Box office records made as Broadway says goodbye to 2017

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – The year on Broadway came to a very sparkly end for theatre producers as many shows recorded their most profitable weeks ever despite theatre-goers facing bitter cold and some eye-popping ticket prices.Ten shows last week earned more than $2 million, led by “Hamilton,” ”The Lion King” and “Wicked,” which each pulled in more than $3 million, according to the Broadway League, a national trade association for the industry. The year ended with grosses soaring to $1.6 billion, attracting 13.74 million patrons, both yearly records.New weekly highs were reached by shows including “Come From Away,” ”SpongeBob SquarePants,” ”Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” ”The Play That Goes Wrong,” ”Waitress” and “The Band’s Visit.” Even the musical “Chicago” got into the act at the mature age of 21, earning a record $1.3 million.Those who boasted surpassing the $2 million mark included “The Phantom of the Opera,” ”Hello, Dolly!” ”Dear Evan Hansen,” ”Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” ”Aladdin,” ”Springsteen on Broadway” and “The Book of Mormon.”The time around Christmas and New Year’s is usually Broadway’s boom time, but this holiday season was particularly flush, pushed by premium pricing and several shows going from eight performances a week to nine. The average price for a seat at “Hamilton” was $358, while it was $508 to hear Bruce Springsteen. The official top premium price to see Bette Midler in “Hello, Dolly!” was $996.Not every show was popping Champagne. The holiday revue “Home for the Holidays,” which featured the winners of various TV singing competitions, ended its run as one of the poorest performing shows ever on Broadway. It crept out of town with a weekly haul of under $80,000 over eight performances, or 5 per cent of its potential gross. The average ticket was just $26, but the theatre was 70 per cent empty.The data this year is based on a 53-week calendar year, which is periodically necessary so 365-day years can be lined up with 52-week-long sales windows measured Monday through Sunday.___Follow Mark Kennedy on Twitter at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwitslast_img read more

Many deaths disabilities in poor nations avoidable under UN basic surgery plan

“The initiative signifies a shift in the way we think about surgery,” UN World Health Organization (WHO) clinical procedures official Luc Noel said. “Until recently, surgery was a neglected health issue in developing countries because it was assumed to be too expensive and sophisticated.” The programme, which already exists in 22 countries, will boost the capacity of first-level health facilities – rural or district hospitals and health centres – to deal with simple but essential surgery in a growing number of developing regions. In many cases, death and disability can be avoided through simple surgical interventions after road accidents, interpersonal violence or war, abdominal emergencies, pregnancy complications, congenital abnormalities, fractures, burns, or the consequences of acute infections, which together cause the loss of approximately 11 per cent of total lost years of healthy life. Injuries alone kill more than 5 million people every year, accounting for nearly one in every 10 deaths worldwide. The WHO Emergency and Essential Surgical Care Project trains health staff in simple surgery, anaesthesia and emergency care. After training and with the help of basic equipment, health care staff are able to perform surgical procedures that save lives and prevent disability. “Why should a child die from appendicitis, or a mother and child succumb to obstructed labour, when simple surgical procedures can save their lives?” WHO surgery programme chief Meena Cherian said. The quality of emergency and essential surgical care is often constrained by inadequate basic equipment for interventions that are simple but vital, such as resuscitation, giving oxygen, assessing anaemia and inserting a chest drain. Other barriers to the timely and appropriate delivery of basic surgical services include poor infrastructure and insufficient numbers and training of health-care professionals. In most developing countries, adequate surgical services are found only in urban areas. Furthermore, the migration of health professionals leaves a shortage at primary-health facilities, where services are provided by non-specialist or even non-medical personnel, many of whom are inadequately trained. A number of isolated local initiatives have shown that even with only basic training and technologies, many lives can be saved or improved. For instance, clubfoot, a congenital deformity of the foot marked by a twisted position of the ankle, heel and toes which affects well over 100,000 newborns each year, can greatly impede mobility in children and if untreated can lead to severe disability and loss of productive life. Yet, if diagnosed at birth or soon after, it can often be treated using minimally invasive techniques, the so-called Ponseti method, involving multiple manipulations and plaster castings early in a child’s life. The techniques, which have been quite effective in the industrialized world, require minimal resources and can be implemented by health personnel in primary health-care facilities. In Uganda, over 100 professionals have been trained, resulting in effective treatment of 95 per cent of new cases of clubfoot. Surgical intervention has also become a common component in HIV/AIDS care. Some complications associated with HIV infection, such as abscesses, anorectal disorders, lymphadenopathies, lipoatrophy or mild forms of Kaposi sarcoma, are also diagnosed and treated with simple surgical interventions. 26 September 2007With hundreds of thousands of deaths or permanent disabilities from traffic accidents, violence, war and other causes easily preventable through simple surgery, the United Nations health agency has expanded its programme to train health care staff in low- and middle-income countries in essential basic surgical and anaesthesia skills. read more

President to tour Jaffna next week

Presidnt Mahinda Rajapaksa was earlier scheduled to visit Jaffna last month but had to postpone his visit owing to bad weather. (Colombo Gazette) President Mahinda Rajapaksa is to tour the Jaffna peninsula next week, officials said today.According to reports from Jaffna, the President will inspect the devolopment work in the area and also have talks with area officials. He is also scheduled to declare open the new building of the Jaffna Teaching Hospital and a new courts complex in Chavakacheri.The President is scheduled to arrive in Jaffna on the 12th, officials in Jaffna told the Tamil media today. read more

Poor adherence to treatment of chronic disease massive global problem WHO

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) said today failure to continue taking prescribed medicine for chronic diseases is a problem of striking magnitude globally regardless of the type of disease, particularly in cases where patients are required to self-administer their treatment. “Poor adherence is the primary reason for not achieving the full health benefits medicines can provide to patients. It causes medical and psychosocial complications of disease, reduces patients’ quality of life, increases the likelihood of development of drug resistance and wastes health care resources,” WHO Executive Director for Non-communicable Diseases and Mental Health Derek Yach said. A newly published WHO report entitled, “Adherence to Long-Term Therapies: Evidence for Action,” says in developed countries, adherence among patients suffering from chronic diseases averages only 50 per cent, and it is even lower in developing countries. The study reviews a variety of chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, HIV/AIDS, depression, asthma, high blood pressure, mental problems, cancer and diabetes. Intended for policy-makers, health managers, and clinical practitioners, the report provides a concise summary of the consequences of poor adherence for health and economics. It also discusses the options available for improving adherence, and demonstrates the potential impact on desired health outcomes and health care budgets. Compliance with regimens will avoid excess costs to already stretched health systems and will improve the lives of people with chronic diseases, WHO said. It reduces the need for more costly interventions, such as frequent and longer hospitalizations, unnecessary use of emergency rooms and highly expensive intensive care services. read more

UN agencies urge efforts to halt Gazas dedevelopment trajectory

This relates to houses for which funding has not yet been secured. “We must reverse Gaza’s de-development trajectory and address the needs of a population that has gone through three rounds of conflict, nine years of an Israeli blockade and the consequences of the Palestinian internal divide which, combined, have affected every aspect of their daily lives,” Robert Piper, the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory said in a news release today.The United Nations considers ‘de-development’ a process by which development is not merely hindered but reversed.The release added that the UN operational agencies working in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, constituting the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Palestine, issued a new report which outlines the collective progress made in the last two years as well as some of the remaining challenges in the recovery and reconstruction efforts following the 2014 hostilities.The fighting left at least 1,400 Palestinian and six Israelis civilians dead. Another 11,200 Palestinians were injured and an estimated 100,000 people rendered homeless. Children and women accounted for over 60 per cent of all fatalities and injuries in Gaza.Mr. Piper, who is also the Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process said that accountability for violations of international law by duty bearers on both sides during the war also remained elusive, “denying victims and survivors the justice and redress they deserve.” The news release also added that according to UN estimates, about half of the homes which suffered partial damages and a third of those destroyed have been rebuilt.Additionally, all of the 78 hospitals and clinics, and the 252 schools that were damaged have been repaired and that the reconstruction of health and education infrastructure that were fully destroyed is ongoing.The progress has been made due to ongoing efforts by Palestinian government, UN agencies, non-government organizations, international donor community, private sector and above all, the households themselves. This relates to houses for which funding has been secured but reconstruction work is yet to begin. Priority needs Reconstructing the 2014 damages “While progress is unequivocally underway, repairing the damages from the 51-day hostilities cannot be our only measure of success, given that humanitarian and socio-economic indicators were already so dire before 2014,” noted Mr. Piper.A vast majority of the people living in Gaza were affected by the significant damage to infrastructure which compounded upon an already frail economic situation.In particular, progress remains especially slow in the productive sectors including agriculture, owing to funding gaps and restrictions of movement on persons and goods and there are concerns for the 65,000 people who remain displaced and in temporary shelter awaiting their homes to be rebuilt.“Addressing economic recovery requires much greater financial investments and serious policy changes, including a lifting of restrictions on both imports and exports,” highlighted Mr. Piper.Recalling that in October 2014, donors pledged $3.5 billion to support Gaza, but according to the World Bank, only an estimated 40 percent had been disbursed by April this year. The agencies noted that funding for the remaining reconstruction work and serious investments in the productive sector is crucially lacking, further hindering people’s ability to lift themselves out of crisis.“The stakes are high if we are to prevent hopelessness and a re-escalation of violence”, Mr. Piper warned on behalf of the UNCT in Palestine.“All parties must come together to chart a clear course towards a just and final peace – including achieving a full lifting of the blockade, while ensuring Israel’s legitimate security concerns, and establishing two states living side by side in peace and security,” he said, recalling the words of the UN Secretary-General at the October 2014 Cairo international conference on Gaza’s reconstruction. read more

WebRTC goes live in Google Chrome Dev channel enables Skypelike communication

first_imgIt’s been almost two years since Google acquired Global IP Solutions, a company that developed audio and video software with a focus on VoIP. The acquisition gave Google access to some top talent in the VoIP business that they could use to improve existing products — like Google Voice and Google Talk — and also to deliver similar functionality to another one of their high-profile apps: Google Chrome.Global IP’s technology provided the groundwork for Google’s open source WebRTC project, which seeks to enable real-time communication on the web. In addition to Google, the WebRTC project is also supported by Mozilla and Opera — meaning web apps that leverage WebRTC for communications will work just fine in their browsers one day, too, not just in Chrome.But predictably, Chrome is the first browser to boast integrated support for WebRTC. With the most recent code update to the browser’s Developer channel, Chrome users can now activate WebRTC and try it out on a demonstration page Google has set up. Right now, you’ll need to add a command line switch to your Chrome shortcut: –enable-media-stream. No entry has been added to about:flags just yet.The WebRTC spec is still evolving, and it’s a 12-week jump from when a major Chrome update hits the Dev channel until it goes stable. As such, don’t expect to see it popping up on many websites in the very near future. Once it’s gone stable — and arrived in Firefox and Opera — you’ll begin stumbling across some sites that support it. Some likely destinations? Gmail’s voice and video chat and Google+ Hangouts. More at the Chromium Blog and WebRTClast_img read more

Locals say no to total smoking ban in Eaton Mall

first_imgA proposal that would see a total ban on smoking introduced in outdoor areas at all restaurants, cafes and recreational settings in the City of Monash has been dismissed.The idea was put forward in March as part of the Changes in Footpath Trading and Access Policy. Supported by certain members of the local council, the idea was that all dining areas in the City of Monash, including Eaton Mall, be converted into sites where eating is permitted, thus obliging all restaurateurs to remove existing areas where only drinks are served, essentially banning smoking outdoors entirely.The proposal unsurprisingly caused divisions in the council. In April, Neos Kosmos published an opinion piece by Monash councillor Theo Zographos, in which he openly opposed the proposal, and Monash mayor Paul Klisaris abstained from voting on this matter.However, further consultation with the public has seen the recommendation thrown out the window.From 10 April to 9 May, locals were able to have their say on the matter, and saw the majority of almost 1,000 community groups and municipalities taking a stance, with an overwhelming 94.5 per cent voting in opposition, indicating that smokers are welcome at the cafes and restaurants of Eaton Mall.One of these individuals was president of the Glen Waverley Traders Association, and owner of Mocha Jo’s, Christos Christofides.He told Neos Kosmos that the state government’s smoking regulations have been put in place in the area for almost a year now, and they do work.He also pointed out that from a business perspective, banning smoking entirely would have dire consequences.“The total ban on smoking outside the restaurants does not help our businesses, especially at this time when things are difficult,” he said.“The state has already legislated on where smoking is allowed and prohibited. This is the case in all Victorian venues. What Monash has attempted to do is clearly overstepping their powers. They tried to create a law within the law and that was unacceptable. We, as restaurateurs, along with smokers, have accepted the law of the state and we apply it faithfully.”Eaton Mall has designated outside areas where patrons are permitted to smoke.In a bid to find out whether Monash Council will be continuing its efforts to enforce a total smoking ban, following the outcome of the public consultation, Neos Kosmos contacted Deputy Mayor Shane McCluskey, who was short in his response.“The outcome of the public consultation was submitted to the city council and the municipality’s policy on the issue remains unchanged,” he said.Despite the state government’s changes to designated smoking areas having undoubtedly affected business, with less patrons venturing to Eaton Mall in the evenings, Mr Christofides is optimistic, saying that slowly but surely the mentality around smoking in the community is changing – without the need for further drastic measures to be taken.“A total ban on smoking doesn’t bring about a change in attitude. That will happen gradually,” he said. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

O Car liPhone se convertit en autoradio

first_imgO Car : l’iPhone se convertit en autoradioÉtats-Unis – Une application permet désormais de transformer l’iPhone en autoradio. O Car, c’est son nom, est aussi équipée de la fonction RDS (Radio Data System) permettant de suivre la même radio durant tout un long trajet.O Car permet à l’iPhone de se convertir en autoradio perfectionné. Que ce soit par l’intermédiaire de YouTube, de stations de radio ou de la musique stockée dans l’appareil, des sauvegardes sont disponibles afin de faire votre sélection. En cas d’appel, le téléphone se met en mode mains libres pour pouvoir répondre. L’amplificateur de 4x55W permet d’avoir une écoute agréable. Côté visuel, l’utilisateur n’est pas en reste puisque l’application, développée par Oxygen Audio, comprend une façade ressemblant à un autoradio classique. O Car sera disponible à partir du mois de juin au prix de 249 euros.Le 26 mai 2010 à 12:18 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

Massachusetts hospital worker claims record lottery jackpot

first_imgBRAINTREE, Mass. — A 53-year-old Massachusetts hospital worker stepped forward Thursday to claim the biggest undivided lottery jackpot in U.S. history — $758.7 million — after breaking the news to her employer the way the rest of us only dream of: “I called and told them I will not be coming back.”“The first thing I want to do is just sit back and relax,” Mavis L. Wanczyk told reporters at a news conference.Wanczyk chose to take a lump-sum payment of $480 million, or $336 million after taxes, lottery officials said. Winners who take a gradual payout stand to get more money spread out over several decades.The previous evening, she recalled, she was leaving work with a firefighter and remarked, “It’s never going to be me. It’s just a pipe dream that I’ve always had.”Then she read the number on her ticket and realized she had won.Wanczyk has two adult children, a daughter and a son.The jackpot is the second-largest U.S. lottery prize, ahead of a $656 million Mega Millions prize won by three people in 2012. But Wednesday’s big prize is still dwarfed by a $1.6 billion Powerball jackpot divvied up between three winners in January 2016.The announcement that a winner had come forward came after a turbulent morning in which lottery officials initially misidentified not only the store that sold the winning ticket, but the town.last_img read more

Voices raised against gun violence

first_imgFor information on Heidi Yewman’s book, visit Beyond the Bullet.On the one-year anniversary of the shooting of 19 people in a Tucson, Ariz., Safeway parking lot, about 30 people in Vancouver gathered to encourage gun safety and promote ways to prevent gun violence.The candlelight vigil was at St. Paul Lutheran Church and featured a survivor of the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.Andrea Bannister of Vancouver said she was a 17-year-old junior at Columbine when that Colorado massacre left 15 dead and 21 injured.She said her best friend, Corey DePooter, died and her boyfriend, Austin Eubanks, was wounded. Both were in the library.Bannister said she wanted to see what was happening when shots rang out and a substitute teacher refused to let her leave the classroom.“He saved my life by not letting me go,” she said. The teacher later led students down a hallway, out an exit and over a chain-link fence and told students to “run like hell.”“It still affects my life today, and it always will,” Bannister said. “I still have nightmares. … I am not a victim, but I am a survivor, and I always will be.”The Vancouver event was one of 65 on Sunday in 22 states, said Heidi Yewman, a writer who lives in Salmon Creek. She is a former Littleton, Colo., student and her teacher and coach, Dave Sanders, died in the massacre.last_img read more

GHMC move to stop littering gets legup

first_imgHyderabad: Cleanliness is next to godliness. All of us have heard this phrase many times. But do we follow this? A lot of people don’t even think we should keep our surroundings clean. Taking up the responsibility on her own shoulders, someone who is not content with just carrying out her job, a city resident Naniwadekar Medha, an architect-turned Swachh Bharat activist, has decided to make a tangible difference in her locality and started ‘Fenko Matt’ an initiative to sensitise people to stop littering. She and like-minded people visit various marketplaces and even go door-to-door, driving home the message. Also Read – Golden 90’s Music Superstars – Alka Yagnik & Kumar Sanu LIVE in Concert will be performing together for the very 1st time in the city of pearls,… Advertise With Us Speaking to Hans India on Sunday, Medha explained about ‘Fenko Matt’ initiative thus: “Under this campaign a few of us decided that starting this drive from a marketplace will be a good thing. So, we choose Lal Bazar as it is a compact market with small shops and well-laid pattern. We continued the drive there for one month and it yielded considerable results, which boosted our confidence.” Also Read – Warrant issued against Renuka Chowdhury in cheating case Advertise With Us She added further: “During the anti-littering drive, we ensure that all garbage and waste material is cleaned up by the shopkeeper who has caused it, and sensitise them about the ill-effects of discarding improperly. We also tell them to stop others from dumping trash so that it becomes an ingrained habit. Our civic authorities alone can’t keep the city clean, and it’s us citizens who have to be involved in making the surroundings neat and green and help our civic authorities. We as citizens should do our job of segregating the garbage properly and rest of the work can be handled by the civic authorities.” Advertise With Us Helped by like-minded individuals like Vijaya Naidu, Leela Sishta, along with a few regular volunteers, the team has so far covered areas such as Neredmet, Sainkipuri, Kapra, Lal Bazaar, and Panjagutta. Also through this initiative, the team has carried out more awareness programmes at temples, tourist places, commercial areas which are the common places, where people tend to litter more.last_img read more

Volkswagen fined 13 million for violating Brazilian environment regulations

first_imgGerman automaker Volkswagen was fined 50 million reais ($13.1 million) by the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) for modifying vehicles to falsely pass environmental regulations, the government announced on Thursday.The company was notified on Thursday and will have to present a plan on how it will fix its vehicles to comply with Brazilian norms, Xinhua reported.Vehicles needing to be recalled in order for this fix to take place will only see a particular piece changed, in order to register accurate emissions, with no change being done to the function of the engine.On 18 September, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced that Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Volkswagen Group of America had all flouted the country’s environmental regulations.The violation concerns Volkswagen’s diesel-power, four-cylinder vehicles manufactured between 2009 and 2015, which used a piece of software which falsified emissions data generated by the exhaust.Volkswagen will also now have to share detailed information about the production and sales of vehicles in Brazil, which are concerned by the violation, similarly to actions taken by the US government.So far, Volkswagen has recognised that its Amarok line of vehicles, manufactured in 2011 and 2012, did carry the same illicit software as that found in the US.The 50 million reais fine is the highest amount permitted for such violations by the country’s Environmental Crimes Law.last_img read more

4 killed in Indias Kashmir gunbattle

first_imgThree soldiers and a suspected militant were killed in a gunbattle in Indian-administered Kashmir Tuesday after an army patrol came under fire in the north of the territory, officials said.”Three soldiers were killed during a gunfight with militants that broke out at Hajin in Bandipora district,” army spokesman Rajesh Kalia told AFP, adding that five other soldiers were injured.A police official said a civilian also sustained injuries in the cross-firing which erupted after the government forces cordoned off an area following a tip-off about the presence of militants.”A search party was suddenly fired upon by the militants as it zeroed in on a residential area,” a police superintendent told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorised to talk to the press.He added that nine soldiers were injured in the initial attack and were immediately shifted to army hospital.”Three among them later succumbed to their injuries,” he added.One militant, whose identity was not yet known, was also killed in the operation, he added.Tuesday’s deadly violence came days after four militants, two soldiers and two civilians were killed in a flare-up in southern Kashmir.Kashmir has been divided between India and Pakistan since they won independence from Britain in 1947. Both claim the Himalayan territory in its entirety.An armed rebellion that started in the region in 1989 has left tens of thousands, mostly civilians, dead.last_img read more

Small fish passes classic selfawareness test

first_img © 2018 Phys.org Since the 1970s, a test developed by Gordon Gallup has been the gold standard for testing for self-awareness—researchers make a mark on a creature’s face and introduce a mirror. If the animal makes some attempt to touch or remove the mark, they are deemed to have self-awareness. Since the test first came into use, only a few animals have ever passed the test. Besides humans, the list currently includes chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, dolphins, elephants and pigeons. Others have responded in ways that have left their results in dispute. In this new effort, the researchers tested the relatively unknown cleaner wrasse—a tiny tropical fish. Prior research has shown that they have very good eyesight and go after parasites on the bodies of other fish. They are also very territorial.To test the fish, the researchers first placed specimens in a fish tank with a mirror and watched what happened. As expected, the fish behaved as if viewing encroachments on their territory—they tried to attack their reflections. After giving the fish time to get used to the mirror, the researchers found they began exhibiting abnormal behavior—they bobbed as if watching themselves dance. Next, the team used a gel to mark the foreheads of the test fish—marks that the fish could only see when they looked in the mirror. The researchers report that some of the test fish spent more time looking at their reflection, and that some of them actually tried scraping their face in the location of the gel, as if trying to remove it. The researchers claim this behavior indicates the fish passed the self-awareness test—they saw the mark on their forehead and tried to touch it in the only way available to them.More tests will have to be done by others to prove the behavior was as it appeared and not just an attempt by the fish to grab and eat what they perceived as a parasite affixed to the head of a nearby fish. Shrimp heal injured fish Credit: bioRxiv (2018). DOI: 10.1101/397067 Citation: Small fish passes classic self-awareness test (2018, September 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-small-fish-classic-self-awareness.html More information: Masanori Kohda et al. Cleaner wrasse pass the mark test. What are the implications for consciousness and self-awareness testing in animals?, bioRxiv (2018). DOI: 10.1101/397067AbstractThe ability to perceive and recognise a reflected mirror image as self (mirror self-recognition, MSR) is considered a hallmark of cognition across species. Although MSR has been reported in mammals and birds, it is not known to occur in any other major taxon. A factor potentially limiting the ability to test for MSR is that the established assay for MSR, the mark test, shows an interpretation bias towards animals with the dexterity (or limbs) required to touch a mark. Here, we show that the cleaner wrasse fish, Labroides dimidiatus, passes through all phases of the mark test: (i) social reactions towards the reflection, (ii) repeated idiosyncratic behaviours towards the mirror (contingency testing), and (iii) frequent observation of their reflection. When subsequently provided with a coloured tag, individuals attempt to remove the mark in the presence of a mirror but show no response towards transparent marks, or to coloured marks in the absence of a mirror. This remarkable finding presents a challenge to our interpretation of the mark test – do we accept that these behavioural responses in the mark test, which are taken as evidence of self-recognition in other species, mean that fish are self-aware? Or do we conclude that these behavioural patterns have a basis in a cognitive process other than self-recognition? If the former, what does this mean for our understanding of animal intelligence? If the latter, what does this mean for our application and interpretation of the mark test as a metric for animal cognitive abilities? This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further An international team of researchers has found a small tropical fish that is capable of passing a classic test of self-awareness. The results are published on the bioRxiv prepress server.last_img read more

Tapping Into the Expanding Mobile Opportunities of Emerging Markets

first_img Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global May 29, 2014 The face of the global smartphone market is changing. According to research by eMarketer, the number of worldwide smartphone users passed the 1 billion milestone in 2012. By the end of this year, that number will nearly double.Yet the dynamics involved with this second billion are far different that those of the first. If app developers and marketers wish to profit from the next gigantic customer base, they need to understand how these consumers select, pay for and use apps. Related: Get Ready for the Next Digital Revolution as the Rest of the World Goes OnlineDifferences in emerging markets. Affordability and usage patterns are not homogenous throughout the economic strata. What works among more affluent “early adopters” in developed nations does not translate to the experience of less wealthy — yet still very enthusiastic — consumers in less-developed countries.While smartphone ownership is increasingly common in developing nations like the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China), usage characteristics are far different than what’s found in North America and Europe. Outside of certain Western nations, cellular contracts are virtually nonexistent. It’s not unusual to find people carrying the latest Android devices but without voice or data service lasting more than a few days. That’s because most consumers around the world prepay in cash for mobile services.In much of the developing world and for the vast majority of its smartphone owners, credit-card penetration is very low. These mobile users are on prepaid plans, buying minutes just before using them, in a stark contrast to the plans popular in the developed world (whereby billing occurs after usage according to a contract). The typical prepaid scenario is for a user to stop by a drugstore or newsstand, give a cashier money and “top off” a wireless account with credit to pay in advance for calls in the next few days or week or two.Other dynamics are at play in BRIC and other countries. In the modest Android devices that predominate by a wide margin over Apple iPhones, available onboard memory is very limited. Moreover, users download a lot of free apps but seldom pay for premium digital content or make in-app purchases.App Annie Index statistics for this year’s first quarter bear this out: The United States was the only country to outperform Brazil, Russia, South Korea and India in the number of apps downloaded on Google Play. Yet in terms of app revenue on Google Play for the same period, the top five countries are Japan, United States, South Korea, Germany and the United Kingdom. Brazil, Russia and India didn’t even make the list.So how does an app company penetrate this huge new market? App developers and marketers may be very successful but adaptations in monetization strategies are required. Here are six suggestions:Related: 7 Myths of Developing Mobile Apps1. Shrink the download size. In developing countries, connectivity is still expensive. Most users rely on free Wi-Fi or low-speed 2G and scarce 3G coverage. Consider creating smaller versions of titles or incremental downloads. Many game developers, for example, make their Levels 1 and 2 available first and offer the opportunity to download higher levels later.2. Seek out app stores without data-usage fees. Some carriers preload onto phones app stores that provide downloads with no data- usage fees. Since most emerging countries’ smartphone users have  limited access to 3G or 4G data packages due to the high costs and their limited available income, being able to distribute apps without users having an active data package improves the chance of an app being downloaded and therefore benefits a developer. 3. Localize. While the idea of translating text into a local language may seem obvious, additional steps can be taken. In China, a co-production model is not uncommon, whereby a local distribution partner will change the look and feel of an app so it has localized themes and music.4. Offer subscription bundling. For marketers of premium apps, listing in a subscription-based store (such as what my company Bemobi offers) can increase the number of trials and overcome the initial cost barrier, since users perceive that they are receiving much greater value for their money.Related: Are Mobile Ads Good for Your Business? (Infographic)5. Think about granting a low-ticket price. Keep in mind the “pay-as-you-go” mind-set that most users in developing countries are comfortable with. A low subscription fee, based on shorter daily or weekly cycles (in contrast to a costly monthly fee), will work better in regions where end users are used to topping off their accounts.6. Look at local carriers. Since the majority of these users have no access to electronic payment, carriers are increasingly finding it valuable to partner with specialized local app stores that want to leverage their distribution and prepaid billing capabilities. More than 75 percent of app revenue in China comes from carrier billing and carrier-branded app stores. Developers of premium apps can realize recurring revenue through a usage-based formula. Related: How Social Franchising Is Bringing Jobs to the Developing WorldChanging distribution models. While the Apple App Store and Google Play dominate app distribution in the States, it’s different in other countries where the credit-card payment model simply doesn’t work. China has in excess of 200 app stores, although a consolidation is under way. Qihoo 360, Wandoujia, 91 Mobile, UCWeb, Baidu and carrier China Mobile’s app store are emerging as the leading players.Wandoujia, with more than 300 million users, has attracted major Western app titles like Line, Flipboard, Evernote and Path. China Mobile, as well as China Telecom and China Unicom, account for the vast majority of carrier billing that benefits the Chinese app developer market, valued last year at $1.3 billion by app developer CocoaChina.Brazilian smartphone users currently look to Google Play for app downloads. Nearly all these apps, however, are free. Developers wishing to adapt their revenue models to make money are embracing a prepaid model achieved through Brazil’s mobile carriers. Initially focusing on Brazil (which has 250 million mobile subscribers), my company Bemobi is partnering with local mobile carriers such as Oi to offer apps from Electronic Arts and others. Aside from mobile app developers, any business trying to reach users globally needs to understand the potential of the large swath of customers who will have soon have their first personal connected device. This new set of users may be using smartphones as their first personal device to connect to the Internet. And they will be connected through prepaid mobile services, most likely won’t have credit cards and will have different expectations about prices. Therefore, variances in distribution, pricing and billing strategies will be key.Related: Are Retailers Missing Out on Mobile? Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 6 min readlast_img read more

FCS Unit puts sex offenders behind bars

first_imgThe Ladysmith Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) recently recorded good convictions in several of their cases.On Wednesday, February 17, the Regional Court found a 27-year-old man guilty of raping four children and sentenced him to four life sentences.The conviction relates to a Besters case which happened in October 2013 in the Driefontein area. The accused, who cannot be named due to his familial relationship to one of the victims, mentioned to some people that he was luring children with sweets and then raping them. One of those present reported what they had heard to the mother of one of the children, who in turn reported the matter to police. On the same day, police arrested the accused.Seven children, all aged between five and seven years old, were identified as victims of the accused.After extensive counselling with the SAPS Forensic Social Worker, only four of the children were able to testify in court, resulting in the four life sentences.In another case of rape which happened on the afternoon of June 16, 2013, a 12-year-old girl visited a tuck shop in the Steadville area. While there, she was forced into an adjoining room where she was raped by two men. After her ordeal, she immediately reported the incident. The two accused were arrested by police at their residences.Warrant Officer Masengemi was tasked with the investigation and he roped in the assistance of Lieutenant Ndulini, the Forensic Social Worker, who assisted to prepare the young victim for court.  The case was heard in the Ezakheni Backlog Court recently and the accused, Bongumusa Handsome Hudla (21), was sentenced to 13 years’ imprisonment.He was also declared unfit to possess a firearm and his name is to be included in the National Register for Sexual Offenders.The second accused, who cannot be named because he was a juvenile at the time, was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.The investigating officer, Warrant Officer MJ Masengemi, stated that the SAPS Forensic Social Worker, Lieutenant Ndulini, made it so much easier for him to be able to communicate with the victims, especially the very young children. He also went on to thank prosecutors Miss Mpomane and Miss Zungu, who were both a great help in guiding the investigations.Constable IS Ntshingila from the same unit recorded convictions in another three cases.In a case of rape which occurred in July 2014 in the Dival area near Ekuvukeni, a six-year-old girl was playing when a 16-year-old boy from the area threatened her with a screwdriver and then raped her. The child’s aunt discovered that something had happened with the child and reported the matter to police.The next day, the suspect was arrested. He was recently sentenced in the Ezakheni Backlog Court to five years’ imprisonment, which includes a suspended sentence and correctional supervision, after he pleaded guilty to rape.In a case of sexual assault which happened in the Ekuvukeni area on February 14 this year, the accused, 22-year-old Mandesi Msezane, approached the home of an 18-year-old girl and finding her alone at home, he began touching her inappropriately.The girl reported the matter to police and the suspect was arrested. He was sentenced at the Ekuvukeni Magistrate’s Court to 12 months in jail.In yet another rape case which occurred during February 2011, a woman was walking to her boyfriend’s house in the Hlathi area of Ekuvukeni when she began feeling insecure and asked a man she knew to accompany her.As the two were walking along, the man suddenly grabbed her and forced her into the bushes where he raped her.As soon as she reached her residence, she reported the incident. A case docket was opened at Ekuvukeni SAPS and it was transferred to the Ladysmith FCS Unit for further investigation. The suspect was arrested and appeared in court, where he was granted bail. He failed to appear in court on the date of trial and fled the area. A warrant of arrest was issued in his name, and detectives traced and re-arrested him last year.He appeared in court and bail was then refused. Recently, Sphamandla Paul Nxumalo (28) was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment in the Ekuvukeni Magistrate’s Court. He was also found unfit to possess a firearm. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite last_img read more

3 EU nations pledge cooperation on developing Eurodrone

first_img Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories The nations also see the project as a way to strengthen defense cooperation in Europe’s fragmented market.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Comments   Share   Top Stories Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facilitycenter_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona BRUSSELS (AP) — Germany, France and Italy have pledged cooperation to jointly develop a “Euro-drone” for intelligence-gathering and surveillance of the skies.The three on Monday committed to a two-year study to have a Remotely Piloted Aircraft System ready within a decade.They said in a statement that “once operational, the system will perform long-endurance intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.”last_img read more

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first_img – / 19 Top Stories Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Thank you for your continued support as I get through this matter.— Daryl Washington (@DWashington58) April 3, 2013 Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact He also tweeted:I apologize to all my fans, teammates and to the Cardinals Organization. I promise to work even harder and to not let you guys down anymore.— Daryl Washington (@DWashington58) April 3, 2013 It’s a big loss for the Cardinals, but Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians hopes his player learns from this. “Adversity and dealing with it is part of the business but when it’s avoidable like this was, it’s particularly tough,” he said in a statement. “One of the biggest things we preach is accountability; Daryl knows that and our team knows that. We will deal with this and others will have to step up until he’s back. I’m confident they will.”Washington, 26, was a Pro Bowl alternate who got to play in the game after posting 134 tackles — 108 solo — and nine sacks in 2012. For his career, the former second-round pick out of TCU has accumulated 319 tackles, 15 sacks and four interceptions.He signed a six-year, $32 million contract extension prior to the 2012 season and was due a $10 million roster bonus this year, but ESPN NFC West blogger Mike Sando reports the bonus was renegotiated last month so that it comes due in 2014 instead. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling The Arizona Cardinals will be without the services of linebacker Daryl Washington when the 2013 season begins.The NFL announced Wednesday that Washington has been suspended without pay for the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. He will be eligible to return to the team’s active roster on the day after their fourth regular season game. “I was always taught that when you make a mistake, you admit it, learn from it and face whatever consequences there are,” Washington said in a statement released by the team. “I take full responsibility and I understand that I let down my teammates, the organization and fans. I apologize for that and promise that no one will work harder to make up for it.” Comments   Share   last_img read more

Related Extra flights to St Petersburg to be laid

first_img RelatedExtra flights to St Petersburg to be laid on by AeroflotAeroflot is planning to increase its number of flights to St Petersburg from Moscow from seven to nine a dayIncreased flights to Moscow as part of Czech Airlines’ winter scheduleCzech Airlines has launched new flights to destinations in eastern EuropeRussian national carrier begins joint operations with Czech AirlinesRussian national carrier begins joint operations with Czech Airlines Russian airline Aeroflot will begin operating regular flights to Dresden from Moscow next month.The city will become the seventh in Germany served by the airline once flights are launched on July 3rd.Flights will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays, taking off from Moscow at 16:30 (local time) and arriving in Dresden at 17:10 (local time).Return flights will depart from Germany at 18:10 before touching down in the Russian capital at 22:45.The new route is expected to prove popular thanks to Dresden’s status as one of Germany’s main industrial, transport and cultural hubs, known throughout Europe for its impressive architecture.Aeroflot launched its first flights to Dresden in 1972, although the service was suspended in 1993.The carrier also operates flights to Berlin, Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Munich, Hamburg and Hannover.Aeroflot airline recently launched flights to Ovda Airport in Israel, which is located 60km from the holiday destination of Eilat.Russia’s largest airline now flies to 98 destinations in 48 countries.ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Maplast_img read more