LITHUANIA: Czech rolling stock manufacturer Škoda Vagonka has won a KC750m contract to supply three three-car Class 575 double-deck electric multiple-units to Lithuanian national operator LG for use on cross-border services between Vilnius and Minsk in Belarus. LG and its Belarus counterpart BC plan to reduce the journey time between the capitals by 30 min to 2 h h honce 25 kV 50 Hz electrification of the corridor is completed by the end of 2015.The EMU order announced by Škoda Vagonka on December 1 follows the supply of three two-car and seven three-car versions of the EMUs in four batches in 2008–14 for use on the Vilnius – Kaunas inter-city route. The latest batch of EMUs is scheduled to be delivered within 36 months. Modifications for use on the international route will include a train crew compartment, different seats, bilingual audio-visual passenger information systems and additional racks for large items of luggage.
Sheriff Chip Hall offers some safety tips for those youngsters who will be attending school this year.“Parents can teach their children the following safety tips which will inform the youngsters of the danger signs to watch for and avoid in going back and forth to school,” Sheriff Hall said.“Drivers should be cautious of children traveling back and forth to school,” added the Sheriff. “We can all learn from the safety tips below and abide by them to make Jackson County safer for all.”Ø While walking or waiting for the school bus, remember to always travel with a friend. Two heads are better than one, especially if there’s an emergency.Ø A stranger is anyone you or your parents don’t know well.Ø You or your friend must never take candy, money, medicine, or anything else from a stranger.Ø If a stranger in a car asks you questions, don’t get close to the car (you could get pulled in) – and never get in the car.Ø Strangers can be very tricky – they can ask you to walk with them to “show” them something; they can offer to pay for your video game, or ask you to help them find a lost dog or cat. Don’t be fooled!Ø Don’t tell a stranger your name or address when you’re walking and don’t think that because someone knows your name that they know you – they may just be looking at your name printed on your lunch box, school bag, or T-shirt.Ø If you think you’re in any danger, yell, and run to the nearest store or “safe house” or back to school.Ø Always tell your parents or teacher if a stranger has approached you.“By taking the time to carefully prepare your child on how to handle these situations, you can insure your child’s safety whether they are walking to or from school, waiting at a bus stop, playing in a playground, or riding their bikes,” Sheriff Hall concludes.
For the City TimesWISCONSIN RAPIDS – The Wisconsin Rapids Rafters (2-0) had to come back twice in a 14-7 win over the Wisconsin Woodchucks (0-2) before the game was called in the ninth inning due to rain.The Rafters struck first with an RBI groundout by Roman Trujillo in the third inning. The Woodchucks put up a three-spot one inning later to take the lead. Wisconsin extended its lead in the seventh with a two-RBI double.In the bottom of the seventh inning, Trujillo, Josh Nicoloff and Jake Dunham had RBIs in a four-run frame to tie the game. The Woodchucks retook the lead in the eighth on an RBI single and held a 7-5 advantage heading to the bottom of the eighth.Trujillo pulled the Rafters within one with a single in the eighth and Nicoloff gave Rapids the lead with a two-RBI double. Peter Matt doubled later in the inning to add to the Rafters lead and Edarian Williams hit a three-run homer to left field to put an exclamation point on a nine-run inning that put the Rafters up 14-7.Rain forced the game to be delayed and ultimately called in the ninth inning, giving the Rafters the 14-7 victory. Wisconsin Rapids improves to 2-0 in the second half and extends its winning streak to eight.Wisconsin Rapids starting pitcher Zack Hunsicker struck out three batters in four innings of work and Cal Djuraskovic pitched three innings in relief. Brayden Bonner took over for Brady Stover and closed out the eighth inning to earn the win for the Rafters. Lenny Gwizalda gets the loss in relief for Wisconsin.The Rafters begin a five-game road trip that starts in Fond du Lac on Friday.
Safa’s Football School of Excellence set for a R3-million renovation. (Image: Safa) Fifa has donated R3-million (US$437 655) towards reviving South Africa’s Football School of Excellence, which was once a breeding ground for top-quality players who went on to join the country’s national squad, Bafana Bafana. The school was set up in 1994 in Elandsfontein, east of Johannesburg, and is run by the South African Football Association (Safa).Fifa’s donation will come from its Goal Project Funding initiative, which helps national football associations around the world establish centres, natural and artificial pitches, and schools that develop players of the Beautiful Game.Over the years Safa’s school has produced some of the country’s best football players – one of which is Steven Pienaar, who now plays for English Premier League club Everton and South Africa’s national team.Safa said it hopes the proceeds from Fifa will help the school improve its finances and leadership so it’s once more able to produce top-quality football stars.“In the past few years we had a problem where the school was no longer attracting quality youngsters, players who would do well for our junior national teams,” said Safa’s deputy president Mandla Mazibuko.But, he said, there have been some recent improvements. “Everything is back on track at the school. We had trials all over the country in 2010. We are now going for quality again.”“If you look at a number of players who went through the school of excellence, they have done very well. They were well developed and that is what we want to concentrate on,” said Safa chief Leslie Sedibe.Expansion plansThe school – which offers grades eight to 12 – currently has 112 pupils, seven teachers and four coaches. Safa is hoping to increase the number of instructors to seven to bring the coach-player ratio to more favourable levels.Safa says it will need a total of R80-million ($11.6-million) to fully transform the academy. “We will apply for Fifa’s R3-million grant every year until the school becomes a state-of-the-art facility,” Mazibuko said.Fifa’s 2011 contribution will be used to upgrade the school’s gym, kitchen, dormitories, administration and coaches’ block, and fields. Extra computers with internet connectivity will be set up in the library to enhance the school’s academic support system.Safa plans to invite overseas football experts to hold workshops at the school to groom the budding stars and prepare them for representing South Africa in future Fifa World Cups.The county’s Department of Sport and Recreation will donate table tennis and pool tables to keep the pupils entertained off the pitch. The departments’ 2010 legacy division has also committed to establishing a medical centre at the school, which will give pupils access to a psychologist.
alicia eler Many are concerned that Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram means the end of a once indie photo-sharing community. But some say it ain’t so, including Philippe Gonzalez, the founder of Instagramers.com. In Part 2 of our interview (click here to read Part 1), we talk to Gonzalez about the impact of the Facebook acquisition on the Instagramers.com community as well as the future of Instagram art shows. ReadWriteWeb: What was your initial reaction to Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram?Philippe Gonzalez: I was surprised about it and had to tweet right away, even though I was, at the time, lying on a beach in Thailand with no Internet connection. I had to find an Internet connection and inform people about it as soon as possible. Then I came back to my hotel and found myself wondering about what might happen with the whole Instagram world, my friends, their habits, and my own project, Instagramers. Really, I was more aware of all these people I met and I could lose contact with because they might reject Facebook and migrate to other photo-sharing apps. But then I thought that would be a pretty heavy reaction to something that wouldn’t have effects, at least for a while. I wrote a post to share some of my thoughts on the matter. I said that the acquisition would not complicate Instagram, and even so it probably wouldn’t change for a while. I wrote that it’s better to wait and see instead of immediately deleting pics and organizing a full-on “social war.” That approach doesn’t really make sense to me.The Fate of Instagramers In a Post-Facebook EraReadWriteWeb: Can Instagramers.com even exist in the post-Facebook acquisition era?Philippe Gonzalez: Of course. The future of Instagramers.com is like the Internet industry, meaning it’s a total mystery. That’s why I like my job in the Internet and the app world. You never know what will happen. Where will you find an opportunity? And where will your next competitor pop up? Since I started with this project, I say to people that I don’t know where this project will drive me, but I’m really having a great moment, I’m living a great experience, and at the end of the day, the most important is the experiences you live and share with other people in your life.ReadWriteWeb: How did Instagramers react to the acquisition?Philippe Gonzalez: About 99% of users felt scared. Most of them felt this way because of they were ignorant of Facebook’s future plans and thought a full integration would kill the authentic world of Instagram. At the time, I tried to convince people that this acquisition was good for the future of the app, especially because money was necessary to help it survive. These young guys who owned Instagram couldn’t provide users much fun without actual investors. Still, most people think something bad will happen sooner or later. The acquisition was pretty bad timing. The announcement was made at the same time that tons of new users were opening accounts on their Android devices. Plus, the quality of the pics (and “popular page”) was declining. Lots of people wrote and asked me what would happen with the copyrights. Others asked me how to delete their accounts. A large amount of them asked what would be the future of the Instagramers local fans group network. Some friends of mine even suggested that I open an account in other apps like StreamZoo or EyeEm. I actually did do that, but still I am confident that Instagram will be the most important photo sharing network and that, after some waves, things will calm down.Where Instagram Photography or Art is Headed in the Post-Facebook Acquisition EraReadWriteWeb: Will Instagram art exhibitions start to die off now that Instagram is a part of Facebook?Philippe Gonzalez: No. I don’t think the acquisition of Instagram by Facebook is the main problem in creating a distance between art and Instagram. The main problem could simply be the “popular page” algorithm. Many people wrote me to say that they were very demotivated because they didn’t hit the popular page anymore, and that the quality of the pictures was low – mostly cakes, cats and sexy “teen” girls. That could provoke users who were actually interested in Instagram as a platform to exhibit their art works to move to another platform with less users but a better understanding of the artists’ motivations and needs.ReadWriteWeb: Will there still be a way to use Instagram images on Facebook in an indie way? Or is this the complete mainstreamification of Instagram?Philippe Gonzalez: I think Instagram will really remain independent. What could happen very fast is that Facebook could integrate Instagram pics to support their Facebook Places feature. This could add some interesting geolocation pics. As an Instagram user, you can share your pictures already through Facebook. And then there are the API-based browser sites like Statigram or Webstagram. Most of the time, when you upload photo galleries to Facebook, you share a special event without looking to the artistic side. On Instagram, you share the emotional moments in the same gallery and you always dedicate some time to filtering, editing the picture and looking for the best results.ReadWriteWeb: What’s next for the mobile photo-sharing world after Instagram becomes a part of Facebook?Philippe Gonzalez: I think that whatever happens with Instagram, the “photo-sharing trend” will remain mobile. Smartphones will increase their lenses, processing and storage capacities, but also their social-network sharing availability. The rest is quite difficult to anticipate. There are loads of competitors that are copying Instagram’s concept right now and will probably catch some million peoples’ attention, but I think Instagram will be the reference point. I still believe Instagram has a strategic purpose and won’t be integrated into Facebook – at least, not for a while. Tags:#mobile#Photo Sharing Services#web Lead Instagram image via MyLinn. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology
adriana lee Tags:#Curie#Intel#MICA#smart jewelry#smartwatches#wearable devices#Wearable World Congress 2015#wearables Wearable World Congress, ReadWrite’s signature annual conference in San Francisco on May 19-20, will feature the key players who are shaping wearable technology and the Internet of Things. This series profiles some of the experts who will be speaking at the conference.Women may be underrepresented in technology as a whole, but they’ll loom large for one of its hottest niches, wearable devices. The way Intel’s Ayse Ildeniz sees it, “women—as consumers, as well as designers and creators—will have a huge role to play in the wearables market,” she told me. As vice president of Intel’s New Devices Group and general manager of Strategy and Business Development, Ildeniz has a front-row seat to the emerging wearables movement. Intel itself makes body-worn devices, like the Mica smart cuff, as well as components powering other companies’ “smart” accessories—from jewelry and smartwatches, to smart glasses and other products. Buy tickets now: Wearable World Congress, May 19-20Many of the gadgets we rely on focus more on function than form. That may work for devices we carry in our bags or pockets, but everything changes when you strap it on your body. Suddenly, those products become more than tools; they become extensions of ourselves, and it will take more than a coat of paint to make people want to wear it. Tech makers need to shift perspectives—from a focus on pure functionality, to a new ethos that gives design equal (or even greater) priority. The female point of view, says the executive, is critical to that approach. Ildeniz will join us for Wearable World Congress this month to discuss the role of women in wearables, but here’s an excerpt from an early conversation I had with her. From your standpoint, what exactly is the role of women in wearables? Let’s first define the wearable as we’re speaking about today. I think wearables are really personal things that we put on our bodies. What you choose to wear is a very personal decision—like what kind of bag you use, what kind of glasses you put on your face, what clothing you prefer, what kind of watch you choose. When we did some research, we saw that people wanted not just functional and comfortable things, but aesthetic things. So for women, it’s probably much more important as compared to a man—in the sense that they’d like to carry things that they identify themselves with, that they are proud to wear and that they think are beautiful things. See also: Intel’s MICA Bracelet Just Might Be Smarter Than Your Average SmartwatchSo, from that perspective, I actually think women—as consumers, as well as designers and creators—will have a huge role to play in the wearables market. You see the types of devices that are coming to the market being much more fashion-conscious, more astute in the aesthetics, which is very good. Because the more they are, the more accessible and easier it will be for women to adopt these things. Women bring a whole new element into electronic devices. Wearables are so personal, you easily can identify it with the types of people it tries to cater to. [It’s] really a different game-changer in the consumer electronics industry. I would say that for the first-time, aesthetics are very, very important. Have wearables served women well or let them down? What can companies do better? The devices we have seen for over two years now have been rather technological—geared more toward males than females. From that perspective, function has been at the forefront. Also, they’ve been brought to market by technology companies. At Intel, we’re creating beautiful accessories with our partners, but that happen to be supported by technology. There is a very big difference between the two: trying to make a technical thing prettier by changing its color, and taking [accessories] that exist and putting in technology to make it smarter. I’ll give you examples: The ultimate is the Mica smart bracelet. We got together with Opening Ceremony, Barney’s and the CFDA [Council of Fashion Designers of America], and we built this thing from scratch with our partners to make sure that the aesthetics were the number one concern—how a woman would carry that, how they would look wearing it—and that it would also fit their daily needs, which is to help them stay in touch with their loved ones. It’s a pure communication device. I remember the first time that we unearthed this device in New York City. From the tech journals, we got these articles that said, “Wow, but you cannot really type on this thing, so what is it good for?” or “You cannot talk to this device. I want to talk to my bracelet”—which I thought was funky. I don’t know any woman who would want to talk to a bracelet. See also: Intel, Luxottica Team Up To Create Ultimate WearableSo, from that perspective, it shows you that the industry is still very, very technical and function-oriented, rather than usage model-oriented. Who is the audience that would make the most of this thing?There’s a big difference in how we perceive it. We’re trying to push that by bringing partners that are game players in this space—like Oakley or Luxottica, which does most of the eyewear in the world. Or working with Fossil which, again, have very big iconic brands that they do watches for. We work with them on how to make their brands and products smarter out in the market. It’s a very different approach than what’s out there. Just putting the customer first, putting their aesthetics or function first, and then worrying about how the technology should serve that. Mica smart bracelet from Intel and Opening CeremonyWith the Mica, the display sits on the inside of the wrist. That’s a very different approach than that of smartwatches and many other wearables. Is that where this usage-oriented strategy shows up?Absolutely. I think Opening Ceremony should take credit for that. They are the ones who told us…because initially, we suggested two screens, on the outside and the inside. And they said, “You know what? The women that we sell to, they don’t want anyone knowing that they’re wearing a technical thing on their bodies.” If possible, they’d like to hide that. If anything, they don’t want anyone to show or see their SMSes or messages that come to these devices. So, they asked, “Can we hide it?” We said, “Yup, absolutely we can.” And we took away the screen at the top. It was such an easy and eye-opening conversation. There are a number of things we went through with them. The bracelet was much more rectangular and much thicker. During the engagement of our engineers and their designers, the number one topic for months and months had been, “Can you please make this rounder? And can you please make this much thinner?” It was their requirement, because as a woman, I need to use my bracelet everyday and I need daily functions. If it’s too heavy and too thick, I can’t do them. So, all these simple and obvious things that we’ve listened to and learned from our partners showed us the way. And I think that is the future for this industry. If it is to take off, it not only has to be pleasing from an aesthetic perspective—incorporating beautiful, different materials into it and [offer] quality of design and look, which are very, very important—but besides that, it’s the usage. What are you actually going to do with it? With a bracelet, do you really need to go play games? Do you need to download videos to a bracelet? Or is it just simply communicating and getting messages in your hurried life? It does a couple of things wonderfully. And that’s it. That’s what we’ve followed. See also: Meet Curie, Intel’s Brand-New Wearable ProcessorThe button-shaped Curie processor from Intel, announced at the Consumer Electronics ShowIt seems like more companies are paying attention to both form and function. For Intel, is that where the company sees its Curie (compact processor) fitting in?We’re very excited about that. When it comes to the market this year, all these designers, creators and innovators will be able to take this chip, and do what you or I can’t imagine today. Different form factors, different functions, it will be truly revolutionary. That’s what I think is going to happen.To hear more from Ayse Ildeniz and other innovators and experts, register for Wearable World Congress 2015, May 19-20 in San Francisco.Photos of Ayse Ildeniz, Mica smart bracelet and Curie processor, courtesy of Intel; young women in tech photo by Todd KuleszaUpdate: After this conversation, Intel reorganized some of its internal departments, including its New Devices Group. The move puts wearable tech chief Mike Bell into another position within the company, according to a spokesperson. We’ve reached out to Intel for comment, though it hasn’t offered any further statement on this matter. However, given that the Internet of Things has become a growth sector for the company, it’s not likely to pull back on this area, or its related connected technologies and wearable devices. Ildeniz remains in her current post as vice president. 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Kentucky legislation amends the definition of education institutions and expenses that qualify under the state’s tax exempt IRC Sec. 529 savings plan.The legislation brings Kentucky qualified education expenses into conformity with changes enacted to IRC Sec. 529 by the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) (P.L. 115-97).Qualifying Education Institutions“Education institution” means:an eligible educational institution under IRC Sec. 529 oran elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.Qualifying Education Expenses“Qualified educational expenses” means:higher education expenses, including tuition, room and board, books and fees, and computer software and equipment; andup to $10,000 in tuition expenses each year for enrollment or attendance at an elementary or secondary public, private, or religious school.Ch. 137 (H.B. 434, Laws 2018, effective April 10, 2018Login to read more tax news on CCH® AnswerConnect or CCH® Intelliconnect®.Not a subscriber? Sign up for a free trial or contact us for a representative.