North Korea skips annual antiUS rally
first_imgIn this 25 June 2017, file photo, tens of thousands of men and women pump their fists in the air and chant as they carry placards with anti-American propaganda slogans at Pyongyang`s central Kim Il Sung Square, in North Korea, to mark what North Korea calls `the day of struggle against US imperialism` – the anniversary of the start of the Korean War. In another sign of detente following the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US president Donald Trump, North Korea has opted not to hold this year’s “anti-US imperialism” rally. Photo : APIn another sign of detente following the summit between leader Kim Jong Un and US president Donald Trump, North Korea has decided to skip one of the most symbolic and politically charged events of its calendar: the annual “anti-US imperialism” rally marking the start of the Korean War.Fist-pumping, flag-waving and slogan-shouting masses of Pyongyang residents normally assemble each year for the rally to kick off a month of anti-US, Korean War-focused events designed to strengthen nationalism and unity. It all culminates on 27 July, which North Korea celebrates as a national holiday called the day of “Victory in the Fatherland Liberation War.”Last year’s event was held in Kim Il Sung Square with a reported 100,000 people attending. North Korea even issued special anti-US postage stamps.Officials had no on-the-record comment on the decision not to hold the event this year. But Associated Press staff in the North Korean capital confirmed Monday that it would not be held.North Korea has noticeably toned down its anti-Washington rhetoric over the past several months to create a more conciliatory atmosphere for the summit and avoid souring attempts by both sides to reduce tensions and increase dialogue.North Korea’s state media were filled with reports, photos and video of the 12 June  meeting between Trump and Kim in Singapore.A 42-minute documentary-style news special was aired on the state television network two days after the summit and has been repeated frequently since, meaning that by now there are probably few North Koreans who are unaware of the changes in the air. For many North Koreans, the program was also quite likely the first time they had ever seen what Trump looks like.Still, North Korea’s handling of the changes and how it presents them to its people remains highly nuanced.So far, it hasn’t said much about what Washington is interested in the most – denuclearisation. But it has made significantly fewer references to its need to have nuclear weapons than it was making last year, when Kim was test-launching long-range missiles at a record pace and tensions with Washington neared the boiling point.North Korea’s decidedly less strident posture these days underscores the delicate position it finds itself in after decades of touting the United States as its archenemy.State media referred to Trump quite deferentially in their reports of the summit, calling him by his full name and adding the title of president of the United States of America – itself a somewhat jarring contrast to the way it normally spits out merely the surname of US officials, with no titles.Considering how its relations with Washington could quickly slip back into acrimony if the difficult process of negotiating denuclearisation and the lifting of trade sanctions breaks down, it remains unclear how much, or if at all, North Korea intends to recalibrate its other propaganda and indoctrination efforts.Getting rid of all the anti-American propaganda would be a Herculean task.The 1950-53 Korean War, and the devastation the country suffered at the hands of the US and its allies, remain a major part of every North Korean’s education.Negative portrayals of Americans as big-nosed goblins are a common sight at elementary schools and kindergartens and exhortations to beware of American aggression, deceit and brutality are a staple message of textbooks and at “class education” centers around the country. Anti-American slogans can also still be seen in Pyongyang and throughout the countryside, though they are not that numerous.And while softening its criticism of the current US administration, North Korea has stepped up its attacks on “capitalist values” in general – an oblique warning that its diplomatic outreach to the world should not be taken to mean it’s ready to throw away its socialist ideals anytime soon.last_img
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Jolie hints at move into politics

first_imgAngelina Jolie arrives at the British Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA) at the Royal Albert Hall in London, Britain, 18 February, 2018. Photo: ReutersAngelina Jolie hinted on Friday she could one day enter politics, as she urged global leaders to do more to help refugees and women in conflict.Asked whether she was moving towards a political career, the Hollywood star, an envoy for the U.N. refugee agency who has also campaigned on sexual violence against women, said she would “go where I’m needed”.”If you asked me 20 years ago, I would’ve laughed,” she said in an interview with British broadcaster the BBC. “I don’t know if I’m fit for politics, but then I’ve also joked that I don’t know if I have a skeleton left in my closet.”Jolie said her work with the United Nations and other organisations enabled her to “get a lot done without a title”, but did not rule out a future switch.”I honestly will do whatever I think can really make change and right now, I am able to work with a U.N. agency … to do a lot of work directly with the people in need,” she said.”I’m also able to work with governments and I’m also able to work with militaries. And so I sit in a very interesting place of being able to get a lot done without a title and without it being about myself or my policies. So for now I’ll sit quiet.”The Oscar-winning actor has in recent years visited refugee camps to highlight the plight of those uprooted by war, and broadened her international efforts to protect women, working with NATO and governments to help stop the use of rape as a weapon of war.With 68.5 million people uprooted globally, she said more needed to be done to support refugees and host communities in developing countries.”The focus should be what is happening to these people? Why is this happening? How do we have this many people uprooted and what are the causes?” Jolie said.U.N. members earlier this month adopted a deal aimed at improving the way world copes with rising migration.The non-binding pact, meant to foster cooperation on migration, was agreed in July by all 193 U.N. members except the United States, but only 164 formally signed it at the meeting.”This should not be seen as a headache for people. This is how we need our leaders to be thinking about balancing our world,” she added.VOICE FOR WOMENJolie, a mother of six who last year released her film “First They Killed My Father” about Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge regime, launched the Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative in 2012 with Britain’s former foreign minister William Hague.NATO agreed in January to help report on sexual violence in war to help bring perpetrators to justice and challenge the idea that rape is an unavoidable aspect of conflict.But there have been questions over the effectiveness of the initiative, especially in light of the mass rape of Rohingya women in Myanmar during a crackdown that forced 720,000 refugees to flee to Bangladesh.Interviewed on BBC Radio’s Today programme, which she guest edited, Jolie said the campaign had made a difference.”I have met victims who finally got reparations when they didn’t have them before,” she said. “When there are prosecutions and when there is accountability, we will see a real change.”last_img read more

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Bird embryos respond to adult warning calls inside their shells

first_imgA pair of researchers with Universidad de Vigo has found that yellow-legged gull embryos respond to parental warning calls by vibrating inside their shells. In their paper published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution, Jose Noguera and Alberto Velando describe their study of the gulls in their lab and what they learned. © 2019 Science X Network Prior research has shown that embryonic birds, amphibians, reptiles, and even insects receive sensory information that helps them prepare for the harsh reality of the real world. In this new effort, Noguera and Velando have found evidence that yellow-legged gull embryos hear the warning cries of their parents and respond to them. They also found that hearing adult warning cries resulted in chicks with physical and behavioral changes, as well.The experiments by the researchers involved collecting 90 gull eggs from nests along the shores of Sálvora Island and bringing them back to their lab for testing. They separated the eggs into individual three-egg clutches and incubated them. The researchers then pulled two of the three eggs from each incubator and exposed them four times a day to either recorded adult warning sounds or silence.The researchers report that the embryos exposed to the shrill warning calls would vibrate when the recordings were played—and they continued vibrating for some time even after they were returned to their incubator. They suspected that the vibrations could be felt by the nest mate that had not heard the recordings. To find out, they monitored the embryos after they hatched as chicks. They report that the birds exposed to the warning sounds took longer to hatch, and when they finally did so, they were quieter than the chicks that had been exposed to silence. The hatchlings also crouched lower when exposed to perceived threats. And they were smaller overall, and had shorter legs. Interestingly, the clutch mates of the chicks exposed to the recordings had all the same differences, though they were not exposed to the warning calls. The researchers suggest this indicates that they felt the vibrations of nearby embryos and responded as if they had heard the warning calls themselves. Explore further More information: Jose C. Noguera et al. Bird embryos perceive vibratory cues of predation risk from clutch mates, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-019-0929-8 Citation: Bird embryos respond to adult warning calls inside their shells (2019, July 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-bird-embryos-adult-shells.htmlcenter_img Yellow-legged gull eggs. Inside, gull embryos hear, and respond to, warning calls from adult gulls. CC0 Public Domain. Fairy wren embryos found able to discern between adult calls Journal information: Nature Ecology & Evolution This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Weighing Design and Function When Building Your App

first_img This story originally appeared on Bizness Apps 5 min read These days, app makers must contend not only with well funded giants in the mobile space, but with the endless amount of new competition entering the scene as app store growth accelerates. Once a better version of your app gains popularity, yours is likely getting the axe — especially when the daunting “Storage Almost Full” message appears. To avoid the chopping block but not waste precious resources, you have to prioritize. So, which matters more: design or function?Computer, tablet, and smartphone users tend to be both decisive and loyal. For years, we’ve seen the same major brands go head-to-head, but this point buyers have generally chosen their camp. Try to sell a longtime iPhone user on an Android (or vice versa) and you’ll find yourself wrapped up in an endless debate over features, UI, customization, battery life, security, the color of the message bubbles…When it comes to apps, the market is endless and users are far less forgiving, especially when installing is free and uninstalling is simple. Once dominated by professional designers, the app industry is now accessible to anyone with a computer and some time on their hands through DIY app builders like Bizness Apps. So with such a high degree of market saturation, how can you entice users to download and keep your app installed for the long-run, especially when gaining loyalty is much harder?Function Breeds LoyaltyWhen a new user launches an app, they form an opinion immediately. Is it easy to use? Is it visually appealing? Does it perform all the functions I need it to? The average user doesn’t want to spend more than 10 minutes figuring out how to use an app and there’s no barrier to uninstalling which makes user experience of chief importance in retention. Recent findings by TechCrunch suggest average users spend 85 percent of their smartphone time on native applications, and 84 percent is devoted to just five apps total. Each user’s “fave five” will vary considerably, of course, but the apps with the highest usage fall under the categories of social media, gaming, and instant messaging.Mobile apps can edge beyond the competition by doing one thing — and doing it well. Consider e-commerce; since mobile websites often facilitate easy purchasing, mobile apps need even simpler checkout processes to be attractive to the average user. That means reducing the number of clicks to the purchase page, storing account info, and generally providing a much more personalized experience. If a user has installed a retail app, they’re likely looking for deals and an improved purchasing process. The app needs to check those boxes to stay on the home screen.Design Closes the DealFellow designers and mobile experts are sold on apps for entirely different reasons. Many industry buffs are most impressed by an app’s ability to draw on the device’s existing features, improving or applying them in new ways. For example, camera apps that optimize flash and size often top the design charts. Gaming apps are still popular in this demographic too, but generally for their innovative design and graphics. And though the general public tends to discount design in favor of the function-packed these days, the nuance of design is very much alive.Remember the message bubble thing above? It may seem silly that the background color of a text message would merit a reaction (and an emotional one, at that), but I can’t tell you how many iPhone users have expressed actual hatred for the green bubble that appears when they text non-iOS users. The message bubble defaults to blue when you’re texting another iOS user — a genius little trick on Apple’s part that glorifies its own. When applied to mobile apps, this psychology suggests that design holds the power of long-term influence. Users may be drawn in and initially held by an app’s function, but design can lock them in as they gradually develop a UI preference that they can’t imagine swapping out for something new.What This Means for YouAverage users want instant gratification and answers to their specific needs, but craftsmanship and visual innovation have more subtle capabilities in user retention. If you’re operating on a slim budget or a time crunch, your top priority should be perfecting function. Give users a reason to download and a reason to come back, and you’ll make a bigger dent than you would with an app facelift. But if you can devote more energy to your mobile app, don’t overlook the potential small design changes have to radically improve user experience. With three million apps and counting, there’s something out there for everyone, but you can’t beat a good first impression. April 5, 2016 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »last_img read more

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Live Events Are the Next Big Thing in Branding

first_img 5 min read Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. March 1, 2018 Brand is probably the most misused word in the English language. Branding started as a way to identify livestock roaming the range. It grew from there to mean creating a logo for a company. As the word gathered steam, it came to mean the look and feel of a company, then the customer experience and finally the company itself. But at its core, brand building is about storytelling — about connecting with people rationally and emotionally. And it’s for everyone — people, small businesses, large enterprises and associations.For as long as our species has been on Earth, we have been feeding our insatiable hunger for stories. At first, we just told each other stories that were shared inside our tribes. Sometimes we illustrated them on the walls of caves, and they were shared with other tribes. Eventually, we got smarter and came up with more ingenious ways to experience our stories. We invented language and tablets to help us tell them. Then, when we realized we could transform bark into paper, we invented scrolls and books for our stories. The smarter we got, the more technology we applied to help share and create experiences around the stories of our time.Related: To Be Successful, Your Brand Needs a Clear, Simple FocusWe created big thing after next big thing, including the printing press, radio, television and, finally, the internet. All these technologies helped to satisfy our hunger to share the human experience. These days, the internet itself has spawned a plethora of next big things enabling us to better share our stories. We have email, social media, blogs, podcasts, streaming video, virtual reality, augmented reality and much more to come. It’s this media through which we feed our souls — and through which we build our brands.These next big things continue to change the course of human behavior. I’ve seen it before, having had the privilege to work with companies that have done just that — including Apple, Adobe, BlackBerry, Cisco and Google. These companies changed the way we communicate with each other, gather information, develop and share content, go to work and entertain ourselves. They brought about new trends in behavior, including our dependence on smart phones, our storing and sharing of photos, finding our way, listening to music and educating ourselves.Related: How to Build a Billion-Dollar BrandInterestingly, the technologies behind these trends enable us to be more productive, increase our networks and keep meticulous track of our lives, but they also conspire to separate us from each other. This phenomenon has brought about a new trend to spend more and more time exploring the things we enjoy live. Live is experiencing our humanity together, in the same space. It invites the opportunity to look up and at each other and to feel the human connection. The live experience has officially become a medium of choice for people around the world, especially millennials.In 1964, Marshall McLuhan told us in his book Understanding Media that the medium is the message. In other words, when you choose a medium in which to tell a story, the story is inevitably connected to, and actually embedded in, that medium, complete with the medium’s capabilities, limitations and idiosyncrasies. The medium, in fact, becomes part of the story.I think Marshall McLuhan would agree that in the 21st century — an era ripe with technology in which we can communicate with each other in myriad ways, but one in which everyone is glued, heads down, to their device — the richest medium of all is “live” because it affords us the opportunity to experience the human condition together and to share it. It’s no wonder companies are hungry to get face-to-face time with employees, customers, partners and influencers, and to create experiences that develop into long-term meaningful relationships with their brands.Related: 5 Marketing Strategies From Major Brands: What You Can Learn From Their Mistakes and SuccessesThe live medium is ripe for commercialization in the same way publishing, radio, television and the internet were commercialized in the past. The giants of these industries — Hearst, Tribune and Gannett; ABC, CBS and NBC; Google, Amazon and Netflix, among others — built empires on the crests of new media waves. Their efforts moved industries; their companies changed the world. The music industry is already commercializing the live medium focusing on concerts as primary revenue generators and artist brand builders. If the music industry can do it, why can’t others?Imagine a world where live experiences become brand builders for companies and organizations. Is it possible to transform old industrial spaces into new brand building experiences? Could that be a commercial service? Yes, and the time is now to capitalize on the live medium for the purpose of brand building. After all, the better a brand is, the more people will flock to it. And effective live experiences can solidify a brand’s presence, and even drive brand migration, among consumers. Don’t miss out; it’s time to start implementing this next big thing into your brand building and marketing strategies. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.last_img read more

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Whats the difference between cross platform and native mobile development

first_imgMobile has become an increasingly important part of many modern businesses tech strategy. In everything from eCommerce to financial services, mobile applications aren’t simply a ‘nice to have’, they’re essential. Customers expect them. The most difficult question today isn’t ‘do we need a mobile app’ Instead, it’s ‘which type of mobile app should we build: native vs cross platform?’ There are arguments to be made for cross platform mobile development and native app development. Developers who have worked on either project will probably have an opinion on the right way to go. Like many things in tech, however, the cross platform v native debate is really a question of which one is right for you. From both a business and capability perspective, you need to understand what you want to achieve and when. Let’s take a look at the difference between cross-platform framework or a native development platforms. You should then feel comfortable enough to make the right decision about which mobile platform is right for you. Cross platform development? A cross platform application runs across all mobile operating systems without any extra coding. By all mobile operating systems, I mean iOS and Android (windows phones are probably on their way out). A cross platform framework provides all the tools to help you create cross-platform apps easily. Some of the most popular cross- platform frameworks include: Xamarin Corona SDK appcelerator titanium PhoneGap Hybrid mobile apps One specific form of cross-platform mobile  application is Hybrid. With hybrid mobile apps, the graphical user interface (GUI) is developed using HTML5. These are then wrapped in native webpack containers and deployed on iOS and Android devices. A native app is specifically designed for one particular operating system. This means it will work better in that specific environment than one created for multiple platforms. One of the latest native android development framework is Google Flutter. For iOS, it’s Xcode.. Native mobile development vs Cross platform development If you’re a mobile developer, which is better? Let’s compare cross platform development with mobile development: Cross-platform development is more cost effective. This is simply because you can reuse 80% of your code becase you’re essentially building one application. The cost of native development is roughly double to that of Cross-platform development, although cost of android development is roughly 30% more than iOS development. Cross-platform development takes less time. Although some coding has to be done natively, the time taken to develop one app is, obviously, less than to develop two. Native apps can use all system resources. No other app can have any additional features . They are able to use the maximum computing power provided by the GPU and CPU; this means that load times are often pretty fast.. Cross platform apps have restricted access to system resources. Their access is dependent on framework plugins and permissions. Hybrid apps usually take more time to loadbecause smartphone GPUs are generallyless powerful than other machines. Consequently, unpacking a HTML5 UI takes more time on a mobile device. The same reason forced Facebook to shift their mobile apps from Hybrid to Native which according to facebook, improved their app load time and loading of newsfeed and images in the app. The most common challenge with about cross-platform mobile development is been balancing the requirements of iOS and Android UX design. iOS is quite strict about their UX and UI design formats. That increases the chances of rejection from the app store and causes more recurring cost. A critical aspect of Native mobile apps is that if they are designed properly and properly synchronized with the OS, they get regular software updates. That can be quite a difficult task for cross-platform apps. Finally, the most important consideration that should determine your choice are your (or the customer’s) requirements. If you want to build a brand around your app, like a business or an institution, or your app is going to need a lot of GPU support like a game, then native is the way to go. But if your requirement is simply to create awareness and spread information about an existing brand or business on a limited budget then cross-platform is probably the best route to go down. Read Next How to integrate Firebase with NativeScript for cross-platform app development Xamarin Forms 3, the popular cross-platform UI Toolkit, is here! A cross-platform solution with Xamarin.Forms and MVVM architecturelast_img read more

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