Contracts Awarded for Upkeep of Safety Equipment at Ports, Work on Norwood Housing Project

first_imgContracts Awarded for Upkeep of Safety Equipment at Ports, Work on Norwood Housing Project EnvironmentFebruary 23, 2010 RelatedContracts Awarded for Upkeep of Safety Equipment at Ports, Work on Norwood Housing Project RelatedContracts Awarded for Upkeep of Safety Equipment at Ports, Work on Norwood Housing Project RelatedContracts Awarded for Upkeep of Safety Equipment at Ports, Work on Norwood Housing Projectcenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Cabinet approved two contracts valued at just under $500 million for the upkeep of vehicles and safety equipment at the ports and for work on a housing project in St. James.Of the total $338 million (US$3.8 million) has been awarded to Science Applications International Corporation for the maintenance of five mobile and seven pallet vehicles and cargo inspection safety equipment used by the Port Authority of Jamaica (PAJ) effort to address security concerns.“As the principal body responsible for the regulation and development of the security for all marine port facilities within the island and for vessels navigating ports of entry, the Port Authority of Jamaica is mandated to take the measures to address the security concerns within the maritime industry,” said Minister with responsibility for Information and Telecommunication, Hon. Daryl Vaz at a recent post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.Meanwhile, a $161 million contract was awarded to Y.P. Seaton and Associates to undertake infrastructure works at Norwood section H in St. James.Minister Vaz noted that while some work was undertaken in the community under the Operation Pride programme, the community still lacked adequate infrastructure, such as roads, water, drainage and other facilities.He informed that sewerage works are not contemplated under the proposed contract.Norwood H is a section of the much larger Norwood informal settlement located east of the Montego Bay city centre and is bordered north by Providence Heights.There are about 4,000 people, who currently occupy the area. Advertisementslast_img read more

Geo-blocking in the games industry — a closer look at Valve’s EC fine

first_imgSuneet SharmaThursday 18th March 2021Share this article Recommend Tweet ShareIn January 2021 the European Commission (EC) fined Valve and five video game publishers a total of €7.8 million for breaching EU antitrust rules for entering into geo-blocking practices. The European Union has had these matters in its focus since March 2015, when it commenced an inquiry into antitrust competition in the European e-commerce market. European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager commented that customers faced too many barriers to buying products cross-jurisdictionally online. She went on to comment that EU antitrust rules would be enforced in the event these barriers were found to result from anti-competitive practices. Upon its conclusion the inquiry found that 60% of digital content providers who participated in the inquiry had contractually been found to geo-block. Geo-blocking refers to the practice of restricting the accessibility of goods or products in countries or territories.Collectively, the publishers and Valve were said to have placed geo-blocking restrictions across 100 titles In the case of Valve, this is primarily to prevent customers from buying products from markets with lower prices. In some content creation companies this allows for content to be targeted to specific territories, or usage of content to be limited to certain territories — for example, licensed new content to be broadcast only in a certain territory with additional fees for worldwide rights. As such, geo-blocking is common in companies that distribute content.It is in this context that the European Commission launched its investigation into Valve in February 2017. The focus here was the content of bilateral agreements that Valve had entered into with video game publishers, which purported to contain anti-competitive measures.In April 2019 the EC sent Statements of Objections to Valve, via Steam, and five video game publishers it had been trading with: Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home Interactive, Koch Media and ZeniMax. These alleged that the publishers had entered into agreements containing contractual export restrictions, and used geo-blocked activation keys to prevent cross border sales.All five game publishers indicated their intent to comply with the investigation, benefiting from the 10% reductions in any potential fines mandated for compliance. In contrast, Valve revealed its intention to not comply with the EC’s investigations. Collectively, the publishers and Valve were said to have placed restrictions across 100 titles.The finesAll this came to a head this January, with the EU Commission fining Valve €1,624,000 — the first fine of its kind for a gaming company. Fines for the publishers were also announced:These fines were assessed by a percentage of the value of the annual sales of the products concerned. The percentage of the fine can be up to 30% of the value of sales in question, depending upon the seriousness of the infringement, multiplied by the duration in years, plus 15 to 25% of relevant sales. Factors included are broad, such as the nature of the infringement, geographic scope and implementation. The fine is capped at 10% of turnover per infringement.The value of these fines can be in excess of millions of euros, and such figures are not uncommon from the EU Commission As you can see, the value of these fines can be in excess of millions of euros, and such figures are not uncommon from the EU Commission. Clothing retailer Guess was fined €40 million previously for restricting online sales. However, geo-blocking practices are a new area for the Commission, and these fines set a significant benchmark across the industry.Vestager commented: “More than 50% of all Europeans play video games. The video game industry in Europe is thriving and it is now worth over €17 billion.”Today’s sanctions against the ‘geo-blocking’ practices of Valve and five PC video game publishers serve as a reminder that, under EU competition law, companies are prohibited from contractually restricting cross-border sales. Such practices deprive European consumers of the benefits of the EU Digital Single Market, and of the opportunity to shop around for the most suitable offer in the EU.” A note on the lawThe Commission applied Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (“TFEU”) and Article 53 of the Agreement on the European Economic Area in concluding the activities of Valve and the publishers’ mandated fines. This is separate from the new geo-blocking focused Regulation 2018/302 on unjustified geo-blocking.Valve is fighting backValve’s lack of cooperation is notable here. Commenting to Eurogamer, it stated: “The EC’s charges do not relate to the sale of PC games on Steam — Valve’s PC gaming service. Instead, the EC alleges that Valve enabled geo-blocking by providing Steam activation keys and — upon the publishers’ request — locking those keys to particular territories (“region locks”) within the EEA. Such keys allow a customer to activate and play a game on Steam when the user has purchased it from a third-party reseller. Valve provides Steam activation keys free of charge and does not receive any share of the purchase price when a game is sold by third-party resellers (such as a retailer or other online store).Where Valve is providing a reseller with free geo-blocked Steam keys, it does not believe it can be held liable for this breach “The region locks only applied to a small number of game titles. Approximately just 3% of all games using Steam (and none of Valve’s own games) at the time were subject to the contested region locks in the EEA. Valve believes that the EC’s extension of liability to a platform provider in these circumstances is not supported by applicable law. Nonetheless, because of the EC’s concerns, Valve actually turned off region locks within the EEA starting in 2015, unless those region locks were necessary for local legal requirements (such as German content laws) or geographic limits on where the Steam partner is licensed to distribute a game. The elimination of region locks may also cause publishers to raise prices in less affluent regions to avoid price arbitrage. There are no costs involved in sending activation keys from one country to another, and the activation key is all a user needs to activate and play a PC game.”Essentially, where Valve is providing a reseller with free geo-blocked Steam keys, it does not believe it can be held liable for this breach of Article 101 TFEU, even if this results in anti-competitive outcomes.This is an interesting proposition grounded in the principle of vicarious liability in EU competition law. In these circumstances, can Valve be held liable for the anti-competitive actions of a publisher? Or was the issuing of the geo-blocked steam keys at the request of the reseller in and of itself anti-competitive? Previous cases seem to suggest that a narrow approach is taken to imposing liability on a seller where the actions of a reseller are anti-competitive. The Court of Justice of the European Union has acknowledged in VM Remonts and Others — C-542/14, EU:C:2016:578 — that a client who hired a third-party services provider which engaged in anti-competitive behaviour could be held liable if:Related JobsEnvironment Artists – New IP South East Creative AssemblyLead Sound Designer South East Creative AssemblyRemote Environment Artist Console Studio UK UK & Europe Big PlanetDiscover more jobs in games Valve further stated that the elimination of region locks may cause publishers to raise prices in less affluent regions to avoid price arbitrage. But in the event publishers cannot annex countries to allow for pricing fluctuations depending on customer buying power, they will likely resort to selling their products for a sometimes-higher recommended retail price across the EU. This ensures that they retain profits that would otherwise be lost from customers shopping around and getting the best deal across the Digital Single Market. Essentially this boils down to a long-debated impact of the DSM, a potential increase in the prices paid by consumers in a bid to save revenues that would otherwise be lost but for anti-competitive practices such as unjustified geo-blocking.However, unsolicited customer sales (also known as passive sales) in jurisdictions such as Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Romania were found to be restricted in Valve’s case — a serious hallmark of anti-competitive behaviour. This seriously undermines the approach envisaged by the Digital Single Market, where customers can shop around different countries for the best offer available. As such, it appears Valve’s arguments aren’t without their weaknesses. Further, it offers no defence for the bilateral agreements it entered into with resellers which were also found to be anti-competitive. More will become clear once the EC publishes its reasoning behind its findings in the next few months.Suneet Sharma is a legal professional and creator of the blog. All views are the authors own. This article is not intended nor constitutes legal advice.last_img read more

New, rapid dementia screening tool rivals ‘gold standard’ clinical evaluations

first_imgShare on Facebook Share on Twitter Share Determining whether or not an individual has dementia and to what degree is a long and laborious process that can take an experienced professional such as a clinician about four to five hours to administer, interpret and score the test results. A leading neuroscientist at Florida Atlantic University has developed a way for a layperson to do this in three to five minutes with results that are comparable to the “gold standard” dementia tests used by clinicians today.The “Quick Dementia Rating System” (QDRS), which uses an evidence-based methodology, validly and reliably differentiates individuals with and without dementia. When dementia is present, it accurately stages the condition to determine if it is very mild, mild, moderate or severe. QDRS has applications for use in clinical practice, to pre-qualify patients in clinical trials, prevention studies, community surveys and biomarker research.James E. Galvin, M.D., M.P.H., is one of the most prominent neuroscientists in the country and a professor of clinical biomedical science in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine and a professor in the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing at Florida Atlantic University, and the QDRS is his brainchild. He recently published an article on his findings in Alzheimer’s & Dementia, the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association. Galvin has developed a number of dementia screening tools including the AD8, a brief informant interview to translate research findings to community settings that is used worldwide to detect dementia in diverse populations. Emailcenter_img “After extensive testing and evaluation of the Quick Dementia Rating System, we have found it to be as effective as the gold standard used today to screen for the five stages of dementia,” said Galvin. “This new tool gives you a lot of power to see the same results as a full screening in a fraction of the time it takes for a complete screening.”The QDRS is a 10-item questionnaire that can be completed by a caregiver, friend or family member, and is brief enough to be printed on one page or viewed as a single screenshot, maximizing its clinical utility. Scores range from 0 to 30 with higher scores representing greater cognitive impairment. The questionnaire covers: 1) memory and recall; 2) orientation; 3) decision-making and problem-solving abilities; 4) activities outside the home; 5) function at home and hobbies; 6) toileting and personal hygiene; 7) behavior and personality changes; 8) language and communication abilities; 9) mood; and 10) attention and concentration.The total score is derived by summing up the 10 fields and each area has five possible answers increasing in severity of symptoms. The 10 areas capture the prominent symptoms of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, and non-Alzheimer’s neurocognitive disorders including Lewy Body Dementia, frontotemporal degeneration, vascular dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and depression.A total of 267 individuals with various forms of dementia from Alzheimer’s disease to Lewy Body Dementia participated in the study, which included 32 healthy controls. Study participants also included their spouses/significant others, adult children, relatives, friends and paid caregivers who completed the QDRS.“Most patients never receive an evaluation by a neurologist, geriatric psychiatrist, or geriatrician skilled in dementia diagnoses and staging. Early detection will be important to enable future interventions at the earliest stages when they are likely to be most effective,” said Galvin. “The QDRS has the potential to provide a clearer, more accurate staging for those patients who are unable to see these more specialized clinicians and get them the treatment, referrals and community services they so desperately need.”The Quick Dementia Rating System is copyrighted and permission to use this tool is required. QDRS is available at no cost to clinicians, researchers and not-for-profit organizations.Galvin is working to improve clinical detection by combining biomarkers including high density EEG, functional and structural MRI, PET scans and CSF biomarkers to characterize and differentiate Lewy Body Dementia from healthy aging and other neurodegenerative diseases. He led efforts to develop a number of dementia screening tools in addition to the QDRS and AD8, and has done cross-cultural validation of dementia screening methods in comparison with Gold Standard clinical evaluations and biomarker assays. His team also developed sophisticated statistical models to explore transition points in clinical, cognitive, functional, behavioral and biological markers of disease in healthy aging, mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. LinkedIn Pinterestlast_img read more

Arsenal ace Sead Kolasinac’s wife held by police at airport for bringing stun gun into the UK

first_imgARSENAL star Sead Kolasniac’s wife was held by police at an airport after bringing a stun gun into the UK.Anxious Bella Kolasinac, 27, bought the weapon for ­protection following a knife attack on her husband and Gunners team-mate Mesut Ozil in the street last year.Bella Kolasinac, wife of Arsenal’s Sead Kolasinac, was the Wag held for bringing a stun gun into the UKBella bought the weapon for ­protection following a knife attack on her husband last yearSecurity fears saw her flee to Germany soon after and she obtained a legal permit there to carry an “electro shocker”.But she did not realise the powerful device was illegal in Britain — and yesterday The Sun told how she was held by Border Force officers at London Biggin Hill Airport when it was found in her luggage.Bella sobbed she had bought the device for self- defence and said she had sought permission to import it.‘MISUNDERSTANDING’She could have been jailed for six months for importing a banned weapon but was let off with a caution after the flight from Frankfurt on Sunday.A spokesman for Kolasinac, 26, said: “It was all a misunderstanding. The electro shocker was still in its packaging and didn’t have any batteries.“Bella was able to prove she sent emails to the flight operators to make sure she could import it.“Unfortunately, she was in the air with her phone off when she received an email saying the device was illegal.“The airline had informed customs officers that she had the shocker before the plane landed. “She didn’t declare it because she didn’t think she had done anything wrong. These devices can be carried legally in a bag in ­Germany if the owner has a permit.“She’s obviously very ­security conscious after what happened to Sead and Mesut.”German-born defender Kola­sinac bravely tackled two ­helmeted robbers who pounced on Ozil’s Mercedes 4×4 in ­Golders Green, North London, last July.The unarmed player suffered slight cuts as he stood up to one of the thugs, who was armed with a foot-long spike.Both attackers admitted robbery and one got ten years’ jail.An Arsenal official said of the stun gun: “This is a private matter and we will not be commenting.”Kolasinac’s spokesman denied a cosh was also in Bella’s baggage.Mesut Ozil attacked by knife-wielding moped gang in London as Arsenal team-mate Sead Kolasinac fights thugs off with bare handsKolasinac and his Gunners team-mate Mesut Ozil were victims of a knife attack in the street last yearBella sobbed and said she had bought the device for self-defence – and had sought permission to import itBella told police she didn’t declare the stun gun because ‘she didn’t think she had done anything wrong’A spokesman for Kolasinac said his wife’s arrest was ‘all a misunderstanding’ People Slammed By Massive Waves 4 Funny Moments Of Football What’s This “Trick” Called? Comment Down Below!! Travel Diary // Vietnam 2017 10 INCREDIBLE Space Launch Failures!center_img Top 5 Best Budget Hotels In Dubai under AED 400 a night. Rebekah Vardy scores an impressive penalty in six-inch heels Real or Fake? Shark Attacks Helicopter Source: Soccer – read more