ReadWriteWeb DeathWatch: In-House Datacenters

first_imgA business’ data is still its most important asset, but that doesn’t mean it every company needs to spend millions of dollars building and maintaining its own datacenters. The cloud has grown up, and the days of the company-owned-and-operated datacenters are numbered.The BasicsIn the pre-PC days, computers were sprawling and temperamental beasts requiring constant care and feeding. Mainframes lived in climate-controlled, secure facilities with round-the-clock surveillance and redundant power and bandwidth connections. Over time, most mainframes were replaced by more modular, inexpensive servers, but the operational requirements remained: a cold, secure room, redundancy and 24/7 management.During the prosperous ’90s, IT managers with datacenter blueprints and wads of cash set out to build their own data fortresses. Data was a critical asset that could not be left to chance, so businesses wanted to keep it safe and close. The number of in-house datacenters exploded, and to IT managers of the 1990s or early 2000s, datacenter vendors like Avocent, Veracode, and EMC were every bit as familiar as Microsoft or Oracle.Until the past five years or so, outsourced data management was generally thought of as a “little guy” option, conjuring all-to-accurate visions of system outages, sloppy security and spiky performance. But datacenter complexity has risen and the cloud has grown up, so more and more businesses – even really, really big ones – are getting out of the in-house datacenter game and leaving it to the pros. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair cormac foster Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts The ProblemDatacenter management has always been tricky, for two related reasons: servers are hot, and all technology eventually fails. All other datacenter issues (cooling, power consumption, physical space management, redundancy, and monitoring) stem from these. If anything, progress has made things worse. Every year, server manufacturers pack more processing into smaller footprints, and datacenters pack more servers into each square foot. Higher processing density has tripled heat levels in recent years.HeadachesBalancing heat density and floor temperatures is not a game for the faint of heart. 60% of datacenter costs are electrical and mechanical, and that adds up to real money. Upping your floor temperature just one degree can save 4% in power costs, and companies have reclaimed millions of dollars per year simply by tweaking cooling. But those gains aren’t free. Raising temperatures just a few degrees can reduce your time to respond to outages and increase the risk of catastrophic failure. That’s a lot of responsibility to place in the hands of an IT department that’s probably better at (and more interested in) software and networks than HVAC.Even a datacenter operating at peak efficiency might cost more than its worth. Few businesses have the kind of predictable, linear growth best suited to a datacenter construction plan. Mergers, opportunities, new regulations or unexpected setbacks can all influence the scope of data under management, and that can change on a dime. Not enough capacity is a logjam. Too much capacity is wasted money. The standard logic regarding outsourcing goes like this: “If it’s core to your business keep it in-house.” But if you’re an information company, are refrigeration and construction really core to your business?center_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… QualityOnce upon a time, managing your own data center was the only way to ensure adequate Quality of Service and data security. Businesses assumed the painful realities of in-house management to keep their customers happy and their data safe. These days, that claim is pretty tough for most businesses to make. Netflix, which already runs its consumer business in Amazon’s cloud, plans to move more than 95% of its internal servers to the cloud, dropping from 2,500 in-house virtual servers to about 50. The quality is there, and unless you’re NORAD, so is the security. In fact, the US federal government, will close more than 1,000 datacenters by 2015 through consolidation and migration to the cloud.Larry Tabb, founder of the research firm TABB group, summed it up nicely in an interview with Advanced Trading: “Just because it’s a shared datacenter, that doesn’t mean it’s any less safe than your own datacenter. If Citi can get hacked, and the big banks can get hacked, and Sony can get hacked, it can happen to anybody.”The PrognosisCloud vendors have advantages due to economies of scale and domain expertise, and they’ve reached parity or better on security and QoS. In the long run, in-house datacenters in all but the rarest circumstances are done. As Axcient’s CEO Justin Moore pointed out, though, migration to the cloud is a gradual process. More entrenched companies with massive investments in datacenters won’t move overnight, but newer businesses that have not made major investments will be hard-pressed to build any infrastructure. Over five to ten years, as aging hardware and support systems in established datacenters come due for replacement, most larger businesses will begin to consolidate in the same manner as the federal government – pulling key data close, migrating non-critical data to the cloud, and eliminating excess capacity.Can This Technology Be Saved?The datacenter itself isn’t going away – just the paradigm of running it internally. As storage technology continues to improve, datacenter management will become increasingly prohibitive, and frankly, fewer and few CIOs will want the headache. It’s possible that a few high-profile hacks of cloud service providers might slow the tide for a while, but ultimately, outsourcing management just makes sense.Previous Technology DeathwatchesPoint-and-Shoot Cameras: No changeVideo Game Consoles: The utility of bundles apps like Netflix and Vudu seems to be slipping. An NPD Study showed that one in five consumers who view streaming video on their TVs do so without a peripheral device.Blu-Ray: The same NPD study reveals that “online video is maturing” as users migrate to watching streaming media on their TVs.QR Codes: It’s been a mixed bag. While Bank of America is testing QR codes for mobile payments (good news for the technology), a security researcher demonstrated how a malicious QR code could be used to wipe a Samsung smartphone.Company DeathwatchesFor an update on our baker’s dozen of company Deathwatches, check out our updated ReadWriteWeb DeathWatch Update: The Unlucky 13.Map image from Whitehouse.gov. Tags:#Data Centers#Deathwatch#enterprise 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more

Read More →

Has Facebook’s Reign Come And Gone Already?

first_imgGuide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Tags:#Facebook A smart friend of mine, a longtime industry veteran, once shared with me an interesting observation about the companies that dominate the computing industry. His idea was that there’s always a top dog, a company that Bigfoots over everybody else, instills fears in rivals, attracts the best talent and so on — but that with each turn of the wheel, each new ruler’s reign gets shorter and shorter. So: first came IBM, which ruled for 25 to 30 years, then Microsoft, which ruled for 12 to 15, then Google for six to eight years, and now Facebook, whose reign arguably began in 2010, when its traffic surged past Google’s and it bullied Zynga, its biggest partner, into accepting Facebook Credits.But is Facebook’s reign already drawing to a close?That’s the impression I got from reading a thoughtful blog post by YouTube exec Hunter Walk titled, “Trying to be the one true social graph is like trying to hold water in your hand.”It’s a great piece and really worth a read. But the gist is that while it might once have seemed that Facebook could become the “one graph that rules them all,” that notion is already looking kind of silly.One Social Graph To Rule Them All?As evidence, Walk offers Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram and its cloning of Snapchat with a feature called Poke. (The scary thing about the Poke fiasco is not that Facebook ripped off an idea, but that it failed to kill Snapchat. If you’re really the top dog, that’s not supposed to happen.)Walk’s premise is that the world keeps changing, and new stuff keeps bubbling up and becoming popular, and Facebook simply can’t keep buying or copying every new thing that comes along. Facebook will “continue to be successful and useful for quite a long time – and they may even be the largest single graph – but it’s not going to be the only one of consequence,” Walk writes. For one thing, each new generation wants to have its own service, Walk says. That rings true in my own experience. I was taken aback recently when my nephews, who are in junior high, told me that they and their friends all use Google+, not Facebook. Why? “It’s better,” they shrugged. They see Facebook as kind of a spammy, low-rent place for the hoi polloi and people who don’t know better (like parents and grandparents), while Google+ is for the cool kids.Another factor, Walk says, is that instead of trying to shake off all the cruft that builds up in Facebook over time, it’s easier sometimes to just start over with a new network and create a fresh social graph.The Hacker WaySo is Facebook over? Of course not. But is there a chance we’ll look back and say that 2012 or 2013 was the apogee? That doesn’t seem so far-fetched.Especially since Facebook doesn’t exactly seem like the best-run or best-managed company on earth.These guys live by the “Hacker Way,” which sounds cool, as does Facebook’s unofficial motto, “Done is better than perfect,” except that over time all that imperfect-but-done stuff starts to add up, and not in a good way.Look at the year Facebook just had in 2012. First came a botched IPO marred by allegations of self-dealing and government investigations and a collapsing stock price. (Done? Check. Perfect? Um…)Then came the “promoted posts” scheme that has angered brands and pushed Mark Cuban to direct greater emphasis to other networks.“Find Friends Nearby” launched and then unlaunched. A mobile ad network launched and then unlaunched too. The shift to mobile was listed as a risk in the S-1 for the IPO, but when that hurt the stock, suddenly mobile was being spun as a massive opportunity.It seems not a week goes by without some kind of blow-up. Two weeks ago there was the kerfuffle over new terms of service at Instagram.Today came news of a security flaw in a special New Year feature that made it possible for anyone to view other people’s private messages and photos. Facebook quickly plugged the flaw, but still. Then again, what else do you expect? This is the epitome of the “hacker way.” It’s a great way to get things done quickly, but maybe not the best way to build a company that can last a long time.So far Faceboook has managed to stay ahead of every new rival that comes along. But more will be coming this year, and next year and the year after that. At some point Facebook won’t be able to keep up.For what it’s worth, remember my friend with the theory about ever-shorter reign of each new computer industry power? He thinks Facebook peaked earlier this year, on the day of its IPO.Image courtesy of Reuters. Related Posts dan lyonscenter_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Auditlast_img read more

Read More →

YouTubers Break Out Of Virtual World To Sell Out Real Stages

first_imgTags:#YouTube China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … How to Get Started in China and Have Success What Nobody Teaches You About Getting Your Star… YouTubers In The Real WorldJohn and Hank Green are by no means the first YouTube act to find an audience in the real world. A little more than a year ago, YTF, YouTubers Ryan Higa and six friends – including one American Idol contestant – sold out a concert hall in Hawaii. Higa and company, regularly creating some of YouTube’s most popular videos, were given star treatment complete with fawning interviews in the local press, and a “YTF day” declared by the state’s governor in honor of the group’s show.Early last year, seven YouTubers including four musicians and popular Web skit writers MeekaKitty, Nanalew and LiveLavaLive, went on a full-blown tour of the United States. I saw their variety show at House of Blues in Chicago, along with a couple hundred or so screaming teens and 20-somethings. Their parents may not get it, but they did.Photo courtesy of YouTube. How OKR’s Completely Transformed Our Culture fruzsina eordogh Related Posts Making a living on YouTube is a tough business. It takes real entrepreneurial spirit. Most YouTubers make money wherever they can: from the ads that run on their mostly homemade videos and merchandise (like bobble head dolls).The big news is that few of the more intrepid YouTubers are making real money by taking their acts beyond of the virtual world and onto physical stages.  And they’re actually selling out big concert halls.The latest case in point: John and Hank Green of the Vlog Brothers’ sold-out show at Carnegie Hall last Tuesday night. It drew the kind of crowd that many an indie band would blow up a drummer for. So much so that it caught the attention of the The New York Times. Let’s hope the Greens possess an “any publicity is good publicity” attitude. The Times described their Carnegie Hall performance as “a goofy variety show” with the “the polish of a really good high school talent night.” (The show, which featured live readings, skits and a few musical numbers, can be viewed here.)last_img read more

Read More →

Apple Reclaims Leader Board In Smartphone Wars With iPhone 5, 4S

first_imgThat’s why in the third quarter of 2012 the report from Strategy Analytics carried the splashy headline, “Galaxy S 3 Tops iPhone 4S.” Apple had just released the iPhone 5 at the end of Q3 and the 4S was still Apple’s flagship for most of the quarter, retailing at $199 in the United States on two-year contract. When the iPhone 5 came out, the 4S was discounted to $99 on a contract. Right in time for the holidays.The difference between the Galaxy S3 and the iPhone 4S is slim. From Q3 to Q4, Samsung’s flagship declined 2.6 million in shipments. The iPhone 4S rose 1.2 million with many of those units likely targeted toward cost-conscious consumers and emerging markets. Strategy Analytics looks distinctly at individual phone shipments. It does not include Samsung’s extremely long tail of “S”-related devices that the South Korean company uses to flood the world market with affordable Android devices.When Apple started discounting old iPhones when the newest iteration was released, it defined its own long-tail strategy. Apple CEO Tim Cook said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference last week that the company would not make a cheaper iPhone for the sake of making a cheaper iPhone, but would rather focus on making older models more affordable. We see now what he was talking about.  Related Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement dan rowinski Tags:#Apple#iPhone Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The clock turns, the pendulum swings and we have a new leader on top of the Smartphone Wars scoreboard. Two of Apple’s iPhone models were the top shipping models in the last quarter of 2012. The iPhone 5 shipped 27.4 million units, making it the top-selling phone. It was followed by the year-old iPhone 4S, which shipped 17.4 million units, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics. The vaunted Samsung Galaxy S 3 flagship came in third with 15.4 million units shipped. Everyone except Wall Street seems to know that Apple did extremely well during the holiday season. It sold a record 47.8 million iPhones and recorded $54.5 billion in revenue. Apple does well every quarter, really, but its business is extremely cyclical.Apple does extraordinarily well late in the year, while dipping in the summer months. This has to do with the consumer-oriented nature of Apple’s products and timing of device launches.last_img read more

Read More →

Oracle Plays Catch-Up With New ‘In-Memory’ Database Technology

first_imgRelated Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair brian proffitt Tags:#in-memory computing#Oracle#relational databases Oracle CEO Larry Ellison talked up the release of Oracle’s new in-memory database technology Sunday night in his opening keynote of Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco, but was oddly non-confrontational when it came to trash-talking the biggest potential competitor in this space, SAP.In-memory databases—such as SAP’s rival HANA database appliance—use memory instead of disks for data storage. That means that they perform very well in high-volume environments where response time is critical, since access times and database requests are typically much faster.See also: SAP’s HANA Deployment Leapfrogs Oracle, IBM And MicrosoftThe in-memory option for Oracle’s 12C database was one of the highlights of Ellison’s keynote. The CEO promised it would deliver a hundredfold improvement in analytic query speed and double throughput speeds for transaction processing. Ellison characterized this as “ungodly” performance.Ellison claimed the feature can simultaneously handle transaction data as a row-store database while storing analytic queries as a column-store database. This dual-format setup supposedly offers speed advantages above and beyond the normal boost you would expect by keeping data in a system’s memory rather than accessing it from a disk drive.To bolster Ellison’s point, a demo of the in-memory system queried seven billion rows of data in a single second, as opposed to five million rows per second in a disk-based database system.Not only is in-memory an option for 12C databases, but it is also the heart of Oracle’s new Big Memory Machines, the SPARC M6-32 and Oracle Supercluster M6-32. According to a press statement from Oracle, “SPARC M6-32 servers with up to 32 terabytes of memory and up to 384 processor cores can run entire applications and databases in-memory to deliver unprecedented performance. Oracle SuperCluster M6-32… integrates SPARC M6-32 servers with Exadata Storage Servers optimized for Oracle Database performance.”Oracle Plays In-Memory Catch-UpOracle needs to make a big splash in this space, since SAP’s HANA in-memory system has already garnered a lot of attention in the enterprise space of late, and IBM and Microsoft are working on their own in-memory solutions right now, too.That may have been why Ellison was more subdued than usual. He didn’t call out SAP HANA explicitly, presumably because doing so would give attention to a database appliance that has been giving Oracle a run for its money. Some additional Exadata sales wouldn’t hurt, either, because it is not at all clear the product line is benefiting from all the product placement in the Marvel blockbusters.center_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

Read More →

San Antonio lines up $8 million in 2017 smart city projects

first_imgSurveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Tags:#Digital Divide#IoT#San Antonio#Smart Cities#smart city How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… San Antonio is ramping up its smart city efforts in 2017 with a focus on digital services, transportation, and sustainability.The Texas city is earmarking $8 million in its 2017 budget for nine smart city projects.This is a result of the city’s decision in 2016 to escalate from trial projects to aligning tech projects with its broader organizational missions.San Antonio’s smart city framework was a product of its larger innovation-focused strategy SA Tomorrow.Out of that strategy, the city chose to focus its smart city efforts on transportation and environmental sustainability. As well, its smart city projects will enhance “digital connected living” which seeks to fight the digital divide and boost the amount of digital city services.The digital living aspect is emblematic of the growing trend of city governments around the world that are working to improve citizen experiences.“We didn’t want another smart city plan that was just going to sit on the shelf,” said San Antonio Chief Innovation Officer Jose De La Cruz. “We wanted to ensure there was going to be action behind it and so aligning it with our planning efforts looking into the future made the most sense. The construct of those plans really came from the community input we received.”San Antonio’s rapid growth is the fuel Donal Powercenter_img Related Posts For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic …last_img read more

Read More →

Internet of Things in Retail: What’s in it for Retailers

first_imgRelated Posts Ray Parker is an entrepreneur and internet marketer with over 9 years of experience in Search Engine Optimization, Creative Writing and Digital Marketing. Internet of Things is transforming and revolutionizing every aspect of our lives. Be it leisure, business, retail or healthcare, almost every industry is settling to adopt new technologies and IoT is no exception. According to McKinsey an estimated of 20 to 30 billion connected devices will be available by 2020 with a total worth of $17 billion.The above statistics clear all the doubts regarding the adoption of IoT in various industries. The growth seems to be undiminished and the overall adoption will be on par. With the competition on the rise, retailers are striving to take necessary steps to offer unique shopping experience and be more profitable, unique and efficient.There is a lot to discuss on IoT in retail, but first, let’s have a brief overview of what Internet of Thing is all about.What is the Internet of Things (IoT) and Use in Daily Life?When we talk about the Internet of Things, it is the term used to describe Machine-to-Machine connectivity, where hardware devices and sensors interact with each other on their settings and whereabouts.Knowingly or unknowingly, many of us have used IoT devices or seen it somewhere. For instance, Nest Thermostat is widely adopted by homeowners to set the temperature at the desired level. After reaching the set temperature, it will turn off automatically, saving you cost on electricity.Moreover, IoT devices have been widely integrated into home appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators dryers, ovens and what not.Talking about the retail sector, IoT allows retailers to track customer behavior and collect data to use it in the future for business decisions. If you are looking forward to implementing IoT in your retail business, make sure to go through this article to know what IoT has to offer to the retailers.IoT in Retail IndustryBefore we discuss what is in IoT for retailers, let’s have a brief overview of benefits reported by early adopters.77% of retailers see IoT as a mean to change the customer’s experience89% of early adopters in retail benefited from the insights about customer preferences and behaviors from an Internet of Things.77% of early adopters of IoT in retail offered better opportunities to interact with new partners in delivering products and services to the customers.Digital Signage to Reach Consumer Device  With the rise in online shopping trend, retail has been largely affected by the way consumers are been affected. People tend to buy more online because the goods are offered at a cheap price. Moreover, comparison-shopping is also one of the reasons to shop online.Due to this, the traditional retailers are prone to a number of challenges. With the ability to save some money, convenience, and comparison-shopping, people still need the help of sales assistant to save some time in researching the goods they tend to purchase.The retail war is increasing at a rapid pace and brick and mortar shop owners have to set the prices to match online prices. This is quite a challenging task for traditional retailers to attract customers to the store.IoT can rescue in resolving this issue. For instance, the traditional retailers can incorporate digital signage that connects with social networks and customers feedback for the customers in the store. It would help customers to view the information about the product instead of using a mobile device.Digital signage as discussed before can also be helpful in displaying related goods, which might be of customer’s interest. Moreover, it can lead the customers in the direction of goods that would complement their purchase.Another aspect of marketing is to understand the customers’ behavior. To attract more customers, an advertisement can be displayed in the mobile phone’s notification bar when they pass the store. Retailers can also use this feature for the customers who are present in the store by displaying the products in real life and introduce them in the best possible way through sales assistant.Sales assistant, on the other hand, can check whether the product is available in stock and complete the transaction seamlessly. This is where IoT can be helpful, offering sales assistant to check the availability of product instore through their smartwatch.The smartwatch is connected to the database of all the products connected to the sensor. Moreover, the sales assistant can also show how the product works using a tablet. In the end, sales assistant could use the same tablet to complete the transaction in no time.Directing Customers to Locate Goods Retailers have to employ staff to assist customers with all that is present in the store. Supermarkets are flooded with products and searching for specific product is not an easy task. This means that customers will have to spend much of their time in the supermarket to search for products they need.However, IoT can help save the time of customers as well as retail owners to save money by hiring extra staff. For instance, by equipping the store with sensors can assist sales person and customer to locate a specific product. Moreover, digital displays with the ability to read sensors can inform the customers about the product description, its benefits and in case of the food item, the nutritional level.In case of food items, many of them have short shelf life. IoT can prove to be helpful by ensuring that the due date is correct before delivering it to the customer.Ecosystem Opportunities Most of the home improvement, general merchandise, and electronics retailers are opting for home automation or smart home sections in their store. Not only IoT is needed by enterprises, but open the opportunities for general consumer as well.Retailers are already availing this opportunity to be players in the ecosystem with service support, sales support and automated orders generated by IoT sensors in consumers’ homes. For instance, Amazon is currently working on the order method of choice for anything you might ask Alexa.Conclusion In this technological era, retailers need to understand the importance of implementing the IoT to stay ahead of the competition, grow revenue and build customers base. However, if you are not well versed in the technology, many IoT Solution providers will help you devise the strategy, plan it and deploy it. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#good#Internet of Things#iot solutions#merchant#o2o#Offline#retail#retailers Follow the Puck Ray Parker Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to…last_img read more

Read More →

Resources and highlights from the webinar: Performance Nutrition Considerations for Service Members & Veterans

first_imgFuture research: gut flora Train LowExercising in a glycogen-depleted state to enhance fat oxidation2-a-days, training fasted, training without exogenous CHO ExpensiveLack of research in athletesOften encourages exceptions for athletes If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) Freedom to eat whatever fits into your daily macronutrient needsCan be high-effortRisk of nutrient deficiencyEnsure appropriate macronutrient distributionIntermittent Fasting (IF)Limit intake or fasting for a period (16-24+ hours) with refeed periodsRamadan most frequently studied by Robin AllenAs a member of Art Club, a local social club, we host speakers to provide information on whatever is going on around the community. We recently hosted the very successful University of Illinois baseball coach and 2 of his players.  Obviously we do not always talk about art.  Being a Dietitian I asked about nutrition and working with the Sports Dietitian.  The athletes were effusive in their praise as was their couch.  They relayed how they met individually with the Dietitian to discuss nutrition and their nutrition goals for optimal performance.  The Dietitian develops meal plans for the athletes  for when they are on the road.  She is present at the Training Table during meals to reinforce their goals and meal plan. The coach said their training program has been greatly enhanced by having a dedicated Sports Dietitian on staff.We learned from the webinar that the duties for Sports and Performance Dietitians are vast and varied.  Below are some highlight and resources from the webinar. If you missed Performance Nutrition Considerations for Service Members & Veterans, Tuesday, October 17, 2017 you can listen to the recording here.A case study (see) slide above, was discussed. This scenario really resonated with our participants! This was a typical scenario of supplement stacking when working with active duty military.Question asked by the presenter: What issues are Dietitians facing when dealing with athletes and the young active duty population?Eating disordersFemale athlete triadsFad diets and supplementsHigh usage of energy drinksKetosisVegan and vegetarian dietsSupplement stackingFad diets, for example, Ketogenic diet, Paleo diet, gluten- free, dairy free;Misinformation: Patients changing habits due to unnecessary fear (misleading “documentaries”, headlines, biased messages or misinterpreted science that causes patients to fear foods/food groups/ingredients)Testosterone boosters” – lots of male patients coming in saying they think their testosterone levels are low and they believe that’s what is preventing them from losing fat/building lean body massDietary Trends with Athletes:PaleoDiet modeled after foods available for Paleolithic humansInclude grass-fed meat/organs, seafood, most fresh fruits/veggies, eggs, nuts/seeds, certain oilsExclude grains, legumes, dairy, refined sugar, potatoes, processed food, refined vegetable oils, saltHard to find consistent definition/rules Many health claimsShort-term changes in arteries, lipid panel Many health claimsShort-term may have health benefits;risk of deficiency long-term References:Knapik JJ, Steelman RA, Hoedebecke SS, Farina EK, Austin KG, Lieberman HR. A systematic review and meta-analysis on the prevalence of dietary supplement use by military personnel. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2014;14(1).Individualized Nutrition Support Is Critical to Athletic Performance: Revised Position Paper from the Academy of Nutrition and DieteticsFor more in-depth information please view the webinar recording of Performance Nutrition Considerations for Service Members and Veterans.  Dietitians earn 1 CPEU.  However, this information is great for anyone who works with active duty military, athletes or personal knowledge.What are issues you have seen when working with athletes?This blog was posted by Robin Allen, a member of the Military Families Learning Network (MFLN) Nutrition and Wellness team that aims to support the development of professionals working with military families.  Find out more about the MFLN Nutrition and Wellness concentration on our website on Facebook, on Twitter, and LinkedIn. Does result in energy restriction for mostMay require strategic fueling for some athletes Ketogenic Diet focused on fueling from fats rather than carbsHigh fat, adequate protein, low carb (4:1 fat to protein+carb) Perform glycogen-reducing activity followed by higher intensity activityDesigned for endurance training (<70%VO2 max) – not high intensity or resistance exerciseResults in metabolic changes but limited performance changesWhat participants are seeing as trends:Paleo Popular with triathlon and cycling communityMacrosIntermittent FastingKetogenicAn influx of people asking about vegetarian diets since the “What the Health” doc on NetflixFODMAP for some athletes with GI issues“If it Fits Your Macros” IIFYMFlexible DietingRenaissance Periodization (RP) diet is popular with CrossFitGarcinia Cambogia  for weight lossGreen tea leafCaffeineCaseinBod PodSupplements Use: Up to 61% of military men and 76% of military women use supplementsVitamins/minerals, sports drinks, protein, energy drinks, creatineGeneral health, performance enhancementParticipants shared experiences of active duty abuse of supplements:Several young marines this year have gone into cardiac arrest using pre-workout supplements such as C4. C4 has been reformulated recently.Have at least 1 soldier admitted each week with acute kidney injury (AKI) suspected to be caused by multiple supplements usage. They generally have no idea what is actually in the supplements.Benefit level of supplements is entirely dependent on the individual.  A vegetarian athlete might get more benefit from creatine versus the non-vegetarian athlete.Additional Resources: Compendium of Physical ActivitiesLab DoorHuman Performance Resource CenterSport-specific certification for supplements:NSF Certified for Sport®Informed ChoiceBSCG Certified Drug Free®Consumer Lab®General certificationUSP™Operation Supplement SafetyNatural Medicines Database Linked through OPSS & SCANNIH Office of Dietary SupplementsUS Anti-Doping AgencyCompendium of Physical Activites Requires time commitment to “adapt”; cannot cheatDrastic weight fluctuations when starting/stoppingNo performance benefit/performance decrementsMay make calorie intake easier for some athletesInadequate protein for strength athleteslast_img read more

Read More →

Thoughts for Video Pros: Embracing the Amateur

first_imgIn this post, we share a few thought on why amateurs are here to stay…and why the professional community should embrace them.The word amateur refers to someone who does something without getting paid for it….however it has also more commonly been used to define someone doing something not very well. I’m a professional film editor because I get paid to edit and (hopefully) because I’m also good enough to be paid to do it. But the origin of the word amateur is actually from from the Latin word amator meaning ‘lover’. An amateur is someone who does it because they love to do it. They would do what they love even if they didn’t get paid to do it. As an editor I love to edit. I love what I do, getting paid is bonus (just don’t tell me clients that!)The Rise of the AmateurApple is a company that’s often accused of leaving their professional user base behind. “Where is the Mac Pro update” all professionals moan – releasing a powerful tower has come to symbolise their commitment to a pro user base after the fumbling of the FCPX launch.Interestingly Larry Jordan blogged early in April about a pre-NAB quote from an Apple source:The week before the 2013 NAB Show, I had an on-the-record comment from Apple saying that they have sold more Final Cut Pro X seats than they sold Final Cut Pro 7, which was part of Final Cut Studio (3). I was not given any more specifics than that. Why is this interesting?The bigger a user base gets the more a company has invested in keeping that user base happy. Amateurs like the idea that they’re using the same kind of software that the professionals use, but probably won’t invest the time (or money) it takes to get used to something like Avid Media Composer. By making FCPX more accessible to more people, Apple will need to continue to add features that the pros need for the kudos of a pro product, as well as maintaing a broader sales base. Adobe are also making it easier for amateurs to access their software with their Creative Cloud monthly app rental model.  Instead of shelling out over a grand for a full suite of professional creative software, its easy to give a project a go without the financial commitment. Whatever you think of FCPX the stats don’t lie, consumers are buying it and professionals are too. Phillip Hodgetts, creator of Sync-N-Link, reports more evidence of another tipping point.  Purchases of this professional video product for FCPX have surpassed previous sales of Sync-N-Link for legacy FCP versions.Why Pros Shouldn’t Fear the AmateurThe common insecurity among professionals is that this rising army of ‘kids with laptops’ will take away all the work – the “we don’t need a DIT, my nephew can do it” mentality. I think this fear is really unfounded for two reasons.First, the content most ‘amateurs’ are creating isn’t competing with the content that most professionals are creating. The video content explosion shows no signs of abating with an estimated $37 billion global video market in 2017. That’s a lot of pie to go around.  Professionals are typically given bigger budgets and more resources to create a higher quality of work.  The production value between amateur and professional video projects is obvious in most cases.Second, there is far more to being a professional than knowing how to use the right tools. Would you trust a teenager to be responsible for the safe guarding of the cumulative output of thousands of dollars worth of time and investment (your rushes) rather than an experienced and proven professional DIT? Probably not. Experience and expertise comes from years of practice that cannot be short-circuited by any number of free online tutorials. Professional levels of service, facilities and infrastructure are not to be sniffed at.Why You Should Embrace the AmateurImage source: FlickrSo as a professional, what should I do with these amateurs?We should embrace them. Embrace them because they represent a hungry, eager and cash ready community who are doing what they do not because they have to, but because they love to.What if you were to open up your shop after hours for short courses in teaching amateurs valuable tips and techniques in what you do? Or if you’re a rental house – hosting a day long saturday course where they can get hands on with professional equipment in partnership with a friendly supplier?Amateur may buy gear or equipment this is overkill for their needs….but they bought it and they want to know how to use it. Why not use this as an opportunity.  Be the teacher who shows them how.last_img read more

Read More →

Working with ARRIRAW – Creating Offline Proxies in DaVinci Resolve

first_imgHow do you turn your ARRI RAW files into ProRes proxies for your offline edit – for free?If you are working with 12-bit RAW files fresh from the Arri Alexa, you’ll  almost certainly want to transcode them into offline edit proxies to work with, and then online your finished project back to the full resolution RAW files for grading. DaVinci Resolve Lite is a great FREE program to use to perform this offline/online workflow with ease.You can use those ProRes proxy files in all of the major NLE. Of course you can transcode your proxies to MXF for Avid or create digital dailies in any other format you wish.Transcoding ARRIRAW to Pro Res with DaVinci ResolveBefore we begin, if you want to give this workflow a test for yourself you can download a 12-bit ARRIRaw .ari file from Convergent Design. This clip was recorded on one of their Gemini 4:4:4 units which is able to handle the massive data rates. To give you some idea of the file sizes, the 869mb download file unzips to 1.25 GB folder containing a 7 second video clip. The RAW file itself is an image sequence that looks like this.Step 1 – Fire up DaVinci Resolve Lite and bring you ARRIRAW media into the Media Pool. All you need to do is navigate to the ARRIRAW folder and drag and drop it into the Media Pool. In Resolve 10 an empty project will adapt itself to match your imported footage settings. In Resolve 9, you need to ensure your project settings are correct.Step 2 – Jump over to the Conform page and create a new timeline by clicking on the + plus button at the top left of the screen. The Master Timeline is a ‘stringout’ of all the media in the project.Step 3 – Jump over to the Color page. Here you can grade your footage to taste. One of the main benefits of shooting with RAW is that you can alter the camera’s metadata (such as Color Temperature and Exposure) from within your grading or dailies package. To do this inside Resolve, click on the Camera Raw tab in the Color page. Adjust this per clip for individual control or as a project wide setting to affect all your clips at once. Again in Resolve 10 there is a new sharpness debayer control along with Color Temp and Exposure.Step 4 –  As ARRIRAW is recorded as a Log-C image, your files will look grey and flat, which is what you want as it gives the colorist greater latitude to play with. You can add in contrast and saturation manually or you can simply add the 3D Rec 709 LUT that ships with Resolve, or create your own LUT from the ARRI LUT Generator site.Step 5 – Hop over to the Deliver page and set up your files for rendering out as proxy media. In this example set your Render To: Quicktime. Codec is: ProRes 422 (LT). Make sure Render Timeline As: Individual Clips is selected. Also make sure ‘use source filename’ is ticked too.Depending on the speed of your machine you will probably want to adjust the debayer settings to 1/2 for faster turn around of your offline proxies. In Resolve 10 you can find this in the Camera RAW tab under Decode Quality and Playback Quality. In the Render page you can select ‘Force debayer res to highest quality’ to get the best of both worlds – smoother playback but always best quality exports.Step 6 – Edit with your offline files in your NLE of choice and then export an XML file of your finished edit, ready to bring into Resolve.Step 7 -Create a new project and import that XML file into Resolve (Conform page > File > Import XML) and simply check the ‘Automatically Import Source Files’ box and point to your RAW files. You are now ready to grade your cut with your RAW files.Finding Out More About ARRIRAWYou can find out a lot more about working with both ARRIRAW and Pro Res 444 files shot on SXS cards on the official ARRI Alexa site, where you can download a raft of useful tools, simulators and look generators. There is even a free Arri pocket guide app for iPhones and iPads.You can also read up on how DaVinci Resolve handles RAW files on page 133 of the excellent free manual written by colorist Alexis Van Hurkman. I have also rounded up some great resources on understanding and working with all kinds of RAW files here.last_img read more

Read More →

Ace the Art of Muzzle Flashes in Final Cut Pro X

first_imgMake your action scenes more epic with explosive muzzle flashes in Final Cut Pro X. Learn the technique with FREE stock footage and music from Shutterstock and PremiumBeat.When it comes to indie VFX work, there are few things as fun as creating realistic muzzle flashes in Final Cut Pro. While there are certainly many different ways to create the effect, the following video tutorial demonstrates one of the easiest ways to create Hollywood-quality muzzle flashes using only a few simple video elements.But don’t just watch the clip… fire up Final Cut Pro X and create some muzzle-flash mayhem! We’ve teamed up with Shutterstock to give you FREE assets so you can follow along.You can download the free footage, music, and assets from the Final Cut Pro X page here on PremiumBeat.Download Free Muzzle Flash Assets Creating a Muzzle Flash in Final Cut ProCreating muzzle flashes in Final Cut Pro couldn’t be easier. Just follow the steps below.Step 1: Place Your Fire Element Into Your VideoThe first thing to do is place your fire elements into your timeline. You can do this by dragging and dropping the clips from the media browser into your timeline (or hitting the ‘Q’ key with the files selected).Step 2: Reduce to One FrameBy default, the fire element will be longer than a single frame — but if you’re wanting to create a realistic muzzle flash, that doesn’t really make a lot of sense. To cut your footage, select the blade tool by hitting the B key on your keyboard and cutting up your clips into a single “flash” frame.Step 3: Set the Blending ModeYour muzzle flash element will have a black background. For obvious reasons, this won’t work for your video project. With your muzzle flash selected, navigate to the Inspector in the top right part of your Final Cut Pro window. Click the Video button, and select Linear Dodge from the Blending Mode menu located under the Compositing section.Step 4: Scale the ElementYour muzzle flash will likely be too big for your frame. To alter the element, use the Transform tool to scale and position the muzzle flash as needed.Step 5: Add Ambient FlashesAt this point, your video may look cool — but you need to add some ambient light elements into your scene to really push it over the top. While you could use a simple solid shape layer, the best thing to do is use an organic video element. For our example, we’ll use a clip of a lightning storm.Drop your lightning footage into the scene and scale it up using the Scaling and Position features in the Inspector. Set your blending mode to Linear Dodge. Now delete the clip so it only pops up over each flash frame. Next, it’s time to color the element orange.In FCPX, there’s a simple color correction effect called Sepia. This effect quickly applies an orange stylization to your clip.Step 6: Duplicate Your VideoNow we want to colorize our video at the exact frame where the muzzle flash happens. To do this, you need to duplicate the bottom footage layer. This is accomplished by dragging the bottom video layer while pressing and holding the option key.Step 7: Colorize the VideoTo colorize the video, use the Color Correction effect and apply some slight orange color grading. After you do this, cut the video down to the frames in which the muzzle flashes are flashing.See below for the epic results.What is your favorite method for creating muzzle flashes in FCPX? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

Read More →

NAB 2018: SmallHD Unveils 5 New Focus Monitors

first_imgNAB 2018 announcement: SmallHD is back with a new lineup of focus monitoring equipment. Here’s what you need to know about the new gear.All images via SmallHD.After making some waves at NAB 2017 with their small focus monitor, SmallHD is back at the show with a new lineup of five additional offerings for a greater range of workflow setups. Their new FOCUS line introduces some much-requested upgrades of last year’s releases. (For a hands-on review of SmallHD’s original FOCUS monitor, check out this article.)Here are the highlights of the new line.Focus SDIThe first new feature from SmallHD’s NAB showcase is their highly requested FOCUS SDI Monitor — an upgrade of their popular FOCUS from last year. Instead of the Micro HDMI of the previous iteration, the FOCUS SDI offers a full-sized SDI input, which offers the same high-resolution scopes, customizable false color, and real-time viewable LUTs on the 800-nit bright touchscreen. The new FOCUS SDI also includes the company’s new SmallHD Tilt Arm, which attaches via a shoe mount to the top of your camera. For a full review, check out this video.Price: $599Expected Release Date: April 30th, 2018Focus OLEDAlongside the new FOCUS SDI are upgrades to SmallHD’s FOCUS OLED, including both an HDMI and a new SDI as well. The FOCUS OLED HDMI, which is a slight upgrade of the original FOCUS monitor, has the same wide color gamut display with a 7.2v power output (for working with your DSLR and mirrorless cameras). With its HDMI input, it offers a 5-inch OLED touchscreen with 1920×1080 resolution.Price: $699Expected Release Date: April 30th, 2018Meanwhile, the FOCUS OLED SDI, which should come out about a month later, offers the same edge-to-edge bonded glass display (and includes the SmallHD Tilt Arm as well) but with a full-sized SDI input.Price: $799Expected Release Date: May 31st, 2018Focus BoltFinally, to round out SmallHD’s latest offerings, they company has unveiled a new BOLT line of 5-inch touchscreens for a complete ecosystem compatible with a 500-ft transmitter to connect both the FOCUS Bolt TX, FOCUS Bolt RX, 703 Bolt monitor/receiver, Teradeck Bolt 500, and Sidekick II receivers. The FOCUS Bolt TX is set for a late May release.Price: $1,299Expected Release Date: May 31st, 2018The FOCUS BOLT RX is set for the same price point and release day to complete the new Bolt ecosystem.Price: $1,299Expected Release Date: May 31st, 2018For more NAB news, check out these articles.NAB 2018 Announcement: The Sony FS5 Gets an UpdateNAB 2018: LaCie’s Rugged Hard Drive Gets TougherNAB 2018: What You Should Know Before You GoNAB 2018: Blackmagic is Releasing A New Pocket Cinema Cameralast_img read more

Read More →

Glowing Results: Grading Skin Tones in DaVinci Resolve

first_imgWe’re going to use DaVinci Resolve to get balanced, glowing skin tones in just a few easy steps — without affecting your other edits.First, you need to isolate the skin with a selection so you can work with it without affecting the rest of the image. Then, you can even out the skin, unifying the tone so it’s a universal color, without making the person look like they’re wearing too much foundation. Next, decrease the mid-tone density so that small imperfections disappear. Finally, add a layer mixer node so that the skin color you’ve just worked on is protected from other grades you might make. Let’s look at them in turn. Make a MaskIn a new node, select the qualifying tool, and drag it across the most even and representative part of the face. You’ll need to use the + brush to increase it, as well as the + feather tool. I’ve also found that increasing the clean white helps a lot.Unify ToneOnce you have the skin isolated, increase the contrast and look for yellow, red, or green areas that don’t fit with the overall skin tone. In the Curves menu, select Hue vs. Hue, then select those colors using the curve up or down to shift the problem colors back to the central color.Once you’ve done this, you can change the overall color with offset, or temperature/hue to get the look you want.Color Contrast.Pairing ImperfectionsIn the color tab, there’s a slider marked MD for Midtone Density. Turning this down gets rid of contrast in the skin, effectively hiding imperfections. You can also turn it up for a grittier, more weathered look. You may want to also increase sharpness so the face retains a natural look, rather than looking defocused.SeparateThe last step is to add another node, then hit Option+L to turn this into a layer mixer node. Dragging the blue alpha arrow of the skin mask to the input on the lower of the two mixed nodes means that your skin grade will “pass around” anything done in the latter nodes. This lets you cool down the background — or desaturate it — without also affecting the skin.Interested in the songs we used to make this video?“Sky and City” by Remember The Future“Opulence” by Julian Bell“Murmurs” by Biba Dupont“Tape” by Simba Music“Chilling Groove” by Ulas PakkanWant more on working with DaVinci Resolve? Check these out.Working with Different Frame Rates in the Same File in ResolveEverything You Need to Know About Chroma Key and Green Screen FootageNLE Showdown: DaVinci Resolve vs. Adobe Premiere Pro — Text EffectsHarnessing The Power of Facial Refinement in DaVinci ResolveLearn How to Fix a Variable ND Filter Vignette in DaVinci Resolvelast_img read more

Read More →

On Always In Sales

first_img Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Now Oh, you didn’t think yesterday’s post was about sales? Here is more about sometimes and always.If you sometimes make your calls, do your prospecting, or nurture your dream clients, you might sometimes produce a result. But those results will mirror your efforts—they’ll be sporadic.Always is the better choice.If you sometimes work to get in front of opportunities, to build value throughout the process, and to create the greatest value for your prospects, you will win—sometimes. But sometimes won’t be enough.Always is the better decision.If you sometimes create a compelling, differentiated value proposition that provides your client with the business case, the return on investment, and the risk avoidance they need, you will sometimes win.Always is more effective.If you sometimes follow up, follow through, and keep your commitments, you won’t do well—even sometimes. You’ll betray confidence and destroy trust.Always is the answer to trust and confidence.Sometimes you will be overwhelmed. Sometimes you will fall ill. Sometimes you will fall short. Sometimes you will completely blow it.But you can always do your very best in that moment.last_img read more

Read More →

Maintain law and order, Supreme Court tells Punjab, Haryana

first_imgEven as Punjab denied any liability on its part to share water with Haryana, the Supreme Court on Wednesday stood firm by its decision to construct the Sutlej-Yamuna Link Canal and urged the neighbouring States to maintain law and order at any cost. A Bench of Justices P.C. Ghose and Amitava Roy raised concern about violence after reports that the Indian National Lok Dal, Haryana’s main opposition party, had asked its workers to gather on Thursday at Ambala and march inside Punjab to start digging the SYL canal.Status quoThe Supreme Court’s call for status quo in the inter-State water dispute came amidst Punjab’s affidavit that the Punjab Termination of Water Agreement Act of 2004 was still in force. It argued that a recent Supreme Court verdict that declared the 2004 Act as unconstitutional was only an opinion given by the court on a presidential reference and not a verdict as such to be complied as law.Haryana, represented by senior advocate Shyam Divan, submitted that the verdict allowing the SYL canal to be built has to be executed.The court asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, for the Centre, that the Union government should don the role of an arbitrator if both sides were willing to settle their dispute amicably.last_img read more

Read More →

Jury of global experts at Pune International Film Festival

first_imgThe 16th edition of the Pune International Film Festival (PIFF), to be held from January 11 to January 18, will feature a jury of global cinema experts, including Italian filmmaker Maurizio Nichetti and Polish screenwriter-director Joanna Kos-Krauze.Fourteen films have been shortlisted for the PIFF competition, while nearly 200 films will be screened at the festival. A highlight this year will be the Kapoor family handing over 23 original negatives of films produced under the R.K. Studio banner to the National Film Archive of India (NFAI) on opening day of the festival, NFAI director Prakash Magdum said at a press conference on Thursday evening.“Actor Randhir Kapoor will hand over this rich trove to be deposited in the NFAI vaults. The 23 films include blockbusters like Awaara, Sangam, Bobby and Ram Teri Ganga Maili,” Dr. Magdum said. He said these are the original negatives, the best source and ideal format for long-term preservation of films. “We are thankful to the Kapoor family for entrusting NFAI with this prestigious collection so that it can be preserved for future generations.” The NFAI had been in talks with the Kapoor family for over a month. Randhir Kapoor is said to have visited the NFAI last month to inspect the vaults and storage facilities. Tribute to Raj Kapoorfire in September last year gutted Stage 1 of R.K. Studios in Mumbai, resulting in loss of priceless memorabilia and artefacts. The film negatives, stored in another building, were not damaged.PIFF will also feature a pavilion dedicated to Raj Kapoor, where five of his works — Aag, Mera Naam Joker, Shree 420, Sangam and Bobby — will be screened, said Dr. Magdum. “There will be a discussion on these films with director Subash Ghai, and actor Rishi Kapoor is expected to attend,” he said.Filmmaker Jabbar Patel, who is the festival director, said Bobby was chosen as it went with this edition’s theme of ‘Youth’. Dr. Patel said noted filmmakers and scriptwriters like Sri Lankan filmmaker Vimukthi Jayasundara, scriptwriter Kamlesh Pandey, Mexican director Rodrigo Pla, Canadian director Mathieu Denis and Iranian actress Gelareh Abbasi would be part of the jury along with Mr. Nichetti and Ms. Kos-Krauze. In memoriam“We are also organising homage screenings in memory of actors and filmmakers who passed away recently. These include tributes to director Kundan Shah and actors Vinod Khanna, Shashi Kapoor, Reema Lagoo and Shyama. There is also a section titled ‘Women’s Empowerment’, which will feature films like Bimal Roy’s Parineeta and Satyajit Ray’s Teen Kanya,” said Dr. Patel.In addition, seven Marathi films, including four unreleased ones, have been shortlisted for the PIFF competition. Since 2002 the eight-day festival has been organised by the Pune Film Foundation in collaboration with the Maharashtra government.last_img read more

Read More →

Gujarat Dalit activist, who set himself ablaze, succumbs to burn injuries

first_imgDalit activist Bhanu Vankar, who attempted self-immolation in Gujarat on February 15, succumbed to severe burn injuries late on February 16. Mr. Vankar has sustained 80% burn injuries and was admitted in Ahmedabad’s Apollo Hospital, where he died. To protest the Patan district administration’s failure to regularise a piece of land he was allotted a few years ago, he set himself on fire in the Collector Office in North Gujarat. Despite repeated visits to the district administration officials, his case did not move, which apparently distressed him to take an extreme step of ending his life. His suicide is likely to trigger Statewide protests by the Dalit community and organisations working for the rights of Dalits and other marginalised sections in the State. “We have lost him. We hold the district administration responsible for his death. He was forced,” a relative said. Earlier in the day, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani ordered inquiry into the incident. “I have asked Chief Secretary to get all details of the incident after an inquiry,” Mr. Rupani said, adding, “the State government will also bear all medical expenses of Mr. Vankar, who is presently under treatment in Apollo hospital in Ahmedabad.”Moreover, nine other Dalit men were detained by the police after they also tried to storm into the premises of the collectorate with the intention to commit suicide, and were later released. “As many as nine people were detained briefly after they tried to storm into the office of the collector with the intention to commit suicide. They had expressed their intention to the Collector on a previous date and police were deployed in large numbers to prevent any such attempt,” a police official from Patan said. “However, Banubhai Vankar from Unjha village managed to enter the Collector Office premises by jumping over the barricade and set himself on fire. He has been shifted to a hospital in Ahmedabad,” the official had said.The incident triggered a huge backlash among the Dalit community in the State. A leading organisation Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, fighting for the rights of Dalits, gave a call for Patan bandh on February 16 to protest against the “administrative negligence” in the transfer of land to Dalits, “which forced a group to attempt suicide”. The bandh evoked mixed response in the North Gujarat town.A prominent activist and Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani, who is also the convener of the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch, in a statement said it was a “matter of shame” for the BJP government that Dalits had to resort to extreme steps to fight for their rights in Gujarat.Mr. Mevani demanded suspension of the Collector and Superintendent of Police holding them responsible for driving the community members to take extreme steps to press for their rights.last_img read more

Read More →

Cong. MLAs bat for Haryana’s sugarcane farmers

first_imgCongress legislators on Wednesday staged a symbolic protest outside the Assembly complex against the Haryana government, accusing it of ignoring the plight of sugarcane farmers in the State. The MLAs shouted slogans against the State government while holding sugarcane stems in their hands.“Sugarcane farmers are forced to sell their produce in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand because the State-owned and private sugarcane mills in Haryana are not purchasing their produce at the assured price,” alleged Congress leader Kuldeep Sharma.Later in the House, while participating in the debate on the Governor’s Address, Mr. Sharma raised the issue to which Agriculture Minister O.P. Dhankar reacted sharply, saying that the Congress was trying to create an issue. Separately, Mr. Dhankar said that the government has been working actively for the past three years to develop an international horticulture and vegetable market over 600 acres at Ganaur.last_img read more

Read More →

Maharashtra extends insurance cover to crops damaged due to weather

first_imgFor the first time Maharashtra will extend insurance for damaged crops after factoring in fluctuations in the weather conditions. As per a new policy, a correlation between weather patterns and crop damages will be assessed before deciding the premium or the compensation to be paid to farmers, senior officials told The Hindu.The new Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme (WBCIS) was announced on Wednesday. A 15-member committee has also been formed to set parameters for the scheme. “So far a committee of bureaucrats along with farm representatives would sit down and decide an amount. But we want to now scientifically establish these correlations between productivity/weather changes, losses and wind conditions,” additional chief secretary (agriculture department) Bijay Kumar told The Hindu.The variables for considering a correlation would, among others, be wind speed, and drop and rise in temperature, which could affect all kinds of crops. The 15-member committee will put in place further guidelines and a scientific model for connecting the weather patterns to damages. “If the temperature drops, how will it affect the quality of mango quality. When the wind changes directions it hurts the productivity of bananas. These are the kind of parameters we want to put in place for the WBCIS,” said an official.The committee has been asked to establish parameters for two specific standards: Trigger Value and Weather Perils. This will then assess quantifiable losses based on weather patterns. “We want to establish demonstrated correlation with historical weather and yield data,” according to the government proposal.last_img read more

Read More →

Bypoll result reflects voters’ anger: Praful Patel

first_imgBhandara: Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar’s Nationalist Congress Party on Thursday snatched the Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha seat from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.Madhukar Kukade of the NCP defeated BJP’s Hemant Patle by a margin of 48,097 votes in the by-election necessitated due to the resignation of the sitting BJP MP Nana Patole who quit the BJP to join Congress earlier this year.The election assumed significance as Mr. Patole had quit the BJP by accusing Prime Minister Narendra Modi of being “pseudo OBC and anti-farmer”. The Congress and the NCP contested this election in alliance.The Shiv Sena and Bahujan Samaj Party did not field candidates making it a direct fight between the NCP and BJP.The election was in the news due to large-scale complaints of EVM malfunctioning on the day of voting prompting the Election Commission to order re-poll at 49 centres and the transfer of Gondia district collector.It was the Congress, led by Nana Patole, which took this election seriously. When NCP workers were complaining about lack of resources and support from the party, Congress leaders and workers were spending from their own pockets for the NCP candidate. “It was an election of Nana Patole versus Narendra Modi. This election was fought by poor people and farmers, against the powerful central and state government which is why every Congress leaders and workers worked extra hard,” Mr. Patole, now the vice-president of the state unit of Congress told The Hindu at his village Sukdi.“Today’s results show that voters have a lot of anger towards central and state government. This also shows that people are losing confidence in state and central government,” senior NCP leader Praful Patel.This Lok Sabha seat is considered a stronghold of Mr. Patel. However, in 2014 Mr. Patole, then a BJP candidate, defeated him by 1,49,254 votes.When asked about the BJP’s defeat despite campaigning by CM Devendra Fadnavis and union minister Nitin Gadkari and BJP’s active machinery, BJP candidate Hemant Patle said that high temperature resulted in low voter turnout which impacted his party’s performance.“Also, there was no division of vote this time and the contest was the BJP versus all. We will introspect this defeat,” Mr.Patle told The Hindu.Out of total 9,48,849 votes polled, the NCP’s Madhukar Kukade secured 4,42,213 votes whereas the BJP’S Hemant Patle got 3,94,116 votes and 6602 votes went to NOTA.The NCP’s victory, despite Prakash Ambedkar’s Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh candidate L.K.Madavi securing 40326 votes, shows that general vote consolidation cutting across caste lines against the BJP.last_img read more

Read More →