Web design company parties hard after a successful year

WebCreation staff getting into the Christmas spirit at their Trowbridge office. Picture by Glenn Phillips GP605

STAFF at WebCreationUK in Trowbridge are celebrating a successful year by getting into the festive spirit.

The web design company in Fore Street decided to kick off December with a team celebration. The firm also has an office in the American state of Arizona and both workplaces are planning a large party to congratulate staff.

CEO Leon Millard, 37, said: “We did the Santa’s grotto in our Trowbridge office to post on social media and show everyone the sort of fun we have here.

“The US office will party at a lodge in Arizona while enjoying catering and drinks.

“The UK team are off to a 160-acre mansion in Devon where staff will be treated to a hot tub cinema in the garden, five-star catering, a DJ and unlimited free drinks.”

WebCreationUK has seen a 20 per cent increase in staff in 2016 and group turnover of £3.5m. The US office has also doubled in size.

“We have 27 members of staff in the Trowbridge office and we sometimes send people over to Arizona too,” added Mr Millard.

“It’s our aim to be the best employer in the south west and one of the best in the UK. Our philosophy is work hard, play harder.”


RIT’s division of marketing and communications wins award for web design ‘Roar the Vote’ campaign encouraged student participation in voting

A website produced by RIT has won a silver 2016 Davey Award for outstanding creative work.

The website, “Roar the Vote,” encouraged RIT students to register to vote. It included a countdown to elections, guidance to students on how to register to vote and facts and myths about voting.

“The website was pretty integral to the overall campaign,” said Kerry Foxx, director of RIT’s Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement. “We know more than 1,800 people visited the site more than 2,600 times between Aug. 16 and Nov. 8.”

Foxx said he’s also proud of the videos of students, faculty and staff discussing the importance of voting done in partnership with the Student Affairs marketing team and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

“It was great to partner with the Division of Student Affairs on this unique project and toward a very important cause. That makes this recognition from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts even more meaningful,” said the project’s producer, Raman Bhalla, assistant director for RIT’s Web/IT Services.

Bhalla congratulated everyone who contributed toward the project, especially Jia Zhou ’16 (visual communication design) for design, and web developer and programmer Steven DuBois for coding.

About the Davey Awards

Overseen and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, the Davey Awards is an international creative award focused exclusively on honoring outstanding creative work from the best small agencies worldwide. This year’s awards received nearly 4,000 entries from ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic firms and public relations firms. Entries are judged to evaluate distinction in creative work.

[Source:-University News]

Aleppo bombing will continue until rebels leave, Russia says

Syrian pro-government forces watch as smoke billows from an airstrike on Aleppo.

The bombardment of Aleppo will continue as long as opposition fighters remain in the Syrian city, Russia’s foreign minister has said a day after pledging to halt combat operations to allow civilians to leave.

“After a humanitarian pause [the strikes] have resumed and will continue for as long as the bandits are still in Aleppo,” Sergei Lavrov told journalists on Friday at a meeting of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Aleppo’s besieged east came under sustained attack on Thursday night and throughout Friday despite Lavrov’s claims of a humanitarian pause, raising questions about the Kremlin’s commitment to a ceasefire deal and its leverage over President Bashar al-Assad.

Residents of east Aleppo said a number of neighbourhoods had been subjected to relentless bombardment, including rocket attacks, helicopter bombings and gunfire.

“Bombing never stops,” said Abdulkafi al-Hamdo, a teacher in east Aleppo, in a text message.

Sources close to the opposition say the Russians are unwilling to halt the campaign without an agreement by the remaining rebels to leave the city. Lavrov had said the Syrian military would halt all activity in Aleppo to allow civilians to leave the besieged districts that were still under rebel control.

Yasser al-Youssef, a spokesperson for the Noureddine al-Zinki rebel group in east Aleppo, said: “The regime and the Russians are putting out propaganda saying the Aleppo frontlines are relatively quiet. This is absolutely false. The airstrikes and artillery bombardment are ongoing on all districts of Aleppo and all the frontlines are on fire.”

On Friday the UN’s human rights office expressed concern about the fate of civilians who had left rebel-held areas, saying there were reports that hundreds of men from eastern Aleppo had gone missing after crossing into regime-controlled districts.

“Given the terrible record of arbitrary detention, torture and disappearances, we are of course deeply concerned,” said Rupert Colville, the UN’s human rights spokesman.

Reports have emerged in recent days from families in opposition areas who said they had lost contact with relatives who had crossed over. The opposition says it believes some of the men have been forcibly recruited or tortured.

Syrian soldiers and Iranian-backed Shia militias have spearheaded an assault on east Aleppo, three months into a siege that has left quarter of a million civilians in the area, which has been under opposition control since 2012, starving and without any functioning hospitals.

Assad’s forces are within sight of a key victory in the war, now in its sixth year, having seized more than two-thirds of east Aleppo, including the historic Old City. Their defiance of the Russian pledge for a brief ceasefire highlights their confidence that reclaiming the city is within reach, and the limits of Moscow’s influence over its allies’ actions.

“Aleppo will completely change the course of the battle in all of Syria,” Assad said in an interview with the Syrian newspaper al-Watan.

But there was little change on the ground on Friday, with rebels apparently holding their ground in the face of the government’s advance. Rebel fighters have committed to a last stand in the face of overwhelming odds and despite reports that some factions want to leave to spare the civilians. “Absolutely none of the revolutionary factions will leave Aleppo,” said Bassam Mustafa, a member of Noureddine al-Zinki’s political office.

Rebel fighters had called for a five-day ceasefire to evacuate the wounded and any civilians wishing to leave. They said they had discussed the mechanics of the evacuation with the UN but had been stymied by a lack of cooperation from Moscow.

People aligned with the military opposition say they were compelled to withdraw from other districts earlier this week to avoid being cut off and besieged, but say they will not retreat beyond the current frontlines.

Turkey, a stalwart backer of the rebels, accused the Assad regime on Thursday of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity but said it was involved in negotiations with Russiaover a possible ceasefire.

“The developments in Aleppo are of serious concern for all of us,” said Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “The regime continues to openly commit war crimes and crimes against humanity. We call for an end to the clashes and the delivery of humanitarian aid. We continue our diplomatic efforts for Aleppo.”

Turkey’s previous silence over the escalating assault has been seen by observers as a sign of an understanding with Russia – that its aim is no longer the overthrow of Assad but the creation of a buffer zone in northern Syria to limit Kurdish ambitions for an autonomous region and to put an end to Islamic State attacks in Turkey’s interior.

Meanwhile, the opposition claimed chlorine gas had been deployed on one of its neighbourhoods, al-Kallaseh, on Thursday afternoon.

“To everyone who is able to help, to all governments, journalists, civil society organisations, Aleppo is dying,” said Abu Jaafar, a forensic medicine doctor in east Aleppo, in an audio message. “There are massacres everywhere. They are killing everyone. Stop the massacres targeting what is left of people and stones. I urge you to use all of your power to save whoever is left. We are done here. This may be my last call.”

 [Source:-The Guardian]

The Planet of the Apes series is quietly showing the world how to reboot a franchise right

The trailer for the third film in the modern Planet of the Apes reboot, War for the Planet of the Apes, was released earlier this morning, and based on this admittedly early impression, the story will build on the rapidly escalating conflict between the apes and humans from the first two films. In sum, the trilogy that began in a world like our own, will end in an apocalyptic battle between humans and the other primates over what remains of civilization. In the sea of other series reboots, prequels, and retcons that is the world of popular cinema today, the Wartrailer is the latest evidence that the Apes reboot is doing a remake the right way: quietly and without much fanfare.

So far, there have been two movies in the Apes series: 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which established the backstory of how an ape-dominated world like the one seen in the classic 1968 Planet of the Apes could have come about, while also offering a far more thoughtful and emotional take on the material than its somewhat campy source material. The sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes jumped 10 years into the future with a new set of human characters, and detailed the individual inflection point where the uneasy truce that had formed between the apes and humans devolved into a battle. War for the Planet of the Apesseems to take the next step, showing how that conflict from the previous movie is ascending into outright war between mankind and the apes.

Taking aside the fact that the previous Apesfilms are just excellent pieces of pop cinema in their own right, it’s the progression of the franchise that causes them to stand out compared to far more popular cinematic universes like Marvel, Star Wars, or the current evolution of Harry Potter.

Marvel’s movies have a tendency to reset its toys back to the status quo to prepare for the next film, while Star Wars looks to be telling a series of unconnected spinoff movies to build out it’s franchise. Each entry in the Apes series is crucial to the whole, and moves the chains down the field toward a defined endpoint. Lead characters die and they stay dead. Entire cities collapse, and they never recover. Unlike Star Wars, Apes isn’t burdened by established canon, and unlike Marvel films, each entry doesn’t need to work double-time, carrying scenes that exist for no other reason that to introduce heroes and villains who will eventually get spinoffs.

dawn of the planet of the apes (facebook image crop)

Apes is the rare reboot that not only elevates the story it’s based on, but also elevates the premise. Rather than maintain a never-ending status quo of conflict, the creators committing to a question that, to be answered, demands big moment of change. How did life as we know it become the ape-run civilization of the iconic and first Planet of the Apes film?

And yet, for all of the things it gets right, the Apes reboots are still relatively low profile as a franchise. While the first two films were financial and critical successes, they lacked the same cultural following or attention that other, less acclaimed reboots like the Disney’s live-action remakes have received. For example, Disney’s Maleficent — by all accounts a passable, if unambitious twist on Sleeping Beauty — handily crushed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes at the summer 2014 box office, and continued a series of live action versions of Disney classics that remain popular today (the recent Beauty and the Beast trailer is the most watched in history). The Apes films still haven’t had that level of popular breakthrough. Perhaps because the series greatest strength is, in this way, its weakness. There simply are fewer films, and thus fewer opportunities to build interest.

It will be fascinating to see where the Apes franchise goes next if War for the Planet of the Apes succeeds to the same level as its predecessors. In a conversation with /Film director Matt Reeves and producer Dylan Clark commented that they view the fact that the Apesfranchise has a set finish line to reach as a positive, and that the pair is already thinking about ideas for where the story could go next on the journey from Ceasar’s apes now to those we see in the original Planet of the Apes.

But for now, War for the Planet of the Apes looks like it will continue the strong legacy of the series, continuing to show the film world how to do a reboots right in its own way. War for the Planet of the Apes hits theaters July 14th, 2017.

[Source:-The Verge]

Calgary zoo investigating penguin drowning deaths

Humboldt penguins stand in their enclosure of the Hagenbeck Tierpark zoo in Hamburg, northern Germany, on May 3, 2016.

A zoo in Canada is investigating the drowning of seven of its Humboldt penguins.

Officials at Calgary Zoo are perplexed as to how the aquatic birds drowned in the Penguin Plunge exhibit and called it “devastating news”.

In recent years a number of animals have died in mysterious circumstances at the zoo.

Earlier this year an otter died after becoming entangled in a pair of trousers given to him by his keepers.

  • Beluga whale deaths in Vancouver prompt call to end captivity

The dead penguins were discovered on Thursday morning in their holding area. The zoo’s veterinary team examined all seven birds to determine the cause of death.

There were 22 Humboldt penguins within the colony, though three other species of penguin live in the zoo exhibit.

Jamie Dorgan, director of animal care at the zoo, said something may have sparked a frantic panic among the penguins that could have prevented the seven penguins from being able to surface for air.

He said the zoo is scouring through camera footage from in and around the penguin exhibit to see if there are any clues as to what may have spooked the birds. The back holding area where the penguins were found is not monitored by cameras.

Logan the river otterImage copyrightCALGARY ZOO
Image captionCalgary Zoo says the error leading to Logan’s death was “simply unacceptable”

In February, Logan, a 12-year-old American river otter, drowned at Calgary Zooafter being given a pair of trousers to play with by a zookeeper in its enclosure as an “unauthorised enrichment item”.

The otter became tangled in the trousers and drowned. Two staff members were disciplined for the otter’s death.

In 2009, a giant capybara was crushed to death in a holding area when a zoo worker closed a hydraulic door.

In 2011, a zookeeper resigned after failing to follow animal-handling instructions that resulted in the death of a corn snake from hyperthermic shock.

But Mr Dorgan said that despite those deaths, the Calgary Zoo is in line with international standards and passes regular inspections.

“I’m very comfortable with our record of animal care and I’m very comfortable to hold it up to any animal organisation on Earth,” he said.

“If something happens like this, we don’t take it lightly.”

[Source:-The Guardian]

Seven penguins drown in latest deadly incident at Calgary zoo

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Dorgan said the deaths were unrelated. “Anytime that we have any deaths with different circumstances or things out of the ordinary, of course we’re going to look closely,” he said. “We don’t take anything like this lightly.”

The zoo, home to around 1,000 animals, has been working to continuously improve its processes, he added. “Anytime you have live animals, there’s going to be things that occur. We have humans looking after animals and just like humans doing anything, mistakes are going to happen.”

Zoo officials said they were working to minimise these errors, which led to one of the gorillas wielding a knife in 2009 after a zookeeper accidentally left it in its enclosure and a kitchen raid carried out by several gorillas in 2013 after the door to their enclosure was left open.

Some of the high-profile nature of these incidents can be attributed to the zoo’s policy of going public, Dorgan suggested. “The Calgary Zoo has an open transparency policy that most facilities like ours do not have,” he said. “It’s important to us that we make this stuff public and we share it with people so they can understand what does go on at a zoo.”


 [Source:-The Guardian]

Best fitness gadgets for Christmas: Get a head start on your New Year resolutions

Close-up of running shoes

Spending a bit of time getting fitter is often at the top of most people’s list of new year’s resolutions.

And there’s all kinds of different tech gadgets that promise to help get you into shape – so many that it can be tricky knowing which ones to go for.

Whether it’s a wrist-based tracker or a sweat-resistant pair of wireless headphones, we’ve taken a look at the best gadgets for getting in shape.

Here’s our pick of the top fitness gadgets this Christmas.

Fitbit Charge 2

(Photo: Fitbit)

If it’s plain fitness you’re after then forget the Apple Watch or Garmin’s chunky wrist-huggers and give the Charge 2 a chance.

Obviously it’s not for hardcore athletes, as it doesn’t include GPS, but for everyone else the Charge 2 pretty much gets it spot on.

The price isn’t astronomical and the features it has are all the ones you really need. Well, apart from water resistance.

Buy the Fitbit Charge 2 here.

Monster iSport Victory wireless headphones

The iSport Victory headphones are sweat resistant – which is useful (Photo: Monster)

Monster has given the iSport Victory a new, reflective cable that gives it more visibility in low-light. The in-line remote is also chunky, with raised buttons that mean you can operate it just by touch, which is useful when you’re concentrating on your sport.

Lastly, the design feels tough and durable. The iSport Victory headphones are sweat resistant, so you don’t need to worry about wearing them out in the rain.

Buy the Monster iSport Victory wireless headphones here.

Skulpt Chisel

The Skulpt Chisel is the latest contender promising to give you the ultimate insight into how your body is performing.

It uses small electrical impulses to measure the density of both your body fat and your muscle quality (that’s the force your muscles can produce relative to their size).

The gadget is about the size of an original iPod and will set you back £89. That makes it more than just a casual purchase but also cheaper than a membership with a personal trainer.

Buy the Skulpt Chisel here.

Slendertone Connect Abs

Electronic muscle stimulation has come a long way since the cringeworthy efforts of the 1990s. Slendertone’s latest unisex belt focuses on the core and sends shocks of electricity through your abs to contract and expand the muscles.

The company says that 30 minutes using the belt is the equivalent to cranking out 202 sit-ups.

And, just to make it even more techy, it connects to an app on your phone that you can use to adjust the intensity and record your progress.

Buy the Slendertone Connect Abs here.

Sense sleep tracker

Don’t let anyone kid you that getting enough sleep isn’t an important part of keeping fit.

Rather than a wearable device, Sense is a spherical little gadget roughly the size of an orange that sits on your nightstand and communicates with a tiny “pill” that you stick inside your pillow.

It measures things like temperature, noise, light and movement and will wake you up at the optimum time with gentle alarms and a glowing ambiance.


GADGETS | Quickie Review: Moto Z

What is it?

Motorola’s Moto Z is a premium smartphone with a unique selling point: hot-swappable accessories that instantly add extra functionality on the mobile phone.

Called Mods, these add-on accessories attach easily on the back of the Moto Z via magnet. The added functions could either be a power pack for extra battery life, a snap-on speaker, or even a zoom camera.

The Mods, however, amount to extra weight and thickness. Without them on the other hand, the Moto Z is a well-built ultra-thin and super light smartphone with great performance to boot.

Who is it for?

Specifically for people who want to push their smartphone functionality to a new level. Although the concept behind the Moto Z series and its Moto Mods is not the first — remember the Israeli-developed Motu? — bringing the modular concept in the already saturated smartphone market could be a potent gimmick for Motorola, which is right now struggling to make an effective comeback.

The current Mods that you can use (Motorola said there’ll be more later on): the Incipio offgrid power pack, which adds up to 22 hours of battery time; the Hasselblad Tru Zoom, providing 10X optical zoom and Xenon flash; the JBL Soundboost speaker with kickstand; Moto Insta-Share projector, which can project a 70-inch big screen on any flat surface; plus an array of Style Shells to protect the back part of the phone, and branded designer power packs from the likes of Tumi.

Moto Z and Mods

The good

Mod accessories
Weight and size (w/o Mods)
Moto brand

The bad

Premium price
Mods add cost
Mods add weight, size

Our verdict

Even without the Mods, the Motor Z is a solid performer. The stylish design complemented by its thinness and weight is something to be proud of while owning one. But of course, you do need to use the Mods to complete the full Moto Z experience.

The JBL Soundboost is simply a perfect Mod for this phone now that, more often than not, we use our smartphones to watch or stream movies and even music. Unfortunately though, and except for the Style Mods, the tech-enhanced Mods are not cheap. They are expensive. Some of them, like the Hasselblad and the Insta-Share projector, cost more than another mobile phone. Nonetheless, if Motorola’s objective is putting out another tech-ridden device for the history books, the idea of the Moto Z and its Mods is another Motorola classic in the making.

Moto Z with JBL Soundboost Mod and Incipio power bank Mod.

Moto Z quick specs:

OS – Android 6.0.1, Marshmallow
CPU – Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor; 1.8 GHz Quad-core CPU; Adreno 530 GPU
Storage – 64GB, microSD Card support (up to 2TB)
Display – 5.5” AMOLED 1440p Quad HD (2560 x 1440) 535 ppi; Corning Gorilla Glass
Battery – 2600 mAh; TurboPower for fast charging
Water Protection – Water repellent nano-coating
Networks – 4G LTE (Cat 6); UMTS / HSPA+; GSM / EDGE
SIM Card – Nano-SIM
Rear Camera – 13 MP; ƒ/1.8 aperture; Laser Autofocus; 1080p HD video (60fps); 4K video (30fps)
Front Camera – 5 MP; ƒ/2.2 aperture; Wide-Angle lens; Flash
Connectivity – Moto Mods connector; USB-C port; Bluetooth; Wi-Fi
Dimensions (without Mods) – 153.3mm (H) x 75.3mm (W) x 5.19mm (D)
Weight – 136g

SRP: P34,000 (with one standard style Mod)


Moto M Set to Launch in India: Expected Price, Specifications, and More

Moto M Set to Launch in India: Expected Price, Specifications, and More

Moto M, the metal-clad smartphone that was unveiled last month in China, will be launched in India on Tuesday. Lenovo, the parent company of Motorola, has started sending out media invites for an event on Tuesday where the company will hold the Moto M India launch. The company had earlier teased the launch of the smartphone’s India launch, but has said nothing about the official Moto M release date.

The first all-metal Moto smartphone, the Moto M price in India is expected to be around Rs. 20,000 considering it was launched in China at CNY 1,999 (roughly Rs. 19,700).

Apart from sporting an all-metal body, the Moto M features antenna bands running on the top and bottom edges at the back. The new Moto M runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow and features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) 2.5D IPS display with a pixel density of 401ppi. Moto M is powered by a 64-bit MediaTek Helio P15 processor clocked at 2.2GHz coupled with 4GB of LPDDR3 RAM. It packs 32GB inbuilt storage and supports expandable storage via microSD card (up to 128GB). The dual-SIM Moto smartphone features a hybrid dual-SIM slot, which means it supports a Micro-SIM or microSD card in the second SIM slot.

Moto M sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with dual-LED flash, an f/2.0 aperture, and supports PDAF (phase detection autofocus). It also sports an 8-megapixel front sensor. The Moto M smartphone is backed by a 3050mAh battery, and also comes with support for fast charging. Much like several Moto smartphones, the Moto M also comes with splash proof design (or nano-coating) which means it can bear light rain splashes. The handset supports 4G with VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth v4.1, GPS/ A-GPS, USB Type-C (USB 3.1), NFC, and 3.5mm connectivity options.

Motorola Moto M

Motorola Moto M

  • NEWS




2.2GHz octa-core

Front Camera



1080×1920 pixels




Android 6.0.1



Rear Camera


Battery Capacity


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