A desperate regime

first_imgDear Editor,The PNC/APNU have proven themselves that horrible state in politics because they cannot fight a fair fight in clean, fair political combat without violence and intimidation being their main strategy. Whenever they are backed into a corner, they lash out like wounded animals. It started with their founder leader Burnham and was perpetuated by Desmond Hoyte and now David Granger; this is their modus operandi and mantra. Burnham, helped by the external powerhouses at the time, brought Guyana to its knees with those burning of political opponents’ properties, while mercilessly beating and looting their business places.Insecurity made them more repressive and evil in all that they did, so to hold on to that usurper power they set out on a task of massively rigging every election thereafter. We are all too familiar with Hoyte’s “slow fiah, mo fiah” and his “kith and kin” jargon as Georgetown and its environs became a towering inferno with those “channa bombs.” The first is a signature statement of the party, while the second solidified their claim to the armed forces that they should not keep the peace, but allow thugs and vile persons to decimate the capital. Drive fear and intimidation into the hearts and minds of the people. So, fast forward to the Granger era and his own version of PNC repression. He is using force as well as an admixture of what I would call “legal proceedings” to the latest witch-hunting vendetta. It has come in the form of the old with some new tactics, I make mention of SOCU and SARA; these are the newest undercover tools this Granger Government is using to good advantage.No wonder SOCU and SARA are out in force to incarcerate “all” political opposition they can lay hold of. They are looking hither, thither and yon hauling persons before the courts on trumped-up charges, hoping that one of these charges would stick. But charges are not convictions, and this is a major headache for the administration: how to convict those they have forced the courts to charge.As the situation worsens in Guyana, we are going to experience more of these coarse, cruel and stupid acts of a desperate regime. Respectfully,Neil Adamslast_img read more

Food versus fuel

first_imgMINNEAPOLIS One agribusiness giant is enthusiastic about using farmland to produce fuel. Another says growing food should be the top priority for those fields. Archer Daniels Midland Co., by far the country’s largest ethanol producer, has taken an aggressive approach to biofuels including ethanol and biodiesel. Cargill Inc. has been more restrained, though it’s hardly sitting on the sidelines. Recent comments by the chairmen of both companies mirror a larger debate taking place on how big of a contribution ethanol can make toward reducing America’s need for oil imports, and whether using more corn to make more fuel will lead to higher food prices. Minnetonka-based Cargill raised the food-versus-fuel issue earlier this month. As he laid out a broad vision of Cargill’s business on a changing global playing field, Warren Staley, its chairman and CEO, told a gathering of business writers here that he saw producing food as the most important task for agriculture. Noting that a number of countries are looking at ethanol and biodiesel to lessen their dependence on Mideast oil, Staley said, “We have to look at the hierarchy of value for agricultural land use: food first, then feed and last fuel.” Staley questioned whether subsidies for using land to produce fuel were good long-term policy and questioned the idea that ethanol could put a big dent in America’s dependence on foreign oil. Even if the entire U.S. corn crop were used for ethanol, it would replace only about 20 percent of domestic gasoline consumption, he said. The next day, the chairman of ADM, G. Allen Andreas, responded by insisting the world has plenty of capacity to grow food. “There is no consumption versus combustion debate, except for those who really don’t recognize the realities of the way this business functions,” he said in a conference call with analysts. Malnutrition and hunger, he said, come from “a lack of infrastructure and a lack of capital” around the world, not from diverting some food to fuel uses. Neither company made its executives available to elaborate on the comments. Bill Brady, a Cargill spokesman, said one of Staley’s main points is that the company sees itself first as a food company. ADM has seen a sharp run-up in its stock price, partly due to investors looking for ways to get in on the ethanol boom. Its shares reached an all-time high of $46.71 last Thursday. It was trading in the $18-$19 range a year ago. Cargill is privately held. In his speech, Staley said Cargill’s sales revenues have increased from $48 billion in 2001 to $71 billion in 2005 and will rise again in the fiscal year that ends May 31, but did not break out how much of that growth came from ethanol. Ethanol plays a much bigger role for Decatur, Ill.-based ADM, which claims about one-fourth of U.S. ethanol capacity. About 5 percent of its revenue comes from ethanol, and it’s aiming to boost annual production to 1.5 billion gallons, up from its current 1 billion. And in what’s been widely seen as a sign of the importance of ethanol in ADM’s future, ADM went to the oil industry for its newest leader. Last month it hired Patricia Woertz, a former executive vice president at Chevron Corp., as its CEO and president. Steve Suppan, director of research for the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a Minneapolis-based think tank, said ADM has reaped big dividends from lobbying the government over ethanol subsidies and mandates for its increased use in gasoline. Since Cargill is larger and more diversified, it doesn’t need to place as big of a bet on ethanol as ADM, Suppan said. Cargill’s nonfood businesses include marketing electricity, making and trading steel, and offering financial risk-management products to companies. “ADM is famous for their willingness to spend lots of money on lobbying,” agreed Hank Williams, vice president for fuels with Jim Jordan & Associates, a Houston-based consulting company. “… They may very well have plans to further those efforts and help themselves to larger markets in the future.” But Cargill, despite Staley’s comments, is making its own substantial investments in biofuels $1 billion worth. Currently No. 4 in U.S. ethanol production, it plans new plants that would push its annual capacity to 230 million gallons, which would put it close to the No. 2 spot. And it has a joint venture with Monsanto Co. that’s developing new production technologies. Both Cargill and ADM also have significant biodiesel expansions under way, mostly in Europe. One reason for Cargill’s relative restraint is that it generally views subsidized industries with caution because subsidies can change over time, Brady said. Congress passed the Energy Policy Act last July that mandates doubling the use of ethanol in gasoline to 7.5 billion gallons by 2012, and President George W. Bush gave the industry a strong endorsement in his State of the Union speech in January. The U.S. now has 97 ethanol plants with an annual capacity of nearly 4.5 billion gallons, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. About 39 percent of that capacity is farmer-owned. An additional 35 plants and nine expansions with a combined capacity of more than 2.2 billion are under construction, the trade group says. Daniel Kammen, director of the Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory at the University of California at Berkeley, said the food-versus-fuel debate is “a big red herring” because the U.S. “by any measure is an overproducer of food.” “A richer farm sector is going to make us more secure, it’s going to make more food available,” Kammen said. But Williams, the consultant, said concerns about food versus fuel are valid. About 15 percent of the U.S. corn crop is currently used for ethanol, and new and expanded plants easily could raise that to 45 percent to 50 percent, he said. “Which is probably not sustainable,” he added. “We have people to feed, animals to feed, and exports of corn that need to be made.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! 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Preview of Geocaching.com May 4th Website Release

first_img SharePrint RelatedGeocaching.com Caption Contest 33 – Win a Barely Coveted PrizeMay 4, 2012In “Community””Hammy” a Groundspeak Hamster Finds a New HomeJune 22, 2011In “Community”Earn New Souvenirs — Celebrate 15 Years of GeocachingMarch 23, 2015In “Community” Get ready for a new look and experience on Geocaching.com beginning May 4th. Geocaching.com will go offline for four to six hours on the 4th beginning approximately 9am PDT (GMT -7). Lackeys will be upgrading the database server to improve site performance. We will also be releasing the latest website update, which includes a sleek new design and interface for the homepage. Watch this screencast for a sneak peak of what to expect! Closed captioning on the screencast is available in both English and German.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

Nest Glitch Leaves Some Homeowners Cold

first_imgThe Nest Learning Thermostat lets homeowners control temperatures remotely via an internet connection, the same feature making automatic software updates possible. But an update in December came with a bug that caused some thermostats to malfunction two weeks later, in some cases turning off the heat in the middle of the night.The New York Times was the first to report the glitch earlier this month, noting that an unknown number of the $249 thermostats went on the fritz. A malfunctioning thermostat could pose serious problems for people who had installed one in a second home where pipes could freeze and burst, The Times noted, or to older or ill people without much tolerance for cold temperatures.The problem stemmed from a software update that the company pushed out in December. It contained a flaw that didn’t start appearing for another two weeks. The company didn’t say how many users were affected, but said the issue has since been resolved for almost all customers.Tempers flared, and customers began posting comments to an online forum, complaining about losing heat.“I guess that there’s some comfort that I’m not the only one with this problem,” one person wrote. “But I’ll be a little bit hysterical — WHAT IS NEST DOING ABOUT IT? It’s the middle of January, and we need heat here in the Northeast. I’ve disconnected from wifi in the hope that there will be enough of a charge to keep the heat going.”Another wrote on January 7, “I have 2 Nests and they both died! Woke up to a 60 degree house with no way to turn the thermostat up manually. Took 4 calls to customer service with a wait time on HOLD of over 2 HOURS! Some of the worst customer service I have experienced with a tech company. The only answer was to restart the unit! And that didn’t work. I should have gotten a Honeywell!” Nest posts reset procedure In a statement posted at its website, Nest said that some thermostats updated to software version 5.1.3 or later “may become unresponsive or may not charge the battery efficiently, causing it to shut down.”Nest suggested that customers recharge and restart the thermostat. If the thermostat was on but running slowly, or if the thermostat could not be controlled, a simple reboot should do the trick. If the thermostat was off and could not be turned back on, the company outlined a nine-step process to set things right.Nick Bilton, the Times reporter who initially wrote about the Nest problem, said that it was part of a larger problem in which smart devices go haywire: wireless fobs for cars that can be bypassed by thieves, wristbands that are supposed to keep track of the user’s heart rate but don’t, and malfunctioning touch pads on entry doors.Bilton said that a clause in the Nest service agreement bars customers from suing the company in the event of a problem. Instead, disputes must go through arbitration.“So,” he wrote, “if a pipe bursts in your home because the thermostat stopped working, or if your grandmother falls ill because the heat shuts off in the middle of the night and she doesn’t have a micro USB cable, you can’t sue.”last_img read more

The Blackmagic URSA vs. RED Scarlet

first_imgCan the Blackmagic URSA stand toe to toe with the RED Scarlet?First, before we get started, I need to make it clear that I am a REDUser. I’m currently using the RED Scarlet on my latest documentary and I’m slated to use it again this coming summer for my next doc. I’m a RED fan, but how does the Scarlet stack up to the new kid in town, the Blackmagic URSA?As a documentary filmmaker that is moving more and more toward narrative work I have been looking to replace my Canon for some time now. So, looking at production cameras to add to my arsenal within my price range I have researched the Canon C300, Sony FS700, Blackmagic Production Camera 4K, Blackmagic URSA and the RED Scarlet. It was the last two that really caught my attention.At first I didn’t think there would really be any discussion between the URSA and the RED Scarlet. I thought the RED would easily run away with my money….but then I started looking at results. The one thing I kept hearing from fellow filmmakers was that the Blackmagic URSA and Production Camera 4K boasted better sharpness and dynamic range than the Scarlet. After hearing this I had to really start looking into this.How do the Blackmagic sensor and RED sensor compare?Faymus Media has an interesting video that compares the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K with the RED Scarlet. I know this isn’t the URSA vs. the Scarlet, but in a way it is, as the Production Camera and the URSA use the exact same sensor. Now the comparison video is a bit on the long side, but its intriguing for those interested in the tech details.Now as I said the URSA has the same exact sensor as the Production Camera, but what is incredibly interesting about the URSA is that you can swap that sensor out. So essentially when Blackmagic decides to craft a new sensor that captures 6K or 8K at even higher frame rates all you need to do is remove the old sensor and replace it with the new sensor. That is pretty amazing.Director and Cinematographer Frank Glencairn has a really nice comparison between the Blackmagic Production Camera and the RED Scarlet. Again I keep using the BMPC because those comparisons exist and the URSA uses the same exact sensor.Here Frank compares the BMPC and the Scarlet using a 18mm lens:And here Frank compares the BMPC and the Scarlet using a 50mm lens:So what does all of this mean?The image quality is very close, with the RED seems to have a little better saturation and overall color balance, but the Blackmagic does seem to have better sharpness. So, to me the core image capturing isn’t the biggest difference, but rather how that image is captured. Those biggest differences come in the form of weight, sensor output, ISO, bit-rate and media storage.The URSA weighs in at just over 16lbs while the Scarlet is just over 10lbs for a basic configuration. The sensor output on the Scarlet is a full 4K at 4096, while the URSA is UHD at 3840. ISO is also slightly different as the URSA is 400 ISO and the Scarlet is 800 ISO. Bit rate is another significant difference as the URSA is a 12bit RAW and the Scarlet is 16bit RAW.[Blackmagic URSA image from Engadget]Finally biggest drawback for me personally was in regards to the URSA media storage. The Scarlet uses the RED Mag which has sizes from 48 to 512GB, while the URSA uses a CFast card setup that at one point I know were selling for $1200 a card. Then I was told by some camera ops that the URSA will record 10GB per minute compared to what I record now on the Scarlet which is right around 6GB per minute.But, as I said above that was an issue although I’m not so sure it is anymore. In my research I came across this article from Business Wire about the advancements that SanDisk is making with its CFast 2.0 cards. I was fairly impressed that the ARRI Alexa can use the CFast 2.0 cards via an adaptor. And with CFast 2.0 card prices becoming more manageable, and actually comparative to the REDMag, it’s not as big of an issue as it was.So, URSA or Scarlet?In my personal opinion, and it is just that, for the money I would purchase the RED Scarlet. But don’t discount the Blackmagic URSA or Production Camera. They are both really impressive, and if you are an independent filmmaker or documentary filmmaker and you live within a tight budget I would tell you to take a serious look at either one. In the end we are artists and storytellers, so the focus should be on how to use the tools available to create a solid story.Do you favor one camera over the other, or other pros and cons that we did not go over? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Ravan is revered in this part of world

first_imgNagpur: When effigies of ‘Ravan’ were being burnt to celebrate Vijayadashmi on September 30, Gond tribals in Gadchiroli and some parts of Chhattisgarh were busy in offering prayers to their ‘great king’.A large number of gram sabhas came together to offer prayers to ‘Ravan’ in Surjagad, Kamalapur, and Korchi of Gadchiroli.“Ravan was a great king of Gond tribals. But the people, who practised Brahmnic culture based on hegemony, vilified the history of Ravan to show themselves as great warriors,” said Mahesh Raut, an activist from Gadchiroli.Tribal organisations and village bodies have petitioned the government to stop the practice of burning Ravan’s effigies, but it is yet to act on their demand, he said.Mr. Raut claimed that 70 village bodies in Surjagad, which has been witnessing a protest against the mining, came together under the leadership of zila parishad member Sainu Gota to offer prayers.Tribal organisations and groups, including Tribal Students’ Organisation, Gond Society of Korchi, Gondwana Gotul Sena, Parakrami Gond Raja Ravan Sangh, Buddhist Society of Korchi, and the Halbi Society organised prayers in Korchi.last_img read more

Devance relishes break from guarding hulking Smith

first_imgGinebra’s Joe Devance. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJoe Devance heaved a sigh of relief after getting a short break from defending the heftier Joshua Smith Thursday night.Smith played just nine minutes before complaining on a pain on his right foot, forcing TNT to go all-Filipino from the midway point of the second quarter to the end of the game.ADVERTISEMENT “Just the minutes that I had on him was tough. He’s huge, he’s the biggest player I played, by far,” said Devance, who was tasked to battle Smith for the series.Without the hulking reinforcement, Ginebra ran away with a 125-101 win to take Game 3 and avoid a sweep, extending the series to another do-or-die Game 4 on Saturday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDevance also took advantage of the chance as the veteran forward had much more gas to contribute to the cause of the squad and finished with 10 points, five rebounds, and three assists in the victory.But he hopes nothing but the best for Smith, saying: “He’s a great player, he seems like a great guy, and he plays well in their system. I heard he got injured. I hope it’s nothing serious.” Regardless of the situation surrounding TNT’s reinforcement, Devance believes that the Gin Kings were just the better team in Game 3. “I think we played a lot better and I think we’re more prepared today. In both games, we had chances to win the game and I just think we had mental lapses. Today, we kind of manned up, had each other’s backs, and played a lot better,” he said.Devance is looking to ride this wave of momentum going to Game 4 on Saturday, where he expects a loud Cuneta Astrodome crowd to back Ginebra in the do-or-die tiff.“It’s rowdy at Cuneta and it’s always for us. But we just got to go out here and get this next game,” he said. “I’m not worried about Game 5, I’m worried about Game 4. We got to get this Game 4, play harder, play smarter, play together, and we’ll see what happens.”ADVERTISEMENT Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire LATEST STORIES NBA: Warriors spend $150K on champagne at nightclub after title win View comments Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Nextcenter_img Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ What ‘missteps’? MOST READ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garagelast_img read more