NoHo man cut from ‘Idol’ lineup

first_img“She didn’t sing that badly, she just didn’t make an impression,” noted Simon Cowell, who said Wednesday that Krebs had “the personality of a candle.” Cowell also criticized Tranquillo for her “over-rehearsed” cover of Chaka Khan’s “Stay.” Abdul, though, had some kind words. “You’re a brilliant vocalist,” she told Tranquillo, who was holding back tears. “You really are.” Abdul was also a fan of Cardenas. She praised his falsetto as “amazing,” even though Cowell called him an “OK singer.” LaKisha Jones, a 27-year-old single mother from Flint, Mich., drew praise from the hard-to-please Cowell. “I’m very tempted to say to 23 people, `Book your plane ticket home,”‘ Cowell said on Wednesday’s show after Jones’ commanding take on “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going.” “American Idol,” now running three times a week, will return to a twice-weekly schedule next month for the elimination of the final dozen.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Rudy’s “Free Ride” ended in free fall Thursday. North Hollywood hopeful Rudy Cardenas and three other singers were booted from “American Idol,” leaving 20 contestants remaining. Nearly 32 million votes were cast by viewers after this week’s performances Tuesday and Wednesday, according to series host Ryan Seacrest. Cardenas’ version of the Edgar Winter Group’s ’70s hit “Free Ride” was labeled “corny” in competition by judge Randy Jackson. The others sent home were Paul Kim, 25, of Saratoga, Calif.; Amy Krebs, 22, of Federal Way, Wash.; and Nicole Tranquillo, 20, of Philadelphia. Cardenas, 28, sings semiprofessionally in an a cappella group called M-Pact. Thursday’s show also featured a performance by third-season winner Fantasia Barrino, who announced she will star as Celie in the Oprah Winfrey-produced musical “The Color Purple” on Broadway. She will join the show April 10. Kim was the first one cut after failing to impress even Paula Abdul with his rendition of “Careless Whisper.” “It hurts, man,” Kim told Seacrest. “It hurts.” The elimination of Krebs, who sang Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me,” proves that it helps to stand out in the crowd. last_img

Redwoods bats go quiet against Butte

first_imgThe College of the Redwoods softball team dropped both games of its doubleheader against visiting Golden Valley Conference rival Butte Friday afternoon. Redwoods kept the first game close, staying scoreless with Butte for half the game before getting edged out in the final innings 6-3. In game two, Redwoods was unable to slow down arguably the best hitting team in the conference, and ultimately lost 15-2 after five innings.“They beat us,” head coach Maggie White said. “They hit better than us …last_img read more

Minimal Cell More Complex Than Expected

first_imgCraig Venter’s lab has been working on an interesting project in theoretical biology: what is the minimum set of genes needed for life?  They have taken one of the simplest organisms, Mycoplasma genitalium, and knocked out genes to see which ones are essential and which are nonessential for viability.  (This is part of the “top down” approach to understanding the origin of life; the “bottom up” approach, by contrast, tries to build life from scratch).  Their latest results, published in PNAS,1 showed a larger number of essential genes – 347 – than their earlier prediction in 1999.  That’s 79% of the organism’s inventory. This is a significantly greater number of essential genes than the 265-350 predicted in our previous study of M. genitalium, or in the gene knockoutdisruption study that identified 279 essential genes in Bacillus subtilis, which is a more conventional bacterium from the same Firmicutes taxon as M. genitalium.  Similarly, our finding of 387 essential protein-coding genes greatly exceeds theoretical projections of how many genes comprise a minimal genome such as Mushegian and Koonin’s 256 genes shared by both H. influenzae and M. genitalium, and the 206-gene core of a minimal bacterial gene set proposed by Gil et al.  One of the surprises about the essential gene set is its inclusion of 110 hypothetical proteins and proteins of unknown function.  Some of these genes likely encode enzymes with activities reported in M. genitalium, such as transaldolase, but for which no gene has yet been annotated.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Since this organism, an obligate human parasite, is apparently stripped down to bare essentials, “it is likely that all its 482 protein-coding genes are in some way necessary for effective growth,” they said.  The team hopes this information will lead to building synthetic free-living cells.1Glass, Venter et al., “Essential genes of a minimal bacterium,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Published online before print January 3, 2006, 10.1073/pnas.0510013103.Wow – that’s a lot of genes, for a lot of proteins and cellular functions.  The authors’ charts of gene networks look like complex flowcharts designed by an engineer.  Since getting one protein by chance is so improbable it would never happen in countless universes (see online book), expecting to get 387 is overkill on evolutionary theories, kind of like H-bombing a city a googolplex number of times.  After awhile, it becomes ridiculous to expect to find any survivors.    What’s also interesting are the 100 or so nonessential genes.  How could these evolve?  If they do not have survival value, why would nature select them?  Darwinism’s criterion of survival value appears to be too reductionist to explain many aspects of life that, while not essential, add some seasoning to life.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

No shortage of financial support for Hidilyn Diaz, says PSC chair Butch Ramirez

first_imgCatholic schools seek legislated pay hike, too “The government has been very supportive,” said Ramirez in reply to the mixed reactions on social media where Diaz sought for financial backup in her 2020 Tokyo Olympics bid.READ: Hidilyn Diaz asking for financial support for Tokyo 2020 stintFEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsFor the first five months of the year alone, the PSC has shelled out P4.5 million to fund the foreign training of Diaz in Hainan and Guangxi in China.The agency has also been shouldering the expenses for her foreign coach, Julius Kaiwen Gao, specifically the latter’s monthly salary and food allowance, among others. PBA fines, suspends Phoenix’s Calvin Abueva indefinitely Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The requests for funding by the Philippine Weightlifting Association, Diaz’s national sport association, in local and international competitions were also approved.“Hidilyn receives support from the PSC and the Philippine Air Force being an enlisted personnel,” said Ramirez.That’s apart from the financial backing that the Asian Games and Asian Indoor Games gold medalist receives from private companies such as the MVP Sports Foundation and Alcantara and Sons, Ramirez intimated.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:57US Defense chief says alliance with Philippines remains strong02:17Communists’ ‘support system’ is in Metro Manila, says AFP Joint Task Force commander02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostingcenter_img Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess View comments Two-day strike in Bicol fails to cripple transport Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue ‘Rebel attack’ no cause for concern-PNP, AFP LATEST STORIES PSC Chair William Ramirez. Tristan Tamayo/ FILE PHOTOMANILA, Philippines—From among the elite athletes whose training the Philippine Sports Commission bankrolls, count weightlifting’s Hidilyn Diaz as one of the luckiest.PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez on Tuesday explained that the Olympic silver medalist receives one of the highest allowances in the national pool aside from the government sports agency’s consistent approval of the requirements needed in her Olympic journey.ADVERTISEMENT DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewlast_img read more

Kristaps Porzingis Is A Freak — And Potentially A Superstar

8Tobias Harris33Tracy McGrady 9Yi Jianlian34Serge Ibaka 22Tyson Chandler47Shaquille O’Neal 4Kevin Love29Derrick Williams 16Michael Beasley41Jared Sullinger 3Derrick Favors28Al Jefferson 15Kwame Brown40Marvin Williams 5Anthony Randolph30Tim Thomas The New York Knicks’ future once looked very dismal indeed. It looked that way for a very long time, for a great many reasons — but that was before the arrival of the Great Latvian Hope. Kristaps Porzingis, the 7-foot-3 rookie whose selection was resoundingly booed at this summer’s draft, has instead very quickly become the most popular athlete at Madison Square Garden1Sorry, Carmelo Anthony and Henrik Lundqvist. after barely more than a month on the job.Porzingis detonated onto the NBA landscape with a series of putback dunks in his first handful of games; more importantly for Knicks fans, he’s since maintained a level of play that’s ranged between solid and spectacular. On the season, Porzingis is averaging 17.9 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per 36 minutes and draining threes at a rate that would make fellow Giant Baltic Person Arvydas Sabonis proud.2Porzingis has made the typically painful adjustment to NBA 3-point range rapidly, raising his percentage to 35.4 after early season struggles. No player in NBA history, in fact, has possessed quite this combination of youth, height, quickness and outside shooting skills. Porzingis’s play has been so strong and so dazzling that he’s that rare rookie on whom airy basketball aesthetes and turgid statistical fundamentalists can agree: This kid is the real deal.The Porzingis projectionSo what does his future hold? We have a (probabilistic) basketball-shaped crystal ball called CARMELO,3No relation to Carmelo Anthony, although we took some inspiration from him. our NBA projection system. Before the season began, we ran CARMELO projections for more than 500 players; this included rookie projections for players such as Karl-Anthony Towns, the No. 1 overall pick and Porzingis’s opponent Wednesday night, based on their college statistics. But we didn’t run one for Porzingis or other international draft picks who didn’t play NCAA ball. Let’s fix that!Below, you’ll see a CARMELO projection for Porzingis based on his first 25 NBA games. It makes one heroic assumption: extrapolating out that 25-game performance to a full 82-game season. In other words, it assumes not only that what Knicks fans have seen from Porzingis so far is about what they’ll get from the rest of the year, but also that he’ll stay healthy. The diversity of Porzingis’s scoring portfolio is also an encouraging sign for his development. Although he converts his shots at just average rates from virtually every spot he shoots from, the fact that he can do that as a 20-year-old 7-foot-plusser is remarkable. While the league is full of bigs who can shoot the ball, it’s rare for a rookie to enter the league as such a competent shooter. Shooting was the Achilles heel of young bigs like Anthony Davis and Blake Griffin, who have since developed range out to the 3-point line.The good news extends to the defensive side of the ball as well; Porzingis is already an effective rim protector. Considering that many were worried that he was “soft” entering the league, these numbers, perhaps more than his offensive ones, should put the doubters to bed. He blocks multiple shots per game, opponents shoot just 47 percent near the basket when he is present, and he is a big part of why the Knicks are among the most efficient rim-protecting teams in the NBA right now. The Knicks!Then again: The Knicks! A franchise whose glory days are more than 40 years behind it, and which has squandered more than a few good opportunities in the past. What could go wrong this time around?A strictly limited run?The one looming issue could be Porzingis’s durability. Among his top 50 comparables, about 20 percent7Excluding very recent comparables who haven’t had time to complete six full seasons. played fewer than 1,000 minutes (or were out of the league entirely) by their sixth NBA season. Usually, this is a sign of a serious injury. Furthermore, among his comparables, there was an inverse correlation between height and durability: The tallest players on Porzingis’s list were more injury-prone.That’s a potential problem because Porzingis isn’t just tall but gigantic: one of only 25 players ever to play in the NBA at 7-foot-3 or taller. That produces some cool factoids — among players 7-foot-3 or taller, Porzingis has already drained the fourth-most 3-pointers in league history (behind Sabonis, Manute Bol and Zydrunas Ilgauskas) — along with some worrying trends. For instance: no player 7-foot-3 or taller has ever made it to his 1,000th NBA game. (Mark Eaton, with 875 career games, came closest.)Is there really such a thing as being too tall for the NBA, as Phil Jackson asserted when he drafted Porzingis? Well … maybe. The chart below tracks the height distribution of NBA players since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976, weighted by minutes played, and compares it against a normal distribution. 7Spencer Hawes32Rashard Lewis 19Anthony Davis44Thaddeus Young 2Joe Smith27Cliff Robinson 1Brook Lopez26Ryan Anderson 18Shareef Abdur-Rahim43Chris Webber If those assumptions hold, the Knicks have a hell of a prospect on their hands. The NBA is a tough league for rookies, so merely staying in a team’s rotation at age 20 is often a sign of a bright future. So far, however, Porzingis has not just been a rotation player but an above-average one4According to the blend of Box Plus/Minus and Real Plus-Minus that we use as part of CARMELO — usually a sign of superstar potential. In fact, Porzingis’s long-term upside score, based on his wins above replacement projection from 2016-17 through 2021-22, is 36.3. That’s very good; at the start of this season, it would have made Porzingis the 17th-most-valuable franchise player in the league, in the same vicinity as Giannis Antetokounmpo, John Wall and Jimmy Butler.But Porzingis’s projection also involves tremendous uncertainty. In 2018-19, for example, his 90th percentile projection5According to CARMELO, Porzingis has a 10 percent chance of achieving a WAR at or above his 90th percentile projection. is 13.3 WAR, good enough to put him on the fringes of the MVP discussion. Meanwhile, his 10th percentile projection is just 0.0 WAR (exactly replacement level), or roughly the same range as Quincy Acy. The error bars around CARMELO’s forecasts for young players are often wide, but these are especially so.OK, but is he Dirk?What gives? Part of it is the problem we alluded to before. CARMELO works by identifying comparable players, and Porzingis is a hard guy for which to find historical precedents. Only one player, Brook Lopez, achieves a similarity score of 50 or higher with Porzingis6A score of 50 is the point at which we consider a player to be “extremely similar.” — and if we’re being frank, the Lopez-Porzingis connection doesn’t have the “eye test” appeal that CARMELO comparisons often do.But faced with unusual players like Porzingis, CARMELO has to make some sacrifices. In the case of Lopez, it ignores the fact that Lopez almost never shoots from behind the arc (although he does have a decent midrange game). In the case of Kevin Love, Porzingis’s No. 4 comparable, it finds another big man with a good outside shot and strong rebounding numbers — but ignores that Love is shaped much differently than Porzingis, 5 inches shorter but quite a bit bulkier, especially in his youth. And since CARMELO relies on metrics that utilize box score stats, it can be difficult to translate calling-card traits like “quick feet in defensive transition” to on-the-stat-sheet comps, which in turn means the model may promote the formal similarity of Porzingis’s defensive numbers to those of Shawn Kemp, when he’s closer to Andrei Kirilenko stylistically.You can get a fuller sense for the range of possibilities when sorting through Porzingis’s top 50 CARMELO comparables, a list that includes everyone from Shaquille O’Neal to Darko Milicic. There’s also a cameo appearance from Porzingis’s idol, Dirk Nowitzki, who checks in at No. 17. Why doesn’t he rank higher? Because, as Nowitzki correctly points out, Porzingis has been considerably better so far at age 20 than Nowitzki was at the same age. CARMELO “thinks” the Porzingis-Nowitzki comparison is unflattering — to Porzingis.The 50 NBA players most comparable to Porzingis RANKPLAYERRANKPLAYER 14Lamar Odom39Antoine Walker 11Rudy Gay36Darius Miles But Porzingis’s offensive approach does bear some resemblance to today’s Dirk Nowitzki. Porzingis is frequently compared to Jahlil Okafor and Towns, and that’s unsurprising considering that they play the same position and were all drafted so high. However, Porzingis is the only one in that trio who, like Nowitzki, has 21st-century range. In fact, his basic spatial shooting distribution closely mirrors that of the NBA itself as about a quarter of his shots come from downtown, a third come in the midrange and the rest come near the basket. 13DeMarcus Cousins38Andrei Kirilenko 6Amar’e Stoudemire31Jonas Valanciunas 10Shawn Kemp35Zaza Pachulia 24Luol Deng49Nene 21Kevin Garnett46Eddy Curry 17Dirk Nowitzki42Harrison Barnes 12Elton Brand37Greg Monroe 25Enes Kanter50Al-Farouq Aminu 20Josh Smith45Paul George 23Chris Bosh48Darko Milicic There are some interesting discrepancies: the most conspicuous is that there are far fewer players listed at exactly 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5 than you’d expect from a normal distribution. That could reflect the fact that such players are “tweeners” — too small to play forward, but not necessarily fleet or agile enough to play guard — or that their heights are exaggerated upward to avoid the tweener label. Charles Barkley, officially listed at 6-foot-6, was probably more like 6-foot-4 or 6-foot-5 instead, for example.There is also a comparative absence of players listed at 7-foot-1 or taller. Based on the normal distribution, you’d expect about 6 percent of NBA minutes to be played by these supergiant players; instead, about 3 percent of them have been. There are lots of plausible explanations for this — for instance, there may be diminishing returns to height beyond about 7 feet, and some very tall players may actually round their heights down instead of up. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, one of the most durable players in league history, was listed at 7-foot-2, and opponents swore up and down that even that number was missing an inch or two. Still, looking at the broader trends, perhaps there is some reason to be concerned about players carrying such large frames.But having “some reason to be concerned” is unavoidable in neurotic New York — and a heck of a lot better than the state of absolute despair that preceded it. And the upside is having a player who, like Anthony Davis, has a chance to redefine his position. Porzingis! is the most exciting show to hit the Knicks since Linsanity.Read more:CARMELO NBA Player Projections2015-16 NBA Predictions read more

Airplane seat cameras could be your new spy in the sky

first_img Related Stories Just found this interesting sensor looking at me from the seat back on board of Singapore Airlines. Any expert opinion of whether this a camera? Perhaps @SingaporeAir could clarify how it is used?— Vitaly Kamluk (@vkamluk) February 17, 2019 Online Security If the airlines of the future want to capture this kind of footage — no doubt after pulling some sort of “sorry, not sorry” when they eventually do activate the cameras — then have at it.But you can bet that the “original equipment manufacturers” who installed these cameras weren’t trying to meet a growing demand for seat-cam footage of tired plane passengers. We aren’t livestreamed entertainment in this grim, dystopian future: We are an audience to be marketed to, data to be mined and a captive set of eyeballs to be coerced. Will the cabin crew be taking notes about whether seat 64B is watching the safety demonstration? Will the cameras track our gaze to see if we’re watching in-flight commercials? And what happens if we turn away? Captive and captivating.  Getty Images If Elon Musk is to be believed, the future of air travel involves superfast flights on Big F–king Rockets, taking us from London to Tokyo in 37 minutes of chrome-clad comfort. But we are disgusting monsters and that is not the future we deserve.In our timeline, the aircraft of the future will be a flying nightmare tube, full of belching human meat sacks crammed cheek by jowl into rows of seats that record our every movement.At least that’s the future that one Singapore Airlines passenger uncovered this week. Cameras are in our advertising billboards, in our smart home devices and on every second street corner, tracking our movements and slowly building up a picture of our lives in minute-by-minute real time. Add airplanes to the mix and you have a terrifying new way to calculate your social credit score. What happens on the way to Vegas doesn’t stay in the air. Air travel is changing. But it’s going to be damn hard to replace visions of Frank Sinatra singing “Come Fly With Me” with a 24-hour live stream of screaming children hurling box casserole into their seat-back camera. Singapore Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  How I went dark in the surveillance state for 2 years In the future, not even your DNA will be sacred China surveillance tech can ID people by their walk But the reality is anything but. It’s all pre-teens opening plastic packets of candy to work noisily around their retainer-clad maws. It’s mouth-breathers hoiking their shoeless feet onto tray tables, wide-set passengers manspreading into your leg space, the smell of reheated stew served from a drum, the uneasy detente that follows 12 solid hours of silent fighting over an armrest.And oh, the vomiting. The last time I took an international flight, the girl in the row opposite me hurled within 20 minutes of take-off. Her poor mother quietly wiped hot sick off her inflight entertainment screen, perhaps wondering why she wasn’t on some better flight to meet a fellow named Armando in Aruba. Travel Privacy Government surveillance Hi there, thank you for reaching out to us. We would like to share that some of our newer inflight entertainment systems provided by the original equipment manufacturers do have a camera embedded in the hardware. (1/2)— Singapore Airlines (@SingaporeAir) February 17, 2019 Comments inching closer to Black mirror every idea: you’re in a big metal tube for 12 hours and the screen demands you must pay attention or you won’t get food— Internet of Shit (@internetofshit) February 19, 2019 48 Photos Share your voice Tags And I think we can all agree, if a camera is built into a device, it will always remain unused, always remain secure, and will never be used to capture footage.Which is lucky because next time I’m flying the 23 hours it takes to get from Sydney to literally anywhere, I want to rest assured that my metal hotbox of an airplane isn’t recording my dumb face as I horf down questionable casserole, snore my way through three Mission Impossible films and then quietly sweat through the incubation period of that particularly virulent strain of gastro I picked up on my last Tokyo stopover.Ever since the jet engine revolutionised flying in the ’60s, we’ve been sold an image of air travel as a high-flying world of luxury and dewy-faced women in pearls and twinsets staring wistfully out windows. Feast on so much aviation history at the San Diego Air and Space Museum Twitter user Vitaly Kamluk shared a photo of what looked like a camera installed directly beneath the inflight entertainment screen on a Singapore Airlines aircraft.Singapore Airlines replied that it was indeed a camera, embedded into the seat back by the original equipment manufacturers of the plane, but said the cameras had been disabled on its aircraft and “there are no plans to develop any features” using them. 25last_img read more

Bangladeshi man charged with plot to kill British PM

first_imgBritish prime minister Theresa May. File PhotoA 20-year-old man appeared in court on Wednesday charged with plotting to assassinate British prime minister Theresa May in a bomb and knife attack.Naa’imur Zakariyah Rahman is accused of planning an explosion outside May’s Downing Street office then trying to enter the building with a suicide vest and a knife in a bid to kill her.State prosecutor Mark Carroll said Rahman planned to detonate an improvised explosive device at the Downing Street gates, then, in the ensuing chaos, try to enter the building “with a view to trying to kill the prime minister”.He planned to use a suicide vest, pepper spray and a knife, Carroll told Westminster Magistrates Court in London.Rahman had carried out hostile reconnaissance of the area as part of his preparation, it is alleged.Rahman is charged with preparing terrorist acts and also with assisting another man, Mohammad Aqib Imran, to prepare separate terror acts.He appeared in court alongside Imran, 21, who is accused of trying to join the Islamic State jihadist terror group by trying to obtain a fake passport with a view to travelling to Libya.Rahman had two inert improvised explosive devices on his person when he was detained, prosecutors said, while Imran had a copy of a video that had been recorded by Rahman.The men were arrested separately on 28 November.Rahman spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth. He said he was of no fixed abode and said his nationality was “Bangladeshi British. I’m Bangladeshi.”Imran said he was “Pakistani British”.They both appeared wearing grey tracksuits.Prince George allegedly targetedLawyers for the pair gave no indication of their plea on their first court appearance so not guilty pleas were formally registered.The hearing lasted under 10 minutes.Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot remanded Rahman and Imran in custody to appear for a short hearing at England’s Old Bailey central criminal court on 20 December.Meanwhile, in an earlier separate case in the same courtroom, Husnain Rashid, 31, faced charges of helping would-be terrorists prepare attacks, including by sharing a photo of Prince George and his school address.He allegedly made the social media post about the four-year-old royal along with other messages which allegedly could help others identify UK targets such as stadiums.Prosecutors also alleged that he planned to join Islamic State in Syria.Arbuthnot also remanded Rashid in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on 20 December.The court appearances came a day after Home Secretary Amber Rudd told parliament that 22 Islamist terror plots had been thwarted since the killing of a British soldier on a London street by two Islamist extremists in 2013.last_img read more

200000 Rohingyas went abroad with Bangladeshi passports Minister

first_imgExpatriates`s welfare and overseas employment minister Nurul Islam. Photo collected from the ministry website.At least 200,000 Rohingya people have gone abroad with Bangladeshi passports, expatriates’ welfare and overseas employment minister Nurul Islam said on Saturday, reports UNB.Addressing a programme organised by Centre for Non-Resident Bangladeshis (NRB) at a city hotel, the minister said, “Rohingyas with Bangladeshi passports were earning abroad and sending remittance to Myanmar.”He asked the local authorities of district level including the UP chairmen for not providing the Rohingya refugees any identification certificates.He also asked the passport office to be more alert in approving passports.The government was aiming to create a secured, proper and systematic immigration process in the country which will secure the rights and welfare of Bangladeshi expatriates across the world, the minister said.He urged the expatriates to invest their remittance in the country.Former minister SK Shahidul Islam, adviser of former caretaker government Hossain Zillur Rahman, Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Md Shafiul Alam were also present there among others.last_img

No Right to Email NLRB Looks Through the Looking Glass Sees Absolutely

first_img Citation: No Right to E-mail: NLRB Looks Through the Looking Glass & Sees Absolutely No Problem (2007, December 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from A recent decision by the National Labor Relations Board, (NLRB), has newspaper guild members grounded along the Northwest rocky shores of Cape Disappointment. As most seafarers know the cross currents and tricky passage along the rocky coast of Washington and Oregon have been the watery grave of many of fine vessels. The case decided December 16, 2007 by the NLRB, The Guard Publishing Company d/b/a, The Register Guard case, can be read at: … sions/351/V35170.pdf .The Gist of the Story:A newspaper located in Eugene, Oregon, The Register Guard disciplined an employee/president of the union, (Eugene Newspaper Guild) for using the e-mail system to disseminate union business. This issue was combined with other unfair labor practices involving the company´s refusal to withdraw its proposal to ban e-mail use for union business only, and impinging on the unions rights to communicate with its employees. The problem started with a union rally, wherein the newspaper sent e-mails to all employees that the rally posed a safety risk because there were suspected “anarchists” that would be attending. No anarchists showed and this incident began a cat and mouse game to correct the e-mail mis-reporting the safety issue and Herculean attempts to miss the jagged rocks of the company’s prohibition on non-business related e-mails. The good ship, Eugene Newspaper Guild got a pass on the first e-mail correcting the story, but the ship grounded on unfettered solicitations and hairs were split on what are basic rights to communicate by e-mail. The hair splitting really got interesting when the NLRB found that since the Guild did not formally request at the bargaining table that the newspaper withdraw the ban on union e-mails proposal, there was no bad faith in bargaining. The union had filed an unfair labor practice that was dismissed administratively. Since there was no “insistence” by management of an unlawful proposal—no problem. A real head scratcher. The fact the employer allowed United Way communications and other personal e-mails made no difference because this NLRB jumped over precedent and relied on a case in a US District Court. In order to find discrimination there must be discrimination of “like” communications. It would take the form of if one employee sent an e-mail dissuading union membership, the union would be allowed the same right to e-mail. Since the likelihood of this occurring is nil, the current criteria for finding discrimination essentially shuts down modern technology in communications. . The NLRB recently handed down a decision relating to the use of e-mail by an Oregon newspaper guild, (union) and found what is and what was, isn’t necessarily true no more. NY Times, union agree to new contract This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Some Overall Points:As a brief primer on the subject, employees have certain rights to organize and hold elections for representation by unions. These are known as Section 7 rights under the National Labor Relations Act. A companion of these rights are sections 8 (a) 1 and 8 (a) 5 which prohibit employers from disciplining or harassing employees in exerting the right to engage in forming unions, participating in bargaining collectively for wages, hours and working conditions. The hook is managements right to keep the workplace tidy and run the everyday operations of the company. Thus, the good ship, Eugene Newspaper Guild, had a treacherous route to chart before clear skies and open water could be realized. The good ship, Eugene Newspaper Guild, had a compass, precedent set by other decisions by the NLRB which narrowed the passage way to almost stream access. I will not put the reader to sleep with selling Avon versus selling a personal car exceptions and the other rock slides that have occurred in the past decades. The basic route available to the good ship, Eugene Newspaper Guild was the basic principle that a company cannot discriminate by prohibiting only union communications. What the Guild was not prepared for was re-defining what is a rock and what is safe passage. A rock is only a rock if it is shaped like another rock. If it is not identically shaped, it is not a rock. It´s not okay to prohibit only union e-mail business, but did the company insist on the proposal. More importantly, did the Guild object in the proper manner. By filing an unfair labor practice was this an indication of a rejection of the “unlawful proposal? “No,” says the NLRB. There is a big dissent in the opinion, one Board member alludes to the Rip Van Winkle approach by the tired out of date NLRB. This is noteworthy, but the newspaper industry itself has become somewhat of an anachronism. Syndicated and local newspapers are clawing for ways to stay afloat. New Internet products including blogs, and real time news reporting from laptop reporters located in all parts of the world could care less about traditional filtered news. While there is a mainstay of loyal readers for local news, the plight of newspaper personnel or any unionized group is a hard sell. Google and Microsoft have made millionaires out of their staff without a union. For everyone else, it is the stupid economy of trying to make a livable wage. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Minimal cost maximum impact how VR helps clients connect with destinations long

first_img Of all the tech trends to come along in the past several years, few are more well-suited to the home-based retail industry than virtual reality (VR). It’s an easy way to add a high-impact boost to a sales pitch using minimal equipment and at minimal cost. Home-based agents looking to introduce their clients to destinations around the world via VR technology just need a simple headset – available from $20 – and a smartphone.Already a multi-billion-dollar industry, VR personalizes the sales pitch – at a time when clients are clamoring for anything and everything customized – and takes travel marketing to a whole other level. It’s most often described as “the next best thing to being there”.Travelweek launched its Explor VR earlier this fall with an app that can be downloaded by anyone with a smartphone. The smartphone then slides into the VR headset – available for purchase from $19.99 at – and within minutes clients can experience their favourite vacation destination in 360-degree virtual reality.Leroy Bridges, Media & Interactive Director for Visit St. Pete Clearwater (and a partner on the Explor VR platform) says every time he puts a VR headset on someone, whether they’ve been to St. Pete Clearwater or not, “they are blown away by how close they get to real-life experiences, like parasailing over the Gulf of Mexico or seeing dolphins jump in the wake behind a boat.”St. Pete/Clearwater is so diverse, says Bridges, that the VR experience gives clients the opportunity to experience the white sand beaches, nature, world-class art scene and bright sunshine in a matter of minutes. “There are only so many regular videos or maps you can look at. VR brings all of that to life in an incredible way,” says Bridges.VR is just as effective selling St. Pete/Clearwater to consumers as it is educating travel agents, he adds. “The power of the tool can’t be overstated. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever had.”G Adventures, another early adopter of Travelweek’s Explor VR, showcases the colourful chaos of India in one of its VR videos. Every traveller G Adventures has spoken to that has tried its VR is amazed by the experience, says Aizaz Sheikh, Marketing Manager, Canada, G Adventures. “VR caters to our industry more than many others. You get to put yourself somewhere and really whet your appetite as to how it would be to be in destination. This surely inspires wanderlust more than an image or video,” says Sheikh.Using Explor VR, agents can showcase not just the destination, but the trip experience too, a key selling point with a product like G Adventures. Sheikh says G Adventures’ India VR video is hosted “by a very popular CEO. He guides you through a wonderful river adventure as if you are actually part of his group.”G Adventures’ VR product is “very experiential”, notes Sheikh, and while the company keeps the execution of its product consistent, what would-be travellers experience in every destination is completely different. “VR gives our travellers a chance to sample different destinations from a travel agency or their living room,” he says. “You feel like you’re actually in the destination.”Devin Kinasz, Director of Digital Strategy, Travelweek said agents were top-of-mind when developing Explor VR. “We’re always thinking of ways to add value for travel agents, so we thought long and hard about the future of travel marketing, and created a suite of sales tools agents can use to capture the attention of consumers,” she said. “The result of our efforts is the industry-leading Explor VR, which puts fun virtual reality destination experiences into the hands of agents and their customers.”About two dozen destination experiences are already included on the Explor VR app ranging from destinations, hotels and airlines to cruise lines and attractions.And while some in the travel industry fear that VR will replace travel, “we’ve seen the exact opposite impact,” says Gordon Meyer, Director of Marketing at YouVisit. “After experiencing our travel content, we’re finding that people are even more excited and motivated to visit a location. We believe that as the devices and software supporting this technology continue to grow and advance, virtual reality will become even more interactive and engaging for viewers, ultimately driving them to book more vacations and see even more of the world.“The goal of VR is not to replace the world around us, but rather to give us a taste of the possibilities.”To order a $19.99 Explor VR Starter Kit or upgraded VR viewer models, and to download a User Guide and see helpful videos, check out Posted by Minimal cost, maximum impact: how VR helps clients connect with destinations long before they arrive Share Tags: Explor VR, Sphere, Virtual Reality, Xplr VRcenter_img << Previous PostNext Post >> Wednesday, December 14, 2016 Travelweek Group last_img read more