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America Picks Its President as it Faces Joblessness, Coronavirus and Anxiety

first_imgThat, rather than the pandemic’s economic toll, is more present in the minds of some Nebraska voters — along with, for Republicans, the creep of socialism, and for Democrats, improvements to health care.In the state’s Second Congressional District race in Omaha’s metropolitan area, the Democratic candidate, Kara Eastman, is being painted by her opponent as a radical socialist. Her Republican rival, Don Bacon, whom she has framed as heartless for not supporting Covid relief funds, had planned for an in-person election night hotel party, but switched it to a scaled-back event for staff and family as new coronavirus cases surged.Across the country, the virus outlook is bleak and getting bleaker. Infection numbers are trending upward in 41 states, and more than 20 states have set weekly case records in recent days. The nation has averaged more than 82,000 cases per day over the last week, the most yet. Deaths, which tend to lag cases, have climbed more slowly to about 800 daily, still well below the spring peak.- Advertisement – Much of the recent increase has been driven by explosive growth in the same Northern battleground states that could decide the presidential race.The situation is especially dire in Wisconsin and Iowa, which are third and fifth nationally in recent cases per capita. Ten of the country’s 17 metro areas with the highest rates of new cases over the past two weeks are in Wisconsin. More than 14,000 cases were announced in Iowa in the seven-day period ending Sunday, the most in any weeklong stretch of the pandemic. On top of economic and election worries, America is facing a pandemic with a growing number of victims; 9.3 million Americans have been infected.Nebraska, which splits its Electoral College votes and has been a focal point for Mr. Trump, has averaged more than 1,100 coronavirus cases per day over the last week, the most of any point in the pandemic.- Advertisement –center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

How Custom PC Gaming Builds Found a Fresh Audience in India During the Pandemic

first_imgIn 2016, Naman Gupta visited New Delhi’s Nehru Place Market to put together a custom gaming PC. What he found was a bunch of stores that were willing to handover lists of products to pick from, but couldn’t help him in figuring out what parts would work together best, or what alternatives to go for if the parts he wanted weren’t available. For gaming enthusiasts — a growing tribe in India, albeit still a niche — this wasn’t a new experience. But a frustrated Gupta took a step that many thought was strange — he decided to set up a store himself, from his own home.Dropping out of college in 2017, Gupta would watch YouTube videos to learn how to assemble PCs, and started a business selling these under the name Volted PC. Before long, he had his own outlet in Nehru Place, and was collaborating with YouTubers and organising events in universities.- Advertisement – naman gupta volted pc founder press photo naman_gupta_volted_pc_founder_press_photoNaman Gupta of Volted PC working on one of his rigsPhoto Credit: Volted PCCOVID-19 has been a win for people in the games industry games like Ludo King and Among Us have found great success in connecting people during the pandemic, and entertainment at home has gotten a boost — many people who stopped gaming once, got out of college and suddenly found themselves with more free time, and a lot more money than they did in college, and want to have some fun.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – With more people buying gaming hardware during the pandemic, businesses like Volted PC are seeing demand skyrocket. Volted PC typically shipped 40 to 50 systems per month, and that’s gone up to between 60 and 70 a month during the pandemic. Hyderabad-based MVP is another company in this space, and its numbers are up to 130-140 systems a month. Then there’s Delhi-based ANT-PC, which saw a 3X boost, and says it’s shipping between 300 and 500 systems per month.MVP co-founder Mohd. Ahmer was a project manager in Dubai who quit the daily grind of the corporate world in 2015. But in his hometown of Hyderabad, he said that the PC retail scene was even worse than Delhi’s.ahmer founder mvp press photo ahmer_founder_mvp_press_photoMVP co-founder Mohd. AhmerPhoto Credit: MVP“There was a lot of misinformation going around, with sellers primarily looking to push their stocked products rather than cater to the customers’ needs,” he said. “For instance, if a PC build needed a 550W power supply, stores would usually push an 800W unit saying ‘this is more powerful’ and the unsuspecting customer would go ahead and buy it.”Ahmer started by helping his friends set up their own gaming PCs, and then got his first order for a PC from a customer in Goa. He’d ship PCs from a spare room at home until opening a store in Hyderabad in 2017.ANT-PC is another company in the custom gaming rigs space but unlike Volted PC or MVP, this wasn’t the work of an unsatisfied customer who decided to make a difference. The people behind the company were already working on selling PC components and PC products, and this seemed like a logical next step.himanshu jain ant pc ceo press photo himanshu_jain_ant_pc_press_photoANT-PC CEO Himanshu JainPhoto Credit: ANT-PC“We realised that there was a dearth of premium PC-building outlets that went beyond pushing whatever they had in stock,” said Himanshu Jain, CEO of ANT-PC. “These builders wouldn’t put their systems through stress or burn tests. All they would do is build a PC, check if the display is working, and be done with it.”Why do people come to a builder when the parts are available online?For 21-year-old Anirudh Paheja, purchasing a custom-built gaming PC essentially meant getting his hands on a glass cabinet as seen on the streaming videos of his favourite YouTuber, Ninja. After browsing online and finding most builds expensive, Paheja and his friends headed over to Nehru Place – New Delhi’s go-to destination for PC parts. After some unfruitful experiences at regular PC stores, Paheja stumbled across Volted PC.Paheja immediately spotted the same cabinet he was hunting for, put on display alongside other equally attractive looking cabinets. “Other stores would only show me photos or YouTube videos of the cabinets and builds they offered. Whereas, at Volted PC, I saw the glass cabinet I wanted sitting right in front of me,” he said.As of May 2020, MVP has shipped nearly 4,500 units all over the country, enabling the company to move to a two-storey building, complete with dedicated testing labs and even a YouTube space for producing system building videos, to get the word out.Mumbai-based Ajay Arora, who purchased a system for his 15-year-old son this year during the lockdown said, “MVP shared detailed videos of the assembly process before shipping the system to us. When the package arrived, they also shared a video of how to remove the safety packaging from the system’s parts.”Volted PC’s gaming rigs range from around Rs. 48,000 for the cheapest build, to an average of around Rs. 1.43 lakh for the brand’s most-selling builds. For MVP, the cheapest builds start from around Rs. 35,000 and goes up to an average of Rs. 1.5 lakh for the most-selling ones. ANT-PC builds start from around Rs. 28,500 for the budget-friendly options and go up to around Rs. 1.25 lakh for the average, popular builds. This doesn’t include monitors, for which top-end options can go to another lakh.Checking the cost of the parts for Volted PC’s Rs. 1.43 lakh build, we found that it would run to over Rs. 1.6 lakhs. It appears that the brand is giving itself a tighter profit margin over the wholesale price, which means that customers would save both effort — and money.Chennai-based Parsu Ram, 36, purchased a PC from MVP last year for Rs. 7.5 lakhs. He wanted a custom cooling loop built into his system, that alone costs around Rs. 1.3 lakhs. “When I reached out to MVP, they did say that the specs I needed were a bit of an overkill and that I could get a good gaming PC for much less,” said Ram. “However, this was something I always wanted. So, I saved up enough money for some time and went ahead with the purchase.”So what does Ram do with his Rs. 7.5-lakh PC? “I mostly play games and at times tinker around with MLAI computing as a hobby,” said Ram. “It may not make much financial sense to others, but it’s like pursuing a dream for years and grabbing it when the opportunity arises.”A niche within a nicheMany of us stopped playing video games in school or college because there were more important things to do. But gamers have grown up, and the pandemic forced them to stay indoors. Thanks to companies such as Volted PC, MVP, or ANT-PC, they’re dipping their toes back into the hobby, but this is still a small (if growing) number of people, for now.As per a Canalys study published in June this year, shipments of desktops, notebooks, tablets, and workstations declined by 33.3 percent year on year in India during Q2 2020. The PC market is a small one, and gaming is an even smaller part of that.According to Rishi Alwani, co-founder of gaming focused The Mako Reactor, custom gaming PC building remains a “niche within a niche” market in the country. “Customers, at large, would still prefer to pick up a laptop than go into building a PC to suit their needs.”Volted’s Gupta remains hopeful that the scenario may change for the better in the near future. “A satisfied customer will always spread the right word and we hope that a demand for custom PCs will also slowly grow with that.”Will Xbox Series S, PS5 Digital Edition fail in India? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below. But, kitting out a gaming PC isn’t easy, and so, companies like Volted PC are also getting the benefit of increased interest in gaming, according to Gupta. “We wish to bring customisations to customers,” he said. Just like Volted PC, MVP and ANT-PC also share a similar enthusiasm in delivering the right product to the customer at the right price, with proper after-sales service to boot.Customers are willing to spend lakhs to get a computer that doesn’t just have the right high-end components, but also comes with the right amount of swag, such as bright lighting that changes according to what’s on the screen, glass cases to show off your premium peripherals and neat wire management, and exotic cooling systems to get the last ounce of performance out of all this hardware, he explained.If this sounds strange, it’s not all that different from other hobbies — a car enthusiast may spend several thousand just to get the right bug deflector for their SUV. A gaming enthusiast might spend the same on the perfect mechanical keyboard with backlighting. Sometimes, they’re even the same person.Volted PC, MVP, and ANT-PC: Meet the players- Advertisement –last_img read more

WhatsApp Disappearing Messages Feature Launched, Rollout to Be Completed in November

first_img– Advertisement – WhatsApp has officially announced that it will be introducing a new ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature through an update that rolls out globally this month. The details of the new feature, however, have been out since earlier this week after an FAQ page created by WhatsApp was noticed. The long-anticipated ephemeral messaging feature pioneered by Snapchat was first spotted last month through a WhatsApp beta version. It will allow users to enable an option on individual and group chats that deletes new messages after seven days.‘Disappearing Messages’ has started rolling out from today, and will be available across Android, iOS, and Linux-based KaiOS devices, along with WhatsApp Web and Desktop platforms, by the end of this month. WhatsApp had earlier this week detailed how to enable/ disable the new ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature on different devices and published FAQs on its usage on a support page.- Advertisement – Users receiving the messages can also still copy the text and take screenshots of the messages within seven days. Disappearing messages will also land in user backups but will be deleted after the user restores messages from it. Given that there are many ways to retain chats shared through disappearing messages, it seems more like an option to clear up conversations than a feature to share information that deletes automatically.Apart from Snapchat, Telegram, and now WhatsApp, other messaging apps to have similar functionality include Signal and also Facebook Messenger that now has a vanish mode.In 2020, will WhatsApp get the killer feature that every Indian is waiting for? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.- Advertisement –center_img The ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature on WhatsApp is also different from how it works on Telegram. While Telegram lets users decide the duration before the messages disappear in a chat, messages sent to a chat on WhatsApp will disappear after seven days. Snapchat, on the other hand, deletes Snaps after they’ve been opened, deletes unopened Snaps sent to a group chat in 24 hours, and all other unopened Snaps in 30 days.WhatsApp says that it’s starting with seven days because it seems like an appropriate window for its users to finish a particular conversation while giving them the peace of mind that the conversations aren’t permanent. “We’re starting with 7 days because we think it offers peace of mind that conversations aren’t permanent while remaining practical so you don’t forget what you were chatting about. The shopping list or store address you received a few days ago will be there while you need it, and then disappear after you don’t,” the company said in a statement.The ‘Disappearing Messages’ feature has to be enabled separately for each chat window — individual or group conversations — and can be accessed by clicking the name of the individual contact or the group on WhatsApp. When enabled, the new messages sent by a user will disappear for the selected contacts after seven days. However, the preview of disappearing messages might display in notifications until WhatsApp is opened on the receiving devices. Disappearing messages that are forwarded to a new chat window, which has the option turned off, won’t be removed either. And when a user replies to a disappearing message, the quoted text might also remain in the chat after seven days.- Advertisement –last_img read more

Houston Open: Sam Burns shades out Jason Day to retain lead as Dustin Johnson looms in behind | Golf News

first_imgThe Australian quickly recovered from that, though, with birdies at the third, fifth and eighth before making more forward progress at the 12th and 16th.He looked well placed to claim the overnight lead when he hit his second shot to 15 feet at the last but an aggressive birdie putt saw him race his ball six feet past the hole and he then missed the putt back as he dropped alongside Mexican Ortiz, whose 67 included four birdies and one bogey.Austria’s Sepp Straka is fourth on seven under following a 66, one ahead of Johnson, whose round provided further evidence that he is shaking off the rust in his first tournament since the US Open. Get a NOW TV Sky Sports Pass Catch your favourite sport with a NOW TV Sky Sports Day Pass – one-off payment just £9.99 Get the best prices and book a round at one of 1,700 courses across the UK & Ireland Burns, 24, who is chasing his first PGA Tour victory, made a faltering start with bogeys at the second and third but he was firmly back on track when he followed a birdie at the fourth by chipping in from 87 feet for an eagle at the par-five eighth.The American failed to build on that as he bogeyed the ninth and 11th but a strong closing stretch saw him birdie the 13th, 14th and 16th before he parred the 18th after a fine up-and-down from off the front of the green.Day, 32, whose last victory was in May 2018, started the day two behind Burns and also made an early slip when he bogeyed the second. Dustin Johnson is warming up nicely for The Masters next week after two solid rounds in Houston Dustin Johnson is warming up nicely for The Masters next week after two solid rounds in Houston

Fears grow for British man detained in Pakistan-administered Kashmir

first_img– Advertisement – Mainstream political leaders, and many ordinary people in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, are supportive of the Pakistani state, which has been accused by India of backing separatist militants. However, voices in Pakistani-administered Kashmir calling for complete independence, as opposed to joining with Pakistan, have been deliberately stifled. The region’s constitution forbids any activities deemed “prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the State’s accession to Pakistan”. Ms Rajput told the BBC the detention of her husband shows the “hypocrisy” of Pakistan’s position. last_img read more

Salvage of Chiron flu vaccine unlikely

first_imgOct 9, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – Lester Crawford, acting director of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), appearing before the House Committee on Government Reform yesterday, said he was pessimistic about the possiblility that any of the 48 million doses of influenza vaccine expected in the United States from Chiron Corp. can be salvaged for use this flu season, according to new service reports. FDA experts remain in England this weekend to make the final determination, with visits planned to the Liverpool plant whose manufacturing license was revoked earlier in the week, effectively cancelling half the US’s supply.Several lots of Chiron’s vaccine, Fluvirin, were found to be contaminated, leading to suspension of Chiron’s manufacturing license by Britain’s Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). It came out this week that the organism implicated in the contamination is Serratia, a bacterium that lives in water, soil, plants, and animals and is not dangerous if encountered on environmental surfaces.When Serratia is harbored in medical equipment, however, it can cause illness and has been documented in numerous outbreaks (see link below for example of bronchoscope contamination). In commenting on the Chiron situation, Dr. Robert Belshe, director of the division of infectious diseases and immunology at St. Louis University, conjectured that it may have come from bottles, vials, or rubber stoppers, according to a Wall Street Journal story.Aventis Pasteur, the other large supplier of inactived flu vaccine for the United States, has said it will be able to supply 55.4 million doses of its Fluzone, according to an Associated Press story. This is somewhat more than it had originally commited to, but doses beyond that cannot be made in time for this year’s flu season.MedImmune, makers of FluMist, an inhalable form of flu vaccine, was asked by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to provide more than the 1.5 million doses promised. The company has said it can provide nearly 1 million extra doses by late November, according to the Associated Press. The doses will come from already-produced frozen bulk vaccine.FluMist is FDA-approved for use only in people aged 5 to 49, which is the group least in need of vaccination. Four million doses were produced for the 2003-2004 flu season but much of that supply went unused, partly because of its higher cost in comparison with injected vaccines. MedImmune has cut the cost of FluMist this year and is also working on a new formulation it expects to be available in 2007.Public health officials are working quickly to track down the doses of vaccine that are already in the hands of distributors and providers to ascertain how the unexpectedly limited supply can best be made available to the populations most in need of vaccinations (see link below to interim guidelines).See also:2003 New England Journal of Medicine article on Serratia contamination of brochoscopes [Abstract]CDC interim recommendations for flu vaccinehttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5339a6.htmlast_img read more

OSHA offers guide to stockpiling masks, respirators

first_img The draft guidance describes the capabilities and limitations of each type of protection and lists a range of respirator options, including pros and cons for each type. For example, OSHA advises employers who plan on supplying employees with respiratory protection throughout a pandemic to consider reusable respirators. Ideally, employees’ exposure risk should be estimated as part of a workplace pandemic flu plan, OHSA recommends. Employers also should estimate the number of employees who fall into each risk level. The proposed guidance lists stockpiling estimates for individual employees in a range of medium- to high-risk jobs, listing numbers of masks or respirators by work shift and a theoretical pandemic duration (about 120 work days). For example, a retail-store employee might need two masks per shift and 240 for the duration of a pandemic, whereas a nurse in an outpatient clinic might need four N95 respirators per shift and 480 to cover the whole pandemic. The proposed stockpiling recommendations use the same four-level workplace risk pyramid that appears in the broader pandemic planning recommendations. For example, healthcare employees who perform aerosol-generating procedures would be classified as having a “very high” risk, while an office employee who has little contact with the public would fall into the “lower exposure” risk category. (OSHA does not recommend masks and respirators for lower-exposure work environments.) OSHA includes rough cost estimates for each type of equipment, which range from up to 20 cents per mask to as much as $1,200 for a powered air-purifying respirator. For healthcare workers who have a very high exposure risk, OSHA recommends that in setting stockpiling goals, employers consider the number of daily aerosol-generating procedures each employee might assist with. In February 2007, the DOL and the Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance on preparing workplaces for an influenza pandemic. The DOL, in its report yesterday, said it would publish a final version of its stockpiling guidance as an appendix to the earlier recommendations. Request for comments instructions and link Receiving a pandemic vaccine would not modify an employee’s need for a mask or respirator. Community mitigation efforts would reduce illness rates in communities to about 15%. Finally, OSHA advises healthcare employers to factor masks for patients with flu-like illnesses into stockpiling plans to contain the virus and protect employees. The document, issued by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), offers tips on estimating the needed quantity and resulting costs of the equipment on the basis of employees’ exposure risks. The DOL said it is seeking public comment on the proposed guidance. Instructions for submitting comments appeared in the Federal Register on May 9; the deadline is July 8, 2008. May 14, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – The US Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday released proposed guidance on stockpiling respirators and facemasks in the workplace, which encourages employers to stockpile the items because of the likelihood that they will run short during an influenza pandemic. The equipment will be used only during local pandemic waves and during work tasks that might expose employees to people who might be ill. Surgical face masks protect wearers from hazards such as splashes of large droplets of blood or bodily fluids and also trap large respiratory droplets expelled by the wearer, the OSHA document notes. They are inexpensive and typically fit fairly loosely. In contrast, respirators are thicker masks that are designed to fit tightly to the face and block small airborne particles. They must be specially fitted for the wearer. Recognizing that uncertainty about the pandemic severity is a challenge for pandemic planners, OSHA recommends using a few assumptions to ease the setting of stockpiling goals: OSHA’s proposed guidance on workplace stockpiling of respirators and facemasks See also: Feb 8, 2007, CIDRAP News story “New OSHA guidance targets pandemic flu”last_img read more

US antiterrorism rules restrict vaccine exports

first_imgOct 17, 2008 (CIDRAP News) – A recent Associated Press (AP) report revealed that, in the name of preventing biological attacks, the United States has rules barring the exportation of vaccines for avian influenza, smallpox, yellow fever, and many other pathogens to five countries classified as sponsors of terrorism.Under Department of Commerce rules, vaccines for a long list of viruses, bacteria, and biological toxins cannot be exported to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria unless they obtain a special export license, which can take weeks.Pandemic flu vaccines are not restricted under the rules. But the Department of Commerce confirmed that—as reported by the AP—Cuba, Iran, and Sudan are subject to a ban on pandemic flu vaccines as part of general US trade embargoes covering nearly all products. Those embargoes are based on “broader foreign policy reasons,” said Kevin Kurland, a spokesman for the department’s Bureau of Industry and Security.The list of pathogens subject to the rules includes many viruses, some of which are little known and some of which there is no vaccine for. Examples, besides those mentioned, are the viruses that cause dengue fever, Ebola fever, Marburg fever, Rift Valley fever, and monkeypox. A list of animal pathogens covered by the restrictions includes highly pathogenic avian flu viruses.Bacterial pathogens on the restricted list include anthrax and the microbes that cause tularemia and plague. Not on the list are the causes of common vaccine-preventable diseases, such as measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, and seasonal influenza.It can take up to 40 days for a country to obtain an export license for a restricted product, Kurland told CIDRAP News. But he said humanitarian needs are considered, and licenses can be granted much faster in emergencies.Rules go back to 1990sThe AP report said the restrictions were quietly established in the mid 1990s and were strengthened after the Sep 11, 2001, attacks and subsequent anthrax mailings. Officials from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were not even aware of the regulations until the AP asked about them, the story said.Disease and bioterrorism experts say there is little reason to think that exporting the vaccines would increase the risk of biological attacks, but a Commerce Department official quoted in the AP story defended them.”Legitimate public health and scientific research is not adversely affected by these controls,” Assistant Commerce Secretary Christopher Wall told the AP.Concerning avian flu vaccines for poultry in particular, Wall declined to explain what kind of threat they pose, but said there are valid reasons for taking steps to ensure they “do not fall into the wrong hands,” according to the story.In response to questions from CIDRAP News, Bill Hall, an HHS spokesman in Washington, DC, said HHS is not usually consulted about trade sanctions, even when they involve medical products. “The United States government currently requires a license for the export from the US of a wide range of goods, products, and services to Cuba, Iran, and Sudan as part of its overall foreign policy,” Hall commented by e-mail.”Although these licensing requirements cover exports of medical products such as human influenza vaccine, HHS is not routinely consulted on the foreign policy decisions to impose sanctions on exports of U.S. goods to state sponsors of terrorism, even including medical products such as vaccines.”In the meantime, HHS is working closely with the Department of Commerce and other government agencies to determine the most effective and humane actions the US government could take to help protect global public health, regardless of the nation or nations involved.”Vaccines into weapons?Scientists quoted in the AP report said the idea that vaccines could be used to make biological weapons makes little sense. Vaccines typically contain inactivated viruses or bacteria or pieces of a virus or bacterium, though some vaccines use live but weakened microbes. Smallpox vaccine contains live vaccinia virus, a less dangerous relative of the smallpox virus.Referring to avian flu vaccines, Ian Ramshaw, an immunology and biosecurity expert at Australian National University in Canberra, told the AP, “I can think of no scientific reason how a terrorist organization could use such a vaccine for malicious intent. I personally think it’s a rather silly attitude and the U.S. is probably going overboard as it has in the past with many of its bioterrorism initiatives.”Infectious disease expert Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH, said he doesn’t see the logic behind the restrictions either. He is director of the University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, which publishes CIDRAP News.”There really isn’t any reason that using the vaccine to create the agent would be a concern,” he said. “The only potential implication is if you had individuals working on [weaponizing] the agent, by vaccinating them you could protect them so they could work on it.”He observed that the idea of weaponizing the H5N1 avian flu virus, for example, is not a concern, since the virus does not easily infect humans or spread easily from person to person. The virus could be used as a weapon against poultry, “but that’s not about the vaccine,” he said. “So I don’t understand the logic about this at all.””Anywhere in the world you can reduce the potential for these diseases, we should do that,” Osterholm said.Kurland said countries subject to the restrictions can get export licenses fairly quickly in emergencies.”By executive order, the process for reviewing licenses can take up to 40 days, although this can be expedited in emergency situations,” he said via e-mail. “Humanitarian issues are considered in license applications. During recent hurricane relief efforts in Cuba, for example, license applications for such humanitarian efforts were processed in 4 days or less.”See also: Commerce Department regulations supplement listing pathogens whose vaccines are subject to export restrictions for countries classified as sponsors of terrorism (see pages 57-60, 70)http://www.access.gpo.gov/bis/ear/pdf/ccl1.pdflast_img read more

The County of Istria has started drafting the Operational Plan for the Development of Cyclotourism

first_imgThe Administrative Department for Tourism of the County of Istria has been approved a grant from the Ministry of Tourism from the Tourism Development Fund in 2017 for the project Operational Plan for the Development of Cyclotourism in the County of Istria. The total value of the project is HRK 73.750,00, and the planned start of development is in August 2018. Based on the conducted public procurement, the Institute of Agriculture and Tourism from Poreč was selected as the developer of the operational plan.The operational plan for the development of cycling tourism in the County of Istria will consist of several basic elements: introduction; analysis of the current state of cycling tourism in the county; SWOT analysis; vision and goals of cyclotourism development; standards for the development of cycling tourism infrastructure and cycling tourism offer; development projects with operational development plans (infrastructure, legislation, education, cycling offer, information system and marketing).“The operational plan for the development of cycling tourism is being prepared for the period from 2019 to 2025, and the main goal is to obtain a complete document on the basis of which the cycling tourism of Istria County should be developed, which is also one of the guidelines of the operational product development strategy. tourism in Istria until 2025. ” said the head of the Administrative Department for Tourism Nada Prodan Mraković.During August, as agreed in the Administrative Department for Tourism of the Istrian County, activities related to the development of the Operational Plan for the development of cycling tourism in the Istrian County will begin. The holder of the plan and activities is the Institute of Agriculture and Tourism from Poreč, and the coordinator of the activities is dr. Sc. Kristina Brščić. Over the next few months, the current situation regarding plans, projects, legislation and other aspects that affect the development of this specific tourism product will be analyzed.The aim is to determine the advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and limitations on the basis of which the vision and goals of further development of cycling tourism in the County of Istria will be defined. In connection with the above, the Institute in cooperation with the Administrative Department for Tourism IZ from IRTA – Istra bike department, regional and local governments, tourist boards and other stakeholders will request information and suggestions and proposals for new projects that will be included in the Operational Plan for Cyclotourism counties. “Since the bike product in Istria began to develop in the late XNUMXs, the operational plan for the development of cycling tourism will unite all the existing cycling infrastructure of the destination, facilities, services and supply and demand. The beginning of the systematic development of the bicycle product marked the conclusion of an agreement between the public and private sectors, ie between the County of Istria, the Tourist Board of the County of Istria, the Istrian Development Tourist Agency and all major hoteliers. points out the head Nada Prodan Mraković.According to the analysis of the County Department of Tourism, based on the TOMAS 2014 survey and available data on the number and profile of guests and accommodation used, the effect of guests coming to Istria for cycling or cycling while here is up to 50 million euros. Today, these figures are probably much higher as new TOMAS research indicates a large increase in active tourism. “Since cycling is an important tourist product that attracts an increasing number of visitors and tourists to the Istrian County, we want, by involving as many stakeholders, to plan the development of this segment of tourism, and thus influence sustainable product development, satisfaction of tourists and locals, and raise the level of road safety ” concluded Nada Prodan Mraković.And then someone will ask why Istria is the leader of our tourism, nothing is accidental. And when you are already there, take a look at the offer offered to cyclists in Istria www.istria-bike.comRELATED NEWS:ISTRIA BED & BIKE BOARDS AWARDED TO HOSTS IN FAMILY ACCOMMODATIONTHE FIRST BRANDED E-BIKE STATION PRESENTED IN ISTRIACENTRAL ISTRIA TOURIST BOARDS MAKE JOINT BICYCLE MAPSlast_img read more

Video as a powerful tool in promotion: Watch the phenomenal announcement video of the 53rd Vinkovci Autumns

first_imgDirector: Marko ZeljkovićCameramen: Marko Zeljković, Ivica Vranjić, Ivan Jajčević and Igor Ivanović.Audio background: Pure Magic by Zac Nelson (Discovery) – Licensed via Artlist.ioProduction: Six Nine Studio”Come and have us under the lamp in Vinkovci! At the 53rd Vinkovci Autumn”- invite the organizers, which will be held from 7 to 16 September 2018. See the entire program of events within the 53rd Vinkovci Autumns at official website This year’s Vinkovci Autumns are being held for the 53rd time, from September 07 to 16, 2018.The Vinkovci Autumn event has been successfully preserving and nurturing Croatian traditional culture and heritage for 53 years, and this prestigious and well-known folklore, tourist, economic and cultural event attracts around 150 visitors every year.Quality video as a powerful tool in promotion At today’s press conference, the announcement video of the 53rd Vinkovci Autumns was shown. The video is different from the previous ones, when the staff always followed everything that the event offers in the Slavonian style, and it is short, clear and very powerful. So powerful that I personally shivered when I looked at him.In today’s digital world where everything is online, as well as on social media, quality and professional photos as well as videos are imperative. Unfortunately, we can still see various photos or videos taken with a mobile phone or a bad production, which is certainly not in line with today’s weather and trends. Yes, quality production costs money, but investing in marketing, branding and quality production is not a cost, but an investment.As every picture and video must tell a story and encourage desire and action, so this video plays on emotions and ultimately invites everyone to experience the Vinkovci Autumns in a simple, efficient and powerful way. However, how it is about my Vinkovci and how I participated in the organization of Vinkovci Autumns for years, I may be subjective, judge for yourself, but one thing is for sure – video proves once again that quality video is a powerful tool in promotion.VIDEO: 53. Vinkovci autumn announcement videolast_img read more

Vinkovci Autumns have proudly preserved and nurtured Croatian traditional culture and heritage for 53 years

first_imgThe Vinkovci Autumn event has been successfully preserving and nurturing Croatian traditional culture and heritage for 53 years, and this year from September 07 to 16 they will bring a number of newspapers that will enrich this prestigious and well-known folklore, tourist, economic and cultural event and attract more of 120 thousand visitors.A Handful of Truth ”is the theme of the 53rd Vinkovci Autumns, and at the opening, visitors will witness seven truths that thematize the problems and life situations of Šokac and Šokice from the end of the 19th century. Inspired by the works of Mara Šverl Gamiršek, this musical-scenic performance for which the screenplay is signed by Ana Cvenić, will present a wide range of topics – from folk beliefs, relationships in the family and towards foreigners. The grand opening is scheduled for Friday, September 14, and the event continues with the National Festival of Croatian Original Folklore, on September 15 and 16, and closes with a ceremonial parade and the biggest shock circle on Sunday, September 16. Lovers of Slavonian traditional culture and folklore, whether original or choreographed, can enjoy it from September 7 to 12 during the County Folklore Festival, and for the youngest, on September 8 and 9, Children’s Vinkovci Autumns are held.62 children’s groups and 76 folklore societies, 30 carriages, 20 riders will perform at the ParadeThe opening ceremony, the National Folklore Festival and the Parade of participants of the 53rd Vinkovci Autumns will be broadcast live by Croatian Radio and Television, and 62 children’s groups and 76 folklore societies, 30 teams, 20 riders, a total of over 4.5 thousand participants will perform at the parade.“During the Folklore Evenings this year, 50 societies from Vukovar-Srijem County will present themselves. On Saturday, we have the Inter-County Festival of Children’s Groups, where 12 children’s gatherings will perform, and the traditional Parade, which talks about how much we take care of the children’s part of Vinkovci Autumns because they are the future of the event. 62 children’s groups will perform at the Parade, which is the largest number of gathered children’s groups ever. We have the opening ceremony live, on September 14 at 20:05 p.m., with the preparation of which we expect the audience to be satisfied. On Saturday, there is the State Festival of Croatian Original Folklore, where 13 groups will present themselves. The program will also be recorded by HRT, and it will be shown with a delay in two 60-minute shows. The most beautiful part, the ceremonial parade and show of horse-drawn carriages is on Sunday, September 16, when we have 4.5 thousand participants in the streets of Vinkovci. This year there will be 76 folklore societies, 30 carriages, 20 riders, predecessors and everything that gives beauty to the event”, Said the secretary of ZAKUD Stjepan Đurković.Among other events on Vinkovci Autumn Square, it is necessary to highlight the 10th International Hip Hop Festival called “Hip-Hop on Orion”, September 8 and the traditional fashion show prepared for citizens on September 10 by the Loreen Model Association. Due to great interest, this year part of the offer will be exhibited in houses in the Pedestrian Zone, and for the second year in a row, the Wine City will open its doors to guests in Vinkovci, from 12 to 16 September.”Vinkovci Autumn – 10 days, 24 hours of fun, 20 concerts and almost 7.5 thousand participants. We expect 120.000 visitors, which actually speaks the most about our event. I hope that everyone at the event will find something for themselves in the content we have prepared. The OFF program is also rich, and we have been working on it a bit more in recent years. This year, we will invest additional efforts in arranging the city park. The wine town is limited to 5 days due to the harvest, unlike last year, but I believe that everyone will enjoy the program that takes place in three different locations. We are also thinking about a different arrangement of Slavonski sokak, so I believe that visitors will find new content because every year we try to bring something new.”, Said the director of the media house Novosti, Mirjam Jukić.See more about the program and all activities at www.vinkovackejeseni.hrIn the meantime, there is no need to worry about it. ”RELATED NEWS:VIDEO AS A POWERFUL TOOL IN PROMOTION: WATCH THE PHENOMENAL ANNOUNCED VIDEO OF THE 53rd VINKOVAC AUTUMN,See more about the program and all activities at www.vinkovackejeseni.hrIn the meantime, there is no need to worry about it. ”RELATED NEWS:VIDEO AS A POWERFUL TOOL IN PROMOTION: WATCH THE PHENOMENAL ANNOUNCED VIDEO OF THE 53rd VINKOVAC AUTUMNlast_img read more

Air France introduces direct flights Paris – Split in the summer season and increases the number of flights to Dubrovnik

first_imgThe Air France and KLM Group has decided, after the introduction of direct KLM flights to Split 2016 and Air France to Dubrovnik 2018, to introduce a new Air Franc route: Paris – Split during July and August.  Departures for Split from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for the summer season 2019. Departures for Dubrovnik from Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport Air France introduced two direct flights to Dubrovnik in 2018, but decided to increase the number of weekly flights (from 2 to 5) in the period from April to September 2019 to Dubrovnik and add flights on weekends during the summer season. At the same time, Air France will increase the number of flights to Dubrovnik from April to September and introduce flights on weekends, which means that it will connect Dubrovnik with Priza five times a week.  last_img read more

Hotel Villa Dubrovnik has been awarded the Green Globe environmental certificate

first_imgSource / photo: Hotel Villa Dubrovnik The Croatian boutique hotel Villi Dubrovnik, which is owned by the Doğuş Group, has been awarded the Green Globe Environmental Certificate for improving environmental practices. It is an internationally recognized certificate that today has over 500 members in more than 100 countries around the world, and is awarded to companies that use technological innovations to effectively manage energy consumption and ensure the least possible impact on the environment. The Green Globe includes a structured assessment of business sustainability performance, includes 44 main criteria supported by more than 380 compliance indicators, and the entire standard is reviewed and updated twice a calendar year. “Efficient energy management is in line with the business vision of Villa Dubrovnik and we are continuously focused on the application of best practices and respect for the principles of energy efficiency. The Green Globe certificate is another confirmation that we operate according to environmentally sustainable principles, and we will continue on the same path in the future. We are truly proud because the motive is to continue to provide our guests with the highest level of quality accommodation and services”, Said Mirna Stražičić Lončar, director of the Villa Dubrovnik hotel. center_img Guided by internal environmental policies, Villa Dubrovnik has introduced a number of practices to conserve energy and reduce negative environmental impact, such as continuous evaluation and reduced use of water, electricity, paper and other resources, as well as encouraging the use of recycled materials and primary use of chemical products. which do not harm the environment. In addition, Villa Dubrovnik is focused on promoting and developing a culture of environmental awareness of its guests, but also the local community in which it operates, through guidelines for desirable behavior towards the environment, but also through workshops and education for guests and the local community. Today, the Green Globe certification system includes hoteliers, airlines, car rental companies, tour operators, travel agencies and offices, and the Green Globe logo is recognized throughout the world as an international symbol for environmental protection and recognition, recognized by tourism industry and the general public. .last_img read more

Rabac / Poreč Open Air as a great example of how destinations should be developed

first_imgThe third summer of the festival with Rabac Open Air was full of great concerts, circus performances, interactive performances, top jazz, movies under the starry sky and many other events that flooded the streets of Rabac and Labin. During the 78 days of the festival, more than 18 performers changed at 19 different locations and through 200 different programs, and as many as 158 hours of music were played for over 30 visitors to the Rabac Open Air, which was held in Rabac for the third time this summer. Rabac / Poreč Open is an excellent example of quality content and an imperative for sustainable and quality development of the destination. Today in the modern age there is really no excuse to stagnate, everything is known and everything is available. Investing in events is not a cost but an investment If we want to have a good attendance and a good story, we must invest, ie invest money in quality content. Without content there is no story, no visitors and ultimately no interest. The goal is to offer quality products and services that visitors are willing to pay and consume, and of course the story of the event as the main motive for coming. The most important thing is to complete the whole story, both to the visitors and to the partners who are inside the festival through catering and other facilities. The event must be a win-win-win for everyone, because if only one element is missing, everything falls into the water. Based on an excellent and successful concept, Poreč Open Air (this year Poreč Open Air was visited by more than 63.000 visitors through 68 days of the festival, and at a total of 29 locations, a total of 231 performers realized 137 events), Valamar launched Rabac Open Air, exclusively because he had to offer his guests experiences and a quality program, not just the sun and the sea and great accommodation. These are guests who want and ask for more. They are looking for authentic, diverse and quality content in destinations. Valamar cannot wait for the destination to wake up, as it simply has to deliver value for the money it offers. And so the idea came to take their own destiny into their own hands. But instead of the destination pulling and leading the game, in Croatia we have the absurdity of hotel houses pulling and developing destinations. Of course, everyone in the destination must be part of one story, but still the development of the destination must be taken care of by the City and the Tourist Board as a kind of DMC company, and others follow them synergistically. Are we involved in development or is it just happening to us? Are we growing by inertia or are we still posting some strategic plan behind the whole story? Who deals with these processes? Do we measure the quality and reactions of tourists? We want growth, ok, and can that infrastructure grow and endure? What profile of tourists do we want at all and where do we see ourselves in 5,10 years? Do we even have enough parking spaces for all tourists? Etc.… a lot of questions, and that is why tourism is extremely complex because it is not one industry, but tourism connects vertically and horizontally all other industries that must function synergistically as a “Swiss watch”. And that is why the strategic and sustainable development of alpha and omega is in the development of tourism. “We are proud of the fact that more than 30.000 guests visited the festival and enjoyed 95 different entertainment events, which is almost twice as much content as the first festival edition in 2017. It is extremely important to offer visitors an additional experience of entertainment in the destination, so we at Valamar are happy to be able to realize a successful concept of a summer festival like this for the third year in a row. High attendance and interest of foreign guests and locals is the best confirmation of our work, and this time we want to announce that we have already begun preparations for the new edition of Rabac Open Air 2020. “, Pointed out Vlatka Ilečić Arklinić, Head of the Destination Management Department at Valamar Riviera. It is a skeleton and a great example that must be followed by all other destinations, because the motive for coming is not accommodation, but precisely the destination. And the concept of the sun and the sea has long since ceased to be sufficient or sustainable. This story opens up a lot of themes, but it also opens up a theme and values ​​for money. We are constantly revolving around narratives of how expensive we are. It is not a question of prices, but of value for money. Do we give that value for money at the destination? People will pay something “more expensive” if they have a positive sense of value for money and if we deliver a unique experience to them. In tourism, the service is the alpha and omega, and if we want to go one step further, we must not only meet the expectations of tourists, but delight them above the level of expectations. The level of quality and service in the accommodation, at least when it comes to hotel accommodation is taken for granted, according to the categorization. That is the standard, which of course we have to keep up. It is the destination and quality content that plays a key role here and makes a difference. The key word of the tourist mosaic is strategic development. He is behind the whole story Valamar Riviera, as well as local project partners, the City of Labin, the Tourist Board of Labin-Rabac, the Tourist Board of the Istrian County and other partners, and the production and organization of the whole story is done by MPG, a longtime partner of Valamar. It is a skeleton and a great example that must be followed by all other destinations, because the motive for coming is not accommodation, but precisely the destination. And the concept of the sun and the sea has long since ceased to be sufficient or sustainable. center_img Rabac Open Air (ROA) is an excellent quality and diverse content in the destination, exactly what we chronically lack in most of our destinations. Thus, various concerts, circus performances, animations, workshops, interactive performances, films under the starry sky and numerous other events that flooded the streets of Rabac and Labin were held as part of the ROA. It is important to emphasize that one did not go to one or a couple of strong and big concerts and that is it, but just the opposite. Hundreds of small quality programs have been realized, targeting various target groups or content done for each group of tourists. A smart decision because that is how the program was maintained in the period from June 15 to August 29, not a couple of days. To conclude, Rabac / Poreč Open Air is an excellent example and proof that quality content is imperative for destination development, and an excellent domestic example of how this is done in practice. How to develop a destination, here’s how! Synergy is needed, literally everyone in the destination, from small to large, because it is this tourist mosaic and all the subjects and participants make up the destination. The Rabac Open Air program again this year offered extremely rich content through four categories. Thus, visitors from the Special Events, Cinema and Theater, Street Music and Street Performance programs enjoyed entertainment in several locations from mid-June to the end of August. This is great proof that investing in events is not a cost but an investment. Excellent quality content was generated in the tourist destination, tourist consumption and the whole tourist story was completed. If we want to increase tourist consumption, have better quality guests, then it can certainly no longer offer only the sun and the sea. Quality, diverse and authentic content is imperative. In addition to the fact that through various facilities guests have something to do in the destination, in addition to swimming, we directly raise the overall satisfaction of tourists with the destination, as well as increase tourist spending, and thus the profile of guests. Not only in the financial context, but with targeted content, we target a specific target group that is attracted to the destination by active vacation, culture, entertainment, etc.… Of course, first and foremost we need to know which tourism product we build and for whom, our vision of development. strategic development of the destination, both through the offer, service, arrangement and contents. Photo: Valamar / Rabac Open Air Quality, diverse and authentic content is imperative The key word is strategic development A hotel or a hotel brand, no matter how strong, whether in financial, human resources or any other form, cannot develop a destination on its own. It simply does not make decisions outside its domain, and the destination is not a hotel, but the term destination refers to an entire space and all participants in it. The level of service can be phenomenal at the hotel, but if the destination is bad, everyone loses. As well as vice versa. “Attendance, which is growing from year to year, is proof that visitors really enjoy the attractive program and content of the festival. We have been working on the offer of the festival for a very long time and we are carefully designing what Rabac Open Air will offer to its guests. And in order for both the little ones and the big ones to be able to enjoy themselves equally, we have provided various events, such as concerts, theater performances, movie hits, socializing with favorite cartoon characters and much more. Rabac is one of the great examples of how a destination can develop through quality and fun content”, Said Ivana Biškupić, Project Manager of Rabac Open Air Festival from MPG. last_img read more