Renewable energy growing in Canada but solar installations lagging behind

first_imgOTTAWA – Although the cost to build solar power has plummeted over the last decade, a new report suggests Canadians aren’t rushing use the sun to make electricity.The National Energy Board today released its annual look at the state of renewable energy in Canada and it says solar energy accounts for just 0.5 per cent of all Canada’s generated electricity.And almost all of that exists entirely in Ontario, the report notes.NEB chief economist Shelley Milutinovic said the trend in Canada is that renewable energy sources like wind and solar are replacing coal as Canada moves to eliminate that as a source of electricity by 2030.Between 2005 and 2016, non-hydroelectric renewables — wind, solar and biomass — grew from 1.5 per cent of total electricity generation in Canada to 7.2 per cent.During that same period coal fell from 16 per cent to 9.3 per cent as a source of power. Canada intends to eliminate coal as a source of power by 2030 and only four provinces still get any power from the fossil fuel.The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development released a review of Canada’s environmental policies this week which gave the country a rough ride for its energy-intensive, high-emitting, resource-based economy, but did point to Canada’s electrical supply as a positive.Only about 20 per cent of Canada’s electricity comes from fossil fuels now — divided almost equally between coal and natural gas. Nuclear energy accounts for 15 per cent of Canada’s electricity supply.The rest comes from renewables. Hydro is the big beast in that, responsible for almost 60 per cent of Canada’s power in 2016. While actual hydro power generation has grown about seven per cent in the last decade, other renewables are exploding.The amount of electricity generated by the wind is 20 times what it was in 2005, and wind as a percentage of total power grew from just 0.2 per cent in 2005 to 4.7 per cent in 2016.Solar didn’t exist as a source of power for utility companies in Canada a decade ago. By 2016, solar capacity was 2,310 megawatts, almost all of it in Ontario.Outside of Ontario, solar installations are mostly quite small. The largest solar farm in western Canada is a two-megawatt one on the Green Acres Hutterite Colony east of Calgary.Milutinovic said the costs of solar and wind are now very comparable to other sources of power which are making them more and more attractive.The cost to install a solar panel is about one-tenth of what it was in 2000, at about 95 cents per watt, according to the International Energy Agency.Despite that, Canada is outmatched in solar on the international scene.While Canada’s biggest solar farm is about 100 megawatts, India this year unleashed one 10 times as big. The Kunrool Ultra Mega Solar Park is the biggest in the world with 1000 megawatts of installed capacity.India had just 17 megawatts of installed solar capacity in 2010. It now has 12,000 megawatts.China is the world’s solar leader, both in the manufacturing of solar panels and their installation. In 2005, China had 70 megawatts of installed solar power. In 2016, it had 78,000.Canada is 13th in the world in the amount of installed solar capacity. Where Canada gets just 0.5 per cent of its power from solar, Italy gets 7.5 per cent, Germany gets 6.7 per cent, Japan 4.9 per cent, the United States 1.4 per cent and China 1.07 per cent.Milutinovic says the one thing not measured in this report however is the capacity for solar installations on private homes and businesses. She said some of the Ontario solar generation numbers include those, but elsewhere that is simply not being tracked.So there is no good data on how many individuals now have solar panels on their roofs or how many farms have them in their fields.She said it is one area governments should be looking at to get a better picture of what is actually happening on this front.— follow @mrabson on Twitter.last_img read more

Salvadoran asylum seeker mounts legal challenge of Safe Third Country agreement

first_imgOTTAWA – A Salvadoran woman and her two daughters who fled their home country after allegedly suffering extortion and rape at the hands of members of the notorious MS-13 gang are among several parties challenging the Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country agreement in court.The case has been snaking its way through Federal Court for the last year, but this week saw a flurry of new filings by three additional applicants in the case: Amnesty International, the Canadian Council for Refugees and the Canadian Council of Churches, all of them longtime critics of the agreement.Recent changes in U.S. refugee policy, including a ruling by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying domestic and gang violence are no longer grounds for asylum, make the argument for challenging the agreement even stronger, said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees.“Legally, our case has become much more compelling with many of the things that are being introduced under the Trump administration,” Dench said.“When you have the U.S. government taking measures such as ‘zero tolerance’ and such as the Sessions/presidential decision, something that legally constrains asylum, that’s something the court will have to look very carefully at.”While the case itself is based on the plight of a Salvadoran woman and her daughters, it encompasses a broader challenge of the Safe Third Country agreement, or STCA, arguing it violates certain provisions of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms.“By returning refugee claimants to the U.S. and exposing them there to a serious risk of arbitrary, lengthy detention and refoulment (deportation), Canada violates their charter rights,” the applicants argue in court documents.“(The woman) and her daughters faced the risks described when they sought entry to Canada as refugee claimants and were refused under the STCA. This same situation is also faced by a great number of other refugee claimants prevented from entering Canada by the STCA.”Hundreds of pages of documents have been filed in Federal Court, including affidavits from refugee law experts, studies, reports and news clippings that detail the escalating risks faced by asylum seekers in the U.S.In her affidavit, the woman — identified only as ABC — says her family became a target of MS-13 after her husband helped El Salvador police identify a gang member who killed his brother in 1993.He fled to Canada in 2005, but was denied refugee protection because, as a teenager, he had been associated with a national liberation movement deemed by Canada to be a terrorist organization. He is appealing that decision.Meanwhile, left alone with her daughters in El Salvador, ABC claims she faced constant threats from gang members demanding to know where her husband was. She alleges they followed her girls home from school on a regular basis and murdered her landlord.In April 2013, she alleges gang members forced their way into her home, raped and then robbed her, threatening to kill her daughters if she went to police. She claims her youngest daughter was born as a result of the rape.She finally decided to flee in November 2016 after she alleges gang members pointed a gun at her head and told her she had 24 hours to pay them a sum of money she didn’t have.She took her two youngest daughters, leaving two adult children behind, and embarked on a perilous journey through Mexico to Texas. After staying with family in Mississippi for a few weeks, she eventually tried to enter Canada at an official border crossing between New York and Ontario, hoping to be reunited with her husband, who remains in Canada pending the outcome of his refugee claim appeal.The woman was told she would be deemed inadmissible, as a result of the Safe Third Country agreement. She returned to the U.S. for a few months to seek legal advice and in July 2015 once again tried to cross the Canada-U.S. border, was deemed inadmissible and filed her legal challenge.The woman, who along with her daughters has been granted leave to remain in Canada pending the outcome of her challenge, says she has received legal advice saying she would not have a strong refugee claim in the U.S. and is fearful of being deported back to El Salvador.She is being represented by a public interest clinic for low-income clients operated by the University of Toronto’s faculty of law. The federal government sought to contest the participation of the other three applicants, but their role was ultimately upheld by a judge in December 2017 on national public interest grounds. They are relying on volunteer time and donations to cover their costs.In its response, the government is asking the Federal Court to dismiss the case, arguing the woman did not try to seek refugee protection in the U.S., where she would have had multiple legal avenues for appeal. The government also refutes the assertion the agreement violates the charter.A three-day hearing has been scheduled to take place in Toronto beginning next Jan. 21.— Follow @ReporterTeresa on Twitter.last_img read more

Erosion at Site C Dam said to be stable

first_imgConway goes on to share, localized erosion is typical during excavation activities of that size and nature, and it’s something they have been monitoring since the start of construction.With work continuing on the drainage channels that will manage future water runoff on the north bank slope. Conway said, “We anticipate this work will be completed in the coming months.”Photo by Laila Yuile FB photo FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Recent images posted to FB show surface erosion and a crack line down the north bank.Photo by Laila Yuile FB ImageDavid Conway, Community Relations Manager of the Site C Project shares with the recent rain in the region some surface erosion has occurred on the north bank of the dam site. There are no stability or safety concerns as a result of this surface erosion.last_img read more

Court of Auditors: Moroccan Public Service Suffers From Systematic Absenteeism

Rabat – Driss Jettou, head of the Court of Auditors, said on Wednesday that the Council is preparing to issue a report on public administration that will expose inconsistencies therein.During a joint public hearing on the work of the Court for the year 2014, Jettou revealed that the study prepared by the Court on the public service would highlight the most important reforms that Morocco introduced in the sector and the problems that still hinder achieving the desired goals.Among the most important conclusions highlighted in the study was the distribution of more than 585,000 employees, 90 percent of whom were placed in only five sectors. The report stated that this structure did not respond to any economic or demographic logic, highlighting the fact that too many employees concentrated in just a few regions come at the expense of others. The Court revealed that the rationalization of the management of human resources in certain sectors – such as education – is weak, warning that the public service sector suffers from absenteeism.The education sector alone, which comprises 50 percent of state employees, recorded in 2014 a total of 636,400 days of justified and unjustified absence, which is equivalent to the absence of 4,000 teachers throughout the year.According to the findings of the Court of Auditors sees that “the recruitment, training and promotion reform cannot be done separated from wages reform linked to the fundamental systems that did not undergo any major reforms.”The Court also found that “the recruitment processes are far from effective reasoning; and the administrations lack a comprehensibly vision for hiring their staff while promotions were granted without displaying the required efficiency or improvement in the performance of the employees.”The head of the Court of Auditors said that research reflected in the reports found that the services provided in the Moroccan administration is not in line with the governance standards brought by the constitution, stressing that citizens in rural and marginalized areas have difficulties accessing government services. read more

As Sierra Leone election campaign approaches UN official urges democratic conduct

9 July 2007On the eve of the start of election campaigning in Sierra Leone, a senior United Nations official in the country today urged democratic conduct by the parties. On the eve of the start of election campaigning in Sierra Leone, a senior United Nations official in the country today urged democratic conduct by the parties.“A peaceful campaign is crucial for credible elections,” said the Executive Representative of the Secretary-General, Victor Angelo, encouraging all candidates to abide by the Political Parties Code of Conduct.He said the UN trusts that they “will keep the national interest above everything else and exhibit during the campaigning period the democratic maturity that they have shown during the nomination phase, as well as during the previous stages of the electoral process.” Mr. Angelo also urged reporters and producers to fully adhere to the Media Code of Conduct. Sierra Leonean voters will go to the polls on 11 August for nationwide elections. read more

Free Clinic of Southwest Washington gets grant for diabetes treatment

first_imgThe Free Clinic of Southwest Washington has received a $2,500 grant from the Vancouver Rotary Foundation.The grant will help the clinic care for uninsured patients living with diabetes. The Clinic’s program, volunteers and community partners offer education, stabilization and comprehensive care to people with diabetes. Funds from the grant will be used to purchase insulin.“We’re grateful for this support,” says Barbe West, executive director of the Free Clinic. “This grant will provide supplies for people living with diabetes, many of whom simply can’t afford the insulin they need to survive.”last_img read more

Airports Authority commanded to protect South Caicos airport by airline

first_imgFacebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 09 Mar 2016 – Repeated instances of sabotage to the fire trucks at the South Caicos airport have hindered operations and on Friday the TCIAA clarified that these senseless acts did not cause the airport to be completely closed. InterCaribbean Airways had found that request to have the larger, 30-seater aircraft fly into the South Caicos airport recently for a funeral could not be accommodated because the fire service was not up to Civil Aviation standard.One truck was down; ICA usually flies a 9-seater into South. Magnetic Media spoke to Trevor Sadler, GM of InterCaribbean Airways on Friday (Mar 4) he said the TCIAA should do a better job of security the property which includes the fire trucks, the airport site where there is construction underway and the runway. The inability to accommodate that InterCaribbean Airways bigger plane into South Caicos created a dismal situation for family and friends. “We were entirely disappointed with the Airports Authority not securing the highly valuable equipment; especially since it is so important to the people of South Caicos.” The Airports Authority said they are shocked by the vandalism; and have now beefed up security at the property. Sadler agrees that it is about time security was enhanced, especially since there have been repeated strikes on the trucks. Recommended for you Related Items:Intercaribbean Airways, sabotage, south caicos airport, Tciaa Airports Authority reveals sabotage at South Caicos Airport Turks and Caicos airline, ICA, now flies to Havana Former Premier says PNP left plan for Salt Cay airport, but there is no evidence of the claimlast_img read more

Dry winter raises concerns about possible drought

first_imgSEATTLE — Officials monitoring lower than usual snowpack levels in Washington state say it’s not time to panic, but they’re nevertheless preparing in case of a possible drought. The Department of Ecology plans to ask the Legislature for drought-relief money in case dry weather conditions persist into spring. And a committee of state and federal officials that monitors the state’s water supply is meeting next week to start preparing for the worst. The last time they met was 2010, when there were similar concerns about a possible drought.“Nobody is blowing a whistle yet or raising a red flag. It’s more of a yellow flag,” said Scott Pattee, a water supply specialist with Natural Resources Conservation Service in Mount Vernon. His office, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, tracks snowpack levels using a network of weather stations throughout the state.The state relies on mountain snowpack to supply water for drinking, irrigation, fish migration, power generation and other needs through the year.Statewide, snowpack levels are about 50 percent less than average for this time of year, though basins vary, Pattee said. The Olympic peninsula basin is at 34 percent of normal, while the Lower Columbia basin is at 45 percent of normal, Pattee said.About 93 percent of Washington state is in moderate drought conditions, according to the latest report from the U.S. Drought Monitor.The winter has been drier than usual, with ski resorts opening later than usual. But experts say there’s still time to catch up.last_img read more

BNP wants to issue message for next election

first_imgOpposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) will share with people its thinking and plan of actions about the 11th parliamentary elections from a rally in Dhaka on Saturday, party leaders indicate.However, the government, which the BNP says, has reacted to the opposition’s latest unity process, is yet to give permission for the rally either at Suhrawardy Udyan or Naya Paltan in the capital.BNP leaders say the party, if voted to power through a fair election, will establish a good governance and run the country in a democratic manner, instead of pursuing policy of political vengeance.“We will announce our policies from the rally. Our future plan of actions, programmes will be unveiled,” BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a news conference at the party’s Naya Paltan central office in Dhaka Wednesday morning.However, the opposition party leaders discussed with ‘friends’ on whether the BNP alone should organise the rally or under the uimbrella of the 20-party alliance, in which Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami is a major component.The issue of Jamaat has suddenly become a talk of the town once the BNP and some of its allies joined the “National Unity Process” led by eminent jurist Kamal Hossain at its 22 September rally in Dhaka.A key figure in the unity process, Jukto Front convenor AQM Badrudozza Chowdhury is unwilling to forge an alliance with Jamaat while his son Mahi B Chowdhury asked the BNP to leave Jamaat.In view of the issues involved and political sensitivity, the BNP has decided in principle to organise the next rally alone, party leaders said.The party is expected to announce at the rally a seven-point demand for free and fair elections.Mirza Fakhrul said they wanted to organise the rally on 27 September but the date was changed as the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) authorities requested them to organise the rally on 29 September, as it is a holiday.The police, however, is yet to give the permission, althought the BNP applied for it on Monday.Awami League-led 14-party coordinator Mohammad Nasim at a meeting on Tuesday urged their party men to take control of the streets in Dhaka on the day of the BNP’s planned rally.Nasim asked their party men to resist BNP leaders and activists so that they are not able to join the rally.AL joint general secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak asked the AL men ‘to break the hands and legs” of the BNP activists.Criticising such statements by the AL leaders, Fakhrul said, “We don’t understand where the dispute is.”The BNP has tied itself with National Unity Process partners with the common demand for ensuring free, fair and participatory national elections and bring changes in the future political culture.last_img read more

New ARVR Worth Watching This Week Crow Wonderscope Age of Sail

first_imgVirtual reality (VR) and its sibling augmented reality (AR) both have become exciting outlets for creators looking to immerse their audience into their stories. And this week, some of the best storytellers in the industry released their latest films for headsets, phones and tablets: CREDIT: Courtesy of Baobab Studios “Crow: The Legend” Baobab Studios’ latest VR film is a star-studded adaptation of a Native American tale that touches on themes of diversity and inclusion. The film’s character cast includes Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, Constance Wu and Diego Luna, and its animation style is unlike anything you’ve seen in VR before.“Crow: The Legend” is now available for free on Oculus Go, Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift, and a non-VR version was released on YouTube this week.And for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of “Crow,” check out our in-depth feature from September. “Wonderscope” Chris Milk’s immersive media startup Within is breaking new ground for AR storytelling with “Wonderscope,” a new iOS app that tells interactive children’s stories right in your living room. At launch, the app offers access to two AR stories, a “Red Riding Hood” adaptation titled “Little Red the Inventor,” and “A Brief History of Stunts by Astounding People,” a real-life tale of a wing-walking grandma.The app is available for free for iPhones and iPads, and “Little Red the Inventor” can be unlocked with an in-app payment of $4.99.For a look behind the scenes, check out our recent feature on “Wonderscope” and AR storytelling. “Age of Sail” Coming from Google’s Spotlight Stories unit, “Age of Sail” is the story of an old, down on his luck sailor who rescues a young girl from drowning, and in turn gets saved by her. The 12-minute short film has been directed by Oscar-winning animator John Kahrs, who tapped into his own boating experience to bring the stormy seas to VR.“Age of Sail” was released this week for Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as well as any headset supporting YouTube VR. The film can also be watched on a phone on YouTube, and is available via the Spotlight Stories app for is available via Android and iOS.Read more about the making of “Age of Sail” in our behind-the-scenes feature. Popular on Variety CREDIT: Courtesy of Google Spotlight Stories CREDIT: Courtesy of Wonderscope from WITHIN ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

Everyones Favorite Anime Director Hayao Miyazaki Turns 76

first_img Acclaimed writer and director Hayao Miyazaki celebrates his 76th birthday today, Jan. 5, 2017. You probably know him as the man who directed some of the best anime movies in existence. His career spans five decades, during which he created such hits as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and Princess Mononoke. The latter film became a DVD success in the United States, paving the way for all of Miyazaki’s movies to make their way over here.After working in animation for years, he wrote and directed his first film in 1979. It was a Lupin the Third movie called The Castle of Cagliostro. Speaking as a fan of the Lupin the Third anime, the movie was probably the best thing to come out of that series. Five years later, Miyazaki directed his second movie, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, based on his own manga. After the success of those two films, he co-founded Studio Ghibli and went on to make some of the most popular anime films of all time.He’s still going too. Even though he tried to retire long ago, Miyazaki announced in November that he’s making one last movie. The man just loves making anime too much to give it up completely, I guess. Originally, he was working on a CGI short for the Studio Ghibli museum but was dissatisfied with how it was turning out. He now plans to expand it into a full-length film. Miyazaki acknowledges that he’ll probably be 80 by the time he’s finished.In celebration of everything Miyazaki has accomplished in his 76 years of life, the Spoke Art Gallery in San Francisco is hosting a tribute to his work. The exhibit will feature the work of artists from all over the world celebrating their favorite Miyazaki works through a variety of mediums. Highlights include a Mononoke-inspired illustration and a Spirited Away-themed wood carving featuring No Face and Haku in dragon form.The exhibit titled An Art Show Tribute to the Films of Hayao Miyazaki, will open on Feb. 4, 2017, and run through Feb. 25 at the Spoke Art Gallery. Until then, happy birthday, Hayao Miyazaki!View as: One Page Slides1. Tom Eglington (Work in Progress)2. JAW Cooper (Work in Progress)3. Cuddly Rigor Mortis4. Samantha Mash5. Jose Mertz6. Yohan Sacre7. Matt Ritchie8. Lauren YS9. Adam Ziskie AdamTots Presents: Kiki’s Dealer ServiceMay’s Garden House Restaurant is The First Licensed Totoro Restaurant Stay on targetlast_img read more

What if the Xbox One Scorpio is actually the Xbox Two

first_imgLast week, we reported on the supposed hardware refresh of the Xbox One. This console, code named “Scorpio,” is said to be vastly superior to the current Xbox One. It will support 4K content as well as virtual reality gaming via the Oculus Rift. This machine, much like the supposed PlayStation 4 “Neo,” would usher in a new age of iterative consoles.While most of the conversation about this machine focused on it being an upgrade to the Xbox One, it’s entirely possible that it could actually be a next-generation Xbox console. I know that may sound insane to some of you out there. After all, why would Microsoft release a brand-new system when the current generation hasn’t even had enough time to really find its footing?I’ll admit that I didn’t consider Microsoft could possibly be going down this route initially, but after thinking about how things have gone for the Xbox One this generation and the time frame that the system will be launching in, it’s well within the realm of possibility that the Scorpio is a successor console.Some of the hardcore Xbox guys may not want to admit it, but it’s very clear that the Xbox One has had a tough time this generation (to say the least). From its head-scratching launch event that focused more on multimedia integration than video games, its $500 sale price (a price that was inflated thanks to the vestigial Kinect 2.0 peripheral), and how it offered inferior versions of third party games. The Xbox One has taken a beating at every turn for two and a half years.Though it has done better sales-wise than the Xbox 360 at this same point in its lifetime, and has certainly outdone the Wii U’s pathetic sales numbers, the Xbox One’s supposed 20 million console sales pales in comparison to the PlayStation 4’s 40 million. The Xbox One’s sales cannot be seen as anything other than an enormous disappointment.Giving credit where credit is due, it would be very remiss of me to not acknowledge how much Xbox head Phil Spencer has turned things around for the brand ever since he took over in March 2014. By shifting the Xbox division’s focus from multimedia to gaming, Spencer has done much to undo the damage caused by his predecessor, Don Mattrick. Still, despite this renewed focus on games and particularly first-party titles, it just never seems to be enough. Granted that it has scarcely been two years since Microsoft’s 180 degree turn with the Xbox One, but the system hasn’t exactly been able to close the gap to Sony’s PlayStation 4.Going back to the Xbox One ‘Scorpio,’ let’s talk about the system’s supposed specs. We admitted do not know much about what is actually inside the machine at this time — on account of it still being a rumor — so the only aspect we can really discuss is how many teraflops the system has. According to sources, the Scorpio will have six teraflops of computational power. This would make it four times as powerful as the Xbox One with its 1.31 teraflops, and would also make it more powerful than the PS4 Neo with its supposed 4 teraflops.Now, given how the Xbox One has fared this gen, and how much more powerful the Scorpio supposedly is, it wouldn’t be completely outlandish to believe that Microsoft may not be releasing an updated Xbox One at all, but an entirely new system — the Xbox Two, if you will. Though the system is named ‘Xbox One Scorpio,’ keep in mind that doesn’t necessarily mean it is an upgraded Xbox One, and that the ‘One’ part of it could easily be dropped, especially if this console is so much stronger.Like I said at the beginning, the notion of Microsoft moving ahead with an entirely new system may seem ridiculous, but if you remove your personal feelings about this and really think about it logically, it actually makes a lot of sense.The Scorpio is said to be releasing at the end of 2017, presumably during the all-important holiday shopping season. That is roughly 18 months from now. Why would Microsoft want to wait that long to release an updated Xbox One when it can instead just deliver a completely new system? Though there has been excitement for it, many are unhappy that the PS4 Neo could be released as early as this year. Microsoft’s Scorpio would release a full four years after the Xbox One. This time frame may seem short, but considering how the original Xbox also had a life cycle of four years, it wouldn’t be entirely unheard of for Microsoft to do this next year.Then of course there is the public image of the Xbox One. For all intents and purposes, the Xbox One is a tainted system. All of that initial bad word of mouth has never gone away, with the system still being the punchline of many jokes. No one would hold it against Microsoft if it decided to cut its loses and start fresh with a brand-new console. If Microsoft introduces the system in a way that makes it clear that it is a gaming console first and foremost, not to mention admit its mistakes with the Xbox One in a contrite and humbling manner, it would go a long way to washing away the stains of the past in order to usher in a new age for the Xbox brand.From a business and public relations standpoint, releasing an Xbox Two instead of an updated Xbox One makes a lot of sense. However, I have to admit that this is an idea born on the presumption that existing console cycles will continue. The usual model of console manufacturers releasing a new and more powerful system every five to ten years seems to be a something that will soon become a thing of the past.Earlier this year, Phil Spencer revealed that Microsoft wishes to adopt the same iterative model seen with smartphones and PCs. This would allow Microsoft (and Sony) to release updated versions of their systems at a quicker rate than before so their consoles remain up to date (relatively speaking) in terms of hardware. Best of all, since both current-gen systems (and future consoles) are based on x86 architecture, it would mean that they could be both backwards and forwards compatible. Some don’t like the idea of iterative consoles any more than they do four year console cycles, but this is something that is all but inevitable.Since iterative consoles are on their way, it may not seem wise for Microsoft to release a completely new system. There is certainly merit to that, but it’s also possible that this Xbox Two could be the first Xbox console that will get updated iterations. In fact, creating a brand-new system that is built around the idea of being an iterative device is a smart move. If this upcoming Xbox will be the bedrock upon which all other Xbox machines are built, we can surely expect a brand new descriptor after the word “Xbox.” It may be ‘Two,’ it may be something else entirely, but like with cellphones, we should expect each successive system to have a name that clearly tells people it is the latest version of the Xbox.Will Microsoft start over from scratch with a completely new Xbox system or will it just update the existing Xbox One? We can’t say for sure at this time. Whatever this system ends up being, we can all agree that significant changes are coming to the gaming landscape soon. Things may not turn out how we’ve hoped or expected, but no matter what comes next, these rumors should have all gamers excited, if not intrigued, about the future of home consoles.Hopefully, we’ll get some answers about the next Xbox and PlayStation during this year’s E3.Featured image by Emilio Lopezlast_img read more

Tweeting while watching TV pushes you to shop

first_imgWhile marketers have feared that social media distracts viewers from advertisements and minimises their impact, a new study found that tweeting during TV pushes people for online shopping. “Social shows” are more beneficial to advertisers because commercials that air in those programs generate more online shopping on the advertisers’ websites. “We find that advertisements that air in programmes with more social activity see increased ad responsiveness in terms of subsequent online shopping behaviour,” said Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBeth L Fossen, Assistant Professor of marketing at Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business. This result varies with the mood of the ad, with more affective ads – in particular, funny and emotional ads – seeing the largest increases in online shopping activity. “Our results shed light on how advertisers can encourage online shopping activity on their websites in the age of multi-screen consumers,” Fossen maintained. The researchers also observed that ad timing played a major role in affecting online shopping. Advertisements airing near a half-hour interval increased online purchases. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFor the study, published in the INFORMS journal, Fossen and her co-author, David Schweidel of the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, examined the online shopping activity of one lakh active internet users. They found that an increase in online chatting about a retailer boosts the advertiser’s website traffic. “Online program engagement may encourage a loyal, committed viewing audience. And media multitasking may decrease the ability for the viewer to counterargue or resist persuasion attempts, increasing ad effectiveness,” Fossen said.last_img read more

A Smart Pair of Shoes With a Noble Purpose

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global The latest in wearable technology isn’t a watch or a ring, or anything even close to your hands. It’s for your feet. And these new smart shoes are designed with a far more altruistic goal in mind than checking your stock portfolio at a glance or making a phone call to grandma. The Lechal interactive haptic footwear use technology to help the visually impaired navigate from one place to another.Krispian Lawrence and Anirudh Sharma, friends and tinkerers with a love for experimenting and designing innovative products, founded India-based Ducere Technologies in 2011, with the idea that such products can be “intuitive, non-obtrusive, and easy on the pocket.” The Lechal shoe came about as a solution for the challenges faced by blind people, especially in the developing world.Visually challenged individuals must use a cane, which can be cumbersome and requires using at least one hand; an auditory navigation system, which can be difficult to hear in crowded situations; or a guide dog, which are often cost prohibitive and not allowed in many public places in developing countries. Putting the navigation system in his or her shoes allows the individual to keep both hands free and lets the person listen to what’s going on.”Lechal” means “let’s go” or “take me there” in Hindi.The system consists of a smartphone app connected via Bluetooth to either the Lechal shoes or to a set of polyurethane insoles that can be put inside existing shoes. The shoes or insoles contain a haptic actuator, similar to the sort of vibration pack that attaches to some game controllers.The user sets a destination in the app, which then uses GPS to determine the best route. As the user walks, the shoes indicate upcoming directions via direct tactile sensations: vibrating on the left side of the soles to indicate an upcoming left turn, for example. The shoes can also sense and communicate other information, such as obstacles in the way.Not simply a navigation device for the blind, however, the Lechal shoes also are designed to be useful for people who can see perfectly well. It can be used as a fitness tracking system — counting steps taken, calories burned, and monitoring and remembering workout routines. It can even tell you if you’re near a point of interest, with the smartphone app providing more information about that place.Here’s a look at the Lechal promotional video:The shoes and insoles are available for pre-order and priced around $100. The standard price serves to subsidize the cost for visually impaired or underprivileged individuals, who will be able to purchase the shoes for just under half that amount. The accompanying app will be available for iOS, Android, or Windows devices.What crazy apps and gadgets have you come across lately? Let us know by emailing us at or by telling us in the comments below. 3 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. March 10, 2014 Register Now »last_img read more

Alleged gay serial killer Bruce McArthur charged with seventh murder

first_imgNever seen anything like thisAt the time of McArthur’s arrest, a police spokesperson said ‘the city of Toronto has never seen anything like this’.Detective Sergeant Hank Idsinga is leading the investigation into McArthur.He said on top of looking at cold cases, police would search at least 75 properties where McArthur worked as a landscaper.‘We really don’t know how deep this is going to go,’ said Idsinga.‘We just don’t know yet.’Tensions with the LGBTI communityToronto’s LGBTI community is angry at the police for ignoring their early warning that a serial killer was targeting men in the Gay Village.As a result it asked police not to march in this year’s parade because it has ‘significant work… to do to build the kind of trust that would make their participation appropriate’.‘The individual stories and lived experiences of each of these people were unique,’ Pride Toronto said in a statement.‘But what they did share was that the investigations into their disappearances were insufficient, community knowledge and expertise was not accessed and despite the fact that many of us felt and voiced our concerns, we were dismissed.‘As a result, the group said it was left feeling more vulnerable than ever. “This has severely shaken our community’s already often tenuous trust in the city’s law enforcement.’Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . GAYSTARNEWS- Police find more human remains in gay serial killer investigationAlleged gay serial killer Bruce McArthur charged with sixth murderCops allegedly found man restrained in suspected Toronto serial killer’s apartmentRead the full article on Gaystarnews:  : Det Sgt Hank Idsinga of Toronto Police announces the seventh murder charge against Bruce McArhthur. | Photo: Toronto Police Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading…center_img eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) McArthur, a 66-year-old garden landscaper from Toronto, was first arrested in January this year.Canadian police decided to review homicide cold cases dating as far back as 1975. They’re reviewing at least 15 cold cases between 1975 and 1997.The latest charge came after police allegedly linked McArthur with the 2010 disappearance of Abdulbasir Faizi.Abdulbasir Faizi (L) and Bruce McArthur. | Photo: Toronto Police and FacebookAlong with Faizi, police also charged McArthur with the murders of Majeed Kayhan, Soroush Mahmudi, Dean Lisowick, Selim Esen, Andrew Kinsman and Skandaraj Navaratnam.Toronto police said McArthur would using gay dating and hookup apps to target the men and then meet them in the city’s Gay Village.Police found dismembered remains of at least six bodies in pot plants at a property where McArthur had worked. Police has yet to identify one of the bodies.So far, all the victims were from South Asia or Middle Eastern descent. Police have charged the man accused of allegedly murdering gay men in Canada, Bruce McArthur, with a seventh murder.last_img read more

Such lynchings are

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Lady Gaga is in the

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