Digby Ioane manhandles Bryan Habana in tense Top 14 clash

first_imgTuesday May 6, 2014 Digby Ioane manhandles Bryan Habana in tense Top 14 clash Stade Francais narrowly missed out on a Top 14 play-off place as they were beaten 17-15 by league leaders Toulon in Nice at the weekend. The match was as competitive as ever with multiple cards, including a red, and a sin-binning for Wallaby Digby Ioane.Replacement flyhalf Morne Steyn, renowned for his quality goal kicking, had a conversion kick to square things up late in the game after a Heinke van der Merwe try in the 77th minute.That went wide, so Toulon held on for the win after having played 30 minutes with just 14 men, after Georgian Konstantine Mikautadze was red carded for a knee/kick on an opponent. It was tense throughout and Stade Francais had three yellow cards themselves, with wing Ioane picking one up for a dangerous tackle on Bryan Habana as he came through a ruck. It looked as though he brought his Rugby Championship rival to ground safely, but was carded nonetheless.Earlier in the match Ioane had come in off his wing to smash the Springbok star, and was penalised for that too, but wasn’t shown a card despite the referee chatting with the TMO.Habana seems to have a bit of a habit of twisting his body dramatically in the tackle, whether it’s deliberate or not. As we saw with Devin Toner and Tom Court at the weekend, that can have dire consequences for the tackler, and perhaps for himself too.With the victory Toulon secured their semi final spot, where they will face the winner of Toulouse vs Racing Metro, which takes place on 9 May. Montpellier beat Racing Metro 44-10 so they too go the guaranteed semi, where they will face the winner of Clermont vs Castes (10 May).Below you can see the big tackle Ioane made on Habana, and then the incident he was yellow carded for. On the next page you can view the Konstantine Mikautadze red card incident.A look at the sending off for Konstantine Mikautadze, who lashed out then saw redADVERTISEMENT Posted By: rugbydump Share Send Thanks Sorry there has been an error Big Hits & Dirty Play Related Articles 25 WEEKS AGO Suspensions handed down after testicle grabbing… 26 WEEKS AGO The ‘double ruffle’ splits opinion with fans… 26 WEEKS AGO WATCH: The nastiest and most brutal moments… From the WebThis Video Will Soon Be Banned. Watch Before It’s DeletedSecrets RevealedUrologists Stunned: Forget the Blue Pill, This “Fixes” Your EDSmart Life ReportsYou Won’t Believe What the World’s Most Beautiful Girl Looks Like TodayNueeyGranny Stuns Doctors by Removing Her Wrinkles with This Inexpensive TipSmart Life ReportsIf You Have Ringing Ears Do This Immediately (Ends Tinnitus)Healthier Living30+ Everyday Items with a Secret Hidden PurposeNueeyThe content you see here is paid for by the advertiser or content provider whose link you click on, and is recommended to you by Revcontent. As the leading platform for native advertising and content recommendation, Revcontent uses interest based targeting to select content that we think will be of particular interest to you. We encourage you to view your opt out options in Revcontent’s Privacy PolicyWant your content to appear on sites like this?Increase Your Engagement Now!Want to report this publisher’s content as misinformation?Submit a ReportGot it, thanks!Remove Content Link?Please choose a reason below:Fake NewsMisleadingNot InterestedOffensiveRepetitiveSubmitCancellast_img read more

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Why Governor Tom Wolf Called a Joint Session to Address the Opioid Epidemic

first_img By: Mark Nicastre, Communications Director Why Governor Tom Wolf Called a Joint Session to Address the Opioid Epidemic   SHARE  TWEET Substance Use Disorder,  The Blog Governor Tom Wolf and legislators from both sides of the aisle have made addressing the opioid epidemic a top priority. Last year over 3,500 Pennsylvanians died from drug overdose – that is an astonishing 10 deaths a day and up from the more than 2,500 reported deaths in 2014. Pennsylvanians suffering from the disease of addiction cannot afford to wait for solutions. That’s why Governor Tom Wolf and legislative leaders called a Joint Session of the General Assembly to address the members of the House and Senate about our collective efforts to lead the nation in combatting the opioid and heroin crisis facing Pennsylvania.Governor Wolf said, “After consultation and discussion with legislative leaders, I believe we share the view that we can make the most profound and positive impact for the people of Pennsylvania by dealing with this issue as part of the remainder of the 2015-16 legislative session, rather than calling a special session.”Why not a special session?After extensive conversations, Governor Tom Wolf and legislative leaders decided that the most timely and efficient way to make progress in the fight against the opioid epidemic would be to call a joint session, rather than a special session as previously discussed. A special session would require bills to be reintroduced with co-sponsor memos to be circulated, and each new bill would take a minimum of six legislative days to reach the Governor’s desk. Special session committees would also have to be organized to review each new bill before the bill would be called up for a vote in the House or Senate. All told, this would amount to at least a two-week process. Several bills addressing this crisis have already passed the House and Senate in the current legislative session and are positioned to reach the Governor’s desk in a much timelier fashion. A four caucus workgroup has been working diligently throughout the summer to build consensus on these bills, and we are hopeful that by calling for a joint session, we can move many of these to the Governor’s desk for signature without further delay.What is a joint session?During the joint session, Governor Wolf will address both the house and the senate this fall about the importance of taking quick action to combat the opioid and heroin crisis . Following his address, Governor Wolf and the legislative leaders will address the opioid epidemic by looking at bills that have already been introduced and started the legislative processes which means that we can more swiftly tackle the opioid epidemic.What do we hope to achieve the joint session?Specifically, some of the goals of this legislative season are to require doctors and prescribers to check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Database every time they prescribe, increase education about opioid and pain management for current and future medical professionals, limit the quantities of opioids that can be prescribed in emergency rooms to a patient at one time, require insurance carriers to cover abuse deterrent opioids at the same cost as their non-abuse deterrent counterparts, add opioid misuse to existing public school curriculum on drug and alcohol abuse, and establish a voluntary directive for patients who don’t wish to receive opioids in their medical care.With 10 people a day in our commonwealth dying from drug overdoses, we cannot afford to stall. This fall, Governor Wolf and the legislature will make sure that battling the opioid epidemic is a top priority. September 16, 2016 Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

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St Vincent PM admitted to hospital in Barbados

first_img Tweet Share NewsRegional St Vincent PM admitted to hospital in Barbados by: – April 24, 2012 35 Views   no discussions Sharecenter_img Share Sharing is caring! St Vincent and the Grenadines Prime Minister Ralph GonsalvesBRIDGETOWN, Barbados – The prime minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Dr Ralph Gonsalves, was admitted to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados at the weekend after complaining of feeling unwell.Investigations and tests conducted by medical staff at the hospital disclosed that there seemed to be a focus of infection somewhere, which was manifested as a persistent fever, among other symptoms. It was subsequently discovered that there was a skin infection resulting in the formation of an abscess. The abscess has been drained and other necessary treatment initiated.“Since then the PM is feeling much better and on the road to a speedy recovery. He is overly anxious to be out of the hospital and to continue his duties, but we are all insisting that he uses the opportunity to get some well needed rest,” Dr Douglas Slater, SVG minister of foreign affairs, said in a statement.“We wish to thank all of the many persons who have called and otherwise expressed their concerns, prayers and best wishes for his speedy recovery. The PM has asked to convey his gratitude and appreciation to all Vincentians and others for their demonstration and expressions of support and goodwill. He especially asked to express thanks to all for the prayers offered on his behalf. We will follow his progress closely and report accordingly as deemed necessary,” Slater added.Gonsalves was in Barbados en route to the Middle East as part of an official tour.By Caribbean News Now contributorlast_img read more

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National Rebuilding Day 2014 Brings the Community Together, Helping Each Other

first_imgSubmitted by Rebuilding Together Thurston CountySee all those people?  They are your neighbors!  They are just some of the folks who spent a recent Saturday working on the maintenance needs of some very special homeowners in Thurston County.  As part of Rebuilding Day 2014 there were over 150 volunteers who worked on the homes of nine individuals and families – all of whom were incredibly grateful.  It was a fabulous day and the rain held off just long enough to complete all the necessary repairs – whew!With morning pastries provided by Momma Bear’s Bakery in Yelm, and a welcome from each of the House Captains, the six different work groups set about getting their chores checked off the proverbial list:  power wash driveways, decks and patios; pull weeds, cut back overgrown bushes and rambling ivy, plant new flowers, spread mulch, and water; replace windows that let in lots of cold air and water; clean out and repair gutters; install grab bars; repair drippy faucets; install new doors; paint; and lots more.Eight of the projects were located in Lacey (including a mobile home park where four homeowners received services), so we were delighted to have a visit from Deputy Mayor Cynthia Pratt from the Lacey City Council.Tumwater Mayor Pete Kmet and a homeowner on National Rebuildling Day.She toured several of the projects, met with the homeowners and came away impressed with the work of so many volunteers and donors.  Mayor Pete Kmet of Tumwater rolled up his sleeves to work with the volunteers at Cheryl’s home.  Though she has an Olympia address, her home is closer to services in Tumwater, so it was particularly noteworthy that he was so generous with his time with RTTC that day.  Thanks to Ms. Pratt and Mr. Kmet, both of whom are clearly interested in the efforts of their citizenry to make their towns and homes healthier and safer.Olympia Federal Savings (and their significant financial support), United Roofing (and their 12 roofers!), the very capable services of Hometown Property Management, and Lacey Gateway Rotary members (and their strong backs) were the movers and shakers behind the biggest project this year: Shirley’s home.  After her husband died three years ago, this 76 year old lady lost interest in most everything and didn’t have the ability to take care of much of it in any event.With the assistance of about 45 volunteers, her home was transformed and in the end was a stunning example of how much good can be done in a day!  With a completely new roof, numerous smaller projects completed around the home and extensive landscape maintenance, her home is in a truly beautiful setting; and most importantly she feels like it’s something that she can maintain now that it is all under control.Special thanks go to Western Cedar Supply/PABCO for the roof supplies, to Ken Kirkland for his House Captain leadership, and to Dirty Dave’s for a terrific lunch. Susan, a 70 year old woman now living alone, received services from the Lacey Presbyterian Church (a team of about 32 men and women who have been with us on Rebuilding Day for several years now; thank you, volunteers, and to the Church for their continued financial support of RTTC!).  Big thanks also go to Rob Hodgeman, the House Captain, and to Subway for the donated box lunches that kept the volunteers going through the afternoon.Cathy Johnson, owner of Dandelion Gardens, sprucing up old planters on National Rebuilding Day.The project at Crestwood Park in Lacey had an energetic crew from the YouthBuild Construction Trades program (New Market Skills Center in Tumwater) who teamed with an equally hard working larger group from KAYO/KGY Radio.  This was definitely a case of age and experience, mixed with eagerness and wonder – surely the best of all combinations!  All three homeowners (Curt, Vietnam vet; Drema, a 71 year old lady living alone; and Ivan, who is disabled) were all absolutely thrilled with the work done on their homes and the differences were significant!  The team of volunteers also replaced the security bollards at the entrance of the park that were taken out in a car accident earlier this year.  Coordinating all these efforts was the Sater family (Lane, Tonya and all five of their children, each of whom contributed to the successes of the day).  In addition, T & S Cleaning (Ted and Shirley were both there); Chris from Gillaspie’s Tree Service; and Casa Mia and their pizzas all contributed to a job well done.  And since then, we’ve received calls from others in the park who would like assistance.Failing windows can cause lots of angst for any homeowner, but imagine if you did not have the funds to do anything about it.  That was the position 67 year old Cheryl was in, so with the enthusiasm of HomeStreet Bank employee Chris Hutchison and the major financial backing of the same institution, along with the construction skills of Nick Bevans (Bevans Construction) and John Hays (Puget Construction), she was the very happy recipient of five (yep, 5!) new windows!  In addition, Mayor Kmet was a member of this crew and Pizza Hut donated lunch for everyone.And finally there were the Robyn and Cameo projects.  Both are relatively young women (Robyn with certain disabilities and Cameo a single mom with three kids) with leaking, safety, and security repairs – important to address to keep the homes in good and safe condition as both intend to live in their homes for years to come.  Lowe’s on Martin Way in Olympia was not only instrumental in providing work crews for both projects but also provided the expertise of James Powers (Assistant Manager of Lowe’s on Martin Way) as the House Captain for both projects.  Subway and Jimmy John’s provided lunches for participants.In addition to all these outstanding companies and volunteers, there were several more who absolutely need recognition for their contributions, which were connected to more than one project:  Cathy Johnson of Dandelion Gardens worked on two projects and was instrumental in the coordination and design of both projects;  Mary Carskadon and Jackie Ashley enhanced everyone’s lunches by providing cookies and chips to each site; Cutter’s Point Coffee provided warming coffee for several of the sites; and Rob’s Excavation and NW Cascade provided port-a-potties for each work site.And where would we be without Lowe’s on Martin Way in Olympia? Not in the position we’re in, that’s for sure.  They’ve been working with us for months to make sure that all materials we needed were pulled and delivered at exactly the right time; that all their employees were trained in how to deal with us and the coordination of materials; and their financial support has been huge.Here’s a huge THANK YOU to our Executive Director, Raechel Kilcup, for all of her hard work and dedication to coordinating all of these projects as well as to all volunteers and participants who made Rebuilding Day 2014 the success that it was!Altogether, we served 32 homes in our county during the month of April, utilized over 400 volunteers, and for every $1 donated we were able to turn it into $13 of service to these homeowners. Typically, $1 is turned into $4.  We are extremely proud of the work done and thankful for the support of our community. Facebook98Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

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GOLDEN GATE FIELDS TO PRESENT INAUGURAL TURF FESTIVAL APRIL 14- MAY 1TURF FESTIVAL TO FEATURE INCREASED PURSES, FREE SHIPPING AND GUARANTEED LATE PICK 4 POOLS

first_imgALBANY, CALIF. – Golden Gate Fields will offer increased purses, free shipping to and from Santa Anita and guaranteed Late Pick 4 pools during its inaugural three-week Turf Festival.Golden Gate Fields will be the only track in California with turf racing from April 14 through May 1. During that time an extra $125,000 will allocated to turf races.Free shipping from Santa Anita to Golden Gate Fields will be provided during the Turf Festival. Bob Hubbard Horse Transportation, Inc. will have two vans going north and two vans going south every week during the event.“The Golden Gate Fields Turf Festival will benefit horsemen throughout California by bolstering purses in the North and giving Southern California horsemen a place to run their grass horses,” said Joe Morris, Senior Vice President of West Coast Operations for The Stronach Group. “It’s our goal to offer competitive turf racing with big fields, which should be attractive to horseplayers. We hope to generate a strong response from Northern California and Southern California horsemen throughout the Turf Festival.”There will be three grass stakes during the Turf Festival. The Grade 3, $100,000 San Francisco Mile for 3-year-olds and up will be conducted Saturday, April 30. The final day of the Turf Festival will feature a pair of one-mile stakes for 3-year-old California-breds nominated to the Golden State Series: the $100,000 Campanile for fillies and the $100,000 Silky Sullivan.In addition, Golden Gate Fields will offer two maiden special weights and two allowance races for California-breds on the final weekend of the turf festival. The maiden special weights will be worth $35,000 and will be conducted April 30. The allowances will be worth $41,000 and will be held May 1. The owners of the maiden special weight winners will receive a $10,000 bonus.Golden Gate Fields on weekends will guarantee the Late Pick 4 pool at $75,000 during the Turf Festival. The guarantee will be increased to $100,000 on San Francisco Mile Day.Jon ForbesPublicity Manager, Golden Gate FieldsE-mail: [email protected]: (510) 559-7411Cell: (669) 244-1985last_img read more

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Raiders report: Five things we learned Thursday

first_imgYOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES?Make your Raiders-Dolphins pick & challenge our pros***ALAMEDA — Five things we learned Thursday as the Raiders got in their heaviest day of practice in preparation to visit the Miami Dolphins:1) If the Raiders can’t sack up, how much does it matter?Putting pressure on the quarterback is topic 1-A around the Raiders, and defensive coordinator Paul Guenther floated the idea that sacks aren’t the be-all or end-all when it comes to assessing a unit’s worth. “O …last_img read more

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Southwest goes international

first_imgU.S. low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines is set to launch international service to the nearby Caribbean under its own colors July 1.That’s when the US’s largest domestic airline in terms of origin and destination passengers takes over seven sun-n-fun routes now operated by AirTran. Southwest merged with the smaller airline, in the process getting AirTran’s fleet of Boeing 737-700s.Southwest will use AirTran 737s – but now in Southwest colors and interiors – on the following routes:–       Atlanta – Aruba–       Atlanta – Montego Bay–       Baltimore/Washington – Aruba–       Baltimore/Washington – Nassau–       Baltimore/Washington – Montego Bay–       Orlando – Aruba–       Orlando – Montego BayThe last two runs are Saturday-only affairs.The former AirTran 737-700s that will be used on the routes are already fitted with Federal Aviation Administration-mandated overwater safety gear, notably life rafts. In preparation for further expansion of Southwest’s over-ocean forays company spokeswoman Melanie Jones says the safety gear is being installed on “a number of Southwest aircraft as well.”Southwest is the world’s largest operator of Boeing 737s.Southwest calls the July 1 moves “The first phase of the company’s international conversion plans.” In addition to the new Soutwest runs, AirTran will continue operating flights between Atlanta and Nassau as well between Chicago Midway and Montego Bay. For the time being AirTran will continue to provide the merged airline’s lift to Cancun, Los Cabos, Mexico City and Punta Cana. By the end of this year Southwest plans to launch flights to the remaining quartet of international destinations on its 96-airport route map that – between Southwest and AirTran – now encompasses a half-dozen countries.To put things in perspective, when Southwest first took-off back in 1971 the then purely intra-state carrier connected a mere trio of airports in Texas: Dallas Love Field. Houston Hobby and San Antonio International.From personal observation by this Dallas native (I used to ride my bicycle to Love Field to watch the planes) few gave what they considered an upstart airline much of a chance to make it.The rest is history. Southwest went on to exert a gravitational pull that fundamentally changed the way Americans and the rest of the world flies.The “Southwest model” of one aircraft type and basic service is the basis of every low cost airline in the world. Low cost airlines have brought travel to billions who could never afford to take to the skies.last_img read more

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RobotVision: A Bing-Powered iPhone Augmented Reality Browser

first_imgBing Local Search has some interesting features you won’t find in Google, so the prospect of seeing Bing listings appear on top of your iPhone’s camera viewer when you point at a restaurant or business is intriguing. That’s what forthcoming iPhone app RobotVision offers – and it displays a view of Tweets and Flickr photos published nearby wherever you are. RobotVision is a new Augmented Reality (AR) app for the iPhone 3Gs. It’s not available yet, but it will be as soon as AR apps are formally welcomed into the App Store by Apple, probably sometime next month. AR browsers “turn the world inside out” by exposing latent online information about your surroundings; there will soon be enough of them that they will compete based on user experience. RobotVision looks like it could be a good one. RobotVision was built by Portland, Oregon’s Tim Sears, a developer at a major PR firm by day and a side-project innovator by night. His last project was Twitter sentiment analysis service Twendz. RobotVision is the first iPhone app he’s ever built. “This was easy to develop,” he told us. “Well, not easy – I busted my butt nights and weekends for the last month.”Does that mean that AR browsers will be commodities? “I hope not, for my sake!” Sears says, “But I do think there’s going to be a lot of them. I look at it just like building a website. You have your data source and you’re just trying to parse and present your data in a meaningful way, just like you would on the web.”Layar, Wikitude, Yelp, PresseLite, AcrossAir – the Augmented Reality market is heating up fast and there’s not even official support for AR on the iPhone yet. (Android welcomes AR apps already.) Sears guesses that once that support comes, as many as half a dozen other competitors may pop up. It may be far more than that. Sears says he plans on building one-off white label implementations of RobotVision as his business model; Universities might want a version for campus locations, for example. What is Sears bringing to market product-wise to try to differentiate? User experience development is what he’s spending the majority of his time on right now. By using Bing Local search to glean location and business review data, RobotVision gets access to some key Bing features like aggregated reviews from CitySearch, Judy’s Book and Yelp. Bing looks at the reviews of restaurants and tells you how they stack up in aggregate for a business’ food, ambience, service and more. (That’s a feature we’ve seen at BooRah, though that service doesn’t have access to Yelp reviews.) Related Posts 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… If you’ve seen the new Yelp iPhone AR (it just launched yesterday), you probably noticed that all the pushpin markers for sites in the direction you’re facing are lined up top to bottom. RobotVision layers its presentation based on proximity and then paginates the windows that appear when you click on a marker, so it’s easy to browse nearby spots.RobotVision’s options to view local Tweets and Flickr photos bring more richness to the places you’re looking at.When you point your phone at the ground with RobotVision running, it switches to map mode and displays pushpin markers for all the nearby spots in that format. UX and ARThere are a lot of possible ways RobotVision could integrate the map and the AR camera view in this app. AR is hot, but a good AR app in the future will probably defer to other ways of displaying data when appropriate. AR should complement other ways of seeing the world around us, not be expected to replace maps, lists or the naked eye.These are the very early days of Augmented Reality apps, and current implementations are very simple. Even in their simplicity, though, there will be a lot of variance in the ways that different parts of a UI work together on each respective AR app.Putting geo-tagged data on top of a mobile phone’s camera viewer is not difficult. How an AR platform goes about collecting, displaying and interacting with those layers of data will probably make the difference in a crowded market. (For more on the UX of AR, see this long post by Joe Lamantia.)Problems With RobotVision and AR Apps in GeneralAR apps are at the mercy of the publishers of the data they display. RobotVision’s comprehension of its surroundings was pretty good in our tests, but not perfect. One restaurant we walked past didn’t show up when we pointed a phone at it – but its information did appear when we pointed away from the building and down the street. Sears says that GPS on mobiles still takes some time to calibrate each time you turn it on. It’s often not that accurate anyway, and many places are mapped to their nearest street intersection instead of their exact location. Likewise, if a phone doesn’t have a clear line of sight to a GPS satellite, then further inaccuracies can occur. Inaccuracies in location-based Augmented Reality mean that you could be shown things that aren’t really there and miss things that you ought to see.We suspect that just as GPS data providers historically didn’t want to make GPS data available in real-time until the killer turn-by-turn driving apps that required it arrived, so too could a new economy of GPS users seeking greater location accuracy for Augmented Reality help usher in a more accurate level of service.These are very early days for the world of commercially available Augmented Reality, but its utility and value are clear to many people. Bring on the competition and best software to win the hearts and handsets of users!Tim Sears expects to launch RobotVision next month. He’ll launch his AR browser at the same time that many other people launch theirs. marshall kirkpatrick 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#Augmented Reality#NYT#web 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

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Using Rooftop Solar to Meet the Energy Code

first_imgThis index has a reference of 100 for a home designed to meet the 2006 IECC. Lower numbers are better. A home that just meets the 2009 IECC, for example, would come in at an index of about 85 or 90. The 2012 IECC drops that into the 70s. If you make the house as efficient as possible by building a Passive House, you’ll get down to an index of about 30.The scale keeps going lower, however, and it’s possible to go all the way down to zero or even negative numbers. You get there by adding some on-site power production. Usually that means rooftop solar. Throw some photovoltaic (PV) modules on the roof, and the house now produces some of the energy it uses. That production is included in the ERI calculation, so without some kind of backstop, home builders could leave out all of the efficiency details — you know: insulation, air sealing, and little things like that.Fortunately, the 2015 IECC did include a backstop. Here’s section R406.2:R406.2 Mandatory requirements.Compliance with this section requires that the provisions identified in Sections R401 through R404 labeled as “mandatory” and Section R403.5.3 be met. The building thermal envelope shall be greater than or equal to levels of efficiency and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient in Table 402.1.1 or 402.1.3 of the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code.But this is in the 2015 IECC. And yes, that says the backstop is the 2009 IECC for building enclosure requirements. In climate zone 3, that would mean you could go back to R-13 walls instead of having to do either R-20 walls or R-13 cavity plus R-5 continuous. You could insulate ceilings to R-30 instead of R-38. You could put in windows with U-values of 0.5 instead of 0.3.I’ve included the tables showing the building enclosure requirements for both the 2009 and 2015 energy codes. (See Image #2 and Image #3, below.) You can see what the difference might be in your climate zone.There’s some serious relaxation of requirements in that statement.Yeah, but would builders do it?First of all, hitting the ERI numbers in the 2015 code isn’t easy. They vary from 51 to 55. which is significantly lower than the number achieved just by following the prescriptive path. So even with the relaxed enclosure requirements, why would builders pay more to hit that lower number?The answer is that they might not have to pay more. The big players in the rooftop solar industry install their products for no cost sometimes. I heard a presentation by Solar City last week, and they were telling the builders in the room about their free PV deal.So there’s your answer. As a builder, you’d get to put in less insulation and cheaper windows. Then you get a lower ERI by getting the solar company to come in and install their stuff for free. Builders are business people. They understand profit. Why wouldn’t they take that deal?Will this be fixed in the 2018 IECC?This issue became a big deal in Florida this year during their code hearings. According to an article on the Code Watcher website, some at the Florida Building Commission were suggesting that the ERI calculation should exclude on-site power production entirely. After many hours of hearings, however, they reached a compromise. Rather than disallow any use of solar for energy code compliance, they set a new backstop. They changed from using the 2009 IECC as the minimum requirements to the 2015 IECC.At the national level, the International Code Council (yes, I just said that) made some changes, too. First, they raised the ERI requirements for each climate zone. Those ERIs in the 2015 IECC ranged from 51 to 55. Now they’re 5 to 8 points higher. (Remember, a lower ERI is better, so this makes it easier to achieve.) The other thing that got changed was the backstop. Just as Florida did, the IECC will now require the minimum enclosure levels in the 2015 IECC.I’m fine with the relaxed ERI numbers. I thought the initial requirements were too low. The change in the backstop, though, is the really important one in my opinion.This isn’t the end of the process. After the recent meetings in Kansas City, the voting members will vote again on the final changes. Assuming the changes I’ve described here get approved, the 2018 ERI compliance path will be a more robust option. And it may even get used. Allison Bailes of Decatur, Georgia, is a speaker, writer, building science consultant, and the author of the Energy Vanguard Blog. Check out his in-depth course, Mastering Building Science at Heatspring Learning Institute, and follow him on Twitter at @EnergyVanguard. Supply and demand are two different things. When you think of an energy code, say the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), you probably think of demand, not supply. Conserving energy, after all, means reducing demand. It’s related to supply only indirectly.As a result, you might expect an energy conservation code to have requirements that affect only the demand side of the equation. With the 2015 IECC, however, that’s not true anymore.Relaxed building enclosure requirements with the ERI pathThe 2015 IECC introduced a new pathway to compliance: the Energy Rating Index (ERI). It’s defined in a way that the HERS Index is pretty much the same thing, so home energy raters can help builders get their homes to comply. But there’s an important new element introduced into the IECC with the ERI path. (For more information on the ERI path, and the use of a PV system to improve a home’s ERI score, see States are Amending, then Adopting, the 2015 IECC.) RELATED ARTICLESStates are Amending, then Adopting, the 2015 IECCThe 2015 IECC Recognizes Home Energy RatingsNew Energy Code Helps Inform Home BuyersHow Is a Home’s HERS Index Calculated?last_img read more

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Can Zynga Bounce Back With Online Gambling?

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Tags:#business#gaming#law#zynga A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts Even as virtual farms lose their luster, Zynga is looking to rebound in greener pastures – ones lined with real cash.Even as it suffers a spate of bad news related to its traditional social-gaming businesses, the company is now working on ways to throw its weight behind real-money gaming in the U.S. – in the hope of very real new revenue streams. Zynga’s Silver Lining PlaybookOn Monday, Zynga announced plans to close offices in New York, Texas and Baltimore. The Baltimore office will suffer about 30 layoffs, with the rest of the staff being farmed out to other Zynga HQs. The team in Baltimore was focused CityVille 2, a social game that the company axed earlier this month just five months after its launch.That’s a big come-down over the past year. In March 2012, Zynga shares were trading at a 52-week high of $15.91. They opened at $3.41 on Tuesday. Something has to change. The company may be synonymous with the advent of social gaming on Facebook – FarmVille, Mafia Wars, etc. – but its best hope now seems to shifting gears toward more lucrative real money games – assuming it can get legislators to go along.In a way, getting its hands dirty in gambling is a return to its roots. Zynga’s first game, Texas Hold’Em Poker (now known as Zynga Poker) launched way back in July 2007 – two full years before FarmVille started polluting our Facebook feeds. Now, Zynga hopes to benefit from the rivalry between revenue-starved states eager to legalize – and tax – online gambling. Online Gambling Legislation Fast-TrackedAfter signing a fast-tracked bill into law last week, Nevada is the first state in the nation to allow virtual gambling. New Jersey is right on Nevada’s heels, and Governor Chris Christie could sign a similar bill as soon as this week. The legality of online gambling in the U.S. has a confusing history – one typical of U.S. law trying to grapple with emerging online phenomena.The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which “prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments in connection with the participation of another person in a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet,” solidified online wagering’s illicit status back in 2006. So states like Nevada and New Jersey will still have to reconcile their state laws with federal regulatory agencies – a process that could delay big profits for Zynga and other companies hoping to get into online gambling. Is Zynga playing dead? An Uphill Battle RemainsAccording to The Wall Street Journal, Zynga may have to play the waiting game for another 18 months – and even then there’s no guarantee of a big pay-out: “The opportunities within Nevada are somewhat limited since its population is small, but bigger opportunities might emerge. State officials have discussed the possibility of forming compacts with other states considering legalizing poker to merge markets and create bigger groups of players, much as lotteries have done with large lottery draws such as Powerball. California is among the other states that have considered bills in their legislatures to legalize online poker.”Zynga Poker allows anyone over the age of 13 to play, but the company hasn’t released hard numbers on who exactly plays the game. With age and location narrowing the pool, there are some big questions about how many of Zynga’s existing players are ready to convert to real cash gamers.A Sea Of MishapsIn the meantime, Zynga has been hemorrhaging talent. Chief Game Designer Brian Reynolds, who worked at the Baltimore office, jumped ship last month.  Last October, Paul and David Bettner, co-founders of Words With Friends, left the company’s Austin studio. That’s a big deal because while the company has been quick to axe underperforming products, ad-ridden Scrabble-clone Words With Friends remains one of Zynga’s top properties. The company reported that in December 2012 alone, players spent 7.5 billion minutes shuffling around virtual tiles in the game, which launched four years ago. (See also ReadWrite DeathWatch: Zynga.)Still, the failure of games like CityVille 2 point to a flaw in Zynga’s casual-gaming formula. Zynga CEO Mark Pincus has admitted that the company’s sluggishness and lack of innovation has failed to keep users engaged with its cadre of social games. But rather than improve its recipe to make better games – or better clones of other, better games – Zynga seems to have its sights on the real deal. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Zynga Is Ready To GambleOpen any free Zynga game in the App Store and you’ll be assaulted with a shamelessly busy user interface. There are so many pop-over and click-through ads that getting rid of them is basically a hyperactive mini-game all its own. Zynga’s mobile and social games won’t win any design or innovation awards – rather, they have addiction woven into their fabric. Incessant notifications draw users back, pop-up prompts prod players to invite their entire social circles. Those techniques should translate well to actual gambling.So in spite of all the bad news and likely delays in legalized online gambling, Zynga’s shares have perked up lately. With 38 million players, Zynga already has the world’s largest free-to-play online poker site – it only needs legislators to open the gates and let the cash start pouring in. Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Zynga. taylor hatmakerlast_img read more

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