Raiders can’t get started — a big reason they’re 1-7

first_imgFor complete Oakland Raiders coverage follow us on Flipboard.ALAMEDA — There’s nothing wrong with the Raiders that a few short-field drives couldn’t make better.Actually, there would still be a lot wrong with the Raiders, but it’s also true their inability to get decent field position has had made a bad team even worse.The Raiders had 10 possessions in a 34-3 loss to the 49ers in falling to 1-7. All started on their own side of the field with an average drive start of the 24-yard line. The …last_img read more

Evolutionists Publish Racist Book

first_img“Disturbing” is how Robert N. Proctor (Penn State) describes a new book by two prominent evolutionists in the Feb. 5 issue of Nature.1  The book is Race: The Reality of Human Differences by Vincent Sarich and Frank Miele (Westview, 2004), and Proctor has a lot of politically correct diatribe to heap on it, though reluctantly:This is a disturbing book, especially given the stature of its primary author, Vincent Sarich, as one of the founding pioneers of molecular anthropology.  In 1967, in a paper with Allan Wilson, Sarich, then a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, used a simple protein-molecular clock to show that humans share a common ancestor with the great apes from as recently as 5 million years ago – overturning previous estimates of more 20 million years.Miele is a senior editor of Skeptic magazine.  Both men are ardent anticreationists.  Sarich has debated Duane Gish four times, and each time characterized the debate as the “science game” being superior to the “faith game.”  So what is Sarich doing here promoting emphasis on racial differences, in a day when the world is trying to put the abuses of racism behind?  Proctor would like to know.  But in his attack, he thinks evolutionary anthropology can, in moderation, put racial studies to good use:The authors’ ‘case for race’ draws heavily on contentious claims by raciologists such as Arthur R. Jensen and J. Philippe Rushton, notorious for having postulated natural racial hierarchies in intelligence, criminality, athletic performance, sexual endowment and the capacity to accumulate wealth.  This is a shame, because there are good reasons to believe that certain aspects of race are very real, and that important questions of human origins, prehistoric migrations and medical therapeutics can be fruitfully addressed by properly re-examining human biovariation.Here, though, we have an exercise in bombast and overstatement….Flaws in this book are so numerous that it would be difficult to list them all.Proctor is especially upset that they made broad-brushed claims without proof or attribution.  After some examples, he continues that “Stronger claims are made that border on the incendiary,” particularly about affirmative action, intermarriage and eugenics.  He also finds it “remarkable” that the authors would simply accept, “with so little supporting evidence,” a claim of inherent low IQ for sub-Saharan Africans, “ignoring the many ways that such a sweeping and grotesque generalization could be flawed.”  Not all anthropologists were racists, he assures the readers, and proper study of anthropology might find racial studies useful:The authors scoff at the idea of race as a social construct, but the historical account they present is full of idealized white-and-black polarities.  The authors side with Ernst Haeckel over Rudolf Virchow, Madison Grant over Franz Boas, and Carleton Coon over Ashley Montagu.  There is little effort to explore which of the myriad historical ‘realities’ postulated for race might have alternative explanations.    I suspect that the impact of this book could be the opposite of the authors’ intentions.  There is much to be said for studying human genetic variability to explore questions of prehistoric ancestry and migration, and to investigate how different human populations respond to medical interventions.  But the leap from these to immoderate speculations about the permanence of present-day inequalities is likely to give sceptics even more reason to question racial ‘realities’.    Anthropology has a mixed history of dealings with human racial injustice (think of Carleton Coon’s view that Africans became human some 200,000 years after white Europeans).  The present book, so full of flim-flam and loose speculations, is more likely to re-arm than to deflate sceptics.1Robert N. Proctor, “When is it helpful to categorize people according to race?” Nature 427, 487 – 488 (05 February 2004); doi:10.1038/427487a.Mixed history, indeed.  Evolutionists cannot whitewash the atrocities and genocide committed in the name of Darwinian survival of the fittest.  Charlie himself, and many of his followers, were confirmed racists, although some were more ardent than others.  Darwin maintained, at least outwardly, a deep concern for social justice, but Huxley and Haeckel flaunted their European chauvinism.  Francis Galton, Darwin’s cousin and admirer, was the father of eugenics.  (Virchow, by contrast, was a vigorous anti-Darwinist, so Proctor cannot place him in any evolutionary pantheon.)  For more on the racism of the Victorian-era Darwinians, see ch. 8-9 in Janet Browne’s Darwin: The Power of Place (Princeton, 2002).  She describes Darwin’s racist beliefs as expressed in his second-most influential book, The Descent of Man (1871):He ventured onto thorny ground….  His naturalism explicitly cast the notion of race into evolutionary and biological terms, reinforcing contemporary ideas of a racial hierarchy that replicated the ranking of animals.  And he had no scruple in using the cultural inequalities between populations to substantiate his evolutionary hypotheses.  Darwin certainly believed that the moral and cultural principles of his own people, and of his own day, were by far the highest that had emerged in evolutionary history. (p. 345). Darwinian apologists can, and do, point to misguided Christians who used Bible verses to support racism and slavery.  But judging from the quote above, which belief system – evolutionary naturalism or Christianity – leads directly from its core doctrines and founding statements to racism?  Darwin used evolution to explain and rationalize racial differences; the subtitle of his initial revolutionary book was The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.  Yet the Bible teaches that we all descended from one human pair, Adam and Eve.  Paul reinforced this core doctrine of both Christians and Jews when he taught the Athenians that God had made all mankind of one blood (Acts 17:26).  The teachings of Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere are the antithesis of racism.  Jesus continually exalted the outcast, the poor, the underprivileged, and the weak as better than the mighty (the fittest).  So does the rest of Scripture when each passage is understood in context.  Faith, not race, is always the criterion for fellowship in God’s family, whether Rahab, Ruth, the Ethiopian eunuch, Cornelius, or countless others of any nationality, ethnicity, sex, or social standing.  Between Darwinism and Christianity, the core doctrines and teachings of chief spokesmen lead in opposite directions regarding race.    Creationists might have some agreement with Proctor, in that there is some room for analyzing slight variations between people that resulted from their histories (to be able to provide appropriate medical care, for instance), but these variations are not due to differences in human origins or to prehistoric migrations, because the historic migrations of mankind are documented in the Bible.  Biblical creationists explain the skin colors, eye slants, susceptibility to certain genetic diseases and other identifiable characteristics of ethnic groups as resulting from the separation of peoples after the Tower of Babel.  But they would claim these very minor and superficial changes all occurred within just a few thousand years, and in no way reflect on the truth that we are all created equal, and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Proctor’s belief, on the other extreme, would put these “racial” differences far back, millions of years, into our alleged evolutionary ascent from ape-like ancestors.  That could easily provide scientific justification to modern racism.  The Bible, by contrast, teaches that for all who come to the foot of the cross, “there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all” ( Colossians 3:11).  A direct line can be drawn from orthodox Darwinism to racism, but not from the cross of Christ.  (Note also that theistic evolutionism has no advantage over naturalistic Darwinism in this regard.)    Answers in Genesis has taken a lead role in revitalizing the concept that a Genesis understanding of human origins is the solution to racial tensions in the world today.  So Vincent Sarich, the anti-creationist, sowed his core beliefs, and now they have sprouted.  By their fruits you shall know them.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Good-bye Heidelberg Man: You Never Existed

first_img(Visited 2,626 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享2 Is “Heidelberg Man” a non-person?  Some anthropologists are now claiming that so-called Homo heidelbergensis is nothing more than “a paleoanthropologists’ construct.”Artists loved to portray this guy as a a hairy, stocky, beetle-browed ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans that lived supposedly 800,000 to 200,000 years ago.  Trouble is, he may never have existed.  Homo heidelbergensis may have been little more than a paleoanthropologists’ invention, a report by Michael Balter states in Science Magazine.  He attended a  private meeting in southern France where researchers on both sides debated the status of this alleged human ancestor.“If someone kills one person they go to jail,” anthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco noted last month at a meeting here in France’s deep south. “But what happens if you kill off a whole species?” The answer soon became apparent: anguished debate. In the balance was Homo heidelbergensis, a big-brained human ancestor generally seen as a pivotal figure during a murky period of evolution. At the invitation-only meeting, researchers debated whether this species really was a major player—or no more than a paleoanthropologists’ construct.The big-brained H. heidelbergensis has claimed an important perch in the human evolutionary tree: It’s regarded by many as the common ancestor of modern humans and our extinct closest cousins, the Neandertals. Dating to roughly half a million years ago, it is thought to link those species and the earlier H. erectus, which had spread across Africa, Asia, and Europe beginning 1.8 million years ago. But based on a new look at the incomplete fossil evidence, some scientists argue that the picture was much more complicated, and that the transition between small-brained H. erectus and larger brained hominins occurred multiple times. If so, the concept of a single, multicontinental, intermediary species could dissolve into a plethora of hominin specimens with no single name to unite them.Balter is not claiming that no skulls of this creature existed: there are, after all, “11 potential H. heidelbergensis skulls” that Heidelberg defender Philip Rightmire of Harvard  examined.  At issue is whether a suite of characteristics can be defined for a single species, given all the diversity in human skulls in the record, and whether that species shows a transition between Homo erectus and later alleged ancestors.  The history of the Heidelberg Man label appears arbitrary:H. heidelbergensis has a history of controversy. The species is based on a single lower jaw found in 1907 at Mauer, near Heidelberg, in Germany. Estimated at about 600,000 years old, the jaw has an unusually thick ramus—the vertical projection that hinges to the skull—and nothing quite like it has been found since. For decades, the name failed to catch on, until anthropologists including Rightmire and Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London noted distinctive thick brow ridges and large faces in skulls of roughly similar age from sites including Arago; Petralona in Greece; Broken Hill in Zambia; Yunxian in China; and Bodo in Ethiopia. All of these skulls also housed much larger brains than H. erectus, about 1200 cubic centimeters, within range of modern human brains, which average about 1400 cc. (Neandertal brains may be slightly larger.)In the 1970s, Stringer and others postulated a single species spanning Europe, Africa, and Asia, and resurrected the H. heidelbergensis name to describe it. The species’ larger brain was reflected in the complex tools attributed to it, such as wooden spears at Schöningen in Germany (Science, 6 June, p. 1080).Balter seems to be saying that Stringer and his supporters lumped unconnected individuals from across the globe  into the old Heidelberg designation based on just a few traits.  Is that enough to call them a separate species?  Some preferred Africa’s old “Rhodesia Man ” label better.  But now, the champion of the Sima skulls in Spain doubts that the designation Homo heidelbergensis is useful any longer (see 2/03/14).  Others argue that the Mauer skull from Heidelberg that started it all seems to be “one of a kind,” not a representative of a species, when all its traits are considered.Not everybody at the meeting agreed.  Some, like Ian Tattersall  “fought vigorously to save both the species and the simpler, more straightforward view of human evolution that it represents.”  Balter ends with mere hope, stating that “New fossils from this mysterious time period would help.”  He makes no predictions about the upcoming publication of bones from Ethiopia dated from the 300,000-year-old period, other than to state the obvious, “Expect fresh debate when these key fossils make it into print.”This is a good reminder that categories in science are human constructs.  In historical evolutionary scenarios, the story comes first, then the data.  Designations of ancestry are highly theory dependent.  Did Heidelberg Man ever exist?  Only in the imaginations of certain modern people with a particular world view to promote.  They found a few bones to promote their imaginary world, then hired artists to put skin, hair and facial expressions on them, placing them in dioramas with caves, campfires and mammoth bones.  Trouble is, the story is so convoluted and implausible, a number of upshots are doubting the usefulness of the label, while others are fighting “vigorously to save both the species and the simpler, more straightforward view of human evolution that it represents.”  Translation: “It’s been such a useful myth!  We can’t just let it go!  What will the creationists say?”  With the Neanderthal label slipping away (5/06/14, 6/14/12), they’re not about to let the Heidelberg label slide down the same trash chute.It’s not just the ones who killed Heidelberg Man that need to go to jail; it’s the fakes who concocted the myth in the first place.  Notice how “Heidelberg Man” was first proclaimed in 1907, when caveman ancestors were all the rage.  But then, over time, the name fell out of favor.  Then, Chris Stringer and Philip Rightmire decided that the good old label, with its publicity value, could be “resurrected” from obscurity.  So they took bones from across the world and lumped into the old category to propose a simple story of progress from Homo erectus to Neanderthal and modern man.  The whole enterprise is artificial.  The bones didn’t talk; the storytellers did.What’s tragic is to think of the millions of vulnerable students who, over the years, looked at the artwork of Heidelberg Man, and were influenced by their storytelling teachers to think that this diorama represented the true history of the world.  Few of them thought how preposterous the story is.  It requires fully-intelligent, upright-walking, world-traveling people to walk the earth for 30 to 80 times the documented history of mankind without ever learning to build a city, plant a farm, write a message, or even ride a horse.  The story is ludicrous the more you think about it.  The old dates given to the fossils are inextricably tied to the timeline of Darwinian evolution.  They’re not that old.  We also know the evolutionary story is preposterous because it changes every time a new skull turns up (e.g., 6/20/14, 4/01/14, etc.).  This has been the sorry situation for the 14 years we have been covering it: with each new find, cries go up, “Everything you know is wrong!” (e.g., 10/18/13).  You call that scientific progress?The true record of human history is in Genesis, where the names given to tribes and peoples in the Table of Nations match what we know from documented history and from the uniform pattern of human behavior: people don’t sit in caves, they explore the world and invent technology.  You can’t keep people in caves with spears for hundreds of thousands of years!  Humans are restless.  They are explorers and inventors.  They will remake the environment for their comfort, amusement and power.  They form tribes, city-states and nations.  You can’t keep a good man down; that’s why so-called Heidelberg Man was fully human, a descendent of Noah, not an evolutionary wannabe.  He deserves respect as Homo sapiens sapiens, even if his brows were a little odd.  The bones found in caves could be those of outcasts because of peculiar looks.  They could be the bones of pioneer families trying to eke out a living in harsh environments, while their contemporaries were starting farms and towns in the Fertile Crescent.  By contrast, evolutionists have no answers for what sparked the sudden emergence of civilization and writing tens of thousands of years “after” modern man supposedly evolved.The evolutionary species names (Java Man, Heidelberg Man, Peking Man, Piltdown Man) have done tremendous damage to recorded evidence of human history.  They have misled millions of people.  It’s all propaganda, propped up with bones that are not as old as the evolutionists need them to be.  Baloney Detectors need to take the lead in shaming the storytellers into repentance for their sins of propaganda and historical racism (see 5/06/14).  Evolutionary paleoanthropologists are the real cave men, in the Platonic sense.  Don’t fall for the myths of these blind leaders of the blind.last_img read more

Hedge account confusion

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed IngredientsThe first look at the ’18/’19 USDA supply and demand estimates are out.Corn yields are predicted to be 174. If this happens, U.S. carryout would be reduced from the current 2.1 billion to 1.6 billion next year, a 20% decrease. World carryout predictions were also reduced by nearly 20% as well. Both seem to be a long term potential positive for the corn market.Unfortunately the market didn’t react well to the bullish news. Some in the trade were suggesting that large carryout in U.S. and world wheat stocks were just too bearish and that those projections pulled corn down. Still, a weather scare over the next 60 days could shift the course for corn prices, because there is little weather premium in the market. However, if national yields approach 177+, a rally will be unlikely and prices could eventually fall well below $4 for Dec corn futures.Beans also had a little bullish news, as world carryout dropped 6% and U.S. carryout is predicted to decrease 20%. Still, tariff and export pacing uncertainty continues. As in corn, weather issues will be the biggest factor over the next 90 days. Hedge accountsI’m frequently asked how the gains and losses are reflected in my hedge account when I detail out my trades. Hedge accounts can be overwhelming to farmers when they first use them. I was confused the first time I saw how it was done. At first it can be unclear how all the different types of transactions will show up in a hedge account and how profits and losses will be displayed. For example some farmers may not realize that they need to account for the cash price of the check they receive from the end user.That’s why I don’t use my hedge account line items and summaries to determine the value of my corn. Instead, I prefer using spreadsheets where I track all of my trade detail to determine my final prices for the corn I sell. Doing it this way allows me to better understand how market carry, basis, futures and options affected my overall price position.The following illustrates my point. Below I show a summary of my current corn position broken out by futures, carry, basis and options. I then detail out how it would have shown up in my hedge account. Then I show the math of how one can use the hedge account summary to still get to a final cash price. Walking through the tradesI always start with my original sold futures price, the spread or market carry I collected, any premiums received from options trades and the basis value I sold to determine my final cash price.Following is my current 2017 corn positions (52% sold futures position) that I shared last week:Current Position$3.57 – Futures$0.05 – Average Market Carry From Dec to May futures$0.09 – Market Carry premium from May to July futures$0.64 – Options Premium$4.35 – Equivalent value against July Futures-$.42 – Basis verses the July futures picked up on the farm$3.93 – Final Cash Price picked up on the farmBasis history — I set my basis on 50% of my ’17 crop back in March to be picked up on my farm in June/July for -.42. When I set the basis with an end user I give them cash grain in June/July and they give me futures, July in this case, so both of our positions remain equal in our respective accounts.Side note: This is a very common transaction and how most big grain companies sell grain to one another. Instead of exchanging futures with an end user, I could have just bought my futures position back in the July contract. However, doing it this way assures that I won’t have any price risk between when I call the end user to price the grain and when I call my broker to buy the futures back. Either way of doing the trade will cost me the same amount in commissions. Dates and summaries of the above trades in my hedge account3/5/18 — I set my basis on 50% of my ’17 crop to be picked up on my farm in June/July for -42 cents. As stated above, when I exchanged futures with the end user, they gave me July futures at $3.93 (the July futures value on 3/5) because I was giving them cash grain. This means the end user will write me a check for $3.51 ($3.93 + (-.42) cents basis) after the grain has been picked up off my farm. My hedge account after the exchange showed that I was long July futures at $3.93.4/20/18 — Some of my options got exercised. I also had some sales already on from previous trades that were already short May futures at $3.57 futures + 5 cents of Market Carry from previous futures months that were eventually rolled to May futures. My account will show that I’m short May futures for $3.62.**The actual value in my account might have been a different value to get to that point, but I would have incurred a profit or loss in past trades up to this point that would have made the value of corn in my account this level.4/24/18 — I rolled my May position to July and collected 9 cents of market carry profit. That was done by buying the May futures back at $3.79 and selling July at $3.88. That transaction means that I’m buying my short May futures back and selling July futures. Because I was long July futures from the basis trade those contracts are offset and disappear from my hedge account as well as the May futures. How my hedge account looked after each trade3/5 — Exchanged futures with end user, causes long July futures at $3.934/20 — Options were exercised against the May, caused short May futures at $3.624/24 — Bought back May futures to collect carry, caused long May futures at $3.794/24 — Sold July futures to collect market carry, caused short July futures at $3.88 Hedge accounts aren’t always nice and neatAfter the 4/24 market carry trades, both my May and July positions disappeared from my account and it looked like the following losses happened:May futures that had been sold for $3.62 were bought back for $3.79 = 17 cent lossJuly futures which were given to me when I set my basis for $3.93 were sold for $3.88 = 5 cent lossThose two trades combined are a 22-cent loss that must be subtracted from my final cash price I’ll get from the end user in July. That means the value of my grain is worth $3.29 ($3.51cash price – .22 hedge loss). However, as I mention above in my positions, I still have 64 cents of options premium that I’ve collected in my hedge account along the way. I now need to add that value to the $3.29 price and it makes my true cash value for my grain $3.93.As you can see, by doing the long version of the math in the hedge account, the final results are the same, but it was more confusing getting there than the preferred way I showed above. Common hedge account confusion: Example market carryOne of the most common mistakes I see farmers make when they start doing their own hedging is that they get lost in the math and forget where or why the position is what it is. Following is an example of that.Let’s say a farmer sold some corn for $4 last July. Then in November they rolled their futures forward to March to capture carry. On 11/29/17 when Dec corn was $3.36 and Mar was $3.50, a farmer would receive 14 cents of carry premium. In this example a farmer has actually sold corn for $4.14 against March — the $4 original sale plus the 14 cents of carry.But two months later in January, panic sets in when the farmer is reviewing their hedge account statement and sees a sale of $3.50. How can this be? They never would sold at such a low level. They may think, “I must have made a mistake.”The farmer didn’t make a mistake, they just forgot that they bought back their $4 Dec future sale at $3.36 in late November and then sold March futures for $3.50 to collect carry. They made the right trade all along and profited from the carry, they just needed to add that profit in the hedge account to their current position. So, a $4 sale bought back at $3.36 is a profit of 64 cents. If they take their current position of $3.50 sale against the March and add that 64 cents of profit from the Dec trade in their account they arrive at $4.14 ($3.50 + .64)While capturing carry is relatively simple and low risk, it can trip up farmers when they review their hedge accounts in the future. The only thing that matters with carry is the spread level between the two months. The actual price of the two months doesn’t matter. Gains or losses from carry/spread trades don’t show up as a line item anywhere on the hedge statements. A farmer must keep detailed notes, otherwise it may be easy to forget these kind of details when reviewing trades or positions several months later. The importance of keeping detailed recordsI never open a hedge account statement and assume I know what my cash corn value is by looking at the values listed. Instead, I start with a very detailed spreadsheet that shows every trade I make with the following details:DatePriceWhat futures contractWhat % of productionWhich crop year it’s hedged forWhy I made the trade.Then when I roll my futures forward to collect carry, I enter each of those trades separately on their own line. That way I can see how much profit I made from carry/storage. I also detail out every basis trade so I can determine my final cash price.Finally I keep track of every options trade I make throughout the year, just like I do with futures. All profits and losses from options must be add (or subtracted) to determine my final cash price. Make the right trades and the math will work outMy top priority is making the right trades for my farm operation. I don’t worry if I have a positive or negative trade in my hedge account. My hedge account doesn’t always show the full story because it doesn’t include the cash price I get from the end users. Instead, I keep detailed notes of all my trade independently to ensure profitability and minimize risk.This process may sound complicated or overwhelming to some, but it’s necessary and gets easier with practice. I also suggest running the math on every equation at least two or three times to make sure you have accounted for everything. You may also consider finding someone knowledgeable in grain marketing to help you navigate your position and check your math as well. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more

Reader Survey: What Do You Want In iOS 7?

first_imgTags:#Apple#iOS#iOS 7#iPad#iPhone Related Posts With the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) mere weeks away, anticipation for the next version of Apple’s mobile operating system is about to reach a fevered pitch. As the rumor mill revs up in preparation, we thought we’d ask you, dear readers, what features you’d most like to see in iOS 7? (Take our survey below.)The pressure on Apple to push out a substantial iOS upgrade hasn’t been this intense in some time. After all, this will be first major release since the Great Maps Debacle of 2012 and, more important, since Jony Ive took over as the head of Apple’s Human Interface Design team. (See also: Why Apple Really, Really Needs To Kill It WIth iOS 7)Indeed, most of the chatter about iOS 7 so far has been about what it will look like. Flatter. Fewer skeuomorphic design elements. A total overhaul, some have suggested. iOS could certainly use a visual refresh, but there’s a far more important question: What will it do? Screw The Skeuo-Whatever. What Will iOS 7 Do?Common requests include multi-user login, more robust security options, an overhaul of the dull Mail app and enhanced enterprise and BYOD features. Inevitably, we’ll see Siri learn a few more tricks. Apple Maps will continue to improve.As always, there’s a lesson or two to be learned from the jailbreaking community. Expect to see a few features lifted from Cydia when iOS 7 is unveiled in June. Plenty of us would love to have the ability to choose new default apps for things like email, maps and Web browsing, but such a move would probably play too much to Google’s benefit for Apple to stomach. More generally, there’s a certain pressure on Apple to remain competitive with Android. In the early days, Android was rusty and small enough for Apple to largely ignore in its product development. Now the competition is very real, with Android-based phones and tablets getting sleeker and more functional all the time. If nothing else, this might mean that Apple will need to consider making iOS more customizable and less restrictive. Be heard! Take our survey, below, and be sure to elaborate further in comments if you’d like. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img john paul titlow What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

First U.S.-Canada border self-driving test to take place soon

first_imgBreak the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… Related Posts IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A… David Curry Tags:#Autonomous#Canada#Continental#driverless#Magna#Michigan#Ontario#Self-Driving center_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… The first autonomous border crossing is set to take place in the next few months. Auto manufacturer Continental and vehicle supplier Magna plan to send two self-driving vehicles from southeastern Michigan to Sarnia, Ontario, according to Engadget.Parts of the route will be handled by human drivers, but the team hope most of it to be autonomous. The switch from U.S. to Canadian road signs, speed limits, and driving peculiarities will be a difficult transition for a self-driving vehicle, which normally drives in the same city for months.See Also: Waymo’s driverless cars spend day with emergency vehiclesContinental said it will use a mixture of Lidar, radar, and cameras for the self-driving system, similar to what most automakers and tech firms use in regular tests. It did not mention which brand of car it would use for the test, although it is part of the BMW self-driving consortium.The Michigan-Ontario border crossing is one frequented by freight trucks, which are the most likely to see automation in the near term, according to a report by market research firm Forrester.Continental has made a few significant moves in the past six months, to make it a primary player in the development of self-driving vehicles. It started testing a shuttle route in Frankfurt and announced a major investment in autonomous software and parts. 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…last_img read more

8 Creative Videos with Unusual Aspect Ratios

first_imgThe following videos demonstrate the creative power of non-traditional aspect ratios.There are a lot of rules when it comes to video production and filmmaking: the 180 degree rule, the rule of thirds, etc. But when it comes to aspect ratios, it’s less concreate. Here are a few examples of videos that have broken away from 16:9 and utilized a non-traditional aspect ratio to their creative advantage.To get the full effect click the full screen button when watching each video. 1. Everything I Can See From HereAspect Ratio: 1:1.4Everything I Can See From Here is a short film directed by Sam Taylor and Bjorn Aschim for The Line, an animation collective based in London. The film takes place in a dystopian future and features some really interesting animation, sound design, and color work. The film uses it’s skinny aspect ratio to convey a feeling of openness and isolation.2. CityscapeAspect Ratio: 4:1Serving as the official music video for Mike Luck’s Cityscape EP, this video features a car driving through a retro-future desert landscape. The wide aspect ratio is similar to that of the viewing angle you might see if you were looking through a car windshield.3. CRYSTALSAspect Ratio: 4:1In what can only be described as a modern Fantasia, Crystals is a collaboration between artist Bruno Levy and DJ/composer Kate Simko. Crystals is a documenatry set to music, showing the process of how crystals are made. To get the up-close shots, director Bruno Levy used a camera attached to a microscope.4. Hamer Hall – EvolutionAspect Ratio: 6:1Evolution, is a short film showcasing the history of Melbourne, Australia. The video was custom created to be displayed on 6 LED monitors. The entire project was created by only 6 people under a strict deadline. It is currently on display at Melbourne’s Hamer Hall.5. Jetcoaster RomanceAspect Ratio: 5.3:1Jetcoaster Romance is an audio/visual journey through a fictional 3D world. The video uses it’s wide aspect ratio to create a parallax to the audience. The video essentially puts a 270 degree field of view into a single 2D plane.6. Spherical HarmonicsAspect Ratio: 1.1:1In a world of 16:9, even a video with a square-like aspect ratio is unique. The following video created by Alan Warburton is a great example of how aspect ratios can be used to convey hidden symbolism. The film was created in just 6 weeks for exhibition in The Photographers’ Gallery in London.7. Trace – Kijek/AdamskiAspect Ratio: 5.7:1Trace is a continuously looping video created for exhibition at the Motion Factory in Paris. While the video may seem like it was created using CGI, it is actually a stop motion video that used over 17,000 still images. The video was projected across 20 meters, making it life-like in scale.8. Duck, Death and the TulipAspect Ratio: 4.3:1Duck, Death and the Tulip is a sad 6 minutes, but worthwhile viewing. The premise of the central character is a duck that builds a relationship with death. Just like in Everything I Can See From Here, DDT uses it’s unique aspect ratio to convey a feeling of isolation…which only makes it more depressing.Know of any other non-traditional aspect ratio videos? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

What’s wrong with his pot belly?

first_imgBellies are a touchy topic: we know plenty of men consumed by erratic schedules, following unhealthy lifestyles who are expanding their middles, don’t we? But their large tummies aren’t just an appearance-related issue. What’s worrying is that this puts them at risk of the metabolic syndrome.What is the metabolic syndrome?MS is a combination of health markers that include high blood pressure, LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels, blood sugar and abdominal obesity that increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It is also called Syndrome X and Insulin Resistance Syndrome. According to Dr Anoop Misra, Prevention advisor and chirman, Fortis CDOC Centre of Excellence for Diabetes, Metabolic Diseases and Endocrinology, Fortis Hospital, New Delhi, the metabolic syndrome is on the rise in urban India. His research shows that more than one-third of New healthDelhi’s adult population suffers from it. An article published in the Journal of Association of Physicians of India quotes a Chennai study that found the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome in men to be 40%. According to another report published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, a larger study in Chandigarh that examined the prevalence of MS in both men and women found the rate to be 35%. All published studies on MS seem to point at a prevalence of about 1 in 3 adults, which is incredibly high!What makes us so susceptible?A large body of medical evidence points to central obesity as being a major risk factor for developing the syndrome. Unfortunately Indians are genetically prone to accumulating weight around the midriff. We also tend to turn energy-giving foods (carbs) into fat more easily. Actually, the percentage of fat in our bodies at a particular weight is much higher compared to Caucasian people of the same weight.Known as ‘the thrifty gene’ response, it was an evolutionary blessing secured to survive droughts (by storing energy as fat that could be utilised when food was scarce). But this now puts us at risk of developing both heart disease and diabetes. “Although food is now plentiful, these genes continue to store energy in the form of central fat,” explains Dr Sujoy Majumdar, consultant endocrinologist, Ruby General Hospital, Kolkata.What are the signs?advertisementYou are unlikely to ‘feel’ this condition coming on. According to a study by the British Medical Journal, there is a link between chronic job stress and MS: the higher the stress level, the greater the chance of developing the metabolic syndrome. So if you have been feeling under a lot of pressure lately, it’s time to lighten up.Interestingly, a study (published in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Techno-logy) done in Chennai, found a correlation between snoring and the metabolic syndrome even after the results were adjusted for factors like age, sex, level of physical activity, smoking and drinking. But then that can hardly be a diagnostic criterion. “The best thing to do is to see if your waistline is increasing-if you need a larger size of trousers, watch out. Also, get your blood sugar levels checked and then take it from there,” advises Misra. If you have a family history of diabetes, heart disease and/or obesity, you should get your blood sugar levels checked every year. If they are high then the doctor will recommend other tests (see box on previous page).What can this lead to?A person suffering from the syndrome may not feel its outcome immediately, but it puts that person at grave risk of developing both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as other diseases related to plaque build-ups in the artery walls, like strokes, and even cancer, later in life. According to several studies, MS increases the risk of developing diabetes anywhere between 9 to 30 times and cardiovascular disease two to four times. The results are evident. We are the diabetes capital of the world and soon to be the CVD leaders too. “Worse, the age for CVD-related cardiac arrests resulting in death has come down to 35 years!” says Dr Suman Bhandari, Director of Cardio-logy and Cath lab, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute and Research Centre, New Delhi. Such deaths could be prevented if the person had been screened for MS and made the necessary lifestyle changes with or without medication, Bhandari adds.Prevention at every ageKIDSStart healthy habits early on in life and be a role model. Serve healthy, nutritious food: fibre-rich fruits and veggies, healthy fats, lean meats, etc. Cut out the junk: sugary, starchy, fatty foods and soft drinks that carry empty calories, advises Dr K Srinath Reddy, Prevention advisor and president, Public Health Foundation of India. Also, get them moving. (They need at least 60 minutes of outdoor activities daily.) “Let them go out and play in the park, let them take up a sport and encourage them to move around the house, lifting, carrying objects, etc.,” Reddy adds.advertisementTHE 20S AND 30SIf you haven’t been bothered about health in your teens, time to smarten up now. “Start off with at least 30 minutes of daily exercise and take it up to an hour including cardio, weight training and flexibility workouts,” advises Vesna Jacob, Pilates expert from New Delhi. “Make sure to be active through the day-whether it’s climbing stairs, get ting your own coffee, cooking or cleaning-every step helps.” Make healthy food choices. Quit smoking and reduce drinking. Get enough sleep and do what you can to cut stress (do deep breathing, meditate, relax, slow down). “Observe changes in your body-it tells you a lot-and take immediate action if you need to,” adds Jacob.AFTER AGE 35Your metabolism is slowing down, so you’ll find yourself putting on kilos even with the same diet and exercise. “So watch your diet, don’t skip exercise and go for annual medical check-ups to make sure that all the health parameters are within limits,” advises Bhandari. Also, learn to make yourself and your health a priority, don’t neglect it to fulfill other responsibilities, adds Jacob.How is the metabolic syndrome treated?The idea that so many factors need to be tackled and brought under control may be daunting. But an aggressive effort in changing lifestyles can help tackle the symptoms and even cure the metabolic syndrome, according to Misra. Here’s what you should aim for:Do moderate intensity exercise for at least 30 to 60 minutes daily.Lose weight to achieve a BMI (ratio of weight in kg to height in metre squared) between 18.5 to 23 kg/m2.Adopt healthy eating habits that include reduced intake of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and refined carbs.Attempt to use only litre of oil per family member per month.Increase intake of green leafy vegetables and fruits.Stop smoking, drink moderately.Manage stress.If your symptoms don’t go away with lifestyle modifications, you may need medication. According to Misra, if your blood sugar levels are high then you may be prescribed metformin. Metformin has dual benefits: it decreases insulin resistance and helps with weight loss. If your triglyceride levels are high then fenofibrates are Misra’s first choice as they help bring triglyceride levels down and lower insulin resistance simultaneously. If blood pressure is the primary concern, then ace inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (like lisinopril, telmesartan, olmysartan, etc.) are prescribed. Dr Sujata Kelkar Shetty writes regularly on public health issues and is an NIH-trained research scientist.last_img read more