Microsoft Writes Off Nearly $1B In Surface RT Inventory

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#Microsoft#Surface center_img The Surface RT is officially landfill material following Microsoft’s decision to take a $900 million writeoff of “inventory adjustments” related to the underpowered and underequipped tablet.(See also: Microsoft Tries Again To Aim Its Guns Outside The Company)The writing has been on the wall for the Surface RT, which uses a tweaked version of Windows 8 that won’t run most existing Windows applications. IDC recently reported that Microsoft shipped 900,000 Surface tablets in the first quarter, most of which were the Surface Pro, a bigger cousin to the Surface RT that runs the full-fledged version of Windows 8.(See also: Microsoft Slashes Surface RT Prices By 30%) The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology readwritelast_img read more

How Can Blockchain Help Secure IoT Data?

first_imgAI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage Follow the Puck Harikrishna KundariyaCEO Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob… Related Posts Tags:#Blockchain Helps IoT Data#Secure IoT Data Everyone has heard all of the terms such as blockchain, security, secure IoT data, cryptocurrency, etc. But the popularity of these technologies has been on the rise and will continue to be an issue in the future. But, how can blockchain help secure IoT data? Blockchain was earlier associated only with cryptocurrencies. Now blockchain technology is being used for many purposes. The way data spreads across the chain (blockchain) is proving to be useful in many other ways. IoT or Internet of Things is a technology that allows all devices to communicate with each other — without the need for human intervention. This technology is used even in small gadgets like fitness trackers — up to more substantial uses — like driverless vehicles. We’ll take a look at how blockchain can help secure the data generated by IoT.We all know what Blockchain is by now.Originally, people only used blockchain for trading in cryptocurrencies. It is valuable as a ledger where individual members make the entries with the consent of other members. The data gets stored in different blocks across the chain. In this ledger, it is not easy to create the blocks. There is a lot of processing and time to create even one block. There is a reference to the previous entries in each block and in this way — it forms a chain. Though it is challenging to create a block — it is equally challenging to tamper with the information in a block. An individual or company would have to tamper with all of the blocks to get into even one block — which is almost impossible. The incredible technology that goes into the creation of the chain in the first place is what makes the data more reliable — and safe.  Another unique feature of blockchain technology is that there is no centralized agency which controls the data. The members themselves manage the activities in the group. Keep away from a center lotus of control makes the blockchain data more reliable and dependable because there is no central authority which anyone can manipulate or corrupt.The problem with most data storage is that it is held on location in one place and easy for attackers to target. If a hacker can breach one small place — they get access to all the data. With blockchain technology, the data exists in blocks across the chain, making it almost impossible for anyone to breach and steal the data. The very logistics and firm parameters of the system make the technology ideal for safe data storage.Advantages Of Blockchain TechnologyHow the blockchain technology can be used to protect data is seen in the benefits of this technology. This system helps in keeping the data safe and make it more reliable because if the data is safe, it can’t be corrupted and messed with or touched.The first point in a blockchain is that all members in the chain verify every entry. It makes the data entirely genuine. The information once entered in the blocks cannot be edited or deleted. It means that everyone can see every entry. There is no way to hide any information. Other people claim transparency — but is there any other way for real transparency?The blockchain technology for cryptocurrencies works very well as there is no centralized authority checking or controlling the transactions. It means that there is no need to pay anything to a third party. As there is no need for anyone to check, this system also helps in saving time. The data in a blockchain lies scattered along the chain. The pieces of data get embedded in the blocks. Embedded in the block means that there is no place where all you store all the data. If someone wants to steal the data, there is no single place to target. The attackers would have to take data from many many blocks — all along the chain — which is an impossible task. This creation of technology makes your data safe from being stolen.There are no false entries as everyone has to authorize each entry in the blockchain.There is no way to edit or delete data. You can safely say that all entries are genuine.As there is no central controlling authority, there are no chances of manipulation.IoT ExplainedHow do top blockchain developers help us use this technology for securing the data in IoT? Though the term IoT has been popular for years, it is still not something that everyone knows fully. If you define IoT in simple terms, it is a system having devices which are connected and can communicate among themselves and with the outside environment. This communication means that the internet can function without human intervention. The smart homes of today work with this technology. It has got a lot of uses.In an IoT system, devices or their parts can communicate with each other or with outside sources. IoT can help us to know how well the parts are working for varied tech in our homes or communities. IoT allows technicians to know when they have to change a part in an appliance, or computer. The system gives complete information about the working and health of the device. These systems use the internet to stay connected. They also connect to the outside environment through the internet. An IoT app in a smartphone controls the IoT devices. These systems generate a lot of data which gets stored in cloud storage systems.IoT or internet of things is a system with connected devices that can communicate with each other without human intervention.The devices use the internet to connect among themselves and to the outside environment.In many machineries, IoT helps us know the health of each component as they communicate with each other.A smartphone controls these devices.An IoT systems a large amount of data from communication.How Is IoT Useful To Us?One of the common uses of IoT that we see around us is in smart homes. In such houses, one device can control all the devices from one point inside the home. The devices all communicate among themselves and with the controlling device, which is usually a mobile phone or other smart home systems. Apart from controlling these devices, you can also monitor their performance from anywhere through your smartphones.For instance, the system in my home alerted my phone that there was a carbon monoxide leak in the downstairs bedrooms.I had family that had come into town and needed a place to stay until I returned in two more days. I called a repair person and had them go to my home and check for a leak. The repair guy could get in the house because I also had a smart door which I unlocked for him.The leak was actually the neighbors spraying a toxic substance in their yard, but my smart IoT sensors picked that up. The repair person was kind enough to open all of the windows, and I could check the levels of toxicity from my phone. When the relatives came back from shopping — all they were greeted with is open windows, which I had texted them explaining the reason. What they were not greeted with is an undetectable gas that could have made them very ill or worse.In many companies, these gadgets and they connect the devices to the IT network. In this system, also the IoT technology is used. It helps offices to control the tools and get the maximum potential out of them. It helps them save on power bills. In big factories or where there is a lot of machinery, IoT helps in knowing the exact wear status of each part. It helps the company in changing the components at the right time. It helps them plan their maintenance break and avoid unplanned stopping of work. The technology also helps avert breakdowns. One of the primary uses of IoT is the information that these systems provide. IoT generates a massive amount of data. All these data points are useful to decide future actions. The companies can study the data and know what future actions will save them money.Another common usage of IoT is in monitoring fitness trackers. Fitness trackers connect to smartphones. They continue to give various types of data about our movements, our heartbeat, pulse rate, etc. When we undergo medical examinations, doctors can use all these data to know our health condition.IoT is the technology that we use for smart homes. It helps us control devices from anywhere.Companies use IoT to connect the various gadgets and devices in the office.Connecting and monitoring the devices helps companies to save money on power bills.IoT helps factories monitor their big machineries. It helps them know how good each of the parts is.Information about the various parts in machinery helps in timely maintenance and replacement of components.IoT helps avoid sudden breakdowns as we get real-time information about various parts of the machine.IoT generates a vast amount of data which are useful to companies for future action.Fitness trackers use IoT to collect and send vital data to smartphones. It helps us when we go for medical check-ups.Security Challenges In IoTIn the present IoT system, all the data gets authenticated centrally. The data passes through security and is considered safe. All the devices in an IoT environment connect to the internet. Each piece of data gets stored in convenient cloud storage. Anyone with access to cloud storage can alter or steal the data. This access has become a threat that IoT faces today.Companies are vying with each other in supplying the maximum number of IoT devices. The number of such devices is going to be huge in another ten years. It means that the hackers have more ways to get at your data. These unethical hackers can enter the system through any of the devices and reach the central data storage. In 2016 we saw such an attack which affected almost all the IoT devices. There was a widespread Distributed Denial Of Service (DDoS) attack by criminals. With the IoT information distributed, people realized the seriousness of such a security lapse. The spread of IoT is so vast it touches almost every industry. There are a large amount of data that IoT generates. In the case of healthcare, the data of all the patients’ health will be available. Consider a breach in the data storage of an insurance company. The attackers can get access to the personal information of millions of people. The attackers can disrupt the system and take money to restore it. The threat of the black hat hacker is real and always has been. We’ve just made the hacking easier for them with unprotected systems. Consider a scenario where all the devices connect to your IT network sit. Hackers can enter through the smallest of the tools at the edge of the system. Think about the information connected in your home or company. The attacker can gain access to all the information in your IT network, including passwords, bank accounts, etc. It would be child’s play for an expert hacker — or even a lower level hacker to introduce ransomware and stop the function of all devices, especially in one location. Surveillance cameras are another severe threat. As the controls are centralized, an entry into the system — who is going to protect these systems? High-level police officers don’t even understand this type of security- systems work. This problem should be addressed at the police academy — and access to the basics should be required for our basic protections. The police have to call in the experts if they even suspect a problem. Do we want this information sitting out on a desk in a police station? How about security surveillance sitting on the counter at the local convenience store? One camera can provide access to all the surveillance cameras in that area. To have access to all cameras on site is the ideal way to plan a burglary. They will know exactly where everything is. The reasons are not always as simple as the thought that a hacker is trying to gain something. There are criminal-minded people whose only aim is to disrupt someone’s life — and even more — some just want to — watch. Such people can easily breach the lax security of IoT system and stop our whole system from working. Just imagine sitting there, unable to operate anything in your office. Is there a way out of this problem? How can we ensure the security of the system? How can we protect the vast amount of data which IoT accumulates? The answer seems to come from another disruptive technology which revolutionized data processing. The blockchain is a system that stores data differently.The data in an IoT get stored in the cloud storage. Internet connects all the devices.The supply of IoT devices is increasing exponentially. Hackers can enter the system through any device.The episode of service disruption in 2016 is an example of a security breach.IoT generates a lot of information, including personal data. Attackers can steal information for selfish gains.Hackers can steal other important information like passwords and bank details.Criminals can also use surveillance cameras to see the full plan of your house or office.There is a need to protect the data from such attacks.How Can Blockchain Help In Securing IoT?The blockchain is a decentralized system which can help in solving the problems of scalability, reliability, and privacy in IoT. The blockchain can enable tracking of the billions of devices. Blockchain technology can assist in processing the transactions and coordination between different tools in the system. The decentralized nature of the blockchain system will help in distributing data and eliminate attacks at single points. The blockchain technology will make the ecosystem more secure and resistant to attacks. Consumer data will remain safer under such an environment. Also, the blockchain technology has proved itself in the cryptocurrency transactions. It means that you can have peer-to-peer payment systems making a central authority unnecessary. IoT blockchain technology allows our messaging between devices and individuals. As the data lie scattered in the ledger, it is impossible to tamper it. Also, the blockchain system lets you maintain the history of smart devices. You cannot alter it in any way. The intelligent devices can function autonomously without the need for a central controlling authority. This technology will make way for newer scenarios that were difficult to achieve in the IoT system. You should also think about integrating Chatbots into Blockchain and IoT. Chatbots can help you to execute and validate interactions on Blockchain and IoT. For that purpose, you can gain an understanding of the concept of Chatbot in detail.IoT solutions can make secure and trusted messages between devices with the help of blockchain. The technology treats all words like financial transactions in cryptocurrency dealing. Smart contracts will be used to complete conditions in an agreement before exchange of messages takes place between devices. Blockchain technology can help smart devices to do financial transactions without the need for a centralized agency. This type of system will itself verify the validity of the transactions as members have to give consent to do the transaction. It means that trust is assured.One of the best advantages is that blockchain will help IoT to maintain a ledger of all transactions occurring in the network. It can assist in ensuring compliance and regulatory requirements of IoT in industries without the presence of a centralized authority. There are many exciting possibilities in IoT with the adoption of blockchain technology. However, the top advantage remains the safety of IoT data because the data spread across the chain. Any modern IoT application development company can use blockchain technology and create a dApp which will help in securing data. The blockchain is a decentralized system that can help track the billions of devices.It is possible to distribute data and protect from attacks.You cannot alter data in a blockchain.Blockchain allows you to use smart contracts to satisfy agreements before the exchange of messages.This system allows IoT to maintain a ledger of all transactions.Blockchain ensures the safety of data in IoT.Challenges In Incorporating Blockchain in IoTThough it looks like the best and easy solution for securing data in an IoT environment, it is far from being perfect. The only consolation is that IoT itself is not fully developed, and hence, it will be easy to integrate blockchain technology into the system.The blockchain is effective in protecting the data in a cryptocurrency ledger because the job is only to move the currency from one person to another. Blockchain will help in doing this without the supervision of any central authority. But to control a network of devices in different layers may prove to be more challenging.There must be a suitable framework to prevent unlawful interferences. You should be able to eliminate a corrupted device from the system automatically. It can stop the spread of malware. There should be an easy way to add or remove accessories from the blockchain. The blockchain protocol requires that to gain control of the system, one would need the support or consent of the majority of the entities in the group. It will be difficult in a network of devices that exist in a large area. But when it comes to a small system like a home, the manipulation of the majority of devices could prove easy.The smaller devices that work at home are not equipped to handle the computing power that a blockchain system requires. It means that anyone can breach the security. The idea put forth by many is to have a watered-down version of the blockchain, which is still better than a central authority.The blockchain is still not the perfect solution, but you can adapt it for securing IoT data.Controlling a lot of devices in a system may be difficult for blockchain technology in the present form.Experts must develop a suitable framework to prevent unauthorized interferences.There must be a way to eliminate corrupt devices from the system.Manipulation of devices in a small system is possible even with blockchain technology.Smaller devices don’t have the computing power to support the blockchain system.The way out may be a diluted version of the blockchain.ConclusionIt is quite evident that IoT is here to grow and expand. But the danger to the data that the technology generates is also a reality. There is sensitive data which might be subject to attacks and theft. There is a need to address this issue. The blockchain is a technology which seems right for the job with its decentralized data storage. Another suggestion is to have blockchain software developers who would develop the dApp and have the dApp further the  control of smart devices at the office and ensure safety from breaches. dApp is an abbreviated form for decentralized application. The dApp has its backend code running on a decentralized peer-to-peer network. It is a technology that could be the answer for attacks on data storage. But there is a need for further fine-tuning when it comes to the vast networks of devices. Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot & Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz @Mobile Application Development Company. His 8+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot. eSparkbiz has reached greater heights with his immense contribution in calculating the Cost To Make An App. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

The Pros and Cons of a Shallow Depth of Field

first_imgThe overuse of shallow depth of field has been an issue since the DSLR revolution hit, and it can look especially bad on daytime exteriors.There’s certainly a place for shallow depth of field, and, as a filmmaker, much of my work involves shooting wide open. That said, like any other cinematography technique, it does have its limitations and it will work best only in certain types of shooting situations.Many independent filmmakers rush to shoot with their lenses wide open because they feel it’ll make their films look more ‘Hollywood,’ but in reality they aren’t taking into account many other factors. For example, just because many blockbuster films use selective focus, doesn’t mean that those filmmakers are shooting wide open. Larger scale films typically have larger sets, studios, and big environments to work in, which means their actors are often further away from the background. This gives them the luxury of shooting stopped down a bit (so their actors are still in perfect focus), and still blurring out the background. For instance:While you may not be shooting your next short or feature on a soundstage in Burbank, chances are you’re shooting at least some of your film outside – which effectively gives you a lot of choice when it comes to how your scenes are shot. I’ve seen far too many indie films that were shot wide open in broad daylight in a huge exterior space, effectively diminishing the quality of the final product. These are the three main reasons you don’t want to go down that path:Your lenses perform better stopped down.Unless you are shooting on the highest end cinema lenses available, chances are that your lens isn’t going perform optimally when it’s opened up all the way. Most lenses are softest wide open, and don’t typically hit their sweet spot until at least F2.8 or F4. It’s quite common for filmmakers to assume they will get great results when shooting at a very fast aperture (such as F1.4) but then look at their footage later only to be disappointed with the results. There is no reason why you can’t achieve beautiful shallow DOF shots outside even at F5.6 under the right conditions, so always take that into account before setting your exposure.Your actors have more leeway if they don’t land on a mark.When you’re shooting wide open at F1.4 or even F2 on a Super 35mm or full frame camera, your actors have very little wiggle room to work with. If they miss their mark by a couple of inches they may be out of focus, and that can lead to unnecessary re-takes and frustration for the crew. Not to mention, your talent will likely benefit from the freedom of having more room to improvise physically on set when they aren’t limited to an ultra-narrow DOF that they need to work within. Stop down a touch on your lenses and your actors and crew will thank you.Your focus puller will actually have a shot at nailing the take.We’ve already gone over why it’s important for your actors to have a reasonable amount of leeway with regards to DOF, but the same logic applies to your focus puller. If you’re shooting a scene with any time of focus pull (whether it’s on sticks, handheld, or otherwise), your 1st AC is going to have a much harder time maintaining focus if your lens is opened up too much. No matter how accurate their focus marks may be, there will always be some inconsistencies with the actor’s movements, camera placement and other variables that make it very difficult for your 1st AC to do their job effectively.The fact of the matter is that 90% of the time, if you’re shooting in a wide open space in broad daylight, you’ll be best served by stopping your lenses down. Not only will this vastly improve your image quality, but your actors and 1st AC will have a much easier time doing their jobs.If you do end up going for the shallow depth of field look, here are a few tips on how to achieve the technique from Fenchel & Janisch:Here’s one more from are your thoughts on the shallow depth of field trend? Overused? Underappreciated? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

Sharapova determined to prove point on Slam return

first_imgFILE – In this Aug. 27, 2014, file photo, Maria Sharapova, of Russia, returns a shot to Alexandra Dulgheru, of Romania, during the second round of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York. Sharapova has been granted a wild-card invitation for the U.S. Open’s main draw. Sharapova is among eight women who were given entry into the 128-player field by the U.S. Tennis Association on Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017, and by far the most noteworthy. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)Former world number one Maria Sharapova makes her first Grand Slam appearance next week since serving a 15-month doping suspension, bringing renewed passion and resolve to the US Open.The 30-year-old Russian was given a wildcard into the tournament by the US Tennis Association (USTA), a move critics complained about earlier in the season but another key step in the road back for the five-time Grand Slam winner.ADVERTISEMENT “When it comes to tennis, good or bad — there’s really only one thing that I know for certain — I’ve missed it,” Sharapova wrote on the Players’ Tribune website.“Though these last two years have been tougher -— so much tougher -— than I ever could have anticipated… my passion for the game has never wavered. If anything, it has only grown stronger.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSharapova was issued a two-year suspension after testing positive for the banned heart and blood boosting drug meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport reduced the ban on appeal.She said that she had taken it for several years and did not know it had been placed on the banned list at the start of 2016. SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program Sharapova has missed three of the past four US Opens, her last visit ending in the 2014 fourth round.The USTA defended its wildcard offer, saying, “Her suspension under the terms of the tennis anti-doping program was completed and therefore was not one of the factors weighed in our wildcard selection process.”“Consistent with past practice, a wildcard was provided to a past US champion who needed the wildcard for entry into the main draw.”Former world number one Sharapova won the 2006 US Open as well as Wimbledon in 2004, the 2008 Australian Open and the 2012 and 2014 French Opens.“I’m sure this is a great moment for her to have an opportunity to be back to a place where she has done so well,” seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams said.Sharapova plays catch-upSharapova was bolstered by fans with “Welcome back Maria” signs in Germany and cheering support last month in Stanford, her first US match in more than two years.“I feel like I just want to hug everyone and say thank you,” Sharapova said.Sharapova defeated American Jennifer Brady 6-1, 4-6, 6-0 in her Stanford opener but suffered a left forearm injury and has not played competitively since.“I feel like I’m playing catch-up against everyone who has had a head start,” she said of being hurt during US Open tuneup events. Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding SEA Games: ‘Stand-in’ Ferrera nails hammer throw bronze LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:02PNP to prove activists’ link to CPP NPA00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Sharapova made her return in April at Stuttgart, reaching the semi-finals as a wildcard, but such invitations sparked criticism from some WTA rivals, saying she should have to work her way back without such benefits, some suggesting a life ban.“I’m aware of what many of my peers have said about me and how critical of me some of them have been,” she wrote.“If you’re a human being with a normal, beating heart… I don’t think that sort of thing will ever fully be possible to ignore.”Sharapova was refused a wildcard by French Open organizers and missed Wimbledon with a thigh injury, so the US Open will be her first Grand Slam event since last year’s Australian Open.Shaking off criticism after the French Open snub, Sharapova tweeted, “If this is what it takes to rise up again, then I am in it all the way, everyday. No words, games or actions will ever stop me from reaching my own dreams. And I have many.”ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games LATEST STORIES SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief View commentslast_img read more

CTV Dishes Out a Sixth Season of Hit Culinary Series MASTERCHEF CANADA

first_img Login/Register With: TORONTO, Aug. 8 – Following MASTERCHEF CANADA‘s youngest-ever winner, Beccy Stables, being crowned earlier this summer, CTV announced today Season 6 of its hit culinary competition series MASTERCHEFCANADA for the 2018/2019 broadcast season. Casting for passionate home cooks looking to follow their food dreams is now open at, with production set to begin this fall in Toronto on a new 12-episode season from Proper Television.Canadians maintain a strong appetite for MASTERCHEF CANADA. A Top 15 program on Canadian television with all key demos this past spring, Season 5 of MASTERCHEF CANADA averaged 1.2 million total viewers weekly.“MASTERCHEF CANADA continues to serve up a savoury and distinctly Canadian viewing experience for fans across the country, making the series one of the most popular on television,” said Mike Cosentino, President, Content and Programming, Bell Media. “We are proud of our continued collaboration with exceptionally talented production partners Proper Television and Endemol Shine Group, and look forward to the return of this beloved CTV franchise to the schedule with Season 6 set for a Midseason launch on CTV.” Advertisement Casting for Season 6 of MASTERCHEF CANADA is now open at Passionate and talented Canadian home cooks hungry for an opportunity to capture the life-changing title of Canada’s next MasterChef have until Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. ET to apply online. Further to online casting submissions, invitation-only auditions will be held across Canada this summer, so home cooks are encouraged to get their applications in soon. In addition, an in-person Open Casting Call will be held in Toronto on Sunday, Sept. 30 – for more information, visit LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebook Advertisement Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

Goncalo Guedes desperate for Valencia move

first_imgParis Saint-Germain winger Goncalo Guedes is desperate to seal a permanent move to Valencia this summer after a successful loan spell last season, reports Football-EspanaThe Portugal international made 38 appearances for Los Che during his loan stint the last term and managed to score six goals as the club secured a top-four spot in La Liga and a return to the Champions League.But it appears that Guedes’ circumstances at PSG have not changed upon his return to France this summer and now the 21-year-old is reportedly desperate to seal a permanent return to Valencia before the end of the summer transfer window.David Villa, SpainQuiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.Although, it remains to be seen whether Marcelino Garcia Toral’s side will be able to match PSG’s asking price of between €40m to €50m.The Ligue 1 champions are still under pressure for the UEFA over the Financial Fair Play regulations and they will likely want to recoup as much money as possible from Guedes sale in order to satisfy the football governing body.last_img read more

Tourism Month plans announced

first_img Related Items:#tcitourismmonth, #tourismiskeyitstartswithme Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, TCI, November 2, 2016 – It is National Tourism Environmental Awareness Month and the Turks and Caicos joins with the rest of the region in celebrating tourism.Plans for the month were rolled out at the TCI Tourist Board on Tuesday and include “Cruise Week”, November 14-19 with planned tours of the Grand Turk Cruise Center, the reintroduction of the Tourism Quiz Competition at the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (TCICC), Grand Turk Campus; an Open House Exhibition at the TCICC Provo Campus; the Hello Tourist Programme where students from six primary schools on island will get the opportunity to experience life as a tourist for a day; a ‘Big Bin Competition’ (the decorating of garbage bins) among the tourism clubs at the various schools and the annual TCI Youth Congress where the Junior Minister of Tourism 2016/2017 will be selected.There will be billboards, destination videos and clean up campaigns as the month is celebrated in tandem with the Department of Environmental and Costal Resources (DECR), the Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA), Environmental Health Services (EHS), the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force and the Department of Youth Affairs.The theme is ‘Tourism is Key, it starts with Me.’last_img read more

Flood Advisory Issued For Anchor River

first_imgFacebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The National Weather Service has issued a flood advisory for the Anchor River near Anchor Point. A small ice jam may cause minor flooding on the Anchor River near Anchor Point. The situation may improve once temperatures drop  and precipitation ceases. The Anchor River near Anchor Point is above bankfull due to warm temperatures and precipitation that has caused a possible ice jam. Low lying areas such as the campground may be impacted by conditions about a foot above bankfull. This advisory will remain in effect until January 3.last_img read more

UN calls Myanmar massacre alarming

first_imgTen Rohingya Muslim men with their hands bound kneel in Inn Din village on 1 September 2017. ReutersThe United Nations on Friday described the details of a Reuters investigation into the killing of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar as “alarming” and said it showed the need for a thorough probe into the violence in the country’s Rakhine state.”We’re aware of this latest report, the details of which are very alarming. This once more attests to the need for a full and thorough investigation by the authorities of all violence in Rakhine State and attacks on the various communities there,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters.UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for the release of the two detained journalists and continues to press for that, Haq said.last_img read more

Afghans vote amid chaos Taliban threats

first_imgAfghan police officers stand guard while election commission workers prepare ballot boxes and election material at a polling station in Kabul, Afghanistan on 19 October. Photo: ReutersAfghans began voting on Saturday in parliamentary elections overshadowed by chaotic organisation, allegations of corruption and violence that has forced a postponement of the vote in the strategic southern province of Kandahar.The United Nations, which has been supporting the process, has urged Afghans to “use this opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to vote” and called for the election to take place in a safe and secure environment.Officials worry that violence will keep voters away from polling stations, particularly following the assassination of the police chief of Kandahar on Thursday, which forced authorities to delay the election in the province by a week.Taliban militants have issued a series of statements telling people not to take part in what they consider a foreign-imposed process and warning election centres may be attacked.Thousands of police and soldiers have been deployed across the country but already nine candidates have been assassinated and hundreds of people killed and wounded in election-related attacks.Polls opened at 7.00am (0230 GMT) and voting is due to continue until 4.00pm. Due to the difficulty of collecting and collating results across Afghanistan, the overall results will not be known for at least two weeks.Election authorities originally planned 7,355 polling centres but only 5,100 will be able to open due to security concerns, according to the Independent Election Commission, overseeing the vote.Voting has also been delayed in Ghazni province, by arguments about the representation of different ethnic groups.Fraud FearsWidespread allegations of voter fraud present a challenge to the legitimacy of the process, seen by Afghanistan’s international partners as a vital step ahead of the more important presidential election next year.Afghan politics is still poisoned by the aftermath of a disputed presidential vote in 2014 that forced the two main rival groupings to form an unstable partnership. Both sides were accused of massive electoral cheating.Political sleaze has put Afghanistan near the bottom of Transparency International’s world corruption index.”Fraud, the abuse of power and corruption are going to be the main challenge, much more than security,” said Aziz Rafiee, a political analyst and executive director of the Afghan Civil Society Forum.Some 8.8 million voters have been registered but an unknown number, by some estimates as many as 50 per cent or more, are believed to be fraudulently or incorrectly registered.About 2,450 candidates are competing for places in the lower house, which has 250 seats, including one reserved for a candidate from the Sikh minority. Under the constitution, parliament reviews and ratifies laws but has little real power.In a bid to ensure the vote is fair, biometric voter registration technology has been rushed in at the last minute.But many fear the untried technology, which was still being distributed to provincial voting centres as recently as Thursday, will add to the confusion without eliminating fraud.last_img read more

A Lot Has Changed Since Houston Last Hosted The Super Bowl

first_imgListen 00:00 /03:25 Gail Delaughter/Houston Public MediaMetro now has three light rail lines to carry Super Bowl visitors. In 2004 it only had one.It was February 1, 2004 when Houston last hosted the Super Bowl. The thing a lot of people might remember most about it happened at halftime — Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction. Millions of viewers saw it live.And there was also a streaker. He got on the field dressed in a referee’s uniform. The game itself was actually said to be one of the best in history. With only four seconds left on the clock, the New England Patriots kicked a 41-yard field goal, defeating the Carolina Panthers 32 to 29.The NFL had awarded the big game to Houston shortly after Bob McNair acquired the Texans franchise. The team started playing in 2002, back when their brand-new stadium was still called Reliant.To get the 2017 game, Houston had to really work for it. The city beat out a proposal from south Florida.Today preparations are moving ahead in the same venue, now known as NRG Stadium. The Patriots will be making a return visit to play the Atlanta Falcons.We spoke with NFL Director of Events Eric Finkelstein as he watched crews pull up the Texans logo from the end zone so they could install the Super Bowl 51 insignia.The stadium itself looks much the same, but it’s added a lot of amenities since 2004.There’s more food to choose from, a lot of it from local restaurants. There’s also stronger wi-fi to handle all the social media that wasn’t around 13 years ago.As for game day itself, Finkelstein says they’re always looking for ways to make the Super Bowl bigger and better.“There are so many different things that are happening, so many additional pieces that it’s amazing how much it’s evolved,” says Finkelstein.But the most striking difference could be what’s happening off the field, before and after the game. Metro CEO Tom Lambert remembers what it was like downtown in 2004 when he was the transit agency’s police chief. Discovery Green wasn’t built yet so the crowds converged on North Main Street.“I still recall at Texas and Main looking up at the Rice Hotel and the balcony and it was wall-to-wall people,” recalls Lambert. “And one said, oh my God, I hope the balcony stays there.”The Main Street light rail line had opened only a few weeks before and Lambert says things got so congested they had to shut it down.“Just the ability to move people, that was a concern,” adds Lambert. “And when you have that limited space and more and more people congested in that space, that’s always a concern.”Today Houston has three light rail lines, and they’re expected to carry thousands of fans. But Lambert says even with the limited service they learned a lot.“It demonstrated the carrying capacity of a rail car, where you could carry 200 people plus on a rail car,” explains Lambert. “And when you tie those two cars together you could move a lot of people in a dedicated corridor with very good frequencies.”And that’s another big difference between this Super Bowl and the one in 2004. University of Houston Professor Jason Draper does research on tourism and events. He says visitors now have better ways to get around Houston without a car.“I think it’s important with all the development around town, providing more opportunities and access to those areas, not having to depend on driving so much,” says Draper. “Or as much as in 2004 at least.”Events will be going on all week at Discovery Green, the George R. Brown Convention Center, and dozens of other venues.Experts say the city could see an economic impact of about $350 million. X To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Sharelast_img read more

Scientists design Maglev car with greater stability

first_img The war on Southern California smog is slipping. Fixing it is a $14 billion problem Citation: Scientists design Maglev car with greater stability (2006, June 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Since the late ‘60s, scientists have been designing, building and operating “flying trains,” or magnetically levitated (“Maglev”) systems. However, the sci-fi-like technology still faces challenges for increased stability, controllability and cost-effectiveness – but scientists are making steady improvements. Maglev trains, which use the electromagnetic force to overcome gravity, have intrigued scientists for the past several decades. Levitating several centimeters above the track, the train cars have no physical contact and no friction with the track, enabling speeds of more than 400 mph. Implementing Maglevs into urban areas – or even across the country – could make a five-hour drive a smooth 40-minute ride, as well as reinvent the world’s infrastructure.The first operating low-speed Maglev systems, built in England and Germany in the mid-‘80s, are no longer in existence. However, the newest 300-mph system built in 2002 in Shanghai, China has revived political and consumer interest in the technology, despite current large construction costs. Although the city plans to extend the 18-mile track to 100 miles for the World Expo in 2010, the technology must become more economically viable with proven safety for mainstream adoption.As part of the investigation, a team of scientists (W. Yang et al.) from China has recently designed and built a new model for a Maglev car that could offer significant stability advantages over current technology. The scientists used specially fabricated high temperature superconductors (HTSC) for the cars and permanent magnets for the tracks, which demonstrate a higher levitation force and greater stability than when permanent magnets are used on both the track and car. Although the car models are only about 12 cm long and 4 cm wide, they demonstrated frictionless, stable movement across the 10-meter-long track.“The arrangement of the magnets made it easy to get a uniform magnetic field distribution along the length of the track,” wrote W. Yang et al. in a recent issue of Superconductor Science and Technology. “The model can be used [for] a fast transportation system to students and adults.”In the HTSC model, the cars are propelled by a combination of linear motors on the tracks and aluminum rotors on the cars. Photoelectric switches near the linear motors save energy by ensuring that the motors work only when the car is traveling through them.The HTSC model’s large magnetic fields across the track also provide a strong guidance force and good magnetic distribution that prohibits the cars from escaping the track. Because this magnetic configuration provides a large dragging force, it also eliminates the need for any exterior stability control.Using liquid nitrogen to cool the HTSCs to -196 degrees C, the scientists investigated different cooling methods to optimize the levitation and guidance forces. The team found that a field cooled process, which cools the magnets inside the car after the car is on the track, provides significant stability, but also requires further investigation.Citation: Yang, W. M., et al. A small Maglev car model using YBCO bulk superconductors. Superconductor Science and Technology. 19 (2006) S537-S539.By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Explore further Scientists have fabricated Maglev car models using high temperature superconducting technology, which could increase stability and inspire further developments to confront Maglev challenges. Photo credit: Wanmin Yang et al. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Rep Hughes appointed to workgroup on Michigan trade

first_img13May Rep. Hughes appointed to workgroup on Michigan trade Lawmaker will focus on increasing port trafficState Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, will serve on a bipartisan workgroup dedicated to the growth and improvement of Michigan’s export traffic. Rep. Hughes was appointed to the panel by Rep. Joseph Graves, chair of the House Committee on Commerce and Trade.“I am honored and thankful to be serving on Rep. Graves’ workgroup,” Rep. Hughes said.  “This is a great opportunity to be able to highlight Muskegon’s deep water port and held to find ways to bring more economic activity to our area.”“We have the ability to revamp and re-energize the way we export to significantly improve Michigan’s economy and make a substantial impact on our respective districts by boosting local port traffic and future sustainability.”The Port of Muskegon, the only natural deep-water port on the west side of our state, joined the American Great Lakes Port Association one year ago and was the first port to represent West Michigan.“Doors are open for business here in Muskegon, and we have the opportunity to develop this port into a focal point of economic prosperity for our local community, and others throughout the state,” Rep. Hughes said.Rep. Graves appointed only three lawmakers to the task force. State Rep. Jason Sheppard, R-Temperance, and Rep. Wendell Byrd, D-Detroit, will be working with Rep. Hughes on the task force.### Categories: Featured news,Hughes News,Newscenter_img Tags: #SB last_img read more

The car sales boom is coming to an end This might

first_imgThe car sales boom is coming to an end.This might surprise some folks. After all, the auto industry has been one of the economy’s bright spots since the financial crisis. Sales have grown each year since 2009. Last year, carmakers sold a record 17.47 million vehicles.Many folks see the booming auto industry as proof that the economy is getting better.E.B. Tucker, editor of The Casey Report, sees it differently. He says the auto industry boomed because of cheap money. But, with the economy slowing, the easy money is drying up. According to E.B., this will put an end to the auto industry’s seven-year boom.As you’re about to see, it looks like a crisis could already be underway. That’s because the auto loan market is starting to crack.Today, we’ll show you why this is a threat to your wealth even if you don’t own a single “car stock.” We’ll also show you how to turn this potential crisis into a money-making opportunity.• The Federal Reserve made it incredibly cheap to buy a car…That’s because the Fed has held its key interest rate near zero since 2008.This has made it cheaper than ever to buy a car. In 2007, the average interest rate for auto loans was 7.7%. It’s now 4.3%.Because it costs almost nothing to borrow money, everyone is buying cars on credit. According to Experian, 86% of people who bought new cars in the fourth quarter of 2015 took out a loan. That’s up from 81% in 2010.• It’s also never been easier to buy a car…Lenders will give money to practically anyone these days. According to Experian, “subprime” loans now make up more than 20% of the auto loan market. Subprime loans are loans made to borrowers with bad credit.Lenders haven’t just loosened their standards. They’ve also stretched out loan terms to get more folks to buy cars. E.B. Tucker wrote in this month’s issue of The Casey Report:According to, the average length of a car loan hit 68.3 months last November. That’s up 8% from a decade earlier. Credit reporting firm Experian says 30% of new car loans had terms of 73–84 months in early 2015.E.B.’s even seen one dealer offer a 0% interest loan for as long as 84 months. In other words, they’ll let you drive a car for seven years before you have to pay a penny in interest.• Cheap credit and lax lending standards have caused the auto loan market to explode…This year, the value of outstanding auto loans topped $1 trillion for the first time ever. It’s now 42% bigger than it was in 2009.The subprime market has grown even faster. The Wall Street Journal reported in April:Auto lenders have been increasingly comfortable lowering credit standards. They gave out 6.1 million subprime auto loans in 2015, up 8% from a year prior and up 118% since they bottomed out in 2009, according to credit bureau Equifax. New subprime loans totaled $109.5 billion in 2015, the sixth consecutive annual increase, and up 11% from the year prior, according to Equifax.• Last month, JPMorgan Chase CEO James Dimon said the auto-lending market was getting “a little stretched”…Dimon warned that “someone is going to get hurt.”The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a watchdog for the lending industry, also thinks auto lending is getting out of hand. Last week, it called the incredible growth in auto loans “unprecedented.”It warned of rising delinquencies. (A loan is delinquent when a borrower falls 60 days behind on payment.)• Auto loan delinquencies are already soaring…In February, subprime auto loan delinquencies hit 5.16%. That’s the highest level since October 1996.The next month, E.B. said we would see “a lot more” delinquencies. He was right.Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported that subprime lenders are bracing for huge losses:Eighteen percent of auto-loan principal dollars securitized by subprime lenders in 2015 aren’t likely to be repaid, according to a report by credit-ratings company DBRS Inc. If so, that would mark a sharp rise from 14.4% in 2014 and 12.8% in 2012…Also up: Loss expectations for loans securitized by nine smaller subprime issuers that either launched or restructured after the financial crisis. Just over 19% of their auto-loan dollars securitized last year are expected to not be repaid, up from 18.4% in 2014 and 16.7% in 2013.• E.B. expects auto loan delinquencies to keep rising…According to E.B., more folks will struggle to pay their car loans as the economy weakens. Lenders will take big losses. This will lead them to tighten lending standards. Easy money will dry up in the process.Casey Research founder Doug Casey says this will create serious problems for the auto industry:I expect a collapse of the new car market in the near future. People are going to have to keep their cars longer, and fix them up instead of trading them in.This is clearly bad news for carmakers. But it’s an opportunity for companies that help cars stay on the road longer.• Last week, E.B. recommended the largest provider of used car parts in North America…E.B.’s thesis is simple. Folks will put more wear and tear on their cars the longer they drive them. That means more trips to the repair shop.E.B.’s newest recommendation dominates the used parts business. Its sales have grown by 24% on average since 2011. And it has fat profit margins.You can learn more about E.B’s new stock pick by signing up for a risk-free trial of The Casey Report. If you act today, you’ll receive The Casey Report for 50% off the regular price. To learn how, watch this short presentation.In it, E.B. explains why the spike in auto loan defaults is part of a much bigger problem. As you’ll see, a giant “credit squeeze” is sweeping across America. It’s even spread to the banking sector, the bedrock of America’s economy. As E.B. explains, this could trigger a crisis far worse than anything you’ve ever seen.The good news is that it’s not too late to protect yourself. To learn how, watch this short presentation.Tech Recommendation of the Day: Buy or Sell Apple?For the next few days, we’re sharing a special new feature with you. In place of our usual “Chart of the Day,” you’ll find valuable insight on technology stocks from tech expert Jeff Brown. In an interview format, Jeff will explain why you should buy or sell popular tech stocks like Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), or Facebook (FB) right now.If you don’t know Jeff, he’s a true tech insider and angel investor. Jeff is a 25-year veteran who’s built early-stage startups and ran organizations generating hundreds of millions of dollars in annual revenues. You can learn more about him by clicking here.Today, we’re featuring Jeff’s take on Apple, the maker of the popular iPhone and the world’s largest publicly traded company. Keep in mind, what you’re about to read came a recent interview between Jeff and Amber Lee Mason, head of our affiliate Bonner & Partners.Amber Lee Mason: Alright, so let’s start with the company most of our readers wanted to know more about – Apple.Jeff Brown: That’s a great place to start. And some may be surprised, but this is absolutely a sell for me. As much as I love the company, the innovation within Apple has been slowing significantly. The iPhone 7, which is due out in a few months from now, is unlikely, from my perspective, to be a driver for increased revenues. There really isn’t that much, from a feature perspective, to drive the next round of upgrades. The rumors are… improved cameras and no audio port, so a wireless audio solution. Equally important is that the smartphone shipments on the high end are really slowing down.So this is a market industry dynamic. It’s only forecast to grow about 3% in 2016 compared to 2015. And that compares to about 10%-plus growth that we saw in 2015. So for the first year since the iPhone was launched in 2007, the number of iPhone shipments this year will actually decrease compared to last year. The sales in China are falling, and that’s one of the highest growth markets in the world for smartphones.The Apple Watch forecasts have been reduced significantly. Apple Pay, which is the contactless digital payment solution from Apple, has been very weak in the United States. Apple has been very far behind in terms of the application of artificial intelligence to its software platform. So I see probably about a 20% downside from where we are today and a complete lack of catalyst to get the company back on track, certainly within the short term (12–18 months).Now, I will say this… There will be a time to get back into Apple, and it probably is in that 12-to-18-month timeframe. And the things that I’ll be looking very closely for are Apple’s not-so-secret project to have an electric vehicle, a car. The project is called “Titan,” which was originally targeted to have a car by 2019. It looks like it’s been pushed back another year or so to 2020. But for a company that does $200-plus billion a year in revenue… this year, there needs to be a significant product offering to drive enough revenue to impact its valuation in a meaningful way. So the automotive industry is a perfect example of something that might do that.The other thing is that, depending on what the iPhone 8 looks like, if there are any attractive alternatives or new features for the iPhone 8 that’ll be expected in fall of 2017, that could be a potential catalyst for a major upgrade cycle and increase in valuation.ALM: Okay. So there may be a time to buy Apple in the future, but right now it’s a sell on your list.JB: Definitely.last_img read more

Updated at 110 pm ETThe Trump administration is

first_imgUpdated at 1:10 p.m. ETThe Trump administration is outlining two possible ways certain drugs that were intended for foreign markets could be imported to the U.S. — a move that would clear the way to import some prescription drugs from Canada.”Today’s announcement outlines the pathways the Administration intends to explore to allow safe importation of certain prescription drugs to lower prices and reduce out of pocket costs for American patients,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement about the plan. “This is the next important step in the Administration’s work to end foreign freeloading and put American patients first.”The Department of Health and Human Services outlined two “pathways” for importing the drugs to the U.S.In one initiative, the Food and Drug Administration and HHS will rely on their rulemaking authority to use existing federal law to set up pilot projects from states or wholesalers “outlining how they would import certain drugs from Canada that are versions of FDA-approved drugs that are manufactured consistent with the FDA approval.”Separately, the FDA will work on safety guidelines for drug manufacturers who want to import any drugs they sell in foreign countries to the U.S. market. The HHS statement says manufacturers would use a new National Drug Code that could allow them to price drugs lower than what is required by their current distribution contracts.”This pathway could be particularly helpful to patients with significantly high cost prescription drugs,” HHS says. “This would potentially include medications like insulin used to treat diabetes, as well as those used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disorders, and cancer.”Wednesday’s announcement marks the first step in the process. It could take years to implement the plans — which could also be challenged in court.A growing number of U.S. states have been considering their own plans to import prescription drugs from Canada, hoping to bargain for better deals than the current system allows.Strapped with high costs from paying for prescription drugs through Medicaid and state employee plans, Florida, Vermont, Maine and Colorado have approved their own drug import laws. More than half of all U.S. states have proposed such measures this year, as Trish Riley, executive director of the National Academy for State Health Policy, told NPR’s Selena Simmons-Duffin last month.But before those states can actually start cutting their own deals to import drugs, they need approval from the HHS. With today’s announcement, the federal government is making a move in that direction.As for why Canada enjoys lower drug prices, Rachel Sachs, a law professor at Washington University in St. Louis, told Simmons-Duffin that it’s a matter of negotiation.”In the U.S., we’ve constructed a system where pharmaceutical companies are able to charge far higher prices because there’s no mechanism to push back,” Sachs said. “There’s no way to say, ‘We’re not going to pay for that drug unless we get it at a better price.’ “Less than a year ago, President Trump spoke out against the idea of bringing prescription drugs in from Canada.”We want our drugs to be made here,” Trump said last October. “When you talk prescription drugs, we don’t like getting them from foreign countries. We don’t know what’s happening with those drugs, how they’re being made. Too important.”Trump’s remarks came after signing the NAFTA-replacing U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — a deal that was criticized for introducing protections for pharmaceutical companies.By setting in motion a plan to import medications from Canada, Azar is embracing an idea he had previously dismissed as a gimmick. In May 2018, Azar said:”Many people may be familiar with proposals to give our seniors access to cheaper drugs by importing drugs from other countries, such as Canada. This, too, is a gimmick. It has been assessed multiple times by the Congressional Budget Office, and CBO has said it would have no meaningful effect.”The secretary was apparently referring to a 2004 analysis in which the CBO reported that any “reduction in drug spending from importation would be small,” given the size of Canada’s drug market compared with that of the U.S.In that analysis, the CBO also said that “proposals to permit parallel trade with a large group of countries would offer greater potential savings.”And there are regulatory hurdles to consider. Criticizing the deal as a “fantasy solution,” pharmaceutical industry analyst Dr. Adam Fein said Wednesday that the proposal would complicate U.S. efforts to secure its drug supply chain and keep counterfeit and impure drugs off the market.”There is no legal or operational way of transforming a drug packaged for a foreign market into a drug that meets the U.S. requirements of our in-progress track-and-trace system,” Fein said in an email to NPR. “What’s more, there is no way to alter the law to enable importation without undermining the law’s purpose and value.”There are already signs that some in Canada’s medical industry might balk at the idea of sharing its supply of pharmaceutical drugs with the U.S.”The Canadian medicine supply is not sufficient to support both Canadian and U.S. consumers,” a coalition of health, hospital and pharmacy groups said in a letter to Canadian Minister of Health Ginette Petitpas-Taylor.The letter noted that Canada is allocated certain quantities of drugs based on national estimates, and warned that the county’s prescription drug shortages could grow even worse if the U.S. begins to tap into its neighbor’s supply.But some in the U.S. and Canada have said those concerns are overblown.”Most of the shortages Canadians are currently having are generics — and those are not the drugs we would look to import,” says Trish Riley of the NASHP. “The focus is on high-cost drugs,” she adds.In response to Wednesday’s announcement by the U.S., Petitpas-Taylor issued a statement saying the health ministry constantly monitors the supply of drugs in Canada.Promising that her agency will work to ensure the new U.S. proposal won’t harm Canadians, she added, “We’re in touch with U.S. officials and look forward to discussing today’s announcement with them.” Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit read more

Study investigates whether home eye tests could help patients and reduce burden

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 20 2018Researchers from Queen’s University Belfast, in collaboration with the University of Bristol, are leading a cutting-edge project, named the “MONARCH” study, that could benefit eye disease patients whilst saving both time and money within the NHS.The MONARCH study aims to investigate if patients with an eye condition called wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could test their vision at home, rather than attend a hospital appointment.The most serious type of AMD, known as wet AMD, develops when abnormal blood vessels form underneath the macula stops functioning as well as it used to. AMD patients experience blurred distorted vision, difficulty seeing in dim lighting and problems reading.Current treatment for wet AMD is a series of monthly injections which reduce the growth of new vessels which limit vision loss. Following treatment, patients attend regular hospital check-ups where clinical staff monitor the macula by taking photographs and doing vision tests, checking whether any follow-up treatment is needed.Most patients will not require follow-up treatment, but about 30% do. Hospital check-up appointments are important for preventing further loss of vision. However, these check-up appointments put a huge strain on already-stretched resources, and limit the capacity for seeing new patients who, if not seen urgently, are at high risk of losing their vision.Dr Ruth Hogg, from the Centre of Public Health at Queen’s University Belfast and Co-Chief Investigator of the MONARCH study explains: “Injections for AMD have been very successful, with about half of patients retaining vision sufficiently good for driving. However, the burden on the NHS and patients has been considerable due to the need for frequent injections and intensive monitoring throughout the follow-up period. In Belfast, evening and weekend clinics have been added, yet it’s still not enough.”We urgently need to rethink how services are offered as the current setup isn’t sustainable. AMD is a huge burden to the NHS through time spent by clinical staff monitoring patients of whom the majority do not require treatment.”The study aims to find out whether monitoring vision by patients themselves at home could potentially alleviate some of the burden of AMD on the NHS, as well as be more convenient for patients, without compromising their safety or wellbeing. If home eye tests can detect when treatment is needed, it would mean that patients might only need to attend hospital appointments to have treatment.Related StoriesEye research charity funds development of ‘organ-on-a-chip’ to fight glaucomaStudy reveals a revolutionary way to treat eye injuries, prevent blindnessAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology shares tips for staying safe around fireworksPatients participating in the study will be provided with three different eye tests for them to do at home, comprising a paper-based booklet of reading tests and two tests (“apps”) that run on an iPodtouch. Patients will be asked to do all three tests weekly at home. The results of the tests are sent automatically via the internet to the Study Management Centre in Bristol.Professor Reeves, from the Bristol Medical School and Co-Chief Investigator of the MONARCH study says: “We are excited to be collecting data from the apps automatically, via the internet. These kinds of methods, with data flowing directly from the data source to the study database, should increase both the accuracy of the data and the efficiency of their capture.”Throughout the study participants will attend their normal hospital check-up appointments and the results of the tests done at these appointments will be compared with the results from the home eye tests.Patricia Strong, an AMD patient added: “Since completing a course of treatment for wet AMD, I’ve had regular appointments to check my vision and get photographs taken and I’ve occasionally needed further injections. I spend quite a lot of time getting to the hospital and the cost of transport does add up so being able to check for myself at home would make a real difference for me, saving time and money.”The study aims to recruit 400 participants from five different hospitals around the UK, including Belfast. Patients will be provided with equipment and support to do the three home eye tests weekly over a period of one to two years. It is hoped that the data gathered will lead to a shift in services provided to AMD patients, so that only those who require treatment will be required to attend hospital appointments.Source: read more

Wave power for clean drinking water

first_img Explore further Around 1.2 billion people, or almost one-fifth of the world’s population, live in areas of water scarcity, mostly in developing countries. Traditional reverse osmosis (R/O) desalination systems offer a solution but require sufficient electrical grid capacity. As part of the “Blue Growth Strategy’, the EU-funded H2020 W2O project has demonstrated the economic practicality of the world’s first wave-driven desalination system, Wave2O. This operates completely ‘off-grid’ to supply large quantities of affordable fresh water. Wave2O will be piloted in Cape Verde, an island in the Atlantic Ocean off West Africa. A location for the pilot plant has been identified and site assessment studies, including bathymetric surveys, wave energy assessments, and water quality assessments are being carried out. Project coordinator and cofounder of the SME Resolute Marine Limited, Olivier Ceberio says, “We secured a pledge from the local power and water utility to purchase a full-scale Wave2O plant after trials of a pilot-scale plant have been successfully completed.” Energy from the seaTwo wave energy converters (WECs) and two large 20-foot containers, one housing equipment for producing electricity and another for producing fresh water make up the Wave2O module. The WECs are connected to the containers by flexible hoses carrying pressurised seawater to and from the WECs. “Process seawater is sourced from an offshore well away from any sources of contamination through a multi-stage filtration system before entering a manifold system that splits its flow into two different paths,” explains Ceberio.Wave-induced mechanical energy is used by the WECs to drive two rotary actuators that increase the pressure of the intake seawater to 7 000 kPa before pumping it ashore. Here it is stabilised by a hydro-pneumatic accumulator to remove unwanted pressure pulsations before it enters the R/O system. A secondary flow of seawater is sent to an energy recovery unit (ERU). The ERU recovers energy from high-pressure brine – the by-product of the desalination process – and uses it to increase the pressure of the process seawater to 7 000 kPa. Energy recovery creates higher efficiency conversion, crucial for stand-alone operation.The pressure-stabilised intake seawater is then merged and enters a standard R/O unit at an operating pressure of 6 200 kPa. Approximately 35 percent of the feed water is processed into fresh water, which is a relatively low recovery rate that has benefits related to reduced maintenance, extended membrane life and lower brine salinity. The highly energetic brine is then used to pre-charge the feed water.Clean water with reduced carbon emissions Wave2O could provide access to low carbon energy to millions of people living in rural and isolated communities. “Each plant will produce 4 000 cubic metres of fresh water a day, enough to cover the needs of 40 000 people and reduce CO2 emission by 4 346 tons per year, the equivalent of taking 936 cars off the road,” claims Ceberio. “Our target customers are communities in developing countries and island nations that typically lack sufficient grid capacity and cannot afford the capital or time required to build and deploy grid-connected systems,” he adds.The medium-scale, grid independent, renewable energy powered water production system is aimed at developing countries and island nations outside the EU. Within Europe, W2O can benefit overseas countries and territories linked to EU Member States, like the Canary Islands and New Caledonia. Provided by CORDIS Researchers pilot system using electrodialysis to produce safe drinking watercenter_img Credit: RML Citation: Wave power for clean drinking water (2018, November 27) retrieved 17 July 2019 from This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Malaysias industrial output in May exceeds forecast

first_img Related News Business News 11 Jun 2019 April industrial output exceeds forecast Economy 10 May 2019 March industrial production index exceeds forecast KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s industrial production index in May rose 4% on-yearwhich was above the Bloomberg survey of 3.5%, underpinned by electricity, manufacturing and mining.The Statistics Department said on Friday the growth was driven by the increase in all indices: electricity (5.7%), manufacturing (4.2%) and Mining (3.0%).“The manufacturing sector output rose by 4.2% in May 2019 as compared to May 2018 after recording a growth of 4.3% in April 2019,” it said. The department said major sub-sectors contributing to the increase in May 2019 were transport equipment and other manufactures products (6.9%), electrical and electronics products (3.7%) and petroleum, chemical, rubber and plastic products (3.2%).It said the output of mining sector increased by 3% from a year ago, which is the highest growth since September 2017. It pointed out the growth was contributed by the natural gas index expanded by 7.6% while the crude oil index fell by 2%.As for the electricity sector, its output increased by 5.7% in May 2019 from a year ago. AdChoices广告 Tags / Keywords: Economy 12 Jun 2019 April industrial output expands at faster pace Related News Economy {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more