Football Ohio State lands commitment of 2019 fourstar running back Steele Chambers

Ohio State added another running back to its 2019 class.Four-star running back Steele Chambers committed to the Buckeyes, announcing it via Twitter Wednesday night.The 6-foot-2, 215-pound recruit played both running back and outside linebacker at Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Rosewell, Georgia. Ranked as the 340th-best recruit in the nation, according to the 247 composite rankings. He is also listed as the No. 29 athlete and No. 37 recruit in the state of Georgia.Chambers is the sixth member of Ohio State’s 2019 class and is one of four in the class not from Ohio. The Georgia native will join four-star running back Sampson James in the class. read more

Undetected water main break floods businesses in Moreno

first_img Posted: December 7, 2018 December 7, 2018 KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- The break in the eight inch water main was discovered this morning but it may have happened earlier and gone undetected due to the flooding from rainfall yesterday. Four businesses were flooded along Naples Place. Undetected water main break floods businesses in Moreno KUSI Newsroom last_img read more

Full Show Health Care Merger and Rep Culberson Candidate Interview Oct 2

first_imgOn Tuesday’s Houston Matters: With the news that Memorial Hermann Health System and Baylor Scott & White Health plan to merge, we examine how the merger might affect health care costs.Also this hour: We continue our series of candidate interviews with Republican Congressman John Culberson of District 7. Then, Rice University professor Bob Stein outlines what makes Houston a challenging and unique place to conduct polls. And we remember the Battle of Gonzales, which started the Texas Revolution and enshrined the motto “Come and Take It” into Texas lore.We offer a daily podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcasting apps. This article is part of the Houston Matters podcast Share 00:00 /50:49 Xcenter_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listenlast_img read more

Radio signals reach homes of missing persons

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Radio Club (WBRC), an organisation of ham radio enthusiasts in the state, helped to reunite two Bihar residents —a nonagenarian man and an elderly woman— with their families on Monday. These two elderly persons went missing after they got estranged from their respective groups at Gangasagar Mela.A teacher recently saw the woman wandering aimlessly on the road in the hot and humid weather in Kakdwip. When he asked what her name was and inquired about her identity, the woman started fumbling names of Gods and Goddesses. The man took her home and after offering her food he informed his family doctor about the matter. The doctor advised him to contact the West Bengal Radio Club as he knew that a number of missing persons had been reunited with their families by the radio enthusiasts. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”We have been successful in reuniting missing persons with their families. When we were contacted with the photograph of the woman, we circulated it in our network and managed to trace her address in Bihar,” said secretary of WBRC Ambarish Nag Biswas.One of her family member in Bihar said the woman lived with her sister in Rajasthan about two years back and turned up at the Gangasagar Mela in Sagar Islands with a group. The woman’s daughter came to Kakdwip along with other family members from Bihar and took her home. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe elderly person was spotted near the Bakkhali sea beach a few days ago by a civil defence volunteer Subhankar Mondal whose job is to ensure that no one is present on the beach at the night. After the beach was vacated the elderly was found loitering near the beach. The matter was reported to the SDO and the intervention of WBRC was sought. The local panchayat office provided him food and shelter and the ham radio enthusiasts circulated his photograph in their network and traced his address. They found that the man belongs to Sheikpura in Bihar. His brother Ashok Sha turned up on Monday at the panchayat office and the elderly person was handed over to him in presence of officer in charge of Bakkhali Coastal Police station Goutam Biswas.last_img read more

Tricks of the Trade

Enroll Now for Free 5 min read Trading Assistants are changing the face of eBay. Last year, more than 14,000 TAs were registered in eBay’s Trading Assistant Directory. In fact, helping others sell their goods on eBay was one of the hottest business ideas for 2005 and 2006, according to Christopher Matthew Spencer, an eBay Powerseller, Trading Assistant, instructor and author of The eBay Entrepreneur: The Definitive Guide to Starting Your Own eBay Trading Assistant Business.Although the Trading Assistant Program is fairly new, the concept has been around for some time. “We were trading assistants before they called us Trading Assistants,” Spencer, 37, says of his Burbank, California, drop-off store, The Spencer Company, whose 2006 sales are expected to reach more than $500,000. He says many eBay sellers go through a natural progression to becoming TAs: First they sell their own items, then they start selling things for their friends. Eventually, word spreads that they will help people sell on eBay, so they get business cards printed and start looking for people who need help selling their goods. Sound familiar?Some TAs sell anything and everything, while others work a specific niche or price point. They work out of their homes or through drop-off stores, full time or part time, according to Walt Duflock, eBay’s senior manager of seller development. The key to TA success, Duflock and Spencer agree, is tapping into the vast marketplace of people who want to sell online without spending time doing it themselves.Business SenseMeeting the minimum requirements for becoming a Trading Assistant is your first step. Those include: selling at least 10 items within the previous three months; having a feedback score of at least 100, of which 97 percent is positive; and maintaining an account in good standing. But there’s more to succeeding as a Trading Assistant than meeting these basic requirements. According to futurist Dan Nissanoff, author of FutureShop and co-founder of Portero, a New York City Trading Assistant business for companies that sell high-end consumer products, the Trading Assistant business can be very lucrative if you know how to run the business.First, decide what you want to accomplish and how much time you plan to spend achieving your goal. Do you want to be a stay-at-home parent and run your business part time out of your home? Do you want to make enough money to quit your job and run an eBay drop-off store full time? Or are your goals somewhere in the middle?Ron Mansfield, an eBay Trading Assistant, consultant and author of numerous books, including eBay to the Max, warns that running a TA business is a lot of work, though all that hard work can pay off in profits.Skip McGrath agrees. McGrath, a Trading Assistant in Anacortes, Washington, and author of various eBay guidebooks, points out that most financially successful Trading Assistants work full time (not necessarily in a drop-off store) and serve a particular niche.The key, McGrath and Mansfield stress, is to realize that being a Trading Assistant is a real business, and you must treat it as such. It is important to maintain a professional image and strong work ethic. Some other tips include:Invest in letterhead and business cards.Answer your phone in a professional manner.Dress appropriately when you meet with customers.Focus on customer service–for the seller and the buyer.Use written contracts.Develop good bookkeeping skills.Keep accurate records.File for a sales tax number and an employee identification number.Advertising AdvantageEffective advertising for your business is essential. “But that doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars [on] advertising,” says McGrath.Start small, he advises. Word-of-mouth is very powerful, so be sure all your friends and family are aware that you’re available to help them–and anyone they know–sell items on eBay. Mention your business to people you meet at church or through clubs in which you’re involved. Offering to sell donated items for nonprofits is a great way to raise money for charity and also earn a nice commission (it’s a tax write-off for you, too). The key is to make yourself and your business known in the community.Another simple, inexpensive way to find customers is to visit garage sales late in the afternoon. McGrath found a saddle at one garage sale that the owner was trying to sell for $300. Because it hadn’t sold, McGrath offered to sell it on eBay. The saddle sold for $790–a terrific success for the saddle owner, the buyer and McGrath, who earned a 30 percent commission.Some other marketing ideas include:Classified adsCommunity bulletin boardsDoorknob hangerseBay’s Trading Assistant Directory: Visit www.ebay.com/ta for all the information you need to sign up.Product SelectionAs a Trading Assistant, it’s very important to know how to say no. “Junk is junk, and eBay isn’t going to magically make it valuable,” Nissanoff says.McGrath agrees. “Six of the seven calls I get a week I turn down,” he says. “They’re looking to sell lower-value items.”McGrath and Mansfield suggest the following:Set a minimum selling price. Determine what your time is worth, and don’t sell items for so little that you won’t make a good profit.Make sure there’s a market for all the items you’re selling. Also check the selling prices for similar items on eBay.Consider specializing in the types of items you sell, either by client or product.Be careful about agreeing to sell items with a high degree of product liability (such as baby products).Bright FutureThe importance of Trading Assistants hasn’t yet been fully realized, according to Nissanoff. “The Trading Assistant revolution will bridge the gap between eBay sellers and the general public,” he says.Spencer points out the virtually unlimited nature of the Trading Assistant’s market. “There’s lots of money in the Trading Assistant arena,” he says. “eBay has helped me become a millionaire.” Maybe it can help you, too.Lisa Stammer is a freelance writer based in Minneapolis. She specializes in topics related to business, health care, technology and parenting. October 20, 2006 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. read more

Network Electronics Japan has joined Bridge Techno

first_imgNetwork Electronics Japan has joined Bridge Technologies’ business partner network. The Tokyo-based company will offer resale, support and training for Bridge Technologies’ test and measurement product range.“We are delighted to have Network Electronics Japan as a valued partner in Japan. The management and technical team have many years of experience in this market and their insight and technical expertise will prove invaluable in bringing the Bridge Technologies portfolio to an ever-expanding customer base,” said Philip Burnham, Bridge Technologies sales director.[avdert_banner]last_img read more

225 years ago a rather prescient James Madison wr

first_img225 years ago, a rather prescient James Madison wrote: “I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” Today, the encroachments against which he warned have become the rule rather than the exception, as cyberspying has afforded governments unprecedented means to gain control over their own citizens. It’s been a long and twisted path from the likes of Madison to Richard Nixon, who once famously said, “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” For that, he was rightly vilified. Yet if the four decades since he passed from the scene have taught us anything, it’s that vast armies of government officials have come believe that whatever they do is legal. The fourth and fifth amendments to the Constitution are violated so routinely that few people bother to notice, and an entire generation has grown up without knowing why they were written into the document and what they mean—or even that they exist at all. The revelations from the Edward Snowden-orchestrated document leaks have been coming fast and furious for several months now. Each day, it seems, we learn about another government program we hadn’t heard of before. And yet, we are complicit. Each day we also enable our own surveillance. In early 2011, more than two years before Snowden surfaced, the humor website The Onion ran a spoof video about the supposed reauthorization of funding for Facebook by Congress, because it saves the intelligence community so much money. This quote purports to come from a deputy CIA director lauding Facebook: “After years of secretly monitoring the public, we were astounded so many people would willingly publicize where they lived, their religious and political views, an alphabetized list of all their friends, personal email addresses, phone numbers, hundreds of photos of themselves, and even status updates of what they were doing moment to moment. It is truly a dream come true for the CIA.” It’s hilarious but, like all good satire, it’s a little painful to watch, as well. Imagine, for example, that the government had demanded at gunpoint that we turn over all of the personal info we voluntarily post about ourselves. There’d be outrage. High-horse Congresspersons would hold hearings. Scathing op-ed pieces would appear. Luckily for the government, however, it doesn’t even have to ask. All that stuff is out there in cyberspace, almost begging to be harvested. Who can blame the authorities for taking advantage? In a sense, the same applies to our personal correspondence. At one time, opening someone else’s mail was a serious federal crime—it still is, actually. But email? We agree to let our server archive our e-letters, read them if it wants to, or turn them over to anyone who files the proper request. There is no such thing as a truly private electronic exchange. When we use Google, we give the company tacit permission to use the things it learns about us and our habits for its own or some affiliate’s purposes. That information, too, can be demanded by government agents, as can our credit card records, which reveal an enormous amount about us. Ditto for the paper trail you leave with those grocery store discount cards. And so on. Compromising Social Media Are we advocating going back to a world without Visa, iPhones, and Internet banking? No, of course not. But any consideration of the domestic cyberwar currently raging must include our cooperation with it, and the indisputable fact that we have quickly warmed to the convenience of the cyberuniverse without having paid much attention to the loss of privacy that has accompanied it. One of the clearest lessons of history is that government will happily embrace the latest in technological advances that offer it the possibility of greater control over its subjects. And use them. And then abuse them. But of course, “We don’t have a domestic spying program.” That’s what President Obama declared on August 6 on The Tonight Show, in one of the most disingenuous statements ever made by a politician—and that’s saying something. What Obama should do next is to try saying that to any of the increasing number of Americans like Brandon Raub. Raub, a 26-year-old decorated former Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, made the mistake of posting political views and song lyrics to his private Facebook page that were critical of our current wars and of the government in general. Little did Raub know that the government is using Facebook as a surveillance tool. Even less did he suspect that in 2009, the Department of Homeland Security had launched Operation Vigilant Eagle, which aims to track military veterans who are voicing feelings of discontent, because they are to be regarded as potential terrorists. As a result of Raub’s Facebook rants, on Thursday, August 16, 2012, a swarm of local police, Secret Service, and FBI agents arrived at Raub’s Virginia home, asking to speak with him about his postings. After a brief conversation and without providing any explanation, levying any charges against him, or reading him his rights, the officials handcuffed Raub and transported him first to police headquarters, then to a psychiatric hospital, where he was incarcerated against his will. Although he was sentenced only to 30 days of “observation,” involuntary psychiatric commitment is different from an “arrest.” It requires no proof, and can be very difficult to extricate oneself from. Raub is not unique. Other veterans around the country have been swept up by Operation Vigilant Eagle and similarly harassed. The Raub story has a relatively happy ending, because he was one of the lucky ones. Outraged onlookers filmed the bust on their cellphones, and it went viral on YouTube. The Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit Constitutional law firm, jumped in and petitioned for his release, and an outraged Circuit Court judge ordered him immediately freed a week after his detention. The point, though, is that his ordeal exemplifies how closely Facebook and other social media are being watched. The default assumption must be that whatever you post to the Internet is going to be scrutinized—by someone, in some agency, somewhere—and that it constitutes evidence that may be used against you, even outside an actual court of law. Unleashing the Tech While the government can hardly be accused of illicit activity in the gathering of one’s publicly revealed Facebook information, surreptitious wiretapping without a warrant is another matter, with the legal niceties far from sorted out at this point. One of the truly disturbing facts about Edward Snowden’s leaks—which have caused such a commotion in the media and among civil libertarians, while also provoking calls in Congress for him to be tried as a traitor—is that they should have come as no surprise to anyone who has been paying the slightest attention. Clues have been popping up all over the place for more than a decade. “ECHELON,” for example, had been known about since before the turn of the century. A signals intelligence (SIGINT) collection and analysis network operated on behalf of the five signatory states to the UKUSA Security Agreement (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US), it’s a software system capable of interception, content inspection, and dissemination of downloaded commercial satellite trunk communications globally, including telephone calls, fax, email, and other data traffic. On the domestic front, “Carnivore” was an early “packet sniffer” software deployed by the FBI in 1997. It could select and capture particular data packets flowing across the Internet, decode them, and examine their contents. The FBI countered the objections of privacy advocates by saying that Carnivore could distinguish between communications that could be lawfully intercepted and those that could not. Carnivore was eventually replaced by the far more powerful “NaurusInsight,” noted for being the universal wiretap system installed in Room 641A at AT&T’s operations center in San Francisco, as revealed in 2006. But the big leap forward came when President Bush authorized the “President’s Surveillance Program” (PSP) shortly after the 9/11 attacks. It included an ultrasecret NSA intelligence-gathering project code-named “STELLARWIND,” involving data mining of a large database of the communications of American citizens, including email communications, phone conversations, financial transactions, and Internet activity. Almost immediately, there was fierce opposition within the Justice Department on the part of those who believed the president had exceeded his Constitutional authority. But the dissenters lost, and the project proceeded. Though STELLARWIND’s name remained secret, in December 2005, the New York Times alluded to it when it ran an article titled, “Bush lets U.S. spy on callers without courts.” In the article, the NSA—whose mission was previously thought to be limited solely to spying on communications abroad—was outed for the first time as operating domestically. The Times cited as its sources “a dozen current and former officials, who were granted anonymity because of the classified nature of the program.” The nation yawned. The existence of the PSP itself has been known since 2008, when Thomas Tamm, a former attorney in the Department of Justice’s Office of Intelligence Policy and Review, anonymously leaked information about it to the Times. Then, in early 2012, whistleblower William Binney—a 32-year NSA veteran—went on record with all the gory details about the architectural and operational elements of STELLARWIND, which he had helped design. Binney said that the program he worked on had been intended for use in cases of foreign espionage, but after 9/11 was converted to spying on citizens in the United States—a development with which he disagreed and which led to his resignation from the agency in late 2001. He went on to state that the NSA has highly secured rooms that tap in to major switches, and satellite communications at both AT&T and Verizon, an assertion that was supported by the exposure of Room 641A. STELLARWIND itself was theoretically discontinued in 2007, but it basically continued under various different names at the end of the Bush administration and straight through the Obama years. These include programs brought to public attention by Snowden, such as “Boundless Informant,” “PRISM,” “Fairview,” “Dropmire,” and “XKeyscore.” The Snowden File Obviously, enough facts were known that there should have been a public airing of the whole warrantless spying issue long before Edward Snowden appeared. But since it is he who has become the poster boy for the issue, it’s worth reviewing some of these revelations. PRISM (leaked June 2013) PRISM went operational in 2007, operating under the supervision of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court. It’s a system the NSA uses to gain access to the private communications of users of nine popular Internet service providers: Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Microsoft, Apple, Yahoo!, Skype, and YouTube. The government contends that PRISM cannot be used domestically without a FISA warrant, but the leaked Snowden document calls PRISM “the number one source of raw intelligence used for NSA analytic reports.” FISA approval isn’t exactly tough to get. The Electronic Privacy Information Center reports that in 2012, the court received 1,856 applications and rejected none. (One day before PRISM leaked came the revelation that the FISA Court had been ordering a subsidiary of telecommunications company Verizon Communications to turn over to the NSA logs tracking all of its customers’ telephone calls on an ongoing daily basis.) The named companies went ballistic over this, insisting that their hands are clean. A typical response from Google CEO Larry Page stated that “any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.” However, it’s possible that a bit of legal game-playing is going on here. This is the leaked graphic about PRISM that caused all the fuss: About it, the Washington Post wrote: “This slide draws a distinction between NSA surveillance programs that collect communications ‘as data flows past’ on fiber optic cables and PRISM, which collects communications ‘directly from the servers’ of U.S. Internet companies. “Some have interpreted this to mean that the NSA has ‘direct access’ in a technical sense: automatic, unfettered access to the servers’ contents. But in context, ‘direct’ is more likely to mean that the NSA is receiving data sent to them deliberately by the tech companies, as opposed to intercepting communications as they’re transmitted to some other destination. That’s not inconsistent with tech company lawyers scrutinizing each request before complying with it.” XKeyscore (leaked July 2013) This is a computer system used by the NSA for searching and analyzing Internet data about foreign nationals across the world. The program is run jointly with other agencies, including Australia’s Defence Signals Directorate and New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau. It detects the nationality of foreigners by analyzing the language used within intercepted emails. XKeyscore takes certain types of raw metadata that the NSA has already collected using other methods, and processes it with arrays of Linux machines. The Linux processing nodes look for specific key content in these captured network sessions; there are specialized plugins to enable the mining of packets for phone numbers, email addresses, webmail and chat activity, and the full content of users’ Web browser sessions. For selected traffic, XKeyscore can also generate a full replay of a network session between two Internet addresses. But rather than dumping everything back to a central processor, each XKeyscore site keeps most of the data in local caches. According to the documents leaked by Snowden, those caches can hold approximately three days of raw packet data—full “logs” of Internet sessions. There’s also a local database at the network tap sites that can keep up to 30 days of locally processed metadata. Boundless Informant (declassified document leaked June 2013) A Big Data analysis and data-visualization system used to give NSA managers summaries of the agency’s worldwide data-collection activities. As explained in a Guardian article: “By extracting information from every DNI and DNR metadata record, the tool is able to create a near realtime snapshot of GAO’s collection capability at any given moment. The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collection against that country. The tool also allows users to view high level metrics by organization and then drill down to a more actionable level—down to the program and cover term.” “GAO” (Global Access Operations) is an NSA operational branch whose motto is “The mission never sleeps.” “DNI” stands for “digital network intelligence,” and “DNR” for “dial number recognition.” According to the XKeystroke slide show, “Boundless Informant is hosted entirely on corporate services and leverages FOSS technology (available to all NSA developers).” “FOSS” stands for “free and open-source software,” and I guess this means it could be disseminated pretty widely. Fairview (leaked June 2013) A mass surveillance program aimed at collecting phone, Internet, and email data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens. According to Snowden: “The NSA partners with a large US telecommunications company… [which] partners with telecoms in the foreign countries, [which] then allow the US company access to those countries’ telecommunications systems, and that access is then exploited to direct traffic to the NSA’s repositories.” Dropmire (leaked June 2013) A program aimed at surveillance of foreign embassies and diplomatic staff, including those of NATO allies. The Guardian reported that at least 38 foreign embassies were under surveillance—some as far back as 2007. Diplomatic spying by the United States had been known at least since 2010, when it was revealed that US agencies had spied on UN chief Ban Ki-moon, but at the time, it was not known that this had been done as part of a systematic program. Everyone Wants In These five are among the most important programs, but they are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Many others had been catalogued before Snowden came along; one blogger in March 2012 compiled a list of code names for 97 NSA (and NSA-contractor) programs involved in all aspects of SIGINT collection, processing, analysis, dissemination, and storage. Lest we forget, the NSA is hardly the only arm of the federal government in the domestic spying business. There’s also the FBI and the military. (Because we can’t know otherwise, we’ll give a reluctant assent to the CIA’s insistence that it is involved only overseas.) Almost certainly Homeland Security. Oh yeah, and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). For example, the FBI is spending $1 billion on its “Next Generation Identification” program. The program is designed to advance the Bureau’s biometric identification services, providing an incremental replacement of its current integrated automated fingerprint-identification capabilities with a multimodal biometric database. To fingerprints will be added iris scans, palm prints, DNA data, and even tattoos, as well as facial images and facial recognition software that will enable identification of individuals from private-sector security camera records. Whether the goal is to create a database containing biometrics on every American is unknown at this time. Just recently, it came out that the DEA has skin in the game, too. An August Reuters article based on leaked documents revealed that the agency is “funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.” For the record, the DEA is supposed to be hunting common criminals, not terrorists. But hey, who’s counting at this point? More interesting would be from whom it’s getting those intercepts, etc. That’s still classified. Furthermore, Reuters states that the documents show that “law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin—not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges,” and that “federal agents are trained to ‘recreate’ the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant’s Constitutional right to a fair trial.” Not to mention that it would constitute a unique situation in law enforcement. However, we can make some wild guesses as to the source of the info. The unit of the DEA that distributes the information is called the Special Operations Division, or SOD. Two dozen partner agencies comprise the unit, including the FBI, CIA, Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of Homeland Security. And, oops, I almost forgot—the NSA. The military, through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has a large number of projects under way, focusing on algorithmic improvement, espionage, surveillance, natural speech recognition, and video and image retrieval systems. Among that last group is something called the “Video and Image Retrieval and Analysis Tool” (VIRAT). It aims to develop a system to provide military imagery analysts with the capability to exploit the vast amount of overhead video content being collected. If successful, VIRAT will enable analysts to establish alerts for activities and events of interest as they occur. VIRAT also seeks to develop tools that would enable analysts to rapidly retrieve—with high precision and recall—video content from extremely large video libraries. This one is of particular interest, because it is probably critical to the success of “Argus,” a new 1.8-gigapixel camera meant to be deployed on drones. Argus merges information from 368 separate image chips and can surveil a medium-sized city with a resolution of six inches from 17,000 feet in the air. It creates a library, enabling the drone operator to “go back in time” to home in on a particular event in a specific time or place. And perhaps most significant, it can also pinpoint and automatically track anything that is moving within its field of vision. That means if you’re running or driving your car, it can zero in and follow you in real time. Though civilian applications are evident, the government is mum on whether there are any plans to deploy Argus domestically. Panopticon Arrives In that blogger’s list referred to earlier, there appears a particularly spooky term: “Panopticon.” Whether the NSA actually has a program with that code name has yet to be definitively documented, but the overall combined effect of its (and other government agencies’) efforts is eerily Panopticon-like. That is one of the few aspects of the Snowden-leak story that has been underreported. English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham first posited the idea of the Panopticon in the late 18th century. It was an architectural concept for a prison with cells arranged in a circle around a central tower where the guards—who couldn’t be seen by inmates—had direct visual access to every cell. The idea was to instill in the prisoners’ minds the notion that, since they could never know when they were being surveilled, they would have to assume that they always were. French philosopher Michel Foucault described how insidious and clever this was. It would serve “to induce in the inmate a state of conscious and permanent visibility that assures the automatic functioning of power. So to arrange things that the surveillance is permanent in its effects, even if it is discontinuous in its action; that the perfection of power should tend to render its actual exercise unnecessary; that this architectural apparatus should be a machine for creating and sustaining a power relation independent of the person who exercises it; in short, that the inmates should be caught up in a power situation of which they are themselves the bearers.” How’s that sound as a metaphor for the modern state? Inducing a condition of perpetual paranoia in the population may seem like an extreme measure, and it is certainly counterproductive for a society, as the KGB and Stasi should have demonstrated for us quite convincingly. Nevertheless, as Foucault correctly argued, that is the inevitable result of a surveillance that is perceived to be all-encompassing. Repeat the word one more time: Inevitable. Given the extent of what’s now going on in the US, it’s impossible to duck the question of government intentionality. Yet the problem goes even deeper than that. The Roman poet Juvenal nailed the concomitant danger nearly 2,000 years ago when he asked: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Or, as we tend to loosely translate it these days: Who will watch the Watchmen? Faced with all of this, the ordinary citizen may feel helpless. But one positive development from all the recent revelations about government surveillance is that a lot of people are questioning whether we’ve lost the allegiance to individual liberty on which the nation was founded, and are beginning to speak out that it’s time to get it back. That quaint notion is in for a long-overdue rebirth, which we may yet get. In the meantime, there are things that can be done to enhance individual privacy, which we’ve covered in past issues of Casey Extraordinary Technology. In addition, there are profits to be made from companies specializing in data security. Identifying them early and getting a jump on the crowd allowed us to make 102% with Fortinet and 46% in just one week with ArcSight. As always, we’ll be on the lookout for future opportunities in the sector.last_img read more

Heres the 6month US dollar index so you can se

first_img Here’s the 6-month U.S. dollar index so you can see what’s happened since its low in early May. And as I write this paragraph, the London open is five minutes away.  All four precious metals, which had been up a bit on the day, had their prices turned lower starting about 45 minutes before the London open—and only platinum remains in positive territory at the moment.  Gold volume is a bit under 13,000 contracts—and silver’s volume is around 2,900 contracts.  The dollar index is up a handful of basis points. As October winds down, we have options and futures expiry for the November contract/delivery month in both gold and silver coming up next week.  But unless there’s surprise, I expect November deliveries to be a mere shadow of what transpired during the October delivery month.  The reason I say that is because the current gold open interest in November is only 352 contracts—and in silver, it’s 122 contracts.  Nothing to see here.  The big delivery month of the year in both metals is December—and what transpires in that month could prove interesting. And as I hit the send button on today’s column at 4:55 a.m. EDT, I note that all four precious metals are under renewed selling pressure now that London has been open a couple of hours—and all four are down a bit more from their New York closes on Wednesday.  Net volume in gold is around 23,000 contracts at this point—and silver’s net volume is about 5,200 contracts, neither of which are particularly large numbers for this time of day.  The dollar index is now down a couple of basis points. That’s all I have for today—and I await the New York open with great interest to see what JPMorgan et al have in store for us during the Comex trading session. See you tomorrow. The agreement with Sumitomo on the Fourth of July project is a great compliment to our recent agreement with Newmont Mining on the Wood Hills South project. We also have the Arabia, Golden Shears and some generative efforts being funded through our joint venture business model. We have enough capital in the bank to last two more years and no debt. The share structure remains at 33.5 million fully diluted. We are very well positioned to have a major win with an incredible share structure. Renaissance Gold has proven through the joint venture business model what exploration success with a tight share structure can do. Renaissance is the spinout of AuEx Ventures that sold in 2010 and made just shy of 100x their first private placement. It takes technical strength and fiscal conservatism to generate meaningful share holder returns in the high risk exploration business. Please visit our website for more information. Mining executives don’t care what happens to their public stockholders The gold price didn’t do much of anything in Far East or early London trading on their Wednesday—and the smallish rally that developed once the noon London silver ‘fix’ was in, got in the neck at precisely 8:30 a.m. EDT—ten minutes after the Comex open.  From there it chopped sideways until the 1:30 p.m. Comex close.  Then further selling pressure entered the market—and gold got closed almost on its low tick. The high and low were recorded by the CME Group as $1,250.20 and $1,240.70 in the December contract. Gold finished the trading day in New York yesterday at $1,241.00 spot, down $8.40 from Tuesday’s close.  Net volume was 103,000 contracts. The gold stocks gapped down at the open—and the rally that developed shortly after the London p.m. fix didn’t last.  It was down hill all the way from there, as the HUI closed on its absolute low tick, down 3.17%.  [NOTE: My new HUI chart is courtesy of Nick Laird, for which I thank him] Sponsor Advertisement The performance of the golds stocks looked terrific compared to the silver equities, as they got crushed to the tune of 6.37%. As usual, silver got hit the moment that trading began in New York on Tuesday evening—and never recovered.  The tiny rally that developed right at the Comex open ran into ‘da boyz’ and their algorithms—and silver, like gold, was closed almost on its low tick. The high and low were recorded as $17.535 and $17.115 in the December contract, which was an intraday move of more than 2 percent. Silver closed in New York yesterday at $17.17 spot, down 34.5 cents.  Net volume was pretty decent at 36,000 contracts. The dollar index closed late on Tuesday afternoon in New York at 85.40—and after a brief dip to its 85.24 low around 2:10 p.m. Hong Kong time on their Thursday afternoon, it chopped higher until around 2:40 p.m. EDT—and from there it traded pretty flat into the close.  The index finished the Wednesday session at 85.75—up another 35 basis points. Platinum hit its high at 9 a.m. Tokyo time—and then got sold down to unchanged.  The real selling pressure began the moment that Zurich opened—and platinum was closed on its absolute low of the day, down twenty bucks from Tuesday. Palladium did very little on Wednesday, at least up until its brief spike shortly after 11:30 a.m. in New York yesterday morning.  From that spike high it got sold down with a vengeance as the powers-that-be closed it down an even 10 bucks from Tuesday’s close. Once again the sell-off in the precious metal shares was out of all proportion to the loses in the underlying metal. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 1 gold and 10 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Friday.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Wednesday trading session showed that gold open interest in October dropped to 235 contracts—and October o.i. in silver was cut from 102 contracts down to 14 contracts, from which must be subtracted the deliveries posted in the previous paragraph.  The October delivery month, which concludes one week from today, will go off the board without incident. There was anther withdrawal from GLD yesterday.  This time an authorized participant took out 67,293 troy ounces.  And as of 9:27 p.m. EDT yesterday evening, there were no reported changes in SLV. There was no sales report from the U.S. Mint. There were no in/out movements in gold at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday but, as usual, it was a totally different story in silver, as  585,333 troy ounces were received—and 446,684 troy ounces were shipped out.  Almost all the action was at Brink’s, Inc. and the CNT Depository.  The link to that action is here. I don’t have all that many stories today, so I hope you have the time to read the ones you like. Based strictly on price action—and as I indicated in Saturday’s weekly review—most likely there has been further technical fund buying and commercial selling in COMEX gold futures in the reporting week [that] ended on Tuesday, October 21. I would guess at least 15,000 additional technical fund contracts were bought net in gold—and perhaps more than 20,000 contracts. I don’t sense much technical fund buying in silver, copper, palladium and platinum in the COT report to be issued this Friday, but if there was any technical fund buying in silver, it was flushed out in Wednesday’s rotten silver price performance. Gold appears to be the only metal experiencing technical fund buying to date—and that still raises the possibility of the commercials rigging gold prices lower temporarily to lure the technical funds who bought, back to the sell side. In that case, silver may come under pressure, but it’s hard to see how many technical funds can be maneuvered to sell, seeing as managed money shorts are already at an all-time record high. – Silver analyst Ted Butler: 22 October 2014 I must admit that the price action in all four precious metals on Wednesday didn’t surprise me in the slightest.  But the shocker was the hammering that their associated equities took, especially the silver stocks.  As you know, I’ve commented on the disconnect between the movements in the metals themselves and their underlying share prices on several occasions since the low of two weeks ago—and yesterday’s action draws a similar response from me. The gold stocks are now back to where they were when gold painted its $1,184 low tick in the wee hours of Thursday morning on Monday, October 6—and the silver shares are even lower than that. If you’re looking for answers, the only one I can think of is that some precious metal mutual fund[s] had to unload a pile of shares because of redemptions—and its only a matter of time before Rick Rule is out telling all and sundry that it’s a perfect buying opportunity.  I don’t know how you feel about it dear reader, but after more than three years of this, I’m tired of somebody telling me to buy the dips.  I, like you, just want to see the stocks that we already own, do what we know they’re supposed to do. Of course the mining executives don’t care what happens to their public stockholders, because they’ll just get their respective boards of directors to reprice their millions/billions in stock options—so it’s no skin of their noses if their shareholders are getting wiped out in a rigged market. Here are the 6-month charts for the ‘Big 6’ commodities.  Note that we’ve had ‘failure’ in gold at its 50-day moving average, something I mentioned yesterday—and it only remains to be seen whether JPMorgan et al will continue this downward trend, or this is just a blip as we continue to move higher in price. This drake mallard duck was dabbling in the shallows a bit more than 10 meters away, which is point blank range for a 400mm lens.  He is resplendent in his new breeding plumage, as the drakes all look so drab in in the summer/early fall when they’re in the eclipse phase. I don’t normally crop creature photos this close, but wanted to show the iridescent green head from two different angles as the late-morning sun shone on it.  Plus it also accentuates two common English phrases so well—’water off a duck’s back’ and ‘duck tail’.  Both of which show their lineage in these two shots.  The red reflection in the water is, as usual, from the building in the distant background.last_img read more

QUT study analyzes nature of men donating sperm online

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 2 2018As prospective parents increasingly seek sperm donors online, an international study has analyzed what sort of men are donating sperm in this informal setting as opposed to a traditional clinic. And it seems a key characteristic is they are more agreeable.The international Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology has just published the latest study (Clinical vs. Exclusively Online Sperm Donors: What’s the difference? from QUT behavioral economist Dr Stephen Whyte”Scientists have been studying the psychology and motivations of men who donate in clinical settings for more than 40 years but globally tens of thousands of men and women are now choosing to participate in informal sperm donation,” said Dr Whyte, who added the study found exclusively informal donors were also more likely to be in a committed relationship and more likely to identify with a sexuality other than heterosexual, such as gay, bisexual or asexual.”Connection websites are growing in popularity with the UK-based PrideAngel site having more than 27,000 members even just four years ago.”Websites like these are a new cyber conduit for donors and recipients. Compared to the traditional clinical sperm banks and assisted reproductive technology providers, this online marketplace is far less constrained for participants.”The finding that males already in committed relationships are less likely to have a history of clinical donation compared to single males is really a unique finding and may imply male donors currently in a relationship are more popular with women in the online setting.”It may also represent a stronger signal of a male’s ability to cooperate and coordinate successfully with a partner for the purpose of having offspring.”Formal donation by males (technically) only requires them to attend a clinic and provide a sample at their convenience. Informal donation is a two-sided interaction requiring logistical precision in coordinating timing and travel as well as alignment with a recipient’s fertility needs and some level or emotional or psychological support.”Related StoriesSperm quality among Swiss men in ‘critical state’, say expertsAncient epigenetic change deactivates some genes linked to cancerStudy explores factors that impact fertility preservation decisions in transgender youthThe data for the study was collected via a 42-question online survey of 7,696 registered male members of PrideAngel. The donors ranged in age from 22 to 66 years of age.”As this global marketplace for sperm grows, research is needed to identify and explore the socio-economic characteristics, personality and clinical reproductive history of this new group of men and how it impacts on their reproductive psychology and behavior,” he said.”Men and women who interact on the connection websites and forums have made a conscious decision to be or find a donor outside of the traditional clinical settings. These developing cyber economies operate outside regulatory frameworks and record-keeping which makes very difficult to conduct research into the micro-level behavior of participants.”Dr Whyte said growing appeal of connection websites may be explained by the fact they provide a setting in which men and women can communicate directly, reducing financial & psychological burdens and barriers that have existed previously. It also allows the men and women involved to freely negotiate their preferred donation and ongoing parenting arrangements.”Future research could focus on establishing a greater understanding of the catalysts for males to participate or transition between both clinical and informal sperm donor settings, as well as develop a more accurate picture of the motivations beyond those participating in the informal marketplace,” he said. Source:https://www.qut.edu.au/news?id=137649last_img read more

New procedure allows leg length to be precisely adjusted during hip replacement

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 3 2018After a patient has been fitted with an artificial hip joint, sometimes the leg on that side ends up longer or shorter than before. This can lead to problems in the spinal column. A newly developed procedure enables leg length to be precisely adjusted during hip replacement surgery.Today hip replacement is a routine surgical procedure. Some 210,000 hip prostheses are implanted every year in Germany. A frequent complication consists of the situation that, after the operation, the patient’s leg is not the same length as it was before. Normally, a leg length discrepancy of less than one centimeter is well tolerated. Any more, and the patient will most likely have to wear orthopaedical shoe lifts to compensate for postural imbalance and prevent back pain.Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU, together with partners in science and industry, has found a solution to this problem. “It consists of three main components: an optical system to measure leg length, a modular implant design, and a pre-op planning software tool,” says Dr. Ronny Grunert from the institute’s Department for Medical Engineering.The leg length is measured in the operating room just prior to surgery. First, a plastic box with optical markers on its surface is attached to the patient’s tibia. Holding the limb in extension, the surgeon then takes the leg by the heel and lifts it upward. During this maneuver, a 3D camera is used to record the circular motion described by the optical markers on the patient’s shin. In essence, it’s like using a mathematical compass to draw circles around a point, which in this case is the hip joint around which the leg rotates. In this analogy, the optical markers correspond to the tip of the pencil. After provisionally inserting the implant, a second measurement is carried out. The software program compares the two rotational measurements to verify that the leg length remains the same before and after the intervention. If a difference is detected, the length inequality must be corrected.Free choice of femoral stem and acetabular cupRelated StoriesPorvair Sciences develops new fluid collection vent for surgical suction cannistersBariatric surgery should be offered to all patients who would benefitCommon cold virus strain could be a breakthrough in bladder cancer treatment”Together with our partners, we have developed a modular concept that allows the size and position of the artificial hip joint to be optimized for each patient during surgery,” explains Grunert. This modular approach is more flexible than having to choose between prefabricated implants in a limited range of sizes. It allows the surgeon to select the best-fitting combination of femoral stem and acetabular cup. The procedure consists of implanting the femoral stem and connecting it with the acetabular cup by means of a sliding screw. By adjusting the position of the screw, it is possible to precisely adjust the leg length according to the pre-op measurement. If necessary, a different acetabular cup can be selected.The third component of the new procedure, the pre-op planning software, helps the physician to select the most suitable prosthetic joint. Dr. Torsten Prietzel, Medical Director of the Endoprosthetics Network and Chief Surgeon at the Helios Clinic in Blankenhain, is already using the software on a trial basis. The modular implants and the system for measuring leg length are also still in the test phase. Ronny Grunert estimates that all three components of the system will be ready for clinical use in two years’ time. Source:https://www.fraunhofer.de/en/press/research-news/2018/december/precise-adjustment-in-the-operating-room.htmllast_img read more

Study finds sex differences in inflammationinduced anhedonia

first_imgOur study is the first to show that there are sex differences in neural sensitivity to reward in response to inflammation, which has important implications. This may suggest one reason women experience depression at a far greater rate than men, particularly for the kinds of depression that may be inflammatory in nature.”Naomi Eisenberger, PhD, University of California, Los Angeles, senior author Related StoriesUnhealthy gut microbiome may make breast cancers more aggressive finds studyCircadian rhythm influences immune responses across a range of diseasesResearchers one step closer to unmasking the cause of familial MSIn the study, healthy men and women received a substance to increase inflammation. Dr. Eisenberger and colleagues measured activity in the reward region of the brain, the ventral striatum, while the participants played a game to receive a monetary reward. Women with greater inflammatory responses showed less brain response in anticipation of potential rewards, but the relationship was not present in men.”This suggests that women with chronic inflammatory disorders may be particularly vulnerable to developing depression through decreases in sensitivity to reward. Clinicians who treat female patients with inflammatory disorders may want to pay close attention to these patients for possible onset of depressive symptoms,” said first author Mona Moieni, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Eisenberger. This study highlights the important gender differences that exist in the human brain and suggests a mechanism that might help explain the greater prevalence of depression in women compared to men.”Cameron Carter, MD, Editor of Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging Because the increased inflammation had no effect on how men’s brains responded to reward, inflammation-induced anhedonia may be an important contributor to the increased rates of depression in women.Source:ElsevierJournal reference:Eisenberger, N. et al. (2019) Sex differences in the relationship between inflammation and reward sensitivity: A randomized controlled trial of endotoxin. Biological Psychiatry. doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsc.2019.03.010 Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 15 2019Inflammation reduces the brain’s response to rewards in women, but not in men, according to a new study in Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, published by Elsevier. Reduced activity in the brain’s reward center is the signature of anhedonia, a core feature of depression that reflects a loss of enjoyment in things or activities. Women are two-to-three times more likely to be diagnosed with depression, and the new findings pinpoint a key difference in men and women that could contribute to the lopsided rates of the disorder.last_img read more

New approach to poststroke rehabilitation proposed

first_imgFor a long time, it was believed that when one hemisphere is bad, the second, instead of helping it, suppresses it even more. In this regard, the suppression of the activity of the “unaffected” hemisphere should help restore the affected side of the brain. However, the fact is that this particular scheme does not work in many patients after a stroke. Each time it is necessary to check what the impact of the unaffected hemisphere is — whether it is suppressive or activating.”Maria Nazarova, one of the authors of the article and a researcher at the HSE Institute of Cognitive Neurosciences Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 27 2019The existing approach to brain stimulation for rehabilitation after a stroke does not take into account the diversity of lesions and the individual characteristics of patients’ brains. This was the conclusion made by researchers of the Higher School of Economics (HSE University) and the Max Planck Institute of Cognitive Sciences in their article, ‘Predicting the Response to Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation in Stroke’.Among the most common causes of death worldwide, stroke ranks second only to myocardial infarction (heart attack). In addition, a stroke is also a chronic disease that leaves patients disabled for many years.In recent decades, non-invasive neuromodulation methods such as electric and magnetic stimulation of various parts of the nervous system have been increasingly used to rehabilitate patients after a stroke. Stimulation selectively affects different parts of the brain, which allows you to functionally enhance activity in some areas while suppressing unwanted processes in others that impede the restoration of brain functions. This is a promising mean of rehabilitation after a stroke. However, its results in patients remain highly variable.The study authors argue that the main reason for the lack of effectiveness in neuromodulation approaches after a stroke is an inadequate selection of patients for the application of a particular brain stimulation technique.According to the authors, the existing approach does not take into account the diversity of lesions after a stroke and the variability of individual responses to brain stimulation as a whole. Researchers propose two criteria for selecting the optimal brain stimulation strategy. The first is an analysis of the interactions between the hemispheres. Now, all patients, regardless of the severity of injury after a stroke, are offered a relatively standard treatment regimen. This approach relies on the idea of interhemispheric competition. Related StoriesStudy explores role of iron in over 900 diseasesCancer patients taking statin medication has lower risk of suffering a strokeNew method improves detection of atrial fibrillation in stroke survivorsThe second criterion, scientists call the neuronal phenotype. This is an individual characteristic of the activity of the brain, which is ‘unique to each person like their fingerprints’. Such a phenotype is determined, firstly, by the ability of the brain to build effective structural and functional connections between different areas (connectivity). And, secondly, the individual characteristics of neuronal dynamics, including its ability to reach a critical state. This is the state of the neuronal system in which it is the most plastic and capable of change.Only by taking these criteria into account, the authors posit, can neuromodulation methods be brought to a new level and be effectively used in clinical practice. To do this, it is necessary to change the paradigm of the universal approach and select methods based on the individual characteristics of the brain of a particular person and the course of his or her disease. Source:National Research University Higher School of EconomicsJournal reference:Nazarova, M. et al. (2019) Predicting the Response to Non-invasive Brain Stimulation in Stroke. Frontiers in Neurology. doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2019.00302.last_img read more

Seven chateaux and counting Chinese billionaire is big in Bordeaux

“I pictured a French country house, and it just so happened that it had eight hectares of vines around it,” he said.That was his first chateau, Haut-Brisson in Saint-Emilion, which he purchased in 1997, without ever having sampled the fruits of the vine.He quickly learned that winemaking isn’t just about planting and harvesting vines—it’s a way of life. And as in life, “there are many things that you cannot control. You do the best you can, but then you have to wait for nature.” Bordeaux’s ‘magnificent’ lost vintage pushes small growers to the edge Citation: Seven chateaux and counting: Chinese billionaire is big in Bordeaux (2018, May 4) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-chateaux-chinese-billionaire-big-bordeaux.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ‘Black coffee and baguettes’It wasn’t his love of a plummy merlot that brought the Vietnamese-born businessman to Bordeaux. “My children study in the United States, so I was looking for a place halfway for vacations. France is halfway,” he told AFP in an interview.But there was also a touch of whimsy in his decision to set up shop on the other side of the world.Growing up in Vietnam under French colonial rule—living in the capital’s sprawling Chinatown—he was enthralled by “images of De Gaulle, black coffee, baguettes and dreams of Paris.”But instead of buying a pied-a-terre in the French capital, Kwok opted for a house in the country. © 2018 AFP Peter Kwok pose dans la cave du Château Bellefont-Belcier, à Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, en Gironde, le 11 avril 2018 Peter Kwok pose dans le Château Bellefont-Belcier, à Saint-Laurent-des-Combes, en Gironde, le 11 avril 2018 Some left after seeing their investments wither on the vine, but Peter Kwok, who has no fewer than seven vineyards to his name, says he is here for the long haul.The 69-year-old Hong Kong-based billionaire has been in southwest France for the past 20 years, recently snapping up Chateau Bellefont-Belcier, a Saint-Emilion grand cru.Some in France’s winemaking community are sniffy about the Asian investors who have bought up 140 chateaux in Bordeaux.The acquisitions—though making up only 1.5 percent of the region’s 7,000 vineyards—have stirred sensitivities about growing foreign investment, particularly Chinese, in strategic or heritage sectors.In February, President Emmanuel Macron said he would work to prevent foreign investors buying French farms after it emerged that a Chinese fund had bought nearly 3,000 hectares (7,500 acres) of wheat fields in the centre of the country.The Chinese tycoons present in Bordeaux see wine mainly as a way of diversifying their fortunes.But Kwok, who has invested 60 to 70 million euros ($72.5-85 million) in the region, insists he’s not in it for the money—though as an investment banker he keeps a eye on the numbers.”Other friends who own vineyards warned me the only way to make a fortune in wine is to invest an even bigger fortune!” said Kwok, who heads the energy subsidiary of Chinese investment group CITIC. Explore further Kwok has earned respect from locals thanks to the quality of his wines At first, he sold most of his wines in Asia, particularly Hong Kong, Singapore and mainland China.But as the reputation of his wines grow so too has his global distribution.With a few harvests under his belt his goal now is to build his “Vignobles K” brand.”The other aim is to make good wine, which will also take years, but not quite as many.”Wine as artAt Bellefont-Belcier, something of a sleeping beauty in Saint-Emilion, one of his first tasks will be to clean up the woods that dot the rolling limestone hills over which the estate is spread.Kwok has earned his chops when it comes to revamping older chateaux, having restored the 18th-century dry masonry terraced vineyards at the Tour-Saint-Christophe estate he acquired in 2012. Reflecting on those Chinese peers who bid farewell to Bordeaux after a brief dalliance, he said: “It (owning a chateau) became the fashion. They just wanted the experience. But they slowly realised that winemaking is not the business they thought.”His time in France, which he visits three or four times a year, has taught him that the key ingredient in wine is not equipment or skilled labour, it’s the “terroir”—the land.”It’s like being the owner of a piece of art,” he said. “Only with wine, it’s a piece of art you can work on.” Over the past decade Chinese investors have conquered dozens of chateaux in Bordeaux, France’s famed wine-growing region. read more

Renaults Senard expects Nissans new board to embrace alliance

first_imgFILE PHOTO: Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard gestures at the end of a joint news conference in Yokohama, Japan, March 12, 2019. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File PhotoPARIS (Reuters) – Renault (RENA.PA) is confident that alliance partner Nissan’s (7201.T) new board will work to reinforce the their partnership as it struggles to turn the page on the Carlos Ghosn scandal, Renault Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard said on Thursday. Nissan shareholders last month approved the appointment of a new board at the Japanese carmaker that includes more international profiles. “There is a change,” Senard told reporters in a briefing at Renault headquarters. “We have a new board that is conscious of its fiduciary duty. Let that board work.” Speaking to the Paris-based Anglo-American Press Association, Senard expressed confidence that Nissan directors will see alliance cooperation as essential in the face of challenges facing the auto industry. “Necessity sometimes helps,” he said. Reporting by Laurence Frost. Editing by Jane MerrimanOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more