Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I haven’t paid much attention to how much rain we’ve gotten. I just know we’re wet and cold. There hasn’t been much to get too excited about. Hopefully the rain stops. I turned my rain gauge upright the other day and we’re going to start keeping track of that. It was windy up here but there was no damage I am aware of. There were no tornadoes, for once. Usually it seems like Van Wert is right in the heart of those.I don’t want to be in this camp, but I have slowly slid into the camp that I don’t think we’ll see many wheels turn until the first of May around here. Even if it turned nice right now we are a week away at least from being dry. It looks like any warmth in the forecast is going to lead to more moisture. I think we have a while before we can think about doing anything in the fields. We are just working on getting equipment ready.The tariffs and China have everybody in an uproar but I think we’re a long ways away from that being over yet. I’d like to think we have leverage because we export food to them that they need and they export products that are wants to us.We are delivering seed beans today. We contract out two varieties and they tell us when they are ready for them. They schedule us for a couple of days for delivery. They are busy right now getting ready for the planting season.We store our seed beans in a facility that only sees soybeans so we don’t have any corn contamination. We’re getting through hauling out the beans pretty well. Last year was our first year growing seed beans on a larger scale. We planted around 20% seed beans and we are going to again this year. We are planning on growing more next year.We are ready to go when the weather gets fit. We watch the weather and if there are decent days out in front of us we try to hit it. We do tend to favor May planting because things seem to work better in May and come up better. We always say we’re going to push it earlier but we never do. If it is after April 15 and we get a nice window we’ll go with corn, but it doesn’t look like that will happen this year.
3..2..1..action! Filmmakers have one more month to say ‘that’s a wrap!’ on the production of your short films before the August 1st deadline. Before you click ‘send’ on your GIFF submission, how well do you know the guidelines behind-the-scenes? Test your cinemaphile meter and geocaching etiquette, then review your score in post-production! SharePrint Related GIFF 2019 is your chance to have your geocaching film viewed by thousands of people on movie screens all over the world. You can find the rules here. When you’re ready, fill out the submission form. Share with your Friends:More
Twitter Needs to Expand Beyond 140 Characters to Continue GrowingI’m not minimizing the UX issues that Twitter will face when it expands beyond its core 140 character limit. But I do believe it’s just a matter of time before it widens the character limit. There’s no reason for Twitter to be constrained anymore, especially when the largest Internet using country on earth (China) already accommodates much longer tweets than are possible in English. Of course Twitter is banned in China and can only be used with software that routes around The Great Firewall, but still my point is valid.Twitter is a public real-time messaging service which has gone mainstream. While it needs to keep the essential spirit of short-form messaging going, there are ways to do that in the design without using a character limitation. If Twitter wants to continue its expansion into the mainstream, it needs to lose the 140-character limitation and just market itself as the world’s leading ‘real-time messaging service’. What do you think, will Twitter soon expand beyond 140 characters like TweetDeck did? Tags:#twitter#web richard macmanus Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos But that UX paradigm had already been challenged by the gradual increase in multimedia links. Many Twitter users now post links to photos, video, blog posts, Foursquare check-ins, Facebook updates, and much more. Users need to click to see that extra content. When Twitter launched its re-design in March last year, it adjusted to this increase of multimedia by enabling users of Twitter.com (still how the vast majority of people consume Twitter content) to view photos and video within Twitter’s website. It was a relatively small, but significant, step to lessen the burden of viewing multimedia content within Twitter. Third party clients like TweetDeck also allow users to view photos and video in a pop-up box inside the app. TweetDeck offers a similar functionality for Deck.ly messages that are longer than can be contained in a double cell. It pops up a box within the app, meaning that users don’t need to go outside of TweetDeck to view the content. It seems only a matter of time before Twitter enables users to view ‘long tweets’ within Twitter.com, in the same way that users can view videos and photos within the site.Will Twitter Producers Pollute Twitter With Long Tweets?While Twitter is positioning itself these days as more of a media consumption service, with the expectation that many more people read Twitter than write to it, the tone of the service will continue to be set by users who actively tweet. If Twitter drops the 140 character limitation, I think Twitter producers will adjust and only post longer tweets occasionally. Twitter will need to monitor that somehow, but – barring a drastic change in user behavior – Twitter users won’t stop producing short tweets just because long ones become available to them. They’ll use the long tweets sparingly, because they’ve been habituated into doing short tweets.As for new users, Twitter will need to effectively convey in their marketing that Twitter is ideal for short-form real-time messaging. Indeed without a character limitation, Twitter will actually be easier to promote to mainstream users. It will remove an extra barrier for people to start using Twitter.Other Languages Already Send Long Messages on TwitterAnother thing to consider that in some languages other than English, 140 characters allows for much longer updates than English users are used to. In Chinese for example, a 140 character tweet can produce a long message. Noted Chinese artist, human rights activist and Twitter user Ai Weiwei explained in March last year that even though Twitter has a 140-character limit, Twitter users in China can easily express in-depth thoughts because the Chinese language allows Twitter users to express 140 words on Twitter and not just 140 characters.Consider this tweet that Ai Weiwei wrote today. It easily fits in the 140 character limitation in Chinese, but the English translation is about 275 characters over that 140 character limit. Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Related Posts Is it the constraint of 140 characters per message that makes Twitter what it is? Or is Twitter now a broader, real-time messaging service that needn’t be constrained by a character limitation?The most prominent third party Twitter client, TweetDeck, recently introduced a “long post” feature called Deck.ly, which brings those questions to the fore. Deck.ly allows Twitter users to post messages longer than the traditional 140 character limit. In this post I’ll argue that Twitter itself will probably soon follow and expand beyond 140 characters. Indeed, it will need to if it’s to continue expanding into the mainstream.TweetDeck’s Deck.ly works as follows: if you post something in TweetDeck that is longer than 140 characters, other TweetDeck users will see the entire message in the app if it is not longer than “can be displayed in a double-height cell.” If it goes over that, TweetDeck users will see a ‘Read More’ link which when clicked, opens a pop-up box within TweetDeck. Meanwhile, in other third party Twitter clients and in the browser on Twitter.com, all Deck.ly messages will display in excerpted form with a link to the full message on a webpage.Twitter No Longer About Constraints This is clearly an experimental feature introduced by TweetDeck – indeed they’re still tweaking it. However I believe it’s a pointer to the future: Twitter will expand its self-imposed character limitation in order to make its service easier to understand for consumers.Real-time public messaging has become a huge trend over the past couple of years. Two services have come to dominate this trend: Facebook and Twitter. Facebook’s status updates are the backbone of its social networking service. But it’s been Twitter that has captured the imagination of media and public figures for real-time messaging. Partly that’s because Facebook is essentially a closed system and so you won’t see CNN or Kanye West’s status updates (for example) unless you’re inside Facebook’s website. However it’s also because Twitter had a limitation of 140 characters right from the start, a figure that made it necessary to compose short, to-the-point status updates. Twitter started out with ‘What are you doing?’ as its incentivizing message for users. In November 2009, it became ‘What’s happening?’. That helped broaden Twitter’s usage from “I’m eating breakfast” type messages to people tweeting about current news events, media they’re consuming, topics they’re interested in, and much more.That Extra Click: The User Experience IssueAs noted, TweetDeck’s new “long post” feature enables users to send messages longer than 140 characters. However there is a significant user experience issue with that, in that it often introduces an extra click for the user. A lot of Twitter’s beauty as a consumer of tweets is that you can scan a bunch of tweets in one go. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit
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.
There is no better advice than the admonition to make an inordinate investment in yourself. You are the only real asset you will ever have, and the value you create is generated by your growth.
Once known as the “Bad Boy from Dadiangas,” Navarrete was as popular for his ring exploits as for the controversies that chased him off the squared circle.Dy, one of the attractions in the historic Brave 22: Storm of Warriors card Friday night at MOA Arena in Pasay City, wants to show he’s made of different stuff.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption charges“I’ll be honest, I was always an average student, I got my college degree because I had to. I was an average basketball player and an awful dancer. Fighting is what I really know, it’s what I love. Being able to be here and represent my country… it’s amazing,” said Dy.Dy impressed the crowd during the public workout Wednesday night at Newport Mall in Resorts World Manila. His father is one of boxing’s favorite cautionary tales. And Rolando Dy wants to prove to all that he’s a different man.A college degree holder from Lyceum of the Philippines University, the 28 year-old Dy is the son of Rolando Navarrete.ADVERTISEMENT Dy grew up estranged from his father but said his mother and uncle, who is a pastor, took care of him very well.“I can’t ask for more,” said Dy. He battles Pakistani fighter Mehmosh Reza in one of the main cards of Brave 22, a brainchild of Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain.In the main event, Filipino champion Stephen Loman clashes with French-Algerian challenger Elias “Smiling” Boudegzdame for the bantamweight title.ADVERTISEMENT Trump campaign, GOP groups attack Google’s new ad policy SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:58Pacquiao prepares for bout with ‘arrogant’ Keith Thurman00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting 1 dead, 3 injured in Quezon road crash P2.5 B shabu seized in Makati sting, Chinese national nabbed Hong Kong tunnel reopens, campus siege nears end MOST READ Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem Boonraksasat triumphs at S’woods View comments LATEST STORIES Urgent reply from Philippine football chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
zoomImage Courtesy: Port of Newcastle/ Container Terminal concept illustration The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings against NSW Ports Operations Hold and its subsidiaries for making agreements that allegedly had an anti-competitive purpose and effect.The proceedings, initiated in the Federal Court, are related to contracts that the company, and its two units, Port Botany Operations Pty Ltd and Port Kembla Operations Pty, signed with the State of New South Wales.“We are alleging that making these agreements containing provisions which would effectively compensate Port Kembla and Port Botany if the Port of Newcastle developed a container terminal, is anti-competitive and illegal,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.The NSW Government privatised Port Botany and Port Kembla in May 2013 and the agreements, known as Port Commitment Deeds, were entered into as part of the privatisation process, for a term of 50 years.The Botany and Kembla Port Commitment Deeds oblige the State of NSW to compensate the operators of Port Botany and Port Kembla if container traffic at the Port of Newcastle is above a minimal specified cap.The ACCC alleges that entering into each of the Botany and Kembla Port Commitment Deeds was likely to prevent or hinder the development of a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle, and had the purpose, or was likely to have the effect of, substantially lessening competition.Another 50-year deed, signed in May 2014 when the Port of Newcastle was privatised, requires the Port of Newcastle to reimburse the State of NSW for any compensation paid to operators of Port Botany and Port Kembla under the Botany and Kembla Port Commitment Deeds.The ACCC alleges that the reimbursement provision in the Port of Newcastle Deed is an anti-competitive consequence of the Botany and Kembla Port Commitment Deeds, and that it makes the development of a container terminal at Newcastle uneconomic.“The compensation and reimbursement provisions effectively mean that the Port of Newcastle would be financially punished for sending or receiving container cargo above a minimal level if Port Botany and Port Kembla have spare capacity. This makes development of a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle uneconomic,” Sims said.“We are taking legal action to remove a barrier to competition in an important market, the supply of port services, which has significant implications for the cost of goods across the economy, not just in New South Wales.”“If a competing container terminal cannot be developed at the Port of Newcastle, NSW Ports will remain the only major supplier of port services for container cargo in NSW for 50 years.”The ACCC is seeking declarations that the compensation provisions in the 2013 Port Commitment Deeds contravene the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA), injunctions restraining the operators of Port Botany and Port Kembla from seeking compensation under these provisions, pecuniary penalties and costs.The CCA only applies to the conduct of state governments in certain limited circumstances. The State of NSW is not currently a party to the ACCC’s proceedings and the ACCC is not seeking orders against the state.In a response to the ACCC proceedings, the NSW Ports said that it “firmly believes that the agreements, signed with the NSW Government to lease its assets at Port Botany and Port Kembla, operate in the best interests of all stakeholders, the economy and people of NSW.”“Having paid a consideration of AUD 5.1 billion to the NSW Government in 2013 based on the full contractual terms contained in the agreements, NSW Ports will be vigorously defending the proceedings,” the company concluded.