Treyarch details COD Black Ops Update 4 patch

first_imgDeveloper Treyarch has been kind enough to share details of what is going to be contained in the Call of Duty: Black Ops Update 4 patch.Although a number of fixes have already been implemented, including sorting out multiplayer lag, Update 4 promises a lot of additional improvements including bug fixes and gameplay tuning.Here’s the list:Issues Addressed:Resolved several issues with parties getting disbanded unexpectedly.Updated handling for UPnP-enabled routers to improve matchmaking conditions where users had strict or moderate NAT types. Also added in-game communications so that all players are aware of their NAT type in the Player Match party lobby.Addressed issue that prevented the “Load MP by Default” option from saving when other specific option combinations were set.Prevention of exploit that allowed players to keep custom classes and killstreaks after prestige.Addressed an issue where Flak Jacket Pro would not always protect against ground fires left by Napalm Strikes.Prevention of users losing their killstreak reward when switching classes at the start of a new round in round-based game modes.Addressed an issue where the incorrect perks would appear when spectating another player under certain circumstances.Added round start explosive delay to China Lake grenade launcher to give it the same round start limitations as other explosives.Contracts will now reset when the player Prestiges.Prevention of Valkyrie rocket exploding upon release under rare conditions.Prevention of Gunship failing to give player full control under rare conditions.Prevention of an issue where a player will get teleported outside the map boundaries under very specific circumstances.Additional security measures to enhance detection and banning capabilities.Gameplay Tuning:Limit the ability to re-roll supply drops using Hardline Pro to Care Packages only, no other killstreak drops.Added a negative influencer to all spawn points to decrease the chances of spawning near an enemy. This will further improve spawning protection on top of previous updates.Additional sound mix tuning for Ninja Pro users – increased ranges and volume of enemy footsteps, and removed player footstep sounds on concrete material types.Increased headshot multipliers for sniper rifles. Sniper rifles with suppressors equipped will now always be ensured one-shot kill headshots.Subtle increase in sniper rifle accuracy when scoping in.Added a render delay to the red diamond player indicators that appear when controlling the Gunship, Valkyrie Rocket and Chopper Gunner. When a player first spawns, this will not appear for a period of time.Additional minor reductions in knife lunge.As for when the patch will go live, Treyarch says that it is going in for submission with Microsoft today so finger-crossed on it arriving at some point this weekor so.Read more at Black Ops: Forums, via CVGlast_img read more

Hollywood wants to turn Netflix into a content ghetto and Amazon and

first_imgConsumers love Netflix, the popular DVD delivery service turned streaming video juggernaut. You know who hates Netflix, though? Hollywood. And they want to kill it off once and for all.CNet is reporting today that attitudes in Hollywood towards Netflix have shifted from enthusiastic embracement to wary distrust to outright hostility as Netflix has become the go-to source of streaming video. Why? Financial: Netflix has apparently crippled sales of airline movies, made films untouchable by cable networks and even causing a slight dip in DVD sales.Hollywood wants to change that. In fact, they envision Netflix becoming so neutered that it’s basically a digital ghetto for the least in-demand and most unwatchable content. They want to make sure Netflix only gets movies people don’t really want to watch, ensuring that their own delivery services — proprietary, DRM-infused digital delivery services and DVD sales — get all of the good content.According to Cnet, Hollywood’s own alternative to Netflix is a DRM scheme called UltraViolet, which would allow for users to put their movies into a cloud-based locker and streaming it to authorized devices. It doesn’t sound bad in theory, but Hollywood has a tendency of letting its own inter-studio in-fighting get in the way of making useable products: look at how Hollywood basically destroyed all of Hulu‘s promise for an obvious example.Here’s what I honestly don’t get: Hollywood probably still has the clout to kill off Netflix if it really wants to. You know who’d pick up the pieces though? Apple or Amazon. Hollywood would trade-in the plucky underdog for gigantic behemoths with such deep products that they can literally bend the studios to their whims. Does Hollywood really want to trade-in Netflix — a company small enough to roll with the punches — for the two companies that already dictate the terms to the totality of the modern music and publishing industries? Talk about short-sighted.Read more at CNetlast_img read more

Plastic Logic 100 eReader offers a shatterproof way to replace textbooks

first_imgBeing a textbook can be tough. It’s a hard knock life getting chucked into backpacks and lockers, after all. It’s also tough being a kid that has to lug around 20 pounds of assorted books all day long while trudging up and down the stairs (or around campus) at school. The dead-tree drudgery could soon be at an end, however, if the Plastic Logic 100 eReader catches on.It all starts with a daylight-readable, shatterproof 10.7-inch touchscreen display that pushes 960 x 1280 pixels. Inside, the Plastic Logic 100 hides an 800MHz processor and 4GB of storage — which plays host to the Windows CE operating system and provides room for “a year’s worth of textbooks.” It’s less than 8mm thick and weighs about one pound. A fully-charged battery will provide students with about one week of use.Atop Windows CE is Plastic Logic’s swipe-controlled user interface. In addition to letting students flip through pages, the software allows bookmarking, highlighting, and notes “in the margins” via an on-screen keyboard. Text is also fully searchable, a truly killer feature when it comes to studying hundreds or thousands of pages for a semester exam.Right now, the Plastic Logic 100 is priced at 12,000 Russian Rubles — about $400 at the current exchange rate. That might seem a bit steep, but when you consider that textbooks can cost anywhere from $70 to $200, it’s really not a bad price at all — especially since the Russian sticker price also covers 40 pre-loaded titles aimed at regional grade 6 and 7 students. That 10.7-inch display looks quite nice too, and is far larger than the Kindle‘s 6-inch screen. Even the Kindle DX only manages 9.7-inches, and neither Kindle is touchscreen.Here’s a Russian-language video that shows off the Plastic Logic 100 in action:More at Plastic Logic and Slashgearlast_img read more

Intel CEO First Medfield smartphone launching this week

first_imgEarnings calls are usually a humdrum affair with a lot of boring numbers being thrown around. Sure, sometimes the numbers are higher or lower than expected, but only rarely do these calls make news. Intel’s just completed Q1 earnings call is one of the odd ones, though. According to CEO Paul Otellini, the first Intel-based Android phone is launching this week.Otellini failed to mention which phone would be launching, but it is unlikely that Motorola would let Intel blow its launch. The other OEM that has signed on to make phones with Intel’s chips is Lenovo, and the K800 might be able to slide in under the radar right up until launch. The K800 is supposed to debut in China, and was called out as the first Intel-based phone back at CES.Intel’s Medfield chip was shown off at CES 2012, and the company said at the time that devices would be out later in the Spring, but this is the first solid word on a date. The K800 will run on the 1.6GHz Atom Z2460 (codename Medfield), and has a 4.5-inch 720p screen.It wouldn’t be a surprise if the very first Medfield device appeared in China first. If there are issues with the platform, this would give Intel an opportunity to patch things up before larger OEMs like Motorola get involved. While Android itself has been optimized for Intel’s x86 architecture, not all apps will play nice. Apps using native code will have to be translated in real time by the system, and that may not work as expected.It’s going to be interesting to see how Intel’s single-core part stacks up against dual and quad-core ARM chips already at work in existing Android phones.via The Vergelast_img read more

High school student builds portable batterypowered xray machine

first_imgDid you build anything cool in high school? Maybe a sweet model volcano or a light bulb powered by a potato? That’s nice and all, but a Pakistani high school student recently built a portable x-ray machine. If that wasn’t impressive enough, portable x-ray machines didn’t exist before. Your parents are retroactively disappointed in your potato battery now.At the age of 15, Adam Munich was chatting with some folks online and heard a pair of stories. One about rolling blackouts, and another about the unavailability of x-ray equipment in remote areas. This is how the idea of a battery-operated x-ray machine came to Munich. He spent the next two years learning about x-ray technology and building his device in a pair of old art cases.The final device is separated into two parts. There is a control box that houses all the electronics, and a second case that contains the x-ray tube, the high-voltage capacitors, and voltage multipliers that drive it. The capacitors step up the power to 75,000 volts, which is just enough to produce a usable x-ray beam.Images are produced here with the aid of a scintillation screen, which is a plastic sheet that fluoresces green when struck with x-rays. This is a less ideal setup, but it costs next to nothing compared to the expensive radiation detectors used in hospitals. While the device should work on human limbs, Munich has thus far been testing it on various electronic devices.You might be wondering about safety with a device built by a student that shoots radiation. Well, Munich also built his own Geiger counter to make sure the device doesn’t do more harm than good. He spent about $700 over 2 years building the device, and is currently working to get the cost down to $200. For now, its main use is getting young Mr. Munich into college. I’m sure he’ll do fine. He’s smarter than most of us.via PopScilast_img read more

MacBook Pro to use Nvidia GT 650M GPU 27GHz Ivy Bridge CPU

first_imgThe big question surrounding the next refresh of the MacBook Pro laptops is whether Apple has opted for a significant redesign or just upgraded the internal spec. There’s increasing evidence to suggest the latter.A leaked spec sheet last week suggested there is no redesign. Apple is planning to keep the MacBook Pro pretty much the same except for an update to an Ivy Bridge range of processors. Now we have more evidence to suggest that this is the case, but also that Apple has opted to use a Nvidia GeForce GT 650M GPU.Leaked images have appeared that claim to be shots of the revised 15-inch MacBook Pro components. There’s two things to note in the shots. The first is the use of the new Nvidia GPU, but also that the layout of the board is very similar to the existing MacBook Pro. If the shots are real, it confirms Apple isn’t messing with the overall design of the laptop too much.What Apple will offer is a new range of MacBook Pros with some serious performance on offer. Intel Ivy Bridge processors including 2.3GHz, 2.5GHz, and custom 2.7GHz parts will be coupled with a GeForce GT 650M GPU using 1GB of dedicated GDDR5 memory.These Pros certainly won’t struggle running anything the Mac App Store or Steam has to offer. All we need now is confirmation from Apple, which could happen as early as today if they intend to use WWDC to make the refresh announcement.More at WeiPhone (1) (2), via M.I.C. gadgetlast_img read more

Wii U appears on eBay for 99999 as preorders dry up

first_imgMany gamers may remain skeptical about the gaming experience Nintendo is set to offer with the launch of the Wii U. However, that doesn’t seem to have stopped people pre-ordering the new console en masse and to the point where they are now sold out at certain key locations.One example of this is GameStop, which has now ceased taking pre-orders as they have reached their hardware allocation limit. Other retailers are sure to follow soon.With pre-orders drying up the inevitable has happened and eBay is now starting to fill up with over-priced auctions for the new machine. A quick skim of the site reveals the $349.99 Wii U Deluxe being offered anywhere from $499.99 right up to a ridiculous $999.99 (with free shipping!). Would anyone really pay that?Depending on how fast Nintendo can ship out Wii U consoles in the run up to Christmas, there may be a shortage come December. At that point some people will start viewing $1,000 as acceptable to keep their kids happy on Christmas day rather than waiting a few weeks and saving $650.No one should be surprised by this as it happens around the launch of any new console. And it could be purely because Nintendo doesn’t have much stock of the machine due to problems manufacturing the GamePad.After a less than great Wii U introduction earlier this year, Nintendo must be happy with how the preview event went last week and that pre-orders are more than healthy for the new machine. Now they just need to deliver on the games and hope that Nintendo TVii is as good as it sounds.via The Verge and Kotakulast_img read more

No Firefox app heading to iOS any time soon says Mozilla

first_imgThose of you longing for a native Firefox app that can run on your iPhone or iPad may have a bit of a wait. Speaking to a panel at SXSW in Austin, Mozilla’s Jay Sullivan there’s no way the Foundation is going to take another shot at building a browser for iOS until Apple decides to change its development policies.Alternative browsers have always been second-class citizens on iOS. Apple doesn’t allow third-party apps to utilize all of Safari’s muscle. Instead, they’re limited to running the embedded iOS “web viewer,” which Apple itself has admitted “does not take advantage of Safari”s web performance optimizations.” Apple also doesn’t allow alternative browser engines (like Gecko), so there’s really only one option for companies that want to offer up a Safari competitor to the iOS legions. That generally means slapping a custom UI, synchronization features, skins, and maybe some cloud-powered functionality like the ability to transcode Flash video on the fly.Mozilla, says Sullivan, isn’t interested in heading down that road again.It tried before with Firefox Home, which was killed off back in August of 2012. The app provided users with access to their synced Firefox data on iOS, but it was never developed into what looked like a full-featured browser. Really, it functioned more like the iOS mail app. And with the embedded web viewer running the show, Firefox Home was never all that impressive in terms of performance.Sullivan said the main roadblock is that Mozilla can’t ship its own rendering and JavaScript engines in an iOS version of Firefox. Unless Apple experiences a change of heart — or someone launches a successful campaign against the company and its browser policies are ruled as anti-competitive practice — the Foundation is never going to be able to do that.Mozilla is willing to pass on shipping Firefox to the iOS legions right now because it’s hoping that the “next billion” web users will be surfing on an inexpensive Firefox OS phone.last_img read more

Donald Trump says hed love to fight Joe Biden

first_imgDonald Trump says he’d ‘love’ to fight Joe Biden The Vice President earlier said he wished he was in school with Trump and could ‘take’ him. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URL Oct 26th 2016, 7:34 AM 60 Comments By Órla Ryan Share108 Tweet Email 15,259 Views Wednesday 26 Oct 2016, 7:34 AM Trump at a rally yesterday Source: Evan Vucci AP/Press Association ImagesDONALD TRUMP HAS responded to Joe Biden’s remarks about wanting to ‘take’ him.On Saturday, at an event for Trump’s presidential rival Hillary Clinton, the US Vice President strongly criticised recently released remarks Trump had made in 2005 about forcing himself on women.“What he said he did and does is a textbook definition of sexual assault,” Biden said.He added that he’s often asked if he wants to debate Trump, stating: “No, I wish we were in high school. I could take him behind the gym. That’s what I wish.”On Monday, Biden clarified his comments somewhat, saying: “If I were in high school … I want to make it clear I understand what assault is. I’m not in high school.”Responding to the remarks at a rally in Tallahassee, Florida yesterday, Trump said: “Our leaders are stupid people.“They’re stupid people, I’m telling you. Obama, all this guy does is campaign for Hillary – who he can’t stand.Did you see where Biden wants to take me to the back of the barn? Me? I’d love that. I’d love that, Mr Tough Guy. You know when he’s Mr Tough Guy? When he’s standing behind a microphone by himself. He wants to bring me to the back of the barn? Some things in life you could really love doing.“…And, by the way, if I said that, they’d say ‘he’s violent, how could he have done that?’”- Contains reporting from APRead: Donald Trump launches nightly Facebook show to get around mainstream media ‘filter’Read: Barack Obama got a dig in at Donald Trump while reading mean tweets about himself last nightlast_img read more

Man jailed for life for murder of Limerick rugby player loses Supreme

first_img Share127 Tweet Email2 Jan 18th 2017, 2:30 PM Man jailed for life for murder of Limerick rugby player loses Supreme Court appeal Barry Doyle shot and killed Shane Geoghegan in a case of mistaken identity in Limerick in November 2008. Shane GeogheganA MAN WHO was jailed for life for the murder of a 28-year-old man in Limerick has lost his appeal over that conviction this morning at the Supreme Court.30-year-old Barry Doyle was first convicted of the 2008 murder of Shane Geoghegan on 16 February 2012.That initial trial heard that Doyle had admitted during Garda interviews that he shot Geoghegan in a case of mistaken identity.Geoghegan was gunned down just yards from his home in Dooradoyle, Limerick in the early hours of the 9 November 2008.It subsequently emerged that a man known as John ‘Pitchfork’ McNamara had been the intended target of Barry Doyle, who was taking orders from known criminal John Dundon.After his conviction Doyle took his case to the Court of Appeal which dismissed the case on 8 June 2015, while also giving Doyle leave to appeal his conviction to the Supreme Court.While his appeal to the Court of Appeal had been based on 27 issues of contention concerning his 2012 trial, Doyle’s Supreme Court Appeal was primarily based on the fact he had no solicitor present prior to or during his 15th interview with gardaí during the initial investigation.It was during that interview that it was alleged Doyle made his admissions concerning the death of Shane Geoghegan.Other issues raised by Doyle included the fact that a Supreme Court decision on which he would have sought to rely, DPP v Damache, was delivered eight days after his own conviction, and whether or not some of the “facts not considered to be in dispute” regarding the case could have constituted threats or inducements targeting him.Regarding the ‘presence of a solicitor’ issue, a majority of six of the Court’s nine judges ruled that, in the circumstances of the case, it was not required that Doyle have a solicitor present during the key 15th interview.Similarly, the Court held that the cited Damache case could not be used by Doyle in his defence, and also dismissed the issue of threats or inducements regarding the facts not considered to be in dispute in the case.Doyle has been returned to prison where he will continue to serve out the remainder of his life sentence.Read: Lucan murder victim may have been stabbed and run over with carRead: Man receives lifetime ban from keeping animals after pig “eaten alive” by dogs 16,963 Views Wednesday 18 Jan 2017, 2:30 PM Short URL 22 Comments By Cianan Brennan Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Two Irishmen charged with gun offences in Amsterdam today

first_img 19,383 Views Short URL The bar where the men were arrested. Image: Google Maps Feb 9th 2017, 8:00 PM By Garreth MacNamee The bar where the men were arrested. Updated at 8pmTWO IRISHMEN AND two men from the UK have been charged with gun-related offences in a Dutch court today.Three of the men have been charged with possession of a firearm, while the fourth has been charged with attempted manslaughter, according to early reports from RTÉ.The men were arrested in Rembrandt Square in Amsterdam on Sunday, after allegedly threatening to use a firearm in the Square.Police said that at around 8.45pm on Sunday, a police unit on Rembrandt Square was stopped by a man who said he had been threatened with a firearm. He told police that the person who he said had threatened him then went into the Smokey Bar on the square.Multiple units came to assist those officers at the Rembrandt after they entered the bar to follow up on the man’s allegations. The first suspect was arrested, followed by three other men who were also in the bar.Police subsequently found three firearms which were taken for investigation. One was found in a bin and the others hidden under chairs, Dutch police said.Comments have been turned off as legal proceedings are ongoing.Read: Pentagon considers renting a floor in Trump Tower to store nuclear launch codes >Read: Government wants 1% of civil service to be made up of immigrants in new integration strategy > Two Irishmen charged with gun offences in Amsterdam today Of the four men who were arrested Sunday, one man has been charged with attempted manslaughter.center_img Thursday 9 Feb 2017, 8:00 PM Share1 Tweet Email Image: Google Maps No Comments Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Public smooching is terrorism Japanese killjoys wage war on Valentines Day

first_img Feb 12th 2017, 2:58 PM By AFP Sunday 12 Feb 2017, 2:58 PM 13,068 Views 21 Comments Image: Shizuo Kambayashi/PA Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article ‘Public smooching is terrorism’: Japanese killjoys wage war on Valentine’s Day The Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women find Unattractive is spearheading the campaign. Image: Shizuo Kambayashi/PA AS JAPAN PREPARES to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a cranky group of marxist protesters have called for an end to public displays of love, claiming it hurts their feelings.Members of ‘Kakuhido’, or the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women find Unattractive, unfurled a giant “Smash Valentine’s Day” banner as the party-poopers set off to try and overthrow the annual celebration of romance.The grumpy comrades elicited curious looks from passers-by in the trendy Shibuya district where they rallied against commercialism and chanted other buzz-kill slogans such as “public smooching is terrorism!”“Our aim is to crush this love capitalism,” the group’s public relations chief Takayuki Akimoto told AFP.“People like us who don’t seek value in love are being oppressed by society,” he added. “It’s a conspiracy by people who think unattractive guys are inferior, or losers, like cuddling in public, it makes us feel bad. It’s unforgivable.”Previously, the killjoy group has also protested against “housewives who control Japan’s future” as their hapless husbands work all hours at the office.Business is boomingValentine’s Day in Japan is a huge money-spinner for the confectionery business as women are traditionally expected to buy chocolates for the men in their lives, from lovers to work colleagues.Men reciprocate a month later on White Day, a Japanese marketing brainwave dreamt up by confectioners in the 1980s to keep the cash tills ringing.“The tradition of giving chocolates means you’re always competing,” said Akimoto, 33, blasting what his group calls the “passion-based capitalism” of Valentine’s Day.“You’re judged by how many sweets you get. It’s a business strategy by the chocolate capitalists, it’s ridiculous.”Valentine’s Day originated as an ancient Christian and Roman tradition and Akimoto fumed: “Religious overtones have been twisted and turned into a vehicle to make money.”Japan is experiencing a loss of mojo with couples apparently too stressed or busy to have sex, frustrating government efforts to raise the birthrate as policymakers struggle to cope with a shrinking population.Akimoto claims the group’s message has begun to hit home after 10 years of protests.“Recently you hear of more people spending Christmas alone or women growing tired of Valentine’s Day,” he said. “We believe that through our fight, we’ve helped contribute to that social shift.”Kakuhido was founded in 2006 by Katsuhiro Furusawa, who began reading the Communist Manifesto after being dumped by his girlfriend and came to the conclusion that being unpopular with the opposite sex was a class issue, fuelling his anti-Valentine message.Akimoto offered some advice for would-be disciples of the spoil-sport group, which also protests White Day and Christmas.“We’re saying you don’t have to enjoy Christmas or Valentine’s Day,” he said joylessly, adding that Kakuhido is also taking aim at Halloween.“Just spend the day doing normal things. Our enemy is formidable, but we are ready for a long, drawn-out war.”© – AFP, 2017Read: This Irish film tells the fascinating story of a tiny folk-artist called Maud >Read: Bertie Ahern says Theresa May’s Brexit strategy is putting peace in the North at risk > Short URL Share70 Tweet Email last_img read more

Nigeria charges 53 men with conspiracy to organise a gay wedding

first_img 13,267 Views Share Tweet Email Nigeria charges 53 men with conspiracy to organise a gay wedding The men stand charged with “belonging to an unlawful society”. 42 Comments Thursday 20 Apr 2017, 9:10 PM Image: NurPhoto SIPA USA/PA Images NIGERIAN PROSECUTORS HAVE charged 53 men with conspiracy to organise a gay wedding and related crimes punishable by up to 14 years in jail, a court clerk told AFP today.The accused, aged 20 to 30, appeared at a magistrates court in the northern city of Zaria, Kaduna state, yesterday after being arrested at a hotel where they allegedly attended the wedding, clerk Mahmud Bello said.The suspects were arrested on 15 April and have been charged with conspiracy, unlawful assembly and belonging to an unlawful society, the clerk said.Bello added that the couple managed to escape.The suspects, mostly students, pleaded not guilty and were released on bail while the judge adjourned their case until 8 May.“Information reached the police that this group of persons conspired to celebrate a gay marriage,” said Bello, reading from the charge sheet.Nigeria operates secular and Islamic laws, both of which prohibit gay relationshipsIn January 2014, the country passed legislation under former president Goodluck Jonathan making gay relationships punishable by 10 to 14 years in prison.Sharia laws operating since 2000 in 12 predominantly Muslim northern states provides for the death penalty for people convicted of homosexuality.Several cases have come before Sharia courts which have yet to convict anyone of the crime.Many suspects have been acquitted or released on bail, their cases stalled by technicalities.In one prominent case in January 2014 more than a dozen men were charged in the northern city of Bauchi, leading to violent protests outside court by angry mobs demanding death sentences.Police fired warning shots in the air to disperse the crowd.The suspects, some of whom pleaded guilty, were released on bail and the cases dropped.Despite the lack of convictions in such cases, the anti-gay legislation has created a climate of fear, according to Human Rights Watch.© – AFP 2017Read: One police officer killed, one wounded in Paris attackRead: Russia moves to ban ‘extremist’ Jehovah’s Witnesses by seizing group’s property Image: NurPhoto SIPA USA/PA Images By AFP Apr 20th 2017, 9:10 PM Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Short URLlast_img read more

Every week the average Irish household spends €845 Heres where the money

first_img 87,878 Views 69 Comments Every week, the average Irish household spends €845. Here’s where the money goes The CSO has published its Household Budget Survey 2015/16, providing a breakdown of spending across the country. By Sean Murray Short URL Wednesday 21 Jun 2017, 5:40 PMcenter_img Share81 Tweet Email22 Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article Jun 21st 2017, 5:40 PM €123 on food (including €26 on eating out)€50 on medical costs€34 on clothing and footwear€28 on alcohol and tobacco€33 on holidays€124 on transport€37 on pensions€164 on housingA smaller proportion of household income, however, is being spent on food – down from 16.2% in 2009/10 to 14.6% in 2015/16. Source: CSOHistorically, the trends towards spending more of our budgets on “miscellaneous goods, services and other expenditure” continues. This category covers things such as health, childcare, education, pensions and telephones.In 1980, households spent 20% of their budget in this category. In 2015/16, however this was now 34.2%.The proportion of our budget spent on housing has also risen strongly. In 1999/2000, it was under 10% of our budgets. Now, it is 19.4%.Renting vs OwningCrunching the numbers, households owned with a mortgage spent the most per week, which on average was €1,164.82.In lone parent households, meanwhile, over a quarter of their expenditure (26.7%) was spent on housing. Source: CSOThose in the private rental sector, meanwhile, tended to spend more of their budget on housing. At 28.1%, private renters were spending more than those with a mortgage, for example, who only devoted 22.6% of their budgets to housing. Source: CSOIn terms of household facilities, only two thirds of people have a fixed telephone. In 2009-10 it was 70.2%, now it’s only 65.9% of households.The stats also show that more of us have mobile phones, internet access and burglar alarms, but less have piped gas, a motorcycle or a second home.Commenting on the figures, The Society of St Vincent de Paul expressed worries on the housing figures.It said in a statement: “The implication of rising rents is reflected in the experience of SVP members on the ground who are visiting individuals and households trying to keep pace with unsustainable rents and are continually faced with the threat of homelessness.”SVP also stressed that the high proportion of income from households in disadvantaged areas on things such as food, clothing and fuel showed that supports are essential.It added: “This highlights the continued importance of income supports such as the Back to School Clothing and Footwear Allowance and Exceptional Needs Payment in reducing the financial burden of basic goods and services on low-income households.”The Household Budget Survey was undertaken between February 2015 and February 2016, covering 6,839 households.Read: There are 79 unemployment blackspots in Ireland, with Limerick worst affectedRead: There are only three Irish counties where the average house price is under €100,000 Source: CSOTHE CENTRAL STATISTICS Office (CSO) has published detailed results of its 2015-16 Household Budget Survey, showing how Irish households spend money on a week-to-week basis.The headline figure is that Irish households spend more than they did when the last survey was undertaken in 2009-10, up 4.3% to €845.12 a week.The average income for a household meanwhile, was up 6.8% to €1,097.04.Unsurprisingly, we’re devoting more of our budget to housing – either renting, mortgage or other – since the last time the survey was done, accounting for almost 20% of our average weekly spend.We’re also spending more on transport – up 7% to €124.39 a week – and a larger proportion of our overall budget (14.7%) on getting from A to B.The average Irish household now spends €28 a week on alcohol and tobacco, a dramatic fall of 29%.Here is a breakdown of the average Irish household’s weekly spending:last_img read more

Burger chain Five Guys is opening a joint in Swords Pavilions new

first_img Share34 Tweet Email8 Image: Picture by: John Phillips/PA Archive/PA Images 65 Comments Jun 13th 2018, 12:10 PM Short URL Burger chain Five Guys is opening a joint in Swords Pavilions’ new ‘restaurant quarter’ The €3.3 million development is due to be completed by the end of the year. 32,418 Views Take me to Fora Image: Picture by: John Phillips/PA Archive/PA Images MUCH-HYPED AMERICAN BURGER chain Five Guys and pizzeria Milano will open branches in a new ‘restaurant quarter’ in the Pavilions Shopping Centre, Swords.Retail property firm Hammerson, IPUT and Irish Life, joint owners of the Dublin shopping outlet, have announced that the €3.3 million restaurant development will open later this year.Located on the upper level of the mall next to the Movies@Swords cinema and fashion store Zara, the project will consist of three new restaurants and a glass bridge that links to the first floor of the mall, where TK Maxx, Next and H&M are located.Two of the three units have already been snapped up by Five Guys and Milano.‘Iconic’Earlier this year, Five Guys opened its first outlet in Dublin city centre on South Great George’s Street in a building previously occupied by Dunnes Stores. It entered the Irish market in 2016 at Dundrum Town Centre, which is owned by Hammerson.Milano’s 3,400 sq ft restaurant in the Pavilions will be its 16th in Ireland.As part of the new development, athletic clothing retailer JD Sports will relocate into a new 10,000 sq ft unit at ground floor level.Construction on the restaurant quarter project is scheduled to start this month and the new joints are planned to open later in the year.Commenting on the announcement during the week, David Malanaphy, managing director of Five Guys Ireland, said the company decided to open in the Pavilions because it is “an iconic shopping centre with a really strong tenant mix”.Sign up to our newsletter to receive a regular digest of Fora’s top articles delivered to your inbox.Written by Conor McMahon and posted on Get Fora’s NEW daily digest of the morning’s key business news: Saturday 16 Jun 2018, 5:30 PM By Fora Staff Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council and labels it a cesspool

first_img US withdraws from UN Human Rights Council and labels it a ‘cesspool of political bias’ The US claimed that the UN is biased against Israel. 113 Comments US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during an emergency session of the UN General Assembly in New York. Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images Image: Xinhua News Agency/PA Images Jun 19th 2018, 10:53 PM THE UNITED STATES has withdrawn from the UN Human Rights Council, US ambassador Nikki Haley said this evening, branding the global body a “cesspool of political bias”.“We take this step because our commitment does not allow us to remain a part of a hypocritical and self-serving organisation that makes a mockery of human rights,” she said.Haley, Trump’s envoy to the UN, said the US had given the human rights body “opportunity after opportunity” to make changes.She hit out at the council for “its chronic bias against Israel” and lamented the fact that its membership includes accused human rights abusers such as China, Cuba, Venezuela and the Democratic Republic of Congo.Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, appearing alongside Haley at the State Department, said there was no doubt that the council once had a “noble vision”.“But today we need to be honest,” Pompeo said. “The Human Rights Council is a poor defender of human rights.”The announcement came just a day after the UN human rights chief, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, denounced the Trump administration for separating migrant children from their parents.But Haley, cited longstanding US complaints that the 47-member council is biased against Israel. She had been threatening the pull-out since last year unless the council made changes advocated by the US.“Regrettably, it is now clear that our call for reform was not heeded,” Haley said.Still, she suggested the decision need not be permanent, adding that if the council did adopt reforms, “we would be happy to rejoin it”.She said the withdrawal notwithstanding, the US would continue to defend human rights at the United Nations.United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed regret over the American decision to quit the UN Human Rights Council, saying he would “have much preferred” for the United States to remain.“The UN’s human rights architecture plays a very important role in the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide,” he said in a statement from his office.With reporting by AFP US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks during an emergency session of the UN General Assembly in New York.center_img By Associated Press Short URL Tuesday 19 Jun 2018, 10:53 PM Share321 Tweet Email 22,674 Views Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Why is the government set for a showdown in court over the

first_img Image: Leah Farrell/ 63 Comments Thursday 5 Sep 2019, 12:05 AM 16.08.19 ‘Misleading’ to claim having PSC makes applying for driver’s licence easier, Data Protection Commissioner says Sep 5th 2019, 12:05 AM 16.08.19 No legal basis for mandatory Public Services Card to access State services other than welfare, landmark probe finds 13,677 Views On this basis the Ministers believe that it would be inappropriate, and potentially unlawful, to withdraw or modify the use of the PSC or the data processes that underpin it as has been requested by the DPC.In other words, the government is saying it believes its processes have a strong legal underpinning, and will fight it in court if necessary. What power does the Data Protection Commissioner have here?There are several bits of legislation and directives underpinning data regulation in Ireland, but the statutory powers and duties of the Data Protection Commissioner are underpinned by the Data Protection Act 2018, relating to GDPR. Dixon’s powers are also underpinned by previous legislation. Solicitor Fred Logue told when the findings were published that it’s “not entirely clear […] how enforceable it is”. Though the Data Protection Commissioner outlined to the government a timeline for when she wants its recommendations actioned, the government has now said it will continue on as it has been, given its own legal advice.If the government is unwilling to comply with the directions of the Data Protection Commissioner, the latter can seek an enforcement order in the courts. When it came to this report, there was no explicit power for the Data Protection Commissioner to publish the report, and the government is within its rights to appeal the findings. Solicitor Simon McGarr also told that it was entirely possible that the government could seek some sort of legal action to appeal the findings, such as a judicial review.However, the government has said this week “that it may be necessary and appropriate for the matter to be referred to the courts for a definitive decision”. This doesn’t necessarily mean they will directly appeal the findings themselves.It could take the form of the government challenging the Data Protection Commissioner in court when defending why they haven’t acted on the findings. Why would the government challenge this anyway?As stated, the reason given by government is that it’s confident in its own legal advice. Furthermore, it’s been extolling the virtues of the PSC project – which has cost over €60 million to date – for some time now. “We think the Public Services Card is the best way of making sure that the billions of euro that we spend in providing public services are made available to the people that need them,” Minister Paschal Donohoe told RTÉ’s Today with Sean O’Rourke when, in the summer of 2017, controversy was beginning to build.Taoiseach Leo Varadkar previously said it’s something “that is actually of real benefit to citizens”. He echoed these sentiments last month, saying that while the legality of the PSC will have to be examined, “it’s still a good project notwithstanding the difficulties that have arisen”. And, according to McGarr, the findings from the Data Protection Commissioner open up the government to future litigation. “Under the GDPR, there’s an explicit right to take action and seek compensation for material and non-material loss,” he said. “If your rights have been breached, you’ve a right to claim. The size of the claims could be small. We don’t know.”Citing two precedent cases in Ireland and England, where the payout was roughly €15,000 in each instance, McGarr said that any number multiplied by the 3.2 million citizens who’ve received a PSC would be a “very large number”.  Related Reads “The illegality [found by the Data Protection Commissioner] involved privacy and data protection rights of a very large proportion of the country,” he said. The government not implementing the findings of the report and defending itself in court – while potentially a costly and lengthy process – could save it more in the long-term if the court rules in its favour, ruling out even costlier litigation.By refusing to adhere to the findings and saying it would challenge them in court, a bullish government is aiming to press on with its PSC project rather than scaling it back despite the slap-down from the Data Protection Commissioner.And, after a two-year investigation in which it is confident in its findings and giving the department strict deadlines to take action, it’s understood the Data Protection Commissioner would contest any legal action swiftly and in the strongest possible terms. With the initial 21-day deadline this Friday, any action could take place very soon.What happens now then?According to Regina Doherty, the next step is for her to meet with Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon to discuss the findings of the report. After this meeting, if indeed it does take place at all, Doherty has indicated she will publish the report.“I absolutely intend to publish the Commission’s report and our response to it,” she said.The government has been under pressure to publish the report in full. In telling the findings of the report, Dixon said she felt it was in the public interest to do so, and this has been echoed by opposition TDs and activist groups.In a statement to yesterday, Data Protection Commission head of communications Graham Doyle said: “I can confirm that we received correspondence from the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection [on Tuesday night]. We will be responding to the Department by the end of this week.In relation to the issue around the publication of the report, the DPC believes that the report should be published immediately in the public interest.The opposition, meanwhile, has also criticised the government for the way it’s conducted itself so far.Sinn Féin TD John Brady said yesterday: “Minister Doherty has shown utter contempt for the office of the Data Protection Commissioner whose primary role is to uphold the fundamental right of individuals to have their personal data protected.”Concerns have also been raised that challenging the ruling at all could be reputationally damaging for Ireland.Liam Herrick, of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties, said this week: “Ireland has a very important international reputation as a centre of technology, and indeed of data protection.We have to comply with the rule of law. We have to comply with the regulatory bodies [and] respect the independence of those bodies that we established. And if we don’t do so, the financial consequences and the reputation consequences might be much greater than the short-term damage by administrative project that’s gone wrong. All eyes will now be on the report if and when published to see how damning it actually is for the government ahead of any legal challenge, with the government showing no signs of backing down on the PSC any time soon. Minister Paschal Donohoe promoting the card in 2016. Why is the government set for a showdown in court over the findings of the PSC report? The government has said this week it will not be implementing the findings of the Data Protection Commissioner. Share16 Tweet Email1 INSTEAD OF CONCEDING ground, the government is doubling down on the Public Services Card (PSC).Yesterday, Minister Regina Doherty took to national radio to say that the government would be challenging the findings of the landmark inquiry into the legality of the card in court.Furthermore, she signalled the government would be defying the direction from the Data Protection Commissioner and continue to retain the data of people who apply for the PSC.“My legal advice is incredibly strong,” Doherty told RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland, adding that this advice says there is a “clear and unambiguous legal basis” to continue operating the card as has been done up to now. “We believe that we do have legal rights and legislation to underpin exactly what was anticipated,” she said. What has prompted the government to take this course of action? And what can we expect from a court battle?Data Protection Commissioner’s reportThe Data Protection Commissioner Helen Dixon began her investigation into the legality of the PSC in October 2017, after months of controversy over the card. The spotlight was put firmly on the Public Services Card back in August 2017, when the Irish Times reported that a woman had her pension cut because she refused to get a card.Over the past three years, has also highlighted other cases such as when a woman was asked for an adoption cert when applying for a PSC; another where a woman was asked how long she’d been living with her partner when applying for one; and people even being denied one because they were adopted.Dixon gave the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection a draft of this report in August 2018. She told last month that the main findings in this draft aren’t significantly different from the main findings in the finished report.In any case, the department sent back its response to the draft in November 2018 addressing what was in the report. Finally, then, in August 2019 the report was finalised and sent to the department. Dixon made three main findings:There’s no lawful basis for a person to be told they must have a Public Services Card to access a State service, except for social welfare and benefits.The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has no lawful basis for keeping documents provided, such as utility bills, for the 3.2 million cards issued so far. That data must now be destroyed.And the department also hasn’t been sufficiently transparent in terms of the personal data it processes in the context of the PSC.Also included in these findings was a direction to the department for a progress report within 21 days (ie this Friday) on the removal of the PSC as a requirement for non-welfare related services and an implementation plan for the second finding on the retention of documents within six weeks. Although it took several weeks to respond, the government has signalled this week that it will be challenging these findings. In a joint statement from the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform and the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection, it said: Following very careful consideration of the report and having taken the advice of the Attorney General’s Office, the ministers informed government that they are satisfied that the processing of personal data related to the PSC does in fact have a strong legal basis, the retention of data is lawful and that the information provided to users does satisfy the requirements of transparency. By Sean Murray 18.08.19 ‘There’s no get out jail free card on this’: What next for the Public Services Card? Short URL Minister Paschal Donohoe promoting the card in 2016. Image: Leah Farrell/ Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this articlelast_img read more

Victorian Premier joins Greek elderly at Australia Day celebration

first_imgPremier joins Greek elderlyPremier John Brumby joined thousands of people in Mornington on Sunday to celebrate Australia Day and recognise the contribution of Victoria’s Greek population. Speaking at Australia Day celebrations staged by the Association of Greek Elderly Citizens Clubs of Melbourne and Victoria, Mr Brumby said Australia Day was a time to honour the many different communities that make our state and Australia such a great place to live. “Australia Day is also a time to reflect on our beginnings and remember that we are a multicultural community made up of migrants from all over the world,” Mr Brumby said. Mr Brumby said the state’s Greek community had made a great contribution and had long been recognised as a significant influence on Victorian culture and diversity.“Our Greek community has played a very important role in shaping the thriving and cosmopolitan society Victoria is today – we are immensely proud of our large and dynamic Greek community,” Mr Brumby said.More than three thousand people from many different backgrounds enjoyed the event, with entertainment ranging from Greek folk dancing to Indigenous performances and a traditional Aussie barbecue.The Association of Greek Elderly Citizens Clubs of Melbourne and Victoria has offered its services to the elderly Greek community for more than 25 years and now represents over 25,000 members from various clubs throughout Victoria. Mr Brumby said the Greek Senior Citizens Australia Day celebration was a great opportunity for people to celebrate our heritage and look to the future. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Multicultural Health Week a resounding success

first_imgOn Thursday 8 September, community groups united at Yagoona Senior Citizen’s Centre for a free public event to celebrate Multicultural Health Week (5 – 12 September). Highlighting the importance of New South Wales Health Services providing equitable access to information and resources, the event attracted culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities from across NSW. Arabic, Chinese, Italian, Greek and Vietnamese communities along with members from the Turkish, Serbian, Bosnian, Croatian and Korean communities participated in the event. The open day was launched by Rev. Harry Herbert, Chairperson of the Responsible Gambling Fund Trustees, who welcomed the audience and spoke about the range of help materials available for problem gambling within the community. This was followed by a presentation from Pino Migliorino, Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Councils of Australia (FECCA), who talked about promoting good mental and physical health and discussed some of impacts on family and community. A representative from the six CALD organisations briefly introduced their services to the public and handed out resources and promotional materials. The successful community event showcased performances of traditional music and dance, which included Vietnamese and Chinese dancers, singers and musicians from the Italian and Turkish communities, Greek singers and an accordionist and a traditional Arabic drummer. Following the performances there was a sausage sizzle and salads provided. The day was full of energy sparked by both the performers and the audience who helped to make it a success. More than 41 per cent of callers to the Gambling Helpline (1800 858 858) speak a language other than English, which highlights a community need for resources to be available in a variety of languages. Many CALD communities suffer significant problems from gambling or are at risk of developing problems including financial distress, relationship issues and family breakdown, as well as physical and mental health issues such as sleeplessness, anxiety, depression and suicide. The Responsible Gambling Fund provides more than $1.28 million for gambling counselling, research, education and awareness programs within the CALD communities. For more information contact Lee Holmes on 0401 417919 or email Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more

Mount Athos abbot to appear in court

first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram A Mount Athos abbot has been summoned to give evidence concerning the land swaps between the monastery and the state. Abbot Ephraim of Vatopedi is due to appear before magistrate Irene Kalou on 29 November. His alleged accomplice in this case, Father Arsenios, will give evidence on 14 November. The pair are considered key players in the notorious land swap cases. The charges against them both include morally instigating the issue of false certificates, fraud and legalising income from illegal activity. Source: Athens News.last_img read more