Venezuela launches the Petro

first_imgVenezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, center, announcing the petro.The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela opened the pre-sale of the petro on Feb. 20. The value of each petro is equivalent to the current price of a barrel of Venezuelan oil, about 60 U.S. dollars. On March 1, Nicolás Maduro, the president of Venezuela, said that the pre-sale had brought in more than $3 billion. Public sale of the petro is scheduled for March 20.Last December, when Maduro first announced the plan to launch the petro, he said it is meant to break the U.S.-imposed financial sanctions choking the people of Venezuela. The petro, he said, would help Venezuela “make financial transactions and overcome the financial blockade.” It will give Venezuela some monetary sovereignty, he added.Sanctions enacted over the last year by President Donald Trump’s administration have blocked Venezuela’s ability to move money through international banks, interfering with oil exports and even slowing the country’s payments of debt obligations. The sanctions have also blocked the Venezuelan people’s credit and debit cards, as Visa, Mastercard and the others are all controlled by U.S. banks.The petro is a challenge to the U.S.-dominated world banking system and the imperialist controls used for economic and political domination of developing countries.On the website www.elpetro.gob.ve, available in Spanish and English, the petro is called the first state-issued crypto asset, and a white paper released on the site gives more details.What does that mean?The petro is a digital token based on the new blockchain technology — using a digital, decentralized ledger of all transactions, called blocks, that are linked and cryptographically secured. Blockchains are secure by design and being decentralized means that no central authority (like the big banks) is needed to authorize the transaction. Blockchain technology means that the petro is removed from financial institution manipulation, including U.S.-imposed sanctions.Bitcoin is the best known blockchain-based token, though unlike the petro, it is not an asset-based token. According to the Swiss regulatory body FINMA, tokens can have three functions: payment tokens, utility tokens or asset tokens. (tinyurl.com/ydz3f24w)Payment tokens like bitcoin are best known and also called cryptocurrencies. Utility tokens are used to provide digital access to an application or service. Asset tokens are tied to assets, and are similar to bonds.The petro is an asset token tied to Venezuela’s oil and mineral reserves. “The Petro (PTR) will be a sovereign crypto asset backed by oil assets and issued by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on a blockchain platform,” the white paper says.Venezuela is also pursuing other ways to circumvent the U.S. sanctions war on their country. They have established trade with China, Russia and Turkey, using each of those countries’ national currency, not the dollar. They are seeking similar terms of trade with other countries. For example, during a recent trip to India, Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza said, “We don’t want to use the dollar at all,” reported the Times of India on March 13. “We want to import technology, food products, and medicines by paying (Indian) Rupees and they will pay us (Venezuela) not in dollars but in Rupees.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Read More →

FBI seeks to find man seen near home of abducted 13-year-old Hania Aguilar, surveillance video released

first_imgLumberton Police(LUMBERTON, N.C.) — Investigators in North Carolina have released new surveillance footage showing a man they’d like to speak to in connection with the search for kidnapped 13-year-old Hania Noleia Aguilar.Surveillance video released Thursday shows a man wearing light-colored shoes, a light-colored shirt and a hoodie walking south on Lambath Road before making a left on Highway 41 toward the trailer park Monday morning, FBI Supervisor Andy de la Rocha told reporters Thursday afternoon.Two more videos were released by authorities on Friday showing separate camera views.The man was the only person seen walking in the neighborhood in that part of the day, De la Rocha said.Several cars were seen in the video driving past the man, De la Rocha said, asking anyone who may have seen the man to call the tip line.The man in the footage is not considered a suspect or person of interest at this time, De la Rocha said. Rather, he’s someone they “want to speak with” who may be able to help investigators narrow down a timeline.“This is the only person that, at this time, we are actually able to identify via CCTV footage, and he may have information for us,” De la Rocha said.The suspect drove away in Hania’s aunt’s SUV. The vehicle was recovered just before 8 a.m. Thursday but the desperate search for the girl continues.Hania was kidnapped just before 7 a.m. Monday outside her home at the Rosewood Mobile Home Park in Lumberton, North Carolina, according to Lumberton Police.Hania had grabbed her aunt’s keys that morning so she could go turn on the car before school when a witness saw a man — dressed in all black with a yellow bandanna over his face — approach the girl and force her into the car, police said.The suspect then stole the car and drove away with Hania, police said.As the search for Hania continues, the police department asks anyone who lives or owns a business on or around Quincey Road and has a video surveillance camera system to call the tip line at 910-272-5871.Investigators are also going “door-to-door” to talk to anyone who lives nearby, Lumberton Police Chief Michael McNeill said in Thursday’s press conference.“We urgently need the public’s help,” McNeill said. “We need them more now than ever to find Hania and bring her back.”When Hania was abducted, her relative ran to a neighbor for help, and at 6:54 a.m., they dialed 911, the FBI said.“We were going to school,” the caller said frantically, when a “man came and took the girl and the truck.”The caller spoke in Spanish and the dispatcher incorporated a translator into the conversation, the FBI said.There is no indication Hania was targeted, officials said.Hania is described as a Hispanic girl who is 5 feet tall and weighs about 126 pounds, the FBI said. She has black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a blue shirt with flowers and blue jeans.The FBI is offering a reward up to $15,000.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Read More →

What does a biostatistician do?

first_img Read Full Story Victor De Gruttola, chair of the Department of Biostatistics and Henry Pickering Walcott Professor of Biostatistics at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), recently answered three questions about the role of biostatistics in public health.What does a biostatistician do?A biostatistician’s work is driven by questions relating to the health of people—as individuals or members of population. For example, how might the benefit of a treatment vary based on an individual’s characteristics, such as genotype or exposures? Every research question poses a unique challenge. Biostatisticians consider the nature of information available from sources such as genomic studies or large medical discharge records databases, and then how the information was collected and what populations it represents. They also must consider whether the question can be answered with currently available methods or if new analytical methods are required, for example, to account for missing data or a complex interaction among the genes being observed. In close consultation with subject experts such as cancer biologists and infectious disease specialists, as well as those responsible for collecting the data, biostatisticians develop a study designs, advise on study contact, and apply quantitative methods to analyze the resulting data. Not only will research results be reported to the scientific community, but also new methods or software may be developed for application to future studies.last_img read more

Read More →

Asian Games Asian Games 2018: Sanjeev Rajput wins silver in men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Asian Games News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. Palembang: Indian shooter Sanjeev Rajput clinched a silver medal after letting slip early domination in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions event at the 18th Asian Games on Tuesday. The 37-year-old shot 452.7 to claim the silver medal, while China’s Hui Zicheng notched up the gold medal with a score of 453.3. Japan’s Matsumoto Takayuki bagged the bronze with 441.4.Rajput dominated the proceedings in the keeling and prone positions. However, an erratic show in the standing round put paid to his hopes of a gold.Also Read | Asiad Swimming: Virdhawal Khade betters own national record, qualifies for finalHe recovered from 7.8 in the third series of the kneeling position to end in the top position with a score of 151.2.Rajput continued his impressive run in prone, leading from start to finish after consistently shooting 10s. He had a total score of 307.1 after 30 shots.In the standing position, Rajput led after the first series with a score of 355.6 but his slide coincided with Zicheng raising the bar.Rajput had won the gold medal at the 50m rifle 3 positions in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. last_img read more

Read More →

CARICOM to meet with Dutch territories on association membership

first_imgCaribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary General Irwin la Rocque is to hold talks with officials in the Dutch territories of Curacao and Sint Maarten on the possibility of them gaining associate membership of the 15-member CARICOM grouping.A CARICOM Secretariat statement issued on Tuesday, March 6, said La Rocque had been mandated by regional leaders at their inter-sessional summit in Haiti last week to begin the negotiations as part of the “Enlargement Policy” of the Community.While it gave no date as to when the talks would begin, the statement noted that the discussions would “better determine their expectations of Associate Membership as well as what benefits this relationship could yield for the Community.”CARICOM leaders also agreed that “further consideration would be given to the applications from the French Overseas territories of Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guiana.”So far, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman islands and Turks and Caicos Islands, are the only associate members of CARICOM.last_img read more

Read More →

This Bomber team soars to Mount Sentinel Junior Girl’s title

first_imgThe L.V. Rogers Bombers junior girls volleyball team strung together an undefeated streak to capture the Mount Sentinel Junior Girls Invitational tournament on Saturday afternoon.The Bombers needed a come-from-behind effort over J.L Crowe in the tournament final to clinch the title.In a spirited opening game of the match, the LVR team fell behind early and despite a strong comeback late in the game fell short 25-23 in the best-of-three. A back and forth second game saw LVR setter Hanna Quinn serve for the game which went to the Bombers 27-25. “The girls seemed to struggle with focus in this match,” said Bombers coach Jennifer Kidd.“After beating J.L. Crowe twice in two sets in the round robin, I think they were a little over confident. Then when they were down by quite a few points they became nervous and started to scramble. They needed to be aggressive and trust each other.”The Bombers found the groove that helped the team win the round robin of the tournament in the third game. The LVR juniors came out with a 15-8 win when middle Bailey Stefani put away the match with a solid hit. “What an amazing finish to the weekend,” said Kidd.“The girls came together and worked as a team, not an easy task when you’re down a few points. They listened to us and to each other, they trusted each other and dug in to fight for each and every point to finish the match.”[Assistant coach] Megan [Rushton] and I are so proud of the determination shown by each of the girls.”The Junior Bombers will now travel to Nakusp on Thursday for a play day.last_img read more

Read More →

South African citizens get free access to national parks

first_img15 September 2015This week, all South Africans with a valid identification document can enjoy free access to most of the country’s national parks during the 10th annual South African National Parks (SANParks) Week. The week runs from 14 to 20 September.This initiative, a partnership between First National Bank and Total South Africa, was opened by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, with the theme “Know Your National Parks”. It was launched at Marakele National Park in Limpopo.National Parks Week was set up following the realisation that the majority of South Africa’s citizens were not visiting the country’s wildlife reserves, according to Fundisile Mketeni, the chief executive officer of SANParks. The reason for the week, Mketeni said, was to cultivate a culture of pride in all South Africans.“SANParks started this campaign to encourage all South Africans, especially those from the communities around the parks, to share in what SANParks envisions to be ‘the pride and joy of all South Africans and the world,’” he said.Source: SANparkslast_img read more

Read More →

Take My Wi-Fi, Please

first_imgTags:#home#home routers#routers#security#Wi-Fi#wireless networking Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement “Give me your phone!” “I told you three times, already!”This exact scene has played out several times in my house. The conversation has even more looping subroutines when it involves my parents. No one, it seems, can type in my complicated password on their tiny smartphone touchscreens. At least, not on the first or second try. That is about to change: I will no longer have a password on my home Wi-Fi.You’re welcome.A Win For The Sharing EconomyThe first thing that friends and family ask when they visit is: “What’s your Wi-Fi password?” No more. Now, anyone who enters my home—or ventures nearby—will have instant, unfettered access to all the World Wide Web has to offer.With my move to the tourist mecca that is San Francisco, I expect more guests and visitors, all of whom will probably ask to use my Wi-Fi with less bashfulness than they ask to use the bathroom.I don’t make houseguests sign in before “consuming” my water, electricity or heat. If neighbors need to borrow something—a cup of sugar, perhaps, or my lawnmower—they are welcome, no signature required. Why not bandwidth? My monthly cost for high-speed Internet is probably less than the value I receive as a homeowner by having happy neighbors who keep well-tended homes and look out for one another.Perhaps my simple act of sharing will improve life in the neighborhood, if just a little.Consider leaving my Wi-Fi network open my part in enabling the “sharing economy.”   “Just tell me your password again!” It’s not just service providers. Apple’s new AirPort Extreme, the company’s pricey new Wi-Fi router, lists “guest networking” as one of its core benefits:With the guest networking feature, you can set up a separate Wi‑Fi network just for guests. Use a different password or no password at all. A guest network allows access only to the Internet, so your primary network — including any external hard drive, printer, or other LAN-attached device — remains secure.And Apple’s far from alone. There’s a long list of routers that support guest networks. You just need to be willing to go through a brief setup process to configure your guest network—and you, too, can be out of the handing-out-passwords business. “Just give me your phone!” “No! Give me your password!” Not Afraid Of The Bad GuysI am not terribly concerned that “hackers” will somehow discover I have a unsecured connection and use it for nefarious deeds. Hackers already have access to bandwidth. Are they really going to show up in my neighborhood, where retirees seem to love nothing more than to putter outside during the day? Watchful neighborhood eyes peering out the windows late at night are more likely to expose a hacker that any network security tools I can install.My Wi-Fi network password contains—or once did—a capital letter, several numbers and a symbol. It’s unlikely the bad guys are even slowed down by this. Just last month, for example, we learned that the password that Apple generates for establishing an iPhone hotspot is, well, apparently very easy to crack:According to researchers at Germany’s University of Erlangen, the way that the (iPhone) keys are generated—with a combination of a short English word along with random numbers—is predictable to the point where the researchers are able to crack the hotspot password in less than a minute. Teenagers: Get Off My Virtual LawnThe only good reason to lock access to my Wi-Fi: teenagers.Nearly all teenagers have smartphones. The likelihood is that most have hard data caps for these devices. This means they rely on Wi-Fi for much of their streaming, photo uploading, video sharing, and general 24/7 connectivity.Having a teenager of my own has made me acutely aware of how today’s teens, fully and continuously connected to everyone on the planet via smartphone, have a legitimate problem contemplating the world beyond arm’s length. If there’s an open Wi-Fi connection available, odds are they will jump on, guilt-free and unconcerned about hogging some good Samaritan’s bandwidth.I’m no prude. Queries such as “Kate Upton nude video” or “guy who breaks leg on skateboard” don’t upset me. Rather, I am a bit worried that a gaggle of bandwidth-devouring teens might put me in the crosshairs of my broadband provider’s customer-service department. Or worse, their lawyers.Somewhat Afraid Of The LawyersWith my last network service provider, I (unknowingly) agreed to an “Acceptable Use Policy.”  I have mightily edited their very direct stipulations. Acceptable use comes with numerous limits (my highlights in bold).You agree not to use the Service for or in the pursuit of illegal purposes.You agree not to directly or indirectly allow a third party to use the Service in an illegal or unsuitable manner.You agree not to use the Service for harassment, threats, verbal abuse, and persistent unwanted contact of any kind.  You agree not to post or transmit fraudulent information on or through the Service.  You agree not to post or transmit any unsolicited material through any active medium such as email, chat, messaging, chain letters, advertisements, jokes, etc.  You agree not to post or transmit any disruptive content. This can include, but is not limited to, material that is considered obscene, offensive, or extremely controversial.  This Service is intended for personal, periodic, and active use of the World Wide Web, email, news groups, games and file transfers; You may stay connected so long as You are using the Service for this purpose.You will not use continued and sustained excessive bandwidth as defined by the TDS Terms of Service in connection with Your use of the Service. You may not resell the Service or redistribute or reconfigure the Service to allow others to use the Service in an illegal, fraudulent or inappropriate manner.Interpretation will be at the sole discretion of TDS.Can I trust my neighbors—and their children—to abide by the rules I have signed up for? Always? Honestly, I don’t know. I am prepared to take that risk, however. Somebody has to start this.Pay It ForwardIn fact, it seems that a movement toward open access has already begun. At least, in baby steps. Last month, Comcast unveiled a plan where its Xfinity home routers will provide Wi-Fi service to the paying customer’s home at the same time that it broadcasts public access to Wi-Fi. (The router will partition the two networks so the public doesn’t have access to the customer’s local network.)Access to “roaming” Xfinity customers will be offered free. “Guests” are offered two hours per month for free—with the option to pay for additional hours. Comcast says this plan will not affect paying customers’ access or bandwidth. A lot of places that used to charge for Wi-Fi are now offering it as a freebie. Connectivity is becoming as indispensable for a business as bathroom facilities, possibly as important as heating and air conditioning. Starbucks, which used to charge, went free years ago. I suspect these venues are realizing that it costs far more to collect payment and handle customer support than to simply offer this amenity—which, by the way, makes it easier to use their mobile apps and services. Target and Macy’s are offering free Wi-Fi: If you can’t find something in their stores, you’ll order it online, on your phone—but probably on their online stores, which are heavily promoted when you log in. It turns out there’s money in this free Wi-Fi idea.The Power Of NetworkingIf businesses can treat their customers—”guests,” as Target likes to call them—this well, why can’t we treat our actual guests as hospitably when we invite them into our homes?A guy named Bob Metcalfe invented Ethernet, the networking protocol that powers Wi-Fi. He also coined Metcalfe’s Law, which says that “the value of a telecommunications network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the system.”That sounds good, though I can’t see what direct value I’ll get by opening up my Wi-Fi. I just know that I get to be a good host, and cut out one everyday hassle. The network will take care of itself, if we just drop this pointless barrier. Images courtesy of Flickr user angermann, Wikimedia and Apple Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … brian s hall Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Read More →

In Sundance Movie Paddleton, Limited Space and Time Yield A Genuine Bromance

first_imgDP Nate Miller used some choice road movie tricks with a close-knit team to let Ray Romano and Mark Duplass shine in Netflix’s latest dramedy.One character in Paddleton, which premiered this year at Sundance, was a troublemaker behind the scenes. It was not Mark Duplass‘s middle-aged cancer patient, nor his reforming pessimist neighbor, played by Ray Romano. It was the boxy, red, ’90s-model Nissan Sentra the pair drives for much of the film.“Of course it was the tiniest thing they could find,” laughs DP Nate Miller.Greg Hatton, Nate Miller, and Tadd Sackville-West on the Paddleton set. Photo by Patrick Wymore (courtesy of Netflix).Quarters had to be close for Paddleton‘s misfit duo to convincingly — and clumsily — bond over a six-hour road trip to pick up a prescription that will end Duplass’s character’s life before cancer kills him. With barely enough room in the car for one camera and a person to operate it, the crew removed the Sentra’s passenger seat at one point. Miller insisted that director Alex Lehmann, also a DP, shoot a key scene requiring a 180-pan. Miller watched from a follow car as Lehmann directed the actors and maneuvered the Canon C700FF on a Bazooka. The take shot by the director is the one in the movie.“The whole idea with the film was to make this thing feel as real as possible,” Miller says. “I really love that shot.”The DP was already a close comrade of Lehmann’s. They go back a decade as colleagues, and worked together on Lehmann’s fictional feature debut Blue Jay (2016), also starring Duplass. Miller’s comfort with Paddleton’s creative team and small crew extended to the tools he used. He estimates they shot half the movie handheld, on a Canon C700FF that felt natural on his shoulder.“It was a very improv-heavy film, so we shot with two cameras,” Miller says. “We shot the whole thing in fourteen days, which is kind of crazy — especially for a road movie. [Time is] always the biggest challenge. One thing that I really like to do is be able to shoot the B-roll and all the establishing shots myself. I always try to fight for extra days, usually at the beginning or the end — it’s super important to the story, to let these images of the locations give you a feeling for the place.”Ray Romano and Nate Miller on the Paddleton set. Photo by Patrick Wymore (courtesy of Netflix).Paddleton’s vistas belong to a city outside Los Angeles called Solvang. Known for wineries and Danish heritage made plain in the architecture, Solvang also had a motel-esque apartment building to house Duplass and Romano’s characters, who are simply friendly neighbors before a terminal diagnosis pulls them closer. The two actors are dear friends, Miller observed, and the DP saw Romano flex his strength for dramatic roles even as his character leans on humor as a coping mechanism while his buddy suffers.The style of cinematography remains simple for the raw truths nestled in Paddleton’s comedic ploys. Still, the in-the-moment quality of handheld shots that sometimes linger is deliberate. Miller hopes audiences can feel the relationship unfold as the characters begin to lean on one another, living out a friendship they know will soon expire.“You feel the camera breathing with them,” Miller says.Paddleton hits Netflix February 22nd.Looking for more industry news and insight? Check out these articles.Round Table: Three Film Composers Converge on SundanceTom Cross on Editing First Man and Working with IMAX FootageThe Supervising Sound Editor You’ve Never Heard of Is Quietly Saving MoviesInterview: Adam Salky on Directing Projects with Powerful Emotional ThemesSet Photographer Matt Kennedy on Shooting for Marvel and Morelast_img read more

Read More →

Rain in Punjab and Haryana to boost wheat crop

first_imgWidespread rain during the last two days in Punjab and Haryana is expected to boost wheat crop sowing this rabi season, officials and experts told The Hindu.An expected drop in minimum temperature during the first week of December would also help the temperature-sensitive wheat crop, which needs cold conditions to thrive.Rain and thunder showers at most places in Punjab and at many places in Haryana during the past 48 hours have brought cheer to farmers, especially the wheat growers who were in for another round of irrigation this month. The west Uttar Pradesh region also received isolated showers, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).“The current active wet spell over Punjab and Haryana is mostly over and thereafter the weather conditions are likely to improve with an expected fall in minimum temperatures in the first week of December,” said Surinder Pal, Director at the India Meteorological Department, Chandigarh.According to government data, in Punjab 75% of wheat sowing has been completed. The total sowing in the State is expected to be around 35 lakh hectares during the ongoing rabi season. In Haryana, wheat has been sown on nearly 18.05 lakh hectares so far. Both States are major contributors of wheat to the central pool.‘Welcome showers’“These are welcome showers. Sowing of wheat had started in early November and now it has reached the crown-root initiation stage. For farmers who have sown the crop in early November, it’s time for second irrigation of the crop, and hence, the rain has come at the right time. If at this stage the crop is not irrigated, it could result in less yield,” Anand Sharma, Deputy Director General of the Agromet Advisory Service Division at IMD said. Wheat is sown between late October till December while the harvesting starts from April onwards.last_img read more

Read More →