Ascend Integrated Media Strikes Deals for Mobile Apps

first_imgCustom media company Ascend Integrated Media has signed deals with two separate mobile specialists to create a new series of mobile products. This week, Ascend announced a partnership with Moblico that will offer targeted messages and coupons to customer clients across markets such as healthcare, gift, fashion, home décor and fishing. Earlier this year, Ascend partnered with Handmark Inc. to create and distribute smart phone applications, which will include Web and landing page access, e-newsletters, digital magazines and newspapers, buyer’s guides, interactive maps and exhibit guides and directories.last_img read more

I5 Publishing Rebrands as Lumina Media

first_imgi-5 Publishing, the Irvine, California, publisher of Dogster, Catster, Horse Illustrated, Hobby Farms, Dogs in Review,VPN and other brands, announced this week that it’s renaming itself as Lumina Media. “Lumina better represents the energy of our new company direction, and the power that our iconic content has to inform, entertain, and delight our passionate audiences,” said Lumina Chairman David Fry. “Our logo and our new tagline, ‘You’ll Love This,’ highlight the tight relationship between author and reader in today’s media world. Content and conversation come together to create a unique value for our consumers, our business audience and our corporate partners.” In its statement, the company said the new name and brand underscore the company’s proven market expertise, innovative spirit and its ability to deliver audiences that are engaged and connected. With extensive reach and experience, the company’s media engages, informs and inspires, while its platforms ensure the right media is delivered whenever, however and wherever audiences want it.center_img Lumina, the company said in a release, has one objective—to connect passionate and enthusiastic audiences to top consumer brands and companies across all mediums and platforms.last_img read more

Town Wants To Add 4 New Firefighter Positions First Staffing Increase Since 2009

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — Town Manager Jeff Hull recently announced he would like to include the addition of four new firefighter positions in next fiscal year’s budget.“For more than a year, the Fire Department has consistently been short staffed due to long term work injury, personal injury, retirements or military deployments,” explained Hull in his annual budget message. “Since staffing levels cannot be reduced below current levels without impacting service, each absence has been filled at the overtime rate. Reducing overtime costs and adjusting the staffing levels to meet the current service demands cannot be completed in one fiscal year. However, adding four firefighter privates will begin to address these issues.”Hull stressed that the Fire Department hasn’t received any staffing increases since 2009, while their workload has risen dramatically.“The numbers of runs reported in 2009 totaled 3,364. This statistic reflects ambulance runs, responses to fire radio boxes, and fire responses,” revealed Hull. “For the most current reporting period, 2018, the Fire Department reported 4,192 runs, an increase of 24.6% over that nine-year period.”The cost for the additional four fire personnel is projected to cost $257,628.In response to a question from Selectman Ed Loud, Hull acknowledged more hires may be budgeted in future years. Fire Chief Joe McMahon and Deputy Chief Joe McMahon previously came in front of Selectmen and Finance Committee requesting the addition of 8 firefighter positions.“I’m suggesting there may be additional staff increases to come, but for Fiscal Year 2020, four is what we can manage,” said Hull. Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedSelectmen Support Proposal To Hire EIGHT New Firefighters, First WFD Staffing Increase In A DecadeIn “Police Log”SELECTMEN NEWS: Board Supports Fire & Police Substation In North Wilmington; Town To Vote On Project In April 2020?In “Government”SELECTMEN NEWS: Finance Committee Call Special Meeting To Discuss IT Costs, Fire Dept. OT & New Fire EngineIn “Government”last_img read more

Take Rohingya issue to UN BNP asks govt

first_imgMirza Fakhrul Islam AlamgirAccusing the government of having failed to take any step to resolve the Rohingya crisis, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Wednesday urged it to raise the issue at the United Nations.”Foreign ministers from Indonesia and Turkey are arriving here over the Rohingya crisis. The United Nations has issued a statement to stop persecution on them immediately. But, our government didn’t send any envoy anywhere and it still didn’t take any step to take the issue to the United Nations,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.He further said, “From this meeting, I strongly demand the government immediately raise the issue at the United Nations and take proper steps to resolve the problem.”The BNP leader came up with the comments while speaking at a discussion programme arranged by Dhaka North city unit BNP at the National Press Club, marking the 10th ‘jail release’ day of BNP senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman.Fakhrul said the government has failed to give shelter to thousands of Muslim and Hindu Rohingyas who are fleeing their country in the face of mass killing and persecution by the Myanmar army.”The current government has also failed to force the Myanmar authorities to take back the Rohingya refugees ensuring their rights and dignity through diplomatic efforts,” he observed.The BNP secretary general alleged that the current government is again trying to hold a lopsided election like 5-January 2014 one.He warned that the country’s people will not allow the ruling party to hold any lopsided election. “The 11th parliamentary elections must be held under a neutral election-time supportive government conducted by an impartial Election Commission.”Fakhrul said the government is killing people and making them disappeared as it has no accountability.He called upon BNP leaders and activists to get united to get rid of the ‘misrule’ of the current regime through putting up a strong resistance at every locality.last_img read more

N Korea names delegates for interKorean talks

first_imgNorth Korea`s leader Kim Jong Un speaks during a New Year`s Day speech in this photo released by North Korea`s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on 1 January, 2018. Photo: ReutersNorth Korea has named its delegation for a rare high-level meeting with the South this week, the unification ministry in Seoul said Sunday, as Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe cautiously welcomed the talks.The two Koreas agreed Friday to hold their first official dialogue in more than two years and are expected to discuss the North’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea.The North Korean delegation for Tuesday’s meeting in the border truce village of Panmunjom will be led by Ri Son-Gwon, head of the North’s agency handling inter-Korean affairs, the ministry said.Pyongyang informed the South that four other officials will accompany Ri, it added, including those in charge of sports.The tentative rapprochement comes after the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un warned in his New Year speech that he had a nuclear button on his desk, but also said Pyongyang could send a team to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.Seoul responded with an offer of talks and last week the hotline between the neighbours was restored after being suspended for almost two years.The message comes a day after South Korea suggested unification minister Cho Myoung-Gyon would lead its delegation for the upcoming talks.Kim said in his New Year speech that his country wished success for the Olympics, to be held from February 9-25, while Seoul and Washington have decided to delay their annual joint military drills — which always infuriate the North — until after the Games.The Japanese prime minister voiced cautious hopes for the talks but stressed that having a meeting for the sake of a meeting would be a waste.”The Olympics is a celebration of peace. I want to recognise that change,” Abe said in a recorded interview aired Sunday on national broadcaster NHK.His comments came as US President Donald Trump went a step further and said he was open to holding direct talks with Kim under certain conditions.The two Koreas have been separated by the world’s most heavily militarised border since the Korean War ended in a stalemate in 1953.In recent months, the North has held multiple missile launches and its sixth and most powerful nuclear test — purportedly of a hydrogen bomb — in violation of UN resolutions.Abe, who long has taken hawkish stance against the hermit state, said Japan must upgrade its defence capacity in the face of the North’s missile threats.He reiterated the importance of “maximising pressure” on Pyongyang in order to force Kim’s regime to change its policies and said North Korea had violated past agreements designed to stop its nuclear programmes, adding: “We cannot afford to be fooled again.”last_img

President Trump Gets A Head Start On Shaping The Federal Courts

first_img Share Mark Wilson/Getty ImagesPresident Trump has a large number of judicial vacancies to fill, since Senate Republicans held up President Barack Obama’s nominees.President Trump is moving quickly to put his personal stamp on the federal courts.On Monday the president nominated 10 people for federal judgeships. Thanks to an unusually large number of vacancies on the bench, there could be many more to come.“This is just a down payment,” said John Malcolm of the Heritage Foundation. He noted there are more than 100 open seats on the federal district courts and appeals courts.“Starting with a Supreme Court vacancy, which has now been filed, President Trump certainly has a very good opportunity early on to have an impact on the federal bench,” Malcolm said.Indeed, Trump came into office with a chance to fill more than twice as many court vacancies as President Barack Obama had. That’s partly because for the last two years, the Republican-controlled Senate dragged its feet in confirming judges. The Senate confirmed only 20 of Obama’s judicial nominees during 2015 and 2016, less than a third the number that were confirmed in the last two years of the Reagan, Clinton and George W. Bush administrations.“Just as they held the Merrick Garland seat open on the Supreme Court, they also held open an awful lot of vacancies on the district courts and the courts of appeals,” said Russell Wheeler, who tracks judicial nominations at the Brookings Institution.At last month’s swearing-in ceremony for Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump acknowledged that Senate stonewalling had given him a rare opportunity.“I especially want to express our gratitude to [Senate Republican Leader] Mitch McConnell for all that he did to make this achievement possible,” Trump said. “So thank you, Mitch.”The Heritage Foundation’s Malcolm cautions it wasn’t a risk-free strategy. Had Hillary Clinton won the election, she might now be packing the courts with a slate of more liberal judges.“So it took some guts and some daring on behalf of Sen. McConnell, and it paid off,” Malcolm said.Trump campaigned on the promise that he would appoint conservative judges to the bench — a key selling point for many Republican voters. He even released a list of potential candidates for the Supreme Court, which Malcolm and the Heritage Foundation had a hand in crafting.Two of the nominees announced Monday — Joan Larsen of the Michigan Supreme Court and David Stras of the Minnesota Supreme Court — are drawn from that list. Larsen was nominated to a seat on the federal appeals court in Cincinnati while Stras was tapped for the appellate court in St. Louis.All of the nominees appear to be cut from similar judicial cloth.“They are all highly regarded in conservative legal circles and by practitioners in the states where they reside,” Malcolm said.All presidents leave a mark on the courts, especially if they serve for two terms. But with so many early vacancies, Trump has a chance to accelerate his impact, quickly chipping away at the narrow Democratic advantage that Obama left on the federal bench.Wheeler says 51 percent of the current judges were appointed by Democrats, up from 36 percent on the appellate courts and 40 percent on the district courts when Obama took office.Partisan pedigree is not always predictive of how judges will rule. The Seattle judge who blocked Trump’s original travel ban, for example, is a George W. Bush appointee. But Trump has made no secret of the kind of judicial philosophy he’s looking for.“We can assume the Trump administration is going to continue to nominate judges, especially for courts of appeals, who have fairly strong conservative credentials,” Wheeler said. “A big variable is whether or not Democratic senators can put a brake on it.”Senate Democrats gave up the right to filibuster nominees for the lower courts. But there is still a tradition that nominees should not be confirmed over the objection of their home-state senator. Democratic senators from Michigan and Minnesota have promised to give close scrutiny to the nominations of Larsen and Stras, assuming that genteel tradition survives in today’s more rough-and-tumble Senate.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Tuesday February 2

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uA recap of the historic results of the 2016 Iowa Caucuses. What does the Cruz victory and the virtual tie between Clinton and Sanders mean going forward to New Hampshire? We’ll ask our political pundits. Plus, a report on the 2016 legislative session in Annapolis thus far, with Dayvon Love, co-founder of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle.These stories and more coming up this evening on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes.last_img read more

Studio Chiefs Talk Series Orders Digital Dealmaking and Diversification as Upfronts Wrap

first_img“The way most studios have approached the business in the past is to aggressively pursue every potential script order and pilot order,” said SPT chairman Mike Hopkins. “What we tried to do was to be confident in the idea behind every show and whether or not it could be a really good broadcast show.”Hollywood’s largest TV studios are all under pressure to step up output to feed ambitious streaming ventures. That made the discussion of digital rights — how they are parceled out between networks and producers — a more complicated topic in many cases. Even shows produced for broadcast networks are eyed as having crucial second windows on streaming or on demand platforms. “Every year we look at digital rights, and each studio’s priority has changed,” said Howard Kurtzman, president of 20th Century Fox Television with Jonathan Davis. Long one of the industry’s largest suppliers, 20th TV is now under the Disney Television Studios umbrella with ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios. All told, the Disney Television Studios banners emerged with 14 new scripted series orders from broadcasters. “Each year it’s a little bit of recreating the wheel so it takes more time and thoughtfulness and effort,” Kurtzman said. He said he felt more of a sense of horse-trading this year even as network buyers push hard for expanded streaming access. But that expansion can go both ways. “Most of these digital rights agreements are reciprocal which helps,” Kurtzman said. Diversification has been a key goal for CBS Television Studios for the past few years. The Eye’s production unit dominates the slate for its mothership network, but it is also producing for Showtime, Netflix and even the nascent Disney Plus streaming service. “Our specific goals were to continue to broaden our base of where we sell, but also to have a diversity of our slate,” CBS Television Studios president David Stapf said. The importance of distinctive material and strong production values at present can’t be overstated in the current Peak TV environment. With premium TV production budgets soaring, there’s no room for the B-plus show that used to be schedule filler. In an atmosphere where more and more viewers are seeking out shows via on-demand platforms, the work needs to be a cut above. “We wanted to elevate the quality of character based procedurals and feel we achieved that in a big way with (new CBS dramas) ‘Evil’ and ‘Tommy’ and (CW’s) ‘Nancy Drew,’ “ Stapf said. “All three of these shows dive deep into interesting and complex characters while also having an engine that drives the procedural.”Universal Television has similarly balanced a mandate to deliver for NBC with playing the wider field. This year, the studio “landed five shows on the NBC schedule and at least one show on three other broadcast networks,” said Universal Television president Pearlena Igbokwe. “I’d say we did pretty well.” Universal’s new roster this year ranges from NBC’s “Bluff City Law” with Jimmy Smits to the Fox animated series “Duncanville,” from Amy Poehler. The push to diversify is not only a focus at the studio level but also for writers and showrunners. As television moves away from the traditional focus on the 22-episode series airing from September-May, some are encouraging creators and showrunners to juggle multiple projects in a calendar year — something that used to be frowned upon. At the enlarged Disney, executives see multitasking as the key to harnessing the strength of the $71.3 billion merger that closed in March.“We want our creators to do multiple things,” said 20th TV’s Davis. “You might have a show on Hulu for 10 episodes. You might have something on ABC and you might be developing something for FX. That’s what our calling card is now. The playground is just immense.” “Everybody’s now resolved to be at a particular place,” Roth said. “We are all talking about what it will look like for a non-affiliated studio to do business with another network. It’s challenging, but it’s not that hard to figure out.”Warner Bros. TV emerged from upfront week with five new scripted series orders and two unscripted orders spread among CBS, Fox, CW and NBC. Among the high-profile offerings are CW’s “Batwoman,” the new Chuck Lorre comedy for CBS “Bob Hearts Abishola,” and drama “Prodigal Son” for Fox.Studio leaders are caught up in the throes of the transition as the focus of profitability in television shifts from advertising-supported networks to the long-tail value of programs in a multiplatform environment. The play’s the thing, no matter what the screen. “There was a fair amount of movement at the upper levels of these companies, so that was a backdrop against which everybody was operating,” said Lionsgate TV chairman Kevin Beggs. “You can’t really think about that day to day because you’re out pitching and selling and developing, but it’s in the back of your mind.”Lionsgate has pulled back from the broadcast TV series hunt in recent years, but this time out it landed an order from NBC for “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” an offbeat music-driven dramedy that Lionsgate sees as having sleeper potential.“It felt like for a four-quadrant crowd pleaser, which is what broadcast is at its best,” Beggs said. “You want a broad-skewing, popular show with a very diverse audience.”Sony Pictures Television came away with four new series orders — including ABC drama “For Life” and comedy “United We Fall” — and renewals for long-running franchises including NBC’s “The Blacklist,” ABC’s “The Goldbergs” and CBS’ “SWAT.” Those were important wins for the studio after a period of evaluating how it approaches the content marketplace. (Pictured: Rita Ferro, president of Disney Advertising sales, shows off Disney’s array of brands at the May 14 upfront) ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15 A funny thing happened on the way to the upfront in a year of major transitions for the largest player in television.Numerous network and studio executives found a dealmaking environment that was more collegial and collaborative than in the recent past. With so much of the traditional TV business in flux, there was a palpable feeling of competitors taking a long view and trying to find ways to fight through the storm together. “There was a sense of resignation about the structural changes that took place this past year,” said Peter Roth, president and chief content officer of Warner Bros. TV Group.The most seismic shift has been the union of Disney and 21st Century Fox and the immense TV content and distribution at the enlarged company. Consolidation and the move into streaming by Disney, NBCUniversal, WarnerMedia and others promises to fundamentally change the economics of television programming. But even as TV giants are becoming more vertically integrated than ever, there’s appreciation for the importance of maintaining a portfolio of content produced for outside buyers as well as internal channels.center_img Studio Chiefs Talk Series Orders, Digital Dealmaking and Diversification as Upfronts Wrap Popular on Variety Disney Television Studios Makes Splashy Debut at Upfronts Relatedlast_img read more

Altering silkworm genes to cause addition of useful protein into silk production

first_img © 2018 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. For many years scientists have strived to improve on the already impressive attributes of silk—some would like to make it stronger, others to produce silk naturally in different colors, while others yet would like to include features such as antibiotic properties. Such efforts have not always been as fruitful as desired, however; thus, research continues. In this new effort, the researchers sought to change the makeup of silk by causing the silkworm to produce and use unnatural proteins.The researchers sought to induce silkworms to produce an amino acid called 4-azido-L-phenylalanine, which the worms would add to the silk they made. The researchers used tRNA synthetase to get their silk-producing organs to create azidophenylalanine and then to accept it as an added ingredient in silk production. They then used a bacterial screening system to weed out the cells that were not receptive to adding the protein as silk was spun. This was followed by the creation of four altered silkworm strains and adding the genes responsible for causing the creation of azidophenylalanine in only the parts of the worm involved in creating the materials for use in spinning silk—allowing it to make its way to other body parts could have led to undesired side-effects. At this point, the team was ready to test their work by allowing the genetically modified worms to spin some silk. Testing of the silk showed that for two of the strains, more than 6 percent of the natural enzyme had been replaced by azidophenylalanine—proof that their technique had worked. The team then demonstrated that adding a protein such as azidophenylalanine could provide a positive function by conjugating the silk produced by the modified silkworms to fluorescent molecules through the use of click chemistry, which caused the cocoons to glow—one bright red, the other green. Explore further Credit: ACS Silkworms fed carbon nanotubes or graphene produce stronger silkcenter_img A team of researchers with the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies and the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, both in Japan, has found a way to alter silkworm genes to create silk with useful proteins. In their paper published in ACS Synthetic Biology, the group describes their technique and suggest possible uses for it. Journal information: ACS Synthetic Biology More information: Hidetoshi Teramoto et al. Genetic Code Expansion of the Silkworm Bombyx mori to Functionalize Silk Fiber, ACS Synthetic Biology (2018). DOI: 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00437AbstractThe genetic code in bacteria and animal cells has been expanded to incorporate novel amino acids into proteins. Recent efforts have enabled genetic code expansion in nematodes, flies, and mice, whereas such engineering is rare with industrially useful animals. In the present study, we engineered the silkworm Bombyx mori to synthesize silk fiber functionalized with azidophenylalanine. For this purpose, we developed a bacterial system to screen for B. mori phenylalanyl-tRNA synthetases with altered amino-acid specificity. We created four transgenic B. mori lines expressing the selected synthetase variants in silk glands, and found that two of them supported the efficient in vivo incorporation of azidophenylalanine into silk fiber. The obtained silk was bio-orthogonally reactive with fluorescent molecules. The results showed that genetic code expansion in an industrial animal can be facilitated by prior bacterial selection, to accelerate the development of silk fiber with novel properties. Citation: Altering silkworm genes to cause addition of useful protein into silk production (2018, April 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-silkworm-genes-addition-protein-silk.htmllast_img read more