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first_imgThere are a few Android tablets out there right now, and some — like the Samsung Galaxy Tab are even pretty good — but it’s still not very contentious to say right now that Android isn’t very good for tablets. Heck, even Google has said as much.And that’s the whole point of Android 3.0, aka Honeycomb. Google recognizes that making a good tablet operating system is not just about making the display bigger: people use tablets in different ways than they use smartphones, and even the simple act of making the display larger can stress to breaking even the most robust operating system.Honeycomb, then, is a landmark release for Android tablets… one that will make all of the tablets that came before look chunky and half-baked by comparison. But what about smartphones? Will Honeycomb be a similar radical leap for Android smartphones as it will be for Android tablets?Google today has confirmed that it will not. Why? Because Honeycomb isn’t coming to smartphones. It’s a tablet only release.This is coming as a surprise to some, but it’s actually not much of one. Apple, for example, originally released the iPad with iOS 3.2, which never came to the iPhone. Instead, the iPad and iPhone branches of iOS were reunited months down the line under iOS 4.1.The same thing is going to happen here. Google is going to get Android up and running with tablets, then unify both branches of the Android code base later down the line. That’s not to say that some of the more appropriate functionality of Honeycomb won’t be coming to Android smartphones sooner, though: Google’s already promising some gradual feature roll-out of Honeycomb’s more smartphone-specific perks.Read more at PC Maglast_img read more

first_imgBack in November 2009 Epic Games decided to make its Unreal Development Kit completely free to use. That way it could be picked up by an individual or indie team with little to no money to spend on their first project.Epic is in the business of making money, though, so while the engine was free to use some royalty payments kicked in after a time. Non-commercial use remains free forever, but if you sold a game Epic would start claiming a 25% royalty after said game had accrued more than $5,000 in revenue.AdChoices广告While it still allowed a developer to make some serious cash with a popular game, $5,000 was still quite a low threshold for royalty payments. So yesterday Mark Rein, CEO of Epic, announced on the Unreal Development Kit forums that the threshold for royalties had been lifted. Now instead of $5,000 a game can earn $50,000 before Epic want a cut.In the post Rein explains:We’re really excited about folks making some amazing things with UDK and we realize that a lot of you are just started in the business so not having to pay royalties on your first $50,000 should help you get a financial footing toward building a quality game development business. Developers using the Unreal Engine are understandably very happy about this news, which some are appropriately stating is “epic”.Read more at Unreal Development Kit forums, via Gamesindustry.bizMatthew’s OpinionEpic clearly see this free access to the Unreal Engine as an investment in the future. Those developers using it today for free may be paying customers in the future with large teams of developers requiring a license.The threshold increase also makes sense from a long-term viability standpoint. If a small developer starts losing 25% of its income past $5,000 then the chances of them growing are cut. Give them $50,000 per game, though, and there may be money in the bank to fund a new, and bigger project. In the end Epic end up with more paying customers who have grown out of this program.last_img read more

first_imgDo yourself a favor. Go to Twitter, log in, click the Settings link in the upper right hand corner, tick the Always use HTTPS box, and then hit Save. The microblogging service last night announced that, thanks to public outcry, it has improved security with the addition of an always-on HTTPS option.The feature is particularly helpful when using the service over Wi-Fi and other public networks. Even with the feature enabled, however, mobile browsers won’t default to the secure connection–users need to go directly to for that. According to a blog post, Twitter is working on a solution that works across the sites.AdChoices广告The need for a secure connection received a good deal of public attention earlier in the month after actor Ashton Kutcher’s account was hacked [see: above], sending out pro SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) messages to his 6.3 million followers.last_img read more

first_imgLate last week, Metacritic — the popular review aggregate site for games, movies, music and more — began to rank game developers with a number. It was a move that sparked a lot of controversy. Essentially, the way Metacritic’s developer review algorithm worked was by averaging the scores of all the games that developer had worked on. That was problematic enough: it’s one thing to say that a game sucks based upon its numerical score and quite another thing to say that a developer sucks, or is bad at his job, based upon the review scores given to games he has worked on. There are tons and tons of talented game developers toiling away at companies making shit games, because they aren’t the decision makers. It’s got to be demoralizing enough to have worked on poorly reviewed games, let alone be told you suck an equal amount as the average of all the games you have worked on put together.The other problem, though, was in what those numbers might have been used for. Game publishers already use Metacritic averages to determine whether or not to pay out bonuses to game developer companies… is the next step to deny a hard working person a raise based upon his Metacritic developer average?It was just a bad idea all around. Luckily, Metacritic’s caved and removed the ranking. It may just be a temporary move, though, as Metacritic Games head Marc Doyle is saying that they’re pulling the developer ranking feature primarily because their database of developer credits isn’t yet good enough to provide accurate ratings.. not that rating human beings numerically is a bad idea to begin with. Read more at Metacritic [via Rock Paper Shotgun]last_img read more

first_imgJuly 1st has come and gone, and sales of the HP TouchPad have officially kicked off. Not everyone is quite as excited as Russell Brand, however — reviews of the TouchPad have been mixed so far. One of the common knocks against it is the fact the tablet’s performance felt a bit sluggish at times, which is a bit of a surprise considering that there’s a dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor under the hood.Help could be on the way, however, if a leaked presentation slide is an accurate indication of what HP has up its sleeve. As soon as August, there could be two additional TouchPad models to choose from. Apart from a 4G enabled version that will ride on AT&T’s cellular network (which features 32GB of internal storage), there’s also a beefed-up 64GB model coming.AdChoices广告The 64GB TouchPad features a pair of additional tweaks apart from that increased storage capacity. A second leaked slide indicates that the model will sport a glossy white back as opposed to the original black one — which is notoriously bad for attracting fingerprints.But it’s not what’s outside that really counts. Inside, the new white, 64GB TouchPad will pack a 1.5GHz processor. That’s a pretty substantial bump from the original 1.2GHz and one that should make a world of difference in terms of the device’s overall performance.There’s also mention of HP’s OPAL tablet in the presentation, which is reported to be a 7″ TouchPad. HP has managed to keep the more diminutive version relatively hush-hush up till now. No hardware specs have been revealed and no leaked images have appeared, though that will no doubt change as launch day approaches. OPAL is due to arrive sometime this fall.Read more at PreCentrallast_img read more

first_imgLenovo’s getting in on the gadget reveal action, too, and has outed a pair of new Android tablets to add to its IdeaPad line: the A2107 and the A2109.First up is the A2107 (above), a rugged little device which sports a 7-inch 1024 x 600 display. In terms of visuals, it’s more on par with the Kindle Fire than the Nexus 7. It also matches up with the Fire in terms of speed, with a dual-core 1GHz Cortex A9 chip under the hood. One thing Lenovo is offering that Amazon doesn’t is mobile Internet: the A2107 features support for both WCMA and GSM networks. Wi-Fi-only configurations will be offered, too, as will storage capacities of 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB — and all models will include a microSD slot for expandability.Its specs aren’t mind-blowing, but Lenovo’s hoping that the special “roll cage” design (which makes the A2107 more capable of handling falls) attracts a few people. That, coupled with its (probably) budget-friendly price point could make the IdeaTab A2107 an attractive option for some shoppers when it arrives next month.The A2109 is the bigger brother, measuring nine inches across its 1280×800 display. It’s also packing a lot more muscle, with a quad-core Nvidia Tegra 3 chip clocked at 1.2GHz, just like the Nexus 7. There’s a serviceable 3MP camera on the rear and a 1.3MP unit on the front, 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, micro HDMI output, and GPS for navigation. Like the A2107, this model features Lenovo’s roll cage design, and it’s clad in aluminum for added protection.Both tablets yield about 8 hours using Wi-Fi, and Lenovo’s got a Smart Cover-esque folio for each in case you’d rather not leave all the damage prevention duties up to the tablets’ internal design. Pricing still hasn’t been announced, but it’s generally expected that Lenovo will make sure these new IdeaPads are affordable, whatever that means in 2012.More at Engadget  and Lenovolast_img read more

first_imgIn celebration of surpassing 25 billion apps downloaded by in the Google Play Store, Android users will be able to take advantage of a wealth of content available at a discount for the next few days. This sale is similar to the one Google ran when the company breached the 10 billion download mark, but now includes content from the new services that have been added since that last sale. Some of these sales include 25 apps at 25 cents, and collections of digital content across their movies, books, and music collections.If you’ve never purchased any digital content from Google, this sale is a good reason to check it out. The “25 albums that changed the world” collection includes everything from Daft Punk’s Discovery album and Snoop Dogg’s Doggystyle, to Patsy Cline and John Coltrane collections. The “25 banned books” collection is a set of 99 cent books ranging from Albert Einstein to The Werewolf of Paris. Google has also put together a collection of movies at prices that are moderately discounted from the usual pricing, which includes new titles like Battleship as well as popular comedies like Superbad and Pineapple Express. The collection also includes some family friendly titles like the Lorax, Hugo, and TinTin. Most of the movie deals only apply to rentals, leaving the full price for anyone who wants to buy and own the films.All of the content purchased from the Google Play Store is available to watch on anything connected to your Google Account, which includes most web browsers and all Android devices that are Play Store certified.The star of the sale is, of course, the 25 cent apps that are available through the weekend. There are plenty of games in the sale, like Angry Birds Space Premium and Symphony of Eternity. There are a couple of great productivity apps as well, especially OfficeSuite Pro 6 which is usually prices at $15.In previous sales Google has cycled out different apps every day to offer more options to those interested in trying out new apps for 25 cents, but so far all of the apps that were available yesterday are still available today. It’s interesting to note that almost every app that is on sale for 25 cents in the Play Store is also on sale for 25 cents in the amazon App Store, so even Kindle Fire users can take advantage of some of this promotion.After the 10 billion download milestone, Android enthusiast Shen Ye predicted almost to the day that Google would reach 25 billion downloads. Using the same technique he used to estimate the last milestone, Shen’s graph puts the 50 billion download mark at the end of June 2013. Given the even increasing number of Android device activations each day, it would be very exciting to see Google pass 50 billion downloads next June.last_img read more

first_imgYou’ve most likely been grounded a couple times in your life, or at least punished in such a way where you were prevented access to your favorite forms of entertainment. As punishment for not finding a job in favor of playing his favorite Chinese online games, Xiao Feng’s father sought out and hired in-game assassins to grief his son to the point where he wouldn’t want to play anyway.Though the 23-year-old was still allowed access to his games, his father’s hope was that actually playing them would leave such a bad taste in his mouth that he would finally get proactive and seek out employment. Each in-game assassin Mr. Feng hired was of a higher level and stronger than his son’s character, so his son wouldn’t have much of a chance of fending them off and continuing to play like normal.Xiao had bad grades in school due to video games taking up too much of his time, but he managed to land a job at a software development company. However, he was only able to hold it down for three months, claiming the job just wasn’t for him.Mr. Feng didn’t want to ruin his son’s leisure time, but couldn’t think of a better option to get him off the computer and searching for a job. Xiao told his father that he wasn’t actually addicted to video games, and is simply taking his time looking for the perfect job. For some reason, his father was relieved by that answer. So, next time your parents or significant other tells you to put down the controller or to close Steam and do some chores, just tell them that you’re waiting for a chore that better suits your needs, then keep on leveling.via Kotakulast_img read more

first_imgUsing a Pinoccio board — a web-ready microcontroller complete with WiFi and built-in radio — and a Pololu 3pi — an adorable little two-wheeled robot that is connected to a programmable microcontroller — the folks at Pinoccio have created the Web Rover, a system that allows you to control the 3pi robot over the web.The team attached a Pinoccio board, dubbed the Scout, to the 3pi, which communicates with another located nearby, called the Lead Scout. The Lead Scout is connected to the internet via WiFi, and logged into a Pinoccio API topic that provides access to the control of the 3pi robot. To control the bot, messages pushed to the API topic are grabbed by the Lead Scout, then sent to the Scout attached to the robot, which adheres to the command. The pushed messages aren’t typed commands, but are accelerometer movements from your iPhone.To log your iDevice into the rover controller, simply load this webpage on your iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Mac laptop (if it has an accelerometer), then click on the “Enable Driving” button. You can’t actually drive Pinoccio’s rover using that link, but the app shows you how receiving and understanding the accelerometer messages works.Pinoccio states that though driving the rover is only a demo, it isn’t just limited to within the company’s own local wireless network, and they drove the Web Rover in real-time from over 6,200 miles (over 10,000 kilometers) away. If you could gain access to the Pinoccio API topic and had an iDevice with an accelerometer, you could drive the rover around — easy peasy.As for the future of the Web Rover, the team says that sensors may be added to the robot that could deliver real-time data across the internet, effectively creating a roving security bot. If you’re interested in the Web Rover, head on over to Ingiegogo and check out the board’s funding campaign. You can also build your own rover (scroll to the bottom of the page), but it requires pre-built parts (such as the 3pi robot), and some coding know-how.last_img read more

first_imgIf you’ve ever spent much time in an area with large predatory birds, you know the fear: small family dogs, packed in harnesses with convenient happy meal handles on the back, carried off by a squawking death bomber from above. It’s often astonishing how much weight can be carried on such small wings, but at least eagles don’t have any sort of agenda. Keeping safe from birds of prey is as easy as keeping an eye on your Jack Russell — how will you keep things safe from a drone that can do the same thing?The latest in a long string of awesome and terrifying drone technologies is a grappling flier with all the speed and maneuverability of a normal quad-copter together with the deadly accuracy of an eagle-inspired “dual articulated gripper.” Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania designed their gripper drone after observations from slow-motion footage of predatory birds swooping to grab up prey. For instance, they found that the grab was much more successful after they incorporated the the claw back-swing seen in eagles immediately after contact with their target.Possibly applications for this tech are practically limitless. A reliable flying grasper could be revolutionary for bomb disposal or even a quick-and-dirty disarmament of a gunman. However, it could be just as adept at dropping off as picking up, conjuring images of grenades dropped through skylights. They could also be combined with small, sturdy robots designed for espionage, they could make them a very powerful insertion tool for surveillance equipment.It’s the swoop action that is on display here, however, the ability to acquire a small object without breaking movement. As with real birds of prey, this is primarily useful for grabbing surprised targets before they can react. It’s unlikely this sort of tech will be deployed with talons for attacking people; more likely, the only “live” targets these drones will see are other, smaller drones.Hunter-killer aerial robots sent out to neutralize an enemy force? That’s the stuff sci-fi dreams are made of.last_img read more

first_imgUbisoft has been more than happy to show off footage of its next-gen titles, and in particular Watch Dogs. We’ve already got to see some extended gameplay, but last night Jimmy Fallon continued his Video Games Week by getting to play the game on PS4, and so giving us a fresh look at it.What you see is 5 minutes of the gameplay we already know exists in the title–a mix of hacking, surveillance and action sequences. But what this quick demo does show off quite nicely is how it all flows together.The whole sequence of watching a mugging take place and then giving chase demonstrates how open the world of Watch Dogs actually is. It also shows you the choices on offer. You can decide to do nothing and watch the crime happen to its conclusion, you could intervene and let the guy run off and just receive the woman’s thanks, or, you can do what Fallon does and give chase on foot and then in a car.I think some people were concerned this game might turn out to be a bit boring due to the focus on hacking, but gameplay clips like this paint a different picture. It looks like you can make the game as exciting and tense as you want it to be, or take a step back and focus more on the less action-based gameplay. If anything, hacking is more of an auto-action for mundane tasks like controlling cameras or gaining access to a building.The other thing to notice is how great the game looks, and there’s no loading or noticeable slowdown on display even though you seem to be covering quite a large distance by the end of the demo. Yes, Ubisoft would have made sure the gameplay wasn’t interrupted knowing millions of people are watching, but hopefully that’s going to be the case for the entire game.last_img read more

first_imgMonitoring your pulse while doing a workout can produce some interesting data about your overall fitness and how to go about improving it. That’s why products like the Nike+ FuelBand have appeared and become popular. But wearing an extra device just to monitor your health may seem like overkill to a lot of people, but soon there could be an attractive alternative.Japanese global research institute The Kaiteki Institute and venture capital company Bifrostec Inc. have managed to integrate pulse monitoring functionality directly into earphones. So if you exercise while listening to music, you get the added bonus of pulse monitoring for free. The news gets better, though, as you don’t need to buy an expensive pair of new earphones to take advantage of this feature–it works with any and all earphones apparently.In order to record pulse waves, pressure changes within a person’s ear are monitored through the earphones by using them like microphones. The problem is, previously you would have needed a completely enclosed space in order to detect the changes. You can’t guarantee that when wearing earphones as their design and placement vary so much, so the development team worked around the problem and in the process developed new signal processing tech.The Kaiteki Institute’s solution takes into account there may be ambient noise present and filters it out. All that is required is whatever device your earphones are connected to having the signal processing software installed, and therefore any earphones can be used. The same tech has also been implemented in a ring-like device you can wear on your finger and that uses a MEMS microphone.As many people listen to music while they exercise or travel around on bike or foot, a pulse monitoring app for smartphones using this tech is sure to be popular. If you sit at a desk all day listening to music, this system should also work on your PC.There’s no mention of commercializing the tech just yet, but Kaiteki is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi, so there’s every chance it will be pretty swiftly.last_img read more

first_imgGardaí in riot gear involved in stand-off with two detainees at Oberstown detention centre last night The incident happened at 10.30pm last night. 17,247 Views Dublin Fire Brigade was also called to respond. There were no injuries and investigations are ongoing.Earlier this year, it emerged a review of the Oberstown campus will take place following a series of high-profile incidents.The review will be conducted by two international experts and will focus on the capacity of the centre to deliver high standards of care for young people detained there.Read: Strike likely to go ahead as rank-and-file gardaí unanimously reject proposals >Read: CNN parts company with Democrat analyst over debate question leaks to Clinton > 34 Comments By Garreth MacNamee Share225 Tweet Email1 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlecenter_img Image: Eamonn Farrell/ Image: Eamonn Farrell/ RIOT POLICE WERE dispatched to the Oberstown detention centre last night after two teenage boys escaped from the facility and climbed a roof.Gardaí said the incident happened at 10.30pm yesterday and that Dublin Fire Brigade was also called out to deal with the incident on Halloween night.The two boys would not come down from the rooftop for over three hours.A ladder was placed against a wall in a bid to entice the teenagers to come down to safety.A garda spokesperson said: “Gardaí were called to the Oberstown detention centre last night to deal with an incident involving two males who escaped from the centre. Tuesday 1 Nov 2016, 7:47 AM Nov 1st 2016, 7:47 AM Short URLlast_img read more

first_img 10 Comments Image: Carol Rosenberg via PA Feb 15th 2018, 9:01 PM By AFP The Army value of the week on display in Guantanamo’s Detention Zone on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in a photo approved for release by the US military. Image: Carol Rosenberg via PA The Army value of the week on display in Guantanamo’s Detention Zone on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018, in a photo approved for release by the US military. Share22 Tweet Email1 Guantanamo ‘prepared’ for new inmates: US admiral Obama had tried to shut down the detention centre.center_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 10,566 Views Short URL A TOP US military official said the prison at Guantanamo Bay is “prepared” to take new detainees, but has not yet received the order to do so.President Donald Trump last month signed an executive order reversing his predecessor Barack Obama’s ultimately fruitless 2009 directive to shutter the much-maligned US prison centre.“We have 41 detainees who are there right now. We are prepared to receive more should they be directed to us,” Admiral Kurt Tidd, who oversees the military’s Southern Command that includes Guantanamo, told lawmakers.“As of today we have not been given a warning order that new detainees might be heading in our direction, but our responsibility will be to integrate them in effectively.”US military officials have been openly discussing the fate of Islamic State group detainees, mainly foreign fighters, held by US-backed militias in northern Syria.Guantanamo has not received any new inmates since 2008 but on the campaign trail, Trump vowed to load the facility with “bad dudes,” and said it would be “fine” if US terror suspects were sent there for trial.During his State of the Union speech in January, Trump said IS captives would in “many cases” end up in Guantanamo.© – AFP, 2018Read: The weapon allegedly used in deadly Florida shooting is known as ‘America’s rifle’ > Thursday 15 Feb 2018, 9:00 PMlast_img read more

first_img Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Tributes paid to Ranelagh restaurant manager who died in Spain Keith Lawless ran Dillingers restaurant in Ranelagh. 16 Comments Feb 7th 2017, 10:55 AM By Cliodhna Russell Others posting on social media praised Lawless as a “very special person”, “a gent” and a “tremendous friend”.One commented: “What an amazing soul…. An example for others to follow”.Friends of Lawless have set up a crowdfunding page to raise the money to bring him home, and are just over a quarter of the way to their target.It’s understood that he became ill after he was separated from friends while on holiday.A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs told that the government is aware of the case and the department is providing consular assistance to the Lawless’ family.With reporting from Sean Murray.Read: Man found with explosives on bus in Dublin is jailed for 7 years> Source: StreetSmart Ireland/Twitter Share17 Tweet Email2 Keith Lawless Source: Dillingers via TwitterUpdated 10.55am 7/2/17TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to Keith Lawless, an Irishman who died in Barcelona, Spain after falling ill on Saturday night.Lawless ran Dillinger’s restaurant in Ranelagh in Dublin, and the venue’s social media account led online tributes to the 44-year-old.They posted:RIP Keith Richard Lawless. Our colleague, a son, a brother, a father and friend to many. Legend.center_img RIP Keith Lawless… It’s with shock and saddness we offer our condolences to Keith’s family and all the staff of…— StreetSmart Ireland (@StreetSmart_ie) February 6, 2017 Everyone at Ranelagh Gaels passes on our sympathies to the familiy and loved ones of Keith Lawless, who ran Dillinger’s, who died recently.— Ranelagh Gaels GAA (@ranelaghgaels) February 7, 2017 Tuesday 7 Feb 2017, 10:55 AM Source: Ranelagh Gaels GAA/Twitter Short URL 73,468 Views last_img read more

first_img 11,261 Views Share14 Tweet Email ‘They got Tom Brady though’ – Even at 21-0 up, one Atlanta player was still nervousSarah Keane elected as the new president of the OCI SOUTH AFRICAN RUNNER Caster Semenya is in line to take the 800m title from the 2012 Olympic Games after Russian athlete Maria Savinova was stripped of her gold medal.Savinova was also banned for four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) who found her “to have been engaged in using doping” from July 2010 until August 2013.”Savinova won the race in a world-leading time of 1:56.19, beating the South African favourite into second place.In 2013, another Russian, Elena Arzhakova, was found to have violations in her biological passport and was suspended backdated to July 2011. She had finished seventh in the race.Then, in 2014, Savinova was filmed by Yulia Stepanova — the Russian doping whistleblower — admitting to injecting testosterone and taking another banned steroid.This prompted a World Anti-Doping Agency investigation into the country’s athletics programme and, following further evidence of widespread drug use, the Russian track team was suspended from all international competitions, including the 2016 Olympic Games.Savinova’s disqualification also means that her compatriot, Ekaterina Poistogova, will be promoted to silver while Kenya’s Pamela Jelimo will take bronze.The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us! Savinova celebrates her win. Feb 10th 2017, 1:11 PM 11 Comments By Steve O’Rourke Caster Semenya in line to take London 2012 gold after another Russian is banned 800m winner Maria Savinova has been banned for four years by the Court of Arbitration for Sportcenter_img Savinova celebrates her win. Image: Anja Niedringhaus/AP/Press Association Images Friday 10 Feb 2017, 1:11 PM Follow us: Image: Anja Niedringhaus/AP/Press Association Images Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URLlast_img read more

first_img Image: Shutterstock/Stacey Newman Saturday 11 Feb 2017, 3:00 PM Bank of Ireland says ‘vulnerable and elderly customers’ won’t be affected by latest changes Customers will be told to use online banking or a self-service option when accessing certain services. Feb 11th 2017, 3:00 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article 33 Comments By Nicky Ryan Short URL Image: Shutterstock/Stacey Newman 23,427 Views BANK OF IRELAND (BoI) has said older customers will not be affected by the bank’s latest move to automate more services.From Monday, customers will no longer be able to make inquiries over the phone to a member of the bank’s staff about their recent transactions or to check their bank balance.Queries about foreign currency will also be affected.Instead, customers will be told to use online banking or a self-service option.“Vulnerable and elderly customers will still be facilitated for all of the above through the call centre as normal,” the bank said in a statement, meaning they will still be able to speak with a member of staff.More complex account-related queries will still be facilitated through the call-centre. Customers can still drop into a branch for transaction information, and foreign currency, where this service is in place.“Book an appointment’ is not impacted by this migration of service and will continue to be serviced over the phone.” Source: Leah FarrellBoI has not informed all customers directly of this change, instead opting to inform those who call their local branches and were then provided with information about the upcoming changes.The bank has kept a focus on digitising its services in recent years. Just last month it was announced that a new paperless mortgage protection service is now available.Previous attempts to modernise traditional banking in-store haven’t been met well. An attempt in late 2015 to restrict the amount of cash handled in branches was rowed back after criticism from the likes of the Minister for Finance and Age Action.Read: These are the reasons why KBC has decided not to leave Ireland >More: Maintenance fees, contactless and ATM charges – here’s how much you’re paying your bank > Share Tweet Email1 last_img read more

first_img Apr 24th 2017, 7:48 PM Share3 Tweet Email 34 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article A victim of a suspected gas attack in Idlib. 10,140 Views By AFP Monday 24 Apr 2017, 7:48 PM The United States is sending a strong message with this action that we will hold the entire Assad regime accountable for these blatant human rights violations in order to deter the spread of these types of barbaric chemical weapons.The Treasury’s action followed the US military’s firing 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield on 7 April to punish the government and set a warning against any further chemical weapons attacks.“These sanctions are intended to hold the Assad regime and those who support it – directly or indirectly – accountable for the regime’s blatant violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention and UN Security Council Resolution 2118,” Mnuchin said.The attack on Khan Sheikhun was also debated in the UN Security Council. But Russia, a close ally of Assad, vetoed a resolution on 12 April demanding the Syrian government cooperate with an investigation of the attack.Assad has denied the attack, branding it a “fabrication” by the West.The US Treasury already had imposed sanctions against 18 Syrian officials in January. The sanctions effectively aim to shut those targeted out of global financial networks, making it difficult for them to do business or even travel.Mnuchin said the administration “will relentlessly pursue and shut down the financial networks of all individuals involved with the production of chemical weapons used to commit these atrocities”.- © AFP, 2017Read: ‘So, uh, what’s been going on since I’ve been gone?’: Obama returns to public spotlight> A victim of a suspected gas attack in Idlib. Image: Depo Photos/ABACA Image: Depo Photos/ABACA US blacklists Syrian chemists over deadly sarin gas attack It is one of the US’s largest-ever sanctions announcements. Short URL THE US GOVERNMENT put 271 Syrian chemists and other officials on its financial blacklist today, punishing them for their role in the deadly chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town in early April.In one of its largest-ever sanctions announcements, the US Treasury Department took aim at the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), which it said was responsible for developing the alleged sarin gas weapon used in the April 4 attack.The attack left 87 dead, including many children, in the town of Khan Sheikhun, provoking outrage in the West, which accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad of being responsible.The sanctions include a freeze on all assets in the United States belonging to 271 individuals on the blacklist, and block any American person or business from dealing with them.Military linksAccording to the Nuclear Threat Initiative, a Washington-based think-tank, the SSRC is Syria’s leading scientific research centre, with close links to the country’s military.The centre itself was already the subject of two sanctions declarations, in 2005 and 2007, due to its alleged role in developing weapons of mass destruction.The Treasury said in a statement today that the SSRC is specifically behind the Syrian government’s efforts to develop chemical weapons and the means to deliver them.The 271 either have specific scientific expertise for the programme or have been involved in it since 2012, it said.“These sweeping sanctions target the scientific support centre for Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad’s horrific chemical weapons attack on innocent civilian men, women, and children,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.last_img read more

first_img Apr 27th 2017, 1:20 PM 10,714 Views Government approves selling parts of Irish TV to Irish diaspora newspaper The exact amount of the sale isn’t known. Short URL Thursday 27 Apr 2017, 1:20 PM 13 Comments Share10 Tweet Email2 By Gráinne Ní Aodha Source: gnepphoto/ShutterstockTHE GOVERNMENT HAS approved the sale of parts of the now-defunct Irish TV to a newspaper for the Irish diaspora in Britain.Irish TV, the short-lived station based in County Mayo, went into liquidation late last year after collapsing under millions in losses.The London-based Irish Post announced that it was buying digital and intellectual property from Irish TV, which includes the station’s business name, business databases, website domains, social media and extensive video content library.The sale was awaiting the go-ahead from the state’s competition regulator, which has been officially approved today by the Minister for Communications Denis Naughten.The exact amount of the sale isn’t known.Competition regulator Communications minister Denis Naughten. Source: Sam BoalThe Competition and Consumer Protection Commission cleared the proposed merger on competition grounds, with the Minister notified of the approval in March of this year.The regulator’s examination included determining the merger’s potential effect on the plurality of media in the state.As a result of this examination the Minister made a determination this Wednesday that the proposed media merger will not adversely affect the plurality of media in the state and, as such, that it may be put into effect.Founded in 1970, The Irish Post is a media brand focused on the Irish in Britain. It manages a weekly newspaper and a website.Read: The Irish Post is going to take over parts of Irish TV after its closureRead: Liquidator appointed to oversee wind up of Irish TV Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_img 12 Comments LAST WEEKEND, SESAME Street announced the introduction of its first character with autism, a little red-haired puppet called Julia. Source: Sesame StreetIt underlined the US children’s show’s thoughtful approach to educating children, and on bringing the experiences of different types of people to the screen. Those involved said that there was much discussion about how to do it right.“The big discussion right at the start was, ‘How do we do this? How do we talk about autism?’” Sesame Street writer Christine Ferraro told US TV show 60 Minutes.It’s tricky because autism is not one thing, because it is different for every single person who has autism.Julia’s puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, happens to be the mother of a son with autism, and said: “It’s important for kids without autism to see what autism looks like.”Here in Ireland, a study from the National Council for Special Education found that 14,000 students have an autism diagnosis. That’s one in every 65 students, or 1.5% of the school population.Sixty three percent of students with autism attend mainstream schools, while 23% attend special classes in mainstream primary and secondary schools, and 14% attend special schools.Sesame Street isn’t the first show to depict someone with autism or asperger’s – or who displays traits common to autism or asperger’s. Others include:Maurice Moss, in The IT CrowdAbed Nadir in CommunityBrick Heck in The MiddleMax Braverman in ParenthoodWill Graham in HannibalSaga Noren in The Bridge/BroenDr Sheldon Cooper in the Big Bang TheorySherlock Holmes in SherlockLegion in X MenNot all of these characters are diagnosed as having autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, and there are varying opinions as to how successful they are in their spoke to two people with asperger’s who explain that not only is it important that people with autism or asperger’s are represented in popular culture, but that it’s not done in a damaging way.‘If you meet one person with autism, you meet one person with autism’Adam Harris (brother of Health Minister Simon Harris) has Asperger’s Syndrome and works in educating people about autism and asperger’s. He welcomes the news about Julia in Sesame Street, but hopes people realise that those with autism or asperger’s are all very unique individuals.“I particularly welcome the fact this is for young children – the earlier we talk and the earlier we give the information, the better,” he said. But at the same time, Harris noted that children can be very open about the idea of autism and Asperger’s. Source: RTÉ via YouTube“Kids don’t see difference. What happens between when they are small children and we are adults? Our attitude changes so much.”“Children will be the champions of this inclusion and hopefully they will be able to educate the whole family,” he said.Harris said that while it is good that Ireland is mainstreaming people with autism into the community, he believes “we don’t mainstream our discussion of autism”.This has the effect of almost creating a taboo around the issue, he indicated. That’s where his organisation AsIAm comes in. It works to provide information about autism while educating and empowering people- and providing a sense of community too.Harris said that there’s a saying: “If you’ve met one person with autism you’ve met one person with autism. None of us are the same.”All the time you meet people who think every person with autism can count cards like Rain Man, that every person at autism is a wizard at maths like Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory. That is not the case and it’s important that people understand that.And yet, Harris understands why these stereotypes can appear. “It’s a challenge if you try and portray any minority,” he said. “[But] it’s about trying to get the message across while not stereotyping.”Damaging depictionsWhen done wrong, Harris said that a depiction of a person with autism/Asperger’s Syndrome can have negative effects.“I think it can be extremely damaging. You see positive examples and negative examples. Because everybody’s experience of autism can be different,” he said. “For example, the book the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, I think it’s a good depiction, but is that everyone’s experience? No.”He singled out the Ben Affleck movie The Accountant as being particularly egregious in its depiction of autism.“I’ve never been more frustrated watching it in the cinema,” said Harris. “I didn’t know what the takeaway message was. It was very damaging, it very much associated autism with violence.”This viewpoint is also shared by Cork-based Dr Stuart Neilson, who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at the age of 48. It was a relief for him to finally get a diagnosis, though it happened late in life (he’s now 53).“The one I hated was The Accountant,” he said. “I thought it was really, really awful and dangerous.” In particular, he questioned the fact that in the film, Ben Affleck’s character deliberately exposes himself to things which affect him negatively in a sensory way.He feared there could be “quite well-meaning versions of responses to that film that are harmful”.Harris describes it as a “real responsibility” for people working in popular culture to be responsible in how they portray people with autism.“We already have to face so much stereotyping and misunderstanding and misinformation,” he pointed out. “It is important that the popular media doesn’t make it worse.”Doing it wellNeilson said that while Sesame Street enables children to learn how to respond and play with a child who has autism, what is being missed in the discussion is how a child with autism themselves would feel.“The one they haven’t talked about is Julia looking at herself on screen and saying ‘that’s me’,” he said. ”It’s really critical being able to see yourself in the films you see.”He believes films like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Adam, My Name is Khan, and the book Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close did this well.So too did a book by an Irish author. ”I read a lot of fiction and I don’t see a lot that I see myself in. I think the one that I really loved in the last 10 years is Sara Baume’s Spill Simmer Falter Wither,” he said. The book has a 57-year-old protagonist who is described as “weird” but not given an official diagnosis.“She said she didn’t want to have a diagnosis because it’s not related to the story, but you can see his traits,” said Neilson. “When I was reading that I thought ‘oh, that’s so much like parts of my life’. My life has turned out very differently because I have a very supportive family. But for him, his family is ashamed of him… I could imagine the outcome of that.”In the study Representations of autism in the media: perspectives in popular television shows, Katie Dowdy of the University of Arkansas said that previous studies by Safron (1998) and Draaisma (2009) “successfully assert that interpretations of individuals with autism are frequently exaggerated in the media as a way of captivating audiences rather than providing authentic portrayals of the disorder”.By accepting these stereotypes as the norm, people will expect individuals with autism to manifest some type of “special skill” during their encounters. By not living up to the idealized image, the people with autism become a “diminished capacity” (Draaisma, 2009) in the eyes of the typical developing person.She noted how important YouTube vlogs (video blogs) have been in showing the variation of personal narratives of autism. These put the story into the hands of the people that it directly affects.Big Bang Theory Source: YouTubeOne of the most commonly-known depictions of what appears to be autism is Sheldon Cooper in Big Bang Theory. He’s a super-nerd, played by Jim Parsons, who though a genius lacks social skills and the ability to recognise sarcasm or irony.The creator of Big Bang Theory has said that Sheldon Cooper wasn’t conceived to be a character with autism, but he’s clearly a person those in the ‘aspie’ community believe does share traits of autism.Neilson described Cooper as a stereotype, saying: “I think some of what he does is very dangerous as far as stereotype goes”.Neilson attends a service in Cork called Aspect, for people with autism or asperger’s, and they’ve had many discussions about Sheldon Cooper. One of the aspects they dislike is his wealth.“In the series where he’s going down and trying to choose a games console, ‘should I buy a games console?’ Our clients can’t do that, our clients would be discussing where they can trade in their last cartridge. He’s not representative. They are also all white apart from [one character], and they are all male unless you consider Amy as an honorary person with autism.”Neilson has also noticed people misusing the phrase ‘aspie’ like they would OCD. “Now people are saying ‘I had an aspie moment’ and they don’t have asperger’s at all, but they’re saying it because they pick it up from Big Bang Theory and the way people respond to the Big Bang Theory. I think that’s harmful… It trivialises it.”But he does note the absence of girls and adults in depictions of autism and asperger’s in popular culture. Much of this relates to the first studies of autism, which only focused on boys. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man Source: YouTubeHe said he was shocked to hear that some universities still use Rain Man as a means to teach students about autism. In this film, Dustin Hoffman plays a man with autism who has mathematical and observational abilities that aren’t shared by everyone with autism.Neilson would advise anyone who wants to write about or depict someone who has autism or Asperger’s Syndrome “to spend time with people who have the diagnosis they are writing about, to have an understanding, and maybe to go to the environment they are writing about”.In his work, Harris said that most people he meets don’t want to discriminate against people with autism. But he said that often people “don’t have the information to understand what it is like to have autism or to know someone who has autism, because so many challenges are misunderstood.”People were mainstreamed in a “very Irish way”, he said: “We’ll do that but let’s not talk about because it is awkward.”Harris pointed out that what people might not realise is that people with autism or asperger’s can learn to adapt to their environment once they have support. However, they “will always need certain things”.Bringing about change “will take time” and means people should be “willing to do things a bit differently”, he said.What do you think about this issue? Tell us in the comments.Read: Column: I have Asperger’s and I like being “different”> By Aoife Barry Short URL 14,146 Views Mar 26th 2017, 7:45 AM Share163 Tweet Email5 Sunday 26 Mar 2017, 7:45 AM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article ‘Some people think that every person with autism is like Rain Man, or a wizard at maths’ Representations of people with autism can be full of stereotypes.last_img read more