Six things we are looking forward to at the 2016 National Touch League

first_imgIt’s officially National Touch League week and we can’t wait for all of the action to commence on Wednesday! We thought we’d compile a list of what we’re looking forward to most at the event. 1.     The return to the home of Touch Football, Coffs Harbour!The last time we were here was last year’s World Cup in May, so we are excited to be back at C.ex Coffs International Stadium for this year’s event. 2.     The return of elite level competition It feels like a long time between National Touch League events, so we can’t wait to see the best of the best take to the field in Coffs Harbour this week, including the Elite Eight series. 3.     The new-look Queensland Elite Eight teamsThe Queensland Elite Eight teams recently announced that they have aligned with the Queensland NRL Clubs, the Broncos (formerly Chiefs), Cowboys (formerly Outlaws) and Titans (formerly Stingrays). We look forward to seeing them take the field this week in their new look colours on Wednesday! 4.     Touch Football on TV!Last week we announced that Power Productions will be live streaming our grand finals on Saturday and they will appear on Fox Sports 1 in early April. Read more here and stay tuned for the links for Saturday’s finals. 5.     Hopefully lots of sunshine! We all know that Touch Football events and rain go hand in hand, but we are hoping that this time we can break the tradition with four beautiful days of Coffs Harbour sunshine. Our fingers are crossed! 6.     Plenty of live Touch FootballFor the first time, every single game on field one at the 2016 National Touch League will be live streamed to the TFA YouTube channel, so if you can’t make it to Coffs Harbour for the event, you won’t miss out. You can see all the links here. What are you looking forward to most? Let us know on your social media pages. Keep up-to-date with all of the latest news, information and results from the 2016 National Touch League:Website – www.touchfootball.com.au and www.ntl.mytouchfooty.comFacebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (#NTL2016)Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia (#NTL2016)YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausRelated Links2016 NTLlast_img read more

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10 months agoCrystal Palace monitoring Chelsea loanee Abraham

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Crystal Palace monitoring Chelsea loanee Abrahamby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCrystal Palace are monitoring Chelsea forward Tammy Abraham ahead of a potential move in January. The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Aston Villa, but Chelsea do have an option to recall in January.However, the Blues could recall Abraham and loan him back out again to a Premier League club.The Daily Telegraphclaim Crystal Palace would be keen on signing the Englishman as they continue to struggle in front of goal this season.Abraham has netted 12 times for Villa this season and manager Dean Smith remains hopeful he can retain his services for the second half of the season. last_img read more

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18 days agoBrighton goalscorer Neal Maupay says Tottenham heads quickly dropped

first_imgBrighton goalscorer Neal Maupay says Tottenham heads quickly droppedby Paul Vegas18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBrighton striker Neal Maupay says Tottenham heads quickly dropped during Saturday’s 3-0 thrashing.Maupay scored Albion’s quickest ever Premier League goal after 150 seconds when the disorientated Hugo Lloris inexplicably dropped the ball before suffering a dislocated elbow when he fell.“We sensed their heads went down after the first goal – that’s why we kept pushing and ­putting pressure on them,” said Maupay. “Losing Lloris and the goal so early was hard for them and they looked worried. We knew they were having a tough time so we wanted to keep going at them. And it worked because they dropped a bit and we got the second goal.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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Video: Ohio State Linebackers Joe Burger And Craig Fada Show Off Their Apartment On “OSU Cribs”

first_imgA closeup of an Ohio State football helmet on the field.NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: An Ohio State Buckeye helmet is seen on the sidelines prior to the start of the game during the All State Sugar Bowl at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)When it comes to college housing, Ohio State football players have it pretty good. Buckeye linebackers Joe Burger and Craig Fada showed off their apartment on the first episode of “OSU Cribs,” and we must say, they have a pretty nice pad. There is plenty of Ohio State-themed memorabilia around, as you’d expect, but they also show off the strobe light and fog machine set up. And of course, like any good episode of Cribs, we get a look at the players’ cars.Playing football at Ohio State looks like a decent time. Not that we didn’t already know it.last_img read more

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UNC head football coach Everett Withers joins Ohio State football staff

Everett Withers, the current interim head coach of the University of North Carolina football team, was hired Wednesday to join new Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer’s staff. Withers will be the assistant head coach, as well as co-defensive coordinator under Meyer, according to a press release. Withers will split defensive coordinator duties with current OSU head coach Luke Fickell. However, Meyer previously said Fickell will call plays for the unit. In his fourth season at UNC and his first as its head coach, Withers led the team to a 7-5 overall record and an appearance in the Dec. 26 Independence Bowl against Missouri. Withers will stay with the Tar Heels to coach its bowl game. A UNC football team spokesman declined to comment to The Lantern regarding Withers’ departure from the university. OSU did not immediately make Withers’ contract details available. Withers is currently in his 24th season as football coach of both NFL and college teams. Withers began his coaching career as defensive coordinator at Austin Peay in 1988 and would eventually hold other collegiate coaching position at Tulane (1991), Southern Mississippi (1992-93), Louisville (1995-97), Texas (1998-2000) and Minnesota (2007) before becoming UNC’s defensive coordinator and secondary coach in 2008. Withers has also served as defensive backs coach for the NFL’s Tennesee Titans from 2001-2006 and oversaw defensive quality control for the New Orleans Saints in 1994. The Independence Bowl Dec. 26 is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. kickoff while Fickell will coach OSU in Jacksonville, Fla., Jan. 2 when the Buckeyes play Florida in the Gator Bowl. read more

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Skullcandys new AirPods alternative is on sale for 99

first_img Top 5 cheap wireless headphones Review • Apple AirPods updated review: Getting better with age See All Headphones Phones Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 reading • Skullcandy’s new AirPods alternative is on sale for $99 $138 News • Apple AirPods 2 deal: $139.99 (save $19) $184 Tags See It Apple Preview • What it’s like to live with AirPods Apple $159 Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Apple AirPods How To • 17 tricks to help you get the most out of your Apple AirPods Monopricecenter_img 2 • See It Bonus deal: The discontinued iPhone SE recently returned to Apple’s online store, only to sell out soon thereafter. That wasn’t surprising, given the $249 price tag and popularity of the entry-level model. If you missed out, fear not: Back Market has the refurbished unlocked iPhone SE (silver, 16GB) for $123, plus $10 for shipping. See it at Back MarketOK, so Apple’s SEs were new and came with 32GB. They were also twice the price. Here, your $123 buys you an SE in “shiny” condition, meaning scratch-free and like-new overall. You also get a six-month warranty and 30-day return window. Because it’s unlocked, you can use it with just about any carrier. I recommend taking advantage of Mint Mobile’s current deal, which nets you three months of service for just $20. Concerned about the limited storage? Here’s everything you need to know about surviving with an iPhone with only 16GB. CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on PCs, phones, gadgets and much more. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page. Find more great buys on the CNET Deals page and follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter! Walmart Now playing: Watch this: Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Mentioned Above Apple AirPods Share your voice CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 2:32 Skullcandy I’m no audiophile, which is why you’ll often hear me say that a certain Bluetooth speaker or pair of headphones sounds “good enough.” But I get that for some folks, good enough, well, isn’t. Indeed, if you crave premium sound and don’t mind paying a premium for it, today’s deal might appeal. For a limited time, the Skullcandy Push Truly Wireless Earbuds are $99.99 shipped (plus tax). When you add it to your cart, you should also see a free Skullcandy black baseball cap.See it at SkullcandyReleased just last month, the Push normally sells for $129.99. Obviously I have to mention Apple’s category-defining AirPods, which run $159. So for $60 less, let’s see what you get. The big difference: The Push employs a noise-isolating design, meaning the earbuds create an inner-ear seal that helps block outside sound and amp up the bass. On a track like Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, this affords a greater range and depth to the sound than you get from AirPods. Overall, I’d say the Push ranks among the best wire-free earbuds I’ve tried to date, at least in terms of audio fidelity. Read more: The best truly wireless headphones for 2019  As any good ones should, these power on and autopair the moment you take them out of the case. One small gripe, though: They’re a little tricky to pluck out. Your first instinct is to use your thumb and forefinger, but really you have to use just the latter to kind of roll them free. Also, that case is definitely larger than average, and therefore not as pocket-friendly as some I’ve seen. According to Skullcandy, the earbuds can last an impressive 6 hours before needing to recharge, and the case can fully recharge them once. Given its size, I feel like it should be able to do better than that. (The case itself recharges via USB-C, which is nice.) I like the Push’s design and fit. A rubber wing — here described as a FitFin — helps keep the earbud in place, though if your ears get super sweaty during a workout, I’m not sure they’d prevent the ‘buds from falling out. CNET hasn’t reviewed these yet, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out another new AirPods alternative: the $80 Anker Soundcore Liberty Air. I’ll just say that for $60 less than AirPods, you can get wire-free earbuds that offer great noise-isolating sound. Your thoughts? Comments Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? See it The Cheapskatelast_img read more

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Pawing for greater good

first_img‘I’ve been attached to colours ever since I can remember. Not a specific one, just the fact that they change your opinion and outlook of the ordinary,’ quips Tulika Mohan.The 14-year-old painter has created a collection of 14 paintings for an exhibition titled Colours in Progress. ‘All my artworks started with something and are still continuing. I started out with oil but later moved to acrylics since the former took  longer to dry,’ said Tulika.All her paintings are marked by a plethora of colours over the canvas. ‘ I am not partial to any particular colour. I believe all the colours have a story to tell,’ added the ninth grade student. Priced between Rs 4,000- Rs 20,000, the exhibition’s sale proceedings will be donated to Friendicoes SECA, an NGO actively involved in animal rescue. ‘My mother gave me a choice to donate all the earnings to the charity of my choice, so  I decided to donate all the money to them,’ she says.DETAILAt: Experimental Art Gallery, Core 6, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi RoadOn Till: 25 November Timings: 11am to 7pmlast_img read more

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Why Small Business Should Be Paying Attention to Artificial Intelligence

first_img 4 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now » May 25, 2017 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the face of business. No longer a futuristic concept, its impact is real. From tech giants like Google, Apple and Amazon to user-centric behemoths like Uber and Starbucks, everyone seems to be using AI technology to transform the customer experience (CX). But, it’s not just corporate giants that are deploying AI. Smaller organizations are following suit.Across industries, small businesses are investigating how AI can help them drive down costs, better accommodate customers and remain competitive with their increasingly tech-driven peers. For small businesses unfamiliar with AI, the prospect of rolling it out can be daunting. But, by adopting a strategic approach, small businesses can get a head start on harnessing AI and reaping the benefits it offers. Related: The Big Trends from Google I/O 2017Applying AI: Learning from StarbucksStarbucks is one notable example of an enterprise that’s embracing artificial intelligence to optimize its CX. At the end of January, the company announced that it would offer voice ordering capabilities via Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based virtual assistant with a continuously expanding base of skills. Linking up with Amazon, the coffee giant created a new Alexa skill specifically geared toward ordering at Starbucks. The skill — called Starbucks Reorder — provides users with a voice-activated way to place their typical order (“Alexa, tell Starbucks to start my usual order.”) or check their card balance.Currently in the beta phase, Starbucks’ evolving use of Alexa points to the experimental approach companies are willing to take when it comes to deploying AI. While big business use of AI is generating the most publicity, small businesses should also consider how they can leverage the technology to meet customer needs.Related: 8 Companies Changing How Machine Learning Is UsedAs customers become accustomed to AI-powered solutions like Starbucks’ Alexa offering, they’ll expect the same from their local businesses. Here are some proactive steps small organizations can take to lay the groundwork for business-applied AI:Give AI a try in your personal life. Before deciding if AI is appropriate for their companies, small business owners should put on their consumer hats and use the technology outside of work. Test out Amazon Alexa or Google Home to determine what you like and dislike about the devices, and how your own customers might use similar technology to interact with your business. Brainstorm ways you could potentially weave AI into your company and weigh the pros and cons of implementing emerging tech.Lay out business-specific AI goals. Small businesses shouldn’t approach AI without a set plan — it’s crucial to prioritize specific applications for artificial intelligence technology. For instance, if you run a clothing store, perhaps you’ll look into predictive analytics technology to reduce staffing inefficiencies. Alternately, if you own a restaurant, you may focus more on the potential of autonomous delivery vehicles. And if you’re a company with complicated accounting, you might look to ease the process with AI. By setting specific and highly focused goals, small businesses can more easily lay out a game plan to fulfill them.Related: How to Learn Anything in the Age of AIGet your IT capabilities up to speed. As a November 2016 study on the mounting adoption of AI pointed out, difficulty tracking and making sense of data is one of the key roadblocks enterprises face when deploying artificial intelligence. Small businesses cannot benefit from AI if they lack the IT infrastructure to support it. Therefore, smaller organizations should begin their journey toward AI by adopting a modernized approach to IT — one that moves away from legacy on-premises solutions and toward cloud-powered resources that will be able to scale up as artificial intelligence technology is implemented.Track the growth of AI. Actively following the evolution of AI now will pay dividends in the long run. Even if your small business isn’t currently ready to deploy emerging AI tools, it’s important to keep a close eye on the market. That way, you’ll see when technologies emerge that may benefit your business — and you’ll be able to track the AI moves your competitors are making so you don’t fall behind.As the examples set by companies like Starbucks illustrate, businesses are pursuing AI to optimize operations and improve the customer experience. By actively making an effort to learn about and embrace artificial intelligence, small businesses can prepare for a future powered by AI solutions.last_img read more

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Elections 13 candidates vie for San José mayors seat

first_imgMunicipal elections in Costa Rica will be held Sunday, Feb. 7 and the race to lead the capital San José — the country’s most populous city with the biggest budget — is a crowded one. Thirteen candidates are vying for the spot, among them several political newbies and one, Johnny Araya, who is extremely familiar with the post of San José mayor. After throwing in the towel during the 2014 presidential campaign, Araya — who previously served as mayor of San José for more than 20 years — is back to try and regain the spot, this time as the candidate of the recently-formed Alliance for San José (PASJ).Though voter turnout has historically been anemic for municipal elections, especially in San José, the mayor’s seat comes with considerable power. The mayor of San José controls a budget of around ₡60 billion (more than $100 million). She or he is responsible for making sure that the some 300,000 people who live in San José have a functioning, orderly and rich quality of life, and that the more than 1 million people who flow through the capital daily for work, study, business or other reasons have a functioning and attractive capital.The mayor, who proposes plans and budgets, and the municipal council, which approves (or not) those plans and budgets are charged with maintaining city streets and sidewalks, managing wastewater, collecting trash and providing security in the form of the municipal police. They’re also in charge of building, maintaining and promoting libraries, parks, municipal theaters and senior centers, and providing and promoting cultural activities.“In these elections we have the opportunity to vote for the people we think will do the most to improve people’s quality of life,” said Juan José Echeverría, former president of the Institute for Municipal Development.Here’s who’s running for mayor of San José (in alphabetical order): Related posts:Uber supporters say court case could legalize ride-hailing service in Costa Rica Former Costa Rica President Luis Alberto Monge Álvarez dies at 90 Who’s who on the PLN ballot: forecasts for tomorrow’s presidential primary UPDATE: Álvarez Desanti maintains in Liberation primary; late-night vote-counting drama (Facebook)Douglas AltamiranoAge: 54Party: Social Christian Republican Party (PRSC)Who is he? A businessman and member of the current municipal council in San José. Altamirano was originally elected to the council for the Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC), but he and some other PUSC politicians, led by former President Rafael Ángel Calderón Fournier (1990-1994), left the party last year and formed the PRSC.Altamirano says he wants to make it possible to carry out all municipal paperwork online; improve basic and emergency health care by purchasing 10 ambulances and setting up a mobile clinic; increase the municipal police’s vehicle fleet and create a municipal police academy; devote resources to repairing at least 60 percent of San José streets; and transform the city’s dilapidated Mercado de la Coca-Cola.You can read his entire plan here.— (TSE)Johnny ArayaAge: 58Party: Alliance for San José (ASJ)Who is he? The first mayor of San José, elected in 1998, Araya is trying to return to the post he held for 22 years and left in order to run for president in 2014 as the National Liberation Party (PLN) candidate. Araya left the PLN and joined a new party after he was suspended by the party’s ethics committee for dropping his presidential campaign a month before the runoff election against current President Luis Guillermo Solís.An agronomist and career politician, Araya began working in San José city government in 1982 when he was elected a member of the municipal council.If elected, Araya wants to provide housing solutions for lower- and middle-class citizens; promote public education and build three technical colleges in needy areas; create a day labor hotline where unemployed or subemployed residents can connect with people who need yard work, cleaning and other basic jobs fulfilled; create new senior centers; increase the number of municipal police; and promote changes at the national level that would allow municipal police to function as transit police.Araya also proposes investing in clean energy projects and modernizing the public transportation system and infrastructure.You can read his full plan here. — (TSE)Marco Antonio ArroyoAge: 58Party: Costa Rican Renovation (PRC)Who is he? A civil engineer running for his first-ever political post, Arroyo’s bid for mayor revolves around cleaning up and modernizing the city of San José. As mayor, Arroyo says he would ramp up recycling services for homes and businesses; create an employment center; promote the construction of an aerial train; fix all of the city’s sidewalks as part of an emergency plan; and make sure all districts in the city get their fair share of funding. In terms of security, Arroyo says he would focus on improving security in San José neighborhoods. — (Candidate’s website)Roberto BarrantesParty: Solidarity Party (PS)Age: 71Who is he? Styled as the candidate of the “people’s party,” Roberto Barrantes is focused on homelessness, “dignified” public housing and security. His plan for the city includes providing support for “micro” businesses for the city’s poorest. Barrantes said new businesses should not be taxed until they can “economically support themselves” as a way to generate jobs and encourage entrepreneurism. He also wants to launch hydroponic gardens and an “adopt a fruit tree” campaign to help low-income families feed themselves and generate extra income. Barrantes also wants the mayor to provide public progress reports every three months.You can find out more about Barrantes and his plan on his website.— (TSE)Vanessa CalvoAge: 46Party: Libertarian Movement Party (PML)Who is she? Calvo is a lawyer and businesswoman who thinks the municipality should intervene to help businesses facing red tape with the central government. If elected, she says she’ll promote tax amnesty for elderly residents who can’t pay property taxes, set up scholarships for outstanding students who attend private schools and English schools, use street theater to promote civic campaigns and start a bike rental program in San José.She also wants to set up free Wi-Fi in public places, build public bathrooms and create a digital hub were people can consult bus and train schedules.In terms of security, Calvo would establish closed-circuit monitoring systems at bus and train stops.You can read all of her proposals here. — (PFUPC)Fernando CastilloAge: 59Party: United Forces for Change (PFUPEC)Who is he? The president of the United Forces for Change party, Castillo works as an evangelical pastor. If elected, Castillo proposes opening 75 soup kitchens to feed needy children and 10 clinics to serve homeless people, alcoholics and drug addicts. The PFUPEC declares on its Facebook page that it is a “political party with firm biblical convictions.”— (TSE)José Manuel EchandiAge: 51Party: National Integration Party (PIN)Who is he? The grandnephew of former President Mario Echandi (1958-1962), José Manuel Echandi has a long political history dating back to his appointment as Costa Rica’s ombudsman in 2001. After his post ended, the San José native was elected as a lawmaker for the National Union Party, where he emerged as a strong advocate for the Central American Free Trade Agreement.Echandi has unsuccessfully run for president twice under the banner of different conservative political parties. He is now a member of the minor National Integration Party, which currently has no representatives in the Legislative Assembly.If elected mayor, Echandi plans to focus on security, employment, the environment, health, developing better sports programs and improving services for the elderly. You can read more about his plan here. — (TSE)Guido GranadosAge: 68Party: National Liberation Party (PLN)Who is he? A lawyer and entrepreneur Granados is the husband of current San José Mayor Sandra García Pérez and also served as a lawmaker from 1982 to 1986. He also served on city council from 1978 to 1982. He has served as a member of the board of directors of the National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) and the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP).His campaign is based on four principles: human sensitivity, environmental sustainability, economic development, and ethical and moral principles. If elected, Granados plans to develop projects aimed mostly at the elderly, women, minors, disabled and homeless people. He also seeks to promote sports and recreation, reduce the city’s ecological footprint, repopulate the canton and ensure transparency in municipal government.Upon accepting his nomination in August, Granados said he made the decision to run for mayor in May 2014, right after the PLN’s defeat in the presidential runoff election.You can read Granados’ full governing plan here or visit his website. —Israel GuillénAge: 61Party: Broad Front Party (FA)Who is he? A longtime left-leaning political activist and Broad Front operative. Guillén wants to enhance public involvement in municipal government, including in the budget and planning process. Guillén also wants to reorganize public transportation in San José, creating a system of bus terminals and a bus route around the city center.Guillén wants to reestablish municipal trash collection (San José has contracted out its trash management to Mexican firm PASA since 2010) and create a municipal compost center. On the public safety front, Guillén proposes improving public lighting and amplifying the system of security cameras around the city.You can read Guillén’s entire plan here. — (Candidate’s official website)Daguer HernándezAge: 31Party: Citizen Action Party (PAC)Who is he? Daguer Hernández is a lawyer and current member of the San José municipal council. He has been involved in municipal government since 2006.Hernández’s plan focuses in large part on quality of life issues in San José, among others. He’s sure to attract some young voters with his promise to provide free Wi-Fi in public parks and libraries in San José. The platform calls for more aggressive recycling programs, including an “environmental executive” who would coordinate public education about recycling and waste management with door-to-door recycling pickup along certain routes. There would also be “micro” recycling centers where locals can leave their unseparated recycling in repurposed shipping containers for pick up. Hernández also wants to create a bike-sharing system in San José and promote more urban cycling.Hernández’s plan to help re-populate San José evidently includes the living and the deceased. He wants to open a new municipal cemetery and clean up some of downtown San José’s neighborhoods, from the underutilized Chinatown/Paseo de los Estudiantes to the seedy Paso de la Vaca sector near downtown.You can find out more about Hernández and his governing plan on his website.— (ANEP)Laura MorúaAge: 30Party: Worker’s Party (PT)Who is she? Morúa is a party activist and union leader in the National Association of Public and Private Employees (ANEP). She is one of just two female candidates in San José’s mayoral election. Morúa, who is pregnant, wants to provide free daycare so that women can work.You can find out more about the candidate on her Facebook page. — (Facebook)Gustavo OrtizAge: 56Party: New Generation (PNG)Who is he? A lawyer and businessman, Ortiz is seeking his first public office. In addition to his private practice, he is the founder of Fundación Libertad y Esperanza, a nonprofit social services group.His campaign proposes goals divided into four principles: social and human development, public infrastructure, culture, and citizen opportunities. As short-term objectives, Ortiz proposes four specific goals: improving transparency and preventing corruption; improving citizen safety in public spaces; reducing red tape in municipal services; and increasing assistance to the poor, elderly and homeless.Find more information at the PNG Facebook page. (As of this writing, the PNG website was down.) — (Facebook)Jorge Eduardo SánchezAge: 53Party: Social Christian Unity Party (PUSC)Who is he? Sánchez, a lawyer, has served as a lawmaker for the PUSC three times (1990-1994, 1998-2002, 2006-2010). He is running on a “tale of two cities” platform. The PUSC candidate said after his nomination in July 2015 that erstwhile National Liberation Party mayor and presidential candidate Johnny Araya left San José “dirty and unsafe” after his two decade run at the city’s helm. Addressing poverty, homelessness, affordable housing and a municipal-level job training center are among Sánchez’s priorities for the next four years.Besides poverty and safety, Sánchez’s proposed agenda is not shy about taking some bold steps when it comes to addressing the city’s “chaotic” street traffic. Sánchez proposes a law that would give the city imminent domain-like powers to expropriate land in favor of urban development plans and to improve the city’s roadways and sewers. He calls for widening sidewalks, keeping buses out of downtown San José and for taking a decidedly not pura vida approach to illegally parked cars.You can read Sánchez’s entire governing plan here and visit his Facebook page for more information.Vote on February 7! 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Yousef AlObaidly Qatarbased pay TV group beIN Me

first_imgYousef Al-ObaidlyQatar-based pay TV group beIN Media has launched a new movie channel, beIN Movies 3, dedicated to popular and award-winning Hollywood content.The movie is the latest in a series of forays into the entertainment space by beIN Media. The group has also announced that Turner’s Cartoon Network, Boomerang, TCM, HLN and CNN HD channels will now be solely available on its pay TV DTH networks in the MENA region, following its recent deal with Turner.BeIN said it expects significant subscriber growth on the back of this new launch and is scheduled to introduce more entertainment channels of full HD quality by the second quarter of 2016.The new channel is available to existing subscribers at no additional cost on channel number 52 on the beIN EPG. New subscribers can access the service from a basic subscription fee of US$10 (€9).“The past few weeks have been packed with a lot of strategic announcements aimed at cementing our position as drivers of premium entertainment content in the region. From the launch of our entertainment portfolio to our collaboration with Turner, we have confidently announced our entry within this space and are gearing up for more niche unveilings that will position us at the top of our game,” said Yousef Al-Obaidly, Deputy CEO of beIN Media Group.“We are determined to keep expanding our sports, movies and entertainment offerings, bringing together the very best in global programming on our network. The response from our subscribers has been very encouraging and we want to carry on entertaining them with access to quality content that appeals to the entire family.”last_img read more

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Two titles originally from DC Universe the stream

first_imgTwo titles originally from DC Universe, the streaming service launched by DC Entertainment and Warner Bros Digital Networks last year, appear in Parrot Analytics list of the 10 most in-demand digital originals in Sweden for the week ending January 27.Parrot Analytics analyses the demand for recent popular digital titles across international markets, based on the application of artificial intelligence to expressions of demand across social media, fan sites, peer-to-peer protocols and file-sharing platforms.DC Universe’s Titans came second in the Swedish list, with an average 370,583 demand expressions, while Young Justice was in 10th place with an average of 227,298. Titans is however streamed by Netflix outside the US, with the latest season of the show debuting on the streaming service on January 1.The top 10 list was topped by Netflix’s Marvel’s The Punisher with an average of 516,667 demand expressions. Netflix took five of the 10 places on the list with its own originals, while CBS All Access’ Star Trek: Discovery, which is distributed by Netflix internationally, took the number four slot, and Titans took number two. The other non-Netflix titles on the list were Amazon Prime Video’s The Grand Tour at number five and Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale at number nine.last_img read more

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Indra Nooyi of PepsiCo has announced that she is s

first_imgIndra Nooyi of PepsiCo has announced that she is stepping aside as CEO after some 12 years at the helm.Nooyi plans to stay on as chairman until early 2019. The company’s board announced Monday that it elected Ramon Laguarta, president of the company since 2017, to succeed her as CEO. PepsiCo prides itself on tapping its leadership from within — every other chief executive has come from its own ranks.”Today is a day of mixed emotions for me. This company has been my life for nearly a quarter century and part of my heart will always remain here,” Nooyi, 62, said in a statement. “But I am proud of all we’ve done to position PepsiCo for success, confident that Ramon and his senior leadership team will continue prudently balancing short-term and long-term priorities, and excited for all the great things that are in store for this company.”Nooyi’s last day as CEO will be Oct. 3, according to the company.Under her leadership, the food and beverage giant dramatically repositioned itself toward selling more nutritious options, such as hummus, juices and kombucha. PepsiCo hails her as a pioneer among business leaders who promote sustainability and seek to “do well by doing good.”She was promoted to CEO in 2006, not long before the mortgage crisis-fueled Great Recession.And as she steps aside, the company is highlighting her strong financial results. Shareholder returns rose 162 percent between December 2006 and December 2017. And the company’s net revenue has grown from $35 billion in 2006 to $63.5 billion in 2017.Nooyi is a rare minority female CEO in the business world. As of May, according to Fortune, there were just 24 female chief executives of Fortune 500 companies.She grew up in Chennai, India. The Wall Street Journal notes that “during food shortages in the 1960s her middle-class family stood in line for rice rations studded with stones.”In India, Nooyi played cricket as well as lead guitar in a rock band before heading to the Yale School of Management in 1978, according to Freakonomics Radio.She joined PepsiCo in 1994, rising through the ranks to become chief executive in 2006.In an interview with the program earlier this year, Nooyi described how different it felt to become CEO compared with other leadership positions.”When you become CEO, overnight you are the person calling all the shots, you’re responsible for making sure you get all the information from the company, crystallize it down to, simple ideas, and then tell the organization what to do,” she said. “Day one, you have to be ready to take on the mantle of being CEO.”She said the shift toward healthier products required totally realigning the company’s “innovation, marketing, execution and budgets” — and then changing the company’s culture.Nooyi said she has had to bear a different level of scrutiny than male CEOs, and that figuring out how to help more women climb the ranks remains a huge challenge:”How are we going to attract women who are more than 50 percent of all the college graduates who are getting all the top grades? How are you going to attract women to the workforce, where we need them, but allow them to balance having a family and taking care of aging parents, because they’re all part of a sandwich generation today, and still allow them to contribute productively to the workforce? I don’t have an answer to that. It’s got to be a concerted effort on the part of governments, societies, families, companies — all of us coming together.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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The world is getting greenerThats according to C

first_imgThe world is getting greener.That’s according to Chi Chen, a doctoral student in the Department of Earth and Environment at Boston University. Chen has been mining data collected by an orbiting NASA camera that monitors green vegetation on Earth’s surface, day by day. This week, Chen and his colleagues published a new study showing that the amount of our planet’s land surface covered by green leaves increased between 2000 and 2017. The extent of the global greening is bigger than previously measured using other, less precise instruments. Even more interesting: Chen was able to pinpoint the causes of increasing — or decreasing — leaf cover in particular areas.In some places, changes in leaf cover apparently resulted from weather and climate change. The growing season is getting longer in some temperate areas, and rising carbon dioxide levels may be producing bigger, leafier plants.One large area of Brazil lost vegetation. “I personally checked the data, and that’s because of drought,” Chen says. The most striking changes, though, were the result of human decisions in China and India. Both countries have been getting a lot greener. Molly Brown, a geographer at the University of Maryland, has seen this greening up close. “These are really good examples of how policy can really make a difference,” she says.The greening of India, Brown says, comes from a huge expansion of irrigated agriculture: “Instead of having just crops when it’s raining, they also have a whole six months of cropping and greenness when it’s not raining.”This version of greening isn’t really so great for the environment, though. The irrigation drains groundwater, vegetation is wiped away at harvest time and the extra fertilizer farmers use releases greenhouse gases.In China, though, about half of the new leaf cover that Chen detected appears to be the result of a massive reforestation effort. It’s a government-sponsored attempt to prevent catastrophic dust storms that resulted from earlier deforestation.”They are really doing a good job,” Brown says. They have a large and comprehensive program of tree growing, tree planting, tree maintenance.”Those trees likely will stay in place, capturing dust and also carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas. They’ll store that carbon in wood and roots and soil, doing their part to slow global warming. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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Top officials from 13 states are joining Philadelp

first_imgTop officials from 13 states are joining Philadelphia in urging a federal court to allow a site to open where people can inject illegal opioids under medical supervision, the latest escalation in a legal battle with the Justice Department that may determine whether such facilities, known as supervised injection sites, can start to operate in America.In Philadelphia, where drug overdoses — most involving opioids — kill three times as many people as homicides, a nonprofit called Safehouse has been working to launch an injection site as a way of combating the city’s opioid crisis.But the Justice Department has mounted a legal challenge to block it before it opens, claiming such a site violates federal drug laws and would enable drug use. A friend-of-the-court brief submitted Wednesday by leaders from five cities — Ithaca, New York City, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Seattle — says injection sites, widely used in parts of Canada and Europe, need to be part of the way cities respond to the opioid crisis. “The opioid crisis has taken a major toll on American cities and counties, including ours,” the city leaders wrote. “Despite our efforts, the existing methods of combating the opioid crisis have proven to be too little, or at least too late, for far too many of our residents.” In a separate brief, attorneys general from Washington, D.C., and seven states including Michigan, New Mexico and Oregon also urged the court to allow the injection site to open. “As laboratories of experimentation and the primary regulators of public health, States should be free to adopt cutting-edge medical interventions,” the top state law enforcement officials wrote. The other top state law enforcement officials who signed on to the brief are from Delaware, Minnesota, Virginia and Colorado. The opioid crisis has also resulted in an alarming death rate in the cities that are exploring injection sites like the one Philadelphia is pursuing.In New York City alone, more than 1,000 people die every year from overdoses. “That means more New Yorkers die of opioid overdoses than from homicides, suicides and vehicle crashes combined,” the city leaders’ brief notes. But legal uncertainty and other issues have slowed the efforts to open supervised injection sites. However, city leaders say they believe no other option is able to put a significant dent in lethal overdoses. “These trends have continued despite extensive efforts by local governments and health departments to curb the crisis, including policies to expand medication-assisted treatment, clean needle exchanges, and the distribution of naloxone to first responders and public health workers,” the city officials wrote. Justice Department officials have stated that the idea of a supervised injection site violates so-called crack house laws that make it a crime to own a property where drugs are being used, but Safehouse planners and an alliance of local leaders counter that statutes from the 1980s were never intended to apply to what they view as a medical facility in the midst of a public health crisis. The city leaders write that the sites “would be places where drug users can obtain medical supervision and treatment. The act of allowing drug users to [inject drugs] in a supervised environment where they can be rescued if needed, rather than on the street or in a restroom stall.” A barrage of other briefs were also filed to the federal court in Philadelphia on Wednesday both in support of and opposing the proposed site. Among them, one written by a group of 64 current and former law enforcement officials, including former Justice Department officials, claiming that federal prosecutors were “distorting federal drug laws” in trying to shut down the country’s first attempt at opening a supervised injection site.But a group of six neighborhood associations around the Philadelphia neighborhood of Kensington, the heart of the city’s opioid crisis and the preferred location of the injection site, wrote a brief pleading with the court to not allow the site in their community, fearing such a facility would invite additional crime and drug trafficking. “Law abiding citizens walking to and from work and young children traveling to school face the risk of getting caught in the violence and become targets for the dealers looking to increase their customer base,” wrote the neighborhood group, which filed the brief along with the city’s Fraternal Order of Police.”The police, who are experts in this area, know what Congress knew. They know from bitter experiences that concentrating drug use in a place like the one that Safehouse proposes will bring more addicts, more dealers and more violent crime to neighborhoods that are already suffering,” the brief says.Yet, the brief from the states’ attorneys generals argues that studies have shown that injection sites have proved to save lives in other countries, and that it is time for the U.S. to give the controversial measure a chance. “States that are home to metropolitan areas should be free to experiment with this potentially lifesaving intervention, as well as others, without fear that public health nonprofits or doctors in their jurisdictions will be subject to prosecution,” the group wrote. The case is pending in Philadelphia before U.S. District Judge Gerald A. McHugh, who will rule sometime after a July 22 filing deadline. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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The governments cruel and unacceptable emphas

first_imgThe government’s “cruel” and “unacceptable” emphasis on linking health and job outcomes in its new work, health and disability strategy will have a significant negative impact on people in mental distress, say campaigners and experts.The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department of Health released their joint 10-year Improving Lives strategy last week, and it repeatedly stresses the need to “join up work and health”.The strategy includes proposals across social security, the workplace and healthcare, in response to a consultation that produced about 6,000 comments, including more than 3,000 emails.David Gauke, the work and pensions secretary, described the strategy as “ambitious” and said the aim was to secure jobs for one million more disabled people by 2027, increasing the number of disabled people in work from 3.5 million to 4.5 million by 2027.Among the plans on healthcare are to more than double the number of employment advisers sent in to work within Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) services, which provide treatment for people with anxiety and depression.The strategy – which contains the government’s response to last year’s Improving Lives work, health and disability green paper – also says the government is already running trials to test different ways of delivering “joined up health and work support” in settings such as GP surgeries.It claims that “many healthcare professionals recognise that good work generally improves health and act positively on this knowledge”, but adds that there is “more we need to do to ensure this practice is better embedded across all healthcare professions”.And it says it will work with NHS England “to explore opportunities to increase, where appropriate, the focus on work as a route to improved health and wellbeing, and to embed employment outcomes into evaluation measures”.But ‘Rita Bins’, a spokesperson for the user-led group Recovery in the Bin, said the strategy was “more of the same disastrous and cruel work as cure ideology” and represented a continuing emphasis on forcing people off disability benefits.Bins added: “It is also dishonest [because] there are twice as many unemployed people as vacancies, so a million jobs for disabled people would need government to create those jobs, government refuses to do so and its own growth forecast shows it can’t.“So in reality what this means is not a million more disabled people in work, but really a million more disabled people being cut off benefits.”Ellen Clifford, campaigns and policy manager for Inclusion London, said: “Concerns about the dangers of conflating work and health have been ignored, with proposals to put more employment advisers in IAPT and invest in research to support policy linking health and work.”Dr Jay Watts, a consultant clinical psychologist and a member of the campaigning Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, said the government had been “obsessed with the idea that work is the true goal of life for a number of years”.She said that although the strategy’s intention was supposed to be to “improve lives”, there was no commitment to halting benefit sanctions, despite the UN’s committee on the rights of persons with disabilities calling in August for a review of their “detrimental impact” on disabled people. Disabled activists have repeatedly highlighted the deaths of disabled benefit claimants they believe were linked to the government’s sanctions regime, including those of David Clapson and Alan McArdle.And DWP admitted in 2015 that 10 of 49 benefit claimants whose deaths were subject to secret reviews by the department had had their payments sanctioned at some stage.Only last week, DNS reported “shocking” NHS statistics that showed almost half of the people in England claiming the main out-of-work disability benefit, employment and support allowance (ESA), had attempted suicide at some point in their life.Campaigners believe that those figures – uncovered by Watts – highlight the need for DWP to abandon its hard-line approach to forcing disabled people off benefits and into work through damaging rhetoric and unforgiving sanctions, but there was no sign of such a shift in the new strategy.Watts called last week for DWP to start treating ESA claimants with “dignity and respect” and shift from a regime of punishment “to a culture that encourages things like voluntary work which are good for mental health, but too frightening a possibility for many claimants who fear any sign of activity will be used to stop their benefits”.She said this week: “The pressure to pursue work makes many people feel like failures when they are not well enough to work, when there are no jobs available or when they are forced to accept jobs that are demonstrably bad for mental health.“Everyone I speak too feels guilt and shame at not working, with disastrous effects on mental health.“This is a direct cause of the current mental health crisis, and a direct result of government policy that situates the workless as worthless.“Both Improving Lives and evidence from the influential New Savoy Partnership suggests therapists will be under increasing pressure to ‘encourage’ patients into jobs. This is simply unacceptable.“Therapists must not follow the money, but clear the therapeutic space away from any demands other than listening to patients, and focusing on the goals they, rather than the government, set.” One mental health professional has already resigned in protest at links between the organisation she is a member of and the government’s work and health agenda.Patricia Murphy, an independent therapist who practises cognitive behavioural therapy, said on Twitter that she had resigned as a member of the branch liaison committee of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies (BABCP), after almost 20 years serving on various BABCP committees.She said she felt she was being “co-opted to get people back into employment” and was “disappointed and dismayed” that BABCP was “engaging so actively” with DWP.Both BABCP and Murphy had failed to comment on her resignation by noon today (Thursday).last_img read more

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A note from the editor Please consider making a v

first_imgA note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS… The Welsh government has been criticised for a “ludicrous” and “insulting” failure to address the adult social care funding crisis in a new draft framework on independent living.Action on Disability, its new draft framework and action plan, was put out to consultation this week, and aims to “develop and improve access to help, advice and services for disabled people in Wales”.The plan will eventually replace the Welsh government’s 2013 framework for action on independent living and follows a series of meetings and engagement events with disabled people, disability organisations and other stakeholders.The report says that this public engagement process saw concerns raised about “cuts to social care provision” which had led to “lower allocations” of direct payments, leaving disabled people “increasingly isolated, and the impacts to their wellbeing compromised”.But despite these concerns, the action plan refers only to previous strategies on services for visually-impaired people, Deaf and autistic people and those with learning difficulties, and fails to include any measures to address the cuts to support and the social care funding crisis.This contrasts with its 2013 framework, which included lengthy sections on access to social care, direct payments and personalised support.Of 44 actions supposedly aimed at improving the right to independent living in the new action plan, not one of them explicitly addresses the need to improve the overall access to care and support, although it does promise a review of the aids and adaptations system that supports disabled and older people to live independently in their own homes.Instead, the action plan covers areas including disability employment, higher education – including a planned review of policy on disabled students’ allowance – public appointments, and access to public transport.There is also no mention of social care in the section describing the Welsh government’s “commitments” on independent living, even though it promises to “work for continuous improvement” on how it fulfils its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).The failure of the action plan to suggest any measures to address the funding crisis and cuts to support suggests the Welsh government is in breach of the convention’s article 19, which says that governments signed up to UNCRPD should take “effective and appropriate measures” to enable disabled people to live in the community with “full inclusion and participation”.There is also no mention in the document of the Independent Living Fund (ILF), and the Welsh government’s decision to close its interim Welsh Independent Living Grant (WILG) scheme, which it has been running as a stopgap with UK government transition funding since ILF closed in June 2015.Because of the WILG closure, Welsh local authorities will be solely responsible for meeting the support needs of all former ILF-recipients by 31 March 2019.Nathan Lee Davies (pictured), who is leading the campaign to persuade the Welsh government to overturn its decision to scrap WILG, said the failure to address social care in the action plan was “ludicrous” and “insulting”.He said: “They seem like a load of ostriches burying their heads in the sand. It’s just really worrying.“I am disillusioned but far from surprised. It just seems like they are copying what the Tories have done in Westminster, with the same devaluing of disabled people.”He suggested that the Welsh Labour government had simply published a “flimsy” framework document in order to “placate the UN, and to be able to say, ‘look, we are doing something to support disabled people’”.He said that ministers – by closing the WILG – were “washing their hands” of responsibility for social care and handing it to local councils, which could not afford to meet their responsibilities promised under the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, which Davies said should be renamed the Pie in the Sky Act.Responding to criticisms of the document, a Welsh government official said: “Our ‘Action on Disability: the Right to Independent Living’ framework is a high-level plan covering a wide range of issues in line with our national strategy, Prosperity for All.“A number of the actions in this draft action plan relate to social care; nevertheless we are open to suggestions on how the plan could be strengthened.“We encourage everyone to contribute to the consultation – which we launched this week – to influence our future work to support disabled people as best we can.”Davies has contrasted the actions of the Welsh Labour government with those of the UK Labour party, whose leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has publicly supported his campaign to save the WILG, as did members of Welsh Labour at their annual conference earlier this year.Davies is determined to persuade the Welsh government to keep the current system, which allows former ILF-recipients some security by receiving funding from three different “pots”: WILG, local authorities and their own personal contributions.He said that this “tripartite” system had provided the support he needed that led to him being recognised with an honorary degree by Wrexham Glyndwr University for his services to disability rights.He has also been involved with Wrexham football club, Disabled People Against Cuts, and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales, as well as writing a new book, and running his campaign and a blog.He also worked with Disability Arts Cymru on a #SaveWILG exhibition of visual art and poetry earlier this year.Davies is now waiting to hear what will happen to his support package when WILG closes.last_img read more

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PREVIEW Cheltenham Day Three

first_img[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ometimes a non runner can feel like a winner at Cheltenham !!No sooner had a published my thoughts for Wednesday and moments afterwards Champagne Fever, the recommended tip became a non runner.If you haven’t checked out the incredible VAUTOUR INSURE offer today – it’s the lead story on the web site.Put simply, if you are considering backing VAUTOUR in the opening JLT Novices’ Chase then it’s a money back insurance offer that you have to grab. Basically, you get your money back if Vautour finishes outside the first three (up to £500) – check the offer page for full details.Also – still time to check out the Cheltenham Preview Videos in the Cheltenham part of the site.And if you’re on course today – don’t forget to pop by and say hello at the Star Sports pitch in the main ring.Today’s feature the World Hurdle looks as wide a renewal as I can remember and I am having a small bet each way on the Sandra Hughes trained Lieutenant Colonel being able to continue his progress. He is one of the few who genuinely look to be improving.RECOMMENDED BETS (scale of 1-50 points)BACK LIEUTENANT COLONEL for 2 points ew at around 9/1 with Star SportsRETURN SINCE START OF WORLD CUP: PROFIT 113.92 POINTSWhat’s your view? CALL STAR SPORTS 08000 521 321last_img read more

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What Googles Mobile OS Will Do for Your Next Cell Phone

first_img November 5, 2007 What Google’s Mobile OS Will Do for Your Next Cell Phone Add to Queue Tom Spring –shares Brought to you by PCWorld Technology 10 min readcenter_img No Google phone exists yet, but the search giant’s announcement of an open platform for mobile-phone apps is a step in the right direction. So when will we see the so-called Android phones from members of the newly founded Open Handset Alliance? We’ll dig into those and more of the key questions surrounding Google’s phone platform in this FAQ. Be sure to check back for updates as the story evolves. (Last updated: 11/07/2007 at 8:20 a.m.)Will a Google Phone ever be made?What has been announced so far?So what is this Android?When will I be able to buy a Google-powered phone?Will other carriers such as Verizon offer Android-based phones?How will Android phones differ from today’s coolest smart phones?Why is a Google mobile platform any better than an existing mobile OS from Palm or Microsoft?Will service providers be able to lock down phones?But with this “open platform” behind the phone, I’ll be able to hack it and customize it anyway, right?What will I be able to customize on an Android phone?What kinds of applications will we see? newWill added customization mean lots of hardware spec confusion when you buy a “Google” phone? newWill I need to know how much RAM, storage, and processing power my phone has? newShould I trust an Android phone? newWill Google phones only be cheap because they’re inundated with ads? newWhat does this have to do with Google’s battle for wireless spectrum? newWill a Google Phone ever be made?Google’s chair and CEO Eric Schmidt won’t officially say. But Schmidt does say that if all goes as planned, we’ll likely see many “Google phones” from a variety of wireless carriers. He also says that once software developers create a mature Android OS, it would be a prime time for Google to release a gPhone.What has been announced so far?The release of the Android platform and the launch of the Open Handset Alliance were the two most substantive news items to come out of Monday’s press conference.So what is this Android?Android is a Linux-based mobile software platform that Google hopes will be the operating system of mobile phones in the future. It will compete with platforms such as Apple’s OS X on the iPhone, the BlackBerry OS, Microsoft’s Windows Mobile, and the Palm OS.Google announced the Android platform along with other members of the Open Handset Alliance, a group of 34 hardware and software companies plus wireless carriers committed to creating open standards for mobile devices.The Android platform, according to OHA, is free software available under the Apache open-source license. On November 12, a software developer’s kit (SDK) will release to developers. This will be the first chance for people to see an early incarnation of the OS.When will I be able to buy a Google-powered phone?The first Android phones are expected to be available to consumers in the second half of 2008. The most likely candidates to release Google-powered phones here in the United States are the wireless carriers–Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile–that are part of OHA.HTC and Motorola, both members of OHA, will build phones for the Android platform. Forbes is reporting on an HTC-built OHA reference design code-named Dream featuring a touch screen that swivels to reveal a full keyboard. Apparently HTC is considering a commercial version of the phone and could release such a device as soon as the second half of 2008.Will other carriers such as Verizon offer Android-based phones?Don’t hold your breath for Verizon and AT&T to jump on the Android bandwagon. These carriers say they are worried that the open-software standards could expose users to software attacks or security breaches.Beyond the security issues, wireless carriers have financial considerations, too. A cell phone that allowed customers to use any mobile Web application for free could threaten the revenue of carriers that charge customers for identical applications, such as access to e-mail, games, and GPS features.How will Android phones differ from today’s coolest smart phones?Google says Android will have a browser capable of handling any type of Web content that a desktop computer’s Web browser can handle. That design opens up a treasure trove of possible browser-based services already available to PC users, including contact management, document creation, GPS direction services, and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) services.Many of these services could be implemented today but aren’t, largely due to the fact that wireless carriers currently offer basic browsers that restrict users to a walled garden of services.Why is a Google mobile platform any better than an existing mobile OS from Palm or Microsoft?In theory, software developers will be inspired to create mobile applications for Android, for two reasons. First, an open software architecture will allow software developers more flexibility in creating features.Second, Android will break the stranglehold that wireless carriers have on bringing new and free applications to customers. Now smaller companies will have more of an incentive to build innovative mobile applications that otherwise might not have reached consumers because the companies lacked the clout to broker deals with wireless carriers.Will service providers be able to lock down phones?According to the Android open license agreement, anyone can modify the OS to suit their needs–including locking it down. Conceivably a carrier could place restrictions on applications, such as VoIP services that took advantage of a mobile phone’s Wi-Fi capabilities. Being able to receive and initiate calls over VoIP for free on a handset could significantly impact a wireless carrier’s monthly revenue.While Google CEO Schmidt acknowledges that locking is possible, however, he said today that it would be “unlikely” for a carrier to actually do so.But with this “open platform” behind the phone, I’ll be able to hack it and customize it anyway, right?You’ve seen what has happened with the iPhone, right? With an open platform driving all Android phones, hackers should whip up something for any locked-down Android device even more easily. We’d bet that any sufficiently popular locked phones won’t remain that way for long.What will I be able to customize on an Android phone?The Open Handset Alliance platform allows for customization down to the screen you see when you open or turn on your phone. Imagine being able to customize your opening screen with personalized icons, news feeds, weather details, and voice-mail information. Think of a My Yahoo start page for your cell phone. Again, the amount of customization will depend on the carrier.What kinds of applications will we see?Some companies have expressed an intent to develop location-aware services that, for instance, automatically link users to reviews of nearby restaurants. Other services might include a photo application that matches pictures automatically with people you select from your address book. Other applications could include a more robust offering of online real-time multiplayer games.At Monday’s press conference, Google director of mobile platforms Andy Rubin promised the world when it came to applications, stressing that mobile programs would be on a par with apps that people know from the PC-based Web.Will added customization mean lots of hardware spec confusion when you buy a “Google” phone?Yes, but it won’t be anymore complicated than buying a cell phone today. Greg Sterling of Opus Research in San Francisco says with as many handsets expected to run the Android software there are bound to be low and high-end phones.Sterling says that because Android devices rely on third party mobile services and software for advanced features, low-end phones likely will not be able to take advantage of the most resource demanding applications, such as HD video playback. “This doesn’t differ a whole lot from what we have today,” Sterling says.Will I need to know how much RAM, storage, and processing power my phone has?One of the key features of the open handsets that run Google’s operating system is their ability to run applications and services from third-party providers. Just as you can’t run the most system-demanding games on a low-end PC, you won’t be able to run system-taxing mobile applications on low-end Android phones.OHA members say the goal is to maximize handset functionality while keeping system specs as low as possible. However, given that mobile phones are morphing quickly into portable multi-media devices it’s hard to imagine handsets that don’t ship with varying quality displays and storage capacity, for example.Should I trust an Android phone?The Google phones are based on an open operating system, meaning anyone can create software for it. Anyone includes hackers or people with malicious intent who can easily study the OS and create security threats – Trojans, worms, and viruses.But some like Charles Golvin, a wireless analyst at the consultant firm Forrester Research, argue open source software can actually be much less a security risk than closed operating systems like Microsoft Windows. He says the collaborative nature of open software translates into more eyes looking for problems and more hands to fix problems when they are identified.Golvin expects security to be the centerpiece to the Google devices. Companies will need to adapt their policies to deal with the new phones’ security and privacy implications, Golvin says.Will Google phones only be cheap because they’re inundated with ads?No. Google says that it doesn’t believe carriers will subsidize the initial cost or monthly service charges of the phone with advertising. However, over time Google believes this may change. How long we’ll have to wait is anyone’s guess.It’s no secret Google is entering into the mobile phone space to sell ads. But in Monday’s press conference Google said it had no intention of pushing ads on mobile users any harder than it already does with its Mobile AdSense program. Why?Golvin from Forrester points out that mobile phone users are not accustomed to seeing ads on their devices. Google knows this, Golvin says, and won’t risk irritating customers with a mobile ad blitz for cell phones.Google says a cut of the revenue from ads shown on Android handsets will be shared with the wireless carrier. Over time as mobile users become desensitized and mobile ads proliferate wireless carriers will likely reduce monthly fees, Golvin says.What does this have to do with Google’s battle for wireless spectrum?According to Google’s Eric Schmidt, they’re two different initiatives. Android will run well on phones built for any networks.Google is willing to spend $4.6 billion on an upcoming Federal Communications Commission 700MHz spectrum auction. The spectrum is prime wireless real estate for wireless carriers and Google who see it as a perfect opportunity to extend mobile broadband services nationwide.Analysts says this fits into Google’s mobile strategy of extending its reach to mobile phone and beyond. “If Google won the auction it gives them an open road to offer whatever kind of services Google wants,” Forrester’s Golvin says. It’s likely Google would lease the spectrum, if it owned it, to a wireless carrier on the conditions it place no restrictions on Google phones and devices. When will you be able to buy a Google phone? We’ll answer your questions about everything about Android, the Google phone, and the Open Handset Alliance in this evolving FAQ. Next Article 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Apply Now »last_img read more

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New York Times to Invest in Startups Through Its Own Incubator

first_img 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Brian Patrick Eha The New York Times Co. is going to invest in early-stage media startups through its incubator, timeSpace.An experimental program within the newspaper company, timeSpace provided for three startups to spend the past four months collaborating with Times staffers and receiving crucial insight into the news industry and feedback as they developed their products.When timeSpace was first announced in January, the Times Co. said it would not take equity in startups as part of the incubator program, though it left open the possibility of investing at a later date. Geoffrey Isenman, vice president of corporate development for the Times Co., broke the news at a press event Tuesday.Isenman says the amount of the investment is still being debated, but that each company will receive the same deal. What’s more, the next class of startups at timeSpace will receive the investment at the beginning of their tenure, he says.On Tuesday, the startup founders who formed the incubator’s inaugural class presented their companies. The Times Co. had winnowed a field of about 500 applicants down to three, each of them tackling a specific challenge in the media industry. All three companies were given coworking space on the ninth floor of the Times building, where they worked in the midst of Times staffers whose expertise they drew on while creating their startups.Related: The New York Times Gets Into the Incubator GameFirst up was Delve, a social news reader and recommendation engine designed to keep users on top of trends in their organization and industry. Co-founder and chief executive Sandeep Ayyappan spoke on the difficulty of separating signal from noise in today’s growing flood of information. Valuable insights are lost. Even among coworkers, emails go unopened and tweets go unseen.”You’re only seeing a tiny sliver of all the interesting stuff that your colleagues are finding and sharing,” Ayyappan said. “Delve changes that.”Delve’s platform functions as a private social network for the employees of a given company. Each user receives personalized suggestions for what to read to stay current on her industry. Discussion tools make it easy to share knowledge with colleagues while keeping it away from competitors, and Delve archives everything so that you can find it later when you need it., Ayyappan said.Delve’s mobile app is awaiting approval in the Apple App store, he said.Brian Muller of OpBandit, who presented next along with his co-founder, Blaine Sheldon, wants to help media companies be more relevant to their audiences. The key question, said Muller, is “What do you put front-and-center of all the content that you produce?” To answer that, OpBandit provides an analytics dashboard that tracks engagement metrics and allows site administrators to create alternate versions of each piece of content.Related: Bloomberg Opens $75 Million Venture Capital FundWith OpBandit, a news outlet’s home page could be different for readers in one part of the country than for those in another, or could differ depending on time of day or other factors. For instance, some readers might see a different header image for a story than others. In short, OpBandit aims to promote the right version of the right content at the right time to maximize page views and engagement.The final startup, Mahaya, demoed a product called Seen that represents an effort to curate “the real-time web” in which most news stories live and die. “Our social feeds are the first draft of history” now, having taken over that role from newspapers and cable TV news, said Tarikh Korula, Mahaya’s co-founder. But social feeds are ephemeral; content disappears quickly, never to be seen again. In light of that, said Korula, “We’re trying to create a coherent first draft.”To that end, Seen, which is in beta, tracks public events, scans social media for the best content surrounding them and displays it in a layout that looks like a cross between a Tumblr photo feed and a magazine spread. The content is archived and updated continually throughout the event, so Seen users can keep up on events of interest, everything from the Electric Zoo Festival to protests in Turkey.Eventually, Seen hopes to function like “DVR for anything that happens in the world,” Korula said.For the Times Co., investing in digital startups is not new. Until now, however, it has done so only as an institutional investor at later stages in the life cycle of companies, and has never led a funding round, Isenman told Entrepreneur. That is what makes Wednesday’s announcement such big news.The purpose of the timeSpace investments is twofold, Isenman says. “One is financial, and the second is that notion of having skin in the game, and signaling our commitment.”Related: Inside Nerdist’s Media Empire for the Internet Age The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. New York Times to Invest in Startups Through Its Own Incubator Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 5 min read September 11, 2013 –shares Next Article Technology Add to Queue Apply Now »last_img read more

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