Thursday, 3 August 2017
A company in Wisconsin just made the news for micro-chipping its employees. As per USA Today, 40 employees at the local firm Three Square Market, which makes cafeteria kiosks intended to replace traditional vending machines, “got tiny rice-sized microchips embedded in their hands … for convenience, a way for them to bypass using company badges and corporate log-ons to computers,” so that “now they can just have their hands read by a reader”.
In the future, these employees will be able to receive payments from contactless cards on their hands. It’s handy. It’s efficient. Is it terrifying?
The response was predictably hysterical, with countless scare stories and people screaming: “The end is nigh.”
Others restrained themselves but worried about the power dynamic. “Is it really voluntary when your employer is asking you if you would like to be micro-chipped?” asked Noelle Chesley, associate professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin.
But to me this seems like a lot of puff about nothing. We need to remember that this is only a microchip. Right now, if you carry a phone around with you 24/7, you already have a microchip – in fact, many more than one – in your pocket permanently.
This scaremongering matters because micro-chipping presents us with lots of opportunities, and it might very well be the future of work.
The Wisconsin firm’s microchip is restricted in functionality: taking payments, opening doors, and logging on to computers. My vision is much bigger.
Imagine you and all your work colleagues are chipped. This microchip holds lots of useful data not only about your work, but about you too. It has a complete archive of all the feedback that you’ve ever received as an employee, metrics on your performance, and a record of your behavioral traits, such as how you work best.
Scary? Nope. This data is already being collected by many companies under the guise of 360-degree real-time feedback.
JPMorgan, for example, recently introduced this software. It’s useful because it gives managers a rich bird’s-eye-view of how their teams and organisation is performing. It’s useful for employees because it gives them immediate actionable feedback on how they can improve.
At the moment this data is stored on companies’ tech systems. But why couldn’t it be stored locally on employee microchips? It would be more accessible, and might even give employees better ownership over the data.
But how is this helpful? Imagine you walk into the room and your smartphone connects to all your colleagues’ microchips. On the screen you immediately see who everyone is, what their roles are, their behavioral traits, communication styles, strengths and weaknesses.
This would give you incredible instant insight. Think how useful this could be in meetings. You would know the right person to direct your updates too, and because you know how they prefer to interact, and you could do it in a way that suited their communication style too.
Perhaps in the future it might even be possible to see this data “on” your colleagues directly in augmented reality through optical head-mounted displays (think Google Glass).
This isn’t just a “nice to have” either. It would make an immense difference to productivity. According to research by Salesforce, 86 per cent of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures. Microchips could transform communication.
Of course, I’m not blind to the dangers. We can’t allow microchips to track or monitor employees without their explicit consent. And in my view it should always remain absolutely voluntary. But rather than scaremongering, we should make it our jobs to try to solve as many of these problems as possible. Realize the opportunities while mitigating the risks.
There is an obvious way to do that: make sure the software the chips are paired up with have strong privacy protections. For example, employees should be able to log into their microchip and control whether the data it holds is public or private. This could even be monitored and regulated by the Government.
There is always fear when new technology comes to market. Micro-chipping is no different. But I believe the benefits outweigh the drawbacks, and we should welcome the future with open arms – micro-chipped, of course.
Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Honda along with HRC had developed the NXR750 which went on to win the Dakar rally for 4 consecutive years and this served as an inspiration for what is known as the Africa Twin currently. Honda has brought in the Africa Twin CRF1000L to India with a price tag of Rs 13.06 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) with the deliveries limited to just 50 units which might increase in the future. The reason it has become a legendary dual sport motorcycle is courtesy of the technology that Honda has added to it.
Engine Specification and Transmission
Honda India offers only the DCT gearbox which makes it one of the most technologically advanced ADV motorcycle on offer in India. A DCT gearbox is usually found on cars, but the Africa Twin also does away with the need to manually change gears with three shifting combinations ‘N’ (Neutral), ‘D’ (Drive) or ‘S’ (Sport) to take care of. The Twin also has an automated manual transmission which can be implemented through the manual shift selector on the left side of the handlebar. The engine powering the Africa Twin is a 999 cc parallel twin which delivers a power of 87 bhp@7500rpm and 91.9 Nm Torque@6000 rpm. What it basically means is that this tall motorcycle is very similar to riding a Honda Activa.
Another handy feature is a ‘G’ switch on board takes care of off-road riding by providing half clutch control and better traction. It also has an incline detection feature to keep rider on top of terrains like loose, steep track or dune. Apart from that the right side of the handlebar provides access to 4 automatic driving modes which include ‘D’ mode and S (Sport) mode with three shift options: S1, S2 and S3.
Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) along with ABS works out different permutations to give 80 different combos to help adapt to the rider skill level or to suit the riding conditions.
Features and Equipment
Honda Africa Twin gets a rally spec instrument cluster with LCD display which is easily readable and houses a Speedometer, Tachometer, Fuel, Gear position, ABS, HSTC, Odometer, Trip and Clock. For lighting up the roads it gets twin lamp LED headlamps with AHO (auto headlamp on) function while the taillight and side blinkers also have LED lights.
The suspension unit upfront is Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted (Upside Down) telescopic fork while the rear one is a Monoblock cast aluminium swingarm with gas charged dampers which allow excessive travel range. The anchor is dropped by 310mm floating front discs which are fitted up front and 256mm single unit at the rear.
Saturday, 29 July 2017
What's the story?
Conflict of interest in Indian cricket has been an issue which has troubled the cricketers since long. Indian stalwarts like Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly have been the victims of this and now it is the turn of Virat Kohli and some of his players. According to a report in The Hindustan Times, the BCCI has urged the Indian captain to quit his job from the post of a manager at Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd (ONGC).
In case you didn't know...
Players from Delhi have been offered an honorary position at ONGC for years now with the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Ishant Sharma working in some capacity or the other with the public sector firm.
The Supreme Court's Committee of Administrators (COA) has made it clear to the board that no cricketer can hold positions at any government or public sector companies. The reason which the Supreme Court assigned committee has cited is to avoid the conflict of interest issue.
The heart of the matter
Virat Kohli has represented ONGC in numerous local tournaments. Along with the captain, the BCCI has issued a strict warning to the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara and almost 100 other Indian cricketers who hold some or the other position in any public sector firm. This issue will now be discussed in the next SGM in New Delhi and is expected to be the most controversial topic of the meeting.
A BCCI official was contacted in regard to this issue and he revealed, "Yes it will be tabled (at the next SGM meet) and we will talk about it in detail. Not just players but there are whole lots of other things as well when we deal with conflict of interest."
The official continued by saying that, “The players obviously will be most affected and it will be for the members to decide. We also have the option of referring it back to the Supreme Court as per their recent directions.”
It is yet to be known what sort of impact the scenario will have on Kohli who is leading his team in the ongoing Test series against Sri Lanka.
Indian cricketers have always been offered honorary positions in companies such as Railways, ONGC, Air India, HPCL, Indian Oil, FCL, BSNL, Audit and Excise and Income tax office. An issue of the conflict of interest had also arisen during the first season of the Indian Premier League but was sorted when these companies had provided a no objection certificate to their employees.
But the COA has made the rules strict this time around with all the mentioned players now having to resign from their posts before offering them new contracts. This decision might go on to worsen the working relations between the players and the board.
Friday, 28 July 2017
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's Supreme Court disqualified Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office on Friday over undeclared assets, plunging the nuclear-armed South Asian nation into political turmoil after a period of relative stability.
Sharif swiftly resigned but in a statement his spokesman said there were "serious reservations" about the judicial process after the court ordered a criminal probe into his family over allegations stemming from the "Panama Papers" leaks of international offshore companies.
Sharif's ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) party, which won a majority in parliament in 2013, is expected to name a new prime minister to hold office until elections due next year.
Among possible allies to replace Sharif are Defence Minister Asif Khawaja, Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal and Petroleum Minister Shahid Abbasi.
The incoming leader will have to tackle worsening ties with the United States, frayed relations with arch-foe India, and persistent threat from Islamist militants. The economy is benefiting from vast investment from China, but economists are sounding alarm bells about falling currency reserves and dwindling exports.
The ouster of Sharif, 67, who has now served as premier on three separate occasions, also raises questions about Pakistan's fragile democracy. No prime minister has completed a full term in power since independence from British colonial rule in 1947.
The court verdict marks a major political victory for opposition leader Imran Khan, a former cricket star who last year threatened mass street protests unless Sharif's wealth was investigated. Khan had pounced on the leaking of the Panama Papers, which revealed Sharif's family had bought posh London apartments through offshore companies.
"Today is a victory day for Pakistan," said Khan. "Today onward, big thieves will be caught."
Khan himself is also under Supreme Court investigation on allegations he failed to declare sources of income, a charge he denies.
The court also ordered a criminal investigation into the assets of Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, one of Sharif's closest allies, who has been credited with steering the economy to its fastest pace of growth in a decade. Earlier state-run TV and other media reported Dar had been disqualified.
Sharif has alleged a conspiracy against him, although he has not named anyone. His allies, however, have privately spoken of elements in the judiciary and the military, with whom Sharif has strained relations, acting against him. The army denies any involvement.
The Supreme Court's five-member panel ruled unanimously that Sharif should be disqualified, enacting little-used Article 62 of the Constitution which allows dismissal of any lawmaker found to be dishonest. The court said Sharif failed to declare income from a company in United Arab Emirates ahead of the 2013 poll.
The court's decision follows a two-month probe by a Supreme Court-appointed panel that alleged the Sharif family could not account for its vast wealth.
"He is no more eligible to be an honest member of the parliament, and he ceases to be holding the office of prime minister," Judge Ejaz Afzal Khan said in court.
Sharif's allies say the court has overstepped its remit and point out that no charge of corruption or abuse of authority has been proved. Nor has he ever been convicted.
"Those who are happy and dancing will cry tomorrow," said Abid Sher Ali, a junior minister. "They have stabbed democracy in the back."
Prior to the decision, several cabinet ministers, including Sharif's closest allies, said the ruling party would respect the verdict.
"Go, Nawaz, Go," shouted supporters of the PTI opposition party who had gathered outside the court and jeered politicians from Sharif's party.
Analysts have warned that another bout of political turmoil would spook foreign investors, who are already reticent to invest in Pakistan, deterred by security fears and a tough business climate.
The benchmark stock index tumbled 3.4 percent after the announcement but then regained some ground. The index, which was one of the world's best performing in 2016, recorded major outflows during the two-month investigation into Sharif. The rupee currency, which is part of a managed float, has largely been stable.
"DEMOCRACY A TARGET"
Sharif has always denied any wrongdoing and has dismissed the investigation into him as biased and inaccurate.
"This is not accountability, it is revenge," tweeted Railways Minister Khawaja Saad Rafiq hours before the verdict. "In an effort dislodge us, the democratic system has been made a target."
Sharif's two previous stints in power were also cut short, including by a military coup in 1999, but he returned from exile to win a resounding victory in general elections in 2013.
The Supreme Court ruled in April there was insufficient evidence to remove Sharif from office - by a 3-2 verdict - but it ordered a probe by an investigative panel that included members of the military intelligence agencies.
The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) this month returned its findings in a 254-report that said Sharif's family assets do not match their earnings. The panel also accused his children, including daughter Maryam, of signing forged documents to obscure ownership of the London flats.
The Supreme Court's decision to include two members of the country's military intelligence agencies as part of the six-person JIT team had fuelled rumours Pakistan's powerful generals had a hidden hand in the probe against Sharif. The military, however, has carefully distanced itself from the proceedings.
Analysts expect Sharif to push for one of his allies to form a government until elections are held next year, when his brother Shahbaz, who is the chief minister in Punjab province, may take over the party leadership.
Maryam, who will now face a criminal investigation, tweeted photos of top PML-N leadership and said the party remains united.
"Today will pave the way for Nawaz Sharif's resounding victory in 2018. He will be unstoppable. Insha'Allah," she tweeted.
(Reporting by Asif Shahzad; Writing by Drazen Jorgic; Editing by Kay Johnson and Nick Macfie)
Thursday, 27 July 2017
Tensions over nuclear weapons have been raised further after North Korea claimed to have successfully test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.
This latest move comes amid increasing concern over North Korea's military capabilities, with the new US administration upping its rhetoric in response.
While the Pyongyang regime increases the frequency with which it is conducting missile tests, Donald Trump's defence secretary Jim 'Mad Dog' Mattis has warned North Korea of an "effective and overwhelming" response if Pyongyang used nuclear weapons.
Elsewhere, rhetoric hints at a return of the expansion of nuclear arsenals across the world. In December, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a meeting of defence chiefs that strengthening nuclear capability should be a key objective for 2017. Donald Trump then took to Twitter to respond, vowing to do the same.
Such rhetoric has led to concerns about the world's nuclear capacity and the unpredictability of those in charge of the warheads.
It seems the world is a long way from "coming to its senses" - with millions of kilotons already in military service around the world.
Between them, the world's nuclear-armed states have around 15,000 warheads - the majority of which belong to the US and Russia.
It is estimated that just under 10,000 of these are in military service, with the rest awaiting dismantlement, according to the Arms Control Association.
Which countries have nuclear weapons?
There are five nuclear-weapon states in the world: China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and the United States. These are officially recognized as possessing such weapons by the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.
This treaty acknowledges and legitimizes their arsenals, but they are not supposed to build or maintain them forever. Indeed, they have committed to eliminate them.
There are also four other countries that have nuclear weapons: Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea. These countries didn't sign the Treaty, and together possess an estimated 340 nuclear weapons.
But it's Russia and the US that have by far the most in the world - dominating all other countries by collectively sharing 88 per cent of the world's arsenal of stockpiled nukes. This figure increases to 93 per cent when we consider retired nukes.
How deadly could these nuclear weapons be?
The world's current collection of 14,900 nuclear weapons possesses enough power to kill millions of people and flatten dozens of cities.
According to Telegraph research, it is estimated that the US and Russian arsenals combined have power equating to 6,600 megatons. This is a tenth of the total solar energy received by Earth every minute.
According to the NukeMap website, the dropping of the B-83, the largest bomb in the current US arsenal, would kill 1.4m people in the first 24 hours. A further 3.7m people would be injured, as the thermal radiation radius reached 13.km.
Likewise, the "Tsar Bomba" is the largest USSR bomb tested. If this bomb was dropped on New York, it is estimated that it could kill 7.6m people and injure 4.2m more. The nuclear fallout could reach an approximate area of 7,880km on a 15mph wind, impacting millions more people.
Both America and Russia's arsenals are regulated by several treaties that place limits on the numbers and kinds of warheads and delivery systems they have.
If either country were to expand their nuclear capacity even further, as Trump and Putin have hinted at, it could shatter these agreements and plunge the world into a new Cold War.
The figures on nuclear weapons, based on statistics from the Arms Control Association, are mainly estimates because of the secretive nature with which most governments treat information about their arsenals.
Wednesday, 26 July 2017
Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla (TSLA) and Space X, recently sounded the alarm that murderous artificial intelligence-powered robots could one day rampage through American neighborhoods. And the only way to stop them, he said, is to begin regulating AI before it destroys us all.
Musk’s warnings that AI poses an “existential threat” may have been a bit dramatic, but he’s not the only expert hoping for some kind of government regulation of AI. And as companies from Apple (AAPL) and Amazon (AMZN) to Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOG, GOOGL) continue pouring money into the field, those regulations may be needed sooner than later.
AI on the market
Carnegie Mellon’s Manuela Veloso, an expert on AI, doesn’t believe we’re even close to the point where an army of T-1000s will march down Broadway and demand our fealty.
But we should have regulations of any AI-created products that reach the mass market to ensure the safety of consumers, according to Veloso, department head of the machine learning department at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science.
“I believe there should be regulation [of AI] the same way if you and I would create some kind of milk in a factory,” Veloso said, noting that the Food and Drug Administration, for example, would have to approve a “new kind of milk” before it reached the general public.
Veloso, however, draws the line at regulating AI research. Instead, she believes scientists should be able to push the limits of AI as far as they can in the safety of their labs.
“I think the research, before it becomes a product, you can experiment, you can research or anything, otherwise we’ll never advance the discoveries of AI,” she said.
Regulating AI like people
Bain & Company’s Chris Brahm, meanwhile, believes AI should be regulated not just when it serves the mass market, but also when it’s tasked with performing the same jobs we regulate humans — jobs like banking.
“Today, as a society we have clearly decided that certain types of human decision making need to be regulated in order to protect citizens and consumers. Why then would we not, if machines start making those decisions … regulate the decision making in some form or fashion?” he said.
Who regulates the AI?
So researchers and experts agree that there should be regulations put into place. The big question, though, is who will create those rules.
The government doesn’t have a regulatory body dedicated to ensuring that AI is properly vetted, and while it may not be able to stomp around crushing cars, the technology is already beginning to permeate our society from our smartphones to our hospitals.
It doesn’t look like such a body will take shape and begin offering rules anytime soon, either. A House panel only recently began discussing regulations for self-driving cars, and those, in some states, are already on highways and residential streets.
“Generating and enforcing such regulations can be very hard, but we can take it as a challenge,” Veloso said.
So while Musk’s fear that the robot apocalypse is nearly upon us might be farfetched, his concerns over whether the government can implement any kind of regulations in a timely fashion are very real.
Sunday, 23 July 2017
Anya Shrubsole bowled England to a dramatic nine-run win over India in the Women's World Cup final at Lord's on Sunday.
India, set 229 to win, were well on course for victory at 191 for three in front of a full hose of more than 26,000.
But the dismissal of opener Punam Raut, who made a fine 86, lbw to Shrubsole, sparked a stunning collapse.
Shrubsole took five wickets for 11 runs in 19 deliveries as India, bidding for a first World Cup title on the ground where their men's side won an inaugural World Cup crown in 1983, slumped to 219 all out.
Pace bowler Shrubsole finished with stunning figures of six for 46 in 9.4 overs as England won a fourth World Cup title and third on home soil, by gaining revenge for their opening group stage loss to India.
Opener Smriti Mandhana -- who made 90 in that match -- was bowled for a duck by Shrubsole.
But fellow opener Raut hit Shrubsole back over her head for six.
Meanwhile India captain Mithali Raj, in what was, together with fellow 34-year-old Jhulan Goswami, likely to be her last chance to win a World Cup after being on the losing side in 2005, struck several fine boundaries.
But the all-time leading run-scorer in women's one-day internationals, effectively ran herself out for just 17.
Her exit brought in the big-hitting Harmanpreet Kaur, whose stunning 171 not out had set up India's semi-final win over reigning champions Australia.
Kaur lofted and swept left-arm spinner Alex Hartley for two huge sixes.
Raut went to fifty in 78 balls and Kaur got there in 80 balls.
But the duo were separated when Kaur swept Harley straight to Tammy Beaumont at deep backward square to end a stand of 95.
Sarah Taylor, arguably the best wicket-keeper in the women's game, then missed a chance to stump Raut, on 65 off spinner Laura Marsh.
Another chance went begging when Veda Krishnamurthy (10) was dropped by England captain Heather Knight at extra cover off pace bowler Jenny Gunn.
India's target was now under a run a ball and Veda Krishnamurthy raised a fifty stand with Raut off just 54 balls when she cut Shrubsole over point and drove her over mid-off for two fours in as many balls.
Raut's fine innings ended when she was lbw to Shrubsole, having faced 115 balls including four fours and a six.
It was the start of a cascade of wickets as panic set in.
Krishnamurthy made a fine 35 before she holed out off Shrubsole before Goswami was yorked by Shrubsole for a duck.
Shika Pandey was run out before Shrusbole, after Jenny Gunn had dropped a simple catch, ended the match by bowling Rajeshwari Gayakwad for a duck as England won yet another close game this World Cup.
Earlier pace bowler Goswami took three for 23 in 10 overs as India held England to 228 for seven.
Goswami's haul, which saw her take two wickets in two balls, included the dismissals of star batsman Taylor (45) and top-scorer Nat Sciver (51).
England started steadily after Knight won the toss.
But from 47 for none, they lost three wickets in quick succession to be 63 for three, with leg-spinner Poonam Yadav (two for 36) having Knight lbw for just one on the sweep.
Taylor and Sciver put on 83 before Goswami, the all-time leading wicket-taker in women's ODIs, struck in her second spell.
Taylor was caught down the legside by wicket-keeper Sushma Verma.
And 146 for four became 146 for five when Fran Wilson was lbw for a golden duck next ball.
But England's tail, with Katherine Brunt making 34, took them past 200 and those runs proved vital in the end.
Saturday, 22 July 2017
Trying to cut coffee out of your morning? A cup of hot water with fresh lemon juice is an ideal alternative that many nutritionists drink every day - and it's not just because of its tangy flavor! Here are four compelling reasons to make this quick concoction part of your morning ritual.
It helps you detox every day: While lemons may seem quite acidic, they're a surprisingly good source of an alkaline food that can help balance your body's pH; internist and doctor of integrative medicine Dr. Frank Lipman is a big proponent of a hot water with lemon habit, since the combination wakes up your liver and flushes out nasty toxins.
- It wakes up your digestive tract: This simple yet powerful beverage stimulates your gastrointestinal tract - improving your body's ability to absorb nutrients all day and helping food pass through your system with ease.
- It supports weight loss: Lemon juice contains pectin, a soluble fiber that has been shown to aid in weight-loss struggles. And if you've been sipping on a cup of tea loaded with sugar or honey every morning, this beverage will slash calories from your daily diet.
- It soothes an upset tummy: When you go to bed on a full stomach, pesky heartburn or a bloated belly can get in the way of your morning. Hot water cleanses your system, while the flavonoids from lemon juice may help reduce acidity in your stomach, so you feel like yourself sooner.
Thursday, 20 July 2017
This simple trick has what it takes to reignite your romance with coffee.
Looking to elevate your cup of coffee from simple to spectacular? All you have to do is one easy, science-backed trick. Chemists at the University of Bath collaborated with a British cafe to discover how the temperature of coffee beans affects flavor. They found that chilling coffee beans before grinding them resulted in a more tasty and aromatic dose of caffeine.
“What you’re looking for is a grind that has the smallest difference between the smallest and largest particle,” said Christopher Hendon, a chemist who was involved in the study. “If you have small grinds you can push flavor extraction upwards. We found that chilling the beans tightens up this process and can give higher extractions with less variance in the flavor—so you would have to brew it for less time or could get more coffee from the same beans.”
Cool, right? Instead of storing your coffee in your cupboard, try sticking it in an airtight container and toss it in the freezer the night before you grind and brew. And if you’re finally ready to give up the instant stuff thanks to this trick, try your hand at it.
By April Benshosan
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
A bird-like dinosaur has been discovered in Alberta, Canada.
The creature, named Currie’s Alberta hunter, stalked the Red Deer River Valley about 71 million years ago, according to a paper published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.
It walked on two legs, was covered in feathers, grew to just under two metres long and would have weighed about 60kg. It is thought to have eaten a mixed diet of meat and plants.
Initially palaeontologists thought the fossilised remains belonged to its close relative, the Troodon, reputed to have been the cleverest of the dinosaurs because of the large size of its brain compared to its body.
However after analysing its bones they concluded it was a different species because of its shorter and more robust skull.
“The delicate bones of these small feathered dinosaurs are very rare. We were lucky to have a critical piece of the skull that allowed us to distinguish Albertaventaor [Alberta hunter] as a new species,” said Dr David Evans, of the Royal Ontario Museum, who led the research.
“We hope to find a more complete skeleton of Albertavenator in the future, as this would tell us so much more about this fascinating animal.”
An artist’s impression of what the dinosaur would have looked like suggested it would have looked a lot like a modern bird but very much bigger and with short, ineffective “wings”.
It had serrated teeth and was related to the velociraptor, a dinosaur made famous by the Jurassic Park movies.
The dinosaur was given the scientific name Albertavenator curriei in honour of Dr Philip Currie, a renowned Canadian palaeolotologist.
Its fossilised remains were found in the 1980s near the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller, Ontario, but it was only recently identified as a separate species.
The researchers said the discovery underlined the importance of re-examining museum collections.
Tuesday, 18 July 2017
Fox's War for the Planet of the Apes delivered a #1 finish this weekend, opening a bit higher than the studio's conservative expectations, though well below Mojo's aggressive, pre-weekend forecast. Meanwhile, Spider-Man: Homecoming dipped more than 60% in its second weekend and The Big Sick delivered decent numbers in its expansion, though, once again below Mojo's forecast. In fact, the same goes for the modest expectations for Broad Green's Wish Upon, as the PG-13 horror fell short of $6 million over its first three days in release.
Playing more like Rise of the Planet of the Apes than Dawn, Fox's War for the Planet of the Apes delivered an estimated $56.5 million this weekend from 4,022 theaters. That's a little over a million more than Riseopened with back in 2011 and well below the $72.6 million Dawn delivered in its 2014 opening. Fortunately, Waris carrying a budget $20 million lighter than Dawn, but the $150 million production still cost over $50 million more than Rise's $93 million price tag.
Audience demographics show the film playing to an audience that was 57% male versus 43% female, of which 63% were 25 years or older. Of the overall audience, 48% were Caucasian, 20% African American, 18% Hispanic and 10% Asian. Opening day audiences gave the film an "A-" CinemaScore, the same score received by both of its predecessors.
Looking ahead, while the opening may look a lot like that for Rise of the Apes, it seems unlikely the final domestic haul will live up to the $176.7 million that film ultimately delivered, despite the best reviews in the franchise. Just compare to last year's Star Trek Beyond, which also received strong reviews but could still only muster a $59 million debut compared to the $70 million debut for Star Trek Into Darkness. Ultimately, Star Trek Beyond went on to bring in just shy of $160 million domestically for a 2.68x multiplier. A similar run for War of the Apes would end in a domestic run just over $150 million.
Internationally, the film brought in an estimated $46 million from 61 markets. Among the openings, the UK lead the way with an estimated $9.5 million debut followed by Russia ($5m) and Spain ($3.4m). By comparison, Dawn debuted with $14.8 million in the UK ($11.2m at today's exchange rates), $9.8 million in Russia ($6.1m at today's exchange rate) and $4.6 million in Spain ($3.9m at today's exchange rate) as Apes fever seems to be down across the globe.
Finishing in second is Sony's Spider-Man: Homecoming, which dropped 61% in its second weekend with an estimated $45.2 million as its domestic cume know grows to over $208 million in its first ten days of release.
Internationally, Spider-Man delivered an estimated $72.3 million this weekend, bringing its overseas cume to $261 million and worldwide tally just shy of $470 million. Among new openings this weekend, the film debuted at #1 in France with an estimated $6 million and at #2 in Germany with an estimated $3.7 million. The film still has openings in Belgium, Spain, Japan and China upcoming.
Universal and Illumination's Despicable Me 3 finished in third with an estimated $18.9 million as its domestic cume is now just shy of $188 million. Internationally the animated feature crossed $400 million with an estimated $71 million from 61 territories this weekend for a global cume totaling $619.4 million.
TriStar's Baby Driver kept on rolling this weekend, dropping just 33% in its third weekend in release for an estimated $8.75 million bringing its domestic cume to $73.1 million.
Rounding out the top five is Lionsgate and Amazon's release of The Big Sick, which expanded into 2,597 theaters (+2,271) and delivered an estimated $7.6 million bringing the film's domestic cume to $16 million. This is a well short of Mojo's optimistic forecast, but still a decent performance for the rom-com. The true test will be to see how the film holds on looking ahead as it performed incredibly well in limited release and will now turn to word of mouth to carry itself through the coming weeks.
Wonder Woman enjoyed the smallest drop (29.9%) in the top ten, finishing just outside the top five in the film's seventh week in release, delivering an estimated $6.9 million weekend. That puts the film's domestic total over $380 million as it inches closer to topping the domestic run of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ($386.5m). Internationally, Wonder Woman brought in an estimated $3.3 million from 61 markets, bringing the film's overseas cume to $384.2 million for a global tally just shy of $765 million. The film has still yet to open in Japan where it will debut on August 25.
It isn't until seventh position that we find Broad Green's Wish Upon, which ran out of wishes and delivered an estimated $5.6 million opening from 2,250 theaters, $2,483 per theater. The film received a "C-" CinemaScoreand with three new wide releases hitting theaters next weekend will have to put in some work to remain in the top ten for two weekends in a row.
In limited release Roadside Attractions' Lady Macbeth debuted in five theaters and brought in an estimated $68,813 ($13,763 PTA); Alejandro Jodorowsky's Endless Poetry opened in two locations and debuted with an estimated $28,000; Vertical's Blind opened with $11,700 from 14 locations ($836 PTA); Big World's release of False Confessions in two theaters delivered an estimated $7,670; and Monument's release of Footnotes in one theater resulted in an estimated $5,900.
Next weekend will be interesting as not only will War of the Apes be in its second weekend along with Spider-Man in its third, but two more films vying for mostly the same demographic will be hitting theaters. First among them is the release of Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk into over 3,600 theaters followed by STX's release of Luc Besson's big budget sci-fi feature Valerian into over 3,400 theaters. Cornering it's own little segment of the marketplace, Universal will look to make a splash with the release of the R-rated comedy Girls Trip into ~2,500 locations.