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  • [National Security: National Security, Pentagon & Defense Department News - The Washington Post] Trump drops plan to host G-7 at his Doral golf resort: Trump drops plan to hold next Group of Seven meeting at his Doral golf resort after scathing criticism
  • [Reuters: Sports News] NFL notebook: Bengals' Green 'still a ways to go': Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green doesn't appear to be returning to the field in the near future.
  • [Reuters: Technology News] China's propaganda chief says Cold War mentality hindering mutual trust in cyberspace: A "Cold War mentality" and "bully behavior" are hindering mutual trust in cyberspace, China's propaganda chief said on Sunday at the start of the World Internet Conference in the eastern Chinese town of Wuzhen.
  • [Reuters: Science News] China's next commercial rockets to make test flights in 2020, 2021: Xinhua: China will launch test flights for the next two space rockets in its Smart Dragon series meant for commercial use in 2020 and 2021, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday, as an expected boom in satellite deployment gathers pace.
  • [Reuters: Technology News] China's next commercial rockets to make test flights in 2020, 2021: Xinhua: China will launch test flights for the next two space rockets in its Smart Dragon series meant for commercial use in 2020 and 2021, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday, as an expected boom in satellite deployment gathers pace.
  • [Reuters: Sports News] NHL roundup: Hughes nets first goal in Devils' win: Rookie Jack Hughes scored his first NHL goal, and Mackenzie Blackwood recorded his first shutout of the season as the New Jersey Devils skated to a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday afternoon in Newark, N.J.
  • [Reuters: World News] 'Abominable' film axed in Malaysia after rebuffing order to cut China map: DreamWorks' animated movie "Abominable" will not be released in Malaysia after its producers declined to meet a censor board requirement to cut a scene showing China's "nine-dash line" in the South China Sea, the movie distributor said on Sunday.
  • [Reuters: Entertainment News] 'Abominable' film axed in Malaysia after rebuffing order to cut China map: DreamWorks' animated movie "Abominable" will not be released in Malaysia after its producers declined to meet a censor board requirement to cut a scene showing China's "nine-dash line" in the South China Sea, the movie distributor said on Sunday.
  • [Reuters: Company News] 'Abominable' film axed in Malaysia after rebuffing order to cut China map: DreamWorks' animated movie "Abominable" will not be released in Malaysia after its producers declined to meet a censor board requirement to cut a scene showing China's "nine-dash line" in the South China Sea, the movie distributor said on Sunday.
  • [Hacker News] We have a blind spot about how the pill influences women?s brains: Comments
  • [Hacker News] Good UX = Boring UI. Don't Be Creative: Comments
  • [Reuters: Sports News] Rooney's MLS adventure comes to sour end: Wayne Rooney's Major League Soccer adventure came to a sour end along with DC United's season on Saturday as Toronto FC scored a wild 5-1 extra-time playoff win to send the former-England captain on to his next career stop.
  • [Reuters: World News] Australia's attorney-general says Canberra local law on cannabis has no legal force: Australian Attorney-General Christian Porter said on Sunday that Canberra's new legislation legalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use do not provide legal protection and clash with federal laws.
  • [Reuters: Sports News] College football notebook: Ricky Williams? Heisman sold for $504K: The Heisman Trophy presented to Texas running back Ricky Williams in 1998 sold at an auction for $504,000, a record for college football's most recognizable award.
  • [Reuters: World News] House Speaker Pelosi holds talks in Jordan with King Abdullah: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior members of Congress held talks in Jordan on Saturday with King Abdullah II and other top Jordanian officials.
  • [Reuters: Politics] House Speaker Pelosi holds talks in Jordan with King Abdullah: U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other senior members of Congress held talks in Jordan on Saturday with King Abdullah II and other top Jordanian officials.
  • [Reuters: World News] All U.S. troops withdrawing from Syria expected to go to western Iraq: Pentagon chief: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Saturday that all of the nearly 1,000 troops withdrawing from northern Syria are expected to move to western Iraq to continue the campaign against Islamic State militants and "to help defend Iraq."
  • [National Security: National Security, Pentagon & Defense Department News - The Washington Post] Trump drops plan to host G-7 at Doral: Trump drops plan to hold next Group of Seven meeting at his Doral golf resort after scathing criticism
  • [Reuters: World News] Superyacht linked to Malaysia's 1MDB for sale, again: A superyacht linked to a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal at Malaysian fund 1MDB is up for sale, according to a listing by the yacht broker.
  • [Hacker News] When the Student Newspaper Is the Only Daily Paper in Town: Comments
  • Show more…

Photos

Entries

  • Nissan's Next Electric Car Could Also Provide Power To Your Home (911 characters)

    Sun, 20 Oct 2019 00:30:00 -0400Nissan's Next Electric Car Could Also Provide Power To Your HomeSlashdot

    From a report: The owner of an electric car will be able to meet household power needs from the vehicle itself based on a technology developed by Nissan, the Japanese auto giant. It plans to introduce the new 'Leaf' electric cars in the Indian market next year and is on the look-out for local partners for collaboration on the application of its latest 'Vehicle-to-Home' technology (V2H) in the state. The technology allows electric vehicles to not only receive power but also store it and send it back to the source. The 'Leaf' could be an alternative to a home battery system like inverter. Household power can be supplied from the 'Leaf' lithium-ion battery (40 kWh) of the car by installing a power control system connected to the household's distribution board. The vehicles can also be charged from the household power supply at night (lean usage period).

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Trump says his Doral golf resort will no longer host next year?s G-7 summit, bowing to criticism (258 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 23:43:00 -0400Trump says his Doral golf resort will no longer host next year?s G-7 summit, bowing to criticismCongress: Congressional News, Schedule, Votes & More - The Washington Post

    President Trump was buffeted by two straight days of allegations of self-dealing and exasperation from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including some Republican allies who said the selection of Doral as the venue for a gathering of world leaders was indefensible.

  • Trump says his Doral golf resort will no longer host next year?s G-7 summit, bowing to criticism (258 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 23:43:00 -0400Trump says his Doral golf resort will no longer host next year?s G-7 summit, bowing to criticismCampaigns: Campaign and Election News & Analysis - The Washington Post

    President Trump was buffeted by two straight days of allegations of self-dealing and exasperation from lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including some Republican allies who said the selection of Doral as the venue for a gathering of world leaders was indefensible.

  • Trump abandons plan to host 2020 G7 meeting at his Florida golf resort (255 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 23:24:00 -0400Trump abandons plan to host 2020 G7 meeting at his Florida golf resortReuters: Politics

    U.S. President Donald Trump abandoned plans late on Saturday to host next year's Group of Seven summit at his Florida golf resort, after Democrats and others had decried the selection as evidence of the president misusing his office for personal gain.

  • New Algorithm Transforms Blurred Photos Into Moving Videos (292 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 23:21:00 -0400New Algorithm Transforms Blurred Photos Into Moving VideosLight Stalking

    Some of our favorites stories are about all of the new photo manipulation techniques that are becoming possible because of research and development. Whether it is transforming the weather in a...

    [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

  • Is Andrew Yang Wrong About Robots Taking Our Jobs? (2745 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 23:04:00 -0400Is Andrew Yang Wrong About Robots Taking Our Jobs?Slashdot

    U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang "is full of it," argues Slate's senior business and economics correspondent, challenging Yang's contention (in a debate Tuesday) that American jobs were being lost to automation: Following the debate, a "fact check" by the AP claimed that Yang was right and Warren wrong. "Economists mostly blame [manufacturing] job losses on automation and robots, not trade deals," it stated. But this was incorrect. No such consensus exists, and if anything, the evidence heavily suggests that trade has been the bigger culprit in recent decades. All of which points to a broader issue: Yang's schtick about techno doom may be well-intentioned, but it is largely premised on BS, and is adding to the widespread confusion about the impact of automation on the economy. Yang is not pulling his ideas out of thin air. Economists have been debating whether automation or trade is more responsible for the long-term decline of U.S. factory work for a while, and it's possible to find experts on both sides of the issue. After remaining steady for years, the total number of U.S. manufacturing jobs suddenly plummeted in the early 2000s -- from more than 17 million in 2000 to under 14 million in 2007... [But] America hasn't just lost manufacturing workers; as Susan Houseman of the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research notes, the number of factories also declined by around 22 percent between 2000 and 2014, which isn't what you'd expect if assembly workers were just being replaced by machines. In a 2017 paper, meanwhile, economists Daron Acemoglu of MIT and Pascual Restrepo of Boston University concluded that the growth of industrial robots in the U.S. since 1990 could only explain between between 360,000 and 670,000 job losses. By comparison, the proof placing blame on trade and China is much stronger. Justin Pierce of the Federal Reserve Board and Peter Schott of Yale have found evidence that the U.S.'s decision to grant the People's Republic permanent normal trade relations in 2000 led to declines in American jobs... New technology will change the economy and the way people work. It already is. But those shifts will be more complex than Yang admits and probably won't look like the wave of mass unemployment that he and his like-minded supporters tend to envision... It's not just unrealistic. It's lazy. When you buy the sci-fi notion that technology is simply a disembodied force making humanity obsolete and that there's little that can be done about it, you stop thinking about ideas that will actually prevent workers from being screwed over by the forces of globalization or new tech. By prophesying imaginary problems, you ignore the real ones.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Hong Kong tightens security ahead of planned protest (255 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 22:12:00 -0400Hong Kong tightens security ahead of planned protestReuters: World News

    Hong Kong tightened security ahead of a planned anti-government march on Sunday afternoon, with some metro services halted and public facilities shuttering as pro-democracy leaders called on citizens to join the protest in spite of the risk of arrest.

  • UPDATE 2-Chile army declares curfew, president reverses fare hikes after unrest (263 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 22:01:00 -0400UPDATE 2-Chile army declares curfew, president reverses fare hikes after unrestReuters: Company News

    The Chilean military declared a night-time curfew in the capital on Saturday and President Sebastian Pinera announced he would freeze an unpopular public transport policy, as the government struggled to tackle widespread unrest in the streets over fare hikes.

  • 'How Andrew Yang Would Fix The Internet' (1979 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 21:34:00 -0400'How Andrew Yang Would Fix The Internet'Slashdot

    For the "Privacy Project" newsletter of the New York Times, opinion writer Charlie Warzel interviewed U.S. presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Their far-ranging conversation covered everything from whether Facebook should be able to run political ads to his proposed Department of the Attention Economy: Andrew Yang: I was talking to a researcher recently and she described a concept called data dignity, which I thought really says it all. Right now we're being systematically deprived of our dignity and we think it is fine because we're getting these incredible services. Perhaps that worked in the early stages of the internet. But now we're waking up to the fact that the trade is much more serious and profound than we originally realized... I think we should be getting paid in a data dividend. Every time we post a photo or interact with a social media company we're putting information out there and that information should still be ours... We've become like rats in a maze where we're constantly hit by messages from these companies know everything about us. They know more about us than our families do. We're responding to stimuli and we think we're making choices. But it's because we've shared so much over time that they have a keen sense of what we want. There's something fundamental at stake here, which is: What does human agency look like? What are our rights as citizens? Yang also points out that when it comes to making things better, "it's not like individual consumers can band together to make this happen. Government needs to be a counterweight to the massive power and information inequities between us and the technology companies." Yang also says people would be less desperate to sell their data if they were receiving his proposed Universal Basic Income -- but "if individuals want to share their data or information or even their private lives with other people, then that's their prerogative."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • NASCAR notebook: Elliott puts Talladega behind him (260 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 21:23:00 -0400NASCAR notebook: Elliott puts Talladega behind himReuters: Sports News

    As a matter of fact, it was so unkind that it left the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series' reigning most popular driver in a probable must-win situation in Sunday's Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway (2:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

  • Deal of the day: 20% off on all Rock n Roll camera accessories (408 characters)
  • Argentina's Macri appeals to 'angry' voters at massive Buenos Aires rally (254 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 21:08:00 -0400Argentina's Macri appeals to 'angry' voters at massive Buenos Aires rallyReuters: World News

    Argentine President Mauricio Macri called on "angry" voters to get behind him ahead of presidential elections next week, as he looks to defy the odds and rein in Peronist challenger Alberto Fernandez, who beat him heavily in a primary vote in August.

  • Meike MK-MT24 wireless macro flash system review (8126 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 19:45:00 -0400Meike MK-MT24 wireless macro flash system reviewNikon Rumors



    Meike MK-MT24 wireless macro flash system (Adorama | Amazon) review by Steve Gong (website | Facebook | Instagram - see also his Meike 50mm f/1.7 lens for Nikon Z-mount review):

    The Meike MT-MT24 is one of the most interesting lighting products I?ve ever used. The concept of this product is similar to some macro flash systems that have been on the market for years - especially the Nikon R1C1 - but while I knew of their existence, I?ve never once considered them due to their exorbitantly high price (the R1C1 is over $700). This Meike MT-MT24 system, while at first glance seems pricey, coming in at $300, I?ve come to realize that it?s actually quite a good price for something specialized that works so well. It opens up a lot of possibilities in macro photography, and also simplifies the process tremendously.

    Why use a specialized macro lighting system like the MT-MT24?

    Hitherto, I?ve been shooting macro photos with standard off camera wireless speedlight flashes set manual power, set atop some kind of platform or light stand. Although this is all I knew, in retrospect, now having used the MT-MT24, it was a very cumbersome way of doing things. All the test photos you see in this article were shot within an hour, running and gunning. It?s highly portable, and stealthy.

    In addition, this is the first time I?m able to use TTL in macro flash photography, and it worked surprisingly well. I believe the best and easiest way to shoot macro is to set the camera on Manual mode, select your aperture, shutter speed, and iso manually, and have the flashes set on TTL. This way I could completely focus on shooting and composition. As it is, there?s a lot to worry about when shooting live insects - you want to remove as much ?clutter? in your workflow as possible.

    Main Features

    The way the flashes attach to your lens is via a ?Clip-On Ring Mount? that screws onto the filter thread of your lens using a supplied step-up ring. The flashes clip onto the ring mount, and have a feature where you can rotate them along the circumference of the ring by pushing in two plastic tabs without needing to unclip. The flashes can also rotate, whether you want them to point closer or further out, depending on the distance of your subject to the lens. The wireless flash trigger sits atop the hot shoe mount.

    Each of the flashes, as well as the flash trigger all have pretty bright built in LEDs. The LEDs on the flash can be turned on and off by the press of a dedicated button on the flash trigger. These LEDs are meant to assist you in composing and focusing your shot. When you depress the shutter, the LEDS actually shut off a split second before the flashes flash. I didn?t have to rely on the LEDs to focus because there was decent available lighting, and also because I?m using a mirrorless camera. I?m sure this is a boon for SLR shooters.

    The flash trigger has an LCD with a push in scroll wheel that allows you to control the individual flash output, whether it be TTL, or manual flash power. You can also switch one of them off to get a directional lighting effect as you can see in the tiny mushrooms shot, where only the right side flash is firing.

    Additional Features

    The kit comes with quite a few accessories:

    • Hotshoe mount and foot - this allows you to clip the flashes either onto a hotshoe adapter or have it sit on a platform on a hotshoe foot.
    • Diffusers - there are two diffusers which I think should be used most of the time
    • Gels - I haven?t had a chance to test this, but it does come with two sets of color gels that you can install right on the flash diffuser clip

    Another interesting possibility is to purchase additional flash units for a multiple flash system. I was thinking that you could also clip additional flashes all onto the same ring mount, thus effectively achieving a ring flash.

    The manual also says that the firmware can be updated. I have not experimented with this.

    Usage

    As previously mentioned, I had great success shooting in TTL mode with the camera set on manual mode. This allows you to quickly change the shutter speed so you can decide how much ambient light you want to show through while still retaining your desired aperture.

    The flash trigger was very reliable, and there were no misfires until the battery was low (at which point the flashes take longer to recharge the capacitor). TTL was extremely dependable. I generally avoid TTL in my photography, but I think it may be particularly suited to macro photography, and I recommend using this mode when possible.

    I was shooting with the Nikon Z6 with the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 macro lens. With this setup, the balance is near perfect and things didn?t feel front heavy. The rig is fairly compact, but I did at one point have a little difficulty clearing a tree trunk. My solution was to quickly unclip the flash (left flash in my case) that was blocking my movement.

    I was worried that the relative sizes of the flashes to the subject would not be large enough to give a soft-ish look (since the flashes are fairly small). The results actually exceeded my expectations, and I think they?re perfect for small subjects. I quite like the catchlights that it produces.

    One of the variables you?re always fighting against when using a macro lens is having enough depth of field. The lens I was using is very old, and frankly, a pretty terrible lens. At f/11, I was getting very severe diffraction. More importantly however, this meant that my ambient light: the light that falls on the background ended up often being rather dark. I compensated for this by using a higher ISO. If I really wanted to get the highest image quality, I would have placed extra flashes to light up the background independently. I will try this in the future - the fact that the MT-MT24 supports multiple wireless flashes makes this easy. You can actually use any flash that has a slave flash mode and pair it with this system.

    Battery and power management

    The flash trigger uses two AA batteries while the flashes themselves each use two AAA batteries. I assume this decision was made to keep the flashes small and lightweight. I was worried that this would mean poor battery life, but I actually managed to fire off over 200 shots before the recharge time started to take a little longer. I believe most of these were close to full power flashes, because I was shooting at high apertures most of the time.

    A unique feature is that you can recharge the AAA batteries by plugging a powered micro USB cable into the flash units while the batteries are installed.

    Conclusion

    As someone who doesn?t do macro photography full time, it would have been hard to justify $700 for the Nikon R1C1, which is why I never even considered a dedicated macro flash system. I believe the Meike MT-MT24 makes it affordable enough for the macro photography enthusiast, or even a beginner looking to get good results with ease. I believe the Meike actually has many improvements over the Nikon - it uses standard batteries, has better LED lighting, and most importantly is triggered over 2.4ghz wireless as opposed to infrared. I know that Canon also has a macro flash system, but theirs is wired - with wires going from the front flashes to the ?trigger? sitting on top of the hotshoe.

    I appreciate the fact that companies like Meike provide alternatives to leading brand equipment while often actually improving upon the design. This is a very solid macro flash system that exceeded my expectations. If you?re looking to get into macro photography with an easy to use setup, this is probably the best and most affordable option out there.

    Steve Gong ? stevegongphoto.com

    If you have an interesting idea for a guest post, you can contact me here.

    Meike MK 85mm f/2.8 mirrorless macro lens for Nikon Z-mount review

    The post Meike MK-MT24 wireless macro flash system review appeared first on Nikon Rumors.

  • Is America's Federal Banking System Considering Its Own Digital Cryptocurrency? (2983 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 19:34:00 -0400Is America's Federal Banking System Considering Its Own Digital Cryptocurrency?Slashdot

    America's lawmakers and Federal Reserve officials "are so concerned about Facebook's plans to launch a new digital currency," reports Politico's financial services reporter, "that they're contemplating a novel response -- having the central bank create a competitor." Momentum is building for an idea that was once considered outlandish -- a U.S. government-run virtual currency that would replace physical cash, a dramatic move that could discourage major companies like Facebook from creating their own digital coins. Facebook's proposed currency, Libra, has forced the Fed to consider the issue because of a fear that private companies could establish their own currencies and take control over the global payments system. Some Fed officials share the concern about a new balkanized currency system outside government control that Facebook has threatened to unleash. "Libra bust this way out into the open," said Karen Petrou, a managing partner at Federal Financial Analytics who advises executives on coming policy shifts. But it's not just Facebook. The matter is also taking on urgency as other countries consider creating their own digital currencies -- another potential challenge to the primacy of the U.S. dollar. The head of the Bank of England has floated the idea that central banks could create a network of digital currencies to replace the dollar as the world's reserve currency... The Bank for International Settlements, which represents the world's central banks, said early this year that most were conducting research into central bank digital currencies and many were progressing from conceptual work into experimentation and proofs-of-concept... The details of a possible [U.S.] Fed-developed digital currency are still vague. But advocates and experts say such an instrument could give consumers a new way to make payments without having to rely on banks and without incurring fees when they transfer money. The digital currency would likely take some inspiration from the technology that underpins other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. The discussions are informal at this point. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle have written to the central bank asking officials to consider how they might approach a digital currency, and some Fed officials have begun to acknowledge the government might someday play a role. "It is inevitable," Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Patrick Harker said at a recent conference, according to Reuters. "I think it is better for us to start getting our hands around it." The article argues that America's central bankers "worry that another major company could enter the space. If the Fed doesn't establish a digital currency, who will...? "The growing pressure on the Fed is evidence of how rapid developments in technology are beginning to shake the foundations of the financial system, raising questions about whether policymakers are prepared."

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Bernie Sanders draws thousands to rally in New York in comeback from heart attack (296 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 19:21:00 -0400Bernie Sanders draws thousands to rally in New York in comeback from heart attackReuters: U.S.

    U.S. presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders returned to the campaign trail in New York City on Saturday, three weeks after suffering a heart attack, and pledged to resume at full throttle his battle against the business and political establishment, including members of his own Democratic Party.

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  • Bernie Sanders draws thousands to rally in New York in comeback from heart attack (296 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 19:21:00 -0400Bernie Sanders draws thousands to rally in New York in comeback from heart attackReuters: Politics

    U.S. presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders returned to the campaign trail in New York City on Saturday, three weeks after suffering a heart attack, and pledged to resume at full throttle his battle against the business and political establishment, including members of his own Democratic Party.

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  • First look: Qantas Airways? historic Project Sunrise flight touches down in Sydney (3530 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 19:10:00 -0400First look: Qantas Airways? historic Project Sunrise flight touches down in SydneyThe Points Guy

    Qantas Airways’ 19-hour Project Sunrise flight landed in Sydney early Sunday morning local time, completing the first-ever commercial airline flight between New York and the Australian city.

    Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was among those on board, calling the 10,000-mile flight an ?historic? accomplishment for the carrier, and an accomplishment that helped it conquer ?one of the last frontiers of commercial aviation.?

    The flight ? QF 7879 ? departed New York (JFK) on Friday at 9:27 p.m. ET and landed in Sydney (SYD) on Sunday morning at 7:43 a.m. AEDT.

    ?We were airborne for 19 hours, 16 minutes,? said QF7879 Capt. Sean Golding at a press event following the flight.

    He said Qantas encountered greater-than-expected headwinds on the flight, but still landed ?with a comfortable 70 minutes of fuel on board.”

    The flight is part of what Qantas is billing ?Project Sunrise,? an effort that will include two more ultra-long-haul flights by the year?s end. Qantas will fly a nonstop flight from London to Sydney as well as a second from New York.

    Qantas is piloting Project Sunrise as a research effort that?s meant to study the effects of extreme long-haul flying on both passengers and crew.

    But it also comes as the carrier is pushing jetmakers Airbus and Boeing to figure out an upgrade to their aircraft that could allow regular flights between Australia?s east coast and London.

    No current commercial passenger aircraft can make the journey with a full load of cargo and passengers.

    For the flight that landed Sunday, Qantas used a new Boeing 787-9 that had just been delivered from Boeing?s assembly line near Seattle. That aircraft was able to make the trip because it wasn?t fully loaded, flying with just 50 passengers ? including crew.

    Onboard, the flight was unusual. Pilots wore EEG monitors while in the cockpit and had their melatonin levels measured during the flight by having urine samples analyzed.

    Six ?regular? passengers also were on the flight. All were Qantas frequent-flyers with previous reservations to New York that Qantas offered to switch to the special nonstop flight home.

    They too were monitored by sleep and health scientists, agreeing to participate in a study of about three weeks for measures related to alertness, exercise and light exposure. It?s part of Qantas? Project Sunrise effort to quantify and understand the effects of jet lag.

    Those passengers also participated in group exercises every two hours outside of the 19-hour flight?s designed sleeping hours. One was a stretching exercise to the song Macarena, which CEO Joyce participated in.

    ?It?s a very interesting trip,? Carl Petch of Sydney, one of the frequent-flyers, said from onboard the flight.

    As for whether the New York-Sydney flights will become a regular thing, Qantas says it hopes to decide by the end of the year whether it will press ahead. The airline would also need regulatory and labor approval, saying the earliest it could begin would likely be 2023.

    ?We know people are interested in this,? Joyce said. ?We know people will want to fly them.?

    Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more travel tips!

    Feature image courtesy of the author. 

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  • 'South Park' Nears $500-Million Deal for US Streaming Rights (1466 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 18:34:00 -0400'South Park' Nears $500-Million Deal for US Streaming RightsSlashdot

    An anonymous reader quotes the Los Angeles Times: "South Park" is the latest beneficiary of Hollywood's rerun mania. The show's creators and media giant Viacom Inc. expect to share between $450 million and $500 million by selling the streaming rights to the animated comedy, one of the longest-running TV series in U.S. history, according to people familiar with the matter. As many as a half-dozen companies are bidding for exclusive U.S. streaming rights to past episodes of the show, which has been available on Walt Disney Co.'s Hulu in recent years. Viacom and the show's creators hope to secure a new deal by the end of 2019 and could decide on the winning bidder as soon as this weekend, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. The value of popular TV reruns has skyrocketed, fueled by new streaming platforms seeking programming that can attract subscribers and provide an edge over rivals. Viacom and "South Park" creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone expect the multiyear deal to net more than double what Hulu paid in 2015.... One company that probably won't be bidding is Apple Inc., the people said. The tech giant has eschewed controversial programming that could damage its brand, and it's wary of offending China, where it sells a lot of iPhones. "South Park" was just banned in China after an episode mocked the country's censorship of Western movies and TV.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Australia's Buggy Automated System Suspended 1 Million Welfare Payments This Year (1878 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 17:34:00 -0400Australia's Buggy Automated System Suspended 1 Million Welfare Payments This YearSlashdot

    An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian's report on last year's update to Australia's automated system for welfare benefits: Welfare advocates say the consequences have been disastrous... In 12 months, welfare payments were stopped an extra 1 million times... [A] recipient's money is cut off automatically until they satisfy their job agency consultant that they are committed to looking for work... Consultants have less discretion when a welfare recipient does not turn up to an appointment or misses another compulsory activity. They enter a code into a system that automatically triggers a payment suspension. The same goes when the welfare recipient fails to report their income or confirm they met their job search requirements via digital channels. Money is stopped first, and questions are asked later. The idea is that this will encourage people to follow the rules. "In some cases it's left single parents without money for food for their children over a weekend because they haven't logged in and reported their attendance," says Adrianne Walters, a senior lawyer at the Human Rights Law Centre. "And so the computer says, 'No payments'. And then that person is left without anywhere to turn until their employment service provider opens up again on the Monday...." Since the new policies were introduced, about 50,000 suspension notifications now go out to welfare recipients across the country each week... analysis of government statistics by the Guardian shows about 75% of the time, benefits recipients who had their payments suspended under the new system were not at fault... Meanwhile, across a controversial welfare-to-work program for single parents with children under five, 85% had their payments suspended automatically but were later cleared of wrongdoing. The overwhelming majority were single mothers.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • 16 hotel pools that made a splash during our travels this year (9690 characters)

    Sat, 19 Oct 2019 17:30:00 -040016 hotel pools that made a splash during our travels this yearThe Points Guy

    TPG staffers are, as you may have guessed, pretty frequent travelers.

    When we travel to review properties, we’re working, but part of that work is testing out everything a property has to offer — including the pool, of course. Our editors and writers have experienced some pretty incredible resorts this year, from the Caribbean to Southeast Asia, from the remote islands of the South Pacific to the glitterings shores of the Aegean.

    We’ve already stayed at so many incredible hotels and resorts this year, we thought it’d be fun to take a look back and reflect on some of the swimming pools we can’t stop daydreaming about. And, of course, you can find out more by reading our full review of each property.

    These are the 16 most memorable hotel pools that we’ve dipped our toes in so far.

    Related: The best travel rewards credit cards of 2019

    The Bodrum Edition in Turkey

    As if the Turkish Riviera didn’t sound exotic enough, the Bodrum Edition makes for a truly extraordinary escape. While the all-day breakfast (served until 4 p.m.) is certainly something to remember, the property’s sleek, simple rectangular infinity pool, surrounded by lush green and floral landscaping overlooking the Aegean Sea, is absolutely stunning. The Edition?s signature white-cushioned lounge chairs prove the space is comfortable and not just Instagrammable.

    Four Seasons Oahu in Hawaii

    Although this Hawaiian property boasts three pools, the one you’ll really want to dive into is the 123-foot-long adults-only infinity pool (there’s also an accompanying jacuzzi). Or just lounge in one of the many chairs and admire the reflection of the palm trees in the cool blue water with the expansive sea beyond. For a real splurge, rent one of the daybeds or cabanas, but be ready to fork over at least $150 per day.

    The Jaffa in Tel Aviv

    Although the Jaffa doesn’t have the sea views that many other Tel Aviv hotels along the beach offer, after staying at both the Hilton Tel Aviv and the David InterContinental Tel Aviv, we decided we preferred the Jaffa pool’s serene vibes. Besides having the perfect ratio of shade and sun, the white-cushioned, wicker loungers were perfect for a relaxing afternoon sipping pomegranate juice and snacking on dates in the Israeli sunshine.

    The Cape, a Thompson Hotel in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

    Travelers looking to party in style should hang at this Hyatt property’s infinity pool. Flanked by boulders and sand, the pool is absolutely gorgeous, with panoramic ocean views and loungers that sit directly in the water. Poolside service is excellent, so plan to order a margarita (or six). And if you don’t feel up to swimming in the pool, at least take a dip in your room’s copper-clad, freestanding bathtub, which is one of the most exquisite tubs we’ve ever seen in a hotel.

    The Westin Maldives Miriandho

    Having a private plunge pool attached to your overwater villa is, well, #goals. And those at the Westin Maldives are fairly large, especially when you consider you’re swimming in a pool directly over the ocean. The pool was constructed to remain in the sun, ensuring year-round warm water for a swim. Plus, you can see marine life such as reef sharks, sea turtles and many other aquatic species in the surrounding seawater — all from the privacy of your own pool.

    Singita Lebombo in South Africa

    One of South Africa’s most beautiful options for a safari stay ? just ask The Points Guy himself ? Singita Lebombo’s design-forward lodge blends in seamlessly with the surrounding bush while also offering guests the ultimate luxury safari accommodations. The pool overlooks 33,000 acres of nature on the grounds of Kruger National Park, so be on the lookout for the Big Five (lions, leopards, elephants, black rhinoceroses and African buffalo), all of which you may spot directly from the pool, in addition to other wildlife like monkeys and zebras.

    Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico

    With indulgent extras like outdoor showers and fresh coconut carts, a stay at Dorado Beach is positively hedonistic. Although the resort has a few pools, the Positivo infinity pool is the place to be. The enormous pool overlooks the resorts private beach and has many different barriers and private sections with comfortable daybeds and lounge chairs for the ultimate day of relaxation. And don’t forget to ask for a fresh coconut from that cart.

    Sanya Edition in China

    It’s hard to pick a favorite pool at the Sanya Edition on Hainan Island, which is known as the “Hawaii of China.” There’s the Asian-inspired reflecting pool just off the lobby, the private swimming lagoon with its sand beach and the trendy rooftop pool surrounded by a teak sundeck with gorgeous ocean views (plus a children’s pool complete with waterslides). Plan to visit them all, because it’s impossible to pick just one.

    Fiji Marriott Resort Moma Bay

    Although the hotel has three pools and a bay for swimming, the highlight is the sunset pool — best for (you guessed it) a sunset dip. Although the infinity pool that overlooks the ocean is mesmerizing during the daytime, sunset is when it really shines — in hues of pink, purple, yellow and orange.  A whirlpool is next to the sunset pool, which also offers excellent views. The open-air poolside sunset bar has a contemporary feel, playing chill beats, with enthusiastic bartenders ready to mix together the perfect cocktail for you after your swim.

    W Dubai Palm Jumeirah

    W Hotels aptly names its pools “Wet” — sexier, stylish, manmade bodies of water with an exceptionally stylish ambience. The W Jumeirah is no different, located on the edge of Dubai’s famous Palm. With a series of interconnecting infinity pools, peppered with egg-shaped, cushioned wicker pods for sunbathing directly in the water, it doesn’t get much cooler than this. And, with W’s see-and-be-seen vibe, you can be sure there will be plenty of people-watching to keep you entertained all day long.

    Amankila Bali in Indonesia

    The three-tiered pool at Amankila Bali has extensive ocean views from the hillside — and you can expect sublime poolside service, too. The moment you sit down in one of the Balinese gazebos or lounge chairs, a pool staff attendant will almost immediately assist you with towels and offer you a glass of chilled water with lime. And if three tiers aren’t enough for you, there’s also another small pool down below at the hotel’s private beach club.

    Las Alcobas in Napa Valley, California

    Wine lovers can combine a refreshing dip with fantastic vineyard views at Las Alcobas, a Luxury Collection property in the Napa Valley. Although the pool is small, it’s heated to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can dip in even during chillier weather. There’s even free sunscreen available. Beyond the pool (which of course has plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas) are two fire pits where you can warm up after an evening swim, and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding vineyards.

    Waldorf Astoria Bangkok in Thailand

    Located on the 17th floor, the Waldorf Astoria Bangkok’s infinity pool has a unique design feature: a giant, tiled column that emerges from the center of the pool. Although it’s probably not ideal if you want to swim laps, the column is aesthetically unique, adding extra jazz to the already amazing views of Bangkok’s skyline. Many of the pool loungers sit directly in the shallow water, which adds a refreshing touch in Bangkok’s intense humidity.

    InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort in Vietnam

    The rounded swirls of the giant infinity pools Oasis and Ombra at the InterContinental Phu Quoc evoke feelings of relaxation. The pools have a very Zen vibe, with lounge chairs and egg-shaped daybed pods surrounded by palm trees and even a wooden bridge crossing the spacious pool. With deck chairs and umbrellas set directly in the pool, you can’t help but soak in the tranquility here.

    The Silo in Cape Town, South Africa

    If you’re after 360-degree views of Cape Town, the pool on the rooftop of the Silo Hotel is a dream. While many of the rooms and common areas within the hotel offer epic views of the city and waterfront from the curved, floor-to-ceiling windows the hotel is famous for, the rooftop is truly spectacular, as you can see highlights like Table Mountain and the Victoria & Albert Waterfront as you lap the pool.

    Four Seasons Koh Samui in Thailand

    Although many of the villas at the Four Seasons Koh Samui have private plunge pools, the main infinity pool, which is beachside and framed by towering palm trees and bold jungle foliage, is especially stunning. The plush and comfortable daybeds overlook the beach and glittering waves of Thailand’s gulf. And pool service includes small luxuries such as cool, scented towels and complimentary fruit juice shots.

    Featured image of the The Cape by Melanie Lieberman / The Points Guy.

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