Unusual killer spring frost damages crops in fields across the Maritimes

first_imgAn unusual “killer” frost has caused widespread damage to crops in the Maritimes, with everything from Nova Scotian wine grapes to Island asparagus harmed by a sharp plunge in spring temperatures.Farmers were beginning to assess the toll from the June cold front that hit Monday, as word came from Environment Canada of yet another frost advisory for early Thursday in all of Atlantic Canada.“It’s the beginning of the year and it’s a bad time for something like this to happen, just as the growing season begins,” Keith Colwell, Nova Scotia’s minister of agriculture, said in a telephone interview Wednesday.Gerry McConnell, founder of Benjamin Bridge vineyards, said the frost caused significant damage to his wine grapes in the Gaspereau Valley.“The temperatures across Nova Scotia did drop down to -2 C and in some places -4 C. Those are killer frost temperatures,” he said.“But it happened in variable ways … Some vineyards were hit much harder than others.”Curtis Millen, a strawberry and blueberry farmer in Great Village, N.S., has been trying to rescue his crops from a series of cold, wet days that included Monday’s frost.He has a water system to warm the buds of his strawberries, but which caused the plants to be caked in ice Monday morning. Photographs of plants on the morning the temperatures plummeted show strawberry leaves shining under a coat of ice.He now needs days of sun to dry out the fields and allow the crops to absorb nutrients.“We’ve got damage from frost and we have damage also from overhead irrigation trying to keep the frost off and wetting the plants to death,” he said Wednesday as he worked on his roughly 80 hectares of strawberries about 30 kilometres northwest of Truro.He estimated one-third of his strawberry crop would be damaged, adding that other farmers without the overhead, anti-frost immigration system have incurred much greater losses. His blueberry losses are even more extensive, he said.Ian Hubbard, a meteorologist at Environment Canada, said record lows were set early Monday. In Kentville, N.S., it dropped to almost -2 C, marking a huge shift from the 28 C high on Friday that had set off a growth spurt in a wide variety of crops before the frost hit.Mathew Vankoughnett, a researcher with the applied geomatics research group at Nova Scotia Community College, says such a rapid temperature flip is rare.His research indicates that Greenwood, N.S., in the centre of the Annapolis Valley, only had one similar episode in 1978 when temperatures fell below 0 on June 2.“We expect this type of spell to occur in April and maybe early May, but not June,” he said in an email.Larry Lutz, president of the Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association, has an apple farm south of Berwick in the Annapolis Valley. He said his Rockland farm and others at higher elevation suffered little to no damage as a result of the freeze, but added it was a different story for farms at lower elevations.“On the valley floor it hit between -3 C and -5 C, which at that point you would see in excess of 90 per cent damage,” he said. “So the growers on the valley floor suffered significant damage.”Lutz said cherry, plumb and pear growers are experiencing the same problems.He said he examined one pear farm Wednesday, finding it likely lost all but 10 to 20 per cent of the crop.McConnell, who is also the vice-chairman of the Winery Association of Nova Scotia, said many of the province’s roughly 15 vineyards were also affected, with harm varying from complete devastation to minimal damage.He said it will be several weeks before he can estimate the extent of the damage to the crops, in part because it remains to be seen how secondary and tertiary buds will fare.In P.E.I., Matt Hughes with the Island’s federation of agriculture in Charlottetown, said damage is being tallied up.“I lost the remainder of my asparagus crop. The frost ended my asparagus crop pretty abruptly. I started a few weeks ago and got some harvest off,” he said in an interview from his farm at Kellys Cross, 30 kilometres east of Charlottetown.“We had two major frosts here and it’s ruined three of my four cutting dates. I would have had four harvests before this frost.”Hughes said farmers grow used to some of the challenges associated with weather fluctuations, but this spring has been especially tough.“I grew up on a farm and we always get up and down years, but this seems to be an extreme year.”— With files from Alison Auld and Keith Doucette.last_img read more

Australia targets social media cos in new extremist footage laws

first_imgSydney: Social media executives could be jailed if they fail to remove extremist material from their platforms quickly, under controversial Australian laws adopted Thursday, in the wake of the live-streamed mosque shootings in Christchurch. Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favour of the laws, which make it illegal not to remove footage of “a terrorist act,” murder, torture, rape and kidnapping, and spell out that internet service, content and hosting providers will be held culpable. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USPlatforms like Facebook and YouTube could face fines approaching billions of dollars — or 10 percent of global annual turnover — for failing to allow the “expeditious removal” of the offending material, while executives could face 3 years in jail. Technology companies, policy experts and lawyers pilloried the legislation — which was jammed through parliament in two days and faces an uncertain future beyond elections expected in May. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is facing a difficult reelection battle, said: “Big social media companies have a responsibility to take every possible action to ensure their technology products are not exploited by murderous terrorists.” The opposition Labor party expressed serious misgivings but voted in favour of the legislation. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsAustralia’s Law Council described the legislation as “knee-jerk” and warned it could have “serious unintended consequences.” President Arthur Moses warned the laws could be used to curb whistleblowers, and “could also lead to censorship of the media, which would be unacceptable.” Attorney-General Christian Porter said the legislation could be used to target platforms used by the far-right like 4Chan and 8Chan. It will be up to a jury to decide whether the platforms acted with good speed to take down offending content, raising questions about how the law will be implemented. The Institute of Public Affairs described the legislation as a “blatant attack on the freedom of the media.” “Throwing media executives in jail will increase costs to taxpayers without improving community safety or addressing concerns about violent content being shared on social media platforms,” said researcher Andrew Bushnell. “Companies and executives may respond to the threat of criminal penalties by erring on the side of censorship.” The laws are expected to be followed by steps toward treating social media giants more like publishers, which would make them legally responsible for the content on their platforms.last_img read more

Usable groundwater rapidly depleting in north east India IIT study

first_imgNew Delhi: India’s northern and eastern states saw a rapid decline in usable groundwater between 2005 and 2013, raising an impending risk of severe droughts, food crisis, and drinking water scarcity for millions of people, researchers have found.A team from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, West Bengal and Athabasca University, Canada, compiled the first estimates of usable groundwater storage (UGWS) at the state-level across all of India using both in situ and satellite-based measurements. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’Groundwater-level data was used from 3,907 in situ monitoring wells across the country and the total UGWS was estimated between 2005 and 2013. The estimate shows rapid depletion of UGWS in Assam, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal. In these areas, increases in agricultural food productions have resulted at the cost of non-renewable loss in groundwater volume at an alarming rate, the researchers wrote in the study published in the journal Advances in Water Resources. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KOn the other hand, southern and western Indian states like Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chattisgarh show replenishing usable groundwater storage trends. Earlier works by the government agencies have only been able to estimate the total groundwater, only a part of which is usable for human purposes, said lead researcher Abhijit Mukherjee, Associate Professor Hydrogeology, Department of Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur. “The estimates show rapid depletion of usable groundwater storage during 2005-2013 in most of northern parts, losing 8.5 cubic kilometre per year (km3/year) of total groundwater, and eastern parts which lost 5 km3/year of total groundwater,” Mukherjee told PTI. He emphasised that more than 85 per cent of the groundwater usage in India is linked with irrigation abstraction practices. India is the largest user of groundwater in the world. It uses an estimated 230 km3 of groundwater per year — over a quarter of the global total. Groundwater being an essential natural resource for irrigational water supply during non-monsoonal months, large-scale depletion could have unforeseen consequences in future food security, said Mukherjee. “Underground water is definitely declining in Rajasthan at faster rate. There are pockets in UP which have seen a dip in groundwater table as well,” agreed Dr N C Ghosh, former Head of Hydrology, National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee, who was not involved in the study. The problem, Ghosh said, is compounded by over-exploitation of the ground water. “About 85 per cent of rural drinking water needs and 65 per cent of irrigation needs and 50 per cent of urban drinking water and industrial needs are fulfilled from the ground water,” he said. Mukherjee noted that rapid depletion in UGWS would accelerate the decline in food production and availability of drinking water, two of the prime goals of achieving UN Sustainable Development Goals 2030. “More than 120 million people would get affected only in the Gangetic states,” he said. The study combined borehole data from Central Ground Water Board, rainfall data and satellite data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), a pair of satellites launched in 2002. A northeastern state like Assam, which was regarded always as water-affluent, has lost two per cent of its usable groundwater resource, and is at the brink of suffering drought and famine in impending years, said researchers, including first author Soumendra N Bhanja from Department of Geology and Geophysics, IIT Kharagpur. PTIlast_img read more

Workshop on conservation of red pandas

first_imgDarjeeling: A step by step approach has been adopted for the conservation of red pandas. Reintroducing zoo bred pandas in the wild is the main objective of this. As a step in this direction a workshop titled “Red Panda Global Species Management Plan was flagged off in Darjeeling.”We are working towards releasing four captive-bred red pandas in the Singhalila National Park in September or October this year,” said Vinod Kumar Yadav, member secretary, West Bengal Zoo Authority and Additional Principal Conservator of Forests, Government of West Bengal. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaPreparations are on for this. “We have already submitted plans for this to the Government of India. Genetic studies; DNA finger printing, habitat evaluation, including satellite mapping, drone images are being combined for this project,” said Yadav. The red pandas will first be released in a special enclosure in Gairibas following which they will be released in the wild. “The conservation programme is a step by step approach. Last year we had a national level workshop involving the Central Zoo Authority and the states like West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Uttarkhand. The national workshop paved way to this four-day long global programme which is now being held in Darjeeling. After we successfully introduce red pandas in the Singhalila National Park our next goal will be to introduce them in Neora Valley. This is how we plan to augment the panda population in the wild,” added Yadav. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayA 17 crore programme for 10 years named Special Survival Plan is underway. The expansion of the special breeding facility at Tobgaydanra, Darjeeling is also covered under this programme. In order to introduce fresh blood lines in the captive breeding programme in the Darjeeling zoo, red pandas will be brought in from foreign countries including Australia. The Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP) popular as the Darjeeling Zoo, is the coordinating zoo for the red panda breeding programme (Project Red Panda) in India. The project was initiated in 1990. At present there are 13 female and 8 male red pandas. In 1999, a pair of zoo bred red pandas — Minnie and Sweetie — were released in the forests of Gairibans below Sandakphu. Again in September 2004 another pair Neelam and Dolma were released in the wild in September 2004. Later Sweetie was found to have given birth to a cub in the hollow of an oak tree, thereby bringing the Project Red Panda to a full circle. A red panda census had been launched in 2018. “The census is being conducted in two parts. We have physically identified the red pandas individually, found their nests. In the other part genetic analysis is being done from the scat of red pandas. In this way we will come out with the red panda population” stated Ravi kant Sinha, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife.) Representatives including experts from USA, Holland, Australia, Hungary, Singapore and Nepal are attending the 4 day long conference in Darjeeling.last_img read more

To Beat The Warriors You Gotta Draft Like The Warriors Good Luck

SA2008-1115Kawhi Leonard17.027.4 DET1994-973Grant Hill18.126.3 Despite those odds, plenty of teams manage to look smart in the draft every year. The Warriors themselves had a terrific series of drafts between 2009 and 2012, when they picked up Green, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson in rapid succession. That group generated about 25 more points of VORP than they should have based on where they were picked, giving Golden State one of the shrewdest four-year stretches of drafts in the lottery era: DET1985-8827Dennis Rodman12.828.6 NO2002-054Chris Paul24.728.4 CLE1985-887Kevin Johnson12.934.7 Early in the draft, the curve is steep. The average No. 2 pick is worth only about 80 percent as many VORP in his first five seasons as the average No. 1, and players only get less valuable from there. Each additional pick produces a lot less than the slot before, emphasizing how costly every random tumble in the lottery can be.But let’s say our theoretical team gets its hands on a collection of valuable draft picks. What are the odds that it will take the right player at each slot? According to my research, there’s about a 70 percent chance that a team won’t take the best player available with any given pick at or near the top of the draft. Of course, the haul is still usually decent even if a team doesn’t nail its pick perfectly — but at the same time, “decent” doesn’t really help build a Warriors-killer.VIDEO: Why the No. 1 pick is such a valuable crapshoot Only at the most extreme edge of young talent, where the sample of historical examples is limited, do we see the potential upside usually associated with a group of highly drafted prospects playing together. (Think of the 2009-10 Oklahoma City Thunder, one of the greatest collections of pure talent ever assembled, coalescing into an NBA finalist within a few seasons.) Short of that, it’s tough to improve more than normal reversion to the mean would predict by simply stocking up on a bunch of kids with raw draft pedigree. Future stardom is unpredictable (again, see teams’ lack of consistency in getting better-than-average return on picks), and young players in particular tend to amplify one another’s flaws when playing together.But if our hypothetical Warriors-killer does manage to survive the lottery, make the right picks in the draft, get those prospects on the court together and then max out their potential, the model predicts the upper bound for its eventual peak Elo would be 1762. That’s roughly where the Warriors will be starting from next season (after reverting their final 2016-17 rating to the mean), and it’s also roughly the same Elo carried at season’s end by the 2015-16 Cleveland Cavaliers — not coincidentally, the last team to unseat the Warriors in the playoffs.A lot has to go right to get to that point, and most teams who travel down that path will fall short. But the Warriors will also feel the tug of parity soon — however gently — and at the same time, some team will eventually clear all the hurdles and build the challenger to Golden State’s throne. There’s a decent chance that journey starts in Brooklyn tonight, at the draft. * Value Over Replacement Player. Based on draftees’ first five NBA seasons, versus the average expected VORP for the slot where each player was picked. Players who were traded at the draft are assigned to the team that acquired them.Source: Basketball-Reference.com LAL1993-9610Eddie Jones14.027.8 In the age of superteams and super-duper teams,1Whether today’s stars want to admit such things exist or not. the Golden State Warriors built the ultimate doomsday machine when they added Kevin Durant in free agency last summer. Winning a championship this year seemed — and ultimately was — inevitable. But before KD put pen to paper, Golden State had captured one title and set the all-time wins record. And it was done with a roster largely built through the draft. The Warriors were the poster children for how to build a team through savvy scouting and player development, not reckless spending.Likewise, we can make a pretty good guess that the team that one day unseats Golden State will not be a creaky monument to Russian oligarchy, but rather more organic. So on draft day, let’s imagine how a team might build through the draft, stockpiling young talent and maxing out their collective potential. Could such a team rise to the Warriors’ level? Maybe. But everything would have to go right for our team, from lucking out in the lottery to nailing its picks and then developing them into stars. In other words, to beat the Warriors, you have to do what the Warriors did.First things first: It isn’t easy to jam-pack a roster with a bunch of promising young players. Even an aggressive tanking effort like Sam Hinkie’s “Process” in Philadelphia can’t guarantee that the lottery balls will fall the way they’re expected to. Indeed, the Sixers under Hinkie suffered below-average lottery luck. Meanwhile, other teams can always swoop in and snag the top pick (think the Cavaliers). Although Philly still managed to draft some high picks over the years — including, finally, a No. 1 choice in Ben Simmons last year — it didn’t get as much out of the draft as its fans might have expected when the Process began.And because the value of a pick diminishes so rapidly from No. 1 down, any unfavorable bounce in the lottery could derail our imaginary rebuild before it begins. Here’s the expected value for each pick slot — as measured by players’ Value Over Replacement Player (VORP) over the course of their first five NBA seasons — since the lottery era began in 1985: BEST PICK TOR1997-009Tracy McGrady13.526.1 And this methodology probably underrates the drafting job done by former Warriors general manager Larry Riley — and his replacement, Bob Myers, who made the team’s best pick when he drafted Draymond Green 35th overall in 2012 — since it looks at only the first five seasons of a player’s career. Curry, for instance, didn’t reach his full game-breaking potential until his sixth season in the league.But just as studies have found in other sports (most notably the NFL), there isn’t much consistent skill to making better-than-average picks in the NBA draft. The correlation between a team’s per-pick return on investment2As measured by VORP over expectation for each draft slot. in one three-year period and the next is only 0.014 — a practically nonexistent relationship.3I used three years because that’s about half the reasonable lifespan of an NBA GM gig. Even the Warriors picked big-man bust Ekpe Udoh sixth overall in between the first rounds in which they snapped up Curry and Thompson.With all these factors stacked against teams built around touted draft picks, it’s no wonder they have a spotty record of converting potential to results. Using the same method of evaluating talent bases as my colleague Kyle Wagner and I created for this story about the Minnesota Timberwolves, I measured how many highly drafted young players each team4Going back to the start of the NBA’s modern expansion wave in 1988-89. had on its roster at the same time. I then built a model using that data to predict how a team might fare over the next five seasons based on its young talent. For most teams in recent history, it’s tough to see much of a relationship between young talent and how much the team’s Elo rating5Essentially, FiveThirtyEight’s way of measuring how well a team is playing. improved, above and beyond what we’d simply expect from ordinary reversion to the mean.To show this, let’s give our team a starting Elo of 1400, basically where the Warriors themselves were after the 2011-12 season. Here’s what that model would predict its peak Elo to be over the next five seasons, depending on how much young talent it currently has: CLE2002-051LeBron James27.429.5 TEAMDRAFTSPICKPLAYERVORP* OVER EXPECTEDTOTAL VORP OVER EXPECTED The best four-year draft runs, by Value Over Replacement Player, 1985-2016 SEA1986-8917Shawn Kemp11.825.9 GS2009-1235Draymond Green15.824.8 read more

Publishers PressPublishers Printing Compnay LabelPak Division Receives Flexographic Technical Associations Gold Award

first_imgPublishers Press/Publishers Printing Company Label-Pak Division has been awarded the Flexographic Technical Association’s (FTA) Gold Award, as well as the Best of Show Award for Narrow Web Publication for Alpinist Magazine’s “Autumn 2010” cover.The Label-Pak Division was awarded one of six Best of Show Awards given annually. Over 900 submissions were entered for consideration.Other Narrow Web Gold Publication winners include MPI Label Systems’ Bushdoctor Microbe Brew (label) and Labeltronix’s NLN Chocolate Banana Lean Pro Matrix and Eagle Castle 2009 Chardonnay (both labels).The 145-year-old Publishers Press/Publishers Printing Company is based in Louisville, Kentucky. The company currently offers magazine, catalogue and full service commercial printing, distribution, email marketing and label printing.last_img read more

The best small SUVs and crossovers for the money

first_img 2019 Porsche Macan S: As lovely as ever 24 Photos 78 Photos Land Rover Range Rover VelarStarting at $49,950, the 2019 Velar is clearly not cheap. But this compact SUV feels far more expensive than it really is. Its minimalist design inside and out makes it one of the most aesthetically pleasing vehicles on the road.The Velar delivers a comfortable, quiet ride with reasonable athleticism and more off-road ability than any owner will ever ask of it. More From Roadshow SUVs Crossovers 62 Photos 2018 Nissan Kicks: Appreciating the unconventional Subaru CrosstrekThe 2019 Subaru Crosstrek starts at $21,895, offers standard all-wheel drive, and hey — you can even get it with a six-speed manual transmission. Equipped with the continuously variable transmission, the Crosstrek is pretty darn efficient, returning 27 miles per gallon city and 33 mpg highway.The 2019 Crosstrek now comes with automatic emergency braking on all models, as well as adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across all trims. 2019 Honda CR-V is one of our favorite compact crossovers 12 Photos 24 Photos Subaru ForesterThe Forester still has enough of its tall-wagon DNA to make it enjoyable to drive, yet it offers all the practicality of an SUV, starting at $24,295.Subaru’s EyeSight driver-assistance package is among the best available in this category, and while the rest of the Forester’s in-cabin tech is a little tame, support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay mostly mitigates that.A number of 2019 model-year upgrades make the Forester an even better offering in the compact SUV space.Originally published March 21. 2018 Subaru Crosstrek: Just as good as before, only better The 2019 Subaru Crosstrek is rugged, practical and affordable 50 Photos Enlarge Image Honda Boy howdy, do American consumers love their crossovers and SUVs. And because many are looking to utility vehicles in place of compact sedans and hatchbacks, we’ve seen a big rise in the number of pint-size SUVs on offer.To that end, we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite small-ish crossovers and SUVs. From cheap-and-cheerful compacts to luxury and performance offerings, these are the best small utility vehicles on sale in America today.. And these days, compact offerings seem to be all the rage. To that end, we’ve gathered up some of our favorite small utility vehicles that hit all the sweet spots, from utility, efficiency, luxury and yes, even sportiness. Subaru Meet Roadshow’s long-term 2019 Volvo XC40 Mazda CX-5Starting at under $25,000, the Mazda CX-5 offers tons of style, inside and out.A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine offers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Whether in all-wheel or front-wheel-drive guise, the Mazda serves up genuine driving fun and excitement behind the wheel.The post-refresh model is now considerably quieter and better riding than earlier models, with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert standard across all trim lines.  Volvo XC40A brand-new Volvo for $32,000? Sign us up.The XC40 doesn’t scrimp on kit, even though it’s the cheapest Volvo, coming standard with the Sensus Connect infotainment system and the always-great “Thor’s Hammer” LED headlights.Not only does it look good, the XC40 drives really well, too. Fuel economy isn’t the best, but life is full of tradeoffs.  Mazda CX-3The smaller Mazda CX-3 can be had starting at $20,390. While it’s been updated for 2019, Mazda didn’t mess with the good stuff. The same 2.0-liter engine is under the hood as last year, though power and torque have increased just slightly.The rear glass is thicker, which should result in a quieter cabin. The LED taillights out back get a new design as well. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are standard on all trims. The base Sport model can be had with an i-ActivSense Package, including such active driving aids as full-range adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and rain-sensing wipers.center_img Volkswagen Tiguan is bigger all around, but still compact 2019 Mazda CX-5 Diesel review: Was it really worth the wait? Volkswagen TiguanThe Volkswagen Tiguan is softer than it used to be, but it’s also much more spacious, comfortable and quiet than the previous generation. The new look is bold, but also very classic VW.VW’s Car-Net and Digital Cockpit are basically scaled-down versions of the amazing Audi tech we’ve been raving about for years.A rare thing among compact SUVs, the Tiggy can actually be optioned with a third row of seats. 2019 Mazda CX-3 is brimming with personality 33 Photos Nissan KicksStarting at just under $18,000, the Nissan Kicks is a lot of car for the money, and can be had with a truly outstanding Bose Personal Plus audio system.The Kicks is a great, honest little crossover — and it’s not too shabby to drive, either.Aside from moderate noise over bumps, this budget crossover is a lot quieter than many of its competitors. 42 Photos Honda CR-VThe latest-generation Honda CR-V features a lot more style, has a roomier backseat, boats class-leading cargo space, and starts at a reasonable $25,000.A strong engine lineup includes a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated base engine with 180 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque, or a punchy 1.5-liter turbo with 190 horses and 179 pound-feet. The good thing about the turbocharged engine is that peak torque is available from just 2,000 rpm.The CR-V provides a well-damped ride quality, while also being competent through corners. 2019 Subaru Ascent review 24 Photos Porsche MacanThe Porsche Macan does the small-sporty-SUV thing better than pretty much any of its rivals. It’s handsome, spacious and super fun to drive. Plus, that Porsche badge ain’t for nothin’ — the Macan will outdrive any other sporty crossover on the road today.For 2019, the Macan S got a brand-new turbocharged V6 engine, and some slightly refreshed style. It’s an SUV we’d love to drive every day — and on some of our favorite roads, too. 2019 Mazda CX-5 adds premium style with new Signature trim Tags Share your voice 7 Comments 22 Photos Range Rover Velar SVAutobiography packs 550 hp, high-end trimmings 2019 Subaru Forester: Welcome improvements for an already solid SUV Land Rover Honda Mazda Nissan Porsche Subaru Volkswagen Volvolast_img read more

The VW Beetle is officially out of production

first_imgEnlarge ImageIt’s the end of an era — again. Volkswagen Update, July 10: The final Volkswagen Beetle, a coupe clad in Denim Blue paint, rolled off the assembly line in Puebla, Mexico, today. Before the third-generation car departed from this mortal coil, though, we were given the chance to head down yonder Mexico way and assist in the assembly of some of VW’s final Beetles. Head south by one paragraph to read our account of that experience.I step into a production-line-adjacent conference room at the Volkswagen Beetle factory in Puebla, Mexico. The air inside is tinged with the aroma of what seems to be a nearby bathroom leaking its wretchedness into the air conditioning vents. A presentation slide entitled “How will be work” details the day’s schedule upon a projection screen at the other end of the room. I’m ushered around a table along with a handful of US and Canadian media colleagues. We’re given a schedule rundown and safety briefing that lasts a mere 15 minutes, and then we’re directed toward the production floor to help build a home-stretch batch of Volkswagen Beetles. In just a few weeks’ time, VW’s Bug will be swatted.This factory-floor fast-tracking runs in stark contrast to my Volvo S60 production line experience in South Carolina just two months ago. With Volvo, I was put through a half-day’s training to learn how to perform just one task on the line. Today with the Beetle, I’ll be installing front bumper and radiator covers, mounting the right-rear wheel, bolting in the rear suspension and placing the front emblem.I don’t mind the opportunity to be involved in more of the Beetle’s production process, of course. We’re talking about one of history’s most recognized and influential machines. Since the Beetle’s inception in 1938, more than 23 million bugs have crawled out of VW factories the world over, from Germany to Nigeria, Indonesia to Ireland and presently, Mexico. Getting a chance to build some of the final examples of the “People’s Car” is one of those stories I’ll likely tell my grandchildren.Volkswagen Beetle EvolutionEnlarge ImageVolkswagen Beetles rising through eight decades. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow Slug bugMy first task is to install the front bumper cover on a Stonewashed Blue Beetle headed to a Chinese customer. Bumper assembly would have been a rather simple process had I been given a crack at more than one car. That’s not in the cards, though, so I go about my duties like a toddler navigating along the Brooklyn Bridge’s railing. Thankfully, I’ve got a supervision safety net of pros standing around me. For these men and women who work the line every day, proper component mounting is a matter of muscle memory. Click together a few electrical connectors, bang on the body panels just right so they snap into place (kind of like you’re playing “punch bug” with the Beetle itself) and six screws later, the little Beetle’s cute face is complete. That’s not the end of my job at this station, however. I still have to install a black plastic panel that sits under the hood ahead of the radiator, which is simply a matter of lining up the component and banging it in. Easier said than done, I soon realize. My infantile banging proves futile, so a line worker helps me by realigning the piece and then popping it into place as effortlessly as your most recent breath. Once that’s complete, the car continues down the line, never for me to see it again.The latter three assembly tasks prove smoother with other Beetles. My toddler fumbling isn’t disruptive enough to make a mess of mounting the right-rear wheel. Nor is installing the rear suspension, which is simply a matter of torquing four bolts on each side and letting the computer validate my worth by lighting up with green OKs. Installing the front VW emblem is actually an automated process, but I get to place one on a Bug’s nose anyway, because why let a good photo op go to waste?2019 Volkswagen Beetle Final AssemblyEnlarge ImageVW Beetles get an inspection under the lights before heading out the factory doors and onto their test drives. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow By the numbersSurprisingly, robots perform just 48% of the Beetle’s assembly. The other 52% is by hand. Today’s Beetle, which has slid to become VW’s least popular vehicle in the US, shares its assembly line with Volkswagen of America’s best-seller: the Tiguan compact crossover SUV. This popularity chasm is evident as I stretch my eyes down the production line. About one in every 10 vehicles is a Beetle, and there are moments walking along the floor where nothing but Tiguans flood my sockets.Over the course of three shifts within a 24-hour production day (Monday to Friday and sometimes two shifts on Saturday), 937 new vehicles emerge off the line, 170 to 180 of which are Beetles. In addition, every unit is test-driven. Fun fact: According to surveys distributed by the plant’s human resources department, the test drivers are the factory’s happiest employees.Come on, get happyAfter getting to play on the production line, VW lets me briefly test-drive some Beetles outside the factory. I’m surprised at how heavy the (1998-2011) New Beetle’s steering is, and how it feels sportier to drive than the current (2012-2019) Beetle, which is a comparative snooze fest. I’m most excited to drive the 2003 Beetle Ultima Edicion (Final Edition), the last of the original air-cooled Beetles. The Ultima Edicion is much quieter than any classic Beetle I’ve heretofore experienced. Modern seating makes it categorically comfortable, too, but from there, its modernity slopes into the abyss.The Ultima Edicion has no power steering, but that’s fine, as there’s little weight over its nose. The car’s clutch, brake and gas pedals, however, delineate evolution in reverse. The clutch is as light as any economy car’s third pedal from 2019. The brake pedal trails the clutch’s contemporary ease, but scrubbing speed isn’t terrifying: Unlike with earlier Beetles, you needn’t stomp halfway to the floor before barely stopping in time. Even still, the pedal’s modulation is precision’s distant cousin. Traveling farther back in time, the throttle is straight out of World War II, somehow feeling heavier and clumsier than Beetles I’ve driven from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s.The Ultima Edicion proves more ponderous than I’d expected, but it’s a heartening reminder of an automotive icon whose production has lasted longer than the average human lifespan.Volkswagen Beetle Última EdiciónEnlarge ImageThe 2003 Volkswagen Beetle Ultima Edicion is what I consider to be the ultimate expression of the original, air-cooled Bug. Manuel Carrillo III/Roadshow Is this really goodbye?The Beetle’s demise is the lamentable result of how the world has moved away from the spunky and toward the practical. In its ’60s heyday, the original Beetle checked a slew of boxes for the pragmatic but imaginative American consumer. Today, crossover SUVs speak to buyers padlocked by bottom-line idealism. The current Beetle lacks the cargo space, interior volume and ride height that today’s consumer demands. Consequently, the Beetle is now an unsustainably sluggish-selling lifestyle play. VW delivered roughly 14,000 Beetles in the US last year, according to GoodCarBadCar. That’s a far cry from 423,000 US sales in 1968, according to Euronews.And so, as America and the rest of the world have moved beyond Beetle Mania, so, too, must the Bug’s factory in Puebla. The Beetle’s discontinuation will free up space to build more of VW’s popular Tiguan.While Volkswagen currently has no plans to resurrect the Beetle after manufacturing ends in mid-July, I’m willing to bet money the Bug will return sometime next decade. VW’s new, incredibly limber electric MEB platform can spawn a litter of vehicles as diverse as the ID Buzz Cargo and the ID Buggy. It seemingly wouldn’t take much of a business case or a ton of development money for VW to engineer an electric Beetle off that flexible architecture. As a result, assembling some of the last Beetles really feels like “See ya later,” as opposed to a final goodbye. At least, that’s what I hope.Originally published June 24. Tags 2019 VW Beetle Final Edition review: The last goodbye 2020 Porsche 718 Spyder first drive: A Boxster with way more bite 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe review: Stylish and sure-footed More From Roadshow Share your voicecenter_img Volkswagen Automobiles Convertibles Classic Cars Coupes Hatchbacks 7 Comments Volkswagenlast_img read more

Expectant mother among 3 killed in road crash

first_imgRoad Accident logoThree people, including a pregnant woman, were killed in a road crash in Sadar upazila of Rangpur on Thursday.The deceased are Moni Begum, 25, Moni’s aunt Asia Begum, 50, and Tushar, 26, from Dinajpur district, reports UNB.Police said the accident took place around 10:30am when an ambulance carrying the pregnant woman hit a stationary truck as its driver lost control over the steering, leaving the patient and the helper of the ambulance dead on the spot and Asia injured.The tragic incident occurred when Mosaddek Azad along with Moni and Asia were heading to Rangpur Medical College Hospital from Dinajpur.last_img read more

Stages Repertory Theatre Announces Plans To Build A 305 Million Complex In

first_img– / 4Stages Repertory Theatre announced plans to build a three-stage, $30.5 million dollar complex in Montrose. Managing Director Mark Folkes said construction would begin this summer.“This is essentially a doubling in capacity as an organization,” said Folks. “We currently operate in just over 30,000 square feet in our home this move brings us just over 66,000 square feet.”The plan includes building from the ground up and renovating a warehouse they purchased from the Museum of Fine Arts last year.“It was used to store pieces of their permanent collection that were not on display at the museum,” said Folks. “We are re-purposing that warehouse basically to create the support system for the work that we do. So that will be the home of our production workshops, of our rehearsal and education spaces.”He said thankfully, the warehouse foundation is slightly raised. Because in the last three months, potential flooding has been a major topic of conversation.“We’ve been very thoughtful in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey about the design of the facility to ensure that the core of the infrastructure is not sitting on the first floor.” said Folks. “So, things like electrical systems that will live on the second and third story of the structure to protect should we face another catastrophic event like that in this city.”Stages plans to move to the new complex and re-open in fall 2019 without disruption to the performance schedule.  Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Listen 00:00 /01:25last_img read more

Shoplifters hit up Chrome Store for Facebook data

first_img © 2012 PhysOrg.com Then Kaspersky’s Fabio Assolini, a lab expert, said one bit of malware especially caught his team’s attention because the malicious extension was hosted on Google’s own Chrome Web Store. “At this time,” Assolini said in a March 23 blog, “the malicious app has 923 users.”The extension presented itself as Adobe Flash Player. After installation, the extension could gain complete control of the victim’s profile first by downloading a script file. The script file had instructions to send commands to the victim’s Facebook profile. The result was the eventual spread of a malicious message, inviting more users to install the fake extension. So what’s in such a scheme for the malware makers? Profit, in the form of selling Facebook “likes” to businesses looking for (ironically) a reputation boost and may be willing to pay the $27 charged for 1,000 “likes.”According to reports, Google personnel removed the malicious extension after Kaspersky informed them of the hustle – titled Trojan.JS.Agent.bxo—which the Kaspersky experts had discovered on March 6 in a previous similar attack.According to Ars Technica, a Google response was, “When we detect items containing malware or learn of them through reports, we remove them from the Chrome Web Store and from active Chrome instances. We’ve already removed several of these extensions, and we are improving our automated systems to help detect them even faster.” Beyond the Store, one security plus for Google was the launch, earlier this year, of Bouncer, which scans the Android Market for malicious apps. The scan happens when developers first upload an app to the Market and then periodically after that.The Bouncer safeguard does not, however, seem to console observers over thieves who find ways to outsmart Facebook and Google.Those behind the cash-for-likes scheme “are uploading new extensions regularly, in a cat and mouse game,” said Kaspersky’s Assolini.Kaspersky Lab noticed a “huge wave” of attacks in Brazil. Without naming the miscreants, Assolini’s column warning users to “think twice” before installing Chrome extensions simply referred to “Brazil’s bad guys” turning their attention to Chrome and Facebook, which are now Brazil’s two key go-to places on the Internet. Recent statistics show that Google Chrome has become the most popular browser in Brazil with more than 45 percent of market share. Facebook is the most popular social network in Brazil, with 42 million users, displacing Orkut. 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. More information: www.securelist.com/en/blog/208 … ng_Chrome_extensions Microsoft anti-virus program evicts Chrome browsercenter_img (PhysOrg.com) — A cash-for-Facebook’s-“likes” hustle hanging out in Google Chrome Web Store has been discovered by Kaspersky Lab. The researchers first discovered extensions leading to the wave of hijackings under an umbrella of assorted themes that were targeting users of Chrome and Facebook. They were rolling out malicious extensions for use to nab Facebook profile data. The lure was in the form of invitations for users to make changes on their profile or to see who was visiting their profile or to remove a virus from their Facebook profile. Citation: Shoplifters hit up Chrome Store for Facebook data (2012, March 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-shoplifters-chrome-facebook.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Go back to the enewsletter Hilton Hotels Reso

first_imgGo back to the e-newsletter >Hilton Hotels & Resorts, on 7 October, opened its newest hotel in London, the Hilton London Bankside. Located just moments away from Shakespeare’s famous Globe Theatre, the design-led hotel is the latest property to join the Hilton brand portfolio of more than 70 hotels across the UK & Ireland.Hilton London Bankside is home to 292 guest rooms including 25 bespoke suites which offer views of the city skyline. The hotel also includes one penthouse apartment, which boasts its own private roof terrace, a 100m2 entertainment area and views across London. In addition, the hotel brings a new neighbourhood eatery, OXBO Bankside to the area, alongside The Distillery, a cool and casual bar.Simon Vincent, executive vice president and president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Hilton Worldwide, said, “Bankside is one of London’s most vibrant areas, with an eclectic mix of culture, food, architecture and attractions. With the city attracting around 30 million global visitors every year, we are delighted to be expanding our footprint in the city and look forward to putting Hilton London Bankside on the map as a key destination for travellers and Londoners alike.”Rob Palleschi, global head, full service brands, Hilton Worldwide, said, “Located in one of Britain’s oldest settlements, Hilton London Bankside is a unique property, beautifully designed to represent the city’s historical past and urban environment. Known for its rich history and dynamic culture, Bankside is a key market area for the region and this opening elevates Hilton’s overall presence in this important destination”.James Clarke, general manager, Hilton London Bankside said, ”I am thrilled to be playing a pivotal role in the opening of Hilton London Bankside. We are looking forward to welcoming our first guests to the hotel and hosting our first conference in the state of the art ballroom. Working closely in collaboration with my team, we will ensure we become a destination within Bankside for our local community and our international guests”.The hotel contains eight flexible meeting rooms and the Bankside Ballroom, an impressive pillar free room accessed by sweeping grand staircases. Complete with chandeliers, a six metre high ceiling and state of the art technology, the Bankside Ballroom is an exciting new venue for the area, holding up to 700 guests.Executive rooms also have access to the Executive Lounge which serves breakfast, afternoon tea and evening menus of hot and cold canapés with a range of selected beverages, in a stylish, refined setting.Hilton London Bankside participates in Hilton HHonors®.Go back to the e-newsletter >last_img read more

Amazon has revealed its first range of Fire TVs wh

first_imgAmazon has revealed its first range of Fire TVs which support Dolby Vision.The sets are Toshiba-branded, with a 55-inch model on sale immediately for US$449.99 (€401.66). Amazon said that 43- and 50-inch models will be available on June 30 for US$329.99 (€294.55) and US$379.99 (€339.18) respectively.The TVs mark a major step for the Dolby Vision standard, which has primarily been reserved for more expensive smart TVs.The sets will launch for sale in the US on Amazon and Best Buy, with no international plans yet announced.Amazon’s Fire TV Edition smart TVs – of which there are more than 20 on the market – launched in June 2018 and serve as competition to the Roku TVs on offer from the likes of TCL. Amazon recently announced that there are over 34 million active Fire TV users. This statistic covers Fire TV Stick, Fire TV Stick 4K, and Fire TV Cube, along with Fire TVs.last_img read more

In This Issue Dollar bias throughout Friday C

first_imgIn This Issue.*Dollar bias throughout Friday. *Currencies & metals try to rebound today. *Aussies still forecasting budget surplus. *IMM short dollar positions increase.And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts!Corporate Profits Plateauing?Good day. And a Marvelous Monday to you! Well. it was an absolutely beautiful weekend, weather-wise, here in St. Louis, too bad it was an absolutely awful sports weekend, with the Cardinals falling on their collective faces, and the Rams losing again! UGH! But the weather is here, I wish you were beautiful, as Jimmy Buffett says. And with that, it’s on to what you opened the letter to read.The Friday action in the currencies and metals began the day with a bias to buy U.S. dollars, and that remained in place as we finished the week on a high note for the dollar.  Gold got taken down again on Friday. You can’t tell me it was anything other than a manipulated take down!  And given the grotesque large short positions that the price manipulators hold, there could be even more downward movement in Gold & Silver. But. one has to wonder if they (price manipulators) have the intestinal fortitude to conduct another take down at this point, I mean their take down on Friday brought Gold & Silver below their 50-day moving averages. I think if they go for more downward movement, that even the CFTC will be able to see it for what it is.The currencies & metals are attempting to rebound this morning, but the upward moves have been small to this point.  But there’s not much in the way of news that would cause this turn-around.  An ECB (European Central Bank) member told reporters over the weekend that the ECB oversight for Eurozone banks would be gradually phased in during 2013. There will be much “back and forth” even between Eurozone members on this ECB oversight, but it’s coming. Besides that news, the data cupboard for Europe is pretty bare until later this week, so the euro will be on its own, and of course any words that swing it one way or the other, by speakers, of which there appears to be quite a few in the next few days.  Spain still hasn’t requested assistance, and pretty soon, the markets are going to forget about Spain, and move on to someone else.Could that someone else be the U.S.?  Well. that’s been the M/O of the markets for some time now. We are about 2 weeks away from a Presidential election here in the U.S. and we’re also about 2 weeks away from dealing with a debt ceiling again. This debt ceiling problem has taken longer to get here than I thought it would, when I first mentioned it this last spring. I thought for sure that by the end of August, we would be having those wonderfully joyous discussions about raising the debt ceiling! But NOOOOOOO! But it will get here, soon.Speaking of U.S. debt. I was doing some research for an article that I’m writing on Debt, and what to do with it. When I came across 3 things that makes you stop and scratch your head, wondering why we do this when we don’t have the funds to pay for it? And. don’t get mad at me about the time frames here, this is how the data was presented.1.    Welfare spending has topped $1 Trillion per year2.    There has been a 64% increase in the Food Stamp Program in the last 4 years3.    There has been a 114% increase in the Food Stamp Program costs in the last 4 years.Now. last week I made a generalization about people receiving Gov’t assistance. And I apologize for that generalization.  And discretionary spending, like these programs aren’t going to make or break us. But the general thought on my part is simply, if we don’t have the funds to pay for something, we don’t buy it. no spending without funds in the bank. if we follow that , we can at least slow down the annual additions to the national debt.Did you see this weekend’s Pfennig & Pfriends? It was a video of the Big Boss, Frank Trotter’s presentation at the Freedom Fest this year. In the presentation, Frank shows why we believe that the dollar is in for a long term problem, given the Gov’t’s propensity to want to devalue the dollar to pay back debts with cheaper dollars. OK. Japanese leaders must be jumping with joy, as the Japanese yen is finally showing some weakness. Japanese yen moved through its 200-day moving avg (DMA) last night, and is sliding toward 80. I think if we see yen go through the 80 figure, we could very well see a prolonged slump for yen, and one that I’ve been waiting to see for some time now. I haven’t read anything that says that the Bank of Japan (BOJ) was in selling yen, so this is just investors, traders, hedge funds, growing tired of waiting for further movement (stronger) in yen, and deciding to blow out of positions.In Australia overnight, the Aussie Treasurer, Swan, released the Mid-year Economic and Fiscal Outlook reports. The good news in the report is that the Aussies are still forecasting a budget surplus in the current fiscal year. Cool beans!  Now. one would think that investors would find this to be a good reason to buy Aussie dollars (A$) but not today, thank you! And I told you previously about how the markets are forecasting more rate cuts for next year, with the total being around 75 Basis points (3/4%) .  I’m of the opinion that these forecasts are too aggressive, but I wouldn’t rule out rate cuts next year. The reason I’m of the opinion that these forecasts are too aggressive, is I truly believe that China has turned the corner, and by next spring, when I head off to Cardinals Spring Training, it will be very evident that China is growing and demanding raw goods and materials again. and we all know who they go to for these raw materials, right?  That’s right Australia.I was dong some reading this weekend, and came across an article that expressed what I truly believe to be the upcoming case. And that is the Corporate Earnings in the U.S. will begin to show rot on the vine. The reason I believe this, is you can only squeeze so much blood from a turnip. In other words, most of the profits they had been booking for the past couple of years, came as a result of reduced overhead, and not improving machinery, etc.   David Nicklaus of our St. Louis Post Dispatch said it best.. “The plateauing of profits isn’t a surprise. Cost-cutting efforts generated much of the boom, and there’s a limit to how much efficiency companies can squeeze out of their workers and equipment.”Going further with the thought that company profits have topped out, you have to think about how the U.S. economy is growing at less than a 2% clip, and now the multinational companies have a recession in the Eurozone and a slowdown in China to contend with. Sure, the QE3 stimulus can give life support here for a while. but as I previously stated about QE3. I think the markets, and the people have become comfortably numb, and QE3 doesn’t have the same bang for the buck as the previous rounds of Quantitative Easing. This is similar to what Japan found out nearly 2 decades ago. But, here in the U.S. our Fed Heads don’t believe that we’re on the same road that Japan went down and that “our QE is different”.The IMM futures positions report from last week, showed that dollar short positions rebounded, this after two weeks of being closed out. The euro was the biggest beneficiary of these dollar short positions, and the record level of Canadian dollar long positions were pared back after the dovish comments by Bank of Canada Gov. Carney.And U.S. Existing Home Sales fell by 3.3% in September. This obviously gives us conflicting thoughts on the Housing Market, as New Home starts were stronger.  Home prices rose in September from a year ago, by 11.3%… And THAT, my friends, is probably why the Home Sales fell.Then There Was This. From The Economist. “The renminbi / yuan is displacing the dollar as a key currency. In a speech on the same day, a deputy governor of China’s central bank pointed out that China no longer hovers up dollar reserves with its past abandon. And according to a new study by Arvind Subramanian and Martin Kessler of the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington, DC, the dollar’s influence is waning in the emerging world. Currencies that used to shadow the greenback are no longer following it so closely. Some are floating more freely. But in other cases they are steadily falling under the spell of a different currency: the yuan.The greenback has in the past played a dominant role in East Asia. But if anything, the region is now on a yuan standard. Seven currencies in the region now follow the yuan, or redback, more closely than the greenback.”Chuck again. Well, this doesn’t surprise me. for you’ll remember that I was the first to say that the Chinese were making moves to replace the dollar standard.  it now appears that, especially in Asia that the renminbi/ yuan will continue to grow in stature as its economy and trading activity grow in size, once again.To recap. The bias to buy dollars held true throughout Friday’s trading session, but appears to be giving back gains this morning. That is, except the Japanese yen, which is showing the rot on its vine as it heads toward 80. Dollar short position is futures increased last week, reversing the previous two weeks of dollar short positions being pared back.  U.S. Existing Home Sales fell 3.3% in September, and Chuck talks about U.S. debt again. and again. and again.Currencies today 10/22/12. American Style: A$ $1.0330, kiwi .8185, C$ $1.0065, euro 1.3070, sterling 1.6050, Swiss $1.0805, . European Style: rand 8.6170, krone 5.65, SEK 6.5715, forint 213.50, zloty 3.1410, koruna 19.0585, RUB 30.89, yen 79.80, sing 1.2215, HKD 7.75, INR 53.47, China 6.2540, pesos 12.85, BRL 2.0265, Dollar Index 79.50, Oil $90.58, 10-year 1.79%, Silver $32.32, and Gold. $1,726.15That’s it for today. Well. it comes down to Game 7 tonight in San Francisco. I couldn’t watch the game unfold last night, turned it off and went to bed. So frustrating. I guess we’re having our “Indian Summer” as the days are very warm. I’m sure that will change quickly! The 3 grandkids were over Friday night, my two grandsons, Everett and Braden, (about 6 months apart) are beginning to acknowledge each other, and they are off doing something. In a couple of years, they are going to be a handful! Friday night, all our neighbor friends showed up at the patio door to watch the game with me. A great surprise! We had fun, even though the Cardinals lost! Alvin Lee is playing “I’m Going Home” on the iPod, right now, which tells me it’s time to get this out the door! So. I hope you have a Marvelous Monday!Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

Discount 49 36 34

first_imgDiscount-49%-36%-34% Looking at this table, emerging market stocks might seem like a no-brainer. But let’s be honest…• You should have to pay more for U.S. stocks…After all, the United States is still the most powerful and stable economy on the planet. And investors pay premiums for safety.Emerging markets, on the other hand, are far less stable.China, the world’s biggest emerging market, is a communist country. Brazil, another huge emerging market, has had five currency crises in the last eight decades.In short, emerging market stocks come with heavy baggage. Because of these risks, many investors want to “be paid extra” for owning emerging markets. ​They want better returns or higher yields.With this in mind, you have to ask yourself: Are emerging market stocks worth the risk?• Emerging market economies are growing rapidly…According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), emerging markets grew 4.1% last year. For perspective, the U.S. economy grew 1.6%.This year, the IMF expects emerging markets to grow 4.5%. It expects the U.S. economy to grow 2.3%.For 2018, the IMF projects that emerging markets will grow 4.8%, compared to 2% for the U.S. economy.In other words, emerging market stocks are cheap and offer more growth potential. This is what every investor looks for.But this has been true about emerging markets for years. And yet, they’ve basically done nothing while U.S. stocks have soared to record highs.What would make this time any different?• Commodity prices have taken off…Palladium is up 14% this year. Silver’s up 12%. Copper has gained 9%.Keep in mind, commodities have been falling for the better part of the last six years. The Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), which tracks 22 commodities, declined 58% between April 2011 and last January. Since then, it’s up 21%.This has given emerging market stocks a huge boost.You see, countries like Brazil, Russia, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia export far more commodities than they import.When commodities rise, these exporters make more money. Their economies grow faster. Their stock markets climb higher.Higher commodity prices could be the catalyst that emerging market stocks have been waiting for. But that doesn’t mean you should blindly invest in them.Tomorrow, we’ll tell you what we don’t like about emerging market stocks.At the end of that issue, you’ll know whether emerging market stocks deserve a spot in your portfolio.Chart of the Day: How “Broad” Is Your Exposure?China is driving the rally in emerging market stocks.Earlier we told you that China is the biggest emerging market economy. It’s also by far the largest holding in EEM. It makes up 26% of the index. It has more impact on the fund than India, Brazil, Russia, and Mexico combined.The chart below shows the performance of the iShares China Large-Cap ETF (FXI), which tracks large Chinese stocks, since last April. If it looks familiar, it’s because FXI has moved almost in lockstep with EEM over the same period.This is important to understand.You see, a lot of investors buy emerging market ETFs thinking they’re getting broad emerging market exposure. But many of these funds are heavily concentrated in big countries like China.In short, if you own EEM, you’d better be bullish on China.Regards,Justin SpittlerDelray Beach, FloridaFebruary 16, 2017We want to hear from you.If you have a question or comment, please send it to feedback@caseyresearch.com. We read every email that comes in, and we’ll publish comments, questions, and answers that we think other readers will find useful. EEM1.3411.871.31 S&P 5002.6518.681.97center_img Emerging market stocks have been “dead money” for almost a decade.Emerging markets are countries that are on their way to becoming “developed” like the United States or Germany. Brazil, Russia, India, and China—the so-called “BRIC” countries—are the biggest emerging markets.More than 80% of the world’s population lives in these countries. Since 2008, these economies have accounted for 80% of the growth in global economic trade and output.You would think this would have made them great investments. But emerging markets have actually been a horrible investment lately…Take a look at the chart below.It shows how the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets ETF (EEM), which tracks more than 800 emerging market stocks, performed from 2007 through 2015. You can see that it went nowhere.You would have actually lost about 0.15% of your money if you held EEM over this period, and that includes dividends.• Because of this, many investors have given up on emerging market stocks…But that could soon change.Last year, EEM gained 8.6%. It was its first annual gain since 2012.This year, it’s already up 10%. That’s more than double the S&P 500’s 4% gain.More importantly, it looks like EEM just “broke out.” Below, you can see it recently bucked a downtrend it’d been stuck in since early September.• This is good news for emerging market stocks…As we often point out, stocks usually keep rising after a breakout like this.And that’s exactly what EEM’s done. It’s rallied about 6% since piercing its downtrend.It’s now at the highest level since July 2015.Of course, you probably want to know if emerging market stocks will keep rising.Over the next couple days, we’re going to try to answer that question.We’ll dive deep into the fundamentals of emerging market stocks. We’ll look at the good and the bad. By the end, you’ll know if emerging market stocks are right for you.Let’s start with what we like about them…• Emerging market stocks are much cheaper than U.S. stocks…You can see this in the table below.This table compares EEM with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY), which tracks companies in the S&P 500.EEM’s price-to-book (P/B) ratio is 49% lower than SPY’s P/B ratio. Its forward price-to-earnings (forward P/E) ratio is 36% lower. It’s also 34% cheaper according to the price-to-sales (P/S) ratio. Price/Book(P/B) Forward Price/Earnings(Forward P/E)Price/Sales(P/S) last_img read more

Facebooks Content Moderation Rules Are Both Careful and Shocking

first_img Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Enroll Now for $5 The rules for dealing with violent and disturbing images often require moderators to ask whether they are ‘newsworthy’ or ‘raise awareness.’ May 22, 2017 Image credit: JaysonPhotography / Shutterstock.com Add to Queue Entrepreneur Staff Nina Zipkin 3 min readcenter_img Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Staff Writer. Covers leadership, media, technology and culture. Next Article There is no doubt that it takes a huge effort to moderate all the content that gets uploaded to Facebook. But over the past few months, the social giant has shown signs of strain.Back in August, shortly after the company fired a team of human editors overseeing the Trending section of the site in favor of an algorithm, a false news story found its way to the top of the queue.In February, CEO Mark Zuckerberg published a wide-ranging open letter on his Facebook page about the direction he hopes to take the company, touching on the need for more vigilance in the face of “fake news” and also a stronger infrastructure to handle the raft of content that is posted by users on a daily basis.Related: After Murder, Facebook to Hire 3,000 People to Review Videos“There are billions of posts, comments and messages across our services each day, and since it’s impossible to review all of them, we review content once it is reported to us,” Zuckerberg wrote. “There have been terribly tragic events — like suicides, some live streamed — that perhaps could have been prevented if someone had realized what was happening and reported them sooner. There are cases of bullying and harassment every day, that our team must be alerted to before we can help out. These stories show we must find a way to do more.”This spring, after a murder in Cleveland was livestreamed on the platform, Zuckerberg announced that over the course of the year, 3,000 people would be hired to better tackle and improve that review process.But now, an investigation conducted by the Guardian has identified some of the standards that Facebook operates from when it comes to moderating content, and they are perhaps more confusing than you might expect.Related: Facebook Wants to Help You Spot Bogus News StoriesWith regard to the videos of violent deaths or suicides, they are designated as disturbing content, but the reasoning Facebook has for not necessarily taking them down is because they can build awareness about mental illness, according to The Guardian’s findings.Specifically in cases of suicide, documents that The Guardian has been privy to explain that the current company dictate is “to remove them once there’s no longer an opportunity to help the person. We also need to consider newsworthiness, and there may be particular moments or public events that are part of a broader public conversation that warrant leaving up.”When it comes to violent language, a call to action to harm the president would be taken down because he is a head of state, but directions about how to snap a woman’s neck would be allowed to remain on the site because it is not “regarded as credible threats.”Related: Facebook Pledges to ‘Do Better’ After Posting of Murder VideoFor instances of animal abuse and graphic violence, those images and videos are also designated as disturbing, but are allowed if they are being used to educate and raise awareness, but they are not if there is an element of “sadism and celebration.” For images or photos pertaining to child abuse, that rule is also applied.According to the Guardian, moderators often have seconds to make a determination about how to characterize or whether to remove the content.It’s clear that Zuckerberg and his team have a daunting task in front of them, so Facebook’s rules will need to constantly evolve to meet the challenge. –shares Facebook Facebook’s Content Moderation Rules Are Both Careful and Shockinglast_img read more

New combinational drug therapy may effectively combat pancreatic cancer

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 5 2019Even among cancers, pancreatic cancer is an especially sinister form of disease. The one-year survival rate is extremely low, and treatment progress has lagged behind that of many other malignancies.A study published today in the journal Nature Medicine led by researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) at the University of Utah (U of U) describes a new therapeutic approach with potential for patients with pancreatic cancer. These researchers discovered a combination drug therapy that may effectively combat the disease. HCI researchers first observed anti-cancer impacts in a laboratory setting and, subsequently, in its first use in a human patient.The study has already progressed to a clinical trial that is now open at HCI and will soon be open at other sites in the United States. Details about the clinical trial, called THREAD, are available under National Clinical Trial Number 03825289. The combination therapy uses two drugs already approved for use by the Food and Drug Administration for other diseases, including cancer. The new drug combination is administered through pills taken orally.Pancreatic tumors are characterized by mutations in a gene called KRAS. When KRAS is mutated in this way, it sends constant signals that promote abnormal cell division and growth in cancer cells. As a result, tumors grow out of control. At the same time, like all cells, pancreatic cancer cells must recycle their components to provide building blocks for new growth in an essential cell function known as autophagy. Previous studies to combat pancreatic cancer that were focused either on the role of KRAS or on impacting autophagy were not effective.The new HCI study, using an approach that simultaneously targets both abnormal KRAS signaling and the autophagy process, shows a strong response in mouse models and may be a promising therapy for patients with pancreatic cancer. Conan Kinsey, MD, PhD, a physician-scientist at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Department of Internal Medicine at the U of U and Martin McMahon, PhD, a cancer researcher at HCI and Professor of Dermatology at the U of U, led the study.”We were able to observe that the combination of these two drugs – which, when used individually, don’t have much of an impact on the disease – appears to have a very potent impact on the growth of pancreatic cancer,” says McMahon. “We have observed this in the lab in petri dishes, then in mouse models, and now in a pancreatic cancer patient on a compassionate use basis. Indeed, we proceeded from a petri dish to a patient in less than two years – a timeline that is rarely seen in medical science.”Related StoriesNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryThe HCI-led research is bolstered by a separate study published in the same issue of the journal. This study outlines complementary findings regarding the effects of autophagy in pancreatic cancer in the laboratory setting and was led by Channing Der, PhD, Sarah Graham Kenan, PhD, and Kirsten Bryant, PhD, at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. McMahon and Der learned about the parallel nature of their research programs at a scientific meeting one year ago. Given the critical need for advances in pancreatic cancer therapies and the promise of their collective findings, they worked together to push their studies forward on a companion basis.”In our paper, we show the response of a pancreatic cancer patient who had received surgery and multiple lines of chemotherapy prior to this combination,” said Kinsey, who was also the patient’s physician. “This patient, who has since succumbed to the disease, nevertheless had a remarkable response to these drugs for several months. We need to carefully evaluate this new combination therapy in the context of clinical trials to better understand if good responses might be seen in multiple patients. We also need to identify the specific features of any patient who may benefit, before any recommendation can be made about use on a larger scale.”These preliminary findings are being rigorously scrutinized in clinical trials to observe and understand whether the combination of these drugs is safe and effective for pancreatic cancer patients. The trial is underway at HCI and is underway or planned at the University of California, San Francisco, and Columbia University in New York.Source: https://huntsmancancer.org/newsroom/2019/03/promising-new-pancreatic-cancer-treatment.phplast_img read more

Scientists teach neural network to identify a writers gender

Explore further This is a new development in the field of computational linguistics. The research was funded by a Russian Science Foundation grant. The findings were published in the Procedia Computer Science journal.Many scientific studies show that writing style can reflect certain characteristics of a writer – gender, physiological personality traits, and level of education. Speech patterns are a valuable psycho-diagnostic tool, and are often used by human resources professionals and security services. By analyzing a person’s speech, researchers can diagnose certain illnesses such as dementia and depression, and the person’s inclination toward suicidal behavior. The demand for identifying certain characteristics of a writer’s personality is increasing against the backdrop of the development of internet communications—companies want to know which demographics like their products and services.Using the numerical values for various parameters in a text, researchers in this area (linguists, psychologists, IT experts) have created mathematical models to identify certain traits in the writer’s personality. Using neural networks, the researchers analyzed the effectiveness of various machine-learning algorithms for text analysis.During the research, the scientists compared the accuracy of gender identification by text based on two types of data-driven modeling: first, machine-learning algorithms (such as a support vector machine and gradient boosting), and, second, a deep learning neural network (such as convolutional neural networks and the long short-term memory recurrent neural networks).”Using these advanced neural network models, we have achieved great results in identifying the gender of the writer based on text, under conditions in which the author is not attempting to hide his/her gender,” said Alexander Sboyev, assistant professor at MEPhI. “Our next step is to teach the neural network to identify the gender of a writer who is deliberately trying to hide it.”Thus, in the following texts, originally published on dating websites, the neural network easily identified the writer’s gender 10 out of 10 times, despite the fact that authors were free to sign their texts with a name typical of the opposite gender.This text was written by a female: “I am a handsome, fit 30-year-old man. I have a high-paying job at a large oil and gas company. I live in my own flat in Moscow, and also own a small but nice house in an Italian village. I am into sports, mainly football. I love going out on weekends, I can’t stand homebodies. My perfect girl would be modest and beautiful, and would have an attractive body, based on today’s standards. She would share my interests and would not be jealous or try to make me jealous. In the future, I do not plan to be the sole provider in a family, as I believe that when it comes to families, both men and women must earn the money. I would like to have separate budgets as well. I will not tolerate cheating.”This text was written by a male: “Hello! I am very angry, very! Why do you keep treating us like this?! We are people, too, all of us are equal! Are you sexist? I will not tolerate this anymore! I’m going to smash your car into pieces; I will spray paint all over it. You just wait, you monster. It sucks to be you.”This research indicated that the approach based on using convolutional neural networks and methods of deep learning to identify a writer’s gender, is the most optimal. The team of researchers is currently working on identifying a writer’s age. 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. A team of researchers from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI, the National Research Center Kurchatov Institute and the Voronezh State University has developed a new learning algorithm that allows a neural network to identify a writer’s gender by the written text on a computer with up to 80 percent accuracy. Citation: Scientists teach neural network to identify a writer’s gender (2018, April 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-scientists-neural-network-writer-gender.html Provided by National Research Nuclear University More information: Alexander Sboev et al. Deep Learning neural nets versus traditional machine learning in gender identification of authors of RusProfiling texts, Procedia Computer Science (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.procs.2018.01.065 Introducing Cloud Text-to-Speech service for developers read more

Donald makes annual list of worst passwords of the year

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. For the first time, ‘donald’ made software company SplashData’s annual list of the Top 100 worst passwords, coming in at No. 23.”Sorry, Mr. President, but this is not fake news—using your name or any common name as a password is a dangerous decision,” SplashData CEO Morgan Slain said in a statement. “Hackers have great success using celebrity names, terms from pop culture and sports, and simple keyboard patterns to break into accounts online because they know so many people are using those easy-to-remember combinations.”Several other common names, such as “william” (No. 96), “sophie” (No. 51) and “daniel” (No. 34), also appeared on the list.Topping off the list of terrible passwords were “123456789” at No. 3, “password” at No. 2 and “123456” at No. 1. This year marked the fifth-straight year that “123456” and “password” kept their top two spots on the list, SplashData said.SplashData compiled its list by evaluating over five million leaked passwords to determine which passwords were used the most. The company estimates 10 percent of people have used at least one of the 25 worst passwords on this year’s list, with roughly 3 percent using the worst password, “123456.”Below is a list of the top 25 worst passwords of 2018. SplashData’s entire list is on their site.Top 25 worst passwords of 20181. 1234562. password3. 1234567894. 123456785. 123456. 1111117. 12345678. sunshine9. qwerty10. iloveyou11. princess12. admin13. welcome14. 66666615. abc12316. football17. 12312318. monkey19. 65432120. !@#$%^&*21. charlie22. aa12345623. donald24. password125. qwerty123 Citation: ‘Donald’ makes annual list of worst passwords of the year (2018, December 16) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-donald-annual-worst-passwords-year.html Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img (c)2018 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Want a strong online password to protect your personal information? You should probably avoid drawing inspiration from President Donald Trump. ‘Password’ no longer the Internet’s worst passwordlast_img read more

This Common Sugar Substitute Can Be Deadly for Dogs FDA Warns

first_imgYou should always be careful about what you let your dog eat — case in point, a common sugar substitute found in everything from chewing gum to peanut butter can be deadly for man’s best friend, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This week, the FDA warned pet owners about the dangers of xylitol, a type of sugar alcohol that is sometimes found in sugar-free foods. Although the substance is safe for humans, it can be poisonous for dogs. Over the last several years, the agency has received reports of dogs being poisoned by eating foods that contain xylitol. Many of the poisonings occurred when dogs ate sugar-free gum, the FDA said. But xylitol can also be found in other food or consumer products, including sugar-free candy, breath mints, baked goods, sugar-free (or “skinny”) ice cream, toothpaste, cough syrup, and some peanut and nut butters. [These 7 Foods Cause the Most Pet Deaths]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65921-sugar-substitute-xylitol-deadly-dogs.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  When dogs eat xylitol, it is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream and causes a rapid release of insulin, the hormone that helps sugar enter cells. This insulin spike may cause dogs’ blood sugar levels to plummet to life-threatening levels, a condition known as hypoglycemia, the FDA said. In humans, xylitol isn’t dangerous, because it does not stimulate the release of insulin. Signs of xylitol poisoning in dogs — including vomiting, weakness, difficulty walking or standing, seizures, and coma — typically occur within 15 to 30 minutes of consumption, and deaths have occurred in as little as 1 hour, the FDA said. To protect your dog, the FDA recommends checking food labels for xylitol, particularly if the product is advertised as sugar-free or low sugar, said Martine Hartogensis, a veterinarian at the FDA. “If a product does contain xylitol, make sure your pet can’t get to it,” Hartogensis said in a statement. This also applies to products you might not think of as food, such as toothpaste, which your dog might still attempt to eat. And if you give your dog peanut or nut butters as a treat or vehicle for pills, you should also check the label to make sure the product doesn’t contain xylitol, the agency said. 20 Weird Dog and Cat Behaviors Explained by Science 11 Ways Your Beloved Pet May Make You Sick 7 Surprising Health Benefits of Dog Ownership Originally published on Live Science.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoArticles VallyDad Cuts Daughter’s Hair Off For Getting Birthday Highlights, Then Mom Does The UnthinkableArticles VallyUndoNucificTop Dr. Reveals The 1 Nutrient Your Gut Must HaveNucificUndoComparisons.orgCalifornia Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Must Read ThisComparisons.orglast_img read more