60 Comments  

Posted On Aug 11 2019 by

first_img 60 Comments   Share   GLENDALE, Ariz. — It wasn’t exactly déjà vu, but man, did what we saw Monday night at University of Phoenix Stadium feel familiar.The Arizona Cardinals started quickly, sputtered in the middle and folded late in a 28-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys in front of 65,102 fans and an audience of millions on Monday Night Football.Carson Palmer led the Cardinals (1-2) to a score on their first drive — an efficient eight-play, 82-yard jaunt that ended in a 25-yard touchdown pass to Jaron Brown. In a half they thoroughly dominated, the Cardinals went to the locker room at halftime tied 7-7.Missed opportunity.The teams traded scores in the third quarter. Prescott hit Dez Bryant on a 15-yard touchdown on which the receiver dragged a gaggle of Arizona defenders over the goal line to give the Cowboys their first lead. Five minutes and 18 seconds later, Palmer delivered his second picturesque touchdown pass of the game, this one to Larry Fitzgerald from 15 yards out to tie the game at 14-14.Then the familiar theme of allowing touchdowns in the fourth quarter — as happened in the Cardinals’ season-opening loss to Detroit — popped up again. Prescott hit Brice Butler, who beat cornerback Justin Bethel, on a 37-yard strike with 11:52 to play.Dawson connected on a 37-yard field goal to pull the Cardinals to within four at 21-17, but the Prescott-to-Butler connection struck again on a 53-yard pass that set up Elliott’s 8-yard touchdown to ice the game for Dallas with just under five minutes to play.Another familiar issue was present all night — Arizona’s inability to protect Palmer or open up holes for backs in the running game. Palmer was sacked six times — three alone by DeMarcus Lawrence, who feasted on the right side of the Cardinals’ offensive line manned by guard Evan Boehm and Veldheer. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Palmer, who posted impressive statistics nonetheless (29-of-48 for 322 yards and two TDs), pinned much of the blame on himself.“A couple of times, I didn’t get the ball out early or get the ball out fast,” he said. “That is a front you want to get the ball out fast on. You don’t want to be in situations where you are just holding it and holding it.“There was a number of times where I got to the third and fourth read and they did a great job. There were also times that I just held on to it too long.”Yes, there were a couple of times Palmer was culpable, but he can’t continue to a) take the physical punishment he endured Monday and b) cover for a patchwork, ineffective line.“Block better,” a direct Bruce Arians said after the game when asked what the line needs to do to improve. When asked if that was possible, he was direct again.“There ain’t nobody else in there, we’ve only got seven guys that are healthy so they’re the only ones who could play.”The Cardinals played without guard Mike Iupati and tackle D.J. Humphries and lost guard Alex Boone late in the contest with an injury. Daniel Munyer finished up at left guard for Boone. If Iupati, Humphries and Boone are unable to go Sunday against San Francisco, Munyer would likely become the Cardinals’ eighth different starting lineman in four games. Arizona’s defense forced a Dallas three-and-out and then methodically moved down the field again. On 3rd-and-5 from the Dallas 10-yard line, Palmer hooked up with Brown again, except this one wouldn’t count. A holding penalty on right tackle Jared Veldheer wiped out the play, and the Cardinals had to settle for a field goal attempt from Phil Dawson.What should have been a 36-yard consolation prize turned into a big pile of nothing as Dawson missed wide right — his third miss in as many weeks and a match of his total of misses from last season.Missed opportunity.The Cowboys (2-1) went three-and-out again and Dallas punter Chris Jones uncorked a 29-yard punt that gave the Cardinals possession at their own 44. They didn’t do anything with it.In fact, Arizona would manage only 19 yards in its next four possessions. You couldn’t expect Dallas to dilly-dally all night long offensively, and it didn’t.On a 3rd-and-1 from the Cowboys’ own 15-yard line, a blitzing Tyrann Mathieu missed a tackle on Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott, who escaped and uncorked a 30-yard run. The drive ultimately led to nothing on the scoreboard but woke the dormant Dallas offense up. They’d get on the scoreboard with 1:16 to go in the first half on an acrobatic running touchdown from quarterback Dak Prescott. That’s not exactly a recipe for success. – / 32center_img Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) looks at Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence after being sacked during the second half of an NFL football game, Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Top Stories The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelolast_img read more


Swiss telco and IPTV provider Sunrise Telecom has

Posted On Aug 7 2019 by

first_imgSwiss telco and IPTV provider Sunrise Telecom has named Libor Voncina as its new CEO. Voncina replaces Oliver Steil, who is leaving to pursue new opportunities.Voncina, 49, was previously head of mobile services at KPN Group Belgium and has also worked at Telekom Slovenia.last_img


US satcaster Dish Network is petitioning media reg

Posted On Aug 7 2019 by

first_imgUS satcaster Dish Network is petitioning media regulator the Federal Communications Commission to stop the Comcast’s planned takeover of pay TV rival Time Warner Cable.Dish itself it the subject of a rumoured multi-billion dollar merger with US telco AT&T, but claims its rivals would create “irreparable harm to competition and consumers” should the FCC greenlight the proposed US$45.2 billion deal.There would be three major “choke” points created by the merger, Dish argued. First of all, the enlarged groupwould be able to “impose anti-competitive data caps” on cable TV providers and OTT services such as Dish’s own platform and Netflix.This could be achieved by exempting Comcast/TWC content from the caps and restricting rival’s speeds so that consumers choose Comcast/TWC streaming products.Netflix is already locked in a heated battle with the US’s internet service providers over the speeds they provide for its popular service, claiming they “choke” streaming speeds. It is now paying for faster broadband access.Secondly, Dish sais OTT services and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) would also face having Comcast-TWC foreclose access to NBCUniversal programming in order to drive up prices.Furthermore, Dish said the merged group would be able to “coerce third-party content owners and programmers to withhold online rights from online video platforms, thereby stifling a crucial source of competition and innovation in the video industry”.“The rapid rise of broadband-powered online video services has been great for consumers,” Dish’s petition stated. “In many ways, we are in the Golden Age of video, but this Golden Age risks being cut short by the proposed transaction.”last_img read more


Da boyz can paint any chart picture they want…an

Posted On Aug 4 2019 by

first_img“Da boyz” can paint any chart picture they want…and the dumb-as-posts T.A. analysts gobble it all up.Well, it was pretty much the same, old same old on Wednesday as it was on Monday and Tuesday…down in early Far East trading…rallying once lunch time was over in Hong Kong…with a not-for-profit seller then showing up between the noon London silver fix and the Comex open in New York.This time the gold price was allowed to rise until around the London p.m. fix at 10:00 a.m. in New York.  Gold then got sold down about ten bucks by 10:45 Eastern.  Then at 12:30 the price attempted to rally strongly, only to get hammered flat by a not-for-profit seller beginning just minutes before 1:00 p.m. in New York…and by the 5:15 p.m. close of electronic trading…”da boyz” had the gold price back to almost unchanged from Tuesday.The high price tick of the day that came just minutes before 1:00 p.m. was quoted at $1,724.80 spot over at Kitco.Gold closed at $1,711.60 spot…up $1.20 on the day.  Volume was pretty decent at around 166,000 contracts net…and I’d guess that JPMorgan Chase et al did what they had to do to kill the price on the heels of the news from the FOMC meeting.  If you think that the noon rally in gold might have been short covering, you obviously haven’t been reading this column long enough to know better.It was pretty much the same story in silver, except the big rally around 12:30 Eastern time looked more like a NASA space launch…and JPMorgan et al really had to work overtime to put that fire out.  The high tick in silver was $33.92 spot…so silver had another intraday move of over a buck.By the close, JPMorgan Chase had peeled 47 cents off the high of the day…and silver closed at $33.45 spot…up only 45 cents.  Volume was a very chunky 46,500 contracts.The dollar index opened at 80.03…and then, like on Tuesday, hung in there until shortly after trading began in London…and then headed slowly south until around 7:30 a.m. in New York.  The tiny rally that began there, touched the 80.00 mark a couple of times…and then fell off the proverbial cliff starting at 12 o’clock noon Eastern right on the button, with the bottom [around 79.77] coming shortly before 1:00 p.m.  From that point it rallied a bit into the close…and finished the Thursday trading session at 79.89…down 14 basis points from Tuesday’s close.None of this currency action explains the price action of either gold or silver between the 10:00 a.m. Eastern time London p.m. gold fix…and the rally that began at 12:30 p.m.  If you have an explanation other than price management, I’d love to hear it.The gold shares gapped up…and stayed up…and the HUI finished up 2.56%…but was up well over 3 percent at one point.  The price action in the stocks appeared to be quite independent of the actual price action of gold itself…as the charts for each don’t even remotely resemble each other.The silver equities had a very decent time of it as well…and Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up a robust 2.43%.  Nick now has his Intraday Silver 7 chart up and running…hopefully permanently…and from now on, I’ll be posting it on weekdays…and both charts in Saturdays’ column.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 225 gold and 169 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Friday.  And it was all the “usual suspects” as issuers and stoppers…JPMorgan Chase, Bank of Nova Scotia…and HSBC USA.  The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV…and the U.S. Mint reported that they sold 4,000 ounces of gold eagles.Over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank for the period ending on December 10th…the reported that their gold ETF added 6,367 troy ounces…and their silver ETF showed a decline of 35,141 troy ounces.It was a quiet day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday, as they reported receiving only 2,000 troy ounces of silver…and shipped 30,690 ounces out the door.  The activity isn’t worth a look.Here’s a Christmas card that Nick Laird sent me late yesterday afternoon…and as you can tell, he spends way too much time in the bush.  But, having said that, I know that his holidays wishes are sincere…and I thank him on your behalf for all the great charts that have graced this column all year long.I have the usual number of stories for a weekday…and I hope you have the time to at least skim the parts of each one that I’ve cut and paste below.Clearly, I was not surprised with the massive commercial gold short covering [shown in last Friday’s COT Report – Ed] as this is the manner by which gold prices are determined. The commercials lure the technical funds in by allowing prices to rise and selling short as the tech funds buy…and at a time pre-determined by the commercials, they then rig prices lower to induce tech fund selling so that the commercials can buy back their shorted contracts at a profit. Means, method and opportunity. I would say that only the CFTC can’t seem to see this, but even that is not possible any longer. The CFTC can see it for sure; they just look the other way, to their everlasting shame. – Silver analyst Ted Butler…08 December 2012I don’t have a thing to add to what I’ve already said about the gold and silver price action at the top of this column.  JPMorgan Chase are fully in charge here…and they can and will do whatever they want until they can’t do it any more.  While they’re raping the precious metals industry…no one within it is going to raise a finger to stop them…not the World Gold Council, the Silver Institute…or the mining companies you own shares in…and by their very silence, they are all complicit in this whole sordid affair.If you look at the RSI indicators on the gold and silver charts, they’re in neutral territory…which means that prices could go either way.  But as I’ve stated many times over the last few years, “da boyz” can paint any chart picture they want…and the dumb-as-posts T.A. analysts gobble it all up like it’s the gospel.  Well, it ain’t.I note that the not-for-profit sellers showed up in the thinly-traded Far East market during their Thursday morning…and all four precious metals were dealt with in the usual manner by the high-frequency traders…with special attention paid to gold, silver and platinum.  The bullion banks are market neutral in palladium…but it got hit as well. If they would make themselves market neutral in gold and silver…gold would have a large 4-digit price…and silver would have a 3-digit price that would make your eyes water.And as I hit the ‘send’ button at 5:05 a.m. Eastern time, the prices of all four precious metals have stabilized at their new lows.  As is to be expected, volumes were immense for this time of day…over 45,000 contracts in gold…and 12,000+ contracts in silver.  Well over half of that volume occurred before lunch time in Hong Kong on their Thursday.  It’s obvious that there was big liquidation by the tech funds…as these engineered price declines forced them to puke up their long positions and allowed JPMorgan et al to cover shorts…or go long themselves.  The dollar index is trading sideways just below the 80.00 mark.I have no idea what “da boyz” have in store for us as the trading day moves into the New York session…but I’m less than impressed by what I see at the moment…and I must admit that I’m looking forward to the Comex price action with some fear and trepidation.  As I’ve said many times in the past, you must be emotionally prepared for anything…but don’t forget to buy the dips.See you on Friday. Sponsor Advertisement Great Panther Silver Limited, (TSX: GPR NYSE.A: GPL)headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, is a profitable primary silver producer operating two 100% owned mines in Mexico.  Over 94% of revenues are derived from unhedged precious metals production with approximately 74% generated from silver sales and 20% from gold.  Since entering production in the first quarter of 2006, the Company has seen five consecutive annual increases in revenues and provides strong leverage to future rises in precious metals prices. The Company has also been growing its resource and reserve base at both 100% owned operations. A new resource/reserve estimate is expected for the Guanajuato Mine Complex and the San Ignacio Project in the second quarter of 2012 and a new resource/reserve estimate for the Topia Mines during the third quarter of 2012. Great Panther continues to replace mined ounces, grow resources and reserves at both operations, and is targeting a 10 year mine live at each.For more information, please visit the website or contact Rhonda Bennetto, VP Corporate Communications, toll free at 1-888-355-1766 or by email at rbennetto@greatpanther.com.last_img read more


For the second time in three years life expectanc

Posted On Aug 3 2019 by

first_imgFor the second time in three years, life expectancy in the U.S. has ticked downward. In three reports issued Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laid out a series of statistics that revealed some troubling trend lines — including rapidly increasing rates of death from drug overdoses and suicide.CDC Director Robert Redfield described the data as “troubling.””Life expectancy gives us a snapshot of the Nation’s overall health and these sobering statistics are a wakeup call that we are losing too many Americans, too early and too often, to conditions that are preventable,” he said in a statement released Thursday.Redfield tied the drop in overall life expectancy, which averaged 78.6 years in 2017, a decrease of 0.1 from the year before, to the rise in deaths from overdose and suicide.More than 70,000 people died of drug overdoses last year alone, according to the CDC. That number marks a nearly 10 percent increase from 2016 and the highest ever in the United States for a single year. By comparison, only about 17,000 people died of overdoses in 1999, the earliest year for which the CDC offered data Thursday.Recently, that rise has been partly driven by the opioid epidemic and a sharp uptick in the number of deaths involving synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl — a stunning 45 percent leap in the span of a single year, from 2016 to 2017.”It’s striking to see that there are more people who died of overdose in 2017 than at the peak of the HIV epidemic or the highest rates of traffic fatalities that we’ve seen in this country,” Kathryn McHugh of Harvard Medical School tells NPR’s Richard Harris.At the same time, suicide rates have also steadily increased, according to the CDC, making it the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. — and the second most common cause of death for people ages 10 to 34. That age range dovetails with the data on drug use, which showed people age 25 to 54 dying at higher rates than their older counterparts.In other words, younger adults have largely been hit hardest by these trends.”We’re seeing the drop in life expectancy not because we’re hitting a cap [for lifespans of] people in their 80s. We’re seeing a drop in life expectancy because people are dying in their 20s [and] 30s,” McHugh said.Now, the reports released by the CDC did not offer only bad news. The data also reflect a declining rate of people dying of cancer, down 2.1 percent from 2016 to 2017.But in general, says William Dietz of George Washington University, the main themes of the reports are “very disturbing” — partly because deaths from overdoses and suicides are likely linked. Both may be caused by social shifts in the U.S. that have caused people to become “less connected to each other in communities,” he tells Harris.”There are some data to suggest that that’s led to a sense of hopelessness, which in turn could lead to an increase in rates of suicide and certainly addictive behaviors.”McHugh, too, sees a link between these two increasingly prevalent causes of death.”There has been an assumption at times that overdoses fit into one of two categories: they’re intentional or they’re unintentional,” she says. She notes that many people may have suicidal thoughts prior to an overdose or that others may take their lives to escape addiction. “There’s a tremendous amount of overlap between the two that isn’t talked about nearly enough.”Ultimately, she makes a similar point as the CDC director does: These are causes of death that should be preventable. And while efforts to combat the opioid epidemic “are starting to stem the tide,” she says, “we need to be doing much more.””It’s not enough to just try to keep this rate from escalating,” McHugh adds. “We need to start to see this rate going down.” CDC report on life expectancy CDC report on drug overdoses CDC report on suicides Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more


Footballs Premier League will break a pledge that

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgFootball’s Premier League will break a pledge that all of its stadiums would be accessible to disabled football fans by next August, despite its clubs spending more than a billion pounds on player transfers this summer.The Premier League, the governing body for the top 20 club sides in England and Wales, delivered a high-profile pledge last year that every one of its members would meet strict access standards by August 2017.But peers heard last week that seven Premier League clubs were set to break the pledge to meet standards laid out in guidance 12 years ago in The Accessible Stadia Guide (ASG).ASG includes guidelines on car parking, accessible information, the minimum number of wheelchair spaces for spectators, location of viewing areas for disabled supporters, and staff training.And today (Thursday), the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) revealed that the Premier League had acknowledged in meetings that many clubs would miss the August deadline.Lord [Chris] Holmes, EHRC’s disability commissioner and himself a retired Paralympian, said: “All clubs agreed to make the minimum recommended improvements for disabled fans over two years.“We are now at half-time, and for many teams, the performance is simply unacceptable.“Football teams are legally obliged under the Equality Act to ensure disabled fans are not disadvantaged.“Where it is found that little or no progress has been made toward improving accessibility, we will consider using all our strong legal powers to ensure compliance; all options are on the table.“We will be writing to each club to ensure they do not go back on their commitment given last year, and we will be receiving a report every six months from the Premier League on progress being made.”He added: “The English Premier League is the richest league in the world; in a year when club signings are reaching stratospheric levels, Premiership clubs simply cannot continue to leave disabled fans by the sidelines.”Joyce Cook, chair of the disabled supporters’ charity Level Playing Field, said there had been improvements by some clubs.She said: “Just like last season on the pitch, champions Leicester City are leading the way, while many other teams such as Manchester United have shown clear commitment towards reaching the ASG standards of accessibility by next year.”But she told Disability News Service (DNS): “It is quite simply time for Premier League clubs to do the right thing by its disabled fans.“You made us a promise and we are now counting on you to stay true to your words.“All we want is the right to follow the game we love – surely that is not too much to ask of some of the richest clubs in the world.”The Premier League’s promise to act on access – following a series of embarrassing media reports into the discrimination faced by disabled supporters – was welcomed last year as a “huge achievement” by the minister for disabled people, Justin Tomlinson.The Premier League also promised to deliver a progress report to the government by July this year.But Home Office minister Baroness Williams admitted last week that the government was “disappointed” by the progress report it had now received from the Premier League and would be asking for “a far more detailed report, giving a club-by-club breakdown”.Tomlinson, who has since been sacked, had promised that the government would publish the report.This week, nearly two months after the report was sent to his successor, Penny Mordaunt, the Department for Work and Pensions said it did not yet have a publication date and “can’t yet comment on the contents”.The Labour peer Lord Faulkner, LPF vice-president, has led parliamentary efforts to improve access to sporting events.He said he had been told that the progress report “says very little and contains no detail about the real progress at each club”.He told fellow peers last week: “The excuses being put forward by clubs as to why they will not meet this are, frankly, unacceptable.”He was particularly critical of three Premier League clubs: Liverpool, Watford and Crystal Palace.Last weekend, Liverpool opened its new main stand, which it says is “one of the largest all seater single stands in European football” and features “premium facilities for fans inside the stand”.But Lord Faulkner said the club “seems far more interested in providing general hospitality places than in installing sufficient disabled fans’ seats to comply with football’s own minimum standards”.He said Watford “seems to be removing disabled fans’ seats at a time when we should be seeing an increase”, while Crystal Palace “believes that it needs only to come up with a plan by August 2017”, rather than comply with the access guidelines.He said: “It is more than 20 years since the introduction of [the Disability Discrimination Act]: it is law that they are required to provide that accommodation, and it is disgraceful that they have not done so.”And he said it was “clear that the Premier League appears to have no intention to penalise or sanction clubs that do not meet the pledge”.Cook said today that some of the most “shocking” concerns were around the availability of wheelchair-accessible seating at West Ham United, even though the club has this season moved into the stadium which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies, and athletics, at the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and was widely-praised at the time for its access.She added: “With the Paralympic Games taking place currently in Rio, how can we talk of the positive legacy of London 2012 for disabled people in the UK when even the Olympic Stadium will no longer be fully accessible? It truly beggars belief.”A Premier League spokesman told DNS that the report it sent to the government “gave a general progress update without naming individual clubs”.He said: “We are not currently able to say what the situation will be in 11 months’ time.“Clubs are aware of the commitments they made and are working hard to improve disabled access in a variety of ways.“Clubs are working hard to improve their disabled access provisions at stadia and will continue to do so in the coming months and years.”When asked whether the Premier League would punish clubs that did not meet the pledge, he said: “We are not able to second guess what the position will be in August 2017.“Each club’s situation will be carefully considered at that time.”A spokesman for Watford said: “Watford Football Club is very confident in its ability to be fully compliant with the Accessible Stadia Guide by August 2017.“The club has worked and continues to work very hard to ensure that its stadium facilities can be enjoyed by all supporters visiting Vicarage Road.“We are fully focused upon delivering our part of the Premier League’s public commitment.”A Crystal Palace spokeswoman said: “Crystal Palace Football Club are fully aware of their obligations to meet the requirements of the Accessible Stadia Guide (ASG) and the deadline of August 2017.  “The club has met with architects, is working diligently on all aspects of the ASG and will continue to do so over the coming months.   “We have recently appointed a disability liaison officer who is maintaining regular contact with [the club’s disabled supporters’ association] and Level Playing Field and will work closely with them on this matter.”West Ham United and Liverpool had not commented by 11am today (15 September).15 September 2016last_img read more


Struggling high street businesses need to wake up

Posted On Jul 31 2019 by

first_imgStruggling high street businesses need to “wake up” to the need to communicate with disabled people and their potential £200 billion spending power, according to the founder of an accessibility information website.Dr Gregory Burke told Disability News Service that he still sees many of the same physical access barriers in high streets that he faced as a wheelchair-user when he launched DisabledGo 18 years ago, and that he believes disabled people’s quality of life has probably fallen during that time.In the two decades since he launched the business, it has grown to the point where it has 60 employees and is used by more than 1.5 million people each year to plan a visit or trip by checking detailed accessibility information on venues such as cafes, hospitals and cinemas throughout the UK.Burke (pictured) was speaking this week as DisabledGo launched a new website and mobile phone app and announced that it was changing its name to AccessAble*.In a survey released to mark the launch, 99 per cent of the disabled people and carers questioned said it was important to know about accessibility before visiting somewhere new, while almost as many (98 per cent) said they would search for accessibility information in advance.But only 14 per cent of people said they found the access information they were looking for and 80 per cent said they found the information they did track down to be inaccurate.Burke says he was still shocked by how little attention businesses paid to providing good access information about their services.He says: “What frustrates me the most is that businesses are resistant to communicating with a market worth £200 billion a year.“With high streets struggling, you would think most businesses would want to tap into that.“Businesses need to wake up. The disability market has always been here, but businesses need to wake up to it.”Burke started DisabledGo in 2000 after spending several years in hospital, rehabilitation and respite after a severe case of encephalitis as a teenager.He says it was only when he emerged after his rehabilitation that he realised that he was disabled. “Trying to access anywhere was fraught with difficulty and frustration.“I’m a pretty confident guy but I found that my social ambit was shrinking, was getting smaller and smaller and I wasn’t going out anywhere where I hadn’t been before because I couldn’t trust what the access was like.“If I did try somewhere new and it didn’t work out, which almost invariably it didn’t, that experience would eat in at me and eat at my confidence, and I was becoming more and more a hostage in my own home.”It was these experiences that motivated him to start DisabledGo.For the first couple of years, he travelled the country, listening to disabled people as part of a national consultation exercise, “asking why we were not more visible in society and in education and why we weren’t down the pub more.”What he was told was that society was generally inaccessible, but that there were many places that were accessible to some disabled people, if those disabled people could only find out about them.Burke says that listening to disabled people in this way has been at the core of DisabledGo’s success, with local steering groups set up whenever it produces an area guide “so local people can feed into what we’re doing all the time”.Nine years ago, he decided DisabledGo had reached a position where it was “very strong, very robust”, with multi-year contracts with a number of large businesses and organisations and an annual turnover of £2 million, and so he decided “to become a barrister and see if I can help people in a different way”.After just three years’ training, he was called to the bar and stepped down as chief executive of DisabledGo.He is now head of employment and discrimination at Seven Bedford Row, a leading barristers’ chambers in London.If he had one request of government, he says, it would be to set up an inspectorate to ensure businesses comply with the Equality Act.He says: “The Equality Act is a fantastic piece of legislation – most disabled people don’t realise how powerful it is – but if you have less favourable treatment from a service or a venue you have to bring your own civil claim and that’s exhausting and expensive and time-consuming and can be frightening, although it shouldn’t be frightening at all.“Most people are put off by it, so the government should recognise that just as we have a health and safety inspectorate, hygiene inspectorates and things like that, we should have an access inspectorate too.”Burke believes that disabled people’s “quality of life index” would “show a downward trend” 18 years on from the launch of DisabledGo, following years of cuts to state support and media reporting of “benefit cheats”, which he believes has had “a hugely detrimental impact on how society views disabled people”.He says: “To taint disabled people with the brush of a cheat or a scrounger is just plain wrong.”The AccessAble survey found that less than two-fifths (37 per cent) of the 845 disabled people and carers questioned thought that public attitudes to disability and access had improved in the last five years.But one thing that has changed disabled people’s lives for the better since 2000 is technology, he says, which had “always been a friend to disabled people”.He hopes that AccessAble’s new app will help disabled people who find that acquiring an impairment “can often feel like the death of spontaneity”.The website has always helped disabled people plan their journey before they left home, but the app will tell the user where the nearest accessible venues are when they are already out and about.Burke, who still owns AccessAble, hopes his team will double its reach to three million users a year by 2020.“We need to commit to changing a situation where disabled people and carers are being excluded from everyday life and recognise that access begins online,” he says.“Everyone’s accessibility needs are different. Providing trusted accessibility information should be seen as an integral part of providing a great customer experience.”*AccessAble is a DNS subscriber A note from the editor:Please consider making a voluntary financial contribution to support the work of DNS and allow it to continue producing independent, carefully-researched news stories that focus on the lives and rights of disabled people and their user-led organisations. Please do not contribute if you cannot afford to do so, and please note that DNS is not a charity. It is run and owned by disabled journalist John Pring and has been from its launch in April 2009. Thank you for anything you can do to support the work of DNS…last_img read more


Miamis airport wants to read your face You might be happy about

Posted On Jul 18 2019 by

Citation: Miami’s airport wants to read your face. You might be happy about that (2018, March 1) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-miami-airport-happy.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. Explore further Miami International Airport hopes that using new technology that is already familiar to millions of smartphone users could reduce some of the bother.MIA celebrated its newly renovated Concourse E federal inspection facility for international travelers. One of its main features: passport screening via facial recognition technology to verify travelers’ identities by matching them to the documents they present.”While other airports and airlines are partnering with (U.S.) Customs and Border Protection to test biometric exit screening for departing flights, MIA has the first facility fully dedicated to biometric entry screening for international arrivals,” said Greg Chin, communications director for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department.A pilot program at MIA began in November. That was a few months after JetBlue, with help from U.S. Customs, experimented with the technology in June for flights from Boston to Aruba. Delta also experimented with facial recognition at the baggage drop location at Minneapolis-St. Paul.During the pilot program, cameras in the boarding area capture travelers’ faces, which were scanned against the Customs database to locate a matching passport, visa or immigration photo.Singapore’s Changi Airport opened its new 21-gate Terminal 4 in October and it, too, uses the modern technology. In a November article in Travel Weekly, Sean Farrell, head of the biometrics team for the travel technology company SITA, said interest in the use of facial recognition at airports has grown globally.MIA said its new technology-driven facility in Concourse E has been able to screen as many as 10 passengers per minute. The airport also offers passport clearance via Global Entry kiosks and is one of 24 airports and one cruise port (Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale) that now accepts the Mobile Passport Control app.At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, which featured officials from the Miami-Dade Aviation Department and new aviation director Lester Sola, MIA also touted other aspects of its refurbished Concourse E to help reduce congestion at the busy airport. The new federal inspection facility reduces walking distance for Concourse E and F passengers who previously only had access to the Concourse D passport hall. Credit: Petr Kratochvil/public domain ©2018 Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. JetBlue, Delta will test biometric boarding passes Face it, going through airport security is a vital, but time-consuming pain in the you-know-where. read more


How humans and robots work sidebyside in Amazon fulfillment centers

Posted On Jul 18 2019 by

first_imgAmazon employees start their shifts passing through turnstiles and a sign reminding them what they can’t bring with them as they report for work alongside robots. Cell phones, belts, keys, and loose change must be stored away in one of hundreds of lockers by the break area at the West Deptford fulfillment center. Inside, 7.75-inch-tall robots that can carry up to 1,250 pounds and have no resemblance to the humanoid robots of science fiction help them do their jobs.The robots—effectively shelves on wheels—zip around at 5 feet per second inside a large cage on the second and third floors of a warehouse the size of almost 30 football fields.While Amazon hires tens of thousands of people in the process to staff warehouses like the one opened in September in Gloucester County, the Seattle-based company is also embracing automation and deploying robots to do work once done by humans. Critics and labor advocates worry that automation could replace human workers and that the machinery-rich Amazon warehouses are an unsafe working environment.”It’s not humans vs. machines at all,” Tye Brady, the chief technologist at Amazon Robotics, told the BBC this month. “It’s humans and machines working together to achieve a task.”Amazon has grown rapidly, from 20,700 employees in 2008 to 647,500 full-time and part-time employees last year. In West Deptford, the company said it has more than 1,500 full-time employees and uses more than 3,000 robots.Amazon’s net sales increased 31% last year to $232.9 billion and its net income more than tripled to $10.1 billion.”Despite these vast resources,” a report from the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health states, “there is little evidence the company has made a significant effort to address worker complaints about stress, overwork, and other conditions which can lead to illness, injuries and even fatalities.”Six workers have died at U.S. Amazon facilities or operations since November 2018, and 13 workers overall have died since 2013, according to the report.Amazon insists that its facilities are safe and that increasing automation does not mean it will hire fewer people.A 2017 report from McKinsey Global Institute estimated that automation could displace up to 800 million people globally by 2030, even as it acknowledged that automation can create jobs. Explore further Citation: How humans and robots work side-by-side in Amazon fulfillment centers (2019, June 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-humans-robots-side-by-side-amazon-fulfillment.html ©2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. ‘Little race cars’Items from Amazon or vendors make their way into the West Deptford facility on a conveyor belt and travel to the second floor where “stowers,” like Lisa Bailey, 51, of Camden County, work.She stands outside the cage of robots and scans products ranging from Amazon Fire Sticks to pretzels to Ziploc bags. The robot carrying a shelf full of cubbies waits patiently as Bailey fills it. Other robots are moving around behind it, traveling close to each other, but never colliding. Once Bailey finishes, the robot whisks the shelf away.”They look like little race cars,” Bailey said on Friday inside the air-conditioned facility.In the second-floor station next to Bailey, David Grieco, 45, of Lafayette Hill, is a “picker.” He follows instructions on a computer screen while removing items from the moving shelf, now paused in front of his work station. He scans items and places them in yellow plastic containers on a conveyor belt.Those containers travel down to the ground floor, where Tyleira Thompson, 22, of Sicklerville, “a packer,” puts the items into the cardboard boxes that will arrive on a customer’s doorstep.After taping them shut, Thompson places the cardboard boxes on another conveyor belt that takes them under a machine that sticks on the shipping labels before they go out into the loading zone, where trucks are filled for deliveries throughout the Northeast.In cities like Houston, Salt Lake City, Tampa, Fla., and Sacramento, Calif., employees are doing the same work alongside robots.The general manager of the West Deptford site, Roberto Miller, said the robots do monotonous tasks so employees can have more engaging jobs. While a human may have needed to lift heavy boxes before, now a large robotic arm does that work and the employee may work as a machine operator.The West Deptford site is Amazon’s fourth robotic fulfillment center in New Jersey, the company said. Amazon launched its operations in the state in 2012 and now employs more than 17,500 full-time statewide.Amazon has been in Pennsylvania since 2008 and said it has more than 10,000 full-time employees across the state.Amazon continues to hire, and has more than 150 openings in New Jersey, the company said.Amazon has a $15-an-hour minimum wage for U.S. employees. Full-time employees also receive health, vision, and dental, a 401(k) with a 50% match up to 4% of the employee’s income, Amazon stock options, and up to 20 paid weeks of maternity and family leave, and a program that allows employees to share that paid leave with their spouse or partner.Working conditionsWarehouse operators can boost the local economy by providing good-paying jobs with benefits, but Marcy Goldstein-Gelb, the co-executive director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, said Amazon is not one of those companies.Goldstein-Gelb, whose organization promotes safe and healthy working conditions, pointed to the group’s most recent “Dirty Dozen,” report on companies that put their employees at risk.For the second year in a row, Amazon made the list. Machinery killed two employees at an Amazon warehouse in Carlisle, Pa., three years apart, and another employee at a warehouse in Avenel, N.J., in 2013.In December, an “automated machine” inside Amazon’s facility in Robbinsville Township, N.J., hit a 9-ounce aerosol can of bear repellent, sending “strong fumes” into the air, Amazon said at the time. Two dozen workers at the Mercer County facility went to the hospital.”Amazon’s automated robots put humans in life-threatening danger today,” Stuart Appelbaum, the president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, said in a statement after the incident. “This is another outrageous example of the company putting profits over the health and safety of their workers.”Amazon says it is committed to providing a safe work environment. The company also takes suggestions from warehouse employees and will make changes.On the way to the break room, West Deptford employees pass a board with thought bubbles under the words voices in action. The changes spurred by employee recommendations are handwritten on the board and range from efficiency suggestions to workplace culture.”We heard you wanted cup holders for the tote tanks and we had them installed,” one reads.At the end of a shift, employees clock out and, as they exit the lobby, pass through one of four metal detectors. 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. Amazon offers to help employees start delivery businesslast_img read more


Alternative to Lakshman Jhula to be built soon says Uttarakhand CM Trivendra

Posted On Jul 16 2019 by

first_imgAlternative to Lakshman Jhula to be built soon, says Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh RawatUttarakhand government decided to build a bridge across the Ganga in Rishikesh as an alternative to the iconic Lakshman Jhula which was closed due to safety reasons.advertisement Press Trust of India DehradunJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 20:38 IST Lakshman JhulaHIGHLIGHTSLakshman Jhula is in a dilapidated conditionThe bridge was closed on Friday on the recommendation of a team of experts from IIT RoorkeeThey recommended immediate closure of the bridge to all traffic and pedestrian movementThe Uttarakhand government has decided to build a bridge across the Ganga in Rishikesh as an alternative to the iconic Lakshman Jhula which was closed due to safety reasons, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said on Saturday.The bridge was in a dilapidated condition and not capable of sustaining the load of traffic, Rawat said, adding that its closure was the only option left.Keeping the bridge open to traffic could have been risky, especially in view of the upcoming Kanwar mela during which thousands of devotees cross it daily, he told reporters.The bridge was closed on Friday on the recommendation of a team of experts from IIT Roorkee. They had recommended immediate closure of the bridge to all traffic and pedestrian movement.”A decision has been taken to construct a bridge over the Ganga in Rishikesh soon as an alternative to Lakshman Jhula,” the chief minister said.The opinion of experts will be taken on how to preserve the Lakshman Jhula as a cultural heritage site, he said.Built in 1923 over the Ganga, Lakshman Jhula is located five km northeast of the town and connects the two villages of Tapovan in Tehri district on the western bank of the river and Jonk in Pauri district.One of the main attractions for tourists and devotees coming to Rishikesh, the pedestrian bridge was also used by two wheelers.It was named after Hindu mythological character Lakshman as it stands where he was said to have crossed the river with the help of jute ropes.Parts of many successful Hindi movies and serials were shot at the Lakshman Jhula including Ganga Ki Saugandh, Sanyasi and popular detective serial CID.Closure of the bridge could also affect tourism as it was used by visitors bound for Tapovan and the famous Neelkanth temple near Rishikesh.ALSO READ: Rishikesh’s iconic Lakshman Jhula shut FOREVER after experts call it beyond repairALSO WATCH: CST bridge collapse case: Structural auditor’s bail plea rejectedFor the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySanjay Nirala Nextlast_img read more