In Case You Missed It: News and Rumors – Week of September 7, 2018

first_imgShare This!Who else has been off this week? I love 4 day weeks, but they do mess me up. What about you?This week, there’s a lot of news about Disney Cruise Line, see what Freeform has in store for celebrating Halloween, and more!In Case You Missed It – Disney and Universal Orlando News and RumorsBye. That’s what Guests said to a bug’s land this week. Share your favorite memories of this land that closed to make way for the upcoming Marvel land at Disney California Adventure.Could Disney Cruise Line make more of a presence in Miami? Things sure seem to look that way. Are you excited about this potential development?Disney has made a presentation to the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce about their hope to develop a destination at Lighthouse Point as a new potential cruise port.Effective Tuesday, September 11, Disney Cruise Line is adjusting its Final Payment and Cancellation Policy. This is a big change, so if you’re book a Disney Cruise, you’ll want to be aware of this one.I’m excited about this news personally. A brand new Vera Bradley/Disney line comes out today! I was worried that they had maybe stopped their partnership, since I hadn’t seen a new Disney pattern in a while.This past weekend, Spaceship Earth sprung a leak! Luckily, no major damage was done to the attraction.It appears that John Williams and Michael Giacchino could be scoring the music we hear while touring around Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge! Get ready for some epicness, if this is true!Love these sketches of Mickey Mouse through the years!This year, Freeform will celebrate 31 days of Halloween! Besides a marathon of Hocus Pocus, I find the Decorating Disney Halloween episode most intriguing….will definitely set the DVR for that!Have you been following the Redbox/Disney saga? Well, this week, Disney received a major victory. Thoughts?In Case We Missed ItWhat did we miss? Attach your ideas to an Orange Bird Wallet by Loungefly and send it to with the words “In Case You Missed It” in the subject line.last_img read more

Africa helicopter service hub for SA

first_img25 September 2012South African defence equipment manufacturer Denel and Russian Helicopters, a leading international designer and manufacturer of helicopters, have signed an agreement to create a helicopter servicing hub for sub-Saharan Africa.The agreement was signed at the 7th Africa Aerospace and Defence Exhibition (AAD) at the Waterkloof Air Force Base in Pretoria last week.Through the agreement, Denel Aviation, a division of Denel, is now the only company in sub-Saharan Africa accredited to perform maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for models produced by Russian Helicopters.Speaking at the signing ceremony, Denel chief executive Riaz Saloojee said the agreement would significantly expand the company’s business in Africa and strengthen its position as the premier provider of MRO services on the continent.Sub-Saharan maintenance hubDenel Aviation CEO Mike Kgobe said Denel’s objective was to become the maintenance hub for most of the modern commercial and military aircraft operating in sub-Saharan Africa.“The agreement represents the culmination of a long-standing partnership between the two companies,” Kgobe said.Russian Helicopters CEO Dmitry Petrov said civil aviation was a high-growth market in Africa, and that Russian Helicopters was well positioned to be a market leader on the continent for years to come.“We see great potential for our helicopters in countries across Africa, and are delighted to be working with Denel Aviation to provide a complete customer care programme for our clients on the continent,” Petrov said.Skills transferFrom October, Denel Aviation technical staff will attend an intensive training programme on the latest Russian Helicopters technology and procedures in the eastern Siberian city of Novosibirsk.This will mean that teams of Denel Aviation engineers and technicians will be deployable at short notice to perform emergency repair work on helicopters across the continent.For deeper-level MRO work, the aircraft will be transported to the company’s facilities close to OR Tambo International Airport in Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg.“Our knowledge of the African geography and climatic conditions, and the track record of our products that have been extensively deployed in operational conditions, make us a logical partner of choice to the military and civilian markets on the continent,” Kgobe said.Russian Helicopters manufactures an extensive line-up of versatile and resilient helicopters for purposes ranging from cargo and passenger transport to medevac and search-and-rescue missions, fire-fighting, corporate transportation and offshore in the oil and gas sector.Russian Helicopters has been sole vendor of Russian-built civilian helicopters to foreign clients since consolidation of the country’s helicopter manufacturing sector was completed in 2010.Source: read more

Aligning Theft Prevention with Changes in Criminal Behavior and Business Needs

first_imgToday’s shoplifters are becoming more brazen than in the past, according to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation. This disturbing trend is putting enormous pressure on retailers that want to both prevent loss and keep associates safe. Additionally, some of the industry’s most enduring loss prevention strategies have now been rendered less effective.“Shoplifters are bolder and not afraid of setting off alarms at the door,” explained Robb Northrup at siffron, which manufactures retail merchandising fixtures and displays. “They know that if they can get to the exit, they are as good as gone.”Because trying to stop theft at the store’s door places employees at substantial risk of harm, retailers have largely resigned themselves to watching thieves—and their merchandise—run off. This feeling of powerlessness is reflected in the results of the 2019 National Retail Security Survey, which found that the average retailer made six times fewer shoplifting stops last year than in 2015. There has not been the same decline in losses from shoplifting, of course.- Sponsor – This problem has left stores searching for answers. “We’ve seen several retailers moving back to locking product away in high-theft stores to stop the flow of merchandise being stolen from those locations,” said Northrup. “But that isn’t progress.”According to Northrup, while locking away product may cut certain types of shrink, it also cuts into profit—up to 80 percent for some product categories. Limiting access to high-theft products discourages legitimate customers from accessing merchandise, driving lost sales, and frustrating customers.Understanding customers’ pain points and knowing current trends in store theft, siffron has been moving loss prevention away from the exit door and back into the store. siffron’s LM Tag™ combines a light sensor and a motion detector and alerts store personnel when the product is both in motion and concealed in a bag, under a coat, or in a pocket. Store personnel are directed to the point of concern inside the store, rather than after merchandise has been carried into the parking lot.siffron’s SONR loss prevention line alerts store staff of shoplifting at the point of theft. SONR includes a battery-operated hook with an anti-sweep design and an echo box that emits an “activity beep” each time the integrated label is lifted to remove items, one by one. Instead of notification at the door, the solution creates awareness of activity while there is still time—time for staff to address a potential offender safely with standard service practices and time for a potential shoplifter to feel pressure to change his or her mind.Don’t lock up your merchandise. Reduce shrink while increasing sales with intelligent loss prevention solutions from siffron!“The idea is to simplify the process and initiate notifications at the display level,” explained Northrup. “While offenders are more prone to dash once they reach the doors with existing solutions, they still are generally risk-averse. When attention is drawn to them at the display level inside the store, even with something as simple as a beep upon product removal like we have with the SONR system, offenders are more likely to leave that merchandise alone as attention is drawn to them and their activity.”But does it work? Northrup acknowledged that some LP practitioners are not immediately convinced that using audible cues can be an effective theft deterrent. However, the idea that environmental cues can be used to influence behavior is well documented.Research studies illustrate how subtle cues can push people toward honest behavior. In a ten-week study by the Evolution and Behavior Research Group (University of Newcastle), employees paid for cafeteria drinks on the honor system while a poster of a person’s eyes hung on a nearby wall; for an additional ten weeks, they paid for drinks under a poster of flowers. Astonishingly, people paid 2.8 times as much money for similar products when the poster of a person’s eyes watched over them, showing how subtle cues of authoritative observation can prevent adverse behavior. Studies of music and other auditory cues have similarly demonstrated a significant ability to influence moral decision-making and deter people from unethical and counterproductive behaviors.Many LP retailers are drawn to the simplicity of siffron’s effective approach. Northrup noted that some solutions in the market have gotten highly complicated, cumbersome, and difficult to use – such as requiring external power sources, specialized installation hardware, and complex wiring and electrical cables running through fixtures. Wireless and easy to install, siffron’s loss prevention solutions not only deter criminals, but they also adhere to today’s demanding business needs.“Retailers need solutions that are as plug-and-play as possible,” he explained. “With the ever-changing retail environment, retailers need to be nimble in their display approach and able to adjust their planograms on the fly as much as possible.” LP teams also need to target problem areas or SKUs, while some high-cost security solutions and equipment cannot differentiate between low- and high-value SKUs.Ultimately, LP professionals are convinced when they see concrete results from this new approach to security, said Northrup. “It’s when they see their shrink numbers decrease, sales increase and the ROI proves itself out in months, not years.”   Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Three Chinese teams join race to build the world’s fastest supercomputer

first_img TIANJIN, CHINA—In a cavernous room just off the marble floored lobby of China’s National Supercomputer Center of Tianjin stand more than 100 wardrobe-size black and gray metal cabinets, arranged in ranks like a marching army. They contain the Tianhe-1A supercomputer, which 8 years ago became the first Chinese machine to reign, briefly, as the world’s fastest computer, running at 2.57 petaflops (or quadrillion floating point operations per second). But just upstairs from Tianhe-1A—and off-limits to visitors—is a small prototype machine that, if successfully scaled up, could push China to the top of the rankings again. The goal is a supercomputer capable of 1 exaflop—1000 petaflops, five times faster than the current champion, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.China is vying with the United States, Europe, and Japan to plant its flag in this rarefied realm, which will boost climate and weather modeling, human genetics studies, drug development, artificial intelligence, and other scientific uses. But its strategy is unique. Three teams are competing to build China’s machine; the Tianjin prototype has rivals at the National Supercomputing Center in Jinan and at Dawning Information Industry Co., a supercomputer manufacturer in Beijing. The Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) will probably select two for expansion to exascale by the end of the year. The approach is a chance to spur innovation, says Bob Sorensen, a high-performance computing analyst at Hyperion Research in St. Paul. It “encourages vendors to experiment with a wide range of designs to distinguish themselves from their competitors,” he says.China may not be first to reach this computing milestone. Japan’s Post-K exascale computer could be running in 2020. The United States is aiming to deploy its first exascale system at Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, in 2021. The European Union is ramping up its own program. 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Having three competing teams will ensure broad-based technological advancement in computer chips, operating software, networking, and data storage technologies, says Meng Xiangfei, a physicist leading exascale application R&D for the center here. Building domestic capacity is particularly important for central processing units (CPUs) and specialized chips called accelerators, which boost a computer’s performance. China relied on U.S.-made Intel CPUs for several generations of supercomputers, says Jack Dongarra, a computer scientist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, but in 2015, the U.S. government barred the export of certain chips for security reasons. That move “provoked the Chinese government to make a heavy investment” in processors, he says. All three exascale prototypes use chips made in China.The three-team strategy also allowed MOST to share costs with regional governments, which hope that a leading edge supercomputer will spur technological development and lure institutes and businesses. Qian Depei, a computer scientist at Beihang University in Beijing who serves on MOST’s exascale evaluation team, says the prototypes cost about $9 million each; MOST put up half and the rest came from local sources.The prototypes have faced a battery of tests for speed, stability, and energy consumption plus trial runs of software from different application areas, but the results are “very secret,” Meng says. The final budget is also unclear, though at the outset a governmental advisory committee estimated one exascale computer would cost 2 billion to 3 billion yuan ($288 million to $432 million).Even after the two winners are announced, Qian says the third team will probably remain involved so the expertise they’ve acquired is not wasted. Scaling up the prototypes, which operate in the range of 3 petaflops, will mean interconnecting enough CPUs and accelerators to reach an exaflop, refining the liquid cooling systems needed to remove heat and improve efficiency, and perfecting the operating software needed for the massively parallel arrangement of processors to work together.China once lagged in developing application software needed to do interesting science with supercomputers, but it has been catching up, Meng says. For the past 2 years, Chinese groups have won the Gordon Bell Prize presented annually by the Association for Computing Machinery for innovations in applying high-performance computing to science, engineering, and large-scale data analytics. Chinese scientists are now working on new applications, says Yang Meihong, director of the Jinan center. For example, going to exascale will allow a dramatic improvement in the spatial resolution of global atmospheric models, “which will be greatly significant for a deeper understanding of the mechanisms of climate change,” she says.The United States still dominates among the truly powerful supercomputers used for research, with 21 systems in the top 50 to China’s two. But scientists play down the ranking’s importance. “Having the top 500 No. 1 supercomputer—that’s pretty good, but that’s not the goal,” Qian says. “The real measure should be what kind of new science we have as a result of these computers,” Dongarra says. VCG/GETTY IMAGES By Dennis NormileOct. 24, 2018 , 1:45 PM Tianhe-1A was the world’s fastest computer in 2010. Its successor is being developed in the same building. Three Chinese teams join race to build the world’s fastest supercomputer last_img read more