Over 1,500 players and spectators will converge on Port Macquarie for the four day event which showcases the top under 18’s talent in Australia. The championships have returned to the traditional Under 18’s format after the inclusion of the Under 20’s division in 2008, with 36 teams competing at the tournament.The event is Port Macquarie’s second national Touch Football tournament this year, after the National Touch League was hosted at the stadium in March.QSST’s Boys and Girls teams will both be looking to again take a clean sweep of the Under 18’s titles after their dominance at the 2008 championships, but will face tough competition from NSWCHS, NSWCCC, SQBD Sharks and Brisbane City Cobras in both divisions. Local hopes will be high after the Northern Eagles fifth placing in the Under 18’s Girls last year, and the experience of their coach – Australian Women’s 20’s player, Stephanie Halpin, will be of great benefit to the team. The Under 18’s Boys team will be looking to improve on their result of 14th at the 2008 championships with the help of the talent Port Macquarie brothers, Nick and Matt Bale. The round games will be played from Wednesday to Friday, before the semi finals and finals are played on Saturday. To keep updated on scores and news throughout the tournament, please visit the National Youth Championships website: http://www.nyc.mytouchfooty.com
SAN FRANCISCO – A Colorado jury likely threw cold water on future legal challenges against cannabis companies by homeowners who consider filing racketeering lawsuits alleging proximity to pot operations hurts their property values, analysts and industry lawyers said Thursday.A federal jury in Denver on Wednesday rejected claims involving the odour from a pot farm made in a case that was closely watched by the marijuana industry.It was the first such lawsuit to reach a jury. Three others are pending in California, Massachusetts and Oregon.“The big takeaway is that the verdict is likely to curb the enthusiasm for bringing these lawsuits in the future,” Vanderbilt University law professor Rob Mikos said.He said it’s easy to show marijuana companies are violating federal laws against pot, but the Colorado verdict shows the difficulty In proving actual harm.“There was a thought that this would be easy money,” Mikos said about such claims.Congress created the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act — better known as RICO — to target the Mafia in the 1970s. It allowed prosecutors to argue that leaders of a criminal enterprise should pay a price along with lower-level defendants.The law also allows private parties to file lawsuits claiming their business or property has been damaged by a criminal enterprise. Those who can prove it can be financially compensated for damages plus attorneys’ expenses.Scott Schlager, a lawyer who filed a similar lawsuit against a Cambridge, Massachusetts, dispensary agreed with Mikos, saying racketeering lawsuits are expensive to litigate.“They shouldn’t be the next cottage industry,” he said. “There is a lot of uncertainty.”Schlager said the Denver verdict will have no effect on his case because the two legal actions have important differences.The Colorado plaintiffs complained that a farm’s odour lowered their property value by about $30,000.Schlager’s clients in Harvard Square argue that the stigma of a marijuana dispensary in the upscale business district lowered property values by $29 million.California attorney Ken Stratton, who represents a pot farmer being sued by eight homeowners near Petaluma, California, in the heart of wine country, said he was surprised the Denver case reached a jury.“I think we’ll see more and more of these knocked out before they go to trial,” Stratton said. “The racketeering law wasn’t meant to litigate land disputes.”He also predicted the Denver verdict will make other lawyers and disgruntled neighbours look elsewhere to settle their disputes with marijuana operations.He said showing that cannabis operations impact land prices is difficult, especially if the homeowners are speculating rather than arguing they lost money in actual sales.Emma Quinn-Judge, a Boston lawyer defending the Cambridge dispensary, agreed that showing harm is the biggest hurdle.“If you know anything about Cambridge home prices then you know that arguing their value has dropped $29 million is laughable,” she said.
The Golden State Killer, who terrorized Californians from Sacramento to Orange County over the course of a decade, committed his last known murder in 1986, the same year that DNA profiling was used in a criminal investigation for the first time. In that early case, officers convinced thousands of men to voluntarily turn over blood samples, building a genetic dragnet to search for a killer in their midst. The murderer was eventually identified by his attempts to avoid giving up his DNA. In contrast, suspected Golden State Killer Joseph James DeAngelo, who was apprehended just last week, was found through other people’s DNA — samples taken from the crime scenes were matched to the profiles his distant relatives had uploaded to a publicly accessible genealogy website.You can see the rise of a modern privacy conundrum in the 32 years between the first DNA case and DeAngelo’s arrest. Digital privacy experts say that the way DeAngelo was found has implications reaching far beyond genetics, and the risks of exposure apply to everyone — not just alleged serial killers. We’re used to thinking about privacy breaches as what happens when we give data about ourselves to a third party, and that data is then stolen from or abused by that third party. It’s bad, sure. But we could have prevented it if we’d only made better choices.Increasingly, though, individuals need to worry about another kind of privacy violation. I think of it as a modern tweak on the tragedy of the commons — call it “privacy of the commons.” It’s what happens when one person’s voluntary disclosure of personal information exposes the personal information of others who had no say in the matter. Your choices didn’t cause the breach. Your choices can’t prevent it, either. Welcome to a world where you can’t opt out of sharing, even if you didn’t opt in.Yonatan Zunger, a former Google privacy engineer, noted we’ve known for a long time that one person’s personal information is never just their own to share. It’s the idea behind the old proverb, “Three may keep a secret if two of them are dead.” And as far back as the 1960s, said Jennifer Lynch, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, phone companies could help law enforcement collect a list of all the numbers one phone line called and how long the calls lasted. The phone records may help convict a guilty party, but they also likely call police attention to the phone numbers, identities and habits of people who may not have anything to do with the crime being investigated.But the digital economy has changed things, making the privacy of the commons easier to exploit and creating stronger incentives to do so.“One of the fascinating things we’ve now walked ourselves into is that companies are valued by the market on the basis of how much user data they have,” said Daniel Kahn Gillmor, senior staff technologist with the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. A company can run along, not making a cent, but if it has a large user base and reams of private information about those users, then it’s valuable — and can be sold for millions. Companies that collect more data, keep that data, and use it to make connections between users are worth more. Sears, Roebuck and Co. may have been able to infer when you bought a gift from their catalog for a friend who lived in another town, but Amazon has more reason (and more ability) to use that information to build a profile of your friend’s interests.We all saw this in action in the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. The privacy of the commons is how the 270,000 Facebook users who actually downloaded the “thisisyourdigitallife” app turned into as many as 87 million users whose data ended up in the hands of a political marketing firm. Much of the narrative surrounding that scandal has focused on what individuals should be doing to protect themselves. But that idea that privacy is all about your individual decisions is part of the problem, said Julie Cohen, a technology and law professor at Georgetown University. “There’s a lot of burden being put on individuals to have an understanding and mastery of something that’s so complex that it would be impossible for them to do what they need to do,” she said.Even if you do your searches from a specialized browser, tape over all your webcams and monitor your privacy settings without fail, your personal data has probably still been collected, stored and used in ways you didn’t intend — and don’t even know about.Companies can even build a profile of a person from birth based entirely on data-sharing choices made by others, said Salome Viljoen, a lawyer and fellow with the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. Imagine new parents signing up for a loyalty card at their local pharmacy and then filling all of their child’s prescriptions there. The information collected every time they scan that loyalty card adds up to something like a medical history, which could later be sold to data brokers or combined with data bought from brokers to paint a fuller picture of a person who never consented to any of this.So does that mean that, in addition to locking down our own privacy choices, we need to police the choices of our friends and family? No, said Cohen, Gillmor and Viljoen. In fact, the privacy of the commons means that, in some cases, your data is collected in ways you cannot reasonably prevent, no matter how carefully you or anyone you know behaves.Take, for instance, Equifax, the credit-rating company that lost control of the data of 143 million people last year. Those people weren’t necessarily members of Equifax. Instead, the company collected data from other companies the people chose to do business with, and much of that business was stuff people can’t get by without, like renting or owning a home. Or, alternately, consider Facebook, again. That company has admitted it tracks the online behavior of people who never intentionally engage with it at all, thanks to partnerships with other websites. (Like many sites, FiveThirtyEight has this kind of partnership with Facebook. Our pages talk to the social network in several ways, including through ads and comments, and because of the embedded “Like” button.) If hounding every person you’ve ever cared about into adopting encryption tools like PGP sounded like fun, you’ll love living in a van down by the river with no internet access.1And I hope you’re prepared to buy the van with cash, because if you need credit, the credit check the dealer runs could hand your information to Equifax again.Instead, experts say these examples show that we need to think about online privacy less as a personal issue and more as a systemic one. Our digital commons is set up to encourage companies and governments to violate your privacy. If you live in a swamp and an alligator attacks you, do you blame yourself for being a slow swimmer? Or do you blame the swamp for forcing you to hang out with alligators?There isn’t yet a clear answer for what the U.S. should do. Almost all of our privacy law and policy is framed around the idea of privacy as a personal choice, Cohen said. The result: very little regulation addressing what data can be collected, how it should be protected, or what can be done with it. In some ways, Gillmor said, online privacy is where the environmental movement was back in the 1950s, when lots of big, centralized choices were hurting individuals’ health, and individuals had little power to change that. “I don’t even know if we have had our ‘Silent Spring’ yet,” he said. “Maybe Cambridge Analytica will be our ‘Silent Spring.’”
Former Ohio State Heisman trophy-winning quarterback Troy Smith will get the third start of his career — and his first since the 2007 season — when his San Francisco 49ers take on the Denver Broncos on Sunday in London. Cut by the Baltimore Ravens after the last day of training camp on Aug. 20, Smith was claimed off the waivers by San Francisco. He spent the team’s first seven games as the third-string quarterback. “The way that you prepare as a professional athlete, you have to be prepared when your number is called,” Smith told local media in San Francisco after practice Wednesday. “And that’s exactly where I’m at.” Smith faces the difficult task of turning around San Francisco’s 1-6 start. Starting quarterback Alex Smith separated his non-throwing shoulder when he was sacked in the third quarter of last Sunday’s 23-20 loss at Carolina. Backup David Carr took his place and threw a costly interception. “I think Troy Smith gives us a good opportunity to win this game,” coach Mike Singletary told media in a press conference Wednesday. “He’s been studying since we got here and he’s been getting with the coaches as much as he possibly could. He has enough of the offense to play.” Joining the 49ers this offseason, Smith reunited with former OSU and high school teammate Ted Ginn, who was acquired by the 49ers in an offseason trade with the Miami Dolphins. Ginn was one of Smith’s favorite targets in his 2006 Heisman campaign and was on the receiving end of nine of Smith’s 30 touchdown passes. “We just did so much together for so many years and had great success,” Ginn said. “He’s always been big brother and I’ve been little brother. It’s not really going to ever change, no matter how old we get.” Smith said he is prepared to play and knows that things can’t get worse for the struggling 49ers. “I think the easiest way to get through to your teammates is to show that you know exactly what your job is, what everyone expects of you and to go out there and execute,” Smith said. “We have a tremendous group of guys around us and we can do nothing but get better.” Smith has made two starts in his four-year NFL career. He took over for an injured Kyle Boller and went 1-1 in the last two games of the 2007 season. In those contests, he completed 32 of 60 passes, throwing for two touchdowns and no interceptions. Singletary hopes Smith can bring some stability to a 49ers team that has been viewed as a disappointment in the shaky NFC West. “The No. 1 thing I like about him … is leadership,” Singletary said. “That is his ability to get everybody on the same page.” Although Ginn is excited to join his Buckeye counterpart in the huddle, he said that it will take time for Smith to shake off the rust. “It’ll take some time,” Ginn told Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area. “We can’t expect him to go in and be a Tom Brady. We just want him to go in and be Troy Smith, enjoy his time and make a difference.”
Junior guard Ameryst Alston (14) attempts a layup during a game against Pittsburgh on Dec. 3 at the Schottenstein Center. OSU lost, 78-74.Credit: James Grega, Jr. / Asst. sports editorDespite boasting two of the top scorers in the nation, the Ohio State women’s basketball has as many losses as wins heading into a matchup with the Winthrop Eagles.The Buckeyes are 4-4 for the season after losing 78-74 at home against Pittsburgh. Coach Kevin McGuff said the team still has work to do on defense as it moves forward in the season.“We’re just not good enough defensively,” McGuff said. “We have to get better on the floor for us to make progress.”Junior guard Cait Craft shared the same sentiment as McGuff and said a lack of solid defense throughout games has been a weakness for OSU.“We don’t play defense like we want to win,” Craft said. “We’ve proved we can score the basketball, but if you can’t defend, it doesn’t matter who you play, you’re always going to be vulnerable.”Craft added that she and junior guard Ameryst Alston have tried to take on roles of leadership this season. One thing the pair has tried to instill within the young team is a sense of confidence on the court.“It’s more frustrating than anything because we know we’re capable,” Craft said. “We could beat anybody we’ve played so far and we just have been losing to teams just basically off pride.”Freshman guard Kelsey Mitchell continues to be on top of the Buckeyes on offense, as she leads the team in scoring, averaging 26.3 points per game, and leads OSU in field goal attempts per contest at 22.1. McGuff said he realizes how much work Mitchell does, but added that she feels comfortable in that role.“I’m asking a lot of Kelsey but Kelsey wants a lot to be asked of her,” McGuff said. “There’s a lot being asked of her and we need her and she knows that.”Mitchell ranks fourth in the nation in scoring while Alston comes in at 13th, averaging 23 points per game. Pittsburgh coach Suzie McConnell-Serio said after the OSU game that the combination of Alston and Mitchell can create problems for opposing defenses.“Watching Kelsey Mitchell get to the rim with the ease in every game she has played was amazing,” McConnell-Serio said. “Alston is one of the craftiest guards I’ve ever seen — the two of them are so dangerous with the ball in their hands.”Freshman forward Alexa Hart is expected to have an impact defensively for the Buckeyes as well. Hart leads OSU in rebounding and blocked shots, averaging 8.5 and four respectively per contest. McGuff said there are plans to use Hart more as she continues to improve.“I think she continues to get better,” McGuff said. “We’re going to ask a lot more of her because we need more out of her. I think the more we ask of her then the quicker she’s going to get where we need her.”The Buckeyes could enter the game against the Eagles without redshirt-sophomore forward Kalpana Beach. McGuff said Beach is still being monitored following a leg injury suffered in last week’s Paradise Jam tournament, but added that there is chance she could see playing time.“I think it’s a possibility for Sunday,” McGuff said. “If not that one then good chance the one after that, but she would be day-to-day at this point.”Beach missed the past two seasons with ACL injuries.OSU is scheduled to play Winthrop (S.C.) on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center.
OSU sophomore forward Mason Jobst (26) tries to get past Michigan State redshirt freshman defender Jerad Rosburg (57) in a game on March 3 at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus, Ohio. Credit: Kevin Stankiewicz | Lantern photographerFive members of the 13th-ranked Ohio State men’s hockey team received Big Ten honors on Monday.Sophomore forward Mason Jobst was named to the All-Big Ten first team and recognized as the conference’s scoring co-champion with Minnesota sophomore forward Tyler Sheehy, racking up 34 points in conference play. Sheehy won Big Ten Player of the Year.Jobst had 13 goals and 21 assists in league play, and collected 51 points on 18 goals and 33 assists in the regular season.A trio of seniors were named to the All-Big Ten second team — goaltender Christian Frey, defenseman Josh Healey and forward captain Nick Schilkey.Sophomore forward Dakota Joshua was an honorable mention selection, scoring a career-high 11 goals and 22 assists, including nine goals and 11 assists coming in Big Ten play.On Saturday at Wisconsin, Jobst scored a goal and had an assist to surpass the 50-point barrier for the first time since R.J. Umberger had 53 points in 2003.Jobst ranks ninth in the NCAA in points per game (1.42), but leads the nation in the category since the start of the second half of the year (1.67).Following first-team honors in 2016, Healey earned his way onto the second-team all-conference with 24 points on four goals and 20 assists. His plus-18 rating is third among blue-liners in the conference and ranks eighth nationally at his position.Schilkey was the do-it-all player for the Buckeyes in the regular season. The senior from Marysville, Michigan, led the Big Ten with 26 goals and ranks second in the NCAA with .81 goals per game. The 26 goals are the highest single-season total for one player in the program since 1997. He had 39 points in the regular season, 18 of which came against Big Ten opponents.Frey ended the season with a .916 save percentage in conference games and a .910 save percentage in the regular season. Frey was injured for part of the season, and shared playing time with fellow senior goaltender Matt Tomkins. Frey was 9-7-3 with one shutout this season.Senior goaltender Logan Davis received one of six Big Ten sportsmanship awards.OSU plays in the Big Ten quarterfinals against Michigan State in Detroit at Joe Louis Arena on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Brighton & Hove Albion striker Florin Andone was buzzing after scoring his third goal for the club in their 3-1 win at Bournemouth on Saturday.Andone scored Brighton’s third goal in their 3-1 victory at the Vitality Stadium on Saturday as the Seagulls advanced to the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup.“It’s my style and I live for those moments, I’m very happy because it will give me confidence as a striker to score,” he told the club’s website.“I feel a real connection with the fans, I think they love me, that’s the feeling I get, and I want to thank them for all their support and encouragement to the team.“The win is good for us and it was important for a lot of the squad to get good game time this afternoon.Pep Guardiola: “Aymeric Laporte’s injury doesn’t look good” Andrew Smyth – August 31, 2019 Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits Aymeric Laporte’s injury “does not look good” and fears the defender will be out for a long time.“We played very well and deserved the victory, the feeling when I scored was crazy – sometimes you lose yourself in the moment after getting a goal and that’s what happened.“We’re in good form in the league and won today, this is the way to continue.“For me personally, I work hard every day in training in a very competitive squad – both I and Glenn [Murray] push one another and get on really well.“Our relationship is great – he’s a really good guy, this is the way we must continue – the group is very close and strong. It doesn’t matter who is playing and who isn’t, because the team is very competitive.”
KUSI Newsroom, April 11, 2018 Posted: April 11, 2018 Man wanted in connection with random stabbing attack in Hillcrest KUSI Newsroom SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Authorities reached out to the public Wednesday for help in identifying a man believed responsible for an apparently random stabbing attack that left a pedestrian severely wounded in Hillcrest last weekend.The suspect, a thin Latino who appeared to be in his mid-20s to mid-30s, was seen walking around in the area of Essex and Richmond streets in San Diego for about a half-hour early Sunday evening, seemingly looking for someone to fight, according to police.He eventually threw a rock at a 51-year-old pedestrian and walked off, but returned short time later and attacked the same victim with a knife, stabbing him in the head and neck, police said. The assailant then fled to the west.Medics took the victim to a trauma center for treatment of severe wounds. The man, who remained hospitalized this morning, is expected to survive.A surveillance camera near the scene of the attack captured images of the suspected attacker.Anyone with information about the case is asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter
WALTHAM, MA — Andrew Baker, of Wilmington, graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University on Sunday, May 13.Baker graduated with majors in Russian and International Studies. He was honored with the Dean’s Scholarship, The Global Citizen Award and he recently received a Fulbright ETA Award for Latvia. Andrew was a varsity swimmer at Brandeis.Baker will be pursuing a Juris Doctorate (JD) at Suffolk University School of Law in Boston this fall.Andrew is the son of Jeffrey and Paula Baker and a 2014 graduate of Austin Preparatory School.About Brandeis UniversityNamed for the late Justice Louis Dembitz Brandeis of the U.S. Supreme Court, Brandeis was founded in 1948 by members of the American Jewish community who came together to create a place for research and learning that would open its doors, without discrimination, to all who valued educational excellence. Brandeis is one of the country’s youngest private research universities and is known for its academic excellence and for combining the faculty and resources of a world-class research institution with the intimacy and personal attention of a small liberal arts college. For students, that means unsurpassed access — both in and out of the classroom — to a faculty at a nationally ranked, top-tier university renowned for groundbreaking research, scholarship, and artistic output. Brandeis supports an innovative and exciting program of learning that emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge and the solution of real-life problems. Undergraduates, from their very first year, enjoy leadership positions and research opportunities typically available only to students in their third and fourth years, and graduate students. Graduates depart to pursue careers in a wide array of fields, and advanced studies in the nation’s leading graduate and professional schools.(NOTE: The above announcement is from Brandeis University.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email email@example.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWilmington’s Baker Excels For Brandeis Swim Team Despite Muscular DystrophyIn “Education”Wilmington Native Kenn Fryer Named Assistant Coach Of RPI’s Men Soccer TeamIn “Sports”STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: 6 Wilmington Students Graduated From University Of Rhode IslandIn “Education”
CNET On this podcast, we talk about: Augmented and virtual reality at Sundance using body movements to make experiences feel more natural.Net neutrality’s day in court.Super Bowl ads with tech and geek appeal. The 3:59 gives you bite-size news and analysis about the top stories of the day, brought to you by the CNET News team in New York and producer Bryan VanGelder. Check out the extended shows on YouTube. Also, don’t forget to rate and review the podcast on iTunes. Sundance shows off a new trend of AR, VR (The 3:59, Ep. 514) Apple iPhone XS $999 Turo: Save $30 on any car rental Rylo See at Turo Review • iPhone XS review, updated: A few luxury upgrades over the XR $210 at Best Buy DJI’s answer to GoPro’s action cameras is rugged little model that’s shockproof, dustproof and waterproof down to 11 meters. It normally runs $350, but this deal drops it to $261 when you apply promo code 19LABOR10 at checkout. Tags Best Buy Mentioned Above Apple iPhone XS (64GB, space gray) $520 at HP What’s cooler: A snapshot of a firework exploding in front of you, or full 360-degree video of all the fireworks and all the reactions to seeing them? Oooh, ahhh, indeed. At $250, the compact Rylo dual-lens camera is selling for its lowest price yet. And for an extra $50, you can get the bundle that includes the waterproof housing.This deal runs through Sept. 3; it usually costs $500. Your browser does not support the audio element. Other Labor Day sales you should check out Best Buy: In addition to some pretty solid MacBook deals that have been running for about a week already, Best Buy is offering up to 40% off major appliances like washers, dryers and stoves. There are also gift cards available with the purchase of select appliances. See it at Best BuyDell: Through Aug. 28, Dell is offering an extra 12% off various laptops, desktops and electronics. And check back starting Aug. 29 for a big batch of Labor Day doorbusters. See it at DellGlassesUSA: Aug. 29 – Sept. 3 only, you can save 65% on all frames with promo code labor65. See it at GlassesUSALenovo: The tech company is offering a large assortment of deals and doorbusters through Labor Day, with the promise of up to 56% off certain items — including, at this writing, the IdeaPad 730S laptop for $700 (save $300).See it at LenovoLensabl: Want to keep the frames you already love and paid for? Lensabl lets you mail them in for new lenses, based on your prescription. From now through Sept. 2 only, you can save 20% on the blue light-blocking lens option with promo code BLOCKBLUE. See it at LensablSears: Between now and Sept. 7, you can save up to 40% on appliances (plus an additional 10% if you shop online), up to 60% on mattresses, up to 50% on Craftsman products and more. The store is also offering some fairly hefty cashback bonuses. See it at SearsNote: This post was published previously and is continuously updated with new information.CNET’s Cheapskate scours the web for great deals on tech products and much more. For the latest deals and updates, follow the Cheapskate on Facebook and Twitter. Questions about the Cheapskate blog? Find the answers on our FAQ page, and find more great buys on the CNET Deals page. The problem with most entry-level laptops: They come with mechanical hard drives. That makes for a mighty slow Windows experience. This Lenovo model features a 128GB solid-state drive, so it should be pretty quick to boot and load software, even with its basic processor. Plus, it has a DVD-burner! That’s not something you see in many modern laptops, especially at this price. Amazon Tidal 3-month family subscription: $5.99 (save $54) Though not technically a Labor Day sale, it’s happening during Labor Day sale season — and it’s too good not to share. Nationwide Distributors, via Google Express, has just about the best AirPods deal we’ve seen (when you apply promo code ZBEDWZ at checkout). This is for the second-gen AirPods with the wireless charging case. Can’t imagine these will last long at this price, so if you’re interested, act fast. Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Net neutrality Virtual Reality Augmented reality (AR),I’m shocked — shocked! — to learn that stores are turning Labor Day into an excuse to sell stuff. Wait — no, I’m not. As much as I respect the original intent of the holiday (which became official back in 1894), to most of us, it’s just a bonus day off — one that’s blissfully tacked onto a weekend. So, yeah, stores; go ahead, run your sales. I’m listening. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Labor Day doesn’t bring out bargains to compete with the likes of Black Friday (which will be here before you know it), but there are definitely some sales worth your time.For example:We’ve rounded up the best Labor Day mattress deals.We’ve also gathered the best Labor Day laptop deals at Best Buy.The 2019 Vizio P Series Quantum is back under $999.Be sure to check out Amazon’s roughly three dozen Labor Day deals on TVs and audio. Google Express is having a big sale as well, one that includes deals on game consoles, AirPods, iPhones, laptops and more.Below I’ve rounded up a handful of individual items I consider to be the cream of the crop, followed by a handy reference guide to other Labor Day sales. Keep in mind, of course, that products may sell out at any time, even if the sale itself is still running. Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. $299 at Amazon $261 at Daily Steals via Google Express $999 Turo is kind of like Uber meets Airbnb: You borrow someone’s car, but you do all the driving. I’ve used it many times and found it a great alternative to traditional car-rental services — in part because you get to choose exactly the vehicle you want (not just, say, “midsize”) and in part because you can often do pickup and dropoff right outside baggage claim.Between now and Sept. 1, the first 300 people to check out can get $30 off any Turo rental with promo code LDW30. Share your voice I thought this might be a mistake, but, no, the weirdly named HP Laptop 15t Value is indeed quite the value at this price. Specs include an Intel Core i7 processor, 12GB of RAM, a 256GB solid-state drive and a 15.6-inch display. However, I strongly recommend paying an extra $50 to upgrade that display to FHD (1,920×1,080), because you’re not likely to be happy with the native 1,366×768 resolution. Sarah Tew/CNET The Cheapskate Tags See It Sprint Turo Read Google Home Hub review Lenovo 130-15AST 15.6-inch laptop: $210 (save $90) Post a comment Read the Rylo camera preview Sarah Tew/CNET Sarah Tew/CNET The Daily Charge Lenovo Smart Clock: $59.99 (save $20) Formerly known as the Google Home Hub, Google’s Nest Hub packs a wealth of Google Assistant goodness into a 7-inch screen. At $59, this is within a buck of the best price we’ve seen. It lists for $129 and sells elsewhere in the $89-to-$99 range.This is one item of many available as part of eBay’s Labor Day Sale (which, at this writing, doesn’t specifically mention Labor Day, but that’s how it was pitched to us). Free Echo Dot with an Insignia or Toshiba TV (save $50) Angela Lang/CNET Use promo code 19LABOR10 to get an unusually good deal on JBL’s interesting hybrid product — not quite headphones, and not quite a traditional speaker, but something you wear like neckphones to listen to music on the go. HP Laptop 15t Value: $520 (save $780) Rylo 5.8K 360 Video Camera: $250 (save $250) See at Amazon Sarah Tew/CNET $999 See It Google Nest Hub: $59 (save $70) CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Subscribe: iTunes | RSS | Google Play | FeedBurner | SoundCloud |TuneIn | Stitcher DJI Osmo Action camera: $261 (save $89) $155 at Google Express $6 at Tidal Recently updated to include digital-photo-frame capabilities, the Lenovo Smart Clock brings Google Assistant goodness to your nightstand. It’s a little smaller than the Amazon Echo Show 5, but also a full $30 less (and tied with Prime Day pricing) during this Best Buy Labor Day sale. $999 7 0 Boost Mobile Read DJI Osmo Action preview Read the AirPods review JBL Soundgear wearable speaker: $90 (save $160) $59 at eBay An Echo Dot makes a fine match for any Fire edition TV, because you can use the latter to say things like, “Alexa, turn on the TV.” Right now, the 24-inch Insignia Fire TV Edition starts at just $100, while the 32-inch Toshiba Fire TV Editions is on sale for $130. Just add any Fire TV Edition to your cart, then add a third-gen Echo Dot, and presto: The latter is free. Apple AirPods with Wireless Charging Case: $155 (save $45) Read Lenovo Smart Clock review Preview • iPhone XS is the new $1,000 iPhone X Spotify and most other streaming services rely on compressed audio, which robs the listener of full fidelity. Enter Tidal, the only “major” service that delivers lossless audio — meaning at least on par with CD quality, if not better. Want to see (er, hear) the difference for yourself? Grab this excellent extended trial while you can. It’s just $6 for three months, and it’s good for up to six listeners. See It Wearable Tech Sports Share your voice $90 at Daily Steals via Google Express Comments See it $60 at Best Buy Chris Monroe/CNET TVs Speakers Mobile Accessories Cameras Laptops Automobiles Smart Speakers & Displays
Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2 reviewGame of Thrones (@gameofthrones/Instagram)Game of Thrones season 8 episode 4 “The Last of Starks” featured the aftermath of the battle at Winterfell. However, there was one cryptic scene featuring Bran Stark and Tyrion Lannister that has made many to think that Jon Snow’s cousin brother, who now goes by the Three-Eyed-Raven, will not survive the final battle.Major Spoilers:In Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2 “A Knight of Seven Kingdoms,” we saw Tyrion Lannister and Bran Stark conversing for the first time ever. Many of us speculated that Bran has revealed Jon Snow’s true identity to Tyrion but as the recently released episode revealed to us that Tyrion learned about Jon from Sansa Stark.In the recently released episode of Game of Thrones season 8, we saw how everyone was celebrating the end of Night King and the White Walkers. During their celebration moment, we saw a drunk Tyrion Lannister approaching Bran Stark or the Three-Eyed-Raven. Their conversation was brief but like always, Bran spoke in puzzles and now everyone is worried about his future in the show.In the episode, we saw Bran Stark sitting on his wheelchair and Tyrion approaching him. Daenerys’ Hand tells Bran that the machinery of his wheelchair is clever and is much more useful than the saddle he had designed for him all those years ago. For this, Bran simply states that this is the same one Daeron Targaryen designed for his crippled nephew 120 years ago. Impressed Tyrion replies to him that Bran knows the history of entire Westeros better than anyone and it would come as handy since he is going to be the Lord of Winterfell. Game of Thrones season 8 episode 1 Bran stark meeting Jaime LannisterGame of Thrones (@gameofthrones/Instagram)But as we all know, Bran Stark has no desire to become any Lord anymore and this is what he tells Tyrion. When Tyrion tells him that he feels envious of him for not wanting to be a lord anymore, Bran first looks over his shoulder to see that someone is coming to take him away from the fireplace. Before leaving Tyrion, Bran says to him that he shouldn’t feel envy of him because “Mostly, I live in the past.”Over the years, Bran Stark has learned about himself and the Night King by going in the past only and him saying Tyrion that he lives in the past makes perfect sense. But at the same time, it opens up the possibility that he was referring to himself but not from his current perspective.Fans are now speculating that in the upcoming episode of Game of Thrones, Bran Stark will try to help Jon Snow in his battle against Cersei Lannister by warging himself into Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon and he might be killed during this course. Since Bran knows what is going to happen with him in the future, he simply stated the obvious to Tyrion by telling him that he lives in the past only.Bran Stark is an important character and it would be interesting to see if we see the last of any Stark in the upcoming battle of HBO’s Game of Thrones.
England, Wales and Northern Ireland have all managed to qualify for the knockout stages of Euro 2016, with optimism high that they can progress further. Wales and Northern Ireland face each other in Paris on 25 June, guaranteeing one of them a place in the quarter finals. England on the other hand will fancy their chances against an Iceland team ranked 34th in the world when they meet two days later.Who could benefit from continued home nations success?Looking at the business world, there are a number of areas where companies could profit from a good run by the three home nation teams. I would concentrate on companies in the following areas:Sports retail: i.e. companies selling replica shirts, balls and footwear.Branded sportswear makers: those making the official replica kits and football paraphernalia.Pub chains: judging from the crowds in the pubs every time a home nations game is on the television, pubs should clearly benefit.Bookmakers: football betting has clearly been a huge winner from the Euros.Media: Bigger TV audiences for Euro 2016 games mean bumper advertising revenues for the TV companies showing the games.Takeaway food: Pizzas for sharing and other takeaway food are much in demand for football nights in with friends.1) Sports retailers: JD Sports, Sports DirectThe most obvious beneficiaries are the sports retailers JD Sports (UK code: JD.) and Sports Direct (UK code: SPD).In fact, JD Sports even stated just last week that they had been recently benefiting from a further boost to sales from the Uefa Euro 2016 Tournament, which has boosted their profitability.Sports Direct has been in the news this month as founder Mike Ashley appeared in front of a House of Commons committee to discuss the groups controversial employment practices. But this has probably taken the limelight away from what should be a strong trading performance for the retailer this summer.And let us not forget, later on this summer we also have another huge sporting event, the Rio Olympic Games, which could trigger further enthusiasm for sports in general, including disciplines where Team GB have been traditionally strong like track and road cycling (think Halfords, UK code HFD).2) Sportswear makers: AdidasWho makes the kit for the Wales football team? The sports brand Adidas which is listed on the Xetra Stock Exchange in Germany (German code: ADS), who also make the official Euro tournament football.Just like JD Sports, Adidas has performed strongly in share price terms since the beginning of 2015, up nearly 100% over the last year and a half (Chart 1).3) Pub chains: JD Wetherspoon, Greene KingPubs around the country have been full to brimming every time a home nation game has been shown â€“ that has got to be good news for pub chains such as JD Wetherspoon (UK code: JDW) and Greene King (UK code: GNK).As an example of the boost to pub drink sales, Welsh pubs recorded an impressive 41% rise in takings between 5pm and midnight on the night of the Wales-England football game, compared to an average Thursday in June. In England, the equivalent increase was 32%, so good, but not as good as in Wales.4) Bookmakers: William Hill, Paddy Power Betfair, LadbrokesBookmakers should be making hay from the Euro 2016 championships, judging by the avalanche on in-play online betting advertisements that are shown at each half-time.The three main listed UK bookmakers are: Paddy Power Betfair (UK code: PPB), William Hill (UK code: WMH) and Ladbrokes (UK code: LAD).Online betting rivals Bwin has previously stated it expected the Euro 2016 tournament to drive its growth this year.5) Media (Advertising): ITVWell, the TV broadcasting rights for the Euros are being shared by the BBC and ITV. So, the longer the Home Nations remain in the tournament, the better for ITVs (UK code: ITV) advertising revenues.Back in March at the time of their last results announcement, the TV broadcaster predicted it would outperform the UK TV advertising market this year, boosted in particular by strong advertising revenues around Euro 2016.Note that ITV is being forecast strong growth in pre-tax profits over the next three years, as a function of advertising growth as well as growth in sales of its TV productions.6) Takeaway Food: Dominos Pizza, Just EatOn those football nights when you want to share some quick and easy food with your mates while gathered around the box, takeaway food specialists Dominos Pizza UK (UK code: DOM) and Just Eat (code: JE.) should profit from a boom in online and telephone orders.Dominos Pizza UK, which runs all the franchises in the UK, has enjoyed a phenomenal run of growth over the last few years, posting 16% growth in sales in 2015 (Chart 3).Of all of these companies, I find both Sports Direct and ITV of particular interest, as I expect them to continue to generate decent growth while currently trading at attractive valuation levels.
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A sheriff in Maryland has agreed to resign after an investigation found he created a hostile work environment by belittling staffers and making racist and sexist comments, a county official and attorneys announced Tuesday.Howard County Sheriff James Fitzgerald’s last day in office will be Saturday, said Calvin Ball, the chairman of the county council. The sheriff then must retire after 30 days. The agreement also calls for him to reinstate former Lt. Charles Gable, who filed a retaliation complaint a year ago against the sheriff and resigned in February.Howard County Sheriff James Fitzgerald. (Courtesy photo)“He was universally described as vindictive, arrogant, narcissistic, rude, belligerent, nasty and intimidating,” the 48-page report by the county’s Office of Human Rights said of the sheriff.The sheriff denied engaging in discriminatory misconduct, describing himself to investigators as just “a loud New Yorker,” the report said.The report found reasonable cause that Fitzgerald discriminated against Gable, who is white, by retaliating against him through scheduling because Gable didn’t support his political campaign for sheriff. The agreement also calls for Gable to receive $58,350 in back pay.Joseph Mallon, an attorney for Gable, said the sheriff has signed an agreement to resign under the stipulations.While the investigation centered on Gable’s complaint, it found the sheriff engaged in a pattern of belittling people by using racist language with black employees and anti-Semitic language as well, once referring to former County Executive Ken Ulman as “little Kenny Jew-boy.”The investigation noted a variety of offensive comments: “There’s no watermelon there for you!” the sheriff reportedly told an African-American at a buffet. On another occasion, while eating with a group, he turned to a black deputy and said: “Are you getting the ‘chicken’ special?” The report found he also said black deputies “are not too smart but they get the job done,” and to the president of the Retired Police Officer’s Association, he said: “I voted for your ‘boy’ Obama,” referring to President Barack Obama.Ball said he approached Fitzgerald seeking his voluntary departure.“Soon after I read the report and was so concerned about what I had read, I reached out to the sheriff to start talking with him about the importance of starting to heal our community and that he needed to leave that office in order for that to happen,” Ball, who is black, said in an interview after announcing the agreement.Elected officials from both parties condemned the sheriff’s comments after the report was made public last month. Republican Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman had asked members of the county’s delegation to the Democrat-controlled General Assembly to explore impeaching the sheriff, and lawmakers planned to bring impeachment proceedings against Fitzgerald, who is a Democrat, if he did not resign.Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, said he too was “very disturbed.”“I do believe he should resign, and I share the opinions of many other people that think he should resign,” Hogan said earlier Tuesday, before the agreement was announced.Howard County, located between the nation’s capital and the city of Baltimore, is one of the nation’s wealthiest counties, with more than 310,000 residents and one of the nation’s most educated workforces.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville men’s soccer team announced its 2019 spring schedule, highlighted by the 502 Derby against Louisville City FC on March 2 at 5 p.m., ET at Dr. Mark and Cindy Lynn Stadium.The spring friendly against the two-time and reigning United Soccer League champions from LouCity will be the first of three home exhibition matches for the Cardinals under the direction of first-year head coach John Michael Hayden. UofL will also host Lipscomb on March 30 at 6 p.m., and before concluding the spring at home against Indiana on April 19 at 7:30 p.m. Louisville will also play a spring exhibition match on the road at Lindsey Wilson on April 5 at 7 p.m.”We’re very excited about the upcoming spring competitions,” Hayden said. “Each opponent will present different challenges that will allow our team to grow from both individual and collective perspectives.”Tickets for the 502 Derby at Lynn Stadium are $10 for reserved chairback seats and $5 for general admission/berm seating and will be on sale to the public starting Monday, Feb. 11 at 9 a.m., ET. Tickets can be purchased online at GoCards.com, by calling 502-GO-CARDS or by visiting the Louisville Cardinals Ticket Office, located near Gate 2 at Cardinal Stadium (2800 South Floyd Street) on weekdays from 9 a.m., until 5 p.m., ET.The Cardinals ended their 2018 season with an 11-5-3 record overall and ranked 16th in the final United Soccer Coaches poll after advancing to the NCAA Championship for the third straight season and the 11th time in the last 12 years. The 2018 season included the program’s first ACC Championship title after Louisville earned victories over Notre Dame, Wake Forest and North Carolina in a span of eight days. As the focus turns to the 2019 season, Hayden and his coaching staff will use this demanding spring slate to prepare the Cardinals for what they will encounter in the fall during the regular season.”The spring allows us to evaluate ourselves while also honing in on the playing model we hope to see in the fall,” said Hayden. “The quality of our competition this spring will help prepare us as we plan for a demanding fall schedule.”Louisville City FC comes to Lynn Stadium to complete the team’s first preseason under head coach John Hackworth. LouCity is coming off its second consecutive USL Cup Championship, becoming the first team in USL history to win back-to-back titles. City returns 17 of their 22 championship players this season, including Louisville men’s soccer alumnus Paolo DelPiccolo.Lipscomb advanced to the third round of the 2018 NCAA Championship before ending its season with a 2-1 loss at Kentucky. The Bisons were 10-10-1 overall and 5-1-0 in the Atlantic Sun before earning an automatic berth into the NCAA Championship with a 2-0 win over Stetson in the ASUN title match.Indiana registered a 20-3-1 record overall after falling 2-0 to Maryland in the semifinal round of the 2018 NCAA College Cup in Santa Barbara. The Hoosiers were 8-0-0 in the Big Ten before earning the league’s automatic bid into the NCAA Championship with a 3-0 win over Michigan in the title match of the Big Ten Tournament.Along with the three spring matches at Lynn Stadium, the Cardinals will also host SIU Edwardsville for a closed match (not open to the public) on Feb. 23. Fans can follow Louisville men’s soccer on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram at @UofLmenssoccer.2019 LOUISVILLE MEN’S SOCCER SPRING SCHEDULESaturday, Feb. 23 | vs. SIU Edwardsville | 5 p.m. | Closed to PublicSaturday, March 2 | 502 Derby vs. Louisville City FC | 5 p.m. | Lynn StadiumSaturday, March 30 | vs. Lipscomb | 6 p.m. | Lynn StadiumFriday, April 5 | at Lindsey Wilson | 7 p.m.Friday, April 19 | vs. Indiana | 7:30 p.m. | Lynn Stadium Story Links Print Friendly Version
Netflix is getting ready to try a new thing to help younger viewers discover new shows: The video service will start testing character-driven video previews of some of its shows later this year, executives revealed during a press event in Los Angeles Tuesday.The test, which will be rolled out on some members’ TV devices first, will present young viewers with a dedicated row of video previews for shows matched to their taste. But instead of simply playing trailers, or the short snippets Netflix has been using as teasers on TV devices for some time, Netflix decided to do special cuts of promotional videos that are narrated by a show’s main character.Viewers may for instance get to hear from “Hilda,” the star of the show of the same name, talk about her love for the wilderness. Scrolling further, they may have Rayla talking about the “Dragon Prince” adventures, or get to know the robot at the center of its animated feature “Next Gen.” Executives also used the event to talk about Netflix’s approach towards cancelling shows, and the reasons Netflix won’t be part of Apple’s TV service. “They’re shorter, they’re in the character’s voice and they’re focused on the character,” explained Netflix TV product innovation director Cameron Johnson. “They’re not telling you the full arc of the story, they’re just saying: This is who this character is.”Netflix will test the new previews in the wild with a subsection of its audience, and then evaluate the results to determine whether the previews will be made available more widely.The streaming giant has long paid special attention to younger viewers, rolling out a dedicated user interface for children all the way back in 2011. Netflix has also ramped up its spending on kids content, both licensing shows and producing a number of originals for children. That strategy seems to be working for the company: 60 percent of Netflix’s audience watches some kids and family programming every month, according to Netflix kids and family vice president Melissa Cobb. Netflix kids and family vice president Melissa Cobb and Netflix TV product innovation director Cameron Johnson at the company’s Lab Days press event.Last month, over 50 million profiles streamed something from Netflix’s dedicated kids experience, added Johnson. And as the streaming service moves from a primary focus of licensed content around well-known I.P. to original productions with new characters, discovery needs to change as well, argued Cobb.“We have more original content now, and we are finding that it becomes a destination for those new original shows,” she said. “That is really changing the dynamic of the kids profile.”Netflix’s efforts to introduce kids to new characters could also be a reprieve for parents whose offspring has been torturing them by watching the same episodes of the same show over and over again. At least that’s the hope of Johnson. ”I have kids as well and I see some of the same patterns,” he said. “So I have a strong incentive to say: how can this product help you find another favorite show, and another favorite show?”Johnson and Cobb shared insights into their work as part of Netflix’s Lab Days, a two-day press event held at the company’s Los Angeles offices. Netflix also used the event to announce two new interactive shows, “You vs. Wild” Starring Bear Grylls and the animated children’s show “Battle Kitty.” ×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 CREDIT: Janko Roettgers / Variety Popular on Variety
Stay on target Happy birthday, Sylvester McCoy!Born Percy James Patrick Kent-Smith—a far cry from the name he made famous—the Scottish actor is more than a Panama hat and question-mark umbrella.From a young age, McCoy was decidedly undecided about what to do with his life. Varied interests led him down the path of the righteous: From age 12 to 16, he trained to be a priest. Hoping to gain a more worldly perspective, McCoy later decided to enter the monkhood. Luckily for the burgeoning teenager—about to discover the delights of his female pupils—he was rejected on account of his young age.Upon finishing his education, McCoy took a trip down to London, from which he never returned: He snagged a job working for an insurance company, where he stayed until he was 24.Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor (via BBC America)Restless as ever, the tenacious 20-something began selling tickets and keeping the books at London’s Roundhouse Theatre, where he eventually joined the Ken Campbell Roadshow, a small group that performed in unconventional venues like local pubs.Starring alongside the likes of Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?), Jane Wood (Legend), and Dave Hill (The Full Monty), McCoy was discovered by Joan Littlewood, who invited the actor to join her acclaimed Theater Workshop.The rest, as they say, is history.The Seventh Doctor and Ace (Sophie Aldred) (via BBC America)McCoy was starring in the National Theater’s production of “The Pied Piper,” when he learned the BBC was on the hunt for a new lead actor to replace Colin Baker in Doctor Who.He first appeared as the Seventh Doctor in 1987—wearing a Baker-esque blond wig during the regeneration scene—and stuck around until the show ended two years later with Survival, the final episode of the classic series.What began as a clown-ish character, playing to McCoy’s comedic strengths, soon turned much darker than his previous incarnations; the Doctor’s mysterious, cunning manipulator often used people like chess pieces to combat foe Fenric.Ace (Sophie Aldred) and the Seventh Doctor (via BBC America)Under the layers of humor and Machiavellian genius, however, lay a warm, affectionate alien time traveler who built a strong bond with many of his companions.McCoy’s personal bond with Doctor Who lingered for years, as he reprised his role as the Seventh Doctor in 1993’s charity special Dimensions in Time, the 1996 Doctor Who television movie (starring Eighth Doctor Paul McGann), and 2013’s one-off 50th-anniversary comedy homage The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.Here’s to McCoy, who turns 74 today. (And, fingers crossed, will feature in the 75th anniversary Doctor Who special.)Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. HBO Max Scores Exclusive ‘Doctor Who’ Streaming RightsJo Tro Do Plo Plo No: ‘Doctor Who’ Welcomes Back Familiar Monster
Last year will go down as the year of the security breach.Reports of attacks and breaches made headlines across the world as many companies learned firsthand the damage a high-profile breach can inflict on a brand. Of the several lessons learned, the biggest may be that security needs to be top-of-mind for any online business — regardless of size.In fact, small companies stand to lose the most because they typically lack the dedicated security staff and expertise of a business ranked in the top half of the Fortune 500. While breaches at smaller companies may not make the headlines — if they’re detected at all — the sheer number of small e-commerce sites in operation is just too tempting for hackers to ignore.A recent study found that not only do the number of bots (automated applications that crawl and scan websites) on the Internet outnumber human visitors, but smaller websites actually receive a disproportionately higher percentage of automated bot visitors — up to 80 percent of all traffic on sites with fewer than 1,000 visitors a day. Malicious bots probe sites for vulnerabilities, effectively automating web hacking.The rise of automation has broadened the scope of attacks, making small businesses just as vulnerable as Home Depot or Target. Today, all online businesses are at risk. You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to protect your business and customers from malfeasance. The following are simple measures any business owner can take to thwart attacks and prevent breach.Related: Is Your Company’s Data Safe in the Cloud? (Infographic)1. Mind the gapsVulnerabilities are just that: exploitable weaknesses that allow attackers to penetrate systems. Fortunately, many of these vulnerabilities are well known and easy to patch. Specifically, there are two vulnerabilities all e-commerce business owners should be aware of: SQL and Cross Site Scripting (XXS).Many sites, based on how their e-commerce application was built, are vulnerable to SQL injection attacks. Criminals probe web applications with SQL queries to try to extract information from the e-commerce database.Cross Site Scripting attacks can occur when applications take untrusted data from users and send it to web browsers without properly validating or “treating” that data to ensure it isn’t malicious. XSS can be used to take over user accounts, change website content or redirect visitors to malicious websites without their knowledge.Because attacks on these vulnerabilities are directed at web application, a web application firewall (WAF) very effective in preventing them.2. Denial of serviceSome criminals are taking a brute force approach and flooding websites with traffic to take them offline — called a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. For e-commerce sites, a DDoS attack has a direct impact on revenue. A single DDoS can cost more than $400,000, with some sources reporting costs of up to $40,000 per hour. With attacks ranging from mere hours to several days, no business can afford the risk of a DDoS attack.Often times these attacks are accompanied by a ransom note demanding funds to stop the DDoS attack; other times the attack is merely a smokescreen, giving hackers time to probe the site for vulnerabilities.In either case, rather than fall prey to extortionists, e-commerce sites should enlist DDoS protection to detect and mitigate the attack before it impacts their bottom line. DDoS protection is often available from hosting providers, so small businesses can ask their website hoster for options.3. Two-factor authenticationStolen or compromised user credentials are a common cause of breaches. eBay reported that cyber attackers compromised a small number of employee log-in credentials, allowing unauthorized access to eBay’s corporate network. Criminals use social engineering, phishing, malware and other means to guess or capture usernames and passwords. In other cases, attackers target administrators, whom they discover on social networks, using spear phishing attacks to obtain sensitive data.Related: Why Your Password is Hackerbait (Infographic)Stopping this problem is as simple as implementing two-factor authentication. This second factor is usually a code generated via an app or received via text on a phone owned by the user. Two-factor authentication has been around for a while, but just as better smartphone cameras opened up a whole new market of photo editing and sharing applications, so too has the escalation in breaches increased the number of options for two-factor authentication.Today, there are a number of great two-factor authentication solutions that are both easier to use and very effective at keeping hackers out. Many are free, including Google Authenticator, and are packaged as handy apps on smartphones. With the increasing risk of breach, it’s more important than ever that any application dealing with customer data be protected by two-factor authentication.4. Scan your siteWeb scanners are an important tool for detecting the SQL injection vulnerabilities and XSS mentioned above, as well as a host of other vulnerabilities. Information from these scanners can be used to assess the security posture of an e-commerce website, providing insights for engineers on how to remediate vulnerabilities at the code level or tune a WAF to protect against the specific vulnerabilities.However, in order to be effective, businesses need to use them regularly. It’s important to subscribe to a service that scans on a periodic basis — not every three years.5. Keep your ‘friends’ closeAccording to research by the Ponemon institute, third party providers — hosters, payment processors, call centers, shredders — have a significant impact on breach likelihood and scope. You wouldn’t trust your money to a bank without rigorous, proven security measures in place. Nor should you trust a software vendor without security practices in place.When seeking new providers, make sure they’re compliant with security best practices like the Payment Card Industry’s Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) and cloud-security certification SSAE16. Don’t be intimidated to ask cloud software vendors how they’re managing security and what certifications they have. If they have none, you should think twice about working with them.Don’t overlook this. No matter how good the product, if the software introduces risk to your business, it’s not worth it.Today the risk of data breach is greater than ever, for large and small businesses alike. But security does not have to be complicated. By using the right tools, partnering with the right vendors and implementing safeguards, online businesses can reduce risk and keep out of the headlines.Related: Sometimes Hackers Just Want to Embarrass You April 10, 2015 Problem Solvers with Jason Feifer Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Hear from business owners and CEOs who went through a crippling business problem and came out the other side bigger and stronger. Listen Now 6 min read
Get the biggest Daily stories by emailSubscribeSee our privacy noticeThank you for subscribingSee our privacy noticeCould not subscribe, try again laterInvalid EmailUPDATE: The railway line has now reopened Railway users are facing disruption this afternoon after a person was hit by a train. Dozens of trains are delayed or cancelled after the incident between Milton Keynes Central and Watford Junction. Trains travelling between Stoke-on-Trent railway station and other towns in North Staffordshire and South Cheshire to and from London use the route. London Midland and Virgin Trains are both affected by the disruption – with the two railway companies between them running direct trains to and from London to Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Crewe, Kidsgrove, Stone and Alsager. A spokesman Virgin Trains said: “Due to a person being hit by a train between Milton Keynes Central and Watford Junction all lines are blocked. “Train services running through these stations may be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 minutes. “Any customers wishing to abandon their journey today, may use their tickets for travel tomorrow.” A spokesman for London Midland said: “Due to the emergency services dealing with an incident near the railway at Milton Keynes Central all lines are blocked. “Train services running through this station may be cancelled, delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 6pm.” Read MoreFirefighters set to remain at wood chip fire for second night A National Rail spokesman said: “The emergency services are dealing with an incident between Milton Keynes Central and Watford Junction, closing all lines. “As a result of this, trains running between these stations are disrupted. “Trains are currently unable to run between London Euston and Milton Keynes Central. “Trains may be cancelled, delayed by up to 90 minutes or revised.”
The rise of mobile platforms has been in part thanks to its popularity with indie developers, who prefer the short development cycles. The most prevalent medium on mobile is 2D and Unity has a host of features that support 2D game development, including Sprite Editing and Packing, as well as physics specifically designed for 2D games. In this tutorial, we will look at creating Unity game engine and assets for 2D games. This article is an excerpt from the book Unity 2017 Game Development Essentials written by Tommaso Lintrami. Setting up the scene and preparing game assets Create a new scene from the main menu by navigating to Assets | Create | Scene, and name it ParallaxGame. In this new scene, we will set up, step by step, all the elements for our 2D game prototype. First of all, we will switch the camera setting in the Scene view to 2D by clicking on the button as shown by the red arrow in the following screenshot: As you can see, now the Scene view camera is orthographic. You can’t rotate it as you wish, as you can do with the 3D camera. Of course, we will want to change this setting on our Main Camera as well. Also, we want to change the Orthographic size to 4.5 to have the correct view of the scene. Instead, for the Skybox, we will choose a very dark or black color as clear color in the depth setting. This is how the Inspector should look when these settings are done: While the Clipping Planes distances are important for setting the size of the frustum cone of a 3D, for the Perspective camera (inside which everything will be rendered by the engine), we should only set the Orthographic Size to 4.5, to have the correct distance of the 2D camera from the scene. When these settings are done, proceed by importing Chapter2-3-4.unitypackage into the project. You can either double-click on the package file with Unity open, or use the top menu: Assets | Import | Custom Package. If you haven’t imported all the materials from the book’s code already, be sure to include the Sprites subfolder. After the import, look in the Sprites/Parallax/DarkCave folder in the Project view and you will find some images imported as textures (as per default). The first thing we want to do now is to change the import settings of these images, in the Inspector, from Texture to Sprite (2D and UI). To do so, select all the images in the Project view in the Sprites/Parallax/DarkCave folder, all except the _reference_main_post file. Which is just a picture used as a reference of what the game level should look like: The Import Settings shown in the Inspector after selecting the seven images in the Project view The Max Size setting is hidden (–) because we have a multi-selection of image files. After having made the multiple selections, again, in the Inspector, we will do the following: Set the Texture Type option to Sprites (2D and UI). By default, images are imported as textures; to import them as Sprites, this type must be set. Uncheck the Generate Mip Maps option as we don’t need MIP maps for this project as we are not going to look at the Sprites from a distant point of view, for example, games with the zoom-in/zoom-out feature (like the original Grand Theft Auto 2D game) would need this setting checked. Set Max Size to the maximum allowed. To ensure that you import all the images at their maximum resolution, set this to 8192. This is the maximum resolution size for an image on a modern PC, imported as a Sprite or texture. We set it so high because most of the background images we have in the collection are around 6,000 pixels wide. Click on the Apply button to apply these changes to all the images that were selected: The Project view showing the content of the folder after the images have been set to Sprite in the Import Settings Placing the prefabs in the game Unity can place the prefabs in the game in many ways, the usual, visual method is to drag a stored prefab or another kind of file/object directly into the scene. Before dragging in the Sprites we imported, we will create an empty GameObject and rename it ParallaxCave. We will drag the layer images we just imported as Sprites, one by one, from the Project view (pointing at the Assets/Chapters2-3-4/Sprites/Background/DarkCave folder) into the Scene view, or more simply, directly in the Hierarchy view as the children of our ParallaxCave GameObject, resulting in a scene Hierarchy like the one illustrated here: You can’t drag all of them instantly because Unity will prompt you to save an animation filename for the selected collection of Sprites; we will see this later for our character and for the collectable graphics. The ParallaxCave GameObject and its children are in blue because this GameObject is stored as a prefab. When the link with the prefab is broken for a modification, the GameObject in the Hierarchy will become black again. When you see a red GameObject in the scene, it means that the prefab file that was linked to that GameObject was deleted. Importing and placing background layers In any game engine, 2D elements, such as Sprites, are rendered following a sort order; this order is also called the z-order because it is a way to express the depth or to cope with the missing z axis in a two-dimensional context. The sort order is assigned an integer number which can be positive or negative; 0 is the middle point of this draw order. Ideally, a sort order of zero expresses the middle ground, where the player will act, or near its layer. Look at this image: All positive numbers will render the Sprite element in front of the other elements with a lower number. The graphic set we are going to use was taken from the Open Game Art website at http://opengameart.org. For simplicity, the provided background image files are named with a number within parentheses, for example, middleground(z1), which means that this image should be rendered with a z sort order of 1. Change the sort order property of the Sprite component on each child object under ParallaxCave according to the value in the parentheses at the end of their filenames. This will rearrange the graphics into the appropriately sorted order. After we place and set the correct layer order for all the images, we should arrange and scale the layers in a proper manner to end as something like the reference image furnished in the Assets/Chapters2-3-4/Sprites/Background/DarkCave/ folder. You can take a look at the final result for this part anytime, by saving the current scene and loading the Chapter3_start.unity scene. On the optimization side, Sprites can be packed together in a single atlas texture with the Sprite Packer into a single image atlas (a single image containing a whole group of Sprites). Implementing parallax scrolling Parallax scrolling is a graphic technique where the background content (that is, an image) is moved at a different speed than the foreground content while scrolling. The technique was derived from the multiplane camera technique used in traditional animation since the 1930s. Parallax scrolling was popular in the 1980s and early 1990s and started to see light with video games such as Moon Patrol and Jungle Hunt, both released in 1982. On such a display system, a game can produce parallax by simply changing each layer’s position by a different amount in the same direction. Layers that move more quickly are perceived to be closer to the virtual camera. Layers can be placed in front of the playfield, the layer containing the objects with which the player interacts, for various reasons, such as to provide increased dimension, obscure some of the action of the game, or distract the player. Here follows a short list of the first parallax scrolling games which made the history of video games: Moon Patrol (Atari, 1982) https://youtu.be/HBOKWCpwGfM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Patrol Shadow of the Beast (Psygnosis, 1989) https://youtu.be/w6Osnolfxqw https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadow_of_the_Beast Super Mario World (Nintendo, 1990) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=htFJTiVH5Ao https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Mario_World Sonic The Hedgehog (Sega, 1991) https://youtu.be/dws4ij2IFH4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonic_the_Hedgehog_(1991_video_game) Making it last forever There are many roads we could take to make the hero run last forever and to achieve parallax scrolling. You can find a lot of different ready-made solutions in the Asset Store and there are also many General Public License (GPL) open source pieces of code written in C that we could take inspiration from. Using the Asset Store I chose FreeParallax from the Asset Store because it is powerful, free, and a well-written piece of code. Also, the modifications needed to achieve our game prototype on this class are very few. Let’s download and import the system from the Asset Store. First, navigate to http://u3d.as/bvv: Click on the Open in Unity button to allow Unity to open this entry in the Asset Store window. You can, alternatively, search for the package directly in Unity by opening the store from the top menu: Windows | Asset Store (recommended). In the search box type: parallax; also choose FREE ONLY like in this screenshot: You should now find the correct entry, the Free Parallax for Unity(2D) package. You can now download the package and import it into your project straight away. We saw how to create Unity game engine and assets for 2D games. Check out the book Unity 2017 Game Development Essentials to know more ways of creating interactive 2D games. 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CALGARY — More than 30 travel agents joined WestJet for its WestJet Travel Agency Advisory Board (TAAB) at the WestJet Campus in Calgary, where the agenda included brainstorming sessions, a tour of the WestJet Campus and hangar, and presentations from WestJet guest speakers on topics including network planning, WestJet Rewards, WestJet Vacations, guest experience, marketing and communications.The WestJet TAAB members also had the chance to share their feedback and engage with WestJet employees face-to-face.“This conference was a great opportunity to have an open discussion about what WestJet is doing right, and where we can improve to ensure we’re delivering the products and services the travel agent community is looking for,” said Jane Clementino, WestJet Director, Agency Sales. “Since the creation of the TAAB in 2015, we’ve really embraced their feedback to better serve our industry partners and become even easier to do business with.”WestJet has implemented more than 25 material enhancements since 2015 thanks to the contributions of the TAAB, she added.More news: CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise CollectionWestJet TAAB members serve a two-year term and for many, this was their final meeting.“We would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of our second year TAAB members for their continued partnership and their dedication to this committee. WestJet wouldn’t be where it is today without their invaluable feedback,” said Clementino. “We’re looking forward to the insights our 2017/2018 members will bring and the initiatives we will be able to implement as a result of their engagement.” << Previous PostNext Post >> WestJet hosts Travel Agent Advisory Board at two-day conference Posted by Share Travelweek Group Monday, June 19, 2017