Virtual and mediated realities: presentation technologies and potential applications

first_img Log in to Reply Returning to serious augmented reality applications, can you imagine the pilot of a small airplane on final approach into an airport wearing an augmented reality headset and seeing a series of glowing rectangles superimposed over the real scene, where said rectangles are floating in the air and receding into the distance? (There was a similar scene in the first Alien movie). All the pilot has to do is fly the plane through the center of each of these rectangles to enjoy the most fuel-efficient landing path.Similar to the above, the captain of a barge on the Mississippi River could use his augmented reality headset to view a series of virtual port and starboard buoys superimposed on the river accompanied by a dotted line showing the optimum path along which to steer the vessel.How about when you’re driving somewhere unfamiliar? Today’s GPS systems are pretty amazing, and it’s nice that they talk to you, but you still have to occasionally drag your eyes from the road to check the screen. Wouldn’t it be great to see a dotted line with arrows superimposed on the scene in front of you depicting exactly where to turn? The same thing applies if you find yourself walking around a strange city — it would be incredibly handy to be able to specify a destination like a local museum and to be presented with a dotted line with arrows guiding you to your destination.I don’t know about you, but I’m really bad when it comes to remembering names and recognizing faces. This can be a particular problem at conferences where people assume you will recognize them following a chance meeting several years ago. It would be tremendously advantageous to see small “info bubbles” floating above each person’s head giving details like their name and company and position, perhaps color-coded to reflect whether or not you’ve met them before, and so forth.Still on the topic of interfacing with people, it can sometimes be difficult to “read” someone’s mood — are they happy, sad, confused, homicidal? Wouldn’t it be useful to have this type of information presented via an augmented reality system? (I can imagine entering my house, seeing my wife, warbling “Hello love of my life,” and — when she turns to face me — having my augmented reality system flash the message “Danger Will Robinson; run as far and as fast as you can!” )In a similar vein, how good are you at telling if someone is lying to you? (Did you see the article about an algorithm that can spot lies in emails and dating sites?) Suppose you were talking to a used car salesman who was singing the praises about one of his offerings and your augmented reality system displayed green tick-marks (“true”) or red crosses (“false”) in real-time accompaniment to each of his points as he made them. (Note that the system wouldn’t necessarily have to understand the spoken word — it would be observing and analyzing the salesman’s non-verbal cues.)I could waffle on about this for ages. Instead, may I invite you to watch this video depicting the possible incarnation of an extreme form of augmented reality described as hyper reality (it’s worth watching this all the way through).All of this may seem a bit frantic, but I actually believe that the various capabilities it presents will be with us sooner rather than later.Hold onto your hat! The whole virtual and augmented reality scene really has my head buzzing with ideas. In the case of virtual reality, for example, can you imagine a next-generation version of Cluedo (“It was Colonel Mustard in the Library with the Lead Pipe!” ) taking place in a virtual mansion. Playing the investigator, you could move around the building manipulating objects (e.g. looking under a clock or behind a picture) and looking for clues.Further imagine that the system was enhanced with speech recognition and generation capabilities, thereby allowing you to interview the characters, asking them questions and trying to detect any lies or omissions in their responses. If you’ve seen what’s already possible with an Oculus Rift, you won’t regard any of this as being too farfetched. In the case of augmented reality, I don’t think it will be long (relatively speaking) before these systems are enhanced by deep-neural network (DNN)-based embedded vision systems performing real-time object detection, identification, and classification tasks, with the results being presented on top of the scene. I can also imagine everyone’s augmented reality systems being networked together, allowing everyone to respond appropriately in the case of an emergency.In closing, I’d like to reiterate that I really don’t think we have clue where virtual and mediated reality technologies may take us in the not-so-distant future. We see new announcements almost every day, such as turning one’s arm into a virtual keyboard, using smart glasses to see the world in new ways, or the fact that Google recently decided to acquire an image recognition startup.Personally, I cannot wait to see all of this unfold. How about you? Are you looking forward to the virtual and mediated future with trepidation or delight? What virtual and/or mediated applications would you most like to see? And what, if anything, scares you about all of this? August 26, 2016 at 2:57 pm “”I installed Translate on my smartphone, expecting to be disappointed, but I am truly amazed at how well it works!”nnHa! 10 points for me, I think :-)” “”I’ll share a lesser idea, virtual photography lessons. You just stay at home and the headset shows you different scenes and teaches you how to take pictures.”nnThat’s a brilliant idea — I could really use that sort of training myself!” Log in to Reply “In my next column I’ll be discussing a variety of different VR technologies,including comparing the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive — but also considering some cheaper and more accessible systems.” Max The Magnificent says: Log in to Reply Continue Reading Previous Embedded SBCs face uphill battle in IoT gateway marketNext How I sent my boss to jail August 25, 2016 at 9:20 pm Log in to Reply Log in to Reply Log in to Reply “The photography idea was inspired by your need to take lessons, that’s why i shared it :)nVisual inspection came to me now, was watching on Youtube a video about Tesla’s factory a few days ago and it bugged me that they do visual inspections like 100 yea August 29, 2016 at 1:56 pm August 25, 2016 at 6:56 pm Rcurl says: August 26, 2016 at 11:45 am “”How about AI aided visual inspection…” nnThat’s another great potential application!” realjjj says: Clive”Max”Maxfield says: Log in to Reply “Do I detect a note of cynicism? LOL “ August 26, 2016 at 2:53 pm TonyTib says: August 26, 2016 at 2:47 pm “It’s important to make a distinction between indoors only headsets and 24/7 glasses. The early ones like HoloLens and likely Magic Leap would be indoors only and in that case,how it looks is less relevant.nnIn education, what people tend to think about Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Solutions Log in to Reply Max The Magnificent says: “I just played with a Google Cardboard and it was great for the price but really uncomfortable — by comparison, the Oculus Rift really isn’t very heavy at all – -and the whole thing is engineered for comfort — plus you don;t have time to worry about pain Log in to Reply “I also like to try new food — in the case of Chinese, I pretty much like everything I’ve had — the European/American interpretation, Hong Kong, Singapore, and mainland China — the only thing I would say is that one sea cucumber is enough for any man i August 30, 2016 at 5:16 pm “From past experience, looking through eyepieces (be it binoculars, magnifying glasses etc) and/or wearing some heavy headpiece (possibly even unbalanced) gives me a splitting headache. I would have to augment that reality with pain killers.” “Later this week I’ll be posting my observations about different headsets…” Clive”Max”Maxfield says: center_img August 26, 2016 at 2:54 pm “”It’s important to make a distinction between indoors only headsets and 24/7 glasses.”nnI totally agree — at the moment I’m having lots of fun with my indoors-only Oculus Rift, but I long for the day when 24/7 glasses/goggles are available.” “As I was watching the video about Google Translate’s ability to translate signs I couldn’t help but think that the video was fake. I installed Translate on my smartphone, expecting to be disappointed, but I am truly amazed at how well it works! Cynthia a realjjj says: Log in to Reply “It’s more of an illusion, Oculus is pretty heavy at 470 grams.nGoogle Daydream should be released soon.nAlso, if you can, check out LG’s headset as the phone is not on your face. I understand the experience is rather poor though.nHopefully we see soon August 30, 2016 at 4:24 pm 17 thoughts on “Virtual and mediated realities: presentation technologies and potential applications” Log in to Reply August 25, 2016 at 8:04 pm antedeluvian says: Russell P says: August 26, 2016 at 2:52 pm Log in to Reply August 26, 2016 at 3:11 pm August 30, 2016 at 1:37 pm August 29, 2016 at 2:01 pm In my previous column on this topic, we considered what we mean when we refer to different types of reality (see A brave new world of virtual, augmented, hybrid, hyper, and diminished realities ).Virtual Reality’s New Game! Come hear illustrator and animator Chuck Carter, who helped create Myst and 26 other video games, talk about VR challenges in his keynote presentation, Playing a New Game: VR Challenges and Opportunities , at the Embedded Systems Conference (ESC), September 21-22, 2016 in Minneapolis (Click Here to register).As we discussed in that article, augmented realities are really only a subset of mediated realities , which also encompass diminished or deletive realities . In this column, we’re going to turn our attention to alternative presentation technologies and potential applications.Virtual and mediated reality presentation technologies One aspect of all of this that I’ve been pondering in particular is the way in which mediated (augmented and/or diminished) realities can and will be presented to the user. One way is to view the world through the “window” of a smartphone or tablet computer. A really good example of this is this video showing the real-time translation of signs.Another example is the GoSkyWatch app that I have loaded on my iPad. When you hold your tablet up to the night sky, you see the same stars and planets on the screen as you do in the heavens, but the ones on the screen are annotated with names and the outlines of constellations and suchlike. Alternatively, you can call up a list of planets and the app will indicate which are presently visible in the sky. When you tap one of these, the app will guide you to its current location in the firmament. (As an aside, I’m not 100% sure how to class this application — it’s not exactly augmented reality and it’s not really virtual reality — I’d like to hear your thoughts on this conundrum.)The GoSkyWatch app (Source: Max Maxfield / Now, I have no problem occasionally using my iPad to view things like the night sky, but I don’t particularly wish to spend all of my days wandering around brandishing a smartphone or tablet computer and beholding the world through its screen.Something a little less obtrusive was Google Glass, which could have been useful to some extent, but which eventually went the way of the Dodo (having said this, Google Glass does appear to have found a second life in emergency medicine). I never actually tried this little scamp myself, but I don’t think it would have provided me with the immersive experience I desire.At some stage in the future, it may be that people have virtual/mediated reality systems embedded in their eyes and other parts of their bodies. Before this occurs, I can envisage contact lenses that project virtual and mediated realities directly onto the retinas of their wearers (I have no idea how these would be powered).Within my lifetime, I can imagine people walking around wearing eyeglass-style goggles that superimpose textual, image, and video data over real-world scenes. To the best of my knowledge, the leader in this space is a company called Magic Leap. Take a look at the video you’ll find on the Magic Leap Homepage to give you a taste of what’s possible.(Source: Magic Leap) But what about the near-term future? Well, I can easily conceive a world in which you see people walking around sporting Oculus Rift-style headsets. The idea is that these headsets would be augmented with two forward-facing cameras giving binocular vision. The default state would be for the images from these cameras to be projected on the displays in front of the wearer’s eyes, thereby providing exactly the same view as if the user wasn’t wearing the headset at all. Additional information would now be layered over the real-world scene.An unknown stranger (Source: Max Maxfield) At this point you might be thinking “Max has lost his mind; there’s no way anyone would be seen wandering around in public looking like this.” To this I would respond with a series of vignettes as follows:Punk rock arrived on the scene in the mid-1970s. I remember visiting friends in London around that time. At some stage during my stay, I found myself sitting on a tube train facing a business man wearing a suit and tie and sporting a briefcase and an umbrella. Sitting one side of this chap was a Goth in full makeup and regalia; on the other side was a Punk rocker wearing an interesting ensemble featuring straps and chains and flaunting a spanking-pink spiky mohawk haircut with the sides of her head shaved. (I myself now boast a “reverse Mohawk” — it’s a funny old world when you come to think about it.) The point is that, having witnessed this scene, I don’t think there’s much that would surprise me.My mother-in-law likes to ride the crest of the technology wave. She was one of the early adopters of Star Trek-style Bluetooth earpieces. She also used to have her phone set to auto-answer. Once, when she came to visit, I took her to the local supermarket to pick up a few things. Since she has long hair, I had no idea she was wearing an earpiece. Suddenly, while we were ambling around the isles, she started talking animatedly to an unseen person while gesticulating wildly. I honestly thought she’d gone insane. Two things flashed through my mind: (a) How was I going to get her out of the store? and (b) When we got home, my wife (Gina the Gorgeous) was going to say “My God, you were only out with my mother for 30 minutes and you’ve driven her insane!” These days, of course, you think nothing when you see ladies in supermarkets waving their arms around furiously and talking to themselves (I do occasionally wonder how many of them actually have phones?).Way back in the mists of time, during the summer after I graduated from university, just before commencing my first job, some friends and I went to a Greek Island for a couple of weeks. As part of this, we visited a beach where… let’s say clothing wasn’t encouraged. You might think that this would be somewhat disconcerting but, strange as it might seem, if everyone around you as far as the eye can see is au naturel , then it’s more embarrassing to be the one who is garbed.The point of my meandering musings is that, if you were to see just one person strolling around a public place wearing an Oculus Rift-style headset as illustrated above, then you might think “That’s odd” or “He looks like a plonker (but that’s a nice Hawaiian shirt he’s wearing).” On the other hand, if half of the people around you were sporting these headsets, then it wouldn’t take long before you ceased to notice them at all.Virtual reality applications To be totally honest with you, I don’t think any of us really have a clue where virtual and mediated reality technologies may take us, but I have a few ideas and thoughts I’d like to share.One obvious application domain in the case of virtual realities is games. Until now, I’ve never considered myself to be a gamer, but I must admit that I love playing around on my Oculus Rift (see It’s (Virtual Reality) Life Jim, But Not As We Know It and Minecraft + Oculus Rift Virtual Reality = Mind Goes Boom). However, let’s think outside this box…Another obvious application is education. Let’s take the Colosseum (also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre) in Rome, Italy, for example. When I was a kid, we were lucky to get to see black-and-white pictures in books after walking three miles uphill through the snow in our bare feet (Ah, how I miss summertime in England). In later years, schools might show short 8mm educational films. Over time, these were replaced by videos. More recently, the teacher might play a DVD or stream online videos from some educational source. In the not-too-distant future, I can imagine the teacher and students all donning virtual reality headsets and setting off on a guided tour in which all of the participants can see each other’s avatars. The ability to look around, focus on areas of interest, whisper comments to your friends in close (virtual) proximity, and even wander off and get lost (“Where’s young Max gone now?” ), would greatly add to the experience.Suppose we have someone who handles IT for a large company that has offices and data centers across the globe. Further suppose that people start complaining about slow response times. I don’t know how the IT folks go about tracking down and resolving this sort of problem today… and maybe I’ve been watching too many science fiction films… but I can envision our IT guru donning her VR headset and using hand gestures to transport herself to a virtual birds-eye view above the facility from whence she can observe virtual network highways entering and leaving the building (think TRON ). Maybe most of these highways are a healthy green color, while one is more of an angry red. So we “fly” along the red one across the country, up to a satellite, across an ocean to another satellite, down to a ground-based receiver, and across the land to another building. Now we fly into the building and on to the server room where we observe that one of the server cabinets is looking out of sorts. Then we plunge into the server cabinet where we observe a failing disk drive, and we swap this out for a replacement, all still in our virtual world. Again, I know this may sound like the script for a futuristic movie, but I really can picture (no pun intended) something like this coming our way.Similar to the above, suppose you are sitting in the control room of a large industrial plant like an oil refinery that occupies square miles of real estate and has hundreds of miles of wiring and pipes and thousands upon thousands of switches and valves and sensors and actuators. Now suppose an alarm sounds indicating that something has gone wrong. Once again, I can envision operators wearing virtual reality headsets “flying around” the facility, homing in on visual indications of troubled mechanisms, looking at the values coming out of virtual representations of real-world sensors, and activating virtual representations of controls and valves where these actions are automatically replicated in the physical world.What do you think? Am I on the fast train to cuckoo land, or do you think all of the above is a (weak or strong) possibility? Furthermore, while we’re here, can you think of any other commercial and/or industrial applications for virtual reality technology?Mediated reality applications I’m still trying to wrap my brain around the concept of deleted realities, so — for the purpose of this column — let’s focus on their augmented counterparts.In the same way that many people tend to think of virtual reality as being targeted toward games and are surprised to discover there may be more professional applications, many folks tend to think of augmented reality as being targeted towards real-world purposes and are fascinated to realize that this technology may also be applicable in the gaming and educational arenas. As an example, we need go no farther than considering Pokémon Go, which rocketed onto the scene seemingly out of nowhere in July 2016, and had more than 20 million North American users per day after just a few weeks.In order to give us all something to ruminate on while working our way through the rest of this column, check out this video showing Sesame Street augmented reality dolls and this video showing some very interesting augmented reality implementations. Clive”Max”Maxfield says: TonyTib says: Log in to Reply August 26, 2016 at 1:39 pm realjjj says: Clive”Max”Maxfield says: Log in to Reply Log in to Reply Max The Magnificent says: Max The Magnificent says: Clive”Max”Maxfield says: “OK Max, You went and triggered one of my long running dreams.nVR anywhere. I was working in VRML on my now ancient Amiga 4000 with Video Toaster and Flyer setup. I even adapted a Nintendo Power Glove to it. I had 2 sets of VR goggles but they were inter “Yep, you’ll be able to choose dishes like:nnSauerkraut burn meatnGinger onions mosquito all fish pot ten fly heartnSpiced cattle monthnSummer child Sichuan spiced potnEight Jane tofu pot 10nPepper wire rot milk through dishnnAll examples taken us Log in to Reply August 30, 2016 at 12:06 am “Not on Chinese food – I love to try new food, and have been fortunate to eat a lot of authentic Chinese food, home cooked as well as restaurant. (Western culture has lots of fun food, too, such as uncooked pork (proscuitto, jamon serrano – both extremely Log in to Reply Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must Register or Login to post a comment. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.last_img read more

OSU to Honor Jeff Naple with Helmet Decal

first_img“Pitt was a special person to us,” Gundy said in his weekly press conference. “I don’t really ever remember a time he wasn’t around here.”It was announced this week that long-time video coordinator Jeff Naple had passed away from pancreatic cancer. He served at Oklahoma State for more than 25 years, and made stops with the University of Pittsburgh and the Dallas Cowboys.“He was outstanding at his job and played an important role in helping me do mine,” Gundy went on to say. “We are going to miss his sense of humor and everything that he brought to our program.”The equipment staff will honor “Pitt” with this helmet decal in his passing. You can read more about his story from the official athletics department release here.Extremely tough day for the eq room & Cowboy Football with the passing of Pitt. Here is how we will honor him #legend— Rex and The Chief (@RexandTheChief) September 20, 2015 If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

Carlos Carvalhal says he is a ‘football romantic’ as he aims to keep Swansea up

first_imgCarlos Carvalhal described himself as a “footballing romantic” as he was presented as Swansea City’s fifth manager in the space of little more than two years, although the Portuguese has no time for fanciful storylines and made it clear that any act of escapology at the Premier League’s bottom club would be down to hard work rather than a miracle.Appointed as Paul Clement’s successor on a short-term contract until the end of the season, the former Sheffield Wednesday manager did his best to radiate positivity as he vowed to bring “a new dynamic” to a Swansea side five points adrift of safety and sleepwalking towards the Championship for months.It is a thankless task on the face of it, yet Carvalhal seemed grateful for the opportunity, perhaps not surprisingly given that he has never managed in the Premier League before. The 52-year-old, whose managerial career has seen him work in five countries and included spells in charge of Besiktas and Sporting Lisbon, revealed that he turned down offers in Turkey, England and Japan because he wanted to take a break from the game in the wake of leaving Sheffield Wednesday on Christmas Eve.“Then I had the call from Swansea and immediately I said I was ready to work,” Carvalhal said. “For the other situations I had said I needed some rest, but for this I knew my rest was over, I wanted to be here. I like difficult challenges. A lot of people will say that Swansea need a miracle to stay in the Premier League, but I don’t agree because miracles is something not from our world. It’s a very good challenge and we will fight to put the team in a better position.“I am a very positive person and I know that if you asked 100 people, other than Swansea fans, if they are going to get relegated, this is what they are thinking. They are five points adrift, the team aren’t playing good football, they aren’t scoring or creating chances. Nobody has many expectations of Swansea. But we can change things – that’s what we believe. We can improve the players and create a new dynamic.”It has been a whirlwind few days for Carvalhal, who only accepted Swansea’s offer late on Wednesday evening and left his home in Yorkshire at 4am on Thursday morning to be in Swansea in time to take training before his first game in charge, at Watford on Saturday.Carvalhal, who is bringing in two assistants and two analysts to work alongside him, said he would need to talk to Leon Britton, the player-coach who was placed in charge in a caretaker capacity for the previous two matches, before deciding what role the 35-year-old will fill. “Let’s see in which position he can help the club more,” the new man said.The burning issue for many Swansea supporters is how active the club will be in the market next month to improve a team desperately short of creativity and firepower and who finished the summer window with the lowest net spend in the Premier League. Carvalhal chose his words carefully in that respect, maybe mindful that he needs to keep everyone in the squad onside for the time being.“The clock is ticking, that’s absolutely correct, but we can’t do anything until 1 January so we have to try to give confidence to the players that are here first,” he said. “They need to show commitment and after that we will take decisions. We have talked about the possibility of bringing in players if we need it, and the chairman was open about that, but let’s see the weaknesses in the team first.”As well as suggesting Swansea would not be selling Alfie Mawson or anyone else next month, Carvalhal spoke about how he hopes to help Renato Sanches, a compatriot, rediscover some form. “I think he needs confidence. We can forget that even though he played for the national team and Benfica, he’s still a kid. He’s still learning, he needs a role in the team. When he understands exactly what we want, he can be a completely different player.” Share on Pinterest Share on WhatsApp Share on Facebook Swansea City news Read more Topics Share on Twitter Share via Email Share on LinkedIn Sheffield Wednesday Carlos Carvalhal leaves Sheffield Wednesday after dismal winless run Share on Messenger Reuse this contentlast_img read more

10 months agoSolskjaer settles debate on Man Utd captaincy

first_imgAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Solskjaer settles debate on Man Utd captaincyby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveOle Gunnar Solskjaer insists Antonio Valencia will remain as captain of Manchester United. The Ecuadorian fall out of favour under Jose Mourinho this season, having made just four Premier League appearances.But Solskjaer says the veteran will be an important part of his team once he returns to full fitness.He said: “Antonio is the captain. When he is properly fit and playing, he will wear the armband.”He’s going through a couple of tough sessions to get him ready for the busy period. There are not many better right backs going forward.” last_img read more

Budget to ease regulatory tax compliance burden on startups Nasscom

first_imgNew Delhi: IT industry body Nasscom has said the slew of incentives announced for startups in the Budget will help facilitate funding and reduce the regulatory and tax compliance burden on these fledgling enterprises.As part of the Budget, the government has proposed a host of incentives, including a special arrangement for resolution of pending assessments of income tax cases, with a view to encouraging startups.”Doing away with the scrutiny of valuation of documentation on angel tax is an excellent step that will help facilitate funding… With this Budget, startups can expect lesser regulatory requirement, besides reducing their tax compliance burden,” Nasscom Executive Council member Kunal Bahl said. Also Read – Maruti cuts production for 8th straight month in SepHe said it will also encourage newer startups, especially from tier II and III areas, and in parallel infuse considerable foreign investments in India.In her Budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had stated that startups and their investors who file requisite declarations and provide information in their returns will not be subjected to any kind of scrutiny in respect of valuations of share premiums — a move aimed at resolving the so-called ‘angel tax’ issue. Also Read – Ensure strict implementation on ban of import of e-cigarettes: revenue to CustomsShe had also said the issue of establishing the identity of the investor and source of his/her funds will be resolved by putting in place a mechanism of e-verification and with this, funds raised by startups will not require any kind of scrutiny from the Income Tax Department.Bahl, who is also the co-founder of e-commerce major Snapdeal, pointed out that the startup ecosystem in India has long been reeling from three challenges — high credit cost, lack of adequate and timely funding. “Nasscom has always been advocating the needs for startups and emerging entrepreneurs in the country and will continue our support to the government in fulfilling the collective dream of enabling India to become a more vibrant startup hub,” he said.Echoing his views, MoEngage founder and CEO Raviteja Dodda said the new regulations around angel tax will provide the much-needed boost for the startup ecosystem and help founders focus on the execution and build great businesses.Manu Goyal, founder and COO of ApnaPay, said several tax proposals aiming to promote investments in startups and relaxation on corporate tax will lead to economic growth of great magnitude.”The no angel tax heat from Income Tax authorities and the share value premium issue resolution will foster an environment of positivity and growth for India’s startup ecosystem,” Tanuj Shori, founder and CEO of Square Yards, added.last_img read more

SC stays Delhi HC order disallowing black money law to operate retrospectively

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday stayed the Delhi High Court order which had held that the 2016 black money law cannot be allowed to operate with retrospective effect from July 2015 to book and probe offenders. A vacation bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra also stayed the May 16 order of the high court, which had restrained the Income Tax (I-T) department from taking any action against VVIP chopper scam accused Gautam Khaitan, against whom a black money case has been lodged. Also Read – More good air days in Delhi due to Centre’s steps: Javadekar “Notice. The impugned order (of the high court) is stayed,” the bench said while agreeing to hear the appeal of the Centre against the high court order. The bench issued notice to Khaitan and asked him to file his response to the government’s petition within six weeks. The Delhi High Court, in its interim order, had stayed the Centre’s notification to make operational the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, with effect form July 1, 2015.last_img read more

Moroccan Women Activists to Continue Protests in Face of Police Brutality

Rabat – The activist movement Moroccan Women Against Political Arrest in Rabat said it is not giving up. After their initial protest was attacked by police officers Saturday, July 8, in Rabat, the female activists vow to continue to press the government for justice. At 7 p.m. on Saturday in the center of Rabat, several human rights activists gathered in front of the Moroccan parliament to denounce the politically motivated arrests of the Rif protesters, especially that of Silya Ziani, a prominent Amazigh singer and a leading voice in the Hirak movement. What started as a civil and peaceful protest soon turned violent, and local police forcibly dispersed the gathering. Old women, underage activists, journalists, all had a taste of police officers’ violence. One video from the protest showing a journalist from the newsdaily Lakome being kicked by a group of officers was massively relayed on social media and local press. “A great resistance of the fighters and militants in front of the cowardly repression of the women’s peaceful protest in solidarity with Rif detainee Sylya,” reads a statement made public by the organizing committee of the movement. “The public forces brutally confronted dozens of activists who participated in the campaign called Moroccan Women Standing Against Political Arrest before Parliament on Saturday, July 8, 2017. The authorities pushed, beaten, kicked, abused, insulted, and used other violent and humiliating ways against human dignity, without any notice directed to the attendees as required by the rulers.”However, despite the violent repression of their protest, “women’s mobilisation will not stop,” vows Khadija Ryadi, an activist with Morocco’s women’s movement, in a statement to Al Jazeera. “Moroccan Women Against Political Arrest in Rabat have insisted on forming a convoy from Rabat to the city of Casablanca on Wednesday (July 12) to form a peaceful women’s stand in solidarity with the Rif artist Sylia who will be submitted to the judiciary for investigation in the Court of Appeal in Casablanca.” On their Facebook page, the feminine movement called for “women fighters, men activists and all the liberals of this country to make this convoy a success. We will meet on July 12 at 9 am in front of the Central Office of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights in Rabat.”Ziani’s release is one of the group’s key demands. The singer was arrested on June 5 in Al Hoceima  before being transferred to Casablanca. Held in solitary confinement, Sylia is suffering from an “acute depression” according to her lawyers. The 23-year-old is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday, July 12.The singer’s spirit could be felt throughout the protest, with a black-and-white portrait held up as a symbol as protesters chanted: “We are all Silya.” read more

Terror attacks must be seen as crimes against humanity Robinson

In an interview with UN Radio, Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said the perpetrators of the 11 September attacks must face trial. “The deliberate commandeering of civil aircraft to kill people with full gasoline tanks and crashing them deliberately into buildings with thousands of people with the intent to kill as many as possible crosses a line and fits the definition now of a crime against humanity, and that passes an immediate responsibility on all governments of the world to help to bring perpetrators to justice,” she said. Mrs. Robinson told UN Radio that if the perpetrators were tried for having committed crimes against humanity, they would be isolated. “You cannot in the name of a religion commit a crime against humanity, so they cannot invoke Islam for these acts,” she pointed out. “The perpetrators committed a crime against humanity and hopefully this will diminish the way in which they are now trying to have a holy jihad with impressionable young people – I think it’s much harder to try and do this when it’s a crime against humanity.” The High Commissioner also expressed concern about the situation facing the Afghan civilian population. “I think its important that we try to get a balance between the military strategy and trying to ensure that there are not more indirect victims to add to the terrible victims – more than 6,000 killed and families decimated here in the US – we mustn’t see thousands of Afghan civilians also indirectly dying as a result of not being able to get the food and shelter they need to face the winter,” she said. read more

DPR Korea UN experts call for death penalty moratorium after highprofile execution

“The arrest, trial by a special military tribunal and execution of Jang Song Thaek, uncle of the country’s leader Kim Jong Un, all reportedly took place within five days,” said the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK, Marzuki Darusman.The execution was reported by the State media, citing offences including “anti-party, counter-revolutionary factional acts in a bid to overthrow the leadership”, according to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).According to the Korean Central News Agency, Jang Song Thaek was arrested and expelled from the Worker’s Party of Korea on 8 December and executed on 12 December 2013, after being indicted by the military tribunal established by the Ministry of State Security.Mr. Darusman also expressed particular concern about the practice of “guilt by association” in the country. When a person is punished for a political or ideological crime, associates and members of his or her family also risk punishment by either being sent to prison camps or being executed immediately.“I have also received information from different sources about multiple reports of public executions in different locations in DPRK, in particular during the past four months, which allegedly involved charges such as selling illegal videos, viewing pornography and taking drugs,” Mr. Darusman added.His condemnation was echoed by UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, as well as the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez, who has endorsed the concerns. “If the death penalty is to be used at all, international law clearly requires that it is imposed under very strict circumstances,” Mr. Heyns stressed. “These must include a trial that meets the highest standards of fairness and the ‘most serious crimes provision,’ restricting the imposition of the capital punishment for the crime of intentional killing only.”Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed by the Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work. read more

Amid monstrous violence ISIL aims to tear Iraq apart build state of

The atrocious crimes perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) risk plunging Iraq into catastrophe as the country reels from bitter sectarian tensions and a growing humanitarian crisis affecting over 5 million people, top United Nations officials warned today, as they called on the international community to increase efforts in aiding Iraq’s full transition towards a stable democracy. Briefing the UN Security Council this morning, UN envoy for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, and UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, delivered an ominous assessment of the on-the-ground situation in Iraq, amid an ongoing offensive perpetrated by ISIL militants and a growing number of internally displaced persons (IPDs) fleeing the brutal violence. “ISIL’s strategy is obvious – to insert themselves in the ethnic and religious fault lines of Iraq, to undermine legitimate authorities and to spread fear among all communities,” said Nickolay Mladenov in his address to the Council. “Their goals are also clear – to destroy the Iraqi State and replace it with a ‘State of Terror’ built on genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.” Such a “State of Terror” governed by ISIL and spanning the territory of Iraq and neighbouring Syria would then ultimately seek to advance on the rest of the region, warned Mr. Mladenov, destabilize bordering States and “threaten global peace and security.”The emergence of ISIL as a cogent threat to the democratic and humanitarian stability of Iraq has been steady yet devastating. Adopting a Takfiri belief system used by many extremely radical religious groups, including Nigeria’s Boko Haram, ISIL militants automatically assume the authority to declare anybody to be kafir, or apostate, condemning thousands of ethnic and religious minorities and women and girls to gross human rights violations and, in many cases, death. In one instance cited by Mr. Mladenov, the “growing brutality” of the group was illustrated by the massacre of 322 members of the Albu Nimr tribe. Other well-documented cases of similar crimes report the summary executions of captured prisoners and members of the Yazidi tribe as well as the enslavement of young women and girls. In addition, ISIL’s military efficiency has seen it gain large swathes of Iraqi territory, capturing major cities such as Fallujah, and reaching the outskirts of the capital of Baghdad, while posing an increasingly dangerous threat to the integrity of the Iraqi State. In his address, however, the UN envoy told the Council that the crisis in Iraq was not down to the ISIL threat alone, pointing to a “turbulent” recent history of unresolved political, social and economic problems tied to the country’s “difficult transition to democracy, the lack of agreement on the full implementation of the Constitution, stalled reforms, sectarian differences, and the country’s exposure to the broad regional and global rifts.” “As the crisis unfolded, Iraq almost collapsed,” Mr. Mladenov explained. “Its western provinces were overrun by ISIL, the Kurdistan Region openly spoke of seceding, the southern Governorates struggle with poverty while producing the country’s riches, Baghdad was threatened by a daily barrage of suicide bombers and improvised explosive devices and Iraq’s minorities have been subjected to unspeakable horrors.”Nevertheless, Mr. Mladenov applauded the Iraqi Government’s efforts to improve its cooperation with local tribes and regional governments in fighting the ISIL onslaught, noting that recent territorial gains against the militants showed that the strategy was “bearing fruit.” Along with UN support and help from the international community targeting peace and security, development, and humanitarian efforts, he added, Iraq could soon embark on a road towards political stability, and dialogue and cooperation on a range of issues including the enactment of oil and gas revenue sharing laws.“Faced with a common threat,” he continued, “the political, community and religious leaders across Iraq focused on pulling back from the brink and saving their country.”The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, meanwhile, painted a dire picture of the situation on the ground in ISIL-controlled territory, suggesting that the world remained “staggered” by the “monstrous” crimes committed by the group. Above all, he said, the crimes committed in Iraq were of “such scale and gravity that in all likelihood they qualify as international crimes, subject to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court” as reports of genocidal offences and crimes against humanity continue to leak out areas held by the militants. To that point, Ms. Amos provided a bleak assessment of the numbers, indicating that some 5.2 million people across the country were now in need of assistance, including the 3.6 million Iraqis living in areas under the control of ISIL. Despite the infusion of $500 million from the Saudi Arabia and resources provided by other donors early on in the crisis, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) told the 15-member Council that “much more help is urgently required,” particularly as winter fast approaches.According to the latest estimates, a minimum of 450,000 people, including 225,000 children, need warm winter clothes and shoes and 300,000 need blankets, stoves and other non-food item support. Ms. Amos said that ongoing insecurity and fighting was preventing UN efforts from reaching all those in need of assistance, especially as the number of 2 million internally displaced persons continues to rise. Moreover, she reminded the Council that the crisis afflicting Iraq belonged to the wider international community and was part of “a regional catastrophe which we have a collective responsibility to address.” The international community has, in fact, ramped up its efforts to repel ISIL’s advance with international forces deployed to Iraq to assist the Government in its military campaign against the militants.But, in his briefing, Mr. Zeid cautioned against adopting a full-fledged military approach in quashing the group, adding that “little attention has been paid to the underlying struggle for minds.” “I therefore query whether it is possible to bomb an ideology like this into submission, or hope it can just vaporize at the end of a judge’s gavel. ISIL may weaken or wither, it is true, but it will likely be replaced by another Takfiri group,” he said.“Thought must therefore be undermined by thought. And takfirism, must be thwarted by an approach to life couched in those principles and laws binding all of us, a system which will be more successful and enriching because it is open to the multiple realities of all human beings.” read more

Syria UN Security Council welcome Astana talks and look forward to intraSyrian

Speaking to journalists earlier today in what was his first press conference in New York since taking office in January, Secretary-General António Guterres said the UN presence in Astana was essential to the resumption of talks in Geneva expected to begin later this month. “Our presence in Astana was an absolute must in order to guarantee that after Astana, we could have Geneva. And in Geneva, we could discuss the key political aspects that are essential to be on the table,” Mr. Guterres said.The two-day talks in Astana were the first time that the Syrian opposition participated in the discussions alongside representatives of the Syrian Government. The closed-door meeting – convened by Iran, Russia and Turkey, with a representative from the United States attending as an observer – resulted in an agreement on how to monitor the ceasefire effort started in December 2016.In a statement released late last night, the Council called the international meeting in Astana “a step towards a strengthened ceasefire.” The Council’s 15 members said said they hoped it would lead to fewer violations, and noted the need for “secure safe and unimpeded” humanitarian access in line with the relevant Security Council resolutions. They also expressed hope that the meeting would lead to progress in reaching a political settlement and to efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist activities by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL or Da’esh, the Al-Nusra Front and others. The members “look forward” to the resumption of intra-Syrian talks, they said, and encouraged the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, Staffan de Mistura, to re-convene the negotiations “as soon as possible.” Speaking to journalists yesterday following his briefing to the Council, Mr. de Mistura said he had asked the Council to postpone the UN facilitated talks from 8 February until 20 February, in order to give the country’s opposition more time to unite and participate as one group. “We want to give a chance to this Astana initiative to actually implement itself,” the Special Envoy said. The talks in Geneva are guided by the UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015), which endorsed a roadmap for a peace process in Syria, including issues of governance, constitution and elections. read more

Asteroid to Collide With Earth in 2036 Maybe

first_imgIs the world in danger of being hit by a 900 foot long asteroid? Scientist say maybe. Definitely maybe. Apophis, which was originally said to be in danger of colliding with the Earth in early in 2029, may actually be hitting us in 2036. That’s slightly better news, I guess…Russian scientists have nailed such a collision down to April 13 of that year. Of course, scientists are now arguing about how real that possibility actually is.“Technically, they’re correct, there is a chance in 2036 [that Apophis will hit Earth],” NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office head, Donald Yeomans, told The Christian geek-cetera Monitor. “However, that chance is just 1-in-250,000.”The likeliest scenario involves a close swing by the Earth at some point in the next couple of years. If it gets too close, NASA is confident in its ability to help avoid a collision.last_img read more

Bill Miller named new boss of American Gaming Association

first_img AGA boss Bill Miller backs track record of US operators in Japan IR license bids Load More It’s Miller Time The American Gaming Association has named Bill Miller as its next President and CEO.Taking over from Geoff Freeman, who stepped down from the role in August after five years, Miller brings more than 30 years of experience representing membership organisations similar to the AGA in Washington. Former American Gaming Association boss Geoff Freeman joins AGS board RelatedPosts He is currently Senior Vice President of the Business Roundtable, an association of chief executive officers of leading US corporations for whom he has been responsible for overseeing the association’s administration and outreach to Capitol Hill for the past six-and-a-half-years.He previously worked for international corporate communications firm Brunswick, leading the US Chamber of Commerce’s Political Affairs and Federal Relations efforts and serving as the business federation’s National Political Director, overseeing its legislative, advocacy and lobbying tactics. He coordinated and executed political and grassroots operations and implemented lobbying campaigns on many of the top issues facing the business community during his 12 years at the Chamber, the AGA said.Miller officially steps into the AGA’s top job on 14 January 2019.last_img read more

Man charged with killing cyclist on Rickenbacker Causeway appears in court

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – A man charged with killing a bicyclist on the Rickenbacker Causeway has made an appearance in court.Kadel Piedrahita pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder, Friday.The 41-year-old shot 48-year-old Alexis Palencia during a heated argument on the causeway in August.The victim was rushed to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.Piedrahita’s trial is set to begin in January.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Its Back The Bed Tax Is Back Up For Public Input

first_imgA public hearing will be held on June 4 during the regular borough assembly meeting. A similar ‘bed tax’ proposal was rejected by the assembly the past two years. But, Assemblyman Dale Bagley has once again reintroduced the ordinance. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享At the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meeting on Tuesday residents from across the Peninsula will  once again be given the opportunity to give their opinion on the proposed ‘Bed Tax’ ordinance. If approved it would levy a maximum bed tax of 12% in the borough, and allows for an exemption in cities that levy a separate temporary lodging tax of an amount equal to the city’s tax, up to a maximum of one-half of the borough ‘s tax.center_img Bagley in a memo to the assembly, the fiscal situation has worsened and the borough needs to close that shortfall. I propose that we pass this ordinance and submit it to the voters for consideration in the next regular election on October 1, 2019. If approved it would be effective April 1. 2020. The assembly is once again bringing an ordinance forward that would amend the borough’s sales tax code to establish a 12 percent areawide sales tax on temporary lodging.last_img read more

SEC Facebook fine sparks fresh questions about Cambridge Analytica from UK Parliament

first_img Internet Services Tech Industry Facebook FTC settlement puts Zuck personally on the hook 3:28 Now playing: Watch this: In March of this year, when it was first revealed that company employees discovered data misuse earlier than previously thought, Facebook said in a statement: “In September 2015, employees heard speculation that Cambridge Analytica was scraping data, something that is unfortunately common for any internet service. Facebook was not aware of the transfer of data from Kogan/GSR to Cambridge Analytica until December 2015. When Facebook learned about Kogan’s breach of Facebook’s data use policies, we took action.”The DCMS Committee has asked Zuckerberg on multiple occasions to give evidence personally, as he did to Congress in the US and to the European Parliament, in order to clarify what he knew when, and what action he took as a result. The Facebook CEO has declined the committee’s invitations, and hasn’t been to the UK since before the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. He could still be forced to testify if he enters the country. Share your voice 1 The last few times Zuckerberg has visited Europe he has avoided visiting the UK. Antoine Gyori/Corbis via Getty Images Last week, the Securities Exchange Commission slapped Facebook with a $100 million fine for its part in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The complaint might now be settled on US soil, but the arrangement has raised new questions about Facebook’s handling of the situation for politicians in the UK who are also investigating the company’s actions.The UK Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee widened its fake news inquiry to include the problems caused by Cambridge Analytica’s misuse of Facebook data when the revelations occurred in March 2018, questioning multiple members of Facebook’s senior management team in official evidence sessions. But some of the evidence Facebook provided to Parliament doesn’t match up with evidence included in the SEC complaint.On Thursday, Committee Chair Damian Collins wrote to Nick Clegg, the former UK deputy prime minister and now Facebook’s global affairs and communications chief, asking the company to explain the contradictions between information provided to Parliament and the information provided to the SEC. The committee is asking Facebook to provide clarity on three different points where it believes the evidence provided may have been inaccurate. These include statements made my senior Facebook employees regarding:Who at Facebook knew what when about Cambridge Analytica’s activities. Facebook told Parliament that it found out about Cambridge Analytica’s data misuse in December 2015, but the SEC complaint suggests it actually knew earlier.Guarantees about Cambridge Analytica deleting user data. Parliament says it was provided contradictory information by Facebook over the course of evidence sessions about whether Cambridge Analytica held Facebook user data. Now it wants to know when concerns were raised about this internally, and why no action was taken until last year.Lack of communication to senior management (including CEO Mark Zuckerberg) about what Cambridge Analytica was doing. Facebook employees were aware of problems back in 2015, so Parliament wants to know why the company’s CEO didn’t find out about them until 2018.A spokesman for Facebook said the company will respond to the Committee’s letter “in due course,” but did not offer any further comment. Comment Tags Cambridge Analytica Facebooklast_img read more

Two Interior residents missing after Yukon boating accident

first_imgTwo Interior residents are missing after a boating accident on the Yukon River. Alaska State Troopers report that a search is underway for 56-year-old Clifford Adams and 38-year-old Ai Adams, both residents of the Yukon Flats village of Beaver.Listen nowTroopers say a 3rd person, 45-year-old Kim Andon of Rampart was found walking along the river on Wednesday.Andon said she and the Adams were returning to Beaver from a hunting trip on Sunday, when their boat overturned about six miles downstream of the village.Andon told troopers the last time she saw the Adams’ they were unresponsive and that she was the only one wearing a life jacket when the boat flipped over. Search efforts for the Adams include boats and a helicopter.last_img read more