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first_imgMystery Science Theater 3000 – affectionately known as MST3K to its legion of fans – is a “cult television comedy series” that mocked forgotten science fiction films from 1988-1999. Its heart still beats, as three long-time writers and stars for the show – Michael J. Nelson, Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy – continue to serve up hilarious “riffs” on B-movies online at their site RiffTrax. Now the trio want to take on Hollywood – with your help – and mock big-budget blockbusters, such as Twilight and The Hunger Games, in front of a live audience. They also want to help everyone create their own riffs on movies and TV shows.Movie Rights Are Not CheapThe tagline for RiffTrax is: “We don’t make movies, we make fun of them.” But Hollywood doesn’t want its movies made fun of, so the RiffTrax crew can currently do their thing only for films that are either in the public domain or whose rights come very cheap. (Owners of really bad movies, not surprisingly, let their works go for very little.)For flicks like Birdemic or Kingdom of the Spiders (William Shatner’s finest performance of 1977), RiffTrax customers download a single file (available in numerous formats), typically for $10, and watch on an iPad or laptop, or burn it onto a DVD. But that won’t work for popular films, like Thor or The Avengers, or the Patrick Swayze classic, Roadhouse, whose licensing costs are too high. Related Posts Finally, I asked riffmaster Bill Corbett if the crew had any plans to make it’s own deliberately bad movie:None. I think it would be surprisingly hard to recreate the magic of an unintentionally bad movie. It would wind up too self-conscious. We’ve seen a lot of attempts to do that, and they never capture the exquisite fun and weirdness of someone trying in earnest to make a serious movie, and just making a mess of it.Lead image from Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents Laserblast.Picture of the RiffTrax team, from left to right: Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy, Michael J. Nelson. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout For blockbusters, the RiffTrax group records its audio commentary in MP3 format. Users download the file, typically for a $4 fee, then play the MP3 on a laptop or iPod, for example, while watching the movie on a television screen. It’s certainly not an elegant solution, so the crew is trying raise enough cash to license more high-profile films.A highly successful Kickstarter campaign seeking to secure the rights to broadcast Twilight – just so it can be made fun of – netted $265,000 against an original goal of $55,000. The hope, according to Bill Corbett, is that by “backing up the money truck” to Hollywood, RiffTrax can secure the rights to the movies that need mocking most.Once a deal is signed – it’s currently in negotiations – the trio plan to riff the film live and stream the performance (also live) to “hundreds” of other theaters. They also hope to offer a copy of the performance as a DVD or download – film and riff embedded together.The Riffmasters To get the inside scoop, I spoke with “riffmaster” Michael J. Nelson:ReadWrite: Describe RiffTrax to the uninitiated.Mike Nelson: It’s like sitting down to watch a movie with your funniest friends. ReadWrite: Why are there no puppets like on MST3K? Mike Nelson: RiffTrax is a different animal. We don’t own the copyright to the MST3K puppets. Plus, it just wouldn’t work for synching commentary tracks to the popular movies.” ReadWrite: Why start the Kickstarter campaign with Twilight?Mike Nelson: Twilight‘s been our single most popular [downloadable] riff to date. We want to do a live riff of the film and stream that to hundreds of other theaters.ReadWrite: What’s the process for choosing a movie to riff?Mike Nelson: It’s hard to make fun of a film that’s trying to be funny but fails. It has to be either unintentionally bad or taking itself too seriously. When I first watched Birdemic, for example, I assumed the director had to be joking. He wasn’t – that makes all the difference. ReadWrite: Do fans help you decide which movies to riff on?Mike Nelson: Definitely. On Twitter and Facebook, or the user forum on our site. We have a backlog so can’t always get to their choice right away, but we listen.   ReadWrite: Tell me about iRiffs.Mike Nelson: iRiffs is the section on our site where anyone can upload their movie commentaries. We have minimal requirements – as long as the content isn’t deeply offensive, you can offer your riff through the site.ReadWrite: And you split the revenues with the individual?MN: Correct. I would like to say that anyone who uploads their riff to our site, please use a halfway decent USB microphone. Too many poor mics have killed some otherwise great performances.ReadWrite: There were several other people involved in writing and performing for Mystery Science Theater. Why only you, Kevin and Bill for RiffTrax?Mike Nelson: Kevin, Bill and I were the last in-theater performers when MST3K ended. We all lived near one another in Minnesota, and were doing a lot of projects together. We fell into an easy rapport, so when I started RiffTrax in 2006 it was easy to bring those two onboard. Joel [Hodgson – the original host] wanted to get Cinematic Titanic up and running so it never worked out for everyone to be together.” [Cinematic Titanic includes several MST3K performers who similarly offer film riff performances of B movies. The group has said that this will be its final year working together.]  brian s hallcenter_img Tags:#copyright#entertainment#film#movies 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

first_imgPanaji: The four-day annual pre-Lent festival began with festive fervour Goa on Saturday.King Momo and his entourage entered the capital and kicked off the party, decreeing that everyone attending the festival must enjoy their time over next four days.Goa Chief Secretary Dharmendra Sharma flagged off the Panaji carnival floats parade on Saturday, with Mumbai-based music director, Joe D’Costa and Goa’s renowed Fado singer, Sonia Shirsat, playing the carnival theme song ‘Kai Boro Dis’. The attendees chanted “Viva Carnival” at King Momo’s float, at the streets of Panaji.However, the carnival parade was comparatively subdued this year, and the festival was bereft of its political patronage due to the State Assembly elections. The crowd of revellers, too, lacked enthusiasm. The floats highlighted various social, environment, and wildlife issues. Banks too highlighted the importance of cashless transactions in sponsored floats.last_img read more

first_imgAfter a delay of over a year, the air shuttle service by SpiceJet was launched between Hisar and Chandigarh on Tuesday under the Regional Connectivity Service. Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar flagged off the service and also become the first passenger to take the flight to Chandigarh.To begin with, the air travel has been started through a small seven-seater aircraft, later 18-seater and larger aircraft would also fly from Hisar. SpiceJet would provide the service of two flights between Hisar and Chandigarh daily. The flights will take off from Hisar at 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. and from Chandigarh at 9.30 a.m. and 5.30 p.m and the one-way fare has been fixed at ₹1,674. For booking, SpiceJet will soon set up its own call centre at the airport and after a week the process of advance booking would start, for which the company had to complete some formalities.After Hisar and Chandigarh, SpiceJet would gradually expand its air services from Hisar to Delhi, Jammu, Dehradun and Shimla. Interacting with media persons before taking the flight, Mr. Khattar said that it was a historic day for the people of Haryana. With Hisar airport, the dream of many people of the State had been fulfilled, as now they could take air flights from their own. He said that Hisar airport would be linked with Rapid Rail Task Force System from Delhi and the distance from Delhi to Hisar could be covered in just 90 minutes. For this, the work on railway line between Rohtak and Hansi was in progress.Phased developmentMr. Khattar said that Hisar airport would be developed as an international-level airport in three phases. For this, 4,200 acres had been made available and the process of providing 3,000 acres of additional land was in progress. The Chief Minister said the length of the runway, which is 4,000 feet at present, would be increased to 10,000 feet, which is a required set criteria for an international-level airport.He said that hangers would be constructed in the second phase. In the third phase, the work of increasing the length of the runway and other civil works would be completed. Mr. Khattar said that Hisar airport would be the most suitable option to reduce the air traffic pressure at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Delhi.last_img read more

first_imgLOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Danielle Kang wins KPMG Women’s PGA Championship Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend “We have a clause for a rematch. No problem,” Pacquiao said in the ring after the judges’ decision.But Australian boxing great and three-time world champion Jeff Fenech also called for Pacquiao, who retired briefly last year, to hang up his gloves for good this time.“If they let Manny fight again, that’s stupid,” Fenech said.“He should go relax and enjoy the money he has made. He’s got nothing to prove. Retire.“Jeff fought the right fight and took Manny to places he’d not been before … he made it a bit dirty.”ADVERTISEMENT Hall of Fame trainer Freddie Roach said he would consider advising Pacquiao to retire after a glittering 22-year professional career in which he won world titles at an unprecedented eight weight divisions.“I’m going to talk to Manny about maybe calling it a day, maybe this is it,” Roach said.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsGiven no chance by most observers, the 29-year-old Horn’s ultra-aggressive style rocked Pacquiao, with the three judges scoring the fight 117-111, 115-113 and 115-113 for the Australian before 51,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium.Pacquiao, (59-7-2) who insisted on a Brisbane rematch as a clause in his contract for the fight, declared however that he would “absolutely” return for a rematch. Horn’s father, Jeff Snr, revealed after the fight that he had been ready to throw in the towel after the brutal ninth round.His son had been battered by Pacquiao and blood was streaming from a nasty cut over Horn’s right eye.As American referee Mark Nelson made his way to Horn’s corner to ask them whether they wanted to stop the fight, Jeff Snr feared the worst.“He was dead in the water in round nine, he was gone,” Jeff Snr said.“I was very worried. If I had a towel I may have thrown it myself in the ninth. I looked at his eyes and I thought he was out on his feet. I really thought he was in danger of getting hurt in round nine.“I didn’t expect him to come back like he did in round 10.”/rgaRELATED VIDEORoach on Pacquiao: Being both fighter and senator ‘might be a little too much’4.5K viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kongcenter_img Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:05Amir Khan claims Manny Pacquiao has agreed to Saudi Arabia bout02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games A sense of Pacquiao’s declining powers is that the Philippines senator hasn’t stopped an opponent in eight years.Roach however called for an investigation into the scoring of American judge Waleska Roldan.She had the bout 117-111 to Horn, giving Pacquiao only three of the 12 rounds, despite Horn finishing the fight badly bruised and with a shut right eye.Horn ‘out on his feet’According to CompuBox statistics, Pacquiao landed almost twice as many punches as Horn — 182 to 92. Judges American Chris Flores and Argentine Ramon Cerdan both thought it was closer, but Horn had edged the fight 115-113.“I respect the judges’ decision,” Pacquiao said.  “He was much tougher than I expected. Much, much tougher.”Pacquiao told Philippines television: “We thought that we won this fight.”However, Top Rank veteran supremo Bob Arum, who was ringside, felt the win was fair. “It could have gone either way,” he said.“A couple of close rounds, but you can’t argue with the result. I scored a lot of the early rounds for Jeff. Then I had Manny coming back in the middle.“The 12th round, Jeff really won. If you give Manny the 11th, you have it a draw. You give Jeff the 11th, it’s 7-5.” What ‘missteps’? LATEST STORIES MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Boxer Manny Pacquiao (L) and coach Freddie Roach. TRISTAN TAMAYO/INQUIRER.netManny Pacquiao’s trainer advised the Filipino legend to quit boxing Monday after his sensational defeat to unheralded Australian Jeff Horn.While controversy raged over the scoring of Sunday’s World Boxing Organization welterweight title bout in Brisbane, after all three judges awarded it to unbeaten Horn, there were doubts whether 38-year-old Pacquiao would return for a possible rematch.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

first_imgSpeedster Brett Lee and all-rounder David Hussey are seen as near certainties in Australia’s campaign to defend the coveted World Cup after the two were selected for the series opener against England.Brett LeeChairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch after announcing the team for the fist game against the visitors to be held at MCG on Sunday mentioned that the WC squad “will probably be very much reflected in the team we have just announced.”Hilditch however said that there are still some spots to be filled before the final team is announced. “We are still looking at two or three people ahead of that final 15 selection,” the chairman said.”I don’t want to be specific, obviously we know the areas we need to be looking at ahead of the final selection,” he added.The 34-year-old fast bowler had yesterday hinted that he might hang his boots if not picked for the mega event in the sub-continent.The experienced duo will be making a comeback to the national squad after a gap of more than 15 months. While Lee battled injury woes after his last appearance for the Aussies in October 2009 the Victorian batsman hasn’t played a one-day game for Australia since August 2009.Pinning hope on Hussey’s return Hilditch said, “We think he’ll be well suited for the subcontinent conditions.”Hussey was picked by the Punjab IPL team for the fourth edition of IPL which is scheduled to be held immediately after the World Cup is over.Hilditch was also hopeful that a fit Lee will be a potential weapon in the Kangaroo’s armoury. “Brett has had a longer lead in from injury and obviously we’re looking at him to make sure that he’s back to his best,” he said.advertisementCricket Australia is supposed to announce the final World Cup squad on January 19 with injured captain Ricky Ponting seeming to be definite inclusion.- With PTI inputsAustralian squad for first ODI v England: Michael Clarke (capt), Cameron White (vice-capt), Doug Bollinger, Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson.last_img read more

first_imgVirat Kohli burnt the dance floor with Shikhar Dhawan’s son Zoravar at his wedding reception in Mumbai at the St Regis on Tuesday.Kohli took the little kid in his arms and did a little jig to good-natured laughter and cheer.Several cricketers – current and former – attended Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s wedding reception. The couple had tied the knot in Italy in a private ceremony on December 11 and held a reception in Delhi last week for their famlies and close friends.The reception in Mumbai was expected to be a starry affair with several of Kohli’s cricket colleagues and Anushka’s friends from the Bollywood fraternity in attendance.Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh were the star attractions.Anil Kumble, who had stepped down as coach following differences with Kohli earlier in the year, also attended the event. Former skipper Sunil Gavaskar was also at the venue to bless the couple.Among Kohli’s current team-members, there were the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jajdea, Wriddhiman Saha, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Manish Pandey, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.But the most awaited arrival was perhaps that of Dhawan. The duo had also danced to loud applause in Delhi last week. The two batsmen, close friends of many years, revel in each other’s company and enjoy batting together.advertisementDhawan will be an integral part of Kohli’s team when India tour South Africa for three Tests, six ODIs and three T20 Internationals.last_img read more

first_imgBy: Joseph Wilson, Associated PressBARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Real Madrid earned a 1-1 draw at Barcelona on Wednesday to take a slim away-goal advantage after the first leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal.Lucas Vazquez gave Madrid the lead in the sixth minute during an opening stage dominated by the visitors. But Barcelona eventually established control and forward Malcom equalized after Luis Suarez had hit the post in the 58th.Lionel Messi stayed on the bench for Barcelona until coming on in the 64th. The Argentine had been doubtful for the match after picking up a right-leg injury on Saturday.This was the first of three “clasicos” in less than a month. The return leg of the semifinal in Madrid is on Feb. 27, just before their Spanish league game at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on March 3.In October, Messi missed Barcelona’s 5-1 rout of Madrid in the league, a stinging loss that sealed the fate of former coach Julen Lopetegui.This time out, Madrid made sure to set a strong tone from the opening, when it maintained possession long enough to get in front.Manager Santiago Solari also chose youngster Vinicius Junior over Gareth Bale, and Madrid sought to attack down the Brazilian’s left flank from start.The 18-year-old Vinicius provided the key pass to the visitors’ opening goal when he spotted Karim Benzema at the far post defended by the under-sized Jordi Alba. Benzema won the ball after Alba failed to reel it in, and the Madrid striker sent a low pass across the goalmouth where Vazquez slipped around Clement Lenglet to redirect it home.As Madrid sat back to protect the advantage, Barcelona began to find holes in its defense. Ivan Rakitic headed Malcom’s free kick off the crossbar in the 32nd, and Suarez drew a one-handed save from goalkeeper Keylor Navas after Malcom bungled his way through three defenders before setting him up on the edge of the box.The first half finished with Messi tucked in a winter coat, leaning forward anxiously and fidgeting with an empty water bottle.But before he could come on to loud cheers from the Camp Nou crowd, Malcom pulled the hosts level when he curled a left-foot strike from an angle into the net with Navas off his line.Lenglet’s long pass to Alba streaking into space forced Navas off his line to strip the ball, but it fell to Suarez who hit the post before Malcom gathered the rebound in and finished it off.Messi then came on and didn’t show any signs of an injury when he plucked the ball from Casemiro’s boot, raced forward and was fouled by a scrum of Madrid’s defenders near the area. He stayed on the turf to gather himself, before he smashed his free kick into the wall.Except for one flubbed shot by Bale when goalie Marc-Andre ter Stegen was out of position, Madrid spent most of the final 20 minutes bracing itself every time Messi got the ball on his boot.The strategy meant the game was far from a thriller, but it sent Madrid back home with an edge over its fierce rival.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more

first_imgIt was utter chaos at Hell in a Cell as the Universal Championship match ended in a no contest after Brock Lesnar made his presence felt on Sunday at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.In the last match of the night, the Universal champion Roman Reigns and the challenger Braun Strowman were going all guns blazing at each other before all hell unfolded.As the duo went hammer and tongs against each other inside the ring, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler had their fair share of fight outside the structure and even over it.And as the match reached its business end, Lesnar’s music hit and the crowd went haywire. Lesnar and Paul Heyman slowly made their way towards the ring before Lesnar kicked the door open to make his way into the ring and attack the duo.Heyman sprayed pepper spray into Foley’s eyes and Lesnar took full advantage of the situation and viciously attacked both the wrestlers. He hit Strowman and Reigns with consecutive F5s and a new official entered the four-square and requested the time-keeper to ring the bell and declare it as a no contest as none could continue after Lesnar’s assault.Other results:AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe to retain WWE World Heavyweight ChampionshipBecky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair to become new SmackDown Women’s ChampionshipDrew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler defeated Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to retain the Raw Tag Team ChampionshipRandy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy in Hell in a Cell matchadvertisementThe Miz and Maryse defeated Daniel Bryan and Brie Bellalast_img read more

first_imgAustralia beat England by 251 runs to in the first Ashes Test to take a 1-0 lead in the 5-match series. Australia have also secured 24 points in the World Test Championship with their thumping win in Birmingham on Monday.It was a remarkable fight back by Australia who were tottering at 122 for 8 on the opening day. But Steve Smith’s heroic 144 and stubborn knocks from Peter Siddle (44), Travis Head (35) and Nathan Lyon (12) ensured the visitors made a respectable 284 in the first innings.Rory Burns (133), Joe Root (57) and Ben Stokes (50) helped England take a crucial 90-run first innings lead but Steve Smith then became only the 5th to score twin hundreds in an Ashes Test. His 142 once again guided Australia after they had lost David Warner and Cameron Bancroft cheaply for the second time in the match.This time Smith had more support from the middle-order. Travis Head scored 51 while Travis Head, making a comeback into the Australian Test team, smashed an aggressive 110.James Pattinson’s unbeaten 47 to further frustrate England who faced the improbable task of chasing 398 in the fourth innings of an Edgbaston Test.After surviving 7 testing overs on the penultimate day, England lost Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Denly and Joe Root by lunch. Nathan Lyon was on fire and extracted enough turn to bamboozle the English batsmen in their fortress.Pat Cummins was lethal as well – he got the crucial wickets of Burns, Joss Buttler and Jonny Bairstow as Australia inched closer to victory.This Test match belonged to Steve Smith all the way. It was the first time Cameron Bancroft, David Warner and Steve Smith were playing a Test since the ball-tampering scandal. While Bancroft and Warner did not get many runs, Smith hit 286 runs across the two innings to hand Australia a memorable win.advertisementRead more | Ashes 2019: Matthew Wade’s game was at a different Level in Edgbaston, says Ricky PontingAlso see:last_img read more

first_img ensures public sector employees who are eligible for retirement allowances will receive the benefit accumulated up to April 2015 encourages public sector employers and unions to work together to find savings, a portion of which could then be applied to further wage increases protects pensions, benefits and vacation time ensures taxpayers are protected from arbitration decisions that could be higher than what is affordable as set out in the fiscal plan. Legislation introduced today, Dec. 14, provides public sector employers with a framework for new money they can offer for wages. “The legislation is consistent with government’s fiscal plan, fair to employees, and affordable for taxpayers,” said Finance and Treasury Board Minister Randy Delorey. “It is also consistent with the Public Service Sustainability Mandate introduced in August.” The Public Services Sustainability Act respects collective bargaining rights and ensures that matters outside the wage framework, such as working conditions, remain negotiable. The framework will be 0, 0, 1.0, 1.5, and .5 per cent on the last day of the agreement. The legislation also ensures newer, lower-paid public sector employees receive larger pay increases. Some will see step increases of as much as five per cent per year. “We have to continue to make tough choices so we can invest in quality health care, deliver first-rate education, and build essential new infrastructure in the future,” said Mr. Delorey. “Our fiscal plan and labour settlements need to help prepare Nova Scotia for long-term progress. All Nova Scotians have to play their part as we position the province for a stronger future.” The act: “This legislation provides public sector employees the same fair, affordable wage packages some unions agreed to in the collective bargaining process,” said Mr. Delorey. “Nova Scotia and Nova Scotians cannot afford a more costly settlement – period.” Compensation is government’s single largest expense. Government spends about $5.2 billion on compensation or 52 per cent of all of government’s total spending. The act applies to all bargaining units except those that have concluded negotiated collective agreements prior to the act coming into force. Information on the Public Service Sustainability Mandate and updates on public sector bargaining can be found at novascotia.ca/PublicServiceSustainability .last_img read more

first_imgNEW WORK HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Trunk 2 and Sunnylea Road, Wellington Crews are widening and repairing Trunk 2 from Sunnylea Road in Wellington to Acorn Drive in Oakfield, and on Sunnylea Road from Trunk 2 to the end of the pavement. Work is anticipated to be completed Oct. 31. Drivers should expect delays with lane closures from sunrise to sunset. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Pugwash The Municipality of Cumberland is installing water lines in Pugwash. There is single-lane traffic throughout the village as the work progresses. The project is expected to be finished by Dec. 16. INVERNESS COUNTY: Crowdis Bridge, Valley Mills Crowdis Bridge, in Valley Mills on Marble Mountain Road, is closed until further notice. Detour via Eden Road, Barren Road, Northside River Denys Road and Southside River Denys Road. Signs are in place. YARMOUTH COUNTY: Route 308 Route 308, from Belleville Road north for five kilometres, is reduced to one lane for paving until Friday, Oct. 21. Traffic is controlled by flag people and work takes place from sunrise to sunset. HANTS COUNTY: West Indian Road West Indian Road from Trunk 14 to Ess Road has alternating lane closures for road work until Monday, Oct. 31. Traffic is controlled by flag people and work takes place from sunrise to sunset. HANTS COUNTY: Route 215 Route 215, between Trunk 1 and Trunk 14 near Brooklyn, has alternating lane closures for road work until Monday, Oct. 31. Traffic is controlled by flag people and work takes place from sunrise to sunset. COLCHESTER COUNTY: Pictou Road Pictou Road between Vimy Road and Hillside Avenue is now open. Work is continuing on Pictou Road until Monday, Oct. 31 with traffic sometimes being restricted to one lane. YARMOUTH COUNTY: Canaan Road Canaan Road, from Gavelton Bridge north for 4.5 kilometres, is reduced to one lane for paving until Friday, Oct 14. Flag people and signs are on site. Work takes place form sunrise to sunset. -30- YARMOUTH COUNTY: Wilson Falls Bridge, Quinan Wilson Falls Bridge on Wilson Road, Quinan, will be closed for repairs starting Tuesday, Oct 11 at 10 a.m. until Friday, Oct. 28. Detour via Canaan Road, Gavel Road and Route 308. Detour signs will be in place. HANTS COUNTY: Lawrence Road Lawrence Road, between Route 215 and Avondale Road, has alternating lane closures for road work until Monday, Oct 31. Traffic is controlled by flag people and work takes place from sunrise to sunset. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: North Shore Road, Malagash North Shore Road will be closed for repairs approximately 1.4 kilometres east of Trunk 6, from Tuesday, Oct. 11 until Monday, Oct. 31. Detour via Malagash Road to Smith Road. Signs are in place. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset and is scheduled for completion on Monday, Oct. 31 DIGBY COUNTY: Bonnie Road Bonnie Road from Exit 31 of Highway 101 east to the waste transfer station has one lane closures for road repairs until Monday, Oct. 31. Traffic control is on site. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset.center_img HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Highway 102, Exit 2B Starting Monday, Oct. 10 until Friday, Oct. 14, there will be line painting on the roundabouts at Highway 102, Exit 2B, Larry Uteck Boulevard. Work will be done at night from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Drivers should expect delays during those hours. PICTOU COUNTY: West River Road The new roundabout in the town of Pictou is now opened to traffic. Construction continues on Sunset Street with a detour in place onto Weaver Road. This will result in stop-and-go traffic over night. This work is expected to be complete Saturday, Oct 15. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Highway 103 Sections of Highway 103, from Exit 12 for about nine kilometres to Northfield Overpass, have alternating lane closures for repaving and upgrading until Monday, Oct. 31. Work takes place from sunrise to sunset. HALIFAX REGIONAL MUNICIPALITY: Route 333 Route 333, at the intersection of Ragged Lake Boulevard and Evergreen Place, will have alternating lane closures for road work from Monday, Oct. 10 until Monday, Oct. 31. Drivers should expect delays. Traffic will be controlled by flag people and work will take place from sunrise to sunset. LUNENBURG COUNTY: Pine Grove Road Pine Grove Road, from Trunk 10 to Northfield Road, has alternating lane closures for repaving and upgrading until Monday, Oct. 31. Traffic is controlled by flag people and work takes place from sunrise to sunset. CUMBERLAND COUNTY: Highway 104 The eastbound lanes of the Amherst Viaduct Bridge on Highway 104 have alternating lane closures for repairs until Monday, Oct. 31. Work takes place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and traffic will be controlled by concrete barriers and signs. The bridge has a 4.5 metre width restriction and an 80 km/h speed limit. KINGS COUNTY: Marshall Road Marshall Road is closed to all but local traffic between Highway 101 (Exit 17W) and Brooklyn Street until Friday, Oct. 14, for repairs to the Marshall Road Overpass. The closure is 24 hours a day. There is a marked detour via Highway 1 and Brooklyn Street. RICHMOND COUNTY: Trunk 4 Trunk 4, from the canal bridge in St. Peter’s east for 5.8 kilometres, is reduced to one lane for gravelling and repaving until Thursday, Dec. 1. Traffic is controlled by flag people and work takes place from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. INVERNESS COUNTY: West Lake Ainslie Road The Hayes River Bridge on West Lake Ainslie Road has a 15 tonne weight restriction. COLCHESTER COUNTY: West North River Road, Onslow Mountain Road, Trunk 2 Traffic is reduced to one lane on three roads in Colchester County during paving and other road improvements. The roads are: West North River Road, from Onslow Road for 5.3 kilometres to Truro Road Onslow Mountain Road, from West North River Road for five kilometres Trunk 2, from Pleasant View Drive west for one kilometre CONTINUING WORKlast_img read more

first_imgMumbai: Buoyed by the success of the Vande Bharat Express between New Delhi and Varanasi, the Railways is planning to explore the possibility of running such semi-high speed trains between Mumbai to Pune, Nashik and Vadodara. The Vande Bharat Express has reduced the travel time between New Delhi and Varanasi by 40 per cent. “We want to check whether the same train can be replicated for Mumbai to Pune or Mumbai to Nashik or Mumbai to Baroda (Vadodara)….trial runs will begin in the next week,” member (Rolling Stock), Railway Board Rajesh Agrawal said here. Also Read – Pak activated 20 terror camps & 20 launch pads along LoC “We are going to start trial runs from the next week on the Vande-Bharat pattern. One AC-EMU rake and one non-AC MEMU rake will be given to the Central and Western Railways. If the trial goes as per plan, we can reduce the travel time between Mumbai to Pune and Nashik to within two hours,” said Agrawal, an ex-officio Secretary to the Government of India. “No final decision has been taken yet. As of now, we are going to explore only the possibility,” he said. Also Read – Two squadrons which participated in Balakot airstrike awarded citations Traffic congestion and upgradation of infrastructure including the tracks are bigger challenges for the railways, he said. Agrawal also said that by the end of March 2020, the railways has planned to run 12 AC locals in Mumbai, six each on the Central and Western suburban lines. “We have no shortage of coaches as the coach production has seen a quantum jump…Till previous year, all coach factories used to produce less that 4,000 coaches annually and this year the number has been scaled up to 6,000. Next year our target is to produce 8,000 coaches,” he said. Agrawal, who was in the city to review various works carried out by the Central Railway and Western Railway, lauded preparations for the monsoon, and expressed hope that even a rainfall of 200 mm in 24 hours will not disrupt the local train services this year.last_img read more

first_imgWINNIPEG – Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be removed from a display at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights over the humanitarian crisis facing her country’s Rohingya Muslims.The museum in Winnipeg has announced it will remove the Nobel Peace Prize winner from a timeline of human rights defenders and milestones.But a large image of the Myanmar leader will remain on display in the gallery of honorary Canadians. The lights around the image have been dimmed and a sign has been placed in front explaining the current humanitarian crisis.“She’s not a human rights icon. Why is she there? She is an absolute oppressor, there is no question about it,” Anwar Arkani, president of the Rohingya Association of Canada said Wednesday.“Why do you keep her in the museum (with) a lot of honorable people who are disgraced by this lady’s presence.”The Rohingya Association of Canada previously reached out to the museum calling for all references to Suu Kyi to be eliminated.Arkani said the move is a step in the right direction.Suu Kyi led the opposition to the military junta that ruled the country after 1962. Her goal was to create a democratic society. She was arrested after winning an election the military refused to honour, and was confined to her house as a political prisoner for nearly 15 years.Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 and was given honorary Canadian citizenship in 2007.Most Rohingya in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar are denied citizenship and basic rights. Around 200,000 fled the country between 2012 and 2015.The situation worsened last August when Myanmar’s military was accused of widespread human rights violations during a violent crackdown in response to an attack on police by Rohingya insurgents. Around 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh and thousands are believed to have died.Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy government have been criticized for failing to stop or condemn the atrocities.The Rohingya Association of Canada has been working with the museum to create public programs for visitors and develop a 2019 exhibition to raise awareness about the crisis, said Angela Cassie, the museum’s vice-president of public affairs and programs.The museum is also recording oral histories from the community to be included in a national collection.“The betrayal is significant and it’s very painful for them to come through the doors and see her image,” Cassie said.“What we chose to do is not change the history, but rather dim the light and keep the exhibition in place and add to the story so people understand the contemporary context.“(It is) continuing to happen today and we should use these opportunities to raise that awareness and encourage others to add their voices to support those that are continuing to flee to escape violence and persecution.”last_img read more

first_imgRabat  –  President of the State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas said the final declaration which was issued at the end of the 20th meeting of Al-Quds Committee, held in Marrakech on January 17-18, is comprehensive and includes a series of measures to support the resistance of Maqdessis and allow them to stay in their territories.In an interview with Moroccan TV channel Al-Oula before leaving Morocco on Saturday following the closing session of the meeting of Al-Quds Committee, Abbas said the Marrakech declaration “includes more than thirty resolutions that address the suffering (of Mqdessis) and future prospects as we wish them to be.”He said these resolutions are likely to contribute to the resistance of the Palestinians and to strengthen the presence of Maqdessis in their territory, through various forms of support in different areas, adding that the escalation of the Israeli attacks and the proliferation of settlements targeting the holy city and the territories, aims to drive the Palestinians from their lands.  Al-Quds Committee, an offshoot of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, is holding its 20th session from January 17 through 18.Foreign ministers of the committee member-states, the OIC secretary general, High-level emissaries representing the UN Security Council permanent member-states, the EU, the Vatican, the UN and the Arab league took part in the Marrakech meeting.last_img read more

NEW YORK — The day of reckoning has arrived for the German con artist who passed herself off as a wealthy heiress and swindled tens of thousands of dollars from New York banks and hotels.Anna Sorokin is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in state court following her conviction last month on multiple counts of grand larceny and theft of services.Her defence attorney, Todd Spodek, has said Sorokin faces up to 15 years in prison on the most serious charge. She has been in custody since her October 2017 arrest.Sorokin went by Anna Delvey when she defrauded financial institutions and Manhattan celebrity circles into believing she had a fortune of about $67 million (60 million euros) overseas that could cover her jet-setting lifestyle, high-end clothing and lavish hotel stays. The 28-year-old falsely claimed her father was a diplomat or an oil baron, and falsified bank records and forged her identity to further the scam.Her ruse included an application for a $22 million loan to fund a private arts club, complete with exhibitions, installations and pop-up shops, prosecutors said. She was denied that loan but persuaded one bank to lend her $100,000 that she failed to repay.In all, prosecutors accused her of stealing some $275,000, including a $35,400 bill she failed to pay for a plane she chartered to and from the Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting in Omaha, Nebraska.But jurors acquitted her of two counts, including an allegation that she promised a friend an all-expenses paid trip to Morocco and then stuck her with the $62,000 bill. She was also found not guilty of one of the most serious charges in the indictment: attempting to steal more than $1 million from City National Bank.Manhattan jurors did convict Sorokin of four counts of theft of services, three counts of grand larceny and one count of attempted grand larceny following a monthlong trial that drew international attention and tabloid headlines about Sorkin’s courtroom fashion.Spodek, the defence attorney, argued that Sorokin had been “buying time” and planned to settle her debts. He said she lacked criminal intent and was an ambitious entrepreneur.Jim Mustian, The Associated Press read more

first_imgIn a move that has angered many, US Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman has announced a restructured approach to its FutureGen project that aims to demonstrate cutting-edge carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at multiple commercial-scale Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) clean coal power plants. The strategy is for the US Department of Energy (DOE) to join industry in efforts to build IGCC plants by providing funding for the addition of CCS technology to multiple plants that will be operational by 2015. This approach builds on technological research and development advancements in IGCC and CCS technology achieved over the past five years and is expected to at least double the amount of carbon dioxide sequestered compared to the concept announced in 2003. Secretary Bodman also announced President Bush’s budget request of $648 million for the DOE Office of Fossil Energy’s advanced coal technology research, development and demonstration program for Fiscal Year (FY) 2009. The FY09 budget requests $407 million for coal research — including development of more efficient gasification and turbine technologies, innovations for existing coal power plants, and large-scale CCS injection tests — and $241 million to demonstrate technologies for cost-effective carbon capture and storage for coal-fired power plants, including $156 million for the restructured FutureGen approach and $85 million for DOE’s Clean Coal Power Initiative. This $648 million request represents a $129 million increase from the President’s FY2008 request and is the largest amount requested for DOE’s coal program in more than 25 years.“This restructured FutureGen approach is an all-around better investment for Americans. As technological advancements have been realised in the last five years, we are eager to demonstrate CCS technology on commercial plants that when operational, will be the cleanest coal-fired plants in the world. Each of these plants will sequester at least 1 Mt of carbon dioxide annually and help meet our nation’s rapidly growing energy demand,” Secretary Bodman said. “Coal is our nation’s most abundant energy resource powering over half of the homes in America. To ensure a clean, reliable and affordable energy future, the DOE is planning the largest budget request in over 25 years focusing on demonstrating advanced technology like carbon capture and storage so that the technology can be perfected and rapidly deployed across the country.”Reuters take is that “ballooning construction costs that nearly doubled the price tag for building the world’s cleanest coal-burning power plant to $1.8 billion prompted the US Energy Department on Wednesday to pull the plug on funding the project. The department’s decision elicited howls of protest from Illinois officials who accused the department of playing politics by panning the project after competing sites in Texas were rejected. Department officials denied those accusations.”“We feel that (Bodman) misled us and the people of Illinois, creating false hope in a FutureGen project which he had no intention of funding or supporting,” Illinois lawmakers including Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin wrote in a letter to President Bush.National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Kraig R. Naasz emphasised the need for an accelerated and sustained commitment to the research, development and deployment of technologies capable of successfully managing carbon dioxide emissions at coal-fueled power plants. He made the case for such an effort following the January 29 meeting between Bodman and the Illinois congressional delegation at which Bodman announced the DOE’s intention to end its support for the FutureGen Project.DOE’s plans drew a sharp rebuke from many Senators, including Barack Obama, who wrote to President Bush saying they had “lost confidence in Secretary Bodman” and accused Bodman of “misleading them and the people of Illinois, creating false hope in a FutureGen project which he had no intention of funding or supporting.”“We are writing today to urge you to keep FutureGen on track, so that this project can begin construction and become a reality,” the delegation said. The letter said the Illinois congressional delegation along with the state of Illinois and the FutureGen Alliance “stand ready to move this important project forward,” adding that it would be “unfortunate to wait for the next administration to complete the project that you announced and have promoted for more than five years.”NMA’s Naasz called for “a strong partnership between coal-based energy providers and policymakers to supply the necessary funding and technological direction,” saying the FutureGen project “has been and should continue to be a key part of our commitment to a secure and clean energy future. NMA remains hopeful that the partnership between DOE and the FutureGen Alliance, which includes US and international coal producers and coal-based utilities, can be cemented and the project can realise the potential it was designed to achieve.”Naasz stressed  that all Americans have benefited from existing federal clean coal technology programs, saying America’s “energy security and economic future depend on FutureGen and projects like it to continue that vital effort.”Futur eGen Alliance CEO Michael Mudd said in a January 30 statement that the alliance “is committed to its co-operative agreement with DOE” and will continue to work with Congress, the state of Illinois, foreign governments and other project stakeholders “to keep FutureGen moving ahead at Mattoon, Illinois.”Mudd emphasised that the project “is critical to the rapid development and deployment of near-zero emission power technology around the world.” Mudd said the FutureGen Alliance “remains committed” to keeping FutureGen on track. “We owe it to the people of Illinois, to the alliance members who have contributed significant funds and resources to bring the project to this stage and to society which depends on technology to provide clean, affordable and secure energy.”The DOE has issued a Request for Information (RFI) that seeks industry’s input by March 3, 2008, on the costs and feasibility associated with building clean coal facilities that achieve the intended goals of FutureGen. Following this period and consideration of industry comment, DOE intends to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement – or competitive solicitation – to provide federal funding under co-operative agreements to equip IGCC (or other clean coal technology) commercial power plants that generate at least 300 MW, with CCS technology aimed at accelerating near-term technology deployment. Initial input from industry will assist in determining how many demonstrations can be commissioned.This restructured approach allows DOE to maximise the role of private sector innovation, provide a ceiling on federal contributions, and accelerate the Administration’s goal of increasing the use of clean energy technologies to help meet the steadily growing demand for energy while also mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Under this plan, DOE’s investment would provide funding for no more than the CCS component of the power plant – not the entire plant construction, compared with the FutureGen concept announced in 2003 where the federal government would incur 74% of rising costs. This would allow for commercial operation of IGCC power plants equipped with CCS technology to begin as soon as the plants are commissioned, between 2015 and 2016.The FutureGen concept announced in 2003 planned the creation of a near-zero emissions, 275 MW power plant that produced hydrogen and electricity from coal on a smaller-than-commercial-scale, serving as a laboratory for technology development. The DOE says the “announcement builds on advancements in technology made since 2003 and allows for electricity to be produced and greenhouse gas emissions sequestered at a rate and scale that offers tremendous potential for commercial viability. The restructured approach will focus on separating carbon dioxide (CO2) for CCS, and does not include hydrogen production, which the concept announced in 2003 included; however, hydrogen production for commercial use will remain an important component of DOE’s other energy initiatives. Also, engagement with the international community will remain an integral part of DOE’s efforts to advance CCS technology on a global scale.“The four sites – two in Illinois and two in Texas – evaluated in the Department’s Environmental Impact Statement issued in November 2007, including the site announced by the FutureGen Alliance in December 2007, Mattoon, Illinois, may be eligible to host a commercial-scale IGCC plant with CCS technology. The site analysis and characterisation data at these sites may be applicable to future environmental analyses under this restructured approach. More than one site may be selected as a host for the commercial demonstration of CCS technology and DOE encourages applicants to include these four sites in their consideration for this restructured approach. Also, the FutureGen Alliance’s 13 member companies may compete with all the other applicants.“This restructured approach builds on the Administration’s investment of more than $2.5 billion in clean coal technology since 2001, which includes small-scale carbon sequestration projects and IGCC research that have advanced our understanding of the potential for clean coal technology. It is also consistent with a key recommendation of last year’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology Study, The Future of Coal, which indicated that “the main purpose of the [FutureGen] project should be to demonstrate commercial viability of coal-based power generation with CCS.” The Administration’s Clean Coal Power Initiative, as well as awards of $1.65 billion in clean coal tax incentives, and the use of loan guarantees, are other key components of DOE’s efforts to demonstrate the potential of advanced clean coal technologies to meet growing energy demand.”last_img read more

first_imgEVERY MORNING, TheJournal.ie brings you the nine stories you need to know as you kick off your day.1. #TYPHOON: Six days after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines, aid workers are still trying to gain access to those most in need of assistance. Ireland deployed 100 tonnes of emergency supplies – including tents, blankets and ropes – to the island today.Meanwhile, more tragedy hit the city of Tacloban as eight people died when a hungry mob stormed a rice warehouse.2. #HACKING: It emerged last night that up to 1.5 million people across Europe could be impacted by the security breach at county Clare company LoyaltyBuild.3. #MISSING: Police in London have said that missing girl Kathleen Doherty could be in Ireland. The 11-year-old has not been seen in more than a week.4. #HEALTHCARE: Laya Healthcare warns this morning that the government’s decision to increase a levy on insurance policies could force people to drop their cover, according to RTÉ News. Yesterday, Minister James Reilly announced hikes of between €15 and €49 in the stamp duty for certain products.5. #PRISON PENSION: The Irish Daily Mail reports that former Fianna Fáil senator Francie O’Brien is to keep his €32,500 retirement fund as he serves a three-year jail sentence for extortion.6. #COWEN CONSULTING: The same newspaper also reports that former taoiseach Brian Cowen has set up his own business consultancy firm and will operate as a business improvement freelancer from Offaly.7. #CRIME FIGHTING: Almost 7,000 people have been arrested and 4,000 charged over the past 18 months as part of the garda crackdown on crime gangs carrying out burglaries across the country.8. #BRINGING HOME THE BACON: Three Studies of Lucian Freud – a painting by Irish-born Francis Bacon – sold for $142 million last night, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.9. #TURN YOUR MOBILE PHONE OFF, PLEASE: Roy Keane is to give his first press conference as the Republic of Ireland’s assistant manager this afternoon. You can watch it live on RTÉ News Now from 2.30pm. The tension!last_img read more

first_imgA major US fund is selling more than 100 apartments in Cork city for €28 million Most of the ‘City Square’ complex is expected to sell for about €30m. “The scheme offers potential to grow the income further by securing additional commercial tenancies,” Savills said.The latest Daft.ie rental report showed that the average asking price for one-bed apartments in Cork city stood at €897, an increase of 8% between the end of 2016 and the same time last year.Savills agents Kevin McMahon and Isobel O’Regan said that the development is a good investment opportunity “due to the continually increasing demand for rented accommodation in Cork city centre”.Market ratesIt said that this is reinforced by the fact that the passing rents in the complex are currently “considerably below market rent”.City Square was constructed in 2007 by the Frinailla Group, which was controlled by local developers the Conway family.Like many property groups, Frinailla struggled with debts after the property crash and in 2010 a receiver was appointed to take control of City Square.The development was subsequently sold to Oaktree, a massive US private equity fund which has assets of more than $100 billion (€84 billion) under management and which bought assets across Ireland following the crash.Note: Journal Media Ltd has shareholders in common with Daft.ie publisher Distilled Media Group.Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.Written by Paul O’Donoghue and posted on Fora.ie 53 Comments Take me to Fora Wednesday 21 Feb 2018, 10:55 AM https://jrnl.ie/3863333 Feb 21st 2018, 10:39 AM US INVESTMENT GIANT Oaktree is selling more than 100 apartments in Cork city with a guide price of just under €30 million.Property group Savills, which is handling the sale, announced this morning that the units are part of the ‘City Square’ development which is located in Lady’s Well near Cork city centre.The complex is comprised of three blocks of residential units which range from two to five storeys that are mostly made up of one-, two- or three-bed apartments. There are 16 commercial units at ground level, as well as 280 car parking spaces.Of the 145 residential units in the scheme, 127 are up for sale at a guide price of €28 million.Savills said that the complex has “virtually full residential occupancy generating a gross income of approximately €1.8 million per annum, and an additional €177,200 per annum from the commercial element”. One of the apartments in the development Source: Tony HealyThe property group said that apartments in the scheme were recently rented out at a cost of €1,200 per month for a one-bed, €1,500 for a two-bed and €1,700 for a three-bed.center_img 35,970 Views By Fora Staff Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Share34 Tweet Email5 Short URL Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

first_imgWindows Phone 7 : les premiers terminaux prévus pour octobre 2010Europe – Si l’on en croit le directeur opérationnel de Microsoft, les premiers téléphones sous Windows Phone 7 devraient débarquer en Europe au mois d’octobre, tandis que les appareils envahiront les États-Unis en novembre.Les rumeurs parlaient de décembre, mais il semble finalement que le nouvel OS mobile de Microsoft fera son apparition en Europe en octobre 2010. C’est en tout cas ce qu’a déclaré Kevin Turner, directeur opérationnel de l’entreprise. Les États-Unis pourront se procurer les premiers appareils en novembre, et cela dans le but évident d’imposer ces nouvelles machines lors des périodes de fêtes de fin d’année.Microsoft espère ainsi concurrencer Apple sur le terrain de l’iPhone, alors que M. Turner estime que près de 450 millions de smartphones devraient se vendre d’ici trois à cinq ans sur le marché de la téléphonie mobile. Windows Phone 7 devrait être visible sur les appareils Asus, HTC, LG, Dell ou encore Samsung. Le 3 août 2010 à 12:23 • Emmanuel Perrinlast_img read more

first_img A few weeks ago we got to check out Vector, an upcoming product from Anki that wants to get you used to having cute yet clever robots casually roaming around your home. And it looks pretty neat! But Vector isn’t the first piece of hot robot technology from Anki. In fact, Vector shares a lot in common with Cozmo, the company’s recent and successful robot toy. With Vector still months away, and its features/price point targeting an older audience, Cozmo ($180) is still worth considering. Stay on target Geek Pick: Shure MV88+ Is An Excellent, On the Go Microphone KitGeek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your Walls center_img Cozmo’s most eye-catching feature is its design. Your heart just can’t help but melt when you see this little big-eyed beetle/excavator thing that fits in the palm of your hand. The digital expressions and peppy movements sell the illusion of life. It totally works as a physical digital virtual pet without looking too much like any specific animal.The virtual pet comparison goes beyond the look though. The whole point of Cozmo is to play with it. Unlike the upcoming Vector, Cozmo needs to be paired with a mobile app in order to function. After setting it in the charging base, you connected with Cozmo over Wi-Fi. However, even with this requirement the robot is capable of some impressive independent thought.The cameras let Cozmo recognize specific users and say their names is adorably garbled robot baby talk. I’m still recovering from its pronunciation of “Cube in Chest,” of course inspired by the classic scene in the first live-action Transformers. Speaking of cubes, Cozmo comes with three glowing companion cubes to interact it in a variety of ways. Cozmo can do tricks like use its front arms to flip a cube over. Like a true pet, Cozmo needs to be fed occasional, and you shake cubes to do that, too. There’s even a kind of progression system where if you keep Cozmo tuned-up and entertained you get coins to unlock new tricks.Cozmo is a toy first and foremost. It’s for kids to get intensely enamored with and then move on to something else (unless they decide to dig into the simple programming SDK). But it’s a really cool toy, and in retrospect it might be a vital starting off point for Anki’s future artificial intelligence ambitions.For more on cute robots check out these cyber centaurs and popcorn-powered machines.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.last_img read more