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With Premiere Pro and FCPX on the Rise, Where Did Avid Go Wrong?

first_imgThe video editing landscape is ever changing; Premiere Pro is on the rise in Hollywood, Final Cut Pro is exceeding expectations, and Avid is in decline. Let’s find out why.Top image via Avid BlogsToday’s industry climate is governed by the big three large video editing platforms: Avid, Premiere Pro, and Final Cut Pro. Avid has long since been considered the gold standard NLE for the film industry, but recent industry shifts have seen Avid’s market share shrink dramatically. Why is this? It’s due to a few fatal errors in judgement.Non-Linear Editing Software OptionsLet’s get one thing very clear — the majority of film-industry editors still use Avid, and while Premiere Pro is making some good headway, Avid’s dominance isn’t dying off just yet. Some might remember a time when Avid wasn’t just an NLE for the Hollywood elite. In fact, there was a time when Avid rose to prominence among a sea of NLEs with high prices. Other solid NLEs (like Lightworks, Final Cut Pro 7, and the earliest form of Premiere Pro) floundered into a smaller market share.But then, as we’ll discuss below, Avid made a fatal error that caused a surge in the number of editors using Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X, even in Avid’s traditional stronghold of Hollywood. This pattern can be seen in examples like Gone Girl, which was cut in Premiere Pro, and Focus, which was cut in Final Cut Pro X. And now even more editors are making the jump away from Avid. Deadpool and Hail, Caesar! were both edited in Premiere Pro CC, and Whiskey Tango Foxtrot was cut in Final Cut Pro X.Video via Adobe Creative CloudWhile this isn’t necessarily a mass exodus, as films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens, The Martian, The Revenant, and Mad Max: Fury Road were all cut in Avid, the situation does raise some valid questions. For instance, what was the above-mentioned misstep made by Avid that Apple and Adobe avoided?What Avid Got WrongUntil 2012, Avid Technology had been the dominant force in the marketplace, but that all changed when the company declared it was exiting the consumer NLE business. What was the cause of this? Poor marketing.Avid’s inability to effectively market Media Composer to the next generation signaled its doom in the consumer market. This decision had large ramifications for the company, as Scott Kirsner of the Boston Globe reported.In the aftermath, Avid has been “forced up into the top of the pyramid,” in Overington’s words, selling to a smallish community of professionals who make movies or music for a living — or aspire to. It no longer has the power to set prices, which are driven by players like Apple and Adobe. – Scott Kirsner, Boston GlobeAgain, as Kirsner points out in his article, Avid just couldn’t compete with Adobe and Apple in terms of marketing and consumer pricing. Creative Cloud software is reasonably affordable and comes with more than just an NLE. Then there’s Final Cut Pro X, which showcases a single price point that won’t break the bank. Because of this, the editors of tomorrow are taking advantage of lower entry costs and using Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X on a larger scale.Google Trends of the big three NLEs: Avid, Premiere Pro, and Final Cut ProBecause of this subtle shift in NLE usage, and due to a company realignment, Avid, as of late February 2016, laid off another large portion of their workforce. Avid has tried to right the ship and reach out to the next generation of editors by offering Media Composer | First for free. Only time will tell if this pays off for Avid. But as of early 2016, the circumstances above have allowed companies like Adobe and Apple to insert themselves into the discussion for most industry editors, which, as we noted above, caused Deadpool editor Julian Clarke to make the switch.Video via Adobe Creative CloudWhich NLE Should You Use?When it comes time to pick which NLE you should learn, there’s one thing to keep in mind: you really should have a base knowledge of all NLEs if you want to be a professional editor. You’ll obviously gravitate to and excel at the NLE you like best, but knowing the basic ins and outs of the others will definitely help you as you advance through your professional career.At the end of the day, an NLE is simply a tool for creating amazing content. Do your research and pick the tool that will help you best achieve your goals as an editor.Which NLE do you use? Did you try one and then move to another? Tell all about your experience in the comments below.last_img read more

Moving Lights At Night on An Indie Budget

first_imgFoam Core/Bounce Board The simplest form of illuminating your subject while they move is by using a bounce board, which is ideal for day shoots.Image via WingNut Films.For night shoots, however, this method presents a few particular obstacles. You already need to be in a well-illuminated area to bounce light. If your scene takes place in a suburban street where the only illumination comes from street lamps a hundred feet apart, it’s not going to work very well. If your character is walking down a city street lit by store lights, bar signs, and other sources, you’re going to have a lot more light bounce.It would appear that this technique was put to use in Alejandro González Iñárritu‘s Birdman.Ring LightA ring light is typically a circular LED light fitted onto a camera lens. They’re incredibly popular with YouTube vloggers because they smooth the skin complex and give the eyes a halo ring. If you increase the size of the light and swap out the harsh LEDs for kinder tungsten lighting, you get a soft, ambient glow, much like the China Ball, but with more kick.Image via Warner Bros. Esteemed cinematographer Roger Deakins used this to great effect in Prisoners. Terrance Howard’s character is walking towards a memorial service where hundreds of candles have been laid out. Deakins moves back with the actor, while also slowing down the closer he gets to the candles to sell the effect that the character is moving nearer to the light source. It’s a great technique, and I’m not sure that there are many other methods that would have worked in the same setup. Need mobile lighting on a DIY-budget? These tips will help you get the most out of your moving night shots.Cover image via American Hustle (Atlas Entertainment).Set lighting, for the most part, is stationary. However, when an actor is moving, especially at night, lighting is a different ballgame. For example, say your script calls for a character to walk from the back of a restaurant through an alley and to her apartment. The director wants this shot in a single take. In the daytime, this might be easy to pull off, but at night, it presents a problem. Any stationary lights situated along the side, top or bottom of your frame will come into view at some point. You could always light a balloon or a cherry picker so the setup is completely out of frame, but what if that is out of your reach?Instead, consider moving a light along with the actor. These methods are all low cost, and even feature filmmakers take advantage of them when they can.China Ball/Chinese Lantern Lanterns are ideal for projecting soft, localized light. The most important aspect of a moving light in this circumstance is to make sure the light is soft. A hard, focused beam will quickly make your actor look like they are walking under a spotlight.  Using a China Ball for a shot with an actor moving through a house with the practical lamps on also works really well.Image via Center for Creative Media.  You can pick up a China Ball from Ikea for next to $20. Alternatively, there are companies such as Chimera that specifically build higher-quality lanterns that are more durable, fire resistant, and ready for accessories. For a more extensive read on Chinese Lanterns, see this article.The following Film Riot video suggests a similar method but with an LED light panel instead of a China Ball. However, I would recommend diffusing the LED light, as it might look harsh and artificial in comparison with light falloff from practicals in the house. Do you know any DIY methods of lighting a moving actor at night? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

You Are Working Part-Time

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now A lot of people work part-time. Here is how you can tell if you are one of them.Part of the time you are at work you are working on what is important. Part of the time you are working on what is urgent. The important work should be where you spend your time and energy, but the urgent can easily crowd out the important. Problems don’t age well, and you have to deal with urgencies.But if the work you are doing isn’t important and/or urgent, then you are working part-time.If your email is open while you are working, you are working part-time. The constant and never-ending chime that informs you that someone else wants your attention isn’t your real work. There is no one who derives meaning and purpose in their life by reacting to email. If your full attention goes to your email every few minutes, you are working part-time.If your web browser is open and you are on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn, you are opening yourself up to distractions, almost all of which provide no value to you, won’t help you win new clients, and invite you to chase some novelty down the rabbit hole. If you spend time here instead of your real work, you are working part-time.If you get roped into water cooler chatter about this and that, or if you get caught up in the latest gossip about that one guy who did that one thing that one time, then you have decided that your fear of missing out on a mildly amusing story should override what’s paramount. That’s what part-timers do.If your job includes the responsibility of making outbound calls and you made a total of 10 outbound calls in a day, then you are working even less than part-time.Being a part-timer isn’t about the fact that you are being paid to produce outcomes. It has nothing to do with your work hours. Focus is as important for those who work for the company as it is for those who are entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur working 70 hours might just as easily be a part-timer as someone being paid by Big Company, Inc.Time is the only thing you have that can’t ever be replaced. You decide whether you spend or invest that time. When you spend time, it is gone forever, with nothing to show for it. When you invest your time, you get a return on that investment (and the down time you use to recover is a necessary and worthwhile investment).last_img read more

Protest in Punjab against killings of Rohingyas in Myanmar

first_imgA Punjab-based Muslim body took out a rally here to protest against the killings of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.Members of Muslim Dharmik Committee Punjab, led by its state president Maulana Ubais-ur-Rehman, carried out a march from Jama Masjid to Tehsil complex last night, a police official said on Monday.They also presented a memorandum to duty magistrate Swapan Kaur for forwarding it to President Ram Nath Kovind. “We have sought the intervention of President Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi against the atrocities on Rohingya Muslims,” said Mr. Rehman.They also demanded that the Rohingya seeking asylum in India should be allowed to settle here.Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims, described by the UN as the most persecuted minority in the world, fled their homes in Rakhine state in Myanmar recently to escape a military crackdown.Terming the Rohingya refugees as “illegal” immigrants, the government on September 18 told the Supreme Court that some of them were part of a “sinister” design of Pakistan’s ISI and terror groups such as the ISIS, whose presence in the country will pose a “serious” national security threat.last_img read more

Rajasthan High Court allows converted woman to go with husband

first_imgAmid high drama, a 22-year-old woman, who converted to Islam recently, joined her husband here on Tuesday. She was allowed to leave the Nari Niketan women’s home, where she was lodged for a week on the Rajasthan High Court’s order. Activists of right-wing groups protested outside the court which allowed her to join her husband.The woman’s family had alleged that she was forcibly converted and married off to a Muslim youth. The court had earlier raised doubts about her marriage, saying the documents of her conversion and the ‘nikahnama’ (marriage contract) contradicted each other.Aarifa, earlier known as Payal Singhvi, was brought in veil to the court amid strict security during the hearing of a habeas corpus petition filed by her brother Chirag Singhvi. When the court asked Aarifa about her conversion and marriage, she said she had married Faeiz Modi on her own will and wanted to go with him. She told the judges that she was not willing to go back to Nari Niketan.A Division Bench, comprising Justices Gopal Krishan Vyas and Manoj Kumar Garg, ruled that Aarifa, a major, was free to marry the man of her choice. However, the probe into her conversion and documents of inter-faith marriage would continue, said the court, which had earlier directed the police to register a case on her family’s complaint.While asking the police to ensure the safety of Aarifa, her husband and in-laws , the Bench said it would hear the merits of conversion and the legal position of change of faith on the basis of the State government’s reply on Wednesday.The petitioner alleged that Faeiz had been harassing his sister for long and had abducted her. Aarifa’s family also claimed that her ‘nikahnama’ was forged and that she, in fact lived with them till last month, even though she claimed to have converted and married Faeiz in April this year.The court observed that it had sent Aarifa to Nari Niketan on November 1, the previous date of hearing, for her safety. On the court’s direction, the State government filed an affidavit on the status of law on conversion in Rajasthan, making a reference to the Religious Freedom Bill passed by the Assembly in 2008.Hindutva groups protestTension prevailed outside the High Court building following the order, as a large number of Hindutva activists gathered along with Aarifa’s family members and raised slogans.When some activists allegedly misbehaved with advocate Mahesh Bora, who appeared for Faeiz, the police intervened and dispersed the crowd. Mr. Bora contended in the court that an order to send Aarifa to the Nari Niketan could not be passed because she was not in conflict with the law.High Court lawyers boycotted the court to protest against misbehaviour with Mr. Bora and sloganeering by “anti-social elements”.The police had earlier registered an FIR against Faeiz on the court’s direction under Sections 366 (kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 384 (extortion) of the Indian Penal Code. The investigation in the case will continue.Chirag stated in his petition that Aarifa had gone missing from home since October 25. The police, he said, refused to register an FIR and told him that she had already sent a communication informing them of her conversion and marriage solemnised with Faeiz.The matter comes close on the heels of a similar controversy over Hadiya, a 24-year-old woman from Kerala, who converted to Islam and married a Muslim. The case is now before the Supreme Court, after the Kerala High Court annulled the marriage and gave the woman’s custody to her father.last_img read more

When leaders fly kites, go on a drive: Modi, Netanyahu in Ahmedabad

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday played host to his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, in his home State of Gujarat. The visiting dignitary lavishly praised Mr. Modi, calling him “a leader with vision” while heralding the beginning of a new era in India-Israel relations and partnership.Mr. Modi and Mr. Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, went on an 8-km roadshow from the Ahmedabad airport to Sabarmati Ashram. Thousands of spectators danced, clapped and waved as the motorcade drove past.Dozens of two-storey-high posters with the smiling faces of both Prime Ministers were seen along the convoy route, as they drove together in an open vehicle, while artistes and schoolchildren performed dance shows in dozens of stands set up on the way.Mr. Modi took the couple to the ashram where they paid tributes to Mahatma Gandhi and subsequently, flew kites standing on the Sabarmati riverfront.Next, they flew off to Deo Dholera village to inaugurate the campus of iCreate, a new incubation and entrepreneurship centre to promote innovation.Chanting Jai Hind, Jai Bharat and Jai Israel, Mr. Netanyahu expressed willingness to join Indian entrepreneurs for inclusive development.“I am delighted to be here. The world knows about iPads and iPods. There is one more ‘i’ that the world needs to know about, that is iCreate. Israel wants to build partnership with you. We are your partners and I want Israeli youth to come to India,” he said, addressing a gathering of some 1,500 people comprising industrialists, entrepreneurs and businessmen.“PM Modi and I are both very young and both very optimistic. We are young in our thinking and optimistic about the future of our countries,” Mr. Netanyahu added.Mr. Modi underlined the importance of innovations, creativity and technology and Israel’s contribution. “Israel has proved to the world that commitment of the people, not size of the nation takes the country forward. In India, we are working towards making the entire system innovation-friendly, so that ideas are formed from intent, innovations are formed from ideas & New India is formed from innovations.”Water on tapThe two Prime Ministers also witnessed the demonstration of a vehicle that is equipped to conduct desalination of seawater. Designed with a modified jeep, the vehicle costs approximately $111,000. Mr. Modi said the vehicle would be stationed in the Banaskantha border district where the BSF and villagers can both benefit from it. After inaugurating the innovation centre, both PMs flew down to Vadrad in Sabarkantha district to visit the Centre of Excellence (CoE) for vegetables set up with the help of the Israel Foreign Ministry.last_img read more

Soon, Haryana police at crime scene in 15 mins

first_imgHaryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday said a ₹400-crore ‘Haryana 100 Project’ will be implemented in the State by November 2018, which will ensure the arrival of a police party at the crime scene in any part of the State within 15 minutes.“This would be enabled through 600 new police vehicles conducting 24×7 patrolling to provide immediate and prompt assistance at the place of incident,” said Mr. Khattar while addressing police personnel of the 84th batch at Police Training Centre, Sunaria in Rohtak district.He said that the project would be directly manned by trained personnel at the police control room being set up in Panchkula. Mr. Khattar said that 6,000 to 8,000 police personnel would be recruited every year in the State to fill the backlog of posts. “During the tenure of the present State government, the percentage of women serving in police has increased from six to ten, which would further be increased to 30. With this significant increase in the number of women in the police force, crime against women would be considerably reduced,” he added. The Chief Minister’s comments assume significance in the wake of a spate of incidents of rape in the State in recent months.He said effective steps are being taken to keep a check and control crime especially against women. ‘Mitr Kakshs’ are being run by the police to make direct dialogue, feasible between the police and the public, he added.Major recruitmentHe said that the government has so far carried out three recruitment drives in the State in which more than 6,000 police personnel have been recruited. “At present, recruitment of 1,474 police personnel is also being conducted,” he said.last_img read more

Samruddhi corridor: Maharashtra CM, others to reach out to Uddhav Thackeray

first_imgMumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and some cabinet ministers will negotiate with Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in an attempt to tone down his opposition to the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway. Senior officials, part of the high power committee appointed to monitor the progress of the project, said on Friday that the negotiations will be headed by finance minister Sudhir Mungantiwar. “The Sena has been consistently opposing the project, earlier on the issue of farm compensation and now demanding to know why the highway must lead to Nagpur and not any other city. The committee discussed these issues at length and the government has decided to initiate informal discussions with Mr. Thackeray,” a senior official and member of the committee said. The expressway project, called Samruddhi Corridor, is estimated to cost ₹46,000 crore, of which the Asian Development Bank is expected to provide ₹13,750 crore. Close to ₹24,000 crore is needed for civil construction, while the rest is to be spent on land acquisition, development of nodes, contingencies and financial charges and utility shifting. Mr. Thackeray had announced his party will only support the project if the farmers gave up their land voluntarily and “not by force”. “We are in power but will not support the project if it hurts the interest of the farmers,” Mr. Thackeray had said last year. The Sena had, however, changed its tone earlier this year following the first round of informal talks with the government. Mr. Thackeray later said his party would talk to the farmers and convince them of the benefits of the project as the government has not been able to communicate the benefits the projects. Members said the government has already formed a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for the project to construct the expressway. Formed under the Companies Act, 1956, the SPV is to be a subsidiary of the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), which is executing the project for the government.last_img read more

ED serves notice on J&K businessman

first_imgThe Enforcement Directorate has served a show-cause notice on Zahoor Ahmed Shah Watali, a J&K businessman, for allegedly channelling foreign contributions to terror outfits.The notice has been issued for alleged Foreign Exchange Management Act violation involving an initial sum of about ₹63 lakh. “He allegedly worked as a conduit for overseas contributions to the terror outfits,” an official said. The ED has found that Watali had allegedly maintained NRE and NRO accounts, into which he later transmitted foreign remittances to the tune of ₹62.93 crore, it is alleged.last_img

Monsoon may arrive in Bengal within 48 hours

first_imgThe southwest monsoon will advance in West Bengal within 48 hours, according to G.K. Das, director of the Regional Meteorological Department, Kolkata. The department attributed the development to a low pressure belt that has formed in the north-east Bay of Bengal which is near the coast of Bangladesh. Kolkata has been experiencing heavy rainfall for the past three days, but the rain did not mark the onset of the monsoon, the department said. The pre-monsoon showers have led to waterlogging in most parts of south Kolkata. Maniktala received the highest rainfall among all the city localities on SaturdayThe met department said the coastal districts of Gangetic West Bengal would experience isolated heavy to very heavy rainfall, while the other districts of the State would witness isolated heavy rain.The southwest monsoon will also enter parts of Odisha, Sikkim and most of the Bay of Bengal. The north of the Bay — along and off West Bengal, Odisha and Bangladesh coasts — is likely to have squally winds reaching speeds of 40 to 50 kilometres per hourlast_img read more

Man arrested on charge of issuing rape threat to Congress leader’s 10-year-old daughter

first_imgThe Mumbai police have arrested one Girish Maheshwari for allegedly issuing a rape threat to the 10-year-old daughter of Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi on Twitter.Two days ago, the Union Home Ministry directed the police to file a case against the person.Maheshwari allegedly issued the threat to Ms. Chaturvedi from his Twitter handle @GirishK1605, which was deleted following an outrage on the social media.“One person named Girish has been arrested and being taken to Mumbai,” a police official from Ahmedabad said.Delhi Police had filed FIRThe Delhi Police had filed an FIR in the case after receiving a complaint from Ms. Chaturvedi.After the alleged threat tweet, Ms. Chaturvedi had approached both the Mumbai and Delhi police, seeking action against the Twitter user.Ms. Chaturvedi thanked Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the Delhi and Mumbai police for the arrest.last_img read more

BJP wants Sultanpur to be renamed

first_imgAfter demands by the ruling BJP to rename Allahabad as Prayag, a party MLA in Uttar Pradesh wants to change the name of Sultanpur district after Lord Ram’s son Kush.BJP MLA Deomani Dwivedi from Lambhua constituency has submitted a proposal to the U.P. Assembly to change the name of Sultanpur to Kushbhawanpur. The House on Friday admitted the proposal for discussion.When contacted, Mr. Dwivedi told The Hindu that his demand was based on public sentiments to restore the name of the city to its “ancient culture and civilisation.” The name Kushbawanpur was in sync with the Indian sentiment, he said. “This place used to be the capital of Kush, Lord Rama’s son, as per ‘Sanskritic granths’. And there was a grand bhawan of Maharaj Kush located here, that’s why it was called Kushbhawanpur,” Mr. Dwivedi said.Asked what objection he had to the name Sultanpur, Mr. Dwivedi said the name was imposed “forcibly” during the times of Ala-ud-Din Khilji. “It is a symbol of imposition by force and was not accepted by the masses,” he said.To back up his claim, the first-time MLA refered to the story of two Arab horse dealers who were put to death by the local chieftains in Kushbhawanpur following which an angry Khilji razed the city to avenge the insult and changed the name to Sultanpur.While the history of the place could not be independently verified, the Sultanpur district website also refers to the same incident. Quoting the Uttar Pradesh District Gazetteers, 1982, it says that “about 750 years ago, it is said, two brothers, Sayid Muhammad and Sayid Ala-ud-Din, horse dealers by profession, visited eastern Avadh and offered some horses for sale to Bhar chieftains of Kushabhawanpur, who seized the horses and put the two brothers to death.”“The incident came to the knowledge of Khilji, who “gathering a mighty force… set out for Kushabhawanpur and took revenge,” according to the gazetteer.last_img read more

Ruling Congress sweeps rural elections in Punjab

first_imgWhile the ruling Congress party swept the Zila Parishad and Panchayat Samiti elections in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal on Sunday announced that it would hold a protest rally on October 7 against the Punjab government, accusing it of misusing the State machinery for winning the polls.Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, who had earlier announced his decision to hold a rally in Lambi after the Zila Parishad election results, will address party workers in Lambi’s Killianwali over the sacrilege issue on October 7.Meanwhile, the State Election Commission on Sunday announced the results of the elections held for 22 Zila Parishad and 150 Panchayat Samitis in the State.As per the official spokesperson, out of all the 353 zones of the 22 Zila Parishads, the Indian National Congress won the majority of seats. “The Congress won a total of 331 Zila Parishad seats, while the Aam Aadmi Party has won zero, the Shiromani Akali Dal bagged 18 while the Bharatiya Janta Party won two seats. Two seats went to others,” said the spokesperson.The spokesperson added that of the total 2,899 zones of 150 Panchayat Samitis, 2,351 candidates of the Congress won, while AAP’s 20 candidates emerged victorious. The SAD secured 353 seats while the BJP won on 63 seats. Apart from this, one candidate of CPI, two candidates of SAD(A), two candidates of CPI(M) and 107 other candidates won.The Akali Dal in its core committee meeting, presided by party president Sukhbir Singh, passed a resolution to organise the protest rally on October 7 in Patiala – the home constituency of Capt. Amarinder Singh.Party spokesperson Harcharan Bains said that apart from highlighting the repression in the elections, the rally would also focus on putting pressure on the government to solve the problems being faced by the people.“Punjab is reeling under a non-performing government which has gone back on all the promises made to the people during the campaign for the February 2017 Assembly elections and has brought governance, development and social welfare activity in the State to a halt. The rally would be the first in a series of initiatives by the SAD to enforce accountability on the ruling party on its failure to honour its manifesto commitments,” said Mr. Bains.‘Badal creating unrest’ As the Congress party’s delegation reviewed the Killianwali grain market site in Lambi for the proposed rally of Capt. Amarinder, an official spokesperson said that the Chief Minister had taken a serious note of former CM Parkash Singh Badal’s attempts to create communal unrest in the State through his statements on the report of Justice (Retd.) Ranjit Singh on the widespread incidents of sacrilege that had taken place during the SAD-BJP rule.last_img read more

Nagendra Jamatia, former minister and TNV peace accord initiator, passes away

first_imgNagendra Jamatia, the veteran tribal leader who brokered peace with insurgent outfit Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) in 1988 passed away before dawn on Monday. He breathed his last at his residence here at the age of 71. His family said Mr. Jamatia was suffering from health complications for past few years.Mr. Jamatia, who was admired for his writing skill and social engagements was a minister in the Congress-led coalition government for five years from 1988.The leader of Tripura Upajati Juba Samity (TUJS), which is now known as Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (INPT), is best known for his success in bringing TNV supremo Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl to bargain peace with the Centre. His efforts in participation of security agencies culminated peace accord signed in New Delhi in the presence of the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.Mr. Jamatia later admitted that the entire exercise of dialogue with TNV had to be kept a top secret under instruction from New Delhi and became public only after signing of the accord. Besides him, the then Chief Minister Sudhir Ranjan Majumder was the only other person in the loop.Interestingly, Bijoy Kumar Hrangkhawl is now president of the INPT in which Mr. Jamatia was in top in its all shape. Mr. Hrangkhawl and his entire team of office bearers rushed to residence of the deceased to offer condolences.Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, his cabinet colleagues and prominent personalities expressed grief at demise of Mr. Jamatia. Mr. Jamatia is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.last_img read more

Matriculation exams in Odisha to begin today

first_imgOver six lakh students of Odisha will write the State Matriculation Examination – 2019, which is beginning on Friday and will continue till March 8. The Board of Secondary Education, Odisha, is conducting the examination in four streams — Regular, Ex-Regular, Madhyama for Sanskrit students and Open School Certificate for school dropouts. BSE controller of examination Nihar Ranjan Mohanty informed that the Board has already dispatched question-cum-answer booklets of first three papers to all the 304 nodal centres across the State. “The booklets will be sent to various examination centres from the designated nodal centres only on the day of the examination between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. and the examinations will be held from 9 a.m. to 11.30 a.m.,” Mr. Mohanty said. Practical examinations in all the subjects have already been conducted.Education Secretary Pradeepta Mohapatra said the question-cum-answer booklets are kept at the nodal centres which are provided with round-the-clock security by armed guards. These booklets will be carried to various examination centres under armed police security, Mr. Mohapatra said. Preventive measures under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped at hyper-sensitive and sensitive examination centers.last_img read more

No cakewalk for BJP in Haryana

first_imgWith the Congress in Haryana fielding “heavyweight” candidates in many parliamentary constituencies, political analysts feel that the party has conveyed a message that the electoral battle for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party would not be a cakewalk. The BJP, after its recent win in the Jind Assembly bypoll and in the municipal polls in five cities, is riding high on confidence. The Congress, on the other hand, has been struggling to set its house in order. The Congress State unit is, however, divided with infighting between former Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and State president Ashok Tanwar coming out in the public domain on several occasions. But with the Congress deciding to field its ”heavyweights”, political experts feel the party is in a ”comfortable” position in the State. Cong. infighting“The general perception is that the Congress lost the recent Jind bypoll due to infighting. But, with the decision to field senior leaders such as Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kulddep Sharma, Ashok Tanwar, Kumari Selja among others, the party has made an attempt to deviate and fend off this perception, which is likely to be an advantage for the party,” Kushal Pal, an associate professor and head of the Department of Political Science, Dyal Singh College, Karnal, told The Hindu. “The BJP so far has been is in a comfortable position but with the Congress fielding senior leaders, it is going to be a tough ‘fight’ this time,” Dr. Pal said.In the 2014 Lok Sabha poll, the BJP won seven seats followed by the INLD with two and the Congress retaining the sole seat of Rohtak, won by Deepender Singh Hooda, son of the former Chief Minister. The Congress, which has announced all its candidates for the 10 Lok Sabha seats in Haryana, has decided to field Hooda senior from Sonipat. Mr. Hooda is a prominent ‘Jat’ face in Haryana politics and Sonipat constituency has substantial number of Jat voters. For the Rohtak seat, a traditional stronghold of the Hooda family, sitting MP Deepender Hooda is the Congress candidate.Bhavya Bishnoi, son of Kuldeep Bishnoi, the sitting MLA from Adampur, is party candidate from Hisar, while former Haryana Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Sharma will contest from Karnal. Former Union Minister Kumari Selja will contest from Ambala seat and Mr. Tanwar from Sirsa.last_img read more

Star statistician Hans Rosling takes on Ebola

first_imgMONROVIA—Hans Rosling is a global health celebrity, a former head of the Division of Global Health at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm whose riveting lectures have made him a star of TED talks, and a fixture of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But since 20 October, he has occupied room 319 of Liberia’s Ministry of Health & Social Welfare, a large yellow building not far from the Atlantic Ocean. Working alongside the country’s head of Ebola surveillance, Luke Bawo, he is helping the ministry make sense of the largest Ebola outbreak ever recorded.Rosling has come without any affiliation, which he says helps him stay independent. “He just walked into the office and introduced himself,” Bawo says.He feels bad about not coming earlier. Ebola arrived in Liberia from Guinea in March, then spread south to Monrovia, where it exploded in August. Hospitals were closed and Ebola treatment units were overwhelmed. “I thought the Ebola outbreak could be stopped locally,” Rosling says. “I just wasn’t smart enough.” (He also felt he was too old to work in a treatment unit.)Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)When he saw the epidemic curve go up in Sierra Leone and down in Liberia in October, he was skeptical, and he decided to find out firsthand what was happening. He canceled his lectures and contacted the Liberian government. “I’m not a virologist and I’m not a clinician, but I have considerable experience investigating messy epidemics in poor parts of Africa,” he says.A quarter-century ago, he faced a threat that seemed even more terrifying than Ebola. In August 1981, Rosling was working as a district medical officer in northern Mozambique when he sat in front of a line of 30 women and children whose legs had become paralyzed over the past month. “I had this big neurology book, and their disease did not exist in that book,” Rosling says. A South African submarine had been spotted in a nearby bay a few weeks earlier. “It was fully possible that it was biological warfare.”When he came home that evening, he told his wife to take their kids and drive them to a safer place a few hours away. He didn’t sleep the next 48 hours. “When you face a disease that may be infectious, 98% of your intellectual capacity becomes blocked. You become so scared, thinking you will die, thinking you may be crippled, thinking about your children.” It took 2 weeks before it became clear the affliction wasn’t contagious. (Now called konzo, it’s caused at least in part by toxic compounds in cassava roots.) A group of Italian nuns helped Rosling overcome his fears. “I don’t think I could have done this without them,” he says.The experience left Rosling with a cool approach to health crises and a keen sense of what it takes to fight a disease in one of the poorest parts of the world. Soon after he arrived in Monrovia, he became convinced that the Liberian decline is real, driven in large part by changes in behavior that reduce the risk of infection. Liberia now reports only some 10 new cases a day. That’s good news, but it also presents big new challenges. While Ebola was the main cause of death, safe burials were essential. Now that new infections are less common, people could in principle resume traditional funeral practices, which include contact with the body, for deaths not due to Ebola. But spreading that message could cause people to drop their guard with Ebola victims, too, leading to new infections. “Any decision will have many complicated consequences,” Rosling says.Rosling learned that lesson, too, in the konzo outbreak. Because he was initially unable to rule out an infectious disease, the Mozambican government set up a roadblock to stop the disease from spreading. A group of people took a boat along the coast to evade the blockade, and it sank. “I have stood there and seen the bodies of 18 women and children who drowned because of that roadblock,” he says. “That stays with you. Eighteen bodies of people you killed.”After he arrived in Monrovia, Rosling started by doing simple things, such as proofreading the ministry’s epidemiological reports, which he says nobody had time for. He changed an important detail in the updates: Rather than listing “0 cases” for counties that had not reported any numbers—which could be misleading—he left them blank. Next, he tackled the problem behind the missing data. Some health care workers couldn’t afford to call in their reports, because they were paying the phone charges themselves; Rosling set up a small fund to pay for scratch cards that gave them airtime.One of Hans Rosling’s recent “Factpods” on YouTube discussed the spread of Ebola in West Africa.Now, he’s focusing on how to get the number of new cases down to zero. That means finding every single case, tracing that patient’s contacts, and isolating all of those who show symptoms—a huge challenge in a country where many villages are hours away from a road, Ebola symptoms like diarrhea and fever are common, and the fear of the deadly virus drives some contacts to skip town and seek out a traditional healer. “We have to make a meticulously perfect system work in a country where such a system cannot exist,” he says. “This is the biggest intellectual challenge I have participated in in my life.”On a whiteboard in his office, Rosling has drawn a complicated flow chart to show how the information about patients and their contacts moves through the system. Data are lost at several steps. Some people die on the way to the hospital; others give different ages or names at different points. Rosling’s aim is to know how many of the newly discovered Ebola patients are already on one of the contact lists. But so far he has been struggling even to find out what county every patient is from.Others on the front lines welcome Rosling’s help. Kevin De Cock, who leads the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) field team in Liberia, calls him “an eminent epidemiologist with immense African experience. He provides strong technical and intellectual input.” Bawo says he admires Rosling’s commitment but worries that he’s overstretching himself. “He is welcome to stay, but I make it my business that he takes one day off a week,” Bawo says. “Every Sunday I don’t call him, he does not call me, and I do not want him to send me an e-mail.”Rosling says he’s tired of the portrayal of Africa as a continent of incompetence, superstition, and rampant corruption. “I am astonished how good people are that I work with here, how dedicated, how serious,” he says. When The New York Times reported that governmental infighting was hampering the Ebola response, Rosling tweeted: “Don McNeil misrepresents Liberia’s EBOLA-response to win the MOST INCORRECT ARTICLE ABOUT EBOLA AWARD.” His self-assurance and impatience with opinions he disagrees with can grate on others. “I find him quite irritating,” says one Western colleague. “Mostly because he turns out to be right about most things.”Rosling is critical of Western nations’ response to the crisis. Whereas experts from elsewhere in Africa have come as colleagues and stayed for long periods of time, for instance, agencies like CDC replace their staff every few weeks, which Rosling says hampers continuity. (CDC is like Cuba, Rosling says: “Amazing people, bad system.”) The U.S. military won’t transport patients or even blood samples in their helicopters, he adds: “Welcome to the continent of less superstition.”Rosling eventually wrote his Ph.D. thesis about the konzo outbreak, helped set up the Swedish chapter of Doctors Without Borders, and became a professor of global health at the Karolinska Institute, where he retired in 2012. His talks still garner “obscene fees,” he says—some $600,000 annually—which he uses to finance the Gapminder Foundation, a nonprofit he set up to bring development statistics to a broad audience. His talks have been viewed by millions, 200,000 people follow him on Twitter, and he has rich and powerful fans. “Mark Zuckerberg called me yesterday,” he says at one point, to ask how his money could help fight Ebola.Rosling’s 2006 TED talk debunked myths about the developing world.In his talks, which feature dazzling graphics, Rosling is fond of emphasizing that most people’s view of the world is wrong. He often asks how many children get the standard childhood vaccinations—20%, 50%, or 80%? Most people answer 20%, but it’s 80%. “The problem is that the education systems in North America and Europe and the media have not conveyed a fact-based view of the world.”Similarly, many people lump everything from Turkey to Somalia together as the developing world, blurring the differences between middle-income countries and those dominated by extreme poverty. He likes to say that 1.5 billion people have a light bulb and a washing machine, 4 billion have only the light bulb, and about 1.5 billion have neither. The populations of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone mostly fall into the last category, he says. “And that is one reason we can have such a huge Ebola outbreak here.”Eradicating extreme poverty should be a top priority, says Rosling, who has been critical of programs that focus on a single disease, such as the multibillion-dollar initiative to eradicate polio. That has put him at odds with Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization (WHO), who heads the campaign. Now, Aylward is also in charge of WHO’s Ebola response, but in this case, there’s no disagreement: “Ebola is different,” Rosling says, adding that Aylward gave him important guidance. Aylward praises Rosling as “great added value.”                Although he does not come into contact with Ebola patients, Rosling had one moment when his fear of infectious diseases returned. One night in his Monrovia hotel, he developed diarrhea. He skipped dinner and locked himself up in his room. “I had to plan. Should I tell my family? Should I not?” he says. He decided to take his temperature every 2 hours and monitor himself for additional symptoms. “But I did finish my report before I went to bed.” He felt fine the next morning, and he’s not planning to return to Sweden anytime soon. “I canceled Christmas with the family,” he says. “But I hope to be home for Midsummer’s Eve.”*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

Indian-American Brothers Seek To Use Artificial Intelligence To Help India’s Poorest

first_imgAs debate swirls on whether artificial intelligence will be a boon or a curse for humanity, two Indian-American entrepreneur brothers are out to ensure the emerging technologies don’t just benefit the richest in society.Romesh and Sunil Wadhwani this week launched what is billed as the world’s first nonprofit institute dedicated to putting AI to work improving lives of poor farmers, rural health care workers or teachers in communities with scant resources.“AI will go where AI will go; it is difficult to predict where,” Sunil Wadhwani said of the conflicting views on the emergence of computers more brilliant than their human creators.Read it at NDTV Related Itemslast_img