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  1. Smartphones usually get incremental upgrades with a facelift, that is not something which is appreciated by smartphone buyers. Every company is guilty of it, however, it seems like Vivo has taken it upon itself to get creative. Today, companies want to deliver a smartphone with a full view display, so that the viewing experience is not obstructed. While companies incorporated minimal bezels or a notch to tackle this problem, Vivo, on the other hand, removed the front-facing camera altogether and even the fingerprint sensor. The company launched the first in-display fingerprint sensor-based smartphone i.e. the Vivo X21 and the company has now launched the highly anticipated Vivo Nex. © MensXP Vivo Nex is probably the first smartphone that embraces a true alap-screen design. It doesn't have a notch and has a hidden selfie camera. The selfie camera is powered by a motorised moving part and the fingerprint sensor has been embedded under the display. There aren't many smartphones out there that are pushing the envelope like the Nex. Creativity and innovation aside, how is the phone and does it perform as well as its competitors? Is it just all talk and no walk, or does it really deliver what it promises? Let's find out! Design The smartphone is quite similar to other smartphones that you may see in the market, however, it is noticeably bigger, thicker and heavier than any other smartphone that has launched in India this year. The phone has a 6.69-inch true bezel-less display and a glass back that is prone to scratching. Speaking of the display, the Vivo Nex does have a very slim bezel at the top and the bottom which is quite negligible when compared to other smartphones. © MensXP The New also has a motorised module that pops up the selfie camera, which is probably why the smartphone has added weight. In terms of ports, the smartphone has a USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm headphone jack for music lovers. The right side of the smartphone has the power key and the volume rockers while on the other side Vivo has provided a dedicated key for Google Assistant and Lens. © MensXP Overall, the smartphone does not have a unique look when one sees it from afar, however, one would instantly notice the absence of the selfie camera or any bezels. In terms of design, the smartphone delivers what it was aiming for. Display The display of a smartphone can either make it or break it, especially when you're paying a premium. The Nex has a massive 6.59-inch display that has a full HD+ resolution. The smartphone uses a Samsung super AMOLED display which is probably the best a smartphone could use in 2018. © MensXP While the AMOLED panel is capable of delivering vivid and accurate colours, we did come across a pixelation issue when we attempted to watch a full HD TV show on Netflix. Regardless of rare issues, the smartphone is a pure joy to use due to the screen size and the fact that nothing obstructed our viewing experience. Normally, we don't talk about these features in the display section, however, there's a lot going on behind the display that needs to be talked about. The display also houses the fingerprint sensor under the display which works exactly how it does on the Vivo X21. Since there is no noticeable earpiece at the front of the phone, the display also acts as a speaker and the earpiece. Setting up the fingerprint scanner was sluggish, frustrating and a slow process and isn't the most reliable way to unlock the smartphone. The display refused to recognise my left thumb, even after I've wiped it clean of dirt, moisture, and self-doubt. Having said that, it is a brand new technology that needs more time to be developed, which is why it will get a pass this time around. Performance The smartphone is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 SoC which is paired with 8GB of RAM and 128GG of internal memory. The processor and components have been complimented with Android Oreo 8.1 with Funtouch OS 4 on top. The user interface is probably our biggest disappointment, as it does not look refined or visually appealing. Having said that, the operating system works well and smoothly in terms of performance. Processor-intensive applications such as PUBG worked without any glitches, frame rate issues or lag. The RAM has been optimised enough to work well with SP 845, however, we feel it is not utilising its full potential. During the course of our testing, the Vivo Nex performed considerably well on Geekbench with a score of 2417 (single core) and 9094 (Multi-core), that's ahead of the OnePlus 6, Galaxy S9+, Galaxy Note 8 and other flagship devices. © Youtube- MKBHD When it comes to battery life, the Vivo Nex outperforms any smartphone in its class. It has a 4,00 mAh battery that can be fast charged thanks to the USB Type-C port. Having said that, we don't recommend you using a third-party charger, as the Vivo Nex will freeze up when charged by a different charger. In terms of battery life, our review unit easily lasted for one and a half day, which included heavy use of GPS services, gaming, and communications. We also used the smartphone to watch videos on Netflix and YouTube. Camera Quality © MensXP The Vivo Nex is outfitted with a 12-megapixel primary camera that has been partnered with a 5-megapixel depth sensing sensor, having an aperture of f/1.8 and f/2.4 respectively. The front-facing camera features an 8MP f/2.0 sensor which enables it to take some kickass selfies. The primary camera performs well for its price category but fails to challenge the status quo held by current flagships. In well-lit environments, the smartphone is capable of taking some impressive photos while underperforms in low-light environments. The camera is unable to capture details or colours when it comes to low-light photography. © MensXP The selfie camera, on the other hand, has an interesting feature that may interest onlookers. The 8-megapixel front facing camera pops out each time you fire up the selfie mode. While the camera pops up, it even makes a sound that gives it a feel of something arriving from the future. The selfie camera takes clear shots that also has a beautify mode that removes blemishes and marks. It is also capable of taking self portrait shots, which needs a little more tweaking for the blur effect to be accurate. Here are some samples from the camera for your judgement: Unedited pictures taken using the #VivoNex #smartphones #technology A post shared by Akshay Bhalla / Høax (@editorinchief) on Jul 23, 2018 at 1:30am PDT The Final Say Vivo Nex retails in India for Rs 44,500 and we feel that you get your money's worth if you make an investment in it. You get a cool phone with features no other device can boast of, it performs better than many other Android devices and it lasts really long in terms of battery life. The camera definitely needs improvement and if you are looking for an alternative to the OnePlus 6, you can definitely have a look at the Vivo Nex.
  2. Earlier this year, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between Aahung and Balochistan Education Department to integrate the LSBE into the provincial curriculum/ file photoQUETTA: The Government of Balochistan took a critical step for...
  3. Suits are evergreen. Be it an office meeting or a wedding reception - they can be worn anywhere. Plus, they are arguably the classiest of outfits a man can wear. If you're someone who is fond of suiting up, you must already have quite a few pieces in your collection. But we can also bet that 70% of them probably look the same (come on, admit it). While there is nothing wrong with having a particular preference that is 'safe', a fashionable man must always have something that stands out - something that's not 'regular' or 'basic' - to be worn once in a while to bring that 'wow' factor to the table. Karan Singh Grover was just spotted wearing something exactly like that - a bold, edgy suit in Electric Blue. Source: Viral Bhayani Here are 3 reasons why you should be investing in one too, this summer: 1. Blacks and Greys are classic, yes, and they will never go out of style. But, there comes a time when you end up looking for a bit of variety. How much can one possibly, realistically keep on experimenting with accessories, ties, and bow ties to make the same suit look different every time? You get the drift. This one right here is a definite collectable. Source: Viral Bhayani 2. You want to experiment but you also know that you are no Ranveer Singh. In other words, you want to wear something eye-catching but are also wary of ending up being the party freak - so you wonder where to draw the line. A safe line, my friend, is this colour right here. Blue is safe. Plus this blue is composed of just the right amount of boldness and edge, that will get you the eyeballs without getting you the gasps. Source: Viral Bhayani 3. Electric blue is a colour that has a good range when it comes to what to pair with it. You can pair it with black (like Karan has done here), or you can go for white, or any other muted, pastel shade. Just make sure to not incorporate anything gaudy, and you're all set. Source: Viral Bhayani You are welcome.
  4. LOS ANGELES: Some film critics are calling it the best Marvel movie so far; others say it?s a correction after years of neglecting minority talent in Hollywood. The predominantly black cast of superhero movie ?Black Panther? hope its combination of African pride, beauty and kick-ass adventure will also mark a cultural shift in the movie industry and beyond. The Disney movie, opening worldwide this week, tells the story of T?Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), the new king of the futuristic, wealth-laden African nation Wakanda, who is challenged by factions within his own country. ?Marvel has a way of really affecting popular culture,? said Lupita Nyong?o, who plays the Wakandan warrior spy, Nakia. ?Hopefully it changes the general idea of what being an African is. Too often times we see Africa as a place that is wanting, and here it?s a place that you want to go,? she said. The movie, directed by Ryan Coogler and also featuring Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett, Forest Whittaker and Daniel Kaluuya, arrives to stellar reviews after years of criticism about the under-representation of movies, actors and filmmakers of color in Hollywood. Analysts expect it to rake in some $150 million at the North American box office on its opening weekend, and the filmmakers hope it will encourage studios to invest in more mainstream, racially diverse films. ?It?s not often that you see two black men in a movie playing a role of this importance. You see it with white actors, (like) ?Ocean?s Eleven? where it?s Brad Pitt and Matt Damon and George Clooney, and it?s like ?why does that never happen with us?'? Boseman said. ?Hopefully the success of this will make it be commonplace. It?ll make Hollywood stop saying ?well, your movies don?t travel,? he said. ?Black Panther? also offers a new type of villain through Jordan?s Killmonger, an empathetic former military black-ops agent, who wants to distribute Wakanda?s wealth to arm the world?s black population and help them rise to power. Wakanda is depicted as a verdant land with stunning waterfalls where spacecraft designed like tribal masks soar over a modern metropolis. ?The aesthetic of it is so pleasing, and so black and so Afro-centric and African and modern and worldly and futuristic,? said Bassett. ?All this brilliance and excellence... It?s extremely important. Especially for our young people,? she said.
  5. Neequaye Dreph Dsane ? a British-Ghanaian artist and street muralist ? stands beside his artwork, a portrait of British-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj, in a street in east London, Britain, January 15, 2018. AFP/Adrian Dennis1 LONDON: Spray can in hand perched halfway up a ladder, Neequaye Dreph Dsane applied the final touches of colour to his latest mural enlivening an otherwise drab side street in east London. The once-dingy area is now a hipster hangout and home to the second in a series of new portraits by the British-Ghanaian artist, known as Dreph. His mission: to paint a positive picture ? literally ? of immigrants in Britain, in an era when he feels they are increasingly maligned by gentrification, Brexit, and the rise of nationalism. The muralist ? who rose to prominence last year with a striking street portrait series celebrating black female empowerment ? wants to use his rising profile to showcase these "community champions". "With Brexit and seeing the effects of gentrification that's happening across the city, I've been inspired to tell the human stories of the people who are the soul of some of the communities that make London such a culturally rich, cosmopolitan city," he told AFP between bursts of spray paint. "I don't think we hear enough about the people who have come from different parts of the world, and just done some absolutely amazing stuff for their communities, which is essential for this country." 'Andy Warhol of Marrakech' Dreph's latest mural depicts Hassan Hajjaj, a British-Moroccan artist who divides his time between the two countries and has had an office-showroom-shop in Shoreditch since 2005. Hajjaj mines various contemporary cultures in his works ? which include photos, video, sculpture and design ? earning him the moniker the "Andy Warhol of Marrakech." He exhibited at London's Somerset House galleries late last year. Dreph, 43, was inspired to paint his friend Hajjaj because "he has managed to fuse his native Marrakech with things that are popular to the West." "That's what his work is about and... exactly what I'm trying to do with this series." In the mural ? nearly three metres high and over six metres wide (10 by 20 feet) ? Hajjaj poses intensely, his greying beard intricately captured with speckles of white spray paint, framed by an eye-catching purple background. "I still feel a bit strange seeing myself that big," he said, staring up at the wall. "I feel very proud to be a part of Dreph's body of work... He's trying to present people of colour, people from a different background coming here. "We don't have that many people present, people like us in London in music, fashion, art, food," Hajjaj added. 'All organic' Dreph, a father of one and former graffiti artist and school art teacher, has produced his work on streets around the world. In London, he gets informal agreement to convert walls into canvases, often just knocking on people's doors to ask permission. His "You Are Enough" portraits project, completed last year, went viral across platforms like Instagram and Twitter and was covered by British media. Dreph said he conceived the 10-mural series to champion oft-overlooked everyday black women, from lawyers to writers to campaigners. He did not stage any formal publicity and was surprised by the widespread attention. "It was all organic," he added. "And that's something that I hold dear... The integrity is absolutely paramount to what I do." In his follow-up series, the artist plans to produce another 10 portraits around the British capital on the theme of immigration. He aims to paint his subjects where they live or work, in an effort to celebrate the local and confront issues around gentrification stoked by "You Are Enough". "People are actually seeing the artwork as another sign of gentrification," he said, admitting initial surprise at the reaction. "This series is a response to that... My work is about presenting alternative narratives." Signature style Dreph completed the first piece in the new project last year: a 6.7-metre-high mural towering over central Brixton, a fast-gentrifying south London neighbourhood long home to British-Caribbean and British-African communities. It features local legend Michael Johns, a facilities manager who emigrated from Grenada in the 1970s and was awarded the keys to Brixton Market in 2017 in honour of his years of service. The mural showcases Dreph's signature style: larger-than-life subjects emblazoned in bright, bold colours, exuding pride and optimism. He paints from his own photographs and credits his vibrant and joyful style to something in his subconscious ? and background. "My portraiture is born out of years and years of doing graffiti... I've translated it into what I'm doing now," Dreph said.
  6. Most of us today are afraid of Artificial Intelligence and the threats it poses to humanity in general. When Elon Musk talks about building a company that could prepare humans to confront any such threats, it does seem like a legitimate threat. Then again, the fact that Stephen Hawking thinks that A.I. will be the worst thing to happen to humanity simply strengthens the argument. ©YouTube/C0nc0rdance So, can we stop this evolution? Can we disapprove Darwin's theory of evolution? No, we can't. Instead, we have long been dependent on this evolution and now we are mastering the art of creation and eliminating the useless, just like nature does. I know the discussion sounds random when compared to the thought that brought you to this article, but this will start making sense to you soon. The Era that changed how steel was produced ©The Balance If you remember, during the Industrial Revolution, huge quantities of steel were needed to build bridges, ships, and railroads. Steel was obviously in short supply because it was expensive to produce. In Britain, steel was made in high-temperature, coke-ï¬red furnaces since the 1740s. During 1850s British engineer, Henry Bessemer introduced a much simpler production method which was more fuel efï¬cient. Can you guess the result? The cost of making steel fell from as much as $97 (£60) per ton to $11 (£7) per ton. Ford's simplification of the car production process ©ThoughtCo Then came Henry Ford and his team, who almost one hundred years ago, gifted world's greatest contribution to manufacturing – the first moving assembly line. It simplified assembly of the Ford Model T's 3,000 parts by breaking it into 84 distinct steps performed by groups of workers as a rope pulled the vehicle chassis down the line. The new process revolutionized production and dropped the assembly time for a single vehicle from 12 hours to about 90 minutes. These moves were bold enough to start a revolution and were a need of the hour: eliminating unnecessary steps and simplifying the process. That's the core principle of evolution. Isn't it? Entry of Dell Computers ©Evan Carmichael As per the time frame, we have considered till now, we can say that the computer manufacturer Dell achieved stratospheric rates of growth in the 1990s by streamlining its supply chain. The bold moves that Michael Dell made were first of its kind for the industry. -Firstly, Dell played with the “just-in-time method”: Dell specialized in selling custom-made computers; customers could design their own machine. Dell held virtually zero stock. It no longer had to pay the costs associated with storing stock. When a product was ï¬nished, it was sent straight to the customer. That's simplification. -Secondly, Dell removed retailers from the supply chain: Going direct to the buyer, unlike other PC suppliers, Dell did not sell its products to specialized retailers; instead, it sold directly to the consumer via the Internet. When Dell sold a computer for $400, it received $400. And then came Amazon which took this Internet-based e-commerce thing to another level Maybe then AI might be the worst thing happening to humanity but it is inevitable till we exist on this planet. We have to live with it and evolve and till then, make the best out of this evolution. If you are bold enough, then A.I. might be an opportunity to change the world, or you could see it as the end of humanity. The choice is yours to make.
  7. When it comes to film and censorship, India works on a different tangent. We still are in an era where films are chopped brutally in name of principals and 'sanskar'. With International Film Festival around the corner, it would be interesting to see what kind of content we are open too. These festivals are exempt from censorship around the globe and have the liberty to showcase films from various continents. © Twitter All set to begin in Goa in the coming weeks (organised by the government's Ministry of Information and Broadcasting), movie lovers will get to experience a very different world of narration that is way different from our typical Bollywood world. A similar type of festival will also be held in Pune, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram. But how ready are we when it comes to accepting the world view of cinema? And now the important question is if any of these festivals will open their gate to screen, 'The Last Painting', a critically acclaimed Taiwan film based on a temperamental artist and his muses. © Twitter The film shows graphical sexual content and thoughts about politics and violence. Well, it goes without saying that the content is pretty gripping. After having received amazing reviews from the various international film festivals, as per reports, this film has submitted its entry to a few festivals in India as well. © Twitter This film is said to be one of the best contemporary Asian films which have various layers and it visually impressive. You have thriller, politics, a murder, AND ***. However, some even say that when it comes to ***, the film is too graphic in its depiction on screen and that's not it, you also have same-gender *** scenes. There is also a scene where you see woman's eyes being pulled out with an instrument which might be too much to handle for the faint-hearted. © Twitter One of the reviews said, “At moments graphically grisly, at others sexually raunchy, the film by Chen Hung-I, has a distinct touch of an '80s erotic thriller, with a complex, sometimes confusing storyline. But it's crammed with enough ideas to fuel a whole Film Studies course on Genre and Gender, with a glamorous sheen that could take it onto a wider canvas than the Asian distribution scene.” However, former CBFC chief Pahlaj Nihalani made it very clear that any film that's shown in the festivals needs to get a clean chit by the Censor Board, which is ideally against the set rules of the film festivals. Well, his reign has come to an end, but still, that doesn't brighten up the chances of this film to be screened in India. © Twitter There are huge chances that the film might get rejected based on bizarre reasons, after all, we do find reasons to easily get offended and butt-hurt about the mere content of the film. To watch or not to watch should ideally be the viewer's choice. However, that's not usually the case here. What's left to see is if India is ready to handle a hot and bold film like this yet! Let us know what you think about it.
  8. Volunteers and Peshmerga forces carry their weapons north of Kirkuk, Iraq October 16, 2017. REUTERS BAGHDAD/KIRKUK: Iraqi government forces captured the major Kurdish-held oil city of Kirkuk on Monday, responding to a Kurdish referendum on independence with a bold lightning strike that transforms the balance of power in the country. A convoy of armored vehicles from Iraq?s elite US-trained Counter-Terrorism Force seized Kirkuk?s provincial government headquarters on Monday afternoon, less than a day after the operation began, a Reuters reporter in Kirkuk said. Neither side gave a casualty toll for the operation. But an aid group working in Kirkuk said several Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Iraqi soldiers had been killed in an overnight clash south of the city - the only serious fighting reported. As Iraqi forces advanced, Kurdish operators briefly shut some 350,000 barrels per day of oil output at two large Kirkuk fields, citing security concerns, oil ministry sources on both sides said. But production resumed shortly thereafter following an Iraqi threat to seize fields under Kurdish management if they did not do so, according to the sources. It was not immediately clear whether or when the Iraqi government would seek to retake control of all Kirkuk oilfields, a vital source of revenue for the autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). The short suspension in production helped push up world oil prices as the shutdown represented more than half of total Kurdish output.[O/R] A dozen Iraqi armored vehicles arrived at the provincial government headquarters in Kirkuk and took up positions nearby, alongside local police. They pulled down the Kurdish flag and left the Iraqi flag flying. Thousands of Kurds free Thousands of Kurdish civilians fled the city of 1 million people for fear of reprisals. A Kurdish father of four who was driving out of Kirkuk towards the Kurdish regional capital Erbil to the north said: ?We no longer feel safe. We hope to return to our home but right now we feel it?s dangerous for us to stay.? Crowds of ethnic Turkmen who opposed Kurdish control of the city were celebrating. Some drove in convoys with Iraqi flags and fired shots in the air. ?This day should become a holiday, we?re so happy to have gotten rid of Barzani?s party,? said a man celebrating on a motorbike, waving the blue-and-white flag of Iraq?s Turkmen, referring to the Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani. U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that Washington would not take sides in the matter but ?we don?t like the fact that they?re clashing. ?We?ve had for many years a very good relationship with the Kurds as you know and we?ve also been on the side of Iraq, even though we should have never been there in the first place.? US officials called for calm on both sides, seeking to avert an all-out conflict between Baghdad and the Kurds that would open an entirely new front in Iraq?s 14-year-old civil war and potentially draw in regional powers such as Turkey and Iran. The Baghdad central government considers the Sept. 25 Kurdish independence referendum illegal, especially as it was held not just in the autonomous KRG region but in Kirkuk and other adjacent areas that Peshmerga forces occupied after driving out Daesh militants in 2014. The Peshmerga moved in after Iraqi government forces collapsed in the face of a rapid onslaught by Daesh, preventing the militants from seizing the oilfields. Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi ordered that the national flag be hoisted over Kirkuk and other disputed areas. Baghdad described its army?s advance as largely unopposed, and urged the Peshmerga to cooperate in keeping the peace. The Peshmerga said Baghdad would be made to pay ?a heavy price? for triggering ?war on the Kurdistan people?. Decisive step against Kurdish secession The overnight advance was the most decisive step Baghdad has taken yet to block the independence bid of the Kurds, who have governed an autonomous tract of northern Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and voted three weeks ago to secede. Kirkuk, one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse cities in Iraq, is located just outside the autonomous Kurdish zone. Kurds consider it the heart of their homeland; they say it was cleansed of Kurds and settled with Arabs under Saddam to secure control of the oil that was the source of Iraq?s wealth. Washington, which arms and trains both Iraqi federal forces and the Peshmerga to fight Daesh militants, urged ?all parties to immediately cease military action and restore calm?, according to a US Embassy statement. ?ISIS (Islamic State) remains the true enemy of Iraq, and we urge all parties to remain focused on finishing the liberation of their country from this menace.? US Defense Department spokesman Colonel Robert Manning declined to speculate on whether Washington might cut off military aid and training to Iraqi forces in the event of a major conflict. ?I?m not going to speculate on that but I will tell you that we?re looking at all options for planning considerations ... We encourage dialogue,? he said. State TV said Iraqi forces had also entered Tuz Khurmato, a flashpoint town where there had been clashes between Kurds and mainly Shi?ite Muslims of Turkmen ethnicity. The ?government of Abadi bears the main responsibility for triggering war on the Kurdistan people, and will be made to pay a heavy price?, the Peshmerga command said in a statement, cited by Kurdish leader Barzani?s assistant Hemin Hawrami. Secession opposed by neighbors The Kurdish secession bid was strongly opposed by neighbors Iran and Turkey. Washington, allied with the Kurds for decades, pleaded vainly for them to halt a vote that could break up Iraq. There were signs of internal strife among the Kurds, who have been divided for decades into two main factions, the KDP of regional government leader Barzani and the PUK of his longtime rival Jalal Talabani, who served as Iraq?s ceremonial president in Baghdad from 2003-2014 and died two weeks ago. Both Kurdish parties control their own Peshmerga units. While Barzani?s KDP strongly supported the independence referendum, some PUK figures were more circumspect. Monday?s Peshmerga statement accused a group within the PUK of ?treason? for allegedly assisting Baghdad?s advance. ?We regret that some PUK officials helped in this plot,? it said. Talabani?s widow, Hero, said the Iraqi operation was carried out with international consent and the PUK was not able to prevent it through talks. ?This heroic city was facing an international plan,? she said in a statement. ?The past few days have been spent in meetings with American representatives, representatives of the Iraqi government and ... of various other countries in order to prevent today?s attack. ?It is with great regret that we were not successful on this occasion.? Although Iraqi officials portrayed the Kurds as retreating without a fight, Kurdish officials said Peshmerga had clashed with the ?Popular Mobilisation? - Shi?ite Muslim forces trained and armed by Iran that operate alongside regular Iraqi troops. Turkey, which had developed a good working relationship with the Iraqi Kurds and let the landlocked region export oil through its pipes, has swung behind Baghdad, furious at a secession move that might ignite similar demands from its own Kurds. Turkey said on Monday it would close its air space to KRG territory and work to hand control of the main border crossing into the region to the Iraqi central government.
  9. In March, President Donald Trump signed a bill authorising $19.5 billion in funding for NASA. Photo: REUTERS/file CAPE CANAVERAL: The White House has championed a new era of US leadership in space, but its aspirations are complicated by tight budgets, vacancies in top posts and the rising role of private industry in aerospace innovation, experts say. During a speech Thursday at NASA´s Kennedy Space Center, Vice President Mike Pence delighted hundreds of space agency employees and contractors by pledging that "under President Trump, we will achieve more in space than we ever thought possible," including a "return to the Moon" and "American boots on the face of Mars." But as the flag-waving enthusiasm faded, some were left wondering what exactly Pence meant. ´Moon´ could mean anything -- commercial, robotic, international or otherwise, said Phil Larson, a White House space adviser under president Barack Obama and formerly an official with privately owned SpaceX. Larson described a series of recent space-themed orations by Pence as "no cake, just icing." John Logsdon, former head of the George Washington University Space Policy Institute, agreed. "I think (Thursday´s) speech was, of course, short on substance because there is no substance," Logsdon said. No one in top slots Some are skeptical of the White House´s soaring rhetoric because crucial leadership positions remain unfilled. For instance, the US space agency set a dubious record on the Fourth of July: the longest span of time that a newly elected president has gone without naming a new NASA chief. The previous record was a 164-day stretch in 1971 under President Richard Nixon. NASA is currently headed by an "acting administrator" -- engineer Robert Lightfoot, who took over when former astronaut Charles Bolden, an Obama appointee, stepped down. Also empty is the chief of the White House´s Office of Science and Technology and Policy, once a key player in crafting NASA´s agenda. Revived space council It is common for incoming presidents to review their predecessor´s space plans and issue a course correction early on. Although Trump may be late in the process, "he has now created a mechanism for taking a look at the current program," Logsdon explained. That mechanism is the revival of the National Space Council -- announced last month -- accompanied by an external advisory group of industry experts. Pence, a long-time space enthusiast, is heading the National Space Council, now in its third iteration after last shutting down in 1993. The council aims to guide space policy by including the secretaries of state, defense, commerce, transportation and homeland security, along with intelligence and military leaders and the NASA chief. The council will hold its first meeting before summer is out, Pence said. Follow the money After that, the dollars allocated to NASA -- and the projects they fund -- will tell much of the story. "Any big changes are likely to come next year," Logsdon said. Trump´s proposed budget for NASA -- which has yet to be hammered out by lawmakers -- called for $19.1 billion in spending, a 0.8 percent cut from the previous year. The proposal canceled plans to drag a small asteroid into orbit around the Moon, where astronauts could study it at length; it also erased several Earth science missions and axed a NASA education office -- but it laid out no new visions. The next budget for NASA is to be unveiled in February 2018. "Everybodyis waiting, everybody is impatient in the space community," said Logsdon. How big a private role? On one side are champions of the old way of doing business, whereby NASA oversaw the building of rockets and spaceships, paid for by lucrative US government contracts. A modern-day example is aerospace giant Lockheed Martin being paid billions by the US government to construct NASA´s Orion deep-space capsule, which may one day carry humans to Mars. On the other side is the burgeoning private space industry, with players like SpaceX and Boeing building the next generation of spaceships to ferry astronauts to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station. Already, SpaceX and another private company, Orbital ATK, have received billion-dollar-plus NASA contracts to help build cargo ships to tote supplies to the orbiting outpost, but the companies took on a large share of the funding -- and the risk -- themselves. It remains unclear which way of doing business in space will win out under Trump. His call for the US to exit the Paris climate accord angered the CEO of SpaceX, Elon Musk, who walked away from his advisory role to the president after the announcement earlier this year. But analysts doubt that SpaceX -- or other top players -- would refuse a spot at the table when it comes to forging the future of US spaceflight. Eric Stallmer, president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, an industry group, said he was "upbeat" about the new National Space Council. "I think there is a great role that commercial industry will play in helping shape the national agenda moving forward."
  10. Life is too short to wear boring suits. Just look at all our B-town boys—who are on some sort of a sartorial mission to eradicate basic suits from the (style) planet. From movie premieres to red carpets; after-after parties to store opening at your neighborhood mall—these stars are putting their best brogue(s) forward...looking handsome as ever, sometimes in H-T checks. And by checks, we mean modern day, millennials-approved checks, that can seamlessly transition from boardroom to bar. Because ain’t nobody got time for a quick change! Here are 6 actors who looked sharp in their checked suits. Rahul Khanna spells perfection in this blue suit. © Instagram Aditya Roy Kapur has been embracing some serious fashion lately and this suit cements the fact. © Instagram Ranveer Singh’s outfits are always statement-worthy. Case in point: this bold checked suit with white sneakers. © Instagram Anil Kapoor is definitely the most stylish dad in Bollywood. © Instagram When it comes to dressing up for the red carpet, nobody does it better than Varun Dhawan, and grey seems to be his shade. © Pinterest Arjun Kapoor never gets his formal fashion game wrong, and here’s proof! © Pinterest
  11. This is the support topic for the tutorial How to change forum theme(skin). 11/26/2016 04:59 PM = The date the tutorial was added 11/26/2016 04:59 PM = The date the tutorial was updated Please post here if you have any questions or feedback.
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