Rupert Hogg has been named the new chief executive of Hong Kong’s Cathay pacific as part of sweeping management changes at the airline in the wake of its first loss in eight years.He replaces Ivan Chu, who steps down from the CEO role after three years to become chairman of John Swire & Sons (China) from May 1. Chu will also step down as chairman of Hong Dragon Airlines but will remain on the Cathay and Swire Pacific boards as a non-executive director.Hogg moves into the role as Cathay is reeling from increased competition from low-cost and Chinese carriers as well as a bad call on fuel hedging.Cathay Pacific’s profit nosedived last year by almost 110 per cent to a net loss of $HK575m ($US74m) amid warnings from the Hong Kong group that it expected the environment this year to remain challenging.It blamed the worse than expected result on “intense and increased” competition combined with economic factors such as the strength of the Hong Kong Dollar and reduced economic growth in mainland China.He faces the task of completing a restructuring started by his predecessor aimed at making the carrier more responsive to an increasingly competitive environment.Cathay chairman John Slosar said Hogg, who also becomes the chairman of Cathay Dragon, brought an impressive level of aviation and business experience to the job. “He has played a major role as Chief Operating Officer over the last three years and brings commercial focus and a spirit of innovation to our efforts to overcome the well-documented structural challenges facing the airline,’’ he said. “He is the right man to lead our team.”Other changes will see Cathay’s director corporate development and IT, Paul Loo, take on the position of chief customer and commercial officer from June 1 and Greg Hughes, now an executive at Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company, become the airline’s chief operations and service delivery officer.Cathay Dragon chief executive Algernon Yau, will take on the role Cathay director of service delivery appointed will remaining at his current job.Slosar, who also chairs Swire Pacific, said he looked forward to working with Chu in his new role in the Swire group’s mainland China strategy and paid tribute to his efforts at Cathay.”Ivan played a key role in the airline’s management during some very good times and, more recently, some difficult and challenging times,’’ he said. “ In response, he led the team in devising the three-year transformation strategy which will provide the platform for Cathay’s medium-term recovery and continued development.’’
SharePrint RelatedOne Woman’s Journey Brings Physical Geocaches to National ParksDecember 8, 2010In “Community”Geocacher of the Month Nominees – Add Your CommentsAugust 12, 2011In “Community”Featured Geocacher of the Month Award WinnersAugust 25, 2011In “Community” Four eyes see more geocaches than two. Many hands fumbling under benches, in nooks, and crevices are more likely to make the grab. A difficult puzzle is solved more easily with combined brain power. If you took our Geocaching Quiz and learned you are a Social Butterfly, chances are that you know the advantages that come with geocaching in a group. But finding someone to go geocaching with can sometimes be difficult, especially when just starting out. Luckily, there are geocaching organizations and associations all around that world that connect geocachers to other local geocachers, strengthen the local and global geocaching community, help beginners get into the game, and so, so much more.To learn what it means to be a part of a geocaching group, we asked two geocaching associations, Washington State Geocaching Association (WSGA) in the United States and Geopt.org in Portugal to share a little bit about what they do.Washington State Geocaching Association (WSGA)GeoArt created by the WSGAWSGA was founded in 2002 when 19 geocachers learned that geocaching would be banned in all Washington State Parks. (But don’t worry. Thanks to WSGA, geocaches are still allowed in Washington State Parks and there is now an official Washington State Parks Centennial GeoTour.) Since then, the association has grown to almost 500 members. Abby Wolfe, President of the WSGA, says, “We work with parks at all levels (city, county, state, federal) to promote geocaching as a beneficial, family-oriented activity through our highly regarded Park Liaison Program and CITO activities.” Their efforts continue to nurture successful partnerships with parks and allow geocaching in most parts of the state.The organization in Washington also hosts events, meet and greets, and organizes special outings such as an annual Summer Campout.WSGA also functions as the local news for geocachers. Geocachers in Washington can stay updated on geocaching events in their area by following WSGA on Facebook. If you are a Washingtonian geocacher and want to become a member, you can join on this website.Geopt.org (Portugal)Soccer and geocaching mix well: Mini-Super Liga Geopt 2013.Geopt.org, Portugal’s equivalent to the WSGA, has collected an impressive 6442 registered members since being established in 2010. This accounts for approximately 30% of the Portuguese geocaching community.Gustavo Vidal, Vice-President of Geopt.org, describes the work of the Portuguese geocaching association: “Our organization has a Geocaching portal at www.geopt.org, where you can find all our activities. We have a Geocaching discussion forum, an online TV network (www.geopt.tv) where we play Geocaching vídeos and broadcast live some of our main events, and where we give annual awards to the owners of the best Portuguese caches, or the Mini-Super Liga, a soccer tournament with geocachers from allover the country.” The club also releases the free GeoMagazine and provides discounts for their members in Geocaching and adventure shops or camping parks.The sense of community geocaching organizations offer can be a great help for new geocachers and old pros alike, and are an easy way to make new geocaching friends. You can find a geocaching group in your area in the geocaching forums or by searching for your location and “geocaching organisation” online. Other words to search for are ”geocaching club” or “geocaching association”.Are you part of a geocaching association? Please send us your contact information through this form!Share with your Friends:More
There Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists, involved in Friday’s attack on a police post here, have been arrested, police said in Srinagar on Sunday. “We have arrested three persons so far in connection with the Chanapora attack case,” senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Srinagar Haseeb Mughal told reporters in Srinagar. The SSP identified the arrested terrorists as Mushtaq, Junaid and Latief.Mr. Mughal said the three belonged to JeM and were involved in the attack on the Chanapora police post in which a sentry was injured. They had also made a failed attempt to snatch his rifle. “We collected the digital evidence and strengthened the intelligence grid after the attack. We focussed on the suspects already on our radar. We picked them up, questioned them and during questioning, one of them confessed and gave us further details about the group, he said. Giving details of the attack, the SSP said the three came to Chanapora on a motorcycle, but left it some distance away from the police post. One of them, named Junaid, went inside the police post with the excuse of tracking the status of passport verification. He checked the place and when he saw that the sentry there had no visible backup, he came out and told his accomplices that perhaps there is no backup for the sentry, so he (sentry) can be targeted. Then he came back to the post and was accompanied by another person named Mushtaq who was wearing a pheran and a helmet. When Mushtaq was asked to remove the pheran for undergoing search, he took out a pistol and fired on the sentry, the SSP said, adding the sentry was injured and is undergoing treatment at SKIMS Hospital at Soura. The senior police official said the terrorists also tried to snatch the rifle of the injured sentry but had to leave it because the gun was clamped with a chain to his belt. In the meantime, the other policemen fired and they fled from the spot, he said. He said police have recovered a Chinese pistol, two magazines and six live rounds from them. The motorcycle has also been recovered, he said, adding further investigations in the case were on.Mr. Mughal said Mushtaq, a postgraduate from Kashmir University, was in touch with a JeM cadre, named Sameer from Pulwama district of south Kashmir, and has been associated with the group for about a year. “Sameer and Mushtaq were classmates in KU. It was on Sameer’s direction that they tried to loot weapons in Srinagar, he said. Junaid, the SSP said, was involved in a number of stone-pelting cases, while Lateef is an overground worker (OGW) of the militants and helped them with logistics. He said the three were arrested from different places in Budgam district in cental Kashmir.
Catch all the live updates of the London Olympics opening ceremony @ Indiatoday.in Game for Gold: Special coverage of 2012 Olympics 05:15 am | The spectacular London Olympics opening ceremony comes to an end. Good bye!05:15 am | Sir Paul McCartney sings Hey Jude, crowd singing with him, what a classic opening of London Olympics! 05:10 am | What a view: Fireworks go off all over the Olympic Park as clips of iconic Olympic moments are played. 05:03 am | The petals come together to form an enormous cauldron. 05:00 am | There is the light that never goes out. The Olympic cauldron is lit. 04:55 am | Olympic flame comes to the stadium and is carried by Steve Redgrave. 04:50 am | Crowd cheers for Muhammad Ali, one of the most famous boxers of all time. 04:50 am | Olympic flag is brought into the stadium. It will go up shortly. 04:50 am | Queen Elizabeth II declares London Olympics Games open. Crackers light up the sky. 04:38 am | London Organising Committee chairman Sebastian Coe addresses the crowd: “Welcome to London,” he says. 04:30 am | British athletes take the lap in front of their home crowd. 04:25 am | And now Zambia at the flag end followed by Zimbabwe and Great Britain, the hosts. 04:20 am | March past almost coming to an end. Yemen’s contingent marches in. 03:55 am | Abhinav Bindra, Mary Kom surely missing. 03:50 am | Many top athletes have stayed away as they have events on Saturday!03:45 am | Usain Bolt gets a huge cheer as he enters the stadium.03:42 am | Kuwait back in Olympic fold. Seen at march past. 03:40 am | No head of state from India at opening ceremony. TV camera focuses on Randhir Singh and his wife. In Beijing, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul and Priyanka were there. advertisement03:30 am | Indian contingent marches in. Wrestler Sushil Kumar is the flag bearer. 03:26 am | Hesham Mesbah carries Egypt’s flag as their only medallist at the Beijing Olympics. 03:20 am | Adele’s Rolling in the Deep plays in the stadium as athletes march. Now Staying Alive by Bee Gees is playing. What a colourful selection of music.03:05 am | Basketball giant Yao Ming carries China’s flag at the Beijing opening ceremony. 03:00 am | Time consuming this exercise, each country walking into the stadium. 02:57 am | Australia’s flagbearer in London is basketballer Lauren Jackson. 02:53 am | The Greek flagbearer is Alexandros Nikolaidis, a taekwondo silver medallist in both Athens and Beijing. 02:50 am | Athletes start marching into the stadium. Greece first, followed by Afghanistan. 02:45 am | Choreographer Akram Khan and his group performs the dance which is a fusion between Indian art form and European classical. 02:35 am | Tim Berners-Lee, the man who invented the World Wide Web, gets standing ovation from the crowd. 02:30 am | Music that ruled last decade is at displayed, hundreds of participants dance to the tunes of Queens and the Rolling Stones. 02:20 am | English humour at its best, bravo Mr Bean – one of the greatest British comedians.02:10 am | Now he is racing against 15 odd competitors and he wins the race, brilliant… just brilliant. 02:15 am | Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson) is in the stadium to give everyone laughter medicine. He is playing piano with the British orchestra or he is just messing with the instrument! 02:10 am | Chilly wind blows across the stadium. Wonder why a hospital scene depicting NHS, Britain’s national health scheme is being shown.02:08 am | History of United Kingdom at display. Children and nurses from the National Health Service perform a cheery number! 02:05 am | Now the national anthem of the United Kingdom, performed by the Chaos Signing Choir. 02:00 am | Ladies and gentlemen please rise for her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who just walked in the opening ceremony venue, what a royal moment! 01:55 am | A short film shows 007 James Bond (Daniel Craig) escorting Queen Elizabeth II from her palace to the Olympics venue.01:53 am | The fluorescent five giant Olympic rings hang over the centre stage and fireworks are amazing.01:50 am | The high decibel music is heady stuff indeed. Workers from old Britain showcased in labour scene. Their clothing is incredible, captures the ethos. 01:45 am | Spectacular display of great revolutions in British society, including the Industrial Revolution at the ceremony. 01:35 am | Tour de France winner Bradly Wiggins on stage. Giant bell tolls. 01:20 am | Ceremony officially opens – Finally the time we have been waiting for, the mega event officially begins. 12:40 am | Pre-show begins – The Red Arrows fighter jets of the British Air Force thunder above the Olympic stadium to signal the start of the opening ceremony pre-show begins 12:30 am | Countdown to 2012 Olympics – The world’s best athletes and top celebrities descend on the Olympic Stadium in Stratford, London, tonight for the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games to celebrate the start of the ‘greatest show on earth’.advertisementOne billion people around the globe are expected to watch the spectacle, orchestrated by ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ director Danny Boyle. While details as to what will happen during the ceremony is a closely guarded secret, stars of the silver screen, royals and political giants are expecting to enjoy the party.Star-studded audience expected at the opening ceremony:1. Queen Elizabeth II 2. Prince William and his wife Kate3. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie4. Michelle Obama5. Mitt Romney6. David Beckham7. Muhammad Ali may also attend
Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppThe British have not responded to Caricom about the report of the fact finding mission. A report which has been sanctioned by Caricom leaders and one with its suggestions has been delivered to the UK.Admitted yesterday by Ambassador Colin Granderson leading the 6 member delegation here from Caricom, on a consultative mission. QUOTE. Hon Donhue Gardiner, acting Premier says nonetheless elected leaders are moving on the recommendations even though his government has not gotten any feedback from the UK either. The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has acknowledged receipt of the report since July; former governor Ric Todd would only confirm that they have the document. Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp
What’s This Mean For Everybody Else? Maybe Nothing The move could have significant impact on the emergence of other digital newsstands as well as other dotcom giants like Amazon that offer free mobile apps so users of devices like the iPad can make purchases directly from the Kindle app. While Apple has made more money selling devices than content and apps, requiring people to access more content from more sources on their iPhones and iPads would require more people to buy more devices, according to The New York Times. However, Amazon (and Barnes & Noble) may not face the same problems as Sony because they enable consumers to buy books directly from their sites, which wasn’t the case with the Sony Reader Store, according to Mashable. Apple, potentially Google and publishing industry home team Next Issue Media are all reportedly working on their one-stop shops for digital periodicals, while Barnes & Noble, Amazon and some of the digital magazine vendors, such as Zinio, are already offering a newsstand experience. Next Issue Media has said its storefront will only be compatible with Google’s Android system to start while some observers have wondered whether standalone newsstands like Zinio will maintain their independence or fold into iTunes once Apple launches its newsstand (Zinio says it has “no comment” on Apple’s latest decision). However, many of the digital edition providers say the steps Apple is taking won’t hurt publishers. Digital edition provider Yudu (which has tied its offerings directly to Apple products such as the iPad) says Apple’s new policy could actually benefit smaller and medium-sized publishers by offering a far larger audience through the App store than they could ever get through print. “This announcement will mark an improved user experience and allow for easier access to their chosen material, directly from the App Store,” says Yudu CEO Richard Stephenson. “The consumer will no longer have to navigate away from the App Store to third party portals and payment gateways.” Texterity is “relieved” with what it’s hearing from Apple. “What they’re asking is reasonable,” says Texterity president Martin Hensel. “We do a lot of b-to-b magazines and Apple is cool with us putting people through a qualification form. We do a lot of association magazines where the magazines come as part of the membership and Apple is cool with us verifying that someone is a member without having to go through the iApp process. The only time we have to offer the iApp process is when we’re selling a digital-only subscription or a print and digital subscription at a premium over print-alone.”Marcus Grimm, marketing director at Nxtbook Media, has a three-phase recommendation for publishers who want to develop Apple apps. “One, make sure your business plan can support giving Apple their cut, if it comes to that,” he says. “Two, publishers should also be working out their Android strategy, which is easier business-wise, though more complex technology-wise, with multiple versions to support. Three, this is yet more proof that publishers need to make sure their Apple investment is worth the return. Publishers can get their content on these devices effectively without spending an arm and a leg, particularly if Apple wants 30 percent of said limbs.” Apple has reportedly rejected Sony’s reader app from the App store for selling content within the app and letting customers make purchases outside the App store (such as within the Sony Reader Store, according to The New York Times). From now on, all in-app purchases have to go through Apple, according to Steve Haber, president of Sony’s digital reading division. “It’s the opposite of what we wanted to bring to the market,” Haber is quoted as saying by The Drum. “We always wanted to bring the content to as many devices as possible, not one device to one store.”The news comes the day before Apple and News Corp. are supposed to debut News Corp.’s new digital magazine The Daily, and many observers predict Apple will use that opportunity to unveil a new subscription system. Publishers may now need to start paying Apple the 30 percent commission that’s always existed but hasn’t been strictly enforced. Publishers will also have to make sure all apps comply with Apple’s developer guideline by March 31.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR YesOceana, Virginia Beach’s innovative program to roll back encroachment threatening Naval Air Station Oceana, has been named a co-winner in its category for the 2016 Community Economic Development Awards presented by the Virginia Economic Developers Association.After NAS Oceana was threatened with closure following the last BRAC round, Virginia Beach developed a comprehensive initiative to reduce encroachment in the base’s clear zone and Accident Potential Zone 1 (APZ-1) through an aggressive incentive program targeting commercial businesses. YesOceana was designed to recruit and retain conforming businesses — such as wholesale trade, distribution and manufacturing operations — in APZ-1 and relocate nonconforming businesses from APZ-1 to other areas in Virginia Beach.Through fiscal 2015, the city has eliminated 53 nonconforming commercial properties, and it has committed $2.4 million to 31 businesses to promote compatible uses within the district. Incentives include a 90 percent rebate of the business licenses tax and/or real estate tax abatement for nonconforming properties that are rehabilitated, renovated or improved to a conforming use. Conforming businesses also may be reimbursed for fees associated with building permits, site plan applications, and water and sewer connections.By providing financial encouragement, Virginia Beach has been able to spur economic development in a way that is compatible with the mission of the base, according to a news release from the city.“With the support of other city departments and city leadership, we developed a program that serves as a vital economic development tool and strengthens our relationship with the Navy,” stated Michelle Chapleau, APZ-1 business development manager.YesOceana is now a catalyst for redevelopment of several major corridors in Virginia Beach. And its neighbors Hampton and Chesapeake are establishing similar programs to limit incompatible development outside Langley AFB and Fentress Landing Field, respectively. Virginia Beach split state funds it received last year for YesOceana with Chesapeake to support its program.
When users ask Siri, Apple’s digital assistant, what she likes to drink, she is quick with an answer.”I have a thirst for knowledge,” she responds.Her counterpart at Microsoft, Cortana, opts for a very, very dry martini.But M, the digital assistant Facebook is testing, deflects the question. “I don’t have an opinion about that. What’s your favorite drink?”As the tech giants race to build ever better artificial intelligence platforms, they are obsessing over the nuances of their digital assistants’ personalities.For users, digital assistants are a gateway to powerful artificial intelligence tools developers expect to influence major decisions about what to buy and how to spend time.The more tech companies can get users to rely on their digital assistants, the more valuable data they will accumulate about the spending habits, interests and preferences of users. The information could be fodder for lucrative digital advertising or a lever for companies to keep users locked into their ecosystems.But companies are split on the best way to forge deep connections with users. Siri and Cortana are waging charm offensives, both quick to crack a joke or tell a story. Their elaborate personas are meant to keep users coming back.Facebook has built M with no gender, personality or voice. The design bears some resemblance to Google’s similarly impersonal assistant.While catchy one-liners generate buzz, a digital assistant with personality risks alienating users or, the companies say, misleading them about the software’s true purpose: carrying out simple tasks, much like a real-life assistant.Facebook’s no-nonsense assistant focuses on handling chores such as ordering flowers or making restaurant reservations.”We wanted M to be really open and able to do anything – a really white piece of paper – and see how people use it,” Alex Lebrun, a Facebook executive who oversees the AI team for M, said in an interview with Reuters.For tech companies, the stakes are high, said Matt McIlwain, managing director of Madrona Venture Group, since digital assistants can guide users to their own products and those of their advertisers and partners – and away from those of competitors. Google’s digital assistant, for example, uses the company’s search engine to fulfill user requests for information rather than Yahoo or Microsoft’s Bing.”That trusted assistant could function as my agent for all kinds of transactions and activities,” McIlwain said.Research from the late Stanford professor Clifford Nass, an expert on human-computer interaction, shows that users can become deeply invested in AI that seems human, though they are also more disappointed when the systems come up short, raising the stakes for companies that make the attempt. And what charms one user can annoy another – a danger that Facebook and Google have largely sidestepped.Nevertheless, the Siri team concluded that personality was indispensable, said Gary Morgenthaler, an investor in Siri, the startup that created the eponymous assistant and was later acquired by Apple.”If you are emulating a human being,” he said, “then you are halfway into a human type of interaction.”Google has decided it doesn’t want to take personality further without having a better handle on human emotion.”It’s very, very hard to have a computer be portrayed as a human,” said Tamar Yehoshua, vice president of mobile search.The Google app, making use of predictive technology known as Google Now, responds to questions in a female voice but has few other gendered touches and little personality.The Google app does reflect its creator’s spirit of curiosity, however, by sharing fun facts, Yehoshua said.Facebook has a team of human “trainers” behind M, who answer some requests that are beyond the capabilities of its artificial intelligence. The company hopes to gather data on users’ most frequent requests in order to improve M so it can handle them in the future.That data is limited, however, as M is so far available only to 10,000 people in the San Francisco Bay area.Despite M’s design, users frequently ask to hear jokes, a request the assistant obliges. Humans tend to anthropomorphize technology, academics say, often looking for a personality or connection even when tech companies intentionally have veered away from such things.”When you give people this open mic, they will ask anything,” said Babak Hodjat, co-founder of AI company Sentient Technologies.Siri’s personality did not change much after Apple acquired the startup in 2010, though she switched from responding in text to speech at the insistence of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, said Adam Cheyer, a co-founder of Siri who is now a vice president at another AI company, Viv Labs.”He was right on that call,” Cheyer said. “The voice is something that people really connect with.”Microsoft interviewed real-life personal assistants to help shape Cortana’s personality, said Jonathan Foster, Cortana’s editorial manager. The assistant’s tone is professional, but she has her whims.She loves anything science-fiction or math-related – her favorite TV show is “Star Trek” – and jicama is her favorite food because she likes the way it sounds.Such attention to detail is critical because humans are very particular when it comes to artificial intelligence, said Henry Lieberman, a visiting scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studies human-computer interaction.Companies must be mindful, he said, not to venture into what researchers call the “uncanny valley,” the point at which an artificial intelligence tool falls just short of seeming human. Users become fixated on the small discrepancies, he said.”It becomes creepy or bizarre, like a monster in a movie that has vaguely human features,” Lieberman said.iDAvatars CEO Norrie J. Daroga said he walked a fine line in creating Sophie, a medical avatar that assesses patients’ pain. He gave Sophie a British accent for the U.S. audience, finding users are more critical of assistants that speak like they do.And she has flaws built in because humans distrust perfection, said Daroga, whose avatar uses technology from IBM’s Watson artificial intelligence platform.Some academics say Siri’s personality has been her greatest success: After her release in 2011, users raced to find all her quips. But some of her retorts have caused headaches for Apple.When asked what to do with a dead body, Siri used to offer joking suggestions such as swamps or reservoirs — an exchange that surfaced in a 2014 murder trial in Florida.She is more evasive when asked the question today. “I used to know the answer to this” she says.Even in that response, Morgenthaler sees traces of the true Siri.”It’s a little bit of a protest against the corporatization,” he said. “I don’t forget, but I’ve been made to forget.”
Mohammed NasimHealth minister Mohammed Nasim said on Sunday that the government would recruit about 10,000 more physicians before the next election slated to be held in the yearend.The minister came up with the disclosure while speaking at a meet-the-press programme jointly organised by the Bangladesh Medical Association (BMA) and Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum (BHRF) at the BMA office in the capital Sunday evening.The minister also said that the recruitment of 5,000 doctors would be completed by the next three months in the first phase.The health minister also said that shortage of human resources is the major obstacle towards ensuring smooth health-care services for the people.“The present government has been trying to overcome this problem. As part of this, 5,000 doctors will be recruited in the next two or three months and the other 5,000 doctors will be recruited afterwards but before the next general elections,” said Nasim.The minister also said these newly recruited doctors would be posted to the rural areas.“We’re also working to formulate a provision making it mandatory that the newly recruited doctors stay at least two years in the rural areas at the beginning of their services,” he added.Among others, BMA president Mostafa Jalal Mohiuddin, Bangladesh Health Reporters’ Forum president Tawfiq Maruf and doctor leaders were present at the programme.