Lok Sabha MP from Odisha’s Kendrapara constituency, Baijayant Panda, resigned from the Biju Janata Dal on Monday.Mr. Panda, who is the vice-president of IMFA, a ferro alloy producer, was suspended from the primary membership of the BJD for “anti-party” activities on January 24.The dissident MP, who remained a Rajya Sabha member of the BJD from 2000 to 2006 and again from 2006 to 2009, had won from the Kendrapara Lok Sabha constituency twice as a BJD nominee — first in 2009 elections and again in 2014.“It is with deep anguish, hurt and sorrow that I have decided to quit the kind of politics into which our BJD has descended,” wrote Mr. Panda in his three-page resignation letter addressed to Chief Minister and BJD president Naveen Patnaik.“With the BJD and you yourself having made it abundantly clear that I am unwanted, it is only right for me to dissociate from it,” said Mr. Panda.Mr. Panda said that he will be separately conveying his decision formally to the Lok Sabha Speaker to accept his resignation from the House.Mr. Panda’s father and noted industrialist Bansidhar Panda passed away in Bhubaneswar on May 22. Mr. Patnaik, who condoled the late industrialist’s demise, had not visited their house to pay his last respects.
Dan Cohen AUTHOR The Pentagon’s fiscal 2020 budget request will prioritize new weapons and technology development over expanding force structure, Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan told reporters Thursday. “At the end of the day, the national defense strategy puts a priority on modernization,” Shanahan said. The deputy secretary’s remarks came as the White House and DOD have gone through multiple iterations about the topline for national security spending in the administration’s next budget request. “We’re looking at numbers above $733 [billion], and as you know, we looked at numbers below $733 [billion]. I think everybody recognizes that this is a discussion that will go on in terms of what is the right number,” he said, reported Defense News.If the topline exceeds $733 billion, there may be enough room in the budget proposal to bolster modernization accounts as well as funding to grow the force and restore readiness. Earlier last week, Politico reported that President Trump agreed to a topline of $750 billion after meeting with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and the chairmen of the House and Senate Armed Services committees.Photo courtesy of DOD
A scene from the Black Mirror episode ‘Nosedive’.YouTube screenshot.Netflix’s Black Mirror season 5 trailer has finally released and fans are shocked to see the grimness it offers. The most awaited season of Netflix’s dystopian sci-fi drama is slated to release on June 5, 2019, on the streaming services and as per the looks, the three-episodes are going to be entertaining as well as an eye-opener.If you fell in love with Netflix’s Bandersnatch and thought that it was the best Black Mirror has to offer then you were wrong just like hundreds of other fans. Netflix released the very first teaser trailer of Black Mirror season 5 and we see a whole new world of the dystopian sci-fi anthology.The fifth season of Charlie Brooker’s acclaimed anthology will not follow the trend of previous seasons of having six episodes in total. In the forthcoming season, we are going to get only three episodes. As of now, the runtime of these three new stories have yet to be released by the streaming giant.Black Mirror season 5 will feature an ensemble cast of Anthony Mackie, Miley Cyrus, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Topher Grace, Damson Idris, Andrew Scott, Nicole Beharie, Pom Klementieff, Angourie Rice, Madison Davenport, and Ludi Lin.In the released trailer, we got to see how technology has affected all of us and will keep on changing the dynamics of all the relationships. The trailer features the impact of technology on marriage, fame, social status, and more importantly — on mental health.The trailer features an AI doll (looks a lot like Amazon’s Alexa) from the future, how Miley Cyrus’ character has a VR escape, and other shocking scenes. In between the trailer, we see words like, “Love, privacy, connection, sex, family, work, and the afterlife.”Watch the trailer below:We know that in the previous seasons, the writers played a lot with technology and how it has affected our choices in the real world. But with Bandersnatch, they changed the entire world of watching anything on the streaming services. As of now, we are not sure if the upcoming three-episodes of Black Mirror season 5 will have something as amazing as the Black Mirror movie but we are sure that the imminent season will offer us tons of twists and several easter eggs from previous seasons.
Dish and its corporate sibling EchoStar have quietly been testing a movie recommendations platform called Flixpert, Variety has learned. Flixpert promises to help people find movies to watch through recommendations from friends and trusted contacts; Dish has been testing mobile apps for the service with a few hundred users.Online footprints suggest that Flixpert has been in development for at least two years, but a flurry of new activity suggests that Dish may be getting ready to launch the service in the near future. A Dish spokesperson declined to comment.Dish quietly released the current test version of the Flixpert app for iPhones earlier this year, and followed up with an Android app this fall. The company also launched an Alexa skill for Flixpert some time last year. The service’s mobile app currently offers users the ability to browse movie recommendations, share recommendations with their friends, and find movies available to play on Dish’s TV service as well as Dish Anywhere. Popular on Variety “What was that awesome movie your best friend shared with you? Can’t remember? Don’t worry, Flixpert helps you quickly remember the best recommendations from friends when you need them the most,” the app description on the Play Store reads.Flixpert’s iOS and Android apps can be freely accessed by anyone, but without any promotion, there has been little uptick from ordinary users. Flixpert’s Android app has been downloaded just north of 50 times, according to Google Play. Publicly available Facebook data suggests that the service may currently only have a few hundred monthly active users.However, earlier this month, Dish revamped the Flixpert website, replacing placeholders with more polished art. And in July, the company filed for a series of trademarks for Flixpert.Work on Flixpert seems to be at least partially motivated by a fear of being out-innovated by other online video services and their respective content recommendation engines. A slide deck for an internal corporate presentation on the service, which was briefly available online but has since been removed, specifically called out Netflix and its content recommendation efforts, quoting Netflix execs saying that personalization and recommendations had saved the streaming giant more than $1 billion per year.The deck continued by asking: “How will Flixpert help EchoStar do the same?” The presentation also suggested that the platform would help the company to become “the center of the conversation with industry giants.”The document framed Flixpert-style crowdsourcing as an answer to algorithmic content recommendations, concluding: “Recommendations have been taken over by strangers and bad algorithms. People are tired of searching and settling. Let’s bring the conversation back to the people!” ×Actors Reveal Their Favorite Disney PrincessesSeveral actors, like Daisy Ridley, Awkwafina, Jeff Goldblum and Gina Rodriguez, reveal their favorite Disney princesses. Rapunzel, Mulan, Ariel,Tiana, Sleeping Beauty and Jasmine all got some love from the Disney stars.More VideosVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9Next UpJennifer Lopez Shares How She Became a Mogul04:350.5x1x1.25×1.5x2xLive00:0002:1502:15