Category: naoafylv

SSudan asks govt officials to return stolen money

SSudan asks govt officials to return stolen money

first_img Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Sponsored Stories According to the statement, Kiir has reached out to heads of state in Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the United States to ask for help fighting South Sudan’s corruption.Benjamin said that Kenya, South Sudan’s southern neighbor, is playing an active role in South Sudan’s fight against corruption. South Sudan has opened a bank account in Kenya where anyone who has taken government funds can return them.“If anybody again is found taking government funds in an inappropriate manner, there will be laws in place that will definitely punish such individuals,” he said.”Earlier this year Kiir issued a decree ordering all public officials to declare their assets to the South Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission. The call was supported by Vice President Riak Machar, who declared his assets to the commission in February. But the decree was initially ignored by many other officials.The office of the president now says around 5,000 former and current public officials have declared their assets to the commission.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 4 must play golf courses in Arizona More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Natural spring cleaning tips and tricks for your home “We fought for freedom, justice and equality,” the president’s letter reads. “Yet, once we got to power, we forgot what we fought for and began to enrich ourselves at the expense of our people.”The letter was dated May 3 and was obtained by The Associated Press over the weekend. Information Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin confirmed its authenticity on Monday.The president wrote that South Sudan’s citizens and the international community were “alarmed” by the levels of corruption and that “the credibility of our government is on the line.” He promised amnesty for officials who return stolen funds and to keep the identities of those officials confidential.Despite South Sudan’s peaceful vote last year to break away from Sudan, tensions between the two sides remain, especially over what was once their shared oil industry. South Sudan this year shut down its oil industry after accusing Sudan of stealing its oil.That decision has resulted in the loss of tens of millions of dollars for the government. Oil revenue last year accounted for about 98 percent of the government budget before the shutdown.Kiir has stepped up efforts to fight corruption this year, and his office on Friday released a statement detailing the country’s anti-corruption efforts since the beginning of the year. The release says South Sudan has already recovered an estimated $60 million in stolen government money. Associated PressJUBA, South Sudan (AP) – Dear government officials: South Sudan wants its stolen money back.In a letter that reveals a shocking level of government corruption, South Sudan President Salva Kiir is asking more than 75 former and current senior government officials to return an estimated $4 billion in stolen funds to the country.Corruption has plagued South Sudan’s government since the 2005 peace deal that ended more than 20 years of civil war with Sudan. In January, South Sudan’s Auditor General reported that nearly $1.5 billion in government funds were unaccounted for from the 2005-06 fiscal year. Patients with chronic pain give advice Comments   Share   New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories last_img read more

First responders military personnel who died over last year honored in somber

First responders military personnel who died over last year honored in somber

first_imgState Rep. Margaret O’Brien today reads the name of Brittany Morgan Despinsduring the House’s annual ceremony honoring first responders who were killedin the line of duty during the last year. 11Sep First responders, military personnel who died over last year honored in somber Michigan House ceremony Categories: Newscenter_img The state House today commemorated the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and honored Michigan first responders and U.S. service members who lost their lives over the last year.Calhoun County Undersheriff Timothy Hurtt of Portage sat with state Rep. Margaret O’Brien on the House floor during the commemoration, which included a presentation of the colors by first responders. Lawmakers also stood up to read the names of Michigan first responders and military personnel who lost their lives during the last year.“The Sept. 11 anniversary is a fitting time to honor all Michigan first responders and military personnel, who do such a tremendous job protecting us every day,” said O’Brien, R-Portage. “Paying tribute to those Michiganders who gave the ultimate sacrifice also is a stark reminder of how dangerous their jobs are and how important it is to express our deepest gratitude.”Hurtt was a guest of Speaker Jase Bolger, who helped lead the ceremony from the rostrum. O’Brien also read the name of Brittany Morgan Despins, a paramedic from Marshall who lost her life in the line of duty. Despins was helping treat a car accident victim when she was struck by another vehicle.The Michigan House holds an annual event to honor first responders and the victims of 9/11, as well as the first responders and service members from Michigan who were killed during the last year.last_img read more

House clears Rep Bellinos government cleaning plans

House clears Rep Bellinos government cleaning plans

first_img16May House clears Rep. Bellino’s government cleaning plans Categories: Bellino News The Michigan House this week voted to overwhelmingly approve plans sponsored by state Rep. Joe Bellino removing unnecessary laws from the books. House Bills 5761 and 5887 would both remove outdated sections of law in diverse areas.HB 5761 repeals the Michigan Penal Code referencing the criminality of making a false protest. A false protest is covered under current insurance fraud statutes, therefore any law referencing a false protest is obsolete.HB 5887 is part of a multi-bill package that removes references to tuberculosis sanitariums, which is how tuberculosis was treated before antibiotics. At this time, Michigan does not have any tuberculosis sanatorium facilities in operation.“As many Michiganders are busy with spring cleaning, the Legislature is doing a bit of its own,” Bellino said. “Every now and then you need to look back at outdated laws that are no longer necessary and wipe them from the books to clean up the government.”The bills advance to the Senate for further consideration.last_img read more

Rep Sheppard continues Sit Down with Sheppard in July

Rep Sheppard continues Sit Down with Sheppard in July

first_img State Rep. Jason Sheppard of Temperance invites residents of the 56th District to meet with him during his July in-district office hours.The times and locations are as follows:Tuesday, July 17 from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at DaCapo Coffee, 7370 Lewis Ave. B in Temperance;Monday, July 23 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. at Social House 103, 103 Cabelas Blvd. E in Dundee;Wednesday, July 25 from 8 to 9 a.m. at Erie Restaurant, 9788 S Dixie Hwy. in Erie.No appointments are necessary to attend office hours. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Sheppard’s office at (517) 373-2617 or JasonSheppard@house.mi.gov.##### 25Jul Rep. Sheppard continues ‘Sit Down with Sheppard’ in July Categories: Sheppard Newslast_img

Rep Hernandez welcomes Sandusky Police Chief for Sept 11 Memorial

Rep Hernandez welcomes Sandusky Police Chief for Sept 11 Memorial

first_imgPHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Shane Hernandez, of Port Huron, this week welcomed Sandusky Police Chief Brett Lester as his guest for the Michigan House of Representatives annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol.  The ceremony remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year.##### Categories: Hernandez News,News 07Sep Rep. Hernandez welcomes Sandusky Police Chief for Sept. 11 Memoriallast_img

The Crisis of Immigrant Children Nonprofits Can Help but Cannot Solve It

The Crisis of Immigrant Children Nonprofits Can Help but Cannot Solve It

first_imgShare3TweetShareEmail3 Shares  Ryan Rodrick Beiler / Shutterstock.comJuly 12, 2014;Liberty VoiceThe crisis of tens of thousands of immigrant children from Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala being held in facilities in Texas, Arizona, and elsewhere in the Southwest is yet another human rights tragedy occurring within the borders of the United States. The reactions of various communities and politicians have shown the best and the worst of our nation.There’s no need to recount the ugly protests in Murrieta, California that succeeded, so to speak, in getting U.S. Customs and Border Protection to cease sending busloads of children to San Diego for temporary accommodations and processing. These often-vicious nativists gathered to show kids from Central America the worst of the American spirit. It wasn’t a “give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses” moment.Continuing the less than admirable treatment of these unaccompanied children, Fox News and Republican governors have been apoplectic that there might be a need to move some of these kids to facilities that are slightly more accommodating—in states beyond the Southwest. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Governor Dave Heineman (R-NB) issued complaints about these children being sent to facilities in their states, some managed by the nonprofit Heartland Alliance.As has been unfortunately typical, the Obama administration seems to have mucked up some of the communication of these decisions, giving opponents yet another reason to be nuts—but that’s beside the point. The issue is not whether the Obama administration failed to predict the influx (which has been occurring for some years, with more than 30,000 children apprehended at the border for four of the five years between 2009 and 2013), whether it mishandled where and how to accommodate these kids, or if it has stumbled with its messaging.No, the issue is one of being true to the principles we think America stands for. Governor Martin O’Malley (D-MD) said it best. “We are not a country that should turn children away and send them back to certain death,” he said at the National Governors Association meeting in Nashville. “It is contrary to everything we stand for as a people to try to summarily send children back to death…in a place where drug gangs are the greatest threat to stability, rule of law and democratic institutions in this hemisphere.”As usual, it is nonprofits—not those protesting around the buses full of scared immigrant kids, but human services nonprofits and notably faith-based nonprofits—standing up and trying to help these children as they wait for what could be many months for their immigration hearings. In Texas, BCFS is trying to convert a hotel in Welasco into an intake facility with 600 beds, where the children would be given access to medical and mental health treatment, educational programs, recreational programs, and case management. Catholic Charities is trying to help these children in North Texas. In Arizona, the Florence Refugee and Immigrant Rights Project is providing free legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children. Neighborhood House of Calexico is providing charitable assistance to children who are released by the Border Patrol while they wait for their immigration hearings.The list of nonprofits stepping up to the plate is long and admirable, but not up to the task at hand. It won’t be solved by the president’s request for $3.7 billion to pay for more detention facilities and more judges who can speed up the process of hearings for these kids. What is really needed for the 52,000 or so unaccompanied children already here and the 140,000 more expected in the next fiscal year is comprehensive immigration reform—nothing more, nothing less. We don’t need to recount the sad history of both parties undermining the immigration reform package proposed by President George W. Bush and his partner in the legislation, the late Senator Ted Kennedy, nor the decision of the Obama administration not to pursue legislation in the two years in which Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate. Whatever political calculus existed then, tens of thousands of unaccompanied kids from Central America mean that past politics are no longer relevant.Here’s the issue we don’t understand. When these unaccompanied minors are taken to their deportation hearings, if there isn’t a group like the Florence Refugee and Immigrant Rights Project, most stand in front of judges alone, without legal representation. The American Civil Liberties Union and other civil rights groups have responded with a class action suit protesting the federal government’s failure to provide these children with legal representation in their deportation hearings. Just recently, the Obama administration decided to respond—late, in this case, as in nearly every other element of this story—with a $2 million program through AmeriCorps to recruit 100 attorneys and paralegals to work on cases with unaccompanied minors from Central America.So, as scary as American courts are for anyone, imagine you’re a 12-year-old kid from Central America in front of an immigration court judge, without legal counsel, trying to make your case. Let’s assume that you lose and the courts rule that you must be deported. (Conservatives are angry about how few children have been deported by the courts—only 3,525 in Fiscal Year 2013, according to the Wall Street Journal.)Where does an unaccompanied minor get sent? Do the feds put the kid on a plane, dump him at the airport at Tegucigalpa, and say good luck and Godspeed? Do they return the child to the coyotes and smugglers who took him into the U.S. for a hefty price—and with much danger and abuse along the way? To those of us who remember how scared and confused we might have been as teenagers or adolescents: What do you think these kids must be feeling as they walk into immigration courts that will determine their futures?We send thanks to the fabulous, admirable, courageous nonprofits that have stepped up to provide accommodations, healthcare, and legal assistance. Now it’s time to step up the pressure on the White House and Congress to move on comprehensive immigration reform, or today’s tragedy of 50,000 unaccompanied immigrant children will be doubled or tripled next year, with more suffering than anyone coming to the U.S. should have to bear.—Rick CohenShare3TweetShareEmail3 Shareslast_img read more

Retiring Chicago Principal Takes On Charter Schools Teacher Layoffs and Rahm Emanuel

Retiring Chicago Principal Takes On Charter Schools Teacher Layoffs and Rahm Emanuel

first_imgShare16TweetShare1Email17 SharesOctober 7, 2015; Chicago ReaderThe essence of an effective civil society in the U.S. is so much more than people working in 501(c)(3) organizations. It also takes individuals of courage willing to stand up to institutions of power and tell them the truth about the way things are.In Chicago, an award-winning retiring school principal did just that. Elizabeth Heurtefeu, the principal of the LaSalle Language Academy, a magnet school on Chicago’s North Side, gave a speech at a ceremony in honor of the school’s winning a National Blue Ribbon Schools Program award from the U.S. Department of Education. In the ceremony were Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the new CEO of the Chicago Public Schools, Forrest Claypool. Heurtefeu’s speech was apparently a gem of a political flea-flicker as she unexpectedly upbraided the Emanuel/Claypool political agenda with a gracious manner and charming smile.A language teacher, Heurtefeu opened her speech with greetings in six languages, but then she turned to Claypool: “I’m going to make a plea not to cut any more language positions in the future,” she said. “Mr. Claypool—deal?” What a move! She extended her hand to Claypool, and Claypool, sort of stuck for what to do, took it. “That’s a deal,” she said as the cameras captured the moment. “And we have seen it.” So now Claypool, who has threatened to fire 5,000 teachers if the teacher’s union doesn’t accept a new contract with a seven percent pay cut, has been put in the awkward position of promising, at least for language teaching positions, no additional cuts.“I wanted to be a little political,” she explained to the Chicago Reader’s Ben Joravsky later. “I think I was speaking for many principals who can’t speak up.”Later in the talk, Joravsky reported, Heurtefeu denounced school privatization, which in Chicago at this moment is manifest in the issue of charter schools. The CPS website identifies 60 charter elementary schools and 70 charter high schools in addition to 11 “contract schools” operated by private entities currently within the school system. It seems that most members of the Chicago City Council are in favor of a one-year moratorium on the establishment of new charter schools, but Joravsky reports that Alderman Will Burns, the chair of the Council’s education committee, didn’t put the resolution on the committee agenda earlier this week. Burns, Joravsky notes, is an ally of Mayor Emanuel, the implication being that the mayor may not be supportive of the notion of a charter school moratorium. An article in Progress Illinois indicates that Burns himself is a charter school advocate and has received campaign donations from charter supporters.Unlike the attendees at the NCRP debate on market approaches to school reform, Chicago schools’ advocates are hardly agnostic on the issue. A recent CPS hearing on the possibility of a KIPP charter school in West Garfield Park produced strong feelings from supporters and opponents, including charges that charters siphon off resources from traditional schools and contentions that a public school (Orr Academy) that was being asked to share space with KIPP’s program (the Noble Street Academy) should not co-locate with “a school that will aid in the shutdown of another.” It is no surprise that the Chicago Teachers Union is a supporter of the moratorium proposal and working with the Raise Your Hand for Illinois Public Education coalition on education policy issues.Heurtefeu may have taken her oratorical stroll across the landscape of Rahm Emanuel’s school privatization and teacher layoff policies of her own accord. In many instances, civic activism doesn’t need to be scripted by the organizing experts. Sometimes, expressing ideas from the heart, as Heurtefeu did, is immensely powerful, especially when powerbrokers like Emanuel and Claypool have to grimly sit and listen—or, like Claypool, shake their critic’s hand.—Rick CohenShare16TweetShare1Email17 Shareslast_img read more

Flints Water Problem Lingers On and Michael Moore Tells Us 10 Reasons

Flints Water Problem Lingers On and Michael Moore Tells Us 10 Reasons

first_imgShare5TweetShareEmail5 SharesBarbara Kalbfleisch / Shutterstock.comMarch 5, 2016; CNN and Detroit NewsLast night, Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton were in Flint, Michigan, for the Democratic debates. Flint, of course, has long been a prime example of corporate and government neglect; it was the storied subject of native son Michael Moore’s film Roger and me, now more than three decades old.It’s been almost two years now since Flint, Michigan was shifted to temporarily sourcing its water from the Flint River by a state-appointed manager. It’s also been five months since that decision was reversed and Flint was reconnected to the Great Lakes in order to protect the health of the city’s residents. But the problems caused by the decision to use Flint River water caused remain largely active and unresolved; the health risks remain in the city’s pipes, and the politics of Michigan remain toxic. What has changed over the last five months is the loud outrage focused on the problem.Michael Moore is in the mix, publishing “10 Things They Won’t Tell You about the Flint Water Tragedy” and laying into Hillary and the Democrats in general last night for their lack of action on Flint in the past.The effect of using Flint River water and not treating it properly was to make the more than 8,300 lead pipes connecting homes to the city’s water system into significant health threats. The EPA says that water having a lead concentration of more than 15 ppb is a health threat, and water in hundreds of Flint homes tested out well above that. Bottled water that has been made available solves the problem temporarily; only replacing the lead pipes still in place will remove the health risk permanently. And on that front, there has been little progress even after the national headlines and broad concern that Flint’s plight has received.Flint’s Mayor Karen Weaver has proposed a $55 million program that would totally replace the lead pipes over the next year. But there are no funds to pay that bill. Funds that have been committed by the State to Flint have been focused on the costs of immediate healthcare needs, water testing, bottled water, and unpaid water bills for Flint River water that was not able to be safely used and cannot be used for a capital project.The State’s Republican Governor and legislative leaders have resisted making a special allocation for the needed infrastructure work, insisting that the proposals be considered in the regular budget process. Governor Rick Snyder’s budget proposal includes significant funding for Flint, including $25 million to begin the removal of lead pipes. Their timetable is leisurely; in the due course of business, this funding will be approved sometime in June!An attempt by Michigan’s two Democratic senators to have the federal government make an emergency allocation of $100 million was stopped by Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), who said, “Michigan has an enormous budget surplus this year and a large rainy-day fund. Relief and repair efforts are already in the works. The people and policymakers of Michigan right now have all the government resources they need to fix the problem. […] The only thing Congress is contributing to the Flint recovery is political grandstanding.”Even attempts by private citizens to replace pipes have been stopped, as reported by the Detroit News: “Police alerted the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and people then came out and made [them] stop digging, temporarily, to check and make sure we had the right permits…tensions rose, and construction was halted”The same political divide that resulted in Flint’s water being poisoned now keeps Flint’s water from being properly and permanently fixed. While the headlines were loud enough to cause the governor to apologize and a few state officials to resign, the basic dynamics that resulted in a state government not caring enough about the health and welfare of some of its citizens seems not to have changed. It’s still okay for us to take our time before we do the right thing. Maybe the governor’s mansion and the state legislative offices should be connected to the Flint River for as long as they think it will take to fix the problem they caused.—Martin LevineShare5TweetShareEmail5 Shareslast_img read more

UK broadcaster Channel 4 is using technology suppl

UK broadcaster Channel 4 is using technology suppl

first_imgUK broadcaster Channel 4 is using technology supplied by Kit Digital to deliver its 4oD video-on-demand service to Windows 8-based mobile devices.Kit Digital developed the app for the service ahead of its launch in December. The 4oD app was the first VOD app on the Windows 8 platform in the UK. The app uses the ‘snap’ feature of the platform to enable on-demand viewing while working on other things, and a ‘click to ad’ feature that allows users to click on ads to open a browser window with further information.last_img

Russian pay TV operator Orion Express has outlined

Russian pay TV operator Orion Express has outlined

first_imgRussian pay TV operator Orion Express has outlined plans to create a Hotbird-style satellite hotspot for Russia at the 85° East orbital position.Orion Express is the anchor tenant at the position, occupied by the Intelsat-15 and Horizon 2 satellites. The company plans to invite a number of channels from Central Asia, Asia more widely and elsewhere to broadcast from the position.Maxim Shlygin, executive director of Orion Express, said that the company could serve as “a kind of nucleus” for a wider media platform at a position served by two up-to-date satellites with plenty of spare capacity. He said the slot could work alongside the existing 80° East slot – where new Express satellites will offer capacity – and the 90° East postion occupied by Gazprom’s Yamal satellites. He said Orion Express was prepared to offer technical support, including uplink services, to third-party broadcasters looking to expand their coverage of the region.Orion Express was originally forced to move to the 85° East position following the failure of the Express AM2 satellite at the 80° East position.Shlygin said that the position offered good coverage of the entire Russian Federation and CIS from Kaliningrad to Sakhalin.last_img read more

Comux UK the group mandated by regulator Ofcom to

Comux UK the group mandated by regulator Ofcom to

first_imgComux UK, the group mandated by regulator Ofcom to build and operate the infrastructure for the UK’s new local TV channels, has launched the ‘Comux Manifesto’ outlining opportunities that it believes local TV will provide to commercial and community organisations.Ed Hall, chief executive of Comux said: “Local TV will offer a more personalised and tailored experience for people from communities who have a desire for local content. The changing TV landscape offers exciting opportunities to new talent, programme makers, advertisers, operators, and viewers.  The Comux Manifesto sets out the business case for local TV for all those interested, deals with some of the challenges to be overcome, and highlights the many opportunities this new development creates.”Local TV channels are expected to launch in November this year on Freeview Channel 8 in England and Wales, and Channel 45 in Scotland and Northern Ireland, presented in standard definition.The first phase of the rollout of channels will include 19 locations: Belfast, Birmingham, Brighton and Hove, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Grimsby, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Norwich, Nottingham, Oxford, Preston, Sheffield and Southampton. Channel Seven Grimsby is expected to become the first station to begin broadcasting on this new network. Up to 30 further stations could be launched in the second phase over the 2014-15 period.Comux will be providing licensees with transmission, playout and scheduling services.last_img read more

RTL Group has lead a US194 million €18 million

RTL Group has lead a US194 million €18 million

first_imgRTL Group has lead a US$19.4 million (€18 million) round of funding in TV advertising technology firm Clypd, in its second major investment in the programmatic ad space. Clypd said it will use the series B round, which was also contributed to by TiVo, to accelerate growth of the company’s platform “to help TV media owners in the adoption of programmatic TV.”Boston-based Clypd has now raised roughly US$30 million to date, with Atlas Venture, Data Point Capital, Duke University, Transmedia Capital and Western Technology Investment also participating in the new round.According to Clypd, the funding will be used to expand resources across all departments, including product development, data science, business development, engineering and marketing.It also said it will use the capital to expand the business into new markets, including Europe and Asia Pacific.“Clypd is one of the first companies to create a strong platform for programmatic sales for linear TV in the US. It offers a unique set of tools to the market at a crucial time, when programmatic video sales are growing rapidly,” said Rhys Noelke, vice-president, business development, at RTL Group.“Clypd adds key TV sales competencies that will offer groundbreaking solutions for TV advertisers. We see great potential in the company – in both the US and Europe.”In July 2014, RTL Group paid €107 million to take a 65% majority stake in US video advertising platform SpotXchange.The German media group said the deal established it as the first major broadcaster to invest in the rapidly growing market of programmatic online video advertising, and that it also marked the next step of RTL Group’s strategy to become “a leading player in all segments of online video and online video advertising.”last_img read more

Sky has said that Champions League football accoun

Sky has said that Champions League football accoun

first_imgSky has said that Champions League football accounted for just 2.5% of Sky Sports viewing, with fans showing an “overwhelming preference for our Premier League coverage.”In a company blog post, Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said that the Premier League is “seven times bigger” that its Champions League coverage and that 49 of the top 50 most-watched Premier League matches were on Sky Sports last season.“Over the last five seasons we have seen Champions League audiences fall 38%. Last season, we saw our lowest ever average match audience and not a single European game appeared in our top 40 football matches,” said Francis.“Success in the recent Premier League auction means we’ll show the matches that matter for at least four more years. From 2016, we will have even more games with 126 live fixtures, up from 116. That’s three times more than any other broadcaster.”The comments come as BT prepares to take over live Champions League coverage from Sky and ITV in the UK from the beginning of the 2015/16 season.BT won the rights in a £897 million (€1.07 billion) three-year deal agreed in 2013, while Sky retained the bulk of live Premier League football in an auction earlier this year, paying a record £5.14 billion for the three seasons from 2016/2017.last_img read more

The new Apple TV box Apple has unveiled its next g

The new Apple TV box Apple has unveiled its next g

first_imgThe new Apple TV boxApple has unveiled its next generation Apple TV device, claiming that the new device was built from ground up and that  “apps represent the future of TV.”The revamped streaming box will run on the new tvOS operating system, based on Apple’s iOS, allowing iOS developers to create new apps and games specifically for Apple TV. These will be delivered to users through the new Apple TV App Store.Other new features include a new touch-surface remote control with built-in Siri voice commands, letting users search for TV shows and movies across multiple content providers by title, genre, cast, crew, rating or popularity.The touch remote, with built-in ‘accelerometer’ and ‘gyroscope’ will also let developers create “games and other app experiences that have never been seen on TV before,” according to Apple.“There has been so much innovation in entertainment and programming through iOS apps, we want to bring that same excitement to the television. Apps make the TV experience even more compelling for viewers and we think apps represent the future of TV,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services.The new Apple TV will run on the Apple-designed A8 chip and retail from the end of October, priced at US$149 for a 32GB model and US$199 for a 64GB model.This marks a significant premium on the existing generation of Apple TV, which sells for US$69, and other streaming rivals like Amazon’s Fire TV box.The Fire TV box launched in the US in April 2014 for US$99 and also offers voice control along with some 2,000 channels, apps and games. A cheaper Fire TV stick retails for US$39, while Google’s Chromecast sells for US$35.At a launch event in San Francisco yesterday, Apple also introduced a new, larger iPad Pro, which includes a 12.9-inch Retina Display, as well as the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, and Apple WatchOS 2.last_img read more

Pawn Stars AE Networks UK has extended the distri

Pawn Stars AE Networks UK has extended the distri

first_imgPawn StarsA+E Networks UK has extended the distribution of its UK free-to-air channel Blaze by securing a berth for the channel on free-to-view satellite platform Freesat.Blaze is now available to Freesat’s 1.9 million homes. The move comes six weeks after the debut of the channel on free-to-air digital-terrestrial platform Freeview.The deal takes the channel’s free-to-air reach to close to 21 million homes.Blaze, which carries a mix of popular A+E shows including Pawn Stars, Mountain Men, and American Restoration, as well as blade-making competition show Forged In Fire, is also available on Sky’s pay TV platform.Blaze is A+E Networks International’s second free-to-air launch this year, following the launch of Lifetime to 20 million homes in Turkey in April.Heather Jones, UK general manager, A+E Networks, said: “We are very excited to bring Blaze to a further 1.9 million homes via Freesat.  We are delighted with how audiences are embracing the array of shows on Blaze, with much of our content free-to-air exclusives.”Alistair Thom, Managing Director of Freesat said: “We are thrilled to add Blaze to our channel line-up. Freesat viewers already enjoy more than 200 TV and radio channels across a range of genres. Blaze will boost our entertainment offering for viewers who want to enjoy brilliant TV without paying a monthly subscription.”Dean Possenniskie, managing director, A+E Networks EMEA, recently told Digital TV Europe that taking the plunge into free-to-air in a strong pay TV market such as the UK made sense because the company identified an opportunity to use its pipeline of content to target a new audience in a way that did not cannibalise its core pay TV business or threaten its distribution partnerships.“We were fortunate that with the A+E pipeline of content we could go different ways. We have strong distribution partnerships and we continue to grow our channels,” said Possenniskie. “We value our partnerships highly. Blaze is complementary in terms of windowing, scheduling and the brand, and can be used to cross-promote to content on pay TV like Pawn Stars on History.”In addition to launching Blaze as a linear channel, A+E has used the launch to debut its first TV Everywhere service in the EMEA region, providing access to Blaze content on a catch-up basis on multiple screens. Possenniskie said the TV everywhere app was downloaded 1,000 times in the first week after its launch.last_img read more

OTT TV technology provider Xstream has named forme

OTT TV technology provider Xstream has named forme

first_imgOTT TV technology provider Xstream has named former Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services president Thorsten Sauer to its board.Thorsten SauerAt Ericsson Broadcast and Media Services, now known as Red Bee, Sauer supervised the acquisitions of Technicolor’s Broadcast Service division in 2012, Red Bee Media in 2014 and FYI Television in 2016.Sauer also previously served as chief commercial officer of Ericsson Business Unit CDMA Mobile Systems, based in Sweden and Dallas/US and the company’s global account manager for Deutsche Telekom.“With more and content owners deciding to go direct to consumers and consumers increasingly consume content through digital channels, I am very happy to join the talented team of Xstream to support the growth of the business. Xstream has revamped its end to end OTT portfolio and migrated all key workflows in a cloud based SaaS model,” said Sauer.last_img read more

Market analyst Jefferies International has issued

Market analyst Jefferies International has issued

first_imgMarket analyst Jefferies International has issued an upbeat assessment of Telefonica’s global strategy as the company heads into the third quarter.Rating the company’s stock as a buy, it said the company is performing well both in Spain and Latin America. It added that Telefonica’s Spanish pay TV platform Movistar has managed to differentiate itself well from rivals and is yet to see any impact on its subscriber base as a result of emerging skinny bundles/SVOD.According to Jefferies, the summer in Spain has been characterised by heavy discounting by Telefonica and rival Vodafone Spain. As a result, Telefonica has seen significant additional demand for higher-tier packages.Vodafone is attempting to challenge Telefonica/Movistar on the movies and series front, but Jefferies questions its ability to do so with its restricted content line-up.“Vodafone lacks access to Telefonica’s popular originals (12-15 series per annum). It also lacks on-demand/catch-up access to the Movistar Series/Cine content. As for content from other producers, Telefonica says cost per user models are prevalent and that Vodafone’s limited scale (it current has a third of Telefonica’s TV base) may undermine its bargaining power.”Summarising Telefonica’s view on skinny bundles, Jefferies said: “TEF argues that its content line-up undermines the business case for OTT challengers. It suggests that Sky has failed to gain traction due to a lack of relevant content.”Netflix is a potential threat, but Telefonica says that consumers are currently seeing it as a complementary product.As for LatAM, Jefferies says Telefonica is well positioned to take advantage of OTT growth: “Low credit card (<30%) and pay TV (<30%) penetration make it difficult for OTT providers to reach a critical mass without a distribution partner.“With direct access to 160 million mobile users, Telefonica has the ability to provide such a distribution platform. It targets 20-30 million registered OTT subscribers with its Movistar Play service by 2021, a 10-20-times increase versus August 2018.”last_img read more

BISHOPS GATE HOTELDerry hostelries among the crea

BISHOPS GATE HOTELDerry hostelries among the crea

first_img BISHOP’S GATE HOTELDerry hostelries among the cream of the crop in Irish Restaurant Awards 2019Irish Restaurant Awards 2019.Mekong Street FodNonnas Wood Fired PizzasPeadar O’Donnell’sThe Shipquay Hotelwalled city brewery ShareTweet They included Bishops’ Gate Hotel, The Shipquay Hotel, the Walled City Brewery, The Sooty Olive, The Primrose Bar, Browns in Town, Soda and Starch, Browns Bond Hill, Peadar O’Donnell’s, Nonnas Wood Fired Pizzas, Mekong Street Food, Hidden City Café, and Church Street Restaurant. Over 450 restaurant owners and staff attended the second of four regional events where the top establishments in each county were named.The awards covered a wide range of venues and the winners from each of Ulster’s nine counties were selected from the following categories: Best Casual Dining, Best Emerging Irish Cuisine, Best Kids Size Me, Best ‘Free From’, Best World Cuisine, Best Restaurant Manager, Best Wine Experience, Pub of the Year, Best Café, Best Customer Service, Best Gastro Pub, Best Hotel & Guesthouse Restaurant, Best Newcomer, Best Chef and Best Restaurant. There was also a special Regional award for Ulster’s Local Food Hero.Speaking at the awards, Adrian Cummins, Chief Executive of the Restaurants Association of Ireland (RAI) said: “Now in their 11th year, the Irish Restaurant Awards continue to showcase the incredible food that is on offer in the cafes, pubs and restaurants of Ireland, as well as recognising the teams behind these establishments and the hard work and dedication that they put in. “With well over 80,000 nominations received from the public this year, the standard for the judging process was higher than ever.“Ireland may be a small country, but it boasts everything from fine dining to high quality gastropubs, from the comfort of traditional Irish food to exploring the world though exotic world cuisine, the Irish restaurant industry has much to offer. “We have an appreciation for what we eat and where our food comes from, as well as the dedication of those working in the food industry”.Those who won at county level will progress to the All-Ireland event on May 13 with the restaurants that have already won in Leinster, where they will all compete for the Regional and All-Ireland titles.Well done to all the Derry establishments and good luck in May.Best Restaurant – Sponsored by Tindal Wine MerchantsAntrim: OxArmagh: 4 VicarsCavan: MacNean House and RestaurantDerry: The Sooty OliveDonegal: The Lemon Tree RestaurantDown: NOBLE.Fermanagh: 28 Darling StreetTyrone: Oysters RestaurantsMonaghan: Courthouse RestaurantBest Chef – Sponsored by NisbetsAntrim: Alex Greene of Deanes EipicArmagh: Simon Dougan of The Yellow DoorCavan: Gearóid Lynch of The Olde Post InnDerry: Bryn Evans of Primrose DerryDonegal: Colin McKee of Harvey’s PointDown: Chris McGowan of Wine & BrineFermanagh: Noel McMeel of The Catalina Restaurant at Lough Erne ResortTyrone: Colin Mc Menamin of The Red PepperMonaghan: Conor Mee of Courthouse RestaurantBest Restaurant Manager – Sponsored by AIB Merchant ServicesAntrim: Gareth McCaughey of The Muddlers ClubArmagh: James Scott at The Bawn PantryCavan: Blaithin McCabe at MacNean House & RestaurantDerry: Stephanie Bradley of Walled City BreweryDonegal: Orhan Erinc of Harvey’s PointDown: Saul McConnell of NOBLE.Fermanagh: Charlie Oldcroft of The Moorings RestaurantTyrone: Caroline Clarke of Oysters RestaurantMonaghan: Shane Treanor of Porky’s Restaurant at The Squealing PigBest Customer Service – Sponsored by LocktonAntrim: The Muddlers ClubArmagh: Newforge HouseCavan: People’s RestaurantDerry: Bishop’s Gate HotelDonegal: Harvey’s PointDown: NOBLE.Fermanagh: Tully Mill RestaurantTyrone: Restaurant 1861 at Sion StablesMonaghan: Snaffles Restaurant at Castle LeslieBest Hotel and Guesthouse Restaurant – Sponsored by BWG Food ServiceAntrim: The Taylor & Clay Restaurant at Bullitt HotelArmagh: Newforge HouseCavan: The Courtroom Restaurant at Cabra Castle HotelDerry: The Shipquay HotelDonegal: Rathmullan HouseDown: Rayanne HouseFermanagh: The Catalina Restaurant at Lough Erne ResortTyrone: The Kitchen at Tullylagan Country House HotelMonaghan: Snaffles Restaurant at Castle LeslieBest Gastro Pub – Sponsored by ElavonAntrim: The Morning StarArmagh: ClenaghansCavan: Murph’s Bistro at the Derragarra InnDerry: Walled City BreweryDonegal: The House Gastro PubDown: The Dirty DuckFermanagh: The TapHouseTyrone: The Brewer’s HouseMonaghan: Andy’s Bar & RestaurantBest Café – Sponsored by IllyAntrim: Curated Kitchen & CoffeeArmagh: The Bawn PantryCavan: Hard Boiled Egg CafeDerry: Primrose on the QuayDonegal: The Salty FoxDown: McCooey’sFermanagh: The Jolly Sandwich BarTyrone: Deli On The GreenMonaghan: Dinkin’s Home Bakery & Cafe Pub of the Year – Sponsored by Jameson CaskmatesAntrim: Sunflower Public HouseArmagh: McConville’sCavan: Gartlan’sDerry: Peadar O’Donnell’sDonegal: The Rusty MackerelDown: Ned’s BarFermanagh: Blakes Of The HollowTyrone: Tomneys BarMonaghan: Coach House & Olde BarBest Wine Experience – Sponsored by Gilbeys with BibendumAntrim: OXArmagh: ClenaghansCavan: MacNean House & RestaurantDerry: Browns In TownDonegal: Harvey’s PointDown: NOBLE.Fermanagh: Watermill Lodge RestaurantTyrone: The Brewer’s HouseMonaghan: The Fiddlers ElbowBest NewcomerAntrim: Bia Rebel RamenArmagh: Arose Coffee ShopCavan: The Stone Cottage RestaurantDerry: Nonnas Wood Fired PizzasDonegal: Fisk Seafood BarDown: HaraFermanagh: Belle Isle BistroTyrone: District 80 RestaurantMonaghan: Kinga’s CaféBest World CuisineAntrim: JumonArmagh: Bengal TandooriCavan: Chilli LoungeDerry: Mekong Street FoodDonegal: Chandpur RestaurantDown: Tuk Tuk Asian BistroFermanagh: Dollakis RestaurantTyrone: Dragon GardenMonaghan: Eastern BaltiBest “Free From” – Sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro Gluten FreeAntrim: Home RestaurantArmagh: Digby’s Bar & RestaurantCavan: The Olde Post InnDerry: Hidden City CaféDonegal: Wholegreen HealthfoodDown: YaksFermanagh: Becketts Dining Room at The Enniskillen HotelTyrone: Oysters RestaurantMonaghan: NeighbourhoodBest Kids Size MeAntrim: Ramore Wine BarArmagh: ZioCavan: Oak Room RestaurantDerry: Church Street RestaurantDonegal: Mill Park HotelDown: CoastFermanagh: Café MerlotTyrone: Tullylagan hotelMonaghan: Meeting HouseBest Local Food Hero – Sponsored by Rewarding TimesAntrim: Dara and Ciara O hArtghaile of Ursa Minor BakehouseArmagh: Susie Hamilton Stubber of Burren BalsamicsCavan: John Smith & Charles Smith of Farmers to MarketDerry: Ian Orr of Browns Bonds HillDonegal: Mairead Anderson of Killybegs Seafood ShackDown: Johnny McDowell & Laura Anne Bradley of Indie FüdeFermanagh: Joe McGirr of The Boatyard DistilleryTyrone: Jonathan Cuddy of Ispini CharcuterieMonaghan: Trevor ConnollyUlster Regional Local Food Hero – Sponsored by Rewarding TimesTrevor Connolly of Monaghan Town TeamBest Emerging Irish Cuisine – Sponsored by OdaiosAntrim: The Slemish Market Supper ClubArmagh: Wee Paddy’s BistroCavan: The Olde Post InnDerry: Soda and StarchDonegal: Foyle’s Hotel and RestaurantDown: Wine and BrineFermanagh: 28 Darling StTyrone: Restaurant 1861 at Sion StablesMonaghan: Andy’s Bar and RestaurantBest Casual Dining – Sponsored by Just EatAntrim: Slemish Market Supper ClubArmagh: Wee Paddy’s BistroCavan: The Olde Post InnDerry: Soda & StarchDonegal: Foyle’s Hotel RestaurantDown: Wine & BrineFermanagh: 28 Darling StTyrone: Restaurant 1861 at Sion StablesMonaghan: Andy’s Bar & RestaurantDerry hostelries among the cream of the crop in Irish Restaurant Awards 2019 was last modified: March 19th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags: Bishop’s Gate Hotel wins Best Customer Service in Irish Restaurant AwardsIT is little surprise that Derry hostelries are among the best in Ireland.And during the Ulster Regional Awards for the 2019 Irish Restaurant Awards, some of Derry’s finest eateries, bars, restaurants and hotels carrying the flag for Derry.last_img read more

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first_img Facebook Twitter Previous PostGang Member Enters Plea to Murder, Robbery Charges Mail Next PostBench Warrant Issued For A Man Involved In The Death Of A Bluefield Police Officer Google+ Linkedin Home NewsWatch CrimeWatch News Officials Investigating Possible Embezzlement from Fayetteville Children’s Sports Leaguecenter_img Tyler Barker Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com Tumblr CrimeWatch NewsFeaturedLocal NewsNewsWatch Officials Investigating Possible Embezzlement from Fayetteville Children’s Sports League By Tyler BarkerMay 30, 2018, 16:45 pm 3686 0 FAYETTEVILLE– An investigation is underway into possible embezzlement within the Fayetteville Midget League.Multiple Fayette County law enforcement officials confirm to WOAY that Stephanie Roark is being investigated for possibly embezzling money from the league.Roark’s husband was the president of the league at one time, but her role is currently unclear.Very few details are available at this time as the investigation is just getting started. Stick with Newswatch online and on-air as more details become available. Pinterest Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Websitelast_img read more

Its become a commonplace to bemoan the fact that

Its become a commonplace to bemoan the fact that

first_imgIt’s become a commonplace to bemoan the fact that technological development has been proceeding at such a rapid clip that humans, still burdened with their Neolithic brains, cannot even comprehend what’s happening. Many would say we’re incapable of making wise decisions about how to handle our vast new powers. So far, our dilemmas have mostly revolved around our increasingly efficient methods of taking life. Now, however, we can also make it. And the ability to do so is no longer solely invested in white-jacketed cadres of latter-day Drs. Frankenstein. It’s within reach of anyone with a few bucks for the proper tools, some free time, and Internet access. Welcome to the Next Big Thing: biohacking (or “DIYbiology,” as it’s sometimes called). Few are aware of this new phenomenon. Yet it has the potential to transform our world, for good or ill, more than just about anything else out there. Seriously. You see, biohacking grants individuals the ability to create synthetic life forms. It’s all about gene sequencing. The first complete cellular genome sequences—from bacteria—weren’t worked out until 1995. That required a lot of money, an elaborate lab, and some genius-level human brain power. But in the few short years since then, the game has changed completely. Why? Because of the merging of some of the irresistible trends of our age: instant information; computerization of everything that can be digitized, including most knowledge and fine motor functions; and sharply falling prices for sophisticated electronic equipment and the software to run it. Most important, biohacking is now possible because of the price of the raw materials. This chart shows the exponential decline in the cost of producing DNA base pairs: As DNA got cheaper, people realized they could experiment with it. And before you could say “whose molecule is that?,” a revolution was brewing. Like so many of the others that preceded it—the personal computer, the Internet, 3D printing—this one is being powered by a loosely organized, dedicated coalition of young technogeeks with a largely open-source view of the world and the knowledge that they can create new life forms in their garage. They are, by most measures in a world that values specialization, amateurs. But these amateurs are not unlike those who once inhabited the Berkeley Homebrew Computer club… like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. In other fields of science, such a dramatic rise in enthusiast tinkerers has presaged extraordinarily positive developments. But, as with every technological innovation, DIYbio is not without a potential dark side. Which raises a rather provocative question: What happens when the world of scientific exploration—and, more specifically, genetic experimentation—opens up to anyone with a broadband connection and a few pieces of lab equipment you can buy off of eBay? Or, to put it a little more dramatically, do you get a cure for cancer, or do you get World War Z? Let There Be New Life Forms… The term “biohacking” can be used to denote any tinkering with the body that involves adding technology to enhance or improve human capabilities. But for our purposes, we’ll use the narrower meaning of genetic engineering conducted in non-institutional settings. Biohackers in general are driven by the desire to openly increase our knowledge base, sharing their discoveries and inviting others freely to make modifications without regard to patents, profits, or approval by governmental watchdogs. Biohackers constructed their temple in 2009, with the establishment of Brooklyn-based Genspace, the world’s first government-compliant DIY biotech lab. Genspace is the democratization of science in a nutshell, a nonprofit funded by membership dues, tuition fees, and donations from supportive nonmembers. You can attach yourself to one of the scientists already embarked on a project, or you can set up one of your own. The only credential you need to bring is your enthusiasm for the subject, with Ph.D.s onsite to help you through the rough spots. While members supply much of their own equipment, Genspace provides the specialized, costlier biotech gear such as autoclaves, incubators, and PCR machines. (PCR stands for “polymerase chain reaction”; a PCR machine is the indispensable tool used by genetics researchers to quickly generate millions of copies of a particular DNA sequence.) Genspace members pay only $100 a month for access to top-flight people and hardware and, perhaps equally important, for freedom. As cofounder Ellen Jorgensen points out, “[Y]ou can work on a project and you don’t have to justify to anyone that it’s going to make a lot of money, that it’s going to save mankind, or even that it’s feasible.” Just do it. The lab may once have been unique, but the idea is spreading across the globe. In the US alone, there are now about a dozen community biolabs, or “hackerspaces,” as they’re known. Along with Genspace, they include Boston’s BOSSLAB, BioCurious in the San Francisco Bay Area, and Los Angeles’ LA Biohackers Lab (the, um, LAB Lab). They cooperate among themselves and also with a loose, international confederation of biohackers called, appropriately enough, DIYBio, which lists 15 organized DIY groups in North America, 11 in Europe, two in Asia, and two in Australia/New Zealand. Down the Unmapped Yellow Brick Road The path to making synthetic life is remarkably straightforward. For example, some biohackers wanted to make a plant that glows in the dark. Their plan: First, special software is used to design a new DNA sequence incorporating bioluminescence genes. Next, the new DNA sequences are printed out. Finally, the printed DNA is inserted into a special type of bacterium which can transfer its DNA into Arabidopsis, a small flowering member of the mustard family. The bacteria inject the new DNA into the cell nucleus of the flowers, which pass it on to their seeds, which can then be grown until they light up. Obviously, this project and others like it would not be possible without access to some very sophisticated yet affordable hard- and software. Genome Compiler, based in California and Israel, is the primary software provider. This company’s stated goal is to help “design and program living things the same way that we design computer code,” and it embraces “a vision of making biological design easier, cheaper, and open to people outside the research labs.” You can actually download the Standard version of its compiler program from the company’s website—for free. But it’s San Francisco-based Cambrian Genomics that is the 800-pound gorilla in the room. This all-but-invisible startup has developed a revolutionary laser-printing system for DNA synthesis that supplies the preselected DNA 10,000 times more cheaply than conventional tech, with a dramatically reduced error rate. Its website is not very informative—perhaps because it has financial ties to DARPA—and if you go there you will find only a street address, phone number, and email. CEO Austen Heinz is, however, a bit more forthcoming. He’s posted a video in which he rhapsodizes about “democratizing creation.” In computer terms, he says, DIYbio is still at the punch-card level. His efforts are “designed to change behavior,” Heinz says. “Every biology lab in the world will become more virtualized. They’ll design code on a computer and then print out DNA. A biologist on a small budget should be able to design 50,000 different constructs at a time.” He doesn’t offer any further details on pricing, except to say that he already has some early paying clients. As to financing, you have to do some digging, but in addition to DARPA, the company appears to have significant backing from some high-powered Silicon Valley VC outfits. A Cambrian IPO would likely be a hot one. The Future: Prospects and Concerns Cambrian boasts among its founders Dr. George Church, a Harvard geneticist and author of Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology Will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves. He believes that DNA manipulation has the capacity to solve all of the world’s problems. Just for starters: “We can now replace petroleum for fuels, chemicals, plastics, antibiotics and so forth. We can now start making those with biologically engineered machines.” Dr. Church, however, adds a caveat: “I think we should be quite cautious. That doesn’t mean that we should put moratoriums on new technologies, but it means licensing, surveillance, doing tests.” That implies a certain level of government oversight. Which, in a way, puts Church at odds with labs like Genspace and the whole biohacking movement—and it foreshadows the looming, potentially epic conflict between authoritarian control and the democratization of biotechnology. But how real is the danger, and what is the DIYbio community doing about it? Everyone admits that there are risks involved in fooling around with synthetic life forms. But the biggest one is the threat of bioterrorism, and that’s probably not going to come from the public DIYbio community. The horrible killer virus that unleashes World War Z is far more likely to emerge from a secret lab of some dedicated terrorist group. And you can be sure that the international intelligence agencies are on high alert for signs of any such development. As for regulation, the US government so far hasn’t taken any steps to control at-home biology. One assumes that it will, at some point. But if it does—and it could, through limiting access to DIY biological materials, for example—it might succeed only in driving amateur labs underground, creating a vast new criminal enterprise in the process. In an attempt to fend off onerous regulation, biohackers themselves are being proactive. As reported in TheScientist: “In December 2011, Genspace … recruited an external advisory board of distinguished academic, government, and industry professionals to answer safety-related questions. The board also reviews the appropriateness of certain projects requiring a Biosafety Level 1 environment, ensures adherence to National Institutes of Health (NIH) recombinant DNA guidelines, and helps minimize the use of potentially hazardous reagents. For the larger DIYbio community, DIYbio.org and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars launched the ‘Ask a Biosafety Expert’ web portal, which allows anyone to submit biosafety- and biosecurity-related questions to a panel of biosafety professionals for a rapid response. And in the spring of 2011, the Wilson Center and DIYbio.org drafted the first-ever DIYbio code of conduct, which serves as a framework for helping achieve a vibrant, productive, and safe DIYbio community. These initiatives demonstrate that citizen scientists understand the risks associated with their work and feel a sense of responsibility to mitigate those risks.” The NeoBiologic Age The Ages of Man have been many, from Paleo- to Neolithic and on through Bronze, Iron, Dark, Industrial, Atomic, Electronic, and Information. Now we are on the threshold of what might well be termed the NeoBiologic Age, and this one may involve the biggest leap forward of any. For the first time—and whether or not we have the wisdom for it—we’re playing around with the creation of synthetic life. The ability to do so is not going to be confined to some elite caste which guards its secrets. It’s going to be the province of anyone who can make a modest investment in the relevant soft- and hardware. No one can predict where that will lead. With so many more people conjuring up potential cancer cures, we may well get one far sooner than if the quest had remained confined to staffs of bio-pharma companies. Or we may get a new organism that kills healthy cells, not cancerous ones. That coin is in the air. Forty years ago, visionary Whole Earther Stewart Brand remarked that, “We are as gods so we might as well get good at it.” Even he couldn’t have known how right he was.last_img read more