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first_imgNEW YORK — Giants Shaun Anderson has pitched in just four major league games, but he has already earned the attention and respect of the top rookie hitter in the National League.Mets slugger Pete Alonso thought the world of Anderson long before either player reached the majors.“I’m definitely looking forward to facing a buddy,” said Alonso, who was teammates with Anderson at the University of Florida. “It’s awesome that me and him are here right now. It seems so far away, but three years …last_img read more

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device.SAN FRANCISCO — When Bruce Bochy rides off into the sunset this offseason, he won’t be doing it in a brand new SUV.The Giants planned to give one lucky fan at Sunday’s season finale a Toyota Rav4 to wrap up Fan Appreciation Day.Neither Bochy nor any of the Giants fans in attendance to support him on Sunday won the giveaway contest. As if the Dodgers’ ride to the postseason couldn’t get any smoother, the …last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is placing renewed focus on caring for the vital soils of the United States with a new Soil Health Division“We’re getting back to our roots and our basics. NRCS was born 80 years ago, created in the wake of the Dust Bowl. Our focus then was sharing our knowledge of farming and soil conservation practices with farmers to help improve the health of their soils. We have recently come full circle and are back to the principles of soil health and looking beyond the physical and chemical properties to the biological properties,” said Jason Weller, NRCS chief. “We are looking at all of the biota that live below the surface that help support the food production for those of us who live above the surface of the soil.”Rather than addressing the health of the nation’s soils from Washington, D.C., the NRCS is targeting resources for soil health in the field.“It is about first educating our own employees by giving them the skills and training they need to work with farmers and ranchers to help with their overall cropping and grazing systems. Also importantly we are providing training to our Soil and Water Conservation District partners, and, most crucially, our customers — farmers and ranchers,” Weller said. “We are starting to hire and recruit some of the nation’s best soil scientists, agronomists and resource conservationists to get out in the field. Importantly, this division is not based in Washington, D.C. — 99% of the employees are out in the field where they belong. There we can provide one-on-one service for farmers and training opportunities for our own staff.”Weller feels this emphasis on soil health at the NRCS will further enhance the USDA’s overall commitment to caring for natural resources.“The most valuable asset a farmer has is the soil. We can look at how to use different types of tillage, other farm inputs, manure management and other inputs, chemistry, nutrient management, and drainage management in a holistic look at how you manage the soils,” he said. “We have learned through science that by improving the overall health of your soils, it will help maintain or boost yields. We can’t do this without interest and engagement from the ag community. The innovation and leadership starts with farmers.”last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Built and sustained with the hard work of rural west Ohio, Celina Industries is a unique company involved in nearly all facets of the custom textile business. One division of their diversified offerings is Agri-Barrier, a product that’s making a name for itself across the countryside for quality barn curtains with multiple technologies suited best for the conditions that farmers need it to weather.In this video, we take a look around their hi-tech factory where their products are made, as well as a trip to the countryside to see their barn curtains in action.last_img read more

first_imgFirst indications of an alliance being stitched by the smaller political parties for the upcoming Lok Sabha election have emerged in Rajasthan with the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party, formed ahead of the 2018 State Assembly polls, announcing its plan to contest all the 25 seats in association with other parties opposed to the Congress and BJP.The RLP, headed by Khinvsar MLA and BJP rebel Hanuman Beniwal, had won three seats in the State Assembly election. The party had fielded its candidates in 57 constituencies and contested the polls without any alliance.Mr. Beniwal said here on Tuesday that the RLP had not only won three seats, but also obtained a considerable vote share and made an impact on the results in about two dozen Assembly constituencies. The party won Khinvsar and Merta seats in Nagaur district and Bhopalgarh seat in Jodhpur district.The RLP president said the party was trying to enter into an alliance with other parties and discussing the framework of accord with Bahujan Samaj Party, Bharatiya Tribal Party, Communist Party of India and some other smaller political outfits. He said a decision on his own candidature in the Lok Sabha election would be taken after consultations with the party workers and Assembly poll candidates.‘No relief yet’Mr. Beniwal said the Congress, which was elected to power in Rajasthan following its promises made to farmers and youth, had yet to extend relief to vulnerable sections of society. “The loan waiver has not benefited all the eligible farmers, while moong (lentil) procurement is yet to start and the contractual workers in government offices are still waiting for regularisation,” he said.The RLP chief said several promises made in the Congress’ manifesto could have been fulfilled before the election’s model code of conduct came into force. “Evicting the BJP from power has not served the purpose. The ruling Congress is yet to take meaningful action for people’s welfare.”Though the Congress had declared earlier this month that it would have no truck with allies in the Lok Sabha polls, its stance has been perceived as a strategy to put pressure on the smaller parties to accept an alliance on its terms and agree to a limited number of seats.last_img read more

first_imgAndrea Pirlo Pirlo says goodbye to fans after career comes to an end Goal Last updated 2 years ago 22:57 11/6/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Andrea Pirlo New York City FC Getty New York City New York City v Columbus Crew Juventus Milan MLS Serie A The World Cup winner played the final game of a glittering career and bowed out with a message to his supporters and team-mates  Andrea Pirlo has thanked New York City FC fans for their support after he played the last game of his career on Sunday.The 38-year-old midfielder made a late substitute appearance as NYCFC were eliminated from the MLS playoffs by the Columbus Crew.The former AC Milan and Juventus star had already confirmed he would be bringing an end to his career when his contract ends in December, but with no games left this season for New York City, he has kicked his last ball in professional football. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player A winner of six Serie A titles, two Champions League crowns and a World Cup, the Italy legend bowed out with a special message for team-mates and fans.”Last match in MLS. As my time in NYFC comes to an end I would like to say few words,” he wrote on social media.”I want to thank everybody for the kindness and support they have shown me in this incredible city. Thank you to the amazing supporters, thank you to the coaching staff and everybody that work behind the scene, thank you to my teammates.”Not only my adventure in NY comes to an end but my journey as a football player as well, that is why I would like to take the opportunity to thank my family and my children for the support and love they always give me, every team that I had the honor to play for, every teammate I have been pleased to play alongside, all the people that made my career such incredible and last but not least, all the fans around the world that always showed me support.pic.twitter.com/6TY539vB9z— Andrea Pirlo (@Pirlo_official) November 6, 2017″You will always be on my side and in my heart.”Pirlo has already been linked with a move into coaching, with reports claiming he could head to Chelsea to become Antonio Conte’s assistant.However, he said in October that he still has to decide on what is next.”I’ll do something else, I’ll be back in Italy in December,” he said. “Work with Conte? They say things, I have some ideas, but give me time to decide.”last_img read more

first_imgThe MacBook Air has achieved icon status. When Apple introduced it in 2008, it redefined what a laptop could be — and set the bar for style and portability. I love the MacBook Air, and for many years vigorously recommended it as the best laptop for most people. But since Apple reworked the design in 2018, things have become more complicated. My endorsement is now qualified, requiring some verbal asterisks and footnotes.  Partly, it’s because Apple now sells two different laptops called the MacBook Air. The new model, which the company introduced in October 2018, starts at $1,199. It has a more modern Apple aesthetic, newer components and a few features, like a Retina display and Touch ID, that were previously exclusive to the more expensive MacBook Pro. (Read the full MacBook Air 2018 review here.)    You might be surprised to learn that Apple still sells the older MacBook Air, a model released in June 2017. It’s essentially the same design that Apple introduced way back in 2010. It has 2017-era components — probably not your top choice in 2019 — but also a revered keyboard and a time-tested build. (Read the full MacBook Air 2017 review here.) And though Apple sells it for $999, it can usually be found for $900, and sometimes even less. (Note that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.) See the MacBook Air 2018 at AmazonSee the MacBook Air 2017 at B&HOn the surface, the newer model is the superior machine in nearly every way. Its components are contemporary, if not exactly cutting-edge, and Apple has addressed most of the previous model’s minor design imperfections. But, at $900, I think the older MacBook Air still delivers compelling value — especially if you’re just looking for a laptop that can handle basics like email, internet, document and spreadsheets.   Cinebench R15 CPU (multicore) 13.3-inch LED-backlit IPS display (2,560×1,600 pixels) Networking $999 The basics: Entry-level configurations, upgrades and features Now playing: Watch this: Acer Swift 7 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.2 9,032 671 35 best battery life laptops Comments 1.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 Apple MacBook (12-inch, 2017) 8GB 2,133MHz LPDDR3 RAM (16GB upgrade available) 7,490 Advantage: MacBook Air 2018, by a hair More vs. faster connections unboxing-macbook-air-2018-goldTwo USB-C ports is all you get on the 2018 MacBook Air. CNET In 2018, Apple finally gave the MacBook Air two USB-C ports — a staple of modern Windows laptops. The upside: much faster connections that could output to two 4K screens (or one 5K display). In exchange, Apple took away nearly every other port the 2017 MacBook Air had: two USB 3, one Thunderbolt 2, a SDXC card slot and a DisplayPort, used to connect to an external monitor.  The new MacBook Air has only the two USB-C ports, one of which is used to connect its power adaptor, making a USB hub all but mandatory. It also means that the new model doesn’t have the older model’s MagSafe connector, which I love. If you accidentally trip on your power cord, it simply detaches — instead of pulling your laptop off the table and on to the floor. I believe that this one feature has saved me hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars over the years. worstratedapple-06.jpgThe MagSafe power adapter. Sarah Tew/CNET Advantage: MacBook Air 2017 Video playback battery-drain test (streaming minutes) Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017) Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it System configurations 253 Storage MacOS Mojave Apple MacOS Sierra 10.12.5; 1.2GHz Intel Core m3-7Y32; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 1,536MB Intel HD Graphics 615; 256GB SSD We believe that the 2018 MacBook Air and newest Touch Bar MacBook Pros have a retooled version of the butterfly keyboard, equipped with a membrane that helps keep dust from gumming up the keys. The entry-level MacBook Pro (without the Touch Bar) has an earlier version of the butterfly keyboard without the membrane; this is the version that has been labeled “defective” by some. apple-macbook-air-2017-06The 2017 MacBook Air. Sarah Tew/CNET The 2017 MacBook Air has Apple’s traditional, beloved keyboard, which is my favorite of the lot. It’s more than a mild preference — but short of a deal-killer for the new MacBook Air. Still, it’s one of the reasons I think the older model remains worth considering. Like the keyboard, personal taste will dictate how you feel about the touchpad. The new MacBook Air has a much larger touchpad that’s equipped with Apple’s Force Touch technology, with sensors at each corner of the touchpad that register when you click it. The older model has a simpler hinge design. Both are great. Advantage: MacBook Air 2017 Limited firepower intel-8th-gen-mobile-board-in-handIntel’s eighth-generation processor. Lori Grunin/CNET Apple laptops usually have older, less powerful processors than their Windows-based contemporaries and the MacBook Air is no exception. The 2018 MacBook Air comes equipped with a dual-core eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor. The 2017 features — egads — a fifth-generation Intel processor, the entry-level Core i5 or Core i7, which costs an additional $150. Both models feature integrated Intel graphics, which means neither is ideal for gaming or graphic design, though I’ve used Photoshop on both without issue. The 2018 MacBook Air, which comes with 8GB of 2,133MHz LPDDR3 memory by default, can be upgraded to 16GB. The older model comes in one size only, with 8GB of 1,600MHz LPDDR3 memory. One other note about the 2018 model: It has a fan, which doesn’t run constantly, but it is surprisingly loud when it does.   And here’s the shocker: Despite having a processor that’s several years newer, the new MacBook Air is just a tad faster than its predecessor. In our benchmark testing, it eked out a minor performance edge that’s barely imperceptible in regular use. And it’s noticeably slower than many Windows laptops in its price class and the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, which costs only $100 more.  MacOS Mojave 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.0 Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Share your voice Tags Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Processor 11,983 Dell XPS 13 (2018) 128GB PCIe SSD (256GB or 512GB upgrade available) 2x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports (one of which is used to connect the charger) Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017) Apple MacOS Sierra 10.12.6; 3.1GHz Intel Core i5-7267; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 1,536MB Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650; 512GB SSD $1,119 128GB PCIe SSD (256GB, 512GB or 1.5TB upgrade available) 589 Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 6 610 5:09 Memory 6,898 Intel HD Graphics 6000 561 Apple MacOS Mojave 10.14; 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 2,133MHz; 1,536MB Intel UHD Graphics 617; 256GB SSD Dell XPS 13 (2018) 2.75 pounds Graphics 7,870 Apple MacOS Sierra 10.12.6; 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-56500U; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,600MHz; 1,536MB Intel HD Graphics 6000; 256GB SSD 1.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (2.2GHz dual-core Intel Core i7 upgrade available) 6,027 626 629 Apple MacBook (12-inch, 2017) Acer Swift 7 Note: Longer bars indicate better performance Next, we’ll take a look at the specific differences between the 2017 and 2018 MacBook Air in terms of design, display, keyboard, ports and connections, processing power and battery life.  How big a deal is a Retina display? Sarah Tew/CNET When it announced the new MacBook Air at its October 2018 keynote, Apple spent a lot of time talking up the Retina display. And for good reason: It has a much higher native resolution than the older screen, making it crisper, more vivid and easier on the eyes. It’s also brighter, rated for 500 nits compared to the older model’s 300. Apple narrowed the bezels rather dramatically, giving the new MacBook Air a more modern aesthetic. Finally, the new display contains no mercury or arsenic, making for a less toxic, more sustainable manufacturing process.  19-apple-macbook-air-2018On the left, the 2017 model’s wide bezel. On the right, the 2018 model. Sarah Tew/CNET The 2017 MacBook Air’s display is not bad. The 1,440×900-pixel resolution is pretty standard for a 13.3-inch display. But it’s noticeably dimmer and less sharp than the new model’s display. Advantage: MacBook Air 2018(Note: It’s bewildering that neither MacBook Air has a touchscreen display. Indeed, no Apple laptop has one, and it’s among the most glaring weaknesses of the entire lineup. If you’re interested in a touchscreen laptop, there’s no shortage of excellent touchscreen Windows and Chromebook models that cost less than either MacBook Air.) The butterfly effect 31-apple-macbook-air-2018The 2018 MacBook Air. Sarah Tew/CNET For years, the MacBook Air was universally lauded for its sublime keyboard. The keys’ size, shape and travel — that is, the distance they move when pressed — were right on the money, making it a genuine pleasure to use. Then, in 2018, Apple replaced the traditional Air keyboard with its “new and improved” super flat “butterfly” keyboard.  The reception has been mixed. Some folks don’t love the flat design. Others think it’s fine. And a small but vocal subset of users have alleged that the new keyboard is fatally sensitive to dust and other microparticles, rendering some keys unusable in some cases. Wall Street Journal reporter Joanna Stern this weekend penned a hilarious, maddening article about writing with a defective keyboard.center_img 738 Ports and connections 8GB of 1,600MHz LPDDR3 RAM 13.3-inch LED-backlit display (1,440×900 pixels) 381 MacBook Air (2018) 263 2x USB 3 ports, Thunderbolt 2 port, SDXC card slot Video playback battery-drain test (streaming minutes) Note: Longer bars indicate better performance Acer Swift 7 Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017) 252 Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018) Laptops Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017) 10 hours, 43 minutes Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017) Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 646 430 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8250U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel UHD Graphics 620; 256GB Weight Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018) Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Acer Swift 7 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.3GHz Intel Core i7-7Y75; 8GB DDR3 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB dedicated Intel HD Graphics 615; 256GB SSD Dell XPS 13 (2018) Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2017) See All Intel UHD 617 Battery life 10 hours, 46 minutes Dell XPS 13 (2018) MacBook Air 2018 now has a Retina display MagSafe connector for charger  Before we move forward with a detailed product comparison, it’s worth noting that there are lots and lots of excellent non-Apple laptops priced around $1,000 that offer greater versatility, more powerful components and features you won’t find on either MacBook Air. Yes, you’ll have to do without Apple’s terrific MacOS Mojave operating system. But you’ll find superior Intel processors, discrete graphics cards and touchscreen displays that, in some cases, work in both laptop and tablet mode. With that caveat out of the way, let’s take look at how the two different MacBook Airs stack up. First, a summary of what’s included with each base model and the upgrades that are available.  • Base price reading • MacBook Air 2018 vs. MacBook Air 2017: Which one should you buy? Other notable features I’ve been using @Apple’s new MacBook Air for about a month & I’ve had the same issues as @JoannaStern. Constant double “E”s and “T”s , and I’ve had food nowhere near this thing. No biggie. They’re just the most used letters in the English language. 🙄 https://t.co/ZETILLenv4— Shara Tibken (@sharatibken) March 27, 2019 Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018) Apple Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2018) Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017) Apple MacBook (12-inch, 2017) Advantage: NeitherEverything elseThe new MacBook Air has a few other new noteworthy features. Touch ID, which lets you log in with your fingerprint, is handier and more secure than typing in a password. It also has three microphones compared to the older model’s two. Both have stereo speakers, though the 2018 MacBook Air’s are better positioned, running along each side of the keyboard. None of these are significant enough to sway a buying decision, but give the newer model a few bonus points.  03-apple-macbook-air-2018 Sarah Tew/CNET Beyond that, the two models are largely the same. The new MacBook Air is a bit more compact and a few ounces lighter. But both have the same operating system, the same 720p FaceTime camera and the same 3.5mm headphone jack. Advantage: MacBook Air 2018 The verdict 025-macbook-air-2018-nyc Sarah Tew/CNET I’ll concede that the MacBook Air 2018, on the strength of its superior Retina display and supremely elegant design, is the better laptop. But starting at $1,199, I don’t believe that it’s the better deal. That designation still belongs to the MacBook Air 2017 — especially if you can find it for under $900 — which retains critical advantages with its keyboard and connections. The good news: depending on whether you’re optimizing for performance or price, there’s a MacBook Air for you. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Touch ID, which doubles as power button Apple MacBook (12-inch, 2017) Battery life Battery life has always been super solid on the MacBook Air though a number of Windows and Chrome-based laptops have pulled ahead. Still, among the 2017 and 2018 MacBook Air, battery life is basically a wash. You can expect 10-plus hours from both machines — good enough for a full day or work and then some. Geekbench 4 (multicore) 2.96 pounds Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit); 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8550U; 8GB DDR4 SDRAM 1,866MHz; 128MB (dedicated) Intel HD Graphics 620; 256GB SSD Operating system 37 Photos 12,855 MacBook Air (2017) Display size/resolution Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Chrome OS Intel MacOS Mojave Applelast_img read more

first_imgTwitter isn’t OK with moving Halloween.  Mike Kemp/Getty Images A Change.org petition to move Halloween from Oct. 31 to the last Saturday of the month has given Twitter quite a fright. The petition, started by the Halloween & Costume Association, has gotten over 77,000 signatures toward its 150,000 goal as of this writing Friday.”It’s time for a safer, longer, stress-free celebration! Let’s move Halloween to the last Saturday of October,” states the petition, which was started last year, but has become a big topic on Twitter now as we inch toward Halloween this year. Move Halloween?  mtvstyle.tumblr.com/Giphy Halloween 2019 lands on a Thursday this year, but if the petition succeeds, the holiday would take place on Saturday, Oct. 26. The Halloween & Costume Association cites safety reasons for wanting to move the holiday. Those who signed the petition agree, and also said it would be easier to not worry about school the next day. Wrote one signer: “I’ve been saying this for years!! It only makes sense to do something like this so the kids can celebrate Halloween and not have to worry about school the next day. Not only that but adults can enjoy a Halloween party without having to worry about work.”Either way, the petition has gotten a lot of attention of Twitter.In retweets of the petition, Halloween purists complained about the idea, suggesting we might as well make Halloween made the whole month of October,  or even a year around affair. Now playing: Watch this: Tags 5 Online Mobile Apps petition to move Halloween to the entire month of October and also the other eleven months— Max Booth III (@GiveMeYourTeeth) July 26, 2019 Commentscenter_img Share your voice 1:53 me reading the petition of people trying to ‘move halloween’ to a different day than october 31st pic.twitter.com/FUglQ9mi8K— 𝕭𝖚𝖓𝖓𝖞 𝕸𝖊𝖞𝖊𝖗 (@grav3yardgirl) July 26, 2019 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay details revealed Petitions to move the date of Halloween is irrelevant. We all know Halloween is the entire month of October. Problem solved.— Meagan Navarro (@HauntedMeg) July 25, 2019last_img read more

first_imgCardi B to play a stripper in HustlersInstagramCardi B turns into a sexy stripper for Hustlers and we are left stunned with her avatar! The rapper, who will make her silver screen debut in Hustlers, showcased what she would look like in the film. Needless to say, it is quite raunchy!Going by the name Diamond, the former real-life pole dancer and reality star will play the role of a stripper in the upcoming film. As she took a mirror selfie of herself and posted it on Instagram, she captioned the look as, “Y’all ready for DIAMOND to come to a theatre near you this fall? HUSTLER MOVIE !” In the picture, you can see Cardi rocking a minuscule piece of strappy pink and blue thong bodysuit with strappy silver heels that wire around the length of her legs right up to her thighs. Clearly, she’s game for all the Hustlers madness. Check out her picture. Cardi B as Diamond for HustlersInstagramThe film also stars Jennifer Lopez, Lili Reinhart, Constance Wu and Julia Stiles in pivotal roles. In fact, on the day of JLo starting her shoot for the film, her beau, Alex Rodriguez took to Instagram to share his good wishes for the actress/singer. He wrote, “This beautiful woman starts shooting her movie tomorrow, “Hustlers.” I won’t play spoiler, but I can’t wait until you all see how she transforms herself into a completely different character!! She’s been working so hard lately. I’m glad we were able to enjoy a quick little break before she dives into this new project. Love you baby and continue to shine, fly high and inspire all of us. @jlo #hustlers” Alex Rodriguez’s post for Jennifer LopezInstagramHustlers is inspired from the 2015 New York Magazine article about a group of former strip club employees coming together to entice and trick their Wall Street clients, a story which went super viral. Makers of the film, STX, announced that they will be producing Hustlers back in March, this year. Apart from Lili and the others, the movie also stars Keke Palmer. They all play vengeful strippers in the film.last_img read more

Who Should Warn The Public Of Nuclear War

first_imgJennifer Sinco Kelleher/APHonolulu attorney Michael Green, right, sits with his client, the former Hawaii Emergency Management Agency employee who sent a false missile alert to residents and visitors in Hawaii, left, during an interview with reporters on Feb. 2, 2018 in Honolulu. The ex-state employee says he’s devastated about causing panic, but he believed it was a real attack at the time.Investigators are blaming human error for the panic-inducing false missile alert in Hawaii last month. They say it was sent out by a state emergency management worker who mistook an exercise for a real attack.At the same time, the incident has exposed what may be a more widespread problem: disagreement over whose job it should be to warn the public about missile attacks.Technically, the alerts could be sent by any federal, state or local agency that has access to IPAWS, the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System, which sends emergency alerts to TV, radio and smart phones.But Federal officials say it’s not their role to warn the public about missiles. “FEMA will tell the states that there’s a missile inbound and where it’s going to land,” says Mark Lucero, chief of engineering for IPAWS. “And then the state will initiate any plans it has in place, one of which being issuing an alert to the public, telling them what to do.”FEMA’s national warning system manual echoes that localism: Once federal authorities have used the National Warning System (NAWAS) to alert state and local authorities of the missile threat, “Local authorities sound the Attack Warning signal on public warning devices.”This comes as a surprise to many of those local emergency management officials.Francisco Sanchez Jr., deputy emergency management coordinator for Harris County, Texas — which includes Houston — says he assumed the public message would come directly from the federal government.“Military events are not something that we envision or have within the scope of our responsiblities to alert for,” Sanchez says.Sanchez has been active in the recent updating of the national IPAWS system, and knows the system well. He says it’s good that local agencies are able to use it send out their own messages about floods and the like, but missile alerts are different. He says his agency would scramble to relay that warning to the public, but the extra step would slow things down.“Eighteen minutes before a missile gets here? Who am I going to call at the [Department of Defense] if I get that alert on my phone to verify this is real?” he asks. “Who can I get confirmation and double-confirmation from to make sure this is an authentic alert, this isn’t the result of a hack, this isn’t a mistake? By the time I’ve done that, something’s gone boom.”The false alarm in Hawaii happened in part because it was the unusual case of a state that had embraced its role in alerting the public to missile attacks, and was frequently practicing sending those messages out. It was during one such drill that a missile alert was sent out for real.Now other state and local emergency management agencies wonder if they should also be practicing more. In the last few weeks many have been in communication with each other, and with FEMA, about improving their readiness to send out a missile attack warning.Caleb Jones/APSmartphone screen capture shows a false incoming ballistic missile emergency alert sent from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency system.At the same time, many say they’d rather the federal government took the lead on this. Federal authorities have the technical capacity to send emergency alerts directly to the public, including access to a never-used “presidential message” system that’s so high-level, smart phone users have no way to block them (unlike other emergency alerts, which can be turned off.)At a House hearing on the Hawaii incident last week, Benjamin Krakauer of the New York City Office of Emergency Management said the federal government should formally take on the public alerting job.“The federal government really is in the best position to detect a threat from a state actor and issue warnings, initially, to the general public,” Krakauer said. “Time is of the essence, and state and local authorities are not really in the best position to make those notifications.”There are also concerns about widely varying alerting standards, at the local level. In Hawaii, the state’s system allowed alerts to be sent out by a single person — which is how one confused employee was able to trigger a state-wide alarm.Other agencies require two people to sign off on emergency alerts, although in some cases that’s just a procedural rule, not something enforced by the software.State agencies are also at a disadvantage when it comes to correcting mistakes. It took Hawaii 38 minutes to countermand its false alarm; Lisa Fowlkes, the Bureau Chief for the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission, told the House hearing that Hawaii’s correction was delayed by their unfamiliarity with the situation.“They had to figure out what code to issue, they talked to FEMA personnel on what was about a 45-second phone call,” Fowlkes said. “Then somebody had to go and log on and write a correction message, because they did not have a template for that.”Local agencies also vary widely in the kind of software they use to upload alerts into IPAWS. The actual messages are written and uploaded in software purchased from private sector vendors. Design and functionality vary, and some of the software products are very basic.Jared Spool, an expert in user interface engineering, says this makes it harder to fix dangerous design problems, on a national basis. For instance, he says, what do you do when it becomes clear that pull-down menus with pre-written emergency messages are laid out in a way that could lead to false missile alerts?“Because there are 23 vendors out there, how do you get them all to the same level of understanding,” Spool says. “And that’s the nature of the distributed way that our government works, and that these systems work.”FEMA considered supplying local emergency agencies with a free, standard message-sending system, but people inside the agency say software makers pressured FEMA not to compete with emergency messaging products sold by the private sector.The Hawaii incident has now focused new attention on what one local emergency management official calls “the planning gap,” when it comes to sending out public missile alerts. Some state and local agencies are now following Hawaii’s lead, thinking through what their procedures would be, and consulting with FEMA about what their emergency alerts should say.But the incident has also inspired those who want to get the states out of the missile-alert business altogether. Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz has introduced legislation making the public warnings the sole responsibility of the federal government.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more