Showdown looms over U.S. budget

first_imgBush has focused his budget-cutting sword on domestic programs funded through annual spending bills, cutting grants to local law enforcement agencies and heating aid to the poor. Other elements of Conrad’s plan generally anticipate a stand-pat year. For starters, there are no plans to revisit Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, though Conrad’s budget produces a surplus in five years by assuming that they expire. The annual congressional budget resolution is a nonbinding document that sets guidelines for subsequent legislation. Often – like this year – its most important feature is to set a “cap” on the 12 spending bills produced by the appropriations committees. In other years, the congressional budget blueprint eases filibuster-proof passage through the Senate of tax legislation or cuts to benefit programs like Medicare and the Medicaid health care program for the poor and disabled. Conrad’s budget plan does not anticipate fast-track action on tax or spending legislation. He dropped plans to allow filibuster-proof consideration of a must-pass bill to increase the almost $9 trillion limit on the portion of the national debt capped by law. WASHINGTON – Democrats controlling Congress plan to award domestic agencies an average budget increase of almost 5 percent as they begin drafting their response to President George W. Bush’s February budget plan. The spending hikes are included in a budget plan to be unveiled today by Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1. A party-line committee vote to approve the plan is expected Thursday. Much of the approximately $18 billion increase over Bush’s budget for nondefense programs funded by Congress each year will be devoted to education and veterans medical programs. Bush’s budget called for a 1 percent hike in such programs and he is sure to resist the increases as too profligate. A major showdown looms in the fall. Bush has yet to veto a spending bill, though a threat hangs over a $124 billion Iraq war funding bill over Democrats’ efforts to set a timeline to pull U.S. combat troops from Iraq. An aide to a Budget Committee Democrat revealed the proposed hike in domestic programs and other details about Conrad’s plan. The domestic-spending boost pales compared with an approximately $50 billion budget increase – to $481 billion – for the core Pentagon budget and $145 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

A popular political platform to stand on

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champ Mandate that the AOL guy who cheerily informs us “You’ve got mail!” record a depressed version for the numerous times it’s spam. Ease the foreclosure crisis by forcing banks to house a newly homeless person at every teller’s window that remains frustratingly unoccupied. That should at least scare the banks into opening up a few more windows. Give us more disposable income, freshen our breath, clean our gum-ravaged streets and reduce dependency on gum by demanding that the gum we are chewing get more mileage to the chew before losing its flavor. Reduce the life spans of those who shun walking a measly flight of stairs, while minimizing the stress and annoyance of elevator-interruptus, with mandatory jail time for one-floor riders. Mandate “failed date insurance.” It’s time the credit-card companies wiped off the restaurant bill that comes a month after the woman you were trying to woo over dinner never speaks to you again. In these cases, the restaurant didn’t work. As the presidential candidates run full steam ahead, many of us forget that some of that hot air comes in the form of assurances that are reflective of campaigning, not governing. A la Charlie Brown, we come leaping toward them every four years, only to watch them ultimately pull back on their pledges as predictably as Lucy pulls back the football. But we might as well enjoy the campaigning phase while we can. We’ve got them where we want them. After all, they’re still courting us. Plenty of time for the bloom to fall off the rose once we get into bed with them. So here’s my own personal wish list of issues they’ll never be able to affect, but it would be nice to hear them promise to try: Reduce the deficit and improve America’s deteriorating communication skills by promising to tax people every time they use the word “like,” except when used to connote desire or lack of desire, or replacing “akin to.” For example: “Like most Americans, I, like, don’t like being taxed.” The middle “like” would be taxed. The first and last “likes” wouldn’t be taxed. True, some people might be uninsurable, because of their dating histories. Credit-card companies could easily monitor all of this. If the restaurants on the bill are always fancy, that’s a red flag right there – signifying a lot of first dates, when you’re still trying to impress her. Declare germ warfare by encouraging bowing vs. hand shaking. Sign a bowing measure into law – and bow on it. If you still feel the need to press the flesh on the campaign trail, you can always try wringing the necks of your opponents. That might get my vote. Andy Cowan is a writer, producer and performer. His credits include “Cheers,” “Seinfeld” and “3rd Rock From the Sun.” Contact him through his Web site, local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Celtic to play Malmo or Vidi in the CL play-off round if they beat AEK Athens

first_imgCeltic will face Swedish side Malmo or Hungarian outfit Vidi for a place in the Champions League group stages should they beat AEK Athens, it has been confirmed.The Scottish Premiership side have already beaten Aleshkert and Rosenborg and will reach the play-off round if they defeat their Greek opponents in a tie beginning with Wednesday’s first leg at Celtic Park. Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers Man United joined by three other clubs in race for Erling Haaland Cavani ‘agrees’ to join new club and will complete free transfer next summer TOP WORK They would then play either Malmo – in a repeat of a tie won by the Swedes in 2015 – or Hungarian side Vidi with the prize being a place in the group stage for a third time in four seasons.Malmo won 4-3 on aggregate when they faced Celtic three years ago, turning the tie around after losing the first leg in Glasgow 3-2.The play-off matches will take place on August 21-22 and 28-29, with the draw for the group stages – for which 26 clubs have qualified automatically – behing held on August 30. IN DEMAND LATEST Liverpool’s signings under Michael Edwards – will Minamino be the next big hit? 1 targets Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade The biggest market value losers in 2019, including Bale and ex-Liverpool star REVEALED center_img three-way race Latest Transfer News LIVING THE DREAM moving on Kevin De Bruyne ‘loves Man City and wants to keep winning’, reveals father Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti targets RANKED Chelsea confident of beating Man United and Liverpool to Sancho signing Elsewhere in the draw, Dutch side PSV Eindhoven will play Qarabag or BATE Borisov with Swiss outfit Young Boys tackling Astana or Dinamo Zagreb. Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ last_img read more

October bloody for U.S. military

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Most of the combat deaths and injuries in recent months have been a result of the increasing use by insurgents of sophisticated homemade bombs, responsible for the deaths of the seven Americans killed since Sunday. The military refers to those bombs as “improvised explosive devices,” or IEDs. On Friday, an IED killed Col. William W. Wood, 44, of Panama City, Fla., an infantry battalion commander. He was promoted posthumously, making him the highest-ranking soldier killed in action in the Iraq conflict, according to the Pentagon. “We see an adversary that continues to develop some sophistication on very deadly and increasingly precise standoff-type weapons – IEDs, in particular,” Pentagon spokesman Lawrence Di Rita told reporters Monday. The insurgents continually search for new and more effective ways to use IEDs, Di Rita said, while U.S. forces look for new ways to counter the threat. “We’re getting more intelligence that’s allowing us to stop more of these things, find more of them. So we’re learning from them and the enemy is learning from us, and it’s going to be that way for as long as there is an insurgency,” Di Rita said. Monday’s deadliest attack against U.S. service members came in an area known as the “triangle of death.” Four soldiers from the U.S. Army’s Task Force Baghdad died when their patrol hit a roadside bomb in Youssifiyah, 12 miles south of Baghdad. Two other soldiers from the Army’s 29th Brigade Combat Team were killed in a bombing Monday near Balad, 50 miles north of the capital. The U.S. military also reported that a Marine died the day before in a roadside bombing near Amiriyah, an insurgent hot spot 25 miles west of Baghdad. The U.S. military death toll for October is now at least 92, the highest monthly total since January, when 106 American service members died – more than 30 of them in a helicopter crash that was ruled an accident. Only during two other months since the war began has the U.S. military seen a higher toll: in November 2004, when 137 Americans died, and in April 2004, when 135 died. The latest deaths brought to 2,025 the number of U.S. service members who have died since the Iraq war began in March 2003. The number includes five military civilians. The ongoing violence has killed a far greater number of Iraqis. “They’re obviously quite capable of killing large numbers of noncombatants indiscriminately, and we’re seeing a lot of that, too,” Di Rita said. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BAGHDAD, Iraq – Capping the bloodiest month for American troops since January, the U.S. military reported Monday that seven more U.S. service members were killed – all victims of increasingly sophisticated bombs that have been become the deadliest weapon in the insurgents’ arsenal. Bombs also claimed a toll Monday among civilians in Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city and the major metropolis of the Shiite-dominated south, which has witnessed less violence than Sunni areas. A large car bomb exploded along a bustling street packed with shops and restaurants as people were enjoying an evening out after the daily Ramadan fast. At least 20 were killed and about 40 wounded, police Lt. Col. Karim al-Zaidi said. Military commanders have warned that Sunni insurgents will step up their attacks in the run-up to the Dec. 15 election, when Iraqis will choose their first full-term parliament since the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003. To guard against such attacks, the military has raised the number of American troops in Iraq to 157,000 – among the highest levels of the Iraq conflict. last_img read more


first_imgA Co Donegal bird-lover can’t believe his luck after his beloved peregrine falcon was found after being spotted one hundred miles from his home in Belfast.A Peregrine FalconLiam Conaghan, from Letterkenny, feared the worst when his young falcon Shadow went missing.The captive-bred bird of prey escaped from her owner during a training flight and flew all the way to Belfast – before turning round and ending up in Draperstown in Derry. Ten week old Shadow was too young to be able to hunt for food and was facing starvation and almost certain death in the wild.She was exhausted, starving and unable to travel any further when she was found sheltering on the roof of the Back Row Recreation Centre in Draperstown.The hungry bird was captured in a butterfly net by Malachy McGuigan and Stephanie Baine, landscape officer with the Sperrins Gateway Landscape Partnership, and brought to safety with the help of Talnotry Avian Care Trust (TACT) Wildlife Rescue Centre in Crumlin, Co Antrim.Stephanie said: “She was on the roof looking really exhausted and in desperate need of help. We were able to capture her without too much difficulty.” The bird had an identifying ring and staff contacted her owner Liam Conaghan.A relieved and delighted Liam said: “I can’t believe Shadow was found alive.”The peregrine had been spotted in Belfast two days earlier but had evaded capture.Debbie Nelson of TACT added: “It was lucky that Stephanie had handled birds like this before. I am not sure it would have survived much longer in the wild.” DONEGAL MAN’S RELIEF AFTER MISSING PET FALCON FOUND was last modified: August 20th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:foundletterkennyLIam ConaghanmissingPeregrine Falconlast_img read more

Wenger insists goal should not have stood

first_imgEmbed from Getty ImagesHector Bellerin was so dazed after being knocked out in the process of Chelsea’s goal he did not know they had scored, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said.Gunners full-back Bellerin was caught by Marcos Alonso’s trailing arm as the pair jumped to meet a loose ball which has looped up off the crossbar.Alonso got there first to nod in but Wenger felt the goal should have been ruled out.“Of course it was a foul,” he said. “Was he completely knocked out? He didn’t know the score at the time. He didn’t see the goal.“But he [referee Martin Atkinson] allowed the goal and after that it was much more difficult for us.Embed from Getty Images“One of the peculiarities of the game today is that referees are much more severe with tackles on the ground and let much more go with elbows in the face.“It’s not only today but in many games. Yet it’s more dangerous to hit the head.”Wenger was frustrated with his side’s inability to keep the ball, which he said cost his side dearly.“I think we started well but after the goal it was much more difficult for us because Chelsea are very strong at defending and very good in transition on the counter attack,” Wenger said.“We maybe were not good enough in possession. We lost many balls in positions where you cannot afford to lose it when you play against a team who are good on the counter attack.”See also:Chelsea v Arsenal player ratings   Ads by Revcontent Trending Articles Urologists: Men, Forget the Blue Pill! This “Destroys” ED x ‘Genius Pill’ Used By Rich Americans Now Available In Netherlands! x Men, You Don’t Need the Blue Pill if You Do This x What She Did to Lose Weight Stuns Doctors: Do This Daily Before Bed! x One Cup of This (Before Bed) Burns Belly Fat Like Crazy! x Do This Immediately if You Have Diabetes (Watch) x Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Nuts for Aliens

first_img(Visited 462 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Believers in space aliens, or even space bacteria, have cast all restraint to the wind. SETI today is indistinguishable from a cult, and so is its stepchild, astrobiology.NASA has been studying space for 60 years, reminds us. The search for life beyond earth has gone on even longer. In all this time, with close observations of every planet and remote observations of many stars, not one shred of evidence for life beyond earth has ever been found. And yet secular scientists and the mainstream media speak as if extraterrestrial life is a virtual certainty.SETI and astrobiology have one thing in common: Darwinian evolution. The thinking is that since life emerged and evolved here—a planet with water—it must happen wherever water is found. From that springboard of assumption, the true believers perform twisting backflips with incredible contortions. Will it end in a painful bellyflop?METI and SETI: Messages To and From NobodyMessage Sent to Nearby Planet That Could Host Life ( Doug Vakoch, president of METI International (Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence), pulled another stunt by sending a one-way signal to Luyten’s Star, which is 12.36 light-years away. Perhaps this action grants him job security for his non-profit. “It is a prototype for what I think we would most likely need to do 100 times, or 1,000 times, or 1 million times,” he says. But where will he be in 25 years, the soonest possible time for a reply? The only criticism New Scientist had for this publicity stunt involved the publicity:“Ninety-eight percent of astronomers and SETI researchers, including myself, think that METI is potentially dangerous, and not a good idea,” says Dan Werthimer, a SETI researcher at the University of California at Berkeley. “It’s like shouting in a forest before you know if there are tigers, lions, and bears or other dangerous animals there.”Vakoch is not worried, because tigers won’t understand it. The message is “distinctive because it’s designed with extraterrestrial SETI scientists in mind,” he says in the Fox News story. “We sent the sort of signal we’d want to receive here on Earth.” New Scientist also gave Vakoch a whole article to explain why “the message we’re sending to aliens is no threat to earth.”What evolutionary biology tells us about how aliens could look (Science Daily). This article pays obeisance to the controversial views of Sam Levin at the University of Oxford (11/10/17). Levin thinks that natural selection forces aliens to evolve into beings like us. “Using this idea of alien natural selection as a framework, the team addressed extra-terrestrial evolution, and how complexity will arise in space.” Skeptics should submit a writ of Habeus corpus (produce the body).They may not be out there (Physics Today). Howard Smith of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics pours a cold splash of realism on SETI believers, arguing from history that it is not at all certain that physical laws will make life common.I think my own community of scientists has hopped aboard an optimistic science fiction bandwagon while being insufficiently honest in highlighting the many cautions. Percival Lowell, famous for his search for Pluto and his studies of the canals of Mars, wrote in 1908, “From all we have learned of its constitution on the one hand, or of its distribution on the other, we know life to be as inevitable a phase of planetary evolution as is quartz or feldspar or nitrogenous soil. Each and all of them are only manifestations of chemical affinity.”No one believes that today. Every schoolchild knows that Mars has no artificial canals and no Martians either. Lowell’s confident assumption was wishful thinking, and we should beware of making similar assumptions.Astrobiology – Without the BioYou Can Visit Real Alien Planets in VR Thanks to This Awesome New Simulation ( Virtual reality is not real reality, so this might better be called an exercise in VU (virtual unreality), especially since a great deal of speculation is involved visualizing planets about which only orbital radius and mass is known. This speculation experiment uses the FX of a guy who worked on sci-fi animations and Stephen King novels. It will deserve more attention when they get to RR (real reality).Space dust may transport life between worlds, research suggests (Science Daily). Panspermia is back in fashion. “Life on Earth might have originated from tiny organisms brought to our planet in streams of fast-moving space dust, according to a new study” at the University of Edinburgh. As the Illustra film Origin shows, this solution only “changes the venue” for the origin of life without solving it.In Earth’s Backyard: Newfound Alien Planet May Be Good Bet for Life (Live Science). A planet named Ross128b caught the attention of science writer Mike Wall. To encourage him to back up his speculations with empirical evidence, let’s have him go there and take a look.Russian billionaire to fund alien-hunting mission to Saturn moon (RT World News). At least Yuri Milner puts his money where his faith is. Enceladus has water; that’s enough for him to gamble $200 million for explorations of Jupiter’s moon Europa and Saturn’s moon Enceladus. He knows better than to gamble on intelligent life; “maybe microbial life, or something more serious.” Microbes are offended at the thought they are not serious. It would be easier and more sensible for Milner to send a few million to Creation-Evolution Headlines. We would accept even 1% of his promised funds for a trip to Enceladus, but to each his own.NASA scientist expects to find aliens within 20 years (New York Post). Promising something two decades out provides convenient boilerplate for storytellers. In 20 years, most of them will be retired or dead. “They are so convinced, a spaceship is being sent to Europa to see whether alien life could be swimming in its giant frozen lakes.” This excerpt shows the moyboys overtaken with hydrobioscopy:To be a potential new home, liquid water is necessary so the surface of an alien world needs to be a temperature that allows liquid to be present for billions of years to allow life to thrive.Our living planet shapes the search for life beyond the earth (JPL news). This typical press release shows the dependence of astrobiology on water. Listing the requirements for habitability, “Above all else, that means liquid water.” But can a planet have too much of a good thing?A Wet Blanket on HydrobioscopyOcean-covered planets may not be the places to search for life (New Scientist). In this piece, Shannon Hall echoes the worries of Arizona State astrobiologist Tessa Fisher, who realizes that phosphorus (a necessary element for life as we know it) may be hard to come by on planets, even if they have water. “Not only does Fisher’s work suggest that kick-starting life on such a world would be tricky, it is also possible that should life take hold, astronomers would be hard-pressed to detect it,” Hall writes. Fisher thinks that too much water can dampen chances for life. Conclusion? “Don’t follow the water.” Her ideas “sent ripples throughout” the Habitable Worlds Conference in Wyoming. Nature says that she put a “wet blanket” on the conference. A poll at the end of the conference found that a majority predict life will be found on an exoplanet in the 2050s or 2060s. This gives them all time to avoid falsification by dying first.Materialists pride themselves on taking nothing on faith. One critic of CEH on Twitter boasted, “I don’t trust anything unless there’s a reasonable evidence base.” We hope he will take that advice to the astrobiologists and SETI faithful.last_img read more

SA’s education system ‘in transition’

first_imgReleased earlier this week, the report was a result of a request by Education Minister Naledi Pandor for the OECD to undertake a peer review of South Africa’s education policies in 2006. A report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development into education in South Africa has found that while the education system has achieved a number of positive results in the past 14 years, it is still in a process of transition, and is suffering from a lack of resources and infrastructure. The department should develop a precise, reliable and consistent data gathering system on special educational needs students and on South African school’s ability to meet the needs of these learners, the OECD recommended. According to the report, pilot schemes should be introduced for the induction of new teachers. “Mechanisms should be established to make the demand in the labour market more dynamic and flexible and better linked to the vocational education training provision and real, on the job training should be provided by companies as part of the training curriculum,” Corradini said. “Achievements are noted and now the real move in the ground is to address challenges made in the report and come with solutions, which is not going to happen overnight, it needs to be progressively realised through a phased approached,” she said. “The post-apartheid government inherited an education system beset by a host of problems, a fundamental issue of which was the structured inequality that was embedded in the system,” noted the report, entitled A Review of the South African Education System. National Professional Teachers Organisation of South Africa President Dave Balt complimented Pandor and the department for taking the bold step to commission the report. Commenting on the report, Pandor said policy review was a crucial element of the work of any government. Early childhood development and adult basic education and training have tended to be marginalised in South African education despite some admirable policy documents, said the OECD, adding that due to the racially discriminatory policy of the past, many adults lost out on educational opportunities. Presenting a report on vocational educational training, European Training Foundation expert Milena Corradini, who was part of the review team, said better partnerships between the business community and the education sector should be established and links between schools and the world of work should be more systematic. Special needs and inclusivity The review included an examination of key aspects of the education system, governance and financing of the education system, curriculum, learning materials and assessment, early childhood education and adult education, vocational education training and human resource development, inclusive education and equity in South African education, the teaching and teacher education as well as higher education. Building capacity These debates would also surround the OECD’s many useful recommendations following the report’s findings in educating the nation’s children. Policy review ‘crucial’ The team therefore suggested that more attention should be paid to the management of the change process in terms of detailed planning, budgeting and monitoring of change with change resistance and a formal training in the pedagogy of higher education, which should be made available to academic staff, particularly junior lecturers. Professional teacher development The report team also noted that the teaching career did not enjoy a good public image, and therefore did not attract high quality candidates. Center for Education and Policy Development analyst Mary Metcalf welcomed the report, telling BuaNews that the review would add value by stimulating vibrant debate where key stakeholders would find common ground for urgent action.center_img On the issue of equity in the education system, the review team was impressed with the emphasis given in South African policy to inclusivity. It also acknowledged that this had a broader implication than providing persons with disabilities access to schooling. The report therefore recommended that additional investment in early childhood development should focus on supporting parents as early educators through multimedia, multilingual programmes. It also noted that all Grade R teachers should have access to the same professional development and support resources. 8 October 2008 “The OECD review team registered surprise at what we had achieved in 14 years rather than surprise at what we still have to achieve”, Pandor said. “Anywhere in the developing world, a minister of education would be overjoyed at receiving a positive if qualified audit from an international organisation like the OECD.” “Before promulgating new policy measures for schools, feasibility studies at the level of average or below average schools should be conducted with more attention paid to effective communication of policy,” the OECD recommended, saying that focused training programmes were needed for staff capacity building at provincial and district level. Stimulating vibrant debate The OECD recommended that emphasis on curriculum policy should be placed on the implementation of the current curriculum emphasising the provision of learning materials, professional development of teachers, development of appropriate assessment tools and early diagnosis and remediation of learning problems. An emphasis should be placed on system deficiencies rather than learner’s difficulties, the report said, adding that all schools should also be accountable through annual reports on their physical and accessibility strategies. The report further found that there was a need for the department to produce a policy position paper setting out a comprehensive action plan and highlighting policy initiatives which were being introduced regarding the teaching career accompanied by a communication plan. The OECD provides a setting where governments can compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practice and coordinate domestic and international policies. ‘Invest in early childhood development’ “We have to ask ourselves whether the policy interventions we have put in place since 1994 have been instrumental in ensuring that we reach our goals of access, equity, redress, quality, relevance and efficiency,” Pandor told BuaNews this week. Financial and Fiscal Commission representative Nomonde Madubula told BuaNews that the report highlighted in detail all the facets of the education system in South Africa and how it had come so far despite historical legacy. “Added to these weaknesses are major infrastructural deficits, inadequate financing, lack of democratic procedures, imbalanced curricular policy, poor teacher education and very unsatisfactory provision of teaching of teaching materials.” “We are happy with the recommendations,” Balt told BuaNews. “We need professional development of teachers and qualified teachers on the early childhood development and we are very happy about the endorsement of quality learning and teaching campaign as a matter of urgency.” She said she had anticipated a condemning review of the education system, however, the report had instead noted a number of achievements. The straightforward recommendations centre on several themes: the governance and financing of the education system; the curriculum and learning materials; early childhood education and adult education; vocational educational training and human resource development; equity in South African education and teacher training and higher education. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Major Internet Incidents and Outages of 2010

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… We do our best to cope with Internet and website outages, which can be incredibly frustrating when they take out major communication channels. When a service goes down, Twitter usually lights up with complaints and questions – well, unless it’s Twitter that’s down, of course. So to cap off a year that seemed to have its fair share of major meltdowns, the website monitoring company Royal Pingdom has posted its list of this year’s major Internet incidents.1. Wikipedia’s failover failA failover fail in March knocked Wikipedia offline worldwide for several hours.2.’s big-blog crashWordPress was down for 110 minutes in mid-February, the biggest outage the service had seen in four years.3. Gmail’s multiple outagesAlthough disruptions don’t generally impact all Gmail users, the email service had several notable outages this year, including a 2.5 hour downtime in February, a 36 hour outage in March and a 2 hour outage in September.4. China reroutes the InternetIn April, China Telecom purportedly spread incorrect traffic routes to the rest of the Internet, meaning that for 18 minutes, as much as 15% of Internet traffic was sent via China.5. Twitter’s World Cup woesTwitter saw incredible growth this year, but tweeting became so popular, particularly during the World Cup, that Twitter broke. Repeatedly.6. Facebook’s feedback loopFacebook was offline for 2.5 hours in September when a feedback loop overloaded its databases. Our own community manager Seamus Condron went so far during the outage as to post some helpful suggestions about how best to cope. 7. Foursquare’s double whammyFoursquare was down for 11 hours in October. The culprit: database issues. The site was down an additional 6 hours the next day as the engineers fixed things.8. Paypal’s payment problemsProblems with network equipment disrupted PayPal’s service for 4.5 hours in October.9. Tumblr’s tumbleTumblr has had a great year, and ReadWriteWeb just named it the Best LittleCo of 2010. But that success in part led to a 24 hour outage in December, when all of Tumblr’s 11 million blogs were knocked offline.10. The WikiLeaks dramaThe WikiLeaks site experienced its own issues during its most recent document release, as it came under heavy DDoS attacks. The site then moved to Amazon Web Services, but was quickly ousted. The site then lost its DNS provider for the domain. The site has remained largely reachable via its IP address and over 2000 mirror sites have since sprung up. But the events surrounding WIkiLeaks have not merely interrupted the organization’s website, as Amazon, PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, EveryDNS and others have been targeted by DDoS attacks. “The Wikileaks drama is without a doubt the Internet incident of the year,” says Royal Pingdom.Do you see anything missing from this list? And care to offer any predictions about outages in 2011? 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img audrey watters Related Posts Tags:#news#web last_img read more

The Future of Content Marketing Infused with Artificial Intelligence

first_imgOne of the terms that we seem to be hearing about a lot these days is AI (Artificial intelligence). Artificial intelligence has already influenced the world on a vast scale, especially in areas like gaming, marketing, interior design, healthcare, and finance. The revenues gained from the use of AI in technology is massive, and this is evident from how little things like even the smartphone apps are changing. These advancements show us the type and scale of technology we can look forward to in the future. Here’s forecasted cumulative global artificial intelligence revenue by 2025, based on different industries.Image Source: StatistaIn regards to AI in marketing, it’s evident that it’s currently at an infant stage, and hence we’re just beginning to see artificial intelligence being used in content marketing.Artificial intelligence is intelligence demonstrated by machines which in contrast is to mimic the natural intelligence displayed by humans. When used together in unison, it is thought that AI can boost human knowledge and capabilities, at least stretch the limits of a human brain. Some of the benefits of AI that marketers can take advantage of is automated processes, market research, personalized content, synchronization of social media, improved data collection and management.Let’s take a look at how AI will further innovate the content marketing field.But first, let’s determine what content marketing is and explore different formats. Content marketing is an act of promoting and distributing valuable and relevant content that informs and educates the audience. In this day and age, content may come in many different formats.Here’re some common forms of content (and tools to help create each one – in case you’re wondering). Blog Posts & Articles – the standard form of text contentInfographics – a typical kind of visualizing information. Tools live Canva allows you to create these easily. Interactive Charts & Visualised Data – turning boring data and figures into engaging content. Tools like Infogram, Tableau, and ChartBlocks can help.Slides – turning text and images into presentations. Use tools like PoweredTemplate to create presentations quickly and efficiently. Video – more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube daily. Tools like PowToon enable to create animated videos. One of the primary functions of AI in digital marketing is the ability to analyze large data sets and incorporate them into something useful for marketers. The use of AI and its integration into businesses is only getting better, and because it can quickly segment data, it can help companies better understand the more delicate details of their audience, giving them more clarity on how to market better. AI enables businesses to create content that caters to their audience across different means and platforms. AI can also offer the ability for faster optimization of content. AI can help customers get straight to the information that it knows they would be more interested in, which is done by utilizing content personalization by learning how a particular user behaves. For instance, if someone owns a travel website, AI can enable the owner to personalize the homepage based on an individual’s search habits and history. If someone is searching for vacations in Spain and Italy 80% of the time, it sure means that if AI can personalize the page to show great deals for these two countries, the viewer is much more likely to convert. This is how AI can help with faster content optimization and not waste your audience’s time or deter them away from the site if they can not find what they are looking for, hence filtering and giving the audience better access.AI also has the potential to change and transform content creation strategies. Companies like Yahoo have already experienced the use of robots which are capable of generating pieces of content in an enormous quantity that is correct and interesting. AI will also not only aid in scanning key phrases through search engines, but it will also develop the ability for visual search capabilities based on specific images that a user might research online. This new development could pave the way for more creative approaches behind outreach strategies from content marketers.AI offers Security and Privacy for marketing. Because there were 1.2 billion data breaches in the U.S. alone in 2018, AI can definitely help when it comes to security.Image Source: StatistaA simple user ID and password combination used to work for security; however, these credentials may no longer assure the safety of data. AI can help by identifying threats faster, and with a secure overview of the risks involved, the technology will be able to carry out a systematic examination of data that is available from previous cyber-attacks and other distinct sources in order to prevent and eliminate any future threats.It is thought that AI will not only change or automate certain activities connected to content marketing but will also change how marketing channels work in the future and what skill sets will be needed to flourish in the near future. Social media platforms such as Facebook or online marketplace platforms like Amazon depend on user-contributed content to drive conversions and traffic to their website. This opens the door for AI, where marketers can better ensure the targeted delivery of their content to satisfy the demand that flows through both large and small platforms. The technology of AI will take content marketing further than we have ever imagined. The ability to create specific content for the target audience will add an immense amount of value. Businesses will be given the opportunity to rise above current positions they hold and interact with their market with more fluidity. Because of the advantage that AI can provide, it’s not a surprise that the concept has taken off and will further progress in the coming future. The technology itself will help marketers make better decisions and ensure their audience is having the best user experience when interacting with their content. It will help marketers make sense of the information they have in front of them at a deeper level providing them with the ability to boost their business forward. Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Dmytro is a CEO at Solvid, a creative content creation agency based in London. He’s also the founder of Pridicto, a web analytics startup. His work has been featured in various publications, including, TechRadar, Hackernoon, TNW, Huff Post, and ReadWrite. Tags:#AI#artificial intellgence#Content Marketing Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industry AI is Not the Holy Grail of Sales, at Least Not… Dmytro Spilka AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storagelast_img read more