13 Sep

BRAC off the Table Ayotte Declares

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR At the outset of her panel’s budget hearing Tuesday, Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), chair of the Senate Armed Services’ Readiness and Management Support Subcommittee, removed all doubt as to where she stands on the Obama administration’s request to hold a new BRAC round in 2019.“I continue to oppose another BRAC round for many reasons,” said Ayotte before she reiterated many of arguments she has cited in the past, including the higher-than-promised implementation cost of the last round.“I do not want to give the department the open-ended authority to pursue another BRAC round that will potentially incur significant upfront costs when we do not have the room in our budget in the next few years to afford many fundamental readiness investments that are right before us,” she said.Ayotte also focused on the impact of the Budget Control Act, which has forced the military to shed some of its force structure over the past several years to meet strict spending caps.“In short, there is a significant and dangerous gap between the military we have and the military we need. Therefore I don’t believe at this point it makes sense to authorize a round of base closures when many of us are hopeful that regardless of the outcome of this coming election, that the next administration will align its proposed defense budget and the size of our military to the growing threats we face and will need many of the bases that DOD may currently want to close,” she said.And if it wasn’t already clear, Ayotte stated she would not be including the authority to conduct a BRAC round in her subcommittee’s mark of the fiscal 2017 defense authorization bill.Tim Kaine (D-Va.), the panel’s ranking member, similarly said he opposed approving a new round of base closures, but acknowledged the need for a mechanism to allow DOD to right-size its infrastructure in light of estimates that its excess capacity stands at about 20 percent. Kaine’s opposition was based on the BRAC process, however, which forces every defense community to invest resources in protecting its bases even if they aren’t in any real jeopardy.“So what BRAC becomes is just this massive lobbyist and lawyer effort that is largely unnecessary,” he said.Kaine described an approach, as he has in the past, which bypasses a BRAC commission and simply allows Congress to evaluate the department’s recommendations for closure and realignment.“I’d love to move to a situation where we rationalize our infrastructure investments, even including closures, with the basic recommendations that are based on the expertise within DOD and then allowing Congress to do what we do,” he said. “I think that would be a much better way to look at the rationalization of infrastructure.”Beyond the opening statements of Ayotte and Kaine, the administration’s BRAC request hardly came up during the sparsely attended hearing — other than during the opening statements of the top installation officials for DOD and the services. Three of the four witnesses made a strong case for lawmakers to approve the Pentagon’s request to conduct a BRAC round.The witnesses’ written testimony and a webcast of the hearing are available on the committee website.last_img read more

10 Sep

Oculus Quest may have its first killer app with Beat Saber

first_img Tags Share your voice Game Developers Conference Comment Game Developers Conference Now playing: Watch this: Apr 30 • Facebook’s new Oculus Rift S vs. Oculus Quest: Which VR headset is for you? reading • Oculus Quest may have its first killer app with Beat Saber Oculus What will it take for people to want to put Facebook’s upcoming portable VR headset, the Oculus Quest, on their face? A killer app would help. Beat Saber seems like a good start. Beat Saber is one of the smash hits of the virtual gaming world, relatively speaking. The musical fitness game is one of CNET’s favorite VR games for good reason: it’s addictive, active and wonderfully tuned. It’s even an arcade game. It’s also going to be a launch game for the Oculus Quest when it arrives later this spring, Facebook revealed on Monday.The Oculus Quest is a fully wireless, standalone VR system that allows full six degrees of freedom (6DoF) room motion. That’s a perfect pairing for the arm swinging of Beat Saber. My early experiences with the Quest were promising, and it seems to be aiming for a Nintendo Switch-like gaming focus at launch. As to how well it works on a mobile system? We’ll follow up when we can. Meanwhile, check out the trailer below. Oculus Quest is a full-motion, self-contained VR headset… 16 Photos Oculus Quest virtual reality headset revealed See All • Mar 21 • Google Stadia puts Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC gaming on notice 1 Apr 30 • How to preorder Oculus Quest and Rift S right now Video Games Wearable Tech 1:34 Mar 21 • Intel intros 9th-gen Core H mobile CPUs, Graphics Command Center Oculus Virtual Reality Facebooklast_img read more

5 Sep

Uber launches UberRUSH an ondemand delivery service to disrupt transportation sector

first_imgUber, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing company which has been making deep inroads into the Indian taxi sector, has unveiled its future, an on-demand delivery service called UberRUSH.With the launch of UberRUSH, the company is forging ahead with its strategy to disrupt and re-engineer the transportation sector, first in the United States, and then across the globe. The idea is to dominate every segment of the transportation industry.UberRUSH was unveiled to operate in San Francisco, New York and Chicago. Since last summer, Uber has been experimenting with pilot programmes of the delivery programme,  when it partnered with a handful of New York City-based businesses, including Rent The Runway, Birchbox and Baublebar, according to entrepreneur. com.UberRUSH will pick up and deliver everything from a meal to an item of clothing to a bouquet of flowers. Deliveries are made by foot, bike messenger and car, depending on the location and delivery, entrepreneur.com reports. The company is especially targeting small businesses and gives them hope that access to more customers is possible without having to own or manage their own delivery fleets.In a blog post announcing its new service, Uber said “If every local business delivered, we’d all save time and energy. But most simply can’t. Day-to-day operations are already complicated and delivery can cause all sorts of logistical headaches.”Uber will vary its pricing city by city. In New York, for instance, a delivery that travels less than 1 mile costs $5.50 and each additional mile is $2.50. In San Francisco, deliveries start at $6 within a mile and each additional mile costs $3, entrepreneur.com reported.Uber is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the launch of UberRUSH. entrepreneur.com notes that what started out as UberCab in San Francisco has grown into a beast in the transportation world. The company now operates in 300 cities in 58 countries, has more than 1 million drivers working on its platform and is valued at more than $40 billion, with some new estimates reportedly stretching as high north as $50 billion. Uber’s founder and CEO Travis Kalanick has become a billionaire five times over. He is currently worth $5.3 billion.last_img read more

5 Sep

World Bank India sign 250 million loan pact for Rebuild Kerala programme

first_imgKerala floodsMANJUNATH KIRAN/AFP/Getty Images)The central government, the Kerala government and the World Bank have signed a loan agreement of $250 million (Rs 1,725 crore) for the First Resilient Kerala Programme to help Kerala get back into shape after the 2018 floods.The 2018 floods and landslides in Kerala had led to severe impact on property, infrastructure, and lives and livelihoods of people. One-sixth of the state’s population – about 5.4 million people – were affected while 1.4 million were displaced from their homes, especially the poor and vulnerable segments of the population.The Resilient Kerala Programme will focus on strengthening Kerala’s institutional and financial capacity to protect the assets and livelihoods of poor and vulnerable groups through an inclusive and participatory approach.Union Finance Ministry official Sameer Kumar Khare said that the programme is part of the government’s support to Kerala’s ‘Rebuild Kerala Development Programme’ aimed at building a green and resilient Kerala. He said that this partnership will identify key areas of policy and institutional strengthening to maximise development impact.The loan agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare on behalf of the government and Junaid Kamal Ahmad, Country Director, World Bank India.The World Bank has been working closely with the central government and Kerala government since the floods struck in August 2018 in assessing the impact of the floods and assisting in recovery and reconstruction. The bank support also helped identify policies, institutions and systems for resilience to disaster risks and climate change.Junaid Kamal Ahmad said that the partnership is a key pillar of the bank’s new Country Partnership Framework for India. Through such partnerships, the bank will support select states striving to bring about systemic improvements in the way development initiatives are planned and executed.”In Kerala, we will work across cross-cutting themes and priority sectors to build systems of resilience. We are committed to supporting the state government in bringing about a perceptible change in the lives and livelihoods of its citizens,” he added.last_img read more

5 Sep

US war on Huawei How careers of regular employees are hit

first_imgHuawei has released a new video showing its new fast charging technology, is the company prepping up something new for MWC 2018?ReutersWho are the victims of the blistering trade war between the US and China? Of course US importers, hordes of Chinese firms and market participants across the world. But the blacklisting of Huawei by President Donald Trump showed the entente has many more levels.Even as Huawei is reeling from the impact, the latest reports also show that regular workers are also caught in the crossfire. A move by the world’s biggest technical professional organisation shows that even high profile employees from the banned or blacklisted companies can become pariahs overnight.New York-based Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has decided to ban employees of Huawei from participating in the peer review of research papers.Chinese social media platforms are seething in anger over the move, which singles out employees of a company. The Chinese are accusing the US and organisations in its influence of “violating academic freedom’ and being anti-science”, the South China Morning Post reported. Huawei Technologies’ founder and Chief Executive Ren Zhengfei.ReutersThe IEEE move goes far beyond the basic line of science and technology and challenges the professional integrity of the employees, said Zhang Haixia, a professor with the Institute of Microelectronics at Peking University.IEEE defends it s decision saying it needs to comply with legal obligations under the laws of the US. Huawei, the Chinese telecommunication giant at the centre of the controversy, said it did not have any comment on the development.Sanctions and threat of blacklisting have been par for the course in the China-US trade stalemate over the years but Donald Trump took a leap into unfamiliar terrain by giving teeth to the existing US provisions when he announced the blacklisting of Huawei.National security threatThe Chinese company, even as it smarted under the whipping from the US, suddenly realised that global behemoths like Google, Microsoft, Intel and Qualcomm followed through, enforcing a suspension of business dealings with the Chinese company.With the latest reports it’s clear that professionals are also becoming the collateral damage. Trump signed an executive order two weeks ago to bar US firms from installing the foreign-made telecom equipment which poses a national security threat. China threatened retaliation, saying it will defend rights and interests of its companies. The clampdown on Huawei came at a time when the trade war between two of the world’s largest economies had reached a high point. Close IBTimes VideoRelated VideosMore videos Play VideoPauseMute0:01/0:57Loaded: 0%0:01Progress: 0%Stream TypeLIVE-0:56?Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedSubtitlessubtitles settings, opens subtitles settings dialogsubtitles off, selectedAudio Trackdefault, selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window. COPY LINKAD Loading … Huawei caught between US-China conflictlast_img read more

1 Sep

Facebook Removes Disinformation Attributed to Iran and Russia

first_img Popular on Variety Turns out Russian intelligence agencies aren’t the only ones using Facebook for disinformation campaigns: The social media giant announced Tuesday afternoon that it had been able to identify and remove several hundred pages and accounts associated with Iranian state media.Separately, the company also removed content associated with Russian intelligence services, as well as a group of accounts associated with Middle East media organizations that acted in concert while pretending to represent independent entities.Some of the content associated with Iranian state media had been published by Liberty Front Press, a group that claims to be an independent media organization but that the company actually was able to link to Press TV, which is associated with Iranian state media.Liberty Front Press operated 74 Facebook pages and 70 Facebook accounts, as well as 76 accounts on Instagram. Its pages were followed by 155,000 Facebook accounts, and it held 3 events. A separate set of accounts associated with Liberty Front Press pretended to operate under the guise of other news organizations. These 66 accounts not only engaged in misinformation, but actually tried to hack the accounts of Facebook users and spread malware over the platform.Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg painted these measures as part of the company’s efforts to secure election integrity in a call with reporters Thursday afternoon. “2018 is a very important election year,” he said. “This is really serious, this is a top priority for our company.”However, the timing of the announcement raised some eyebrows: Facebook announced the account deletions just two hours after former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen pled guilty to campaign finance law violations and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was convicted of fraud, making it one of the busiest news days of the summer.center_img ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15last_img read more

31 Aug

Why casual sex is not so cool

first_imgDoes a one-night stand or romping without any commitment or emotional involvement sound interesting to you? If yes, please beware. Researchers have found that a liking for casual sex may land you in trouble.The researchers found that a person’s preference for casual sex may actually increase their risk of being harassed.Also, adolescents who have been sexually harassed are more strongly inclined to have casual sex than others, the findings showed. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe results might give the impression that it is the victim’s fault for being harassed, but the researchers said their findings were not intended to “blame the victim”.”Absolutely not! We’re trying to understand the psychological mechanisms that underlie harassment,” said Mons Bendixen, Associate Professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway. It might be that a preference for casual sex results in more sexual solicitations in general, including undesirable ones. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe study, published in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, also showed that adolescents who sexually harass others have had casual sex more often than those who do not harass others. They also fantasise more about casual sex and find it more acceptable to have sex without any commitment or emotional closeness.The study included 1,326 heterosexual girls and boys with an average age of nearly 18 years. The psychologists only looked at non-physical forms of sexual harassment.Fully 60 per cent of the girls and boys in the survey reported that they had been sexually harassed in the last year. Around 30 per cent of the girls and 45 per cent of the boys admitted that they had sexually harassed someone one or more times.last_img read more

30 Aug

IBM Looking at Adopting Bitcoin Technology for Major Currencies

first_img 4 min read This story originally appeared on Reuters International Business Machines Corp is considering adopting the underlying technology behind bitcoin, known as the “blockchain,” to create a digital cash and payment system for major currencies, according to a person familiar with the matter.The objective is to allow people to transfer cash or make payments instantaneously using this technology without a bank or clearing party involved, saving on transaction costs, the person said. The transactions would be in an open ledger of a specific country’s currency such as the dollar or euro, said the source, who declined to be identified because of a lack of authorization to discuss the project in public.The blockchain – a ledger, or list, of all of a digital currency’s transactions – is viewed as bitcoin’s main technological innovation, allowing users to make payments anonymously, instantly, and without government regulation.Rather than stored on a separate server and controlled by an individual, company, or bank, the ledger is open and accessible to all participants in the bitcoin network.The proposed digital currency system would work in a similar way.”When somebody wants to transact in the system, instead of you trying to acquire a bitcoin, you simply say, here are some U.S. dollars,” the source said. “It’s sort of a bitcoin but without the bitcoin.”IBM is one of a number of tech companies looking to expand the use of the blockchain technology beyond bitcoin, the digital currency launched six years ago that has spurred a following among investors and tech enthusiasts.The company has been in informal discussions about a blockchain-tied cash system with a number of central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve, the source said. If central banks approve the concept, IBM will build the secure and scalable infrastructure for the project.IBM media relations office did not respond to Reuters emails about this story and the Fed declined to comment.However, there are signs that central banks are already thinking about the innovations that could arise through digital currency systems. The Bank of England, in a report in September 2014, described the blockchain’s open ledger as a “significant innovation” that could transform the financial system more generally.Instead of having ledgers maintained by banks that act as a record of an individual’s transactions, this kind of open ledger would be viewable by everyone using the system, and would use an agreed-upon process for entering transactions into the system.The project is still in the early stages and constantly evolving, the source said. It is also unclear how concerns about money-laundering and criminal activities that have hamstrung bitcoin.Unlike bitcoin, where the network is decentralized and there is no overseer, the proposed digital currency system would be controlled by central banks, the source said.”These coins will be part of the money supply,” the source said. “It’s the same money, just not a dollar bill with a serial number on it, but a token that sits on this blockchain.”According to the plans, the digital currency could be linked to a person’s bank account, possibly using a wallet software that would integrate that account with the proposed digital currency ledger.”We are at a tipping point right now. It’s making a lot more sense for some type of digital cash in the system, that not only saves our government money, but also is a lot more convenient and secure for individuals to use,” the source said.(Reporting by Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss; Editing by David Gaffen and Tomasz Janowski) March 13, 2015 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more