Ankara: Turkey’s economy fell into its first recession in a decade, official data showed on Monday, just weeks before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government faces local elections where growth and inflation will be key issues for voters. Economic output contracted by 2.4 percent in the final three months of the year compared to the third quarter on a seasonally and calendar-adjusted basis, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TUIK) said. That followed a revised 1.6 percent contraction in the third quarter. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepTwo consecutive quarter-on-quarter contractions in economic output is widely considered to be the definition of a recession. The flagging economy coupled with a currency crisis last year that battered the lira are sensitive issues for Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) before the municipal vote on March 31. The Turkish leader, in power since 2003 first as prime minister and then as president, has often boasted of the country’s strong growth during his time in government. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsGrowth came in at 2.6 per cent for 2018 overall, but that was still much lower than the 7.4 per cent recorded in 2017, a turbulent period following the 2016 failed coup and terror attacks. The economy shrank by 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018 compared with the same period the previous year. Inflation has also remained high. It struck a 15-year peak in October at 25.24 per cent before falling below 20 percent in February, with food prices hit particularly hard. Erdogan’s government has sought to curb consumer prices, especially for produce consumed everyday in Turkish households. Turkish authorities last month set up their own vegetable stands in a bid to force markets to lower food prices. But analysts said economic data showed inflation was still weighing on household consumption, and domestic demand was weak. Turkish Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also Erdogan’s son-in-law, said on Twitter the data was as expected, but “the worst is behind us”. That analysis was shared to some extent by the London-based Capital Economics research firm, but they offer cold comfort for Turkey’s economic outlook. “While the worst of the downturn may now have passed, the weak carryover means that we expect GDP to decline by 2.5 percent this year,” said Jason Tuvey, senior emerging markets economist at Capital Economics. Albayrak blamed the recession on “speculative attacks” and the current global economic slowdown. While Turkey’s economy was hit when US President Donald Trump doubled tariffs last year on Turkish steel and aluminium, confidence was further eroded by a bitter row over a detained American pastor. The lira plummeted in value in August. While an aggressive interest rate hike in September helped brake its fall, economic activity stalled while prices of goods shot higher. The last time Turkey entered a recession was in 2009 after the global economic crisis hit foreign and domestic demand.
At least 20 people were injured when the building in Wellawatta collapsed yesterday.Ranawaka said that there are 1800 illegal constructions between Wellawatta and Bambalapitiya. The Government says legal action will be taken against those responsible for the Wellawatta building collapse.Minister of Megapolis and Western Development Champika Ranawaka said that the Wellawatta building which collapsed was an illegal construction.
He has been detained for further questioning.Hashim had died in the suicide attack on the Shangri-La Hotel on Easter Sunday. A close associate of the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday attacks, Zahran Hashim, was arrested in Kattankudy today.The Police said the suspect had carried out the financial transactions of Zahran Hashim.
CALGARY — News that permitting issues in the U.S. would delay Enbridge Inc.’s Line 3 replacement pipeline project until the middle of 2020 instead of late this year means that yet another boost in oil export capacity has been kicked down the road.With both the Trans Mountain expansion and Keystone XL pipeline projects in court limbo, attention is turning to alternative ideas to expand Canada’s ability to continue to get its oil to market.In a report to Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi last month, the National Energy Board said current pipeline capacity is fully utilized and crude-by-rail infrastructure is operating at or near capacity.But it also identified potential long-term market access solutions that could include more oilsands bitumen upgrading and reversing existing import pipelines.Unfortunately, none of those ideas works as a meaningful short-term alternative to new pipelines — and they face many of the same speed bumps — says NEB chief economist Jean-Denis Charlebois.“Fundamentally, what this would require is regulatory approvals and significant capital investments because those things cannot occur overnight,” he said in an interview.Related Stories:Canadian company ships solid oil sands bitumen to Chinese refineryCanada’s Suncor sees increased political risk for Keystone XL oil pipelineHow Saudi attacks could be the spark global investors need to return to Canada’s oilpatch“First the economics have to be there … then those alternatives need to go through a regulatory process.”A dearth of investment dollars for traditional drilling in Western Canada means there are also fewer dollars available for developing creative options, said Kevin Birn, a vice-president with IHS Energy in Calgary.“I think you will have some creativity but if you really want creativity, they’ve got to see a future for investment in Western Canada,” he said.Here’s a closer look at some pipeline alternative solutions.The diluent dilemmaRaw bitumen at room temperature has the consistency of peanut butter. Below freezing, it’s as hard as a hockey puck.To make it flow in a pipeline, producers mix as many as three barrels of light oil “diluent” for every seven barrels of bitumen — if one can eliminate or reduce the diluent, it frees up room in the pipeline.In January, the Alberta government announced a $440-million loan guarantee to help Value Creation Inc. build a $2-billion upgrader that would convert diluted bitumen into medium synthetic crude and diesel, both capable of flowing undiluted in a pipeline.The facility is the first in line for up to $1 billion in provincial incentives for partial upgraders, but it isn’t expected to be operating until at least 2022.A report prepared for the province in 2017 suggested that a 100,000-barrel-per-day partial upgrading facility could add $10 to $15 of value to each barrel of bitumen. The report listed 10 pre-commercial technologies that have been tested or proposed for deployment in Alberta.Any plan to reduce diluent must consider the impact on U.S. customers, who have configured their refineries to use diluted bitumen, said Birn.He added diluent will still be needed to deliver the bitumen from the field to the partial upgrader, which means diluent recovery units likely also will need to be built.New technologyNo diluent at all would be required with a new technology to mix and coat bitumen with recycled plastic and form it into solid pucks for shipping in ordinary railcars or shipping containers.An oil company affiliated with the tiny Heart Lake First Nation in northern Alberta is building a $50-million pilot plant to test the “CanaPux” product developed by Canadian National Railway Co.But it’s not known when a commercial facility would follow.Pipeline efficiencyReducing the demand for diluent in Canada could help Enbridge decide on the option to convert its Southern Lights pipeline — used to import U.S. condensate diluent into Canada — into a crude oil export pipeline with capacity of about 150,000 bpd, possibly by 2023.Meanwhile, the operator of the biggest oil export pipeline network in Canada is getting creative as it looks at using drag reducing agents inside the pipe and redirecting some downstream U.S. injections to open up long-haul capacity for Western Canada, along with low-cost pipeline and pumping station upgrades.It thinks it could add another 50,000 to 100,000 bpd of incremental export space by mid-year and is studying a potential 450,000 bpd of throughput optimization initiatives.Crude-by-railRail exports rose to a record of over 350,000 bpd in December before falling in January and February after Alberta imposed production cuts to reduce storage and open up space on pipelines.They are on the rise again as Alberta loosens its production quotas and Imperial Oil Ltd. restarts rail shipments it stopped in February.Crude shipped by rail often contains diluent but the NEB notes more oil can be put in each car if the oil isn’t diluted — although that requires the use of cars that can be heated at the destination dock to drain the bitumen.Meanwhile, Alberta’s NDP government is pressing ahead with plans to add locomotives and railcars to move 120,000 barrels per day of crude, starting at the end of the year — although the opposition United Conservative Party has vowed to kill the order if it wins the provincial election this week.Follow @HealingSlowly on TwitterCompanies in this story: (TSX:CN, TSX:ENB, TSX:IMO)
In a statement attributable to his spokesperson, the UN chief said he is “pleased to note that President Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar have achieved this important milestone of the peace process and urges them to swiftly complete the establishment of all institutions of transition. He also urges the parties to cease immediately all hostilities.” The Secretary-General also commended the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) chair, President Festus Mogae, and the African Union High Representative, President Alpha Omar Konare, for steering the peace process forward, and reiterated the commitment of the UN to support all South Sudanese in restoring peace, stability and prosperity in the country. “He calls on the larger international community to remain actively engaged in the peace process and provide the necessary support to the full and timely implementation of the Peace Agreement,” the statement said.
The LED lighting market is poised to explode. Right now everyone is trying to get in on the trend before the fun is over and certain companies dominate a market that will likely be defined by its razor thin margins. Before any big players become completely entrenched, as happened with both incandescent and CFL lighting, everyone is taking a swing at the LED, from the GEs and Philips of the world right down to venture-backed startups. Somewhere between those extremes are companies like Best Buy, who recently starting selling its 13W Insignia LED bulb for $17.The Insignia is a dimmable, A19-sized LED bulb that is rated at 800 lumens (60W-equivalent). It is said to good for 22.8 years of usage (at 3 hours a day) and operates at 3000K, or a warm white. The final interesting note on the packaging is that it uses Cree LEDs. Many lamps are designed to be LED agnostic, so if one provider gets expensive they can swap them out for a similar unit from a competitor. Even so, it looks like Best Buy is sticking with the US-based Cree for the time being.The Insignia is what’s known as a “Cree ingredient product,” which means it will use high-quality LEDs and adhere to Cree’s TEMPO (Thermal, Electrical, Mechanical, Photometric and Optical) guidelines. The Insignia is not yet Energy Star approved, but it was designed to meet these specs and is currently being tested for approval.The bulb looks a lot like a frosted incandescent, though one with three sets of cooling fins built into it. The entire outside of the bulb seems to be made of plastic — include the frosted diffuser piece and the cooling fins. As it turns out the fins are actually aluminum, which will do a better job of conducting heat away from the LEDs. Like an incandescent, the Insignia is extremely light. In fact, my measurement put it at just 92 grams.Once the bulb is on you’ll be greeted with a nice, omnidirectional light (though some people will certainly prefer to see it at 2700K as opposed to 3000K). The frosted surface diffuses the light nicely and the bulb doesn’t have noticeable hotspots nor does it cause multiple shadows.Looking at the bulb when it was on, I became curious about how exactly the designers managed to pull off the combination of minimal weight (with seemingly adequate cooling) and such a uniform light pattern. As it turns out, the nine Cree LEDs are split into groups of three, which are mounted on the backs of each of the heat sinks. This allows for conductive cooling while giving a nice spread to the light. While all the LEDs do technically face sideways (that is to say, perpendicular to the socket) a reasonable amount of light still manages to go directly up as well.The Insignia lamp has a round, incandescent-like pattern, an indoor-friendly 3000K color temperature, and it’s frosted plastic exterior hides all the technical stuff. If you are a stickler about how your bulbs looks you won’t complain — this is one of the most incandescent-like enclosures available today.Basically, you can chalk this one up as a win for Best Buy. For $17, the Insignia is surprisingly good — it’s not the me-too product that you might have feared (or even expected).Rated and 13W and producing 800 lumens, the Insignia runs at a reasonable, but not spectacular, 61.5 lumens-per-watt. This is below the 70-80 lpw we’re been seeing from the latest round of LED bulbs, but it’s not bad for the price range.The Best Buy Insignia bulb will be sold in two varieties, a 450 lumen (40-watt equivalent) model at $13.99 and this 800 lumen (60-watt equivalent) model at $16.99. They are available today from Best Buy stores and bestbuy.com. While Best Buy isn’t the first brand that comes to mind when you think of lighting, they made some really smart decisions with this bulb and ended up with a high quality, reasonably priced product.
Amazon may be offering you up to $90 in store credit for buying EA games, but Sony has decided to reward you for convincing other people to spend their cash.Sony is continuing to think up new ways to try and boost sales of the PS Vita handheld. Last year it was confirmed there would be no price drop on the hardware until later in 2013. At the same time, Sony rolled out a new bundle to try and revitalize sales as well as considering a PS3/PS Vita bundle, which has yet to materialize.A new offer has appeared, though. Sony is offering a $20 PSN card and 1,000 Sony Rewards points to anyone who convinces a friend to buy a PS Vita.All you have to do is Register with Sony, which involves giving them your name, email address, and PSN ID. After that, you can start referring people and Sony will handle the rest. As an added incentive, Sony is offering one million Sony Rewards points to whoever refers the most people during the promotion.The offer is open now and runs until February 28, giving you exactly a month to convince your friends and family to spend a few hundred dollars on a PS Vita.There are a few important rules and restrictions related to this promotion, however. The $20 PSN card is limited as a reward for the first 10 people you refer and who purchase. Meaning the maximum you can earn is $200 and 10,000 points. Getting more than 10 people to buy hardware (who is seriously going to achieve that?) is only worth it if you want to be in with a chance of winning the million points (worth $10,000).Sony has also put restrictions on how you can communicate the offer to your friends and family. Only email, Facebook, and Twitter messages are allowed as a way of enticing them to purchase a PS Vita. So no running your own advertising campaign to entice hundreds of people you don’t know to use your referral code.
It’s that time of the week again, so if you find yourself in need of a place to go this afternoon we know just the spot. Join Russell Holly, James Plafke, and Sal Cangeloso for our third episode of Geekout, Geek.com’s semi-regular Hangouts on Air session. It’s kind of like a podcast, but we do it on YouTube through Google’s Hangouts on Air service.Every once in awhile we get this crazy idea to do something other than writing. We spend a lot of time talking about the stuff we write about, so it seemed like a good idea to share some of that with you. Geekout is a really informal thing we’ve started doing just to see where it goes, and we’d like all of you to be a part of it. If you see something during the week that you want us to talk about, or if you want us to elaborate on a post we made at some point, let us know! Topic suggestions, comments while we do this live, and feedback after it is all said and done are a big deal. You can comment here on this post, on our YouTube channel, or on our Google+ page.This week we’re going to talk about James’ heroic adventures at PAX East, the SpaceX Dragon returning to Earth, and a little about T-Mobile’s new data plans and phone deals. We’ll have a few minutes to show off the Razer Edge as well. If we’ve got time, we might even talk about how much sleep we’ve lost to Bioshock Infinite. If you’ve got any questions or comments during the stream, we’ll try to catch them and answer them while we are talking.This week’s Geekout will be starting at 3:00 EST. You can catch the embedded stream on this post (coming soon), on YouTube, or on Geek.com’s Google+ page. Thanks for watching!
Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A 90-year-old French citizen has been personally thanked by Greek Culture Minister Costas Tasoulas for returning an ancient ceramic amphora he had in his possession for 40 years. The amphora was found by the Marseilles man while swimming off a beach in Crete 40 years ago.The man said he felt the need to return the artefact after he was influenced by the recent international interest on the return of cultural treasures to their country of origin.Mr Tasoulas stressed the importance of international cooperation on the issue of cultural artefact smuggling, and said there should be new and more strict legislation on antiquities smuggling.Source: Greek Reporter Greece
Des milliards d’exoplanètes ont la masse de la TerreUne équipe internationale d’astronomes a observé pendant 6 ans des millions d’étoiles ; Ils sont arrivés à la conclusion que les planètes en orbites autour des étoiles étaient la règle et non l’exception. Au cours des 16 dernières années, les astronomes ont détecté et confirmé la présence de plus de 700 exoplanètes (planètes situées hors du système solaire). La plupart des exoplanètes connues ont été découvertes en détectant les effets de leur attraction gravitationnelle sur leur étoile ou en détectant le moment où la planète passe devant son étoile. Ces deux techniques permettent de repérer les planètes massives ou proches de leur étoile, voire les deux mais de nombreuses autres planètes ne peuvent pas être trouvées de la sorte.Une équipe internationale d’astronomes a cherché pendant 6 ans des exoplanètes en utilisant une méthode totalement différente : les microlentilles gravitationnelles. Cette technique permet d’amplifier la lumière d’une étoile d’arrière-plan. Il faut toutefois avoir la chance de tomber sur un alignement très rare de l’étoile d’arrière-plan et de l’étoile « loupe » pour qu’un événement de microlentille puisse être vu. De plus, il faut que le plan de l’orbite de la planète soit vu par la tranche.C’est la raison pour laquelle 6 années de recherche se sont avérés nécessaires pour finalement arriver à la conclusion que les planètes en orbites autour des étoiles sont la règle et non l’exception. Comme l’explique Arnaud Cassan (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris), premier auteur de l’article publié hier dans Nature, « les données que nous avons obtenues montrent de manière remarquable que les planètes sont plus courantes que les étoiles dans notre galaxie. Nous avons également trouvé que les planètes les moins massives, comme les superTerres ou les Neptunes peu massifs, doivent être plus courantes que les planètes les plus massives. »Jean-Philippe Beaulieu (Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris), responsable de la collaboration PLANET ajoute : « La collaboration PLANET a été mise en place pour faire le suivi d’événements de microlentilles avec un réseau de télescopes situés tout autour du globe terrestre dans l’hémisphère sud, de l’Australie et de l’Afrique du Sud au Chili. Les télescopes de l’ESO ont fortement contribué à ces observations. »En détectant trois planètes, soit les astronomes ont eu une chance exceptionnelle (puisque la probabilité de passer à côté de ces planètes avec cette méthode est phénoménale), soit les planètes sont tellement abondantes dans la Voie Lactée que la chose était pratiquement inévitable. En combinant les informations concernant les trois exoplanètes confirmées avec celles de sept autres exoplanètes détectées au cours d’une précédente étude la conclusion est qu’une étoile étudiée sur six héberge une planète dont la masse est semblable à celle de Jupiter.De plus, la moitié des étoiles ont des planètes de la masse de Neptune et deux tiers ont des super-Terres. Le programme d’observation permet de détecter des planètes situées à une distance de leur étoile comprise entre 75 millions de kilomètres et 1,5 milliard de kilomètres (dans le système solaire cet intervalle comprendrait toutes les planètes de Vénus à Saturne) et ayant une masse allant de cinq masses terrestres à 10 fois celle de Jupiter. « Nous avions l’habitude de penser que la Terre doit être unique dans notre Galaxie. Mais, maintenant, il semble qu’il y ait littéralement des milliards de planètes ayant une masse similaire à celle de la Terre en orbite autour des étoiles dans la Voie Lactée, » conclut Daniel Kubas, coauteur principal de cet article, rapporte notre-planete.info. Le 25 janvier 2012 à 16:15 • Maxime Lambert
Guilty plea Padgett gives SIPT revealing bank statments Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 25 Jan 2016 – More shocking details were revealed when Andrew Mitchell continued his opening statement at court last week in the case against Michael Misick and others, who are for the most part former government ministers. Much of the opening statement earlier in the day focused on what was either done to assist the requests of VaretJakCivre or what was done by Civre in the way of alleged pay outs to support those requests as it related to the Seven Stars resort development. Hundreds of thousands of dollars passed through a variety of accounts, including some in the Turks and Caicos and in Florida. Former Deputy Premier and Finance Minister Floyd Hall, his wife Lisa and other relatives and friends are named as getting payments from Civre directly to their own bank accounts. Some of the money also allegedly went to the PNP, to places like Royal Jewels, Belize Bank and Prestigious Properties and even to pay boarding school fees. Significant discounts on work permits for Chinese workers, sharing out of flat screen TVs and a request for seven stars to go to 10-storeys; that request however was withdrawn. Saunders & Co was named as an attorney firm and Mitchell explained it was in these series of transactions that a case was built against Lisa Hall. I quote: “The Washington Mutual account relates to Count 15 against Lisa Hall alone, in which she is alleged to have converted or transferred the proceeds of criminal conduct. The Crown’s case is that the account was opened for the purpose of hiding monies from her employer because she recognised they were being received for an illicit purpose.” Lisa Hall had worked for JakCivre. Special Prosecutor rebuttal reflects on PNP wounded reputation under Misick Related Items:Floyd Hall, jak civre, Lisa Hall, seven stars resort Former TCI Deputy Premier asks for six months delay to corruption trial Recommended for you
Two bodies were found in area rivers about 9 miles apart Monday afternoon. The body of a man was seen floating in the middle of the Columbia River channel near Caterpillar Island and Sauvie Island’s Reeder Beach. While river patrol deputies with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office were en route to the call, they spotted a second man’s body floating in the Willamette River Near the BNSF railroad bridge. A crew from the U.S. Coast Guard’s Portland station was the first to get to Reeder Beach and waited with the body until Clark County Fire & Rescue arrived and recovered it, according to Petty Officer 3rd Class Jordan Akiyama, spokesman for the Coast Guard. Both bodies were transported to the Willamette River Patrol offices in Portland and turned over to the Multnomah County Medical Examiner’s Office.
PV Sindhu eyeing Asian Games glory Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:06/0:40Loaded: 0%0:06Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:34?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Pusarla Venkata Sindhu prepares to take on Sung Ji Hyun in a second-round clash of the 2019 edition of the Malaysia Open at the Axiata Arena – 1 in Kuala Lumpur. Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth will face Khosit Phetpradab in his second round match at the Axiata Arena – 3 in Kuala Lumpur on April 4.When and where to watch the Malaysia Open 2019 in Indian on TV, online Star Sports 2 and HD 2 will provide the live television coverage of the Malaysia Open 2019 in India. None of the matches will start before 1 pm local time and 10:30 am IST. The live streaming of the tournament will be available on Hotstar.Neither Sindhu nor Srikanth’s match will start before 3 pm IST on April 4. PV Sindhu vs Sung Ji Hyun preview Sindhu advanced to the second round of the World Tour Super 750 tournament even though compatriot Saina Nehwal failed in the first hurdle. Kidambi Srikanth also progressed to the second round of the annual tournament. Sindhu hits a return against Ratchanok Intanon during their women’s singles semi-final match at the 2018 BWF World Tour Finals badminton on December 15, 2018.STR/AFP/Getty ImagesThe finalist of the India Open Srikanth got the better of Indonesia’s Ihsan Maulana Mustofa 21-18, 21-16 in a match that lasted only 38 minutes. World Championship and Olympic silver medalist Sindhu, meanwhile, brushed aside a spirited challenge from Japanese world number 20 Aya Ohori 22-20, 21-12. Sindhu’s victory against Ohori is her sixth win over the Japanese.Fifth seed Sindhu’s match against Sung Ji Hyun will provide her with the opportunity to avenge the loss she suffered at her hands at the All England Championships. In that hard-fought match on March 6 which lasted nearly one and a half hours, the Korean won 21-16, 20-22, 21-18. The two women are closely tied in the head to head battle too as Sindhu leads her opponent 8-7. Meanwhile, Srikanth’s meeting with Phetpradab is their first on court. The Thai native saw off the Korean challenge of Lee Dong Keun in the first round 21-15, 21-13. The winner of this match will face Chinese shuttler Chen Long in the quarterfinal. Chen Long won his second round match against a Thai opponent, Kantaphon Wangcharoen 22-20, 21-13.Saina, who came into the tournament after recovering from a pancreatic infection, was defeated by Thai shuttler Pornpawee Chochuwong 22-20, 15-21, 10-21. HS Prannoy also lost his first-round match from after winning the first game and his defeat came against Sittikhon Thammasin 12-21, 21-16, 21-14. From the men’s singles side, Sameer Verma also failed to progress as he was bested by second seed Shi Yuqi. The Chinese beat Verma in a tightly contested battle 22-20, 21-23, 21-12. Kidambi Srikanth.CLAUS FISKER/AFP/Getty Images Global TV listingsMalaysia: Astro Arena, Astro Arena HD; Live stream: Astro GoChina: CCTV 5+
Digital Rights Management and retail PC games seem to go hand-in-hand. If you buy a boxed copy of a PC game you can expect to have some form of DRM on it.The question is how annoying and painful is that DRM to use? Ubisoft demonstrated how bad it could be with it’s “always-connected” DRM which has now thankfully been scaled back somewhat. Bioware on the other hand has decided to use a bit of common sense with the DRM included with Dragon Age 2. Gamers will be pleasantly suprised we think.The DRM used splits down into two categories. The first is Steam and console versions which will use their own native DRM solutions that Bioware doesn’t add anything to. This means the console versions will just play as normal, and if you’ve used Steam before you know the deal there.As for the retail boxed-copies of the PC version, Bioware is keeping DRM as light as they can and the following measures (or lack of) are in place:No disc check, you do not need the disc in drive to play.No limit on the total number of PCs you can install and play the game on.There is a limit to the number of unique/different PCs that can start/play the game within a time window [5 PCs in 24hrs].Each install requires logging in to your EA account to verify game ownership and if you are a member of [the Bioware] forums, you have an EA account.You can play offline but the game will require a login check after a select period of days.It’s as close to having no DRM as you can get, but still having a few unobtrusive checks in place.There is one further piece of security Bioware is using to ensure the game isn’t played before the release date. It performs a check with the game servers to see if the release date has passed. If it has then the check disappears from the game forever and at no point does it install anything on your PC.The one question that remains unanswered is how many days can you play offline before a login check is required. Bioware say:We’ll have more info on this closer to release. Not trying to avoid the question, we honestly have not settled on this yet – but also did not want to further delay getting the rest of the information out to you. We hope that this form of DRM works for the game because it doesn’t seem intrusive at all. If it’s a success then it will be used again making all our PC gaming lives a little less painful. Who knows, even Ubisoft may start using it eventually.Dragon Age 2 is scheduled for release on March 8 for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.Read more at the Bioware forums, via Rock, Paper Shotgun
First impressions are first impressions and we all make a lot of efforts to get them right. Then why wouldn’t the fresh crop of university students do something about it? In a bid to look gorgeous and dashing on their first day of college, a lot of youngsters are making a beeline for the city’s aestheticians and cosmetic dermatologists to avail non-surgical treatments. Be it the perfect nose or luscious lips ala Kareena Kapoor or smooth complexion the girls are doing it all. Just out of her school and visibly excited to join college, 17-yr-old Swati Nagar says, ‘I don’t see the harm in getting a treatment done for enhancing your looks. Today, everybody flaunts their best feature(s). In college, you often go for hangouts with your friends and you want to look cool and happening. I got my lips enhanced for I was too bothered about their thinness and I know if I am always fussing about their shape and size then I won’t be able to enjoy my college life.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’According to Dr. Simal Soin, renowned dermatologist, ‘Procedures like nose jobs, lip augmentation, liposuction are fairly common these days. A lot of young girls come to us for getting lip enhancement. The dermal filler procedure is really simple and quick. Modern day fillers such as Juvederm give instantaneous results. Since these are hyaluronic-acid based, which is a natural component of the skin; they don’t cause any side effects. The best part is the results are so natural-looking that one doesn’t come across as being artificially made up.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixToday’s teenagers are definitely much more conscious about their appearance and usually they don’t settle for anything less than the best. Skin conditions such as acne and pigmentation and presence of excessive hair on hands and legs bothers them a lot, especially the girls, for they like to wear stylish dresses and skirts to college. Clearly such beauty treatments are not new to these kids, what one must wait to see is what new techniques are taken up this year.
Trevor Lawrence is the king of college football, but is making some internet headlines this morning thanks to an altercation in an intramural hoops game in Death Valley.During the run, Lawrence took exception to someone on the other team setting a hard screen on him while he was pressuring the ball after a missed shot. He reacted by dropping the kid to the floor with a first round shove. Both benches sort of cleared, but cooler heads prevailed.The reaction to this is going to be split between those who think Lawrence looks like a DB for getting bent out of shape – and picking up full court during an intramural game, and those that think intramural randos need to learn not to bang on the school’s Golden Boy so he can win more natties.Maybe Lawrence should ditch the hardwood until he has that #1 pick money in his pocket.Setting a screen on Trevor Lawrence 80 feet away from the hoop in an intramural game is grounds for immediate expulsion pic.twitter.com/FFkGK9x3or— Jack McGuire (@JackMacCFB) February 19, 2019
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Is brick-and-mortar dead? With a record 7,000 store closings and 662 bankruptcy filings last year, and 3,800 closings (and counting) so far in 2018, the fate of retail continues to look uncertain. Take a look at Amazon to see how ecommerce has changed the retail landscape as we know it, leaving no industry undisrupted. With just a click of a mouse, customers can purchase whatever they want, whenever they want it — and have it shipped directly to their door.Related: Here Are 6 Weird Ways You’re Being Tracked in the Real WorldWhile ecommerce offers unprecedented convenience, this is not the end of the road for brick-and-mortar. Customers still value in-store experiences. In fact, two out of three consumers think apparel brands should focus more on improving experiences both in-store and online, as opposed to focusing solely on their online presence.Improved in-store services and experiences will keep brick-and-mortar stores afloat, but only if retailers look to new and innovative ways to re-engage with customers. Take, for example, Sephora. The beauty retailer is using AI to personalize the in-store shopping experience with its Color IQ technology. This tool uses machine learning to scan consumers’ skin and provide them with personalized skincare and makeup recommendations based on their needs. Sephora’s brick-and-mortar locations have produced more than 14 million Color IQ matches since its launch in 2012. This not only adds a touch of personalization to the user experience, but it also frees up time for employees to focus on other touchpoints within the customer journey. Employees can now place more emphasis on showing consumers how to use their Color IQ recommended products and promoting complimenting goods.Related: Want to Open Your Own Store? Make Absolutely Sure You Nail This Crucial Aspect.By taking notice of this industry shift, retailers large and small can use emerging technologies to enhance individual in-store experiences, increase inventory specialization, and — most importantly — benefit their supply chain and bottom line. Here’s how:Give everyone a personal shopper.People enjoy seamless, tailored shopping experiences online and demand nothing less in-store. According to Cotton Inc., 54 percent of consumers want to buy clothes from brands that recommend items based on previous purchases. Online, retailers can do this with cookies, but brick-and-mortar stores can achieve the same results by using information readily available in a customer’s transaction history.AI lifts insights from customer transaction data, arming retailers with information to tailor in-store offerings on a customer-by-customer basis. For instance, analyzing customer receipts reveals which items shoppers buy most and which items are usually purchased together. Data on returns shows the items that are not performing well, and loyalty card data reveals how frequently customers are making purchases. With this information, retailers can provide customers with special offers, tailored specifically to their wants and needs, prompting more trips back to the store. Further, by storing these insights on the cloud, employees can access customer information to provide unique, in-person recommendations. This is extremely valuable for small retailers, given they may be limited to only a few brick-and-mortar locations. In this case, every touch point and customer interaction matters.Related: From Online to Offline: How Brands Use Big Data to Figure Out Where Their Customers Will ShopStock only what is needed — and wanted.Why stock a store with items that won’t sell? Last year, H&M (an Infor customer) left $4.3 billion in unsold inventory on the racks — prompting a dire need for technology help. Using AI algorithms, it can identify the kinds of items that will perform well with customers in particular neighborhoods and which won’t. This empowers retailers to make smart, data-driven inventory decisions tailored to individual store locations.Take boutique clothing store Francesca’s many New York City locations. While these stores are all in the same city, each neighborhood has its own individual style. If Francesca’s used AI to analyze transaction data, it could tell if customers in SoHo preferred bolder styles and colors compared to shoppers in Midtown, who may gravitate toward more subdued, business wear. Taking these preferences into consideration, the store could strategically stock items that would perform best in each location — avoiding inventory waste and unnecessary markdowns. This is especially beneficial for small retailers who need to manage margins while boosting revenue.By stocking fewer, better performing items, retailers will also require less brick-and-mortar space. This creates further savings in rent and operational expenses. By thinking smart and compact, retailers can be more agile about exploring new markets and capitalize on the opportunity to place stores in ideal, high-traffic locations.Related: The Do’s and Don’ts for Opening and Operating a Successful Retail StoreReap benefits in the supply chain.In today’s highly competitive retail environment, the supply chain is one of the easiest places to cut costs. Stocking stores with data-driven insights allows retailers to manufacture only what they really need and ship those items directly to the best location. Effective use of storage space is especially important for smaller stores with limited room. With a more accurate picture of which items sell well in certain areas, retailers will avoid shipping costs on low-performing items and conserve on inevitable returns. This supply chain optimization saves retailers money and reduces waste when manufacturing and distributing products.Additionally, if retailers know that jeans, for instance, sell better in Texas and t-shirts sell better in New York, they can manufacture these items at locations closer to those stores. This helps merchandise arrive at its destination faster, for a lower price tag. While these changes happen behind the scenes, they can make a big impact on the bottom line, allowing small businesses to focus on adding value to the customer.By investing in new technology to enhance in-store experiences, retailers can succeed at a time when every decision is make-or-break for many in the industry. As retailers are putting to the test, tools like AI, big data and cloud technology empower retailers with the insight needed to make smart decisions and increase in-store traffic.Customers are now in the driver’s seat, and retail is becoming an industry that increasingly values specialization. Physical retail stores hold immense value for customers, but only if they can provide tailored experiences that customers demand. Brick-and-mortar is not dead, but companies large and small must learn how to best use technology to outsmart today’s biggest disruptors. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global July 15, 2018 6 min read
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March 19, 1998Placing the bucket over the slab next to Heat Duct tunnel.