‘I lucked out a bit’ – UK skier James Woods wins first world title

James Woods

James Woods on his way to gold at the FIS World Championships. Photograph: Jeff Swinger/EPA

Great Britain’s James Woods has been crowned world champion for the first time after winning the men’s ski slopestyle competition in Utah.

The 27-year-old defied difficult weather conditions to edge out Norwegian teenager Birk Ruud and US double Olympic medallist Nick Goepper.

Woods said: “It feels good. Obviously I couldn’t be more proud. I’ve put a lot of effort in over the years as everybody has.”

“It was a bit of a wild day to be honest with you,” Woods added. “We’re hanging off the side of a mountain here – judging the weather conditions, assessing the wind, knowing what the snow is doing. Today was a pretty close call whether it was going to be fair. I only care whether conditions are fair and everybody’s safe. I lucked out a little bit, but you’ve got to take it haven’t you?”

Woods had previously won a world silver medal in Voss in 2013 and bronze at Sierra Nevada in 2017. And victory was especially sweet for the Sheffield star who missed out on a Winter Olympic medal in Pyeongchang last year by just 1.2 points.

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 James Woods on the podium following the men’s slopestyle worldc hampionship race. Photograph: Rick Bowmer/AP

Woods had looked set to snatch a podium place in South Korea until Goepper edged him out with the final run of the competition.

Woods’s medal is Britain’s third of the championships after Charlotte Bankes and Izzy Atkin took silver and bronze in snowboard-cross and Ski Big Air, respectively.

[“source=theguardian”]

GSAT-31: ISRO launches India’s 40th communication satellite

GSAT-31, GSAT-31 satellite, GSAT-31 communication satellite, ISRO GSAT-31 satellite, isro satellite launch, isro communication satellite, arianespace launch vehicle, satellite launch live

SRO launched India’s 40th communication satellite, GSAT-31, onboard European launch services provider Arianespace launch vehicle, this morning, from French Guiana.

The satellite was placed into the orbit within 42 minutes of its launch from Ariane Launch Complex at Kourou, a French territory located in the northeastern coast of South America, at 02:31 am (IST).

The satellite, GSAT-31, derives its heritage from ISRO’s earlier INSAT/GSAT satellite series, the space agency said, adding that it provides Indian mainland and island coverage.

“It gives me great pleasure on the successful launch of GSAT-31 spacecraft onboard Ariane-5, this is the third mission for ISRO in 2019,” ISRO Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC) Director S Pandian said soon after the launch.

1. With a mission life of around 15 years, GSAT-31 will be used for supporting VSAT networks, television uplinks, digital satellite news gathering, DTH-television services, cellular backhaul connectivity, and many such applications.

2. It will also provide wide beam coverage to facilitate communication over a large oceanic region, comprising large parts of Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, using a wide band transponder.

3. According to ISRO, two Ku-band beacon downlink signals are transmitted for ground tracking purpose.

GSAT-30 is another geostationary satellite to be lofted soon by Arianespace.

Since the launch of India’s APPLE experimental satellite on Ariane Flight L03 in 1981, Arianespace has orbited 22 satellites and signed 24 launch contracts with the Indian space agency.

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[“source=indiatoday”]

Apple busts Google, Facebook enterprise apps for flouting privacy rules

Apple blocked Facebook and Google from running their internal iOS applications after the two technology giants were found to be flouting privacy norms. Facebook was reportedly tracking iPhone usage data of teenagers through its Facebook Research app, while Google was misusing iOS certificates and inviting its users to download an app called Screenwise Meter, which is not on the Apple store.

The companies have taken advantage of Apple’s Developer Enterprise Program, which helps certain partners of the company to test and distribute apps – but only to test new features before releasing the final version to the public. Apple had revoked the certificates given to Facebook when it was revealed that Mark Zuckerberg-owned Facebook allegedly paid people, who were not its employees, to test out its research app.

Enterprise certificates were restored for both tech firms later, but Apple has sent a strong message to them about respecting user privacy.

In a statement, Facebook said: “People participating in the Research app were asked for their permission, less than 5 percent of whom were teens  – in which cases, they were allowed to participate with parental consent forms.”

Reportedly, Facebook paid people about $20 a month to install and use the research app. While Facebook says this was done with permission, the company has a history of defining ‘permission’ loosely and obscuring what data it collects.

“I don’t think they make it very clear to users precisely what level of access they were granting when they gave permission,” mobile app security researcher Will Strafach said. “There is simply no way the users understood this.”

He said Facebook’s claim that users understood the scope of data collection was ‘muddying the waters’. This revelation is yet another blemish on Facebook’s track record on privacy and could invite further regulatory scrutiny.

For now, the app appears to be available for Android phones, though not through Google’s main app store.

When asked about its issues with Apple, Google said it had disabled the app on Apple devices and apologised for its ‘mistake’.

The company said Google had always been ‘upfront with users’ about how it used data collected by the app, which offered users points that could be accrued for gift cards. In contrast to the Facebook Research app, Google said its Screenwise Meter app never asked users to let the company circumvent network encryption, meaning it is far less intrusive.

[“source=moneycontrol”]

Money advice can’t be generalised

(Representative image)
NEW DELHI: There is a consistent complaint about this column. Why does it not provide specific action points? Can’t we have actual products as recommendations? Why explain the principles but stop short of converting them into thumb rules?

Personal finance cannot be generalised. Broad principles are universal, but actual application requires decisions the individual should make, based on their specific situation. Therefore, a specific set of steps will not work for all. So the effort is to point the reader to some principles, offer some ideas that enable them to think of their decisions, and provide frames for evaluation.

Let’s rework last week’s column on worries of the soon-to-retire generation. We tried to point out how those of us who don’t have a government pension, those who aren’t rooted to their bases, and those who don’t enjoy great health, might end up with a mixed bag of retirement experiences.

To convert that problem into an actionable set of rules would go like this: (I am not recommending these, only putting them here to illustrate a point). First, ensure that you earn a fixed income like a pension. Choose government-sponsored schemes and invest your retirement proceeds in schemes that offer annuity, pension, fixed interest and such. Second, make sure you have your own home to live in. Do not touch the retirement corpus. Third, buy a good medical insurance before any disease strikes. Fourth, do not stay idle, find something to do. Fifth, stay healthy.

The rest of the column can expound each of these. How much should the corpus be? How much to draw and how much to keep? Which medical insurance is best? Will the money get over if I pursue new hobbies?

The answers to all these questions is just math. In an excel sheet you can put numbers and assumptions, and you will soon have a number of scenarios and you can choose one that appeals to you most. We can make sense of the math, and make choices from what is on offer.

First, what should someone without pension do? Hopefully there is some money set aside—in PF, as investments and as assets. Bring all of it together. Include the houses, plot and gold—all assets you inherited or invested in. Evaluate each one and put them in those three boxes. You will get a sense of what you have.

Second, when you no longer earn an income, your assets must generate it for you. To know how much you need, make an estimate and include interests, travel, gifts and giveaways, and your regular expenses. What is a comfortable position? You have enough assets. A portion can be used to generate income, and a portion can grow in value and remain untouched.

Comfort in retirement is achieved when you have income that is enough and assets that are growing and can be tapped as inflation increases the amount of income you need. Money you need should be in income generating assets; money you don’t immediately need should be in growth generating assets. You need both. Over time you will shuffle between the two as needs change.

You already have many questions. And, there are no simple answers. You created the assets and you will bring them together and make them work the best for you. If that means selling your large house to move into a small one, and taking your spouse on a world cruise, you have to make that choice. No columnist can do it for you.

[“source=timesofindia.indiatimes”]