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The Time Value of Money

first_imgThe Personal Finance team will be presenting a 90-minute webinar on The Time Value of Money on Tuesday, February 21 at 11 a.m. ET. Learn more about the event.By Carol ChurchIn the past, I’ve worked as a freelance contractor for various companies, a position that can be interesting and exciting but a bit unpredictable. One thing about freelancing is that sometimes it takes quite a while to be paid, either because a project is long-term (and “payable upon delivery”) or because clients are late with checks!While my family was not financially dependent on my relatively small freelance contribution, it felt frustrating to know that money was “out there” for me, but not yet delivered. One reason it bothered me? Something called “the time value of money.”What is the Time Value of Money?The idea behind the time value of money is that money we have NOW is worth more than money we will get in the future. This is because the money we have now—today–can be put to work today!Clock by steinchen. CC0 via Pixabay.com.Let’s say I plan to put my $2,000 freelance check in my savings account, since it’s not money we rely on for daily expenses. Even though on the surface, it might seem like $2,000 now and $2,000 in six months should be equivalent, that’s not the case. If I have it and can put it in the bank now, I can earn interest right now. But if I have to wait six months to receive a check for work I already did, I can’t earn interest during that six months. Or, thinking about it differently, let’s say I want to buy something with that money, such as a new air conditioner. In six months, a new A/C unit might cost more, since prices typically (not always) go up over time. My money is worth more now that it is later.How TVM Affects UsSo what are some ways that the time value of money, or TVM, affects us in our everyday life? There are a lot, and they may or may not work in our favor, depending. For instance, when we buy something we cannot afford to pay for right now, put it on a credit card, and end up paying a larger total for it in the end, that’s the credit card reminding us of the TVM. (We couldn’t pay them now, so they are charging us to make up for TVM, since they had to wait to be paid.)One very simple way to think about TVM and make this simple, but powerful principle a part of your mindset is to think about any purchase, especially an optional purchase (say, a luxury item such as a trip or a piece of jewelry) and consider TVM. Imagine that I’m thinking about going on a $2,000 vacation with my freelance check. I can spend that $2,000 now, and enjoy the experience. Or I could invest that money in a financial account that earns me 6% per year. If I can then hold off on spending it, not just today, but for 10 years, I’ll have $6,773! So what’s worth more to me: the vacation now, or the $6,733 later?Understand TVM to Make Wise ChoicesIn many cases, saving might be the right choice—but not always. Maybe I’m taking my vacation with teenagers who will have graduated from high school and moved on in 5 years. Maybe I haven’t been on vacation in a long time, and this is a dream trip I’ll always remember. And, of course, in real life, things are more complicated than a simple TVM makes it seem. Inflation eats away at our savings, interest rates fluctuate, opportunities may appear and disappear, and life happens.The point is, understanding the TVM (and even calculating it!) lets us make a more clear-eyed decision about purchases. This doesn’t mean we won’t make them—it may still be worth it. But we can think more carefully about what we truly prioritize.TVM calculators are available on the web for those who are curious about calculating this in their own lives. Here’s one. For directions, click on the “How to Use” tab.We’ll be using calculators, both manual and online versions, in our February 21 webinar on this topic. Learn more here.last_img read more

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Alyssa Valdez headed to Taipei to play for volley club ‘Attack Line’

first_imgFire hits houses in Mandaluyong City WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Bryant unveils NBA China academy plans CONTRIBUTED PHOTOPhilippine volleyball superstar Alyssa Valdez is set for another stint overseas.The former Ateneo spiker is bound for Chinese Taipei next month to play as an import for a club team Attack Line.ADVERTISEMENT View comments BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Read Nextcenter_img Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games The 24-year-old Valdez said she had already been invited to play in Taipei two years ago, but she had to turn down the offer to focus on her final playing year with the Lady Eagles.“Two years ago in the under-23 their national team coaches asked me if I could go there but I still have one more playing year left in the UAAP so I stayed here but we saw each other again in the AVC and they asked me again if I could go there,” Valdez recalled.“It’s exciting because it’s also going to be my first time in Chinese Taipei so I’m excited not only for volleyball but also to explore their culture and tradition.”ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ LATEST STORIES Valdez announced her latest career move in an interview with her former Ateneo teammate turned TV reporter Gretchen Ho.“I just closed a deal with a Chinese Taipei club team, so I’m going to be there for the next few months,” Valdez said in a video posted by Ho.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“Hopefully, there will be a lot of Filipinos there that would make me feel at home. I’m also asking for your prayers that I get to give a good showing there,” she added in Filipino.Earlier in the year, Valdez suited up in Thailand as an import for 3BB Nakornnont. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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Stint in US will help in Olympics says Yogeshwar Dutt

first_imgThe Indian wrestlers will train at Colorado Springs in the US and Belarus before the London Olympics, and Yogeshwar Dutt feels the preparation will be a big boost for them.Five Indian wrestlers have qualified for the Olympics. Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Amit Kumar, Narsingh Yadav and Geeta will compete in London. They will leave for the US next week along with the coaches and will train for two weeks before going to Belarus. “Last time we trained at Colorado Springs in January, we could see the difference it brought to our game. It is a hilly place and it has helped us increase our stamina,” Yogeshwar said.”There are quality coaches and good wrestlers to spar with. There will be the teams from other countries as well and we will compete with them. It will help us test our preparedness for the Olympics. We have learnt some good techniques,” Yogeshwar said in a media interaction in the Capital on Saturday.Yogeshwar, who will be participating in his third Olympics, said that his main competition will be with the wrestlers from Japan and Iran.He hoped that India will clinch more than one medal in wrestling this time around. “After Beijing Olympics, wrestling came into the limelight. We have someone like Amit Kumar, who is a very young qualifier for the Olympics. He is one of the talented guys around. Youngsters like Amit want to emulate the seniors, which is a good sign. They want to achieve what Sushil did in Beijing.advertisement”There is a spurt in wrestling in the last couple of years. If you go the villages in Haryana, every Akhara now has a mat. We started on mud and now competing on mat,” said Yogeshwar.last_img read more

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Mexico launches plan to stimulate US border economy

first_imgMEXICO CITY — President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has launched an ambitious plan to stimulate economic activity on the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border despite recent U.S. threats to close the border entirely.Mexico plans to slash income and corporate taxes to 20 per cent from 30 per cent for 43 municipalities in six states just south of the U.S., while halving to 8 per cent the value-added tax in the region. Business leaders and union representatives have also agreed to double the minimum wage along the border, to 176.2 pesos a day, the equivalent of $9.07 at current exchange rates.Lopez Obrador says the idea is to stimulate wage and job growth via fiscal incentives and productivity gains. President Donald Trump has repeatedly complained that low wages in Mexico lure jobs from the U.S.The Associated Presslast_img read more

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Lightning sparks several new fires near Pink Mountain

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The BC Wildfire Service says that the combination of thunderstorms and dry conditions has caused several wildfires to erupt north of Fort St. John.According to the manager of the Buffalo Inn in Pink Mountain, the fire was first noticed at around 1:00 Thursday afternoon and has since grown at a rapid pace. The fire is said to be burning around five kilometres from the community. A photo of the fire that erupted near Pink Mountain on Thursday afternoon. Submitted photo A photo of the fire that erupted near Pink Mountain on Thursday afternoon. Submitted photo A photo of the fire that erupted near Pink Mountain on Thursday afternoon. Submitted photo A photo of the fire that erupted near Pink Mountain on Thursday afternoon. Submitted photo Fire Information Officer Amanda Reynolds said that the fire is currently estimated at 10 hectares in size, and is being fuelled by the tinder-dry conditions in the area. She said that an air tanker has been deployed to try and box the fire in with retardant while firefighters travel to begin battling the fire from the ground. A map of lightning strikes in B.C. at 2:40 p.m. Thursday. Photo by Environment Canada A map of lightning strikes in B.C. at 2:40 p.m. Thursday. Photo by Environment Canada Reynolds said that the fire is one of several to pop up in the area north of Wonowon in the last several hours.This is a developing story, and we’ll have an update once we receive more information.last_img read more

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Ottawa to announce 16 billion boost Tuesday for battered energy sector

first_imgOTTAWA, O.N. – Canada’s battered energy industry will get a $1.6-billion boost from Ottawa on Tuesday to try to slow the political and economic bleeding.Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi and International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr will be at an Edmonton college campus to unveil a support package for oil and gas companies, which are reeling from record-low oil prices.A source who provided the figure to The Canadian Press says funds will be divided among several different programs, including money to help companies invest in clean growth, loans, and other financial supports to help companies find new markets away from the United States, as well as investments in training and new technology. Alberta is already negotiating with an as-yet-unnamed third party to buy the rail cars, but Canada has not indicated any willingness to share the cost of the purchase yet, and rail cars are not part of Tuesday’s announcement.Earlier this month, Sohi asked the National Energy Board to do a review of existing pipeline capacity to make sure it is being used in the most efficient way and also to figure out whether there are any short-term steps that could maximize rail capacity to ship more oil.Days later, the NEB responded to Sohi and said it will provide him with a full report in February. It is a package based, in some ways, on those offered to softwood, steel and aluminum producers after the United States dealt them direct blows with new import tariffs.Canada’s oil patch isn’t facing that kind of pressure, but it is still the U.S. behind much of its pain.With pipelines at capacity and some major refineries down for maintenance this fall, the price for Alberta crude plummeted in the fall, hitting a panic-inducing $11 a barrel in late November.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley’s plan to buy more rail cars to help ship additional oil, as well as her decision to force a production cut from the biggest oil producers starting in January, helped push the price back up, trading above $26 a barrel at the end of last week.But that is still significantly less than the U.S. price and Canada’s economy is losing as much as $80 million a day because of the discount.Canada’s almost total reliance on the U.S. as an export market contributes to the problem. Almost every drop of oil that is not refined and used in Canada is exported to the United States. Without more pipelines to the coasts where oil tankers could theoretically then ship oil overseas, Canada’s oil producers are at the mercy of the Americans.center_img The only current proposal to increase pipeline capacity to the coasts is the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, which is in limbo following a court ruling overturning its federal approval. Ottawa is trying to get that project back on track with more consultations, but if that does happen, it will be several years before oil actually starts to flow.The impasse has left a sharp divide between Alberta and Ottawa.Although Tuesday’s announcement comes in the Alberta capital, neither Notley nor anyone from the Alberta government is scheduled to be there for the announcement.Premier Notley has made no secret in recent weeks of her desire to have Ottawa help the province buy new rail cars to ship two additional trains full of Alberta crude out of the province every day.last_img read more

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India Pak hold cordial meeting on Kartarpur corridor

first_imgAttari/New Delhi: In the shadow of escalating tension in their ties, India and Pakistan Thursday held in a “cordial environment” their first meeting to finalise the modalities for a corridor linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Pakistani town of Kartarpur with Gurdaspur district in Punjab. A joint statement issued after the talks said both sides held detailed and constructive discussions on various aspects and provisions of the project and agreed to work towards expeditiously operationalising the Kartapur Sahib Corridor (KSC). Also Read – Squadrons which participated in Balakot air strike awarded citations on IAF Day The meeting took place on the Indian side of the Attari-Wagah border. “The first meeting to discuss the modalities and the draft agreement for facilitation of pilgrims to visit Gurudwara Kartarpur Sahib using the Kartarpur corridor was held today at Attari, India, in a cordial environment,” it said. The meeting took place amid heightened tensions between the two neighbours following India’s air strike on a terrorist training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammed and Pakistan’s subsequent retaliation. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documents on Reliance penalty It was agreed to hold the next meeting at Wagah on April 2 and it will be preceded by a meeting of the technical experts on March 19 at the proposed zero points to finalise the alignment of the corridor, according to the statement. Last November, India and Pakistan agreed to set up the border crossing linking Gurudwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur – the final resting place of Sikh faith’s founder Guru Nanak Dev – to Dera Baba Nanak shrine in India’s Gurdaspur district. Kartarpur Sahib is located in Pakistan’s Narowal district across the river Ravi, about four km from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine. The Indian delegation at the meeting was led by SCL Das, Joint Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs while the Pakistani team was headed by Dr Mohammad Faisal, DG (South Asia and SAARC) of Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Both sides held detailed and constructive discussions on various aspects and provisions of the proposed agreement and agreed to work towards expeditiously operationalising the Kartapur Sahib Corridor,” the statement said. It said the two sides also held expert-level discussions between the technical experts on the alignment and other details of the proposed corridor. Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had on November 26 last year laid the foundation stone of the Kartarpur corridor in Gurdaspur district. Two days later, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of the corridor in Narowal, 125 km from Lahore.last_img read more

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By Playing Hurt Federer Shows That The Davis Cup Still Matters

Earlier this month, Roger Federer said the Davis Cup, which ends Sunday, “is not what it used to be anymore.” Is Federer, the winningest major men’s singles champ, correct about the event that was once the pinnacle of men’s tennis?Yes and no.Yes. Look no further than the quality of opponents Federer and his teammate, Stan Wawrinka, have played so far this year in singles matches. No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, whom Wawrinka beat in the opening match of the Davis Cup final in Lille, France, on Friday, is the highest-ranked singles opponent Switzerland will face all year. No other finalist since at least 2004 has managed to avoid facing at least one top-8 opponent in singles in a live match at some point in the competition.The overall level of competition has slipped: The median ranking of singles players in live matches this year in the World Group is 40, the worst level of at least the last decade. By median ranking of opposing players throughout the year’s competition, France has had the easiest time of any finalist since 2004, while Switzerland has had the third-easiest. (The U.S., in 2004, had the second easiest slate of opponents.)No. The Davis Cup is as important as it’s been in recent history. Look no further than the participation of Federer and Wawrinka. The two Swiss stars are ranked No. 2 and No. 4 in the world, respectively. Each one last played a match just six days ago, in a different country (the U.K.) on a different surface (indoor hard court). That match, as it happened, was between the two of them, and it was brutal. Federer won but hurt his back in the process. Wawrinka took the loss hard. “I was destroyed,” he told the press in Lille earlier this week. The two teammates also argued with each other after the match, reportedly over comments yelled by Federer’s wife, Mirka, from courtside at Wawrinka during the match.Yet despite all those reasons not to play, the two men represented Switzerland on Friday. Asked Thursday if he’d be playing if this weren’t the Davis Cup final, Federer said, “I don’t know. It’s a good question.” After Wawrinka’s win, Federer was routed by Gael Monfils in straight sets, though he said afterward that he felt better as the match went on.Unless one of the two Swiss leading men skips a singles match Sunday, they’ll play every live singles match the team has played this year, each one while ranked eighth in the world or better. They’re the only two players to compete in a meaningful Davis Cup singles match this year while ranked in the top five. And they make Switzerland just the third team since 1983 — as far back as rankings are available from the ATP World Tour website — to play two top-four singles players in live singles matches in a final. (The last two, the U.S. in 1984 and 1997, both lost in the final.)Federer’s and Wawrinka’s total commitment is a total outlier for recent Davis Cup finalists. Even the few finalists that have had two Top 10 players usually use a lower-ranked player at some stage of the competition. Since 2004, only the 2007 U.S. team reached a final while avoiding using a player ranked outside the Top 30, and its lowest ranked singles player was No. 13 James Blake.Methodology note: I only counted World Group live matches, those before one country had reached the three wins needed to take a Davis Cup match (called a tie). I went by match, not player, so if a player played two matches in the same tie, he counted twice. I also skipped doubles because it’s unclear how to weigh players’ singles and doubles rankings. read more

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Buford Buckeyes breeze past UTSA George Mason awaits

CLEVELAND — One game down, five to go. By pummeling Texas-San Antonio (20-14), 75-46, in its first game of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, the Ohio State men’s basketball team is one step closer to accomplishing part three of its self-proclaimed three-part mission. The Buckeyes (33-2) already have crossed a Big Ten regular-season and conference tournament crown off their list. Cutting down the nets in Houston as national champions is all that’s left. OSU used a balanced effort to take a step in that direction against the Roadrunners. Four players scored in double figures for the Buckeyes, with junior guard William Buford leading the way with 18. Buford notched 15 of his points in the first half. “My teammates, they were giving me the ball, and shots were open,” Buford said. “So I was just taking good shots and I was able to knock them down.” UTSA, the Southland Conference Tournament champion, kept the game close early by scoring on its first four possessions. The game was tied, 9-9, with just more than 13 minutes remaining in the first half, before the Buckeyes began to put the Roadrunners away. OSU closed the half on a 28-12 scoring run to take a 16-point lead into the locker room. They attributed the slow start to poor execution. “Like I said, once we got through the first timeout, we were down,” OSU coach Thad Matta said. “I thought our guys did a good job of responding and really keeping the focus.” The Roadrunners attempted to slow down the Buckeyes, often waiting until the shot clock was below 15 seconds to initiate their offense. That was not the style of play the Buckeyes expected. “We were pretty surprised. I think with the film that we watched in the short period of time that we had, we didn’t really see that much,” senior guard Jon Diebler said. “But, again, we have to be ready for whatever … way teams will play against us. I think for the first four or five minutes we weren’t, but after that we kind of picked it up.” The Buckeyes connected on 6-of-10 3-pointers in the first half and continued the hot shooting after intermission. The team finished 12-for-24 from distance. The Buckeyes had too many weapons for the Roadrunners to deal with. Senior guard Jon Diebler contributed 14 points on 4-for-8 shooting from behind the arc, while freshman forward Jared Sullinger added 11 points. In total, eight OSU players scored. Only one UTSA player, senior guard Devin Gibson, scored in double figures. Gibson tallied more than half his team’s points with a game-high 24. “I think we just need to do a better job on the team defense on Gibson,” Diebler said. “I think we left Aaron (Craft) and Will out to dry a little bit.” OSU was able to feed off a crowd consisting mostly of Buckeye fans. “It was awesome,” freshman point guard Aaron Craft said. “If you closed your eyes and listened to the cheers it sounded like we were playing in Columbus.” As OSU continued to add to its lead in the second half, Matta was able to empty his bench slowly. Sullinger was the first to make his exit, leaving the game for the first time with 12:12 on the clock, and not returning. Fifth-year senior forward David Lighty, Buford and Diebler were soon to follow, as forward Deshaun Thomas and guards Jordan Sibert and Lenzelle Smith Jr., all freshmen, closed out the game. Sibert indicated his excitement at playing and scoring in his first tournament game. “It was great. That environment was crazy,” he said. “It was really good. My teammates, they are all supportive whenever we get out there.” Senior walk-on guard Eddie Days entered the game with 1:27 remaining, the 10th Buckeye to log minutes on the evening. The Buckeyes forced the Roadrunners into 13 turnovers and held UTSA to just 34 percent shooting on the evening. OSU also assisted on 26 of its 29 field goals and shot 55.8 percent from the floor. OSU held its opponent under 50 points for the eighth time this season and first time since a Jan. 19 contest with Iowa. OSU next will play George Mason on Sunday in Cleveland. The Patriots beat Villanova, 61-57, on Friday to advance to the tournament’s round of 32. read more

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Northwestern coach Thank God William Bufords a senior

Northwestern men’s basketball coach Bill Carmody had trouble recalling Ohio State men’s basketball senior guard William Buford’s class year during a press conference following the Wildcats’ 87-54 Wednesday loss to the Buckeyes. Members of the press informed Carmody that Buford was a senior. “Thank God,” Carmody said, rubbing his brow. Buford scored a career-high 28 points, hauled in nine rebounds and dished out four assists during No. 2-ranked OSU’s victory against unranked Northwestern in the teams’ Big Ten conference opener at the Schottenstein Center. One might understand why Carmody said he was glad to see the Buckeyes’ lone senior beginning his final tour of Big Ten duty, as Buford shot 9-of-14 from the field and 5-of-7 from 3-point range in the win. “I know Buford is a very good player,” Carmody said. “He’s looks as good as anyone to me. He can dribble the ball … gets in the lane. (He) gets fouled and goes to the foul line. He’s doing things decisively.” Buford, who has totaled 68 career points against the Wildcats in six games, said he just let the game come to him in this most recent matchup with Northwestern. “I was just shooting the ball,” he said. “I was fortunate to be knocking them down and my teammates just kept telling me to shoot.” Northwestern (10-3, 0-1 Big Ten) kept the score close in the early stages of the game. The Wildcats even held a lead with 14:01 to play in the first half. Buford helped distance the Buckeyes (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten) with a 3-pointer that extended an OSU lead to 21-13 at the 10:00 mark in the first half. Buford smiled widely and celebrated with teammates after the 3-pointer. OSU was on course to take a 41-26 lead into half. Thanks in part to Buford, the Buckeyes wouldn’t relinquish the lead. OSU sophomore guard Jordan Sibert said the 2011-12 edition of the Buckeyes rely on Buford when the team can’t find a rhythm. “We can count on (Buford) now,” Sibert said. “He’s going to be scoring or rebounding. … He finds a way to get things going.” OSU sophomore forward Jared Sullinger, who scored 17 points in 22 minutes against Northwestern, agreed. “Will is doing a great job,” Sullinger said. “This year, he’s taken a little bit of leadership upon himself because he’s been through it all. He’s doing a great job.” After watching Buford drop 28 points on his team during 35 minutes of action, Carmody had only praise for the player, saying, “(Buford’s) stepped up.” “He’s a senior and he knows what he can do, and he’s doing it.” OSU continues conference play Saturday at No. 15 Indiana. Opening tip is set for 6 p.m. read more

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CCD raids Income Tax Department detects undisclosed income of over Rs 650

first_imgAn employee prepares coffee for customers at a Cafe Coffee Day outlet in Mumbai, India, November 2, 2015 (representational image).Reuters fileThe Income Tax (I-T) Department has reportedly detected over Rs 650 crore of undisclosed income from the largest coffee retail chain in India — Cafe Coffee Day (CCD). The statement comes after the department’s raids at several CCD offices last week. Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd is owned by VG Siddhartha, the son-in-law of former External Affairs Minister and former Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna.”The detection of undisclosed income is expected to be much higher since there are a number of other issues, including violations of other statutes on which there is no disclosure, but relevant evidence has been found. These will be pursued effectively with vigour, energy and imagination,” the department said. On Thursday, taxmen had started conducting raids at several CCD offices and headquarters in Bengaluru. Immediately, the shares of Coffee Day Enterprises Ltd had also tumbled on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).The stock closed 3.35 percent down at Rs 233.80, recouping part of its loss after slumping over seven percent in intra-day trading. The benchmark Sensex fell 0.1 percent to 32,370.04 points.The raids were conducted under the direction and supervision of the I-T Department’s investigation cell director – General BR Balakrishnan.According to reports, raids were conducted at multiple locations, including Siddhartha’s offices at Coffee Day Square in Bengaluru’s Lavelle Road and his residence in Sadashivanagar. Premises in other cities such as Hassan, Chikkamagaluru, Chennai and Mumbai were also raided. An employee serves coffee at a Cafe Coffee Day outlet in Mumbai, November 2, 2015. Shares in Coffee Day Enterprises, operator of India’s biggest coffee chain, have lost 15 percent in the past six months.Reuters fileThe move is also likely to spur a political storm with Congress accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government of misusing agencies to target political opponents. SM Krishna had left Congress in January to join BJP.Siddhartha had opened CCD’s first outlet on Bangalore’s upscale Brigade Road in 1996. The company’s first launch came at a time when Bangalore was transforming into an Information Technology hub.CCD was among the top six global coffee retail chains till 2011 and the largest in India. As of March 2015, the company had 1,530 outlets across 29 states in the country. It also has outlets in countries like Austria, Czech Republic and Malaysia.last_img read more

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Close encounters When Daniel123 met Jane234 w video

first_img November Qbo 2011 video Always posing the question what-if, Francisco Paz and his Madrid based team, The Corpora, developers of the Qbo, work with Qbo as a robot project. The accent is not on robots with human consciousness but on robots with simulated consciousness. Nonetheless, always asking the question what-if, they posed a teaser for themselves.Now that they got the robot to recognize itself in the mirror, what about when one Qbo is faced with another Qbo, stacking them both with sensors and recognition software? © 2011 PhysOrg.com Kilobots bring us one step closer to a robot swarm Explore further More information: thecorpora.com/blog/?p=854center_img The Qbo is generally described as open source; it runs on Linux, has two cameras with stereoscopic vision and uses recognition software.They developed bots that talk to each other through Festival, a speech synthesis system, and Julius, a speech recognition engine. In their latest Qbo scenario, a green Daniel123, unaware that a Jane might be on life’s table, is told by its master to turn around, and that is when it encounters blue Jane 234. Daniel appears to be aware that Jane is a Qbo. Daniel and Jane sniff each other out, so to speak, by being programmed to generate nose flashes, to distinguish that there is another individual robot.The sniffing explanations make it tempting to imagine that the robots are independently flirting. The danger is to attribute human consciousness to robots that are not designed that way. Daniel may be able to understand it’s Jane, not himself, in the mirror, but only because it has been programmed that way by a clever human.The Corpora team is the first to dispel any magical human consciousness. They detail what makes Daniel and Jane see each other as separate, but approachable, on the team blog:“Inspired by this process of self-recognition in humans, we developed a new ROS [robot operating system] that is executed when the node “Object Recognizer,” previously trained, has identified a Qbo in the image. Using nose signals to see if the image seen by the robot matches its action, a Qbo can tell in real time whether he sees his image reflected in a mirror or he is watching another Qbo robot in front of him. The sequence of flashes of the nose is randomly generated in each process of recognition, so the probability that two robots generate the same sequence is very low, and even lower that they start to transmit it at the same time.” (PhysOrg.com) — Qbo robots created a stir recently when their developers succeeded in demonstrating that a Qbo can be trained to recognize itself in the mirror. Now the developers have taken their explorations into simulated consciousness a step further. A pair of Qbo robots, colored differently but still two Qbo entities, can recognize each other. Just as human earthling Harry met Sally, Qbo Daniel can meet Jane and they can exchange similarly empty-headed conversation. Citation: Close encounters: When Daniel123 met Jane234 (w/ video) (2012, January 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-encounters-daniel123-met-jane234-video.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Building VR experiences with React VR 20 How to create maze thats

first_imgIn today’s tutorial, we will examine the functionality required to build a simple maze. There are a few ways we could build a maze. The most straightforward way would be to fire up our 3D modeler package (say, Blender) and create a labyrinth out of polygons. This would work fine and could be very detailed.However, it would also be very boring. Why? The first time we get through the maze will be exciting, but after a few tries, you’ll know the way through. When we construct VR experiences, you usually want people to visit often and have fun every time.This tutorial is an excerpt from a book written by John Gwinner titled Getting Started with React VR. In this book, you will learn how to create amazing 360 and virtual reality content that runs directly in your browsers.A modeled labyrinth would be boring. Life is too short to do boring things. So, we want to generate a Maze randomly. This way, you can change the Maze every time so that it’ll be fresh and different. The way to do that is through random numbers to ensure that the Maze doesn’t shift around us, so we want to actually do it with pseudo-random numbers. To start doing that, we’ll need a basic application created. Please go to your VR directory and create an application called ‘WalkInAMaze’:react-vr init WalkInAMazeAlmost random–pseudo random number generatorsTo have a chance of replaying value or being able to compare scores between people, we really need a pseudo-random number generator. The basic JavaScript Math.random() is not a pseudo-random generator; it really gives you a totally random number every time. We need a pseudo-random number generator that takes a seed value. If you give the same seed to the random number generator, it will generate the same sequence of random numbers. (They aren’t completely random but are very close.) Random number generators are a complex topic; for example, they are used in cryptography, and if your random number generator isn’t completely random, someone could break your code.We aren’t so worried about that, we just want repeatability. Although the UI for this may be a bit beyond the scope of this book, creating the Maze in a way that clicking on Refresh won’t generate a totally different Maze is really a good thing and will avoid frustration on the part of the user. This will also allow two users to compare scores; we could persist a board number for the Maze and show this. This may be out of scope for our book; however, having a predictable Maze will help immensely during development. If it wasn’t for this, you might get lost while working on your world. (Well, probably not, but it makes testing easier.)Including library code from other projectsUp to this point, I’ve shown you how to create components in React VR (or React). JavaScript interestingly has a historical issue with include. With C++, Java, or C#, you can include a file in another file or make a reference to a file in a project. After doing that, everything in those other files, such as functions, classes, and global properties (variables), are then usable from the file that you’ve issued the include statement in.With a browser, the concept of “including” JavaScript is a little different. With Node.js, we use package.json to indicate what packages we need. To bring those packages into our code, we will use the following syntax in your .js files:var MersenneTwister = require(‘mersenne-twister’);Then, instead of using Math.random(), we will create a new random number generator and pass a seed, as follows: var rng = new MersenneTwister(this.props.Seed);From this point on, you just call rng.random() instead of Math.random().We can just use npm install and the require statement for properly formatted packages. Much of this can be done for you by executing the npm command:npm install mersenne-twister –saveRemember, the –save command to update our manifest in the project. While we are at it, we can install another package we’ll need later:npm install react-vr-gaze-button –saveNow that we have a good random number generator, let’s use it to complicate our world.The Maze render()How do we build a Maze? I wanted to develop some code that dynamically generates the Maze; anyone could model it in a package, but a VR world should be living. Having code that can dynamically build Maze in any size (to a point) will allow a repeat playing of your world.There are a number of JavaScript packages out there for printing mazes. I took one that seemed to be everywhere, in the public domain, on GitHub and modified it for HTML. This app consists of two parts: Maze.html and makeMaze.JS. Neither is React, but it is JavaScript. It works fairly well, although the numbers don’t really represent exactly how wide it is.First, I made sure that only one x was displaying, both vertically and horizontally. This will not print well (lines are usually taller than wide), but we are building a virtually real Maze, not a paper Maze.The Maze that we generate with the files at Maze.html (localhost:8081/vr/maze.html) and the JavaScript file—makeMaze.js—will now look like this:x1xxxxxxxx x xxxx x x xx x x xx xxxxx xx x x xx x x x xx x 2xxxxxxxxxIt is a little hard to read, but you can count the squares vs. xs. Don’t worry, it’s going to look a lot fancier. Now that we have the HTML version of a Maze working, we’ll start building the hedges.This is a slightly larger piece of code than I expected, so I broke it into pieces and loaded the Maze object onto GitHub rather than pasting the entire code here, as it’s long. You can find a link for the source at: http://bit.ly/VR_Chap11Adding the floors and type checkingOne of the things that look odd with a 360 Pano background, as we’ve talked about before, is that you can seem to “float” against the ground. One fix, other than fixing the original image, is to simply add a floor. This is what we did with the Space Gallery, and it looks pretty good as we were assuming we were floating in space anyway.For this version, let’s import a ground square. We could use a large square that would encompass the entire Maze; we’d then have to resize it if the size of the Maze changes. I decided to use a smaller cube and alter it so that it’s “underneath” every cell of the Maze. This would allow us some leeway in the future to rotate the squares for worn paths, water traps, or whatever.To make the floor, we will use a simple cube object that I altered slightly and is UV mapped. I used Blender for this. We also import a Hedge model, and a Gem, which will represent where we can teleport to. Inside ‘Maze.js‘ we added the following code:import Hedge from ‘./Hedge.js’;import Floor from ‘./Hedge.js’;import Gem from ‘./Gem.js’;Then, inside the Maze.js we could instantiate our floor with the code:Notice that we don’t use ‘vr/components/Hedge.js‘ when we do the import; we’re inside Maze.js. However, in index.vr.js to include the Maze, we do need:import Maze from ‘./vr/components/Maze.js’;It’s slightly more complicated though. In our code, the Maze builds the data structures when props have changed; when moving, if the maze needs rendering again, it simply loops through the data structure and builds a collection (mazeHedges) with all of the floors, teleport targets, and hedges in it. Given this, to create the floors, the line in Maze.js is actually: mazeHedges.push();Here is where I ran into two big problems, and I’ll show you what happened so that you can avoid these issues. Initially, I was bashing my head against the wall trying to figure out why my floors looked like hedges. This one is pretty easy—we imported Floor from the Hedge.js file. The floors will look like hedges (did you notice this in my preceding code? If so, I did this on purpose as a learning experience. Honest).This is an easy fix. Make sure that you code import Floor from ‘./floor.js’; note that Floor not type-checked. (It is, after all, JavaScript.) I thought this was odd, as the hedge.js file exports a Hedge object, not a Floor object, but be aware you can rename the objects as you import them.The second problem I had was more of a simple goof that is easy to occur if you aren’t really thinking in React. You may run into this. JavaScript is a lovely language, but sometimes I miss a strongly typed language. Here is what I did:Inside the maze.js file, I had code like this:for (var j = 0; j After some debugging, I found out that the value of j was going from 0 to 42. Why did it get 42 instead of 6? The reason was simple. We need to fully understand JavaScript to program complex apps. The mistake was in initializing SizeX to be ‘4’ ; this makes it a string variable. When calculating j from 0 (an integer), React/JavaScript takes 2, adds it to a string of ‘4’, and gets the 42 string, then converts it to an integer and assigns this to j.When this is done, very weird things happened.When we were building the Space Gallery, we could easily use the ‘5.1’ values for the input to the box:Then, later use the transform statement below inside the class: transform: [ { translate: [ this.props.MyX, -1.7, this.props.MyZ] } ]React/JavaScript will put the string values into This.Props.MyX, then realize it needs an integer, and then quietly do the conversion. However, when you get more complicated objects, such as our Maze generation, you won’t get away with this.Remember that your code isn’t “really” JavaScript. It’s processed. At the heart, this processing is fairly simple, but the implications can be a killer.Pay attention to what you code. With a loosely typed language such as JavaScript, with React on top, any mistakes you make will be quietly converted to something you didn’t intend.You are the programmer. Program correctly.So, back to the Maze. The Hedge and Floor are straightforward copies of the initial Gem code. Let’s take a look at our starting Gem, although note it gets a lot more complicated later (and in your source files):import React, { Component } from ‘react’;import { asset, Box, Model, Text, View} from ‘react-vr’;export default class Gem extends Component {constructor() {super();this.state = {Height: -3 };}render() {return ();}}CopyThe Hedge and Floor are essentially the same thing. (We could have made a prop be the file loaded, but we want a different behavior for the Gem, so we will edit this file extensively.)To run this sample, first, we should have created a directory as you have before, called WalkInAMaze. Once you do this, download the files from the Git source for this part of the article (http://bit.ly/VR_Chap11). Once you’ve created the app, copied the files, and fired it up, (go to the WalkInAMaze directory and type npm start), and you should see something like this once you look around – except, there is a bug. This is what the maze should look like (if you use the file  ‘MazeHedges2DoubleSided.gltf‘ in Hedge.js, in the statement):>Now, how did we get those neat-looking hedges in the game? (OK, they are pretty low poly, but it is still pushing it.) One of the nice things about the pace of improvement on web standards is their new features. Instead of just .obj file format, React VR now has the capability to load glTF files.Using the glTF file format for modelsglTF files are a new file format that works pretty naturally with WebGL. There are exporters for many different CAD packages. The reason I like glTF files is that getting a proper export is fairly straightforward. Lightwave OBJ files are an industry standard, but in the case of React, not all of the options are imported. One major one is transparency. The OBJ file format allows that, but at of the time of writing this book, it wasn’t an option. Many other graphics shaders that modern hardware can handle can’t be described with the OBJ file format.This is why glTF files are the next best alternative for WebVR. It is a modern and evolving format, and work is being done to enhance the capabilities and make a fairly good match between what WebGL can display and what glTF can export.This is however on interacting with the world, so I’ll give a brief mention on how to export glTF files and provide the objects, especially the Hedge, as glTF models.The nice thing with glTF from the modeling side is that if you use their material specifications, for example, for Blender, then you don’t have to worry that the export won’t be quite right. Today’s physically Based Rendering (PBR) tends to use the metallic/roughness model, and these import better than trying to figure out how to convert PBR materials into the OBJ file’s specular lighting model. Here is the metallic-looking Gem that I’m using as the gaze point:Using the glTF Metallic Roughness model, we can assign the texture maps that programs, such as Substance Designer, calculate and import easily. The resulting figures look metallic where they are supposed to be metallic and dull where the paint still holds on.I didn’t use Ambient Occlusion here, as this is a very convex model; something with more surface depressions would look fantastic with Ambient Occlusion. It would also look great with architectural models, for example, furniture.To convert your models, there is user documentation at http://bit.ly/glTFExporting. You will need to download and install the Blender glTF exporter. Or, you can just download the files I have already converted. If you do the export, in brief, you do the following steps:Download the files from http://bit.ly/gLTFFiles. You will need the gltf2_Principled.blend file, assuming that you are on a newer version of Blender.In Blender, open your file, then link to the new materials. Go to File->Link, then choose the gltf2_Principled.blend file. Once you do that, drill into “NodeTree” and choose either glTF Metallic Roughness (for metal), or glTF specular glossiness for other materials.Choose the object you are going to export; make sure that you choose the Cycles renderer.Open the Node Editor in a window. Scroll down to the bottom of the Node Editor window, and make sure that the box Use Nodes is checked.Add the node via the nodal menu, Add->Group->glTF Specular Glossiness or Metallic Roughness.Once the node is added, go to Add->Texture->Image texture. Add as many image textures as you have image maps, then wire them up. You should end up with something similar to this diagram.To export the models, I recommend that you disable camera export and combine the buffers unless you think you will be exporting several models that share geometry or materials. The Export options I used are as follows:Now, to include the exported glTF object, use the component as you would with an OBJ file, except you have no MTL file. The materials are all described inside the .glTF file. To include the exported glTF object, you just put the filename as a gltf2 prop in the : To find out more about these options and processes, you can go to the glTF export web site. This site also includes tutorials on major CAD packages and the all-important glTF shaders (for example, the Blender model I showed earlier).I have loaded several .OBJ files and .glTF files so you can experiment with different combinations of low poly and transparency. When glTF support was added in React VR version 2.0.0, I was very excited as transparency maps are very important for a lot of VR models, especially vegetation; just like our hedges. However, it turns out there is a bug in WebGL or three.js that does not render the transparency properly. As a result, I have gone with a low polygon version in the files on the GitHub site; the pictures, above, were with the file MazeHedges2DoubleSided.gltf in the Hedges.js file (in vr/components).If you get 404 errors, check the paths in the glTF file. It depends on which exporter you use—if you are working with Blender, the gltf2 exporter from the Khronos group calculates the path correctly, but the one from Kupoman has options, and you could export the wrong paths.We discussed important mechanics of props, state, and events. We also discussed how to create a maze using pseudo-random number generators to make sure that our props and state didn’t change chaotically.To know more about how to create, move around in, and make worlds react to us in a Virtual Reality world, including basic teleport mechanics, do check out this book Getting Started with React VR. Read More:Google Daydream powered Lenovo Mirage solo hits the marketGoogle open sources Seurat to bring high precision graphics to Mobile VROculus Go, the first stand alone VR headset arrives!last_img read more

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Etihad SIA Air NZ executives join Virgin Australia

first_imgThe chief executives of Etihad Airways, Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand will join the Virgin Australia board as executive directors.The move reflects the respective airlines’ investments in Virgin as an upstart challenger to Qantas Airways, together they own nearly 70 per cent of the airline.Etihad chief executive James Hogan, Singapore Airlines chief executive officer Goh Choon Phong and Air NZ chief executive Christopher Luxon will join for the first board meeting in Sydney.The airlines are both friend and foes, collaborating and competing in a variety of markets.Virgin Australia has written up protocols to manage inevitable conflicts of interest however, it is unclear if this will help solve board disagreements.Source = ETB News: Tom Nealelast_img read more

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Countdown begins to MSC Armonia first cruise to Cuba

first_imgAbout MSC CruisesMSC Cruises is the world’s largest privately-owned cruise company and the number one cruise line in Europe and South America, South Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. A game-changer in the world of cruises, the Company has achieved 800% growth in its first ten years, building a global reputation in the industry and one of the youngest cruise fleets at sea. MSC Cruises is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.The MSC Cruises fleet comprises 17 highly innovative and elegantly designed ships, offering an unparalleled holiday experience with authentic food, award-winning entertainment, plenty of relaxation, comfortable accommodation, as well as impeccable service and expertise.Under its ambitious industry-unprecedented €10.5 billion investment plan, the fleet is set to expand to 24 mega-cruise ships by 2026. To date, MSC Cruises has designed six new ship classes, all prototypes that push the boundaries of marine architecture and design.MSC Cruises feels a deep responsibility towards the physical and human environments in which it operates. The Company operates with the greatest respect for the world’s oceans and is on an ongoing journey to further develop innovative ways of lowering the environmental impact of its cruise passages.MSC Cruises’ holiday experiences are sold across the globe through a distribution network in 67 countries. The Company employs over 17,000 people worldwide, both ashore and on board its ships. MSC Cruises is part of MSC Group which is comprised of leading transport and logistics companies.Source = MSC Cruises Countdown begins to MSC Armonia first cruise to CubaCountdown begins to MSC Armonia first cruise to CubaIn just under two months MSC Cruises, the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and leading cruise line in Europe and South America, introduces MSC Armonia to Miami for the first time. From December 10th this year, MSC Armonia will offer unique 7-night Caribbean sailings departing from Miami and calling at Montego Bay, Jamaica; Georgetown, Cayman Islands; and Cozumel, Mexico before arriving in Havana, the Cuban capital, on Saturday and staying overnight until Sunday.MSC Cruises’ 7-night programme to Cuba will include two days in the bustling city of Havana over the weekend. And, as excitement builds for this company-first, MSC Cruises will also introduce even more distinct culinary and entertainment features on board the ship to further elevate the guest experience, including elements of the Havana experience brought on board, a brand new specialty restaurant, original theatre performances and more.MSC Armonia will join MSC Seaside and MSC Divina in Miami, further enriching our offer. MSC Cruises’ guests can expect not only a brand new attractive itinerary, but also a variety of enhancements to make the MSC Armoniaexperience that much more memorable. On board, guests will delight in fresh entertainment and new gourmet culinary choices, while ashore; an overnight stay in Havana will allow guests the full experience of this culturally vibrant city.Highlights of the Cuba cruise include the following:NEW ONBOARD CULINARY ENHANCEMENTSA new, mouth-watering specialty restaurantMSC Armonia will introduce a brand new specialty restaurant to the culinary line-up. The 38-seat “Surf & Turf” will serve a delectable menu, where guests can select an appetiser, main course and dessert from an assortment of gourmet options.For main courses, the Surf & Turf offers the best of both worlds, with a delicious filet mignon and tempting cold-water lobster tail. Additional highlights include a Lobster Thermidor, baked in shell with a mushroom cream sauce, and the 18 oz. Certified Angus Beef Bone-in Ribeye. Desserts are as varied as they are divine, with a Guava cheesecake, dressed in a warm Rum sauce, a Red Velvet Cake, and a Seven Layers Mexican Chocolate cake.Havana-inspired Mojito BarBringing the Cuban experience on board, MSC Armonia will transform one of its bars into a Havana haven, with a wide range of Mojito cocktails to choose from, whether traditional or out-of-the-box.Enhanced Pub MenuMSC Armonia’s White Lion Pub will introduce a new and complimentary menu featuring hand-helds like the befitting Cuban sandwich, a Mojo Chicken Quesadilla, an Avocado and Tuna Salad Wrap, and Spinach and Artichoke Dip to share. The pub will also continue serving a wide selection of beers, including four new additions — Heineken, Newcastle Brown Ale, Murphy’s Irish Stout, and Lagunitas IPA.New included delightsMSC Armonia will also introduce some complimentary treats with the cruise experience. MSC Cruises is already known for offering some of the best gelato at sea and now, every creamy bite comes included with the cruise, leaving guests plenty of opportunity to try every flavour on board.In the main dining room, guests will be able to enjoy lobster, at no additional cost. While dining on these elevated offerings, Aurea Experience guests will also have the option to dine al fresco, with a reserved outdoor area, featuring the open water as the backdrop.NEW ENTERTAINMENT CONCEPTSIn addition to MSC Cruises fan-favourite parties like the White Party and Silent Disco, a highlight of MSC Armonia’s entertainment offering will be the addition of local Cuban music while in port, in Cuba. Straight from the city of Havana, various musicians will join guests on board to play the best of local Cuban music during the Saturday evening of the ship’s overnight stay in Havana.MSC Armonia’s evening theatre entertainment will undergo a complete review, with an entire line-up of new performances to be introduced on board. Cruisers will marvel at a new, distinct shows each evening. The shows will include dynamic, virtual sets with the addition of a central upstage LED screen to display a variety of vistas for each show. Shows include:ABYSS: A mermaid’s spectacular adventures under the sea.THE TIME OF MY LIFE: Inspired by the famous 80s film, Dirty Dancing, the show features songs, dances and a story that still captures audiences to this day.THE ADDAMS FAMILY: The quirky family stars in this hilarious show, inspired by the satirical and ironic portrayal of the 20th century American Dream family.FRENCH FOLLIES: An all-French variety show, with artists, dancers, singers that come together for an elegant and joyful show.THE GREATEST: Featuring the best of Broadway, guests are taken through the most iconic pieces of musical theatre.ITALIAN TOUCH: True to MSC Cruises’ Mediterranean heritage, this show will feature Italian music and the most unforgettable Italian songs.MORE TIME TO EXPERIENCE HAVANAWith an overnight stay in the buzzing capital of Cuba, MSC Armonia’s guests will be able to fully enjoy all that the city has to offer day and night. Cruisers will be able to fully immerse themselves in many aspects of Cuban culture, through a variety of unique excursions to choose from. Shore excursions will explore local highlights from music, art and architecture to classic cigar rolling, rum distilling and much more. Guests can:Ride in vintage American cars, a staple of the Havana experience. On this tour, guests will tour the city in classic vehicles down the seafront Malecón boulevards and Wuinta Avenida. Guests will stop for a historic photo opportunity at Plaza de la Revolución, and then head to the famous Christopher Columbus Cemetery. As the drive continues, participants will marvel at some of the city’s key landmarks.Sip on local rum and classic Habanos cigars to learn about a key part of Cuban culture. Guests will visit a cigar factory to watch highly-skilled torcedors as they hand-roll Cuban cigars. Then, cruisers will head to the Havana Club Museum to learn about how freshly cut sugarcane is distilled into rum and then try some of the final product.Dance at Havana’s largest nightclub, the renowned Tropicana Club. Founded in 1939 in Havana’s Marianao suburb, the Tropicana Club is an iconic celebration of Cuban culture with tropical surroundings. Visitors will listen to live music and see a variety of performers in vibrant costumes, while sipping on a local cocktail and dancing the night away.Prior to these current onboard enhancements, MSC Armonia was the first ship in MSC Cruises’ $250 million Renaissance Program, where the ship was stretched in late 2014, adding a variety of new onboard features. The ship has been tailored with a wide range of amenities and services for families, including a brand new splash park for children; exquisite, varied dining offerings; outstanding, all-hours entertainment; a broad choice of relaxation and wellness options, and more – all with the European flair MSC Cruises is known for.For more information on MSC Cruises’ Cuba program, MSC Armonia and to book, contact a preferred travel agent or visit websitelast_img read more

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The 5 Takeaways from the Coyotes introduction of

first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Cardinals Average Power Ranking: 24.5(down from 21.6 last week)High Ranking: #22 (NFL.com)Low Ranking: #26 (CBS Sports, Bleacher Report, USA Today) Cardinals rank: #24 (▼ 4)The Cardinals have been the season’s biggest disappointment while boasting one of the best defenses in the league. The offense should have been top-notch as well, but there’s just been no consistency. Their season is over.PFT’s Week 13 Power RankingsCardinals rank: #25 (▼ 2)They were supposed to be better. They’re worse. Much, much worse. Top Stories – / 24 NFL Power Rankings, Week 13: Dallas is clear No. 1, but there’s room for debate at No. 2Cardinals rank: #25 (–)Bruce Arians said the idea of tanking for a better draft pick would be “absolutely asinine,” even though his team can max out at 9–6–1 and likely will be an underdog at least twice more. But at some point, the line between losing on purpose and just being flat out bad becomes rather blurred anyway.NFL Power Rankings: Bucs, Dolphins making noise, Giants into the top fiveCardinals rank: #26 (–)It seems like anything that could go wrong has gone wrong this season. It’s hard to believe they have a losing record.NFL power rankings 2016, Week 13: Down go the SeahawksCardinals rank: #25 (▼ 6)If there was any doubt that the Arizona Cardinals are cooked, a 38-19 loss to the Atlanta Falcons should put those doubts to rest. And there was reason for doubt. After all, the Cardinals finished 13-3 last year and opened the 2016 season with a close loss to the Patriots followed by a beatdown of the Buccaneers.But since then, the Cardinals’ only wins have come against the hapless San Francisco 49ers (twice) and New York Jets.Chris Simms’ NFL Power Rankings Ahead of Week 13Cardinals rank: #26 (▼ 2) Arizona Sports Week 13 NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys still on topCardinals rank: #23 (▼ 5)It’s called a football. Catch it, Michael Floyd.Week 13 NFL Power Rankings: Cowboys, Raiders are Nos. 1 and 2Cardinals rank: #23 (▼ 2)Carson Palmer has already taken more sacks than he did all of last season, and he has equaled his interception total (11) from last season. The Cardinals are 1-3-1 in their past five games, and you have to wonder if the 36-year-old Palmer will be in Arizona much longer.NFL Power Rankings, Week 13: Oakland Raiders enter top threeCardinals rank: #22 (▼ 4)Wonderful to watch the first half Sunday and see Bruce Arians on the sideline coaching his squad. Although, for his sake, kind of wish he didn’t have to watch the second half. That’s when any chance of competing in Atlanta — and perhaps, competing for a wild-card spot — escaped the Cardinals’ grasp. At 4-6-1, Arizona must win out to even have a chance at that sixth spot. The Giants are 8-3, currently in line for the fifth spot. And given that the Redskins are 6-4-1 (with Kirk Cousins playing like Kurt Warner), running the table probably gives Arians’ group a 50-50 shot — at best. Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) walks off the field after the Cardinals missed a two-point conversion against the Atlanta Falcons during the second of an NFL football game, Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)center_img Comments   Share   Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires How low can you go?For the Arizona Cardinals, not much lower.The Cards’ most recent loss — a 38-19 defeat at the hands of the Atlanta Falcons — dipped the team’s record to 4-6-1 on the season. Much of the postgame chatter centered around chemistry and selfishness, which doesn’t exactly instill any confidence in anything resembling a late-season turnaround.Here’s a rundown of what some prominent national outlets — and we here at ArizonaSports.com — are saying about the Cardinals: Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Want to know the surefire sign of a bad team?Just look at the trenches. If five offensive linemen can’t consistently block three or four pass-rushers, there’s a problem. I’m looking at you, Arizona.Defensive issues persist as well. Patrick Peterson gave Falcons drives new life with two interference calls. D.J. Swearinger dropped a pick, and the Falcons scored soon thereafter. And Calais Campbell (who was dominant all afternoon) let Atlanta put the frosting on the blowout cake by jumping offside on a punt.David Johnson is about the only watchable part of this team in 2016. Everything else stinks.NFL Power Rankings: Chiefs, not Raiders, will end up winning the AFC WestCardinals rank: #25 (▼ 7)Last season’s dynamic offense, when it seemed like anyone could make a play at any time, is a distant memory. It’s just David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald this season. Nobody else has been reliable, including quarterback Carson Palmer of course.USA Today Power Rankings – Week 13Cardinals rank: #26 (–)Don’t blame David Johnson for their disastrous season. He’s gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in all 11 of Arizona’s games.NFL Week 13 power rankings Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

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July 28 2006 Welcome to the July 23 2006 sem

first_imgJuly 28, 2006 Welcome to the July 23. 2006 seminar week and workshop participants. From left: Vito Depalo [seminar week], Bradyn Smith, Matteo Depalo [seminar week], Te-su Han [seminar week], Anna Greenberg [seminar week], Hannes Garrett [seminar week], Erica Mazzucato, Karen Sanford [seminar week], Jinah Lee [seminar week], Lewis Schlitt, Soyeon Kim [seminar week], Raheel Yousaf Sadi, Sung-ho Jun [seminar week] and Rafael Bezerra. [Photo & text: sa]last_img

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Platinum was in rally mode almost from the moment

first_img Platinum was in rally mode almost from the moment that trading began at the 6 p.m. New York open on Monday evening, hitting its interim high minutes after Zurich opened.  From there it got sold down until about 20 minutes before the Comex open—and then away it went to the upside once again, hitting its high tick about 10:45 a.m. EST.  After that it chopped sideways into the close.  Platinum finished the Tuesday session at $1,187 spot, up $12 from Monday’s close. Here’s the six-month U.S. dollar index to put this week’s movements into some sort of perspective. The silver equities put in a carbon-copy performance, except for the fact that at their high tick, they were up over 4%.  The downside from there was the same, complete with the mystery not-for-profit seller between 2:20 and 3:00 p.m. EST.  Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.99%. We’ve seen many instances in the last several months where big intraday gains have all but disappeared by the close or, like yesterday, down on the day.  It doesn’t look like free-market trading to me—but you’re entitled to your own opinion on that. The CME Daily Delivery Report showed that 246 gold and 2 silver contracts were posted for delivery within the COMEX-approved depositories on Friday.  The big short/issuer was HSBC USA with 234 contracts—and the only long/stopper of note was JPMorgan out of its in-house (proprietary) trading account with 242 contracts.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here. The CME Preliminary Report for the Tuesday trading session showed that December gold open interest declined by 41 contracts—and is now down to 545 contracts minus, of course, the 246 contracts due to be delivery on Friday.  Silver open interest for December dropped by 4 contracts—and is now down to 31 contracts, minus the two in the previous paragraph. After a 96,000 troy ounce deposit in GLD last Friday, an authorized participant removed a very chunky 374,652 troy ounces yesterday—almost 12 metric tonnes.  That’s a lot.  To go along with that big withdrawal in GLD, there was even more gargantuan withdrawal from SLV.  This time an authorized participant removed 5,842,153 troy ounces.  There has been no price activity during the last five trading days that would warrant withdrawals of this size in either GLD or SLV.  Withdrawals maybe, but nothing that would justify these amounts.  I would guess that that the metal withdrawn was more desperately needed elsewhere. The good folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank updated their Web site with the changes in their gold and silver ETFs as of the close of trading on Friday, December 19—and here is what they had to report:  Their gold ETF sold 39,647 troy ounces, which is a pretty decent amount for this ETF.  In silver, that ETF declined by 65,418 troy ounces. There was a small sales report from the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 1,000 troy ounces of gold eagles—1,000 one-ounce 24k Gold Buffaloes—and another 55,000 Silver Eagles. Monday was a real yawner over at the Comex-approved depositories.  In gold, only 21,379 troy ounces were reported received—all at Canada’s Scotiabank—and nothing was shipped out.  In silver, nothing was reported received—and only 25,001 troy ounces were shipped out—all out of Brink’s, Inc. I have the usual number of stories for a midweek column—and I hope you have time over the next few days to read the ones that interest you. There is the matter of extraordinary sales of Silver Eagles from the U.S. Mint. Since April 2011, the U.S. Mint has produced and sold 140 million Silver Eagles, more than in any similar period of time, in a price environment that can only be termed putrid and in which sales of Gold Eagles were notably lower. I would estimate that JPMorgan purchased close to half of the 140 million Silver Eagles sold since April 2011. According to very reliable sources on the retail front, investment demand has been lower over this time, as retail buyers do not buy strongly into a declining price environment in any investment asset. Yet we know for a fact that there has been extraordinary buying of Silver Eagles, even while Gold Eagle sales cooled off notably, so someone had to be buying [them]. If there is one thing that JPMorgan is expert at, given that it commands an army of lobbyists and has more government officials in its back pocket than any other entity on the face of the earth, it is the exploitation of U.S. law and regulations. JPMorgan knew that [the] law dictated that the Mint must produce enough Silver (and Gold) Eagles to meet demand. That law was never intended to allow a single big buyer to demand the extraordinary amount of Silver Eagles that JPMorgan desired to buy, but that’s the purpose behind the exploitation of the law. The Mint sells Silver Eagles at the prevailing price of silver on the day of the sale. In essence, the Comex price of silver is the price of silver. By controlling the price of COMEX silver, JPMorgan sets the price at which it will buy Silver Eagles. It’s the perfect crime – JPMorgan sets the price of Comex silver and then demands as many coins as the Mint and its suppliers can produce, even if that means producing the coins on a 24/7 basis. Hey, that’s the law. And remember when JPMorgan increased its Comex short position in the summer, assuring that prices were about to drop and what occurred as a result? Sales of Silver Eagles nosedived temporarily and only resumed after prices were brought lower by this crooked bank. – Silver analyst Ted Butler:  20 December 2014 Not much happened yesterday in the precious metal markets—even though I was ready for any possible scenario.  And as I mentioned at the top of this column, all the excellent gains [and then some] in the silver and gold equities vanished before the trading day was done, which is a scenario we’ve seen on more occasions that I care to remember during the last few months. The only six-month chart I have is the one for natural gas, as it set a new intraday low for this move down. The dollar index finished the Monday trading session at 89.79—and when it opened on Monday evening, it began to slide a bit, with the 89.65 low coming a minute or two after 9 a.m. GMT on their Tuesday morning.  The rally that commenced at the point, ended at its 90.14 high a minute or so before the London p.m. gold fix.  After that it chopped sideways in a very tight range—and finished the Tuesday session at 90.07—up another 28 basis points. As I type this paragraph, the London open is five minutes away.  Precious metal prices are doing precisely nothing.  Gold volume isn’t quite 10,000 contracts as of yet—and silver’s volume is barely at 2,000 contracts.  The dollar index is down 10 basis points.  Absolutely nothing to see here. And as I send this out the door at 5:11 a.m. EST, I see that not much has changed since I reported a couple of hours ago.  Volumes are a bit higher, but inconsequential—and the dollar index is now down 18 basis points and back below the 90.00 mark. I’m not expecting much to happen between now and the weekend, as most traders will be on holidays—and I expect New York to close early today. Before stepping out the door myself, I thought I’d leave you with this very traditional 16th century English Christmas carol.  Here’s the Lithuanian male vocal group “Quorum” singing the ” Coventry Carol” a cappella style, which is the way it was originally performed.  The link is here—and you’ll never hear a better recording of it than this. Enjoy! Season’s Greetings—and have a wonderful Christmas. I’ll see you on Saturday—and Friday maybe. Palladium didn’t do much, chopping higher in a five dollar range—and closed at $812—up $3 on the day. Except for a dime’s worth of up/down action in the early going in Far East trading on their Tuesday morning, the silver price didn’t do a lot until 1 p.m. in London.  At that point there was a vicious 2% down/up move that got hammered flat almost immediately—and just minutes before the Comex open.  After that, the price didn’t do a lot, but did rally into positive territory in the last 30 minutes of trading before the 5:15 p.m. EST close of electronic trading. The low and high ticks were reported as $15.895 and $15.56 in the March contract. Silver finished the Tuesday session at $15.79 spot, up 11 cents from Monday’s close. Season’s Greetings—and have a wonderful Christmas The gold price started out the Tuesday session the same as it did on Monday, with the high tick coming just before the London open—and then drifted lower.  There was no surprise in New York trading yesterday—and the low tick came at 3:15 p.m. EST.  from there it rallied about $5 into the close. The high and low ticks are barely worth the effort to look, but the CME recorded them as $1,184.90 and $1,172.40 in the February contract. Gold closed in New York yesterday at $1,176.90 spot, up a whole 20 cents from Monday.  Volume, net of December and January was 111,000 contracts. The gold stocks opened unchanged—and then rallied strongly, hitting their highs around 12:20 p.m. EST—and up over 3%.  From that point they began to slide, but starting shortly after 2:15 p.m. relentless and continuous selling pressure appeared—and by 3:00 p.m. all the gold stocks were down on the day—and from there they chopped sideways into the close.  The HUI finished the Tuesday session down 1.18%. The agreement with Sumitomo on the Fourth of July project is a great compliment to our recent agreement with Newmont Mining on the Wood Hills South project. We also have the Arabia, Golden Shears, and some generative efforts being funded through our joint venture business model. 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