Tiny-home “oasis” eyed for LA desert — and NYC

first_imgHaving spent the last year and a half building this tiny home prototype, the Saat family believes that “the future of real estate is tiny homes on wheels.” Watch this video to learn about their plans to change a desert outside Los Angeles to a tiny-home oasis and build a 20-floor tiny-home tower in the heart of New York City. This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Nowlast_img

PII warning over unrated insurers

first_imgCash-strapped law firms have been driven to obtaining professional indemnity insurance from unrated insurers this year, risking regulatory sanctions where an insurer becomes insolvent, a leading broker and the Law Society have warned. Unrated firms, listed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, are those without a published credit and financial strength rating. With premiums from rated insurers remaining steady this year, unrated insurers have proved ‘an attractive option for smaller firms’, Martin Ellis, director of broker Prime Professions, told the Gazette. ‘Some of these firms are struggling financially and as a result reducing the cost of PII is a priority. ‘It is fair to say that most firms do not wish to insure with an insurer who has no recognised financial rating but some simply have no other viable option.’ The Law Society is increasingly concerned about the number of solicitors relying on unrated insurers, particularly this renewal season. Elliott Vigar, head of regulation at Chancery Lane, said: ‘This suggests both that, in some fundamental respects, the market in its current form is not working for a segment of the profession; and that a proportion of firms continue to make a purchasing decision based purely on price.’ The risk of insurer insolvency is real, Ellis’s fellow director Jake Fox said. Gibraltar and Ukraine-based insurer Lemma went into liquidation in October. Lemma did not insure any law firms in 2011-12, but historic claims for the five-year period in which it provided cover to the legal market will be affected. With reference to Lemma, Vigar added: ‘We are also considering further policy options to address what may constitute a significant future threat to firm viability and client protection.’ Replacement cover provided at short notice is likely to be more costly, Fox advised, further stretching struggling firms. Insurers’ final figures have not yet been collated for this year’s renewals season. Prime’s assessment of the market is based on the experience of the 1,000 or so firms for which the broker acts.last_img read more

Harry Birthday, Harry Potter!

first_imgAuthor J.K. Rowling in 2007 with the final book in her “Harry Potter” series, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”; SHAUN CURRY/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Happy birthday, Harry Potter! June 26 marks the 20th anniversary of the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the first book in then-unknown author J.K. Rowling’s soon-to-be wildly popular Harry Potter book series.Scottish-born Joanne Rowling was a single mother in 1990 when she began working on Philosopher’s Stone, her very first novel.  It was published in the U.K. in 1997, with an initial print run of just 500 copies.  It was her publisher who suggested Rowling adopt the pen name of J.K. Rowling, fearing young boys might not buy a book written by a female author.Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was an unqualified smash, and sold some 300,000 copies by 1999.  The U.S. edition was published September 1, 1998, with the modified title Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  A year later, it was the #1 New York Times fiction bestseller, where it remained for nearly a year.There have been seven Harry Potter novels in all, the last — Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows —  published worldwide July 2, 2007.  All of the novels were made into hit movies and inspired a handful of spin-off projects, including the recent play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and the website Pottermore.   In 2001, Rowling also wrote Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, based on a book mentioned in the Harry Potter series.  A new film franchise based on the book’s fictional author, Newt Scamander, is in production, the first of which debuted in 2016.Harry Potter has also made Rowling a very rich woman.  The 2017 Sunday Times Rich List put her personal worth at 650 million pounds, about $827.5 million U.S.Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.Powered by WPeMatico Relatedlast_img read more

Future sex A brave new world of hitech goo and virtual

first_imgOf course, the partners at each end of the gel-based romp will only be with each other as the result of a DNA analysis which helpfully narrowed down their choice of a compatible mate to a dozen-strong shortlist.The FutureFest, an annual event designed to explore how technology will impact society over the next ten to 30 years, is to look at the booming area of scientific innovation in sex and relationships.The growth of the global sex toy market to $15bn has been held up as evidence of an increasingly relaxed attitude to bringing technology into the bedroom.From matchmaking which could harness DNA to triage dates according to physical compatibility to all manner of gizmos that allow people to stimulate each other without the inconvenience of needing to be in the same room, the hope is that the new products will cement happier relationships and achieve more meaningful encounters.The internet of genitalsIf fridges and boilers are to be plugged into the web, why not your sex life? Technologists anticipate implants or wearable technology that will allow lovers to send erotic pulses to each other at any time of day, redefining “Office romance”.“The way we first meet or interact with people may very well involve a date with a hologram or a virtual window into your boyfriend’s bedroom. And the way we give pleasure to each other will transform – if we can email each other why can’t we vibrate each other? There is a lot of talk of an internet of genitals – devices that link up our bodies from within.”“In Britain we’ve already become less uptight and embarrassed about things like adult toys. I would like to think the direction we’ll move in is to use technology in a way that enhances and extends our understanding and use of sex.”Eventually sex toys may come in liquid rather than solid form with the development of gels containing microscopic robots which each partner would apply to their erogenous zones and use to stimulate one another as the nanobots respond to instructions sent over the internet.Ms Boddington said: “You could respond to each other through the gel – you would feel each other’s orgasm and enhance it. It’s a way off but there is some pioneering work being done out there.”With virtual reality – the use of headsets to create a 3D virtual world – already in use by some in the porn industry, organisers think VR will become far more widespread, perhaps with the addition of stimulating bodysuits.For all the desire to embrace a brave new world of technologically tooled-up love and sex, researchers warn it must be underpinned by debate about ethics and morality.Critics have voiced concern that as the technology becomes more attuned to human needs – robot prostitutes have been predicted by 2050 – people will be increasingly tempted to forego the trouble of forming relationships.A more pressing concern is the transfer of criminal or potentially criminal practices – paedophilia, stalking or rape role plays – into areas such as VR. Ms Boddington said: “The reality is that 99 per cent of people will want to engage in a positive, sexy sex life. But society has to put down rules about how people behave in virtual worlds. The dark side of sexuality will remain and we need in-depth discussion about ethics and how to police behaviour.”Source – IndependentPhoto – Ex Machinalast_img read more