The Israeli airforce launched three raids on targets in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Tuesday morning, hitting two “rocket launching sites used by militants” and a weapons storage facility, the military said in a statement.
Palestinian security sources and witnesses told AFP news agency that there were no casualties and the raids hit an uninhabited area to the west of Gaza City.
The strikes followed a warning on Monday warned that it would hit hard at Palestinian fighters who launch rockets into the Jewish state.
The Israeli army said it had scored direct hits on the targets.
This list of tips was inspired in response to Daniel’s PNG vs. JPEG test. As most of you probably know, the vast majority of images that you encounter on the web will be JPEG, PNG or GIF. I’ll briefly explain when to use each type.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
GIF is suitable for line art, animated images, or images with large areas of flat color. GIFs are limited to 256 colors and don’t have full support for alpha transparency. What does that mean? It means it uses 1-bit transparency, so an individual pixel’s transparency can either be toggled on or off—100% opaque or 100% transparent—it cannot be partially transparent (more on this under PNG-24).
When using transparency, a “matte” color matching the background it will be used on is typically specified for the edges of the image. This prevents the edges from looking to jaggedy, however if you change the background color, then the image must be reopened sand saved again with a new matte to match it. Not a big deal if it’s only a couple of images, but if there are many… O_o
IMO, there’s no longer any reason to use GIFs except for animations.
JPEG ( Joint Photographic Experts Group)
JPEG is a lossy compression most suitable for photographs and/or images with color gradations (a photo can have thousands or even millions of colors). Using JPEG for line art almost always results in a larger file size, and you may very well end up with compression artifacts in large areas of flat color.
Tip 1: A “gotcha” to look out for is to always be sure your JPEG is exported as RGB. If you export it as CMYK, it won’t display in browsers and you’ll go nuts trying to figure out why it’s there but won’t show up.
Tip 2: I don’t know if you guys who are photographers have the setting in Lightroom (or whatever photographers use), but applying the Unsharp Mask filter (in Photoshop) lets you fine tune sharpening in a way that regular sharpening doesn’t. I’ll try to do a brief tutorial on using it later in the week, if I have time,
Tip 3: As mentioned, JPEG is a lossy compression which means the data for the image is discarded when it is compressed. Each time you open a JPEG file in an image editor, change it, and save it again, you lose some more data. Eventaully, you’ll end up with a seriously degraded image, so it’s always best to keep an original version in a lossless format such as TIF, PSD, etc.
PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
Like GIF, the PNG format is suitable for line art or images with large areas of flat color. Neither PNG-8 nor PNG-24 supports animation. PNGs use a more efficient compression algorithm than GIFs, and as someone who works with web graphics every day, I cannot recall the last time a file saved as a PNG-8 wasn’t smaller than one saved as a GIF.
PNG-8 - Like GIFs, PNG-8s have limited alpha transparency and may require the use of a matte to avoid jagged edges. PNG is a lossless compression.
PNG-24 - PNG-24s support full alpha transparency. This means that each pixel can have any level of transparency from 0%-100%, therefore something like, say, a soft dropshadow will look very realistic. The trade-off is that the file size will be significantly larger (because more data must be stored in it). Oh, and in old browsers like IE6 the alpha transparency won’t work properly without a workaround (which I’m not going to go into here).
For a more comprehensive guide, try Six Revisions’ Web Designer’s Guide to PNG Image Format.
U.S. set to be top oil producer
U.S. oil output is poised to surpass Saudi Arabia’s in the next decade, making the world’s biggest fuel consumer almost self-reliant and putting it on track to become a net exporter, the International Energy Agency said Monday.
Growing supplies of crude extracted through new technology including hydraulic fracturing of underground rock formations will transform the United States into the largest producer for about five years starting about 2020, the agency, adviser to 28 nations, said in its annual World Energy Outlook. The United States met 83 percent of its energy needs in the first six months of this year, according to the Energy Department.
The United States, whose crude imports have fallen 11 percent this year, is on track to produce the most oil since 1991, according to Energy Department data.
Read more: sfgate.com
There is a part in the article : Growing supplies of crude extracted through new technology including hydraulic fracturing of underground rock formations will transform the United States into the largest producer for about five years starting about 2020, so if I am reading correctly, while good news, it is only temporary and kind of represents getting oil by improved geological “scrapping of the barrel”.
That tell me that we can use the expected bounty to finance our efforts to get off this finite fuel source and move to renewable energies for our fuel. And by “we” I mean govt financed and led efforts.
So it’s not drill, baby, drill but rather invest and research, baby, invest and research.
Steven Sinofsky, who since 2009 has served as president of Microsoft’s Windows and Windows Live divisions, has left the company less than a month after launching what Steve Ballmer called the most important operating system in Redmond’s history.
“It is impossible to count the blessings I have received over my years at Microsoft,” Sinofsky said in a statement on Monday. “I am humbled by the professionalism and generosity of everyone I have had the good fortune to work with at this awesome company.”
Stepping up to lead product development for all future versions of Windows will be Julie Larson-Green, who has led various projects at Microsoft since joining the company in 1993. Most recently, she was responsible for program management, UI design and research, and internationalization for Windows 7 and 8.
In addition to heading up the Windows group, Larson-Green’s new role will see her in charge of engineering for future Windows-based hardware products, such as the company’s recently launched Surface fondleslabs.
Not a great few weeks for high level executives in major technology companies.
Well, I suppose one does have to track down and apprehend the criminally inclined, even if it’s only the potential of wrongdoing. I assume that Delta’s long delay in contacting my travel agent (who never received any warning in 2001) and getting around to administering punishment is because of so many other, perhaps more untoward infringements, deserved accelerated investigation. I can only imagine the terrible problems that rise to the level of investigation with passengers stealing toilet paper, pilfering multiple copies of the Skymall brochures, or children sneaking an extra can of soda when the flight attendant isn’t looking.
It certainly wouldn’t have more to do with airlines making money by selling customer’s miles, could it?
Given all of the extra work airlines incur for tracking down criminally minded cellists, I can understand why a zealous leadership is always watching out for criminal acts with an eye toward reducing the financial burden of running an airline. I can see the motivational office posters now: “They must be stopped” or “Only You Can Prevent Cello Miles Theft.”
I feel relieved that I had not used any of my Delta Miles for personal reasons; goodness knows what complications there would be in rewinding vacation trips, upgrades, etc. Fortunately, I never used Mr. Cello’s miles for anyone except Mr. Cello!
JAMMED onto a spit of land that juts into the azure Atlantic near the centre of Recife, in Brazil’s north-east, Brasília Teimosa was until a couple of decades ago a favela of wooden fishermen’s huts. Now its streets are lined with brick houses, some of three stories and clad in decorative tiles but others jerry-built. It has seafood restaurants, shops and a couple of bank branches, but also piles of uncollected rubbish. Many marketing types and economists would hail its residents as members of Brazil’s burgeoning “new middle class”, who have become avid consumers.
That is not how Francisco Pinheiro, a community leader who was born in Brasília Teimosa, sees it. “Economically, it’s much better off than it was,” he says. “But a middle-class person is someone who lives in Boa Viagem”—a smart beachfront residential suburb close by—“with a car, an apartment and an income of 3,000 reais ($1,500) a month.” In Brasília Teimosa, he adds, the majority earn less than two minimum wages ($613)—often shared among a family of four or more.
As it happens, Mr Pinheiro’s finely-tuned sense of social class fits neatly with the definitions deployed by the World Bank in a ground-breaking new study. Having crunched the numbers from household surveys across the region, it reckons that Latin America’s middle class expanded by 50%, from 103m to 152m, between 2003 and 2009. That represents extraordinarily rapid social progress. But it means that only 30% of the region’s population is middle class (see chart). A larger group has left poverty, but only just, as have many of those in Brasília Teimosa.
What it means to be middle class is a matter of definition and debate. Sociologists and political scientists define the middle class according to education, occupational status and ownership of assets. Economists, by contrast, tend to see income as determining class.
“The ultimate ideal sought,” wrote Harvey Ernest Jordan in 1912, “is a perfect society constituted of perfect individuals.” Jordan, who would later be dean of medicine at the University of Virginia, was speaking to the importance of eugenics in medicine—a subject that might seem tasteless and obsolete today. Yet nearly a century later, in 2008, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the biomedical research institute on Long Island’s north shore, published a book titled Davenport’s Dream, which shows that eugenic visions persist. Charles Davenport, a colleague and friend of Jordan’s, had directed Cold Spring Harbor for the first third of the 20th century, turning it from a sleepy, summertime marine-biology laboratory into a center for genetics research—and the epicenter of American eugenics.
Davenport’s Dream is a facsimile of Davenport’s major work, Heredity in Relation to Eugenics (1911), prefaced by nearly 200 pages of commentary by scientists, historians, and legal experts celebrating Davenport and expanding on questions of genetics and eugenics in biomedicine. In the volume, the genome guru Maynard V. Olson writes that dbSNP, the database of small genetic variations, makes possible the fulfillment of Davenport’s dream. “Here,” he writes, “is the raw material for a real science of human genetic perfection.”
Davenport thought he had the raw material for a real science of human perfection. The original conception of eugenics, described by the British polymath Sir Francis Galton in the late 19th century, was based on the breeder’s subjective, holistic understanding of heredity. The rediscovery of Mendel’s rules of heredity in 1900 seemed to place eugenics on an empirical, quantitative, scientific footing. And so it did, relative to Sir Francis.
Davenport and his cronies used genetic arguments to promote the betterment of the human race through marriage, immigration, and sterilization laws, as well as through propaganda and research. But eventually, Progressive-era human genetics and eugenics came to seem out of date. Through the second half of the 20th century, Davenport was geneticist non grata, an embarrassing black mark on the pedigree of human genetics, like a Nazi grandfather you’d rather not bring up in conversation. Since the 1970s “eugenics” has been a dirty word. But in Davenport’s Dream, the geneticist and historian Elof Carlson insists that eugenics still has a role in our time, and Matt Ridley wrote that “Charles Davenport had the best of intentions”; it’s just that his idealism got ahead of his knowledge and of the available technology. What changed? And what didn’t?
Davenport dreamed of biologically engineering society. But the mechanisms available to him were primitive and heavy handed. Progressive-era eugenics sought to eliminate undesirable traits (negative eugenics) and cultivate desirable ones (positive eugenics) by population control, mostly through regulating immigration and sex. Eugenicists were interested in the genetics of disease, personality, intelligence, and race—just as we are today. Birth control, marriage restrictions, and sexual sterilization of “defectives” (a medical term still in use as late as the 1970s) were among their means of effecting genetic change. They hoped people would voluntarily do the right thing for the greater good—but if they didn’t, the state had a responsibility to do it for (i.e., to) them.