September 2021

Camera for adventure

Boston Dynamics’ Spot Robot Begins New Insurance Work • The Register

Boston Dynamics’ spooky robot dog Spot has found another new employer for his unique skills.

Having already found work checking nuclear power plants, probing suspicious packages, upholding social distancing rules during the pandemic, and – briefly – working as a police dog in New York City before being unceremoniously fired, the headless robohound is now operated by US-based Farmers Insurance to assist its agents with property inspections and “field disaster claims”, or assessments in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters and major events.

The creepy but willful cybernetic pooch has been adapted to the needs of farmers, receiving additional gear to aid it in its new task, adding a 360 ° camera, site documentation software, and a new blue paint over its dress usual yellow and black. headless chassis.

The insurer’s new best friend has also been outfitted with a frankly terrifying extendable robot arm, which makes him look like a miniature tailless sauropod and will no doubt keep it occupying readers’ nightmares for weeks to come.

While robot deployments invariably boil down to money, with technology being used to reduce the number of humans who must be paid to do a given job, deploying Spot robots in a post-disaster environment makes sense. Devastation from a hurricane, flood, major fire or other serious emergency can leave secondary services such as insurance stretched beyond their capacity, with a limited number of agents potentially dealing with thousands of claims over a large area affected by infrastructure damage, road closures, and other hazards.

As Farmers himself explained in a statement, “The robot’s agility, advanced mobility, and the perception of navigating various rough terrain will allow it to access spaces and environments inaccessible to claims employees. . field complaints review process. “

While Farmers currently plans to use Spotbots only in a limited number of situations, they are considering expanding the use if this proves to be successful.

“The robot can be used to handle non-catastrophic events such as structural fires, collapsed structures, water loss or other potentially dangerous environments in the future,” he explained.

Youtube video

The sprawling insurance company also sought to allay fears the bags of flesh might have about the detached quadrupeds’ attachment to Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics by launching the idea of ​​using them to aid first responders. in major disasters and other serious incidents, fulfilling one of the machine’s possible primary roles as a search and rescue tool.

“Farmers will explore applications that could help first responder organizations during scenarios such as post-event search and rescue, access areas to assess danger to first responders or others, and / or pre-inspections to assess the safety of anyone in the vicinity. , “It said.

The introduction of sexy new robots to the unglamorous world of insurance will certainly add an element of cutting-edge, high-tech and buccaneer excitement to the industry, suggesting that Farmers may soon be breaking free from the rigid constraints of its field. traditional, Crimson Permanent Insurance-style expertise. But it remains to be seen whether robots operate in the environments they are asked to trade.

While units like Spot can be useful in evaluating structures and properties, they will pose more of a problem than they are for hard-pressed appraisers if they get stuck, broken, or flooded and need to be retrieved whenever they are. they are sent after a disaster. situation. ®

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Residents of the Capital Region Help Solve Crimes

This column expresses the views of the author, distinct from those of the Times Union.

Petito and her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie, gained national attention earlier this month after Petito went missing and Laundrie returned to his parents’ Florida home without his girlfriend. He never reported her missing and refused to speak to authorities.

The two were traveling across the country, visiting national parks and other landmarks, and documenting their adventures online with the hashtag #vanlife.

The heavy media attention to Petito has led amateur “sleuths” to scour the internet in an attempt to find and share clues and help solve the case of what, exactly, happened to Petito.

A YouTuber was instrumental in helping local police recover the young woman’s body. YouTuber’s dash cam video captured Petito’s van in the woods of Wyoming.

The strong and significant public involvement in this case led Brian, Chrissy and I to ask Times Union readers and WGNA listeners to share a moment when they helped solve a crime.

Listen above.

People across the country are obsessed with Gabby Petito’s death. Residents of the Capital Region talk about times they helped solve KGB crimes this week on WGNA.

Associated press

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Fair-weather golf enthusiasts welcome: Ryder Cup dominates the world this weekend | Ryder cup

The German commentary on Martin Kaymer’s birdie putt on the 18th at Medinah – the one over six feet – is wonderfully understated. “Yes.” Not whispered. Not shouted. I just spoke, summing up how many of us felt as this ball continued to roll. And then the silence. And then the agonizing wait for Steve Stricker to line up his putt by, line it up again and hit it in the hole.

Had all this feedback been for nothing? And why do I still have butterflies as Kaymer then stands over the ball for a normal putt to hold onto the Ryder Cup? The camera shifts to Sergio García and Graeme McDowell trying not to let the panic show through. The captain, José María Olazábal, is halfway down the fairway on the verge of tears.

Kaymer doesn’t shake him. The putt is slow enough that he rests the club against his thigh with his hands in the air before it falls. And Europe has done it.

It was in 2012. Europe lost 10-4 on Saturday with two matches on the course. Ian Poulter hits a putt and screams like one possessed – with that Arsenal fan at Old Trafford’s eyes burning through people, arms shaking. Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson 17th. Mickelson’s delicious chip goes slowly, Rose hits a putt from further. Unusual steel in his eyes, arms tight. Big Phil must applaud.

Quick guide

Ryder Cup 2021: the teams


The 43rd Ryder Cup matches will be played at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, having been postponed from 2020 due to Covid-19. Europe won the last edition on the Golf National course in 2018.

Each team captain has selected 12 players, all of whom will play in Sunday’s singles matches. There are also two sets of foursome and fourball matches on Saturday and Sunday, each requiring eight players from each team.

United States

Captain: Steve Stricker.

Direct debits (6): Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay.

Captain’s choice (6): Tony Finau, Xander Sc Chaudele, Jordan Spieth, Harris English, Daniel Berger, Scottie Scheffler.

Vice-captains: Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Fred Couples.


Captain: Padraig Harrington.

Direct debits (9): Jon Rahm, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Bernd Wiesberger, Rory McIlroy, Viktor Hovland, Paul Casey, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Lee Westwood.

Captain’s choice (3): Shane Lowry, Sergio García, Ian Poulter.

Vice-captains: Robert Karlsson, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson.

Photograph: Luke Walker / Getty Images Europe

Thank you for your opinion.

“You’re much more likely to go to space or climb Everest than to represent Europe at the Ryder Cup,” Lee Westwood said in preparation for this weekend’s tournament at Whistling Straits, who will see Bernd Wiesberger become the 164th man to represent the continent. The European skipper, Pádraig Harrington, insisted that 570 people were in space. It’s interesting to think that you’re three and a half times more likely to be floating in the cosmos than being in the frame to play fourball with Jon Rahm on Friday afternoon.

It does not sound like a situation of either one. What will it be sir? Ryder Cup or space? There’s a good chance Elon Musk is considering touring the elderly there as we speak. Imagine how far it will go from the tee in zero gravity. Fuzzy Zoeller hitting a five and a half mile wood directly into the crater on the green side.

The United States team in a practice round at Whistling Straits this week, featuring Bryson DeChambeau (second from right) and vice-captain Phil Mickelson (center).
The United States team in a practice round at Whistling Straits this week, featuring Bryson DeChambeau (second from right) and vice-captain Phil Mickelson (center). Photograph: Mike Segar / Reuters

For now the Ryder Cup remains on earth, and for my money – the biggest sporting event going on. This is clearly a matter of Clive opinion, not a debate where everyone disagrees at the start and disagrees at the end. But there is something about it that moves me to the point that I am riding every glorious European moment – Jamie Donaldson’s approach on the 15th at Gleneagles in 2014. “One hundred and forty-six yards left down the hill … BE GOOD “- biting her upper lip, finger pointing skyward. “Absolutely wonderful. Well done Jamie, and now we can finally celebrate.”

Fans of golf in good weather probably do not deserve the joy of this competition. I don’t know when the European Tour starts, I catch the majors if I happen to be at home. Of all the golf courses in the world, I could only confidently describe the 17th at Sawgrass. But by Sunday, I’ll have an encyclopedic knowledge of every hole in the Whistling Strait. When there are 12 singles matches on the course, my brain will have reconnected to a golf version of Minority Report. I’ll know Paul Casey’s lie on the 5th and Shane Lowry’s club selection on the 12th.

Much has been said about rude fans in America – and there’s a line, but I watch from the comfort of my couch with such a bias, it would be gross hypocrisy to criticize too much. The European team is made up of 12 individuals, 12 superheroes – each with their own origin story worthy of a 2.5-hour Marvel epic. Standing in their way are 12 Identikit Americans. They are the bad guys, simple henchmen. That’s 11 henchmen and end-level boss Bryson DeChambeau – twice the size of the others. Do they even have speaking roles? When they pump their fists and hit their chest, it’s vulgar and unworthy of sport. When Europeans do it, it’s for good – it’s romantic, virtuous, it’s part of something bigger. If Viktor Hovland and Matt Fitzpatrick can team up to defeat unscrupulous law firm ScHotele and Scheffler, then perhaps a fractured continent can be reunited. This is what it means to be European.

All of this may not generate such emotion for some, but for gamers it definitely is. The chance to be part of a team. This is the only time they are truly supported – en masse, with passion, singing and chanting. And about the only time they’ve been booed and heckled. This camaraderie rarely exists in individual sports. You may prefer one golfer or athlete over another. But you cannot buy a subscription for Scott Verplank. You can’t go home and go see Adam Peaty. But to be greater than the sum of their parts for a long weekend. To make that five-foot putt mean something to someone else – not just to you. It is important.

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And while they might ultimately all be stateless millionaires living on suitcases – swinging metal sticks for our entertainment – the connection between them seems real. Ollie and Seve, Clarke and Westwood, Fleetwood and Molinari.

Monday we can put the golf course away for a few years, but for this weekend that’s all that matters. And on Sunday night, let’s hope Europe takes inspiration from the brilliant Solheim Cup victory a few weeks ago and Ian Woosnam is on a balcony somewhere drinking a pint of Guinness in celebration.

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Camera online

Durham audit reveals compliance issues with police body camera

An audit found that police in Durham uploaded body camera images late and at times mislabeled them, potentially jeopardizing evidence.

The audit found that the Durham Police Department had policies, training and equipment, but could not confirm that supervisors conduct random reviews to ensure compliance, The News & Observer reported . The audit found that the body camera program, which began in 2017, had 293,502 videos and over 50,000 hours of footage by 2020.

According to department rules, cameras must be docked to allow uploading of footage “no later than the end of the agent’s next (business) day.” But when a survey asked agents how often they upload videos, 46% said they did so daily, 18% every few days, and 3% said never. About half of the department’s sworn officers responded to the survey.

Agents are supposed to watch their video footage, archive it and categorize it daily, but when asked how often agents categorize their videos, 8% said they did it daily and 65% said they did. never did.

The audit noted that Acting Police Chief Shari Montgomery agreed with recommendations and plans to update the policy by October 1. Supervisors will establish a minimum number of videos per month for their reports. The ministry also plans to increase training to avoid distorting the labeling of potential evidence.

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Camera for adventure

Become a professional adventure filmmaker

This program is designed to equip students with the specialist and professional skills necessary to work in this dynamic field of the film and photography industries. Students will be introduced to the basic production and post-production skills required to produce adventure-based film and multimedia content. There will be a number of expeditions and projects, in addition to formal courses, which will allow students to experience working in a range of environments and fields.

As part of Trinity Saint David University of Wales (which has campuses across the UK), the course works together with another amazing Carmarthen-based course, BA Outdoor Adventure Education, to offer a variety of experiences. Throughout the degree, professionals working in documentary filmmaking, photography, television and social media, as well as basic skills in outdoor activities participate.

Level 3 outdoor first aid and RSSL level water safety management qualifications are also offered as part of the program. Engagement with industry is built into all aspects of our course. This can take the form of internships, projects for external clients, modules focused on developing your employability or engagements with the many industry experts who will offer their expertise in workshops and guest lectures.

These can range from extreme sports and motorsports to wildlife, landscape and coastline filming, and aerial filming. As students progress, they can specialize in any area of ​​their choice; in their final year, students can work on an individual major project in the field of their choice, with expert input from leading practitioners. There is also the possibility of working on a client project defined by large companies in the industry.

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Sport camera

MMA: UFC Kiwi star Israel Adesanya lashes out at New Zealand ‘bureaucrats’ over Dan Hooker’s lockdown bubble

Israel Adesanya calls New Zealand for racism and says the flag is ugly. Video / Stylebender

Kiwi MMA star Israel Adesanya isn’t happy with New Zealand – and says he’ll never fight here again.

The UFC middleweight champion launched a meteoric attack on the country’s “bureaucrats” on his YouTube channel “Freestylebender” over authorities’ decision not to allow New Zealand MMA athletes to continue preparations of their upcoming events using a makeshift lock bubble.

The 32-year-old, who hasn’t fought at home since joining the UFC in early 2018, said those dreams are now dead, reports RNZ.

“You will never see me fight in New Zealand again.

“All that money, they can get it from somewhere else. Their rugby players, their crickets and all the others that they give exemptions to, but you’ll never see me fight on these shores. [again].

“It was one of my dreams, to be on the front page of a stadium in my backyard. This dream died in the water… that’s exactly how I feel right now.”

Adesanya posted a shortened clip of the video to his Instagram account in which he appears on camera, claiming he knows the “country’s bureaucrats” don’t like him, and also says he thinks the neo flag -Zeeland is ugly.

“He talks too much, he is not humble enough, he does not represent the Kiwis to us,” he mimics, saying.

“They are racists, some of them are fucking racists,” he continues. “Of course, they don’t want a black boy to represent New Zealand. But you’re doing that to Dan Hangman Hooker.”

Last month, a makeshift MMA bubble was dissolved after receiving a police warning.

Lightweight contender Kiwi UFC Hooker and several other members of Auckland’s City Kickboxing gym had made the gym their home in order to continue training for events, including Hooker’s upcoming UFC appearance at UFC 266 ending. September.

Adesanya has denounced reporters who allegedly monitored Hooker’s gym in Ellerslie to take pictures of Hooker, teammate Brad Riddell and trainer Eugene Bareman training. Under lockdown regulations, journalists are considered essential workers and are allowed to travel for work purposes.

Israel Adesanya is not happy with New Zealand.  Photo / Instagram
Israel Adesanya is not happy with New Zealand. Photo / Instagram

“It pissed me off,” Adesanya said in the video. “It’s like ‘really, is that what you’re using your privilege for?’ The constant effort to suffocate, sever, disrupt our team at City Kickboxing by helping team captain Dan ‘Hangman’ Hooker prepare for his fight is what pissed me off the most. “

He went on to say he would understand if it was he himself preparing for a fight, calling the country “racist” and saying the New Zealand flag was “ugly”. Adesanya, born in Nigeria, also said he thought the Nigerian flag was “ugly” as well.

“I don’t really wave the flags; I’m not really a patriot like that. For me, I take care of my people and if you are my people you know you are my people – I don’t care. * ** don’t care where in the world you come from, “he said.

The fight camp for Hooker was a chaotic experience ahead of his fight this weekend at UFC 266 in Las Vegas. Auckland entered the Level 4 lockdown just days after signing to face German puncher Nasrat Haqparast.

He and other fighters and gym coaches moved into City Kickboxing before the lockdown officially began to form their own bubble which lasted for about a week before being forced to disband.

He was warned again by the police after trying to work out with a few other people who were with him in the gym bubble of his own gym, and has since had to rely on some workout he could do on his own.

It then took a frantic rally for a last minute meeting at the U.S. Embassy for Hooker to get his visa, with the lockdown delaying the process. Hooker was supposed to fly to Vegas last Sunday, but had to delay that – getting his visa on Monday.

He will now fly to Vegas tonight – at a critical time in the weight loss process – and arrive less than 24 hours before he hits the scale.

Hooker’s expected opponent not only had similar issues, with meeting with the US Embassy in Frankfurt in order to get his visa and get to the fight in a similar timeframe as Hooker, but also had also faced the death of his mother in recent times. weeks, but vowed to do what he can to fight.

There is no indication yet on what will happen if Haqparast is not able to get his visa on time.

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Bluebird Music Festival returns to Macky Auditorium for reduced capacity event – Boulder Daily Camera

The pandemic has particularly affected the live music industry and the non-profit sector.

Travis Albright, the founder of the Future Arts Foundation, takes the stage at the Bluebird Music Festival at the Macky Auditorium in May 2019 (Ty Hyten / Courtesy Photo)

Bluebird Music Festival – an event organized by Foundation for the Arts of the Future, a Lafayette-based organization dedicated to providing a myriad of after-school arts programs for Colorado children – was forced into premature hibernation due to the inevitable shutdown of live performances.

The two-day festival, featuring an exceptional lineup – including Greensky Bluegrass’ Phoffman, Rayland Baxter and City and Color – will return to the Macky Auditorium at the University of Colorado this weekend.

“I can’t believe we’re about to host the festival after a two and a half year hiatus,” said Travis Albright, founder of the Future Arts Foundation and the Bluebird Music Festival. “The first two years of the event were such a success and it was on such a roll, but then COVID hit. Last year, a month before the event, everything stopped and the event had to be canceled. “

Tickets were refunded when the 2020 event was canceled.

“While it was heartbreaking, there were more important things the world worried about than a music festival,” Albright said.

To Albright’s pleasant surprise, many ticket holders came to the aid of the foundation when they had no festival to attend.

“So many fans have reached out to donate their ticket money or to push their tickets to this year,” Albright said.

While last year’s Bluebird Music Fest didn’t turn into a live event, it did offer a documentary that featured rare and never-before-seen footage of musicians.

Wesley Schultz (The Lumineers), Jade Bird, Langhorne Slim, Adam Aijala and Ben Kaufmann (Yonder Mountain String Band) and so many more have joined forces to contribute to “Strings & Stories: The Film” – a two hour collaboration who raised money for the foundation, ”Albright said. “All of this has helped our small nonprofit stay afloat while we waited for this storm to dissipate. “

Jim James performs during the Bluebird Music Festival at the Macky Auditorium in May 2019 (Ty Hyten / Courtesy Photo)

Previously, Bluebird brought Jim James from My Morning Jacket as well as The Tallest Man on Earth, local folks Gasoline Lollipops and many other artists of different genres on stage.

Along with having to contend with what appear to be the ever-changing COVID security rules, Albright faced a curve when this year’s headliner stepped down at midnight.

“A month before the event, we received a call from Jeff Tweedy’s agent advising us that he was no longer able to reach us due to an ‘inevitable personal scheduling conflict,’ said Albright. “While it’s not the surprise we’re looking for after the past 18 months, one thing we’ve learned over this time is that you never know what can happen on a day to day basis. We have to learn to pivot and we have to stay positive as many others face real life issues. “

Understanding that many fans would travel with the primary purpose of seeing Jeff Tweedy – the frontman of Wilco – Albright and his team offered anyone with a Saturday ticket the option to transfer them to the 2022 Bluebird Music Festival.

“We’ve had a few requests, but most are attending the festival because they love it and not just for an artist,” Albright said. “We didn’t have anyone who gave us a hard time. No one, even on social media. What? When does this happen nowadays? I couldn’t be more grateful to each of these people.

Albright – a music enthusiast who has also put on intimate shows at the Firehouse Art Center in Longmont and the Saint Vrain – began to think about who would complete the roster in the absence of Tweedy.

It landed on Jonathan Russell of the folk group The Head and the Heart.

Jonathan Russell, of The Head and the Heart, will perform at the Bluebird Music Festival at the Macky Auditorium in Boulder this weekend. (Jonathan Russell / Courtesy photo)

“I really owe Jon (Russell) for helping us out,” said Albright. “Once Jeff (Tweedy) had to step down, I had to scramble to find someone of his stature to fill the job. Jon has never really played solo in the past. Everything he played was as the lead singer of The Head & The Heart. But, I saw that he had just played a solo set at the Newport Folk Festival in July. I contacted Jon that day and he graciously agreed.

The first Bluebird Music Festival in 2018 featured Josiah Johnson, former Head and the Heart member.

Albright, as well as the fans, are eager for the addition of Russell.

“It will be so cool to see him up there solo on guitar and piano,” Albright said. “We ended up replacing someone whose band was fronting Red Rocks with someone whose band was fronting two nights at Red Rocks. We are very lucky.

Since its inception, the Bluebird Music Festival has been known to offer a mix of artists.

This year, British singer Jade Bird, Boulder bluesman Otis Taylor and virtuoso guitarist and songwriter Molly Tuttle are on the bill. Willie Watson, Trout Steak Revival and Heavy Diamond Ring are also on the program.

More intimate “Storyteller Ses” will take place with selected artists in the afternoon of Saturday and Sunday, before the evening shows. People can attend all four events or plan their own Bluebird Music Festival experience.

“I can’t wait to be on this stage again,” said Daniel Rodriguez, former Elephant Revival, who will perform on Sunday night. “This theater is a special theater. I have been looking forward to it since the last time I played at the Bluebird Festival. I am also hungry to hear the music of my fellow craftsmen. It had been a long time since I had been exposed to the art of my peers. I’m ready to perform for people and ready to teary-eyed songs from everyone on stage.

Rodriguez will be joined by Darren Garvey on percussion and Emma Rose on bass.

“They both have beautifully beautiful vocals and you can expect three-part harmonies and cuddly rock vibes,” Rodriguez said.

In addition to meeting Boulder County’s mask mandate for indoor spaces, participants will also be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the event.

“It’s a strange time for a tour,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a strange time to be alive. But I feel lucky to be alive. So finally, I’m grateful.

Earlier this month, Rodriguez performed a donation-based concert with Andy Thorn – Leftover Salmon banjoist – at Montezuma Park in Cortez in southwest Colorado.

“In this information age comes the age of vast subjectivity and disinformation,” Rodriguez said. “Most people don’t know what to believe or who to trust and that’s pretty maddening. These are difficult times because of that. The virus is real. We have established it well. If you choose not to get the vaccine or haven’t had it yet, what’s the harm of a little tickle of your nose before entering a crowded place during a pandemic? “

Molly Tuttle will be performing at the Bluebird Music Festival at the Macky Auditorium in Boulder this weekend. (Molly Tuttle / Courtesy photo)

The main source of funding for the Future Arts Foundation is not from alcohol sales or festival tickets, but from online charity that is now live. People can access the collection of music related loot at

It features signed memorabilia from Wilco, Phish, The Head & The Heart, Gregory Alan Isakov, Greensky Bluegrass, Jim James and many more.

Auctions end on Saturday at 8:45 p.m.

On Wednesday morning, festival tickets were still available but will likely go quickly as this is a low capacity event. The organizers are keeping at least 500 empty auditorium seats to ensure more space to spread out.

“I hope this is a time when we can all look each other in the eye and know that we’re going to go through these crazy times together,” Albright said. “It’s an incredible lineup, with artists from England to Canada all the way to Colorado.”

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Family Lawyers Say SC Soldier “Illegally” Arrested Tristan Vereen Before Fatal Shooting | criminality

Richardson said Benton made a statement to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), which is investigating the shooting, but that he did not see Benton’s statement or report on the incident. He said he couldn’t speculate on the reasons for the shutdown.

If the windshield was the reason for the shutdown, said Richardson, “then we’ll look at it all, but I should do the same kind of jumps as [Daniels] is doing.”

“I don’t know what report he read or didn’t read, I can’t speak to it, but I can tell you what Jimmy told me,” Daniels replied. “That’s what the family told me that was said. But here’s the thing. You won’t find any breach for a cracked windshield in the state of South Carolina and [you] impossible to find because it does not exist. If he didn’t stop him for a cracked windshield, why did he stop it? Illegal arrest, illegal homicide. “

Richardson denied telling Daniels the reason for the shutdown and said he never spoke to the soldier, didn’t see his report, and didn’t know what the soldier said at SLED.

“I haven’t seen anything like it at all,” Richardson said. “I did not see an SLED report, I did not see the officer’s statement. It is a reasonable assertion, but no sir, I did not see in any way where the officer said why he was arrested.I’m not saying it’s not there, but I didn’t see it and I couldn’t have told him.

“I never spoke with the soldier,” Richardson added. “I’ll be interested to see what his statement is because I’m going to have to wait for that. Someone from SLED may have heard such a statement and it’s a logical conclusion, but I’m not ready to make this statement without see what the soldier said. “

SLED did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why Vereen was arrested.

The fight was captured by a home surveillance camera, but it only offers a partial view of what happened. The SC Department of Public Safety has not released images of the dash cam pursuit, and Benton, a 10-year veteran of the patrol, was not wearing a body camera during the incident.

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Camera for adventure

Kena: Bridge of Spirits Review – A Short But Memorable Adventure

Kena: Bridge of Spirits caught my eye at the PlayStation Future of Gaming event in June 2020, but the game kind of faded from the scene until recently, when the launch trailers came out. This is a third-person action-adventure game with a few Metroidvania elements added to the mix. Fortunately, I was able to get a first copy of the game, and like every other indie game I play, I started Kena Bridge of Spirits with an open mind and no sky-high expectations, not knowing epic adventure that awaited me, and by the end of this 10-12 hour experience, I was left with nothing but praise for Ember Labs’ first indie game release.

The game begins when you take control of Kena in a dimly lit cave. Kena illuminates the dark cave that surrounds her with spiritual energy, symbolizing how this journey is a journey of discovery and revelation for her as much as it will be for you. Kena is a Spirit Guide tasked with guiding troubled and lost spirits through the realm. She tries to help as many Lost Spirits as possible while making her way to the mountain top shrine for her own personal reasons, unknown at the time.

Kena will meet a group of interesting characters on her journey, and each spirit she helps will have their own story and other characters associated with them. The cutscenes are done in such a way that they convey a lot of expressions and details in a very short time. They are similar to what the Overwatch shorts felt like. The voices of all of these characters, especially Kena, are absolutely relevant and filled with a lot of emotion. Kena’s VA Dewa Ayu Dewi Larassanti did a fantastic job considering this was her first attempt at voice acting for a video game character.

With this basic premise explained, we set foot outside the cave in a lush, colorful forest. The world and visuals created by Ember Labs really help make this experience an amazing one. Everywhere you look, and every place you go is surrounded by beautiful vistas. Kena: Bridge of Spirits is an open world game where the world is divided into sections. Everything is transparent and there are no loading screens, even as you transition between gameplay and cutscenes. There is a village in the center of the map which acts as a central hub. Kena will visit all sides of the map as the story progresses, but everything is connected to the village, so you can also call it the bridge that connects different areas of the map.

Kena: Spirit Bridge Review

The world feels even more alive because of the way it reacts to your presence. Kena can use a pulse of energy whenever she wants, and wind chimes and trees respond to her energy. Whenever you enter a new area, it is mostly covered in corruption and muted colors, indicating the presence of something sinister. But you get that satisfying feeling of progress when you clear the corruption out of an area, and everything becomes vibrant and alive again. You can also Warp (Fast Travel) between discovered warp points, making it easier to explore previously discovered areas.

You can freely explore previously cleared parts of the map and search for any leftover collectibles or statues in those areas, as enemies do not respawn when you return to previously visited areas. There is no crowded Hud in this game to take away from the immersion offered by the vibrant open world. Another strong aspect of the game that further enhances the overall experience is the exceptional soundtrack composed by Jason Gallaty, also known as Theophany on YouTube. Each region of the map has a different soundtrack complementing the environment and setting of that region.

Kena: Bridge of Spirits takes no chances with its approach to gameplay and general mechanics. All the game mechanics and loops used here have been reviewed time and time again, implemented in different adventure games. The puzzles are very interesting and engaging, especially in the latter part of the game when more mechanics were introduced. There is nothing revolutionary here, but they implemented the basic mechanics in such a way that the game never feels boring or repetitive at any point. Kena’s main weapon is her staff which she uses for light and heavy attacks. Later, she gains a bow and bombs, which she can use both to navigate puzzles and in combat. Bombs can make certain rocks float in the air, which creates fun puzzles.

Kena can also befriend Rot. They are friendly minions who follow you around and help you move heavy items. Rot can also be used in combat to get some extra moves up your sleeves. The more rot you recruit, the more actions they will be able to perform. How often you can use them in battle also depends on their number.

Combat here relies on strike and dodge tactics. It’s something that doesn’t change throughout the game and gets a bit boring afterwards. Kena usually has to wait until her enemies are done attacking, then move around for a few combos. After that, it’s standard business to ride and wait for your turn again.

The game does a decent job of introducing new enemy types to keep you on your heels and to make the entire combat cycle less repetitive, but all of these enemy types can be taken out with the same buttons. I found myself defeating most of the mini-bosses using only heavy attack spam.

There is a very basic leveling tree to unlock, but these upgrades don’t really increase your arsenal. They simply unlock additional damage and range for existing attacks. The developers could have flushed out the combat a bit more by introducing a more complex leveling tree or perhaps let Kena learn new moves as the story progresses. She only learns 2 new things throughout the game, which is disappointing to say the least.

The main boss encounters in this game are very interesting and get more and more difficult as you progress through the story. Each of the main bosses has a distinct personality and is based on that personality. They use different sets of moves and weapons. They can be a bit tricky to deal with if you go into combat without reading their moves first, especially in the higher difficulties. Most of the mini-bosses you encounter and defeat become regular grunts from this point on and are in addition to the different types of enemies you will encounter in the open world.

You can tell the devs were able to properly execute their vision by the overall quality of the game and the added fun stuff like the responsive photo mode where Kena and her rot mates react to the camera whenever you take a screenshot. . Not only them, but the characters you meet are also photogenic as they too are posing, smiling, and looking at the camera, which is a cool little feature.

You can also equip your rot companions with various hats that you can purchase from the hat shops dotted around the valley. You can earn money by purchasing these hats by restoring fallen shrines, looting chests and baskets, and exploring areas. I think this game will help them get better deals and maybe work with bigger studios to make even better games in the future for the next generation of consoles.

I reviewed Kena: Bridge of Spirits on PC playing it on the maximum graphics preset and the game looked and performed quite well. I encountered some dropped frames here and there, but they were more noticeable for a few seconds as the game transitioned between cutscenes and gameplay. The game didn’t crash for me even once during my 10-12 hours with it, which is always welcome considering how poorly some companies optimize their PC ports these days.

Considering this is the first game ever made by Ember Labs, I would say they did a great job overall across all departments and made a game that was extremely fun and memorable. My only major gripe with the game was its lack of a fight tree and leveling up, but I’m sure if Ember Labs were to make a sequel to this game, those departments would be improved a bit.

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Ulster Rugby: Rory Best and Tommy Bowe to host new “The Ulster Rugby Show” on BBC NI

Rory Best, Gavin Andrews and Tommy Bowe’s ‘The Ulster Rugby Show’ team at Kingspan Stadium

Former Ulster, Ireland and Lions players Tommy Bowe and Rory Best team up with BBC NI’s Gavin Andrews to host “The Ulster Rugby Show”.

The new weekly schedule starts at 10 p.m. BST on Thursday 23 September on BBC Two NI and BBC iPlayer.

It takes a light look at the latest news, results and talking points around Ulster Rugby and the new United Rugby Championship.

An interview with Ulster captain Iain Henderson kicks off the new series.

Rory Best OBE is the only Irish captain in history to lead his team to victory against the All Blacks, Australia and South Africa. He won 124 caps for Ireland, made 218 appearances for Ulster and toured with the British and Irish Lions twice.

“It will be an exciting season with the new United Rugby Championship competition and the introduction of the Big Four South African teams.

“I’m really looking forward to being on the other side of the camera and hopefully we can bring something of what we’ve learned as players to the TV studio and that through our analysis we can help explain how matches are won and lost. “

Rory Best and Tommy Bowe share a laugh on new weekly show
Rory Best and Tommy Bowe share a laugh on new weekly show

Two-time Lions tourist Tommy Bowe scored one of the most famous tries in Irish rugby history when he helped Ireland at the Grand Slam in 2009. He played for Ulster 168 times and won 69 caps. for Ireland by scoring 30 tries.

“Having played in the spotlight in a crowded Kingspan stadium, I know what a privilege it is to wear the Ulster jersey and play in front of thousands of fans.

“During this season, it will be really interesting to speak with the current group of players and see what motivates them to play for their province.

Presenter Gavin Andrews rounds out the lineup as he and the two Ulster legends invite special guests and players to their Kingspan Stadium studio each week for a discussion about rugby and a preview of events on and off the pitch .

“It’s a new program at the start of a new season in a new look league – so everything is changing for the better,” he added.

“We’re going to take a fun and informative look at the United Rugby Championship – and get to know some of the players and characters along the way. For anyone interested in the sport, hope this is a must see – j can’t wait to get started! “

Best and Bowe will also be on the squad for BBC Northern Ireland’s live URC coverage, which begins with Benetton’s visit to Kingspan Stadium to face Ulster on Friday 8 October.

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