Russia says U.S. military curbs on space cooperation are unfair competition

Russia accused the United States of trying to unfairly grab market share in the space services industry on Friday after the U.S. military imposed restrictions on space launch cooperation with Moscow.

Reuters: Science News

BEST DEAL UPDATE: – Over 50 Million Minutes of Calm Discovered!

‘Once Upon a Time in Hollywood’ Joins Cannes’ Competition Roster

The suspense is over: Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” will indeed have its world premiere and compete at the Cannes Film Festival, the fest announced Thursday. “Intermezzo” from Abdellatif Kechiche, the Palme d’Or-winning director of “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” has also been added to the competition slate. The star-studded movie has […]



Photo Flash: COME FROM AWAY, BE MORE CHILL, FROZEN, and More Participate in the 2019 Easter Bonnet Competition

The 2019 Broadway Cares Easter Bonnet Competition was held earlier this week. The Easter Bonnet Competition broadwaybonnets is the culmination celebration of six weeks of fundraising by Broadway, Off-Broadway and national touring companies. Featured Content


Austria calls for European stance on Huawei to ensure competition

Europe should agree a joint position on whether or not Chinese firm Huawei is allowed to equip 5G networks for next-generation mobile networks to ensure fair competition, Austria’s technology ministry said on Wednesday.

Reuters: Technology News


Save 25% Off Full Size Kaplan MD Skincare (Excludes Lip and Skincare Sets)!

Caribbean Women Reported as First All-Black Women’s Rowing Team to Cross Atlantic Ocean in Grueling Sport Competition

Four women from Antigua have just completed a grueling rowing competition and many are heralding them as the first all-black women’s rowing team to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Their official team name is Team Antigua- The Island Girls.

Competitive rowers Elvira Bell, Christal Clashing, Samara Emmanuel, and Kevinia Francis participated in the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge. They set course on Dec. 12 from the Canary Islands and landed in Antigua on Jan. 30—a 3,000-mile trip. A fifth member of the team, Junella King did not actively participate in the race, but trained with the others and served as an alternate.

According to the Indy100 website, the rowing race is one of the toughest in the world. Rowers burn an average of 8,000 calories during the competition.

The women competed in name of their chosen charity, Cottage of Hope, which offers short- and long-term residency to girls who are abused, neglected, or orphaned. Their goal was to raise $ 150,000 for the organization.

The nation of Antigua burst into collective celebration as the women finished the race. As per The Loop, the country’s government officials shortened a budget debate so that politicians could be present when the team arrived in their homeland. Public and private institutions closed early so that more people could meet with and congratulate the team.

The team battled sea sickness and their boat nearly capsized at one point during their journey, reports The Daily Observer. They were presented with a gift by Antigua’s Prime Minister upon their return.

The team’s website has bios of each team member. Christal Clashing is an adventure guide and travel writer. In 2004, she became the first female swimmer to represent Antigua and Barbuda at the Olympics.

Elvira Bell is a swim instructor and a certified health coach. Samara Emmanuel is the first Antiguan woman to become a certified yacht captain and has more than 12 years’ seafarer experience. She is also a certified day skipper, coastal skipper, yacht master, and boat master among a lengthy list of certifications.

Kevinia Francis is a title-winning, all-around athlete who excels in basketball, cycling, martial arts, and track-and-field.

Junella King is just 17-years-old. She juggles school and sailing while working part-time as a sailing instructor.

Register now for the Women of Power Summit taking place at The Mirage, Las Vegas on Feb. 28–March 3, 2019 

The post Caribbean Women Reported as First All-Black Women’s Rowing Team to Cross Atlantic Ocean in Grueling Sport Competition appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


Mitsubishi accuses Bombardier of trying to limit competition for regional jets

Mitsubishi Aircraft Corp on Monday
accused Bombardier Inc of using “anticompetitive
conduct” to limit competition for planes with under 100 seats,
as the Japanese company works to bring its long-delayed regional
jet to market.

Reuters: Company News


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Readers’ travel photography competition: December winners

Our final selection of the year ranges from New York cops to Venice shops, camel fairs to penguins. Scroll to see the winner – chosen by Mick Ryan of fotoVUE – who receives a £200 voucher for an i-escape holiday property. The overall 2018 prize is a trip to Greenland with Wild Photography Holidays

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian


No Competition at Billabong Pipe Masters Today In Honor Of Andy Irons


BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Sunday, December 9, 2018) – The Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, the final stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT), has been called OFF today due to strong side shore winds and stormy, 10-to-12 foot NNW swell on offer at Pipeline. The holding period for the Pipe Masters runs through Thursday, December 20, and event organizers will select the best days to run the competition within that time frame.

“Day 2 of the window for the Billabong Pipe Masters and we have stormy, massive conditions out there with really strong winds,” said Renato Hickel, WSL Deputy Commissioner. “We are calling competition off for the day. We are going to check again tomorrow. There is a small chance of running the event tomorrow, but we will be checking at 7:30 a.m. local time.”

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow, Monday, December 10, at 7:30 a.m. HST to reassess the conditions and make the next call.

Once called on, the Billabong Pipe Masters will cap off the season to determine the 2018 Men’s World Champion and the winner of the prestigious Vans Triple Crown of the Surfing (VTCS). Three athletes remain in contention to claim the World Title: Gabriel Medina (BRA)Julian Wilson (AUS), and Filipe Toledo (BRA).

The Men’s World Title Scenarios going into the last event of the season, the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii, are as follows:

– If Gabriel Medina finishes 1st or 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, he wins the World Title;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo will need to finish 1st;
– If Gabriel Medina finishes 5th-25th, Julian Wilson and Filipe Toledo will need a 2nd or 1st at Pipe.

More information about the 2018 World Title Showdown at the Billabong Pipe Masters. 

Billabong Pipe Masters: Third and Final Stage of Vans Triple Crown of Surfing
For 36 years, the VTCS has been sharing and celebrating one of the most significant sporting series in the world. The VTCS  encompasses three different and equally storied wave venues along seven miles of hallowed coastline – Haleiwa Ali‘i Beach, Sunset Beach, and Pipeline. The first gem of the series, the Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, saw 2012 WSL Champion Joel Parkinson (AUS) take the win and move closer to securing a fourth VTCS title. Parkinson announced retirement from professional surfing earlier this year but is lining up for a victorious swan song. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) won the Vans World Cup of Surfing yesterday in all-time big wave conditions at Sunset Beach and is in contention for his first VTCS title and another victory for Hawaii.Now, the three-event series heads into its final event, the Billabong Pipe Masters, which will determine the esteemed VTCS winner. Although the Triple Crown race is still open heading into Pipe, the top three leaders include Jesse Mendes (BRA), who placed 5th at the recent Hawaiian Pro and runner-up in yesterday’s Vans World Cup, Parkinson, and Lau, respectively.
Pipe Invitational Will Determine Two Wildcards for Billabong Pipe Masters
The first competition day of the Billabong Pipe Masters will feature the Pipe Invitational, a 32-man trials event that awards the top two finishers a wildcard into the main event. With a $ 60,000 prize purse on the line, but more importantly, a chance to play spoiler to the World Title, the Pipe Invitational will kick things off in dramatic fashion once competition begins.The 32-man draw is comprised of the top 12 finishers from the 2018 Volcom Pipe Pro, four Hawaii athletes off the International QS, four from the regional QS, six event wildcards, four standout Pipe performers, the 2017 Pipe Invitational defending event winner, and a Vans Triple Crown of Surfing contender. Names like Billy Kemper (HAW), 3x Jaws Challenge winner and reigning Big Wave Champion; former Pipe Invitational winners Finn McGill (HAW) and Dusty Payne (HAW); North Shore big wave standout Jack Robinson (AUS); and Hawaiian notable Mason Ho (HAW) fill the roster, alongside young guns like Wyatt McHale (HAW), 17, Justin Becret (FRA), 17, and Barron Mamiya (HAW), who have also earned their place in the lineup.For more information, please visit


Surfline Forecast for the Billabong Pipe Masters

Surfline Forecast for the Billabong Pipe Masters


Pipe Invitational Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS), Makai McNamara (HAW), Jamie O’Brien (HAW), Bruce Irons (HAW)
Heat 2: Kiron Jabour (HAW), Imaikalani Devault (HAW), Nathan Florence (HAW), Sheldon Paishon (HAW)
Heat 3: Barron Mamiya (HAW), Torrey Meister (HAW), Ian Gentil (HAW), Ian Walsh (HAW)
Heat 4: Tanner Hendrickson (HAW), Mason Ho (HAW), Michael O’Shaughnessy (HAW), Takayuki Wakita (HAW)
Heat 5: Soli Bailey (AUS), Wyatt McHale (HAW), Noa Mizuno (HAW), Hank Gaskell (HAW)
Heat 6: Joshua Moniz (HAW), Finn McGill (HAW), Evan Valiere (HAW), Lahiki Minamishin (HAW)
Heat 7: Jack Robinson (AUS), Benji Brand (HAW), Koa Smith (HAW), Justin Becret (FRA)
Heat 8: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Billy Kemper (HAW), Dusty Payne (HAW), Koa Rothman (HAW)Billabong Pipe Masters Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: 
Jordy Smith (ZAF), Frederico Morais (PRT), Miguel Pupo (BRA)
Heat 2: Owen Wright (AUS), Yago Dora (BRA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 3: Italo Ferriera (BRA), Joan Duru (FRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), TBD
Heat 5: Julian Wilson (AUS), Tomas Hermes (BRA), TBD
Heat 6: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Connor O’Leary (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Wade Carmichael (AUS), Griffin Colapinto (USA), Kelly Slater (USA)
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Michael February (ZAF)
Heat 9: Michel Bourez (PYF), Ezekiel Lau (HAW), Ian Gouveia (BRA)
Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Jesse Mendes (BRA)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (BRA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS)
Heat 12: Willian Cardoso (BRA), Michael Rodrigues (BRA), Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Watch LIVE
The next call for the Pipe Invitational will be tomorrow, Monday, December 9, at 7:30 a.m. HST. The Billabong Pipe Masters will be broadcast LIVE on WSL’s Facebook page and Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

The post No Competition at Billabong Pipe Masters Today In Honor Of Andy Irons appeared first on .


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‘Artifact’ is a Misstep That Makes the Competition Seem Generous

Card gamers love a good synergy. When Valve teamed up to make a card game with Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering, it had all the markings of one of Valve’s celebrated collaborations. The formula of bringing in external designers to Valve-ify an idea has brought us Portal, Team Fortress 2, and DOTA 2. Now it’s brought us Artifact.

You would’ve been brave to predict the blunder it became.

Artifact is a modern Frankenstein of a card game that takes the ridiculous randomness of Hearthstone, the multiple lanes of Legends, and the turn-based approach of Gwent, the theme and characters of DOTA 2, then wraps it all up in a tone-deaf monetisation scheme that is uniquely Valve.

Spells and units can’t attack across the three lanes, unless specified. Starting from the left lane, players will go tit-for-tat tweaking who attacks who, which units get buffed or bodied, and which heroes get expensive items. When both players finally pass, combat is resolved.

Artifact three lane play
Artifact is like playing three card games at once. Which lanes will you invest in?

First, the Good News

Gwent players will feel most at home here. Artifact’s scandalous reliance on RNG is mitigated by its quick turns before combat resolves. Players go back and forth, able to react to whatever random event their opponent triggered. Mostly.

Artifact would be a unparalleled pain in the ass if players had to keep track of all its mathematical modifiers. But being all digital and computer-ey, everything is calculated and displayed for you. There’s an easy solution for viewing units that don’t fit into the lane, and you can swipe between lanes.

You can hover your mouse over a unit’s attack or health to see everything currently modifying it. Your little on-screen dragon will even hop onto the board to warn you when you’re about to lose a lane. All of which are nice, quality of life advancements.

Artifact dragons board graphics UI presentation
A fantastic job has been done with Artifact's presentation.

After units are randomly placed, it’s like a chess puzzle. You find a solution with your limited means of affecting the board. Except in Artifact, not every round has a solution. When to fight, when to abandon a lane, and baiting the enemy into over-committing are all part of the strategy.

Another system borrowed from Gwent, the first player to pass gains “initiative” and goes first in the next lane. This makes for a nice mind game in which you have to choose between affecting the board, and setting yourself up for the next lane. If you’re already winning a lane, passing just to see if your opponent can solve their dilemma is Artifact’s equivalent of Poker’s check raise.

These are the makings of a pretty good card game. Complicated problems to solve, good mind games, and great graphics with an intuitive UI.

It’s what comes next that makes Artifact so hard to recommend.

Paying the Roll Toll

For all the well-designed elements of Artifact, there are just as many RNG-based frustrations. Your unit positioning and even attack target are decided by chance. With four units entering a lane, that amounts to eight die rolls before you even draw new cards.

Rounds – and games – are occasionally won or lost because heroes that should know better decided to pour their high attack values into a diagonal creep instead of the tower straight ahead.

The Artifact philosophy on randomness is clear: if you stack system after system based on randomness, unfair die rolls will balance out through sheer quantity. A hundred die rolls is fairer than one.

The counterpoint to that is, certain moments are undeniably more important than others. Both players may have played evenly in the lead-up to a pivotal moment, and the localised randomness in that “swing” round has a higher weight than other turns. In the same vein, some matches are more important than others — which makes single elimination tournaments in RNG-focused card games somewhat of a joke.

There’s no Yogg-Saron. That’s a plus. But there’s also some extremely bad RNG. The standout example is Cheating Death, which rolls its result after you’ve interacted with it, not before.

Artifact RNG card Cheating Death random
Pure filth.

There’s nothing stopping heroes from continuously Cheating Death an entire game, which we’ve seen. It’s not a fun kind of RNG for the attacker or defender, and it also happens to be in the most popular deck.

Many of Artifact‘s die rolls have an outcome that’s objectively good or bad. Take Bounty Hunter for example, which has a 50% chance to do more damage (objectively good in any situation) every round. There’s no interesting decision to make based on Bounty Hunter’s RNG. He just either kills your hero or he doesn’t.

Bottom line: you will occasionally win and lose matches because Artifact’s random number generator decided to be unkind. Some people are okay with that as a concept. But it’s a lot more palatable in a free-to-play game, which Artifact is not.

Artifact Axe hero card
Even with a limited roster, some heroes are head and shoulders above others.


There’s no way to unlock more cards through playing Artifact. There’s also no ranked mode. All ways to get cards and play competitively involve paying more money. Winning in the “expert” mode will win you tickets to play more expert mode, but going infinite isn’t possible.

That’s because Artifact requires you to win three matches before you lose two, in order to win another “ticket.” That implies at least a 75% winrate (per run) in a matchmaking system that targets winrates of 50%.

This bizarre model has rightly resulted in a flood of negative reviews on Steam.

Artifact mixed Steam reviews
Not a great start for such a highly anticipated game.

Part of the problem stems from Artifact’s marketplace. It allows you to buy individual cards from other players — after Valve takes a cut. Artifact’s upfront cost was introduced to stop new accounts being created purely to send free starter cards to someone’s main account, or being sold on the marketplace, affecting prices.

But there’s no good reason to not earn cards through play, and there’s no good reason to deny non-paying players a competitive mode with leagues and ladders. Other games with marketplaces have come up with more elegant solutions. Such as not allowing trades for cards earned through play.

Apologists talk about the unlimited play available in casual mode, as if Artifact deserves a medal for providing this most basic of features. Yes, believe it or not, you can play the game you paid for. But the lack of other features makes it feel like the upfront cost only got you a demo for the real game.

Artifact rewards gauntlet run ticket packs expert
The goal of gauntlet runs is to win five before you lose two. Rewards kick in at three wins.

Loyalists will point out that it’s a “trading card game, not a collectible card game,” as if some twist of semantic sorcery would undo the expectations of the market. There’s a certain point you have to look at the rest of the world, cursors hovering over the Thumbs Down button on Steam reviews, and think… “Maybe it’s me.”

No XP or levels, no ladders or rankings, no chat/emotes, no stats, no achievements (in a Valve game!). Even players who pay more aren’t getting the features deemed minimum.

Artifact Steam marketplace cards
The market is available to buy the best cards directly, if you want to avoid opening packs.

Modern gaming’s love affair with progression systems and psychological manipulation has resulted in feel-good reward fests that are all icing and no cake. We loathe advocating for more. But here, where the player is keenly aware their gameplay leads to no reward, Artifact’s lack of progression seems even more stark.

Is Artifact Good?

Can you separate a game’s design from its business model? In the case of Artifact, that’s a resounding no. Both are broken. In a market of pay-to-play, Artifact is pay-to-pay. Skill matters, but the strongest card is your credit card.

Even with a sane pricing structure, Artifact would have its problems. Despite flashes of design brilliance, it ultimately falls on the wrong side of the RNG line. While its ideology that copious die rolls are safer than a few is somewhat sound, not all RNG is created equal, and we contend that no game purporting to be an esport should ever allow a match to be decided by a coin flip.

CSGO was not too popular on launch, but constant updates improved it enough to grow organically. So we won’t write off the future of Artifact — but the present is grim.

We were hoping for the next big evolution is card game design. As it stands, Artifact’s main positive quality is making us realise how good we had it with Hearthstone, Legends, and Gwent.

The post ‘Artifact’ is a Misstep That Makes the Competition Seem Generous appeared first on FANDOM.



Watch Marvel Fans Test Their MCU Knowledge in the Ultimate Trivia Competition

Marvel fans recently turned out in droves at NYCC to play a game of FANDOM Feud, presented by the all-new 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback. They came prepared to test their MCU knowledge against other expert superfans in this ultimate trivia competition. Who comes out on top? Watch and find out!

The post Watch Marvel Fans Test Their MCU Knowledge in the Ultimate Trivia Competition appeared first on FANDOM.



Relive the Most Exciting Moments from The Voice, RuPaul’s Drag Race and the Rest of the PCAs Competition Show Finalists

The VoiceWho doesn’t love watching competition shows? They bring excitement, drama and fun, all wrapped into one nice package.
With that in my mind, we are celebrating the finalists for the…

E! Online (US) – TV News


‘Wildlife,’ ‘The Bangle Seller’ in Competition at Mumbai Film Festival

Paul Dano’s directorial debut “Wildlife,” which has had considerable festival play including Sundance, Cannes and Toronto is among the titles in the international competition at the 20th Mumbai film festival. The festival runs Oct. 25 to Nov. 1, 2018. U.S. director, Darren Aronofsky (“Black Swan”) will give a masterclass. Other international competition titles include deceased Chinese […]