and the EEOC may well come back with a rule that reaffirms that amount. The ACA included a provision that raised the limit on health-contingent wellness incentives to that amount.”People may be overreacting to this by saying, ‘With these rules null and void, we are out in the Wild West,’ ” says Todd Hlasney, senior vice president and director of health risk solutions at Lockton Companies, a benefits consultancy.”We are advising clients to be more conservative,” he says. “But don’t panic and say [you] can’t do anything because of EEOC.”Kaiser Health News (KHN), a nonprofit news service, is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, and not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Copyright 2018 Kaiser Health News. To see more, visit Kaiser Health News.last_img read more

first_imgAmazon Enroll Now for $5 Some Alexa users have heard random, creepy giggles from the virtual assistant in recent weeks. Amazon says the problem was the result of a false positive. Reporter Next Article Image credit: via PC Mag Angela Moscaritolo –shares Add to Queuecenter_img Amazon’s Alexa apparently thinks something is pretty funny, but isn’t letting anyone in on the joke.As The Sacramento Bee reports, some Alexa users have heard random giggles from the virtual assistant in recent weeks. Moreover, people are saying that the laugh they’re hearing isn’t in Alexa’s usual voice, which makes the experience even creepier.”I was trying to turn off some lights and they kept turning back on,” one Reddit user posted last month. “After the third request, Alexa stopped responding and instead did an evil laugh. The laugh wasn’t in the Alexa voice. It sounded like a real person. My wife was there when it happened and she is the only person who can drop-in. I still get chills.”Several Twitter users have recently reported similar experiences, and one person even managed to capture it on video:So Alexa decided to laugh randomly while I was in the kitchen. Freaked @SnootyJuicer and I out. I thought a kid was laughing behind me.— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) February 23, 2018Yes, everyone, this is real. Its a JBL Bluetooth speaker paired with the Echo Dot. Technology is evil. I live on a Native American burial ground. Robots are coming for us all.— CaptHandlebar (@CaptHandlebar) March 7, 2018Lying in bed about to fall asleep when Alexa on my Amazon Echo Dot lets out a very loud and creepy laugh… there’s a good chance I get murdered tonight.— Gavin Hightower (@GavinHightower) February 26, 2018WHY DID MY ALEXA JUST LAUGH OUT OF THE BLUE?!?!?!?— Kyle Fitzy Shanklin (@kylefitzy8) March 4, 2018Turns out, these users aren’t being overly dramatic or hallucinating these strange LOLs. In a Wednesday statement to PCMag, Amazon confirmed this is an actual thing that’s happening.The online retail giant said that “in rare cases, Alexa can mistakenly hear the phrase ‘Alexa, laugh.'””We are changing that phrase to be ‘Alexa, can you laugh?’ which is less likely to have false positives, and we are disabling the short utterance ‘Alexa, laugh,'” Amazon said. “We are also changing Alexa’s response from simply laughter to ‘Sure, I can laugh’ followed by laughter.'”News of this Alexa oddity comes after the service went down for several hours last week. During the outage, Echo device owners reported seeing red rings rather than blue, as well as a variety of error messages, including: “I’m having trouble understanding right now. Please try a little later”; “I’m not sure what went wrong” and “Sorry, your Echo lost its connection.” That outage was, strangely, a case of life imitating advertising. March 8, 2018 Alexa Is Randomly Laughing, But Nobody’s in on the Joke Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. This story originally appeared on PCMag 3 min read Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brandlast_img read more

first_img Register Now » The Easter eggs and new doodle, in honor of the 20th anniversary of Google search, come after Google introduced a bunch of new features to its search results this week. Add to Queue Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 2 min read Next Article September 27, 2018 Image credit: via PC Mag Lead Mobile Analystcenter_img Google Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Sascha Segan Google Search Turns 20 Today. Check Out the New Easter Eggs and Homepage Doodle. –shares This story originally appeared on PCMag Today is the 20th anniversary of Google’s search page, and the company is throwing in a new doodle and a bunch of silly search Easter eggs for you to type into the home page.The Easter egg theme is “2018 results for stuff you might have searched for in 1998.” Type in one of the phrases below, and you’ll get a jokey “did you mean” result for something more relevant to today’s world. They’ll be live through Sunday, Sept. 30, so try them out while you can.The animated doodle, meanwhile, takes a rosy view on search trends for every year between 1998 and 2018. I was curious to know how Google would put a positive spin on the controversial world of 2017, and the company decided to go with “cute animal videos.”For another fun Easter egg, you can do a sort of scavenger hunt through the original Google garage using Google Street View. There are all sorts of hidden objects and a secret trap door in the garage. Start here.New stories, new searchesThe Easter eggs and new doodle come after Google introduced a bunch of new features to its search results this week.The minimalist search page, of course, remains intact. But more and more, desktop search result designs are borrowing elements from the Google phone app and the Google Assistant on Android smart displays, with a card-based interface rather than a simple stack of web links and snippets. Our sister site Mashable has a good rundown of the new features in search.Mashable, which attended a Google event in San Francisco, points out that Google is doubling or maybe tripling down (can you triple down?) on mobile. But at the NYC event we attended, Google showed how it’s changing desktop search, too, and how desktop search hasn’t been forgotten at the Googleplex.last_img read more

first_imgTechnology Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Welcome back to PC World’s weekly celebration of slack. And nothing screams “slack” like summertime. Problem is, with gas prices rising and dollar values dropping, taking a vacation is tough on the wallet. So, what are you going to do with your spare time?The Great IndoorsStaycation (stay-kay-shun, noun). “A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.” –Urban DictionaryThat’s the nice way of saying you’re stuck–no Tahiti trip this year. Yep, even a check of my favorite deal-scouring travel site, TravelZoo, resulted in few viable destination deals. Hell, I’d be lucky to afford a road trip to Carhenge (apparently, ancient Nebraskan druids stacked up classic American cars to commune with nature). Don’t worry, you still have ways to see the world without leaving your living room.For example, try taking a peek at the strangest sights in Google Earth or get a beachside view of Oahu via Webcams (see bottom of page at this link for different camera locations).Then, of course, there are video games–and I’m not talking about traipsing through Second Life on some cornball tour of digital never-neverland. I want to try and simulate the real deal–without dropping a fortune.First stop, the airport. Well, Microsoft Flight Simulator, at least. Don’t forget to take off your shoes and have any bags searched before sitting down at the computer. The game lets you control the whole flight in real time. Going cross-country in-game can take the same number of hours it would in real life. Hit autopilot and read a book. Maybe catch a movie. But where should I “fly?”See HawaiiSome 1000 miles of Hawaiian roads await you in Test Drive Unlimited. The game makers went to a whole lot of trouble to capture the vibe of everything from Waikiki to the North Shore. True story: One rainy day I turned on the game and drove my Maserati to a secluded spot by a beach. I just sat there and read a book as I heard the waves roll in and the occasional car speed by. Want to go on a trip with some friends? Buy a couple extra copies and meet up online. Best part is that this game is about a year old, so you can find it pretty cheap online.Test Drive Unlimited (PC, PS3, Xbox 360). Travel Costs (besides hardware / home theater): About $20Go South of the BorderSouth America is beautiful this time of year, so get down to some exotic locales. Over 250,000 lush acres are simulated in this huge, open environment. When you aren’t shooting down drug dealers, you have a lot of ways to get around and see the sights: paragliding, sky diving, jetskiing and base-jumping to name a few. How much will this spicy getaway run you? Not a whole lot. Like Test Drive Unlimited, the Just Cause game is a little older, so a quick online search should find a copy for cheap.Just Cause (PC, PS2, Xbox 360). Travel Costs (besides hardware / home theater): About $15New Yawk, New YawkAh, “The City.” Day or night, there is always someplace to go and something to do. Walking through the park during the day and hitting clubs at night is the least of your choices. Play darts in a dingy club. Shoot pool, go bowling, do some shopping in midtown–what, you thought Grand Theft Auto IV was just about sex, drugs, and carjacking? GTA’s Liberty City is a dark reflection of New York, and the attention to detail is just scary. I can insert a disc and drive to the corner in “Manhattan” where my apartment should exist.Grand Theft Auto IV (PS3, Xbox 360). Travel Costs (besides hardware / home theater): $60European TourAs much as I want to cruise the Italian countryside or blast past traffic on the autobahn, it just ain’t happening this summer. At least not in “meatspace.” PS3 owners can not only get a taste of foreign lands, but a sampling of what Gran Turismo 5 will be like when it drives to stores in 2009 with Gran Turismo 5: Prologue. Of the six race tracks in the game, a couple camp you in beautifully recreated city streets. While beautiful and fun to drive, this is a pricey teaser for the final game. Is it worth the trip? Well, considering the exchange rate, it’s a whole lot cheaper. (Don’t own a PS3? Project Gotham Racing 4 for the Xbox 360 is another good globe-trotting, international driving fix.)Gran Turismo 5: Prologue (PS3). Travel Costs (besides hardware / home theater): $40Game BreakerBut the most important thing to do, finally, is to take a vacation from playing games as well as from work this summer. Forget Azeroth for five minutes. Ditch downtown demon-busting-land one afternoon. Slather on some SPF 800 and discover your neighborhood. You know, that place you drive through on the way to work. Enjoy life and spend some quality time living it. I will…eventually.Senior Writer Darren Gladstone geeks out over gadgets, games, and odd uses for humdrum tech. In other words, he’s a nerd–and he’s okay with that. July 1, 2008 Add to Queue Can’t see the world? We’ve got some cheap ways for you to explore the great indoors this summer. Register Now »center_img 5 min read Brought to you by PCWorld –shares Casual Friday: Virtual Vacationing Darren Gladstone Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel.last_img read more

first_img Carly Okyle Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. April 6, 2016 2 min read Image credit: Death to the Stock Photo Next Article Assistant Editor, Contributed Content Large Number of Business Trips Are Planned on Smartphones, Study Says Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Add to Queue Businesses are leveraging smartphones more and more to search for hotels and flights, but they’re still not following through when it comes to using their corporate cards through their mobile devices, according to a new report.While 55 percent of corporate travelers search for flights and 44 percent search for hotels via smartphones, actual bookings from mobile platforms are relatively low — only 20 percent of airfares and 35 percent of hotel rooms were booked with phones, according to travel industry research firm Phocuswright.Related: 6 Ways to Save on the Costs of AirfareWhat’s more ubiquitous is the use of online booking tools for business trips, with 92 percent of companies using platforms such as Concur Travel. In fact, Concur dominates the field, with 70 percent of respondents using the service.Increasingly, ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft are becoming a part of the business travel experience and businesses are coming to accept this, though perhaps at a slower pace than individual employees. The report states that 39 percent of businesses allow or are planning to allow the use of ride-hailing apps, which is more than double the 18 percent of companies who accept private accommodation services. However, 35 percent of companies don’t plan to address either option in their official policies.Related: The 10 Most Expensive U.S Cities for Business TravelersThe biggest concerns for travel managers are lowering costs and complying with company policy — according to 59 percent and 47 percent of responders, respectively — while 39 percent of those surveyed reported they were concerned with making sure they were living up to the legal standards for providing reasonable care. 74shares Business Travel Enroll Now for $5last_img read more

first_img –shares Birthday Boy Mark Zuckerberg Has Made $4 Million for Every Day of His Life This story originally appeared on CNBC Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Image credit: catwalker | Shutterstock Mark Zuckerberg Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business May 13, 2016 Next Article Add to Queue Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s turns 32 on Saturday, and he has a few million things to celebrate. With a fortune estimated at $51.8 billion, he’s one of the world’s richest people. But because of his youth, he’s actually made more money per day of living than anybody else on the planet.Specifically, Zuckerberg’s potent combo of youth and wealth has averaged out to $4.4 million for every day he’s been alive, according to CNBC calculations. That rate is bigger than anybody else on Forbes’ list of billionaires.Obviously, there are better measures of business acumen, but it gives you a sense of how quickly business titans can amass their huge fortunes.Look at Microsoft’s Bill Gates. He’s the richest person in the world, and at age 60, he’s earned $3.5 million per day in his life. Jeff Bezos, 52, of Amazon is third with a per-day fortune of $3.3 million. He’s increased his rate significantly since last year. They are the only people averaging over $3 million per day.The Google guys, Sergey Brin, 42, and Larry Page, 43, have each pulled in around $2.3 million per day. Amancio Ortega, 80, founder of Zara’s parent company has made $2.4 million a day; Warren Buffett, the 85-year-old Oracle of Omaha, earned just half of Zuckerberg’s per-day rate, with $2.2 million.As of February, activist investor extraordinaire Carl Icahn had earned half a million per day for his 80-year life so far. At the time, Zuckerberg’s measure was $3.8 million. Still at the top, but not past the $4 million mark.It’s been a pretty solid year for Zuckerberg. The share price for Facebook has jumped 53 percent in the past 12 months, far outperforming other social-media stocks as well as the market at large. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment on the birthday.As they announced the birth of their first child in December, Zuckerberg and his wife said they would eventually give away 99 percent of their stake in the social media company.That doesn’t mean he’ll renounce ownership or take a vow of poverty: The day before the company reported record high earnings, Zuckerberg announced a new class of nonvoting shares in Facebook, a move that gave the billionaire a firmer grip on the company. 2 min read Register Now » Nicholas Wellslast_img read more

first_img41% of Marketers Surveyed Find It Difficult to Launch Integrated Campaigns Across ChannelsGlobal B2C marketing automation company, Selligent Marketing Cloud, announced the findings of a study that polled marketers about the integration of their technology stack to deliver an immersive, consistent customer experience. The survey of 221 digital marketers reveal that the omnichannel excellence struggle is real – with almost half of respondents saying that they find it ‘difficult’ or ‘very difficult’ to launch integrated campaigns. With 65 percent of customers frustrated about inconsistent experiences across channels, the reality for digital marketers is still at odds with consumer expectations.The study found that while marketers are confident about the individual components of their marketing strategy, they still have a way to go when it comes to integration.Marketing Technology News: Gigapaces Partners with Tableau to Accelerate Machine Learning and Data VisualizationDisjointed Technologies: 69 percent do not have one single solution to execute omnichannel campaigns, with some indicating having it in future plans. 16 percent strive to have one solution but are unsatisfied, while only 14 percent claim to successfully utilize one solution across all channels today.Tying Omnichannel Behavioral Data: 41 percent are dissatisfied with their ability to tie omnichannel behavioral data back to an individual customer, with only 16 percent saying they do it successfully today. One-third of respondents have no capabilities to do it today and have it in future plans.Email Still King: 94 percent of marketers actively and successfully use Email as part of their omnichannel strategy, making it the most popular channel. Website and Social came in at 86 percent and 81 percent, respectively. Surprisingly, only 52 percent noted mobile as an active and successful channel used, despite more than half of U.S. website traffic coming from mobile devices. Other channels noted are SMS (22%), In-store (19%), Chatbots/Web chat (15%), and Push notifications (14%).Disconnected Experience: only 8 percent of respondents share loyalty marketing data with the contact center in real-time –and a whopping 20 percent do not share any customer information between marketing and service. 44 percent share ‘some information’ but do not have the capabilities to do so in real-time.Marketing Technology News: Invoca Survey Finds Over Half of Consumers Only Offered Automated Communications By Brands Feel Frustrated When They’re Unable to Speak with a Live Person“The disconnect across business units like service and marketing is no surprise but a challenge that companies today need to address head-on,” said Niki Hall, CMO of Selligent Marketing Cloud. “Making omnichannel work means orchestrating messages across all channels and ensuring that the content is personalized and delivered at the right time. This can only happen at scale with technology that provides visibility into the data and prompt execution on insights shared across all departments. Successfully building long-term customer relationships and loyalty is dependent on a brand’s ability to deliver consistent, relevant experiences regardless of channel.”Selligent recently announced a partnership with Genesys to integrate marketing and contact center systems to provide a full 360-degree view of the customer, delivering best-in-class customer experiences.Marketing Technology News: Gigapaces Partners with Tableau to Accelerate Machine Learning and Data Visualization Selligent Marketing Cloud Study Reveal Digital Marketers Struggle to Deliver Consistent Omnichannel Experiences MTS Staff WriterJune 28, 2019, 7:37 pmJune 28, 2019 B2C Marketing Automationcustomer experiencemarketing automationMarketing TechnologyNewsSelligent Marketing Cloud Previous ArticleAprimo Recognized as Winner for 2019 Microsoft Media & Communications Partner of the YearNext ArticleDigital Communication Tools Leave Many Workers Feeling Squeezed out by Tech-Savvy Colleagueslast_img read more

first_imgThe department’s faculty perform research in a host of areas, including electrical power systems, microgrids, power conversion and control, energy storage, sensors and robotics, unmanned vehicle systems, photonics, implantable sensors and systems, radar and wireless sensor networks, human performance and signal processing and machine learning. Source:University of Texas at Arlington Weidong Zhou works with quantum sensors for detecting disease and harmful gases in the air, as well as on-chip systems for use in health care applications. Michael Vasilyev works with quantum optic communications for secure data transmissions and more efficient internet connections. Alice Sun uses lasers to build sensors that detect harmful gases in the air, as well as portable sensors that can be used in a doctor’s office to non-invasively detect cancer and other diseases. We have made many advances in the development of photonic devices over the years, and our methodology can be really useful in this application. There is a need to develop this technology because there is a shortage of optical components in longwave infrared bands. Changing frequency or wavelength to this region requires that we completely change our fabrication methods, and we have already successfully made devices under this new funding.”Robert Magnusson, Electrical Engineering Professor, University of Texas Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 24 2019A research team from The University of Texas at Arlington is working with the Army Research Laboratory to develop nanophotonic devices that could have applications in thermal imaging and resonant filtering.Robert Magnusson, an electrical engineering professor and the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics, is the principal investigator for a $1.2 million collaborative agreement with the Army Research Laboratory.Nanophotonic devices are used to shape the spectrum of light via photonic lattices and resonance, but their application generally has been limited to short wavelengths. The research team is trying to develop devices that will work in the longwave infrared spectral region, which is the range in which thermal radiation is emitted. In addition to thermal imaging technology, these devices could be used in sensors for medical diagnostics, chemical analyses and environmental monitoring, among other applications. Photonic lattices are structures–such as nanopatterned silicon films on glass substrates or arrays of nanowires–with differing refractive qualities that are arranged so they can capture, store and release light. For the new, longer wavelength devices, Magnusson will create lattices out of germanium, a metalloid element that has the properties of a semiconductor.Daniel Carney, a recent UTA doctoral graduate, successfully developed longer wavelength devices in the University’s Shimadzu Institute Nanotechnology Research Center while a student in Magnusson’s lab. Magnusson said he plans to adapt these devices to make them tunable to specific wavelengths. By mechanically or electrically altering the device’s structure, selected wavelengths are rejected while useful imaging data passes to detection equipment.”The Shimadzu Institute Nanotechnology Research Center was very important in the development of Daniel’s research and what we’re trying to do with the Army Research Lab,” Magnusson said. “The facility is behind experimental realization of many of the key discoveries we make.”Magnusson, Neelam Gupta of the Army Research Laboratory and Mark Mirotznik of the University of Delaware are collaborating on the research. Their project is an example of data-driven discovery, one of the themes of UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020, said Peter Crouch, dean of the College of Engineering.Related StoriesAMSBIO offers new, best-in-class CAR-T cell range for research and immunotherapyComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds research”As engineers, we always want to have an impact on society,” Crouch said. “Dr. Magnusson’s research has been at the leading edge of his field for many years, and his findings have contributed a great deal to our knowledge of photonics. This agreement with the Army Research Lab is an excellent opportunity to create devices that will make an impact for years to come.”Magnusson has worked in photonics throughout his career and pioneered a host of device technologies, many of which are patented. He leads UTA’s Nanophotonics Device Group, which pursues theoretical and experimental research in periodic nanostructures, nanolithography, nanophotonics, nanoelectronics, nanoplasmonics and optical bio- and chemical sensors. His research established new transformative biosensor platform technology that is in commercial use by Resonant Sensors Inc., a company he co-founded.Magnusson has garnered more than $12 million in research funding and endowments for UTA since becoming the Texas Instruments Distinguished University Chair in Nanoelectronics in 2008, published more than 450 journal and conference papers and secured 35 issued patents and pending patents.He is a charter fellow of the National Academy of Inventors–one of 15 NAI fellows among the UTA faculty–and a Life Fellow of the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The IEEE has singled out Magnusson for his contributions to the invention of a new class of nanophotonic devices that employ light at a nanometer scale. His devices are used as biosensors, lasers, tunable filters and optical components.UTA’s Department of Electrical Engineering boasts several leading researchers in the field of photonics in addition to Magnusson:last_img read more

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further An artist’s view of the PrandtlPlane shows what future commercial aircrafts could look like. Credit: Vittorio C/ University of Pisa, Italy, licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 “The theoretical results can be used to define a new configuration, our configuration,” he said.Instead of two separate wings extending either side of the fuselage, our familiar concept of an airplane, the Prandtl-inspired aircraft has one wing which loops and closes back on itself in a closed-wing design with no wingtips. This reduces the amount of drag acting on the aircraft, meaning that less fuel is burned. This is especially important for take-off and landing, as these are the phases of airplane flight that usually guzzle the most fuel and expel most emissions.”These aircraft will be much more convenient from the point of view of fuel consumption, noise pollution and emissions,” said Prof. Frediani.The team has developed a small model of their plane but the idea is to focus on medium-sized aircraft, with the goal of increasing the number of passengers being transported per flight from around 180 to 310. The researchers estimate that the plane could be in the air in 10-15 years’ time, depending on safety checks and the interest of aircraft manufacturers. Their next steps are to refine the aerodynamics, engine position and controls, while the University of Pisa’s economics department is working with PARSIFAL to determine the projected economic performance of the aircraft. “This solution could completely change the air transport of the future,” said Prof. Frediani.Meanwhile, other engineers are taking inspiration from nature to develop 3-D printed aircraft components that could reduce weight by up to 30%. The less a plane weighs, the less fuel is required, resulting in a significant reduction of CO2 emissions.Honeycomb structureMelanie Gralow is a biomimetic design engineer for the Bionic Aircraft project, which is taking the lessons of nature to improve parts for making aeroplanes. “Thin surfaces or rods tend to deform very easily throughout the manufacturing process,” she explained. “You can stiffen them by applying a certain surface structure. The honeycomb structure is one of those bio-inspired structures that can be utilised to stiffen the wall without adding too much weight.” The project also takes inspiration from grass stalks, which are subject to bending loads by the wind in the same way as struts in aircraft components. Bending loads are forces that act upon a structure laterally and hence can result in it bending.”The stalk is hollow inside and it has a double wall system,” said Gralow. “It needs to resist wind forces in nature, but struts in the technical world also have to resist bending. By applying the double-walled system to the struts, we can make them more lightweight, but at the same time just as stiff as they need to be.”To make these intricate, highly-detailed, lightweight parts, the team uses 3-D printers with laser beam technology. Although ideal for small precision work, the researchers say that printing an entire aircraft in this way is still a long way off.”For now, the goal is really to focus on smaller parts because the build spaces of the current printers are restricted. The biggest commercial printers are about 40—50 centimetres in width, so that sets the maximum size limit for current 3-D-printed metal parts,” said Gralow. Provided by Horizon: The EU Research & Innovation Magazine Citation: Radical closed-wing aircraft design could see greener skies take flight (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Aviation is one of the most environmentally harmful forms of transportation, accounting for 3% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. But new aircraft designs inspired by the work of an early 20th-century aviation engineer and natural substances such as honeycomb and grass could help to cut the environmental footprint of flying. Research examines wing shapes to reduce vortex and wake With nearly 1 billion passengers taking to European skies in 2016 and the numbers still increasing, the growth in European aviation has been staggering. The effect is that even as many other industries are reducing greenhouse gas emissions through efficiency and new technology, aviation’s are on the increase.One person flying from London to New York and back generates roughly the same level of emissions as one year’s home heating for the average European. At the recent Transport Research Arena conference in Vienna, Austria, a high-level event covering all modes of European transport, Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said avoiding air travel completely was the best option for protecting the environment.But as Sergio Barbarino, chairman of the Alliance for Logistics Innovation through Collaboration in Europe (ALICE) responded, that’s an unlikely scenario. “We can’t just tell people they can’t take their holidays in the Canary Islands anymore,” he said.Air travel may be here to stay, but there’s no doubt that engineers need to find new ways to make it cleaner and greener. One idea is to radically redesign an aircraft’s wing so that it requires significantly less operational fuel, an approach that’s currently under development by a project called PARSIFAL.Father of aerodynamicsFor their design, the team sought inspiration from the renowned German aviation engineer Ludwig Prandtl, often considered the father of aerodynamics. In 1924, Prandtl had an idea for a plane with an unusual wing that reduced the drag coefficient and improved the aerodynamic efficiency but the idea was largely ignored at the time.In the late 1990s, Professor Aldo Frediani of the University of Pisa, Italy, and coordinator of the PARSIFAL project, used mathematics to prove that Prandtl’s wing theory was plausible. Prof. Frediani and his team began to work on the design of a new closed-wing airplane based on Prandtl’s original concept.last_img read more

first_imgYouth unemployment, particularly among university graduates, is a central problem across the Arab world, in part because of a demographic “youth bulge.” Last year, unemployment among Palestinian college graduates under the age of 30 reached 56 percent, including 41 percent in the West Bank and 73 percent in the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. In this Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 photo, Wassan al-Sayyed,17, right and Massa Halawa, 16 run the team’s virtual reality game “Be a Fire Fighter” in the West Bank city of Nablus. Four Palestinian high school friends are heading to California this week to pitch their mobile app about fire prevention to Silicon Valley’s tech leaders. They made it to the finals of a worldwide app competition among more than 19,000 teens. For the 11th graders from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the ticket of admission to the World Pitch Summit signals a particularly dramatic leap because of the limited opportunities at home. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) In this Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 photo, Wassan al-Sayyed,17, uses a 3D glasses headset that is running the team’s virtual reality game “Be a Fire Fighter” in the West Bank city of Nablus. Four Palestinian high school friends are heading to California this week to pitch their mobile app about fire prevention to Silicon Valley’s tech leaders. They made it to the finals of a worldwide app competition among more than 19,000 teens. For the 11th graders from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the ticket of admission to the World Pitch Summit signals a particularly dramatic leap because of the limited opportunities at home. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) Citation: Palestinian teens reach finals of Silicon Valley app pitch (2018, August 5) retrieved 18 July 2019 from Unemployment is particularly high among female university graduates, in part because young women are expected to marry and raise children, while young men are considered the main breadwinners. However, employers also complain that graduates studying outdated or irrelevant courses often lack the needed skills for employment.Saidam said Palestinian schools have received 15,000 computers in the last couple of years. His ministry has also established 54 bookless “smart schools” for grades one to six where students use laptops and learn by doing, including educational trips and involvement with their society.Meanwhile, the Technovation Challenge has already been a life-changing experience for al-Sayed and her teammates, Zubaida al-Sadder, Masa Halawa and Tamara Awaisa.They are now determined to pursue careers in technology.”Before this program, we had a vague idea about the future,” said al-Sayed, speaking at a computer lab at An Najah University in her native Nablus, the West Bank’s second largest city. “Now we have a clear idea. It helped us pick our path in life.”The teens first heard about the competition a few months ago from an IT teacher at their school in a middle-class neighborhood in Nablus, where IT classes are a modest affair, held twice a week, with two students to a computer. Four Palestinian high school friends are heading to California this week to pitch their mobile app about fire prevention to Silicon Valley’s tech leaders, after winning a slot in the finals of a worldwide competition among more than 19,000 teenage girls. In this Thursday, Aug. 2, 2018 photo, Tamara Awaysa, 17, left, Wassan al-Sayyed,17, center and Massa Halawa,16, right, pose for a photo with their mentor Yamama Shakaa in the West Bank city of Nablus. The four Palestinian high school friends are heading to California this week to pitch their mobile app about fire prevention to Silicon Valley’s tech leaders. They made it to the finals of a worldwide app competition among more than 19,000 teens. For the 11th graders from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the ticket of admission to the World Pitch Summit signals a particularly dramatic leap because of the limited opportunities at home. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) The girls, friends since 10th grade, each had a laptop at home though, and worked with Yamama Shakaa, a local mentor provided by the competition organizers. The teens “did everything by themselves, with very few resources,” said Shakaa.The team produced a virtual reality game, “Be a firefighter,” to teach fire prevention skills.The subject is particularly relevant in some parts of the Palestinian territories, such as the Gaza Strip, where a border blockade by Israel and Egypt—imposed after the takeover of the Islamic militant group Hamas in 2007—has led to hours-long daily power cuts and the widespread use of candles and other potential fire hazards.The teens now hope to expand their app to include wildfire prevention. They will also present a business and marketing plan at the California pitching session.After the competition, they will give the app to the Palestinian Education Ministry for use in schools.”This prize has changed our lives,” said al-Sayed. Explore further Israel grants Palestinian mobile carriers 3G frequency For the 11th graders from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the ticket of admission to the World Pitch Summit signals a particularly dramatic leap.They come from middle class families that value education, but opportunities have been limited because of the omnipresent Israeli-Palestinian conflict, prevailing norms of patriarchy in their traditional society and typically underequipped schools with outdated teaching methods.”We are excited to travel in a plane for the first time in our lives, meet new people and see a new world,” said team member Wasan al-Sayed, 17. “We are excited to be in the most prestigious IT community in the world, Silicon Valley, where we can meet interesting people and see how the new world works.”Twelve teams made it to the finals of the “Technovation Challenge” in San Jose, California, presenting apps that tackle problems in their communities. The Palestinian teens compete in the senior division against teams from Egypt, the United States, Mexico, India and Spain, for scholarships of up to $15,000.The competition, now in its ninth year, is run by Iridescent, a global nonprofit offering opportunities to young people, especially girls, through technology. The group said 60 percent of the U.S. participants enroll in additional computer science courses after the competition, with 30 percent majoring in that field in college, well above the national rate among female U.S. college students. Two-thirds of international participants show an interest in technology-related courses, the group said.Palestinian Education Minister Sabri Saidam counts on technology—along with a new emphasis on vocational training—to overhaul Palestinian schools, where many students still learn by rote in crowded classrooms. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

first_imgMusk late last week announced that the company would continue to be publicly traded, weeks after suggesting that he would take the pioneering electric carmaker private A lawsuit filed Thursday accuses Tesla chief Elon Musk of trying to “burn” short-sellers by falsely tweeting that funding had been secured to take the electric car maker private. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Automaker Tesla to remain a public company, CEO Musk sayscenter_img © 2018 AFP Citation: Lawsuit accuses Tesla of trying to ‘burn’ short-sellers (2018, September 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from The law firm of Labaton Sucharow said in a release that it filed a suit in US federal court in San Francisco on behalf of short seller Andrew Left and that it is asking for class action status to represent anyone who bought or sold Tesla shares between August 7 and August 17.”This appears to be a textbook case of fraud,” law firm partner Michael Canty said in the release.”We believe Musk attempted to manipulate the price of Tesla securities with false and misleading tweets, in a directed effort to harm short-sellers.”Musk late last week announced that the company would continue to be publicly traded, weeks after suggesting that he would take the pioneering electric carmaker private.Musk met Tesla’s board of directors “and let them know that I believe the better path is for Tesla to remain public. The Board indicated that they agree,” he wrote on the company blog.Musk surprised markets on August 7 by announcing on Twitter he wanted to take Tesla private at $420 a share, causing the stock price to jump. Short-sellers bet on share prices dropping.After the announcement the controversial entrepreneur came under extensive scrutiny over his Twitter statements related to the proposal, especially a claim that Tesla had “secured” funding for the move.Tesla shares tumbled on reports that the US Securities and Exchange Commission has subpoenaed Musk to talk about the tweet.Normally such a major announcement—taking a huge company private—would be explained in detail beforehand to regulators.Musk has described the infamous privatization tweet—including his assurance that funding for going private was secured—as an attempt to be transparent.The news shocked investors, market analysts and even Tesla board members.Musk explained on the company blog that his much-scrutinized statements about financing were based on his conversations with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other investors.The lawsuit listing the company and its chief as defendants contends that funding to take Tesla private was not in place, and that Musk’s false tweets to the contrary were intended to “burn” short-sellers, whom he has taunted.last_img read more

first_imgGermany’s top court is siding with owners of VW cars against the company This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “In the case of a vehicle delivered to the buyer with an illegal defeat device… the presence of a material defect can be assumed,” the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) said in a statement.VW fitted millions of vehicles worldwide with so-called “defeat devices”, shorthand for software that reduces output of harmful emissions like nitrogen oxides (NOx) during testing—only to allow it to increase many times over once on the road.When a car is equipped with the cheating technology, “there is a danger that the authorities could forbid its operation,” preventing the owner from using it for its intended purpose, the judges said.VW has always insisted that since the cars remain functional, there is no legal requirement for it to replace them or pay compensation.The opinion did not say what action the carmaker should take to correct the “defect” represented by a defeat device, such as replacing or refitting vehicles or compensating drivers.But it is the first hint of their thinking at a time when tens of thousands of VW owners’ cases are working their way through the justice system.Judges issued their “preliminary legal view”, which is not binding on lower courts but could guide their deliberations, after an owner of a VW car appealed a ruling in favour of the auto giant.While the driver has since withdrawn his case after reaching a settlement with the Wolfsburg-based group, the top judges decided to publish anyway.Of the 11 million vehicles VW and its subsidiaries sold worldwide with defeat devices, some 2.4 million were bought by German customers.Since admitting to “dieselgate” in 2015, the scandal has cost VW some 28 billion euros ($31.75 billion) for fines, compensation, buybacks and refits.Much of that sum has poured out to 500,000 customers in the United States, with European buyers so far going without reimbursement or compensation.In Germany the group has paid only two fines, worth a combined 1.8 billion euros. Explore further 372,000 German drivers join legal action against Volkswagencenter_img Citation: Top German court backs VW owners in ‘dieselgate’ opinion (2019, February 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from Germany top court on Friday backed Volkswagen owners’ claims against the firm over cars rigged to cheat regulatory emissions tests, in an opinion that could guide lower courts’ rulings. © 2019 AFPlast_img read more