APTN National NewsThe trial of former priest Eric Dejaeger was supposed to wrap up this week.The now defrocked priest is accused of more than 70 sex crimes against children dating back to the 1970s.But the Crown is asking for an extension on the closing arguments.As APTN’s Kent Driscoll reports, that may have an effect on how much time Dejaeger will spend behind bars.
Agadir- On November 1st, Germany made history for being the first European country to allow parents to leave the gender box blank. The decision aims to create legal recognition for babies born with a genitalia abnormality that makes it impossible to determine the sex as male or female.This decision will take the pressure off the parents who, in the past, were obliged to decide on a sex of baby forthwith, before even considering future surgery. Not having to pick a gender will also allow these babies, once grown individuals, to choose to be attributed to either sex, or none.” We will have fellow human beings with no sex registered. They can’t be forced into either one of the traditional sexes in these other contexts.” stated University of Bremen law professor Konstanze Plett. Silvan Agius, policy director at Equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex people in Europe (ILGA), thinks that this move is an interesting one but does not go far enough. “Unnecessary surgeries will likely continue in Germany with devastating consequences. We live in a world where having a baby classified as ‘other’ is still considered undesirable.” Silvan stated. In 2011, Australia allowed an option for third gender, or “X” in passports as well.While this may be a thoughtful move for the babies of undetermined anatomical sex and their parents, but it could create bureaucratic or travel issues. “Those traveling with “No Gender” papers could encounter difficulties in many other countries”, published SuddeutscheZeitung. “The laws referring to men or women could also be unapplied to the “No Gender” individuals”, the German daily stated. Perhaps, the whole legislation might have to be reviewed.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
The city of Hamilton has become the first municipality in the province to limit the number of payday loan establishments. Councillors voted to allow only one business per ward, but the existing shops will remain open.“There’s certainly upwards of 30. Some are more official than others.” Tom Copper, Hamilton roundtable for poverty reduction. Those 30 registered companies will be grandfathered in to this new bylaw.Copper says 16,000 Hamiltonians go through the doors of payday loan stores each year. Many of them are on the streets of wards 2 and 3.“The payday loans set up shop on the fringes of low income neighbourhoods and appeal to the people with no where else to turn.”Doug Hoyes, an insolvency trustee says a third of his clients are trying to pay back payday loans. He says compared to other areas in the province, this is a serious problem in Hamilton.“If you borrow every 2 weeks it’s 390%, that’s the annual interest rate you are paying and I don’t think people fully appreciate that.”But the President and CEO representing some of the biggest loan stores on the market says there’s another side to the story.“What will happen to people when they have no where else to go? When they need to pay their rent or fix their car? If the payday loan industry is cut in half in Hamilton what options are left for them.?” Tony Irwin, Canadian consumer finance association.Irwin, who speaks for stores like Money Mart say they provide loans when the banks won’t. But activists say they exploit the poor and for every new customer, 15 are repeat customers and that’s where they make their money.City council will need to ratify the decision to limit these businesses later this month.
Throughout the Somali region and the Borena zone of Orimiya region, some 1.7 million people require emergency food relief, however this number is being reassessed as the number of people affected and their needs are believed to have increased significantly since the last assessment in November, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.“Additionally, more than 740,000 people urgently need emergency water; and more than 1.5 million children under five require immunizations against diseases such as measles, which prey upon the malnourished,” it said.“To redress the situation, the United Nations agencies and partners have requested nearly $14 million for emergency programmes in these sectors under the country’s 2006 Humanitarian Appeal. However, only $2.1 million has been received so far.”Within the Somali region, OCHA said the food security situation “is critical in some areas and deteriorating in others.” Food assistance is being provided to 1.5 million people by the World Food Programme (WFP), in conjunction with the Government of Ethiopia and non-governmental partners.Large numbers of livestock, including cattle, goats, sheep and camels, continue to die in the two areas due to lack of food and water, and diseases. In collaboration with regional authorities, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is providing anti-parasitic drugs for the livestock.The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has provided five water purification units for the Somali region, which will provide 200,000 litres of water per day for 50,000 of the region’s worst-hit people, and it is also providing assistance – alongside several non-governmental organizations in Borena zone.UNICEF is also providing assistance to the health sector in both areas, including working alongside the Somali Regional Health Bureau in screening 97 per cent of children and 90 per cent of pregnant and nursing women for malnutrition, referring 26 per cent of children and 25 per cent of women for targeted supplementary feeding.
WASHINGTON – Construction of new homes fell slightly in October after a big surge in the previous month, but the weakness was largely driven by the volatile apartment sector.Builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.009 million last month, the Commerce Department reported Wednesday. That was a drop of 2.8 per cent from September when construction had jumped 7.8 per cent to 1.038 million.The weakness stemmed from a 15.4 per cent plunge in apartment construction, a category that tends to have big swings from month to month. Construction of single-family homes was up 4.2 per cent, the third gain in the past four months.Applications for building permits, a good sign of future activity, rose 4.8 per cent in October to 1.08 million.While overall construction was down in October, analysts said the weakness was confined to apartment building, which had seen a huge increase in September. They noted upward revisions to overall activity in September and August and forecast further gains in the months ahead.“The improving trend should continue, supported by generally low rates … and strong job growth,” said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.Showing strength in October was the South, which posted a 10.1 per cent jump on construction starts. All other regions of the country recorded declines. Construction fell 18.5 per cent in the Midwest, 16.4 per cent in the Northeast and 10.9 per cent in the West.Solid employment gains, lower mortgage rates and somewhat easier lending standards are likely to boost housing in coming months. At the same time, economists are concerned about price gains, which so far have been outpacing wage increases.Price increases have cut into affordability for would-be buyers, limiting sales growth for new homes and cutting into sales for existing homes.But in an encouraging sign, U.S. homebuilders’ confidence rebounded in November as both sales expectations and buyer traffic improved. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo index rose to 58 this month, up from 54 in October.That puts the index just short of September’s reading of 59, which was the highest level since November 2005, shortly before the housing bubble burst. Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by Martin Crutsinger, The Associated Press Posted Nov 19, 2014 6:49 am MDT US home construction down 2.8 per cent in October, with weakness in volatile apartment building
MONTREAL – Domtar Corp. (TSX:UFS) reported a second-quarter profit of US$38 million, down from $40 million a year ago, as revenue slipped lower.The pulp and paper company, which keeps its books in U.S. dollars, said the profit amounted to 60 cents per diluted share for the quarter ended June 30 compared with a 61 cents per diluted share a year ago.Sales totalled $1.31 billion, down from $1.39 billion in the same quarter last year.Excluding one-time items, Domtar said it earned $39 million or 61 cents per share compared with $40 million or 61 cents per share a year ago.Domtar said it was hit with higher costs for planned maintenance, lower paper and pulp prices, lower paper and pulp shipments, higher freight costs and overall unfavourable exchange rates.The increase costs were partially offset by lower raw material and other costs and lower selling, general and administrative expenses. Domtar reports US$38M second-quarter profit, down from US$40M a year ago by The Canadian Press Posted Jul 30, 2015 9:14 am MDT Last Updated Jul 30, 2015 at 10:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email
Soon Intel’s Haswell processors are due to make ultrabooks thinner without compromising in performance or battery life. NEC’s LaVie X was shown off during CES 2013 as the shining example of this improvement and how it will affect ultrabook construction moving forward.NEC hasn’t been a name you’ve seen on shelves in the US for a while now, but that’s exactly where the LaVie X is headed alongside with Haswell later this year. The 15-inch 1080p display is to be one of the first ultrabooks powered by the Haswell chip, and one of the last to not include a touchscreen after Intel’s mandate.As with many ultraportables before it, NEC’s ultrabook borders on being too light. It’s made of very thin plastics that allow the computer to flex under even a hint of pressure. While the screen is not designed to be flexible, the plastic that houses it flexes quite easily. You’re sure to find yourself in a sticky situation if you try and cram this ultrabook into a crowded backpack and you aren’t careful during your commute.Another benefit to being 12.8mm thin is the weight. At just over 2 pounds, NEC’s latest creation hardly even feels like a real computer until you turn it on and see it work. The laptop features a single USB 3.0 port and two USB 2.0 ports, as well as full-sized HDMI. The power adapter for this computer has a rectangular plug that fits very snugly in the socket, making it so you really need to pull to remove the power adapter. Given the weight and unintended flexibility of the ultrabook, visions of this machine shattering into a million tiny bits when someone trips over the power cord were inescapable.As for Intel’s Haswell, we weren’t allowed to conduct any processor tests or even know the clock speed of the chip running in the LaVie X. During my quick trip through Windows 8, the machine felt very snappy. It boots in the blink of an eye and never slowed down. Battery life hasn’t been announced, but in the half hour that we were using the ultrabook it only dropped 4%.As with everything else made by NEC, Japan will be the first to see the LaVie X, but Intel made it clear that we could expect to see this laptop in the states “not long after” the debut in Japan. With the Haswell launch expected for mid 2013, we’ll all know for sure soon enough.While it is always exciting to see a new crazy thin gadget, especially one that feels so light and fast as the LaVie X, the potential fragility of this ultrabook is pretty frightening. Ultrabooks are designed to be highly portable, and once you leave the comfort of your home or office your electronics are exposed to the world. It’s hard to imagine the NEC Lavie X surviving a crowded subway ride, unless your bag is built like a fortress.Photography by Chris Sewell
Andy Robertson says Liverpool’s players are solidly behind goalkeeper Alisson Becker despite his mistake against Manchester United.The Brazil shot-stopper mistakenly handled Romelu Lukaku’s cross which fell into Jesse Lingard’s path to poke home, but Xherdan Shaqiri rescued the tie with his brace to secure a 3-1 victory.Alisson has kept 10 clean sheets in 17 Premier League matches, conceding just seven times, and his added-time stop against Napoli last week kept his side in the Champions League.And defender Andy Robertson believes the Liverpool players are focused on Alisson’s positives since joining the club.Report: Injury update on Liverpool’s Becker George Patchias – September 11, 2019 Liverpool has released an update on Alisson Beckers progress as he recovers from injury.According to Liverpoolfc.com, there is still no timeline for the Brazillian…“He has been unbelievable this season and we all make mistakes,” said Reds defender Robertson via Sky.“If Mo Salah or [Roberto] Firmino make a mistake it maybe doesn’t get punished because it is up the other end but that is unfortunately what a keeper has to put up with, if they make a mistake it usually turns into a goal.“Of course, he will be disappointed with it but he bounced back and we can’t moan about it. He has dug us out Tuesday night and we are still in the Champions League because of him.The Reds are up against Wolves in their next Premier League clash on Friday.
The American Soybean Association/World Initiative for Soy in Human Health (ASA/WISHH) met with local program partners in Senegal and Burkina Faso this week to discuss promotion and awareness of U.S. soy products.Africa Regional Director Josh Neiderman met with Guindo & Co., implementer of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Market Access Program (MAP) funded information campaign for promotion and awareness of U.S. soy products. Along with Mamadou Bousso, WISHH consultant for Francophone Africa, Neiderman also met with local supply chain partner Sensoy, USDA Foreign Agriculture Services (FAS) and livestock feed producers.In Burkina Faso, Neiderman and Bousso met with the local supply chain partner and their buyers of defatted soy flour for the baking industry. Visits were also made to local poultry producers, and the WISHH delegation held a meeting with representatives of the U.S. State Department and the United States Agency of International Development (USAID).
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced this week the preliminary determination in favor of countervailing duties on subsidized biodiesel imports from Argentina and Indonesia. The Commerce Department found that Argentina and Indonesia provide subsidies to their biodiesel producers in violation of international trade rules. In addition, Commerce found “critical circumstances” to address the post-petition surge of imports from Argentina, allowing for retroactive duties going back to May 2017.As a result of Commerce’s ruling, importers of Argentinian and Indonesian biodiesel will be required to pay cash deposits on biodiesel imported from those countries. The cash deposit rates range from 50.29 to 64.17 percent for biodiesel from Argentina, and 41.06 to 68.28 percent for biodiesel from Indonesia, depending on the particular foreign producer/exporter involved. Cash deposit requirements will be imposed when this preliminary determination is published in the Federal Register sometime next week. In addition, based on Commerce’s “critical circumstances” finding, these rates for Argentina will apply retroactively 90 days from the date of the Federal Register notice.Between the preliminary and final determinations, the Commerce Department will audit the foreign producers and governments to confirm the accuracy of their data submissions. Preliminary determinations in the companion antidumping investigations are due to be issued in October. Final Commerce determinations are expected by spring 2018.To summarize:Companies in Argentina and Indonesia are selling biodiesel in the United States at price levels that are “dumped” (i.e., sold below their cost of production).Argentina and Indonesia are also providing subsidies to these biodiesel producers.The combined effect of this dumping and subsidization has been a flood of imports at unfair prices, with the result being injury to U.S. manufacturers and workers.Through this case, we hope to address the fact that Argentina and Indonesia are selling into the U.S. biodiesel market at dumped and subsidized prices, and seek to create a level playing field for U.S. producers.
WEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – Two trucks were found submerged in a canal in West Miami-Dade, Thursday.Crews arrived to the scene and found both vehicles empty.No injuries were reported.However, how both trucks made it into the water is under investigation.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Vijayawada: Former Chief Minister and TDP national president N Chandrababu Naidu directed the party leaders to fight against the anti-democratic policies of the BJP and the YSR Congress. Participating in a teleconference with party leaders from Europe on Friday evening, he asked the MLAs, the MLCs and senior leaders of the party to explain to people about ongoing political developments and create confidence among the cadres by extending support. Also Read – Bharat Gourav award to Margani Bharat Ram Advertise With Us Stating that the TDP had faced crises several times in the past, he reminded them as to how it gained public support later. The TDP supremo has also discussed with the party leaders on the issues like the inauguration of Kaleswaram project; Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s presence at the function; the merger of TDP Rajya Sabha MPs in the BJP and the Praja Vedika issue. Also Read – Women docs appointed in key posts in Tirupati Advertise With Us He said that the TDP never adopted anti-democratic policies. The MPs changing party issue would be challenged legally according to Anti-Defection Law, he said. MLA N Ramanaidu explained the details of the teleconference to the media on Friday night. He said that the BJP leaders were encouraging the defections from the TDP and they would fight legally until the four MPs were disqualified. Advertise With Us He said that the four MPs changed the party due to fear of cases and harassment. He questioned Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy as to how he attended the inauguration of Kaleswaram Project. He pointed out that Jagan Mohan Reddy had earlier criticised the Kaleswaram Project during his Jaladeeksha which was held in Kurnool. MLC P Ashok Babu said that the State government forcibly took the possession of Praja Vedika which was under the control of former Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. He said that Naidu applied for Praja Vedika building to be considered as the residence of the Opposition leader. The State government should provide accommodation to the Opposition leader, he said and recalled that Naidu submitted a letter to the government for allocation of Praja Vedika building. He said that the State government did not say anything on this request so far. He wondered as to how the State government took the possession of the building without serving notice to the Opposition leader. Former Minister P Pulla Rao said that he would not join the BJP. He said that some of them were intentionally creating rumours against him and there is no need to react every day on this. Several senior leaders participated in the teleconference.
Asaduzzaman Khan KamalAmid the killings of alleged drug traders in reported gunfights across the country, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Tuesday reiterated that law enforcers were forced to use firearms in self-defence.”High-profile drug peddlers either fled or engaged in gunfights with law enforcers whenever they went to arrest them on the basis of intelligence information. Under such circumstances, the law enforcers do what they should do,” he said while talking to reporters at the secretariat.The minister said a number of drug traders were killed in the last few days and all of them had modern firearms in their possession.”The killings took place as they tried to use the arms against the law enforcers,” he said.Mentioning that they do not want to resort to gunfight with anyone, he said the law enforcers are taking action against those open fire on them.“Apart from the killings, over 2,000 people were arrested in drives in the last 7-8 days across the country,” the minister said.Replying to a query about MP Abdur Rahman Bodi, he said : “Those involved in the drug trade will be brought to book. We’re trying to collect more information about Bodi and action will be taken against him after receiving proper information.”Responding to another query whether only those who carry drugs are being killed in gunfights, the home minister said they were trying to arrest the real drug peddlers based on intelligence information. “We won’t spare anyone, no matter whether he is an MP, government official, member of security force and journalist,” he said.Asaduzzaman said they were forced to conduct the anti-narcotics drives in the country as neighbouring countries did not take any effective measures to check the drug smuggling across the borders.
I’m sure more than a few gamers now check to see if a game is published by EA before deciding to buy. The reason: Project Ten Dollar, officially known as EA Online Pass.OP was introduced to try and offset the impact of used game sales on publishers by charging an extra $10 to anyone who wants to access online features in a title. You can buy and play a used game as normal, but some or all online features may be blocked until you pay for a pass. That may work for EA, but for gamers it means an extra $10 on the price of buying a used game for the full experience the developer intended you to have.Crysis 2 is being published by EA, and the FPS is certainly going to have a memorable multiplayer experience. A perfect game for EA to impose OP for, right? Wrong. According to Crytek the game will not use it.EA can only impose OP on the games it has direct involvement with developing and publishing. Crytek is part of the EA Partners program which is slightly different. More control stays with the developer because they aren’t owned (or funded I believe) by EA and therefore they retain an option to use OP or not.Crytek decided against OP because they see it as a blocker for gamers trying the multiplayer experience on console. Also, at the time they had to decide whether to use it or not the OP project was still being established so it was unclear exactly how well it would work or be received by the public.So anyone picking up Crysis 2 later this month can trade it for a decent price to a willing retailer, and then those buying it used can do so safe in the knowledge there is no multiplayer gaming charge imposed by EA.Read more at Gamertag Radio
Google dropped a bombshell on everyone by releasing Android 4.4 and the new Nexus 5 smartphone without even so much as a press conference. Join us as we break down what we know so far, alongside some fun with Battlefield 4.While many game developers are busy preparing their next-gen launch day games for the Xbox One and the PS4, a lot of other developers decided there was still plenty of people playing current consoles and PCs. Battlefield 4 is here, with a ton of new and exciting features and gameplay options. We spent a few minutes with the campaign mode recently, and found it a lot of fun despite the not-so-subtle lack of realism in how well you absorb bullets as the main character.Google’s Nexus 5 is here at last, and while we haven’t been able to get our hands on one yet, everything we know about the phone so far leads us to believe this will be one of the most impressive devices on the market today. The phone clocks in at a beastly 2.2GHz with a Snapdragon 800 processor and 2GB of RAM, but more importantly comes with envelope tracking hardware and battery sipping software that is supposed to give this new phone terrific battery life. We’ll believe it when we see it, which shouldn’t be too long from now.Android 4.4 is powering this impressive new phone, and what looks like an incremental version update from 4.3 is actually an impressive list of under-the-hood improvements. This feature list includes memory performance, new subtle changes to the front-facing UI, and tons of new APIs for developers to take advantage of. There’s a new cloud printing service system-wide, and a new storage access system that will allow greater sharing across services as well. We’ll be doing a thorough breakdown of what you can expect from Android 4.4 soon.Our app of the week comes just in time to enjoy some Halloween frights. Zombie Highway is a fun racer style game where you’ve gotta hit those crazy walkers before they climb all over your vehicle and flip it over in a mad attempt to get at some tasty, tasty brains. It’s free on Android, so be sure to check it out!If you’ve got a topic you’d like us to talk about on our Geekout, or questions for us during a live broadcast, leave us a message here or on the Google+ page.
Early next year Nintendo is set to launch new versions of the 3DS and 3DS XL in the US and across Europe, while Japan, Australia, and New Zealand get it on November 21 this year. The New Nintendo 3DS comes with a number of hardware changes including the addition of a C-Stick and ZL/ZR buttons on the exterior as well as a faster processor and wireless chip inside.That faster processor means games are going to load faster, but Nintendo has also stated that some games will require the faster 3DS in order to play. In the case of the recently announced The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D, it will play on all versions of the 3DS. However, series producer Eiji Aonuma has suggested the game will play differently depending on the hardware you own.We don’t know exactly what that means yet, but Aonuma has said the game won’t visually look any different, only that “playing on the New 3DS differs.” The most obvious change triggered by placing the Majora’s Mask cartridge in a New 3DS or New 3DS XL is the ability to use the C-Stick. Could it be Nintendo checks for its availability then unlocks it for say, camera controls? That seems possible and also relatively easy to include without having to ship two versions of the game.For Aonuma to mention it now suggests the control differences may be much more significant, though. You also have to consider that Nintendo wants everyone to buy the New 3DS models, so they’ll be keen to present the best version for that hardware while in no way degrading the experience on older hardware.More detail regarding the differences is promised, but only at a later date. We also don’t know when Majora’s Mask 3D is set to be released. Nintendo has only stated 2015 for now.
In a video gone viral, she looks helpless and uncomfortable as she tries to hide her face and turns around to escape shutterbugs who go clickety-click while she waits for the doors of an elevator to open at a theatre’s basement. That’s Suhana Khan, Indian superstar Shah Rukh Khan’s 17-year-old daughter, experiencing the unwelcome attention of being a celebrity kid. The growing paparazzi culture in India’s film industry is not sparing even the celebrities’ children from the prying eyes of the cameramen, who are always chasing “the first” and “exclusive” pictures to get more hits and eyeballs on the flourishing digital media. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf It’s often dismissed as “the media’s job”, but actors and celebrities have come out clear about where one needs to draw the line.”They are not movie stars. They just happen to be a movie star’s children… Don’t assume they will be able to handle the media like I do… They get awkward,” Shah Rukh said in a tete-a-tete with journalists on Eid last month.Just last year, Shah Rukh was left irate over “cheap” headlines after photographs of Suhana in a bikini were splashed all over.”Your website is not going to run on my daughter’s bikini body,” he had said in an interview.As a concerned parent, Shweta Bachchan Nanda – daughter of Indian megastar Amitabh Bachchan – had last year reacted strongly about the intrusion of privacy in the life of her daughter Navya Naveli, whose personal photographs with friends keep getting circulated on social media.”She is not a public figure. Yes, she is related to some very famous people, but that is something completely out of her control,” Shweta had written in her column. Shweta also pointed out how Navya Naveli’s “strong sense of self” helps her remain unaffected even when people “judge her, deride her, call her unattractive or scrawny”.”But you can well imagine what it would do to the self-esteem of a young, impressionable girl, who hasn’t asked to be thrust into the spotlight in this way,” added the mother of two, who feels “helpless” while being “unable to plug the flow of this filth that is distributed in the name of information and journalism – all in the pursuit of hits and likes”.How celebrity children handle this attention – which is bound to come their way – has a lot to do with their parenting, says well-known psychiatrist Samir Parikh.”It all comes down to how the parents are able to give them a normal upbringing. Social media is in nobody’s control, but you can teach your child to ignore things and not to take things to heart. “Children can be impressionable by their own parents setting the example of how to handle the pressure of public life,” explained Parikh, Director, Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences.Writer-entrepreneur-film producer-former actor Twinkle Khanna has son Aarav and daughter Nitara with Bollywood star Akshay Kumar. Being the daughter of “India’s first superstar” Rajesh Khanna and evergreen screen icon Dimple Kapadia herself, she has lived the life her children are now living – albeit with lesser attention.She realises it’s a different age.”Their life is different, they are on Instagram, Snapchat and have a whole different version of reality than we did. I think they are a lot more comfortable and easy with that sort of a life than we ever were. I think they can handle it… Every generation has handled their challenges well, and so will they,” Twinkle said at a conclave here earlier this year.But for some celebrities, what’s irksome is the rat race to get their children’s photographs right from their birth. Whether it was Shahid Kapoor’s daughter Misha or Kareena Kapoor Khan’s son Taimur – there was a rush for their first photographs. According to Public Relations specialist Archana Sadanand, who has worked closely with the film industry, “paparazzi has become highly intrusive in the celebrities’ lives as well as their kids'”.”Ideally, the media themselves should take out a mandate and not click infants as harsh lights, clambering for the best picture, can hurt them… (But) I guess the celebs have come to terms with the paparazzi culture and have slowly got their kids also accustomed to the same.”Once the child grows up, he/she starts understanding the media and the fact that their parents are celebrities and it’s a part of the day-to-day lives.”Aaradhya Bachchan, 5, is a clear example – she smiled and posed like a pro while travelling with her mother Aishwarya Rai Bachchan to Cannes –much to the actor and former beauty queen’s surprise. All part of growing up in the limelight, perhaps!
Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Creating new hardware products is hard. No surprise there. Every step along the way has its own pitfalls: idea, proof of concept, functional prototype, public launch, production, ongoing support. The process requires extended periods of research and development — which in turn call for significant up-front investment.Related: Watch This Guy Try, Fail and Ultimately Succeed to Build His Own Iron Man SuitEntrepreneurs embarking on new-product development need the chance to experiment with something new and leave room for error. But the downside is that all these steps make it easy for hardware startups to fail. Take the company behind the Lily Camera Drone. It raised $15 million in funding and received $34 million in preorders. But leaders over-promised on features as well as ship-date estimates. And, ultimately, the group closed its operations.Another version of a drone, the Zano mini-drone, was Europe’s biggest Kickstarter campaign. But it too shut down, after receiving $3.4 million from more than 12,000 backers. Poor planning and lack of experience led Zano’s team members to overestimate their ability to execute their vision.Companies that avoid these common mistakes excel in the hardware space. Form Labs, the $3 million Kickstarter recipient that developed desktop 3-D printers, successfully shipped its first-generation printer on time because the company launched its funding campaign well into the prototyping phase.DJI, meanwhile, has dominated the drone industry because of smart strategies like locating its engineering offices and assembly facility in close proximity. This proximity created a tight feedback loop throughout the design and production processes.Here at Double Robotics, we’ve made some mistakes and we’ve done some things right. We successfully shipped our first hardware product just nine months after its public debut. Our hardware product has been on the market for four years now, and we couldn’t be more excited about our growth. It hasn’t been easy; and there have been bumps along the way. Here are three crucial tips we learned:1. Create a bill of materials with pristine accuracy.A bill of materials (BOM) is a spreadsheet that details the complete cost of all individual parts and assemblies needed to create a single production unit. Your BOM also should factor in shipping for raw materials, import taxes and labor. Costs will vary with volume, but be sure to base your initial figures on the lowest expected production volumes. This is a safeguard in case sales come in lower than anticipated.Estimate the BOM once the prototype is complete. At this stage, you won’t have final production designs or quotes from your contract manufacturers. You’ll need experienced mechanical and electrical engineers to envision the final product and estimate each part separately.An accurate BOM is the foundation for your cost of goods sold (COGS) — your total cost to get a single unit to the customer. Your COGS is equal to the BOM plus labor and shipping costs. Knowing your BOM and COGS allows you to set a sustainable selling price for your product: The difference between the COGS and the selling price is your gross margin.Your margin will vary depending on your distribution channel. If you sell through retail stores, for example, you’ll need a much higher margin than if you sell direct to customers. A margin in the 50 percent to 60 percent range is a good rule of thumb for startups selling to direct to customers.Understanding exactly how much it will cost to build your product is the only way to ensure you won’t lose money or be forced to raise prices after your product launches.Related: Pricing a Product2. Plan for the worst. In any startup, resources are scarce, and time is of the essence. When estimating time lines, add 50 percent on top of your original estimate. With hardware, this is even more important, because you’re moving around physical atoms instead of just bits online.Here are a few areas that require extra planning:Production. Assume it will be very expensive and take much longer than you think to set up a contract manufacturer. It’s always challenging to create systems for documentation, quality control and a repeatable assembly process. Parts often arrive from manufacturers with varying dimensions or specifications. It’s extremely important to communicate your tolerance — the range of specifications you can accept — to suppliers.Shipping. Investigate all possible import taxes and fees, especially on inbound shipments coming from overseas suppliers. Will these arrive by air or by sea? Air is more expensive, but sea takes a very long time (and time is money). Some products cannot be shipped by air, and some products bring fees that outweigh the cost benefits of using an overseas manufacturer.Regulations. Build-in extra time for relevant government testing and certifications. These might include FCC Certification, UL for electrical and safety testing and CE testing for many countries around the world. Expect to iterate your design a few times before you pass these certifications.Related: Why Small-Business Owners and Buyers Support Trump’s Plan to Renegotiate Trade Deals3. Create an extensible product.When we first dreamed up the idea behind Double, we had a long list of features we wanted to include. We also knew we wanted to begin shipping as soon as possible. Creating an extensible product — something that can be designed to accommodate new features or changes — has allowed us to build on our product over time. Upgrades can come in the form of hardware, software or both. Think carefully about how these improvements will play out through the lifecycle of your product.We’ve released three accessories, and all are backward-compatible to the very first Double units (built three years ago). Even our earliest customers are able to enjoy these new features. That helps us build strong relationships and a reputation as a company that supports its products.Bonus tip: Consider keeping your final assembly in-house.At our company, we’re fortunate to have a low-volume, high-margin product, with final assembly in our California facility. Our engineers remain very close to the entire assembly process, so they can solve issues quickly and iterate with more freedom. Because everything revolves around time — time to market, time to iterate — it was crucial to ship our first product quickly. Keeping the assembly process in-house enabled us to ship six months sooner than we could have if we’d used a traditional contract manufacturer.Related: 3 Road-Mapping Sins That Could Kill Your Next ProductIf you forgo a contract manufacturer and retain all aspects of production in-house, you can iterate in the moment and conduct “just-in-time” manufacturing. You’ll also have tight quality control and a narrow turnaround you might not otherwise be able to achieve. Keeping all engineers, tooling, processes and knowledge within your company’s walls means you’re able to truly invest in yourselves.That’s an important but often overlooked distinction. While the challenges of taking your product from prototype to production can be daunting, the final result is immensely rewarding and something to be celebrated as a team. July 12, 2017 Register Now » 7 min read
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