Ara hooch tragedy: all 15 accused convicted

first_imgAll the 15 accused in the Ara hooch tragedy case, in which 21 poor people had died in December 2012, were convicted on Tuesday by a local court and sent to judicial custody. The court will pronounce quantum of sentence against them on July 26.While hearing the case, Additional District and Sessions Judge-1 Ramesh Chandra Dwivedi held all the accused guilty under various sections of the IPC, the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act and the Excise Act. Of the 15 accused, five are women. The quantum of sentence would be pronounced on July 26. Legal experts told The Hindu that the guilty are likely to face a minimum punishment of 10 years in jail and a maximum of a life term.On December 7, 2012, a total of 21 people from the Mahadalit community of Mushari Tola of Anaith village under the Nawada police station of Ara in Bhojpur district had died in the span of three days after consuming illegal country-made liquor. Their death had sparked widespread protests in the district with hundreds of students blocking roads and burning tyres. Later in April 2016, the Nitish government had declared Bihar a dry State with promulgation of a stringent Bihar Prohibition and Excise Act, 2016.last_img read more

Ribery and Muller back in Bayern training

first_imgBayern München Ribery and Muller return to Bayern Munich training Jamie Smith Last updated 1 year ago 02:26 11/29/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Franck Ribery Bayern Munich Borussia Dortmund Supercopa Alemana 05082017 Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images Bayern München Bundesliga Robert Lewandowski Jupp Heynckes could have two key men available again for the Bundesliga game against Hannover on Saturday Franck Ribery is back in training after two months out with a knee injury, while Bayern Munich team-mate Thomas Muller is also on the comeback trail after a month on the sidelines with a torn thigh muscle.The return of the duo on Tuesday is a timely boost for the Bundesliga champions, who saw their lead at the top of the Bundesliga cut to three points after a 2-1 defeat at Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.Bayern 17/20 to beat Hannover to nil Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Ribery and Muller could be in contention for selection in the home match against Hannover at the weekend, while Rafinha also trained with the group after recovering from an ankle injury.Completed the whole session with the team today! I’ll be back #MiaSanMia #training #fcbayern #fr7@FCBayern— Franck Ribéry (@FranckRibery) November 28, 2017David Alaba stepped up his recovery from a back problem with a running session, but Bayern confirmed star striker Robert Lewandowski trained alone at the club’s performance centre.last_img read more

US appeals court blesses ATTs 81B merger with Time Warner

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court has blessed AT&T’s takeover of Time Warner, defeating the Trump administration by affirming that the $81 billion merger won’t harm consumers or competition in the booming pay TV market.The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington came Tuesday in the high-stakes competition case, approving one of the biggest media marriages ever. It was already completed last spring soon after a federal trial judge approved it, as phone and pay TV giant AT&T absorbed Time Warner, the owner of CNN, HBO, the Warner Bros. movie studio, “Game of Thrones,” coveted sports programming and other “must-see” shows.Many observers had expected the decision favourable to AT&T from the three-judge appeals court panel, which upheld the trial judge’s June ruling.Marcy Gordon, The Associated Press read more

Top UN official discusses natural disasters economic crisis with Filipino leader

22 October 2009The top United Nations official in Asia and the Pacific and the leader of the Philippines today discussed how the country is coping in the aftermath of a series of deadly storms, as well as the region’s response to the ongoing financial crisis. In their meeting, Noeleen Heyzer lauded President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for her leadership in helping victims of the storms which battered the country last month.Tropical storm Ketsana (also known as Ondoy) and typhoon Parma, which struck within a week of each other, led to more than 500 deaths and displaced scores of thousands of others, and caused crop damage estimated at over $160 million.The President expressed her gratitude to the UN for its financial and technical support to the Government in the relief and recovery efforts.Ms. Heyzer, the Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), also briefed Ms. Arroyo on the Commission’s role in coordinating the regional response to the financial crisis.She also paid tribute to the President’s leadership in maintaining macroeconomic stability in the Philippines to lessen the effects of the crisis.In addition, she recognized the President’s efforts in advancing the cause of women, noting the recent passage of the Magna Carta of Women – a comprehensive women’s rights law that seeks to eliminate discrimination by recognizing, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Filipino women, especially those in the marginalized sectors.During her first official visit to the Philippines as head of ESCAP, Ms. Heyzer also addressed the Asia-Pacific NGO Forum on Beijing+15, which began today in Quezon City.She told the more than 500 delegates that although overall progress has been uneven 15 years after the Fourth World Conference on Women, which took place in the Chinese capital in 1995, Asia and the Pacific has led the way in shaping how governments integrate a gender perspective into economic and social development programmes.Noting some of the region’s achievements, she cited an increase in women’s representation in the political and decision-making processes in many countries, as well as action to combat violence against women.“These changes happened because of the unswerving commitment of millions of women and men who share a vision of more equitable societies, where daughters have the same chances as sons, where women live safe from violence, poverty and discrimination,” said Ms. Heyzer. read more

Most new vehicles soon will remind people to check back seat

DETROIT — By the 2025 model year, nearly all new vehicles sold in the U.S. will come with electronic reminders for people to check back seats so they don’t leave children behind.Twenty automakers representing 98% of new vehicles sold have agreed to install reminders in an effort to stop heatstroke deaths.So far this year 37 children have died nationwide after being left alone in cars during hot weather. The advocacy group Kids and Cars says a record 53 children were killed last year.Vehicles would give drivers audible and visual alerts to check back seats every time they turn off the ignition.“Automakers have been exploring ways to address this safety issue, and this commitment underscores how such innovations and increased awareness can help children right now,” David Schwietert, interim CEO of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group that includes a dozen large car companies. Members of Global Automakers, an association of manufacturers based outside the U.S., also are taking part.Automakers say the voluntary agreement will get the alerts installed faster than a government regulation, which takes four to eight years.Only Tesla didn’t agree to the reminders. A message was left Wednesday seeking comment from the electric car company.Several automakers already are offering such a feature. General Motors, for instance, has a reminder on all of its four-door sedans, trucks and SUVs starting with the 2019 model year. Hyundai has pledged to make a similar system standard on its vehicles by 2022.The auto alliance says the agreement is a minimum and doesn’t preclude automakers from coming up with more sophisticated solutions.The U.S. House is considering a bill that would require such alerts.Tom Krisher, The Associated Press read more

Army sergeant guilty of trying to murder his wife by tampering with

But in an unprecedented incident, her reserve parachute then failed.Two slinks were missing, meaning that the main lines on one side of the canopy were not connected to her harness, with a brake cable the only thing attached on that side.This caused the reserve to not inflate properly and led to her spiralling out of control and at high speed to the ground.Describing the final moments of her rapid descent, Mrs Cilliers, 42, said: “The last thing I remember is trying to get some kind of control over it, trying to open as many cells as I could – then everything went black. I do not know if it was the G force or the impact but everything cut out.” The missing slinks from Mrs Cilliers’ parachute were never found and the prosecution case was that the defendant had taken them out and disposed of them.Soft patch of ploughed field saved wife’s lifeA soft patch of newly-ploughed field was the only thing that saved the life of Victoria Cilliers after her near-fatal fall.On Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, the highly-experienced parachutist made a routine recreational jump at Netheravon Airfield in Wiltshire.As she jumped from the aircraft, first of all her main parachute malfunctioned.A rare but not unheard of problem had occurred where her lines were twisted, and she followed her training and cut away the canopy of the main parachute. She also cast doubt on whether or not he had tried to cause a gas leak at their home days before the parachute jump. Wanting to expand his knowledge, he enrolled in an advanced course in packing reserve parachutes.The trial jury learned that reserve parachutes, which are rarely deployed, are required to be checked and repacked every six months.Cilliers attended a course at Netheravon in October 2012 run by chief rigger of the Army Parachute Association George Panagopoulos.He described the defendant as a “very good, confident” packer who “became good and pretty quick and efficient”.The trial was told that Cilliers had a short window of opportunity to tamper with his wife’s parachute in the hangar toilets at Netheravon. The humiliated mother of his two youngest children should have been the prosecution’s star witness.A highly-experienced parachuting instructor, she suffered near-fatal injuries when both her main and reserve parachutes failed as she jumped from a Cessna Caravan Light aircraft at the Army Parachute Association at Netheravon, Wiltshire, on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015.She immediately knew something was wrong and cut the main parachute away. But the reserve was all twisted and she spiralled helplessly to the ground.One expert said it was the most tangled and knotted parachute he had ever seen after a malfunction.Two of four vital components called slinks, which help keep the canopy lines attached to the harness, were missing.Cilliers, who served with the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, was described as being of “quite exceptional callousness,” someone who would “stop at nothing to satisfy his own desires, material or otherwise.”He certainly made no attempt to hide his contempt for his wife.As she lay on her hospital bed, having miraculously survived the 4,000ft fall, he could barely bring himself to acknowledge her, choosing instead to send lewd texts to his Austrian lover, Stefanie Goller. The gas valve, circled, which Cilliers tampered with Chief instructor Mark Bayada was tasked with replicating the actions that Cilliers was accused of within the confines of a toilet cubicle and he managed this in slightly over five minutes.This involved taking out the main parachute container and turning it around in order to twist the lines so that it would malfunction on the jump.He secondly removed vital parts from the reserve parachute – two slinks, a nylon link which connects the harness to the canopy.The court was told that only two slinks had ever failed and these had been in badly maintained main parachutes but never in a reserve.The court was told that a main and reserve parachute had not failed together worldwide. She was the key witness and the case hinged on her account. Cilliers had told his wife he was going to spend the night at his barracks in order to avoid Monday morning traffic.Before he left, he loosened a nut on a gas isolation valve in a cupboard next to the oven.But the plan to kill her in a massive explosion failed when, after texting him to say she could smell gas, she declined to turn on the oven as he suggested.The court heard that Cilliers’ blood was found on the valve and that forensic evidence proved it had been loosened with his mole grip.But Mrs Cilliers explained her husband had cut himself a few days earlier while preparing food and entered the cupboard where the gas valve is to fetch food.She denied she was attempting to help her husband.Following his conviction, Detective Inspector Paul Franklin of Wiltshire Police, said: “The real danger with Emile Cilliers is he is cold, calculated, deliberate, and done for financial and sexual motives, and there was absolutely no consideration of his wife or anyone else, he serves his own needs and that makes him a very dangerous man.”Describing the impact on Mrs Cilliers, Mr Franklin said: “I don’t think we can underestimate the ordeal that she has been put through. Victoria Cilliers arrives at Winchester Crown Court on May 1Credit:Morten Watkins/Solent Emile Cilliers was desperate to get rid of his wife.The “cold and calculating” Army sergeant was in the throws of a passionate affair with a woman he met on Tinder, sleeping with his ex-wife and had various prostitutes on speed dial.His debts had spiralled out of control and he was of the mistaken belief that if Victoria Cilliers died, he would receive £120,000 in life insurance.When he had tried to tell her he wanted to end the marriage she threatened suicide so he decided on a more sinister option, first trying to cause a gas explosion at the family home in Amesbury, Wilts, and then, when that failed, sabotaging her parachute after organising a skydive as a “treat”.The “very dangerous, coercive and manipulative” physical training instructor showed no emotion as he was convicted on Thursday of two counts of attempted murder and a third count of damaging the gas fitting recklessly endangering life following a retrial at Winchester Crown Court.But despite the overwhelming evidence, South African-born Cilliers, 38, almost got away with it, thanks largely to his wife. Emile Cilliers and his wife Victoria Victoria Cilliers arrives at Winchester Crown Court on May 1 Her survival has been described as a “near-miracle” and the only reason she did not suffer fatal injuries was the soft soil of the ploughed field where she landed.Her light weight was also attributed as a factor in helping to minimise her injuries.But her final piece of luck was that the spot where she landed was just 16ft (5m) from a small country lane, which would undoubtedly have caused fatal injuries. How did Cilliers do it?Army sergeant Emile Cilliers used his extensive knowledge of packing parachutes to sabotage his wife’s device.The 38-year-old took up the sport after meeting his future wife, Victoria, who has been described as one of the best parachutists in the country.He went on to become an experienced packer at Netheravon Airfield, where he would pack hundreds of main parachutes. Victoria Cilliers A view of the gentlemen's toilets at Netheravon Airfield in Wiltshire Victoria Cilliers But the original jury was unable to reach a verdict after she took to the stand and gave a vastly contradictory version of events to that she had given to police.She claimed she had “lied” to officers because she wanted to make him suffer and had exaggerated her story.”During statements I was angry, very angry. I was out for blood,” she said.”I made it sound worse than it was.”I didn’t always tell the truth, no. I got to the point where the extent of his lies and deceit had been disclosed to me and I wanted to get my own back.”Midway through the six-week trial, Mrs Cilliers was declared a “hostile” witness following an application by the prosecution, allowing them to cross examine her and cast doubt on her evidence.Mrs Cilliers had originally told police Cilliers had disappeared into the lavatory with her parachute, where he removed the vital metal slinks, for between two and five minutes.Later, she claimed he had actually disappeared for up to ten minutes.In her first police interview she described her husband as “awesome” but days later, “painted him as the devil”. A view of the gentlemen’s toilets at Netheravon Airfield in WiltshireCredit:Steve Parsons/PA The gas valve, circled, which Cilliers tampered with Emile Cilliers and his wife Victoria Mrs Cilliers, 42, inexplicably and to the shock of everyone in court, threw his first trial into chaos when she appeared to defend his behaviour, telling the jury she had lied to the police and exaggerated her evidence. “Physically she is well but obviously she is still traumatised.”Hannah Squire, junior counsel for the prosecution, said: “The jury heard details of his coercive behaviour towards his wife and his continued manipulation of all the women in his life to satisfy his own desires, whether financial or sexual.”He showed complete and utter contempt for his wife and this culminated in his desire to have her dead, whether that be to start a new life with his lover Stefanie Goller, benefit financially from the death of Victoria Cilliers, or both.”Mr Justice Sweeney remanded Cilliers in custody until sentencing on June 15, and asked for a probation report to be prepared on his “dangerousness”.The court heard he would be kicked out of the “Army within seven days”. The Ministry of defence declined to comment.WATCH: Clip appears to show Victoria Cilliers moments before near-fatal jump Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. read more

RBC Capital Markets posts global mining 2009 investment outlook and strategy

first_imgRBC’s investment conclusion is: Exercise caution in an extended economic recession. In an environment where both the G-7 and emerging market economies are expected to contract in 2009, RBC Capital Markets remains cautious on base metals and bulk commodity stocks. However, it believes the precious metals, uranium and fertiliser sectors appear to offer investors more attractive returns. The following summarises RBC Capital Markets’ view of the expected commodity and equity performance in 2009. Volatility in commodity and mining share prices is expected to continue. While seasonal demand and a bear market rally may provide near-term upside, RBC Capital Markets believes that as the market comes to the realisation that the global economy could remain stagnant into 2010, investors are expected to continue to be net sellers of resource stocks and commodities. Investors may make reasonable returns with short-term trading strategies; however, buy-and-hold strategies are very risky.Upside for gold and silver in H1/09, then de-stocking risks into H2/09 (Overweight). Given the amount of monetary and fiscal stimulus that is being pumped into the system by central banks and governments, RBC Capital Markets would expect gold and silver to perform well early in 2009, in line with previous periods of economic stimulus. However, an extended contraction of the global economy would put significant pressure on emerging market economies, which in RBC Capital Markets’ view would likely result in significant de-stocking of precious metals, similar to the trend observed 1997 and 1998 as the Asian currencies collapsed and economies contracted.The PGM pricing basket is expected to remain weak throughout 2009, due to the lack of supply-side discipline and weak auto market. Similarly, rough diamond prices are not expected to rebound until later in the economic cycle (Underweight).Uranium is expected to perform relatively well in 2009 (Market Weight). Power utilities and investors have been showing renewed interest in uranium, which has resulted in record spot volumes in 2008 and the spot price rebounding off of its recent lows. Significant production cuts were announced in late 2008 and RBC Capital Markets thinks the supply side of the equation remains at risk while demand appears to remain in line with RBC Capital Markets’ expectations.RBC expects fertiliser stocks to perform well in early 2009 (Market Weight) based on its view that potash prices will remain relatively high and fertiliser demand should pick up ahead of spring planting. It expects the settlement of the 2009 Chinese potash contract (expected in Q1/09) to be a key catalyst for valuation improvement within the sector. A sustained rally is dependent on overall crop prices, which remain supportive for spring and fall fertiliser demand in 2009.Seaborne iron ore and coking coal are expected to underperform ahead of the April 1 JFY Japanese steel maker contract-renewal period (Underweight). In an extended recession RBC expects to see significantly lower sales volumes in 2009 and there could be further price deterioration into the 2010 JFY contract-renewal period this time next year.Look for continued base metal weakness (Underweight). In the current economy where base metal markets are in surplus, LME stockpiles are rising and the various global economic indicators continue to decline, RBC Capital Markets would not expect to see any sustained base metal rally in 2009.M&A activity and restructuring of failed enterprises are expected to continue in 2009, particularly given the significant amounts of debt taken on by the base metal mining companies, continued closures of steel mills and the need for “asset rich / balance sheet poor” companies to seek strategic partners.last_img read more

Barminco renews relationship with Western Areas

first_imgGlobal contract mining group, Barminco has been awarded a contract extension to carry out underground mining development and production activities at Western Areas’ Spotted Quoll and Flying Fox nickel mines in Western Australia. The extension is for an initial two year term, with options to extend for a further two additional one year terms. The contract value for the initial term is approximately A$190 million. The extension follows Barminco being awarded a one year contract from Western Areas for diamond drilling at the Flying Fox mine in August 2014.Barminco is approaching ten years as Western Areas’ underground mining contractor of choice, having started at Flying Fox in March 2005 and added Spotted Quoll in May 2011. The contract extension was awarded following successful negotiations between the parties and was based on a proven delivery of safety, productivity and price. Barminco Chief Executive Officer Peter Stokes said: “We have developed a close relationship with Western Areas and have gained an intimate knowledge of their mines over the last decade, so it is very pleasing to be able to build on that with another contract extension.”He adds: “While price is obviously a very important factor, our customers do not award these contract extensions unless we are performing up to standard, both in terms of safety and productivity. The contract extension is also a great reflection of our employees’ ability to perform tasks both safely and efficiently at on site, and they are looking forward to continuing to make the operations a success.” Barminco employs approximately 210 staff at the Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll sites, which achieved approximately 650,000 tonnes of ore mined for the year ended June 30, 2014.last_img read more

SME book club What the tourism industry can learn about sustaining itself

first_imgAS PART OF this month’s theme of Tourism and the SME, we’ve taken a look at Elizabeth Becker’s Overbooked: The Exploding Business of Travel and Tourism.When the author’s mother took off on a late-life travel adventure, it was the mid-1980s and she was one of 250 million tourists travelling internationally every year.“Today that figure is one billion and growing,” writes Becker, as she sets off to examine how travelling became arguably the biggest industry in the world – and who can gain, or lose, from that phenomenon.Who should read this book?Anyone with a business on which tourist numbers impact – but also anyone in government who has the power to mould how tourism can shape a country’s culture, environment and economy, for better or worse.What will it tell me? How the tourism industry has grown by encouraging the notion of leisure travel from what was once a “privilege” to “a basic right”. (And how this should bring with it an increasing sense of responsibility from both tourists and the industry on the sometimes negative impacts of this growth, eg, environmental, exploitation, property prices for locals.)From an industry perspective, Becker’s illustration of various forms of tourism through case studies is fascinating and comprehensive. She looks at cultural tourism via France, Venice, Camobodia; consumer via cruises, Dubai; nature via Zambia, Costa Rica, Sri Lanka. And she looks at how the old giant of tourism – the US – compares to how it’s being approached in what she terms “the new giant”, China.Becker, as a prize-winning US journalist, has a particular interest in the effect of travel journalism on the industry. She finds the relationship between the tourism industry and travel writers to be insidious, with “rave reviews” the return for “free trips, meals, hotels and nights on the town”. This, she argues, serves neither overhyped destinations nor the traveller well.Instead, she points to the example of Costa Rica which she says “is a laboratory for ecotourism, trying to protect the wilderness and all the wild things that live there and still have a profitable tourism business”.This almost-400 page leap into the tourism sector concludes that sustainability has to be more than a marketing buzzword on a glossy brochure for countries to protect the very cultural, natural and other attractions that bring in visitors.In a nutshell: Both tourists and those who make a living from them have a stake in resisting ‘fast’ tourism and cultivating more long-term goals. Is it elitist to wish for ‘better’ tourism – or just good economic sense?If you liked this, you’ll love:The Naked Tourist: In search of Adventure and Beauty in the Age of the Airport Mall>The Economics of Tourism>No Frills: The Truth Behind the Low-Cost Revolution in the Skies>SME book club: How can habits impact on a small business?>SME book club: Why Kenyans aren’t good distance runners – and what it means for businesses>last_img read more

James Bond composer John Barry dies aged 77

first_imgIt’s not often we cover news of people passing away, but John Barry was a composer we have all listened to on a regular basis whether you realize it or not.The name may not mean much to you, but the movies he was associated with will. Barry was the man that helped create the James Bond Theme. He also composed 11 James Bond soundtracks including:Dr. No (1962) From Russia with Love (1963) Goldfinger (1964) Thunderball (1965) You Only Live Twice (1967) On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969) Diamonds Are Forever (1971) The Man with the Golden Gun (1974) Moonraker (1979) Octopussy (1983) A View to a Kill (1985) The Living Daylights (1987)His music career spans 50 years with over 100 film credits to his name as well as musicals, TV themes, and hit singles. He also received 5 Academy Awards and 2 further nominations, a Grammy, BAFTA, BAFTA Fellowship, 2 Emmey nominations, and a Max Steiner Lifetime Achievement Award.It was a packed career, but unfortunately it came to an end at the weekend at the age of 77. He suffered a heart attack at his home in Oyster Bay.His memory will live on though, most notably for film buffs in his work for James Bond.Read more at and Wikipedialast_img read more

117 Magazine and Media Predictions for 2009

first_imgIt’s that time of year again! A time when the media industry boldly looks into its proverbial crystal ball to cast 2009 predictions. Will the economy recover? Which magazines will survive? Which will fail? Which will go online-only? Will Obama save us all?We asked a diverse cross-section of the magazine/media industry—publishers, editors, dealmakers, designers, bloggers—for their predictions.  Not surprisingly, perhaps, some said the magazine industry in 2008 was so incredibly depressing that they didn’t dare predict the grim year ahead.Others, though, dared.So here they are, your 2009 magazine and media predictions—all 117 of them, (mostly) unedited and unabridged, and in no particular order: NAME: Andy CohnTITLE: VP and group publisher, Fader Media2009 PREDICTION(S): Five out of every 10 magazines and newspapers will go out of business, scale down their frequency or move entirely to the Web.  This will not just be survival of the fittest, rather survival of the most willing and able to adapt to the changing media paradigm, and throw all of the old rules out the window.     NAME: Frank AntonTITLE: CEO, Hanley Wood2009 PREDICTION(S): In a nutshell: more of the same, but worse. In other words, the economy will weaken further putting pressure on all operations of all media businesses, including for the first time (for us) trade shows. The balancing act of funding electronic media development and sustaining a legitimate print business will continue, and the tightrope will seem even thinner and positioned at an even scarier height. M&A activity will largely cease and deals that get done will be done at heretofore low multiples.Media companies will have less luck than GM when they seek a federal rescue plan, even though media executives will not arrive in D.C. on corporate jets and have not lost pages to Japanese publishers.My Steelers will win the Super Bowl; my Pirates will easily set the record for most losing seasons in major league baseball history; my daughter who’s graduating from college in May will get a job but will nonetheless require parental bailouts.NAME: Keith KellyTITLE: “Media Ink” columnist, New York Post2009 PREDICTION(S): Bankruptcy becomes the new black for media companies that were financed by heavy debt. More closings of magazines and newspapers and more survivors clinging to the online world as a life boat.Fundamental problem of the digital age vs. print. While the gross numbers grows, advertisers still don’t invest in all the niche products with anywhere near the level of support that they once had for old mainstream media. By the second quarter of 2009, new media will have joined old media in the recession, which will be longer and deeper than any we have known.Finally, ad supported media that survive by year end will do so because of one underlying reason: it makes people buy stuff again. But it will be 2010 before we see ad volume rising again.NAME: Bob SacksTITLE: president/publisher, Precision Media Group2009 PREDICTION(S): 2009 will be notable for several special distinctions. It will include some obvious moments like the ascent of the largest public works program in 70 years and some of the not-so-obvious moments as the year that e-paper finally got the respect and understanding it deserves.  The introduction in early 2009 of the Plastic Logic full sized, touch screen, E-reader will be the forerunner of this recognition.2009 will be the year that traditional print media looks in the mirror and says, “Hey my newsstand circulation looks awfully bloated; I think I should go on a serious returns diet.”2009 will be the year of the demise of some cherished and venerable old printed friends and the rise of some exciting great upstarts. Some of those upstarts will be on fibrous substrates and some will be totally digital editions. What will be unique will be that those digital editions will be designed solely for the platform that they live in and not be PDF replications of a squire peg in a round hole. When that happens the digital edition leaves adolescence and enter its next growth spurt. Lastly, in 2009 Samir Husni, a.k.a “Mr. Magazine,” will admit that BoSacks has been right all along. And yes, in 2009 BoSacks will send out the 14,500th edition of the oldest known e-newsletter on the planet.NAME: Reed PhillipsTITLE: managing partner, DeSilva + Phillips2009 PREDICTION(S): From what I’m seeing in the marketplace, I believe (unfortunately!) that 2009 will be a major shake-out year for the magazine industry where we’ll see a meaningful thinning of the ranks. The combination of the severe recession and the ongoing shift of advertisers and readers to the Internet will cause owners of magazines to reassess both their cost structures and their long-term viability.NAME: Lance UlanoffTITLE: editor-in-chief,, PCMag Digital Network2009 PREDICTION(S): 2009 will go down in publishing history as the year of “the great contraction,” when dozens of magazines either cease print publication or literally shrink in size (see Rolling Stone in 2008). Magazines that do survive will launch an endless stream of gimmicks: tear-out pages that double as origami templates and pages made from rice that disintegrate when exposed to water. Content Web sites will also experience some contraction next year—though not at print sector-levels. But ultimately, digital media outlets will, by the second half of 2009, return to pre-2008 growth rates. NAME: Harry McCrackenTITLE: editor, Technologizer.com2009 PREDICTION(S): The year at its ugliest will be at least as ugly as 2008—there will be multiple examples of print brands we all know downsizing themselves into irrelevance or exiting dead-tree publishing altogether, including a shocker or two. Many companies will cut so deeply that their best people will choose to abandon ship, leading to a brain drain that will make things even worse. But after all the bloodletting, others will get their act together and start doing some things that are both interesting and successful online, including community ventures along the lines of’s Business Exchange (which—full disclosure—I’m participating in). 2009 will also be just fine for journalists with strong voices—some of who will ply their trade at established companies, and others of who will go it alone.Making strategic alliances with smart companies and individuals will be more important than ever, since it’ll be more obvious than ever that it’ll be impossible for even the healthiest brands to build everything on their own or be all things to all people.NAME: Steven KotokTITLE: General Manager, The Week2009 PREDICTION(S): Many more magazines will lower rate base, reduce frequency, and rebrand in some way. Many of these magazines will also reduce reliance on subscription agents, start charging more meaningful subscription prices, and revive their subscription revenue streams, relying less on advertising. Companies will drop the conceit of going online-only and just start folding unprofitable titles.Lots of things nobody predicted will occur. NAME: Emily GordonTITLE: editor-in-chief, Print; founder, emdashes.com2009 PREDICTION(S): The good, the bad, and the Ghost of Media Future: Newspaper veterans will unite to create the greatest online resource of all time and overthrow all the sites that put them out of business. Newsday (snappy URL, right?) will rise again as a megasite that dwarfs other news aggregators. PR and journalism will merge to become flackalism. Someone will design an online course called “Multimedia for Magazine Editors in Five Minutes a Day” that will make that someone a whole bunch of money; why not you? Professional bloggers nationwide will unionize, with the encouragement of President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg, and demand full benefits and reasonable work conditions. Readers of long, focused stories online will get tired of scrolling and pay for well-designed paper versions—even more for signed copies from the right authors. (This I can prove.) And someone’s got to start paying for the Internet, maybe with a package subscription to favorite sites, which would come, Salon Premium-style, with magazines, music, party invitations, and meaningful community privileges.NAME: Melissa Walker & Anne IchikawaTITLE: co-founders, (former ELLEgirl editors) 2009 PREDICTION(S): With only a couple of mass teen titles left in print, former teen magazine editors are forced to grow up. And change industries. Sigh. Plus, Peter Shankman’s HARO ( becomes a must-use for all major media outlets (and minor ones too).NAME: Dylan TweneyTITLE: Senior Editor, Wired.com2009 PREDICTION(S): In 2008, an amazing 335 new magazines launched, despite looming economic storm clouds. In 2009, we’ll see even more magazine startups, as entrepreneurs with funding (or un-maxed-out credit cards) seize the twin opportunities of cheap journalistic labor and lower competitive barriers to start up publications of their own. Many of these entrepreneurs will come from the swelling ranks of laid-off journalists. But there’s a catch: Most of these magazines will never see print. They’ll be online-only publications, aggregators of interesting stories, pictures and miscellany—the original definition of “magazine”—along the lines of Harper’s or its more modern analogue, The Huffington Post. It will be several years before any of them see profits of any kind, as 2009 will be a very, very difficult year for advertising-supported businesses of all kinds. Anyone launching a publication in 2009 better have deep enough pockets to ride out a year or two of very thin revenues.NAME: Jessica SibleyTITLE: worldwide publisher, BusinessWeek2009 PREDICTION(S): As the adage goes: never waste a crisis. Events in 2008 have created an influx of really smart, motivated people with time on their hands. In 2009, we’ll see the creation of new business models, as well as new ways to approach reader engagement. Traditional media will rally around mobile, video, and social networking—driving continued growth—and proof of performance media metrics across all platforms will be even more critical.  I’d wager that the Dow and S&P 500 will end the year 2009 in positive territory and, importantly, that Lance Armstrong will win the Tour de France!NAME: Rex HammockTITLE: Founder, Hammock Publishing; blogger, rexblog.com2009 PREDICTION(S): Last year, I was a wimp and tried to joke my way out of making legitimate predictions. Because I was joking, I made an off-topic prediction that the Tennessee Titans would have a  14-2 season. Fortunately (with two games in the season to go), that was my only prediction that even came close. For 2009, I’m going to really, really try hard, to make some serious predictions—and am not going to skip any sports predictions as I don’t won’t to ruin my record: 1. I think magazine advertising outside the auto and finance categories will pick up sooner than most people expect. It won’t be dramatic and it may be down year-over-year, but I think it will begin to tick upward from around April through the end of the year.2. I predict that when it comes to business-to-business media, there will be steady, if not dramatic continued growth in online revenues. On the consumer side, there will be growth, but nothing stellar. B2B media and marketers are finally discovering some online strategies that solve specific business challenges and produce measurable results—lead generation, for example.3. B2B media Web sites will integrate lots of “social networking” features, although not many of them will work as the magic of online community is not in the setting up, but in the hosting and nurturing. I must admit, however, that the folks here at have convinced me that some of these sites will work. I think B2B companies with events that have lots of interaction among attendees—like the FOLIO: Show—will do better with such networking sites than will those whose events are pure trade shows. Like FOLIO:, I expect most of these sites will be on the Ning platform.4. This is a self-serving prediction as I run a company that does both custom publishing and online social media marketing for clients, but here it is anyway: Bigger media companies will be looking to companies like Hammock Inc. and other customer publishers to outsource and partner with on print and online projects. The reason? The economic meltdown of the past few months has caused media companies to cut back to their core competence. When the economy turns up, there will be little desire to add to the overhead. Also, the whole “social media” competence is missing from most media companies. (I’ll skip the part about providing my phone number.)5. Online, media companies are going to do less experimentation around the edges—and focus rather on what they know works. Therefore, I expect we’ll continue to see media companies launch blogs and video properties focused on the natural niches of their markets. They won’t, however, be diving seriously into strategies that involve platforms like Twitter except as a means to support other activities.NAME: Jim LouderbackTITLE: CEO, Revision32009 PREDICTION(S): Magazines will suddenly realize that only video will save their businesses, and will begin to flood their websites with a deluge of bad video.  Huge numbers will be reported, as tiny auto-play players get slapped onto every Web page—but no one watches.  By the end of the year, the phrase “a face made for radio” will be supplanted by “a face made for print.”NAME: Jon FineTITLE: columnist, BusinessWeek2009 PREDICTION(S): Just did a column about this. You can find it here. NAME: Aaron GellTITLE: former executive editor, Radar; president, American Society of Shit-canned Media Elites2009 PREDICTION(S): The downturn will accelerate for established companies, but it will be accompanied by a huge flowering of small, Web-based media enterprises as, one by one, all these newly downsized creative types finally crawl out of bed and fire up their Macs. Meanwhile, David Pecker’s reign of terror will end; bloody turf battles will break out in Starbucks as freelancers go to war over their favorite club chairs, and ASSME will move to a larger party venue, like the Garden.NAME: Paul ConleyTITLE: owner, Paul Conley Consulting2009 PREDICTION(S): As I wrote on my blog a few days ago, it seems clear to me that the B2B publishing industry as we know it is about to collapse. I expect bankruptcies. I expect the collapse of some of the weaker and more debt-ridden companies in the business—both legacy print companies and some of the newer Web-only companies. I expect content marketers to begin buying well-established brands from troubled publishers at fire-sale prices. I see more layoffs and lower ad sales—particularly through the first quarter.NAME: Mark A. NewmanTITLE: editor-in-chief, Southern Breeze2009 PREDICTION(S): It’s going to get BAD! Really bad! With news coming out every day that this magazine is laying off folks and that publishing company is going under, now is the time for all hardworking editors, art directors, etc. to keep their heads down and try not to draw attention. Refuse raises or promotions for the time being in order to preserve your own neck. It’s scary out there as every one of us is on the chopping block. In the meantime, give everyone you know a magazine subscription for Christmas. There will be many talented publishing pros who will go into new professions entirely …o r at least marry well! The magazine world will not be back where it was so we’re all going to have to learn to adapt. Good luck!NAME: Clay HallTITLE: CEO, Aspire Media2009 PREDICTION: Magazines will embrace video in a big way now that it’s clear to all that we must become multi-platform media companies. We are now (single digit) years away from a mash-up of the Kindle and iPhone and the Obama administration’s focus on technology and infrastructure building assures that ubiquitous Wi-Max is not far off. With a mash-up of the Kindle and iPhone, and nationwide Wi-Max broadband coverage, we won’t be able to justify the cost of ink on paper, and multimedia digital magazines will be our salvation.NAME: Laurie HenzelTITLE: publisher/creative director, Bust2009 PREDICTION(S): I predict that Kindles will be found to cause cancer and thus magazines will make a comeback, prompting graffiti artists to create Skull/Kindle art on the city streets.NAME: Dave BunnellTITLE: editor-in-chief, Eldr2009 PREDICTION(S): As the economy recovers we’ll find ourselves in a very different world. Luxury items and the advertising associated with them will plummet as even people with the money won’t want to identify with anything that smacks of conspicuous wealth. Being cool, however, will be stronger than ever. Look for a wrath of hip new technology products, and I’m not just talking about a wearable iPhone. Innovation will explode in all areas–at home, the office, and at play.  By fall, new magazines will start popping up like rabbits as publishers take advantage of the much lower production, paper and creative costs resulting from the sudden disappearance of high-end mainstream publications. Many of these cool new pubs will be “zine-like” companions to on-going, larger Web sites.   NAME: Greg BrownTITLE: editorial director, Moneynews.com2009 PREDICTION(S): Pain. Big pain. The U.S. economy will recover, but that means so will China, so paper and freight costs will resume their long-term upward move, pressuring margins as ad buyers continue their walkout to pay-on-click, niche online audiences. The written word is alive and well, and niche print pubs with wealthy, older readerships should do fine for now. So should narrow, new interests like gaming magazines. General interest, broad news and feature-driven magazines, however, are just backwards over a fence against the economic forces we all face. It’s really not about the journalism, or even about the medium. It’s about the money, as usual.NAME: Angel SepulvedaTITLE: executive director, Terra.com2009 PREDICTION(S): Wow, 2009!!!!! We have the first African-American president, a VERY diverse cabinet and a bad economy. Anything could happen. But the one thing I hope for is that the American people will come together as one to get this nation back to where it used to be. If there is something we do best, it is that! It’s a brand new day for all of us, a new beginning. But a chance of a lifetime to get things right and start over again. I would love to see more Latinos in major roles in Hollywood blockbusters, on primetime TV and all over the NBA, more of us in MLB! And who knows perhaps the NFL and NHL. We have gotten better at it, but come on!NAME: Lori RosenTITLE: president, the Rosen Group2009 PREDICTION(S): Full circle: At the end of the first quarter marketers will realize that they need to start marketing again.  They’ll go back to magazines; spend money;  and demand merchandising and events in return. Then the magazines will hire us back to publicize their brands. Media coverage: The New York Times will not do a full page feature on Conde Nast. Publishing divas will hibernate in 2009 and return in full force in 2010.NAME: Hamilton NolanTITLE: blogger, Gawker2009 PREDICTION(S): I predict 09 will be the year when J-school applications finally start going down. I also predict a lot of former or aspiring magazine employees will go into drug dealing. Temporarily.NAME: Patrick W. GavinTITLE: editor, FishbowlDC2009 PREDICTION(S): I predict that the Obama administration will prove more frustrating to journalists than the Bush administration. I predict that Jake Tapper will work very hard to move past his poetry writing days. Ana Marie Cox will have four different jobs. Howard Kurtz still won’t ask me to appear on “Reliable Sources.” The new and improved “Meet” host will stop dancing on the “Today” show. Barack Obama and Fox News will share an oddly friendly relationship. Glenn Reynolds traffic will increase by 30 percent. Matt Drudge will link to Politico articles 5,142 times. And the Washington Post will continue to try their hardest. NAME: Cable Neuhaus   TITLE: editorial director, Newsmax2009 PREDICTION(S): The strong will grow stronger.  Wait, what the heck am I talking about?  There are no strong magazines anymore.  Today, the mission is survival—hunkering down, rethinking editorial, production, and distribution models. Unfortunately, we’ll see lots more layoffs and the hiring of inexpensive, part-time (read: junior-level) employees. And magazines relocating to less expensive digs.  And conversion smaller trim sizes.  And crummier paper stock. And, unfortunately, less lavish presentations overall—which is a terrible, terrible thing to contemplate because, after all, it’s presentation that sets fine magazines apart from newspapers, newsletters, and websites.  In sum, 2009 will be brutal.  But beyond that, the survivors will probably be OK—only different from what they were before the economy imploded.   NAME: Kyle du FordTITLE: A&E editor,; freelance writer2009 PREDICTION(S): Thirteen guaranteed 100 percent accurate predictions or your money back!1. “Sitting at home with a laptop and Google” will replace travel writers. 2. Staff writers will replace freelancers, except the staff writers will all be freelance contract workers.3. Net 240 will be the new Net 90, which should’ve always been Net 30. 4. Paper costs? Nah, gas prices will hurt shipping costs, but it hardly matters seeing as how both will go down because no one has any ads.5. Vogue’s September issue will win Biggest Loser award (in terms of pounds lost compared to ’07), prompting Ariel Foxman to give up his traveling trophy from Cargo (it was an eyesore at In Style anyway).6. Steve Madden’s promotion will ultimately hurt Bicycling. That is, the sport and the magazine.7. Tina Johnson’s leaving Women’s Health will do the same, or Dave Zinczencko will get married and learn from his wife he can’t edit a woman’s magazine. 8. Radar will try to rise from the ashes once more, but first will relaunch as a Web site focusing on award season specials only.9. Evangeline Lily will come visit me in my office. Though I may have confused this with my Christmas wish list.10. Tom Cruise ramps up the crazy. Really, is he fooling anyone?11. New show: Extreme Makeover: Foreclosure Edition watches bankrupt owners of McMansions try desperately to empty their homes of assets prior to foreclosure.12. New York Times writer Alex Kuczynski finally finds someone else to live her life because she’s too tired to live it herself.13. To save production costs, The Biggest Loser, The Bachelor, Survivor, and American Idol team up and air on cable. The premise: Lose weight while on a desert island the winner gets to sing with Barry Manilow in a string bikini while vying for a rose. Winner dates Andy Baldwin for a week while being chastised by Simon Cowell.NAME: Raymond L. RokerTITLE: co-founder/publisher, URB2009 PREDICTION(S): In 2009, just as they have already begun to, niche media companies will learn to play well with others. Former foes will share information on clients and prospects. Business acquaintances will form strategic alliances like the big boys. Sales teams will work between organizations and pitches co-produced. Instead of launching a thousand new platforms, niche media operations will share existing ones and cross pollinate. Magazines will bring blogs into the family as they both share audiences. The true power in numbers will be tested as partnerships and alliances finally allow the little guys some crucial critical mass. The question of what will work remains to be seen.And lastly, magazines will stop italicizing their names, as they become true platform agnostic media brands, and not just print titles.NAME: Simon KellyTITLE: COO, Story Worldwide2009 PREDICTION(S):1. Traditional Media will end before traditional advertising. The collapse is well under way. Consumers will need to get information elsewhere.2. With nowhere to go, advertising will follow very quickly. Consumers won’t care.3. Story listening will become prevalent as brands realize they have to understand their story before they can start telling their story.4. Social networking will continue to proliferate and P+G will not spend any more on ads on Facebook.5. Clients will start to create their own private social media networks – as brands turn into media channels. Social media will lead the channel delivery as consumers become both information gatherers/givers and brand collaborators.6. Large agencies will collapse (see point 2). They will try to drink from ever smaller (digital) pools and realize they have neither the skills nor the dexterity to compete.7. Microsoft will marginalize MSN even further by its increased insistence that it’s all about technology, not content.8. Finally, an agency will create a story-listening and content measurement tool as CMOs are forced to act more like CFOs.9. Ford, GM and Chrysler will merge in March, quit making cars in July and start making films by the end of the year.10. None of the above will happen and something new will emerge unexpectedly, making a mockery once again of the current state of things and any attempt to predict the outcome. (this was my only accurate prediction from last year).NAME: Cam BrownTITLE: president, King Fish Media2009 PREDICTION(S): 2009 will feature the greatest redirect in marketing approach that the media industry has seen since the explosive growth of cable television (and its subsequent usage opportunities that caused planning confusion in the 1980s and early 90s) . Looking forward, savvy marketers will broker deals with media companies not for reduced page rates or air time, but for their subscriber list – the more selects available, the better. Media companies will re-structure their sales teams, reducing the workforce of 30 and 40-something reps and elevating the most insightful marketers. This new staff will gain immediate credibility with advertising partners who will not view them as yet another new face pitching the same old story, but as a strategic marketer identifying the most targeted database possible from their circ files, and guiding the best practices for usage of that file. The story of targeted efficiency over reach, and reduced top line advertising revenue in exchange for a smarter, more collaborative client relationship, is the story of 2009 and beyond.NAME: Gordon PlutskyTITLE: director of marketing, King Fish Media2009 PREDICTION(S):• Custom Media, across all platforms, will be one of the few areas that will grow in revenue in 2009 thanks to two important trends:Companies becoming publishers and producing their own content to talk directly to customers and prospectsThe need for more measurable media and high ROI during a recession• The continued growth of web casting, virtual trade shows and online video will take a significant chunk of revenue from trade shows and live events during 2009.• The decline of the US auto industry will result in huge cut backs in print advertising from the big three, and several magazines will close as a result.  Local TV stations and newspapers will see big decreases in ad revenue as car dealerships close after GM kills Buick, Pontiac and Saturn and Ford also pares brands as part of a government bailout.• Several IT publications will follow the lead of PC Magazine and abandon their print issue to reposition themselves as online and events brands.  They will thrive once all the print overhead is removed.• Facebook will explode and become a “must have” for professionals in 34-54 age group who will continue to blur the lines between personal and business life.• The big television networks will continue to become less relevant in the lives of Americans as they spend more time on niche cable networks and social media sites.  The 2009 fall season will produce zero new hits.  The continued penetration of DVR’s will further erode their advertising base and they will have to make major cutbacks.• A major US daily newspaper will fold its print edition and go digital only.• Sarah Palin will write a book about her experiences during the 2008 campaign.  She will get a giant advance and it will go to #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list much to the dismay of New York Times.• American Idol will see a strong decline in rating – over commercialization and bland contestants killed the golden goose.NAME: Joe PulizziTITLE: founder, Junta422009 PREDICTION(S): More and more media companies will shed unprofitable titles in certain verticals to stay profitable and solvent. This will open up opportunities for corporate brands to become the content providers for those industries.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you started seeing corporate brands with some cash in the bank buy out small, niche media properties as they work to build out their content strategies.Traditional media spend will continue to drop as corporate marketers will lean on web statistics for ROI. Marketers will take half of what they are pulling out of traditional and spend on content-driven activities, social media, and other more “experimental” media. Some “forward-looking” brands will see an opportunity to go back to targeted print activities, such as custom magazines and customer newsletters, to differentiate themselves from the barrage of email marketers. NAME: Neal VitaleTITLE: president and CEO, 1105 Media2009 PREDICTION(S): The phrase I heard recently at a New York conference will, regrettably, describe 2009—”not bad” is the new “great.”Have a prediction or two to add? Send ’em to, or add them in the comments section below.last_img read more

Apple App Store breaks records customers spent 122B in one week

first_imgSome of the many offerings on Apple’s App Store. Apple Apple’s App Store started off 2019 with a bang.Apple says that the App Store broke records during the holiday season. In a blog post, Apple shared that customers spent over $1.22 billion between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. On New Year’s Day alone customers spent $322 million, setting a new record for the App Store’s biggest single day.”The App Store had a record-breaking holiday week and New Year’s Day. The holiday week was our biggest week ever with more than $1.22 billion spent on apps and games, and New Year’s Day set a new single-day record at more than $322 million,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.Gaming and self-care were the most popular app categories over the holidays. The Cupertino tech company calls out Fortnite, PUBG, Brawl Stars, Asphalt 9 and Monster Strike as the top downloaded games.The Apple App Store turned 10 this year, after getting a major redesign in 2017 with iOS 11. Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? • Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Comments Tags Share your voice Apple Apple 3 Mobile Apps reading • Apple App Store breaks records, customers spent $1.22B in one week See Alllast_img read more

Twitch has a serious problem no ones talking about

first_imgClose Twitch Streamer Black/Graphist Accused Of Sexual Misconduct Channels garnering followers through ‘bots’ are becoming common now. Recently, the fastest growing channels on Twitch, the leading live-streaming platform for gamers, were overtaken by one such bot-run channel. Surfacing on April 9, the now-banned 01sh01 streamed for 14 minutes promoting an online casino called SlotV and amassed huge followers in the shortest span of time.Casinos are not hugely popular on Twitch, and amassing 5,69,067 followers in a single stream with only had 3,223 views is a bit odd. The channel overtook Michael ‘shroud’ Grzesiek and Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney, two of the biggest channels on the platform, in terms of growth.Shroud is a former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive champion whose popularity has been growing even faster since the release of the first-person battle-royale game, Apex: Legends.As is now clear, the 01sh01 channel was using bots to increase the number of followers and advertise a casino. This is just one in several such attacks on the popular live-streaming website. Last month another casino advertising channel, Novat0r_Konb, beat Shroud to gain the top spot with 4,87,419 followers from just 2,652 views. It was also subsequently banned. Twitch metrics for fastest growing accountsTwitch MetricsBots are a serious problem for Twitch and its partners. Often subscription gifts like stickers and badges offered for legitimate followers get received by these bots too. Twitch has an official page with details on botting and how to deal with them, advising users to not feed online trolls and providing an option to report them for botting.Shroud has been quite vocal previously about bots bringing viewership. He usually condemns bots, but in a stream in February this year, he said that bots may be the reason behind his success with Apex: Legends. “11pm, 2am, 3am – there are a hundred thousand people just hanging out. Like, I don’t even believe it is real. I believe it is being botted. Someone out there I believe is botting something. I just don’t believe it is real, personally. But, okay I’ll take it,” Shroud said. Employees work at the offices of Twitch Interactive Inc, a social video platform and gaming community owned by Amazon, in San Francisco, California, U.S., March 6, 2017.Reuters fileTwitch is host to a multitude of streamers who play a variety of games including League of Legends, Fortnite, GTA V and PUBG among others. Bots are difficult to track for moderators if they operate on lower scales.Meanwhile, the new list of free games offered to Twitch Prime members is out. Whispering Willows, Stealth Bastard Deluxe, The Little Acre, Majesty 1, and Majesty 2 will be available for free from the 1st of May. Prime members have till 30 April to grab Her Story, InnerSpace, Joggernauts, and Keep in Mind.last_img read more

The Comedian who Passed Away Live on Stage

first_imgComedian, writer, and character actor Harry “Parkyakarkus” Einstein (1904-1958) got his first break on national radio in 1934. His popularity snowballed, and by 1945 he was writing and performing his own show, Meet Me at Parky’s, on NBC. He began to wind down in the 1950s as his health began to decline, but every appearance was still loved by his fans. Right after delivering what the Los Angeles Times described as “the most hilarious speech of his career” at the Friars Club, he suffered a fatal heart attack while still on the stage.Harry Einstein.Einstein was born on May 6, 1904 in Boston, Massachusetts. After High School, he took a job as a newspaper reporter, but he had already found his real passion in life: Comedy. He began performing comedy routines in his free time, picking up spots in vaudeville shows and nightclubs, while building a successful career as an advertising manager for a series of furniture stores.A mastery of dialects was Einstein’s trademark. When his friend Joe Rines persuaded him to appear on Rines’ local radio show, Einstein created the character of Nick Parkyakarkus. The character was based on the Greek immigrants he’d met through his father’s business dealings.The national networks pricked up their ears, and Parkyakarkus was invited to appear on Eddie Cantor’s radio show. The response was so great that he was given a permanent part on the show.Photo of Harry Parke as Parky from the radio show Meet Me at Parky’s.Even during a time when dialect comedians were fairly common, Einstein had a gift for coming up with new material and keeping the character fresh.The character was so popular that he even tried to have his name legally changed to Parkyakarkus. The judge turned him down, despite his arguments, but his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame bears the name Parkyakarkus.That job led the way to becoming a regular guest on Al Jolson’s radio show and eventually to making some movies, including Strike Me Pink (1938), She’s Got Everything (1938), and Sweethearts of the U.S.A. (1944).Transit Theater advertisement for the American films Night Spot (1938), The Rangers’ Round-Up (1938), and chapter 1 of the film serial Dick Tracy (1937) – 27 May 1938 Morning Call, Allentown, PA.In the mid-late 1940s Einstein developed heart problems and also had spinal surgery, which forced him to reduce the amount of performing he did and focus on gag writing for the last decade of his career, according to Old Time Radio.Thanks to being wise with his money, he wasn’t in any financial distress, and the only performances he continued to do were at Friars Club Roasts.Einstein as Parky caught between Sheldon Leonard and Betty Rhodes in 1948.It was at one of these events that Einstein gave his most dramatic, and final, performance.On November 24, 1958, the Friars Club was having a roast to honor Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, who had just finished their sixth and final season of I Love Lucy, still at the top of the ratings.The celebrities doing the roast were some of the biggest names of the time. The emcee was Art Linkletter, and guests included George Burns, Tony Martin, Milton Berle, and, of course, Einstein.Publicity photo for The Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Show.By all reports, Einstein gave a stellar performance, leaving his audience laughing and applauding wildly. At the end of his act, he returned to his seat next to Milton Berle.Linkletter was giving him the same standing ovation and wondering why someone who was so talented wasn’t performing on television regularly, when the unthinkable happened.Einstein pitched over, collapsing onto Berle. According to Good History, the audience kept laughing and clapping, apparently thinking it was still part of his act, but Berle knew better and called out asking if there was a doctor in the house.The last photo of Harry Parke (Harry Einstein) (Parkyakarkus) taken at a Los Angeles Friars’ Club dinner in 1958. He is shown conversing with Milton Berle. Shortly after this photo was taken, Parke collapsed into Berle’s lap from a fatal heart attack.Five physicians came forward from the audience, and Einstein’s friends carried him to a corridor offstage so he could be examined. One of the doctors sterilized a pocket knife, and used it to cut open Einstein’s chest and began massaging his heart.Another of the doctors used the two ends of an electrical cord to try to shock Einstein’s heart back to a normal rhythm while they waited for paramedics to arrive. The whole scene was happening in front of the patient’s crying wife and their 18-year-old son.Milton BerleThe same source goes on to say that while the professionals were working on Einstein backstage, Linkletter tried to get the show onstage moving again. Milton Berle asked Tony Martin to sing for the audience, and Martin agreed, singing “There’s No Tomorrow”, an apt, if unfortunate choice.Martin’s performance was followed by a song from George Burns. The show continued, with the sounds of the machines being used on Einstein traveling from backstage between acts.Lucille Ball from the New York Sunday News.Finally, after two hours of concerted effort to save the comedian’s life, he was pronounced dead from a massive heart attack.A report from the LA Times gives a slightly different account of what happened on stage after Einstein’s collapse. That report said that Linkletter tried to get the next comedian, Danny Thomas, to do his act, but Thomas shook his head and sat down.One thing all sources agree on, though, is that Arnaz came to the microphone, picked up the award, and said “This offering meant so much to me. Now it means nothing. Please, everyone, pray to your own God that he will be saved.” He put the award in his pocket, and sat back down.His wife, Lucille Ball, went to the microphone, crying, and simply said, “I can say nothing,” before leaving her award on the table and sitting down, herself.Many of the audience members left, although a number of them stayed until Einstein was pronounced dead at 1:20 am.Read another story from us: The Studio Head who Hated HollywoodThere are those who might say that for a performer to die onstage, doing what he or she loved best, is a good way to go. That may even be true for the performer, but, somehow, we suspect that the experience was a very different one for the people on the stage and in the audience who watched the shocking scene unfold. One thing is for certain, though. It was certainly a night no one present would ever forget.last_img read more

Do You Copy

first_img Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Enroll Now for Free October 1, 2006 4 min read Two words: bird flu. Two more: Hurricane Katrina. How about the Northridge earthquake, alternating snowstorms and floods in the Northeast, annual tornados in the Midwest, daylong gridlock in the Southwest, skyrocketing gas prices and deteriorating air quality?Long-standing productivity benefits aside, business continuity is driving a new boom in telecommuting. And why not? With broadband everywhere, powerful portables and phone calls that follow you, 45 million Americans already work in three to four different locations, reports telework facilitator ITAC.But have you taken the few extra steps needed to survive, say, one of the 30,000 lightning strikes on buildings every year? Couldn’t happen to you? Couldn’t happen to me, either.So imagine my surprise last year when a lightning bolt fried an uninterruptible power supply and my favorite PC. It turns out lightning strikes Earth 20 million times a year-and it loves electronics. So nowadays, when I hear the thunder rolling, I squeeze under the bed.But what about my stuff-not just my main PC’s files, but critical e-mails and all the applications and settings it would take me weeks to restore? That’s where teleworking comes in.Cloning YourselfIf you’re among those Americans who frequently work from home, just a couple of extra gadgets and procedures can prepare you to resurrect a destroyed virtual office without losing a step.Big-time IT service providers like IBM and Hewlett-Packard are building hardened facilities with everything a Fortune 500 manager needs to keep the wheels of industry turning. Build yours cheaply just by cloning your work space in more than one workplace.First, you need a painless way to extract an up-to-date image of your company’s irreplaceable assets-messages, accounting records, contracts, project archives-from that useless pile of junk we all collect. It’s not too hard if you start with a high-capacity network-attached storage device.I use Buffalo Technologies’ $600 (all prices street) TeraStation. After a half-hour setup, I’ve been spending exactly zero minutes a day keeping an up-to-the-minute, bit-level duplicate of my important stuff on TeraStation’s four Raid 5 drives. TeraStation’s intuitive management utility bundled with Memeo AutoBackup makes it easy. I clicked on my important folders once; since then, Memeo has automatically backed up every changed bit.The 9-by-9-by-6-inch TeraStation holds up to 1.6 terabytes of swappable storage, and aside from a gigabit Ethernet port, has four USB ports. Clear off your work space while improving your chances against lightning bolts by making TeraStation a print, fax, e-mail and web server in another room networked via an adapter like Buffalo’s $65 AirStation Ethernet converter.Of course, all that has to be behind a robust uninterruptible power supply like Tripp-Lite’s $140 SMART1000LCD. It will smooth out electrical sags and spikes and deliver up to 60 minutes of emergency power.But what about fire, flood, tornado and tidal wave? If you have a far-flung enterprise, just mirror your NAS in multiple places. If not, back up to a virtual desk space like SimDesk. Prices start at $15 a month for 2GB of space, so only mirror critical or frequently changing folders-accounting records, e-mail and works in progress. SimDesk also updates your virtual work space automatically and makes it sharable with any associate you choose from any device with a web browser.So, for $1,000 in tax-deductible hardware and $15 monthly (also deductible), you protect your company’s most valuable assets, gain time in operational flexibility and have a work space accessible from anywhere. You’ll recover that $1,000 in productivity enhancements in no time; after that, those dollars fall to your bottom line. Think of it as an insurance policy that prints money.Save It Again, SamAlways on deadline, Halon Entertainment can’t afford lost files. The preproduction materials and 3-D layouts created by its 26 artists are critical elements in some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters. “If we run late, everyone runs late,” explains Daniel Gregoire, the 34-year-old founder and CEO of the $1.5 million venture.Halon’s solution to having project teams in odd film locations can be summarized as extreme redundancy. Artists’ workstations are backed up to local servers mirrored on both removable disks and Halon’s central server. That’s backed up to removable drives saved in both its California offices. As Gregoire advises, “Keep things in multiple places accessible by multiple machines.”Mike Hogan is Entrepreneur’s technology editor. This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Nowlast_img read more

Scientists Found a Way to Charge Your Smartphone With Urine

first_img 2 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Lose the power cord, soon you might be able to charge your phone with — your pee.Yep. You read that correctly, scientists in England have developed a way to transform urine into electricity.Related: When It Comes to Innovation, Go Big or Go HomeUsing a special machine called a “microbial fuel cell” that contains waste-eating electro-active bacteria, scientists at Bristol Robotics Lab have created a way to charge phones and power some lights using urine. So how does it work? The small bacteria consume the waste out of urine, and as a result, electrons are left over as a byproduct. By being put through an electrical circuit that the scientists created, these electrons create electricity.A good amount of electricity, in fact. Only two liters of urine can produce 30 to 40 milliwatts of power — enough to slowly charge a smartphone, power a phone’s display or power lights for portable toilets.Related: 4 Ways Startups Can Harness Innovation and DisruptionAnd who better to test the new innovation than beer-drinking music festival goers? That’s right — the engineers will debut their new pee-to-power invention in portable restrooms at the Glastonbury Festival in Somerset this week.In the long-run, scientists hope the new invention will be used in poorer countries to create clean and renewable energy. June 20, 2017center_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Register Now »last_img read more

Cubas first daughter has gone beyond Castro name

first_img Comments   Share   But no matter how much Castro desires to set her own course, controversy will follow her on her trip to San Francisco precisely because of her father and uncle, both reviled by many Cuban-Americans and enemies of Washington for more than half a century.When word came last week that the State Department had issued an entry visa to Castro _ as well as at least 60 other Cuban scholars _ Cuban-American politicians were quick to pounce. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio accused her of bringing a campaign of anti-Americanism to U.S. shores, while New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said he was “indignant” over her presence.They and others noted that U.S. rules prohibited Communist Party members and other high-ranking Cuban government officials from entry without special dispensation. While Mariela Castro is not officially part of the government, her personal ties to Cuban leaders are clearly evident.The State Department has refused to comment on individual visa cases. Castro is due to chair a panel on the politics of sexual diversity in San Francisco and to meet with the local LGBT community. On May 29, she is to participate in a talk at the New York Public Library.As head of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education, or Cenesex, since 2000, Castro has acquired a much higher profile than her siblings and cousins, becoming a leading advocate for gay rights in Cuba, Latin America and beyond. Clean energy: Why it matters for Arizona That tendency to go against the grain stuck, and four decades later Castro is still speaking her mind.“It would be very easy for me to repeat what the whole world wants to hear, not contradicting anybody, being sweeter and more accepted. But my work obliges me to present realities that not everyone wants to face,” Castro said at the book launch. “I’m not going to stop doing and saying what I believe in. The day I can no longer do that, I might as well spend my time planting lettuce instead.”(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Top Stories Four benefits of having a wireless security system Attractive, intelligent and quick to smile, Castro has a flair for dressing elegantly in bright colors. She is commonly seen heading up annual gay pride marches in the capital, flanked by six-foot-tall transvestites. Outspoken and self-confident, she meets regularly with visiting dignitaries, including a delegation of U.S. women last year, and travels the world giving talks about gay rights.In conversation she looks questioners directly in the eye, is quick to speak and punctuates her words with animated gestures. She is reported to have two children with her husband, a Sicilian-born photographer, and a third child from a previous marriage, though even those basic details are not easily confirmed in Cuba.And while Castro does not regularly give interviews, she is far from reclusive.She is the only member of her famous family to really embrace Twitter; Fidel and Raul’s accounts are dry and impersonal, apparently managed by underlings. She’s also not afraid to mix it up with critics, as she did last year in a very public Twitter spat with dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez.Grumbling about “despicable parasites” criticizing her just hours after her debut on the social media platform, Castro tweeted: “Were you ordered by your employers to respond to me in unison and with the same predetermined script? Be creative.” Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, familycenter_img “She has put herself at the forefront of the struggle for rights for the LGBT community,” said Gloria A. Careaga Perez, a professor of psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico who will be on Mariela Castro’s panel at the San Francisco gathering of the Latin American Studies Association on Thursday. “What she does is praiseworthy because she is a pioneer, an academic and political authority who stands up for human rights.”Requests to interview Castro were not granted ahead of her trip, and four friends and admirers declined to speak on the record, a symptom of Cubans’ deep misgivings about openly discussing members of the Castro family.But while others are shy of giving their name, Castro has not been, particularly when it comes to her signature issue. She has lobbied for years for her father’s government to legalize same-sex marriage, something he has not done. Earlier this month, Castro said the president privately shares her views on gay rights, and declined to push him to go public.While she has no doubt benefited from her surname, Castro says it has always been important to her to have a separate identity.“I never wanted any part of that, `the daughter of …’” she said several years ago at a book launch in Havana. “I despise people who get on that kind of carriage, and I love myself very much for not doing so. I never did, and I never will.” It was a rare moment of direct confrontation between a Castro and one of the dissidents, who are officially disparaged as counterrevolutionary sellouts doing the bidding of Washington, and it showed her willingness to depart from the prepared script, even if in defense of the government.She was born July 27, 1962, to the power couple of the Cuban Revolution: Raul Castro and Vilma Espin, also a prominent guerrilla who later was president of the Federation of Cuban Women, a member of the Communist Party’s Central Committee and Fidel’s first lady stand-in for years when he had no official partner. Espin died in 2007.Mariela, who bears a close resemblance to Espin, cites her mother’s influence and has called her work a continuation of Espin’s labor to advance women’s rights in Cuba and Latin America.“She was very sweet and tender. She passed along her values in educating us,” Castro once said. By contrast, Castro sometimes quarreled with her father, though she has said she was always proud of his accomplishments.It was at college in the late 1970s that Castro had her eyes opened to the gay rights movement, as a student leader who successfully fought off attempts to have gays expelled for their sexual orientation. New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Sponsored Stories Associated PressHAVANA (AP) – She has her uncle’s penchant for speaking her mind. From her father, she inherited a disciplined tenacity.But Mariela Castro, a married mother of three and member of Cuba’s most powerful family, has paved her own way in making gay rights her life’s cause. And now the 49-year-old daughter of President Raul Castro is about to make a controversial visit to the United States for a conference on Latin America. Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generationlast_img

Railways extends no service charge on etickets till March 2018

first_imgFor the ease of rail passengers, the Ministry of Railways has decided to waive off service charges till March 2018. Hence, rail passengers will continue to enjoy service charge exemption on tickets booked online until March 2018. The government had waived service charges after demonetisation in November last year to encourage digital modes of booking. Service charges on booking train tickets online through the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC) ranges from INR 20 to INR 40 per ticket. Senior railway officials revealed that almost 33% of IRCTC’s revenue comes from the service charge collected on online bookings.According to revenue collection of the last financial year, about INR 540 crore of IRCTC’s revenue of over INR 1,500 crore came from ticket bookings. An amount of around INR 184 crore has not been realised from passengers on account of service charge and service tax thereon on reserved tickets booked online from November 23, 2016, to February 28, 2017, as per railways data.last_img read more

PARIS FRANCE –Sixteen of the worlds most respect

first_imgPARIS, FRANCE –Sixteen of the world’s most respected and talented grand chefs will come together in Paris to cook under one roof. And when the roof happens to be Le Grand Trianon in the magical Château de Versailles (in the Palace of Versailles), outside Paris, France, then it transforms a memorable event into a momentous occasion. This vision will turn into reality when the first Dinner of the Chefs is held on September 17, 2008.It will undoubtedly be a unique opportunity to experience an evening of epicurean pleasures in the sheer, unadulterated luxury of Marie-Antoinette’s personal retreat, the haven of privacy given to her by Louis XVI in 1774.Only 60 guests are invited to enjoy this ultra-exclusive experience, a banquet of 15 courses in the Salon des Cotelle whose walls will be adorned with fabulous scenes by the eponymous 17th century painter Jean Cotelle.The Dinner of the Chefs will welcome 15 new creations and a selection of the rarest wines. The master chefs enlisted to recreate their finest dishes on the evening read like a “Who’s Who” in the world of haute, cuisine and all are celebrated in the Michelin red book.The net profit of this special event will be donated to the International Foundation for Research on Alzheimer Disease (, chaired by Dr. Olivier de Ladoucette, alongside their Good Will Ambassador Alain Delon.To compliment such sumptuous surroundings, the table will be provided by some of the greatest names in French design. They have secured the support of famous “Maisons des Arts de la Table” to give the best craftsmanship France can provide. Also lending its flair and expertise to the evening is a collaboration of some of the greatest hotels in the world: Le Bristol, The Crillon, Four Seasons Hotel George V, The Meurice, The Plaza Athenee and the Trianon Palace & Spa.On arrival at the airport in Paris, all guests will be taken in their own chauffeur-driven limousines to their luxury hotel and then on to the Château, where they will be greeted by Jean-Jacques Aillagon, the chairperson of the Domaine de Versailles, and Pierre Arizzoli-Clementel, the Managing Director of Museum and Domaine de Versailles. An exclusive visit to the private estate of Queen Marie-Antoinette is then planned before a cocktail reception under the colonnades of the elegant courtyard. Beyond will be a view of the gardens, illuminated by thousands of candles, flickering in the twilight.As an additional special souvenir, ladies are being offered a specially commissioned Sèvres breakfast set—a magnificent replica of Marie-Antoinette’s porcelain mug and saucer. They will also receive an exclusive fragrance of Guerlain, in a monogrammed bottle.For the gentlemen, there will be an exclusive edition monogrammed case containing three very rare wines, a flask of vintage Hennessy Cognac and a lovely magnum of Dom Ruinart—a very special selection made by Andreas Larsson, Best Sommelier of the World 2007. They will also receive a limited edition “Dinner of the Chefs” apron embroidered in golden letters, from the renowned Bragard House.“As the creator of the Dinner of the Chefs I wanted to create something very special with a selection of the most talented chefs, something rare, dedicated to these magicians who have this power of enchanting our palate. Beyond experience, knowledge and knack, there resides in every Chef the soul of a poet where free spirit prevails over pure logic,” said René-Julien Praz, creator and executive producer, Dinner of the Chefs.“The ultimate cultural ambassador, fine cuisine expresses in a universal manner the degree of perfection and refinement attained by a people. It is the very idea that we seek to convey to you through the Dinner of the Chefs. A never-before gastronomic experience, bringing together almost 40 Michelin stars in order to offer you the best works of these creators and, allow you to participate in the most important of all causes: research on Alzheimer Disease.”The Chefs:Yannick Alleno, Chef at Hotel Meurice – Paris: Yannick Alleno is one of those young chefs in their thirties who bring freshness and daring to their cooking. He apprenticed at such renowned hotels as the Lutétia, the Royal Monceau and the Sofitel Porte de Sèvres. The celebrated Escoffier competition opened the doors of Drouant to him. He remained there for five years before taking over at the restaurant of the Hôtel Scribe, thanks to the support of Paul Bocuse. The Bocuse d’Argent firmly in hand and two years of hard work later, he obtained a second Michelin star for the Scribe. Four years later he came to the Meurice, the prestigious restaurant on the rue de Rivioli for which he obtained a second star in 2004 and a third in 2007. After four years at the head of the Meurice, Yannick Alleno is clearly recognized as the new star of his generation. Biffi, Chef of Catering at Potel & Chabot – Paris: Jean-Pierre Biffi was born in an Italian family, at Mirande in the Gers region of France. It was his grandmother, an astounding cook famous for making the local middle class’s mouths water, who gave him the desire to wear the cook’s attire. In 1970, he discovered the wonders of “foie gras” with André Daguin. From 1972 to 1975, he studied in the cookery school of Toulouse. In 1975, he started in Paris at the famous Café de la Paix of the Grand Hotel Intercontinental, followed by the Hotel Bristol aside Jean-Paul Bonin. In 1980, he joined the Crillon Hotel, and for seven years, he was the right arm of the kitchen chef and was awarded the National Trophy of Cuisine during this assignment. In 1987, he became the chef and marketing director of Maxim’s restaurant, and then joined the caterer Potel & Chabot to manage the kitchens as organizer of international caliber receptions (New York, Prague, Budapest, Marrakech, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Venice, Singapore, and Dubai). His aim, beyond the recipe, is to find sources to astonish and surprise, working on the products and the dishes, but also on the staging, table decoration, lighting and music. http://www.poteletchabot.comMichel and Sebastien Bras, Chefs of Restaurant Bras – Laguiole: Michel Bras took his first steps towards becoming a professional cook by tending the stove in his mother’s kitchen at the family run hotel-restaurant, “Lou Mazuc.” Unlike most chefs who undergo an apprenticeship before setting out on their own, Michel was largely self-taught and created his own culinary world by drawing on the native tradition of his beloved Aubrac. Opened in 1992, Michel Bras’ restaurant is granted a three star rating by the Michelin Guide seven years later. Built in a very secluded venue, at the top of a hill, the Bras family estate is ingenuously molded in a wild landscape made of stone, greenery and light. Son Sebastien Bras, 36 years old, is also part of the team. “We get along very well, my father and I,” says Sebastien. “We do not fear or feel any generation gap. What my father did 20 years ago was very avant-garde and still is today, so we have a lot in common. A culinary symphony to be discovered with your five senses.” Fréchon, Chef of Hotel Bristol – Paris: After a studious apprenticeship with Christian Constant at the Crillon Hotel, followed by restaurant Taillevent, Eric Fréchon completed his academic training at restaurant La Tour d’Argent. Originating from Normandy, Eric started his professional career by opening his own gastronomic bistro: La Verrière. This first experience was a success, but he was rapidly noticed and hired by the owners of Hotel Bristol. This is how he arrived at the head of the kitchens of this Palace in 1999, where he settled in perfectly and renewed the image of this great hotel. Attracting considerable attention, he was awarded the famous distinction of “Best Craftsman of France.” Innovative, ingenious and creative, Eric Fréchon conquered celebrity step by step and obtained the famous Michelin stars thanks to his beautifully classic and modern cuisine. The mouth to ear confirms this success story; his style gradually expresses itself through the marriage of great classic French dishes and the most bizarre mixtures. (so he says!) A liberty, an inventiveness and sheer mischief are the distinctive signs of a young chef who has the talent to propose the best products in order to transform as well as sublimate them. Hom, consultant chef to the Oriental Restaurant Group: Born in Arizona, Ken Hom became a brilliant student of art history. Between classes in Chicago, Ken made his cooking debut helping out on weekends at his uncle’s Chinese restaurant. To finance his studies, Ken gave cooking lessons that became so popular he was soon invited to join the famous Culinary Academy where he met some of the great American chefs. When BBC television searched for a Chinese chef to present a new program, Ken applied for the position and was immediately hired. An adept student of the fundamental principals of Yin and Yang, Ken Hom’s cooking is directly inspired by the ancient Far East philosophies that preach the harmony of body and soul. Ken has become a worldwide star and ambassador of contemporary Chinese cuisine.Marc Meneau, Restaurant L’Espérance – Vezelay: Born in Avalon, Marc Meneau entered the Hotellerie School at Strasbourg in the 1960s. He made a lightening debut, earning his first Michelin star in 1972, his second in 1976. Marc Meneau runs “l’Esperance” at Saint Père-sous-Vézelay, a magnificent bourgeois mansion that he bought in his home village, a place where elegance and refinement come together. Bearing the Relais & Château label, l’Esperance boasts two stars in the Michelin Red Guide and a 19/20 rating in Gault et Millau. In 1983 Marc Meneau was elected “Best Chef of the Year.” This child of the region prepares elaborately baroque cuisine, a knowing mixture of Burgundian bourgeois tradition and poetic license that flatters the senses. A man of great culture, he co-authored with Annie Caen, the “Gourmet Museum,” “Monastic Cuisine,” “Cuisine en Fête,” and “Cuisine and Painting.” Michalak, Chef Patisserie at the Plaza Athénée – Paris: The absolute star of pastry, the “Rambo” of chocolate, the “Bruce Lee” of floating islands, the “Casanova” of sugar, the “Wizard of Oz” of cream. He got involved by greediness for custard pies and at the age of 15, decided to become a patisserie. With perseverance, courage and will, he moved on with training courses and odd jobs in the greatest palaces in the world, passing through London, Brussels, Tokyo and New York. But it is in the cradle of refinement and fine Parisian taste that Michalak developed his art, at Fauchon followed by the famous Ladurée house. However, his true luxury is above all his talent. Michalak is a cake genius. While remaining faithful to his vow of simplicity by revisiting the great classics of patisserie, this undisputed artist however tries every single day to surprise us with his desserts where taste and beauty cannot be separated. In 2005, he won the Patisserie World Championship. His kid’s dream to become Superman did not work out, however, this eternal romantic has become the super hero with a white toque at the Plaza Athenée, the most fashionable palace of the City of Lights since 2000. http://www.plaza-athenee-paris.frJean-Louis Nomicos, Chef of Restaurant Lasserre – Paris: Born in Marseille, Jean-Louis Nomicos still remembers those grand Sunday lunches of his youth under the fig trees at his grandparents’ house. At the age of 16, Jean-Louis debuted at the restaurant ‘l’Oursinade.’ Then for five years, he studied under Alain Ducasse at the Hôtel de Paris in Monaco. He moved to Paris and became head chef at La Grande Cascade in the Bois de Boulogne, and in 2001 he took up the relay at the restaurant Lasserre where he is executive chef. The choice of ingredients and their authenticity represent an essential first step for Jean Louis Nomicos who maintains close relations with his suppliers. He insures that his foie gras comes from les Landes, his fish from Carantec, his beef from Salers, his potatoes from Chez Clos, etc. His cuisine, which cleverly plays off the savors of the Mediterranean, is classical haute gastronomy but veritably contemporary. Passard, Restaurant L’Arpège – Paris: Philosopher in the art of observation, Philippe Legendre is the most zen of all chefs and insists on total silence in his kitchen in order to better concentrate. He demands total commitment to the “product” from his co-workers. That’s where things are born, he says. Each month he works with new ingredients with total precision: no room for error or for out-of-season results. If a produce is only at its best for a few days, it won’t stay on his menu any longer than that. By deciding to favor vegetables, even as he arrives at the summit – three stars in the Red Guide – Alain Passard embarks on a new path. Passedat, Chef at Le Petit Nice Passédat – Marseille: Born in 1960, son of Jean-Paul Passedat and grandson of Germain Passedat, cook at the restaurant le Petit Nice since 1917. Le Petit Nice was at the original La Villa Corinthe, perched on the rocks along the seaside, facing the Château d’If and Frioul Islands. He entered the restaurant school in Nice and learned the trade at Coq Hardi in Bougival, at the Bristol Hotel in Paris, at the Hotel de Crillon with JP Bonin, at Troisgros brother’s restaurant in Roanne and then at Guerard in the south west of France. In 1985, at 25 years old, he’s back with his father Jean-Paul in Marseilles (two Michelin stars in 1981) and successor to him. In 1999, Gerald met Ferran Adrià, the molecular cuisine inventor, and became fond of the idea. He gets supplies from the fishermen of Marseilles. His menu is made of 98% of fish and shellfish and 2% of meat, with a fondness for some of forgotten fish such as tub gurnard and red scorpion fish, others modest local fish such as the girelle, saran and mostelle. In 2008, heading 49 employees, he’s been granted with a Michelin third star.çois Piege, Restaurant Les Ambassadeurs Hôtel de Crillon: As a young boy, Jean-François Piège enjoyed snail hunting, mushroom picking and fishing, and started experiencing his taste buds within the marvelous territory of the Rhone valley. At the age of 14, he started with Jacques Manière, one of the inventors of the Nouvelle Cuisine, then he studied at the hotel school “to learn how to enjoy” before working in different restaurants “to learn how to do.” After working in the kitchens of the Elysée Palace, residence of the French president, during his military service, he continued with Alain Ducasse at both the restaurant Louis XV in Monte Carlo and at the Plaza Athenée in Paris. Since February 2004, Jean-François Piège manages a team of 25 persons at the Ambassadeurs, the restaurant of the Hotel Crillon on the Concorde Square. In his cooking book “Côté Crillon, côté maison” published by Flammarion, Jean-François Piège reveals his recipes such as the lobster snack, the boned young pigeon with foie gras, the sea bass with oyster tapioca. Even today, he can open any page of “La France à la Carte” from Gault et Millau and recite the recipe of the praline tart or the shellfish aspic. and Laurent Pourcel, Restaurant le Jardin des Sens – Montpellier: Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, identical twins and sons of wine-growers, decided before rejoining together, to live their passion for cuisine separately, therefore cumulating experience and culinary culture. Laurent Pourcel worked with Michel Bras and Alain Chapel, and Jacques worked with Michel Trama, Marc Meneau and Pierre Gagnaire. In 1988, they opened their restaurant Jardin des Sens after falling in love with a small end-of- the-century abandoned house, only minutes away from the centre of Montpellier. They transformed the decor giving it a resolutely modern atmosphere and sculpted a superb Mediterranean garden. In 1998, Michelin awarded the twins their third star. With the former patisserie of the Jardin des Sens, they created the Bakery of Sweet Savours and the Cuisine Workshop to welcome all cuisine amateurs. They opened the restaurant Senses and Savours in Japan, revived the restaurant Maison Blanche in Paris as well as launched a line of cutlery and table accessories. Their name is presently renowned in Bangkok, London and Barcelona: the Pourcel brothers delight us all over the world with their magnificent sensitive cuisine. www.jardindessens.comGordon Ramsay, chef of Restaurant Gordon Ramsey at Trianon Palace – Versailles: Scottish by birth, Gordon Ramsay’s first career break came while playing football for Oxford United. Three years later he had given up professional football and gone back to college to complete a course in hotel management. Once in London, Gordon joined Marco Pierre White in the early days of Harvey’s. After a couple of years he moved to Le Gavroche to work alongside Albert Roux. This was followed by three years of working in France, in the kitchens of Guy Savoy and Joël Robuchon. In October 1993, Gordon became chef of the newly opened Aubergine where he won two Michelin stars within three years of opening. In 1998 at the age of 31, Gordon set up his first owned restaurant, Gordon Ramsay. A year later, he opened Pétrus in St. James’s. Within seven months it had won a Michelin star. In June 2000 Gordon won “The Chef of the Year” Award at the Cateys. His restaurant Gordon Ramsay was voted the “Top Restaurant in the UK.” The fifth international restaurant, Gordon Ramsay at Powerscourt, opened in October 2007 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Powerscourt, Ireland. In November 2007, Gordon opened Maze Prague at the Hilton Old Town. Further international openings are planned for this year in Los Angeles, Paris and Amsterdam, and it will also be the year that Gordon opens a restaurant at the newly built Richard Rogers designed Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport. http://www.gordonramsay.comGary Rhodes, Rhodes W1 – London: Gary was born in South London and began cooking as a teenager, preparing family meals while his mother was at work. His first job was a chef at the Amsterdam Hilton, where he began to experiment with nouvelle cuisine. Success was swift and Gary went on and retained his first Michelin Star, at just 26 years of age. His first foray into the world of T.V. was at the age of 27 in the “Hot Chefs” series and it wasn’t long before he was given his own program, which has made him a household name. Following his dream, Gary Rhodes cooked for Queen Elisabeth II, the Orient Express, Princess Diana, Jordan Formula One team, the British team at La Mans, and his beloved Manchester United. Famous and celebrated all over the country, in 2004 he opened his first Rhodes restaurant outside the UK at the stunning Calabash Hotel in Grenada, West Indies. Gary Rhodes’ legendary dedication to his craft and relentless pursuit of perfection has placed him firmly at the forefront of today’s culinary world. http://www.rhodesw1.comMichel Roth, Chef of the kitchens of the Paris Ritz Hotel: At 40-years-old, the quiet but cordial Michel Roth presides almightily over the destinies of the kitchens of the Paris Ritz Hotel. As long as he can remember, cooking has always fascinated him. From this true and pure passion for the art of gastronomy, he developed an authentic talent that over the years brought him to the summit of recognition. Regularly rewarded, this young chef cannot stop accumulating honors as he proudly represents his native Lorraine region. Taittinger award in 1985, Best Craftsman of France and Gold Bocuse awards in 1991, he adds final touches to his career at Ledoyen and Lasserre restaurants before taking over the management of the kitchens of the famous hotel located on Place Vendome in 2001. Surrounded by a team of 80 collaborators, Michel Roth is resolutely oriented towards the future by practicing a cuisine that concentrates on the power and the openness of savours, as well as privileging through a real artist talent represented with his dishes. When creativity combines with aestheticism, the enjoyment of the hosts of the Hotel Ritz is at its maximum. Trotter, Charlie Trotter’s – Chicago: Charlie Trotter is definitely one of the most creative stars among the culinary world of the United States. Not willing to ride on its success, Charlie Trotter’s is continuously forging new directions and has been instrumental in establishing new standards of fine dining worldwide. His cuisine is recognized by a variety of prestigious national and international institutions. Wine Spectator named the restaurant “The Best Restaurant in the World for Wine & Food” and “America’s Best Restaurant.” In 2004, Chef Trotter was awarded the “Humanitarian of the Year” award by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his overall service to the community. http://www.charlietrotters.comAndreas Larsson, Best Sommelier of the world 2007: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005 Best Sommelier of Sweden; 2004 Best Sommelier of Europe (Trophée Ruinart); 2005 Wine international Sommelier Andreas Larsson is currently the best Sommelier of the world and the best Sommelier of Europe (Trophée Ruinart Meilleur Sommelier d’Europe 2004). Today, he is considered the leading sommelier and wine taster in Sweden and abroad. He has a special affinity for the classical French vineyards, the evolution in Spain, great Riesling, Sherry and Champagne. Andreas Larsson started his career as a chef in 1990 after graduating from restaurant school and worked active as a chef for several years. After some brief periods of combining the cuisine with playing jazz music he decided to focus more on his interest for wine and the world of beverages. After a lot of traveling and studying, Andreas got his sommelier diploma at “Restaurangakademien” in Stockholm 1999. Larsson works today for the restaurant PM&Vänner in Växjö. He is the consultant Sommelier for Asian Airlines. He is a lecturer at various sommelier educations in Scandinavia and a frequent contributor to various wine publications in Sweden and abroad. http://www.andreaslarsson.orgThe rate of this package is 22,000 Euros per person, which includes: ∑ Transfers at your arrival at one of the Paris airports and back ∑ Transfer to and from Versailles on September 17 ∑ The private recital at the Pavillon Français ∑ The Dinner of the Chefs ∑ The gifts The full pre-payment is requested for confirmation and is non-refundable.For more information contact Laurent Colsy, Project Manager, Lafayette Travel at + 33 (0) 155 047 979, + 33 (0) 682 653 915,, or visit the dinner’s website at read more