Shannon Wallace Crowned Miss Ocean City 2015-16

first_imgShannon Wallace, a 2015 graduate of Ocean City High School, was crowned Miss Ocean City on Aug. 8, 2015 on the Ocean City Music Pier. Credit: Kristine GaborShannon Wallace, a 2015 graduate of Ocean City High School bound for Pace University in the fall, was crowned Miss Ocean City 2015-16 at the annual pageant Saturday night at the Ocean City Music Pier.Wallace was the top choice among 12 contestants after competition in talent, swimsuit, poise and interview.The contestants were between the ages of 16 and 22, and each was an Ocean City High School student or graduate or the child of an Ocean City property owner.Wallace will represent Ocean City at events throughout the year. The contestants in the pageant competed for scholarship money.The pageant has been sponsored and produced by the Ocean City Exchange Club since 1979.The following are pre-recorded interviews with each candidate (in alphabetical order):Emily BatastiniJulia EricksonSadie FordBriarRose GinnSamantha HorowitzAmanda MeachonIsabella RoseMcKayla PerryMackenzie PearceAlexa RosenAbby WaidShannon WallaceCheck back for updates on other award winners from the pageant.last_img

Cambrian Mollusk: Does It Help Animal Evolution Story?

first_imgA soft-bodied mollusk named Odontogriphus known from the Burgess Shale, placed in the Middle Cambrian, has been described in more detail in Nature.1  If the Middle Cambrian is well after the Cambrian explosion, how can the authors claim this pushes the story of animal evolution far back into the Precambrian, before the explosion?  A reporter for the Globe and Mail learned this from David Rudkin, one of the four co-authors of the paper:This discovery pushes back the history of animal evolution tens of millions of years to 560 million years ago in Precambrian time (543 million years ago and earlier), according to the Royal Ontario Museum’s David Rudkin, co-author of the article published in today’s issue of the journal Nature.This interpretation is based on perceived similarities with Kimberella, an unusual flattened, frond-like fossil categorized as Ediacaran (see 08/19/2004), dated at 555 million years ago in the late Precambrian.  Yet a look at the original paper shows that the association is tenuous: “Odontogriphus and perhaps the Ediacaran form Kimberella possess distinctive characters that place them in the molluscs before the acquisition of a calcified dorsum,” it says.  It qualifies the association with prefaces like, “If the interpretation of Kimberella as an early mollusc-like organism with radula is correct,” and portrays affinities with other early and mid-Cambrian mollusk fossils as “ambiguous” and “highly contentious.”    A look at their timeline chart demonstrates the point.  There are more dashed lines and question marks than solid lines.  All the indisputable mollusk fossils are found in the early or mid Cambrian, side by side.  The evolutionary relationships are inferred by dashed lines extending into the Precambrian, with no fossils except for the puzzling Kimberella, which may have nothing to do with mollusks.    Moreover, the Globe and Mail article admits that very few fossils exist from the Precambrian, and that the Cambrian “marked the sudden appearance of complex multicellular macroscopic organisms” (see 04/23/2006).  It also states that “In the Precambrian era, before the so-called explosion, organisms were thought to be much simpler, but this study shows that was not the case.”  The paper describes these organisms as possessing a nervous system, a digestive system, reproductive system, excretory system, salivary glands and neat rows of teeth (radula).  Nor is Odontogriphus the new kid on the block.  The authors describe it as a holdover from “a handful of Cambrian fossils that probably represent surviving Neoproterozoic lineages” that survived whatever made the Ediacaran biota go extinct.    Such statements would seem to pose severe challenges to evolutionary theory, yet the news report speaks glowingly of how this fossil is helping evolutionists rather than hurting their case.  “This is a crucial interval in evolutionary history because it seems to represent a time in which a great deal happened,” Rudkin is quoted as saying.  He added that the specimen is “opening up new windows on evolution for us.”  The article ends with a call for us to learn the lessons of evolution:Mr. Rudkin said the fact that many mollusks have survived such a catastrophic extinction could shed light on the evolutionary path many animals may take.    “Those lessons we learn from the past — about where groups of organisms originated, when they become extinct, how they became extinct, or if they didn’t become extinct entirely, how they recovered from extinction — we use that kind of historical background to help us predict what might happen in modern extinction circumstances.  Maybe there’s a lesson in there for us.”1Caron et al., “A soft-bodied mollusc with radula from the Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale,” Nature 442, 159-163(13 July 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04894; Received 15 February 2006; Accepted 8 May 2006.The lesson is not to tell myths and call it science.  This paper registered multiple hits on our Baloney Detector.  Enough baloney, and you have a virtual big lie.    These extinct mollusks with all their complex parts have nothing to do with evolution.  If this is a window on evolution, it’s a new view of the wreckage.  How scientists can take evidence that falsifies their view and turn it into praise service for Charlie is another example of the shameful shenanigans of the shameless Darwin Party these days.  Their shifty shell game is a sham and should be shot down by those who respect real science sans spin.(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img

Singapore Airlines links capitals downunder

first_imgSINGAPORE Airlines is confident the affluent residents of Canberra and Wellington will vote with their feet and allow it to boost its historic new “Capital Express” service to Australia and New Zealand to daily flights.The airline launched the service on Tuesday with a late-night flight from Singapore waved away by diplomates from both countries during a ceremony at a Changi Airport departure gate.The four times weekly Boeing 777-200 service, sporting 38 angled lie flat business seats and 228 in economy, is the first new route to be launched to Australia by the Singaporean carrier for almost three decades. It also marks the first regularly scheduled international services to the Australian capital, the announcement of which was warmly welcomed by residents.Airline and airport executives are now hoping the residents of both capitals will convert that enthusiasm to patronage.“I think Wellington has always been a big contributor to revenue from New Zealand, it’s obviously a premium market, as is Canberra,’’ said Singapore Airlines senior vice president sales and marketing Campbell Wilson. “And they were really markets we couldn’t serve alone, either for physical reasons, in the case of Wellington, or economic reasons in the case of both.“So with the maturity of the market, with the development in Canberra airport, that really presented a perfect opportunity to serve two obvious ‘next’ destinations and hopefully in an economically viable way.’’Wilson said it had always been the airline’s vision to move to daily flights but it would wait to see how the economics turned out first.“It’s step by step,’’ he said. “I think we’d like to go daily but four times a week is a good start.’’The airline is launching the service at a time when competition on international routes is fierce and fares are at startling lows on European routes with rival Malaysia Airlines this week unveiling $1277 return fare from Sydney.But fuel prices were also low, Wilson said.“Clearly, competition and capacity coming into a market has a negative effect on yields but low yields have a positive effect on demand, they are stimulatory,’’ he said. “And in this particular case we are serving markets that are very, very poorly served at the moment so we feel there’s both inbound potential and certainly outbound demand that will appreciate the non-stop or more simple service that this will provide.“So we’re quite confident. Yes, it’s a risk to be a first mover but there are also advantages to being a first mover.’’The flight leaves Singapore at 11pm and arrives in Canberra about 8.35am before continuing on to Wellington to land about 3.05pm.  It heads back to Canberra at 8.15pm, arriving at 10.05pm, before leaving for Singapore at 11.30 pm to arrive at 5.50am the next day.The service marks a personal milestone for Canberra Airport chairman Terry Snow who has been trying to attract regular international services for years and worked with government and tourism agencies to make it happen.“We’ve been chipping away for 18 and half years,’’ Snow said at the departure gate. “We built a brand new terminal … and the crowning grace is, of course, international flights, particularly through Asia. That’s the big emphasis for Australia, building our relationship with Asia, and Singapore Airlines is the ideal partner to do that.“They have 101 destinations throughout the world, so it’s great gateway for Canberra, and it’s a stroke of genius by Singapore Airlines to put Wellington with us.’’Snow is confident Canberra residents will get behind the new service, noting that the “dysfunctional travel’’ they normally endure through Sydney provides a big incentive for people to fly direct from the Aussie capital.He believed Singapore would get enough passengers to warrant increasing its service and said he was looking forward to low-cost international carriers also flying in and boosting tourism.“This is something again where we can work in partnership with Wellington,’’ he said. “I think it’s great we’ve got this template to work from.’’Asked with the airport was talking to other carriers about international services after Singapore has broken the ice, Snow said: “We are speaking to a number of them but this process can take years, as you know.“They have an expression in Asia that the Chinese love to be second.’’Singapore will codeshare with alliance partner Virgin Australia on the Canberra-Singapore flights, giving Virgin customers another option to earn frequent flyer points and status credits on journeys to Europe. The airlines’ wide-ranging partnership gives Singapore 53 codeshare destinations in Australia and the South Pacific.Virgin will provide lounge facilities to Singapore’s Canberra passengers but the fact the lounge is not in the international section of the terminal means it will not be available to passengers transiting between Wellington read more

Twitter Launches Hovercraft…I Mean Hovercards

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts If you’ve ever spent any time trying to parse through your list of Twitter followers, than you know how time consuming it can be. “Who’s this guy?” you ask yourself, as you open up their profile in a new tab, just so you can read their little blurb about who they are and what they do and why you care.Twitter’s latest feature, Hovercards, will offer that contextual information without making you ever open up another tab.Twitter announced the feature last night, though for many unfortunate souls, such as myself, it has yet to go live. As with most Twitter features, this one will be rolled out over time. As you can see above, the hovercard is like a business card that will appear whenever you mouseover another user’s name or avatar. The Twitter announcement says that this will happen in “any timeline” so we can only hope that this means it will work when you’re trying to organize who you follow into lists. We asked Twitter but didn’t receive a response by press.The Twitter blog also notes that the hovercards will work for its new retweet format, showing you information about the person who is being retweeted. They will also let you direct message the person from within the hovercard. It seems like there could be other basic functionality too, from the looks of it, but its too early to tell.Of course, this feature only affects those of you that actually still visit instead of using an third-party app, but it surely seems like a great tool for looking through your followers and trying to create lists. Tags:#news#web Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… mike melansonlast_img

Security is the categorical imperative of the Internet of Things

first_imgWhy IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Tags:#Greenwave#Internet of Things#IoT#security Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… ReadWrite Sponsorscenter_img Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Related Posts If it isn’t secure, it shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. There, I said it.The litany of increasingly menacing cyber hacks, breaches and blockages of 2016 casts a dark shadow on our collective rush to innovate. While not responsible for every new attack, the rise of the IoT has demonstrably fueled a heightened level of destructive capability for threat actors, and poor security implementation is the root cause.There is no turning back the clock to a simpler time: IoT is the way of the future. But in manifesting that future, the focus has been on speed to market, cost minimization, and ease of use. All are admirable business goals, but as we’ve learned this past year, they’ve resulted in calamitous side effects when the basic and very elemental security processes get breezed over in the push to obtain them.Yes, consumers want inexpensive, uncomplicated, and novel applications — those “plug and play” remote-control security cameras and baby monitors, automated utilities, programmable conveniences. And yes, companies respond to that demand seeking profit in the face of real-world market pressures. This generates tremendous innovation.Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist and Technology Evangelist of Greenwave SystemsBut when it comes at the cost of being able to do our jobs or access our news outlets or rely on our power grids or our emergency services or the privacy of our health records or bank accounts…need I go on? It’s time for everyone to take a deep breath and reconsider our IoT priorities.There is an inherent tension between the notion of the Internet, which by design is made for sharing information far and wide, and IoT devices and solutions, which are increasingly “personal” and collect/use information that must be protected.Unfortunately, IoT device manufacturers have tended to tilt toward the “Internet” side without seriously addressing the consequences of not securing the actual “things” they are selling. However, reasonable methodologies for ensuring IoT device and system security follow the same engineering best practices espoused in other manufacturing disciplines. There is really no excuse for poor security implementation. It’s just been easier and cheaper to push responsibility on to the next participant in the IoT chain. Ultimately, the onus of properly securing services or devices has fallen to the end user, who is usually ill-equipped to handle the job.Too much focus on business-related risk?Further, when they do advocate for improved IoT security, companies too often dwell on business-related risk: “You don’t want to be the next security scandal in the headlines. You’ll lose customers and face a host of legal and financial penalties that could threaten your business.”That sort of thinking is actually quite shortsighted. IoT gives “the Internet hands and feet: the ability to directly affect the physical world,” according to cybersecurity guru Bruce Schneier.In a recent op-ed, he wrote: “What used to be attacks against data and information have become attacks against flesh, steel, and concrete … The possibilities are pretty literally endless. The Internet of Things will allow for attacks we can’t even imagine.”Considering the exploitable weaknesses already evident in recent examples of hackable cars and thermostats, it’s an understatement to say that the IoT ecosystem must take privacy and security more seriously. IoT manufacturers have a moral obligation to meet baseline security standards, enforce policies and procedures to prevent infiltration, provide means to detect inappropriate access to connected products, and minimize any potential damage caused by unauthorized access.As Schneier points out, an unsecured IoT device or series of devices or systems can cause irreparable physical harm to individuals, groups, nations, and the world itself. Does anyone really want to be the device maker that facilitates the first IoT-caused injury or death?Security is the categorical imperative of the IoT. Many companies have always understood this and have never abdicated their responsibilities. But that understanding needs to be made absolute. Security must be baked directly into every IoT solution; incorporated into the development process of all devices and systems and suppliers; normalized across every application.All stakeholders need to be on a common ground — and education is the first step. Efforts like those of the Internet of Things Consortium (IoTC) Privacy and Security Committee seek to establish and disseminate guidelines for minimum viable products and policies to strengthen privacy and security.There is no such thing as infallible security and there will always be people looking for read more

The Future of e-Commerce

first_imgFollow the Puck I’ve been a frontend developer for a decade, working on projects for companies like Macy’s Levi’s Jeans and Philips before I moved over to the marketing department where I’ve been ever since. In my spare time, I participate in professional taco eating competitions. John Demian Nobody can deny the fact that online stores have become a big part of our daily lives. I personally only do groceries shopping in traditional stores and shop online for everything else and by 2021 we will have an estimated of 2.1 billion users worldwide that do the same. With that kind of numbers, you might think there would be a lot of online stores. Well, you would be right! The competition is fierce and with so many competing companies and service provider will try and find every piece of advantage that they can muster. It’s about one of those advantages that I’m going to talk today.Ten years ago getting an online store up an running was far more difficult than it is today. You had to either build a platform from scratch or implement a self-hosted solution like Magento, X-cart or Prestashop. After that you’d have to manage the server, deleting logs, creating backups and always be on the lookout for the next surge of users that will get your site crashing in a matter of minutes.Things have changed a lot from those days and now you have better self-hosted platforms, better and bigger hosting, and you even get E-commerce SaaS providers like Shopify or ZentoShop that will get you started a lot faster.There are huge differences between going for a self-hosted store as opposed to getting a SaaS(software as a service). On one hand, with the self-hosted solutions, you will have the option edit and make it adapt to your product and service, an option that you wouldn’t really get otherwise. This is a huge part of why any technical person might lean towards a self-hosted store but it’s not only cakes and rainbows.As soon as you start looking into an e-commerce platform you’ll realize that it has a lot of dependencies and hosting requirements that you need to consider. And while the platform itself can be cheap, you’ll end up paying thousands of dollars in hosting and setup fees plus paying for an agency or developer to make the necessary updates and changes to your store. You’d think it stops here but it doesn’t. Over the course of a year, you’ll have to make several updates to both the plugins and the platform and you’ll want to make those updates as they are vital to your website’s security.With the e-commerce software as a service (SaaS) providers, things are easier. You get your shop up and running much faster and with almost no initial cost but you will have to pay a monthly fee, plugins are hard to come by and customization is hard but the biggest downside is the scaling issue. Most providers can up your monthly fee in exchange for support for more users but that will work up to a point and then you are on your own.Yet with all the options out there, most online shop owners still have difficulties getting their shop to the next level as without the proper infrastructure to support their shop, their shop will crumble at the slightest increase of traffic.It’s still not enough!The infrastructure behind the stores is one of the most important things to consider when launching your shop. Making sure you won’t have any downtimes is tricky and requires a lot of fidgeting on the server side to ensure your server can and will scale gracefully the next time you have yourself a flash sale and your site gets ‘assaulted’ by customers.Here’s the story of Zalora, one of the biggest fashion stores in Asia employing around 1500 people with a user base of over 20 million users.They have a cool mission statement: “fashion on demand, 24/7 at your doorstep”. Cool, right? But what exactly does that mean from a technical perspective?They have a number of digital outlets through their users can shop, from an online store to mobile apps for both iOS and Android. Those apps and the store need to be in constant communication both with themselves and with the warehouse to make sure all the orders are registered and the stock is updated. That will require a server that can handle thousands of concurrent requests, and if you ever had the unfortunate chance to be on a team that developed a service like that you’ll know that scaling is not easy nor cheap.Stage enter AWSZalora had a growth of about 100% year-to-year in the first 3 years and had to always chase down better hosting, faster loading time and deployments took forever so they decided to move their entire operation to the cloud.They wanted to build on the momentum that they had and having a store hosted on traditional servers would require an effort of biblical proportions.“We outgrew what the server world offered to us and it was the right time for us to switch over to a provider like AWS” — Karthik Subramanian – read more

10 days agoLindelof urging Man Utd teammate Pogba to stay

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Lindelof urging Man Utd teammate Pogba to stayby Paul Vegas10 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveVictor Lindelof has urged Manchester United teammate Paul Pogba to stay at the club.Pogba has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in January.”So, he has a contract with the club and is a very important player for us,” he said.”I am very happy to have him as a teammate.”Not only because he is a good person but also because he is a good footballer.”We have a very good relationship, a nice and kind guy who is very fun to hang out with.”There is nothing more to it. We live very close to each other too, so that makes things easier.” last_img

Starbucks chairman Howard Schultz stepping down

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Starbucks Corp. says Howard Schultz is stepping down as executive chairman later this month of the coffee chain he joined more than 30 years ago.Schultz, who oversaw the transformation of Starbucks into a global chain with more than 28,000 locations, had left the CEO job at the company last year to focus on innovation and social impact projects.The Seattle-based chain says Schultz will have the title of chairman emeritus as of June 26. It says he is writing a book about Starbucks’ social impact efforts.Starbucks said Myron E. “Mike” Ullman would be the new chairman of the board upon Schultz’s retirement.last_img

Dimple to file nomination from Kannauj LS seat

first_imgKannauj (Uttar Pradesh): Samajwadi Party leader and parliamentarian Dimple Yadav will file her nomination on Saturday from here. She is seeking re-election from the Kannauj parliamentary seat and is the Samajwadi Party-Bahujan Samaj Party candidate. Samajwadi Party (SP) chief and former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav will be accompanying his wife Dimple Yadav, who was first elected from Kannauj in 2012 in the bypolls. The Yadav couple accompanied by politician-actress Jaya Bachchan has already left for Kannauj from Lucknow. They were headed down the Expressway, SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said. There will be a roadshow around after they reach the party office here ahead of the filing of nominations, he added. Polling for the Kannauj Lok Sabha seat will be held in the fourth phase on April 29.last_img