Data check: How U.S. budget deal turns $30 billion into $3 billion

first_imgAlthough Congress must still decide on 2016 spending levels for science funding agencies, many research groups have already lined up behind the new deal. “We are very encouraged …  It provides much needed breathing room,” said Washington, D.C.–based United for Medical Research, a coalition that backs increased biomedical research spending, in a statement.Still, many science advocates say the deal highlights the continuing dysfunction of the federal budget process, which has lurched from crisis to crisis with no end in sight. The agreement was struck behind closed doors by a handful of White House aides and congressional leaders from both parties. Then it was rammed through Congress within a few days on a take-it-or-leave-it basis, passing with unanimous Democratic support despite the opposition of most Republicans, who hold majorities in both houses of Congress.The new agreement may be the most anyone could expect in an era of hyperpartisan politics. And it’s only a temporary solution. The deal postpones but does eliminate the BCA spending caps, which will go back into effect in 2018 unless an alternative is found. If not, discretionary spending would dip by $6 billion in 2018. That projected drop could trigger another high-stakes spending debate between Congress and the next president.In the meantime, Congress’s appropriations panels must decide by early December on how to allocate the additional $50 billion they’ve gotten for 2016. (The new agreement requires the increase each year to be spread evenly between the civilian and military sectors, although in a separate account it provides an additional $32 billion for ongoing war activities.) Those decisions are likely to have long-lasting consequences for scientists, because whatever levels lawmakers approve in the coming weeks are likely to be extended through the 2017 fiscal year. (Something similar happened earlier this year, under a 2-year agreement struck in 2013 to avert a similar budget-debt crisis.)The bottom line: The sighs of relief that have initially greeted that seemingly hefty $30 billion growth in spending for 2017 may turn to grumbles when researchers realize it translates into just a $3 billion pimple. CREDITS: (GRAPHIC) M. ATAROD; (DATA SOURCE) U.S. CONGRESS Get your money this year—because federal spending in 2017 may feel very tight. That message for U.S. scientists is buried in the new 2-year budget agreement that President Barack Obama signed this week.The Obama administration and the Republican-led Congress struck a surprise deal late last month to prevent the U.S. government from defaulting on its loans and fund operations through the fall of 2017. The agreement adds $50 billion this year and $30 billion next year to caps on discretionary spending imposed by a 2011 law intended to reduce the federal deficit over the next decade (see graph, below). That law, called the Budget Control Act (BCA), led in 2013 to sequestration, those across-the-board, arbitrary cuts that nobody thinks are a good mechanism to determine funding levels.The $50 billion jump will represent a 5% increase in overall discretionary spending for 2016. In 2017, however, the added $30 billion will boost overall discretionary federal spending by only $3 billion—a 0.3% rise that won’t even keep pace with inflation.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)What’s the catch? The $30 billion is only the increase over the spending levels laid down in the 2011 budget law. It is NOT the amount added to the 2016 spending level. So the deal delivers “basically flat funding in 2017 from a higher baseline,” says Matthew Hourihan, a budget analyst for AAAS (publisher of Science) in Washington, D.C. But there’s a silver lining, he adds: The agreement locks in “a cumulative 4% increase in [discretionary] spending over 2 years. That’s not bad.”last_img read more

Chris Froome case shows the inconsistencies of doping controls in sport

first_imgShare on WhatsApp Share on Messenger Since you’re here… Reuse this content letters Topics Share on LinkedIn Wada … we have a small favour to ask. More people, like you, are reading and supporting the Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we made the choice to keep our reporting open for all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford to pay.The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We hope you will consider supporting us today. We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism that’s open and independent. Every reader contribution, however big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Share on Twittercenter_img Share on Facebook Support The Guardian Share on Pinterest Chris Froome Were Chris Froome (After Froome’s failed drugs test, is this the end for Team Sky?, 14 December) to be listed as a disabled athlete, he could inhale his salbutamol – as he has since childhood – and win the Tour de France against able-bodied competitors. He would then be a double hero. Is the World Anti-Doping Agency suggesting that disabled athletes who take medicines – and many will – are cheats?  Such doping control inconsistencies are commonplace. While the doping authorities allow wealthy athletes to train at altitude in order to boost their erythropoietin (EPO) levels, poorer ones who get the same effect by injection are seen as cheats. The current arrangements are puritanical nonsense.Joe CollierEmeritus professor in medicines policy, St George’s, University of London• Join the debate – email guardian.letters@theguardian.com• Read more Guardian letters – click here to visit gu.com/letters Share via Email Cycling Drugs in sportlast_img read more

CFB Expert Names The Only 8 Teams That Can Win A National Title This Season

first_imgOregon's players get ready to return a kick against Florida State in the Rose Bowl.PASADENA, CA – JANUARY 01: Place kicker Roberto Aguayo #19 of the Florida State Seminoles kicks the ball off to the Oregon Ducks to start the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2015 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)Every year in college football, there are only a handful of teams that enter the season with legitimate national championship aspirations. The number is much smaller than many people think.How many teams can win it all in 2018? Eight, according to Sporting News’ Bill Bender.Bender revealed his list of title contenders this morning.  While each Power-5 conference has multiple teams that can reach the College Football Playoff–independent Notre Dame and Group of Five UCF have a chance as well, per Bender–only eight programs have an actual shot to win it all.They are as follows:ClemsonOhio StateWisconsinMichiganOklahomaAlabamaGeorgiaWashingtonThe two most surprising names on that list, at least to us? Michigan, which has plenty of talent but hasn’t finished higher than third in the Big Ten East under Jim Harbaugh and Wisconsin, which is a national force but has not won the Big Ten since 2012 and seems to always be a slight step below the title contending tier.Five teams (Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State and Oklahoma) seem like fairly obvious choices. Washington made the playoff two years ago, and while we wouldn’t bet on them winning it this year, they probably have the best chance out of all the Pac-12 programs.What do you think of Bender’s picks? Would you add or take anyone out?You can read his full analysis here.last_img read more

Province Expanding Services for Persons with Disabilities

first_imgNova Scotians with disabilities and their families will soon have more help thanks to an increase in funding for several programs. Community Services Minister Denise Peterson-Rafuse announced a $1.5-million investment today, April 11, at Bonny Lea Farm, a vocational day program in Chester for people with disabilities. “Families want their loved ones with disabilities to stay at home and in their communities. This news makes that possible for more people,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “Today’s investment shows government’s commitment to improving and building on our existing services for persons with disabilities and their families.” About $825,000 of the new money will expand the Independent Living Support and the Alternative Family Support programs with about 50 new placements. The Independent Living Support program helps someone learn to live on their own by providing help for up to 21 hours a week. Alternative Family Support matches individuals with caring families who share their homes and provides a variety of supports to individuals with disabilities. Both of these programs help people stay and participate in their communities. An additional $500,000 will be invested to increase the number of spots available at day programs for individuals with disabilities. These programs provide a variety of activities, including supportive employment, skills training and vocational programming across the province. “I know access to day programs has been a long-standing issue,” said Ms. Peterson-Rafuse. “This funding will help more people get involved in these wonderful programs that can make such a difference in the lives of persons with disabilities and their families.” The province will also invest $200,000 to launch a new outreach team to help families and service providers manage supports for individuals with disabilities. Instead of leaving it up to families to find experts, a team of specialists made up of people like social workers, psychologists, and occupational therapists in their community will be put together to help. This year, the first team will work in the western region of the province. “I’m pleased that the minister and government are taking steps forward to improve the programs and services that benefit Nova Scotians with disabilities,” said Betty Mattson, CEO, Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre. “Service providers are constantly improving services with sometimes limited resources. For so long, we’ve waited for additional government support to help us with these improvements.” The investments are through the Services for Persons with Disabilities Program, which serves children, youth and adults with intellectual disabilities, long-term mental illness and physical disabilities in a range of community-based, residential and vocational day programs. These are voluntary programs designed to support about 5,100 people at various stages of development and independence. Government has increased investments in programs for persons with disabilities by $19 million since 2009, bringing the annual budget to nearly $255 million.last_img read more

Patnaik rejects Modi’s claim, says BJD will perform very well

first_imgBhubaneswar: Rejecting Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s claim that BJP will repeat Tripura-like result in Odisha, ruling BJD president and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik Monday said the regional party will perform “very well” in the coming simultaneous Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state. “We(BJD) will do very well in the elections. I have said it before … you will see,” Patnaik said replying to a question on the prime minister’s statement on Sunday that Odisha will have poll results like Tripura. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ Modi had said on Sunday that Odisha will be the second Tripura, where BJP had won a comfortable majority in the last assembly elections and formed the government dismantling the 25 years of Left Front rule. “Odisha will surprise everybody in the country this time … It will be a second Tripura,” Modi said, implying that BJP is poised to post an impressive show in Odisha against BJD which has been in power in the state for the past about two decades in the elections this month. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Modi said this while addressing Main Bhi Chowkidar programme via video conferencing from Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. Talking to fishermen of Mahakalpada in Kendrapara district through video-conferencing, Modi had said that the BJP has a good base in Odisha and he was quite impressed by the huge turnout of the people and their unbridled enthusiasm during his recent visit to Odisha to campaign for his party candidates. Modi is scheduled to hold two election rallies in the state in the week on April 2 in Kalahandi and April 6 in Sundergarh. Patnaik had on the other hand claimed at his party’s campaign at Nayagarh on March 24 that BJD will win all the 21 Lok Sabha seats in the upcoming polls. BJP has set the target of winning at least 120 of the 147 assembly seats in Odisha in the coming elections. In 2014, BJP had won only ten of the state’s 147 assembly seats and one of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in Odisha.last_img read more

Navy takes into custody 27 sacks of Beedi leaves

The Navy took into custody 27 sacks of Beedi leaves during a routine patrol carried out in the seas off the Talaimannar lighthouse last night.The Navy said that two suspects were arrested with the Beedi leaves. The Navy media unit said that 912.46 kg of Beedi leaves were recovered by the Navy.It is believed the Beedi leaves were to smuggled from India.

One dead in QEW crash

A fatal crash in Grimsby has claimed the life of 21 year old man from Beamsville who was walking near the highway.Shortly before 11 last night police say the young man was struck by two vehicles and was pronounced dead at the scene. The OPP say the man was standing near the QEW at Bartlett Avenue in Grimsby when he was hit. It’s unclear what the man was doing there.Both vehicles remained at the scene. So far no charges have been laid.The area was closed for several hours overnight for the investigation by the collision reconstruction unit. Police are still working to identify the man who was killed and notify next of kin.

On World NoTobacco Day UN health agency urges ban on public smoking

“We need to clear the air of second-hand smoke,” said Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Director-General of the UN World Health Organization (WHO). Explaining the agency’s motivation in calling for a ban on smoking in public places, she said the proposal would offer “a comprehensive solution to keep the air clean and safe for all people, both smokers and non-smokers.” Dr. Brundtland, whose agency is overseeing the negotiation of a global tobacco control treaty, detailed the various negative health effects of second-hand smoke. Beyond causing cancer and contributing to various lung and heart diseases, she noted that second-hand smoke “can cause asthma and other respiratory illnesses in children, and has been implicated in various other childhood diseases such as sudden infant death syndrome or middle-ear infections.”Dr. Bruntdland warned that tobacco companies would try to thwart efforts to ban smoking. “Big Tobacco has spent millions of dollars trying to convince employers and governments that better ventilation or mere courtesy will solve the problem of second-hand smoke.” She added that the tobacco industry had “paid for bogus scientific studies, unleashed well-funded campaigns to attack legitimate studies, set up front groups to push for smokers rights, sued health authorities in court, and done everything in their power to delay and defeat meaningful action on second-hand smoke.” Saying he “strongly supports” WHO’s initiatives, the President of the UN General Assembly, Harri Holkeri of Finland, joined Dr. Brundtland in pointing out the dangers of second-hand smoke, which he called “a public health hazard – not just a mere discomfort for non-smokers.””Second-hand smoke is one of the critical issues facing tobacco companies today,” he said. “Fortunately, increased public knowledge about the hazards of second-hand smoke and smoking restrictions at workplaces have been seen to significantly lower both the consumption and, ultimately, the demand for tobacco products.”The date 31 May was designated as World No-Tobacco Day in 1989 by WHO’s World Health Assembly with the aim of encouraging smokers to give up their risky habit and to raise public awareness about the health impact of tobacco. read more

UN Emergency Coordinator meets with President of Zimbabwe on aid

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Mr. Egeland said he had “a long, good and frank exchange” with the Zimbabwean leader. He said he explained to the President that the UN can be more effective if there are better procedures for how to help.“There is disagreement around the eviction campaign,” Mr. Egeland said, in response to a question. “There is disagreement on how to help those who were evicted. There has been some concern on how to reach food security. But this is not the time to list all the points of disagreement.”Mr. Egeland said that he did not think they disagreed on the need to help the people to help themselves.In addition, he said there was agreement on redoubling efforts to meet the challenges of millions of people who are infected with HIV and the more than a million children who are AIDS orphans.The complex humanitarian emergency in Zimbabwe comprises a combination of widespread food insecurity, high unemployment and a 25 per cent HIV/AIDS prevalence rate, in addition to the homelessness caused by Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order).During his three-day trip, which ends today, Mr. Egeland also met with the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development, visited displaced persons. Government housing projects, and an orphanage and education centre for AIDS orphans and HIV-positive children.He met with church leaders, representatives of national and international NGOs and members of the resident donor community as well.Zimbabwe’s six-month-old Operation Murambatsvina (Restore Order) slum clearance program, described by senior UN officials as an ongoing violation of human rights, has forced an estimated 650,000 to 700,000 people into conditions much worse in many cases than before they were evicted. On 31 October, Secretary-General Annan appealed to the Government to allow UN humanitarian assistance to the country after the authorities rejected the world body’s aid amid reports that tens of thousands of people there were still homeless and in need of help. read more

New student printing accounts streamlined and convenient

The new single-print account will make printing more streamlined and convenient for Brock students this coming academic year.Returning Brock students will notice some changes to printing when they return for the upcoming academic year.The biggest difference is a consolidation of payment and usage throughout University departments. Previously, students had to buy a card and add money to print (from ITS labs, library and Faculties, for example) and could only use the funds in those departments.The new single-print account will make printing more streamlined and convenient.“The benefit to the student is one print fund. They can print in any lab using one central balance,” said Goodman School of Business IT manager Josh Sekel. “The new print vouchers they can redeem online makes it easier to put funds on, and they can purchase from multiple sites.”The old stored-balance cards used in the library, which returning students can still redeem after switching to the new system, were often inconvenient. In cases where cards were lost, a student who found the card could use the remaining balance.Now, students can purchase top-up vouchers from the Brock Bookstore, James A. Gibson Library service desk, and, in Hamilton, the Instructional Resource Centre. The vouchers have codes that are entered online and can be used anywhere. Students can add to their balance and check print history from the website.Money can still be added to accounts via two deposit stations in the computer commons.“It doesn’t matter where they are, students will be able to draw from that single account,” Sekel said.Students will soon be able to print to any of the University’s computer lab printers through their centralized printing account. It will also track printing throughout University departments and help the school save paper, which adds an environmentally friendly component to the changes, computer lab administrator Matthew O’Beirn said. read more

Jeffrey Epsteins victims say search for truth about sordid activities must go

His victims have no appetite for letting his death bring to an end the long running inquiries into the sex-trafficking ring he had operated for so long with apparent immunity. The victims of convicted billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein say the truth about his sordid activities must not be allowed to die with him. As news spread about his suspected suicide in a Manhattan prison cell questions quickly began to be asked about what that means for both his victims and his alleged accomplices. US federal prosecutors in Manhattan had charged 66-year-old Epstein last month with sex trafficking of girls as young as 14, raising hopes a trial would finally bring justice to women like Jennifer Araoz….

Martin open to Mary Hanafin running for Fianna Fáil in Dáil election

first_imgFIANNA FÁIL LEADER Micheál Martin has indicated his openness to the former minister Mary Hanafin running for the party at the next general election, saying “no one is prohibited from putting their name forward”.Martin was reacting to Hanafin telling Pat Kenny on Newstalk yesterday that running for the Dáil in the Dún Laoghaire constituency in 2016 is “certainly something that I would like”.Hanafin, who was first elected to the Dáil in 1997 but lost her seat in 2011, has ruled herself out of the forthcoming European elections and says she won’t run for the local council.However she noted that boundary changes in the competitive constituency, which includes Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett (who would automatically be re-elected) and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore, have changed in her favour.“We’ll do some polls to see what people are thinking and what people want,” she said yesterday.Responding a short time later, Martin told the media that he has repeatedly said that anyone who wants to go forward for the party can do so.“Anybody is entitled to put their name forward in a convention. No one is prohibited form putting their name forward and it’s up to each individual to make his or her choice in terms of what they feel is best for them,” he siad.“Mary Hanafin has clearly indicated that she doesn’t wish to go forward for the Europeans, but she hasn’t ruled herslef out of politics at all and may return at a later date. That’s for the individuals themselves to consider and I think it’s as basic and as simple as that, as it always has been.” Hanafin also gave her backing to Dublin city councillor Mary Fitzpatrick who is one of three people in the running for the nomination to be the Fianna Fáil candidate for the European elections in the capital. Equality campaigner Tiernan Brady and former senator Geraldine Feeney are also in the running with the party to hold its selection convention in the capital on 26 January.Mary Hanafin: I’d love to run again but I don’t know if people will vote for meRead: ‘I’ve been in politics a long time’: Fianna Fáil MEP Aylward to retire next yearlast_img read more

Geekcom Best of the Year Awards 2011 Edition

first_imgMovie: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, SpyBook: Super Mario: How Nintendo Conquered America by Jeff RyanPhone: Samsung Galaxy SIILaptop: ThinkPad T420 with slice batteryGame: RageGadget: Wacom InklingNon-electronic: Prop laptop standWebsite: DuckDuckGoApp: Kindle app With 2011 barely closed out we here at Geek.com wanted to reflect back on the past year. Blame it on modernity, the 24 hours news cycle, or the internet, but we’re so often focused on what’s new and hot that we forget what’s great. After all, there will always be a next-cool-thing on the horizon, but we shouldn’t forget about all the amazing stuff that came before it.With that sentiment in mind, let’s celebrate all that was well and good in 2011!Everything listed below is the personal pick of a Geek.com staffer, or someone whose opinion we hold in the highest regard. These are our personal favorite things from 2011, not necessarily what we consider to be best in an empirical sense, the most important, having the greatest impact… or anything with as much gravity as that. Think of this as a Geek.com-approved compendium of awesomeness. The point was to pick things that were released in 2011, but at times some of us went with an alternative that saw a significant update in 2011 or that we found out about this year. Sal Cangeloso – Managing Editor for Geek.com and ExtremeTech.comMovie: Midnight in Paris (I didn’t see many new movies)Book: Field Grey by Philip KerrPhone: iPhone 4SLaptop: 13-inch MacBook AirGame: Dungeons of DredmorGadget: iPad 2Non-Electronic toy/tool/etc: Pen Type A (not technically out yet)Website: Usesthis.comApp: Camera+ for iOSBlake Ellison – Geek.com reporterMovie: Midnight in ParisBook: Steve Jobs by Walter IsaacsonPhone: iPhone 4SLaptop: 11-inch MacBook AirGame: Deus Ex: Human Revolution (L.A. Noire close second!)Gadget: [Can’t decide on just one]Non-electronic: Northern Brewer’s homebrew beer kitWebsite: GameSetWatch.com (just closed this week, RIP)App: Starbucks (yay mobile payments!)Joel Evans – Vice President of Application Development at Mobiqity, Geek.com co-founderMovie: ContagionBook: Steve Jobs by Walter IsaacsonPhone: iPhone 4SLaptop: MacBook AirGame: Words with Friends (not 2011, but still…)Gadget: Jawbone UPNon-Electronic toy/tool/etc: Deck of cards (recently taught my 7 year old how to play War)Website:  Google ReaderApp: AOL EditionsMatthew Humphries – Geek.com News Editor Russell Holly – Geek.com reporter and Android expertMovie: X-Men First ClassBook: Reamde by Neal StephensonPhone: HTC RezoundLaptop: Samsung Series 9Game: EufloriaGadget: Wicked Laser 1W Artic Blue LaserNon-Electronic toy/tool/etc: SpiderpodiumWebsite: Google+App: Torque Pro for AndroidRay Walters – Geek.com reporterMovie: The Muppets. (I know I know, but I loved it. It was funny and well written.)Book: Metagame by Sam LidstromPhone: HTC Sensation 4GLaptop: ChromebookGame: Batman: Arkham CityGadget: Keurig coffee machineNon-electronic toy/tool/etc: TARDIS cardboard standupSite: Androidswag.comApp: Sonos controllerBrian Osborne – Former Geek.com reporter (with over 5000 posts)Movie: Transformers: Dark of the MoonBook: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan (My teenage daughter turned me on to it)Phone: iPhone 4SLaptop: 13-inch MacBook ProGame: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood via OnLiveGadget: iPad 2Non-Electronic toy/tool/etc: Basket for Remote Controls made from Colored Duct TapeWebsite: Facebook App: Amazon for iPhone (Great for holiday shopping)Will Shanklin – Geek.com reporterMovie: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part IIBook: Steve JobsPhone: Galaxy NexusLaptop: mid-2011 MacBook AirGame: LA NoireGadget: Kindle FireNon-electric thing: iPad 2 Smart CoverWebsite: [Can’t decide]App: Photoshop TouchThat’s it, but feel free to leave your own list below! Hope everyone had a great 2011 and has an even better 2012.last_img read more

Virtual Reality Gaming Isnt so Great if Youre Disabled

first_imgStay on target Being a person who uses a wheelchair to get around, video games have always provided me with a place I can turn to where I can be on par with everyone else. Since most games only require a person to have working hands, the limitations I face in daily life aren’t an issue in a game. When I play — especially online with friends — I’m on equal footing (pardon the pun). This is something I have always appreciated about video games.Outside of some specialized arcade cabinets I physically couldn’t use, being in a wheelchair has never adversely affected my gaming until I started playing games in virtual reality. I’ve played VR titles at several press events over the past two years and always had issues. I’m not talking about what our senior editor Jordan Minor experienced when it came to VR headsets ruining his (awesome) hair; I’m talking about problems that arose because I wasn’t standing. My suspicions that sitting in a wheelchair negatively impacted playing games in VR were confirmed this past weekend when I got to spend extensive time with Sony’s PlayStation VR.Playing the PSVR isn’t a simple matter of plugging in the headset, strapping it to your head, and playing. There is a good bit of work that has to go into it, especially when it comes to calibrating one’s PlayStation camera. The PSVR tracks the way you move your head with the camera and if you’re not in the correct position, things won’t work as they should. It was very challenging to get my head positioned to where the camera suggested because I was sitting down.It would be easy to believe that an able-bodied person sitting next to a person in a wheelchair would be the same height. But this isn’t actually true. The average person who is sitting down will almost always be taller than someone who sits in a wheelchair. This may not be true for someone who recently became bound to a wheelchair since their bodies haven’t been shaped by years of sitting, but for someone like me, this is reality. Because I’m shorter than the average person even while sitting, I would always be six inches lower than where the PlayStation camera wanted me to be.Despite not being able to properly calibrate the system due to my height, I began playing some PSVR games. For the most part, I didn’t have any problems with the main PSVR demo that comes with the headset. Though it was obvious my camera angle was lower than it was supposed to be, I was still able to play games like RIGS, EVE: Valkyrie, and DriveClub with little to no problem. In fact, my VR gaming experience was going great until I fired up Batman: Arkham VR.When Arkham VR starts, it tells you that standing is the optimal way to play. Since I can’t stand, I had no choice but to go with the sitting option. I was able to position my body where the game wanted, but just like when I was calibrating the PS camera, I was unable to get my head where it needed to be because I’m a short dude in a wheelchair. Again, if I was an able-bodied individual that was sitting down I could have easily positioned my head where it should be. I skipped this part of the calibration and continued.Unlike the games I played in the PSVR demo, Arkham requires players to physically move back, forth, and to the sides in order to complete certain objectives. This was a tricky proposition since I had to move my wheelchair while holding PS Move controllers in each hand. Making things worse was that I would almost always run over the piece that connected the PSVR headset to the PlayStation 4. There were even certain parts where I had to lean down to pick up objects. If I wasn’t careful doing this, I could have easily fallen off my chair. It was clear that Arkham VR wasn’t created with handicapped people in mind.Now, I don’t know if it was because I was sitting in a wheelchair or if the game, in general, is just wonky, but the more I played Arkham VR, the more de-calibrated it became. It got to a point where my Bat-belt was no longer directly under me like it was supposed to be. Attempts to re-center myself caused me to bump into things in my room and get the PSVR wires tangled on my wheels. The more I tried to get my virtual belt and hands into the correct position, the worse things got. Frustrated, I just gave up playing the game altogether.My Batman Arkham VR experience wasn’t an isolated one. A few weeks ago when I attended a PSVR event hosted by Oasis Games, I had something similar — though not nearly as annoying — happen. While playing Dying Reborn, there was a point where I had to find a key that was on top of a box that was above a door. Because of my height, I was unable to see it. The developer who was showing me the demo had to put on the VR headset himself to get it for me. I have to let people get things in high places for me all the time, so having the same thing happen in a game made me feel downright embarrassed.I’ve learned to accept that there are some things in life that I can’t physically do because of my disability. Perhaps gaming in VR is one of them. This doesn’t seem like a great personal loss since I’m not entirely sold on VR gaming in general (I’ll get to that in a future article), but I do feel bad for handicapped folks who were invested in the idea of VR gaming who won’t be able to fully enjoy every game because of their disability.Some VR games work well enough for the disabled, but others simply don’t. This is a shame considering how VR can virtually let people who are unable to walk actually experience normal mobility. Virtual reality has the potential to deliver the most immersive gaming experience possible, but from what I’ve seen so far, it appears that only able-bodied people can fully enjoy it.I’m not one to tell developers what to do with their games, and I don’t feel it is my right or anyone else’s to do so. However, I will say that it would be nice if, going forward, some consideration is made for those of us who are limited in our mobility and who would like to use VR as a means to go beyond what we’re physically capable of. Despite my skepticism about the technology as a gaming platform, I will remain optimistic that as time progresses, developers can figure out how to make VR gaming accessible to everyone.Featured image comes from USC Institute for Creative Technologies Sony Patents New PSVR Motion ControllerHands-On: Firewall: Zero Hour is the Best VR Game I’ve Ever Played last_img read more

Clark County businesses in tight spot when it comes to dogs cats

first_imgThe golden retriever at the coffee shop. The feline in the backpack at the bar. The Pomeranian in the grocery store.Clark County residents love sharing experiences with their pets. But while local humans enjoy bringing their four-legged friends along to grab a beer at a brewery or toting them into the grocery store, health officials say those visits run afoul of health code and put food establishments in a tough spot.“It probably is viewed by some as an innocent thing, but the reality is, it puts the business in a precarious legal place,” said Joe Laxson, program manager for Clark County environmental public health. That’s because Washington’s health code prohibits animals — with the exception of service animals — in food establishments. So customers who bring pets into restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores are, knowingly or not, violating health code and opening the business up to potential citations from the county health department. Addressing the issue can be problematic for businesses that want to keep their customers happy but must also abide by health regulations. Add in the service animal requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act and the situation becomes even more complicated.last_img read more

Mark Uth urges Schalke teammates to win in Dusseldorf

first_imgAfter a nightmarish start of the season, Schalke 04 seems to be waking up, as they’ve clinched two straight wins in the last seven days.Before a tight 1-0 triumph at the RZD Arena in the Champions League clash with Lokomotiv Moscow, the Royal Blues have ended a 5-game Bundesliga losing streak by outplaying Mainz at home.Although it’s early to talk about a potential crisis getaway, Domenico Tedesco can be happy to see his players bouncing back from a tough start.One of the players that showed the most against the Russian side was Mark Uth, who had some kind words to share after the victory.Jadon SanchoMerson believes Arsenal should sign Sancho Manuel R. Medina – September 14, 2019 Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho might be the perfect player to play for the Gunners, according to former England international Paul Merson.“I found that we really earned the victory in the second half. After the break, we were solid in defense and even had a few chances ourselves. We put them under a lot of pressure and with a bit of luck, we were able to get the goal at the end.We were maybe a bit lucky to have not conceded in the first half. You shouldn’t forget that they don’t have a bad team. They have quality players. The things that we weren’t doing well in the first half we discussed at half-time and so we got better.”When asked about Schalke’s weekend trip to Dusseldorf, the former TSG Hoffenheim forward said: “We want to get another win of course and finish the week with maximum points. In the Bundesliga, you have to work hard to get your points. I am convinced that we will put in a good performance in Düsseldorf.”last_img read more

A New Totem Pole Graces Ketchikan Shipyard

first_imgPhoto: KRBD-Ketchikan.Ketchikan’s newest totem pole arrived with a massive crowd Saturday in front of the Vigor shipyard. It’s the first totem pole raised in about two years, and tribal and non-tribal community members alike cheered as it came through the crowd.Download AudioThis was the sound of the totem pole being brought from the Vigor warehouse on Saturday to its current prominent position just off of Tongass Avenue.Hundreds showed up from around town and neighboring communities, including highly regarded members of local tribes and Vigor representatives.Vigor General Manager Mark Pearson says the idea to carve a totem pole for the shipyard came in the winter of 2013. Pearson added that Vigor members wanted to have more native art to show the connection between the company and its community.“So it has to be an expression of our willingness to do more for the community, and to include all of the community. Any time we’re exclusionary or any time we’re insensitive to the differences in people, we limit ourselves.”Former Ketchikan Indian Community member Willie Jackson described what the pole, itself, symbolized.“Looking at the pole, you’re going to see the raven on top, you’re going to see the strong man right underneath that raven, you’re going to see the eagle…but you’re also going to see the woman at the very base of the pole, which is the strength of who we really are as a matriarchal society.”Vigor CEO Frank Foti came from Portland for the ceremony, and says that he wants his company to connect with all people, making sure natives and women were included.“Vigor means effort, energy, good health, renewal.  It’s part of who we are. My color today is pink and part of it is to bring some of the feminine energy into what we do. We have a tremendous group of men and women that are part of what we do. To you I say ‘Háw’aa! T’oyaxs-nsm! GunalchÈesh!” (Thank you in Haida, Tsimshian, and Tlingit, respectively.)Photo: KRBD-Ketchikan.After much struggle to raise the pole with manpower alone, a group of about a dozen people pushed, pulled and heaved the structure into place.After the new pole was in place, the celebrating continued up at the Ted Ferry Civic Center. There was food, singing and hours of dancing, along with gifts for those who made the pole raising possible.Metlakatla’s mayor, Audrey Hudson came forward to show her appreciation to those who put so much effort into the raising of this particular totem pole. She was especially grateful to the carver who brought the pole to life.“I feel blessed to have witnessed a new totem pole today. Totem poles are a powerful symbol for both our peoples. These events serve to strengthen the ancient relationship between the Tlingit and Tsimshian, between Metlakatla and Ketchikan. My hats off to Jon Rowen for his beautiful work.”Rowen, a Tlingit from Klawock on Prince of Wales Island, thanked Mayor Hudson, his cousin, for the kind words, but said little during the ceremony.Vigor CEO Frank Foti, however, had a lot to say, mostly out of thanks. Many tribal leaders gave Foti gifts that night, including a hand-carved paddle, abalone inlaid hummingbird bath, and a new nickname: chief.  Foti thanked everyone for their help, especially tribal members who taught him about the culture in the land surrounding his Ketchikan shipyard.“Connecting what we do and what we build with who we are and the land that we live in is…it’s a constant conflict. We build with organic and inorganic materials. We impact the world we live in. We make it better, we make it worse. We look at why. That’s who we are and who we try to be. We are honored to be somewhat part, and learn to be part of a tribe.”And then, as the opening remarks drew to a close, it was time for the song and dance, lasting late into the night.last_img read more

Box office collection Natpe Thunai Hellboy rules Super Deluxe pushed to 9th

first_imgNatpe Thunai.PR HandoutAdhi has once again proved his ability to strike chord with the urban audience and especially with youths as his latest movie Natpe Thunai has emerged victorious at the Chennai box office. The movie has done an impressive collection in its second weekend along with Hollywood movie Hellboy, while Vijay Sethupathi’s Super Deluxe popularity has diminished in just three weeks.In its second weekend, Natpe Thunai has raked in Rs 53.27 lakh from 156 shows. In the weekdays, the movie had grossed Rs 53.37 lakh from 156 shows. In the opening weekend, the Sundar C-produced flick had collected Rs 1.02 crore. By the end of its 11-day run in theatres, the Tamil flick has raked in Rs 2.46 crore from the capital city of Tamil Nadu.Hollywood film Hellboy has collected Rs 37.25 lakh from 114 shows in its opening weekend. It is considered to be a good number for an English film in Chennai. New release Watchman has raked in Rs 20.91 lakh from 177 shows. It is followed by Uriyadi 2 which earned Rs 15.58 lakh from 90 shows in its second weekend to take its total tally to Rs 58.12 in 10 days.Another new release Gangs of Madras has collected Rs 13.83 lakh from 123 shows. American super hero film Shazam has collected Rs 12.47 lakh from 33 shows to take its total tally to Rs 87 lakh.Samantha and Naga Chaitanya’s Telugu film Majili entered second weekend by raking in Rs 3.36 lakh from 27 shows to take its total tally to Rs 18.01 lakh from 27 shows, Vijay Sethupathi’s Super Deluxe has earned Rs 2.68 lakh from 27 shows in its third weekend.Super Deluxe is now in the ninth place and the total collection of the flick stands at Rs 3.03 crore which makes it an above-average grosser in the capital city of Tamil Nadu. Vijay Sethupathi in Super Deluxe.PR HandoutRocky: The Revenge is in the 10 position in Chennai by collecting Rs 2.44 lakh from 45 shows in its first weekend.last_img read more

ICE Arrests 45 Unauthorized Immigrants in Houston Area During FiveDay Operation

first_img Share Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)ICE officers arrested 45 unauthorized immigrants in the Houston area during a five-day operation that ended August 10.Federal officers arrested 45 unauthorized immigrants in the Houston area last week.Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a news release that a five-day operation that ended Friday, August 10, targeted people who had a criminal history and people who had skipped out on immigration proceedings.ICE detailed 26 arrests were made in Houston. Other unauthorized immigrants were arrested in surrounding cities such as Baytown, Clear Lake, Conroe, The Woodlands and other areas.Fifteen of the people arrested had previously been deported from the United States and 42 had prior criminal convictions, according to ICE.Those arrested came largely from Central and South America, with a few also coming from countries such as India, Nigeria and Turkey.last_img read more

PostSuper Bowls Mass Exodus Monday leads to long lines at ATL

first_img ATLANTA — Travellers heading home from the Super Bowl were enduring waits of more than an hour to get through airport security on what city officials have called “Mass Exodus Monday.”The airport’s website showed it was taking more than an hour to get through security at the main checkpoint in the domestic terminal Monday morning.City officials say they expected around 110,000 passengers to be screened Monday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – well over the 60,000 to 80,000 on a typical day.The city is hoping to avoid the chaotic scene at the airport on a recent Monday – Jan. 14 – when many passengers waited more than an hour to be screened in lines that stretched into the baggage claim area. Post-Super Bowl’s ‘Mass Exodus Monday’ leads to long lines at ATL Tags: Atlanta, Superbowl, Travel Share Monday, February 4, 2019 << Previous PostNext Post >> By: The Associated Presslast_img read more