US to resume federal executions after 17 years

first_imgBut at the last minute, the US Supreme Court refused to lift a stay on federal executions, saying that — “in light of what is at stake” — the block on executions should be reviewed by an appeals court.In April, an appeals court in Washington approved the use of pentobarbital for lethal injections, and Barr ordered that new execution dates be set for four of the five convicts.”We owe it to the victims of these horrific crimes,” Barr said in a statement.Following his order, the Bureau of Prisons scheduled the executions to take place between July 13 and August 28. Topics : Among the four is Daniel Lewis Lee, an avowed white supremacist, who was sentenced to death for the 1996 murder of a family of three, including an eight-year-old girl.The mother of one of his victims, Earlene Peterson, opposes Lee’s execution due to her religious convictions and appealed to US President Donald Trump to grant Lee clemency.”I can’t see how executing Daniel Lee will honor my daughter in any way,” Peterson said in a video posted online. “In fact, kind of like it dirties her name because she wouldn’t want it and I don’t want it.”Trump, who is a fervent advocate of the death penalty and has even said it should be applied against drug dealers, did not grant her appeal.According to opinion polls, support for the death penalty has declined in recent years and is down to around 54 percent from 80 percent in the early 1990s.Only a handful of states, mainly in the US south, still carry out executions. Twenty-two people were executed in 2019.Most crimes in the United States are heard in state courts, but some are handled by federal prosecutors, such as hate crimes, some particularly heinous crimes or those that take place on military installations or Native American reservations.center_img The United States will resume federal executions on July 13, after a 17-year stay, the Justice Department said Monday.There have been just three federal execution since the death penalty was reinstated by the US government in 1988.Attorney General  Bill Barr announced a year ago he intended to resume the use of the death penalty for federal crimes. Five convicted murderers were scheduled to undergo lethal injections in December 2019 and January of this year at the federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.last_img read more

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Mighty Axe IMCA Modified wins go to Martini, Kendall

first_imgEric Martini was the $1,000 winner of the opening night feature for Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds at North Central Speedway’s Mighty Axe Nationals. (Photo by James Jones)BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 26-27) – Eric Martini’s efforts to win the Mighty Axe Nationals took five years while Billy Kendall needed just seven minutes to race his way to the top step of the Modified podium at North Central Speedway.Martini topped Friday’s Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified headliner at Brainerd and earned $1,000, Kendall’s Saturday checkers were good for $1,200 and their wins landed both drivers on the 2017 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.Martini gained the Friday lead on the fifth of 25 laps, passing Erick Thiesse on the bottom and josh Beaulieu on the top. He led to the finish, holding off Don Eischens, Larry Zeller and Kendall in check following numerous restarts in the final laps.“I’ve called this the Elusive Axe for years. I’ve tried to win it for five years but something always happened,” he said. “My son Cameron told me I’d have to hang it up if I didn’t win it this year.”Like Martini on opening night, Kendall drew the third starting spot on Saturday. He needed a bit longer – 15 laps – to get the lead, passing Eischens to win in a feature that ran caution-free and took just seven minutes to complete.“I’ve run the Mighty Axe in a pure stock, a SportMod, a street stock and now a Modified. This was the first time I’ve won it,” said Kendall, who was close to a straightaway ahead of Eischens at the finish. “”Last year I was close with second and third-place finishes. It’s nice to finally get one. There were a lot of good drivers here.”Shawn Fletcher was third and fourth went to Aaron Johnson. Kendall pocketed the additional $200 for having raced both nights.Saturday’s Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified main event at the Mighty Axe ran green to checkered and paid $1,200 to winner Billy Kendall. (Photo by James Jones)Four hundred dollar Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMod feature winners were Ashley Mehrwerth on Friday and her brother Brandon on Saturday.David Siercks was runner-up both nights while third went to Bud Martini on Friday and to Tim Siercks on Saturday.Robert Young Jr. swept the $275 to win IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock features, ahead of Timothy Gonska and David Dosh on opening night and Tom Anderson and Gonska on night two.Brendon Yamry was also a double winner, picking up $100 Mach-1 Sport Compact victories in front of Terry Blowers and Derek Stanoch both nights.Aug. 26 Feature ResultsModifieds – 1. Eric Martini; 2. Don Eischens; 3. Larry Zeller; 4. Billy Kendall; 5. Josh Beaulieu; 6. Ryan Canon; 7. Tyler Mecl; 8. Aaron Johnson; 9. Josh Anderson; 10. Lance Schilling; 11. Craig Larson; 12. Erick Thiesse; 13. Clayton Caird; 14. Josh Larsen; 15. Mark Prueser; 16. Tony Yezek; 17. Jerry Esler; 18. Justin Jones; 19. Troy Jordan; 20. Shawn Fletcher.Northern SportMods – 1. Ashley Mehrwerth; 2. David Siercks; 3. Bud Martini; 4. Jacob Hagemann; 5. A.J. Viehauser; 6. Jason Vejtruba; 7. Jacob Jordan; 8. Mitchell Kittridge; 9. Dustin Joel; 10. David Slovick; 11. Erik Gruhlke; 12. Jacob Kierstead; 13. Kayla Schmidt; 14. Brandon Norgard; 15. Brandon Mehrwerth; 16. Tim Smith; 17. Vic Schmidt; 18. Tim Siercks; 19. Mike Brenny; 20. Dru Nelson; 21. Thomas Joel.Hobby Stocks – 1. Robert Young Jr.; 2. Timothy Gonska; 3. David Dosh; 4. Rod Larson Jr.; 5. Chris Seidel; 6. Austin Niemeyer; 7. Shayne Pankratz; 8. Tom Anderson; 9. Joe Gonska; 10. Jared Danberry; 11. Mike Vogt.Sport Compacts – 1. Brendon Yamry; 2. Terry Blowers; 3. Derek Stanoch; 4. Drew Johnson; 5. Trista Pankratz; 6. Austin Goedker; 7. Nicole Blaisdell; 8. Addy Young; 9. Calvin Saldona; 10. Eric Pfundt; 11. Shelly Joel; 12. Dean Blanchard Sr.; 13. Chris Lehnen; 14. Curt Derichs; 15. Devin Dustin-Flannigan.Aug. 27 Feature ResultsModifieds – 1. Kendall; 2. Eischens; 3. Fletcher; 4. Johnson; 5. Canon; 6. Martini; 7. Beaulieu; 8. Anderson; 9. Craig Larson; 10. Schilling; 11. Jones; 12. Esler; 13. Prueser; 14. Yezek; 15. Mecl; 16. Thiesse; 17. Caird; 18. Jordan.Northern SportMods – 1. Brandon Mehrwerth; 2. David Siercks; 3. Tim Siercks; 4. Hagemann; 5. Adam Bohlman; 6. Viehauser; 7. Alan Bohlman; 8. Ashley Mehrwerth; 9. Slovick; 10. Nelson; 11. Norgard; 12. Jordan; 13. Vejtruba; 14. Dustin Joel; 15. Kierstead.Hobby Stocks – 1. Young; 2. Anderson; 3. Timothy Gonska; 4. Dosh; 5. Seidel; 6. Danberry; 7. Niemeyer; 8. Cody Lodermeier; 9. Joe Gonska; 10. Larson; 11. Pankratz.Sport Compacts – 1. Yamry; 2. Blowers; 3. Stanoch; 4. Brittany Smith; 5. Blaisdell; 6. Blanchard; 7. Pankratz; 8. Joel; 9. Dawson Kimble; 10. Derichs; 11. Young; 12. Dustin-Flannigan; 13. Lehnen; 14. Goedker; 15. Markia Smith.last_img read more

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Anna Shkudun helps Syracuse clinch first-round bye in ACC tournament in 5-2 win over Virginia Tech

first_imgAnna Shkudun’s opponent turned around, swung her racket against a green tarp, dropped her head, and gripped her racket tightly.The Syracuse graduate student had just bounced a lob shot on the end line and toward the green tarp laying a few yards back. Virginia Tech’s Francesca Fusinato backed up, hit her racket on the tarp and changed her swing’s direction. She missed the ball, which landed just a few inches away from her foot.Shkudun, the country’s No. 76 singles player, had mounted a large lead in the first set, but faltered in the middle of the second to Fusinato, the No. 45 singles player. A quick, 6-1 loss for Shkudun tied the No. 1 singles match at one set apiece.Unlike the first two sets, the third contained drawn out rallies, rare aces and multiple times there was confusion between the line judge and players. It was that set that allowed Shkudun to take home No. 32 Syracuse’s fifth point of the meet, as the Orange (13-7, 7-7 Atlantic Coast) defeated No. 30 Virginia Tech (14-9, 7-7), 5-2.“(Anna) was really gritty,” assistant coach Len Lopoo said. “There were a lot of points that were really rough. Where they were running one another side-to-side, short-deep. But she just refused to miss against an opponent who is really consistent.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textIn that third set, Fusinato hit a return that came close to the sideline, Shkudun raised her finger and the words “Out!” echoed through Drumlins Country Club. A quick “No, no, no, no!” came from Fusinato, who was sure the ball had landed in-bounds. Fusinato began to plead her case to the line judge, who kept his facial expressions to a minimum, saying that the ball did in fact land out of bounds.The next play, Fusinato served the ball to Shkudun, who quickly returned it for a point on her backhand.In the middle set, when Shkudun lost, 6-1, technical errors often were the reason behind Fusinato’s quick wins. Many of Shkudun’s serves failed to go over the net and her returns landed out of bounds often.Three straight times, Shkudun’s serves turned into faults. A few plays later, her outstretched racket missed the ball and she fell into a full-split. Throughout the second set, Shkudun was breathing heavily.“Sometimes in the second set I was going crazy and screaming. I was completely distracted,” Shkudun said. “I started to concentrate on playing longer rallies and (to) stay concentrated. That helped me finish the match with the win.”As Shkudun secured the win against Fusinato, she was mobbed by her teammates. High fives were passed around, as the Orange ended its last regular season game on a high note. SU finished the year .500 in the ACC and upset a division rival ranked two spots ahead of it in ITA’s team rankings.With the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament set to kick off Wednesday, April 20, Syracuse secured a bye in the first round with its win on Sunday. Shkudun’s win went a long way in helping Syracuse put itself in that position.“A lot was on the line as far as ACC seeding and NCAA,” head coach Younes Limam said about the importance of winning the meet against Virginia Tech. “We’re at a good place now.” Comments Published on April 17, 2016 at 5:11 pm Contact Charlie: [email protected] | @charliedisturco Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more

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Stave to start Saturday against UTEP

first_imgJoel Stave stepped onto the field for the first time in his career Utah State, completing 2-of-6 passes for 15 yards.[/media-credit]Wisconsin head coach Bret Bielema confirmed redshirt freshman Joel Stave will start at quarterback against Texas-El Paso at his press conference Thursday.Stave landed the first game experience of his career in the second half of a 16-14 win over Utah State Saturday, connecting on two of the six passes he threw for a total of 15 yards. The Greenfield, Wis., walk-on entered the game after Bielema benched Danny O’Brien, in his first year suiting up for Wisconsin after transferring from Maryland earlier this summer.Bielema said the move was largely based on his confidence that Stave will avoid costly turnovers. “I think the fact that Joel responded so well, didn’t have any issues – no fumbled snap exchanges, there wasn’t any incorrect balls or anything that really was his fault,” the head coach said. “Didn’t show me any reason not to stay with him.”While naming the redshirt freshman the starter this weekend, Bielema said he is still most comfortable with O’Brien in the two-minute offense – which could be a factor in close, late-game situations – and that “all three (quarterbacks) might bet a shot.”Also factoring into the decision was Stave’s confidence and poise, something Bielema said he showed after failing to complete a third down pass Saturday when the targeted receiver wasn’t open.Though most expected O’Brien – who, with 17 starts coming in, held by far the most collegiate experience of any quarterback on the Badgers’ roster – to hold onto the starting role, a lost fumble and called-back interception left him watching the second half from the sideline. On a team that puts such high value on protecting the football, UW’s head coach made it clear the turnovers led to the redshirt junior’s benching.In three games, O’Brien completed 62 percent of his passes for 454 yards, but under his command the offense struggled to put together consistent scoring drives.Wisconsin’s head coach said Stave’s lack of experience won’t limit the gameplan, but he didn’t rule out someone else stepping in later this year. “I make every move with the idea that it’s going to be long-term,” Bielema said. “But on the same account, you understand we have a number of guys [who may play].”last_img read more

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Ronaldo off the mark as Juventus maintain 100% record

first_img0Shares0000Double delight: Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first goals for Juventus in a 2-1 over Sassuolo in Turin © AFP / Miguel MEDINAMILAN, Italy, Sep 17 – Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first competitive goals for Juventus on Sunday, with a second-half double that ensured a 2-1 win over Sassuolo to make it four victories from as many Serie A games.But there was controversy in Turin as Juventus winger Douglas Costa was sent off late on after being caught on camera spitting at Sassuolo’s Federico Di Francesco. Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo, who arrived amid great pomp and ceremony following a 100-million-euro ($117 million) deal from Real Madrid, tapped in from barely a yard out after a goalmouth scramble on 50 minutes.The 33-year-old added a second 15 minutes later following a counter-attack orchestrated by Emre Can as the defending seven-time Italian champions moved three points clear of Napoli.“I’m happy. I worked hard and I knew that the goals would come,” said Ronaldo.“I thank my teammates who really helped me and allowed me to adapt to Italian football.”Ronaldo — Real Madrid’s record all-time goalscorer — showed his frustration, however, kicking the post as he missed two more chances.“This is football. The important thing is that the team wins. I was a little tense with all the talk after my move from Real Madrid and not scoring, so there were a lot of expectations, but I thank my teammates for supporting me throughout.”Senegalese striker Khouma Babacar headed in a consolation goal for Sassuolo in injury-time as the side from Modena fell to their first defeat of the season.Costa later apologised for his late red card for elbowing and spitting at Di Francesco — the 24-year-old son of Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco.“Over the top reaction” – Brazilian Douglas Costa apologises for spitting at Federico Di Francesco. © AFP / Marco BERTORELLO“I would like to apologise to all the Juventus fans for my wrong reaction during today’s game,” wrote Costa on Instagram.“I also apologise to my teammates, who are always by my side, in good and bad times. It was ugly, I am aware of that and I apologise to everyone for that.“I want to make clear that this isolated conduct has nothing to do with what I’ve shown throughout my career.”Juventus are the only unbeaten side after Napoli inflicted a first loss on Fiorentina on Saturday with a 1-0 win ahead of next week’s Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade.Sassuolo are third with seven points.Bolstered by five-time winner Ronaldo, Juventus begin their quest for a first Champions League title since 1996 at Valencia on Wednesday.“The Champions League is my favourite tournament,” said Ronaldo, who scored 15 goals in the tournament last season. “It’s a very difficult group, we know that we can do well and Juve must focus on being the best.”– Roma, Milan held –Roma’s confidence was dented ahead of their daunting midweek trip to Champions League holders Real Madrid, as bottom club Chievo came from two goals down to snatch a 2-2 draw at the Stadio Olimpico.Stephan El Shaarawy and Bryan Cristante put Roma, who lost to AC Milan before the international break, firmly in command at half-time.But Chievo, beaten 6-1 by Fiorentina last time out and on minus points after being deducted three points by the Italian football federation for false accounting, battled back in the second half.Valter Birsa pulled a goal back in the 52nd minute, with Polish striker Mariusz Stepinski sealing a point for the club from Verona seven minutes from time.“This was a game we had under control, we should have killed it off. This can’t happen against Real,” said Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco.Gonzalo Higuain scored his first goal for AC Milan to rescue a point in Cagliari. © AFP / MARCO BERTORELLOThe Roma coach added: “We’ll be going out to challenge Real Madrid on Wednesday. We mustn’t lose our heads, even if these results destabilise us.”Roma are ninth with five points from four games — already seven points adrift of Juventus — and also behind city rivals Lazio who won at Empoli with Marco Parolo scoring the only goal.On-loan Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain scored his first goal for AC Milan on 55 minutes to snatch a 1-1 draw at Cagliari, after Joao Pedro had opened the scoring for the hosts in just the fourth minute.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

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Paedophile former priest Eugene Greene dies

first_imgFormer priest Eugene Greene, who pleaded guilty to 41 counts of sexual assault on 26 children in Donegal between 1965 and 1982, died at the end of last year.The news was reported earlier by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.Eugene Greene died before Christmas, but Church authorities were not informed of his death at the time. He was 91 years old. Eugene Greene was sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2000, and was set free in 2008.It is not known where he died, but it is understood he was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea.It is also understood that that the Raphoe Diocesan Office will be contacting victims of Eugene Greene in the next day or two to inform them of his death.Bishop of Raphoe, Alan Mac Eochagáin, declined to comment to RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta at this point. Paedophile former priest Eugene Greene dies was last modified: March 7th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:deathFr Eugene GreenepaedophilePriestRaphoelast_img read more

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49ers report card: Jimmy G finishes strong, defense dominates

first_imgLANDOVER, Md. – Here is how the 49ers (6-0) graded out in their 9-0 win Sunday over host Washington (1-6):PASS OFFENSE: C+It’s not how you start (3-of-10, 10 yards at halftime) but how you finish, and Jimmy Garoppolo overcame rainy conditions. He completed his final eight passes for 113 yards after a red-zone interception. The makeshift line yielded only two sacks, though Garoppolo did have to flee the pocket a couple times and did so well (four carries, 20 yards). George Kittle’s three …last_img

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Mapping the Oil Spill in Real Time

first_imgjustin houk See also:BP Exec to Brave YouTube Questions Live TomorrowWeb Makes the Difference for New Orleans MusiciansMapping the Oil Spill in Real TimeWhite House Will Answer Your Oil Spill Questions from YouTube TonightCartoon: Just VentingOilaholic: Oil Spill Goes Real-Time5 Intersections of the Real-Time Web and the Deepwater HorizonBeyond the information collected by the government and oil industry, people are documenting their own stories. Communities are forming on photo sharing sites like Flickr where location-tagged images can be visualized using Flickr Map. Tags:#Location#Real-Time Web#web Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting In the wake of the BP oil disaster, real-time mapping technologies have been recruited to improve communication and promote collaboration between people in local communities, as well as federal, state and local responders. Last week NOAA released GeoPlatform.gov to provide near-real-time mapping data to those connected to the crisis.The site lets you track everything from daily spill positions to the locations of ships responding to the crisis. State and non-governmental organizations are also collecting and mapping real-time information. In some instances the efforts include citizen-generated data from iPhone apps and photos mapped on sites like Flickr.GeoPlatform.gov, which is designed to be a one-stop access point for location data, uses a Web-based mapping system called ERMA (Environmental Response Management Application). Its list of data layers includes spill trajectories, shoreline conditions, and the current positions of ships registered as responders. NOAA hopes to add things like wildlife impacts, field photos, and agency analysis to the site in the near future.LA Earth (Louisiana Earth) is a Google Earth Enterprise Server operated by the state of Louisiana that provides daily oil spill trajectories, closures, and many other maps as a Google Earth layer (kml). (Download the Google Earth Client/Plugin to use the date.)Crisis and Crowd-sourced MappingThere are several ways that that Gulf locals are mapping and reporting spill related incidents. The Oil Spill Crisis map was created buy the Louisiana Bucket Brigade and students at Tulane University. The map shows hundreds of reports sent through SMS messages, Twitter and the Internet. The map was built using open-source crisis mapping software developed by Ushahidi.The sensors built into smartphones are collecting a rich stream of spill-related data for mapping. The iPhone app Oil Spill Response (iTunes download) allows you to file mobile reports on wildlife, oiled shorelines and other types of spill-related damage. Oil Reporter was created by Crisis Commons and is available for both iPhones and Android smart-phones. It geotags photos, files reports, and provides information on how to contact authorities or volunteer. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

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Sharing & Privacy: Can We Have Our Cake And Eat It Too?

first_imgIt’s often said that services like Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter – you name it – are not the product, you are. Each and every bit of information you share and action you take is used to create a profile of user behavior, which is used then to either advertise directly to you or to people on a whole. But how can we ride the fine line? How can we have great, world-changing services at a price (read: free) everyone can afford without completely selling out the end user?At a meeting of the Churchill Club last night, this was a topic at the very heart of the debate and it’s still very clear that there’s no single answer.According to Laura Berger, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission, a key point in responsibly handling user information while respecting user privacy lies in staying within the lines of users’ expectations.“If a consumer is using a weather service, you would expect the service to look at your location,” said Berger, “but you wouldn’t expect them to look at your contact list or call history.” Jim Dempsey, the VP for public policy with the Center for Democracy and Technology, agreed, saying that these expectations should define a form of implicit agreement. “It’s the unexpected for which you should be getting consent,” said Dempsey, arguing that Amazon asking for permission to access your shipping address, when you order a book to be delivered to you, is simply cluttering the landscape.On this point – the cluttered privacy agreement landscape and the lack of informed consent among consumers clicking that “Agree” button on Terms Of Service contracts – everyone agreed: Nobody is reading anything while agreeing to everything.“Privacy policies are speed bumps…”“Privacy policies,” quipped Reputation.com co-founder and COO Owen Tripp, “are speed bumps on your way to getting free burger coupons.”So what’s to be done? How can we ensure that we have continued access to revolutionary forms of interaction and communication without paying an arm and a leg for them? Knapp argued that the companies themselves – the Googles and Facebooks and Twitters of the world – realize that correctly handling these issues of privacy are center to their continued success. “They all take privacy very seriously,” said Loopt COO Brian Knapp. “They believe there’s a connection, a trust with their users. They didn’t get to where they are without taking it seriously. It’s part of the business model.”Tripp argued that this sort of trust in privacy via business sense was not enough. “I think we’re being naïve if we think companies will only go as far as what is required,” said Tripp. “Why not collect that extra piece of information?”Dempsey, of the CDT, contended that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a compromise.“There’s no perfect solution. There’s no single solution,” said Dempsey. “The one thing that consumers do understand is the advertisement piece. Consumers more or less understand that free is not truly free, that it’s advertising-supports and that involves the collection of information for targeted ads.”What users do fear, said Dempsey, is the unexpected use of that information. When your check-ins end up in the hands of insurance agencies checking up on your eating habits (a scary point brought up multiple times throughout the night by Reputation.com’s Tripp), that’s when there is a problem.A Point of BalanceAnd that seems to be the real point: can companies reach a point of balance? Can legislation or the market itself balance things out to the point where we can reliably click on 100-page-long terms of service for massively popular companies without worrying that our information will be sold off to insurance companies? Can the agreement of how and when and with whom our information is used become implicit, or do we really need to start flipping through the legalese?“I would hope that in five years, there would be some established uniformity,” said Berger. “I hope we’ll get to a point where there’s a shared understanding about what consumers can expect.”“It is possible,” said Dempsey,” that we could have a federal baseline privacy law. It’s possible that it could provide – hit the sweet spot of – baseline protection, but with the flexibility needed to support innovation.”Tripp argued that it all came down to one simple thing:“All things equal,” he said, “the company that’s going to want to win in the next couple years will have the best privacy model.”What do you think? Is the proof in the pudding or is it in the lengthy TOS that, as everyone agrees, none of us read? 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market mike melanson Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#privacy#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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Hunting Energy Efficiency in Southeast Australia

first_imgIt is winter in Australia, and so it is a good time for Peter Reefman, a builder based in the southeastern state of Victoria, to show off the energy efficiency of his recently completed three-bedroom home in the town of Portland.Through his company, Energised Homes, Reefman has been trying to push the performance level of his homes up while keeping their cost competitive and their contemporary appearance in line with prevailing market preferences. His new house, which he both lives in and uses as a demonstration home, earned an 8.1-star rating under Australia’s Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme (NatHERS), which uses an assessment scale of zero (the worst) to 10 (the best) and factors in the layout of the home; the construction of its roof, walls, windows, and floors; the orientation of windows and shading relative to the sun’s path and local breezes; and the degree to which these features suit the local climate. As Australia’s Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency puts it, the interior comfort of a home with a 10-star rating would require “no artificial heating and cooling.”Borrowing a strategyReefman told the ABC Western Victoria news service that it took a while for him to incorporate solar orientation – a critical component of Passivhaus construction – into his own approach to homebuilding, but once he did, he says, he was immediately impressed by the results. The exterior of the house features generous window space on the north-facing wall, a few small windows on the south wall, very limited window space on the home’s west side.Reefman installed a polished concrete floor on the first floor of the house, and wood flooring (now covered with wool carpet and rubber tiles) on the second floor. A heat pump helps warm the house in winter. Reefman estimates that heating and cooling costs combined will come in under $19 (U.S.) a year.Other features of the house include a reflective metal roof, a rainwater harvesting system with a total 9,900-liter capacity, and the use of recycled concrete in the driveway, salvaged wood for the screen fence at the front of the building, and used brick for the facing on the garage exterior.On the roof, Reefman installed a solar hot-water system and 1.4 kW solar power array, which he estimates will trim the home’s annual energy costs by about $1,500 below those for a conventionally constructed home of comparable size.last_img read more

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