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Codemasters is joining THQ in using activation codes to thwart used games

first_imgTraditional publishers have a lot of hate for the used game market, perhaps best encapsulated by a quote from THQ’s Cory Ledesma, who said that THQ “doesn’t care” if gamers who pick up a user copy of a title get upset because THQ has held some of the content of a game back from them, because “when a game’s bought used we get cheated.”I’m sympathetic to the situation that game publishers are in as brick and mortar stores like Gamestop buy up used games for pennies on the dollar and bump the price down by five or ten bucks: brick and mortars are now making most of their money on used games rather than new games, and that’s bad for the bottom line.AdChoices广告That said, it’s a basic principle of economics that a finite good’s value is increased by it being resellable, because people are more likely to lay out money for something if they think they can get most of that money back in the future. I don’t understand why game publishers don’t get this basic fact, which is why I’m disappointed to see that Codemasters intends to go the THQ route by requiring one-time activation codes to get full access to a game’s features. Codemasters’ Rod Cousens explains how it will work:“It’s not inconceivable to say that we send out a Formula One game that’s not complete – maybe it’s got six tracks. Then they have to buy their next track, and you follow it around the world. When you turn up in Abu Dhabi you have to pay for the circuit, and whatever the changes are to the cars that are put through. That, I think, would deal with a lot of it, and also address the pre-owned.” Yeesh. If you want to eliminate used games, switch over to a digital delivery model, but quit punishing gamers for adding value to your titles by wanting to buy them used.Read more at Crunchgearlast_img read more

Samsung de nouveau autorisé à vendre la Galaxy Tab en Australie

first_imgSamsung de nouveau autorisé à vendre la Galaxy Tab en AustralieLa cour de justice australienne vient de lever l’injonction contre Samsung, qui pourra vendre sa tablette de nouveau à partir de vendredi. Sauf en cas d’appel de la part d’Apple. Apple et Samsung sont engagés dans des procédures contentieuses dans une dizaine de pays. La guerre des brevets n’est pas gagnée, mais Samsung gagne ici une petite bataille. À lire aussiArchos 35 Carbon, 50 et 53 Platinum : prix et caractéristiques des premiers smartphones du constructeur français Depuis le 13 octobre, la Cour fédérale de Sidney avait interdit la vente de la tablette. Cette décision préliminaire, en attendant de savoir si Samsung a oui ou non volé des brevets d’Apple, est lourde de conséquences. Un tel produit ayant une durée de vie de 12 mois, l’interdire même temporairement aurait « pour effet de tuer la Galaxy Tab 10.1 en Australie », soulignent les juges. Ils sont donc revenus sur leur décision.Apple pourrait néanmoins contre-attaquer. Des faiblesses existant dans son argumentaire pourraient être corrigées, et surtout le groupe américain pourrait saisir la Haute cour afin d’obtenir une suspension au-delà de vendredi. Car si les ventes commencent il devient bien plus compliqué d’interdire la tablette, créant une pénurie. La même bataille avait déjà eu lieu en Allemagne. Début septembre, Apple l’avait emporté et la Galaxy Tab 10.1 avait été interdite. En novembre Samsung a annoncé avoir modifié la tablette pour le marché allemand, qui l’attend toujours…Le 30 novembre 2011 à 15:45 • Maxime Lambertlast_img read more

Occupancy rate of Macaus 4star and 5star hotels falls in July

first_imgThe occupancy rate of Macau’s hotels saw a slight 0.4% increase to 93.5% in July 2019, despite a decline in the rate at the city’s 5-star and 4-star hotels.The occupancy rate of 5-star hotels fell from 94.8% in the prior year period to 94.4% in July, while 4-star hotels experienced a 6.3% decline to just 88.1%. Macau’s overall figures were salvaged by a 10.5% increase in occupancy at 3-star hotels, which jumped from 86.3% in July 2018 to 96.8% this time around. The average room rates increase at all levels to an average of MOP$1,355.50 for the month.Macau’s average occupancy rate for the first seven months of 2019 is up 1.2% year-on-year to 92.5%, with 5-star hotels up 0.4% (93.2%) and 3-star hotels up 10.3% (95.1%) while 4-star hotels are down 2.7% (89.4%). Load More RelatedPosts Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge helps Macau visitation climb 16.3% in Julylast_img read more

30 hurt as students villagers clash

first_imgScience and Technology University logoAt least 30 people were injured in a clash among the students of Bangabandu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Science and Technology University (BSMRSTU) and villagers over a trifling matter at Gobra village in Sadar upazila of Gopalganj on Wednesday, reports UNB.Quoting local people, police said a football match was arranged between the university students and a group of youths of Gobra village in Sadar upazila on Wednesday.An altercation ensued among the boys after the match over taking bath in a pond, said Manirul Islam, officer-in-charge of Sadar police station.When the students went to take bath in the pond, a group of youths beat some of them around 7:00pm.As soon as the news spread, BSMRSTU students became angry and broke into a clash with the villagers that left 30 people from both sides injured.Of the injured, 15 were taken to Sadar Hospital. The students also vandalised several shops and two motorcycles and set those on fire during the clash that took places from 7:00pm to 10:00pm.On information, a firefighting unit rushed in and doused the flame.Being informed, police went to the spot brought the situation under control. Additional police have been deployed to avert further trouble, said the OC.last_img read more

Myanmar social media anger after Pope uses Rohingya word

first_imgPope Francis gestures during a news conference on board of a plane on 2 December, 2017, during a flight back from a seven-day trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh. Photo: AFPPope Francis’s embrace of the Rohingya during a trip to Bangladesh has sparked some angry comment on social media in Myanmar, where just days earlier he chose not to publicly air their plight.On Friday the head of the Catholic church met a group of refugees from Myanmar’s stateless Muslim minority in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka.He referred to them as “Rohingya” — a term unacceptable to many in Myanmar where they are reviled as alleged “Bengali” illegal immigrants rather than as a distinct ethnic group.During his public addresses on the previous leg of his trip in mainly Buddhist Myanmar, Francis did not refer to the group by name or directly allude to the crisis in Rakhine state, from where over 620,000 Rohingya have fled since August.His caution initially won applause from Myanmar’s tiny Catholic minority — who feared a nationalist blowback — as well as from Buddhist hardliners, who are on the defensive after a global outcry about the treatment of the group.A deadly attack by Rohingya militants on police posts in late August sparked a ferocious crackdown in Rakhine by the Myanmar military, which the US and UN describe as ethnic cleansing.As he arrived back at the Vatican, the pontiff said he had taken up the Rohingya cause in private in Myanmar, also describing how he wept after meeting the group of refugees.”I wept: I tried to do it in a way that it couldn’t be seen,” he told reporters. “They wept too.”The comments sparked a flurry of online anger in Myanmar, a country locked off from modern communications for five decades but which now has an active social media.”He is like a lizard whose colour has changed because of weather,” said Facebook user Aung Soe Lin of the pope’s strikingly different stances on the crisis.”He should be a salesman or broker for using different words even though he is a religious leader,” said another Facebook user called Soe Soe.Myanmar’s Catholic church had advised Francis not to stray into the incendiary issue of the status of the Rohingya in Myanmar, in case he worsened tensions and endangered Christians.In his public addresses he treaded softly on the topic, urging unity, compassion and respect for all ethnic groups — but not naming the Rohingya.”The Pope is a holy person… but he said something here (in Myanmar) and he said different in other country,” another Facebook user Ye Linn Maung posted.”He should say the same things if he loves the truth.”Others were more sanguine about Francis’ choice of language once he had left Myanmar soil.Maung Thway Chun, chairman of an unofficial party of nationalists called the 135 Patriots Party, applauded the pope’s decision not to name the them in Myanmar despite pressure from rights groups.”It means he respects Myanmar people,” he said. “He even did not use the word many times in Bangladesh… I think he said it once, just to comfort human rights organisations.”last_img read more

Houston Welcomes Hundreds Of Aspiring Professional Musicians To The Texas Music Festival

first_img To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: X Share Jeff GrassStudents performing at the 2015 Texas Music Festival at the Moores Opera HouseThe seats are empty inside the University of Houston’s Moores Opera House as a stage of music students rehearse Respighi’s Fountains of Rome. Later, they’ll play for an audience as part of the Texas Music Festival. Even though it’s in its 27th year, this is also a year of firsts.Jeff GrassFranz Anton Krager leads the musicians in rehearsal for the 2016 Texas Music Festival“Probably the most exciting first for us is having Hans Graf, the former conductor and music director of the Houston Symphony here,” says Alan Austin, the general and artistic director of the festival.Each year, music students from around the state, country, and world descend upon Houston for a four week intensive program. The competition is tough – this year, about 100 applicants were chosen from a pool of more than 400. The goal is to give them a professional orchestra experience through performances, master classes, and even mock auditions.“They have a chance to go through an audition where a job is not at stake,” Austin explains. “But they learn the skill of auditioning from the feedback they get, which is something you don’t get in the professional world.”Austin adds that about 5,000 attend the concerts over the course of the festival and it’s not uncommon for some of the students to come back.“For a lot of these students who may be looking at graduate schools, who may be looking at a place to settle down as a young professional musician, I think we make a really strong impact. And I’ve seen that just by the number of students who return.”The Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival runs through July 2nd at the University of Houston, with an additional performance at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion. 00:00 /01:41 Listenlast_img read more

Get Ready for Digital Pills FDA Clears SelfTracking Drug

first_img This story originally appeared on PCMag 3 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals November 14, 2017 It might sound creepy, but U.S. regulators have approved a drug that can digitally track whether patients have taken their medicine.It’s the first drug in the country with a digital ingestion tracking system, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which announced the approval on Monday. However, the medication is geared only for people diagnosed with certain kinds of mental illness.Called Abilify, the purely chemical version of the drug actually received FDA approval over a decade ago to treat patients with schizophrenia and bipolar disorders.Related: Science and FDA Say Cannabis Is Medicine but DEA Insists It Isn’tHowever, the makers behind it, Japanese company Otsuka Pharmaceutical, developed a new version called Abilify MyCite that comes with a tiny ingestible sensor inside each pill.The sensor is the size of a grain of sand and made from magnesium and copper, according to Proteus Digital Health, the maker of the technology.Patients wear a patch over their torso, which relays a signal between the drug pill and the mobile app. The sensor in the pill will then activate once it’s swallowed and reaches the patient’s stomach fluid.The patch on the torso can also transmit the signal to a web service, where a doctor can examine the data.On Monday, the FDA said the digital drug pill might be useful for some patients. However, Abilify MyCite’s own prescription labeling says it still hasn’t been shown the drug improves “patient compliance” with their treatment, according to the FDA.Related: The FDA Wants to Find Out if Cartoon Drug Ads Are Bad for ConsumersNevertheless, the regulatory approval is a big win for Proteus, which has been promoting its self-tracking pill technology as a way to help patients take their medicine as prescribed.In addition, the company says the ingestible sensor can be used to track psychological data, like the person’s activity level. With the patient’s consent, that data can then be shared with a doctor and family members to help manage the mental illness, Proteus has said in the past while lobbying for FDA approval.However, the idea of a self-tracking pill technology probably won’t be welcomed by all. Comedian Stephen Colbert lampooned the tech back in 2012, joking, “Nothing is more reassuring to a schizophrenic than a corporation inserting sensors into your body.” Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »last_img read more

Another week another trip to the Eastern Time Zon

first_imgAnother week, another trip to the Eastern Time Zone for the Arizona Cardinals.After playing back-to-back games in Detroit and Pittsburgh earlier this month, Bruce Arians’ 5-2 Cardinals will face the Cleveland Browns Sunday at FirstEnergy Stadium.The game will mark only the third Cardinals’ visit to Cleveland since they moved to the Valley in 1988. The first two haven’t gone well.Buddy Ryan’s 1994 team was shut out by the Browns 32-0 — in the one and only game Jim McMahon started at QB for Arizona. In 2003, the Browns blew out the Cardinals 44-6 behind 392 yards passing and three touchdowns from quarterback Kelly Holcomb. 0 Comments   Share   The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo • Don’t expect the Browns to say hello to Manziel before the bye week (Cleveland.com)Pettine does say nice things about Johnny Manziel when given the chance. So there’s that. He gave him a A-plus for how he’s handled himself inside the Berea complex. He gave credit for not missing much of a beat in game preparation after unhappily returning to the bench following the Tennessee win.• Four Downs: Browns run D searching for 4-quarter formula for success (ClevelandBrowns.com)The Browns felt good about their plan for rookie sensation Todd Gurley early in Sunday’s game.Gurley had 9 yards in his first five carries, and that included a 14-yard gain. At the half, St. Louis had just 44 rushing yards. Friday, October 30• Browns look for positive gains in run game (WKYC.com)In last Sunday’s 24-6 loss to the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome, the Cleveland Browns ran the ball 15 times on first down, and of those attempts, five went for negative yardage.• Cleveland Browns’ Robert Turbin carries a football and a family burden in his huge arms (Cleveland.com)Robert Turbin’s arms bulge like creations of a Marvel Comics illustrator. They are so big a Facebook page was started in their honor.• Cleveland Browns uniform tracker: Orange jerseys debut on Sunday (Cleveland.com)Heads up: make sure you know how to adjust the brightness on your TV before Sunday at 1 p.m. All week, we’ll keep you in the loop on everything happening in Cleveland as the Browns prepare for a visit from the Cardinals.It’s Behind Enemy Lines … Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Thursday, October 29• Unique diet helps Karlos Dansby continue to defy his age on the field (ESPN.com)He continued to watch what he ate after leaving Arizona as a free agent in 2014 for the Cleveland Browns, where he’s continued to be just as dedicated about his body. After watching it work for the 33-year-old Dansby, Browns coach Mike Pettine tried Dansby’s diet. Top Stories Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling • Not hiring Bruce Arians one of Browns’ biggest post-’99 mistakes (ESPN.com)At the time, Arians was the offensive coordinator for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Owner Randy Lerner had reached out to Arians, but before he could meet with Arians he met with Mangini and became smitten. Instead of moving forward with Arians, he hired Mangini.• Browns seem to want Josh McCown to start on Sunday (ESPN.com)Mike Pettine made it more than evident Wednesday that the Cleveland Browns are doing all they can to ensure Josh McCown starts Sunday’s game against Arizona.The team rested McCown and his sore shoulder on Wednesday and gave starter’s reps to Johnny Manziel, but Pettine’s words spoke loudly that he wants to stick with the veteran.• Johnny Manziel met Wednesday night with NFL investigator Lisa Friel about domestic incident (Cleveland.com)Friel was one of four women appointed by NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell last year to help shape the league’s policies on domestic violence and sexual assault.• Robert Turbin says he hasn’t been 100 percent this season, wants to be ‘huge part’ of team: Cleveland Browns notebook (Cleveland.com)Cleveland Browns running back Robert Turbin looked like he was 100 percent on his first run in the second half against the Rams on Sunday. Turbin ran right for 22 yards on a first-and-10 play from the Browns’ 47-yard line. Wednesday, October 28• Browns can’t suspend Johnny Manziel, GM Ray Farmer says (ESPN.com)The Browns’ only option, under the NFL’s rules, was to make Manziel inactive for this past Sunday’s game against the St. Louis Rams, Farmer said. Only the NFL has the authority to discipline Manziel, because the league investigates potential personal conduct policy violations.• Ray Farmer: ‘Shame on us’ if Browns don’t get things together (ESPN.com)Ray Farmer used one word Tuesday to describe the mood in the Cleveland Browns facility.Urgency.• Browns QB Josh McCown to start if deemed healthy after shoulder injury (ESPN.com)Cleveland Browns quarterback Josh McCown is day to day as he deals with a shoulder injury, but he will start Sunday against Arizona if he’s healthy.“If our starting quarterback is physically able to play, will we play him?” coach Mike Pettine said Monday. “Yes.”• The Cleveland Browns Reportedly Want Johnny Manziel To Dump His Girlfriend. They Should Dump Him (Huffington Post)One would think that this would’ve sparked the end of Manziel in Cleveland. After hopelessly struggling through an unproductive rookie season, he was in rehab this past offseason, so a report of drinking violence mixed with drinking — police smelled alcohol on Manziel’s breath — should’ve been the last strike. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more

Have you ever gone to extreme measures to get your

first_imgHave you ever gone to extreme measures to get your chosen time off work?If so, you could win £100 of travel vouchers by taking our short survey! ReturnOne wayMulti-cityFromAdd nearby airports ToAdd nearby airportsDepart14/08/2019Return21/08/2019Cabin Class & Travellers1 adult, EconomyDirect flights onlySearch flights Map Related13 ways to be a Christmas travel heroFind out how to be a travelling Christmas angel this festive season.11 top tips to get through the airport quicklyGet your trip off to a flying start and whizz through the airport like a pro with a little help from our well-travelled staff and top travel bloggers. Here are their top tips on getting through the airport quickly; from speeding through security to navigating your way out at arrivals.20 top airport tips: How to stay calm and save time at the airportA weekend city break, a big family holiday, or a last minute business trip: whatever the reason you find yourself stressed out at the airport, here are a few insider tips from Skyscanner’s seasoned travellers. From secrets on how to jump the check-in queue to how to get an upgrade.…last_img read more

The concrete is poured into the formed wall Pho

first_imgThe concrete is poured into the formed wall. [Photo & Text: aa] February 16, 2004The wall for the fish tank of the aquaponic system in the camp green house is poured. The construction crew has moved the concrete mixer and raw materials for concrete to the camp green house area. [Photo & Text: aa] Each batch in the concrete mixer makes 4 wheel barrels of concrete each time. [Photo & Text: aa]The wall for the fish tank of the aquaponic system in the camp green house is poured. The construction crew has moved the concrete mixer and raw materials for concrete to the camp green house area. [Photo & Text: aa] February workshoppers work hard, shoveling sand and gravel for concrete. Sean Sciubba (left), Anita Punja and Haley Byrd (right). [Photo & Text: aa]center_img Each batch in the concrete mixer makes 4 wheel barrels of concrete each time. [Photo & Text: aa] Construction crewmembers and agriculture crewmembers work together in the limited space of the green house. Concrete is shoveled out of the wheel barrel in to the narrow frame. [Photo & Text: aa]last_img read more

Rep LaSata hosts free CPL training course

first_img04Aug Rep. LaSata hosts free CPL training course Categories: LaSata News State Rep. Kim LaSata will host a free Concealed Pistol License training course with the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department on Saturday, August 26.The course takes place at the Berrien County Patrol Office located at 2100 E. Empire Ave. in Benton Harbor.  Per state law, the course is divided into two sections, a five-hour classroom session followed by a three-hour range session.  Rep. LaSata will provide lunch for the classroom portion of the course.Participants are required to bring 100 rounds of ammunition and a reliable handgun of .380 caliber or larger.  Participants should also bring three magazines for their gun.  If you do not own a gun, the sheriff’s department has loaner pistols that you may use.   Because space is limited, registration for the class is on a first-come, first served basis.All firearm laws still apply.  Please check state law for eligibility to obtain a CPL.  For more information contact Rep. LaSata’s office at 517-373-5240 or by email at KimLaSata@house.mi.gov.last_img read more

Rep Griffin helps direct extra road repair money to Van Buren Kalamazoo

first_img Categories: Griffin News,News Roads crews making urgent repairs in Van Buren and Kalamazoo counties will have more money to work with this construction season because of a newly signed law supported by state Rep. Beth Griffin of Mattawan.An additional $175 million in transportation funding will be distributed statewide beyond what was previously scheduled. Much of the money is headed directly to counties, cities and villages for road preservation and construction.The money is already available because various state departments did not spend as much as originally projected during a previous budget cycle. No budget cuts or additional fees or taxes are required for the investment.“This is not enough money to do everything that must be done for our roads, but – coupled with other recent reforms — it is another step in the right direction,” Griffin said.“I will remain vigilant and look for ways to bring more money for road repairs to southwest Michigan. Our roads did not deteriorate overnight and they will not be fixed overnight. But I am committed to providing more resources so our communities can have the improved roads they deserve.”Estimated local allocations include Van Buren County ($669,434), Kalamazoo County ($1.45 million), Bangor ($16,859), Bloomingdale ($5,438), Breedsville ($3,181), Decatur ($15,706), Gobles ($7,365), Hartford ($20,464), Parchment ($13,490), South Haven ($41,316), Lawrence ($10,275), Lawton ($17,276), Mattawan ($20,619) and Paw Paw ($26,487), among others.The extra money comes in addition to record-level road funding provided by previous long-term reforms. The state also has strengthened its warranty system designed to make sure new and refurbished roads will last longer.### 20Mar Rep. Griffin helps direct extra road repair money to Van Buren, Kalamazoo countieslast_img read more

Rep Schroeder reschedules local coffee hour

first_img29Jan Rep. Schroeder reschedules local coffee hour Due to the weather conditions on Monday, Jan. 28, State Rep. Andrea Schroeder (R – Independence Township) rescheduled her local coffee hour to Monday, Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Leo’s Coney Island, 6325 Sashabaw Road in Clarkston.“I hope having to reschedule was not too much of an inconvenience as being safe and warm during this storm was a great concern of mine. I look forward to hearing from you on Monday to allow me to be a better advocate for our community,” Rep. Schroeder said. “As your voice in Lansing, it is a top priority of mine to be accessible and accountable to you. I hope you will join me and share your ideas and concerns.”No appointment is necessary. Those unable to attend may contact Rep. Schroeder at 517-373-0615 or via email at AndreaSchroeder@house.mi.gov.##### Categories: News,Schroeder Newslast_img read more

Johnson bill would restore wrongful imprisonment compensation shortfall

first_img Today, State Rep. Steve Johnson introduced legislation that would ensure those who have been exonerated of a crime would receive the compensation from the state that is due to them.In 2016, the Michigan Wrongful Compensation Act was signed into law, which awards an individual exonerated of a conviction with $50,000 for each year unjustly spent in prison. Currently, the Michigan Wrongful Imprisonment Fund only contains $1.6 million, which will likely be totally depleted upon the first few claims by exonerated prisoners.“The most basic responsibility of government is serving justice accurately and effectively,” said Johnson, R-Wayland. “While I am glad that compensation for the wrongfully convicted was put into law in 2016, the State of Michigan dropped the ball in providing reliable funding, which is totally unacceptable and cannot be permitted to happen again. My legislation would ensure that this deficiency will be met to ensure that those who have been wrongfully imprisoned receive the compensation they are lawfully due.”Rep. Johnson’s bill directs $10 million from the state’s general fund to cover the Michigan Wrongful Imprisonment Fund shortfall until next year’s budget is finalized, and ensures that the Legislature receives regular reports about outstanding claims and the balance of the fund to ensure this doesn’t happen again.House Bill 4286 has been referred to the House Appropriations Committee for further consideration. 28Feb Johnson bill would restore wrongful imprisonment compensation shortfall Categories: Steven Johnson Newslast_img read more

Another Waterrelated Charity Issue Sharks Stalk Swimmers

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesAugust 24, 2014; Times of San DiegoEight swimmers competing in a 76-mile California charity relay swim from Catalina Island to La Jolla Cove found themselves stalked by sharks, which finally drove them to desert the endeavor. Apparently, one shark followed a swimmer, trailing about 20 feet behind, while eight other sharks hung around nearby. That does not sound comforting.The swim was called “Beyond Avalon” and was organized to benefit the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station, which helps wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars at Camp Pendleton and Naval Medical Center San Diego.The swimmers did have electromagnetic devices designed to repel sharks for part of the swim, but the gadget needed to be recharged every few hours, so after a while it became nonfunctional.“You have to respect the power of the sea and the power of the creatures in the sea,” said the organizer.—Ruth McCambridgeShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Wilson vs Holtzclaw Are Crowdfunding Platforms Neutral

first_imgShare1TweetShareEmail1 Shares Image: Lt Ray Albers points rifle in FergusonSeptember 5, 2014;International Business TimesCan crowdfunding websites like GoFundMe claim neutrality? GoFundMe’s defense of the use of its platform for donations to benefit Officer Darren Wilson, the Ferguson policeman who shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown, was its availability as a platform to raise money for anything. Writing for the International Business Times, Christopher Zara pokes a huge hole in that explanation by noting that the crowdfunding platform withstood calls for it to cease the Wilson fundraising campaign but recently took down a campaign for another policeman.An Oklahoma City officer, Daniel Holtzclaw, had been charged with rape, forced oral sodomy, and stalking. His eight victims, whom he researched before allegedly attacking them, included a 57-year-old grandmother who charges that Holtzclaw forced her to perform oral sex at a traffic stop. All eight of the victims were black women.Holtzclaw’s sister Jenny set up a “Justice for Daniel Holtzclaw” fundraising page to cover the officer’s legal fees and bail, raising $7,000 before GoFundMe shut it down. Zara reports that Jenny sent the International Business Times an email she received from GoFundMe, explaining that the Holtzclaw fundraising campaign “contains subject matter that GoFundMe would rather not be associated with.” A GoFundMe spokeswoman told Zara that the Holtzclaw fundraising page was pulled down after “an internal review process,” but didn’t describe the elements of the process or the factors that compelled GoFundMe to deem the campaign “inappropriate.” Nor did they explain what terms of service might have been violated by the Holtzclaw fundraiser that were not in play in the Wilson fundraisers.What distinguishes the Holtzclaw and Wilson campaigns that prompted GoFundMe to pull one and not the other? The fact that Wilson hasn’t been charged with a crime yet while Holtzclaw has been? Zara points out the significant difference in the two campaigns’ financial hauls: a combined $432,000 for the two Wilson fundraisers (from which GoFundMe takes a five percent fee) compared to $7,000 for the Holtzclaw campaign. The GoFundMe spokeswoman who spoke to Zara, Kelsea Little, did not describe whether the campaigns’ fundraising totals played a role in the organization’s review.The Holtzclaw decision reveals pretty clearly that crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe are not necessarily neutral. “There is no such thing as a ‘neutral technology platform,’” said Rashad Robinson, the executive director of ColorOfChange.org, which has been lobbying GoFundMe to back off its defense of the Wilson fundraisers that Robinson called “appalling.”“By facilitating with Darren Wilson and his supporters,” Robinson said, “the company is taking a side.”The Wilson fundraising pages on GoFundMe have ceased accepting donations for the yet-to-be-charged police officer—not by the decision of the GoFundMe administrators, but because of complexities and confusion concerning who the fundraising sponsors are and what they really intend to do with the money they’ve raised. Throughout the Ferguson protests following young Michael Brown’s death, GoFundMe has defended its role in hosting the Wilson fundraising efforts, explaining, in Kelsea Little’s words:“Much like Facebook and Twitter, GoFundMe is an open technology platform that allows for the exchange of ideas and opinions within the bounds of our terms of service…. GoFundMe does not create or manage campaigns on behalf of its users. Rather, individual campaign organizers and their supporters act of their own accord.”Although a comparison of the GoFundMe actions on the Wilson and Holtzclaw fundraising campaigns does not add up to a full analysis of crowdfunding sites, it does raise important questions about their ability to be neutral—or whether there is any real neutrality possible among online fundraising platforms.—Rick Cohen Share1TweetShareEmail1 Shareslast_img read more

10 Years after the Indian Ocean Tsunami Work to Be Done

first_imgShareTweetShareEmail0 SharesDecember 20, 2014; Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne, Australia)Memories are short in this era. With natural disaster following natural disaster, how long do events stay in the public’s consciousness? How infrequently do we look at the long-term consequences of disasters and how survivors have tried to create new lives to replace the devastating losses they suffered?Ten years ago, a tsunami swept across the Indian Ocean, hitting the island of Sumatra. Most of its destructive power was concentrated in the province of Aceh in Indonesia. Over 150,000 people were killed, though estimates have been as high as 220,000, and half a million people, surely an underestimate, were displaced when their homes and communities were destroyed.A number of Aceh refugees have repopulated the island in a new community in the mountains, hours from the coast. As Liam Houlihan described it in the Sunday Herald Sun, the “instant city” of Blang Pon, once unpopulated fields, “is a place of roads, power and plumbing where city people from Banda Aceh have turned themselves into rural farmers to start a new life out of harm’s way and they never have to return to the city of death.”Houlihan’s article focuses on the work of CARE Australia, which built schools and housing in Blang Pon to turn it from emptiness into a habitable community. CARE also built water systems, roads, an electric system, and a health clinic for the new community. Houlihan suggests that these displaced residents are very appreciative of CARE’s work. A plaque at the “Aceh Thanks the World” memorial park reads, “Grieves and sorrows haunted the people of Aceh…Help and assistance came from volunteers, governmental and non-governmental…and the armies local, national and international.”While the article reads a little like a bit overdone paean of thanks to CARE Australia and to “Australian mum and dad donors,” the reported work of CARE in Blang Pon is impressive and multi-faceted. Moreover, given that Blang Pon appears to be only 250 homes, all apparently constructed due to CARE, the scale of the tsunami disaster is clearly overwhelming. One wonders how many Blang Pons have been created for the displaced survivors of the tsunami and how many more it will take to resettle a half million people.—Rick CohenShareTweetShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

Pope Francis Addresses Clergy Sex Abuse Scandal during Philadelphia Trip

first_imgShare5TweetShare3Email8 SharesIvan Cholakov / Shutterstock.comSeptember 27, 2015; The GuardianIn the wake of the controversy regarding his comments to the U.S. bishops earlier last week, Pope Francis met and prayed with five adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse by clergy during his visit to Philadelphia. (Their abusers, according to Vatican press spokesperson Fr. Federico Lombardi, had been clergy or family members or teachers.)The unscheduled meeting with the survivors, attended also by Boston’s Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, who chairs a church commission on the protection of minors, Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, and Bishop Michael J. Fitzgerald, head of the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s office for the protection of minors, lasted a half hour, according to the Guardian.Following the meeting, the Pope reiterated his determination to hold clergy sexual abusers accountable for their actions. He made the following statements in that regard:“I hold the stories and the suffering and the sorry of children who were sexually abused by priests deep in my heart…I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm. I am profoundly sorry. God weeps…The crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must no longer be held in secret. I pledge the zealous vigilance of the church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all.”As NPQ reported last week, advocacy groups for victims of Catholic clergy sexual abuse were unhappy with the Pope’s statements in Washington, D.C. and New York City, which focused on the burden that fell upon the bishops who, as the Pope said in New York, were forced to “bear the shame of some of your brothers who harmed and scandalized the church.” To the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the Pope’s statements in Washington and New York were insufficient, suggesting that the Pope “talks and acts like the church hierarchy is the real victim in this crisis.”Will his meeting with the group of victims in Philadelphia mollify groups like SNAP that see the Pope’s words and deeds as inadequate on this score? The Vatican issued a statement following the Pope’s meeting explaining that the Pope “renewed the commitment of the Church to the effort that all victims are heard and treated with justice, that the guilty be punished and that the crimes of abuse be combated with an effective prevention activity in the Church and in society.” According to the Associated Press, the Pope has also given the go-ahead to a new Vatican tribunal that will prosecute bishops who have “covered up abuse and shielded pedophile priests instead of turning them over to police.”The Pope’s words of contrition will be seen as more meaningful to victims groups if they are accompanied by changes in the official church response to ongoing and prospective charges of sexual abuse by priests and other Catholic Church leaders. Among the cases and controversies that have arisen recently are these:New charges against a former priest named Donald Grecco allege he abused 10- and 14-year-old boys between 1977 and 1982 in the Niagara region of upstate New York.Charges against a former priest, John C. Holdren, allege he abused a child in a church in Aurora, Illinois, between 1972 and 1973.A priest from Pennsylvania, Joseph Maurizio, has been accused of molesting young boys between 2004 and 2009 during missionary trips he took to Honduras.A church volunteer in an Orange County, California church has been accused of molesting a 10-year-old girl while he was assigned to supervise a children’s group.A 2011 court deposition of Bishop Robert Cunningham of Syracuse in a case involving a man’s charges of clergy sexual abuse revealed that Cunningham testified that the man, at the time of his alleged victimization, a boy, had been “culpable” and called victims of clergy sexual abuse “accomplices.”The issue in these and other cases is more than simply whether the alleged perpetrators were guilty and should be prosecuted. Grecco, Holdren, Maurizio, and others might be guilty as charged, but the controversy lies in whether their colleagues and superiors knew about their behavior as molesters and might have ignored, covered up, or in practical terms even abetted the abuse due to inaction. The cases might involve defrocked priests, but bishops and cardinals (among others) might have used the Catholic Church’s byzantine bureaucracy to sweep the issue under the rug. How Pope Francis responds to the use and abuse of the church’s bureaucracy in these sex abuse scandals, including the potential blind eyes of the bishops, may well turn God’s weeping into the church’s corrective action.—Rick CohenShare5TweetShare3Email8 Shareslast_img read more

NPQ North Journalism Social Finance in Canadas Budget Cause Controversy

first_imgShare25Tweet34ShareEmail59 SharesFrom joethegoatfarmer.comMarch 22, 2019; National PostKeenan Wellar is NPQ’s new point correspondent for Canada’s civil sector. He’ll be penning a periodic column called NPQ North to focus on trends and events above the border. Today, Keenan takes on the debates that have emerged around a new structure proposed for journalism organizations—one neither nonprofit nor for-profit. The government of Canada released Investing in the Middle Class (Budget 2019) on March 19th. The introductory remarks tout progress to date on items like job creation (with an emphasis on programs for women) and support for families struggling with the high cost of living. These issues have been discussed previously with respect to the Oxfam Canada Report Card on Feminist Progress and the impact of the Trudeau government’s Child Poverty Reduction strategy.Broad analysis of “winners and losers” lists those with student loans and first-time home buyers among those who have reason to smile, while those who were hoping for tax breaks—and/or edible cannabis products—aren’t pleased.With two major exceptions (journalism and social finance initiatives, see below) the 464-page document was somewhat underwhelming with respect to news for non-profits and charities, but the budget did include significant funding announcements that particular organizations and sectors are celebrating:An additional $9 million to charitable organization Indspire for education of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students (only 11 percent of Indigenous peoples have a university degree versus 29.3 percent of the non-Indigenous population)$12 million for a Phase II investment in Ready, Willing, and Able (RWA) a national employment program for persons with intellectual disabilities or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)Support for nonprofit science, research, and technology organizations like the Stem Cell Network ($18 million), Brain Canada Foundation ($40 million), Terry Fox Research Institute ($150 million related to cancer research), Ovarian Cancer Canada ($10 million), Genome Canada ($100.5 million), Let’s Talk Science learning programs ($10 million), and support from a variety of federal sources that totals close to $292.7 million for TRIUMF sub-atomic physics research.A commitment for “up to $755 million” over 10 years for the establishment of a Social Finance Fund was referenced in November’s Fall Economic Statement, as well as $50 million to help non-profit and other social purpose organizations to “support more robust business planning, provide technical assistance and enable social purpose organizations to develop impact measurement tools to monitor progress achieved.”The fund is broadly targeted to projects that will “have a positive social impact, such as reducing poverty, expanding employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, or building more affordable housing.”The budget states that $100 million will be allocated towards projects that support greater gender equality by “leveraging existing philanthropic and private sector funds towards this purpose in order to help them reduce the social and economic barriers faced by diverse groups of Canadians of all genders” and specifies that a $50 million investment will be made in the new Indigenous Growth Fund.In her NPQ Voices from the Field article of a year ago, “Social Impact Bonds and the Search for Ways to Finance Public Sector R&D,” Bhakti Mirchandani discussed social finance and social impact bonds, and their mixed results to date, noting that the approach is still in its infancy. “While the future is uncertain, there is reason to believe that social impact bonds may help generate increased investment in the development of improved service delivery systems going forward.”The government of Canada’s dabbling with social finance might have generated more headlines were it not for a spate of new proposals for new tax breaks and other supports for journalism and media organizations, effectively creating a new type of structure separate from current nonprofit corporations and registered charities: “Qualified Canadian Journalism Organizations.”The budget describes three new tax measures designed to support Canadian journalism:allowing journalism organizations to register as qualified doneesa refundable labour tax credit for qualifying journalism organizationsa non-refundable tax credit for subscriptions to Canadian digital newsPutting $595 million toward promotion of journalism is certainly welcome news in a general sense for journalists and media organizations, given that nearly 270 local news outlets have either closed or merged in 194 communities across Canada since 2008, according to Ryerson University’s latest tracking data (February).As Steve Dubb reported for NPQ last year, Canada lags far behind the rising wave of nonprofit journalism in the United States. These highly anticipated budget announcements may spark significant growth in this area, but process issues—and debate about the merits of the overall strategy and its tactics—are already getting heated.Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez’s statement that “We are going to the root of the problem and creating concrete measures to support Canadian newspapers, big and small” drew quick reaction from major players, like the declaration of unfairness by the Canadian Association of Broadcasters.“If the government is truly committed to recognizing the vital role media plays in helping citizens make informed decisions, it must find a way to include radio and television news outlets in this tax-credit regime,” said the association’s board chair Lenore Gibson, who is also a lawyer for Bell Media Inc., owners of multiple radio, television, and digital media outlets.More neutral observers like Chris Waddell, professor at Carleton University’s School of Journalism, mused about whether this is a case of throwing good money after bad.“We’re in a situation where, in fact, government is subsidizing the least likely people to succeed in the current format,” said Waddell. “My question is why? To what end?”The issue of federal funding for news organizations has not only divided Canada’s media community, but has generated accusations about inappropriate influence, with the opposition party Conservatives arguing new funding to the media should not be awarded in an election year.“The media should be independent from the government,” Conservative MP Pierre Poilievre said. “We should not have a situation where the government picks a panel that then decides who gets to report the news. That is very dangerous.”New Democratic Party leader Jagmeet Singh suggested the federal government could take a more direct approach in supporting local media.“Right now, the government spends most of its advertising dollars with web giants like Google and Facebook. If they were to spend that money in local media, in media in Canada, that would be a better use of our public dollars.”CWA Canada—certainly not a disinterested party, given they represent 6,000 workers in the media industry—perhaps did the best job of grounding the debate in a legitimate concern about the future of the country and its communities.“The loss of local journalists is a serious threat to our democracy,” CWA Canada president Martin O’Hanlon said. “It means fewer journalists reporting on the stories that matter to communities—and leaves almost no one to hold local politicians and powerful interests to account.”—Keenan WellarShare25Tweet34ShareEmail59 Shareslast_img read more

AE Networks History channel has launched on the

first_imgA+E Networks’ History channel has launched on the RCS & RDS, the largest pay TV platform in Romania.“Extending the reach of History to new audiences in eastern and central Europe is a continuing priority for us,” said Tom Davidson, managing director at A+E Networks UK, which manages the distribution of the channel across most of Europe.last_img