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Swan Lake Fire Special Travel Advisory


first_imgThe Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire area has been expanded to include the Sterling Highway corridor for the safety of firefighting aircraft and personnel. In a release from DOF, hot and dry weather coupled with persistent winds from the northwest are pushing both smoke and the east flank of the fire towards the highway corridor and transmission line. Smoke impacts will reduce visibility and will cause delays for all traffic between milepost 58 and 75.5. All motorists are encouraged to drive slowly and cautiously with headlights on. Pilots need to be aware that large water scooping aircraft will be using Skilak and Hidden lakes. Recreationists in these areas need to remain alert and vigilant about staying away from the center of the lakes while these aircraft assist the fire crews working along the fire’s edge. The Alaska Department of Transportation is dedicated to keeping weekend traffic moving with the use of flaggers and pilot cars. Travelers are advised to be prepared for long delays and should consider bringing extra water and food, as well as extra ice and coolers to keep fish cold. Homer Electric has been in communication with railbelt utilities so that they will be prepared. This action will not affect consumer power on the Kenai Peninsula or points north.center_img Motorists are advised to allow plenty of extra time to reach destinations and to be on alert to give the right of way to emergency response vehicles. Skilak Lake Road is a narrow gravel road and should not be considered as an option for recreation vehicles, fifth-wheel trailers and semi tractors with trailers. Continued updates will be posted as they are made available. In consideration of firefighter and public safety the Homer Electric Association, working in coordination with fire managers, is prepared to de-energize the 115,000-volt Transmission Tie Line that connects Bradley Lake Hydroelectic facility to the rest of the railbelt utilities. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Last updated on June 26th, 2019 at 09:25 amThe Alaska Interagency Incident Management Team has been working closely with officials from the Kenai Peninsula Office of Emergency Management, Alaska Department of Transportation, Alaska State Troopers, the Homer Electric Association, Granite Construction and other cooperating agencies, to be prepared should the smoke and activity of the Swan Lake Fire affect the Sterling Highway corridor and Homer Electric transmission lines.last_img read more


2020 Ford Expedition reintroduces countryposh King Ranch edition


first_img 2019 Cadillac Escalade review: Large, luxurious and long in the tooth 0 Post a comment Now playing: Watch this: 76 Photos Review • 2019 Ford Expedition Review More about 2019 Ford Expedition Max Platinum 2018 Ford Expedition Max Platinum: Large and luxurious More From Roadshow 2019 Ford Expedition Max Platinum: Large scale meets upscale 2020 Cadillac CT6 first drive: Going out with a Blackwing bang Ford Share your voice 2019 Chevy Colorado ZR2 Bison: An off-road animal Tags Ford Enlarge ImageFord’s largest SUV is set to once again be crowned a king … of the ranch. Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow Last seen in 2017, the King Ranch name is coming back to the Ford Expedition, and it may be a tempting upgrade for buyers looking for just a little more bling.For the 2020 model year, Ford order guides show the big SUV will once again offer the King Ranch edition, slotting between the Limited and Platinum trims. Effectively, it might be a nice little half-step for buyers looking for extra gear without taking a full step into the expensive Platinum trim.CarsDirect, which first reported on the order guide on Friday, said the Expedition King Ranch will set a buyer back $74,290 after a mandatory destination charge. Adding four-wheel drive will cost an extra $3,130. It’ll also be available for both the standard Expedition and the larger Expedition Max; the latter will start at $76,985 including destination. Since Ford isn’t ready to show us the King Ranch just yet, all we can do is describe what’s set to differentiate the model from other Expeditions. Per the order guide, the exterior will sport a Stone Gray trim on the bumpers, roof rails and a set of power running boards. To beef things up further, there’ll be a set of 22-inch six-spoke aluminum wheels with painted pockets, too. Taking a seat inside the Expedition King Ranch will reveal loads of King Ranch branding, naturally. The interior will be awash in Del Rio leather with King Ranch logos embossed on each row of seats. The same logo will be present on the floor mats and aluminum door plates. A 360-degree camera with a split-view function will be standard equipment and the power-folding mirrors will match the rest of the exterior’s Stone Gray look.Ford hasn’t detailed the 2020 Expedition’s changes yet, but you can bet it will be keen to underscore the King Ranch’s return when it’s ready. SUVs 5:47last_img read more


Britain could attract 37bn funding to develop new antibiotics


first_imgClose A British government-backed review released on Thursday (14 May) is seeking billions of dollars to fund the development of 15 new antibiotics to counter antibiotic resistance.The review, led by former Goldman Sachs chief economist Jim ONeill, said the lump sum payments could add up to $16-$37bn (£10-23.5bn) over 10 years, but should only be made when companies have fully developed a successful bug-killing drug.Seen in a global context, and compared to the cost of inaction, its actually peanuts. Critically linked to that were also calling for an innovation fund, about $2bn perhaps over five years, that the pharmaceutical industry itself essentially finances, ONeill said.The review says that companies that develop new antibiotics should be awarded prize money of up to $3.5bn for each new drug, instead of selling the medication at a profit.Because if you come up with the specific incentives and rewards were suggesting to get them to produce more drugs, its essentially giving them a lot of financial relief. So we think its only right that they play a role in financing the research at the early stage, ONeill added.The prizes, of between $1.5bn and $3.5bn, should be funded in part by the pharma industry itself, ONeill said, probably also with input from national governments and the global taxpayer.I think the proposal were suggesting is better than what the pharma industry would like itself, which is much higher prices so they can just charge a lot more for it. I dont think that would be a better option for every individual in this country and elsewhere in the world, he said.The successful drugmaker would then be required to make no profit from its sales of the drugs to governments and healthcare providers around the world, ONeill added, saying this approach would de-link the profitability of a drug from its volume of sales.I think there are two core problems. Theres a demand problem and a supply problem. The paper weve published today focuses all about the supply issues of getting more drugs, he saidIn recent years, bugs resistant to multiple drugs have evolved at the same time as drugmakers have cut back investment in finding new ways to fight them, creating a global health threat as superbug strains of infections like tuberculosis and gonorrhoea have become untreatable.ONeill, who was asked last year by British Prime Minister David Cameron to take an economists view of the problem, said far too little is currently invested in hunting for new drugs against drug-resistant infections.In his initial report, ONeill estimated that anti-microbial resistance (AMR) could kill an extra 10 million people a year and cost up to $100tn by 2050 if it is not brought under control.ONeill has also proposed that a $2bn innovation fund financed by drug companies should be created to invest in early-stage research and speed up development of new medicines to fight drug-resistant superbugs.Sally Davies, the UK governments chief medical adviser, welcomed ONeills latest report, saying it would stimulate important conversations between governments, pharmaceutical companies and other funders.last_img read more


First span of Padma bridge installed


first_img1st span of Padma bridge installed on Saturday. Photo: Sazid HossainThe span installation work of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge began today, Saturday, with the first-ever span of the much-talked-about bridge installed around 10:15am this morning.The span was installed on pillar No. 37 and 38 at Jazira end of Shariatpur.Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader was present at the site and inspected the work himself.According to the bridges division of the road transport and bridges ministry, the 150-metre wide span weighing over 3,000 tonnes was hooked onto a crane on Sunday last and it took two days to take the span to the certain place.Bridges division officials said as much as 42 such spans will be installed to build the bridge.They said the construction work of some 16 pillars is currently underway.last_img read more


Mugabes party asks him to quit


first_imgZimbabwe`s president Robert Mugabe delivers a speech during a graduation ceremony at the Zimbabwe Open University in Harare, where he presides as the Chancellor on 17 November 2017. AFPZimbabwe was set for more political turmoil Saturday with protests planned as veterans of the independence war, activists and ruling party leaders called publicly for president Robert Mugabe to be forced from office.The marches will cap an unprecedented week in which generals seized power and put Mugabe under house arrest in a stunning turnaround for the president who has ruled since 1980.The 93-year-old autocrat did not resign in talks with the army chief on Thursday and sources suggested the veteran leader was “buying time” to negotiate an end to his 37 year reign.Mugabe appeared publicly for the first time at a pre-planned graduation ceremony in Harare on Friday, further stoking questions over the status of his discussions with General Constantino Chiwenga, who led the military power grab.Later in the day, eight of Mugabe’s ruling party’s 10 regional branches took to state television to call for him to go.Cornelius Mupereri, a spokesman for ZANU-PF’s Midlands region, was one of several party barons to appear on ZBC’s nightly news to read almost identical statements calling on Mugabe to quit.‘It’s done, it’s finished’Chris Mutsvangwa, chairman of the independence war veterans’ association, said “the game is up” for Mugabe and announced street protests against the president.“It’s done, it’s finished… The generals have done a fantastic job,” he said at a press conference in Harare.“We want to restore our pride and (Saturday) is the day… we can finish the job which the army started.”The veterans’ association supports ousted vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa-whose sacking sparked the army intervention on Tuesday.They are organising a gathering at a large sports field in a working class suburb on the outskirts of Harare.It was the location of Mugabe’s first speech after returning from exile in Mozambique in 1979.Demonstrators had begun to arrive in the area by midnight local time.The US embassy in Harare warned its citizens to avoid another protest-thought to be a pro-Mugabe counter-demonstration-expected to take place in Robert Mugabe Square in the centre of the capital.Other demonstrations are expected elsewhere in the country on Saturday.‘The same regime’Pastor Evan Mawarire, an outspoken Mugabe critic who rose to prominence last year with his #ThisFlag protest movement challenging the president over the economic crisis, called on Zimbabweans of all backgrounds to march with the war veterans.“The citizens are joining hands across political divides… across ideological divides,” he said in a live broadcast on Facebook.“We have joined hands with war veterans, with the church and young people. We will stand together for a new Zimbabwe… We are marching in order for us to thank our military.”Some Zimbabweans remain wary of the army’s intentions however.“Once things stabilise, once Mugabe is out of the way, we also want them out as well-they are from the same regime,” said Matthew Chakanetsa, a 35-year-old taxi driver.Despite appeals for Zimbabweans to turn out in force, it remained unclear whether demonstrators would heed the calls in a country where public protest has previously been violently suppressed.But a video emerged late on Friday of activists in the second city Bulawayo apparently offering free transport to Harare for residents eager to join Saturday’s march.‘We are not waiting’Zimbabwe’s military chiefs said in statement Friday they had detained some “criminals” in Mugabe’s government after their lightning power grab which appeared to be the climax of a dispute over who would succeed the veteran leader. They did not give any indication about whether Mugabe would remain head of state.Before being pushed out, vice president Mnangagwa had clashed repeatedly with Mugabe’s wife Grace, 52.Grace Mugabe and Mnangagwa were seen as the leading contenders to replace Mugabe but Mnangagwa had the tacit support of the armed forces, which viewed Grace-a political novice-with derision.The United States has called for the Zimbabwe army to quickly relinquish power.“We all should work together for a quick return to a civilian rule,” said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ahead of talks with African foreign ministers.Mugabe critic Mawarire, whose strike action in July 2016 was violently put down by security forces, added “we have to fight for ourselves”.“This time around, we are not waiting.”last_img

Cardinals Adjusting to New Offensive Scheme


first_img Press Conference  Print Friendly Version LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Finishing day two of the spring practice, the University of Louisville football program has a lot to learn. Learning new systems on both the offensive and defensive side of the football is going to take some time, and the UofL football players are enjoying the process.”I love it a lot,” sophomore quarterback Malik Cunningham said. “We all just like being here. It hasn’t been like this in a long time.”Not only are the Cardinals learning a new system, but they are also adjusting to a new way to practice.Chaos was a word that was used to describe the first day of practice by many of the players, but offensive lineman Caleb Chandler has enjoyed the change in the routine.”It’s still chaotic out there,” Chandler said. “It’s fun. It’s all new to everyone, but we’re all enjoying it. It’s a new culture out there with these new coaches.”Wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer, who came to Louisville after a year with the Philadelphia Eagles, likes what he’s seen so far, but knows the culture change will take some patience.”Accountability is something that’s very tough for any generation,” Gunter Brewer said. “Football is a tough game. Life is a tough game. When things get tough, they look for the shortest way to get things done instead of the best way to get things done. However, sometimes the hardest way is the best way.”Cunningham, who emerged as a dynamic playmaker, led the Cardinals in rushing last season with 497 yards and five touchdowns, but is enjoying learning a new offensive system and has a love of respect for his new quarterbacks coach, Frank Ponce.”I love Coach Ponce and he’s only been here for a month. He’s a very good coach,” Cunningham said. “He knows what he’s talking about. He’s going to get us right.”Just two days in, the quarterback battle will be something to watch all spring. The Cardinals have three scholarship signal callers on the roster, and should be a three-headed race between Cunningham, Pass and freshman Evan Conley, who enrolled in January after a stellar career at Kell High School in Marietta, Ga.”We’re all just battling,” Cunningham said. “I’ve been going with the first team but that doesn’t mean anything. I’ve just been trying to lead the team by example and do everything right.”UofL head coach Scott Satterfield and offensive coordinator Dwayne Ledford are installing a fast-paced offense that should benefit Cunningham’s skill set and ability to push the tempo.After Wednesday’s practice Cunningham stated that the new scheme fits him perfect because it’s almost identical to what was run at Park Crossing in Montgomery, Alabama.”It’s so different, so much easier in my opinion,” Cunningham said. “It’s going to help all of the quarterbacks a lot.”Brewer said Wednesday that all quarterbacks have handled the offense really well, considering how fast they’ve been going in practice.”They’ve made some throws that are some tremendous and made some mistakes just like every other person on the team did. To do what we’ve done in two days, I have really been impressed by the way they’ve handled it.”The Cardinals will take another step forward when they put helmets and shoulder pads on for the first time on Friday before the first padded practice on Saturday morning. Story Linkslast_img read more


Snapchat Gains 4 Million Users in Q1 as Snap Beats Earnings Estimates


first_imgSnap topped Wall Street estimates on the top and bottom lines in the first quarter of 2019 — and the still-unprofitable company managed to show an uptick in Snapchat users for the first time in a year.Revenue for the quarter was $320 million, up 39% year over year, while it narrowed its net loss to $310.4 million in Q1 2019 (an adjusted loss of 10 cents per share) vs. $385.9 million in the year-earlier period.Analyst consensus estimates for Snap’s Q1 were for revenue of $306.5 million and an adjusted net loss of 12 cents per share. Snap shares rose as much as 8% in after-hours trading Tuesday on the results but later fell to around +1%.Snapchat’s daily active users were 190 million in Q1 2019 — up 4 million, or 2%, from 186 million in the prior quarter, but down from 191 million in Q1 2018. In North America, the messaging and media service’s DAUs were 80 million (up from 79 million in Q4 and down from 81 million in the year-earlier quarter). Snapchat Parent Company Raises $1.265 Billion in Debt Financing, Citing Potential Acquisitions Related Snapchat had ended 2018 with 186 million daily active users, flat sequentially and down 1 million versus the end of 2017.Three weeks ago, at its first partner summit in L.A., Snap announced several initiatives designed to spur growth and broaden its reach. Those include a new games platform; the ability to let third-party apps give their users the ability to create Stories from Snapchat; an ad network to bring Snapchat ads to third-party apps; and a new slate of original shows from BuzzFeed, New Form and others.“In the first quarter we delivered strong results across our business with growth in daily active users and revenue,” Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said in a statement. “This month we announced several new products that we believe will drive further engagement and monetization. As we look towards the future, we see many opportunities to increase our investments, and will continue to manage our business for long-term growth.”According to Spiegel, as of March, Snapchat ads can now reach 75% of U.S. consumers 13-34 — more than Instagram.In addition, Snap by the end of Q1 had widely launched its revamped Android application for Snapchat “with promising early results,” according to Spiegel. On some of the “lowest performing” Android devices, the new app produced a 6% increase in the number of people sending snaps within the first week of upgrading. Compared to the prior version, he said, the Android rebuild is 25% smaller, opens 20% faster on average, and is modularized to allow for “efficient ongoing innovation.”In a nutshell, “this is the price of admission to international markets,” Spiegel said about the Android app rebuild, on Snap’s earnings call.In discussing the new Snapchat Landmarkers augmented-reality feature — which lets users interact with real-world landmarks — Spiegel called out the company’s deal with HBO, which bought a sponsored AR lens to promote “Game of Thrones” in which a zombie dragon lands on New York City’s Flatiron Building.Snap said that in Q1 2019, the Snapchat Discover section now includes more than 450 content channels. Nearly half of its daily Discover viewers watched Discover seven days per week in the quarter, the company said. In addition, Snapchat content partners in March increased their total mobile monthly audience in the U.S. by an average of more than 30% just by publishing to Discover, according to the company (citing comScore research). Average revenue per user was $1.68, up 39% year-over-year and down 19% sequentially (reflecting seasonality in the business). Total ad impressions were up 155% year-over-year and 6% sequentially, while pricing was down 42% year-over-year and down 22% driven primarily by an increase in supply.Also on the earnings call, Jeremi Gorman, Snap’s chief business officer, said the company reorganized its U.S. advertising team as of April 1 to have a “more scalable structure” and is extending that to its international ad group. The Snap ad groups are organized into three teams: enterprise (large brand advertisers), emerging advertisers and direct-response clients. “While we expect some disruption to our near-term business, we are confident that this is the right long-term structure,” she said.For the second quarter of 2019, Snap said it expects revenue to be $335 million-$360 million (up 28%-37% year-over-year) with loss before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $150 million-$125 million (versus EBITDA of -$169 million in Q2 2018).Snap, of course, calls itself “a camera company,” not a social networking or messaging service. “We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate,” the 7-year-old company’s mission statement reads.center_img Popular on Variety Snap Intros $380 Two-Camera Spectacles — A Fashion Accessory for Snapchat AR Content ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more


Strangers are sometimes easier to talk to


first_imgI can’t interact with people hence I get secluded in social gatherings. I don’t know why but I can’t make friends. I’m 24, male and am single. How do I get out of this?Tuhin, New DelhiIn today’s day and age it is indeed a bit important to meet and socialize. I suggest, you start spending time with a small group of friends. Make it a point to participate in discussions. Initiate topics that interest you. Start interacting with strangers while travelling. Strangers are sometimes easier to talk to. Start with small talks and gradually weave longer conversations. Good Luck! There’s nothing to lose, just open up! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’My sister’s husband is having an affair with someone. They have a 3-year-old daughter. How do we convince my brother-in-law to come out of that trap?Savita, HaryanaConvincing someone to do anything against his/her own will is impossible. Ideally your sister or you should have a open chat with the man. Try to understand the reality and if need be, the couple should go to a professional counselor to take help for reconstructing their marriage.My husband is determined to live in the joint family. But, it’s killing me. I come from a peaceful nuclear family and living with nine people is a torture! What to do? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMeenal, GujaratI’m sure you knew the family and its members before stepping in. It’s difficult to convince a man to move out of his set up. You should not lose hope and request him to look for an alternate address close to the original house. Explain to him with love, tears and pleas if needed. Let’s hope he understands your problem and take steps accordingly.My husband is mixing with a very wrong group and is frequenting night clubs and dance bars. He’s spending through his credit cards too! I’m worried. How can I stop him? Divya Sinha, DelhiJust hide his credit cards and ensure he doesn’t splurge this way. He should be made to understand the outcome of the life he’s leading now. Either you or some friend/relative should talk to him. If need be, involve the parents who sometimes have the right medicine for recovery.Can you give me some information on ‘safe period’. I’m getting married next month and feel nervous already.Name withheldOne should know the duration of the cycle, i.e. first day of the last menstrual bleeding to the first day of the next menstrual bleeding. This is the duration of the menstrual cycle. This duration varies from person to person and is usually between 26 to 31 days. Ovulation approximately occurs in the middle of the cycle, i.e. duration of the cycle – (minus) 14 days (this also varies). A week before and a week after the approximate day of ovulation is considered to be the ‘fertile’. The days apart from this is called the ‘safe’.Have a love or life query you cannot find an answer to? Send your questions to – roopshashotm@gmail.comlast_img read more


Google to acquire cloud data migration startup Alooma


first_imgOn Tuesday, Google announced its plans to acquire cloud migration company Alooma, which helps other companies move their data from multiple sources into a single data warehouse. Alooma not only provides services to help with migrating to the cloud but also helps in cleaning up this data and then using it for Artificial Intelligence and machine learning use cases. Google Cloud’s blog states that “ The addition of Alooma, subject to closing conditions, is a natural fit that allows us to offer customers a streamlined, automated migration experience to Google Cloud, and give them access to our full range of database services, from managed open source database offerings to solutions like Cloud Spanner and Cloud Bigtable” The financial details of the deal haven’t been released yet. In early 2016, Alooma raised about $15 million, including an $11.2 million Series A round led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. Aloomas’ blog states that “Joining Google Cloud will bring us one step closer to delivering a full self-service database migration experience bolstered by the power of their cloud technology, including analytics, security, AI, and machine learning” In a statement to TechCrunch, Google says “Regarding supporting competitors, yes, the existing Alooma product will continue to support other cloud providers. We will only be accepting new customers that are migrating data to Google Cloud Platform, but existing customers will continue to have access to other cloud providers.” This means that, after the deal is closed, Alooma will not accept any new customers who want to migrate data to any competitors–for instance, Amazon’s Azure. Those who use Alooma in combination with AWS, Azure and other non-Google services will likely start looking for other solutions. Read Next Microsoft acquires Citus Data with plans to create a ‘Best Postgres Experience’ Autodesk acquires PlanGrid for $875 million, to digitize and automate construction workflows GitHub acquires Spectrum, a community-centric conversational platformlast_img read more


Riu Palace Costa Mujeres opens on Mexicos Caribbean coast


first_img Posted by Share Thursday, November 29, 2018 Sunwing’s President of Tour Operations, Andrew Dawson, said: “We are delighted to be offering our customers even more resort choices in the latest tropical destinations. The new Riu Palace Costa Mujeres is a great addition to our lineup of top-rated properties in the up and coming and highly sought-after luxury enclave of Playa Mujeres. With direct Sunwing flights available from 19 airports coast to coast, we’re pleased that so many of our customers will be able to take advantage of this new resort this coming winter.”More news:  Sunwing ready to launch Mazatlán-Quebec City direct this winterRiu Palace Costa Mujeres’ dining scene includes the pool restaurant, Tastes, as well as Mexican, Japanese, Italian and fusion cuisine in the themed restaurants Zarape, Japan, Roma and Krystal. TORONTO — RIU Hotels & Resorts’ 19th property in Mexico – and its second in Costa Mujeres – has opened its doors.A year after Riu Dunamar made its debut comes the all-inclusive Riu Palace Costa Mujeres, with 670 rooms, 24-room service and free WiFi throughout the resort.As the exclusive vacation provider of RIU Palace Hotels and Resorts, Sunwing offers exclusive RIU-topia perks at the property including welcome cocktails, unlimited reservation-free dining, spa credits and more, in addition to RIU Palace inclusions such as 24-hour room service, daily champagne breakfasts and poolside wait service, for clients booking their vacation package with the Signature Collection by Sunwing. Tags: Costa Mujeres, Openings & Renovations, RIU Hotels & Resortscenter_img RIU Hotels & Resorts CEO Luis Riu says the layout of Riu Palace Costa Mujeres’ restaurants, bars and square on the upper floors of the complex give guests direct views over the sea, the pools and gardens and the beach. “With this new hotel, we wanted to fulfill a wish expressed by some of our most loyal customers: to have clear views of the Caribbean while they enjoy food and cocktails. To do this, the building has been designed in an innovative way, creating terraces, dining rooms and cozy corners on the first floor to improve our guests’ experience,” he says.The new resort also has five pools (two with swim-up bars) and a reserved area on the beach with lounge chairs and umbrellas. There are also varied entertainment programs for adults, sports activities with RiuFit and art with RiuArt, as well as live shows, a gym and a spa.More news:  Direct Travel names Smith as Senior VP, Leisure Marketing, North America Guests can also take advantage of Pacha nightclub, RiuLand kids’ club and Splash Water World at neighbouring Riu Dunamar.Riu Palace Costa Mujeres, part of the Riu Palace line, is located by the beach of Bahía de Mujeres, a stretch of white sand and crystalline waters about 30 km north of Cancun’s hotel district. Guests can explore the Isla Mujeres turtle conservation centre, the pre-Mayan ruins of El Meco and the archaeological remains found at El Rey.RIU opened its first Mexico resort, Riu Yucatan, in Playa del Carmen in 1997. With this new launch, the hotel chain now offers nearly 11,000 rooms in Mexico, with resorts in Playa del Carmen (6), Cancún (4), Costa Mujeres (2), Los Cabos (2), Riviera Nayarit (3), Mazatlán (1) and Guadalajara (1). Riu Palace Baja California in Los Cabos, will be RIU’s 20th hotel in Mexico. Travelweek Group Riu Palace Costa Mujeres opens on Mexico’s Caribbean coast << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


Qantas employs new GM in Asia


first_imgSource = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wiseman Qantas has announced this week that Benjamin Tan has been appointed as regional general manager Asia, and will be based in Singapore.Benjamin Tan has previously been the Group’s head of sales at the Jetstar Group, will now steer the commercial, financial and operational performance for Qantas across its Asian markets.In taking up the new position, Mr Tan said he is looking forward to progressing Qantas’ commitment to Asia.“Asia is an incredibly important market for Qantas. Over the last two years, we’ve redesigned our Asia network to strengthen our position in the region,” Mr Tan said.“We’ve opened new lounges in Hong Kong and Singapore, are introducing a new inflight dining experience in Economy, and continue to expand our reach with our airline partners, providing greater access across Asia than ever before.”Benjamin Tan brings extensive experience working internationally in Beijing and Tokyo, across the technology and aviation sectors.Most recently, Mr Tan was responsible for worldwide revenue, market share and business expansion across the Jetstar-branded group of airlines.Nick McGlynn, former regional general manager Asia, has returned to Australia to take up a new role as head of global sales and network at Qantas Freight.last_img read more


Upstairs on the second floor landing the drywall


first_imgUpstairs, on the second floor landing, the drywall was installed, mudded and sanded … The metal shop is working on a railing for the staircase. The post present an interesting challenge, as holes for the railing had to be drilled at an angle. More on this later. April 8, 2011We continue our report from 3/30 – 4/6/2011 about work on the interior of the West Housing apartment. The east wall has been painted with a color requested by the new tenants.center_img … and painted.We will continue this report after a weeks interruption with news of the upcoming Bluegrass Festival [see the announcement on our home page].last_img


Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council


first_imgMayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor John Boyle, will lead the parade in St Patrick’s Day and he encouraged local people to get involved in the celebrations.“I am delighted to launch another action packed Spring Carnival programme and I am particularly looking forward to sampling the sights and sounds around our city centre over the weekend and the climactic parade,” he said.“There is a strong focus on celebrating the diverse multitude of cultures that exist in our Council area and I feel the celebration that everyone in our City and District can get involved in.“Congratulations to the Festival and Events team at Council and their community partners for developing another varied and packed programme of events and I would encourage the public to familiarise themselves with the programme on Council’s website and plan a weekend to remember.” DERRY’S 2019 Spring Carnival celebrations are set to be a vibrant and colourful celebration of children and young people as Derry City and Strabane District Council announced plans for a host of entertainment for all the family over St Patrick’s weekend.The festivities will include music, dance, food and culture and will climax with the Spring Carnival Parade on Sunday March 17th at 2pm when over 600 street performers and dancers will weave their way through the historic city centre.The theme of the parade will be Tír na nÓg (The Land of Youth) in celebration of Council’s Youth 19 programme – a year dedicated to young people aged 12 – 24 where Council will work with young people and partners to promote their voices, needs, priorities and rights. ShareTweet The parade, delivered by the North West Carnival Initiative, will look back at the story of Tír na nÓg and feature depictions of youth in myth and legend both in the Celtic tradition and in the many diverse cultures across the world.The programme will also feature the Ubuntu Global festival, a celebration of diversity and inclusion through traditional music, song and dance from around the world.Ubuntu is supported by the Good Relations Team in Derry City and Strabane District Council which is funded by The Executive Office (TEO) District Council’s Good Relations Programme.Other highlights include street theatre, Try Your Luck Arts and Crafts in the Guildhall and On Street Trad in The Diamond and Waterloo Place.Spring Sounds in Guildhall Square will feature live music and dance from 12pm – 5pm while, for the first time, the Forever Young stage inside the Guildhall will host a traditional Irish céilí.The music for both stages has been programmed by Greater Shantallow Community Arts in preparation for our city hosting Fleadh Cheoil Dhoire in May.For those seeking a more relaxed environment, the Peace Garden will feature an enchanting performance of ‘Away with the Fairies’ by the In Your Space Circus troop.Other activities taking place over the weekend are a 5k Road Race in aid of Foyle Hospice, the Apprentice Boy’s St Patrick’s Celebration and themed activities in An Cultúrlann and the Waterside Shared Village.Full details of the Spring Carnival are available at www.derrystrabane.com/springcarnivalDerry’s St Patrick’s Spring Carnival will be celebration of youth was last modified: March 5th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: Derry and Strabane CouncilDerry’s St Patrick’s Spring Carnival will be celebration of youthMarch 17Mayor John BoyleSt Patrick’s Daysundaylast_img read more


In This Issue   Dollar kicks butt and takes na


first_imgIn This Issue. *  Dollar kicks butt and takes names later after GDP. *  Eurozone flash inflation drops to .4%. *  Canada to print May GDP. *  Urbanization to happen in China! And Now. Today’s A Pfennig For Your Thoughts. Safe Haven Buying Fades. Good Day! .  And a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday to you! I’m not feeling too much like Tub Thumping right now, but maybe later, if that’s OK? HA! Well, the Dollar Bugs were doing some Tub Thumping yesterday after the 2nd QTR GDP first reading printed.  Cardinals get taken to the woodshed by the Padres, and have you seen the video that’s gone viral of the little girl that breaks down crying when told that her baby brother is going to grow up someday? I think back to my two older sisters, and how they babied me (until the rest of our siblings came along) and see them going through the same emotions. Front and Center this morning, 2nd QTR GDP in the U.S. surprised most observers by printing at a 4% clip! This sent the dollar soaring, against the currencies and metals. It was NOT a case of traders looking under the hood as I was led to believe it would be, and the 4% print immediately brought about visions of sugar plums dancing in the heads of the rate hike campers. It got really ugly for a while, and then things seemed to calm down. This morning, the dollar is still in charge, but the moves are small at this point. So, I missed the GDP number yesterday. Silly me, for I was using the fact that real capital expenditures (capex) has averaged only .8% annually, or hardly one-third of its prior historical rate, and the net investment in real plant and equipment after capital consumption allowances, has actually decline by 20% since 1999-2000, thus ruling out the true measure of future productivity growth, as reasons to believe that GDP would be disappointing.   As my friend Bill Bonner said the other day: “Capital Investment is what lies behind productivity and prosperity. Without it, the economy staggers.”   I guess I wasn’t the only person to miss on the GDP number yesterday. But I might be the only one that you read, so therefore you think I’m a dummy!  And rightly so! But I come by my dumbness honestly. I use logic. So, logically looking at 2nd QTR GDP, could you really get 4% growth out of an economy that saw Retail Sales drudge along. manufacturing slip.  household income decline. Durable Goods remain nascent. and as I state above capex is still non-existent? I didn’t think so, but apparently the Gov’t can. And I have more thoughts on the GDP print, so I won’t beat around the bush here. Well, I guess I was wrong. Recall Yesterday, I told you that I was told that the 2nd QTR GDP report would be a report that traders looked into and didn’t have that knee-jerk reaction to the headline number.  They would be looking for Consumer Spending.  Well, that didn’t happen.  The 2nd QTR GDP first reading printed at +4%, and there was no “looking inside the report”.  Now, before I go on here, let me also remind you that the very first reading of 1st QTR GDP was positive, and we all know where that ended up!  So, don’t take this neon flashing light of a print to heart, for it will change, I’m sure of that, and probably not to the better! So, with no looking inside, the dollar took some mighty swings at the currencies right out of the starting gate on Wednesday, but as the day went along, things seemed to calm down.  but still negative on the day.  One of the things HAD the markets looked into the components of GDP they would have found is that the difference between 2.8% -3.0% that I was looking for, and the 4% that printed was stronger inventory accumulation, which I learned back in economics classes should be viewed as transitory, and therefore this report should NOT be viewed as a signal that the economy is out of the woods just yet. But just because that’s how things should be viewed, doesn’t mean the markets’ traders will see it that way, and if yesterday and the overnight markets are any clue to how they see it, they certainly don’t see it Chuck’s way. (or the “right way”, as I proclaim it to be!) In other news yesterday, the Fed’s FOMC meeting was a non-event, with $10 Billion of bond buying each month slashed moving the total each month to $25 Billion. small potatoes given the size we began with, and the total that has been bought since March 2009, when the first tranche of bond buying (QE) was implemented. The Fed’s balance sheet is now over $4 Trillion, folks. nothing for them to be proud of, and something that given all that I’ve learned about economics through the years, holds true, will end up in tears.  But. I’m beginning to question all that I’ve learned. I know, I shouldn’t question my education in economics, especially the stuff I’ve picked up from the Austrian school of economics, but what IF none of this ends up mattering at all?  Geez Louise, I’ll do the old two-handed economist thing. on one hand I’ll be glad that the economy doesn’t crumble and the dollar doesn’t lose its reserve status, and on the other hand, I’ll have to go back to the drawing board, and learn about why this happened like it did! The Big Boss, and my good friend, Frank Trotter, and Chuck were discussing this idea that we’ll be proven wrong in the end. I guess if I’m going to down on the good ship lollipop, it will be good to take Frank along with me! HA! So. Today. the Eurozone flash inflation reports show that inflation slipped lower to .4% VS the consensus thought of .5%… Do you remember when I used to sing the song about Turning Japanese, yes, I really think so, about the U.S.?  Well, look who’s about to push the U.S. out of the way, and take over the pole position as the country / union that’s most like Japan?  Again, I’m going to go out on a limb, no worries, I’ll pick a big fat one to hold me, and say that deflation is not a bad thing! I have no idea why the Fed and the European Central Bank (ECB) have monster problems with it! The euro fell below the 1.34 figure yesterday, and remains there this morning, as the weaker flash inflation report has the calls for more stimulation by the ECB being yelled from the rooftops this morning. Speaking of Japan. The Japanese yen has begun to spiral downward again. As the “safe haven” buying has faded. Which is something that I just don’t get folks. Well, one thing is that I don’t get that yen is still considered a “safe haven” currency. But two. I just don’t get the safe haven buying fading. That’s also seen in Gold, and Treasuries. Let’s see. We have a commercial airliner shot down, we have the conflict between Ukraine and Russia heating up, not cooling down, we have the fighting in the Middle East ramping up and not slowing down, and we have China continuing to extend its tentacles across the South Seas, not giving two hoots about who they tick off, and the safe haven buying is fading? Give me a Break! Canada will print their May GDP report this morning,  I’m expected better things from the Canadian economy, and hopefully it will start with today’s GDP print! The Canadian dollar / loonie has slipped below 92-cents and doesn’t really look like it wants to rally, but a stronger than expected GDP print could reverse the loonie’s path right now. And as I said earlier this week, about the markets counting their eggs before they’re hatched, the dollar bugs are treating the dollar VS the high yielders of Aussie, New Zealand, Brazil, Russia, and S. Africa, as if the U.S. Fed has already aggressively hiked rates, and those countries did not!  The rate hikes haven’t come, and if you listen to Janet Yellen you should get the feeling that she’s singing the blues about labor, (which she should, for the numbers that have printed are a sham). and interest rates here in the U.S. aren’t going anywhere right now.  And I guess that’s why they call it the blues.  The U.S. Data Cupboard got a workout yesterday, with the ADP Employment Change report for July showing that 218,000 jobs were added in the month. Personal Consumption printed greater than the expectation of 1.9% printing instead at 2.5%, and then the FOMC meeting. Today’s Data Cupboard is confined to printing minor reports. Which is good for it allows everyone to get all geared up for tomorrow’s Jobs Jamboree!   Right now, the experts have the forecast at 231,000 jobs created in July.  Well, let’s see, there is an election coming this fall that will decide whether the President has the backing of Congress for the remainder of his term, nor not. So, given that info. what do you think we’ll be seeing in the form of Jobs reports from here until the end of the year?  Not that I’m accusing the Gov’t of anything, it’ll all be a co-in-qui-dink. I’m just saying. So, as I told you above, Gold was treated as persona non gratis again by investors yesterday. I like to think about these downward moves in the face of all the geopolitical stuff I just talked about above, and think, “that’s OK, they are allowing me to buy a cheaper prices all the time”. But that gets old, quickly in my eye. I’ve got something for you on another metal, Platinum in the next section, so make sure you don’t miss that! Before I head to the Big Finish today, I have to point out something that I heard last week in Vancouver, and have now applied it to something I read yesterday.  First things first. last week, Chris came out from one of the presentations raving about the presenter, who in this case was Robert Friedland, President of Ivanhoe Mining. He talked about urbanization, where people not currently living in cities will be moving into the cities, and with all this urbanization going on in the world, mainly in China and India, the pollution levels will rise, thus putting more pressure on carmakers to come up with more efficient catalytic converters.  And that’s why he was now buying Platinum. OK, that was all fine and dandy, but then a report came across my desk that talked about China’s plans to add 100 million new city residents by 2020, which is about 2% annual growth in urban population.  So, there it was, proof of Friedland’s urbanization!  The report went on to talk about how China will adopt differentiated approaches to push forward what’s being called “hokou” reform.  Another thing came to mind while writing this and it’s different conversations I’ve had with people over the years that kept sending me emails telling me that I was wrong about China, for what were the Chinese going to do with the ghost cities they’ve built?  I would respond by saying, China has a Huge population of people and the Gov’t only needs to make the buildings available to everyone, and there goes the empty house problem!  And now this new reform is going to do just that! WOW!   I Love It When A Plan Comes Together!  But in the end think of this all as good for Platinum and to a lesser degree Palladium! For What It’s Worth. Geez Louise! About 3 weeks ago, I did an interview (first one in a month of Sundays I must say) with Ducascopy TV out of Switzerland. They asked me my thoughts on if the peg to the dollar in Hong Kong was in trouble. I explained that I didn’t think so, as the Hong Kong Gov’t had an agreement that was to last 5 more years on the peg, and in addition, they also had sufficient policy freedom and financial resources to defend the peg. That was my story and I was sticking to it! But then yesterday, my good friend, and fellow newsletter writer, Dennis Miller, sent me a couple of links to stories on how the peg to the dollar in Hong Kong is in trouble. The link is to a story on zerohedge.com where the writer thinks that a $715 Million purchase of dollars to defend the peg by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), which acts as Hong Kong’s Central Bank. Chuck again. Well, you all know me, I have Conspiracy blood flowing through me, but even this one needs more to it for me to think that the honker peg to the dollar is about to end. But let me remind you long time readers, and enlighten the new readers that long ago, I told you how I saw the Chinese dealing with the honker.  I still believe that the peg is going to be dissolved before 5 years is up. I’ve long maintained that China would like to see the peg dropped in the honker, so they can see how the currency reacts to floating, and how a Central Bank works with a floating currency.  After a successful run with a floating honker, China could then allow the renminbi to float, and then within a couple of years, they would fold the honker into the renminbi, and there would be just one currency for China & Hong Kong. I don’t believe that China will be ready for prime time in allowing their currency to float until their capital account opens up even more than it is now. China has gone a long way toward opening their capital account, but still have a ways to go to reach an openness that will allow for them to float the renminbi. To recap. 2nd QTR GDP printed stronger than most expectations at 4%, and the rate hike campers in the U.S. began to buy dollars thinking that this is going to get the Fed to move quicker toward rate hikes. The currencies and metals all got whacked yesterday after the GDP report. Chuck points out a problem in the report, but don’t let that get in the way of a “Happy Story for the U.S. economy”. Eurozone flash inflation drops to .4% from .5%, yes, they’re turning Japanese, I really think so! The high yielders got whacked on the U.S. rate hike thoughts, and Canada will print their May GDP report today, Chuck is looking for a better report. And the safe haven buying is fading. I guess there are no problems in the world going on right now, so that makes sense, right? NOT! Currencies today 7/31/14. American Style: A$ .9295, kiwi .8495, C$ .9165, euro 1.3385, sterling 1.6885, Swiss $1.1000, . European Style: rand 10.6940, krone 6.2780, SEK 6.8890, forint 232.85, zloty 3.1085, koruna 20.5835, RUB 35.54, yen 102.85, sing 1.2475, HKD 7.7500, INR 60.52, China 6.1675, pesos 13.19, BRL 2.2450, Dollar Index 81.47, Oil $99.33, 10-year 2.54%, Silver $20.68, Platinum $1,478.25, Palladium $880.95, and Gold. $1,295.20 That’s it for today. Man, my fat fingers were flying around the keyboard this morning. So, if the letter is too long for your taste, no worries, it won’t be like that every day! Can you believe that today is the last day of July? It seems like just a week or so ago, I was singing Uriah Heep’s song July morning to start the month! WOW! Tomorrow we begin the dog days of August. The weather temperatures here in St. Louis, sure aren’t the normal ones we experience in the dog days of August. A strange year for sure. Spring took forever to get here, and the Hot weather of Summer has never taken hold for more than a couple of days. Strange days indeed. I’m so disappointed with my beloved Cardinals. They’ve only scored 3 runs in the last 3 games, and they go out and trade a coveted minor league hitter for a troubled pitcher. What, What?  That’s crazy folks! There’s a day game today in San Diego, so at least I’ll be able to watch some of the game. But if it starts out looking like last night when they lost 12-1 (how embarrassing!) I won’t worry about it! Well, it’s about time for me get off this buss today, and get this out the door! I hope you have a Tub Thumpin’ Thursday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Marketslast_img read more


What most people dont know about the Snowden reve


first_imgWhat most people don’t know about the Snowden revelations is that they were mostly old hacker tricks. They were souped up with lots of money, of course, and enjoyed the help of insiders at tech companies, but they were nonetheless hacker tricks. If you noticed the dates on his slides, they were mainly from several years ago: 2007, 2008, and so on. It’s no secret that the NSA has been trying to hire hackers for a long time. (You can read its pitch to hackers, and a story from a hacker convention.) So the Snowden revelations, welcome as they were, concerned mostly old techniques. And the NSA, the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and the rest (including their allies in the tech business) have not been sitting still in the meantime. I know this because I manage one of the leading companies in the data privacy business. We deal with these issues on a daily basis. Before Snowden, I spent a lot of time traveling around the world, making speeches, telling people what the NSA, FBI, CIA, Google, Facebook, and the rest of the gang were doing. Most of the people I spoke to believed I was sincere, but a lot of them thought I was going a bit overboard, trying to sell my product. After Snowden, that changed of course, but now we face a new issue: it’s still a lot worse than people understand. The Secret Facebook Experiment In January of 2012—approaching three years ago—Facebook ran a secret experiment on 689,000 of its users. The purpose of that experiment was to see if the company could change those peoples’ moods by altering their news feeds. And it worked. The results of the experiment concluded that “emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness.” By the way, the US Army was one of the groups which funded the experiment. Interesting bedfellows, no? That government agents are influencing people online has been known for some time (see here and here), though most people have never been informed of those facts. Most, in fact, have never even heard about the publicly stated wishes of Cass Sunstein. These things are not really secrets… they’re just never included in the big news feeds. The Facebook experiment—while only one of what are certainly many such events—is important because it shows the direction in which things are moving… leading straight to individualized manipulation. Mass surveillance is only the first step in a larger process. Once you have all of that information, what are you going to do with it? Leaving it sit really isn’t an attractive option for either the tech companies or the military-intelligence complex. The most obvious use of that information is to manipulate people. Please don’t allow yourself to think that spies and advertisers would hold back from manipulating people; we all know better than that. Why They’re Manipulating Us There are compelling reasons why the data thieves must manipulate us: The tech companies: Internet users worldwide are addicted to the free service model. Say “free” and they’ll line up; ask for pay and they’ll walk away. So how are tech companies supposed to pay their employees, if their customers won’t pay? Well, they found a slick answer to that problem: monetize the users’ lives… turn their private information into money. When you use a free service, you’re giving the company no choice but to steal your data (and the more intimate, the more valuable), then to sell it. When you use a free service, you are the product. (If you don’t pay, you’re certainly not the customer!) The spies: The various spy agencies will always grab and use your information for one overriding reason: they’re afraid that if they don’t, someone else will. The NSA is hardly the only data-theft gang around. They may be the biggest and best funded, but the others follow behind, learn their tricks, and play the same games. So if the US Intel boys want to keep their edge, they have to use everything they can. How They Manipulate You’ve been seeing primitive manipulations for some time. For example, when you do an online search on “skis,” you’ll instantly get ads for discount travel to ski resorts that are near you or that you’ve previously expressed an interest in. That was kindergarten level. What comes next is proactive rather than reactive, and it’s much, much worse. The data thieves are now creating custom environments for each user. Right now, what you see on Facebook/Google/YouTube/etc. is not the same screen your neighbor sees. And the really scary thing about this is not that Google, Facebook, the government, and others are manipulating you, but that the entire process is automated—that computers are learning to manipulate you by interacting with you! The tech companies, of course, are cashing in on this by selling the right to manipulate you to the highest bidder. Their new “big data” systems are even supercharging the process. The more experience Facebook has with you, the more it learns what will or will not affect you—just like it learned about the 689,000 people it tested in 2012. So if Google, Facebook, and the rest are to continue providing free services, and if they want to make more money, they have to manipulate you better. And, of course, they will… they’re working on it every day. “You’re Exaggerating” I’m sorry if this seems too wild to be real, but please remember that most people couldn’t accept the truth of mass surveillance until they saw Snowden’s slides. What heroes like William Binney and Mark Klein were telling people in 2004 was true, but most people didn’t want to believe it. That only changed when they saw the NSA’s slides in 2013. The same thing is happening now. Mass manipulation is here and is growing. We need to do better now than we did between 2004 and 2013. Where This Is Going This is going precisely where it’s already headed: Facebook, Google, and the others will do what they’ve always done—find better ways to make money with your personal information. Running a free service doesn’t give them many options, does it? The spooks will do what spooks always do: get secrets and manipulate them to their advantage. Morality has almost no place at all in espionage. If they can manipulate, they will manipulate. So, as troubling as it may seem, there is little question that we’re moving into a situation where many people will be living large parts of their lives in a virtual world… a world built specifically for their personalities. The right to manipulate that world will be sold to the highest bidder or turned over to government agencies, just like Google and the rest deliver your personal information to them now. And as I say, this is happening already. It’s not yet mature, but it’s getting there quickly. Think of it this way: if I know what motivates you, I can change your environment based on that knowledge, and I can induce you to act in ways that I prefer. And computers make it easy. Facebook, almost three years ago, found that it could change people’s moods. You can be very sure that it’s been refining those techniques ever since. As for the Intel gangs, here are two tactics that GCHQ is already using in its Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group program: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the Internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. These are GCHQ’s own words, by the way, taken directly from its training slides. Are We Doomed? We’re only doomed if we sit passively and do nothing… precisely what these groups expect us to do. And if we do sit idly by, the results will be the same as they usually are: Passivity + Time = Destruction If you want to retain your own mind and your own moods in the new world of 24/7 Internet manipulation, you can still do it, but only if you act. If you merely sit, you’ll be played; the only variables are how much and when. To protect yourself, you’ll have to make your information unavailable to the manipulators. To put it simply, you’ll have to throw sand in the abusers’ eyes. You must prevent them from knowing what websites you visit, who you communicate with, and what you say. There are two ways to do this: Get (and use) encryption and privacy programs. Pay professionals to do it for you. If you want to do it yourself, here’s a PDF that will show you how. If you want to pay professionals do it for you, make sure that they have their own “private key infrastructure” and “multiple hops.” What We’ve Seen We all saw Snowden’s slides. What we have not seen is any positive changes following them. The NSA crew is still doing the same thing every day. Google, Facebook, and the rest are doing the same things every day. At most, we’ve seen tech companies trying to maintain their public images and spymasters trying to convince Joe American that he should be very, very afraid, and should endorse them to spy even more. And if there have been no reforms, why should we expect the data thieves to get anything but worse? A Free-Man’s Take is written by adventure capitalist, author, and freedom advocate Paul Rosenberg. You can get much more from Paul in his unique monthly newsletter, Free-Man’s Perspective.last_img read more


In the article Pope Francis Bad Economist Jame


first_img In the article “Pope Francis, Bad Economist,” James Harrigan and Anthony Davies wrote (link in original): Over the past two generations, while the number of people on Earth doubled, the number of people living in extreme poverty declined by 80 percent, largely as a result of increased economic freedom globally. Today, almost all people in economically free countries can afford cures for diseases that killed the richest people only a century ago. The average person with a cell phone today has better and quicker access to more complete information than the President of the United States enjoyed just a generation ago. A plot of land that a century ago could feed one family today can feed hundreds of families. But the leaders of the Catholic and Monetary Churches don’t care about lifting people out of poverty—it’s envy they’re engaged in. And as Helmut Schoeck showed in his book Envy: A Theory of Social Behavior: [W]e are least capable of acting sensibly in economic and social matters when we face, or believe we face, an envious beneficiary of our decision. This is true especially when we mistakenly tell ourselves that his envy is a direct consequence of our being better off, and will necessarily wane when we pander even to unrealistic demands. The allocation of scarce resources, in any society, is rarely optimal when our decision rests on fear of other men’s envy. The Chairwoman continued to stoke the fires of envy with more statistics. “After adjusting for inflation, the average income of the top 5% of households grew by 38% from 1989 to 2013. By comparison, the average real income of the other 95% of households grew less than 10%.” There is no need for Yellen’s preaching. Envy has been institutionalized in this country with the progressive income tax and inheritance taxes. As Schoeck points out, “Envy can become more easily institutionalized than, say desire or joy.” And it has. Despite these headwinds, the serially successful and productive continue to earn and accumulate the vast share of wealth. That’s why resource investing legends Rick Rule and Doug Casey urge speculators to back entrepreneurs who have proven track records. Rule wrote on Casey Research: A substantial body of evidence exists that it is roughly true across a variety of disciplines. In a large enough sample, this remains true within that top 20%—meaning 20% of the top 20%, or 4% of the population, contributes in excess of 60% of the utility. The key as investors is to judge management teams by their past success. I believe this is usually much more relevant than their current exploration project. Despite some of the highest tax rates in the world and libraries full of regulations to contend with on the national, state, and local levels, the entrepreneurial spirit overcomes, while—as expected—nonproducers hold very little wealth. “The lower half of households by wealth held just 3% of wealth in 1989 and only 1% in 2013,” Yellen told her audience. But in America, the lower half doesn’t have to stay that way and rarely does. Pareto’s insight is that wealth will never be equal, whether under capitalism, fascism, communism, or whatever-ism. What freedom offers is the possibility to ascend from poverty to wealth with brains, hard work, and good decision making. Pareto’s principle should not only be accepted but celebrated, and envy ridiculed, not institutionalized. Schoeck explained: Envy’s culture-inhibiting irrationality in a society is not to be overcome by fine sentiments or altruism, but almost always by a higher level of rationality, by the recognition, for instance that more (or something different) for the few does not necessarily mean less for the others: this requires a certain capacity for calculation, a grasp of larger contexts, a longer memory; the ability, not just to compare one thing with another, but also to compare very dissimilar values in one man with those in another. Ironically, Ms. Yellen’s zero-interest policy puts more separation between the middle class and the rich than Pareto could ever imagine. But then again, a “higher level of rationality” is severely lacking at the central bank. “The extent and continuing increase in inequality in the United States greatly concern me,” Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen said last week at a conference on economic opportunity and inequality sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Vilfredo Pareto would tell Dr. Yellen to relax—inequality is and always has been a constant. Pareto is known for discovering the Pareto principle, or what most people know as the 80-20 rule. Pareto observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population and developed the principle by observing pea pods in his garden; 20% of the pods contained 80% of the peas. The longer you live, the more you observe Pareto’s principle play out over and over in many different contexts. 80% of revenue is provided by 20% of customers. The ratio also applies to customer complaints. I dined with the owner of a Vietnamese restaurant the other night who said that 80% of his revenue came from his noodle soups, which at most comprise 20% of his menu. My experience in the nonprofit world was that 80% of donations came from 20% of those on the mailing list. Pareto observed that the 80/20 pattern “repeated consistently whenever he looked at data referring to different time periods or different countries,” writes Richard Koch in his book The 80/20 Principle. So while inequality has been the norm throughout history, the new Fed chair claims that, “By some estimates, income and wealth inequality are near their highest levels in the past hundred years, much higher than the average during that time span and probably higher than for much of American history before then.” She went on to say, “The distribution of wealth is even more unequal than that of income. … The wealthiest 5% of American households held 54% of all wealth reported in the 1989 survey. Their share rose to 61% in 2010 and reached 63% in 2013. By contrast, the rest of those in the top half of the wealth distribution families that in 2013 had a net worth between $81,000 and $1.9 million held 43% of wealth in 1989 and only 36% in 2013.” So what? As Mr. Koch explains in his book (emphasis his), if 20% own 80%, “then you can reliably predict that 10 percent would have, say, 65 percent of the wealth, and 5 percent would have 50 percent. The key point is not the percentages, but the fact that the distribution of wealth across population was predictably unbalanced.” But Yellen has fallen in with Pope Francis, who told the United Nations assembly, “As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems.” While it doesn’t seem like it here in America, the world is becoming freer and because of that, poverty is falling.last_img read more


Paralympians have spoken of their shock at learnin


first_imgParalympians have spoken of their shock at learning that 50 of the poorest nations could have to withdraw from next month’s Paralympic Games in Rio because of financial problems facing Brazil’s organising committee.Thousands of athletes from countries that were relying on travel grants from the Rio 2016 organising committee may not now be able to take part in the games the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) said this week.The grants should have been paid by the organising committee to individual countries more than two weeks ago, although it has now promised to do so by the end of the month, only days before the opening ceremony on 7 September.Sir Philip Craven (pictured), the British president of the IPC, and himself a retired Paralympian, said: “Failure to do so could result in a number of countries being unable to attend the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games event they have been planning and preparing for for a number of years.”Reports this week suggested that the financial crisis had been partly caused by the Rio Olympic organising committee dipping into funds set aside for the Paralympic games in order to deal with its own financial problems.An IPC official later told BBC World News that 10 countries were “really in jeopardy” of not being able to attend, but that the number forced to pull out could be as high as one in three of the 165 countries due to take part.One British Paralympian has told Disability News Service (DNS) that losing so many countries, if it happened, would be a huge backwards step for the Paralympic movement.Keryn Seal, a member of the British blind football team that competed at London 2012, said the reports of financial problems were “shocking” and suggested “tragic mismanagement”.He told Disability News Service (DNS) that suggestions that 50 of the poorest countries might not be able to attend Rio 2016 because of money taken out of the Paralympic pot by organisers of the Olympic Games were “very sad”, and he questioned what message that would send out about how the comparative importance of the two events was viewed.He said the potential loss of so many countries risked devaluing the event and damaging the reputation of the Paralympics.He said: “It would take it backwards massively. At the moment you get Paralympic finals where there are only four or five people in them.“What’s going to happen if you lose 50 countries? The credibility of it could take a big dip.”Another member of the blind football team, Robin Williams, said on Twitter that the “potential disaster” was an “utter disgrace if true”, and later added: “What’s also a disgrace is that you have to go to the disability section of the BBC sport website to read about it.”Baroness [Tanni] Grey-Thompson, who won 11 Paralympic gold medals, told BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight that the scale of countries potentially affected was “shocking” and could see nearly half of the competitors not being able to take part.She said: “No athlete wants to win a medal because there are several countries who haven’t been able to make it purely for financial reasons.”And she said that budget cuts to areas such as adapting accommodation and providing transport would set “a really negative tone for the games”.Jonnie Peacock, one of the stars of the British athletics team, who will compete in the T44 100 metres in Rio, also expressed concern.He told DNS: “I don’t know enough about the situation to be honest. If it is true then it’s very sad and I sincerely hope that something is done as it’s my dream to compete in Rio and it would hurt if that dream was taken away from me.“For me and my race, it won’t affect me because I know my main rivals will be there whatever happens, and that’s what I’ve got to focus on now.”Sir Philip said the situation was “pretty precarious”, but rumours that the games might not go ahead at all or that some sports could be cut from the programme were “totally unfounded” and “not true”.He said that the mayor of Rio, Eduardo Paes, had pledged to meet the full costs of the Paralympics by providing a further £36 million, but there was currently an injunction on any further public funding on Rio 2016 unless the organising committee released “full financial spending details”.Sir Philip said: “Clearly, the simplest and easiest way round this is for the Rio 2016 organising committee to be open and transparent with its financial records in order to allow this additional funding to come in.”If the funding crisis is not resolved, Sir Philip warned that there would have to be “further cuts” on top of those made by the IPC, the International Olympic Committee and the Rio Olympics.He said that this could “impact on the services offered to the athletes who have dedicated years of their lives to reach and compete at these games. This is the last thing that we want to do.”This could mean reducing the frequency of buses laid on for athletes to reach venues, or cutbacks to the food available in the athletes’ village.This morning (18 August), the IPC was tweeting that the injunction on spending any more money on Rio 2016 had been lifted by the Brazilian courts so “money can now be injected into the Rio 2016 @Paralympics” which it said was “a step in the right direction”.But in a further blow for the Rio games, the organisers have announced that they have so far sold only 12 per cent of available tickets for Paralympic events.Peacock told DNS earlier this week that television pictures of empty seats at the Olympics were “a disappointment”.Asked whether he had concerns about Paralympic ticket sales, he said: “It’s a lot of seats to sell out and London did immensely well.“We got into the spirit of the games over here and everybody wanted to buy a ticket.“For me, I still believe it’s going to be a good crowd there. I’m going out there to try and focus on my race and try and do what I can to win it.”Peacock said he believed that the Paralympics would still be “huge” in Britain, even if there were disappointing ticket sales in Rio, and he praised the work of Paralympic broadcaster Channel 4 and his sponsors BT in promoting the Paralympics.The British Paralympic Association had not commented on the funding crisis by 11am today (18 August).last_img read more


LinkedIn Profile With AIGenerated Pic Tried to Schmooze With DC Insiders


first_img Spies may be using AI-generated photos to create harder-to-detect fake profiles on LinkedIn.Bogus accounts on social networking services are nothing new. But on Thursday, the Associated Press reported on the curious case of “Katie Jones,” a redheaded woman on LinkedIn who claimed to work at a top think tank in Washington D.C.According to the AP, the profile is not just a fake. The headshot of the woman may have been created by an AI-powered program. The evidence can be found in small, but noticeable inconsistences in the image.Last month I my attention was drawn to something suspicious: A fake LinkedIn profile connecting to Washington think tank types and senior US officials.Even weirder: Her face itself appeared to be fake. https://t.co/yvZbK8RoQt pic.twitter.com/CY85RRznk8— Raphael Satter @ RightsCon (@razhael) June 13, 2019Several tech experts told the AP they were convinced the profile photo was created by AI based on the flaws, which are common among photos fabricated by generated adversarial networks, or GANs. Researchers have been using the technology to show how it can pump out realistic, but ultimately fake photos of people who don’t exist.To create the photos, the GANs will model the fake faces from existing pictures of real people. Essentially, the AI algorithms will pluck different traits, such as hair styles, eye shapes and mouths, from various photos and merge them together to create an entirely new person.But the process isn’t perfect. The AI processes can sometimes have trouble rendering artifacts around the synthetic face. In the case of the Katie Jones profile, the photo shows a woman with a strange left earring that appears to be “blurry or “melted,” the AP noted.Still, the photo itself looks pretty real. The AP confirmed the Katie Jones account was a sham based not on the headshot, but on the credentials the LinkedIn profile had listed, all of which turned out to be phony.The account is now gone, and it isn’t clear if actual government spies created the Katie Jones profile or if it was just fraudsters. But the LinkedIn profile was attempting to network with former U.S. government officials and policy experts. Using an AI-generated photo would’ve made the profile resistant to reverse-image searches, which can often reveal whether a fake account lifted a picture from a real person’s account. Add to Queue 3 min read Artificial Intelligence –shares Image credit: @IntelMercenary via PCMag Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » Next Article This story originally appeared on PCMag The profile attempted to network with former government officials. LinkedIn Profile With AI-Generated Pic Tried to Schmooze With DC Insiders Reporter June 14, 2019 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Michael Kan Guest Writerlast_img read more


SecondMarket CEO Wall Street Will Put Hundreds of Millions Into Bitcoin


first_img Brian Patrick Eha –shares SecondMarket CEO: Wall Street Will Put ‘Hundreds of Millions’ Into Bitcoin Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Technology Wall Street is getting ready to dive into Bitcoin, pouring vast amounts of institutional and investor money into the digital currency that has been labeled a “bubble” by former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and which not long ago was seen as the sole preserve of crypto-geeks, monetary-theory wonks and anti-government types.So says Barry Silbert, founder and chief executive of SecondMarket, the online platform that allows its users to trade private company stocks. “We’re three to six months away from Wall Street dollars moving into Bitcoin in a big way,” he says.Silbert should know: Earlier this fall, he launched the Bitcoin Investment Trust, the first investment vehicle allowing institutional investors to put money into the Bitcoin market while avoiding the hassle of personally holding the currency. The trust is open only to accredited investors, and the minimum investment is $25,000.Speaking on Tuesday night at a private dinner for Bitcoin cognoscenti in New York, Silbert said he was astonished by the BIT’s performance. “We launched six weeks ago and we’re up to $70 million. That blows my mind. We were hoping to get to $10 million by the end of the year.”The value of the BIT derives entirely from the price of Bitcoin; it has benefited in recent weeks as Bitcoin soared north of $1,200. Because of a recent dip, the net assets of the trust now stand at about $63 million, which means it is holding that dollar value in bitcoins.Related: SecondMarket Establishes New Bitcoin Trust for Accredited InvestorsSilbert says he meets frequently with hedge fund workers, traders at large financial institutions and others who want to gain a better understanding of digital currencies and figure out how to capitalize on them. He reckons that Wall Street will enter the Bitcoin market in roughly three waves. The first is already beginning, and it’s taking the form of IRA money. Customers with self-directed IRAs at Fidelity, Pensco Trust Company, The Entrust Group and Millenium Trust Company are now able to invest some of their money in Bitcoin via the BIT. Silbert expects most other IRAs to approve the BIT as an investment vehicle before the second quarter of next year, in response to growing interest from their customers.Also in this first wave will be clients of the wealth-management arms of Wall Street banks. Silbert says the BIT is in conversations with “several major banks” and he expects the trust to be an approved product on their wealth-management platforms within the first half of 2014.The second wave will be hedge funds and other institutional investors. “The principals that work at all those firms are starting to invest personally in the BIT,” Silbert says. Anecdotally, he adds, it’s clear they are investing in the Bitcoin market through other platforms as well. With traders, portfolio managers and executives all gaining interest, it appears to be only a matter of time before their firms follow suit and take a position in the digital currency.The third wave will be Wall Street banks themselves, motivated purely by profit, says Silbert. “These banks already have large teams trading dollars and euros and yen and gold. Ultimately, Bitcoin is no different than those” as far as forex and commodities traders are concerned, he says. And indeed, currency strategists at Bank of America issued a note to clients last Thursday talking up Bitcoin’s potential and analyzing its fair market value.While most institutional investors are keeping mum on Bitcoin for the time being, the head of one firm has been outspoken about his faith in the cryptocurrency. Michael Novogratz, the co-chief investment officer of macro funds at Fortress, plumped for Bitcoin at a conference held in New York on Oct. 24. He recommended that investors “put a little money in Bitcoin,” saying its value would appreciate significantly over the next few years.At the time, the price of a single bitcoin was less than $200 on most exchanges. “I have a nice little Bitcoin position,” Novogratz said at the conference. “Enough that I’m smiling that it doubled.” One can imagine how that smile must have widened in the weeks since.But it’s hard to say where the price will be a month or six months from now. Although right now Silbert is happy to see Bitcoin performing above his expectations, in the near term “the price volatility is only going to get worse,” he says. “We haven’t seen anything yet.”He added, “Once Wall Street starts putting money into Bitcoin — we’re talking about hundreds of millions, billions of dollars moving in — it’s going to have a pretty dramatic effect on the price.”Related: Bitcoin Gets Slammed by China as BofA Touts Its Potential 5 min read Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand December 11, 2013 Add to Queue Next Article Enroll Now for $5last_img read more


Uber Decals and Lyft Mustaches Are Hot Items on eBay


first_img This story originally appeared on Business Insider February 29, 2016 2 min read Image credit: lyft | Instagram Biz Carson Next Article Ridesharing Apps –sharescenter_img There’s money to be made selling an Uber decal or Lyft mustache, as long as you don’t need them to make money as a driver for either company.The insignia are a sort of trade dress for the burgeoning ride-hailing industry.Uber has a glowing “U” that its drivers affix to their windshields, while Lyft cars sport “glowstaches.” When Lyft started, it distinguished itself from all of the other cars on the road with a giant pink mustache. As more drivers join the ride-hailing services and subsequently leave, it turns out you can make some quick cash by selling the decals.Uber driver decals and Lyft mustaches have been popping up on eBay and Craigslist. One original pink furry mustache went for as high as $80. That’s a bit of a profit considering anyone who signs up to drive on the ride-hailing platforms receive the ‘staches free of charge.One bidding war with 11 entries on eBay drove a glowstache price from $20 to $45. A search of sold glowstaches show around 100 have been bought. Uber decals are typically cheaper because they’re so easily re-creatable, although they (or their counterfeits) are available in the thousands. It’s not just decals that have created a market. There’s also a whole subsection of signs that clip on to the back of headrests instructing riders how to give good ratings or reminding them to tip.Image Credit: eBay screenshotWho exactly is buying up the decals is unclear. It could be old drivers re-joining the companies or new drivers who misplaced their own decals. Uber and Lyft both declined to comment.There hasn’t been a publicly recorded problem of a car impersonating an Uber or Lyft using a purchased inisgnia, but the sale of the companies’ official decals is a good reminder to always double check the car make and model, license plate, and driver’s name before you hop in the car of a stranger — Uber decal on their windshield or not.  Apply Now » Uber Decals and Lyft Mustaches Are Hot Items on eBay 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Add to Queuelast_img read more