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Software Industry in Bangladesh / Job opportunity at Samgsung
« on: August 03, 2017, 02:02:27 PM »
There are some paid and full time internship opportunities in a renowned company.
Fresh Graduates or last semester students can apply.
Qualification:
-Candidate must have to stay 6 months
-Interested in Software Testing
-Basic knowledge in shell scripting
Please contact with Ssh Shamma mam through email by today or mail her your CV.
syeda.swe@diu.edu.bd

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Travel / Visit / Tour / 31 Best Travel Sites to Save You Money
« on: August 02, 2017, 07:43:43 PM »


Find the best deals online for plane tickets, hotel rooms, vacation packages and car rentals, domestic or abroad.

Feeling too pinched by the ever-troubled economy to travel? You can still find good deals to get away — if you know where to go online first. Here are the best travel sites we've found to help you bag the best bargains on airfares, lodging, car rentals and all your other travel needs. Note: All but two of the following sites are free to use.

Airfares

1) Kayak.com scours hundreds of online sources for the cheapest fare available. The more flexible you are on time and destination, the better your chances of finding a great deal. Search for dates up to three days before and after your ideal travel dates or on any weekends in the next year. And with the site's Explore tool, you can scan a world map for all the places you can reach within a specified per-ticket price range. It also lets you specify your preferred flight time, vacation activities (beach, gamble, golf or ski?) and weather (based on temperatures).

Kayak can also help you bite the bullet and buy your ticket, or not, with its "price predictor," which forecasts whether fares will go up or down. Enter your desired itinerary and the site will return a list of flight options, along with a recommendation to either buy now or wait for a fare drop. But the tool is not omniscient. Predictions appear with confidence rates and are limited to certain cities, round-trip, coach flights and specific time frames depending on your departure and arrival cities.
SEE ALSO:
Are You Tipping Enough When You Travel?

2) AirfareWatchdog works best for travelers ready to take off at the drop of a deal. The site has actual people lurking on airline Web sites in anticipation of fare sales. They sign up for rewards programs to snag promotional codes and discount offers that can be passed on to AirfareWatchdog users. Plus, the site includes fares from Southwest, Allegiant and other small airlines that may not appear on bigger search sites such as Kayak. (Also check out Hotelwatchdog, which fetches hotel listings that offer great values, meaning they have prices lower than similar nearby hotels, good locations and favorable TripAdvisor reviews.)

3) The Flight Deal works similarly to Airfarewatchdog. Follow for a curated roundup of cheap fares out of major U.S. cities. You can find commentary about the deals (including tip-offs if the fares drop or disappear) and step-by-step instructions on how to find dates with the lowest prices.

4) Google Flights is great for comparing multiple airfares. It spotlights itineraries with the best combination of price, duration, stops and more, while map, calendar and bar-graph tools help you explore cheaper destinations and dates.

5) WhichBudget.com will help you build an inexpensive, overseas flight plan by using local, budget airlines — a great way to save on international travel. Select your overseas starting point, end point or both, and the site will list airlines you've probably never heard of that service each route. For example, if you search for flights from Bangkok to Beijing, you'll get options from China Eastern and Hainan Airlines.

6) Several major airlines, such as American, AirTran and Jetblue, will refund you the difference, usually in the form of travel credits or vouchers, if the fare falls below what you paid for your ticket. Enter your flight information at Yapta.com, and the site tracks the fares for you. If the price dips below the threshold your specify, Yapta will shoot you an e-mail or Tweet and walk you through how to collect your refund.
Lodging

7-9) Hotels.com lets you search just one site for accommodations at hundreds of thousands of properties. You can find particularly good last-minute deals, which are updated daily. But even advance-travel planners can score big bargains with the site's seasonal sales, destination-specific deals and other special offers. Frequent travelers will appreciate the simplicity of the site's rewards program — for every ten nights you spend at any combination of the program's 100,000 member properties, you'll earn a free night's stay worth up to the average daily rate of your ten nights.
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Similarly, HotelTonight is an app that also lets users book hotels at low last-minute rates, while SnapTravel allows reduced-rate, last-minute bookings via text message and Facebook Messenger.

10) Priceline offers standard online travel agent services. But its Negotiator is uniquely suited to help you haggle for the best bargains on hotels. Select a minimum star class, your dates of stay and preferred neighborhood, and then name your price. You can save up to 60% off published rates, and bids less than $100 a night on luxury lodgings often win — particularly for last-minute bookings.

But here's the catch: Priceline doesn't tell you which hotel you're booking until after you pay, so you won't be sure exactly where you'll end up. Blind booking like this can be particularly risky when you're visiting an unfamiliar area, especially overseas. Note: The site also allows you to Name Your Own Price for flights and car rentals.

11-12) If you find yourself faced with a pricey fee after cancelling a hotel room, you may be able to recoup some of your losses by posting your reservation for sale on a site such as Roomer or Cancelon. You’ll set your own price, at least 20% below what you originally paid, and the sites will take a 10% to 15% cut of your sale price. Roomer will take care of transferring the reservations from your name to the buyer’s, but Cancelon requires you to make the switch.
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13) TripAdvisor is the most popular hotel-review site, offering millions of professional and amateur reviews of hotels in the U.S. and overseas. Search for your destination, and the site will return a detailed list of hotels, bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals and other lodging options. You can filter the results to find which hotels are best for value, families, business, romance or luxury.

Watch out for possibly fake reviews from cronies trying to push up their own hotel's ratings or flame their competitors (the site flags some suspicious postings). Ignore reviews on either extreme and focus on those with midrange ratings — they're more likely to be the most helpful. TripAdvisor doesn't sell rooms or offer any actual deals, but it links you to partner sites, such as Expedia, Travelocity and Hotels.com. Click on the "check rates" button and select the site or sites you'd like to try — a new window with results will open for each partner.

14) To focus on smaller inns or B&Bs, try searching BedandBreakfast.com. It lists extensive details on even the tiniest inns and, after you provide your e-mail address, sends you promotional codes and "hot deals" in your desired location. You can also search for specific amenities, such as a hot tub and fireplace, or find out whether a place is pet-friendly.

15-16) Vacation rentals are an especially good value for groups because they generally offer more space and amenities for prices similar to or less than hotel rates. HomeAway offers more than two million rental lodgings in 190 countries, with more than a million worldwide listings across its family of sites (including VRBO and VacationRentals.com). There's also Airbnb with more than three million vacation rental listings in 191 countries.
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SEE ALSO:
Fabulous Travel Freebies

17) If you're traveling alone, or with a buddy or two, you can score a great deal staying at a hostel — without necessarily having to join the backpacker and bunk-bed lifestyle you might associate with this budget-lodging option. Many hostels offer more private, hotel-like accommodations these days. Hostelz.com offers nearly 50,000 listings in about 9,000 cities, and includes reviews from professional and real travelers.

18) For a really great deal, try trading places with other travelers. HomeExchange.com provides the largest network of home swappers, with more than 55,000 listings — about 26% in the U.S. and most of the rest spread throughout the major tourist areas of Australia, Britain, Canada, France and Italy. An annual membership costs $119 and gets you as many swaps as you can manage in a year.

19) JetSetter is our favorite private-sale site for luxury-hotel deals. In general, these kinds of sites offer invited members exclusive access to deep discounts for a limited time, and they work best if you're flexible about where you want to travel. JetSetter can have 15 to 30 of these "flash sales" available at once – more than similar sites, which usually offer just a handful at a time — and can save you up to 50% off published rates. The sales typically last seven to ten days, or until they sell out.

20) More adventurous types can arrange to sleep on a local’s couch (or guest bed) for free through Couchsurfing.com. Just create an online profile, and look for available crash pads in your destination.
Vacation Packages

21) At CruiseCompete.com, more than 300 travel agencies vie to give you the lowest prices for dates, ports and ships you specify, whether you're booking well in advance or at the eleventh hour. You set up a CruiseCompete account, and they send you their best offers without ever seeing your personal information. Plus, the site has live agents available to guide you through the process through a live chat or by phone.
Rental Cars

22) Hotwire often offers the best published deals on cars by collecting rates from its eight rental car company partners, including Alamo, Enterprise and Hertz.

The site also offers "hot rates" from rental companies that won't be identified until after you've paid. With rental cars, the risk in taking the blind-booking approach is minimal: A minivan is a minivan, no matter which company provides it. (You can also head back to Priceline.com to try bidding for a better bargain on your rental car.)

23) Hotwire does offer some good prepaid rental car deals in certain international cities, but such bargains are AutoEurope's specialty. Auto Europe offers rentals at more than 20,000 locations worldwide. And if you have any problems with the rental-car provider you're hooked up with, Auto Europe will help you resolve them.

24) What Yapta does for airlines, Autoslash does for rental cars. It will apply the best coupons and discount codes to your rental, and it will re-book your reservation if the system finds a better deal.
Other Travel Resources
Currency Conversion

25) Check XE.com for reliable, mid-market exchange rates. Along with an easy-to-read grid of conversion rates on the homepage and a host of other tools, this site offers calculators for travel expenses, credit-card charges and, obviously, currency conversions.
Eurail

26) Trains are often the fastest and cheapest way to travel within and between European countries. Our favorite American Web site for checking timetables and booking tickets on European train lines is RailEurope. But you might be able to catch better deals directly from European railways' sites, if you don't get lost in translation.
Flight Information

27) FlightStats.com can help you plan a smooth trip by advising you on the best time of day to fly from a specific airport and which terminals to avoid for connecting flights. You can also view live updates of flight delays, and sign up for free e-mail and phone alerts.

28) If you’re delayed by weather or some unforeseen event, it pays to act quickly. The TripIt Pro smartphone app ($49/year) will send you alerts about cancellations, delays or gate changes on the fly, sometimes even ahead of an airline announcement. Use it to locate alternate flights, find out when better seats are available, get fare refund notifications, track your rewards program points, and more.
Frequent-Flier Miles

29) At WebFlyer.com, you can see how your miles convert between programs, learn about changes to your frequent-flier program and discover how to maximize the value of your mileage awards when you redeem them for merchandise or services.
Passport Photos

30) To get a professional passport photo you’ll pay about $15, which can add up for a family. Instead, take your photo with your own digital camera, then upload it to ePassportPhoto.com, which will help you size it properly before printing on your home printer. The best part: You can redo your picture as many times as you like.
Travel Insurance

31) You never know when an emergency situation will spoil your travel plans. Buying travel insurance from agencies and travel providers, such as cruise lines, is usually a crummy deal because of price markups and restrictions on filing claims. At InsureMyTrip.com, you can compare plans and prices from multiple insurance providers with just one search and narrow your search results by specifying the kind of coverage you need.


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আধুনিকতার এই যুগে দুরন্ত সব যানবাহন ছাড়া চলাচলের কথা চিন্তাও করা যায় না! তবে যদি বলা হয় যে, এমনটি সম্ভব এবং হচ্ছেও, তাহলে কি বিষয়টি বিশ্বাসযোগ্য হবে? হতেই হবে! কারণ ঠিক এমনই এক অদ্ভুত জায়গা বাস্তবেই রয়েছে যেখানে চলে না কোনো গাড়ি-ঘোড়া! জায়গাটির নাম গ্যাথ্রুন। নেদারল্যান্ডের দৃষ্টিনন্দন ছোট্ট এই গ্রামটি অ্যামস্টারডাম থেকে ১০০ কি.মি. দূরে অবস্থিত।

শান্ত পরিবেশ, আঁকাবাঁকা খাল, কাঠ দিয়ে বানানো ছোট ছোট সেতু আর রঙ-বেরঙের নানান ফুলের সমারোহ এই গ্রামটিতে। আর এখানকার বাড়ি-ঘরগুলোর কথা তো না বললেই নয়। ২০০ বছরের পুরনো এই বাড়িগুলো একটুও বদলায়নি, ঠিক একই রকম আছে। আকার আকৃতিতে দেখতে অনেকটা খামার বাড়ির মতোই সেখানকার ঘরগুলো।

গ্যাথ্রুনে যেকোনো ধরনের যানবাহন ব্যবহারের উপর কঠোর নিষেধাজ্ঞা জারি করা আছে। যদিও পর্যটকরা এই সুন্দর জায়গা দেখতে এসে ভিড় জমানোর কারণে এই নিয়মের খানিকটা পরিবর্তন হয়েছে। তাই এখন সেখানে সাইকেল চালানোর অনুমতি আছে। তবে বেশিরভাগ সময়ে জলপথেই যাতায়াত হয়ে থাকে সেখানে। গ্রামের সনাতন দিকটিতে কোনো অলিগলিও নেই। গ্যাথ্রুনে ১৮০টিরও বেশি সেতু রয়েছে।

বহু আগে থেকেই পর্যটকদের মূল আকর্ষণ হলো সেখানকার নৌকা। পর্যটকেরা সেখানে গিয়ে মোটর বাইক, ডোঙ্গা (ছোট নৌকা) ভাড়া করতে পারে যেগুলো চলে ইলেকট্রিক মোটরে। আরামদায়ক ডাবল সিট থাকার কারণে এই ইলেকট্রিক মোটরে চালানো নৌকাগুলোই পর্যটকদের কাছে অধিক জনপ্রিয়।

গ্যাথ্রুনের ইলেকট্রিক বোট বেশ পরিবেশবান্ধব এবং শব্দ নেই বললেই চলে; Image Source: Punterwerf Wildboer

রুপকথার মতো সুন্দর এই জায়গাটিকে জনপ্রিয় করে তোলার জন্য একজনকে ধন্যবাদ না দিলেই নয়। আর তিনি হলেন বার্ট হ্যান্সট্রা। এই ডাচ চলচ্চিত্র নির্মাতা ১৯৫৮ সালে তার নির্মিত বিখ্যাত কমেডি মুভি ফানফেয়ার এর শুটিং করেছিলেন গ্যাথ্রুনে। মূলত তখন থেকেই আলোচনায় আসে ও জনপ্রিয় হয়ে ওঠে এই সুন্দর জায়গাটি। ধীরে ধীরে পর্যটকেরা ভিড় জমাতে থাকে নয়নাভিরাম এই গ্রামটি দেখতে। গ্যাথ্রুনের অর্থনীতিতে তাই এখন পর্যটন শিল্পেরই বেশি অবদান আছে বলা যায়।

এই গ্রামের কাঁচা বাজার, মালামাল এমনকি রেস্টুরেন্টের ডেলিভারিও হয় নৌকায় যাতায়াতের মাধ্যমে। তিনটি কারণে গ্যাথ্রুন পৃথিবীর অন্য যেকোনো জায়গা থেকে একেবারেই আলাদা। প্রথমত, এখানে সবকিছুই ছোটখাটো। যেমন- ঘর-বাড়ি, খাল, সেখানে জনসংখ্যা কম, নৌকাগুলো ছোট, এমনকি সেখানকার সুপারমার্কেটগুলোও আয়তনে ছোট। দ্বিতীয়ত, সেখানে যে ১৮০টি সেতু রয়েছে, তার সবগুলোই কাঠের তৈরি। তৃতীয়ত, গ্যাথ্রুন নেদারল্যান্ডের ঠিক মাঝামাঝি হওয়ার কারণে পৃথিবীর যেকোনো প্রান্ত থেকে যাওয়াটা বেশ সহজসাধ্য।
গ্যাথ্রুনের ইতিহাস

সর্বপ্রথম ১২৩০ খ্রিস্টাব্দে ভূমধ্যসাগরীয় কয়েকজন পলাতক এই গ্রামটি প্রতিষ্ঠা করে। তারা পিট নির্যাস (ত্রয়োদশ শতাব্দীর দিকে শক্তির উল্লেখযোগ্য উৎস ছিলো) বহন করার সুবিধার্থে গ্রামের দুটি প্রান্তের সংযোগস্থলস্বরূপ কয়েকটি খাল কাটে। প্রথম প্রথম তারা এই শক্তির উৎসের খোঁজে বিভিন্ন জায়গায় খনন করতে থাকে। আর এভাবেই পুরো গ্যাথ্রুন জুড়ে তারা চালাতে থাকে খনন কাজ।

খনন কাজের পরের ধাপটি ছিলো সেগুলো বহন করে নিয়ে যাওয়া। এক প্রান্ত থেকে থেকে অন্য প্রান্তে যাওয়ার জন্য খাদ ও খাল কাটা। এর ফলস্বরূপ পুরো গ্যাথ্রুন সেজে ওঠে একেবারে ভিন্ন এক আঙ্গিকে।
গ্যাথ্রুনের নামকরণ

‘গ্যাথ্রুন’ শব্দটির আক্ষরিক অর্থ হলো ‘ছাগলের শিং’। এই নামকরণ করেন সেখানকার প্রথম অধিবাসীরা, যারা জলাভূমিতে পেয়েছিলো শত শত ছাগলের শিং! এই শিংগুলো ছিলো দশম শতাব্দীর বন্যার অবশিষ্টাংশ। তবে এখন সেখানে ঐ শিংগুলো আর নেই এবং গাছপালাগুলোও একেবারেই ভিন্ন। ১৯৭৩ সাল পর্যন্ত গ্রামটি একটি ভিন্ন পৌরসভা ছিলো। সরল, শান্ত ও মনোরম এই গ্রামটিকে বলা হয় ‘উত্তরের ভেনিস শহর’ বা ‘ছোট ভেনিস’। ইতালির শহরটির সাথে অবকাঠামোর মিল থাকায় এমন নাম দেয়া হয়েছে। এই গ্রামে কোনো রাস্তা না থাকলেও আছে সাইকেল চালানোর মতো সরু কিছু অলিগলি আর অসংখ্য সেতু।

গ্যাথ্রুন নিয়ে কিছু তথ্য

    গ্রামটি সমুদ্রসীমা থেকে কয়েক মিটার নিচে অবস্থিত। সেখানকার মাটি এতটাই নরম যে, সেখানে রাস্তা-ঘাট বানানো অসম্ভব। তাই এই গ্রামটি কোনো ধরনের গাড়ি-ঘোড়াও চলাচল করে না। রাস্তা-ঘাট বলতে সেখানে শুধুমাত্র সাইকেল চালানোর মতো সরু পথগুলোই আছে।
    সাইকেল ছাড়া নৌকাই গ্যাথ্রুনের একমাত্র যানবাহন। স্থানীয় নৌকাগুলোকে পান্টারস্‌ বলে এবং এগুলো নিয়মিত যাতায়াত ও মালামাল বহনের জন্য ব্যবহার করা হয়।
    যেহেতু সেখানে খাল আর নৌকারই সমারোহ, সেহেতু সেখানকার বাচ্চারাও বেশ ভালো নৌকা চালাতে পারে। বলা হয়ে থাকে যে, সেখানে বাচ্চারা হাঁটার আগেই নৌকা চালানো শিখে যায়।
    পুরো গ্যাথ্রুন আঠারো শতকের সব খামারবাড়ি দিয়ে ভরপুর। খড়ের এই বাড়িগুলোতে ২-৩টি করে রুম থাকে। প্রতিটি বাড়ির সাথে সিঁড়ি থাকে যা দিয়ে খালে নামা যায়।
    সেখানে ৪ মাইলেরও বেশি খাল রয়েছে যেগুলোর উপরে রয়েছে কাঠের ব্রিজ।
    এই গ্রামটির ইতিহাস ৮০০ বছর পুরনো।
    গ্যাথ্রুনের জনসংখ্যা খুবই কম। মাত্র ২,৬০০ লোকের বসবাস সেখানে।
    নৌকা ব্যবসায় বেশ সমৃদ্ধিশালী এই গ্রামটি। পুরো গ্রামের যাতায়াত ব্যবস্থা নৌকার উপর নির্ভর করায় নৌকার রমরমা ব্যবসা চলে সেখানে। একেকটি নৌকা বানাতে মোট সময় লাগে ৩-৪ সপ্তাহ।
    গ্যাথ্রুনে রয়েছে বেশ কয়েকটি রেঁস্তোরা। আর সেই রেঁস্তোরাগুলোর প্যানকেক বেশ জনপ্রিয়।
    বেশিরভাগ ক্ষেত্রেই সেখানকার নাগরিকেরা ‘হুইস্পার বোট’ নামের নৌকা ব্যবহার করে থাকে। কারণ এটি ইঞ্জিনবিহীন নৌকা হওয়ায় শান্ত পরিবেশ বজায় থাকে ও ধোঁয়ায় পরিবেশ দূষিতও হয় না।
    গ্রীষ্মকাল আর শীতকালের গ্যাথ্রুনের চেহারা একেবারেই আলাদা। গ্রীষ্মকালে খালগুলো পানি দিয়ে পূর্ণ থাকে। আবার শীতকালে সেই খালের পানিই জমে বরফ হয়ে যায়। বরফে ঢাকা গ্যাথ্রুন দেখে চেনার কোনো উপায় থাকে না। এই বরফের উপর শীতকালে সেখানকার নাগরিকেরা আইস স্কেটিং করে।
    সেখানে জলপথে চলাচলের জন্য বিভিন্ন ধরনের নৌকাগুলো হলো- কায়াক, রো-বোট, সেইল-বোট, হুইস্পার বোট, পান্ট, স্লোয়েপ (অভিজাত ইলেকট্রিক বোট) ইত্যাদি।
    ১০০ বছরের পুরাতন কিছু খবরের কাগজের আর্টিকেলের মাধ্যমে জানা যায় যে, শুরুর দিকে এই খালগুলো মানুষের যাতায়াতের সাথে সাথে পশুদের এক জায়গা থেকে আরেক জায়গায় নিয়ে যাওয়ার কাজেও ব্যবহার করা হতো।
    ‘টি ওল্ডে ম্যাট আস’ নামে একটি জাদুঘর আছে যেখানে গ্যাথ্রুনের ঐতিহ্য ও সংস্কৃতি সম্পর্কে জানা যায়। এই জাদুঘরটি তৈরি করা হয়েছিলো ১৯৮৮ সালে।
    গ্যাথ্রুনের ঐতিহ্যবাহী নৌকার নাম ‘পান্টার’। লম্বা ও সরু গড়নের এই নৌকাটির সাথে ভেনিসের জনপ্রিয় নৌকা ‘গন্ডোলা’-এর অনেক মিল রয়েছে। জাদুঘরে রাখা বিভিন্ন ছবি দেখে বোঝা যায় যে, দৈনন্দিন কাজের পাশাপাশি বাণিজ্যিক কাজেও ব্যাপকভাবে ব্যবহার করা হতো এই নৌকাটি। এখনও গ্যাথ্রুনের নাগরিকদের কাছে দৈনন্দিন ব্যবহারের কাজে ‘পান্টার’ই বেশ জনপ্রিয়।
    গ্যাথ্রুনে ঘুরতে যাওয়ার সবচাইতে ভালো সময় হলো এপ্রিলের মাঝামাঝি থেকে অক্টোবরের মাঝামাঝি সময়টা।

মাত্র ২,৬০০ মানুষের এই জায়গাটি শহরের কোলাহল থেকে হারিয়ে যাওয়ার মতো শান্ত একটি জায়গা। সেখানকার মানুষদের মতে, মাঝে মাঝে সবচাইতে জোরে যদি কোনো আওয়াজ শোনা যায়, তা হলো হাঁসের ডাক! এখন নিশ্চয়ই আপনার হারিয়ে যেতে ইচ্ছে করছে এই প্রশান্ত ও নিবিড়  গ্রামে, তাই না?

4
Travel / Visit / Tour / The truth about emergencies on planes
« on: August 01, 2017, 12:17:32 PM »
The trill is familiar: “Please listen to the following safety instructions...” But, particularly for frequent fliers, it's tempting not to tune in to the spiel that precedes every flight you will ever take.

Because flying is safe. According to figures from the Civil Aviation Authority, there is an average of one fatality for every 287 million passengers carried to or from British airports. In the past 40 years, survival rates in the event of a crash have increased: between 1971 and 1980, 48 per cent of passengers survived major incidents; that rose to 67 per cent in the decade 2001-2010. Last year, meanwhile, was the second safest year in aviation history – second only to 2013. 

But since emergencies on planes do occur, as passengers on board a Thomas Cook aircraft in Hurghada discovered this week, cabin crew need to know how to handle them.
 

I attended a cabin crew training day at British Airways, and found out a thing or two about emergency situations on board. How do the staff get everyone off as quickly as possible? Should they even be directing people off the plane? And what happens if there's a fire?
Must you listed to the in-flight briefing?

There is no legal requirement for staff to make passengers listen to the in-flight safety announcements that take place at the beginning of every flight. Those who do not follow the instructions are responsible for their own fate. However, cabin crew can intervene if rowdy passengers are preventing others from listening.
Watch: BA's star-studded new safety video
06:08
Is your life jacket actually there?

Staff learn emergency procedures inside-out, but as a passenger, do you check your life jacket is actually there? Although spares are available on board, it is not a routine BA cabin crew requirement to make sure each seat has its inflatable. If you want to be able to don it immediately in the case of an emergency, it's up to you to check it's stowed where it should be. And perhaps you should. George Hobica, airline expert and the founder of airfarewatchdog.com, once told the Huffington Post: “People take those life jackets, located under or between your seat, as souvenirs. It's a vile and punishable offense, and while some airlines do check each seat at the start of every day, a plane could make several trips in a day, during any one of which a passenger could steal a life vest. So, I learned, it's a good idea to check if the life jacket is indeed there.”

And no, First Class passengers do not have their own parachutes.
The paradox of a 'planned' emergency

In terminology that perhaps sounds paradoxical, emergency landings can be “planned” or “unplanned”. The former is when cabin crew know something bad is going to happen - you are going to have to make an emergency landing because of fire or engine failure, for example. The latter is when it just does, without warning - in the event of a terrorist attack, for instance.
Evacuation slides can kill

The emergency slides that you hope you never have to use can be “lethal weapons”, according to James Austin, a British Airways training executive.

If members of cabin crew haven’t made sure the door is in manual mode on landing, when they open it the slide will inflate in less than 10 seconds, and ground staff on the other side of the door “won’t be there much longer”, he adds.
Passengers that refuse to jump can expect a kick

In an emergency, if passengers are refusing to get out, staff need to be prepared to do anything to get them onto the slide, including pushing, kicking, and shouting. It is their responsibility to get people out, and there is no time to accommodate those with vertigo. At full pelt, 150 people can be off in 60 seconds. The crew would also check the flight deck before leaping for the slide themselves. Austin explains: “If the pilots got us down, it might be nice to make sure they are alive.” For security reasons, staff are not allowed to reveal other emergency circumstances in which crew would be allowed onto the flight deck.
Landing on water - and building a raft

“Ditchings”, as landings on water are sometimes known, should only be attempted if there is no other emergency landing option, like, for example, when fuel runs out or becomes contaminated.

To prepare the cabin for this type of evacuation, crew would need to instruct them to put on any available clothes, to improve chances of survival in the water, and secure loose items: once water enters the fuselage, any floating objects could impede evacutation. A reminder of the step we hear so often - “in the event of an emergency, do not inflate your lifejacket until outside the aircraft” - would be given.

The emergency slide then becomes a raft, and cabin crew would have to attempt to link the inflatables together, to make as large a mass as possible, so it is as visible as possible to search parties.

One ditching with fatal consequences was the emergency landing into the Bengawan Solo River, on the island of Java, by Garuda Indonesia Flight 421. The Boeing 737-300 experienced a dual engine failure on January 16, 2002. According to a report from the American National Transportation Safety Board, of the 60 occupants on board, one flight attendant was killed, 12 passengers received serious injuries, and 10 received minor injuries.

More recently, in 2009, a US Airways Airbus A320 was forced to ditch in the Hudson river after a flock of birds reportedly disabled both its engines. All 155 passengers and crew survived, earning the event the name of “Miracle on the Hudson”.

But what if you don't want to get people off the plane? Austin continues: “If you start an evacuation too soon and someone gets sucked into an engine, that’s not a good day, is it?” If the surrounding environment is too dangerous (on fire, stormy sea, a hostile terrain, say), it might be safer to stay in the plane.
The US Airways plane involved in the Miracle on the Hudson
The US Airways plane involved in the Miracle on the Hudson Credit: 2009 Getty Images/Mario Tama
The on-board fires you didn't even know about

Next up, fire. British Airways trainees have a full day on this, since they must be prepared to fight everything from a wisp of smoke escaping from an in-flight entertainment screen, to a potential explosion.

British Airways staff admit that “due to the associated electricals”, plane seats can and do catch fire, although are cagey about how often this actually happens. If there was a serious combustion on board, however, the smoke could be so toxic that two, three or four breaths could kill; if all flammable materials on board ignited, temperatures would reach 1,000C, and passengers would be unlikely to survive.

So would staff tell passengers if there was a fire on board? It would depend on size and location. If the fire was near them, in a door panel or in their seat, then obviously yes, but if it was in the galley, then they needn’t be any the wiser…

British Airways cabin crew trainees learn the ropes in a smoke-filled chamber, and are taught how to don the gas masks staff are equipped with for fire-related emergencies.

In Telegraph Travel's guide to surviving a plane crash, passengers are advised to count the number of rows from their seat to the nearest exit. After joining trainees in the smoke chamber, it was easy to see why - I was completely disorientated. The smoke was not toxic, but my eyes still stung as we clambered to the exit.
 

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Why don't passengers get gas masks?

Putting on the staff gas mask, I felt like Darth Vader. Why don’t passengers get them? I asked. Apparently they are reserved for those actually fighting the fire.

Statistics on how often there is a serious fire on a plane are hard to come by. A 2002 report from the CAA, however, suggested that, from the time of the first indication that there is a fire on board, crew have an average of 17 minutes to get a plane to the ground. Whether the fire is in the engine, the cabin, or is hidden (the most dangerous type of fire, as the delay in confirming its existence may allow it to spread), pilots are advised to land the plane as soon as possible.

Passengers might not have a gas mask in the event of a fire, but cabin crew come up against nastier on-board challenges when they are least well prepared – including exploding coffee machines.

The UK Flight Safety Committee, an association of professionals who seek to improve commercial aviation safety, reported a note from the Aviation Safety Reporting System, a Nasa body that reports safety incidents, which detailed an accident with an exploding coffee machine that took place in January 2014. The flight had to be diverted and a member of cabin crew received second degree burns to face and chest when they “lifted the handle of the coffee maker and hot coffee grounds exploded out onto [their] chest and face.”
This scenario is extremely unlikely
This scenario is extremely unlikely Credit: Credit: AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo/AF archive / Alamy Stock Photo
And what about pilot sickness?

Finally, what would happen if the pilot was taken ill during the flight, and couldn’t land the plane? Late in 2013, Mike Gongol, an off-duty American Air Force pilot responded to the tannoy announcement: “'Are there any non-revenue pilots on board?”, and landed United Airlines flight 1637 on its way from Des Moines, in Iowa, to Denver, in Colorado. The pilot had suffered a cardiac event and Mr Gongol was going to have to land the plane.

British Airways said that for long-haul flights they have up to four people able to fly the plane on board, so should a similar emergency occur, passengers shouldn’t have to take to the flight deck.

Even if, heaven forbid, every pilot on board is incapacitated, all may not be lost. According to Bruno Gilissen, a pilot and contributor to the online forum Quora, landing a plane really isn't impossible. To read his idiot's guide, follow this link.

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Back in June, when President Donald Trump announced that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Change Agreement, a number of American ski resorts signed an open letter condemning the decision. With the title We Are Still In, the letter, from a broad swathe of US businesses and organisations, included a pledge to cut carbon emissions and find ways of safeguarding the natural environment.

One of the signatories was Vail Resorts, a giant of the skiing world – the company owns a dozen resorts across the USA, as well as Perisher in Australia and the massive Whistler Blackcomb ski area in Canada. It has now published details of how it plans to follow up that pledge.

The company's new sustainability initiative, Epic Promise for a Zero Footprint (using the “Epic” tagline it also gives its far-reaching lift passes) is on a suitably grand scale. A three-part plan, it involves a complete overhaul of the company’s operations, with the aim of eliminating its carbon emissions, waste production and environmental impact by 2030.

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The Tesla Model 3 is finally (kind of) here. The first 30 Model 3s to roll off the production line were handed over to Tesla employees with reservations at an event this past weekend, and the company now begins the uphill climb of filling the 500,000 other preorders. The introduction of the production version of the Model 3 also meant we finally learned exactly what this car will be capable of. So how does it stack up against the competition?

There are certainly more electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and even hydrogen fuel cell cars available than there were when Tesla got started, but there are just four cars with more than 200 miles of range: the Tesla Model 3, the Model S, the Model X, and the Chevy Bolt. Let’s leave the extremely pricey Model X out of the equation here and focus on the other three to get the best sense of how the Model 3 measures up.
Tesla Model 3 vs. Tesla Model S vs. Chevy Bolt
Specification    Tesla Model 3    Tesla Model S    Chevy Bolt
Base price    $35,000    $69,500    $37,495
Battery    ~50–55kWh, reportedly    75kWh    60kWh
Range    220 miles    249 miles    238 miles
Fast charging    130 miles / 30 minutes at Supercharger    170 miles / 30 minutes at Supercharger    Optional (90 miles / 30 minutes)
Home charging (240 volt)    30 miles / hour    52 miles / hour    25 miles / hour
Top speed    130 mph    140 mph    93 mph
0–60 mph time    5.6 seconds    4.3 seconds    6.5 seconds
Horsepower    N/A    382 hp    200 hp
Drive    Rear-wheel drive (AWD optional in 2018)    Rear-wheel drive (AWD optional)    Front-wheel drive
Wheels    18 inches (19 inches optional)    19 inches (21 inches optional)    17 inches
Displays    One 15-inch, center-mounted horizontal touchscreen    One 17-inch, center-mounted vertical touchscreen, one 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster    One 10.2-inch, center-mounted touchscreen display, one 8-inch digital instrument cluster
Connectivity    Wi-Fi / LTE / Bluetooth    Wi-Fi / LTE / Bluetooth    Wi-Fi / LTE / Bluetooth
Warranty    4 years / 50,000 miles    4 years / 50,000 miles    3 years / 36,000 miles
Battery warranty    8 years / 100,000 miles    8 years / infinite miles    8 years / 100,000 miles
Apple CarPlay    No    No    Yes
Android Auto    No    No    Yes
Over-the-air software updates    Yes    Yes    Yes
Keyless entry    Yes    Yes    Yes
Remote start    Yes    Yes    Yes
Lane keep assist    Optional (part of $5,000 Enhanced Autopilot package)    Optional (part of $5,000 Enhanced Autopilot package)    Optional
Adaptive cruise control    Optional (part of $5,000 Enhanced Autopilot package)    Optional (part of $5,000 Enhanced Autopilot package)    No
Collision avoidance / automatic emergency braking    Yes    Yes    Optional
Legroom (front)    42.7 inches    42.7 inches    41.6 inches
Legroom (rear)    35.2 inches    35.4 inches    36.5 inches
Headroom (front)    39.6 inches    38.8 inches    39.7 inches
Headroom (rear)    37.7 inches    35.3 inches    37.9 inches
Shoulder room (front)    56.3 inches    57.7 inches    54.6 inches
Shoulder room (rear)    54.0 inches    55.0 inches    52.8 inches
Hip room (front)    53.4 inches    55.0 inches    51.6 inches
Hip room (rear)    52.4 inches    54.7 inches    50.8 inches
Cargo volume    15.0 cubic feet    31.6 cubic feet    16.9 cubic feet
New order delivery date    12–18 months    1 month    Immediate (based on dealer availability)

This chart tells a big part of the story here, but certainly not all of it. For one thing, Tesla’s not selling the $35,000 base model right away. The company claims that in order to quickly ramp up production, it needs to focus on the longer range (310-mile) battery first. It’s also requiring people who want those first deliveries to add on the premium trim package. So if you are one of the early Model 3 reservation holders and you want your car as soon as possible, you’re going to have to pay at least $49,000. And even when the base-level Model 3 becomes available, you’ll only be able to order it in black. Otherwise the price goes up at least $1,000 before you add on any other options.
Here’s how the Model 3 stacks up against similarly-priced luxury sedans
Photo: Tesla

Of course, not everyone who’s considering buying a Model 3 is dead set on transitioning to an electric car. Some people are looking at the Model 3 as a competitor to cars like BMW’s 3 Series, or the Volvo S90. Does the Model 3 hold up against any of those, even with all the options?

The Chevy Bolt has a higher base price than the Model 3, and it’s also missing some desirable safety features like lane keep assist and collision avoidance, as well as the option for fast charging. In order to get those more advanced safety features, you have to buy the “Premier” trim version of the Bolt, which brings the price up to $42,760. Adding the option for DC fast charging will bump the price to $43,510.

Of course, all of these prices can change depending on whether you can get help from a federal or state tax credit. The US government has been partially subsidizing the cost of clean vehicles like EVs and plug-in hybrids in order to help grow the market, and they can take a significant chunk out of the price of these cars.

A $7,500 federal tax credit is available for each of these cars, but the state credit changes based on where you live. In California, for example, you could receive up to $2,500 in addition to the federal tax credit, bringing something like the Model 3’s base price down to $25,000. The state credits scale depending on which tax bracket you’re in, though, and there are other factors that could change the total amount. It’s worth investigating how your own state handles these clean vehicle rebates. (This post from Edmunds is a good place to start, as is this interactive map from Plug-in America.)
"That’s a nice federal tax credit. Shame if something were to happen to it..."

There’s a bigger catch here, though: the full $7,500 federal tax credit only applies for the first 200,000 eligible vehicles that a manufacturer sells. After that, the rebate decreases by 50 percent every six months until it’s retired. Tesla has sold over 100,000 vehicles and will likely hit the 200,000 mark sometime in early 2018. With such a vast backlog of preorders, it’s hard to say how much of the federal rebate will be available to new reservations, or whether it will be available at all by the time they complete their orders.

The Bolt might be in safer territory here. Chevrolet has much more manufacturing capacity than Tesla, but sales of the Bolt have been slow since the car became available at the very end of 2016. Chevy makes other rebate-eligible cars, like the Volt, which has sold fairly well and been around for longer. But its parent company GM isn’t expected to reach the 200,000-car mark until 2018 or 2019 at the earliest.

All this aside though, there are pluses and minuses to each of these three EVs. The Model S is the most capable, but the most expensive. The Model 3 is potentially the cheapest, but also the least available. The Bolt is a great middle ground, and is available now, though it doesn’t come with the same kind of luxury touch that Tesla is known for. What’s certain is that the competition is only going to increase. We’re likely to see a handful of EVs with 200 or more miles of range hit the market in the next year or so, with the 2018 Nissan Leaf leading the charge.

7
EEE / Tesla’s Model 3 isn’t a luxury car, but it’s priced like one
« on: August 01, 2017, 12:12:49 PM »
The big number surrounding Tesla’s Model 3 has been $35,000, which is the base price for the electric car. But there’s one big problem: barely anyone will pay that price, if they want a Model 3 with autopilot (which, let’s face it you do), or even a color other than black, according to screenshots of the Model 3 configurator posted in the Model 3 Owners Club.

The truth is the Model 3 costs $40,000 if you want a standard version with autopilot (an extra $5,000) in black with no other options. If you want a different color, add $1,000. And if you want a longer range ($9,000) to get over 300 miles per charge instead of 220, well now we’re at $50,000.

$50,000 for a midrange car.

If you’re new to cars, that isn’t exactly midrange car pricing, having clearly pushed into luxury sedan territory, with the likes of the Volvo S90 ($46,950) and Lexus GS ($46,310) and the Audi A6 ($47,600). Even the Model 3’s direct competition, the BMW 320i, maxes out at $47,175. And again, this is before adding the usual slate of premium options like leather seats, power adjustable seats and power folding side mirrors, and rear USB ports (another $5,000).
Photo: Tesla Model 3 Owner’s Club

So if you’re about to drop at least $50,000 on a Model 3, does it qualify as a luxury car? For most people, no. Not unless you’re willing to spend closer to $60,000 (and at these prices, you’ve reached BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class territory). If you’re willing to spend that much, then there is no issue for you. But if you thought spending the $35,000 would net you a car comparable to a BMW 3 Series, well, it really won’t.
How does the Model 3 stack up against the Model S and Chevy Bolt?
Photo: Tesla

The Model 3 might not measure favorably up against the tried and true luxury sedans from the likes of BMW and Mercedes. So how does it fare compared to the other leading electric vehicles like the Model S and Chevy Bolt?

If you purchase a standard Tesla Model 3, the seats must be manually adjusted, as will the steering column. The side mirrors aren’t powered or heated, and there’s no auto dimming. There are no LED fog lamps, and if you want a covered storage area in the center console, you must pay extra. Unless you spend $5,000 for the Premium Upgrade, you’re essentially getting the interior of a base model Toyota Camry. (To be fair, the Camry comes standard with a covered center console.)

If you’re looking for what you’ve seen in the Model S — a premium interior, autopilot, and around 300 miles of range in a color of your choosing — in a smaller form factor, well you’re not getting out without paying at least $55,000. That will be fine for some people, but I doubt the 500,000 people who put down $1,000 to reserve a Model 3 expected the price to increase by $20,000 to reach that mark.
Photo: Tesla

This may be a product of uncontrolled hype, Tesla not doing enough to clarify what the Model 3 would be, or the company going too far to meet that $35,000 benchmark, but it wouldn’t surprise me if regular people get sticker shock once Tesla publicly releases the Model 3 configurator online.

The Tesla Model 3 isn’t a luxury car, it’s a midsized car masquerading as one. If you’re in the market for just another car in your price range, the Model 3 may not be for you. But if you’re looking for a smaller Model S, or the electric car of the future, you’ve found it. Just know it’ll cost a lot more than $35,000.

8
So, let’s say you need to give a turtle an erection. There’s a quick and easy way to do it, a new study has found. It’s a seven-inch, variable-speed silver bullet vibrator. Yes, that kind of vibrator.

Turtle sexing is key for research purposes, and also for conservationists who are trying to pair mates. The easiest way to do that is to summon forth an erection, according to findings published in the journal Acta Herpetologica.
"erections seem like the kindest way"

You see, determining the sex of a turtle isn’t easy. It’s possible to get clues from certain body traits like color, size, or claw length. But in certain species, the sexes aren’t visually distinct. In such cases, researchers have to measure testosterone levels or perform a surgery to check the turtle’s reproductive organ. That’s as invasive as it sounds: a study from this year describes the procedure on 31 loggerhead turtles, who were anesthetized and had endoscopes of either 12 inches or 63 inches in length (!) inserted into their butts.

So, erections seem like the kindest way to figure out whether a turtle is male or female, and scientists have found several inventive methods for wooing male turtles: bounce common snapping turtles up and down and they might just flash you as a reward; or you can try immobilizing the neck and limbs of Cotinga River toadhead turtles.

The vibrators, of course, are part of this ongoing turtle erection journey. Scientists captured 50 male turtles in ponds in southeastern Oklahoma belonging to four species: western chicken turtles, Mississippi mud turtles, common musk turtles, and spiny softshell turtles. They then began their experiments, described in the study as follows:

    Once a male turtle was captured, we attempted to induce an erection by applying an 18 cm, variable-speed, silver bullet vibrator to its shell and tail. We vibrated turtles for 10 min or until an erection was achieved, and we recorded the amount of time that it took to induce an erection.

The turtles all responded a bit differently, but, in general, they liked it best when the tip of the vibrator was placed firmly on their tail, without any bouncing. The best erections were also achieved when the vibrator had fresh batteries, it was set on the fastest setting, and was moved around “in small, slow, steady circles.” The success of the method depended on the turtle species: 100 percent of spiny softshell turtles revealed their penises when vibrated, but only 56 percent of the common musk turtles did so.
A male spiny softshell turtle being vibrated on the tail. Photo: Acta Herpetologica

The technique is cheap, can be easily performed in the field, and it’s non-invasive — in the clinical sense, at least. That makes it a top contender for sexing certain turtle species, the study says. “It has already proved useful in our own research,” the authors write. “Therefore, we think that it will enhance other research projects as well.”

9
Last year, slimy green and foul-smelling algae took over Florida’s beaches, releasing toxins that killed fish and shellfish and sickened people. The algal bloom prompted the Florida governor to declare a state of emergency and likely caused widespread economic damage. If climate change goes unchecked, we could see more of these algal blooms along our coasts and in lakes, according to new research. That means that climate change won’t just affect the quantity of our water supply — causing drought, for instance — but it will also affect its quality.

A study published today in Science shows that, in the future, more rain and more extreme storms will wash out increasing amounts of nutrients like nitrogen into rivers and coastal waters. Nitrogen is food for tiny algae, called phytoplankton — and when it’s washed ashore, it can feed algal blooms like the ones in Florida. (Warming ocean waters are also to blame.) Using several climate models and projections, researchers showed that nitrogen runoff could increase by nearly 20 percent in the continental US by the end of the century — with the upper Mississippi Atchafalaya River Basin and the Great Lakes seeing the largest increases.
"Nitrogen is food for tiny algae"

Nitrogen leaches into waterways from a variety of sources: farmers use it to fertilize crops; animals and humans produce it naturally in their poop; and nitrogen compounds are produced when we burn fossil fuels. Whenever it rains, this excess nitrogen (and other nutrients like phosphorus) are washed up from the soil and air into rivers, lakes, and ground water, and eventually into the sea. Here, nitrogen can do great damage: not only can it cause algal blooms, but when those algae die, they sink to the bottom and decay, using up oxygen in the process. This creates areas of low oxygen where fish and shellfish can’t survive. Algae blooms can disrupt fisheries, causing millions of dollars in lost revenue, and cut drinking water supplies.

“There are huge impacts that go much beyond what you would think of, oh well, it’s just nitrogen in the water,” study co-author Anna Michalak, a professor of global ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, tells The Verge.

Algal blooms and so-called dead zones — like the one in the Gulf of Mexico or Chesapeake Bay — are on the rise, and not just in the US. The world’s population, with all its nitrogen-rich waste, is increasing; and agriculture is spreading and becoming more intensified. As a result, we’re pumping more and more nitrogen into the environment. But what’s going to happen in the future? For this study, researchers at Stanford and Princeton wanted to understand how climate change will affect nitrogen runoff — and as a consequence, water quality.

Michalak and her colleagues analyzed 21 different climate models to see how rainfall is likely to change by mid-century and by 2100. If we do nothing to address climate change, there’s likely going to be more rain almost anywhere in the US, except in the Texas area. There are likely also going to be more extreme storms, especially in the Midwest and Northeastern US. Even if the amount of nitrogen we put in the environment doesn’t increase, and we don’t do anything to address the problem, the increased rain will carry more nitrogen into waterways, the study found. The Northeast could see an almost 30 percent increase in nitrogen runoff, the upper Mississippi Atchafalaya River Basin a 24 percent increase, and the Great Lakes a 21 percent increase, the study says.
The maps on the left show how rain will increase (blue) and decrease (red) if we don’t address climate change, by midcentury (map A) and by the end of the century (B). The maps of the right show changes in extreme storms in the spring. Image: Science

“The one-sentence takeaway would be that we already have a nitrogen problem in the US, as many places in the world. [And] it’s only going to get worse because precipitation is going to increase,” says Ellen Douglas, an associate professor of hydrology at the University of Massachusetts Boston, who did not take part in the study. There are other factors that can make the effects of this nitrogen overload even worse — like rising temperatures. Algae, for instance, grow faster when it’s warmer. But this study is only taking rain into consideration. The projections also assume that the amount of nitrogen we’re dumping into the environment will stay the same, but we know that it’s likely going to increase given our booming population and rising food demands, Douglas says.

Yet, the study is “the most comprehensive examination” of how climate change and rain will affect nitrogen runoff, says Denise Breitburg, a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, who did not take part in the study. The results also show that water quality isn’t just a local issue, it’s affected by how humans are changing the climate globally, Michalak says.
"water quality isn’t just a local issue"

Michalak hopes that policymakers will use the results to inform strategies to reduce how much nitrogen we produce. Local governments in the US are already trying to address the problem — by implementing better septic systems, for instance, or working with famers to determine how much fertilizer is applied, when, and where. In the Mississippi Atchafalaya River Basin, farmers are already trying to reduce nitrogen input by 20 percent compared to 1980–1996 levels, according to a mandate by the Environmental Protection Agency. But to meet that target in the future, considering climate change, they should reduce nitrogen input by over 60 percent, the study says.

There’s always the option of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, of course. But keeping nitrogen at bay is also key. “We can’t keep dumping our waste into the environment, whether agricultural or human-based waste,” Douglas says. “We need to find ways to reduce that flux of nitrogen.”

10
Local / Unilever Internship Programme
« on: July 25, 2017, 11:50:42 AM »


An internship program at Unilever Bangladesh will enable you to test your capability by working in a live project that is meaningful and impactful for the business. In the course we will assess your readiness for potential roles in Unilever. We offer placement in Internship up to a year before a student graduates thus enabling the best talents to secure their internship ahead of others!

Country-Specific Requirements

At Unilever, they are proud to help young students and graduates around the world acquire work experience. In some countries, internships are legally mandated. If you are in such a country, please contact your local Unilever office for more details about how you can apply for such an internship with us.
They Offer Internships In The Following Business Areas

Your Options Are

    Brand Building
    Customer Development
    Finance
    Supply Chain
    Human Resource

https://www.unilever.com.bd/careers/graduates/unilever-internship-programme/

11


Lyft likes to set lofty goals for itself. Last year, one of the ride-hail company’s founders went on record predicting that “a majority” of Lyft’s trips will be in self-driving cars by 2021. Now Lyft says it wants to be less of a pollutant, too. The company is setting a goal for itself that all of the electric, autonomous vehicles on its platform will be powered by “100% renewable energy.”
"Lyft says it will provide 1 billion rides per year using electric, autonomous vehicles by 2025"

Recently, Lyft announced that it was partnering with self-driving startup NuTonomy to deploy a fleet of autonomous, electric vehicles in Boston later this year for public trials. Lyft will purchase renewable energy certificates to offset any emissions from the fueling of its electric autonomous vehicles, a company spokesperson said. Lyft is also predicting that by 2025, Lyft will provide 1 billion rides per year using electric, autonomous vehicles.

But not all of Lyft’s self-driving vehicles will be electric. The spokesperson said that it was “possible we may test a variety of prototype vehicle types in the future during the developmental phases of this technology.” Still, as battery-powered technology matures, the company expects “the vast majority of the vehicles on our platform will be electric,” he added.

“We believe that ridesharing, combined with autonomous vehicles, will be the driving force that brings electric vehicles from a tiny portion (~0.1%) of all cars on the road today to a significant majority within 20 years,” the company’s co-founders, Logan Green and John Zimmer, write in a blog post, citing research from experts and think tanks to back them up.

They go on to theorize:

    The heart of our transportation problem is that personally-owned vehicles are underutilized. The average car is used only 4% of the time and for electric vehicles, it takes 10 years or more to recover the cost premium through fuel savings. In comparison, Lyft vehicles can be used much more efficiently — an electric, autonomous Lyft vehicle will be utilized over 50% of the time and payback its costs in just a few years through operational savings.

Lyft’s climate goals sprang up as a result of President Donald Trump’s recent decision to pull the US out of the Paris climate accord. The company joined a coalition of businesses and local governments in pledging to continue to abide by the agreement. And Lyft recently announced that environmentalist Paul Hawken, executive director of Project Drawdown, will join Lyft as its climate advisor.

12
Southern and Midwestern US states will suffer the biggest economic losses from climate change, according to a new study. Some of these areas, already among the poorest in the country, stand to lose as much as 20 percent of the value of the goods and services they produce. In other words, climate change will make poverty worse in many areas.

The consequences of climate change will vary among regions in the US, according to a new study published today in Science. Counties along the Atlantic Coast will suffer the biggest losses from rising sea levels and more intense hurricanes, but the South and the Midwest — regions that already suffer from heatwaves and droughts — are threatened by hotter temperatures. Heat can slow workers, mess up agriculture, and increase energy demands and costs.
"Fighting climate change is a good investment"

Understanding how climate change will affect the economy is key for designing policy. It also makes the threat of climate change a bit more tangible. Fighting climate change is a good investment, and doing nothing will cause the overall US economy to suffer. Each 1 degree Celsius (2.1 degrees Fahrenheit) increase in temperature may cost 1.2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, today’s study found.

"The 'hidden costs' of carbon dioxide emissions are no longer hidden, since now we can see them clearly in the data," study co-author Amir Jina, a postdoctoral scholar in the department of economics at the University of Chicago, said in a statement. "The emissions coming out of our cars and power plants are reshaping the American economy. Here in the Midwest, we may see agricultural losses similar to the Dust Bowl of the 1930s."
Range of economic damages per year for groupings of US counties, based on their income. The poorest 10 percent of counties are the leftmost box plot. The richest 10 percent are the rightmost box plot.

States like South Carolina, Louisiana, and Florida will be heavily affected by rising sea levels. The poorest third of counties are estimated to experience the largest losses by the end of this century, the study says. This will only increase overall inequality in those areas.

In fact, states in New England and the Pacific Northwest, where temperatures are generally cooler, could even benefit from warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons. Some counties here could see economic gains of as much as 10 percent or more of their gross county product. But all over the US, the situation is more dire: each 1 degree Celsius increase in temperatures could cause yields in agriculture to drop by about 9 percent. And heatwaves could cause more people to die, the study says: each 1 degree Celsius increase would increase mortality rates by 5.4 deaths per 100,000 people.

The findings are based on climate projections that always leave room for uncertainty. The study also estimates future economic impacts under a business-as-usual approach, but it could be that the world’s countries decide to swiftly change course, and stop burning fossil fuel. That’s what a group of optimistic scientists is hoping the world’s 20 major economies — and major polluters — will pledge to do this week at a meeting in Hamburg, Germany.

13


A heat wave may be pummeling the East Coast right now, but we should really be taking pity on Shanghai, which had its hottest day in at least 145 years.

Temperatures hit a record 105.62 degrees Fahrenheit today in the Southern Chinese city, which is the highest temperature recorded at the Xujiahui weather station since it was established in 1873. The previous high was a mere 105.44 degrees Fahrenheit, back in 2013.

That said, overall, 105 is not that impressive when it comes to temperature records since by some accounts, the hottest temperature ever recorded was 134 degrees Fahrenheit in California’s Death Valley in 1913. “By some accounts” is key here, because there’s plenty of dispute around the “hottest temperature” ranking among weather scientists, even though this particular ranking is supported by the World Meteorological Association. One 2016 analysis, for example, says that such a high temperature isn’t even possible, though this didn’t lead to the reading being invalidated. At one point, the hottest recorded temperature was 136 degrees Fahrenheit in Libya in 1922, but that was invalidated because the measuring instruments were old and the observer was fairly inexperienced.

Separately, there are special weather phenomena known as “heat bursts,” which usually happen at night. During heat bursts, the temperature climbs up rapidly, partly due to gusts of wind. Record heat burst temperatures are higher than the “official recorded” temperatures, and the record for heat bursts is a horrible-to-even-contemplate 188.1 degrees Fahrenheit in Iran in 1967. Compared to that, the people in Shanghai should count themselves lucky.

14
Experts have warned that rapidly improving artificial intelligence could lead to mass unemployment just days after Google revealed the purchase of a London based start-up dedicated to developing this technology.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Dr Stuart Armstrong from the Future of Humanity Institute at the University of Oxford said that there was a risk that computers could take over human jobs “at a faster rate than new jobs could be generated.”

“We have some studies looking at to which jobs are the most vulnerable and there are quite a lot of them in logistics, administration, insurance underwriting,” said Dr Armstrong. “Ultimately, huge swathe of jobs are potentially vulnerable to improved artificial intelligence.”
 
Dr Murray Shanahan, a professor of cognitive robotics at Imperial College London, agreed that improvements in artificial intelligence were creating “short term issues that we all need to be talking about.”

"It's very difficult to predict," said Dr Shanahan. "That is, of course, a concern. But in the past when we have developed new kinds of technologies then often they have created jobs at the same time as taking them over. But it certainly is something we ought to be discussing."

Both academics did however praise Google for creating an ethics board to look at the “how to deploy artificial intelligence safely and reduce the risks” after its £400 million purchase of London-based start-up DeepMind.

earbud1.jpg
Google's search technology power devices such as Google Glass (above), allowing users to perform searchs and ask for help in natural language.

DeepMind has been operating largely unnoticed by the wider UK technology scene, although its advances in artificial intelligence have obviously been of interest to the experts - founded in just 2012, DeepMind is Google's largest European acquisition to date.

Dr Shanahan hailed DeepMind as “a company with some outstanding people working for it,” noting that the company has mainly been working in the areas of machine learning and deep learning, which he described as “all about finding patterns in very large quantities of data.”

Google’s purchase of the company has led to speculation as to how they might implement the technology. Although there had been some talk of using DeepMind’s algorithms to give ‘brains’ to Google recent robotic purchases, insiders have said that the acquisition was about improving search functionality, not AI.

Regardless of how DeepMind’s expertise will be used, Google’s purchase of the company underscores increasing fears over the impact of technology on employment.

Academics note that although professions have always been threatened by the forces of ‘progress' (a nebulous concept that can cover anything from speedier computers to more efficient steam engines), current trends suggest jobs are being destroyed faster than they are being created.

A recent paper by Carl Benedikt Frey and Michael A. Osborne of Oxford University suggests that nearly half (47 per cent) of all American jobs are under threat and could be automated in “a decade of two”.

Frey and Osborne identify the most at-risk jobs as those which are based in routines (eg telemarketing, low-level accounting and data entry) and which could be replaced by increasingly advanced algorithms, as well as jobs in industry and manufacturing which have already been deeply hurt by advances in the last decades (see video above).

“While computerization has been historically confined to routine tasks involving explicit rule-based activities, algorithms for big data are now rapidly entering domains reliant upon pattern recognition and can readily substitute for labour in a wide range of non-routine cognitive tasks,” write Frey and Osborne.

“In addition, advanced robots are gaining enhanced senses and dexterity, allowing them to perform a broader scope of manual tasks. This is likely to change the nature of work across industries and occupations.”

Unfortunately, it seems that we can assume the same problems will also become rapidly apparent in the UK. Although certain types of jobs are not yet threatened (especially those which involve dealing with other humans – a vague category that can cover anything from healthcare to management) this is no guarantee that they’ll be safe forever.

15
Email newsletters are a great way to stay current on what’s happening in the world of programming and to learn about tools and best practices for your specific programming language. Curated by experts, newsletters bring the best, most timely information out there right to your inbox, so you can quickly digest and get back to work.

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