US Pro Championships – Team Ouch-Maxxis Bikes

first_imgTeam Ouch p/b Maxxis rides the Kuota Kredo in basically the same paint scheme you can buy (although yours will be red where this is orange).  The team bikes roll on Mavic Cosmic Carbone Ultimate wheels on Maxxis rubber with full SRAM Red drivetrain and white Ritchey bar, post and stem.Hit ‘more’ for WEIGHT and DETAIL PHOTOS… The Kredo has a pretty big headtube mated to a highly shaped top tube. The bottom bracket junction is fairly massive as well.last_img

Speaker breaks tie for first time over ‘Sodexho’ bill

first_imgby Anne Galloway vtdigger.org(link is external) Late night sessions can be dangerous fuel, especially when it comes to controversial legislation, and such was the case Monday when the Vermont House became more of a tinderbox than usual. The issue that inflamed lawmakers was a highly combustible labor bill — legislation that prohibits businesses from discriminating against employees who use paid sick time.The trouble is, the Legislature is targeting one business — Sodexho, a company that provides meals at local colleges and other institutions, and which has been accused of unfairly pressuring workers to continue working even when they are sick.The legislation in question, S.213, is broad,(link is external) and a faction of lawmakers — many of whom are blue dog Democrats or Independents — say the provisions in the bill could ensnare businesses that offer fair sick pay policies.The spark started earlier in the day in House General, Housing and Military Affairs Committee. Rep. Will Stevens, I-Shoreham, introduced a strike-all amendment that gutted S.213, the so-called “Sodexho” bill. A study of discrimination related to employee use of sick time remained in Stevens’ amendment.Stevens is concerned that the proposal has broad implications for businesses that have functional paid sick leave policies and could punish Sodexho at the expense of all employers.Shap Smith, Speaker of the Vermont House. Photo by Roger Crowley/for VTDiggerThe committee voted down Stevens’ proposal. Then Rep. John Moran, D-Wardsboro, struck Stevens’ amendment and inserted language from the Senate bill, returning the legislation to its original form. The committee unanimously approved Moran’s proposal.When S.213, also known as the “Sodexho bill” was brought to the House floor, long after the dinner hour, a volatile back and forth ensued.Stevens introduced another amendment that struck the prohibition language from the bill, and within short order, Moran offered his own amendment as a substitute.What happened next was partly the result of hours-long arguments on the House floor over childcare unionization, which narrowly passed, and what happens when a caucus with a supermajority begins to fracture.A small faction of blue dog Dems that night went against the caucus and the speaker and nearly scuttled the bill.That would have been a first for House Speaker Shap Smith, D-Morristown, who in his tenure as the chief executive officer of the House, has never lost a vote on the floor.Smith and his deputies usually count all the votes ahead of time, but the Sodexho bill wasn’t perhaps as crucial as some of the other items on the very full docket on Monday. After all, Smith was focused on the tough fight to pass childcare unionization.Around 10 p.m., it appeared that the blue dog Dems, led by outgoing Rep. Paul Ralston, D-Middlebury, who gave a persuasive speech about why the bill wouldn’t be effective, soon had almost enough votes to kill the Moran amendment.The tally was 60-62, and victory for the Ralston faction was imminent when Rep. Kathleen Keenan, D-St. Albans, changed her vote, creating a 61-61 tie, and enabling House Speaker Shap Smith to break the tie and carry the day for the Moran amendment.It was the first time the Speaker has cast a tie-breaking vote on the floor.Ralston then called for a roll call to divide the question, or break the Moran bill into two parts. Realizing they might not have the votes for a second round, Rep. Helen Head, D-S. Burlington, sent the bill back to the drawing board — her own committee.The next day, smoke from the intra-caucus drama lingered.The implicit rule of the Democratic caucus was violated. Members are supposed to show unwavering support for any union bill, as Rep. Tony Klein, D-East Montpelier, and others in the House made clear at a caucus meeting on Tuesday. Members who remember what it was like to be part of the minority (just six years ago) chastised newer representatives who voted their consciences instead of the party line.After all, the Dems wanted to get another labor bill — that allows childcare providers to form a union — out the door on Tuesday.Klein told his colleagues he could see erosion in the caucus.“That troubles me … because we are the last line of defense. And not every bill that we put out there is perfect,” Klein said. “But when it comes out, that’s the labor bill, that’s the issue that is on the floor. And when we don’t support it, we’re turning our backs on the very people who I think the Democratic Party has always represented and the very people who have sent most of us here.”A few hours later, the Dems passed the childcare unionization bill 78-59.The hijinks of Monday night were over. Order was restored. Tuesday was another day in the House with lawmakers in their seats, the Democratic leadership back in control, and a steady stream of victories for the majority.last_img read more

Mission looks to ease some restrictions on additional dogs, cats; add provision for fostering

first_imgMission could make it easier for homeowners to add a third dog or cat and make provisions for fostering animals.After adding chickens to the approved list of animals that can be kept at Mission homes last year, the city council is now poised to loosen some of the restrictions on dogs and cats.Although in early discussions, the council appears inclined to keep the limit on dogs and cats in the city the same, but remove a requirement that getting a third dog or cat requires the consent of all of the neighbors within 200 feet of the house. Mission now allows two dogs and two cats. A third dog or cat can be added with the special permit which requires a $100 fee and $50 for renewals.“There have been people whose neighbors have kept them from having a third,” City Administrator Laura Smith told the council. While the ordinance has not created complaints, some questions have been raised, city staff said.What the city animal control ordinance does not have is any provision for fostering dogs or cats. Councilor Jason Vaughn said he thought it was excessive to charge $100 for fostering. The only way to add foster animals would be to get a special permit if the homeowner already has reached the limit. Vaughn recommended drafting an ordinance around fostering “that makes some sense.”A comparison to nearby cities prepared by city staff showed Mission’s animal limits are comparable and that most require a special permit for additional animals. The notable distinction was the requirement to obtain consent from neighbors for a third animal. Other cities do require notification, however.A proposal to make amendments to the animal control provisions is expected to be prepared by staff and come back to the council in the near future.last_img read more

Experiments show online environment can spread trolling behaviors from person to person

first_img“Fail at life. Go bomb yourself.” Comments like this one, found on a CNN article about how women perceive themselves, are prevalent today across the internet, whether it’s Facebook, Reddit or a news website. Such behavior can range from profanity and name-calling to personal attacks, sexual harassment or hate speech.A recent Pew Internet Survey found that four out of 10 people online have been harassed online, with far more having witnessed such behavior. Trolling has become so rampant that several websites have even resorted to completely removing comments. Pinterest Share By Justin Cheng, Ph.D Student in Computer Science, Stanford University; Cristian Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil, Assistant Professor of Information Science, Cornell University, and Michael Bernstein, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Stanford UniversityJure Leskovec at Stanford University also contributed to this article.This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article. Many believe that trolling is done by a small, vocal minority of sociopathic individuals. This belief has been reinforced not only in the media, but also in past research on trolling, which focused on interviewing these individuals. Some studies even showed that trolls have predisposing personal and biological traits, such as sadism and a propensity to seek excessive stimulation.But what if all trolls aren’t born trolls? What if they are ordinary people like you and me? In our research, we found that people can be influenced to troll others under the right circumstances in an online community. By analyzing 16 million comments made on CNN.com and conducting an online controlled experiment, we identified two key factors that can lead ordinary people to troll.What makes a troll?We recruited 667 participants through an online crowdsourcing platform and asked them to first take a quiz, then read an article and engage in discussion. Every participant saw the same article, but some were given a discussion that had started with comments by trolls, where others saw neutral comments instead. Here, trolling was defined using standard community guidelines – for example, name-calling, profanity, racism or harassment. The quiz given beforehand was also varied to either be easy or difficult.Our analysis of comments on CNN.com helped to verify and extend these experimental observations.The first factor that seems to influence trolling is a person’s mood. In our experiment, people put into negative moods were much more likely to start trolling. We also discovered that trolling ebbs and flows with the time of day and day of week, in sync with natural human mood patterns. Trolling is most frequent late at night, and least frequent in the morning. Trolling also peaks on Monday, at the beginning of the work week.Moreover, we discovered that a negative mood can persist beyond the events that brought about those feelings. Suppose that a person participates in a discussion where other people wrote troll comments. If that person goes on to participate in an unrelated discussion, they are more likely to troll in that discussion too.The second factor is the context of a discussion. If a discussion begins with a “troll comment,” then it is twice as likely to be trolled by other participants later on, compared to a discussion that does not start with a troll comment.In fact, these troll comments can add up. The more troll comments in a discussion, the more likely that future participants will also troll the discussion. Altogether, these results show how the initial comments in a discussion set a strong, lasting precedent for later trolling.We wondered if, by using these two factors, we could predict when trolling would occur. Using machine learning algorithms, we were able to forecast whether a person was going to troll about 80 percent of the time.Interestingly, mood and discussion context were together a much stronger indicator of trolling than identifying specific individuals as trolls. In other words, trolling is caused more by the person’s environment than any inherent trait.Since trolling is situational, and ordinary people can be influenced to troll, such behavior can end up spreading from person to person. A single troll comment in a discussion – perhaps written by a person who woke up on the wrong side of the bed – can lead to worse moods among other participants, and even more troll comments elsewhere. As this negative behavior continues to propagate, trolling can end up becoming the norm in communities if left unchecked.Fighting backDespite these sobering results, there are several ways this research can help us create better online spaces for public discussion.By understanding what leads to trolling, we can now better predict when trolling is likely to happen. This can let us identify potentially contentious discussions ahead of time and preemptively alert moderators, who can then intervene in these aggressive situations.Machine learning algorithms can also sort through millions of posts much more quickly than any human. By training computers to spot trolling behavior, we can identify and filter undesirable content with much greater speed.Social interventions can also reduce trolling. If we allow people to retract recently posted comments, then we may be able to minimize regret from posting in the heat of the moment. Altering the context of a discussion, by prioritizing constructive comments, can increase the perception of civility. Even just pinning a post about a community’s rules to the top of discussion pages helps, as a recent experiment conducted on Reddit showed.Nonetheless, there’s lots more work to be done to address trolling. Understanding the role of organized trolling can limit some types of undesirable behavior.Trolling also can differ in severity, from swearing to targeted bullying, which necessitates different responses.It’s also important to differentiate the impact of a troll comment from the author’s intent: Did the troll mean to hurt others, or was he or she just trying to express a different viewpoint? This can help separate undesirable individuals from those who just need help communicating their ideas.When online discussions break down, it’s not just sociopaths who are to blame. We are also at fault. Many “trolls” are just people like ourselves who are having a bad day. Understanding that we’re responsible for both the inspiring and depressing conversations we have online is key to having more productive online discussions. Email LinkedIn Share on Twitter Share on Facebooklast_img read more

Chamber Celebrates New SMSI Location

first_imgBecause of their legacy working at LANL, they have the best-in-class experts with an understanding of LANL’s history and a view of the future to provide insight into both technical and management arenas. Their 70+ staff at LANL possess the experience, training, education, and understanding of the Los Alamos community that makes them a proven and valuable asset. SMSI supports TRIAD National Security, LLC, through Merrick-SMSI, JV, one of TRIAD’s three small business partners. This role allows them to provide expert nuclear facility and operations support, capital project development and planning, nuclear safety analysis, management consulting, program and project management, and technical consulting services to their customers. CHAMBER News: SMSI is an active member of the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce and Los Alamos Concert Series. They know that a strong relationship in the community builds a strong company. It’s been the company’s approach since their inception and is essential to their success. Ribbon cuttings are a benefit of being a Los Alamos Chamber Member. For more information about Chamber membership, visit losalamoschamber.com or call Ryn Herrmann at 505.661.4807.center_img SMSI is a small business that began operations in 2000 in Los Alamos and has grown to more 150 professionals across the US serving Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the DOE/NNSA enterprise, various National Laboratories and industrial clients. The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is celebrating the new location of Strategic Management Solutions, LLC, (SMSI) with a ribbon cutting 4-7 p.m., on Thursday, Nov. 21, the actual ribbon cutting at 5 p.m. at 176 Central Park Square. The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce is a program of Los Alamos Commerce & Development Corporation, a private, not-for-profit economic and community development organization serving the Los Alamos area since 1983. LACDC serves as the umbrella organization for the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamos MainStreet, Discover Los Alamos, Los Alamos Small Business Center, projectY cowork Los Alamos and the Los Alamos Research Park.last_img read more

LNG industry growth will benefit Brunei

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

McPhy key partner in GRHYD programme

first_imgGet instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270. Subscribelast_img

Second blow for supporters of referral fee ban

first_imgAny prospect of a new ban on referral fees has been dealt a second major blow in the space of a few weeks, as a new report for the Legal Services Board recommended that the fees should be retained last week. The Legal Services Consumer Panel’s report called for greater disclosure of referral fees and better regulation, but found that the payments do have a place in the legal services market and should be allowed to continue. The findings came hot the heels of an economic analysis from consultants Charles River Associates two weeks ago, which advised the LSB that there was no evidence that referral fees caused consumer detriment, in either the conveyancing or the personal injury market. Publishing the consumer panel report, panel chair Dr Dianne Hayter said: ‘Greater transparency combined with tough action against rule-breakers is needed to ensure that referral fees work in the interests of consumers. ‘Referral fees have their problems, but they can increase access to justice while not raising prices or reducing the quality of advice. So long as the issues identified in the panel’s report are successfully tackled, referral fees have their place in the legal services market.’ The panel called for action to tackle a number of problems, including: the issue of closed bids and auctions, which mean work is referred to the lawyers paying the highest referral fees rather than the best lawyers; pressure-selling tactics by estate agents and insurers to get clients to accept the lawyers they recommend; high levels of non-compliance with transparency rules by conveyancers and estate agents; and competition concerns raised by the trend for introducers to refer work to a small number of large law firms. However, despite these concerns, the panel said evidence suggests referral fees do not increase the prices paid by consumers for legal services or reduce the quality of work. The panel’s report revealed the large sums of money that change hands between lawyers and introducers. Conveyancers pay fees of up to £300 an instruction to estate agents, while claims management companies typically receive referral fees of £800 from a lawyer in respect of a client injured in a road traffic accident. Adding the costs of medical experts, car hire companies and others, the total commission paid in a single case can reach £1,500. The consumer panel as set up by the LSB last November and referral fees were the first item on its agenda. David Parton, residential conveyancing partner at regional firm Shoosmiths, said: ‘I can’t see how a ban could possibly [now] come to pass. ‘Prior to the election the Conservatives said they were not in favour of a ban. Ultimately if the LSB came down in favour of a ban, it would be going against the views of the Solicitors Regulation Authority; the consumer panel and the government.’ He said: ‘The general consensus is that a ban wouldn’t reflect the commercial reality of the way work is referred or the benefit of the system to consumers or lawyers.’ To return to a ban would be to ‘go back to the dark days’ where firms engaged in opaque arrangements to get around it, he said. Richard Barnett, senior partner at volume conveyancer Barnetts and chair of the Law Society conveyancing and land law committee, said: ‘It’s likely that referral fees will continue to be allowed, but with some revisions.’ ‘It would be useful to reflect on where there might be difficulties with the current system. There needs to be some sanction for those introducers who abuse the system,’ he said. Barnett said he would like to see ‘transparency and choice for consumers’, and those within the system should be made to ‘act responsibly’. ‘The real issue is not referral fees per se, but rather how the profession will be able to work alongside the new alternative business structures. A system needs to operate so that work can easily be referred where appropriate. If no system exists then the work will remain with those with the biggest brand name and biggest marketing budget.’ In November 2009, the Law Society Council voted to press the LSB to ban referral fees across the board. Law Society president Robert Heslett said: ‘The Society is disappointed that the consumer panel has not recommended that referral fees should be banned. We believe these fees create a real danger that consumers will be treated as commodities that can be bought and sold and that the existence of the fees will either increase prices or place tensions on solicitors’ duties to act in their clients’ best interests. ‘Whatever final conclusions are drawn, we take the view that requiring an estate agent or insurer to tell their customer how much they sold their case for must be a minimum sensible reform,’ said Heslett. Laurence Besemer, chief executive of the Forum of Insurance Lawyers, said that both the consumer panel report and the previous report by Charles River Associates, both of which found that there is no detriment to consumers, did not look at the wider public interest or economic impact of referral fees. ‘The consumer is wider than the claimant – those who pursue claims are a fraction of society. The cost of referral fees is picked up business and by those who pay insurance premiums but do not make claims,’ he said. The LSB hopes to give its position on the issue by the end of the summer at the latest.last_img read more

Bahn 2000 tunnel

first_imgCEREMONIES were held at Gorgier-St Aubin on May 27 to mark completion of Swiss Federal Railways’ latest Bahn 2000 upgrading project. The 2250m long Sauges tunnel is the longest of four for the double-tracking of 10·5 km between Neuchatel and Yverdon. SBB Infrastructure Director Pierre-Alain Urech told the guests that upgrading of the Lausanne – Neuchatel – Biel corridor would be completed in 2001.last_img

Watching out

first_imgSECURITY: Genetec has announced the release of Security Center 5.2, the latest version of its unified security platform combining video surveillance with access control. New features include threat level management and software-based video walls, which Genetec says enhances collaboration in control rooms for ‘a fraction of the cost of specialised hardware’. ‘We are making it easier for our customers to get a unified view of their installation, set up control rooms of the future, and effectively manage high-risk situations in a rapidly-changing security climate’, said Jimmy Palatsoukas, Senior Manager of Product Marketing. Other recent innovations include a smartphone app which enables employees to stream footage to the control centre from their phone cameras. Genetec products are currently in use by rail customers in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Far East, managing fixed CCTV cameras at stations, maintenance depots and other installations, as well as on-train cameras. The largest rail installation comprises some 3000 cameras, and as well as being completely scaleable the open-architecture software is ‘camera agnostic’, enabling customers to specify equipment of their choice.last_img read more