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Griezmann will connect with Messi, Suarez at Barcelona: Coach Valverde

first_imgGriezmann will connect with Messi, Suarez at Barcelona: Coach ValverdeAntoine Griezmann. who joined Barcelona from Atletico Madrid, featured in their 2-0 win over Vissel Kobe on their tour of Japan on Saturday.advertisement Reuters KobeJuly 28, 2019UPDATED: July 28, 2019 10:08 IST Antoine Griezmann will boost Barcelona’s attacking prowess in the upcoming season (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSErnesto Valverde said he is excited about the trio of Griezmann, Messi and SuarezGriezmann has joined the Barcelona squad on their tour of JapanMessi and Suarez will link up with the team after its return from JapanBarcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is confident new signing Antoine Griezmann will have no problems linking up with strike partners Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez when the trio finally appear in the same team together.Griezmann, who signed from La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid earlier this month, has been with the squad on Barcelona’s tour of Japan and featured in the side’s 2-0 win over Vissel Kobe on Saturday.However, following their exploits in the Copa America, Messi and Suarez have been given an extended break and will not link up with the team until they return from Japan.With 682 La Liga goals between them, Valverde is understandably excited about the attacking trident and believes Griezmann might be the missing part of the puzzle as Barcelona chase their first Champions League trophy since 2015.”It’s true that some players who are good fit in together easier,” said Valverde.”We will see the relationship socially and at the camp. We are excited for this opportunity.”We believe in balance in the team, in front or in the back, he (Griezmann) moves quick, he passes well, and finds space and this is what we were missing.”Two second-half goals from 21-year-old academy graduate Carles Perez were enough to seal the win over Kobe, who featured former Barca players Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Sergi Samper on Saturday.”Carles Perez scored two goals today, so it’s a good news for his potential and shows how we can bring the young guys forward,” Valverde said.Former Barca captain Iniesta, who left the club after 16 trophy-filled years last year, said it was an odd afternoon playing against former team mates such as Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic.advertisement”Well, it’s a bit strange of course (to play against Barcelona),” said the 35-year-old.”You spend so long playing with the same players… it’s strange, special.”But at the start of the match you are clearly focusing on playing and trying to give a good impression.”Barcelona’s next pre-season match is against Arsenal at the Nou Camp on Aug. 7.Also Read | Diego Costa hits 4 as Atletico thrash Real Madrid 7-3 in International Champions CupAlso Read | I-League clubs not ready to hand AFC Champions League slot to ISLAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Lionel MessiFollow Luis SuarezFollow Antoine GriezmannFollow BarcelonaFollow Andres Iniesta Nextlast_img read more

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PCJ and OUR Sign MOU to Stage First Natural Gas Conference

first_img Slated for October 4-6 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, the conference is aimed at exploring the economic, commercial, legal and regulatory implications of the development of the local natural gas industry. Story Highlights The conference, which is being held under the theme ‘New Horizons: The Development of a Natural Gas Sector in Jamaica – Prospects and Challenges’, will have more than 20 presenters. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been inked by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) establishing a partnership to host Jamaica’s first natural gas conference. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been inked by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) establishing a partnership to host Jamaica’s first natural gas conference.Slated for October 4-6 at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, the conference is aimed at exploring the economic, commercial, legal and regulatory implications of the development of the local natural gas industry.Addressing the official MOU signing at the PCJ in New Kingston on August 22, Science, Energy and Technology Minister, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, said Jamaica stands to gain a great deal from the uses of liquefied natural gas (LNG), “particularly as it relates to the electricity sector”.“When we look at the facility out at Bogue (St. James) where LNG is providing electricity at under US13 cents per kWh, and looking at the facility that is expected to come on stream at Jamalco, with the price of electricity coming in even lower at around US11 cents per kWh or so, speaks to the potential of getting even lower prices for electricity,” he said.Dr. Wheatley added that if more LNG is used, a reduction in the cost of electricity will be achieved.The Minister argued that the effects of the reduction in the cost of energy will not only be felt by consumers but also by manufacturers, who will be able to boost their production.Dr. Wheatley said the Government is committed to diversifying Jamaica’s energy source so that “no one fuel source contributes more than 42 per cent”, which will result in a “secure buildout of the energy infrastructure”.Endorsing the MOU and, by extension, the conference, Dr. Wheatley urged the PCJ and the OUR to extend invitations to other Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries to participate, in order to appreciate the benefits of LNG.Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of the OUR, Hopeton Heron, informed that the country’s National Energy Policy of 2009-2030 speaks to Jamaica having a secured, diversified and sufficient supply of energy, which will, in turn, support long-term economic and social development as well as environmental sustainability.“This requires, among other things, a national energy-diversification programme, the development of a framework for the introduction of alternative fuels such as natural gas, renewable energy resources and the construction of energy-efficient generating facilities to meet increasing demand,” he said.Mr. Heron noted that natural gas is poised to become the dominant fuel for the generation of electricity in Jamaica.For his part, Group General Manager of PCJ, Winston Watson, said it is the role of the PCJ to integrate LNG into the energy sector.He said the reason for the conference is to get “the general population aware and to understand what LNG is about, so that they can benefit from its use”.Mr. Watson called for more sponsors to collaborate with the PCJ and the OUR to stage the conference.The conference, which is being held under the theme ‘New Horizons: The Development of a Natural Gas Sector in Jamaica – Prospects and Challenges’, will have more than 20 presenters.They include newly appointed President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Jamaica Public Service (JPS), Emanuel DaRosa; CEO of New Fortress Energy, Wesley Edens; and President of the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited, Curtis Mohammed.Participants are expected to gain a better understanding of the opportunities, changes and benefits that should result from the introduction of natural gas into Jamaica’s energy mix.last_img read more

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Social media has become unhealthy

first_imgLos Angeles: Selena Gomez says she has put a cap on spending time on social media as the singer believes the obsession with apps has gone out of control. The 26-year-old said she used to regularly engage with her fans on Twitter and Instagram but has pulled back because they started to “depressed”. “… I think it’s just become really unhealthy, I think, personally, for young people, including myself, to spend all of their time fixating on all these comments and letting this stuff in. It was affecting me. Also Read – ‘Will be acting till I die'”It would make me depressed. It would make me feel not good about myself and look at my body differently and all kinds of stuff,” Gomez said during an appearance on “Live! With Kelly and Ryan”. There was a time when the singer-actor used to be the most followed person on Instagram but she said that in today’s time she does not even have the app on her phone. “I have it on someone else’s phone. And when I feel like I want to share something with my fans or just mess around with it, I do it then,” she added. Also Read – ‘Always looking for that one great love’Gomez’s comments come almost a month after she said social media has been “terrible” for her generation and it was “impossible” at this point to make it safe for users whilst speaking at a press conference at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Gomez recently opened up about her struggles with mental health, the pressures of social media, her ongoing battle with her autoimmune disease, lupus, and her kidney transplant back in 2017. But, despite all that the singer has suffered, she has managed to capture the essence of the ups and downs of the last four years for her new album. “I just kept going and I’m relieved now,” she said on producing new music.last_img read more

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Grassy Narrows continues battle with Ontario over logging

first_imgAPTN National NewsThere’s more to the ongoing battle between Ontario and Grassy Narrows First Nation.The latest misunderstanding was over where the province was actually going to clear-cut.APTN’s Delaney Windigo has this story.last_img

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Most actively traded companies on the TSX

first_imgCompanies reporting major news:Aimia Inc. (TSX:AIM). Unchanged at $3.35. Air Canada’s acquisition of the Aeroplan loyalty program has received all required federal regulatory approvals ahead of a shareholders’ vote on a $450-million agreement reached by the airline in November. Shareholders of current Aeroplan owner Aimia Inc. are scheduled to vote on the cash deal on Jan. 8. Under their agreement, Air Canada will buy the Aeroplan business from Aimia for cash and also assume $1.9 billion of liabilities to points holders — partially backed by two banks that offer Aeroplan credit cards.The Canadian Press Some of the most active companies traded Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange:Toronto Stock Exchange (13,780.19, down 155.25 points). Aphria Inc. (TSX:APHA). Health care. Up $1.04, or 16 per cent, to $7.56 on 11.1 million shares.Aurora Cannabis Inc. (TSX:ACB). Health care. Up 14 cents, or 2.1 per cent, to $6.81 on 10.3 million shares.Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC). Down 12 cents, or 0.64 per cent, to $18.50 on 7.7 million shares.Kinross Gold Corp. (TSX:K). Gold. Up 31 cents, or 7.35 per cent, to $4.53 on 6.3 million shares.Bombardier Inc. (TSX:BBD.B). Industrials. Down five cents, or 2.62 per cent to $1.86 on 5 million shares.Baytex Energy Corp. (TSX:BTE). Energy. Down six cents, or three per cent, to $1.95 on 4.9 million shares.last_img read more

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Alaska marijuana regulators to consider onsite use tweaks

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska’s first-in-the-nation statewide rules for allowing onsite consumption of marijuana at authorized stores could be tweaked to ease requirements for shops that want to offer places to consume edibles but not permit smoking.The Marijuana Control Board plans to consider the issue this week. The five-member board will be short-handed, with one member out of state and one seat vacant. Any approved changes would go for public comment.New rules specify conditions stores must meet to be authorized for onsite consumption. The rules refer to stores in freestanding buildings, consistent with language in a statewide smoke-free workplace law, and include ventilation requirements.The proposed changes would allow stores not in freestanding buildings to have onsite consumption of edibles only. Ventilation systems would be required for onsite use areas allowing smoking.Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press read more

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Over 150 complaints on the media

The report refers to essay competitions on media ethics conducted with schools, publications on human trafficking with the ILO and on investigative journalism and the revision of the rules and procedures of the PCCSL, seminars with the Ministry of Defence, the visits of foreign media delegations from Myanmar and Vietnam to study self-regulation of the media in Sri Lanka and workshops on ethical reporting in Colombo, Hendala, Kalubowila, Kelaniya, Negombo, Gampaha, Moratuwa, Horana, Kurunegala, Puttalm, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Badulla, Galle and Jaffna for provincial correspondents and civil society members including school principals, police officers, professionals, academics etc., as among the highlights of the Commission’s work. (Colombo Gazette) The Press Complaints Commission of Sri Lanka (PCCSL), the media industry’s self-regulatory body received 176 complaints against the country’s print media last year (2012), the Commission’s Annual Report stated.This includes 87 complaints against Sinhala language newspapers, 42 against the Tamil press and 29 against the English media with 18 outside the print media. The Sinhala language media comprise 44 per cent of the total print media publications, while the Tamil comprise 26 per cent and English 28 per cent. The report which was submitted to the PCCSL’s annual general meeting at the auditorium of the Sri Lanka Press Institute states that 67 of these complaints were resolved by the end of 2012, while 17 were pending, while the Complainant did not proceed with 45. Thirty nine (39) were outside the mandate of the Commission, six were sub-judice and the editors hadn’t co-operated on three complaints. read more

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Enjoining order against unregistered foreign insurance brokers

Fernando added that the complainant company SIB’s Reinsurance Business is ably supported by a majority of the world’s leading underwriters and International brokers including Brokers at Lloyds, thus demonstrating a greater success in all the business placed by them in Sri Lanka. More importantly and significantly, in all the tenders of the NITF, for instance,  their bids contained the best terms and were the most competitive. This is mainly due to the skills and due diligence practiced  by them, along with carefully selected international partners and leading brokers in their respective regions. Colombo District Court Judge Sujeewa Nishanka has issued an interim injunction essentially forbidding any foreign company that is not registered as a company, or as insurance brokers, from offering any insurance related services in the country.The complainant in this case, Strategic Insurance Brokers (Sib) sought an enjoining order against J B Boda and Co of Singapore from holding itself out as an insurance broker. Meanwhile Indrajith Fernando Director Sib revealed that  National Insurance procurement programs have lapsed as at 31st December 2017 and have not been extended after expiry, due to what can only be called irresponsible behavior, and the malefide attempt to award tenders to illegitimate Overseas companies. Though the incumbent leader had offered lower premiums with the same panel of underwriters, the new awards were made  at excessive exorbitant premiums to the overseas companies,  he stated.Fernando further added that there is now a process ongoing, challenging these awards, as the Line Ministry, vigilant to these unauthorized activities, had requested the local brokering company Sib Insurance Brokers to avail themselves of their right to appeal. Romesh de Silva, PC appearing for the complainant Sib, in his submissions before court stated that the defendant Company had been making bids for major tenders on insurance related matters. The plaint filed states that the defendant  had been awarded tenders illegitimately by state statutory bodies such as the National Insurance Trust Fund. “State controlled NITF (National Insurance Trust Fund) has already courted such  a calamity. Though with the approval of CAPC/MPC and cabinet approval for the 2017 programs, there was an automatic one month plus extension from 31st December 2017 on a prorated basis with the incumbent panel of reinsurers, with the incumbent Brokers  having  agreed to renew, the NITF has not acted on such renewal. But Sri Lankans are exposed to a massive risk for the uninsured period, as a result of the above option not being exercised. During the May flood calamity in 2017 just such a situation occurred when the NITF was flirting with the idea of procuring overseas illegitimate brokers, as they are doing now. When floods devastated the country for a second year in a row during May 22, 2017 the award of the most responsive and the competitive bid was delayed. The taxpayer had to foot the enormous  bill of flood damage depriving the poor and the marginalized, who were prevented from receiving  much more deserving higher claims and benefits. The much deserved credit for the Yahapalnaya Government that introduced this novel insurance scheme too was not forthcoming as a result. All this has happened due to what SIB has gone to court against i.e foreign unregistered  companies acting and holding themselves out as insurance brokers, when they are clearly not authorized to do so.  These companies are not Registered Insurance and Re Insurance Brokers in Sri Lanka, as required by the Regulation of Insurance Industry Act No. 43 of 2000,” Sib Director Indrajith Fernando also said. Strategic Insurance Brokers, a brokering Company located in Colombo had sought an injunction preventing the defendant  Company from holding itself out as an insurance broker, or engaging in any activity that concerns insurance brokering services, as it was not registered as a brokering company with the Insurance Regulatory  Commission of Sri Lanka. Nor was the defendant  a member of the accredited Brokers Association of Sri Lanka. The Presidential Appeals Board (PAB), Cabinet Approval Procurement Committee (CAPC)  and the Ministerial Procurement committees (MPC) are currently perusing  these appeals against the intent to award several procurements to the overseas companies operating illegitimately, he said.The National Procurement Guidelines have been drafted for just such purposes to prevent companies being given awards pending appeal, when tenders are granted at excessive premiums compared to the bids offered by the competition, Fernando added.He also added that if foreign companies are appointed to take up national reinsurance brokering assignments, it could very probably lead to corruption, as there is zero accountability regarding these companies’ operations, as the legislation with regard to insurance regulation also suggests. read more

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UNs largest ever humanitarian helicopter operation ends vital role in Pakistani quake

“We would have liked to keep a smaller fleet during the coming monsoon period when some roads could be blocked, but we do not have enough resources to maintain the operation,” UN World Food Programme (WFP) country director Michael Jones said yesterday of the UN Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS), which started two days after the massive quake killed over 73,000 people, injured nearly 70,000 others, and left millions more homeless on 8 October 2005.“These helicopters remained crucial in transporting food and non-food items like medicine and warm clothing and they helped to prevent many deaths during the emergency phase,” Mr. Jones added.UNHAS, which WFP administered, flew 24 helicopters until March, including eight from the United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces. By the end of April, it was left with only eight and during May it worked with only four.“WFP/UNHAS airlifted more than 28,000 tonnes of food and other aid supplies such as tents and tools, on behalf of the humanitarian community,” the chief of UNHAS air operations, Shorty Adlard, said. “This was in addition to transporting nearly 40,000 passengers, including thousands of humanitarian workers to the affected areas, and evacuating some 8,200 sick and wounded to the nearest hospitals.” The helicopter operation proved vital in reaching hundreds of thousands of people in areas cut off by landslides. The WFP/UNHAS fleet included MI-8, MI-26 and KA32 models. The Agency also had support from US Chinooks, German Stallions and Australian Black Hawks. read more

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Nike unveils its first selflacing sneaker

Nike unveils its first self-lacing sneaker by Anne D’Innocenzio, The Associated Press Posted Mar 16, 2016 4:26 pm MDT Last Updated Mar 16, 2016 at 5:07 pm MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email NEW YORK, N.Y. – Nike Inc. has unveiled its first self-lacing sneaker — it allows users to make the fit looser or snugger by pressing buttons on the side of the shoe.The world’s largest sportswear brand, based in Beaverton, Oregon, unveiled the sneaker along with a host of other innovations Wednesday at a media event in New York.The innovations come as Nike is digging deeper into personalization and focusing on hitting the $50 billion revenue goal by 2020.The self-lacing sneaker will be out starting the holiday season and will only be available for members of its loyalty Nike+ app.When users step into the shoe, their heel will hit a sensor. The athlete then can press two buttons on the side that adjusts the grip. The Nike Anti-Clog Traction is displayed during a news conference, Wednesday, March 16, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer) read more

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South Sudan amid security challenges aid workers delivering against the odds

In the video shown at the high-level event on South Sudan, Mayen is holding a book that he says was given to him by the UN. “It contains the rights of internally displaced persons, all those who had to flee from one city to another city. When I read this book, I realized that not even 10 per cent of my rights are met. So tell me, am I not a human being? Am I not a displaced person?”“[The people of South Sudan] are the same as us in every respect – they want health care, they want schools, they want to have hope in their futures, and the single thing they want most is peace,” said UN relief chief Mark Lowcock.  Five years of conflict have left South Sudan in the grips of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.Currently, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 7 million people need life-saving assistance to survive; one in two people don’t know where their next meal is coming from; 40 per cent of the entire population is displaced in and outside of the country;  two in three pregnant or breastfeeding women suffer from acute nutritional deficiencies; more than 2 million children are out of school; and only one in ten people has access to basic sanitation.The event gathered donors, Member States, and senior humanitarian officials, including the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for South Sudan, Alain Noudéhou; the Assistant Executive Director of the World Food Programme (WFP), Valerie Guarnieri; and the President of International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), Peter Maurer.“We deliver against all odds in South Sudan,” said Ms. Guarnieri, referencing the major challenges faced by relief workers in terms of accessing conflict-affected communities. The lack of infrastructure, she explained, with only 300 km of built roads across the country, renders delivering aid during the rainy season, when 60 per cent of the road network is flooded, an almost-impossible mission.Thanks to mass prepositioning of goods ahead of the rainy season, and the use of a complex combination of air, road and river delivery systems, which required careful negotiations with the various warring parties, humanitarian workers are able to reach affected populations, even in very remote areas. In 2017, aid groups supported nearly 5.5 million people out of the 6 million targeted with food, shelter, nutrition, medical, protection and other forms of assistance.Despite the signing of a peace agreement between the various parties to the conflict this September, insecurity remains a massive challenge for the humanitarian response. South Sudan is one of the most dangerous places to be an aid worker. More than 100 aid workers have been killed since the conflict broke out in December 2013, including 13 in 2018 alone.“I call on everybody who works in South Sudan to respect humanitarian workers and international humanitarian law,” said Humanitarian Coordinator Noudéhou, who explained that between February and May of this year, there were several incidences of aid workers detained by armed groups for days or weeks.  “We are not a target,” he added. Much of the event focused on the need to “localize” the response, which entails empowering the South Sudanese non-governmental organisations (NGOs).“People who are on the frontline of the response are the national NGOs and they have done a tremendous amount of work and they are courageous,” said Mr. Noudéhou.Angelina Nyajima is the Director of Hope Restoration, a South Sudanese NGO that works to empower women. At the event, she pleaded for more mentoring and more direct funding for national NGOs, as laid out in the localization agenda that came out the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit.“We are on the front lines, we are with the communities… In case of crisis we don’t get evacuated,” she said, adding that one day, the presence of international organisations will be reduced. “If we are not mentored right now, if we are not funded right now, we are not going to be able to stand on our own.” read more

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NFL draft Joshua Perry selected in fourth round by San Diego

Former OSU linebacker Joshua Perry (37) celebrates after defeating Virginia Tech on Sept. 7 in Blacksburg, Virginia. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo EditorThe former Buckeye co-captain Joshua Perry was selected at No. 102 overall by the San Diego Chargers. Perry is the fourth defensive player taken out of Columbus and the second OSU senior selected in this 2016 draft class.Perry started at inside linebacker for coach Urban Meyer for the better part of three seasons, where he twice amassed more than 100 tackles in a season — 124 in 2014 as a junior, and 105 in his senior campaign.Known as a tenacious defender and a fierce teammate, Perry was the leader the team turned to on defense at the most crucial moments. In OSU’s double-overtime victory at Penn State in 2014, Perry played his best, picking up 18 total tackles, including 12 solo tackles. Perry’s 73 total solo tackles in his junior season are the second-most in one season by a Buckeye since 2002. Perry posted double-digit tackles in eight games combined in 2014 and 2015, including a 15-tackle performance against Michigan State this past season. Perry was voted first-team All-Big Ten by the coaches and second-team by the media in 2015. To accompany his force on the gridiron, Perry is regarded as a terrific teammate, evidenced by the honor of being named a Senior CLASS award finalist. Having been a starter for a year before Darron Lee arrived atop the depth chart and two years before current OSU linebacker Raekwon McMillan cracked the starting lineup, Perry was an easy pick for team captain. Much of the on-field transformation that made Lee the No. 20 overall pick in this year’s draft can be accredited to Perry. McMillan is likely to be a first-round pick in 2017, too.The Chargers took the 6-foot-4, 254-pound, Galena, Ohio, product with the 102nd pick in this year’s draft to address a need at linebacker after allowing 362 yards per game. He joins OSU teammate Joey Bosa, who was taken by San Diego third overall in the first round. Perry will likely have to work into a role with his new team, but there’s no question what type of character the Chargers are receiving in Perry. Opening the 2016 season on Aug. 13 in a preseason game, Perry and his new team are scheduled to take on the Tennessee Titans at 5 p.m. read more

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Denison files Technical Report for Wheeler River uranium

first_imgDenison Mines Corp has filed a technical report under NI 43-101 Standard of Disclosure for Mineral Projects for its 63.3% owned Wheeler River project in Saskatchewan titled Technical Report with an Updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Wheeler River Property, Northern Saskatchewan, Canada dated March 15, 2018 with an effective date of March 9, 2018.This report supports the disclosure made by the Company in its news release dated January 31, 2018, Denison announces 88% increase in indicated resources at Wheeler River with updated mineral resource estimate for the Gryphon deposit and there are no material differences in the technical report from the information disclosed in the News Release.As outlined in the News Release, the updated mineral resource estimate for Wheeler River is highlighted by a significant increase in the estimated mineral resources for the property’s basement-hosted Gryphon uranium deposit and an overall 88% increase in the Indicated Mineral Resources estimated for the Wheeler River project. Resource Update Highlights:The Gryphon deposit is estimated to contain, above a cutoff grade of 0.2% U3O8,  1,643,000 t at 1.71% U3O8 in Indicated Mineral Resources, plus 73,000 t at 1.18% U3O8 in Inferred Mineral ResourcesWheeler River is also host to the Phoenix deposit, which is estimated to include Indicated Mineral Resources above a cutoff grade of 0.8% U3O8 of166,000 t at 19.1% U3O8With this update to the resources estimated for the Gryphon deposit, the combined Indicated Mineral Resources estimated for Wheeler River have increased by 88% to 1,809,000 t at 3.3% U3O8), which will be used to support the PFS initiated for the project in July 2016 and expected to be completed during 2018.Denison is a uranium exploration and development company with interests focused in the Athabasca Basin region of northern Saskatchewan, Canada. In addition to its 63.3% owned Wheeler River project, which hosts the high-grade Phoenix and Gryphon uranium deposits, Denison’s exploration portfolio consists of numerous projects covering approximately 351,000 ha in the Athabasca Basin region, including approximately 316,000 ha in the infrastructure rich eastern portion of the Athabasca Basin. Denison’s interests in Saskatchewan also include a 22.5% ownership interest in the McClean Lake joint venture (MLJV), which includes several uranium deposits and the McClean Lake uranium mill, which is currently processing ore from the Cigar Lake mine under a toll milling agreement, plus a 25.17% interest in the Midwest and Midwest A deposits, and a 64.22% interest in the J Zone deposit and Huskie discovery on the Waterbury Lake property. Each of Midwest, Midwest A, J Zone and Huskie are located within 20 km of the McClean Lake mill.last_img read more

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Plan underway to remove 50 cars which were completely destroyed in a

first_img 42 Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Image: Cork Fire Brigade 24,941 Views Plan underway to remove 50 cars which were completely destroyed in a Cork shopping centre blaze Two levels of the multi-storey car park were engulfed in flames. Short URL https://jrnl.ie/4792822 By Olivia Kellehercenter_img Share6 Tweet Email Damage caused to vehicles at the shopping centre. Image: Cork Fire Brigade Monday 2 Sep 2019, 6:00 PM PLANS ARE UNDERWAY to remove almost 200 cars by crane — up to 50 of them completely destroyed — from a multi-storey car park in Cork city after a vehicle went on fire on Saturday leading to a massive blaze which destroyed two levels of the facility.Bank worker Liz Blacksmith had put her grocery shopping in to the the boot of her vehicle on level one at Douglas Village centre shortly before 7pm on Saturday night when she was made aware of the crisis. She was putting her trolley back in the bay when a staff member screamed at her to leave the centre.“I didn’t know why she was screaming at me and I just looked at her and then I saw all the fire and the thick black smoke. “Then all of a sudden when we were walking out another car exploded. Myself and another man were the two last people on the floor to get out. The flames and the black smoke were horrific. “The glass doors before you get on to the escalator had automatically shut. We were ushered by another staff member to go in to another room to actually get on to the escalator to get out. “There was no panic inside. It was amazing. People were still trying to pay for their shopping. It was surreal.”Liz said there is great credit due to the staff members for getting all of the shoppers out safety. However, she expressed concern that a smoke alarm didn’t go off.“There was no smoke alarm and no sprinkler. There are an awful lot of questions to be answered. People won’t be able to park so they won’t go there. They will be too afraid to park once the car park is built again in God knows how many months. I don’t know how the fire brigade even managed to get in. There is great credit due to them.”Keary’s Car dealership in Cork has offered impacted motorists the use of vehicles with no strings attached. Liz may well avail of same and says she is hugely appreciative of the gesture.Meanwhile, businesses in the centre which were impacted by flooding six years ago that nearly destroyed their livelihoods are now battling to keep the show on the road. Sarah Spillane, Manager of Mimosa Flowers, still has to make 70 to 80 corsages for Debs balls this week. She is determined to not let her customers down. Around 50 cars were completely destroyed. Source: Cork Fire Brigade“I have a wedding to do as well on Wednesday but I was on to the bride and I told her that everything was going to be okay. A woman has offered us her studio to work from over the next few days.  Our fridge is in the centre and we are hoping to get in there as well. Once we get access to a bit of stock we will be able to fulfill our orders.”Debs are a busy time for the florists and Sarah says they couldn’t possibly leave young girls without their corsages. “We don’t want young girls worrying about it. When you have debs or a wedding the last thing you want is to hear there is a problem with the flowers. We are lucky in that we are mobile and can work elsewhere. We have a good team and are going to deliver to all of our customers.”The fire broke out shortly before 7pm on Saturday. Over 50 fire fighters worked in intense temperatures to contain the blaze. Tánaiste Simon Coveney, in a visit to Millstreet, Co Cork, said he was hugely appreciative of the efforts of the fire service and the gardai.“The immediate response of the fire service in a very confined space and a very difficult location. They did a great job.”It is not known when the centre will reopen. Manager of Douglas Village, Bartosz Mieszela, says that it would be very difficult for traders to operate without a car park. “We only have the multi-storey car park so we don’t have external and multi storey. The car park in relation to the functioning of the centre is critical. There is always options but it is important.”The multi-storey car park has 1,006 spaces. It is understood that a Opel people carrier was the first car to go on fire with the blaze spreading quickly given the close proximity of vehicles. A helpline is in operation for impacted customers who have cars still in the car park. It can be contacted on 087 950 9800. Sep 2nd 2019, 6:00 PM Damage caused to vehicles at the shopping centre.last_img read more

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Facebook takes down network linked to Philippines businessman for inauthentic behavior

first_img1:31 Facebook The nine types of Facebook ads that Russian trolls paid for Post a comment Facebook generally doesn’t link such activities to specific individuals. Gabunada is the former chief executive of Omnicom Media Group Philippines, Reuters noted, and reportedly volunteered to lead Rodrigo Duterte’s social media team during his successful 2016 presidential campaign. At least one of the pages Facebook just took down was called “Duterte Warriors.””If they will have to take down my account it’s their prerogative, on the other hand they have to consider I’m not doing it for the sake of whatever it is that they’re accusing me of,” Gabunada told Filipino outlet ABS-CBN News.It’s the second such announcement from Facebook this week. On Tuesday, Gleicher announced that the social network had yanked thousands of accounts from Russia, Iran, Macedonia and Kosovo. First published at 3:48 a.m. PT.Updated at 4:30 a.m. PT: Adds more detail. Share your voice 9 Photos See how much time you’re wasting on Facebook 0 Security Internet Services Facebook made its second hit on coordinated inauthentic behavior this week. Chesnot / Getty Images Facebook has removed 200 pages, groups and accounts designed to mislead people in the Philippines.The coordinated inauthentic behavior — the social network’s term for misinformation campaigns designed to widen political divides — was spread across Facebook and Instagram, with millions of followers, according to a Thursday blog post.”Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities, our investigation found that this activity was linked to a network organized by Nic Gabunada,” Nathaniel Gleicher, the social network’s head of cybersecurity, wrote.The posts and groups in question focused on politics, highlighting alleged misconduct of opposition parties and “controversial events that were purported to occur during previous administrations.” Tags Now playing: Watch this:last_img read more

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Four more committees formed in JS

first_imgParliament (Jatiya Sangsad) building. Photo: BSSFour more committees – three parliamentary standing committees and a committee on private member’s bills and resolutions – were formed on Monday with the approval of leader of the house and prime minister Sheikh Hasina, reports UNB.Chief whip Noor-E-Alam Chowdhury proposed the names of the committees and the members in the house with speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair. The house unanimously adopted the proposals by voice votes.The parliamentary standing committees are on the ministry of public administration, ministry of textiles and jute, and ministry of fisheries and livestock.Awami League parliamentarian HN Ashequr Rahman will lead the standing committee on the ministry of public administration, while another ruling party MP, Mirza Azam, will head the one on textiles and jute ministry.Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh has been made chairman of the committee on private member’s bills and resolutions while Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu will lead parliamentary standing committee on fisheries and livestock ministry.last_img read more

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Global Microwave Devices Market Business Overview Status and Prospect Forecast 2019

first_imgGet a discount on this research report @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-for-discount/3125515?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=Anil The content of the study subjects, includes a total of 15 chapters: Chapter 1, to describe Microwave Devices product scope, market overview, market opportunities, market driving force and market risks. Chapter 2, to profile the top manufacturers of Microwave Devices, with price, sales, revenue and global market share of Microwave Devices in 2017 and 2018. Chapter 3, the Microwave Devices competitive situation, sales, revenue and global market share of top manufacturers are analyzed emphatically by landscape contrast. Chapter 4, the Microwave Devices breakdown data are shown at the regional level, to show the sales, revenue and growth by regions, from 2014 to 2019. Chapter 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9, to break the sales data at the country level, with sales, revenue and market share for key countries in the world, from 2014 to 2019. Chapter 10 and 11, to segment the sales by type and application, with sales market share and growth rate by type, application, from 2014 to 2019. Chapter 12, Microwave Devices market forecast, by regions, type and application, with sales and revenue, from 2019 to 2024. Chapter 13, 14 and 15, to describe Microwave Devices sales channel, distributors, customers, research findings and conclusion, appendix and data source. Authentication Services The research extensively analyses the key market players involved in the global Microwave Devices industry. With the help of tables and figures, valuable insights on production, value, price, and gross margin of each player are offered. About Us:Big Market Research has a range of research reports from various publishers across the world. Our database of reports of various market categories and sub-categories would help to find the exact report you may be looking for. Big Market Research has added a report, titled, “Microwave Devices.” The report not only provides a comprehensive analysis of market overview and dynamics for the historical period, 2014-2019, but also offers global and regional forecasts on market value, volume production, and consumption during the future period, 2019-2024. The report also analyzes the key market players, especially the distributors, along with the industrial chain structure. The evolution of market trends is discussed along with the competitive landscape in various regions, which would help top and emerging market players to determine the lucrative investment pockets. Download Sample Copy of this Report @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/request-sample/3125515?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=Anil The report begins with a brief introduction and market overview, in which the Microwave Devices industry is first defined before estimating its market scope and size. Next, the report elaborates on the market scope and market size estimation. This is followed by an overview of the market segmentations such as type, application, and region. The drivers, limitations, and opportunities are listed for the Microwave Devices industry, followed by industry news and policies.center_img The major market players operating in the industry are L-3 Communications, Thales Group, E2V , API Technologies, Teledyne Technologies, CPI, Toshiba, Richardson, TMD Technologies, RFMD, Triton The report performs an industry chain analysis, focusing on upstream raw material suppliers and major downstream buyers. The data is highlighted through the use of tables and figures, which also include manufacturing cost structure and market channel analysis. Major players involved in the Microwave Devices industry are also delineated, along with their market share and product types. Buy Now @ https://www.bigmarketresearch.com/checkout/sales/501?utm_source=HTN&utm_medium=Anil The report segments the global Microwave Devices market based on factors such as type, application, and region. For the historic period, extensive insights on value, market share, production, growth rate, and price analysis for each sub-segment is offered by the report. Additionally, the report also delves into regional production, consumption, export, and import for the historic period. The regions analyzed in the research include North America, Europe, China, Japan, Middle East & Africa, India, and South America. Finally, the current market status and SWOT analysis for each region are elaborated, which would assist market players to gain a competitive edge by determining the dominant segments. We are instrumental in providing quantitative and qualitative insights on your area of interest by bringing reports from various publishers at one place to save your time and money. A lot of organizations across the world are gaining profits and great benefits from information gained through reports sourced by us. Contact us: Mr. Abhishek PaliwalBig Market Research5933 NE Win Sivers Drive, #205, Portland, OR 97220 United StatesDirect: +1-971-202-1575Toll Free: +1-800-910-6452E-mail : help@bigmarketresearch.comlast_img read more

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AI for game developers 7 ways AI can take your game to

first_imgArtificial Intelligence ( AI) is a rich and complex topic. At first glance, it can seem intimidating. The uses for it are diverse, ranging from robotics to statistics and to (more relevantly for us) entertainment, more specifically, video games. In this article, we will get to know the fundamentals of Artificial intelligence and why it is important for game developers. We have also covered a quick background on AI in academics, traditional domain, and game-specific applications. We will also look at the following: Application and implementation of AI in games is different from other domains Special requirements for AI in games Basic AI patterns used in games This article is an excerpt from a book written by Ray Barrera, Aung Sithu Kyaw, and Thet Naing Swe titled Unity 2017 Game AI Programming – Third Edition. This book would help you to create fun and unbelievable AI entities in your games with A*, Fuzzy logic and NavMesh with  Unity 2017. Leveling up your game with AI AI in games dates back all the way to the earliest games, even as far back as Namco’s arcade hit Pac-Man. The AI was rudimentary at best, but even in Pac-Man, each of the enemies—Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Clyde—had unique behaviors that challenged the player in different ways. Learning those behaviors and reacting to them adds a huge amount of depth to the game and keeps players coming back, even after over 30 years since its release. It’s the job of a good game designer to make the game challenging enough to be engaging, but not so difficult that a player can never win. To this end, AI is a fantastic tool that can help abstract the patterns that entities in games follow to make them seem more organic, alive, and real. Much like an animator through each frame or an artist through his brush, a designer or programmer can breathe life into their creations via clever use of the AI techniques covered in this article. The role of AI in games is to make games fun by providing challenging entities to compete with, and interesting non-player characters (NPCs) that behave realistically inside the game world. The objective here is not to replicate the whole thought process of humans or animals, but merely to sell the illusion of life and make NPCs seem intelligent by having them react to the changing situations inside the game world in a way that makes sense to the player. Technology allows us to design and create intricate patterns and behaviors, but we’re not yet at the point where AI in games even begins to resemble true human behavior. While smaller, more powerful chips, buckets of memory, and even distributed computing have given programmers a much higher computational ceiling to dedicate to AI, at the end of the day, resources are still shared between other operations such as graphics rendering, physics simulation, audio processing, animation, and others, all in real time. All these systems have to play nice with each other to achieve a steady frame rate throughout the game. Like all the other disciplines in game development, optimizing AI calculations remains a huge challenge for AI developers. Using AI in Unity In this section, we’ll walk you through the AI techniques being used in different types of games. Unity is a flexible engine that provides a number of approaches to implement AI patterns. Some are ready to go out of the box, so to speak, while others we’ll have to build from scratch. We’ll focus on implementing the most essential AI patterns within Unity so that you can get your game’s AI entities up and running quickly. Learning and implementing the techniques within this article will serve as a fundamental first step in the vast world of AI. Many of the concepts we will cover in this article, such as pathfinding and Navigation Meshes, are interconnected and build on top of one another. For this reason, it’s important to get the fundamentals right first before digging into the high-level APIs that Unity provides. Defining the agent Before jumping into our first technique, we should be clear on a key term—the agent. An agent, as it relates to AI, is our artificially intelligent entity. When we talk about our AI, we’re not specifically referring to a character, but an entity that displays complex behavior patterns, which we can refer to as non-random, or in other words, intelligent. This entity can be a character, creature, vehicle, or anything else. The agent is the autonomous entity, executing the patterns and behaviors we’ll be covering. With that out of the way, let’s jump in. Finite State Machines Finite State Machines (FSM) can be considered one of the simplest AI models, and they are commonly used in games. A state machine basically consists of a set number of states that are connected in a graph by the transitions between them. A game entity starts with an initial state and then looks out for the events and rules that will trigger a transition to another state. A game entity can only be in exactly one state at any given time. For example, let’s take a look at an AI guard character in a typical shooting game. Its states could be as simple as patrolling, chasing, and shooting: There are basically four components in a simple FSM: States: This component defines a set of distinct states that a game entity or an NPC can choose from (patrol, chase, and shoot) Transitions: This component defines relations between different states Rules: This component is used to trigger a state transition (player on sight, close enough to attack, and lost/killed player) Events: This is the component that will trigger to check the rules (guard’s visible area, distance to the player, and so on) FSMs are commonly used go-to AI patterns in game development because they are relatively easy to implement, visualize, and understand. Using simple if/else statements or switch statements, we can easily implement an FSM. It can get messy as we start to have more states and more transitions. Seeing the world through our agent’s eyes In order to make our AI convincing, our agent needs to be able to respond to the events around him, the environment, the player, and even other agents. Much like real living organisms, our agent can rely on sight, sound, and other “physical” stimuli. However, we have the advantage of being able to access much more data within our game than a real organism can from their surroundings, such as the player’s location, regardless of whether or not they are in the vicinity, their inventory, the location of items around the world, and any variable you chose to expose to that agent in your code: In the preceding diagram, our agent’s field of vision is represented by the cone in front of it, and its hearing range is represented by the grey circle surrounding it: Vision, sound, and other senses can be thought of, at their most essential level, as data. Vision is just light particles, sound is just vibrations, and so on. While we don’t need to replicate the complexity of a constant stream of light particles bouncing around and entering our agent’s eyes, we can still model the data in a way that produces believable results. As you might imagine, we can similarly model other sensory systems, and not just the ones used for biological beings such as sight, sound, or smell, but even digital and mechanical systems that can be used by enemy robots or towers, for example sonar and radar. If you’ve ever played Metal Gear Solid, then you’ve definitely seen these concepts in action—an enemy’s field of vision is denoted on the player’s mini map as cone-shaped fields of view. Enter the cone and an exclamation mark appears over the enemy’s head, followed by an unmistakable chime, letting the player know that they’ve been spotted. Path following and steering Sometimes, we want our AI characters to roam around in the game world, following a roughly-guided or thoroughly-defined path. For example, in a racing game, the AI opponents need to navigate the road. In an RTS game, your units need to be able to get from wherever they are to the location you tell them navigating through the terrain and around each other. To appear intelligent, our agents need to be able to determine where they are going, and if they can reach that point, they should be able to route the most efficient path and modify that path if an obstacle appears as they navigate.  Even path following and steering can be represented via a finite state machine. You will then see how these systems begin to tie in. In this article, we will cover the primary methods of pathfinding and navigation, starting with our own implementation of an A* Pathfinding System, followed by an overview of Unity’s built-in Navigation Mesh (NavMesh) feature. Dijkstra’s algorithm While perhaps not quite as popular as A* Pathfinding (which we will cover next), it’s crucial to understand Dijkstra’s algorithm, as it lays the foundation for other similar approaches to finding the shortest path between two nodes in a graph. The algorithm was published by Edsger W. Dijkstra in 1959. Dijkstra was a computer scientist, and though he may be best known for his namesake algorithm, he also had a hand in developing other important computing concepts, such as the semaphore. It might be fair to say Dijkstra probably didn’t have StarCraft in mind when developing his algorithm, but the concepts translate beautifully to game AI programming and remain relevant to this day. So what does the algorithm actually do? In a nutshell, it computes the shortest path between two nodes along a graph by assigning a value to each connected node based on distance. The starting node is given a value of zero. As the algorithm traverses through a list of connected nodes that have not been visited, it calculates the distance to it and assigns the value to that node. If the node had already been assigned a value in a prior iteration of the loop, it keeps the smallest value. The algorithm then selects the connected node with the smallest distance value, and marks the previously selected node as visited, so it will no longer be considered. The process repeats until all nodes have been visited. With this information, you can then calculate the shortest path. Need help wrapping your head around Dijkstra’s algorithm? The University of San Francisco has created a handy visualization tool:  ;https://www.cs.usfca.edu/~galles/visualization/Dijkstra.html. While Dijkstra’s algorithm is perfectly capable, variants of it have been developed that can solve the problem more efficiently. A* is one such algorithm, and it’s one of the most widely used pathfinding algorithms in games, due to its speed advantage over Dijkstra’s original version. Using A* Pathfinding There are many games in which you can find monsters or enemies that follow the player, or go to a particular point while avoiding obstacles. For example, let’s take a typical RTS game. You can select a group of units and click on a location you want them to move to, or click on the enemy units to attack them. Your units then need to find a way to reach the goal without colliding with the obstacles or avoid them as intelligently as possible. The enemy units also need to be able to do the same. Obstacles could be different for different units, terrain, or other in-game entities. For example, an air force unit might be able to pass over a mountain, while the ground or artillery units need to find a way around it. A* (pronounced “A star”) is a pathfinding algorithm that is widely used in games because of its performance and accuracy. Let’s take a look at an example to see how it works. Let’s say we want our unit to move from point A to point B, but there’s a wall in the way and it can’t go straight towards the target. So, it needs to find a way to get to point B while avoiding the wall. The following figure illustrates this scenario: In order to find the path from point A to point B, we need to know more about the map, such as the position of the obstacles. To do this, we can split our whole map into small tiles, representing the whole map in a grid format. The tiles can also be other shapes such as hexagons and triangles. Representing the whole map in a grid makes the search area more simplified, and this is an important step in pathfinding. We can now reference our map in a small 2D array: Once our map is represented by a set of tiles, we can start searching for the best path to reach the target by calculating the movement score of each tile adjacent to the starting tile, which is a tile on the map not occupied by an obstacle, and then choosing the tile with the lowest cost. A* Pathfinding calculates the cost to move across the tiles A* is an important pattern to know when it comes to pathfinding, but Unity also gives us a couple of features right out of the box, such as automatic Navigation Mesh generation and the NavMesh agent. These features make implementing pathfinding in your games a walk in the park (no pun intended). Whether you choose to implement your own A* solution or simply go with Unity’s built-in NavMesh feature will depend on your project’s needs. Each option has its own pros and cons, but ultimately, knowing about both will allow you to make the best possible choice. With that said, let’s have a quick look at NavMesh. IDA* Pathfinding IDA* star stands for iterative deepening A*. It is a depth-first permutation of A* with a lower overall memory cost, but is generally considered costlier in terms of time. Whereas A* keeps multiple nodes in memory at a time, IDA* does not since it is a depth-first search. For this reason, IDA* may visit the same node multiple times, leading to a higher time cost. Either solution will give you the shortest path between two nodes. In instances where the graph is too big for A* in terms of memory, IDA* is preferable, but it is generally accepted that A* is good enough for most use cases in games. Using Navigation Mesh Now that we’ve taken a brief look at A*, let’s look at some possible scenarios where we might find NavMesh a fitting approach to calculate the grid. One thing that you might notice is that using a simple grid in A* requires quite a number of computations to get a path that is the shortest to the target and, at the same time, avoids the obstacles. So, to make it cheaper and easier for AI characters to find a path, people came up with the idea of using waypoints as a guide to move AI characters from the start point to the target point. Let’s say we want to move our AI character from point A to point B and we’ve set up three waypoints, as shown in the following figure: All we have to do now is to pick up the nearest waypoint and then follow its connected node leading to the target waypoint. Most games use waypoints for pathfinding because they are simple and quite effective in terms of using less computation resources. However, they do have some issues. What if we want to update the obstacles in our map? We’ll also have to place waypoints for the updated map again, as shown in the following figure: Having to manually alter waypoints every time the layout of your level changes can be cumbersome and very time-consuming. In addition, following each node to the target can mean that the AI character moves in a series of straight lines from node to node. Look at the preceding figures; it’s quite likely that the AI character will collide with the wall where the path is close to the wall. If that happens, our AI will keep trying to go through the wall to reach the next target, but it won’t be able to and will get stuck there. Even though we can smooth out the path by transforming it to a spline and doing some adjustments to avoid such obstacles, the problem is that the waypoints don’t give us any information about the environment, other than the spline being connected between the two nodes. What if our smoothed and adjusted path passes the edge of a cliff or bridge? The new path might not be a safe path anymore. So, for our AI entities to be able to effectively traverse the whole level, we’re going to need a tremendous number of waypoints, which will be really hard to implement and manage. This is a situation where a NavMesh makes the most sense. NavMesh is another graph structure that can be used to represent our world, similar to the way we did with our square tile-based grid or waypoints graph, as shown in the following diagram: A Navigation Mesh uses convex polygons to represent the areas in the map that an AI entity can travel to. The most important benefit of using a Navigation Mesh is that it gives a lot more information about the environment than a waypoint system. Now we can adjust our path safely because we know the safe region in which our AI entities can travel. Another advantage of using a Navigation Mesh is that we can use the same mesh for different types of AI entities. Different AI entities can have different properties such as size, speed, and movement abilities. A set of waypoints is tailored for humans; AI may not work nicely for flying creatures or AI-controlled vehicles. These might need different sets of waypoints. Using a Navigation Mesh can save a lot of time in such cases. Generating a Navigation Mesh programmatically based on a scene can be a somewhat complicated process. Fortunately, Unity 3.5 introduced a built-in Navigation Mesh generator as a pro-only feature, but is now included for free from the Unity 5 personal edition onwards. Unity’s implementation provides a lot of additional functionality out of the box. Not just the generation of the NavMesh itself, but agent collision and pathfinding on the generated graph (via A*, of course) as well. Flocking and crowd dynamics In nature, we can observe what we refer to as flocking behavior in several species. Flocking simply refers to a group moving in unison. Schools of fish, flocks of sheep, and cicada swarms are fantastic examples of this behavior. Modeling this behavior using manual means, such as animation, can be very time-consuming and is not very dynamic. Similarly, crowds of humans, be it on foot or in vehicles, can be modeled by representing the entire crowd as an entity rather than trying to model each individual as its own agent. Each individual in the group only really needs to know where the group is heading and what their nearest neighbor is up to in order to function as part of the system. Behavior trees The behavior tree is another pattern used to represent and control the logic behind AI agents. Behavior trees have become popular for applications in AAA games such as Halo and Spore. Previously, we briefly covered FSMs. They provide a very simple yet efficient way to define the possible behaviors of an agent, based on the different states and transitions between them. However, FSMs are considered difficult to scale as they can get unwieldy fairly quickly and require a fair amount of manual setup. We need to add many states and hardwire many transitions in order to support all the scenarios we want our agent to consider. So, we need a more scalable approach when dealing with large problems. This is where behavior trees come in. Behavior trees are a collection of nodes organized in a hierarchical order, in which nodes are connected to parents rather than states connected to each other, resembling branches on a tree, hence the name. The basic elements of behavior trees are task nodes, whereas states are the main elements for FSMs. There are a few different tasks such as Sequence, Selector, and Parallel Decorator. It can be a bit daunting to track what they all do. The best way to understand this is to look at an example. Let’s break the following transitions and states down into tasks, as shown in the following figure: Let’s look at a Selector task for this behavior tree. Selector tasks are represented by a circle with a question mark inside. The selector will evaluate each child in order, from left to right. First, it’ll choose to attack the player; if the Attack task returns a success, the Selector task is done and will go back to the parent node, if there is one. If the Attack task fails, it’ll try the Chase task. If the Chase task fails, it’ll try the Patrol task. The following figure shows the basic structure of this tree concept: Test is one of the tasks in the behavior tree. The following diagram shows the use of Sequence tasks, denoted by a rectangle with an arrow inside it. The root selector may choose the first Sequence action. This Sequence action’s first task is to check whether the player character is close enough to attack. If this task succeeds, it’ll proceed with the next task, which is to attack the player. If the Attack task also returns successfully, the whole sequence will return as a success, and the selector will be done with this behavior and will not continue with other Sequence tasks. If the proximity check task fails, the Sequence action will not proceed to the Attack task, and will return a failed status to the parent selector task. Then the selector will choose the next task in the sequence, Lost or Killed Player? The following figure demonstrates this sequence: The other two common components are parallel tasks and decorators. A parallel task will execute all of its child tasks at the same time, while the Sequence and Selector tasks only execute their child tasks one by one. Decorator is another type of task that has only one child. It can change the behavior of its own child’s tasks including whether to run its child’s task or not, how many times it should run, and so on. Thinking with fuzzy logic Finally, we arrive at fuzzy logic. Put simply, fuzzy logic refers to approximating outcomes as opposed to arriving at binary conclusions. We can use fuzzy logic and reasoning to add yet another layer of authenticity to our AI. Let’s use a generic bad guy soldier in a first person shooter as our agent to illustrate this basic concept. Whether we are using a finite state machine or a behavior tree, our agent needs to make decisions. Should I move to state x, y, or z? Will this task return true or false? Without fuzzy logic, we’d look at a binary value (true or false, or 0 or 1) to determine the answers to those questions. For example, can our soldier see the player? That’s a yes/no binary condition. However, if we abstract the decision-making process even further, we can make our soldier behave in much more interesting ways. Once we’ve determined that our soldier can see the player, the soldier can then “ask” itself whether it has enough ammo to kill the player, or enough health to survive being shot at, or whether there are other allies around it to assist in taking the player down. Suddenly, our AI becomes much more interesting, unpredictable, and more believable. This added layer of decision making is achieved by using fuzzy logic, which in the simplest terms, boils down to seemingly arbitrary or vague terminology that our wonderfully complex brains can easily assign meaning to, such as “hot” versus “warm” or “cool” versus “cold,” converting this to a set of values that a computer can easily understand. Game AI and academic AI have different objectives. Academic AI researchers try to solve real-world problems and prove a theory without much limitation in terms of resources. Game AI focuses on building NPCs within limited resources that seem to be intelligent to the player. The objective of AI in games is to provide a challenging opponent that makes the game more fun to play. To summarize, we learned briefly about the different AI techniques that are widely used in games such as FSMs, sensor and input systems, flocking and crowd behaviors, path following and steering behaviors etc. If you enjoyed this excerpt, check out this book Unity 2017 Game AI Programming – Third Edition, to explore brand-new features in Unity 2017 for easier Artificial Intelligence implementation in your games. Read Next: How to create non-player Characters (NPC) with Unity 2018 Put your game face on! Unity 2018.1 is now available Implementing lighting & camera effects in Unity 2018last_img read more

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Former President Oscar Arias faces criminal charge over Crucitas case

first_imgChief Prosecutor Emilia Navas has presented criminal charges against former President and Nobel Peace prize winner Oscar Arias for breach of duty.The charge stems from a probe into whether Arias failed to uphold his presidential responsibilities by allowing a Canadian gold mine to operate in Costa Rica in the name of “the public interest” back in 2008.The probe was originally dropped in 2014 by former Chief Prosecutor Jorge Chavarría, who was suspended last year for failing to uphold his duties in a corruption scandal, but Navas revived it last October when she took office. Canadian mine case against Costa Rican ex-president reopened Related posts:What’s going on at Crucitas? Oscar Arias’s Crucitas case dismissed; prosecutor plans appeal Canadian mine case against Costa Rican ex-president reopened Mercury contaminating Crucitas water, threatening ecosystems, warns UNA studycenter_img Arias’ Environment and Energy Minister at the time, Roberto Dobles, was originally convicted and sentenced in the case, but that verdict was overturned by an appeals court that ordered a new trial, which began in last September.Despite the 2008 decree that Arias signed, the Canadian gold mining company, Infinito Gold, did not open the mine because a Costa Rican court voided the authorization on environmental grounds.Since then, the northern area of Las Crucitas, where the Canadian mine was supposed to operate, has been occasionally occupied by informal miners looking for gold.They caused serious environmental damage through the use of mercury and by dumping debris into rivers before police removed the miners. Facebook Commentslast_img read more

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ANTOR reveals consumer trends post GFC

first_imgThe Association of National Tourism Office Representatives (ANTOR) hosted its first industry seminar for the year in Sydney on Thursday. A panel of experts – Angela Smith, Account Director – Tourism, Travel & Leisure, Roy Morgan Research; Peter Smith, General Manager, Zuji and Andrew Drysdale, former Regional Director IATA – shared their insights into consumer and tourism industry market trends.Angela Smith discussed changing consumer travel trends post GFC, “The general consensus is that consumer confidence is building and people are still travelling.”She said that people are spending less time on overseas holidays, while domestic visits have stayed relatively stable. Angela also said Australians were still inclined to stock pile their annual leave and that the ‘No Leave, No Life’ campaign was trying to change this trend.Peter Smith said that while the online world of travel is burgeoning he “doesn’t see the end of the retail travel agent … its horses for courses.”     He said the average online user was “looking for information, looking to be inspired and looking to shop around.” Mr Smith predicted that mobile travel sites will continue to evolve over the coming years and that social media will become more important when “experimentation gives way to best practises.” Andrew Drysdale said that the Asia Pacific region has eclipsed the North American market for the first time in aviation history. “U.S influence in the global aviation industry is waning fast.” He also saw consolidation as the way of the future. <a href=”http://www.etbtravelnews.global/click/1b540/” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://adsvr.travelads.biz/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=10&amp;cb=INSERT_RANDOM_NUMBER_HERE&amp;n=a5c63036″ border=”0″ alt=””></a> Source = e-Travel Blackboard: C.Flast_img read more

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