first_imgLawyer Chris Murphy, right, represents Colten Boushie’s family. Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man was fatally shot on a Saskatchewan farm. Also pictured (from left to right) are Boushie’s uncle, Alvin Baptiste, mother Debbie Baptiste and cousin Jade Tootoosis.The Canadian PressA lawyer helping the family of a young Cree man shot and killed by a Saskatchewan farmer left a different courthouse this week with an idea about how Canada’s jury system could be improved.Chris Murphy is part of a coroner’s inquest examining the death of an Indigenous man who died following a police chase in Saskatoon.Some provinces have fatality inquiries headed by provincial court judges. But others – including Saskatchewan, Ontario and British Columbia – have coroner inquests with juries.And in Saskatchewan, if a deceased is Indigenous, a coroner’s jury is often part Aboriginal too.“I felt that we had been engaged in a very fair process,” Murphy said.“They had literally two separate piles from which names were randomly drawn and we alternated between Indigenous and non-Indigenous jurors.”In January, Murphy watched as a jury with no visibly Indigenous members was selected for the murder trial of white farmer Gerald Stanley in the death of 22-year-old Colten Boushie.Of 45 potential jurors selected at random, five appeared to be Indigenous, Murphy said. They were rejected by Stanley’s lawyer through peremptory challenges, which can be made without having to give a reason.“I walked away … firmly believing that the justice system has got to change,” Murphy said. “Allowing that process to happen is, in my view, state-sanctioned discrimination.”The jury found Stanley not guilty. Accusations of racism followed, as well as calls to end peremptory challenges and for more Indigenous representation on juries.Jordan Lafond, 21, was in a stolen truck being chased by Saskatoon police when it crashed. Media have reported that officers found Lafond under the truck, but he resisted arrest and an officer used a knee to subdue him. He later died in hospital.Murphy is representing Lafond’s family at the inquest. He said lawyers agreed that at least three of the jury’s six members should be Indigenous. They were able to ask potential jurors about whether they would be comfortable on a jury, could come up with recommendations and had any possible bias.The selected jurors were told to return to court when the inquest resumes in June.Potential jurors are similarly questioned for inquests in other provinces, but qualifying them by race may be unique to Saskatchewan.The province amended legislation in 1999 to allow its chief coroner to request a jury be “composed, wholly or in part, of people from a specific racial or cultural group.”The Justice Ministry said in an email that the provision is commonly used and puts juries in a better position to understand the deceased’s circumstances.Murphy said there’s no constitutional reason why the same approach couldn’t be used in criminal courts where an accused is supposed to be judged by peers. Indigenous people have high incarceration rates yet low representation on juries.Nicholas Stooshinoff, president of the Saskatchewan Trial Lawyers Association, said he believes Canada’s justice system is the finest in the world and doesn’t need an overhaul because of “knee-jerk” reactions to the Stanley verdict.He said he recently met with Indigenous clients who live in the same area as Stanley and they agree with the acquittal.“I have not seen any evidence or any indication that an all-First-Nations jury would not have come to the same conclusion,” Stooshinoff said. “There is an assumption among some individuals, politicians included, that this man was acquitted because of racism on the part of the jury.“I find that very disturbing. And it really does not do anything to enhance the quality of our judicial system.”last_img read more

By Dil BolaRabat – Confusion has arisen over tax agencies responsible for “notice to third holder” (ATD) after a man attempted suicide Sunday at the Regional Directorate of Taxes of Marrakech. The individual had received an ATD. The ATD is a method used by the public collector in which banks block the accounts of an individual who owes back taxes. The public collector then seizes the balance, along with future deposits, in order to recover public debts. Following the attempted suicide, many blamed the General Management of Taxes (DGI)—one of many agencies within the sphere of public debt collection—for seizing funds. The DGI, however, rejected the accusations made as the notice received is not a result of their services.  The DGI is primarily responsible for corporate tax (IS), income tax (IR), and domestic value-added tax (VAT), along with registration, stamping and special annual taxes on motor vehicles. In contrast, the General Treasury of the Kingdom (TGR) is concerned with collecting the business tax, the municipal services tax, and the housing tax. Additionally, they collect transactional or lump sum fines along with monetary penalties.Following a wave of recent ATDs sent just after deadlines to pay several taxes, it has become clear the TGR is chiefly concerned with enforcement procedures. The means of enforced recovery differ, ranging from the seizure and sale of goods, the notice to third holder, and a ban on the sale of vehicles and goods. Prior to taking such enforcement actions, the administration must notify the taxpayer of the exacted claims amicably. Taxpayers may appeal to local or national tax commissions, or to the courts in event of administrative abuse. Public authorities have become more relentless as public finances continue to deteriorate. Due to a fall in tax revenues and increase in expenses, Morocco’s budget deficit has widened by 66 percent or an expected MAD 20 billion. Further, the TGR stated at the end of 2016, unrecovered taxes surpassed MAD 40 billion. Many maintain that despite the legality of these practices, they are too harsh and inflexible. In the face of mass amounts of public debt, citizens must ask if the state is within its rights to seize what is owed in order to continue running the state? read more

Six officers and one other crew member of the M/V Asphalt Venture are being held at an undisclosed location after the ship and the rest of the people aboard were released by pirates off Somalia last Thursday, nearly seven months after they were hijacked.In a statement issued yesterday from its London headquarters, IMO stressed that it deplores all acts of piracy and armed robbery against ships and the treatment of seafarers held hostage.“Using seafarers as human shields to continue to engage in piracy – one of the most heinous of crimes against humanity at sea – is totally unacceptable,” the agency said.IMO is backing a new “Save Our Seafarers” campaign launched by the shipping industry, saying that the safety and well-being of sailors should be of paramount importance to any strategy to respond to piracy.The agency’s statement comes amid mounting international concern about the problem of piracy, particularly in the waters off Somalia.Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today that the Trust Fund to Support Initiatives of States Countering Piracy off the Coast of Somalia needs more resources to carry out its mandate.The trust fund’s board has approved 12 projects worth $4.3 million since the fund was created in January last year, including a media project to disseminate anti-piracy messages in the region and other initiatives to strengthen law enforcement and criminal justice in Somalia, Kenya and Seychelles.In a message to an event in Dubai to support the trust fund, delivered on his behalf by UN Legal Counsel Patricia O’Brien, Mr. Ban said the fund offered an opportunity to translate regional and global concerns into concrete actions. 19 April 2011The United Nations International Maritime Organization (IMO) has condemned the use of sailors as human shields after Somali pirates continued to detain seven crew members of a recently released ship even though a ransom had been reportedly paid. read more

UNICEF said fighting in and around the town of Soubré in the south-western province of Bas-Sassandra has displaced at least 4,000 persons, mostly women and children, forced a halt to an immunization campaign planned with the health ministry and the World Health Organization (WHO) to curtail the spread of a form of polio reported in the area, and prevented UN aid agencies from accessing affected people. Earlier this month, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported that despite the end of a post-electoral crisis, the humanitarian situation in the country remained “alarming” for tens of thousands of civilians.The country’s political crisis ended when former president Laurent Gbagbo surrendered on 11 April, following months of deadly violence that erupted in the wake of his refusal to step down after he lost the UN-certified presidential run-off election last November to Alassane Ouattara. In today’s statement, Hervé Ludovic de Lys, UNICEF Representative in Côte d’Ivoire, said, “This recent outbreak of insecurity is putting on hold key child survival activities such as vaccinating against polio which would prevent children from being exposed to a virus that could leave them paralyzed for life.” Three cases of polio have been confirmed in the area. A national polio immunization campaign, including the district of Soubré, is planned to start this Friday if security conditions allow, he said.“As the country is getting on the path to stability and recovery we should not overlook pressing humanitarian needs in localized areas of the country where swift humanitarian response is still required to save the life of women and children,” Mr. Ludovic de Lys said. A UNICEF statement released today said critical needs remain unmet such as decent shelters, water and sanitation facilities and emergency health services. “The risk of widespread epidemics is becoming high with the poor health conditions of displaced populations being compounded by the start of the rainy season and the poor quality of health services delivery in the current post-crisis situation. “UNICEF fears that the overall conditions of displaced women and children could further deteriorate if safe humanitarian access is not quickly restored to allow rapid assessments and delivery of aid. The situation could possibly be worse in other parts of the southwest region of Côte d’Ivoire but so far the lack of safe access does not allow aid agencies to draw a clear picture of the situation on the ground.”Cote 24 May 2011Armed clashes in south-western Côte d’Ivoire have displaced thousands of women and children, halted a vital polio immunization campaign, and are threatening other forms of life-saving assistance, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported today. read more

“Thousands of children are living through the deaths of their mother, father or family members from Ebola. These children urgently need special attention and support; yet many of them feel unwanted and even abandoned,” Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said in a news release. “Orphans are usually taken in by a member of the extended family, but in some communities, the fear surrounding Ebola is becoming stronger than family ties,” he added.Since its outbreak earlier this year, Ebola has claimed more than 3,000 lives while infecting over 6,500 people in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. However, alongside the devastating physiological effects of the virus, the outbreak has also ignited panic and fear across the affected areas with some victims, and their children, being spurned by their local communities.“Ebola is turning a basic human reaction like comforting a sick child into a potential death sentence. The vast majority of children affected by Ebola are still left without appropriate care,” Mr. Fontaine explained. “We cannot respond to a crisis of this nature and this scale in the usual way. We need more courage, more creativity, and far, far more resources.”According to preliminary reports obtained by UNICEF, the Ebola death toll in the three affected countries continues to rise, suggesting a spike in the numbers of orphaned children in the past few weeks and the likelihood that they will double by mid-October. As the orphaned children of Ebola victims confront the devastation left by the disease, UNICEF has announced that it is accelerating its response and will roll out both traditional and new ways to help provide them with the necessary physical and emotional healing.These include the training of 400 additional mental health and social workers in Liberia; the training of 2,500 Ebola survivors – now immune to the disease – to provide care to quarantined children in Sierra Leone; and providing an estimated 60,000 children in Guinea living among Ebola-affected communities with psychosocial support.At the same time, the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) continues to establish its headquarters in Accra, Ghana, to lead the world body’s efforts in stopping the outbreak, treating the infected, ensuring essential services, preserving stability and preventing any further outbreaks. “The situation that Ebola has created is very grave. It is more than just a public health crisis, it has become a multi-dimensional crisis with serious risks affecting the health, economic, political, humanitarian spheres,” Anthony Banbury, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNMEER, told a news conference in Accra today. “The rate of infections is growing exponentially. The total number of cases is doubling every three weeks. The number of deaths now is greater from this outbreak than in all previous Ebola outbreaks in the history of the world,” he added. “The world has recognized the risk to the people of the three affected countries, the sub-region, the continent and the world.”Mr. Banbury thanked the Government of Ghana for its willingness to support the Mission’s work and noted that while UNMEER would be headquartered in the Ghanaian capital, it would maintain strong operational presences in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.“Our Mission will work on establishing operational capacities in the countries concerned – providing vehicles for transportation, supplies for the health workers, and other needs identified by the national governments,” he stated.“Where there are gaps in their plan, we will work with partners to make sure someone is filling those gaps to stop the spread of Ebola as soon as possible,” added the Special Representative, who will travel to Liberia tomorrow and then on to Sierra Leone and Guinea. read more

The shading shows you the general range of strengths for each seed.Although not a huge effect, the gap between the No. 5 and 6 seeds and their competition has been narrowing over time. The average difference between No. 5 and 12 seeds from 2000 to 2002 was about 7.6 points, but it has been about 5.8 from 2012 to 2014.More importantly, the 5 vs. 12 matchup looks a lot more like the 6 vs. 11 one than it does the 4 vs. 13. The No. 5 seeds have been considerably weaker than No. 4 seeds, and No. 12 seeds have been considerably stronger than No. 13 seeds. The average No. 5 seed had a 6.6 point expected advantage going into a game against its No. 12 seed opponent. That’s only 2.2 points higher than the average advantage that No. 6 seeds held against No. 11 seeds (4.4 points), but it’s 5.1 points lower than the average advantage that No. 4 seeds held against No. 13 seeds (11.7 points).It seems like the 5 vs. 12 seed matchup is the threshold where the games should start being much more competitive. Combine that with the psychological effect of thinking five is a number that has more in common with four than six (blame our five fingers), and you have a recipe for “shocking” upsets.That is, there are a number of upsets, but we shouldn’t really be shocked. Even just looking at recent history, No. 5 seeds have only been a greater than 10 point SRS favorite in eight round-of-64 games since 2005, and they won 7 of them.3The loser was Illinois against Western Kentucky in 2009. The No. 5 seed has been an SRS underdog three times (and lost twice). Still, the No. 5 seed has performed below what one would expect based on the difference between them and their opponents. But so have most seeds. Here’s a chart comparing the average expected outcomes based on SRS difference and average actual outcomes for each seed over the past 12 years:From this angle, the No. 5 seed “outlier” doesn’t look as impressive. Seeds No. 1 through 6 all underperformed expectations by a smallish — but somewhat consistent — amount. The main difference with the No. 5 seed is that it didn’t have a big enough advantage to underperform this much without losing a lot more games.In other words, if there’s something that has systematically led tournament favorites to underperform their expectations by a few points or so across the board,4As a strictly mathy thing, having a somewhat constant deviation isn’t as weird as it may seem because the standard deviation for a team’s actual SRS is similarly stable. So in this case, it’s a bit like the stronger teams are all running one standard deviation below the expected mean. No. 5 seeds would be disproportionately hard-hit. Thus the 5-seed jinx may be more like the proverbial “canary in a coal mine,” indicating that something bigger is going on.We know the Big Dance is exciting, but could there really be something about the tournament that makes favorites underperform and gives underdogs better-than-normal chances?It’s tricky. For example, the selection committee may systematically overvalue particular types/classes of teams, but that doesn’t necessarily explain why teams would underperform relative to SRS. Some of it could be that SRS is poorly calibrated for the types of matchups we see in the tournament (e.g., between larger and smaller conferences that rarely play each other). It could be that favorites are more likely to regress to the mean.5This is always a good candidate, but, interestingly, there is no such effect in the women’s tournament.Or it could just be that this is March Madness, and anything can happen. If there’s one piece of folk wisdom that has emerged over the past decade or so of March Madness, it’s that No. 5 seeds are jinxed. SportsCenter did a whole story on the subject featuring Virginia Commonwealth University. In 2012, VCU was a No. 12 seed that pulled off a “shocking” upset against Wichita State. In 2013, VCU was itself a No. 5 but defied the trend, crushing No. 12 Akron by 46 points to become the only No. 5 seed to win its opening-round (round of 64) game that year. In 2014, VCU’s story came full circle. It again entered the tournament as a No. 5 seed but was upset by unheralded No. 12 seed Stephen F. Austin University. The tournament quirk that was once VCU’s magic was now its curse.Including those VCU games, No. 12 seeds over the past three years have pulled off upsets in eight of 12 round-of-64 matchups, including six of their last eight. It would be extremely easy to dismiss this as a freak occurrence. (I certainly did at first.) But it’s a real phenomenon. And after looking into it, I think it may be indicative of something larger. The 5-seed jinx may be a sign that March Madness — at least on the men’s side — is even madder than we think.But I’ll get there. First, let’s look at the phenomenon. If it seems like No. 12 seeds beat No. 5 seeds more than they should, it’s because they have. Going back to 1995, No. 5 seeds have been upset 33 times in 80 games. Their 59 percent win rate compares unfavorably to the 66 percent win rate of No. 6 seeds. Based on the trend, it would appear that No. 5 seeds should be winning more like 72 percent. Take a look at how far No. 5 seeds deviate in the chart below. The gray region is the standard error on the fit between seed and win percentage when not including the No. 5 seed:So they’re an outlier, but is it significant? Particularly, how unlikely is this to have happened by chance? Let us consult the oracle of binom.dist() — Excel’s handy function that tells you the probability of things happening a certain number of times, given the probability of them happening once. In a fun bit of symmetry, given an expected win rate of 72 percent, the odds of No. 5 seeds losing six of eight, eight of 12, or 33 of 80 are all about the same: Each is a little under 1 percent.10.8 percent, 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.Note that it would be unremarkable for this to have happened by chance: One in a hundred-type things happen every day. But, as a committed Bayesian, I have to consult my priors and determine whether the phenomenon of No. 5 seeds’ underperforming is more likely to be a result of chance or other plausible factors.First, let’s look at how strong each seed’s teams have been since 1995. As you go from the 1 vs. 16 matchups down to the 8 vs. 9 ones, the better-seeded teams get worse and the worse-seeded teams get better, making the contests much closer. To see how much so, we can plot each team’s SRS (Simple Rating System, a metric that measures margin of victory adjusted for strength of schedule) prior to the game.2I backed these out myself, so there may be very small differences from what was actually recorded at the time. They’re as prior to each team’s round-of-64 match for each year (since 1995). Check out FiveThirtyEight’s March Madness predictions. read more

first_img Yes, it should be abolished (2080) THE GOVERNMENT HAS just announced plans for a referendum on whether the Seanad kept or abolished.Minister Simon Coveney argued this morning that a country the size of Ireland does not need two chambers and that its abolition would move the country toward an “international norm”.However, opponents of the proposal believe the upper house is necessary to provide checks and balances on those in power.What side of the debate are you on? How will you vote in the Seanad referendum? Yes, it should be abolishedNo, it should be keptVote No, it should be kept (3848) Poll Results:last_img

first_imgEmployees of German airline Lufthansa are striking today (9 November) in a dispute over changes to pay and pension provision.The Executive Boards of the Lufthansa Group and Lufthansa German Airlines will also decide today on the ramifications of the present strike action by cabin crew staff that are members of the UFO independent flight attendants’ union.The decision will be announced at around 6pm this evening.Members of the UFO union are planning further industrial strike action throughout the week.Lufthansa last invited UFO to talks on 5 November, at which it presented the union with a modified offer, through which the airline offered to compensate any employee ceasing gainful employment before reaching the statutory retirement age for the corresponding reduction in their state retirement pension.Lufthansa also made an alternative offer on the investment returns assumed for retirement pension funding purposes.The present pension system at Lufthansa permits cabin staff to voluntarily retire from flight duties from the age 55 onwards. Anyone who does so will then receive up to 60% of their last salary as a ‘transitional pension’.last_img read more

first_imgEssence magazine named Antoinette Mabry as senior director of marketing. Prior to joining Essence, Mabry served as a senior marketing manager at Boost Mobile.Kiplinger named Wallace Ryland director of digital business development ofr the Kiplinger Washington Editors. Most recently, Ryland served as interim president of Hyper Localized Media LLC.Shelley McCormick was appointed publisher of East Coast Home + Design. Previously, McCormick served for seven years as vice president of sales, and acted as the lead architect in the rebranding Fairfield County Home to East Coast Home + Design. Former Newsweek editorial director and Newsweek Digital editor Mark Miller has been named editor of the Texas Tribune . Miller will report to CEO/editor-in-chief Evan Smith, who previously served as president and editor of Texas Monthly.Joyce Parente was named associate publisher of marketing at Rolling Stone. Previously, Parente served as associate publisher of marketing for Men’s Health.IDG’s GamePro Media, publisher of GamePro Magazine and, appointed Julian Rignall vice president of content. Most recently, Rignall was editorial director at Future US where he led the Future Plus custom-publishing creative team.Source Interlink Companies appointed David G. Algire president of Source Interlink Distribution. Most recently, Algire served as vice president of retail sales at Meredith’s National Media Group.Also at Source Interlink, Tyler Schulze was promoted to vice president and general manager of IntelliChoice, which is part of the Motor Trend Automotive Group. Previously, Schulze served as vice president of strategy and corporate development for Source Interlink Media.last_img read more

first_imgUnion Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Wednesday clarified that fears of of privatizing railway operations are misplaced, saying seeking private participation is aimed at raising funds. Addressing an Asia Society event through video conferencing, Prabhu said that some people, especially the unions, “do not understand” the difference between merely getting private capital and privatisation.”There are unions who feel that Railways is going to be privatised, government will not own Railways anymore. Railways will continue to be an important, dominant part of India’s social-economic culture and Government of India will make sure that we’ve proper trade-offs between private participation which can come through proper regulatory framework,” he said, according to the Narendra Modi government came to power, a lot of talk has been generated around foreign and private investment in the railways.This has been opposed by unions, who represent the two-million strong workforce of the state employer.Two of the unions had even come forward to offer employees’ provident fund deposits for upgrading the rail network.The resource crunch of the railways requires private investment, which would prove to be a “win-win” situation, benefiting the country and all its stakeholders – investors, passengers and most importantly the employees, Prabhu said.The Railway Minister added that “he wants to make Railways “vibrant, sustainable and an efficient effective business organisation” and promised to never let go of its agenda of doing social good. Travel by Indian Railways set to get more expensiveReuterslast_img read more

first_imgStreet Organized Noize will be hosting a community drumming session on Sept. 16 at the Archives Metro Station, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, from 4:30 7:30 p.m. The event is free of charge and is open to all ages. Musicians should bring their drums, instruments and voices. For more information about the event, visit

first_imgAround six years ago, Q-Games released an odd title on the PlayStation Network, PixelJunk Eden. It was the third game in the PixelJunk franchise. Eden was something of a surprise, its extremely unique gameplay following a fairly standard slot car racing title and a pretty-but-plain tower defense endeavor. Though it’s six years old, it was voted as a community choice option in the recent Steam winter sale, and sold at a price of just $0.99. After the eight-hour sale period was over, PixelJunk Eden doubled the company’s income to date for the Steam version of the game.@PixelJunkNews @abrasion we just made our income to date, again, in just 8 hours, it was a huge success— Dylan Cuthbert (@dylancuthbert) December 31, 2013 The statement was made by Q-Games boss Dylan Cuthbert, and though the wording can be a little vague, Cuthbert likely meant the game’s life-to-date income. This means that the eight-hour sale matched the income of the game ever since it was released on Steam back in February of 2012. Cuthbert did not reveal the sales figure as related to the game’s total six-year lifespan beginning on the PlayStation 3.In Eden, you assume the role of a little fairy-like creature called a Grimp — named after its two abilities, to grip and jump. In the game, you swing around a psychedelic world like Spider-Man, collecting pollen and growing plants onto which you can grip and jump in order to reach and collect seeds. The overall mechanic is simple, but it’s one of the most mechanically unique games made in a very long time, and the combination of trippy visuals and trance-like music creates an even more unique atmosphere and vibe.At this stage in its life, we all know that Steam is a powerful platform for exposure, and that just about every single PC gamer on the market partakes in the Steam sales. Furthermore, the iOS and Android markets have shown time and again that just because a game costs less than a dollar doesn’t mean that tiny price can’t be monumentally profitable. After all, thousands and thousands of people giving you one dollar will generate more cash than a hundred people giving you ten.If you still haven’t dabbled in the PixelJunk franchise, now is a good time to start. Eden, Monsters (the tower defense title), and Shooter (basically a shmup) are available on Steam right now, though that community sale is long gone. PixelJunk Inc, a Terraria-style game about building and running a secret soup factory (trailer below), will be releasing on the PC as Q’s next game.last_img read more

first_imgStay on target When I covered Mindstorms and Lego’s other recent educational efforts, I talked about how much playing with robotics helped me as a child. It stimulated my creative and scientific brains in ways no other toy did, in ways that are still helping me now. But as much as I loved building Lego robots, it wasn’t always the most portable experience. To construct and program my machines, I’d have to messily dump a bunch of bricks onto the floor and hope my parents didn’t have to drag me somewhere else anytime soon.So when Ozobot began its pitch for its new Evo robot by showing off just how tiny it is, I was already intrigued. Fortunately, the company’s newest kid-friendly programmable robot is more than just small. It’s also powerful yet welcoming enough to let kids really express and enjoy themselves through the language of coding.But first, I really do want to stress how small Ozobot Evo is. It looks like a cross between a Star Wars droid and a futuristic marble. You could easily fit several in the palm of your hand, even if you’re a kid. They’re adorable. You could probably even swallow them, so be careful around younger kids who get hungry whenever you talk about Raspberry Pi.AdChoices广告Inside the tiny package is a lot of tech, though. The toy features several lights, speakers, and infrared proximity sensors. The wheels and motors allow Evo to roll around with precision. The battery lasts for about an hour off of a Micro USB charge, and you pair Evo to a smart device app via Bluetooth.Even before you pair Evo to a phone or tablet, you can start teaching it various “tricks” thanks to its different programming modes. These modes vary in complexity, allowing kids of all ages a chance to accomplish something simple but then go deeper. The most powerful coding option available, Master Mode, is based on the Blockly JavaScript-language. And once you’ve finished a program, you can store it and several others in Evo’s onboard memory to cycle through when you’re playing off the grid.What’s most impressive about Evo is just the sheer amount of behaviors a clever kid could theoretically program into it and its range of sensors. During our demo we saw several Evo bots synchronize dance, navigate mazes drawn on paper, change the color of their lights, follow a finger, and play music with each other using different instruments. Like Furby, Evo can even speak a fictional gibberish language.I was particularly stoked about the gadget’s gaming potential. You can also use your phone to control Evo directly. And direct controls combined with pre-programmed parameters could allow for some custom BattleBots action or even old Magnavox Odyssey-styled games where the “game” is a physical overlay on a TV and players control a moving dot.Exploring the limits of what Evo could do seemed satisfying in its own right, but to keep the kids extra addicted the Evo app uses a bunch of gamification hooks to encourage more self-teaching. The more they use Evo, sync it up to the app, and pull off cool tricks, the more points and rewards kids will earn. Ozobot also maintains a bustling Evo community where users can share knowledge and show off their accomplishments. Consistent feature updates to the app and community should give Evo owners reasons to return.Obviously a website like would recommend a nifty little $99 robot that helps kids learn coding as a fun holiday gift. But over 10,000 schools have also apparently gotten plenty of use out of Ozobot Evo so maybe take their word for it, too. Ozobot Evo is available now.Buy Ozobot EvoLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Get Used to ‘Fortnite’s’ Powerful Mech SuitsRobots to Compete in Underground Challenge in Mining Tunnels last_img read more

first_imgUber came out with an open source data ingestion and dispersal framework for Apache Hadoop, called “Marmaray”, yesterday. Marmaray is a plug-in based framework built and designed on top of the Hadoop ecosystem by the Hadoop Platform team. Marmaray helps connect a collection of systems and services in a cohesive manner to be able to perform certain functions. Let’s have a look at these functions. Major Functions Marmaray is capable of producing quality schematized data via Uber’s schema management library and services. It ingests data from multiple data stores into Uber’s Hadoop data lake. It can build pipelines using Uber’s internal workflow orchestration service. This allows it to crunch and process the ingested data along with storing and calculating the business metrics based on this data in Hive. Marmaray serves the processed results from Hive to an online data store. This allows the internal customers to query the data and get close to instant results. Other than that, a majority of the fundamental building blocks and abstractions for Marmaray’s design were inspired by Gobblin, a similar project developed at LinkedIn. Marmaray Architecture There are certain generic components such as DataConverters, WorkUnitCalculator, Metadata Manager, ISourceand ISink in Marmaray that facilitates its overall job flow. Let’s discuss these components. Marmaray Architecture DataConverters DataConverters are responsible for producing the error records with every transformation. It is important for all the raw data to conform to a schema before it is ingested into Uber’s Hadoop data lake, this is where DataConverts come into picture. It filters out any data that is malformed, missing required fields, or has other issues. WorkUnitCalculator Uber introduced the concept of WorkUnitCalculator in order to measure the amount of data to process. At advanced levels, WorkUnitCalculator analyzes the type of input source and the previously stored checkpoint. It then calculates the next work unit or batch of work. The WorkUnitCalculator also considers throttling information when measuring the next batch of data which needs processing. Metadata Manager The Metadata Manager is responsible to cache job level metadata information. The metadata store is capable of storing any relevant metrics which are useful to track, describe, or collect status on jobs. This helps Marmaray to cache job level metadata information. ISource and ISink The ISource consists of necessary information from the source data required for the appropriate work units, and ISink comprises all the necessary information on writing to the sink. Marmaray’s support for any-source to any-sink data pipelines can be applied to a wide range of use cases both in the Hadoop ecosystem and for data migration. “We hope that Marmaray will serve the data needs of other organizations, and that open source developers will broaden its functionalities,” reads the Uber Blog. For more information, check out the official Uber Blog. Read Next Uber open sources its large scale metrics platform, M3 for Prometheus Uber introduces Fusion.js, a plugin-based web development framework for high performance apps Uber’s, an open source toolbox for GeoSpatial Analysislast_img read more

first_imgThe number of hectares burned in wildfires inside protected lands so far this year is the highest since 2014, the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) reported this week.Between Jan. 1 and March 21 a total of 25 wildfires destroyed 317 hectares of forests, pastures or grasslands inside national parks, natural reserves and other protected areas.Environment Ministry (MINAE) records state wildfires in the same period of 2014 destroyed 117 hectares. The figure rose to 134 in 2015 and to 209 last year.The most severe impact occurred at protected areas along the Pacific provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas. The Central Pacific has the worst numbers as five fires in this region consumed 144 hectares, according to SINAC’s report.Protected areas in the Chorotega Region —that comprises Guanacaste and Upala in Alajuela— followed in second place. Eight wildfires in the northwestern region have destroyed 111 hectares.Seven wildfires in the Brunca Region, that includes protected areas in the South Pacific, have burned 62 hectares so far this year, and are third in SINAC’s damage report.Human actionSINAC’s report states “100 percent of the wildfires inside protected areas occurred because of people’s negligent or premeditated actions.”The main causes are fires started to clear farmlands and that went out of control. Also fires started by poachers and bonfires lit by vacationers in open fields.Coordinator of SINAC’s National Commission on Wildfires Luis Diego Román Madriz told The Tico Times that they are concerned about the increase in the number of hectares burned during the current dry season.“We’re still in March and the number of burned hectares usually spike drastically in April and May,” Román said.“Many farmers, for example, burn grasslands in May because rains usually begin that month and that fact usually cause a huge spike in wildfires, that in many cases extends to national parks and other natural reserves” he added.Costa Rica has extensive legislation from MINAE and the Criminal Code stipulating monetary fines and prison time for provoking a wildfire inside a protected area. “Sanctions apply both for arsonists or for those who accidentally start a fire inside protected lands,” Román said.Environment Ministry laws stipulate monetary fines up to ₡3 million ($5,300) for people found guilty of starting a wildfire.They also could face charges under the country’s Forestry Law that provides prison sentences ranging from two months to 3 years for accidentally or intentionally starting a wildfire.In case a fire provokes injure or death of people, suspects will face criminal charges that could result in convictions of up to 20 years in prison. An Environment Ministry report on wildfires states the main causes are fires started to clear farmlands and that went out of control. Also fires started by poachers and bonfires lit by vacationers. (VIA Guanacaste Conservation Area/SINAC)A matter of evidenceThe main issue environmental officials face is that “proving or presenting compelling evidence against the alleged suspect of setting up a wildfire is very difficult,” Román said.Park rangers have legal authority to detain a suspect and file a criminal complaint before a Judicial court. “But they need a strong evidence or witnesses, and that’s not always easy to find,” he said.Yet a conviction not always represent a punishment. Román recalled that a farmer in Southern San José was convicted last year to three years in prison for a wildfire that he started inside his property.“He, however, was given probation because he didn’t have any criminal records,” he said.The Agriculture and Livestock Ministry grants farmers permits for burning pasturelands, just as long as they comply with a series of measures to prevent the fire from expanding to nearby areas.However a large number of wildfires result of the action of farmers that keep burning their lands without a permit, meaning, without following the appropriate safety measures, Román said.Extended dry seasonSINAC reported that current weather conditions are playing a key factor in the increase in figures of hectares burned by fires.Costa Rica is currently amid the dry season, which usually runs December-May. “Strong winds, high temperatures and low relative humidity are causing a desiccation of the grasslands, and this facilitates conditions for a rapid expansion of blazes,” Román said.Forecasts from the National Meteorological Institute state that the dry season this year could even extend to June in some areas along the Pacific region.“We’re somehow afraid of the possible consequences of those weather previsions in the number of wildfires this year,” he said.SINAC officials are asking the population to avoid lighting bonfires. Also ask farmers to reduce grassland burnings or, at least, take all required provisions of the law. Facebook Comments Related posts:Costa Rican court orders effective protection for Corcovado National Park Wildfire burns more than 1,200 hectares of mountainous areas west of San José Alleged gold miners end protest at Corcovado National Park Municipal project to build cableway to Chirripó’s peak faces oppositionlast_img read more

first_imghelloworld dominate NTIAIn a continued show of strength, helloworld franchisees and members have dominated the agent and agency awards at the National Travel Industry Awards 2015, winning an impressive 75% of the agent awards and 2 of the prestigious agency awards.CEO Elizabeth Gaines said the recognition is powerful validation of the calibre of helloworld network.“Our agents have been able to prove time and time again why dealing with an experienced travel agent makes the world of difference,” Ms Gaines said. “That commitment to excellence supported by helloworld’s comprehensive value proposition and our commitment to delivering a true multi-channel solution is the helloworld difference. Our success at the 2015 NTIA validates our approach in delivering a real choice for agents, suppliers and consumers.”“Congratulations to all of our winners and to the many helloworld member agents who were named as finalists.”helloworld member agents won 6 of the 8 agent awards and 2 of the 6 ageny awards on offer:·      Jonathan Pichaloff, helloworld Newcastle Corporate, Rookie of the Year (Agent)·      Phil Smethurst, Bicton Travel, Best Travel Consultant (Retail)·      Uschi Howard, The Travel Authority Northern Beaches, Best Travel Agency Manager Retail (Single Location)·      Lisa Tjandi, helloworld Hunter Travel Group, Best Travel Agency Manager Retail (Multi Location)·      Bicton Travel, Best Travel Agency Retail (Single Location)·      Helloworld Hunter Travel Group/RACT Travel, Best Travel Agency Retail (Multi Location)[1]·      Goldman Travel, Best Travel Agency Corporate (Single Location)·      Jaime-Lee Holloway, helloworld Kotara, Emirates Travel Consultant ScholarshipHelloworld’s wholly owned subsidiary Insider Journeys was named Best Speciality Wholesaler which was a significant achievement following the rebranding earlier this year.Source = helloworldlast_img read more

first_img Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo “He disappears too much. I told him that the other day, you can’t disappear in games anymore. You’ve got to be dominant the whole game.”Though Campbell finished the season with three sacks, he tracked down the quarterback in just four different games. Three of his seven came in Seattle, a game where afterwards Arians said the defensive lineman could have had a couple more sacks.But as Campbell, a second-round pick out of Miami in 2008, heads into his eighth season, he does so as a player who has been recognized as being one of the best at his position in the NFL. As a Pro Bowler, he got to spend time talking with — and learning from — some of the game’s greatest players. The confidence that comes from being in that setting could lead to a different Campbell next season. Arians, for one, is hoping it does.“I only saw him for a minute…you automatically see swagger in a guy as he changes,” the coach said. “Haven’t been around him enough to see it to know. But I would hope — saw it in Justin Bethel, especially the second time because he’s been around rehabbing a lot. I’ve seen a little bit of it in Calais just the other day, but I want to see it on the field.”center_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories In 2014, Calais Campbell tallied 59 tackles, seven sacks, three passes defensed and 17 quarterback pressures in 14 games. It was a good season for the 28-year-old, one that was rewarded with his first Pro Bowl nod.But Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians thinks Campbell, who has amassed 43.5 sacks in seven NFL seasons, can be even better.“I’d like to see a more consistent player out of him,” Arians said Wednesday at the NFC Coaches Breakfast at the annual NFL Meetings. “He went to the Pro Bowl, but I still think he’s not even scratched his consistent level of play.last_img read more

first_img TORONTO – Molly Parker has wandered many corners of the human psyche in her expansive acting career, but she wasn’t yearning to explore the universe in a TV series like “Lost in Space.”Science-fiction isn’t where she’s gravitated over the years, not that she’s knocking it.“I wasn’t looking for a sci-fi show to do, that’s for sure,” Parker insisted.But when she was offered a role on the reboot of the 1960s series, which lands Friday on Netflix, Parker felt many elements of the scripts resonated with her own life, as the mother of an 11-year-old son.“At its heart is this family, their relationships, and they’re fairly grounded in some kind of reality we can believe,” the British Columbia-raised actress said.“But it’s this massive adventure.”Parker plays Maureen Robinson, the mother of three children and the glue that holds her intellectually superior family together. “Lost in Space” takes place 30 years in the future where galactic colonization is a reality, and the Robinsons have been chosen as early space settlers.As they embark on their journey, the family plunges into danger when their spaceship Jupiter 2 crashes and leaves them stranded.Starring in an extra-terrestrial feast of special effects was new for Parker, who’s mostly kept her feet on Earth for her biggest roles. She’s been a congresswoman in Washington political fire pit drama “House of Cards,” and a duplicitous heroine on the gritty western “Deadwood.”Acting convincingly in the imaginative epic scenes of “Lost in Space” came with its own comical challenges.For the show’s explosive opening, the Vancouver crew designed a full-size spaceship set that was supposed to tilt and pivot as it simulated colliding with a glacier. But the fake turbulence left the actors feeling nauseous.So instead, they pulled a visual gimmick right out of an old “Star Trek” episode, exaggerating the crash with their own bodies.“I sort of had to act on an angle,” she said, swaying back and forth in her seat to demonstrate. “You’re entering scenes at a 30-degree angle and holding onto things. You feel like such a goof.”Parker tapped into the imagination of her younger co-stars when she was trying to forget the absurdity of it all.She credits 12-year-old actor Maxwell Jenkins, who plays her son Will, as someone who kept her head in the clouds.Jenkins single-handedly carries many of the show’s most dramatic scenes forming a friendship with Robot, a computer-generated character famous for his line, “Danger, Will Robinson.”“He’s very bright, very curious, and completely engaged,” Parker said of Jenkins.“Just being able to work with somebody who is completely 100 per cent believing in the given circumstances of the situation … He’s so much closer to play as part of work.”Shooting on the enormous sets also gave Parker’s real-life son — who’s coincidentally named Will too — an opportunity to become his own space adventurer. Between takes, he would play inside the ship’s cockpit and pretend he was soaring through the galaxy.“My boy had the best time,” she said. “It’s any kid’s dream.”Parker only wished her intergalactic apparel could’ve been more advanced. She said since the space suits were “built to look good” they were “complete torture” to wear.“We’re hopefully going to make them a bit more comfortable this year,” she added, dropping a hint that Netflix is already making plans for a second season.Follow @dfriend on Twitter. by David Friend, The Canadian Press Posted Apr 12, 2018 8:51 am PDT Last Updated Apr 12, 2018 at 9:21 am PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Netflix’s ‘Lost in Space’ offers a universe of new experiences for Molly Parkercenter_img Actor Molly Parker poses for a portrait in Toronto to promote her new series, Netflix’s Lost in Space reboot, Tuesday, April 10, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Galit Rodan last_img read more

first_imgOverall water levels in the reservoirs have now reached 20 per cent of capacity, rising by 1.4 per cent in the previous 24 hours, Fedros Rousis, senior engineer at the Water Development Department (WDD), announced on Friday.According to Rousis, during the first three days of the year a total of 10.3 million cubic metres (mcm) flowed into the reservoirs.4.1mcm of the water accumulated in the past 24 hours, and another 5.2mcm the day before.Some of the smaller reservoirs such as Kalopanayiotis, Solea and Klirou-Malounda have reached full capacity, and others are getting close.Tamassos, which was 82 per cent full on Thursday, reached 88.3 per cent on Friday, Pomos is 82.2 per cent filled and Argaka 84.8.Yet the biggest of all, Kouris, was just 13.4 per cent full on Thursday, rising to 14.2 per cent on Friday.The overall level of 20 per cent remains low, though it is hoped that more water will be collected over the coming months.Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis warned on Thursday that  the public still needs to make every effort to conserve water and stressed the recent sustained rainfall does not resolve the overall problem of water shortages. You May LikePlarium I Vikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedPlarium I Vikings: Free Online GameUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)UndoThree arrested in connection with hotel theftsUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more