Twitter/@bobarcher1We’re still over six months away from the start of the 2015 college football season, but it’s never too early to start debating which teams have the best shot at reaching the second College Football Playoff. While most fans believe that Ohio State has a great shot at repeating as national champion, there will be plenty of challengers. ESPN has already put together its Preseason FPI Ratings – which is basically an estimate of team strength (more on that here). Not surprisingly, the Buckeyes check in at No. 1, with Alabama sitting at No. 2. It may shock some fans to see LSU at No. 3 and Baylor at No. 4, however. Here are the top 25 schools, per ESPN. You can see the entire list here – all 128 teams are ranked.1. Ohio State 2. Alabama 3. LSU 4. Baylor 5. Oregon 6. TCU 7. Notre Dame 8. Ole Miss 9. Georgia 10. Arkansas 11. Texas A&M 12. UCLA 13. USC 14. Tennessee 15. Oklahoma 16. Michigan State 17. Stanford 18. Auburn 19. Clemson 20. Arizona State 21. Florida State 22. Mississippi State 23. Georgia Tech 24. Missouri 25. Virginia TechSome other surprises? Notre Dame, despite a quarterback controversy, sits at No. 7. Arkansas and Texas A&M – two teams that did not finish with winning records in the SEC West – come in at No. 10 and No. 11. And in total, there are 10 SEC teams in the top 25.
APTN National NewsThis past Wednesday marked the one-year anniversary of the massive Mount Polley environmental disaster in British Columbia.Millions of cubic metres of waste rushed into the surrounding lakes and streams. People’s lives were turned upside down. They feared for their health and jobs.Members of the local First Nation communities are both cautiously optimistic and fearful.The leadership has united and is demanding sweeping industry reforms.APTN’s Rob Smith has the story.
Categories: Hornberger News,News 25Jan Rep. Hornberger votes to bring tax relief to Michigan seniors, families Rep. Pamela Hornberger of Chesterfield Township joined her state House colleagues today in approving lower income taxes for Michigan families and seniors.The legislation continues and increases personal exemptions for Michigan taxpayers and their dependents, while providing additional relief for seniors.“I’m happy to cast votes that will save money for Michigan taxpayers,” Hornberger said. “This legislation will leave money in workers’ paychecks and help families make ends meet. It is well-deserved and long overdue tax relief.”The legislation ensures Michigan taxpayers can continue claiming personal exemptions on income taxes after federal tax reforms signed into law last month. In addition, the legislation gradually increases the state personal exemption from the current $4,000 to $4,800 for the 2020 tax year. Taxpayers in Michigan cities with an income tax will continue to be able to claim exemptions.Other legislation in the package helps senior citizens in addition to the personal exemption increase. The legislation provides a $100 income tax credit for a single filer age 62 or older – or $200 for joint filers.The bills include a provision to ensure school aid funding is not negatively affected by the legislation.House Bills 5420-22 advance to the Senate for further consideration.###
South African public broadcaster the SABC has sealed a deal for TV rights to the national football team’s games.The deal between the SABC and the South African Football Association took over a year to negotiate and covers the games played by the senior team and the under 23 side.Separately, the SABC is inaugurating a Production and Content Advisory Board, which will advise the public broadcaster on local content provision as it seeks to roll out new channels as the country completes its digital switchover.
Google has launched its new Daydream View VR headset in five markets, along with Daydream and YouTube VR apps.The Daydream View headset and controller is available in the Google Store and via retailers in the US, Canada, UK, Germany and Australia and is compatible with any Daydream-ready phone – currently just Google’s new Pixel handset.Users can experience VR by opening the Daydream app, which will house a number of virtual reality services – including the YouTube VR app.YouTube VR lets viewers experience the entire library of YouTube videos on a ‘virtual big screen’ and experience “hundreds of thousands” of immersive videos.“We want to continue to provide you with new ways to engage with the world and with your community, and we believe virtual reality will play an important role in the future of storytelling,” said YouTube in an official blog post.“More than just an amazing new technology, VR allows us to make deep, human connections with people, places and stories. That’s why we’re committed to giving creators the space and resources they need to learn about, experiment with, and create virtual reality video.”Other Daydream apps available at launch are: Google Arts and Culture, which lets users enter a virtual gallery and view artworks from more than 50 museums; and a Google Street View, which lets users experience 150 of the world’s “most amazing places”.BBC Research & Development’s experimental The Turning Forest VR fairy tale also launches next week for Daydream. The VR story was produced by BBC R&D in collaboration with VR studio VRTOV and will be available for free.The Turning Forest was created as part of the BBC’s ongoing work exploring emerging technology and new storytelling mediums for future audiences.“Our goal with Daydream is to bring high quality, mobile VR to everyone. And this is just the beginning. There will be even more apps and games coming to Daydream in the next few weeks and even more Daydream-ready phones available over the next few months,” said Google.Google unveiled its new Pixel smartphones – the first devices that are compatible with Google’s Daydream virtual reality platform – early last month.The internet giant Google originally announced its Daydream platform at its I/O developer conference in May and said at the time that Samsung, Alcatel, Asus, Huawei, HTC, LG, Xiaomi, and ZTE will all launch Daydream ready smartphones.
Altice has said it “does not agree” with a European Commission notice that the media and telecoms group may have ‘jumped the gun’ on approval of its purchase of Portugal Telecom by implementing the acquisition of the Portuguese telco before it had officially received a green light.The EU’s merger regulation requires that acquiring companies notify transactions prior to their implementation and do not being to implement the deals before they are cleared by the Commission – a requirement known as the ‘standstill obligation’.Altice notified the EC of its plans to acquire PT Portugal in February 2015 and received a conditional green light in April.The EC has now taken the view that Altice actually implemented the acquisition prior to the adoption of the Commission’s clearance, and in some instances, prior to its notification.In particular, the EC believes that the purchase agreement between the two companies put Altice in a position to exercise decisive influence over PT Portugal before notification or clearance of the transaction, and that “in certain instances” Altice exercised decisive influence over the telco.The Commission has sent a ‘statement of objections’ to Altice pending the outcome of a full investigation.Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “If companies jump the gun by implementing mergers prior to notification or clearance, they undermine the effective functioning of the EU merger control system. The Statement of Objections sent to Altice shows how seriously the Commission takes breaches of the rules designed to protect the merger control system.”Altice strongly rejected the accusation that it had ‘jumped the gun’. “Altice does not agree with the European Commission’s preliminary conclusions, and will submit a full response to the statement of objections and contest all the objections. The sending of a statement of objections does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation,” the company said.If found guilty, Altice could ultimately face a large fine of potentially up to 10% of its total annual turnover.This is not the first time the company has found itself in trouble over ‘jumping the gun’ on clearance of an acquisition. In November last year it received a €80 million fine from France’s domestic competition watchdog, the Autorité de la Concurrence, for doing the same at the time of its acquisition of SFR and Virgin Mobile France.The regulator said that documents showed that Altice had exercised a controlling influence over both companies before it received regulatory permission to move forwards.
ShareTweet “Thousands of people are displaced daily by the horrors of war, persecution and poverty.“It’s absolutely vital that people fleeing war and persecution have a welcoming, safe and secure environment in which to live. We all have a part to play in achieving this. “The launch of a new report by PPR and Housing 4 All is welcome in highlighting many of the issues faced by refugees and asylum seekers including poverty, poor housing conditions and health issues. “In a housing survey, 31% of respondents stated that their home was not safe, liveable or secure. These are damning figures. COUNCILLOR PATRICIA LOGUEDEPARTMENT FOR COMMUNITIESHousing 4 AllLogue welcomes new report on refugee human rightsParticipation & Practice Of RightsSinn Fein SINN Féin Councillor Patricia Logue has welcomed the launch of a new report which promotes the human rights and the right to housing of refugees and asylum seekers. Commenting after Participation & Practice Of Rights (PPR) and Housing 4 All launched a report on Refugee Week, the party’s local Housing Spokesperson said: “This week marks Refugee Week and an opportunity to raise the plight of refugees – but also to highlight the vital contribution they make to our communities. “Everyone has a right to proper living conditions. We will continue to raise these issues at future meetings with the Housing Executive and the Department for Communities.”Logue welcomes new report on refugee human rights was last modified: June 19th, 2019 by John2John2 Tags:
Engraving depicting one of Robertson’s phantasmagorical shows and the effects they had on audiences. Credit: Memories by Etienne Gaspard Robertson Immersive experiences are fashionable at the moment, as virtual reality finally emerges into the mainstream with headsets now commercially available. But immersion is a technique much older than technology. It is the key to storytelling, in literature, film, videogames, even in the spoken stories told by our ancestors around the campfire. We are taken in by the experience: we become so involved with a character that we share their emotions, or build expectations about their progress in the story – and react when these expectations are either fulfilled or thwarted. Provided by The Conversation Credit: milliganpuss, CC BY You can imagine the multi-sensory aspects of this experience: the design and shape of the space would have been critical to its impact on the audience, with light flooding in from the east. With dust and smoke in the interior, and the sound of a priest’s sermon and choir reverberating around the vaulted ceilings, even by today’s standards it would be pretty immersive.Smoke and mirrorsIn the late 18th century, the quirkily named phantasmagoria used – quite literally – smoke and mirrors along with magic lanterns, a form of early image projector, invisible screens and sound effects to create a theatrical performance. This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Citation: A brief history of immersion, centuries before VR (2018, May 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-history-immersion-centuries-vr.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Recovered written accounts of the phantasmagoria are very interesting, as they link the rise in the use of magic lantern projections with the history of cinema. Via these immersive experiences, we get to the development of contemporary virtual reality devices.The origins of phantasmagoria are associated with the work of German Johann Georg Schropfer who used magic lantern projections as part of monastic rituals – another form of immersive religious experience.Participants would often fast for 24 hours prior to a performance and were greeted ceremoniously with drugged punch or salad. Skulls, candles and other monastic paraphernalia were used to set the scene. Accounts indicate that in these original performances three ghosts would be summoned, serving the monastic search for a deeper truth through contact with the spirit world. To be fully immersive, sources of haptic stimulation in VR apps need to be shown, researchers find Look at immersion from a historical perspective and we see the rituals and social practices that gave rise to immersive experiences, and the relevance of the past to the hyped products of today.In the middle ages, the use of stained glass in churches was designed to create an immersive sense of otherworldliness by bathing the church’s interior with coloured light. It was designed to provide churchgoers with a sense of direct contact with the divine, through visual stories aimed at a largely illiterate population.Stained glass was an important form of visual storytelling. It was one of the ways that religious institutions could exert their hold on believers through the sanctity of messages delivered through colour and light, for which believers had to crane their necks up towards the sky to face the high windows.A great example of this is the recently restored Great East Window at York Minster, a very large expanse of painted glass created in the early 1400s. The sheer scale of this window is extraordinary. It is the largest expanse of glass in the minster and one of the biggest in Europe. All designed and created by one artist, John Thornton. Its subject is no less than the beginning and the end of the world representing in its huge number of panes scenes from Genesis and from the Day of Judgement. As such, it can be easily interpreted as a form of immersive storytelling for audiences of the late middle ages. Inflicting terrorThis soon became popular entertainment, and the showman Paul Philidor produced elaborate shows for audiences in Vienna. Another was the Belgian Etienne-Gaspard Robertson in the first few years of the 19th century in Paris. He would use three moving magic lanterns behind a transparent screen, accompanied by elaborate costumes and decorations and augmented with horrifying sounds, to inflict terror upon his audience. With the growing Victorian interest in all things gothic, phantasmagoria performances spread to England where they were delivered alongside seances to deceive, terrify and manipulate their audiences. Some of the mechanics of today’s immersive experiences can be found in these early examples. The use of a projection system is common to phantasmagoria and to contemporary cinema. Head-mounted displays seen in modern VR systems can be first seen in the stereoscopic imagery of the View Master, which dates back to the 1930s and is still available in children’s toy shops today. From the 1950s, different cinematic techniques were introduced, including 3-D cinema using stereoscopic glasses, an approach that still captivates audiences to this day – the 3-D film Avatar is among the most financially successful movies of all time. I remember one of my first immersive experiences was watching How the West Was Won in the 1960s on a Cinerama screen – where a film is projected onto a giant, curved screen that provides an immersive experience via the wrap-around effect of the huge screen on the viewers’ field of view.So the current obsession with immersive virtual and augmented reality experiences will continue – we love our illusions and the stories that go with them. But we should not forget that to be swept away and out of the present by an immersive story is a timeless human desire, that’s origins go back as far as we do. Great East Window, York Minster, which depicts scenes from the beginning and the end of the world. Credit: University of York Explore further