King Ben will likely rule again in theaters

first_imgI’ll bet ya didn’t know this: There are two Ben Stillers. There’s box-office king Ben, who has had such $250 million-plus grossing smashes in recent years as “Night at the Museum” and “Meet the Fockers.” Then there’s box office commoner Ben. Remember “School for Scoundrels,” “Envy” and “Duplex”? Didn’t think so. My strong hunch is that Stiller will be royal Ben once again this weekend with the debut of his new wide-release comedy “The Heartbreak Kid.” It bowed in more than 3,000 theaters today, has an appealing marketing campaign and was directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly, who also did “Something About Mary” with Stiller. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityI think “Heartbreak” is a shoo-in for a first-place debut with an opening weekend gross of $25 million to $30 million. SEEKING TICKET SALES: I’ve heard zippo buzz about “The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising,” which opened in nearly as many theaters as “Heartbreak” but won’t make nearly as much money. If it takes in more than $10 million today to Sunday, I’ll be seeking a new crystal ball. Holdovers “The Game Plan” and “The Kingdom” should easily edge it out for the second and third spots, but I’m not sure in which order. SLOWLY EXPANDING HORIZONS: The Brad Pitt flick “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” will be a little easier to find since it expands to 61 locations today while “The Darjeeling Limited” starring Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody will be in 19 theaters. Then there is the new George Clooney thriller “Michael Clayton,” which has him in a more serious “Good Night, and Good Luck” mode than Danny Ocean mode. “Clayton” bowed in 15 locations today. THE OTHERS: With about 1,000 theaters apiece, the drama “The Jane Austen Book Club” expands from extremely limited release today and will try to build on positive word of mouth while the Jennifer Lopez- produced urban drama “Feel the Noise” will do its best to make some box-office noise. Expectations are lower with fewer screens so $5 million or so should be the most either film could hope for. LOOKING UP? Will the Stiller comedy, strong holdovers and the rest of the field be enough to put the domestic box office back on solid footing after a two-week mini-slump? Maybe. It’s no shoo-in since a year ago this weekend, “The Departed” had a $26.9 million bow, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” opened to $18.5 million, and “Employee of the Month” debuted at $11.4 million. These are the numbers the field must top. CRUISE CRED: Tom Cruise knows he’s still on the comeback trail after his “Mission Impossible III” movie bombed and Paramount Pictures severed ties with him. So instead of playing up Tom Cruise, superstar, he is reminding people in initial TV spots for the new war drama “Lions for Lambs” that he is a three-time Academy Award nominee. Cruise is third-billed behind Oscar winner Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. He’s never won the the golden statue but was a strong contender with Best Actor nods for “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Jerry Maguire” and a supporting-actor nomination for “Magnolia.” But then again, Cruise’s Oscar winning ex-wife, Nicole Kidman, has some serious Oscar cred after winning for “The Hours.” That did nothing to help the performance of her summer mega-bomb “The Invasion.” (818) 713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Using Public Data to Fight a War

first_imgThat reveals the explicit information that people have entered, but what’s particularly impressive about Cazoodle’s work is that it also merges in implicit information from sources like Flickr. For example, running a search on the photo service shows hundreds of photos taken within Afghanistan mentioning “mosque” in their descriptions. The coordinates can be pulled out of the geotagged photos, and used as an input to the list of mosques for the town they were taken in. Without realizing it, photographers are helping to build up a crowd-sourced map of everywhere they shoot. This isn’t completely unprecedented; during World War Two the BBC appealed for holiday photos of the beaches of Normandy for an exhibition. In fact, the 9 million snaps received were used to research landing sites for the coming invasion.ResultsThe end result of the gathering process is a console that Army personnel can use to pull up information on towns across the country, giving a detailed breakdown of all the data that’s been gathered on the location: 7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Why You Love Online Quizzes Related Posts pete warden What I find most fascinating about this project is that it’s the first practical application for ‘linked data’. In contrast to the more academic approach, Cazoodle has attacked the problem in a much messier but more pragmatic way. A good example of this is how the system uses “fuzzy matching” to link data from different sources together. That means if OpenStreetMap shows a mosque in a particular location, and a Flickr photo with coordinates a hundred yards away mentions a mosque in the description, then it’s reasonable to assume they represent the same place, even though there’s a small probability that’s incorrect.This means data may not be quite as vetted as a more traditionally sourced gazetteer, but it has much broader coverage and is far more dynamic. In many ways, it’s like the tradeoff between Yahoo’s original hand-edited directory and Google’s chaotic but all-encompassing search index. By lowering the barriers to data entry, and in many cases using public information people don’t even realize they’re revealing, Cazoodle is able to create an effective guide.The project is still being evaluated by the Army right now, and hasn’t been used in the field, but it’s not hard to imagine this approach becoming far more common as public data sources grow and multiply. It also illustrates the conflicts we’ll face more and more frequently as this public data is used for completely unintended purposes. How will local photographers and OpenStreetMap editors feel if their work is reused by the U.S. Army? Christopher Albon, a researcher into public health in warzones also has some cautionary words on the limits of what can be done remotely: While an impressive start, Cazoodle’s approach is missing the data that really matters. A map of a physical space only takes you so far. An Afghan village is no more a collection of mosques and houses than Silicon Valley is a collection of coffee shops and office space. What matters is a location’s social, political, and economic structures; its human terrain. Who is related to whom? Who owns the fertile fields by the river or the rocky fields on the slopes? Who is healthy and who is sick? Cazoodle can not provide this type of information, leaving American soldiers to gather it the old fashioned way: talking to people door to door, face to face.center_img Tags:#Big Data#hack Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoid Photo by James Vaughn How does a technology built for apartment-hunting end up being evaluated by the U.S. Army for use in Afghanistan? Cazoodle is using public data sources like Flickr and OpenStreetMap to build detailed guidebooks for American soldiers. Last week at Strata I sat down with company CTO Govind Kabra to find out how they do it.Its project for the Army is to build a detailed database of information about places in Afghanistan, using only public sources on the Web. The goal is to describe in detail the towns and cities including everything from names, locations and populations, as well as lists and coordinates for schools, mosques, banks and hotels. The military already collects this sort of information, but using traditional offline sources through groups like the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. It’s a slow and dangerous process to send personnel door to door for research within war-torn countries, and though the agency’s budget is classified, presumably very expensive. The hope is that by using online, crowdsourced data from sites like Wikipedia and Flickr, it will be possible to gather rich information without putting lives at risk, all at a fraction of the cost.OriginsCazoodle was started four years ago at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign. Kubra and his co-founders were graduate students, so naturally the top of their priority list was finding a cheap apartment. As they trawled through Craiglist, following links to other sites, consulting maps and looking up details, they realized that what they really needed was an automated way of pulling the information they cared about from all these disparate sources, and putting it into a single spreadsheet they could use to make their decisions easier. They formed the company to build this system, and created an apartment search engine based on the technology.The founders knew there were lots of other problems that would also benefit from the same underlying technology, so they branched out into shopping and vacations, and also started building custom search engines for enterprise customers. That was when they spotted a Small Business Innovation Research grant opportunity from the U.S. Department of Defense. The task was to curate public information on the Web related to Afghanistan into a single database that Army personnel could use to guide their operations. Their technology already took a soup of unstructured Web pages related to locations and converted it into a spreadsheet of data, cleanly split into labeled columns, so it seemed like a natural fit for this problem.TechnologyTo understand how it works, imagine trying to create a list of mosques in a small town in Afghanistan. There’s no handy Yellow Pages you can refer to, and the maps don’t have that much detail. However, if you go to Wikipedia you can pull out basic information about a town like Pul-i-Alam, and then look through the OpenStreetMap data for Afghanistan to spot locations that are tagged as religious buildings, eg: How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees?last_img read more

In UP, power supply still a dream for 1.3 crore households

first_img In the absence of power supply, most residents of Barinpurwa have solar panels, ranging from 20 to 100 watts, installed on their rooftops or in the open. Ranjeeta has a 40-watt solar panel, which cost her ₹4,500, installed on her roof. “I bought it 10 months ago. It serves basic needs but during foggy days and during the rains we have to live in darkness,” she said.While the Centre recently claimed that it had electrified the last inhabited village in the country, 3.13 crore households in India still live without electricity. The highest number of such households are in Uttar Pradesh, 1.33 crore.Only 56% households are electrified in the state, as per the Centre’s Saubhagya scheme portal. Only Jharkhand fares worse than UP, at 48%.The figure for Barabanki, where Barinpurwa is located, is below average, at 51%, but slightly better than districts like Jalaun, Jhansi and Lalitpur, all in Bundelkhand, which have only 25, 27 and 26% of households electrified even today.Last September, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the Saubhagya scheme to provide “last mile connectivity and service connections to all remaining households in both rural and urban areas to achieve universal household electrification” by December 31, 2018. The task in UP is clearly uphill. According to the state government, from October 2017 to March 2018, it gave out 15.88 lakh power connections under the scheme, out of which 8.77 lakh were handed out to poor families. Oil lamp is the popular source of light in Barinpurwa. | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt The market of Tiwaripur majra in Kolahda village where residents have installed solar panel in open area.  According to Saubhagya portal, 4.21 lakh households were electrified in UP in January, 5.41 lakh in February, 1.50 lakh in March and 2.45 lakh in April. Last year, the state also claimed to provide electricity to 61,000 majras and targets another 62 lakh in 2018.However, residents of Tiwaripur majra in Kolahda village are still without power. Shailendri Tiwari’s house is one of them. Electric wires pass through right outside her house, but the family still does not have a power connection.The poles supply power to the next hamlet as hers is still being surveyed by officials. “When the power department people came to install these poles, I asked them to connect it to my house, but they demanded ₹35,000 for the cables and transformer. Now, if I had that much money, wouldn’t I purchase a big solar roof?” asked Shailendri.Her family depends on tiny emergency lights, which are charged through a 20-watt solar panel. She does not use lamps as she is no longer entitled for kerosene. The lack of electric supply poses great challenges to her four daughters, all of whom are in school. The family has been regularly writing to the electricity department requesting electrification of their majra. On February 5, the department finally wrote back saying that the majra was still being surveyed under the ‘Power for All’ scheme, which was launched jointly by the Centre and state last April, and that the households would be electrified by December 2018.Executive engineer of the UP Power Corporation (Madhyanchal), Bhaskar, said the households still left to be electrified were being surveyed and on April 12 the work in his area had been deputed to Bajaj Electricals.“They are carrying out the door-to-door survey, finding out which village has households left behind. They will also do the electrification bit, be it fitting poles or putting up transformers,” said Bhaskar.UP Power Minister Shrikant Sharma said he was confident of achieving the target of total electrification of the remaining households in the state by December as the infrastructure for Saubhagya scheme was ready on the ground.When the BJP came to power in UP, he said, the state had 1.87 crore un-electrified households, but in one year the BJP government gave out connections to 36 lakh people.“If you compare, the track record of the last 15 years comes to 6.5 lakh connections per year. While in one year, we have given out 36 lakh connections. You can estimate the speed at which we are working,” he said. Barinpurwa is a Dalit majra — majra being a hamlet — with a population of 250-300, within the Manodharpur gram sabha of Barabanki district. While the gram sabha is technically electrified, the residents of Barinpurva still have to rely on kerosene lamps to beat the darkness. Many of them have installed solar panels for basic power supply. The village is located barely 50 km from the capital of Uttar Pradesh.Durgesh Bari’s house, located at the entry to the majra, does not have a fan or a TV set as he has no power supply. There is not a single electric pole or transformer in the majra. While the kitchen is kept out of darkness by kerosene lamps, a 20-watt solar panel helps charge mobile phones and tiny emergency lights so that the children can study in the evening. And when that fails, the family relies on a shop at the village square to charge phones at a nominal fee though a generator.“Last year some people came with electric poles and dug pits too. The women were so excited they helped them dig. But before they could plant them in our majra, they took the poles back and installed them in the neighbouring majra, saying they had come here due to a clerical mistake,” said Durgesh, pointing to the dug-out patches outside his house. That was the closest the Dalit family, which farms 1.5 bigha land for survival, came to having a power connection.Sudha, Durgesh’s mother, said the going gets tough during peak summer when the heat makes life difficult under the tin roof without a fan. “When it gets unbearable, I run to the trees for shade,” she says.Moreover, the family has to utilise the kerosene frugally as the household only gets 2 litres per month in ration, added Sudha.last_img read more


first_imgWelcome to the post-Easter addition of 60 seconds in Touch… * Well, taking a break from delving my way through the mountain loads of chocolate I received over Easter, we’re back for another edition of 60 seconds in Touch. (If only writing this burnt off what I’m eating, I’d have no problems.) With the long weekend bringing too many tragedies on the road, I hope that everyone within our sport has had a safe and happy weekend, celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus. * The Senior sides have been chosen and the letters of offer sent out…the phone is already ringing hot with acceptances and deposits due by April 20th, the sides will be announced on the ATA website on April 29th so make sure you keep up to date on what’s happening via the ATA website. * Congratulations to ATA Media Manager Rachel Moyle and boyfriend Duncan Grant, who have just announced their engagement! Stay tuned for an October wedding! * NSW Touch have bid farewell to Matt Kenny who has resigned from the role of Northern NSW Development Officer. Jarrat Wood has been given the position and ATA would also like to offer their thanks to Matt for the work he has put in and wish Jarrat luck in his position. Development Officers Australia-wide work long and hard hours for the sport, often without recognition and reward. Thank you to all! * There’s a new poll on the ATA website, launched this morning and asking what you think was the most memorable team performance from the 2005 NTL. There are 5 different options, could easily be more in what was the most hotly contested NTL ever, but the poll is limited to five possible answers! Make sure you check it out and get your vote in for your favourite. * The Queensland 2005 Country Cup has been postponed due to teams and officials being unavailable following events such as NTL and the Easter break, in addition the drought is playing havoc with the fields. The event will be held in September/October at a date to be advised. * The 2005 Victorian Touch Team Titles at Stephenson Reserve, Sale (April 2 & 3), are now just a couple weeks away. Interest is mounting for what promises to be another fantastic weekend of Touch footy and socializing hosted by Sale Touch Association. The VTA website has all the info for anyone interested in the event. * For a complete list of where all sides finished at the 2005 NTL and all award winners for both players and referees, check out the following story: For a complete list of all the player and referee awards for 2005, check out this story: * ATA is launching a new online newsletter, run by Lisa Plummer and Rachel Moyle, we’re looking for a name! There’s a $50 merchandise voucher up for grabs, make sure you think of a name and email it to * The ATA is calling for nominations for the National Referees Panel, the nomination form is found on the ATA website, with nominations due in by the 13th April. You will find the form on the ATA website from this afternoon. * Remember if you need any help with media or stories written for your local press, please contact Rachel Moyle read more

Video: Tim Tebow Hung Out With Manny Pacquiao This Week Ahead Of Tonight’s Big Fight

first_imgTim Tebow and Manny Pacquiao pose for picture.IG/espnmicheleEven with the Kentucky Derby, NFL Draft, NBA and NHL playoffs, and plenty of early season baseball action, the marquee sporting event of the weekend is the long-awaited Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao fight, which will take place tonight around 11:30 p.m. One of college football’s recent superstars, Florida great Tim Tebow, is in Las Vegas for the bout, and spent time at Pacquiao camp during training this week.Pacquiao and Tebow first met in March, and caught up with the two stars, who have a lot in common, including their strong faith, and connections to the Phillipines. Pacquiao is a national hero in his home country, and Tebow was born in the city of Makati and spent five years living in the country.Much of the sports world appears to be split over tonight’s fight, but it seems like Tebow is all in on Pacquiao.last_img read more

Baylor, TCU, Oklahoma Now 1-2-3 In ESPN’s FPI

first_imgA closeup of Bob Stoops wearing an Oklahoma Sooners visor.NORMAN, OK – SEPTEMBER 5: Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops talks on the field before the game against the Akron Zips September 5, 2015 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Akron 41-3.(Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)The Big 12 was the only major conference without a playoff participant last year, but in 2015, it certainly looks like history will not repeat itself. The league currently has three undefeated teams – Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State – and a fourth, Oklahoma, with just one loss. Furthermore, as you’ll see below, the conference now has the three top spots in ESPN’s FPI. Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma are 1-2-3. Ohio State is the highest-ranked non-Big 12 school, at No. 4. Oklahoma State is No. 14.Here’s a reminder of what the FPI measures.The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.Alabama is currently the top-ranked SEC squad. USC, at 5-3, is the highest Pac-12 team, at No. 5. Clemson, the ACC’s top dog, is No. 7.espn FPI baylor tcu oklahomaWhat do you think, college football fans? How accurate is this tool?last_img read more

FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandel Predicts A Radical Next Step For Conference Realignment

first_imgLogo map of college football teams.Up to this point, conference realignment has largely been about the expansion of the leagues’ footprints and adding games available to sell to broadcast partners. Even with possible movement in the Big 12, most believe that there will be around 64-68 schools divided up between four or five power conferences at the end of the day, with the rest of the FBS on the outside looking in.FOX Sports’ Stewart Mandel thinks things will take an even more drastic change, with the sport’s upper crust eventually setting itself apart in an even more meaningful way. This morning, he published a post, framing what he believes the college football world will look like in 10 years. Rather than the four or five power conferences that we are now accustomed to, Mandel sees the top 24 schools in the sport joining together to create their own four-division “conference” that will eventually decide the four teams that make up the College Football Playoff. Rather than further expansion, he expects a “consolidation of power” in the sport.What will college football realignment look like in 10 years? Think consolidation, not expansion. Story:— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) May 16, 2016 Here is how Mandel lays things out: mandel divisions His explanation: with the ongoing shift in how people consume television and live events, maximizing the number of big-name matchups to draw the biggest audiences every week will be the new goal of the sport.Whereas the last round of realignment was driven by inventory — bundle together as many schools from as many markets as possible to command the highest possible subscriber fees — the next round will be more about content. Put on the biggest possible games to garner the largest possible audience because the viewers themselves will become the buyers rather than Comcast or Time Warner.This is certainly different than what we usually see in college football realignment projection columns, and there is plenty of logic behind a lot of this. Whether these schools would actually ditch the majority of their leagues to make this happen is a huge question, but it is definitely not outside the realm of possibility.[FOX Sports]last_img read more

Ship Finance Fetches USD 400 Mn to Finance Boxship Quartet

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pixabay under CC0 Creative Commons license Bermuda-based shipowner Ship Finance International has entered into USD 400 million lease financing agreements to finance four 14,000 TEU container vessels.The boxships, which were acquired in May 2018, are employed under long term time charters to Taiwan’s Evergreen Marine Corporation until 2024, with options to extend the charters by 18 additional months.Secured with an Asian-based institution, each financing has a term of nearly nine years, with an option to purchase the vessel back after six years, around expiry of the firm period of the charters to Evergreen.A portion of the proceeds from the financings would be used to refinance the USD 320 million unsecured loan facility arranged at the vessels’ delivery in May. Lease financings for three of the vessels have already been finalized, and the last vessel is expected to close within the next two weeks.Ship Finance said that the interest rate of the financings “are very attractive,” and the transactions free up USD 80 million of investment capacity, which is expected to be deployed in new investments.“These financing transactions demonstrate our continued ability to attract highly competitive capital,” Ole B. Hjertaker, CEO of Ship Finance Management AS, said.last_img read more

RCMP charge Brazeau Harb with fraud and breach of trust

first_imgAPTN National NewsSuspended senator Patrick Brazeau has been charged with breach of trust and fraud on allegations he bilked Canadian taxpayers of thousands of dollars in illegal living and travel expense filings.The RCMP charged the Algonquin senator, along with former liberal senator Mac Harb, now retired.“These investigations involved careful consideration and examination of evidence. Investigators interviewed dozens of individuals and witnesses,” said RCMP assistant commissioner Gilles Michaud.Brazeau is alleged to have filed over $40,000 in illegal housing expenses, while Harb’s total is well over $200,000.Both men claimed their primary residence was more than 100 km from Ottawa, allowing them to claim travel and housing expenses. Harb repaid his expense money and retired after the allegations surfaced.In Brazeau’s case, he said he was living with his father at the Kitigan Zibi First Nation near Maniwaki, Que., but had to rent a townhouse in Gatineau during the week.A former girlfriend of Brazeau’s said they rarely went to his father’s house during much of the time period in question according to court documents filed by the RCMP during their “detailed” investigation that began in March 2013.That same woman alleges Brazeau assaulted her, physically and sexually last February. It was around that time Prime Minister Stephen Harper booted Brazeau from the Conservative caucus.That case is expected to go to trial Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day.An audit also determined Brazeau and Harb filed inappropriate expense claims.Both have denied any wrongdoing.APTN could not reach Brazeau for comment.Michaud said thousands of documents, including financial statements, bank records and expense claims dating back to 2003, were analyzed.Both are expected to appear in court at a later date the RCMP said.The RCMP didn’t mention their investigation into former Conservative senators Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy but did say: “All cases are unique and the time it takes to complete them is based on many factors. We are continuing our work on other significant files.”NDP ethics critic MP Charlie Angus called the charges a “sobering” day for politics in Canada and raises questions of the “political” judgement of Harper who appointed Brazeau, and Liberal leader MP Justin Trudeau who once said Harb made an honest mistake.“I think Canadians are fed up and Canadians want action,” said Angus who says the Senate needs to be abolished.Canada’s auditor general is currently reviewing the expenses filed by all senators.“Are there more that will be caught up in this net?” said Angus.last_img read more