first_img Sleek new MIT solar car heads to the races E-Quickie New wireless charging technologies are appearing regularly these days, such as a wireless charging mat for charging electric cars while they are parked (see the PhysOrg article), but the new car takes its energy wirelessly from the road.Mechanical engineering and mechatronics students from the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences (HsKA) built the experimental car to test the practicality of the wireless technology. The car is propelled by an electrical hub drive, with energy drawn from conducting tracks on the ground via electrical induction. The receivers are fitted to the underside of the car, and there are small onboard batteries, which serve as a buffer for times when the car leaves the electrical conductor tracks.The conducting track was supplied by the company SEW-Eurodrive, based in Bruchsal. The components of the car were designed and built by the 14 students using carbon fiber for the vehicle body and high-tech materials for the chassis and braking and steering systems. The design was fully tested and optimized by computer in a “virtual wind channel” before the car was actually built. More information: Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences: www.hs-karlsruhe.de/servlet/PB … html?pbanker=car#car Explore further E-Quickie 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.center_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Students in Germany have built the “E-Quickie,” a three-wheeled electric car that draws energy wirelessly from electric conducting paths on the ground. The car resembles a reclining bicycle with the driver inside a capsule. It weighs only 60 kg, but the team hopes to reduce the weight to 40 kg in future. Head of the project, Professor Jürgen Walter, of the Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics faculty at the university, said the team were aiming for a driver:vehicle weight ratio of 2:1, while for most vehicles the ratio is between 1:10 and 1:15.The lightweight design means the car can reach 50 km/h, even with its 2 kW motor. The car has successfully completed 40 laps on a 222-meter-long conductor track at the university, and the team plans to continue using the track to optimize the E-Quickie. They are also planning test drives from the university to the nearby castle and another university campus in the town.Professor Walter said the principle used by the car is not really new, but it could be used much more widely than it is at present. Industry could operate internal transport vehicles in this way for example, he said, but the students also wanted to demonstrate that wireless transfer of energy is also suitable for mass transit applications. Citation: Demonstration electric car draws energy from the road (2010, September 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-09-electric-car-energy-road.html E-Quickielast_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. © 2015 Phys.org Mythbusters’ recap of pulling apart two interleaved phonebooks. “The extreme friction of the system is due to the operator,” the researchers explained. “The person, car, truck, or tank will amplify the friction arising from a tiny force acting on the outermost pages of the stack that may be no more than the weight of a butterfly.”The scientists explain that this tiny force on the outermost pages originates from the paper’s elasticity. The outer pages have a tendency to be flat, so they slightly resist being bowed, and bowing happens because twice as many pages must fit between the books’ spines. This friction force starts off small, but the pulling amplifies it exponentially.More evidence supporting this explanation comes from performing the experiment with two books in which every other page has been removed, so that interleaving results in completely flat pages. These books can be easily pulled apart.Although the researchers did not specifically investigate methods to separate the phonebooks, their results may offer some insight into efficient separation methods. (Phys.org)—Many people are familiar with the friction enigma of two interleaved phonebooks, in which all of the pages of two phonebooks are overlapped, one by one, with the books’ spines facing outward. Trying to separate the books by pulling on their spines is incredibly difficult due to the massive amount of friction between the pages. A Mythbusters episode showed that the interleaved phonebooks are strong enough to lift a car, and that nothing less than two military tanks can separate them (while tearing many of the pages). “One way may be to blow some air from the sides while gently pulling them apart,” coauthor Elie Raphaël at the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles (ESPCI), Paris, told Phys.org.The interleaved phonebook demonstration is important because it is just one example of many interleaved assemblies, and these are found in many diverse areas: surgical sutures, adhesive proteins, and the interactions between DNA and viruses all involve friction through interleaving sheets of some sort. Another more familiar example is the way that a sailor can tie a large ship to a dock post simply by wrapping a rope around the post several times. The friction between the loops of rope creates such a strong connection that no ship can pull it loose, and pulling only makes it tighter. The results may also have applications for controlling the friction in micro- and nano- scale mechanical devices. According to a group of scientists who have studied this puzzle, many of the simple explanations of this demonstration are wrong. For instance, one explanation often given is that the weight of the pages pushing down on the pages below them is what generates the large friction force, but this explanation fails to explain why the demonstration works equally as well when carried out in the vertical or horizontal direction. Now a team of researchers, Héctor Alarcón, et al., from France and Canada have developed a model that reveals how the amount of force required to pull the books apart depends on the number of pages, the page thickness, and the overlapping distance. These relationships were determined by performing dozens of carefully controlled experiments on a vertical pulling device.This model confirms what has previously been suspected: the harder that a person, car, or tank pulls on the books, the higher the frictional resistance. The researchers compared this “self-induced friction amplification” effect to the Chinese finger trap toy: when you try to pull your finger out of the loosely wrapped braid, the braid tightens around your finger, making it even more difficult to get off. Explore further Citation: Researchers explain why it’s nearly impossible to separate two interleaved phonebooks (2015, December 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-impossible-interleaved-phonebooks.html Solved: the mystery of why it’s impossible to pull apart interleaved phone books Journal information: Physical Review Letters More information: Héctor Alarcón, et al. “Self-amplification of solid friction in interleaved assemblies.” Accepted for publication in Physical Review Letters.last_img read more

first_imgCredit: CC0 Public Domain Explore further 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. (Phys.org)—A pair of professors, one with Charles Darwin University, the other Southern Cross University, both in Australia, has published a Comment piece in the journal Nature decrying the chaotic state regarding the classification of complex organisms. In their paper, Stephen Garnett and Les Christidis contend that failure to regulate taxonomy in the coming years could cause serious problems for conservation efforts directed towards preserving biodiversity. At the root of the problem, the authors point out, is that there is no single definition for the word “species”—they have found there exist approximately 30 definitions for the word, which allows scientists, politicians and other entities free reign to use it in whatever context they choose to meet their specific needs. But that, they note, puts at risk the validity of research efforts and provides fertile ground for those seeking to usurp conservation efforts for financial gain. They offer cannabis as an example: Some “species” offer the high users seek, while others do not—changing the classification could have legal ramifications both for those convicted of using it or going forward—should some species be legal and others not? There is also the case of killer whales—some have suggested breaking them into three distinct species, but if that happens, would all three remain protected from hunters? Another example is separating the Florida panther from the North American cougar. Doing so could allow those seeking to buy protected land in Florida for development purposes an opportunity if wording in state laws suddenly ceases to protect areas where the big cats live.What needs to happen, the authors suggest, is for a single body to take ownership of taxonomy—one capable of creating a definition for the words that are used to describe plant and animal groups. They suggest further that the proper group should be the International Union of Biological Sciences (IUBS), and they offer a four-step process for how it could be done: The IUBS would need to agree to take on such a role, a taxonomic commission would have to be created to agree on rules, subcommittees would need to be created to deal with organism subsets, and finally, a judicial committee would need to be created to serve as the final arbiter when disputes arise. © 2017 Phys.orgcenter_img Journal information: Nature More information: Stephen T. Garnett et al. Taxonomy anarchy hampers conservation, Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/546025a Study of biodiversity suggests a small increase in size of protected areas could reap large rewards Citation: Professors call for an end to the chaotic classification of organisms (2017, June 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-06-professors-chaotic-classification.htmllast_img read more

first_img More information: K. A. Matveev and A. V. Andreev. “Hybrid Sound Modes in One-Dimensional Quantum Liquids.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.121.026803Also at: arXiv:1804.02369 [cond-mat.mes-hall] Ordinary sound waves—small oscillations of density—can propagate through all fluids, causing the molecules in the fluid to compress at regular intervals. Now physicists have theoretically shown that in one-dimensional quantum fluids not one, but two types of sound waves can propagate. Both types of waves move at approximately the same speed, but are combinations of density waves and temperature waves. Citation: Unusual sound waves discovered in quantum liquids (2018, July 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-unusual-quantum-liquids.html Explore further The physicists, Konstantin Matveev at Argonne National Laboratory and Anton Andreev at the University of Washington, Seattle, have published a paper on the hybrid sound waves in quantum liquids in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.”One-dimensional liquids have fascinating quantum properties that have been studied by physicists for decades,” Matveev told Phys.org. “Quite surprisingly, we have been able to show that even such an essentially classical phenomenon as sound is also very unusual in these liquids. Our work implies that even the simplest classical properties of a fluid can be strongly affected by its quantum nature.”Although classical fluids generally support just one type of sound wave (a density wave), one exception is liquid helium. As a superfluid, liquid helium can flow without friction, which gives it the ability to flow up the sides of its container, among other unusual properties. Unlike classical fluids, superfluid helium supports two types of sound waves—a density wave and a temperature wave—which propagate at different velocities.As the physicists explain, in some ways one-dimensional quantum fluids are similar to superfluid helium, as both fluids support two types of sound waves. In other ways, however, they are quite different: instead of one sound wave being a density wave and the other sound wave being a temperature wave, the two sound waves each combine characteristics of both density and temperature waves. This hybrid nature of sound waves in one-dimensional quantum liquids is different than the nature of sound waves in any other fluid, including liquid helium. In addition, the scientists showed that the two hybrid sound waves propagate at nearly equal speeds, with the difference in speed depending on the temperature.In the future, the physicists expect that these hybrid sound waves can be experimentally demonstrated in long quantum wires or atomic traps, in which one-dimensional quantum liquids are known to exist. Liquids are capable of supporting waves with short wavelengths onlycenter_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters Photograph by Hinrich Oltmanns, Pexels.com 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. © 2018 Phys.orglast_img read more

first_imgAs India got a giant new satellite launch vehicle that opened more commercial opportunities, the crew module–CARE (Crew Module Atmospheric Re-entry Experiment)–splashed down into the Bay of Bengal after it separated from the Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle(GSLV Mark-III).The successful test of the atmospheric re-entry of the 3.65 tonne unmanned capsule came around 730 seconds after the three-tonne rocket on its experimental mission lifted off at 9.30 AM from the Second Launch Pad of the Satish Dhawan Space Centre here. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIWhile the rocket cost ISRO Rs 140 crore, the crew module has taken another Rs 15 crore, officials said.Three levels of parachutes specially designed by Agra- based DRDO lab Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment helped the crew module descend safely into the sea, about 180 km from Indira Point, the southern tip of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.”This was a very significant day in the history of Indian space programme,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman K S Radhakrishnan said from mission control, as fellow scientists clapped and broke into a round of cheers. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindPresident Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among other leaders who congratulated the ISRO scientists for the feat that will help carry heavier communication satellites.”Successful launch of GSLV Mk-III is yet another triumph of brilliance & hardwork of our scientists. Congrats to them for the efforts. @isro,” Modi tweeted. The Lok Sabha also hailed ISRO for the new achievements.GSLV Mk III Project Director S Somanath said the country has made it again and it has a new launch vehicle. “India, you have a new launch vehicle with you. We have made it again,” he said.”We have made it again…ISRO’s capability of launching heavier payloads has come to shape and this will change our destiny and our capability has significantly enhanced.”The 2.7 metre tall cupcake-shaped crew module with a diameter of 3.1 metre features aluminium alloy internal structure with composite panels and ablative thermal protection systems and can carry two to three astronauts.The module would be shipped to Kamarajar Port in Ennore near Chennai, from where it would be taken to Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre at Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala for further study.Though it would take at least 10 years for India to send humans into space, this experiment has helped the space agency to test the module for safe return of humans from space, according to ISRO.As for the objective of validation of the complex atmospheric flight regime of GSLV Mk III, Radhakrishnan said the two active S200 and L110 propulsive stages “performed as expected.””We have got the signal from the beacon in the crew capsule. Indian Coast Guard ships have received them and they are some 100 km away from the site presently moving to recover it,” S Unnikrishnan Nair, Project Director of ISRO’s Human Spaceflight Programme, said.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee, who is set to don the hat of a game show host, is busy preparing himself for the small screen outing. The second season of ‘Ke Habe Banglar Kotipati’ (Who will be Bengal’s Crorepati), the Bengali version of the iconic TV show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati’, will have Chatterjee quizzing the hot seat participants.”I have set up a hot seat at home, next to my computerji, to practice for the show. It will help me hone my skills as a TV show host,” he said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsMegastar Amitabh Bachchan, who had anchored the Hindi show for eight seasons, fondly referred to the computer on his desk as ‘computerji’.”The programme will have a global outlook and feel, but certain elements would be added to its format to connect with the Bengali audience,” the National Award-winning actor said.The first season of the reality show was anchored by cricketing icon Sourav Ganguly.Chatterjee, when asked if he was conscious that parallels would be drawn with Bachchan and Ganguly, said, “Yes I am aware. But I will do it my own way. Hope I bring refreshing changes to the show.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe promotional video of ‘Ke Habe Banglar Kotipati’ shows Chatterjee sitting on a barge on river Hooghly with “computerji” on his side and Howrah Bridge in the background.At a press meet, earlier this week, the actor had said the second season of the show will run for 35 episodes.”Quizmaster Siddhartha Basu would be preparing the question bank and the possible answers for the show, which will be aired five days a week from July 16,” he added.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Metro services was disrupted during office hours on Monday morning, when passengers agitated at Sovabazar Metro station after air-conditioning facilities in a compartment stopped functioning. Sources said that the passengers were asked to vacate a compartment of the New Garia bound rake, after the air-conditioning facilities, as well as the lights in the compartment, stopped working soon after the train left Shyambazar station. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAn announcement was immediately made to vacate the compartment at Sovabazar and board the next train, or if possible, accommodate themselves in the other compartments of the same train.However, the passengers alighted at the station at around 9.58 am and started agitating. The train was stranded in the down line at the station for over 23 minutes, after the metro officials along with RPF personnel managed to pacify the passengers. The rake was removed and taken to the carshed. Services in the down line resumed at around 10.21 am. MPOSTlast_img read more

first_imgJalpaiguri (WB): West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today stressed on a permanent solution for the problems plaguing the tea gardens in north Bengal and formed an expert committee to find out a solution. She said that the committee, under Chief Secretary Malay De, would submit its report after going through the problems at the tea gardens, thus help in finding out a solution. “I want a permanent solution for the tea gardens. Nobody has ever thought of any permanent solution regarding the problems, raging at the tea gardens, for ages. Even the Centre has failed to keep up to its promise, made prior to the last Assembly elections, about opening the closed tea gardens,” Banerjee told reporters here at the Uttarkanya. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed Today, she held a meeting with representatives of the tea gardens. She also held a meeting senior ministers such as state Labour Minister Moloy Ghatak, Arup Biswas and senior officials of her government. The state government also proposed a daily wage of Rs 176 for the tea garden workers pending finalisation of the minimum wages. This year the state government had announced two interim hikes of Rs 17.50 and of Rs nine, taking the daily wage to Rs 159. Meanwhile, the largest tea producing state of Assam, last week, had announced issuing a possible notification on an interim hike of Rs 30, with retrospective effect from March 1 this year, which would take the current daily wage of tea garden workers from Rs 137 to Rs 167. Banerjee also lambasted the culture of strike at the tea gardens and said it finished the work culture there.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Jadavpur University on Wednesday formed a two-member committee that will conduct an inquiry to find out whether there were any procedural or other lapses in the evaluation of answer scripts of all the six Humanities subjects for which the varsity had conducted admission tests.”We had the meeting of the Executive Committee (EC) today (Wednesday) where we have unanimously decided on the probe. A retired Justice and an external academician will be part of the committee. If they want, they can also rope in other members to assist them in the process. They will submit a report after the probe,” Pro Vice-Chancellor, JU Pradip Ghosh said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeEC sources said former Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University Ashutosh Ghosh will be a member of the committee. It may be mentioned that there were allegations of improper evaluation of History answer scripts and the varsity had to re-evaluate those with the help of external academicians.It was found that there was significant variation of marks secured by the candidates in the first and second round evaluation. The first evaluation was conducted by professors of the History department, while the second one was done by external experts. It may be mentioned that there were as many as 15 changes on the revised selection list for History. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA total number of 15 candidates, who were on the waiting list after the earlier evaluation, made it to the selection list after re-evaluation. There were cases — where a student, who had scored 6 out of 100, got 32 after re-evaluation. A total of 344 scripts were re-evaluated.Apart from History, admission tests were held in English, Bengali, International Relations, Philosophy and Comparative Literature. “There were hardly any questions raised based on the evaluation of the other five subjects. However, the probe will be conducted for all the subjects to ensure transparency,” an EC member said.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Annapurna Devi, renowned Sitar and Surbahar player and daughter of Ustad Allauddin Khan, died at Mumbai early on Saturday morning. She was 91-years-old.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Saddened at the passing away of Annapurna Devi. My condolences to her family and admirers.”Born in 1927 as Roshanara Khanshe, she was named Annapurna by Maharaja Brijnath Singh of the former Maihar Estate. She was married to Pandit Ravi Shankar in 1941 and they got divorced in 1961. Annapurna married Rooshikumar Pandya in 1982 when she was 55-years-old and he was 42. Pandya died of a massive cardiac arrest in 2013 at the age of 73.Annapurna Devi had performed with Pandit Ravi Shankar in Kolkata. She stopped public performance and began to give training to her students that included Pandit Nikhil Banerjee, Pandit Nityanand Haldipur, Pandit BasantKabra and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: Four best players of the Friendship Cup Football Tournament of the Kolkata Police and similar tournament of West Bengal Police will be sent to Germany for an exposure trip.The four players will be leaving for Frankfurt (Germany) for an exposure trip on the invitation of the famous football club Eintracht Frankfurt. It may be mentioned that organising football tournaments is one of the community development programmes of the police and it has helped many to get established by playing the sport. According to a senior police officer, the visit of the four boys to Eintracht Frankfurt will motivate many others in playing the game. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Kolkata Police has selected two players, Loknath Mondal and Sekh Rintu from the Kolkata Police Friendship Cup. The two other players were selected by the West Bengal Police. One of them was selected by Darjeeling Police while the other is from Jhargram district. The football player, who was selected by the Darjeeling Police for the Germany trip, is Manish Subba. The boy from Jhargram is Deb Kumar Khirali. The exposure trip to Frankfurt city in Germany would be initiated from Kolkata. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe four players will be leaving Kolkata on November 6 and will return on November 13. They will be watching a match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Schalke 04 of Bundesliga on November 12 at Commerce Bank Arena in Frankfurt. During their stay, they will be undergoing training sessions for four days and will also get the opportunity for a “footballing session” with main players of Eintracht Frankfurt. Rajeev Kumar, Commissioner of Police, and Dr Michael Feiner, Consul General, German Consulate in Kolkata, were present at the programme that was organised on Wednesday to introduce the four players. Dr Feiner handed over the formal invitation letters from the football club to the Commissioner of Police. It may be recalled that the Kolkata Police and West Bengal Police had introduced organising football matches to encourage youths to participate in the game. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also distributed prizes among players in the tournaments organised by the police and it had motivated the youths in playing football. Moreover, the state government has taken several measures to support the clubs where youths practice the sport.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Police and State Transport department joined hands to act against overloaded trucks.A few days ago, during administrative review meeting in several districts, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee ordered the police and the administration of the respective districts to take stringent action against over loading. According to the sources, Banerjee was quite annoyed with the overloaded trucks specially the trucks carrying sand. She also expressed her concern about the illegal sand overloading going on since a few months. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeDuring her review meetings she instructed the police and the district administration to act against over loading of trucks. Focusing on the Chief Minister’s order, every district administration has started acting against overloading. In several district, the Motor Vehicles Inspector (MVI) from the concerned Regional Transport Authority (RTA) are keeping a strict vigil with assistance from the state police. During the last one week several overloaded trucks have been detained. The owners have been prosecuted accordingly for driving their trucks in Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedsuch a condition. According to the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), overloading in the goods vehicles is a menace and a matter of serious concern. A substantial number of the road accident occurs only because of overloading. It causes huge damage and destruction. The damage and destruction of roads call for frequent repairing inflicting burden on state exchequer. The district and Kolkata police are equipped with motor vehicle Acts to lodge cases against the offenders and the vehicles. On Sunday, the police have seized 21 trucks at Ratanpur in Hooghly for allegedly carrying goods beyond permissible weight. Special checking was being held at the Airport traffic guard area in the Bidhannagar Police jurisdiction as it is one of the main entry points to the city. According to the sources, the suspected vehicles are being stopped and handed over to the MVIs by the police. Later, the weights are being measured in weighbridges by the Transport department officials. If any irregularities are found, the trucks get prosecuted as per the law.last_img read more

first_imgTo bring greater focus on digital presence and social media, The President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, launched ‘Incredible India 2.0’ at the recently concluded ‘National Tourism Awards, 2015-16.’ The award was presented to various segments of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, at a function organised by the Ministry of Tourism, on the occasion of ‘World Tourism Day.’ Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of State (I/C) for Tourism, presided over the function. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe President also launched the ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project and a brand new ‘Incredible India’ website on the occasion. ‘Incredible India 2.0 Campaign’ marks a shift from the present generic promotions being undertaken across the world, to market specific promotional plans and product-specific creative, with a greater focus on digital presence and social media. ‘Adopt a Heritage’ project plans to entrust heritage sites to the public sector and private sector companies and individuals for the development of tourist amenities. The new ‘Incredible India’ website is an advanced version of the previous one, with more useful features. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSpeaking on the occasion, the President said that tourism is one of the largest industries in the world. “Its evolution can be estimated from the fact that the number of tourists all over the world has increased from 2.5 crores in 1950 to 123 crore in 2016. It is estimated that every 10th person in the world works in the tourism industry. In India too, the livelihood of a very large number of people is linked to the tourism industry,” he said.The President added that inclusive tourism development can strengthen inclusive economic development. Every citizen should strive to provide a good experience to tourists at his or her own level. He said that ‘Adopt a Heritage Project’, which was launched with the efforts of the Tourism Ministry, Culture Ministry and Archaeological Survey of India, has great potential to make our rich and diverse heritage monuments, tourist-friendly. He expressed hope that this project will help in the maintenance of our heritage with a partnership of the public and private sectors. Alphons Kannanthanam in his address congratulated the winners of the National Tourism Awards and called upon all to commit ourselves to transform India into one of the most preferred destinations for travelers around the world.He said, “Tourism is in an enviable position with the inherent capacity to create large-scale employment, eradicate poverty, benefit local communities economically and socially, and to generate awareness and support for conservation of the environment. Our policies and actions must aim to strengthen the benefits and reduce the costs of tourism.”The date for the Awards function was selected to coincide with World Tourism Day which is celebrated annually on September 27. The purpose of World Tourism Day celebrations is to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.last_img read more

first_imgA Word Thrice Uttered: Stories on Life’s Realities is a collection of reality inspired short stories. The compilation published by ‘Niyogi books’ was launched at India International Centre.Organized on December 5, the book launch coincided with the death anniversary of Asrarul- Haq Majaz, noted Urdu poet.Every short story in the book by Parveen Talha, author, portrays diverse realities of life through the protagonists – children, women, men, animals and even some supernatural beings. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfReaders meet fascinating women who confront irresponsible and evil men. But nothing stops these women from taking the first step for a leap into liberation and self-empowerment.The chief guest for the event was Muzaffar Ali, Filmmaker, Fashion Designer and Activist. Among the other esteemed guests, Professor Nalini Jain, Academic and Author, Sadia Dehlvi, Columnist, Writer and Activist and Saif Mahmood, Advocate, Supreme Court of India, marked their presence. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAt the launch, Muzaffar Ali shared his viewpoints on the book. He opined that Parveen’s ability “to sense the human (and that of animals as well) predicament in the most sensitive manner and then to express these dialectics in a cinematic way are her greatest strengths. The fact that she was from Lucknow said a lot about that place too”. On the other hand Saif Mahmood, who is also the co-author of Tahir Mahmood’s magnum opus ‘Muslim Law in India and Abroad’ said, “Not many know that the practice of ‘triple talaq’, banned by the SC recently, was not just unconstitutional but also un-Islamic. Prevalent only among India’s Muslim community, who follow the Hanafi Islamic school of law, this practice is not recognized anywhere else in the Muslim world. In fact, Islamic law is a progressive law, and only one of its kind, which seeks no evidence for divorce. Speaking further, he said, “The beautiful tehzeeb of Lucknawi culture, which sparkles in her writing, is the most stunning quality of her craft.” David Syiemlieh, Chairman UPSC, expressing his opinion said, “The small, insignificant and countless problems that people go through every day are presented evocatively”. Parveen Talha, who belongs to an old family of Awadh, settled in Lucknow after her retirement. She is involved with social service which includes working for animal rights. Veteran journalist Sadia Dehlvi, who engaged Parveen Talha in a conversation around the book along with Nalini Jain, spoke about Talha’s love for animals in real life and the unparalleled beauty with which she expressed every nuance of life in her book. Lastly, Trisha De Niyogi urged the readers to treat this book as a work of fiction. “Though the title points out to the burning issue of Triple Talaq and touches upon various social concerns like women empowerment, children psychology, Ganga Jumni tehzeeb, and others. Our concern for live issues should not detract the merit of the book as a creative writing.”last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: A mentally-challenged woman was allegedly raped while she wasreturning home late on intervening night of Thursday and Friday at Rajarhat. The incident came to light after she fell ill on Friday morning and narrated the incident to her family members. Later, the police arrested the prime accused. According to the police, on Friday morning, a woman arrived at the Rajarhat police station and said her mentally-challenged sister has been raped around 2am on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday. Immediately police personnel went to the victim’s home and interacted with the her in presence of her family members. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataLater, the police came to know that the victim had been to an event at Arbelia on Thursday evening. She was returning home when Karun Naskar alias Kanai blocked her way at Panchanandatala in Rajarhat. He allegedly dragged her to a bush beside the road and raped her. Then he left for home. On Friday morning victim woman suddenly fell ill and started vomiting and blood was found in her private parts. When victim’s elder sister asked what happened, she told her about the incident. Later, the woman was sent to R G Kar Medical College and Hospital for treatment and medical examination. Police went to Naskar’s home at Jaligachi Naskarpara in Rajarhat and arrested him. Later, the accused confessed to crime. Sources informed that Naskar was a local vegetable vendor. He has been booked under IPC section 376 for raping the woman.last_img read more

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) may use drones to locate mosquito breeding grounds at the vacant land owned by the Railways near the Bailey Bridge in ward 81.A team of KMC led by Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh went to ward 81 on Thursday to conduct the anti-dengue drive. The team found that the land belonging to the Railways has not been maintained properly and it is covered in shrubs and bushes. The team then visited Sahapur colony, where 14 people had been afflicted with dengue in 2018. The team examined the surroundings and told the residents about the dos and the don’ts. KMC has been carrying out anti-dengue drives throughout the city, with a view to eradicate the disease. Most of the drives are led by Ghosh. The civic authorities had launched a massive anti-dengue campaign on February 2, when 144 rallies were taken out in the city to create awareness against the disease. The main rally was taken out from the KMC headquarters on SN Banerjee Road, which was led by Mayor Firhad Hakim. It has been decided that the civic authorities will carry out drives against dengue in three phases. The first phase, which started in February, will continue till June. The second phase will start from July and continue till October, while the third phase will be the follow-up phase that will be carried out in November and December. The civic authorities have also opened 16 dengue detection laboratories. The KMC teams are visiting individual houses, housing complexes and institutional buildings and are examining the underground reservoirs and overhead tanks. They are also checking whether garbage has been cleaned properly or not.last_img read more

first_img Register Now » The deployment of IT services has historically been a one-way street from the software provider to the IT department and, then, the end user. End users received a ‘you must use this application’ mandate from IT, which had to integrate services into the enterprise. Younger workers who grew up with technology, generally lumped together as ‘millennials’,are pushing back. They are having a profound impact on technology choices in the workplace and driving a new equilibrium of power.The top-down approach to IT services made sense when IT departments did extensive product evaluations, purchased software from IT vendors and installed, configured and maintained that software. This significant enterprise investment resulted in a virtual mandate that all employees use corporate applications.Related:6 Tips for Managing Millennials (Whether You Find Them to be Entitled or Not)End users were relatively naive technologically, which made them more receptive to learning the enterprise’s applications. In addition, end users had few or no comparison applications against which to evaluate them.With the cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) applications now becoming viable and even beneficial means of deploying IT services, IT is going through a new evolutionary phase. Evaluating and deploying IT services no longer require significant time and capital. Upgrades and maintenance occur more rapidly and with more consistency. Without the hard constraints of implementing back-end services on premises, IT can focus on matching available cloud services to end users requirements.The age of millennials. With the advent of the iPhone, smartphone use exploded among consumers and the business workforce. Indeed, the line between a consumer and a business user is now blurred, as they are typically one and the same. These users carry the millennial label, as they are the first generation of converged users.What does this means for IT? End users in the workforce are no longer completely naive of technology. In fact, millennials have a strong understanding of what technology can do for them. A study commissioned by Intel Corporation in 2013found that millennials want more from technology, and that in itself has had an impact on innovation in areas ranging from personalization and self-configuration to ease of use.A manual that teaches employees how to use an application is a relic today. Millennials are a new breed of business users who enter the workforce with strong expectations of how technology should be delivered and function. In the truest sense, the democratization of IT has begun.When faced with ‘older-generation’ technology that doesn’t meet their expectations, millennials have the technical savvy to find applications on consumer app stores and to attempt to integrate them into their business world. There is even a name for these millennials: rogue users. You can’t really fault them. Instead of being forced to adapt to technology that doesn’t work for them, they seek out technology that helps them work effectively and efficiently.Related:Want to Nab Top, Young Talent? Millennial-Proof Your Office.Unfortunately, many consumer apps lack features such as business-level security, centralized administration and control, and support and quality-of-service metrics that businesses require. These deficits set up an end user vs. IT conflict that generally results in a winner and a loser.A new equilibrium. A new dawn has arrived for IT, which if embraced, can create a collaborative equilibrium that will have a positive impact on workforce productivity while lowering IT costs and complexities. By collaborating with millennials and cloud vendors, IT can drive consumer features into business-hardened cloud services, creating benefits for end users, IT and the enterprise. The alternatives — forcing employees to use antiquated vendor-driven services or making IT manage multiple consumer-based apps — will lead to one side or the other feeling the pain. Neither side will hold 100 percent of the power going forward. They can achieve a happy medium by working together with cloud vendors committed to delivering business-hardened services that meet the expectations of millennial end users,.Where the future lies. Clearly, the ability of end users to influence IT to deliver a better user experience without compromising enterprise requirements for security, privacy, manageability, support and reliability is a step in the right direction. Service providers can play a key role in integrating feedback from end users and IT into next-generation services that can better meet the needs of both.Related: Want to Nab Top, Young Talent? Millennial-Proof Your Office. 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals September 12, 2014 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right.last_img read more

first_img Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 2 min read This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Apple managed to split opinions more widely than ever this year. The iPhone 7 lost the headphone jack, the MacBook Pro refresh was disappointing for power-hungry professionals, and the desktop line of Mac computers hasn’t seen any love for years, suggesting to some that Macs on the desktop may in fact be dead.Tim Cook put the record straight yesterday, however, and gave some hope to Apple fans desperate for a new desktop computer.  As reported by TechCrunch, as part of a wider post on an internal Apple employee message board, Cook was asked the question, “We had a big MacBook Pro launch in October and a powerful upgrade to the MacBook back in the spring. Are Mac desktops strategic for us?”Cook responded by reassuring employees that, “the desktop is very strategic for us.” He went on to point out that, “The current generation iMac is the best desktop we have ever made and its beautiful Retina 5K display is the best desktop display in the world.” Most importantly, he confirmed that Mac desktops are not dead, “if there’s any doubt about that with our teams, let me be very clear: we have great desktops in our roadmap. Nobody should worry about that.”There’s no detail beyond that. We don’t know when new Macs will be announced, and we don’t know if Cook is referring to the iMac, Mac Mini, Mac Pro, or all three. That’s a shame, as I think we’ve reached a point now where Apple is unfairly asking existing Mac owners to wait too long for their next hardware purchase.The last time the Mac Pro received a hardware refresh was Dec. 19, 2013. The iMac and Mac Mini were last refreshed on Oct. 16, 2014. Clearly they are all well overdue for new components to bring them in line with what non-Mac desktops offer in terms of performance in 2016. December 20, 2016 This story originally appeared on PCMag Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. 7 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. January 30, 2017 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Cybersecurity is on the minds of most businesses today, but there’s one area where companies often screw up: failing to protect their key executives when they’re on the move.In today’s environment, there are an abundance of well-funded and sophisticated hacking groups out there, many with nation-state or organized crime affiliations and interests, who are looking for any way possible to defraud or steal information from American business interests. Like any other criminal, hackers look for weaknesses in the security perimeter before they attack — and often, that sweet spot is to be found in the personal security of key company figures. One example is “Darkhotel,” the Korean-speaking hacking group that targeted countless business executives via hotel Wi-Fi from 2010 to 2015.As a former Secret Service agent, it was my job to protect the President from both physical and digital attacks. (Few realize this, but the USSS was one of the first federal agencies to develop a strong cyber defense and intelligence unit.) From a cyber standpoint, this meant implementing a robust security perimeter around the President’s personal devices and communications (e.g. stripping down the phone, limiting access, multiple layers of encryption, constant monitoring and defense), particularly when the President was outside of the White House.Businesses, from startups to Fortune 500s, need to adopt a similar mindset when it comes to their own commanders-in-chief, because cyber attacks are a low-cost, low-risk way to steal intellectual property, business intelligence and ultimately the company’s money — and the C-suite (along with other key figures, like a head engineer or programmer) is definitely a focal point for criminals.Related: 7 Habits of Highly Hackable EmployeesConsider these statistics:Business email compromise (BEC) scams on executives have grown steadily since 2010. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, this type of attack increased by 1,300 percent from January 2015 to June 2016. More than 14,000 U.S. companies fell victim, with total losses estimated at over $960 million, between 2013 and 2016.Spear-phishing criminals are honing in on smaller companies. In 2015, 43 percent of targeted attacks focused on small businesses, as opposed to 35 percent for large enterprises, according to Symantec’s Internet Security Threat Report.American businesses lose $300 billion annually due to intellectual property theft, according to the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property.Cybercrime is on the verge of becoming the number one economic crime for U.S. businesses, reaching 54 percent of organizations reporting such a crime in 2016, according to PwC’s Global Economic Crime Survey.No business can be fully secure unless it is taking ample steps to protect the digital assets of its leadership. Here are six steps to take:1. Whitelist the email.Only a small, select group of people should be allowed to email key executives; all other addresses should be blocked. Known as email “whitelisting,” this greatly reduces the risk of phishing attacks on the executive.Additionally, use strong anti-malware and anti-phishing solutions to boost the executive’s email security.2. Use multiple layers of encryption. Every VIP should be protected by multiple layers of encryption. This acts as a fail-safe in the event that an attacker breaks through the other defenses.Every device that connects to Wi-Fi (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop) must have a VPN, or virtual private network, which will encrypt all data in transit. Next, a full-disk or file encryption program should be used to secure data that is stored on these devices. Limit the executive’s communications to encrypted channels only, like PGP for email, or encrypted communications like Wickr Pro. All web sessions need to be done over HTTPS (SSL/TLS encryption); there are browser plugins like EFF’s HTTPS Everywhere that will force a secure connection on every website.Related: The Biggest Bounties Facebook, Microsoft and More Have Paid Hackers3. Strip down the phone.Just as the U.S. President uses a smartphone with very limited functionality, a business executive’s phone should also be stripped down as much as possible, with only essential functionality as needed. The more boring it is, the better.That means eliminating all non-essential apps, especially games, scaling back the phone’s connectivity options by disabling Bluetooth, disabling Wi-Fi auto-connect and turning off geolocation sharing for all apps (with the exception of “Find My Phone”). Social media can also pose a risk, but if your business depends on using it, at the very least make sure geolocation data is turned off in the app (there are online tools that can track a user based on this data) and be careful about oversharing, as sensitive information can be used against executives and employees in social engineering attacks. Also, use public Wi-Fi sparingly, even when a VPN is utilized.4. Use a burner device.Executives are most at risk when traveling overseas, particularly to countries like China and Russia. When making these trips, it’s important to be a little paranoid.Burner devices, or “phones to go,” are an effective way of reducing the risk from compromised devices. This isn’t cheap, but it’s worth the investment and inconvenience. Malware and man-in-the-middle (MiTM) attacks are more likely during foreign stays, so by putting aside the phone or laptop after a trip, the executive will prevent an infected device from getting “behind the firewall” after he or she returns.It’s also important to have a remote lock/erase feature installed on all devices in case they are lost or stolen.Related: Before You Use Public Wi-Fi, Read This5. Harden the home office network.Home offices can be an easy target for hackers, since they are likely to have less security than the corporate office.At a minimum, make sure a robust firewall and antivirus/anti-malware agents have been installed. Also, keep all devices (laptop, desktop, server, Wi-Fi router) fully updated on software/firmware settings, security patches, etc. Next, reduce the attack surface on the laptop or desktop by disabling Java, JavaScript and ActiveX, or by adding script-blocking plugins. Set up application whitelisting so that only pre-approved applications and processes can run on these machines. Eliminate Wi-Fi as much as possible by using an ethernet cable instead. It’s also wise to have two internet lines — one for the family and one exclusively for the executive. Use an outbound firewall to block any malware or malicious programs that do sneak in from being able to connect to the internet. DNS security tools (such as OpenDNS) will further protect the internet connection and block malicious or suspect domains.6. Contain the internet of things.Most executives have — or will have — “smart” devices in their homes, in addition to connected cars, wearables and other internet of things products.These complicate the security picture, as many IoT products have been found to be vulnerable to hackers. Limit IoT usage to only well established, trusted brands with a proven track record of security. Avoid installing IoT apps on the work phone. Also, keep these devices off the executive’s home Wi-Fi network — if you have two internet lines installed, relegate them to the all-purpose/family network.An executive’s personal security can be the Achilles’ heel of any company, from startup to Fortune 500, so it’s critical to implement a defense-in-depth approach that will keep their digital assets safe. Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

first_img Register Now » 1 min read June 7, 2017 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.center_img Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global In the modern business landscape, there is at least one constant: “content is king.” Whether you’re a creative looking to market your skills or you run a business and are looking to come up with content strategies, you may have questions.Our new video series Ask Entrepreneur is back, with staffers taking your questions.Next Thursday, Entrepreneur.com’s network editor, Conrad Martin, will lend some insights into the “ins and outs” of video content strategy and production. From freelance production companies to content generation giants, Conrad will speak from his experience and touch on other aspects of the entrepreneurship of entertainment.Conrad will take your questions (giving a bonus behind-the-scenes peek) during the live broadcast on Thursday, June 15, at 1 p.m ET, but feel free to send a question in the form below or tweet @Entrepreneur using the hashtag #AskEntrepreneur. (Please think twice before sliding in his DMs.)Please join us on our Facebook page on Thursday, June 15, at 1 p.m.last_img read more

first_imgFebruary 5, 2018 This story originally appeared on PCMag Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global If you haven’t seen it by now, Amazon’s Super Bowl LII commercial is fairly clever. Kudos to the company for coming up with a fun way to mash together celebrities and Alexa without it feeling overly cheesy or trying-too-hard. More importantly, a big thanks to Amazon’s engineers who came up with an ingenious way to broadcast the “A word” without it triggering everyone’s Echos — whatever version of the device you own.The most annoying thing about watching any YouTube video or televised commercial that mentions Alexa is that it typically triggers your Echo device to get ready to respond to a query. Or worse, the person you’re watching who says “Alexa” just keeps on babbling, which then makes your Echo do something you didn’t want it to do — or just apologize for being unable to do whatever commands it tried to interpret.And since Amazon definitely wanted its Super Bowl LII to mention she-who-shall-not-be-named, and refer to her frequently, the company had to come up with a different way to do so in order to avoid hacking off everyone who already owns an Echo device.The solution? Acoustic fingerprinting.”The trick is to suppress the unintentional waking of a device while not incorrectly rejecting the millions of people engaging with Alexa every day,” said Shiv Vitaladevuni, a senior manager on the Alexa Machine Learning team, in an Amazon blog post.Though Amazon isn’t detailing the specific techniques its using to keep your Echo from triggering from its Super Bowl advertising, Bloomberg notes that a Reddit user, Asphyhackr, might have figured out Amazon’s secret.”I did a little research tonight and found that the Echo, while it’s processing the wake word, searches the Audio Spectrum and if is significantly quieter in the area of 4000hz to 5000hz, she will not wake for the word,” Asphyhackr writes.”I found that when I analyzed the spectrum of them saying her name, the spectrums were significantly quieter in the range of 3000hz to 6000hz. In some of those recordings, those frequencies appeared to be non-existent. In others it appeared like the boosted the surrounding frequencies to make the Echo see a gap in the spectrum.”In other words, if your Echo (Best Price at Amazon) notices something strange happening in the audio spectrum, it realizes that it should ignore whatever is being said — like “Alexa.” And while this works well when Amazon has a planned announcement to make, like an advertisement, the company has to get a bit more creative when it can’t anticipate the large-scale broadcast of its digital helper’s name.”When multiple devices start waking up simultaneously from a broadcast event, similar audio is streaming to Alexa’s cloud services. An algorithm within Amazon’s cloud detects matching audio from distinct devices and prevents additional devices from responding. The dynamic fingerprinting isn’t perfect, but as many as 80 to 90 percent of devices won’t respond to these broadcasts thanks to the dynamic creation of the fingerprints,” reads Amazon’s blog. 3 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 6 min read March 1, 2018 Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Selecting a website theme can be overwhelming — there are literally thousands of free and paid options available to download and purchase. Your theme is the overall look, feel and style of your website. This includes things like the color scheme, layout and style elements. In essence, your website theme is a direct representation of your brand and has a direct impact on your users’ experience.Admittedly, I was never a fan of pre-built website themes back when my agency provided web design services. Years ago, most out-of-the box themes were clunky, provided SEO nightmares and just weren’t as effective as a fresh custom design.Times have changed, though, and now there are plenty of good-looking themes — but don’t judge a book by its cover — poor coding, slow speeds, search engine optimization issues and poor user experiences still exist.To help you pick a great website theme for your particular business needs, make sure to take into account these five things.1. K.I.S.S.K.I.S.S. is an acronym for “Keep it simple, stupid” — one of my favorite sayings when it comes to modern-day website design. Several years ago, websites were very loud, and companies wanted flash animation, fancy features and other bells and whistles. Now flat designs with a minimalistic approach are popular.Websites that are too busy take the user away from the desired call-to-action, and they are a headache to navigate on mobile devices. If you take a look at Team 10’s website, you will see a great example of an effective design. Each section of the website is simple, features a flat design and gives the information seeker exactly what he or she is looking for — nothing more and nothing less. It’s so simple that it’s brilliant.2. Developer support availabilityThis is something that not many people take into consideration when selecting a theme. It’s very rare that you will be able to install a theme and not have to make updates as the platform you are using changes and advances. This could be due to feature changes or security issues — no matter what you are using, from WordPress to Shopify and every other option, you need to anticipate there will be updates required to keep your theme from breaking.The majority of theme marketplaces will have information on the developer, as well as a log of all the updates that have been released for each particular theme. Pay attention to this information, as well as customer reviews and ratings — it can give you a lot of insight.Themes that have been around for a long time and have several updates indicated that the developer is constantly making changes to make the theme better. One of the most popular WordPress themes, Newspaper, has over 57,000 sales and is updated all the time. If you look at it here, you can scroll to the bottom to see the update log and a list of all the changes made each time. This is an example of a theme with excellent developer support.3. Mobile readinessAlmost all popular modern-era website themes are responsive, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are guaranteed to provide an excellent mobile experience. There are plenty of websites that will pass Google’s mobile test, yet provide such a poor user experience that they are worthless on smaller screens, in terms of conversion potential.Look for a theme that is extremely adaptive and built with converting visitors in mind. If you look at this contact page on a desktop or laptop computer, you will see that the form features several steps. It’s eye-appealing and is very easy to complete on desktops and laptops.Now, if you look at the same page on a mobile device, you will notice that there is a very prominent “Click to Call” button on the very top of the page, allowing the visitor to make immediate contact without even scrolling. If they do scroll down, they find the contact form, but in a different format that’s much more user-friendly on mobile devices.The majority of website themes will have working demos for you to play with before purchasing, so make sure to put them through the ringer on mobile and tablet devices.4. Available plugins, apps and extensionsIt’s very rare that you will run a website theme in its stock version — you will customize the look and feel to match your brand, as well as add special features to enhance the user experience and turn more traffic into leads, sales and revenue.WordPress has over 54,000 plugins available, Shopify has thousands of apps and WooCommerce has Extensions available to help enhance your website theme.You need to know what platform is best for your business before exploring available themes, and once that is decided you can then begin to explore other add-ons. For example, if you are an e-commerce brand, Shopify is very hard to beat.If you are a small service-based business and your goal is to generate leads, then you may want to use WordPress and focus on publishing great blog content to pull in traffic. Look at the offer used on this lead capture form — a downloadable brochure in exchange for a name, email address and phone number. Rather than a standard sidebar offer that offers a newsletter subscription or an emailed offer, this allows the consumer to access the bribe immediately.There are plenty of plugins that can help you implement and manage download offers with no coding or development skills needed. Most of the popular services you will use with your website, like Mailchimp, for example, has plugins available that make integration simple. Make a list of what you will be using and what features you will need to add to your theme and reverse engineer the best options.5. Cross-browser compatibilityTesting your website theme on all the popular web browsers is an important step, especially if you are considering using one that hasn’t been updated recently. With so many different devices, browsers and operating systems being used, testing helps ensure that your theme will provide the same user experience and functionality for everyone.There are plenty of free tools and resources available online, as well as paid options that offer a free trial. One of the oldest, Browser Shots, allows you to run your website through them all at once. The free open-source tool is a great starting point — if you do spot an issue on a particular browser you can then further investigate using other available resources. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

first_img “Fail fast” is a well-known phrase in the startup scene. The spirit of failing fast is getting to market with a minimum viable product and then rapidly iterating toward success. Failing fast acknowledges that entrepreneurs are unlikely to design a successful end-state solution before testing it with real customers and real consequences. This is the “ready, fire, aim” approach. Or, if the blowback is big enough, it’s the “ready, fire, pivot” approach.Consider this quote from Reid Hoffman, CEO of LinkedIn: “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.”Related: Ready or Not, It’s Time to Embrace AIThe opposite of failing fast is a “waterfall” approach to software development, where a significant amount of time is invested upfront — requirements analysis, design and scenario planning — before the software is ever tested with real customers.When it comes to the emerging potential of artificial intelligence, I believe failing fast is a recipe for disaster.Artificial intelligence is here to stay.Many different types of artificially intelligent software surround us. Most AI has minimal authority today. For instance, Amazon’s software recommends things you might like to buy, but it doesn’t actually purchase those things on your behalf — yet. Spotify’s software makes a decision to create a playlist for you, but if a song doesn’t suit your tastes, the consequences are benign. Google’s software decides which websites are most relevant for your search terms but doesn’t decide which website you will visit. In all of these cases, failing fast is okay. Usage leads to more data, which leads to improvements in the algorithms.But intelligence software is beginning to make independent decisions that represent much higher risk. The risk of failure is too great to take lightly, because the consequences can be irreversible or ubiquitous.We wouldn’t want NASA to fail fast. A single Space Shuttle launch costs $450 million and places human lives in jeopardy.The risks of AI are increasing.Imagine this: What if we exposed 100+ million people to intelligent software that decided which news they read, and we later discovered the news may have been misleading or even fake and resulted in influencing the election for the President of the United States of America? Who would be held responsible?Related: 5 Ways in Which Digital and Artificial Intelligence are Changing Work DynamicsIt sounds far-fetched, but media reports indicate Russian influence reached 126 million people through Facebook alone. The stakes are getting higher, and we don’t know whom to hold accountable. I am fearful the companies spearheading advancements in AI aren’t cognizant of the responsibility. Failing fast shouldn’t be an acceptable excuse for unintended outcomes.If you’re not convinced, imagine these scenarios as a by-product of a fail fast mindset:What if your entire retirement savings evaporated overnight due to artificial intelligence? Here’s how it could happen. In the near future, millions of Americans will use intelligent software to invest billions of dollars in retirement savings. The software will decide where to invest the money. When the market experiences a massive correction, as it does occasionally, the software will need to react quickly to re-distribute your money. This could lead to an investment that bottoms out in minutes and your funds disappear. Is anyone responsible?What if your friend were killed in an automobile accident due to artificial intelligence? Here’s how it could happen. In the near future, millions of Americans will purchase driverless automobiles controlled by intelligent software. The software will decide the fate of many Americans. Will the artificial intelligence choose to hit a pedestrian that accidentally steps into the street or steer the vehicle off the road? These are split-second decisions with real-world consequences. If the decision is fatal, is anyone responsible?What if your daughter or son suffered from depression due to artificial intelligence? Here’s how it could happen. In the near future, millions of kids will have an artificial best friend. It will be sort of like an invisible friend. It will be a companion named Siri or Alexa or something else that talks and behaves like a confidant. We’ll introduce this friend to our children because it will be friendly, smart and caring. It might even replace a babysitter. However, if your daughter or son spends all their discretionary time with this artificial friend and years later can’t sustain meaningful relationships in the real world, is anyone responsible?In some cases, the consequences can’t be undone.Responsible approach to AI.The counter-argument is that humans already cause these tragedies. Humans spread fake news. Humans lose money in the stock market. Humans kill one another with automobiles. Humans get depressed.Related: Life Coaching Guru Tony Robbins Tells Us Why He;s Investing in an AI CompanyThe difference is that humans are individual cases. The risk with AI that replaces or competes with human intelligence is that it can be applied at scale simultaneously. The scope and reach of AI is both massive and instantaneous. It’s fundamentally introducing higher risk. While one driver who makes an error is truly unfortunate, one driver that makes the same error for millions of people should be unacceptable.A more responsible approach to AI is needed. Our mindset should shift toward risk prevention, security planning and simulation testing. While this defies the modern ethos of the tech industry, we have a responsibility to prevent the majority of unlikely and unwanted outcomes before they occur. The good news is that with the right mindset, we can prevent the scenarios above from becoming true. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read March 2, 2018 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

first_img This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Marketing automation has come a long way — from merely being a tool for marketers to automate repetitive tasks to becoming a fortune ball to understand the high demanding customers of today. The technology advancements in this field have empowered marketers to use customer data to unearth valuable insights and create highly personalized marketing communication, sent at the right time and in the right channel. No wonder it’s slated to become a $5.5 billion industry by 2019.Related: This Is How You Discern the Person in All That Customer Personalization DataHere are three examples of how deep learning in marketing automation is making marketers’ life easier.1. Identifying deeper patterns in data for hyper-personalization.“Personalization” is a widely used term, but it has started to wear down its significance. Don’t get me wrong; I am not suggesting that you should stop personalizing your online shopping experience and marketing messages. What I am proposing is focusing on hyper-personalization.Marketing automation with machine learning (ML) allows you to personalize customer experience based on their history of interactions, like purchasing habits, behavioral traits and digital preferences. But it does not take the intent of the customer into consideration.Deep learning technology, on the other hand, will not just rely on the interaction history of the customer but will consider their intent. For example, a customer comes to your site and buys a dress. During their second visit, the same customer starts checking out footwear. In this scenario, the equation will not rely on transactional and interaction data to personalize the experience, but will consider the intent.Deep learning is much better than other ML and AI techniques in understanding what customers want as it has the potential to find patterns inside of patterns. According to Michio Kaku, AI is only as smart as a “lobotomized, mentally challenged cockroach.” Deep learning techniques identify and analyze patterns so it can predict real-life outcomes. But the technology is still in its infancy, and what it’s capable of is yet to be seen.Related: 3 Competitive Advantages of Deep Learning for Your Company2. Use deep learning to drive customer retention.Every business knows that retaining customers costs less than acquiring them. And, customer retention can increase company profit by manifolds. According to Bain and Co., a 5 percent increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75 percent. When it comes to improving customer retention, deep leaning can help. How? By giving customers what they need, when they need it. According to a Trendspotter report, 82 percent of people are likely to shop at a retailer that provides them with personalized offers.Marketing automation powered with AI does the same thing by ensuring the right message gets to the right person at just the right time. But deep learning can take it a notch higher. It takes into account customer taste, personal preferences, spending patterns and even micro preferences combined with external factors, like weather, to send highly customized and more relevant suggestions to their customers. Related: Think Twice About a Company When You Keep Hearing These 4 AI Buzzwords3. Customer behavior is a science: Big data analytics and deep learning.Prescriptive analytics is another technique that uses deep learning from customer data to predict future trends and behavior patterns. Marketing automation platforms have become powerful enough to anticipate predictions — like when a customer will make his next purchase, what’s the LTV of a customer, who are the most valuable customers, what time is a customer is most likely to buy, and what’s the right discount to offer to a customer segment.Deep learning has already been used in the advertising industry to make activities up to 50 percent more efficient. That’s why many marketers are super excited about it. But, deep learning is not as easy as it sounds. Still as a marketer, it’s important to know how it works and how you can use it to your advantage. Marketers who strive to be relevant to their consumer need to pay attention to this technology. August 15, 2018 Enroll Now for Freelast_img read more

first_img Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. Most factories make use of machines in the production process and, as a result, lots of people have been put out of work. But are service-based businesses about to face a similar fate? Will you be replaced by a robot one day?That particular question has likely brought chills down many people’s spines, but could this really be the reality we’re facing? Imagine all the different kinds of service-based jobs poised to crumble because some app or robot can do the work faster than a human would.Let’s say you normally hire tutors to help your children with their homework, perhaps from a service-based business that has a good track record and high success rates among users. All of that could change in a flash with AI —  in fact, that is one of the reasons why some people are scared of AI in spite of how fascinating it is.Related: Why Businesses Keep Failing to Make the Most of AIHow would you feel if your child asked help from Alexa for their homework? The virtual assistant is fast becoming a staple among homes; you surely can’t stop your child’s urge from asking, “What’s 5 minus 3?” can you?These days all the child has to do is take a picture of their math homework, and an app can instantly tell whether the answer is right or wrong. AI also allows apps to recommend courses to users based on their level of progress in those subjects, and, if that’s not enough, it also knows what kind of questions teachers give out as assignments.What is AI?Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a branch of computer science developed with the objective of creating intelligent machines that can mimic human behavior and the ability to make decisions. In essence, these programs are able to study our behavior and make decisions as if we’re the one making them but, of course, a lot faster.Related: 5 Future Jobs You’ve Never Heard of But That Your Kids Will Flock toSince AI “learns” our behavior, it’s not limited by the programmer’s code. So, in a sense, it’s able to grow in knowledge on its own as we keep using it.Will AI take over service-based business jobs?There have been a series of debates on whether AI will take over jobs or not. A study by Boston Consulting Group predicted that by 2025, a quarter of jobs will be replaced by either smart software or robots. Kai Fu Lee, a renowned AI expert and venture capitalist, believes that 40 percent of the jobs in the world will be replaced by robots.Without a doubt, AI is gradually infiltrating and disrupting different industries, including healthcare and banking. But you mustn’t forget that machines have their limitations. Although technology has advanced to the point that software mimic humans, they can never totally take our place. In fact, AI will help create more jobs than it seeks to eliminate. You may need to acquire new skills, but it doesn’t mean that you’ll be replaced.Related: 4 Ways Artificial Intelligence Is Shaping the Future for Businesses Big and SmallSo, in essence, even if you use AI to help your child with their homework, it will not entirely take away the jobs of tutors who will teach kids. There will still be a need for tutors to dictate what standard is expected of students — and maybe even tutors would delve into developing AI that will help tutor kids.It’s all in how you choose to handle the technological changes that come your way. Outrightly rejecting or fearing technology won’t secure your job, but if you could develop your skills and knowledge to go along with the change in technology, then there is no way you’d be out of work. The beauty of service-based businesses is their ability to easily pivot and evolve. This kind of flexibility will work in your favor with the advancement of AI. AI is artificial; it’s not naturally intelligent yet.The final verdictAI is a bittersweet topic. On one hand, it’s one of the best innovations the world has ever seen. And on the other, it could be what brings to an end a lot of businesses because it’s smarter, faster and more efficient. However, saying AI will take away most people’s jobs is an exaggeration. It will surely change the way you do business, but it will not take away all jobs. So, there’s really no need to panic.Related: Robots Are Stealing Our JobsAll you need to do is grow and adjust to the new technology instead of fighting it. You’ll only have cause to fear when you don’t evolve with the technology. How Success Happens June 14, 2019 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Listen Now 5 min readlast_img read more

first_imgMicrosoft announced a new game streaming project for Xbox yesterday, namely, Project xCloud. Microsoft is not the only one who has rolled out their game streaming service, Google announced a new experimental game streaming service, namely, Project Stream, last week, that lets the users play Assassin’s Creed in Chrome among other things. Project xCloud is a game streaming technology that enables existing Xbox users to play on any device that they want to without being limited to a particular device. This means gamers can choose either console or PC depending on their preference. Mobile-only players can also access the worlds, characters and immersive stories that they haven’t been able to experience before on a mobile. Project xCloud provides gamers with plenty of options and does so without altering the performance and experience of the game. “Our goal with Project xCloud is to deliver a quality experience for all gamers on all devices that’s consistent with the speed and high-fidelity gamers experience and expect on their PCs and consoles”, mentions Kareem Choudhry, Corporate VP, Gaming Cloud, Microsoft on the announcement page.” Microsoft Microsoft admits that Cloud game-streaming is a “multi-faceted, complex challenge”. In order to provide high-quality experience across different devices, it is crucial to watch out for obstacles, such as low-latency video streamed remotely, and support for a large, multi-user network. “With our nearly 40 years of gaming experience starting with PC, as well as our deep experience of being a platform company, we are equipped to address the complex challenge of cloud game-streaming”, mentions Choudhary. Microsoft had been working on Project xCloud over the past few years and aims to bring the public trials of this project in 2019. Moreover, Microsoft wants to make it easy for developers to bring their content to Project xCloud and deliver an amazing experience to the existing Xbox players. Developers will be able to deploy and dramatically scale to hundreds of millions of users across all devices on Project xCloud with no additional work. Microsoft has data centers in 54 Azure regions and services available in 140 countries, meaning that Azure has the scale to offer great gaming experience for players worldwide, regardless of their location. “We’ve enabled compatibility with existing and future Xbox games by building out custom hardware for our datacenters that leverages our years of console and platform experience. We’ve architected a new customizable blade that can host the component parts of multiple Xbox One consoles, as well as the associated infrastructure supporting it. We will scale those custom blades in datacenters across Azure regions over time”, writes Choudhry. Project xCloud was tested yesterday by Microsoft. The test was carried out on different devices (mobile phones, tablets) paired with an Xbox Wireless Controller through Bluetooth. As of now, the test experience is running at 10 megabits per second. Microsoft is also developing a new, game-specific touch input overlay that offers a maximum response in a minimal footprint to players wanting to play without a controller. Additionally, Project xCloud makes game streaming possible on 4G networks. “We are looking forward to learning with you during our public trials next year and sharing more details as we continue on this journey to the future of gaming with you at the center”, says Choudhary. For more information, check out the official Microsoft blog. Read Next Microsoft open sources Infer.NET, it’s popular model-based machine learning framework Microsoft announces new Surface devices to enhance user productivity, with style and elegance Microsoft’s new neural text-to-speech service lets machines speak like peoplelast_img read more

first_imgTags: Alitalia, WTF Alitalia has gone bankrupt but at least they’re getting snazzy new uniforms << Previous PostNext Post >> Source: The Associated Press MILAN — Never underestimate the power of a new pair of shoes, or a brand new wardrobe for that matter.The bankrupt Italian airline, Alitalia, has commissioned the Alberta Ferretii fashion house to design new uniforms, the timing of which has raised a few eyebrows. The crew restyling comes as the Italian government evaluates binding offers for all, or part, of the airline with the intent of completing a sale by spring.Perhaps the airline is putting their best foot forward (in designer pumps, no less) to shake the stigma of bankruptcy?Alitalia has said the uniform update won¹t create any new financial burdens, and that it came at the request of cabin and ground crews for ‘greater comfort’.Ferretti has pledged to design a collection combining elegance with convenience to ensure that all personnel are “comfortable in each working environment and throughout any season.”The airline last updated its uniforms in 2016 with a burgundy-colored retro look for the first new uniforms in two decades.More news:  Venice to ban cruise ships from city centre starting next monthAlitalia said the new uniforms should be ready by summer. Share Thursday, November 30, 2017 last_img read more

first_img Share Tags: Profit Report, Statistics, WestJet Wednesday, December 5, 2018 By: The Canadian Press TORONTO — WestJet Airlines Ltd. aims to lift its profits over the next four years, predicting earnings growth of 40% on a per share basis between 2019 and 2022 after a turbulent year.Soaring fuel costs, labour unrest and steep competition at home and abroad caused Canada’s second-largest airline to incur its first loss in 13 years during the second quarter, followed by a steep year-over-year drop in the third quarter – which nonetheless bounced back into the black.Revenues and efficiency were “nowhere near” the airline’s potential, chief executive Ed Sims said at a WestJet investor conference in Toronto Tuesday.Strong demand, more branded fares and higher ancillary fees will boost its revenue per available seat mile to between two per cent and four per cent in 2019, Sims said.Branded fares bundle various perks – such as pre-reserved seats and baggage checks – at a higher total price.Earlier this year, the airline launched transatlantic service on the first three of an expected 10 Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft in a bid for business passengers that challenges Air Canada’s transatlantic dominance.A crowded domestic market resulted in “over-supply” and weaker revenue per available seat mile – a key industry metric that divides operating income by passenger carrying capacity.A freshly expanded Flair Airlines, soon-to-launch Canada Jetlines Ltd., and Air Canada’s low-cost Rouge are all crowding the budget airspace that WestJet has flown into with its four-month-old, ultra-low-cost Swoop.More news:  TRAVELSAVERS welcomes Julie Virgilio to the teamThe market saturation means WestJet will “step back from profitless volume,” Sims said.The airline aims to grow passenger capacity by between 6.5 per cent and 8.5 per cent next year, mainly through three Dreamliners embarking on non-stop service from Calgary to Dublin, Paris and London’s Gatwick Airport this spring.Only a sliver of the beefed-up capacity will come from the domestic realm, where Swoop plans to expand its fleet to 10, WestJet said.The airline is battling with Air Canada on a number of fronts. Its Encore regional service goes up against Air Canada Express and its ultra-low-cost Swoop airline recently launched flights to the U.S. and the Caribbean, in competition with Air Canada’s six-year-old Rouge unit.On top of a long-range fleet that still dwarfs WestJet’s, Air Canada’s recent deal as the lead of a consortium to buy the Aeroplan reward program from Aimia Inc. represents another potential advantage Sims hopes to reduce through a travel rewards partnership with Mastercard and the Royal Bank of Canada.Sims appeared undaunted by his biggest competitor’s purchase of Aeroplan, announced Nov. 26.“I don’t have a concern,” he said in an interview Friday.“I think competition in this space is healthy. It forces both coalitions to strengthen the relationship, and I would characterize our relationship with RBC and Mastercard as every bit as strong as our competitor’s relationship with TD, CIBC and VISA.”More news:  Hotel charges Bollywood star $8.50 for two bananas and the Internet has thoughts“We fully expect a number of our passengers to be carrying both cards,” he added.On Tuesday his airline broadened its codeshare agreement with Qantas Airways, giving WestJet access to the Australian carrier’s flights between Los Angeles and Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, along with any attendant reward miles. WestJet’s joint venture with Delta Air Lines, announced in July, opens up more of the southern U.S. and western European markets via flights to Atlanta and Barcelona. Nonetheless, luring high-flying passengers away from Air Canada without an alliance network to top it off could prove tough.WestJet remains outside the constellation of major airline alliances, comprised of Star Alliance – of which Air Canada is a member – SkyTeam and Oneworld.Next year, WestJet expects to spend about $1.1 billion on deposits and purchases related to the Dreamliners and Boeing 737 MAX narrow-body aircraft. It also plans expenditures of about $980 million in 2020 and $1.1 billion in 2021 on seven more Dreamliners.The company has signed a letter of intent to sell and lease back the first three Dreamliners, on track for delivery early next year. << Previous PostNext Post >> WestJet aims for turnaround after turbulent yearlast_img read more

first_imgInvestigators from the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ) arrested Thursday two National Police officers for allegedly stealing ₡100,000 (some $190) from a Nicaraguan citizen.The suspects, identified as Camacho, 38, and Fuentes, 27, work at the downtown police station in San José.The investigation indicated that the event occurred on April 17 this year, when at about 11:00 pm, the victim was walking near Parque La Merced in downtown San José. Apparently, the suspects stopped him and told him to get into the police car. After a tour, they took him to Barrio Cuba neighborhood, southwest of downtown San José, where they beat him and stole the cash.OIJ authorities said in a press release the suspects could be linked to other similar crimes. Facebook Comments No related posts.last_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. The Security Commission for the Central American Games meets this week for a second workshop in preparation for security at next year’s Central American Games.The event, slotted for March 2013, will be the largest multisport tournament ever held in Costa Rica, and will require significant security coordination within San José. “As we get closer to the start of the games, we are focused on providing tight security for one of the most important aspects of the event,” said Jorge Villalobos, secretary general of the event. “Security plays a fundamental role for the athletes and others participating in this sporting celebration.”  The workshop’s participants include experts in event security and terrorism prevention from the United Nations, Canada and Nicaragua, among others.  Two of the workshop’s guests, Brian Powrie, from the U.N.’s Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute, and Brendan Heffernan, from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, will stick around for the weekend to observe security at Saturday’s Festival de la Luz.By the end of the workshop, the commission plans to have six possible security plans, one of which will be selected and implemented a month before the start of the games.“Our goal is to share our concerns with these security experts for massive international events in order to gain insight into the results of their previous experiences,” said Marcelo Solano, with the Security Commission. “By the end of the seminar we will have something from which to base our suggestions to improve the final national security plan for the games, which we plan to have ready in January, prior to the start of the torch relay.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. CARACAS – Ailing President Hugo Chávez cannot return home in time for his inauguration on Thursday and will take the oath of office at a later date before the Supreme Court, the government announced.The announcement confirming that Chávez, 58, is too sick to make it back in time for Thursday’s inauguration came in a letter to the National Assembly from Vice President Nicolás Maduro.“According to the recommendation of the medical team, … the process of post-operative recovery must extend beyond January 10 of the current year, reason for which he will not be able to appear on that date before the National Assembly,” the letter, which was read by National Assembly speaker Diosdado Cabello, stated.The letter went on to say that in keeping with Article 231 of the Constitution, Chávez would take the oath before the Supreme Court at a later date. Chávez’s allies call the president’s swearing-in a “formality” that can be fulfilled sometime after Jan. 10.The long-expected decision came amid a storm of controversy over whether his current term can be extended beyond Jan. 10, and calls by the opposition for the Supreme Court to intervene.“I do not know what the judges of the Supreme Court are waiting for. Right now in Venezuela, without any doubt whatsoever, a constitutional conflict has arisen,” opposition leader and former presidential candidate Henrique Capriles said.The government plans to hold a huge pro-Chávez rally on Thursday – a reminder of the 55 percent support that won the leftist firebrand a convincing re-election.A key opposition leader, meanwhile, had called for street protests on Thursday, raising the risks of confrontation in the country with the world’s largest proven oil reserves.Throughout his illness, first detected in June 2011, Chávez has refused to relinquish the powers of the presidency, even when leaving for Cuba for his fourth and most difficult round of surgery.Chávez is suffering from a severe pulmonary infection that has resulted in a “respiratory insufficiency,” officials have said. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgNo related posts. Not as famous as the presidential airplane “Air Force One,” the modified limousine that transports U.S. President Barack Obama is practically a war tank.The armored – and always black – Cadillac often referred to as “Cadillac One” or “Limo One” includes an impressive ammount of security measures, among them, its own system of oxygenation and an armored structure able to withstand the direct impact of bombs, grenades and sniper shots. Bottles of the president’s blood are kept on board in case he needs an emergency transfusion.“The Beast,” as the Secret Service refers to the heavily armored vehicle, is driven by a chauffeur specially trained by the Secret Service in the most demanding of driving conditions, including escape and evasion and 180-degree “J-turns.” It is transported inside a C-17 Globemaster III from U.S. Air Force.The vehicle’s body has a 12 centimeters ballistic structure of steel, aluminum, titanium and ceramic to protect the base of the car in case of explosion of bombs or rolling granades. In addition, the gas tank is shielded, for preventing explotions from a direct impact. The windows are made of 12 centimeters of ballistic glass, and armour-plated eight-inch doors are the weight of a cabin door on a Boeing 757 jet.Tires are “run flat” and reinforced with kevlar, meaning that if struck, ballistic steel rims support the 10-ton weight of the car to escape at 60 miles per hour.The driver’s cabin has a communications center with GPS, fax, wireless network, and a laptop and satellite phone connected to the Pentagon, the CIA and the vice president office.The defense system has night vision cameras, pump-action shotguns and tear gas cannons.The presidential motorcade consists of up to 45 modified limousines escorting Cadillac One.Right behind The Beast, the USSS Electronic Countermeasures Suburban is used to counter nuclear, biological and chemical attacks.The number of vehicles depends on the risk level of the destination. In Costa Rica, seven vehicles likely will escort the Limo One.This is Obama’s second presidential visit to Central America after a meeting in El Salvador in 2011. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:What keeps Johnny Araya awake at night? Following rival’s campaign exit, candidate Solís says voter abstention could delegitimate his presidency Solís seeks 1 million votes in runoff election to strengthen his mandate Video: Opposition candidate Luis Guillermo Solís casts his ballot, encourages Ticos to vote Easily surpassing his goal of 1 million votes Sunday night, Costa Rican President-elect Luis Guillermo Solís has claimed a mandate to govern, but the realities of running a government still loom, analysts said on Monday.The 55-year-old university professor who started the presidential race as a political unknown surged to a surprising first-place finish with his Citizen Action Party on Feb. 2 and claimed a record-breaking 1.3 million votes – 77.8 percent support – in Sunday’s runoff amid fears that high absenteeism would undercut his political capital. The victory interrupted over 40 years of two-party rule in Costa Rica.“He has credibility as the anti-politician because he never ran for elected office,” said Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank.“The message is that even though the country wants a change from politics as usual it’s not prepared to go a more radical route,” Shifter said. “Solís’ victory is further evidence that there is a malaise with traditional politics. He’s an example that the people are looking for alternatives, and being someone without elected political experience can be an asset and an advantage.”Recommended: Non-career politician Luis Guillermo Solís wins Costa Rica presidential runoff in a landslideAt his first press conference as president-elect Monday morning, Solís promised swift action against corruption after he takes office on May 8, including an overhaul of the country’s troubled private concessions for public infrastructure projects.Eric Olson, associate director of the Woodrow Wilson Centers’ Latin American Program, told The Tico Times Solís had reached the threshold to claim a mandate, despite the 43 percent voter abstention rate.“Forty-three percent is not unusually high, and since he set a goal of a million votes and got more than that, I think he can claim a mandate, especially since the most important political party historically essentially bowed out of the second round,” Olson said.But the mandate is not enough to wrangle the fractious incoming Legislative Assembly, one where the ruling National Liberation Party holds a majority in the 57-seat legislature.“PAC has a relatively small presence. They’re going to have to work together to see what are the priority issues and how they can build coalitions to make progress on these issues,” Shifter said.The think tank president said Solís would have to rein in the various fractions of PAC lawmakers as well as reach across the aisle to other parties.“Solís has been able to demonstrate political skills by winning his party’s nomination, which was not easy, and by running an effective campaign and winning the support of a broad spectrum of Costa Rican society. Now he’s got to face an even harder task of getting through his agenda,” he added.“The challenges and expectations that have been set are enormous,” Olson said.Solís and the PAC might have their own challenges in the coming years, but the task is greater still for the National Liberation Party, stinging from its worst defeat in the party’s history.“Liberation has a high mountain to climb to re-establish itself as the predominant political force in Costa Rica,” Olson said, adding that the party needed to revamp its leadership, develop new ideas and show that it is in touch with Costa Rican voters.Olson said that while other parties in similar circumstances might crumble, PLN would likely hold on. He noted that PLN already survived a schism that created the soon-to-be ruling PAC in 2000. The party is still in a position to leverage its majority in the Legislative Assembly, 18 seats, to rebuild its public image before the next election in 2018.The Woodrow Wilson scholar concluded that Solís’ election was a surprise that demonstrated the strength of Costa Rica’s democratic tradition. “A relative outsider from a party without much history was strong and capable of winning the campaign and so many votes,” Olson said, “That’s a positive thing.” Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Police find 9,400 sea turtle eggs in car trunk outside Nicoya US government sued over sea turtles snared in shrimp nets Delays and blunders: A timeline of the Jairo Mora murder trial in Costa Rica Police catch poachers with more than 300 sea turtle eggs Rings, earrings, combs and bracelets are among the items seized by officials from the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) during an Easter Holy Weekcrackdown on wildlife trafficking. The 82 pieces of jewelry were made from the shells of endangered hawksbill turtles, a violation of the country’s Wildlife Law.According to a press release from SINAC, officials found the jewelry for sale along a stretch of coastline in Puntarenas popular with souvenir-seeking tourists. A marine biologist confirmed that the jewelry was made of hawksbill shells and valued the pieces at ₡300,000 ($550).According to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the hawksbill sea turtle has been critically endangered since 1996. Known for its multi-colored shell, the hawksbill has long been hunted by craftsmen for jewelery. The turtles can be spotted on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast from July to October, and on the Pacific coast from July to September. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgRelated posts:Christmas cheer, oxcart parades, and other happenings around Costa Rica Bullfights, punk bands, and other happenings around Costa Rica Cowboys, coffee, and other happenings around Costa Rica Nativity scenes, funk music, and other happenings around Costa Rica Festival de la LuzSuppose you could combine (a) Las Vegas, (b) Santa’s village and (c) The Rose Bowl into one massive party. The result would look something like the Festival de la Luz, a nocturnal carnival of color that marches its way across the city this Saturday evening. Featuring all kinds of brightly lit floats, marching bands, and (of course) a fireworks display, the “Festival of Light” is the most bombastic way to start the Christmas celebration. This parade has been a staple of Costa Rican Decembers since 1996 – and it’s especially magical for the niños.Festival de la Luz takes place Dec. 13 in downtown San José. 6 p.m. Free. Info: Festival website.Dance: Flamenco PerformanceThe story of Spanish migration unfolds in this powerful flamenco tribute by Al Ándalus.“Con El Alma Aferrada” performs Dec. 14 at the Teatro Eugene O’Neill, Los Yoses. 4 & 7 p.m. ₡11,000 ($22). Info: Al Ándalus website. An antique bill showcases the artwork of Tomás Povedano, the Spanish painter who would become a Costa Rican hero. Courtesy RedCulturaExhibit: “Tomás Povedano and Costa Rican Cash”The Spanish artist Tomás Povedano already had a shining career before his moved to Costa Rica and designed the national currency. Catch this numismatic retrospective at the National Bank Museums.“Tomás Povedano y Los Billetes de Costa Rica” continues through Aug. 1, 2015, at the National Bank Museums, downtown San José. Openly daily, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ₡1,500. Info: Bank Museums website.Chicharrón FairPrepare yourself for pork rinds – and arguably the best in the country. Chicharrón is a favorite Costa Rican food that is made almost everywhere, but the town of Puriscal is especially famous for their cuts of deep-fried pork. Savor this delicacy with thousands of like-minded folks, then enjoy music, games, dancing, a horse parade, and even some good old-fashioned bullfights. Cradled in the hills west of San José, Puriscal is the perfect place to enjoy some campesino living.La Feria del Chicharron Purisceño takes place Feb. 5-14 at the Puriscal fairgrounds. Info: SiCultura.Holiday Shopping: Tropical MarketStock up on holiday gifts at this four-day arts and crafts market in the Antigua Aduana. Stock up on everything from jewelry to gourmet coffee.Mercado Tropical takes place Dec. 11-14 at Antigua Aduana, Barrio Aranjuez. Thu.-Sun., 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Free. Info: Event Facebook page. Courtesy RedCulturaDance: “Qadim: Ancient Dances, Timeless Dances”Choreography from ancient Egypt, Syria, and Persia come alive, along with the poetry of Rumi, during this collaborative performance. Tickets sales will help fund a future performance in Switzerland.“Qadim” takes place Dec. 14 at the Aduana Theater, Barrio Aranjuez. Dance: “The Nutcracker”See Tchaikovsky’s Christmas masterpiece come alive on the National Theater’s refurbished new stage.“El Cascanueces” will be performed Dec. 5-14 at The National Theater, downtown San José. Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 3 & 8 p.m.; Sun., 11 & 5 p.m. ₡16,000-32,000 ($32-64). Info: National Theater website.Theater: “A Christmas Carol”“Un Cuento de Navidad” receives its annual production at Teatro Espressivo, thanks to a stage adaptation by Paul Stebbings.“Un Cuento de Navidad” continues through Dec. 21 at Teatro Espressivo, Tres Ríos. Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 7 p.m.; Sun., 3 & 7 p.m. ₡7,000-10,000 ($14-20). Info: Teatro Espressivo website.Theater: “The Abominable Snowman”What do Santa Claus, a magic clock, a monstrous Yeti, and a “Labyrinth of Solitude” have in common? They are all part of “El Ogro de las Nieves,” a whimsical family comedy at Teatro Triciclo.Dec. 7 & 14 at Teatro Triciclo, Avenida Escazú. Sundays, 11 a.m. ₡4,000 ($8). Info: Teatro Triciclo website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

first_imgLONDON (AP) – One Royal Air Force crew member has died and two others are believed dead following the crash of two Tornado jets off the Scottish coast, British officials said Wednesday.The two-seat GR4 Tornado jets were flying over the Moray Firth inlet, off eastern Scotland, when contact with them was lost on Tuesday. Two crew members were plucked from the water and hospitalized. The search for the other two was suspended that night due to bad weather. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) The Ministry of Defense said Wednesday that one officer from 15 (Reserve) Squadron, based at RAF Lossiemouth, had died and another is in serious but stable condition in a hospital.Group Capt. Ian Gale, Station Commander at the base, confirmed that two personnel remain unaccounted for and that due to “extremely poor” weather conditions the search operation remains suspended.“The operation will be resumed as a recovery operation as soon as possible, but we must be realistic: given the length of time that has elapsed since the accident, there is no expectation of recovering missing personnel alive,” he said in a statement. He said the RAF has been in contact with the next of kin of all involved.Gale refrained from offering details on what caused the crash, saying only that the incident would be fully investigated.Britain’s GR4 Tornados have been involved in several crashes in recent years.The aircraft most recently saw action with the RAF over Libya and has also been used in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are not part of the Ministry of Defense’s multi-tiered defense plan for the upcoming London Olympics, which will depend on Typhoon jets to be used in London airspace. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Parents, stop beating yourself up Top Stories Sponsored Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: A legacy of tradition embracing animal care and comfort through modern technology More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Comments   Share   How men can have a healthy 2019 Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familylast_img read more

first_img The difference between men and women when it comes to pain Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Comments   Share   Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – Puerto Rico is turning to a New York official to lead its troubled police department.James Tuller Cintron has been selected to be the next superintendent of police by Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla. Tuller is chief of the transportation bureau for the New York Police Department.The governor introduced Tuller at a news conference Monday in San Juan. Tuller was born in New York but lived in Puerto Rico as a child. He has had a long law enforcement career in New York. Check your body, save your life Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Tuller starts his new job Dec. 1. He replaces Hector Pesquera, a former FBI official who announced his resignation on Thursday after less than two years on the job. Puerto Rico’s police force is struggling with low morale, high crime and federally mandated reforms.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories last_img read more

first_imgAustralia’s tourism success relies on its ability to create new products and attract new and returning visitors, according to Australian Tourism Export Council managing director Felicia Mariani.As two of Australia’s top travel markets, New Zealand Japan recover from natural disasters earlier this year, Ms Mariani explained that continued international inbound growth would depend on Australia’s appeal to growing Eastern markets.ATEC’s head said that highlighting the unique culture and close proximity between Australia and countries such as China and India would attract more travellers and distinguish Aus from other ‘western’ destinations like the US and Europe. “Clearly Australia continues to offer an attractive tourism experience and we are growing our share of key markets such as China, India, Indonesia and Thailand,” she said. “With significant increases in arrivals and spend from these four markets, we have a real opportunity to carve out a strong identity that maintains and grows the number of visitors for decades to come.“Australia is a much shorter trip for most Asian countries compared to Europe or the US, but those destinations are investing heavily in the Chinese market with the US along allocating $50 million to luring Chinese visitors to their shores. “We still have the advantage of having had Approved Destination Status for over a decade and we need to promote our nature, culture and Indigenous experiences as a significant point of difference.”The backpacker market is another key factor that could help Australia’s inbound figures, according to Ms Mariani and building on the sector could see positive impacts on arrivals and spending.Although spending up to $20 less a day than regular holidaymakers, Ms Mariani said backpackers tend to contribute more to the economy than leisure travelers because they stay in Australia three times longer.“The value of the backpacker and youth traveler continues to be under acknowledged,” she added. “This sector travels widely, accessing regional parts of Australia, they often work here, encourage family and friends to visit, spend longer in the country than holiday makers and spend almost as much per day.”Australia welcomed up to 583,000 backpackers for the year ending June this year. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: M.H With the eyes of the world firmly focused on the Olympic Games, future host Brazil has launched its new tourism marketing campaign in London.Titled ‘The World Meets in Brazil. Come Celebrate Life’, the campaign will look to promote the country as a major force in international tourism and events as it prepares to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.Created by the Ministry of Tourism and Embratur (the Brazilian Tourism Board), the initiative was unveiled during a ceremony attended by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff at the London Film museum. Highlighting the “friendliness and openness” of the Brazilian people, the new campaign points to the diverse experiences awaiting visitors to the country, said Embratur President Flavio Dino.”We are our culture – the rhythms of Brazil, the warmth of a hug, our traditional cooking and the artists who fill our museums,” he stated at the launch.“Brazil is difficult to describe but you can feel it, and that is what really matters.”As hosts of the next Olympics, Mr Dino said Brazil would have a particularly high profile during the London Games.“We will have a unique opportunity which could produce real results to help us reach our target of doubling the number of foreign tourists and tripling foreign currency entering the country by 2017, the year after the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro,” he remarked.Also in attendance at the launch, Brazilian Minister of Tourism Gastao Vieira described the country’s future vision as “ambitious”. “We are entrepreneurs, investors and above all tourists,” he said. “In 2022 we want to be among the three major tourism powers in the world.”To this end, Embratur confirmed that it would be spending USD$40 million in marketing activities by the end of 2014. Embratur President Flavio Dino unveils taxis wrapped with Brazil’s new advertising campaign (PRNewsFoto/Embratur)last_img read more

first_imgThe President of Fiji, His Excellency Major-General (Ret’d) Jioji Konousi Konrote, today brought home Fiji Airways’ newest A330 to Fiji.Rapturous applause and excitement greeted the aircraft as it touched down at Nadi International Airport and taxied up to the airline’s Hangar facilities. Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and other Government Ministers joined Fiji Airways staff to welcome the aircraft.A traditional Rotuman ceremony of welcome was accorded to His Excellency the President, who stepped off the A330 as its first official guest. The aircraft has been christened ‘Island of Rotuma’, following Fiji Airways’ naming convention for its fleet after Fiji’s islands.His Excellency the President stated: “This aircraft is more than just another addition to the fleet of our national airline. It is a symbol of a modern, progressive nation, which remains proud of its roots, culture and identity, while moving with the times to embrace the opportunities of the future.”The new A330-300, the largest in the fleet, has 289 seats in Economy and 24 in Business Class. The new plane features enhanced mood lighting, increased cargo space and a Quiet Zone in Economy Class. Other product features and configuration match the current 200-series fleet.It will be deployed largely on the airline’s busy long haul routes of Los Angeles and Hong Kong.His Excellency added: “This aircraft will bring real economic opportunities for our people, because almost sixty-five percent of all visitors who travel to Fiji travel on Fiji Airways. And the more seats we have, and the better our service and overall flight experience, the more we will be able to attract more travelers. We are competing in the premier division of air travel, and we want to win.”The Head of State also explained the significance of naming the aircraft after Rotuma: “By christening this Airbus after their [Rotumans’] island, we are honouring their contribution to our country…. I am sure that all Fijians of Rotuman descent will join the rest of the country in sharing their pride every time they see this aircraft.”The A330-300 is expected to begin commercial flights in early January. Fly Fiji AirwaysSource = Fiji Airwayslast_img read more

first_imgImage credit: AmadeusFintech. Much more than a buzzword, it is now spurring countless innovations that are disrupting financial services from banking to insurance.Last year alone, over $19b was invested in Fintech startups globally, cumulating in over $40b invested in the last five years.Fintech’s growth seems unstoppable, and for good reason: ultimately, it is enabling us to manage our financial lives in an easier, more personalised, less expensive and more secure way.Now Fintech has hit the travel industry. Travel agencies can unlock these benefits and more as Amadeus partners with two pioneers in Fintech innovation to bring its recently announced B2B Wallet Prepaid product to market.To this end Amadeus is partnering with MasterCard to offer travel agencies payment acceptance and security around the globe, as well as better protection against supplier default when using B2B Wallet. Amadeus’ solution will build on MasterCard’s vast global network to expand virtual B2B payments in travel.Amadeus is also partnering with Ixaris to drive efficient virtual card management on B2B Wallet. With its innovative payments technology, Ixaris allows travel agents to easily create and add funds to their virtual payment cards.Ixaris, having won the Cards International’s Prepaid Innovation Award two years in a row, has been a pioneer in payments ever since it launched the first virtual prepaid card in Europe in 2003.“Virtual card technology is the ideal application of Fintech innovation for the travel industry,” Celia Pereiro, Head of Travel Payments said.“By combining the strengths of Amadeus, MasterCard and Ixaris, we bring flexibility, efficiency and confidence to travel agent B2B payments. Since we launched the product in some markets in February we have seen overwhelming demand for it and today have customers in 10 European countries.”The Amadeus B2B Wallet Solution will be gradually rolled out in select Asia Pacific markets in 2017 to bring travel agencies a virtual payments product with the option of either earning or saving cash when paying travel providers.“MasterCard has a history of successful, long-term partnerships across the entire travel eco-system,” Hany Fam, MasterCard Enterprise Partnership, said.“With our global acceptance, advanced security and automatic consolidation, Amadeus B2B Wallet gives travel agencies a host of reasons to leave cash, checks and other payment mechanisms behind, saving time and money. We look forward to further evolving our partnership with Amadeus – to shape the future of travel by enabling safe, simple and smart end-to-end experiences for businesses and consumers alike.”“We are proud to be working with Amadeus to help develop its B2B wallet proposition and now to extend it to countries around the world with our prepaid virtual payments technology at its core,” Ixaris Group CEO Alex Mifsud said.“This development is a strong endorsement of our strategy to develop B2B payments that suit specific industries, and – as is the case with Amadeus – supplying the payment capability to innovative and disruptive companies. Travel, and in particular, online travel, is an industry with huge potential to benefit from the changes in the way we pay, receive and send money.” AmadeusSource = Amadeuslast_img read more

first_imgVisitors will now get a chance to escape scorching summer heat and enjoy exceptional rides and attractions with the ‘Family and Friends’ offer launched by Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.Running from July 10 to September 9, the promotion will allow guests to purchase four Bronze admission tickets for the price of three at only AED 825.  Groups consisting of more than four members can also buy up to three additional bronze tickets at only AED 206.25 per ticket.The all-new Ferrari World Abu Dhabi has launched record-breaking roller coaster, Flying Aces, and the interactive family-friendly ride, Benno’s Great Race, and many others.Guests will also be eligible to enter a lucky draw and win various rewards, including a Maserati and AED 1 million in cash as part of the ‘Say Yas’ summer campaign running on Yas Island. This new offer will be available only when tickets are purchased at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi’s ticket counter.last_img read more

first_imgTaiwan is blessed with plenty of natural resources that can be used to draw visitors, such as the three-kilometer long golden beach between Yanliao and Fulong in the Northeast Coast. For its soft, highly cohesive white quartz sands, this beach is acknowledged by the World Sand Sculpting Association to be the best for making sand sculptures in Taiwan.The first Fulong International Sand Sculpture Festival was held in 2008 to promote sand sculpting art in Taiwan. This year’s festival from May 6 to July 9, 2017 will be jointly held by the Administration and the Fullon Hotels & Resorts. By co-organising the event with the company, the Administration hopes to instil different energy into the festival while attracting even more visitors.This year’s festival theme is ‘Celebrating the 10th Anniversary: A Castle of Golden Sands in Fulong’. This summer, some skilled sand sculptors will present to the public a magical castle of golden quartz sands that they’ve built.last_img read more

first_img Big Data Analytics Nuevora Sutherland Global Services 2016-11-11 Seth Welborn Sutherland Global Services, a global BPO and technology-enabled services company, has announced the acquisition of Nuevora, a top 10 big data analytics firm, in order to further help clients gain stronger insights from big data and then use that information to retain and grow customers.With the acquisition of Nuevora, Sutherland advances its big data capabilities and strengthens its Digital Practice Division in order to address a fundamental challenge—trying to translate massive amounts of data into action that is immediately useful. Nuevora’s big data analytics and applications complement Sutherland’s analytics network to quickly and uniquely convert data into predictive and prescriptive insights.The acquisition allows Sutherland to offer its customers an end-to-end set of analytics capabilities that can achieve faster results, greater business outcomes, improved efficiencies, productivity, and smarter BPO services, according to Sutherland.Sutherland’s clients will be able to receive a more comprehensive portfolio of services to help them on their digital transformation journey. That portfolio now includes predictive and prescriptive data analytics to go with strategic consulting and innovative design thinking.“Our clients are increasingly amassing vast quantities of customer data in their day-to-day business,” said Dilip Vellodi, Sutherland chairman and CEO. “Nuevora brings an immense competitive differentiator to Sutherland, giving our customers the ability to monetize their data assets, provision their analytic platforms, and deliver new predictive and prescriptive insights.”Nuevora will continue to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sutherland and will be led by Nuevora’s founder and CEO, Phani Nagarjuna. He will also assume the role of chief analytics officer responsible for Suther’and’s global analytics business operations.”The combination of Nuevora and Sutherland offer the marketplace an end-to-end Business Process as a Service set of capabilities that can drive operational excellence based on powerful predictive analytics and machine learning,” said Nagarjuna said.Scott SliferIn other news, Sutherland Global Services has announced the appointment of Scott Slifer as SVP and Global Head of Mortgage Industry Vertical for Sutherland Mortgage Services.Slifer joined Sutherland in April 2016, bringing more than 26 years’ experience and deep domain and business acumen into Sutherland’s strategic industry vertical. Immediately prior to joining Sutherland, Slifer worked at PHH Mortgage, where he was responsible for all aspects and growth and profitability for PHH’s Private Label Solutions, managing client relationships and sales/operations support to produce new originations.Over the course of his career, Slifer has held positions with Citi, Freddie Mac, ABN, AMRO, and GE. November 11, 2016 669 Views Sutherland Acquires Big Data Analytics Firm Nuevoralast_img read more

first_imgMay 27 , 2019 The apple industry remained extremely competitive on the world stage. Apple exports rose to NZ$732.9m in 2018 from NZ$691m in 2017. New cultivars such as Jazz and Envy provided both diversification and increased value. In addition, with export values reaching NZ$115m (up from NZ$93.8m in 2017), the potato industry has seen a shift from fresh potato exports to processed potato products. Onions, peas and squash have remained integral parts of our horticultural export mix over the years.New Zealand exported horticultural produce to 128 countries. The top five markets are Continental Europe, Australia, the U.S., China and Japan. Together they account for close to NZ$3.7bn and a little over two-thirds (68%) of the total exports. Exports to Asia recorded a significant jump of NZ$912m to NZ$2.068bn year-on-year.”Extraordinary growth” for New Zealand horticulture“Our industry is well diversified, and it continues to adapt to consumer and market needs to ensure New Zealand products remain in demand and sell at a premium overseas,” says David Hughes, CEO, Plant & Food Research.“Part of the premium derives from our innovative and sustainable global reputation. We look forward to helping all our sectors realise their potential and deliver a smart green future for New Zealand.”Mike Chapman, chief executive of Horticulture New Zealand, says: “We are delighted to witness the extraordinary growth of our industry over the last 20 years. We’re committed to creating an enduring environment where the industry can continue to prosper and achieve our common goal.” Could early sweet apple ‘Posy’ herald rosy future … New Zealand horticultural exports grew significantly in value last year, with wine, kiwifruit and apples driving the increase to NZ$5.5bn from NZ$5.1bn the year before. According to the latest Fresh Facts, published annually by Plant & Food Research since 1999, horticultural exports tripled from NZ$1.7bn 20 years ago. They now accounted for almost 10% of New Zealand’s total merchandise exports. Kiwifruit and wine were the two main drivers for New Zealand’s horticultural success in 2018. Around a third of the export revenue is attributable to kiwifruit (NZ$1.86bn, up from NZ$1.66bn in 2017). Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit has proven popular in key export markets, now accounting for around 40% of the crop. Wine contributed to another 31% of total horticulture exports (NZ$1.69bn, up from NZ$1.66bn in 2017). Sauvignon blanc is still the main crop, but other wines, particularly Pinot noir, Chardonnay and Pinot gris, are also increasing in production. You might also be interested incenter_img Applewood gears up for the 2019 harvest season as … LPS ’19 preview: South Africa anticipates challeng … U.S.: ‘Apples are often on the tariff carousel’, s …last_img read more

first_imgPerthSingapore Airlines Singapore Airlines currently operates four daily flights to Perth from their Singapore hub with a mix of Boeing 777-200 and Airbus A330 aircraft, but in May 2018 the airline’s new 787-10 will replace one of these services. The 787-10s will feature Singapore Airlines’ new regional cabin products and will seat 337 customers in two classes, with 36 Business Class and 301 Economy Class seats.Perth will become the second scheduled destination to be served by Singapore Airlines’ new Boeing 787-10 fleet and the first Australian destination to welcome the new aircraft. “Deploying our brand new 787-10 product to Perth reinforces the importance the city plays in our global network and will help to cater for the growing demand we have seen from the West Australian Market,” said Singapore Airlines Regional Vice President, Mr Philip Goh.“I am looking forward to welcoming the new aircraft to Perth and showcasing our new regional cabin products to our customers.”Prior to the launch of services to Perth, the 787-10s will be operated on selected flights to Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur for crew training purposes, before the first scheduled service to Osaka in May 2018.IMAGE: Flight Testing of the SIA 787-10 at Charlestonlast_img read more

first_imgCentral AmericaPonantspecials PONANT is offering a $1,300pp credit towards the cost of flights across 31 Central America cruises during 2019 and 2020 when booked before 31 March 2019.By booking early, guests can also enjoy the best PONANT Bonus discount available, with savings of up to 30%.7, 10 and 13 night cruises feature a range of evocative destinations including the Great Blue Hole in Belize, Antigua, Granada, Honduras, Guatemala, the often overlooked Mayan ruins in El Salvador and the exotic bird life of Costa Rica. …… while travelling in refined comfort aboard one of PONANT’s latest-generation small luxury expedition ships.31 itineraries, many featuring PONANT’s new Explorer ships Le Champlain and Le Dumont-d’Urville, along with sister-ships L’Austral, Le Boréal and Le Soléal, explore coastlines and islands with an emphasis on cultural discoveries and encounters with local populations.last_img read more

center_img Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was announced Monday as one of eight finalists for the NFL’s inaugural NFL Sportsmanship Award.The winner of the award will be determined by a vote of NFL players and will be announced during the 4th Annual NFL Honors show Jan. 31 on NBC. The winner will be presented with a trophy, along with a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice from the NFL Foundation. The award will be presented annually to the NFL player who best demonstrates the qualities of on-field sportsmanship, including fair play, respect for the game and opponents, and integrity in competition.Each NFL team nominated one of its players for the award. A panel of former players from the NFL Legends Community — Warrick Dunn, Curtis Martin, Karl Mecklenburg and Leonard Wheeler — determined the finalists.The other award finalists are Carolina Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis, Minnesota Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway, Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu, Denver Broncos defensive end DeMarcus Ware, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith, Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson and New England Patriots wide receiver and special-teams player Matthew Slater. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

first_img“It (is) much more natural for me to pick up a blitzing linebacker than to throw that pitch,” he joked. – / 15 Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling And here was the result:After throwing out #Dbacks ceremonial 1st pitch #Cardinals @CashOutHump, “I wasn’t even that nervous at the draft” pic.twitter.com/KIDxi4ECWo— Craig Grialou (@CraigAZSports) May 12, 2015 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact The Arizona Cardinals’ latest first-round draft pick got to further introduce himself to Valley sports fans Monday.D.J. Humphries, who was taken 24th overall in the 2015 NFL Draft, was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Chase Field prior to the start of an Arizona Diamondbacks-Washington Nationals series opener.The Diamondbacks teased the ceremonial pitch on Twitter as the 21-year-old offensive tackle first stepped on the field.last_img read more

first_imgCardinals vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough doesn’t appear anxious to earn a promotion and leave Arizona. At least, not for any jobs that are vacant at the moment.McDonough, who reports to Cardinals general manager Steve Keim, told NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco that he has agreed to a four-year extension with Arizona when asked if he was a candidate for any front-office openings.The report likely means McDonough isn’t among the candidates to fill Doug Whaley’s shoes in Buffalo after the Bills’ GM was fired over the weekend. It also indicates the Cardinals’ front office has retained one of its leaders for the time being. Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact McDonough is considered the most sought-after member of Arizona’s football personnel staff. He was among three candidates to become the San Francisco 49ers general manager, but the Niners instead hired former safety John Lynch. 0 Comments   Share   last_img read more

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Robert Baker, the older brother of Arizona Cardinals safety Budda Baker, died after being shot Sunday morning in Seattle, reports The News Tribune.Baker, who is entering his second NFL season, posted a message from his family on his Twitter and Instagram feeds acknowledging the death of his brother.“On behalf of the Baker family we want to thank everyone for their generous outpouring of love, support and prayers during this extremely difficult time at the passing of our dearly beloved son, brother and husband, Robert Baker. We ask that you respect our family’s privacy in this difficult time,” the statement read. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo 32 Comments   Share   Top Stories Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Arizona Cardinals second round draft pick Budda Baker (36) works out during an NFL football rookie minicamp at the team’s training facility, Friday, May 12, 2017, in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York) According to The News Tribune, police responded to a report of a gunshot victim lying in the street in the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle. The 29-year-old victim was pronounced dead en route to the hospital.A Sports Illustrated piece from December of 2016 detailed Robert Baker’s relationship with Budda.Robert, who had just been released following an eight-year prison sentence, said he wanted to be an example to his younger brother.“Let me be the prime example,” Robert told him, “of why you need to do it the right way.”last_img read more

first_imgDropping it inHere’s an example of Rosen’s picturesque ability to throw receivers open.Arizona trailed 17-10 when Rosen opened up a five-play, 80-yard drive with a dime to Seals-Jones, who breaks off linebacker Bobby Wagner on the inside and just in front of a defensive back bearing down on him from behind. The pass is inches out of the reach of Wagner, who is in solid position to break up a pass that isn’t closer to the sideline.“When you look at some of the throws, particularly the two to Ricky, late in the game, tight windows, very impressive,” head coach Steve Wilks said. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires 7 Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories On several occasions, Rosen threw his receivers open, putting the ball through tight windows and keeping them out of reach of defenders.Here are five throws that stood out from Arizona’s 20-17 home loss to Seattle.The home run ballLet’s start out with a deep ball that would’ve been close to a score.A play-action shot to J.J. Nelson hit the wideout well enough after he blew past the Seahawks’ backend defenders, but Nelson couldn’t come up with the catch in the second quarter. The drop forced the Cardinals to put together a lengthy drive that was aided by a pass interference penalty, putting Arizona in the red zone. Fantastic throw from Rosen. Ruled incomplete as only 1 foot came down in bounds though pic.twitter.com/HCwDPzHsyY— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 30, 2018Rosen’s pass had enough zip that it got to Williams before Thomas, who wasn’t fooled, could converge. Williams made the grab, and the play was first ruled a touchdown before replay showed he didn’t get a second foot cleanly inbounds. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen (3) throws over Seattle Seahawks defensive tackle Jarran Reed (90),offensive guard Germain Ifedi (65) and defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (98) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri) Rosen takes hit late from twisting DE and hits TE in stride pic.twitter.com/nlB5ltY0J3— Matt Waldman (@MattWaldman) October 1, 2018Close but no cigarAt the Seattle 27-yard line with 24 seconds left in the first quarter, Rosen not only got the ball off with a Seahawks defender bearing down on his backside — he put it in the perfect spot for a catch by receiver Chad Williams.As was a theme Sunday, the quarterback put the ball in between two defenders, forcing Williams to go get the ball high and at the pylon, out of danger of being intercepted.“I saw man across the board, dropped back, tried to push (safety Earl Thomas) to one side and throw to the other,” Rosen said. “Real close but no cigar.” Josh Rosen to Chad Williams touchdown pic.twitter.com/9IAarIn9RT— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) September 30, 2018The Cardinals used the momentum from the play above to score.A protection-heavy package put just two receivers — Williams and Larry Fitzgerald — out on a deep crossing route from 22 yards out in the fourth quarter.That gave Rosen what he called “hours” to make a play, and he admitted to going back and forth, determining if he could connect with either Fitzgerald, who ended up on the right side of the field, or Williams. Rosen eventually settled for a bullet of a pass at the knees of Williams, which once again kept it out of the hands of the Seattle defensive backs. Thomas, who was trailing Williams on the play, ended up breaking his leg on the play, and Rosen even spoke to that in detailing the touchdown pass after the game.“It’s not really as much a scheme to it as we just got heavy play action and we got two guys on routes and hopefully one of them will find a way,” the rookie said. “Just kind of sat back there for awhile, had Larry and Chad on two really deep crossing routes and kind of felt the pocket, I had some time so went back and forth a couple times. Maybe if I’d had gave Chad a little better ball, Earl wouldn’t have been on the ground. I feel kind of bad about that.” – / 28 We need to import some legit receivers in to save Rosen pic.twitter.com/EzxdiylXao— Ian Wharton (@NFLFilmStudy) September 30, 2018Rosen could nitpick that the ball should have traveled 60 yards through the air instead of 55, but a catchable ball is a catchable ball.Stepping up in the pocketRelated LinksCardinals drops, Earl Thomas’ errant finger stand out vs. SeahawksIn a loss that had plenty of blown opportunities, Dawson’s kicks stand outCardinals open up playbook but go conservative late in loss to SeahawksThe Cardinals are 0-4 yet the biggest takeaway is cause for celebrationRosen’s performance provides rare bright spot for CardinalsThis one looked like trouble upon the release. Rosen didn’t panic with the pocket collapsing toward him, stepping into a throw just before he was clobbered by a Seattle pass-rusher.More frighteningly, he put the ball in the middle of five players: two receivers from Arizona and three defenders. Dog wuuuuutttttt pic.twitter.com/WxhyDMSVjC— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) October 1, 2018Patience, accuracy and a bullet The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Josh Rosen’s composure might’ve been the big surprise in his debut as the Arizona Cardinals’ starting quarterback Sunday.Take away his lack of NFL experience, and it was still as eye-popping of a performance as one could have in completing 15 of 27 passes for just 180 yards. Save for missing a very wide open Christian Kirk in the end zone while in the red zone, the rookie’s game against the Seattle Seahawks couldn’t have been much more impressive. But like Rosen’s other strikes from his starting debut, the only player with his head turned is a teammate, tight end Ricky Seals-Jones, who made the grab while streaking along the right sideline for a 31-yard gain to start off what would become a game-tying touchdown drive in the front end of the fourth quarter.last_img read more

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Just 50 minutes SW of Sydney, new half-day Porsche tours of the historic Macarthur region are now on offer, allowing budget-challenged, sports car lovers to realise their driving dreams – if only for a few hours.Run by Macarthur locals, Paul Rodgers and Yasmin Taplin, ‘Sports Car on Hire’ was launched last year with  full day tours but the new half-day option for $450 is set to see even more aspirational drivers get behind the wheel of one of the sleek and powerful Porsche Boxster S convertibles.The novel tours trace scenic routes through the hills and dales of the Macarthur region, passing wineries, heritage towns and some of Australia’s oldest farms and colonial houses.  Included in each tour is a morning or afternoon tea stop, fuel, insurance and public liability cover. While guests drive themselves, the tour fleet will be led and guided by an experienced Porsche driver.The tours are ideal for anyone keen to experience first-hand the glamour of one of the world’s most luxurious cars without the expense of owning one. Full-day and weekend tours are also available.  ‘Sports car on Hire’ also caters for clubs, conference delegates, incentive groups and also weddings.The half-day tours are available seven days a week and cost $450 per car (two people per car at $225 each). Drivers must be 25 or older and hold an unrestricted driver’s licence. For drivers wishing to travel solo, the cost is $450.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletterThe Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company has announced the launch of Impact Experiences,  a Community Footprints programme offering group guests the opportunity to participate in socially responsible activities that make a positive impact on the destination while fostering collaboration and a great sense of accomplishment.The announcement was made at the Travel + Social Good Summit held at the United Nations, a conference focused on ushering in the travel industry of the future; an industry in which all travel will have a positive economic, environmental, cultural and social impact for travellers, destinations and residents; Impact Experiences offer signature social and environmental impact activities that make a meaningful contribution and enable participants to feel personally connected to the local community.“We are proud to make Impact Experiences available at every one of our hotels around the world to provide our guests with an option to address local social and environmental issues,” said Herve Humler, President and Chief Operations Officer of The Ritz-Carlton. “Impact Experiences have the power through coordinated efforts and volume to be a significant force for good.”Examples of signature Impact Experiences organised by Ritz-Carlton hotels in local communities include a heritage farming project on an organic farm in Arizona; supporting critical coastal trail and rain forest restoration in Kapalua, Hawaii; protecting the natural wetland environment in Donau-Auen National Park near Vienna, Austria; planting the endangered native species of trees in Dubai; collaborating with The Battery Conservancy in New York to help beautify the public park; and building bird nests for migrating rare bird species at the remarkable wetland that is the Futian Mangrove Natural Reserve Area in Shenzhen, China.Impact Experiences also offer on-property activities that may be incorporated to a conference agenda during lunch breaks, receptions and coffee breaks. These include:Partnering with the hotel’s culinary team to prepare the ingredients for a regionally adapted dish for donation to a local hunger relief organisation.Assembling school supplies and art materials in backpacks for donation to students whose academic success is threatened by poverty.Collaborating in teams to assemble emergency preparedness kits to be shipped to a disaster relief facility or community organisation.Groups also have the opportunity to participate in an Impact Hour event, a programme that was designed through a participant hackathon at the 2014 Travel + Social Good Summit. The compelling and educational experience provides a platform for leaders from The Ritz-Carlton Community Footprints partners organisations to showcase how they are successfully addressing social and environmental issues.Go back to the e-newsletterlast_img read more

first_imgAs of Saturday 1 July, Emirates‘ signature A380 will offer a daily service to Nice. To celebrate the launch, Emirates, a Principal Partner of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, in conjunction with Monaco Tourism and Atout France, invited media guests, including LATTE, to enjoy a performance of the opera Pelléas et Mélisande by French composer, Claude Debussy. The Sydney Symphony Orchestra was led by visiting conductor Charles Dutoit, considered one of the greatest interpreters of French music, for the exceptional evening in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.The celebration of French culture is set to continue with the expanded capacity offered by Emirates’ new service, representing an increase of 44% between Dubai and Nice. Guests continuing on to Monaco will now have the option to transfer to the Principality via a helicopter flight with Monacair. The service will be complimentary for those travelling in First Class and €79 per passenger for those in Business Class.Australians are now among the top 10 nations visiting Monaco, intrigued by its unabashed luxury, fascinating history and five-star culture.Get a taste of Monaco’s incredible cuisine and legendary hotels with Signature Luxury Travel & Style‘s review.last_img read more

first_imgGo back to the enewsletterAdding a third property to its portfolio of luxury resorts in Vietnam, Anantara Hotels and Resorts has unveiled the development of its newest villa retreat which is scheduled to open in late November 2018. Located in a secluded bay in south central Vietnam, Anantara Quy Nhon Villas will comprise 26 one- and two-bedroom ocean-facing villas settled amid 7.2 hectares of landscaped tropical gardens.Anantara Quy Nhon seamlessly blends into the natural environment. Locally-sourced materials, traditional craftsmanship and regional influences are discretely incorporated into the resort’s contemporary design.Spacious villas with their sleek timber and granite sundecks, minimalist plunge pools and extended low overhang roofs have a fresh, contemporary feel. Vietnamese blue stone keeps the look of the common areas vernacular while granite and marble elements introduce a touch of modernity.Anantara Quy Nhon Beach Villa.With a focus on personalised service, each villa at the new resort will come with dedicated butler services and a range of customisable luxury amenities such as preferred room scent ranging from exotic lemongrass to refreshing green tea, Anantara signature soap collection and in-villa wine cellar stocked with fine vintages and delicatessen.A destination in its own right, the dining outlets at Anantara Quy Nhon will celebrate the abundant local seafood and regional flavours. At Sea Fire Salt, the all-day dining restaurant, the Salt and Wine Gurus elevate the dining experience with expert advice and guided tastings.Anantara Quy Nhon Hillside Pool VillaAt the swim-up bar, premium cocktails, Vietnamese craft beers and Cuban cigars are served in a spectacular ocean-facing setting. In-villa dining aims to recreate a restaurant experience in the privacy of one’s villa with gourmet breakfast in bed, fully catered poolside barbecues and a luxury Vietnamese street food concept.Anantara’s signature Dining by Design delights with “Castaway” island picnics and exhilarating fishing trawler expeditions followed by five-star dining.Perched high on the hillside overlooking a serene bay, Anantara Spa is a jungle-shrouded wellbeing paradise. Nature-inspired treatment suites boast double massage beds and oversized bathtubs for nourishing coconut milk soaks, while breezy cliffside pavilions bring the art of relaxation to new heights.Anantara Quy Nhon Spa Treatment RoomAnantara Quy Nhon guests will be able to take advantage of Anantara’s signature Balance Wellness concept offering a flexible approach to feeling good, through an inspirational range of wellness experiences and the total freedom to explore and indulge in between. The Masters of Wellness practitioner calendar allows guests to book private sessions with alternative therapists who are trusted experts in holistic healing.Rich in cultural attractions, Binh Dinh province, of which Quy Nhon is the capital city, is an attractive option for families, couples and groups of friends in search of meaningful and shared experiences with easy access to local cultural attractions, such as the relics of Champa civilisation and centuries-old Buddhist pagodas.The resort is a 50-minute drive from Quy Nhon Airport, or Phu Cat Airport as it is known locally, and only a 20-minute drive from downtown Quy Nhon. Daily flights into Phu Cat Airport are operated from Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.Go back to the enewsletterlast_img read more

first_imgCheck this out: Explore Skyscanner’s Hotel App for iPhoneStep 3: Find your wayYou’ve got your hotel’s location on your watch, it’s time to find your way back. Tap on the hotel map view and, via Apple Maps, you’ll be able to see walking directions to get back to your hotel. Our Apple Watch app also tells you how long the walk will take. To locate your hotel and tack your way back, the app uses your iPhone’s data plan or local Wi-Fi, so make sure you use whichever makes the most sense for you. Get more useful hints and tips about Skyscanner apps and tools:Find cheap flights with Skyscanner’s Best Time to Book toolWe share our insider knowledge to help you save money on booking your flight.How to use Skyscanner’s ‘Everywhere’ search toolSearch for flights to anywhere and everywhere with Skyscanner.Get the best air fares with Skyscanner’s Price AlertsNever miss out on that low-priced air fare. We reveal how to get the best deal on your chosen route.6 tips to finding the perfect flightMake your money go further – find the perfect flight with Skyscanner.Skyscanner is the world’s travel search engine, helping your money go further on flights, hotels and car rentals.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Ready to make getting lost en route to your holiday digs a thing of the past? Click here to download the Skyscanner Hotels app for iPhone now! Step 4: Notifications at a glanceAvoid looking like a tourist, walking around with your phone out searching for directions with the ‘Glances’ feature on the Apple Watch. This allows you to get all the information you need about your hotel without ever having to pull out your iPhone. Swipe through the Glances to see your directions and they will even update with the Map app to show you your next turn, so you’ll know exactly what lies beyond every corner. Step 2: Add your hotel as a favouriteAfter finding your hotel through the Skyscanner Hotels app, make sure to ‘favourite’ it by tapping the little heart icon. If you book your hotel using the iPhone app, this hotel will be favourited once you confirm your booking on the prompt screen. Once you’ve synched your Apple Watch with your iPhone you’ll be able to browse ‘favourited’ hotels on your wrist. RelatedIntroducing our new flights appWhether you’re planning your next trip, or just sitting on the bus to work wishing you were a million miles away, searching for the best flights has never been easier with Skyscanner’s new and improved app. We’ve worked hard and took on board your feedback to produce this shiny update…Find your ideal hotel with Skyscanner’s Hotels AppFind your ideal hotel with the Skyscanner Hotels App – we show you how with our handy video guide.Explore Skyscanner’s hotel app for iPhone and iPadBag a bargain on your next hotel booking with this new hotels app. You’ve managed to find and book the perfect hotel, but you lose your bearings after a hard day pavement pounding, sightseeing, or too many jugs of sangria. Don’t panic, use Skyscanner’s new Apple Watch app to get you home.You could ask a local to help find your way back, but you don’t speak the lingo and smoke signals will only get you so far. Hello 21st century! Now you can have directions to your front door on your wrist, with the new Apple Watch and the Skyscanner companion app.Download the iPhone appSounds great, but how does it work? Read on to find out more.Step 1: Get the ‘Find your way’ feature for your Apple WatchIf you already have the Skyscanner Hotels app on your iPhone, all you’ll need to do is update to the latest version of our app. New users will need to download the app and the new feature will appear on your Apple Watch. You’ll even get a helpful tutorial on your iPhone to show what the companion app does on your watch.last_img read more

first_imgNEW YORK, NY – The British Virgin Islands have again been recognized in several categories among the “Top 100 Caribbean/Atlantic” diving destinations in the SCUBA Diving magazine 2010 Reader’s Choice Awards, according to a press release received by Elite Traveler.SCUBA Diving magazine’s Reader’s Choice Awards highlight the results of an annual, impartial survey that allows SCUBA Diving readers to rate their favorite diving destinations. The British Virgin Islands were named the First Place winner for Top Beginner Diving, Second Place for Top Underwater Photography, and Third Place for Top Wreck Diving.“On behalf of the many seasoned dive professionals throughout the British Virgin Islands who strive to provide our visitors with rewarding, unique and safe dive vacations experiences, we are privileged to again be named among the very best dive destinations by SCUBA Diving’s readers,” said Ms. Hadassah Ward, Acting Director, British Virgin Islands Tourist Board. “These awards are especially gratifying because they come directly from the readers of an authoritative diving publication, and they recognize both the natural beauty of our underwater resources and the very high quality of the professional guides and operators who carefully share these treasures with our visitors.”Set against a backdrop of unspoiled natural beauty, the British Virgin Islands allow visitors to explore and discover world-class diving, sailing, shopping, dining, and hospitality. After descending the depths to explore a century-old shipwreck, dive enthusiasts can enjoy peaceful, relaxed, luxurious style unique to the BVI. BVI Wreck Week 2010 tops the list of several exciting and high-quality dive offerings for the coming season. This will be the first year that the Dive Operators and the Tourist Board have partnered to host divers at various functions from June 12 through 18, 2010.A recent extension of the runway at Tortola has also made the destination easier to access by private jet.About The British Virgin Islands Tourist BoardThe British Virgin Islands Tourist Board is a statutory organization of the Government of the Virgin Islands (UK) responsible for promoting the British Virgin Islands as a destination. The BVI Tourist Board invites everyone to experience the seduction of our pristine and exquisite home. For more information on all that BVI has to offer, visit www.bvitourism.com.last_img read more

first_imgLUCERNE, Switzerland — GaultMillau Switzerland and its sponsoring-partner, the Lucerne watch manufacturerCarl F. Bucherer, have voted. The “Hotel of the year 2008” has been confirmed. The crown for extraordinary Swiss ‘hotelsmanship’ goes to the Grand Hotel Kronenhof in Pontresina. On 25 August, the “2008 Hotel of the Year” Award was presented by GaultMilliau Switzerland and Carl F. Bucherer to the Grand Hotel Kronenhof, which has been under the management of Heinz E. and Jenny Hunkeler since autumn 2006. Attending the festive occasion in the hotel’s grounds were Thomas Morf, CEO of Carl F. Bucherer, and Boris Blank, the watch brand’s ambassador, together with many guests from the political and tourism circles in the Engadine. “The Kronenhof has always worn a crown, but this distinction gives it another more beautiful one, indeed the most beautiful crown”, acknowledged Heinz E. Hunkeler proudly in his speech of thanks.For the second time now, Carl F. Bucherer acted as sponsor for the selection of the GaultMillau hotel of the year. The independent watch manufacturer with its head offices in Lucerne was pleased that the distinction was awarded to the only five-star hotel in Pontresina. The Grand Hotel Kronenhof distinguished itself through its exclusivity, innovation, tradition and high level of quality. “A hotel was selected, which reflects the values of our company and our products perfectly”, explained Bruno Jufer, Marketing Director for Carl F. Bucherer.Carl F. Bucherer will also assist GaultMillau in its role as the main sponsor of the “hotel of the year” award in 2009. So the search for perfection will continue, whether in the hotel industry or at the Carl F. Bucherer Manufacture.last_img read more

first_img LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Actor Alec Baldwin is once again using Twitter to question Dylan Farrow’s allegations of sexual abuse from her adoptive father Woody Allen.Baldwin on Sunday compared Farrow to the “To Kill a Mockingbird” novel character Mayella Ewell, who falsely accuses a man of rape.Earlier this month, Baldwin said Farrow’s renunciation of Allen and his work is “unfair and sad.”Farrow has said Allen molested her in an attic in 1992 when she was 7 years old.Allen has long denied the allegations and was investigated but not charged.Farrow in January gave her first on-camera interview to “CBS This Morning” about her longstanding abuse allegations against the 82-year-old filmmaker.Baldwin in his tweet credited Farrow for having “persistence of emotion” but did not explain what he meant by that. Alec Baldwin criticizes Dylan Farrow’s Woody Allen claims by The Associated Press Posted Jan 28, 2018 4:29 pm PDT Last Updated Jan 29, 2018 at 6:20 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Emaillast_img read more

first_img by The Associated Press Posted May 25, 2018 2:37 pm PDT Last Updated May 25, 2018 at 3:20 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Paul Bloch, a veteran Hollywood publicist for Rogers & Cowan who counted John Travolta, Eddie Murphy and Tom Cruise among his clients in a career that spanned five decades, has died after a long illness. He was 78.Bloch’s friend and fellow publicist Stan Rosenfield says Bloch died Friday in Los Angeles at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.Rosenfield called Bloch “THE most respected veteran in the business.”The Brooklyn native started with the firm soon after college, rising to co-chairman after heading up its new contemporary music division in 1975, with Diana Ross, Johnny Ramone and Barry Gibb among his clients. Over the years, he deftly handled crisis management for A-listers, including Murphy after his traffic stop for picking up a prostitute and Cruise after his couch-jumping incident on Oprah. Veteran publicist to the stars Paul Bloch dead at age 78last_img read more