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Chinese firm to build replica of Titanic

first_imgHong Kong- A Chinese firm plans to spend $165 million building a full-scale replica of the Titanic — the doomed luxury liner which sank more than a century ago — as the main attraction for a theme park, reports said Tuesday.The original and supposedly unsinkable luxury passenger liner struck an iceberg and went down in the North Atlantic in 1912, killing more than 1,500 people.The famous ship is a subject of immense fascination for many in China, particularly after the 1997 release of James Cameron’s film on the liner’s doomed voyage starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio. Little known Chinese energy company Seven Star Energy Investment said the replica, which is expected to cost 1 billion yuan ($165 million), will be the main attraction for a planned theme park located Sichuan, a landlocked province famous for its spicy food.The replica will be docked permanently on a river, the South China Morning Post reported.“When the Titanic was about to sink, the greatest extent of human spirit and responsibility was shown and that spirit goes beyond borders and it is eternal,” Seven Star chief executive Su Shaojun said in an interview with the state-run Xinhua news agency.“We chose to rebuild the Titanic in China so that such spirit can be promoted or inherited in the east,” he said.The replica will also recreate the experience of what it felt like when the luxury liner collided with the iceberg, Xinhua reported, though it gave no details of how the deadly collision would be replicated.Construction of the ship, which is 270 meters (885 feet) long, is expected to be completed in two years and will be based on designs of the Titanic’s sister ship, RMS Olympic, which was in service from 1911 to 1935, the SCMP reported.“We already have complete design drawings, including a large ballroom and premium first class rooms,” Su said in the Xinhua interview.Seven Star are not the only group with dreams of recreating the Titanic.Flamboyant Australian tycoon Clive Palmer previously unveiled a plan last year to build a sea-worthy replica of the Titanic which is scheduled to make its first Atlantic crossing in 2016.Palmer’s “Titanic II” will feature modern modifications — including many more lifeboats than the original — but will try to remain as true as possible to the famous liner.The violin played by the Titanic’s bandmaster as the ship sank beneath the waves sold at auction for £900,000 ($1.45 million, 1.06 million euros) in October, smashing the previous £220,000 record for memorabilia from the doomed liner.last_img read more


Belgium Princess Lalla Meryem Represents King Mohammed VI in 100th anniversary

Nieuwpoort (Belgium)- Princess Lalla Meryem represented King Mohammed VI in the ceremonies commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, which took place on Tuesday afternoon in Nieuport and Ypres in Belgium.Princess Lalla Meryem was accompanied by Minister Delegate to the Head of Government in charge of the administration of national defense, Abdellatif Loudiyi, and Morocco’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, Samir Addahre.In the Belgian coastal city of Nieuport, located in the Flemish region, Princess Lalla Meryem took part in the national commemoration of the centenary of the Battle of the Yser, in the presence of King Philip and Queen Matilda of Belgium. The ceremony was held at the King Albert I Monument, a memorial built in 1938 to commemorate the role of King Albert I in the First World War, particularly during the Battle of the Yser.On this occasion, King Philippe of Belgium gave a speech in which he paid tribute to King Albert I for his role during the First World War, as well as the soldiers who fell in the battlefield defending the values of dignity and peace.After screening a film showing the sacrifice of Belgian soldiers during the Battle of the Yser, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian took the floor to emphasize the need to carry a message of peace and coexistence and learn from the past to better face the challenges ahead.  A second ceremony was also held in Ypres under the Memorial of Menin Gate, dedicated to the soldiers of the Commonwealth.The ceremonies of Nieuport and Ypres are the second moment of the celebrations by the Belgian federal government of the centenary of the outbreak of First World War, started on August 4 in Liege. They will end with a ceremony in Brussels on November 11th, 2018, a date which marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, under the theme: the end of the war, return to peace and reconstruction. read more


Not enough people applying for jobs say local employers

Many area employers continue to say they are having difficulty filling jobs because they simply don’t have enough applicants.That is one of the findings in the community’s annual EmployerOne survey, conducted by the Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie and 20 other organizations.More than half (54 per cent) of the 359 employers who completed the survey said they had hard-to-fill jobs in 2018. The No. 1 reason, they said, is lack of people applying for positions.“The shortage of applicants is widespread across all of southwestern Ontario, raising concerns about how to engage local workers in rewarding and sustainable employment,” said Jill Halyk, executive director of the Workforce Planning Board.“Traditional recruiting practices are no longer working and we need to find innovative ways to connect workers to meaningful jobs in local businesses.”This challenge is coming at a time when companies have been hiring and want to hire.Seventy per cent of employers surveyed locally plan to hire in this year, while 84 per cent of those employers hired last year, according to the EmployerOne results.“This is the sixth year we’ve conducted the survey and we’ve found that employers tend to underestimate their hiring plans for the year ahead,” said Halyk. “This bodes well for the local job market.”EmployerOne surveys employers in Brantford, Brant, Haldimand, Norfolk, Six Nations and New Credit about their hiring plans, practices, needs and challenges, including skills shortages and hard-to-fill jobs.Survey results are being shared with employers, government and other groups. Results are also posted on the Workforce Planning Board’s website.Some of the survey highlights include:Manufacturing remains the area’s top employer, with 60 firms hiring a total of 1,212 people in 2018. About two in three jobs are full-time positions, with manufacturing offering the most full-time work. Online job boards are the most popular way employers recruit. Work ethic is the skill most desired by employers, followed by self-motivation. The Workforce Planning Board of Grand Erie is funded in part by the federal and provincial governments. It is one of 26 non-profit organizations in Ontario that play a leadership role in labour force planning. read more


Jamaican trade expert to head UN agency aiding developing countries exports

The three-year appointment, effective from next June, was made by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and UN World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General Pascal Lamy. The ITC is a joint agency of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and WTO.“Patricia Francis will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to ITC. I look forward to working closely with her to further the interests of developing countries,” Mr. Lamy said. “Ms. Francis´s many years of work on the development dimension of trade and investment, both for her own country and for other developing nations, will be invaluable for ITC,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Supachai Panitchpakdi added. Ms. Francis has extensive management experience in the fields of trade promotion and technical assistance to developing countries. She has held several important posts in both government and the private sector. She served as president of JAMPRO, Jamaica Promotions Corporation, for the past 10 years, and was formerly president of the World Association of Investment Promotion Agencies. She has worked with ITC to develop a national export strategy for Jamaica. Ms. Francis was chair of the China-Caribbean Business Forum, and served as a management consultant advised Latin American and Caribbean countries.“I am delighted that Patricia Francis has agreed to lead ITC in its quest for new heights in helping the poor benefit from trade,” current ITC head J. Denis Bélisle said. “Her drive, vision and unique background in trade and investment promotion will be a real asset for the organization and its clients.” read more


Alligator May Have Killed Man Found in South Carolina Pond

first_img On Saturday, a South Carolina man was found dead in a giant pond with “bite marks” on his body and authorities believe that he might have been killed by an alligator.According to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office, a police helicopter spotted the body in the pond, which was located on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. The helicopter was conducting a search for a man who reportedly went missing hours earlier, Fox News reported. On Monday, the man found in the pond was identified as 79-year-old John Elias by Charleston County deputy coroner Dottie Lindsay, Live5 WCSC News noted. Georgia Man Catches Gigantic 14-Foot AlligatorHunters Catch ‘Monster’ 13-Foot Alligator in Mississippi River Stay on targetcenter_img “The deceased individual had bite marks and wounds consistent in appearance with an alligator encounter,” the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement on Twitter. “In light of this information, the Sheriff’s Office requested the SC Department of Natural Resources to assist with the investigation.”Update on Kiawah Island death investigation after body was found with bite marks. @SCDNR is assisting deputies with the investigation. #chs #chsnews pic.twitter.com/xiK7hwMPHk— Charleston County Sheriff’s Office (@ChasCoSheriff) June 23, 2019On Saturday afternoon, a woman called police to report that her 79-year-old spouse was missing and nowhere to be found near their home. The woman told officers that she last saw her husband at 10 a.m. that morning, but when she came back home, he was not on the property. Strangely, his car, bicycle, and golf clubs were still in the garage.Once deputies arrived at the scene, they discovered cutting shears in the backyard, which were near the pond, and said some brush was moved over near the edge of the pond. The police helicopter eventually spotted a man’s body on the other side of the pound.Authorities have not confirmed if Elias is the same man that was reported missing on Saturday, however, Lindsay told Live5 WCSC News that more information on the incident would be shared soon. Elias’ cause of death was not determined yet and officials are still trying to determine whether his death was due to an alligator attack or if the alligator found him after he died.Department of Natural Resources divers also conducted an underwater search for the alligator and haven’t been able to locate it at this time.More on Geek.com:Colossal 12-Foot Alligator Caught Walking Across Florida HighwayAlligator With Knife Stuck in Its Head Found Swimming in Texas LakeNasty 8-Foot Alligator Takes Bite Out of Police Patrol Car in Louisianalast_img read more


Trump digs in set to name Supreme Court nominee Tuesday

first_imgWASHINGTON — Defiant in the face of an international backlash, President Donald Trump pressed into his second week in office defending his sweeping immigration ban. Protests persisted at major airports, and concern mounted from U.S. diplomats and members of his own party.Trump denied that his order, which suspends all immigration for citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries for 90 days, was to blame for weekend chaos at the nation’s airports, instead pointing to computer glitches, demonstrations and even the “fake tears” of Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.The president publicly shifted his focus, signing an executive action aimed at cutting regulations for small businesses and teasing his plans to unveil his Supreme Court pick Tuesday night.But the immigration ban remained at the forefront of his first fortnight in the White House — and officials were pondering more actions moving forward.According to a draft document obtained by The Associated Press, Trump is considering an executive order that would target some immigrants for deportation if they become dependent on government assistance.last_img read more


Edinson Cavani happy with clubs performance

first_imgParis Saint-German forward Edinson Cavani is happy with his clubs performance on Sunday in the match between his club PSG and AS Monaco.Cavani’s side dominated Sunday’s match and thrashed Thierry Henry’s side with 4-0 which could have even been worse if the the extra two goals PSG scored were accepted.Speaking to the official club’s website after the match, he said:PSG, Neymar, Ligue 1PSG ultras sent a warning letter to Neymar Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Brazilian superstar Neymar might play today his first game of the season for Paris Saint-Germain and the team’s ultras have warned him.“I’m very happy to have scored this evening, but above all to have won the game. It’s our 13th consecutive win since the start of the season. That’s something positive for the club, for the team. I’ve not played a lot in recent weeks because of my injury, but I keep working hard to quickly get back to my best, and I’m happy with the game this evening.”Cavani was selected to join the Uruguay national under-20 team In January 2007 to play in the 2007 South American Youth Championship in Paraguay.He finished the competition as top scorer, netting seven goals in nine games and assisting Uruguay to finish in third place, which rewarded them with a place in the 2007 FIFA U-20 World Cup.last_img read more


Lilac Fire victims to receive aid after House signs 81 billion disaster


Christopher Columbus statue vandalized in Chula Vista

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Posted: February 24, 2019 February 24, 2019 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsCHULA VISTA (KUSI) -The police are looking for vandals that they say are responsible for throwing red paint on a Christopher Columbus statue.The statue is located in Discovery Park where local residents reported the vandalism. Police say the red paint was poured all over the statue and that the word “Genocide” was also painted on the base of the statue. The Brass plaque was also stolen from the statue. Christopher Columbus statue vandalized in Chula Vista KUSI Newsroom Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more


UPDATE 944 Media Files for Chapter 11

first_imgUPDATE: A company spokesperson tells FOLIO: the lawsuits involve the buyout of a former 944 partner/investor and the terms of a partnership surrounding 944’s 2008 “Super Village” Super Bowl event. 944’s bankruptcy filing says the company has between $1 and $10 million in assets and $10 million to $50 million in liabilities.944’s magazines serve 10 markets, including Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit, Las Vegas and San Francisco. In addition to 944.com, the company also is made up of an in-house events and marketing agency and Ink Grenade, a custom publishing and design firm.In the statement, Lotenberg said 944 has received new financing to ensure that employees will continue to be paid as usual and that its magazines will remain in business during the Chapter 11 process. Later this spring, the company plans to unveil a new logo and a redesign of the magazine and Web site.The spokesperson says 944 Media projects sales so far this year to be up 30 percent over the same period last year. 944 says it expects to complete the financial restructuring “expeditiously.” SEE ALSO: Lawsuit Alleges Darker Side of Regional Lifestyle PublisherJust last year, 944 Media CEO Marc Lotenberg called his magazine publishing and events company the largest and fastest growing lifestyle media conglomerate in the industry. Now, under mounting financial pressures, the company has filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. bankruptcy court in Los Angeles.According to a statement issued by 944, the filing was precipitated by “several potentially burdensome lawsuits,” including two cases in state court. “We would have preferred to avoid having to resort to the Chapter 11 process,” Lotenberg said in the statement. “However, our priority is to our employees, clients and readers. We feel an obligation to do everything we can to continue to serve them and secure a strong future for 944 going forward.”last_img read more


BNP demands exemplary punishment of Nusrats killers

first_imgDemanding exemplary punishment of madrasa student Nusrat Jahan Rafi’s killers , BNP on Thursday said social injustice has marked an alarming rise as a result of dangerous misrule by the current ‘illegal’ regime, reports UNB.In a condolence message, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also said people now lacks minimum guarantee for remaining alive as justice has been removed from the country due to severe deterioration of the rule of law.The BNP leader alleged the miscreants are taking laws in their hands as a dangerous form of misrule has grasped the entire country.Nusrat Jahan Rafi, a student of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrasa in Feni, lost her battle for life on Thursday night, five days after some criminals poured kerosene on her and set her afire.The criminals carried out the heinous attack as Nusrat refused to withdraw a case against the madrasa principal over sexual assault on her late last month.”We strongly condemn and protest the brutal killing of Nusrat,” Fakhrul said.He expressed deep shock over the death of the madrasa student and prayed for salvation of her departed soul.The BNP leader also conveyed profound sympathy to the bereaved family members of Nusrat.Fakhrul said the people of the country have got stunned and seriously shocked following tragic death of the madrasa student. “The country’s people want exemplary punishment of Nusrat’s killers.”last_img read more


Congresss Attempt to Nullify AssistedSuicide Bill Unlikely to Succeed

first_imgAlong with other D.C. officials and residents, Ward 8 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Mary Cuthbert wants Congress to stay out of District affairs. (Courtesy photo)Incensed by congressional Republican interference in the affairs of the D.C., city leaders and residents are taking matters into their own hands to confront Congress regarding the District’s Death and Dignity law.The latest episode to upset District residents was the Feb. 13 passing of a bill that would nullify the city’s “Death with Dignity” law that was passed by the D.C. Council and signed into law by D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) in 2016. Bowser (D) expressed disappointment that the House of Representatives House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed legislation against the D.C. Council’s support of physician-assisted suicide.“In passing H.R. 27, the [committee] led by Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz (R), sent a signal to D.C. residents that Congress has zero respect or concern for their will or the will of their elected officials,” the mayor said. “This is yet another attempt by this House Committee to trample the autonomy of the D.C. government and undermine our local control granted through Home Rule.”D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said that in order for “Death with Dignity” to be nullified, the GOP bill would have to be approved by the House, the Senate and signed by President Trump by Feb. 17. Norton said that the nullification of “Death with Dignity” is unlikely to happen, but she is keeping an eye on what other tricks her Republican colleagues may pull.“Although we are close to accomplishing our goal of defeating this disapproval resolution and preserving the District’s local legislation, we are not counting our chickens quite yet,” the delegate said.  “We are keeping the pressure on House Republicans and reminding them that 24 of their House members, including two members of House leadership, are from the six states where medical aid in dying is legal.  I am particularly encouraged by the continuous action of D.C. residents, who are letting Congress know through their calls, tweets, and visits that they are sick and tired of being treated like second-class citizens and having their local democratic rights violated.”Even though several Black leaders in the District have voiced concerns about the bill, such as Dr. Omega Silva, a physician, the Rev. Joyce Scott and Ward 8 advisory neighborhood commissioner Mary Cuthbert, the hot button issue is not so much the bill, but outrage with the fact that Congress is meddling in D.C.’s local affairs.“Congress needs to mind their own business and leave D.C. alone,” Cuthbert said.If Congress and the White House signed onto the anti-Death with Dignity bill, it would mean that physician-assisted suicide in the city would be unlawful. While the District has limited Home Rule, its laws are subject to review by Congress, which doesn’t take place in other cities and states.District leaders and residents expressed their frustration with Congress on Feb. 13 when they held a rally on the U.S. Capitol grounds. Bowser, members of the D.C. Council and the District’s attorney general were at the rally and voiced their opposition to congressional meddling.D.C. Council member Charles Allen (D-Ward 6) attended the Capitol Hill rally and convened an organizing meeting later that day at the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street, N.E. Allen said it was good to see D.C. political leadership united on an issue.“We don’t always stand together,” he said. “We are facing an unprecedented threat. Members of Congress are overturning our laws. It doesn’t matter whether that you support Death with Dignity. You should have the right to hold the person who voted for it accountable, not the Congress.”Allen encouraged audience members to join his #HandsOffDC effort and go on social media to talk about congressional meddling, put a sign in their homes and businesses, call Chaffetz with their concerns, write an op-ed for a local newspaper of a member of Congress and write a letter to members of Chaffetz’s committee.“We will do more than protest and hold a rally,” Allen said. “People want to take action. We will be organizing for the next couple of months and years.”“I am angry with what Republicans are trying to do to my city,” Josh Williams, a retired leader of the Metropolitan Washington AFL-CIO told the {AFRO}. “I pay my taxes in my city and I pay my taxes to my country. We residents put our lives on the line and yet we are treated like second-class citizens.”last_img read more


Portable Raspberry Pi PC Fits Into Empty Altoids Tin

first_imgStay on target You can still find Altoids on most supermarket shelves: Take your pick of peppermint, wintergreen, spearmint, and cinnamon. The curiously strong mints, however, have never been flavored with Raspberry Pi—until now.Developer Matt Wagner has built an almost entirely self-contained processor inside a 1.76-ounce mint tin.“The idea of having a computer in an Altoids tin came to me back … in early 2012, shortly after the original Raspberry Pi came out,” the hackmypi.com creator wrote in a blog post. “With the release of the Pi Zero, this became a possibility.”The recreational inventor actually built two versions of the machine—the first with an infrared camera, which was discarded to make room for a rechargeable 2,500mAh battery in the final model.Follow Wagner’s step-by-step guide online to build your own quirky computer, complete with a 2-inch screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 32GB of storage, and a full-size USB port. The thin battery, situated under the Pi in the case, promises six to eight hours of use.Half the size of the Model A+, the Raspberry Pi Zero features a reduced input/output and general-purpose input/output capabilities but costs only $5.“The Pi also has a micro HDMI port, so if you do need/want to hook it up to a larger screen, you can,” Wagner wrote.“Enjoy, and find cool uses for it,” he added, encouraging tinkerers to use the “PiMiniMint” as a base for other projects, and “feel free to email me about it.”Since their US launch in 1918, Altoids’ distinctive cases have been recycled for various purposes (I used them to store Polaroid i-Zone instant photos in middle school).Some electronics makers have taken the tins into consideration when building new products: Texas Instruments’ BeagleBone single board computer’s rounded corners deliberately fit into the pocket-sized box. And the RCA 1802-based Membership Card microcomputer kit is tailor-made for an Altoids container.The CMoy pocket headphone amplifier, meanwhile, can be assembled in the 200-year-old packaging. Lyra Is a Handheld Gaming System Powered by a Raspberry PiRaspberry Pi Used to Steal 500 MB of NASA Data last_img read more


EA Temporarily Removes Microtransactions From Star Wars Battlefront II

first_img EA Is Taking Another Crack at Single-Player Star Wars, Battlefront II6 Awesome Star Wars Video Games in Humble Bundle’s Huge May the 4th Sale Stay on target Yesterday night, EA announced it will temporarily remove all microtransactions from Star Wars: Battlefront II. Astonishingly, the decision was made hours before the game’s launch (today).Here is the full statement from EA’s official site:“Thank you to everyone in our community for being the passionate fans that you are.Our goal has always been to create the best possible game for all of you – devoted Star Wars fans and game players alike. We’ve also had an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. You’ve seen this with both the major adjustments, and polish, we have made over the past several weeks.But as we approach the worldwide launch, it’s clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right.We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this.We have created a game that is built on your input, and it will continue to evolve and grow. Star Wars Battlefront II is three times the size of the previous game, bringing to life a brand new Star Wars story, space battles, epic new multiplayer experiences across all three Star Wars eras, with more free content to come. We want you to enjoy it, so please keep your thoughts coming. And we will keep you updated on our progress.”While it’s great EA is removing microtransactions from Star Wars: Battlefront II, the fact it’s only temporary doesn’t sit right with me. This is obviously a tactic meant to save face during the game’s launch. If it is going to eventually bring microtransactions back, that doesn’t solve the underlying problems folks have. For the lack of a better phrase, EA is trying to have its cake and eat it too. The company still wants to take whatever extra money it can from you. It will just do so at a later date.Shortly after the news broke, I took to Twitter to share my thoughts. Fellow writer Will Greenwald replied to one of my tweets with this response.Are they rebalancing the progression through gameplay as well? Because just turning off microtransactions makes unlocking content absurdly grindy. Which was half of the complaint to begin with.— Will Greenwald doesn’t need more characters to sou (@AggroWill) November 17, 2017Will is absolutely correct here. As reported by several outlets, unlocking certain in-game items like heroes does indeed take a ridiculously long time. EA has reportedly dropped the time it takes to unlock heroes such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker from 40 hours to 10-15. Removing microtransactions does little since users still need to spend hours grinding to unlock content.Some gamers are jubilant about this announcement. They see it as a victory — a David vs Goliath scenario where the little guy won. I personally don’t think that’s the case. In fact, my line of thinking with regards to the actual motive behind this is decidedly cynical. I wonder if removing microtransactions now is merely a tactic meant to get people to demand them later. As Will pointed out, it takes many hours to unlock in-game items. Time is a precious commodity, and both casual and core gaming audiences could get fed up with the in-game grind. They may actually ask EA to bring microtransactions back. I obviously don’t know if this is EA’s plan, but I really cannot help but shake the feeling this is what’s happening.In the larger discussion about microtransactions and loot boxes, we have to keep in mind that the gamers you see on social media make up a relative minority of consumers. Companies like Ubisoft and Take-Two Interactive recently revealed how almost half of their earnings for the last three months were from microtransactions. The core gaming fan base is small when compared to the casual audience. The large majority of game sales come from folks who aren’t on social media all day and who are mostly ignorant of the ins-and-outs of the industry. They buy DLC in large quantities and are perfectly happy to do so.Given the popularity of microtransactions (two of the top three games in October’s NPDs feature microtransactions), EA has no true incentive to completely remove them. This is why I see taking away microtransactions as disingenuous. Like all corporate entities, EA’s main goal is to bring in profits. Removing microtransactions from Star Wars: Battlefront II goes against this end goal. Microtransactions will return since there is so much money to make from them. Like I previously said, it’s entirely possible folks will ask for their inclusion once they get a taste of the absurd grind.As we reported yesterday, Belgium is looking into classifying games like Overwatch and Star Wars: Battlefront II as gambling. North America’s ESRB stated it doesn’t consider loot boxes and the like as gambling. However, this position may change depending on Belgium’s ruling. If it becomes illegal to sell games with microtransactions in stores, it would create a seismic shift in the way large gaming publishers handle DLC of this sort. Combine this possible scenario with the negative reactions to microtransactions and it’s possible to see microtransactions removed from AAA games moving forward. I personally do not see this happening, but you never know.If nothing else, EA removing microtransactions from Star Wars: Battlefront II shows the company is at least listening. However, given how this is a temporary measure, I’m not sure the move is entirely altruistic. I obviously do not want to advocate things like boycotts. Folks are free to do what they want with their money. With that said, if you truly want to make changes you feel help gamers and the industry, the best course of action is to vote with your wallets.For now, I’m curious to see when EA will bring back microtransactions and how gamers will react to their return. I’m sure other gaming publishers are watching this situation closely and will adjust their plans accordingly. Don’t expect the drama over microtransactions in AAA games to end any time soon.last_img read more


Improve Windows 10 with oneclick batch files

first_imgImprove Windows 10 with one-click batch files by Martin Brinkmann on November 08, 2016 in Windows – Last Update: July 05, 2017 – 57 commentsPleasant Windows 10 is a collection of one-click batch files by Ghacks reader Joern that improve the operating system in various ways.While there are plenty of tweaking and privacy tools out there for Windows 10, all have in common that you cannot verify any of the operations before they are executed.This may not be an issue for some users, but if you want full control of what is happening in this regard, you may prefer a solution that is more open.Batch files are ideal for that, as they open in any plain text editor. You may then go through them line by line to verify what they do before executing them.Another benefit of this approach is that you may adjust the batch file as you see fit. This is especially useful if multiple changes are made by it to the system.Pleasant Windows 10Note: It is recommended that you create a system restore point, or a backup before you run any of the tweaks. While you can verify what they do by opening them in a plain text editor, it is always better to be on the safe side and create a backup so that you can restore the system to a previous state should things go wrong.Note 2: We recommend that you check the batch files before you run them, as you may adjust them as you see fit. You may not want some settings or features changed for instance.The following batch files are included in the archiveAdvanced Explorer Settings — This changes more than a dozen File Explorer related settings on Windows 10 that turn of animations, enable menus, or turn off things like Toasts.Disable Automatic App Updates — Turns off automatic updates for Windows Store applications.Disable Automatic Windows Updates — Turns off automatic updates for the Windows 10 operating system itself.Disable Cortana Completely — Rename the cortana process searchUI.exe to searchUI.bak. This will kill the process permanetly and save your ressources.Disable Forced Reboot after Update — Blocks Windows from enforcing a reboot after updates that require one.Disable Lockscreen — Turns off the Windows 10 lockscreen.Disable Telemetry — Turns off Windows 10 Telemetry.Disable Unnecessary Services — This disables the MapsBroker, DoSvc and Wsearch servicesEnable Defender Malware Protection —   Enables Windows malware Protection.Enable Secure Microsoft Edge Settings — Tweaks Microsoft Edge for security. Changes include turning of Flash and Cortana, enabling continuous browsing, and more.Get Back Old Vertical Desktop Icon Distance —  Changes the vertical icon spacing on the desktop.Hide Cortana — Disables Cortana, and with it web searches and other search related parameters. The Microsoft way of disabling Cortana.Hide OneDrive — Hides OneDrive and disables several related settings.Re-enable Cortana Completely — This preferences turns Cortana on again.Uninstall Unnecessary Apps — Removes ten apps that Windows 10 ships with including 3D Builder, Skype App, Getting Started, or Voice Recorder.Enable Administrator Account — This preference enables the hidden administrator account in Windows.Enable Standby instead of Hibernate — Switch powerstate from hibernation (slow) to standby .Get apps access for Administrator Account — Enable access to applications for the administrator account.VerdictThe batch files offer two advantages over software programs. First, they are verifiable which means that you can check them out to make sure they do what they are supposed to do and nothing else.This means as well that you can modify them to your liking, and even restore settings to their original values, for instance by creating a copy of a batch file and modifying values and commands accordingly.Second, you can run them with a single-click, and they do all the work in the background without launching a program interface first. (Thanks Joern!)DownloadYou can download the collection of batch files with a click on the following link:  Pleasant Windows 10The password is joern.SummaryArticle NameImprove Windows 10 with one-click batch filesDescriptionPleasant Windows 10 is a collection of one-click batch files by Ghacks reader Joern that improve the operating system in various ways.Author Martin BrinkmannPublisher Ghacks Technology NewsLogo Advertisementlast_img read more


Violent discrimination putting LGBTI South Asians at risk report finds

first_imgeTN Chatroom for Readers (join us) Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… The report also encourages understanding of how gender-based violence against MSM and transwomen differs from violence only on women.Homosexual sex is illegal in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. India decriminalized gay sex last week and Nepal did so in 2007.Furthermore, Nepal and India are also the only countries to forbid Sogie-based discrimination. Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh all recognize transgender rights to varying degrees.Key findingsMSM and transwomen faced sexual harassment in college, blackmail and extortion, violence in public places, sexual assault, and sexual harassment in the workplaceLGBTI South Asians and others faced discrimination in everyday life. This included in schools, religious spaces, healthcare, at work, at law-related institutions, and within communities. Significantly, they reported police as a common source of violence.Consequently, the report found a lifetime of violence and marginalization led to devastating mental health problems. MSM and transwomen showed poor self-esteem and self-doubt. Many had depression or had attempted suicide.Discrimination and violence also led increased HIV among, the report said. In 2010, the regional prevalence of HIV among men who have sex with men was 14.7 percent. In contrast, it was close to one percent in the general population.Got a news tip? Want to share your story? Email us . LGBTI individuals and others in South Asia are at an increased risk of HIV and health problems due to violence because of their sexuality or gender. A new UN report details the impact of violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression (Sogie) on men who have sex with men (MSM) and transwomen.The report details widespread discrimination and violence in families, schools, workplaces, and healthcare. It details how this puts individuals at a heightened risk of HIV, health problems, and mental health problems.‘While there are well-documented trends in some regions of the world, less is known about Sogie-based violence, HIV risk and mental health among sexual and gender minority groups in South Asia,’ explained Valerie Cliff from the United Nations Development Program.The report covered people living in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Titled Know Violence, it was released by the UNDP, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) and APCOM Foundation.‘There is an urgent need to understand the impact and complexity of violence faced by men who have sex with men and transgender persons’, said Ravi Verma, Regional Director, Asia for the International Center for Research on Women in Delhi.The report recommends more research into how social stigma, trauma, lack of legal recognition impact HIV risk and mental health.center_img GAYSTARNEWS- Trans women have had enough in Pakistan. | Photo: Facebook/Trans Action Pakistan Read the full article on Gaystarnews:  :https://www.gaystarnews.com/article/violent-discrimination-putting-lgbti-south-asians-at-risk-report-finds/last_img read more


Rep Lucido presents tribute to retired Shelby Township fire marshal

first_img State Rep. Peter J. Lucido will present an official State of Michigan Tribute to longtime Shelby Township Fire Marshal Edward Vojtush on Monday, April 20.“It’s a great honor to be able to recognize the many years of service Edward Vojtush has provided to the residents of Shelby Township,” said Rep. Lucido, a Republican from Shelby Township. “The work he has done to protect us during his 25 year career deserves all the thanks we can give.”Rep. Lucido will present the Tribute at 11 a.m. at the Shelby Township Police Department, located at 6345 23 Mile Road in Shelby Township.Rep. Lucido represents the 36th House District, serving the townships of Shelby, Washington, Bruce and the Village of Romeo.### Categories: Lucido News 31Mar Rep. Lucido presents tribute to retired Shelby Township fire marshallast_img read more


Rep Alexander caps first term with perfect voting record 115 office hour

first_img07Jan Rep. Alexander caps first term with perfect voting record, 115 office hour meetings Categories: Alexander News State Rep. Julie Alexander finished her first term in the state House with a perfect voting record, and over 100 office hour sessions in the 64th District.Rep. Alexander took part in all 1,554 record roll call votes during the 2017-2018 session, and personally hosted 115 office hour sessions in the Jackson community. In addition, Rep. Alexander also served as the primary sponsor to eight public acts signed by Gov. Snyder.“Residents of the 64th District sent me here to be their voice at the state Capitol, and making every vote on the House floor is essential to the people I was elected to serve,” Rep. Alexander said. “It’s my priority to ensure the voices of Jackson County residents are heard on every issue. Hosting regular office hours and continuing to work hard both in Lansing and my district ensures real results for people in our communities.”Rep. Alexander is now serving her second term in the state Legislature, having completed her first term in December. During her first term, Rep. Alexander served as vice chair on the House Committee on Agriculture. She was also an active member of the committees on Education Reform, Local Government and Transportation and Infrastructure.last_img read more


Rep Wakeman selected for leadership role on Natural Resources Committee

first_img17Jan Rep. Wakeman selected for leadership role on Natural Resources Committee State Rep. Rodney Wakeman has been named vice chair of the House Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Committee. Speaker Lee Chatfield announced the appointment of the first-term Saginaw Township lawmaker this week.“My whole life I’ve considered it an honor to serve people when they need help the most. And, right now and always, people need to know and trust that their natural resources are protected, clean and safe,” Wakeman said. “I am honored to be selected for this assignment and I look forward to working with my fellow committee members to devise solutions that work best for Michigan families.”Prior to being elected to the Michigan House, Wakeman was the second-generation co-owner of Wakeman Funeral Home in Saginaw.Wakeman has also been asked to serve on the House’s Financial Services, Education and Commerce and Tourism committees. Categories: News,Wakeman Newslast_img read more


Maines Gov LePage Calls for RighttoWork Zones

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesMarch 10, 2014; Bangor Daily NewsThe original headline of this Bangor Daily News was incorrect, though perhaps that’s the way Maine’s Governor Paul LePage really meant it. His idea was the creation of “Open for Business” zones in which employees would not be required to join labor unions. (Of course, federal law prohibits forcing employees to join unions.) However, his proposal would allow employees not to pay union dues, essentially carving out areas of the state in which companies and employees would have what conservatives call “payroll protection” against mandatory dues contributions to unions.LePage has long advocated that Maine become a “right-to-work” state so that it could better compete against Southern states that are. The corporate tax and bond incentives and other benefits of LePage’s proposed zones (including a 100 percent income tax credit for the first 10 years and a 50 percent credit for the next 10 years) would be for companies that invest at least $50 million and generate 1,500 jobs; at present, Maine has only 15 private businesses in the entire state that employ more than 1,500 workers. LePage must clearly be salivating at prospects of big employers like Toyota and Volkswagen choosing Maine for future plant locations as they have done in Southern states.When conservatives call for paycheck protection, they are particularly concerned about part of union members’ dues being used for the unions’ political activism, which they are allowed to do as 501(c)(5) entities. Somehow, they think that all of these hardworking laborers are funneling huge slices of their paychecks into partisan political activity. This infographic shows the relative power of one member of the Koch family funding “dark money” nonprofits versus 515,000 labor union members:  For all 14 million union members putting a portion of their dues into politically active groups, the sum of labor union political financing is larger than the Koch brothers’, but there are only two Koch brothers. You can add a number for the Koch brothers’ employees who contribute to their bosses’ favorite (c)(4)s), but on a per capita basis, these ultra-wealthy donors far exceed their labor union opponents.The corporate tax credits and 20 years of reduced or no income taxes are the kickers to draw corporate investors to LePage’s “Open for Business” zones. The addition of making payment of union dues optional isn’t really focused on attracting corporate investment, but on reducing the voice and power of workers who might not be among LePage’s biggest admirers.LePage isn’t alone. Michigan is among the most recent states to have enacted a right-to-work law, making 24 now in the right-to-work camp. Right-to-work legislation has been proposed for Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania, among others. Nonprofits are probably doing their best to duck the issue, particularly since some nonprofits themselves have been the arenas for contentious organizing battles. But nonprofits will be called out on this issue, whether they are willing to join the crowd of conservative governors aiming to weaken labor unions both as advocates for workers and as a voice in politics.Nonprofits are frequently funded by wealthy people, though many “regular” people, including people who earn their incomes from work rather than investments, support nonprofits through their often quite generous (as a proportion of income and wealth) charitable contributions. Will nonprofits take a stand on proposals like LePage’s or will they look for cover? If they do get called out, what will nonprofits really say on the issue?—Rick Cohen ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more