Category: mwfogskl

How the police could be tracking your phone

first_imgIt’s a relatively secretive piece of technology. So secretive, that authorities don’t even like to admit they use it. But the police are now using it to gather data from cellphones in Canadian cities. What can they do with that data? Depends on who you ask. Should you be worried? They say no, and privacy experts disagree—so in other words, it’s another story about what we should expect when we walk around in public.What are they collecting? How does it help solve crimes? What rights does the public have to their smartphones data signature? What’s the logical extension of increased use of this technology? And, for the crimes it’s supposed to solve, does it work?GUEST: Kate Allen, Science and Technology reporter, Toronto StarAudio Playerhttp://media.blubrry.com/thebigstory/s/radio.pmd.rogersdigitalmedia.com/podcasts/thebigstory/tbs_03292019.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.You can subscribe to The Big Story podcast on iTunes or Google Play.You can also find it at thebigstorypodcast.ca.last_img read more

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Lenders hopeful of successful bids for grounded Jet Airways

first_imgNew Delhi: A day after Jet Airways suspended all its flights after running out of money, lenders to the carrier Thursday said they were “reasonably hopeful” that bidding process for the airline will end successfully. Lenders led by the State Bank of India had declined to extend more funds to Jet, forcing it to suspend all its flights. “The lenders after due deliberations decided that the best way forward for the survival of Jet Airways is to get the binding bids from potential investors who have expressed EOI (Expression of Interest) and have been issued bid documents on April 16,” a statement by lenders said. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details A consortium of 26 lenders led by the SBI, with 51 per cent stake in the debt-trapped airline, has invited bids from potential suitors. “Lenders are reasonably hopeful that the bid process is likely to be successful in determining the fair value of the enterprise in a transparent manner,” it said. Banks on Wednesday rejected an immediate Rs 400 crore demand of Jet Airways, compelling it to ground operations. Jet had been, over the last few months, on a decline as competition from budget airlines hurt its profitability and led to a debt pile. It reported losses for four straight quarters despite sales holding up. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday At its peak, Jet operated 123 planes and over 600 daily flights. It was flying just seven planes on Tuesday. Its chief executive officer Vinay Dube on Wednesday wrote an email to airlines’ passengers saying “with deep sadness and with a heavy heart that we would like to share with you that, effective immediately, Jet Airways will be suspending all its domestic and international operations”. “Tuesday night, we were informed by SBI, on behalf of the consortium of Indian lenders, that they are unable to consider our request for interim funding. Since no emergency funding from the lenders or any other source of funding was forthcoming, it would therefore not have been possible for us to pay for fuel or other critical services to keep the operations going,” he wrote. He said the airline had over the last several weeks and months tried “every means possible” to seek funding, both interim as well as long term funding, to keep our operations going. “Unfortunately, despite the very best of our efforts, we have been left with no other choice today”. “A decision like this is never easy to make, but without the interim funding, which we have been repeatedly requesting for, we are simply unable to conduct flight operations in a manner that delivers to the very reasonable expectations of our guests, employees, partners and service providers,” he wrote. “After 25 years of sharing the Joy of Flying with Indian and international guests, Jet Airways and its Board of Directors have been forced to take this extreme measure, as prolonged and sustained efforts with lenders and authorities to ensure the sustainability of the airline did not yield the desired results.” He, however, said the future provides new hope and opportunity as India is better off with a flying Jet Airways. “We will now await the bid finalization process by SBI and the consortium of Indian lenders and will continue to support the bid process initiated by the lenders,” he added. Passengers who had booked on Jet for travel on future dates will get a refund. “We sincerely and profusely apologise for the disruption to your travel plans. We would like to thank you for your continued patronage, support and loyalty over the years. We are hopeful that we will be able to bring the Joy of Flying back to you soon,” he added.last_img read more

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Alaska marijuana industry raises concern about future

JUNEAU, Alaska — Marijuana growers and retailers in Alaska say they’re concerned about Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s plans for the industry after he appointed a marijuana critic and a law enforcement officer to the state marijuana board.The Anchorage Daily News reports the Republican governor has been quiet on his policies for the state’s legal marijuana industry, but his pick of Vivian Stiver for the regulatory board has stirred opposition.Stiver was involved in an unsuccessful 2017 effort to ban marijuana operations in Fairbanks.Democratic state Rep. Adam Wool says the appointment is an “antagonistic” move that’s setting up for a fight.Stiver says she is “absolutely not” a prohibitionist of marijuana, noting that the new industry seem to be working.She says she hasn’t heard from the governor’s office about its marijuana policy.___Information from: Anchorage Daily News, http://www.adn.comThe Associated Press read more

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Alberta premier sensed shift in Keystone XL discussions with US State Department

WASHINGTON — Alberta Premier Alison Redford says she senses a shift in discussions with some U.S. government officials about the proposed Keystone XL oil sands pipeline.After her fifth trip to Washington, D.C., Tuesday to lobby for the project, Redford says some people there are starting to appreciate that shipping bitumen by rail generates more greenhouse gases than shipping it by pipeline.Redford says she met with U.S. State department officials as well as members of Congress and the Senate and the talks went very well.She says she continued to promote Alberta’s environmental record, including carbon capture and storage projects and new land use policies.Some Americans say the Keystone XL pipeline would reduce U.S. reliance on crude imports from unfriendly countries and create jobs, but others argue the environmental risks are too high.TransCanada Corp. filed its Keystone XL proposal more than five years ago and expects a decision will be made soon.“I actually feel that the discussion that I have been able to have with people, some of whom I have met before who are following this closely and some who I have met for the first time, leads me to believe that people are really fully seized with these issues, have understood the discussion that we have been trying to have out of Alberta and that it is going very well,” she said Tuesday.The US$5.4-billion Keystone project would ship bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast.Redford suggested she was encouraged by the discussions in the U.S. capital about shipping crude derived from the oil sands by pipeline versus by rail.“A lot of that product is being transported by rail at the moment, and that is something that is receiving quite a bit of attention in the United States, partly because we know that transportation by rail leads to higher greenhouse gas emissions than a pipeline would,” Redford said.Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty talked about oil pipelines, including Keystone XL, in front of a business crowd in Edmonton Tuesday.“I was in Texas the other week and I can tell you the support for the Keystone pipeline is huge,” he said.“I am hopeful that the sensible course will be followed.”Flaherty touted the three options for shipping oil to port through Canada as well — west through the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline, north to the port of Churchill, Man., by rail and east to New Brunswick by pipeline.“I think we should do them all, personally. This is the future of the country — it’s long term. I think we should move on all fronts.” he said. “We need to do something.”© Thomson Reuters 2013 read more

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Markets update at midafternoon

On the markets at midafternoon (ET):In Toronto, the S&P/TSX composite index was up 48.38 points to 15,192.25.The Dow Jones industrial average was up 84.32 points to 21,975.44.The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was up 4.37 points to 2,476.47.The Nasdaq composite index was up 10.97 points to 6,359.10.The Canadian dollar was trading at 79.83 cents US, down from Monday’s average price of 80.10 cents US.

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Georgian and Abkhaz representatives meet in Geneva at UNinitiated talks

State Minister for Conflict Resolution Goga Khaindrava headed the Georgian side while the Abkhaz side was led by de facto Foreign Minister Sergey Shamba at the session, which comes ahead of the next meeting of the so-called Group of Friends countries seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict.International experts and some Group of Friends representatives were involved in today’s talks, which were initiated by the Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative for Georgia, Heidi Tagliavini, and started with informal consultations. The UN has maintained an observer mission in Georgia (UNOMIG) since 1994 when an accord reached in Moscow ended the fighting. On 30 January the Security Council extended UNOMIG’s mandate for another six months. Stressing the urgent need for progress on refugees and internally displaced persons, a Council resolution called on both sides to show genuine commitment to make returns the focus of special attention.The Group of Friends of the Secretary-General – France, Germany, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States – are expected to meet by the end of the year. read more

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Twitter signs 2year content ad deal with NFL as messaging service tries

by Michael Liedtke, The Associated Press Posted Aug 10, 2015 7:27 am MDT Last Updated Aug 10, 2015 at 10:40 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Twitter signs 2-year content, ad deal with NFL as messaging service tries to widen appeal FILE – This Aug. 9, 2014 file photo shows an NFL logo on a goal post padding before a preseason NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Cleveland Browns at Ford Field in Detroit. In a two-year content and advertising deal announced Monday, Aug. 10, 2015, Twitter is huddling with the National Football League as it tackles the challenge of attracting a broader audience to its short messaging service. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski, File) SAN FRANCISCO – Twitter is huddling with the National Football League as it tackles the challenge of attracting a broader audience to its short messaging service.A two-year content and advertising deal announced Monday expands upon similar partnerships that Twitter forged with the NFL in 2013 and 2014.The NFL plans to funnel nearly three times more content into Twitter than last year, a commitment that will include more video highlights and pictures from games in progress. Twitter, in turn, will use an automated formula to prominently display NFL tweets and related ads in the streams of accountholders likely to enjoy the information.The NFL’s Twitter blitz will begin with Thursday’s preseason games. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. Twitter and other Internet companies typically pay their partners by giving them a percentage of ad sales made from their content.After signing single-season contracts in 2013 and 2014, the NFL gave Twitter a vote of confidence by locking into a longer term this time around. It’s the first time any of Twitter’s roughly 200 partners have signed a multi-year contract, according to Glenn Brown, Twitter’s director of content partnerships.The NFL, by far the most-watched sports league in the U.S., also is relying solely on Twitter to sell all the advertising tied to the tweets from its accounts. In the previous two seasons, the ads were jointly sold by the NFL and Twitter.The show of faith comes at a critical time for Twitter.Although its brand is widely known and its service boasts more than 300 million users, Twitter has been struggling to widen its appeal. With user growth slowing dramatically, even Twitter’s own management recently acknowledged that the service has become too confusing to navigate. What’s more, the San Francisco company still hasn’t posted a profit.Investors have sacked Twitter for its execution problems. The company’s stock finished last week at $27.04, less than half its value 10 months ago and just $1.04 above its initial public offering price in November 2013.The NFL’s immense popularity could help Twitter find ways to get people to check into its service more frequently and lure visitors who might not necessarily sign into the service, but could still see ads.Twitter plans to highlight NFL material even if users haven’t chosen to follow the league. The company does this by tracking people’s activity on the service to determine their interests. Ads featuring NFL content will be targeted using similar analytical tools.“We know if we put content in front of the hundreds of millions of Twitter users, they will engage with the content,” predicted Vishal Shah, the NFL’s vice-president of media strategy and business development. read more

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Interior Department to cancel energy lease on land sacred to Blackfoot tribes

BILLINGS, Mont. – The Interior Department plans to cancel a long-suspended oil and gas drilling lease near Glacier National Park that’s on land considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada, according to court documents filed Monday.Tribal leaders said such a move would make up for a wrong done to them in 1982, when the government issued the lease without consulting the tribes.But the legal manoeuvring in the case might not be over: The law firm representing the lease owner, Solenex LLC of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, indicated it would challenge any attempt to cancel the lease.Government attorneys said the lease was improperly sold more than three decades ago, in part because an environmental study did not consider the impact of drilling on the tribes.The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management “failed to fully consider the effects of oil and gas development on cultural resources, including religious values and activities,” the attorneys wrote.The 6,200-acre lease is in northwestern Montana’s Badger Two-Medicine area, which is the site of the creation story for the Blackfoot tribes of southern Canada and the Blackfeet Nation of Montana. It is just west of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation.The lease could be cancelled as early as Dec. 11.Solenex LLC sued the government in 2013 to force a decision after the dispute dragged on for decades. The case is before U.S. District Judge Richard Leon, who has expressed repeated frustration at how long it’s taken for the government to resolve the issue.William Perry Pendley with the Mountain States Legal Foundation, which is representing Solenex, said it was “insane” for the government to suggest that 33 years after the leases were issued — and after four studies of the Solenex proposal — that the government’s actions violated the law.“The government does not have the legal authority to cancel the lease,” Pendley said.Solenex would have to be compensated if a cancellation occurs, Pendley said. A similar situation involving leases cancelled in Michigan’s Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness Area resulted in an award of about $100 million to the owners of those leases, he said.Blackfeet leaders said Monday’s court filing confirmed their view that drilling could not be done without disturbing the spiritual power of the Badger Two-Medicine, located within the Lewis and Clark National Forest.“Badger Two-Medicine is too sacred to develop,” Blackfeet Nation Chairman Harry Barnes said in a statement. He thanked the Obama administration for moving to permanently protect a site that he said “is like a church — a divine sanctuary — to our people.”Dozens more oil and gas leases were originally sold in the area, but over the years, most were retired or surrendered by their owners.Monday’s court filing did not address the fate of 17 remaining leases in the area. Most of those are held by Devon Energy of Oklahoma, according to federal officials.U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack recommended cancelling all the leases in an Oct. 30 letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.Jewell’s office referred questions on the remaining leases to Bureau of Land Management spokesman Al Nash, who said Monday no decision has been made. FILE – In this Sept. 6, 2013, file photo, Ingrid Forsmark kayaks on Kintla Lake in Glacier National Park, Mont. The Interior Department plans to cancel a long-suspended oil and gas drilling lease near Glacier National Park that’s on land considered sacred to the Blackfoot tribes of the U.S. and Canada, according to court documents filed Monday, Nov. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Matt Volz, File) Interior Department to cancel energy lease on land sacred to Blackfoot tribes of US, Canada by Matthew Brown, The Associated Press Posted Nov 23, 2015 9:03 pm MDT Last Updated Nov 23, 2015 at 9:40 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email read more

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Alberta premier tells municipalities theres no funding for new projects

EDMONTON – Alberta’s premier is warning municipalities that the cash-strapped province is going to have to refuse a lot of funding requests.Rachel Notley has told delegates at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association that they need to lower their expectations.She says it’s great if municipalities want innovative, new projects, but that they’ll have to decide what other funding can be pulled to pay for them.Notley says that with a $10.9-billion deficit, the province will keep spending growth to about two per cent, with priority given to health and education.Alberta is being hammered by low oil prices, and unemployment and office vacancy rates are rising.The province’s estimated debt is expected to climb to $58 billion by 2019.(CHED) by The Canadian Press Posted Oct 6, 2016 1:49 pm MDT Last Updated Oct 6, 2016 at 3:02 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Alberta premier tells municipalities there’s no funding for new projects read more

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Brandon Moore Says No to Dallas Cowboys

Brandon Moore is no longer going to play for the Dallas Cowboys.After a change of heart, just a day after Moore verbally agreed to a one-year contract with the Cowboys, he decided to retire from the game all together.At the old age – by NFL standards –  of 33 Moore didn’t want to quit, but after failed attempts to get his asking price of $3 million to $4 million, he decided it was time to move on with his life.“I was wrestling with it all night,” Moore told FOXSports.com’s Mike Garafolo on Wednesday. “I was excited, but when you start looking at all the personal factors that go into it and the commitment on the football side and you’ve been in a different mental state also the past three or four months because no action’s been happening, you kind of move on with your life.”He went on to say, “I was happy with that and fine with that. But when you get a call from a coach I care deeply for in (Cowboys offensive coordinator) Bill Callahan, you start to feel it, you get excited and you’re finally like, ‘I want to do it.’ But you map out the logistics of it all — the physical and mental commitment, the tear on your family.”Moore was rated fourth best guard in the NFL last season. A dominant run blocker and pass blocker protector for the Jets in 2012, he hasn’t missed a start since 2004. Moore still has a lot of play in him, and would have been a valuable addition to the Cowboys. It’s a shame he gave it all up. read more

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Overtime score propels Buckeyes to victory

Usually when someone is getting jumped on by a group of men it is a bad thing. For freshman Logan Schuss, though, getting jumped on was a good thing.“At first it wasn’t the best; I couldn’t breathe. But after that it was good,” Schuss said.Schuss was at the center of his team’s overwhelming celebration after Ohio State’s men’s lacrosse team won in overtime Saturday 11-10, after blowing a three-goal lead. Coach Nick Myers constantly encourages team to play a full 60 minutes each time out, but on Saturday they needed a little extra.With the score tied at the end of regulation, the Buckeyes went into sudden-death overtime. One minute and 10 seconds into the overtime, Schuss was able to find the back of the net for the win.“There’s no love for each other, so it’s always nice to come out and beat these kids,” senior goalie Brandon Freeman said.The Buckeyes were able to get the win, but it didn’t come easy.OSU only trailed once in the game when the score was 1-0, but they were never able to pull away.“We knew going into the game there was going to be a run,” Myers said.On multiple occasions, the Buckeyes had two-goal leads and once had a three-goal lead, but Penn State fought back each time. The Buckeyes even had a two-goal lead with less than three minutes to go in the game, but they were unable to close out the Nittany Lions.Myers said he told his team to hang in there. He told them it would take heart and hustle to win the game.OSU was out-shot by Penn State by 24 and won nine fewer face-offs.Schuss was named conference Rookie of the Week last week and he threw his name back in the mix for next week’s award. Along with the game-winning goal, Schuss assisted on four other goals.Along with Schuss, senior Mario Ventiquattro brought his “A” game. Ventiquattro was able to find the back of the net four times.The Buckeyes got the win, but not without injuries. Midway through the fourth quarter, Matt Kawamoto suffered a shoulder injury.With the win, the Buckeyes will take a two-game win streak on the road to play Robert Morris on Tuesday. read more

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Cockatoo filmed making tools from twigs wood and cardboard to reach nut

first_imgCockatoos have been filmed making the same tool from three different kinds of material, proving for the first time that they have a design in mind and are anticipating how it can be used.Tool manufacture was once thought to be unique to humans, but in recent years many animals such as chimps, crows, finches and vultures have been seen to make their own tools.The Goffin’s cockatoo, which his native to Indonesia, is not known to use tools in the wild, but have learned in captivity. One bird, called Figaro, who lives at the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna, previously displayed the ability to spontaneously make tools by biting long splinters out of the wooden beams of its cage, which he then used to rake pieces of food that were otherwise out of reach.Three others have since followed, showing that making such tools is within the capacity of the species. The cockatoo perforated the cardboard with bites then tore off the strip to be used as a tool to knock the nut off the perch The cockatoo perforated the cardboard with bites then tore off the strip to be used as a tool to knock the nut off the perch However scientists could not tell if the birds intended to make the shape, because the wood would naturally splinter into a long shape anyway. To test if the birds were aiming to make elongated tools that could bridge a particular distance, the researchers in Vienna and Oxford University gave them the problem of reaching a piece of food placed a few centimetres beyond a circular hole in the transparent wall of a box.They were given four different materials that required different manipulations to produce suitable tools: larch wood, leafy beech twigs , cardboard and beeswax.”While none of the birds succeeded in making tools out of beeswax, we found that at least some of them could make suitable tools from the three remaining materials,” said Dr Alice Auersperg, who heads the Goffin Laboratory at the University of Veterinary Medicine. The successful parrots made well-shaped tools, even though each material required different manipulation techniques.To make tools out of larch wood, they bit the material once or twice and tore off the resulting splinter. To use the leafy twigs, they snapped off redundant leaves and side branches until what was left was usable. Finally, to make cardboard tools, they simply cut what was necessary from the edge of the sheet provided.‘To us, the tools made from cardboard were the most interesting ones, as this material was not pre-structured and required the birds to shape their tools more actively,” added Dr Auersperg.” They succeeded by placing a large number of parallel bite marks along the edge of the material like a hole punch, using their curved upper beak to cut the elongated piece out of the cardboard block after reaching a certain length.”Interestingly, this length was usually just above or very close to the minimum length required to reach the food reward placed behind the barrier.” Co-author Professor Alex Kacelnik, from the University of Oxford’s Department of Zoology, said: ‘Ultimately, we want to understand how animals think – namely, to produce the equivalent of explicit computer programs capable of doing what the birds do.”We really don’t know if the birds can picture in their minds an object that doesn’t yet exist and follow this image as a template to build something new, or how their brains elicit the appropriate set of movements to organise their response to novel problems, but this is what we are trying to find out.”The research was published in the journal Biology Letters.  Cockatoos clearly have a design in mind when they begin fashioning tools  Cockatoos clearly have a design in mind when they begin fashioning tools  Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. A nut was placed out of reach and the birds had to solve the problem of how to reach it A nut was placed out of reach and the birds had to solve the problem of how to reach itlast_img read more

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13 signs youre an expert LidlorAldi shopper

first_img1. You have a practised eye for the best cardboard box to put your shopping in Source: James Horan/Photocall Ireland2. You feel the secret thrill of the mystery binAnd know what day of the week to go in to get first pick of the specials. Source: Lidl3. You know that it’s physically impossible to only buy one thing4. But also, the pain of impulse-buying too much ‘to save in the long run’… and having to carry it home. Source: Imgur Source: Imgur5. You have bought presents there for people you love Source: Imgur6. You’ve attained Grandmaster level at matching odd-sounding products to their brand-name equivalents Source: lucyrfisher7. You know which queue moves quickestAnd have internally rated all the cashiers’ levels of expertise. “I’ll stand here, the dark-haired one is dead fast.” Source: avlxyz8. You have developed a serious addiction to at least one brand of chocolate you’d never previously heard of Source: Flickr9. You know that not EVERY special offer is a good special offer Source: Imgur10. But some are just… very special indeed Source: Paul O’Hara/Twitter11. You are aware that most of the wine descriptions would also fit the perfect man Source: Imgur12. You have known the confusion of trying to stack your groceries as the cashier fires them through at 100mph Source: the Italian voice13. So now you take your shopping over to the special shelf at the front, to pack at your leisure while making this face: Source: GifsoupCongratulations! You have attained Expert Lidl or Aldi Shopper status.Now go, eat cheap groceries.Lidl in Sligo has a very uncomfortable special offer>16 reasons to hate doing the ‘big shop’>last_img read more

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Five things that nearly killed Star Trek before it started

first_imgMany people can trace their Star Trek geekdom back through its entire history. Some are able to claim that they have even read the vast volume of books that go alongside the TV and movie collections. Others may not have had such high ambitions, only picking a single series as “your” Star Trek.There’s no right way to be a Trekkie, but after a read through Mark Clark’s latest book it became clear that this show that has touched so many people might not have ever happened. In fact, there were five critical points at which time the original Star Trek could have all fallen apart.Lucille BallAs a Hollywodd superstar because of I Love Lucy and owner at the time of Desilu Productions, Lucille Ball was the anchor that kept the Enterprise from floating away. Desilu was basically cash strapped, and what they really needed was a hit. When Gene Roddenberry pitched the idea around town, there ween’t many people willing to support what was originally described as a futuristic show for adults that was like a Western.Lucille Ball, despite the overall disapproval from the Desilu board members, brought Roddenberry on board for Star Trek. Because of Lucille Ball’s support, Gene Roddenberry was now able to go and pitch the show to the Networks, in the hopes that one of them would support this brave new world.Failed PilotGene Roddenberry had a hard time selling Star Trek to many people. It was basically a foreign concept in a time where sci-fi was really just for kids, and the notion of an Adult oriented space exploration show was a scary new thing. Gene was able to smooth this out by comparing the show to Westerns. By explaining that the cast would be travelling around in a way that would be portrayed as familiar and engaging.The first pilot for Star Trek, which was called The Cage, was nothing like what Roddenberry had pitched to everyone. It was accused of being overly cerebral, overly sexual, and the cast was not nearly diverse enough. The Pilot was rejected entirely, which for most shows means it’s over. For whatever reason, Star Trek was given the opportunity to submit another pilot. This pilot was received much better, and the show was allowed to go on.Isaac AsimovHave you ever insulted someone for having an opinion that was different from yours, only to discover later on that you were talking to an expert in that field? Mark Clark’s book details a conversation between Gene Roddenberry and world renowned author Issac Asimov in which Roddenberry dismissed this person he did not know. He blew off Asimov without knowing who he was, and it nearly cost him his television show.Shortly after Star Trek began to air, Asimov submitted a scathing article to TV Guide for all of the mistakes and scientific untruths that were found within Star Trek. Roddenberry resolved the matter with a deep felt apology to Asimov, who quickly changed gears to become one of the shows greatest allies. Asimov often gave Roddenberry ideas for the show, as well as continuing to write in support of the show. Had Roddenberry not acted quickly to apologize to Asimov, Star Trek would likely not be anything like what we know today.No Leonard NimoyOne of the most disastrous commands to come down from the result of the failed pilot was to fire all of the actors that were currently on the bridge and replace them with a more diverse crew. Had Gene Roddenberry listened to that instruction in its entirely, it would have meant that Leonard Nimoy would not have gone on to play Spock in the second Pilot, and the show as we know it would have been completely different. Fortunately, Roddenberry saw fit to move Nimoy from the role he played in the original Pilot to the position of second in command on the Enterprise. It became a role that Nimoy would continue to be associated with for the rest of his life.Captain KirkWhile we were fortunate enough to keep Leonard Nimoy, the original Captain had to go. Not just the actor, but the role entirely. The new Captain needed to be someone completely different from Christopher Pike, the man who was utterly rejected in the original Pilot. When it was determined that the new Captain would be played by William Shatner, Gene Roddenberry spent quite a bit of time debating over what the name of the new Captain would be.Were it not for the whim of Gene Roddenberry, the new leader of the Enterprise could have easily been named Captain Frost, or any of a dozen other names that were in the balance. As fate would have it, Captain Kirk was the name that took hold, and is a name that has been repeated by hundreds of thousands ever since.Star Trek as we know it today could well have been completely different, were it not for several key elements falling into place. In some cases it feels like it was nothing short of blind luck that allowed the show to exist at all.Have you ever wondered what the world would look like today without the influences of the Star Trek? It’s a fun mental exercise for sure.last_img read more

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Motorolas X Phone project hopes to right the ship

first_imgWhen Motorola and Google took the stage together for the first time since the merger, we were promised “a new Motorola”. Recent reports of a new hardware line from Motorola starting with the “X Phone” could be the first sign of this promise.There’s no shortage of speculation on the reasons Google acquired Motorola. While the most common reason is to wield Moto’s patent portfolio to defend the Android operating system, there’s just as much data to suggest that Google wanted a hardware manufacturer they could control from the inside. Google wasted no time injecting their own employees into the Motorola hierarchy, immediately followed by a 20% decrease in staff in the first of many steps to bring the company to profitability.Reports of a new line of hardware focused on approaching the mobile ecosystem from a new perspective seems like exactly the kind of thing you would expect a company focused on delivering results to new shareholders to do.If you’ve been following Motorola’s approach to Android, especially with the more recent Droid Razr line, you’ll see that the company has worked hard to create a “near stock” approach to their smartphones. While Samsung and HTC have opted for a user experience that is wildly different than Google’s approach to Android, Motorola has taken the stock experience and built a handful of features that compliment the UI without interrupting the look and feel. Continuing in this vein, it would make sense for Motorola to follow in the path Google has set in acquiring Viewdle and Nik Software and focus on a smartphone with a powerful camera experience.Outside of the camera, Motorola will need to embrace several recent advancements in screen technology. As we wrap up 2012, there are several phones on the way with 1080p screens and whispers of flexible displays and indestructible screens for the next year. Motorola would also need a hardware profile that set this X phone apart from the Droid line of phones that are manufactured for Verizon Wireless, especially if the company expects to sell the phone across multiple carriers simultaneously. Currently, Apple and Samsung are the only companies that have managed to put the same phone (or in Samsung’s case, very nearly the same phone) on nearly every major carrier in the world. Motorola will need a similar strategy in order to compete.Currently, Motorola is rumored to be struggling with settling on a hardware combination that works for the platform. With everything from flexible displays to ceramic casing in the mix, Moto in undoubtedly in the process of trying as many things as possible to make a phone that is capable of being viewed as a great fresh start for the company. Google’s injection of high level management and project managers means that there are people involved who has been a part of every aspect of the Android ecosystem on the project. While the X in the code name for this phone might not be a “Nexus” phone in the strictest sense, it will certainly be a worthy competitor for the title.last_img read more

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