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JJ Abrams may inject a little Stephen King horror into Apple TV

first_img Aug 31 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors J.J. Abrams (seen with musician Sara Bareilles) is reportedly producing a Stephen King-adaptation for Apple’s upcoming video streaming service. Michael Short / Getty Images Apple TV Plus is reportedly getting a third J.J. Abrams-produced show, with the latest jumping into Stephen King horror.The Cupertino, California, company ordered an eight-episode adaptation of Lisey’s Story, King’s 2006 horror-romance novel for its upcoming TV streaming service, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Apple likely paid a tidy sum for the show, since it reportedly sparked a bidding war involving several companies.Oscar winner Julianne Moore will reportedly star as Lisey Landon, who’s trying to move on two years after her novelist husband’s death. As you’d expect from horror master King, she ends up facing some dark, repressed realities about her husband and has to deal with one of his fans stalking her. 26 Photos • King will apparently write all the episodes, which are being produced by Abrams and his production company Bad Robot. It’ll be executive produced by Moore, King, Abrams and Bad Robot TV boss Ben Stephenson, Hollywood Reporter noted.Neither Apple, Abrams, Moore nor King immediately responded to requests for comment.Star Wars: Episode 9 director Abrams is already involved in two shows that’ll appear on Apple’s streaming service — the Sara Bareilles romantic comedy Little Voice and Jennifer Garner-starring drama My Glory Was I Had Such Friends.First published at 3:26 a.m. PT.Updated at 4:06 a.m. PT: Adds more details. Tags Aug 31 • Your phone screen is gross. Here’s how to clean it Share your voice Apple 0 See All reading • J.J. Abrams may inject a little Stephen King horror into Apple TV Plus Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 CNET editors break down Apple’s TV Plus event Apple Celebrities show off their new series on Apple TV Plus Now playing: Watch this: 6:58 Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? TV and Movies Digital Media Internet Services Post a commentlast_img read more


No new tax laws in 10 years

first_imgDespite its compulsion to raise revenue earning, the government has in the past decade not been able to modernise tax-related laws.Official documents show, none of the new laws on value added tax (VAT), customs and income tax, that were initiated in 2009, the year the Awami League assumed office, has been made effective.As a result, the tax authorities have to abide by the old laws and system in collecting and increasing the revenue.The National Board of Revenue (NBR) is still using the law that was enacted in 1991 to collect VAT from the businessmen.The new VAT law, enacted in 2012, was scheduled to make its journey in July 2017. The deadline was, however, deferred by two years in the face of resistance from the business community.As per the new deadline, it is scheduled to come into force in July next.Asked about the matter, former caretaker government’s finance adviser AB Mirza Azizul Islam said the amendment to a law should begin at the beginning of a government’s tenure. He said if a law is planned to be made effective at the end of a regime, it creates unwanted situation for the government.“The law is not enough, its full execution is a must,” he added.Many of the taxable people, Mirza Aziz added, are evading VAT while there are nowadays many people in the villages who earn more than Tk 250,000 in a financial year.“Initiatives must be taken to bring them under the tax net.”The target of the revenue has increased by six and half times in the past 10 years.According to NBR, in the fiscal 2009-10, it was given a target of earning revenue amounting to Tk 610 billion, which has been raised to Tk 3,000 billion in the current fiscal year.In 2017, businesspeople protested and demanded separate VAT charges instead of a unified slab of 15 per cent VAT for all. The government backtracked on the deadline.The NBR too did nothing in this regard in the past one and half years.The authorities have not yet fixed the amendable areas in the new VAT law. The NBR just served a notice to the commissioners in this regard in the past month.Also, it requested two universities and a research firm to survey the possible impact of the new VAT law.Under the circumstances, the NBR will get only five months to complete the entire process.NBR member Rezaul Hasan, however, expressed confidence that the revenue board will be able to implement the law in due time.“We’re ready to implement the new law. When the law was introduced in 2017, the businessmen were not ready to comply with the it as they do not have the appropriate software to regulate the VAT payment system. We’ve already directed them in this regard. If they fail to do so this time around, it’s their own fault,” he said.The NBR has in the meantime started redrafting the customs law in 2012.Upon completion of other formalities, the authorities were supposed to execute the new customs law in July 2018, according to officials concerned.The draft law was approved by the cabinet last year but not rubberstamped by parliament. The law might be raised in parliament during the next budget session.The country is currently using the customs law of 1969.The income tax law is also quite old — the one made in 1984.The NBR decided to amend the law 10 years ago. In the meantime, the authorities have just drafted English version of the new law. They are now planning to make it in Bangla, officials said.NBR officials said the final draft of the law would be sent to the cabinet division before the next budget session.If enacted in due time, the NBR is planning to implement the new law in the fiscal 2020-21.“We want the new government to implement new VAT, tax and customs law as soon as possible,” said former president of Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry Abul Kashem Khan.He said there would be multi tiers in the new VAT law as per demand of the business community.The laws on customs and income tax, he added, must also have reflections of recommendations made by the businesspeople and the new laws must ensure hassle-free tax payment and business transactions.* This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print edition, has been rewritten in English by Toriqul Islamlast_img read more


Inflatable Habitats for Polar and Space Colonists

first_img Earth to Mars in 100 days: The power of nuclear rockets Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Humanity has long since established a foothold in the Artic and Antarctic, but extensive colonization of these regions may soon become economically viable. If we can learn to build self-sufficient habitats in these extreme environments, similar technology could be used to live on the Moon or Mars. Citation: Inflatable Habitats for Polar and Space Colonists (2007, January 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-01-inflatable-habitats-polar-space-colonists.htmlcenter_img Inflatable dome for cold, high-latitude regions on Earth. The main figure (a) shows a cross-section of the suggested biosphere, and the small figure (b) shows a top-down view. The important components are labeled: a thin, transparent double film on the sunlit side (1), a reflective cover on the shaded side (2), control louvers (3), the entrance (5), and an air pump/ventilator (6). The direction of the Sun is indicated by beams of light (4). The average temperature of the Antarctic coast in winter is about –20 °C. As if this weren’t enough, the region suffers from heavy snowfall, strong winds, and six-month nights. How can humanity possibly survive in such a hostile environment? So far we seem to have managed well; Antarctica has almost forty permanently staffed research stations (with several more scheduled to open by 2008). These installations are far from self-sufficient, however; the USA alone spent 125 million dollars in 1995 on maintenance and operations.[1] All vital resources must be imported—construction materials, food, and especially fuel for generating electricity and heat. Modern technology and construction techniques may soon permit the long-term, self-sufficient colonization of such extreme environments.Why would anyone want to live there? Exceptional scientific research aside, the Arctic is though to be rich in mineral resources (oil in particular). The Antarctic is covered by an ice sheet over a mile thick, making any mineral resources it may have difficult to access. Its biological resources, however, have great potential. Many organisms adapted to extreme cold have evolved unusual biochemical processes, which can be leveraged into valuable industrial or medical techniques.[2] Alexander Bolonkin and Richard Cathcart are firm believers in the value of this chilling territory. “Many people worldwide, especially in the Temperate Zones, muse on the possibility of humans someday inhabiting orbiting Space Settlements and Moon Bases, or a terraformed Mars” Bolonkin points out, “but few seem to contemplate an increased use of ~25% of Earth’s surface—the Polar Regions.”Indeed, the question of space exploration is intriguing. We would all like to know whether there is life on Mars, but robot probes can only perform the experiments they take along with them. Only humans are flexible enough to explore a new territory in detail and determine whether there are enough resources to sustain a long-term presence. Does modern technology really permit the design of lightweight, energy-efficient habitats suitable for other worlds? Greenhouse LivingThe Sun provides the Earth and Moon with about 1400 Watts per square meter, which is ample energy to warm a habitat even when the angle of the incident light and losses due to reflection are taken into account. On Mars, the sunshine is a little less than half as strong—which means that the equator of Mars receives about as much solar energy as the higher latitudes of Earth (Iceland, for example). The most efficient way to generate heat from sunlight is, of course, the well-known “greenhouse” effect. Given a transparent or translucent roof, any structure can hold onto the energy of sunlight long enough to transform it into heat. Glass works well for this, but glass is heavy and expensive to transport.Some good alternatives to glass are now available, however, and more options are on the way. Innovative manufacturing techniques have created many useful composite materials, including translucent, flexible membranes such as Saint-Gobain’s Sheerfill®. While these materials are certainly more expensive than glass, very little is required to construct a useful shelter.In a recent article submitted to arXiv.org [3], Bolonkin and Cathcart have designed an inflatable, translucent dome that can heat its interior to comfortable temperatures using only the weak sunlight of high latitudes. While many details remain to be worked out, the essential concept is sound. To improve the energy efficiency of the structure, they propose adding multiple insulating layers, aluminum-coated shutters, and a fine electrical network to sense damage to the structure. The dome would be supported entirely by the pressure of the air inside, which can be adjusted to compensate for the added buoyancy caused by high winds. The principle advantages of this design are the low weight and flexibility of the material. If only a few people at a time need shelter, an enclosure the size of a small house would weigh only about 65 kg, or as much as a person. This is light enough even for a space mission, and setting up would be as easy as turning on an air pump. For large colonies, enough membrane to enclose 200 hectares would weigh only 145 tons. The interior would be warm and sheltered, a safe environment for the construction of more traditional buildings and gardens.Bolonkin and Cathcart have attracted attention with their proposal, but a prototype has not yet been constructed.Notes:[1] Source: 1996 report on the U.S. Antarctic Program by the National Science and Technology Council; www.nsf.gov/pubs/1996/nstc96rp/chiv.htm[2] Source: Sam Johnston, “Recent Trends in Biological Prospecting”, UN University Institute for Advanced Studies; www.ias.unu.edu/sub_page.aspx?catID=35&ddlID=20[3] xxx.arxiv.org/abs/physics/0701098By Ben Mathiesen, Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.last_img read more