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Top Deals of 2007

first_imgThe Top Deals of 2007Gemstar-TV GuideALMTime4 MediaAdvanstarInteractive DealsZiff Davis EnterpriseClarity Partners/Modern LuxurySummit Business Media/Wicks Business InformationAscend’s DivestmentsPrimedia Enthusiast After consecutive years of record-breaking media deals (both in volume and value), there are finally signs that the industry is cooling slightly. The credit market, so favorable to many of the jawdropping multiples seen over the past two years has tightened up considerably. Private equity, which has dominated the media M&A landscape, may be pushing back from its buying binge, leaving strategic buyers to pick up the slack. And a magazine industry that already expected a continuing flat-todown trend in print revenue in 2008 braces for a recession. Still, in M&A terms, 2007 had several market-defining moments. A strong start in both volume and value yielded to a fourth-quarter stall and the strategics laid the groundwork for their likely 2008 comeback, according to a report by DeSilva & Phillips. However, one area in which 2007 remained strong throughout was a trend of traditional media companies buying new media and digital niche players. Publishers ranging from consumer heavyweights like Hachette Filipacchi, Hearst and Meredith to b-to-b publishers like CMP sought to expand not only their technical infrastructure but also buy skill-sets that could be integrated throughout their existing operations. In FOLIO:’s 2007 Top Deals Report, we identify 10 acquisitions we deem to have the most significant impact on the publishing industry. These are not necessarily the largest deals according to price, but transactions that will have a lasting effect, ranging from long-expected sales of several legacy publishers to the entry of aggressive European players into the U.S. to the shift in digital media acquisitions. This year FOLIO: has expanded its coverage to include not only summaries of the top deals, but an M&A report that examines the changes digital publishing is having on media M&A, as well as what that means for owners preparing for their own sale.last_img read more

Israels Beresheet moon landing attempt ends with a crash

first_img Israeli moon mission makes orbit ahead of Sea of Serenity landing SpaceX sends Israel’s historic moon mission on its way Originally published April 11, 12:32 p.m. PT.Update, 6:40 p.m. PT: Adds traditional information regarding X Prize and Beresheet’s final image. The failed mission will be remembered as bittersweet.”Well, we didn’t make it, but we definitely tried, and the achievement of getting where we got is really tremendous,” said Morris Khan, an Israeli entrepreneur who provided a large portion of the funding for Beresheet, as he addressed the observers near the control room. “We can be proud.”NASA commended the mission in a tweet: “We congratulate SpaceIL, Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit.” Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 pilot, also had kind words. “Never lose hope. Your hard work, teamwork, and innovation is inspiring to all,” he tweeted. While @NASA regrets the end of the @TeamSpaceIL mission without a successful lunar landing, we congratulate SpaceIL, Israel Aerospace Industries and the state of Israel on the accomplishment of sending the first privately funded mission into lunar orbit. https://t.co/XwHpN5M8Pu pic.twitter.com/cfMtP4srDr— Jim Bridenstine (@JimBridenstine) April 11, 2019 4:13 Beresheet launched on Feb. 21 on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and overcame a brief technical glitch along the way. The lander was designed to take pictures of its surroundings and measure the moon’s magnetic field. It was even able to snap one final, breathtaking image as it approached the lunar surface and beam it back to Earth.SpaceIL and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) had placed a time capsule in the lander filled with digital files covering Israel’s history and heritage. That time capsule was likely lost along with the spacecraft. The dream didn’t quite come to fruition, but Beresheet’s journey to lunar orbit was still an important moment in space history that made the moon feel more in reach for the world. Although SpaceIL didn’t quite make the deadline, the X Prize foundation was inspired by its attempt, creating a new prize dubbed the Moonshot Award. Originally, the foundation stated “for their achievement upon landing on the moon”, X Prize would hand SpaceIL the first Moonshot Award — and $1 million.Of course, Beresheet did not make it to the surface in one piece but it did still land — albeit with a little more force than hoped. As a result, the foundation said it would still be providing SpaceIL with the cash. Beresheet snapped this partial selfie during its approach to the moon. SpaceIL/IAI Israel’s Beresheet would have been the most unlikely lunar lander in history, but the spacecraft didn’t survive its reach for the moon’s surface Thursday.SpaceIL’s live broadcast followed the tense maneuvers needed to get the lunar lander down to the Sea of Serenity on the near side of the moon. The Beresheet team members worked in the control room as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu watched from a spectator area.The landing process suffered some glitches when the main engine cut out and mission control lost communication. The disappointed team reacted calmly to the failure. Super blood wolf moon lunar eclipse dazzles in striking photos 2 They may not have had a successful landing this time, but @TeamSpaceIL has still made history. They will be the recipients of our first ever $1M Moonshot Award, in honor of their achievements and their milestone as the first privately-funded entity to orbit the Moon. 🌒 #moonshot pic.twitter.com/ErUfjqvvxY— XPRIZE (@xprize) April 11, 2019 Beresheet aims for the moon Share your voice This was a mission of firsts. Beresheet was to be Israel’s first moon lander, which would have put the country in an exclusive club that includes the US, Soviet Union and China. In addition, nonprofit SpaceIL would have been the first private, nongovernment group to set a lander on the moon’s surface.SpaceIL was originally conceived to compete in Google’s Lunar X Prize which, in 2007, threw down a challenge to private companies to build a spacecraft that could land on the moon. The original deadline to claim the $30 million in prize money was originally 2014, but it was extended out until 2018 before an announcement that the prize would go unclaimed. Israel’s Beresheet spacecraft crashes on the moon Comments Now playing: Watch this: Space Tags Sci-Tech 12 Photoslast_img read more

Fresh DUCSU polls not possible DU VC

first_imgvice-chancellor AkhtaruzzamanDhaka University vice-chancellor Akhtaruzzaman on Wednesday said the demand of students to go for fresh polls to Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (DUCSU) is not possible as there is no rule to this end, reports UNB.”Students came to my office with their demand. I listened to it But it’s not possible to meet their demand as there’s no rule or system in university regulations for fresh polls,” he said.The DU vice-chancellor was responding to queries from reporters in front of his office.On the election day, instant actions were taken in case of any irregularity, he said referring to the Kuwait Maitree Hall incident where stamped ballot papers were recovered before the voting started on 11 March.Earlier in the day, newly elected DUCSU vice president Nurul Haq Nur demanded fresh election by 31 March.Besides, members of various panels, who boycotted Monday’s DUCSU elections, have given the authorities three days to announce fresh polls schedule and submitted a memorandum to the VC office in this regard.last_img read more

Pakistan to release Indian pilot in afternoon

first_imgIndian people hold placards and photographs of Indian Air Force pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, as they celebrate the announcement of his soon release, in Amritsar on 28 February 2019. Photo: AFPPakistan was set to free a captured Indian pilot Friday in a “peace gesture” aimed at lowering temperatures with its nuclear arch-rival, after rare aerial raids ignited fears of a dangerous conflict in South Asia.Wing commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who has become the face of the crisis between Islamabad and New Delhi, will be handed back to Indian officials at the Wagah border crossing on Friday afternoon, Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said.In New Delhi the announcement of his release was seen as a diplomatic victory, with Indian leaders welcoming the pilot’s return but announcing they would remain on “heightened” military alert, showing little sign of de-escalating the rivalry.Abhinandan was shot down over Kashmir on Wednesday, after a dogfight in the skies over the disputed Himalayan region which sent tensions between India and Pakistan to their highest levels in years and alarmed world powers, who issued calls for restraint.”As the prime minister has said, as a peace gesture and to de-escalate matters, the Indian pilot will be released. So today, this afternoon, he will be released at Wagah,” Qureshi told a joint session of parliament Friday.A diplomatic source told AFP the handover was expected between 3:00-4:00pm Pakistani time (1000-1100 GMT).The Wagah crossing gate is famed for hosting an elaborate daily ceremony by Indian and Pakistani soldiers at sundown. Thousands of people had already gathered on the Indian side early Friday to welcome the pilot home, an AFP journalist said.The pilot’s parents travelled to Amritsar, near Wagah, via Delhi late last night and were applauded by all the passengers on the plane they travelled on, TV footage showed.Media on the Pakistani side were being stopped by authorities around 1.5 kilometres (a mile) from the border.The surging tensions had prompted Pakistan to close down its airspace, disrupting major routes between Europe and South Asia and grounding thousands of travellers worldwide.On Friday morning the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) announced a decision would be taken on re-opening airspace “shortly”. Earlier it had said flights would remain grounded until at least 1.00pm Friday local time (0800 GMT).#WelcomeBackAbhiPakistani students hold placards with the image of Abhinandan Varthaman, the Indian Air Force pilot captured by Pakistan authorities in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on 27 February and shout anti-India slogans during a protest in Lahore on 28 February 2019. Photo: AFPThe latest confrontation between the neighbours, who have fought three wars since independence in 1947, erupted after a suicide bombing in Indian-held Kashmir killed 40 Indian troops on February 14, with the attack claimed by a Pakistan-based militant group.Twelve days later Indian warplanes launched a strike inside undisputed Pakistani territory, claiming to have hit a militant camp.It was the first such aerial raid since their last war in 1971 — before either country had nuclear weapons.An infuriated Islamabad denied casualties or damage, but a day later launched its own incursion across the Line of Control, the de facto Kashmir border.That sparked the dogfight that ended in both countries claiming they had shot down each other’s warplanes, and Abhinandan’s capture.Residents on either side of the LoC also reported heavy shelling, which continued into the early hours Friday.Analysts said the pilot could prove to be Islamabad’s trump card, but prime minister Imran Khan unexpectedly announced Thursday that he would be released a day later in the first sign of a potential thaw.Khan alluded to the catastrophic consequences of nuclear war and called for talks, even as he warned India should not take the announcement as a sign of weakness.With the pilot attaining hero status and the hashtag #WelcomeBackAbhi swiftly trending on social media, India’s prime minister Narendra Modi called on his citizens to “stand as a wall” in the face of an enemy that “seeks to destabilise India”.The last time an Indian pilot was captured by Pakistan, in 1999, the handover was facilitated by the Red Cross (ICRC), who met flight lieutenant K Nachiketa at the Pakistani foreign office in Islamabad before escorting him to the Indian high commission overnight.He left for India that same day.On Friday a Red Cross spokesman told AFP the aid organisation is “ready to provide any assistance necessary”, but so far “is not involved” in Abhinandan’s return.Kashmir is ruled in part but claimed in full by both India and Pakistan. Two of their three wars have been fought over the territory.last_img read more

Political Roundup The End Is Near — Of The Legislative Session That

first_img Share To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /19:43 We’re down to the final days in the state legislative session. The House passed a pair of flood control bills, providing up to $3 billion in funding. And there’s the usual flurry of activity in the final days of the regular session.In the audio above, we discuss that and other developments of recent days in politics with University of Houston lecturer and political analyst Nancy Sims and University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus. Listen Xlast_img

Designing UIs in Unity What you should know

first_imgImagine a watch without a watch face to indicate the time. An interface provides important information to us, such as time, so that we can make informed decisions. For example, whether we have enough time to get ice cream before the movie starts. When it comes to games, the User Interface (UI) plays a vital role in how information is conveyed to a player during gameplay. The implementation of a UI is one of the main ways to exchange information with the player about moment-to-moment interactions and their consequences (for example, taking damage). However, UIs are not just about the exchange of information, they are also about how information is provided to a player and when. This can range from the subtle glow of a health bar as it depletes, to dirt covering the screen as you drive a high-speed vehicle through the desert. There are four main ways that UIs are provided to players within a game, which we will discuss shortly. The purpose of this article is to prime you with the fundamentals of UIs so that you not only know how to implement them within Unity but also how they relate to a player’s experience. Toward the end, we will see how Unity handles UIs, and we will implement a UI for our first game. In fact, we will insert a scoring system as well as a Game Over Screen. There will be some additional considerations that you can experiment with in terms of adding additional UI elements that you can try implementing on your own. This article is a part of the book titled “Unity 2017 2D Game Development Projects” written by Lauren S. Ferro & Francesco Sapio. Designing the user interface Think about reading a book, is the text or images in the center of the page, where is the page number located, and are the pages numbered consecutively? Typically, such things are pretty straightforward and follow conventions. Therefore, to some extent, we begin to expect things to be the same, especially if they are located in the same place, such as page numbers or even the next button. In the context of games, players also expect the same kinds of interactions, not only with gameplay but also with other on-screen elements, such as the UI. For example, if most games show health in a rectangular bar or with hearts, then that’s something that players will be looking for when they want to know whether or not they are in danger. The design of a UI needs to consider a number of things. For example, the limitations of the platform that you are designing for, such as screen size, and the types of interaction that it can afford (does it use touch input or a mouse pointer?). Physiological reactions that the interface might give to the player need to be considered since they will be the final consumer. In fact, another thing to keep in mind is that some people read from right to left in their native languages, and the UI should reflect this as well. Players or users of applications are used to certain conventions and formats. For example, a house icon usually indicates home or the main screen, an email icon usually indicates contact, and an arrow pointing to the right usually indicates that it will continue to the next item in the list or the next question, and so on. Therefore, to improve ease of use and navigation, it is ideal to stick to these or to at least to keep these in mind during the design process. In addition to this, how the user navigates through the application is important. If there is only one way to get from the home screen to an option, and it’s via a lot of screens, the whole experience is going to be tiresome. Therefore, make sure that you create navigation maps early on to determine the route for each part of the experience. If a user has to navigate through six screens before they can reach a certain page, then they won’t be doing it for very long! In saying all of this, don’t let the design overtake the practicality of the user’s experience. For example, you may have a beautiful UI but if it makes it really hard to play the game or it causes too much confusion, then it is pretty much useless. Particularly during fast-paced gameplay, you don’t want the player to have to sift through 20 different on-screen elements to find what they are looking for. You want the level mastery to be focused on the gameplay rather than understanding the UI. Another way to limit the number of UI elements presented to the player (at any one time) is to have sliding windows or pop-up windows that have other UI elements present. For example, if your player has the option to unlock many different types of ability but can only use one or two of them at any single moment during gameplay, there is no point in displaying them all. Therefore, having a UI element for them to click that then displays all of the other abilities, which they can swap for the existing ones, is one way to minimize the UI design. Of course, you don’t want to have multiple pop-up windows, otherwise, it becomes a quest in itself to change in-game settings. Programming the user interface As we have seen in the previous section, designing the UI can be tough and requires experience to get into, especially if you take into consideration all the elements you should, such as the psychology of your audience. However, this is just halfway through. In fact, designing is one thing; making it work is another. Usually, in large teams, there are artists who design the UI and programmers who implement it, based on the artists’ graphics. Is UI programming that different? Well, the answer is no, programming is still programming; however, it’s quite an interesting branch of the field of programming. If you are building your game engine from scratch, implementing an entire system that handles input is not something you can create with just a couple of hours of work. Catching all the events that the player performs in the game and in the UI is not easy to implement, and requires a lot of practice. Luckily, in the context of Unity, most of this backend for UIs is already done. Unity also provides a solid framework on the frontend for UIs. This framework includes different components that can be easily used without knowing anything about programming. But if we are really interested in unlocking the potential of the Unity framework for UIs, we need to both understand and program within it. Even with a solid framework, such as the one in Unity, UI programming still needs to take into consideration many factors, enough to have a specific role for this in large teams. Achieving exactly what designers have in mind, and is possible without impacting the performance of the game too much, is most of the job of a UI programmer (at least using Unity). Four types of UI Before, moving on, I just want to point out a technical term about UIs, since it also appears in the official documentation of Unity. Some UIs are not fixed on the screen, but actually, have a physical space within the game environment. In saying this, the four types of interfaces are diegetic, non-diegetic, meta, and spatial. Each of these has its own specific use and effect when it comes to the player’s experience and some are implicit (for example, static graphics) while others are explicit (blood and dirt on the screen). However, these types can be intermixed to create some interesting interfaces and player experiences. For Angel Cakes, we will implement a simple non-diegetic UI, which will show all of the information the player needs to play the game. Diegetic Diegetic UIs differ from to non-diegetic UIs because they exist in the game world instead of being on top of it and/or completely removed from the game’s fiction. Diegetic UIs within the game world can be seen and heard by other players. Some examples of diegetic UI include the screens on computers, ticking clocks, remaining ammunition, and countdowns. To illustrate this, if you have a look at the following image from the Tribes Ascend game, you can see the amount of ammunition remaining: Non-diegetic Non-diegetic interfaces are ones that are rendered outside of the game world and are only visible to the player. They are your typical game UIs that overlay on top of the game. They are completely removed from the game’s fiction. Some common uses of non-diegetic UIs can represent health and mana via a colored bar. Non-diegetic UIs are normally represented in 2D, like in the following screenshot of Star Trek Online: Spatial Spatial UI elements are physically presented in the game’s space. These types of UIs may or not may be visible to the other players within the game space. This is something that is particularly featured in Virtual Reality ( VR) experiences. Spatial UIs are effective when you want to guide players through a level or to indicate points of interest. The following example is from Army of Two. On the ground, you can see arrows directing the player where to go next. You can find out more about implementing Spatial UIs, like the one in the following screenshot, in Unity by visiting the link to the official documentation at: Meta Lastly, Meta UIs can exist in the game world but aren’t necessarily visualized like they would be as Spatial UIs. This means that they may not be represented within the 3D Space. In most cases, Meta UIs represent an effect of various actions such as getting shot or requiring more oxygen. As you can see in the following image of Metro 2033, when the player is in an area that is not suitable for them, the view through the mask begins to get hazy. When they get shot or engage in combat, their mask also receives damage. You can see this through the cracks that appear on the edges of the mask: To summarize, we saw the importance of UI in game development and what are the different types of UI available. To know more, check out this book Unity 2017 2D Game Development Projects written by Lauren S. Ferro & Francesco Sapio. Read Next: Google Cloud collaborates with Unity 3D; a connected gaming experience is here! Working with Unity Variables to script powerful Unity 2017 games How to use arrays, lists, and dictionaries in Unity for 3D game developmentlast_img read more

ACVs new Travel Advisory Board will make company a better partner says

first_img Share Friday, September 2, 2016 Cindy Sosroutomo << Previous PostNext Post >> TORONTO — “Ask questions. A lot of them.” This is the single most important lesson that Craig Landry has learned in his first eight months as President of Air Canada Leisure Group (ACLG). Although having already been part of the Air Canada family for the past 22 years, Landry admits that stepping into his new role from his previous post as Vice President of Marketing was a “big change,” especially since as President, he now oversees two major arms of the company: Air Canada Vacations (ACV) and Air Canada Rouge.“The tour operator business is an inherently commercial business so you’re dealing with product and pricing, distribution and marketing, but the context and challenge of business is very different from what I’ve done previously,” he says. “Rouge is also a big departure because it’s very operational. It’s about integrating new aircraft into the fleet, getting those aircraft retrofit and entry into service, recruiting large numbers of flight attendants and pilots, and getting them properly trained and qualified. And with the rapid expansion that we’ve been in, the operational requirements are very heavy and significant. There’s been a lot to learn and a lot to do.”So you ask questions, a lot of them, because according to Landry, “this business is moving very quickly and we aspire to change with the times, and the only way you get to do that is by being curious.”More news:  Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesIt is this sense of curiosity and desire to learn that has perhaps inspired ACV to launch a brand new Travel Advisory Board. Beginning this month and managed by Vice President of Sales and Partnerships George Platanitis, the Board is expected to include anywhere from 20 to 30 members across the country who will provide insight into relevant industry issues.“We understand that the perspective on our product, the market and on consumers is different in different parts of the country, so it’s important that we have representatives from the west coast, central Canada, eastern Canada and so on,” adds Landry. “The idea is to bring together a group of folks and ask them to help us be a better partner to them. It’s very clear in our mind that when the travel agency community is successful, then we as a business is successful.”Landry, who says that approximately two-thirds of Air Canada Vacations’ bookings are made by travel agents, anticipates a number of issues to be brought up by the Board, primarily regarding ways to improve agent interaction. “One of the things we hear from the travel agency community,” he says, “is that agents are looking for us to make their lives as easy as possible, and we are of the same mindset.”More news:  Transat calls Groupe Mach’s latest offer “highly abusive, coercive and misleading”ACV’s Sales Team has sent out invitations to chains, consortia and independents in the hope of acquiring 20-30 members in total. Launching this month, the company plans to share the names of board members on Sept. 7, the first day of its cross-country Product Launch.The Board will meet monthly for the first six months, after which it will meet quarterly at ACV’s Toronto and Montreal offices and via conference calls.To read the full article, check out the Sept. 1 issue of Travelweek, click here to see the digital edition.To subscribe to Travelweek, click here. ACV’s new Travel Advisory Board will make company a better partner, says Landry Tags: Air Canada Vacations Posted by About Latest Posts Cindy SosroutomoDeputy Editor at TravelweekCindy is Deputy Editor at Travelweek and has worked for the company since 2007. She has travelled to more than 50 countries and counts Kenya, Morocco, Thailand and Turkey among her favourite destinations. Latest posts by Cindy Sosroutomo (see all) Frustrations mount over elusive consumer-pay model: Will it ever happen? – July 16, 2019 “It’s in everyone’s best interest to stay open”: Beaches Turks & Caicos will not close in 2021 – May 15, 2019 Putting “Partners First”: NCL’s CEO lauds agents and the new Norwegian Joy – April 29, 2019last_img read more

Air Canada Sky Regional Airlines deal extended to 2027

first_img Posted by Share << Previous PostNext Post >> Tags: Air Canada Travelweek Group center_img Wednesday, November 8, 2017 Air Canada, Sky Regional Airlines deal extended to 2027 MONTREAL — Air Canada and Sky Regional Airlines have signed off on a 10-year extension to their capacity purchase agreement.With its fleet comprised exclusively of Embraer 175 jet aircraft that has grown to 25 in recent years, Sky Regional strengthens Air Canada’s competitive position in the rapidly evolving North American regional markets as low cost operators continue to grow, both in Canada and the U.S., said Kevin Howlett, Senior Vice President, Regional Markets and Government Relations at Air Canada.“This 10-year extension to the existing capacity purchase agreement with Sky Regional Airlines underscores our confidence in our Air Canada Express partner to provide a seamless operation and customer experience on behalf of Air Canada in a number of our key domestic and transborder regional markets on a cost competitive basis.”Sky Regional Airlines started flight operations under the Air Canada Express banner on May 1, 2011. The company began with five Bombardier Q400 aircraft flying to and from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport and added 15 Embraer 175 aircraft in 2013. The carrier serves the U.S. northeast markets, flying 100+ flights per day into cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington and Chicago. In 2016, Sky Regional added an additional five E175 aircraft to its fleet servicing Jacksonville, Houston, Denver and Atlanta.More news:  GLP Worldwide introduces first-ever Wellness programs“We are very pleased that Air Canada has recognized our commitment to the passenger experience, and are looking forward to continued success as Air Canada offers more regional options for Canadians,” said Russell Payson, Chairman, Sky Regional Airlines.In addition to Sky Regional, Air Canada has capacity purchase agreements with its other regional airline partners, Jazz, Air Georgian and EVAS, that operate regional Air Canada Express flights on behalf of Air Canada.last_img read more