Voyager spacecraft far exceed JPL’s expectations

first_imgAfter the probes passed Saturn, NASA extended their missions. Voyager 2 continued on to become the only spacecraft to see Uranus up close and the first to observe geysers erupting from the polar caps of Neptune’s frigid moon Titan. Since then, scientists have been using the crafts to study the sun’s winds and magnetic field, where some of the mission’s biggest surprises were yet to come. In December 2004, the younger but faster Voyager 1 probe passed through a boundary known as the termination shock. In doing so, it entered the outermost layer of the solar system, a region called the heliosheath, where the sun’s solar winds mingle with winds from interstellar space. “They’re getting a lot of surprises from in the heliosheath from Voyager 1,” Massey said. “Things are not what they were expected to be.” One of the things astronomers have not been able to explain is what is causing cosmic rays to speed up, he said. They have also found unexpected variations in the magnetic field – “holes” where the intensity is weakened and “speedbumps” where it is heightened, said NASA astrophysicist Leonard Burlaga. In about 10 years, astronomers expect both craft to sail past the influence of the solar winds entirely, passing beyond the bubble that defines our solar system. Barring an unforeseen failure, astronomers should be able to see when that happens. “Power is going to be the limitation, but we have enough to go at least until 2020,” Massey said. [email protected] (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4451160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! This week, Voyager 2 marked its 30th year in space. Voyager 1 will turn 30 on Sept. 5. Together, the two craft have visited four planets and 48 moons, and are now the most distant man-made objects in the universe. Astronomers expect them to breach the edge of the solar system within the next decade. “The fact that we’re in a region that nobody’s ever been and we see something new every day means that the use for this project goes on and on,” Massey said. Originally, Voyager 1 and 2 were only supposed to visit Jupiter and Saturn. There, they discovered Jupiter’s moon Io had 100 times more volcanism than Earth and its moon Europa had a thick crust of ice. On Saturn’s moon Titan, they found an Earth-like atmosphere lacking in oxygen but with rainstorms of liquid nitrogen. LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE – When Ed Massey became JPL’s project manager for the Voyager spacecraft, he didn’t expect to hold the post for long. At that time, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 – which were only planned to last five years – were almost about to turn 20. “When we reached the 25th anniversary, I was amazed that the spacecraft had been flying that long and nothing had caused a detrimental failure,” Massey said. That was five years ago. last_img read more

New political party as poll nears

first_imgIFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi is the leader of KwaZulu-Natal’s House of Traditional Leaders. (Image: Angeljes blog, Belgium) The recently formed National Freedom Party (NFP), a breakaway from the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), hopes to draw in South Africans who’ve grown weary of racial battles among other political groups in the country. The party was officially launched at the Durban City Hall in KwaZulu-Natal on 25 January 2011.Recently dismissed IFP national chairperson Zanele Magwaza-Msibi was elected by her supporters to be the leader of the NFP.Msibi had in the past been eyed as the next leader of the IFP, although its long-running president Mangosuthu Buthelezi has said that he will not be stepping down anytime soon.“I never thought that in my wildest dreams that I would ever stand in front of you and make this pronouncement about leaving the IFP, the party I have dedicated my entire life to serve,” Msibi said at the NFP launch.The NFP has already been registered with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and intends contesting the upcoming local government elections.“The NFP is a home to all South Africans, irrespective of their race, colour or creed. It is a home for the majority of our people who found themselves caught up in the racial battles of many parties in South Africa,” Msibi added.The party believes it will gain significant support from Zululand District Municipality’s Ulundi and Nongoma regions in the polls later this year.“We will win in Zululand because we have worked very hard there. In May, after local government elections, I will be the mayor of Zululand,” Msibi said.Breakaway a long time comingA rift within the IFP has existed since 2009 with members’ loyalties divided between Msibi and Buthelezi.Msibi’s faction has been in a tug-of-war with Buthelezi supporters and recently went to court to prevent an inquiry against her. If this intervention had been successful, it could have prevented her expulsion from the party.Msibi lost her fight in early January 2011 after the Pietermaritzburg High Court dismissed her application to order the IFP to hold an elective conference, and to prevent it from subjecting her to a disciplinary inquiry.After the court dismissal, IFP secretary-general Musa Zondi said: “We have been vindicated. We have never had any doubt that the court would dismiss the applications brought against us … since the grounds for these applications carried no substance.“Our immediate goal today is to start recovering the lost ground ahead of the 2011 local government elections and contest these elections as one organisation with one leader,” added Zondi.But Msibi was already hinting at a split: “We will never regain the relationship we once had with the leadership of the IFP. We have to accept the court’s decision and move forward as the party has shown that they no longer want me and my supporters in their fold.“The president (Mangosuthu Buthelezi) made it clear that there will never be reconciliation between us and therefore if one door closes, other doors open. We will be there in the local government elections and we are capable of doing anything,” she added.Although Msibi lost her place within the IFP, she praised Buthelezi as her mentor: “He groomed me and I have no qualms with him, but now we need to let bygones be bygones.”Long-time rulerMangosuthu Buthelezi founded the IFP in 1975 and has been its president ever since. He is a former member of the African National Congress (ANC) Youth League, which he joined while studying at Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape.The IFP and ANC had been bitter rivals since the 1980s, but after the first democratic elections in 1994 the relationship eased somewhat and the two parties formed a coalition in KwaZulu-Natal – the IFP’s stronghold.The IFP has 18 seats in the National Assembly and largely draws its support from isiZulu-speaking South Africans. The IFP strongly supports traditional leadership structures.Buthelezi plays an advisory role in the government as the head of KwaZulu-Natal’s House of Traditional Leaders.last_img read more

Marketing Day: Instagram’s new payment feature, augmented reality games & Google Assistant

first_img HomeDigital MarketingMarketing Day: Instagram’s new payment feature, augmented reality games & Google Assistant Marketing Day: Instagram’s new payment feature, augmented reality games & Google AssistantYou are here: Related postsLytics now integrates with Google Marketing Platform to enable customer data-informed campaigns14th December 2019The California Consumer Privacy Act goes live in a few short weeks — Are you ready?14th December 2019ML 2019121313th December 2019Global email benchmark report finds email isn’t dead – it’s essential13th December 20192019 benchmark report: brand vs. non-brand traffic in Google Shopping12th December 2019Keep your LinkedIn advertising strategy focused in 202012th December 2019 Posted on 5th May 2018Digital Marketing FacebookshareTwittertweetGoogle+share Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Using machine learning to get more value out of your Facebook campaignsMay 4, 2018 by Laura CollinsContributor Laura Collins explains how to securely get the most out of Facebook’s trove of user rich data and take advantage of its sophisticated machine learning to improve campaign performance.Instagram testing a booking & payments feature it first announced more than a year agoMay 4, 2018 by Amy GesenhuesFor now, the feature is available to a limited set of partners and businesses on Instagram.Augmented reality games: Will this summer’s releases be booms or busts?May 4, 2018 by Adam DorfmanContributor Adam Dorfman tells marketers what they need to know and how they might benefit from the upcoming launches of four AR games.Google betting its Assistant can close the wearables gap with AppleMay 4, 2018 by Greg SterlingNew Assistant capabilities announced for Wear OS ahead of Google’s developer conference next weekThe 5 big disruptions to marketing in 2018May 4, 2018 by Digital Marketing DepotThe marketing world is in the middle of five major disruptions that are reshaping the industry as we know it: Digital transformation. Microservices and APIs. Vertical competition. Digital everything. Artificial intelligence. These trends are dramatically altering the digital landscape in which business operate and changing how brands function internally.The ultimate guide to bot herding and spider wrangling — Part TwoMay 4, 2018 by Stephan SpencerNext up in a series on bots and why crawl budgets are important, Columnist Stephan Spencer explains how to direct the engine bots to what’s important on your site and how to avoid common coding issues.Where to find ideas for content your audience will love, look at and link toMay 4, 2018 by Jeremy KnauffIf you’re looking for new, inspirational and trendy content ideas, consider using sites that provide answers and solutions, says contributor Jeremy Knauff. Here are 5 good places to start.6 ways ABM turns classical lead scoring on its headMay 3, 2018 by John SteinertDon’t be afraid to break the “rules” to drive the results you need, argues contributor John Steinert.Facebook Pages will be getting new video metrics & chart tracking engagement throughout videoMay 3, 2018 by Amy GesenhuesFacebook says it also fixed a bug that resulted in inaccurate retention graph data for videos running longer than two minutes.Recent Headlines From MarTech Today, Our Sister Site Dedicated To Marketing Technology:The F8 Developer Conference is over: Here’s everything Facebook announcedMay 4, 2018 by Amy GesenhuesFacebook rolled out several features for its platform, Instagram and Messenger during the conference and gave a deep dive into all the ways it is using AI.This week in GDPRMay 4, 2018 by Robin KurzerA weekly wrap-up of how companies are preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation.Facebook Messenger rolls out AR and other enhancements at its F8 developer conferenceMay 4, 2018 by Robin KurzerWhile several companies tout their success using the platform, Kia and Octane AI announce new Messenger integrations.Online Marketing News From Around The Web:4 Hidden Variables Sellers Must Master to Beat Amazon’s Buy Box Algorithm, Multichannel Merchant5 Things Brands Can Do To Win Back Customer Trust, CMS WireBe Selfish With Your Data, AdExchangerContent Marketing and Sales Alignment: Bridging the Gap [New Research], Content Marketing InstituteCustomer-First Marketing: What every entrepreneur and SMB marketer can learn from successful Etsy sellers, MarketingSherpa BlogHow salesy should your newsletter be?, VerticalResponseHow to get started with video marketing, My EmmaStudy: Facebook’s focus on ‘meaningful interactions’ doesn’t slow video’s explosive growth, Mobile MarketerThe post Marketing Day: Instagram’s new payment feature, augmented reality games & Google Assistant appeared first on Marketing Land.From our sponsors: Marketing Day: Instagram’s new payment feature, augmented reality games & Google Assistantlast_img read more

Proposed Regulations Issued on Minimum Essential Coverage Information Reporting (REG-103058-16)

first_imgThe IRS has issued proposed regulations relating to information reporting of minimum essential coverage under Code Sec. 6055. Health insurance issuers, certain employers, and others that provide minimum essential coverage to individuals must report to the IRS information about the type and period of coverage and furnish related statements to covered individuals. The proposed regulations clarify issues relating to reporting of certain plans and TIN solicitation and truncation. The proposed regulations are generally proposed to apply for tax years ending after December 31, 2015, and may be relied on for calendar years ending after December 31, 2013, with the exception of rules on reporting of coverage under catastrophic plans.Reporting of Catastrophic PlansExchanges must report to the IRS information relating to qualified health plans individuals enroll in through the Exchange. However, the term “qualified health plan” does not include catastrophic coverage so neither Exchanges nor coverage issuers have reported on these plans. The proposed regulations require health insurance issuers to report catastrophic plan coverage on Form 1095-B, effective for coverage in 2017 and returns and statements filed and furnished in 2018.Reporting of Coverage Under Basic Health ProgramsStates are able to establish a Basic Health Program to provide an additional healthcare coverage option to certain individuals not eligible for Medicaid. The proposed regulations require the state agency administering the coverage under the Basic Health Program to report that coverage.Truncating TINsCode Sec. 6055 requires that health insurance issuers and carriers reporting coverage under insured group health plans report information about the employer sponsoring the plan, including the employer’s EIN, to the IRS and on a statement to the covered individuals. The proposed regulations clarify that the EIN of the employer sponsoring the plan may be truncated on statements health insurance issuers and carriers furnish to taxpayers.Plans for Which Reporting is Not RequiredInformation reporting under Code Sec. 6055 is generally required of every person who provides minimum essential coverage to an individual during the year. In certain instances where the reporting would be duplicative, the existing regulations allow the person who provides supplemental coverage to forgo information reporting. The proposed regulations provide that (1) if an individual is covered by more than one minimum essential coverage plan or program provided by the same reporting entity, reporting is required for only one of the plans or programs; and (2) reporting is not required for an individual’s minimum essential coverage to the extent that the individual is eligible for that coverage only if the individual is also covered by other minimum essential coverage for which Code Sec. 6055 reporting is required.TIN SolicitationUnder existing regulations, in cases of a missing TIN, the reporting entity is treated as acting in a responsible manner in soliciting a TIN if the reporting entity makes (1) an initial solicitation when an account is opened or a relationship is established, (2) a first annual solicitation by December 31 of the year the account is opened (or January 31 of the following year if the account is opened in December), and (3) a second annual solicitation by December 31 of the year following the year in which the account is opened. The proposed regulations require that the first annual solicitation be made no later than 75 days after the date on which the account was “opened” (i.e., the day the filer received the substantially complete application for coverage), or, if the coverage is retroactive, no later than the seventy-fifth day after the determination of retroactive coverage is made. The deadline for the second annual solicitation (third solicitation overall) remains December 31 of the year following the year the account is opened.To provide additional relief and ensure that the requirements for the first annual and second annual solicitations may be satisfied with respect to individuals already enrolled in coverage, an additional rule is provided. Under this rule, if an individual was enrolled in coverage on any day before July 29, 2016, the account is considered opened on July 29, 2016. Accordingly, reporting entities have satisfied the requirement for the initial solicitation with respect to already enrolled individuals so long as they requested enrollee TINs either as part of the application for coverage or at any other point before July 29, 2016.Proposed Regulations, NPRM REG-103058-16, 2016FED ¶49,708Other References:Code Sec. 6055CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶36,466ABCode Sec. 6724CCH Reference – 2016FED ¶40,279DTax Research ConsultantCCH Reference – TRC HEALTH: 6,104last_img read more

Dear Abby: Some Relationship Advice

first_imgDear Abby,I need some advice. I have been dating my girl friend, let’s call her Betty for over 30 years now. Just when I thought we were progressing in our relationship along came Sam.  Sam is young, hip and fun. He is always available, and Sam never says no when Betty calls. Now she barely even speaks to me. The only time I hear from her is when something is wrong, or I have made some mistake. What can I do to win her back? Love lorn in the MidwestThis could be written by most CIOs today. For decades, we have been discussing business and IT alignment and trying to get a seat at the table. We’ve established controls and processes. Projects seem to move slower and slower, while the pace of change in business moves faster and faster. Then along comes SaaS and it’s cousins, IaaS, DaaS, RaaS and threatens to destroy what little progress we have made. In my previous post, Are You Sassy?, we explored some of the impacts on the CIO SaaS brings. One of the most significant impacts SaaS and other “aaS”s have on the CIO and IT is the relationship we have with the other divisions and departments of our business. Today, just about anyone with a credit card can bring a new app into the enterprise. Talk about shadow IT! What do we do about it? How do we stop it? Can we control it? How do we get in front of the bus load of vendors that want to sell directly to the enterprise and bypass IT? Its enough to make your head spin! Just yesterday I was stopped in the hall by one of the guys on my team who asked “Hey, do you know what software Brian in HR just bought?” My answer was, “no, but I hope it is SaaS, requires no integration, and requires no data reporting or analysis.” You and I both know, the first answer may be true, the second and third may appear to be true, but at some point either now or in the future someone is going to want to interface with the “application Brian purchased” either to load data or extract data. I relate that story to show there is no “easy button” when it comes to solving the SaaS dilemma. It is hard work. You may even have to work on Saturday and Sunday (ok, very obscure humor, anyone get the reference?).  However, the solution is the same solution we have been talking about for decades: relationship! I have written about my views on vendor management (3 Keys to a Long Lasting Relationship, and Take your Vendors for a Ride) so I won’t repeat those points here, suffice it to say, you need a strong relationship with your vendors (current and future) to head off the end-around. Instead, I would like to focus on the business relationship. The age of the CIO that sits in her office behind multiple layers of security and controls access to all of the company’s computing environment is long gone (actually it NEVER should have existed, but then we wouldn’t have had to read all those articles about business and IT alignment). Today’s CIO must be actively involved with running the business. As CIOs we must be engaged from the C-suite to the front lines, getting to know people, their jobs, and their challenges.A number of years ago, my job took me to Paris, France quite frequently. Before my travels, I had heard all those stories about the “rude French”, from the waiters and waitresses, to co-workers, to the average person on the street. What I learned couldn’t be further from the truth.  I discovered cultural differences that lead to miscommunication were the main culprits (and honestly I saw more “rude Americans” on my travels than “rude French”). I did two things during my travels to help bridge the cultural divide. The first, I hired a tutor and learned French. I never was very eloquent in my French, but I learned very quickly, that if I approached someone in a restaurant or on the street, or even in the office and initiated the conversation in French they would immediately smile (maybe even laugh at my butchering of their language), switch to English, and continue the conversation with a whole new respect….just for trying. The other thing I did was to bring my French staff together with my American staff to understand our differences. I started by reading statements and having them guess who said them. “We work harder than they do”, “They don’t know what I do”, “They are always on break”, “They don’t respect me” and more. By the time I was done, they were all laughing because they realized those comments were from BOTH sides of the ocean. What does this have to do with your relationship with others in your business? First, language is important. Quit using “no” and replace it with “what, why, and how”. Remove acronyms from your vocabulary and quit trying to teach everyone about technology and how it works. They don’t care…nor should they. When I have discussions with our CEO, if we are talking about technology (it usually means his cell phone or iPad aren’t working) we are talking about the wrong things. If one of our teachers is “bending the rules” it doesn’t mean they are evil and trying to circumvent policy, it probably means the “rule” is in the way of their students. Use the language of the business. The other lesson? Put yourself in their shoes. Understand what the challenges and issues are and don’t talk about technology. Maybe even volunteer to do their job. I learned more in four hours working at one of our donation centers than I learned in a year sitting in meetings.Will this stop all the shadow IT? Will it prevent Brian from buying another application. No, but what it will do is bring it to your attention sooner so you can ask the appropriate questions with an understanding of the challenges and the issues. And maybe next time, Brian will talk with you about his challenge before he swipes in his credit card. This is a continuation of a series of posts that are looking at the confluence of changes impacting the CIO and IT leadership. Next up “It’s about the data stupid”. Jeffrey Ton is the SVP of Corporate Connectivity and Chief Information Officer for Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, providing vision and leadership in the continued development and implementation of the enterprise-wide information technology and marketing portfolios, including applications, information & data management, infrastructure, security and telecommunications.Find him on LinkedIn.Follow him on Twitter (@jtongici)Add him to your circles on Google+Check out his previous posts and discussionslast_img read more

Germany top FIFA’s year-end standings

first_imgThe German football team topped FIFA’s year-end national team rankings released on Thursday, a reward for their stupendous performance in Brazil culminating in the World Cup triumph.Argentina were second and Colombia came third. Belgium were fourth ahead of the Netherlands while Cup hosts Brazil were sixth, as reported.Euro 2016 hosts France ranked seventh, just ahead of Portugal. 2010 Cup champions Spain were placed in the ninth position while Uruguay climbed to the 10th spot.last_img