EXCLUSIVE Tribune Media Services will today launch its new Kindle-specific consumer and personal finance magazine, Cash: Personal Finance for Real People.Cash will be TMS’ third weekly to be distributed exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle, joining Opinionated, a social and political opinion magazine launched in March, and a collaboration with pop culture site Popmatters.com. The magazine will be published weekly on Mondays, with a cost of $.49 per issue and $1.49 for a monthly subscription. “Cash is a very timely new tool created to help American consumers evaluate their options for spending, saving and investing decisions they confront each day,” said Steve Tippie, TMS vice president of marketing and licensing and the magazine’s publisher. “To meet this need, we pull the best advice and information from dozens of sources to tailor a continually-updated handbook to being a smart consumer.”The magazine will draw material from financial experts and publications, including contributors U.S. News and World Report, Kiplinger’s Consumer News Service, Andrew Leckey’s Successful Investing, with its first issue available as a free trial download and subscription basis for Kindle customers.Since its release in 2007, Amazon’s Kindle device has sold more than a quarter of a million units, with texts that account for 10 percent of Amazon’s book sales. TMS must bank on current Kindle users for the release of Cash, since the Kindle is currently out of stock for 11 to 13 weeks over this holiday season, set to appear again in February 2009.
President Trump’s steps so far to back away from existing policies intended to address climate change have not upended the military services’ push to increasingly rely on renewable energy sources to power their installations. But the department’s former installations and energy chief says even if the new administration revisits DOD’s policies on sustainability, it should be careful not to limit efforts that can be justified for reasons beyond their environmental benefits.There is a clear business case for the military to develop new generation capacity on base using solar, wind or other renewable resources as they are generally financed by developers or utilities and can cut an installation’s electricity bill, John Conger, who led the Pentagon’s installations office from 2012 to 2015, told Defense Communities 360. And by enhancing an installation’s energy resilience, if a microgrid is added, these projects yield an operational benefit of providing power during an interruption of the commercial grid.Even in the absence of new rules slowing DOD’s reliance on renewables, the White House’s stance toward environmental sustainability can affect decision-making throughout the department, said Conger, who now is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. His wish is that the services continue to pursue energy projects that save money and improve military value and not second guess them because of their environmental benefits.Last week, Trump signed an executive order reversing a requirement for federal agencies to consider climate change in their actions and craft plans to mitigate its risks. As a result, DOD efforts to mitigate the risks of climate change could slow. But even if officials choose not to take actions based on 20- or 30-year projections of impacts from flooding, they already must deal with coastal installations affected by rising sea levels, Conger said.“If you have a base experiencing current flooding, you have a today problem,” he said.Taking into account the risk of flooding at coastal installations makes sense, Conger noted, simply as a way to reduce risk. If you are forced to build in a floodplain, make sure your backup power is not in the basement, for example.“When all is said and done, it strikes me that even if you just look at climate change today … you should simply take that into account as prudent planning, even if you don’t look ahead [to consider long-term impacts],” he said.When asked whether recent comments from Senate Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain (R-Ariz.) indicating he was open to the prospect of a new BRAC round is likely to translate into congressional approval, Conger said it still is too early to tell.“You will need administration support and you’ll need Hill support and we’ll see where they put all their priorities as the year moves on,” he said. “Nobody can predict.”If lawmakers move forward on additional base closures, Conger said they most likely will update the BRAC statute to address two key concerns about the 2005 round — its initial implementation cost was too high and unexpected expenses that drove up the round’s ultimate cost.In response to a question about the military’s growing backlog of facilities maintenance, he said the first step is to allocate adequate funds to ensure the services aren’t falling further behind in sustaining their infrastructure.“So I wouldn’t focus on the backlog, but as to whether the department has a strategy to get it right again,” Conger said. The challenge for DOD has been coping with the statutory budget caps. Unless the constraints on the department’s topline spending level are relaxed, it will be very difficult for the services to adequately fund facilities sustainment.He concluded the interview by highlighting the professionalism of employees at both the headquarters level and the installation level supporting the department’s bases. “I have a lot of confidence in the folks in the building today,” Conger said.And, whether or not a new BRAC round is authorized or climate change policies are altered, “they will do their best for our bases that they possibly can. They are working really hard.” Dan Cohen AUTHOR
WILMINGTON, MA — At last week’s meeting, the Wilmington School Committee unanimously approved $605,000 in capital requests for the 2019-2020 school year.The capital requests included:$180,000 for projector & interactive whiteboard replacements at the Middle School$100,000 for a wireless upgrade at the Middle School$100,000 for laptop replacements at the North & West$100,000 for a new datacenter for the district$75,000 for 80 desktops and monitor replacements in the Middle School Tech Labs$30,000 for a PA system upgrade at the six lower schools$20,000 for Chromebook Carts for MCAS testing“The use of technology continues to play a significant role in our schools,” Town Manager Jeff Hull stressed in his recent budget message. “Capital expenditures in the amount of $605,000 are recommended in the upcoming year’s budget to help ensure Wilmington’s students can develop essential skills for the 21st century.”“The 18-year-old Middle School requires an upgrade to its Wi-Fi infrastructure. As use of technology continues to expand, maintaining connectivity is key,” said Hull. “The replacement of projectors and whiteboards is proposed, as the existing projects with be 10 years old in fiscal year 2020 and do not have the level of resolution as compared with current projects.”Hull also noted that the current laptops and desktops at the North and West are at least five years old, while the upgrades to the school system’s data center will allow for “automatic data balancing, greater reliability and data protection, with capacity for data and computing growth.”Residents will vote on each capital request at the Annual Town Meeting in May.(NOTE: The cover photo is from Airgoz Aerial Photography.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington School System Receives $20K State Grant For Safety & Security UpgradesIn “Education”VIDEO: Watch This Week’s School Committee MeetingIn “Education”SCHOOL COMMITTEE NEWS: 5 Things That Happened At Wednesday Night’s MeetingIn “Education”
Croatian former general Slobodan Praljak swallowing what is believed to be poison, during his judgement at the UN war crimes court to protest the upholding of a 20-year jail term. AFP file photoBosnian Croat war criminal Slobodan Praljak likely died from heart failure after swallowing potassium cyanide, Dutch prosecutors said Friday, two days after his dramatic courtroom suicide in front of UN judges.“The preliminary results of the toxicological test showed that Mister Praljak had a concentration of potassium cyanide in his blood,” the Dutch prosecution said in a statement.“This has resulted in a failure of the heart, which is pointed out as the suspected cause of death.”The preliminary results were released after an autopsy was carried out on the body of the 72-year-old Bosnian Croat commander, whose shocking final act was broadcast live around the world.On Wednesday in a last show of defiance against the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), Praljak swallowed the poison before UN judges, just moments after they upheld his 20-year jail term for war crimes.He remains a hero to many Croats despite his conviction for crimes during Bosnia’s 1990s conflict.Praljak worked in film as well as theatre before joining the military, and on Friday Croatia’s state broadcaster aired one of his movies in a prime evening slot. It announced the broadcast on its website with the title “In memoriam-Slobodan Praljak”.The Dutch prosecution service said “Praljak passed away in Westeinde hospital in The Hague after consuming a fluid substance in the courtroom”.Two Croatian experts were also present during Friday’s autopsy carried out at the Netherlands Forensics Institute in The Hague.Contacted by AFP, prosecutor Marilyn Fikenscher confirmed the autopsy was over, but said “we are still awaiting the final results.”She could not confirm whether his body remained the forensics unit, or what arrangements may be being made to release it to Praljak’s family.Lingering questionsIt remains a mystery how he managed to get the poison held in a small brown bottle past the tribunal’s tight security.“Was the poison already in the prison, or in the courtroom? They need answers to all these questions, because obviously it raises suspicion about possible ‘complicity’ in quote marks by prison staff,” said international lawyer Celine Bardet, an expert in war crimes issues.For Dutch international lawyer Goran Sluiter from the University of Amsterdam there are three scenarios: either Praljak obtained the toxic substance in the UN detention centre where he has been held since 2004, on the way to the court building or inside the courtroom itself.Former Serbian president Slobodan Milosevic died in his cell during his trial at the ICTY in 2006. Doctors concluded that he had died of natural causes, and found no other substances in his body.But in the past Milosevic was known to have “self-medicated as evidenced by the finding on occasions of non-prescribed medications in his privileged office and his cell,” the official ICTY report into his death concluded.If Praljak “got hold of the bottle inside the courtroom then that reduces the circle of people who could have helped him. So you are thinking about the lawyers,” Sluiter said.Prison contrabandDiana Goff, law expert and researcher with the Clingendael Institute think-tank, highlighted that “contraband is very easy to get in and out of prisons generally, so it’s not just an ITCY issue.”“There’s many people that it could be. They can have visits from religious officials, they can have doctors, they can have friends, they can have conjugal visits, their family can come,” she told AFP.Praljak’s lawyer Nika Pinter has already said she had had no idea what her client was planning.“Nobody killed him, it was suicide. I am sad but I understand and respect what he did,” she told Croatia’s HINA news agency Thursday.“I never thought he could do such a thing, but I understand because he is a man of honour who couldn’t live with a conviction for war crimes and being led out of the courtroom in handcuffs.”
Acting U.S. Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin stands in the lobby of the agency’s headquarters in Suitland, Md. The bureau is facing six lawsuits from more than two dozen states and cities, plus other groups, that want a new question about U.S. citizenship removed from the 2020 census.The head of the U.S. Census Bureau says the controversy over a new question about U.S. citizenship on the 2020 census is complicating its preparations to conduct a national head count.For the first time since 1950, the Census Bureau will ask all U.S. households about citizenship status, specifically, “Is this person a citizen of the United States?”“Controversy about the content of the census does complicate our messaging,” acting U.S. Census Bureau Director Ron Jarmin says in an exclusive interview with NPR. Jarmin is overseeing the 2020 census, the once-in-a-decade head count of every person living in the U.S. as required by the Constitution.“We need to get responses from everybody whether they like the question or they don’t like the question,” says Jarmin, an economist who has served at the bureau since 1992. “We need to be able to get both sides of this debate to respond to the census.”The interview is Jarmin’s first with a news organization since stepping in last July to lead the bureau, and it comes as preparations for the next national tally in 2020 are already drawing criticism over security and privacy concerns as well as legal action over the citizenship question.The bureau is facing six lawsuits from more than two dozen states and cities, plus other groups and individuals, who want the question removed because of fears that it will discourage noncitizens from participating and harm the accuracy of the census. As NPR has reported, some noncitizens plan to avoid answering the 2020 census because they are scared of sharing their information with the government.Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who oversees the Census Bureau, approved adding the question to census forms in March. Ross has said the Justice Department needs responses from the question to better enforce the Voting Rights Act’s provisions against racial discrimination. Internal documents the Trump administration recently released as part of the lawsuits are fueling suspicions that the decision to add the question was politically motivated.Jarmin says the lawsuits are creating “uncertainty” for his bureau and that the longer they persist, they increase “potential cost and risk to the program.”Still, Jarmin insists, he is “confident” the bureau can get a “good, complete and accurate census” regardless of the outcome of the lawsuits.These population counts touch the lives of people across the country. Census numbers help determine the balance of political power — they are used to determine how many seats in Congress and how many Electoral College votes each state gets, and they affect how legislative districts are drawn. In financial terms, an estimated $800 billion in federal funds is distributed every year based on the head count.Asked how he would respond to people who say they’re afraid of taking part in the head count, Jarmin defended the security of the census, saying the bureau always has a need to “encourage people to participate in the census regardless of the content of the form.”“Responding to the census is safe and secure, and we only use the data for statistical purposes,” he says, “so fears that we’re going to use the data and to give it to law enforcement agencies and things like that are unfounded. We do not do that.”“Confidentiality is [an] absolutely critical element of the success of our mission and so we take that very seriously,” he says.Federal law prohibits the Census Bureau from releasing any information that would identify individuals. But the bureau can release anonymized information about specific demographic groups living in specific neighborhoodStill, some critics of the citizenship question — including Terri Ann Lowenthal, a former staff director of the House Subcommittee on Census and Population — are worried about whether people will trust the government with their personal information at a time of increased immigration enforcement under the Trump administration.“Regrettably, I think because of the anti-immigrant debate and rhetoric … more and more people are going to be afraid to turn personal information, especially if it’s about citizenship, over to a government agency,” she says. “Even if that agency is simply collecting statistics.”Lowenthal is now a consultant and advises the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, which has filed an amicus brief for one of the citizenship question lawsuits. She says it is ultimately up to elected officials, local religious leaders and social service agency heads to “carry the message that it’s both safe and important to their families and the well-being of their communities to participate in the census.”To conduct past head counts, the bureau has received permission to hire noncitizens as temporary census workers for their special language and cultural skills. The Washington Post reported in January that Census Bureau staff were told during a meeting that the agency was not planning to hire noncitizens for 2020.But Jarmin says that some staffers may have “misinterpreted” an explanation about federal hiring laws and that the bureau is “going to be exploring every option.”“We need to get a complete and accurate census,” he says, “and we will do everything we can to ensure that.”The bureau’s preparations for 2020 include keeping a close eye on social media to monitor any misinformation about the head count, which is set to take place at the same time as the 2020 presidential race.Asked if he was worried that there could be a tweet from President Trump that does not match the bureau’s messaging about the 2020 census, Jarmin says, “I’m not too concerned about a tweet from the president in that regard. But I’m concerned about tweets from anybody that somehow, you know, if it gets enough traction, that that is giving the public bad information about the census.”Amid all the uncertainty, another question facing Jarmin is how long he will stay as the Census Bureau’s acting director. During a Senate hearing in May, the commerce secretary said the White House was “processing” a potential successor but did not announce a name.Jarmin says he doesn’t know who that person is or when he might be replaced.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share
Explore further More information: www-robotics.jpl.nasa.gov/syst … system.cfm?System=11 NASA Controls an Athlete Rover LIVE at GDC with Leap Motion Controller. The ATHLETE is 13 feet. Various descriptions include “robotic lunar rover test-bed” and “legged lunar cargo robot “.as ATHLETE can unload bulky cargo Its reach is about 20 ft. (It is said that ATHLETE would be able to climb slopes up to 35° on solid surfaces and 25° on soft surfaces, such as soft deposits.The design includes six Degrees-of-Freedom limbs, each with a 1 DoF wheel attached. The wheels are designed for driving over stable terrain, but each limb could serve as a general-purpose leg, placed in an alternative walking mode, whereby the wheels could be locked and used instead as feet, over difficult terrain. Another ATHLETE feature is its limbs’ adapters, allowing tools to be drawn out and maneuvered by the limb.Luo is the Task Lead, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPS). He leads the development of natural user interface technologies for commanding robot navigation and dexterous manipulation. Norris is Manager of Mission Planning and Execution at JPS. He is involved with the software, people, and processes that command fifteen robotic spacecraft throughout the solar system. NASA’s ATHLETE Warms Up for High Desert Run (w/ Video) “The ATHLETE (All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer) has six legs and six degrees of freedom, six joints. What part of our body has that much manipulation power? Well, it turns out, our hands have similar dexterity. We mapped our hands to the robot; we did so using the Leap Motion device. Just for you guys today, we are going to do something special.” Credit: NASA Natural Interface Control of Future Space Robotics. Exploring future interface technologies such as the zSpace and Leap devices to drive future NASA robots such as the ATHLETE. He told the GDC audience that he and Norris would be moving the six-legged, one ton robot in the southern California laboratory via the Leap Motion device with them onstage at the GDC event in San Francisco. Mission successful. The robot responded, reacting to finger and wrist movements. The audience at the Moscone Center watched all this on a big screen. ATHLETE’s purpose, as an R&D project at NASA, is to behave as a support for human exploration in extreme environments—the moon, Mars, and beyond. Norris sees a day when humans can use devices like Leap Motion to explore the universe remotely. Said Norris, “I want us to build a future of shared immersive tele-exploration, everyone exploring the universe through robotic avatars alongside our astronauts…stepping inside a holodeck and standing on those distance worlds.” © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org) —NASA representatives were at the 2013 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco to show how the ATHLETE robot, a six-legged robot developed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California, can move via remote control with the Leap Motion device. Victor Luo and Jeff Norris, from the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, presided over the demo. Luo told the audience of game industry professionals: Citation: NASA uses Leap Motion to move ATHLETE rover (w/ video) (2013, April 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-nasa-motion-athlete-rover-video.html 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.
Geologists discover ancient buried canyon in South Tibet Citation: Research trio suggest low-relief mountain surfaces due to river network disruption (2015, April 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-trio-low-relief-mountain-surfaces-due.html More information: In situ low-relief landscape formation as a result of river network disruption, Nature 520, 526–529 (23 April 2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature14354AbstractLandscapes on Earth retain a record of the tectonic, environmental and climatic history under which they formed. Landscapes tend towards an equilibrium in which rivers attain a stable grade that balances the tectonic production of elevation and with hillslopes that attain a gradient steep enough to transport material to river channels. Equilibrium low-relief surfaces are typically found at low elevations, graded to sea level. However, there are many examples of high-elevation, low-relief surfaces, often referred to as relict landscapes, or as elevated peneplains. These do not grade to sea level and are typically interpreted as uplifted old landscapes, preserving former, more moderate tectonic conditions. Here we test this model of landscape evolution through digital topographic analysis of a set of purportedly relict landscapes on the southeastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, one of the most geographically complex, climatically varied and biologically diverse regions of the world. We find that, in contrast to theory, the purported surfaces are not consistent with progressive establishment of a new, steeper, river grade, and therefore they cannot necessarily be interpreted as a remnant of an old, low relief surface. We propose an alternative model, supported by numerical experiments, in which tectonic deformation has disrupted the regional river network, leaving remnants of it isolated and starved of drainage area and thus unable to balance tectonic uplift. The implication is that the state of low relief with low erosion rate is developing in situ, rather than preserving past erosional conditions.Press release (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers, two with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the other with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, claim to have found evidence that suggests low-relief mountain surfaces are due to river disruption, not tectonic uplift. In their paper published in the journal Nature, Rong Yang, Sean Willett and Liran Goren describe how they showed that a portion of the Tibetan Plateau likely did not come about due to tectonic uplift and instead suggest an alternative explanation. Jérôme Lavé with Centre de Recherches Pétrographiques et Géochimiques in Rome offers a News & Views piece on the work done by the trio in the same journal issue. This beautiful scenery in Yunnan Province, China, at 3000 m asl is not likely a time capsule that preserved a relict lowland landscape. It must have formed over million of years in situ. Credit: Giuditta Fellin / ETH Zurich For many years geologists have puzzled over flat plains that exist at high altitude in mountain ranges. Common sense suggests mountains should be jagged, especially those that formed due to pressure between the Earth’s plates. Over the years, a grudging consensus has been reached—the flat plains must have got to where they are by simple uplifting—whole sections of flat earth were pushed up intact, along with the other parts of the mountain as plates collided. This idea has not been wholly embraced of course, because in many ways it seems to defy logic. In this new effort, the three researchers started out as skeptics, in looking at a part of the Tibetan Plateau known as the “Three Rivers Region”—where the Yangtze, Mekong and Salween rivers incise the plain, they could not find a way to simulate the area being uplifted, so they began to look for another explanation. To do that, they input geologic data that describes the area into a model, one that took into account the unexpectedly shallow tributaries in some parts of the Plateau and also others that were steeper—evidence, they suggest, of recent drainage.The model the trio came up with shows that the Plateau came about due to a reorganization of the river network after uplift, because parts of them became isolated. Subsequent erosion of the resultant landscape led to the flat terrain as it can be seen today. Lavé allows that the model does show what the trio suggest, but also notes that it does not seem to work as well when shifting the focus farther north in the region. He suggests future modeling should take into consideration the new findings, however, as it appears the research trio have come up with a new way of thinking about low-relief mountain surface formation. Explore further © 2015 Phys.org Journal information: Nature 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.