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Satellite technology unites Kenyans against bush fires

first_imgConservation Solutions, Dry Forests, early warning, Fires, Forests, Mapping, Monitoring, Remote Sensing, satellite data, Sensors, Technology, Wildtech The Eastern and Southern Africa Fire Information System (ESAFIS), an online application developed in Kenya, uses MODIS satellite information to detect bush fires in eastern Africa.The freely available app maps and categorizes bush fires in near-real time and shows details of each fire , including the time it was detected, its location with respect to towns and protected areas, and its relative intensity.By providing an early fire warning system, the system helps forest management authorities respond to fires in their early stages and prioritize limited resources to fire hotspots. NYERI, Kenya – It took nine hours for Margaret Wanjugu and neighbors to put out a fire that razed Gathorongai forest near her home in central Kenya, in 2016. She would not like to go through such an experience again, and for a good reason.Not only did the mother of two nearly lose her herd of goats, which were grazing in the forest, but elephants escaping the fire raided her field of potato plants, leaving her without a harvest.“No help came from forest officers working here,” Wanjugu said. “We improvised and used twigs to put out the fire.”Margaret Wanjugu leading her herd of goats home from Gathorongai forest in central Kenya, where they were grazing. The forest is prone to unexpected fire outbreaks that threaten farmers and wildlife alike. Image by David Njagi for Mongabay.Like thousands of farmers living near conservation areas in Kenya, Wanjugu lives in fear of Gathorongai forest catching fire. These communities lack an early warning system, relying on crude methods, like seeing smoke, to know of a fire outbreak.Recently, a technology developed by the Regional Center for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD), a government agency based in Nairobi, has begun helping troubled Kenyans like Wanjugu with early detection of bush fires in conservation areas.RCMRD’s Eastern and Southern Africa Fire Information System (ESAFIS) web application is a free and open-source service used in all conservation and protected areas in Kenya and 10 other eastern African countries.Detecting fire intensityThe ESAFIS system senses fire outbreaks using the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) satellite at RCMRD, according to Byron Anangwe, the business development officer there.“When we get high temperature values at any particular point, we estimate that as a fire,” Anangwe said. “We mostly target game reserves and forests.”The system then posts this information on its website for users, including Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) and Kenya Forest Service (KFS), to access. These institutions can then engage communities to prevent its spread, says Anangwe. Any individual with internet access can also use the service by visiting the website.Screenshot of the ESAFIS home page map with icons designating fire hotspots across eastern Africa. Image by Regional Centre for Mapping of Resources for Development (RCMRD).“We are experts at the science,” Anangwe said, “and so our role is to empower national governments, communities and the private sector to prevent fire outbreaks in national reserves and protected areas.”Anangwe says the ability of ESAFIS to show details of each fire point has helped foresters better contain bush fires. For instance, in January 2017, at the height of a prolonged drought, ESAFIS helped to detect and track fire outbreaks at the Aberdare Forest Reserve.The website opens with a map that shows recent fire hotspots detected by the system in eastern Africa, categorizing them from low to extreme intensity. At the time of filing this story, for instance, the app showed a fire outbreak around the Lake Turkana region in northwestern Kenya.Clicking on a fire icon on the map causes a pop-up to appear with the time the fire was detected, its temperature (in Kelvin, subtract 273 degrees to get Celsius!), and its location. It also identifies the nearest towns and protected areas, , in this case the South Turkana National Reserve and Nasolot National Reserve, as well as the towns of Lokichar and Kaputirr.A pop-up menu describing the fire in northwestern Kenya, near Lake Turkana, shows several characteristics of the fire obtained from MODIS satellite data. Image obtained from ESAFIS website.Anangwe says ESAFIS produces high-resolution images and has an accuracy range of about two kilometers in the areas under investigation. Users can subscribe to the ESAFIS web app and receive real-time alerts of fire outbreaks in their country or conservation area of interest as soon as the data is captured by satellite, he adds.“Everything about the system is informed by data gathered using satellite surveillance,” Anangwe said, adding that the service must work with communities for it to be effective in fighting bush fires. One limitation is the map-heavy app may overburden slower rural internet networks.Importance of early detectionWanjugu had not heard about ESAFIS. At her village, residents often rely on word of mouth to pass information about the safety of lands around Gathorongai forest, which often arrives too late to prevent the spread of fire within such marginalized communities.A wide angle view of the leeward side of the Mt. Kenya forest ecosystem. Fire outbreaks on this side of the mountain are common due to prolonged dry spells. Image by David Njagi for Mongabay.But David Mwanzia has. Mwanzia is the ecosystem conservation manager at KFS’s Nyeri Forest station in central Kenya. A no-smoking sign at the entrance to his office alerts a visitor of the danger reckless disposal of cigarette butts can pose to the fragile ecosystem there. But a fire engine truck parked at the compound assures visitors that his team of foresters are aware and ready to battle bush fires.“Fire outbreaks here are very common,” said Mwanzia. “They are very dangerous, but my team is always on alert to prevent their spread.”Mwanzia says the December to January season is the most prone to fire outbreaks there, but  ESAFIS’ early sensing is helping his teams respond more effectively.“Our staff do not go on leave at this time of the year,” Mwanzia said. “They are positioned to take immediate action when we receive a fire outbreak alert.”What causes the fires in the first place?Wanjugu said the Gathorongai forest fire ignited after a burning cigarette butt was recklessly thrown on the forest floor.Farmers burning farm waste in preparation of the planting season in central Kenya. When left unchecked such fires can spread into forests and raze acres of the natural ecosystem. Image by David Njagi for Mongabay.Stephen Korinko of the Kimana Conservancy in southern Kenya says local communities, and their slash and burn system of agriculture in particular, are to blame for most fire outbreaks. With this system, says Korinko, pastoralists set bushes on fire just before the rainy season to clear the aging vegetation so that when it rains, fresh fodder can sprout.For instance, he said, a fire that razed hundreds of acres along the wildebeest migratory corridor in the Serengeti in July 2018 was linked to the slash and burn system.Additional dangers of bush fires“The fires can spread to uncontrollable levels, especially when there are strong winds,” Korinko said. “Displaced wild animals often attack and kill people’s livestock, leading to a lot of tensions.”Wildfires also pump carbon into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change, says David Ngugi, a retired professor based in Nairobi. According to Ngugi, fires destroy trees that absorb carbon from the atmosphere and lead to the extinction of some tree species which might not be able to grow back once they are burned.“Fires also cause landscapes and ecosystems to change from forests to grasslands and shrubs,” Ngugi said.Members of the Atiriri Bururi Ma Chuka community conservation group from central Kenya showing some of the indigenous tree species that are continuously threatened by fire outbreaks. Image by David Njagi.Not all bush fires are bad, however, especially those that do not burn too long, says Mbeo Ogeya, a researcher at the Stockholm Environmental Institute (SEI). Bush fires, Ogeya says, are a natural process – nature’s way of removing dying or dead material from habitats. This process allows valuable nutrients to return to the soil, enabling regeneration and a new beginning for plants and animals.Ogeya says that ESAFIS can assist conservation work because it can distinguish between less intense, potentially useful, bush fires and extremely intense bush fires that are more harmful. By sensing fires in their early stages, ESAFIS can help resource managers respond appropriately, according to KWS spokesman Paul Gathitu.It also reduces the cost of hiring personnel to scout for fire outbreaks, adds Mwanzia, the KFS officer. At the Aberdare Forest Reserve, Mwanzia has had to hire and deploy rangers to patrol the forest and report back immediately once they spot a suspicious fire threat. The skills of these rangers could otherwise be applied to reforestation, guarding the reserve against illegal logging, or other activities. But the continued threat of fire outbreaks pressures him to allocate more resources to these patrols because fires are more destructive than logging, he says.“The government and public are giving a lot of attention to logging and neglecting bush fires,” Mwanzia said. “Yet a single fire outbreak can clear hundreds of acres of forest and can take a week to put out.”no smoking sign at the ecosystem conservation offices in Nyeri central Kenya warns a visitor that the threat of fire outbreaks is real. The office serves as a deployment base to fight off fire outbreaks Aberdare Forest Reserve. Image by David Njagi for Mongabay.He adds the Aberdare region is on high alert from December 2018 to February 2019 because this is the peak period of fire outbreaks, but that ESAFIS is making these threats easier to manage.However, not all conservation staff are aware of ESAFIS. Julius Lokinyi, a ranger at the Samburu National Reserve, still relies on scouting and patrols to ensure the safety of that ecosystem. In 2013, Lokinyi stopped being a poacher in 2013 and has dedicated himself to conservation. He says bush fires are a big challenge there and are often ignited by poachers to distract rangers from their (poachers’) trail.Over time, Lokinyi and his team of community volunteers have learned to turn this diversion into an opportunity, enabling them to tackle the twin threats of fires and poaching with precision.“When the poachers light a fire at a particular location, we know they will be active at a site which is the opposite direction to our patrol sites,” Lokinyi said. “So we deploy two teams, one to put out the fire and the other to track the criminals.”He would like to make ESAFIS available to his team, adding that: “It can make our work easier and more fun.” Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the editor of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Sue Palminterilast_img read more

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How Chelsea and Southampton could look as Lampard makes Kante decision

first_imgChelsea are beginning to hit their straps under new manager Frank Lamard having had three straight wins in all competitions and they could extend that run on Sunday.The Blues face Southampton at St Mary’s following their midweek 2-1 win over Lille in the Champions League. Getty Images – Getty What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas 3 LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Ian Holloway thinks Arsenal have made a mistake in hiring Mikel Arteta Strugglers Wigan hold Blackburn to goalless draw in Championship statement Saturday is GameDay on talkSPORT. We’ll bring you THREE live Premier League commentaries across our network this Saturday, including Brighton vs Tottenham (12:30pm) How Southampton could line-up against Chelsea on target 3 stalemate For Southampton, Cedric Soares got injured in the warm-up before their defeat to Tottenham and is unlikely to be back for the match on Sunday.Moussa Djenepo has missed the Saints’ last three games and looks set to miss the match at the St Mary’s too, which will be a blow to manager Ralph Hassenhuttl.How Southampton could line-up against Chelsea Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman How Chelsea could line-up against Southampton appointed Steve Round reveals how Mikel Arteta convinced him to join Arsenal staff Liverpool transfer news live: Star man wanted by Real Madrid, Mbappe latest and more latest 3 Mount may be used in an attacking three alongside Tammy Abraham, who has scored seven goals in the Premier League, and Willian.Kante was able to play the full 90 minutes against Lille and it will be hoped he can start again on Sunday.In his pre-match press conference, Lampard said: “In terms of the injury he is fine. That is just a call that I am going to have to make.”Emerson is not expected to be back until after the international break and Andreas Christensen is likely to return to the side in place of Kurt Zouma.How Chelsea could look against Southampton targets Buildlineup.com Lampard has been buoyed by the return of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Reece James from injury over the past fortnight but may not be risked with a full 90 minutes in the Premier League.The Chelsea manager has plenty of selection headaches all over the pitch as they seem to be hitting their stride.Mason Mount was used in a deeper role against Brighton but with Kante back he is likely to be pushed further forward.Christian Pulisic is still struggling to impress since joining the club while Callum Hudson-Odoi continues to push for a place in the starting XI. Spurs investigation into alleged racial abuse of Rudiger is so far ‘inconclusive’ rookie error Buildlineup.com Kante started for Chelsea against Lille BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti last_img read more

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Picture special: Crowd braves the ice to see Donegal beat Meath

first_imgDonegal fans who braved the icy conditions last night saw their side dig deep to defeat Meath in Ballybofey.Donegal overcame the Royals 1-13 to 0-14 and continue their perfect start to the Division 2 campaign.Caolan McGonagle scored a 59th minute goal for Donegal, who kept Meath scoreless for 20 minutes at the end. Donegal were behind 0-8 to 0-7 at half-time and Meath led by four points for a period in the second half.It was a night for treading carefully given the underfoot conditions and Donegal were skating on thin ice at that point.But they came good and the late flurry warmed the spirits, to the delight of Declan Bonner, their manager. Pictures by Evan Logan … Donegal’s Conor Morrison keeps a close eye on Meath’s James McEntee during Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganMichael Murphy and Frank McGlynn watching on before Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganStephen Rochford before a Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganMichael Joe and Tracy Doherty from Clonmany before Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganCliona, Olivia, Frank and Mary braving the elements during Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganCaolan and Mark from Carrigans all set for Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganDonegal’s Hugh McFadden breaks the tackle during Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganDonegal management and players line up for a minutes silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives in last week’s road tragedy before Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganDonegal’s Ryan McHugh twists away from Meath’s Niall Kane during Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganSean Paul, Dylan and John Jordan all set for Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganMacCumhaill’s men Aidan, Ronan and Eugene await the teams before Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan LoganAoife, Ava and Kelly before Saturday’s Division 2 National League game in Ballybofey. Photo Evan Logan Picture special: Crowd braves the ice to see Donegal beat Meath was last modified: February 3rd, 2019 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:2019 Allianz Football LeagueCaolan McGonagleDeclan BonnerdonegalMeathlast_img read more

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Tax relief for individuals, companies

first_img11 February 2009The proposed adjustments to personal income tax schedules will provide middle and lower income earners with R13.6-billion in tax relief, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel announced on Wednesday.Delivering his 2009/10 Budget speech to Parliament in Cape Town, Manuel said the adjustments to personal income tax would fully compensate South Africans for wage inflation.“The tax-free income threshold next year will be R54 200 for taxpayers below the age of 65 and R84  200 for those over 65,” he said.The tax-free threshold for the 2009/10 tax year will effectively increase from R46 000 for those below the age of 65, to R54 200.The revised estimate for tax collection for 2008/09 is R14.2-billion, which is less than the National Treasury planned in its 2008 Budget, he said.“For the year ahead, the main budget revenue estimate is R50-billion lower than we projected in February last year, against the background of slower growth, depressed trade and declining company profits.”Tax relief is also proposed for companies that invest in energy-efficient technology, with an additional allowance of 15 percent, on condition that there is proof of the resulting energy efficiencies as certified by the Energy Efficiency Agency.The minister, on the basis of a letter sent as part of the “Tips for Trevor” initiative, said he had also proposed a tax on companies using incandescent light bulbs, in an effort to get people to make use of energy saving compact fluorescent light bulbs.Taxes on petrol and diesel will increase by 40.5 and 41.5 cents per litre respectively, the minister announced, adding that road users would have to fork out an additional 23 cents and 24 cents per litre as well for fuel levies.“As road-users know, there is a substantial increase in spending on maintenance and construction under way, and we still face a heavy burden of road accidents and associated compensation claims.“These are costs that have to be covered, and so there will be increases of 17.5 cents in the road accident fund levy.”As per the 2009/10 Budget proposals, a packet of cigarettes will now cost 88 cents more, a 750ml bottle of natural wine will cost 10.5 cents more, a 340ml can of beer will cost 7 cents more, and a 750ml bottle of liquor such as whiskey will cost consumers R3.21 more, he announced.Manuel said that after discussions with both organised labour and the mining industry, and taking into account the impact of the economic slowdown on the mining industry, he proposed that the new mining royalties regime be deferred to 2010.“This provides a boost to the industry of about R1.8-billion [which would have been paid to government], which will assist in minimising job losses,” he said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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US and Japan help fuel record international visitor numbers Downunder

first_imgA jump in tourists from Japan and the US helped boost international visitor numbers to a record 8.6 million in the year ending June 2019New figures from Tourism Research Australia showed the visitors spent more per night but opted for shorter trips than they did six years ago.They also indicated the shine has gone off visitor growth from former tourism poster child China.READ: Travelers from the Americas best as combining business and pleasure.The 3 percent international growth visitors arrive cashed up and spending growth rose 5 percent to $A44.6 billion.The average length of international trips has fallen by six nights over the last six years but spend per night increased by 26 percent from $A129 to $A163.TRA said the shift to short trips with greater daily spend was evident among visitors traveling for holiday, business and education but not for lower-cost visiting friends or relatives  (VFR) or employment visits.Growth continued to be fuelled by education (up 5 percent) and holiday travel (up 4 percent).The spend by education visitors rose 8 percent to a record of $A12.7 billion, adding to a doubling in expenditure over five years.Spending by holiday visitors grew 6 percent to a high of $16.9 billion.The report described results for the top five tourism markets over the year as “mixed”.The number of Japanese visitors rose 9 percent to 445,000 and they spent 16 percent more to add $A2 billion to the economy.Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham indicated this was expected to continue.“Several significant aviation developments in recent weeks, including the commencement of ANA’s direct Tokyo to Perth service last month, along with the allocation of two new slots to Australia out of Haneda airport, means we can expect to see this market continue on an upward trajectory,” he said.Birmingham also welcomed a solid 3 percent increase in visitors to 764,000, along with stronger growth in spending of 9 percent to a new high of $A4 billion.He described the US as “critically important” to Australian tourism and attributed the growth to one of the nation’s biggest ever marketing campaigns.“The Dundee campaign, which kicked off in February last year, sought to capitalize on the growing number of Americans traveling internationally by encouraging them to choose Australia as their next holiday destination,” he said.“We know Americans want to visit Australia, but our biggest challenge has always been to convert this interest into action and actually getting them on a plane headed for Australia.”However, the news was not as good for Australia’s biggest overseas markets, China and New Zealand.“Led by those visiting for education, spend for the China market grew 6 percent to $A11.9 billion,’’ the TRA report said.“However, visitor numbers were up just 1 percent to 1.3 million.“Growth for New Zealand was moderate, with visitors up 2 percent to 1.3 million, and spend up 1 percent to $A2.6 billion.”Another important market, the UK, continued to decline, with visitors down 4 percent to 674,000, and spend down 3 percent to $A3.4 billion.Markets with consistently high growth over the last three years included India (visitors up 53 percent),  Canada (up 32 percent), Indonesia (up 32 percent) and Japan (up 27 percent).There was visitor growth in most states and territories, although Tasmania fell 2 percent and Queensland was flat.The Australian Capital territory posted the biggest percentage increase at 7 percent followed by  Victoria and the Northern Territory, each at 4 percent.last_img read more

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BlogTalkRadio back in action with SCE/SCOM!

first_imgIncase you weren’t aware…vPro Expert Center’s BlogTalkRadio is hosted by Josh Hilliker, Russ Pam, and Jeff Torello. This bi-weekly informal show, produced by me, covers a variety of topics and is a perfect avenue to get your questions answered. Listen in live, give your two cents, or just download the show after it has aired. Make sure not to miss out on this awesome opportunity to learn and engage with the vPro experts. Can’t join us live? Have no fear, blogtalkradio let’s you listen to the show whenever you have the time. Visit the Open Port Radio site (link is above) to hear previous shows and even catch a glimpse of what’s to come! THIS WEEK: Our topic will be around SCE/SCOM and vPro support through the vPro Management Pack. We’ll have Matt Royer alongside one of the original developers, Nachman Israel, to discuss the use cases, the market focus, and more! Tune in live! Date: 7/14/2008 9:30 AMnCall-in Number (Listen live!): (347) 326-9831Visit Open Port Radio or Stream this Show Online read more

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Curiosity rover decides—by itself—what to investigate on Mars

first_imgCuriosity rover decides—by itself—what to investigate on Mars By Matthew HutsonJun. 21, 2017 , 2:00 PM NASA’s Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, in part to analyze rocks to see whether the Red Planet was ever habitable (or inhabited). But now the robot has gone off script, picking out its own targets for analysis—precisely as planned. Directing a robot’s every move from another planet isn’t easy. Communication with programmers can be delayed by hours, thanks to issues with bandwidth and the alignment of relay satellites and antennas. So Curiosity was programmed to fill communications gaps by aiming its ChemCam—which shoots objects with a laser to analyze the resulting particles—at mostly random targets. Last year, NASA scientists found a better solution. They uploaded a piece of software called Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) adapted from the older Opportunity rover. Curiosity can now scan each new location and use artificial intelligence to find promising targets for its ChemCam. Compared with the estimated 24% success rate of random aiming at picking out outcrops—a prime target for investigation—the current version of AEGIS lets the rover find them 94% of the time, researchers report today in Science Robotics. Further updates will refine the rover’s ability to evaluate and prioritize targets—hopefully none of them friendly.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

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Meralco suspends Kelly Nabong

first_imgPhoto by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netKelly Nabong will not play for Meralco on Tuesday for Game 2 of its 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup semifinals series against Star.Bolts team manager Paolo Trillo relayed that the fifth-year center has been indefinitely suspended by the team after his brush with assistant coach Jimmy Alapag late in Game 1 last Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. The Bolts shoot for a 2-0 lead against Star later today at Sta. Rosa Multipurpose Complex in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Winter storm threatens to scramble Thanksgiving travel plans ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games No more menthol cigarettes: New ban on tobacco, vape flavors View comments MOST READ Argentine bishop appears at court hearing on abuse charges Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim San Beda evades upset, ousts Perpetual Jordan delivers on promise: 2 Cobra choppers now in PH Trump to designate Mexican drug cartels as terrorist groups “Kelly Nabong is suspended indefinitely for conduct unbecoming of a PBA player and for conduct detrimental to the team,” the executive shared in a statement.Nabong figured in an verbal spat against Alapag last Sunday. The two needed to separated in the Meralco bench.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingFrustrated, the bruiser was seen tearing his jersey as he sat at the far end of the bench at Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan, Laguna before quickly making his exit after the Bolts pulled off the 72-66 victory against the Hotshots.The Fil-Am center was also the first man out of the Meralco dugout.last_img read more

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James Rodriguez ‘really happy’ at Bayern

first_imgBayern München James ‘really happy’ after swapping Real Madrid for Bayern Chris Burton 20:34 12/24/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) James Rodriguez Bayern Munich Getty Images Bayern München Bundesliga The Colombian playmaker took a while to settle in Germany following a summer loan switch, but has now found his feet and is enjoying his football James Rodriguez says he is “really happy” at Bayern Munich having traded life at Real Madrid for that at another “top club”.After finding regular game time hard to come by in the Spanish capital, the Colombia international opened himself up to a summer move.Various landing spots were mooted for the talented playmaker, but Bayern were to emerge victorious in the clamour for his services as they put an initial two-year loan deal in place. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player James initially struggled to produce his best in new surroundings, but he has fully settled now and is flourishing as confidence returns to his game.“I’m very pleased with my first six months,” the 26-year-old told Sport1.“We can go into the holidays with a good feeling after the last few weeks and we hope to be successful next year as well.”Bayern entered the winter break in Germany sat 11 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga table.James Rodriguez Bayern MunichThey have also reached the last-16 of the Champions League, with the return of Jupp Heynckes as an interim successor to the ousted Carlo Ancelotti helping to breathe new life in the club.The target now is to finish the campaign with another collection of silverware, with James confident that he has swapped one heavyweight outfit for another just as capable for challenging for the biggest prizes in football.He added: “Bayern are like Real Madrid – a club at the highest level.“They always want to win titles and are used to always having to win.“Without question, Bayern are a top club. It’s a new life for me, but I’ve settled well. I’m really happy here.”It has already been suggested that James’ form in Germany could see him welcomed back into the Real fold at some stage, but he has played down such talk and appears fully focused on the present for now.last_img read more

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HOME CINEMA ROOMS INCREASINGLY POPULAR WITH EMPTY NESTER BABY BOOMERS

first_imgIn recent years, companies like Altronics in Corner Brook have been installing more elaborate home theatre rooms like this one. (Altronics) Login/Register With: With video streaming services like Netflix becoming more popular, and with the availability of media formats like Blu-ray and 4K, more folks in their retirement years are opting for a theatre-like experience at home.That’s according to Corner Brook, N.L., audio/visual company Altronics, which specializes in building custom home cinemas with projection screens, surround sound audio and whatever else people are willing to invest in to create an impressive home movie-watching experience.“Over the last five or 10 years or so it has increased,” owner John Alteen said in an interview.John Alteen is the owner of Altronics Ltd. in Corner Brook. (Geoff Bartlett) Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Facebookcenter_img Advertisement “We do projectors, we do screens, we do multi-speaker sound systems. It’s basically unlimited what we can put in these rooms, right from a basic system right up to an exotic home theatre system.” Advertisement Twitterlast_img read more

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