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Microblogs

  • [Hacker News] Tremendous. Com (YC W11) Is Hiring a Platform Operations Associate: Comments
  • [Reuters: Company News] U.S. solar takes hit from Trump tariffs but is cheaper than ever -report: U.S. solar installations fell 15 percent in the third quarter as the Trump administration's tariffs on overseas-made panels forced developers to put off large projects, according to a report commissioned by the industry's primary trade group.
  • [Reuters: U.S.] Three rescued from West Virginia mine may have been seeking copper scrap: Rescuers on Wednesday found alive three people who had been lost in a West Virginia mine for four days after crawling in through a ventilation shaft, and brought them to the surface, a state spokeswoman said.
  • [Reuters: Company News] GLOBAL MARKETS-Asian shares surge as US-China trade thaw seen, sterling wobbles: Asian equity markets surged on Thursday on signs of easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions and expectations that China will step up efforts soon to support its cooling economy.
  • [Hacker News] Second Canadian 'missing' in China: Comments
  • [Reuters: Company News] Second Canadian missing in China after detention of former diplomat: Canadian businessman Michael Spavor, who worked with North Korea, is missing in China, a Canadian official said, days after Chinese authorities detained a former Canadian diplomat amid an escalating diplomatic row.
  • [Hacker News] 50 CVEs in 50 Days: Fuzzing Adobe Reader: Comments
  • [Reuters: Company News] UPDATE 1-Chinese state media urges Canada to defy U.S., free Huawei exec: * Canada should distance itself from U.S. hegemonism -state media
  • [Reuters: Company News] Alibaba-backed Lazada appoints new CEO; second change in 2018: Lazada Group, a Southeast-Asian e-commerce company backed by Alibaba Group Holding, appointed Pierre Poignant as its new chief executive officer (CEO) on Thursday as part of its succession planning.
  • [Reuters: Company News] INSIGHT-In fear of the state: Bangladeshi journalists self-censor as election approaches: With less than a month to go to a general election, many journalists in Bangladesh say they are living in fear of ever-tightening media laws and engaging in self-censorship as a result.
  • [Reuters: Business News] Japan rules out asking private firms to avoid telecoms gear that could be malicious: Japan's government has no plan to ask private companies to avoid buying telecommunications equipment that could have malicious functions, such as information leakage, its top spokesman, Yoshihide Suga, said on Thursday.
  • [Reuters: World News] Trump intervention comment may be gift to Huawei CFO: Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, released on bail on Tuesday to await a ruling on U.S. extradition at one of her luxury Vancouver homes, may have received welcome ammunition in court from an unlikely source - President Donald Trump.
  • [Reuters: Business News] Oil prices climb amid signs of easing U.S.-China trade tensions: Oil prices rose on Thursday, buoyed by a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories and signs that China is taking more concrete steps to put a trade war truce with Washington into action.
  • [Reuters: Company News] Trump intervention comment may be gift to Huawei CFO: Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, released on bail on Tuesday to await a ruling on U.S. extradition at one of her luxury Vancouver homes, may have received welcome ammunition in court from an unlikely source - President Donald Trump.
  • [Reuters: Environment] Insurance claims for latest California wildfires top $9 billion: Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires, including one ranked as the most deadly and destructive in state history, have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported on Wednesday.
    Related
    Insurance claims for latest California wildfires top $9 billion [Reuters: U.S.]
  • [Reuters: Company News] UPDATE 1-Insurance claims for latest California wildfires top $9 billion: Insurance claims from the recent spate of California wildfires, including one ranked as the most deadly and destructive in state history, have topped $9 billion and are expected to grow, the state insurance commissioner reported on Wednesday.
  • [Reuters: World News] Canada says missing Canadian is businessman Michael Spavor: Canada's Foreign Ministry said it has been unable to contact Canadian businessman Michael Spavor since he notified the government that he was being questioned by Chinese authorities.
  • [Reuters: Company News] Japanese shares gain on trade hopes; tech firms rally: Japanese shares advanced on Thursday as investors cheered Wall Street's overnight gains, thanks to signs of easing Sino-U.S. trade tensions, with technology firms getting a boost from a rally in their U.S. peers.
  • [Reuters: Business News] Hyundai Motor Group to provide suppliers with $1.5 billion in funding: South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co plans to provide funding worth 1.7 trillion won ($1.5 billion) to stabilize management of its suppliers, the company said in a statement on Thursday.
  • [Reuters: Environment] Northern China smog worsens in October-November as pace of restrictions eases: Greenpeace: Smog in northern China worsened in October and November compared to a year earlier, environmental group Greenpeace said on Thursday, as the government eases the pace at which it ramps up air quality controls at a time when the economy is slowing.
  • Show more…

Photos

  • Rep.-elect Mark Green walks back claim that vaccines cause autism

    Green had said that ?there is some concern? that autism was linked to ?the preservatives that are in our vaccines.? He later said in a statement that his remarks had been ?misconstrued.?

  • Rep.-elect Mark Green walks back claim that vaccines cause autism

    Green had said that ?there is some concern? that autism was linked to ?the preservatives that are in our vaccines.? He later said in a statement that his remarks had been ?misconstrued.?

  • Canada says entrepreneur feared detained in China

    Canada identifies second Canadian feared detained in China in Huawei dispute as entrepreneur Michael Spavor

  • Canada says entrepreneur feared detained in China

    Canada identifies second Canadian feared detained in China in Huawei dispute as entrepreneur Michael Spavor

  • The Music?s Stopping for Chinese IPOs Overseas

    Tencent?s streaming service may have gained on its U.S. debut, but the signs of impending trouble are unmistakable.

  • Official: N. Korea leader unlikely to visit Seoul this month

    A senior South Korean official says it?s unlikely that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will visit Seoul this month

  • Official: N. Korea leader unlikely to visit Seoul this month

    A senior South Korean official says it?s unlikely that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will visit Seoul this month

  • Federal judge seeks documents related to Michael Flynn?s January 2017 interview with FBI agents

    U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan?s request for more information could delay Flynn?s sentencing, which had been scheduled for Tuesday.

  • Federal judge seeks documents related to Michael Flynn?s January 2017 interview with FBI agents

    U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan?s request for more information could delay Flynn?s sentencing, which had been scheduled for Tuesday.

  • Mexico leader says he talked with Trump about migrants, jobs

    Mexico?s leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador says he spoke by telephone Wednesday with U.S. President Donald Trump about migration and job creation

  • Show more…

Entries

  • New book: ?Museum Leica? by Lars Netopil (4697 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 23:32:00 -0500New book: ?Museum Leica? by Lars NetopilLeica News & Rumors


    The new book "Museum Leica" by Lars Netopil is now available for sale at the Leica Store Miami:

    Lars Netopil has compiled an exhaustive volume to illustrate what future visitors to the Leica Museum can look forward to discovering. The Leica expert and historian, who also owns a Leica Store for vintage and contemporary cameras in Wetzlar?s Old Town, has published several books within his field in the past. For this endeavor, his well-established team has documented the treasures to be displayed at Leica?s factory museum. The book was designed by David Pitzer, the over 600, mostly large-format photographs were created by Wolfgang Sauer.

    In 36 chapters, the essential exhibits from the inventory of the new Leica Factory Museum are described - from the UR-Leica to the red anodized Leica.

    • 672 pages with over 600 large size colour images
    • Text fully bi-lingual (English/German)
    • 21x30 cm, 2 sub-volumes in one slipcase, hardcover in cloth with dust-jacket

    Additional information and pictures:

    From LHSA:

    The Museum referred to in the title is the Leica Factory Museum in Leica AG?s recently opened new home in Wetzlar?s Leitz Park. Included in the new books are images of rare cameras (starting with Prototype 3 and the Ur- Leica), many design studies, cameras that were developed but not commercially produced, unusual lenses, and various unexpected one-off pieces. The book?s subtitle states that items from the Rolf Fricke Collection are included; that is because Rolf ?s collection is now part of the Factory Museum?s collection. It should be noted that while the presentation of items is in rough chronological order, there is no attempt to be completionist in the manner of other surveys of rare Leica equipment. We are given many items, but all from the existing museum collection; some items are however portrayed in depth, with several images. The photography is again performed by Wolfgang Sauer, as in the immediately prior volume Rare Leica, utilizing a Leica S (007), with a 120/2.5 Apo-Macro-Summarit CS for all equipment images. As in the prior volumes, the images are lighted against a dark background. A real attempt has been made not to duplicate items in Lars? prior books, so that all the books so far more or less dovetail with each other.

    Lars Netopil won the German Photo Book Prize 2018/19 with the "Museum Leica" book:

    ?Museum Leica? details some of the most outstanding treasures to be found in the holdings of Leica Camera?s factory museum in Wetzlar. Composed of two hardcover volumes in one slipcase, the 600-page publication was launched at the grand opening of Leitz Park III in June 2018 ? an event attended by more than 1000 international guests. Lars Netopil, who is based in Wetzlar, counts among a small number of unequivocally competent experts on the technical history of Leica cameras worldwide.

    Leica Blog interview:

    Q: Your new photo book Museum Leica presents a collection of hundreds of treasures from over 100 years of camera history. Could you tell us about how the book came about?

    A: Since 1999 I have been working on and off as a consultant for Leica Camera, in particular, for historical purposes. Before the completion of the second phase of Leitz Park, I was involved in the collection of objects for the Leica Family Tree. The Leica Family Tree has been a classic feature of the Leica Factory since 1963, yet the technical evolution of the Leica System is shown via various series models. No factory museum lives only from the models produced in series. The rare gems are the ?salt in the soup? and during the relocation of the museum and archive to the second phase of Leitz Park, I was already keen to store and secure these objects separately. At the moment the relocation is underway to the third phase of Leitz Park. Here, the conditions are fantastic, not only in terms of the exhibition space itself but also for the storage and ordering of the objects, which are not currently being displayed. With the move in mind, the sorting and packing of the exhibits alone required a long period of preparation. In the meantime I helped assist with the photographing of the exhibits, turning them from side to side in front of the background. When we were finally finished, standing in front of several large steel cabinets full of all the highlights of the collection, I spontaneously said to Günter Osterloh, ?I?d like to publish that!?

    The post New book: “Museum Leica” by Lars Netopil appeared first on Leica Rumors.

  • Pic Debunking Photo of Paris Riots Proven False After Going Viral (1926 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:41:00 -0500Pic Debunking Photo of Paris Riots Proven False After Going ViralLight Stalking

    That headline was a doozy to write, but here goes with keeping this story straight.

    Many of us in the photography world follow the news, and the riots in Paris are a particularly photography-worthy moment in time.

    Image via Agence France Presse FactCheck Twitter Account.

    Producing some stark images of people power in action, the Paris protests, as well as those outside of the French capital city, are among the biggest stories this year and, being political, it is producing a ton of false narratives in its wake.

    One of these false narratives involved the supposed debunking of a viral video that spread across the Internet showing a fire raging in front of the Arc de Triomphe. The photo debunking this image shows a small pile of wood burning and says that ?perspective matters.?

    People on the web naturally latched on to this later explanation as yet further proof that the riots were being overblown by the media.

    Of course, other facts matter as well, such as when the photos were taken. The original viral photo was taken before the debunking photo, proving that the second photo could not be just another perspective of the first.

    And we have Agence France Presse to thank for this investigative reporting.

    The French news agency stated in its tweet quoted by PetaPixel, ?Perspective matters, and so do dates and places? because these two photos were taken on two different days in two different places, in Paris. …Criticism of media coverage is legitimate, but this isn?t the best example of it. …These photos were taken on 2 different days in 2 separate places? and AFP did not find a single photo combining a scooter on fire and the Arc de Triomphe in the background.?

    Manipulating images for political gain is nothing new, but social media has given the game a whole new spin.

    The post Pic Debunking Photo of Paris Riots Proven False After Going Viral appeared first on Light Stalking.

  • Ships Infected With Ransomware, USB Malware, Worms (2300 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:30:00 -0500Ships Infected With Ransomware, USB Malware, WormsSlashdot

    An anonymous reader writes: IT systems on boats aren't as air-gapped as people think and are falling victims to all sorts of cyber-security incidents, such as ransomware, worms, viruses, and other malware -- usually carried on board via USB sticks. These cyber-security incidents have been kept secret until now, and have only been recently revealed as past examples of what could go wrong, in a new "cyber-security guideline" released by 21 international shipping associations and industry groups. One of the many incidents: "A new-build dry bulk ship was delayed from sailing for several days because its ECDIS was infected by a virus. The ship was designed for paperless navigation and was not carrying paper charts. The failure of the ECDIS appeared to be a technical disruption and was not recognized as a cyber issue by the ship's master and officers. A producer technician was required to visit the ship and, after spending a significant time in troubleshooting, discovered that both ECDIS networks were infected with a virus. The virus was quarantined and the ECDIS computers were restored. The source and means of infection in this case are unknown. The delay in sailing and costs in repairs totaled in the hundreds of thousands of dollars (U.S.)." The document also highlights an incident involving ransomware. "For example, a shipowner reported not one, but two ransomware infections, both occurring due to partners, and not necessarily because of the ship's crew," reports ZDNet. Another ransomware incident occurred because the ship failed to set up proper (RDP) passwords: A ransomware infection on the main application server of the ship caused complete disruption of the IT infrastructure. The ransomware encrypted every critical file on the server and as a result, sensitive data were lost, and applications needed for ship's administrative operations were unusable. The incident was reoccurring even after complete restoration of the application server. The root cause of the infection was poor password policy that allowed attackers to brute force remote management services successfully. The company's IT department deactivated the undocumented user and enforced a strong password policy on the ship's systems to remediate the incident.

    Read more of this story at Slashdot.

  • Massive Cave Discovered in Canada, Scientists Launch Minor Cover-up to Protect It from Instagram (2067 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 22:08:00 -0500Massive Cave Discovered in Canada, Scientists Launch Minor Cover-up to Protect It from InstagramLight Stalking

    Another location is saying ?No thanks!? to Instagram, yet we can?t tell you where it is exactly.

    Scientists in Canada discovered a massive cave and, in order to protect it from social media, are now concealing the location.

    Image via Denniz Futalan from Pexels.com.

    We do get an awesome aerial view of the site, however, courtesy of Canadian Geographic.

    You can watch that video by clicking here.

    Discovered in British Columbia, a province of Canada, the cave can be found in Wells Gray Provincial Park but that?s about all we know about it in terms of location. It is apparently large enough to fit the Statue of Liberty inside of it, making it pretty massive to say the least.

    The cave was discovered during an initial flyby when the location was covered in snow. Appearing as a gigantic black hole in the Earth, we have no doubt it attracted attention immediately.

    As the snows surrounding the cavern began to melt away, the scientific team led by Dr. Catherine Hickson began to examine the site according to FStoppers. The dimensions given for the cave by the researchers are ?330 feet long, 200 feet across, and at least 450 feet deep cave,? making it one of the largest in all of Canada.

    Getting there isn?t easy, however: Per a report from the New York Times blogged by FStoppers, the journey takes at least 50 minutes traveling via helicopter.

    As for warding off Instagrammers, the team had this to say, ?The exact location of the cave has not been divulged, partly to discourage Instagram tourists and amateur climbers.?

    Of course, we?re sure it?s only a matter of time before someone discovers the cave – and who knows what will become it then.

    As many outlets are pointing out, this story is similar to the recent Jackson Hole campaign to keep tourists from geotagging locations within the area so as to preserve their natural beauty from social media users. You can read that story here.

    The post Massive Cave Discovered in Canada, Scientists Launch Minor Cover-up to Protect It from Instagram appeared first on Light Stalking.

  • Asian shares, sterling up on pause in Brexit, trade fears (254 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:50:00 -0500Asian shares, sterling up on pause in Brexit, trade fearsReuters: Business News

    Asian shares and the pound moved higher on Thursday as investors breathed a sigh of relief after British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote, and as China appeared to be taking more steps to meet U.S. demands to open its markets.

  • METALS-London copper edges up on signs of trade row easing (471 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:25:00 -0500METALS-London copper edges up on signs of trade row easingReuters: Company News

    London copper prices moved higher in early Asian trade on Thursday amid signs China is making good on pledges made to the United States as part of a deal to resolve a trade row between the world's top two economies. Chinese companies have made their first major purchases of U.S. soybeans, a commodity at the heart of the trade spat, in more than six months, Reuters reported on Wednesday, while Beijing also looked to have toned down a high-tech industrial push

  • 71186696 (508 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:18:00 -0500Business Policy and Regulation News - The Washington Post

    The Chinese government?s ?Made in China 2025? plan was introduced as a blueprint for transforming the country into an advanced manufacturing economy. It?s come to represent what international competitors, notably the U.S. under President Donald Trump, dislike about how China plays in the global marketplace. Tariffs imposed by Trump took aim at many of the industries highlighted in the plan. It appears China may be willing to amend the plan, perhaps even postponing some of it by a decade, if that

  • 71185546 (508 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:18:00 -0500Business News, Financial News, Business Headlines & Analysis - The Washington Post

    The Chinese government?s ?Made in China 2025? plan was introduced as a blueprint for transforming the country into an advanced manufacturing economy. It?s come to represent what international competitors, notably the U.S. under President Donald Trump, dislike about how China plays in the global marketplace. Tariffs imposed by Trump took aim at many of the industries highlighted in the plan. It appears China may be willing to amend the plan, perhaps even postponing some of it by a decade, if that

  • 25 Firefighters Had to Clean up a 108-Square-Foot ?Chocolate Pancake? After It Leaked From a German Factory (1078 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 21:00:00 -050025 Firefighters Had to Clean up a 108-Square-Foot ?Chocolate Pancake? After It Leaked From a German FactoryThe Points Guy

    Someone better call up Augustus Gloop. In what looks like a scene out of “Willy Wonka” gone wrong, 25 firefighters were called in to clean up a massive chocolate spill in the town of Westoennen, Germany.

    At around 8pm Monday, liquid chocolate began to pour out of the DreiMeister chocolate factory in the Werl suburb. Due to the chilly temperatures in Germany this time of year, it froze and created a “ten-square-meter choco-pancake,” according to the fire department. The statement also urged chocolate lovers to “stay strong” before reading further ? they take their chocolate very seriously around here.

    So much so, in fact, that the incident could have “been a catastrophe” had it happened closer to Christmas, said the Washington Post. They reassured residents that a chocolate-free Christmas from the “heartbreaking incident” was “highly unlikely.”

    The streets were closed for about two hours while firefighters cleaned up the mess with shovels and muscle power ? oh, and plenty of warm water.

  • Brazil 'miracle' healer, who appeared on Oprah, faces arrest in sex probe (258 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:51:00 -0500Brazil 'miracle' healer, who appeared on Oprah, faces arrest in sex probeReuters: World News

    Police are investigating accusations by over 200 women that a self-proclaimed Brazilian faith healer, who became a celebrity after appearing on a show hosted by Oprah Winfrey, sexually abused them while they were seeking spiritual guidance and treatment.

  • Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition cases (262 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:45:00 -0500Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition casesReuters: World News

    Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday warned the United States not to politicize extradition cases, a day after President Donald Trump said he could intervene in the affair of a Chinese executive detained in Canada at Washington's request.

    Related
    Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition cases [Reuters: Business News]
    Chinese state media urges Canada to defy U.S., free Huawei executive [Reuters: Business News]
    Chinese state media urges Canada to defy U.S., free Huawei executive [Reuters: World News]
  • Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition cases (262 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:45:00 -0500Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition casesReuters: Technology News

    Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday warned the United States not to politicize extradition cases, a day after President Donald Trump said he could intervene in the affair of a Chinese executive detained in Canada at Washington's request.

    Related
    Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition cases [Reuters: Business News]
  • Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition cases (262 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:45:00 -0500Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition casesReuters: Business News

    Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland on Wednesday warned the United States not to politicize extradition cases, a day after President Donald Trump said he could intervene in the affair of a Chinese executive detained in Canada at Washington's request.

    Related
    Canada warns U.S. not to politicize extradition cases [Reuters: Technology News]
  • Rams confident O-line can bounce back (504 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:34:00 -0500Rams confident O-line can bounce backReuters: Sports News

    Arizona Cardinals: After being vague on Monday about defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche's knee injury, coach Steve Wilks confirmed Wednesday that the former first-round pick has a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Surgery is scheduled for Thursday, but Nkemdiche's availability for the start of next season could be in doubt, poor timing as the third-year pro had begun playing better. "He was progressing," Wilks said. "He had a great game against the Chargers and he was hurt before that. Just on and

  • Lyft Piloting Discounted Rides to Grocery Stores for Food Desert Residents (1808 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:30:00 -0500Lyft Piloting Discounted Rides to Grocery Stores for Food Desert ResidentsThe Points Guy

    Ride-hailing companies are changing the way our society moves, in cities and even between them. Both Uber and Lyft have already partnered with local governments to provide subsidized rides in lieu of public transportation.

    Now Lyft has partnered with Martha’s Table, a Washington DC non-profit, to provide heavily discounted rides to families living in food deserts.

    “Food deserts are defined as parts of the country void of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas,” according to the DC Policy Center and Lyft. “This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers? markets, and healthy food providers.”

    150,000 people currently reside in DC’s Wards 7 and 8, where they have access to just three grocery stores. 81% of those residents are in areas far enough away from the grocery stores to be classified as living in a food desert.

    The Lyft Grocery Access Program will identify 500 families to join the program and participants will receive codes to travel to participating grocery stores or Martha’s Table, which also provides meals to low-income families.

    Families will receive 50 rides priced at $2.50 each (and aren’t subject to surge pricing) from Jan. 1 through June 30, 2019. That’s an estimated cost of just $5 per week, per family.

    To qualify families “must have a child enrolled at one of the seven participating elementary schools or Martha?s Table programming and attend an in-person orientation with Martha?s Table and Lyft.” To see more information on the program and to sign-up, head to the Lyft Grocery Access Program splash page.

    Lyft says it may expand the program in January.

    Featured image by Kelly Sullivan/Getty Images for Lyft.

  • Defying Trump, U.S. Senate advances measure to end support for Saudis in Yemen (274 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:20:00 -0500Defying Trump, U.S. Senate advances measure to end support for Saudis in YemenReuters: World News

    In a rare break with President Donald Trump, the Senate voted on Wednesday to move ahead with a resolution to end U.S. military support for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in the war in Yemen and lawmakers vowed to push for sanctions against the kingdom in the new year.

    Related
    Senate votes to advance consumer watchdog nominee [Reuters: Politics]
    Senate confirms Trump's consumer watchdog pick [Reuters: Politics]
  • Ingram on verge of breaking McAllister's TD mark (504 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:06:00 -0500Ingram on verge of breaking McAllister's TD markReuters: Sports News

    Atlanta Falcons: It was their fifth straight loss, but the Falcons were encouraged while scoring just 20 points and losing by two touchdowns to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. Atlanta coaches said the team made some positive strides by rushing for 107 yards -- only its third 100-yard outing of the season -- and the offensive line allowed just two sacks after quarterback Matt Ryan had been dropped a combined 12 times over the previous three games. Ryan passed for 262 yards and three touchdowns

  • 7 Reasons You Shouldn?t Stay at the Cadillac Hotel in Miami (9188 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 20:00:00 -05007 Reasons You Shouldn?t Stay at the Cadillac Hotel in MiamiThe Points Guy

    Art Basel is a busy time in Miami. All the hotels are bursting at the seams with travelers in town to enjoy world class art ? and world class after parties.

    Could there be a better time to put a newly renovated hotel to the ultimate test during its soft launch period?

    The Cadillac Hotel and Beach Club is a Marriott Autograph Collection property bookable with Marriott for 50,000 points per night. We paid 200,000 points for a five-night stay (and with the fifth night free, the average nightly cost came down to 40,000 points). It was a reasonable deal during Art Basel, when prices skyrocket. But the following week, rates dropped to $213 per night, so a cash booking may make more sense at quieter times.

    I was looking forward to trying out the much-anticipated property, which emerged from a multimillion dollar refresh this fall. But the entire experience was truly a comedy of errors.

    In the hotel’s defense, it was a busy period, and all my encounters with the staff were positive and friendly. However, the failures (and execution of follow-up promises by those same employees) were shockingly bad. After this experience, I would caution against a stay at the Cadillac Hotel until the property resolves these issues.

    1. Construction Started at 5:30am

    On my very first night, I was woken at 5:30am by a maintenance worker aggressively drilling into the wall outside my bedroom. Meanwhile, there were staff members speaking loudly on radios outside my room, and even the elevator lobby music was blaring through my bedroom door. It took six phone calls to stop the racket.

    In the days that followed, I asked repeatedly what the maintenance worker was doing at that time in the morning. Various staff promised to find out and let me know, and I still have no answer.

    2. They “Lost” My Bags

    The following morning, I had meetings all day in Fort Lauderdale. The hotel staff promised that if I packed my bags and left them by the door, they would move them to a better room away from the elevators while I was out.

    I returned to the hotel, bleary-eyed, around 2:30am. I was ready to crash in my new quiet space. New keys were handed over, and I headed up. I entered the room, which was disappointingly much smaller than my previous one and complete with a growling air conditioning (there was no way of sleeping through that noise). But my bags were nowhere to be seen.

    I went back down to the lobby, taking the stairs from the 8th floor because they failed to announce that a set of elevators are shut down at night. After sidestepping discarded room service plates, I found the stairwell blocked off on the third floor by locked gates. So I had to take use two separate flights of stairs to reach the ground floor.

    When I reached the front desk, I explained to the agent on duty that there were no bags in my new room. He had no idea what I was talking about. “Do you know where your bags are, Sir?” he asked me by way of response. I did not. Nobody did.

    It was 3am before someone finally located my bags. My iPhone charger had disappeared in the mess, but I was grateful to be reunited with my belongings. The staff promised to replace the cord, but once again the promise did not materialize. Eventually, one of the staff members lent me their own personal cable.

    And though I was originally told the hotel was completely full, yet another, and much improved room materialized after this. I was sent up with my bags after refusing help (I didn’t want to take any risks). I opened the door to find a stunning suite. Surely, I thought, everything would be perfect moving forward.

    3. This Holy Sheet! Moment

    Peeling back the fresh covers on the bed in my fabulous new suite, I found damaged, torn linens. It was a small but disappointing discovery in a premium room in a just-revamped Category 6 hotel.

    4. The Food and Beverage Service Was a Disaster

    The hotel failed time and time again to deliver food and beverages in a reasonable time.

    Room service breakfast, for example, took 50 minutes to arrive ? and when it did, the order included the wrong items, and an impractical pitcher of water for brewing tea with the one tiny sachet provided.

    Lunch on the beach (a very delicious tuna tartare ? no complaints about the flavor!) took a full hour to arrive.

    And most horrific of all, it took them 45 minutes to serve the all-important afternoon glass of frozen rosé.

    5. You Might Get Burned

    The hotel charges a $30 per night resort fee. This is not unusual for comparable properties, but there is a level of expectation as to what is included.

    It is reasonable to assume that a hotel self titled a “Beach Club” would provide beach umbrellas free of charge. Not at the Cadillac, where a $22 daily charge is applied. That’s a cool $110 umbrella fee for your five-night stay. It’s a good thing they provide a complimentary tub of SPF 50 by the pool.

    6. They Won’t Do Your Laundry

    Hotel laundry charges are notoriously steep, and the Cadillac is no exception. But here, they simply don’t bother to wash your clothes.

    I brought a few key items to the front desk on Saturday night, and asked explicitly if I could have the items back for the following evening. Otherwise, I wouldn’t hand them over. The front desk agent explicitly confirmed I would have the items back by Sunday night, though there would be a 50% express charge. I said that was fine.

    When I came back to the hotel room Sunday evening, I found the clothes had been returned to my room. Unwashed. Staff members claimed they were “looking for me all day” (whatever that means) and they didn’t want to process the laundry without me first approving the express charge.

    In addition to me explicitly agreeing to this fee, I believe a great hotel would have washed the clothes regardless. The absolute worst case scenario for the property would be having to swallow the express charge. Instead, they were left with no revenue at all from the otherwise expensive service, and a very unhappy customer with dirty clothes.

    7. You Will Constantly Repeat Yourself

    Communication between the staff seemed completely nonexistent. Each time I approached an employee at the front desk with an issue, I had to start from the very beginning.

    The list of mishaps caused by poor communication is lengthy. The location of my bags and my confirmation of the express laundry charge, for example. They also never relayed information I requested about the drilling.

    Even positive changes (details about my room change; the fact that the resort fee had been waived as an apology) got totally lost. The staff even gave me different, conflicting answers and bickered about who had agreed to what while standing right next to each other.

    One manager had taken my number, and we chatted via WhatsApp as he tried to improve the situation. But again, he didn’t follow through on any of those promises. And when I was finalizing the bill on the last night, someone must have contacted him, because I received a message from him saying, “Whats going on???” Not the most professional correspondence I’ve received from a hotel manager.

    After a 30-minute discussion, I was made to feel grateful that the resort fee would be waived, and the meal charge on the beach would be waived (both amendments were already agreed upon days before).

    Even as I checked out at 6am the following morning, problems continued. While rushing to get to the airport, tired and grumpy, the desk presented me with a bill with every single charge listed. The entire conversation had to take place again, before the agreement from the previous evening was reached (again), and the bill duly reduced. Again.

    The Bottom Line

    New hotels almost always need time until they’re running at full speed. But after three months in operation, I expected so much more from the Cadillac Hotel and Beach Club.

    The renovation is tasteful and beautiful, and aside from the lack of a spa, the facilities are also great. The friendliness of staff can’t be faulted either, though the service across the board was terrible at every turn.

    Following my disastrous stay, the hotel asked me to return for a weekend, so I could be shown what the team can really deliver. But I’m not sure I would take them up on the offer, because though I would usually expect to be treated to the greatest service possible in that situation, I’m not even confident that would be the case with the Cadillac.

    Want to know more about this new Miami Marriott? Check back soon for a full review of the hotel, and perhaps even a follow-up report to see if the Cadillac remains all fur coat and no knickers.

    All photos by Nicky Kelvin/The Points Guy.

  • Democrat Pelosi agrees to term limits, smoothing road to be House speaker (287 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:57:00 -0500Democrat Pelosi agrees to term limits, smoothing road to be House speakerReuters: Politics

    Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives, said on Wednesday she supports a proposal that would limit the terms of senior Democratic leaders, likely paving the way for her to reclaim the speaker's post in January when her party takes control of the chamber.

  • All These Worlds Are Yours, Except Europa: Epic Time-Lapse Shot in Space is Longest Ever Recorded (2150 characters)

    Wed, 12 Dec 2018 19:54:00 -0500All These Worlds Are Yours, Except Europa: Epic Time-Lapse Shot in Space is Longest Ever RecordedLight Stalking

    Time-lapse photography is some really cool stuff, but when you apply it to space, it becomes even more amazing, especially given the scale of things.

    Who doesn?t love to watch the light from distant stars blink into existence? And further, who doesn?t stand in awe of their luster, especially when compared with the lights from cities on the nearby Earth?s surface? The distances are so enormous between the two yet the light so similar in intensity – is this not truly what photography is all about?

    Image via Pixabay from Pexels.com.

    To celebrate twenty years of international collaboration in space, the European Space Agency produced a 15-minute long video that shows a time-lapse shot from space that the ESA claims is the longest ever recorded.

    What really makes the time-lapse particularly cool is that it labels locations on the Earth?s surface as the space station passes over them. There?s even a map in the corner of the video to help you keep track of where the ISS is in relation to geographical locations. Captured by German astronaut Alexander Gerst, the 15-minute epic was taken while the International Space Station passed over the surface, traveling at 28,800 km/h (17896 mph). Orbiting the Earth every 90 minutes or so, the ISS took 21,375 photos during this pass which were then strung together into a video running at 12.5 speed.

    The ESA writes on their blog: ?As the Space Station flies into the night the solar wings rotate to get ready to capture the next rays of sunlight when the orbital outpost moves outside of the shadow of Earth. On the right is Japan?s cargo spacecraft HTV-7 that was docked with the International Space Station until 7 November 2018. …Numerous flashes of light can be observed at night time from around 02:00, this is lightning from storms and is common on our planet. Stars can be seen rising above the horizon through the faint glow of the atmosphere that is still illuminated by the Sun.?

    You can watch the video here on YouTube.

    The post All These Worlds Are Yours, Except Europa: Epic Time-Lapse Shot in Space is Longest Ever Recorded appeared first on Light Stalking.

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