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How serial Flash technology is evolving to meet the new requirements of Industry 4.0 designs

first_img Continue Reading Previous Manhattan Skyline releases AMOLED displaysNext Renesas: RZ/A2M microprocessor for high-speed processing of e-AI imaging By Alex Wei, Winbond Electronics The famous fourth industrial revolution, tagged ‘Industry 4.0’, is based on the move to digitize industrial equipment and processes on a massive scale. This Industry 4.0 trend is now stretching the capabilities of almost every important category of electronic component used in industrial machines and systems.Non-volatile memory is no exception. Non-volatile memory is being challenged to meet new requirements in Industry 4.0 designs in five main ways:CostSizeSpeedPower consumptionSecurityWhile various alternative non-volatile memory technologies continue to put up a challenge, it is proven, familiar Flash technology which is evolving fastest and most effectively to meet these new challenges. This article describes recent innovations in Flash memory products which will help system designers implement new equipment designs for Industry 4.0 applications.The demands of Industry 4.0 Industry 4.0 is defined by business consultancy McKinsey as: ‘The next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector, driven by four disruptions: the astonishing rise in data volumes, computational power and connectivity, especially new low-power wide-area networks (LPWANs); the emergence of analytics and business intelligence capabilities; new forms of human-machine interaction such as touch interfaces and augmented reality (AR) systems; and improvements in transferring digital instructions to the physical world, such as advanced robotics and 3D printing.’Industry 4.0 equipment is notable for its extensive generation and use of ‘big data’, facilitated by always-on, pervasive connectivity to the internet. As LPWANs proliferate in factories, warehouses and industrial campuses, the supply chain will increasingly be able to share real-time monitoring data about products, inventory and assets with sophisticated analytics software in the cloud.Underpinning this explosion of digitization will be the massively increased deployment of sensing devices, such as RFID smart tags which can be read wirelessly. These devices, operating from a battery power supply or even from harvested energy, will often require an ultra-low power memory component for storing logged data.A completely different challenge will be posed by new control technologies for industrial equipment. For all the hype around today’s testing of autonomous vehicles on public roads, it is in factories and warehouses, which stand to gain huge efficiency and safety benefits from the elimination of human drivers, that autonomous vehicles such as fork-lift trucks and motorized trolleys are being first deployed (see Figure 1). Fig. 1: the autonomous Linde R-MATIC reach truck transports palletized goods of up to 1.6 tons fully automatically to high-bay racks. (Image credit: Linde) Similarly, AR and virtual reality (VR) are best known as consumer technologies, but again offer huge potential value in the factory, for instance to assist in manual assembly, maintenance or repair operations.New implementations of these sophisticated applications will run on vast application code bases, far greater than is typical for today’s industrial appliances. This will bring pressure on industrial system designers to find code storage solutions which meet the hugely increased capacity requirement without a similarly huge increase in bill-of-materials cost and board footprint.Lastly, a common theme in all types of Industry 4.0 equipment is connectivity – and connectivity brings an inherent risk of compromised security. By guaranteeing the authenticity of the devices that store code and data in Industry 4.0 equipment, secure non-volatile memory chips can provide a hardware barrier to intrusion into sensitive industrial networks.Evolution of Flash technology for the Industry 4.0 age Over the years, various non-volatile memory technologies have made claim to superiority over Flash in one characteristic or another. But as the incumbent, pre-eminent technology for non-volatile storage, Flash has the advantages of being:FamiliarProven in tens of thousands of applicationsAvailable in large volumes in a very wide choice of product configurations, to give a flexible set of product options for the system designer to choose fromBacked by the resources of the world’s leading memory IC manufacturers, including Winbond. These manufacturers continually invest in improvements to fundamental Flash fabrication technology, packaging, and device performance and features.Now, Flash product manufacturers are responding quickly and effectively to meet the new memory requirements of manufacturers of Industry 4.0 equipment and systems, introducing new solutions optimized for cost, size, performance, power or security.Packaging innovations The semiconductor industry’s favored method for achieving size and cost reduction is the process shrink. For the high-end microcontrollers used in Industry 4.0 equipment, this is true of the CPU circuitry. Many manufacturers of leading-edge MCUs today are looking to migrate designs from 4xnm nodes to 3xnm nodes to benefit from performance and cost improvements. At 3xnm nodes, however, the NOR Flash circuitry embedded in the MCU die actually becomes more expensive – shrinking NOR Flash beyond 4xnm nodes is proving to be problematic. But Winbond is innovating in partnership with MCU manufacturers to provide stacked die solutions, combining an MCU die fabricated in a 3xnm process with a 4xnm NOR Flash die in a single package, and providing the optimal combination of footprint, performance and code storage capacity for high-end industrial designs.Power innovation Wireless smart tags or labels are increasingly being used in industrial applications to provide real-time monitoring data, for instance to continually record the temperature and humidity conditions in which perishable goods or pharmaceuticals are kept when in transit. They require the capability to store potentially large amounts of logged data, but operate from extremely constrained battery power supplies, or even from harvested energy.To support the use of very low-voltage battery or harvested power supplies, discrete Flash ICs are being developed which operate at a voltage below the standard 1.8V low-power level for external Flash ICs. For instance, Winbond supplies the W25QxxNE 1.2V and W25QxxND extended 1.5V SpiFlash NOR Flash parts in 8-pin packages (see Figure 2). The devices offer a maximum 52MB/s data transfer rate and support a standard, dual and quad Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI) and Quad Peripheral Interface (QPI).  Fig. 2: the Winbond 8Mbit 25Q80NEXIG 1.2V Flash IC in a 2mm x 3mm USON8 package. (Image credit: Winbond) Performance innovation SPI NOR and serial NAND Flash are core technologies in the industrial sector, providing compact, low pin-count solutions for code and data storage. But the conventional serial architecture of these devices can act as a limiting factor on the speed with which data can be read and written, producing a slower data transfer rate than equivalent parallel Flash parts.  Now Winbond is innovating with new high-performance serial NAND Flash technology. Single-level cell (SLC) NAND Flash provides a high-reliability data storage medium in industrial applications. But in applications which require a high data transfer rate, designers have traditionally used NOR Flash, which offers lower density and hence a higher cost-per-bit than NAND Flash, but higher speed.Now Winbond has introduced the W25N01JW, a 1Gbit serial NAND Flash part which offers a maximum data transfer rate of 83MB/s – comparable with that of SPI NOR Flash devices. Even more impressively, the Winbond architecture supports an octo configuration – a two-chip dual quad serial interface which doubles the data transfer rate to a maximum of 166MB/s (see Figure 3).This is sufficient to support demanding, data-rich graphics applications, providing a high-capacity, low-cost alternative to NOR Flash in densities of more than 512Mbits. Automotive-qualified, the W25N01JW is in development in vehicle instrument cluster systems, and is equally suitable for industrial autonomous vehicles and AR/VR applications.  Fig. 3: the dual quad architecture of the W25N01JW serial NAND Flash device. (Image credit: Winbond) Security innovations The pervasive connectivity of the Industry 4.0 world exposes equipment to risks from malicious actors intruding into networks, compromising users’ privacy or stealing data. There are many measures available to designers to combat security risks. One important measure is hardware authentication, to guarantee that only authorized devices share data over a network.To provide hardware authentication for critical software such as boot code, Winbond has introduced the W74M family of Authentication Flash Memory solutions. Each W74M part incorporates an SPI Flash memory with a security IC in a multi-chip module. The device is secured with a standard HMAC-SHA-256 crypto accelerator and four monotonic Flash counters which are HMAC-signed by individual secret keys. The W74M enables system designers to implement multi-layered authentication for code and data storage for devices on the network edge or outside the cloud.Access to the code or data stored in the Authentication Flash memory is protected by a secure key, which is unique to each manufactured unit. In the event of tampering or intrusion into the network, the boot code or data stored on an Authentication Flash will remain secure from attempts to steal, modify or impair it.Flash technology evolves to meet Industry 4.0 requirements Non-volatile storage of code and data is one of many functional elements in industrial equipment, and as the Industry 4.0 trend towards ever greater digitization and data analytics gathers speed, the demand for higher non-volatile memory capacity, higher speed, lower power and lower cost will also intensify.As this article has demonstrated, new product developments in the SPI NOR and serial Flash categories are helping to ensure that Flash technology retains its place as the favored non-volatile memory choice for designers of industrial equipment as they adapt to the Industry 4.0 era.Please kindly contact us if you have any question Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components last_img read more

Winbond: NOR+NAND dual-die memory chip now supports NXP Layerscape LS1012A

first_img Continue Reading Previous Cervoz: rugged military grade SSD for mission critical applicationsNext Bulgin launches rugged, 10 Gb/s USB Type-C connector Winbond Electronics announced that its SpiStack dual-die NOR+NAND code storage product has been included on NXP Semiconductors FRWY-LS1012A board for use with its Layerscape LS1012A communications processor. NXP chose Winbond’s W25M161AW SpiStack product for its new FRWY-LS1012A development board for the LS1012A processor. The W25M161AW provides 16Mbits of serial NOR Flash memory for the board’s boot code, and 1Gbit of serial NAND for its Linux operating system.The stacked-die construction of the SpiStack products and the software Chip Select capability developed by Winbond enable a serial NOR Flash die for fast boot and a serial NAND die for high memory density to be accommodated in an 8-terminal WSON package with a standard 8mm x 6mm footprint and pin-out.Visitors to Winbond’s booth at the Flash Memory Summit can also view demonstration systems exhibiting the industry-best Read performance of its W25N01JW High Performance Serial NAND product. The W25N01JW offers a new high data-transfer rate of 83MB/s via a Quad Serial Peripheral Interface (QSPI). Winbond’s new High-Performance Serial NAND technology also supports a two-chip dual-quad interface which gives a maximum data transfer rate of 166MB/s.This high-speed Read operation, some four times faster than existing serial NAND memory devices offer, means that the new W25N01JW chip can replace SPI NOR Flash memory in automotive applications such as data storage for instrument clusters or the Center Information Display (CID).This is important for automotive OEMs because the adoption of more sophisticated graphics displays in the instrument cluster, and larger display sizes of 7” and above in the CID, is increasing system memory requirements to capacities of 1Gbit and higher. At these capacities, serial NAND Flash has a markedly lower unit cost than SPI NOR Flash, and occupies a smaller board area per Mbit of storage capacity.Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInMoreRedditTumblrPinterestWhatsAppSkypePocketTelegram Tags: Chips & Components last_img read more

Sanchez’s Man Utd FIFA 18 position & stats

first_imgeSports Alexis Sanchez for Man Utd on FIFA 18 – best position, stats and potential rating Ronan Murphy 00:05 1/24/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(2) FIFA 18 Alexis Man Utd EA Sports eSports Manchester United A. Sánchez Premier League The Chile international makes United’s attack much stronger in FIFA 18, giving Red Devils fans a lot more firepower in Online Seasons and Career Mode Alexis Sanchez has finally completed his transfer to Manchester United, meaning the Red Devils will now be much stronger in FIFA 18.As a result, more and more players will be likely to choose United in Online Seasons. They are already a five-star team, and have upgraded from 84-rated Henrikh Mkhitaryan to 88-rated Sanchez.The Chile international is equal or better to Mkhitaryan in the majority of his stats, aside from defending, but is unlikely to be utilised in a role that requires him to track back too often in FIFA 18. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Goal analyses how Sanchez will fit in at Manchester United and where to play him to get the best out of him in the game.Sanchez’s best position at Man Utd in FIFA 18By default, Manchester United’s tactical setup in FIFA emulates their real-life formation, utilising the 4-2-3-1 favoured by Jose Mourinho with three attacking midfielders supporting Romelu Lukaku.Although in tremendous form in real-life, Jesse Lingard is United’s weak link in attack in FIFA 18. He has an overall rating of 78, with a pace score of 83 and shooting and passing stats both in the 70s. Alexis will provide a huge upgrade on Lingard, and can be played anywhere across the attacking three with Juan Mata and Marcus Rashford.Mata’s excellent passing and dribbling should keep him in the team, but some FIFA gamers prefer to have more pace than his 67 statistic offers. As a result, Anthony Martial may be used with Rashford and Sanchez in the trio behind Lukaku.Alternatively, Sanchez could be used as the lone striker himself due to his excellent shooting, passing and dribbling ratings, or alongside Lukaku in a shift to a front two. This could work with a 4-4-2 or 4-1-2-1-2 approach, or even as part of a 3-5-2 thanks to the Red Devils having an abundance of strong, powerful centre-backs.Sanchez’s Man Utd stats in FIFA 18FIFA 18 Alexis Man UtdSanchez’s arrival makes him the third-quickest attacking player at Old Trafford in FIFA 18. Only Rashford and Martial have better pace than him, while he is also the club’s third-best finisher behind Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.His greater pace makes him a better option up front than Ibrahimovic, who lacks speed and stamina to be a proper asset for most gamers. The Swedish striker’s overall score of 88 comes in at one less than Sanchez’s initial FIFA 18 rating, which saw him receive an 89-overall score in Online Seasons and FIFA Ultimate Team.However, the Online Seasons database is constantly being updated with players receiving upgrades and downgrades to individual statistics and overall ratings. That saw Sanchez drop down to an 88-overall rating from December 21 onward.A strong second-half of the season could see the 29-year-old return to his initial score, or even get bumped up further ahead of the release of FIFA 19. Player Pace Shooting Passing Dribbling Alexis Sanchez 86 84 80 89 Romelu Lukaku 83 85 70 74 Zlatan Ibrahimovic 65 88 81 82 Marcus Rashford 92 76 70 81 Juan Mata 67 76 84 84 Anthony Martial 91 79 70 85 Ander Herrera 73 72 81 83 Anders Lingard 83 74 72 80 Sanchez’s Man Utd FIFA 18 potentialFIFA 18 AlexisAs Sanchez turned 29 in December, he is 28 at the beginning of career mode. This means that he has already reached his maximum score in FIFA 18 and his overall rating is the same as his potential rating. Rashford, on the other hand, is still a teenager and can develop from an 81-rated player into an 89-overall one during the process of a long career in the game.Paul Pogba has the highest potential of any outfield player at the Old Trafford club, at 92, while David De Gea can progress to a 93-rated goalkeeper. Lukaku is the only other player on United’s books with the potential to have a better in-game rating than Alexis. Sanchez signed a four-and-a-half year deal with United, keeping him at the club until 2022. Along with Lukaku, this is the longest contract of anyone at Old Trafford in FIFA 18, meaning that you will not have to think about finding a replacement for him for many years.last_img read more

Two ‘new Messis’ & Real Madrid’s top 10 teenagers

first_imgNxGn Vinicius Jr, Odegaard & the top 10 teenage stars to watch at Real Madrid Last updated 1 year ago 19:15 3/31/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Martin Odegaard Real Madrid NxGn Real Madrid Primera División As part of the NxGn series, Goal takes a look at the most promising young players waiting in the wings at the Santiago Bernabeulast_img

Grange mourns Troy Caine

first_img Kingston 11 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed sadness at the passing of the Political Historian and Analyst, Troy Caine.Mr Caine was a member of the Board of Management of the National Library of Jamaica, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, at the time of his passing.In her tribute, Minister Grange reflected on Mr Caine’s “invaluable contribution to the National Library” where he also served as member of the Finance and Poet Laureate committees.Minister Grange said:“Our work, not only at the National Library but right across the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport benefited tremendously from Troy’s analytical mind and his sense of and understanding of history.“Troy was an authority on history, particularly our political history. We relied on him for accurate information on political engagement and he never disappointed. I marvelled at his ability to recall facts and figures and to provide context at a moment’s notice. He also made significant contributions in the areas of culture, literature and journalism.“Jamaica loses an outstanding son with the passing of Troy Caine.“I extend sincerest condolences to his family and hope that they will find comfort in knowing that he served his country well through his many contributions.” Kingston 11 January 2019 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange has expressed sadness at the passing of the Political Historian and Analyst, Troy Caine. Story Highlights In her tribute, Minister Grange reflected on Mr Caine’s “invaluable contribution to the National Library” where he also served as member of the Finance and Poet Laureate committees. Mr Caine was a member of the Board of Management of the National Library of Jamaica, an agency of the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, at the time of his passing.last_img read more

G6 Drops Four More Asia-Europe Sailings

first_imgzoom Six container lines forming the G6 Alliance have cancelled four more peak season Asia-Europe sailings in response to reduced market demand.APL, Hapag-Lloyd, Hyundai Merchant Marine, Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Nippon Yusen Kaisha and Orient Overseas Container Line already dropped six Asia-Europe sailings throughout June and July.The new void sailings are for the following services and weeks:Loop 6 service in week 36 (westbound ETA Kaohsiung 03 September 2015). The westbound Kaohsiung call and the eastbound Jebel Ali call will be added into Loop 7 in the respective week. The westbound Colombo and Nansha calls will be added into Loop 4 and the Fuzhou call will be added into Loop 5.Loop 7 service in week 37 (westbound ETA Qingdao 07 September 2015). The westbound Qingdao call will be added into Loop 4 in the respective week, with the newly added Gdansk call being covered by the Loop 5 in the respective week.Loop 4 service in week 38 (westbound ETA Ningbo 18 September 2015). The westbound Le Havre call will be added into Loop 6 in the respective week.Loop 5 service in week 39 (westbound ETA Kwangyang 25 September 2015). The westbound Kwangyang and Pusan calls will be added in other loops in the respective week.last_img read more

Services provided but outcomes not tracked for Syrians auditor general

first_imgOTTAWA – The Liberal government is struggling to track the impact of its historic effort to resettle upwards of 40,000 Syrian refugees, the federal auditor general concluded Tuesday in his fall report.Markers like how many kids are in school or how many Syrians are on income assistance weren’t being measured between fall 2015 and the spring of this year, the period examined by the federal watchdog, raising questions about what happened to the population once they began to settle in Canada.While a rapid impact evaluation was conducted by the government for the first wave of arrivals, the auditor general went digging over the longer term, looking to see whether Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada was both providing the services newcomers needed and tracking what happened next.“This audit is important because the Syrian refugee initiative will succeed in the long term only if the people it brought to Canada integrate into Canadian society,” the report said.While the federal government did have a plan to track outcomes and went as far as identifying what indicators it should look for, it either didn’t collect the required data outright, or had trouble getting it from the provinces.So what was left was only what existed at the federal level, like whether newcomers were getting their needs assessed or attending language classes. In both cases, the vast majority of Syrians were, the report concluded.But just because other data — like school enrolment, social assistance or health care access — lies with the provinces doesn’t mean the federal government can ignore it, auditor general Michael Ferguson said Tuesday.“It is very much incumbent on the department to collect the information to understand what’s going on at the provincial level as well because it is their responsibility to understand if these refugees are integrating,” he said.Ferguson’s team also found that despite the millions of dollars allocated to settlement services, some organizations ended up cutting services for three months because the federal government was too slow delivering money.The department had asked the organizations to keep the programs going with a promise the money would come later, but 16 groups weren’t prepared to take that risk, the report said, and cut programs.It’s been almost two years since the Liberals launched the program they promised during the 2015 campaign — to bring 25,000 Syrians to Canada by the end of that year, at a cost of $250 million.The deadline was later bumped back and the budget exponentially bumped up — just over $950 million has been set aside. One major increase came in settlement funding. Originally, $141 million was set aside to cover four years, but that budget was boosted to $257 million over five years when it became clear the Syrians were arriving with higher-than-expected needs.While the resettlement program has been lauded the world over, one of the main criticisms was that the Liberals rolled out it without enough advance planning for what would happen once the Syrians actually arrived.At one point, the pace of new arrivals was so fast, settlement organizations asked for a pause, while early issues with access to housing saw some refugees spend weeks or months in hotels, unable to get kids into school or start language classes.The auditor general made four recommendations in the report, encouraging the Immigration Department to improve its systems for getting money out the door and tracking outcomes, while also ensuring service providers understand what’s expected of them.“This report, as well as the collective work undertaken to resettle tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, has highlighted the importance of integration in building a strong society,” Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen said in a statement.“…That is why my department has taken, and will continue to take action to ensure that all newcomers, including refugees, are able to access the services they need to integrate successfully in Canada, and that service provider organizations have the support they need to provide high-quality settlement services.”last_img read more

Notley trolls federal Liberals as global oil forecasts continue to look grim

first_imgOTTAWA (660 NEWS) – Premier Rachel Notley took time for a holiday trick in Ottawa.The Alberta NDP projected figures outside of the federal Liberal holiday party that claimed to show how much money is being lost every day because pipelines aren’t moving Alberta oil to world markets.While many are applauding the move seeing this as some grade ‘A’ trolling, others are calling it classless.Well played Premier Notley.— Dan Harris (@danharrisndp) December 13, 2018It isn’t the first time Notley and company have sent not-so-subtle hints to the feds and it won’t be the last time, especially with some bleak forecasts for oil prices going into next year.Cailin Birch is an economist with the Economist Intelligence Unit and one of the authors of a report delving into oil price predictions around the world.She believes with the Chinese and the U.S. economies expected to sputter in 2019, there could be a global price drop for oil.“With 2020 looking like an even more difficult year economically speaking. We are expecting it to feed into prices across the board really as consumption doesn’t look as strong as it has in the past few years.”She noted other global factors at play.“Market conditions have changed significantly since OPEC and Russia agreed to rein in production in November 2016. Unprecedented output restraint from most OPEC countries and Russia, together with unexpected supply crunches from more volatile producers, including Venezuela, Libya and Angola, have brought global oil stocks back down to below the previous five-year average,” she said in the report.While a drop in oil prices in the past five years has fed consumption, she expects that trend to change.“Remembering of course, that for the last few years it has been inflated a bit. The rate of demand growth has been inflated by the fact that oil prices were so low that it gave this kind of boom to consumption growth. We’re not looking at the same situation anymore.”last_img read more

Giriraj to meet Nitish Kumar Thursday evening visit Begusarai on Friday

first_imgPatna: BJP leader Giriraj Singh, who apparently went into a sulk upon being asked to contest from a Lok Sabha seat other than the one he held and fell in line after a meeting with party chief Amit Shah, will call on Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Thursday evening. The meeting will be followed by his visit to Begusarai on Friday where he will take on former JNU students union president Kanhaiya Kumar. “Appointment has been fixed with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar at 5 P.M. Many thanks to the honourable chief minister for sparing his time,” Singh tweeted. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’ The meeting with Kumar, of whom he had been a fierce critic since the days he served as a minister in the state cabinet, assumes significance as return of the chief ministers JD(U) to the BJP-led coalition had led to circumstances which made Singh forgo his Nawada seat. The JD(U), which is contesting on 17 seats, the same number as the BJP, had insisted on having the Munger seat from where it is fielding Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan a close aide of Kumar, who had won the seat in 2009 and was the runner-up five years later. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K Ram Vilas Paswans LJP, which held Munger, agreed to give up the seat in exchange for Nawada. Mafia don-turned-politician Suraj Bhan Singhs wife was the MP from Munger and the party has now fielded his brother from Nawada. Singh was given Begusarai which has a large population of Bhumihars, the community to which he belongs. He also wanted to contest the seat in 2014 but moved to Nawada upon the partys direction and achieved victory in his first Lok Sabha election. Begusarai fell vacant a few months ago following the death of the incumbent Bhola Singh. However, Giriraj Singh felt slighted as he happened to be the only BJP Union minister from Bihar, who has been made to give up his sitting seat. Others Ashwini Kumar Choubey, R K Singh and Radha Mohan Singh are seeking re-election from their respective seats. The JD(U)s support would be crucial for Singh in Begusarai as the party had won the seat in 2004 and 2009. The CPI, which had finished third in 2014 and yet managed to secure close to two lakh votes, has this time fielded Kanhaiya Kumar who belongs to the same caste as Singh. Lalu Prasads RJD, which had said before the elections that it would support Kanhaiya Kumar if fielded from Begusarai, has now changed its stance and is likely to field Tanveer Hassan, the runner-up of 2014, who may benefit from a division of Bhumihar votes between Kumar and Singh. Meanwhile, Singh is also set to begin his campaign in Begusarai from Friday where polling is scheduled in the fourth phase of elections and the filing of nominations will commence on April 2 while voting will take place on April 29. “All patriots are welcome to Begusarai. I will depart from Patna for my karmabhoomi Begusarai Friday,” Singh said in another tweet. In yet another tweet he announced “I will file my nomination from Begusarai on April 06.”last_img read more

Ban calls for new ways to finance development amid economic turmoil

In his opening remarks to the I-8 Meeting on Innovative Financing for Development, Mr. Ban noted that as economies shrink, official development assistance (ODA) from governments come under tighter budgetary pressures.He said that falling commodity prices, shrinking private investments and the slashing of overseas remittances underscore the importance of innovative financing solutions for development.“Innovative financing must help to bridge the gap between what is available and what we need to reach the Millennium Development Goals [MDGs],” said Mr. Ban, referring to the eight internationally agreed anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline. “The economic crisis makes that job even harder.”Innovative financing, identified at the UN Conference on Financing for Development in 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico, aims to find sustainable sources of funding that do not substitute ODA. Since the Monterrey gathering, hundreds of millions of dollars have been raised through innovative financing initiatives such as (Product) Red, a consumer-based fundraising effort which raises funds to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. Highlighting World Bank forecasts of another 45 million falling into extreme poverty this year on top of the 130 million people plunged into poverty in 2008, Mr. Ban stressed the urgent need “to strengthen and scale up existing innovative mechanisms, and explore new ones.”Of the major initiatives launched to help achieve the MDGs since the Monterrey Conference, eight of them (the I-8 group) convened at today’s gathering.“I hope that by coordinating an I-8 group, as was done for the H-8 for health, we will learn faster from each other’s experiences and stimulate best practices across institutions and initiatives,” said Mr. Ban.He said that it was critical to ensure that future initiatives, whether new ideas or continuing current schemes, are implemented quickly and successfully. 19 May 2009The global recession is eroding traditional forms of financing growth in the poorer nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned today, as he addressed a meeting in Geneva tasked with finding creative alternatives to funding development. read more

Investor group led by hockey great Lanny McDonald faces Brookfield in Alberta

CALGARY — A group of investors led by former hockey great Lanny McDonald will face off with corporate heavyweight Brookfield Asset Management Inc. in the Alberta Court of Appeal Wednesday.The two sides are at odds over how a company called Birch Mountain Resources Ltd. went under in 2008, and how its $1.6 billion limestone quarry in the heart of Alberta’s oilsands ended up in Brookfield’s hands for less than $50 million.McDonald and his co-plaintiffs allege in court documents that Brookfield subsidiaries used “misleading,” “usurious” and “oppressive” actions to gain control of the company and its quarry.Brookfield said the accusations are “meritless, frivolous and an abuse of process” in court filings.Last year a Calgary judge agreed, dismissing the case and ruling that there was no merit to the claim.Now McDonald, who became an independent director and shareholder Birch Mountain following his storied NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Colorado Rockies and Calgary Flames, will be back in court armed with new evidence as his legal team tries to launch an appeal.McDonald could not be reached for comment.For John Mazag, a Birch Mountain shareholder who had invested most of his savings and then lost it all when the company went bankrupt, the appeal is important both financially and for the principal at stake.“To me this is another story about corporate greed,” said Mazag.He said he was hopeful when Brookfield subsidiary Tricap Partners Ltd. agreed to invest in Birch Mountain because it had the deep pockets to help fund the hundreds of millions of dollars needed to put the quarry into full production.“I was excited about Brookfield coming on board because I knew they had the financial wherewithal to help us through,” said Mazag.But that opinion changed as the company called in its loan less than a year after first lending $31.5 million to the company.“Brookfield wants you to think they’re a value investor, but from a shareholder standpoint, I think Brookfield uses more predatory lending practices,” said Mazag.Brookfield, which declined to comment, said in court filings that in 2008, Birch Mountain defaulted on loan provisions several times, was losing money, and was failing to meet production targets.By November 2008, Tricap called in its loan that was secured by all of Birch Mountain’s property, and eventually took control of the quarry.The plaintiffs say Tricap didn’t act in good faith, while Brookfield said Tricap met all obligations under the loan agreement.A Calgary appeal judge will hear arguments today on whether the case should go any further. read more

Vancouver animalrights activist arrested at rodeo

first_imgJORDAN VALLEY, Ore. (AP) — A member of an Illinois-based animal-rights group from Vancouver has been arrested after refusing to stop videotaping at an annual Eastern Oregon rodeo where horses are roped by the legs in an event the state Legislature is considering outlawing.The Jordan Valley Big Loop Rodeo along the Idaho border is the only rodeo in Oregon known to include the event, called “horse roping” by its advocates and “horse tripping” by opponents such as the organization Showing Animals Kindness and Respect of Geneva, Ill.The group has campaigned against the event and has posted videos on YouTube from previous rodeos. The timed event involves cowboys lassoing horses by the legs, causing the animals to fall to the ground.The Oregon Senate last month voted 26-6 to outlaw horse roping for entertainment purposes. Ranchers and veterinarians still would be able to do it. The measure is in the House, where it’s had a committee hearing but hasn’t been sent to the floor.The Malheur County sheriff’s office said a volunteer with Showing Animals Kindness and Respect, 30-year-old Adam Fahnestock of Vancouver, was arrested Saturday on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.last_img read more

Cardinals Wrap Up Day One at the NCAA Outdoor Championships

first_imgMartice Moore finished second in the first heat of the 400m hurdles with a time of  50.59, automatically qualifying for the finals.  The top two finishers from each heat advanced to the finals along with the next two best times to make up the eight person final on Friday.  Moore will compete for an NCAA title on Friday at 8:57 p.m. Makenli Forrest, Gabriela Leon and Ivine Chemutai will compete tomorrow beginning at 4:30 p.m. The meet will be live streamed on ESPN2, ESPN3, and ESPNU. Live Results Albert Kosgei finished 15th in the 3,000m steeplechase in his NCAA Championship debut. Despite falling with three laps left, Kosegi finished with a time of with a time of 8:58.76.  The junior earned second team All-American honors.  Men’s 3,000m Steeplechase15. Albert Kosgei – 8:58.76 Story Linkscenter_img AUSTIN, Texas – Albert Kosgei and Martice Moore kicked off the first day of action at the NCAA Track and Field Championships on Wednesday at Mike. A Myers Stadium in Austin, Texas. Kosegi wraps up an impressive season on the track.  He was the ACC runner-up in the 3000m steeplechase with a time of 8:46.72.  He then ran a personal best time of 8:38.90 at the NCAA East Preliminary Rounds to finish seventh and qualify for his first NCAA Championship.  NCAA Track and Field Championships Mike A. Meyers Stadium | Austin, TexasJune 5, 2018 Men’s 400m Hurdles (Semifinals)14. Martice Moore – 50.59 Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

Snapchat Considers Tweaking Some of Its Controversial Redesign

first_imgSome of Snapchat’s controversial redesign may not be here to stay, after all: The company has begun to test design tweaks that would once again combine stories of celebrities with those of your friends on a single page. Following the news, the stock of Snapchat’s parent company took a nosedive Wednesday, declining by 7.5% to a price of $14.46 per share.Recode was first to spot those tests Tuesday, which have since been confirmed by the company. “We are always listening to our community and will continue to test updates that we hope will give Snapchatters the best possible experience on our platform,” a spokesperson said.Snapchat separated the two with its recent massive redesign, which was first announced last year and then brought to all of the service’s users earlier this year. The stated goal of that redesign was to make Snapchat easier for new users, including those beyond its core age group of snap-obsessed teenagers. Snapchat Parent Company Raises $1.265 Billion in Debt Financing, Citing Potential Acquisitions Now, it is testing a new design that would present personal stories and stories from brands and celebrities together on the Discover page. The two categories would still be listed separate to ensure that brands and influences wouldn’t drown out stories published by friends, but it would be easier to find both — which in turn could also be a boon for publishers.The design tweaks now being tested by Snapchat.Snapchat’s redesign faced massive resistance from a number of users, including some 1.25 million who signed a Change.org petition to roll it back. Snapchat’s official stance had been that the redesign was here to stay, with executives like CEO Evan Spiegel even saying that the critics were proving the company right.However, Snapchat wasn’t just attacked by ordinary users. A number of celebrities with huge audiences on the platform also spoke up, including Kylie Jenner  and Chrissy Teigen. Both contributed to significant pressure on Snap’s share price, with investors worrying that the platform was at risk of losing some of its key voices.Update: This post was updated multiple times with additional details on the test as well as the performance of Snap’s stock Wednesday. Snap Intros $380 Two-Camera Spectacles — A Fashion Accessory for Snapchat AR Content Related ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 Popular on Variety last_img read more

Wiz Khalifa Docuseries to Launch on Apple Music Watch Trailer EXCLUSIVE

first_imgThe project was produced by SMAC Entertainment, Taylor Gang, Dirty Robber, and Atlantic Records. Producer Gotham Chopra and production company Dirty Robber were recently nominated for several Sports Emmy Awards and NAACP Image Awards for their work on “Shut Up and Dribble” including an NAACP nomination for “Outstanding Documentary.” They were also nominated for a Sports Emmy Award for “Outstanding Serialized Sports Documentary” for their work on “Tom vs Time.”“Taylor Gang has been with me since the start, so I wanted to make something to show just how far we’ve come,” Wiz says, speaking to his fanbase and creative crew featured throughout the series.Executive producer Michael Strahan said of the project, “Wiz and I both share a passion for family, friendship and hard work, and that’s exactly what you’ll see from him in this series. We’re excited to team up with Apple Music and give the world an intimate look into the rise of an entertainment icon.” Veteran rapper Wiz Khalifa will launch a docuseries, “Wiz Khalifa: Behind the Cam,” April 17 on Apple Music, he announced Wednesday.According to the announcement, the series “will go into the most intimate aspects of Wiz’s life,” containing archival footage from throughout his decade-plus-long career. The series will feature interviews with his family and his closest friends. “Wiz Khalifa: Behind the Cam” debuts on April 17 — between the rapper’s performances at both Coachella weekends — with all five episodes available worldwide on Apple Music.The trailer takes a different approach to that of most music documentaries, showing footage of a teen Wiz at an in-store meet-and-greet attended by one person, and rapping for a handful of people at a basketball court. His mother and longtime associates talk about his early drive and dedication, even when he was performing for hardly anyone — and of course the trailer ends with him rapping the same song later in his career for thousands of people.last_img read more

PS3 game Beyond Two Souls can be controlled with a smartphone

first_imgIn October, Quantic Dream will release one of the last key titles coming to the PS3: Beyond: Two Souls. As well as calling on the voicing talents of both Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, the game holds a lot of promise considering this is coming from the studio that gave us Omikron: The Nomad Soul, Fahrenheit, and most recently Heavy Rain.The game does contain a rather surprising feature, though, that Quantic Dream founder David Cage revealed at Gamescom. It’s possible to play Beyond: Two Souls using either an Android or iOS device as the controller.As well as being surprising because Sony must have greenlit the feature, why on earth would you implement such a control method? Apparently it’s to make the game as accessible as possible to a wider audience, including those who may not otherwise play games.In order for such a control method to work, Quantic has had to create a mobile app that gamers will be able to download for free. They also had to implement an easy control method that would work with a touchscreen. If you load up the app, the game recognizes it, establishes communication between your touchscreen device and the PS3, and automatically switches over to easy control method.This is clearly not something regular gamer would, or even should consider using to play the game. The touchscreen method of control looks like it removes pretty much everything from the gameplay equation other than movement. Maybe there’s the odd screen tap during key events? But at the same time, as the game has both co-op and two-player, maybe if there’s a non-gamer in the house this could get them involved and playing along side you.last_img read more

Is Kickstarter actually good for games We ran the stats on that

first_imgYou can’t pretend that Kickstarter hasn’t had an immensely disruptive effect on the world of video games. Since the crowdfunding site launched in 2009, thousands of games have been funded on it, with many making millions of dollars — but are those games actually good? We decided to run the stats on that.We examined the top 50 funded projects in the Games category to see how they did — or if they were even released at all. This includes both video games as well as board and card games. We didn’t include hardware in this list. If we had, you’d see the Oculus Rift (very successful, despite no retail release yet) and the Ouya (not so successful after Kickstarter). Miniature figures that didn’t come with a set of game rules were also removed from contention. We’re also not categorizing games in early access as “released,” because that’s early access doesn’t mean released, nor is a guarantee of anything.Review scores were aggregated from Metacritic for video games and BoardGameGeek for card and board games.1. Exploding KittensTotal pledges: $8,782,571Delivered: Yes Review Scores: 6.1The most successful games project in Kickstarter history, from the creators of The Oatmeal and several well-received alternate reality games. It’s a fairly simple card game where players try to avoid drawing the “kitten” and being eliminated. It’s kind of like Uno. The creators actually said that their immense overfunding made it unlikely that they would turn a profit on the game and had to print a million decks to start off with at about $5 a pop. Critical reception was generally positive, but not glowing.2. Shenmue 3Total pledges: $6,333,295Delivered: NoThe most successful video game project on the list, the long-awaited sequel to Yu Suzuki’s Dreamcast magnum opus, isn’t going to be completely funded by the six million bucks that Kickstarter backers dropped on it. The rest of the money is coming from Sony, which some took as an insult to the backer-funded model.The gameplay of the first two titles seems pretty dated today, and it’s anybody’s guess whether nostalgia for the Dreamcast days will be enough for Suzuki and his team to make a good game. We’ll find out in December of 2017, assuming it doesn’t get hit with delays.3. BloodstainedTotal pledges: $5,545,991Delivered: NoYou’re going to see a very notable trend in the top half of this list: games from beloved creators of last-generation masterpieces turning to crowdfunding to bring their fans more of the same. Case in point, Koji Igarashi’s Bloodstained, which promises all of the exploration and Gothic horror of his legendary Symphony of the Night. Bloodstained is set to release in March of 2017 at the earliest.4. Torment: Tides of NumeneraTotal pledges: $4,188,927Delivered: NoIf you ask hardcore gamers to drop a top 10 of all time on you, chances are good it will include Planescape: Torment. That 1999 game was the Platonic ideal of a Western-style role-playing game, with tons of player choice and a focus on resolving situations through dialogue instead of combat. Tides was pitched as a spiritual successor with many of the original team members involved. Torment is set to drop in December of 2015, and was funded back in March of 2013.5. Zombicide: Black PlagueTotal pledges: $4,079,204Delivered: YesReview Scores: 8.1The dominant franchise in Kickstarter board games is the Zombicide series from developer Guillotine Games. These cooperative titles show up several times in the top 50 and garner excellent reviews. This 2015 expansion of the franchise transplanted the core gameplay into medieval times with solid results.6. Pillars of EternityTotal pledges: $4,163,208Delivered: YesReview Scores: 8.9One of the most interesting side effects of the crowdfunding economy is the breadth of genres represented. Old-school single-player isometric role-playing games have all but died out in the industry, replaced by the Skyrim paradigm. Pillars of Eternity was billed as a throwback to the classic D&D games of the 90s, and delivered an updated take on these solid mechanics. The game was released in March of 2015 to unanimously glowing reviews, with gamers praising the exceptionally rich combat and beautiful artwork.7. Mighty No. 9Total pledges: $3,845,170Delivered: NoHelmed by Keiji Inafune, the man behind the classic Mega Man games, Mighty No. 9 returned him to the genre he made famous with a side-scrolling action adventure. The game was plagued with multiple delays, with developer Comcept returning to Kickstarter two more times to fund voice acting and DLC stages.Inafune’s next game project, Red Ash, shocked observers when it closed without meeting its fundraising goal of $800,000. It probably would have had more luck if Mighty No. 9 ever released.8. Double Fine AdventureTotal pledges: $3,336,371 Delivered: Yes Review Scores: 7.6Tim Schafer was one of the earliest big-name developers to see potential in Kickstarter, and in 2012 he hit the service with a big ask: he wanted to make a graphical adventure like his classic Grim Fandango, and he wanted the fans to pay for it. If they did, he’d give them unprecedented access to the development process, as well as a documentary. The final result was Broken Age, a sci-fi parable starring a pair of teenagers from different worlds looking to change their lives. It was widely praised for sharp writing and gorgeous artwork, though Double Fine mismanaged their Kickstarter funds, and infamously broke the game up in two parts, as well as released the first part on Steam in order to generate more cash to help finish the second part.9. ConanTotal pledges: $3,327,757Delivered: NoThe board game based on Robert E Howard’s iconic barbarian had a solid pedigree behind it. but Conan’s had some rough times in recent years, with a reboot movie underperforming at the box office and an MMO crashing and burning after a few years. But there was obviously still some demand for the franchise, as a board game from Monolith took home north of three million bucks in January of 2015. The game has been extensively play-tested and it’s coming from a company with lots of experience in the space, so we predict it will do pretty well when it gets released in October.10. Yooka-LayleeTotal pledges: £2,090,104Delivered: NoDevelopers Rare made their biggest mark with their collection-focused 3D platformers, a genre that was brutally run into the ground with dozens of imitators. Well, there’s apparently a demand for them now, as when a bunch of ex-employees crowdfunded for Yooka-Laylee — a return to form with a new cast of cute animal characters — it smashed a number of Kickstarter records. Yooka-Laylee is scheduled for release in October of 2016.11. Wasteland 2Total pledges: $2,933,252Delivered: YesReview Scores: 8.1Before there was Fallout, there was Wasteland. The 1988 PC game was one of the first post-apocalyptic RPGs that really nailed the setting, with players able to use a wide variety of tactics to go through their adventure. Original game producer Brian Fargo bought the rights from Konami in 2003 and started the gears in motion, and the Kickstarter launched in 2012.The game was developed without too many hitches (in many ways thanks to Fargo keeping the concept in his mind for over a decade), but it was delayed for around six months. The extra polish time was worth it, though, as fans and press alike raved over the game, saying it delivered exactly what they wanted from a next-gen Wasteland.12. Zombicide: Season 3Total pledges: $2,849,064Delivered: YesReview Scores: 8.0The second appearance of the Zombicide franchise on this list shows that developers Guillotine Games have got crowdfunding down to a science. The direct communication they had with backers gave the company insight into exactly what they were willing to pay for in a sequel, and the third installment introduced team-based play and a new style of zombie to the mix. Oh, and they also brought in the option for PvP, which completely changed the way the game was played. Fans gobbled it up like so many brains.13. Elite: DangerousTotal pledges: £1,578,316Delivered: YesReview Scores: 8.0There are some franchises that hook players and never let them go. Elite, the space trading game that made its debut in 1984, is one of those. Over the course of four games, creator David Braben has refined his core concept to a razor point. Players start out in a massive sandbox world with a ship, a little cash and nothing else, and then are freed to amass wealth and power in any way they can. Publishers all over the industry turned down Elite: Dangerous, so when it got funded on Kickstarter and then released to sell over half a million copies they felt pretty stupid.14. HiveswapTotal pledges: $2,485,506Delivered: NoThe cult of personality around Andrew Hussie’s webcomic Homestuck is a powerful one, so it’s not surprising that his venture into gaming would haul in the cash. Unfortunately for fans, Hussie’s decision to outsource development to studio The Odd Gentlemen backfired when they assigned development resources from the game to their King’s Quest update. Hussie has taken the project back in-house, and expects to deliver the first installment of the episodic title before the end of 2015.15. HEX: Shards Of FateTotal pledges: $2,278,255Delivered: NoOnline trading card games were thought to be a niche market until Blizzard made Hearthstone work, but some of the designers behind the original World of Warcraft TCG beat them to the punch in 2013 with Hex. Combining strategic card battles with a persistent world, the game has been slowly grinding towards completion — it’s in Steam Early Access right now and scheduled to drop in late 2015. Initial previews have been fairly positive, with beta players enjoying the wide range of strategies. Unfortunately, a lawsuit from Wizards of the Coast claiming the game is a Magic: The Gathering ripoff might ruin everything.16. Zombicide: Season 2Total pledges: $2,255,018Delivered: YesReview Scores: 7.8It’s even more Zombicide. You’ll notice as this list goes on that each project in the series does better than the one before it. Developers CoolMiniOrNot have had a staggering 18 different campaigns funded on Kickstarter — a staggering success rate. The first one just barely missed the cutoff for this list at $781,000, but every subsequent Zombicide game has topped the ones before it. What can we learn from this? Kickstarter is a powerful platform for an established company that knows its audience and can deliver on their promises. CoolMiniOrNot doesn’t ship late or flake out — they give backers exactly what they pay for, and it pays off.Next page: 17 through 32 1 2 3last_img read more

Thermaltake enhances its already ridiculous palm cooling gaming mouse

first_imgHere at Geek we love gadgets that include the ability to tweak, and Thermaltake is the latest company to appear on our radar for their ability to add a ridiculous amount of features to the humble mouse.Say hello to the Thermaltake Level 10 M Advanced gaming mouse. To be clear, this is an enhanced version of the existing Level 10 M mouse, which already had an eye-watering number of options to tweak. The Advanced version just goes a step further.It’s not the prettiest mouse to look at, but that doesn’t really matter for a device spending most of its time covered by your hand. And if you’re a heavy gamer, it’s certainly worth considering spending the $69.99 required to get this mouse on to your desk. Here’s a rundown of its standout features:16,000 DPI Avago 9800 laser sensor10 buttons, including a 5-axis button2D steering axis system50 million Omron switchesARM Cortex-M0 32-bit microcontroller and 64KB of flash memoryLED DPI Indicator16.8 million color RGB illumination systemAerodynamically engineered air-through palm ventilation systemThe DPI is selectable, with on-the-fly adjustments from 400 DPI right up to the 16,000 DPI maximum using that 5-axis button. There’s also a 100 DPI fine-tuning option available. So you can dynamically adjust the DPI while playing a game to suit the situation. Combined with the Avago 9800 laser (that has 1, 2, 4, and 8ms polling rates), you can take full advantage of the accuracy on your surface of choice, and those Omron switches ensure the buttons won’t stop working over the mouse’s lifetime. Next we come on to the body of the mouse. The 2D steering axis means you can adjust the angle of the mouse to better sit in your palm making for a more comfortable experience. Then, to stop the issue of a sweaty hand, Thermaltake has embedded a palm ventilation system, which allows cool air to flow up through a honeycomb grill and over your palm while you play. There’s also a soft-touch finish to the plastic surfaces for additional holding comfort and grip.The Level 10 M Advanced ships with its own configuration software allowing you not only to play with the 16.8 million color RGB illumination system, but to also tweak and store up to 5 different profiles, including DPI settings, lighting configurations, and macro setups.An ugly mouse? Yes. A potential hardcore gamer’s dream mouse? Quite possibly. Let us know what you think of it if you pick one up. Reviews of the Level 10 M are mixed on Amazon, does the Advanced version fix all the issues? <>last_img read more