A’s observations from final day at MLB Winter Meetings

first_imgLAS VEGAS — The flashy lights and sounds of the slot machines striking a jackpot can cause visitors to feel a bit lucky, but the A’s approach to winter meetings at the Mandalay Bay has been a more conservative one.After the signing of catcher Chris Herrmann to a one-year deal Tuesday afternoon, the A’s remained silent on Wednesday, and it appears that might be the case until A’s GM David Forst and co. return to Oakland Thursday night. It’s not like the A’s are the only team that’s been …last_img read more

Down with Human Evolution Just-So Stories

first_imgStories of human ancestors around campfires evolving larger brains by eating meat or caring for animals often sound themselves life campfire stories.  For example, Jeremy Hsu in Live Science speculated that “Caring for Animals May Have Shaped Human Evolution.”  A cute girl with a puppy adorns the article.  “Our love of all things furry has deep roots in human evolution and may have even shaped how our ancestors developed language and other tools of civilization.”  For another example, see the 06/10/2010 entry on why humans became hairless.    Paleoanthropologist John Hawks has had enough of this tale-telling.  “‘Just-so stories [are] driving me crazy,” he exclaimed in a rare outburst against reporters and those in his own field on his John Hawks Weblog.  Responding to one such story, the idea that eating meat gave humans bigger brains (12/20/2009), he showed how to ask skeptical questions: “How did meat make us smarter?  Is it a magical meat property?  If I fed enough meat to the local deer, would they get smarter?”  He did not reject the evolutionary tales outright: “These are serious hypotheses with literature and evidence supporting them,” he claimed, but then he blushed on his colleagues’ behalf: “I just wish that they could be reported in a way that made it sound like paleoanthropologists are skeptical scientists!”Thank you, John.  Join our campaign to clean up science by ridding it of storytelling.  Just watch the ground under your feet.(Visited 9 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Pick n Pay ups Zimbabwe investment

first_img2 November 2010 The investment in TM Supermarkets will inject new capital into the business and allow for much-needed refurbishment, including new fittings, generators and point of sale equipment. The stake has been acquired from Zimbabwean group Meikles Limited. The TM chain is the largest chain of retail stores in Zimbabwe by number of stores, with 51 retail outlets. South Africa’s Pick n Pay has increased its investment in Zimbabwe’s TM Supermarkets with the purchase of an additional 24% stake, worth about US$13-million (about R90.1-million), taking its shareholding in the retailer to 49%. “We welcome the opportunity to participate more meaningfully in the stabilisation of the Zimbabwe economy, and are excited to participate in the turnaround that is expected.” “Pick n Pay first made the investment in TM in 1996,” said Badminton. “TM has done an extremely good job in this business during very difficult times, facing and enduring severe economic deprivation, hyperinflation, currency collapse and an erratic merchandise availability.” Pick n Pay’s strategy into Africa has mainly been through partnering with locals and through the franchise route, where local experts own the franchise in their own communities. Direct investments are considered on a case-by-case basis, such as with a corporate store that was opened in Zambia. Improving economic stability Africa expansion strategy Badminton added that the conversion to the US dollar as the currency in Zimbabwe had provided a significant amount of stability and was a key factor in Pick n Pay’s decision to purchase the additional shareholding. The transaction is still subject to approval from the relevant Zimbabwean authorities and the South African Reserve Bank, and is expected to be completed by the end of March 2011. “Meikles and Pick n Pay have entered into a shareholder’s agreement to drive this initiative,” Pick n Pay CEO Nick Badminton said in a statement this week. “Certain stores will be re-branded as Pick n Pay stores, so that we can provide a retail experience similar to that provided in South Africa. “With the additional capital available, we believe there is significant upside potential in the TM operation, which is extremely well-run and well-regarded in Zimbabwe,” said Badminton. Currently, Pick n Pay’s foreign operations include 17 stores in Namibia, 12 in Botswana, seven in Swaziland, and one each in Lesotho and Zambia. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Open Source File System Takes On Microsoft’s exFAT Patents

first_imgOne small developer says that he’s readied an open-source alternative to Microsoft’s exFAT file system, providing companies and individuals with a free alternative to Microsoft’s file system for flash drives.Over the weekend, developer Andrew Nayenko announced fuse-exFAT 1.0.0, completing three years of development on the project. Tarball archives have been posted to Google’s code site, where they can be compiled for GNU/UNIX based operating systems and Apple’s OS X.And that could mean a loss of revenue for Microsoft, which has been busy licensing its exFAT file system to a number of companies. Last week, for example, Microsoft licensed the exFAT tech to automaker BMW for an undisclosed amount. It has signed similar deals with Aspen Avionics, Canon, Panasonic, Research In Motion, Sanyo and Sony.Why Is This Important?A file system manages the locations of computer files stored on a drive; in Windows, for example, PCs have used the NTFS file system since the days of Windows 2000. (Microsoft planned to include a new file system into Windows 8, called ReFS, but that system has been reserved for Windows Server.) Apple uses its own Hierarchical File System, with an improved version, HFS+, in OS X. The vast majority of consumers and businesses never have to worry about which format is used on which drive, as products like USB keys and external hard drives can be read by both Apple and Windows systems. Those external devices –  including the SD cards used by most consumer cameras – are typically formatted with a file system called FAT32.But as cards themselves increase in file size, the file system’s role becomes more prominent; for example, SD HD cards up to 32GB are formatted with FAT32. But for the newer SD XC cards, from 32GB on up to a (largely theoretical) limit of 2 terabytes, the SD Card Association has flipped over to the exFAT file system.That’s important in an increasingly connected world. In a statement, BMW’s project manager for CE device connections, Gottfried Schmid, explained that “with the support of the trend-setting file system exFAT, BMW is able to significantly increase the number of compatible CE devices and Mass Storage devices for our customers.” But the license agreements Microsoft has signed cover a number of traditional camera and phone manufacturers that are seeking legal shelter.The Legal MessIt’s still too early to tell whether Nayenko has managed to reverse engineer exFAT using open-source technologies, however. Microsoft hasn’t divulged many details of the the exFAT file system; in 2009, the SANS Institute attempted to reverse-engineer the exFAT file system to enable forensic examination, such as sensitive images that may have been stored on a camera. Microsoft maintains a licensing page specifically devoted to licensing exFAT technologies, and company representatives declined to comment when asked if Nayenko’s technology violated the company’s patents.Nayenko is presenting the exFAT file system as a FUSE model, a loadable kernel module that essentially serves as a bridge to the actual kernel interfaces. FUSE is licensed according to the GNU public software license.The few people who are aware of Nayenko’s release have begun asking whether or not businesses or other commercial entities interested in using fuse-exFAT within their own products may legally do so. Last year, Nayenko said that he didn’t believe that Microsoft could touch him. “Fortunately U.S. laws are not worlds [sic] laws,” he wrote in a message to the Google newsgroup.On Tuesday, he took a more laissez-faire approach. “I don’t know,” Nayenko responded, when I asked to interview him about the legal standing of fuse-exFAT. “You should consult a lawyer. I run this project just for fun and don’t care about patents because I’m not a U.S. resident.”It’s easy to draw comparisons between fuse-exFAT and Linux, and the battles between the open-source community and Microsoft in the late 1990s. Linux, however, was designed as a new OS kernel, not as a clone of existing Microsoft technology. While Nayenko may have designed a version of the exFAT file system that truly exists independently of Microsoft, any company selling products based on fuse-exFAT within the United States will probably face a legal challenge from Redmond.Image source: Flickr/Le ciel azure markhachman Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…center_img 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#flash#Microsoft#Open Source#Patents#storage Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Shahidul Alam seeks HC bail again

first_imgShahidul AlamRenowned photographer and Drik Gallery managing director Shahidul Alam on Tuesday filed another bail petition with the High Court in a case filed under the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Act, reports UNB.The lawyers of photographer Shahidul Alam submitted the petition to the concerned branch of the High Court in the noon, said his lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua.An HC bench comprising justice Rezaul Haque and justice Abu Taher Mohammad Saifur Rahman may hold a hearing on the bail petition on Wednesday, he added.Earlier on Monday, the High Court ordered the lower court concerned to dispose of the bail petition filed by Shahidul Alam within Tuesday.Later, judge KM Imrul Kayes of Dhaka metropolitan session judge’s court denied bail to Shahidul Alam in the case.The bail petition was filed on 28 August.On 4 September, one judge of a two-member High Court bench felt embarrassed to hear the bail petition.Later, another bench was formed to hear the petition.On 5 September, the HC directed the authorities concerned to provide first-class division to photographer Shahidulin in jail after hearing of a writ petition.Detectives arrested Shahidul Alam from his Dhanmondi residence on 5 August and the case was filed against him with Ramna police station on 6 August. He was also placed on a seven-day remand in the case.Police claimed that he spread propaganda through his Facebook account during the student movement demanding safe roads which is harmful to the state.last_img read more

Thundershower lightning hit four South Bengal districts parts of city

first_imgKolkata: A thundershower accompanied by lightning hit four South Bengal districts and some parts of the city on Sunday morning saving residents from the hot and humid condition.The rain has brought down the temperature by a few notches. Districts like North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Nadia and Murshidabad received moderate to heavy rainfall coupled with lightning from Sunday morning.The rain lasted for nearly two hours and the city remained cloudy. As the day progressed, the city dwellers witnessed light to moderate rainfall. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA strong wind was blowing at 40-60 km/hour in some parts of South Bengal on Sunday.The regional meteorological centre at Alipore has predicted a possibility of thunderstorm in some South Bengal districts on Monday as strong moisture-laden southwesterly wind would blow in the area, creating a favourable environment for a storm.The city may also receive scattered rainfall in the next 24 hours as predicted by the weather office. It may be mentioned that vehicular movement on various stretches of the city remained slow following the rain. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to Alipore MeT office, there may be heavy rainfall in some North Bengal districts in the next 24 hours.It may be mentioned that the city witnessed moderate to heavy rainfall a few days ago due to cyclonic circulation that was earlier hovering over Gangetic Bengal.As a result, some parts of the city and adjoining areas witnessed scattered rainfall for the past few days. Situation was further intensified in South Bengal after a low pressure trough was formed over Bay of Bengal.According to a weather expert, the formation of thunder cloud over Gangetic plains has contributed to the rains.Multiple thunderstorms may swept through some parts of South Bengal till Monday.last_img read more