Ballpark undergoes renovation

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week The change will result in 500 fewer seats in those sections, but will be offset by reopening 500 of the seats — either on the reserved (fourth) level or in the outfield pavilions — that were decommissioned last winter. The seating configuration in the rest of the stadium won’t be changed. As for the color scheme, the entire field-level bowl, including the premium seats behind home plate and down the lines (which currently are blue), will be yellow. But it will be a lighter yellow, in more of a pastel shade, than the current field-level seats. Ditto the loge level, which will go from bright orange to pastel orange. The reserved level will go from bright blue to turquoise, with the top deck going from bright red to sky blue. The pavilions also will go to the orange pastel. The wooden seats on the suite level will be unchanged, but they will be removed and refurbished before they are reattached. The new color scheme will be practically identical to the one the stadium had when it opened in 1962. But Greenspun cautioned against using the term “retro.” The premium seats beyond each dugout, meanwhile, will be replaced with fewer rows of box seats that will include a tabletop counter in front of, and running the length of, each row. “It is (being done) to eliminate the sightline problems and really create a new level of seating down there,” said Dodgers chief operating officer Marty Greenspun, who added that the boxes will have extra leg room. LOS ANGELES — After hearing countless complaints about bad lines of sight from the new premium field-level seats he had installed down each outfield line last winter, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt vowed to address the problem after the season. That is one promise McCourt is keeping, overhauling those sections as part of a $15-$20 million ballpark renovation that already is under way and is expected to be completed in time for next spring’s Freeway Series with the Angels. With the exception of those on the suite level, all of the stadium’s 56,000 seats will be replaced this off-season. The new seats will be of the same plastic as the old ones, but the ballpark’s color scheme will be dramatically different. center_img “I think it’s a restoration feeling,” he said. “It’s really going back to the time when the stadium was built, which is mid-century modern architecture. It was territorial in nature. There was definitely a Southern California or West Coast mid-century (architecture) and an East Coast mid-century, which was a different color palette than the West Coast palette.” In other words, the idea is that Dodger Stadium, with its new pastel-based scheme, will re-create the feeling of Los Angeles in the early 1960s. Greenspun added that cup holders will now be a staple of every seat in the stadium except those in the pavilions, which will continue to feature bleacher seating only. – The Dodgers have granted Seattle permission to interview Roger McDowell, the pitching coach for their Triple-A Las Vegas affiliate, for the Mariners’ vacant pitching coach position. McDowell, who posted 159 saves in a 12-year major-league career that included four seasons with the Dodgers, just completed his second season as the 51s pitching coach. Dodgers pitching coach Jim Colborn had been a strong candidate for the Mariners job, but he decided to join former Dodgers manager Jim Tracy in Pittsburgh. — Tony Jackson can be reached at (818) 713-3675. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

European pensioners ‘look to SA’

first_img Steffers said the foreign demand for properties is growing at an exponential rate but is important to note that owners need to price their homes at realistic prices. “The fact that European immigrants are getting around ten Rand for every Euro they bring into the country over and above the fact that properties in South Africa have historically been priced substantially below their European counterparts makes South Africa a very attractive destination.‘The same infrastructure’ “In most cases, we are able to offer much the same infrastructure in terms of shopping and recreational facilities as their home countries. In additional, retirement villages are springing up all over the place for a time when these individuals may need additional care and support,’ he said. Overall prices range from just over R1-million to properties in the R3-million to R4- million range. “We see many much more modest properties – mostly in older suburbs – selling for substantially lower prices.” Apex Property Brokers have not made any attempt to advertise in Europe and all business has been through word of mouth. A positive fact for foreign buyers is that house prices, according to almost all indices, are at best flat with a similar outlook going forward. There has also been solid interest from buyers in other African states who see South Africa as a safe haven with a stable democracy free of wars and revolutions. At the top of the list are buyers from Nigeria and Uganda with solid interest from Francophone countries like the Ivory Coast, Steffers said. There has also been solid interest from foreign buyers in properties like guest houses and rural estates. “We have recently listed two properties along the banks of the Magalies River in Magaliesburg which offer fantastic opportunities for developers looking to establish boutique hotels or guest houses.” Sapa The fact that there are sizeable Greek and Portuguese communities already in the country provides a ready-made support system.  The fact that South Africa is a nation of immigrants means that they are usually welcomed with open arms,” he said. The fact that bonds are fairly easily available if the buyer is able to ante up a sizeable deposit is an additional factor that makes the country an attractive proposition as is the fact that interest rates are at historic lows. One of these areas is the West Rand in Johannesburg, which includes Florida, Roodepoort and even the old mining town of Randfontein. Fred Steffers, managing director of Krugersdorp-based Apex Property Brokers said he had numerous enquiries during November and December from Europeans who were on holiday in South Africa and who were looking to resettle. “Obviously the well-heeled crowd are looking at the western Cape including the Winelands and the Natal south Coast,” he said. “For the hard-pressed Greeks, Spanish and Portuguese nationals, something that offers substantial better value for money and is at the same time affordable, has brought the West Rand into sharp focus. “Offering some of the lowest prices per square metre for upmarket properties anywhere in the world, we have been marketing houses and town-houses in areas like Noordheuwel, Featherbrooke and Chancliff in Krugersdorp while properties in Constantia Kloof, Ruimsig and Helderkruin in Roodepoort have been moving rapidly,” Steffers said.‘A preferred destination’ There are several reasons why South Africa has become a preferred destination for these pensioner immigrants, he said. “First of all the visa requirements are fairly lenient and as long as an pensioner immigrant can prove that they have an adequate visible means of support and that they will not become a burden to the state, visas are usually fairly easily obtainable.” Pensioners, especially those in southern Europe who are seeing their pensions and other benefits erode as a result of austerity measures introduced by the European Union, are looking at some unusual parts of South Africa to resettle. 14 February 2013last_img read more

California’s Solar Panel Edict

first_imgGarth Heutel is an associate professor of economics at Georgia State University. This post originally appeared at The Conversation. Environmental economics 101Many renewable energy experts, including economists like me, want governments to do something to address climate change but question the mandate.University of California, Berkeley economist Severin Borenstein summed up this take in his open letter to the California Energy Commission opposing the rule. University of California, Davis economist James Bushnell also opposes the mandate for similar reasons.Above all, what we economists call “command-and-control policies” like this mandate — inflexible requirements that apply to everyone — often don’t make sense. For example, going solar is less economical in some cases. Even in sunny California, builders can construct housing in shady areas, and not all homeowners use enough electricity for the investment to pay off before they move away.The mandate does have some exemptions tied to shade and available roof space, but there could property owners subjected to the requirement to own or lease solar panels who might consider it unreasonable.We tend to think that “market-based policies” would work better. By relying on incentives instead of requirements, people get to decide for themselves what to do.Good examples of these policies include a tax on pollution, like British Columbia’s carbon tax, or a cap-and-trade market, like the European Union’s Emissions Trading System. Instead of restricting the right to pollute, these approaches make people and businesses pay to pollute, either through taxation or by buying mandatory permits.The flexibility of market-based policies can make meeting pollution reduction goals cost-effective. When people — or businesses — have to factor the costs of pollution into their decision-making, they have a financial incentive to pollute less and will find ways to do so. By reducing pollution as cheaply as possible, more money is left over to spend on other pressing needs like housing, health care and education.This advantage is not merely theoretical. By many accounts, market-based policies have successfully worked according to theory, including the U.S. sulfur dioxide trading program and the EU’s carbon trading program.California itself has a cap-and-trade market. I believe that expanding and improving it would cut carbon emissions more cost-effectively than the solar mandate would.Many economists also fear that the mandate will worsen California’s housing unaffordability. This crisis has many causes, such as restrictive zoning regulations that curtail construction. But the solar-panel requirement, which could increase the cost of a new home by more than $10,000, probably won’t help, even though supporters of the policy argue that the solar panels will pay for themselves in terms of lower monthly electricity costs. More than two sidesYou might expect the debate over this policy, which became official when the California Energy Commission unanimously voted in favor of it on May 8, to pit two well-defined camps against each other.Environmentalists who prize fighting climate change might love it due to a presumption that increasing the share of power California derives from solar panels will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cutting demand for natural gas and coal.On the other hand, those who question whether the costs of addressing climate change are worth it might hate the solar mandate, since they either see no benefits or think the benefits aren’t worth the costs. More California rooftops will soon sport solar panels, partly due to a new state mandate requiring them for all new houses and low-rise residential buildings by 2020.This rule immediately sparked lively debates. Even experts who generally advocate for solar energy expressed skepticism that it was actually a good idea.As an environmental economist who studies the design of environmental policies, I believe that doing something about climate change is important, but I don’t consider this new solar mandate to be the best way to achieve that goal. I’m also concerned that it could exacerbate problems with California’s housing market. But there are more than two sides. A practical policyAfter mulling all the various arguments made by these different camps, I don’t think that whether California’s rooftop solar mandate is the perfect policy for the climate or the state’s homebuyers is the question.The answer to that question is a resounding no — but that is beside the point because no policy is perfect. The key question is whether this policy — given its imperfections and given the difficulty in passing more cost-effective policies — is a winner overall. That question is harder to answer.Ultimately, I believe the mandate will yield some environmental benefits, though they could be more cost-effectively achieved through other means. The solar mandate’s fansThe solar mandate’s defenders, including Gov. Jerry Brown and Sierra Club leader Rachel Golden, make several arguments — two of which I find credible.The first is what I’d call the “Panglossian” argument, after the character in Candide, Voltaire’s 18th-century classic satire. In what Voltaire would call “the best of all possible worlds,” taxing carbon would make perfect sense.But this is a world riddled with political obstacles that make enacting almost any climate policy next to impossible. If a big American state can enact an imperfect law like this mandate that might do some good, then it should go for it.The other argument I find reasonable is that by drumming up more demand, the solar mandate will expand the solar panel market — thereby driving solar costs down, perhaps more quickly than a carbon tax would. There’s some evidence supporting the theory that these mandates can spur innovation in renewable electricity technologies.If the mandate works out, it might address two issues at once: shrinking California’s carbon footprint and bolstering technological progress in the solar industry.To be sure, the cost of residential solar panels has plummeted in recent years, although generating solar energy through rooftop panels remains less cost-effective than power from utility-scale solar farms. RELATED ARTICLES California Poised to Require Solar PanelsThe California ModelTo Net Zero and Beyond The Department of Energy Chooses a Definition for Net ZeroBuilding a Low-Cost Zero-Energy HomeRevisiting Net Zero Energylast_img read more

PRISM Fallout: In Cloud We Don’t Trust?

first_imgServerless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … The NSA does not monitor every piece of data, the story reports, only targeted individuals. But the capability to monitor the target within all of the companies’ data is there, according to the slides obtained by the Post.All of the companies named in the leaked slides have categorically denied being involved in PRISM, which is pretty much the only answer they can give: if such a program exists, they are likely bound by court order from revealing their participation, and if it doesn’t exist, then they are truthful in denying it. The U.S. government, for its part, acknowledges that such programs do exist, but that the documents published by the Post and the U.K.’s Guardian contain “numerous inaccuracies.”Which, alas for the U.S. tech industry, isn’t exactly a “no.”Perception-wise, the firms named in the leaked slides are screwed. If PRISM doesn’t exist, it will be very hard to prove otherwise in a climate where distrust of government is at an all-time high. If PRISM does exist, then the perception of these companies will either be as lying co-conspirators in a massive breach of user privacy – or incompetent morons who don’t know that the U.S. government can get into their data whenever it wants.The most likely scenario here is that the tech companies are being very, very literal: they can deny ever hearing of a program called PRISM because they may have really never heard of it. Ars Technica spoke with Electronic Frontier Foundation Staff Attorney Kurt Opshal, who outlined what’s probably going on with these denials:“Whether they know the code name PRISM, they probably don’t,” [Opshal] told Ars. “[Code names are] not routinely shared outside the agency. Saying they’ve never heard of PRISM doesn’t mean much. Generally what we’ve seen when there have been revelations is something like: ‘we can’t comment on matters of national security.’ The tech companies responses are unusual in that they’re not saying ‘we can’t comment.’ They’re designed to give the impression that they’re not participating in this.”In Cloud We Trust?Successfully pulling off that impression would seem to be nearly impossible and the nine tech companies named in the PRISM documents are in for a world of pain. Already, U.S.-based users, individual and corporate, are up in arms about the perceived breach, even as the U.S. government insists that it is not spying on its own citizens, but is targeting non-U.S. citizens in its quest to maintain national security.US companies may end up becoming more active participants in cyber/national security related activities anyway, depending on how Department of Defense cyberwar rules of engagement play out. (See also: New Cyberwar Rules Of Engagement: Will The U.S. Draft Companies To Fight?)But for public cloud users who reside outside the U.S., the statements about non-U.S. targets are sure to have a chilling effect. Especially in the European Union, which has been critically examining their data relationship with the U.S. for some time. That relationship, once precarious, may have just gotten pushed off the cliff.Currently, data generated by European companies is bound by the strictures of the E.U.’s 1998 European Commission Directive on Data Protection (ECDDP), which, among other things, blocks data from being transferred to outside the European Economic Area unless the E.U.’s strict protection guidelines were followed.The problem is that U.S. laws and policies let data like names and addresses be handled in ways that were way outside the ECDDP comfort zone. This would have effectively prevented any European data from being stored on U.S.-based clouds and data centers, were it not for Safe Harbor.Established in the Fall of 2000, Safe Harbor is a compromise that would allow data interchange to take place. Safe Harbor requires that companies follow a certain set of privacy practices, such as informing individuals that their data is being collected and how it will be used. If Safe Harbor rules are followed by U.S. companies, which self-certify themselves to be Safe Harbor compliant, then E.U. data can be stored in the U.S., which is handy since many of the world’s biggest public cloud services are located in the U.S.All of the E.U. nations, with the exception of Germany, are participants in the E.U.-U.S. Safe Harbor agreement. This is why in Germany, corporate workers are prohibited from using services like Google Docs to store and work with company information. (One has to wonder if the Germans didn’t have an inkling that something like PRISM was going on.)The Europeans have had some qualms about Safe Harbor already. Last July, an independent European advisory body, the Article 29 Working Party, recommended the existing Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. and E.U. is not enough to provide true security for European organizations’ data. Their argument? That self-certification was nowhere near enough to assure adequate protections.“…[I]n the view of the [Article 29] Working Party, sole self-certification with Safe Harbor may not be deemed sufficient in the absence of robust enforcement of data protection principles in the cloud environment,” the recommendation stated. “The Working Party considers that companies exporting data should not merely rely on the statement of the data importer claiming that he has a Safe Harbor certification. On the contrary, the company exporting data should obtain evidence that the Safe Harbor self-certifications exists and request evidence demonstrating that their principles are complied with.”In other words, don’t take U.S. tech companies at their word that they will comply with Safe Harbor rules.Safe Harbor At RiskFast forward to today, when suddenly the Article 29 Working Party’s non-binding recommendation has some teeth to it. European companies and lawmakers are very likely going to look at the events surrounding PRISM and wonder how safe their data would be if stored in a U.S. system.Amazon and Rackspace, two large U.S.-based public cloud providers, were not named in the PRISM slides, but Microsoft and Google were. While no one knows if the U.S. intelligence services can and were accessing cloud-based data hosted by Microsoft and Google, the integrity of their cloud hosting services will probably be called into question now, especially by companies outside the U.S., which – by the U.S. government’s own insistence – are valid targets for national security investigations.The E.U.-U.S. Safe Harbor agreement may be the one of first casualties of the leaking of PRISM – even if PRISM turns out to be fictitious. Just the hint that something like PRISM could exist could evaporate a large amount of trust and business for U.S. cloud vendors – even ones not named in the PRISM documents.Public cloud infrastructure is under serious threat, as users domestic and international start seriously questioning public cloud security and integrity. This may bring a large shift towards private cloud or virtual data centers deployments, as companies seek to protect their data from government’s prying eyes.Images courtesy of Shutterstock. brian proffitt Related Posts U.S. tech firms who have built their business on a free-flowing Internet just got a huge smack in the face. Leaked government documents seemed to reveal the existence of a top-secret program with the capability to mine their users’ data at will.Right now, the debate is over exactly what data’s being collected and how—and whether the companies were complicit in letting it happen.But that misses the real impact of such a program. Regardless of the details, it will damage the reputations of the U.S. as a technology marketplace.There are many operations that will feel the hit, but the biggest one may be in cloud computing. After all, what foreign company would want to host its data in a cloud that could be rifled at will by the U.S. government?What We Think We KnowLeaked documents from the National Security Agency and the FBI have revealed an apparent secret government program, code-named PRISM, that is “extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time,” according to the Washington Post.The data was pulled from the servers of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. Dropbox, the Post reported, is supposedly “coming soon.”center_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo… Tags:#cybersecurity last_img read more

How the smart stadium will transform the smart city

first_imgWhat’s the difference between a monster truck rally and a Taylor Swift concert?Water. You can’t hold a monster truck rally without thousands of cubic meters of mud, which in turn can mean tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of gallons of water. By the same token, Taylor Swift’s ornate lighting and staging could can cause power consumption to zoom up the charts and unnaturally force a venue into the red zone for peak power charges. (The prevalence of tattoos, however, at both events is probably about even.)The ability to charge accurate “bill backs” to promoters rather than just somewhat arbitrary flat fee are one of the many drivers of the smart stadium, i.e. venues wired with predictive analytics and sensors to fine-tune costs, consumption and even the fan experience. See also: 5 key technologies of a smart cityStadiums can be extremely difficult facilities to manage. Occupancy can zoom from a handful of people to more than 100,000 and back to empty in a few hours. They can snarl traffic, create havoc between regular residents and visitors and consume more power and/or natural gas than any building in the region. No one wants a repeat of the Super Bowl blackout. At the same time they are also monuments to civic pride. IoT can help smooth out those differences and make everyone good neighbors.The Seattle Mariners, for instance, managed to cut water consumption by 10%, or 2 million gallons, over a three year period in part through IoT technology. IoT help the team pinpoint leaks in pipes. (The team also discovered it only costs around $5 in power to open and close its retractable roof.)The San Diego Padres, meanwhile, have installed LED lights, smart sensors and data management systems to better control water and power. A typical game can require 70 megawatt hours of power, 740 therms of natural gas and over 72,000 gallons of water, or about 48 hot tubs. Through IoT, the team expects to cut resources by more than 25% over the next five years. The stadium is a key “citizen” of tomorrow’s citiesBut the benefits go far beyond power. Sound abatement is increasingly one of the biggest problems for venues as stadiums and urbanites continue to flock to the heart of town. IoT gives people an objective way to monitor and better control sound. Better security and safety? IoT in one venue alerted the staff to a small fire caused by a hot dog roller that was accidentally left on after a game. Smart cameras for parking lots and surrounding streets will likely become standard to reduce the crime and vandalism that can sometimes mar public events.Want to find shorter beer lines? Avoid the bathroom with a major flood? Or figure out the best way to get home or to the airport based on anticipated traffic and public transportation options? There will be an app for that. And this is just the beginning. There are an estimated 12,216 stadiums worldwide, according to World Stadiums, and a growing number are located in megacities and emerging markets where water is scarce, power is fragile, and traffic is horrendous. Some stadiums are sparkling new, while others, date back to the 1920s. These venues can become open showcases for what’s possible. Let the games begin. The author is Senior Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Partners at OSIsoft. How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … Martin Otterson Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#OSISoft#Qualcomm#San Diego Padres#Smart Cities#Taylor Swift center_img How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Related Posts For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

Mirwaiz, Malik held in Srinagar to foil Army headquarters march

first_imgPolice arrested Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Yasin Malik on Monday in Srinagar to foil separatists’ march towards the Army headquarters to protest against the killing of seven civilians during the Pulwama operation on Saturday.Mr. Malik, who had gone underground, was detained by a team of policemen when the separatist and his supporters alighted near Srinagar’s Gaw Kadal area and started a march towards the Badamibagh area. The area houses the headquarters of the Army’s 15 Corps and is just seven km away from the spot. Mr. Malik and his supporters were wearing white dresses with a slogan: “Kill us all.”Mirwaiz condemnsIn a separate crackdown, the police arrested the Mirwaiz outside his residence at Srinagar’s Naseembagh. “It is preposterous to brand civilians as overground workers and terrorists. The Government of India has overplayed the terrorist, Pakistan proxy and instigators card. The world sees ever growing graph of atrocities and massacres of Kashmiris, who are only asking for a just and peaceful resolution of the dispute,” said the Mirwaiz.Syed Ali Geelani, chairman of a Hurriyat faction, was also placed under house arrest.In Jammu, Peoples Democratic Party leaders, including Yawar Mir, Firdous Tak and Aijaz Mir, held a demonstration inside the Civil Secretariat and demanded an “end to the bloodshed.”Roads sealedThe authorities sealed all the roads leading to the Army headquarters and imposed restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles in the old city and south Kashmir’s Pulwama, in the wake of the separatists’ call.The shutdown affected the life for third consecutive day on Monday in the Valley. Tension surged after three militants and seven civilians were left dead in the Army operation in Pulwama on Saturday.Police’s claimLocals alleged civilians were killed hours after the operation was called off and “were targeted deliberately during clashes.” The police said the “mob came dangerously close” to the security forces engaged in the operation near the encounter site. It was the highest civilian casualties near an encounter site this year.The State Human Rights Commission has asked the security agencies to submit “a factual report on Pulwama incident.”last_img read more

Cabinet approves 22 new commercial courts and 18 permanent fast track courts

first_imgNEW DELHI: AAP-led Delhi government’s Cabinet on Friday approved the creation of permanent 18 Fast Track Courts and 22 Commercial Courts which will reduce pendency of cases and ensure speedy disposal of cases.”Congrats Delhi! Cabinet approves the creation of permanent 18 Fast Track Courts and 22 Commercial Courts which will reduce pendency of cases and ensure speedy disposal of cases. This will bring respite to litigants. Many thanks to Hon’ble CM Arvind Kejriwal Ji,” tweeted Delhi Law Minister Kailash Gahlot. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderThe Delhi Cabinet approved the Law Department’s proposal for the creation of 22 Posts of Delhi Higher Judicial Services (DHJS) in Super Time Scale for Commercial Courts Judges along with the ancillary staff. (A total of 212 posts) The annual financial implications are Rs 13,55,90,280. Delhi government’s cabinet also approved the Law Department’s proposal for the conversion of 90 percent of temporary post sanctioned for Fast Track Courts into permanent post which 18 posts of Additional District & Session Judge (ADJs) in Delhi Higher Judicial Services along with 86 posts of ancillary staff. The annual financial implications for the conversion of the above-mentioned posts into permanent posts is Rs 8,88,45,120 (Rs eight crore eighty-eight lakh forty-five thousand and one hundred twenty only) per annum.last_img read more