Italian president calls for media diversity and impartiality

first_img RSF and 60 other organisations call for an EU anti-SLAPP directive RSF_en November 23, 2020 Find out more to go further December 2, 2020 Find out more In a letter to President Ciampi on 23 April, Reporters Without Borders asked the president “to take a clear stand, as guardian of the Constitution, against the current threat to media diversity and freedom of information in Italy.” Reporters Without Borders today welcomed an appeal by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi on 23 July for parliament to pass laws guaranteeing diversity and impartiality in the country’s broadcasting media, currently controlled by prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. His appeal was a very rare message by an Italian head of state to parliament and the first time Ciampi had made one since taking office three years ago.Reporters Without Borders has several times lobbied both the president and Berlusconi himself on the subject, noting that Italy is the only European Union member-state and the only major Western democracy where the entire broadcasting media, privately or publicly owned, are directly or indirectly controlled by the government.Through the holding company Fininvest, Berlusconi controls Italy’s main privately-owned TV group, Mediaset, which runs the country’s three leading privately-owned stations, and is among the majority shareholders in Mondadori, one of Italy’s main press and publishing groups. He promised in May last year to resolve the conflict of interest between his job as prime minister and his ownership of Mediaset. However, a subsequent bill proposed by the government did no more than provide for a body to see that government officials did not make decisions favouring their business interests. It did not in any way challenge Berlusconi’s ownership of Mediaset or his influence over it. In view of this, the country’s three other TV stations, which are part of RAI, have a vital role to play in maintaining radio and TV news diversity. But Berlusconi and RAI’s new board, appointed by parliament in February, is stepping up pressure on journalists deemed critical of the government. Reporters Without Borders asked on 2 July for a meeting with Berlusconi to talk about the these threats to diversity. On 14 February, before the new RAI board was named, the organisation suggested that the government hand over to an independent authority the job of considering proposals to strengthen RAI’s independence. The government has not responded. November 19, 2020 Find out more ItalyEurope – Central Asia Reporters Without Borders welcomes the appeal by Italian President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi for parliament to pass laws guaranteeing diversity and impartiality in the country’s broadcasting media. Italy is the only major Western democracy where the entire broadcasting media, privately or publicly owned, are directly or indirectly controlled by the government. Ten RSF recommendations for the European Union Organisation Receive email alerts News News News On eve of the G20 Riyadh summit, RSF calls for public support to secure the release of jailed journalists in Saudi Arabia Help by sharing this information Follow the news on Italy July 25, 2002 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Italian president calls for media diversity and impartiality News ItalyEurope – Central Asia last_img read more

Sea level correction

first_img“What this paper shows is that sea-level acceleration over the past century has been greater than had been estimated by others,” Morrow said. “It’s a larger problem than we initially thought.”“Scientists now believe that most of the world’s ice sheets and mountain glaciers are melting in response to rising temperatures,” Hay added. “Melting ice sheets cause global mean sea level to rise. Understanding this contribution is critical in a warming world.”Previous estimates had placed sea-level rise at between 1.5 and 1.8 millimeters annually in the 20th century. Hay and Morrow, however, suggest that from 1901 until 1990, the figure was closer to 1.2 millimeters per year. However, everyone agrees that global sea level has risen by about 3 millimeters annually since that time.“Another concern with this is that many efforts to project sea-level change into the future use estimates of sea level over the time period from 1900 to 1990,” Morrow said. “If we’ve been overestimating the sea-level change during that period, it means that these models are not calibrated appropriately, and that calls into question the accuracy of projections out to the end of the 21st century.”Hay and Morrow approached the challenge of estimating sea-level rise from a new perspective.Typically, Hay said, estimates of sea-level rise are created by dividing the world’s oceans into subregions, and gathering records from tide gauges — essentially yardsticks used to measure ocean tides — from each area. Using records that contain the most complete data, researchers average them to create sea-level estimates for each region, then average those rates to create a global estimate.“But these simple averages aren’t representative of a true global mean value,” Hay said. “Tide gauges are located along coasts, therefore large areas of the ocean aren’t being included in these estimates. And the records that do exist commonly have large gaps.“We know the sea level is changing for a variety of reasons,” she added. “There are ongoing effects due to the last ice age, heating and expansion of the ocean due to global warming, changes in ocean circulation, and present-day melting of land ice, all of which result in unique patterns of sea-level change. These processes combine to produce the observed global mean sea-level rise.”The new estimates developed by Hay and Morrow grew out of a separate project aimed at modeling the physics that underpin sea-level “fingerprints.”“What we were interested in — and remain interested in — was whether we can detect the sea-level fingerprints we predicted in our computer simulations in sea-level records,” Morrow said. “Using a global set of observations, our goal has been to infer how individual ice sheets are contributing to global sea-level rise.”The challenge, Hay said, is that doing so requires working with “very noisy, sparse records.”“We have to account for ice age signals, and we have to understand how ocean circulation patterns are changing and how thermal expansion is contributing to both regional patterns and the global mean. We try to correct for all those signals using our simulations and statistical methods, then look at what’s left and see if it fits with the patterns we expect to see from different ice sheets.“We are looking at all the available sea-level records and trying to say that Greenland has been melting at this rate, the Arctic at this rate, the Antarctic at this rate, etc.,” she continued. “We then sum these contributions and add in the rate that the oceans are changing due to thermal expansion to estimate a rate of global mean sea-level change.”To the researchers’ surprise, Hay said, it quickly became clear that previous estimates of sea-level rise over most of the 20th century were too high.“We expected that we would estimate the individual contributions, and that their sum would get us back to the 1.5 to 1.8 mm per year that other people had predicted,” Hay said. “But the math doesn’t work out that way. Unfortunately, our new lower rate of sea-level rise prior to 1990 means that the sea-level acceleration that resulted in higher rates over the last 20 years is really much larger than anyone thought.” The acceleration of global sea level change from the end of the 20th century through the last two decades has been significantly swifter than scientists thought, according to a new Harvard study.The study, co-authored by Carling Hay, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS), and Eric Morrow, a recent Ph.D. graduate of EPS, shows that calculations of global sea-level rise from 1900 to 1990 had been overestimated by as much as 30 percent. The report, however, confirms estimates of sea-level change since 1990, suggesting that the rate of change is increasing more rapidly than previously understood. The research is described in a Jan. 14 paper in Nature. <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiFQmYBxCu0″ rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/MiFQmYBxCu0/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a>last_img read more

Please refrain from accusing govt over recent hacker attacks: Ministry

first_img“Don’t be too quick and premature in accusing someone of being behind it without any evidence, this could be a third party who wants to create a confrontation [between the government and the public]. Who can prove that without any data?”Read also: Tempo.co, tirto.id report cyberattacks to Jakarta policeThe concern was raised amid recent hacks directed at individuals or groups considered to be critical of the government, including tempo.co that had its website defaced and Pandu Riono, an epidemiologist from the University of Indonesia, whose Twitter account was hacked.In the discussion, Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network (SAFEnet) regional coordinator Damar Juniarto noted that six targeted digital attacks had occurred in August, namely the website defacing on Tempo, the Twitter hack on Pandu and four other attacks. He went on to say that the August attacks were directed at figures critical of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis. He added that similar attacks, usually done against activists or academics, had occurred in the past against people voicing criticism on Papuan issues and the controversial 2019 revision of the Corruption Eradication Commission Law.Topics : The Communications and Information Ministry has urged the public not to accuse the government of being behind a recent string of digital attacks against vocal critics, adding that the perpetrators may intend to pit the government against the public.The ministry’s informatics applications director general, Semuel Abrijani Pangerapan, said there was no evidence of the government being behind the attacks and urged the public to work together with the government to solve the hacking instead.“We also want to stop [the hacking],” Semuel said during a discussion held by tempo.co. last_img read more

Redknapp closing in on Rio deal

first_imgQPR manager Harry Redknapp is confident of finalising a deal for Rio Ferdinand, insisting the former Manchester United defender is keen to move to Loftus Road. Ferdinand has been working for the BBC at the World Cup in Brazil for the past month but Redknapp will resume talks upon his return. The 35-year-old, who has won six league titles, two League Cups, one Champions League and a Club World Cup, left United after his contract was not renewed at the end of last season. Press Associationcenter_img Redknapp told talkSPORT on Tuesday: “He arrives back today so I am going to meet him and hopefully we can get it sorted. “He has not been difficult to deal with. He wants to play and he is not expensive. “He wants to come and play at QPR now so hopefully we can get it done.” QPR are also reported to be interested in Tottenham defender Michael Dawson, whom Redknapp worked with while he was in charge at White Hart Lane. “I like Michael,” Redknapp said. “He is a top player and a great lad as well. You would have Michael in your team any day of the week but we haven’t made any offers for Michael.” last_img read more

What went into 49ers drafting Nick Bosa No. 2 overall

first_img[vemba-video id=”van/sc/2019/04/26/bang_f369a216-aa4d-4eb4-86b5-408970959d93″] SANTA CLARA — Nick Bosa’s watershed moment, the one that won over the 49ers and consequently Thursday’s No. 2 overall draft pick, came on a sunny, winter day in Southern California.He crashed Ohio State’s Dec. 28 practice for the Rose Bowl, about 2 1/2 months after controversially leaving the Buckeyes to undergo core-muscle surgery and prepare for his bright, NFL future.What unfolded next surprised and sold 49ers …last_img read more

Ships pitch in for 2010

first_imgThe MS Noordam and Westerdam will grace South African waters during the 2010 Fifa World Cup. (Image: Holland American Line) MEDIA CONTACTS • Desmond Windt iKapa Tours & Travel+27 21 510 8666RELATED ARTICLES • Makeover for Durban harbour • Mercy Vision – sight to the blind • Drive to make 2010 spectacular • Get kitted for Football FridaysJanine ErasmusThe 2010 Fifa World Cup will see some visitors flying to South Africa, some driving in, and others sailing in, courtesy of a deal between two travel companies in Germany and South Africa.iKapa Tours & Travel in Cape Town and Munich-based Moltke Promotion GmbH have teamed up to bring two luxury cruise liners to the port cities of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth and Durban during the football spectacular.The magnificent MS Noordam and MS Westerdam will grace South Africa’s major ports for the full month of the 2010 World Cup, which kicks off on 11 June.Both are ships of the Holland America Line, which has regular routes to all continents except Africa.Registered in Rotterdam, both are also relatively new to the water – the Westerdam was christened in April 2004 and the Noordam in February 2006.With 1 617 crew between them and a passenger capacity of 1 918 and 1 916 respectively, the Noordam and Westerdam is expecting to bring between 15 000 and 20 000 football-mad travellers to experience not only the South African passion for the Beautiful Game, but the vibrant culture and traditions of the country.The Westerdam will operate between Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, while the Noordam will convey passengers between Durban and Port Elizabeth. The ships’ vast passenger capacity will also help alleviate any accommodation shortages in the three cities.Although there is only one passenger terminal, in Durban, and the others are cargo ports, promotion manager One Ocean Club, a Moltke subsidiary, has booked convenient locations in Port Elizabeth and Cape Town harbours, and will convert these areas into temporary passenger zones.African sights and soundsA number of day and half-day excursions have been planned to suit every cruise passenger’s taste.In Cape Town, half-day options include visits to Table Mountain and the city, Table Mountain and the Kirstenbosch botanical garden, a cultural tour, or a tour of the townships. Full-day choices range from trips around the breathtaking Cape peninsula, to the winelands, up the west coast, or to Hermanus on the south coast.While in Durban, passengers can take half a day to visit uShaka Marine World, the Umgeni River Bird Park, the Indian market, or the surrounding townships. The more energetic can indulge in full-day trips to the Valley of 1 000 Hills, the Midlands, Shakaland Cultural Village, or game reserves in the area.In Port Elizabeth the options extend to half-day tours of the city or townships, as well as museums and art galleries, or the nearby Kragga Kamma game reserve. Full-day trips further afield include deep sea fishing, the Addo Elephant National Park or Tsitsikamma Forest, and a private game reserve.For those who can’t bear to be away from the greens for too long, One Ocean Club will arrange bookings at upmarket golf courses in the three cities.Experienced operatorOne Ocean Club is no stranger to the floating hotel concept.During the 2004 summer Olympics in Athens it organised a similar package with the official German ship AIDAaura. The company has promised visitors to South Africa an even better experience, as it now brings its expertise to the biggest football tournament in the world.One Ocean Club has promised to make extensive use of local resources such as security and technical services, while using iKapa as the official transportation and excursion partner. It will also source fresh food supplies exclusively from local producers, and will stock world-renowned South African wines.The company is offering a variety of packages, ranging from between two and four nights and one group match, or five nights and a semi-final game, to two nights and the final.The semi-finals will take place at Green Point stadium in Cape Town and Moses Mabhida stadium in Durban. Johannesburg’s spectacular Soccer City hosts the final, while the matches to decide third and fourth place take place at the Nelson Mandela stadium in Port Elizabeth.Queries or comments? Contact Janine Erasmus at [email protected]last_img read more

NOAA awards $10.2 million for harmful algal bloom research

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest NOAA will fund 12 new research projects around the country to better understand and predict harmful algal blooms (HABs) and improve our collective response to them.NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) is allocating $10.2 million in FY 2019 to fund HAB research across the nation. Approximately $8.4 million of that will cover the first year of new 3- to 5-year projects, and $1.78 million will go to 3-year projects already in process. Funded under NOAA’s ECOHAB and MERHAB programs, new projects will begin in Alaska, California, Chesapeake Bay, Florida, the Great Lakes, New England and the Pacific Northwest. A full list of the new grant awards is available online.Award recipients will conduct research to identify conditions that increase bloom toxicity; model toxin movement from the water into shellfish, fish and marine mammals; and improve toxin monitoring and forecasts. NCCOS research programs help states and regions around the nation mitigate the effects of HABs, which can include contaminated drinking water, fisheries closures and disruption to recreation and tourism.“Through NCCOS, NOAA is funding the latest scientific research to support environmental managers trying to cope with increasing and recurring toxic algae that continue to affect environmental and human health and coastal economies,” said NCCOS director Steven Thur, PhD. “Improved understanding of these coastal HAB threats will lead to better bloom observation and prediction, and help to mitigate effects along the U.S. coast.”Prior NOAA-funded research on HABs has produced tools that managers now routinely use to detect, forecast and respond to the blooms and their toxins.NOAA’s NCCOS delivers ecosystem science solutions for NOAA’s National Ocean Service and its partners, bringing research, scientific information and tools to sustain thriving coastal communities and economies.last_img read more

The Gloves Come Off in The Box.net vs. SharePoint Challenge

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair But if they stick around and buy a year’s worth of service, they’ll get the same three months free on Box.net. Note that in order to get either, users have to perform a predetermined set of tasks during their free trial, so be sure to read the fine print. Box.net doesn’t just feel confident pitting its services against SharePoint. They’re doing everything but literally shouting it from the rooftops, having bought a Bay Area billboard alongside Highway 101. At the recent Enterprise 2.0 Conference, they handed out t-shirts with turds on them declaring Microsoft’s software was “SharePoo.” Even if you don’t sign up for the trial, airing your SharePointBlues on Twitter, Flickr or YouTube might just win you a similar shirt. More than just MarketingBillboards and t-shirts might be marketing gimmicks, but the campaign does exemplify a growing schism in enterprise 2.0 over how to deal with the SharePoint-shaped elephant in the room. Many players have rushed to integrate with the platform in the hopes of bridging the divide between the risk-averse and those intent on seeing enterprise transformed. Others have taken a more radical approach, drawing a bright line between the old way of working together and the new. To some, the notion of integrating with a system that they see as fundamentally broken is a foolish one, for businesses and vendors alike. Just which approach will win out in the end, no one can honestly say yet. Though it’s months away still, SharePoint 2010 could be transformative enough to make any previous barbs look silly. But for today at least, the confidence Box.net is showing in its services might just win over some converts. Photo by mrkalhoon 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Plenty of enterprise 2.0 companies have set their sights on replacing SharePoint. But so far, not one has shown the gumption of Box.net, the filesharing and collaboration service which has launched the Box.net vs. SharePoint challenge. Based on the premise that “sharing should be simple” and implying that SharePoint is anything but, Box.net’s campaign is more than a marketing ploy. It’s a bold sign of the growing conflict between hungry young startups and Microsoft over who will dominate business collaboration in the years to come. The Gauntlet is ThrownSo how does the challenge work? Enterprises will sign up for a free, 14-day trial of the Box.net Business Edition. If they’re not happy after giving Box a spin, they’ll get three months of SharePoint paid for. Tags:#enterprise Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Related Posts steven walling Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Twitter Upgrades Android App – Users Still Denied Official Push Notifications

first_imgLast September we interviewed a number of User Experience experts from throughout the tech industry about what push notifications would mean for the iPhone. I think the most important response came from Aviel Ginzburg, UX guy at Seattle-based Untitled Startup, makers of Twitter bulk-conversation analysis tool RowFeeder. I think Ginzburg’s predictions for what iPhone push would mean to Twitter users have proven correct. Check them out and ask yourself, “ought not Android users be offered this as well?”“Those of us who have been using Twitter since the days that it was largely (entirely) text messaging driven perceive Twitter much differently than mainstream users.“Two days ago I was having coffee with a friend of mine, who has been on Twitter for a little over a year (tweets everyday, DMs, @replies people, and even owns an iphone w/Twitter for iPhone) and as my phone beeped over and over again, she asked me if something was wrong. I said no, I just get my DMs text messaged to my phone. Her response was, ‘you can do that?!’“She has been using Twitter like people use Facebook, as a way to consume (mainly) and share content in a ‘on your own time’ fashion. When she uses Twitter, she really uses it, but in controlled bursts when she is physically engaging.“The way that the site has been restructured in the past several months including the new search, celebrity, and brand focus, categories, featured tweets, promotions, etc have drawn in the mainstream in such a way that they aren’t perceiving Twitter in the way that the early adopters do – as a real-time communication platform that will one day replace text messaging, email, and even phone calls. Just look at the Twitter homepage… it’s a text media consumption site.“With the announcement of push notifications, they’re bringing the messaging platform core value proposition back to the forefront, and pushing the mainstream, who joined Twitter for entirely different reasons, to experience Twitter in the same way us early adopters do — as a real-time communication channel that you never disconnect from. The concern of course is: have these users really signed-up for entering a service where the are expected to be available and engaged at all times?“It may seem like a small and logical update (cut out the text messaging middle-man), but really, Twitter is going to be dramatically changing the way its mainstreams users experience and use Twitter.”We asked Twitter for any details about push on Android. Their response, “nothing to share right now.” Twitter announced a new version of its app for Android today, which it says is now one of the top 5 most popular ways to access Twitter. The new version is easier to read updates on without having an account, has more granular search options and interface more like the one iPhone owners see.What may be most notable though is the abscence of new features. Twitter for iPhone got push notifications for @ mentions and direct messages a whole three months ago. Twitter said at the time that it hoped to add push to Android soon, but it’s not in this new version. Also missing: any ability to log in to multiple accounts. Other power-user features may or may not come to Twitter’s official app someday, but the abscence of official push notifications is a real loss.Twitter on Android does perform periodic polling for replies, but it’s not in real time like real push notifications and users complain about the cost to battery life.Perhaps Twitter aims its own app at the most mainstream of users, the people it imagines mostly reading Tweets from famous people and a few friends or family, and assumes the rest of us feature-hungry types will get our fix from 3rd party apps. That could be a good strategy. Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … marshall kirkpatrick Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Tags:#mobile#web The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Siri Will Now Read You The News, Courtesy of Wibbitz

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Tags:#news apps#news readers Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement nick statt Israeli startup Wibbitz doesn’t want you to read the news. It wants to read the news to you, in the form of 1-2 minute video summaries narrated by a helpful synthetic voice and accompanied by video of related images and animated infographics.Wibbitz made a splash last summer when it raised $2.3 million for its video news-summary app, and now it’s launched that app on iOS. The Wibbitz technology converts news articles and blog posts into video designed to play on smartphones in an effort to deliver information in a way that bypasses reading limitations like screen size and user location.(Read more: The Race To Replace Google Reader)The Wibbitz app is free and requires no login. And what it provides is a rather strange – yet surprisingly effective – alternative to, well, news reading. For bemused publishers who might be inclined to view Wibbitz as yet another article-scraping aggregator enemy, the app also offers another possible channel for putting their stories out in front of a wide audience.Whether any of this is good or bad depends in part on what you think about automated news delivery.Wibbitz Is A Cool Idea, And It WorksSo what the heck is automated video news delivery, anyway? For Wibbitz, it means using summation algorithms – similar to those employed by the late Summly news app, since acquired by Yahoo – and natural language technology that evokes the audio aesthetics of Apple’s Siri. All that comes together to turn article text into video of moving pictures overlaid with headlines and keywords, all narrated by your friendly neighborhood automaton.Luckily, Wibbitz’s automated speech has improved significantly since last year and is now far less robotic than Siri, most noticeably because it doesn’t appear to run into as many pronunciation hiccups as the Apple assistant. The Wibbitz voice also changes vocal tones depending on whether you’re listening to headlines or the actual summaries, which is nice touch that helps alleviate the tedium of listening to dull, flat speaking tones for any period of time.Currently, the app is limited to summarizing Reuters news stories, although those articles cover world and international news, business, sports, tech and entertainment. Other publishers have been experimenting with Wibbitz integration on their sites since last year, a process that’s as simple as dumping in a line of JavaScript code to generate a video for a particular story that can then be shared across social networks.What Wibbitz Does WellWibbitz manages to effectively combine the convenience of radio and television delivery with back-end AI technology and interactive HTML5 information delivery – the sort of thing we’re getting more used to with smartphone apps like the news reader Circa. This kind of delivery is both faster than skimming stories on Facebook or Flipboard and more productive and engaging than getting your news from tweeted headlines.The app also employs some clever design. After clicking into a section like top news or business, it will automatically begin cycling through the carousel of stories it pulls from Reuters’ RSS feed by reading you each headline. If you’re interested in the full summary, you swipe up to enter into the moving picture experience. (Swiping down takes you in the opposite direction.) A second swipe up brings you to the full text of the original article. But if Wibbitz succeeds in parsing out the critical information you need and presenting it in a visually effective fashion – something it does well, at least in my experience – then calling up the original article is rarely necessary.Moving From MobileThe Wibbitz app is only part of what the startup is about. Wibbitz also aims to strike partnerships with publishers to help them easily create videos with the company’s simple code and then to disseminate them. In the coming months, Wibbitz plans to release its technology as an embeddable service on third-party apps, CEO and co-founder Zohar Dayan told TechCrunch. One of the first in line to use this is reportedly the UK daily The Telegraph. Dayan also sees television, specifically the smart TV, as a potential customer for his company’s technology.All of which means that the video news summary could proliferate in unexpected ways in coming months. And that’s a smart strategy for Wibbitz. While its iOS app is certainly cool at first sight, the experience of having information dictated to you via AI may simply be too strange for many people to deal with until they get more used to it.center_img Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more