Category: xgliz

Hamilton supreme on night of emotional farewells

first_img0Shares0000F1 champion Lewis Hamilton won his 11th GP of a dominant season in a star-studded finale at Abu Dhabi © AFP / Andrej ISAKOVICABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Nov 25 – Lewis Hamilton ended his near-perfect 2018 with a typically assured victory in Sunday’s eventful season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix amid topless celebrations and farewells on an emotional evening at the Yas Marina Circuit.The 33-year-old Briton, who reeled off the 11th win of a dominant season that brought him his fifth drivers’ world championship ahead of four-time champ Sebastian Vettel, showed off his tattooed torso on the podium amid goodbyes for former foe Fernando Alonso, who retired from F1 after 17 years and 311 GPs. “I really wanted to end the season strong,” said Hamilton, who won the F1 championship last month in Mexico.“The team did an exceptional job all year long, and I really wanted, race on, race off, to deliver for them and wanted to end the way that I plan to start next year. That was kind of the new psyche.”Hamilton’s latest win came after Nico Hulkenberg survived a spectacular accident on the opening lap –- escaping unhurst as flames licked around him while he hung on the barriers “like a cow” in his upside-down Renault.Hulkenberg smiled as he recalled the experience of hanging in his car while “the barbecue was lit” behind him.The German driver’s accident came after tangling with Romain Grosjean’s Haas led to a Safety Car intervention, but neither that, nor the later deployment of a Virtual Safety Car, could stop Hamilton from triumphing.Mercedes team manager Tom Wolff said that for Hamilton and the team it was important to maintain impetus as they head towards defending their record-equalling sequence of five consecutive drivers’ and teams’ double title wins next year.“It was a great fight this season with Ferrari and then Red Bull came into the mix and there were six cars able to win –- that’s why the television ratings increased.”New American owners Liberty Media appreciated that and the special moment after Sunday’s race when multiple champions Hamilton (five titles), Vettel (four) and Alonso (two) performed semi-synchronised donut spins of their cars during a post-race slow-down lap dedicated to the Spanish driver.Hamilton also had warm words for Vettel.“It’s been a real honour and a privilege racing against Sebastian,” said Hamilton.“I’ve known him since our Formula Three days and he’s an honest driver who has always raced his heart out.“I know he’s going to come back strong next year.”0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Flyers to hold Christmas Family Skate on December 23

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Flyers will be holding a Christmas Family Skate at the North Peace Arena on December 23.Santa Claus will be there to greet Flyers sponsors, fans, volunteers, executive, players, spouses, kids, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and alumni.Afterward, you can gather in the lower lobby for pizza, munchies, and juice.- Advertisement -The Flyers are reminding parents to bring a small gift for any little ones accompanying you and Santa Claus will gladly hand them out.The Christmas Family Skate takes place Sunday, December 23, starting at 3:00 p.m. at the North Peace Arena.last_img

Truckers shape up, quit unhealthy ways

first_imgDrivers are tested every two years to maintain their licenses, which are issued by states. Waivers can be granted, but generally commercial drivers can’t be licensed if they have severe high blood pressure or severe heart conditions. Other aspects of drivers’ health, such as weight and smoking, aren’t regulated. “They can’t say, `You can’t be obese,’ and they can’t force you to stop smoking,”‘ said Gerald P. Krueger, a psychologist who compiled the latest research by the Transportation Research Board. “The government shouldn’t regulate that. But we’ve been trying to educate people to the linkage between being a healthy person and a safe driver.” Krueger said trucking companies need to do more to foster better health among their employees, whether it’s to reduce health care costs or hang on to employees in an industry where turnover is high and shortages growing. It’s not clear how many companies are making efforts. The trucking associations group says it is planning a survey. The group estimates there are 1.3million long-haul drivers nationwide. An Associated Press spot check of companies revealed these initiatives: GREEN BAY, Wis. – Truck drivers – the people who deliver our food, cars and clothing – have one of the most dangerous jobs in America, accounting for nearly 15 percent of U.S. work-related deaths. And that’s only counting the crashes. They are also more at risk than average Americans for a number of health problems. Obesity is rampant. Many don’t bother to wear seat belts because their stomachs get in the way. About one in four have sleep apnea. Half of them smoke. The latest research in an upcoming report drives home those points and may help influence government regulations for truck drivers’ health, which are under review. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is considering tightening its rules for conditions including diabetes and high blood pressure. And many companies are stepping up their own efforts at improving health. “It takes a while to undo years and years and years of unhealthy behavior,” said Christie Cullinan of the American Trucking Associations, which represents about 2,000 companies and suppliers. “But I think companies are having to look at this because of the skyrocketing health care costs and related workers’ compensation costs.” Celadon Group Inc. has stationed nurses at its main facility in Indianapolis and encourages its 3,200 drivers in the U.S. and Canada to get blood pressure and cholesterol checks. Doctors are on call if needed, and Celadon pays all expenses. The company says it’s helped trim its $10million annual health care bill. Melton Truck Lines Inc. replaced sodas in the Tulsa, Okla., headquarters vending machines with green tea, water and diet drinks. The company also offered a 12-week weight-loss series. Con-way Freight of Ann Arbor, Mich., saw annual workers’ compensation claims plunge 80percent and lost work days drop 75percent in Los Angeles after its trial of a wellness program two years ago. Now, leaders of such programs are being hired at other hub offices. Schneider National Inc. of Green Bay, Wis., screened 10,000 of its 15,000 drivers for apnea, a disorder that interferes with breathing during sleep and can leave the sufferer groggy and exhausted. The company provided the 10percent who had the disorder with special air masks to help them sleep. Some drivers are responding to all the health campaigns, working out at loading stations, cooking for themselves and even walking laps around their rigs. (Thirty-two times around an 18-wheeler is a mile.) Sammy Belvin, a driver for Oklahoma-based Melton Truck Lines, has been getting advice from a wellness coordinator with the company. He carries weights in his truck, and for meals, he eats cereal and cooks chicken breasts on an electric grill in his cab. A driver for 23 years, Belvin says these days he’s not the only one jogging around in the mornings before he drives off for the day. Lisa Miles, an independent driver based in Fort Wayne, Ind., lifts weights in the cabin of her semi, too, while her partner driver takes the wheel. She gave up smoking three years ago and now is trying to lose 30 pounds. “It’s real easy to let your personal health be the last of your priorities,” she said. As many as half of drivers are regular smokers, compared with about one-fifth of all Americans. Many truckers are obese, and only about one in 10 get regular aerobic exercise. More details will be available in a soon-to-be-published study for the Transportation Research Board, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences. All those bad habits can fuel high blood pressure and chronic conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Sleep apnea, which is linked to obesity, is rampant, too. An industry study a few years ago found 28percent of drivers had it; that compares with about 4percent in the general population who have the disorder. Government numbers say the trucking industry has the most fatalities of all occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says truck drivers account for nearly 15percent of all worker deaths in the most recent data available, from 2005. (The death rate per 100,000 is higher for other occupations.) Of those trucker deaths, 80percent involved traffic crashes, the bureau said. Truck drivers also report more injuries, such as sprains, than workers in any other category, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Many of them unload the goods they carry, risking back injuries. The medical review board of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will discuss updating medical guidelines at a meeting this month, but any changes are at least a year off, officials said. Meanwhile, the Teamsters union wants to ensure that truckers don’t lose their jobs if health rules are tightened, said Lamont Byrd, director of safety and health for the union. Truckers pose unique challenges when it comes to improving health, said Ilene Masser, director of such a program for faculty and staffers at New York University Medical Center. They sit for long periods, are out on their own, eat a lot of fast food and most of them are men, who often need more prodding than women to make changes, she said. Changes are worth it. About three-quarters of employers with at least 1,000 workers have a wellness program, she said. And for every dollar invested, they get about $3.14 back, including savings on health care costs and added productivity. William Rundle is one of the drivers for Schneider National who benefited from his company’s aggressive effort to treat sleep apnea. “It’s wonderful to be able to function during the day now,” he said, adding that he has more energy and makes his deliveries on time. He said his company has also persuaded him to quit smoking and eat better. In the past year, he’s trimmed 15pounds from his formerly 300-pound, 5-foot-7 frame. It’s difficult, he said. He wants to eat salads, but they often come with hard-to-resist cheese and bacon. He wants to exercise but counts few safe places to walk close to the highway. “You don’t see very many truck drivers that look like they’re in good shape. We’re just like anybody else,” said Rundle, 43, who lives in Woodbourne, N.Y.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

Liverpool vs Napoli: Champions League preview, team news and confirmed line-ups

first_imgWhat the managers are sayingJurgen Klopp (Liverpool): “We knew the Napoli away game was not good enough, Belgrade no better. Paris was okay and losing there can happen. So far we’ve been good at home. Tomorrow night we need to be even better. We need to perform at our highest level.”Carlo Ancelotti (Napoli): “I have lots of memories of Anfield. And my last one is a good one because I won the title there with Chelsea. It’s going to be a tough, exciting match. We’ll go there and play our usual game. It would be counter productive to try and park the bus. Besides anything else, that’s not how we play. We’ll try to boss the game and I’m sure the lads are ready and fired up to give their absolute all. We’ll go there with an attacking mindset.”Team newsSadio Mane and Adam Lallana are fit for Tuesday’s match, though Dejan Lovren is only fit enough for the bench. Joe Gomez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are long-term absentees for the hosts.Napoli will be without Vlad Chiriches and Simone Verdi through injury. no dice Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade ADVICE Premier League Team of the Season so far, including Liverpool and Leicester stars huge blow REPLY shining Jurgen Klopp’s side host the Serie A outfit at Anfield, knowing they have to win to have any chance of progressing into the last 16.What Liverpool must do against Napoli qualify for the Champions League knockout stageThe were beaten by Napoli in Italy earlier this season, but Liverpool do head into Tuesday’s clash with two wins from their two home matches this Champions League campaign; the Reds have triumphed against Group C rivals Paris Saint-Germain and Red Star Belgrade on Merseyside. Jurgen Klopp hopes for one of those famous European nights at Anfield Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury It’s a big week for Liverpool with their Champions League future hanging in the balance.The Reds have still not guaranteed their place in the knockout stage of Europe’s premier cup competition heading into the final matchday of the group stage, in which they clash with Napoli. Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade Confirmed line-upsLiverpool: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk, Robertson; Milner, Wijnaldum, Henderson; Salah, Firmino, ManeNapoli: Ospina; Maksimovic, Albiol, Koulibaly, Mari Rui; Callejon, Allan, Hamsik, Fabian; Mertens, Insigne Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card RANKED Berahino hits back at b******t Johnson criticism – ‘I was in a dark place at Stoke’ 2 Latest Football News REVEALED Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Sadio Mane is available in a big boost for Jurgen Klopp 2 BEST OF Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? MONEY REVEALED Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won last_img read more

Faulty repair work doomed Viscount 50 years ago

first_imgMMA’s Viscount “Quininup” at Perth Airport. Credit Merv Prime Quininup, a 48-seat Vickers Viscount, gleamed like near new in its MacRobertson Miller Airlines color scheme of blue and green, a stark contrast to the burning red earth she flew over as she took miners north to make their fortunes as Western Australia’s first iron ore boom gathered momentum.But she carried deep in her wing a deadly flaw that had started some five years earlier during a botched modification performed at Essendon Airport.Quininup was a Vickers Viscount 720C and had started life in 1954 as the second of a new fleet for Trans Australian Airlines. A series of leases then purchase saw her owned by Ansett-ANA, which transferred her to its WA subsidiary MMA as VH-RMQ a few months prior to the crash.Read: World’s Best Airlines for 2019For her five crew,  she was the darling of the fleet and with a passenger capacity of 48 passengers almost twice the size of her stablemate the Fokker F27 Friendship.Tuesday, December 31, 1968, dawned a typical summer day in Perth: warm with wind out of the north-east.Being New Year’s Eve, the passenger load was light – just 22 including Kelmscott man Keith Dyke, 67, who was flying for the first time.VH-RMQ’s captain, was Brian Bayly, a WW11 bomber pilot who had the right stuff in spades and was the fourth most senior pilot at MMA with over 19,000 hours.Viscount Captain Brian Bayly. Photo colorized by Benoit VienneCaptain Bayly was a legend, suave, engaging, and humorous and always smiling.His crew for Flight 1750 to Port Hedland was First Officer Michael Nelson 31, senior training hostess Georgette Bradshaw, 24, Gail Sweetman 23, who had been WA’s entrant in the 1965, Miss Australia Quest. With them was  23-year-old trainee hostess Kay Aubery, who had joined the airline only a month earlier and was making her fourth flight.According to researcher Anthony James,  Miss Aubery, an only child, was originally rostered on a flight to Kalgoorlie and was a last-minute inclusion.The boarding call came at 8.10am and one passenger Gordon Collins, a 34-year-old father of eight, was heard to tell his wife: “I don’t want to go”.The Viscount took off at 8.36am.According to Mr. James, “moments later, Dorothy Weir, whose husband, Gordon, was a passenger, had a strange sensation.”Mrs. Weir said  “my legs suddenly buckled under me and I could not walk. I just sat there and watched the plane until it disappeared.”Aside from some turbulence early in the flight, the flying conditions were fine.The flight route was north-east over Mount Magnet with a turn due north at Meekatharra, abeam Wittenoom Gorge at 11.14amAt 11.20am, FO Nelson advised that they would be commencing their descent from FL190 (19,000ft) in three minutes.And precisely three minutes later Captain Bayly eased back the throttles on the four Rolls Royce Dart turboprops and Quininup left the cruise level of FL190 and commenced the descent into Port Hedland — a procedure he had done hundreds of timesAt 11.34am, FO Nelson reported that Quininup was 30 miles (48km) south of Port Hedland and had left 7,000 ft.This was the final transmission.Just four seconds later the starboard (right) wing outboard of the inner or No. 3 engine – and including the No. 4 engine – snapped off and hit the tail as it separated sending Quininup into uncontrollable dive, impacting the ground 26 seconds later.But the impact of this disaster is still painful 50 years on.On the huge Indee station, owner Colin Brierly heard two big explosions and observed a huge, black smoke cloud rise in the distance.In Port Hedland, air traffic controller Pat Seymour saw the same ominous smoke.Mr. Seymour told Mr. James: “When I didn’t get a response from the crew, I knew something had gone terribly wrong with the aircraft. Crews always respond promptly during this stage of flight.”Search and rescue efforts were launched immediately.Mr. Brierly was first to the sickening crash site but there were no survivors.All that was left were twisted pieces of metal, scattered over a wide area blackened by the inferno that engulfed the wreckage.The tragedy started the most comprehensive investigation in Australian aviation history at the time.The wing that separated was sent to Melbourne for forensic examination and it was discovered after nine months of forensic investigation that shoddy maintenance work was to blame.Engineers in Melbourne at Ansett performing an upgrade to the wing in 1964 “butchered” pre-drilled holes in a metal plate that was being bolted to the underside of a wing spar so that they lined up with holes in the spar.Incredibly, none of the three involved were ever brought to account and thus the relatives were denied proper compensation.last_img read more

Future Friday: What is “social loafing” and how will it affect your company?

first_imgNot everyone pulls their own weight in a team effort.I was reviewing one of my favorite books, The Future of Work by Jacob Morgan, in preparation for another article I am writing and a webinar I am creating. In a discussion on the future of work and the size of teams Morgan brought up something called the Ringelmann Effect and the concept of social loafing. Naturally that got me curious.Ringelmann EffectThe Ringelmann Effect, named after French agricultural engineer Maximillian Ringelmann, describes the tendency for individual members of a group to become increasingly less productive as the size of their group increases. According to Wikipedia:Ringelmann (1913) found that having group members work together on a task (e.g., pulling a rope) actually results in significantly less effort than when individual members are acting alone. Furthermore, Ringelmann discovered that as more and more people are added to a group, the group often becomes increasingly inefficient, ultimately violating the notion that group effort and team participation reliably leads to increased effort on behalf of the members.The decreased effort has been attributed to two reasons. The first of these is what is called social loafing.Social loafingSocial loafing is the reduction in the effort of individuals when working in a group. It has been observed in a number of settings. I observed it when I was recruiting for packaging engineers and having students describe their senior projects. These were team projects and since I was interviewing seniors I got to talk to every team member in the interview process. The most common complaint was that no one else pulled their weight during the project. We have all seen this phenomenon and it is most likely the reason we have the phrase “he is not pulling his weight.”Research has also shown that the effect increases with the size of the group. Again, we have all had some experience with that phenomenon. Some companies have moved to keep the size of groups small. Jeff Bezos, very prominent in today’s news, has a “two-pizza” rule that says if the group or team cannot be fed by two pizzas then it is two large.The second reason for lack of effectiveness is loss of coordination.The future of workAll of this research and experience then provides a blue print for the future of work when it is being done as a team. We must keep the teams small. The leadership of the team must be aware of the Ringelmann Effect and social loafing. I think that should become part of leadership training and the team would be best served by the team leader discussing it with the team. If everyone is on notice that this behavior can be observed perhaps team members will be less inclined to engage in social loafing. If goals are set, tasks are divided and everyone is made to feel indispensable the incidences of social loafing will be diminished. Everyone’s part should be identified, as anonymity of task assignment has also been found to contribute to social loafing.If you follow these steps for your future work assignments you will be more likely to be successful. It is also an argument for smaller companies and smaller division within companies. The future of work may be small.Originally posted on Omega HR Solutions Blog.last_img read more

3Tera Acquisition Complete – Disruption Fuels CA Move to the Cloud

first_imgCA completed its acquisition of 3Tera today in what seems like a successive line of announcements about CA’s push into the cloud as an infrastructure service provider. In fact, the 3Tera announcement feels like yesterday’s news in wake of the most recent announcement that CA is acquiring Nimsoft, the California based startup. Overall, CA has been a buying spree, acquiring a total of five companies in the cloud world. In addition to 3Tera and Nimsoft, CA has also purchased Cassatt, NetQos and Oblicore.CA realizes that the halycon days of being an IT vendor are as solid as vaporous cloud. The real future is in adapting to the enterprise and its efforts to shed IT assets and move its applications to a cloud environment.The 3Tera and Nimsoft acquisitions exemplify this move.3Tera3Tera’s AppLogic is a cloud management platform to move applications to a public or private cloud. It’s widely viewed that AppLogic gives CA the ability to provide service providers with a set of management tools. It also gives 3Tera the capability to sell to enterprise customers. Some of the challenges concern the scope of AppLogic’s virtualization capabilities. It is limited currently to the Xen platform. This could prove an issue as most companies have standardized on VMware. CA says it will broaden AppLogic’s virtualization capabilities to VMware ESX and Microsoft HyperV.NimsoftNimsoft is a cloud management platform and benchmarking service. Cloud computing sounds fine and good but how it compares to on-premise applications can be a challenge to quantify. Nimsoft provides a unified monitoring environment for Google Apps,, Amazon Web Services and Rackspace. Nimsoft also provides benchmarking tools that actually test and compare the differences, giving quantified results about the actual performance.What’s Next?As stated on GigaOm, CA will hold its annual CA World event in May. We will learn more what is in store at that time. But we can expect to see its cloud strategy unfold a bit more, including SaaS services with upgrades at a pace that we see with SaaS providers.The cloud management market is getting quite competitive but we have to keep in mind that customers are still a bit wary about cloud computing. And when companies are wary it means long decision making processes. And that means a longer sales cycle for the likes of companies like CA. Tags:#cloud#cloud computing#news 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… alex williamscenter_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…last_img read more

6 Ways The HTC Vive Will Freak Out Virtual-Reality Geeks

first_imgThe Key to Mass Adoption of Wearables You Think Your Employees WANT to Wear That Devi… How Wearables Will Take Health Monitoring to th… Related Posts This year’s Mobile World Congress should have been renamed Mobile Wearable Congress, with many of the world’s tech companies showing off their latest strappy gadgets. One of the big winners in this category is HTC and the gigantic piece of face gear it introduced this week.Though expected to whip out its first smartwatch, the company instead unveiled its HTC Vive virtual reality goggles. Powered by SteamVR, a technology from partner and gaming heavyweight Valve, it’s part of a whole system that wraps the user in a digitally created world. Think Samsung Gear VR and Oculus Rift, but with a bigger hardware system. And better—way better. I toured Vive’s artificial worlds, and they looked and felt much realer than I anticipated. It’s the difference between being passively “immersed” in a fake setting, and feeling like you’re actually in an alternate universe that you can explore and interact with. Best of all, after half an hour, no nausea. Not bad for someone with a slight astigmatism and a habit of getting motion sick. Building A Better RealityI’ve tried two of the leading names in VR technology before—the Oculus Rift and the Samsung Gear VR—and they each have their merits. The Rift was the first device to excite modern app and game developers about virtual reality, after years of laughable attempts. The Gear VR lets users experience a manufactured world without cables by popping a Samsung smartphone in the self-contained unit. At this point, Sony, Microsoft, Epson and others are crowding into the face gear realm, whether for virtual reality or its cousin, augmented reality, which adds an overlay to the physical world. Rumor has it, Apple may even get into this game. Most will have a tough time meeting the bar HTC just set. The Taiwanese company is known for making pretty, well-built phones that somehow fail to light up the market. But with the Vive, which won MWC’s Best In Show category, how it looks—or what you look like wearing it—isn’t the point. (Good thing, too, because how it looks is pretty dreadful.)What the technology lets you see and do is what matters, and it turns out, it’s a lot.When VR is good, you don’t just watch the world around you. You feel like you’re part of that world. When it’s really, really good, you get to interact with it too. I instinctively ducked when the artfully created and realistic digital whales and fish came toward my head. I made tomato soup, screwed up a robot in a futuristic repair lab, and 3D-painted in bold, bright, colorful strokes in mid-air. A few more details: You can actually move aroundWith the Gear VR, you’re a fixed point in space. You can look around and turn your head left or right, but you can’t walk and explore. Oculus Rift manages to offer some “spatial positioning” or tracking through a laptop camera or the like, but it’s limited. The Vive goggles, encrusted with shiny compact little hardware components, work with room-situated laser sensors that can detect your physical location. You fix the room parameters or size, and the system sets its virtual boundaries. You can interact with virtual objectsVive works with two joysticks that feature touchpads and trigger-style buttons. The units let users manipulate objects—for instance, by picking up virtual items or batting away obstructions.I used clunky wired joysticks, but the company told me they were working on wireless versions. That’s a relief, because I almost tripped on those wires a few times. The cables extending from the goggles itself—attached at the top where the HDMI port, USB ports and headphone jack sit—look ridiculous, but ultimately didn’t get in my way. The smartphone-based Gear VR wasn’t built for full-fledged interactions. It works with a game controller-style directional pad. The Rift can make it work to some degree with third-party add-ons. One of the most intriguing might be the motion-control Myo Band, which looks like a punk rock arm band, but can interpret electrical signals from your muscles as gestures or movement. Made by Thalmic Labs, the $200 device hasn’t reached a broad enough audience to spark wide support yet.HTC’s controllers are a fundamental part of the system, and developers will be able to support them when they build Vive apps and games. Better visuals are baked inThe goggles feature two 1,200 x 1,080 displays, one for each eye, that deliver the sprawling 360-degree scenes. The graphics pipe in at 90 frames per second, which is high for this type of VR technology. In the demo, I saw no head-splitting blurriness, no sudden or jarring panning action, no sputters and, most importantly, no queasiness. When I moved around, the scene moved with me smoothly and naturally. Usually, I can only stomach virtual reality in small doses. This time, half an hour felt too short. I didn’t want to leave this world. HTC Vive fits over eyeglassesThe cushioned inner molding and large size gives the goggles a roomier feel that was actually large enough to accommodate my eyeglasses, without pushing them uncomfortably into my face. Even the sounds are realisticWith attached headphones, Vive offers hi-fidelity sound that can distinguish between noises that are supposed to come from behind you or move horizontally in front of you. In other words, flat, uni-directional sound won’t take you out of this world. It’s not clear whether it can compete with the “spatial audio” of Oculus Rift’s new Crescent Bay prototype or Sony’s “3D positional audio” in its latest PlayStation VR project, Project Morpheus. But Vive’s sound travels the way you’d expect real life noises to move, both for foreground and ambient audio. You’ll be able to do more than gamingTo produce the Vive, HTC joined forces with gaming giant Valve and its 125 million-subscriber online gaming platform, Steam. But that doesn’t mean the system will be a gaming-only proposition. The company struck deals with HBO, Lionsgate and Google for entertainment and VR-oriented media. The move appears to take direct aim at Samsung, its rival in the smartphone business and now virtual reality market. The South Korean tech giant, which launched its own goggles last year, has been promoting its Milk VR video service for a couple of months now. Samsung’s unspectacular update to its Gear VRSee also: Samsung Is Getting Serious About Producing Its Own Virtual-Reality VideosWhen it comes to VR hardware, Samsung seems to be asleep at the wheel. While HTC showed off its amazing new Vive and Oculus readies its first consumer release, Samsung gave its Gear VR the measliest of updates. There’s almost no difference between the new model and the old one, except support for the latest Galaxy phones—the glassy S6 and the dual-curved S6 Edge. In other words, if you’re a Gear VR user and want one of the new Galaxy phones, you’ll have to replace your virtual reality goggles too. Perhaps instead, fans will wait for HTC’s new gadget. The Vive will hit the market by the end of the year. In the meantime, developers will be able to get their hands on it some time this spring. Photos by Adriana Lee for ReadWritecenter_img Tags:#Gear VR#HTC#HTC Vive#Oculus Rift#Oculus VR#virtual reality#virtual reality headset#VR adriana lee 4 Ways Big Data & VR Are Changing Professi…last_img read more

Will Hayabusa’s Success Lead to a Space Encore?

first_imgTOKYO—The heart-warming story of the Hayabusa spacecraft, which overcame failed engines, degraded solar panels, fuel leaks, and faulty communications to touch down on asteroid Itokawa and return to Earth, has captured the imagination of the Japanese public. And it could bode well for a follow-up mission. The spacecraft’s fiery demise in the skies above Australia last week has triggered blanket TV and newspaper coverage of the capsule’s return to the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) labs near Tokyo, where the payload will be analyzed for the presence of asteroid dust. Feature stories have explained how the composition of asteroids may provide clues to conditions in the early universe. Business page articles have highlighted the role of Japanese companies that built Hayabusa’s engines, sensors, and instruments. And the JAXA visitor center in downtown Tokyo, featuring a model of Itokawa, is enjoying double its usual daily traffic. Hayabusa’s most important fan, however, just might be Naoto Kan, the country’s new prime minister. Kan praised the mission in comments to the Japanese legislature last week and voiced support for a second asteroid mission. But it’s not clear whether such high-level backing will translate into more funding. 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So Kan’s kind words are welcome, says ISAS’s Yasunori Matogawa. “But where will the money come from?” The budget for space science has been flat for years, he says, and shifting money from other space projects would “cause a lot of trouble.” Kan’s government has also pledged to reduce overall government spending. The chances of a second mission might improve after researchers conclude whether the retrieved canister contains samples, which would be the first ever returned from an asteroid. The announcement, expected within the next couple of weeks, could influence decisions on the government’s budget, now being drafted, for the fiscal year beginning next April.last_img read more

Fly launches budget smartphone Snap at Rs 2,999

first_imgFly Mobiles has launched a new mobile handset in India in anexclusive collaboration with Snapdeal. The UK based mobile phone brandlaunched the Snap, which it claims, is the cheapest smartphone inIndia at Rs 2,999.The Fly Snap is powered by a 1.3GHz Quad Core processor ofan unknown make which is assisted by half a gig of RAM. It has a 5MP primarycamera and a 2MP front camera. It comes with a 4 inch IPS LCD display with aresolution of 480×800 pixels. It also offers 3G connectivity, GPS and Bluetooth. Thephone runs on a 1500mAh battery. On the storage front, the phone comes with 4GBinternal storage which is expandable to an extra 16GB with the help of aMicroSD card. The phone runs on Android KitKat 4.4.2 out of the box.Recently, Fly Mobiles also launched Fly Qik+ in India whichis an Octa-core processor phone priced at Rs 6,999 and is available onSnapdeal. The phone also sports a 13 Megapixel primary camera and a 5 Megapixelfront snapper. It sports a 5 inch HD screen with a resolution of 720×1280. Eventhe Qik+ comes with Android KitKat 4.4.2 out of the box.last_img read more