Tag: 上海楼凤

Sarri Ive reached the top by joining Chelsea

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first_imgChelsea coach Maurizio Sarri revealed how it dawned on him that he has reached the top of football following an exchange with Liverpool counterpart Jurgen KloppFollowing his summer arrival from Napoli, Sarri has enjoyed a record-breaking start at Chelsea this season.The Blues are currently just four points adrift from Premier League leaders Manchester City and unbeaten after 12 games.Now Sarri has described a moment he shared with Klopp on the touchline back in September, where Chelsea had a double-header against Liverpool.“At one point I turned to him [Klopp] and saw that he was smiling,” Sarri told La Gazzetta dello Sport.“I approached and asked him why.“He told me ‘I’m having a good time, you?’ ‘Me too,’ I replied.“Here, when you live these situations, you realise that you have reached the top.”divock origi, liverpoolReport: Origi cause Klopp injury concerns George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Divock Origi injury in today’s game against Newcastle is a cause for concern for Jurgen Klopp.Perhaps with one eye on Tuesday’s trip to Italy…Klopp is the coach that Sarri respects most in the Premier League due to their shared philosophical point of views.“I feel closer to Klopp from a philosophical point of view,” said Sarri. “The exchange of words between us seems to me to be exemplary.”Although the Italian also holds Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho and Arsenal’s Unai Emery in a high regard.“Mourinho is a man of extraordinary human qualities,” added Sarri.“He made an excellent impression on the day of the Stamford Bridge match when the incident involving one of my assistants occurred.“On a professional level, there is little to say: he has won everything and everywhere.“Emery is a scholar and an excellent professional. The offensive organisation of his football is of the highest level.”Chelsea will travel to Tottenham this Saturday in a Premier League fixture.last_img read more

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Shutdown Over – For Now

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first_img ADC AUTHOR The federal government is fully open, after President Trump and Congress agreed to a three-week stopgap spending bill Friday.That makes Feb. 15 the new deadline to reach a deal on immigration, including whether to fund a wall on the southern border.One Coast Guard spouse in Rhode Island said her family will remain on a tight budget.“We’re just still uncertain as to how to proceed with this,” Mariah Battermann told the Associated Press. “For our household, we’re definitely going to stay cautious.”last_img

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POLICE LOG for September 30 Evidence Of Crash On Salem Street Vehicle Egged

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first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Here are highlights from the Wilmington Police Log for Sunday, September 30, 2018:Police reported extensive damage to guardrail on Salem Street, near North Intermediate. It appeared a tow truck pulled a car out of the woods. Police notified DPW to replace guardrail. (2:26am)A car was egged on Burlington Avenue. (3:07am)A Chestnut Street caller reported property belonging to a neighbor was in his yard. Caller has surveillance footage of someone putting it there. Police returned items to the owner. (9:05am)Railroad crossing arms at Main Street and Middlesex Avenue were halfway down despite no train in the past 15 minutes. Police notified Keolis, who resolved the problem. (8:05pm)(DISCLAIMER: This information is public information.  An arrest does not constitute a conviction.  Any arrested person is innocent until proven guilty.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedPOLICE LOG for August 31: Woburn Man Arrested For OUI; Bad Highway Crash Required MedflightIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for September 4: Police Help Make Bus Stop Safer; Hit & Run at Cumberland Farms; Garbage Truck Takes Down WiresIn “Police Log”POLICE LOG for September 5: Train Conductor Helps Locate Missing Puppy; Rented Trucks Not Returned To UHaulIn “Police Log”last_img read more

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France fears further protests

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first_imgPeople are at work to build a wooden wall aimed at protecting the shop window of store, on 7 December 2018 on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, on the eve of a fourth wave of `yellow vests` anti-government protests. Last Saturday`s riots in Paris, where the Arc de Triomphe war memorial was sacked, dozens of cars torched and shops looted, were the worst in decades, plunging president Emmanuel Macron`s government into a deep crisis. Photo: AFPBusinesses in Paris battened down the hatches on Friday and streets were cleared of material that could be used as weapons amid fears of further violence during a fourth round of “yellow vest” protests.The French capital experienced its worst riots in decades last weekend, plunging president Emmanuel Macron’s government into its deepest crisis so far.The Arc de Triomphe war memorial was sacked, dozens of cars torched and shops looted by the radical fringe of a three-week-old rebellion over taxes and inequality.Interior minister Christophe Castaner on Friday vowed “zero tolerance” towards those aiming to wreak further destruction and mayhem during a new round of protests set for Saturday.”These past three weeks have seen the birth of a monster that has escaped its creators,” Castaner told a news conference, adding: “It’s time now for dialogue.”Shops around the famous Champs-Elysees boulevard — epicentre of last week’s battle — were busy boarding up their windows and emptying them of merchandise on Friday.”We can’t take the risk,” said a manager at a Ducati motorcycle dealership as employees loaded luxury Italian racers onto trucks for safekeeping.The operators of leading museums and landmarks, including the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre and Musee d’Orsay all said they would be closed on Saturday, along with department stores, operas, theatres and libraries.Foreign governments are watching developments closely.The US embassy issued a warning to Americans in Paris to “keep a low profile and avoid crowds”, a warning echoed by the Turkish foreign ministry for Turkish travellers.The Belgian foreign ministry advised Belgians planning to visit Paris over the weekend to postpone their visit.- School pupils rounded up -Macron this week gave in to some of the protesters’ demands for measures to help the poor and struggling middle classes, including scrapping a planned increase in fuel taxes and freezing electricity and gas prices in 2019.But the “yellow vests”, who have become increasingly radicalised, are holding out for more.The government has vowed a tough response in the event of further trouble.Calls on social media for protesters to attack the police or march on the presidential palace have particularly rattled the authorities.Prime minister Edouard Philippe said 8,000 police would be deployed in Paris out of 89,000 nationwide, and that a dozen armoured vehicles would be stationed around the capital — a first.The police were already facing accusations Friday of being heavy-handed.A video showed officers in riot gear barking orders at dozens of high-school pupils kneeling on the ground with their hands behind their heads following a demonstration in Mantes-la-Jolie near Paris.”Whatever wrong was done, nothing justifies this filmed humiliation of minors,” Socialist leader Olivier Faure tweeted.- ‘Not the people’ -The “yellow vests”, named after the high-visibility safety jackets worn by demonstrators, began blocking roads, fuel depots and shopping centres around France on 17 November over fuel price hikes.Since then the movement has snowballed into a wider revolt against Macron’s economic policies and his top-down approach to power.Protests at dozens of schools over stricter university entrance requirements, and a call by farmers for demonstrations next week, have added to a sense of a government under siege.Opposition parties, particularly on the far right and radical left, have sought to capitalise on the protests to try to bring about Macron’s downfall.The protesters accuse the centrist president of favouring the rich and city-dwellers over those trying to make ends meet in car-dependent rural and small-town France.Many are calling on him to resign.Castaner on Friday estimated the number of people still taking part in demonstrations at 10,000 nationwide.”10,000 is not the people, it’s not France,” he argued, despite polls showing the protesters enjoying strong public support.- Macron’s silence -Macron’s “cardinal sin”, in the eyes of the protesters, was to slash wealth taxes shortly after taking office.The 40-year-old former investment banker, dubbed “the president of the rich” by critics, has so far ruled out re-imposing the “fortune tax” on high-earners, arguing it is necessary to boost investment and create jobs.But his climbdown on fuel taxes — intended to help France transition to a greener economy — marks a major departure for a leader who had prided himself on not giving into street protests.Prime minister Edouard Philippe has signalled a willingness to make further concessions.Macron himself has not commented publicly on the crisis since his return from the G20 summit in Argentina a week ago.Parliament speaker Richard Ferrand said the president did not want to “add fuel to the fire” in the run-up to Saturday’s demonstrations.He is expected to address the protests in a speech early next week.last_img

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Texas Gets Extension of Crucial Hospital Payments Until 2018 But Feds Demand

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first_img 00:00 /01:39 To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: The federal government has agreed to continue sending billions annually to Texas, to support hospitals that treat large numbers of uninsured patients. In return, the feds expect Texas health officials to work towards a more permanent solution for the uninsured.The payments were set to expire in September, ending a five-year deal between Texas and the Obama administration known as an “1115 waiver.” Hospitals feared an abrupt cut-off of the funding would disrupt hundreds of community-based health programs and hurt their bottom lines.The waiver began in 2011, and gave Texas officials more flexibility in distributing supplementary Medicaid funds across the state. The original intent was to help Texas hospitals continue caring for the state’s five million uninsured residents, while also developing innovative programs such as drop-in mental health clinics and ambulances with laptops on board, providing live video links with ER doctors.On Monday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid informed Texas that the payments will continue through the end of 2017, a 15-month extension.Without the extension, many hospitals would have been in big financial trouble, said John Hawkins, vice president for governmental affairs for the Texas Hospital Association.“The reality is it’s about $6 billion a year in supplemental payments,” Hawkins said. “Hospitals are using those to offset the cost of the uninsured, and deal with the Medicaid shortfall, since the state is reimbursing hospitals at about 51 percent of cost.”The original funding deal was negotiated years ago, before the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed the Affordable Care Act and ruled that one major facet of the law could be optional: states did not have to expand Medicaid to low-income adults. Thirty-one states have chosen to do so, but Texas and 18 other have not.Without the force of law, federal officials must rely on other incentives to encourage Medicaid expansion, according to Anne Dunkelberg, a health policy analyst with the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a left-leaning Austin think tank.One powerful incentive in Texas would be if federal officials withheld some of the supplementary Medicaid payments that were set to expire in September. Although Texas won an temporary extension, CMS officials explained in a letter that future funding agreements must meet certain conditions.“A 15-month stopgap means the story is far from over,” Dunkelberg said.Some of the current funds help reimburse Texas hospitals for money spent treating uninsured Texans in emergency rooms, Dunkelberg said. In the future, the Obama administration wants Texas to spend federal healthcare dollars on providing Medicaid coverage to more Texans, so there are fewer uninsured patients showing up in emergency rooms in the first place.“They have basically said ‘We’re not going to pay uncompensated care payments for people you could have covered by Medicaid,’” Dunkelberg said. “That’s just the new rule.”While the 15-month extension is in place, the Texas legislature will re-convene in Austin. In the past two sessions, Republicans have blocked any efforts to expand Medicaid, calling the program a costly and inefficient entitlement. But Democrats now hope that with more pressure from hospitals over these payments, and a new deadline, some sort of permanent compromise can be found for the uninsured in Texas. Share X Listenlast_img read more

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The American Kidney Fund Receives Grant to support Children with Kidney Disease

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first_imgBy George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff WriterThe Robert I. Schattner Foundation awarded The American Kidney Fund (AKF) with a $150,000 grant to help children living with kidney disease and provide financial support for low income dialysis patients in the D.C. area.“The Foundation’s Board chose AKF for this gift as a meaningful extension of Dr. Schattner’s philanthropy and to honor Dr. Schattner by helping others who are living with kidney disease,” said Robert H. Sievers, treasurer of the Robert I. Schattner Foundation in a press release. “Though AKF helps thousands of patients nationwide, we know they also help many people right here in our backyard. We are pleased to know the Foundation’s gift will be well spent on programs that really make a difference in people’s lives.”The Robert I. Schattner Foundation awarded The American Kidney Fund (AKF) with a $150,000 grant to help children living with kidney disease and support low-income dialysis patients in the District.  (Courtesy Image/Logo)The Foundation’s gift will provide funding for three AKF programs in 2019:The Safety Net Program provides grants to low-income dialysis patients to help pay for treatment-related costs that are not covered by health insurance. This includes things like transport to and from treatments, over the counter medications and other needs.The Calendar Kids Art Program is an annual nationwide art contest for children and teens living with kidney disease.The Summer Enrichment Program provides financial support to help children and teens with kidney disease attend specialty camps that offer all the fun of traditional camps and are also equipped with the facilities and staff needed to handle the unique medical needs of kidney patients.The Robert I. Schattner Foundation, based in Rockville, MD, was established by Dr. Robert I. Schattner, a local dentist, inventor, businessman and philanthropist. Schattner died in 2017 from complications of kidney failure.“We are so grateful to the Robert I. Schattner Foundation for its generous gift to help ease the financial and emotional burden of children and adults living with kidney disease,” said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF president and CEO. “The Foundation’s gift will allow us to open exciting new avenues for the Calendar Kids Art participants to illustrate their journey with kidney disease, support summer enrichment activities for young patients and provide desperately needed funds to help dialysis patients in the Capital Region who have nowhere else to turn.”Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an often-preventable condition that can go undetected until it becomes life-threatening. As the leading nonprofit working on behalf of Americans with kidney disease, AKF has planned Kidney Month activities to inform and inspire at-risk individuals, policy makers and the public about kidney disease and living kidney donation.Many of the 30 million people in the U.S. don’t even know they have the disease, so AKF is taking action to provide several engagements and tools to help DMV residents get tested and stay aware of their kidney health.The AKF is offering several free screenings throughout the month of March in honor of Kidney Month.In Washington, D.C., there will be free screenings at the AmeriHealth Caritas Nutrition Wellness Day (March 16), Children’s National Medical Center Health Fair (March 19) and Hoop for All Foundation Flag Football Tournament (March 23). In addition to the D.C. kidney health screening events, AKF will host a Kidney Month presentation at the Washington Senior Wellness Center (March 19). Through Know Your Kidneys™, AKF helps people understand their risk for CKD and the importance of early detection to slow down or prevent its progression to kidney failure.There are also screenings in Richmond,VA (March 22-24) and the B’More Healthy Expo in Baltimore (March 16).For more information about AKF Kidney month activities go to KidneyFund.org/kidneymonth. The AKF also has developed a quiz for people to learn what they may know and don’t know about kidney disease. To go to the quick click here, or go to www.kidneyfund.org.last_img read more

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E3POD electric vehicle concept wins the Double Challenge Project

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first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: E-3POD electric vehicle concept wins the Double Challenge Project (2011, February 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-e-3pod-electric-vehicle-concept.html (PhysOrg.com) — It’s a car. It’s a bike. It’s the winner of the Double Challenge project sponsored by Citroen. It may look like a prop from the move TRON, but in actuality it is an ultra-compact electric vehicle. Somewhere between a motorcycle and a car this vehicle is light, aerodynamically efficient, economical and cheap to build. The project, which was designed by Heikki Juvonen, a masters degree students at London’s Royal College of Art, is called E-3POD Antistatic. Honda Introduces All-New Insight Dedicated Hybrid Concept Vehicle at Paris Motor Show Explore further The bike sets the driver in a large wheel, sans the hub of course, along with two other wheels, which provides for a greater amount of stability than a traditional two-wheeled motorcycle could hope to have. The E-3POD was designed as an entry-level electric vehicle for young professionals and students. It has a specific focus of the daily commute and other short distance trips, as the designer expects that most users would still rely on more traditional fossil fuel based combustion engines for trips of any long distance. At least in the near future. The design in low weight thanks to several features such as the shared suspension for both front wheels, the choice of a scratch resistant plastic in the vehicle canopy, and a rear wheel that doubles as a supportive structural element. Some choices, such as the plastic canopy are only possible because of the electric motors, which produce less vibrations than their gasoline and diesel fueled counterparts.The vehicle also has some unique advantages on road as well. Unlike a motorcycle this design allows for an isolated personal space, and the vehicle can also tilt slightly in order to get a better grip on the road during turns or lane change maneuvers. In addition, the compact size of the vehicle may make parking in crowded urban areas easier, though probably not any less expensive. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Heikki Juvonen, the designer of the E-3POD, in addition to getting the bragging rights of having his design chosen as the best overall design by representatives from Citroën’s Style Centre and Electric Vehicle Development Team, will also receives a six month employment contract to at the PSA Design Centre in Paris, France.last_img read more

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West Bengal boy hangs himself

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first_imgKolkata: A class 12 boy of Kurseong, West Bengal, was found hanging in a secluded area with words like ‘Illuminati’, ‘hanged man’ and ‘devil’s one eye’ inscribed on the wall, the police said on Thursday. “We received a complaint on Monday that the boy of Saint Mary’s hill area was found hanging. We have seen strange symbols and lines written on the walls of the area where the boy was found and the investigation is going on,” said a police official. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life According to the neighbours, the boy and many other young children frequented the area where the mobile network is very strong. “I believe the symbols and words like ‘Illuminati’, ‘devil’s one eye’ inscribed on the wall is linked to some of these online apps or game which targets young people. It provokes the young mind,” said a resident of the area. A teacher of St. Alphonsus School, where the class 12 boy studied, warned parents to be cautious with the online activities of their ward. “We have lost a very bright student of our school. I also heard that another student was taking up some ‘Momo Challenge’. Later he was threatened that his personal data will be downloaded. The students got scared and we have warned everyone to stay away from such cyber games,” he said.last_img read more

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Sensitising people about the plight of orphans and spastic children

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first_imgArambagh Puja is known for its uniqueness, creativity and social responsibility in celebration. This year Arambagh Puja will try to create awareness about the plight of orphans and spastic children India.Taking inspiration from the great painting of Rabanindranath Tagore’s ‘Bharat Mata’ from 1935 – Arambagh Puja samiti will make a replica of 40 ft tall Bharat Mata along with children both in her sides cohabiting with skyscrapers. Even after seventy years of independence of India, the plight of the orphans and spastic children has not changed. India is developing hi-rise buildings, and this has caught up everyone’s attention. But there is a section of orphan children, whom as a country we have failed miserably. According to statistics presented to the Supreme Court in a PIL filed in 2011 which estimates the figure to be closer to 11 million, 90% of the girls and three children out of 1000 in India suffer from this disorder. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOrphans and the spastic children are the most neglected and probably abused children in our society as there is no proper mechanism to provide them security and a good life.Abhijit Bose, Executive Chairman, Arambagh Puja said, “Apart from a few NGOs, social organisations and government programs, there is little awareness about the orphans and spastic children in India. This is a section for which you would hardly find any voice. Through this year’s Durga Puja we would like to sensitise people, government and private bodies about the issue that this is a crucial issue which is a reality in India. We have to first admit it as a serious issue and then act accordingly to solve the problem.””At Arambagh Puja we get every year a great footfall and thought of using this as a platform to sensitise people about the plight of orphans. We have invited various NGOs who are working at the grassroots for these children without any govt aid and will try to help them as much as possible,” Bose added.last_img read more

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Cravings between life and death

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first_imgBratya Basu’s literary invasion into the near-death experience (NDE) is a twist in the tale of otherwise a gripping story of soul searching of a fatally injured man in the coma. The playwright chooses a middle-class Bengali protagonist who represents the perception of the entire class about their daily chores, ambitions, accomplishments, failure, wiliness, inherent family politics and their rationale to defend themselves in their lives.The play progresses lyrically by dissecting the mind of the protagonist and constructing the discourse of a common man in the society who struggles hard in balancing between building his career and struggling for a satisfactory family life. He stumbles quite often to get up again and move on. His vices and dogmas are generally criticised hard in his society but he shows the courage to confront them. ‘Ami Anukulda ar Ora’ is a short play which blends the real with surreal, moves between likelihood and implausibility, revolves around dreams and reality of a commoner by indicting and challenging the social system. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfAvi Chakraborty of Asoknagar Natyamukh has shown noticeable maturity in producing a difficult play. He has skillfully brought OBE (out of the body experience) on stage to handgrip the enormity and spread of introspection. Somesh, 54 years of age, a marketing manager of a private firm, meets with a serious accident and slips into unconsciousness with a little chance of recovery. It is in this condition that reality and dreams cross boundaries when his friend of yesteryears, Anukulda, comes to visit Somesh. We see Somesh in his teens in dialogue with Anukulda, whose nagging and blunt behavior irks him but reminds him of his nostalgic past. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe most poetic, emotive and surrealistic part of the play happens when his unborn, aborted daughter who if born would have been a teenager, comes to visit him to remind Somesh of his complex intimate relation with his wife. The playwright’s creative resourcefulness brings the kindliness of a father-child conversation which silently makes the Electra complex perceptible between them. In the concluding part, Somesh faces ‘Godot’ of Samuel Beckett where he admits that while he might have faced ‘Iblish’ to experience ‘hell’ on earth, he still wishes to live for a minority few for whom it is worth living. Charming Rishav Basu as Somesh is very good in his role in the play. He, with his impressive diction and gracious body movement, carries the play effortlessly on his shoulders as a protagonist. Equally dexterous is Sumanta Roy in his role as Anukulda. He challenges Rishav quite often with his natural acting and undoubtedly proves his potential as an actor of promise. Avipsa Ghosh as Somesh’s daughter shows her growing determination to be a great actor on stage. Sandipan Chatterjee is good in his role as God. Director, Avi Chakraborty, keeps the stagecraft simple where he demarcates the frontal part of the stage to perform the out of the body experience and the rear part as the Nursing home, the reality. The transportation from conscious to the subconscious is subtle and is done aesthetically. Special mention of Saumik Chakraborty is required here for his fascinating set design. Music and background score of Dishari and Light designing by old-timer Sudip Sanyal make the production complete. The playwright’s elucidation of the importance of an employed middle-class life with values and contradictions amidst negativities in the world brings a wave of fresh air for us to inhale deep and take our lives forward.last_img read more

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Heres What Oculus Just Revealed at Its MuchAnticipated Press Event

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first_img Rumors about the hotly anticipated virtual reality system Oculus Rift have been swirling for some time now, but many of the details remained shrouded in mystery.Earlier today – after a short initial delay – Oculus VR’s CEO Brendan Iribe took the stage to shed some light on the virtual reality system. Speaking to an audience in San Francisco, Iribe didn’t skimp on the drama. At long last, he said from his onstage perch, users will be able to “experience anything, anywhere. It is that powerful. For the first time we will finally be inside of the game. This is going to change everything…It is finally here.”Here’s what was covered at the press conference:A partnership with MicrosoftAfter dropping that each Oculus Rift will include an Xbox One controller and adapter, Iribe brought Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, onto the stage. “People will be able to stream their Xbox One games to the Oculus Rift using the controller that they know and love,” Spencer told the audience, before announcing that Oculus VR and Windows 10 have entered into a partnership.Release date and pricingUnfortunately, we don’t have a release date yet, although Iribe narrowed it down to sometime in Q1 2016. As to pricing, Iribe offered no further details (the company has previously suggested that the Oculus plus a VR-ready PC will cost $1,500). Games and experienceAs game developers, “there’s always this unfulfilled promise, a distance between players and the worlds we were making for them,” Jason Rubin, head of worldwide studios at Oculus, told the audience. “VR changes that. Finally, we can create worlds that feel real.”To illustrate the point, a procession of game studio execs took the stage, each showcasing a game built explicitly for virtual reality (in 2-D, but there’s no real way around that as of yet). They included: Hilmar Petursson of CCP who demoed EVE: Valkyrie; David Adams of Gunfire Games who demoed Kronos; and Ted Price of Insomnia Games who demoed Edge of Nowhere.Image Credit: oculus.comRelated: Game Over? Oculus Fans Outraged by Facebook PurchaseRubin then revealed a partial list of additional games coming to the VR platform in early 2016, including Damaged Core by High Voltage, VR Sports Challenge by Sanzaru Games, Esper by Coatsink, AirMech by Carbon Games and Lucky’s Tale by Playful Corp.DesignTo illustrate its lightness, Iribe brought the Oculus Rift headset on stage. “I can hold it with one hand,” he said, brandishing it about. Irbie went on to highlight additional design features such as the device’s custom display and optic system, which eliminates “motion blur, judder or pixels…it feels as if you just put on a pair of glasses,” and the strap architecture, designed to maximize comfort. “You’re going to put it on like a baseball cap,” he explained.  Hand and finger-tracking controllersThe biggest reveal, saved for the end of the conference and delivered by Oculus founder Palmer Luckey, was the unveiling of Oculus Touch (codenamed Half Moon), i.e. a pair of hand and  finger-tracking wireless controllers that allow users to manipulate objects, make hand gestures and experience “hand presence” within virtual reality. Luckey showed them off onstage, although he labeled them “a prototype.”“This isn’t science fiction,” Luckey told the audience. “This is reality, and it’s happening today.”Image Credit: oculus.comRelated: Will Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs Learn With Virtual Reality? 4 min read June 11, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »last_img read more

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UK football fans are not getting a fair share of

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first_imgUK football fans are “not getting a fair share of the benefits from TV rights deals”, according to Virgin Media.According to the UK cable operator, which has compiled a report on the impact of rising prices of football rights, “the consumer is paying more [and] is not able to watch all the live games on TV”. Virgin Media says that “in its auction of live TV rights, the kind of competition managed by the Premier League isn’t working”.According to the operator, the cost per viewer for Sky has increased from £400 (€530) in 2009-10 to £738 in 2014-15. If Sky attracts an audience average of 1.5 million per game in 2016-17, higher than its record 2011-12 performance, its cost per viewer will still increase to £928, according to Virgin Media’s calculations.Virgin Media calculates that BT, Sky’s main competitor for football rights, had a cost per viewer of £412 last season.The cable operator says that the £1.78 billion that the Premier League will take from BT and Sky each season under the current deals are the same amount as the total that the BBC spends on all TV programming. However the football rights deals generate only 504 hours of programming.According to Virgin Media, UK fans spend at least twice as much as other European fans to watch about half the number of games.The operator called for more matches to be made available, arguing that there is little evidence this would have an adverse impact on attendance at matches.The operator cited its own research as showing that 77% of football fans would like more live Premier League game son TV, with only 6% saying the are able to watch every match they want to on TV at home.“From next season, there will be only 168 games shown live in the UK out of a total of 380, yet fans will pay the highest prices in Europe to watch the games on TV,” said Virgin Media.The company also argued that there is little evidence that the vast sums of money now received by Premier League clubs is having a positive impact on English teams’ performance in international leagues.last_img read more

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Picnic at Hanging Rock EntertainTV the Deutsche T

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first_imgPicnic at Hanging RockEntertainTV, the Deutsche Telekom pay TV service, has taken exclusive rights to Australian drama Picnic at Hanging Rock.The deal comes months after Deutsche Telekom ordered its first original series, Germanized, a Franco-German coproduction that this week secured Amazon Prime Video as a coproducer.The platform has already added services such as Netflix and Ultra-HD in recent months following a revamp in 2016 that included seven-day replay functionality.Picnic at Hanging Rock comes from FremantleMedia Australia and stars Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones). It is for Australian pay TV service Foxtel.Distributor FremantleMedia International has secured the series the opening slot at Germany’s Berlinale International Film Festival this week.“This year, our customers can expect to see the miniseries that is receiving a lot of praise from the critics,” said Wolfgang Elsäßer, head of Deutsche Telekom’s TV and entertainment business unit. “The international premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival is a very promising start. We are convinced that the series will be successful in Germany.”Picnic at Hanging Rock is a reimaging of Joan Lindsay’s novel, which tells the story of the mysterious disappearance of three schoolgirls and their governess on Valentine’s Day in 1900.Amazon already has rights to the show in the US.last_img read more

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Technical note We did not include all SP 500 co

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first_img [Technical note: We did not include all S&P 500 companies in the above chart – only those for which share structure data was available since the first quarter of 2003. For example, Google went public in 2004 and was not included. We followed the same method with the HUI Index, with the only stock excluded being New Gold Inc. (T.NGD).] Since there is little growth in shares outstanding, the majority of the market capitalization (Mcap) growth can be attributed to share price performance. The total Mcap of the S&P 500 increased by 78.6%, or about 6% per year on a compounded basis. And no wonder – the sector includes a lot of large stocks that do not grow at the same rate as mining juniors. However, the chart also shows how quickly market value can shrink when a crisis hits. Let’s now have a look at what happened to the HUI constituents within the same time frame. There are two observations to be made from these charts. First, compared to S&P 500 companies, gold producers grossly overissued new shares. Since 2003, as a group, they more than doubled their shares outstanding, significantly diluting existing investors. Second, despite the large increase in shares outstanding, HUI companies have grown their market capitalization by 302.5% as of the fourth quarter of 2012, quadrupling the size of the group. This comes in stark contrast to the 78.6% growth of the S&P 500. On a compounded annual basis, gold companies grew at 14.9% annually for the last ten years, more than twice as fast as the S&P. So while shares outstanding of the gold miners were increasing at a high rate, the market capitalization of the HUI constituents outpaced the growth of shares outstanding, because the assets miners purchased with the funds they received from the new shares generated extra value. Since market capitalization doesn’t necessarily expand when new shares are issued, it’s the price performance that accounts for this growth. Looking at the next chart, you can see that the performance of gold stocks continues to be both stronger and more volatile than the S&P 500. Note that we didn’t modify the indexes here – these are the performance numbers that investors have been looking at for the past decade, and they make the case that the gold-mining sector has been far from lackluster. The gold-mining sector has been outperforming the S&P 500 for the vast majority of the last decade. With this focus on efficiency and economics, gold companies should richly reward those bold enough to invest in them now.  But there’s another way to play the gold market that doesn’t involve buying producers, nor does it require buying the yellow metal itself.  And it could be even more profitable… The chart is hardly a surprise: the precious-metals producers had a poor showing, losing 26.6% in 2012 – something we think will reverse this year – while stocks in the S&P 500 delivered a solid 14.2% annual gain. We think that while last year’s performance of the S&P 500 companies is commendable, the future may disappoint investors who believe the US economic recovery is on solid footing: last week’s GDP data suggest that our economy continues to struggle, something that was immediately reflected in the price of gold the day the news was released. As 2013 progresses, we expect to see more signs of a weaker economy and subsequently, stronger gold prices. But let’s look at the bigger picture to see how the S&P 500 has expanded as a group during the past decade. To measure the rate of expansion, we plotted the total market capitalization against growth of shares outstanding. The idea here is to compare the rate of S&P 500 share dilution to the change in size of the companies. Size does not equal performance (we’ll look at that in a moment), but it gives a rough idea about how much market value investors may have gained had there been no dilution at all.center_img We often hear the claim that gold producers have not met investors’ expectations for the past couple years. While there are many potential reasons for this, one explanation for their underperformance lies in the fact that producers diluted their share structures, leaving shareholders with smaller gains than they would have otherwise harvested. To show how this dilution has impacted the industry, let’s first review how gold miners performed last year compared to the S&P 500.last_img read more

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Breweries are quite creative these days when it co

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first_imgBreweries are quite creative these days when it comes to saving energy. Double Mountain Brewery in Oregon uses refillable beer bottles, Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing turns its waste grain and water into compost for aquaculture, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company recovers carbon dioxide from the fermentation cycle.Investment in energy-efficient technologies can be costly, but according to a study published last week in PLOS ONE, these investments may be worthwhile.A majority of the 1,000 U.S. beer drinkers surveyed say they are willing to pay more for sustainably-produced beer, and on average, they would pay around $1.30 more per six-pack.”One dollar and 30 cents is not a small amount if you consider the average price of a six-pack,” says Sanya Carley, an associate professor at Indiana University Bloomington’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the lead author of the survey.According to data from IRI Worldwide, a Chicago-based market research firm, the average price of a six-pack of beer is $5.96. For craft beer specifically, an average six-pack costs $9.36.The survey reached respondents through Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing survey tool. Participants were asking if they were willing to pay more for beer produced at breweries that invest in equipment to conserve water or energy or use solar panels to limit greenhouse gas emissions.The findings of the willingness-to-pay survey underscores the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gases in the highly energy-intensive brewing industry, she says.It’s so energy intensive that it takes three and a half to six gallons of water to produce one gallon of beer, according to the California Craft Brewers Association.Fifty-nine percent of respondents to the survey said they would pay more for beer that invests in sustainable practices.Bart Watson, the chief economist of The Brewers Association, says these findings are pretty much what he would expect based on recent trends in the beer market.”An increased number of people are willing to pay more to companies that share their values,” Watson says.Jason Perkins, a brewmaster at Allagash Brewing Company, a craft beer brewery in Portland, Maine, says this research makes him “ecstatic.””It’s important for us to be making beer responsibly,” he says, but it’s also important that consumers are willing to pay more for a sustainable product.Allagash, which has put a number of sustainability practices in place including waste diversion, composting, cork recycling, and using locally-grown grain, put in a solar array in 2016 after contemplating the investment for awhile.The company knew the solar panels would be a big upfront expense, but decided to take the leap.”It was really a decision based on a matter of principal,” Perkins says. He also says it’s a little hard to quantify what all of Allagash’s sustainability practices mean to the company. The solar panels, for example, allow the company to displace thousands of pounds of CO2 that would have been produced through traditional energy generation. Also, Allagash employees are just proud to be doing good things for the environment, he says.But its not just the growing craft beer industry that can potentially benefit financially from marketing sustainability. The research from the recent study shows that consumers of American lagers like Budweiser and Pabst Blue Ribbon were no different than other beer drinkers in their willingness to pay for sustainable beer. This finding was unexpected and encouraging, says Carley.”It’s refreshing in a way because sustainable practices don’t have to be limited to just craft beer companies,” Carley says.By the way, big beer companies are already taking steps towards sustainability. For example, MillerCoors has already significantly reduced its water usage.But according to Ernest Baskin, an assistant professor of consumer behavior at Saint Joseph’s University, it’s important to note that in the study, the consumers who were more willing to pay for sustainability premiums already said they tended to pay more money for beer than the consumers that were unwilling to pay more for sustainable beer. Thus, for beer companies that market themselves as “for the common man,” he says, sustainability measures might not be an added benefit. They might, in fact, price these companies out of their major consumers, Baskin says.Watson points out, though, that large beer companies have broad portfolios (Anheusuer-Busch sells a lot more than just Bud Light), and these findings on consumers’ willingness-to-pay for sustainability might factor into the business models for their specialty products.The research, Watson says, “might push some more breweries that are thinking about this to make sustainable investments.”Rachel D. Cohen is an intern on NPR’s Science Desk. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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The Trump administration says it plans to change h

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first_imgThe Trump administration says it plans to change how Medicare pays for some expensive drugs for cancer and arthritis in a move to bring the costs more in line with the prices paid in European countries.”For decades, other countries have rigged the system so that American patients are charged much more,” President Trump said Thursday in a speech at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicare. “American patients pay more, so other countries can pay less.”The proposed changes are related to the Medicare Part B program that pays for medications that patients receive in hospitals or in doctor’s offices. Today, Medicare reimburses doctors and hospitals the average sales prices of the drugs, plus 6 percent to cover the cost of giving medications to patients.The arrangement gives physicians an incentive to prescribe the most expensive medications, because they will collect a higher fee, Trump said. The administration is proposing new regulations that would allow it to lower the overall prices of these drugs, by including in its calculation of average sales price the prices paid in countries around the world with similarly advanced economies. It’s calling the new formula the “International Pricing Index.”The new formula, if approved, would be phased in over five years. U.S. residents pay more than patients an all other high-income countries for medications, according to a 2017 study by the Commonwealth Fund. HHS today released a study of 27 drugs that are usually paid for by Medicare Part B that showed that on average the U.S. pays 80 percent more than the average prices in other countries. HHS Secretary Alex Azar said on Twitter that some of the drugs cost four times as much in the United States.The HHS study, for example, shows that the U.S. spent about $1.7 billion in 2016 on Rituxan, a drug made by Biogen Inc. that treats non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. If the drug were priced using the formula the agency wants to use in the future, spending that year would have been about $1 billion less. Azar Tweeted that Medicare spends $8.1 billion more a year than if U.S. prices were in line with prices elsewhere. The agency is also proposing creating a new group of middlemen to negotiate bulk purchase prices for this class of drugs, bill Medicare and then distribute the medications to doctors. “If they can bring down the prices, that’s a positive thing,” says Ted Okon, executive director of the Community Oncology Alliance, which represents independent cancer doctors. “How are they going to do it? Is it going to work? Is it legal? Those are the questions.”Okon says he worries about inserting middlemen between oncologists and their patients. He says his organization’s research shows that pharmacy middlemen increase medical errors and can be dangerous to patients. In addition to trying to cut the base price of the drugs, the administration, through HHS, is proposing changing how doctors who deliver these drugs are paid. The agency will launch a pilot program to reimburse doctors with a flat rate, rather than a percentage of the drug’s price, to remove any incentive for doctors and hospitals to choose more expensive drugs over cheaper ones. Okon says there is no evidence that doctors prescribe high-priced drugs because they make more money. An analysis of published studies on financial incentives under Medicare found otherwise. “The mark-up on Part B drugs appears to independently influence prescribing patterns,” said a May policy paper from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center’s Drug Pricing Lab. In the case of cancer treatments, the analysis found that “oncologists shift prescribing towards drugs with larger absolute mark-ups.” Dr. Kavita Patel, an internist at Johns Hopkins Hospital and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says the proposals could make a difference. “If the goal is overall out of pocket cost reduction for consumers, these proposals are promising and offer some of the boldest challenges to the medical establishment,” said Patel, who worked on health policy in the Obama administration. “It is interesting that aspects of this mirror an Obama administration proposal which faced so much opposition and was ultimately never implemented,” she said. Obama proposed changing the percentage-based payment system for Part B drugs but was met with fierce opposition from oncologists and rheumatologists. The agency received more than 1,350 public comments opposing the change, many from doctors who said they would have to close their practices if the plan went forward, and from patients who in turn said they feared they would lose their doctors. The pharmaceutical industry, which also opposed the plan, spent almost $250 million on lobbying in 2016, though that was not limited to lobbying on this issue. Eventually even Democrats in the House and Senate, who heard opposition from constituents, came out against the plan. Obama dropped the proposal a month before he left office. But PhRMA, the drug industry’s main trade group, came out strongly against Thursday’s proposal. “The administration is imposing foreign price controls from countries with socialized health care systems that deny their citizens access and discourage innovation,” said a statement from PhRMA CEO Stephen Ubl. HHS says, after opening the proposal for public comments, it hopes to issue a final rule by the spring of 2019 and start the new payment system in 2020. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

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Nab an Adidas 3DPrinted Sneaker This Fall

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first_img Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Image credit: Adidas via PC Mag Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Tom Brant –shares The company’s first production shoe with a 3D-printed design uses a technology that was originally conceived in the 1980s for rear-projection TVs. Nab an Adidas 3D-Printed Sneaker This Fall This story originally appeared on PCMag 3D Printerscenter_img 2 min read News reporter Add to Queue Next Article April 10, 2017 After years of experimenting with 3D-printed footwear, Adidas on Friday announced that its first mass-produced 3D-printed shoe, the Futurecraft 4D, will go on sale this fall.The shoe’s sole is shaped using digital light projection, a technology you might be familiar with if you shopped for a rear-projection TV 20 years ago. Despite rear-projection’s demise, the technique is still alive in the 3D printing industry: it projects patterned light onto a liquid photopolymer resin, shaping and hardening it into layers. To make the Futurecraft 4D’s sole, Adidas partnered with the Silicon Valley startup Carbon, which says that its digital light synthesis technique is more efficient than ordinary 3D printing, and thus better-suited to making large quantities of durable goods. According to Texas Instruments, which originally developed the digital light processing concept in the 1980s, it’s now used to quickly print everything from prototypes, jewelry casting, custom medical implants and complex automotive and aerospace components.In Adidas’s case, digital light synthesis results in a sole that works just as well as one made in an injection mold and has similar costs and production times. The company plans to sell 5,000 of the Futurecraft 4D this fall, and an additional 10,000 next year. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet; Reuters reports that the shoes will sell at an “unspecified premium price,” but Adidas plans to lower the cost as the technology develops.Despite the benefits that 3D printing promises to bring to shoe design and manufacturing, it has been a gradual development process for Adidas and its competitors, at least compared to the consumer tech lifecycle. In 2013, New Balance became the first athletic brand to have a track athlete — middle distance runner Jack Bolas — compete in 3D-printed spike plates. But it wasn’t until three years later that the company managed to sell a 3D-printed shoe to the public in the form of a limited-edition $400 sneaker.Adidas, meanwhile, unveiled the Futurecraft 4D’s predecessor as a concept shoe in 2015. It used thermoplastic polyurethane instead of resin shaped by digital light projection. Register Now »last_img read more

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New Research Shows Bitcoins Meteoric Rise Was a Scam

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first_img Peter Page New Research Shows Bitcoin’s Meteoric Rise Was a Scam Next Article Senior Editor for Green Entrepreneur The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. Crypotocurrencies are the latest in a centuries-long line of speculative bubbles driven by shrewd insiders taking advantage of gullible investors. Academic researchers at the University of Texas have concluded at least half of Bitcoin’s rise to a peak price of nearly $20,000 last year was due to manipulation by traders on Bitfinex, the primary Bitcoin exchange, using another cryptocurrency called Tether to boost prices when they dipped on other exchanges.The paper by John Griffin, a finance professor at the University of Texas, and graduate student Amin Shams, examined trading between March 2017 and March 2018 with particular focus on 87 periods each lasting one hour when Tether, which is issued exclusively by Bitfinex, flowed onto other exchanges when the price of Bitcoin was dropping. “These 87 events account for less than 1 percent of our time series (over the period from the beginning of March 2017 to the end of March 2018), yet are associated with 50 percent of Bitcoin’s compounded return, and 64 percent of the returns on six other large cryptocurrencies (Dash, Ethereum Classic, Ethereum, Litecoin, Monero and Zcash),” the researchers wrote.Related: 4 Pros and Cons of Investing in a New CryptocurrenciesThe researchers ran 10,000 trading simulations and concluded “this behavior never occurs randomly.””There were obviously tremendous price increases last year, and this paper indicates that manipulation played a large part in those price increases,” Griffin told the New York Times, where the paper was first reported.Trading on Bitfinex, which is registered in the Caribbean with offices in Asia, is largely unregulated by any government. Bitfinex CEO JL van der Velde denied any wrongdoing in a statement to Business Insider. “Bitfinex nor Tether is, or has ever, engaged in any sort of market or price manipulation. Tether issuances cannot be used to prop up the price of Bitcoin or any other coin/token on Bitfinex,” van der Velde said.The researchers noted cryptocurrencies bear a striking similarity to well-researched investment bubbles stretching from the 18th century to the dot.com and housing crashes of recent years. “Cryptocurrencies, which have grown from nearly nothing to over $300 billion in market capitalization in a few years, fit the historical narrative of previous bubbles quite well — there is an innovative technology with extreme speculation surrounding it.”Related: Government Shuts Down Cryptocurrency Pyramid ScammersThe historical pattern the researchers allude to stretches back centuries. While the assets change — the scam remains remarkably similiar. “Periods of excessive price speculation often share the themes of optimism around a new technology, focusing on selling to others rather than economic fundamentals, and questionable activities,” the researchers wrote. They cited the South Sea Bubble 1719-1720 and Railroad Bubble of the 1840s as early examples of investors being stampeded into buying stock in an unregulated investment based on false claims and pure exuberance.While the lack of regulation by any government appeals to some cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the authors of the research suggest only regulation can stabilize crypto markets. “Our findings suggest that market surveillance within a proper regulatory framework may be needed for cryptocurrency markets to be legitimate stores of value and a reliable medium for fair financial transactions,” they wrote.Bitcoin was trading below $6,500 after the publishing of the New York Times article. 3 min read Add to Queuecenter_img Image credit: Mark Garlick/Science Photo Library | Getty Images 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List June 13, 2018 Bitcoin Entrepreneur Staff –shares Apply Now »last_img read more

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Ready for Microsofts Vista

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first_imgTechnology Next Article Magazine Contributor –shares Microsoft’s Vista promises to be the next big thing in Windows computing–literally. Will your PC be PC enough for Vista when it drops a few weeks from now? If not, AMD and Intel might be able to brighten your holidays. They’ve begun shipping a new generation of more powerful dual-core processors, forcing bone-deep price cuts on “old” dual-cores and Pentium-class chips.Just about any new computer will run Vista Starter or Basic now. Less clear is how much PC you’ll need to make the most of the new Windows. It depends on how graphical you want to be. Will you run the 3-D Aero “glass” interface? Make VoIP calls? Create a video blog? Watch TV on your PC? The extra vroom needed might still fit your budget.The long run-up to Vista has been hard on people who sell PCs–but great for people who buy them. Sales have languished for most of the year with a corresponding buildup in chip inventories and softening in prices. Intel and AMD finally began slashing 40 percent or more off first-generation dual-core prices last quarter to make room for a new dual-core generation.Competition being what it is, most of those savings get passed on to PC buyers as a mix of lower prices and hardware improvements. As recent corporate earning releases show, PC sellers have been giving away margin until it hurts.But lucky for Microsoft, hardware companies are playing through the pain. It starts with Intel and AMD, who can’t seem to stop one-upping each other with ever-faster and cooler chips. Intel’s new Core 2 Duo family forces deep price cuts in first-generation Core Duos that haven’t even had time to lose that new-chip smell. And the long-running Pentium line? That’s over. AMD’s new AM2 platform has a less dramatic debut–primarily, bringing DDR2 and other memory innovations to the midrange Athlon 64 X2 and top-of-the-line Athlon 64 FX-62. Register Now » Add to Queue This story appears in the November 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » November 1, 2006center_img Ready for Microsoft’s Vista? Mike Hogan 4 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. New chips, lower prices–maybe you can afford that Vista PC after all. State of ReadinessAt first glance, Vista’s hardware requirements don’t sound that onerous–an 800MHz CPU for basic versions, a 1GHz engine for the Aero interface. Vendors haven’t sold PCs that slow in years, although millions are still out there, doing their jobs faithfully every day. But it’s not enough just to run Windows. You also need enough PC for bigger, better software versions–starting with Microsoft Office.It’s odd that clock speed is emphasized, because memory is much more important. Figure on a full gigabyte of system memory to be “Vista Ready” for Aero–and better make that DDR2 memory. Also, choose a processor with as much cache memory behind as wide a front-side bus as you can afford. Get at least 1MB of L2 cache–2MB would be better–and 4MB would put snap in your apps. And pick a graphics adapter with at least 128MB dedicated video memory.The impact can be seen in recent performance tests where Intel’s second-generation Core 2 Duo processor did 40 percent more work running at 2.66GHz than a first-generation dual core did at 3.6GHz. Either of the twin engines in Core 2 Duo can tap the full 4MB of cache they share as needed, but each first-generation dual-core engine is limited to 2MB. Core 2 Duo’s engines also benefit from a one-third wider front-side bus to memory and other efficiencies in Intel’s new Core microarchitecture.But these improvements sure complicate shopping. You can depend on vendors to label which Windows XP systems they’re selling today are Vista Ready or Vista Capable. But to get the most for your money, you may need to weigh two or three different options in each of the memory categories.PC vendors have been blowing out last-generation models and filling their price points with new, more powerful configurations up and down the product line. For example, at this writing, Dell’s cheapest Core 2 Duo model was packed with 1GB DDR2, 4MB L2, a 1066MHz FSB and nVidia Geforce video with 256MB. Price: $1,600–including a 20-inch flat panel!There’s just a lot more PC under the average price tag now. And Vista? Not a problem–at least, not for new PCs.Mike Hogan is Entrepreneur’s technology editor. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

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The Webs Best Mapping Sites

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first_imgTechnology 15+ min read Steve Bass Next Article –shares September 6, 2007 Add to Queue Sure, getting from point A to point B is still a big reason for using one of the Internet’s many mapping sites, but these days there’s a lot more to Web maps than just directions. I looked at the five biggest names in online maps–Ask City, Google Maps, MapQuest, Microsoft Live Search Maps, and Yahoo Maps–and found that annotation and other tools gave Microsoft Live and Ask City a slight edge over Yahoo Maps, and a substantial advantage over Google Maps and MapQuest. I also tried a slew of location-based services . And don’t miss our guide to the top map mashups .Chart a Course for the Best Mapping SitesTraffic reports, 3D views, and the ability to add notes are among the new features that help take the bumps out of your travels. Click on the text link or the icon below to see our ranked chart of the five mapping services we tested.The Best Mapping Sites (chart)Ask CityThere are enough drawing tools on this site to keep you busy for hours gussying up your maps. You can add text notes or draw segmented lines, squares, circles, and polygons, in any of ten colors. It’s easy to undo individual additions or to clear the map completely.One great Ask City feature is that it lets you add a stickpin to any location and fill it with an image and notes. You can save snapshots of up to ten maps (including all your gaudy annotations). Click Permalink to save a link to the map, or send others the link via e-mail.Options in the Search panel enable you to look for a local business, movie theater, concert, or other event, or generate maps and directions. In late July I searched for “Harry Potter” and “Pasadena,” and Ask City’s middle Results panel listed ten local theaters playing the movie, each pinned onto a map in the right-hand panel. The three windows let you dynamically view changes on custom maps. In the Results panel, for example, clicking the name of a business–say, a restaurant or hotel–usually brings up a Citysearch review.Once you search for a specific type of business (“manicures,” for example), Ask City supplies a list of businesses in the area, with the neighborhood highlighted on the map. Way cool.Another appealing Ask City feature: Click any of the written directions in your route to have that area appear on the map, along with a second, smaller inset map corresponding to the specific route section. You can add up to ten stops to the map at a time.If you’ll be walking, click the Walking tab on a plotted route to see directions optimized for traveling by shank’s mare. I was even able to create and save a walking tour in Paris, in case I ever travel there again. Right-click your map to add the location, or snap to the closest address, and stick in a location pin.The service’s directions and map panels have minimize and maximize icons for resizing the contents; however, on conventional 4:3 monitors, you might need to scroll to the right to see them.Google Maps and MapQuestGoogle MapsWhen I think of mapping sites, I think Google. So it’s too bad that the service’s interface is so cluttered, especially compared with the clean interfaces of the other top mapping sites I visited.One of the best things about Google Maps is that it lets you dynamically change the route of a trip: Start a route with a mouse click, choose the start and end locations, and then just drag a section of the route and drop it elsewhere on the map. In a flash, the directions on the map change–as do the written directions. That’s a great feature for rerouting if you should discover a backup on your route (and you will, trust me) by clicking the Traffic button.Right-click the route to add more yellow pushpin stops, or add stops via the written directions in the Search Results panel; or you can drag and drop written instructions to rearrange the route.Google Maps also lets you create your own mashup by adding content from hundreds of sources. For instance, the My Maps feature can now display elevation contour lines or gas prices (the latter via the Gas Buddy plug-in).You can save up to 100 map locations, but doing so requires that you log in to a Google account (click Sign in to start creating one). To make your maps easier to retrieve, use Google’s My Maps tab. Another option is to create a link for sending maps via e-mail. However, the only data you can send to a cell phone is a business location.Unfortunately, Google Maps’ annotation tools are paltry compared with those of Ask City and Live Search Maps. Google does let you add placemarks and include .rtf, .html, and other files; you can draw segment lines and shapes, but you can’t draw circles, and you can’t embed text directly on the map.Even worse, I spent way more time figuring out the service’s controls than I did actually creating and annotating my maps. Google Maps simply isn’t as easy to use as Live Search Maps or Yahoo Maps. After much struggling, I discovered that the annotation tools were available only if I chose Create new map under the My Maps tab.I was also bewildered by the right-click options, which changed depending on the map view. For instance, a “clear map” button to start over was available in a business search, but not in the map’s own search feature.MapQuestIf you’re looking for an easy-to-use mapping service that’s not all fancy-shmancy, AOL’s MapQuest may be for you. The site focuses primarily on routing and directions, though you can zoom in on specific map locations. To get directions, enter an address or intersection as the starting location. Ditto for the destination. (Click the Maps icon if you just want to explore a map.) You can exclude seasonally closed roads.MapQuest’s step-by-step directions feature expandable maps highlighting each turn or other instruction; click Open or Close at the top of the map to expand the directions.Clicking the route’s starting point or endpoint brings up the helpful ‘Zoom to Street Level’ link; you have the option of switching to a hybrid satellite view, too.One nice MapQuest feature is the ability to reorder your route by dragging and dropping the written locations to a new spot on the list. It seems silly, though, that MapQuest doesn’t let you save a multistop route.To arrange for maps on the go, use the Send to Cell option, which dispatches a text link that you click on your mobile phone to open the map and directions in the phone’s browser.The flashing, twirling ads on MapQuest are annoying; they’ll eventually stop–until your pointer touches the ad.Microsoft Live Search Maps and Yahoo MapsMicrosoft Live Search MapsI didn’t think anything would get me off Google Maps, but after using Live Search Maps just once, I was hooked. It’s packed with features that make it more like a full-blown application than simply a mapping service. My favorite: the roll-up Scratch pad, which makes saving trips, routes, and maps a breeze (get to it by clicking CollectionsOpen). Of course, in order to save your Scratch pad, you first have to sign in with a free MSN or Hotmail account.You can use the Scratch pad to draw a path or trail, and a pop-up shows the distance in yards and in miles. The service lets you create a rectangle, square, or other straight-line area, with the color fill or border width of your choice. (One missing feature is the ability to add text directly onto the map.)Live Search Maps makes it easy to save annotations as a collection (to do this, click Properties, Save). You can share your map via e-mail, or pop it onto the Windows Clipboard for subsequent pasting into an application.Right-click to zoom to a street or regional level, or to add a pushpin with notes that include a URL and a link to an image. That same right-click lets you start planning a route by adding a ‘Drive from’ (or ‘Drive to’) pushpin, and then finishing the route in the written ‘Driving directions’ panel. (Or you can simply add both ‘Drive from’ and ‘Drive to’ pushpins on a map, and click Get directions.)Unlike Ask City, Live Search Maps doesn’t let you force the pushpin to connect to a specific address. But when you’re at a street-level view, you can spot and select the location you want (the Las Vegas Hilton, say), which is adequate for most routing needs.The service’s live traffic icons include one that identifies planned events, such as a trade show or baseball game. Two nice touches: The Navigation tool rolls out of the way; and as in Yahoo Maps, a handy minimap aids in navigation.Live Search Maps shows the typical road, aerial, and hybrid map views, but much more stunning are the Virtual Earth 3D views. Still, as with the 3D images on Google Maps, the novelty wears off surprisingly quickly: After about a dozen 3D views, I found myself using Live Search Maps just to perform straightforward mapping and routing.By the way, if you want to use Virtual Earth, you’ll need to download an ActiveX program–which, to my dismay, attempted to change my browser’s home page to Live Search. Microsoft’s mapping service also offers you a Location finder, which is a small application that tries to identify your exact current location based either on the Wi-Fi hotspot you’re using or on your IP address. But without Wi-Fi, the “Locate me” feature wasn’t able to find me when I tested it.Yahoo MapsThis mapping service is smart about creating a route, but it’s not perfect. For example, Yahoo Maps couldn’t find “Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles” when I entered it into the ‘Get a Map’ and ‘Get Driving Directions’ fields, yet it popped up immediately in the ‘Find a Business on the Map’ field. The service found New York’s Times Square in all three search spots immediately, and it located several street addresses. However, it drove me nuts that the site couldn’t find matches for a location I had previously searched for and saved.When you create a route and hover over any portion of the text directions, the route segment is highlighted on the map (although I would have preferred that it change color rather than simply acquiring a highlight). Clicking the chevron symbol on any written direction will cause its small map portion (which is also individually printable) to unfold.The service’s routing results were accurate, and I liked the nearly instantaneous real-time traffic icons; it was also nice to see road closures displayed. You can send the map and instructions via e-mail. Also, street addresses appear as links in Yahoo Mail messages, leading to Yahoo Maps.The mapping details on Yahoo Maps really shine. For instance, at the street level, little purple “P” icons signify parking structures. If you look carefully, you will see the details of freeway on- and off-ramps. And you may notice that some maps have color-coded neighborhoods (which, unfortunately, you can’t use as a search criterion).Yahoo Maps is loaded with tools that help you use the site more efficiently. For instance, as you hover over the tool that lets you zoom in and out of a map view, little markers for street, city, state, and country appear. If you’re browsing a map and want directions to a particular spot, right-click and choose Drive from here… or Drive to here…. Another nice touch: The minimap insert (which rolls up when not needed) is superimposed on the larger map and makes navigating much more pleasurable.There’s no 3D mapping, but Yahoo Maps provides enough texture on its satellite and hybrid maps to let you discern mountains and hills, and get a sense of other terrain. Yahoo Maps also figured out that not everyone is on a fast connection, so for dial-up users it offers another site that has almost all of the same features but isn’t as bandwidth-hungry.Mapping and Location Services for Your Cell PhoneYou’re out and about and need some quick information, or you simply want to find out where you are or whether your buddies are close by. Grab your cell phone and try one of these free and low-cost services.Tell Me All About ItCall Tellme (800/555-8355, or text 83556) and say “weather,” “sports,” “news,” “taxi,” “airlines,” or “driving directions.” You’ll see a map, directions, or search request results on your cell phone (you’ll need to download a small application first). The service works with AT&T and Sprint phones. Note: Tellme was acquired by Microsoft earlier this year.Keep Track of YourselfTrimble Outdoors has a trio of subscription-based tools that use your cell phone to show you exactly where you are and where you have been. In real time, its AllSport GPS records your walk, jog, or bike ride; you can see your route immediately on your cell’s screen and keep a record on the service’s site. It works with most Garmin and other popular GPS devices (plug-in required). If you’re into geocaching, where you try to find hidden treasures or do other tasks using a GPS, you’ll get a kick out of Trimble’s Geocache Navigator service. Trimble Outdoors also gives you a way to plan routes and trips with street, satellite, and topological maps. The cost for all three is $7 per month.Get a Jott JoltIf you have a reminder (or bright column idea) to send to yourself, or a message that you need to get to a friend or a bunch of buddies, use Jott . Call 877/568-8486 and record a voice message up to 30 seconds long that the service transcribes into text and sends as a text alert to the e-mail addresses or mobile phones of your choice. Jott even saves the messages for future reference. You can also import your Web mail address book.Don’t Dodge MeIf you want to locate your pals, or let them find you, sign up for the Dodgeball service, and use your cell phone to let them know where you are and to find out where they are. Available in over 22 cities, Dodgeball lets you broadcast your location by texting your street address or other information about your locale to 36343, along with a text message–and maybe a snapshot of you and Paris. In no time, you’ll be surrounded by friends, and maybe a hundred paparazzi.Find Out Where to GoNature calls, even in the big city. So when you’re running all around town, you may need to know where you can go on the go. MizPee has the answer, providing the location of clean, dependable lavatories. Use your phone’s browser to access the beta service, or (easier) text your city and state to 415/350-2290.Mapping MashupsMapping on its own is great, but a good mashup–data from two inherently different sources combined–is glorious. And often lots of fun. (See ” Eight Great, Simple Ways to Hack the Web ” for more on the technology.)Take a Geowalk WalkI spent an hour exploring the world with the widgets on Geowalk’s virtual desktop . Pop a location into the Geocoder field and click a pushpin on the map. You’ll see detailed information and location-related pictures as Geowalk mashes up Wikipedia info and geo-tagged Flickr photos. Tap the More button on the UNESCO World Heritage widget for a neat surprise.Read a Book, Sip Some CoffeeSilly as it sounds, some people need a regular caffeine-and-literature fix. Findbyclick locates a nearby Starbucks or chain bookstore in over 100 cities in the United States and Europe. Click a link, and you’ll get a location; sort the tags to find a spot with Wi-Fi.Did You Feel That?Everybody in California is waiting for it: The Big One. When you live in earthquake country, you know it’ll happen. That’s why I’m a fan of the U.S. Geological Survey’s mashup of Yahoo Maps and real-time, worldwide earthquake reports.Map Your New Craigslist Digs Craigslist.org is famous for finding the apartment that’s just perfect for you. But if you’re tired of the drudgery of scrolling through the classified-ad site’s endless lists, try MapsKrieg –its mashup helps do the job for you. Just choose a region, or enter a specific city and state, and browse around the pushpins to find the ideal location–like a fully furnished five-star flat in Tribeca for only $4400 a month. If you prefer searching by price (no kidding!), try Housing Maps instead.Taxi…TAXI!When you travel to Los Angeles, Boston, New York, Las Vegas, or some other big city, don’t get taken and pay too much for your ride around town. TaxiWiz gives you an estimate of the fare for trips in seven major cities, reducing the chances that you’ll be fleeced by unscrupulous taxicab drivers. For instance, a trip from L.A. International Airport to my office in Pasadena shouldn’t run more than $75. (Never mind, I’ll pick you up.) There’s also a mobile version of the service if you can’t get to a PC.Personalize Your Mashup MapUse Platial and consider yourself a neogeographer–someone who shares locations of personal significance with family, friends, or strangers. Two of my favorite Platial offerings: Jordi’s Mad Jaunt Across America and Baostar’s best spots in Orange County, California, for a Zen fix .Duck and CoverNo matter where you go, there’s something to worry about. The Global Incident Map does a tremendous job of letting you track terrorist attacks and other potential calamities. The mashup integrates data from newspapers, Web news reports, and other sources with Google Maps. Click an entry on the map for more info and a link to a detailed report on the incident.Look at Clouds From Both SidesHey, Bill, is it cloudy in Seattle? Don’t bother looking up–of course it is. Get a view of the clouds over any location worldwide at DaylightMap’s Clouds page . The satellite and hybrid views appear through the haze of cumulus (or are they nimbus?) clouds. The NASA images are are updated every 6 hours.Banks, Traffic, and MoreMost mashups come with one service. But MoreMap is the Grand Poobah of map mashups. The site supplies access to mapping mashes for banks, movie theaters, traffic conditions, radio stations, weather, earthquakes, and other categories. Find your way with the Directions modules; the site’s free registration lets you store your favorite places and access them from any Internet-connected PC.center_img Register Now » The Web’s Best Mapping Sites Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Brought to you by PCWorld At the top map services, driving directions are just the beginning. 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