Vancouver limits shortterm Airbnb rentals in laneway houses basement suites

first_imgVANCOUVER – Vancouver has banned owners of basement suites and laneway houses from listing them on Airbnb after a heated debate in which some city councillors warned that homeowners would not be able to pay their mortgages without the extra income.City council approved new regulations in a 7-4 vote Tuesday for vacation websites such as Airbnb and Expedia. The rules prohibit hosts from listing homes that are not their principal residence, including any secondary suites on their property.Mayor Gregor Robertson and members of his Vision Vancouver party defended the rules as necessary because the vacancy rate is just above zero and housing is needed for long-term renters.“I’m stunned to hear that some councillors don’t believe there’s a problem here. We have 6,000 illegal short-term rentals in the city,” he said.“I can’t imagine doing nothing.”The new regulations will come into effect on April 1, 2018. Hosts must buy a business licence that costs $49 annually, plus spend $54 on a one-time application fee, and display their licence number in online listing. Those who fail to comply will face a $1,000 ticket per violation.Homeowners will still be allowed to list an individual room inside their principal residence. Tenants who are renting a basement apartment or laneway house will be allowed to list it on Airbnb, as long as it’s their principal residence and they have permission from the owner.Some short-term rental hosts criticized the proposed rules at a public hearing last month, saying the changes will deprive them of much-needed income.Councillors from the opposing Non-Partisan Association echoed those concerns on Tuesday, with Coun. George Affleck warning that homeowners who depend on the extra income will be forced to leave Vancouver or lead “very challenging lives.”Affleck said the city should instead focus on ensuring more rental housing gets built.“We’re just creating more bureaucracy, more taxation, more sticks and we’re not solving the problem. We’re making Vancouver more unaffordable and a harder place to live, whether you’re a renter or an owner,” he said.But Coun. Andrea Reimer of Vision Vancouver said secondary suites and laneway houses were approved to provide accommodation for local residents, not tourists.She said she just received an eviction notice at her rental home on Monday night — her second eviction in 16 months due to “speculation and flipping.If the vacancy rate rises to four per cent or higher, city staff will report back to council on whether to allow owners to list their secondary suites on short-term rental websites.Council also passed a voluntary transaction fee of three per cent on bookings, which would be remitted to the city.Alex Dagg, public policy manager for Airbnb Canada, said the company is unable to impose a voluntary fee and instead would like to see the province amend the hotel tax so that it applies to short-term rentals.Dagg applauded Vancouver for making short-term rentals legal, but she criticized the ban on listing secondary suites. Many people list them on Airbnb because they’re in use by family or friends for most of the year and can’t be rented to long-term tenants, she said.“What short-term renting does is allow a homeowner or someone in a primary residence to use their space in a flexible way,” she said in an interview.The city estimates 80 per cent of short-term rentals will become legal under the new rules. Dagg said the estimate lines up with Airbnb’s numbers on people who are renting their principal residences.Vancouver is the latest jurisdiction to crack down on vacation websites. Seattle council voted Monday to impose a levy of $14 per night for short-term rentals of entire homes, and $8 per night for rooms, with the taxes to kick in by 2019.— Follow @ellekane on Twitter.last_img read more

Urgent action needed to stem cassava virus threatening East Africa – UN

16 November 2011The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is urging swift action to tackle a cassava virus that is affecting large parts of East Africa and threatening a staple food crop for much of the region. The Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD), a new variant that is particularly affecting countries in the Great Lakes region, is on the verge of becoming an epidemic, according to a news release issued today by the Rome-based FAO. The agency has called for an urgent increase in funding, research, training, surveillance and other measures to help farmers and breeders.“The appearance of the disease in previously unaffected areas, and the lack of continued funding for research and development work to address CBSD in the region, have added to the threat already presented by Cassava Mosaic Disease (CMD),” stated the agency.Cassava can account for as much as a third of the total calorie intake for people in countries such as Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).Surveillance conducted by Rwanda’s National Agricultural Research Institute in 2010 showed a 15.7 per cent rate of infection on local varieties and 36.9 per cent in improved varieties.“None of the cassava varieties currently being distributed to farmers seem to be tolerant to the effects of CBSD,” said Jan Helsen, leader of FAO’s European Union-funded Regional Cassava Initiative in Eastern and Central Africa.“We urgently need to get information on the extent and severity of the outbreak, and to support investments to identify disease-tolerant varieties and coping strategies for farmers.” FAO noted that timely detection of the disease has been a challenge because it manifests itself in different ways depending on local conditions. An apparently healthy plant may be found to have spoiled roots only when harvested.The agency is calling for short-term measures such as stepping up disease surveillance and conducting regular inspections increasing the sensitization of communities to the threat of CBSD and using hands-on training for farmers. It is also recommending a ban on the distribution of infected plants between districts and zones, and, in the event of infection, using coping strategies such as the early harvest of cassava, before symptoms appear and significant damage can be done. read more

How Your Tennis Stats Get Made

Maria Salvetti. Carl Bialik A day during the tournament can involve hours of watching tennis and thousands of decisions. Salvetti arrives by 10:30 a.m. and stays until the end of play, which can be almost 10 p.m. She works one hour and then takes the next one off. On Tuesday, she worked the first, third and fourth sets of the five-set quarterfinal that was won by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga over Kei Nishikori, and she expects to work both women’s semifinals Thursday. The tournament pays her about 100 euros (about $110), after taxes, for each day of work. When she’s off duty, the last thing she wants to do is watch tennis.When they are on the job, Salvetti and her French Open crew appear to be very good. For one thing, their numbers are consistent with those of independent match loggers. I compared the official stats for eight matches from last year’s French Open and 11 from this year’s with the numbers from the crowdsourced Match Charting Project and found that the amateurs and pros like Salvetti agree. The official scorers counted just 3 percent more winners and 3 percent fewer unforced errors. Scorers at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon are far more generous, awarding on average 27 percent and 32 percent fewer unforced errors than the independent scorers, according to the dozens of matches I’ve checked.Salvetti said the toughest judgment call is whether a missed shot was forced or unforced. She must decide whether the opponent’s shot was good enough to force the error or whether blame lies mostly with the player who missed. She thinks her courtside seat gives her an advantage over scorers working from home. “On TV, you don’t see all the power that all the players put into the hit,” she said. “You don’t see all the energy they use to run from one side of the court to the other.”Salvetti cited another reason that she’s confident in her work. After matches, the scorers reconcile their numbers with those that come from the umpire’s chair. Umps don’t record winners and unforced errors, but they do take note of whether serves go in, whether they’re aces and who wins the point. Salvetti said that in the rare cases when the umpires’ numbers disagree with Salvetti and her crew’s, 95 percent of the time the scorers are right. She doesn’t blame the umpires for this: They have “a lot more to focus on,” she said.Not every tournament keeps stats on winners, unforced errors and net points, and few do for every match. When they are recorded, they don’t make it into the official stats kept by the men’s tour and the women’s tour. I asked Salvetti how she feels about that. She said she knows from her regular job as an environmental economist how important data is. She wishes more came of her hard work collecting tennis data.“All this information is not used the way it could be used, for players to know more about their games, for coaches, for even journalists and people who bet,” Salvetti said, emphasizing that she was speaking for herself and not the scorers as a group. She teaches at the Sorbonne in Paris and thinks some of her statistically gifted students could do great things with the tennis stats. “All this information, in my opinion, has value that is not used,” she said. “It’s gold that we have in our hands, and we don’t make anything out of it.” Beyond hitting the ball, tennis has outsourced a lot of its work to technology. A sensor determines if a serve clipped the net and should be replayed, radar sensors measure serve speed, and calibrated courtside cameras judge whether a shot was in and generate advanced stats. But when it comes to recording unofficial stats such as winners and unforced errors, the Grand Slams still rely on people like Maria Salvetti.Salvetti has been keeping scores and stats at the French Open each spring for the past 20 years, since she was 19. When she was a child, Salvetti trained in Paris on the courts at Roland Garros, the home of the French Open. But when she was 15, she hurt her knee, stopped playing, and found her way to scorekeeping after a stint as a French Open ballgirl. She is one of about 40 scorers at this year’s French Open. Roughly one-third of them are women, up from about one-quarter when she started, she said.The job is filled with small, fast decisions: When a point ends, scorers determine whether it was decided by a winner, forced error or unforced error that was hit as a forehand, backhand or other type of shot. They also note whether the point was won while one player was at net. The data then feeds IBM databases and powers television graphics, and journalists use it to identify how the match was won. read more

Mission planning for mining excavators – excellence in automation

first_imgCRCMining’s latest research in automation mining excavators addresses the problem of planning and executing automated excavation sequences to minimise cost, with a novel multiple-level-of-detail approach. Automation of large excavators will deliver significantly higher productivity and lower duty through consistent operation. As well as removing the operator, operational variability is reduced through the elimination of human factors. Significant improvements in productivity are also expected through the application of algorithms that optimise machine operation.An automated mining excavator requires the capability to plan its work, or missions, replacing the functions currently performed by the operator in deciding where to dig from next and when and where to move to in excavating a block of material. The mission planning problem for excavators is to find the most efficient digging sequence to remove identified blocks of material. The solution of this problem involves finding the answers to three coupled questions: ‘When to move?’, ‘Where to move?’ and ‘What to dig?’. This set of three questions is called the Tactical Movement Problem or TMP.TMP is a combinatorial optimisation problem. There are many possible digging sequences that could be used to excavate a material block; the desire is to find the best of these sequences. The best sequence is that which minimises the overall cost of excavation. This cost may be the time taken to excavate the block, or the energy needed, or a hybrid cost function combining time, energy, wear on a machine and other relevant factors.CRCMining’s research addresses the problem of planning and executing excavation sequences to minimise excavation cost. The ability to solve the problem within the time normally available between digs is of crucial importance. The investigation has shown that wavelet transformation can be used to generate coarse approximations of the terrain to be excavated, which are in turn used to produce task plans rapidly. The coarse plans are used as a guide for planning at successively finer levels of detail thus maintaining the near globally optimal solution while reducing computation time.This algorithm has been implemented on a scale robotic excavator and the approach is evaluated by comparison with a greedy algorithm with five-fold improvement in time and energy to complete a given excavation task. The multiple level of detail algorithm is shown to be robust to working in a scaled mining environment. This verification of the algorithm shows that the multiple-level-of-detail algorithm meets the requirements for a fully autonomous excavation task planner.Original contributions are made toward automated excavation through the design, implementation and verification of an optimisation based tactical level planner. The general nature of the algorithm makes it suitable for implementation in other task planning problems in which a surface environment must be manipulated by a mobile robot.This work was the topic of PhD student Peter Beasley’s thesis, supervised by CRCMining’s Automation Program Leader Professor Ross McAree, recently completed in June 2013.“This work is an excellent foundation for the next step in the automation challenge and we are hoping that the industry will continue to support our efforts to develop cost reducing technology,” said McAree. “The Centre has been fortunate to have many excellent young engineers complete PhDs with us. Peter Beasley is among the most talented and I highly commend the work he has done in the conduct of his PhD. Outstanding original research on complex and challenging problem.”last_img read more

Cross animals off your list of gifts this Christmas says animal rights

first_imgSenator David Norris with representatives from ARAN. Oh, and a dog in a pram. (Image Credit: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)The campaign is supported by Senator David Norris, who called Christmas a “problematic time of the year for animal shelters”.If anything, people should head to their nearest shelter and donate their free time to the needy animals there, and if you really want an animal, please do the right thing, and adopt.This campaign follows a call from the DSPCA for pet buyers to be wary of ‘illicit puppy traders’ operating online, who breed dogs in ‘the most appalling conditions’.They say that 35 per cent of dogs re-homed in the past twelve months have been pedigree.Read: Dublin mayors tell dog-owners to pick up after their pooches >More: Watch how this scary guard dog transforms when pop music plays > AN ANIMAL RIGHTS group is urging anyone considering buying an animal as a gift this Christmas to think again.In a new campaign, Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN) are asking people to consider an unwanted pet is likely to be sent to a pound where animals are routinely put down, or add to the “huge homeless crisis facing homeless and abandoned animals”.“There is no such thing as a good breeder”, the group claim, and buying from a pet from one “is only exasperating the problem” of animal homelessness.last_img read more

Sheriffs deputy accused of sexual misconduct with pregnant inmate

first_img SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A San Diego County sheriff’s deputy is accused in a civil claim of sexual misconduct with a pregnant inmate.Deputy Juan Pascua allegedly made sexually charged and drug-related comments to the unidentified woman last summer, as she was being transported from the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility to a health clinic for an exam, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Tuesday. She was nine months pregnant at the time, according to the newspaper.In her claim — a precursor to a lawsuit — the woman alleges that Pascua repeatedly harassed her, making comments about touching her and commenting about the amount of “offers” he received from other inmates and whether she would make him any such offers, leading her to report him, the U-T reported.The woman maintains that following her reporting of the alleged harassment, she was transferred to the county jail in Vista, where Pascua was assigned, leading her to fear retaliation. She also said she believed she was purposely relocated to the Vista facility because she reported Pascua, the newspaper reported.An internal affairs investigation was opened into the allegations, but the claim did not specify the results of that investigation, according to the U-T.The newspaper did not report why the woman was in jail, but noted that she is currently out of custody and living with her mother somewhere in San Diego County. February 26, 2019 Sheriff’s deputy accused of sexual misconduct with pregnant inmate Posted: February 26, 2019 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter KUSI Newsroom, KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

Boy goes from chief for a day to ribboncutter

first_imgFour-year-old Carter Harris, who was named Clark County Honorary Sheriff earlier this month, will cut the ribbon for the opening ceremony of the Portland Rose Festival today.Carter, son of Dennison and Robin Harris of Vancouver, began participation in the Washington State “Chief for a Day program”on May 16 following a leukemia diagnosis in December 2010. The program is intended to inspire and motivate others to build partnerships and realize their dreams through celebrating the lives of children diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.Versie Meyer, a 21-year Rose Festival volunteer, heard about Carter’s story during a presentation to her organization. Meyer suggested to the festival committee that Carter take part in the ceremony. The committee gave Carter the honor of cutting the ribbon.Carter will join the Rose Festival Court, members of the Rose Festival Character Clown Corps, Royal Rosarians and other directors and staff at about 5 p.m. at the City Fair sign on the waterfront in downtown Portland.The Rose Festival will be “Sheriff” Carter’s second parade appearance in several days. He rode in the sheriff’s office boat Saturday in the Hazel Dell Parade and will also be the grand marshal of a children’ parade July 4 in Felida.last_img read more

Seahawks season ends in Atlanta

first_imgAtlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant (3) celebrates his game-winning field goal against the Seattle Seahawks in the closing seconds of Sunday’s NFC divisional playoff game at the Georgia Dome. ATLANTA — The Atlanta Falcons called on a pair of Matty Ices to turn back the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL playoff history.After the top-seeded Falcons squandered a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, Matt Ryan completed two long passes and Matt Bryant kicked a 49-yard field goal with 8 seconds to give Atlanta a stunning 30-28 victory over Russell Wilson and the gutty Seattle Seahawks in an NFC divisional playoff game Sunday.The Falcons (14-3) overcame their reputation for choking in the playoffs, winning their first postseason game since 2004. They’ll host San Francisco in the NFC championship game next Sunday with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.Wilson threw two touchdown passes and ran for another, doing all he could to make the Seahawks (12-6) the first playoff team ever to rally from such a daunting deficit in the final period. Marshawn Lynch appeared to have locked it up for Seattle when he scored on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds left for a 28-27 lead.But the Seahawks’ defense, which is one of the NFL’s best and had totally stymied the Falcons in the fourth, went to a softer coverage and got burned. The Falcons had just enough time to pull off a comeback of their own.Ryan, shaking off the struggles in his first three playoff appearances, hooked up with Harry Douglas on a 29-yard pass in front of the Falcons bench, and coach Mike Smith quickly signaled a timeout. Then, Ryan went down the middle to his favorite target, tight end Tony Gonzalez, a Hall of Famer-to-be playing what could’ve been his final game.last_img read more

Music Festivals 2018 All Points East Is Londons BrandNew Fest

first_img Email Goldenvoice preps new three-day festival and 10-day conference next summer in London’s Victoria Park Nate HertweckGRAMMYs Oct 31, 2017 – 5:58 pm Mark your calendars now for a brand new music festival hitting London early next summer, All Points East. Produced by Goldenvoice, the company behind Coachella, FYF, Panorama, and more, the three-day festival and 10-day conference will take place in Victoia Park May 23 through June 3, 2018. Twitter Music Festivals 2018: All Points East Is London’s Brand-New Fest London’s Brand New Music Fest: All Points East music-festivals-2018-all-points-east-londons-brand-new-fest Facebook https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba4hNgzgWbr/?taken-by=allpointseastuk News While full details for All Points East are scheduled to be released in early November, we do know the festival will present music across six stages during the main festival portion, Friday, May 25 to Sunday, May 27, plus additional stand-alone shows.If the artists already announced are any indication, this lineup will be worth the trip. The bill already includes Björk  LCD Soundsystem, the xx, The War On Drugs, the National, Warpaint, and Future Islands, with more to be announced.Tickets for All Points East’s main festival and the first additional show are on sale now the festival’s website.Kayzo, NGHTMRE Added To 2018 OMFG NYE LineupRead morelast_img read more

OBITUARY John Shelly Ryals Jr 77

first_imgTEWKSBURY, MA — John Shelly Ryals, Jr. age 77, a resident of Tewksbury for 50 years, passed away at the Lowell General Hospital-Saints Campus on Thursday, January 3, 2019.He was the beloved husband of Sarah M. (Peterson) Ryals, with whom he celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on June 29, 2018.Born in Refugio, Texas on November 13, 1941, he was the son of the late John Shelly Ryals, Sr. and the late Bernice (Mixon-Ryals) Steed.John grew up in San Antonio, TX, where he attended local schools and graduated from St. Edwards College High School.In 1963, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served during the Vietnam War aboard the USS Newman K. Perry. He was awarded several decorations for his active duty service including the National Defense Service Medal, and the Vietnam Service Medal with One Campaign Star.Prior to his retirement, he was employed by the BNZ Corporation (formerly known as Johns Manville) in Billerica. Mr. Ryals was a member of the Wamesit Masonic Lodge AF & AM in Tewksbury and the Aleppo Shriners in Wilmington. In addition, he served for many years as a troop leader with Troop 41 Boy Scouts in Tewksbury.Mr. Ryals enjoyed camping, fishing, and vacationing in Maine and Florida.In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children, Ronald E. Ryals and his wife Shelley of Chelmsford, Shelly Ryals-Joncas and her husband Roger of Pelham, NH, and Karen Ryals-Reardon of Tewksbury; seven grandchildren, Eric Ryals, Abigail, Caroline, Ethan, and Sophia Joncas, and CJ and James Reardon; one brother, Lawrence Ryals and his wife Margaret of Refugio, TX; his nephews, Bobby and Daryl; his nieces, Kathleen and Sherry. Mr. Ryals was the brother of the late Rosemary Jolly.Calling hours are Monday, Jan. 7, from 4-7 p.m. at the Farmer & Dee Funeral Home, 16 Lee St., Tewksbury, immediately followed by a prayer service to be held at the funeral home. Interment will be at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne, MA on Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 1:15 p.m.. Please omit flowers. Donations in his memory may be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children, 51 Blossom St., Boston, MA 02114.John Shelly Ryals, Jr.(NOTE: The above obituary is from Farmer & Dee Funeral Home.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedOBITUARY: Charles G. Reekie, 88In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: John “Kevin” Murphy, 77In “Obituaries”OBITUARY: Brandon M. Long, 27In “Obituaries”last_img read more

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Undergoes Makeover

first_imgListen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /02:10 Courtesy: Cynthia Woods Mitchell PavilionThe Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion opened to the public in 1990 and has become an iconic venue for The Woodlands and the greater Houston area.Construction crews have recently started renovating the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, located in The Woodlands, with the goal of modernizing the venue, which was opened in 1990.The project includes renovating the dressing rooms, as well as a new operations building and the extension of the loading dock, which will make it easier for the venue to continue bringing big productions.“The project is roughly 11 million dollars. It encompasses six different projects around the facility, the largest of which is a new VIP club, which is going from roughly 3,500 square feet to about 14,500 square feet,” explains Jeff Young, vice president of operations for the Pavilion.– / 6The canopies at the north and south entrances will be replaced. The new ones will have LED lights, but the iconic giant canopies that cover the seating area will not be touched. They were already replaced in 2009, after the facility was severely damaged by hurricane Ike.Jeff Gerber, from the architecture and engineering firm PGAL, is the lead architect for the project and he explains the idea is to modernize the Pavilion but, at the same time, maintain its essence.“They know that their venue has the iconic canopy structure that it’s known for and they wanted to make sure the architecture of the new facilities complemented that and didn’t detract from that iconic imagery,” Gerber notes.Young says the renovation will help the Pavilion remain an appealing venue for top artists and shows, but he emphasizes they already offer a wide variety of events.“We are probably one of the most diverse, if not the most diverse, facility in the country for the type of programming. I mean, where else can you get everybody from Jimmy Buffett, Twenty One Pilots, Dave Matthews to the Houston Symphony, or the Houston Ballet or the Houston Grand Opera?” Young asks.The renovation is scheduled to be completed by April of 2017, although the new VIP club will probably open to the public in September. Share Xlast_img read more

Microsoft nailed the Xbox One S reveal by ripping off Sony

first_imgGamers have been nervous about the announcement of “Scorpio” and “Neo” from Microsoft and Sony (respectively) for months (we aren’t worried about the NX, because Nintendo has said absolutely nothing about it and it could be a microwave for all we know at this point). Microsoft assuaged some of those fears in the first few minutes of its E3 press event by doing something incredibly simple and obvious in hindsight: It bit Sony’s style.Yes, it’s understandable to be concerned about faster consoles that might lock content out of older, less powerful versions of the same consoles. So, the Xbox One S isn’t about that. It’s just smaller. That’s it. Job done. Nailed it. You know, just like Sony nailed it with the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3. “Hey, we have the same console we’ve been offering for a year or two, but now it’s way smaller and less expensive.” That’s how you do it.We don’t know if the Xbox One S — available now at Amazon — is more powerful than the Xbox One. Frankly, we don’t want to know. It’s a spec we can do without. It might have some more juice running through it considering the HDR support, but that’s a weirdly specific feature. It’s just a smaller Xbone with a $300 price tag coming out in August. HDR looks incredibly pretty if it’s content that’s mastered (or perhaps rendered, for games) in HDR, but it doesn’t need anywhere near the sort of power 4K resolution does, and it’ll only really benefit the subset of gamers who have high-end, HDR-capable televisions“But will it come with Kinect,” you might ask? I’m kidding. Nobody will ever ask that. Ever.It’s still morning for me on the West Coast as I write this (waiting for the PC Gaming Show, oddly timed to make going to Xbox and Ubisoft completely impossible, even though I can see the Orpheum Theater where Ubisoft will hold its press event from where I’m waiting), so we still have to see what Sony’s mysterious Neo will be.This evening will really set the tone for the coming year of potential iterative console purchases. Will Neo be a more powerful system than the launch PS4? Or will it just be smaller, maybe with some extra ports to be more PlayStation VR-friendly? I’m leaning towards the latter, but I’ll find out firsthand tonight.Even if Neo is more powerful, Sony will need some kind of killer app that proves its worth. That won’t be PSVR, since we’ve known it works with the regular PS4 ever since Sony started demoing it over a year ago. It won’t be slightly prettier games, because that’s a poor replacement for the traditional steady optimization of code developers always do with console hardware throughout a console’s life. It won’t be 4K, because no amount of subsidizing the hardware will let Sony make a console that can put out 4K graphics at a frame rate consistently above “slideshow.” Sony needs a killer app — one Microsoft didn’t show, and to be fair, Microsoft didn’t even show the console.Forget the game announcements, feature promises, and pretty much anything else at Microsoft’s event. It was mostly par for the course, and was mostly leaked before the event even started. Another Gears of War, another Dead Rising, another Forza, and a handful of actually promising titles — Sea of Thieves and Scalebound, that were previously shown. The Xbox One has been floundering against the PS4, and by the fall there will be a smaller, cheaper version that will seriously appeal to gamers because it’s so much smaller and cheaper. That’s the big takeaway from Microsoft right now.Maybe the Xbox One S is a bit more powerful than the Xbox One. Maybe it’ll lock out content from other systems down the line as developers take advantage of that power (though Microsoft promised that wouldn’t happen during the show). That won’t be an issue for a while now, and since Microsoft isn’t actually saying anything about it, it’ll remain a vague threat rather than an actual problem.Welcome to E3 2016! Let the avalanche of announcements continue.last_img read more

One of the most inflated giant planets discovered

first_img © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers has detected a highly inflated giant planet orbiting a mildly evolved star. According to a research paper published Aug. 16 on the arXiv pre-print server, the newly found exoplanet, designated KELT-12b, is one of the most inflated “hot Jupiters” known to date. More information: KELT-12b: A P∼5 Day, Highly Inflated Hot Jupiter Transiting a Mildly Evolved Hot Star, arXiv:1608.04714 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1608.04714AbstractWe report the discovery of KELT-12b, a highly inflated Jupiter-mass planet transiting a mildly evolved host star. We identified the initial transit signal in the KELT-North survey data and established the planetary nature of the companion through precise follow-up photometry, high-resolution spectroscopy, precise radial velocity measurements, and high-resolution adaptive optics imaging. Our preferred best-fit model indicates that the V=10.64 host, TYC 2619-1057-1, has Teff=6278±51 K, logg⋆=3.89+0.054−0.051, and [Fe/H] = 0.19+0.083−0.085, with an inferred mass M⋆=1.59+0.071−0.091M⊙ and radius R⋆=2.37±0.18R⊙. The planetary companion has MP=0.95±0.14MJ, RP=1.79+0.18−0.17RJ, loggP=2.87+0.097−0.098, and density ρP=0.21+0.075−0.054 g cm−3, making it one of the most inflated giant planets known. The time of inferior conjunction in BJDTDB is 2457088.692055±0.0009 and the period is P=5.0316144±0.0000306 days. Despite the relatively large separation of ∼0.07 AU implied by its ∼5.03-day orbital period, KELT-12b receives significant flux of 2.93+0.33−0.30×109 erg s−1 cm−2 from its host. We compare the radii and insolations of transiting giant planets around hot (Teff≥6250 K) and cool stars, noting that the observed paucity of known transiting giants around hot stars with low insolation is likely due to selection effects. We underscore the significance of long-term ground-based monitoring of hot stars and space-based targeting of hot stars with the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) to search for inflated giants in longer-period orbits. Explore further KELT-12b discovery light curve from the KELT-North telescope. The light curve contains 7,498 observations spanning 6.3 years. The light curve is phase-folded to the BLS-determined orbital period of 5.031450 days. The red points show the same data binned at 1.2-hour intervals after phasefolding. Credit: Stevens et al., 2016. 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. Citation: One of the most inflated giant planets discovered (2016, August 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-08-inflated-giant-planets.html A giant exoworld that expands in size when its parent star is at the end of its life is called “inflated.” This inflation process is very often seen in the so-called “hot Jupiters”—gas giant planets similar in characteristics to the solar system’s biggest planet, with orbital periods of less than 10 days. They have high surface temperatures as they orbit their parent stars very closely. The newly discovered KELT-12b is another great example of an inflated “hot Jupiter.”KELT-12b was spotted by a team of researchers led by Daniel Stevens of the Ohio State University. For their observations, the astronomers employed the KELT-North telescope at the Winer Observatory in Arizona. KELT-North is one of the two robotic telescopes in the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) survey, whose main goal is to search for transiting exoplanets around bright stars.While analyzing KELT-North data acquired from 2007 to 2013, the scientists identified the initial transit signal of KELT-12b. Afterwards, the team conducted follow-up observations to confirm the planetary nature of this signal. They obtained several high-cadence, high-precision light curves from their global follow-up network of observers and small telescopes. “We identified the initial transit signal in the KELT-North survey data and established the planetary nature of the companion through precise follow-up photometry, high-resolution spectroscopy, precise radial velocity measurements, and high-resolution adaptive optics imaging,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The newly found alien world is orbiting a mildly evolved, 2 billion-year-old star KELT-12 (also known as TYC 2619-1057-1) that is about 2.4 times larger than our sun and has a mass of approximately 1.59 solar masses. The planet itself, with an orbital period of five days, is slightly less massive than Jupiter, having about 0.95 the mass of the solar system’s gas giant. However, its radius is much larger than astronomers have expected – around 1.79 Jupiter radii. This relatively large radius, combined with an extremely low density at a level of just 0.21 g/cm3 indicates that KELT-12b is an inflated exoplanet. Moreover, the scientists emphasize that it is one of the most inflated “hot Jupiters” discovered so far.As the newest addition to the list of inflated gas giants, KELT-12b data could be helpful in future studies of the inflation process, as it is still unclear what really causes it. In general, the possible explanations could be assigned to two different theories—scientists believe that the inflation is caused by deposition of energy from the host star, or due to inhibited cooling of the planet.The authors of the paper hope that future studies will greatly expand our catalog of “hot Jupiters” around hot stars, adding new ones with orbital periods longer than a few days. It is expected to put researchers in a better position to investigate any differences in giant planet inflation, which could be crucial to our understanding of this process. Astronomers discover a highly inflated sub-Saturn extrasolar planetlast_img read more

Of one and the other

first_imgFrolicking with colours imbibes a variety of connotations and to explain it through art, the Capital is ready to host a solo show of paintings titled Mook Samvad by Deepika Mishra. The week-long exhibition will start on Wednesday.Mishra says the theme of all her paintings is love. They revolve around relationship between married couples. Mishra says: “A firm belief in reincarnation has led me paint my subjects in that light,” Mishra lays an stress on the selection of colours in her paintings. She says colours depict human emotions. “The colours used in the paintings describe the relationship between a man and his wife. Women are associated with various emotions and depicting them perfectly is a challenge.” Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The acrylic artist added: “I love to dabble with colours. Women have always been an intriguing topic of my paintings.” “To display emotions in paintings, the mood needs to be blended with colours. So, I use of acrylics to depict the mood of a soul – their  emotions  – in perfect harmony with the nature,” added Mishra.The painter said: “The technique I have used is Anuvedh, which means blending. The acrylic on canvas depicts seamless blending of souls, with songs and colours of the earth. We are, from what we arise, the earth. While one part of our soul is connected to the earth, leaves, trees, sand and water; the other is connected to ‘Brahma’ – the Supreme Being. This offering aspires to give expression to our connection to the earth.”  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe artist also paints landscapes, abstracts, military depictions, murals, water colours and mixed media creations. She is also adept in using various other techniques for painting such as brushes, knives, charcoal, glass paint, glass, tiles and deco. Mishra is also a singer and has participated in a number of musical events. She says singing has always been her passion.  Where: Beanstalk, Gurgaon When: June 17 -23 Timings: 10:30 AM to 8 PMlast_img read more

Second day of Madhyamik sees rerun of question paper leak Partha intervenes

first_imgKolkata: The second day of the Madhyamik examination on Wednesday saw a repetition of the first day’s incident, where the question paper was found circulating on WhatsApp soon after the commencement of examination.On Wednesday as well, a portion of the English question paper was circulated through WhatsApp, a while after the start of the examination. The same incident on two consecutive days forced the state Education minister Partha Chatterjee to intervene. “If any student is caught with mobile phone inside the examination hall from Thursday, his/her examination will not only be cancelled, but he/she will not be allowed to sit for the examination further,” Chatterjee said. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe minister also communicated the government’s stand in this regard to the president of West Bengal Board of Secondary Education Kalyanmoy Ganguly. The Education department has also asked the Board officials to act tough if any invigilator or non-teaching staff is found with mobile phone inside the examination hall. An official pointed out that there have been a few cases where a thorough search of the examinees could not be done at the venue gate due to objections from some students and as a result, they had entered the hall with mobile phones. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”Despite repeated requests to the students, it is sad that they are not adhering to the directions of the Board and are entering the examination halls with mobile phones,” the official said. The state Education minister has sought a report of the incident from the Board president regarding the back-to-back circulation of question papers on WhatsApp. It may be mentioned that after similar circulation of question paper on the first day of the examination, the Board had filed an FIR with the Cyber Crime Police station of Bidhannagar police commissionerate. Meanwhile, a provision of 10 totos and a Maruti van has been made by Bidhannagar Welfare Society to help the students reach their examination centres for free. The Education minister also announced a number of initiatives by his department to observe the 200th birth anniversary of Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar. The Sanskrit College and University will unveil an archive on Vidyasagar, while institutions will hold extempore and other similar programmes on the occasion. “We have already written to the Centre, seeking its nod for release of a postage stamp to commemorate the occasion. The institutions in the state where Vidyasagar had set foot will be lit up with attractive lights to mark the occasion that falls in September this year,” Chatterjee said.last_img read more

Kolkatans join CMs rally in large numbers

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee took out a mammoth rally on the streets of Kolkata on Wednesday, protesting against the brazen assault on the sentiments of the people in Bengal by BJP, through the demolition of Vidyasagar’s statue on Tuesday.The people of Bengal have been reeling under the aftermath of the attack. Trinamool Congress organised a rally to articulate their voice against the incident. The rally started from Gandhi Bhawan in Beliaghata and Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBanerjee spearheaded the movement. As it advanced and went past important places in the city, a large number of people started joining the rally. Almost all the prominent Trinamool Congress leaders from the state were found participating in the rally, alongside the Chief Minister. After kicking off from Gandhi Bhawan, the rally took Rajendra Lal Mitra Sarani before hitting CIT road. A large number of people congregated on both sides of the road to catch a glimpse of Banerjee. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateAll the Trinamool Congress leaders including the Chief Minister were in a somber mood, with the effects of the attack still fresh across the city. The rally went past Kankurgachi Crossing and headed towards Maniktala Main Road. The rally then took Vivekananda Road, where Banerjee garlanded the statue of Swami Vivekananda at his residence. The rally then passed through Bidhan Sarani and finally stopped at Netaji’s Statue in Shyambazar five point crossing. Later in the day during a press conference, Banerjee urged all people of the state to take out candle light marches in solidarity with the movement. Trinamool Congress leaders have also been urged to organise the movement in all the blocks. It may be mentioned here that party leaders from various districts have already staged protest demonstrations against the incident. Many intellectuals from the state have also condemned the incident in which the statue was demolished allegedly by the activists who took part in BJP national president Amit Shah’s road show on Tuesday.last_img read more

Woman killed in horror crash at Limit Hill robots

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A woman was tragically killed in a crash during the early hours of this morning (July 3) at the Limit Hill robots.Details of the crash are not clear at this stage.It is alleged that a Lexus travelling from the Helpmekaar Road side lost control near the robots and rolled.Also read: Well-known Ladysmith biker dies in crash on Bergville roadAlso read: Update: Tragic death of well-known Ladysmith biker in crashAlso read: 2 injured as vehicle rolls near Ladysmith’s Indoor Sports ComplexThe vehicle crashed into streetlight poles and signboards before coming to rest on its side. A woman was flung out of the vehicle and was declared dead at the scene.Other occupants in the vehicle were injured.Police, Public Safety, a towing service and forensics responded to the scene of the crash.The vehicle had to be towed away.Click to receive news links via WhatsApp. Or  for the latest news, visit our webpage or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Join us there!last_img read more

White House threatens to veto Cuba travel curbs

first_imgWASHINGTON, D.C. – The White House signaled its intent Monday to veto legislation that would stymie President Barack Obama’s push to open travel to Cuba, the latest political clash over his landmark foreign policy goal.A transportation bill includes measures designed to ambush Obama’s broader effort to thaw Cuba ties that were set in deep freeze during the Cold War.“His senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill,” the White House said in a statement.Congress is considering a bill that would restrict flights and cruise ships from going to Cuba, travel the Obama administration has encouraged.In the White House’s view, it would also “place unnecessary restrictions on options for educational, religious, or other permitted travel” to the communist island.Republicans keen to connect with Cuban-American voters have opposed Obama’s plan to improve ties, citing persistent political persecution in Cuba.The field of prospective Republican presidential candidates includes Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, both of whom have their political base in Florida and have close ties to the Cuban-American community.Follow our Cuba coverage here Facebook Comments Related posts:As talks with US begin, Cubans anticipate changes in their lives Why Midwestern farmers want to break the Cuba embargo US, Cuba agree on restoration of ties, embassies to reopen Obama administration to further ease travel and business restrictions with Cubalast_img read more

The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   A 6-foot-2, 210-pound corner, he has excellent size and speed. Asomugha is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retirescenter_img Top Stories A couple years ago, Nnamdi Asomugha was the hottest name on the free agent market. Arguably the best cornerback in football, he surprised many by signing with the Philadelphia Eagles.Two disappointing seasons later he’s been released, and according to ProFootballTalk, could make his next home in Arizona.Asomugha, 31, owns 405 combined tackles and 15 interceptions for his career, but tallied just 95 and four, respectively, in his two years with the Eagles. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more