FW Partners with Opinion App Maker to Create Mobile Community

first_imgFor F+W, the objective is to create an art, design and photography community. “We’ve been looking at different mobile app proposals when Kurani approached us with this idea,” says Gary Lynch, publisher and editorial director for F+W’s design community, including the HOW, Print and I.D. brands.  “We liked that it was being created by designers for designers, the navigation was simple and intuitive and crowdsourcing is popular among our customer base.”Lynch says Kurani Interactive builds the app and manages the service while F+W’s design community attracts new users.  F+W markets the service to its audience and receives a share of revenue, which is split with Kurani. Advertising generally appears in the “results” section of the app.“What we get out of the deal is the opportunity to build our brand and the creation of a new revenue stream with little downside risk,” Lynch says.Since launching, Kurani says Opinionaided has received more than 4 million responses to more than 50,000 questions. He says users are spending an average of 40 minutes each week using the app. In a move to further integrate its vibrant arts community with the growing mobile world, F+W Media has struck a partnership with Opinionaided, a software company that helps users get and give opinions over mobile devices in real time.Incubated by Red Bank, New Jersey-based technology company Kurani Interactive, the Opinionaided application launched July 12 and allows users to ask a larger community of registered users their opinions on any topic of their choice. The free app currently is available on Apple’s iPhone and the plan is to extend the platform to Android and Blackberry soon. There also is a Web version with limited functionality that was created mainly so people can access to it from Facebook.After registering, users are able to post questions, answer other people’s questions, reply to and vote for the best responses. “Initially, we anticipated people would only vote, on average, about 10 times per month,” Opinionaided founder and CEO Dan Kurani tells FOLIO:. “Since we launched, we’re seeing that the average person votes on queries about 200 times per month. And instead of using it as a tool to ask a lot of questions it turns out people are using it as a tool to help other people.”The app, Kurani says, is built on a centralized database with a PHP-based back-end. In all, he says the mobile community consists of about 15 sub topics, including home and garden, fitness and gaming. Kurani says Opinionaided is looking to partner with publishers and other brands to build out those categories. “For publishers, it extends their mobile footprint at no cost and can be a valuable tool for developing their audience, and collecting data,” he says. last_img read more

The next Game of Thrones Epic books headed to TV and movie

first_imgOriginally published May 19.  Now that the Game of Thrones is finally played out, how will you fill your time? You could watch some of the best fantasy and action TV shows already available, or you could go back to George R.R. Martin’s novels when he gets round to completing the Song of Ice and Fire series that inspired HBO’s smash hit. But then what?Luckily there’s no shortage of epic fantasy, sci-fi and thriller books being adapted into movies and TV shows in the coming months and years. From beloved classics to contemporary best-sellers, these are some of the adaptations that will challenge Game of Thrones’ crown to become your new obsession.Dune Call Me By Your Name star Timothy Chalamet leads the glittering cast in a new version of Dune. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images The cult 1984 movie and 2000 miniseries have their fans, but in November 2020 we’re being treated to a new big-screen version of Frank Herbert’s classic novel. In the far future of humanity, Duke Leto Atreides and his son Paul battle over life-giving spice with the venal Baron Harkonnen on the desert world of Arrakis. After reimagining Blade Runner 2049, acclaimed director Denis Villeneuve takes on another sci-fi classic with the help of a galaxy of stars: Timothée Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Zendaya, Jason Momoa and Javier Bardem are among those involved. Share your voice 2019 movies to geek out over Post a comment FoundationIsaac Asimov’s seminal Foundation series is coming to Apple’s streaming service, Apple TV Plus. Beginning as a series of short stories in 1942, the Foundation books make up a vast, dense sci-fi saga about scientists trying to stave off an oncoming dark age. The 10-episode series is being developed by Josh Friedman, the man behind the Terminator TV series, and David Goyer, co-writer of the Dark Knight movies.Who Fears DeathGame of Thrones fans will be interested to know George R.R. Martin is an executive producer on HBO’s show based on the 2015 novel by Nnedi Okorafor. The post-apocalyptic afrofuturist story follows young Onyesonwu on a quest to find her father — a sorceror who raped her mother. It’s being adapted by Twilight Zone writer Selwn Seyfu Hinds. Good Omensgood-omens-amazon-tennant-sheen-goodomens-106-03098-1-fnlMichael Sheen and David Tennant enjoy Good Omens. Chris Raphael David Tennant and Michael Sheen are perfectly cast as a demon and an angel throwing a wrench in the works of the apocalypse in Good Omens on Amazon. The miniseries is based on the devilishly funny 1990 novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman about the delightful shenanigans that ensue when the antichrist accidentally grows up with the wrong family. While many others on this list are still in development, Good Omens premieres soon, on May 31.Lord of the Rings Amazon paid a quarter of a billion dollars for the rights to a new TV show based on JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings stories, because who hasn’t looked at Peter Jackson’s movie series and thought, yeah it’s OK but it could be longer. Rumors suggest Amazon Video’s series could be set in the distant history of Middle-earth, years before the events of The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. We’ll find out in 2021.The RookYoung Myfanwy Thomas can’t remember why she’s woken up surrounded by dead bodies. But it’s probably got something to do with a secret service for humans with weird abilities in this supernatural spy thriller based on the novel by Daniel O’Malley. Emma Greenwell, Joely Richardson and Olivia Munn star in this TV show premiering on Starz June 30.ArmadaThe runaway success of Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One guaranteed his next book, Armada, was bought by Universal Pictures before it was even published. The book follows high school student Zack Lightman as he suspects his favorite online game is a sophisticated simulator training him to face a very real alien invasion.GormenghastIt was adapted by the BBC in 2000, but this time Neil Gaiman and Akiva Goldsman are involved in a new adaptation of the baroque novels by Mervyn Peake. Murder and betrayal ensue as the rightful heir Titus Groan to Castle Gormenghast challenges the scheming Steerpike.His Dark MaterialsForget the underwhelming 2007 movie version of The Golden Compass. This planned BBC adaptation is a TV show, which should give the space and depth for a satisfying take on Philip Pullman’s novels Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. Steered by some of the producers behind Doctor Who, the story follows young Lyra in an adventure spanning twisted parallel versions of our reality. Logan’s Dafne Keen stars as Lyra with James McAvoy and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Now playing: Watch this: 77 Photos 0 2019 TV shows you can’t miss Tags The Kingkiller Chronicle Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and cult director Sam Raimi are reportedly overseeing TV and movie adaptations of this recent series by author Patrick Rothfuss. First released in 2007, The Name of the Wind and sequel The Wise Man’s Fear recount the memoirs of musician and magician Kvothe. Like Game of Thrones, the final book, called The Doors of Stone, has yet to be published.Consider Phlebas Amazon boss Jeff Bezos gave a personal stamp of approval to the announcement that Amazon’s streaming service is adapting Iain M. Banks’ 1987 novel, the first in the Culture series. These weighty space opera stories are set in a utopian society in which civilizations awkwardly co-exist with each other and with artificial intelligence, while spaceships have names like “Prosthetic Conscience” and “No More Mr Nice Guy.”Game of Thrones prequelOK, so maybe nothing can replace Game of Thrones. If only Westeros will do, HBO has you covered with a planned Game of Thrones prequel series set centuries before the hit show. Game of Thrones season 8 episode 5: Everybody hurts 6:20 50 Photos TV and Movies Game of Throneslast_img read more

Banks may resist RBI pressure to cut lending rate despite repo rate

first_imgEven though Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is putting pressure on banks to transfer the recent repo rate cut benefit to customers, banking circles believe the general liquidity crunch is making it difficult to ensure full transmission.RBI) governor Shaktikanta Das will be meeting bankers on Thursday in an attempt to ensure conversion of the recent rate cut into cheaper loans, media reports say.The RBI slashed repo rate, the rate at which the central bank lends money to banks, by 25 basis point, to 6.25 percent, earlier this month responding to the subdued inflation figures and the need to add liquidity to push growth in a slowing global economy.However, industry experts believe the current liquidity situation of the economy does not favour a viable reduction in the lending rate by banks. They point out the marked mismatch between credit growth and deposit growth. Credit growth has taken off to 9.3 percent, bank deposits have growth only by 6.1 percent, according to estimates. Tinkering with the interest rate on deposits will further affect the deposit growth and hamper banks’ ability to extend more credit widening the marginal cost of lending rate (MCLR).Aditya Puri, HDFC Bank CEO, has said that lending rates can’t come down unless deposit rates brought down. “Banks are finding it difficult on the funding side,” the Times of India quoted Puri as saying. “Transmission of RBI’s rate cuts will depend on the time frame in which deposit rates go down. As long as there is a scarcity of deposits, and banks raise deposit rates, they cannot bring down lending rates.”Media reported in the last quarter that many banks increased deposit rates fearing a liquidity crunch in the system, pushing up their MCLR. Lenders are finding it difficult to mobilize deposits because of the rise in cash in circulation and mutual fund investments, Puri said. Falling bank interest rate will drive more investors to public provident fund (PPF) and post office deposits where the rates remain high.Puri wants the RBI to bring down the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) or cash reserve ratio (CRR) to bring down the cost of funds of banks without a reduction in deposit rates.The RBI governor had told a press conference with Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in attendance that the “transmission of rates is very important, especially after the central bank announces a rate cut.””As already stated in our post-Monetary Policy Committee press conference, I am having an interaction with the CEOs and MDs of the banks, both public and private sector, which is now scheduled to be on February 21,” Das said. “We will discuss that issue with the banks and see what needs to be done.”The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been trying to infuse more liquidity into the economy to general more jobs in as it is facing the general election 2019 in a few months. Credit growth is a primary necessity to ensure that the system regains liquidity.last_img read more

Federal Highway Administration Approves CSX Tunnel Expansion in DC

first_imgThe Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) had given its stamp of approval to CSX Transportation’s proposed reconstruction of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Southeast Washington, D.C., ending a three-year-long environmental review process.The tunnel project is privately-funded by CSX, but because construction will impact federal and District property, approval from FHWA and the D.C. Department of Transportation are necessary.In August, the FHWA delayed issuing a record of decision (ROD) on the project, at the behest of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., to give the DC Council a chance to review the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and other aspects of the plan. But, on Nov. 4, the federal agency greenlighted use of the roadways, including Interstate 695 ramps, needed to complete the project.“After a consideration of the effects of the FHWA approval action on the natural, human and built environments and reasonable alternatives to those actions based on information presented in the FEIS…the FHWA decision is to approve the short-term closure of I-695 ramps located at 6th and 8th Streets SE [and] the occupancy of a portion of the 11th Street Bridge right-of-way located on I-695,” the decision read.“The basis for this ROD is supported by the information presented in the FEIS, supporting technical documents, the associated project record, and input received from the public and interested District of Columbia and federal agencies,” the ROD continued. “The FHWA considered the impacts of the Project and alternative courses of action under NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) while balancing the needs of CSX, the project sponsor, to reconstruct its tunnel facility located under Virginia Avenue SE with public and agency concerns regarding the Project.”FHWA supported CSX’s preferred alternative, which involves replacing the 3,800-foot, 110-year-old tunnel with two new permanent tunnels constructed sequentially. The tunnels will be rebuilt to accommodate double-stacked intermodal freight trains and to alleviate a chokepoint along CSX’s eastern seaboard freight rail corridor, which connects Mid-Atlantic and Midwest states.“The Virginia Avenue Tunnel is a critical piece of our national and regional transportation infrastructure,” said Louis E. Renjel, Jr., vice president of strategic infrastructure initiatives for CSX, which is headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla. “Reconstructing the aging tunnel will eliminate a long-standing rail bottleneck that impacts freight and commuter rail, and it will increase the network’s capacity ahead of anticipated growth in freight-rail traffic.”Some residents who live near the VAT reject FHWA’s decision, however, and say the project should be halted until the DC Council completes its comprehensive Rail Plan study that is currently underway.“This decision shows that the public has never been treated fairly.  Our concerns – namely the grave public health and safety risks posed by the project and how passenger and commuter rail in the District can expand – have consistently been ignored. And we know now that DDOT had pre-approved CSX’s preferred plan from the very beginning before any environmental review had been conducted,” said Helen Douglas of DCSafeRail, the group against the expanded tunnels. “This project should NOT be granted any permits until the appropriate answers are provided, including waiting for completion of the Council’s Rail Plan so that its analyses and conclusions are part of a new or modified environmental review.”CSX said community input has helped shape the project and they will continue to work with residents to address their concerns.“While this decision is the end of the Federal environmental review process, it is just the beginning of a new phase of CSX’s relationship with the community,” Renjel said in his statement. “We are committed to doing this project the right way; safely, respecting our neighbors and working closely with residents and businesses to minimize impacts and to ensure that they are informed about construction plans.”last_img read more