Trudeau government posted 300M surplus in first nine months of 201819

first_imgOTTAWA — A preliminary analysis of the federal books says the government ran a budgetary surplus of $300 million through the first nine months of the fiscal year.The surplus is an improvement compared with the April-to-December period in 2017-18, when Ottawa posted a deficit of $8.9 billion.The Finance Department’s latest fiscal monitor says overall revenues were up $19.3 billion, or 8.7 per cent, compared with the same period last year, due in large part to higher revenues from taxes and incoming employment insurance premiums.The report says program expenses were up $8.4 billion, or 3.9 per cent, compared with the same nine-month stretch last year, because of increases in major transfers to individuals, to other levels of government and due to an increase in direct program spending.The fiscal monitor also said public debt charges rose $1.7 billion, or 10.3 per cent, mostly due to the higher effective interest rate on government debt and the higher inflation adjustments.Last November, the Liberals’ fall fiscal update predicted the government was on track to run annual shortfalls of $18.1 billion in 2018-19, $19.6 billion in 2019-20 and $18.1 billion in 2020-21.The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Actress Elizabeth Hurley Rocks Plunging Dress at Marrakech Auto Race

Rabat – A star of the television show the Royals, Elizabeth Hurley, spent last weekend in Marrakech at an auto racing event, the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, where she boasted two elegant looks.At midday, the 53-year-old actress wore a white midi dress and nude high heels. But it was her V-neck evening dress that stole the show and made her social media followers gush.Elizabeth Hurley Justin Theroux at Marrakesh E Prix photo: Getty imagesThe actress posted two photos of herself at the event on Instagram, captioning one of them with “A brilliant weekend in #Marrakesh.” The January 12 event ended with the victory of Belgian competitor Jerome d’Ambrosio, who won the Marrakesh ePrix and the competition for the third time.Read Also: Video: Watch Michael Benyahia Ride the Formula E Car On the Streets of MarrakechThe international ABB FIA Formula E Championship, created in 2011, took place in New York last year.Marrakech welcomed other stars and public personalities recently, especially over the New Year. Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas and his family spent New Year’s Eve in the lively city and shared pictures of his stay on social media. Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni also celebrated New Year’s Eve in Marrakech.Bruni declared her love for Marrakech on her Instagram account. She wrote: “A city of colors and perfumes, an infinite palm grove with blond dunes, and the evening, on the horizon, the eternal snows of the Atlas …. Each time [I feel] the same happiness to be in Marrakech.” read more

Gota in Uganda for talks

Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajabaksa has jetted into Uganda to promote bilateral security among both nations, New Vision, Uganda’s leading daily reported today.The Sri Lankan High Commissioner to Uganda, Vellupillai Kananathan, said Rajapaksa is in Uganda on a working state visit and would spend five days in the country. Kananathan said there were a number of Sri Lankan investors in Uganda and more have showed interest in coming. Last November Museveni visited Sri Lanka at the invitation of his counterpart, Mahinda Rajapaksa and during the visit Sri Lanka agreed to refurbish Masulita Vocational Training Center in Kakiri.Sri Lanka has per capita income US$2,877 compared to that of Uganda of US$500. “He will have a chance to meet with President Museveni, and the Commander of Defense Forces to discuss defense issues and also meet a technical team from the ministry of defense,” Kananathan said. read more

The Latest Trump doesnt respond to Huawei coercion claims

BEIJING — The Latest on accusations by Chinese technology company Huawei that U.S. authorities tried to coerce employees to gather information about the firm (all times local):2 a.m.U.S. President Donald Trump has declined to directly address allegations by Chinese technology company Huawei accusing American authorities of trying to coerce employees to gather information on the company and of trying to break into its information systems.Trump on Wednesday called the issue a national security concern when asked about the allegations by a reporter and labeled Huawei “a big concern of our military, of our intelligence agencies.”He added that Huawei “has not been a player we want to discuss.”The company is the target of U.S. accusations that it is a security threat and said Wednesday that American officials were using “unscrupulous means” to disrupt its business.Huawei Technologies Ltd. faces a possible ban on access to U.S. technology that it says will hurt sales of its smartphones.A company statement said FBI agents had pressured Huawei employees to collect information on the company. It said American authorities launched cyberattacks on Huawei but gave no indication whether they succeeded.___4:10 p.m.Chinese tech giant Huawei has accused U.S. authorities of trying to coerce employees to gather information on the company and of trying to break into its information systems.The company, the target of U.S. accusations that it is a security threat, said Wednesday that American officials were using “unscrupulous means” to disrupt its business.Huawei Technologies Ltd. faces a possible ban on access to U.S. technology that it says will hurt sales of its smartphones.The company offered no evidence to support its accusations and a company spokesman said he couldn’t give additional details.A company statement said FBI agents had pressured Huawei employees to collect information on the company. It said American authorities launched cyberattacks on Huawei but gave no indication whether they succeeded.The Associated Press read more

Rogers hikes dividend for first time since 2015 as profit beats expectations

TORONTO — Rogers Communications Inc. raised its dividend for the first time since 2015 as it reported a better-than-expected fourth-quarter profit.The cable and wireless company will now pay a quarterly dividend of 50 cents per share, up from its previous payment to shareholders of 48 cents per share.“We delivered strong financial and operating results in the fourth quarter and terrific results for the full year,” CEO Joe Natale said. “We delivered on all of our key financial commitments and released a strong outlook for 2019.”The Toronto-based company, one of Canada’s largest integrated telecommunications and media companies, said Thursday it expects to spend between $2.85 billion and $3.05 billion on capital projects.That’s up from $2.79 billion in capital expenditures last year.Rogers, BCE’s Bell, Telus and Shaw Communications are all investing to increase the speed and capabilities of their wireless networks and upgrade their fibre optic networks.The increased dividend and capital budget came as Rogers said it earned $502 million or 97 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended Dec. 31. That’s up from $499 million or 97 cents per share in the same period a year earlier.Revenue totalled $3.94 billion, which was above analyst estimates and up from $3.73 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018, when Rogers experienced lost sales during the important pre-Christmas period due to system malfunctions.Revenue growth was primarily driven by its wireless operations, which added 112,000 net subscribers during the quarter. Average monthly revenue per subscriber also increased to $65.12 from $63.46 a year earlier.On an adjusted basis, Roger said it earned $585 million or $1.13 per diluted share for its most recent quarter, up from an adjusted profit of $525 million or $1.02 per diluted share a year earlier.Analysts on average expected Rogers to have adjusted earnings of $1.08 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon. Revenue was anticipated to come in at nearly $3.88 billion for the quarter ended Dec. 31.Rogers is the first of Canada’s three big national wireless carriers to report its 2018 fourth-quarter and year-end results. BCE and Telus are to issue their reports in early February.Last week, Shaw Communications Inc. — Western Canada’s largest cable company and owner of Freedom Mobile — beat analyst estimates with a nearly 70 per cent increase in its first-quarter profit. read more

Brock mosquito expert part of documentary on national TV this week

FIona Hunter in a scene from The Nature of Things documentary ZAPPEDA Brock University medical entomologist will be part of a new Canadian-made documentary about mosquitoes airing this week on the CBC’s long-running science series The Nature of Things with David Suzuki.The episode, ZAPPED: The Buzz About Mosquitoes, featuring Fiona Hunter, professor of biological sciences, will air this Thursday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m.The show, which has been more than two years in the making, will provide an up-close look at the increasing power these tiny insects have to survive, adapt and unwittingly spread disease around the world in the process.“The focus of the program is that there are hundreds of mosquito species out there and not all of them carry diseases, some of them are just pests,” says Hunter. “But some of them we definitely need to watch out for.”During the summer of 2011, Hunter took part in filming for the project in her old lab in the Mackenzie Chown Complex, at her farm, and at Entomogen, a St. Catharines-based environmental consulting and scientific research firm established in 1999 by Hunter and Mike Bidochka, also a professor of biological sciences at Brock.This past summer, the film crew came back to town to get a few last-minute shots of Hunter in action in order to finish off the project.“By this point, they had already done an immense amount of filming,” says Hunter. “They just needed to come back this past summer to tweak things a little more.”“There were some shots that they just could not get,” she says. “They couldn’t get any good shots of swarms of mosquitoes.”FIona Hunter in a scene from The Nature of Things documentary ZAPPEDHunter explains that in a YouTube video that the show’s producers have posted online to promote the documentary, she is seen using a sweep net to capture mosquitoes so that the producers could film close-ups of the insects.“We actually put dry ice down in the valley to try and draw them in,” says Hunter. “But we only got two or three mosquitos.”“One of my former PhD students then reared mosquitoes for the producers, to help them get the specific shots that they needed,” she says. “She did that out of her garage in Fonthill because that was during the move of my lab into the Cairns Complex earlier this summer.”“There’s been a really big Brock component to all of this,” adds Hunter.Several current and former Brock students, who have worked and studied under Hunter, took part in the making of the documentary. Many of these students have also gone on to become leading medical entomologists and mosquito experts in Canada and around the world.“We couldn’t have made the documentary without Fiona,” says Alan Burke, the director of ZAPPED.“Right from the get-go, she welcomed us over to Brock to answer all our questions. She opened up her lab to us and introduced us to other entomologists,” he says. “Throughout the project, she was our go-to person for information about mosquitoes’ life-cycle and natural history, as well as West Nile surveillance.”“Plus, she and her students supplied us with mosquitoes,” adds Burke, “and some bodies willing to be bitten!” read more

Baseball Noah McGowans second gamewinning hit delivers Ohio State series victory against

Ohio State baseball players mob Noah McGowan following his walk-off double Sunday to give Ohio State the 6-5 win against Indiana. Credit: Mac Connor | Ohio State AthleticsSenior third baseman Noah McGowan laid on the ground next to third base. The hero of Saturday’s game against Indiana hit the eventual game-winning home run in the series’ second contest, but Sunday was different. He didn’t just win a game. He won a series.In the rubber match of the series, McGowan hit a walk-off double in the 12th inning to deliver the Buckeyes a 6-5 win against No. 8 Indiana.He was on the ground because a mob led by Ohio State junior catcher Jacob Barnwell tackled him following the shot into right field that knocked off the Hoosiers (29-8, 7-4 Big Ten) Sunday at Bill Davis Stadium.Now with another ranked win and a series victory against the top team in the Big Ten conference, Ohio State (27-11, 8-4 Big Ten) has started to stack its resume with just four conference series remaining in the year.“You read the national, social media, nobody’s said a fricking word about Ohio State all year long,” head coach Greg Beals said. “So hopefully we made a statement. And if nobody talks about it, we don’t care, that’s fine. We’ll just keep doing what we do.”  Inning after inning, Beals and Indiana head coach Chris Lemonis played bullpen chess, throwing their best relievers into play against two of the best lineups in the conference.The Buckeyes used a collection of four relievers. But as usual, they relied heavily on senior Seth Kinker.Ohio State tied the ball game an inning and a third into Kinker’s stint, then a deadlock began. Kinker held Indiana scoreless in the top of the ninth, but the Buckeyes couldn’t deliver a win in the bottom half. The cycle repeated itself until McGowan’s double finally won it in the 12th.“I don’t know what more I can ask [Kinker] to do,” Beals said. “Tough competitor, man.”Kinker kept the same calm demeanor throughout his 5.1-inning stint.“When I get on the mound I’m a completely different person,” Kinker said. “I’m not the goofy guy that talks a ton in the clubhouse before the game, during the game, until I go down to the pen. Once I go down to the pen, once I get loose I don’t worry about anything but me getting on that rubber and facing the guy that’s in the box.”Indiana also featured four relievers with sophomore Cal Krueger carrying most of the load with 3.2 innings of work.Junior designated hitter Brady Cherry gave Ohio State its first lead of the game on a laser of a home run in the second inning that knocked in Cowles.McGowan’s game-winning hit and game-tying hit could not have been much different. The game-winner was a drive into the gap while the base hit to tie the game was a bloop single that scored sophomore shortstop Noah West.Indiana took its third lead of the game in the seventh inning on an RBI single by sophomore first baseman Scotty Bradley that scored junior second baseman/pitcher Matt Lloyd.The Buckeyes crafted a response in the following inning, loading the bases with one out for senior left fielder Tyler Cowles. He delivered a single to score junior second baseman Kobie Foppe and tie the game at five.Both teams’ shortstops made game-changing plays. West chopped down senior right fielder Logan Sowers at home plate to prevent a run in the third inning. Indiana sophomore Jeremy Houston finished with five assists.Minnesota comes to Columbus next weekend, and Ohio State hopes to maintain the chip on its shoulder.“I don’t want to be ranked,” Kinker said. “We got a logo that everyone knows across our jerseys every single day. They’re gonna know who we are, they want to overlook us then let them do it.” read more

Prince Philip crash Police investigating Duke car crash which left two women

The Duke’s car was seen to “tumble” across a road near the Sandringham Estate following the collision, with an eyewitness reporting that he was helped from his car before immediately asking whether others were “alright”. Police are investigating a car crash in which the Duke of Edinburgh was left bleeding and two women were hospitalised.  Two female passengers of the second car, a Kia, went to hospital with injuries, while a baby travelling with them was left unharmed…. The Duke, 97, has survived the serious car accident with no injuries, according to the palace, with a witness claiming his Land Rover turned over several times as it “careered” across a busy road near to the Sandringham Estate. read more

Rick and Morty is coming to the HTC Vive and you can

first_imgTime to get riggidy riggidy wrecked, son! Adult Swim’s animated sci-fi sitcom Rick and Morty is coming to the HTC Vive and whatever the game is will debut this weekend at San Deigo Comic-Con.Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland has been a vocal supporter of virtual reality in his personal life, even claiming to have a list of ideas for future VR games. Sometime Roiland would use his Vive to hang out in AltSpaceVR where a few of his exploits ended up migrating to YouTube.Roiland was a big fan of the Job Simulator VR game by developer Owlchemy Labs which lead to discussions between the two. The week before Comic-Con, the Labs unveiled their newest project with this teaser:The game looks similar to Job Simulator, but skinned with some cool Rick and Morty things. From the show, you can see Krombopulos Michael’s business card and obviously the Plumbus plays a featured role in the tease.Also, this weird blueprint that implies “Youseeks,” are something like eyeless Pokémon heads?If you happen to be in San Diego during Comic-Con, you can stop by the Adult Swim on the Green station ( 11am – 6pm, behind the Convention Center at Convention Way & 5th Ave Pier) to play some Virtual Rickality and be the first to tell the world what the game actually is.The official statement on the release and San Diego Comic-Con tease from Owlchemy hints that you might be able to go beyond the Smith’s house and maybe even beyond…this world!We’ve been working in secret for months, optimizing plumbus physics and working on the intricacies of Rick’s flask. Now we’re ready to give you all a hint of what’s to come! (Spoiler alert: you can totally jump through portals in VR!) Maybe you can visit the Council of Ricks at the Citadel of Ricks? Maybe you can travel to another world and, like Job Simulator, create your very own Plumbus (ever wonder how a Plumbus is made?).All Virtual Rickality has to do as a Rick and Morty experience is let us interact with the Rick and Morty universe, but because the show has a science fiction base, the options for how this game could grow are substantial. What if one day you could visit Blips and Chitz and actually play Roy?last_img read more

Vancouver doctor son die on scuba diving tour in Mexico

first_imgA Vancouver doctor and his 27-year-old son died Saturday in a scuba diving accident in the Pacific Ocean near Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.Tom Dyehouse, 57, of Camas was the medical director for Legacy Medical Group Family Wellness in Vancouver.“We do not have many details at this time, but we have been told this accident also took the life of his son, Graeme,” according to a written statement issued Monday morning by Legacy Medical Group.Dyehouse had been with Family Wellness for more than 16 years prior to its recent transition to become part of Legacy.The doctor, his wife, Cheryl, 57, and their four adult sons were all on the trip. They were on a scuba diving tour to Gordo Banks, about 8 miles off the coast from San Jose del Cabo, when Tom Dyehouse and Graeme Dyehouse got separated from the group, KGW-TV reported.Tour descriptions online describe it as an advanced dive due to the depth and heavy seas, and can feature strong currents and changing visibility.last_img read more

Spice Girls Announce 2019 Reunion Tour Without Posh Spice

first_img Email Facebook News The British girl group—sans Victoria Beckham—that took the ’90s pop world by storm is back to share their message of girl power with their first tour in a decade, with dates set for summer 2019 in the U.K.Ana YglesiasGRAMMYs Nov 5, 2018 – 1:18 pm The legendary Brit-pop girl group has answered every 90s kids’ nostalgia-filled prayers and is ready to inject the world with a fresh dose of girl power we haven’t seen since they took to the stage at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Today, Nov. 5, the Spice Girls announced they are reuniting in a U.K. for their first tour in a decade, yet without Posh Spice aka entrepreneur/fashion designer Victoria Beckham. Spice Girls Announce 2019 Reunion Tour spice-girls-announce-2019-reunion-tour-without-posh-spice Spice Girls Announce 2019 Reunion Tour Without Posh Spice Twitter Geri Horner, Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm and Emma Bunton, perhaps best known by their stage names Ginger Spice, Scary Spice, Sporty Spice and Baby Spice, respectively, are ready to bring their message of positivity and female empowerment back to their home country. The four members of the group are set to tour the U.K. with six dates in June 2019.Fans have hoped for a Spice Girls reunion—be that new music, a TV special or a tour—for years, with speculation ramping up over the last year. In October 2017 Horner said in an interview; “I really pushed to get everyone back together. I still love the girls and there are other bits and bobs in the pipeline.” The most recent time the group performed together was at the London Olympics in 2012, with all five members performing a medley of their hits on stage. The last time the group toured together was in 2007 for a reunion tour, seven years after they parted ways.While Beckham is not part of the lineup for the reunion tour due to “business commitments” with her namesake fashion brand and other entrepreneurial endeavors, she did share a message of positive wishes to her groupmates:”Being in the Spice Girls was a hugely important part of my life and I wish my girls so much love and fun as they go back on tour, I know they will put on an amazing show and the fantastic fans past and present are going to have a wonderful time!”While the rest of the group—and their fans—would love for a full-force reunion with all five members, the show must go on. As Horner shared, “I am so excited, together we celebrate girl power with our fans and the next generation and everyone is welcome.”Tour dates and ticket info can be found at the group’s website. Massive Attack To Celebrate 21 Years Of ‘Mezzanine’ With 2019 Anniversary TourRead morelast_img read more

House OKs Timber Payments But Alaskans Cant Count on It

first_imgA federal revenue-sharing program called Secure Rural Schools has been a million-dollar boon to some Alaska cities and boroughs, mostly in Southeast. Despite the name, the money doesn’t just go to schools, and these days it’s not at all secure. But a two-year extension of Secure Rural Schools has advanced in Congress.Download AudioThe extension was tacked onto a bill on an unrelated subject, Medicare funding, the so-called “Doc fix” bill. The U.S. House passed the bill last week. The Senate is likely to take it up week after next.National Association of Counties spokesman Brian Namey says municipalities and school districts in 41 states depend on their SRS money not only for education, but also for roads and emergency services. Namey says that creates a broad base of support and he’s optimistic.“Our allies on Capitol Hill are hearing this call from boroughs across Alaska and counties across the country that these programs need to be reauthorized and fully funded,” Namey said.Secure Rural Schools grew out of a 1908 law that gave local governments 25 percent of federal timber receipts from nearby forests. But then in the 1990s, the national timber harvest declined dramatically, so Congress created a new program to base payments on what a community’s harvest used to be. Last year, Alaska communities got $14 million from it, but the program expired at the end of the fiscal year.Its extension seems to have hitched a good ride with the Medicare Doc-fix bill. The vote in the House was overwhelming, President Obama supports it, and senators are under a lot of pressure to pass it. But opposition is growing, particularly from deficit hawks. The free-market advocacy group Club for Growth, for instance, wants to stop the Doc Fix, and it’s warning lawmakers their vote on the bill will be part of their annual scorecard. Club for Growth spokesman Doug Sachtleben  says the bill is an expensive package.“The issue for us was not only do you lump a lot of stuff together in one bill but you do it without off-setting 100 plus billion dollars,” he said.Club for Growth doesn’t have a position on Secure Rural Schools itself, but Sachtleben is skeptical of the House approach.“If it’s worthwhile, important issue, it ought to have the merit to be debated by senators, instead of being put into a bill predominantly intended to be a Medicare reimbursement rate bill,” said Sachtleben.In Alaska, borough managers like Steve Giesbrecht of Petersburg aren’t sure they can rely on Secure Rural Schools money. Petersburg, with a population of just over 3,000, is one of a handful of Alaska communities that have reaped more than $1 million a year from SRS. Giesbrecht says he’s not counting on it continuing.What we heard when we were in DC related to Secure Rural Schools was secure rural school is going to go away. We may get an extension or two in a wind-down, but there’s just not a lot of support for it.Giesbrecht say the borough has saved much of its SRS money in a schools saving account, so losing the payments won’t cause an immediate crisis. But at the same time, the state is slashing its spending, and another federal program that funds local governments, PILT, or Payment-in-Lieu of taxes, is in jeopardy. Giesbrecht says he’s working to launch a community dialog on the tough choices ahead for Petersburg.KFSK News Director Joe Viechnicki contributed to this report from Petersburg.last_img read more

All set for IDay fete at Golconda Fort

first_imgHyderabad: The stage is set for 73rd Independence Day celebrations at the historic Golconda Fort on Thursday. All arrangements have been made for parade and flag hoisting by Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao. The fort has been tastefully decorated with colourful lights. Telangana state police and Odisha police force will participate in the parade. “Our special contingent force is going to represent Telangana in Bhubaneshwar,” according to police sources. While the celebrations at the Golconda Fort would begin from 7.30 am, Chief Minister will unfurl the flag at 9.30 am. Also Read – With 61 feet high, Khairatabad Ganesh claimed to be tallest idol in India Advertise With Us According to officials, KCR will showcase the achievements of the government and various welfare measures that have been taken up by the state government and will also explain what it proposes to do for the people in its second term. The government employees are keeping their fingers crossed as they expect that KCR will make some announcement about the pending issue of PRC and notification for jobs for youth. Also Read – Unidentified assailants killed a person in Saidabad PS limits Advertise With Us But officials said that KCR is unlikely to announce fresh sops in view of growing financial burden on state exchequer after the enforcement of Rythu Bandhu scheme which costs nearly Rs 15,000 crore per annum. However, he may mention about the governments assurance to waive off farm loans. The scheme, which is to be launched this year, is likely to figure in the speech, sources say. Advertise With Us Meanwhile, elaborate security arrangements have been made at the venue for the conduct of the celebrations on a grandscale. Special forces were deployed and the entire fort was under electronic surveillance. Several cultural programmes are also being organised. Medals and awards will be presented to the police personnel and government officials who excelled in their services.last_img read more

Flipkart beats Amazon hollow with sales figures of Rs 2600 crore for

first_imgFlipkart beats Amazon June salesReutersOnline retailer Flipkart seems to be on a roll even as the e-commerce market has been witnessing a slow growth for a while now. Flipkart has once again left Amazon behind and reported gross sales of over Rs 2,600 crore as against Amazon’s figures of over Rs 2,400 crore for the month of June.Compared to Amazon, Flipkart had recorded higher sales in May as well and the brand is known to get a boost from its fashion retailers Myntra and Jabong. Apart from its fashion sites, Flipkart’s sales have seen a boost due to a high demand of smartphones and it has tied up with numerous popular brands, consistently conducting flash sales.While Flipkart did not comment on its business and gross sales, Amazon said that the retailer was clearly growing at a fast pace even though the industry was witnessing a slowdown.”We continued to see high growth momentum in the quarter, majorly driven by some big brand launches, the tremendous success of the Great Indian Sale in May and continued expansion and reach in India, with 80% of new customers in the quarter coming from lower- tier geographies,” Live Mint quoted Amazon’s spokesperson as saying.”We track independent third parties that measure customer visits and app behaviour metrics and note that we continue to grow ahead of the market. We are delighted and humbled by the trust from our customers, to lead in India on things that matter to our customers in just four years of our business, while continuing to innovate for India and introduce new offerings.”Meanwhile, Amazon has been making aggressive efforts to expand its business in India and invested Rs 1,680 crore in its Indian arm earlier this month. This is being seen as Amazon’s move to conquer the Indian online retail market, which is currently dominated by home-grown e-commerce firm Flipkart.Amazon founder Jeff Bezos recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the US and spoke about the brand’s commitment to India. “Always impressed, energized by optimism and invention in India. Excited to keep investing and growing,” Bezos tweeted. Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, August 14, 2015. [Representational Image]Reuters fileReiterating Bezos’ vision, an Amazon spokesperson opened up on the recent investment and said: “We remain committed to our India business with a long-term perspective to make e-commerce a habit for Indian customers and to invest in the necessary technology and infrastructure to grow the entire ecosystem.We are delighted and humbled by the trust from our customers, to lead in India things that matter to our customers in just four years of our business, while continuing to launch innovative India-first initiatives as well as completely new offerings like Prime and Prime video.”On the other hand, Flipkart too intends to widen the gap when it comes to its lead in the online marketplace and has been bidding for bleeding online marketplace Snapdeal. The market leader had made a buyout offer of about $800 million on July 4, which Snapdeal had declined. It later is said to have revised its offer to $900-$950 million and Snapdeal was said to be evaluating the new offer.last_img read more

Pokemon Go is raking in cash because people are lazy

first_imgPokémon Go has exploded in popularity since it started rolling out officially last week. It’s really become a cultural phenomenon as normally solitary mobile gamers venture out into the real world to congregate at Pokéstops and gyms on their quest to be the very best and catch ’em all. This is a free-to-play game, but mobile analytics firm Superdata estimates that it’s raking in money at an unprecedented rate.In its first four days, Superdata estimates Pokémon Go made $14 million. Interesting, but how? Pokémon Go encourages you to go outside, but you can avoid some of the extra walking around if you don’t mind dropping some cash.For the uninitiated, Pokémon Go is a location-based augmented reality game. The world in the game is populated by Pokémon that you can capture in Poké Balls, but you often have to wander around in the real world to find them. When your roster is powerful enough, you can compete at local Pokémon gyms. The gyms are actually based in physical real-world locations, so you have to go there to play the game. There are also locations known as Pokéstops, and this is how Pokémon Go pushes people to spend a little money.Your resources in Pokémon Go are limited. For example, capturing a powerful Pokémon might take a few Poké Balls. There are also special items that draw in Pokémon, making them easier to capture. You can get more supplies by going to the local Pokéstops. These might be located at statues, churches, landmarks, or parks. When you get within a few feet of the Pokéstop, you can get a couple free items to continue the game. Some areas have more Pokéstops than others, but most of the time you’ll have to walk at least a few blocks to hit a few of them and get stocked up.What if you don’t want to do all that extra walking just to keep playing? Well, you can pay money. This is why Pokémon Go is probably making bank. People are still pretty lazy when playing a game that requires them to walk around. There are in-app purchases from $0.99 to $99.99 for Pokécoins. The coins can be exchanged for Poké Balls, as well as other less essential items. $0.99 works out to 20 Poké Balls, for example. All free-to-play games do similar things; they charge money as a shortcut to the grinding. However, in Pokémon Go the grinding is walking. It’s exercise.If Superdata is right, people are buying a lot of coins. Maybe this is just a fad and earnings will eventually drop off, but it’s still a huge windfall for Niantic and Nintendo. Photo Credit: NobodyEpic on Twitter<><> Every Pokemon’s dream is to find a trainer that let’s them get lit AF.last_img read more

Study shows prehuman ancestors adapted to metabolize ethanol long before humans learned

first_imgCredit: Ben Mills via Wikimedia Commons Humans have been consuming beverages that make them tipsy, drunk and/or sick for a very long time, of that there is little doubt. But why do we have the ability to metabolize ethanol in the first place? That’s what the team set out to answer. They began by sequencing an enzyme called ADH4—it’s what’s responsible for allowing us to metabolize ethanol. Other primates have it as well, but not all metabolize ethanol as well as we do. By sequencing ADH4 found in a 28 mammal species including 17 that were primates, the team was able to create a family tree of sorts based on ethanol metabolizing ability. The team then tested those sequences for their metabolizing ability by synthesizing nine kinds of the ADH4 enzyme. Doing so showed the researchers that most early primates had very little ability to metabolize ethanol for most of their early history.Then, about 10 million years ago, some of the ancestors of modern humans suddenly were able to do a much better job of it, while others that diverged and led to apes such as orangutans, did not. This discovery led the team to wonder what might have occurred to cause this to come about. They note that other evidence has shown that around this same time, the planet cooled slightly, making life a little more difficult for our tree dwelling ancestors. They suggest they began climbing down out of the trees to eat the fruit that fell, which gave them a food advantage and a reason for developing the ability to metabolize ethanol—otherwise they would have become too drunk from eating the fermenting fruit to defend themselves or live otherwise normal lives. If true, the theory would also offer a major clue as to why our ancestors became terrestrial. Study unlocks secret of how fruit flies choose fruit with just the right amount of ethanol (—A team of researchers in the U.S. has found evidence to support the notion that our pre-human ancestors were able to metabolize ethanol long before our later ancestors learned to take advantage of fermentation—to create alcoholic beverages. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they genetically sequenced proteins from modern primates and used what they found to work backwards to discover just how long ago our ancestors have been able to metabolize ethanol. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore furthercenter_img © 2014 Citation: Study shows pre-human ancestors adapted to metabolize ethanol long before humans learned about fermentation (2014, December 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Hominids adapted to metabolize ethanol long before human-directed fermentation, PNAS, Matthew A. Carrigan, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1404167111AbstractPaleogenetics is an emerging field that resurrects ancestral proteins from now-extinct organisms to test, in the laboratory, models of protein function based on natural history and Darwinian evolution. Here, we resurrect digestive alcohol dehydrogenases (ADH4) from our primate ancestors to explore the history of primate–ethanol interactions. The evolving catalytic properties of these resurrected enzymes show that our ape ancestors gained a digestive dehydrogenase enzyme capable of metabolizing ethanol near the time that they began using the forest floor, about 10 million y ago. The ADH4 enzyme in our more ancient and arboreal ancestors did not efficiently oxidize ethanol. This change suggests that exposure to dietary sources of ethanol increased in hominids during the early stages of our adaptation to a terrestrial lifestyle. Because fruit collected from the forest floor is expected to contain higher concentrations of fermenting yeast and ethanol than similar fruits hanging on trees, this transition may also be the first time our ancestors were exposed to (and adapted to) substantial amounts of dietary ethanol This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Reprogramming the oocyte

first_img Explore further More information: Oocyte Factors Suppress Mitochondrial Polynucleotide Phosphorylase to Remodel the Metabolome and Enhance Reprogramming, Cell Reports, Volume 12, Issue 7, p1080–1088, 18 August 2015. factors not only drive somatic cell nuclear transfer reprogramming but also augment the efficiency and quality of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) reprogramming. Here, we show that the oocyte-enriched factors Tcl1 and Tcl1b1 significantly enhance reprogramming efficiency. Clonal analysis of pluripotency biomarkers further show that the Tcl1 oocyte factors improve the quality of reprogramming. Mechanistically, we find that the enhancement effect of Tcl1b1 depends on Akt, one of its putative targets. In contrast, Tcl1 suppresses the mitochondrial polynucleotide phosphorylase (PnPase) to promote reprogramming. Knockdown of PnPase rescues the inhibitory effect from Tcl1 knockdown during reprogramming, whereas PnPase overexpression abrogates the enhancement from Tcl1 overexpression. We further demonstrate that Tcl1 suppresses PnPase’s mitochondrial localization to inhibit mitochondrial biogenesis and oxidation phosphorylation, thus remodeling the metabolome. Hence, we identified the Tcl1-PnPase pathway as a critical mitochondrial switch during reprogramming. Citation: Reprogramming the oocyte (2015, August 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Reprogramming in the Egg. Credit: Journal information: Cell Reports (—Among other things, the egg is optimized to process the sperm genome. The cytoplasmic factors that make this possible also give the egg the ability to reprogram the nuclei from other kinds of cells if these nuclei are swapped into the egg. Although this ‘somatic cell nuclear transfer’ is a handy way to generate pluripotent cells (cells very similar to embryonic stem cells, or even clones like Dolly), there is significant logistical and ethical overhead to the procedure. The alternative is to take the ‘transcription factor’ or iPSC reprogramming approach which attempts to induce a pluripotent state from only partial knowledge of the full method used by the eggcenter_img The magic four set of transcription factors (Oct4, Sox2, Myc and Klf4), while just a subset of the class of maternal effect genes, are sufficient to make passable iPSCs. However, as a group of researchers from Singapore note in a recent Cell Reports paper, the main drawback is that they are less efficient at establishing complete, bona fide pluripotency. To try to improve this situation, the researchers screened 20 oocyte-enriched genes for their ability to further induce iPSC reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts which already expressed retroviral versions of the above factors.The only factors that worked—ie. significantly increased the number of alkaline phosphatase positive iPSC colonies—were members of the T-cell leukemia (Tcl1) protein family. The researchers found that Tcl1’s main partner in the cell is an RNA-binding protein called mitochondrial polynucleotide phosphorylase (PnPase). So now things can begin to get interesting. PnPase is a bifunctional enzyme with both exoribonuclease and oligonucleotide polymerase activity. In other words it can dismantle RNA chains and also long heteropolymeric tails.In addition to their own RNA products, mitochondria are noted importers of various nuclear-encoded tRNAs as well the essential aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. Mitochondrial RNA-binding proteins like PnPase are believed to be critical in the import and processing of RNAs in mitochondria. The author’s finding that egg factors can reprogram metabolism by suppressing mitochondrial PnPase has far more general implications for stem cells. For example, although somatic cells rely on oxidative phosphorylation, pluripotent cells preferentially use glycolysis as an energy source and typically have immature mitochondria. Recent work now indicates that the main role of electron transport in proliferating cells, both in development or in cancer, may simply be for the synthesis of aspartate. A new appreciation for the apportioning of mitochondria, again in development of the egg during the so-called germline bottleneck, later in germ cell specification, and in cancer unifies these concepts.The suppression of mitochondrial biogenesis via the Tcl1-PnPase ‘switch’ is just one mechanism the researchers explored. They also found that a closely related homolog, Tcl1b1, could significantly boost the fibroblast somatic reprogramming. They note that PnPase is critical, at least in mice, not only for embryogenesis but for ear, muscle and brain development. They even suggest PnPase could be an important factor in new mitochondrial replacement therapies. Singapore scientists discover rejuvenation factors © 2015 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Learn About Wireframes Before Hiring a Web Developer

first_imgSeptember 30, 2017 Register Now » 4 min read As someone who has been on both sides of the contract, as a freelancer and as a client, one of the most welcome things you can possibly do for a freelancer is assist them with their job in a meaningful way.Are you the client from hell?When it comes to web development, that means two things. First, read through Clients From Hell and strive to never be “that guy.” Second, be ready to present your web developer with a wireframe.When I say the word wireframe, what do you picture? If you’re thinking 80s CGI and polygonal models, you’re a bit off the mark. A web design wireframe is like that polygonal skeleton, but for a website.What’s a wireframe?It’s a graphical layout and design that doesn’t require any coding, image manipulation, or even anything more than putting a pencil to a sheet of graph paper. Just check out some of these examples.Related: Eight Tech Skills Entrepreneurs Must Have to SucceedA wireframe is an incredibly useful tool for a web developer. It shows them exactly what you have in mind and gives them an idea of the scale of various elements, the crucial elements you want included in your pages. The wireframe is sort of the coding trickery they might need to implement to make it all happen.This way you don’t surprise them with “oh, and by the way, I want the navigation on the sidebar” or “hey, actually, can you make that static image a slideshow?”You’ll save time, you’ll save money, and you’ll save the blood, sweat, and tears of both you and your web developer.But wait! I’m scared.If you’re scared about the complexity of a wireframe, don’t worry about it. You don’t have to make a full-scale design of every page on your site. All you really need are the basics. You’ll want to know where you’ll have your navigation and what sort of layout you want for product pages.Related: Five Times You Should Show, Not Tell at WorkYou’ll want a couple of details about how many extra slots you need for article thumbnails or the other related products. Some of the wireframes in the gallery above are very simple, no more than a handful of boxes nested in other boxes, but it’s still enough for a web developer to get started.Plus, remember, it’s part of the developer’s job to help you refine the design. They can tell you “hey, this design is a little cluttered, what if we cut this and moved that over there?”Modern design is a key.They can tell you that modern design standards suggest you shouldn’t have your navigation on the right side in the gutter. They can use your wireframe as a base. It just cuts out the first five or six back-and-forth prototyping phases the developer would normally have to go through to get to this stage with you.Related: Starting Up Smart: Converting Your Vision Into A Viable ProductWireframes are also very easy to create, so long as you have and keep a vision of what you want your site to look like. I already said you can put a pencil to a sheet of paper and make one, but you can also use one of dozens of apps out there.The industry standard that I’ve come across is Balsamiq, which is free to try and cheap to buy. Or you can use other tools like, Moqups, or UXPin for web-based solutions.If you’d rather work from a tablet or mobile device, OmniGraffle works on iOS, Wire Flow works on Android, and Fluid UI works on both.Everything you make is a process.It’s really not as difficult as it looks — or sounds. Remember, producing anything is an iterative process. Going from an idea to a sketch, from a sketch to a wireframe, from a wireframe to a more detailed design, and from there to a prototype is typical.Related: Four Attributes You Must Develop to Achieve EverythingAny amount of help you can bring to your developer will go a long way — and trust me — it’s greatly appreciated. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more