After an external review of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, an Interim Associate Dean has been appointed.Heather Gordon (MSc ’83), Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and a member of the Centre for Biotechnology, has been named to the position. She started a one-year term in the role on Sept. 1.Heather Gordon has been appointed the Interim Associate Dean in the Faculty of Graduate Studies.“Heather is an experienced administrator and graduate supervisor,” said Faculty of Graduate Studies Dean Diane Dupont. “I am delighted to be working with her over the coming year.”Gordon has been the Graduate Program Director for the Department of Chemistry and recently served as Graduate Program Director for the Biotechnology program.Having received her undergraduate degree at Trent University, her master’s at Brock and her PhD at the University of Guelph, Gordon also completed Postdoctoral fellowships at the National Research Council of Canada, as well as at the University of Toronto and Queen’s before starting at Brock in 1999.Incoming Interim Provost and Vice-President, Academic Greg Finn said the Associate Dean role will oversee the academic operations of the Faculty of Graduate Studies, allowing the Dean to focus on strategic planning and to be more involved in the senior administration decision-making process.The University will soon begin a consultative search process, following the Faculty Handbook, to find the next Associate Dean.
Britain is apparently talking less. That is the takeaway from a landmark report that found people are talking to others less on their mobile phones for the first time ever. Ofcom says the popularity of messaging services such as WhatsApp, Skype and Snapchat – all of which can be used to make calls as well as send messages – has slashed the amount of time spent on traditional mobile voice networks. In the first fall since data collection started, total outgoing mobile call volumes dropped by 2.5 billion minutes last year to 148.6 billion minutes, the regulator said. “When I talk to young people as part of my research very few of them ever use their phones to call,” Dr Joanne Orlando, Researcher…
FILM MAKER COLIN Brady has shone a light on the world of sign writing in his new short documentary, Gentlemen of Letters.The film features places you’ll recognise and some of the most important names in sign writing, from Kevin Freeney, who you may have read about here before to current favourite Maser. Source: Colin BradyPics: 11 shop fronts from a different Ireland>Pics: Beautiful vintage film signs from Dublin’s Ambassador cinema>
Des archives de la Royal Navy pour retracer l’évolution du climatGrande-Bretagne – Les responsables de OldWeather.org viennent de lancer un nouveau projet participatif axé sur l’environnement. Le site Internet demande à des bénévoles britanniques de passer en revue les journaux de bord de la Royal Navy, pour avoir une vision plus claire des données météorologiques du siècle dernier. Le projet consiste à retracer les périples de 280 navires à travers ces journaux de bord conservés (qui couvrent la période 1905 – 1929) et à retranscrire toutes les informations utiles qui concernent la météo. L’objectif est d’en savoir le plus possible sur l’évolution du climat. Selon le docteur Peter Stott, qui s’occupe de la surveillance du climat au service de météorologie du Royaume-Uni, “ces données historiques sont vitales, car elles nous permettent de revoir nos modèles de surveillance du climat de la Terre : si nous parvenons à déterminer comment la météo se comportait dans le passé, nous pouvons alors mieux préparer le futur”.La plupart des informations recueillies viennent de stations météo terrestres qui les ont enregistrées systématiquement pendant plus de 150 ans.A la clé, pour les bénévoles qui souhaitent se lancer dans l’aventure, une promotion qui peut aller jusqu’au rang de capitaine du navire en fonction du nombre de pages retranscrites. Le 25 octobre 2010 à 18:36 • Emmanuel Perrin
L’itinérance mobile de moins en moins chère en EuropeLa Commission européenne veut faire baisser le coût des appels passés et reçus à l’étranger sur un téléphone mobile. Mercredi, elle présentera une nouvelle série de propositions destinées à régler ce problème de surfacturation.Quiconque a déjà essayé d’appeler ses proches depuis un mobile lors d’un voyage à l’étranger a pu s’en rendre compte : d’un autre pays, le coût des appels est bien plus élevé que celui des appels nationaux. Une différence qui est loin d’être justifiée selon la Commission européenne, qui a décidé d’intervenir. Cela fait plusieurs années déjà qu’elle multiplie les initiatives auprès des opérateurs pour tenter de faire baisser les tarifs. Depuis le 1er juillet dernier, les opérateurs sont donc soumis à de nouveaux plafonds fixés à 35 centimes la minute pour les appels passés et 11 centimes pour les appels reçus. À lire aussiOwnFone, le téléphone simplifié au maximumNéanmoins, la Commission européenne juge l’amélioration encore insuffisante et a décidé de présenter mercredi un nouveau projet de règlements. Selon Les Echos, elle proposerait par exemple une séparation des factures pour les appels internationaux. Autrement dit, l’abonné d’un opérateur national aurait la possibilité d’opter pour un des opérateurs étrangers du pays dans lequel il séjourne. Le changement d’opérateur pourrait alors se faire rapidement et sans changer de carte SIM. En attendant que le projet voit le jour, en 2014 s’il est adopté, la Commission européenne compte à nouveau baisser les plafonds des tarifs appliqués et pas seulement pour les appels.Dès juillet 2012, elle souhaite introduire un plafond supplémentaire, cette fois-ci, pour l’Internet mobile en itinérance. Aujourd’hui, alors que le mégaoctet dépasse rarement les 5 centimes à la maison, le prix moyen appliqué est de 2,23 euros quand le réseau de l’opérateur n’est pas le même, comme l’explique le site des Echos. D’ici 2014, la surfacturation globale pratiquée par les opérateurs devrait ainsi considérablement baisser.Le 4 juillet 2011 à 17:31 • Emmanuel Perrin
35 Photos Now playing: Watch this: NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens. Comments China’s voyage to the far side of the moon 17 4:14 Share your voice According to Andrew Jones, a journalist reporting on the Chinese space program, Chang’e 4’s descent required “laser ranging and optical cameras for navigation, velocity and coarse hazard avoidance.” Practically, this meant Chang’e 4 was on its own as it descended to the surface with its important scientific payload, on a side of the moon marked by rugged terrain.Navigating to the far side poses a unique communications challenge. Sometimes known as the “dark side” of the moon, even though it does receive sunlight, the far side never faces the Earth because of tidal locking. That means budding human (or robot) explorers have to find a way to establish and maintain radio contact.The probe also sent back images taken during the landing process. China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images To communicate with the Chang’e 4 mission on the moon’s surface, the Chinese space agency launched the Queqiao relay satellite into a halo orbit over the dark side of the moon in May. The satellite overcomes the communications challenge, allowing the lander and rover to phone home, via relay, and send scientific data back.Both the rover and the lander are equipped with a suite of instruments that will allow the Chinese space agency to study the geology of Von Karman crater, including three cameras. The ancient crater, part of the 13-kilometer-deep South Pole-Aitken (SPA) Basin, is believed to hold material kicked up from deep within the lunar soil due to an impact early on in the moon’s life, providing new insights on what makes up its interior. The lander also carries seeds and silkworm eggs within a sealed container and will examine whether the two lifeforms can thrive on the moon.Chang’e 4’s intended landing spot is the Von Kármán crater, an ancient impact crater around 186 kilometers in diameter. NASA/GSFC/Arizona State University Other instruments, developed by Swedish and German engineers, will allow the lunar robots to better study solar wind, charged particles that burst forth from the sun’s atmosphere. Payloads were also provided by partners in the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.The last lander on the moon was Chang’e 4’s predecessor, Chang’e 3, which soft-landed in a crater known as the Mare Imbrium in December 2013. In January 2014, the rover underwent a mechanical control abnormality and ceased to transmit data in March 2015. However, the lander remains on the near side of the moon. Fifty years after NASA astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin set foot on the lunar surface, the moon really is the place to be in 2019 with various international space agencies are ready to explore Earth’s only natural satellite. Chang’e 4’s mission is slated to last a year, but a subsequent lunar exploration mission — Chang’e 5 — is scheduled to launch toward the end of the year. If successful, it would be the first mission to the moon to return samples since Luna 24 in 1976.CNET’s Sean Keane contributed to this report.First published on Jan. 2 at 8:05 p.m. PT.Update, Jan. 3 at 3:02 a.m. PT: Adds first photos from lunar surface. This is the first image of the moon’s far side, taken by China’s Chang’e 4 probe. China National Space Administration/Xinhua News Agency via Getty Images Humans have landed a spacecraft on the far side of the moon for the first time in history.China’s Chang’e 4 spacecraft achieved the milestone at 10:26 a.m. on Jan. 3 in Beijing (6:26 p.m. PT on Jan. 2), with the country’s space agency landing its lunar probe in Von Karman crater on the moon’s mysterious far side. Official word was provided at 12 p.m. local time (8 p.m. PT) by Chinese state media service CCTV.Chang’e 4 sent back the first photo of the lunar surface a few hours later, via the relay satellite Queqiao (Magpie Bridge), according to the state-run China Global Television Network. Tags Apollo 11 moon landing: Neil Armstrong’s defining moment The then-deleted confirmation of #ChangE4’s touchdown reached Weibo in no time, and folks are confused.Well maybe they are just waiting for someone to officially open the floodgate? Just like in any opening ceremony you need someone to cut that ribbon. pic.twitter.com/cdCibk7J4y— YE Quanzhi (@Yeqzids) January 3, 2019 The Chang’e lander brought a rover with it to the moon. Xinhua Launched on Dec. 7, the Chang’e 4 craft comprises both a lunar lander and a six-wheeled rover. The spacecraft entered lunar orbit on Dec. 12 before preparations for landing nudged the spacecraft into an elliptical lunar orbit, getting as close as 15 kilometers (around 9 miles) from the surface.Unlike NASA’s history-making mission to Mars in November and the agency’s flyby of the mysterious Kuiper Belt Object 2014 MU69 on New Year’s Day, China’s landmark landing wasn’t televised. Social media accounts on Chinese giant Weibo reported that the lunar probe touched down at around 6:26 p.m. PT, but confirmation of the reports was hard to come by. After tweets by Chinese state-owned media outlets China Daily and China Global Television Network made their way online, the Twittersphere was abuzz… but the tweets were quickly deleted. Sci-Tech
An economist who played an important role in the shaping of modern Alaska has passed away. Dr. Arlon Tussing began his work in Alaska at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Economics in 1965. He was later affiliated with the Institute of Social and Economic Research, and advised the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey.Download AudioArlon Tussing. Photo: Facebook.Economist John Tachotsky says Tussing was an economist for the U.S. Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs in the early 1970s, when it was chaired by Sen. Scoop Jackson of Washington. There, Tachotsky says Tussing had a hand in major legislation affecting Alaska’s vast land base – including the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, or ANILCA:“He was part of a group known in Alaska as Scoop’s troops and they were involved in ANCSA legislation, and ANILCA, the original precursors to ANILCA legislation.”Tussing also worked on legislation authorizing the creation of the TransAlaska Pipeline, and helped evaluate damages after the Exxon-Valdez oil spill in 1989. He later became a consultant to the energy industry, where Tachotsky says, Tussing played an influential role in the restructuring of U.S. natural gas development and marketing.“Mid-’70s, people thought there was no gas, the world was running out of natural gas. And he, basically through the process of deregulation, and by removing price controls, industry had the incentive to look for gas, and, of course, there was plenty of as to find.”Tussing was author, co-author, or editor of more than 300 books and publications.Arlon Tussing died Friday night at the age of 82.
Despite China’s economic slowdown, the three largest public companies in the world are the Chinese banks ICBC, China Construction Bank and Agriculture Bank of China, according to the recent Global 2000 list released by Forbes. The ranking has been done on the basis of a composite score, which is calculated measuring revenues, profits, assets and market value. The list compiled by the American business magazine for 2016 features public companies from 63 countries, which collectively account for revenues worth $435 trillion, profit worth $2.4 trillion, assets worth $162 trillion and which have a combined market value of $44 trillion, Forbes reported.Above (in a slideshow) is a list of the 10 banks, which have made it in the top 25 spots of the list of world’s largest companies.For the complete list of the world’s largest companies, click here.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has asked the deputy commissioners, posted at all administrative districts, to work together with public representatives in establishing good governance at the grassroots level, report agencies.Inauguraing the three-day ‘DCs’ Conference-2017′ on Tuesday, she also urged the grassroots officials to perform responsibilities “more carefully and strictly for maintaining peace-discipline and stability in all spheres of the life by eliminating militancy, terrorism and communalism”.Such call from Hasina, also the president of ruling Awami League, came slightly a year before the general elections are scheduled to be held in the country.She also asked the public servants to take a strong stance against corruption to root out this menace from the country at any cost to deliver the benefits of the country’s development to all, reports UNB.Sheikh Hasina advised the DCs to engage cross section people both in eliminating corruption and stamping out militancy and terrorism.The prime minister issued 23 points of directives to the DCs at the inaugural ceremony of the conference at the prime minister’s office, reports BSS.Following, according to the state-run news agemcy, are the directives:-1. Remain alert so that people don’t become victims of harassment and deprivation in receiving government services.2. Work together with public representatives in establishing good governance at the grassroots level.3. Create new employments by strengthening rural economy so that the people don’t become town-bound. Take steps so that the pressure of population on the towns is not increased.4. Take a motto for development of rural infrastructure and flourishing potential small and medium scale industries as well as alleviating poverty through generating employment.5. For minimising disparity between the rich and poor, take development programmes in such a way so that the highest number of people can get benefit from it. Ensure a balanced distribution of resources in building a disparity- less society.6. Perform responsibilities more carefully and strictly for maintaining peace-discipline and stability in all spheres of the life by eliminating militancy, terrorism and communalism.7. Engage cross section people of the society including local public representatives, teachers of schools, colleges and madrsas, imams of mosques, senior citizens, business leaders, women organisers, members of Ansar-VDP and village police and NGO workers in stamping out militancy and terrorism.8. Take special measures for the welfare of the disabled and autistic people and disadvantageous communities.9. Make effective the village courts for providing justice to the common people easily and reduce case log at the courts.10. Give leadership for development and flourishing information and communication technology to reach services at the people’s doorsteps.11. Take steps for increasing female education rate in all spheres of education and bringing back the dropped out students to the mainstream.12. Be more active for increasing transparency and efficiency in land administration and management as well as protecting government land.13. Take all necessary measures for smooth supply of fertilizers, seeds, electricity and fuel etc in boosting agriculture production and take initiatives for popularising the environment-friendly agriculture management.14. Contain marketing of adulterated food with iron hands and create mass awareness about the unethical acts.15. Ensure proper application of merit, efficiency and experience in successful implementation of the seventh five-year plan and SDGs.16. Take right measures at right time for reduction of natural disasters. Raise mass awareness about protecting environment and ensure proper enforcement of laws and rules related to it.17. Take strict steps for maintaining peace in industrial zones and making uninterrupted transportation of goods and export-import and eliminating muscle power, extortion, tender manipulation and terrorism.18. Give consumer rights to an institutional shape and curb any efforts to create an artificial crisis in market with iron hands.19. Implement women development policy smoothly and ensure proper legal steps for stopping violence, torture and hostile attitude against women and checking woman and child trafficking.20. Ensure scope for education, sports, entertainment and creative cultural activities for physical and mental growth of the children and juveniles. Grow interest of the children and juveniles in history, knowledge and science.21. Stop drug peddling and trafficking and its abuse strictly.22. Remain vigilant about protecting government land by increasing transparency and efficiency in land administration and management.23. Preserve geo-natural beauty and biodiversity of the hill districts alongside expediting their uplift and give proper attention to the development of haor and baor regions. Extend allout cooperation to flourish tourism industry, small and medium size industries and traditional cottage industry.
Categories: News 10Jun Rep. Jon Bumstead invites residents to local office hours State Rep. Jon Bumstead invites residents of the 100th House District to join him during office hours this June.Office hours will be held on Monday, June 15 at the following times and locations:7:30 a.m. at Grant Depot, located at 22 W. Main St. in Grant;9:30 a.m. at River Stop Café, located at 52 State Road in Newaygo; and11:30 a.m. at Sally’s Restaurant, located at 103 N. Charles St. in White Cloud.Additional office hours will be held on Friday, June 26 at the following times and locations:8 a.m. at the Pink Elephant, located at 207 S. State St. in Hart; and11:30 a.m. at the Brown Bear, located at 147 N. Michigan Ave. in Shelby.“It’s important that I listen to all of the thoughts and concerns from the West Michigan community,” said Rep. Bumstead, R-Newaygo. “The feedback I receive is one of the many tools I use to represent the 100th District every day.”No appointment is necessary. Residents who are unable to attend are encouraged to contact Rep. Bumstead’s office by phone toll free at 877-999-0995, or by email at JonBumstead@house.mi.gov.###
28Oct Legislators: Hope, optimism are key when dealing with breast cancer This month, Rep. Amanda Price, R-Park Township, has taken up such contentious issues as literacy and abortion prevention, seeing both advance to the House floor. But there is another, more personal, issue that grabbed her attention during the month of October.Price stood with fellow Rep. Kathy Crawford, R-Novi, before the full House of Representatives on Oct. 1, asking for and receiving approval to recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.Pictured, from left: State Reps. Amanda Price, Ken Goike and Kathy Crawford.Price is a breast cancer survivor, and defeated an illness that led to the death of her mother and grandmother. Anger was the first emotion that gripped her upon receiving a diagnosis at 44 years old.“I was pretty angry,” admitted Rep. Price. “I didn’t smoke. I didn’t drink. I nursed my children. I was fit.“I found out I had one of the two breast cancer genes, so I was genetically pre-disposed to a cancer diagnosis,” she added from her Lansing office. “I was angry because I had done everything I could do to prevent it.”Price has used that drive, not uncommon to what her fellow representatives have seen from her since first being elected by the 89th District, in looking at her options. Fortunately, the diagnosis was zero stage, meaning the cancer was still limited to the cellular level, had not spread and she had options for treatment.She met with nine surgeons, joking “I did not get second opinions, I got third opinions.”Her decision was a bilateral mastectomy, undergoing the surgery at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. It proved to be a painful option even today, but Price is appreciative that she avoided the radiation and chemotherapy treatments.“When I was growing up, my mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and my three sisters and I were always afraid of getting cancer,” said Rep. Price. “I didn’t have to go through any of the chemo and radiation treatments my mother experienced and for that I am thankful.”Price is not alone in her fight. Crawford was diagnosed just over a year ago – during the challenging days leading up to a primary election. She also was fortunate to get it detected early, but not too early to avoid surgery and radiation treatments.“In spite of all of that, I felt so fortunate,” said Rep. Crawford, who went through six weeks of radiation at Providence Park Hospital in Novi. “There’s always going to be somebody you meet during the process that is so much worse and has so much more to deal with. No matter how bad your situation is … there are bigger obstacles.“I was really glad for the experience, which may sound weird because I went through it all firsthand,” Rep. Crawford added. “To see how it impacts the lives of people and their families, it’s pretty powerful.”Another House member has been touched by breast cancer and has yet to go through surgery, radiation or chemotherapy treatments. He’s also a male, who are increasingly being diagnosed with the unique form of cancer.“Breast cancer is really something that is also very near and dear to me because it’s something I have to be aware of,” said Rep. Ken Goike, who has lost two spouses to different forms of cancer. “I’ve had two mammograms in the past two years because I have lumps on my left breast. It does affect men and I’d like to get that word out as well.“It’s not only a women’s issue,” he emphasized. “It’s a men’s issue as well.”Breast cancer is often a devastating issue for anyone diagnosed with it, but perspective is still possible to help during the fight.For example, Rep. Price was diagnosed on a terrible day in our country’s history – Sept. 11, 2001. Her surgery took place in October, approximately 14 years ago.Rep. Crawford has her own, more personal lessons.“The staff (at Providence Park hospital) told me to ‘ring the bell,’” she said, mentioning a device in many cancer treatment wards to signal that a cancer sufferer had completed treatment. “I thought ‘this is so silly,’ but when I rang the bell all the other patients were so happy. They could see somebody was ending their treatment, something that’s good is happening. I rang that bell to give hope to other people.“You can’t lose hope. You have to be optimistic.” Categories: Blog Features,News
Categories: Hornberger News,Hornberger Photos 07Sep First responders guests of Rep. Hornberger for Sept. 11 ceremony PHOTO INFORMATION: State Rep. Pamela Hornberger, of Chesterfield Township, today hosted Chesterfield Township Police Chief Brad Kersten and Chesterfield Township Trustee David Joseph as her guests for the Michigan House’s annual Sept. 11 Memorial Service at the Capitol. The ceremony remembers first responders and members of the military from Michigan who died in the line of duty in the past year.
Categories: Kahle News 10Jan Rep. Kahle announces office hours on Jan. 18 State Rep. Bronna Kahle will host her office hours on Friday, Jan. 18 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Lenawee District Library, 4459 W. US-23 in Adrian and from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Tecumseh District Library, 215 N. Ottawa St. in Tecumseh.“As we enter the New Year, I look forward to meeting new friends, talking to our neighbors, and working together on the issues facing Lenawee County,” Rep. Kahle said. “I greatly appreciate the time and input of each person who attends.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Kahle at 517-373-1706 or via email at BronnaKahle@house.mi.gov.
Share6TweetShareEmail6 Shares July 5, 2014; Press & Sun BulletinSome readers were surprised at the notion that colleges and universities might be interested in paying big name political speakers six-figure speaking fees in return for the hope of friendly treatment from politicians when their applications for federal R&D grants might be pending. The reality is that colleges and universities spend big in order to get federal money, and a small proportion of colleges and universities walk away with the lion’s share of federal research dollars.This month, the University of Kentucky received a $3.75 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to promote colorectal screenings in Central Appalachia. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the University of Kentucky spent $261,000 in 2012 and $241,000 in 2013 just on lobbying. The University of Illinois was awarded $19.5 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, based on funding through the Affordable Care Act, for medical teams to go into Chicago neighborhoods to focus on children’s health needs. In 2012 and 2013, the University of Illinois spent $930,000 in lobbying. Those lobbying expenditures don’t mean that the scientists at Kentucky and Illinois didn’t deserve their federal grant awards, but in the higher education scrum for federal research dollars, lobbying helps with access and visibility.Listed by the Center for Responsive Politics as having spent $985,000 in lobbying in 2012-2013, Purdue University just announced its second-best year ever in external research funding, including federal grants such as $1.5 million from the National Science Foundation for new “nanomaterial” for advanced sensors and batteries for use in manufacturing and $5 million from the U.S. Agency for International Development to help sub-Saharan countries deal with poverty and hunger through reducing food waste. “It is due to the brilliant and diverse array of researchers at Purdue that we win these awards,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “Our faculty are making vast impact with their discoveries, and it is our duty to support them with fast and effective pre- and post-award activities.” To be sure, Daniels is correct that the faculty are the basis of the federal grants, but as a former politician—Daniels just happens to have served eight years as governor of Indiana—he knows those pre- and post-grant activities often involve lobbying federal agencies to put the university and its faculty in a position to secure those grants.Last year, the Center for Responsive Politics calculated the lobbying and campaign expenditures of colleges and universities—or presumably individuals associated with the universities in the case of campaign contributions—to document the strong correlation between universities’ lobbying and campaign expenditures and their access to federal research and development grants.According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the following were among the top private and public universities in terms of combined federal lobbying expenditures—without any campaign-related expenditures included in the totals—for 2012 and 2013:Texas A&M University$2,615,000University of Texas$1,707,000Boston University$1,630,000California State University$1,613,000University of California$1,588,000University of Pennsylvania$1,463,358Johns Hopkins University$1,280,000University of Colorado$1,244,433Northwestern University$1,223,000Wake Forest University$1,200,000University of Southern California$1,130,000Yale University$1,130,000University of Pittsburgh$1,100,000University of Oklahoma$1,090,000University of Washington$1,070,000Harvard University$1,040,000Northeastern University$1,000,000Purdue University$985,000University of Arkansas$940,000University of Illinois$930,000Clemson University$922,074Utah State University$880,000New York University$880,000Penn State University$875,000Indiana University$870,000Sources: OpenSecrets.org; data accessed July 14, 2014No one need get apoplectic and assume this list means those researchers who scored federal grants at these universities didn’t deserve them. However, it is the way the game is played in Washington, D.C.: Lobbying federal agencies and their executive and legislative branch overseers counts for access, visibility, and the face-time that might lead to an agency giving a university application a second look.The expenditures in the chart above are only the “official” federal lobbying totals as taken by the Center for Responsive Politics from the records maintained by the Senate Office of Public Records. They don’t include the campaign contributions of people associated with these institutions. They don’t include the “unofficial” lobbying that occurs through educational visits with legislators and agency representatives. And they don’t include lobbying at the state level, such as the $17 million spent by the public universities and colleges in New York State to lobby the government that provides their funding.If universities and colleges got an extra swath of face-time and access with powerful politicians through the payment of speaking fees, some of them paid for by special programs or endowments paid for by contributors, or covered by fundraising for the speaking events, that’s simply to be added to the expenditures that might be the total package of purchasing influence among current and future federal decision-makers. It all counts, especially for those big universities that can spend six or seven figures a year on federal lobbying and pay speaking fees of a couple of hundred thousand to selected politicians as well.—Rick CohenFull Disclosure: This author is a graduate of Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania, both of which appear on this list of top lobbying colleges and universities.Share6TweetShareEmail6 Shares
ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares July 29, 2014;New York TimesAn article in the New York Times informs us that while we all might have had our own problems with crowded museum venues, the Louvre and other museums across Europe are seeing record numbers that are forcing them to make major adjustments. Described in this article are long lines and patrons packed sometimes 12 deep attempting to view art that is probably better enjoyed more softly. What to do?The Louvre is the most popular art museum in the world, recording 9.3 million visitors last year, and the British Museum was second with 6.7 million. As reported here, in 2013, the Vatican Museums set a record with 5.5 million visitors, a number expected to rise this year to 6 million. The large numbers seem to be driven by countries with emerging middle classes, primarily those in Asia and Eastern Europe. Many museums do not wish to limit access altogether and this makes dealing with the hordes a core function of these institutions.In some cases, the artwork itself becomes subject to untenable conditions. The Vatican, for instance, is trying to control the effects on Michelangelo’s frescoes of the humidity generated by an expected 2000 visitors at a time by installing a new climate-control system in the Sistine Chapel. Tomaso Montanari of the Federico II University in Naples says of the Uffizi, which does not yet have climate control, “It seems like a tropical greenhouse—you can’t breathe.” In a telephone interview he said, “If a cinema has 100 places, you can’t let in 300 people. If there’s a fire, it’s a tragedy.”Many museums are offering timed tickets, of course, and some are expanding their hours and days of operation and redesigning space. And some, including the Sistine Chapel, are offering virtual tours. I will keep my old fashioned opinions to myself on that.—Ruth McCambridge ShareTweetShareEmail0 Shares
Share160Tweet245Share5Email410 Shares“Illinois Voter Turnout” by Democracy Chronicles.August 28, 2017; Mother JonesIllinois just became the 10th state to sign into law a bill that will automatically register eligible residents to vote when they interact with a government agency unless they opt out. Democratic State Sen. Andy Manar, a chief sponsor of the bill, thanked Governor Rauner for signing the bill but credits the bill’s success to voting rights activists, who see it “as the future of voter registration” and “an antidote to laws passed in Republican states making it harder to vote.”Similar laws have been passed or enacted in Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Washington DC, Georgia, Rhode Island, Vermont, and West Virginia. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 32 states have passed or introduced automatic voter registration bills in 2017.“The right to vote is foundational for the rights of Americans in our democracy,” Rauner said at the signing ceremony. Rayner is the first Republican governor to sign such a bill into law. But, as Bloomberg View wrote on the issue, “It shouldn’t be partisan.” Reporter Jonathan Bernstein compared automatic voter registration to universal suffrage.Voting is one of the fundamental acts of democracies, and therefore voting should be easy for everyone eligible. Indeed, in most nations registration is automatic. The case for making voting hard has always been indistinguishable from the case for limiting the franchise to only certain people, whether those privileged few are marked off by ethnicity, religion, education or even just interest in politics. It doesn’t matter: Making voting difficult is a way to restrict full citizenship to only a select few.Bernstein noted that while some of what makes voting difficult in the U.S. may not be designed to discourage voting—such as the many and varied elections that are held at different times and years, the result of federalism and the separation of powers—others, such as voter registration, were “clearly adopted as methods of reducing voting.”Oregon was the first state to pass such a law, in 2015. And, as Ari Berman noted, writing for Mother Jones, “the results were impressive.”Of the 800,000 unregistered voters in Oregon, about 225,000 were registered that wayOregon had the highest increase in voter turnout in the U.S. from 2012 to 2016Voter registration among voter of color increased from 53 to 79 percentIllinois has 2.2 million unregistered eligible voters and voting rights activists are predicting that the new law will register about half of them, over a million.Illinois is a “reliably Democratic state,” and Rauner is up for reelection there next year. The bill passed unanimously, though Rauner had vetoed a previous version over concerns about voter fraud.The bill was signed on the 54th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Berman’s conclusion was a counterbalance to the optimistic aspects of this event: “Five decades after King called for universal voting rights, a quarter of Americans are still not registered to vote.”—Cyndi SuarezShare160Tweet245Share5Email410 Shares
Orange has begun migrating its IPTV subscriber base to a new, next-generation platform, La Nouvelle D’Orange, based on a unified service platform operated by Viaccess and its subsidiary Orca, both of which are owned by Orange.Orange has, to-date migrated 400,000 of its IPTV customers to to Viaccess and Orca’s unified platform. Overall, Orange has over 5.1 million TV customers and this represents the largest-ever IPTV middleware migration, according to Viaccess, a process in which three different existing services over ADSL, FTTH and hybrid satellite-IP will be converged onto a single unified platform. Migration of satellite customers will follow.Content security specialist Viaccess and its subsidiary IPTV middleware company Orca Interactive are providing a unified service platform which includes the service delivery platform, content discovery platform, conditional access system and native multiscreen solution. It is adapted for IPTV, OTT delivery and hybrid networks.La Nouvelle TV d’Orange enables Orange to upgrade its IPTV service with a new interface and prepare the infrastructure for future over-the-top, multiscreens and unlimited content services. The new user interface incorporates VOD, catch-up TV, content discovery and recommendations, EPG, DVR services and apps.Philippe Rozes, head of TV service platforms at Orange Group, said: “The operational difficulty of managing multiple separate service platforms (for ADSL, web and Hybrid Satellite-IP) was impairing our ability to keep pace with the market. Collapsing all those separate silos onto a single platform has given us significant operational efficiency and has freed up resources to allow us to innovate faster. The use of advanced solutions, such as [Orca’s] RiGHTv and COMPASS, helps us improve our service velocity while the tight integration with Viaccess’ IPCAS content protection solutions ensures that we are able to preserve the value of our premium content.”Francois Moreau de Saint Martin, CEO of Viaccess and chairman of Orca, said, “With La Nouvelle TV d’Orange service, Orange has taken a big step forward and is now able to provide a more up-to-date, comprehensive service. However, the competition for pay TV subscribers in France and around the world is increasing. To maintain their position, operators such as Orange must provide a great experience for the viewers. A personalised service that meets the users on their own terms, anytime, anywhere allowing viewers to enjoy the full range of content provided, is the logical next step in order to keep them engaged and prevent churn.”
YouTube plans to launch 13 new online video channels in France in October, according to French press reports.According to Le Figaro, the Google-owned video site is in the process of finalising deals with a number of different producers, including Endemol and France’s Kabo and new players Capa and Troisième OEil. It is also in the process of signing up web sites with content assets including Au feminin.com and is has approached actor and comedian Jean Dujardin about developing a comedy project, according to the paperThe new channels will be based on thematic lines including health, culture and family. Production partners will receive funding averaging between €500,000 to €1 million for projects comprising 20 hours over a year, according to Le Figaro. If advertising receipts exceed the production budget, these will be shared between YouTube and the producer. YouTube will have exclusive distribution rights to the content produced for a specific period to be agreed between the partners.
Kudelski Group companies SmarDTV and Nagra have teamed up with Samsung to combine CI Plus and HbbTV with DRM to enable video-on-demand for over-the-top providers directly to Smart TVs without the use of a set-top box.The system integrates the Nagra Gravity user interface running in HbbTV on Samsung 2012 TV models allowing Nagra PRM protected content be streamed over IP to the TV using adaptive bitrate streaming and then descrambled by the CI Plus SmarCAM module from SmarDTV. The solution is compliant with CI Plus v1.3 and uses open standard interfaces including the Open IPTV forum DRM interface.“Using CI Plus modules to secure OTT services with DRM enhances the value to consumers of Samsung connected TV sets,” said John Adam, head of business development and industrial affairs at Samsung Electronic Research Institute (UK). “It allows the DRM solution providers the ability to customise their solutions independently from the TV host and it provides operators greater reach to products in the consumer home through use of the CI Plus industry standard.”Nagra Kudelski/SmarDTV will be exhibiting at IBC on Stand 1.C81