The Healthy Living Tax Credit gives Nova Scotians of all ages an added incentive to get more active in 2009. Barry Barnet, Minister of Health Promotion and Protection, hosted an event today, Dec. 16, in Dartmouth to encourage Nova Scotians to get active and take advantage of the tax credit, which has been extended to include adults who participate in fitness activities. “The expansion of the Healthy Living Tax Credit from children and youth to people of all ages is a critical step to help people make healthier life choices,” said Mr. Barnet. “I encourage all Nova Scotians, as they approach the new year, to make a personal commitment to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.” The expansion was announced as part of the 2008-09 budget. Programs that qualify include any organized sport, physical recreation or physical activity program that is offered to the public by the government of Canada, the province of Nova Scotia or any municipal government within the province. A private or not-for-profit organization registered to do business in Nova Scotia is also eligible. This includes activities such as swimming lessons, dance classes, ski memberships, gym memberships, hockey registrations and many more. Adults and children who sign up for registered sport and physical activity programs in 2009 will receive a 8.79 per cent credit off registration fees. To get the credit, they must keep and submit the receipt as part of their 2009 tax returns. They will then receive a maximum tax reduction $44 per person. The maximum expenditure per individual will be $500. Registration fee receipts must be dated on or after Jan. 1, 2009 for an adult to get the credit. “Hockey is just one of many physical activities that people can register for and receive the tax credit,” said Darren Cossar, executive director of Hockey Nova Scotia. “We’re glad to see the government of Nova Scotia encouraging people to sign up and get more physically active.” A list of provincial sport organizations, member groups, organized sports and physical recreation and physical activity organizations that are registered for the tax credit is available at www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/HealthyLivingIncentive.html . The Nova Scotia Healthy Living Tax Incentive was introduced in 2005, providing a credit for registrations of up to $150 in registration fees for eligible children’s fitness activities. The maximum expense was increased to $500 in 2006. It is estimated the tax credit will generate a savings of more than $8 million per year for active Nova Scotians.
New Delhi: Unfazed by the ban on TikTok in India, the popular Chinese short video app’s parent ByteDance remains “very optimistic” and plans to invest $1 billion in the country over the next three years. ByteDance — touted to be among the world’s most valuable startups with investors like SoftBank, General Atlantic, KKR and Sequoia on board — also offers platforms like Helo and Vigo Video in India. Speaking to PTI, ByteDance Director (International Public Policy) Helena Lersch said the company has been strengthening its content moderation policies over the last many months. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”We are obviously disappointed by the current developments, but we are also very optimistic that we will resolve this issue. We remain committed to our Indian users. As a company, we are looking to invest $1 billion over the next three years in India, that is how bullish we will remain to be here,” she said. The company would also be increasing the number of employees in India to 1,000 people by the end of this year. TikTok, which allows users to create short videos and share them, has more than 120 million users in India and is popular among youngsters. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boostThe Madras High Court on April 3 had directed the Centre to ban TikTok app, saying it was evident from media reports that pornography and inappropriate content were made available through such mobile apps. Following the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the Madras High Court order, tech giants Google and Apple removed TikTok from their app stores in India to prohibit further downloads of the app. Those who have already downloaded the app would be able to continue using it on their phones. Lersch declined to comment on court proceedings as the matter is subjudice. The hearing of the matter is scheduled for April 22 in the Supreme Court and for April 24 in the Madras High Court. India is a critical market for social media platforms given the large population of 1.3 billion people. With increasing availability of affordable smartphones and cheap data plans, the country is also the largest mobile data consumer market globally — an opportunity that global tech companies are vying to tap into. “We, as a company, abide by local laws, but we also want to be culturally appropriate. We have a content moderation team in India. We increased the capacity of our content moderation team globally by 400 per cent last year because we were prepared for the growth,” she added. According to her, the company has a a two-step approach for content moderation. “First is a tech approach — a machine learning tool that filters content and then it goes to a content moderation team. In India, the team speaks 14 languages. I think, it is fundamentally important that the team is based in the country and speaks local languages to make culturally relevant decisions,” she said. Around six million videos have been taken off the platform for violating its community guidelines, she added. Besides planned $1 billion investment, Lersche said the company would be ramping up headcount to 1,000 people by December 2019. “(About) 25 per cent of that will be just content moderation, which means there is full-time moderation staff based in India…We have around 250 full-time staff (right now) but we are very growing that rapidly,” she added.
7 May 2008Art can be a catalyst for environmental action – that’s the message today from a United Nations seminar and exhibit which are bringing together artists from around the world. Mia Hanak, Founding Executive Director of the Natural World Museum, which is co-sponsoring the events in New York, said that, “art is a vehicle for environmental action and social change. Our collective goal is to ignite people’s passion for being a part of the global solution and together inspiring people to take bold actions in finding new ways to embrace sustainable lifestyles.” The seminar and art exhibition are also sponsored by the UN’s Environment Programme (UNEP) and Department of Public Information (DPI), under the title, “art changing attitudes toward the environment.” Seven artists from different regions of the world are exhibiting photographs focusing on the environment at UN Headquarters in New York until the end of May. Indian-born photographer Subhankar Banerjee has photographed the Arctic region over the past eight years and said today that the area suffered from negative perceptions as a “hostile wasteland” and that its indigenous peoples had also suffered from intolerance. “I hope that my work would help unlearn many of these intolerances against a whole part of our planet and our indigenous friends who call this home,” he said. The events are part of the “Unlearning Intolerance Seminar Series” which was initiated by the UN in 2004. Eric Falt, Director of Outreach with DPI, said that the aim was to “examine intolerance, as well as to explore ways to promote respect and understanding among peoples.” “In previous years,” he said, “the series has focused on anti-Semitism, Islamophobia, genocide and the role of the media in promoting tolerance.” Ms. Hanak said, “We are sending out a call to action through the arts to break down our barriers and activate environmental and social transformation. We can each do our part in turning the tide in public awareness – and just remember one person can make a difference and together we can create change.”
Martin Mogwanja, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Pakistan, has cautioned that emergency food supplies for flood-affected people will run out in December unless additional resources are received. With winter on the way, seven million people still do not have adequate shelter or quilts, blankets and warm clothing, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).The $2 billion appeal for aid for Pakistani flood victims, the largest-ever launched by the UN and its partners for a natural disaster, is currently 39 per cent funded. OCHA spokesperson Elisabeth Byrs underscored the need for more contributions to the appeal, noting that some key sectors such as food security, health and camp coordination and management were “seriously underfunded.” Humanitarian assistance, notably in Sindh province, where 7.2 million people remained affected by the floods, was vital ahead of the winter, she told reporters in Geneva. The water has receded in some places, but it might take more than six months before other areas dried up.She added that one million people are living in temporary shelters or in camps in Sindh, but the humanitarian aid pipeline is being restricted due to a lack of contributions, notably in the food sector. “The humanitarian response in Sindh must be stepped up,” she urged, while noting that this is very difficult to do given the lack of funding. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) believes tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of people will have to remain in camps throughout the winter, due to persistent standing waters in parts of Sindh and Balochistan. The agency’s spokesperson, Adrian Edwards, said those hardest hit by the flooding – people affected by extreme poverty, loss of livelihoods and other vulnerabilities – might need camp accommodation even longer. He added that shelter, household items, food and clean drinking water remained the biggest needs and, as winter approached, UNHCR is increasingly being asked to provide more blankets and quilts. Meanwhile, the head of the UN World Health Organization (WHO) has wrapped up a three-day visit to Pakistan, during which she visited health facilities in different parts of the country and met with health authorities, as well as Pakistan’s President, on the recovery efforts and the continuing health needs. Director-General Margaret Chan also launched a polio programme in northern Pakistan and visited diarrhoea treatment and nutrition centres in Sindh province while in the country, where the main health concerns are acute respiratory infections, suspected malaria, acute diarrhoea and skin diseases. WHO spokesperson Paul Garwood said that in response to the concerns around diarrhoeal diseases and cholera, more than 60 diarrhoea treatment centres have been established across the flood-affected areas.Dengue fever and new cases of polio are also appearing in some parts of the country, he added. 29 October 2010United Nations humanitarian agencies today called for urgent additional resources for the flood relief efforts in Pakistan, warning that millions are at risk of not having enough food, shelter and warm clothing as winter approaches.
The International Criminal Police Organization, ICPO or INTERPOL is looking for Sri Lanka’s former Ambassador to Russia Udayanga Weeratunga, the Government said today.Deputy Foreign Minister Dr. Harsha de Silva told Parliament that officers had visited the listed address of Weeratunga in Ukraine but he was not there. Udayanga Weeratunga is wanted in Sri Lanka over investigations being conducted into a MiG aircraft deal. Dr. Harsha de Silva also insisted that the diplomatic passport given to Weeratunga has been cancelled. He said that Weeratunga has been seen in photographs published on the internet in Malaysia but he is not travelling on a Sri Lankan diplomatic passport. (Colombo Gazette)
Facebook CEO and Harvard dropout Mark Zuckerberg delivers the commencement address at Harvard University commencement exercises, Thursday, May 25, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass., (AP Photo/Steven Senne) NEW YORK, N.Y. – Mark Zuckerberg returned Thursday to Harvard, where he launched Facebook and then dropped out, telling graduates it’s up to them to bring purpose to the world, fight inequality and strengthen the global community.“Change starts local. Even global changes start small — with people like us,” the Facebook CEO said. He shared stories about graduates such as David Razu Aznar, a former city leader who led the effort to legalize gay marriage in Mexico City, and Agnes Igoye, who grew up in conflict zones in Uganda and now trains law enforcement officers.“And this is my story too,” Zuckerberg added. “A student in a dorm room, connecting one community at a time, and keeping at it until one day we can connect the whole world.”Such lofty talk now comes naturally to Zuckerberg, a 33-year-old billionaire who has committed to giving away nearly all of his wealth. In February, he sketched out an ambitious, if vague, vision for Facebook that committed the company to developing “social infrastructure” that would help build a “global community that works for all of us.”But it also strikes a sharp contrast with the criticism Facebook has taken recently — not so much for connecting the world (a big chunk of it, anyway) as for failing to anticipate how vulnerable that connectedness could be to those who abuse it.JOURNEY BACKZuckerberg, who like the graduates is a millennial, started Facebook in his dorm room in 2004. What began as a closed networking site for Harvard students is now a global communications force with nearly 2 billion members. Facebook’s founding was the subject of a Hollywood movie, “The Social Network,” in 2010.Facebook’s effect has been profound. It has connected people who would have never met otherwise, letting them form supportive networks online and offline. And it has allowed people to communicate in developing countries even if they don’t have a phone number or a smartphone.But it has also served to spread misinformation bordering on propaganda, hateful views and bullying, reflecting the worst parts of humanity back to us.In his commencement speech, in interviews and in his February manifesto, Zuckerberg is decidedly optimistic about all that. He’s been saying he wants to make the world more open and connected for more than a decade now, and he doesn’t relent.HIGHER PURPOSEHe told the graduates how, when Facebook’s investors and executives wanted him to sell the company early on, he resisted. “You see, my hope was never to build a company, but to make an impact,” he said. But as a young CEO, he never explained this to his co-workers, and the subsequent fight “tore our company apart.”“I wondered if I was just wrong, an impostor, a 22 year-old kid who had no idea how the world worked,” Zuckerberg said. “Now, years later, I understand that is how things work with no sense of higher purpose. It’s up to us to create it so we can all keep moving forward together.”Later in the speech, Zuckerberg’s voice cracked with emotion as he talked about a high school student he mentors who is living in the U.S. illegally. When Zuckerberg asked him what he wants for his birthday, the student started talking about others he wanted to help, and asked for a book on social justice.“Here is a young guy who has every reason to be cynical,” Zuckerberg said, his eyes welling with tears. “He wasn’t sure if the country he calls home — the only one he’s known — was going to deny him his dream of going to college. But he wasn’t feeling sorry for himself. He wasn’t even thinking of himself.”If he can do this, Zuckerberg said, “then we owe it to the world to do our part too.”Zuckerberg isn’t all talk on this front. He signed the “Giving Pledge” commitment to donate the majority of his money in 2010; five years later, he upped that to 99 per cent. Together with his wife, pediatrician Priscilla Chan, he formed the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a philanthropic organization focused on advancing science and education.HONORARY DEGREEZuckerberg follows another famous Harvard dropout, Bill Gates, who spoke before its graduates a decade ago. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who dropped out of Reed College in Oregon, gave Stanford’s commencement speech in 2005, reminding students to “stay hungry, stay foolish.”In addition to delivering the speech, Zuckerberg received an honorary degree, 12 years after dropping out of Harvard, and was subsequently introduced to graduates as “Dr. Mark Zuckerberg.” Others receiving honorary degrees included the actress Judi Dench, the composer John Williams (known for “Star Wars,” ”Harry Potter” and many other scores) and Somali human rights activist and physician Hawa Abdi Dhiblawe.“If I get through this speech today it’ll be the first time I actually finish something here at Harvard,” Zuckerberg said. He did. by Barbara Ortutay, The Associated Press Posted May 25, 2017 8:30 pm MDT Last Updated May 25, 2017 at 11:20 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Zuckerberg urges Harvard grads to build a world of ‘purpose’
Autisme : un documentaire révèle l’approche inadaptée de la psychanalyseL’association Autistes sans frontières présente le documentaire “Le mur” qui permet de constater à quel point les conceptions des différents psychiatres et psychanalystes français s’opposent à celles de nombreux scientifiques et des familles.Le documentaire de 52 minutes intitulé “Le mur” et sous-titré “la psychanalyse à l’épreuve de l’autisme” a été projeté hier soir à Paris. Cette première présentation de l’association Autistes sans frontières intervient au moment où se termine la consultation publique ouverte en juillet par la Haute autorité de santé et qui visait à mettre au point des recommandations de bonne pratique de l’accompagnement et du suivi de l’autisme.Ce documentaire, essentiellement basé sur des entretiens avec des psychanalystes et des rencontres de familles d’enfants autistes, se veut une “véritable démonstration par l’absurde de l’inefficacité de l’approche psychanalytique de l’autisme”. L’association commence par rappeler qu’en 2000 la chercheuse de l’Inserm Monica Zilbovicius a vu dans l’autisme “un trouble neurologique entraînant un handicap dans l’interaction sociale”, correspondant à “des anomalies dans le sillon temporal supérieur” du cerveau.Par ailleurs, dans le film, la réalisatrice Sophie Robert rencontre une vingtaine de pédopsychiatres et psychanalystes français, pour qui “il y a beaucoup à voir entre autisme et psychose”, rapporte TV5monde. Même si certains d’entre eux ont estimé à d’autres occasions que l’autisme a des causes “multiples et variables” nécessitant des approches multidimensionnelles, incluant certaines techniques éducatives spécialisées.Des découvertes niées par les psychiatresÀ lire aussiLe festival Pariscience et Ushuaïa TV lancent la 3e édition du Prix du premier film scientifiqueAinsi, pour les psychanalystes interrogés, l’autisme pourrait être la conséquence d’un problème mère-enfant. Selon eux, cette maladie découlerait d’une dépression maternelle, d’une mauvaise relation avec l’enfant, voire d’un refus de l’apport masculin pour la conception. Certains parlent de mère “psychogène”, de “stade de folie transitoire” de la mère, voire de “désir incestueux”.La réponse de ces médecins face à ce type de pathologie est alors inquiétante. “J’en fais très peu, j’attends qu’il se passe quelque chose”, dit l’un. “J’essaie d’apprivoiser l’enfant, je me tiens en retrait”, dit un autre. En parallèle, des familles avec enfants autistes montrent les progrès réalisés en utilisant des méthodes éducatives et comportementales. Guillaume par exemple, autrefois diagnostiqué autiste profond, est aujourd’hui au collège, en 6ème, uniquement accompagné par une auxiliaire de vie.Le film sera disponible dès le 8 septembre sur le site de l’association Autistes sans frontières.Le 7 septembre 2011 à 16:34 • Maxime Lambert
Les 8 actus science que vous devez connaître ce 30 marsUne galaxie qui intrigue les astronomes, un anticorps contre Alzheimer et le vrai visage de Toutânkhamon, voici votre concentré d’actualités scientifiques pour ce 30 mars. – Les astronomes ont découvert une galaxie surprenante. Nommée NGC 1052-DF2, elle est aussi grande que notre Voie lactée. Le problème est qu’elle est quasiment voire totalement dépourvue de matière noire. Une particularité que les spécialistes ne parviennent pas à expliquer et qui bouscule les théories sur la matière noire, cette substance mystérieuse normalement considérée comme un ingrédient essentiel des galaxies.- Un simple petit bonjour peut sembler anodin. Et pourtant, ça en dit long sur votre personnalité. C’est ce que révèle une étude menée par des chercheurs français. Grâce à un logiciel, ils ont démontré que nous utilisons, hommes comme femmes, des sortes de “codes” pour juger de la voix d’autrui. – Une équipe chinoise pense avoir conçu le papier du futur. Leur invention est un écran à cristaux liquides aussi fin et léger qu’une feuille, flexible mais résistant. Grâce à ces capacités, il serait par exemple possible d’y télécharger quotidiennement le journal et de le mettre à jour autant que nécessaire. Le tout pour un coût modique : à peine 4 euros pour 13 centimètres d’écran. – De nouvelles espèces de grenouilles viennent d’être identifiées. S’ils sont restés si longtemps inconnus, c’est que ces batraciens vivent en un seul endroit sur Terre : une grotte calcaire de Thaïlande. Mais la découverte d’un spécimen a suffi aux chercheurs pour se rendre compte du caractère unique de l’animal. Une découverte qui amène à repenser l’histoire évolutive de ces amphibiens. – Un anticorps pourrait aider à lutter contre la maladie d’Alzheimer. Des chercheurs ont développé un anticorps capable d’éliminer les plaques amyloïdes caractéristiques de la pathologie chez des souris. Si les premiers résultats sont prometteurs, les recherches doivent être poursuivies avant d’envisager un potentiel traitement chez l’homme.À lire aussiInfection, gaspillage et Facebook, les actus sciences que vous devez connaître ce 29 août- Toutânkhamon n’était peut-être pas l’enfant chétif et maladif qu’on pensait. L’analyse d’une cuirasse ayant appartenu au pharaon a révélé des traces d’érosion et de combat. Des marques qui bousculent les théories et suggèrent que le souverain était plutôt un combattant aguerri. – La mort subite du nourrisson pourrait être en partie d’origine génétique. Une étude britannique a mis en évidence chez des enfants décédés une mutation génétique rare d’un gène appelé SCN4A. Cette mutation serait associée à des problèmes neuromusculaires et des difficultés à respirer. Rare, elle n’expliquerait toutefois pas à elle seule tous les cas de mort subite du nourrisson. – Face à la pénurie de poissons, les dauphins ont trouvé la solution : ils déchirent les filets. Au nord de Chypre, des chercheurs ont constaté que ces équipements souffraient six fois plus de dommages lorsque ces cétacés étaient dans les parages. Un phénomène qui serait une conséquence directe de la surpêche menée en Méditerranée. Le 30 mars 2018 à 00:15 • Maxime Lambert
With a swipe of his pen, Gov. Jay Inslee made it official on Wednesday: Southwest Washington legislators will renew conversations around how to ease traffic on the congested Interstate 5 Bridge.With the implosion of the Columbia River Crossing project still fresh in legislators’ minds, Senate Bill 5806 treads lightly.As Inslee stated while signing the measure into law, it launches a process to start planning how to replace the 100-year-old bridge. The governor said he’s hopeful it will be a process that includes both Washington and Oregon.“I believe it’s important for both states to come together to figure out the next bridge across the river,” Inslee said.While Oregon lawmakers’ reaction to the bill has been tepid, the majority of the Southwest Washington delegation was pleased they were finally able to find common ground on one of the region’s most divisive issues.The measure calls on the Washington State Department of Transportation to take an inventory of what’s left of the Columbia River Crossing project, to see if anything is salvageable.It doesn’t name a project and lawmakers tried to avoid even uttering “Columbia River Crossing” while working on the bill.The measure also calls for creating a legislative action committee with Oregon and creates a regional bridge authority to consider the possibility of third or fourth crossings. It avoids any specific language about mass transit, averting discussions about light rail, which was a major reason behind why the original project proposal died.
Stories are posted on the APRN news page. You can subscribe to APRN’s newsfeeds via email, podcast and RSS. Follow us on Facebook at alaskapublic.org and on Twitter @aprnListen nowWith Pruitt, Murkowski chides without charringLiz Ruskin, Alaska Public Media – Washington D.C.Sen. Murkowski did not ask confrontational questions of the embattled EPA administrator, but she did not leap to Pruitt’s defense, either.State has started delaying Medicaid payments to some hospitals Andrew Kitchenman, KTOO – JuneauState Medicaid money will run out before the end of June. That means many hospitals and other health care providers won’t get paid until July.State attorney general wants to give more criminal justice options to tribesDan Bross, KUAC – FairbanksThe state is taking steps to expand the criminal justice authority of Alaska Native tribes.Murkowski cites rural Alaska in ‘net neutrality’ vote with DemsCasey Grove, Alaska Public Media – AnchorageAlaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski joined two other Republicans who broke GOP ranks to vote with Democrats on Wednesday in an effort to protect an Obama-era rule on “net neutrality.”Walker’s trade mission highlights links to China, opportunities for AlaskansRashah McChesney, Alaska’s Energy Desk – JuneauFrom seafood companies to the gasline corporation and even a brewery — the group is hoping to spotlight shared interests between China and Alaska.Legislature resurrects Juneau Access Project, sort ofEd Schoenfeld, CoastAlaska – JuneauA spending bill passed by the Legislature revives plans for a road north out of Juneau. The capital budget also funds a hydroproject in Kake and a fish hatchery near Petersburg.Shayla Shaisnikoff and Karen Abel discuss internment and the military during Aleutian campaignLaura Kraegel and Zoe Sobel, KUCB – UnalaskaToday, we hear from Shayla Shaisnikoff and Karen Abel. One is the granddaughter of internment survivors, and the other is the granddaughter of a fighter pilot.
Strike Suit Zero, a popular space flight combat game that formed a successful Kickstarter project before landing on Steam, has now made its way to Xbox One and PS4. So if you’re a fan of space robots and flight combat you may want to get your wallets ready, especially as this is the Director’s Cut of the game.Flight combat as a concept is a ton of fun, but there aren’t many games around anymore that do it well. Since Microsoft isn’t going to do anything with Freelancer, and the Gundam Wing games managed to be mostly terrible, we need some new blood that delivers the best of both worlds.Strike Suit Zero has been around for a little while now as one of the better examples of combining space flight and mech combat, and that experience has been ported to the next-gen consoles. It is being released as Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut, which means there’s a number of updates including new textures, lighting, and more polygons on screen.These updates do make a big difference to the overall look of the game, which is demonstrated in the model comparison shots below.Strike Suit Zero on a controller is more than a little complicated. The game has two separate sets of controls for the different flight modes you fight in. The standard attack wing uses the two thumbsticks for flight controls, and it works out really well for combat. When you switch into the Strike Suit mode, you have an additional control mechanism that is vital to the survival of your mech. The D-Pad gets used for rapid dodging, but it has to be used alongside the two sticks for control. Once you get used to it, or choose to avoid it entirely, gameplay is a lot more fun.For $20, Strike Suit Zero: Director’s Cut is a ton of fun. If you’re into flight combat at all then this is a game you absolutely must add to your inventory, regardless of whether you prefer console or PC.
It’s funny how things change in the world of video games. It wasn’t that long ago Nintendo was the company with the unclear future. The Wii U has been a disaster, the 3DS is looking old, and we didn’t know what the NX was. Now we know about the Switch and Nintendo has a plan that looks at the very least “promising.” Then there’s Sony, which has the PS4 Pro to tide us over until the inevitable PlayStation 5.As for Microsoft? They don’t know what happens after Project Scorpio.Project Scorpio is basically Microsoft’s version of the PS4 Pro, only it won’t arrive until late 2017 and promises to be “the most powerful console ever.” Even so, it will remain compatible with the Xbox One and Xbox One S and there’s no plans to create Scorpio exclusive games. So it technicall isn’t a new generation, it’s a mid-generation hardware refresh.After Scorpio has been on the market a few years you’d expect an Xbox Two to be announced, but Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, admits there’s actually no plan. Nobody on the Xbox team knows what will follow Scorpio because they don’t know what consumers want next. It is being thought about, but the question isn’t how much more performance can be offered, it’s “Can we hit something that has a meaningful performance characteristic that a gamer would care about?”The Nintendo Switch likely has a hand in Spencer’s thinking here. Switch is not a high performance machine, it’s a hybrid tablet/console that targets 720p/1080p not 4K. If it’s a huge hit like the Wii was, then that could change the course of what Microsoft, and indeed what Sony chooses to do next.2017 is the year of Nintendo Switch, PS4 Pro, and Project Scorpio. Beyond that, what we call a games console could be a very different offering and no longer just a box that costs under $500 and sits under your TV for its entire life.
Go back to the enewsletterThe Indonesian capital has many splendid hotels, and there are several additions coming up within the next three years. First, let us visit Jakarta’s ‘institution’, Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, built for the fourth Asian Games. It was opened on August 5th 1962 by President Soekarno (he also constructed a welcome monument in front of the hotel, with a traffic circle around it; this whole complex is called Bunderan Hi).The main lobby of the hotel is, today, a light and glass construction, but leading off this is a maze of corridors, many lined with photos of Soekarno and dozens of the global VIPs who have graced the hotel since. This is where top people come to see, and be seen. This is still where big names get married: the main ballroom holds 3,500 which is still not big enough for some weddings (typical attendance for Jakarta’s A-list crowd can be up to 5,000). Guests are often asked to arrive at a particular time during the event, staggered to avoid congestion, and food is stand-up, apart from for the lucky VIPs assigned to seated areas.There are 289 rooms in all. Suite 826 must surely be a favourite, as it looks down at the Bunderan Hi circle. Through 24 hours, traffic flows; interestingly, and seemingly on a whim, traffic direction can entirely, or partly change, depending on the current thinking of the policemen on duty. Quite a lot of the day-time and evening traffic is on its way to Jakarta’s largest, and most important, shopping mall, which sprawls around several six-floor open atriums (only last week, what must be one of the world’s biggest Victoria’s Secrets stores opened here).I tried to take a walk outside the hotel but, literally, the sidewalk pavement stopped abruptly after 300 yards, and I either had to reverse or head into the mall; I chose the latter. I later found there was also direct entry and exit via the hotel’s lobby.The mall is also connected to Kempinski Residences, which share a 17th-floor rooftop pool, and the adjacent gym, with the hotel. All this, including the mall, happens to be owned by Indonesia’s richest brothers, Budi and Michael Hartono. Michael went viral on social media a few weeks ago because, at age 78, he won Bronze (for bridge) in 2018 Asian Games and he, said to be worth double-digit US billions, came home with US$750.The hotel is also partly owned by the Katuari family, and it is Grace Katuari who has done an outstanding job in bringing some elements of the building up to global restaurant standards. She has, for instance, replaced a restaurant on the ground floor of the hotel by a stunning Scandinavian-look Japanese, OKU.OKU is filled to capacity all evening long, and entirely local. I was with the hotel GM Sjefke Jansen, who must surely have made the reservation soon after he arrived from St Petersburg five months ago (foodie hotel guests should definitely book a table and room, at the same time).As local connoisseurs know, Kazumasa Yazawa’s food is exquisite, with such tastes as buta pork belly salad, and a savoury omelette with spicy raw cod and Emmenthal. Apparently another restaurant here at the hotel, a 650-seat Paulaner Brauhaus, also runs at 100% (who says hoteliers cannot run restaurants?). On our way out, after dinner, we looked in on a high school prom ball being held in a smaller ballroom, the 800-person oval room. When I left the following morning that area had metamorphosed into photos of mountains and young blondes in dirndls, hosting an Austria marketing breakfast. There is always something going on at this historic hotel.Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta Capital PlaceI am often asked, ‘which is the best hotel in the world?’. Impossible to answer. Almost as difficult is the question, ‘which is the most beautiful hotel in the world?’, but at least one contender would be the still-new Four Seasons Hotel Jakarta Capital Place.From top to bottom, the luxury of space and attention to detail make this entire 20-floor building a thing of beauty. One of the first things GM Christian Poda wanted to do on my arrival (by a mile-long private road, built by the hotel’s owner to avoid Jakarta’s correctly notorious traffic) was to show it – the hotel – off. The exterior is a steel and glass rectangular sculpture-shape by Cesar Pelli. Bill Bensley landscaping includes his signature animal sculptures amid ballet-like trees around the fifth floor outside pool, and all interiors are Alexandra Champalimaud, star of all YTL hotels, the redone Raffles Singapore and so many more.Champalimaud’s talent includes an almost unmatched eye for colour. All 125 units here are suites, from 63 square metres up. Suite 1609 is best described as a subtle silver-grey palette, which includes full-height panels of modern chinoiserie, delicate chrysanthemums on a shiny silver background.In public areas, however, Champalimaud has gone for a riot of colour, plus height and light. The lobby’s ceiling is 13 metres high, with Lasvit chandeliers from Prague. A grand staircase, leading down from meeting rooms, has 27 wide stairs covered in beige carpeting with occasional gentian flowers (high over, a moulded cream cornice features Indonesian spices, in relief).Several rooms lead off the lobby, which is itself seating-free. A library, open 24/7 for residents, has comfy seating, and hardbacks include Dictionary of Clinical Cardiology standing next to a tome on Cartography. Look up, and the ceiling here is malachite, with criss-crosses of gold leaf.The library is flanked by a nook of a bar and by the aptly named Palm Court, with a hemispherical ceiling which soars to 15 metres. Seating here is bottle-green, and includes porters’ chairs with hoodie-type backs. Go out from Palm Court, which is all-day dining, to its tiled courtyard garden (Bill Bensley), with towering palms and a glassed-in conservatory called Orchid Court, because that is what it is filled with.Bill Bensley also designed some outré chairs for the outside terrace to the 20th-floor, dinner-only Alto restaurant, where the interior has deep persimmon walls. Yes, I was told, this is the best Italian food in town. Christian Poda and I both had his favourite dish, Straccetti al Porcini – freeform pasta with porcini, and oodles of truffle parmigiano cream (his preferred accompanying wine, Tignanello 2012, was a perfect match).The chef, Marco Riva, was everywhere in this thoughtfully attentive hotel. He was there at dinner, and at breakfast down in Palm Court, supervising the first appearance of a buffet that, today, successfully evolved from what had until now been one long table to several different venues. No, he did not bring my room service lunch trolley, though I am sure he personally prepared the caprese of soft cheeses and green and red, tomatoes – and was it he who had suggested sending up rosemary flavoured iced tea? Marco Riva was certainly there, by the lobby’s tea salon, when I later checked out.Oh that salon, another venue of exquisite beauty, with mustard chairs in front of displays of cake boxes in soft gelato colours, pistachio and rose. High above is yet another crystal chandelier, and as I walked out I noticed a bough-shaped chocolate confection on which playing cards are affixed. This is an absolutely gorgeous hotel, with endless touch points, many of them delightfully whimsical.Lead image: Hotel Indonesia KempinskiGo back to the enewsletter
NEW YORK — An executive at a San Diego television station that accused CNN of rejecting the reporting of one of its journalists for political reasons now concedes he doesn’t really know why the network turned him down.After CNN reached out to KUSI-TV to see if reporter Dan Plante would come on the air Thursday to talk about a border barrier in San Diego, the segment never happened. CNN said plans often change, but KUSI saw other motivations.The station put out a statement saying its reporter was rejected because KUSI had aired stories concluding that the barrier worked, and that wasn’t what CNN wanted to hear.But the station’s news director, Steve Cohen, tells The Associated Press he made his own conclusion about the rejection without talking to CNN.The Associated Press TV station backs off accusation that CNN played politics A U.S. Border Patrol agent rides a vehicle on the beach in San Diego, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, seen through the border wall from Tijuana, Mexico. U.S. President Donald Trump walked out of his negotiating meeting with congressional leaders Wednesday – “I said bye-bye,” he tweeted- as efforts to end the 19-day partial government shutdown fell into deeper disarray over his demand for billions of dollars to build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) by The Associated Press Posted Jan 11, 2019 2:17 pm PDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email