In The Spotlight – Nick Good

first_imgIn the ninth edition of In The Spotlight, Australian Men’s Open player, Nick Good, speaks about how it feels to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup, and the biggest influence on his Touch Football career. Name: Nicholas GoodNickname: GoodyAge: 19Affiliate: Penrith PanthersOccupation: Studying primary teaching, currently working as a special education aide.Position: MiddleDebut for Australia: 2009 Youth Trans Tasman and 2010 for Men’s Open.Career highlights so far: Penrith Vawdon Cup 2009, 2010 Men’s Trans Tasman, captaining both Youth Australian teams in 2009 and 2011, captaining my Penrith Men’s team in 2010. How you got involved in Touch Football: Through my parents.Favourite player: Jason Zabielo.What does it mean to you to be representing Australia at the 2011 World Cup: A great deal, words honestly cannot justify the privilege of wearing the Australian jersey.Biggest influence on your Touch Football career: Dave Collins– He has a tremendous Touch brain and gave me a chance at an early age. His belief in his players is unreal.Favourite sporting moment: Steven Bradbury’s gold medal at Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002.What do you know about Scotland: Cold and cold! Any superstitions: Nil.Funniest Australian teammate: Anthony Ziade and Steve Roberts.Favourite quote: Winners make a habit of doing those things which losers don’t like to do – Vince Lombardi.Any travel plans for after World Cup: A 10 day adventure with Ben Moylan and Scott Buckley. Visiting London, Barcelona and Amsterdam.Stay tuned to the website for the upcoming editions of In The Spotlight, which will feature every Open’s player travelling to the World Cup. With only 45 days to go until the 2011 Federation of International Touch World Cup, be sure to be regularly visiting the Touch Football Australia website to keep up-to-date with all of the latest news and information. Don’t forget to become a fan of Touch Football Australia on Facebook and Twitter in the lead up to the 2011 World Cup to find out all you need to know about Australia’s World Cup campaign:http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Touch-Football-Australia/384949403384 www.twitter.com/touchfootyauslast_img read more

9 months agoEx-Man City captain Yaya Toure open to Premier League return

first_imgEx-Man City captain Yaya Toure open to Premier League returnby Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Manchester City captain Yaya Toure is open to a Premier League return.The midfielder has refused to rule out a return to the Premier League after an unsuccessful short spell at Olympiakos.“You never know, maybe the Premier League?” Toure said.“I enjoyed it, I enjoyed it to be honest.“If I can possibly play one more year or two years, we will see.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Gerrard warns Rangers players to prepare for a fight

first_imgRangers Football Club manager Steven Gerrard has warned his players they have to be prepared for a fight if they’re to pick up a win against Hamilton.The Gers travel to the New Douglas Park this Sunday to face Hamilton on the back of a disappointing league defeat to Livingston.Gerrard is planning to deliver one of the shortest team talks in history and will use as few words as possible to highlight the dangers of dismissing the opposition lightly.Instead, he will let the memory of the team’s poorest performance since he took over simmer into the player’s minds hoping to elicit a positive response from his players.He said, according to Daily Mail: ‘I’ll just put up a sign saying “Livingston 1 Rangers 0 – what are you gonna do about it?”Steven Gerrard, Michael OwenOwen reveals why Liverpool didn’t offer Gerrard a new contract Manuel R. Medina – September 6, 2019 According to Owen, the Reds wanted to sell Gerrard two years before he left the club and that’s why they didn’t offer him a contract renewal.“Because if you turn up and play the same way, the same will happen. So, it will be easy, the team talk.”“It’s a great test for the players. They’ve had some criticism in terms of the away form and sometimes in football you have to forget about the nice bits, the tactical side.”“Sometimes you just have to go out and do the basics well; turn up and just empty it for your club and your supporters – and more often than not that will get you where you want to go.”“We’ll have a game plan. It’s a similar fixture to Livingston and we had a game plan there, but we never carried it out – we never turned up.”“So the players have two options: Go and empty it and fight for the shirt and the fans – or put in a Livingston performance, and let everyone talk about your away form for a bit longer.”last_img read more

Controversy over dress code notice in girls hall

first_imgPoet Sufia Kamal HallControversy has arisen over the dress code for the girls at Dhaka University’s Poet Sufia Kamal Hall.The students said that a notice had been posted up around the hall, prohibiting the girls from wearing T-shirts with shalwars (loose pyjamas) in the hall premises. It said girls could at no time, day or night, wear indecent clothes (T-shirt over shalwar) in the hall.No one could enter the hall office for any work in such an outfit. If they did, the hall authorities would take action, it said.However, in the morning today, Thursday, fresh notices were posted up around the hall, these also being signed by the ‘hall authorities’.Thursday’s notice declared that other than in the students’ rooms, verandas, bathrooms and personal spaces, proper dress must be worn when entering the offices/hall office.Read more: DU women’s hall bans shalwar with t-shirtThe previous notice had gone viral on Facebook, creating a controversy. The hall authorities said that they hadn’t issued the previous notice and that the girls had issued it themselves. They said that they had issued the later notice.The correspondent waited from 10:00 till 10:45 in the morning for comments from the hall authorities, but the hall provost, Sabita Rezwana, was in a board meeting.-A woman official of the hall, claiming to be a senior administrative officer, sent an SMS to the provost about the reporter waiting to meet her and even spoke to her.The provost said she was busy and did not know when she would be able to come to the hall.When the hall official claiming to be senior administrative officer was asked about the dress code controversy, she replied, on condition of anonymity, “This has been said for a long time, but some girls don’t listen.”-She refused to say anything further, other than that there were more persons in favour of the notice than against it.In the afternoon, the hall’s residential teacher Fahmida Yasim told Prothom Alo over cell phone, “We have to work with about 2,200 girls, their parents, guests and others. Today’s notice deals with the hall’s internal affairs. But the hall authorities will not take responsibility for the notice which went viral on Facebook.”She said that the notice on Facebook may have been deliberately posted up by certain students and the matter would be probed. “We have issued a rejoinder to Prothom Alo for publishing a report in this regard.”last_img read more

3 workers killed in road crash

first_imgThree people killed after a paddy-laden truck plunges into a roadside ditch in Shariapur sadar upazila on Saturday night. Photo: UNBThree workers were killed and six others injured as a truck plunged into a roadside ditch in Khelsi area of Shariatpur sadar upazila on Saturday night.The deceased are Md Rahmat Hossain, 40, Naim Hossain, 25, and Idris, 60, from Chetua area in Ashasuni upazila of Satkhira district, reports UNB.The injured workers said that they had come to Shariatpur from Satkhira on 24 April for cultivating paddy.The paddy-laden truck carrying 12 workers plunged into a roadside ditch after its driver lost control over the wheels, leaving three dead on the spot around 10:30am, said Shariatpur fire service and civil defence deputy assistant director Niaz Mohammad.The injured were admitted at Shariatpur Sadar Hospital, he added.last_img

Ashoke Sarkar files complaint against BJP RSS leaders

first_imgKolkata: Former BJP state committee member Ashoke Sarkar has filed a complaint at Bidhannagar East police station against senior BJP and RSS leaders in the state, alleging nepotism and financial corruption over allocation of LPG distribution agency.Sarkar, who did not name any particular leader in his complaint, said: “Dilip Ghosh being the state president of BJP, must be aware of such impropriety associated with allotment of LPG agencies in the state.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe alleged that in recommending names of people, the BJP leadership has been collecting money from across the state.”The final list of 235 individuals being sent to a senior RSS leader for approval strangely contains a 17 digit numeric code of different oil companies, suggesting that there has been serious breach of secrecy and leak in exclusive government information that may have benefitted BJP and RSS leaders in Bengal in some way or the other. The list has been submitted to the police for necessary action,” Sarkar said.He urged the police to carry a thorough probe over the serious matter and punish the offenders as per law.According to a sources, allegations of financial corruption associated with LPG connection against BJP leaders have come up from Murshidabad and Sonarpur in South 24-Parganas and would go up to the tune of a few crores.last_img read more

Depression anxiety may take same toll on health as smoking

first_imgLos Angeles: Anxiety and depression may significantly increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and arthritis, comparable to smoking and obesity, a study warns.Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in the US looked at the health data of more than 15,000 older adults over a four-year period.The study, published in the journal Health Psychology, found that 16 per cent (2,225) suffered from high levels of anxiety and depression, 31 per cent (4,737) were obese and 14 per cent (2,125) were current smokers. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfParticipants with high levels of anxiety and depression were found to face 65 per cent increased odds for a heart condition, 64 per cent for stroke, 50 per cent for high blood pressure and 87 for arthritis, compared to those without anxiety and depression.”These increased odds are similar to those of participants who are smokers or are obese,” said Aoife O’Donovan from UCSF.”However, for arthritis, high anxiety and depression seem to confer higher risks than smoking and obesity,” O’Donovan said. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveUnlike the other conditions investigated, the researchers found that high levels of depression and anxiety were not associated with cancer incidence.This confirms results from previous studies, but contradicts a prevailing idea shared by many patients, researchers said.”Our findings are in line with a lot of other studies showing that psychological distress is not a strong predictor of many types of cancer,” O’Donovan said.”On top of highlighting that mental health matters for a whole host of medical illnesses, it is important that we promote these null findings. We need to stop attributing cancer diagnoses to histories of stress, depression and anxiety,” O’Donovan said. The researchers discovered that symptoms such as headache, stomach upset, back pain and shortness of breath increased exponentially in association with high stress and depression.Odds for headache, for example, were 161 per cent higher in this group, compared with no increase among the participants who were obese and smokers.”Anxiety and depression symptoms are strongly linked to poor physical health, yet these conditions continue to receive limited attention in primary care settings, compared to smoking and obesity,” said Andrea Niles from UCSF.”To our knowledge this is the first study that directly compared anxiety and depression to obesity and smoking as prospective risk factors for disease onset in long-term studies,” Niles said.last_img read more

Bitcoin Breaks 1000 for First Time Ever

first_img This story originally appeared on CNBC Listen Now How Success Happens 3 min read Bitcoin continued its stellar rally on Wednesday, breaking above $1,000 for the first time and marking a rise of over 7,600 percent so far this year.Many analysts and investors have labeled bitcoin’s unfettered rise a bubble, yet greater awareness of digital currencies and relief following last week’s U.S. senate hearing have paved the way for fresh gains.Bitcoin traded as high as $1,030 on the Mt. Gox exchange, up 7,661 percent year-to-date from its December 31 close of $13.27.Digital currencies cleared a major hurdle when U.S. authorities signaled a willingness to accept them as legitimate payment alternatives at a November 18 U.S. Senate hearing on virtual currencies. The outcome allayed concerns that the government would take steps that could undercut mainstream adoption.”What we’re seeing is governments publicly announce and show that they recognize Bitcoin as a factor in the financial system and that they are considering how to regulate it – which is good for the currency,” Zennon Kapron, managing director of KapronAsiam, told CNBC.Comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke were also seen as supportive. In an open letter to Senators before the Senate hearing Bernanke echoed comments from former Fed Vice Chairman Alan Blinder who spoke about digital currencies at a House of Representatives hearing in 1995.”Vice Chairman Alan Blinder’s testimony at that time made the key point that while these types of innovations may pose risks related to law enforcement and supervisory matters, there are also areas in which they may hold long-term promise, particularly if the innovations promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system,” Bernanke wrote.With much of the recent surge in Bitcoin demand coming from China, the U.S. senate hearing outcome has raised expectations that Beijing may steer away from heavily regulating digital currencies.”If either government were going to ban the currency outright, they would have made the decision now rather than later as it would really serve no purpose to delay beyond fueling speculation. So overly heavy-handed government regulation looks unlikely,” Zennon added.The digital currency has risen around 30 percent since its open on Tuesday, November 19, one day after the U.S. Senate hearing.Greater awarenessIncreased awareness also underlies bitcoin’s continued rise following a surge in mainstream media coverage and the preponderance of bitcoin-related events globally.Web-based searches for the term ‘bitcoin,’ which was added to Oxford Dictionaries Online this year, have seen a sharp increase since September according to Google data. On the day of the U.S. Senate hearing on virtual currencies, ‘bitcoin’ was the most popular search term, Google Trends showed.India will hold its first official Bitcoin conference in mid-December. According to a report in the Economic Times, the event is expected to see participation from the Reserve Bank of India – India’s central bank – as well as State Bank of India – the country’s largest bank.Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson said last Friday that his commercial space flight venture will accept bitcoin as payment.A test of whether the digital currency is being accepted more broadly could come with the second annual ‘Bitcoin Black Friday’ this week. The event will be held one day after the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. According to the official promotional website for the event, merchants selling everything from web hosting to organic beer will offer special deals to anyone paying in Bitcoin. November 27, 2013 Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible.last_img read more

How to remotely monitor hosts over Telnet and SSH Tutorial

first_imgDone.Disconnecting from 192.168.0.106… done. In the preceding example, first, we imported the fabric.api module, then we set the hostname and password to get connected with the host network. After that, we set a different task to perform over SSH. Therefore, to execute our program instead of the Python3 fabfile.py, we used the fab utility (fab dir), and after that we stated that the required tasks should be performed from our fabfile.py.  In our case, we performed the dir task, which creates a directory with the name ‘fabric’ on your remote network. You can add your specific task in your Python file. It can be executed using the fab utility of the fabric module. SSH using the Paramiko library Paramiko is a library that implements the SSHv2 protocol for secure connections to remote devices. Paramiko is a pure Python interface around SSH. Before using Paramiko, make sure you have installed it properly on your system. If it is not installed, you can install it by running the following command in your Terminal: $ sudo pip3 install paramiko Now, we will see an example of using paramiko. For this paramiko connection, we are using a Cisco device. Paramiko supports both password-based and  key-pair based authentication for a secure connection with the server. In our script, we are using password-based authentication, which means we check for a password and, if available, authentication is attempted using plain username/password authentication. Before we are going to do SSH to your remote device or multi-layer router, make sure they are configured properly and, if not, you can do basic configuration by using the following command in a multi-layer router Terminal: configure tip domain-name cciepython.comcrypto key generate rsaHow many bits in the modulus [512]: 1024interface range f0/0 – 1switchport mode accessswitchport access vlan 1no shutint vlan 1ip add ‘set_ip_address_to_the_router’ ‘put_subnet_mask’no shutexitenable password ‘set_Your_password_to_access_router’username ‘set_username’ password ‘set_password_for_remote_access’username ‘username’ privilege 15line vty 0 4login localtransport input allend Now, create a pmiko.py script and write the following content in it: import paramikoimport timeip_address = “host_ip_address”usr = “host_username”pwd = “host_password”c = paramiko.SSHClient()c.set_missing_host_key_policy(paramiko.AutoAddPolicy())c.connect(hostname=ip_address,username=usr,password=pwd)print(“SSH connection is successfully established with “, ip_address)rc = c.invoke_shell()for n in range (2,6):print(“Creating VLAN ” + str(n))rc.send(“vlan database\n”)rc.send(“vlan ” + str(n) + “\n”)rc.send(“exit\n”)time.sleep(0.5)time.sleep(1)output = rc.recv(65535)print(output)c.close Run the script and you will get the output as follows: student@ubuntu:~$ python3 pmiko.pyOutput:SSH connection is successfuly established with 192.168.0.70Creating VLAN 2Creating VLAN 3Creating VLAN 4Creating VLAN 5 In the preceding example, first, we imported the paramiko module, then we defined the SSH credentials required to connect the remote device. After providing credentials, we created an instance ‘c’ of paramiko.SSHclient(), which is the primary client used to establish connections with the remote device and execute commands or operations. The creation of an SSHClient object allows us to establish remote connections using the .connect() function. Then, we set the policy paramiko connection because, by default, paramiko.SSHclient sets the SSH policy in reject policy state. That causes the policy to reject any SSH connection without any validation. In our script, we are neglecting this possibility of SSH connection drop by using the AutoAddPolicy() function that automatically adds the server’s host key without prompting it. We can use this policy for testing purposes only, but this is not a good option in a production environment because of security purpose. When an SSH connection is established, you can do any configuration or operation that you want on your device. Here, we created a few virtual LANs on a remote device. After creating VLANs, we just closed the connection. SSH using the Netmiko library In this section, we will learn about Netmiko. The Netmiko library is an advanced version of Paramiko. It is a multi_vendor library that is based on Paramiko. Netmiko simplifies SSH connection to a network device and takes particular operation on the device. Before going doing SSH to your remote device or multi-layer router, make sure they are configured properly and, if not, you can do basic configuration by command mentioned in the Paramiko section. Now, let’s see an example. Create a nmiko.py script and write the following code in it: from netmiko import ConnectHandlerremote_device={‘device_type’: ‘cisco_ios’,’ip’: ‘your remote_device ip address’,’username’: ‘username’,’password’: ‘password’,}remote_connection = ConnectHandler(**remote_device)#net_connect.find_prompt()for n in range (2,6):print(“Creating VLAN ” + str(n))commands = [‘exit’,’vlan database’,’vlan ‘ + str(n), ‘exit’]output = remote_connection.send_config_set(commands)print(output)command = remote_connection.send_command(‘show vlan-switch brief’)print(command) Run the script and you will get the output as follows: student@ubuntu:~$ python3 nmiko.pyOutput:Creating VLAN 2config termEnter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.server(config)#exitserver #vlan databaseserver (vlan)#vlan 2VLAN 2 modified:server (vlan)#exitAPPLY completed.Exiting….server #……..switch#Creating VLAN 5config termEnter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.server (config)#exitserver #vlan databaseserver (vlan)#vlan 5VLAN 5 modified:server (vlan)#exitAPPLY completed.Exiting….VLAN Name Status Ports—- ——————————– ——— ——————————-1 default active Fa0/0, Fa0/1, Fa0/2, Fa0/3, Fa0/4, Fa0/5, Fa0/6, Fa0/7, Fa0/8, Fa0/9, Fa0/10, Fa0/11, Fa0/12, Fa0/13, Fa0/14, Fa0/152 VLAN0002 active 3 VLAN0003 active 4 VLAN0004 active 5 VLAN0005 active 1002 fddi-default active 1003 token-ring-default active 1004 fddinet-default active 1005 trnet-default active In the preceding example, we use Netmiko library to do SSH, instead of Paramiko. In this script, first, we imported ConnectHandler from the Netmiko library, which we used to establish an SSH connection to the remote network devices by passing in the device dictionary. In our case, that dictionary is remote_device. After the connection is established, we executed configuration commands to create a number of virtual LANs using the send_config_set() function. When we use this type (.send_config_set()) of function to pass commands on a remote device, it automatically sets our device in configuration mode. After sending configuration commands, we also passed a simple command to get the information about the configured device. Summary In this tutorial, you learned about Telnet and SSH and different Python modules such as telnetlib, subprocess, fabric, Netmiko, and Paramiko, using which we perform Telnet and SSH. SSH uses the public key encryption for security purposes and is more secure than Telnet. To learn how to leverage the features and libraries of Python to administrate your environment efficiently, check out our book Mastering Python Scripting for System Administrators. Read Next 5 blog posts that could make you a better Python programmer “With Python, you can create self-explanatory, concise, and engaging data visuals, and present insights that impact your business” – Tim Großmann and Mario Döbler [Interview] Using Python Automation to interact with network devices [Tutorial] In this tutorial, you will learn how to carry out basic configurations on a server with Telnet and SSH configured. We will begin by using the Telnet module, after which we will implement the same configurations using the preferred method: SSH using different modules in Python. You will also learn about how telnetlib, subprocess, fabric, Netmiko, and paramiko modules work. This tutorial is an excerpt from a book written by Ganesh Sanjiv Naik titled Mastering Python Scripting for System Administrators. This book will take you through a set of specific software patterns and  you will learn, in detail, how to apply these patterns and build working software on top of a serverless system. The telnetlib() module In this section, we are going to learn about the Telnet protocol and then we will do Telnet operations using the telnetlib module over a remote server. Telnet is a network protocol that allows a user to communicate with remote servers. It is mostly used by network administrators to remotely access and manage devices. To access the device, run the Telnet command with the IP address or hostname of a remote server in your Terminal. Telnet uses TCP on the default port number 23. To use Telnet, make sure it is installed on your system. If not, run the following command to install it: $ sudo apt-get install telnetd To run Telnet using the simple Terminal, you just have to enter the following command: $ telnet ip_address_of_your_remote_server Python has the telnetlib module to perform Telnet functions through Python scripts. Before telnetting your remote device or router, make sure they are configured properly and, if not, you can do basic configuration by using the following command in the router’s Terminal: configure terminalenable password ‘set_Your_password_to_access_router’username ‘set_username’ password ‘set_password_for_remote_access’line vty 0 4 login local transport input all interface f0/0 ip add ‘set_ip_address_to_the_router’ ‘put_subnet_mask’no shut end show ip interface brief Now, let’s see the example of Telnetting a remote device. For that, create a telnet_example.py script and write following content in it: import telnetlibimport getpassimport sysHOST_IP = “your host ip address”host_user = input(“Enter your telnet username: “)password = getpass.getpass()t = telnetlib.Telnet(HOST_IP)t.read_until(b”Username:”)t.write(host_user.encode(“ascii”) + b”\n”)if password:t.read_until(b”Password:”)t.write(password.encode(“ascii”) + b”\n”)t.write(b”enable\n”)t.write(b”enter_remote_device_password\n”) #password of your remote devicet.write(b”conf t\n”)t.write(b”int loop 1\n”)t.write(b”ip add 10.1.1.1 255.255.255.255\n”)t.write(b”int loop 2\n”)t.write(b”ip add 20.2.2.2 255.255.255.255\n”)t.write(b”end\n”)t.write(b”exit\n”)print(t.read_all().decode(“ascii”) ) Run the script and you will get the output as follows: student@ubuntu:~$ python3 telnet_example.pyOutput:Enter your telnet username: studentPassword:server>enablePassword:server#conf tEnter configuration commands, one per line. End with CNTL/Z.server(config)#int loop 1server(config-if)#ip add 10.1.1.1 255.255.255.255server(config-if)#int loop 23server(config-if)#ip add 20.2.2.2 255.255.255.255server(config-if)#endserver#exit In the preceding example, we accessed and configured a Cisco router using the telnetlib module. In this script, first, we took the username and password from the user to initialize the Telnet connection with a remote device. When the connection was established, we did further configuration on the remote device. After telnetting, we will be able to access a remote server or device. But there is one very important disadvantage of this Telnet protocol, and that is all the data, including usernames and passwords, is sent over a network in a text manner, which may cause a security risk. Because of that, nowadays Telnet is rarely used and has been replaced by a very secure protocol named Secure Shell, known as SSH. Install SSH by running the following command in your Terminal: $ sudo apt install ssh Also, on a remote server where the user wants to communicate, an SSH server must be installed and running. SSH uses the TCP protocol and works on port number 22 by default. You can run the ssh command through the Terminal as follows: $ ssh host_name@host_ip_address Now, you will learn to do SSH by using different modules in Python, such as subprocess, fabric, Netmiko, and Paramiko. Now, we will see those modules one by one. The subprocess.Popen() module The Popen class handles the process creation and management. By using this module, developers can handle less common cases. The child program execution will be done in a new process. To execute a child program on Unix/ Linux, the class will use the os.execvp() function. To execute a child program in Windows, the class will use the CreateProcess() function. Now, let’s see some useful arguments of subprocess.Popen(): class subprocess.Popen(args, bufsize=0, executable=None, stdin=None, stdout=None, stderr=None, preexec_fn=None, close_fds=False, shell=False, cwd=None, env=None, universal_newlines=False, startupinfo=None, creationflags=0) Let’s look at each argument: args: It can be a sequence of program arguments or a single string. If args is a sequence, the first item in args is executed. If args is a string, it recommends to pass args as a sequence. shell: The shell argument is by default set to False and it specifies whether to use shell for execution of the program. If shell is True, it recommends to pass args as a string. In Linux, if shell=True, the shell defaults to /bin/sh. If args is a string, the string specifies the command to execute through the shell. bufsize: If bufsize is 0 (by default, it is 0), it means unbuffered and if bufsize is 1, it means line buffered. If bufsize is any other positive value, use a buffer of the given size. If bufsize is any other negative value, it means fully buffered. executable: It specifies that the replacement program to be executed. stdin, stdout, and stderr: These arguments define the standard input, standard output, and standard error respectively. preexec_fn: This is set to a callable object and will be called just before the child is executed in the child process. close_fds: In Linux, if close_fds is true, all file descriptors except 0, 1, and 2 will be closed before the child process is executed. In Windows, if close_fds is true then the child process will inherit no handles. env: If the value is not None, then mapping will define environment variables for new process. universal_newlines: If the value is True then stdout and stderr will be opened as text files in newlines mode. Now, we are going to see an example of subprocess.Popen(). For that, create a ssh_using_sub.py  script and write the following content in it: import subprocessimport sysHOST=”your host username@host ip”COMMAND= “ls”ssh_obj = subprocess.Popen([“ssh”, “%s” % HOST, COMMAND],shell=False,stdout=subprocess.PIPE,stderr=subprocess.PIPE)result = ssh_obj.stdout.readlines()if result == []:err = ssh_obj.stderr.readlines()print(sys.stderr, “ERROR: %s” % err)else:print(result) Run the script and you will get the output as follows: student@ubuntu:~$ python3 ssh_using_sub.pyOutput :student@192.168.0.106’s password:[b’Desktop\n’, b’Documents\n’, b’Downloads\n’, b’examples.desktop\n’, b’Music\n’, b’Pictures\n’, b’Public\n’, b’sample.py\n’, b’spark\n’, b’spark-2.3.1-bin-hadoop2.7\n’, b’spark-2.3.1-bin-hadoop2.7.tgz\n’, b’ssh\n’, b’Templates\n’, b’test_folder\n’, b’test.txt\n’, b’Untitled1.ipynb\n’, b’Untitled.ipynb\n’, b’Videos\n’, b’work\n’] In the preceding example, first, we imported the subprocess module, then we defined the host address where you want to establish the SSH connection. After that, we gave one simple command that executed over the remote device. After all this was set up, we put this information in the subprocess.Popen() function. This function executed the arguments defined inside that function to create a connection with the remote device. After the SSH connection was established, our defined command was executed and provided the result. Then we printed the result of SSH on the Terminal, as shown in the output. SSH using fabric module Fabric is a Python library as well as a command-line tool for the use of SSH. It is used for system administration and application deployment over the network. We can also execute shell commands over SSH. To use fabric module, first you have to install it using the following command: $ pip3 install fabric3 Now, we will see an example. Create a fabfile.py script and write the following content in it: from fabric.api import *env.hosts=[“host_name@host_ip”]env.password=’your password’def dir(): run(‘mkdir fabric’) print(‘Directory named fabric has been created on your host network’)def diskspace(): run(‘df’) Run the script and you will get the output as follows: student@ubuntu:~$ fab dirOutput:[student@192.168.0.106] Executing task ‘dir'[student@192.168.0.106] run: mkdir fabriclast_img read more

CT Partners gain access to Expedia TAAP

first_imgSource = e-Travel Blackboard: N.J CT Partners Australia and Expedia Travel Agent Affiliate Program (TAAP) have entered an agreement that offers the company’s members access to the online travel company’s extensive inventory and destination base.Encouraging its members to sign-up with Expedia TAAP, CT Partners in Australia general manager Ian Edwards explained that the tool would allow consultants to provide customers with access to a range of destinations.“We continually demonstrate to our clients we are competitive and relevant as they travel to an ever diverse list of destinations,” Mr Edwards said.  “The breadth of inventory and Expedia’s enormous buying power means the Expedia TAAP is a great additional tool for our Partners to not only provide services in well travelled destinations but support the ‘out of the way’ destinations as well.” Offering agents paid commission on bookings made on the site, Expedia APAC manager of the Travel Agents Program Stuart Udy added that the Group was keen to see all of the company’s members sign-on to the program. “Many of TAAP’s top producers are corporate specialists,” Mr Udy said.  “Clients are comparing rates on the internet all the time so Expedia TAAP gives the consultant confidence that they too can be paid commission on those highly competitive internet rates.”last_img read more

PATA helps China outbound market

first_imgThe Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) has begun a partnership with China Ready & Accredited (CRA) to help PATA members overcome potential the major source of business that is China.PATA chief executive officer Mario Hardy, said that China is now the largest and fastest growing outbound travel market in the world.“For many tourism operators it has become “’profitless volume”. Our members need to constantly adapt and evolved to stay competitive in today’s world,” Mr Hardy said. China based China Ready & Accredited director Geoff Buckley, said that it is obvious to target the high value segment of the market.“The obvious solution is to target the high value segment of this market, but with 1.3 billion people in China and an extraordinarily complex media landscape such segmentation is not an easy or cheap task,” Mr Buckley said. This Program is endorsed and supported by China’s government and industry, delivering global CHINA READY expert culture training and quality service accreditation.Importantly, CRA has exclusive access to high value Chinese consumers, travellers and businesses in China and can promote accredited businesses directly to high spending Chinese people.“We will be working through our Chapter members, and aim to facilitate the introduction of the China Ready & Accredited® program across the whole network. Businesses that commit to the China Ready & Accredited® Program will then be marketed by CRA directly in China,” Mr Hardy said.Source = ETB Travel News: Lewis Wisemanlast_img read more

Derrick Hall satisfied with Dbacks buying and se

first_img Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Top Stories Two years ago, when Bruce Arians was preparing the Arizona Cardinals for a matchup with the Indianapolis Colts, the coach compared playing against the team he led as the interim boss the previous season to playing your brother in the backyard.“I’m kicking your (bleep),” he said, with a smile.Earlier in the same press conference, he was asked about how improbable his journey over the previous couple years had been, after he briefly retired only to become the Colts’ offensive coordinator, then their interim head coach, then the Coach of the Year, and finally the lead man in Arizona. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, right, and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians watch from the sidelines during the second quarter of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Dec 4, 2011. The Steelers won 35-7. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar) Maybe this game means more than most for Arians; maybe it does not. If it does, the coach isn’t saying, though when asked if his players are curious about how he’s viewing it, he said not really. Why, you may ask?“They’ll probably just watch me all week.” “Oh yeah, from re-fired, excuse me, retired,” he said, with a chuckle.A little less than two years later, Arians will be facing off with the very organization that “re-fired” him, as the Cardinals visit Pittsburgh to take on the Steelers.You’d think if the Colts were like a brother whom Arians had no ill will toward but wanted to beat then the Steelers would be on a bit of a different level, right?“I’ve been in the visiting side of that locker room about, oh gosh, eight times,” Arians said. “I’ve been in both sides of that locker room. I went back the year after I left for a preseason game. So yeah, it’s just another game on the schedule.”Sure it is, coach, Sure it is.As if anyone truly believes that.“Not at all,” Tyrann Mathieu said when asked if Arians has to tell them how much this game means to him. “We’ve got a couple ex-Steelers on our team, too, so I think it goes without being said.”“Oh yeah, not even just him, but with (Larry) Foote, Brentson Buckner is our D-line coach, we’ve got LaMarr Woodley,” linebacker Kevin Minter told Burns and Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Wednesday when asked if this is a big game for Arians. “We’re pretty much the Arizona Steelers. They can’t wait to come see these guys.center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Comments   Share   Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact “You can feel it throughout practice and what not, these guys are really focused, they’re really tuned in to this game because it’s a homecoming for a lot of these guys.”Minter said Arians has not really told the team this game carries extra importance, but that there is more of a feeling for just how much he would like to leave the Steel City with a victory.The players know their coach, and they know his history. So they know. Hell, even the players on the other team know.“I don’t believe that,” Steelers receiver Antonio Brown said of Arians downplaying the significance of the game. “Knowing him and how competitive he is, I’m sure he’s going to want to come in here and put on a show; seeing how many people counted him out and wanted him out of here.”Arians was with the Steelers from 2004 until 2011, with the final five seasons being spent as the offensive coordinator. In that role, he helped guide the team to a pair of Super Bowls, including a victory in Super Bowl XLIII over the Cardinals.Yet following the 2011 campaign, the organization decided not to offer him a new contract, and ultimately hired Todd Haley, who ironically was the Cardinals’ offensive coordinator in that same Super Bowl. Asked this week if  if  thought Arians was going to retire once a return to Pittsburgh was not an option, Tomlin said he wasn’t certain but knew it was a possibility. However, seeing what Arians has done since leaving Pittsburgh — a 34-15 record along with a pair of AP Coach of the Year Awards — has come as no surprise.“I know a lot of those men, and obviously Bruce. They’re competitors. They’re very good at what they do,” Tomlin said. “They’re going to be in the thick of things always, because that’s just their mentality and they’re capable people.”Indeed they are.A win Sunday would be big for a lot of reasons, personal and professional. The Cardinals are currently 4-1 and have a two-game lead in the NFC West, and being able to knock off a potential playoff team on the road would go a long way toward cementing their status as one of the NFL’s elite.That’s why, for all of the talk about how beating his former team would be a big deal for reasons other than just earning another victory, there are some Cardinals who actually believe their coach when he says it is not.“I’m sure it does a little bit, but he’s so focused on this team and this year, and not years past,” quarterback Carson Palmer said. “Obviously, going back to a place you’ve worked before, there’s a little extra on it, but his focus is so on this team and getting to 5-1, what’s happening in our division, where we’re at and where we need to improve. Things that need to be fixed and coached that I don’t think he has time to really dwell on the past and all the great things he did in Pittsburgh.”last_img read more

Webber bill allows more partnerships between local governments

first_img Categories: Webber News 29Nov Webber bill allows more partnerships between local governments Legislation could increase efficiency of election administrationThe Michigan House of Representatives today overwhelmingly approved legislation introduced by state Rep. Michael Webber allowing local cities and townships to partner with other municipalities for certain election-related duties.“Many small communities could benefit from forming partnerships with other local or county elections officials to more efficiently perform election duties and better serve residents,” said Webber, of Rochester Hills.House Bill 4671 gives the clerks of cities and townships the authority to enter into a written agreement to have the Bureau of Elections or a county clerk maintain the qualified voter file list. The agreement must be approved by a resolution of the governing body of each participating city or township.The bill also gives the clerks of cities and townships the authority to enter into a written agreement with the clerk of a county or another city or township for the purposes of conducting certain election-related duties, including:• Distributing, receiving and processing absent voter ballot applications and absent voter ballots;• Processing voter registrations in the qualified voter file;• Conducting regular list maintenance of the qualified voter file, including maintaining the street index;• Receiving affidavits of identity and nominating petitions or filing fees from candidates; and• Preparing for and conducting election-day operations.Webber noted that participation in agreements allowed under his bill would be completely voluntary. The partnerships must be agreed to by elected clerks and approved by resolution of the governing body of each participating county, city or township.“This simply offers an additional tool for elections officials who feel it makes sense for their community,” Webber said. “I can see this being useful in some townships and cities where municipal offices have limited hours during which people can drop off elections-related forms. Choosing to enter an agreement with a larger municipality would offer more flexibility for residents.”The bill now advances to the Senate for consideration.###last_img read more

This years IBC – the broadcast industrys biggest

first_imgThis year’s IBC – the broadcast industry’s biggest European trade show – had recorded 54,179 visitors by 10:00 this morning. The event’s CEO, Mike Crimp, said he was confident about “achieving record performance” with the expected arrival of a few hundred additional visitors today.As at 10:40 this morning, 21,700 square feet of exhibition space had been rebooked. Next year will see the addition of a new Hall 9 at the Amsterdam Rai and the renumbering of some existing halls that will add 1,500 square metres net to the event.Crimp announced new dates from 2016 for the spin-off Content Everywhere-branded event launched in Dubai in January, featuring a free conference. “We got all of the top CEOs and CTOs and they have asked us to do another conference in November,” he said. The Dubai event will also be held in November from now on, he said. “It’s a very competitive market but the economy is growing fast with huge growth in IP video and a thirst of knowledge. [Content Everywhere] It also allows us to develop a brand that is not quite so broadcast-centric…and have a different type of debate that is very relevant to that region.”Crimp said that the IBC’s Touch and Connect app for networking had been successful. People had used it mostly to meet other visitors, he said. “The value of the show is changing from a transaction-based show. People are building big IP-based systems and they are interested in meeting people who can help them solve those problems and put big systems together,” he said.This year’s IBC conference encompassed over 80 sessions and 250 speakers from around the world. Phil White, director of technology and events, said that the success of the IBC big screen experience had been reflected in the fact that Disney Pixar had remastered Inside Out with extended colour gamut just for the show.last_img read more

ABI Research has lowered its installed base foreca

first_imgABI Research has lowered its installed base forecast for virtual reality devices to just over 140 million by 2023, claiming that the consumer VR space has “entered a malaise”.The research firm said that while there is ongoing traction in the enterprise VR market, its 140m figure is contingent on mobile VR “turning things around” and again becoming a viable segment of the market.While 2018 tethered and standalone VR shipments are expected to exceed those of previous years, ABI said that mobile VR has taken a “distant back seat”, with few updates coming from major mobile players like Samsung or Google.“We can view the VR market as bifurcated into two distinct user experiences, one where mobile and lower-priced standalone devices reside and stationary 3 Degree of Freedom (DoF) experiences predominate, and the other where tethered and premium standalone serve 6DoF and/or room-scale applications,” said Michael Inouye, principal analyst at ABI Research.“While there are currently some standalone solutions that bridge the two, these are transitional devices. Developers and end users will select the type of movement based on intended application and potential market opportunity. If Mobile VR continues to wither, the market will shift to dedicated devices and 6DoF, keeping VR a niche technology for a longer period.”“VR remains a long-term prospect, albeit becoming increasingly longer, but in the interim, related areas such as augmented reality could spill over and add additional fuel to the VR space.”ABI is the latest research firm to set out its predictions for the VR space. IDC recently said that the VR market is “finally starting to come into its own” with headset shipments returning to growth in Q3 2018 after four consecutive quarters of decline.Separately, CSS Insight said that sales of virtual and augmented reality headsets and glasses will decline year-on-year in 2018 before returning to growth in 2019, reaching 52 million in 2022.last_img read more

By Marin Katusa Chief Energy Investment Strategis

first_imgBy Marin Katusa, Chief Energy Investment StrategistOne of oil’s most important characteristics is its fungibility, which means that a barrel of refined oil from Texas is equivalent to one from Saudi Arabia or Nigeria or anywhere else in the world. The global oil machine is built upon this premise – tankers take oil wherever it is needed, and one country pays almost the same as the next for this valuable commodity.Well, that’s true aside from two factors that can render this equivalency void. In fact, crude oil prices range a fair bit according to the quality of the crude and the challenge of moving it from wellhead to refinery. Those factors are currently wreaking havoc on oil prices in North America: a range of oil qualities and a raft of infrastructure issues are creating record price differentials. And with no solution in sight, we think those differentials are here to stay.The Parameters of PricingThe first factor in oil pricing is quality. The best kind of crude is light and sweet: “light” means its hydrocarbon molecules average on the small side within the oil range; and “sweet” means it does not contain much sulfur. Light, sweet crudes are the easiest to refine into petroleum products, which makes them more desirable than heavy, sour crudes.No two reservoirs produce identical oil, though reservoirs in the same region often produce similar crudes. For example, conventional oils from Texas are generally lighter and sweeter than the crudes that make up the European benchmark Brent blend; this is why West Texas Intermediate crude oil carried a premium over Brent crude for years. Similarly, Bonny Light oil from Nigeria is a bit heavier and sourer than Algeria’s Saharan Blend and therefore receives a slight price discount.But wait, you say – isn’t Brent more expensive than WTI? Yes, today it is. This graph shows the two prices’ movements over the last 25 years.(Click on image to enlarge)For most of the graph the prices track very closely, with the green WTI line sitting just above the black Brent line. Then, in the second half of 2010, the relationship starts to shift: WTI prices started to lose ground against Brent. The differential was only a dollar in November 2010, but by September 2011 Brent crude was worth US$27.31 or 32% more than WTI. The differential narrowed in December but has recently opened up again, with the spot price of Brent closing US$13.88 above that of WTI yesterday.The characteristics of WTI and Brent crude oils did not change during 2010, so the pricing reversal must have stemmed from the other factor that impacts crude-oil prices: infrastructure. More specifically, WTI prices started to slide because of a lack of infrastructure.North America’s Fantastically Flawed SystemNorth America has a long history of oil production and processing. Decades of producing oil and consuming lots of petroleum products have left the continent with a pretty good system of pipelines and refineries… but pipelines are annoyingly stagnant things that tend to stay where you build them. And it turns out that the pipelines of yesterday are in the wrong places to serve the oil fields and refineries of today.America’s oil infrastructure was built around two inputs – some domestic production and large volumes of imports. You see, while the Middle East may be the biggest producer of crude oil in the world, most of the refining occurs in the United States, Europe, and Asia. There are two reasons for this. The first is that it’s easier to ship massive volumes of one product (crude oil) than smaller volumes of multiple products (gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and so on). The second reason is that refineries are generally built within the regions they serve, so that each facility can be tailored to produce the right kinds and amounts of petroleum products for its customers.During World War II, the US War Department (now the Department of Defense) divided the United States into five regions to facilitate oil allocation. The regions were called “Petroleum Administration for Defense Districts,” or PADDs.The United States is split into five oil districts to help with regional administration of a crucial asset. Thanks to the US EIA for the map.Today, refineries in PADD I on the East Coast process oil shipped to the district’s Atlantic ports from all over the world. Its refineries produce enough petroleum products to meet about one-third of regional demand; the rest comes from imports of refined products, primarily from the Gulf Coast but also from Europe. PADD V, on the West Coast, processes domestic oil from California and Alaska, as well as imported oil.While the East- and West-Coast PADDs are not connected to the rest of the crude oil system, PADDs II, III, and IV have become very interdependent. PADD III, on the Gulf Coast, has more refining capacity than anywhere in the world and accounts for 45% of total US capacity, with 45 refineries processing more than 8 million barrels of oil per day from countries like Mexico and Venezuela as well as domestic sources. Refineries in the Midwest and California push the US’s total refining capacity to 18 million barrels of oil a day.While domestic production has always helped meet the US’s oil needs, imported oil has long ruled the day. The US has relied on imported oil so heavily for so long that the country’s oil infrastructure is built primarily around refining imported oil and then moving refined products – gasoline and diesel and the like – north, from the Gulf Coast to the Midwest, or inland, from refineries on the coasts to customers in the interior.It was not, it is important to note, designed to move oil from the interior of the country to refineries. But that is what is needed today.Oil’s a-Flowing, But with Nowhere to GoNorth American oil production is on the rise in a serious way, and there are two prime culprits: the Bakken shale and the oil sands.The Bakken shale formation underlying North Dakota gets most of the credit for the resurgence in US domestic output, though some of the shales in Texas are also contributing notably. Production in the Bakken is so booming that North Dakota’s crude output topped half a million barrels a day for the first time in November, up from just 300,000 bpd in 2010. The state is on track to surpass both California (539,000 bpd) and Alaska (555,000 bpd) this year to become the number-two oil-producing state in the United States.Oil from the Bakken is generally mid-weight and fairly sweet. Ideally it should stay in the Midwest, because the refineries around Cushing are still designed to process light sweet oil. However, the other area where North American oil production is booming produces just the opposite. In fact, oil from the Canadian oil sands is so heavy that it has earned a distinct moniker: “bitumen.” And there is a tsunami of bitumen on the way. The two million bpd being produced in the oil sands today is set to increase 50% in just the next three years.However, Canada’s oil sands are not the only place in the world producing heavy oil. In general, global production is gradually moving towards heavier, sourer crudes because the easy deposits of light, sweet crude are being tapped out. And that has forced refineries to evolve.A refinery designed to handle light, sweet WTI crude cannot switch to heavy, sour oil sand bitumen without some serious upgrades. To that end, US refineries have invested billions in upgrades over the last decade to enable them to process heavy oil. The catch is, now the refinery army along the Gulf Coast needs heavy oil – just as they couldn’t easily switch from light to heavy, they can’t switch from heavy back to light.The obvious source is the oil sands. It’s a win-win: Oil-sands producers want to get their oil to suitable refineries, and the heavy oil refiners on the Gulf Coast want Canadian crude, because without access to bitumen they are being forced to pay a premium for to secure heavy oil supplies from Venezuela.But that potential win-win is instead a losing predicament for all, because the pipelines to move that oil simply don’t exist.Remember how the US’s oil pipelines were designed primarily to move refined products from the Gulf region and the coastal refineries to inland customers? Well, those pipelines of yesterday now run the wrong way. Today what North America’s oil machine needs are pipelines running from the oil sands to the Gulf Coast. At the moment there is just enough capacity to get bitumen partway there – it gets to Cushing, the oil hub. And then it gets stuck.This chart tells the story perfectly. The vast majority of Canada’s bitumen is ending up in PADD II – in Cushing – where it simply sits in tanks because there is no heavy oil refining capacity in the Midwest, and there is very limited pipeline capacity to move oil south.Cushing is overwhelmed. The storage tanks at Cushing are at record levels, housing no less than 46.7 million barrels of oil. The recent reversal of the Seaway pipeline is helping – Seaway used to move refined products north from the Gulf Coast but has now been flipped to carry oil south. It is currently moving some 150,000 barrels of oil a day; volumes are expected to rise through the year to reach 400,000 bpd by early 2013. The pipeline’s owners would ideally like to twin the pipe, but regulatory proceedings for that project are not yet under way.The much-debated Keystone XL pipeline will also help. While routing and approval for the northern section of the pipeline are still under debate, construction of the southern leg of the project, running from Cushing to the Gulf Coast, is set to begin this summer. It could be operational before the end of next year.No matter what happens with the Keystone pipeline, the US will face ever-increasing competition for Canada’s oil. In fact, competition over oil from Canada – and around the world – is creating a new Cold War between the US and China.But even with Seaway reversed and Keystone XL’s southern leg in place, the glut of oil at Cushing will continue to grow. Production from the oil sands and the Bakken is simply growing too quickly for infrastructure to keep up. And when oil becomes landlocked, it loses that key characteristic – fungibility – that helps make it so valuable.North American Oil Differentials: Here to StayWith so much supply landlocked, Canadian oil prices are taking a serious hit. The benchmark price for Canadian heavy oil is Western Canada Select (WCS), which is currently trading at just US$59.33 per barrel. By contrast, WTI is priced at US$82.70, which means the differential is a whopping US$23.37 per barrel, or 28% higher.(Click on image to enlarge)Even Canadian synthetic – a partially upgraded bitumen product that has historically carried a premium to WTI – is trading at a discount to its American peer: Canadian synthetic is at US$79.13 per barrel.It’s a double-whammy differential: Canadian oil is heavy, which discounts its price; and the system to move it to suitable refineries is clogged up, creating another discount. Neither of those situations is going to change any time soon, and that means oil-sands projects may soon be on the chopping block.The oil sands is one of the costliest oil regions in the world to develop; and with WCS prices so low, the economics behind many new oil-sands projects have become pretty weak. New oil-sands mines require a price of around US$80 per barrel to break even. If an upgrader is part of the plans, that break-even price rises to almost US$100. In-situ projects, which use wells and underground steam injection to extract oil from the sands in place, usually carry a break-even price near US$60 per barrel.But even with some projects postponed and others slowed, bitumen production is still expected to climb rapidly. Estimates range, but most observers agree that it is likely the oil sands will be producing close to 2.7 million barrels a day by 2016, up from 1.6 million bpd last year.That kind of investment means that every time new pipeline and refining capacity is built, supply will catch up and the system will remain chockablock. And that means the differential between Canadian and US oil prices is settling in for a long stay. There are ways to benefit from this differential, but given the complexity of the situation, only informed investors will be able to take advantage. Additional Links and ReadsIraq and Iran Cuddle Up in OPEC, But for How Long? (Reuters)Historic rivals Iraq and Iran are growing closer in their OPEC policy preferences, specifically in wanting an oil price near US$110 per barrel. Their joint force is providing a counterweight to the more moderate Gulf Arab countries led by Saudi Arabia that have long dominated the cartel. However, relations could again grow strained later in the year when Iraq passes Iran to become OPEC’s second-biggest producer.Lower Oil Prices Will Crimp Industry Spending (Globe and Mail)The oil and gas industry invests no less than a billion dollars in Canada every week and has been doing so steadily since 2006, only taking a breather during the financial crisis in 2009. However, leading indicators suggest that corporate wallets are getting leaner and spending is set to slow down in the second half of this year, falling to the lowest level since 2005. The culprits? Low oil and gas prices.Natural Gas: Where Deep Pessimism Bodes Well (Globe and Mail)With many analysts now in agreement that natural gas prices can’t go much lower, is it time to invest? This article takes a tour through what happened to natural gas prices and where they might be heading from here.A Chance for BP to Get Its Kremlinology Right (Globe and Mail)BP is in a lucrative but loveless Russian marriage that seems headed for divorce, but BP CEO Bob Dudley might have found an elegant way to salvage his company’s Russian strategy. BP’s joint venture with TNK is on the rocks after TNK sued to prevent the British company from finalizing another Russian joint venture, a massive partnership with Rosneft that has since gone to rival ExxonMobil. Now it seems Rosneft might be willing to buy BP out of its deal with TNK in a deal that would involve cash and access to promising new fields in the Russian Arctic, an arrangement that would get BP out of its loveless marriage without having to give up its coveted Arctic foothold.last_img read more

In This Issue… Very tight range for currencies…

first_imgIn This Issue… * Very tight range for currencies… * Gold takes two steps back… * Eurozone Summit begins tomorrow…. * Don’t feed the Animals… And, Now, Today’s Pfennig For Your Thoughts! A Plan To Have A Plan? Good day… And a Wonderful Wednesday to you! I’m at a loss this morning… Usually, I have done some reading the previous night, and come to work loaded for bear… But that didn’t happen last night, as Alex and his band mates had “band practice” in my man cave / basement… While I love listening to Alex play his guitar, the beating of the drums gets to me after about, oh, 5- minutes! So, I went upstairs, to watch the baseball game… and since my computer is downstairs… no reading! Which means this could be short-n-sweet today… and then again, you never know with me, once I begin to bang on the keyboard with my fat fingers! And never knowing what’s going to happen next is the trading pattern we’ve been thrust into these past months, but even more so now, as the Central Bankers around the world, begin to figure out, what they could have learned years ago, by reading the Pfennig, and that is… they can’t control the economy like they think they can! And with every Central Bank meeting between the U.S. and Eurozone, the lead up to the meeting is full of anticipation, and then are left with disappointment… The markets want more from the Central Banks, but… they’ve done just about all they can do, and none of it works… You know, if they had just looked at Japan, they would have learned long ago that Central Bank meddling into the economy doesn’t work over time. Sure, there are short-term blips of positive response but those last about as long it takes to get lathered up about the economy… and then the disappointment sets in… Well.. I did an interview with The Street.com yesterday, and we talked about Gold, and a few other things. I made the point that while it doesn’t make sense to me, that investors are selling Gold ahead of the Eurozone Summit this week, as most people believe the Eurozone leaders will disappoint the markets… And since the markets have had their share of disappointment lately (see Ben Bernanke x 2) they are selling Gold and buying dollars. OK.. to prepare for disappointment is sound in my opinion… But to sell Gold when there is uncertainty in the world, on both sides of the Atlantic? I don’t find that as sound… But, as I told the reporter, I learned long ago that the markets are never wrong… I might not agree with them, but you don’t try to fight them. Instead, you do the old Ali, rope-a-dope… All this talk about disappointment isn’t carrying over to what you’re feeling while you read the Pfennig this morning! Yes, I’ve been very serious so far.. not the usual Chuck stuff… Don’t worry, it’s coming! Yesterday, we saw the currencies bounce around in a very tight range, with no direction and no conviction to more either way. Gold lost $13.. So, it’s one step forward, two steps back with Gold these days… But I don’t worry.. can you see me as Alfred E. Newman, with a balding head, and a big beer belly, saying, “What, me worry”? As I told the reporter yesterday, Gold’s backing off this year certainly gives all those that missed the boat the first time, cheaper levels to buy… This morning, I turned on the currency screens and noticed that ½ of the currencies were in the red, and the other ½ were in the green… Red is bad.. green is good… And Gold is down another $5 this morning… one step forward, two steps back.. I really don’t believe we’ll see much movement in either direction today for the currencies, as the markets await the Eurozone Summit which begins tomorrow… OK… last week, I wrote about what I believe the Eurozone leaders need to do to calm the markets at this summit… so I won’t get into that again, but… I’m afraid we’re not going to get what I believe is needed… There’s been some “leaking” of news before the Summit, and it appears that the Eurozone leaders are going to opt to come up with a “plan to have a plan”… Uh-Oh! I don’t think that’s going to calm the markets, but, as I said above… we don’t know how the markets will react… Maybe they’ll be buffaloed into thinking that this is good, just like they were last summer when the U.S. debt commission couldn’t come up with spending cuts, and the so-called “automatic cuts” were supposed to take over… From what I read this morning… the “plan to have a plan” will go about ½ of the way toward what I said was needed, by providing an accurate diagnosis of the challenges facing the Eurozone, and the steps that will need to be taken… They’ll talk about the 4 pillars: growth, banking union, fiscal union, political union) but they won’t get past that discussion… And then the “plan to have a plan” will put off the next phase until late fall, and maybe even into winter! So… you see, if the markets get a sniff of this like I did, then the disappointment will really set in… unless, like I said above, they get buffaloed… And the Eurozone leaders need time to put pressure on Germany to agree to all the things in the “plan”… It all begins tonight when German Chancellor Angela Merkel sits down to dinner with French President, Hollande… Mr. Hollande will attempt to use his “French charm” and get the German Chancellor to weaken her stance… Whoa, that almost sounds like the beginning of one of those romance novels or whatever they call them! But… what will most likely happen is that Angela Merkel will use Jedi mind tricks on Hollande and he won’t know what hit him! I know what that feels like, as I’ve had Jedi mind tricks played on me for years… HA! Chris Gaffney and yours truly, say that the Big Boss Frank Trotter, plays Jedi mind tricks on us… The global growth prospects got a boost overnight, when the China Securities Journal talked about the country introducing more proactive policies to ensure stable growth in the world’s second largest economy. Then the Xinhua News Agency said that “China plans to boost Hong Kong’s integration with mainland financial markets”… As I’ve told you all a couple of hundred times before… China still has the Treasure Chest stuffed full of reserves that can be used to stimulate their economy without going into debt doing so… But even more, China has more tools to use, as they have not painted themselves into a corner like Japan, the U.S. and the Eurozone have done by cutting interest rates to the bone and then gone to Quantitative Easing… And, like I told you all two years ago, when economists and analysts said that the Chinese economy would collapse, I said that it would moderate, but not collapse… and that’s exactly what’s happening! I love it when a plan comes together! Well… Italy auctioned some bonds this morning, and actually saw decent demand for their debt, and yields actually fell for the first time in a month of Sundays… But, even this news isn’t enough to take the markets focus off the Eurozone Summit that, like I said previously, begins tomorrow… Here in the U.S. we’ll see the color of Durable Goods Orders for May, and Pending Home Sales data from May… Not much in the way of market moving data… The “experts” are forecasting an increase in Durable Goods Orders of .5%… and Top lawmakers in the Senate say they have reached a deal on freezing student loan rates for another year.. But get this… but they are still deciding the mechanics for how the proposal should make its way through the legislature before Congress leaves for the July 4th holiday week… Hey, just pass it, no wait! Chuck don’t go there! Other than that… U.S. Consumer Confidence fell for the 4th consecutive month in June… The index number dropped from 64.4 in May to 62 in June… You know me… not that I want to see this, but it’s finally going in the direction I believe it should have been going all along, given the Wars, the debt, the unemployment, and the list goes on… So, maybe this is playing catch-up now… And in the category of “What the heck is going on here”? Gary Gensler, chairman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission,( CFTC) (you know the guys I complain about all the time for not doing their jobs) said regulation inevitably will lead the agency to go beyond domestic borders to police the derivatives market. He’s not the only one who sees it that way. “We are looking at the CFTC effectively becoming the global swaps regulator,” said Hannah Gurga, head of European affairs at ICAP. “Maybe that will be a good thing for financial stability, but it’s something overseas regulators need to be grappling with quite seriously.” Isn’t that the way things go in life? Screw up something beyond recognition, and get more powerful… Lynyrd Skynyrd is singing… You Got That Right on the iPod right now, so I guess they are answering my pondering.! Then There Was This… Ok… yesterday, I talked about how the U.S. Gov’t was recruiting people to sign up for food stamps… I find this to be totally wrong… well, a couple of readers sent me a note that just made me laugh and laugh… So… here goes…“The Food Stamp Program, administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is proud to be distributing the greatest amount of free meals and food stamps ever.Meanwhile, the National Park Service, administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior, asks us to “Please Do Not Feed the Animals.” Their stated reason for the policy is because the animals will grow dependent on handouts and will not learn to take care of themselves.” Chuck again… talk about ironic! And that’s all I’ll say about that! To recap… a very tight range for the currencies yesterday lead us into what will probably be another tight range trading day for the currencies ahead of the Eurozone Summit which begins tomorrow… Chuck believes the Eurozone leaders will leave the markets with disappointment, unless that is they are buffaloed like they were last summer here in the U.S. Currencies today 6/27/12… American Style: A$ $1.0085, kiwi .7905, C$ .9755, euro 1.2495, sterling 1.5625, Swiss $1.04, … European Style: rand 8.3765, krone 6.02, SEK 7.07, forint 229.15, zloty 3.40, koruna 20.7470, RUB 32.90, yen 79.65, sing 1.2765, HKD 7.7585, INR 57.16, China 6.3565, pesos 13.74, BRL 2.0760, Dollar Index 82.39, Oil $78.95, 10-year 1.62%, Silver $26.89, and Gold… $1,569.20 That’s it for today… You know, I sounded like I didn’t like the band having practice at my house, but I have to say that it does remind me of when I played the guitar in a band and we practiced in my basement… My mom used to come downstairs and listen to us… she was our biggest fan… So… good memories there… I prefer to remember my mom from those years, for as she grew older she was stricken with MS, and then he whole persona changed… Well, college football finally has a playoff system! YAHOO! It will begin in 2014… and in the first year of the playoff my Missouri Tigers will be the Champs! Ok… I know, but I can dream right? And with that… I’ll dream that you loved the Pfennig today, and can’t wait for tomorrow’s! Now, go out and have a Wonderful Wednesday! Chuck Butler President EverBank World Markets 1-800-926-4922 1-314-647-3837 www.everbank.comlast_img read more

Dear readers As you may recall from Mondays Dail

first_imgDear readers,As you may recall from Monday’s Daily Dispatch, I’ve just returned from China and shared some thoughts about the place. This would seem to be a good time to share one of our last video conversations from the Recovery Reality Check Summit we held in Florida three months ago. Please note that while my tone was more bullish on China than this conversation – and I stand by my observations – that bullishness is regarding the mid to long term. In the near term, I’m quite sympathetic to the idea of more bubbles popping in China, and serious consequences ensuing for the global economy, as outlined by Gordon Chang in this interview.I also note that since this conversation was recorded, Gordon has been shown right regarding China’s increasing reliance on the US; the US has officially become China’s top trading partner, displacing the EU.Also, while in China last week, I heard of a young man sentenced to four years in jail for spray-painting “CCP Game Over” on a wall. The China Communist Party was never known for its sense of humor, and it seems to have much less of it these days. Several political observers I met in the country think the power struggle will ultimately be positive for China, resulting in the country moving toward greater freedom. In the meantime, it could have negative economic consequences, as per Gordon’s views below.On the bright side, Gordon agrees with me that whatever happens, even in the near term, the trend in China is bullish for gold.Whether we agree or disagree with all that Gordon has to say, the topic could hardly be more important for our investments. I hope you enjoy the conversation.Sincerely,Louis JamesSenior Metals Investment StrategistCasey Research Gordan Chang, author of The Coming Collapse of China and Nuclear Showdown: North Korea Takes on the World, was a faculty member of the last Casey Research investors’ summit. The next conference – Navigating the Politicized Economy – will be held in sun-drenched Carlsbad, California, September 7-9 and is being co-hosted by Sprott, Inc.This timely investors’ conference is designed to help further your understanding of the world’s increasingly centralized economies so that you can profit from the market dislocations they are creating. Many financial luminaries will be on hand, including David Walker, former United States Comptroller General; Karl Denninger, author the daily market commentary The Market Ticker and operator of Ticker Forum, an online trading community; and G. Edward Griffin, author of the best-selling book on the founding of the Federal Reserve Bank, The Creature from Jekyll Island.These are but a few of the new faces you’ll see in Carlsbad. Also appearing will be our own Doug Casey, resource investing legend Rick Rule, who founded Global Resource Investment (now part of the Sprott Group of companies), and Lacy Hunt, executive vice president of Hoisington Investment Management Company (HIMCO) and the attendees’ favorite speaker at our last Summit.This is just the tip of the iceberg, as we’ll have many more speakers, not to mention special sessions on alternative investments, precious metals, the energy market, and more. Plus, we’ll have roundtable discussions on the best investment strategies to implement right now, question-and-answer sessions, and specific stock recommendations that could pay for the cost of your Summit registration many times over.last_img read more

Imagine if you had a rice delivery system that was

first_imgImagine if you had a rice delivery system that was supposed to deliver grain from point A, a government warehouse, to point B, homes of low-income residents.But for every 100 kilos of rice that left the warehouse less than 50 kilos were actually reaching people’s kitchens. This was the situation in Indonesia for nearly two decades as the government tried to provide a nutritional safety net to the nation’s poorest citizens.The program called Raskin, or Rice for the Poor, was set up in the wake of the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s. Its goal was to deliver subsidized rice each month to Indonesia’s most vulnerable households.”It’s an enormous program,” says Abhijit Banerjee, an economist from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who’s studied the Raskin program for years. “Indonesia is one of the biggest countries in the world. And this is their largest social support program.”With more than 250 million people Indonesia is the fourth most populous nation in the world after China, India and the United States.”If you’re a person interested in poverty then this is one of the places where you want to be working,” says Banerjee. And the Indonesian government recognized that Raskin desperately needed to be fixed. It was spending $1.5 billion a year on the program but less than half the rice was actually reaching the intended recipients.Here’s how the program was supposed to work. The central government shipped the rice to thousands of distribution points across the chain of islands that makes up the Southeast Asian nation. Then officials at the village or neighborhood level were in charge of handing out the rice and collecting a meager subsidy. Low-income families are supposed to get 15 kilos of rice a month — about 33 pounds — at roughly 15 cents a kilo, about a fifth of the going price in the market.Many of the local officials, however, decided to distribute the rice to residents who weren’t on the government’s poverty rolls but who they felt were in need. Others decided to set the subsidy price themselves. This wiped out much of the intended benefit of Raskin, which was to provide a staple food at a rock bottom price for the country’s poorest citizens.But it turned out that there was a really simple way to make the program far more efficient.”It’s not rocket science,” says Banerjee. “There’s a certain tendency among both social scientists and policymakers to assume that the solution to a complex problem has to be complex, and I don’t think that’s always true.”Banerjee and a group of colleagues in 2012 began to test possible ways to plug the leaks in the Raskin program. They found that the solution didn’t lie in tinkering with controls at the warehouse or updating bureaucratic policies in Jakarta.The solution lay in giving recipients written proof of what they were entitled to under the program.Banerjee and his colleagues sent hundreds of thousands of postcards to the intended beneficiaries of Raskin in more than 500 villages. The cards stated explicitly that you, Joe or Jane Citizen, are eligible for this program, this is exactly how much rice you’re supposed to get each month and this is how much you’re supposed to pay.”The whole point is this changes your bargaining power,” says Benjamin Olken, another economist from MIT who worked with Banerjee on ways to improve Raskin.So the village leaders no longer had a monopoly on information. It was much harder for them to arbitrarily decide who gets how much rice and at what price.Once villagers have an eligibility card with their name on it, they’re in a much better position to demand their full ration.”It made a big difference,” Olken says. “Just sending out the cards to a village led the eligible beneficiaries to receive 26 percent more rice than in the control villages.” Out of 572 villages in the study, 378 were sent the cards.In these types of aid programs confusion and obfuscation are often the accomplices of corruption. And it’s not enough to publish the rules of the program on a government website or a local newspaper — as they were for Raskin.Banerjee says the people who were skimming off Raskin had an incentive to keep the program mired in mystery. Banerjee says many recipients didn’t even know what that they were supposed to pay for their ration. “The price was something that was set for seven years. It was the same price,” he says. “Yet many people didn’t know the price.”The MIT economists tested various methods of publicizing eligibility for Raskin.They found that the most effective intervention was to send personalized postcards to recipients and then also post flyers in the village declaring who was eligible.There’s an economics term (it’s also used in game theory) called “common knowledge.” Olken says that’s what they were trying to get to with Raskin. It’s a social state where everyone knows the rules of the program and everyone knows that everyone else knows the rules.”[Recipients] can go to the village head and say, ‘Look I know that I’m eligible. And I know that you know that I’m eligible.'” Olken says. “And so if the village head says, ‘No, you only get five kilos.’ You can say, ‘No, no, I know my rights. And, look, it says it here on the paper what my rights are.'”Olken and Banerjee’s analysis of the use of postcards to improve the efficiency of Raskin was published in the Journal of Political Economy. Meanwhile, Indonesia has taken their ideas on Raskin eligibility cards and expanded them to cover several other social programs, including a school subsidy and a temporary cash transfer program. The government in 2015 sent out a credit-card sized I.D. called Kartu Pelindungan Social or “Social Protection Card” to more than 15 million Indonesians, letting them and aid officials know what benefits they should be getting. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more