The Tampa Bay Defense Alliance is rolling out a campaign to promote MacDill Air Force Base at a time when DOD is facing budget constraints and pursues a new round of base closures.The initiative is intended to raise awareness of the installation among area residents and businesses, as well as in Washington. A central theme of the effort is showcasing the robust partnership between the community and MacDill, reported the Tampa Tribune.The initiative is centered on the “My MacDill” website, which provides residents and local organizations an opportunity to post photos, videos and personal memories about the base and its contributions to the Tampa region and the nation. The site features a series of interviews with personnel who have served at MacDill, including retired Army Gen. Tommy Franks, who commanded U.S. Central Command from 2000 to 2004.The campaign also will be rolled out at local sporting events, music festivals and other public happenings. One of the effort’s goals is to go viral on the Internet, at least locally, said John Schueler, president of the defense alliance.“This is like the ALS Challenge, without the water,” said Schueler. “We were interested in an approach that can bring the community together.”The campaign was timed to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the first flights at the airfield, which occurred last month. A second 75th anniversary celebration will be held next April to mark the airfield’s formal naming as MacDill Field.The initiative follows the release of a report from Deloitte Consulting outlining actions that Tampa officials can take to preserve MacDill and its many tenants, including U.S. Special Operations Command, Special Operations Command Central and the Joint Communications Support Element, according to the story. The report calls for the state to allocate sufficient funding and staff to its military affairs organization; funding independent studies of base strengths, weaknesses and economic impact; investing in infrastructure; and creating a commanders council to foster greater communication between the community and base officials. Dan Cohen AUTHOR
NASA turns 60: The space agency has taken humanity farther than anyone else, and it has plans to go further.Taking It to Extremes: Mix insane situations — erupting volcanoes, nuclear meltdowns, 30-foot waves — with everyday tech. Here’s what happens. Whew – winding down after a long day, but I’ve done it: I’ve placed my seismometer on the surface of Mars! With SEIS, I’ll be able to listen in for marsquakes and help reveal the heartbeat of #Mars. https://t.co/GYNO4txPPi pic.twitter.com/18eQHXOfiO— NASA InSight (@NASAInSight) December 20, 2018 Now playing: Watch this: “Seismometer deployment is as important as landing InSight on Mars,” said InSight Principal Investigator Bruce Banerdt. “The seismometer is the highest-priority instrument on InSight: We need it in order to complete about three-quarters of our science objectives.”Because this isn’t NASA’s first rodeo, a team of scientists has been practising the deployment of instruments with an exact replica of the lander (known as ForeSight) on a fake Mars set back here on Earth. (Fun fact: the fake Martian dust is made from crushed up garnet stones). And the practice has paid off. “InSight’s timetable of activities on Mars has gone better than we hoped,” said InSight Project Manager Tom Hoffman. “Getting the seismometer safely on the ground is an awesome Christmas present.” Sci-Tech Share your voice NASA Space NASA’s InSight lander has perfectly deployed its seismometer on the surface of Mars, ready to listen for marsquakes. NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA’s InSight mission is going from strength to strength with news that the Mars lander has successfully positioned its seismometer, ready to listen for marsquakes. NASA announced the news late on Wednesday, tweeting out a GIF of the instrument being placed on the red dust of Mars. According to the space agency, it’s the first time a scientific instrument has ever been placed on the surface of another planet. The InSight lander touched down on Mars in late November, ready for a seven-year mission that will see the spacecraft drill deeper into the planet than ever before. It will measure how the planet wobbles on its axis as it orbits the sun and ultimately study the composition of Mars’ core. Alongside all that science, InSight will also study seismic activity on Mars — just like Earth gets earthquakes, NASA is looking for ground motion, or “marsquakes,” beneath the Martian surface. But to do all that, NASA had to position InSight’s seismometer just right, which is no easy feat when you’re remotely operating a spacecraft on another planet with an eight-minute communications delay. 0 NASA’s InSight landing and the crazy odds behind getting… 5:54 Tags Post a comment
Vodafone India, one of the country’s leading telecommunications service providers, on Thursday announced the launch of National Mobile Number Portability (NMNP), aligning with the government’s mandate to roll out pan-India Mobile Number Portability services from 3 July, 2015.The National Mobile Number Portability service facilitates customers to carry their existing mobile number from one telecom circle to another across India and choose the operator of their choice. NMNP is applicable to all pre-paid and post-paid customers.”Customers will be the biggest gainers of the National MNP service as it allows them to carry their existing number across India and also choose the operator of their choice. Vodafone has benefited from the intra-circle MNP that was rolled out in 2011 and we look forward to a similar response this time,” said Vodafone India Chief Commercial Officer Vivek Mathur.Customers looking for the convenience of retaining their existing number at the new location can avail the benefits of National MNP service.Vodafone India has a pan India base of over 184 million customers serviced through a network of over 130,000 sites, of which over 35,000 are 3G sites.This makes Vodafone India, the fifth largest network in the world. Vodafone also has the largest retail footprint with over 9,800 exclusive retail stores across India.
People sit on Plaza Catalunya square in Barcelona waiting for polls results after the closing of polling stations on 1 October, 2017.Catalonia’s leader Carles Puigdemont said the region won the right to break away from Spain, with his government claiming on Monday that 90 percent of voters backed independence in a banned referendum marred by clashes.However Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy declared the Sunday plebiscite had been blocked, saying “today there has not been a self-determination referendum in Catalonia,” a region deeply divided over independence.Further adding to tensions, unions and Catalan associations called a region-wide strike for Tuesday due to “the grave violation of rights and freedoms,” urging people to take to the streets in Catalonia, a major engine for Spanish growth.At least 92 people were confirmed injured out of a total of 844 who needed medical attention, Catalan authorities said, as police cracked down on a vote Spain’s central government branded a “farce”.The interior ministry said 33 police required treatment as a result of the clashes.The violence raised alarm abroad and further heightened tensions between Rajoy’s government and the authorities in Catalonia in the worst political crisis in Spain in decades.Rajoy called the vote a process that “only served to sow division, push citizens to confrontation and the streets to revolt”, but left the door potentially open to negotiations on greater autonomy for the region.The referendum was organised under the threat of reprisals and criminal charges but thousands of Catalans stood in defiance of the central government crying “Votarem” — “We will vote”.Puigdemont, who governs Catalonia, said in an address after polls closed: “With this day of hope and suffering, the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic.”He urged the European Union to stop looking “the other way” following the police crackdown.In a press briefing, regional government spokesman Jordi Turull said 2.02 million Catalans voted for independence, or a 42.3 percent turnout.He said that represented “90 percent” of the votes cast, while 7.8 percent said “no” to the question: “Do you want Catalonia to become an independent state in the form of a republic?”A further two percent cast a blank vote, he added, and 0.5 percent of ballots were void.- Camped inside overnight -From early in the day, helmeted police armed with batons moved in en masse to seal off polling stations and seize ballot boxes, sparking clashes.Videos posted on social media showed police dragging voters from polling stations by their hair, throwing people down stairs and attacking Catalan firefighters who were protecting polling stations.”They took the ballot boxes by force… and they literally yanked them from us as we continued to sing ‘Els Segadors’, the Catalan hymn, and shouting ‘long live democracy’,” said Marc Carrasco, in charge at one Barcelona polling station.The referendum law foresees a declaration of independence soon after a “Yes” vote but it remains unclear if the regional government will actually do so.Even before the vote, judicial officials ordered police to seize ballot papers, detain key organisers and shut down websites promoting the referendum after Madrid and the courts deemed it unconstitutional.Thousands of people had gathered outside polling stations before dawn, joining those who had spent the night camped inside to ensure they would be open on the day.In central Barcelona, riot police charged at demonstrators who were sitting on the ground at a polling station, and fired rubber bullets, witnesses said.- ‘Unjustified violence’ -Riot police also stormed a polling station near Girona, smashing the glass doors of the sports centre where Puigdemont was due to vote and cutting a chain to force their way in.But the regional government said Puigdemont had managed to vote anyway in nearby Cornella del Terri.The crackdown drew a sharp rebuke from Catalan leaders and others including Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the pro-independence Scottish National Party.The trouble caused Barcelona football club to play its La Liga tie against Las Palmas behind closed doors after the Spanish league refused to postpone the match.But in several areas, voting was peaceful.Under a sea of umbrellas outside a school in Barcelona, a crowd gathered, among them elderly people in wheelchairs, families with buggies and parents clutching toddlers by the hand.With no police in sight, they were able to cast their ballots, prompting scenes of jubilation.”I’ve voted! I’ve voted,” one man shouted.”That’s the great hope, to be able to vote freely like this despite the problems we’ve faced, I’m very happy. I can die peacefully,” added Jose Mas Ribas, 79.- Overtaxed, underfunded -Although Catalans are divided over independence, most want to vote on the matter in a legal and binding plebiscite.Although Catalonia already has significant control over education, healthcare and welfare, the region says it pays more in taxes than it receives from Madrid.This has sparked resentment which has been further exacerbated by Spain’s economic woes and helped push the secessionist cause.
In ChildrenSevere heart disease generally becomes evident during the first few months after birth. Some babies are blue or have very low blood pressure shortly after birth. Other defects cause breathing difficulties, feeding problems, or poor weight gain.Minor defects are most often diagnosed on a routine medical check-up. Minor defects rarely cause symptoms. While most heart murmurs in children are normal, some may be due to defects.If the heart problem is significant, the child’s pediatrician will likely refer the child to a pediatric cardiologist. Pediatric cardiologists are trained to diagnose and treat heart problems in infants, children, and young adults. They have the training and equipment to find out what tests and treatments the child will need, and how often the child will need heart checkups in the future.In AdultsFor pregnant women, the American Heart Association recommends maintaining a healthy pregnancy weight, monitoring and measuring diabetes, and taking prescribed prenatal vitamins and minerals, especially folic acid. For adults who believe they may have a heart defect, it is important to visit a cardiologists who can evaluate their medical history and perform a physical exam. Physicians may also order an electrocardiogram (called an EKG or ECG), chest X-ray, or an echocardiogram (ultrasound movie of the heart). A ventricular septal defect can lead to heart failure, high blood pressure in the lungs (pulmonary hypertension), infection of the heart (endocarditis), irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), and delayed growth. Small holes may heal on their own or cause no symptoms. Larger holes may require surgery to stitch the hole closed or to cover the hole with a patch.For more information about congenital heart defects, visit the American Heart Association website at www.heart.org
By James Wright, Special to the AFRO, firstname.lastname@example.orgNick Charles is one of Prince George’s County’s newest elected officials. He cannot wait to go to Annapolis as a delegate in January.Charles got 8,330 votes, enough to have him win one of the three seats for the 25th Legislative District, located in central Prince George’s County.Nick Charles is an U.S. Air Force veteran and community association president. (Courtesy Photo)“I grew up in District 25,” Charles told the AFRO. “I am a graduate of Largo High School and I have served as president of the Forest Spring Community Association. I know what my community needs and I am excited about doing things for the community.”Charles won the Democratic Party primary on June 26, along with slate mates former Delegate Melony Griffith, who is set to be the next senator for District 25 and incumbents Dereck Davis and Darryl Barnes. Even though Charles will be a freshman, he will be in good company because Barnes is the chairman of the Maryland Legislative Black Caucus, Davis is the chairman of the powerful Economic Matters Committee, and Griffith has served as the chairman of the Prince George’s County House Delegation and knows her way around the capitol.Charles is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia and has extensive military experience in the U.S. Air Force. He works as a consultant providing acquisition and program management oversight for U.S. Navy projects. Charles also owns a business, Charles Management Consulting Group.During his first legislative session, Charles wants to sponsor a bill to make it easier for small businesses, many of them minority owned, to get access to state government contracts. “I want to change the procurement process,” he said.Charles noted that in Maryland, there are processes and procedures to get contracts at the state, county, and municipality levels and they all have different requirements. “It takes too much time for a small business owner to focus on meeting the requirements for all of those levels and agencies,” he said. He wants to set up a clearinghouse where small businesses can apply for contracts on those levels of government at one time and make it easier to win a contract that way.Charles wants to sponsor legislation changing the way real property is valued in District 25 and those other jurisdictions that have similar demographic issues. “Inner-Beltway communities have the lowest valuation of property in the county and that needs to change,” he said. “Decisions on where to build shopping centers and restaurants and where to locate businesses and government agencies are made largely on property valuation. I want to make it fair for Prince Georgians so we won’t be constantly undervalued.”Charles understands he has an experienced legislative team by his side in Annapolis. Still, he knows a good reputation is the key to effectiveness. “If you have a bad reputation among your colleagues in the House, it will be hard for you to get things done,” he said. “You will be known as a stale legislator even if you are popular back in the district and that’s not good.”
This story originally appeared on PCMag 6 min read Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global January 4, 2018 I am what you might call a seasoned veteran of CES. I started going in 1976, and have since attended dozens of shows. More than 180,000 people are expected to descend on Las Vegas next week because CES is the go-to show to learn about what’s new in tech and the major trends for the coming year. Here’s what I expect to see as I roam the show floor, all 2.5 million net square feet of it.Smart cars and autonomous vehiclesThe auto industry has been represented at CES for decades but more in the form of add-on sound systems, in-car entertainment systems and navigational products. But CES has now become the place for many auto companies to showcase smart cars and autonomous vehicle technology.Ford CEO Jim Hackett, for example, will deliver a keynote on Tuesday morning, during which he is expected to lay out the company’s vision for smart cars and autonomous vehicles. But all told, there will be at least 15 other car makers on the show floor or in private suites talking about how they plan to drive the future of the automobile.VR, AR and mixed reality everywhereAt CES 2014, a prototype VR headset from Oculus VR was one of the major draws. Since then, Oculus was acquired by Facebook, HTC introduced Vive, Sony debuted the Playstation VR, and Samsung started selling the Gear VR.However, VR so far has focused on games. In the enterprise, it is targeted at vertical apps that bring VR to things like real estate listings, travel and many other visually driven business disciplines.This year, the Magic Leap AR goggles will be the talk of the show, even though they are not expected to be showing the device at CES. Magic Leap has attracted over $1 billion of investment to create what they believe will be the definitive AR googles of the future.But keep your eyes on the Lenovo Mirage AR headset, which was bundled with Star Wars: Jedi Challenge, an augmented reality game created with Disney. It uses the smartphone but overlays the action on your environment; I fought Darth Vader in my living room, for example. But this is a low-cost way to deliver mixed reality in more immersive ways.8K is on the horizon4K or HDR TVs were a hot topic at the last three shows, and they will be popular again in 2018. 4K TVs are now more affordable and anyone upgrading their TV should should consider the technology, even though 4K content has been slow to roll out. But roll out it has, and 4K programs will be more plentiful in 2018.CES will also have at least five TV vendors showing off “8K” TVs. The goal is to start moving people to 8K by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which will be shot in 8K. By early 2020-2021, the TV industry wants to move consumers over to 8K in earnest.But two other types of TV designs will be at CES: wallpaper TVs and picture frame TVs. Samsung has done a lot of research and has found that for some demographics, the idea of having a large TV in its current form factor does not fit into the asthetics of the home. So it created the Frame TV, which delivers a flat, ultra-thin TV in a picture frame but can also be used to display digital art. Special sensors light the picture so that it resembles what you might see in a museum.Last year, LG showed off its wallpaper TV, which is so thin it looks like it’s part of the wall. LG will show an updated version at CES and, along with Samsung, push the idea of the TV blending with a room’s decor.IoT and AI everywhereThe Internet of Things (IoT) will be represented in just about every product shown in one form or another. Everything from wearables and health products to appliances and vehicles will connect to the web.This year, I have seen dozens of pre-CES announcements about IoT-based health and wellness devices. CES has these types of products in dedicated zones now, and if you are going to the show check out this CES zone chart to see where these types of products will be on the show floor.The big addition to CES this year will be artificial intelligence. Most vendors are applying AI features to all they do, so expect this theme to be rampant and overused at CES.Everything has a voiceVoice is emerging as the next big evolution in man-to-machine interfaces. While Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana and the Google Assistant have made great strides in delivering voice through PCs, tablets and smartphones, voice-based smart speakers are bringing voice into the home in new ways. But at the show, we will see voice-enabled refrigerators, toilets and many other devices that do not have screens but can benefit from voice for navigation purposes.All the restCorning, which last year showed off how smart glass could impact the future design of automobiles, will be showing off a new level of 3D sensing in glass that could allow OEMs to use glass in more creative ways. It will start in mobile devices, but Corning will also be showing a bigger vision for use in smart homes, smart appliances and automobiles.Given the amount of invites I have received about personal robots, I expect to see quite a few on the show floor. Some are task-oriented such as robot vacuums and robotic coffee makers, but some are small robots that follow you around and act as a type of personal assistant.Also hot will be personal transportation devices like hoverboards and different variations on the idea of giving people new forms of personal electronic transportation options. And we should see dozens of new drones introduced that target business and consumers.As a techie, this is my candy store. PCMag will have a top-notch team at CES, so check back during the show to keep up with all of the important announcements from the show. I will also be tweeting from the show so check out @Bajarin for my CES discoveries and commentary.
This week California’s net neutrality bill passed through the California State Assembly. The bill went through on a vote of 61-18 – it will now move on to the senate (again), where a vote will likely happen next week. California’s net neutrality bill is one of a number of state level responses to the FCC’s decision to repeal the existing legislation (Washington and Oregon are the only 2 states to have passed full net neutrality bills). It’s believed to be the toughest net neutrality bill in the U.S. This is because as well as preventing ISPs from throttling traffic, and stopping them from charging websites for special access to internet users, it also bans “zero rating” on certain apps (which is where using certain apps won’t count against a user’s data usage). Miguel Santiago, (D-Los Angeles) said, when presenting the bill, that ““The Trump administration destroyed the internet as we know it, plain and simple… We have an opportunity in California to lead this nation by voting yes for this bill.” However, there was some criticism of the bill from Republicans. For example, Jim Paterson, Republican Assemblymember for Fresno, argued that the argument needs to be resolved at a federal level. “The worst possible thing we can do is have created 50 different state FCCs.” The EFF responds to California net neutrality vote As you might expect, the EFF – the Electronic Frontier Foundation – was jubilant at the result. “You did it” exclaimed the title of a blog post published on the organization’s website on Thursday. “ISPs have tried hard to gut and kill this bill, pouring money and robocalls into California. There was a moment where that campaign looked like it might have been successful, but you spoke out and got strong net neutrality protections restored. But that hiccup means that, although a version of the bill already passed in the California Senate, it’s now different enough from that initial version to have to be re-voted on.” The EFF urged people in California to “contact your California state senator and tell them to vote yes.” “California can prove that ISP money can’t defeat real people’s voices.” Find out more about what you can do to support the net neutrality bill in California here. Read next Furthering the Net Neutrality debate, GOP proposes the 21st Century Internet Act Google releases new political ads library as part of its transparency report