Motor Mouth: Is California’s CARB mandate next on Trump’s hit list?

first_img We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles using Facebook commenting Visit our FAQ page for more information. Motor Mouth: Trump’s fuel economy changes could be disaster for CanadaThere are many reasons as to why Mr. Pruitt is making a stink about this now. Besides the fact he is, by nature, extremely litigious — as Oklahoma’s AG he sued the EPA, the organization he now runs, I’ll remind you, 14 times — there is an important deadline looming, April 1 being the date by which the Trump administration has to decide whether the corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards set for 2022 to 2025 should proceed unchanged or be revised. And, by revised, Pruitt means reducing the ambitious Obama-era goals to permit more consumption and, as a consequence, emit more greenhouse gases.According to Bloomberg, California has signalled a willingness to discuss altering the state’s emission rules in the near future if the Trump administration agrees to develop fuel efficiency targets all the way out to 2030. Pruitt’s retort — and he has a valid point often lost on CARB’s administrators — is that “the whole purpose of CAFE standards is to make cars more efficient that people are actually buying. If … Detroit just makes cars that people don’t want to purchase, then people are staying in older cars, and the emission levels are worse, which defeats the overall purpose of what we’re trying to achieve.”Naturally, automakers are rejoicing at the Trump administration’s position, long holding that Obama’s ambitious 54.5 miles per U.S. gallon goal — equivalent to about 40 mpg in real-world driving, by the way — by 2025 was too onerous, citing consumers’ ever-increasing desire for large pickups and SUVs as justification for their reticence.Blaming the popularity of gas-guzzling trucks, however, is a bit of a red herring. Current rules are actually tailored to accommodate shifting consumer desires as each different automotive “footprint” — i.e., large pickups, small econoboxes and everything in between — are allowed to meet different standards. In other words, automakers are simply using consumers’ seeming antipathy to emissions reductions as an excuse to save a few R&D dollars.The problem, whether Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt like it or not, is that the entire world is heading to a reduced tailpipe emissions reality. While revising the corporate average fuel economy standards lower would no doubt save U.S. automakers money in the short run, in the long haul, it will make them less competitive on the world stage. RELATED TAGSMotor MouthMotor MouthNew Vehicles Which may be why, in the last week or so, we have seen the President visit the Golden State to sample prototypes of “The Wall,” and much beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions visit Sacramento to lambaste Governor Jerry Brown regarding the illegality of immigrant “sanctuary” cities. And, lest you think that my lede — implying that Washington might invade Sacramento — was a little over the top, USA Today on Tuesday ran a story with the headline Could Trump and Sessions send federal troops to California over immigration, citing the Insurrection Act of 1807 as possible justification for quelling said rebellious lefties with force. Such was the impact, said author Glenn Harlan Reynolds, a University of Tennessee law professor, of the incredibly “strong language” Mr. Sessions used in reminding California that federal law is “the supreme law of the land.” Obviously feeling left out from this Trumpian offensive is Scott Pruitt — you remember him, don’t you? He’s the former attorney general of Oklahoma, now administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and charged with protecting America’s environment, who just happens to think that climate change is a hoax. Pruitt, in an interview with Bloomberg News, read California the riot act over the state’s right to enact its own fuel economy/emissions standards. He reportedly warned that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) would not dictate the future of automobile fuel economy regulations. “California is not the arbiter of these issues,” said Pruitt, and won’t “dictate to the rest of the country what these levels are going to be.”The problem for Mr. Pruitt is that it kinda, sorta already does. Although regulation of greenhouse gas emissions is a federal mandate, California is allowed to regulate tailpipe emissions within its own borders thanks to a waiver from the EPA. The problem facing Pruitt is that not only has California been the spiritual home of the electric car movement for the last 40 years, a number of others states — as well as the District of Columbia, Trump’s new home — have adopted CARB’s rules. It’s worth noting that California’s influence even extends beyond America’s borders, Quebec’s new ZEV mandate very much patterned, or at least influenced, by the Golden State’s dictums.RELATED The Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car ever Trending in Canada See More Videos Buy It! Princess Diana’s humble little 1981 Ford Escort is up for auction An engagement gift from Prince Charles, the car is being sold by a Princess Di “superfan” PlayThe Rolls-Royce Boat Tail may be the most expensive new car everPlay3 common new car problems (and how to prevent them) | Maintenance Advice | Driving.caPlayFinal 5 Minivan Contenders | Driving.caPlay2021 Volvo XC90 Recharge | Ministry of Interior Affairs | Driving.caPlayThe 2022 Ford F-150 Lightning is a new take on Canada’s fave truck | Driving.caPlayBuying a used Toyota Tundra? Check these 5 things first | Used Truck Advice | Driving.caPlayCanada’s most efficient trucks in 2021 | Driving.caPlay3 ways to make night driving safer and more comfortable | Advice | Driving.caPlayDriving into the Future: Sustainability and Innovation in tomorrow’s cars | Driving.ca virtual panelPlayThese spy shots get us an early glimpse of some future models | Driving.ca center_img For Trump, and his anti-globalist mandate, that hardly seems a concern. Besides, he really wants to invade California. COMMENTSSHARE YOUR THOUGHTS advertisement ‹ Previous Next › Trending Videos It appears that, with the loss of the — I can’t believe I am saying this — steadying influence of now-departed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the United States of America is declaring war on one of its peskiest foes, a recalcitrant nation-state that has been a thorn in President Trump’s side ever since he took office lo those seemingly interminable 14 months ago. It’s a war welcomed by his base (who’d like nothing more than to see the place nuked), is populated, in large part, by the worst kind of communists and, when push comes to shove, represents everything the alt-right that controls the modern Republican party hates. I am talking, of course, about …California.Yes, California. Yes I know it’s just a one state among 50, but it bears reminding that the land of Hollywood and hotties does have a population greater than Canada’s and, more importantly, were it a sovereign nation, California would have a gross domestic product (GDP) that would rank it as the sixth-richest country in the world. Throw in the fact that Sacramento is the United States’ spiritual home of lefty politics as well as perhaps the strongest green lobby in the free world and it’s little wonder the Trump administration looks upon the Golden State as its more formidable foe. Created with Raphaël 2.1.2Created with Raphaël 2.1.2 U.S. resident Donald Trump addresses troops at Miramar Marine Corp Air Station on March 13, 2018 in San Diego, California. last_img read more

Crime Watch – Drugs, cash and mail

first_imgHomeBad BehaviorCrime Watch – Drugs, cash and mail Mar. 12, 2020 at 6:00 amBad BehaviorCrimeCRIME WATCHFeaturedNewsCrime Watch – Drugs, cash and maileditor1 year agoCrime Watchidentity theftSanta Monicasmpd On February 26, at approximately 1:15 p.m.Officers conducted a traffic stop on a black Honda Civic in the 1700 block of Main Street. Officers noticed several vehicle code violation associated with the vehicle and the driver. Upon contacting the driver, officers observed narcotics paraphernalia in place sight. Officers continued to investigate and found that the driver, Damien Alvarado, was not in possession of any form of identification. Officers also learned that the passenger in the vehicle, Katrina Baken, was aware of the narcotics paraphernalia inside the vehicle.Alvarado provided the officers with consent to search the vehicle, which officers located additional narcotics paraphernalia, latex gloves, and property belonging to several other people that are unknown to the occupants. Additionally, Officers located two false $100 bills and stolen mail.While officers were placing Baken under arrest, they learned she was in possession of methamphetamine.Damian Alvarado, 28, from Lompoc was arrested for identity theft, driving without a license and possession of narcotics paraphernalia.Katrina Baken, 34, from Lompoc, was arrested for identity theft and possession of narcotics.Tags :Crime Watchidentity theftSanta Monicasmpdshare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentWHO declares virus crisis a pandemic, U.S. stocks plungeSanta Monica cancels all events, closes libraries to contain coronavirusYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall6 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson17 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter17 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor17 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press17 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press17 hours agolast_img read more

Cut Line: Big makes, big misses in ’16

first_imgIt’s only apropos that 2016 was the year of the monkey. In our bookend Cut Line we applaud the U.S. Ryder Cup team for getting the monkey off their backs at Hazeltine National, and arraign the USGA for what could best be described as rules monkey business. Made Cut Long live The King. Rory McIlroy had just put the finishing touches on an $11.5 million payday at the Tour Championship in September when news of Arnold Palmer’s death surfaced. Initially stunned by the news, McIlroy was told by a PGA Tour media official he could wait to comment, but the Northern Irishman shook his head emphatically. There was no need to wait. “No, no. Look, Arnie put the game on the map. I don’t think any other sports person in any other sport did for their profession what Arnie did for our game,” the emotional FedEx Cup champion insisted. “I wouldn’t be here playing for this ridiculous amount of money without him and I was just fortunate to spend some time with him.” It was just one of thousands of tributes paid to the 87-year-old legend in the days and weeks after his death, but for McIlroy it was important to tell the world what Palmer meant to him and the game. Arnie would have approved. Up to the task. Whatever you want to call the task force-turned-committee there’s only one word for the results the group produced: success. The task force that was formed in the wake of the U.S. loss at the 2014 Ryder Cup was reactionary, many said, and left no wiggle room if things didn’t go the American side’s way in ’16. In quiet circles, Europeans chuckled at the idea that the secret sauce to winning the matches could be found in a conference room. But along the way the American players took ownership of their team room. They tabbed Davis Love III to lead the U.S. side again, overhauled the selection system and, most importantly, created a process every player could believe in. Love & Co. dismissed the idea that the American victory at Hazeltine National was somehow vindication for everything the task force set out to do, reminding all that the changes were about the next 16 matches not just the ’16 matches. That’s how ethos are altered and legacies are built, whatever you call the agent of change. Tweet of the Year: @WestwoodLee (Lee Westwood) “No pressure there then lads!” The Englishman was referring to a tweet sent out, by Golf Channel, with a quote from Love prior to the matches: “This is the best golf team, maybe, ever assembled.” The quote, taken in full context, was a hypothetical explanation of what Love would tell his team before the matches, but it ended up on the European team’s bulletin board. Love’s team may not have been the best “ever,” but they were certainly unrivaled in 2016. Made Cut-Did Not Finish (MDF) Brazil or bust. The golf course would never be completed in time. Rio wasn’t safe for athletes or fans. The Zika virus would be the lasting legacy of the Olympics. The headlines in the weeks before this year’s Games told a dire story, and high-profile no-shows from the likes of world No. 1 Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth didn’t help to make golf’s return to the Olympics an unqualified triumph. Despite the setbacks, the logistical and security concerns, despite the mosquitos – for the record, we saw exactly one during our fortnight in Rio – golf’s return was largely a success. Six medals were doled out to players from six different countries, the competitions were compelling and the athletes unharmed. What remains to be seen is how all that work will benefit the game in the long term. Interest in golf in undeveloped countries has increased, but according to various reports the Olympic Golf Course has not exactly lived up to its lofty billing. Getting golf to Rio was difficult. Making sure that return means something may be even more challenging. Pelley’s play. European Tour chief executive Keith Pelley is young and engaging, some might even say avant-garde; and along with incoming PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan he represents a fundamental shift to a more forward-thinking power base in the game. It turns out Pelley is also a bit of a gambler. Last month Pelley and the European Tour unveiled a new Rolex Series, a seven-tournament series with larger purses that officials hope will stem the talent drain of young players to the U.S. tour. Although the initiative was largely applauded, Pelley conceded that a $7.7 million shortfall for three of those events will be subsidized by the tour and Rolex in 2017. Nor does the current version of the Series do anything to shore up the weak part of the Continent’s schedule (February-May). Pelley has impressed since taking office last year, but his challenge now is delivering on all that promise. Missed Cut Open season. Two national championships, two rules snafus. It’s not exactly the kind of scorecard the USGA had hoped for in 2016, but at the association’s two biggest events, the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, the final outcome was marred by curious rulings. At Oakmont in June, Dustin Johnson was penalized a stroke when officials decided he caused his golf ball to move on the fifth green during Sunday’s final round, even though Johnson said he’d done nothing wrong. A month later, it was Anna Nordqvist who was penalized when officials said she grazed the sand while playing out of a fairway bunker during a playoff. Both incidents were glaring, high-profile examples of how archaic the Rules of Golf have become to a modern audience, and USGA executive director Mike Davis assured a group of club professionals last month in New York that change was coming. A bit of that fresh look arrived this week when the USGA and R&A announced a new local rule that eliminates the penalty when a ball is accidentally moved on the putting green. It was a good start, but the “modernization” of the rules needs to continue. Swoosh-ed. In August, Nike Golf announced it was getting out of the hard goods business and would focus on footwear and appeal. As to why the Swoosh was unable to make its club business work despite having the game’s, and perhaps all of sport’s, most influential pitchman for well over a decade is best left to those with a better grasp of the category. But it’s the immediate aftermath of Nike Golf’s move out of the hard goods business that is so difficult, not for the players like Tiger Woods who must now find new equipment, but for the dozens of engineers and technicians who lost their jobs.last_img read more

Marching for Evidence?

first_imgEvolution Free Speech Marching for Evidence?Jonathan WellsApril 15, 2018, 4:49 PM “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Imagine yourself as a graduate student doing research in one of the natural sciences. You’ve come up with a new hypothesis to explain your observations, and your PhD advisor asks how you’re going to test it. “What methods will you use to get the evidence you need?” she asks. “Well,” you say, “I plan to go to Washington, DC, and march down Constitution Avenue with a sign saying ‘I’m a Force for Science.’”Ridiculous? Of course. And it doesn’t take a scientist to see it.Yet that’s allegedly what happened yesterday, Saturday, April 14, in the annual March for Science. Rush Holt, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), wrote in a Scientific American blog that it was really a “march for evidence.” Accompanying the blog was the smiling face of TV personality Bill Nye, The Science Guy. According to Holt, the marchers “are frustrated by public decisions based on ideology or wishful thinking rather than verified evidence.”Looking back to the previous year, Holt reported that “signs, speeches, and chants at the 2017 March for Science demonstrated concerns about climate change [and] reduced environmental regulations,” among other things.Yet anyone who bothers to read beyond the media headlines about manmade global warming knows that the so-called “scientific consensus” is just a fleeting opinion poll. Scientific truth is not determined by a vote, and the history of science clearly demonstrates that one generation’s scientific consensus can become the next generation’s laughingstock. The consensus is often driven at least as much by “ideology or wishful thinking” as it is by “verified evidence.”Instead of engaging the evidence critically, manmade global warming militants dismiss those who disagree with them as “denialists.” The AAAS itself has become increasingly strident, “rephrasing our motto [according to Holt] from ‘the voice for science’ to ‘the force for science.’”I’m not a climate scientist, and I’m not taking a position on the evidence for or against manmade global warming. But I know a legitimate scientific controversy when I see one. And as a biologist who has been labeled a “denialist” for pointing out that the so-called “overwhelming evidence” for Darwinian evolution is greatly exaggerated, I am familiar with the bully tactics of the “scientific consensus.”What Holt calls the “march for evidence” is just another one of those bully tactics. People don’t march for evidence. They march for politics.Last year, a week after the March for Science, the “People’s Climate Movement” staged another march for a grab bag of leftist causes. According to the movement’s manifesto,“We’re resisting: marching by the hundreds of thousands across the country. We’re building: strengthening relationships across and within movements. And we’re rising: young people rallying around leaders pledging to cut emissions, union workers and faith leaders creating sanctuaries for immigrants under attack, and citizens calling out bigotry wherever it’s found.”Sound familiar?It sure sounds familiar to me, as a former 1960s Berkeley antiwar activist. And it’s rhetoric that has nothing to do with evidence-based science.Later this year, the “People’s Climate Movement” will be targeting the U.S. midterm elections. Specifically, the movement pledgesto “fill the streets from Miami to Minneapolis and Augusta to Anaheim with people demanding action and accountability on climate, jobs, and justice.”So much for “marching for evidence.”Photo: March for Science, by Master Steve Rapport [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos TagsAmerican Association for the Advancement of ScienceAnaheimantiwar movementAugustaBill Nyebiologyclimate scienceConstitution AvenueDarwinian evolutionelectionsevidenceglobal warmingMarch for ScienceMiamiMinneapolisPeople’s Climate MovementRush HoltscienceScientific AmericanscientistUC Berkeley,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharecenter_img Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Recommended Jonathan WellsSenior Fellow, Center for Science and CultureJonathan Wells has received two Ph.D.s, one in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and one in Religious Studies from Yale University. A Senior Fellow at Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, he has previously worked as a postdoctoral research biologist at the University of California at Berkeley and the supervisor of a medical laboratory in Fairfield, California. He also taught biology at California State University in Hayward and continues to lecture on the subject.Follow JonathanProfileWebsite Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to Alllast_img read more

Winter’s Big Sleep

first_img Stay Connected with the Daily Roundup. Sign up for our newsletter and get the best of the Beacon delivered every day to your inbox. Autumn in Northwest Montana means winter is likely just a few snowstorms and cold fronts away. As the leaves fall, the fun of summer is replaced by a frenetic energy to prepare for life in the cold season.For the valley’s human residents, this might mean new snow tires or chopping piles of wood. But for many of the Flathead’s wilder residents, winter is the season of snooze.Instead of trying to eke out an existence in the snow, many wild animals prefer to sleep. The level of sleep, from mildly groggy to full-on hibernation, varies by species.Some of the most famous hibernators – bears – aren’t actually hibernators at all, according to Erik Wenum, bear and mountain lion specialist with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks.“Bears in particular, they really truly just go to sleep for extended periods of time, they’re not true hibernators,” Wenum said. “To say they hibernate, physiologically, that’s very incorrect.”When a warm-blooded animal truly hibernates, their physiology slows down, and the inactivity is achieved primarily through lowering the animal’s body temperature.For example, as true hibernators, ground squirrels can lower their body temperatures to 28.4 degrees for days but warm back up to a balmy 98.6 degrees every once in a while to allow their brains to warm up enough to sleep and heal. When their internal temperature drops, so does their heart rate and breathing; a hibernating ground squirrel may only breathe three times a minute.Bears, on the other hand, only dip their internal temperatures to the low- to mid-90s when they go to sleep for the winter, but they slow their metabolism by about 25 percent and do not eat, drink, defecate, or urinate while sleeping.And while they may not be truly hibernating, a bear’s ability to keep from urinating and defecating is a scientific marvel, Wenum said, because they manage to avoid kidney damage.If a human were to go for even three days without urinating, they would suffer damage due to toxic build up. In order for bears to avoid this, Wenum said their bodies strip down muscle and fat, and their bodies consume raw proteins, which are then recycled and converted back to muscle mass.“We understand what they do; what we can’t figure out is the how they do it,” Wenum said.If biologists were able to understand this process, if it is a genetic trait, then perhaps that same gene could be located within the human genome, Wenum said. The implications from there would include the end of kidney dialysis and incredible potential for deep space travel.This process also allows the bears to wake up with a maintained physical fitness without serious muscle atrophy.Preparing for the winter sleep puts the bears into hyperphagia, a pre-snooze period during which they’ll eat 20,000 to 25,000 calories a day. If a female bear successfully puts on enough fat, she could become pregnant, Wenum said.Bears typically mate in June, he said, but the fertilized egg will float around a bear’s uterus until the fall, when her body determines she’s mature and fat enough to support cubs. If she qualifies, hormonal changes take place and the fertilized egg implants in the uterine wall.“They might not be pregnant until the middle of November, then they give birth the first week of January,” Wenum said. “Bears are easily roused; they give birth, they clean them up, eat the placenta, and go back to sleep.”Bears with new cubs are the last to leave their winter dens, and the cubs don’t meet the new world until about May. To keep from defecating during their sleep, bears eat a last meal of grasses to form a rectal plug. Wenum said their first meals are usually grass as well, from which they strip the sugars, but, like humans, can’t digest the rest of the plant matter. This means mother bears with new cubs have to pack on enough fat to feed their babies until mid summer.“It’s pretty stunning, some of the things that they do,” Wenum said. In Glacier National Park, rangers host snowshoe tours to educate the public about winter ecology. Laura Law, the park’s education specialist, said the seasonal adaptations for surviving winter cover all of the park’s living things, including the plants and insects. Her office also tracks the winter habits of the local ground squirrels, noting the days when they disappear and when they reappear, as well as their non-hibernating cousins, the tree squirrels, which prepare for the season by burying caches of food when the getting is still good. “We like to talk about trees, how they actually don’t die,” Law said. “They also have amazing defenses for themselves in ways that they can keep themselves from freezing, like adding more sugar to lower their freezing points.”There is still plenty of research to be done on winter adaptations – Wenum just recently finished a research project in which he tagged the ears of abandoned or orphaned cubs to see if they knew how to construct a den without their mother to teach them. (The answer is yes. “Bears have been bears for a really long time,” Wenum said.)Law said the park endeavors to educate the public about what is known about hibernation and other winter defenses. The snowshoe tours, which will begin again in the first half of January, show that nature might be colder during the winter, but no less alive. Emaillast_img read more

Not enough being done to protect SME’s in Donegal – Mc Gowan

first_img Donegal retains 14 Blue Flags, Lisfannon is not restored Not enough being done to protect SME’s in Donegal – Mc Gowan By News Highland – January 10, 2015 Facebook WhatsApp Homepage BannerNews Pinterest Lárionad Acmhainní Nádúrtha CTR to take part in new research project Pinterest Twitter Facebook Gardai investigate deaths of two horses on the N56 center_img Previous articleKilmacrennan’s big FAI Junior Cup dateNext articleDerryman jailed for threatening his mother and her husband News Highland Twitter Google+ Andrew McGinley says his children are getting him through life Fianna Fail claims not enough is being done to support Small and Medium Enterprises in County Donegal.It follows the shock announcement last week that Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey has been placed in receivership.Councillor Patrick McGowan says many businesses are struggling and little to nothing is being done to help them:Audio Playerhttp://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/patysat.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR LUH still not ready to restore IT systems Google+ WhatsApp Gardai investigate Castlefinn burglarylast_img read more

HIQA highlights number of non-compliances at care facilities in Donegal

first_imgHomepage BannerNews RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Important message for people attending LUH’s INR clinic Twitter Twitter HIQA highlights number of non-compliances at care facilities in Donegal Facebook Previous articleMc Conalogue urges Creed to reconvene beef talksNext articleJohnson not treating EU with due respect – McGuinness News Highland The health watchdog has found a number of non-compliances during an inspection of Dungloe Community Hospital.The unannounced inspection took place in July with the findings published today.Meanwhile, Nazareth House, Fahan was found to be mostly compliant with improvements sought in three areas following an announced inspection carried out at the centre in June.Ramelton Community Hospital was also assessed and found to have no major problems.Inspectors found there to be a large number of staffing vacancies at the time of inspection at Dungloe Community Hospital which they say impacted on staff’s ability to deliver quality care.While the number of beds had been reduced, HIQA says the current reliance on agency staff and overtime is not sustainable.The inspector also found that the notification of a serious incident had not been submitted, despite timely completion of the notification form.Some care plans were found to be generic, and the assessment and review processes in place were insufficient. In one case, a resident did not have a care plan in place for more than four days.HIQA have acknowledged that since the inspection, a new electronic records system has been implemented, and training has improved. However, there are still outstanding issues with care plans, assessments and notification procedures.The hospital also pointed out that three Staff Nurse posts are awaiting approval.Inspectors said Nazerth House, Fahan was overall, a good centre with good governance and management structures in place and that all actions identified in the previous inspections had been acted upon.However, further improvements were required in relation to medicine management systems, infection control practices and the premises.The centre was found to be substantially compliant in terms of the premises and infection control while medicine and pharmaceutical services at Nazareth House were deemed non-compliant and required improvements to ensure they aligned to best practice guidelines and the centre’s own policy.The report says as a result of the review a number of best practice measures are due to be implemented including the introduction of a new ‘Drug Prescription and Drug Administration’ record.Ramelton Community HospitalNazareth HouseDungloe Community Hospital News, Sport and Obituaries on Monday May 24th Pinterestcenter_img WhatsApp Pinterest Google+ By News Highland – September 3, 2019 Arranmore progress and potential flagged as population grows Google+ DL Debate – 24/05/21 Facebook Loganair’s new Derry – Liverpool air service takes off from CODA Nine til Noon Show – Listen back to Monday’s Programmelast_img read more

Microsoft takes a stand against “offensive language” on Xbox Services

first_imgMicrosoft takes a stand against “offensive language” on Xbox ServicesAmended Services Agreement will use suspensions and bans to fight toxic behaviourMatthew HandrahanEditor-in-ChiefTuesday 27th March 2018Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleMicrosoftMicrosoft is cracking down on the use of “offensive language” and the sharing of “inappropriate content or material” among users of its Xbox services.As spotted by Tom’s Hardware, an update to the Microsoft Services Agreement will take effect on May 1 this year, and one key area of change relates to user behaviour on Xbox Services. In its summary of the key changes, Microsoft stated:”In the Code of Conduct section, we’ve clarified that use of offensive language and fraudulent activity is prohibited. We’ve also clarified that violation of the Code of Conduct through Xbox Services may result in suspensions or bans from participation in Xbox Services, including forfeiture of content licenses, Xbox Gold Membership time, and Microsoft account balances associated with the account.”Exactly what constitutes “offensive language” isn’t entirely clear. The Microsoft Services Code of Conduct also advises, “Don’t publicly display or use the Services to share any inappropriate content or other material (involving, for example, nudity, bestiality, pornography, offensive language, graphic violence or criminal activity).”Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games In his keynote address at the DICE Summit this year, Xbox boss Phil Spencer addressed the issue of toxic behaviour on Xbox Live and Microsoft’s commitment to stamping it out.”99 per cent of the time my job is great – until it isn’t, and that’s usually when I hear about an experience on our platform that’s just disturbing,” he said, referring to players who elect to hide their race or gender to avoid verbal abuse and unfair treatment in-game. “This is a failure. The sad truth is that the people who are harassed online today start to avoid gaming, and then they start warning others to avoid gaming… Honestly, toxic behaviour doesn’t just hurt the individual; it hurts the entire industry.”Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesApple questions credibility of Xbox testimonyiPhone maker asserts that Microsoft did not produce evidence to back Lori Wright’s claims of unprofitable consolesBy James Batchelor 2 days agoEpic pushed for subscription-free multiplayer on Xbox ahead of Apple battleCEO Tim Sweeney told Xbox boss Phil Spencer that “certain plans for August” would create an “extraordinary opportunity”By James Batchelor 7 days agoLatest comments Sign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.last_img read more

Rewarding profit and nothing else | Opinion

first_imgRewarding profit and nothing else | OpinionActivision Blizzard’s mass layoffs amid record profits fits the company’s disregard for optics, but it may be self-defeating in the long runBrendan SinclairManaging EditorThursday 14th February 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareCompanies in this articleActivision BlizzardJeetil Patel, Deutsche Bank Securities – Analyst”What do you think the retailers’ willingness these days is to hold inventory on the video game side? Are they building positions today or are they still very reluctant and very careful of how they are buying?”Bobby Kotick, Activision Blizzard, Inc. – President and CEO”I don’t think it is specific to video games. I think that if you look at how much volatility there is in the economy and, dependent upon your view about macroeconomic picture and I think we have a real culture of thrift. And I think the goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks that we brought in to Activision 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games.””I think we definitely have been able to instill the culture, the skepticism and pessimism and fear that you should have in an economy like we are in today. And so, while generally people talk about the recession, we are pretty good at keeping people focused on the deep depression.”That was an exchange from nine years ago this month, with Kotick in rare form speaking at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco. It was a bizarre tangent, as the executive dodged a seemingly innocent question to volunteer a deeply incriminating answer. In the same presentation, he talked about how he’d taken creative studio heads who “didn’t know the difference between a balance sheet and a bed sheet” and cultivated a laser focus on the bottom line, thanks in part to an employee incentive program that “really rewards profit and nothing else.”This week has made it painfully clear that Activision Blizzard does not reward profit equally Perhaps he wasn’t expecting the games media of the day to be listening in. Perhaps he was making a series of incredibly misjudged jokes built on hyperbole. Or perhaps he was simply honest. Brutally, monstrously honest. About most of it, anyway.No doubt he wanted the business of Activision to operate more like a traditional business, leaving behind the unstructured and unprofessional practices that had been seemingly baked into game development culture in its earliest years. And naturally, he’d prefer studio heads to be concerned with the financial viability of their operations. But the part about rewarding profit and nothing else? That needs an asterisk.On the one hand, the company has been tremendously profitable, and it has rewarded Kotick tremendously in turn. Between his salary, stock awards, and incentive plan compensation, he made over $28 million in 2017, and about $33 million the year before that. But as this week has made painfully clear, Activision Blizzard does not reward profit equally.Activision Blizzard reported record annual results Tuesday, including an all-time high earnings per share of $2.35. The employees whose work brought in those record profits were rewarded by seeing 8% of their ranks–roughly 800 people–laid off. Adding insult to injury, the Activision Blizzard that didn’t have enough money to keep these employees on staff announced a cash dividend of $0.37 per share to shareholders, up 9% year-over-year. That is also the largest year-end dividend Activision Blizzard has ever issued.Risky BusinessEvery publicly traded company reports a number of “Risk Factors” to investors, things that could throw a wrench into its forecasts and expectations. They’re not intended to be a catch-all of every possible thing that could hurt the business, but they can be impressively thorough nonetheless.Activision Blizzard currently advises investors of 38 such issues, and they run the gamut from “Things investors should absolutely be told before investing in games” to “Is that really worth mentioning?” They cover pricing erosion thanks to digital distribution, the seasonality of sales in the games industry, threats from piracy, reliance on cooperation from platform holders, foreign currency exchange rates, and even the location of its corporate headquarters and primary corporate disaster recovery data center along major earthquake faults.”Our employees are our greatest asset” Activision Blizzard SEC filingNowhere among the company’s risk factors are any mention of unions or collective bargaining. (In fact, some Activision Blizzard employees in France, Germany, Spain, and Italy are already subject to collective bargaining agreements.) However, Activision Blizzard’s risk factors do note that its employees–800 of whom were just laid off after a year of record profits–are crucial to the company’s well-being.”If we do not continue to attract and retain skilled personnel, we will be unable to effectively conduct our business,” the company explained to shareholders.”Our employees are our greatest asset. As such, our success depends to a significant extent on our ability to identify, attract, hire, retain, and utilize the abilities of qualified personnel, particularly personnel with the specialized skills needed to create and sell the high-quality, well-received content upon which our business is substantially dependent.”Our industry is generally characterized by a high level of employee mobility, competitive compensation programs, and aggressive recruiting among competitors for employees with technical, marketing, sales, engineering, product development, creative, and/or management skills. We may have difficulties in attracting and retaining skilled personnel or may incur significant costs in order to do so. If we are unable to attract additional qualified employees or retain and utilize the services of key personnel, it could have a negative impact on our business.”Blind to opticsOn one level, I get why Kotick does what he does. For him at least, it seems the company’s incentives truly reward profit and nothing else. But beyond any kind of moral scolding one would direct at a multimillionaire many times over who values increasing his own net income over the well-being of hundreds and hundreds of his employees, Kotick’s aggressive short-term optimizing looks reckless in the long run.Activision Blizzard’s employees truly are vital to the company, and its future really does rest on the ability to attract and retain talented personnel. So how much of the talent in this industry is willing to endure living under the constant threat of mass layoffs entirely unrelated to their own performance or the company’s overall health? As much as employment in this field has been precarious in the best of times, mass layoffs during a time of record-setting performance constitutes an entirely new level of job insecurity. What Activision Blizzard has done this week is not normal, and we shouldn’t treat it as such.”Does anyone else find it strange a company dedicated to rewarding profit and nothing else has an apparent penchant for firing people who bring in the most profit?” In his exchange at the Deutsche Bank Securities Conference, Kotick essentially copped to emotionally manipulating his employees, to keeping them afraid and depressed and scared to find better employment. He said the quiet part loud. And for the most part, he got away with it. Activision Blizzard continued to attract top talent, growing revenues and profits year after year, delivering Kotick and the company’s shareholders a tremendous return on investment.But that was almost a decade ago, when the economy was still struggling to emerge from a global financial crisis, when Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was the closest thing we had to Fortnite, when Guitar Hero was still in the “riding high” second act of its Behind the Music episode, and Blizzard had unquestioned independence as it prepared to debut StarCraft II and launch what was only the third expansion for a still-thriving World of Warcraft. It was also just ahead of the bitter split with Jason West and Vince Zampella, and years before an Activision IT employee of the time testified that the company’s chief legal officer had him dig up dirt on the Infinity Ward co-founders so the publisher could fire them. (Does anyone else find it strange a company dedicated to rewarding profit and nothing else has an apparent penchant for firing the people who bring in so much profit?)I suspect Activision Blizzard is a less attractive employer these days. The company has pursued a fewer, bigger, better strategy for the past decade-plus, and it only looks to be narrowing its slate further, promising investors the headcount for Call of Duty, Candy Crush, Overwatch, Warcraft, Hearthstone and Diablo franchises would cumulatively jump by 20% even as it shed hundreds from the company-wide payroll. The Blizzard side of things is reportedly losing some of its operational independence as the parent company imposes a cost-consciousness on the division it never had to deal with before. And to top it all off, Kotick is out here sending employees to the unemployment lines as a victory lap for the company’s best year ever.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games Granted, this is a more nuanced situation than that assessment makes clear. Destiny may not have lived up to the company’s expectations, but the franchise’s loss puts a significant dent in potential revenues going forward. Hearthstone and Overwatch growth has slowed, and Blizzard hasn’t had new major releases to offset that. Activision Blizzard knows 2019 will not be another record year for it, and it would rather right-size the operation sooner than later.Regardless, the optics of this move are undeniably awful. And for the developers who were just laid off, the developers still with the company but utterly demoralized at seeing what’s happened, and the developers who would like to work for a company that values them, the optics of the situation probably matter more than the nuance.Kotick’s callous disregard for optics was enough to push Activision Blizzard’s stock price up about 10% in the days after announcing results short of analyst expectations. But it might cost the company far more in the months and years to come.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Publishing & Retail newsletter and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesActivision Blizzard wins patent lawsuit after nine yearsThe judge ruled that the patents were “not inventions” of Worlds Incorporated, which was suing for infringementBy Marie Dealessandri 6 days agoCall of Duty, King push Activision Blizzard to record Q1 revenuesPublisher’s revenues jump 27% to $2.28 billion as Call of Duty Mobile’s Chinese debut helps drive Activision division sales up 72% year-over-yearBy Brendan Sinclair 7 days agoLatest comments (5)Thomas Dolby Project Manager / Lead Programmer, Ai Solve2 years ago I genuinely had to read that Kotick quote at the start of the article several times, it sounded like a parody of himself. 2 years ago At 20th Century Fox, a guy named Tom Rothman stayed in power for nearly 20 years. He never had a year in the red, so the stockholders didn’t kick him outBut what he dd do was chase talent away, and he hates comic book flicks and giant people . Devlin and Emmerich asked for a bigger piece of the pie after they made the studio a fortune with Independence Day, and he told them to shove it, so we waited 20 years for him to leave so we could get a (terrible, Will Smithless) sequel. He chased Bryan Singer off after X2 and almost killed their golden goose. He personally blocked Galactus from being in Fantastic 4 too, because “giant people look stupid”. He kept Deadpool being made (that’s why he says “hi Tom!” At the end of the pitch film). He sold off partial Titanic rights to Paramount, and he fought tooth and nail against Avatar. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.He’s since moved over to Sony, where Mr. Fiscal Responsibility decided to pay huge salaries to people like Jennifer Lawrence ($30million) to Star in bombs like Passengers.The more I look at this, the more I think Mr. Kotick has decided it’s time to go, so he’ll get one final payday to go with his golden parachute handing the new owners a streamlined machine where they don’t have to lay off or integrate nearly as many people, so he personally will make even more money.That would be consistent with many patterns of other companies. I’m not saying it’s fact, I’m saying it’s educated, observational speculation. 2Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyJeff Kleist Writer, Marketing, Licensing 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyNeil Young Programmer, Rebellion Developments2 years ago @Benjamin Kratsch: They didn’t; Blizzard were owned by vivendi games when that merged with activision. Despite having their name in the parent company name, they are still a subsidiary. 0Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now.center_img 3Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyKlaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 2Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyShow all comments (5)Benjamin Kratsch Freelance Journalist, GLP Media2 years ago I still wonder why Blizzard merged with Activision. They are not profit oriented company and they never had an intent to be like Activisions other studios. Blizzard releases a game, when they feel like and they have no problem investing/burning/loosing 100 Mio. for something like Titan while Activision needs reliable studios that produce within deadline.It’s still a surprising move because Activision needs to keep Blizzards experienced staff happy – they need them. With Bungie gone, they don’t have a lot of studios left and actually only a small amount of IPs as well which is risky. 2 years ago I say the results of his quote can be observed in the type of games that come out of Activision and Blizzard.The CoD schedule can only be maintained at the expense of single player. Blizzard may still have WoW, but the rest of their lineup are all very simple games that do not push the envelope technically speaking. Compare that to the frequency at which Ubisoft is releasing giant open world games. Activision Blizzard has fallen behind already. Pay2win card game expansions and Overwatch lootboxes will not be able to cover that up forever.last_img read more

Plans for 12 Russian PV plants still at negotiation stage

first_imgPlans for 12 Russian PV plants still at negotiation stageAn Avelar Energy representative told pv magazine, plans for PV plants in three Russian regions are still at the planning stage. An Interfax report says the plants will total 120 MW of solar. September 6, 2013 Max Hall Finance Installations Manufacturing Markets Markets & Policy Share A source at Zurich-headquartered Russian company Avelar Energy has stressed reported plans for 12 PV plants in Russia totalling 120 MW, are still at the negotiations stage. Russian news agency Interfax on Wednesday reported plans by Avelar – whose major shareholder is Russian industrial conglomerate Renova Group – and a subsidiary of South Korean company LG Electronics to develop the plants in the Orenburg, Altai and Bashkortostan regions. The Interfax report said construction of the plants would start next year and continue until 2016 with the projects expected to come online in 2017 at a total cost of US$400m. Korean firm to design and build plants The report speculated LG subsidiary LG CNS would design and build the projects and may take a stake in the companies formed to develop the schemes. Interfax also reported the modules for the projects will be supplied by Hevel Solar, a joint venture between Renova Group and Russian state-owned nanotechnology company Rusnano. An Avelar representative told pv magazine the plans are still ‘ongoing negotiations.’ The Interfax report states four of the plants – each of which would have a 10 MW capacity – would be built in the Republic of Bashkortostan, near the Ural mountains; six would be developed in Orenburg near the border with Kazakhstan; and two would be built in the Altai Republic of central-southern Russia.Popular content Enabling aluminum in batteries Mark Hutchins 27 April 2021 pv-magazine.com Scientists in South Korea and the UK demonstrated a new cathode material for an aluminum-ion battery, which achieved impressive results in both speci… ITRPV: Large formats are here to stay Mark Hutchins 29 April 2021 pv-magazine.com The 2021 edition of the International Technology Roadmap for Photovoltaics (ITRPV) was published today by German engineering association VDMA. 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Cracking the case for solid state batteries pv magazine 29 April 2021 pv-magazine-australia.com Scientists in the UK used the latest imaging techniques to visualize and understand the process of dendrite formation an… 123456Leave a Reply Cancel replyPlease be mindful of our community standards.Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *CommentName * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.Your personal data will only be disclosed or otherwise transmitted to third parties for the purposes of spam filtering or if this is necessary for technical maintenance of the website. 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