Guru

first_img Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. GuruOn 25 Sep 2001 in Personnel Today This week’s guruSo does the CBI know something we don’t?Where would we be without the CBI? Well, apparently operating in a scaryemployee-led business environment – or so it claims anyway. The director-general of the CBI isn’t afraid to take credit for recentvictories for employers. In its latest internal magazine Business Voice, itseems as if the CBI battled single-handedly on the regulatory front. DigbyJones claims the CBI defeated proposals for a statutory right for thosereturning from maternity leave to work part-time if they wanted to. Does Digby know something we don’t? Remember the Work and Parents Task Forceis still examining the rights of parents with young kids to work part-time andis reporting to the Government later this year. While Guru accepts that part-time working will not be automatic, Digbyshouldn’t be counting his chickens yet. Staff could end up with a right torequest part-time working and the onus will be on employers to prove why theycan’t. Head of the RUC HR in our sights The vernacular used by journalists can sometimes get you into trouble. Gurunearly caused a security alert at the Royal Ulster Constabulary last weekthrough a total misunderstanding. Personnel Today has written recently aboutJoe Stewart, first civilian head of HR at the RUC. It is a big and sensitivejob and there are security risks attached. So when people start bombarding theRUC with communications about needing a clear headshot of their new head of HR,it starts getting nervous. Guru was clearly after a nice picture of Joe, and he’ll explain that to theauthorities when he feels confident enough to come out of hiding. Ian ensures no Blades runners In this sensitive anti-discriminatory age, Ian Anderson should beware. HisSheffield-based company, The Designers Republic, launched a recruitment driveto find two designers. As the bottom of the advert it stated, “E-mailedCVs not accepted. No personal callers. No Blades.” Blades, as we all know, are Sheffield Utd fans. Anderson – clearly aSheffield Wednesday fan – managed to insult at least half the town in one fellswoop with his joke. Guru is a Shrimper (everyone knows that one) with an irrational hatred ofWest Ham and Canvey Island fans, but he doesn’t let it affect his working day. It’s official, the chicken came firstMicrosoft’s clever director of people, profit and loyalty has finallyanswered an age-old question about the chicken and the egg.Steve Harvey has irrefutable evidence that the chicken came before the egg.The company has launched a service with lifestyle management company Ten UK toprovide some of Microsoft’s senior managers with support in balancing theirwork and home lives.Harvey’s first assignment for his lifestyle manager was to find a rare breedof chicken and provide his Oxfordshire farmhouse with six laying hens and acockerel. He was impressed when within 48 hours the chicken hunt wassuccessfully completed and he is now fortified with a freshly laid egg beforehe starts work.last_img read more

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Inside real estate’s surveillance state

first_imgThe Edge in Amsterdam is widely considered the smartest building in the world. Since the 15-story office property opened four years ago, its 28,000 sensors have collected roughly 55 terabytes of data on everything from the air’s CO2 levels to workers’ daily coffee orders. If that information were stored as music files, it would play continuously for more than 100 years.And the more info the glass-encased building collects, the smarter it gets. “We think of it as a computer with a roof on it,” Jan-Hein Lakeman, executive managing director of developer Edge Technologies’ U.S. operations, told The Real Deal. The 22-year-old firm, based in Amsterdam, recently co-developed a 325,000-square-foot office building in New Jersey as Unilever’s North American headquarters — which also uses a cloud-based computing system and workplace sensors. And this year, Edge Technologies plans to announce its first project in New York City. Lakeman said the company is now looking at sites for either a ground-up development or an existing building that it can “Edge-ify.”The real estate industry — which has a reputation for being slow to adopt new technologies — is in the early stages of a tech transformation fueled, in part, by consumers wanting to be more connected. From landlords to property managers, companies across the industry are spending billions to outfit offices, residential properties and retail with new smart gadgets. And the information those devices are collecting is getting stored and Ping-Ponged across the web at increasingly faster speeds. Meanwhile, the latest advancements in artificial intelligence allow buildings to process and “think” about the information they’ve collected and make operational adjustments.But as real estate players in New York and beyond look to roll out new technologies like facial scanning and geolocation tracking, it’s stoking new anxieties over science fiction levels of surveillance. On top of privacy concerns, smart buildings raise the risk of cyberhacks and data breaches, critics say.In this environment, lawmakers around the globe are pushing to impose tighter regulations. The European Union last year implemented the world’s strictest data privacy law, and similar legislation will go into effect in California next year. “The question is, where is that line between privacy and convenience: How much Big Brother am I afraid of?” said Brian Zrimsek, a principal at MRI Software, a real estate management and investment software provider.In New York, those anxieties were thrust into the public spotlight in March, when it was revealed that Brooklyn landlord Nelson Management plans to install facial recognition technology at several of its rent-stabilized buildings around the city. Tenants at Nelson’s Atlantic Plaza Towers complex in Brownsville filed an objection to the plan, citing a potential for violations of privacy and civil liberties.Nelson Management’s Atlantic Plaza TowersThe company’s president, Robert Nelson, said the technology will help the landlord fulfill one of its most important responsibilities: providing for the safety of his tenants. But he also acknowledged his tenants’ concerns.“I do understand the paranoia that exists,” he said. “Right now, it’s new. But I would bet money that in 10 years it is going to be so commonplace all over the world.”Tracking tenantsThe biggest surveillance case study is unfolding right on Manhattan’s Far West Side at Hudson Yards.The Related Companies’ mega-development collects so much data from residents, workers and tourists that it bills itself as the country’s first “quantified community.”The $25 billion megaproject’s office towers feature a biometric scanning technology called Pass that uses handprints to give tenants access. The 16-building site will also have a content management system including 30 kiosks with touch screens that can be used for things like booking a restaurant or buying tickets to the “Vessel.” But those kiosks will also be siphoning information from visitors, including their browser histories. In March, Related saw public blowback over the terms and conditions for its Vessel sculpture, which stated that all photos taken by visitors belonged to Related, giving the firm the right to license and sell them in perpetuity. The developer walked that policy back following the outcry.Jay Cross, who heads Related Hudson Yards, told TRD in March that he and his associates are still deciding how they’ll use all of the data they’re collecting. While Related has no plans to sell its user information for the time being, Cross signaled the company could do so in the future. “We can do … what we want with our data; we’re not averse to using it to help the city map the West Side,” he noted.Meanwhile, global brokerages like CBRE and JLL are investing heavily in new technologies that track and analyze what goes on inside office and retail spaces. CBRE, for example, buys geolocation data that other companies collect from mobile phones, and uses it to show retailers info about who visits particular locations. And co-working and co-living companies are “programming” properties for tenants, while a growing number of smart apartments are hitting the market.“For a very long time, people have been promised the ‘Minority Report’-esque level of technology in buildings,” said Chase Garbarino, CEO of the property tech firm HqO. Garbarino, whose startup makes an app that commercial tenants can use to book conference rooms and schedule visitor access, among other things, said the smart-building evolution comes down to how many devices feed information to the cloud. “A lot of these pieces are coming online now,” he added.All of the data from the Edge in Amsterdam, for example, is fed into a Microsoft cloud platform, which tracks the movements and routines of the people inside by using an app on their phones.By 2022, 4 billion devices linked to the “internet of things” (IoT) — everyday gadgets that are increasingly becoming connected online — are expected to be in homes worldwide, while more than 3 billion are expected to be in office buildings, according to the smart-building research firm Memoori.The Vessel at Hudson YardsThat disruption hasn’t come without its share of apprehension.In Canada, for example, mall owner Cadillac Fairview stopped using facial recognition scanners at two of its Calgary shopping centers last summer after Reddit users discovered the technology could approximate visitors’ ages and genders. Under Canadian privacy laws, visitors have the right to request that Cadillac Fairview stop collecting their data. But some argue that wasn’t really an option, since the mall owner hadn’t disclosed it was using the technology.The company, which is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, is currently under investigation by Canada’s privacy commissioner. Similarly, critics of Google affiliate Sidewalk Labs — Daniel Doctoroff’s smart-cities planning firm — launched a #BlockSidewalk campaign protesting its surveillance at the 12-acre development known as Quayside, which the company is helping to build in Toronto.Jathan Sadowski, a researcher at the University of Sydney who studies smart systems, said buildings, and even entire cities, are becoming more like Facebook and Google when it comes to pushing the boundaries about how much and what kind of personal information they have on people.“I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re witnessing the very beginnings of something that becomes the new normal,” Sadowski said. “The built environment having terms of service agreements.” WeWatchNothing encapsulates the We Company’s casual culture and lofty ideas about the power of data quite like the T-shirt its executive David Fano wears with the motto “bldgs = data” printed on it. Fano — who trademarked the logo at a real estate consulting firm he launched before joining WeWork in 2015 — is one of the biggest proponents of optimizing work and living spaces by quantifying and analyzing occupants’ routines. The info that WeWork compiles on its members includes their intellectual property such as trademarks and logos, companies and job titles, social media screen names, online calendars and passwords, relationships to emergency contacts and even their favorite foods and snacks. The company’s surveillance also includes requests made through Amazon Echo as well as communications on Slack and email.And as Manhattan’s largest private office tenant, the co-working giant is in a unique position to test its theories. “We’ve kind of got this big petri dish of people working in different ways with each other across the globe and different time zones,” Fano said during a conference at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School last spring. “It’s a physical social network, and people are always together all the time.”The SoftBank-backed company, which late last month filed preliminary paperwork for a long-anticipated IPO, does indeed resemble a social network — at least in terms of its privacy policy. The membership agreement for 110 Wall Street, a WeLive co-living property, states that it collects extensive information from its members through their devices and their use of the space. By signing it, members agree to allow WeLive to use and share their personal data. The We Company has built up a massive infrastructure to collect data on its more than 400,000 members. In February, for example, it acquired Euclid, a startup it describes as a “Google analytics for space” that gathers troves of info on people through their Wi-Fi connections. The company’s WeWork arm is also looking into using facial recognition and workplace sensors that track things like motion, temperature and Bluetooth check-ins.Bryan Murphy, CEO of the flex office space startup Breather, said he’s seeing some members leave WeWork due, in part, to concerns about the company’s privacy policies. Murphy acknowledged that Breather also collects a certain amount of data from its members, but said he has decided against using facial recognition and workplace sensors. And the company doesn’t share its data with outside parties, he emphasized.“That’s actually part of our value proposition,” Murphy said. A spokesperson for the We Company declined to comment for this story. But in the past, company executives have said the information is aggregated and anonymized — a common rebuttal to privacy concerns.The company also says the information helps improve its services. It does, however, reserve the right to share the data with other parties. While the identities of those parties are often masked in vague language, they generally include hired vendors and companies it partners with on transactions, including buying properties and other businesses. Stacy-Ann Elvy, a New York Law School professor who studies privacy and emerging technologies, said that kind of language comes with a big loophole.“The company has the control to determine who gets access, so I don’t think promising not to sell the data is bulletproof in terms of fully protecting consumers,” she noted. “If those provisions were as effective as [one would hope], we wouldn’t have all these instances of companies selling our data to different parties.” Decoding dataMany of the real estate players who collect and use this kind of data claim they’re looking only at big-picture trends, not at specific people. But many studies show that data can be decoded — or deanonymized, in surveillance-speak — and used to identify real people.In a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study published in December, researchers took an “anonymized” set of location stamps from mobile phone logs in Singapore and matched it up with riders’ location stamps from the city’s transit system. The researchers estimated they could positively identify 95 percent of the study’s participants with 11 weeks’ worth of data. “I was at Sentosa Island in Singapore two days ago, came to the Dubai airport yesterday, and am on Jumeirah Beach in Dubai today. It’s highly unlikely another person’s trajectory looks exactly the same,” MIT Prof. Carlo Ratti, one of the study’s authors, wrote. “In short, if someone has my anonymized credit card information, and perhaps my open location data from Twitter, they could then deanonymize my credit card data,” he added.Studies have also shown that most people don’t read privacy policies, and even if they did, it would take months to understand them. That’s not to mention that most people have no choice but to accept that reality — unless they want to forgo having a phone, email account, social media presence or office job.By now, most people understand that visiting a website or downloading a free app comes at the price of handing over their information. There’s a secretive industry built around the buying and selling of personal data, and the information from buildings is particularly useful to that market.Data brokers like Oracle, Experian, Equifax and a web of lesser-known names buy and sell personal data that’s used for everything from marketing to checking a renter’s credit history.But while websites can track online habits and phones can monitor locations, both have data limitations. Mobile phone tracking, for example, can tell when someone walks into a building. But it’s not very good at determining if the phone is in a ground-floor restaurant or the observation deck of a skyscraper. Embedding these technologies in the buildings themselves can help fill in those gaps and  turn people’s everyday actions into data points.“What’s different is you get an inside window into what people are doing offline,” New York Law School’s Elvy said.“If you were walking into the common area of your building, typically that’s not viewed as data anyone would collect,” she added. “But now it is, because they know what time certain individuals are opening the door, and there’s a detailed record of that.”Greater good?Of course, the benefits go beyond bigger profits and greater control for individual firms. Smarter buildings can also potentially help save the planet.Nearly 40 percent of the country’s carbon emissions comes from buildings, according to the Washington, D.C.-based independent nonprofit Environmental and Energy Study Institute. And just last month, the New York City Council passed sweeping legislation requiring large buildings to be retrofitted to reduce fossil fuel consumption by 2030.With the projected costs for New York landlords to come into compliance exceeding $4 billion, experts in the tech world say data-collecting sensors and AI — which can collect untold numbers of data points to spot places where buildings are wasting energy — can go a long way.“It’s very important for [property managers] to not waste their time looking for issues but dedicate their time out in the field to preventing and solving those issues,” said Luca Tausel, of IBM’s Watson unit, which creates the AI used in many smart buildings.In 2016, the family-run real estate firm Rudin Management launched its own tech startup, Prescriptive Data, which uses a cloud-based operating system in 17 of the developer’s New York properties to more efficiently manage their water and electricity use, among other building systems. Last year, those properties recorded a 44 percent reduction in carbon emissions — more than the 40 percent reduction the City Council’s law mandates over the next decade. Rudin’s technology chief, John Gilbert, said Prescriptive Data anonymizes building information. And in the cases where it’s put to use in buildings run by other landlords, he said, the data belongs to each property owner rather than to Rudin’s tech company. More broadly, Gilbert noted that there are lots of lessons property owners can learn from Silicon Valley’s privacy headaches.“I think the Facebook lessons are hugely important,” he said. “The minute you allow others into your buildings to retrieve that data … if they’re not sharing that with you and if it’s going out the backdoor and being monetized, you’re not doing your job.”At the same time, properties are increasingly adding devices that interact with buildings’ occupants. The Stanwix in Bushwick, for example, bills itself as the smartest rental in Brooklyn. The 130-unit building, owned by JCS Realty, has a Control4 automation system that tenants can access through a wall panel or a mobile app to do things like alter the lighting and adjust blinds. Tenants can also use smartphones remotely to operate door locks and create a log of every time the lock is used — and who used it.The Stanwix uses a management system created by the cloud-based platform BuildingLink, and the tech is all linked to an Amazon Alexa provided by the landlord. A representative for JCS did not respond to requests for comment.Ari Teman, whose company makes video intercoms and smart locks, said tenants often want a certain level of surveillance.“Surveillance can make you feel safe,” added Teman, who said his technology is used in about 1,000 residential buildings in New York City. “When I’m living in a building, I want the package area and the lobby entrances areas to be recorded and for cameras to be visible.”Teman added, however, that data collection can certainly cross a line. “If you want to take that data and sell it to some big company to tell about my love life, I find that creepy,” he said. The Amazon effectIn New York and other major cities, rentals, condos and single-family homes are linking to devices made by “Big Tech” companies at an increasing rate, reports show. Amazon announced in January that it had sold more than 100 million Alexa products around the globe, and an RBC analyst estimated late last year that Google had sold more than 52 million home devices worldwide.Tech behemoths like Amazon, Microsoft and IBM also run the cloud systems that many smart buildings use. Virtually all of those companies have reputations for pushing the privacy envelope — and, in turn, prompting laws to more carefully regulate the space.“Lots of companies are now supplying what you will see in your apartment, in your home, on the wall,” said Gordon Feller, co-founder of the smart-cities summit Meeting of the Minds. “The goal is to deliver advertising to the end user, which is going to be a shock to a lot of people when they realize that.”There’s also just the looming fear that these devices are recording conversations people are having in their own homes. And there have been documented cases suggesting that it happens when signals cross.A family in Portland, Oregon, for instance, caught its Amazon Echo last year haphazardly recording one of their conversations, which it sent to one of their phone contacts, according to news reports.“It’s only natural that the likelihood of these types of incidents happening is only going to increase as the tech becomes more widespread,” said attorney Kavon Adli, a partner at the Internet Law Group based in Los Angeles. “New companies are coming on the scene pretty regularly, and there’s no universal fix for these kinds of problems.”Big Brother businessIt’s not just rental landlords, shared-space providers and property managers buying into the smart-building market. Large commercial brokerages, construction firms and megadevelopers are investing billions in building analytics and other intelligent services. In real estate, the retail sector was among the first to adopt so-called alternative data. Landlords and commercial brokers purchased the people-tracking data from mobile phone companies and then provided retailers with intel on shopper demographics and foot traffic.Big real estate firms are now creating their own intelligent technologies. CBRE, for example, launched a workplace app last year that uses artificial intelligence to learn office tenants’ patterns and make recommendations for them. Connecticut-based Triax Technologies, meanwhile, created a wearable device that uses an accelerometer and gyroscope to monitor a construction worker’s gait. If the hard hat gets drunk during lunch and stumbles back to the jobsite, the device will detect the unusual movement and report it to the worksite’s superintendent, Triax claims. Many argue that tech users and tenants are willing to trade some privacy for convenience. And companies face reputational risks if they betray customers’ trust.“If AT&T is monitoring your cell phone service and using data to figure out what they can do to create a better experience so that you have less dropped calls or whatever, that’s kind of okay,” said K.P. Reddy of Shadow Ventures, an Atlanta-based venture capital firm focused on the proptech industry. Though selling that info isn’t illegal, it’s “the big no-no,” Reddy added.Most real estate players using Big Data say they’re gathering info to provide better services and don’t sell that data to third parties, including advertisers.But there are plenty of examples outside of real estate where companies have crossed the line.Verizon was caught last year selling its customers’ locations to a prison phone company — which corrections officers used to find out, without getting warrants, who inmates were calling. In the wake of that revelation, Verizon, AT&T and Sprint said they would all stop sharing information with certain third parties.And plenty of questions remain about who the data belongs to — the manufacturer of the devices, the building manager or the property owner. That’s led to other questions, including who the data stays with when a property sells. Even when a company collects the data, it could change hands. In bankruptcies, for example, data can be sold off as an asset. A biometrics payment company called Pay by Touch filed for bankruptcy in 2007, and among its holdings was a database of 2 million fingerprints from people who bought gas and groceries using the technology. More recently, the IoT company Filip Technologies — which designed a smart locator for children so their families could stay in touch — filed for bankruptcy in 2016, selling off data about the parents and children who used its devices. While that largely stayed under the radar, other privacy battles are brewing. Airbnb, for one, sued the city of New York last year after it passed a law requiring the company to hand over data on its hosts, including their names, addresses and number of days they rented their homes.Airbnb argued there was no way to know what the city would do with the data. In January, a federal judge sided with the company, blocking the law from taking effect. Information the city sought includes “personal data in which Airbnb has a reasonable expectation of privacy,” and most hotels “would balk at any suggestion that their patrons’ privacy could be invaded in such a manner,” the company’s complaint read.A spokesperson for Airbnb declined to comment.Global backlashJust a few weeks after Mark Zuckerberg testified in front of Congress in April 2018 about Facebook’s privacy policies, Europe took a major step forward on regulating data privacy.The next month, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation — the toughest and most comprehensive legislation of its kind in the world — went into effect.Among its many rules, the law requires companies to get consent from people in the EU to process their data and gives those individuals the right to withdraw that consent at any time (see sidebar). It also requires companies that collect data to put security protections in place and gives people the right to have their data erased within 30 days.Many believe that similar federal legislation will eventually work its way to the U.S. But for now, cities and states are implementing their own laws.California passed a consumer privacy act last year, which goes into effect in 2020. That initiative — which requires companies to disclose how they collect data and what they do with it — was actually initiated by San Francisco real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart, who became concerned about Big Tech’s surveillance.In New York state, there’s a patchwork of privacy laws, but nothing as far-reaching.State Sen. Brad Hoylman is pushing his “right to know” legislation that would let consumers find out what kind of data companies are collecting and how it’s being used, but it stops short of banning companies from selling personal information.And last fall, City Council member Ritchie Torres introduced a bill to regulate facial recognition technology, which he likened to a secret search. The bill calls for a fine of $500 every day a company fails to disclose its use of biometric scanning tech and gives people the right to sue for damages of up to $5,000.“I just believe as a matter of principle that no business has a right to search or invade your privacy without your knowledge or consent,” Torres said. “It’s the lack of transparency that worries me the most.”Fear factorsOf course, there’s always a sense of unease when new technologies come into play.Some argue that backlash against real estate’s data harvesting could be just be an unfounded fear of the unknown.In many cases, both landlords and tech companies are compiling as much data as they can without any real idea of how they’re going to use it. The belief is that the data will have some value in the future.“In some ways, it’s potentially more worrisome that the data’s being collected, and we don’t know what for,” said Desiree Fields, a professor of urban and economic geography at the University of Sheffield in England. “Particularly in the U.S., where there’s so little data protection, we’re right to be concerned about that.”Some also note that this kind of data collection is in its infancy in real estate and say that as it gets implemented on a larger scale, it is likely to improve.“We are like 10 years out from even 30 percent adoption of this kind of technology,” said Ash Zandieh, founder of the proptech research firm RE:Tech.HqO’s Garbarino said all this new technology in buildings has the potential to do great things, but he also recognized the dangers they pose.“It’s naïve to think technologies are inherently good,” he said.Garbarino added that now, when the rules are being written, is the time to make sure it’s done right.“The real estate industry has an opportunity to be very proactive to make sure they’re not misusing any of this data,” he said. 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BP, Shell draw first oil from Alligin field in UK North Sea

first_img BP reports production of first oil from the Alligin field. (Credit: Pixabay/C Morrison) BP and Royal Dutch Shell have drawn first oil from the Alligin field in Blocks 204/19a and 204/20a in P556 licence in the UK North Sea.Alligin, which is part of the Greater Schiehallion Area, has been developed as a satellite oil field with an investment of £230m. The field is located 140km west of Shetland.As per its development plan, two wells were drilled on the field, of which one is a production well and the other is a water injection well.Both the wells have been tied back into the existing Schiehallion and Loyal subsea infrastructure and the Glen Lyon floating, production, storage, offload (FPSO) vessel located at the Schiehallion Field.Also part of the development are new subsea infrastructure, which is made up of gas lift and water injection pipeline systems apart from a new controls umbilical.BP, which is the operator of the field, had secured approval for its development from the UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) in October 2018. Both the partners in the offshore UK field hold 50% stake each.The Alligin field will target production of 20 million barrels of oil equivalentThe company said that Alligin is a 20 million barrels of oil equivalent field, which was forecast originally to have a production of 12,000 barrels gross of oil equivalent a day at peak. The Alligin field is contained in a water depth of 475m.According to BP, the performance of the Alligin project has been better than expected. The field is said to have reached 15,000 barrels gross of oil equivalent a day at peak since start-up in late December 2019.BP North Sea regional president Ariel Flores said: “Achieving first oil from the Alligin field safely, under budget and ahead of schedule is testament to the performance of the project team and their agile approach to planning and execution.“Alligin is part of BP’s advantaged oil strategy, a development with a shorter project cycle time with oil that is economic to produce and low risk to bring to market. Subsea tiebacks like this complement our major start-ups and help underpin our growing portfolio west of Shetland.” Alligin, which is part of the Greater Schiehallion Area, has been developed as a satellite oil field, with an investment of £230m last_img read more

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Cooper Energy to start gas production at Sole offshore field

first_imgThe Orbost Gas Processing Plant is being upgraded by APA Group (APA) to process gas from the Sole gas field Cooper Energy to begin gas production at Sole offshore field. (Credit: C Morrison from Pixabay) Cooper Energy announces the Sole Gas Project has passed a critical milestone with the entry of gas from the Eastern Gas Pipeline into the Orbost Gas Processing Plant.The Orbost Gas Processing Plant is being upgraded by APA Group (APA) to process gas from the Sole gas field. As previously advised, the development and commissioning of Sole has been completed and the field is ready to supply gas.Commissioning of the Orbost plant is proceeding towards its second phase, which will include introduction of gas from Sole and commissioning of raw gas processing facilities. Completion of second phase commissioning is to be followed by a plant production test and the commencement of firm gas supply from Sole.First gas flow from the field to the plant is anticipated later in February. Full rate production and commercial operation for firm gas supply are anticipated in March 2020.Achievement of further milestones will be announced on their completion. Source: Company Press Releaselast_img read more

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USNS Mercy Continues PP15 in Suva, Fiji

first_imgBack to overview,Home naval-today USNS Mercy Continues PP15 in Suva, Fiji View post tag: PP15 USNS Mercy Continues PP15 in Suva, Fiji View post tag: Navy View post tag: Fiji View post tag: americas View post tag: Naval View post tag: News by topiccenter_img The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19) arrived in Suva, Fiji, June 7 for its first mission port visit of Pacific Partnership (PP15) 2015.This is the first visit to Fiji by a U.S. Navy vessel in nine years.Fiji and Mercy will host several subject matter expert exchanges and classes on a wide range of topics including mass casualty procedures, public health, infectious disease and basic life support.Mercy is also scheduled to visit Papua New Guinea, Philippines, and Vietnam for this year’s mission.Pacific Partnership is a joint effort between the United States and foreign militaries, non-governmental organizations and partner-nation support organizations to conduct civil-military operations including humanitarian and civic assistance, as well as veterinary, medical, dental and civil engineering support.[mappress mapid=”16185″]Image: US Navy View post tag: Suva Authorities Share this article View post tag: USNS Mercy June 10, 2015last_img read more

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Twelve Oxford University alumni fill roles in Biden administration

first_imgOther advisors to the President and members of White House staff educated at Oxford include: Bruce Reed (Lincoln, 1982) as White House Deputy Chief of Staff. Dr William J. Burns (St John’s, 1981) as the incoming Director of the CIA. Image: Gage Skidmore/CC BY-SA 2.0 via flickr.com The 39 year old former mayor of Short Creek, Indiana, Mr Buttigieg is the first openly gay person to be confirmed to the US cabinet. Dr Gina Raimondo (New College, 1993), has been confined as Secretary of Commerce. Dr Raimondo completed an MA and DPhil in Sociology. Her thesis explored the “determinants of single motherhood in the United States”. Her response to the COVID-19 pandemic as Governor of Rhode Island was received warmly, with particular praise given to the state’s high rate of testing per capita. Jake Sullivan (Magdalen, 1998) as the National Security Advisor. Out of 25 members of the President’s cabinet, three are Oxford alumni and Rhodes scholars. A further nine hold non-cabinet leadership positions, such as White House staff. Dr Edward Brookes of the Oxford Charter Project, which researches global leadership, said: “It is inspiring to see alumni who once took their places in Oxford’s seminar rooms and sports teams called into public leadership.” Dr Susan Rice (New College, 1996) as leader of the Domestic Policy Council.  Dr Rice was the National Security Advisor to President Obama from 2013-2017. Machmud Makhmudov (Magdalen, 2016) as a Policy Advisor for the Office of COVID Response. President Biden’s Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg (Pembroke, 2005), rose to prominence as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in the 2020 election. He read PPE and graduated with a first. Contemporaries of Mr Buttigieg described him as a keen sportsman, a regular at Turf Tavern, and an enthusiastic scholar who taught himself conversant Norwegian alongside his degree. Megan Ceronsky (Hertford, 2001) as Associate Counsel. Ceronsky was the Climate Change Advisor to President Obama. The US Office of Science and Technology Policy will be lead by Professor Eric Lander (Wolfson College, 1978). After completing a DPhil in algebraic coding theory at Oxford, Professor Lander helped sequence the human genome, and went on to become Professor of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Systems biology at Harvard Medical School. Jonathan Finer (Balliol, 1999) as the Deputy National Security Advisor. Dr Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall (Balliol, 1981) as Homeland Security Advisor. Twelve alumni of the University of Oxford hold leadership positions in President Biden’s administration, with responsibilities ranging from national security to science policy. Dr Kurt M. Campbell (Brasenose, 1981) as Coordinator of Indo-Pacific affairs.last_img read more

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O.C.’s Julia Rae Looks for Love and Fame on “The Bachelor” Spinoff

first_imgJulia Rae, whose family has a home in the south end of Ocean City, appears on “The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart.” (Photos courtesy Julia Rae) By MADDY VITALEJulia Rae sat in her family’s home in Ocean City and recalled the beginning of her career as a performer, singer, songwriter and pageant winner.It all started with a music video — her first one — on the beach in Ocean City 12 years ago.“I have been coming to Ocean City since before I can remember,” Julia, 27, said. “I was born in June and there are photos of me on the Ocean City beaches when I was just weeks old.”For Julia, who splits her time between Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles working full time in the entertainment world, an exciting new opportunity came for her to showcase her singing and also find true love.She is appearing on episodes of “The Bachelor: Listen to Your Heart” on Monday nights on ABC.The show gives musicians a venue to display their talents on national television with the possibility of meeting the person of their dreams.“As a performer, I am always in tune with auditions for shows, so I saw a casting notice for single singers and sent in my videos. From there, I auditioned in person and now here we are,” Julia explained. “Obviously, this cast is all musicians hoping to break through with their careers, and I definitely went on hoping that would happen for me.”Proceeds from Julia Rae’s nonprofit “Singing at the Top of My Lungs” go to therapy programs for children in the hospital.And, with a sense of humor, she admitted she hasn’t been lucky in love, which was another reason she thought she would audition to be a contestant.“I have historically failed miserably in my dating life, so I figured the dating apps weren’t working for me, might as well give this a try,” she noted.Julia, who graduated from Fordham University with a major in communications, has had to overcome hurdles along the way throughout not only her career as an entertainer, but since she was a child.She was born with cystic fibrosis, a debilitating lung disease. She suffered several lung collapses and long hospital stays over the years.Throughout her life, she has battled back and managed the disease with medications and daily breathing exercises.At just 16, she created a nonprofit, “Singing at the Top Of My Lungs.” Proceeds go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and provide funding for children’s art and therapy programs at hospitals.Now, she is using the opportunity she has in the national spotlight on “The Bachelor” to put a spotlight on cystic fibrosis.“When I received the news I would be in the show, I was thrilled to have this big of a platform to share my story and hopefully inspire others,” Julia said.Julia Rae on the beach for her music video around 2008.Her talents so many years before caught the eye and ear of Michael Hartman, the founder of the Ocean City Theatre Company and Ocean City’s special events coordinator.“I actually met Julia when she was a teen. I got her to sing with the Ocean City Pops. Since then, she has been a dear friend,” Hartman noted. “She has helped with emceeing events like the Ocean City Christmas Parade. She is an exceptional young woman.”For Julia, Hartman became a mentor.“Michael and I really hit it off and he became an important and influential mentor in my life,” Julia said.Julia, who grew up in Wayne, Pa., with her parents and two older brothers, has spent many summers in Ocean City throughout her lifetime.When she and her family come to their vacation home in Ocean City, there are many things that remind her of what makes it so special.“I love so many things about Ocean City. Everyone who comes has memories of Ocean City from when they were little,” Julia pointed out. “You immediately feel at home in Ocean City.”Ocean City served as an early platform for her entertainment career. As she continues to develop her career, she gives advice to those battling cystic fibrosis: Never give up.“I always thought, if I do my breathing treatments, I can pursue my dreams. There were times when I wanted to give up. But I knew if I could just take care of myself, I would have the chance of leading the life I dreamed of.”On the last limousine ride to “The Bachelor” mansion in a future episode, she thought of the young children who suffer from cystic fibrosis. She wants them to see that they can survive and lead a wonderful, fulfilling life.“I learned how to embrace the challenge of my disease and be an inspiration for little girls. On my final limo ride to The Bachelor mansion I said to myself, “Make those little girls proud.’”For more about Julia Rae and her foundation “Singing at the Top of Your Lungs,” visit https://juliarae.com/Here’s a performance Julia did for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: https://www.instagram.com/tv/B-2yct9Hh-T/?igshid=9gt72jll97xJulia Rae at a benefit for The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.last_img read more

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Phish Shares Pro-Shot Footage Of 15-Minute ‘Twist’ From Wrigley [Watch]

first_imgPhish made their debut at Wrigley Field last weekend, hitting the famed Chicago Cubs home for two nights on June 24-25. The shows were filled with highlights, including an a cappella “Space Oddity,” covers of Beatles’ “I Am The Walrus” and Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times, and tons of great original music and jams.Among those many great jams, the “Twist” from night one ranks highly. Clocking it at just over 15 minutes, the jam itself features elements of another original tune, “Weekapaug Groove,” in addition to its own great improvised segments. The pro-shot video that Phish has shared also shows off Chris Kuroda’s new LED lighting rig, only adding to the magic of the moment.Phish Performs ‘Space Oddity’ A Cappella, Debuts New Song At Wrigley Opener [Videos/Gallery]Watch “Twist” below, courtesy of Phish.Setlist: Phish at Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL – 6/24/16Set 1: Sample in a Jar, Chalk Dust Torture, Martian Monster > Rift, Yarmouth Road, Sand, Miss You[1], The Wedge, Free > Blaze OnSet 2: Down with Disease[2] > Fuego > Twist > Twenty Years Later > Waste > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Backwards Down the Number Line, Loving CupEncore: Space Oddity[3], Run Like an Antelope[1] Debut.[2] Unfinished.[3] Phish debut.Notes: This show was webcast via Live Phish. Following the debut of Miss You, Trey noted that the song would be on their new album, and thanked the crowd for letting them try new material. Disease was unfinished. Space Oddity was a Phish debut and was performed a capellalast_img read more

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Using humor to make the connection

first_img Young alumni: Exposure to differences spurred growth Andrea Bang, who plays Lee’s daughter, Janet, and “Fresh Off the Boat” star Hudson Yang also took part in the discussion, which drew a packed crowd of 200, with another 400 on the waiting list.Lee said the show relies heavily on humor to make connections with its audience, whether Asian, black, white, or, like the writer of this piece, blind and hearing-impaired.“The use of humor is integral for our show because [with it] we’re able to gently introduce really big topics,” he said. “When you use humor as an entry point, it’s an icebreaker … and you are able to sort of ask and raise a lot of questions in a very nonthreatening way. It’s amazing in that sense because humor, when used effectively, means you can cover a lot of ground.“Everybody loves to laugh … but if you learn while you are laughing at the same time it’s a wonderful thing.”Asked to describe himself physically, Lee said, “I am round; I am smooth on the top, I have no hair; I’m warm, not just in body heat but personality; and I give great hugs and I love getting hugs. I am like a big stuffed teddy bear — with no hair!”And so laughter ended the discussion.Reimagine “Asian” was sponsored by OSA, Pan-Asian Coalition for Education @ HGSE, The Harvard Asia Center, and the Harvard Pan-Asian Graduate Student Alliance, which was founded by Woojin Kim. Nina Livingstone is a Boston-based writer. She can be contacted at [email protected] Related Harvard College roommates from varied backgrounds say their differences draw them together, broaden their education When Paul Sun-Hyung Lee was growing up in Toronto in the 1970s and ’80s, there were no TV shows featuring Korean immigrants, or many Asians at all besides Pat Morita. There was “M*A*S*H,” but the most visible Asian in that cast was Hawaiian, and Margaret Cho’s “All-American Girl” wouldn’t launch until 1994.That slowly began to change in the ’90s, but the real wave of shows starring Asians began in the 2010s, and Lee is proud to be a part of it.“I wanted so hard to fit in, to assimilate, that I actively pushed away my heritage because it was never seen. When you don’t see yourself reflected on the screens, you are very subtly taught that your stories don’t matter or that you are an outsider,” said Lee, who stars as Appa, the patriarch in the hit sitcom “Kim’s Convenience.”“For Asian kids, to see themselves and their families reflected on the screen is a big deal. It normalizes the families and it shows that they are not alone, that these are common stories,” he added.“Kim’s Convenience,” adapted from Ins Choi’s 2011 play, was picked up by Netflix in 2018, two years after its first season aired on CBC. The show is paired with ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” and stars from both casts were at Harvard on Monday to take part in a panel discussion called Reimagine “Asian” at the Graduate School of Education’s Askwith Hall.The panel was conceived and convened by Woojin Kim, an Ed.M. candidate at HGSE. “I love these shows,” he said. “I love ‘Kim’s Convenience’ because it’s one of the most relatable, authentic media experiences that I’ve ever had a connection with.”After years of misrepresentation, stereotype, or just omission, “We’re now seeing the emergence of directors and creators who are intentional and thoughtful about the casting choices they’re making,” Kim said. “They are covering a very wide gamut. These creatives can express their full and true stories, crafting more authentic, diverse narratives.,“These actors are people who will help push this conversation forward,” he said. “They have an incredible platform, because people are watching them, whether they are Asian-identifying or not. People are watching them and learning from them.”Simu Liu, who plays Lee’s son, Jung, in “Kim’s Convenience,” said seeing the play “was the first time I ever saw [my own culture] depicted onstage … and I remember leaving the theater in tears because it was truly a look into my parents’ life.” Liu’s parents had grown up during the Cultural Revolution in China, creating “a very turbulent relationship” between parents and son.“[The play] made me feel a lot closer to my parents, it made me understand their perspective a lot more so it did actually bring us much closer together,” Liu said.Andrew Phung, who plays family friend Kimchee, said “Kim’s Convenience” doesn’t necessarily have to have a message. “The great part about our show is it’s about the realities of this family. It’s groundbreaking that this family is on television and gets to tell their particular story. The message is the same as other shows: family, hard work, the struggle to have a better life.”Lee agreed, “A lot of non-Korean people tune into the show and say, ‘I didn’t know much about Korean culture, but watching your show is a really great introduction to it.’“When you are normalized and you see more of yourself reflected in these different diverse characters, you are more willing to empathize with them or be with them because you have this common ground,” he said. Learning through others broadened their sense of how the wider world works, recent grads say When a House is a bountiful homelast_img read more

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Judicial Council announces tickets for student body president, vice president

first_imgThe Judicial Council announced the three tickets for the upcoming elections for the offices of Notre Dame student body president and vice president in an email to students Tuesday.Freshmen Andrew Gannon and Mark Moran; juniors Alex Kruszewski and Julia Dunbar​; and juniors Gates McGavick and Corey Gayheart all received the requisite 700 signatures to be eligible for the electoral process.According to the email, a debate between the three tickets is scheduled for Monday at 9 p.m. in the Midfield Commons of the Duncan Student Center. Judicial Council is offering students the opportunity to submit questions for the candidates via a Google form, and “several of these questions may be read during the debate,” the email said.The election for student body president and vice president will take place Feb. 7. If none of the tickets receive a majority of the vote, a run-off will take place. Should that be the case, a second debate is set for Feb. 11, and the final election will take place Feb. 12, according to the Judicial Council’s website.The winning ticket will take office for the 2018–2019 term April 1, succeeding current student body president Becca Blais and vice president Sibonay Shewit.The Kruszewski-Dunbar​ campaign features eight “highlights,” including working with University administrators to decrease tuition, adjust the definition of “consent” at Notre Dame and ensuring plans for a Chick-fil-A restaurant in the second part of the Eddy Street Commons expansion project, according to the campaign’s platform.Kruszewski and Dunbar​ also list ideas specific to 15 departments within student government on their campaign platform, including plans for new departments such as a sustainability department and a University policy department.The McGavick-Gayheart ticket has centered its campaign platform around three adjectives: approachable, collaborative and transformative (ACT). McGavick and Gayheart have divided these categories into four, six and five subcategories, respectively.Some of the ticket’s main promises include holding the Student Activities Office accountable, working with Campus Dining to improve upon recent changes within the department and placing an emphasis on transparency within student government.Both the Kruszewski-Dunbar​ ticket and McGavick-Gayheart ticket promise to work to repeal the new six-semester housing requirement in their campaign platforms.The Gannon-Moran ticket has not yet publicly released a campaign platform.Tags: Judicial Council, student body president electionslast_img read more

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