China Offers Air Pollution Rewards To Regions That Can Cut Back On Smog

BEIJING, Oct 14 (Reuters) – China said on Monday it would give rewards amounting to 5 billion yuan ($816.91 million) for curbing air pollution in six regions where the problem is serious, underscoring government concern about a source of public anger.

The Finance Ministry said the regions eligible for the rewards were Beijing and its neighbouring city of Tianjin, the provinces of Hebei, Shanxi and Shandong, as well as the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

The awards would be made at the end of the year and would be determined by pollution reduction targets, investment in tackling the problem and falls in PM 2.5 particles, which are especially bad for health, the ministry said on its website.

The provinces of Shanxi and Inner Mongolia are among China’s top coal-producing provinces and have been a major source of air pollution.

Smog over northern cities in January generated widespread anger as did the discovery of thousands of dead pigs in March in a river that supplies water to the city of Shanghai.

Protests over pollution in China are becoming common, to the government’s alarm. Authorities have invested in various projects to fight pollution and even empowered courts to mete out the death penalty in serious pollution cases.

But the results have been mixed. Enforcement of rules has been patchy at the local level, where district authorities often rely on taxes from polluting industries.

State media said in July the government planned to invest 1.7 trillion yuan ($277 billion) to fight air pollution over the next five years. ($1 = 6.1206 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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Conquer Your Job Search Woes With ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’

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Jack Skellington understands what a pain switching jobs can be.

The star of The Nightmare Before Christmas, which turns 20 this year, had a pretty severe career shift, but his woes can still help you through your (hopefully) more mundane swap.

If the pumpkin king teaches us anything, it’s to believe in destiny — and that shrunken heads make terrible gifts.

Image: Barry King/WireImage/ Getty Images Read more…

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‘Cyclops’ Sub Aims To Advance Deep Sea Exploration

A manned submersible named Cyclops is being built to dive nearly 2 miles (3 kilometers) below the ocean’s surface, deeper than most existing subs, and could open up more of the seafloor to exploration.

The bullet-shaped, carbon-fiber vehicle could ferry passengers to depths of about 9,842 feet (3,000 meters), its Seattle-area developers say. Cyclops is slated to make its commercial debut in 2016 and a video animation shows what a typical journey on the submarine might look like.

There are a handful vehicles that can travel to even darker parts of the ocean. Alvin, the United States’ deepest-diving manned sub, can reach a maximum depth of 14,760 feet (4,500 m), and after an ongoing makeover, it will eventually be able to explore 21,325 feet (6,500 m) down.

Then of course there’s James Cameron’s submarine, Deepsea Challenger, which took seven years and some $8 million to build. In that vehicle, the filmmaker successfully completed the deepest solo dive by descending to the bottom of the Pacific’s Mariana Trench, nearly 7 miles (11 km) below the ocean’s surface, in March 2012. Cameron recently donated the vehicle to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts. [Images: Cameron’s Dive to Earth’s Deepest Spot]

But developers working on the Cyclops project say deep-diving subs are not widely available for commerical and research ventures.

“Most people don’t appreciate there are not very many private or commercial subs,” Stockton Rush, CEO of the submarine-chartering company OceanGate, said in a statement. Rush added that there are about 600 military subs worldwide and only about 100 certified civilian subs.

OceanGate, which is based in Everett, Wash., has given researchers at the nearby University of Washington a $5 million grant to develop Cyclops, and the team recently unveiled their design for the submarine.

Cyclops takes its name from the one-eyed giant of Greek mythology because it will have a 5-foot-wide (1.5 meters) dome of thick glass in its front viewing area to give passengers a 180-degree of the ocean, according to OceanGate.

The vehicle will have a 7-inch-thick (17 cm) carbon-fiber hull and a lithium-polymer battery that could operate for up to eight hours at full power, but Cyclops also could provide up to 96 hours of life support, its developers say.

OceanGate officials say they hope to make Cyclops available for a wide range of customers, including the oil and gas industry, deep-sea mining companies, pharmaceutical exploration ventures, academic researchers and even tourists.

“To make a submersible economically viable you need to be able to serve multiple users so you have the volume to keep costs low,” Rush said in a statement. “The key today for big projects is you’ve got to have multiple revenue streams.”

OceanGate currently owns and charters other manned submersibles, including the five-person Antipodes, which can travel up to 1,000 feet (305 m) deep. Researchers recently used that sub for a study off Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and discovered that lionfish, a wildly invasive species, have colonized even deeper parts of the ocean than scientists had expected.

Follow Megan Gannon on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.

Copyright 2013 LiveScience, a TechMediaNetwork company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. ]]>

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Windows Phone Opens the Door for Huge Smartphones

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As the world has witnessed the disastrous fall of BlackBerry over the past month, it’s now readily apparent that Windows Phone has won the contest to be third place among smartphone platforms. It’s a distant third — both iPhone and Android have much bigger slices of most markets — but the new No. 3 has momentum, and today it’s getting an extra boost in the form of a major software update that will support larger screen sizes.

The update — the third for Windows Phone 8 in less than a year — will finally let phones running the OS brandish screens with 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, also known as full HD or 1080p. Since the update is already in the hands of Microsoft’s OEM partners, some “phablet” size Windows Phones are likely imminent (Nokia is holding an event in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 22). Read more…

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5 Secrets To Working With Your Spouse

Whether the idea of working with your spouse thrills or terrifies you, you’re on the right track.

Creating and building together is one of the greatest joys in a relationship, but it can also be wildly damaging to your bond and your bank account if you don’t have a good strategy for managing your dual roles in each other’s lives.

My husband, Warren, and I have been living, working, and traveling together continuously since 2010. Over this time, we’ve discovered 5 secrets that keep both our business and our love life in the black.

Set Expectations

When we first started working together publishing a website and writing a book, our roles were not clear-cut and we had similar, but not aligned, goals. Of course, we didn’t realize it at the time, but it soon became evident as we worked on different priorities and duplicated efforts.

When we finally had the conversation about what in the heck we were really doing, it was like a light bulb came on.

“You thought we were doing what?”

“Why would you expect me to do that?”

When your goals and roles are not clear cut, your result will be just as fuzzy as your plan. Take the time to map out exactly what you want for your business and lifestyle and how you each need to work to make it happen so you’re both on the same page and working from the same game plan.

Describe the end goal and how you see your business unfolding and make sure you are in agreement. You might be surprised to find you’re not even in the same ballpark!

You’ll save a lot of time and money, not to mention fights along the way.

Assign Separate Roles (and Stop Hovering)

No one likes a nag. If you trust your partner enough to go into business together, then you have to trust that he or she will get the job done. Constantly asking for updates, giving advice, and second-guessing will only cause resentment and slow your progress.

Assigning specific roles within your business will allow each person to ‘own’ their duties. Each person has a responsibility, and you stop duplicating efforts.

You also stop wasting energy on ‘checking up’ with the other person, which is easy to do when you’re in a holding pattern with a new business, frustrated over your own workload, or just stressed out about how things are progressing. It’s always easier to nag your partner than face the real issues, but that’s also a habit that will doom your business (and maybe even your relationship).

The key is to know your role and stick with it. You’ve got a business to get off the ground, and it takes 100% attention from each person on their responsibilities to make it successful. Leave the second-guessing and nagging to amateurs.

Assume the Best Intent

If you are the type to bring up all your past hurts every time you have a fight with your romantic partner, working together can be tricky. He or she is not out to get you, especially if they’ve chosen to merge money and effort to go into business together, and when you get melodramatic like that you’re only hurting your business.

Imagine screaming at a corporate co-worker that she’s always trying to sabotage you because she forgot to tell you about a meeting. Or rolling your eyes in the office and telling a colleague that you have to do everything around here.

If you can’t imagine treating former colleagues that way, don’t even think about doing it to the business partner you love.

Always assume your partner has good intentions and work from there. Mistakes will happen and you will deal with them, but remember who you are coming home to at the end of the day.

You can’t complain about the jerk at work if he or she’s the same person sleeping next to you at night.

Get an Office Manager (Even a Non-human One)

When you’re 50/50 partners, it’s sometimes hard to tell each other what to do or call each other out when something goes wrong. You need to manage your workload, clients, and business development without sacrificing your romantic partnership.

A third party is an excellent way to keep your communication from turning into a, “You’re not the boss of me!” kind of exchange.

One tool we really like is Nimble, which allows us to track our deals, activities, and contacts. We can also assign activities to each other when we’re working on a collaborative project. You can also use websites like Basecamp from 37 Signals, or Wrike for the same thing.

It’s sometimes easier to have assignments come through as a task from your computer instead of a verbal request from your mate, and when you’re both busy trying to get this business off the ground it is really easy to let those things fall through the cracks. With an online system to manage what you’re doing, you can avoid a lot of forgetfulness and fighting.

Turn It Off

It’s easy to let your new project take over your life. And in the beginning, it might even be necessary. But over time it’s important to flip off the lights from work and enjoy your personal life. Otherwise you’ll turn into co-workers who just happen to live together.

Give yourself mandatory days off or a mutual ‘quitting time’ so you can enjoy meals and activities together. See your friends, or go for a walk. It’s really easy to work all day and night and forgo a social life, healthy food, exercise, and even sex when you’re in startup mode (and sometimes well beyond it).

You started your business together to create something for your future, to spend time with the person you love, and because you believe in each other.

Don’t ever forget that, and you’ll have relationship and a business that’s always in the black.

What comes to mind when you hear the word spouse? Whenever Your Spouse Says Something the First Thing You Should Hear is…

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9 Books Scarier Than Any Horror Movie

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There is nothing better than a good ghost story.

It might be tempting to pop in one of your scarier movies when you want to get into the Halloween spirit, but there are plenty of novels sure to keep you up for just as many nights.

Just be careful if you read these titles in a public place. You might mistake the woman who just wants your extra chair as your book’s monster. And no one wants to go viral as “shrieking girl in Starbucks.”

Image: Flickr, Maguis & David Read more…

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Netflix In Talks With Cable Companies: WSJ

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Netflix Inc is in talks with several U.S. cable television companies including Comcast Corp and Suddenlink Communications to make its streaming video service available through their set-top boxes, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter.

According to the Journal, the negotiations are in the early stages, with no deal expected soon. The report said that one sticking point in the negotiations is that Netflix wants cable companies to adopt special technology designed to improve the quality of its streaming video.

Last month, two European cable companies — Sweden’s Com Hem and Virgin Media in Britain — struck deals to allow their customers to access Netflix through Tivo set-top boxes.

Netflix Chief Financial Officer David Wells, speaking at a Goldman Sachs investor conference last month, said that the company was willing to strike similar deals with U.S. cable companies.

“We would love to reduce the friction to the end consumer, and to be available via the existing device in the home which is the set-top box,” Wells said. “But it’s up to the (pay TV provider) to decide how much a competitor they view us as, or a complement.”

Netflix, Comcast and Suddenlink could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Michael Erman; Editing by Diane Craft)

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