Hands-On Review: SmallHD FOCUS Monitor

first_imgSmallHD’s 5″ FOCUS monitor will give your camera a big upgrade without breaking the bank.All images via PremiumBeat.SmallHD’s FOCUS monitor is a 5-inch, 800nit display with rotating capabilities that might be one of the biggest selling points for anybody shooting tutorials, vlogging, or working without a cameraperson. The FOCUS offers a bright display that eases shooting in the middle of the day or in intensely lit circumstances. Let’s dive in for a closer look.The SmallHD FOCUSSmallHD calls this monitor, “the monitor you can see outside.” So, I took the monitor outside in the middle of a 100-degree summer day in Texas and can report the screen works wonderfully in that regard. I’m shooting on a Sony a7S II, and its display isn’t really the clearest in daylight, so the FOCUS is an absolute must for visibility.Clearly seeing what’s in or out of focus is a huge benefit. The Focus Assist and Peaking assists help a lot with color customization options — and they’re easy to access. In general, the monitor is fairly touch sensitive with a quick reaction time. The swiping-touch feature isn’t perfect, but it’s still a step up from past SmallHD monitors that lacked touch screen capability altogether.SmallHD FOCUS Monitor SettingsAside from controlling the live image, the FOCUS allows you to toggle your image display. The monitor is very helpful for ensuring you get the exact image you want, and it offers many levels of customization, including brightness, aspect ratio, image rotation, pixel zoom, and even volume control for your headphones.There is a cold shoe mount on the side so you can mount a small LED light or mic, which can help balance the rig and keep it from becoming too top heavy. There are also three 1/4″ 20 mounts on the top, bottom, and the side of the monitor for any other pieces of equipment you’d like to add.If you’re shooting with Canon, sometimes the camera doesn’t output the entire image, so the FOCUS lets you scale up with these cameras (such as the 7D and 5D).One of the most enticing features of the FOCUS is the swipe feature for different setups. If you’re going to be shooting different locations and lighting setups, you can have all your custom pre-made settings ready to go.Using the SmallHD FOCUS ToolsThe touch screen allows you to touch-zoom in to check your focus and control the display by adding crosshairs to help center and stage your shot.Each tool offers a simple tap and swipe motion to toggle the tool on or off. Once you’ve set proper exposure, focus, and aspect ratio, you can swipe left or right to the next page to further correct and play with your image. By tapping the name of the tool in the top left of the monitor, you can customize the tool by changing the color of exposure and focus points. As far as touch screen sensitivity goes, it did feel awkward at times to use two hands to zoom in or out to bring up the monitor settings. That being said, it’s still an easy-to-use, small, touch screen monitor.As you can see above, the different pages allow you to simultaneously check the Waveform or False Colors, play with the histogram, and ensure your subjects are in focus with the Focus Assist.The monitor also comes with a headphone jack, so if you’re using the Sony a6300 or a6500, you can listen to the audio you’re recording from an attached microphone instead of using an external audio recorder. The monitor also has an SD card slot for uploading your custom LUTs to the monitor — you can save these looks under Profiles.There are also preset LUTs on the monitor you can work with. The SD card slot will accommodate future firmware upgrades, and you can save certain profiles to the SD card, saving time on your next shoot — especially if you need to run and gun.The FOCUS also allows you to power your camera through an auxiliary out cable — which you must purchase separately. This is obviously a major advantage. If you’re working with Sony cameras (which are notorious for sub-par battery life), this capability will come in handy. In the same vein, if your camera is prone to overheating, using a dummy battery while the monitor powers the camera can help keep your camera relatively cool.SmallHD FOCUS Price and BundlesSmallHD sells the monitor by itself (including the micro HDMI and USB cables, cable clips, and tilt arm), for $499 USD. You need to purchase an L series battery separately, so expect to spend a little more on this monitor.You’ll also need to purchase an additional $60 power adapter if you want to power your camera with the monitor. SmallHD currently sells five different power adapters for Sony, Nikon, Panasonic, and Canon cameras.The best deal SmallHD offers are the camera specific bundles, which are about $600 USD, an average savings of $180 USD. With the bundle, you’ll receive an ANTON BAUER L series battery (47Wh), a dummy battery with charger, the tilt arm, HDMI, cable clips, and USB cable. There are camera-specific bundles for whichever brand you shoot with. I personally recommend spending the extra money so you receive all the necessary products with the monitor at the same time.Side note: the cable clips that come with the base monitor option are an excellent way to manage the inevitable three cables you’ll need to attach to the ridged back of the monitor.General ThoughtsAt first, I wasn’t completely sold on the apparent gimmick of the bright display and charging capabilities, but while writing this review, I went out on the town with my a7S II and quickly discovered why the FOCUS would be a valuable asset. Given the short battery life of my camera, giving the battery a longer lifespan is a major bonus.Aside from the obvious features that make this product stand out, the most notable is the size. For somebody like me on the go, traveling and avoiding weight and bulk, you can keep your rig can minimal and fun to shoot with. So, what you’re getting for the price is well worth it.Here are the official specs for the 5″ SmallHD FOCUS Monitor:IPS Touchscreen5 inch display1280×720 resolution800 nitsAdjustable BacklightStereo Out (headphones)Micro USB6.0v-8.4v powerSony L-series Battery7.09g heavyCustom LUTsThe FOCUS is now available for order. You can purchase one here.Does this monitor sound like something you’d add to your camera bag? Let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

NRC final draft: When Indians are called infiltrators

first_imgThe north Indians excluded from the updated draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam resent being called ghuspethiye, meaning infiltrator.Though NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela has said that the 40 lakh persons left out of the draft cannot be marked “illegal migrants”, many political leaders call them infiltrators, even in Parliament. “What pained me more than the exclusion was the implication that those who missed out are foreigners or Bangladeshis. Is U.P. in Bangladesh,” asks a Guwahati-based businessman, Manoj Singh.Mr. Singh, 49, and his family had relocated from Jaunpur in Uttar Pradesh in the 1980s. The NRC officials rejected his documents, as was the case with Hindi writer Satyanarayan Mishra from Chitrakoot, also in U.P.Like them, scores of people from U.P., Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Punjab have not made it to the list. They include Surinder Singh, a Sikh businessman whose family shifted to Guwahati from Imphal in the 1970s.Mr. Singh’s forefathers had settled in Manipur from Punjab more than a century ago. His parents were listed in the pre-1971 electoral rolls in Imphal, “but it is impossible to get hold of those rolls to prove we are genuine Indians”.Many casesRajkumar Sharma, a 51-year-old media professional, and his businessman brother Gajanand Sharma from Haryana’s Bhiwani, face a similar situation. So does Dibrugarh-based Sarada Devi, 48, despite producing documents linking her to Ramgarh in the Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan.She had provided papers linking her daughter and two sons to her deceased husband Fakir Chand Bhargav’s family tree.Priest Bhanwar Lal Sharma, 69, of Mariani town in central Assam, too is surprised by the exclusion of his family despite providing land documents with registration done in 1937. “We also submitted papers tracing our roots to Sri Dungargarh in the Bikaner district of Rajasthan, but in vain,” he said.‘States to blame’NRC officials blamed the exclusion of ‘mainlanders’ — a term used for people from Indian States beyond the northeast — to the indifference of these States in processing documents sent for verification. “We sent 5 lakh documents to States across the country. Most did not respond, leading to the exclusion of people who should not have been [excluded],” NRC State Coordinator Prateek Hajela said.West Bengal, for instance, sat on 1.2 lakh documents for years and returned only 15,000 of them after verification.No one knows it better than Sajan Krishna Das, 65, and his friend and neighbour Ajit Talukdar of Lal Ganesh locality of Guwahati. Their wives are from West Bengal.“NRC officials sought our marriage certificate signed by the Durgapur Circle Officer (CO), though we had certificates signed by the Mayor and Ward Commissioner. The Durgapur CO referred us to his counterpart in Asansol and Burdwan, but nothing happened,” Mr. Das said.Similarly, the papers of Mr. Talukdar’s wife did not return verified from Ranaghat in West Bengal. The wives did not figure in the draft NRC, neither did their children.Mr Singh sent letters and emails to the Jaunpur District Magistrate as well as to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister requesting verification of papers. He did not receive any reply.Post-bifurcation woesMany Assamese and non-Assamese people have suffered because they had migrated from parts of Assam that became Nagaland (1963), Meghalaya and Mizoram (1972). “We could not provide legacy data,” said retired banker Nurul Islam Laskar, 68, who divides his time between Guwahati and his original home in Meghalaya’s capital Shillong.“Legacy data had only 1951 NRC and electoral rolls up to 1971, but the States carved out of Assam took possession of the voters’ list pertaining to their areas. So these areas were not included. But we had provision for 14 other documents, including passport,” an NRC official said.The passport of Mr. Laskar’s wife, however, did not count for much. “She is a retired Central School teacher and a passport holder for 40 years, and she is from Kishanganj in Bihar. Maybe officials in Bihar did not deem it necessary to vet her papers,” he said.Many in southern Assam’s Barak Valley, who shifted from Mizoram after an uprising by the Mizo National Front in 1966, also had a tough time going back to villages in the hill State for documents to prove their citizenship.They include the Silchar-based mother-in-law of Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla’s legal advisor and a farmer from Lakhipur in the Cachar district, whose father fought the Japanese army in Myanmar during World War IIlast_img read more

Killing wolves to save livestock may backfire

first_imgWhen gray wolves from Washington state’s Huckleberry pack killed more than 30 sheep this summer, state wildlife officials responded by shooting four wolves, including the pack’s alpha female. Many people think that such “remedial control,” as this predator management method is called, solves the problem. But a new study examining 25 years of wolf predations on cattle and sheep in three states (Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana) and wildlife agencies’ subsequent retaliatory measures shows that the technique actually backfires. It leads to more dead sheep and cattle the following year, not fewer, the scientists report today in PLOS ONE. Indeed, the study reveals that in wolf-occupied areas, killing one of the wild canids increases the odds that the predators will attack sheep the following year by 4% and cattle by 5% to 6%. Shooting (including sport hunting) and trapping wolves is counterproductive, because the killing disrupts their societies, the scientists say. The researchers previously showed that lethal control of cougars also fails because it causes social turmoil for the cats. Wolf packs that lose their breeding pair—or even one member of the pair—break apart. The younger, sexually mature wolves then form their own packs, increasing the number of breeding pairs, the scientists say. Often, these younger wolves have lost their elders’ knowledge of where and how to hunt. And when they have pups, they’re tied to a den, making it harder for them to hunt deer and elk, so they may turn to sheep and cattle. The only way to eliminate the problem entirely is to kill all the wolves, the scientists conclude. Because that is not desirable, they suggest that ranchers and farmers increase their use of nonlethal interventions such as using guard dogs, horseback riders to patrol the range, flags, and spotlights.last_img read more

Apacer: DDR4 high-performance wide-temp memory

first_imgAs 5G rolls out across the world, applications such as edge computing, Internet of Vehicles and IIoT are evolving rapidly. Now Apacer, after releasing the industry’s most complete wide-temperature 3D NAND PCIe product line, has introduced an industrial wide-temperature DDR4 2666 memory module, made exclusively with ICs supplied by Samsung to create product differentiation. Apacer is expanding its business into industrial applications driven by intelligent connectivity, and this product will allow manufacturers to pull ahead of their competition in the 5G market.More and more networked products are subject to extreme temperatures. From an outdoor computing device with low heat dissipation to automobile electronics or a smart automated device near the heat source of a production plant, the challenges produced by extreme temperatures are myriad. It’s no surprise that industrial manufacturers demand components that can withstand temperature swings from -40 to 85°C. Unlike the commercial ICs some memory manufacturers use to produce industrial wide-temperature memory by using the sorting method, Apacer insists on using industrial-grade chips from original manufacturers in its DDR4-2666 high-performance wide-temperature memory. This can effectively avoid the high malfunction rates of commercial IC products operating in extreme temperature environments.Apacer encourages customers and purchasing organizations to identify wide-temperature industrial-grade memory products using the identification code, to avoid the risk of misusing commercial ICs in industrial applications. Taking Apacer’s DDR4-2666 wide-temperature memory as an example, if the third-last digit is the letter “I”, then the product is designed for industrial use.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components Continue Reading Previous Sensirion: multi-gas, humidity and temperature module for air purifiers and HVAC applicationsNext Mouser shipping Infineon OPTIGA Trust X hardware security solutionlast_img read more

India vs England: Ollie Pope to debut in Lord’s Test, says Joe Root

first_imgOllie Pope will make his debut against India in the second Test starting at the Lord’s, England captain Joe Root confirmed on Tuesday.Root announced that Surrey batsman Pope will receive his first cap batting at No. 4, replacing Dawid Malan from the side that won the first game by 31 runs at Edgbaston last week.” Ollie will come in and bat at four. He’s obviously batted at six for Surrey this season – but having seen him play a little bit, and the way his game is set up, I think it’s very much transferable to bat at number four in Test cricket,” Root said at England’s pre-match press conference.”I know that might be seen as quite a big jump. But he’s obviously an exciting talent and, with the guys around him, I think he fits nicely into that position in our team,” Root said.READ – Ollie Pope wants to emulate Surrey teammate Sam Curran’s success for EnglandMalan had scored 28 runs across both innings for England and also dropped a chance to dismiss Virat Kohli in the first innings as the Indian skipper went on to score 149.”Ollie Pope has made an exceptional start to his first class career,” national selector Ed Smith had said at the of announcing the squad for second Test.READ – India vs England: Bayliss banking on others to step up in Ben Stokes’s absence”He has reached a 1000 first class runs in just 15 matches and is the first division’s stand-out batsman this season with 684 runs at 85.advertisement”The selection panel believe that Ollie’s performances and character suggest he is well suited to international cricket,” Smith had said.READ – India vs England: Dawid Malan dropped for 2nd Test, Chris Woakes returnsPope, 20, has impressed by reaching the 1000-run mark in just 15 first-class matches for domestic side Surrey. He also scored an unbeaten 50 in England Lions’ victory over India A last month.Seamer Jamie Porter misses out from the initial 13-man squad, while one among Moeen Ali or Chris Woakes will replace Ben Stokes.England 12-man squad: Joe Root (capt), Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow (w), Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Alastair Cook, Sam Curran, Keaton Jennings, Ollie Pope, Adil Rashid, Chris Woakes.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more

Sainty Marine Turns to Arbitration over Order Cancellations

first_imgzoom Shenzhen-listed shipbuilder Jiangsu Sainty Marine Corp informed that it has filed for arbitration at London Maritime Arbitration Association over cancellation of a shipbuilding contract.The order relates to construction of three chemical tankers that have been cancelled by an undisclosed owner on August 7 who also sought to return the pre-payment and relevant interest from China Exim Bank.According to Sainty Marine, the owner has no right to cancel the shipbuilding contract and ask for refund.The owner behind the cancellation is believed to be Celsius Shipping which had 11 orders for 24,600dwt chemical tankers at the yard, priced at around USD 40 million each.Namely, the company had ordered seven chemical tankers in May 2014 and additional four in March 2015, which were supposed to be jointly built by Sainty Marine and Nantong Mingde Heavy Industries.However, Celsius Shipping is reported to had cancelled the orders in June 2015.World Maritime News Stafflast_img read more

Chicago Moroccan Among Most Influential Women in Business

New York- Moroccan women are becoming the country’s best ambassadors abroad, bringing pride to their fellow countrymen and countrywomen. After young Moroccan-American Nadine Hanafi was recently elected one of the US’s top young entrepreneurs, another Moroccan has added her name to the list of young Moroccan women who shine in their fields.Sophia Fouzia Leaguedi, a Moroccan resident of Chicago, was chosen as part of a group of the 15 most influential suburban women in business. The award was granted by the Chicago-based Daily Herald Business Ledger, which every year rewards women executives and business owners who excel in business management. Leaguedi was awarded during the 17th edition of the award, which was held last week in Naperville, a suburb of Chicago.The Moroccan businesswoman distinguished herself through her work as head of her own company, Ameroc Export Inc., which specializes in providing American companies with services to export their products to different parts of the world.Sophia graduated from Rabat’s Mohamed V University before pursuing a career in management and business at Los Angeles Pierce College.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed. read more

Tamil prisoners taken to court reremanded

The prisoners had earlier staged a fast onto death but they suspended it after the President gave an assurance he will address their issue by November 7. Parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran was with the inmates when the assurance was conveyed. Tamil National Alliance parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran told Parliament today that there are over 200 political prisoners in the country. Meanwhile some of the prisoners were brought to the Colombo Magistrates Court today hand-cuffed and linked to each other using a chain.While leaving court some of them said that they were offered rehabilitation but only two of them accepted the offer while the others refused and sought their release.Those who rejected the offer to undergo rehabilitation said that President Maithripala Sirisena, the Prisons Commissioner and parliamentarian M.A. Sumanthiran will need to take responsibility if any harm comes to their lives. Sumanthiran said that President Maithripala Sirisena had given the prisoners an assurance that they will be released by November 7.However the MP said that as of today there was no progress to be seen and the Government must act fast. A group of Tamil detainees were presented to Court today and most of them were re-remanded after they refused to accept an offer to undergo rehabilitation.The detainees, who call themselves “political prisoners” but are not recognized as such by the Government, said that the court, Government and Tamil National Alliance will be held responsible for their lives if they are not freed unconditionally. He said that while the Government does not recognize these people as political prisoners, most of them are political prisoners. Sumanthiran told Parliament today that the President had assured that apart from those facing heinous crimes, the other Tamil political prisoners will be released by November 7.The Tamil political prisoners have been in jail for several years and most of them have not been charged or have been accused of minor offences under the Prevention of Terrorism Act. (Colombo Gazette) read more

UK will help safeguard human rights in Sri Lanka

“The outcome is a welcome indication of the resilience of Sri Lanka’s judicial and democratic institutions, and of effective checks and balances between state powers. The UK will continue to stand by Sri Lanka as a close partner and friend, supporting Sri Lanka as it works to deliver sustainable and accountable reform to reinvigorate the economy, improve governance, and safeguard human rights across the country,” he said. The British Government said that it will help safeguard human rights across Sri Lanka.Minister for Asia and the Pacific Mark Field said he welcomed progress made towards the peaceful resolution of the political situation in Sri Lanka. UK Ministers have made a number of statements since the current outbreak of political tension in Sri Lanka on 26 October, calling on all parties to uphold the constitution and due legal and political process. The UK said it is committed to supporting the Sri Lankan Government’s efforts to improve the human rights situation in the country.The UK is providing Sri Lanka with £8.3 million of Conflict, Stability and Security Fund funding over three years, to include support for police reform and training, reconciliation and peace building, resettlement and demining in the north of the country. (Colombo Gazette) read more

In Oslo lecture UN envoy examines causes solutions to Middle East crisis

“Ten years later the process of Oslo has collapsed; the institutions it gave birth to are shattered and almost destroyed, and the spirit that fuelled it is being drowned out by violence, recriminations and distrust,” said Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. His remarks came in the lecture entitled, “The Current Crisis in the Middle East: Causes and Solutions,” which he delivered at an annual event hosted by the Nobel Institute. The essential elements of peace – including trust and dialogue – were currently being systematically dismantled, he said. Defining acts of violence had eroded the remnants of trust between the parties and in that atmosphere, dialogue had faltered. At the same time he noted, the living conditions of the Palestinians had collapsed, and the Palestinian Authority institutions had sustained fundamental damage.”We are left with two peoples wracked by violence, a situation in which there is not only no dialogue between the parties and their governments, but where dialogue has been replaced by hatred and fear,” he said. “Unless we exit from the current violence – and quickly – the future for both peoples will be untenable.”Offering a ray of hope amid this grim analysis, Mr. Roed-Larsen said there was a deep international consensus – shared by a majority of both peoples, if not their leaders – on how the conflict must end. During negotiations in Taba last year, “we saw the parties come extraordinarily close to finding a viable compromise,” he said.”That these talks failed was, tragically, a consequence of mismanagement, dysfunctional leadership, and a lack of time – a consequence also of mistakes made by those of us in the international community who sought to help the parties reach their conclusion,” he said. “But it was not – emphatically not – a rejection of peace by either side.”Mr. Roed-Larsen underscored that basic principles on which the Oslo process was based remain valid. Those were: land for peace, based on Security Council resolutions 242 and 338; the end of occupation; total rejection of violence and terrorism; the need for security for both parties; and Israel’s right to exist in security. In the year since Taba, he noted, “the international community has begun in its own right to articulate the principles that we believe can – no, must – form the shape of any sustainable agreement between the parties.”It was widely agreed that peace required providing Israel with real and permanent security guarantees and the Palestinians with real and permanent independence, while removing Israeli settlements, reforming Palestinian institutions, and restoring the Palestinian economy and infrastructure, Mr. Roed-Larsen said. He added that there was also a growing consensus around the mechanisms for reaching those principles, which, he stressed, “are in effect the opposite of Oslo.” Those include “a consensus about where the conflict must end, and this must be agreed up front before anything else can be done,” he said. Secondly, in departure from the principle of bilateralism, the principle for an end of the conflict must be introduced by the international community. And thirdly, he emphasized, “any and all agreements must be guaranteed by the international community.” “What we need now, however deep our distress and pain, is to summon the will to turn our vision into a concrete reality that touches the deepest aspirations of both peoples,” Mr. Roed-Larsen said. “As we did in Oslo in 1993, we again need to animate the spirit of peace.” read more

Razing of shantytowns continue in Côte dIvoire UN refugee agency reports

Non-governmental organizations in Abidjan say that 13 shantytowns have so far been destroyed by either the military or gendarmes, and that up to 30 more are slated for destruction by the authorities, a spokesman for the agency said in Geneva, noting that shelters are razed with little or no advance warning.”Sometimes even when no warning has been given that a shantytown is slated for destruction, bulldozers and other heavy machinery are parked outside the communities, seemingly as a warning that the residents should move elsewhere,” Kris Janowski said.About 200,000 people have been displaced so far since the conflict started in late September. Of about 73,000 refugees in Côte d’Ivoire, UNHCR said it is currently caring for more than 1,100 newly displaced persons in seven sites around Abidjan, while several thousand Ivorians have fled to neighbouring countries. Several tens of thousands of foreigners, including 6,000 French nationals, Malians, Ghanaians and Nigerians have also decided to return to their countries. read more

WHO advises no travel restrictions despite outbreak of respiratory disease

According to the UN World Health Organization (WHO), the current findings on the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) continue to indicate the infectious disease spreads from person to person through close contact, with the overwhelming majority of cases occurring in health care workers and family members who have had direct contact with patients. The number of cases without such close contact remains limited.WHO advised that travel restrictions were not needed, although persons travelling to Asia should be aware of major SARS symptoms and report promptly to a health centre should they fall ill. The infectious disease is characterized by atypical pneumonia symptoms.The vast majority of cases are presently concentrated in Hong Kong and Hanoi, where 13 of the 57 patients are showing signs of clinical improvement. Singapore is currently reporting the third-largest number of cases. All reported cases in other parts of the world are linked to travel within the past 10 days to one of these destinations.The global surveillance system coordinated by WHO is working to prevent the outbreak from becoming a global epidemic. A network of 11 laboratories in 10 countries has been established and has begun data sharing and regular reporting. Efforts are under way to expedite identification of the causative agent, improve diagnostic precision and develop a diagnostic test. read more

Six months after tsunami Clinton UN agencies say hardest work lies ahead

“For a period of time everyone focused on saving lives without regard to nationality, politics or anything else,” said former United States President Bill Clinton, the special UN envoy for tsunami relief. “But while the immediate relief effort was unprecedented in its scope, we cannot underestimate the job that remains.”As the operation moves from life-saving relief to long-term recovery, Mr. Clinton said an action plan was needed to ensure that all actors – UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, donors, affected Governments and the private sector – agree on who is going to do what, when and where.As a matter of urgency, he said that local institutions need to be strengthened, livelihoods need to be restored and the displaced need to be moved from tents to adequate transitional shelters. At the same time, greater efforts are needed to protect the most vulnerable, including women and children, as decisions about long-term priorities are made.Having provided 123,000 tons of food to over two million people in the six months since the 26 December tsunami, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said it was continuing its role as the lead logistics agency for the UN in the tsunami crisis, shipping food, medicine and even vehicles. It is shifting its focus to long-term recovery as well.”We have managed to prevent hunger and malnutrition by getting food on time to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people,” said Mohamed Saleheen, WFP’s Country Director in Indonesia. “Now we’re helping families focus on rebuilding, without having to worry about whether they’ll have enough to eat.” The UN Food and Agricultural Agency (FAO) said it was determined to make sure that the unprecedented resources available for recovery build back better livelihoods for those hardest hit, particularly farmers and fisherman, following its first six months of technical assessments and early recovery assistance.In addition, in the next six months UN agencies, working with government authorities, plan to establish an Indian Ocean early warning system, rehabilitate key transportation infrastructure, provide safe water and sanitation for at least 80 per cent of the population in affected areas of Sumatra and the Maldives, and continue building schools among other efforts, the agencies said in a joint press release. read more

The timesensitive art of producing and selling Hatchimals the latest hot toy

by Linda Nguyen, The Canadian Press Posted Nov 25, 2016 2:00 am MDT Last Updated Nov 25, 2016 at 9:20 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email TORONTO – The overwhelming popularity of this season’s hottest toy, Hatchimals, has taken many by surprise — including its Toronto-based toymaker, Spin Master.The furry, robotic bird-like toy animals that hatch from an egg when rubbed have been selling out at stores across North America, Europe and Japan since its launch on Oct. 7.Some experts say this is a common risk that companies encounter when available stock can’t meet high demand, because perceived value — especially in toys — can be time-sensitive.“These toys tend to be trends and fads. What’s hot this Christmas probably won’t be hot next summer,” says June Cotte, a consumer behaviour researcher and marketing professor at the Ivey Business School at Western University in London, Ont.Cotte notes that the scarcity of Hatchimals is also helping to fuel its popularity, with some of the toys relisted on websites like Craigslist, Kijiji and Ebay at three to four times the original price. The toys sell for $69.99 in stores.A similar situation occurred in the 1980s with the mania over the Cabbage Patch Dolls and in the mid-1990s with the Tamagotchi and Tickle Me Elmo toys. In these cases, it was reported that shoppers caused stampedes and even broke into fist fights inside stores over the sought-after toys.Scarcity marketing, when manufacturers produce a limited number of products or only offer them for a small window of time, also helps drive hype and the fear of missing out for toys like Hatchimals.According to retail consultancy NPD Group, Hatchimals was the top selling toy in Canada in October.But it’s difficult for toymakers to look into a crystal ball and predict whether their toy will be the hot trend of the year, notes Michelle Liem, the group’s toys industry analyst.The toys that do achieve top status don’t always have similar characteristics. Liem says that small, plastic collectibles based on grocery store items like apples and cookies were the big hit last year.These days the popularity of toys can grow exponentially through word of mouth and social media.“There’s a new toy that comes out and word gets around about how cool the toy is,” Liem says.“The faster it starts going off the shelf, the more people are talking about it and talking about how hard it is to get… It almost perpetuates more demand.”Spin Master co-CEO Ronnen Harary says part of the appeal of Hatchimals, which took the company two years to create, is the element of surprise that comes with each toy.Hatchimals come in 12 different species once hatched, and children must nurture and hold them to help them grow through various stages.“They want to play, that’s the magic of this. There’s something in there,” he says.Spin Master has even credited YouTube videos of children unboxing, caring and interacting with their Hatchimals for the company’s success.Harary says the company has ramped up production overseas and are bringing the toys over by plane, train and freight in the hopes that store shelves will see some stock through to the end of the holiday season.“In a situation like this, it’s very difficult to anticipate exactly what the right amount is (to manufacture),” he says.“If the product didn’t resonate with the kids then we would be left over with a lot of inventory and a lot of stock. That’s very costly for the company. So anticipating the right amount of inventory to bring in is part science and part art.”Follow @LindaNguyenTO on Twitter. Hatchimals are shown in this undated handout photo. The overwhelming popularity of this season’s hottest toy, Hatchimals, has taken many by surprise — including its Toronto-based toymaker, Spin Master. The furry, robotic bird-like toy animals that hatch from an egg when rubbed have been selling out at stores across North America, Europe and Japan since its launch on Oct. 7. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO – Spin Master *MANDATORY CREDIT* The time-sensitive art of producing and selling Hatchimals, the latest hot toy read more

Britain slams barbaric death sentence given to pregnant woman in Sudan

first_imgBRITISH PRIME MINISTER David Cameron said today he was “appalled” by the “barbaric” death sentence given to a Sudanese Christian woman for refusing to recant her religion.Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag, 27, was condemned on May 15 under Islamic sharia law, which outlaws conversions on pain of death. She was pregnant at the time but gave birth this week in prison.“I am absolutely appalled by the decision to sentence Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag to death,” Cameron said in a statement today.“The way she is being treated is barbaric and has no place in today’s world. Religious freedom is an absolute, fundamental human right,” the Conservative leader said.“I urge the government of Sudan to overturn the sentence and immediately provide appropriate support and medical care for her and her children.The UK will continue to press the government of Sudan to act.”The Christian Sudanese woman, who was sentenced to hang, was incarcerated with her 20-month-old toddler according to rights activists, and gave birth this week to another baby in jail.She should be allowed to nurse her baby for two years before any death sentence is carried out, legal experts have said.Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, and Labour opposition leader Ed Miliband have also condemned the case as “abhorrent”.Former British prime minister Tony Blair, who heads a faith foundation, said justifying Ishag’s treatment in the name of religion was “a brutal and sickening distortion of faith and we must unite in calling for her release.“We must fight to protect freedom of belief, strive to allow people to worship the god they want or to worship none,” he said, according to The Times newspaper.Meanwhile former defence secretary Liam Fox said Britain should reconsider whether it was acceptable to give aid money to countries which allow such treatment.- © AFP 2014.Related: ‘Appalling and abhorrent’: Pregnant woman sentenced to flogging and hanging in Sudan>Read: Pregnant teenager receives jail term after being gang-raped>last_img read more

My business Princess Couture

first_imgBACKGROUND: After studying fashion design I got a job at a bridal label. There I noticed a gap in the market for hand made items for brides. They were looking for personalised garters and head pieces instead of veils and I started making bits and pieces and contacted a couple of stores in Adelaide who were happy to stock my items. CHALLENGES OF THE BUSINESS: It’s been good going through the stockist’s and they will email me or call me with what they need. Normally I will make some samples for the client and they chose what will suit their needs.INSPIRATIONS: My biggest inspiration is the fabrics I use, coming from a bridal background I deal with French laces, silk fabrics, the high-end fabrics. I was always creative, from a young age I was always sketching and making clothes for my dolls. A designer like Alex Perry is an inspiration with what he has done with evening wear and bridal wear. He has made it quite modern, Collette Dinnigan also.FUTURE PLANS: Just recently my business has taken a turn into mainstream fashion by creating head pieces for the Melbourne Cup and the Adelaide Cup but after christening my niece and realising there wasn’t a lot to wear in the christening field, I want to get into that market. WHAT WOULD YOU WEAR TO YOUR WEDDING: I would design my wedding dress myself and I would lean towards a modern, unusual piece, that would feature French beaded lace. I’d love to change dresses from the church to the reception but it’s hard to say as the dress would be designed depending on the location and season of the wedding. But I would definitely wear a personalised head piece.CONTACT: ph: 0412 060 694 email: katherine@ princesscouture.com.au web: www.princesscouture.com.au Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Italie une nouvelle espèce de papillon envahit les vignobles du nord

first_imgItalie : une nouvelle espèce de papillon envahit les vignobles du nordBaptisée Antispila oinophylla, une nouvelle espèce de papillon s’attaque aux vignobles du nord de l’Italie. Ce lépidoptère sévit depuis plusieurs années, mais vient seulement d’être identifié après avoir été confondu avec une espèce de papillon américain.Depuis 2006, les vignes du nord de l’Italie sont envahies par une espèce de papillon. D’abord confondue avec un insecte nord-américain se nourrissant de vigne vierge, cette espèce a été baptisée Antispila oinophylla après que des analyses génétiques ont montré qu’il s’agissait d’un papillon différent.À lire aussiMaladie de Charcot : symptômes, causes, traitement, où en est on ?Jusqu’à présent trouvé dans les vignes des régions de Trento et Vénétie, il s’est propagé et sa population a augmenté depuis qu’il a été enregistré, rapporte la BBC. Le ravageur pond ses oeufs dans les feuilles des plantes, et ses larves se nourrissent de parenchyme, des tissus végétaux constitués de cellules vivantes. Elles engendrent alors une défoliation des vignes qui s’affaiblissent. L’insecte serait venu d’Amérique du Nord où il est également présent. Toutefois, dans les régions du nord de la Géorgie à l’Ontario où il a été observé, il ne s’attaque pas aux vignes. Les chercheurs ignorent comment cette espèce est arrivée en Italie, mais le Dr Van Nieukerken, du Centre pour la Biodiversité des Pays-Bas, explique qu’il est très facile pour les cocons contenant des larves d’être accidentellement transportés avec des matériaux végétaux. “Ils sont très petits et exactement de la même couleur que les feuilles. Donc, si vous portez des plantes, vous ne les remarquerez probablement pas” souligne-t-il.Le 3 mars 2012 à 15:53 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

This Tiny Bird Made One of the Longest Migrations Ever

first_img Watch: Girl Gets Hit in the Face By Bird During Roller Coaster RideWatch: Snowball the Dancing Cockatoo Has More Moves Than You This tiny bird deserves a much-needed rest: For the first time, biologists have tracked a migration of up to 20,000 kilometers (12,427 miles) made by the 0.42-ounce blackpoll warbler, one of the fastest declining song birds in North America.Biologists from the University of Guelph said the bird made an epic journey between its breeding grounds in the central and western boreal forest of North America and its winter home in the Amazon Basin. It’s one of the longest song bird migrations recorded.In a paper published in the journal Ecology, the researchers describe the bird’s “great circle route,” which recorded the bird arching across North America and making a transoceanic flight to South America.A blackpoll warbler outfitted with a tiny geolocating “backpack.” (Photo Credit: Vermont Centres for EcoStudies)For the study, researchers outfitted the birds with tiny geolocating “backpacks” that tracked them from four boreal forest sites across northern Canada and Alaska.Scientists had long suspected that the blackpoll warbler took this epic circle route on its annual migration, but had not yet proved it until now.“It’s amazing,” said University of Guelph Ryan Norris, who led the research team. “A bird weighing a couple of loonies [Canadian one-dollar coins] travels from the western edge of North America all the way to the Amazon basin — and, in between, traverses the Atlantic Ocean.”Total southward migration took about 60 days on average over distances ranging from 6,900 km (4,287 miles) for birds breeding in Churchill, Manitoba, to 10,700 km (6,648 miles) for populations on the western edge of the continent in Nome, Alaska, according to the researchers.Blackpolls from Nome took 18 days to fly across North America to the Atlantic coast of the Carolinas. There, the birds spent almost a month fattening up to double their body weight before a non-stop, 2 ½-day flight across open water to overwintering grounds in northern Colombia, Venezuela, and Brazil.They covered between 2,250 and 3,400 km (between 1,398 and 2,112 miles) for that transoceanic hop, without stopping.According to Norris, blackpoll population numbers have fallen in recent years, perhaps caused by habitat loss and declines in insect prey related to climate change. “To understand what’s causing the decline, we need to know their full annual cycle,” he said.In the paper, the researchers say climate change may make extreme coastal weather events more frequent and more extreme, with unknown impacts on long-distance migratory birds.More on Geek.com:Scientists Solve the Mystery of Cassowary’s Strange HeadgearThis Bird Attracts a Mate With His Heart-Shaped Throat SacWorld’s Rarest Bird Thought to Be Extinct Gets New Home Stay on targetlast_img read more

Motorcyclist 24 killed on Highway 14

first_imgA 24-year-old motorcyclist was killed early this morning on Highway 14.The crash happened at about 2:50 a.m., as the motorcyclist was riding east on the highway near Evergreen Boulevard. He attempted to change lanes, lost control of the bike and hit a guardrail, according to a Washington State Patrol news bulletin. The rider was ejected and his motorcycle landed 800 feet east of the crash scene, blocking both highway lanes, the state patrol said.The highway was blocked for more than three hours following the crash.Speed was listed as a factor in the crash, though the state patrol is still investigating.The motorcyclist, who lives in Vancouver, hasn’t been identified, pending notification to his family.last_img