Desert Farming Experiment Yields First Results

first_imgA project to “green” desert areas with an innovative mix of technologies—producing food, biofuel, clean water, energy, and salt—reached a milestone this week in the Gulf state of Qatar. A pilot plant built by the Sahara Forest Project (SFP) produced 75 kilograms of vegetables per square meter in three crops annually, comparable to commercial farms in Europe, while consuming only sunlight and seawater.  The heart of the SFP concept is a specially designed greenhouse. At one end, salt water is trickled over a gridlike curtain so that the prevailing wind blows the resulting cool, moist air over the plants inside. This cooling effect allowed the Qatar facility to grow three crops per year, even in the scorching summer. At the other end of the greenhouse is a network of pipes with cold seawater running through them. Some of the moisture in the air condenses on the pipes and is collected, providing a source of fresh water.One of the surprising side effects of such a seawater greenhouse, seen during early experiments, is that cool moist air leaking out of it encourages other plants to grow spontaneously outside. The Qatar plant took advantage of that effect to grow crops around the greenhouse, including barley and salad rocket (arugula), as well as useful desert plants. The pilot plant accentuated this exterior cooling with more “evaporative hedges” that reduced air temperatures by up to 10°C. “It was surprising how little encouragement the external crops needed,” says SFP chief Joakim Hauge.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The third key element of the SFP facility is a concentrated solar power plant. This uses mirrors in the shape of a parabolic trough to heat a fluid flowing through a pipe at its focus. The heated fluid then boils water, and the steam drives a turbine to generate power. Hence, the plant has electricity to run its control systems and pumps and can use any excess to desalinate water for irrigating the plants.The Qatar plant has also experimented with other possibilities such as culturing heat-tolerant algae, growing salt-tolerant grasses for fodder or biofuel, and evaporating the concentrated saline the plant emits to produce salt.The Qatar plant—which is supported by Qatari fertilizer companies Yara International and Qafco—is just 1 hectare in extent with 600 square meters of growing area in the greenhouse. The fact that this small greenhouse produced such good yields, Hauge says, suggests that a commercial plant—with possibly four crops a year—could do even better. SFP researchers estimate that a facility with 60 hectares of growing area under greenhouses could provide all the cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and egglants now imported into Qatar. The results “reveal the potential for enabling restorative growth and value creation in arid land,” Hauge says. “I personally think that it is very important that people promote and invest in these ideas. Protected agriculture (I call it “indoor food production”) is an important option for the desert areas, particularly in the Middle East,” says Richard Tutwiler, director of the Desert Development Center at the American University in Cairo. “The big question is economic feasibility. How much did it cost to produce 75 kg of cucumbers per square meter?”SFP is now engaged in studies aimed at building a 20-hectare test facility near Aqaba in Jordan. “This will be a considerable scaling up from the 1 hectare in Qatar,” Hauge says, and big enough to demonstrate commercial operation.*Update, 11 November, 2:58 p.m.: A quote from Richard Tutwiler, director of the Desert Development Center at the American University in Cairo, has been added to the story.last_img read more

Indian eves crushed by China 0-3, settle for bronze in Uber Cup

first_imgIndia women’s badminton team settled for a second straight bronze medal after being crushed by record champions China 0-3 in the semi-finals of the Uber Cup in Kunshan on Friday.India, who lost to Japan in the 2014 edition in the semi-finals to settle for their maiden bronze medal, failed to show some resistance against the invincible Chinese, who wrapped up the tie in just three matches.SAINA LOSES TO LI XUERUIIndia’s hopes fizzled out as spearhead and 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal failed to win her match against reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui.World No.3 Xuerui’s 21-15, 12-21, 21-17 triumph in an hour and four minutes over Saina decimated Indian dreams at the Kunshan Sports Centre.It was the 25-year-old Xuerui’s 12th win in 14 encounters against the 2015 World Championship silver medallist, who has now lost eight consecutive games against the Chinese.SINDHU DISAPPOINTS AS WELL In the next contest, double World Championship bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu lost to world No.6 Shixian Wang 13-21, 21-23 in 50 minutes as China took a 2-0 lead. Former world No.1 Shixian now holds a 6-4 lead in head-to-head record against Sindhu.World No.4 doubles pair of Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao took just 25 minutes to brush aside Indian pair of Jwala Gutta and N. Sikki Reddy 21-6, 21-6. This win sealed China’s spot in the Uber Cup final for the 17th consecutive time.China has the most number of Uber Cup titles, 13.In the other semi-final, last year’s runners-up Japan face South Korea later in the day.advertisementIn the first Thomas Cup semi-final, 13 times champions Indonesia thumped South Korea 3-1.In the second semi-final, defending champions Japan will be up against South Korea.last_img read more

Cheteshwar Pujara’s central contract likely to be upgraded to top pay bracket

first_imgCheteshwar Pujara’s stellar performance in the ongoing Test series against Australia could get him an upgrade to the topmost A Plus bracket in the central contracts as the BCCI is deliberating a relaxation of norms for the dependable No.3. Cheteshwar Pujara has so far scored 521 runs in seven innings with three hundreds at an impressive average of 74.42 in the ongoing four-match Test series which India lead 2-1.Cheteshwar Pujara’s performance is one of the primary reasons that India are on course for their first ever Test series win in Australia and the BCCI mandarins are mulling ways to reward his stupendous show. It is learnt that Committee of Administrators (COA) chief Vinod Rai, in all likelihood, will bring up the idea with chairman of selectors MSK Prasad along with the team management (captain Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri).After the revised pay structure approved in 2018, A Plus category players get INR 7 crore while A category, to which Pujara currently belongs, comes with a pay cheque of INR 5 crore. The B and C category players get INR 3 and 1 crore respectively. The A Plus category comprises skipper Kohli, limited overs deputy Rohit Sharma, all-format pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar and senior opener Shikhar Dhawan.”Pujara’s brilliant performance deserves recognition. The CoA chief will discuss with the team management and the chief selector to check if the rule for all-format specialists in the top bracket can be relaxed,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.”Pujara’s elevation to the top bracket could well be a message for youngsters that performance in Test cricket will be given top priority,” the official said.advertisementAsked what will happen if COA member Diana Edulji opposes this move in case it is mooted by Rai, the official refused to comment.Test specialist Pujara has been repeatedly ignored by IPL franchises for the last few years during the auction.With 18 Test hundreds (second to skipper Kohli’s 25), there has been a lot of debate on whether Pujara’s contribution has been given the recognition it deserved.While there is a school of thought that the A Plus category should be reserved for all-format performers, opener Dhawan is no longer a certainty in the longest format in the coming days with the emergence of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal along with KL Rahul in the mix.The central contract could see another course correction with Rishabh Pant, now the first choice wicketkeeper in Tests, being reinstated in the system after being dropped for the current financial year.The BCCI has also officially inked the deal with WV Raman, who will now be the Indian women’s team’s new coach.Edulji, who had opposed the move, had written to CFO Santosh Rangnekar not to formalise the contract but on Friday, the formalities were completed.Save Edulji, the appointment of Raman has been welcomed by everyone even though some office bearers objected to the process. However, nobody questioned the former left-hander’s calibre.Also Read | Sydney Test: India set batting records at SCG after Pujara, Pant smash daddy hundredsAlso Read | Cheteshwar Pujara thanks Team India physio after batting for 1258 balls in Australia serieslast_img read more

Urban Meyer Calls NCAA’s New Texting Rule “The Most Ignorant Thing (He’s) Ever Heard”

first_imgUrban Meyer during an interview.Urban Meyer Play-CallingDuring a pretty active news dump on Friday, the NCAA announced a rule change for football recruiting, which will allow coaches to send unlimited text messages to recruits. While some don’t believe that it will be a big deal, especially considering the rule has been on the books for sports like college basketball already, one prominent voice in the college football world is not pleased at all: Ohio State’s Urban Meyer. During a press conference today, Meyer didn’t mince words when discussing the new rule.Urban Meyer is much more upset about the texting rule change. “The texting thing is the most ignorant thing I’ve heard in my life.”— Austin Ward (@AWardESPN) April 11, 2016Back on National Signing Day, Meyer described why he doesn’t like the then-proposed rule (via Cleveland.com):“I hear the stuff about texting,” he said. “I want to make this clear why — and this is a high school coach’s and high school player perspective — not college coaches. Who cares about college coaches? That’s not what this is about. It’s about them, and not screwing up a high school kid’s senior year or junior year. If you text someone, you can’t stop that, so you have a phone full of what? Text messages.“If I don’t want to hear from that school they’ll keep hitting me because that’s their job, and usually it’s not them, it’s maybe an intern doing it. So here’s a kid in high school being bombarded with text messages sitting there doing this all day. If it’s social media, you can determine who you want to hear from.”There are ways to block communications from numbers on most phones, but outright blocking a coach may not be the most prudent move for a recruit, especially considering how quickly assistants move around every off-season.Meyer may not like the move, but he will definitely be sending those texts out due time.last_img read more

Awilco Extends Charter Hire for LNG Carrier Duo

first_imgzoom  Norwegian-based pure play LNG transportation company Awilco LNG has extended charter contracts for two LNG carriers owned by Teekay LNG Partners to December 2019.The contracts, relating to the Wilpride and Wilforce LNG carriers, were previously set to expire in the fourth quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2018.Awilco LNG remains obligated to repurchase the vessels either during or at the end of the charter period, Teekay LNG said.Additionally, as part of this extension, Teekay agreed to defer charter hire payments of an average of USD 15,600 per day per vessel commencing in July 2017 through the end of the charter period, with such deferred amounts added to the purchase obligation price.The deal has enabled Teekay LNG to push the loan facilities associated with these vessels to June 2020, which were previously scheduled to mature in 2018. The debt amounts to approximately USD 180 million.Teekay announced the contract extension on the back of a reported GAAP net loss of USD 16.1 million and adjusted net income of USD 17.9 million in the second quarter of 2017, down from corresponding USD 43 million in income reported a year earlier.“During the second quarter, the Partnership continued to generate stable cash flows supported by a diversified portfolio of long-term charters totaling USD 11.4 billion in forward fixed-rate revenues with a weighted-average remaining contract duration of 13 years,” commented Mark Kremin, President and CEO of Teekay Gas Group Ltd.“Since reporting earnings in May 2017, we continued to execute on our portfolio of committed growth projects,” Kremin continued.“Last week, our Exmar LPG joint venture took delivery of a mid-size LPG carrier newbuilding, the Kruibeke, and during the quarter, our first joint venture LNG carrier chartered to Shell, the Pan Asia, successfully completed sea trials and is expected to deliver in the fourth quarter of 2017 at which time it will commence its 20-year charter contract. In addition, we continue to progress the financing for all our committed growth projects delivering through early-2020.”In July 2017, the Teekay LNG-Marubeni Joint Venture secured short-term charter contracts on two vessels, the Magellan Spirit and the Awra Spirit. The Magellan Spirit commenced a six-month contract (plus two three-month option periods) in July 2017 and the Awra Spirit will commence a 15-month charter contract in the fourth quarter of 2017 As at June 30, 2017, the Partnership had total liquidity of approximately USD 350 million.last_img read more

Monjasa Acquires Bunker Tanker for English Channel Operation

first_imgzoomIllustration. Image Courtesy: Pexels under CC0 Creative Commons license Danish bunker company Monjasa has decided to acquire the 3,600 dwt tanker, MT Fredericia, for “continued bunker operation” in the English Channel.The 2008-built MT Fredericia has been on time charter by Monjasa for several years and is currently performing bunkering operations in the Portland, Tongue Anchorage and Falmouth areas.The purpose-built double-hull bunker tanker will from its current position continue fuelling vessels entering and exiting the SECA zone, the company said.According to data provided by VesselsValue, the ship is owned by Germany-based Medallion Reederei and has a market value of USD 4.15 million.In 2016, Monjasa established a niche market in the English Channel as an alternative for shipowners and operators taking bunkers in the ARA hub.“We are seeing a steady demand for our services in the UK and this is also the reason why we decided to acquire the vessel. Monjasa now gains full ownership of the supply chain as we already control all sourcing and storage of oil products at our oil terminal in Portland Port,” Anders Østergaard, Group CEO, commented.As part of the operations, MT Frederica is currently providing several weekly supplies to cruise ships in nearby Southampton. Monjasa has experienced an increase in number of fuel deliveries to this particular customer segment over the past two years and this summer prospects a busy period ahead for the vessel and its crew.In 2017, Monjasa supplied 700,000mts of marine fuel across Northwest Europe – equivalent to 19% of Monjasa’s 3.5 million mts total supply volume.last_img read more

End in sight Mamata to meet junior doctors today

first_imgKolkata: The junior doctors of NRS Medical College and Hospital and other medical colleges who have been on a strike for nearly a week, have finally responded to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s invitation and expressed their wish to hold talks with her.Banerjee has called the agitating junior doctors for a meeting at Nabanna at 3 pm on Monday. Sources in the state secretariat said that 28 representatives – two each from the 14 medical colleges and hospitals in the state, have been asked to attend the meeting. Also Read – IAF receives its first Rafale fighter jet from FranceThe junior doctors have demanded that the discussion with the Chief Minister should not be held behind closed doors and the media should be allowed to cover the meeting. Following a general body meeting on Sunday, the junior doctors of NRS Medical College and Hospital said: “We want an immediate end to this impasse through a discussion with the Chief Minister, which, to maintain transparency, shouldn’t be held behind closed doors but open to media under camera coverage.” Also Read – Cosmology trio win Nobel Physics PrizeThe junior doctors said that they were ready to meet Banerjee at a venue fixed by the government. They also placed certain demands saying that junior doctors from all the medical colleges would be representing during the meeting. “We want to resume our work as early as possible in the best interest of the common people. We hope that our Chief Minister will be considerate enough to solve the problems,” reads a statement issued by the junior doctors. Meanwhile, Nabanna sources said that the meeting is likely not to be held in the presence of media as demanded by the junior doctors. However, the agitating doctors can address the media after the meeting. Senior officials from the state Health department will also be present during the meeting. Banerjee on Saturday had again urged the agitating doctors to initiate dialogue to overcome the deadlock that has been affecting thousands of patients at various hospitals. She also clarified that she would not take any coercive steps like implementing the Essential Services Maintenance Acts (ESMA). It has been learnt that the Director Medical Education Dr Pradip Mitra has formally informed Health Secretary Rajiva Sinha about the stand taken by the junior doctors. The matter was immediately informed to the government.last_img read more

US industrial production rose 03 per cent in December

first_imgWASHINGTON — U.S. industrial production increased 0.3 per cent in December, led by the biggest surge in manufacturing in ten months.The Federal Reserve says that that manufacturing output jumped 1.1 per cent last month, the largest gain since February 2018. Automakers drove much of the growth with a 4.7 per cent jump in production.Utility output slumped 6.3 per cent amid an unseasonably warm December. Mining output rose 1.5 per cent on in increased extraction of oil and natural gas.Overall industrial production is up 4 per cent from a year ago.The industrial sector was using more of capacity, in a sign that they might need to invest more in equipment and facilities. Capacity utilization for manufacturers increased 0.7 points to 76.5 per cent, a solid increase though that’s two points below the long-term average.Josh Boak, The Associated Presslast_img read more

FBI Had Investigated Omar Mateen, Found no Evidence He Was Terrorist

By Kimberly J. AvalosRabat – The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations chief Jim Comey said on Monday that the bureau had investigated and interrogated the Orlando shooter on three occasions over the last three years on suspicion he might have been a radicalized Islamic terrorist, as reported by TIME magazine.The investigation was eventually dropped. The public, then, is wondering why Omar Mateen’s behavior was alarming enough to attract the attention of the FBI but not enough to prevent the massacre of at least 49 people early Sunday at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando.The NYTimes reports that the case began in 2013 when Mateen’s co-workers said he had boasted ties to the terrorist groups Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. He was working as a security guard at the St. Lucie Country Courthouse in Fort Pierce, Florida, but was removed when the local sheriff heard of the remarks. The security contractor transferred him to work at a residential golfing community, and the sheriff alerted the F.B.I.But government officials said his claim had been dubious from the beginning, according to the NYTimes. Hezbollah is a Shiite group Al Qaeda is Sunni. But agents opened what is known as a preliminary investigation. They secretly followed him and monitored his movements in search of evidence that Mateen was a member of a terrorist group or is planning a specific terrorist attack.The FBI got one extension after the preliminary investigation; they interviewed him twice and dispatched an informant to get close to him, then closed the case after a total of ten months, according to TIME.TIME also reports that the FBI has been increasingly aggressive in its undercover operations, even posing agents as terrorist instigators and drawing potential radicalized Americans into fake plots. Once the would-be terrorists agree to a plot, or to travel to a foreign country in support of a foreign terrorist organization, they are arrested for breaking the laws against providing material support to terrorists.This led to the arrest of 59 men and women in 2015 for supporting ISIS.While some terrorism experts praise the efforts, civil libertarians have criticized them as entrapment, said TIME magazine.However, Mateen’s name resurfaced two months later as an associate of an American who had gone to Syria and become a suicide bomber for an al Qaeda affiliate there.According to Comey, the two had known each other because they attended the same mosque. But Comey said the investigation didn’t reveal any ties of any consequence between the two of them.Yet, in the midst of the massacre Sunday morning, Mateen expressed “solidarity” with the suicide bomber on one of the three calls with 911 dispatchers, Comey said, according to TIME.This still has some wondering if he had been on a watch list, could agents have been alerted to the gun sale.Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates said, “Certainly in retrospect in this case we would have liked to have known about it,” as reported by the NYTimes.However, they couldn’t have stopped him from buying a gun; Congress blocked an attempt last year to give the F.B.I the power to block gun sales to people on terrorism watch lists, according to the NYTimes.However, Yates also told the NYTimes that the Justice Department would consider a new policy in which the FBI is alerted on gun sales to people who were previously under investigation for terrorism.A former senior F.B.I official, James W. McJunkin, said preventing attacks is a fundamentally different mission. read more

Decoding Dialogflow Enabling Voice

What’s NextThe next article in this series will appear in early October, with a focus on integrating Dialogflow with back-end systems.Tags:News & ViewsDecoding DialogflowGoogle CCAIContact Center & Customer ExperienceAI & AutomationAI & Speech TechnologiesAnalyst InsightDigital TransformationNews & Views Articles You Might Like Voice-enabled bots are revolutionizing the market for interactive voice response (IVR) systems. When compared to a traditional DTMF interface, voice can be a highly effective user interface replacement; plus, it becomes a shortcut to quickly get customers to the information they really want. Traditional IVR’s demise is destined to be slow, but it will be sure and steady. Google Dialogflow_Voice-774.jpg What’s Trending in CX Today Blair Pleasant September 17, 2019 Organizations that truly care about customer service start with a understanding of what digital consumers really want. Three ways to get voice into Dialogflow: 1) CCAI partners, 2) custom programming, 3) the Dialogflow Phone Gateway. 3. Developing the integration yourself — this is the other case we reference above; it requires a lot of heavy lifting in order to get voice into Dialogflow. You might choose to integrate voice with Dialogflow and Knowledge Connector this way if you have an application for which the features of CCAI and/or the other integrated capabilities in the contact center aren’t required. In the batch method, the transmission to Dialogflow happens only after a user completes an entire phrase. Dialogflow then processes that batch of audio and returns a response. For real-time conversations and interactions, like those in a contact center with a live customer calling in, the streaming voice method is a better option. How to Plan a Smooth Contact Center Cloud Migration Elizabeth Magill September 24, 2019 A strategic migration plan must answer three important questions. gRPC: The Voice Interface into DialogflowRegardless of whether you use a CCAI partner’s implementation or program a voice connection into Dialogflow yourself, the connection must use the Google Remote Procedure Call protocol, gRPC. The CCAI partners have programmed this voice connectivity for you; you’ll have to do it yourself if you build your own code. 2. Using a CCAI partner — this is the case we reference above in which the contact center provider does the integration with Google and provides a relatively easy interface for connecting voice calls into the contact center to Dialogflow and Agent Assist. In this article, the seventh in a series, I’ll examine how to integrate voice with Google using Dialogflow and Contact Center AI (CCAI) for customer service interactions. Log in or register to post comments OPUSSpeex WidebandFLAC Language support for Dialogflow speech and text capabilities The difference between them is that the streaming method sends voice information continuously to Dialogflow, reducing the latency between what a user says and the responses/fulfillments provided by Dialogflow. When using the streaming model, Dialogflow is continuously processing the audio input, making intent detection and entity recognition much faster than when using batch processing. Languages Dialogflow SupportsDialogflow supports 32 languages or language dialects for speech-to-text; most, but not all of these also can be used for providing responses using text-to-speech. The telephony gateway and knowledge connectors (which sort of translates to CCAI’s Agent Assist) are only available in English dialects at present, while sentiment analysis is available in a handful of different languages. CCAI and Dialogflow: Not One and the SameFirst, you must remember that CCAI and Dialogflow aren’t the same. CCAI is a wrapper around Dialogflow and other Google AI capabilities. While CCAI uses Dialogflow, it has a special set of APIs that provide capabilities available only to CCAI partners and their customers. In other words, Dialogflow alone doesn’t offer these capabilities through its APIs. CCAI also provides “call state,” which Dialogflow doesn’t have on its own. Call state enables some very useful functionality: Why didn’t Google just use SIP, which is the favorite protocol in our industry? Well, gRPC does a lot more than transport voice. It lets client applications call methods or functions on remote servers as if they were local. Google uses gRPC extensively to enable its distributed applications and services. Cisco Touts Webex Contact Center-Calling Integration Beth Schultz September 23, 2019 Company talks up other enhancements to cloud platform, as contact center partners make service news of their own. We’re just a few years into a new era in which generic, speaker-independent speech-to-text solutions have become very, very good, with word error rates under 5%. This is as good as most humans understand speech and has significant implications for how we will interface with our devices and with our customer support systems. CCAI eases the use of Google’s capabilities for natural language processing, sentiment analysis, agent assist, and conversation topic modeler. You can do most of this on your own, but that effort would require a lot of custom code, and you don’t get state information as part of the call. If you plan to interface voice with CCAI/Dialogflow, be aware that Dialogflow’s speech-to-text engine supports only the six audio compression protocols (codecs) listed below. You’ll want to make sure that the voice interface you present to your customers uses one of these codecs natively. This is necessary to avoid transcoding between codecs, because transcoding leads to voice quality losses and reduced performance in the speech-to-text engine. See All in Contact Center & Customer Experience » DialogflowVoice.png CCAI-Management-Wrapper.png When using gRPC, you’ll need to encode your compressed voice packets into Base64 format for transmission to Google’s back end. The Google cloud will decode the Base64 packets and decompress the audio. Likewise, the text-to-speech audio stream from Google back to your application will arrive in an object that uses Base64 encoding. You’ll need to decode the Base64 returned audio into the normal SIP or WebRTC packet type your application is using, and then transmit it to the user’s device for decompressing and listening to the response.Streaming Voice vs. Batch VoiceDialogflow can accept voice either in a continuous stream or as a single batch. If you’re using a CCAI partner to interface voice with Dialogflow, you’ll want to make sure the partner has implemented the streaming audio model. In SummaryGetting voice into Dialogflow has two easy methods and one hard one. The CCAI partner method or the Dialogflow Phone Gateway are the easy ways, or you can custom program your own voice integration.Using CCAI is the only method that provides call state while interacting with Dialogflow, and it has the benefits of barge-in and live agent transfer.Google Cloud Speech-to-Text is available in 32 languages/dialects while Text-to-Speech is available in 28.Google’s speech-to-text engine only supports six audio codecs, so make sure your voice application uses one of these. GoogleLanguagesupport.JPG Relying on a CCAI partner ensures that all the integration a contact center needs with Google’s CCAI components — Virtual Agent, Agent Assist, Sentiment Analysis, and Conversation Topic Modeler — are functional and ready to go without any additional low-level programming required by the contact center owner. 1. The Google Dialogflow Phone Gateway — Google has created a “beta” version of a phone gateway that provides a simple way to telephony-enable a Dialogflow bot for testing, and offers 30 days of free usage for this purpose. After going through the simple steps of getting a phone number from Google, you can voice-enable a bot in just minutes — Google has done the work of integrating this gateway with Dialogflow so that you don’t have to. Google doesn’t recommend using the phone gateway for large production systems because it limits the number of phone numbers you can subscribe and pay for to 60. Connecting Voice from Mobile Apps and Websites to DialogflowIf you want to build an app on a mobile device or a website that integrates with Dialogflow, you can use either the CCAI method wherein the contact center partner acts as a voice aggregator, or you can build a custom voice interface. If you’re going to run these apps through your contact center, then the contact center provider will provide some type of an API that will allow your app to connect to the contact center via voice. Barge-In— In a Dialogflow voice interaction, you can’t “barge in,” meaning that Dialogflow must finish its work and provide some type of response in its entirety before another action can occur. For example, if the customer’s intent was an inquiry in which a frequently asked questions database held a response, Dialogflow would proceed to read back the entire FAQ entry associated with the query, even if it missed the mark and the user wanted to move on. There’s no way to interrupt Dialogflow directly. On the other hand, CCAI has a barge-in capability that allows customers to interrupt Dialogflow with another query. The bot will listen for a new and different intent within the query.Agent Handoff — The CCAI API has a built-in agent handoff capability so that if the user ever needs to go to a live agent, the system immediately returns processing control to the contact center for routing to an agent. All bot interaction data transfers to the agent, as well. While this capability isn’t available in Dialogflow, it can sort of be replicated, but with some significant programming. Avaya Mobile Experience Delivers Cost Savings, Innovation Sheila McGee-Smith September 10, 2019 One early customer tells of reducing spend on “800” services by 40% annually, among other benefits. Why You Need to Care About CX of Connected Consumers Blair Pleasant September 30, 2019 Today, enterprises are distinguishing themselves with personal, robust customer experiences. But can it be too much? G.711 PCMULinear PCMAMR/AMR-WB If you’re building the app from scratch, then you’ll need to figure out how to transport the voice using some protocol like SIP or WebRTC to your back end for processing. And, you’ll want to be sure that you use one of the audio codecs Google supports. Your backend processing application will need to convert the voice packets to the gRPC format before sending the stream to Google for processing. Three Ways for Connecting VoiceIn the discussion above, we referenced only two ways for connecting voice into Dialogflow. It turns out that there are really three ways to do this: read more

Prosecutor for UN exYugoslav tribunal warns of negative regional political situation

“As my Office has reported, in recent years there have been many positive developments in national war crimes justice and regional cooperation. Unfortunately, the political situation throughout the region is moving in the opposite direction,” said ICTY Prosecutor Serge Brammertz, who also serves as the Prosecutor of the International Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals – the body that will oversee the residual functions of the ICTY, as well as for Rwanda (ICTR). “Too many politicians and public figures are denying well-established truths, enflaming ethnic tensions and repeating nationalistic slogans of the past. What would have been difficult to imagine just a few years ago is sadly commonplace today. As a result, the positive trend in regional cooperation in war crimes justice appears to be reversing,” he added. The prosecutor told the Security Council that during the reporting period, which covers 16 November 2015 to 15 May 2016, judgments were issued in three cases, bringing the ICTY closer to completing its mandate at the end of next year. He said his office looked forward to the delivery of the appeal judgment in cases of Mico Stanišic and Stojan Župljanin – two high-level officials in Bosnian Serb structures – at the end of this month, and is continuing preparations for the appeal hearing in relation to the Jadranko Prlic case, which is anticipated next spring. Work also continued in his office’s two final trials, Ratko Mladic and Goran Hadžic. In terms of Mr. Mladic, the defence is in the final phase of presenting its evidence, and it is anticipated that the final defence witness will be heard this month, and that closing arguments by both parties will be presented this fall. In reference to Mr. Hadžic, the prosecutor said that three weeks ago his office had filed a motion for termination of the proceedings, having “no alternative but to take this step.” “In this final phase of the Tribunal’s work, state cooperation remains essential to enable the completion of our mandate. This includes my Office’s access to documents, archives and witnesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia,” Mr. Brammertz said. “My Office regrets that Serbia has turned away from the path of full cooperation with the Tribunal,” he added. Emphasizing that for a year and a half Serbia has failed to execute the Tribunal’s arrest warrants and transfer three indictees to the Tribunal’s custody, the prosecutor noted that in the past, arrest warrants in similar contempt cases were executed by Serbia without significant delay. “This is unfortunately not the only reason for concern. It is troubling that Serbia has not yet appointed a new Chief War Crimes Prosecutor, despite having at least a year to do so. It is difficult to understand why this crucial position remains vacant,” he said. In addition, Mr. Brammertz said that while his office welcomed the adoption of Serbia’s National Strategy for the Prosecution of War Crimes, the overall situation “raises legitimate doubts that there is real commitment to the goal of impartial accountability for war crimes.” “The continued glorification of convicted war criminals in Serbia compounds those doubts. It is now up to Serbia to demonstrate that it will realize its pledges to cooperate with the Tribunal, support accountability for war crimes and promote effective regional cooperation,” he said. Turning to the so-called Residual Mechanism, the prosecutor said the reporting period marked the beginning of trial and appeal activity in The Hague, with appeal proceedings commencing in two cases – former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadžic and former Serbian leader Vojislav Šešelj – and pre-trial proceedings commencing in the Stanišic and Franko Simatovic case. Mr. Brammertz added that his office continues to monitor the cases referred to the national courts of France and Rwanda. read more

Solidium invests in Nokian Tyres as production growth starts to kick in

first_imgFinland-based Solidium Oy has confirmed the acquisition of 5.1% of Nokian Tyres for approximately €205 million ($233 million).The shares have been acquired from the market over the last few months, the company said. Following the share purchases, Nokian Tyres represents around 3% of Solidium’s equity investments, totalling some €8.1 billion. Solidium is a holding company wholly owned by the State of Finland and a minority owner in “nationally important” listed companies.Solidium’s CEO, Antti Mäkinen, said Nokian Tyres had successfully executed its niche strategy in the global tyre market over a long period.“The company has promising growth opportunities at its hand owing to the greenfield investment in its third production factory, which is being built in Dayton, USA, and the investment to increase production capacity in its factory in Nokia, Finland.“Due to these reasons, we believe Nokian Tyres has excellent foundation to create value for its shareholders. In addition, the investment done by Solidium strengthens and stabilises Finnish ownership in the company.”In addition to providing tyres for commercial vehicles, Nokian’s Heavy Tyres division provides specialist tyres that minimise unscheduled maintenance breaks and maximise productivity in mining and tunnelling operations.last_img read more

SEHA GSS 20142015 Metalurgs kids beat Tatran Presov

Macedonian best team RK Metalurg Skopje beat Slovakian best team Tatran Presov 34:28 (14:14) in the second match of the SEHA GAZPROM South Stream League 2014/2015 season. The key of success was to stop Latvian giant Dainis Kristopans, who scored 8 goals for his team until 42nd minute of the match. Tatran was in the game until 20:20, when Metalurg’s young boys, Borozan, Cindric, Lipovina, Djukic and Marsenic began to play on the higher level and broke the resistance of Slovaks in the last 15 minutes…Team from Sk0pje has played mostly without experienced part of the squad – Mojsovski, Stanic, Atman, etc…STATISTICS ← Previous Story DKB Bundesliga (ROund 2): Gummersbach beat Melsungen in Kassel! Next Story → OPEN SKY HANDBALL: Celje PL wins Super Cup read more

Popes election saw power demand fall before rising as we put the

first_imgTHERE WAS A significant change in electricity demand in Ireland on Wednesday evening, according to figures from the electricity operator EirGrid.Electricity demand fell by over three per cent after the announcement as people stopped using appliances, paused in work or other activities and huddled around the television to see who the next pontiff was.Overall demand fell by 142 megawatts – the equivalent of electricity usage of over 90,000 homes – according to figures from the EirGrid National Control Centre.However after the announcement power usage rose again as people stuck the kettles on and resumed whatever it was they were doing.“This is one of a number of televised events where demand has changed in a measurable way at times when large numbers of people are watching a particular event,” EirGrid said in a statement.Past examples of when demand has changed in a measurable way include Katie Taylor’s gold medal win at the 2012 Olympics, the first Ireland v England rugby match at Croke Park in 2007 and Ireland’s penalty shoot-out win over Romania at Italia 90.Separately RTÉ reported that at its peak nearly one million people tuned into the Six One News to watch events in Rome. On average over 720,000 people watched the entire programme, an audience share of over 50 per cent.The peak audience figure of 992,000 people is the highest for news programmes since the Taoiseach’s State of the Nation address in December 2011.RTÉ had a team of 16 people in Rome covering the election of the new Pope on radio, TV and online.The Ordinary Pontiff: Pope Francis pays hotel bill, carries his own luggagelast_img read more

Microsoft targets Gmail users with new Scroogled campaign

first_imgGoogle is relentlessly sifting through your Gmail emails to serve up advertisements — and that’s just plain wrong, says Microsoft in its latest “Don’t get Scroogled” campaign. Google has taken heat for this practice before, and it’s gone as far as litigation in several cases. It’s an issue that has had Google’s legal department playing whac-a-mole since 2004 when Gmail first launched.As you’d expect from a Scroogled attack, Microsoft gets pretty sensational in its claims. The results of a Microsoft-commissioned survey (always a trustworthy source of data) play a prominent role this time around. Unsurprisingly, nearly 90% of those questioned responded that they disapproved of email scanning and that providers shouldn’t be allowed to scan the content email ads to show contextual ads. The same number also felt that an opt-out should be provided.Microsoft’s Director of Online Services Stefan Weitz says that “people feel that reading through their emails to sell ads is out of bounds.” He goes on to say that Microsoft respects the privacy of its Outlook.com users and believes that Google is violating that sacred trust every time an Outlook user emails a Gmail user. The icing on the cake with Scroogled:Gmail is that Microsoft has taken the extra step of launching an online petition and is urging users to take a stand against this gross injustice. So far, only around 300 have digitally signed on the line.There are a few problems with Microsoft’s claims, of course. The biggest is that Gmail users have all consented to Google’s terms and conditions, and that consent has been enough to get the company off the hook in the past. Google also clearly labels the ads, explains why they show up, and is pretty transparent about the entire process. Beyond that, Google does allow users to opt out of personalized ads and even block specific advertisers if they wish. If you’re really uncomfortable with the ads, you can even access your Gmail account via an IMAP client and avoid them entirely.last_img read more

Torres admitted that playing the final will help him psychically

first_imgFernando Torres is about to play probably his last Europa League final in his career and he admitted that this match helps him forget about the fact that his career is coming to its end.The Spaniard already announced that he will leave his beloved club after the end of the season and he admitted that it has been hard to deal with this fact – but now, he focuses on the final game and it helps him to forget.The former Liverpool striker spoke about his feelings as he said, according to Sports Mole:Gerard Pique, Neymar, BarcelonaLa Liga Betting: Match-day 4 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Despite it being very early into La Liga season, both Barcelona and Real Madrid have had unprecedented starts to their campaigns. With this in…“Football has given me the opportunity to return to Atletico and fight for titles as a player, and achieving the Europa League trophy would be something special without a doubt.”“The fact of having reached the final minimises the feeling of knowing that my career is over. We have a very important game ahead and I don’t have much time to think about much else.”last_img read more

Agent Wesley Sneijder open to Galatasaray return

first_imgWesley Sneijder’s agent revealed his client would be very keen to discuss a return to GalatasarayAfter leaving Ligue 1 team OGC Nice in 2018, Sneijder has been playing his club football with Al-Gharafa in Qatar.The Dutch midfielder is contracted to Al-Gharafa until June 2019 and has been linked with a return to Galatasaray.But Sneijder’s agent, Guido Albers, announced they’ve received no offer from the Turkish club despite what reports have suggested.Although he did add that Sneijder would be up for a return to Turkey.2010 World Cup. Netherlands, Robon Van persie, Wesley Snieder, Rafel van de VartReport: Babel says ego’s cost Holland World Cup glory George Patchias – September 10, 2019 Former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel has spoken out about four big ego’s that cost the Dutch national team, their best chance of World Cup…“If Galatasaray wants Sneijder, then we are ready to talk,” Albers told Radyospor.“A transfer in January will be difficult and Wesley has a contract for six months. In the summer, he is free of transfer and I do not have a Galatasaray offer at the moment, but if they are interested, I’m sure Wesley wants to return.”Sneijder managed 45 goals and 44 assists in 175 appearances for Galatasaray between 2012 to 2017 and won the Süper Lig twice along with the Turkish Cup three times.The former Netherlands international has also played for Ajax, Real Madrid and Inter Milan.last_img read more

Pizza delivery driver OK after car plunges into Miami Gardens canal

first_imgMIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida pizza delivery driver experienced water woes when he plowed into a canal in Miami Gardens.Video sent in by Miami Gardens Police shows the driver standing on top of his submerged car, Friday night.Investigators said the motorist lost control and went into the water along Northwest 15th Avenue and 155th Terrace, at around 9 p.m.Crews responded to the scene, and a diver swam out to the driver to help pull him safely back to shore.The video shows the car’s headlights still on despite being completely underwater.The driver was not hurt.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Muhith backs Hasina claim on Khaledas assets

first_imgAbul Maal Abdul MuhithFinance minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith on Saturday backed Bangladesh Awami League (AL) president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s claim that BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia has kept wealth in Saudi Arabia.Talking to newsmen after inaugurating a mural of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in Sylhet Agricultural University, Muhith, also a senior leader of the ruling AL, said Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda shouldn’t have served notice on his leader, Hasina.Hasina, at a press conference at her official Ganabhaban residence on 7 December, alleged that Khaleda had a shopping mall in the Middle East and claimed that the Khaleda’s family had ‘illegal money’ in Saudi Arabia.Read more: Khaleda sends legal notice to HasinaIn response, the BNP leaders have time and again termed the claim as a ‘blatant lie’ and asked the prime minister to withdraw it and finally on 20 December, Khaleda sent legal notice to Hasina for the latter’s ‘false statement’ about the BNP chief’s alleged assets abroad.Replying to a questioner, Muhith said a legal reply would be given to the legal notice and lawyers would look into the matter.When his attention was drawn to the allegation made by his leader Hasina, Muhith said, “There must have been sufficient proof behind prime minister’s allegation and it’s possible to prove the allegation.”last_img read more

Huawei MateBook D 14 inch AMD Review

first_img Hard Drive Type Highest Available Resolution USB 2.0 Secondary Hard Drive Size Review Optical Drive Speed Advertisement Native Resolution 1920 x 1080 Specifications USB 3.0 2.0-GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor Bluetooth 591 3 Weight RAM Upgradable to Ports (excluding USB) Secondary Hard Drive Type 3DMark Fire Strike1 of 12Tests notebook graphics performance.Huawei MateBook D 14 inch (AMD)Acer Spin 3 (Core i5 – 2018)Avita ClarusCategory Average (as of 09/30/18) Hard Drive Speed Windows 10 Home Operating System Warranty/Support Secondary Hard Drive Speed Ports (excluding USB) Hard Drive Size 3.41 pounds CPU 1920×1080 Huawei’s 14-inch MateBook D packs a solid AMD processor and touch-screen display into a sleek aluminum body for an affordable $621. This MacBook doppelgänger also boasts long battery life, a comfortable keyboard and a pair of decent speakers. The MateBook D doesn’t have the brightest display, but, overall, it’s a solid mainstream laptop.article continued below Design The MateBook D’s silver aluminum chassis sports a build quality similar to an older MacBook Pro before Apple opted for its flat keyboard. The MateBook’s Mystic Silver paint job also screams older Mac. The interior is lathered in the same silver finish and accompanied by an eerily familiar black chiclet keyboard. There are two speaker vents to the left and right side of the keyboard, and a fingerprint reader/power button located just above the right. It also has superthin bezels, which is a major plus. At 3.4 pounds and 12.7 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches, the MateBook D is one of the lightest and thinnest laptops among its competitors. The Avita Clarus 14 is 3.5 pounds and 13.1 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches), while the Acer Spin 3 (Core i5 – 2018) measures 3.6 pounds and 13.2 x 9.1 x 0.8 inches. Unlike the premium laptop it mimics, the MateBook D actually has full-size USB ports. The left side features one USB Type-C charging port, an HDMI port and one USB 3.0 port, while the right has one USB 2.0 port and a headphone jack. Display The lab results for the MateBook D’s 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 display didn’t wow, but this glossy touch-screen display held up fairly well in our real-world testing. In the trailer for Holmes & Watson, a close-up shot of Ralph Fiennes revealed tightly knit wrinkles just above his cheekbones as well as the sharp strands of the thinning hair on his head. Rebecca Hall’s red coat looked prominent in the next scene, but the color itself wasn’t as bold as it should have been. And when the infamous Baker Street crew are goofing around with the locals, the walls in the foreground start to blur into darkness. According to our colorimeter, the MateBook D’s panel covers 73 percent of the sRGB color gamut, which is short of the 83 percent mainstream laptop average. It did, however, beat the 69 percent from both the Avita Clarus 14 and Acer Spin 3. At 230 nits, the MateBook D’s display is once again shy of our 241-nit category average, but so was the Avita Clarus 14 (215 nits) and the Acer Spin 3 (237 nits). MORE: Highest Resolution Screens The MateBook D’s touch-screen panel had no problem keeping up with my finger as I bounced across Paint to make a kingdom of infinite squiggles. Keyboard and Touchpad Despite its low key travel, the MateBook D’s keyboard delivers punchy feedback. I banged out 72 words per minute on the 10fastfingers.com typing test, surpassing my 66 wpm average. The keyboard offers 1.3 millimeters of travel and requires 72 grams of actuation force (we recommend 1.5 to 2.0 mm of travel and a minimum of 60 g of force).  We did encounter an issue with the first MateBook D unit we tested. The left Ctrl key had something stuck under it, so I couldn’t fully depress the key without putting more weight than usual on it. We reached out to Huawei about this issue, and the company sent us another one with a pristine keyboard. The first laptop came straight from Amazon, so it’s still a little concerning. The 4.1 x 2.5-inch touchpad has a soft, matte texture, and while its left and right click buttons have low travel, there’s a solid click. The touchpad also responded well to Windows 10 gestures like two-finger scrolling and three-finger tab swiping. Audio The MateBook D’s speakers managed to fill a small office with Blue October’s “Calling You,” but I would have liked them to be a little louder. Despite that, the placement of the speakers delivered solid stereo sound. I could hear each chord of the guitar vibrate through my ears, but when Justin Furstenfeld blasted his vocals on the chorus, it lacked depth. Overall, the speakers aren’t bad; it’s what I’d expect from a sub-$700 laptop. Performance Armed with a 2.0-GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and an AMD Radeon Vega 8 Mobile GPU, the MateBook D showed signs of slowdown only when I opened the Camera app, Paint, Steam, 30 Google Chrome tabs and a 1080p YouTube video all at once. On the Geekbench 4.1 overall performance test, the MateBook D scored 8,845, which is nearly a 1,000 points below the 9,794 category average. The Avita Clarus 14 (Intel Core i5-7Y54) was even worse at 6,337, but the Acer Spin 3 (Core i5-8250U) excelled at 13,203. The MateBook D matched 65,000 names and addresses on our Excel test in 1 minute and 48 seconds, sliding past the 2:01 category average as well as the Avita Clarus 14’s 3:08. The Acer Spin 3 finished nearly 20 seconds faster, at 1:29. On the HandBrake benchmark, the MateBook D took 21 minutes and 30 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p. That blows past the 27:41 category average. The Avita Clarus 14 completed the test at more than double the time (46:31), but the Acer Spin 3 once again beat the MateBook D at 21:09 Copying 4.97GB of data took 46 seconds for the MateBook D’s 256GB SSD, for a rate of 110 megabytes per second. That’s slightly slower than the 134 MBps category average and the Acer Spin 3’s 128GB SSD, which hit 146 MBps. The Avita Clarus 14 mustered just 58 MBps with its SSD. The MateBook D scored 63,302 on the 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark. While that doesn’t meet the 70,427 category average, it surpasses the Avita Clarus 14’s Intel HD 615 GPU and the Acer Spin 3’s Intel UHD 620 GPU score of 52,877 and 61,440, respectively. MORE: Laptops with the Best Overall Performance The MateBook D fared better in real-world graphics testing, as it nailed 65 frames per second on the Dirt 3 benchmark, surpassing the 46 fps category average as well as the Avita Clarus 14 (34 fps) and the Acer Spin 3 (47 fps). Battery Life The MateBook D’s long battery life is one of its key selling points. After continuously surfing the web over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness, the notebook lasted 9 hours and 16 minutes, which is nearly 2 hours longer than the mainstream laptop average. The Avita Clarus 14 hit only 6:42, while the Acer Spin 3 came close to the MateBook D, with 9:12. Webcam Although the MateBook D’s webcam will get you through conference calls, it was hard to ignore the pixelated strands of hair coming out of my head in the images it took. The webcam’s color is somewhat dull, but it captured the blue and red in my shirt quite well. And although the lights behind me blew out the surrounding area, it wasn’t enough to wash out the image completely. Heat The MateBook D managed to sustain steady, cool temperatures. After streaming a 15-minute HD video, the underside reached 92 degrees Fahrenheit, staying below our 95-degree comfort threshold. The center of the keyboard hit 91 degrees, while the touchpad measured 81 degrees. The hottest temperature that the MateBook D reached was 97 degrees, located at the center of the underside near the hinge. Software and Warranty Huawei is minimalist when it comes to its own branded software. The only app the company included is called PC Manager, which provides tools to check your hardware, manage drivers and find customer support links. There is, of course, your typical Windows 10 bloatware, like Candy Crush Soda Saga, Dolby Atmos and Royal Revolt 2: Tower Defense. The MateBook D comes with a one-year limited warranty. Configurations The MateBook D 14-inch that I tested costs $621 and is outfitted with a 2.0-GHz AMD Ryzen 5 2500U processor, 8GB of RAM, a 256GB SSD and an AMD Radeon Vega 8 Mobile GPU The only other configuration costs $1,099, and comes with an Intel Core i7-8550U CPU, 8GB of RAM, 512GB SSD and an Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU. Bottom Line It’s rare to see an aluminum chassis offered in a laptop that costs less than $650, but Huawei delivers that and much more. Its AMD processor and GPU performed well on our tests, while its battery lasted longer than a typical workday. Not to mention that it has a solid keyboard and decent speakers. However, the display is a bit dim and the overall aesthetic apes Apple. For $699, you can get the Acer Spin 3, which comes with a more powerful Core i5 processor, solid battery life, a faster SSD and 2-in-1 flexibility. Still, the AMD-powered MateBook D 14-inch is a very solid notebook for the price. Credit: Laptop Mag by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GameIf you’re over 40 – this game is a must!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoKelley Blue Book5 Mid-engine Corvettes That Weren’tKelley Blue BookUndoGrepolis – Free Online GameGamers Around the World Have Been Waiting for this GameGrepolis – Free Online GameUndoForbes.comCrazy Rich Asians for RealForbes.comUndoVerizon WirelessThis new phone will blow your mind.Verizon WirelessUndoTODAYPolice Identify Girl Licking Ice Cream Tub In Viral VideoTODAYUndo Best Laptops Under $500 Best Laptops for College Students The Best Laptops for Every Need USB Type-C USB Portscenter_img 256GB SSD Size One-year limited warranty 1971 Wi-Fi Model Headphone/Mic 12.72 x 8.7 x 0.62 inches AMD Radeon Vega 8 Mobile Graphics Mobile Broadband RAM 14 8GB Optical Drive Ports (excluding USB) Video Memory Graphics Card 8GB Ports (excluding USB) Touchpad Size 802.11a/b/g HDMI SSD 4.1 x 2.5-inch Company Website Wi-Fi Ports (excluding USB) Display Size Not Tested 1113.52 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3DMark Fire Strike3DMark Ice Storm UnlimitedBattery Life (Test Ver 2.0)Color AccuracyColor GamutDirt 3: Complete EditionDisplay Brightness (Nits)Geekbench 3Geekbench 4Geekbench 4.1Hard Drive SpeedJetstream https://consumer.huawei.comlast_img read more