Indian Bollywood actress Radhika ApteSTR/AFP/Getty ImagesOwing to Radhika Apte’s popularity and her content release on Netflix, Ranveer Singh recently at an award show called her the ‘Definition of Netflix’.Ranveer, who won the ‘Most Stylish Man award’ at the GQ Style and Culture awards 2019, was felicitated with the award on the stage by Radhika.While Ranveer was giving his winning speech, Radhika Apte stood there cheering for him. Ranveer, during his acceptance speech, couldn’t help but appreciate the omnipresent Radhika for her phenomenal run at the digital platform.Ranveer said, “Ladies and Gentleman she is the Cambridge dictionary from Netflix Radhika Apte. You’re everywhere Girl, you switch on digital at home and we only see you. Tu Chae hui hai chote, Ghar pe digital on kiya toh tu he tu hai”.GQ posted a picture of Radhika Apte and Ranveer Singh with a caption, “Among @ranveersingh’s whopper 12-minute-long closing speech at the 2019 GQ Style & Culture Awards: a shout-out (and possibly an apology, for making her stand for so long in those heels) to “the definition of Netflix”, Radhika reposted the picture and uploaded on her Instagram story and wrote, “haha always a pleasure @gqindia”After a phenomenal year in 2018, with remarkable performances in every medium, Radhika has been omnipresent. Taking a head start this year, the actress has begun the schedule for her next in Lucknow. “Cambridge Dictionary for NETFLIX, Radhika Apte”; Ranveer Singh gives Radhika Apte an apt title Close
To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: Listen 00:00 /02:00 Pexels Share Alex Chang got mugged in New York City. He talks about how that led him to become a mixed martial arts fighter. X
One ring to rule them all: Token is the portable solution to your hectic digital life.The stylish band encourages people to “live keyless, cardless, and free of passwords.”Co-founded by Melanie and Steve Shapiro, Token aims to make consumer security faster and easier via partnerships with Microsoft, MasterCard, HID, and Visa.The wearable replaces credit cards, house keys (with $100 DoorLock supplement), website credentials, car keys (with $100 CarLock add-on), transit cards, and access cards.Knock twice to authenticate online accounts (via Token)“It’s up to you to figure out what you want to use Token to protect, or how you want Token to save you time,” Melanie Shapiro wrote in an introductory blog post.Pay with a wave of your hand at more than 15 million global locations by adding a MasterCard or Visa, knock twice on your computer to authenticate online accounts, tap and go at 50-plus transit systems worldwide (with 30 more going live next year).Those folks driving a push-button ignition vehicle, meanwhile, can opt to trade their key fob for a Token CarLock, which allows users to knock twice to lock or unlock doors and activate the ‘Start’ button.“We built Token because we’re not OK with a future where people don’t feel safe online,” the firm said. “We built Token because we too aren’t motivated to change our behavior unless we’re promised more time, or less work.”An embedded sensor scans saved fingerprints to unlock information, which gets sealed again once the ring is removed. Each accessory includes a charging dock, and promises up to two weeks of battery life.The sterling silver accessory is available in seven US sizes and three finishes—brushed ($249), black rhodium ($299), and 14k rose gold ($299). Sign up for notifications about Token’s global launch, expected soon.Add the Token CarLock for easy ignition (via Token)“The Internet is an amazing place that many people fight to ensure we all have free access to,” Token said on its website. “But access isn’t enough.”Going online should also be a safe, carefree experience.“Securing the databases, servers, and networks that our accounts and digital lives exist on is critical,” the company continued. “But arguably, protecting the endpoints (us!) is just as, if not more, important.”Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target 1Password Can Now Tell You If Your Password Has Been Leaked OnlineYour body makes a good password transmission system
Economic models significantly underestimate climate change risks Citation: Using physics to make better GDP estimates (2018, July 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-physics-gdp.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Nature Physics More information: A. Tacchella et al. A dynamical systems approach to gross domestic product forecasting, Nature Physics (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41567-018-0204-yAbstractModels developed for gross domestic product (GDP) growth forecasting tend to be extremely complex, relying on a large number of variables and parameters. Such complexity is not always to the benefit of the accuracy of the forecast. Economic complexity constitutes a framework that builds on methods developed for the study of complex systems to construct approaches that are less demanding than standard macroeconomic ones in terms of data requirements, but whose accuracy remains to be systematically benchmarked. Here we develop a forecasting scheme that is shown to outperform the accuracy of the five-year forecast issued by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) by more than 25% on the available data. The model is based on effectively representing economic growth as a two-dimensional dynamical system, defined by GDP per capita and ‘fitness’, a variable computed using only publicly available product-level export data. We show that forecasting errors produced by the method are generally predictable and are also uncorrelated to IMF errors, suggesting that our method is extracting information that is complementary to standard approaches. We believe that our findings are of a very general nature and we plan to extend our validations on larger datasets in future works. Currently, economists use a variety of models to produce GDP estimates, which are often used by law and policy makers to inform decisions about future events. Such models typically require a host of variable inputs and are quite complex. In sharp contrast, the estimates made by the Italian team used just two variables: current GDP and another they describe as “economic fitness.”The researchers calculated a number for a given country’s economic fitness using physics principles applied to export products. Such factors as diversification and the complexity of the products were taken into account, offering a means of gauging the relative strength of a given economy. The idea was to rate a country’s economic strength—the wider the range of products being exported and the more complex they were, the more likely GDP was likely to grow—and used that to forecast future prosperity.The team reports that they have been running their models for approximately six years—long enough for them to see how well their estimates matched actual GDP numbers over time. They report that their estimates were on average 25 percent more accurate than were those made by the International Monetary Fund. They report also that their models accurately predicted the booming Chinese economy in 2015 when more traditional models suggested the country was headed for a slowdown.The researchers explain that the field of economic complexity involves studying the behavior of economies over time and the factors that cause them to change. Doing so includes using tools such as those that have been developed to measure turbulence in fluids and traffic jams. The philosophy of such research, they explain, revolves around the idea that complex systems with a large number of elements that interact in non-linear ways tend to have emergent properties. Learning to understand such properties, they further note, can offer insights into relationships such as the one between exports and GDP trends. A team of Italian physicists has used economic complexity theory to produce five-year gross domestic product (GDP) estimates for several countries around the world. In their paper published in the journal Nature Physics, Andrea Tacchella, D. Mazzilli and Luciano Pietronero describe how they applied the theory to economic forecasting and how well it has worked thus far. © 2018 Phys.org Explore further
Scientists claim to have discovered a ‘brain hack’ to form good habits – training it by simply repeating actions until they stick. Researchers from University of Warwick in the UK have created a model which shows that forming good and bad habits depends more on how often you perform an action than on how much satisfaction you get from it. They developed a computer simulation, in which digital rodents were given a choice of two levers, one of which was associated with the chance of getting a reward. The lever with the reward was the ‘correct’ one, and the lever without was the ‘wrong’ one. The chance of getting a reward was swapped between the two levers, and the simulated rodents were trained to choose the ‘correct’ one. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhen the digital rodents were trained for a short time, they managed to choose the new, ‘correct’ lever when the chance of reward was swapped.’ However, when they were trained extensively on one lever, the digital rats stuck to the ‘wrong’ lever stubbornly, even when it no longer had the chance for reward. The rodents preferred to stick to the repeated action that they were used to, rather than have the chance for a reward. “Much of what we do is driven by habits, yet how habits are learned and formed is still somewhat mysterious. Our work sheds new light on this question by building a mathematical model of how simple repetition can lead to the types of habits we see in people and other creatures,” said Elliot Ludvig, an associate professor in the University of Warwick. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”Psychologists have been trying to understand what drives our habits for over a century, and one of the recurring questions is how much habits are a product of what we want versus what we do,” said Amitai Shenhav, assistant professor in Brown University in the US. “Our model helps to answer that by suggesting that habits themselves are a product of our previous actions, but in certain situations those habits can be supplanted by our desire to get the best outcome,” said Shenhav. This research opens up a better understanding of conditions like Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Tic Disorder – both of which are characterised by repeated behaviours.
What do they mean for the developers Facebook is having a rough year to say the least. The Cambridge Analytica scandal seems to have impacted it in a way that’s yet to unfold in it’s full form. Having the annual F8 conference during this tumultuous period can have different types of repercussions. More scrutiny of the announcements is among one of them. Today we are going to ask some questions about the recent AR related announcements made in the Facebook F8 conference, how important they are to the user as well as the developers, and what do they really imply for facebook’s future development plans. AR in Messenger Facebook has introduced AR services to its messenger platform. This will enable the developers to build bots on the messenger platform and make it a much more interactive and informative platform that it currently is, potentially. As and when these features are implemented, the question on everyone’s mind is: will our data be safe? Additionally, Facebook is also planning to implement payment gateways on their messenger platform. This opens up a new avenue for developers since now they can create third party bots for messenger. But can we really trust the security and privacy features keeping in mind that they will be majorly third party? AR in Facebook lite Facebook lite had arrived with the promise of a limited version of the social networking site for smaller and older android phones and also for the ones which have slow data connection. In the latest F8 conference, Facebook has promised to bring AR to its lite version. How does that impact the goal of the lite platform of being lightweight and being easy on system resources? Will the introduction of AR to Facebook lite make it bloated? Or it might just make it unfit for older phones since their processors and system configurations might not also support the AR features. AR Camera effects in Instagram Last year, Facebook had announced the AR camera platform, and this time around they plan to bring it to Instagram. Using an updated version of AR Studio, creators will be able to design unique, interactive camera experiences, including face filters and world effects, for their followers on Instagram. There have been these rumors that some of these features and filters have been heavily inspired by the Snapchat features which are hugely popular. The real question is whether Facebook and Instagram together can add something more to their AR camera features which would enable them to compete with Snapchat in this particular category. Update to AR Studio Facebook has updated their inhouse AR development platform, AR Studio and the new features are the following: Filtering of image textures can now be set to none or bilinear (default: bilinear). Wrapping modes of image textures can now be set to repeat, clamp or mirror (default: clamp). Tiling scale and offset for material textures can now be specified. When using the plane tracker, you can choose to target specific textures in the world from the Inspector panel. Improved Adds some more tooltips to the texture inspector. Facebook has also signalled at the upgrading of their underlying AR technology. For instance adding advanced target tracking, which includes hand tracking as well as high-fidelity body tracking. This should make for a lot more precise filters, improving their real time object and face detection capabilities etc. But since AR Studio was introduced in last year’s F8 conference, are these changes really breaking ones or are they just a means to stay alive in the competitive AR development market? With the renewed presence of Google with its recently updated AR core and Apple’s AR Kit, how much share can AR Studio maintain is a question that can only be answered in time. AR and its implications in real life can be very interesting but AR on mobile seems to have been suffering for some time due to the lack of system resources, the non-uniformity of the mobile platforms and location based data connection related issues. How these new announcements are going to change the current mobile AR landscape is something that we will have to wait and watch. Read Next: Understanding the hype behind Magic Leap’s New Augmented Reality Headsets Leap Motion open sources its $100 augmented reality headset, North Star Unity plugins for augmented reality application development
The Union Cabinet, seeking to promote Medical Tourism and attract more business visitors, has expanded the scope of e-tourist visa to incorporate purposes such as short-term medical treatment, business trips and conferences. With the enlarged scope, the e-tourist visa would be rechristened as e-visa and would allow the holder dual entries for tourism and business purposes and three for medical treatment.According to the cabinet decision, the e-visa scheme will be extended to eight more countries, which would take the total number of nations that enjoy the facility to 158. In addition, e-visa would now have a validity of 60 days and can be applied for by foreign nationals up to four months ahead of the visit.“The Union Cabinet has given its approval for liberalisation, simplification and rationalisation of the existing visa regime in India and incremental changes in the visa policy decided by the ministry of home affairs in consultation with various stakeholders,” stated a government release following the Cabinet meeting.“The approval will facilitate entry of foreigners for tourism, business and medical purposes. This is expected to stimulate economic growth, increase earnings from export of services like tourism, medical value travel and travel on account of business and to make ‘Skill India,’ ‘Digital India,’ ‘Make in India’ and other such flagship initiatives of the government successful,” the release added.Tourists, businessmen or people coming for treatment or to attend conferences or even for film shoots would be covered under the new category of visa, which was first mooted by the Commerce Ministry following a suggestion by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) to boost services trade.The long-term, multiple-entry visa would be given up to 10 years, however, under this category, the visitor would not be allowed to work or stay permanently.Apart from those covered under 10-year travel and trade visa policy, citizens of other countries would be offered five-year multiple visas for travel and trade. As per the proposal, if a foreigner is granted long-term, multiple-entry non-working or non-permanent stay visa and his or her stay is restricted to 60 days on a visit, the government may waive the visa fee as well. But the visitors have to give biometric details and fulfil certain security obligations. The plan is part of the Commerce Ministry’s initiatives to boost India’s services trade.
Categories: Barrett News 25Jul Rep. Barrett speaks on charges resulting from GRHV investigation State Rep. Tom Barrett today issued a statement on the criminal charges coming out of Attorney General Bill Schuette’s investigation into alleged mistreatment of patients at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans (GRHV).Eleven former caregivers at the GRHV were charged Monday by Schuette for intentional inclusion in patient medical records or charts of misleading or inaccurate information.“I’m thankful that Attorney General Schuette took seriously our request for an investigation into the GRHV,” said Barrett, of Potterville. “The audit findings of 2016 were indefensible, and our veterans deserve our absolute best. I will be watching closely to see that those responsible are held accountable. I am also encouraged by the fact that none of the people charged are currently employed by the state of Michigan or any of the state’s contractors.”In June 2016, the House Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs, chaired at the time by Barrett, sent a letter to the Attorney General’s Office requesting a full investigation of the GRHV. Legislators hoped that an in-depth analysis would improve future conditions for the veteran care facility. Since the audit findings were exposed, $2 million in additional appropriations have been dedicated to staffing increases at the home. In addition, greater accountability protections have been added and a new independent authority has been created and tasked with implementing a long-term strategy for veteran housing in Michigan.“My colleagues and I have worked diligently to make strides toward improving the GRHV,” said Barrett, a current helicopter pilot in the Michigan National Guard. “Progress has been made and care has gotten better, but there is still work to be done for our veterans.”Earlier this year a review by the Federal Veterans Administration showed that the home was meeting 230 of 231 requirements, the highest rating the home has ever received.The felony charge carries a possibility of up to four years in prison and or a $5,000 fine.###
25Jan Rep. Brann invites local pastor to lead House invocation Categories: Brann News,Brann Photos PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Tommy Brann (right) welcomed Pastor Randall Ledeboer (center) to the state Capitol to lead today’s invocation for the Michigan House of Representatives. Ledeboer is the lead pastor at inSpirit Church in Byron Center. Speaker of the House Tom Leonard joined them at the rostrum. House tradition calls for a representative or a clergy member to begin each day’s session with a prayer.
23May Rep. Griffin’s plan to save taxpayer money on prison health care signed into law Categories: Griffin News State Rep. Beth Griffin, right, attends a bill-signing ceremony Wednesday with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.State Rep. Beth Griffin’s plan to reduce the amount of public tax dollars spent on prison health care while continuing to protect public safety has been signed into law by the governor.Griffin, of Mattawan, said chronically ill and aging prisoners often have health care costs several times higher than the average inmate. It’s a growing concern in Michigan, where nearly one in four inmates is 50 or older with the average age continuing to rise. Health care already takes up 15 percent of the prison system’s budget, costing taxpayers roughly $300 million.“I’m always looking for ways to help our state government operate more efficiently and effectively,” Griffin said. “This is a responsible reform that saves taxpayer dollars without jeopardizing public safety in any way.”Griffin said the new law permits some inmates with severe and chronic physical or mental disabilities to complete their sentences at a medical facility rather than inside a prison, if approved by a parole board. It does not allow early release of inmates.The goal is to qualify inmates transferred to health care facilities for Medicaid, which would translate to a net savings for taxpayers.Only inmates classified by professionals as not posing a risk to public safety would be allowed to relocate. Prosecutors and victims could appeal decisions, and inmates convicted of first-degree murder, criminal sexual conduct in the first degree or any other crime resulting in a life sentence would automatically be ineligible for the program – meaning they stay behind bars.An initial projection from the Department of Corrections estimates roughly 20 to 40 prisoners could potentially be eligible for the program. The number could grow over time as the prison population ages.House Bills 4129-32, now Public Acts 13-16 of 2019, received overwhelming support in the House and Senate.###
ShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesJanuary 29, 2015; Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH)The charter school movement, which promises improved educational performance, is threatened by a growing number of reports of mismanagement and poor educational outcomes. Charter schools represent a key element in the strategies of educational reformers who believe that America’s public educational system is in a state of critical failure and believe that the solution lies in market-driven strategies. Originally seen as integrated components of public school systems, charter schools were developed to serve as laboratories in which educational innovation could be developed and tested before being utilized in all public schools. They are now viewed as direct competitors of public school systems and have been allowed to operate outside traditional accountability systems.While operating under government charter, whether incorporated as nonprofit or for-profit organizations, they are subject to lower standards of oversight and accountability—in order to give them, their supporters say, greater latitude for the development of new approaches to education. For example, in Ohio, charter schools are specifically exempt from more than 150 state requirements that traditional public schools must fulfill. Operating outside the traditional framework of public education also means that in many states, they fall outside the purview of local school boards and have a lower standard of public accountability.But this freedom seems to be bringing unintended problems, which may bring the need for greater oversight and regulation to the forefront. The Ohio legislature has sought to answer these issues with House Bill 2, which aims to add transparency, accountability, and responsibility to a charter school system ostensibly run by nonprofits but often managed by for-profit companies in practice. Bill co-sponsor Rep. Kristina Roegner says the bill is intended to stop such practices as offloading students who perform poorly and inappropriate business relationships with members of the charter school board. Reactions to the bill are still forthcoming, but charter school advocates have found a lot to like. Darlene Chambers, director of the Ohio Alliance of Public Charter Schools, called it “clear and meaningful reform” and said, “Just going through it, it looks like there is some important potential there.”A recent report by the Center for Research on Educational Outcomes (CREDO), of Stanford University found that Ohio charter schools performed poorly as compared to traditional public schools. From 2009 to 2013, charter school students had fallen further behind on both reading and math test scores when compared to their peers in traditional public schools. A recently released Ohio State audit found significantly lower than reported attendance at half of the 30 charter schools where auditors conducted unannounced head counts this past fall resulting in the level of State funding being substantially higher than necessary. Lastly, a study recently completed by Bellwether Education Partners and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute found a critical need for the state of Ohio to revise its regulations governing charters. Among the report’s specific recommendations were changes that would end conflicts of interest by management. Of the 27 recommendations offered by Bellwether, the new House Bill 2 addresses 11.While not all charter schools educate poorly or are mismanaged, these failings are common enough to require policymakers to reconsider the way charters are regulated. At the core of this reconsideration should be a relook at the rationales for removing them from the overall framework of public school management, including local, elected School Boards. Innovation and experimentation are needed if we desire improvement, but doing so in a manner that supports our traditional sense of public accountability may prove an important safeguard.—Marty Levine and Jason SchneidermanShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share7TweetShareEmail7 SharesChange Takes Courage Town Hall / Korean Resource CenterApril 17, 2016; Reuters and the Washington PostAs the Supreme Court was preparing to hear legal arguments challenging the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA) and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) programs that would either uphold or negate the president’s administrative action to shield some 4 million immigrants from deportation, a more spiritual drama was playing out in Greece, where Pope Francis visited with refugees on the island of Lesbos.The pope visited the Moria detention facility, where more than 3000 men, women, and children are being held in overcrowded conditions. As he boarded his flight back to the Vatican, with him were three Muslim families, comprising 12 Syrians chosen by lottery to act as a symbol for the Pope’s message calling on Europe to welcome the migrants. Francis said he understood that some governments and people were afraid, but that fear did not lift from them a “responsibility of welcome.”“We hope that the world will heed these scenes of tragic and indeed desperate need, and respond in a way worthy of our common humanity,” Francis told the migrants.Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, a self-described atheist, called the visit “historic,” coming when “some of our partners—even in the name of Christian Europe—were erecting walls and fences to prevent defenseless people from seeking a better life.”In an important symbol of reconciliation within the Christian faith, the pope was accompanied by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, as well as by Greek Archbishop Ieronymos II. Ieronymos denounced government policies that “have brought these people to this impasse,” and Bartholomew promised to “do everything to open the eyes and hearts of the world,” adding, “The world will be judged by the way it has treated you.”The three leaders threw laurel wreaths into the sea to honor those who tried to cross but did not make it to shore.Francis urged the world to resist the temptation to build walls. He also thanked Lesbos residents and people across Greece for keeping “open their hearts and doors.”“Many ordinary men and women have made available the little they have and shared it with those who lost everything. God will repay this generosity,” he said.Thomas J. Reese, senior analyst with the National Catholic Reporter, said, “He is telling Europe that it is denying its Christian roots when it turns its back on those in need. He is telling Europe that Jesus would not close the doors to those fleeing war and persecution.”Meanwhile, back in the United States, the GOP-led House of Representatives filed an amicus brief that would allow GOP lawmakers 15 of the 90 minutes provided for arguments in front of the court. President Obama’s administrative order would grant work permits to more than 4 million immigrants in the United States. A federal injunction has held up implementation of the programs until legal questions raised by 26 states are heard. A 4-4 split would leave in place a lower court ruling that blocked it.The hearing comes at a moment when both top Republican contenders are proposing to deport the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally.—Ruth McCambridgeShare7TweetShareEmail7 Shares
Share29TweetShareEmail29 SharesDavid Friedman / Gage SkidmoreDecember 17, 2016; HaaretzThe diplomatic community has taken President-elect Donald Trump’s choice of David M. Friedman to serve as the United States’ next ambassador to Israel as a signal of an important shift in America’s stance toward this fractured region. At the same time, Friedman’s potential appointment could upset a balance among the American Jewish Community and may impact a number of important nonprofit organizations.Mr. Friedman is a bankruptcy attorney by profession and a longtime business associate of Mr. Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. He will come to this position, if approved, with strong opinions on the Middle East but no previous diplomatic experience.If his stated positions, which strongly support the right of Israel to settle and annex lands captured in 1967, are those put forward by President-elect Trump when he is sworn in, they represent a sharp break with the direction of previous presidents, Democratic and Republican both, who refused to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and saw the growth of Israeli settlements as a deadly threat to a “two-state” solution.Palestinian and Israeli leaders met the appointment with very different responses, with clear indications that it would unsettle an already tense situation. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters, “Who Donald Trump appoints…is his business. What is not Trump’s business is to determine capitals of other nations. I look David Friedman and Trump in the eye and tell them—if you were to take these steps of moving the embassy and annexing settlements in the West Bank, you are sending this region down the path of something that I call chaos, lawlessness and extremism. These moves would destroy the peace process.”In Israel, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely used her Facebook page to welcome the appointment, describing it as “good news for Israel. His positions encapsulate the desire to strengthen the status of Israel’s capital, Jerusalem, and the understanding that settlements have never been the real problem in the region.”In the United States, the announcement of Mr. Friedman’s nomination has set off a battle in the heart of the American Jewish community that has the potential to result in a major schism. Beyond his views on captured territories, settlements, and the two-state solution, Mr. Friedman has been a very harsh critic of those who disagree with him and his positions. He has described President Obama and Secretary Kerry’s actions as evidence of their “blatant anti-Semitism,” and he has characterized a leading American Jewish Organization as similar to Jews who cooperated with the Nazi Government.Finally, are J Street supporters really as bad as kapos? The answer, actually, is no. They are far worse than kapos—Jews who turned in their fellow Jews in the Nazi death camps. The kapos faced extraordinary cruelty, and who knows what any of us would have done under those circumstances to save a loved one? But J Street? They are just smug advocates of Israel’s destruction delivered from the comfort of their secure American sofas—it’s hard to imagine anyone worse.Organizations that agree with his policy positions, like the Zionist Organization of America, have been very positive about his new role. ZOA President Morton Klein said Friedman has “the potential to be the greatest U.S. ambassador to Israel ever.” Matt Brooks, executive director of the lobbying group Republican Jewish Coalition, tweeted, “Great choice! David is someone who understands the President’s vision and will strengthen the US-Israel relationship.”Four American Jewish groups—Americans for Peace Now, J Street, the New Israel Fund, and Ameinu—are so strongly opposed to Mr. Friedman that they have launched a campaign encouraging the Senate to withhold their consent and reject the appointment. NIF CEO Daniel Sokatch placed the appointment in a wider context when he told the Israeli newspaper HaaretzThis is the kind of fight going to the mat for, win or lose. We feel we have to exercise the tools of liberal democracy to protect liberal democracy. This is a test for us, working on this side of the ocean, but these are extraordinary times. What we’re seeing in Israel, Brexit, with Trump, is a tide of neo-authoritarianism sweeping the globe. We have to push back against this. Our donors understand that, just as what’s happened in Israel and the Tea Party and Trump are all connected by themes of xenophobia and nationalism, so are we connected.The depth and emotion of this disagreement has the potential to cause lasting harm to the organized Jewish community. If this heated debate splits local communities along these lines, the large Jewish Federation movement, which supports a wide range of social welfare programs in their local communities, may find this tussle harming their ability to raise funds and, ultimately, the organizations they fund. If the new administration takes a dim view of opposition from the Jewish community, organizations that seek and receive federal grants for their work may find this controversy makes it harder to succeed. With passions so high, it is difficult to see how the waters will be calmed after January 20th.—Martin LevineShare29TweetShareEmail29 Shares
Ofcom, the UK communications regulator, has invited comments on measuring media plurality, following a request by the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Jeremy Hunt.Hunt has requested that Ofcom assess how practical it would be to set limits on media ownership to protect plurality. He has also asked the regulator to recommend a framework for measuring plurality across different media.This follows an Ofcom report published at the end of last year on the public interest test on the proposed acquisition of BSkyB by News Corp, in which the regulator suggested that possible reform of the current framework around plurality may be required. Despite News Corp retracting its takeover proposition in the wake of the phone hacking scandal, the UK Parliament sees it as important to ensure an organisation’s control of the media does not make it able to influence opinions and set the political agenda.The findings will be provided to the Secretary of State and given as evidence to the Leveson Inquiry by June 2012 and Ofcom is now inviting comments on the questions it has been asked by Hunt, including what the options are for measuring media plurality across platforms; what the best approach might be; whether it is practical or advisable to set absolute limits on news market share; what factors could trigger a review of plurality in the absence of a merger, and how this might be monitored and by whom; whether a framework for measuring levels of plurality could or should include websites and if so which ones; and whether or how it should include the BBC.
Video monitoring specialist Bridge Technologies has signed up SHM Broadcast to resell its products in the German market.In addition to solutions for cable, terrestrial, and satellite infrastructures, SHM Broadcast will offer all the OTT monitoring tools included in the latest VideoBRIDGE probes, as well as the new versions of the microVB system for monitoring OTT and TV everywhere services.
Geir BjørndalGeir Bjørndal, Conax’s former marketing chief, has joined Verimatrix.The content security specialist said Bjørndal is charged with significantly increasing the company’s market penetration and visibility with operators looking to take advantage of new generation DVB hybrid networks that include IP and over-the-top video delivery.“Verimatrix is sitting at the intersection of where traditional and new video services markets converge. Geir brings the unique combination of deep industry knowledge and vision of where the digital TV and revenue security markets are headed to help us take advantage of this position,” said Tom Munro, CEO of Verimatrix. “We feel that he will be a highly effective advocate for our multi-network, multi-screen value proposition and will further strengthen our partner ecosystem in the DVB and hybrid video services market.”
BBC Sport has launched a Facebook app, enabling users of the social networking site to watch sports events including Wimbledon and the Olympic Games.The launch marks the first time the BBC has live streamed events on Facebook. A beta version of the app lets users watch the BBC’s main coverage of the Wimbledon tennis tournament along with up to six additional match streams from other courts. Users can make comment under each stream and see how many of their friends are watching the same event. The corporation plans to add a live chat function in time for the Olympics. During the Games, up to 24 live streams will be available.Phil Fearnley, general manager BBC News & Knowledge, said: “It’s a core part of the BBC’s mission to bring our quality content to audiences wherever they are, so I’m very excited to be able to offer sport fans on Facebook a really distinctive live streaming experience. With our Facebook app we aim to bring even greater value to our online audiences, enabling them to watch together and share their excitement. We hope to use it to test the benefits of social viewing, as part of our ambition to deliver more innovative and transformative experiences to sports fans.”
Spanish cable operator Ono has added an app from Fox’s National Geographic Channel to its TiVo service.The app will allow user to read Nat Geo’s magazine and watch National Geographic Channel programmes on-demand in HD.
US streaming service Hulu’s premium subscription service topped four million customers in the first quarter of this year, new stats show. Hulu has also unveiled two original series for the summer.The US broadcaster-backed platform revealed the statistic yesterday, which it claimed set a new record for subscriber growth.Subscription service Hulu Plus officially launched in November and had reached a million subscribers by the end of the third quarter of 2011. It hit two million in the first quarter of 2012 and three million by the fourth quarter of that year, meaning it has added a million customers in just one quarter.Mobile viewing was picked out as driving growth, and Hulu estimates 15% of its growth will come from this segment during this year and next. Living room viewing was also on the up and currently accounts for 29% of the company’s business.At its annual Upfront yesterday, Hulu – which counts Disney News Corp and NBC Universal as owners (though the latter is a passive partner as per terms of Comcast’s 2011 company takeover) also announced two new original series.Quickdraw (pictured) is a half-hour comedy series set in 1875 in the US’s Wild West and focuses on a Harvard-educated sheriff’s attempts to bring the science of forensics to an unruly Kansas town.Nancy Hower and John Lehr co-created the show and will executive produce.The second new series is East Los High, a teen drama series that comes from an all-Latino cast and production crew. Local Latino organisations advised on the scripts, which will follow the personal lives of a group of US Hispanics at an inner city LA high school.The shows both join Hulu’s summer launch slate, which also comprises The Awesomes, Behind the Mask, The Wrong Mans, Mother Up, Prisoners of War season two, The Only Way is Essex season four, Braquo season two and Moone Boy.
Long-serving RTL executive and CEO of RTL Hrvatska (RTL Croatia), Johannes Züll, is leaving to take the chief executive role at German production company Studio Hamburg. A spokesman for RTL confirmed to DTVE that a Züll is due to leave for Studio Hamburg, but said that he will remain in his current post until a successor has been found.Conversations between Züll and RTL about an early termination date of his contract are underway, but a departure date is yet to be finalised, the spokesman added.Züll was appointed CEO of RTL Croatia in September 2009. Prior to that, between 1999 and 2007, he held various positions within the RTL Group, including managing director of RTL Interactive and head of strategy and business development at RTL Television in Cologne.He briefly left the firm to work for media and digital communications group Aegis Media between 2007 and 2009.