Disney Cruise Line Weekly Preview – Week of January 27, 2018

first_imgDisney Cruise Line: In The NewsLast week, Disney officially announced the Star Wars and Marvel sailings for 2019!Star Wars cruises will take place on nine different sailings of the Disney Fantasy from January 5 through March 2, 2019.  Each sailing will have a Star Wars Day at Sea with a deck party, fireworks, characters, unique food and drinks, and meet and greets galore.By the way, if you’re interested in a Star Wars cruise and don’t want to wait until next year, check out the chart below for specials on some of the 2018 Star Wars cruises!Marvel cruises will take place on ten different Disney Magic sailings to the Caribbean and Bahamas.  Theses cruises will depart from Miami on five night itineraries beginning January 6, 2019 and ending with the March 8, 2019 sailing.Marvel Day at Sea sailings will feature super heroes (and their foes), a deck show, merchandise, special food and drinks, youth activities, and more!And finally, this week’s special offers. Most every week of the year, Disney Cruise Line releases special offers for Florida Residents and U.S. Military Personnel.  There are also frequently IGT/OGT/VGT rates available for all guests to book.  These offers are extremely limited in availability, and all come with certain restrictions, but the prices are amazing! You can book these online, on the phone, or with your travel agent. These are the current offers available this week: Share This!The Disney Cruise Line Preview is brought to you by Storybook Destinations. Storybook Destinations specializes in Disney travel, is consistently highly rated by our readers, and is owned by our own blogger extraordinaire, Tammy Whiting. Storybook also offers free subscriptions to TouringPlans to clients with qualified bookings.Ahoy, mateys! I’m Heather, and I’ll be bringing you the up and coming on all things Disney Cruise Line. Welcome back again this week. Let’s see what’s new in the DCL world.Ports of Call Upcoming Entertainment The following films are being shown aboard the Disney Cruise Line ships this month:Beauty and the BeastGuardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No TalesCars 3Doctor StrangeStar Wars: The Force AwakensThor: RagnarokCocoMoanaStar Wars: The Last JediFor future reference, films debut on Disney Cruise Line the same day of their initial release in the United States. Films do vary by ship. Show times are available in your Personal Navigator or the official Disney Cruise Line app.Captain’s Log: Important Tips and Information Antigua Just Last Week!The Disney Wonder is finishing up another season in the Southern Caribbean next week.  If you haven’t tried a Southern Caribbean itinerary, you are missing out!  Disney doesn’t sail to Southern ports all the time, so these are cruises you need to watch for and jump on when they happen.  In 2019 the Wonder only has three Southern Caribbean sailings scheduled so far.   The Wonder is sailing to the Southern Caribbean from San Juan, Puerto Rico.  You may be interested to know that flights to San Juan are often very reasonable.  Southwest flies to San Juan.You’ve also got one chance to visit on the Fantasy in 2018.  The Fantasy will be sailing an 11 night Southern Caribbean itinerary in June from Port Canaveral.   These ports, like Antigua shown here, are beautiful!   Just go!Are you deciding whether to book a Disney Cruise but are having a tough time picking which ship fits all of your desires? Well, our own Laurel Stewart has put together a chart that makes it easy to compare all of the options in one place. Also available as a valuable planning and companion guide from authors Len Testa, Erin Foster, and Laurel Stewart is The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line. The companion guide contains a complete overview of each Disney ship as well as Castaway Cay and includes valuable tips on how to save time and money during your cruise!Special thanks Scott Sanders of The DCL Blog for assistance on this article.Thanks for joining me again this week. “Sea” you next time!!last_img read more

No turning back for 2010 hosts

first_imgXenophobia, widespread power cuts, the resignation of President Thabo Mbeki and a humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe were just some of the distractions organisers of the tournament had to contend with. What a long, strange year it has been. South Africa’s preparations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup have been marked by extraordinary highs and lows. Nobody said it was going to be easy, and for South Africa, gearing to host the biggest single-code sporting event on the planet, 2008 has certainly proved to be more than a litmus test. 24 December 2008 The grinding machinery tasked with building and renovating stadiums in all 10 host cities as well as numerous other 2010-related construction projects has performed remarkably well. Apart from the labour disputes, spiralling construction costs and political in-fighting that are part and parcel of preparing for an event of this magnitude, there were plenty of other issues. As Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke recently remarked: “There is no turning back.” 2009 promises to be another heady year for South Africa, but in just 12 months, hundreds of millions of people around the globe will be tuning in for the 2010 Final Draw, an event that will kick-start the biggest celebration this continent has ever seen. So much so, that both Fifa and the 2010 Local Organising Committee have expressed confidence that South Africa will meet its 2010 requirements ahead of schedule. In addition, preparations for the 2009 Confederations Cup – a key curtain-raiser for the World Cup – are on target, with tickets selling briskly. Urquhart is a former Fifa World Cup media officer and the current editor of Project 2010 “We need to harness this energy to talk up the event,” the organisation said in a recent statement. “We recall the incredible energy and joy that swept the whole country when the bid result was announced. Negativity risks damaging this energy and can affect our actual ability to do what we know we can do.” And yet, there was much to draw hope and inspiration from. TNS Research Surveys, which has gauged public confidence levels over preparations for 2010, says every South African stands to benefit considerably from our hosting of this event. There was also good news on the crime front, with the launch of the recruitment process for 41 000 extra police officers by 2010 and the acquisition of high-tech security equipment – including helicopters, body armour and high-tech bomb disabling equipment – for the tournament. last_img read more

Land Cruisers, blankets and snow

first_imgLesotho’s inhospitable, snow-covered highlands are home to a hardy people who nonetheless battle in the cold. The Land Cruiser Club of Southern Africa handed out almost 400 blankets toneedy communities in Lesotho.(Imagse: Kath Fourie) MEDIA CONTACTS • Elmarie de Marillac  Four Wheel Drive Club of SA  +27 861 393 272 RELATED ARTICLES • Riders saving lives in Lesotho • Lesotho lodge a top pick for 2010 • Bikers gear up for Toy Run 2010 • SA comics team up for charity • Wartrail: a winter wonderlandKath FourieAs I walk away from the St James lodge in Mokhotlong region in the remote highlands of Lesotho, the blurred scenes of the day flash through my somewhat frazzled brain.I’ve been snapping pics since 7:30am, travelling through the eastern reaches of the tiny kingdom, which at this time of year is a harsh, dry, bleached, frozen landscape.Stretching my legs while the members of the Land Cruiser Club Southern Africa (LCCSA) sort out who is sleeping where for the night, I come across three tiny girls with shaved heads each wielding a knife. They reach my hip in height and I wonder what they’re up to as they peer between the rockeries of a stone wall.When they see me sneaking up on them there is much giggling and hiding of faces under scrappy blankets, but I soon find out that they’re collecting ‘cabbage’. This turns out to be an assortment of paltry green-yellow leaves, weeds really, which are the only edible things that grow unassisted during the winter.We walk along a little while, and exchange names. It’s a simple interaction, and, I suppose, typical of a white person venturing into these parts. I can’t help but fall in love with Thato; she has the most sticky-out ears and painfully thin body yet carries herself with perfect grace. Eventually I walk on and they hurry back to their homes with the greens for dinner.This is the reality of Lesotho; a country landlocked by South Africa with a population of just over 2-million people, a disturbing HIV rate and a severe lack of employment opportunities. Children are skinny; the people are cold and desperate.The Basotho are a tough nation, make no mistake, but that doesn’t make having so little any easier. This is why we’re here, to hand out blankets to people who drastically need them.Supporting a worthy causeStructural engineer Kelvyn Davidson says: “My dad is a member of the Lions Club of Durban Host and I found out from him about their initiative to collect blankets for those in need this winter. I’m a member of LCCSA and I thought this would be a really worthy cause for us to support.”Davidson is one of the 5 000+ members of the LCCSA. The club has actually been around for a good while, but was formally structured in 2005. It predominantly operates with an online presence, consisting of a website and forum that collectively house one of the world’s biggest banks of information regarding absolutely anything to do with Land Cruisers.Hennie Kotze, a formidable Afrikaner who wears shirt sleeves as we huddle in our scarves and beanies, is one of the club’s volunteer custodians from Gauteng province.“A lot of the money used to buy the blankets came from club members who couldn’t make the actual trip,” he said. “It didn’t take more than a thread on the forum to get this whole thing going. That’s the beauty of the internet these days.”It also doesn’t take much to get a bunch of Land Cruiser enthusiasts on board for a trip to a place with terrible roads, a decent chance of snowfall and plenty of ice.With 100 blankets from the Lions Club of Durban Host and 274 from LCCSA, nine Land Cruisers wind their way up through the frozen dog-legs of the treacherous Sani Pass from KwaZulu-Natal into a frigid Lesotho and on to the Harvesters Hillock church in Mohkotlong.Here we’re greeted by the smiling pastor Ntate Ntsimane, and waste no time in setting out about half the blankets on a plastic tarpaulin next to the church. A crowd of children and women have been hanging around the church since 8 that morning, as they weren’t sure of our expected arrival time.“But look here,” Ntsimane says, lifting his left arm in the air and pulling down his sleeve, “This is Africa, no one wears a watch!”After the feeding scheme dishes out hot samp (made from maize kernels) and beans – which we are all offered, and want, but don’t take because it’s clear there isn’t enough – a short ceremony takes place and the blankets are handed out.Ntsimane tries to check each blanket off against his list of names before it gets too tedious, clearly wanting to make sure we know the blankets are going straight to the people for whom they’re intended.It’s a sentiment that I appreciate, as all too often in any desperate country corruption diverts 90% of goodwill into private pockets. I’m fairly certain that these thrilled kids, receiving blankets from the hands of the more privileged kids of the Land Cruiser families, are getting something they really need.Ntsimane wishes us well, and a good portion of blankets are loaded into the back of his pickup to be driven high up into the remote villages and handed out later. Before we leave he points up to the hills far in the distance and says: “That is where all these people are heading now, they have a far way to go.”My legs feel distinctly lucky as they squish up between two other taller people in the back of a 1990 Land Cruiser 62 series wagon, fondly named Maddy by her owner Warwick Chapman.Chapman’s brother Barry and his father Richard talk Land Cruiser-speak non-stop. I marvel at how much technical jargon they know, and I realise that yes, I may think Land Cruisers look cool; but that’s nowhere near enough to contribute towards to the conversation.I think my final faux pas is accidentally saying, “So how many Land Rovers are there on this trip?” This is greeted first by stunned silence and then shortly followed by a disgusted “None. But there are nine Land Cruisers.” I decide to keep quiet.Making a differenceFast-forward a few hours and I’ve already met the three little foragers from earlier in my story, and we’ve now settled into the basic accommodation at St James mission. Fires blaze inside and out, there is plenty of food and a few sneaky bottles of wine and sherry. It’s pleasant, but everyone is acutely aware of the people living in the pitch black around us. We know the huts are there, filled with families who will face the night without warm sleeping bags and nourishing mutton stew.Hennie stands up, still in shirt sleeves: “I just want to say what a wonderful trip this has been. I felt today, when we arrived at that church with our big, shiny Land Cruisers all in a row, that it might look bad, you know? We are so lucky to have what we have. But I realised as we handed out the blankets that what we were doing was really important.”Hennie’s right; yes, a big shiny Land Cruiser can be seen as a distinct division between a poor Basotho and a comparatively rich South African, but driving from all corners of South Africa to bring people something they need and can’t afford is a fine display of compassion.The temperature in the night drops to -11 ̊C, and tent dwellers wake to ripples of ice formed by the condensation of their breath. We say goodbye and split into two teams, those going out of Lesotho in the north and those heading back into KwaZulu-Natal. On the way we distribute the remainder of the blankets, stopping at villages that look worse off than others.But we begin at the village below St James, and I look around surreptitiously for my three little friends. I’m just heading back to the car when I spy Thato peering from behind a hut. I dash back to grab a blanket from a Cruiser, and Thato looks bewildered when I hand it to her.I fight the urge to bend down and hug her. Thato wouldn’t be pleased with me squeezing her; she is too distinguished for that. Staring up at me, with a look that suggests she thinks I may very well be insane, Thato smiles quizzically. She waves goodbye as we move off, the bulk of the grey blanket highlighting how slim she is. Like a wispy, winter leaf.last_img read more

Research: Mobile Ad Inventory Could Swallow All Internet Advertising

first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology dan rowinski Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Yet, recall this report from research firm Nielsen a couple of weeks ago. Of all Android apps that users download, only the top 50 or so make up the vast majority (61%) of use. So, while inventory for all mobile applications has risen exponentially, only the real top-tier of apps are worth it to advertisers. Though we do not have specific numbers for iOS app usage, it is probably comparable to Android use. Flurry paints a pretty picture. On one hand, they are not wrong. Mobile display ads are definitely an attractive option for advertisers and developers looking to make money on their content. Yet, as a market, there is not yet full inundation that will support the entire ecosystem. It still comes down to making a product that consumers will actually use. Total inventory is interesting, but advertisers go where the eyeballs actually are. Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Mobie analytics company Flurry released research today that shows that the available inventory for mobile advertising could absorb all Internet advertising. That means that available display ad spots for iOS and Android could take over just about all revenue for Internet advertising.Now, while mobile growth has been staggering over the last two years, there are several aspects to keep in mind here that Flurry does not touch on. Foremost, Flurry is taking into account the total amount of inventory available for the more than 600,000 apps available between Android and iOS. That does not necessarily mean that most apps make attractive targets for advertisers.Flurry sees four reasons why mobile advertising inventory is growing so fast:Smartphone growth – More than a million activations across platforms per day.Publisher growth – More developers, more apps.Session use growth – Users spending more time using their apps.Publisher integration of ads – More screen space, more complex apps make for more advertising potential.Yesterday research firm comScore came out with smartphone user numbers for July that showed nearly 82.2 million Americans, or about a third of all U.S. consumers, are now smartphone users. That number is rapidly approaching the magical inflection point of 50% smartphone market penetration that signals the difference between a mainstream fad and an integral part of the consumer experience.Flurry paints a pretty picture. On one hand, they are not wrong. Yet, as a market, there is not yet full inundation that will support the entire ecosystem.Hence, apps and their inventories have grown exponentially as well. Yet, as we have seen from other reports, even though users may download a lot of apps, they do not always use a lot of apps.Flurry also notes that smartphone users have a higher average income and tend to hold more bachelor degrees (or higher) than the average American household. With mobile advertising expected to be a $1.1 billion market this year, certainly mobile ads are attractive to advertising firms. “For mobile apps, less than four years into their growth cycle, a critical mass of highly attractive consumers has been achieved,” Flurry says in its report. “With growing awareness by brands and advertising agencies, we now expect digital advertising on mobile to take off in earnest.” Tags:#marketing#mobile#Mobile Ads#news Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more

Harry Potter Wizards Unite developer Niantic acquires AR studio

first_img Post a comment Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice 1:53 Niantic is expanding its footprint in Harry Potter’s home country. Portkey Games It’s a big week for Niantic, which expanded its UK studio just before Harry Potter: Wizards Unite lands in the US and UK (here’s how you get started playing Harry Potter: Wizards Unite). The Pokemon Go developer acquired London-based Sensible Object, known for games like the AR-tabletop hybrid Beasts of Balance and Amazon Alexa-powered When in Rome, which basically combine physical and digital experiences.It’ll spearhead Niantic London along with Matrix Mill, an AI and machine vision research team Niantic bought in 2018, GamesIndustry noted. The studio’s older games will still be supported, former Sensible Objects studio head Alex Fleetwood (who’s now leading Niantic London) said in a blog post.Versus: Harry Potter: Wizards Unit beats Pokemon Go every way but one Tags 19 Photos Pokemon Go Harry Potter Mobile Gaming The coolest Pokemon collectibles “CEO John Hanke and his team have an incredible, progressive vision for the future of play that resonates deeply with us; building global communities, pioneering new forms of augmented reality, and helping people get outside, get exercise and connect with one another in the real world,” he wrote.The post includes a photo of the team, one of whose members is holding a Vaporeon plush — perhaps suggesting that they’ll be focusing on Pokemon Go initially.Hanke, Niantic’s boss, hinted that the London team’s experience fits nicely with the company’s gaming ambitions.”We’re excited about Sensible Object joining Niantic as it significantly advances our efforts in developing a wide range of gaming experiences that bring the physical and digital world closer together,” Hanke said in a separate post. “The team’s deep roots in large-scale outdoor activations in particular is very complementary to the many Niantic real world events we host around the world to engage with our loyal players.”It’d be pretty exciting to see the former Sensible Object team bringing its hybrid approach to Pokemon Go or Wizards Unite, especially as Niantic faces major competition from Microsoft’s upcoming AR game Minecraft Earth.First published at 3:25 a.m. PT.Updated at 4 a.m. PT: Adds more detail. 0 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite gameplay details revealedlast_img read more

Sheikh Hasina opens Sheikh Hasina Cantonment in Patuakhali

first_imgPrime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurates several development works in Lebukhali of Patuakhali on Thursday. Photo: PIDPrime minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday inaugurated the newly-set up ‘Sheikh Hasina Cantonment’, aiming to strengthen the defence system in the country’s southern region, reports UNB.The prime minister opened the country’s 31st cantonment on the bank of the Payra River at Lebukhali in Dumki upazila of the southwestern coastal district of Patuakhali in the morning by unveiling its plaque.She also hoisted national standard of 11 headquarters and units, including the adhoc headquarters of 7 infantry division.Ministers, parliament members, the chiefs of the three services, diplomats, former chiefs of army and senior government officials were present on the occasion.The new cantonment has been constructed on about 1,400 acres of land.Sheikh Hasina inaugurated 14 development projects and laid the foundation stones of another scheme of Patuakhali district by unveiling their plaques from the same venue.The projects opened by the prime minister are a 50-bed Diabetic Hospital in Patuakhali, Deuli 10-bed Mother and Child Welfare Centre in Mirjaganjupazila, Sabupura 10-bed Mother and Child Welfare Centre in Baufal upazila, the newly constructed dormitory of the Government Shishu Paribar, Kazi AbulKashem Stadium, Dashmina Upazila Muktijoddha Complex Building, the West.Chakmaia Government Primary School-cum-Cyclone Centre under Kalapara upazila,East Dalbuganj Government Primary School-cum-Cyclone Centre in Kalapara,Hogla Government Primary School-cum-Cyclone Centre, Kalapara UpazilaMuktijoddha Complex, Galachipa Muktijoddha Smriti Complex, Digital PublicityScreen at the Office of the Patuakhali Deputy Commissioner and Shaheed SheikhKamal Smriti Complex Auditorium.She also laid the foundation stone of administrative building extension and hall room of Galachipa Upazila Parishad.last_img read more

Compilators of social media channels must be stricter Bratya

first_imgKolkata: Stressing the importance of cyber security, State IT Minister Bratya Basu on Wednesday said the compilators of various social media channels must be stricter to curb fake news.He was speaking at Cybercon 2018 and Technology Excellence Awards organised by the ASSOCHAM at a city hotel on Wednesday. Basu said the compilators of social networking sites must be on high alert to prevent such incidents.”We cannot take action against those who circulate fake news on social media. We can only identify them. It is the responsibility of the internal teams of various social networking sites to ban those who are involved in social crime from using their platforms. The nature of cyber crime is different from the others,” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeBasu maintained.Earlier on the day, State Additional Chief Secretary of IT department Debashis Sen said Blockchain technology, which the Bengal government has embraced, and the introduction of Fintech hub in New Town will bring a new dimension to the field of cyber security in the state. Nowadays, people are exposed to cyber threats. The onion server also poses a threat to people. Sen stressed on the need of Blockchain technology to check the cyber threats. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”If the introduction of Blockchain technology and fintech hub works out well, we will be able to tackle cyber crime. We have to pull our resources together and maintain cooperation between various fields like Telecom, E-commerce, emerging technology like Blockchain,” Sen said.Fintech hub is the brain child of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee that will give a big boost to the IT department in fighting cyber threats. It is the Banerjee government that introduced Blockchain technology in the state. It may be mentioned that Blockchain provides secure public databases that are free from cyber attacks. There is a deep connection between Blockchain and Fintech, data sciences and cyber security and all of this are related to each other.Sen also sought co-operation from our neighbouring countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and others to fight cyber security issues as they go beyond boundaries. He also had a detailed discussion with Information and Communication Technology Minister of Bangladesh Zunaid Ahmed Palak on how both the countries can work together in this regard. Bengal has selected Blockchain as a technology for the future. The state IT department has tied up with the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-Dac) and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology to provide training and awareness about cyber security.A 24-hour online help-desk has also been thrown open by the department so that people can report any cyber security issues that they might have encountered.The state government is going to organise an international conference on how to check human trafficking in the digital arena. The event is scheduled to take place in December this year and state Women & Child Development and Social Welfare department will host the programme.last_img read more

Your Technology Initiative Failed Heres 8 Reasons Why

first_img It’s one of the most frustrating things in business — you spend months planning a technology initiative, but it never gets implemented. These non-starters not only can bruise egos, they can cost organizations untold expense, damage trust in those championing projects and hurt the ability to complete other projects. Here are eight reasons why it happens:1. Unclear goals.If your whole team understands the underlying goals of a project, they are more likely to make decisions in alignment with what you’re trying to accomplish. As you add team members, make sure they’re on board in a way that not only tells them what to do, but also provides the “why.”2. No buy-in.Different parts of an organization have different reporting lines and goals. To get buy-in from other teams, look for ways that your project can be beneficial to other groups within your organization. The political capital you could end up walking away with can be huge.Related: How to Build Incredible, Game-Changing Technology Fast (and Right)3. Conflicting initiatives.Sometimes these goals are complementary and sometimes they are at odds. To keep your initiatives from falling into a political abyss, involve others in the planning phases. And as your projects mature, look for ways to keep communication flowing, trying to keep conflicts at a minimum. After all, conflicts often mean overlapping costs, so this should help keep your costs in check as well.4. Costs.Cost is a huge concern in most every organization these days. To make sure your initiatives stay within an appropriate cost structure, have a target Return On Investment (ROI) for each. A realistic ROI is often the most important aspect of a project. The ROI isn’t vaguely to “make more profits.” Instead, ROI should be represented in clear, concise and quantifiable metrics, well communicated throughout the organization, not just the stakeholders on your team.Related: 2 Lessons You Can Learn From Entrepreneurial Failure5. Bad tactics.No matter how good your strategy, your initiative may fail because of tactical execution issues. Often, when the proverbial rubber meets the road, the tactics might be incomplete, in the wrong order, based on bad assumptions or just end up being bad ideas. I find the best way to protect from poor tactics is to use peer review to identify potential problems.6. The technology is the wrong fit.Sometimes technology is too new or buggy or simply doesn’t meet the goals of the initiative. The best way to make sure your software is the right fit is to solicit as much feedback as possible. For example, if you are implementing new Customer Relationship Management software and haven’t discussed the project with sales teams then how can you be sure that the CRM is the right fit for the organization?7. Bad project management.Depending on the scale of a project, a good project manager will reign in many of the most critical aspects of a project, communicating change with key stakeholders. Before you start a project, decide how the project will be managed and setup milestones and a communication plan early.8. Communication.Your team needs to be clear about all the things: underlying goals, project plans, who the key stakeholders are, who’s funding the project, what to do when going over budget and anything else important. This isn’t a repeat of the previous items, it’s to emphasize that if people don’t know about each aspect of the project they cannot successfully implement it.Related: Technology You Bought But Won’t Learn to Use Is Money WastedWhile I’ve focused here on technology, nearly all these reasons and strategies are applicable to any new initiative being implemented across an organization. What challenges have you encountered with your new initiatives? August 31, 2016 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read Register Now »last_img read more