Jiro Manio arrested for stabbing man in Marikina “I just told the players that we have to come out strong and be the one wanting it more than Blackwater, especially now that they got their first win,” said Garcia as they take the Big Dome floor at 4:30 p.m. looking to regain the solo lead.“Their morale will be high and they will be playing with nothing to lose,” said Garcia of the Elite, who snapped a seven-game losing streak Wednesday night after an 86-84 win over Magnolia courtesy of Henry Walker’s dunk with 3.4 seconds left.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownHot on a three-game streak, Rain or Shine will also be coming off a win over the Hotshots, but at this point of the elimination round, a loss for anyone in the upper half of the standings could mean the difference between winning a twice-to-beat privilege or not.Tournament format calls for the top two teams to draw the lightest assignments in the first round of the playoffs, with No. 1 tangling with No. 8 and Nos. 2 and 7 squaring off with the higher-ranked teams needing to win just once to make the Final Four. China population now over 1.4 billion as birthrate falls Reggie Johnson will have a huge size advantage at the slot for the Painters, who can exploit this to the hilt with Blackwater not having anyone to contain the Rain or Shine behemoth one-on-one.Garcia and his chargers will still face Phoenix on June 1 and Meralco on June 24 before rounding out their elimination schedule against TNT KaTropa on July 7.The Painters are tied with idle TNT KaTropa for the lead and are just a full game ahead of fourth-running Meralco, which gets a chance at enhancing its playoff position when it battles Phoenix Petroleum in the 7 p.m. game.The Bolts are again leaning on import Arinze Onuaku to plug all the holes in the middle. They will be coming off an impressive victory over Barangay Ginebra that put to naught Justin Brownlee’s triple-double effort for the Gin Kings.“Winning this one will allow us to move closer to our goal of making it to the quarterfinals,” said Phoenix coach Louie Alas.ADVERTISEMENT Ateneo battles Mapua with ‘benefit’ game vs La Salle looming Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next LATEST STORIES Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award MOST READ Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Volcano watch: Island fissures steaming, lake water receding Lacson: Calamity fund cut; where did P4 billion go? View comments Winfrey details her decision to withdraw from Simmons film Dave Chappelle donates P1 million to Taal relief operations Rain or Shine has gone through three overtime thrillers thus far, and the Elasto Painters know that the rest of the journey toward a quarterfinal bonus will be as tough.“There’s still a lot of work to be done if we want to reach the top two,” coach Caloy Garcia said as his Painters enter the homestretch of their elimination round schedule in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup starting with unpredictable Blackwater Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.ADVERTISEMENT Jury of 7 men, 5 women selected for Weinstein rape trial
When Brian Schwartz, a Johns Hopkins University epidemiologist researching the public health impacts of hydraulic fracturing, read about an environmental group that uses satellite imagery and aerial photography to track environmental degradation, he was intrigued.It was the summer of 2013, and the group, SkyTruth, had just launched a crowdsourcing project on its website to map fracking activity in Pennsylvania. The site provided volunteers with U.S. government aerial images from across the state and a brief tutorial on how to identify fracking locations. Within a month, more than 200 volunteers sorted through 9,000 images to pinpoint 2,724 fracking wellpads. Schwartz ended up using this data in a study published last October in the journal Epidemiology, showing that women living near hydraulic fracturing sites in 40 Pennsylvania counties faced a significantly elevated risk of giving birth prematurely.That’s precisely the sort of result that John Amos, SkyTruth’s president, envisioned when he founded the group in 2001. He has since become part data analyst, part environmental advocate, and part satellite-imagery proselytizer as he looks for ways to use remote sensing to call attention to little-noticed environmental damage.This month, SkyTruth’s website is displaying a map showing the global prevalence of flaring, the wasteful and carbon-spewing oil industry practice of burning natural gas and other drilling byproducts. Through most of December, SkyTruth and another satellite-focused nonprofit, Moscow-based Transparent World, displayed images of a burning oil platform and a 2,300-barrel oil slick in the Caspian Sea. The platform’s owner, Azerbaijan’s state-owned oil company, SOCAR, denied that any spill had occurred.SkyTruth’s defining moment came in 2010, when Amos — analyzing satellite photographs — sounded the alarm that the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was far larger than the petroleum company, BP, and the U.S. government were acknowledging.“If you can see it,” says SkyTruth’s motto, displayed at the top of its website, “you can change it.” For the first time, a coal permit is revokedSkyTruth has also affected the course of mountaintop removal coal mining. Appalachian states have issued hundreds of permits for mountaintop removal mines, but they’ve rarely checked to see whether the mines have stayed within the permitted boundaries.Permits are supposed to be issued only after assessing impacts on downstream waterways, and a study of 10 West Virginia counties published in 2004 by the state’s environmental protection department found that nearly 40 percent of mines in ten counties were situated outside permitted locations.Acting on a request from Appalachian Voices, a North Carolina-based nonprofit that opposes mountaintop removal mining, SkyTruth devised a technique for identifying the mines from satellite images, then mapped their growth over three decades and posted the results on its website in 2009.The information was used in six peer-reviewed academic articles, including a Duke University study that found that once 5% of a watershed is mined, water quality in its rivers and streams usually fails to meet state standards.That study in turn provided empirical backing for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2011 revocation of a mine permit in West Virginia that had been issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The decision marked the first time the EPA had ever reversed a coal mine’s permit under the Clean Water Act. Remote sensing tools are commonOne indication of SkyTruth’s influence is a cautionary headline that appeared after SkyTruth formed a partnership with Google and the nonprofit Oceana in November 2014 to launch a system called Global Fishing Watch, which uses the satellite transponders found aboard most large fishing vessels to track the activities of the world’s fishing fleets. “Big Brother is watching,” warned World Fishing & Aquaculture, a trade journal.Illegal logging is one target of environmental groups using satellite imagery. [Photo credit: Creative Commons license / Flickr]That admonition could be extended to all the extractive industries — oil and gas, mining, logging, and fishing — whose operations can be tracked by remote sensing. A growing number of governments now conduct environmental observation by satellite; for example, the government of Brazil monitors deforestation in the Amazon. And environmental groups now commonly use remote sensing tools. One prominent example is Global Forest Watch, a system launched two years by Washington-based World Resources Institute to monitor logging and fires in the world’s forests. Russia-based Transparent World employs satellite imagery for many purposes, including monitoring of protected areas and observing the impacts of dam construction.Amos, 52, says he considered himself an environmentalist even while he spent a decade working for oil and gas companies as a satellite imagery analyst looking for drilling sites. He quit in 2000 to start a non-profit that would apply his skills to environmental protection. For years he ran SkyTruth from the basement of his Shepherdstown, West Virginia, home on an annual budget of less than $100,000, and he still speaks of “begging” satellite images from commercial providers.Although SkyTruth has expanded in recent years to eight employees supported by a $600,000 budget, it is still tiny, particularly compared to the U.S. government’s massive satellite resources. Nevertheless, SkyTruth has delved into realms that the government has avoided. One reason, Amos says, is that satellite imagery analysis is so unfamiliar that “nobody has known what to ask for” — thus, one of SkyTruth’s missions is to show what’s possible. Its usual method is to release a trove of environment-related data, then invite researchers and crowdsource amateurs to analyze it.SkyTruth has benefited enormously from the explosion in the last 15 years in satellite imagery and other digital technologies. When Amos started SkyTruth, a single Landsat satellite image cost $4,400; now the entire U.S. government collection— more than 4.7 million images and growing daily— is available free of charge. Not only have satellites and satellite imagery become cheap, but the capacity to analyze, duplicate, send, and store satellite data has expanded by orders of magnitude. In fact, satellite technology is now considered a subset of a larger field, geospatial intelligence, which has tens of thousands of practitioners around the world employing an array of optical, thermal, radar, and radiometric remote sensing tools.“It’s evolved from a problem of getting imagery to deciding which image do I want to pluck out of this massive cloud,” Amos told me. Oil industry website thwarts researchersThe finding by Schwartz, the Johns Hopkins epidemiologist, on premature births suggests a correlation between fracking and poor human health; but because the chemical trigger wasn’t identified, the link isn’t regarded as causal. From more than 1,000 available chemicals, fracking operators select a dozen or so that fit the geological challenges of a particular site.People living near the site typically can’t find out whether their wells and aquifers have been contaminated because the cost of testing for all 1,000 chemicals is prohibitive, and operators treat each site’s chemical recipe as a trade secret.The quandary led Amos to venture beyond satellite imagery into the larger field of geospatial data. Along with several better-known environmental groups, SkyTruth argued for disclosure of the recipe used at each fracking site.Two industry lobbying groups, the American Petroleum Institute and America’s Natural Gas Alliance, defused mounting Congressional pressure for mandatory disclosure by launching a website, FracFocus, where operators could post their recipes voluntarily. But soon after the site’s launch in 2011, users found that information posted on it was entered in the wrong field, misspelled chemical trade names, or omitted key facts deemed proprietary.The site thwarted researchers by requiring postings in a format that computers couldn’t read. Although 23 states require fracking companies to use FracFocus to disclose their chemical use, a 2013 Harvard Law School report concluded that FracFocus “fails as a regulatory compliance tool.”SkyTruth’s lead programmer, Paul Woods, devised a way around some of FracFocus’s barriers by writing software that “scraped” all the chemical data from the tens of thousands of reports posted on the site. Then he posted it in a database on SkyTruth’s website.In addition, under pressure from SkyTruth, other environmental groups, and an Energy Department advisory board, FracFocus agreed to make its data available in machine-readable form beginning in May 2015. These developments have yielded more and more information for researchers, such as Schwartz, who are investigating fracking’s health impact.“This is a very wonky issue that makes people’s eyes glaze over,” Amos said. “But it’s where the rubber meets the road in terms of understanding if fracking is bad for you.” The Deepwater Horizon blowoutThe first time that SkyTruth attracted national attention was in April 2010, when Amos received a Google alert that an oil platform called Deepwater Horizon, 50 miles off the Louisiana coast, had exploded and burned. Amos knew explosions like this one were uncommon and usually led to spills.Early estimates were wrong. Persistence by SkyTruth helped disclose the amount of oil leaking in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill was more than 60 times as much as initial announcements from BP. [Photo credit: Ideum / Creative Commons License / Flickr]He began searching for satellite photos, but the first ones he found were obscured by clouds. Meanwhile, BP, which leased the rig, and the Coast Guard, echoing BP, maintained that the ruptured well beneath the rig was leaking oil at a rate of 1,000 barrels a day— a major spill but perhaps not a catastrophic one. The number was vital, for it would help determine the scale and strategy of the leak containment effort, the eventual cost to BP in fines and damages, and the scope of preparations for the next spill.It took Amos six days to acquire clear images. His first thought, he says, was: “Oh my God! This is much bigger than anybody realizes.” He calculated that the slick was 50 miles long and covered 817 square miles. He outlined the slick, along with his calculations, and posted both on SkyTruth’s website.Within a day, Ian MacDonald, a Florida State University oceanographer and oil slick authority, notified Amos that the leak’s flow rate was much bigger than a thousand barrels a day. Using Amos’ calculations of the slick’s size and conservative assumptions about its thickness, MacDonald concluded that it was “not unreasonable” that the leak was 20 times BP’s initial estimate.Undermined by SkyTruth’s numbers, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conceded the next day that BP’s initial estimate was too low: over BP’s public objections, NOAA revised the government estimate to 5,000 barrels a day. Two months later — prodded, in part, by SkyTruth — government scientists concluded that the initial flow rate was 62,000 barrels a day, 62 times BP’s initial estimate. Jacques Leslie writes narrative nonfiction about global environmental issues. His books include Deep Water: The Epic Struggle Over Dams, Displaced People and the Environment, which won the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. This post originally appeared at Yale Environment 360. Going beyond the newsIn search of images that tell environmental stories, SkyTruth pays close attention to news reports, but occasionally it finds stories of its own. One example is what is probably the Gulf of Mexico’s longest-running commercial oil spill, at the site of a rig destroyed by an underwater mudslide during Hurricane Ivan in 2004.The slide buried 28 wells on the sea floor under 100 feet of mud, which made sealing them extremely difficult. The rig’s owner, Taylor Energy Company, went bankrupt trying. Amos discovered the leaks in 2010 while studying Hurricane Katrina’s impacts, and has been sounding an alarm ever since. The leaks have trickled steadily into the Gulf’s waters since 2004 at a rate Amos estimates at between one and 20 barrels a day, creating a slick that is sometimes 20 miles long. The wells are ten miles offshore in federally managed water, but no federal agency has tried to seal the leak.Given the controversial issues SkyTruth has been involved with, the group has attracted surprisingly little criticism, perhaps because so much of its work is grounded in visual data— for SkyTruth, seeing really is believing.A notable exception occurred in 2009 when Amos testified at a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on the under-appreciated risks of deepwater oil drilling. Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, attacked Amos for overlooking the oil industry’s safety record and economic benefits. “You do a great disservice by not telling the American people the truth about drilling and putting it in the perspective it deserves,” Landrieu told Amos.Landrieu didn’t give Amos a chance to respond, but, as it turned out, he didn’t have to. The BP spill occurred five months later.
Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… David Curry Follow the Puck 27 percent of all homeowners in the United States have purchased an Internet of Things (IoT) device for their home, according to a new “smart home index” report.Wink, a home automation platform for hardware and software, published the report earlier this month. It shows a growing interest in the U.S. for smart home devices, though customers are still worried about the overall cost to make their home smart.See Also: Amazon makes it even cheaper for Alexa developers to use AWSA survey, conducted by Harris Poll, found that 71 percent of people wish they could monitor what is happening at home while they’re away. Home security was cited as the most important reason for in-home monitoring, followed by checking on pets and family members.One of the reasons smart home technology is not more prevalent has to do with the perceived cost of installation. In the Wink report, 34 percent of respondents said it would cost $5,000 to make their home smart, nine percent said it would cost $20,000.That is an extreme valuation, but it stems from the idea some consumers have that a smart home must be fully autonomous, or it is not that smart. In reality, a few smart devices can make a major difference on house valuation, security, and productivity.Renters interested, tooWink notes that the average user of its platform has spent $200 on four devices, and already has the benefits of a safer, more secure home. Even at the high-end of the smart home spectrum, $20,000 seems a bit steep for the devices currently on the market.It is not just homeowners that are looking to make their home smart, renters are interested too. The Wink report said that 36 percent of renters would pay five percent more per month to have connected devices in the house. That would add $750 to annual rent nationwide.Another advantage not considered by the report is insurance. Several home insurance firms have lowered prices for customers that own a Nest smoke detector and other smart home devices. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Related Posts Tags:#Connected Devices#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#Smart Cities#smart home#top#wink
After the release of two key leaders of the agitation against the project to establish a power grid at Bhangar in South 24 Paraganas, the agitators have said they will intensify the protest next week. Sarmistha Chowdhury and Pradeep Singh Thakur, charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, were freed on Tuesday after they were granted bail by the Calcutta High Court. Both belong to the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Red Star. “The agitation will become stronger in future,” Ms. Chowdhury told journalists after she came out of the Alipore jail.Leaders of the Jomi, Jibika, Bastutantra O Poribesh Raksha Committee (Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Ecology and Environment), which is spearheading the agitation in Bhangar, said the release of Ms. Chowdhury and Mr. Thakur was a boost to the stir. “We will intensify it from next week with rallies and demonstrations,” they said. Violence erupted again in Bhangar after a TMC leader was shot dead on Sunday. Bhangar has been tense for the past couple of months after the villagers started the protest. On January 18, two persons were shot dead during a clash between the agitators and the police.
The Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagaland or NSCN(I-M), once the fountainhead of extremism in the Northeast, has appointed a chief almost three years after the death of its founder-chairman Isak Chishi Swu.The faction is named after Swu, who died at 86 in June 2016 after a prolonged illness, and its general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah.An NSCN(I-M) spokesperson said the collective leadership appointed Qhehezu Tuccu as the chairman and Tongmeth Konyak as vice-chairman during an assembly at Camp Hebron, the faction’s headquarters near Nagaland’s Dimapur town. Mr. Konyak fills the post vacated by Khole Konyak, who died in December last year.A close associateThe two were handed over charge in the presence of Mr. Muivah. Mr. Tuccu has been a close associate of Swu and Mr. Muivah for years. Like his predecessor, he belongs to the Sumi community that dominates Dimapur district. Most of the members of NSCN(I-M) are Manipur-based Tangkhuls, the community Mr. Muivah is from.The NSCN was formed in January 1980 by extremists who did not accept the Shillong Accord of 1975 between New Delhi and the Naga National Council that had been fighting a separatist war since the 1950s. But the NSCN split in 1988, one led by the Myanmar-based S.S. Khaplang and the other by Isak-Muivah.The NSCN(I-M) has been pursuing a peace process with the Indian government but a final settlement has been elusive. The Khaplang faction of the NSCN too joined the peace process in 2001 but walked out of it in March 2015.