One of the cooler TED talks that we’ve heard in some time was made available yesterday. In it Area/Code’s Kevin Slavin talks about algorithms and how they affect our lives, from the extreme (like breaking jet stealth) to the mundane. It’s an interesting talk and more than worth the 15 minutes it’ll take to watch it.The crux of Slavin’s talk has to do with how algorithms, despite being hidden behind robots, online storefronts, and any matter of other things, are playing a major role in our everyday lives. He talks about how two algorithms can instruct cleaning robots to vacuums our homes in different patterns (see below) and how conflicting algorithms can lead to outcomes that a level-headed human would understand to be ridiculous, like Amazon’s famously overpriced book about flies. Algorithms can make our lives better by recommending the right movies, (nearly) cause financial ruin as was the case in the Flash Crash, and totally freak us out when we learn that our elevator travel is optimized for machines instead of people.As interesting as the talk is, it does end on a slightly disturbing note. The speed and intelligence of algorithms, as well as their growing importance, means optimization is key. That sounds completely logical, until it leads to Manhattan buildings being hollowed out so company servers can be closer to a datacenter or 800 mile ditch being dug from New York City to Chicago so a fiber optic cable move data slightly quicker than current means. The same financial incentive of optimization will lead to servers in our oceans thanks to that being the best possible spot for them.As a primer on algorithms and what they do, this talk is great. The shift of tone at the end is open to interpretation as Slavin’s focus on algorithmic trading does seem to bring out the worst in the technology. It’s clearly not his goal, but highlighting financial uses–the pinacle of algorithms in their black box form–does make things seem both more scary and impenetrable than they really are. His title “How algorithms shape our world” and the closing note about near-terraforming the planet seems a bit problematic but doesn’t take away from the talk as a whole.Kevin Slavin is the co-founder of gaming company Area/Code. They’ve developed a number of different games, including the iOS hit Drop7.
When a power user approaches me and asks me what kind of computer to get, I typically tell them they would be happier building their own. There are plenty of companies now that will allow you to custom build your own machine, it would just make sense for someone who wants a super machine to just put the bits in they want. Laptops cross my desk pretty frequently, and while many of them are great machines they still do not usually affect this notion. Recently HP sent over their DV7t laptop, and, in the hopes that I would change my mind, I tested it out.HardwareThe advantage of a desktop replacement laptop is all the goodies you can stick inside it, especially when it’s based on a 17.3-inch 1080p BrightView Infinity LCD. The version of the DV7t that we took a look at had a 2.2Ghz Intel core i7-2670QM capable of “Turbo Boosting” to 3.1Ghz. The 6GB of RAM that came with this unit seemed more than enough, though the DV7t is capable of holding 16GB. There’s two HDD slots in this machine, this model has a 160GB SSD in one slot and a 500GB HDD in the second. The built-in Intel graphics is complimented by the ability to switch to the more powerful 1GB Radeon HD 6770M discrete card when you want to play some games or output HDMI to a TV or second monitor.One of the many laptops with Beats by Dre on board, the DV7t also has a subwoofer on the bottom on the laptop. A full-sized keyboard and a fingerprint scanner sit in front of the ample touchpad, and an HD webcam is above the display. These are not specs to scoff at, especially when you consider just how much you can add to this machine on your own.The 6-cell battery is very easy to remove with a slide lock mechanism on the bottom of the device, but interestingly if you slide that mechanism the other way the panel hiding the RAM, HDD, system battery and WiFi card just pops right off. This no-screws access is a great add to this design, just slide to the left to pop the battery out and slide to the right to pop out the hardware plate. Everything snaps back into place very easily. Despite the ease of access, the DV7t feels completely solid across the bottom of the device when the panel is in place.ExperienceWindows 7 boots in less than 10 seconds when powered by a Core i7 and a solid state drive, making the entire experience — when it comes to navigating Windows — a smooth one. Power management for this laptop includes the ability to switch to the lower powered video solution when you are running on battery power. Using the integrated graphics card you will gain about an hour on the four hours you would get from the Radeon, and unless you are playing games the difference in the graphics is really not noticeable. Switching from one card to the other when in the middle of an application is not recommended, but I found that unless you are video chatting or playing games your experience is only affected for a moment while the screen goes dark to facilitate the switch. Games and video chat services will obviously crash during the switch.The fingerprint scanner on the DV7t comes with a few extra tricks up its sleeve, doubling as an application or task launcher. You can unlock your DV7t with your finger if you choose to, but you can also program each of your fingers to separate commands that will launch when you run that finger across the scanner while the laptop is unlocked. The placement of the scanner, for example, makes it convenient to open a new tab in Chrome by sliding my right pinky finger across it instead of hitting Alt-t. You have to train each finger command, but if you choose to use the feature it’s pretty accurate.The touchpad on the DV7t is just like every other HP touchpad I have used in the last year. It’s very responsive for single finger tasks, but the response when you attempt two-finger scrolling or pinch to zoom is abysmal. On many occasions, placing two fingers on the pad and moving even slightly will send the scroll bar flying to the bottom of the screen.HP’s CoolSense software is also onboard, where the fans adjust to your movement and how you operate the laptop. This is one of the nicer innovations by HP in the last year where it keeps the laptop from sounding like there’s a jet plane about to take off in my office, but still keeps the laptop cool even under significant stress.When you are doing anything at all with sound, you will notice that this laptop is not exactly the same as other laptops you have used in the past. The addition of the Triple Reflex Sub and the Beats by Dre software make a significant difference, especially when you are surrounded by freaks in RAGE.Final ThoughtsThere is a lot of potential in the HP DV7t. The easy access to hardware was really impressive to me, and the whole experience with the machine was very positive. The DV7t comes in a few different bundles, or you can customize your own. The build that we reviewed here weighs in at $1,188, but there are much cheaper options of this same kit if you don’t think you need all of the bells and whistles or if you’d prefer to put your own hardware inside.On the Intel graphics card, I got just about five hours of normal use, which is close to an hour longer than I got with the Radeon card on doing the same things. I think the DV7t fits much closer to the desktop replacement laptop experience, but it would also make a great secondary machine for any gamers interested in bringing their rig to a LAN party.hp dv7t laptop 0001hp dv7t laptop 0001hp dv7t laptop 009hp dv7t laptop 007hp dv7t laptop 006hp dv7t laptop 005hp dv7t laptop 003hp dv7t laptop 004hp dv7t laptop 002hp dv7t laptop 001
Keen Google observers have found that the company is using ReCaptcha to get users to confirm the names of streets and the numbers on builds within Google Map’s Street View. It’s a clever project that combines Google assets in order to provide the company with tremendous amounts of accurate, human-approved data.As a reader of Geek.com, you probably know that computers are really good at some things and not very good at other things. For example, they’re great at math — you can practice for your entire life and you’ll never be able to handle the 1200 calculations per second (FLOPS) that Intel’s 4004 could do. And, by the way, the processor was made in 1971 and things have gotten a little bit better since then. Don’t worry, humans are good at some things too. One of these is visual pattern recognition. It’s really difficult for a computer to recognize a face or to sort through an image and pick out the numbers. They can do it, but not yet with the efficiency or accuracy of even the most average human.Knowing this, and having a large pool of humans available to jump through their hoops, Google can use captchas to identify the words and numbers in a huge volume of images. Just such a volume exists in Google Maps, where Street View has a tremendous number of business names that need to be deciphered, street signs to be spelled out, and house numbers to be identified.Back in 2009 Google acquired ReCaptcha, a service that was designed to have humans digitize text while stopping spammers. The service provides two strings to people — one control and one unknown — which they have to spell out. The challenge prevents bots from using services meant for humans and by using one string that’s unknown to the system it’s able to digitize printed works one word at a time (or pull text data from images).By using ReCaptcha to identify character strings found in the world Google will be able to make Maps more accurate and possibly extend search to real world things. Right now they seem to be focused on house numbers but it could easily be extended to all sorts of other words and numbers that exist within the Street View image catalog.via TechCrunch[image credit]
In order to make sure that their servers are properly configured for launch day, Blizzard needed to open the flood gates completely and allow the entire world to peek into the nightmare world they have been creating for us with Diablo III. As a long time fan of the Diablo franchise, and a player that sacrificed more hours than I am willing to admit on Battle.net, the ability to really dig in and get a feel for the game was very exciting.As promised, at 12 PM PDT on Friday the login page for Diablo III opened up and allowed scores of users from around the world to try the game out, and give the Blizzard staff an idea of how many users each server could handle. Now that the open beta is closed, we wait the seemingly impossibly long wait for the game to be fully released and reminisce the good times on the battlefield.The world of Diablo IIIDiablo III has had a controversial past. In 2008, when the original screens of the game were shown to the world, many fans reacted poorly to the in-game graphics. Many felt that the grim look of the game had been replaced with better lighting, vibrant colors, and even (gasp) rainbows. It didn’t take long for the Art Director to quit, followed immediately by promises from Blizzard that the game would remain the same as it had been. After playing through the entirety of the open beta with all five of the characters offered in the game, I can tell you that I did not spot a single rainbow.Since most of the first act happens in catacombs and a cathedral with a gaping hole in it, at night, I didn’t expect rainbows though. Despite being in a dreary little death town, I found no shortage of vibrant colors. Even the “fallen star” crater was an electric blue. Blizzard did a great job taking the dark things and making them dark, but also introducing plenty of color where it was appropriate. Visually, the game was very well done.The voice acting in this beginning part of Diablo III was absolutely confusing. The Wizard, as voiced by Crispin Freeman, sounds really great throughout the game. The Barbarian and the Witch Doctor both sound horribly stereotypical, in both their male and female counterparts, and seemed to lack the personality found in the Wizard character. The voice of Decard Cain has clearly degraded with his age, turning him into a frail old man that is unlikely to survive the next gust of wind. Each of villagers had a clearly different sound, even if they weren’t different actors. This hit or miss experience in the game was strange, but since you aren’t likely to interact with any one character in the game for very long, it probably wasn’t a huge point of interest for Blizzard.Blizzard does something a little different in the first act, something I haven’t seem in the previous Diablo games. In the beginning of the game, you are pretty specifically guided through the first series of interactions. As if the large golden exclamations weren’t enough, you need to complete these interactions, and even a mission or two, before in-game road blocks are removed for you to explore the game. This removes the early ability to go an force your way through a few level ups to make the missions easier, a tactic that is made wholly unnecessary in the beginning of Diablo III.GameplayIn keeping with the Diablo series, you pick a character, choose a gender, and are thrust in the game. Each character has a health bubble and a “skill” bubble. To make things interesting, the Witch Doctor is the only character that uses mana as we knew it from previous games. The Wizard uses Arcane Power, which is different from mana in that you have a fixed amount of Arcane Power that never increases as you level up. Arcane power refills at an incredibly fast rate, however, which creates a very different gameplay mechanic for the Wizard. The Barbarian has a Rage meter that fills as he fights, and allows him to unleash significantly stronger attacks when he has enough of it. If you are not dealing damage, the Rage meter goes down slowly.Aside from your attacks that require your skill bubble to have some juice in it, each character has a selection of defensive and offensive maneuvers that have a cooldown time that must be reached before you can use them again. By the time you reach level 10, the gameplay switches from a monotonous clickfest to a strategic dance between your skills and your abilities.Each of the attacks and skills have a rune power that can be added to them to increase their effectiveness, or to add functionality. While you are unable to see this in the open beta, the layout creates a system where you can build a character around techniques that you find the most beneficial to your playing style. The added depth here will make PvP fights much more interesting, and in general will create more rounded characters for the rest of the game.Like every other Diablo game, the items you pick up in your conquests will be much better than anything you buy in the shops, which really just become places for you to sell the things you don’t want. As you pick up new items, your inventory will make you aware that you have an item that is either better than an item you currently have equipped, or if you have picked up an item that fits an equipment slot you have yet to fill. So far in the game we’ve seen no signs of the dreaded socket system from past games, but there is a crafting area that allows you to forge better items. You’ll wind up spending lots of gold in order to make crafting fun, which isn’t easy to do in the beta. Crafting will likely not be something most players even consider doing until after level 10.It will be really interesting to see how the “real money marketplace” works out in the game, but it seems like the crafting ability in game will be a useful skill for anyone hoping to take advantage of that system. Since neither PvP nor the marketplace were offered up in the beta, there’s not as much known about how that will work out.There’s been a lot of negativity in the gaming community about Diablo III forcing users to remain online, even when you are flying solo. In exchange for your ability to play offline, Blizzard has given us what I consider to be one of the most flawless systems of multiplayer co-op I have had the pleasure of experiencing. Like all multiplayer games, you have a friends list. If you decide to join a friend, or group of friends in the game, you are presented with their battle banner in the main town of the act. Click on the banner, and you are immediately teleported to their location, where you can immediately join the fight. Loot shows up for both users, giving the same amount of cash and prized to each person, and the difficulty of the game increases appropriately for each user you add. It was quick, painless, and immediately made the game more fun to play. I can’t imagine a better way for Blizzard to have implemented this.Final ThoughtsI was very impressed with what Blizzard has shown us in the Diablo III open beta, though it was far from a perfect experience. I was told by a Blizzard insider that the game was made intentionally easy for the beta, and to expect a greater difficulty in the full game. Any server glitches that I experienced in this open beta — and boy were there a ton of them — I will happily chalk up to the Blizzard team adapting on the fly to the scores of users that descended upon their latest project.Ultimately, Diablo III gave me exactly what I asked for — Blizzard took their years of experience in fine-tuning games like World of Warcraft and used it to evolve one of my top games of all time. After this weekend, I have complete confidence that Diablo III will be my next favorite PC game.
It hasn’t been all that long since Asus started shipping the original PadFone, but the company clearly wasn’t satisfied with its first effort. Today, Asus unveiled the PadFone 2 just six months after its progenitor went on sale in Taiwan.Thanks to all the leaks that cropped up in the days leading up to the launch, we already had a pretty good picture of what the PadFone 2 was bringing to the tablet. The processor has indeed been bumped to a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro clocked at 1.5GHz, which sits alongside 2GB of RAM and 16, 32, or 64GB of internal storage. An Adreno 320 GPU provides the graphical muscle, and it’s shooting visuals to an expansive 4.7-inch Super IPS+ display that utilizes Sharp’s IGZO tech and offers a native resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels (for a density of around 312ppi). It’s also protected by a layer of Gorilla Glass and given a wash with an anti-fingerprint coating.On the back of the PadFone 2 you’ll find a 13MP camera with a f/2.4 BSI sensor provided by the imaging group at Sony — and possibly the very same sensor found in the company’s own Xperia T. On the connectivity front, Asus has included 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi (with Wi-Fi direct support), Bluetooth 4.0, and NFC. The PadFone 2 is also ready for use on loads of mobile networks, with CDMA, GSM, HSPA+, and LTE radios all at the ready.As for the new PadFone Station (Asus’ name for the tablet dock), it’s shed a few grams and millimeters and ditched the door that covered the original PadFone. Some of the sharpness is lost in the the transition to the big screen, as Asus has opted for a rather ho-hum (by today’s standards) 1280 x 720 10.1 inch display — but at least it’s got the same Gorilla Glass/fingerprint repellent combination on top. The Station does provide an additional 5000mAh of juice and antennas to help boost reception while the phone is docked, and a 1MP front-facing camera to fill in for the one on the phone that gets covered up.So how much is the PadFone 2 going to cost? In Taiwan, the phone itself starts around NT$17,990 (around $620) and the PadFone and Station combo will go for NT$23,990 (which converts to around $820). It’s also going on sale in Europe, though Asus hasn’t revealed whether or not the PadFone 2 will make it all the way stateside yet.More at Engadget
If your wireless bill is too complicated, or you’ve just become so accustomed to the Internet that you can’t possibly pay attention to something that isn’t video content, AT&T is offering a new service where it turns your bill into a personalized video.In an attempt to help you better understand your charges, the video is automatically generated — complete with animation and voice narration — and tailored to your specific bill. AT&T stresses that the video is not simply a “generic overview” of the bill, but a detailed line-by-line “visual and audio tour” of the charges.Customers can access their bills by either logging into their myAT&T account, or by having the video emailed directly. A few weeks ago, A&T launched the program for thousands of Mountain Time Zone customers, and plans to expand the service nationwide in 2013.The idea actually didn’t originate from AT&T, but rather from a company named SundaySky, which presented the idea to AT&T executives through an AT&T Foundry pitch session. Working with AT&T’s Information Technology group, the service was able to be deployed within twelve months.AT&T is also touting the service as the first video bill option provided by a wireless carrier in the US, however, that’s not necessarily the biggest boast when the service is literally your monthly bill turned into a video. It does seem helpful for someone encountering their bill for the first time, but after the video teaches someone how to navigate and understand the charges, it seems much easier to simply navigate the non-video version.via AT&T Innovation Space
Wednesday 26 Oct 2016, 11:01 PM Oct 26th 2016, 11:01 PM No Comments By Cliodhna Russell Share1 Tweet Email http://jrnl.ie/3048469 Short URL 11,250 Views Two men due in court and one man released after €2.7 million drugs bust One of the men is being charged with unconnected offences. TWO MEN ARE due before court and another man has been released without charge after drugs were found in a number of cars in Meath yesterday.A 58-year-old man has been charged in connection with the seizure of around €2.7 million worth of cannabis herb in Ashbourne yesterday.He’s due to appear before Trim District court at 10.30am tomorrow morning.A second man, 41, who was arrested as part of the same operation, was charged with unconnected offences.He will also appear before Trim District Court at 10.30am tomorrow.A third man was released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP.Gardaí say the operation was part of investigations targeting organised crime in the Dublin and Meath regions.Read: Daly accuses Judge of singling her out and wasting garda time by issuing bench warrant> Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images What many people don’t understand, or don’t want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 22, 2018 Share242 Tweet Email1 16,818 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Source: Donald J. Trump/Twitter Feb 22nd 2018, 3:36 PM Trump tweets support for NRA – but backs raising gun possession age to 21 He made the comments on Twitter. The current federal minimum age for buying or possessing handguns is 21, but the limit is 18 for rifles including assault-type weapons such as the AR-15 used by a former student in last week’s attack on a Florida high school that killed 17 students and staff members.A White House official said the president was not endorsing or ruling out any specific policy.Trump also said he will be meeting with lawmakers today to discuss school safety, and that next year he will meet with governors on the issue.In another tweet, Trump repeated his urgent call for trained teachers or others in schools to carry guns as a deterrent to attacks.“If a potential ‘sicko shooter’ knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!” Trump tweeted.He has previously expressed an interest in efforts to strengthen the federal background check system. It was not clear if he would back closing loopholes that permit loose private sales on the internet and at gun shows.NRAYesterday, the National Rifle Associated quickly rejected any talk of raising the age for buying long guns to 21.“Legislative proposals that prevent law-abiding adults aged 18-20 years old from acquiring rifles and shotguns effectively prohibits them for purchasing any firearm, thus depriving them of their constitutional right to self-protection,” the group said in a statement.In a speech today, the NRA head Wayne LaPierre said that the NRA wants armed guards outside schools – and would fund them.Speaking to US conservatives, he said that gun control advocates “hate the NRA, hate the Second Amendment, they hate individual freedom”. He also said that the elites don’t care about children and that if they did, “they would protect them”.“They care more about control,” he said, saying that in wanting to eradicate second amendment freedoms, they want to eradicate all individual freedoms.Yesterday, Trump listened intently at the White House as students described the horror of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida. The students and their parents appealed to him to press for stricter gun controls.“I turned 18 the day after” the shooting, said tearful student Samuel Zeif. “Woke up to the news that my best friend was gone. And I don’t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war. An AR. How is it that easy to buy this type of weapon? How do we not stop this after Columbine? After Sandy Hook?”Trump promised to be “very strong on background checks.” And he indicated he supported allowing some teachers and other school employees to carry concealed weapons to be ready for intruders.Gun violenceThe president had invited the teen survivors of school violence and parents of murdered children in a show of his resolve against gun violence in the wake of last week’s shootings in Florida and in past years at schools in Connecticut and Colorado.Trump asked his guests to suggest solutions and solicited feedback. He did not fully endorse any specific policy solution, but pledged to take action and expressed interest in widely differing approaches.Besides considering concealed carrying of weapons by trained school employees, a concept he has endorsed in the past, he said he planned to go “very strongly into age, age of purchase.” And he said he was committed to improving background checks and working on mental health.Most in the group were emotional but quiet and polite.But Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed last week, noted the previous school massacres and raged over his loss, saying this moment isn’t about gun laws but about fixing the schools.“It should have been one school shooting and we should have fixed it and I’m pissed. Because my daughter, I’m not going to see again,” said Pollack. “King David Cemetery, that is where I go to see my kid now.”Trump embraced gun rights during his presidential campaign, though he supported some gun control before he became a candidate.- Additional reporting Aoife BarryRead: Here is what Trump’s notes for meeting with shooting survivors said> Short URL Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images By Associated Press 81 Comments Thursday 22 Feb 2018, 3:36 PM PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP endorsed stricter gun-control measures today, including raising the minimum age to 21 for possessing a broader range of weapons than at present.He tweeted his strongest stance as president one day after an emotional White House session where students and parents poured out wrenching tales of lost lives and pleaded for action.Trump said on Twitter: “I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health. Raise age to 21 and end sale of Bump Stocks!”Shortly afterwards, he tweeted his support for the National Rifle Association, saying: https://jrnl.ie/3866521
Wednesday 19 Apr 2017, 9:05 AM Apr 19th 2017, 9:05 AM By Paul Hosford Gardaí still don’t know the identity of the man whose body was found on a Bray beach The man’s body was found on 27 March, but remains unidentified. 7 Comments Image: Garda Press Office http://jrnl.ie/3346495 Image: Garda Press Office 31,625 Views Short URL GARDAÍ IN BRAY have renewed their appeal for help identifying a man whose body was found on a beach in the town.The man’s body was found on 27 March, but remains unidentified.He is described as being white, in his early 40s and 6’1″. Gardaí estimate he weighed around nine and a half stone.He has blue eyes, is of very slim build with dark brown hair greying around the temple.He was wearing a green and brown camouflage jacket; blue jeans and black runner boots. He was found with a brown and green camouflage rucksack. Source: Garda Press OfficeA pair of glasses was also found, along with a Spike Milligan book.Anyone with any information is asked to contact Bray Garda Station on 01-6665300, The Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.Read: Dublin is getting a new air route – and a new way to fly to Australia Share Tweet Email Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
EVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the stories you need to know as you start your day.1. #DISCIPLINARY: Garda whistleblower Superintendent David Taylor was sent a letter yesterday informing him an internal disciplinary investigation into his case is still underway, after the DPP last month said it would not be pressing any charges. 2. #TUAM BABIES: Catherine Corless – who was instrumental in uncovering the mass child grave at Tuam – received a standing ovation on the Late Late Show last night.3. #FAMINE: The UN has warned that the world faces the worst humanitarian crisis since 1945 as famine looms in a number of countries.4. #TRAVEL BAN: A federal judge in the US has refused to rule on Trump’s latest travel ban.5. #PATRICK’S DAY: St Patrick’s Day parade organisers in Boston have reversed a decision not to allow a group of gay army veterans to march (AFP).6. #INJURED: A cyclist was seriously injured in an incident in Blessington yesterday.7. #BREXIT: Enda Kenny has expressed his impatience with the British government over the lack of clarity on its future relationship with the EU, RTÉ reports.8. #ATTACK: A married man accused of killing a woman he had an affair with broke down and told gardaí he had beaten her with a hammer, a court heard yesterday.9. #FRAUD: AXA Insurance has said it is investigating “organised rings” of people staging car crashes around the country, with potential claims of €3 million in two counties, the Irish Examiner reports. Mar 11th 2017, 8:49 AM Saturday 11 Mar 2017, 8:49 AM Image: Shutterstock/Eva Daren 9,512 Views Image: Shutterstock/Eva Daren By Cormac Fitzgerald Share Tweet Email http://jrnl.ie/3282581 1 Comment Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article The 9 at 9: Saturday Here’s everything you need to know as the weekend gets underway.
Share508 Tweet Email2 Thursday 23 Mar 2017, 4:55 PM Updated 4.55pmPETER O’MAHONY’S LINEOUT skills have been heavily pointed to as the reason he must be an Ireland starter moving forward from last weekend’s win over England in the Six Nations.That argument is certainly important and there is no back row jumper like O’Mahony in this country, but his contributions to the game are not limited solely to the set-piece. O’Mahony with his daughter after the England game. Source: Inpho/Billy SticklandThe Munster man is a good ball carrier, with his footwork often meaning he doesn’t get smashed in circumstances where others might. He is mobile and athletic over the ground, while his handling skills could be a crucial point of difference.Ireland have been increasingly playing an expansive game featuring lots of attempts to hit wide channels under Joe Schmidt since the 2015 World Cup, and O’Mahony possesses the decision-making and technical skills to greatly add to that philosophy.He made four passes against England last weekend in wet weather, but has contributed much higher totals in the past for Ireland – go back to the Canada game at RWC15 and O’Mahony made 11 passes to his 10 carries.The Cork native is an excellent ruck artist too, almost always finding a solution to clear a body away in attack – one of his primary roles with Munster – and also possessing the ability to jackal over the ball and win turnovers. His defensive work rate is high too.But one of the most crucial parts of O’Mahony’s make-up is his leadership.They say first impressions last and that is certainly the case for this writer, who first came across O’Mahony at an underage Munster skills screening session as a 17-year-old, when O’Mahony was still 16.Even then, he was barking out orders and demanding perfection in the execution of basic passing drills. Unhappy with the delivery from the first receivers, O’Mahony moved himself into the out-half slot and showed everyone how to do it. O’Mahony’s handling skills are a real strength. Source: Inpho/Billy SticklandWhile it may not have gone down well with the shamefully unprofessionally-minded of some of the others present, it left an impression that was only furthered by seeing O’Mahony’s relentlessness over the course of his early academy years with Munster.A week-long training camp in Spala, Poland was physically shattering, with two weights sessions, two pitch sessions and two cryotherapy sessions each day. While many flagged at the demands, O’Mahony kept the group motoring, always demanding the highest level of application possible.And things have never changed in terms of O’Mahony’s leadership, his demands on those around him.As soon as he was involved in Munster’s senior set-up, the likes of Paul O’Connell spoke about being happily taken aback by the youngster’s maturity and habit of speaking up when he felt something needed to be said.O’Mahony acted like a captain from day one and it was no surprise for him to be made the official leader in 2013, replacing Doug Howlett.Injuries haven’t been kind to O’Mahony in recent times, but he has been a leader for Ireland on many occasions, actually captaining the side on the North America tour of 2013.We should not forget that he was almost ever-present for Ireland’s back-to-back Six Nations titles under Schmidt in 2014 and 2015.O’Mahony delivered a quite incredible performance full of leadership at the 2015 World Cup against France, before suffering the ruptured ACL that would keep him out for a year in the second half of that game. O’Mahony hugs Simon Zebo after the win last weekend. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHOFinally reinstated to Ireland’s starting team against a Tier 1 nation for the first time since that France clash, O’Mahony stepped straight into the leadership group last weekend against England.There were many moments – including incidences where he showed English players that Ireland wouldn’t be intimated or pushed around – but one in the second half stands out above the rest in underlining O’Mahony’s leadership.It’s the 43rd minute and, trailing 10-3, England are desperate to get an early score after the break.Mike Brown returns an Ireland kick and carries at Sean O’Brien, who tackles the English fullback but takes an apparent blow to the shoulder as Rory Best looks to assist in the tackle.O’Brien is obviously in pain and stays down on the ground, meaning that Ireland’s defensive line is suddenly one body down.O’Mahony is nearby, however, and he places the same demands on O’Brien that he has always placed on others and would expect of himself.The sideline microphone picks up his communication with O’Brien.“Seanie, we need you. Up! Up!”There’s a beckoning with the arm to go along with the six words, and that’s all O’Brien needs.Despite being in pain, O’Brien reacts instantly, pushing himself up off the turf and re-joining the Irish defensive line, with O’Mahony ordering him into position.It’s a tiny moment in a game full of them and this kind of communication to team-mates when defending is not new, but O’Mahony is the kind of character who constantly, constantly demands work rate.There are other similar personalities in this Ireland team, of course, and O’Brien is one of those who is always audible on the ref mic, encouraging and demanding, but O’Mahony has the force of will that others rarely fail to respond to.It seems obvious that 27-year-old O’Mahony is one of the strongest candidates to be the next Ireland captain and if he is unfortunate enough to miss out on the Lions tour this summer, he is a certainty to lead the tour of the US and Japan under Schmidt.O’Mahony himself would say he is still moving back towards his athletic peak since returning from that awful ACL injury, but his leadership credentials have never dimmed.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! A little moment that underlines Peter O’Mahony’s leadership credentials The Munster back row is a strong candidate to be the next Ireland captain. 61,651 Views https://the42.ie/3302084 Follow us: the42.ie Australian rugby to trial more stringent ‘blue card’ system for concussionIreland plans to engage its huge diaspora as part of 2023 World Cup bid 81 Comments By Murray Kinsella Mar 23rd 2017, 4:55 PM Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article
Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Shutterstock/Review News Zelensky stock photo Image: Shutterstock/Review News Apr 18th 2019, 10:35 PM By AFP 40 Comments Share Tweet Email Incumbent Ukrainian president pleads for support as comedian looks set to win the presidency In a televised address the incumbent pleaded with voters to support him. A COMEDIAN AND actor looks set to become the next president of Ukraine after topping the polls, leaving the incumbent making a televised plea for public votes. Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko begged for forgiveness and a second chance today as polls showed him being defeat three days ahead of a presidential vote.In a televised address, Poroshenko pleaded with voters to support him over Volodymyr Zelensky, a comedian with no political experience who has surged ahead in the polls.“I once again ask you to forgive me. What did not work out hurts the most,” Poroshenko said.Polls show Zelensky, a 41-year-old stand up comic and television star, sailing to victory in Sunday’s second-round vote. The latest survey on Thursday showed him winning 73% of the vote against only 27% for Poroshenko.His rise has stunned Ukraine’s political elite, who have struggled to revive the economy, root out corruption and put an end to a war with Moscow-backed separatists in the country’s east.Poroshenko, has cast himself as the only Ukrainian politician who can take on Russia’s Vladimir Putin and settle the war, which has claimed 13,000 lives.ConflictHe said because of the conflict with Russia it would be “very risky to experiment with the post of the president and commander-in-chief”.He also warned that Ukraine risked defaulting on its debt after a Kiev court ruled that his government’s 2016 decision to nationalise the country’s biggest lender was illegal.Poroshenko said a default would mean “tens of millions” of people would lose their money and suggested the ruling was linked with Zelensky’s campaign. He called an emergency meeting of his security council, while Kiev’s international partners including the EU, Washington and the World Bank said in coordinated statements they were closely monitoring the situation.Ukraine’s government has spent billions on recapitalising the lender to cover the losses caused by the withdrawal of money from the bank and poorly-secured loans.Supporters credit Poroshenko, who took power in 2014 after a popular uprising ousted a Kremlin-backed leader, with implementing important economic reforms, rebuilding the army, securing an Orthodox Church independent of Russia and winning visa-free travel to Europe.Zelensky, however, has seized on continued economic hardship and corruption, as well as his popularity as the star of sitcom Servant of the People, where he plays a school teacher who becomes a president.A presidential debate scheduled in a 70,000-seat arena tomorrow – the first and only one of the presidential campaign. “Preparations for the debate are in full swing. You will see the results tomorrow,” a Zelensky spokeswoman said. Thursday 18 Apr 2019, 10:35 PM 20,831 Views https://jrnl.ie/4599589 Short URL Zelensky stock photo
Share23803 Tweet Email6 Ivan Duque (5th L), President of Colombia, speaks during a meeting with Evo Morales (4th L), President of Bolivia, Lenin Moreno (R), President of Ecuador, Ernesto Araujo (3rd R), Foreign Minister of Brazil, and members of the indigenous community and other representatives of the Amazon countries on environmental and development policy. Source: DPA/PA ImagesPRESIDENTS AND MINISTERS from seven Amazon countries have met in Colombia to agree on measures to protect the world’s biggest rainforest, under threat from wildfires and rampant deforestation.The summit took place in the wake of an international outcry over months of raging fires that have devastated swaths of the Amazon in Brazil and Bolivia.The gathering aimed “to foster a space for regional dialogue to advance the protection and sustainable use of this region, which is essential for the survival of the planet,” Colombia’s President Ivan Duque said.Duque inaugurated the meeting in a “maloka” – an indigenous hut – surrounded by members of the Tikuna tribe with headdresses of coloured feathers in southern Colombia’s Amazon city of Leticia.Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro, widely criticized over policies that favour deforestation and a delayed reaction to the wildfires, did not travel to Leticia, citing doctors’ orders.However, speaking by videoconference, he urged other leaders to resist calls, spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron, to internationalise protection of the Amazon.“We must take a strong position of defence of sovereignty so that each country can develop the best policy for the Amazon region, and not leave it in the hands of other countries,” said Bolsonaro, who is due to undergo surgery Sunday. Representatives of the Huitoto and Ticuna indigenous communities. Source: Fernando VergaraProtection pact Seated at a long wooden table in the shade of tall trees, the representatives of the seven nations signed the Leticia Pact for the Amazon that Duque said would provide greater protection for the rainforest, as existing treaties had “fallen short.” The pact establishes a roadmap for safeguarding the rainforest “not only for the Amazon countries but also for the nations of the region and the international community,” he said.Colombia’s Environment Minister Ricardo Lozano said the new measures include the establishment of an “Amazonian cooperation network” to share information on deforestation, including weather data to mitigate the effects of climate change, and threats from illegal mining and logging.“We needed to increase and strengthen the cooperation between us, precisely to meet the great challenges of the Amazon, which are becoming more extreme and more intense every day,” he told reporters in Leticia.Aside from the host Duque, other presidents attending were Peru’s Martin Vizcarra, Ecuador’s Lenin Moreno and Evo Morales of Bolivia. Suriname’s vice-president Michael Adhin and Guyana’s natural resources minister Raphael Trotman also attended.Brazil was represented by Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo.“We have to give concrete answers,” Vizcarra told the conference. “The dimension of the problem forces us to make drastic decisions.” Colombia’s President Ivan Duque speaks to reporters, flanked by Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra, left, and Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno. Source: Fernando Vergara/AP/Press Association ImagesNew instruments In a message to the summit, UNESCO director general Audrey Azoulay called on leaders to “reinforce existing instruments” designed to protect the Amazon.“These instruments should be strengthened, more states encouraged to ratify them, increase protected areas, strengthen surveillance and action capabilities.”Brazil contains 60% of the rainforest within its borders, with the rest spread over areas of Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela as well as the French overseas department of French Guyana.Venezuela, despite having a large swath of the Amazon, was not invited, as host Colombia does not recognize the presidency of Nicolas Maduro. – © AFP 2019 Saturday 7 Sep 2019, 1:04 PM 60,770 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 15 Comments Short URL Seven South American countries sign pact to protect the Amazon Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro did not travel to Leticia, citing doctors’ orders. By AFP https://jrnl.ie/4799867 Sep 7th 2019, 1:04 PM
In the 30 years or so that I’ve been running businesses, I’ve noticed that consumer sentiment is often created by a cultural environment rather than what is actually happening in folks’ lives. This can work in favour of over-exuberance or it can create gloom. We’re currently in one of the negative phases, but there’s another way to treat the ‘bad’ economic news, and that is to see a free market economy as something that forces the constant reinvention of just about everything. I’ve been watching the financial troubles of the Darrell Lea chocolate and lolly brand, which has been in administration. Letting go 418 people is not a good thing, however the system works well enough for a new owner to step in and buy Darrell Lea and reinvent what that business does. The signs of positives defying the negative are all around us. Yes, Kodak went out of business, but other companies have reinvented personal photography with affordable, high quality cameras that don’t require film. And Australian steel-making may be under pressure, but there was OneSteel, quietly making itself a miner of iron ore, not letting itself be forced into irrelevance. Australian business owners and householders can train themselves to think this way as well. There is a way forward out of adversity: you just haven’t found it yet. It may as simple as rethinking what you sell. The ability to up-skill, find another job, reinvent yourself as a different proposition to an employer, has never been better. Take the uncertainty created by the European crisis and the US slowdown: it has played on our minds and held back our own economy, but one of the benefits has been a cash rate which – at 3.50 per cent – is in the lowest range of the past 20 years. How good is this? Ask any Baby Boomer, who was paying 19 per cent on their first mortgage. There are many people suffering right now, but I urge people to have a look behind some of the negative economic stories: inflation ran at around 1.2 per cent for the year to June, and the wage price index was sitting at 3.6 per cent. So wages are increasing at a greater rate that inflation. That isn’t bad, especially taken with a low unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent in July. Compare it with the United States at 8.3 per cent, or the EU at 10.4 per cent unemployment in July. And in a country where we all need a car, they are more affordable than they’ve been for a long time. A Ford Falcon in 1960 cost a man 60 weeks’ pay while in 2012 it cost 30 weeks’ average male pay. The economy will cause more businesses to close or to contract. But the important part is what happens next? And in your own life, are you keeping your eyes open, preparing yourself for what happens next? A market economy always provides the chance to start again. What’s your reinvention? * Mark Bouris is the Executive Chairman of Yellow Brick Road, a financial services company offering home loans, financial planning, accounting & tax and insurance. Email Mark on email@example.com any queries you may have or check www.ybr.com.au for your nearest branch. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram PASOK will hold a make-or-break congress in February, when its president, Evangelos Venizelos, will attempt to shape the Socialist group in his vision, but only if he manages to fend off the rising opposition to his leadership within the party. “Our aim is to transform PASOK into a modern, institutional, democratic party,” Venizelos said on Thursday during a meeting of the Socialists’ political and organizational secretariat. “We want a PASOK that will not represent the rearguard forces of supposed leftism, which represent privileges and reactionary behaviour,” Venizelos added in a clear dig at SYRIZA, which outpaced the Socialists at this summer’s national elections. An opinion poll conducted by VPRC and published on Thursday made appalling reading for Venizelos as it ranked PASOK as Greece’s sixth party with just 5.5 per cent support. After two bruising elections, PASOK garnered 12.3 per cent in the June elections, when it was third. The VPRC poll showed that this position has been taken by the far-right Golden Dawn, which gathered 14 per cent of support in the survey. New Democracy was second with 27 per cent and SYRIZA first with 31.5 per cent.During Thursday’s meeting, it emerged that several of PASOK’s 33 MPs want the party to take a more active role in the coalition government. Venizelos had prevented any of the party’s lawmakers from joining the Cabinet following the June elections. Venizelos also gave clear public backing to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. “He speaks on behalf of all us, he speaks on behalf of the country,” he told PASOK members ahead of Samaras’s appearance at the European Union leaders’ summit. However, several MPs expressed concern at Thursday’s talks about the way PASOK is being run, reflecting a discontent with Venizelos’s leadership that peaked with his awkward handling of the memory stick containing the details of some 2,000 Greek depositors at the Geneva branch of HSBC.
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde insisted on Wednesday that the eurozone must agree on a comprehensive strategy to reduce Greek debt. “Obviously, from the IMF’s perspective, we expect a real fix, not a quick fix, and that means clearly a debt that is sustainable as quickly as possible,” Lagarde told a news conference in Kuala Lumpur at the start of a visit to Asia just two days after a Eurogroup meeting in Brussels during which a rift between the Fund and the eurozone over how to deal with Greek debt widened. Institute of International Finance chief Charles Dallara said during a visit to Athens on Wednesday that steps must be taken that would allow the government to ease up on austerity. “What is needed in my view is to ease the case of fiscal adjustment,” he said. Germany has insisted that Greece must submit to greater fiscal supervision in return for any debt relief and it is expected that the government could pass as early as next week legislation that would bind Athens to stricter targets, in accordance with the terms of a new loan agreement yet to be signed. Source: Kathimerini
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram While there has been talk of evacuating migrants from a makeshift camp at Athens’ old international airport of Elliniko by the end of July, last week a Greek government official indicated it’s more likely to be “wishful thinking”, reports Kathimerini.Some 4,000 migrants currently inhabit the grounds in tents, and an alternative site has yet to be identified, despite Elliniko mayor Yiannis Konstantatos admitting that conditions are steadily deteriorating with the rising temperatures of the summer heat. The only plan so far is to create a wing at a detention centre in the capital’s north, in Amygdaleza, which will host more than 300 migrants as part of a repatriation program.Meanwhile, on Lesvos migrant arrivals have fallen significantly, attributed to the deal signed by the European Union with Ankara to return arriving migrants to Turkey. However, business owners on the island say they have definitely felt the brunt of the migrant influx and are asking for tax breaks, after charter flights to Lesvos in the month of May were down by 65 per cent.
Odebian : un OS anti-LoppsiFrance – La ligue Odebi, fervente opposante à la loi Loppsi 2 adoptée mardi par l’Assemblée nationale, propose aux internautes un système d’exploitation censé les soustraire aux contrôles de réseaux et protéger leur vie privée.Odebian est basé sur l’OS Debian, une distribution de Linux. Ce Live qu’il suffira de télécharger sur une clé USB ou de graver sur un CD-rom devrait permettre aux internautes de surfer de façon anonyme et d’échapper ainsi aux systèmes de surveillance prévus par la seconde Loi d’orientation et de programmation pour la performance de la sécurité intérieure (Loppsi 2).À lire aussiOstéoporose : traitement, symptômes, causes, définition, de quoi s’agit-il ?”Odebian est une des réponses que nous apportons face aux dérives du pouvoir” déclare laLigue Odebi sur son site Internet. Ce projet a pour but d’offrir aux internautes un moyen de se protéger contre les logiciels mouchards en garantissant la confidentialité des données.Avec cet OS “transportable”, les utilisateurs pourront surfer sans qu’aucune session Internet ne laisse de traces sur le disque dur de leur ordinateur. “Destiné à être transportable, simple d’utilisation et surtout à ne laisser aucune trace de son utilisation sur le disque dur, c’est clairement un outil de lutte contre les projets de surveillance généralisée des citoyens numériques” expliquent ses créateurs.La première mouture d’Odebian est d’ores et déjà en ligne et la ligue appelle les internautes et développeurs à le tester et l’améliorer.Le 18 février 2010 à 16:37 • Emmanuel Perrin
Palm : HTC, RIM et Lenovo se positionnent pour son rachatÉtats-Unis – Les rumeurs couraient depuis la semaine dernière. Ce matin, l’annonce s’est officialisée : Palm est à la recherche d’un racheteur pour le sauver d’une situation financière catastrophique. RIM, HTC et Lenovo tiendraient la corde.Déjà la semaine dernière, l’annonce d’un possible rachat avait permis une hausse de 30% du cours de l’action de l’entreprise. Désormais, c’est officiel : une banque est chargée de trouver un repreneur pour Palm, spécialisé dans la fabrication de smartphones. En proie à une situation financière plus que difficile (22 millions de dollars de pertes), la firme américaine pourrait être rachetée par RIM, HTC ou Lenovo. Palm a de nombreux atouts parmi les 1.650 brevets qu’il possède. La bonne affaire pourrait revenir au Taïwanais Lenovo, qui détiendrait alors une indépendance accrue vis-à-vis des autres systèmes d’exploitation pour téléphones portables. Palm est estimé à 1,5 milliard de dollars.Le 12 avril 2010 à 11:07 • Emmanuel Perrin
NewsPass : l’actualité Google bientôt payante ?États-Unis – Google serait en train de plancher sur une plateforme d’actualités payantes. Un système qui pourrait voir le jour d’ici la fin de l’année.La firme de Moutain View Google serait en effet, d’après le magazine italien La Repubblica, en train de développer un système de paiement qui, intégré au moteur de recherche, proposera aux internautes d’acheter des contenus aux éditeurs.À lire aussiClasses supérieures, chat et Google, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 26 maiBaptisée NewsPass, cette interface pourrait être unique pour le web, les téléphones mobiles et les tablettes Internet. Le système serait actuellement en phase de test et Google aurait ainsi déjà contacté plusieurs éditeurs pour y participer.Accusé par les éditeurs de presse et notamment News Corp., le groupe de Rupert Murdoch, de voler leurs contenus pour les publier sur Google News, le géant de la recherche sur Internet tente d’apaiser les tensions via un système de monétisation des articles, qui pourront être achetés à l’unité.Fin 2009 déjà, David Drummond, le vice-président de Google, avait évoqué ce projet devant l’Association Mondiale des Journaux.Le 21 juin 2010 à 17:54 • Emmanuel Perrin