How Blackphone Turned A Security Fail Into A Win

first_imgTags:#Android#Blackphone#mobile#MWC#privacy#security#smartphones#tablets Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Last year, privacy-focused Blackphone got a dubious distinction: It became known as the locked-down phone that supposedly got hacked in just 5 minutes.Things have changed. Now, it’s a whole mobile product line geared for companies (and perhaps paranoid individuals), a brand-new acquisition for encryption services firm Silent Circle, and a multi-million dollar enterprise with nearly $750 million in device sales. The group introduced its latest devices this week at Mobile World Congress—the Blackphone 2 smartphone and its first tablet, currently dubbed Blackphone+. But what was really on display was the company’s uncanny knack for turning a well-publicized security flub into a win. Meet Blackphone 2 And Blackphone+As far as upgrades go, the 5.5-inch Blackphone 2 looks like a decent successor to last year’s original 4.7-inch Blackphone.Like most second-generation phones, version 2 offers several hardware improvements, including a faster 64-bit 8-core processor, more memory (3GB), a bigger battery and a larger display. The phone also ties into Citrix’s Mobile Device Management, so IT departments can manage employees’ company-supplied or BYO (“bring your own”) phones. Blackphone 2 is priced at $630 (unlocked) and slated for a July release. Soon after, it will be joined by the company’s first tablet, the 7-inch Blackphone+, sometime this fall. The original Blackphone (left) and Blackphone 2 exhibition unit (right)Both run Blackphone’s PrivatOS software, a variation on Android designed as an extra layer of protection between users and the big, bad outside world. When apps unnecessarily ask for personal data, like contacts or location, Blackphone can intercept the request, blocking or obscuring it. The software can even fool the app into thinking the user granted access, even if he or she didn’t.“You can take an Android device, you can root it, introduce [similar] features, and after months, you can have something like Blackphone,” said Javier Agüera, Blackphone’s founder and now a chief scientist at Silent Circle. “Or you can have an out-of-the-box device, with everything set up by security specialists, that’s enterprise ready and configured the way you need it.” PrivatOS boasts new virtualization feature called “Spaces,” which offers separate “work” and “personal” modes, the ability to add profiles and an app store vetted by Blackphone. The technology’s encryption protocols also save keys on the device itself, not some unknown remote server. The phone’s price includes two years of security services that guards against unsafe WiFi networks, private browsing, and secure cloud file storage.Sounds like a lot of protection, at least, it’s more than most users are accustomed to getting. It all goes back to Blackphone’s mission: The company wants to safeguard people. It seems sincere—even though a hacker actually did manage to breach those walls last year. Turning Hackers Into BFsPrivatOS running on last year’s modelAt hacking convention DefCon last year, CTO Jon “Justin” Sawyer of Applied Cybersecurity LLC told Blackphone that he managed to get past its security to root its device. What’s more, he tweeted the exploit, which landed on BlackBerry sites and other tech blogs.Sawyer found a couple of weak spots in the software, including a hole in the remote wipe feature that let the security expert access the device and grant himself system privileges. He was able to give himself access to core parts of the phone. But what gets less attention, the execs said, is that the company had already patched the hole.Sawyer essentially attacked an old, outdated version of the software. Even so, the incident and publicity could have humiliated Blackphone right out of the market. It didn’t. Instead, the company is milking it. The team thanked Sawyer for the discovery and sent him a bottle of wine. Then it enlisted others to scope out any other vulnerabilities. According to Vic Hyder, Silent Circle’s chief strategy officer, Blackphone recently launched a bug bounty program to reward people for finding security glitches—from $128 to more, depending on the severity. (Bounties are fairly common in the tech industry; even big companies like Facebook, Google and Microsoft offer rewards to bug hunters.)“[It] makes them part of the solution, instead of part of the problem,” Hyder said. “It brings everybody in as a participant.” Even Sawyer, now a friend of Blackphone, helps out by looking for other vulnerabilities. The company publishes all of its source code, to help make it easier for people to find holes. So far, Hyder estimates that the company has paid out about $15,000 to $20,000 in bounties. Throwing Shade“Nothing is hack-proof,” admits Daniel Ford, chief security officer. However, he says his company can help guard against certain types of attacks. “Targeted attacks are completely different than mass surveillance,” he said.” There’s little Blackphone or anyone can do against the former, such as last year’s breach at Sony Pictures—which may have been a specific retaliation for The Interview, a comedy that poked fun at North Korea. Sony’s “The Interview” made fun of North Korea’s regime, which may have been responsible for hacking the movie studio. Ultimately, if a hacker wants your data badly enough—whether it’s a criminal or a NSA agent—he or she has innumerable tools that can help get it. No platform can hold up against that, he explained. But when it comes to broader mass surveillance, Ford said Blackphone can step in and offer more protection. “This is where our commitment is: If there is a vulnerability that was disclosed publicly, we will fix it in less than 72 hours,” he said. “We have done so every time. That is our goal … the last time, it took only 6 hours.” “Samsung had two critical vulnerabilities that was released two weeks ago,” he added, calling out one of his archrivals in the enterprise market, albeit for a vulnerability in its TV business. Still, he couldn’t resist poking at Samsung’s overall attitude toward security: “They have not even started to address it,” he said. Photos by Adriana Lee for ReadWritecenter_img adriana lee Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Indiana ~ Sales and Use Tax: Cloud Collaboration Services Were Not Taxable

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportA company’s cloud collaboration services would not be subject to Indiana sales because the cloud services were not a taxable service. Services generally are not taxable, including ancillary services, but telecommunications services are taxable. However, access to prewritten computer software maintained on computer servers outside of Indiana is taxable when access is made via the Internet. The technology solutions company provided cloud-based applications and related services to support customers’ telecommunication equipment, including voice, video, messaging, presence, audio, web conferencing, and mobile capabilities. Customers would have to use their own telecommunication and Internet connections to obtain the services provided. In addition, the company did not transfer prewritten computer software; customers would not possess, control, nor hold title in the company’s software when accessing it.Property that is furnished as part of a service may be taxable. Property purchased and used by the company in providing the services was taxable as the property was consumed by the company and not resold.Revenue Ruling No. 2013-01ST, Indiana Department of Revenue, October 4, 2016, ¶402-481last_img read more

Tax Reform Outlook Remains Uncertain

first_imgCCH Tax Day ReportLawmakers across party lines agree changes to the Tax Code are needed but appear increasingly at odds with one another over how best to tackle such reform and what progress is being made to achieve it. Add to that mix the differing opinions of the Trump administration, and an uncertain path forward emerges.House Republicans have spearheaded the recent uptick in tax reform discussions with continued reference to their tax reform “blueprint” released in June 2016. Nevertheless, the border adjustment tax (BAT), a key revenue raiser within the blueprint, has left a number of Republicans leery of throwing their full support to the overall proposal (TAXDAY, 2017/03/28, C.1). The BAT, as proposed by the blueprint, would tax certain imports, resulting in an estimated $1 trillion in revenue over a 10-year period. Senate Republicans and the Trump administration, however, have repeatedly voiced concerns over implementing a BAT system (TAXDAY, 2017/04/20, C.1).Many Democrats continue to encourage their Republican colleagues to embrace a bipartisan path forward on tax reform, while acknowledging Democrats’ votes would not be needed if legislation successfully moves through the budget reconciliation process. Nevertheless, the GOP majority has not yet found consensus on many aspects of tax reform, agreement that will be needed to meet the 51-vote threshold required in the Senate under the reconciliation process.There has been talk on Capitol Hill that a lack of Republican consensus could result in tax reform efforts derailing, with simple tax cuts being offered in place. And, because certain Senate rules require revenue neutrality, those cuts may be temporary at best.Further, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated to the House Ways and Means Committee on May 24 that temporary tax cuts are not off the table (TAXDAY, 2017/05/25, C.1). “Permanent is better than temporary, and temporary is better than nothing,” Mnuchin told House taxwriters. Moreover, Trump’s brief, one-page tax proposal signals support of broad tax cuts, rather than comprehensive reform, some lawmakers have said.Nevertheless, the president took to Twitter over the past weekend to announce that his tax proposal (TAXDAY, 2017/04/27, W.1) is moving along ahead of schedule. “The massive tax cuts/reform that I have submitted is moving along in the process very well,”” he said. Democrats have criticized Trump’s proposal as largely benefiting the wealthy (TAXDAY, 2017/04/27, C.1).White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on May 30 that Trump’s “plan for the most significant tax reform in decades continues to progress.” Over the past week, the administration has had several meetings with Congress regarding tax reform, according to Spicer. “In particular, Secretary Mnuchin met separately with the House Ways and Means Committee, Republican and Democrat members, the Freedom Caucus, and the Republic Study Committee,” Spicer told reporters.By Jessica Jeane, Wolters Kluwer News Stafflast_img read more

Missing man seen in Mexico, Mo.

first_imgA missing man seen in Mexico, Missouri is back home.Authorities say James Sutton had left his Springfield home Monday to get a part for his car. A cop in Mexico talked with him early Tuesday morning, and gave him directions back to Springfield.But the 65-year-old Sutton may have dementia and had suffered a traumatic brain injury in the past.Sutton returned home Tuesday afternoon and is safe.(Updated 9/24, 3 p.m.)last_img

Sharing the Video Edge

first_imgMultitenancy – designing the infrastructure for efficiently supporting multiple simultaneous users – is critical to make large systems practical. In the telephone network, automated switching and call multiplexing technologies enabled multitenancy. More recently, virtualization, containerization and cloud orchestration have enabled multitenancy for centralized cloud data centers. But, as we enter a new era of edge computing, multitenancy on distributed edge nodes brings new issues. Here at the Intel Science and Technology Center for Visual Cloud Systems (ISTC-VCS), we’re researching some of those challenges.The ISTC-VCS was launched in 2016 as a collaborative effort between Intel, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Stanford University to research systems issues in large scale deployments of visual computing solutions. We anchored the work around smart city applications that depend on many distributed cameras in urban areas.A typical smart city won’t have just one application but many that need to use data from the same distributed cameras. The traffic management department may want to monitor congestion to reconfigure traffic signal timings, the public transit authority may want to monitor passenger queues to adjust bus dispatch schedules and the public safety office may want to study pedestrian behavior to see whether jaywalking and signal jumping warrant reconfiguring intersection layouts. As a sometimes urban bike commuter, I would love if the city could tell me which intersections are prone to near-misses between vehicles and bicycles. I could then reroute to avoid those intersections.But, if every department gets its own cameras and supporting edge infrastructure, street corners begin to look like the picture at left. Familiar? The ISTC-VCS is researching technologies to share cameras and edge nodes among applications. This problem is complex and multi-dimensional and we have chosen to focus on efficiently sharing edge node computing and network resources for computer vision-driven applications.At CMU in Pittsburgh, we have built an urban deployment to test our research. Like many distributed video networks, our architecture looks like Figure 1.Figure 1Our edge nodes are mounted on utility poles some 20 feet above the street. Each node contains an Intel® NUC Kit NUC6i7KYK (Skull Canyon) with dedicated storage and connects to a single high definition computer vision camera. (More about the testbed in a future blog.) The critical architectural constraints are the network bandwidths from camera to edge node and edge node to cloud. While each camera’s 1 Gbps connection to the edge node imposes some constraints, the bigger issue is that up to 8 edge nodes at a single intersection share a 35 Mbps commercial business internet connection to the backend data center. That service costs hundreds of dollars a month and higher upload speeds are often not available in distributed street corner environments. For context, a single 4K/60fps/10 bit lossless JPEG2000 encoded video would require 2-3 Gbps. Visually lossless JPEG2000 would still be 200-300 Mbps. Typical computer vision cameras provide at best an H.264 encoded stream at 30-40 Mbps. This limitation means that it is not possible to continuously stream all data from all cameras at a fidelity sufficient for many smart city applications. The camera and edge node must decide what information is processed at the edge and what gets sent to the central data center for further analysis. A common approach has been to use cameras or edge nodes to compress using a lossy encoder like H.264 or H.265. So, that 4K/60fps/10 bit lossless stream becomes a 1080p/30fps H.265-encoded stream at 3-6 Mbps. This method would allow us to stream our 8 camera feeds to the central data center – barely.Many modern applications, like the bus passenger queue counter, require high-fidelity images. Compressing to 3-6 Mbps to upload the entire stream reduces fidelity so much that these applications cannot function. Our work has focused on using edge computing to efficiently process high-fidelity images near their source and intelligently transmit only the useful information to the backend – and to do so for multiple applications running concurrently. The queue-counting app can access a high-fidelity view of the bus stop and the bicycle/vehicle near-miss app can view the bike lane while the system optimizes constrained edge nodes and network bandwidth. Two ISTC-VCS projects – Mainstream and FilterForward – take complementary approaches to this problem.Mainstream — developed by CMU students Angela Jiang, Daniel L.K. Wong, Christopher Canel, Lilia Tang, and Ishan Misra under the direction of CMU professors Dave Andersen and Greg Ganger and Intel’s Michael Kaminsky, Mike Kozuch, and Padmanabhan (Babu) Pillai — uses transfer learning techniques to optimize deep neural network (DNN­) inference runtime efficiency on multitenant edge nodes. Transfer learning has mainly been used to improve the time and resources spent on neural network training, but Mainstream applies it to runtime resource optimization on edge nodes. Mainstream starts from the premise that edge node applications can use the common trunk of a deep neural network – say, MobileNet trained with the ImageNet dataset – but retrain the last layers of the network to optimize for that specific application. So, for example, the bike detector would train the last few layers using example frames that contain bicycles in different regions of the intersection.Figure 2As shown in Figure 2, in a multitenant runtime environment with N inferencing applications running, the main trunk of the neural net is executed only once per frame. Feature vectors from an optimal trunk layer are then run through each application-specific detector to classify objects for that application. Mainstream takes a unique runtime approach to optimize the tradeoffs between edge node resources and the accuracy of each application. The team showed (Figure 3)  that on a given edge node running multiple instances of an event detection application, Mainstream could maintain the accuracy (event F1 score) while running multiple instances of the application.Figure 3When Mainstream uses a common neural net for all applications (the blue “Max Sharing” line), the F1 score was much lower because there was no application-specific customization. When each application uses its own dedicated neural network (the green “No Sharing” line), the F1 score drops off quickly with the number of applications because the applications must reduce framerate to keep up.FilterForward complements the work of Mainstream to further optimize multitenant edge node resources and network bandwidth. Developed by CMU’s Christopher Canel, Thomas Kim, Giulio Zhou, Conglong Li, Hyeontaek Lim and Dave Andersen and Intel’s Michael Kaminsky and Subramanya R. Dulloor, FilterForward uses inexpensive “microclassifiers” to find and forward relevant high resolution video snippets from the edge node to the data center. Microclassifiers are highly efficient, application-specific event detectors that, like Mainstream’s application-specific detectors, draw from the feature vectors produced at each layer of a common “base DNN” run on every video frame at the edge node. A microclassifier can be developed to detect events across the full frame or within specific regions of the frame. This specificity allows the microclassifier to be highly efficient and run in parallel with other microclassifiers on the same edge node. For example, a jaywalker microclassifier could detect pedestrians stepping off the curb in the middle of the block – in, say, a specific 512×512 region of a 3840 x 2160 frame. A car-bicycle microclassifier could detect frames with both a bicycle and a car anywhere in the frame and forward a full 4K video snippet of the bicycle entering and leaving the frame. Both the jaywalker and bicycle/car detectors can run simultaneously on the same edge node, but the heavy lifting – analyzing jaywalker behavior or identifying true near accidents – is done at the data center with scalable cloud resources (see my Scanner blog).Figure 4Figure 4 shows the accuracy vs. network bandwidth results for FilterForward as compared with compressing and sending the full video stream at different bit rates – better event detection accuracy and much lower bandwidth! FilterForward also increases the number of simultaneous applications that can be run on an edge node. Figure 5 shows the decline in system throughput as the number of applications increases for three types of FilterForward microclassifiers (blue, red, violet), a NoScope-like discrete classifier (yellow) and running a per-application MobileNet DNN (brown). The FilterForward microclassifiers show much better scaling as the number of applications increases.Figure 5Mainstream and FilterForward are only a small part of the edge multitenancy solution. They point a direction for resource sharing for distributed video analytics applications when complex algorithms are used to improve individual application success while staying within the constraints of space, bandwidth, power and cost of a distributed edge node network.Mainstream was first presented at USENIX ATC ’18 in July 2018. FilterForward just debuted at SysML 2019 this month. FilterForward Code is available here for you to take out for a spin. Both projects are based on the Streaming Analytics Framework (SAF) for real-time video ingestion and analytics, primarily of live camera streams, with a focus on running state-of-the-art machine learning/computer vision algorithms. Please try out both FilterForward and SAF and stay tuned for a future blog on SAF. For more information, see the references below and follow me @jimblakley. You may recognize the images at right as Bell System photos from the turn of the 20th century. They are real examples of what happens when a large system does not effectively share resources among its users. The infrastructure becomes complex, expensive, unwieldy and unmaintainable. Intel and the Intel logo are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.*Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.© Intel Corporation.​​”Mainstream: Dynamic Stem-Sharing for Multi-Tenant Video Processing” USENIX ATC ‘18FilterForward: “Scaling Video Analytics on Constrained Edge Nodes” SysML 2019“Scaling the Big Video Data Mountain​” “Visual Data: Pack Rat to Explorer​”“The Loneliness of the Expert​”last_img read more

4 Types of Mobile Giving for Better Fundraising

first_imgIf you’re new to mobile giving but are convinced it could benefit your organization and boost your fundraising campaign results, you may want to integrate one of the various types of mobile giving into your campaigns. There are four main categories of mobile giving, which provide convenience to your donors and opportunity to your organization.1) Text-to-Give CampaignsTexting is the most widely, and frequently-used, app on smartphones. Your supporters are already using text messages to communicate. Text-to-give campaigns give donors an easy way to make a donation or pledge.How does text-to-give work? Your organization will create a unique text number to be shared with donors. When donors send a text message to that number, they’ll receive an automatic reply that includes a link to your mobile-friendly donation page. From there, the supporter will complete a donation. This process saves donors the trouble of having to open the mobile browser and manually type in your URL.2) Mobile Email CampaignsPeople use email both for personal and business communications. Thanks to smartphones, they’re checking their email constantly. In fact, 50% of people report checking their email even while in bed! Mobile email offers donors a way to give through a tool they’re already using multiple times a day.Network for Good has found that mobile giving is responsible for 33% of all gifts on our customers’ donation pages. When supporters can instantly take action, you reduce the chance that they’ll wait and forget to follow up later when they’re at their desktops. Add donation buttons to HTML emails so recipients can simply click a button to make a donation.3) Mobile-Responsive Donation PagesBecause there’s a high likelihood that supporters are looking at your donation pages on their smartphones or tablets, your pages need to look good and function well on these devices. Small print, clunky navigation, or badly-sized images will cause frustration.Mobile-responsive donation pages dynamically change the layout and increase button size and text size to make it easy for supporters to navigate the page on a mobile device. Use your mobile-responsive donation page in every campaign you create. Direct donors to your pages via text messages, emails, and social media posts. (Network for Good’s donation pages are all mobile-responsive, so your pages automatically look good on mobile devices, without any special programming required.)4) Mobile Giving AppsSome people avoid using the internet browser on their mobile phones, preferring instead to use apps to access tools and services they use regularly. Apps save time by eliminating the need to type in URLs. Giving apps provide your regular donors with a convenient way to make donations, and they also give organizations the ability to send notifications to supporters. Social media apps can be used to collect donations, as in the case of Facebook and their “Donate” button. Organizations can also create custom apps, or they can use nonprofit giving apps such as Givelify. You can share a link to download an app to encourage your donors to use it.Each of these types of mobile giving can be used on their own or combined in various ways to create campaigns. dd them to more traditional methods like direct mail, to make your campaigns even more powerful.Download “The Ultimate Guide to Mobile Giving” to learn more about how mobile giving can boost your fundraising campaigns.last_img read more

India’s Yuki Bhambri returns to top-100 tennis rankings after more than 2 years

first_imgIndia’s tennis player Yuki Bhambri on Monday returned to top-100 for the first time since February 2016 on the back of his title-winning performance at the Taipei Challenger as he leapfrogged 22 places to a career-best rank of 83.This is the best rank an Indian has achieved in ATP singles chart since Somdev Devvarman touched a career-high 62 in July 2011.Yuki had first broken into top-100 late in 2015 but injuries did not allow him to climb further. However, the resilient 25-year-old has worked his way back to top-100 which, if maintained, will allow him direct entry into the Grand Slams and the ATP 1000 series Masters event.”It’s only the beginning, I have to move up a lot more and I am looking forward to the challenge,” Yuki told PTI..@yukibhambri enters the Top again after booking a place in the Semi Finals at the Taipei Challenger.Great going Champ! pic.twitter.com/fAfRiy26XMTata Open Maharashtra (@MaharashtraOpen) April 13, 2018Asked if top-50 was a realistic target for him, Yuki said, “Not at the moment. Too far.”Yuki has always maintained that he has the game to challenge the best players and has proved with his recent big wins over world number 12 Lucas Puillee (Indian Wells, March 2018) and world number 22 Gael Monfils (Washington, August 2017).His Davis Cup teammate Ramkumar Ramanathan too rose to a career-best 116as he jumped 17 places after ending runner-up to Yuki in Taipei.Sumit Nagal though lost two places to be 215 and was followed by Prajnesh Gunneswaran (266) and Arjun Kadhe (394).In the doubles, Divij Sharan further improved his career-best rank by moving up to 41, a gain of one place. Leander Paes, who became the most successful doubles player in Davis Cup, lost four places to be in 49th position.advertisementRohan Bopanna is leading the doubles chart for India at number 19.Meanwhile, Ankita Raina too improved on her career-best rank as she jumped three places to 194 while Karman Kaur Thandi dropped a place to 268.In the doubles, out of action Sania Mirza was unchanged at number 24.last_img read more

Rafael Nadal marries long-time girlfriend Xisca Perello in intimate ceremony in Spain

first_img Next India Today Web Desk MallorcaOctober 20, 2019UPDATED: October 20, 2019 09:34 IST Rafael Nadal tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend Xisca Perello in Mallorca (Getty Images)HIGHLIGHTSRafael Nadal married Xisca Perello, his partner of 14 yearsNadal met his wife through his younger sister MaribelFeliciano Lopez, David Ferrer among big names to attend wedding ceremonyTennis ace Rafal Nadal tied the knot with long-time girlfriend Xisca Perello at La Fortaleza — a Spanish fortress which is among the most expensive properties in the country.More than 350 guests were invited to what has been an intimate wedding ceremony, according to AFP. Official photographs from the ceremony in Mallorca are yet to be released but designer Rosa Clara took to social media to share glimpses of Xisca Perello’s wedding outfit.The designer wrote: “An overwhelming wedding day for all of us! We feel incredibly proud for taking part in such an important day – Mery Perelló and Rafa Nadal’s wedding. We would like to congratulate the gorgeous and unique couple, we wish you the best forever!”Some of the most popular faces from the tennis world, including Spain’s David Ferrer, Feliciano Lopez were present at the ceremony.Nadal’s Laver Cup teammate and tennis great Roger Federer reportedly did not attend the wedding ceremony in Mallorca. The Swiss great is currently preparing for his title defence at Swiss Indoors Basel, starting Monday, October 21.There’s some famous people at Rafael Nadal and Xisca’s wedding! pic.twitter.com/CPAP4R3vl4We Are Tennis (@WeAreTennis) October 19, 2019Nadal’s long-time coach Uncle Toni was also spotted at the lavish wedding which was also attended by Juan Carlos I, the king of Spain from 1975 to 2014.Notably, Nadal and Xisca Perello have been in a relationship for around 14 years. The tennis great, winner of 19 Grand Slams, got engaged to Xisca Perello in May 2018.Nadal, who has always kept his romance away from the spotlight, had opened up about the prospect of forming a family with Perello in the past.”Obviously, I have the intention of forming a family. I love children and I would like my children to do what they like,” Nadal had told Hello!Nadal met his wife through his younger sister Maribel, a childhood friend of Xisca Perello, who also hails from Mallorca. Perello doesn’t travel a lot with Nadal on the tour but has been a constant presence at the Spaniard’s box at major tournaments.Also See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Rafael NadalFollow Xisca PerelloFollow Rafael Nadal marriageFollow Roger FedererFollow David Ferrer Rafael Nadal marries long-time girlfriend Xisca Perello in intimate ceremony in Spain19-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend Xisca Perello at a Spanish fortress in Mallorca on Saturday. Some of the big names from the tennis fraternity were part of the 350-strong guest list.advertisementlast_img read more

When You Want to Get Away, But Not That Far Away, Try Urban Camping

first_imgAs rents rise, the job market freewheels, and the pressures of living in the city mount, more and more hustling urbanites are wistfully eyeing the horizon from their cubicle windows. While it’s easy to romanticize the idea of chucking it all to live out of a van or build an off-grid backwoods compound (social media does nothing to dispel this glamour), the truth is that nomadic escapism isn’t the answer for everybody.You may very well live in a city because you want to, high rents and traffic jams be damned. You want to bask in a lively mix of cultures and demographics. You want a variety of options for weekend fun, from comedy clubs to ballet to pick-up soccer in the park. You want a slew of great takeout options within a mile radius of your apartment.But you also want to get away from it all sometimes. The thing is, you don’t need to invest in a whole bunch of gear (not to mention esoteric survival skills) in order to do it.For you, my friend, there is urban camping.Urban camping means spending the night in or near a city. While the classical version involves semi-legal squatting in a public area or parking lots (see “boondocking”), in recent years, cities around the world have exploited the practice for the benefit of jaded urbanites who want the feeling of getting away from it all and immersing themselves in nature, while enjoying the comforts and security of having home only a short cab ride away.Whether you’re new to the idea of camping, lacking the typical camping equipment, or simply interested in trying something new without having to bushwhack your way through a forest, here are some easy, beautiful and lavish ways to get all the joys of camping without losing your Wi-Fi signal.Collective Governors IslandGovernors Island, New York CityYou can’t get much more urban than NYC. Whether you live in the city or feel like mixing it up on your next holiday to the Big Apple, try camping at Collective Governors Island. Located between the Statue of Liberty and Brooklyn, this peaceful island oasis gives you an opportunity like no other: the chance to step outside your tent at night and look directly at the downtown NYC skyline.If available, reserve one of the Summit Tents. These luxurious, private two-person tents feature chandeliers, 1,500 thread count linens, private en-suite bathrooms with a flushing toilet, and spa bath products. Watch the sunset over the city on your private deck before you head over to the bonfire for s’mores. Fair warning: urban camping done the New York City way can become addicting.Kirby Cove CampgroundSan Francisco, CaliforniaThough this locals’ secret has made its way to the interwebs, it’s still one of San Francisco’s most beautiful out-of-the-way places. Kirby Cove Campground has five sites and they are reservation-only, keeping this sought-after urban camping experience devilishly out of reach for nearly everyone. In other words: book early.The epic views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco are the real gems of Kirby Cove. It’s so secluded, yet so close to the city at the same time. Campsites have access to pit toilets, barbecue pits, fire rings, and a beach with a view straight out of a postcard. Get some friends together and stay a few nights at this amazing campground. It’s a once in a lifetime experience and there’s nowhere else in the city where you can stay for $25 a night and have the Golden Gate Bridge so perfectly at your disposal.Sandaya International de Maisons-LaffitteÎle de la Cité, ParisParis’ iconic Seine River boasts two islands in the middle: the pint-sized opulent playground of Île Saint Louis, and the larger but lesser-known Île de la Cité. However, further down the river, there is another Île de la Cité that’s home to a 16-acre, four-star urban campsite. We don’t know who awards these stars, but given Maisons-Lafitte’s très près accommodations, they seem completely warranted. Located just 10 minutes from the nearest RER/Metro stop, Maisons-Lafitte offers not only “pitches” (the European term for campsites), but also a number of cabins and treehouses equipped with TVs and dishwashers.Pet-friendly with discounted passes to Paris’ best attractions, Maisons-Lafitte offers a perfect balance for experiencing the city’s fabled magic. Take in the cosmopolitan culture, then unwind while watching the sunset melt over the river into the starry skyline. In between exploring the city, you can spend your off-days in classic French country style playing petanque, fishing in the Seine, or sipping pastis in the on-site bar/restaurant while watching barges float by. 16 Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Now Editors’ Recommendations The World’s 12 Most Grueling and Insane Endurance Races Lenny Kravitz’s New Twice Toothpaste Will Make Plaque Fly Away All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked The Best Campgrounds Near Major U.S. Cities last_img read more

Greyhound to discontinue service in Western Canada

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Greyhound Canada has announced they will discontinue service in almost all of Western Canada by October 31, 2018.The only route still operating in Northeast B.C. is the Edmonton to Dawson Creek bus, which will be shut down. The only route that will continue to run in B.C. is from Seattle to Vancouver.  After the routes in Western Canada are shut down, Greyhound will only operate in Ontario and Quebec.Stuart Kendrick, Senior Vice President of Greyhound Canada, said in a statement, “It is with a heavy heart that we announce these service impacts for the end of October. We understand that these route changes are difficult for our customers. Despite best efforts over several years, ridership has dropped nearly 41% across the country since 2010 within a changing and increasingly challenging transportation environment. Simply put, we can no longer operate unsustainable routes.” Last year Greyhound Canada applied to discontinue routes in much of Northern B.C. including the routes serving Fort St. John and Fort Nelson.  That route ceased operation as of June 1.  The B.C. Government is now operating the B.C. Bus North with service between Prince George and Fort St. John. Local shipping company, Willy’s Trucking, is now handling Greyhound freight.last_img read more

A glimpse of Rays craft that spilled gold on silver screen

first_imgKolkata: The Indian Museum is organising a unique exhibition of photographs and memorabilia to celebrate the 98th birth anniversary of Satyajit Ray.”It is an effort to highlight various dimensions of Ray besides his exceptional filmmaking. He was a creative artist, a great cartoonist and was extremely talented in storytelling through various art forms. Many people, particularly the young generation, are not aware of his versatilities. The memorabilia and old photographs have been put on display to reinvent Satyajit Ray,” said director of Indian Museum Rajesh Purohit, who has curated the entire exhibition. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaPurohit said Ray was perhaps the first Indian director, who vividly portrayed the existing contemporary society through the visual art form of films. “He was a creative artist, which is evident from various graphics, drawings, designs and photography put up in this exhibition. These exhibits have been collected from two noted city-based collectors — Indranath Barui and Souvik Roy,” he added. Among 86 exhibits of various types, there are posters of the film Chiriakhana, articles published about Ray in various publications from time to time, numerous drawings by Ray for the cover of Sandesh and other books, the original cover of various books penned by him and long-playing records (gramophone records) of Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne and Hirak Rajar Deshe. Also Read – Bengal civic volunteer dies in road mishap on national highwayThe most striking among the exhibits is the transformation of a portion of dialogue uttered by Ray’s character Jatayu from his film Sonar Kella into a drawing. Jatayu talks about Duddhrash Dushman that he claims to have portrayed in his novel. It is an imaginary novel but the idea of Dudharsh Dushman —a band of dacoits —have been drawn by someone and this drawing has been put up in the exhibition. Another interesting part of the exhibition is the alien characters conceived by Ray etched through drawings. According to Purohit, a very few know that in 1962, Ray’s family magazine for children Sandesh published a science fiction by him named Bankubabur Bandhu, which was the springboard for the concept of the alien. Ray was interested in making an international film related to this work and even travelled abroad for making it a reality but shelved it for various reasons. However, when Ray saw Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial at the Venice Film Festival in 1982, he was astonished to notice the striking resemblances to his story on aliens. The exhibition that kicked-off on Thursday will be held till May 15. “We have plans to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of Ray in the museum in 2020. Preparations have already begun,” Purohit said.last_img read more

Ban Kimoon to Submit His Annual Report on Western Sahara Friday

Rabat – United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, is due to submit his annual report to the Security Council on “the Situation concerning the Western Sahara,” on Friday. Based on the report, the Security Council will decide whether or not to renew the mandate of the United Nations mission in the Western Sahara, known as MINURSO.Unlike in previous years, this year’s annual report comes amid an unprecedented tension between Morocco and Ban Ki-moon following the UN chief’s controversial statements during his recent trip to the region. While on a visit to the Tindouf camps on March 5-7, Ban Ki-moon described Morocco’s presence in the territory as “occupation.”Ban Ki-moon’s statement stoked the ire of Rabat, which issue reacted vehemently and decided to expel MINURSO’s civil component.In light of the rising tension between Morocco and the UN Secretariat, the Moroccan public opinion is bracing for a negative UNSG’s annual report.But Analysts say however the UN Chief’s report might be, he won’t succeed in convincing the Security Council to change the framework of negotiations set out by Resolution 1754 of April 2007.The news coming from the UN headquarters indicate that the Security Council is not ready or willing to escalate tension between Morocco and the United Nations.Upon assuming the rotating presidency of the Security Council last Friday, Liu Jieyi, China’s Ambassador to the United Nations told reporters that the Council would renew MINURSO’s mandate “without complications.”However, many expect this year’s deliberations in the Security Council to be contentious, particularly after Morocco’s refusal to reconsider its decision to expel 84 members of MINURSO’s staff.According to the Security Council’s program of work for April, the UN executive body will devote three sessions to the renewal of MINURSO’s mandate. A week after receiving Ban Ki-moon’s annual report, the 15-member body will hold a meeting with troop-contributing countries on Friday April 15.The second session will be held on April 27. During this meeting, members of the council will hold deliberations on the draft resolution on MINURSO’s mandate. On April 28, the members of the council will adopt the resolution to renew mandate for another period of one year until April 30, 2017.The United States is the penholder of draft resolution on MIUNRSO. Every year, it drafts the resolution in coordination with the other members of the Group of Friends of the Western Sahara, which includes France, the United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, in addition to the US.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission. read more

Treasury limits state and local tax cap workarounds

The Treasury Department has issued final rules that would clamp down on taxpayers trying to circumvent a new cap on state and local tax deductions.The Tax Cut and Jobs Act, promoted by the Trump administration and passed in late 2017, limits the amount of state and local taxes that can be deducted on an individual’s federal taxes to $10,000 a year.The tax law’s SALT deductions, as they are known, caused a lot of upset in high-tax states, such as New York, New Jersey and California, where residents had previously benefited from being able to deduct much more.It also became a highly politicized issue as many of high-tax states tend to vote for Democrats.Sarah Skidmore Sell, The Associated Press read more

Investing in development will boost economic recovery Ban tells G20 leaders

“Development is not a side issue. Investing in development is investing in everyone’s recovery,” he told the leaders during their session on development, part of the two-day G20 summit that ended on Friday in the Republic of Korea.He welcomed the summit’s focus on development, and recalled the renewed political commitment expressed by leaders during the summit held in New York in September on achieving the global anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline, known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). “Throughout that summit, we heard one word repeated again and again. That word was ‘accountability.’ Promises made must be promises kept. Our words must translate into action on the ground,” said the Secretary-General.Mr. Ban highlighted three keys to “laying a firm foundation for progress,” beginning by keeping the focus on the MDGs – which he called the universally-accepted blueprint for economic growth, decent jobs, education, health care, women’s empowerment, clean water, and a clean environment – by demonstrating strong political will. He also stressed the need to make strategic investments that multiply progress across all MDGs, and to follow through on funding commitments. “The people of the world are watching. Many are anxious, angry and hurting. They fear for their jobs, their families, their futures. It is up to us now to show that we understand and are willing to act. “Let’s deliver. Here and now,” the Secretary-General stated, pledging that the UN will continue to be an “essential” partner in all of these efforts. Mr. Ban also addressed leaders at the G20 working lunch on climate change and green growth, during which he stressed the need to make progress on all fronts, including finance, adaptation and technology cooperation, in the lead up to next month’s UN conference in Cancún, Mexico. “Progress in these areas can deliver immediate results, particularly for the most vulnerable. We can and must move on these items now, even as governments continue to press forward on thornier political issues. The world’s poor cannot afford to wait,” he stated.He noted that, outside the formal negotiations, G20 members can accelerate their individual and collective initiatives to slow and reduce emissions and strengthen adaptation.“Climate finance is crucial for unlocking progress in the negotiations and closing the gap in trust,” he stated, calling on G20 developed countries to contribute “fairly and transparently” to fast-start funding for the 2010-2012 period.“Developing countries are looking for new and additional funds, not repackaged development aid,” he added.Mr. Ban also urged all stakeholders to scale up contributions to meet the goal of providing $100 billion annually in support by 2020 to help developing nations deal with climate change. “It is challenging, but feasible.”In addition, he stressed the need to accelerate efforts to phase out fossil fuel subsidies, which, in itself, could improve economic efficiency and generate sizeable revenues for climate action and green growth.“The longer we delay, the more we will pay – in resources, economic competitiveness… and lives.”Cancun 12 November 2010Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies at their meeting in Seoul to invest in development, which will not only help millions of people who are suffering due to the global economic downturn but also improve the lives of the world’s poorest. read more

Ranil expects Maithri to stay away from election

Prime Minister and United National Party leader Ranil Wickremesinghe expects President Maithripala Sirisena to stay away from the August 17 election campaign.The Hindu newspaper reported that the President and Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) chairperson Maithripala Sirisena, who has received flak recently from certain sections for reportedly clearing the nomination of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the parliamentary elections, is going to stay away from the polls. Indicating this in a chat with The Hindu at his office, Wickremesinghe, in his reply to a question whether he felt sad about Sirisena giving nomination to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, said the position of President Sirisena must be looked against the backdrop that “though he [Sirisena] is the President, he does not control the party fully. So, he is influencing events from his position. Anyway, he is not going to take part in the elections.” (Colombo Gazette) read more

Australias largest ever defence engagement with Sri Lanka to unfold

During IPE 19, Australian ships will undertake port visits in Colombo and Trincomalee, and Australian Air Force assets will visit Mattala. Group Captain Sean Unwin said Australia is committed to developing strong and positive defence relations with regional nations through dialogue and practical activities. (Colombo Gazette) The Joint Task Group will comprise HMA Ships Canberra, Newcastle, Parramatta and Success as well as Australian Army force elements and other support personnel drawn from Navy, Army and Air Force. Australia’s largest ever defence engagement with Sri Lanka is set to unfold this month, Acting Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Jon Philp said today.He said that from 23-29 March, a Joint Task Group comprising Australian naval, army and air force assets and personnel will visit Sri Lanka as part of the Indo-Pacific Endeavour 2019 (IPE-19) multinational visit. After departing Sri Lanka, IPE19 ships and assets will visit other regional partners such as India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.Group Captain Sean Unwin, Defence Advisor, Australian High Commission said that Australia-Sri Lanka defence relationship has grown steadily since 2015 with a strong focus on education and training, supporting Whole-of-Government counter-people smuggling efforts and maintaining a rules-based order in the Indian Ocean.He said the Indo Pacific Endeavour is designed to promote security and stability in Australia’s near region through bilateral and multilateral engagement, training and capacity building. More than 1,000 Australian personnel are involved in IPE 19. There will be a range of activities undertaken with the Sri Lankan armed services in Sri Lanka and the surrounding waters.“This is a valuable opportunity for both countries to improve cooperation and familiarity with oneanother’s Defence Forces and explore opportunities to further promote regional stability,” Jon Philp said. read more

The Biggest Loser Season 15 Episode 5 The

Next on ‘The Biggest Loser’ Season 15 Episode 5 “The Cook Off,”  last season’s kid ambassadors Biingo, Lindsay and Sunny return to the ranch and are joined by the White House Senior Policy Advisor on Nutrition, Sam Kass, for a fun cooking challenge with the contestants. Well aware that kids are often the toughest food critics, the red, white and blue teams race against the clock to prepare a nutritious and tasty dish that will be a hit with the kids – and earn the winning team members an incredible prize. Also this week, one team works out with a very special and inspiring group of women who have survived or are battling cancer. Later, it’s time for the weigh-in and saying goodbye to another contestant.See who loses an astonishing amount of weight in the all new ‘The Biggest Loser,’ which airs Tuesday 8/7c on NBC.‘The Biggest Loser’ is a reality series in which 12 contestants become roommates under the same roof and struggle to shed excess pounds by following a disciplined routine of exercise and dieting while facing the possibility of elimination. Contestants will then have to maintain their weight and shape by carefully managing their behavior outside of the controlled house atmosphere, with the winner being the one who is most physically fit across the boards. read more

Metallica Minerals makes takeover offer for Queensland Ores

first_imgMetallica Minerals (MM), the Queensland focused mining company, hopes to combine its operations and assets with Queensland Ores (QO), a fellow mining company, by making an off-market takeover offer for all of the shares in QO. The merged group would have a diversified portfolio of Queensland mineral assets – including major interests in nickel, cobalt, coal, bauxite, limestone, mineral sands, tungsten, molybdenum, copper and gold. This includes MM’s NORNICO nickel/cobalt project, major investments in coal – through the 84% owned Metrocoal subsidiary – and in bauxite – through the 32% owned Cape Alumina, the possibility of a re-commissioned Wolfram Camp molybdenum/tungsten mine and the Mount Cannindah copper/gold exploration project.  MM believes that this merger would enhance value for both companies and provide a platform for growth when the market improves. The balance sheet of the merged company would be strong – MM has substantial cash reserves (with no debt) of some A$20 million.  This will assist QO to continue as a going concern and give the merged group the ability to progress its interests. MM intends to systematically complete its evaluation of the QO assets without expending significant amounts of its cash reserves. If the merger was completed, QO shareholders would hold around 8% of the merged group.The offer is subject to a number of conditions, including a 90% minimum acceptance condition. MM currently has no relevant interest in any ordinary shares in QO. MM is preparing a bidder’s statement which will be lodged with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission and be sent to QO shareholders on about 9 April 2009. The offer period is expected to commence on 9 April 2009 and close, unless extended, on 11 May 2009.last_img read more

Un grizzly tue un randonneur au parc de Yellowstone

first_imgUn grizzly tue un randonneur au parc de YellowstoneDes responsables du parc Yellowstone aux Etats-Unis ont annoncé hier qu’une femelle grizzly avait tué un homme, alors que celui-ci se promenait avec sa femme à proximité de l’animal et de ses petits. L’attaque a eu lieu dans une partie isolée dans la zone du Wapiti Lake Trail, proche du centre du parc de Yellowstone, ont indiqué les autorités. Alors qu’un couple de randonneurs se promenait mercredi dans le parc, ceux-ci sont tombés nez à nez avec une ourse et ses petits. S’écartant et poursuivant sa randonnée, le couple a alors été pris en chasse par l’animal qui s’en est pris au mari. Blessée au sol, la femme indique ne pas avoir été témoin de l’attaque fatale. À lire aussiL’attaque spectaculaire d’un ours polaire affamé sur un phoque”Apparemment l’ourse a tenté de défendre son petit après avoir senti une menace, la femelle grizzli a attaqué et mortellement blessé l’homme”, rapporte Al Nash, le porte parole du parc.”C’est un autre groupe de randonneurs qui a entendu les cris de la femme et qui a appelé le 911″, précise-t-il.C’est la première attaque meurtrière de grizzli en 25 ans dans le parc national du Yellowstone. Cependant c’est la troisième en un an dans la région. Le parc et ses environs, dans le nord ouest des États-Unis sont le foyer de plusieurs centaines de grizzlis, lesquels peuvent peser jusqu’à 270 kilogrammes ce qui ne les empêche pas d’être une grande attraction touristique.Le 7 juillet 2011 à 15:51 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Un site internet pour mieux choisir ses consultations médicales

first_imgUn site internet pour mieux choisir ses consultations médicales Une nouvelle version du site de l’assurance maladie est en ligne. Il permet de chercher et d’obtenir des informations au sujet des tarifs, des médecins, des spécialités, des secteurs médicaux mais aussi des établissements  de santé. Ameli-direct.fr “je choisis avant de consulter “, c’est la dernière version complète du site internet de l’assurance maladie qui renseigne sur les tarifs, les établissements et les professionnels de santé. Où et par qui se faire opérer ? Combien cela va-t-il coûter ? Les patients peuvent désormais trouver des réponses à leurs questions en quelques clics en naviguant dans les différentes catégories du site. En pratique, les “infos qualité” sont établies à partir de données de la Haute autorité de santé (HAS) et évaluent des critères aussi variés que la qualité de la restauration ou encore le respect des droits des patients, explique l’AFP. Ainsi, elles prennent en compte deux échelles : une note sur 10 obtenue par cet établissement en mars 2010 et sa situation par rapport aux autres établissements via une moyenne nationale sur 10. Pour certains établissements ces informations sont en cours d’actualisation.Des patients mieux informés La recherche d’information sur un établissement médical ou un professionnel de santé peut se faire selon plusieurs critères : nom, spécialité ou acte médical. À lire aussiCes instruments médicaux de l’ancienne époque vont vous effrayerAinsi, lorsqu’un patient cherche une consultation et qu’il doute sur un terme, il peut vérifier dans une liste qui répertorie tous les actes médicaux ou chirurgicaux. Puis, lorsque la liste des établissements apparait il peut les trier par type : clinique ou hôpital. En cliquant sur l’établissement, il peut ensuite disposer d’indicateurs “de volume et de niveau”. Ces données permettent de savoir si l’acte est souvent pratiqué dans l’établissement ce qui peut être un gage de confiance. De même, le patient peut prendre connaissance des données tarifaires mais aussi de la liste des spécialités disponibles pour chaque établissement.”C’est vraiment une avancée pour l’information des patients”, a commenté à l’AFP Nathalie Tellier, chargée de mission à l’Union nationale des associations familiales (Unaf) sur les questions d’assurance maladie. Celle-ci a également tenu à préciser : “On nous a promis que les mises à jour seront faites très régulièrement”. Voilà de quoi plaire aux médecins qui ont parfois critiqué des données erronées ou peu actualisées sur l’ancienne version du site internet de l’assurance maladie.Le 27 juillet 2011 à 15:41 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more