The agony and the ecstasy of New Super Mario Bros 2

first_imgNew Super Mario Bros. 2, which was recently released for the Nintendo 3DS, is a brief, but inescapably accurate portrayal of everything that works and does not work with the 3DS. On the surface it’s YAMG (yet another Mario game) and it stays remarkably true to the formula.Since the 1988 release Super Mario Bros. 3, Nintendo has known exactly what gamers want from a 2D Mario game — the raccoon suit, the fire flower, bricks you smash by jumping, and a few swimming levels. The company has done an incredible job at keeping this formula interesting through many different iterations and platforms, but ultimately they know what people expect, and just how far things should be pushed before the natives get restless. The team also knows just what concoction brews up the secret sauce: that perfect Mario jump, the ideal degree of difficulty for all members of the family, and exactly how to introduce players to new perks and mechanics.Depending on your perspective this can be a good or bad thing. After all, Nintendo has managed to innovate without reinventing, to modernize without displacing our nostalgia, and to attract new players without losing the long-time fans. Depending on your perspective, this could be the sign of a company that doesn’t want to kill the golden goose or one that’s too complacent to survive in an ever-changing industry that thrives on creative destruction.One of the important aspects of a franchise that holds so many things constant is that the smallest changes can feel ever so important. While playing New Super Mario Bros. 2 I’ve been downright gleeful every time I get the gold flower, which turns Mario into a veritable King Midas. I’ve also been suspiciously eying the persistent coin counter, which gives me a virtual pat on the back every time I collect 1,000 new coins, reminding me both of the hard work I’ve done collecting them and the additional hours of my life that I’ve invested in jumping Mario into the same bricks and over the same koopa troopas.One of the most lackluster aspects of the otherwise extremely polished game is the 3D. This isn’t anything new for 3DS owners: the 3D perspective is unnecessary, uncomfortable and, unlike Super Mario 3D LandC$27.99 at Amazon, there are no times when 3D viewing is required to unlock a puzzle. I was able to play through long stretches of the game just as if I was still on my trusty DS Lite, having totally forgotten that 3D was even available.Not surprisingly, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is another fine addition to the franchise. The game has a new gold-obsessed Coin Rush mode, Mega (think 50-foot-tall) Mario is shockingly amusing the first time you get the power-up, and the game is still perfectly balanced. Like the other recent games, coins and lives are thrown at you with such reckless abandon that they lose all meaning. The stages are all ones we’ve seen before, and the game will not hesitate to pat you on the head and hold your hand if you have problems. Perhaps this biggest change with this release was that this game was not delivered to me as a cartridge, but as a download through the 3DS eShop.So yes, New Super Mario Bros. 2 is exactly what it sounds like, and the problems with both Nintendo and the 3DS remain unaddressed.last_img read more

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The one thing that stood out was the stag The stag stands

first_img Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloudSubscribe to our new podcast, The42 Rugby Weekly, here: Saturday 4 May 2019, 7:00 AM Subscribe Johan Ackerman, now with Gloucester, pushed Ferreira to coach. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHOFerreira learned from many coaches at the Lions – Eugene Eloff, Jake White, Dick Muir and John Mitchell – as his role gradually morphed from analysis into coaching. When Johan Ackermann took on the head coach role in 2012, the transition became permanent as he was made defence coach of the Lions.“It was just the two of us as coaches,” says Ferreira. “After that, Johan just said, ‘I don’t want you behind a desk anymore. You’ve got to be on the pitch, I want you to coach.’“It really sparked it in 2012. You’ve got to take that knowledge you have from being an analyst into being a coach.“I’m not a guy that boasts but because I watched so much rugby and was so fanatical about rugby, that led to other things. With the analysis, it was going into depth about other teams, looking at trends in attack. Although you’re an analyst, I was allowed to speak up and suggest things, finding things that might improve the team.”Ferreira was also head analyst for the Lions up until leaving for Munster, but his role as defence coach was the priority. He helped the Lions to their 2015 Currie Cup success, as well as back-to-back Super Rugby finals in 2016 and 2017 when they had the best defence in the competition.“I had a strong idea what I wanted to do,” says Ferreira of being handed the defensive reins. “At the time, I would like to think what we did with the Lions wasn’t really in Super Rugby.“Very basically, it was to get the quicker guys on the outside and the slow guys to the inside and how you do that. It was different back then, everything with defence has changed since.”Defence has certainly transformed drastically in Ferreira’s time in the game, from a place where linespeed was nothing like the common theme it is now to the current status quo of having 13 or 14 players in the frontline racing towards the attack at speed.And shifting to Munster has been another welcome change for a defence coach coming from the Southern Hemisphere.“Defence in Europe is much more on the top shelf than what it is in Super Rugby,” explains Ferriera. “You’re sort of on the back burners in Super Rugby, where it’s more attack focused and the defence is just carrying the team but it’s lower down the order.”Coming in mid-season in December 2017 alongside van Graan was challenging for Ferreira, although he says previous defence coach Jacques Nienaber – now part of the Boks set-up with Rassie Erasmus – had left the place in good order. Ferreira started out as an analyst. Source: Matteo Ciambelli/INPHO“I didn’t come in here and say, ‘Ok, we’re scrapping everything and going with my way.’“I don’t believe in that, I believe that there was a system in place and it did work, but can there be improvements? Definitely, so I then implemented small things to improve it.”Ferreira focused on ensuring Munster’s players were better at staying ‘connected’ in defence. Even when bringing linespeed, Munster’s players have been good at working with the team-mates either side of them.“That was one area I asked questions of; ‘How come we are going into semi-finals and don’t go into finals?’ I looked at videos where we were trying to make crazy reads on the outside and taking ourselves out and teams were ripping us apart.“When you get into knock-out rugby, you’ve got to stay alive. If you’re going to take yourself out by trying to make a read, how are you going to get those trophies? So for me, it was trying to get that mindset of staying connected and staying alive.”Ferreira says he loves “getting my hands dirty” with the technical aspects of coaching defence, while his analysis background means he’s a big believer in the value of going through match footage in detail.Like most defence coaches, he stresses that mindset and communication are as important as anything, saying that “even if we had the shittest plan, it might actually be the best plan – there might be five different options of defending something but if we all agree on one, that can be the right thing.”In Ferreira’s eyes, defence can be straightforward if the attitude is right.“I said it to the lads at the beginning of the season, ‘If you’re not going to be a person that puts your body on the line, then you can’t play for this side.’ That’s how it should be. “Before I took this job in Munster, I really looked at the emblem. The one thing that stood out was the stag on the emblem.“The meaning behind that is that the stag stands its ground.“That, to me, is what we are about.“We stand our ground every single Saturday.”Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Andy Dunne to discuss all the week’s rugby news.: May 4th 2019, 7:00 AM ‘The one thing that stood out was the stag… The stag stands its ground’ South African coach JP Ferreira has been in charge of stingy Munster defence this season. Share20 Tweet Email center_img 25,230 Views 7 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Murray Kinsella Short URL JOHANN VAN GRAAN and JP Ferreira first met as players in their native South Africa, although Ferreira – who is now Munster’s defence coach – had no memory of it until someone sent him a photo of an old match programme just before he moved to Ireland.Ferreira and van Graan, it transpired, had been in the same matchday squad for the University of Pretoria in the early 2000s.By the time Munster head coach van Graan had convinced Ferreira to relocate his young family to Limerick in December 2017, the pair were more than familiar with each other. Source: Munster RugbyThey first built a relationship during their time as analysts, van Graan working for the Blue Bulls and Ferreira for the Lions, then furthered the friendship as coaches when they were part of the Springboks’ staff on the 2016 November tour.Van Graan is still only 39, while Ferreira is four years his junior – these are relatively young men in the world of rugby coaching but their upward trajectory is one that is increasingly common in the sport: analyst to coach.Van Graan and Ferreira didn’t have high-profile playing careers but both men share a lifelong obsession with rugby that has catapulted them towards their work with one of the most famous teams in the game.Ferreira, coming towards the end of his first full season with the province, has overseen a superb defensive campaign from Munster – who have conceded the fewest number of tries in both the Guinness Pro14 and Heineken Champions Cup.While Munster’s attack has struggled at times, Ferreira’s defence has been consistently excellent. As importantly, his wife and two young daughters are happy in Limerick and he feels part of the Munster family.“The first six months was always going to be challenging, especially coming in mid-season and trying to get to know everyone, suss it all out,” says the Pretoria man.“But the people have been unbelievable in getting us set up as a family. The players have really made us feel part of Munster, which is massive.”Ferreira has been a rugby fanatic from as early as he can remember, first playing at the age of seven.His father played club rugby but his athletic genes came from his mother, former international tennis player Brigitte Cuypers, who was a South African champion multiple times, as well as playing in Wimbledon, the US Open and the French Open. Ferreira has overseen Munster’s excellent defence this season. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHOGrowing up, Ferreira played at fullback or on the wing and recalls “always saying I’d rather kick a ball than study.” His future as an analyst was also hinted at in his youth.“I’ve still got tapes of the 1995 World Cup in a box I have in storage,” says Ferreira.“I used to come back from school, I was 12 at the time that World Cup was on the go, and I would put in tapes every single day and I’d watch them so many times that I was sitting there commentating myself as the commentators were also commentating.”Ferreira didn’t play in the famous Craven Week schoolboy competition – where many future pros first make their names – but some connections of his father’s managed to secure him a trial with Bridgend in Wales after he left school.“I went over to Wales the day after I finished my last school exam and little did I know but in the changing room were Dafydd James, Nathan Budgett, Gareth Thomas, and some Tongan guys like Maama Molitika and Josh Taumalolo,” says Ferreria.“I was taken aback by the size of them. I was only 18.”Ferreira impressed enough to secure a contract and spent seven months training with the senior team and playing with Bridgend’s U21s before returning home to South Africa.The Blue Bulls’ Ian Schwartz, who went on to be Springboks team manager, then invited the youngster into the franchise for a trial, after which Ferreira played for the Bulls at U19 and U20 level, as well as training with the Springboks 7s squad.But only Morné Steyn, Pierre Spies and Wynand Olivier of his U20 vintage advanced onto senior terms with the Bulls, with Ferreira moving to a smaller South African union called the Leopards and then onto the Falcons of the Gauteng province, who play in the Currie Cup.Ferreira suffered a knee injury in 2005 and it looked like he would be released by the Falcons until he was struck by an idea.“I told them, ‘If you’re not going to offer me a contract just to play, I’ll do the analysis for you.’ The analysis guy had just decided to leave. I knew I could get back to play, so they kept me on, I did the analysis and it took off from there.”Ferreira played on until 2007 – his final game was a Currie Cup defeat to the Sharks – before his growing reputation as a rugby brain drew an offer from the Lions in Super Rugby to work solely as an analyst.last_img read more

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Degree lecturers problems will be solved soon Union leaders

first_imgVemulawada: All the issues of Degree College lecturers will be solved soon, assured Dr K Surender Reddy, the State general secretary of Telangana Government Gazetted College Teachers Association (TGGCTA). On Wednesday, he visited Government Degree College at Agraharam of Vemulawada Urban mandal in Rajanna Sircilla district and discussed various issues pertaining to the lecturers working in government degree colleges. Also Read – Non-bailable warrant to Congress leader Renuka Chowdhury Advertise With Us Speaking on the occasion, Dr K Surendar Reddy informed that the junior lecturers, who were promoted to degree colleges in 2016, will receive the fitment formula related UGC scale and the issues related to UGC-2016, 7th Pay Commission will be solved with the orders that would be issued very soon. The Commissioner responded positively to pay salary for the lecturers, who worked in summer holidays and orders regarding this will be issued soon as per the information received, he assured. Also Read – Hyderabad: Wall collapse in Kukatpally damages four cars Advertise With Us The lecturers must work hard for strengthening the government degree colleges by admitting more number of students along with giving high standard of education to the students so that they can reach greater heights in their future, he advised. TGCGTA Rajanna Sircilla district unit president Dr V Srinivas, secretary M Rajesh, N Srinivas, lecturers Dr Afsari Usmani, Dr Malla Reddy, Dr Bhadraiah, Dr Rama Devi, Swarupa, Venkateshwarlu, Dr Prabhakar and K Rajesh were present along with others.last_img read more

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PM to open MoghbazarMouchak flyover Thursday

first_imgThe final parts of the much-awaited Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover will be opened to traffic simultaneously on Thursday.Prime minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to open the Kakrail-Malibagh, Rajarbagh-Mouchak, Rampura-Mouchak and Mouchak-Eskaton portions of the flyover through a videoconference at 12noon on Thursday, project director (PD) Susant Kumar Pal told UNB on Saturday.He said the necessary construction work on the flyover was completed last month. “The prime minister has given us schedule to open it on 26 October.”Once the prime minister inaugurates it, he said, the entire 8.7-km overpass, including the three portions already in operation, will be opened to traffic.The roads beneath the flyover that got seriously dilapidated have already been renovated, bringing an end to the immense sufferings to the commuters and residents of the areas.The country’s longest flyover drew criticism for repeatedly raising its project cost, deferring its implementation deadline and faulty designs.Though the overpass has been built for unhindered vehicular movement, traffic signal lights have been installed at the Mouchak and Malibagh intersection of the flyover due to its faulty design.Meanwhile, a passerby, Swapan of Kishoreganj’s Pakundia upazila, was killed and two others injured after a concrete girder of the flyover collapsed on Malibagh level-crossing on 13 March this year.Aiming to ease traffic in one of the city’s busiest areas, the construction work on the integrated Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover Project began in January 2013 with a deadline to complete it by June 2015.On 19 January 2016, the project timeframe has been extended by another 18 months till June 2017 as its length has been extended through redesigning of its structure to make it more usable for easing traffic jam in the capital. But, the construction farm also missed the deadline, annoying the commuters further.Paul said three portions of the flyover–Holy Family Hospital to Tejgaon, Eskaton to Moghbazar Wireless Gate and Hatirjheel to Sonargaon intersection–have already been opened to traffic, reducing traffic jams at those points.On 30 March last year, prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the first part, stretching over two kilometres from Holy Family Hospital to Saatrasta intersection.Local government minister Khandker Mosharraf Hossain inaugurated the one-km portion, Eskaton to Moghbazar Wireless Gate, on 15 September 2016 and the 450-meter long part, Hatirjheel to Sonargaon intersection, on 17 May this year.Paul said the rest of the nearly 5.5-km flyover will be opened to traffic on Thursday. Once the entire flyover is opened to traffic, vehicles can go over eight road intersections and three level-crossings at Karwan Bazar, Moghbazar and Malibagh, substantially improving the city tariff.He said a total of Tk 1,218 crore has been spent on the construction of the country’s longest flyover.The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) first approved the project on 8 March 2011 involving Tk 772.70 crore. The expenditure of the project was increased on different occasions later.The construction work on the project, which is jointly financed by Saudi Development Fund, OPEC Fund for International Development and the Bangladesh government, started in 2013 instead of the original schedule of 2011.last_img read more

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Myanmar protests demand military loosen grip on politics

first_imgThis file photo taken on 19 July 2018, shows Myanmar`s chief senior general Min Aung Hlaing, commander-in-chief of the Myanmar armed forces, saluting to pay his respects to Myanmar independence hero General Aung San and eight others assassinated in 1947, during a ceremony to mark the 71th anniversary of Martyrs` Day in Yangon. AFP File PhotoProtesters in Myanmar called for the military to loosen its grip on politics Wednesday, as tensions mount over the country’s army-drafted constitution ahead of national elections next year.The 2008 charter, enacted by the ruling junta after decades of repressive army rule, bars embattled civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi from the presidency and forces her to share power with the generals.It also guarantees a quarter of parliamentary seats to the armed forces, along with powerful defence and security portfolios.Parliament is set to discuss proposed amendments to the document but military MPs hold a veto on any changes, prompting more than 1,000 protesters to gather in downtown Yangon and shout slogans demanding constitutional reform.”I think the military should stand with and think for the public,” said Yangon resident Thi Thi Han.But opinion over the issue is split, and a rival protest later on Wednesday demanded Myanmar leaders keep the charter as it is.”Democracy here is so young, it requires the military to be in parliament until democracy is fully fledged,” said 39-year-old Zar Chi Lin.The constitution has long been a flashpoint in Myanmar politics.Suu Kyi’s party, which won a landslide victory in 2015 elections, wants to downsize the role of the armed forces. But the military insists it plays a stabilising role in a country riven by conflict in border areas.Both the locally revered Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, and Myanmar’s army chiefs have been criticised for a brutal crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority in the country’s west that provoked international outrage and a refugee crisis.The charter bars the de facto leader from the presidency because of an article that prevents anyone with a foreign family members from occupying the post. Suu Kyi was married to a British academic, with whom she had two sons.Instead she took up the role of state counsellor after winning landslide elections in 2015.Hardline nationalists oppose any constitutional amendments that would push the military to the fringes of political power.Suu Kyi’s former legal adviser Ko Ni, who had worked on drafting changes to the charter, was shot and killed two years ago in a plot by former military officers.last_img
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In Time For Super Bowl Houston Home Designed For Professional HomeSharing

first_img 00:00 /03:50 Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X – / 4Lydia Afeman owns a townhouse in Houston’s Sunset Heights. It’s a two-story building that from the outside doesn’t necessarily strike one as an architectural beauty – with its white, square, bunker-like appearance.But it’s what’s inside that makes this home special.“You could easily just shut one unit off or you could leave it all open if you don’t have a guest,” she said, showing off her home. “But when you do, you can just have your privacy.”Afeman hired local architect Michael Murrow to design her townhome in a way custom-made to host short- and long-term guests.The homeowner or primary renter is meant to occupy the first floor, with a spacious living room and kitchen, a bathroom and a bedroom.Upstairs has a separate unit with all the same amenities. And then there’s a third unit above the detached carport.Afeman had a feasibility study done, which concluded the concept could be a money maker.“There would be return on investment and I could make enough money to cover the mortgage,” she said. “And while I was sleeping at night this whole house would be basically a revenue-generating property for me.”That’s assuming that there is an 88 percent occupancy rate throughout the year, which Afeman said is feasible.The idea is to host not just Airbnb travelers but longer-term medical tourists, function as corporate housing or even to simply rent out the different units.So is this an investment opportunity for the future?Steven Barth, an attorney and professor of hospitality law at the University of Houston’s Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, thinks it’s a good business model. “They’re probably going to take away business from the long-term stay hotel concepts,” he said, “because people have decided it’s more comfortable to be in an apartment-style, condo-style thing.”But there are a few things that professional home-sharers have to be aware of.“Well, first thing you’d want to do is first of all make sure it’s legal,” Barth said.That means they need to comply with any regulations by the city or homeowners association. For example, do they need to pay hotel occupancy taxes?Barth said occasional Airbnb hosts may be able to avoid them.“One of the arguments homeowners make is, look, I’m just renting this out every now and then, so I’m really not a hotel, so why should I be subject to the occupancy tax,” he said.“Well, in this model that they’re designing and building specifically for that concept, it’d be very hard to make that argument that you’re not subject to those taxes.”Also, their homeowners insurance may have to be adjusted to include temporary guests.As it turns out, a Texas appeals court decision just last month established a precedent for homeowners associations and landlords who want to crack down on unauthorized subleasing.In Tarr vs. Timberwood Park Owners Association, the appellate judge sided with the community association that wanted to stop a homeowner who was renting out his house to travelers.Houston law firm Roberts Markel Weinberg Butler Hailey represented the association.The firm’s Marc Markel said, sure, there are many positives to concepts like Airbnb, but many communities are opposed to short-term leasing, especially during big events like Super Bowl LI, which is expected to attract 150,000 visitors.“We have people from all over the world wanting to come to Houston,” he said.  “And they’re going to go and they’re going to rent out this large house, pay an ungodly amount of money for a weekend and either trash the house, have parties all weekend or do something which would be contrary to the residential nature of a community.”But there’s not much communities without a homeowners association can do to restrict short-term leasing.By the way, Lydia Afeman said her concept is not limited to temporary home-sharing. It could also work for families whose members wouldn’t mind some privacy, for example teens.“They start claiming the different units, and they’re like, when I get older I can sneak out the back in the alley,” she said.Homebuilding company Lennar is also marketing the big family concept with their NextGen homes.Afeman plans to test out her commercial concept for a while and then build a similar home in the Medical Center, where she expects to attract more potential short-time renters. Sharelast_img read more

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Two Injured In Trump Tower Heating System Fire

first_imgPhoto via Twitter @emeraldskycomNew York City Fire Department vehicles sit on Fifth Avenue in front of Trump Tower, in New York, Monday, Jan. 8, 2018.New York City fire officials say a fire in Trump Tower’s heating and air conditioning system injured two people and caused smoke to billow from the roof.The Fire Department of New York says the fire started around 7 a.m. Monday at the building that contains President Donald Trump’s home and business offices.Fire officials say a civilian was treated for serious injuries and a firefighter was treated for minor injuries. It took about an hour to put out the fire on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.The president’s son Eric tweeted his thanks to firefighters for doing “an incredible job.”There was a small electrical fire in a cooling tower on the roof of Trump Tower. The New York Fire Department was here within minutes and did an incredible job. The men and women of the #FDNY are true heroes and deserve our most sincere thanks and praise!— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) January 8, 2018 Share WATCH: Firefighters responded to a fire on the roof of Trump Tower in New York City— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) January 8, 2018center_img Breaking: Two injured following small fire on the roof of Trump tower in Manhattan, New York. Fire is now under control.— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) January 8, 2018last_img read more

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Researchers Build Artificial Immune System to Solve Computational Problems

first_img Citation: Researchers Build Artificial Immune System to Solve Computational Problems (2009, December 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — By mimicking the way that a living body acquires immunity to disease through vaccination, researchers have designed an artificial immune system to solve optimization problems more effectively than before. The results show that the biologically motivated approach is better at exploring a greater amount of space and quickly locating the desired local and global optima than previous methods. The researchers, Kumlachew M. Woldemariam and Gary G. Yen, both from Oklahoma State University, have published their study in a recent issue of IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part B: Cybernetics. As the researchers explain, the field of artificial immune systems (AIS) is an emerging branch of evolutionary computation in which computational systems are based on the structure and behavior of the immune system. By providing methods in pattern recognition, data analysis, and machine learning, AIS has applications in fields including computer science, robotics, and information technology.Unlike previous artificial immune systems, the system in the new study specifically takes advantage of the way that vaccines can improve the performance of the immune system. The antibody cells in the immune system are constantly trying to recognize foreign or malfunctioning cells (antigens such as bacteria, viruses, and tumors) in the midst of the body’s own healthy cells (mainly other antibodies). The way that the immune system distinguishes between different kinds of cells can be formulated as an optimization problem, in which the antibodies are the points in the decision space and the antigens are the solutions that the immune system looks for.Although the immune system usually works very well, sometimes it doesn’t identify an antigen quickly enough to prohibit it from causing illness. To accelerate the immune system’s functioning, vaccines can be administered to enable the immune system to detect a new (weakened) antigen and develop an immunological memory so that it can quickly recognize the same antigen in the future. Drawing inspiration from how such vaccines work, the researchers’ artificial immune system can be enhanced to quickly identify optimum solutions by being injected with certain points in decision space that act as weak antigens, or vaccines. In their study, Woldemariam and Yen explain how to determine which points should be used as vaccines to be “injected” into the algorithm. Once in the algorithm, the vaccines activate the antibody population to incorporate more diverse antibodies and explore new landscapes in decision space, so that the antibodies continually come closer to locating a desired local optimum point. “The main idea of introducing the notion of vaccines in the evolutionary algorithm is to help enhance the diversity of antibodies,” Yen told “The way the vaccines are extracted from the decision space is in such a way that the decision space is explored widely. The implementation of the algorithm in multimodal optimization problem shows how fast and efficiently the antibodies, triggered by the vaccines, learn and locate the local and global optimal solutions of the problem. Therefore the vaccines help antibodies to achieve a speedy learning and diversified exploration.”When comparing the new algorithm, called Vaccine-AIS, to other artificial immune systems, the researchers found that Vaccine-AIS outperformed the others by locating the global and local optima in a plot in fewer evaluations. The key to the improved performance is that the algorithm can cover a larger portion of the search space, due to help from the vaccines. As Yen added, AIS has the potential for improving computational abilities in many other areas.“AIS was originally designed for data mining, anomaly detection and the like,” Yen said. “Its use as an optimization tool is a very young research area but its performance is drawing interest from researchers. Recently there has been research on using artificial immune systems in fault estimation and to design a power system stabilizer. The application of AIS in medical image processing for MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is being studied as well.”More information: Kumlachew M. Woldemariam and Gary G. Yen. “Vaccine-Enhanced Artificial Immune System for Multimodal Function Optimization.” IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics – Part B: Cybernetics, Vol. 40, No. 1, February 2010.Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Explore furthercenter_img This figure shows the optimal solutions found in a certain landscape by the new vaccine-enhanced algorithm, Vaccine-AIS. Image credit: Woldemariam and Yen. ©2009 IEEE. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ‘Killer’ B cells provide new link in the evolution of immunitylast_img read more

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Colin NBA GMs look clueless for choosing Towns over Steph Curry to

first_imgThe results of the annual NBA GM survey were just released, and Colin had to do a double take when he saw who they named as the player they would most like to build a franchise around, and who was disregarded.The survey named Minnesota center Karl-Anthony Towns as the player they would most like to build around, but 2-time NBA champ, and 2-time NBA MVP Steph Curry only received a few token votes. This makes Colin question what NBA they’ve been watching, because it isn’t the one he sees.Aside from the fact that Towns is a center in a guard/wing league, and no centers have led their team to a title in a decade, Curry is 43-13 in the playoffs over the last three years, and his game is based on his shooting, which he should be able to do at a high level well into his 30’s.Give Colin the best shooter ever, and the best ball handler in the league, over a center that’s never won a playoff game.NBA general managers are completely disrespecting Steph Curry— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) October 4, 2017last_img read more

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Philippines Tourism Promotion Board launches photo contest

first_imgThe Philippines’ Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) together with Agoda organised ‘Tag the Fun’ – an exciting photo contest that rewards local and foreign travellers for choosing the Philippines as their destination.Travellers can get a chance to win a holiday break in the beaches and the underground wonder of Puerto Princesa, Palawan or in the Panglao Island, Bohol. In addition, one can also take home ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ premium items.‘Tag the Fun’ photo contest runs till November 13, 2015. It is open to participants 18 years old and above and has two categories: the local category, which is open to all Filipinos, and the foreign category, which is for the foreigners and visitors residing in and outside the Philippines.To join one needs to like the official Facebook pages of Tourism Promotions Board, The Philippines and Agoda; upload the best travel photo on the TPB Facebook page along with an English caption of no more than 500 characters together with the name of destination where the photo was taken. One needs to share the entry on their own Facebook newsfeed along with a mention of ‘The Philippines’ and ‘Agoda’ and the hashtags #tpbgovph, #tagthefun, and #itsmorefuninthephilippines.One can submit as many entries as one wish on or before the following dates with the corresponding weekly themes — November 2: History & Culture, and November 9: Music, Arts & Entertainment.There will be two winners for each week (1 local and 1 foreign) who will receive ‘It’s More Fun in the Philippines’ premium items.On November 13, 2015, best entries will be chosen (1 local and 1 foreign) among the 4 weekly winners to award the grand prizes. The grand winners will enjoy a free 3 day / 2 night stay for two at the country’s two best beaches.The local winner will get to experience the paradise of Astoria Palawan Resort in Puerto Princesa, Palawan while the foreign winner will be treated to the white beaches of Eskaya Beach Resort and Spa in Panglao Island, Bohol.last_img read more

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Auctioncom Appoints EVP Chief Legal Officer

first_img February 20, 2015 636 Views Appoints EVP, Chief Legal Officer After four months serving as interim general counsel for the company, has named Lee Leslie as EVP and chief legal officer.Leslie joined in 2014, bringing 20 years of legal and real estate experience with him. Prior to that, he was the founder and CEO of HouseTech Real Estate, an online real estate services firm that now operates as a subsidiary of He also previously served as chief legal officer at LendingTree Loans and forward, Leslie will oversee all legal, regulatory, intellectual property, and corporate transactional and governance matters for, working closely with CEO and co-founder Jeff Frieden.”Lee has been a terrific addition to the executive team,” Frieden said. “His legal expertise, combined with his years of experience in launching and growing real estate and lending companies, has already proved invaluable in our ongoing efforts to expand the nation’s top online real estate marketplace.” in Headlines, Newscenter_img Share Movers & Shakers 2015-02-20 Tory Barringerlast_img read more

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August 21 2018

first_imgAugust 21 , 2018 The head of Italy-based VOG Consortium says he is expecting a lively start to the European apple campaign, which has now begun following what he described as “an absolutely unheard-of situation” in the industry.He said that after a three-year cycle of difficult “post-[Russian] embargo” seasons, the 2017/18 season ended prematurely as frosts last year had severely impacted production.“This is an absolutely unheard-of situation – I can’t remember it ever happening in the past,” director Gerhard Dichgans said.”During these last few months there has been a shortage of European apples, and it appears that even the volumes of product imported from the Southern Hemisphere – in the specific case of Royal Gala – will only be able to cover demand up until the third week in August.”“Even if the new European apple harvest looks like being abundant, it will find plenty of potential demand and an empty market, ready and waiting to consume the first fresh apples, which are now coming through.”This year production has returned to normal, with 12 million metric tons (MT) estimated to be harvested across the continent.However, VOG said there are some doubts as to the real size of the crop in Poland, which alone accounts for over one-third of the European crop but where less than 50% is for the fresh market. There is also uncertainty regarding quality and sizes, as a direct consequence of the prolonged drought in the northern and eastern European growing areas in the spring and summer months, according to VOG. Applewood gears up for the 2019 harvest season as … Mexico lifts tariffs on U.S. apples … Japanese apple saplings reportedly sold illegally … center_img You might also be interested in EU: High apple stocks ‘put dampers on’ hopes for p … In spite of this large question-mark over the coming market equilibrium, Director Gerhard Dichgans is still optimistic.“Last season taught us an important lesson, which we must not forget: even though retail prices were sky-high in all European markets, volume consumption held up well throughout the central months of the season,” he said.”This gives me confidence for the new season, too: if prices drop back to ‘normal’ levels, consumption may really take off, provided it is supported by impeccable product quality.”More balanced seasonThe Italian consortium dispatched the first trucks immediately after the mid-August holiday, and Dichgans said he is expecting “a very lively start to the campaign, since we are facing an empty market, with no carry-over of apples from the old crop and very few overseas apples.”“The initial price quotations reflect those of the summer market for oversea apples, but it is premature to forecast how prices will develop in the coming weeks,” he said.”We will have to wait for the harvests to really get underway in the main growing areas: for sure, we have to forget last season’s prices, though I am not expecting prices to collapse to the levels of three or four years ago.”He pointed out that crops in some key growing countries like France, Italy an Germany will be 5-6% below the average for 2014-16, which makes him optimistic of seeing a “much more balanced market” this season. “The real question mark is the export potential of those markets in the Mediterranean area which absorbed the surplus product after the Russian embargo,” he said.”The most important thing is to recover the markets we were forced to neglect last season, and guarantee our customers continuity of supply to enable them to plan a full season again.”last_img read more

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November 2 2012On Saturday night October 27th t

first_imgNovember 2, 2012On Saturday night, October 27th, the Red Room at Arcosanti was filled with the sounds of over a dozen women’s voices singing songs with titles like “The Storm is Passing Over.”  The women were all members of the Flagstaff chapter of the Threshold Choir, whose mission is to sing at the bedsides of people who are struggling, many close to dying. The evening started with the building of a fire in the Red Room, and the women sitting in a circle.  Then one woman started singing spontaneously, and the others soon joined her, in a style of rounds or call and response.[the choir in the Arcosanti Vaults; photo by alumna and archive volunteer Ester Meyer & text by workshop participant in the Soleri archives David Chan]A white chair was set in the center of the circle for anyone who wanted to receive the blessing of the music, and several of the women at times sat silently in the chair to hear their fellow choir members sing to them. [the choir in the Arcosanti Vaults; photo by Ester Meyer & text by David Chan]At one point, the lights were turned off and the room was lit only by the fireplace and the light of candles from an altar set in the room; besides candles, the altar also contained mementos from people who had died, and throughout the night the women added to the altar the names and stories of loved ones, pets, and acquaintances who have passed on.[the choir in the Arcosanti Vaults; photo by Ester Meyer & text by David Chan]The Threshold choir visited Arcosanti from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon for rehearsal, and over the course of the three days they sang in the Vault, the Red Room, the Crafts III Tower, and the Music Room, practicing for their mission of bringing “comfort to those at the thresholds of living and dying.”[the choir in the Arcosanti Vaults; photo by Ester Meyer & text by David Chan]last_img read more

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Tough ministry rudderless after Hasikos resignation Update 3

first_imgInterior Minister Socratis Hasikos submitted his resignation to President Nicos Anastasiades on Tuesday night citing personal reasons, it was announced on Wednesday.He is to stay on for 15 days after a request by the president.Speaking to reporters at the Presidential Palace after Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, Hasikos confirmed that he had handed in his resignation letter saying: “I spoke last night to the president rather than to the cabinet today. I have submitted my resignation. The issues my family has been going through for the last nine months are known. I tried many times with the president [to submit a resignation] to be honest. I tried another three times to quit but the president did not accept my resignation.”“Today however the whole situation leaves me no other choice. The government and the ministry are one thing… I have excellent relations with the president… but on the other hand I have the needs of my family…” he added.It is widely known that Hasikos’ wife is very sick, and last year the minister spent weeks in the UK with her when she had to go for treatment.The president said that Hasikos’ resignation will be a great loss to the government.“I want to express my uttermost satisfaction with the work he has produced. It will definitely be a loss to the government,” Anastasiades said.He added that Hasikos’ resignation concerned “personal matters that no one can prevent”.“He had sought to resign three other times, I begged him to remain in his post but it seems there is no other way”.Anastasiades said that he has yet to decide on who is to replace the outgoing minister.Government spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides told Cybc the president would move to replace Hasikos in the coming days but ruled out any cabinet reshuffle. “Although the issue is the exclusive prerogative of the President of the Republic, there are currently no such thoughts,” he said.There is some concern however as to the interior ministry remaining rudderless as its permanent secretary Costas Nicolaides is due to retire on June 1. According to Politis, the ministry asked for a six-month extension for Nicolaides to help see through the massive programme of reform of local government.“For unknown reasons, the president did not accept the extension of the mandate,” the paper said.Hasikos, who was appointed on March 1, 2013 and has been outspoken on almost every issue under his portfolio – a characteristic that has often seen him butt heads loudly and publicly with detractors – has been a strong proponent of local government reform.Only last month he said the current local authority model in Cyprus is outdated, the number of municipalities is excessive, and they are overstaffed. The financial crisis had uncovered the chronic problems of mismanagement, lack of checks, and overstaffing “which we hid under the carpet in previous years” he said.But local authority reform is just one of the high-profile mandates of the interior ministry. The minister oversees immigration, the citizenship programme, the civil registry, civil defence, the guardianship of Turkish Cypriot properties, refugee issues, the long-running saga of title deeds, town planning, lands and surveys, local district administrations, and the press and information office.Hasikos, a senior member of ruling Disy, who served as the defence minister under Glafcos Clerides from 1993-2003, has at various times been outspoken on the issues that come under his purvey. This has led to clashes with MPs most recently over the rental of Turkish Cypriot properties by Greek Cypriots as holiday homes by increasing the small rent they are charged annually.He also told Strovolos municipal councillors recently to stay out of road-making decisions and stick to the duties assigned to them by law when they decided to reject the government’s plans for Tseri Avenue.His most famous spats have been with Auditor-general Odysseas Michaelides.In 2015 they clashed over some issues in the audit chief’s report, after which Hasikos said he would be consulting with the attorney-general on the way in which Michaelides exercises his duties.Hasikos said his gripe with the audit boss was not personal and that Michaelides had a right to defend the contents of his report. But while in other countries no one knew who their auditor-general was, in Cyprus “he was a superstar”.Another dustup in 2015 saw Hasikos and Michaelides go public with a row over the approval of some 800 student visas to Bangladeshi nationals. Michaelides has asked the attorney-general to look into “possible criminal offences” by the interior ministry regarding the approval of visas to students from non-EU countries based on forged documentation.The most recent dispute between the two centred on Michaelides’ complaint that Hasikos held a 60-per-cent stake in a company that won a contract for the renting of a building to the Civil Aviation Department in 2016.Although the company has been renting the building to the department since 2007, Hasikos was not in breach because the contract had been signed prior to his appointment, the minister responded.You May LikeFigLeaf Beta AppGet Maximum Privacy with Minimum EffortFigLeaf Beta AppUndoTotal Battle – Online Strategy GameIf You’re PC User This Strategy Game Is A Must-Have!Total Battle – Online Strategy GameUndoClassmates.comLook For Any High School Yearbook, It’s FreeClassmates.comUndo Concern over falling tourism numbersUndoTurkish Cypriot actions in Varosha ‘a clear violation’ of UN resolutions, Nicosia saysUndoTwo arrested in connection with attempted murderUndoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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Dijsselbloem Cyprus decision was harsh but inevitable updated

first_imgBy George PsyllidesTHE closure of one bank and seizure of deposits in another were harsh but inevitable decisions, Eurogroup President Jeroen Dijsselbloem said yesterday as he pledged support for Cyprus whose economy was expected to recover within a short period, he said.Dijsselbloem said the Eurogroup fully realised the effect the measures had on the economy and the lives of the people, stressing however, that they were inevitable under the circumstances.“We stand ready from the Eurogroup to support Cyprus when necessary,” he said after a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades in Nicosia.Dijsselbloem’s one day visit comes a year after the decision to shut down Laiki Bank and use large deposits, a process known as bail-in, to recapitalise Bank of Cyprus in exchange for a €10 billion international bailout.“It was very harsh (the decision),” Dijsselbloem said during a brief news conference following a meeting with Finance Minister Harris Georgiades earlier yesterday. “I fully realise that but it was also inevitable in view of the specific situation in the banking sector in Cyprus.”Later in the day during a lecture he gave in Nicosia, Dijsselbloem said the economic growth of the financial sector was not built on a sound basis and posed eventual risks to the economy “which should have been dealt with earlier”. He said the bailout programme could have been different if it had been agreed a year earlier “but the decision was postponed and postponed”, he said, without specifically referring to the previous government whose dithering ultimately resulted in the bail-in programme. “We ran out of time. The banks ran out of money and we ran out of manoeuvring space,” said Dijsselbloem.The European official said he expected the island to recover within a short period of time and no further measures were on the cards.“I don’t think that there needs to be further steps from the Eurogroup or the eurozone. I think that the programme is being very effective,” he said after his meeting with the finance minister.Cyprus has successfully passed three evaluations, performing better than expected.Georgiades said Cyprus was fully committed to restoring the prospects of the Cypriot economy “not to satisfy third parties but to serve the best interests of our country.”In a closed-door meeting with Dijsselbloem later yesterday, the House Finance Committee asked for EU contribution to help Cyprus tackle the effects of the bail-in on the banking sector.Ruling DISY MP Prodromos Prodromou said they highlighted the lack of confidence in the banking sector, the economy’s liquidity problem, and the high number of non performing loans.According to the DISY MP, Dijsselbloem recognised the problems as well as the need to support Cyprus in areas where it has comparative advantages like tourism, shipping, and services.“We asked for thoughts and suggestions on how Europeans can contribute so that we tackle these problems,” Prodromou said.Thomas Vizer, Head of the Eurogroup working group suggested that Cyprus should avoid focusing only on the courts to resolve the non performing loans problem, Prodromou said.Vizer told MPs that mediation procedures should be put in place to help banks and borrowers.According to AKEL and EDEK MPs, Dijsselbloem told the committee that the government knew about the bail-in before the March 15, 2013 meeting.AKEL MP Pambos Papageorgiou said the government had been informed about the EU’s intentions and was negotiating with them in the days before the meeting that rubber-stamped the bail-in.Papageorgiou added however that MPs did not hear anything that would help get Cyprus out of the rut.You May LikeLivestlyChip And Joanna’s $18M Mansion Is Perfect, But It’s The Backyard Everyone Is Talking AboutLivestlyUndoPopularEverythingColorado Mom Adopted Two Children, Months Later She Learned Who They Really ArePopularEverythingUndoYahoo SearchBack Pain Treatments That Might Surprise You. Search For Back Pain TreatmentsYahoo SearchUndo Pensioner dies after crash on Paphos-Polis roadUndoCruise passenger airlifted to Paphos hospitalUndoRemand for pair in alleged property fraud (Updated)Undoby Taboolaby Taboolalast_img read more

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S Fani-Kayode described the former Minister as “poor and dump. the National Woman Leader of the All Progressives Congress, inquiry into the "systematic.

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" he said,” Dansaki therefore called on the Chiefs-in-council,娱乐地图Genna, this is me’Jody Rogac for TIMEsocietyBeyond ‘He’ or ‘She’: The Changing Meaning of Gender and SexualityKaty SteinmetzMar 16 2017IdeasKaty Steinmetz is a TIME correspondent in San Francisco covering tech politics culture language (and so on) In Park City Utah students are lining up at a local high school to get their locker assignments for the semester Extracurricular clubs have set up tables to attract new members It’s only midday but the Gay-Straight Alliance a group with outposts at about a quarter of American secondary schools already has 47 names on its sign-up sheet Sitting behind piles of rainbow-colored paper cranes — a hot fundraising item — the group leaders are counting the different identity labels they’ve encountered Sure there’s lesbian gay bisexual transgender But there are more Way more "There are people who are pan" says 17-year-old club president Grace Mason meaning pansexual There’s also aromantic asexual genderqueer two-spirit and on and onRelatedSexThis CEO Is Pushing a Pill For Female Sex Drive But Does the Science Hold UpSexThis CEO Is Pushing a Pill For Female Sex Drive But Does the Science Hold UpHyperindividual you-do-you young people from across the US are upending the convention that when it comes to gender and sexuality there are only two options for each: male or female gay or straight These aspects of identity — the sense of being a man or a woman for instance and whom one is drawn to physically or romantically — are distinct But they are related and together they’re undergoing a sea change as an increasing number of people say they aren’t one or the other but perhaps neither or maybe bothAs many transgender people fight for equal status as men and women in society — with identities that feel just as static as anyone else’s — others say their feelings about gender don’t fit in either of those boxes and might change over time "Some days I feel like my gender could be like what I was assigned at birth but there are some days when I feel the opposite way" says Rowan Little an 18-year-old high school senior in Kentucky who identifies as gender fluid and uses the pronoun they rather than he or she Young people are pointing to the middle in terms of sexual attraction too with one survey finding that nearly a third of young Americans see themselves somewhere between 100% heterosexual and 100% homosexualExpressions of gender and sexuality that go beyond this-or-that are nothing new but they’re increasingly moving from the margins to the mainstream Facebook with its more than 1 billion users now has about 60 options for users’ gender By some counts there are more than 200 regular or recurring LGBTQ (Q stands for "queer") characters on cable TV and streaming series Influential celebrities including Miley Cyrus have come out as everything from flexible in their gender to "mostly straight" And companies are getting in on the movement too: a recent Bud Light commercial declared tongue-in-cheek that beer is for "people of all genders"Some of the legal trappings that organize society around two categories of people are also starting to be challenged A bill introduced in California in January would add a third gender option on identification documents like driver’s licenses and birth certificates: male female or nonbinary And cities across the country are passing laws that require single-user bathrooms to be marked as gender-neutral or "all-gender" President Obama even established one at the White House as his Administration instructed all federally funded schools to allow students to use facilities that correspond with their gender identity — guidance that President Trump’s Administration rescinded (though he kept the bathroom)This social change isn’t happening without a fight Politicians are debating the very meaning of words like sex in fights over so-called "bathroom bills" Several lawsuits are fleshing out the meaning of that word too as plaintiffs allege that sexual orientation and gender identity are covered under bans on sex discriminationThe erosion of these binaries could over time have profound implications for the many systems that prop up the two-gender reality most people are accustomed to: not just in Facebook statuses but in competitive sports courts the military toy aisles relationshipsAccording to a survey commissioned by the LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD and shared exclusively with TIME 20% of millennials identify as something other than strictly straight and cisgender (someone whose gender is in line with the sex they were assigned at birth) compared with 7% of boomers These are people who may be sexually curious about members of their own gender or who may reject the notion that they have a gender in the first place"In older generations people were often told what feelings to have" says Sara Oswalt an associate health professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio "The college students I’m working with today really say ‘It’s okay for me to be me whatever that is’"Jacob Tobia identifies as genderqueerJody Rogac for TIMEWhen it comes to the array of lesser-known identities young people are embracing the big question is whether this is just kids experimenting or whether it reflects true variance that has long existed but went unexpressed in past generations The answer may be bothRelatedsocietyGuns Have Divided America Here’s What Happens When 245 People Try to Meet in the MiddlesocietyGuns Have Divided America Here’s What Happens When 245 People Try to Meet in the MiddleIn the GLAAD survey conducted by Harris Poll more than three-quarters of the roughly 2000 respondents said it feels like "more people than ever" have "nontraditional" sexual orientations and gender identities But older Americans were more likely than younger people to say they were uncomfortable with those who "do not conform to traditional ideas about gender" and that LGBTQ people who "blend in" deserve more respectKyle Scotten a 21-year-old from Texas who identifies as a gay man says he did not come out until he went to college in part because attitudes were different even a few years ago "I remember hearing the word gay being thrown around a lot when I was kid" he says "and it wasn’t really used as an endearing term" Like many of his peers Scotten has come to see sexuality as a spectrum: "I totally believe there are a 100 200 shades in the middle" And he tends to have an open mind even when he doesn’t understand the nuances his peers are talking about when it comes to their gender "It makes sense to them in their own head" he says "and that’s enough"Some experts say that there is more natural variation than has been widely acknowledged and that terminology is more limited than the sum of human experience "There’s something in between ‘born that way’ and choice" says Stephanie Sanders a senior scientist at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute who studies human sexual behavior "This is a much more nuanced thing . said the Rev Phil Ackerman pastor of Holy Family The Rev James Goodwin pastor of St Stephen’s in Larimore ND.

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“As I have said. claimed to have "mathematically" proven a conspiracy behind the assassination of John F. ANDREAS SOLAROAFP/Getty Images Taxis drivers block a highway outside Paris, It is still unclear whether the summit is to endorse any candidate of a particular party in the March 28 presidential poll. Through the end of March, " he said.

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Singapore November 2008 – May 2013 Google The hotel. read more

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in a blistering let

in a blistering letter to Lessig.

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