Brent Burns, Pete DeBoer respond to Drew Doughty’s comments

first_imgSAN JOSE — Neither Sharks coach Pete DeBoer or defenseman Brent Burns wished to extensively respond Tuesday to Drew Doughty’s comments a day earlier on why Burns should not win the Norris Trophy this season.“I just think guys should stick to commenting on their own games,” DeBoer said. “For me, that’s where everybody in this league’s focus should lie.”In an interview Monday in Calgary with The Athletic, Doughty, the Los Angeles Kings’ 2019 All-Star who won the Norris Trophy three years ago, a …last_img

The Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018: Initial review

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jonathan Coppess, Gary Schnitkey, Nick Paulson, Benjamin Gramig, Krista Swanson, Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics University of Illinois and Carl Zulauf, Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics, Ohio State UniversityOn Monday Dec. 10, 2018, the House and Senate conference committee released the conference report for the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018; the final version of the 2018 Farm Bill. On Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, the Senate moved quickly to pass the conference report with a final vote in favor of the farm bill of 87 to 13. On Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass the farm by 369 to 47 (16 not voting). Given that it passed by veto-proof majorities, it is likely that the President will sign it and the Agricultural Act of 2018 will soon become law.From the beginning of the debate, the outlook for a farm bill in 2018 was clouded by concerns about relatively lower crop prices, the restricting parameters of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) baseline and the political landscape in Congress. Before the farm bill debate began, however, Congress relieved much of the baseline pressure by returning cotton to the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs in Title I and improving dairy assistance in Title I and crop insurance. The House Agriculture Committee moved first but stumbled; intense partisanship, particularly over the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in Title IV, dominated the House debate.The Senate Agriculture Committee adhered to a more traditional path, moving through a largely status quo farm bill with strong bipartisan support. Resuscitated in the House but remaining a partisan exercise, the farm bill sailed through the Senate on one of the strongest votes in history but the two versions became stuck in a conference stalemate through the mid-term elections.The biggest issues for conference were the controversial provisions for reducing the SNAP program and for eliminating the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in the House farm bill. Ultimately, the conference stalemate appears to have been broken by the results of the mid-term elections combined with the political realities for SNAP.The CBO cost estimate (score) reinforces the view that the bill is largely status quo. CBO estimates very little net change in spending: an increase of $1.8 billion through 2023, but sustained reductions in assumed outlays from 2024-2028 result in only a $70 million increase over the entire 10-year budget window. Commodities (Title I)In general, the 2018 Farm Bill continues the farm programs of the 2014 Farm Bill: Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC); the Price Loss Coverage (PLC) program; and the Marketing Assistance Loans (MAL) with Loan Deficiency Payments (LDP). One of the key changes is to the election between ARC and PLC. In the 2014 Farm Bill it was a one-time election that could not be changed over the five-years of the bill. In the 2018 Farm Bill, however, the election is for the 2019 to 2020 crop years and beginning for the 2021 crop year, the farmer can change the ARC/PLC election each year. In all elections, PLC remains the default option.A second major change to farm programs is an option to update program yields for PLC. Owners of an FSA farm will have a one-time option to update their program yields, but the formula is somewhat complicated. It operates in two steps: (1) 90% of the average yield for the 2013 to 2017 crop years, excluding any crop year in which the yield was zero; and (2) reduced by a ratio that compares the 2013 to 2017 national average yields per planted acre to the 2008 to 2012 national average yields.Importantly, FSA is likely to use different yields based on its calculations of national average yield per acre. The effective ratio is multiplied by 90% to estimate a single yield update factor, which will be applied to the average yields on the farm for 2013 to 2017. In short, the yield update factor is the ratio indicating how much of the initial 90% of the 2013 to 2017 county average yields a farmer can claim in the update. For crops where the national average in 2008-2012 is close to the 2013 to 2017 national average, more of the maximum yield update (90% of 2013-2017 yields) can be captured.In addition to the PLC program yield update option, the bill also includes changes to the calculation of yields for the ARC-CO program. Specifically, the plug yield is 80% of the transitional yield and is used in the ARC calculations to replace yields in any year that are below it. The revisions also require the Secretary to calculate a trend-adjusted yield factor to use for the benchmark calculation. This would effectively use trend-adjusted yields used in crop insurance where applicable.For PLC, the statutory reference prices for covered commodities remain the same as in the 2014 Farm Bill, as amended to add seed cotton. The new bill, however, includes an escalator known as the effective reference price. The effective reference price is a feature from the House farm bill, which permits the statutory reference price to increase up to 115% of the statutory reference price. It is calculated as 85% of the 5-year Olympic moving average of the national marketing year average prices (5YOMA).The 2018 Farm Bill also includes modified language regarding base acres. Specifically, it prevents payments on any base acres if all the cropland on the FSA farm was planted to grass or pasture during the years 2009 through 2017. The base acres and program yields for the farms affected by this provision will remain on record with FSA, but payments will not be made on those acres and farms. This provision is likely designed to help offset the cost of the yield update.Finally, the 2018 Farm Bill increases the loan rates for the MAL and LDP programs. This is the first across-the-board increase in loan rates since the 2002 Farm Bill. Crop Insurance (Title XI)There are few changes to the crop insurance program in the 2018 Farm Bill. The most notable revisions involve treatment of cover crop practices. First, the bill defines cover crop termination as a practice that historically and under reasonable circumstances results in termination. It also provides that cover crop practices are to be considered a good farming practice if terminated according to USDA guidelines (or an agricultural expert) and that termination should not impact the insurability of the insurance crop. These changes should help alleviate some of the concerns farmers have with cover crops and may improve adoption of that practice where it makes agronomic sense. Conservation (Title II)The biggest issue for the conservation title going into conference was elimination of the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) in the House farm bill. The conference committee negotiated a compromise that eliminates it as a stand-alone, acreage-based program. The existing authorities for CSP are combined with the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The CBO score shows a reduction in CSP of -$12.4 over 10 years and an increase for the combined CSP/EQIP of $8.5 billion. Part of this reduction appears to have been used to increase funding for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program ($1.8 billion) and for the Regional Conservation Partnership Program ($1.7 billion).The conference bill terminates the acreage-based provisions of CSP and converts it to a specific funding level each fiscal year, similar to the way EQIP is funded. The existing acreage-based program ends but current five-year contracts will continue and those expiring before the end of 2019 will be permitted a one-year extension for transition purposes. Overall, the general authorities for CSP are reauthorized with revisions to focus assistance on soil health and conservation planning, cover crops, grazing management, as well as simplification for aspects of application.Buried within all of the changes for CSP is information requiring further analysis. As acreage-based CSP is terminated, program spending goes to zero after FY 2025 as existing contracts expire. Funding for EQIP and the new CSP increases over these years.Finally, in conservation there are changes to the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) that begin with increases in the current 24 million-acre cap on what can be enrolled. The acreage cap will increase each year, reaching to 27 million by 2023. The bill would also limit the annual rental payments to 85% of the average county rental rate for general sign-up or 90% for continuous practices. It also creates within CRP a new initiative focused on clean lakes, estuaries and rivers as a priority for the continuous enrollments, capped at 8 million of the overall acres in the program. There is also a pilot project for 30-year CRP contracts and a shorter-term CRP for soil health and income protection, using three, four or five year contracts on up to 15% of a field.It appears that the 2018 Farm Bill goes against the trends of recent farm bills where funds and authorities shifted from reserve policies to working lands policies. Under the lower price scenarios, it appears that Congress is shifting some of the funds and authorities back to reserve programs (CRP and easements) and reducing those for working lands.last_img read more

iPhone to Android: Making the Nexus S Do Your Bidding

first_imgMany weeks have passed since my iPhone met its unfortunate end thanks to a dive into a pond that left it, even after i-Hospitalization, without Wi-Fi, a functional USB port (it charges, but does not sync) and with a flaky Bluetooth connection. Now, the Mute switch has stopped working, too. Who knows what will fail next?In the meantime, I’ve made the switch to the Nexus S, and have been documenting that process here, in a series of posts, with the hopes that other iPhone users curious about the world of Android may learn something through my trials and tribulations. This week, I’m starting to delve into the power of Android automation, and I’ve found that this may be the key selling point for Android. Or alternately, the the one area that has you running back to the iPhone for good.If you’ve haven’t been following my transition, you can start here with my one-week review, then check in again here when I hit one month. I’ve now reached a month and a half. This is an ongoing series.Automating the EverydayEarlier this month, I complained about the battery life issues of using this particular Android phone. From what I’ve heard, the Nexus S has a better battery than some other Android phones out there, but it still doesn’t compare to what I was used to from the iPhone world.To prolong battery life, you can use a widget that ships with many Android devices. This widget provides easy access to some of the phone’s functions from the homescreen, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Location services, Brightness and Sync. When battery life is a concern, turning off unneeded functions can give your phone a bit of extra juice. iPhone or Android? Ask Yourself ThisBut Tasker’s very existence is a perfect example of the Android/iPhone disparity. It provides you with the control and freedom to hack away at your phone, while making it just hard enough that the average user won’t bother. This is typical Android. (At least, Android as I know it now).A good many Android app designs tend towards the engineering side of things, not the design. In doing so, unfortunately, some of Android’s capabilities becomes less accessible to all users.  That’s a shame. Related Posts sarah perez The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#Apple#Google#mobile#Product Reviews#web Note: not my phone – image credit: Business InsiderBut this attempt to maximize your battery can quickly devolve into a time-consuming effort. Turn on location, check-in on Foursquare, turn off location. Arrive home, turn on Wi-Fi, leave home, turn off Wi-Fi, etc.Of course, as pointed out by many commenters, you don’t actually have to perform all these tasks manually – this is Android, after all. Any of its perceived or real shortcomings can be shored up with an app, I’m told.Introducing Tasker, the App that Does it AllOne such app is Tasker, an automaton’s dream.Granted, this app isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s a bit overly complex for your average user, I’ll admit. But you can get your phone to do almost anything if you’re willing to brave its documentation, read the online wiki and experiment. With Tasker, you can automate the switching on and off of various functions, such as Location services or Wi-Fi, but you can do so much more, too. The way Tasker’s website describes it is that the app lets you perform tasks (actions) based on contexts (application, time of day, location, event, gesture) in user-defined profilesor in clickable or timer-based homescreen widgets.A few (really, just a few!) of the things Tasker can do:Passcode-lock sensitive applicationsChange phone settings by:Application: long screen timeout in a book readerTime: screen brightness lower in the eveningLocation: ringer volume high at the office, turn off ke yguard at homeWake up with a random song from your music collectionText-to-speech; read out loud: incoming SMS/ phone number, WiFi/Bluetooth status, when it’s time for an appointment, when the battery is low etc etc (Android OS 1.6+ only)Launch a music application when your music SD card is insertedChange all your home icons and wallpaper every day, or in particular locations (like work)Turn the phone upside down to return to the home screen, tilt 90 degrees to the left and back to toggle speakerphone during a callRemap camera buttons to other applicationsDecrypt/encrypt and/or zip/unzip application data on the fly when an application is launched/exitsPause music playback while in a particular application, restart on exitChange the Home icon for any applicationTake a time-lapse photo series (possibly ‘secretly’)Make a regular backup of a file on the SD cardTrack your phone location via SMS in case of theftShow a popup when an SMS arrives from a particular phone numberSetup a birthday SMS to be sent months before it happens so you don’t forgetRecord battery levels over time to a file on SD cardMake automatic recordings of what you say during phone calls to SD cardDuring the night, turn on airplane mode to conserve battery/reduce radiation, but turn it off every 15 minutes to check for SMS/voicemail.Setup a vacation SMS message, with different messages for different callersLaunch a music application when headphones are connectedIt’s a powerful, powerful application. And more than a little intimidating.Not only to you have to configure these tasks, you have to think about overlap and precedence. You have to think about how you’ll manage your profiles, and what sorts of tasks will be assigned to them. Will you have profiles for “Work” and “Home,” times of day, locations, or all of the above?But despite a fairly non-intuitive user interface, I understood, after playing around with it, how Tasker works. An I.T. background probably helped, too. Also, all those years of creating Outlook email rules (if this, then that…). It’s the same concept for Tasker. If I’m sleeping, turn notifications sounds off. If I plug in my headphones and launch MOG, turn the volume to the maximum setting. You get the idea.Tasker BasicsHere’s how it works, in short:Tap “New” on the launch screen for a new profile and name it.Pick a “First Context” on the screen that pops up (options are application, time, day, location, state, or event). Configure that context (what app, what time, what day, what location, what state or event), tap “Done”Create a task by tapping “New Task” on the screen that pops up (or pick one you’ve already made from the list)Name the new taskClick the plus sign to add an action. Select the action category (e.g. Alert, Audio, App, Dialog, File, Phone, Media, etc.)Select the action from the list that appears and configure it.Tap “Done”There’s a lot more to it than that, of course, but those are the basic steps.It’s robust, it’s genius, it’s…well, kind of nerdy.Becoming a Power Android User…A Tech Nerd Rebirth?Calling the app “nerdy” actually has a lot of appeal to some Android users out there, let’s face it. Many of Android’s power users are attracted to the platform because of capabilities like these. The deeper you get into becoming a power user yourself, the more often you find yourself turning to forums, how-to articles, wikis, user manuals and the like. You start becoming a bit of tech nerd yourself.The process reminds me very much of my days in I.T. where the typical end user sat in front a powerful machine, capable of doing so very many things, but was baffled as how to perform the simplest task. Only the tech elite really understood computers, and would disdainfully, begrudgingly fix yours for you if you asked nicely. The fact is, the problems surrounding the complexities of technology were never really the end user’s fault – it was the interface. Apple proved that even the so-called “mainstream” users could embrace technology and understand how to use it – you just had to make it simpler. That’s what the iPhone is. Simpler.And that either appeals to you or it does not. It’s that easy.With the iPhone, you would never find an app like Tasker, and many users would never want to. If you don’t want to be bothered by notification pings, you flip the Mute switch on the side of the iPhone. If you want a different profile for work than for home…well, too bad. You don’t really need that, do you? Nor do you really need the hundreds of other things Tasker lets you do, right?Ask yourself that question. Your answer will tell you a lot about what phone is right for you.It’s a question I’m debating myself right now.I’m busy, I have a full-time job and a toddler. I realize that giving up control for simplification is a trade-off, but one I’ve been willing to make for years with iPhone. Control, as much as I thought I needed it, was less of a selling point for me than the other things I love about Android (see the previous post in this series for more on that).But it’s still possible for iPhone to win me back. I just want more of the good stuff from Android on the iPhone: better notifications and alerts, multiple homescreens with widgets, more customization options and new technology like NFC (near field communication, a mobile payments enabler). Will a future iPhone provide? Will I one day return? Maybe. But for now, only Android gives me the things I want. So for now I’ll stay here. I can see the same parallels forming among the Android user base. There are the tech elite, the nerds who can – oh, I don’t know – set up your Tasker for you, maybe? And there’s everyone else – the regular folks who just want to browse the Web, text their friends and run apps. The power of Android – that is, power on this level – escapes them. Or it’s only accessible via rooting.And rooting a phone? Really? For the mainstream, it’s just not going to happen. The rooting process on Android is considerably more challenging than jailbreaking an iPhone, a task where, in true Apple spirit, even the hackers themselves provide end users with simple, DIY hacking tools. But rooting is also largely unnecessary for the mainstream Android user because the platform is not as locked down as iPhone is from the get-go. You don’t have to root to make dramatic changes to your Android, you just have to download an app or change a setting.While I personally applaud the initiative it took to create an app like Tasker, and can revel in the control it gives you over your phone, I can firmly attest that’s it’s not for everyone. (And yes, I realize there are simpler apps that can do a subset of these things. For example, search for “profile” apps in the Android Market. I was checking out the plainly named “Settings Profile” app myself for a more basic profile switcher option). Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …last_img read more

Can You Legally Fly A Drone Through A Fireworks Show?

first_img4. Inside the FireworksCreated By: NotaDrone 3. Hong Kong Fireworks 2015Created By: Team Blacksheep Flying a drone through a fireworks show is certainly impressive. But is it legal?Video footage of a drone flying through a fireworks show (like the clips below) is awe-inspiring…but like many dangerous things, it’s also illegal.Can I Use My Drone at a Fireworks Show?NO! Flying a drone through a fireworks show is not only illegal, it’s a felony that is punishable by up to a $40,000 fine and a minimum of 5 years in prison with a maximum of 10 years. Still think that footage is worth it? This is because local law enforcement will establish a no-fly zone around a public fireworks show area. Once they do this, you might as well be flying your drone at an airport in the eyes of the law.There are also other dangers associated with shooting a fireworks show with a drone. For example, if a firework were to hit your drone and bounce towards a crowd, bad things can happen. There’s also the whole ‘getting your drone destroyed by an exploding firework’ thing… that’s no fun.You can shoot a fireworks show from a safe distance away as long as you are not in an active no-fly zone. Just make sure to contact local law offices to see if there are any temporary no-fly zones you need to know about. Also, be on the lookout for any fireworks helicopter tours that may be going on in your area.Can I Fly A Drone Through Fireworks I Shoot Off?This question is a legal grey area and you should look at both your state and local laws regarding this issue. Not just the FAA, but also the local fire department who have authority when it comes to fireworks. If you want more information regarding this subject, I highly recommend checking out Gregory McNeal’s article “Flying A Drone Through Fireworks May Land You In Prison” on Forbes.ConclusionI personally recommend not risking it. You know there are going to be some dummies out there who will shoot drone footage through fireworks shows. Just watch their videos when they upload them on the 5th of July. Oh, and be sure to leave some comments so they’ll have something to read on July 6th after posting bail.In the meantime, here are 5 videos showcasing drones flying through and near fireworks show. Again, this is dangerous and illegal, but the footage is undeniably stunning.1. Fireworks Filmed with DroneCreated By: Nick Ti 5. 2015 Detroit FireworksCreated By: Green Sky CreativeThis is a great example of footage shot from a safe distance. I’m not sure if you can legally fly a drone in downtown Detroit, but the video is nonetheless awesome.Want some more drone inspiration? Check out a few of the following links:15 Videos That Prove Drone Piloting Isn’t EasyReach New Heights of Inspiration With These Drone VideosConcept Art: The Apple DroneHave you ever shot drone footage through a fireworks show? Should it be illegal? Share your thoughts in the comments below. 2. 4th July 2014 Nashville FireworksCreated By: Hytchmelast_img read more

LJP confident of getting fairshare of seats in Bihar, U.P.

first_imgWith the Narendra Modi government fighting the perception of being anti-Dalit, leaving the BJP vulnerable, key NDA ally from Bihar Lok Jan Shakti Party (LJP), headed by Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, is confident of getting more seats to contest in Bihar during the 2019 Lok Sabha poll. The LJP is also lobbying for seats in Uttar Pradesh. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who heads the Janata Dal(U) and Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha of the Rashtriya Lok Samta Party, have staked claim for a fair share of the 40 seats. The BJP holds 22 seats, LJP has six and JD(U) four. Mr. Kushwaha’s party has the lone seat that he himself represents. The BJP has indicated that it is not willing to fight the poll on fewer than 20 seats. The remaining 20 has to be shared among the three allies. “The government is not in a position to discount us if it wants to ensure that its pro-Dalit credentials are not questioned. We contested seven seats in the last election and lost only one, that too by a very small margin. So there is no question of us accepting fewer than seven,” a top LJP leader said.The party said that if its services are to be utilised in Uttar Pradesh, then it should be rewarded. “There is a huge population of the Passi caste in eastern Uttar Pradesh and also in Rae Bareli and Amethi. It is obvious that the BJP would want LJP leader Ram Vilas Paswan and his son Chirag to be involved in campaigning. The BJP will do well to at least give us three or four seats in the State,” the leader added.Mr. Paswan has been maintaining a studied silence. “We have had no discussions on seats. It will be done at the due time,” th Minister told The Hindu.last_img read more

Haruna, Gaco carry Go for Gold past pesky Batangas-EAC

first_imgPolice teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico The Scratchers built a seven-point cushion with 4:04 to play in the payoff period as Haruna gave them a 94-87 lead.Cedric Ablaza and Earvin Mendoza tried to will the Generals back, cutting the lead to three, 94-91, before Alejandro and Gutang delivered the finishing blows.Ablaza paced Batangas-EAC (1-6) with 21 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists, while Cedric de Joya got 18 in the loss.The Scores:GO FOR GOLD 106 — Haruna 23, Gaco 21, Gutang 15, Alejandro 13, Leutcheu 8, Casiño 7, Dixon 7, Naboa 6, Salem 3, Domingo 2, Pasturan 1, Ocampo 0, Young 0.ADVERTISEMENT BATANGAS-EAC 95 — Ablaza 21, De Joya 18, Maguliano 11, Altamirano 10, E. Mendoza 8, Garcia 7, Dela Peña 6, Diego 6, Bautista 4, Tampoc 4, J. Mendoza 0.Quarters: 22-22, 48-46, 75-75, 106-95. Justin Gutang also poured nine of his 15 points in the fourth quarter, while hauling down 10 rebounds, while J-Jay Alejandro got 13 markers and five assists.Despite the victory, coach Charles Tiu was displeased with how he felt Go for Gold presented itself against the lowly Batangas-EAC.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“We have a tendency to think that we’re better than we really are,” he lamented. “Sometimes, we play so well, but we lost to JRU, and we’re the only team that lost to them. I do’t know why our guys are thinking that way.”“We have never proven anything in the NCAA or D-League. it’s disappointing in that sense, but we’re happy with the win. We battled back despite Batangas controlling the game for the most part.” Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Read Next ‘Ms. Volleyball’ grateful that liberos are put on spotlight with PSA citation Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving MOST READ LATEST STORIES AFP official booed out of forum Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PBA IMAGESGo for Gold needed a huge fourth quarter to defeat Batangas-EAC, 106-95, Thursday in the 2018 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.Yankie Haruna exploded for 23 points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals, while Jerwin Gaco chipped in a double-double of 21 markers and 10 boards for the Scratchers’ second straight win to tie Zark’s Burger-Lyceum at 4-3.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more