The Toronto-born model has spent 33 years in the fashion world, but many of us first heard of him when hundreds of shoppers scrambled to snap selfies with him during last year’s holiday season.These days, you may have also read headlines about Yorkdale’s new Fashion Santa: Adam Martin. Yes, Mason has been replaced for the 2016 campaign, and now he’s battling with the mall for legal rights to the character.There’s been an outcry on social media about Mason’s situation, with supporters using the hashtag #RealFashionSanta.Unfortunately, Martin wasn’t available for an interview – we asked for the new Fashion Santa a number of times – and Yorkdale wasn’t able to get a statement to 24 Hours before deadline, although a spokesperson said that there wasn’t much new to say. In past weeks, Yorkdale reps have mentioned that the mall is open to working with Mason again in the future, and that they weren’t able to reach him to organize the 2016 campaign – something that he disputes.Thankfully, Mason has a number of other things coming up, including a big international trip, a possible book deal and a promo for a well-known U.S. TV show. Here’s the rest of what he had to say during our recent chat.Where did the Fashion Santa idea come from?It came from a sad place. I had a 30-year career as a model without the beard, and did quite well over in Europe, and spent 14 of those years in New York City. And then my mom passed away (in 2013). And when you’re grieving, you’re kind of depressed, and you don’t feel like cleaning up. By the time the beard started growing, I was like, ‘You know what, I’ve been doing this 30 years, and I kind of like this look.’ And that’s when I was thinking along the lines of Fashion Santa, because I’ve been in the business that long, and I did look somewhat like Santa Claus For Santas everywhere, it’s a pretty intense time.Paul Mason, the 52-year-old bearded model who rose to viral fame as Yorkdale Shopping Centre’s Fashion Santa last Christmas, is currently running around to various modelling and charity-related events, capitalizing on his resemblance to a chic St. Nick.“It’s pretty intense at the moment,” he admits during a recent phone interview with 24 Hours. Advertisement Login/Register With: Facebook Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
Heres a look at the best and the worst Super Bowl adsHeres a look at the best and the worst Super Bowl ads
NEW YORK, N.Y. – During advertising’s biggest showcase, tame humour and messages about social causes ruled the day. Slapstick humour, sexual innuendo and chest thumping patriotic messages were, for the most part, nowhere in sight. After a divisive year, advertisers during the Big Game worked overtime to win over audiences with messages that entertained and strove not to offend.Here’s a look at the winners and losers during the biggest advertising showcase of the year.WINNERSAmazonAn Amazon ad showcased different celebrities including actress Rebel Wilson, actor Anthony Hopkins, singer Cardi B and chef Gordon Ramsay subbing in as the voice of Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.BudweiserBudweiser , as always the largest advertiser during the game, eschewed the usual puppies and Clydesdales to showcase employees that send water to places in need.NFLThe NFL scored with a charmer that showed New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. performing the choreography from the movie “Dirty Dancing” — complete with their version of Patrick Swayze’s iconic lift of Jennifer Grey.PepsiCoPepsico’s brands Mountain Dew Ice and Doritos Blaze staged an epic rap lip sync battle between actors Morgan Freeman and Peter Dinklage, who respectively synced to Missy Elliott and Busta Rhymes.Rocket Mortgage by Quicken LoansComedian Keegan Michael-Key cut through complex jargon to put things plainly in a humorous ad for Rocket Mortgage by Quicken Loans. When a restaurant patron is confused by a “beef-protein gluten-free pate,” Michael-Key explains: “It’s a burrito, filled with plants pretending to be meat.”TideTide took a novel approach with “Stranger Things” actor David Harbor in ads that poked fun at typical Super Bowl commercials. Harbour popped up in familiar-looking ads that appeared to be about different products: a car, an insurance company, jewelry and Old Spice (another P&G product). The twist? They’re really all Tide ads, because there are no stains on anyone’s clothing.LOSERSCoca-ColaDiet Coke attempted to be quirky by showcasing a woman awkwardly dancing to a rap song, but it garnered a lot of negative comments on social media when the approach came off more weird than quirky.“It has no clear message and it’s not really interesting,” said Kimberly Whitler, a marketing professor at the University of Virginia.Fiat Chrysler’s Ram TrucksRam trucks used a speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., to illustrate its motto, “Built to Serve.” The ad, timed to the 50th anniversary of the speech, showed people doing good deeds. But some thought the connection to the civil rights hero was too tenuous.“Ram is being heavily criticized for its spot,” said Tim Calkins, marketing professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. “The use of MLK to promote Ram trucks strikes many people are crass and inappropriate.”TurboTaxThe tax preparer used a monster under the bed to allude to people’s fears about doing their taxes. But some thought that the ad was too scary during a game that a lot of children were watching.“The goal may be to introduce a new trade character that can build awareness, as in the Mucinex Man. However, this ad was a complete disaster,” Villanova University marketing professor Charles Taylor said.___Eds: An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to the brand Ram trucks, which is no longer affiliated with the Dodge brand.
Al Akhawayn Offers New City Management Course Featuring Foreign ProfessorsAl Akhawayn Offers New City Management Course Featuring Foreign Professors
By Shaquile GoffRabat – The Africities summit is currently taking place in Marrakech. The Africities summit convened communities and local authorities from African countries.AUI, which is among participants in the event, announced it would now offer a new collaborative master’s course in city management to African students. The course will focus on development, local administration skills, and studying administrative decentralization patterns in Africa. AUI announced they are appealing to both professors from Moroccan and international professors from the US, Europe, and other African countries to add their knowledge and experience to the course.Read Also: Al Akhawayn University Ranks 1st in Morocco, 44th in Arab WorldThe curriculum will consist of interactive and practical assignments, as well as cross-country exchange opportunities. After 12 months of study, students will earn a city management master’s degree from Al Akhawayn.King Hassan II founded AUI in 1995 by royal decree. Money given by King Fahd of Saudi Arabia to clean up an oil spill off of Morocco’s coast was used to establish the university. Ever since, AUI has become a top-tier institution with degrees in humanities, social sciences, engineering, and business administration. The university also formed educational partnerships with foreign countries, and on a recent ranking of Arab universities, AUI ranked first in Morocco.AUI hopes to prepare current and future city officials to tackle development and growth challenges facing the African continent. Africa is the poorest continent on earth, containing 18 of the poorest countries based on per capita GDP, according to Business Insider. However, experts predict Africa’s population to grow exponentially in the 21st century, and countries hope to have a team of trained officials ready. Africities will close on November 24.
World could face severe economic downturn new UN report suggestsWorld could face severe economic downturn new UN report suggests
15 May 2008The deepening credit crisis in affluent countries triggered by the continuing housing slump, the declining value of the United States dollar, persisting global imbalances and soaring oil and commodity prices pose major threats to economic growth around the world, according to a report released today by United Nations economists. The economists add that the unfolding global food crisis is not only a grave humanitarian issue but also a threat to political and social stability in some developing countries and may reverse some of the progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Today’s report, issued by the UN’s Department of Social and Economic Affairs (DESA), predicts that world economic growth will fall steeply to 1.8 per cent this year and 2.1 per cent next year, down from 3.8 per cent in 2007. The report says that much depends on developments in the US, which remains the prime driver of the global economy, and where a crashing housing market and finance and credit weaknesses set off the global downturn. A worst-case scenario would see the “world economy come to a virtual standstill” if recent financial measures in the US fail to turn the economy around, and house prices continue to fall, blending with a severe tightening on credit. To boost the global economy, the report calls for an internationally coordinated economic stimulus package to support US efforts, centred on the expansion of domestic demand in countries with savings surpluses – especially in Europe, the Arabian Gulf and East Asia. To counteract inflation in food prices, the economists recommend improving supply and productivity through investment in irrigation techniques, infrastructure, improved seeds and fertilizer, and agricultural research and development. This would also help shore up rural economies where most of the world’s extreme poverty is located. In addition to removing supply constraints on vital commodities, such as food, and to stimulating global demand, the report also says that deep reforms are needed in the mechanisms of international financial regulation and supervision if new problems are to be avoided.The mid-year report is entitled “World Economic Situation and Prospects 2008.”
Brigadier Vijendra Gunatilake has been appointed the new army intelligence Director, the army media unit said.
New UN website devoted to least developed landlocked and small island StatesNew UN website devoted to least developed landlocked and small island States
The United Nations today announced the launch of the first comprehensive web site to deal with the problems facing three vulnerable groups of developing countries – least developed, landlocked and small island States.Offering extensive background information on international efforts and commitments relating to these nations and their hundreds of millions of inhabitants, the site provides regular updates on UN work in this area. It also contains links to major documents on the subject and to information on the countries themselves. The site was launched by the Office of the UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States, Anwarul Karim Chowdhury. Comprehensive background information on the High Representative as well as the texts of his speeches are available on the site.Established by the General Assembly in 2001, the Office of the High Representative aims to enhance the mobilization of international support for the implementation of international commitments, agreements and texts relating to the countries in question.
Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane has revealed he’s keen to overtake Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the race for the Premier League golden boot award.The England international, who won the Premier League Golden Boot prize in 2016 and 2017 before also finishing first in the race for the Golden boot at the World Cupid Russia, said, according to ESPN: “Since I’ve been in the Premier League it’s had some of the best strikers in the world.”“Aubameyang is at the top end at the moment. There’s quite a few on eight or nine goals so it’s important for me to carry on doing what I’m doing.”“When you’ve done it on the biggest stage of them all, the World Cup, you can look back and gain confidence from that. If you’re going through a spell where you’re not scoring, a couple of games here and there, you know you can do it at the highest level.”Report: Kanu makes bold claim about Pepe George Patchias – September 13, 2019 Former Arsenal superstar Kanu claims the Premier League teams fear Nicolas Pepe.The Ivory Coast international Pepe, made an 80 million Euro move to Arsenal…Spurs victory over Southampton was a welcome relief after Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to Arsenal, and Kane is pleased that the North London side will get another crack at the Unai Emery’s men when they return to the Emirates for the Carabao Cup quarterfinal in two weeks’ time.“It was a derby game and you never want to lose those kinds of games,” he said.“Credit to them, they were probably the better team on the day but it was important for us to dust it off and get back to winning ways.”“Revenge is a strong word but we’ll be motivated [in the quarterfinal]. It was a heated derby. It’s what you want a derby to be like.”“It’s an opportunity for us to get one back if we can. That’s still a couple of weeks away but I’m sure the fans will be looking forward to it, and we will be as well.”
OFF KEY WEST, Fla. (WSVN) – Crews have removed several abandoned boats to restore the shore off Key West.Thirty-one deteriorating boats were removed from a group of islands in time for the beginning of bird nesting season.Many of the vessels left behind contained hazardous material that were damaging the habitats of rare birds and turtles.This $60,000 project was a 20-day operation, which was completed last Friday.Crews used a crane with a large claw to pick up the vessels from the ocean floor.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Childish Gambino SZA NERD To Headline UKs Lovebox FestivalChildish Gambino SZA NERD To Headline UKs Lovebox Festival
Anderson .Paak, Skepta, Vince Staples, The Internet, Kali Uchis also among artists announced for the July festival in LondonNate HertweckGRAMMYs Feb 13, 2018 – 5:36 pm Lookout London, here comes the Lovebox 2018 lineup — and it’s stacked! Hot off GRAMMY performances, SZA and Childish Gambino lead the way, with the likes of Anderson .Paak, N.E.R.D. and Kali Uchis not far behind. Childish Gambino, SZA To Headline Lovebox Fest childish-gambino-sza-nerd-headline-uks-lovebox-festival https://twitter.com/LoveboxFestival/status/963446976636489729 Facebook Childish Gambino, SZA, N.E.R.D. To Headline U.K.’s Lovebox Festival For Gambino, this marks the first festival appearance announcement since he revealed his plans to retire the moniker.Developing out of a conversation in a pub in 2002 between Groove Armada’s Andy Cato and Tom Findlay with fellow U.K. DJ Jools Butterfield, the festival started out in a various clubs before moving up to London’s Victoria Park where it stayed for 12 years straight. For the first time, this year’s festival will be held at Gunnersbury Park in West London. News Twitter Oh hiya, first wave of #Lovebox18 artists…👋😍Tickets are on sale right now: https://t.co/y0LKKalTJI RT to be in with a chance of winning a pair of 2 day tickets. pic.twitter.com/g5T0lqR8J8— Lovebox Festival (@LoveboxFestival) February 13, 2018 Email Additional artists set to take the stage in London include Diplo, Vince Staples, the Internet, Big Boi, Jacob Banks, Loco Dice, and many more.Lovebox 2018 will take place July 13-14 in London. Tickets are available via the festival’s website, or try your hand at winning a pair of tickets on the Lovebox festival’s twitter page.Catching Up On Music News Powered By The Recording Academy Just Got Easier. Have A Google Home Device? “Talk To GRAMMYs”
GM previews new electronic architecture that will reach most vehicles by 2023GM previews new electronic architecture that will reach most vehicles by 2023
2020 Kia Telluride review: Kia’s new SUV has big style and bigger value More From Roadshow Post a comment 50 Photos 2020 Cadillac CT5 brings a new look for the brand’s sedans to New York 0 2020 BMW M340i review: A dash of M makes everything better More about 2019 Cadillac Escalade Platinum Auto Tech Future Cars Enlarge ImageIt’s more complicated than simply adding a few wires and hard drives here and there. General Motors Having a bunch of tech is no good if it doesn’t receive the juice it needs to operate alongside the myriad other systems, all of which have their own demands. That’s why GM has a new electronic architecture in the works.General Motors on Monday unveiled its latest electronic platform. “Platform” in this case doesn’t refer to the metal structure hiding beneath the car’s body panels. Rather, it covers the electronic underpinnings of the car, focused entirely on the wiring and components that provide the car with modern connectivity. It’ll give GM’s future cars the bandwidth they’ll need to pack all the latest in-car tech.The platform is capable of handling up to 4.5 terabytes of data processing per hour, which GM says is five times more than its current electronic architecture can handle. That should provide a boost to GM’s Super Cruise system, which needs to crunch a whole bunch of data to do its job. At the same time, various components inside the car should be able to talk with each other — and with systems outside the vehicle — even faster, because the new platform supports Ethernet connections up to 10 Gbps.So what will all this extra bandwidth permit? Well, GM didn’t speak too much to specifics, but it did promise more capacity for over-the-air updates, eliminating frustrating trips to the dealer and allowing for more content to show up after the fact. It should also give a boost to Super Cruise, which GM said will evolve, but it didn’t say how exactly. The automaker also made mention of improved cybersecurity, but it only said that there will be “additional protective features at the hardware and software levels.”It won’t be long before we get to experience this upgrade. GM’s new electronic platform will enter production later this year, and it’ll make its first appearance on the upcoming Cadillac CT5 sedan. GM hopes that it will be introduced on “most vehicles within GM’s global lineup” by 2023. Cadillac Tags 2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Posh enough to make Genesis jealous Share your voice Review • 2019 Cadillac Escalade review: Large, luxurious and long in the tooth General Motors
Plot to attack HAARP facility in Gakona stopped by Georgia policePlot to attack HAARP facility in Gakona stopped by Georgia police
The High-Frequency Active Auroral Research Program or HAARP facility in Gakona was the target of a planned attack by two Georgia men. The Douglas Enterprise reported that 30-year-old Michael Mancil, and 21-year-old James Kenneth Dryden, both of Douglas, GA were arrested Thursday night after loading weapons, including assault rifles, thousands of rounds of ammunition, bullet proof vests, radio communications equipment and $5,000 cash into a vehicle.Listen Now HAARP antenna array in Gakona, AK (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air Force)Mancil, the mastermind behind the plot, told police the plan was to travel to Alaska, hijack guards at HAARP and blow up a machine there that was quote “trapping human souls”. Coffee County Sherriff Doyle Wooten told the Douglas Enterprise that Mancil, was already being investigated for drug dealing. Wooten said Mancil appeared to radicalize in recent weeks, after watching on line videos about HAARP.The HAARP facility consists of a powerful radio transmitter and a field of large antennas. Built by the military for ionospheric research, it has long been the subject of conspiracy theories ranging from weather manipulation to mind control. The $300 million facility was transferred from the Air Force to the University of Alaska Fairbanks last year, and UAF Geophysical Institute public information officer Sue Mitchell says the school was notified about the threat on Monday.”And we’ve talked to them and we are investigating the whole situation,” Mitchell said. “We have security in place at HAARP and have had so we don’t think that these guys would’ve been able to make it through the Canadian border with the weapons that they had, but of course we’re paying a lot of attention and we’re concerned.”Mitchell says UAF is trying to dispel HAARP conspiracy theories that have proliferated since the 1990’s, when the Navy and then Air Force first constructed the facility.”Try to explain to people what is is actually capable of which is some very interesting science. Studying the Aurora and studying ways that the ionosphere affects communication satellites and other things. So we plan to we plan to use the facility for real, good basic science.”UAF held an open house at HAARP in August that was attended by 350 people. Mitchell said the university is negotiating with three potential contractors for grant-funded research at the HAARP facility that could begin as soon as February.The Georgia men involved in the plot could face federal charges.
Mahika Sharma receives vulgar messages on Holi for working with adult filmMahika Sharma receives vulgar messages on Holi for working with adult film
Mahika SharmaTwitterActress Mahika Sharma, known for tv shows like Ramayana and FIR,opened up about receiving vulgar messages on Holi for working with adult film star Danny D.Mahika said that sheis paying the price of working with adult star Danny D in the upcoming Bollywood movie “The Modern Culture”.Mahika spoke about an incident she faced on Holi this year. While talking she shared, “Social media is platform I feel which needs more safety. One should be asked for government identity before creating an account. So we can be more secured. I usually get messages from strangers asking me my rates for night. Not only me, I find such stupid comments on many actresses or models too. But this time I faced a real bad experience. Someone messaged me “Danny D ki pichkari se khelogi.. Indian k b try karo..”Mahika has also urged people to be sure about women safety during Holi. She said, “Boys will touch but don’t allow it in that way! You will have people touching you. It’s a given. Although I cannot deny that it can and has been unsafe for women with boys thinking it’s a free for all in the name of Holi, you have to remember that you are in power here. If you don’t want to be touched or it crosses your boundaries – tell them to back off!”Mahika Sharma had also earned the tittle of Miss Teen Northeast, India.
Turner Now Says It Is Unlikely Repeal Of Revenue Cap Will BeTurner Now Says It Is Unlikely Repeal Of Revenue Cap Will Be
Listen To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code: 00:00 /01:08 X Al OrtizHouston Mayor Sylvester Turner is tentatively reversing course on his plans for the City’s revenue cap and now says it is not likely that a proposition to repeal the cap will be included on the November ballot.Sylvester Turner is tentatively reversing course on his plans for the City’s revenue cap and now says it is not likely that a proposition to repeal the cap will be included on the November ballot, as he intended.The November ballot will already include a proposition on the City’s pension obligation bonds, which amount to $1 billion.The approval of that proposition, which was included in the final version of the bill that the Texas Legislature approved this year regarding the Mayor’s pension reform plan, is the last step for the pension reform to become a reality.“Do I want to run the risk of losing the reforms that we’ve made to our pension system that have been hurting this city for seventeen years? No,” Turner said during the customary press conference held after the City Council’s meeting.The November ballot will also include bonds for general improvements in Houston which would be in the hundreds of millions.Bob Stein, a Political Science professor at Rice University, says Turner’s change of mind is wise because “…you put that in front of voters and they’re gonna have a hard time swallowing it and, if you added to that the revenue cap repeal, I think you would get people voting against all three.”Houstonians approved the revenue cap in 2005 and eliminating it could mean a property tax increase.Turner has supported repealing the cap, or at least changing it, since he was campaigning for Mayor back in 2015 because he contends it holds down the City’s budget and limits the ability to provide services. Share
Lawmakers Moving Early to End Parental Rights of RapistsLawmakers Moving Early to End Parental Rights of Rapists
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland lawmakers are moving early to advance legislation to end parental rights of rapists.The Senate could debate the bill on the floor as early as Friday.A House committee also has passed the bill to the floor, where it will be taken up next week.Legislative leaders have said they are making the measure a priority this year, after it failed to pass in nine previous sessions.
Stay on target Lego Unveils ‘Friends’ 25th Anniversary Central Perk SetThis Tree House Is Lego’s Most Sustainable Set Ever This holiday season, the son of Odin will be back in theaters. This time, he’ll be forced to take on the Hulk in a gladiatorial showdown… and you’ll be able to recreate the epic battle with minifigs and Lego bricks!Hot on the heels of the revelation of their biggest Minecraft set ever — the Mammoth Mountain Cavern — Lego has now taken the wraps off a pair of sets that will drop when Thor: Ragnarok hits theaters.AdChoices广告Thor vs. The Hulk Arena Clash pits the Avenger’s teammates against each other for The Grandmaster’s enjoyment. There’s not a lot of excitement here regarding construction. The set’s a fairly simple backdrop for the minifig-on-minifig combat, but it does score points for the nice detailing on the Hulk and the fancy little gold throne and a minifig version of Jeff Goldblum that sits on it.Lego also throws in a Loki minifig and a Sakaarian guard for good measure. This one’s expected to retail for around $60.The other set lets you step outside the arena walls for The Ultimate Battle For Asgard. It’s another relatively simple set of just 400 pieces, but the ring-winged Asgardian spaceship has a nice look to it, and the Fenris Wolf adds a terrifying touch. Despite being a relatively small set, this one comes with six minifigs: Thor, Bruce Banner, Hela, Valkyrie, and a pair of berserkers.A Marvel set from Lego with a piece count in this neighborhood should sell for somewhere around $44.99. With the film set to debut in Italy on October 25th, you can expect both of these sets to hit store shelves a few days ahead of that date.
Newly crowned Miss Universe Paulina Vega feels she has set an example for young girls to become “intelligent” women “with a great heart”.The Colombian beauty left behind 87 contestants, including India’s Noyonita Lodh, to win the crown.The 22-yr-old opened up about winning the title in an interview with people.com saying: “When we participate in a pageant, we are examples to young and teenage girls. It’s very delicate.“I want to demonstrate that it is not the most important thing to be beautiful and have a glamorous life. It’s about feeling beautiful. Become an intelligent, professional, hardworking woman with a great heart. That is the example I want to set,” she added.
Art is a strong medium to showcase what’s going on in an artist’s mind and nothing better than art can bring out their imagination on canvas for others to see and feel what the artist felt while making it. An exhibition of paintings titled ‘Mamtamayi’ will be held from February 13-19 in the national Capital. Spreading the message of mother’s love and care, the exhibition will showcase works by Harshvardhan Arya.Artist Harshvardhan is one of those artists who try to portray the work that touch the soul and provides a strong message. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’His works mostly talk about the preservation of environment. Motherly love is highly reflected in his paintings. In some of the paintings true love can be seen via Lord Krishna’s child avatar while some provide a message about a daughter’s safety. In the upcoming exhibition, an art lover can see the depiction of a loving mother and her care being expressed with very deep intensity on canvas by the artist.When: February 13-19 Where: Lalit Kala Akademi Timing: 11 AM to 7 PM
Kolkata: The nation-wide hackathon contest ‘Bengalathon 2018’, organised by the state Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) department to showcase the innovative skills of technology enthusiasts at the national and international arena has evoked tremendous response.More than 1,500 teams across seven states competed amongst each other to provide innovative solutions to real life challenges using emerging technologies. Some of the key problem statements were based on financial fraud, riot prediction, toto on call, predictive claim analysis etc. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe best performers were recognised and prizes were handed over for first, second, joint third and jury’s choice at the Bengal Global Business Summit on Friday. The first prize went to BP Poddar Institute of Management and Technology for their solution on Riot Prediction, the second prize was bagged by a solution on Student Record Keeping where one Rohit Gupta and his team participated as an individual group. The joint third prize went to Arup Sengupta and his team from TCS for their solution on Toto on call and to Shubhraj Singh and his team from University of Technology, Burdwan University, for their solution on Private car sharing. The jury special was given for solution on Toto on call by Hozaifa Wahid and his team from RCC Institute of Information Technology. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt may be mentioned that Bengalathon 2018 was launched by the then IT minister Bratya Basu in July last year. “Our government is taking all possible measures to position Bengal as the best in embracing emerging technologies and its use in real life challenges. The next generation needs encouragement which will give them the impetus to produce their best. The posts in their profiles of social networking sites suggested that they were thrilled to receive the recognition from the venue of the summit that was attended by so many foreign delegates and industry captains all over the world,” a senior official of the IT department said. The state IT department will now try to extend assistance to those who have come out with such solutions so that they can commercialise their ventures.
This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Your Branch OfficeSo, how do you go about finding your nearest co-working space? Check out http://coworking.pbworks.com/CoworkingVisaor search Google using your city name and the word “co-working.”And if business takes you on the road, there are dozens of work spaces in the U.S. and abroad that have open-door policies for co-workers from out of town. as part of a loosely structured “visa” program. This means you don’t have to hole up in a hotel room to conduct business or you can rub shoulders with co-workers in other cities, Co-working spaces in at least 17 states and 13 countries have signed on to participate in the program, which invites co-workers to drop in and work at little or no cost.”If you’re a member of a co-working space, come on in, take a seat and work here as many days as you like,” says Susan Evans, co-founder of Office Nomads in Seattle. Terms, such as whether to call or e-mail ahead to confirm space availability, vary by organization. For an updated list of visa-friendly spaces and their requirements, check http://coworking.pbworks.com/CoworkingVisa. This story appears in the October 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now Headed to New York City? Airbnb lists a fully equipped studio apartment with a view of the Empire State Building for $169 a night. Traveling to Paris? There’s an airy apartment in Le Marais for $140 a night. There are also cheaper, and less cushy, options: nightly rentals of spare bedrooms, sofa beds, futons and–yes–air mattresses, for less than $100 a night, in more than 1,000 cities worldwide. 8 min read David Brunelle was living the dream: He’d shucked his 9-to-5 office job, liberated himself from the cubicle farm and started his own business. He was working from home, being his own boss . and before long, wallowing in freedom.”More often than not, I’d find myself on the couch, playing Xbox at 1 in the afternoon,” says Brunelle, a Seattle web developer. “It became pretty clear that to be productive, I needed structure, I needed to set boundaries between my work and my home life, and I needed to be around other people who are serious about their work.” September 17, 2009 Co-Working With Benefits Here’s an unexpected perk of the co-working movement: A co-working website that offers overnight accommodations in some of the world’s great cities, for the fraction of the price of a hotel room. Airbnb was launched in 2008 after three San Francisco entrepreneurs recognized the need for lodging in the city. Roommates Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky decided to offer up their place, along with some breakfast and local hospitality, to a few friendly strangers attending a conference. It was a success, and with help from their tech-savvy friend Nathan Blecharczyk, the three launched a website, found a few guests and Airbnb was born. The fully automated site handles secure online credit card transactions, and includes rich user profiles and user reviews. -Kara Ohngren Enroll Now for Free Fortunately, Brunelle, who launched his web design company last November, discovered Office Nomads, a 5,000-square-foot collection of work spaces designed for people just like him: sole proprietors, freelancers, artists, consultants and other independent workers who have emerged to work and connect under the same roof.Their search for a workplace that combines the best of a home office, an internet cafe and a traditional office has given rise to a whole new movement, with an awkward but apt name: “co-working.” It’s a dramatic U-turn in the quest for the perfect work environment–a migration back to the cubicle from the often-idealized home office, but a cubicle reimagined for a time when the line between domestic and professional life has never been more blurred.Co-working spaces–which cost anywhere from $25 a day for occasional drop-ins to $500 or more a month–only began popping up a few years ago in places like New York and San Francisco. Now they are slowly becoming a national and international phenomenon. The potential is huge: More than 10 million Americans are self-employed, up from about 8 million in 1980. Freelance job sites are booming, too: Elance.com had postings jump 40 percent in the first half of this year, while Guru.com saw its total membership grow by 15% over the year before.The appeal of co-working seems clear: It provides people like Brunelle a professional and social package that most alternatives can’t match. For starters, there’s the real-live-human camaraderie you can’t get from Facebook or text messaging, as well as the potential for networking and uncovering new business opportunities. A co-working office can also offer a sounding board for ideas in an informal setting. And it relieves, for the most part, the energy-sapping world of office politics–not to mention blood-draining commutes.All that, plus a basic support system that typically includes dedicated spaces for working and for socializing, high-speed internet, a kitchenette and, naturally, some type of caffeine-dispensing appliance. Printers and fax machines could also be available. Some spaces sweeten the package with lockers, showers and yoga classes. Others offer audio-video equipment, organized social outings, consulting services–and one of the newest services: child care.Capitalizing on the fact that co-workers may have small children in need of supervision, Cubes&Crayons in Northern California has added onsite child care at its locations in San Francisco and Mountain View. What the company calls “professional, developmentally appropriate” care for children between the ages of 3 months and 5 years is provided during regular business hours. There’s flexibility in choosing a plan–full-time, part-time or drop-in. Rates for members range from $17 an hour for occasional drop-ins to a flat fee of $600 per month for 60 hours of care. Cubes&Crayons may be the first, but it is unlikely to be the last, to start grooming the next generation of co-workers.But for most people, what makes co-working alluring isn’t the child care or the yoga but the cooperative spirit and community vibe fostered by the people who populate those spaces.Take Tony Bacigalupo. “I was working from home for a web consulting firm and realized I needed to be around other people and out of the house,” he explains. “The local café wasn’t great as a work environment either. Then I discovered there was already a burgeoning movement for people like me.”Similar disenchantment with working from home prompted Andrew Luter, a private equity investor in Denver, and Susan Evans, an environmental consultant in Seattle, to turn to co-working at around the same time.”Isolation,” Evans says, “is an inconvenient byproduct of the concept of home-office convenience.” For Luter, the problem with working from home “wasn’t just the distractions, it was the sense of physical and mental separation.”Having met enough like-minded people to believe co-working was more than a passing fancy, Bacigalupo, Evans and Luter were soon investing in the business and helping propel the movement in their respective cities. In April 2007, Luter opened the Hive in Denver. Seven months later, Office Nomads, the brainchild of Evans and business partner Jacob Sayles, began welcoming members in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle. And a year after that, Bacigalupo opened New Work City in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Meanwhile, co-working spaces also were debuting across the country–and not just in the largest cities but in smaller urban areas and university towns with thriving populations of entrepreneurs and independent workers.Now, less than a year after opening, New Work City hosts anywhere from 40 to 50 full- and part-time members on a given day. To be there, they can pay a $25 daily drop-in fee or $500 a month for a full-time membership, which affords them 24/7 access to the space. The Hive, meanwhile, has roughly 20 members who use its 4,000-square-foot space, paying $199 per month for 24/7 access. Brunelle is one of about 25 full-time members at Office Nomads; for $475 they get “resident” status, which comes with a dedicated desk and 24/7 access. There are also part-timers and drop-ins.Graphic artists and business consultants, architects and publicists, authors and code-writers: As diverse and colorful as the co-working crowd is, there are unifying threads. “No one in here wants to work by themselves; everyone is here because they want to be here,” Evans says.And, Bacigalupo adds, co-workers tend to be personable types. “The jerks rarely stick around, if they come here in the first place, and they rarely do. These are offices spaces without all the sucky parts of an office.”He explains that people spent most of the 20th century figuring out how to go from blue-collar to white-collar jobs. “Now we’re looking for a new kind of personal workplace beyond the white-collar environment,” he says. “I think what we’re seeing now is a resurgence of interest in the possibilities of the virtual office–a healthier, more sustainable version of telecommuting.”The variety of people working in complementary fields can make co-working spaces fertile ground for new business opportunities, too. “There’s certainly work being passed to and fro among members,” Evans says. “That is definitely a consistent theme across co-working spaces. It’s a huge benefit.”In the end, it is camaraderie, community and connectedness that fuel this trend. “It is what members make it,” Evans says, “and they have made it pretty awesome.”So awesome, in fact, that Brunelle says he has “no complaints and no regrets” after six months as an Office Nomads full-timer–even though it’s meant sacrificing those pajamas-and-Xbox afternoons.
A Rant and Some Suggestions What to Do About Patent TrollsA Rant and Some Suggestions What to Do About Patent Trolls
August 19, 2014 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » 6 min read Patent trolls bear much more similarity to the trolls from Scandinavian folklore than the wide-eyed dolls with colorful Mohawks from the 90s. Literature describes these ancient trolls in PG-13 terms as “unhelpful,” and the same can be said about patent trolls and their role in modern society.Related: Yes, Patent Trolls Are Hurting Your BusinessBefore I dive into my issue with patent trolls, I should clarify a couple of things. First, as an entrepreneur and founder of a company employing 250+ people, I have great respect for the patent system. It is, in part, responsible for the innovation that’s powered our economy for decades. Second, I value intellectual property and an individual’s right to protect their work from use by others without permission.What’s the difference between a patent troll and a regular copyright infringement lawsuit? By definition, patent trolls are not entrepreneurs, nor employers, nor do they fuel innovation of any kind. They are “Non-Practicing Entities” (NPEs) or “Patent Assertion Entities” (PAEs), which means that they don’t use the patents they own to produce anything. They operate for the sole purpose of extorting money from the companies that do invest in making innovative products and do employ people to make the visions behind the patents come to life.Isn’t this about big tech companies going head-to-head in court? Not really. While cases involving millions of dollars and Fortune 500 companies get the most media attention, patent trolls target startups and small businesses that most. According to a research report from Santa Clara University (“Startups and Patent Trolls”), 55 percent of defendants are businesses with less than $10 million in annual revenue. Patent attorneys charge approximately $500 per hour and patent trolls offer to settle for (a little) less than the cost of a court battle, which is why start-ups and small businesses are a more lucrative target than big companies with armies of lawyers on staff.Everyone venturing out on their own knows they’re taking a risk. Most of them are ready to fail based on the merit of their idea. However, there isn’t a single thought more frustrating than knowing that your business could crumble because fighting a patent troll costs more than what you can afford. I know, because my company, Perforce Software, is currently defending itself against a patent troll to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, in a claim that anyone with an ounce of technical savvy could see is patently (no pun intended) ridiculous.Related: More Bad News for Patent TrollsProtecting what is rightfully yours. Despite the financial impact of building a legal defense, we’re actually one of the fortunate ones because we know that we’ll win our case. How can we be so sure? We have records of every asset that matters to our company—from source code, to legal documents, to multimedia assets—and I can tell you when each asset was first checked in, when a new version was created, who made the changes, if the file was moved, what it had for breakfast and who was its first crush.Now, you might wonder how I kept such immaculately detailed records for almost 20 years and this is where I have to make a disclaimer. My company specializes in version control software. However, we’re not the only company in the market that offers version control, nor has it prevented us from being targeted by patent trolls ourselves.I speak to you as an entrepreneur who wants to see the end of patent trolling and is eager to share the big lesson learned: track your ideas and your assets as you develop them. These records can invalidate infringement suits and save you thousands of dollars if your business is ever has to battle a patent troll.Technology patents should be in a league of their own. In the long run, the only way to stop patent trolls from destroying more businesses with worthless accusations is to overhaul the way patents apply to technology.The first step would be to eliminate traditional patents where claims are filed through a lengthy process and owned for 20 years. Technology should be treated as an “original work of authorship” and granted the same copyright protection as art, music or literature. This would benefit innovation immensely because the costly filing process would be replaced with instant protection. Most importantly, it would put an end to ludicrous claims to patents covering basic concepts rather than unique expressions of those concepts. The recent case of Oracle v. Google exemplifies the nature of the problem. Oracle claimed that Java’s API was subject to copyright, while Google argued fair use based on the broadness of the concept. I wholeheartedly agreed with the first ruling, which stated “So long as the specific code used to implement a method is different, anyone is free under the Copyright Act to write his or her own code to carry out exactly the same function or specification of any methods used in the Java API. It does not matter that the declaration or method header lines are identical.”This verdict was later overturned, which I believe will lead to adverse consequences that will soon be felt across the industry. Another issue is that the nature of technology is such that innovation is only ‘innovative’ for a short time. The newest-and-greatest becomes ordinary and the next generation of the product sets a new standard. That is all-the more reason to end 20-year technology patents. Instead, grant them patents for only however long they’re useful.That isn’t an easy definition to articulate in legal terms but the outdated system we have sets traps for developers who want to expand and iterate on existing technology. That stifles innovation and industry growth.But in the meantime…It is frustrating as dealing with patents trolls, and just as frustrating waiting for meaningful legislation to be passed and enforced. Nonetheless, we can’t let it discourage us from pursuing our passions. America was built on inventions and innovations. We shouldn’t let the greedy minority that are patent trolls destroy our spirits and our legacy. To borrow an old adage from across the pond, I say we all keep calm and innovate on.Related: Entrepreneurs Want Patent Trolls Gone, But Current Legislation Is Sloppy