Prime Minister Narendra Modi stresses on teaching Japanese language in Indian schools

first_imgAmidst Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s much talked about Japan visit, another good news especially for students who have a penchant for learning news languages is that PM Modi spoke in an interactive session at the Taimei Elementary School on Monday morning as he began his second full day of the five-day trip to Japan, stressing on building language ties between the two nations. He called on Japanese teachers to impart their language skills to Indian learners as mentioned by a newspaper daily.PM Modi tweeted on his PMO account that it (Indian Government) is trying to teach Japanese language in India’s schools. They need teachers for that and thus he invites them all (Japanese techers) to come to India and teach. Modi, who arrived in Kyoto on Saturday and was received by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Sunday visited the famous Toji and Kinkaku-ji temples.After interacting with Japanese Deputy Minister for Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Maekawa Kihai, and teachers of the Taimei Elementary School, Modi also said that Indian languages could also be introduced in Japan, and such an exchange would positively impact this century. He also said that India needs to learn from Japan in order to modernize its primary education system.last_img read more

Thank you Kolkata, says proud Shah Rukh Khan after KKR reach playoffs

first_imgSince Gautam Gambhir took over the reins of Kolkata Knight Riders, he has been making the owners proud. The KKR skipper has already led his team to two IPL titles and is looking set to make it a blockbuster season again with his team. (IPL Full Coverage|Points Table)The skipper, despite not playing international cricket in the recent past, has led the team from the front with his consistent batting performances in Indian Premier League 2016. Last night, in a do-or-die situation against Sunrisers Hyderabad, KKR rode on Yusuf Pathan’s 34-ball 52 and stormed into the playoffs.And the co-owner Shah Rukh Khan is happy yet again with his Knights. The Bollywood star took to Twitter to thank the fans and Cricket Association of Bengal president Sourav Ganguly for his support during the league stages of the season.He also requested the fans to keep supporting them through the playoffs. KKR take on SRH at the Feroz Shah Kotla in the Eliminator on Wednesday. Thk u Eden, Kolkata & Dada for all the love. Ami KKR will play to make u all proud of ur belief in us.Boys u r the stuff, champs r made of! Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) May 22, 2016Meanwhile, Gambhir lauded his team and specially mentioned Yusuf, who has been his go-to-man this season.”Yusuf’s form is important and he’s not flirting with it. Yusuf is taking his time and his role has changed from being a finisher last season. We are now giving him more overs,” Gambhir said after his team’s 22-run win yesterday.advertisementlast_img read more

English, Hindi, Punjabi, I sledge in all languages: Harmanpreet Kaur

first_imgFollowing India’s impressive showing at the recently concluded women’s World Cup, there is growing curiosity amongst the masses to know more about the women’s game.Sledging in women’s cricket; in what form and to what degree has always been a matter of intrigue. India’s hard hitting batter Harmanpreet Kaur while sharing some insights at an event in Mumbai, acknowledged sledging was part of their sport and made use of by the Indian team as well.”If it gives positive result by which the team benefits it should be done. Our previous coach didn’t like it. But if the bowler benefits we do it,” she said. (Harmanpreet’s night out with the girls: India’s new cricket stars living it up in style)Harmanpreet was referring to ex-coach Purnima Rau, who was axed close to the World Cup at the request of senior India players and replaced by former Baroda cricketer Tushar Arothe.Sledging in women’s cricket hasn’t been debated or documented as much but it will with more live broadcasts and gaining popularity.Harmanpreet, who went on to deliver one of the best ever World Cup innings in the semi-final, didn’t want to be apologetic when quizzed further if it really works.”The bowlers and wicket keepers have to keep focus so we let them be. Our (fielders) job is to help them out. And sledging is not about abusing, a lot of talk is to create a certain team environment and stay motivated,” she said.”English, Hindi, Punjabi, I do it in all languages,” she joked.advertisementCaptain Mithali Raj elaborating on Harmanpreet’s point stressed the primary purpose to sledge was to have a mental edge against the opponent. “At the highest level, its about mind games. Sledging is not about language but to affect the opposing batter’s game,” she said.Mithali, however, added it can be counter productive and citing her own example she opined the tougher competitors remain unaffected.”Sometimes it can unknowingly affect your own game also. Those who can’t control emotions will be found out. I don’t get sledged much now. When there is talk, I give a very placid look. I know what my priority is so I don’t listen or behave as if am not listening,” she explained.last_img read more

WhatsApp to stop supporting Android 237 and iOS 7 in 2020

first_imgSan Francisco: Facebook-owned mobile Messaging service WhatsApp would no longer support devices using the Android 2.3.7 operating system and iPhones using iOS 7 after February 1, 2020. WhatsApp’s updated FAQs said on Tuesday that users whose devices have those operating systems “can no longer create new accounts, nor reverify existing accounts” after that date. The company said it expected a limited impact from the change since it would only affect users who had not purchased a new phone or updated their operating system in more than six years. Also Read – Spotify rolls out Siri support, new Apple TV app In fact, users whose devices have older operating systems are already unable to create new WhatsApp accounts or reverify existing accounts, but the company does allow those who already have the app on their phones to continue using it. Menlo Park, California-based WhatsApp said that “you’ll no longer be able to use all Windows Phone operating systems after December 31, 2019, and WhatsApp might not be available in the Microsoft Store after July 1, 2019.” Also Read – New Instagram tool to help users spot phishing emails This change is expected to have even less of an effect on users since only about 0.24 per cent of mobile phones around the world, according to Statcounter, use a Windows operating system. The 0.24 per cent figure includes all versions of the Windows operating system, including the more recent Windows 10 Mobile, so that the number of current Windows Phone users is insignificant. WhatsApp recommended using Android 4.0.3 or later; iOS 8 or later; and certain phone models with KaiOS 2.5.1 or later, including the JioPhone and JioPhone 2, Efe news reported.last_img read more

Trump slams rate increases by independent Federal Reserve

first_imgWASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Thursday cast aside concerns about the Federal Reserve’s independence, saying he was “not happy” with the Fed’s recent interest rate increases.Trump told CNBC in an interview: “I don’t like all of this work that we’re putting into the economy and then I see rates going up.”Last month, the Fed raised its benchmark rate for a second time this year and projected two more increases in 2018. Its rate hikes are meant to prevent the economy from overheating and igniting high inflation. But rate increases also make borrowing costlier for households and companies and can weaken the pace of growth. In particular, the Fed’s most recent rate hikes could dilute some of the benefit of the tax cuts Trump signed into law last year.The president acknowledged that his comments about the Fed would likely raise concerns. The central bank has long been seen as needing to operate free of political pressure from the White House or elsewhere to properly manage interest rate policy.The Fed’s dual mandate is to maximize employment and stabilize prices. By maintaining its independence, the central bank can make politically contentious decisions to combat economic challenges, like the huge bond purchases it made after the 2008 financial crisis to help drive down long-term rates to support the economy. That policy drew rebukes from many Republican lawmakers.In February, Jerome Powell, Trump’s hand-picked choice, became Fed chairman. Last week, Powell said in an interview with the radio program Marketplacethat he didn’t expect to face pressure from the White House.“We have a long tradition here of conducting policy in a particular way, and that way is independent of all political concerns,” Powell said. “We do our work in a strictly nonpolitical way, based on detailed analysis, which we put on the record transparently.”He added, “No one in the administration has said anything to me that really gives me concern on this front.”The reaction to Trump’s remarks in the financial markets was muted. The U.S. dollar fell to 112.46 yen from 112.84 yen earlier, and yields on Treasurys dipped slightly.After Trump’s interview with CNBC was made public, Lindsay Walters, a White House spokeswoman, said the president “respects the independence of the Fed.”“The president’s views on interest rates are well-known, and his comments today are a reiteration of those long held positions, and public comments,” Walters said.Speaking about Fed policy in his interview with CNBC, Trump said he is “letting them do what they feel is best.”But his comments raised alarms, including with some former Fed officials who saw in his remarks a possible effort to apply public pressure on the central bank.“I am not pleased,” said Carl Tannenbaum, a former Chicago Fed official and chief economist at Northern Trust. “The remarks certainly aren’t an immediate threat to Fed independence, but they break with the tradition of respectful distance.”Randall Kroszner, a former Fed governor, said the central bank has withstood political pressure before and will continue to do so under Powell’s leadership.“The Fed has often faced political pressures — from Congress, presidents, Treasury secretaries and innumerable outside groups,” said Kroszner, an economics professor at the University of Chicago. “My experience at the Fed is consistent with what Jay Powell recently said — being non-political is deep in the Fed’s DNA — and I believe that Jay will keep it that way.”During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump was highly critical of the Fed and accused its policymakers of keeping rates at ultra-low levels to favour Democrats. But he also told CNBC during the campaign that he is a “low interest-rate-person.”Past efforts to apply political pressure on the Fed have sometimes hurt the economy. President Richard Nixon encouraged Arthur Burns, the Fed chairman at the time, to help boost economic growth ahead of Nixon’s 1972 landslide re-election. That episode ultimately triggered runaway inflation that took a decade to tame and required raising the Fed’s policy rate above 15 per cent — more than eight times the rate’s current average.George H.W. Bush’s administration complained that he felt the Fed’s failure to cut rates more quickly in 1992 contributed to his re-election defeat that year.When Robert Rubin led President Bill Clinton’s National Economic Council, he adopted a rule of never commenting on the Fed’s actions — a policy that was subsequently followed by the George W. Bush and Obama administrations.___AP Economics Writer Martin Crutsinger contributed to this report.last_img read more

Grains higher livestock mixed

CHICAGO — Grain futures were higher Thursday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.Wheat for May delivery was up 3 cents at $4.7320 a bushel; May corn rose 2.4 cents at $3.6500 a bushel; May oats gained 1.8 cents at $2.880 a bushel; while May soybeans advanced 3 cents at 9.0220 a bushel.Beef mixed, pork higher on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.Apr. live cattle was off .08 cent at $1.2612 a pound; Apr. feeder cattle rose 1.45 cents at $1.4602 a pound; Apr. lean hogs gained 2.8 cents at .7910 a pound.The Associated Press

Iraq top UN envoy deplores latest bombing killing dozens at end of

11 December 2008The top United Nations envoy to Iraq has strongly condemned a bombing near the northern city of Kirkuk today, killing dozens and injuring more than 90 civilians in a crowded restaurant. The suicide bomber struck a popular restaurant 25 miles from ethnically divided Kirkuk while hundreds of families were celebrating the last day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, killing at least 48, according to media reports.“This appalling attack targeting scores of people during a religious holiday in an especially sensitive city seems deliberately designed to provoke revenge attacks and further inflame ethnic tensions,” warned the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq, Staffan de Mistura.Calling on the leaders of all communities of Kirkuk to demonstrate responsible leadership and urging restraint by their followers, Mr. de Mistura said, “At moments such as these, peace-loving people from all groups in Kirkuk should unite against the forces of cold-blooded mass murder.”He extended the UN’s sincere condolences to the bereaved families and its heartfelt wishes for the full and speedy recovery for those wounded, according to a news release issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI). Also today, the Special Representative voiced concern over the plight of hundreds of foreign labourers enticed to the country with the promise of work only to be left bitterly disappointed.The case of over 1,000 workers stranded at Baghdad International Airport (BIAP) after being brought into Iraq by international contractors, which has been reported in the media, is not an isolated occurrence, said Staffan de Mistura, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Iraq. “UNAMI takes the allegations of human trafficking by contractors in Iraq very seriously and is concerned about their predicament,” said Mr. de Mistura. “The case in BIAP is one that has made public headlines but we are aware of other cases, some of which have reached relevant courts, and we hope will also be addressed in accordance with international labour law standards,” he added.Mr. de Mistura said that the results of an assessment of the BIAP situation conducted by UNAMI coincide with a similar International Organization for Migration (IOM) evaluation, and expected the relevant authorities and contractors to ensure that legally recognized standards of care for the workers are respected and enforced.Welcoming indications that those directly involved in the BIAP situation are examining the issue, he said that he hoped it will soon be resolved, “so that the suffering of these people, whose hopes have been shattered and who have had to endure severe hardship and disappointment, is rapidly brought to an end.” read more

Sri Lankan housemaid commits suicide by hanging in Kuwait

A Sri Lankan housemaid committed suicide by hanging herself from the ceiling of her room using a rope inside her sponsor’s house in the Rabya area in Kuwait, Arab Times reported.According to security sources, when the Operations Room of Ministry of Interior received information from the sponsor about the incident, securitymen and paramedics rushed to the location and found the corpse of the housemaid dangling from the ceiling of her room with a noose around her neck. The corpse was pulled down and referred to the Forensics Department. A case was registered to determine the reason for her suicide. (Colombo Gazette)

SHA yanking RFP after health unions insulted by whistleblower hotline idea

The Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) says it is withdrawing a request for proposals for a “whistleblower hotline” in the wake of heavy criticism from health sector unions, who say they were never consulted on the idea.One union local warned the SHA’s pitch for an anonymous hotline to report employees could even create “an atmosphere of mistrust,” while another called it an “insult to staff.”SEIU-West and CUPE 5430 both said they learned about the proposal after the request for proposals (RFP), which sought information form external contractors, appeared on a public tendering website. The idea was pitched as a means of reporting violations of policy, codes of conduct or legal requirements. “I’m not very impressed,” said Barb Cape, president of SEIU-West. She said union officials met with SHA as recently as Friday and were never told about the proposal. “Without any clear picture, I am not in favour of this,” she said. “Absolutely not.” Her concerns aren’t limited to how the proposal was communicated. Cape said she was left wondering what it will mean for her members if it goes ahead. She asked how the SHA will vet reports and ensure they’re legitimate. She fears that anonymity will allow people to make complaints against employees without being accountable for them. “If you’re going to make a complaint, I think you should stand for that complaint and own that complaint,” said Cape. She called on SHA to pull its request for proposals. Hours later, SHA agreed to do precisely that. “The Request for Proposals to provide a WhistleBlower Hotline service has been withdrawn to allow the Saskatchewan Health Authority to conduct further internal work on disclosure policies,” said a statement sent through SHA spokeswoman Lisa Thomson. Both SEIU-West and CUPE 5430 had sent out press releases to media warning the proposal could damage the member rights or their relations with management. “SEIU-West is also concerned the absence of information from the SHA leadership will create an atmosphere of mistrust for employees, managers and the public,” SEIU-West’s statement said. CUPE 5430 called the proposal a “waste of money and an insult to staff.” “Our union was blindsided. We only found out about this initiative through media reports. That is an unacceptable way to learn about new projects that could negatively impact our members’ rights,” Sandra Seitz, the local’s president, said in the statement. “Our membership deserves a say in large-scale initiatives such as a whistleblower hotline.” Both presidents pointed to existing complaint procedures that are available to the public, notably through professional associations and patient advocates. Seitz said the new line would simply duplicate existing processes. Cape added that employees already have internal channels to report issues through their collective agreements and occupational health and safety processes. The SHA acknowledged in its statement there are “currently mechanisms available to staff and public to raise concerns about the care received.” Cape called the proposal “fiscally imprudent.” She questioned why the SHA is seeking an external contractor to build the system. The SHA had previously told the Leader-Post there was no “guarantee” it would go with a third-party option. In an email statement, Thomson said at the time that the request for proposals was important to gather information to potentially support the policy. CUPE 5430 represents 14,000 Saskatchewan health care workers in Saskatchewan, while SEIU-West has about 13,000 members, many of whom are health care workers. Both had been negotiating for a new collective agreement with public sector health employers. A tentative agreement was reached in February. CUPE 5430 members voted to ratify the deal. SEIU-West members did not. read more

Loonie down as housing sector weakens ECB expresses concern over rising euro

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed lower Thursday as the U.S. dollar strengthened after the president of the European Central Bank said he would keep a close eye on the economic impact of the rise of the euro.Traders also digested a worse than expected report from the housing sector and generally weaker commodity prices.The currency was down 0.25 of a cent to 100.2 cents US.The euro weakened after Mario Draghi told a press conference that while the recent appreciation of the euro was a sign of rising confidence in the region, he also acknowledged that it could weaken economic growth.Over recent months, the euro has risen from around the US$1.20 mark to trade over $1.35 even though a number of the 17 European Union countries have sunk back into recession.The central bank also said Thursday that it is keeping its benchmark rate at a record low 0.75 per cent despite pressure from hard-pressed businesses for a cut. Even though the economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro is in recession, there have been positive recent signals from forward-looking surveys, which likely played a large factor in the bank’s decision.Statistics Canada said that Canadian building permits fell by 11.2 per cent in December. That was much worse than expectations for a 2.5 per cent rise during the month.“Building permits are now 16 per cent off from year-ago levels, with multi-family residential permits a whopping 41 per cent below the levels seen last December,” said a commentary from CIBC World Markets.“Today’s figures suggest Canada’s homebuilding sector could be a drag on activity in late 2012/early 2013, and the recent trend in slowing permits bodes poorly for tomorrow’s housing starts reading.”The March crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped 79 cents to US$95.83 a barrel.March copper dipped a penny to US$3.73 a pound while April bullion faded $7.50 to US$1,671.30 an ounce.Traders also looked ahead to Friday’s latest employment report.Statistics Canada is expected to report Friday that the economy created around 5,000 jobs during January. That’s down sharply from the 31,000 reading from December. Loonie down as housing sector weakens, ECB expresses concern over rising euro by Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press Posted Feb 7, 2013 4:25 pm MDT read more

Trumps attorney confirms The Donald selected to advance in Bills sale process

AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email BUFFALO, N.Y. – Donald Trump remains in the running to purchase the Buffalo Bills.Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, confirmed in an email to The Associated Press on Thursday that the real estate mogul has been chosen to advance to the next round of bidding to purchase the team. Cohen said he was informed of the decision by Morgan Stanley, the banking firm overseeing the sale of the team for late owner Ralph Wilson’s estate.“Mr. Trump’s significant wealth, name recognition and real estate knowledge makes him a viable option,” Cohen said.Trump is bidding on his own after electing against being joined by partners. He is prepared to make an all-cash offer upon closing.Trump is proving to be serious in his efforts to buy the Bills, who are on the market after Wilson died in March. Trump was previously dismissed by critics as using the Bills sale as a publicity stunt.The Bills most recently were valued by Forbes at $870 million but are expected to sell for at least $1 billion, partly because NFL teams rarely go on the market.Morgan Stanley’s selection of Trump comes after prospective groups were asked to submit non-binding bids by Tuesday. It’s unclear which other bidders have been chosen to advance.NHL Buffalo Sabres owners Terry and Kim Pegula submitted a bid and also are expected to advance to the next round. A Toronto group that includes rocker Jon Bon Jovi was expected to submit a bid, but it’s not clear if the group had.The deadline Tuesday was regarded as a soft one, meaning other interested parties can still submit bids until a prospective owner is identified. The time, however, is growing shorter for outside groups to become involved.The next step is for groups who have been approved to advance is to meet with both Morgan Stanley and members of the estate to obtain the franchise’s financial information. Bills President Russ Brandon also is expected to make a presentation to prospective bidders.Once that is done in the coming weeks, groups will then be asked to submit formal bids. The bidding process is unsealed, meaning Wilson’s estate will have the ability to ask groups to increase their bids.Though no timetable has been established by Morgan Stanley, a prospective owner is could be identified by as early as Labor Day and presented to NFL owners for approval during league meetings in early October.___AP NFL website: and by John Wawrow, The Associated Press Posted Jul 31, 2014 7:38 pm MDT Trump’s attorney confirms ‘The Donald’ selected to advance in Bills’ sale process read more

More than 2000 affected in power outage in La Mesa

first_img Updated: 9:25 PM KUSI Newsroom Posted: June 25, 2019 Categories: California News, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter SAN DIEGO ( KUSI ) – San Diego Gas and Electric has reported a power outage in La Mesa caused by a vehicle accident Tuesday night.The estimated restoration time is 5 a.m. on Wednesday according to SDG&E.SDG&E said other communities affected are :Lake MurrayMission GorgeSycamore CanyonSDG&E says approximately 2,984 people have been affected by the outage.We will keep you updated with any new information. center_img KUSI Newsroom, June 25, 2019 More than 2,000 affected in power outage in La Mesalast_img

How IBT Is Making Programmatic Guaranteed Work

first_img Here, Folio: chats with IBT Media’s programmatic sales director, Ana Browne to crack the code on its newest program. Folio: What kind of data will you share with your partners to ensure they are reaching the right audience and scale? Browne: Very important. The deal still needs to be defined and we need to explain to buyers what we do have to offer across Newsweek, International Business Times, iDigital Times, Medical Daily and Latin Times. We need to somehow communicate with the advertisers in order to understand their needs and assign the right supply. We can also explore other opportunities for the future. You always need that human element to finalize everything and make it happen. Folio: How are you selling the benefits to your partners? The demand for programmatic advertising is on the rise, but media companies are still sorting out how to maximize results from this new form of automated advertising. Browne: As with all programmatic, they are guaranteed better performance since the technology optimizes everything and since it is guaranteed, they know what inventory we have and what price they can purchase it for. We have taken the mystery out of the equation by eliminating the bidding process. Plus, this process can be very quick – it can take under an hour from start to finish. Browne: Absolutely! We are working on that right now. We think it’s an exciting opportunity. Folio: Are you exploring print programmatic with Newsweek? Browne: We just needed to ensure that everyone understands the new process and the new concept that everything is guaranteed on both sides. We are no longer left wondering if advertisers will spend with us and advertisers don’t have to question whether we have the inventory that they need. It’s all very upfront. Our sales team just has to be able to explain this new process to the buyers. Folio: Can you quantify how much of your ad sales are coming in through programmatic buying? How do you see this transition impacting that?center_img Browne: The buyers can explore the first-party data we built through our adserver, and we do have the ability to customize according to their needs. The data helps them access the right audience. Browne: We have been working with programmatic for almost a year now, and we see improvements on a monthly basis. 30% of ad sales are through programmatic and we expect this to increase and grow our programmatic sales. Folio: What are some of the big advantages for IBT in moving away from an external programmatic bidding platform and into an in-house direct selling environment?  Folio: How important is the human element with this new process? IBT Media recently announced it will be working with several partners to offer programmatic guaranteed advertising. This process allows advertisers to directly buy inventory across the media network without the standard bidding process. Programmatic has been critical to IBT’s business model and a “leading revenue stream” since last May, according to CEO and Co-Founder, Etienne Uzac. Folio: How did you ready your sales team for this transition—new training, new philosophies, etc.? Ana Browne: The biggest advantage is that we take the mystery out of the equation for both sides. We can guarantee the buyers the supply and audience they are looking for, and on our side, we are guaranteed that they are spending a certain amount to advertise across our sites. We’ve cut out the lengthy negotiating process. The server is already there and the buyer just goes in and buys the advertising space that they want. From start to finish this can take under an hour to get ads up on the site. …last_img read more

The Strategy Behind Merediths New Innovation Group

first_img“Kind of like an alternate media universe.” That’s how Corbin de Rubertis, the head of innovation at Meredith Corp., explains the new Meredith Innovation Group, which launched earlier this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Comprised of three major areas—the Meredith Voice Network, Meredith Smart Codes and the Meredith Product Studio—the Innovation Group is working to find new engagement points for both audiences and advertisers, while also bolstering its e-commerce and product development platforms.To de Rubertis, editors are particularly excited about the new print integrations that the Innovation Group is offering, “because the promise of print-to-digital has been around for a longtime.” He explains that as “enablers” for their brands, editors are “dictating the roll out” process for his team, particularly by integrating Smart Codes into print and creating new audio products, “so we’re just trying to help them build the best and most useful user experiences that they can.”While the Innovation Group team is made up of fewer than 10 staffers at the moment, de Rubertis says that since their products have a “broader effect across the company,” they’re able to tap into people from other divisions, like Meredith’s custom content studio, The Foundry, or its business intelligence team, to help pull more data or research for more complicated projects.“We have access to all of the groups in the company, so it’s kind of cool that we’re an organizing principle, not necessarily a deeply staffed standalone unit,” he says.Smart Code used in editor-in-chief & group editorial director Liz Vaccariello’s Editor’s Note from the Jan. 2019 issue of Parents magazineRefreshing the QR codeSmart Codes—Meredith’s take on the now “refreshingly retro” QR codes, as de Rubertis calls it—takes advantage of the updated technology that allows readers to scan these codes and open a URL link with just their smart phone camera. And already, the Innovation team has integrated these codes into some of Meredith’s print products.The codes operate off of a commercial QR code platform, which de Rubertis explains they then “hotwire” into their own internal analytics so that once the URL is activated, Meredith’s web analytics team can pick it up and record that it’s been scanned, which advertisers also love. “They can do all of the cool e-commerce stuff,” he says. “They can put stuff right into shopping carts because of the integrations with retailers and can link directly to products to purchase and to videos and to voice and audio experiences.” The design of the codes were also updated so that they unobtrusively integrate into the design of the print layout, often times incorporating the brand’s logo or matching the article’s coloring.“Brands are really embracing them and the ones that we’ve ran so far have largely been editorially driven,” de Rubertis tells Folio:. “One of our successful ones, for example, was on the editor’s page of Parents with Liz Vaccariello that said, ‘Here’s a familiar-looking thing but with new technology, so if you hover your phone camera over it, you can follow me on Instagram.’ And she got hundreds of new followers from that within a couple of days. So it’s a cool way to activate almost any kind of digital experience out of print.” Activating a new medium For the Voice Network, the aim is to create unity across each brand’s individual platforms, and to make all of the audio and voice offerings coming out of Meredith’s portfolio of brands accessible and uniform for both consumers and partners.One of the first goals of the division is to re-funnel all of the existing audio and voice products into an organized network. So when a listener is tuning into an Entertainment Weekly podcast, they’re accessing that content from the same place and in the same way that they’re accessing one of People’s.“You see a lot of publishers have a portfolio of little projects that they’re trying here and there,” says de Rubertis, pointing to Parents magazine’s “Parents Tip of the Day” daily audio product that offers short clips of advice aimed at parents with younger children. “We’re trying to make it super consistent again with very consumer-friendly, repeatable experiences. But also a very brand-centric, consistent thing so that our audiences know what they’re getting.” And consistency is not just for the benefit of the consumer, but for advertisers as well, who are now able buy ads across audio and voice offerings the same way from brand to brand. According to de Rubertis, the Voice Network is initially comprised of three major components: podcasts, content-to-audio and—what he calls the “most complicated thing”—skills or actions. Content-to-audio and skills and actions are the two newer offerings that Meredith brands will have the ability to integrate their content into. For content-to-audio, he explains that they turn their long-form articles into audio files that can be consumed the same way podcasts are—or that’s the hope once they’ve secured partnerships with podcast distributors like Apple. As for now, he says that “we’ll actually have a voice actor read it, because we haven’t found a good text-to-speech that sounds really, truly natural for story telling. So we’ll record that and then there is a player that goes along with the article,” which listeners can plug into and listen from their device from the brand’s website. The skills and actions are similar, though they require the user’s voice participation in order to access the content, which de Rubertis says is more difficult to get the listeners involved in. “Those are kind of interactive experiences where you’re actually opening a skill on Alexa or an action on Google Home and you’re trying to work through that interactive problem or experience.” He says that so far his team has tested out these interactive products on a few of their food brands, like AllRecipes, where a callout is embedded into an article, either in digital or print, and invokes the reader to “ask Alexa to open the AllRecipes skill,” which offers complimentary content to the article they’re reading, such as giving the option to order the ingredients in a particular recipe. Corbin de RubertisAnd while the podcasting and the content-to-audio offers limited opportunities for advertisers, skills and actions allow for advertisers to reach their consumers’ shopping bags even more directly, says de Rubertis. “The skills are actually the best place to do the product placement and direct links to commerce,” he says, “Whereas for strictly audio experiences follow the old radio paradigm of ‘brought to you by.’”So if a Better Homes & Gardens sponsor wants a specific cleaning product placed in the content, the reader can be prompted to ask Amazon’s Alexa to add that product to their shopping cart right then and there. Next month, de Rubertis says that Entertainment Weekly is launching its new “The Must List” vertical, which will integrate voice commands, and the company’s health and wellness brands, like Shape, are also experimenting with the technology in both editorially and with commerce.Meeting advertisers’ needsAt its launch, de Rubertis says that the Innovation Group has seen an overall promising response from advertisers, “A dozen comfortably are participating to some degree and we’re still in the testing phase on some of [the products].” But he ties that to the fact that last year when his Innovation team spoke to advertisers about their desires, reaching people through audio was at the top of their list.“I think people are realizing how much consumer time and attention is going to be spent on voice devices, and what that means from a marketing standpoint is that they’ve been essentially invisible so far.” he explains. “Neither Apple nor Google have made any attempt to really give advertisers a place to play, so we’re really taking it upon ourselves to make it happen.”last_img read more

NOAA announces some Alaska whales no longer endangered

first_imgThe National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Tuesday that most humpback whales will come off the endangered species list. And that means some whales that spend time in Alaska.Listen nowHumpback whale diving in Juneau. (Creative Commons photo by Tony Hisgett)But some sub-groups of humpbacks around the world will remain on the list.Three different humpback populations visit Alaska and now they all fall into different categories. The Hawaii population is delisted. The Mexico population is still labeled as threatened under the endangered species act. The Western North Pacific humpback — which feeds in the Bering Sea and Aleutian chain — is still listed as endangered.Marta Nammack, a NOAA endangered species act coordinator, said with the different types of humpbacks there are different approaches needed to determine which species are no longer endangered.“Our Alaska region is going to have to use a proportional approach to decide what populations is being affected by different things that happen like vessel strikes or fishing gear entanglements,” Nammack said.Nammack said fishing gear entanglement is a serious threat to the Western North Pacific humpbacks and that’s expected to increase. The Mexico population of humpbacks labeled as threatened feed in Southeast Alaska waters. NOAA said there wasn’t enough data to indicate a population increase.Angela Somma, chief of NOAA’s endangered species division, says the agency looked at the impact of climate change on humpbacks and whether that could affect the overall population down the line.“There certainly are issues to be concerned about but we found no basis to conclude that impacts of climate change contribute to extinction risks to these population now or even in the future,” Somma said.Commercial whaling in the 1800s and early 1900s significantly reduced the humpback population. It was listed under the Endangered Species Conservation act in 1970 and later the Endangered Species Act in 1973.last_img read more

Volleyball Under14 U17 selections held

first_imgPeddemul: Selection of zonal level volleyball players was held here on Wednesday. According to the physical director Radhakrishna, the selection for under 14 and 17 was held at ZP High School playground. The selected candidates would compete at district level, he said. As many as 250 students from 12 schools of Peddemul, Kotpalli and Tharur mandal participated in the selection. PETs Rajasekhar Reddy, Gopal Raju, Ambadas, Pramod, Mahipal, Gopika, Rajitha and others were present.last_img

Gronk and Belichick Talking About Partying After the Super Bowl is Something

first_img Advertisement Bill Belichick‘s idea of a wild night is watching film on opponents’ defensive tendencies on 3rd and long until 1 AM, but after the Super Bowl he was in one helluva mood and decided to party down with his guys.In a clip from the postgame celebration, NFL Films captured notorious party animal Gronk and Belichick embracing after the win and discussing their plans to let loose and celebrate. Obviously Gronk was going to let loose, but hearing Bill say that he was going to “step out” with the team is something you never thought you’d hear in a million years. He may never take a day off, but one night off won’t hurt after winning a sixth ring.Gronk and Belichick talking about “stepping out” and having fun after SBLIII.Gronk tells Bill “I haven’t stepped out in 8 months. I gotta step out tonight.”Bill: “I’m with you man, I’m even going to step out.” 😂— uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) February 7, 2019 Belichick going out with the crew is pretty rare, but it’s not the first time. Back in 2009 Randy Moss convinced the coach to come to the team Halloween party at roller rink. Belichick went dressed as a pirate.Can’t believe @RandyMoss got Belichick to dress up for Halloween 🤣🤣— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) October 31, 2018last_img read more

British travellers to pay more tax

first_imgTourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) are concerned about the impact the 8 per cent rise in the Air Passenger Duty, announced overnight by the UK Treasury will have on British tourists visiting long haul destinations such as Australia and New Zealand.TTF Chief Executive John Lee is urging Prime Ministers Gillard and Key to raise concerns with the British Prime Minister directly.  “The Air Passenger Duty (APD) is a discriminatory, arbitrary tax which impedes tourism, travel, trade and economic growth. This will be the fourth APD rise since 2007 and now takes the tax paid by an ordinary British traveller to more than $140 AUD,” Mr Lee said.TIA CEO Tim Cossar described the latest rise as unfair, with the UK already having the highest departure tax in the world.  With poor economic conditions in Europe already affecting consumer confidence, reducing the likelihood of people to take a long-haul holiday, the increase will price more potential visitors to Australia and New Zealand out of the market, Mr Cossar explained.“It’s a tax on tourism which reaps billions of pounds in revenue for the British government masquerading as environmental policy.” Mr Cossar said.The tax has been increased for the fourth time since 2007, during which time many European countries have phased out their versions of APD to help stimulate their economies.  In 22 of the 27 countries of the European Union, there is no aviation tax at all.The number of passengers passing though UK airports fell 7.4 million in 2010. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.Wlast_img read more

Agents encouraged to be Swiss Travel Pass Superstars

first_imgBernina Express Viaduct Brusio Poschiavo Valley Agents encouraged to be Swiss Travel Pass SuperstarsAgents encouraged to be Swiss Travel Pass SuperstarsThe Swiss Travel Pass Superstar Program which is back for its second year in Australia and New Zealand had started with a bang on 6 June.With Switzerland being one of the more popular European countries for train travel, more and more agents are taking the opportunity to educate themselves on the products offered by the highly efficient Swiss transportation network.The three-month program is a joint initiative between Rail Europe GSAs, Switzerland Tourism and the Swiss Travel System, with the key objective to better equip agents with the necessary information and updates about the Swiss transportation network, its wide array of products, routes and the added value on offer with the Swiss Travel Passes.Agents will not only gain a wealth of information from the Program, but also have fun along the way. Over the course of the Program, which ends on 31 August, agents must sell as many passes as they can and answer a series of quiz questions in the six modules. Agents who get eight out of 10 questions correct are eligible to win prizes including a Victorinox suitcase and a Nespresso coffee machine, both valued at $320; and a Bucherer watch valued at $425.All agents who successfully complete the modules and register a minimum of 48 points will receive certificates; and the three best performing GSA consultants for each module will also receive a $100 gift voucher.Best of all, eight top performing agents and the two highest achieving GSA consultants will win a place in an all-inclusive 7D/6N famil to Switzerland later in the year, flying Swiss International Air Lines.Agents must note that only Swiss Travel Pass products purchased through Rail Europe GSAs will be eligible. In Australia these are Rail Plus, CIT Holidays, Infinity Rail and Qantas/Viva Holidays/Rail Tickets. In New Zealand these are Go Holidays & Rail Plus.Full terms and conditions apply. Enter HereSource = Rail Europelast_img read more