http://blog.seaofinfo.com/zach-galifianakis-is-coming-back-to-tv-in-an-fx-comedy/
http://rack.1.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDE0LzA4LzI3LzlhL1phY2tHLjc3NzQyLmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTk1MHg1MzQjCmUJanBn/7c5808e0/d38/ZackG.jpg
What’s This?
Zach Galifianakis attends The Hangover III – UK film premiere in 2013.
Image: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

By Sandra Gonzalez2014-08-27 22:04:16 UTC

Zach Galifianakis is officially making his big return to television.
FX has just picked up 10 episodes of half-hour single-camera comedy Baskets, starring the actor, who previously spent three seasons on HBO’s Bored to Death.

See also: 5 Movies That Need a TV Reboot

The show, co-created by Galifianakis, Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel, is about a man named Chip Baskets who is pursuing his dream to become a professional clown. “But after an unsuccessful enrollment at a prestigious clowning school in Paris, the only job he can find is with the local rodeo,” according to a description released by the network.
Production will begin next year and the series is scheduled to launch in 2016.
Galifianakis has not been a regular on a TV show since starring in Bored, which ended its run in 2011. He has, however, done recurring voice work on Bob’s Burgers and a guest spot on the Simpsons. And before his Hangover fame, he was best known for being a series regular on Tru Calling.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Topics: Entertainment, fx, Television, zach galifianakis
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/zach-galifianakis-is-coming-back-to-tv-in-an-fx-comedy/
http://rack.1.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDE0LzA4LzI3LzlhL1phY2tHLjc3NzQyLmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTk1MHg1MzQjCmUJanBn/7c5808e0/d38/ZackG.jpg

What’s This?

ZackgZach Galifianakis attends The Hangover III – UK film premiere in 2013.

Image: Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Zach Galifianakis is officially making his big return to television.

FX has just picked up 10 episodes of half-hour single-camera comedy Baskets, starring the actor, who previously spent three seasons on HBO’s Bored to Death.

The show, co-created by Galifianakis, Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel, is about a man named Chip Baskets who is pursuing his dream to become a professional clown. “But after an unsuccessful enrollment at a prestigious clowning school in Paris, the only job he can find is with the local rodeo,” according to a description released by the network.

Production will begin next year and the series is scheduled to launch in 2016.

Galifianakis has not been a regular on a TV show since starring in Bored, which ended its run in 2011. He has, however, done recurring voice work on Bob’s Burgers and a guest spot on the Simpsons. And before his Hangover fame, he was best known for being a series regular on Tru Calling.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Topics: Entertainment, fx, Television, zach galifianakis

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/staffer-on-tvs-cops-dies-in-police-shooting/
https://s1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/HS2mdbwd6Ur1VC9.9EKF8A—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYzMA—/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/tv/2014-08-27/9151e9a0-2e0b-11e4-b94d-51a8748d76e2_cops-producer-shot-omaha-logo.jpg
A staffer on the long-running television crime show Cops was shot and killed Tuesday night by gunfire from local police, while videotaping an armed robbery in progress in Omaha, Nebraska, that also left the suspect dead.
According to the Omaha Police Department, the incident took place at a Wendy’s restaurant at around 9:20 p.m. CT, in the vicinity of 42nd Street and Dodge.
Initial reports said the TV crew member, later identified by Langley Productions (which produces Cops) as 38-year-old audio technician Bryce Dion — had been critically injured. The news of his death broke Wednesday morning, as first reported by the Omaha World-Herald and local NBC affiliate WOWT. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer named the victim, along with the suspect Cortez Washington, 32, at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
“We are striving for unprecedented transparency in this incident,” Schmaderer said in the presser.
While one report stated than over 30 shots were fired, Schmaderer would not confirm that number, saying only that he didn’t believe an excessive amount of shots were used. Omaha police fired all of the shots that killed both Dion and Washington. No officers were injured in the incident.
Washington, a parolee from Kansas with a criminal history that included a previous robbery arrest, had an Airsoft gun on him, which is not an actual firearm, but according to Schmaderer sounded just like a real gun.


Photo from the scene of the shooting taken by WOWT reporter Brian Mastre (Twitter)


According to John and Morgan Langley, the father and son team responsible for producing Cops, Dion was a very private individual originally from the Boston area who had worked on the show for seven years since being hired directly by Morgan. He lived currently in Santa Monica, California. He had been promoted earlier this year to sound supervisor.
“We’ve been very fortunate over the years in that we’ve never had an incident like this,” Morgan said at the press conference, adding, “Cops truly is a reality show. It’s not staged and not managed. And unfortunately, that’s our highlight and our lowlight”
“We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy and our main concern is helping (Dion’s) family in any way we can,” Langley Productions said Wednesday morning in a statement. “Bryce Dion was a long term member of the Cops team and a very talented and dedicated person. We mourn his passing. An investigation is ongoing and we are cooperating with local authorities.”
According to Chief Schmaderer, Washington held up a Wendy’s employee at gunpoint and demanded cash. Three officers, accompanied by Dion and Cops cameraman Michael Lee, entered the building in a tactical procedure, but Dion was caught in a vestibule when his cameraman moved position and became caught in a crossfire situation. Both Washington and Dion were wounded and then taken to Nebraska Medical Center where they were later pronounced dead.
The suspect was described as wearing a “black hoodie and a white bandana” in a police radio call posted by @MeanStreetsOMA on Twitter. The Cops crew member was described as a white male in the police call.
Video shot at the scene by the World-Herald showed a bullet-ridden window of glass at the Wendy’s. Cops has been shooting in Omaha there since June. The production had one week left of filming scheduled, and Langley Productions said they don’t yet know how they’re going to proceed. They added that although they’ve begun to think about how they’ll handle honoring Dion, it was too premature to comment on any plans.
Cops broadcasted on the Fox network for 25 years before moving to Spike TV in 2013. Spike TV had no comment on the incident, but referred all inquiries to Langley Productions.
Schmaderer said that his department was proud to have Cops in town filming, because they were eager to highlight the proud work conducted in their department. He added that the officers considered Dion a friend, and this incident felt “as if we lost one of our own. (Dion) was an incredible man.”
According to a WOWT reporter, the Omaha police had embraced the production crew’s presence over the summer. 
Schmaderer added that portions of the shootout were captured on camera and that the video footage has been recovered and is being entered as evidence.
“When you’re reporting police violence, unfortunately you’re subjecting yourself to the same level of professional violence that police officers subject themselves to every day,” Schmaderer said. “They knew they were heading into an armed robbery situation.”
Crime & Justice
Society & Culture
Langley Productions
Omaha Police Department
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/staffer-on-tvs-cops-dies-in-police-shooting/
https://s1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/HS2mdbwd6Ur1VC9.9EKF8A—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYzMA—/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/tv/2014-08-27/9151e9a0-2e0b-11e4-b94d-51a8748d76e2_cops-producer-shot-omaha-logo.jpg

A staffer on the long-running television crime show Cops was shot and killed Tuesday night by gunfire from local police, while videotaping an armed robbery in progress in Omaha, Nebraska, that also left the suspect dead.

According to the Omaha Police Department, the incident took place at a Wendy’s restaurant at around 9:20 p.m. CT, in the vicinity of 42nd Street and Dodge.

Initial reports said the TV crew member, later identified by Langley Productions (which produces Cops) as 38-year-old audio technician Bryce Dion — had been critically injured. The news of his death broke Wednesday morning, as first reported by the Omaha World-Herald and local NBC affiliate WOWT. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer named the victim, along with the suspect Cortez Washington, 32, at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

We are striving for unprecedented transparency in this incident,” Schmaderer said in the presser.

While one report stated than over 30 shots were fired, Schmaderer would not confirm that number, saying only that he didn’t believe an excessive amount of shots were used. Omaha police fired all of the shots that killed both Dion and Washington. No officers were injured in the incident.

Washington, a parolee from Kansas with a criminal history that included a previous robbery arrest, had an Airsoft gun on him, which is not an actual firearm, but according to Schmaderer sounded just like a real gun.

Photo from the scene of the shooting taken by WOWT reporter Brian Mastre (Twitter)

Photo from the scene of the shooting taken by WOWT reporter Brian Mastre (Twitter)

According to John and Morgan Langley, the father and son team responsible for producing Cops, Dion was a very private individual originally from the Boston area who had worked on the show for seven years since being hired directly by Morgan. He lived currently in Santa Monica, California. He had been promoted earlier this year to sound supervisor.

We’ve been very fortunate over the years in that we’ve never had an incident like this,” Morgan said at the press conference, adding, “Cops truly is a reality show. It’s not staged and not managed. And unfortunately, that’s our highlight and our lowlight”

“We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy and our main concern is helping (Dion’s) family in any way we can,” Langley Productions said Wednesday morning in a statement. “Bryce Dion was a long term member of the Cops team and a very talented and dedicated person. We mourn his passing. An investigation is ongoing and we are cooperating with local authorities.”

According to Chief Schmaderer, Washington held up a Wendy’s employee at gunpoint and demanded cash. Three officers, accompanied by Dion and Cops cameraman Michael Lee, entered the building in a tactical procedure, but Dion was caught in a vestibule when his cameraman moved position and became caught in a crossfire situation. Both Washington and Dion were wounded and then taken to Nebraska Medical Center where they were later pronounced dead.

The suspect was described as wearing a “black hoodie and a white bandana” in a police radio call posted by @MeanStreetsOMA on Twitter. The Cops crew member was described as a white male in the police call.

Video shot at the scene by the World-Herald showed a bullet-ridden window of glass at the Wendy’s. Cops has been shooting in Omaha there since June. The production had one week left of filming scheduled, and Langley Productions said they don’t yet know how they’re going to proceed. They added that although they’ve begun to think about how they’ll handle honoring Dion, it was too premature to comment on any plans.

Cops broadcasted on the Fox network for 25 years before moving to Spike TV in 2013. Spike TV had no comment on the incident, but referred all inquiries to Langley Productions.

Schmaderer said that his department was proud to have Cops in town filming, because they were eager to highlight the proud work conducted in their department. He added that the officers considered Dion a friend, and this incident felt “as if we lost one of our own. (Dion) was an incredible man.”

According to a WOWT reporter, the Omaha police had embraced the production crew’s presence over the summer. 

Schmaderer added that portions of the shootout were captured on camera and that the video footage has been recovered and is being entered as evidence.

“When you’re reporting police violence, unfortunately you’re subjecting yourself to the same level of professional violence that police officers subject themselves to every day,” Schmaderer said. “They knew they were heading into an armed robbery situation.”

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/bingo-is-not-patentable-just-because-you-put-it-on-the-internet/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gifAnother day, another story of stupid software patents getting stomped out of existence thanks to the Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank ruling. As we’ve been noting, this ruling is looking like it’s going to invalidate a ton of software patents (and that’s a good thing). The latest one dumped was an attempt to patent bingo online. Yes, bingo. The lower court had already rejected the patent using previous Supreme Court rulings against patenting “abstract ideas.” Now, with the Alice ruling in hand, the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) completed the stomping out of the bingo patent. They didn’t waste much time on it either, pushing out a compact 7-page ruling. It makes short work of Planet Bingo (yes, that’s the patent holder’s name) and its claim that the patent actually is inventive and new:

“[I]f a patent’s recitation of a computer amounts to a mere instruction to ‘implemen[t]’ an abstract idea ‘on … a computer,’ … that addition cannot impart patent eligibility.” Alice, 134 S. Ct. at 2358 (quoting Mayo, 132 S. Ct. at 1301). In this case, the claims recite a generic computer implementation of the covered abstract idea.
Planet Bingo argues that the patents recite “significantly more” than an abstract idea because the invention includes “complex computer code with three distinct subparts.” … We disagree. The ’646 and ’045 patents do not claim the “accounting program,” “ticket program,” and “verification program” that Planet Bingo identifies in its briefs. Instead, the claims recite a program that is used for the generic functions of storing, retrieving, and verifying a chosen set of bingo numbers against a winning set of bingo numbers. And, as was the case in Alice, “the function performed by the computer at each step of the process is ‘[p]urely conventional.’”

Planet Bingo really pushed hard on the ridiculous idea that because lots of numbers were involved, this was patentable subject matter. CAFC didn’t buy it.

Planet Bingo argues that “in real world use, literally thousands, if not millions of preselected Bingo numbers are handled by the claimed computer program,” making it impossible for the invention to be carried out manually…. But the claimed inventions not require as much. At most, the claims require “two sets of Bingo numbers,” “a player,” and “a manager.” … We need not, and do not, address whether a claimed invention requiring many transactions might tip the scales of patent eligibility, as the claims fall far short of capturing an invention that necessarily handles “thousands, if not millions” of bingo numbers or players.

It’s a new era for software patents, and it looks like many of them are invalid. It’s also a new era for CAFC, which both has new leadership… and (finally) some pretty clear instructions from the Supreme Court to dump these broadly written software patents. It may take a few years for the system to clear out, but this is going to be tremendously helpful for companies that actually innovate, rather than those that just try to shove tollbooths in the innovative process.

13 1663 Opinion 8 22 2014 1 (PDF)13 1663 Opinion 8 22 2014 1 (Text)
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/bingo-is-not-patentable-just-because-you-put-it-on-the-internet/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gif
Another day, another story of stupid software patents getting stomped out of existence thanks to the Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank ruling. As we’ve been noting, this ruling is looking like it’s going to invalidate a ton of software patents (and that’s a good thing). The latest one dumped was an attempt to patent bingo online. Yes, bingo. The lower court had already rejected the patent using previous Supreme Court rulings against patenting “abstract ideas.” Now, with the Alice ruling in hand, the Appeals Court for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) completed the stomping out of the bingo patent. They didn’t waste much time on it either, pushing out a compact 7-page ruling. It makes short work of Planet Bingo (yes, that’s the patent holder’s name) and its claim that the patent actually is inventive and new:

“[I]f a patent’s recitation of a computer amounts to a mere instruction to ‘implemen[t]’ an abstract idea ‘on … a computer,’ … that addition cannot impart patent eligibility.” Alice, 134 S. Ct. at 2358 (quoting Mayo, 132 S. Ct. at 1301). In this case, the claims recite a generic computer implementation of the covered abstract idea.

Planet Bingo argues that the patents recite “significantly more” than an abstract idea because the invention includes “complex computer code with three distinct subparts.” … We disagree. The ’646 and ’045 patents do not claim the “accounting program,” “ticket program,” and “verification program” that Planet Bingo identifies in its briefs. Instead, the claims recite a program that is used for the generic functions of storing, retrieving, and verifying a chosen set of bingo numbers against a winning set of bingo numbers. And, as was the case in Alice, “the function performed by the computer at each step of the process is ‘[p]urely conventional.’”

Planet Bingo really pushed hard on the ridiculous idea that because lots of numbers were involved, this was patentable subject matter. CAFC didn’t buy it.

Planet Bingo argues that “in real world use, literally thousands, if not millions of preselected Bingo numbers are handled by the claimed computer program,” making it impossible for the invention to be carried out manually…. But the claimed inventions not require as much. At most, the claims require “two sets of Bingo numbers,” “a player,” and “a manager.” … We need not, and do not, address whether a claimed invention requiring many transactions might tip the scales of patent eligibility, as the claims fall far short of capturing an invention that necessarily handles “thousands, if not millions” of bingo numbers or players.

It’s a new era for software patents, and it looks like many of them are invalid. It’s also a new era for CAFC, which both has new leadership… and (finally) some pretty clear instructions from the Supreme Court to dump these broadly written software patents. It may take a few years for the system to clear out, but this is going to be tremendously helpful for companies that actually innovate, rather than those that just try to shove tollbooths in the innovative process.

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/malmos-magnus-eriksson-scores-absurd-looping-volley-from-distance-2/
http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/3o08XrHOmu8.lqaMVddswg—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTc1/http://mit.zenfs.com/210/2013/10/25013_427516562048_2086068_n-1.jpg
Magnus Eriksson helped Malmo become the first Swedish club to reach the Champions League group stage since 2000 with a truly spectacular volley. It came in the 19th minute of Malmo’s 3-0 win over Red Bull Salzburg and you really just have to see it to believe it.
Malmo advanced on an aggregate score of 4-2. Somewhere in Paris, Zlatan is either feeling very proud or slightly jealous of that goal.
- – - – - – -

Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter! 
Sports & Recreation
Soccer
Malmo
Red Bull Salzburg
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/malmos-magnus-eriksson-scores-absurd-looping-volley-from-distance-2/
http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/3o08XrHOmu8.lqaMVddswg—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTc1/http://mit.zenfs.com/210/2013/10/25013_427516562048_2086068_n-1.jpg

Magnus Eriksson helped Malmo become the first Swedish club to reach the Champions League group stage since 2000 with a truly spectacular volley. It came in the 19th minute of Malmo’s 3-0 win over Red Bull Salzburg and you really just have to see it to believe it.

Malmo advanced on an aggregate score of 4-2. Somewhere in Paris, Zlatan is either feeling very proud or slightly jealous of that goal.

- – - – - – -

Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/malmos-magnus-eriksson-scores-absurd-looping-volley-from-distance/
http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/3o08XrHOmu8.lqaMVddswg—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTc1/http://mit.zenfs.com/210/2013/10/25013_427516562048_2086068_n-1.jpg
Magnus Eriksson helped Malmo become the first Swedish club to reach the Champions League group stage since 2000 with a truly spectacular volley. It came in the 19th minute of Malmo’s 3-0 win over Red Bull Salzburg and you really just have to see it to believe it.
Malmo advanced on an aggregate score of 4-2. Somewhere in Paris, Zlatan is either feeling very proud or slightly jealous of that goal.
- – - – - – -

Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter! 
Sports & Recreation
Soccer
Malmo
Red Bull Salzburg
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/malmos-magnus-eriksson-scores-absurd-looping-volley-from-distance/
http://l2.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/3o08XrHOmu8.lqaMVddswg—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTc1/http://mit.zenfs.com/210/2013/10/25013_427516562048_2086068_n-1.jpg

Magnus Eriksson helped Malmo become the first Swedish club to reach the Champions League group stage since 2000 with a truly spectacular volley. It came in the 19th minute of Malmo’s 3-0 win over Red Bull Salzburg and you really just have to see it to believe it.

Malmo advanced on an aggregate score of 4-2. Somewhere in Paris, Zlatan is either feeling very proud or slightly jealous of that goal.

- – - – - – -

Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/deadspin-why-your-team-sucks-2014-green-bay-packers-gizmodo-the-ingenious-way-the-ancient-egyptia/
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Gawker Did Katie Couric Accuse Diane Sawyer of Handing Out BJs Like Candy? | io9 This Street Performer Has Mastered One of the Greatest Illusions | Jalopnik This $4 Million Garage Comes With A Very Nice House | Kotaku How To Walk Around Walls Using The Fourth Dimension | Kinja Popular Posts


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These Prague street performers have pulled off one of the finest executions of the levitating man illusion you will ever see. For those of you who… Read more


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Any house listing that starts with a red Ferrari 458 in the driveway is going to be good, but we didn’t expect this. Read more


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The above video will not help you in real, three-dimensional life. But it should help you understand how you’d be able to move if you could… Read more


Best of KinjaBest of KinjaBest of Kinja
Above the Law: Redline Maybe If Those Kids Had A Million Dollars, We’d Find Them Visas | BackTalk Fan Fiction Tuesday: We have Questionable… Read more
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Gawker Did Katie Couric Accuse Diane Sawyer of Handing Out BJs Like Candy? | io9 This Street Performer Has Mastered One of the Greatest Illusions | Jalopnik This $4 Million Garage Comes With A Very Nice House | Kotaku How To Walk Around Walls Using The Fourth Dimension | Kinja Popular Posts

Did Katie Couric Accuse Diane Sawyer of Handing Out BJs Like Candy?Did Katie Couric Accuse Diane Sawyer of Handing Out BJs Like Candy?Did Katie Couric Accuse Diane Sawyer of Handing…

Sheila Weller’s dishy new tell-all book The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour—and the (Ongoing, Imperfect,… Read more

This Street Performer Has Mastered One of the Greatest IllusionsThis Street Performer Has Mastered One of the Greatest IllusionsThis Street Performer Has Mastered One of the G…

These Prague street performers have pulled off one of the finest executions of the levitating man illusion you will ever see. For those of you who… Read more

This $4 Million Garage Comes With A Very Nice HouseThis $4 Million Garage Comes With A Very Nice HouseThis $4 Million Garage Comes With A Very Nice H…

Any house listing that starts with a red Ferrari 458 in the driveway is going to be good, but we didn’t expect this. Read more

How To Walk Around Walls Using The Fourth DimensionHow To Walk Around Walls Using The Fourth DimensionHow To Walk Around Walls Using The Fourth Dimen…

The above video will not help you in real, three-dimensional life. But it should help you understand how you’d be able to move if you could… Read more

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http://blog.seaofinfo.com/broad-range-of-public-tech-firms-trade-for-record-prices/
http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/2067062407_c0ebf2204e_o-e1400026851613.jpg?w=738All the talk of a bubble isn’t slowing down public interest in technology shares. Today, Apple, TubeMogul and Arista Networks set new record highs. TubeMogul and Arista both recently went public.
Other firms, like Microsoft are trading near local maximums. MobileIron set an all-time high yesterday, managed a new intra-day high today, and is up strongly in the past few trading sessions. Facebook is toying with the $75 price per-share range, a record performance.
That we’re seeing companies head public is therefore not surprising. Companies that are losing monday on a GAAP, and non-GAAP basis are looking to raise hundreds of millions from investors — LendingClub filed to raise $500 million today, Box wants $250 million and so forth.
The buoyancy, of course, extends outside of the technology industry. The S&P 500 closed at another record today, implying that a broader set of industries’ stocks are doing quite well.
There are notable exceptions. Twitter remains far under its 52-week high. King Digital has taken a beating in recent days. But the larger market for tech stocks appears healthy.
At least for now, the IPO window looks open, and Silicon Valley is sunny.
IMAGE BY Flickr USER Antonio Morales García UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/broad-range-of-public-tech-firms-trade-for-record-prices/
http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/2067062407_c0ebf2204e_o-e1400026851613.jpg?w=738

All the talk of a bubble isn’t slowing down public interest in technology shares. Today, Apple, TubeMogul and Arista Networks set new record highs. TubeMogul and Arista both recently went public.

Other firms, like Microsoft are trading near local maximums. MobileIron set an all-time high yesterday, managed a new intra-day high today, and is up strongly in the past few trading sessions. Facebook is toying with the $75 price per-share range, a record performance.

That we’re seeing companies head public is therefore not surprising. Companies that are losing monday on a GAAP, and non-GAAP basis are looking to raise hundreds of millions from investors — LendingClub filed to raise $500 million today, Box wants $250 million and so forth.

The buoyancy, of course, extends outside of the technology industry. The S&P 500 closed at another record today, implying that a broader set of industries’ stocks are doing quite well.

There are notable exceptions. Twitter remains far under its 52-week high. King Digital has taken a beating in recent days. But the larger market for tech stocks appears healthy.

At least for now, the IPO window looks open, and Silicon Valley is sunny.

IMAGE BY Flickr USER Antonio Morales García UNDER CC BY-SA 2.0 LICENSE (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/how-game-of-thrones-makes-westeros-look-so-real/
http://rack.2.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDE0LzAyLzEwLzVlL0hlYWRzaG90czM5LmFhYjI4LmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTkweDkwIwplCWpwZw/b9bf4704/65c/Headshots-39.jpg
What’s This?

By Dennis Green2014-08-27 20:50:42 UTC

We have some bad news. Westeros isn’t real.
So how does Game of Thrones make it look so believable? For that, you can thank the magic of visual effects and CGI.

See also: 17 ‘Game of Thrones’ #TBT Photos Worthy of the Nostalgia Throne

Emmy-winning VFX team Rodeo FX shows exactly what brings the show to CGI life in a video that strips down the stunning visuals of Season 4.
The video is similar to another clip released by VFX studio Mackevision last month.
Special effects are coming.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
Topics: Entertainment, Television, Videos, viral video, visual effects, Watercooler
Image: HBO
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/how-game-of-thrones-makes-westeros-look-so-real/
http://rack.2.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDE0LzAyLzEwLzVlL0hlYWRzaG90czM5LmFhYjI4LmpwZwpwCXRodW1iCTkweDkwIwplCWpwZw/b9bf4704/65c/Headshots-39.jpg

What’s This?

We have some bad news. Westeros isn’t real.

So how does Game of Thrones make it look so believable? For that, you can thank the magic of visual effects and CGI.

Emmy-winning VFX team Rodeo FX shows exactly what brings the show to CGI life in a video that strips down the stunning visuals of Season 4.

The video is similar to another clip released by VFX studio Mackevision last month.

Special effects are coming.

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Topics: Entertainment, Television, Videos, viral video, visual effects, Watercooler

Image: HBO

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/cops-crew-member-killed-in-police-shooting/
https://s1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/HS2mdbwd6Ur1VC9.9EKF8A—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYzMA—/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/tv/2014-08-27/9151e9a0-2e0b-11e4-b94d-51a8748d76e2_cops-producer-shot-omaha-logo.jpg
A staffer on the long-running television crime show Cops was shot and killed Tuesday night by gunfire from local police, while videotaping an armed robbery in progress in Omaha, Nebraska, that also left the suspect dead.
According to the Omaha Police Department, the incident took place at a Wendy’s restaurant at around 9:20 p.m. CT, in the vicinity of 42nd Street and Dodge.
Initial reports said the TV crew member, later identified by Langley Productions (which produces Cops) as 38-year-old audio technician Bryce Dion — had been critically injured. The news of his death broke Wednesday morning, as first reported by the Omaha World-Herald and local NBC affiliate WOWT. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer named the victim, along with the suspect Cortez Washington, 32, at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
“We are striving for unprecedented transparency in this incident,” Schmaderer said in the presser.
While one report stated than over 30 shots were fired, Schmaderer would not confirm that number, saying only that he didn’t believe an excessive amount of shots were used. Omaha police fired all of the shots that killed both Dion and Washington. No officers were injured in the incident.
Washington, a parolee from Kansas with a criminal history that included a previous robbery arrest, had an Airsoft gun on him, which is not an actual firearm, but according to Schmaderer sounded just like a real gun.


Photo from the scene of the shooting taken by WOWT reporter Brian Mastre (Twitter)


According to John and Morgan Langley, the father and son team responsible for producing Cops, Dion was a very private individual originally from the Boston area who had worked on the show for seven years since being hired directly by Morgan. He lived currently in Santa Monica, California. He had been promoted earlier this year to sound supervisor.
“We’ve been very fortunate over the years in that we’ve never had an incident like this,” Morgan said at the press conference, adding, “Cops truly is a reality show. It’s not staged and not managed. And unfortunately, that’s our highlight and our lowlight”
“We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy and our main concern is helping (Dion’s) family in any way we can,” Langley Productions said Wednesday morning in a statement. “Bryce Dion was a long term member of the Cops team and a very talented and dedicated person. We mourn his passing. An investigation is ongoing and we are cooperating with local authorities.”
According to Chief Schmaderer, Washington held up a Wendy’s employee at gunpoint and demanded cash. Three officers, accompanied by Dion and Cops cameraman Michael Lee, entered the building in a tactical procedure, but Dion was caught in a vestibule when his cameraman moved position and became caught in a crossfire situation. Both Washington and Dion were wounded and then taken to Nebraska Medical Center where they were later pronounced dead.
The suspect was described as wearing a “black hoodie and a white bandana” in a police radio call posted by @MeanStreetsOMA on Twitter. The Cops crew member was described as a white male in the police call.
Video shot at the scene by the World-Herald showed a bullet-ridden window of glass at the Wendy’s. Cops has been shooting in Omaha there since June. The production had one week left of filming scheduled, and Langley Productions said they don’t yet know how they’re going to proceed. They added that although they’ve begun to think about how they’ll handle honoring Dion, it was too premature to comment on any plans.
Cops broadcasted on the Fox network for 25 years before moving to Spike TV in 2013. Spike TV had no comment on the incident, but referred all inquiries to Langley Productions.
Schmaderer said that his department was proud to have Cops in town filming, because they were eager to highlight the proud work conducted in their department. He added that the officers considered Dion a friend, and this incident felt “as if we lost one of our own. (Dion) was an incredible man.”
According to a WOWT reporter, the Omaha police had embraced the production crew’s presence over the summer. 
Schmaderer added that portions of the shootout were captured on camera and that the video footage has been recovered and is being entered as evidence.
“When you’re reporting police violence, unfortunately you’re subjecting yourself to the same level of professional violence that police officers subject themselves to every day,” Schmaderer said. “They knew they were heading into an armed robbery situation.”
Crime & Justice
Society & Culture
Langley Productions
Omaha Police Department
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/cops-crew-member-killed-in-police-shooting/
https://s1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/HS2mdbwd6Ur1VC9.9EKF8A—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7cT04NTt3PTYzMA—/http://l.yimg.com/os/publish-images/tv/2014-08-27/9151e9a0-2e0b-11e4-b94d-51a8748d76e2_cops-producer-shot-omaha-logo.jpg

A staffer on the long-running television crime show Cops was shot and killed Tuesday night by gunfire from local police, while videotaping an armed robbery in progress in Omaha, Nebraska, that also left the suspect dead.

According to the Omaha Police Department, the incident took place at a Wendy’s restaurant at around 9:20 p.m. CT, in the vicinity of 42nd Street and Dodge.

Initial reports said the TV crew member, later identified by Langley Productions (which produces Cops) as 38-year-old audio technician Bryce Dion — had been critically injured. The news of his death broke Wednesday morning, as first reported by the Omaha World-Herald and local NBC affiliate WOWT. Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer named the victim, along with the suspect Cortez Washington, 32, at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

We are striving for unprecedented transparency in this incident,” Schmaderer said in the presser.

While one report stated than over 30 shots were fired, Schmaderer would not confirm that number, saying only that he didn’t believe an excessive amount of shots were used. Omaha police fired all of the shots that killed both Dion and Washington. No officers were injured in the incident.

Washington, a parolee from Kansas with a criminal history that included a previous robbery arrest, had an Airsoft gun on him, which is not an actual firearm, but according to Schmaderer sounded just like a real gun.

Photo from the scene of the shooting taken by WOWT reporter Brian Mastre (Twitter)

Photo from the scene of the shooting taken by WOWT reporter Brian Mastre (Twitter)

According to John and Morgan Langley, the father and son team responsible for producing Cops, Dion was a very private individual originally from the Boston area who had worked on the show for seven years since being hired directly by Morgan. He lived currently in Santa Monica, California. He had been promoted earlier this year to sound supervisor.

We’ve been very fortunate over the years in that we’ve never had an incident like this,” Morgan said at the press conference, adding, “Cops truly is a reality show. It’s not staged and not managed. And unfortunately, that’s our highlight and our lowlight”

“We are deeply saddened and shocked by this tragedy and our main concern is helping (Dion’s) family in any way we can,” Langley Productions said Wednesday morning in a statement. “Bryce Dion was a long term member of the Cops team and a very talented and dedicated person. We mourn his passing. An investigation is ongoing and we are cooperating with local authorities.”

According to Chief Schmaderer, Washington held up a Wendy’s employee at gunpoint and demanded cash. Three officers, accompanied by Dion and Cops cameraman Michael Lee, entered the building in a tactical procedure, but Dion was caught in a vestibule when his cameraman moved position and became caught in a crossfire situation. Both Washington and Dion were wounded and then taken to Nebraska Medical Center where they were later pronounced dead.

The suspect was described as wearing a “black hoodie and a white bandana” in a police radio call posted by @MeanStreetsOMA on Twitter. The Cops crew member was described as a white male in the police call.

Video shot at the scene by the World-Herald showed a bullet-ridden window of glass at the Wendy’s. Cops has been shooting in Omaha there since June. The production had one week left of filming scheduled, and Langley Productions said they don’t yet know how they’re going to proceed. They added that although they’ve begun to think about how they’ll handle honoring Dion, it was too premature to comment on any plans.

Cops broadcasted on the Fox network for 25 years before moving to Spike TV in 2013. Spike TV had no comment on the incident, but referred all inquiries to Langley Productions.

Schmaderer said that his department was proud to have Cops in town filming, because they were eager to highlight the proud work conducted in their department. He added that the officers considered Dion a friend, and this incident felt “as if we lost one of our own. (Dion) was an incredible man.”

According to a WOWT reporter, the Omaha police had embraced the production crew’s presence over the summer. 

Schmaderer added that portions of the shootout were captured on camera and that the video footage has been recovered and is being entered as evidence.

“When you’re reporting police violence, unfortunately you’re subjecting yourself to the same level of professional violence that police officers subject themselves to every day,” Schmaderer said. “They knew they were heading into an armed robbery situation.”

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/gog-looking-to-extend-its-drm-free-message-to-moviestv/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gif
If you like PC games, chances are you already know all about GOG, or Good Old Games. The GOG website has done more to extend the life of gently-aged games by building a platform for old games that will work on new machines while having one singular principal dominate their products: there shall be no DRM. Digital Rights Managment seems like it’s always existed and has equally never worked, what with cracks, hacks and other methods for getting around games that employ DRM being available almost immediately after games get released. It’s a losing strategy. GOG, on the other hand, has made their insistence on DRM-free games a winning strategy for themselves, for customers, and even for once-apprehensive publishers. DRM certainly hasn’t disappeared from the gaming industry, but GOG’s working experiment has gone a long way to reduce its use.
And now, GOG wants to bring that same principal to television shows and movies.

They’re starting small, launching with a handful of independent documentaries for $5.99 a piece in hopes of eventually branching out to studio films and television shows. The folks at GOG are pushing hard on the “DRM-free” angle here too, promising that nothing they sell will be saddled with the copyright restrictions you might get while buying a TV show on iTunes or Amazon.
“Most of [the studios we spoke to] admit that DRM does not protect anything, all protections are cracked on the day of the release of the movie or even before and that there is no DRM that can protect a movie against piracy,” said a GOG representative in an e-mail to Kotaku. “The whole industry knows DRM is just smoke and mirrors and it does not work, so why not abandon it?”

Why not indeed? Though streaming is becoming a dominant method for viewing content, there still must be a market for the ownership of movies and television shows. DRM from the likes of the current marketplaces serves no end except to annoy actual customers, while pirated versions of pretty much everything already exist for those not willing to do right by content producers. What GOG did for games certainly seems like it should work for movies and TV shows: remove the annoyance and provide a clean and slick market for DRM-free show/movie content. As they said, they’re starting small, but if this is successful we might finally start to see a landslide of a perception-change when it comes to DRM.
Interestingly, it seems that talks for a wider catalog are proceeding more successfully than I might have expected.


“These are very smart people and they see that the anti-piracy measure does not work at all,” said a GOG rep in an e-mail. “We realize that the movie industry is much older than the gaming industry and it moves slower, with caution. As such, we’ll get started with some real examples to show that it works–hence our first batch of 20 documentaries.”

What also interests me is how the documentaries for this pilot program are all focused on gaming and internet culture, arguably attractive to a demographic that might be most knowledgeable about piracy and perhaps more willing than the general population to pirate content. If they can be successful there, I’d argue the rest of the general public ought to be a cinch. Get on board with this, studios. Someone is trying to save you from yourselves.
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/gog-looking-to-extend-its-drm-free-message-to-moviestv/
http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-89EKCgBk8MZdE.gif

If you like PC games, chances are you already know all about GOG, or Good Old Games. The GOG website has done more to extend the life of gently-aged games by building a platform for old games that will work on new machines while having one singular principal dominate their products: there shall be no DRM. Digital Rights Managment seems like it’s always existed and has equally never worked, what with cracks, hacks and other methods for getting around games that employ DRM being available almost immediately after games get released. It’s a losing strategy. GOG, on the other hand, has made their insistence on DRM-free games a winning strategy for themselves, for customers, and even for once-apprehensive publishers. DRM certainly hasn’t disappeared from the gaming industry, but GOG’s working experiment has gone a long way to reduce its use.

And now, GOG wants to bring that same principal to television shows and movies.

They’re starting small, launching with a handful of independent documentaries for $5.99 a piece in hopes of eventually branching out to studio films and television shows. The folks at GOG are pushing hard on the “DRM-free” angle here too, promising that nothing they sell will be saddled with the copyright restrictions you might get while buying a TV show on iTunes or Amazon.

“Most of [the studios we spoke to] admit that DRM does not protect anything, all protections are cracked on the day of the release of the movie or even before and that there is no DRM that can protect a movie against piracy,” said a GOG representative in an e-mail to Kotaku. “The whole industry knows DRM is just smoke and mirrors and it does not work, so why not abandon it?”

Why not indeed? Though streaming is becoming a dominant method for viewing content, there still must be a market for the ownership of movies and television shows. DRM from the likes of the current marketplaces serves no end except to annoy actual customers, while pirated versions of pretty much everything already exist for those not willing to do right by content producers. What GOG did for games certainly seems like it should work for movies and TV shows: remove the annoyance and provide a clean and slick market for DRM-free show/movie content. As they said, they’re starting small, but if this is successful we might finally start to see a landslide of a perception-change when it comes to DRM.

Interestingly, it seems that talks for a wider catalog are proceeding more successfully than I might have expected.

“These are very smart people and they see that the anti-piracy measure does not work at all,” said a GOG rep in an e-mail. “We realize that the movie industry is much older than the gaming industry and it moves slower, with caution. As such, we’ll get started with some real examples to show that it works–hence our first batch of 20 documentaries.”

What also interests me is how the documentaries for this pilot program are all focused on gaming and internet culture, arguably attractive to a demographic that might be most knowledgeable about piracy and perhaps more willing than the general population to pirate content. If they can be successful there, I’d argue the rest of the general public ought to be a cinch. Get on board with this, studios. Someone is trying to save you from yourselves.

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/five-thoughts-on-the-newly-released-acc-schedule/
http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/O2ZxpIH1uFEoJ5RoYv0klw—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTQyMTtweG9mZj01MDtweW9mZj0wO3E9NzU7dz03NDk-/http://media.zenfs.com/en_US/Sports/USA_Today/20140305_kkt_bk3_453-e19ec38c1515f2b1cf32588552dbb255

Feb 1, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Jerami Grant (3) drives the ball to the basket during the second half of a game against the Duke Blue Devils at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won the game 91-89. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/five-thoughts-on-the-newly-released-acc-schedule/
http://l1.yimg.com/bt/api/res/1.2/O2ZxpIH1uFEoJ5RoYv0klw—/YXBwaWQ9eW5ld3M7Zmk9ZmlsbDtoPTQyMTtweG9mZj01MDtweW9mZj0wO3E9NzU7dz03NDk-/http://media.zenfs.com/en_US/Sports/USA_Today/20140305_kkt_bk3_453-e19ec38c1515f2b1cf32588552dbb255
NCAA Basketball: Duke at Syracuse

Feb 1, 2014; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange forward Jerami Grant (3) drives the ball to the basket during the second half of a game against the Duke Blue Devils at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won the game 91-89. (Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports)

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/breakthrough-hopes-dented-as-ukraine-accuses-russia-of-new-incursion/
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By Richard Balmforth and Anton Zverev
KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:31am IST



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By Richard Balmforth and Anton Zverev KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia of launching a new military incursion across its eastern border on Wednesday, as hopes quickly faded that Tuesday’s talks between their two presidents might…
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1 of 2. A Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter gunship flies above a military base in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk August 27, 2014.
Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich


 
KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia of launching a new military incursion across its eastern border on Wednesday, as hopes quickly faded that Tuesday’s talks between their two presidents might mark a turning point in a five-month-old crisis.

Accusations of direct Russian support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine have prompted Western governments to impose sanctions on Moscow, despite its denials, and fanned tensions with NATO to levels not seen since the Cold War.

Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said a group of Russian soldiers had crossed the border in armoured infantry carriers and a truck and entered the town of Amvrosiyivka, not far from where Ukraine detained 10 Russian soldiers on Monday.

Ukraine’s Security Services also said in a statement it had detained another Russian soldier in the east of the country who has confessed his unit provided military support to separatist rebels.

Lysenko said fighting in two other towns, Horlivka and Ilovaysk, had killed about 200 pro-Russian rebels and destroyed tanks and missile systems. Thirteen Ukrainian service personnel had been killed in the past 24 hours and 36 had been wounded.

No comment was immediately available from the Russian defence ministry on the alleged incursion. Russia denies sending weapons and soldiers to help the rebels, and says the men captured on Monday had crossed an unmarked section of the border by mistake.

Late-night talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk had appeared to yield some progress towards ending a war in which more than 2,200 people have been killed, according to the U.N. — a toll that excludes the 298 who died when a Malaysian airliner was shot down over rebel-held territory in July.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would work on an urgent ‘road map’ towards a ceasefire with the rebels. Russia’s Vladimir Putin said it would be for Ukrainians to work out ceasefire terms, but Moscow would “contribute to create a situation of trust”.

But Wednesday’s new accusations from Ukraine made clear that the poisonous dispute over Russia’s role remained unresolved.

In a telephone call with Putin, Germany’s Angela Merkel said reports of a new Russian military incursion into Ukrainian territory had to be cleared up, a spokesman for the chancellor said in a statement.

“The latest reports of the presence of Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory must be explained,” said Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert. “She emphasised Russia’s major responsibility for de-escalation and watching over its own frontiers.”

TRADE WARS

The United States said on Wednesday new military incursions on Ukraine’s eastern border indicate a Russian-directed counter-offensive is likely under way in two Ukrainian towns.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the military movement “would be consistent with the other kinds of destabilizing military activities that Russia has pursued in Ukraine”.

Ukraine’s State Security services said in a statement late on Wednesday that it had detained a private in Ukraine’s easternmost Luhansk Province from a unit stationed in Russia’s Rostov region near the border with Ukraine.

The statement said that when questioned, he said his military unit transfers military equipment and ammunition including multiple rocket launchers BM-21 Grads as well as armoured personnel carriers to the rebels.

Fighting in the east erupted in April, a month after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in response to the toppling of a pro-Moscow president in Kiev.

The crisis has prompted the United States and EU to impose sanctions on Russia’s finance, oil and defence sectors, and Moscow has hit back by banning most western food imports. The trade wars threaten to tip Russia into recession and strangle economic recovery in Europe.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was not looking for a further escalation of trade tensions. “We have no interest in a confrontation or in whipping up a spiral of sanctions,” he told an audience of students.

The next step would be for a ‘Contact Group’, comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the rebels and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to meet in Minsk, he said without giving a time frame.

But Ukrainian foreign policy adviser Valery Chaly told reporters in Kiev that Poroshenko’s declaration on a ceasefire road map did not mean an immediate end to the government’s military offensive against the rebels.

“If there are attacks from the terrorists and mercenaries, then our army has the duty to defend the people,” he said.

A crowd of several hundred gathered outside the presidential administration building in Kiev to demand reinforcement for Ukrainian forces in Ilovaysk, a town in Donetsk region, where government troops have been encircled by rebel units.

“We want to show the current authorities who came to power thanks to active citizens that we will not allow them to stand by as those people die who were brave enough to take up weapons and defend our country,” Kiev resident Mykola Vasyk said.

Earlier, Ukrainian military spokesman Lysenko said units were on the defensive in Ilovaysk, but that some equipment and support had reached the troops.

DISTRUST

A rebel leader, Oleg Tsaryov, wrote on Facebook that he welcomed the outcome of the Minsk talks, but the separatists would not stop short of full independence for the regions of eastern Ukraine they call Novorossiya (New Russia).

He said he saw “a real breakthrough” in Putin’s offer to contribute to the peace process.

But he added: “It must be understood that a genuine settlement of the situation is only possible with the participation of representatives of Novorossiya. We will not allow our fate to be decided behind our back…

“Now we are demanding independence. We don’t trust the Ukrainian leadership and don’t consider ourselves part of Ukraine. The guarantee of our security is our own armed forces. We will decide our own fate.”

Further underlining Kiev’s distrust of Moscow, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said his country needed “practical help” and “momentous decisions” from NATO at an alliance summit next month.

He said he knew of Russian plans to halt gas flows this winter to Europe, up to half of which are shipped via Ukraine. Russia’s energy minister called the assertion groundless.

Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in June in a dispute over pricing and debt, but Putin said after Tuesday’s talks that he and Poroshenko had agreed to resume discussions.

European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said gas consultations would take place in Moscow on Friday between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union.

(Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Katya Golubkova, Gabriela Baczynska and Thomas Grove in Moscow, Andrei Makhovsky and Andrei Anishchuk in Minsk, Natalia Zinets in Kiev and Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Writing by Mark Trevelyan and Thomas Grove; Editing by Giles Elgood and Will Waterman)


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KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine Thu Aug 28, 2014 1:31am IST

A Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter gunship flies above a military base in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk August 27, 2014. REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

1 of 2. A Ukrainian Mi-24 helicopter gunship flies above a military base in the eastern Ukrainian town of Kramatorsk August 27, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Gleb Garanich

KIEV/DONETSK Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukraine accused Russia of launching a new military incursion across its eastern border on Wednesday, as hopes quickly faded that Tuesday’s talks between their two presidents might mark a turning point in a five-month-old crisis.

Accusations of direct Russian support for pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine have prompted Western governments to impose sanctions on Moscow, despite its denials, and fanned tensions with NATO to levels not seen since the Cold War.

Ukrainian military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said a group of Russian soldiers had crossed the border in armoured infantry carriers and a truck and entered the town of Amvrosiyivka, not far from where Ukraine detained 10 Russian soldiers on Monday.

Ukraine’s Security Services also said in a statement it had detained another Russian soldier in the east of the country who has confessed his unit provided military support to separatist rebels.

Lysenko said fighting in two other towns, Horlivka and Ilovaysk, had killed about 200 pro-Russian rebels and destroyed tanks and missile systems. Thirteen Ukrainian service personnel had been killed in the past 24 hours and 36 had been wounded.

No comment was immediately available from the Russian defence ministry on the alleged incursion. Russia denies sending weapons and soldiers to help the rebels, and says the men captured on Monday had crossed an unmarked section of the border by mistake.

Late-night talks in the Belarussian capital Minsk had appeared to yield some progress towards ending a war in which more than 2,200 people have been killed, according to the U.N. — a toll that excludes the 298 who died when a Malaysian airliner was shot down over rebel-held territory in July.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he would work on an urgent ‘road map’ towards a ceasefire with the rebels. Russia’s Vladimir Putin said it would be for Ukrainians to work out ceasefire terms, but Moscow would “contribute to create a situation of trust”.

But Wednesday’s new accusations from Ukraine made clear that the poisonous dispute over Russia’s role remained unresolved.

In a telephone call with Putin, Germany’s Angela Merkel said reports of a new Russian military incursion into Ukrainian territory had to be cleared up, a spokesman for the chancellor said in a statement.

“The latest reports of the presence of Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory must be explained,” said Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert. “She emphasised Russia’s major responsibility for de-escalation and watching over its own frontiers.”

TRADE WARS

The United States said on Wednesday new military incursions on Ukraine’s eastern border indicate a Russian-directed counter-offensive is likely under way in two Ukrainian towns.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the military movement “would be consistent with the other kinds of destabilizing military activities that Russia has pursued in Ukraine”.

Ukraine’s State Security services said in a statement late on Wednesday that it had detained a private in Ukraine’s easternmost Luhansk Province from a unit stationed in Russia’s Rostov region near the border with Ukraine.

The statement said that when questioned, he said his military unit transfers military equipment and ammunition including multiple rocket launchers BM-21 Grads as well as armoured personnel carriers to the rebels.

Fighting in the east erupted in April, a month after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula in response to the toppling of a pro-Moscow president in Kiev.

The crisis has prompted the United States and EU to impose sanctions on Russia’s finance, oil and defence sectors, and Moscow has hit back by banning most western food imports. The trade wars threaten to tip Russia into recession and strangle economic recovery in Europe.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow was not looking for a further escalation of trade tensions. “We have no interest in a confrontation or in whipping up a spiral of sanctions,” he told an audience of students.

The next step would be for a ‘Contact Group’, comprising representatives of Russia, Ukraine, the rebels and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, to meet in Minsk, he said without giving a time frame.

But Ukrainian foreign policy adviser Valery Chaly told reporters in Kiev that Poroshenko’s declaration on a ceasefire road map did not mean an immediate end to the government’s military offensive against the rebels.

“If there are attacks from the terrorists and mercenaries, then our army has the duty to defend the people,” he said.

A crowd of several hundred gathered outside the presidential administration building in Kiev to demand reinforcement for Ukrainian forces in Ilovaysk, a town in Donetsk region, where government troops have been encircled by rebel units.

“We want to show the current authorities who came to power thanks to active citizens that we will not allow them to stand by as those people die who were brave enough to take up weapons and defend our country,” Kiev resident Mykola Vasyk said.

Earlier, Ukrainian military spokesman Lysenko said units were on the defensive in Ilovaysk, but that some equipment and support had reached the troops.

DISTRUST

A rebel leader, Oleg Tsaryov, wrote on Facebook that he welcomed the outcome of the Minsk talks, but the separatists would not stop short of full independence for the regions of eastern Ukraine they call Novorossiya (New Russia).

He said he saw “a real breakthrough” in Putin’s offer to contribute to the peace process.

But he added: “It must be understood that a genuine settlement of the situation is only possible with the participation of representatives of Novorossiya. We will not allow our fate to be decided behind our back…

“Now we are demanding independence. We don’t trust the Ukrainian leadership and don’t consider ourselves part of Ukraine. The guarantee of our security is our own armed forces. We will decide our own fate.”

Further underlining Kiev’s distrust of Moscow, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said his country needed “practical help” and “momentous decisions” from NATO at an alliance summit next month.

He said he knew of Russian plans to halt gas flows this winter to Europe, up to half of which are shipped via Ukraine. Russia’s energy minister called the assertion groundless.

Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in June in a dispute over pricing and debt, but Putin said after Tuesday’s talks that he and Poroshenko had agreed to resume discussions.

European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said gas consultations would take place in Moscow on Friday between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union.

(Additional reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin, Katya Golubkova, Gabriela Baczynska and Thomas Grove in Moscow, Andrei Makhovsky and Andrei Anishchuk in Minsk, Natalia Zinets in Kiev and Lesley Wroughton in Washington; Writing by Mark Trevelyan and Thomas Grove; Editing by Giles Elgood and Will Waterman)

http://blog.seaofinfo.com/why-more-companies-should-submit-to-peer-review/
http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/shutterstock_137911247-e1409091282960.jpg?w=738Editor’s note: Michael Housman is chief analytics officer at Evolv, a startup that uses predictive analytics and academic research to improve hiring and managing people.
Academia is governed by a process called “peer review,” which ensures research is validated and reasoning is sound. More simply, it weeds out the real insights from the fluff. Meanwhile, most corporate data (think surveys, white papers), is made public after only an internal, inherently biased review. With recent backlash toward Facebook’s emotions experiment, being cognizant and transparent with data is more important than ever.
As an academic, my expectation when I joined the private sector was that the white papers and collateral released by companies in this space would be based on large sample sizes, best-in-class empirical methods and rigorous interpretation. Suffice to say, that was not the case.
There are relatively few tech companies that support analytics-minded academics and are willing to put in the time to hold the company’s work accountable to a much higher standard. Peer review is an incredibly time-intensive process, but worth it for stronger, more accurate content. And though recent news of a “peer review ring” does show the system isn’t without its faults, with technology’s help, the methods can scale. Here are my top three reasons why companies should invest in academic peer review.
Content Is More Credible
In the peer-review process, once a team of researchers has completed a paper, they submit it to a journal that then circulates it to two to three peer experts for critique. Academic journals use a double-blind process so the authors don’t know the identity of the reviewers and vice versa, with the intention being to ensure that the process is as rigorous and objective as possible.
Although the finished product is inevitably better than the initial submission, the process requires a tremendous amount of work, and can last as long as two years from start to finish. Utilizing a process even near this intensive ensures that research is really real. Outside, educated analysis makes sure that the facts and framing are sound and not biased. This adds much more credibility to content than, say, a survey revealing the importance of secure storage, vetted by a security software vendor.
Thought Leadership Is More Authentic
Clearly most companies will choose to conduct research and develop content in areas relevant to their business – it makes sense to grow voice and market share in your space. But there is a fine line between self-serving and authentically helpful content that benefits current and potential customers. A company isn’t just saying it knows about a space; it is offering concrete evidence validated by others.
The Bar for Ethics and Accuracy Rises
In my role as a chief analytics officer, I often play internal referee – I refuse to release any research from our big dataset that wouldn’t be submitted to a top-tier academic journal. That means I’m responsible for both suppressing good content that isn’t sufficiently backed up by the science, as well as releasing unpopular results when that’s what the data says. This process substantiates our data.
Even if readers of our researchers do not perceive the difference between including fixed effects or clustering standard errors, they appreciate the value of the quality of analytical methods used and knowing what they are reading is truly fact-based. The spurious conclusions companies share in the public domain can sometimes be appalling. Since individuals and companies often base actual purchase decisions on this research, the improper actions and decisions that may result from fluffed up facts are of concern.
The level of rigor that goes into academic papers versus industry papers represents two extremes. One is a highly regimented process that can require many months or years of painstaking work in order to button up the analysis to an incredibly exacting level of detail. And in the other there is no quality-control process at all; analysts can literally release whatever they want into the world without being forced to explain their methods, present raw results or release their data if an outside party wishes to replicate their results.
My hope is that the tech industry can find a middle ground. We should educate the public about how to be more scrutinizing consumers of research – teach people to ask the right questions and look for the answers that have substance. It’s not only the higher-integrity path but also the logical one, as it plays to our strengths as technologists and innovators.
We’ve already seen results in the technology industry that have similar ethos, such as open source projects, which have given us a better infrastructure on the web, in databases and more. We can take that system, implement academic rigor and detail and keep those peer-review circles open, transparent and diverse. Close and careful scrutiny on the back-end will only benefit the industry.
IMAGE BY Shutterstock USER Kzenon (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)
http://blog.seaofinfo.com/why-more-companies-should-submit-to-peer-review/
http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/shutterstock_137911247-e1409091282960.jpg?w=738

Editor’s note: Michael Housman is chief analytics officer at Evolv, a startup that uses predictive analytics and academic research to improve hiring and managing people.

Academia is governed by a process called “peer review,” which ensures research is validated and reasoning is sound. More simply, it weeds out the real insights from the fluff. Meanwhile, most corporate data (think surveys, white papers), is made public after only an internal, inherently biased review. With recent backlash toward Facebook’s emotions experiment, being cognizant and transparent with data is more important than ever.

As an academic, my expectation when I joined the private sector was that the white papers and collateral released by companies in this space would be based on large sample sizes, best-in-class empirical methods and rigorous interpretation. Suffice to say, that was not the case.

There are relatively few tech companies that support analytics-minded academics and are willing to put in the time to hold the company’s work accountable to a much higher standard. Peer review is an incredibly time-intensive process, but worth it for stronger, more accurate content. And though recent news of a “peer review ring” does show the system isn’t without its faults, with technology’s help, the methods can scale. Here are my top three reasons why companies should invest in academic peer review.

Content Is More Credible

In the peer-review process, once a team of researchers has completed a paper, they submit it to a journal that then circulates it to two to three peer experts for critique. Academic journals use a double-blind process so the authors don’t know the identity of the reviewers and vice versa, with the intention being to ensure that the process is as rigorous and objective as possible.

Although the finished product is inevitably better than the initial submission, the process requires a tremendous amount of work, and can last as long as two years from start to finish. Utilizing a process even near this intensive ensures that research is really real. Outside, educated analysis makes sure that the facts and framing are sound and not biased. This adds much more credibility to content than, say, a survey revealing the importance of secure storage, vetted by a security software vendor.

Thought Leadership Is More Authentic

Clearly most companies will choose to conduct research and develop content in areas relevant to their business – it makes sense to grow voice and market share in your space. But there is a fine line between self-serving and authentically helpful content that benefits current and potential customers. A company isn’t just saying it knows about a space; it is offering concrete evidence validated by others.

The Bar for Ethics and Accuracy Rises

In my role as a chief analytics officer, I often play internal referee – I refuse to release any research from our big dataset that wouldn’t be submitted to a top-tier academic journal. That means I’m responsible for both suppressing good content that isn’t sufficiently backed up by the science, as well as releasing unpopular results when that’s what the data says. This process substantiates our data.

Even if readers of our researchers do not perceive the difference between including fixed effects or clustering standard errors, they appreciate the value of the quality of analytical methods used and knowing what they are reading is truly fact-based. The spurious conclusions companies share in the public domain can sometimes be appalling. Since individuals and companies often base actual purchase decisions on this research, the improper actions and decisions that may result from fluffed up facts are of concern.

The level of rigor that goes into academic papers versus industry papers represents two extremes. One is a highly regimented process that can require many months or years of painstaking work in order to button up the analysis to an incredibly exacting level of detail. And in the other there is no quality-control process at all; analysts can literally release whatever they want into the world without being forced to explain their methods, present raw results or release their data if an outside party wishes to replicate their results.

My hope is that the tech industry can find a middle ground. We should educate the public about how to be more scrutinizing consumers of research – teach people to ask the right questions and look for the answers that have substance. It’s not only the higher-integrity path but also the logical one, as it plays to our strengths as technologists and innovators.

We’ve already seen results in the technology industry that have similar ethos, such as open source projects, which have given us a better infrastructure on the web, in databases and more. We can take that system, implement academic rigor and detail and keep those peer-review circles open, transparent and diverse. Close and careful scrutiny on the back-end will only benefit the industry.

IMAGE BY Shutterstock USER Kzenon (IMAGE HAS BEEN MODIFIED)