QUEBEC – Quebec City dumped about 46 million litres of raw sewage into the St. Lawrence River over 12 hours in order to do scheduled maintenance work on a pumping station, the city said Friday.A spokesperson for the city said everything went as planned.The city said earlier this week that neglecting to do the repairs could lead to equipment breakdowns and more serious environmental problems down the line.“Failure to carry out this maintenace work could lead to major breaks in the equipment,” the city wrote in a press release.The riverbanks were to be inspected following the work.Quebec City treats about 137 billion liters of wastewater annually.Montreal’s administration was widely criticized in 2015 for dumping 4.9 billion litres of raw sewage into the river.An original estimate of eight billion litres was downgraded after the city finished its sewer repair work three days early.
New Delhi: Continuing his attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi over Pulwama suicide bombing, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday raked up the issue of release of Pakistan-based terrorist Masood Azhar in 1999.Sounding the bugle for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Modi’s home state, he fired a fresh salvo at the NDA regime on a slew of issues, including the Rafale deal, demonetisation and the implementation of the GST. Addressing a rally at Adalaj village of Gandhinagar district in the presence of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, his sister and general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and other top party leaders, he reiterated that there was massive corruption in the Rafale deal. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity! “He (Modi) talks about patriotism. Masood Azhar conducted bomb attack in Pulwama. I would like to ask Narendra Modiji, who released Masood Azhar and sent him to Pakistan? (It was) the BJP government, the Vajpayee government put Masood Azhar on a special plane, gave him money and sent him to Pakistan,” Rahul Gandhi said. “And Narendra Modiji, your National Security Adviser, (Ajit) Dovalji (who was then with the IB), escorted Masood Azhar to Kandahar (in Afghanistan),” he said. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedAzhar and two other terrorists were set free by the Vajpayee government in exchange of hostages of the IC-814 Indian Airlines flight hijacked to Kandahar in December 1999. Azhar later went on to set up the Jaish-e-Mohammed, a Pakistan-based terror outfit that claimed responsibility for the February 14 suicide attack on a CRPF convoy in Pulwama. “Explain to the country, why did you send the person who killed those 40-45 martyrs, on a special plane? Tell the country why your government sent him to Pakistan. Who had arrested Masood Azhar? Congress party had arrested Masood Azhar, he was kept in jail,” he said. While mocking the industrialist, the Congress chief said, “Anil Ambani has never made a plane in his life. If I give him a piece of paper he would not be able to make a plane out of that also.”
Barcelona’s Jordi Alba is convinced that Real Madrid should give them a guard of honour for having recently been crown La Liga championsThe Catalan giants sealed their 25th league title with a 4-2 win against the now-relegated Deportivo La Coruna last Sunday with Lionel Messi netting a hat-trick.The title marks their seventh one of the past 10 seasons and they recently defeated Sevilla 5-0 in the Copa del Rey final.But for Sunday’s El Clasico against bitter rivals Real, Zinedine Zidane announced that they will not be performing any kind of guard of honour due to Barcelona’s refusal to the same gesture when they won the Club World Cup in December.“It’s not a decision we take, everyone has respect for those who want to,” said Alba, according to AS.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“The Club World Cup was a competition we didn’t play in. At the [Santiago] Bernabeu, in the league, we have previously performed a guard of honour. If they don’t want to give us a guard of honour it will be because it comes from upstairs.”The defender also defended his head coach Ernesto Valverde for Barcelona’s shocking exit from the Champions League to AS Roma.“It’s an embarrassment, the players have to show our faces, we all make mistakes,” admitted the 29-year-old.“Valverde deserves it more than anyone, he’s the sixth coach to have won a double. He’s managed the dressing room perfectly.”He added: “[The double] has only been done eight times in Barcelona’s history and we have to be very happy. Everyone would have taken it, although we know that in the Champions League we were knocked out badly. The double has been won eight times and the club was founded ages ago.”
For the Portugal international footballer, the impact his fellow countryman had in Real Madrid was gigantic and cannot be equalAfter Real Madrid lost 5-1 against a Lionel Messi-less Barcelona team, Portugal international footballer Joao Cancelo paid tribute to Cristiano Ronaldo.“Every day I train with Cristiano Ronaldo and so far he has won five editions of the Ballon d’Or,” Cancelo told Sky Sport Italia as quoted by Football Italia.“If Cristiano doesn’t win it this year, it’s just incredible. He is the best of them all and last season he was more decisive than any other player.”Top 10 players who played for both Barcelona and Valencia Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to talk about the best players who represented both Barcelona and Valencia, prior to their La Liga encounter at Camp Nou this evening.“The Ballon d’Or can’t just be decided by the World Cup, because that tournament can only be won by a certain number of select nations,” he said.“If you are born in France, Germany or Brazil, clearly sooner or later you’re going to win a World Cup. Seeing Portugal win the Euros, that is a huge achievement and very rare.”“Cristiano won the Champions League as an absolute protagonist, scoring 15 goals. When he plays for a team, that team becomes the best there is,” he commented.“The proof is in the latest Clasico result. Barcelona without Lionel Messi win 5-1, Real Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo lose 5-1. That is the difference.”
Volunteers with Vancouver’s Neighbors on Watch program plan a “saturation patrol” through the city from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.Forty volunteers, who act as extra eyes and ears for police officers, will split into 16 patrol teams and fan out across the city looking for problems such as vandalism or abandoned vehicles. Patrol areas will be based on areas that need special attention, according to a news release. One patrol will work in a specially equipped truck, trying to find stolen autos.The volunteers receive special training, wear special uniforms and drive vehicles with NOW signs, but they do not confront offenders. For more information on volunteering for the group, contact Kelly Cheney, 360-487-7467 or email email@example.com.
Air India may restore international bookings and spruce up a new flight schedule following the three-week strike impossed by its pilots.According to Press Trust of India (PTI), 130 executive pilots have been roped in to operate international flights that will commence over the weekend. In accordance with the Flight Duty Time Limitation, the pilots are required to fly 40 hours per week and 1,000 hours each year at a maximum.The news agency cited sources who said that the pilots in question will take months to achieve the 1,000 hour mark, but should be capable to “carry on for months together”, despite the crisis in its flight operations. It was also said that the airline has no passenger backlog and that fresh bookings will commence soon.Currently, the carrier is operating through a contingency plan under which a bare minimum number of flights are maintained by clubbing operations to various destinations in Europe and the US.As of now, flight schedules are carried out under a contingency plan which requires only minimum flights to operate to several long-haul destinations. Some of the flight routes Air India currently include on a daily basis are “Delhi-Paris-New York (JFK), Delhi-Frankfurt-Chicago, Delhi-London, Mumbai-London, Delhi- Tokyo and Delhi-Shanghai”, the report said.The new arrangement will likely bolster profitability for the debt ridden airline, whose financial loss touched Rs 320 crore during the strike. Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh on Monday had even assembled a panel to work around the airline’s loss-making routes.The panel will be required to recommend any non-profitable routes or carriers within a week’s time.”Such planes will be phased out and the perennially loss-making routes will be shut down. The biggest cut could come from international operations. This will reduce the requirement for pilots,” the Times of India quoted a source as saying.Meanwhile, the airline is making efforts to mobilize fares to help improve its market share in the airline sector. “Bookings on our international flight have stabilised and we have placed maximum number of seats in the lowest price bracket… that has also helped bookings in the domestic sector as well in the current contingency plan,” an Air India official said according to IBN Live.Air India board officials are also said to have proposed several measures to help recover international operations. “There is a proposal to wet lease at least five aircraft with pilots and crew. We require pilots and crews to maintain operations to key destinations in Europe, US and southeast Asian destinations like Hong Kong,” an official said in a statement according to the report.
Anabas scandens, = Anabas testudineus (Bloch, 1792). Credit: public domain Anabas testudineus Over the past forty years, the fish has slowly made its way to Indonesia, and then Papua New Guinea—more recently some have been spotted on two Australian islands, the Torres Strait islands of Boigu and Saibai, just 160K from the Australian mainland. Marine biologists are worried that the fish will take over habitat now being occupied by other species because it has so many survival capabilities. The fish can crawl on land using its sharp, spiny, gill covers, breathe air with its mammal-like lungs, and has been seen able to survive up to six days without any water at all. It also has been seen to puff itself up somehow after being swallowed by other fish or birds, sticking in the throat and causing either starvation or suffocation. As if all that were not enough, researchers have also found instances of the freshwater fish being able to live in near sea level saltwater, and, it has been discovered that the fish can hibernate in mud for up to six months. All these attributes make it relatively easy for the fish to survive in practically any environment, and that is what it has been doing as it has slowly moved south, overwhelming native fish populations. Marine biologist are worried that if the fish makes it to the mainland, it will make its way into watering holes and other waterways, simply by crawling to them and causing what some have described as a major disaster for native fish, turtles and birds.Despite its superfish characteristics, the fish cannot swim to Australia—to get there it will likely have to hitch a ride on the bottom of a boat or be tossed overboard by fishermen. For that reason, environmentalists are giving fishermen and boaters information about the fish and are being encouraged to help prevent its spread to Australian shores. Meanwhile, biologists are capturing specimens and studying them in a lab to learn more about both their strengths and weaknesses, hoping to find a way to either prevent them from coming to the mainland, or to eradicate them if they succeed. Australian marine biologists are worried that a species of perch native to Southeast Asia (the climbing perch, aka Anabas testudineus), will soon make its way onto the Australian mainland in the near future, putting native species of other fish and some birds at risk. Explore further © 2015 Phys.org Fish found in suspected tsunami debris boat quarantined Citation: Crawling, breathing fish on a course to invade Australia (2015, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-fish-invade-australia.html 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.
Kolkata: South Eastern Railway (SER) has achieved yet another milestone in the field of energy conservation as well as revenue savings, with all its 365 stations being fitted with 100 percent LED lights.”This line of energy conservation measures adopted in SER and the 100 percent LED provision in all SER stations, has been completed as per the Budget commitment of Railway minister. This massive task has been completed by March 30 this year,” a senior SER official said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe official added that fitting of the LED lights has reduced the connected load of the stations by 542 KW. “As a result, there would be reduction in electricity consumption of 2.17 million units on a yearly basis. This reduction would lead to monetary savings of Rs.1.52 crore per annum,” the official added.LEDs are currently the most energy efficient source of electric light, in comparison to incandescent, fluorescent, meta-halide or mercury lamps, within the luminous efficiency of 80-90 percent for traditional lighting. This means that 80 percent of the energy supplied to the device is converted to light, while 20 percent is lost and converted into heat.It may be mentioned that SER has already started using LED lights in some passenger coaches and aims to provide such energy efficient lighting in all railway coaches/EMU trains, as well as residential quarters and offices.
Kolkata: The Election Commission of India (ECI) has introduced a number of mobile applications for conducting the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in a better way and also to provide the voters with a digitised platform to register any violation related to the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) or any incident of intimidation or inducement.For the first time, the ECI is going to use ‘C-Vigil’ — an Android-based mobile application where the voters or citizens can directly bring to the notice of the election officials incidents of MCC violation, expenditure violation. People no longer need to go to the offices of the Returning Officers if they witness any immoral activities involving the candidates or any other political leaders. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseSanjay Basu, additional CEO, said that ‘C-Vigil’ app will soon be made operational where various sorts of election-related malpractices can be uploaded by the voters. If an ordinary citizen from any part of the state witnesses an incident of intimidation or inducement, he/she can upload photos or videos on his mobile application from the spot without any delay. If the complainant desires to remain anonymous, he/she will have an option to do so. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata’C-Vigil’ is a simple and user-friendly mobile app which will provide time-stamped evidentiary proof of MCC or expenditure violation. The auto-location system that is already installed on the mobile app will help the election officials to mobilise flying squads to the spot. The district control rooms will allocate the app-based related cases to the flying squads through GIS-based platform. For voters having issues in checking their names in the electoral roll, online forms need to be submitted. They can even check the status of their application and can take help from ‘Voter Helpline’ mobile app. If anyone files a complaint, he/she will automatically receive a reply on the mobile app. This application will contain important instructions related to the elections and a voter awareness module. The voters can even download the application from Google Play Store. Another mobile application called ‘PwD App’ (Persons with Disabilities) will be of immense help for the disabled who can request for new registration, change in address, change in particulars and mark themselves as persons with disabilities through the use of the mobile application. The disabled candidates need to enter their contact details and the booth-level officers will be assigned to provide doorstep facility. Such voters can also make a request for a wheelchair during the polling process by using this mobile app. The application is already available with Google Play store. Contesting candidates can track the status of their nominations, status of their permission requests by using ‘Suvidha Candidate App’. The candidates can register with the app by using their mobile phone numbers and will be able to keep track of their applications.
Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Business is accelerating for companies across the globe. Opportunities are abundant, and so is the competition. More than ever, companies search for strategies to better connect with clients and prospects in hopes of building long-lasting relationships, ones that will endure economic change and competitive pressures. Executives know that consistent conversations with clients are vital to strengthening relationships and closing deals. They also know face-to-face meetings do it best. Unfortunately, many companies are underutilizing available technology they have to connect with clients face-to-face — the webcam.Related: My Experience and a New Study Agree: Bungled Conference Calls Cost Businesses Big MoneyHere are four reasons why companies should utilize their webcams and leverage their technology:1. Travel is expensive and inconvenient. Few things are as difficult and costly as modern-day travel. With geographical expansion in our business footprint, along with fluctuating airfare, the price of a single business trip can vary wildly, making the time and money required for employee travel add up quickly. In 2016, Certify reported the average domestic business trip costs companies $949 per person, while the average international trip averages about $2,600 per person. These costs don’t take into consideration lost productivity and time spent out of the office.Solution: Encourage employees to use their webcams for more cost-efficient, face-to-face client meetings. In the first year that Cisco created its corporate telepresence rooms, it reported a travel savings of over $100 million. Consider how much your organization could save if only 50 percent of travel was replaced with virtual meetings.Related: Master Your Customer Relationships With This ‘HACK’ Borrowed From Doctors and Dentists2. Broaden the talent pool. Travel can be daunting for many employees as they attempt to strike a balance at home and work. Many highly skilled employees are unable to accept jobs requiring frequent travel as it often conflicts with personal responsibilities. As a result, the available talent pool for strategic positions is limited to only those with the freedom and flexibility to travel. Sadly, many great employees become burned out from frequent travel. A recent study showed the dark side of hypermobility and the effects it has on employees. Increased travel expectations coupled with longer workdays and time away from family is costing employers significantly in employee turnover and productivity losses.Solution: Consider opportunities to work with clients virtually. By utilizing webcams, employees can work face-to-face with clients and prospects, build solid relationships and still meet their after-hours responsibilities. This will broaden companies’ talent pool prospects and lift current employees’ morale. Giving people the gift of time — allowing them to strike a better work-life balance — will help prevent burnout.Related: How Companies Are Using Web Services to Make Meetings Efficient3. There’s a real-time advantage.Technology has made decisions more time-sensitive than ever, increasing the rate at which we work. What may have previously taken business professionals days to decide can now occur in one text, email or instant message. Businesses lose out on influencing opportunities while employees travel to and from locations, disconnected from lightning-fast decisions occurring without them.Solution: Webcams allow employees to be immediately present while pressing decisions and discussions are underway. Everyone can remain connected and in the know when leveraging technology correctly. If a key decision-maker has a last-minute question or concern before closing a deal, webcams provide the ability for instant answers.Related: Want to Close 10x More Deals? Have More In-Person Meetings4. Visual connection builds trust and influence.Once companies create a client relationship, it’s likely most future conversations will occur on the phone. Unfortunately, phone conversations limit the relationship’s ability to grow and deepen the same a way that face-to-face discussions do. Users are more likely to multitask during a conference call. Participants also miss out on nonverbal aspects of the conversation and can often misinterpret tone and context. Conference calls lack a sense of personality and connection that only face-to-face meetings can provide.Solution: Use the webcam instead of the phone whenever possible. Increase the level of trust in your client and prospective relationships by being face-to-face online. Allow others to put a face to a name, observe body language and feel physically present. The combination of audio and visual connection will strengthen your relationships and grow your level of influence. Best of all, users are less likely to multitask when engaging in a virtual call. They know they are being watched and will refrain from checking text messages, social media and emails.Related: The Biggest Do’s and Don’ts of Video ConferencingProfessionals hoping to evade the use of a webcam have an abundance of excuses, but few are reasonable. Most people complain they don’t like the way they look on camera or are intimidated in its set-up. Like any other tool, frequency of use creates proficiencies and habit.How to get started using your webcam:Turn it on! Virtually every computer comes with a webcam. Find a meeting platform you prefer and get started.Test your equipment before the call. Ensure your camera and sound are working correctly well before the call begins. This will ensure the meeting starts on time and without complications.Toss the excuses. Everyone sees you in the office every day. When you are at your best in the office, you should have no qualms about being at your best on camera.Same rules apply. Apply the same rules to your virtual meetings as you would those in person. Ensure there is a written agenda, stick to the topic, and start and end on time. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. August 6, 2018 5 min read Listen Now
Blue Oak Council Inc, a Delaware nonprofit corporation, published a model license version 1.0.0, last week. The new license demonstrates all the techniques used by the licenses to make the software free and simple for everyone to use and build on. The licensing materials published by Blue Oak is in everyday language, making it easy for developers, lawyers, and others to understand software licensing without relying on legal help. Blue Oak model license 1.0.0 comes with information regarding purpose, acceptance, copyright, notices, excuse, patent, reliability, and no liability. The license states that it provides everyone with as much permission to work with the software as possible. It also protects the contributors from liability. It states that users must agree to the rules of the license to receive it. Users should refrain from doing things that would defy the rules of the license. Additionally, it states that everyone who gets a copy of any part of the software (with or without changes) also receives a text of this license or a link to Blue Oak Council license 1.0.0. Also, in case anyone notifies the users in writing that they have not complied with Notices, then they can keep their license by taking all the practical and necessary steps to needed to comply within 30 days, post-notice. If users fail to follow this, the license will end immediately. Apart from this, Blue Oak Council has also published certain example provisions for contracts and grants, along with a corporate open source policy that helps with the permissive licenses. There’s also a list of permissive public software licenses on the OSI and SPDX lists. These licenses have been rated from gold to lead, based on criteria such as the clarity of drafting, simplicity, and practicality of conditions. For more information, check out the official Blue Oak Council blog post. Read Next Red Hat drops MongoDB over concerns related to its Server Side Public License (SSPL) Neo4j Enterprise Edition is now available under a commercial license Free Software Foundation updates its licensing materials, adds Commons Clause and Fraunhofer FDK AAC license
Thursday, September 28, 2017 Tags: Europe, Insight Vacations Posted by << Previous PostNext Post >> Zara Martinez Insight’s new Europe collection includes 100 guided vacations TORONTO — Insight Vacations has unveiled its brand new 2018 Europe Premium Escorted Journeys collection, and it looks stacked with travel options: 70 Insight Experiences, 100 guided vacations, and four styles of distinctive journeys.With this collection, travellers can expect hand-picked hotels in desirable locations, such as the elegant Splendid Venice-Starhotels Collezione boutique hotel, as well as several new dining experiences like ‘Dine-At-Home’ with local foodies and ‘Farm-to-Table’, which showcases the best regional produce.Plus, in celebration of the collection’s launch, Insight is offering 10% savings with its Early Payment Discount.“For the launch of our 2018 European collection, we are excited to highlight our outstanding Insight Difference since it has been our personal mission for almost 40 years of creating magical experiences for clients with the services of our passionate Travel Directors and team members,” said Ulla Hefel Böhler, CEO of Insight Vacations. “Our 70 European Insight Experiences are incredibly authentic and are a curated collection of memories-in-the-making by connecting clients with locals, unique activities and expert insights to bring each destination to life.”More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionThe eight new 2018 European Discoveries range from nine to 19 days. This trip style offers a total of 12 itineraries to 12 countries, with journeys that include the nine-day ‘Taste of Europe’, the nine-day ‘Flavours of Europe’, the 10-day ‘European Rhapsody; the 11-day ‘European Flair’, the 14-day ‘Splendid Europe’, the 16-day ‘European Discovery’, the 18-day ‘Mediterranean Journey’ and the 12-day ‘European Dream’.While on the ‘European Dream’, clients will spend two nights in each destination, savour regional meals and meet locals, starting in La Serenissima. They’ll also learn age-old Venetian traditions from a local gondolier and the art of glass blowing with a skilled artisan. In the Umbrian town of Orvieto, acclaimed author and chef Lorenzo Polegri will invite guests inside his kitchen for a hands-on Etruscan cooking demonstration.Other highlights of the tour include wine tasting in the underground cellar of Italian Renaissance author Nicolo Machiavelli, a scenic trip by funicular railway and open-top cable car to Mount Stanserhorn in Lucerne, a behind-the-scenes guided walk in Paris with a local Parisian foodie, and a Celebration Dinner at Le Petit Prince de Paris restaurant in Paris’ Latin Quarter.More news: Join the Jet Set on the French RivieraFor more details go to insightvacations.com/ca/vacation-finder/europe-2018 About Latest Posts Zara Martinez Latest posts by Zara Martinez (see all) New Years Mastermind on AMA Waterways River Cruise – June 6, 2019 Attendance at TPI’s Summit events at an all-time high – April 24, 2019 The 2019 Travel & Vacation Show – June 22, 2018
With sole possession of the top record in the NFC, the Arizona Cardinals are getting well-deserved attention from the national media.ESPN NFL analyst Mark Schlereth told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday he enjoys watching the Cardinals play.“I think Bruce Arians would be the first to tell you, ‘Hey, we’re not the most talented team all the time,’ but I guarantee you one thing: They’re not going to back down from anybody,” Schlereth said. “It’s like an Old West deal. I just love watching them play. There’s something that’s special that you can’t put your finger on.”Schlereth called the 6-1 team’s play “not pretty, but it’s pretty aggressive.” The Cardinals rank third in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game and fifth in points allowed per contest. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Top Stories LISTEN: Mark Schlereth- ESPN NFL analyst Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact 0 Comments Share Your browser does not support the audio element.
Ahead of its planned acquisition of SFR, French cable operator Numericable has struck a local-loop unbundling deal with the larger telco that will enable it to extend its broadband reach significantly.The move will enable Numericable to extend its existing ADSL offering to SFR’s exchanges. According to website Ariase, based on its own calculations Numericable will be able to sell its unbundled ADSL offerings in over 4,875 local exchange points, including 800 equipped with a DSLAM belonging to Numericable subsidiary Completel, with the remainder belonging to SFR.The deal means that Numericable will overtake Free as the country’s second largest unbundled provider, according to reports. The company will be able to reach a large number of areas where networks have been put in place by SFR in partnership with local municipal authorities, according to Ariase. It will also enable Numericable to avoid paying transport fees to Orange to reach customers.
The BBC has extended the catch-up window for its on-demand iPlayer service from seven to 30 days. The move, which applies to BBC TV and radio programmes, was introduced over the weekend and follows approval from the BBC’s governing body, the BBC Trust, in April.Viewers accessing the iPlayer from computers, tablets and mobile devices will all now get the 30-day programme availability. The BBC is also working with connected TV partners – including Virgin Media TiVo, YouView and BT Vision – which will be able to offer 30-day catch-up from their set-top boxes once they upgrade to the latest version of the iPlayer. Sky has already made the switch to this version.“BBC iPlayer pioneered online viewing. It is recognised as not just the first, but the best service of its type in the world. It offers amazing value. But we want to go further. That’s why we began reinventing iPlayer earlier this year with a brand new redesign and features,” said BBC director-general, Tony Hall.“Extending the catch up window to 30 days now makes the best value on-demand service even better. We have a fantastic autumn schedule and the public will now have more opportunities to watch the shows they love.”The BBC said that while 30 days will now be the default availability period for catch-up content, there will be some exceptions.A “minority “ of programmes will still be available for less than 30 days due to “legal and contractual reasons – such as Crimewatch, news bulletins, and football highlights show Match of the Day, according to head of iPlayer, Dan Taylor-Watt.However, some programmes, such as BBC Four collections, will be available for longer then 30 days, with some current affairs programmes like Panorama and Question Time to be on iPlayer for a full year.At launch, the 30-day catch-up window only applies to streamed content, but the BBC has pledged to also extend the window to iPlayer downloads, giving viewers an extra 23 days to watch content offline before the rights expire.“There is a huge demand to make programmes available for longer on BBC iPlayer – as we continue to see people search for their favourite programmes after the seven day catch-up window. Whether it’s on the bus on their mobile – or on their tablet in bed at night, I’m really pleased that we’re able to give our audiences longer to watch and listen than ever before,” said BBC director of future media, Ralph Rivera.
4,700 years before Stonehenge. So, what gives? Stalin hated capitalism but strongly supported industry. What’s the difference? The difference lies is the exercise of will: Commerce—capitalism of the mom-and-pop variety—involves individuals choosing to perform productive actions, such as growing food and making shoes. 3,000 years before the Sumerians (depending on how you pick their start date). It’s almost useless to use the word capitalism these days. Its meaning has been so distorted, so polarized, so manipulated, that almost every time I pull it out, I have to stop and define it first. And even then, knee-jerk reactions continue. So, I’m generally abandoning the word. In its place, I’m using commerce. But that raises yet another issue: It’s entirely wrong to describe a mom-and-pop store with the same word we use for General Motors. Did Stalin Support Capitalism? No, of course not; Stalin was a Marxist. But at the same time, he was a major supporter of industry. For example, check out this very typical poster of his era: Industry—capitalism of the corporate variety—involves the domination of individual will. Sure, the corporate suite and their government partners get to exercise will, but mere corporate employees are forbidden from exercising theirs. So, 1%-2% get to use their wills to some effective extent, and 98%-99% are restricted. Stalin killed people of the first type and rewarded people of the second type. I think that also helps to clarify the distinction. What About Now? So, what about our current situation? Are mom and pop being rewarded, or at least left alone? No, they’re not; they’re being ground into the dust. No matter how much governments and their sycophants swear that regulation is good for business, every small businessman, myself among them, knows the truth. People are getting out of businesses in droves and telling their children to find something else to do. As one small businessman I know says, “It’s just not fun anymore.” Did you know that fewer small businesses are being created than destroyed? And there’s a one-word reason for it: regulation. Stripped of the self-righteous lies that surround it, regulation is simply a restriction of will. It involves the biggest bosses telling everyone else what they can or cannot do. And here’s the rub: Big corporations can get regulations written as they like; small businesses can’t. The result is this: Corporate numbers are up because their small competitors have been squeezed out. Mom and pop’s cash flow has been transferred to the corporation. Stalin would thrive in this environment. He’d find a prominent place in the corporate takeover of America. On the other hand, Stalin could never survive in a world where mom-and-pop capitalism was the order of the day. He’d be a rank hoodlum, and eventually some shopkeeper would shoot him. But Wait, We Need Regulation! Some of the sadder news stories I see are those involving small business alliances sucking up to the big imposers of will, saying things like, “We recognize the necessity of some regulation, but…” Yes, I know that they mean well (and Lord knows I’ve had my own share of “meant well” mistakes), but commerce is contrary to regulation by its very nature. Commerce (and I’m tempted to christen it natural commerce) is a liberated-will strategy. Cuddling up to people who impose controlled-will strategies is not helpful. I covered this entire subject in much more detail in my newsletter (issue #29), but I would like to make one point on the “necessity” of regulation here. Please take a look at this map: 6,200 years before Homer and the beginnings of Greek civilization. You get the point. So, all those history-book passages about “necessary organization and administration” and “an appropriate bureaucratic infrastructure” were simply false. From time immemorial, humans exercised will and solved problems to make commerce work. They didn’t need pompous parasites telling them what to do and what not to do. So… So, commerce—natural commerce; mom and pop commerce—is, by its very nature, born free. It evades regulations and controls, because it serves its own will, not the wills of rulers. For this reason, Joe Stalin killed its practitioners. For the same reason, he rewarded industrial operations. On Main Street, Joe Stalin would knife mom and pop. In the corporate tower, he would thrive. That’s something to think about. A Free-Man’s Take is written by lifestyle capitalist, author, and freedom advocate Paul Rosenberg. You can get much more from Paul in his unique monthly newsletter, Free-Man’s Perspective. What you’re looking at are the Near East trade routes of 7000 BC. Let me put that into some perspective for you: This is a record of self-motivated individuals, traveling hundreds of miles to trade with foreigners. (And there is much more to be discovered.) And when were these people doing this? 4,500 years before the pyramids of Egypt.
An audience gathers around the transparent 14-foot-long “culinary instrument” in a restaurant called Creator in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood.Brioche buns are sliced, buttered and toasted by paddles moving like waves in the ocean. They land in specially designed, compostable hamburger boxes. The buns are topped with fresh produce, sourced from local farms, which is sliced on the spot. Cheese is shredded from blocks and added. The in-machine meat grinder has been calibrated to vertically align the meat with diner’s incisors. The 4.5-ounce beef patties are ground from brisket and cooked using the induction method, both sides at once, then slid into the boxes.And the fumes from cooking? They are cleaned inside the machine.The sleek hamburger-producing machine, featuring organic curves and copper detail, fits in perfectly with Creator’s airy 2,200 square-foot space, white walls and high ceiling. It attracted a waitlist this summer for its bi-weekly lunches, and will open full time in September. It fits with the city as well — the restaurant is just two miles away from where the Elon Musk-founded OpenAI lab recently tested a robot hand named Dactyl.Creator’s parent company is a culinary robotics firm founded by 33-year-old Alex Vardakostas, who grew up in the burger business in Southern California. “I really got going on the griddle when I was like 14, 15,” says Vardakostas, whose family owns the two Orange County A’s Burgers locations.The inspiration struck Vardakostas while he was a junior at the University of California, Santa Barbara, studying physics. He woke up at 4 a.m. with the idea for a robot-made burger. “A lot of people don’t talk about this or realize it, but it is incredibly unhealthy — inhaling grease-laden vapors and soot all day. So that was this really exciting idea for me, where I could just have this beautiful instrument and I could take control of it,” says Vardakostas. (The World Health Organization has identified a number of hazardous compounds released into the air by cooking, and while many oven hoods in commercial and residential kitchens filter some of the bad stuff out, some do a better job than others.)Since then, Vardakostas has focused on creating a healthier work environment and developing a better way to make high-quality food at a reasonable price. Four years after he had his bot-burger vision, he built his first hamburger-making robot in his childhood garage. “I would drive up to Menlo Park and get machine parts at TechShop and drive all the way back down to Orange County and hope they fit together and try to make it work,” he says.A move to San Francisco and a collaboration with 32-year-old Steve Frehn, now Creator’s co-founder and COO, led to the second rendition of the burger machine. Now on version four, the machine, comprised of food-safe plastic tubes and over 350 sensors run by software and 20 computers, is fully operational. It is stocked with carefully sourced produce, bread and meat.David Bordow, 32, culinary lead and experience designer, emphasizes the importance of quality and carefully chosen seasonal ingredients. “The philosophy is, ‘Let’s find the best stuff that is available,’ ” he says. The beef is antibiotic- and hormone-free, sourced from Country Natural Beef, a family ranch owned co-op.At Creator, there’s more to the staff than just a robot. All burger sides are human-made. The obligatory fries are on the menu, along with seasonal salads and vegetables.There are currently four kinds of burgers, including the Tumami, created by Top Chef’s Tu David Phu, which features an oyster aioli and shiitake mushroom sauce.Eventually, customers will get to control how much sauce and seasonings they want the robot to add. “The nice thing about using a machine is that it’s very precise, so if someone has a sodium limit, or something like that, we can track that sort of thing and provide a little customization,” says Frehn.In a city of pricy boba drinks and marked up avocado toast, Vardakostas says Creator’s mission is to improve food quality and make it accessible. Burgers are $6. “We want everyone to be able to partake,” he says.Word is spreading. Los Angeles-based high school student Moses Rosales heard about Creator on YouTube and convinced his mom and aunt to dine there during a two-day trip to the Bay Area. “It was amazing to see how a robot made a burger,” Rosales says. “I didn’t know how far you could go with it. Now I’m seeing it’s a really high-end burger.”For now, Creator is the only home to two burger-making robotic machines, although Frehn says they hope to expand.On the ground floor of the San Francisco building that’s also home to offices for Microsoft and Riverbed, approximately 10 Creator staffers worked the soft-launch lunch shift this summer. Employees, who start at $16 an hour, are allowed to spend 5 percent of their time on the clock reading or learning a new skill. Bookstore-style “staff picks” fill the three bookshelves, with titles including Alice Waters’ The Art of Simple Food and Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma.Creator is focused on the service and culinary side of the business, too. “We’ve been pretty firm about not having an automated ordering process, with kiosks or something like that,” says Vardakostas. “So we have people, and that costs us money. But at the end of the day, that makes for a better guest experience and it’s a more human-centered restaurant.”Creator is not the only restaurant to feature a food-making robot while also making an effort to retain its humanity. Cafe X has three San Francisco locations. Each features a robotic coffee-making arm that can produce drinks in 30 to 40 seconds. Customers retrieve their beverages by punching in a texted code sent to their phone.Opal Franklin, a recent college grad working at the Market Street Cafe X location, walks the small space on a Friday afternoon. She offers customers and curiosity-seekers oat milk samples before explaining, “Often times people say that we take away barista jobs, but we in a sense shift the job. The robot is very precise and it’s very practical, so we have a product specialist on site to answer questions and help people out and make it more humanistic.”While still in their early days, culinary robots are starting to pop up beyond San Francisco. In nearby Silicon Valley, Zume Pizza delivers pies pressed by a “Doughbot” in nine seconds. Across the pond in Paris, startup Ekim has created a three-armed robot that makes pizzas from start to finish. On the East Coast, four MIT grads opened Spyce in Boston in May, which features robotic tumbling woks that create customized bowls, under the culinary direction of renowned French chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud.While the culinary robotics show at Creator wows, this isn’t a novelty to the team. “We put a lot of care and effort into making sure this would have a positive effect on consumers,” says Frehn. “And we worked to create a better retail job as well.”Anna Mantzaris is a San Francisco-based writer. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
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