Seven activists arrested after rig protest in Scotland

first_imgSeven people have reportedly been arrested after taking part in a protest against the oil and gas industry by climbing on a Valaris-owned and Shell-chartered jack-up rig destined for the North Sea. Source: Extinction RebellionAs reported on Monday, activists from the environmental organization Extinction Rebellion occupied the Valaris JU-122 jack-up rig located in Dundee harbor. The rig is currently contracted by Shell for operations in the North Sea.The activists scaled the rig with an intention to stay up there for as long as possible to stop the rig leaving the harbor, and to halt the rig’s operations in the North Sea.However, the environmental group said later on Monday that the activists had left the rig due to deteriorating weather conditions.These activists had one chance, and they took it. In the end, it was too dangerous to carry on. Others don’t get to choose what danger they are in. The climate crisis, driven by fossil fuel emissions, is putting millions, potentially billions in grave danger.— Extinction Rebellion Scotland ? (@ScotlandXr) January 6, 2020 According to BBC, the three female protesters that climbed the rig on Monday came down five hours later. The news agency also said that a total of seven people had been arrested.BBC also reported that seven people had been charged in connection with an “occupation” at a drilling rig at the Port of Dundee. Three women, aged 25, 27, and 35, and four men aged 21, 23, 24, and 31 are expected to appear at Dundee Sheriff Court later, BBC said.Despite the quick closure of the rig protest and the subsequent arrests, Extinction Rebellion said that this was just the beginning.This is just the beginning of Rig Rebellion 2.0, Extinction Rebellion Scotland’s series of actions focussing on the fossil fuel industry and its driving role in the climate crisis. Actions are planned across Scotland for the next fortnight.— Extinction Rebellion Scotland ? (@ScotlandXr) January 6, 2020Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product, or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Sri Lanka series win ‘encouraging sign of development’ – Pollard

first_img(CMC) – CAPTAIN Kieron Pollard says West Indies’ aggression in their series win over Sri Lanka last month was an encouraging sign of development ahead of this October’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.However, with upcoming series against New Zealand and South Africa under threat because of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic, Pollard believes it has cost the Caribbean side the chance to further enhance their team building and overall preparations.“The way that we played and the power we had in our lineup with that pace and aggression, our athleticism in the field, it brought a smile to my face the way we performed in those last two games,” Pollard said.“And I think we’re getting there and it’s just unfortunate what has taken place now in terms of the pandemic all around the world because we had a couple series coming up against New Zealand and South Africa that would have helped tighten the grip a bit more.“Again, those things are out of our control; we can’t think about that but it excites me thinking about the World Cup. Hopefully we can continue to put the pieces of the puzzle together.”West Indies produced two dominant performances in Pallekele,  to whitewash Sri Lanka 2-0 in the T20 International series.They won the opening game by 25 runs courtesy of a Lendl Simmons half-century and shot-filled cameos from Pollard and Andre Russell, while fast bowler Oshane Thomas blitzed the opposition with an aggressive five-wicket haul.The tourists won the second game by seven wickets with three overs to spare, thanks again to Russell’s brutal hitting.Pollard said the return of Russell and veteran all-rounder Dwayne Bravo had been a definite boost for the side.“I thought the guys that we had – Russell coming back in, Brav coming back in (was a plus), and still there are a couple guys around the setup that we’d love to have with us to make that complete 22-man squad that we can pick from,” he noted.The T20 World Cup is scheduled to run from October 18 to November 15, though the COVID-19 outbreak has also threatened to put the showpiece in doubt.West Indies will arrive as defending champions following their sensational win four years ago in India but Pollard said team-building and planning needed to be the immediate focus.“I think the immediate goal for us would have been trying to put some wins on the board and getting a consistent group of guys to play together and understand their roles and their responsibilities,” he stressed.“I think that’s the major thing before you go into a tournament so that’s the immediate goal right now.“The goal is there: yes, you want to go participate in the World Cup but you want to go there winning and so you need to plan how you’re going to do that; so we’re in that stage right now.”last_img read more

Teenager Martinelli stars for Arsenal in Europa League as Man Utd toil

first_imgUnited rarely threatened with substitute Jesse Lingard firing wide although Solskjaer reacted in disbelief when Marcus Rashford appeared to be chopped down in the penalty area.“It’s a penalty 101 times out of 100,” said the Norwegian.Owen Wijndal and Oussama Idrissi forced David de Gea into a couple of smart saves late on as the draw left United level on four points in Group L with Partizan Belgrade, who won 2-1 away to Astana.Steven Gerrard’s Rangers conceded an injury-time goal in a 2-1 loss at Swiss side Young Boys.Colombian forward Alfredo Morelos put Rangers ahead just before half-time, but Young Boys levelled through Roger Assale and Christian Fassnacht grabbed a 93rd-minute winner.Feyenoord claimed a 2-0 home victory over Porto in a clash of former European champions in the other match in Group G.Celtic gained a degree of revenge on CFR Cluj, the Romanians who ousted them in the third qualifying round of the Champions League, as Odsonne Edouard and Mohamed Elyounoussi scored in a 2-0 win in Glasgow.Wolves, in their first European campaign since 1980, rebounded from an opening loss to Braga as Willy Boly’s stoppage-time goal earned them a 1-0 win at Besiktas.“It’s huge for us. We don’t want to make up the numbers, we want to compete to win,” said Wolves captain Conor Coady.Espanyol forward Wu Lei became the first Chinese man to score in a major European competition as his side beat CSKA Moscow 2-0.Austrian debutants Wolfsberg drew 1-1 at home to Roma in Group J, while Javier Hernandez grabbed the only goal as five-time champions Sevilla overcame APOEL of Cyprus.Azerbaijani club Qarabag beat Dudelange 4-1 in a game that was interrupted in the first half when a drone carrying a flag from the disputed separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh flew over the pitch in Luxembourg.PSV Eindhoven defeated Rosenborg 4-1, while Lazio came from behind to beat Rennes 2-1.Share on: WhatsApp Dani Ceballos among Arsenal’s goal scorers to guide the Gunners to a comfortable win at Emirates. PHOTO via @EuropaLeagueParis, France | AFP | Arsenal teenager Gabriel Martinelli scored twice to spark a 4-0 rout of Standard Liege in the Europa League group stage on Thursday, while Manchester United stuttered to a goalless draw against AZ Alkmaar.Martinelli, 18, headed in superbly to give last year’s runners-up Arsenal the lead on 14 minutes at the Emirates Stadium before adding a quick-fire second barely two minutes later.The Brazilian was making just his second start for the Gunners since joining the club in July. He also struck twice on his full debut against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup.Joe Willock fired in a third for a youthful Arsenal on 22 minutes and Martinelli set up Dani Ceballos on the hour to wrap up another comfortable win in Europe as Unai Emery’s side moved on to six points at the top of Group F.“The team had a great performance. It’s a very important win for us,” defender Hector Bellerin told BT Sport, praising the dedication shown by Martinelli.“He keeps his head down, he works really hard, he is doing what the coach wants him to do and it shows on the pitch. Everyone is really pleased for him.”Arsenal are three points clear of both Standard and Eintracht Frankfurt, who beat Vitoria Guimaraes 1-0 in Portugal.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United again struggled in attack and failed to muster a single shot on target with the club still searching for a first away win since March.United are winless in 10 games away from home — a run that has seen them score just five times.“The conditions were tough but I thought we did very well. It puts us in a good position,” said Solskjaer.“If you get your draws away from home and win the home games, you’ll be fine.”Academy product Brandon Williams was handed his first start for United, who saw teenager Mason Greenwood denied by a superb block from Ron Vlaar on 30 minutes.The game was played in The Hague, on an artificial surface described as “one of the worst” by Solskjaer, after a storm damaged Alkmaar’s home ground in August.– Stonewall penalty –last_img read more

City champs suffer PIAA heartbreak in overtime thriller to State College

first_imgby Malik VincentThe quest for a City League team to advance in the PIAA (Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association) football playoffs was unsuccessful, again, this year.State College, the winners of District VI, for the second year in a row defeated the City League champs, District VII, by knocking off USO (University Prep, Sci-Tech, and Obama), 33-32 on Nov 26 at Mansion Park Stadium in Altoona.“It was our goal to be able to represent the city well and finally get that win in States,” USO Coach Lou Berry said. “We weren’t quite able to get that accomplished, unfortunately.”The Panthers (11-2) came from behind to take a 3-point lead with 33 seconds left in the game.But State College’s kicker, Josh Clothiaux, was a thorn in their side as his offense set him up for a 25-yard game tying field goal in the closing seconds of regulation.When the game reached overtime, USO’s leader Jaylen Coleman, scored on a 1-yard run—for his second touchdown of the game. He finished with over 200 yards on the ground.“This season was a season to remember,” Coleman said. “I love my team.”Then State College running back Jack Haffner came back and put his Little Lions on top with a 6-yard score in the extra period. He played a big role in their victory last year to knock off last year’s champs Perry. In this game, like Coleman, he eclipsed the 200 yard mark.But it would be the foot of Clothiaux that would send his team to victory on the ensuing extra point.“There were so many opportunities for us to win this game,” Berry said. “We missed a chance for a turnover in that last drive and they were somehow able to get in position to score.”It took 26 seconds on a pass play and two Haffner rushes in that final drive in regulation for the Little Lions to drive 55 yards all the way to the USO 8 yard line.“There were some issues with the clock operator all game. I don’t see how it was possible for them to drive 55 yards in 26 seconds. But that’s just me.”The loss was USO’s first since going down to league foe Brashear in the City opener in September. They’d finish out their conference schedule and the playoffs after that, without even surrendering a single point.“We fell a little short in our journey,” Berry said. “But I’m so humbled and impressed by the success of these young men and how they fought for one another, as brothers, this year.”State College will take on the Quad-A champs of the WPIAL, North Allegheny next week in Altoona.Oliver (3-8) was the City’s Double-A representative in the PIAA’s and lost to Moniteau, 39-12, at Cupples Stadium on Nov. 25.(Follow our continuing coverage of and add your comments to our website at www.new­pitts­burgh­courieronline.com.) (Malik Vincent can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @malikvincent.)last_img read more

Kootenay Lake Fishing Report

first_img Most fish are feeding on the surface now, so we have been running mostly surface lines with the usual gear. Some Rainbows up to 17 pounds and Bull Trout up to 14 pounds have been coming in.  We’re also experiencing some good Kokanee fishing in the West Arm (during the opening) and just outside the west arm.  So, there’s definitely been a lot of action. So, there is not a lack of fish to be caught on the river.  You just have to get out there. By Kerry Reed, Reel Adventures SportfishingMay is over and June is nearing the midway point. So there’s plenty of time this month to hook a big one on Kootenay Lake.Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Charters is here to give his monthly fishing report. So read and enjoy. My favorite bucktail flies have been producing good numbers of Rainbows and even a few Bull trout on the surface.  Lucky flies have been:  black, black, and more black.  Since the flying ants have been hitting the water, it seems the fish are keying in on the black colors.  So, our favorites have been the black ant pattern #208, the usual black & white #228, and a few others gray & white #210, green & white #221.  Tight lines……………………….Kerry Reed Reel Adventures Sportfishing 250-505-4963 www.reeladventuresfishing.com The river has been running higher lately, but that seems to have created some new holes for fishing.  We’ve been fishing the usual back eddies and catching some nice fish. Also our Lyman plugs have been producing well on the surface and the downriggers.  Greens have been working well due to the color of the lake water.  So, lucky #55 or #53, or 97 have been producing.  Also the natural colors representing Kokanee have been working well.  Lucky numbers 16, 98, and 100 have been producing some good fish as well.   Columbia River:center_img Water temperature is perfect for most fish now, so we should see some good days of fishing ahead.  What are they biting on?? Fly-fishing with nymphs has been the most productive lately.  However the warmer weather has created a few hatches and we have begun dry fly fishing with caddis and flying ants as well. The month of May was pretty good fishing.  Lots of days with 10 – 15 fish to the boat.  The bugs came out, as well as flying ants, which seem to get all the fish in a frenzy.  Lots of bug eaters or small fish were caught, with the odd big fish each day. My favorite months are coming up for river fishing.  Look out for the famous Caddis hatch, as it will put every fish into a crazy feeding frenzy. The bait fishermen have been doing good as well.  Try using spinners tipped with worms or a 3-way rig on the bottom with bait.  Both methods have produced some nice fish.  Rainbows between 2 –5 pounds have been coming in, as well as Walleye between 2 – 5 pounds.  I’ve even seen a few Pike caught lately up to 10 pounds. Kootenay Lakelast_img read more

Mallards Team of the Week — Nelson Ultimate Lumbersexuals

first_imgBusiness Business, a team from Edmonton &Vancouver, won the event for the third consecutive year.Nelson’s Lumbersexuals came so close to advancing, but had to settle with a 1-3 mark during the tournament.However, for the Lumbersexuals it’s more about having fun on the field . . . Playing hard but having a smile on your face while doing it.Mallard’s Source for sports, a firm believer in sportsmanship, would like to salute the Lumbersexuals with Team of the Week honours.The squad includes, Mark Arnold, Raine Prsa, Nicole Perrin, Mike Moore, Anna-lise K, Adam Beckman, Andrew Hanna, Eli Brownlee, Paul Landsberg, Will Maurice, Danica Lee, Jason Lynch, Jenn Ross, Shannon Carter, Sarah Crookshank, Kate Bergen, Travis Kamm, Meghan Booth, Kate Rustemeyer, Daphne Powell and Gabrielle Plamondon. Nelson Ultimate welcomed more than 250 players from throughout BC and Alberta to the annual Disc Break 2017 at the Lakeside Pitch.last_img read more

Origin of Life Made Easy

first_imgAs anyone knows who has been given directions and told “you can’t miss it,” sounding easy and being easy can be entirely different things.  Reporters sometimes make the most difficult step in evolution – the origin of life – look like a cinch through the use of suggestive metaphors, like the commonly-invoked phrase, “building blocks of life.”  The directions in their articles usually lead to dead ends at worst, or, at best, baby steps on a long march, most of the route TBD, a TLA (three letter acronym) meaning “to be determined.” Tool kit:  This metaphor was presented by PhysOrg in an article entitled, “Meteorites: Tool kits for creating life on Earth.”  The main idea was that nucleobases could have been formed in meteorites and come to earth special delivery.  (Science Daily and New Scientist identified these nucleobases as adenine and guanine.)  “The earliest forms of life on Earth may have been assembled from materials delivered to Earth by meteorites,” PhysOrg said.  Jim Cleaves (Carnegie Geophysical Laboratory) added, “This shows us that meteorites may have been molecular tool kits, which provided the essential building blocks for life on Earth.” Plausible precursor:  This metaphor was offered by Science Daily, “Study Builds On Plausible Scenario for Origin of Life On Earth.”  The study, conducted at Scripps, attempted to find precursors to RNA.  The article repeatedly spoke of RNA precursors, not RNA itself, which depends on the difficult-to-synthesize sugar ribose (“Did borax evolve into 20-mule teams?”, 01/09/2004).  What these precursors are was not identified, but the very word precursor uses the power of suggestion to invoke images of progress. Evolutionary force driving simple to complex:  “Is this how simple life got complicated?” an article PhysOrg teased.  Within the article, Andrew Murray invoked the image of an “evolutionary force” that led single cells to leap to multicellular life forms.  But what he studied was how living yeast cells seem to do better in clumps than individually.  Yeast cells already have the cellular machinery that challenges theories of the origin of life.  These analogies vastly oversimplify what goes on in living cells.  For instance, this article on Science Daily used the word machine and machinery 16 times, describing how DNA is acted on by protein machines that provide quality control during cell division.  Without cell division, evolution cannot act, because it needs to naturally select copies, or offspring. Dr. Robert Shapiro knows that a living cell is anything but simple.  He has said that the leap from simple molecules to a cell is greater than the distance between a bacterium and an elephant (cited on aish.com).  In Nature last week (August 4),1 he reviewed David Deamer’s new book First Life: Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began (University of California Press, 2011).  Shapiro criticized Deamer’s hypothesis that life began in droplets surrounded by fatty acids.  In fact, all simplistic scenarios overlook the complexity of life as we know it: Today, the simplest living cells depend on molecules that are far more intricate than those that have been isolated from sources unrelated to life (abiotic), such as meteorites. The most noteworthy chemical substances in life are functioning polymers — large molecules made of smaller units called monomers, connected in a specific order. The nucleic acids RNA and DNA, carriers of genetic information and heredity, are made of connected nucleotide monomers. Similarly, proteins are vital polymer catalysts that are made by combining monomer amino acids. Such modern biological constructions were unlikely to have been present on the early Earth. As an example, Shapiro noted that the RNA World hypothesis, while elegantly simple, is “staggeringly improbable.”  It is doubtful he would be impressed by the presence of nucleobases in a meteorite: Nucleotides, for example, are not encountered in nature beyond organisms or laboratory synthesis. To construct RNA, high concentrations of four select nucleotides would be needed in the same location, with others being excluded. If this is the prerequisite for life, then it is an unusual phenomenon, rare in the Universe. Deamer’s dream of a fatty vesicle as a container for the RNA world, Shapiro continued, fails for the same reason: “Unfortunately, his theory retains the improbable generation of self-replicating polymers such as RNA.”  In fact, Shapiro added, “Deamer’s insight deflates the synthetic proofs put forward in numerous papers supporting the RNA world.”  Using that unfortunate word Unfortunately once again, though, he undermined Deamer’s “insight” into spontaneous vesicle formation as essentially useless: Unfortunately, the chemicals that he suggests for inclusion are drawn from modern biology, not from ancient geochemistry. We should let nature inform us, rather than pasting our ideas onto her. Incidentally, Nature News said that the scientific community has largely dismissed last year’s claim that arsenic-based life was possible (see “Arsenic and Old Lake,” 12/02/2010).  Rosie Redfield (U of British Columbia) is trying to replicate the experiment by Felisa Wolfe-Simon, even though it is almost “guaranteed to fail,” according to Erika Check Hayden.  Her article, though, focused more on how blog reporting of attempts to replicate controversial experiments is changing the face of peer review.  Said Jonathan Eisen (U of California), “This is a great case study for open science, because it raises issues about peer review, it raises issues about sharing data and materials, and it raises issues about engaging the public and press more actively in science.”  The Facebook-Twitter age is opening doors of science labs, where both good and bad can be seen in near real time. 1. Robert Shapiro, “Astrobiology: Life’s beginnings,” Nature 476 (04 August 2011), pages 30–31, doi:10.1038/476030a. David Klinghoffer has a better metaphor for these origin-of-life stories.  Saying that molecular “building blocks of life” can form naturally is like explaining Bach’s music by saying natural sources for the ink are readily available (see Evolution News).  One of the best recent collections of quotes on how “staggeringly improbable” the origin of life is, as understood by workers in the field, can be found in Rabbi Moshe Averick’s book Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist (Tradition and Reason Press, 2010).  In Part II, Averick quotes Shapiro and many other leaders in origin-of-life studies, making it abundantly clear from their own writings that evolutionists are completely clueless about how life started.  For instance, on pages 94-95, he quotes five leading astrobiologists admitting that the origin of life seems like a miracle. Those quotes should be kept at hand when reading science news articles with their glittering generalities making it sound like the origin of life is easy as apple pie.  Evolutionists need to make apple pie without first assuming apples.  In fact, as Carl Sagan said in Cosmos, to really make an apple pie from scratch, you must begin by inventing the universe.  Good luck—when all you have to start with is nothing (08/09/2011).(Visited 75 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Brand South Africa hosts international media

first_imgLow-cost fibreglass dish, an earlySKA prototype, at the HartRAOobservatory, west of Johannesburg. Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabanebriefed the group on South Africa’spreparations for COP17. The Gautrain station in Sandton.(Images: Janine Erasmus)MEDIA CONTACTS • Michael GaylardActing MD, HartRAO+27 12 301 3100• Tshepo NkosiBSA communications manager+27 11 483 0122MediaClubSouthAfrica.com reporterBrand South Africa recently played host to a group of international journalists from three continents, who were  here to gain exposure to South African business, government and citizens, as well as experience the local culture and way of life and learn of the latest technological developments.The tour’s aim was to build solid, constructive relationships with the media in target markets, especially where BSA does not have an office. The visiting journalists hailed from Angola, Brazil, Egypt, India, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.The expected outcome of the tour is a more positive perception of South Africa internationally, and, through reporting in overseas media, a greater global awareness of the progress made in education, health, infrastructure and other key aspects.The group was officially welcomed on 27 September by Brand SA CEO Miller Matola, Brand SA chairperson Anitha Soni, and prominent government representatives, at a dinner at the Lekgotla Restaurant in Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton.Matola spoke of the Play Your Part campaign, a countrywide initiative that encourages all South Africans to contribute towards caring for themselves, their fellow citizens, and the environment.“We hope to encourage all South Africans to listen to their social conscience and get involved in activities that will make a positive difference to the environment,” he said.On behalf of Brand South Africa, he asked the journalists to “continue to shape the image of Africa, and to set an agenda to drive the continent’s reputation, image and competitiveness.”“South Africa is on an aggressive economic development drive, evolving for the future,” said Soni. “Improved technology and infrastructure facilitates global competitiveness and creates an enabling trade and investment environment.”Deputy Minister in the Presidency Dina Pule closed off the evening, saying: “Through Brand South Africa, the government will use this platform to share our varied yet aligned messages to garner support from you, our media partners, so that you can experience our country and tell our story from an informed perspective.”On 28 September the group started the day with a business breakfast with representatives from the Banking Association of South Africa. Here they learned more about South Africa’s robust banking system, rated as one of the best and most secure in the world.Afterwards they again experienced the comfort and convenience of the Gautrain, racing at speed from Johannesburg to Pretoria.On arrival in South Africa they had travelled on the high-speed train from OR Tambo International Airport to Sandton, a trip that takes about 15 minutes but which could take up to an hour or more on the road.Addressing climate changeA visit to the offices of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation was next on the cards.Here the group met with Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who briefed them on South Africa’s preparations to host the 17th Conference of the Parties (COP17) in Durban in November.Mashabane is the incoming president of the gathering, and assured the group that preparations were on track and progressing well.“Climate change is one of the most [pressing issues affecting us today,” she said. “We are striving for a comprehensive, balanced and ambitious result in Durban.”The minister said that one of the priorities would be to work through unresolved issues from the 2007 gathering in Bali. She also mentioned that the implementation of adaptation activities is key, and that the conference is also hoping to reach finalisation on the Green Climate Fund.“We are expecting about 30 000 delegates, 20 000 of whom are from official delegations,” she said.After a lively question and answer session, an indication of the interest from the media in this important event, the group departed for the offices of the health ministry in central Pretoria.National Health Insurance questions answeredHealth minister Aaron Motsaoledi did not mince his words as he described the present chaotic state of South Africa’s health system, and emphasised that the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme cannot be held off any longer if the majority of citizens are to get access to decenthealthcare.“South Africa makes up 0.7% of the world’s population, but it carries 17% of the HIV/Aids burden,” he said. “With tuberculosis, we are top of the list of all countries in terms of the percentage of population infected. We have a huge disease profile, but we don’t have the resources to properly address it.”The minister said that a national health insurance scheme is not a new concept, but that it had been under consideration since before the apartheid government came into power in the late 1940s.However, the new regime wasn’t interested in an equal system of healthcare and the idea was shelved until the arrival of a democratic government in 1994.Over-commercialisation of the private healthcare system was a big problem today. “It’s all about the return on investment,” he said. “These private clinics are run with more concern on the profits than on treating sick or injured people.”In terms of section 27 of South Africa’s constitution, no person may be refused access to emergency care.“But now, unless you have private health insurance you can die from your injuries if you have an accident outside the door of a private clinic, as they will refuse to even touch you if you can’t pay thousands up front.”This was totally unacceptable, said Motsoaledi, because it was discriminatory. The NHI would help to bridge this gap by making it possible for all citizens to have access to quality healthcare, no matter where they were.Looking into space for answersFrom Pretoria, the group paid a visit to HartRAO, the radio astronomy observatory at Hartebeesthoek, 50km west of Johannesburg. The facility started up as Nasa’s Deep Space Instrumentation Facility 51.Here they were given an overview of South Africa’s bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), an instrument that will be able to peer deep into the universe and answer many unresolved questions.The SKA will comprise an array of radio telescopes that together provide a reception area of a square kilometre. It will stretch over much of Southern Africa and will involve eight countries in the region.Dr Michael Gaylard, the facility’s acting MD, showed the journalists some of the important equipment operated and maintained by scientists at the observatory. A 26m telescope built by Nasa in the 1950s has been converted to receive radio signals and is used to track pulsar timing. Ownership of the dish has now passed to South Africa.HartRAO also operates a Nasa-owned satellite laser ranger that accurately measures the orbits of satellites, including positioning satellites. Finally, the group was introduced to the first prototype of the low-cost radio telescope designed in South Africa for the SKA and its precursors, the Meerkat and Kat-7 arrays.From Gauteng, the group headed to Cape Town, where they inspected renewable energy production at the Koeberg nuclear power plant, visited a successful wine farm, and experienced other sights and sounds of the Cape peninsula.last_img read more

CES 2011: RealNetworks Steps Past Apple & Google to Offer Cloud-Based Music

first_imgHow long have you been hearing about both Apple’s and Google’s much-anticipated cloud music and media offerings? While we spent much of 2010 waiting to see which of the two Internet giants would get there first, another player was lurking in the background and is now stepping into the fray with an offering of its own. RealNetworks, the company behind RealPlayer, previewed Unifi at the Consumer Electronics Show today and we think that its device- and platform-agnostic offering could give the other guys a run for their money.We sat down with Peter Kellogg-Smith, VP of emerging products with RealNetworks, who showed us around the cloud-based music and media offering that it plans to release in early 2011.According to Kellogg-Smith, RealNetworks recently surveyed 1,000 of its users and found that difficulties with organizing media between devices and syncing mobile devices were two of the biggest complaints. Many mobile users still have to tether their device to sync, rather than transmitting content wirelessly, leaving photos and music files often stranded on the device where they were purchased or taken. At the same time, these users often own multiple devices and can’t remember where and on what device a piece of content may reside. Unifi is RealNetwork’s attempt at solving this problem and, as an owner of multiple devices, it looked like a tool I would want to use.Here’s how it works: A “librarian” app catalogs all of your various music and image files, creates a master list and compiles it into a cloud-based master list. This librarian app is a program on your desktop computer and an app on your iPhone, iPad, Android or tablet computer. Each device takes an inventory and reports its findings to this master list. You then choose exactly which content you want made available on the cloud and the service syncs it for you. You can not only control this synchronization directly from the device you’re using, but from a remote device as well. That is, if your laptop is running and connected at home and you’re out with your smartphone, you can look at the catalog, find the media you want on your home computer, and ask Unifi to sync and make it available to you wherever you are. If the laptop isn’t on and running, it will sync that content the next time it is turned on and connected. The other big feature, aside from syncing to the cloud, is directly downloading content from the cloud to any device for offline access. Essentially, Unifi gives Apple users a way to wirelessly synch their media. The only problem, of course, is that iTunes cannot be used to access this content. Instead, the Unifi app must be used to play or view downloaded content.“Our goal,” Kellog-Smith told us, “is to be ubiquitous across all devices.” Indeed, he showed us how a user could buy different parts of the same album across different devices and media stores and then have it show up as a single album within Unifi. In addition to your standard media files, the service will also initially allow users to sync photos from Facebook and Snapfish, with more services on the horizon.As opposed to the expected cloud media offerings by Apple or Google, Kellog-Smith said that Unifi will allow users the ability to manage all media across all devices and not just in the walled garden of a single platform. Upon release, Unifi will be available for Android and iOS mobile devices, on Google TV and on Windows and Mac devices. The company expects to release apps for both WP7 and Blackberry in the second quarter of 2011. He also said that RealNetworks is in talks with device manufacturers to offer the service as an embedded feature and as an app in connected cars in late 2011 or early 2012.The app itself will be free with storage up to 2 GB and paid offerings of 10, 30, 60 and 150 GB will be available. While we’re sure that Apple and Google fans, who have a lot invested in each of these ecosystems, will continue to hold their breath for native offerings, RealNetworks’ Unifi seems to step up the game in terms of cloud-based media services. What do you think? Does Unifi sound like it’s for you? 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#CES 2011#cloud computing#conferences#mobile#Multimedia#music#news#NYT#web center_img 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… mike melanson Related Posts last_img read more

Cherry on top

first_imgEvery point Cherry “Sisi” Rondina produced, she topped with a jubilant jump and a megawatt smile that further egged the University of Santo Tomas faithful to roar even louder.ADVERTISEMENT Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST PLAY LIST 01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST02:11CJ Peralta assures fair decision on Marcos poll protest vs Robredo00:50Trending Articles02:42PH 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 The Tigresses had lost 15 straight games to the powerhouse Lady Eagles over the last few seasons. They only need one more win over Ateneo to claim their first crown since Season 72.Unloading a new dimension to her game—running attacks that resulted in sharp, booming kills that shredded the Ateneo defense—Rondina finished with 23 points and admitted she got a big boost from UST legend Mary Jean Balse.“She called me in the morning and said to give a good fight, put your heart into the game and make it our turn this time,” said Rondina, who is set to be named MVP before Wednesday’s Game 2.Eya Laure added 11 points and provided the Tigresses with an attacking option that befuddled Ateneo’s fearsome blockers at the net.Rondina and Laure led an attack squad that produced 46 attack points, almost double the output of the Lady Eagles (24).ADVERTISEMENT The extra spring in her celebratory jigs and her overall aura showed just how distant last season is, when she had to shoulder a lot of responsibilities for the Tigresses.“The burden that Sisi (Rondina’s nickname) feels this year isn’t as heavy as last year when we really pushed her to the limit,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes in Filipino. “This time we don’t have to rely on her too much because there are people who can now help her and let her play her own game.”FEATURED 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, logisticsAnd it showed.Freed from back-breaking responsibilities, Rondina unleashed her ferocious form as University of Santo Tomas stunned top seed Ateneo, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, in Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid A league for their throne MOST READ Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anewcenter_img After controlling the first two sets, UST encountered a challenge in the third, something that severely tested the charcter of a team that tends to go through precarious drops in performance in the middle set.Kat Tolentino capped a fight-back by the Lady Eagles, who came to within a point, 21-20.But the Tigresses passed that test. And but as if to flaunt its array of options, UST turned to Erika Raagas to provide a two-point buffer. Rondina then took charge, shoving the Tigresses to match point with an off-balanced kill.“Sisi has a much better aura now compared to before because back then she was not allowed to make a mistake, but this time she has a room for errors,” said Reyes. “But she makes up for those errors with more points.” —WITH A REPORT FROM BONG LOZADA, INQUIRER.NETSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES View comments SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venue Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess Private companies step in to help SEA Games hostinglast_img read more