Cut red tape to increase exports in AsiaPacific UNbacked conference concludes

22 May 2009A reduction of export red tape by Governments in the Asia-Pacific region will lead to an increase in exports from areas hard hit by the global financial crisis, said participants at a United Nations-backed trade conference today. The 20-22 May meeting in Beijing on small and medium size enterprises, sponsored by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia- Pacific (ESCAP), concluded that bureaucratic procedures are particularly hard for smaller companies.“They simply do not have the capacity to deal with complex and opaque procedures,” said Ravi Ratnayake, Director of the Trade and Investment Division for ESCAP.“Recent research at ESCAP finds that a 5 per cent reduction in the cost associated with preparing export documents and moving goods from the factory to the ship may lead to increase in exports of 4 per cent or more,” Mr. Ratnayake said.“The hidden costs of trade are high – in some cases up to 15 per cent of the value of goods traded,” he said.John S. Wilson, Lead Economist at the World Bank’s Research Department said that “trade facilitation reform matters a great deal to development,” adding that “World Bank research estimates, for example, gains of over $400 billion in global GDP with increased transparency in trade in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation bloc alone.”The forum also recommended speeding up the computerization and automation of trade documentation and procedures to slash the time, cost and uncertainties related to moving goods across borders.Participants at the ESCAP gathering said small- and medium-size firms are typically not well represented in policy making forums. read more

President leaves for Rome will have talks with Pope

President Maithripala Sirisena left for Rome today where he will have talks with Pope Francis, the President’s media division said.President Sirisena will be on a two day official visit to Italy and during the visit he is expected to meet the Sri Lankan community in Italy as well. (Colombo Gazette)

Suit Sporting goods CEO pretended to be executive at rival to get

TRENTON, N.J. – The CEO of a sporting goods chain who once appeared on the TV show “Undercover Boss” pretended to be an executive from a rival company in an effort to get confidential information, according to a lawsuit.Dick’s Sporting Goods claims in a lawsuit filed Feb. 20 in Mercer County Court that Mitchell Modell, CEO of Modell’s Sporting Goods, showed up at a Dick’s store in Princeton in February saying he was a Dick’s senior vice-president. The lawsuit was first reported Friday by The Record newspaper (http://bit.ly/1dJeWqz ).Dick’s alleges Modell told employees he was to meet the Dick’s CEO there and persuaded workers to show him the backroom of the store and to answer questions about the business. Modell gathered information about online sales, including a “ship from store” program that gets products to customers’ doors quickly, the lawsuit said.Retailers spy on each other all the time. In his autobiography, Sam Walton writes about covert shopping trips to keep tabs on rivals like Kmart and Price Club.“Ever since retailers first started having cash registers, retailers have scouted each other’s stores,” said Burt Flickinger III, president of retail consultancy Strategic Resource Group.But if the lawsuit’s allegations are true, this appears to be a particularly egregious case. It is rare that a CEO would actually get caught misrepresenting himself to store employees, experts say.“What happens all day every day is retailers go to their competitors’ stores and probably and certainly don’t disclose who they are,” said RBC Capital Markets analyst Sean McGowan. “But I can’t think of any instances where a retailer represents he is an executive to gain access.”Dick’s accuses its rival of civil conspiracy and trespass and is seeking attorneys’ fees and a judge’s order to prevent Modell and his workers from entering nonpublic areas of Dick’s stores or posing as employees.A Dick’s spokesman said company policy prevented him from commenting on pending litigation. Modell’s spokesman Jason Karlowski was not available for comment.In 2012, Mitchell Modell shaved his head and put on an oversized moustache to pose as a low-level employee on the CBS show “Undercover Boss.” He later said the experience taught him how physically demanding warehouse work was and led to staffing and workload changes throughout the company.His New York-based chain has more than 150 stores, mostly in the Northeast. Dick’s, based in Pittsburgh, is a publicly traded company with more than 550 stores nationwide.___Information from: The Record (Woodland Park, N.J.), http://www.northjersey.com In this July 14, 2013 photo, Modell’s Sporting Goods CEO Mitchell Modell attends ACES All Stars 2013 Celebrate with Grey Goose Vodka, at Marquee in New York. Modell, who once appeared on the TV show “Undercover Boss,” pretended to be an executive from rival company Dick’s Sporting Goods in an effort to get confidential information, according to a lawsuit filed Feb. 20, 2014. (Photo by Jason Decrow/Invision for ACES, Inc/AP Images) by The Associated Press Posted Feb 28, 2014 12:44 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Suit: Sporting goods CEO pretended to be executive at rival to get secrets from store workers read more

Somalia beginning profound transformation UN official says during visit

“Somalia is beginning to undergo profound transformation,” said Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman. “The United Nations will continue to assist however possible at this critical time.”After decades of factional fighting and lawlessness, the East African country has been undergoing a peace and national reconciliation process, with a series of landmark steps last year that have helped to bring an end to its nine-year political transition period. These steps included the adoption of a Provisional Constitution, the establishment of a new Parliament and the appointments of a new President and a new Prime Minister.During his visit, Mr. Feltman met with senior Government officials, including Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon, and the Speaker of the Somali Parliament, Mohamed Osman Jawari. He also met with members of the UN country team and UN staff serving in Mogadishu.“I was inspired and encouraged by what I heard today from the Somali authorities,” Mr. Feltman said. “This is a Government which has both vision and a practical plan to implement it. They have truly taken ownership of the process and our role is to do our utmost to support the Somali authorities, across the board and without hesitation.”Mr. Feltman’s visit follows the announcement by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the African Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, over the weekend that he would be proposing to the Security Council the establishment of a new UN peacebuilding presence in Somalia, as part of efforts to strengthen the UN-AU partnership on the ground.In his meetings, Mr. Feltman encouraged dialogue and reconciliation and expressed concerns over human rights, particularly sexual violence against women, and urged the Government to take the necessary steps to strengthen the promotion and protection of human rights. The discussions also focused on the future of the UN presence in Somalia and the need for a better coordinated and coherent approach by the international community to support this new phase of peacebuilding. read more

INTERVIEW all parties want calm across IsraeliLebanese border says former UN envoy

Derek Plumbly, a former British diplomat with extensive Middle East experience, recently completed a three-year stint as the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon. Among his most important responsibilities at the helm of the Beirut-based UN political office in Lebanon (UNSCOL) was helping to implement Security Council resolution 1701.The resolution, which ended the 2006 war between Israel and the Lebanese group Hizbollah, calls for respect for the Blue Line, the disarming of all militias in Lebanon, and an end to arms smuggling in the area. While UN peacekeepers patrol the south, UNSCOL’s small civilian team pursues the political dimensions of the resolution.“Although we failed to secure progress on some of the more difficult outstanding issues, and there are unimplemented parts of the resolution, the calm has enabled the people in the south of Lebanon and on the other side of the Blue Line to pursue their normal lives,” said Mr. Plumbly. “Obviously there are reasons for concern, partly because there are these outstanding issues and because there are still underlying tensions,” he added in an interview this week with Politically Speaking, the online magazine of the UN Department of Political Affairs (DPA).Derek Plumbly in south Lebanon with parliamentarians in Bint Jbeil market (June 2012). Photo: Pasqual Gorriz“But I think there is a shared concern, frankly and it is very important to note this, on the part of all parties to sustain that calm across the Blue Line.”Mr. Plumbly, who was succeeded by Sigrid Kaag of the Netherlands, noted that it is part of the Special Coordinator’s role to try to ‘underline the benefits’ of the calm and to ensure that people remain committed to a secession of hostilities across the Blue Line and to maintaining the achievements of resolution 1701.Among the greatest challenges UNSCOL has faced, he said, has been coping with the consequences of the ongoing conflict in neighbouring Syria. Lebanon’s Government has declared an official policy of ‘disassociation’ from the Syrian conflict. And under an agreement brokered in 2012 known as the Baabda Declaration, the leading political blocs have adopted the same commitment not to import the crisis into Lebanon.Derek Plumbly meets Syrian refugee families at collective shelter in south Lebanon (April 2013). Photo: UNSCOLHowever, Lebanon has felt the impact of the conflict in many ways. “In the shadow of the Syrian crisis, the threats to Lebanon have become more numerous,” said Mr. Plumbly, citing spill-over in the form of terrorism, polarization of the population due to differing views on what is happening in Syria, as well as the large refugee influx.There are currently some 1.1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon (equal to a quarter of the resident population), making it the country with the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide, and putting increasing pressure on a host community that is already stretched to the breaking point.While the influx of a million refugees would be massive in any country, the UN refugee agency says that for Lebanon – ‘a small nation beset by internal difficulties’ – the impact is ‘staggering.’ Derek Plumbly discusses development projects with local authorities (December 2012). Photo: Pasqual Gorriz Government formation and vacancies in top leadership posts have been recurring problems for the country, which has been without a president since last May. Mr. Plumbly stressed the need for all parties to be flexible and to show a sense of urgency, adding that the vacancy in the presidency does have a negative impact.“It’s a complex political situation with a lot of quite difficult challenges,” he stated, adding that this is why it is critical for the Special Coordinator to reach out to everyone and maintain contacts with all parties. “There were no political players in Lebanon to whom we did not speak and that too on a very regular basis. And that, I think, is crucial.” read more

KState begins search for Snyders successor again

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas State has gone through the unenviable process of replacing a coaching great once before, and the results were so disappointing that Bill Snyder came out of retirement to put the program back on track.Now, the Wildcats get a do-over.The 79-year-old Snyder announced Sunday he was retiring for a second time as the coach at Kansas State. The move brought an end to his Hall of Fame career and opened up the job for only the second time in the past three decades.The first time, after Snyder retired in 2005, then-athletic director Tim Weiser hired the relatively unknown Ron Prince as head coach. The former Virginia offensive co-ordinator went 17-20 with one bowl appearance, but the slide of the once-proud Kansas State program was evident.This time, it will be up to Gene Taylor to make a better choice.He was hired as athletic director last year, and from the moment Taylor signed on, he knew one day he would be searching for a football coach. So like any good administrator, Taylor compiled a list of potential candidates that he kept at the ready — even as Snyder decided last fall to return for one more season — and he will no doubt be reaching out to those individuals soon.“Our priority will be to identify the absolute best individual to lead our football program and we will do so in a timely yet exhaustive manner,” Taylor said in a statement Monday. “This is a program with rich tradition, a passionate fan base and a facility infrastructure that is second to none, and we want to find a successful coach who best fits and understands our culture here at K-State.“We will attract some of the nation’s top coaches,” Taylor said, “and I look forward to introducing the K-State Nation to its next coach in the near future.”That is because time is of the essence.Just down the road, Kansas has hired Les Miles to replace the fired David Beaty, and fellow Big 12 rival Texas Tech has replaced Kliff Kingsbury with Matt Wells. A former Big 12 foe, Colorado, has hired Mel Tucker to replace the fired Mike MacIntyre.Georgia Tech, Louisville, Maryland and North Carolina are in search of new coaches.In other words, there are plenty of jobs open and some high-profile names are already coming off the board. And with a new early signing period for football prospects beginning in a couple of weeks, it is even more crucial these days to hire a coach quickly enough to hit the ground recruiting.Taylor said the search already is underway. Ventura Partners has been hired to assist with the process. And Snyder’s contract stipulates that he has “appropriate input” in hiring his successor.Here are some candidates who could be in play:— Chris Klieman, head coach, North Dakota State. Taylor hired him to replace Craig Bohl at North Dakota State, where he is unbeaten this season as he seeks a fourth national title in five years. Klieman played at Northern Iowa and has ties to the Big 12 after serving as an assistant at Kansas.— Jim Leavitt, defensive co-ordinator, Oregon. Leavitt was a popular assistant under Snyder before he built South Florida’s program from scratch. But his tenure ended under intense scrutiny for his treatment of players, and he has been passed over for several head coaching jobs.— Seth Littrell, head coach, North Texas. One of the hottest young coaches in the nation, Littrell played for former Snyder assistant Bob Stoops at Oklahoma and coached alongside former Snyder assistant Mark Mangino at Kansas. He has turned the Mean Green into a perennial bowl team.— Ricky Rahne, offensive co-ordinator, Penn State. Snyder thought highly enough of Rahne that he kept him on staff when Prince was fired. He has no head coaching experience, but Rahne is considered among the top offensive minds in college football and tutored the Nittany Lions’ Saquon Barkley, among others.— Brett Venables, defensive co-ordinator, Clemson. Considered the fan favourite to succeed Snyder, the Kansas native played at Kansas State before beginning his coaching career there. Venables also served as defensive co-ordinator at Oklahoma before becoming one of the nation’s highest-paid assistants at Clemson.Whoever is chosen will find a program that is only a year removed from a bowl game, has plenty of returning starters and has spent more than $200 million to renovate Bill Snyder Family Stadium and its attached football facility — with millions in additional improvements already planned.In short, it’s a program in much better shape than when Snyder arrived three decades ago.___More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25Dave Skretta, The Associated Press read more

FLSmidth wins advanced materials handling contract for Toromoch in Peru

first_imgFLSmidth has signed a contract with Chinese-owned Minera Chinalco Perú (MCP) for equipment for its Toromocho copper mine lying at 4,500 m above sea level in the Morococha mining district about 140 km east of Lima, the capital of Peru. The contract value is expected to be worth in excess of $30 million. FLSmidth is to provide detailed engineering and design, as well as manufacture and delivery of equipment, including two overland conveyors, seven in-plant conveyors, and two belt feeders.The overland conveyor will be one of the most complex conveyors in the world. It will be 5.2 km in length and have 9MW of installed power. The conveyor will have complex vertical and horizontal curves and can demand or regenerate power depending on loading conditions.“Peru continues to be one of the most active minerals areas in the world and FLSmidth has a long time presence in the country. FLSmidth owned Conveyor Engineering has been providing material handling solutions in Peru since the mid 1990s and has supplied some of the largest systems in the country. The conveyor solution included in this order consists of cutting-edge technology and know-how – making it one of the most complex conveyors yet,” Group CEO Jørgen Huno Rasmussen commented.Toromocho’s reserves are estimated at 1,526 Mt, containing mainly copper, molybdenum and silver. The mine will be worked as an open pit. MCP expects to invest $2,150 million in the project in total. The mine is expected to have a 36-year life.last_img read more

Primero chasing battery materials work after ASX debut

first_imgMulti-disciplinary engineering company Primero Group has tapped investors for A$25 million as part of its listing on the Australian Securities Exchange.The company, which has previously carried out work for the likes of Rio Tinto, CITIC Pacific Mining, PT Bumi Suksesindo and Resolute Mining, debuted on the ASX on Monday.Primero has recently carried out early-stage works on Tawana Resources’ Bald hill lithium mine in Western Australia, a project that moved from maiden resource to concentrate production in nine months.Its expertise was also sought by Northern Minerals, when it contracted Primero to construct the hydromet pilot plant (pictured, in construction) and heavy rare earth mine at the Browns Range project in the Tanami region of both Western Australia and Northern Territory.Currently capitalised at just over A$59 million, the company carries out engineering consulting for feasibility studies and project development, detailed design, project management and construction, project operations, maintenance, enhancement and support, and project retirement.It sees the battery materials sector, in particular, as one potential growth opportunity.“Primero is well placed to capitalise on future battery materials work in Australia and overseas given its specialist expertise and credentials,” the company said.In addition to working with Tawana and Northern Minerals in this space, the company has also been contracted by Pilbara Minerals (Pilgangoora lithium project) and Galaxy Resources (Mt Cattlin lithium project).“The company believes that development projects within this sector will form a key part of its futureproject pipeline,” Primero said.last_img read more

Yiayia is offside

first_imgThe inevitable video of the intrusion emerged, though there is no explanation as to the reason she opted to do this. Maybe she mistook the field for a park; maybe she was too tired to walk all the way round the field; or maybe, like any self-respecting Greek yiayia, she is defiant of a bunch of kids in shorts chasing around a ball.  It’s not unusual for a soccer game to be interrupted by unexpected factors and few things can be more unexpected in a game, than an old lady with a walking stick. The incident occurred during a youth football league game in Thesprotia, Ipirus, when to everyone’s astonishment, an old lady decided to cross the field, causing confusion and making a timeout necessary. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Les premières cigarettes antiincendie arrivent en Europe

first_imgLes premières cigarettes anti-incendie arrivent en EuropeLes premières cigarettes censées s’éteindre plus facilement pour limiter les incendies accidentels arrivent chez les revendeurs européens avant leur généralisation le 17 novembre. Un changement qui, assurent les fabricants, ne modifie en rien leur goût et sans doute pas leur prix.Les “lip” (pour “lower ignition propensity”, soit “propension inflammable réduite”) débarquent chez les buralistes européens. Ces cigarettes anti-incendie sont déjà vendues au Canada, en Australie et dans certains États américains, mais n’avaient jusqu’ici pas faire leur apparition sur notre continent. Comme leur nom l’indique, celles-ci sont en fait destinées à réduire le risque d’incendie qu’elles représentent. En effet, le Comité national contre le tabagisme (CNCT), rappelle les derniers chiffres officiels : les incendies causés par des cigarettes ont fait 295 morts et 728 blessés graves en 2008. Mais plus inquiétants encore, environ 30% des incendies mortels sont dus aux cigarettes.”Ces incendies surviennent généralement parce que les personnes se sont endormies alors que leur cigarette continuait à se consumer”, assure le CNCT. Des anneaux qui font “barrière”Ainsi, avec les lip, lorsque la combustion arrive à la hauteur des anneaux, le tabac reçoit moins d’oxygène, ce qui facilite l’extinction de la cigarette si le consommateur ne fume pas activement. Par exemple, s’il oublie sa cigarette allumée sur le rebord d’une table, a expliqué à l’AFP, Eric Sensi, directeur des affaires corporate d’Imperial Tobacco France. Les anneaux en question permettent en fait d'”arrêter la combustion”, et agissent comme “des barrières”, a-t-on précisé chez le fabricant des marques Gauloise, JPS ou Fortuna. Les cigarettes équipées d’un tel dispositif répondent ainsi à une norme voulue par la Commission européenne en 2008 pour limiter les incendies accidentels.  Toujours au regard de cette norme, la responsabilité juridique d’un fabricant pourra être engagée s’il est établi qu’une de ses cigarettes, non conforme, a été à l’origine d’un incendie.Pour le reste, la Confédération regrette que ce changement n’ait pas été accompagné de campagnes de communication, ne serait-ce que pour aider les buralistes à répondre aux questions de leurs clients. Le goût et la composition restent les mêmesCar un tel dispositif suscite en effet de nombreuses questions auprès des consommateurs. Toutefois, les fabricants ont expliqué que ni le goût, ni le prix d’achat n’allait changer. Seul le papier est modifié : les cigarettes comportent désormais sur leur longueur deux ou trois anneaux où le papier dispose de moins de micro-perforations, faisant ainsi barrage à la combustion. “Pour 90% de notre portefeuille de marques, il n’y a aucun changement de composition”, a assuré à l’AFP M. Sensi. À lire aussiL’étrange comportement d’une flamme dans l’espaceIl poursuit néanmoins : “pour certaines, il a fallu faire quelques modifications, mais nous avons pris grand soin de ne pas affecter le goût. Les taux de goudron, de nicotine et monoxyde de carbone restent règlementaires”. Mais, en France, la Confédération des buralistes assure avoir eu des remarques de certains consommateurs jugeant leur cigarette habituelle “différente”.Un surcoût pour lutter contre les incendies ? Côté prix, ces nouvelles cigarettes coûtent évidemment plus cher à produire car il faut “modifier le processus de fabrication”, reconnaissent les cigarettiers ne souhaitant pas préciser le montant du surcoût. Il assure ainsi, qu’en France, ce dernier ne sera pas répercuté aux consommateurs, du moins dans l’immédiat. Désormais, les fabricants ont donc jusqu’au 17 novembre pour modifier toutes les cigarettes qu’ils livrent. Certains d’entre eux, comme Imperial Tobacco France, ont déjà commencé à fournir des “lip” aux buralistes. Par ailleurs, le CNCT rappelle qu’il est “impossible de fabriquer des cigarettes absolument sans danger”, et que les cigarettes munies du nouveau dispositif “ne suppriment pas les risques pour la santé”. Le 25 août 2011 à 14:32 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Google Nexus 5 prix et premières caractéristiques du successeur du Nexus 4

first_imgGoogle Nexus 5 : prix et premières caractéristiques du successeur du Nexus 4 dévoilésAlors que le Nexus 4 est au cœur de l’actualité, un forum coréen a dévoilé les premières caractéristiques du Nexus 5, le prochain smartphone de Google et LG, ainsi que son prix, qui serait de 299 dollars. Le Nexus 4 est un des smartphones les plus convoités du moment : avec son prix défiant toute concurrence et sa technologie haut de gamme, il  s’est rapidement retrouvé en rupture de stock, dès le jour de sa sortie sur le site Google Play, le 13 novembre dernier. Depuis, le Nexus 4 est quasi introuvable, et Google a même dû mettre en place une application donnant une vue des stocks en place à ses futurs utilisateurs ! Les rumeurs n’ont pas tardé à se faire entendre : Google et LG auraient arrêté la production du Nexus 4, afin de faire place à son successeur.Le Nexus 4 toujours en productionÀ lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Finalement, LG s’explique. Lors d’un entretien avec nos confrères de Challenges, Cathy Robin, directrice de la division Mobile de LG France, révèle que la pénurie de Nexus 4 s’explique par de mauvaises prévisions et que tout devrait rentrer dans l’ordre d’ici mi-février. Cependant, une rumeur persiste : le Nexus 5 serait bel et bien sur le point de débarquer sur le marché du smartphone. En effet, selon un forum coréen, repris par Androidauthority, des informations sur les caractéristiques du Nexus 5 auraient filtré. Il s’inscrit dans tendance 2013 avec un écran full HD de 5 pouces et une résolution de 1920×1080 pixels (440 PPI).Le Nexus 5 à 299 dollarsLe Nexus serait aussi équipé d’un processeur Nvidia Tegra 4, d’un appareil photo 13 mégapixels ainsi que d’une caméra frontale de 3 mégapixels, d’une mémoire RAM de 2 Go et serait disponible en version 8 Go et 16 Go. Le Nexus 5 devrait aussi être le premier smartphone à utiliser le système Android Key 5.0 Lime Pie, ce qui constituerait un net avantage face à ses concurrents. En plus de dévoiler cette liste des supposés caractéristiques du Nexus, il révèle aussi son prix : 299 dollars (225 en euros) pour la version 8 Go, soit le même que celui du Nexus 4. Un prix surprenant, voire peu crédible, au vu de la qualité de la technologie proposée. L’information est donc à prendre avec des pincettes. Une tablette Nexus 7.7 avec un écran de 7,7 pouces serait aussi en préparation. Google pourrait dévoiler ces deux nouveaux produits de la gamme Nexus lors du MWC 2013 qui aura lieu fin février à Barcelone, ou, plus probablement, lors du Google I/O en mai prochain. Le 21 janvier 2013 à 14:40 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Season Two Made Iron Fist Cool How Did That Happen

first_img The Cinematic Sex of Marvel’s Netflix UniverseMarvel’s Axed Netflix Shows Could Be Revived by Disney Stay on target It was a big surprise when the trailer for Season Two of Iron Fist came out and actually looked good. The first season was such a painful mess, it was hard to believe any amount of behind-the-scenes change could salvage it. Now that we’ve seen the first season… holy crap, it worked. It’s still can’t touch the best of what the Netflix Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer, but it can at least hang with the rest of its siblings now. If there was ever any question about how much a new showrunner can change things, this is a definitive answer. Season Two of Iron Fist is better paced, better written and way better edited than its predecessor.From the first episode, you can feel that someone new is in the driver’s seat. Someone with a much steadier hand on the wheel. This season isn’t filled with handheld camera shots that obscure the action and make every fight scene a nauseating affair. It’s confident in its action scenes, letting us actually see what’s going on. The cuts are, for the most part, naturally placed too. You can follow a hit from initiation to reaction, even when in cases where it isn’t delivered in one shot. No, this season of Iron Fist didn’t take any pages from Daredevil’s book. There are no long takes or brutal hallway fights.  But the action flows logically across the screen. There’s never a question of where you should be looking or what’s going on. That’s not something you could say about Season One.Sacha Dhawan, Finn Jones (Photo via Netflix)It’s almost become a cliche to complain about pacing when it comes to Netflix shows, so let’s get that complaint out of the way here. Very few showrunners have figured out how to make a truly bingeable TV series. There’s an argument to be made that TV isn’t meant to be watched all in one sitting, and there’s probably some truth to it. But that’s not the world we’re living in. If we’re invested in a show, we want to see what happens next right away. And the way Netflix brings you to the next episode after five seconds encourages that behavior. So whether or not it’s the best way to experience a season of television, it’s the way we’re doing it. TV writers and directors have to figure out a model that fits that behavior because it’s not going away.Season Two of Iron Fist didn’t figure it out, but it’s come closer than most other Marvel series. At only ten episodes long, it’s a shorter season than we usually get by three hours. That’s a huge help because it means there’s not a single episode without at least some major development happening. Yes, there is drag here, particularly just after the halfway point. There are episodes that end with a legitimately good cliffhanger, giving the next one a ton of momentum, only for that next episode to do next to nothing with it. Like when Danny tells Colleen that she has to be the next Iron Fist. I break out into a huge grin, the credits roll, the next episode starts… and the characters stand around talking for 30 minutes. They have the same conversation, with different words and different participants, only to conclude that yes, Colleen should become the next Iron Fist. Glad we spent so much time hashing that out.Finn Jones, Jessica Henwick (Photo via Netflix)That’s not the only time something like that happens either. Multiple episodes see a big, potentially exciting development only for the story to hit the brakes and talk it out for a few scenes. It’s like someone was afraid the show would run out of story if the momentum was allowed to carry forward. Thankfully, this time those slow periods don’t last entire episodes. Season Two is good about making sure each episode has a reason to exist. Though some individual episodes may drag (and they really can drag), the stilted scenes usually give way to a genuinely interesting story development, or at the very least a cool fight scene.Let’s talk about those fight scenes for a moment, because they are the most immediately obvious change from Season One. In addition to bringing on a new showrunner in Raven Metzner, Season Two hired fight choreographer Clayton Barber. From moment one, you know something’s changed. Danny’s motions are fast and fluid. The scenes are shot like the old kung fu movies that inspired the original comics, and Finn Jones has really stepped up his game. You don’t feel like the camera is hiding his deficiencies anymore. He’s clearly spent the time between Seasons One and Two training and it’s paid off here. The hits are hard and the camera lets you see all the action. It’s basically what we all hoped an Iron Fist TV show would deliver when it was first announced.Sacha Dhawan, Alice Eve (Photo via Netflix)Another major improvement over Season One: The villain. Season Two has one from the start that carries through the whole season. The first season couldn’t decide on an antagonist and we ended up with two or three hastily introduced, quickly dispatched villains. Season Two gives us Davos, who is such a good foil for Danny, he makes the character of Danny Rand better. Between The Defenders and Luke Cage, Danny Rand has become a lot more tolerable since his entitled white boy persona in Season One. In this season, he feels like a superhero. He uses his talents to help people and he has a clear goal from the start.Davos is responsible for a lot of that. He has a personal history with Danny that we come to learn over the course of the season. He has a clear motivation for wanting to fight Danny and remake New York in his image. Davos is the anti-Danny Rand. He too was raised believing himself to be the heir to great power. Only he never got his. You can always at least understand where a good villain is coming from. You can see the reason behind their actions as something more than “they’re just crazy.” In his own mind, Davos is the hero. He sees Danny’s refusal to kill as a sign that he’s too weak to carry the Iron Fist. Is it the most original motivation? No. But for this story, it works. And hey, it’s not like the Iron Fist comics were known for originality back in the day.Sacha Dhawan, Finn Jones (Photo via Netflix)It is a little awkward that the camera cuts away whenever Davos does any real damage with his red Iron Fist. When he breaks Danny’s leg or kills the restaurant owner, the camera awkwardly cuts to a reaction shot. There’s plenty of violence in the show already, and I really thought those scenes would have been more effective if they showed the hit. Davos would have been a much scarier villain if we saw what he was actually doing with the Fist, rather than just being told.That’s a recurring problem with this show that continues into Season Two. It does an awful lot of telling us things about its characters and very little showing. We’re told of Davos’ acts of brutality. We’re told it’s having a negative effect on the community, and we’re told it’s putting innocent people in danger. We’re never shown these things. I don’t need a prolonged Triad massacre every episode in the second half of the season, but I would have liked to be shown why Davos’ methods are dangerous. Other than knowing that killing and fascism are bad. The shows habit of telling us everything through exposition stumps Danny’s character growth as well. We’re shown one brief moment of Danny about to use the Fist on someone, Colleen looking scarred and Danny backing down from murder. That’s it, and in the later episodes, we’re told Danny’s been struggling with the temptation to use the Iron Fist like Davos does. He takes Colleen to an abandoned room where he’s been punching the hell out of a metal door to work out his anger. This is all told to us in dialog. You know, if we had been shown this consistently throughout the season, this scene could have had an impact.Simone Missick, Jessica Henwick (Photo via Netflix)That speaks to what’s still the biggest issue with Iron Fist, even as it’s gotten so much better. Danny Rand is still the lamest character on his own show. Sure, he’s not a tone deaf Brooklyn-looking hippie whitesplaning kung fu to Asian people anymore, but he’s outclassed by everyone else on screen. You get the sense that the show knows it too. As much as this is Danny’s story, we spend so much of it focusing on more interesting people. Colleen Wing and Misty Knight, in particular, have electrifying chemistry and can run circles around Jones as far as fight scenes go. The Netflix MCU is screaming for a Daughters of the Dragon series every moment these two are on screen together. It’s telling that when Danny told Colleen she would have to become the next Iron Fist, I yelled “Hell! Yes!” to my empty apartment. It was the most excited this show has ever made me until the very end of the season when we see Colleen using her white Iron Fist powers in conjunction with her sword. Now that’s a show I want to watch.Even Ward, who was a slightly more likable version of Donald Trump Jr. last season, is a more interesting character to watch than Danny. He has a very human story about dealing with loss and getting over addiction. He desperately wants to rebuild his family, even when his family has no interest in rebuilding. He’s realized that Danny is the closest thing he has to a brother, and he’s very protective of that relationship. This season actually makes you root for Ward Meachum. He even makes Danny better, giving him a partner who’s not a love interest or superhero to balance out his more annoying tendencies. Even in the comics, Iron Fist has always worked better with a bro by his side. In fact, the Netflix MCU’s rehabilitation Danny Rand started by pairing him with Luke Cage in The Defenders. Ward Meachum is no Luke Cage, but he gets the job done.Alice Eve, Finn Jones (Photo via Netflix)Then there’s Typhoid Mary, played by Alice Eve. Eve is a fantastic actor, and lights up every scene she’s in here. The big reveal about her character is telegraphed way too early, but the story handles it well. If you’re a fan of the comics, you know her deal already anyway. She has dissociative identity disorder, which manifests itself as three separate identities. Well, two at first. The reveal of the third is handled very well, and the way Eve plays it, you can feel her fear as she discovers it. There’s Mary, who Danny first meets. She’s a sweet, if a little spacey, former Wisconsinite new to the city. Then there’s Walker, a violent mercenary hired by Joy Meachum to keep an eye on, and later kidnap, Danny.I know we’re all tired of superhero origin stories at this point, but I still love a good villain origin. And the way this one plays out over the course of a season is a lot of fun. As a mercenary, she swaps allegiances throughout the show. It’s effective because you never know what side she’s truly on. Even when everything seems on the up and up, there’s an added layer of tension just from the fact that Mary/Walker’s there, and you can never be sure what her ultimate plan is. I was glad to see the season stretch her origin out over the full ten episodes. Eve is an amazing gift to this series, and if there is a Season Three, she needs to be a part of it. Right at the end of the season, she discovers the existence of her third personality. The one that really got her out of a POW camp when she was in the military. Mary and Walker both always assumed the other had gotten them out somehow. In reality, it was Bloody Mary. The sadistic killer third personality who left her captors in a bloody mess on the floor. We don’t get to see her this time around, but I’d be excited to watch Eve take on that role in Season Three.Tom Pelphrey, Finn Jones (Photo via Netflix)For all its problems, and Iron Fist Season Two still has some big problems, that’s the most amazing thing about it. It made a strong argument for Season Three. It used the other, stronger characters in its cast to lift the show up and Danny along with it. It gave Danny a clear purpose and a compelling villain to fight against. It gave us all the Colleen Wing we wanted and a taste of the Daughters of the Dragon show we still crave. (Give it to us, Netflix!) It was even able to make Danny Rand as the Iron Fist cool, though it waited until the final scene to do it. Right at the end, we’re shown that he and Ward have spent a few months adventuring through Asia, thwarting international criminals. The final shot is of Danny with two Iron Fists somehow, combining them with dual-pistols to shoot a hitman’s bullet out of the air. It may have had its weak points, but Iron Fist Season Two made me want more Iron Fist. I did not see that coming.Wondering when the other superhero shows will be out? We’ve put together a list of everyone that’s in production. Read MovieBob’s review of the first season of Iron Fist. Learn more about the lore of Danny Rand. Stay up to date on all Netflix shows here. Let us know what like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more

The Internet Archive Rescues 490000 Music Tracks Lost by Myspace

first_imgcan we just go back to the good old days of myspace and friendster when the only problem we have is what add-ons or music we should put in our profiles? — Jeff Canda (@jeffjerardcanda) April 2, 2019Visit the “Myspace Dragon Hoard” to search for old MP3s and you might find tracks from your favorite bands, rap artists, and more from the early ’00s.More on Geek.com:Myspace ‘Sorry’ for Losing 12 Years of ContentResearchers Discover Two More Cases of Facebook Data ExposureWhatsApp Now Lets You Block People From Adding You to Group Chats Stay on target Myspace recently announced that it lost 12 years of content “by accident,” and former users were upset to learn that many of their old audio files had been gone for good. However, The Internet Archive is coming to the rescue: It just introduced the  “Myspace Dragon Hoard,” a collection of MP3s that were previously saved from Myspace before the incident.The “Myspace Dragon Hoard” features 490,000 tracks that were reportedly collected by an anonymous academic group, which studied roughly 1.3 terabytes of music from Myspace between 2008 and 2010, Engadget reported. Even though this is only a small fraction of the music tracks lost (approximately 53 million), it might be a helpful initiative for users who lost some of their MP3s that were deleted from Myspace by mistake.ANNOUNCING THE MYSPACE MUSIC DRAGON HOARD, a 450,000 song collection of mp3s from 2008-2010 on MySpace, gathered before they were all “deleted” by mistake. https://t.co/oIunuHF7wc includes a link to a special custom search and play mechanism that lets you search and play songs. pic.twitter.com/aGkFPDBN7r— Jason Scott (@textfiles) April 4, 2019Jason Scott from The Internet Archive tweeted about the “Myspace Dragon Hoard” on Twitter, and explained to users how it worked. The recovered MP3s can be played via an online interface that resembles Myspace’s original music player, The Verge noted. The Internet Archive said that the “Myspace Dragon Hoard” can be a bit slow for playing and searching, but the database’s searcher, which is named “Hobbit,” will eventually be open-sourced for users.Myspace users were also happy about the “Myspace Dragon Hoard,” and some even found tracks that they thought were lost or long-gone from artists’ early days.Thank you for doing this. I’m finding stuff of mine that I thought was gone forever— Jon Paul Sapsford (@JonPaulSapsford) April 4, 2019 This is so cool! I’ve already found early clips from Donald Glover, 2 Chainz, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Jeffree Star, Rza, Pitbull and others.There’s even some that you can’t find anywhere else, that would have been lost to the interwebs. This is amazing!— Katrina (@pinkpushpop) April 4, 2019 11-Year-Old Gets ‘Scammed’ Into Paying $4K for TikTok InfluencerFacebook Reportedly Considers Hiding ‘Like’ Counts last_img read more

Stronger and Better Together in Hollywood sends supplies to Puerto Rico

first_imgFORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Some concerned South Floridians are lending a helping hand to the people of Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.Stronger and Better Together put together a major donation for the Caribbean island, Saturday.Volunteers loaded up a plane at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport with tons of supplies.Canned goods, water and other everyday essentials are now headed to the devastated island.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Daryl Dragon Of Captain Tennille Fame Dies At 76

first_img Daryl Dragon Of Captain & Tennille Dies At 76 daryl-dragon-captain-tennille-fame-dies-76 Dragon was born in Los Angeles on Aug. 27, 1942, into a musical family. His father was an Academy Award-winning composer and conductor, and his mother was singer who worked with Bing Crosby and sang on many recordings. Dragon was a classically trained pianist and got his start as keyboard player for the Beach Boys in late ’60s and early ’70s. The band’s singer/songwriter and co-founder, Mike Lowe, gave Dragon the nickname of “Captain” because of the sailor’s hat he liked to wear on stage.In 1971, Dragon met Tennille, who also joined the Beach Boys. The two developed a deeper romantic and musical relationship on tour and began to perform together as a duo. They signed with A&M Records in 1974 after landing a hit with “The Way I Want To Touch You.” Later that year, their recording of the Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield-written “Love Will Keep Us Together” hit No. 1 and went on to won the GRAMMY for Record Of The Year for the 18th GRAMMY Awards.The duo followed up with hits such as “Muskrat Love,” “Shop Around, and the No. 1 “Do That To Me One More Time,” which was written by Tennille. Dragon and Tennille were married from 1975 to 2014 and remained friends up until Dragon’s death.”He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly. I was at my most creative in my life, when I was with him,” Tennille said.”Daryl Dragon was an accomplished producer and pianist best known for creating several chart-topping songs in the 1970s as a member of Captain & Tennille with his wife, singer Toni Tennille,” Recording Academy President Neil Portnow said in a statement. “He was a two-time GRAMMY® winner, earning awards as artist and producer in the Record Of The Year category for the duo’s ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’ at the 18th GRAMMY Awards. Prior to his Captain & Tennille success, Daryl performed as a backup musician for the Beach Boys. He will be missed by family, friends, and fans.”Dragon is survived by his older brother, Doug, and two nieces, Kelly Arbout and Renee Henn. At Dragon’s request, no services are scheduled.Norman Gimbel, GRAMMY-winning Lyricist, Dies at 91Read more News The GRAMMY-winning keyboardist began his career with the Beach Boys and enjoyed chart-topping success as one half of the pop duo Captain & Tennille Nate HertweckGRAMMYs Jan 2, 2019 – 3:32 pm Daryl Dragon, best known as “Captain” of the successful pop duo Captain & Tennille, died of renal failure on Jan. 2 at a hospice in Prescott, Ariz. Toni Tennille, his former wife and partner musical, was by his side. Dragon was 76 years old. Daryl Dragon Of Captain & Tennille Fame Dies At 76 Facebook Twitter NETWORK ERRORCannot Contact ServerRELOAD YOUR SCREEN OR TRY SELECTING A DIFFERENT VIDEO Jun 8, 2015 – 11:24 am Captain & Tennille Win Record Of The Year Email last_img read more

4 killed many injured after wall collapses at vegetable market in Odishas

first_imgAlasua market, Odisha wall collapsetwitterAt least four people have been reported to be killed and several injured after the wall of an abandoned rice mill collapsed near Alasua market on the outskirts of Odisha’s Dhenkanal.The four victims were all vegetable vendors at the market who were crushed to death under the wall debris of the rice mill. The deceased have been identified as Rama Chandra Sahu, Abhimanyu Biswal, Tina Behera and Sangram Behera.The Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) unit and Fire rescue personnel are conducting rescue operations at the site.last_img read more

Joe Jonas is incredibly proud of wife Sophie Turner for her Emmy

first_imgAfter the Emmy Award nomination list released on Tuesday, it was a call for celebration for the Game of Thrones cast. GoT received a record-breaking 32 nominations for the show’s finale.Among the nods, Sophie Turner received a nomination in the Supporting Actress category. To this, proud husband Joe Jonas wrote a cute message on Instagram. “Emmy nominated @sophiet I’m so incredibly proud of you,” he wrote, posting a picture of the newlyweds.Joe and Sophie are not the only ones who are happy over the Emmy nominations. Considering how about 32 categories have a Game of Thrones actor, actress or teammate, it is definitely a call for celebration.Further confirming that the Game of Thrones cast has a group chat (no surprise there!), they all seem to be in ecstasy as a majority of them bagged nominations.Emmy-nominated actor Alfie Allen (who plays Theon Greyjoy) told People, “32 nominations, it’s pretty insane. It’s collectively a mad thing.” He added, “We’ve got a group chat going, it’s going crazy at the moment. It’s amazing. It’s just incredible, I can’t wait for the actual night.” Joe Jonas’ post for Sophie TurnerInstagram”I was on out and about just doing stuff. I got a congratulations text and I just thought it was a group nomination, and I didn’t realize it was an individual one, which is crazy,” Allen explained. “I’m just ecstatic really, I can’t believe this. It really surprised me, I was not expecting it at all. I’m still in shocked, still happily in shocked. It’s amazing.” Joe Jonas and Sophie TurnerInstagramSophie and Joe, who are currently honeymooning in the Maldives, have been setting the social media on fire with their vacation pictures. From bikini bottoms to breathtaking views, Sophie and Joe’s Maldives rendezvous is a treat for whoever gets to see!The couple recently tied the knot in a beautiful ceremony in France and headed straight for their honeymoon to the tropical islands. And like a dutiful husband that Joe is, he has been clicking some impeccable pictures of his wife!last_img read more

McDuffie Bill Prohibits Employment Credit Checks

first_imgKenyan McDuffie represents Ward 5 on the D.C. Council.D.C. Council member Kenyan McDuffie (D-Ward 5) is the chief author of a bill to prohibit credit checks of potential employees until a conditional offer is made. He introduced the bill, The Fair Credit History Steering Act of 2015 to his colleagues on June 2. McDuffie wants to use the legislation as a vehicle to help more District residents obtain employment.“This bill will abolish restrictions that unjustly exacerbate challenges faced by applicants who are already having difficulty with finding employment and making ends meet,” McDuffie said. “As a result, we will create economic opportunities for more of our vulnerable residents.”The Fair Credit bill will prohibit an employer from considering a job applicant’s credit history during the hiring process, and will restrict an employer’s inquiry into an applicant’s credit history until after a conditional offer of employment. The bill would allow certain employers exemptions from enforcement, like financial institutions.The legislation establishes a complaint process for aggrieved potential employees and a penalties component for alleged employer violators. The D.C. Office of Human Rights would be responsible for enforcing the bill.According to a May 2013 online article, “Discredited: How Employment Checks Keep Qualified Workers Out of a Job” by Amy Traub,  one in 10 people who are unemployed have been informed that they would not be hired because of negative credit report information. The article, cited by McDuffie in a statement, showed that one in seven denied job applicants were advised that they were not hired because of their credit. The article also showed that people of color and the chronically unemployed are adversely affected when their jobs search depends on creditworthiness.D.C. Council members Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4), Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), LaRuby May (D-Ward 7), Vincent Orange (D-At Large),  Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) and Brianne Nadeau (D-Ward 1) have indicated favorable interest in McDuffie’s bill. Todd, who reportedly declared bankruptcy earlier in his life, thinks this bill is needed.“I strongly believe that past mistakes should not prohibit our residents from attaining future success,” Todd said. “This legislation will provide those with perseverance and discipline an opportunity for a fresh start.”Doyle Mitchell, the president and CEO of Industrial Bank, one of the country’s largest Black-owned banks, said Industrial conducts credit checks for potential employees. “We would not turn somebody down solely based on poor credit,” Mitchell said. “It is part of the application process because our employees handle large amounts of cash.”Thomas Penny, the general manager of the Courtyard by Marriott Convention Center in downtown Washington, said that as a matter of policy, they don’t conduct credit checks until a conditional offer is made, which is what McDuffie’s bill mandates. “When we do a credit check, it is position-specific,” Penny said. “If a potential employee will be working in the food and beverage area or housekeeping, credit is not as critical as if they are handling cash. We handle these matters on a case-by-case basis.”Both Mitchell and Penny say they have hired some people with less than perfect credit because they felt that the applicant would be a good, trustworthy employee.Harry Wingo, the president and CEO of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce, said that he and his staff are examining McDuffie’s legislation. “We at the chamber support any effort to remove barriers to employment,” Wingo said. “However, we have to look at hard at any effort to restrict businesses in the operation of their businesses.”Wingo said that background checks, whether credit or character, are vital for a business to determine the best applicant for a particular job. “We look forward to working with McDuffie on the details of this bill,” he said.D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) said that she hasn’t read McDuffie’s bill but will approach with an open mind. “I am always looking for ways for people to get jobs,” Bowser said. “My ears are always open for that.”last_img read more

DC Public Schools Fail to Meet Benchmarks

first_imgKaya Henderson, chancellor of D.C. Public Schools (DCPS), along with Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and the D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) announced Nov. 30 that assessments from standardized testing showed District’s students largely failing to meet benchmarks for college preparedness.Close Up Of Student Lockers In High SchoolAccording to the data supplied by OSSE, only one out of every four District of Columbia students in grades 3 to 8 is are actually receiving the skills they need to be prepared for college or a career. “The PARCC scores show that D.C. Public Schools still have a lot of work to do to prepare every student for a successful future in college and a career. This year’s test serves as an important baseline from which we will work to help prepare all students,” Henderson said in a written statement.  “DCPS is committed to having difficult, but honest, conversations with families about how their children are doing.”The situation is much worse for many Black students in some of the city’s poorest neighborhoods, where the percentage of elementary and middle schoolers, who are “on track” for college and careers, often dip into the teens or single digits, the data shows. In fact, at some schools, no students met the new college and career readiness benchmarks set through the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, a newly adopted testing system that replaces the old District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC-CAS).“Some of our lowest performing schools continue to be low performing because they face tremendous challenges,” said Kaya Henderson, citing high concentrations of poverty as one of several obstacles that such schools must overcome. “It’s not okay if some of our schools are doing okay and some are not.”According to data from the office:Only 17 percent of Black students in grades 3-8 met the math expectation under the new assessment, versus 70 percent of White students.Similarly, only 17 percent of Black students in grades 3-8 met the English language arts expectation, versus 79 percent of White students.The percentage of “at-risk” students – that is, those on welfare, homeless or in foster care – as well as economically disadvantaged, and English Language Learner students who met the math and English standards were also low, ranging from 10 to 17 percent.With the District’s poor results, there is room for vast improvement. “These results set a new baseline and reflect the higher standards the District adopted to ensure students achieve 21st century college and career readiness,” said State Superintendent Hanseul Kang in a statement. “Just as scores improved on the DC CAS over time, the District expects scores to improve on the PARCC assessment.”But others are not so assured that scores can rise in the current system.  “What is most troubling about these results is that the test charts how students apply knowledge, not just what they know.  It means the District is not teaching our kids how to be critical thinkers,” said Charlotte Chambliss, a parent of a DCPS student enrolled at Jefferson Middle School, in Southwest. “These measurements suggest our kids are dim – because they are not ready for college or a job – and that is simply not the case.”Public charter schools outperformed DCPS in most areas, said Scott Pearson, executive director of the D.C. Public Charter School Board. “I point that out not to thump our chest, and I also do so with the full knowledge that public charter schools are not strictly comparable to public schools,” he said. “But it’s important to highlight this performance because it shows that charter schools are fulfilling their promise of delivering results for DC’s families.”According to the data, 21 percent of Black public charter school students in grades 3-8 met the English language arts standard, versus 13 percent of Black students in the same grades in DCPS. It also shows 22 percent of Black public charter school students in grades 3-8 met the math standard, versus 12 percent of Black students in the same grades in DCPS.The higher performance of public charter schools was particularly beneficial for Black students, who met the new college and career readiness standards at nearly twice the rate of Black students in DCPS. “One of the things that we’re really proud about with our charter schools is that when we look at our very best charters, they’re not just concentrated in more affluent areas,” Pearson said. “Many of what we call our Tier One charter schools are in Ward 7, in Ward 8, in high poverty areas around the city.”last_img read more

SoftKinectic adds motion control to Angry Birds

first_imgAngry Birds has offered quite possibly the most addictive (and humane) fun one can have throwing kamikaze fowl at pigs. Who knew, right? It’s available in browsers and on numerous mobile devices, which means you can already control it via keyboard and mouse, touchscreen, or keypade. However, a new device also adds the ability to motion control the game SoftKinectic is bringing the dream to us–or at least a demo of it–with a device that allows you to play not only Angry Birds, but any game with gestures. The video shows a developer utilizing small hand gestures, rather than the grandiose full body movements normally required when playing an interactive title. But these controls look incredibly intuitive: simply pinch, move, and release. The system used to bring these kinds of controls to games is SoftKinetic’s iisu gesture recognition middleware, running on the DepthSense DS311 camera; a device not unlike Microsoft’s Xbox Kinect. SoftKinectic originally showed off its 3D gesture technology during the Consumer Electronics Show, however, it seems the company is trying to gain some ground by applying the DepthSense to something a wider audience will be able to appreciate. For developers looking to dabble in gesture-based games and applications, the iisu (an acronym for “Interface Is You”) software has a “freemium” version available, and apparently supports all major 3D depth-sensing cameras, including Microsoft’s Kinect. The development kit offers Unity 3D and Flash support.It will be interesting to see what kind of gestures developers will use for Angry Birds when it does eventually arrive on PlayStation Move, Xbox Kinect, or Nintendo Wii.via VentureBeatlast_img read more