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Google Stadia’s stealth launch does not inspire confidence | Opinion

first_img 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyKlaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 1Sign inorRegisterto rate and replySign in to contributeEmail addressPasswordSign in Need an account? Register now. A year ago There are many things, positive and negative, that can be said about the “drinking straight from the well” phenomenon that surrounds streaming. If one tries to allay fears and anxiety from the target demographic about treading in as an early disruptor it only short shrift’s the actual pioneers of recombinant game-play. The use of streaming for single and multi player games has been around for several decades. While it is true the vehicle for facilitating this has been changed the actual mechanics still remain. One needs the node, the channel to move the data and the dedicated address to deliver the packets or signal to the codec. The physical limitations have not been lifted only shifted to hide the reality of how it works and some of the computing burden.Google certainly is trying to even the experience by using the fastest servers and dedicating upstream pipes to ease congestion. Where this system will fail and all others have found trouble is the player experience. Streaming via AI compression services such as what Netflix or satellite radio use, works reasonably well because the sender can control most of the process. While satellite radio controls the hardware due to build requirements what Netflix or any video streaming service cannot control is the final leg of the connection the the ISP and the congestion of the data channel. These types of AI programs also expect some user input but these interactions are not time sensitive and use buffering to account for signal loss.Gaming, as Google surely knows, is heavily dependent on user input and the timing is critical to the user experience and this reduces the impact of buffering and compression. Single player input presents one type of coding situation. The most likely approach to this is using AI to control predictive latency while betting heavily on the better servers they will use to be fast enough to analyze all of the branching needed for a somewhat seamless experience. Multi player compounds that challenge and adds even more latency to the situation as well as using AI for predictive decision analysis. AI, in its current state depending on the engine used, is more than capable of handling this but only on a local basis.What will happen is the current generation of AI engines will create a type of false flag situation where the player actually is not making a RTD anymore and in multiplayer mode may be interacting with an NPC instead. In many cases this is undetectable but if the latency builds due to congestion or dropped signal the player will be begin to be able to identify the AI changing the scenario and eventually cause the player to stop playing. Google has no control of the end connection and as such will have to make these type of constructs to keep the code going while they wait for the rest of the customer base to upgrade from copper based data lines to Fiber Optic or 5/6G. Fiber Optic is currently only offered in 25% of the USA and uptake to 51% or higher is expected to take 10 or more years based on current information. 5/6 G is another possibility but the wireless carriers control the data flow and pricing is too restrictive for most adopters at this time.What then are truly the barriers to Stadia or any all streaming service to becoming successful? The ISP’s control pricing, data availability and infrastructure. Goggle has gone on record to state that pricing will align itself once end users demand it but historical trends refute that statement. Unlimited data, which is a requirement due to the massive amount of data needed, is still expensive and highly elusive for most Internet users. The ISP’s see data as the their future profit generator and as such will be reticent to allow manipulation of pricing or usage unless it benefits them. It is entirely possible that unlimited data will become commonplace but it may only happen because local governments become utility providers to facilitate usage by citizens of all economic stature. A year ago Three key elements in streaming that Stradia is obviously not taking into consideration:- Latency- Latency- Latency Google Stadia’s stealth launch does not inspire confidence | OpinionAfter its bombastic announcement, Stadia’s low-key and poorly communicated launch will fuel suspicion that it’s another of Google’s passing fadsRob FaheyContributing EditorFriday 25th October 2019Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareIf you’ve been running out to buy a black mourning outfit every time the Death of Games Consoles, PCs or any other gaming platform has been proclaimed, bad news; it’s another one for the mothballs, it seems. Having drawn gasps from bystanders and mild panic from shareholders when it was originally unveiled, Google’s Stadia — the game streaming service that’s meant to be a nail in the coffin of the quaint idea of just running a game on a cheap piece of consumer hardware you bought in a shop — is arriving in less than four weeks. Yet for all the hoopla around its unveiling, Stadia’s launch is a strangely muted affair. The chorus of the doom prophets is nowhere to be heard. The inexorable approach of the streaming black hole that will swallow gaming within its event horizon appears to make scarcely a sound.”For all the hoopla around its unveiling, Stadia’s launch is a strangely muted affair” Alright, I’m over-egging it slightly, but it is honestly peculiar that with less than a month to go before the supposed entry of one of the world’s biggest tech firms (indeed, one of the world’s biggest companies full stop) into the games business, the launch is making hardly a ripple on the water. It feels like an inordinate amount of the anticipation for Stadia is contained within the rather rarefied bounds of the investor community, many of whom are seeing this as a landscape-altering event on a par with Microsoft’s market entry all those years ago. On the consumer front though, and even among developers, the response to Stadia is far more measured — “wait and see” appears to be the order of the day.We might be waiting for a while before there’s much to see. A scant few weeks from launch, Stadia’s initial roll-out remains limited in scope. Even accessing Google’s stadia.com page from Japan, for example, simply redirects you to a Google hardware page without a single mention of the service; not so much as an explanation or a “coming soon,” which even considering the nightmare Microsoft famously had in this territory feels like a bit of an oversight in a market that does buy rather a lot of games. The dedicated hardware being launched with the platform also appears to be a low priority. People who signed up for the “founders” type hardware packs may not even get their systems on November 19, it seems, with hardware instead being distributed over an undefined period post-launch — a somewhat shabby way of treating the consumers most excited about a platform that hasn’t excited very many people, and something that feels far more like a poor effort at inventory management on Google’s part than a struggle with unexpected levels of demand.There are of course some decent reasons for rolling out a service offering like this a bit more slowly than you’d launch a new console hardware platform — not least of which being that it’s much easier to keep your service offering consistent and online when you ramp up slowly, rather than opening the floodgates and seeing your infrastructure collapse. Google, though, is one of the biggest players in cloud computing — second only to Amazon — which makes it unusual that the balance is tipped so heavily towards being the softest possible launch. “The notion that Stadia is a ‘Netflix for Games’ is still deeply ingrained in the collective psyche” Then again, there’s not actually that much for Google to make noise about around this launch. The company has attracted some exceptional talent to its games venture, but it feels like it did so rather late in the day. In her interview with this site earlier in the week, Jade Raymond said some fascinating things — and perhaps more importantly, some very sensible and grounded things — about the ideas she wants first-party development for Stadia to explore, but should we really still be at the stage of musing about the conceptual possibilities of cloud-based games when the cloud-based game service itself is going to be asking people to start forking over cash in three weeks?Therein, I think, lies the rub. There are all sorts of excuses we can make about a strategy of gradually building up from a soft launch, or how this kind of service offering doesn’t need to be splashy from the outset and can gather speed over months or even years — and some of that is absolutely true — but the on-the-ground reality is that Google is going to be asking people for money from the outset, and what they’re offering thus far looks to be of deeply questionable value. Worse, the value of the offering still seems to be a source of some really basic confusion among not just consumers, but media commentators and investors too, with the notion that Stadia is a “Netflix for Games” still deeply ingrained in the collective psyche. A big issue for Stadia is in how much confusion still surrounds the nature of the service so far after its unveilingThe reality of Stadia is, for the most part, not a library to which you subscribe for unlimited access, but rather a purchase or rental service that changes little about the underlying business model and merely trades one set of limitations (the need to download or physically acquire a game before playing, and to have a console or PC with you when you want to do so) for another (the need to have a very high speed, uncapped broadband connection at any location where you wish to play). That doesn’t appear to have been very effectively communicated thus far, and the consequence is likely to be some disillusionment from consumers who are expecting something quite different.”For potential content partners and consumers alike, what Google may be seeing as a soft launch is something quite different” Between the lack of hype building around the launch (which honestly feels like it’s happening now just to keep the promise of hitting a 2019 date, even if the service isn’t really ready for prime-time until next year), the odd failure to deliver pre-ordered hardware on time, the confusion over the business model, the vague and distant nature of first-party support and the utterly inevitable technological issues many users will face (and will be very, very noisy about online, you can be sure), it’s hard to see how Stadia doesn’t have a pretty bumpy start to its life. Which, you might say, is fine if the plan has always been for a soft launch and a gradual build up, but all the fine talk of a gradual build-up has to come with a few pinches of salt when we recall that Google is a company with a famously terrible attention span and no track record whatsoever of sticking with bets that don’t start paying off in the short-term. Developers will be evaluating which baskets they want to stick their eggs into, and Google’s internal politics will no doubt have a few knives out as well; if Stadia’s early word-of-mouth is poor and initial uptake is disappointing, the promise of a system supported by Google’s practically limitless financial clout may evaporate pretty rapidly.Related JobsSenior Game Designer – UE4 – AAA United Kingdom Amiqus GamesProgrammer – REMOTE – work with industry veterans! North West Amiqus GamesJunior Video Editor – GLOBAL publisher United Kingdom Amiqus GamesDiscover more jobs in games If any of this feels like I’m saying “Google should have spent more time learning how traditional console launches work, and why” — and thus ignoring the terribly exciting new-technology, new-paradigm aspects of all this — well yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. New technology and new paradigms are all very well, but there’s a reason that strategies for marketing, promoting and launching new platforms have evolved in the way they have, and much of that is down to consumer psychology and an understanding of how vital momentum is to a platform, not specific to (or invalidated by) any given technological approach. Google may not want Stadia to be seen as a console launch or evaluated in those terms, but both the industry and consumers are going to base their judgements on many of those same metrics — and thus far there are few signs that Stadia is going to measure up. This, too, isn’t new territory for Google. The company has struggled mightily with its hardware efforts in general, not least because it’s often willfully insisted on “disrupting” market realities around sales, marketing and distribution without properly taking the time to understand the reasons for those realities. Hence, for example, Google building some of the best smartphones in the world yet managing only a miserable trickle of sales for them. There are plenty of traps in Google’s own recent track-record into which Stadia might fall, and it would be naïve to think that developers and publishers aren’t keenly aware of those even as they eye the Silicon Valley giant’s potential first- and second-party development coffers. For both those potential content partners and consumers alike, what Google may be seeing as a soft launch is something quite different. It’s a chance to watch carefully for signs of whether Stadia is really a commitment, or just another expensive, hare-brained scheme that’ll fall by the wayside as soon as the C-suite loses interest. For such a quiet launch, next month’s arrival has a great deal to prove.Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry8th July 2021Submit your company Sign up for The Daily Update and get the best of GamesIndustry.biz in your inbox. Enter your email addressMore storiesEA leans on Apex Legends and live services in fourth quarterQ4 and full year revenues close to flat and profits take a tumble, but publisher’s bookings still up double-digitsBy Brendan Sinclair An hour agoEA Play Live set for July 22Formerly E3-adjacent event moves to take place a month and half after the ESA’s showBy Jeffrey Rousseau 3 hours agoLatest comments (4)Nick Parker Consultant A year ago Barrier 1: Shipping the productA Playstation can be shipped from anywhere to anywhere, a data stream cannot. Producing the stream in a location that helps with low lag delivery is something very unique to Stadia streaming. That alone could make Google the most decentralized and scattered across the globe company in the 21st century. Sufficient to point towards Walmart and their attempt to go global to see where things can go horribly wrong. Ignoring the technical challenge Google is facing, the cultural challenges are just as immense.Barrier 2: Finding an audienceI will be the first to admit that low lag games are not everything. Anno 1800 is a perfect example for a game that works just as fine, even with half a second of input delay, while massively profiting from the idea that there is a market for stream to reach players who do not have high end PCs to run the game in eye candy mode. I can see how Google can score a hit with bringing Football Manager to everybody. Doom Eternal? Not so much. At the moment, the games announced lean heavily into a rather small segment of the video games market as a whole.Barrier 3: the idea of a compute center.a data center is a data center and a super computer is a super computer. Data centers excel at size and storage capacity, supercomputers excel at computational speed. For that reason, they come with their own can of worms. Google is seeking to take the compute density of a super computer scaling it up to data center in size. The biggest supercomputer today has 27.000 nVidia Tesla cards. Switch it out for 27.000 Stadia units and you couldn’t even serve New York with streams. Tip of the hat to Google, they are in the process of taking super computers and try to mass produce them. But if you think “Super Computer Mass Production” sounds like something that was ever only achieved in a Civilization 6 game after turn 400, then because it was ever only achieved there.Barrier 4: the sheer amount of real time datayou may think you have streamed a movie just now, but just as often, you buffered it in three to four big spikes and played it back from some cache. A cache in your device, a cache at your ISP, who needs to know that with a movie. Consumption is real time, delivery is not! The internet is good at balancing spikes, but Google has a new type of base load and claims to seek mass market adoption for a type of real time data delivery that is unheard of outside of Wall Street high frequency trading. Now think about all the multiplayer games today and their problems with all the national and local ISPs causing lag and mayhem with strange QoS settings and routing around certain internet exchange hubs for sheer petty. Now replace a 64k/second realtime network multiplayer stream with an 8-16Mbit realtime stream for everybody.Barrier 5: distributed power loads vs. Google central20 million people turning on their Playstation after work at their home across Europe, that is the type spike to the power grid that the operators of power grids like. The equivalent of 20 million Playstations lighting up in a few dozens of places, that is not good. More importantly, that is not cheap for Google. As a home owner you may get charged for Kilowatts per Hour no matter what, as a big industrial park (which a Stadia center no doubt is), you will be judged by your peak and you shall stay within the limit of your announced peak or suffer dearly come the next billing period. Then again, buying a nuclear plant outright is an option Google has that normal industrial park operators do not have. With mass consumption of energy, comes the viability of entering the field of mass production of energy.or maybe Stadia is just a front to plaster the globe with supercoputers and have some Google AI take over all financial markets in 20ms or less and take over the world. Why risk being put under tutelage by your kids, when you can build a machine to do it. Especially when you are 100% certain that a machine you build has better judgment than those kids. A year ago While it makes sense to compare the launch of Stadia with a new console launch and therefore Google should be emulating pre-launch hype demonstrated by Sony and Microsoft, streaming interactive games suffers from a number of unknowns that a physical device doesn’t.Gamers tend to know what to expect from a new PlayStation or Xbox so there are obvious buying behaviour patterns but Stadia will be at the mercy of any new streaming service unknowns. How many gamers will enjoy a smooth service (geographical bandwidth and latency limitations) so a fear of a sketchy experience? What quality games will be available? How much will gamers have to end up spending?Streaming platforms know this is not a seven year life cycle (as for consoles) but a much longer, generic infinite solution to accessing games and gameplay so there is quite a way to go beyond the first period of launch.Google may be forgiven for treading carefully as an early disruptor with so many questions unanswered but, unfortunately, most commentators (not Rob) default to castigating the big corporates of our industry. 3Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyShow all comments (4)Dany Boolauck distributor 2Sign inorRegisterto rate and replyDAVID FAHRENHOLZ Software Engineer/Game designerlast_img read more

Wall of silence on Giscard cronyism claim

first_imgGiscard, the 76-year-old chairman of the Convention on Europe’s future, is said to have an eight-year-old son by the woman concerned, his former parliamentary attaché MEP Christine de Veyrac. Both their private offices issued a firm “no comment” when asked to respond to the claims that Giscard intervened to secure de Veyrac a high placing on a list of candidates for the 1999 election.Details of the case have appeared in a French weekly magazine, which is publishing extracts of a book by journalist Daniel Carton. The book, entitled ‘Bien entendu, c’est off’ (as in off the record), has caused consternation in France, where the private lives of politicians are usually regarded as just that.In it, Carton claims that Giscard approached former French minister François Bayrou to find de Veyrac a place on his list of candidates. After Bayrou refused, Giscard is said to have turned to current interior minister Nicolas Sarkozy for help; no one in his office was available to confirm this last night. De Veyrac, 43, who is deputy mayor of Toulouse, was placed tenth out of 87 centre-right candidates and duly elected. She is a member of just one Parliamentary committee, regional policy, and is little-known in Brussels circles.Giscard, who was president of France from 1974 to 1981, has been married for 50 years. He and his wife, Anne Aymone de Brantes, have four children.last_img read more

Holding our collective breath in Greece

first_imgThe bleeding has been stanched—if only for a moment. Following a vote of eurozone partners on Tuesday, Greece’s ruling leftist Syriza party has won a four-month extension of the country’s bailout. It is a reprieve to make good on its word to voters like Lekatsa—although even that brief stay of execution (the Greek government had asked for six months) was secured with painful concessions. But if Lekatsa’s feelings are any indication, Syriza still has substantial good will in the streets.Just three years before, Lekatsa had stood at this very spot, when Syntagma Square was filled with angry protesters demanding the resignation of the government for bankrupting Greece and then selling it out to international creditors, who demanded austerity. Back then, there were riots, violent police and so much tear gas. This time, for the first time in decades, thousands of Greeks had turned out to rally for the new government. The mood was joyous. Traditional music from Crete blared from loudspeakers as people danced the kastrino, a fast, jumpy warriors’ dance from the island.The Greeks want this government to be warriors, at least when it comes to dealing with the eurozone and stamping out the rampant homegrown corruption in Greek political culture. At the three pro-government rallies I’ve attended this month, people have all said the same thing: “Don’t let Germany steamroll us. Don’t let the poor and middle class pay for state debts run up by crooked rich businessmen and politicians. And don’t lie to us.”“The government knows it has a big responsibility to the people,” says Giorgos Kyritsis, managing editor of the online edition of Avgi, the Syriza-affiliated newspaper. “We support the government too, of course, but we are also here to remind them: ‘Don’t take even one step back’ on your promises.”That has already happened, of course. In Brussels the Greek negotiators were forced to postpone or back away from campaign promises to reverse austerity, end privatizations, boost welfare spending and raise the minimum wage, among other things. That does not bode well for the future:Greeks elected Syriza to “delete the memorandum,” or the bailout loan agreement that had come with nearly five years of austerity. Those deep spending cuts and tax hikes that have shrunk the economy by a quarter and tripled the unemployment rate to 25 percent. The depression is more than economic: The number of suicides has increased, and nearly every Greek talks about living in a constant state of hopelessness that comes when your present is gutted and your future seems, at best, bleak. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said austerity has caused a “humanitarian crisis” in Greece. In his first speech as premier in parliament, he choked up when he talked about the responsibility he felt to do right by the Greek people. His iconoclastic finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, tried to relay this sense of moral duty when meeting his stolid German counterpart, Wolfgang Schäuble. “No one understands better than the people of this land how a severely depressed economy combined with a ritual national humiliation and upending hopelessness can hatch the serpent’s egg within its society,” Varoufakis said in Berlin, comparing Greece to Weimar Germany as he sat next to a stone-faced Schäuble.This article was first published on politico.com on 24/2/15. Stamo Lekatsa, her short, dark curls tucked into a thick, knit hat, stood in the cold outside the Greek parliament building in central Athens, holding one side of a banner that read: “We’re fighting for our lives, and we will win.”She was unemployed. She was desperate. And she was smiling.“I’m feeling very good about our new leaders,” said Lekatsa, a 42-year-old mother and sometime interior decorator. “They will fight the Europeans trying to bleed us dry.”last_img read more

Review: Leftover Salmon, Infamous Stringduster, Assembly of Dust at Capitol Theatre

first_imgLeftover Salmon made their way east this past week, and made some local stops at Brooklyn Bowl for a show with Floodwood (ft. Al Schnier and Vinny Amico of moe.) and for a finger-picking good time at Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre the following night with Assembly of Dust and the Infamous Stringdusters. The Colorado quintet is in the middle of a pretty solid Fall tour, that will see them make stops all over the United States, including celebrating New Year’s in Seattle, WA and following that up with shows in both Alaska and Hawaii.Now, if you haven’t been to the Capitol Theatre yet, and you live within driving distance, or possibly taking a trip to the area, this is an absolute must for any music fan. The renovation of the venue is complete, with beautiful acoustics, state-of-the-art light, sound and video systems, and the recently finished Garcia’s bar (which has it’s own schedule of smaller shows on off-nights), The Cap is hands down one of the best venues in the Northeast.Opening the night was Assembly of Dust. It was cool to see locals Reid Genauer and co. do their thing at the majestic venue. With a setlist that included “Valhalla”, “All That I”, “Cluttered”, and “Man With a Plan”, it was a solid opening set that got the crowd going early on, and warmed everyone up for what would be a monster set from The Infamous Stringdusters.I have to be honest, I had never seen The Infamous Stringdusters before, but had heard only good things. And, man, did they impress. You could tell early on with the “Trav T>After Midnight” opener that this wasn’t your ordinary bluegrass band; these guys can jam. They are so in sync with one another, yet have no problem letting loose and getting experimental. Their cover of “Walking on the Moon” by The Police sounded so good with Jeremy Garrett‘s fiddle playing; it just added a whole other element to the song. And anytime a band has a stand-up bass, you have me hook, line, and sinker. Ending the set with “Hillbills” saw them go into one mind-bending jam before ending their set in fine, foot-stomping fashion. This is a band that has found a new spot on my playlist.Next up was the night’s headliner, Leftover Salmon. What Salmon does is hard to describe. They can jam some traditional style bluegrass on one song, then go swampy cajun on the next, follow that up with some rock n’ roll, and then mix all that together and throw you for a complete loop. The things Drew Emmitt can do on banjo is simply baffling, which was evident very early during the jam in “Bird Song” – it’s as if he is the Kirk Hammett of the banjo. He is just a lot of fun to watch.“Bird Call” was solid, as LoS brought out Andy Hall (from The Infamous Stringdusters) on dobro. It was great to watch Emmitt, Herman, Thorn, and Hall trade off solos throughout the song. Andy Thorn is another one that is truly gifted and has become an integral part of Leftover Salmon in a relatively short time; his youth is something that has brought an energy that was missing in the band for awhile.The highlight of the night, however, was when L0S played “Pasta on the Mountain“, per request of a fan that made a sign and wasn’t putting it down until the song was played. This old-school track from 1993′s Bridges to Bert, that Vince Herman wrote with Robert Hunter, is the epitome of what Salmon is about – which is just having a good ol’ time.With Andy Hall essentially playing the whole set with L0S, The Infamous Stringduster’s Chris Pandolfi joined the band for “Ain’t Gonna Work”, “Going Around the World”, and the closer “Blue Night”, lending his own skillful banjo playing to the festivities. Overall, the night was filled with shining moments that and some incredible musicianship; the fact that it was at the Capitol Theatre just added to the whole vibe of the night.Leftover Salmon Setlist – Capitol TheatreMama Boulet, Hollerwood, Bird Call*, Get Up & Go, Midnite Blues*, Danger Man*, Pasta On The Mountain*#, Highway Song*, Mornin’ Sun*, Walking Shoes*, Bend In The River*, Ain’t Gonna Work*@, Going Around The World*@, Blue Night*@* w/ Andy Hall from The Infamous Stringdusters on dobro# per a home made request [email protected] w/ Chris Pandolfi from The Infamous Stringdusters on banjoLeftover Salmon w/ Andy Hall “Bird Call”:The Infamous Stringduster – “Trav T>After Midnight”:The Infamous Stringdusters – “Hillbills”:All photos courtesy of Vernon Webb at Photography by Vernon Webb. For full galleries of Leftover Salmon and The Infamous Stringdusters, click here. For Assembly of Dust, click here.last_img read more

Fourteen faculty named to 2007 class of AAAS fellows, honorary members

first_imgThe American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS) on Monday (April 30) announced the election of 203 new fellows and 24 new foreign honorary members. Included among this new field of fellows and honorary members are 14 Harvard faculty members.The academy will welcome this year’s new class at its annual induction ceremony in October at the academy’s headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.Fellows and foreign honorary members are nominated and elected to the academy by current members. A broad-based membership, composed of scholars and practitioners from mathematics, physics, biological sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts, public affairs, and business, gives the academy a unique capacity to conduct a wide range of interdisciplinary studies and public policy research.“It gives me great pleasure to welcome these outstanding leaders in their fields to the academy,” said Academy President Emilio Bizzi. “Fellows are selected through a highly competitive process that recognizes individuals who have made pre-eminent contributions to their disciplines and to society at large.”Harvard’s new AAAS inductees include Nancy C. Andrews, dean for Basic Sciences and Graduate Studies, Leland Fikes Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School /Howard Hughes Medical Institute; David Gordon Blackbourn, Archibald Carey Coolidge Professor of History; David Cutler, dean for the social sciences, Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics; Leopold Damrosch Jr., Ernest Bernbaum Professor of English Literature; Lars Hernquist, professor of astronomy; Thomas W. Lentz, Elizabeth and John Moors Cabot Director; N. Gregory Mankiw, Robert M. Beren Professor of Economics; Venkatesh Narayanamurti, dean of engineering and applied sciences, John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences, professor of physics; Richard John O’Connell, professor of geophysics; E. Roger Owen, A.J. Meyer Professor of Middle Eastern History; Joshua Richard Sanes, professor of molecular and cellular biology, director of the Center for Brain Science; James H. Sidanius, professor of psychology and of African and African-American studies; Junying Yuan, professor of cell biology; and foreign honorary member Rem Koolhaas, professor in practice of architecture and urban design.last_img read more

Jefferson Lab Harvard’s newest historic site

first_imgThe American Physical Society (APS) designated Jefferson Physical Laboratory a historical site in a special ceremony on Monday (April 27). Cherry Murray, president of APS and incoming dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, was on hand to present a commemorative plaque in honor of the lab to Harvard President Drew Faust.The award recognizes the special role that Harvard’s Physics Department has played in the establishment of the physics discipline within the United States and the prominence of numerous Harvard physicists and applied scientists at the research frontier in this field.Jefferson Laboratory, the oldest American university building erected to pursue physics research, began with a shaky start.Harvard President Charles W. Eliot declared in 1869 that liberal education should contain science, but his vision lacked the adoption of scientific research at the university level. He believed, explained Faust, quoting the former president, “that the faculty’s main obligation was regular and assiduous class teaching.”“The department of physics in a university must embrace both teaching and investigation,” said John Trowbridge, one of a few physics professors at Harvard at the time, who helped to change Eliot’s mind. “If it is given up entirely to teaching, the cause of science suffers, and the object of a university which is founded both to teach and increase the sum of human knowledge is defeated.”Eliot eventually agreed, and by 1880 planning for a new physics building was under way.Jefferson Lab first opened its doors in 1884 — five years after the release of a report that detailed that the newly established Johns Hopkins University held more than seven times the amount of physical apparatus as Harvard.The building is named for U.S. President Thomas Jefferson, after a generous donation by his relative, Boston businessman and Harvard alumnus Thomas Jefferson Coolidge.“We’re here celebrating not just this laboratory … but the founding of the concept of the research university,” said Faust, who touched on Trowbridge’s legacy and how Jefferson Lab’s founding helped redefine what he originally dubbed “the object of a university.”Said Faust: “We have adopted those principles, and we live by them still.”last_img read more

Training Plan Aims to Improve EMSA Staff

first_imgHospitals and fire departments are now hiring more paramedics, said Glen Leland, Paramedics Plus’ chief operating officer. In the past school tuition for students was paid, but they had to fit classes into a 48-hour work week, Wells said. Other shortages There are critical shortages in other health fields. Keeping workers here EMSA has about 600 employees, Wells said. And while the state doesn’t have a personnel shortage, the new work force initiative “is about recruiting, retaining and helping people advance up the career path.” Once trained, paramedics can work anywhere, but Leland said the initiative, Oklahoma’s lower cost of living and its advanced emergency medical services systems could encourage trained workers to stay or move here. * Retention bonuses for patient care staff that commit to another year of EMSA service. Paramedics and dispatchers will receive $3,000, and emergency medical technicians and materials technicians who clean and stock ambulances between calls, will receive $2,000. Nursing and allied health jobs, including respiratory therapists, radiologists and medical lab personnel are all areas needing workers, said Sheryl McLain, executive director of the Oklahoma Health Care Workforce Center. EMSA is the trust authority of the Tulsa and Oklahoma City city governments, which contracts out to find companies to provide personnel for its ambulance services, Wells said. EMSA is the sole provider for ambulance services for Tulsa, Sand Springs, Bixby, Jenks, Oklahoma City and 11 other state communities. * A revamped training program that allows emergency medical technicians training to be paramedics to work two, 12-hour shifts a week and attend classes two days a week while receiving pay for a standard 48-hour work week. In return, emergency medical technicians must agree to work full time as EMSA paramedics for two years following training. Earlier this month, Texas-based Paramedics Plus Inc. increased salaries, provided retention bonuses and implemented a revamped paramedic training program to help recruit and retain paramedics, emergency medical technicians and medical dispatchers. The company supplies employees and services for Emergency Medical Services Authority. “There is a documented shortage in allied healthcare workers, nationally and in Oklahoma. The crisis is very real in many cities and towns across America. We manage some other systems like EMSA across the country and we wanted to get ahead of this,” Wells said. “We saw the writing on the wall,” said Tina Wells, EMSA’s vice president. “Other cities were at the crisis point.” McLain said the immediate issue is the lack of faculty in those fields. People are interested in entering those careers yet are being turned away because there aren’t enough teachers. And as health care is the second largest employer in the state, “it’s a big concern,” she added. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual earnings of paramedics and emergency medical technicians was $27,070 just two years ago. But a rapidly changing health care industry, more job opportunities for trained paramedics and an aging population are affecting the industry. “We have had an increase in the volume of calls, about 10 percent a year for the past five years,” he said. OKLAHOMA CITY — Concerns that Oklahoma could face the same shortage of skilled emergency medical services personnel seen in other parts of the country have prompted the state’s largest emergency medical services employer to boost its pay and benefits. About the initiative* A 12.5 percent increase in salaries, bringing the average yearly earnings for an EMSA paramedic to $43,000. Employees certified at the EMT-basic level can expect to earn $29,000.last_img read more

Clarinetist leads fans in song

first_imgThe Band of the Fighting Irish features 380 members, but for a few minutes every football weekend, all eyes focus on just one clarinetist.Michael Yu | The Observer Before the start of the fourth quarter of the first two home football games, sophomore Michelle Mann temporarily abandoned her instrument and took to the end zone to perform “Ooh Poo Pah Doo,” a jazzy 1960 record originally performed by Jesse Hill. Since then, she has performed the call-and-response tune during the pep rallies before the games against Purdue in Indianapolis and against Stanford at home.“I was terrified because the day before [the first game, director of bands] Dr. [Ken] Dye is like, ‘There are 80,000 people in this Stadium.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh, okay no pressure,’” Mann said. “And 8,000 of them I have to go to school with … so, you know, better be impressive.”Mann won the spot as featured soloist through an audition process during the summer. The band directors ultimately selected her to replace Terron Phillips, a 2014 graduate of Holy Cross and former trumpet player, who frequently sang the song during the 2013 football season, Mann said.“They held auditions over the summer, so I sent in a video of me singing ‘Ooh Pooh Pah Doo,’” she said. “I had my sister do the responses to my call, and it worked out. It was a little more competitive than I was expecting because a lot of people tried out; I didn’t realize that, but I’m really happy.“It’s such a blessing, and it’s so fun to get to do it so often.”The band directors’ choice to have Mann perform the number throughout the season came as a shock, Mann said.“A few days before we practiced it in band, one of the directors found me and said, ‘We think you’re great, and your last step will just be practicing it with the band,’” she said. “I was pretty shocked and also so terrified, but I definitely couldn’t contain my excitement.”Practicing with the band itself proved to be the steepest personal challenge for Mann, partly because of the group’s expert knowledge of music and its familiarity with the song.“The first time I did in front of the band was almost actually more nerve-wracking because they all know the song, and they know the guy who did it last year,” Mann said. “It was actually scarier then than it was with the rest of the audience because at a certain point you don’t even see anyone, you just see a giant group of people. It’s still scary every time, but I get more freedom every time I do it.”Though ‘Ooh Poo Pah Doo’ gives Mann an opportunity to showcase her own vocal prowess as the only individual vocalist during the game, she said she sees her role as a way to help the band rather than herself.“While this is something I do, it’s still being a part of the band,” Mann said. “I don’t consider myself separated or any kind of greater-than-thou.“This is my service to the band; some people serve as drum major or as officers, and this is how I can serve. It’s a privilege and an honor; it’s not a right.”Dye said Mann exemplifies the enthusiasm needed of a marcher to promote the Notre Dame game day experience.“Michelle is a wonderful talent among the ranks of the ND clarinet section,” he said. “… She is always prepared and in great spirit to entertain the ND fans at pep rallies and games.”Sophomore clarinetist Emily Foernssler, who also lives next door to Mann in Breen-Phillips Hall, praised Mann’s spirit and ability to connect with the fans.“She is the perfect face for the band and exactly what we need to get the crowd excited about the band,” Foernssler said.Marching with the band and participating in mentorship programs, jazz bands and brass bands have fundamentally shaped Mann’s time at Notre Dame, she said. Mann boasts nine total years of practice with the clarinet and calls that section of the marching band her “family.”“It’s really been the biggest portion of my experience, with the exception of class, because it’s where I spend a good chunk of my time,” she said. “… It gives you stability and it gives you structure and it definitely teaches you about commitment and about time management.”Mann said the energy of the band as they perform enhances and complements the energy of the hundreds of thousands of fans who come to cheer for the Irish.“It’s this mixture of pure adrenaline-based excitement and there’s a little bit of fear, especially the first couple of times, but there’s also this heartwarming, amazing sense of love,” she said. “… You can feel an energy that is just unspoken and you can see it in people’s eyes and every single person who’s here on campus can feel it; there’s a connection that doesn’t have to be spoken.”“My favorite moment really is when we’re playing ‘America the Beautiful,’” she said. “… Every time we’re playing it, I recognize it’s not just about the Notre Dame band or me, it’s about this band at this school, this amazing University in this amazing country. … It totally makes you recognize what a huge blessing this is, and it’s undeniable.“You cannot doubt the fact that this is an amazing opportunity that not everybody gets, and I’m reminded of that every time I step out of the tunnel.”Tags: Band of the Fighting Irish, football, football friday, marching band, Michelle Mann, Musiclast_img read more

NDtv holds open auditions for ‘The Irish Bachelor’

first_imgThis spring, a group of women will compete for one Notre Dame man’s heart on NDtv’s The Irish Bachelor.NDtv Station Manager Caitlin Crommett said the idea for the Irish Bachelor was prompted by the success of last year’s Irish Bachelorette — a dating show modeled after ABC’s The Bachelorette.“[We thought] it might be fun to bring in people that aren’t in NDtv to be in NDtv, and we had extreme popularity – we weren’t expecting this many people to turn out for everything,” Crommett said.Crommett said the station received numerous requests for an Irish Bachelor.“We of course said we couldn’t have two Irish Bachelorettes in a row, so we thought we’d move on to The Bachelor,” Crommett said.Claire Rembecki, who will work production for The Bachelor, said the show’s predecessor, The Irish Bachelorette, prompted discussion on the dating experience at Notre Dame. This year, the show plans to delve deeper into issues posed last season, she said.“[Dating at Notre Dame is] such a weird phenomenon,” Rembecki said. “We kind of want to put that on camera, not because we want to make people fall in love – obviously, if that happens it’s great, we don’t have that high of expectations. … We kind of want to put [the contestants] in front of a camera and see what it’s like – when you first talk to the guy you find attractive, when you first go on a date, when you’re weighing whether to date them or not — it’s fun to watch.”Rembecki said last year’s show also drew some negative responses on campus.This backlash, along with the popularity of the show, made the role of The Irish Bachelorette difficult, last year’s Bachelorette Kirsten Fernandez said.“The Bachelorette ended up being much bigger than I originally thought it was going to be,” Fernandez said. “I did not expect that so many people would recognize me from the show and ask me about it while I was in class, at work or out with my friends. Although most people’s comments to me about the show were positive, I did not enjoy that kind of exposure and the negative comments on social media and The Observer were hurtful to deal with. I don’t think I would choose to do it again.”This year, the show plans to make a few changes, including a longer production time and more focus on documenting the dating experience at Notre Dame, Rembecki said. Dates the contestants go on will also be primarily off campus, she said.“We’re looking at getting more out into the South Bend community, so doing dates in South Bend, maybe even in neighboring cities,” Rembecki said. “To get us away from the show we had last year, but also more in touch with the community because there’s so much of an issue with being in the Notre Dame bubble, so we wanted to use the show, which is kind of a social experiment in itself, to break out of that.”Crommett said The Irish Bachelor is hosting open auditions this year. Auditions for the show’s hosts, the Bachelor and the contestants will be open to students in the Sorin Room of LaFortune on Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. and Friday from 3 to 5 p.m.Tags: auditions, Irish Bachelor, Irish Bachelorette, NDTvlast_img read more

Meteor Shower Star Keegan-Michael Key Is Engaged

first_img Meteor Shower Keegan-Michael Key & Elisa Pugliese(Photo: Emilio Madrid-Kuser) View Comments Keegan-Michael Key, the Emmy winner who is currently making his Broadway debut in Steve Martin’s comedy Meteor Shower, has another reason to celebrate! He popped the question to director and producer Elisa Pugliese on November 14.”She shows me every day that each one of us has the ability to help make the world a better place. I’m the luckiest man ever. She said yes!” shared Key on Twitter.In addition to his current Great White Way perf in Meteor Shower, Key was seen off-Broadway in the Public Theater’s 2017 revival of Hamlet. He won a 2016 Emmy Award with Jordan Peele for the variety series Key and Peele. Pugliese has served as a producer on projects including Boy Meets Girl and Better Off Single.Many congrats to Key and Pugliese on the big news—we can’t wait to help celebrate at Meteor Shower’s November 29 opening night!She shows me every day that each one of us has the ability to help make the world a better place. I’m the luckiest man ever. She said yes! pic.twitter.com/UYhtSQ4GQH— Keegan-Michael Key (@KeeganMKey) November 14, 2017center_img Related Shows Show Closed This production ended its run on Jan. 21, 2018last_img read more