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A view of the fireworks over the South Lawn during the Fourth of July celebration at the White House, July 4, 2013.
Apple announces 4-for-1 stock split
Apple on Thursday announced in its fiscal third-quarter earnings that the Board of Directors has approved a four-for-one stock split.
That means that, for each share of Apple stock that an investor owns, they'll receive three additional shares. It also makes single shares in Apple more affordable for investors to buy. It follows a similar move Apple made in 2014, when it offered a 7-to-1 stock split. At the time, Apple was trading above $600 per share. The split brought shares of Apple to about $92 a share.
Stock splits are cosmetic and do not fundamentally change anything about the company, other than possibly making the shares accessible to a larger number of investors because of their cheaper price.
Since Apple stock currently trades above $380, it means investors should expect to again have a chance to buy a share of Apple for around $100, depending on where the stock trades at the end of August.
The shares will be distributed to shareholders at the close of business on August 24, and trading will begin on a split-adjusted basis on August 31.
This is Apple's fifth stock split since it went public. It also split on a 7-for-1 basis on June 9, 2014 a 2-for-1 basis on February 28, 2005 a 2-for-1 basis on June 21, 2000 and on a 2-for-1 basis on June 16, 1987.
Top 10 Most Popular Torrent Sites of 2013
Continuing a long-standing New Year's tradition, today we present an up-to-date list of the world's most-visited BitTorrent sites. At the start of 2013 The Pirate Bay continues to pull in the most visitors, followed by KickassTorrents and Torrentz. Household names BTJunkie and Demonoid have dropped off the list as both sites are no longer online.
Which torrent sites get the most visitors at the start of 2013?
Traditionally BitTorrent users are very loyal, which is reflected in the top 10 where most sites have had a consistent listing for more than half a decade. This year there are a few movers and shakers, as well as several newcomers.
The most notable absentees this year are BTJunkie and Demonoid. Both sites have been featured in the top 10 since 2006, but went offline in 2012. BTJunkie permanently quit early last year and Demonoid’s future is also uncertain after it disappeared during the summer.
The first newcomer in tenth place is H33t, which has been growing steadily in recent years. The second newcomer is TorrentReactor, one of the oldest torrent sites around that makes its comeback after not making the list last year.
Then there is also a group of notable sites that didn’t make the cut, but deserve a mention. YIFY-torrents.com for example, which launched late 2011 and has grown exponentially since. Also worth mentioning are the Pirate Bay proxies, including Pirateproxy.net, which in itself almost deserves a spot in the top 10.
Below is the full list of the 10 most-visited torrent sites at the start of the new year. Only public and English language sites are included. The list is based on various traffic reports and we display the Alexa and U.S. Compete rank for each. In addition, we include last year’s ranking for each of the 10 sites.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to join the discussion below. People who want to increase their privacy may wants to use a proxy or VPN service.
1. The Pirate Bay
To many people The Pirate Bay is the equivalent to BitTorrent. The site was founded in 2003 and is still expanding, despite the various legal troubles and new blockades in the UK and the Netherlands. The Pirate Bay currently has well over a billion page views a month.
Alexa Rank: 74 / Compete Rank: 398 / Last year #1
KickassTorrents was founded in 2009 and has moved up in our top 10 year after year. Responding to increasing worries over domain seizures, the site moved from its kickasstorrents.com domain to kat.ph in 2012. This year the site continued to grow, despite being blocked by Italian Internet providers.
Alexa Rank: 116 / Compete Rank: 719 / Last year #3
Torrentz has been the leading BitTorrent meta-search engine for many years. Unlike the other sites featured in the list Torrentz does not host any torrent files, it merely redirects visitors to other places on the web. The site uses several domain names with the .eu being the most popular.
Alexa Rank: 166 / Compete Rank: 882 / Last year #2
Two years ago isoHunt became the first search engine forced to implement a keyword filter provided by the MPAA. Despite this setback, isoHunt continues to be listed among the world’s top torrent sites. isoHunt is currently trying to get rid of the filter through the Appeals Court.
Alexa Rank: 213 / Compete Rank: 1,935 / Last year #4
ExtraTorrent continues to gain more traffic and has moved up again in the top 10, now being the 5th most visited torrent site. This success didn’t go unnoticed to rightsholders groups such as the RIAA and MPAA who have called out ExtraTorrent as one of the top pirate sites recently.
Alexa Rank: 279 / Compete Rank: 1,973 / Last year #6
1337x focuses more on the community aspect than some competitors. The site’s owners say they started 1337x to “fill an apparent void where it seemed there was a lack of quality conscience ad free torrent sites with public trackers.” The site moved up from spot 10 last year to 6th in 2013.
Alexa Rank: 1,031 / Compete Rank: 9,228 / Last year #10
Unlike the other sites in the top 10, TV-torrent distribution group EZTV is a niche site specializing in TV content only. It was one of the newcomers last year despite being around for more than 7 years, and is relatively popular among Australians. Because of its focus on TV-content EZTV’s traffic varies in line with the TV-seasons.
Alexa Rank: 1,128 / Compete Rank: 16,622 / Last year #8
BitSnoop is one of the largest BitTorrent indexes, claiming to index a massive 19,091,736 torrent files at the time of writing. The site’s traffic continues to grow steadily, as do the DMCA notices that it receives.
Alexa Rank: 1,159 / Compete Rank: 5,648 / Last year #9
TorrentReactor is back in the top 10 after dropping off last year. A few months ago the site was blocked by a court order in Italy, but the site nonetheless continues to gain visitors.
Alexa Rank: 1,314 / Compete Rank: 4,530 / Last year #NA
H33T has been around for many years and has built a dedicated user base, mostly in Europe and Asia. Despite the wishes of the music industry, the site isn’t yet blocked by any court orders. The site made the news a few months ago when its owner took a stand against the avalanche of copyright takedown requests.
Alexa Rank: 1,403 / Compete Rank: 6,234 / Last year #NA
Disclaimer: Yes, we know that Alexa isn’t perfect and that Compete has plenty of flaws, but combined both do a pretty good job at comparing sites that operate in a similar niche.
A complete history of the camera phone
Cameras in phones are ubiquitous. Few of us see the need to carry a dedicated device for taking photos or videos anymore, and digital camera sales have slumped. But how did we get here? Let’s take a look at the history of the camera phone.
Samsung Sharp built the first camera phone
The first cell phone with a built-in camera was manufactured by Samsung and released in South Korea in June of 2000. The SCH-V200 flipped open to reveal a 1.5-inch TFT-LCD, and the built-in digital camera was capable of taking 20 photos at 350,000-pixel resolution, which is 0.35-megapixels, but you had to hook it up to a computer to get your photos. The camera and the phone components were essentially separate devices housed in the same body.
/>There’s a strong argument that the first real camera phone was produced by Sharp and released in Japan by J-Phone (now SoftBank Mobile) in November of 2000. The J-SH04 could take photos, like the one on the right (from Japanese site Showcase) at 110,000-pixel resolution or 0.11-megapixels. The real difference between it and the Samsung SCH-V200 was the fact that the J-SH04 allowed you to send your photos electronically. Here’s how the BBC reported on it back in 2001, the comments are priceless.
First U.S. camera phone – Sanyo SCP-5300
/>It was November 2002 before the U.S. adopted the crazy Japanese trend with the Sanyo SCP-5300 on Sprint. It cost $400 and it featured a chunky clamshell design. With a 0.3-megapixel capability, it could capture shots at 640 x 480 pixels. The one pictured on the left comes from this IGN review. The Sanyo SCP-5300 also had a basic flash, white balance control, self-timer, digital zoom, and various filter effects like sepia, black and white, and negative colors.
By the end of 2003, camera phones were really taking off in the U.S. and over 80 million had already been sold worldwide. We even covered the trend by reporting that camera phones rival DVD players sales back in November 2003. The good news for consumers was that quality was rising and prices were dropping.
1.3MP arrives with Audiovox PM8920
/>Continuing to push the camera phone trend, Sprint released the PM8920 in July of 2004. It was the first phone in the U.S. to feature a 1.3-megapixel camera capable of capturing 1280 x 960 pixel resolution shots. Not only could you share these pictures wirelessly, they were good enough to print as well. It had a dedicated camera button and a decent variety of settings, including a multi-shot option for taking eight quick photos in a row, and the ability to record your own shutter sound. It was available for $150 after rebates ($299 RRP).
By the end of 2004 the camera phone was riding high. Canalys reported that over half of the phones sold worldwide in the first 9 months of 2004 had cameras in them, and two-thirds of all the phones shipped in the third quarter were camera phones. Leading the way was Finnish manufacturer, Nokia.
2MP in the Nokia N90
In 2005 the Nokia N90 landed to take the camera phone to new heights. Not only did it boast a 2MP camera, it also had Carl Zeiss optics, autofocus, and an LED flash. It will probably be best remembered for that rotating screen, which gave it a camcorder feel. Here’s our Nokia N90 review from back in the day.
Sony steps it up
The main competitor for Nokia in the camera arms race was Sony Ericsson. Carrying Sony’s Cyber-shot digital camera branding there were quite a few decent releases intended to steal Nokia’s camera phone crown, not least the Sony Ericsson K800i released in 2006. It had a 3.2MP camera with auto-focus, image stabilization, and a Xenon flash. The photo on the right was taken with the Sony Ericsson K790i variant which had the same camera.
Nokia naturally retaliated with models like the 3.2MP N73, but in 2007 the feature phone reached its pinnacle.
5MP in the Nokia N95
Samsung produced the first 5-megapixel camera phone, but the first one to prove really popular was Nokia’s N95. It was a chunky slider packed with features, but none were as impressive as that 5-megapixel camera with the Carl Zeiss lens. It took beautiful photos and it could record video at 30 frames-per-second. In fact, 5MP remained as a high-end standard for several years. Sadly for Nokia the smartphone revolution was just around the corner, and our Nokia N95 review bemoaned the lack of a touchscreen. A good camera would not be enough to keep Nokia on the rise.
To put it in perspective, the original iPhone hit the market a few months after the N95, in June 2007, and it had a 2MP camera with no flash or auto-focus and no video recording capability.
8MP from Samsung
In 2008 the Samsung i8510, also known as the INNOV8, held the first 8MP camera to hit the market, but in design terms Samsung was copying the wrong company. This release looked like part of Nokia’s N range, but these designs were growing steadily less popular. Nokia followed suit with the N86, but it was LG that released the first touchscreen camera phone with an 8MP camera. It was called the LG Renoir.
The race for megapixels continued and Samsung hit 12MP first with the M8910 Pixon12 in 2009. It was soon bested by Nokia’s N8 in 2010 and the 16MP Sony Ericsson S006 at the end of the year.
Smartphones stall the camera’s progress
The race to improve the cameras in phones stalled a bit as smartphones took off. The iPhone proved that there were more important features than the camera. It was also vital for manufacturers to produce slim, attractive devices, and the really powerful camera phones up to that point had all been seriously chunky. Some exasperated commentators also tried to point out that the quality of a camera is about more than just the number of megapixels. This series of photos by Lisa Bettany compares different iPhone models.
Both HTC and LG tried to jump on the 3D bandwagon in 2011 and released phones with dual 5MP cameras capable of taking photos or capturing video in stereographic 3D. As it turned out, there was no real demand.
Most manufacturers seemed to be getting the message. The focus was shifting to software features that would offer extra value for people interested in photography.
The rise of software features for cameras
We’ve had Photo Sphere from Google and Panorama mode from Apple. BlackBerry came up with Time Shift and there was the oddly-named Zoe from HTC. We’ve also seen more filters and effects baked into the various mobile platforms, but these are largely things that apps have offered for a long time now. They’re great for people who want to spend the time getting into them, but most of us forget those kinds of novelties pretty quickly. What we really want is good point-and-shoot functionality to capture life in all its spontaneous glory.
Bigger and better
As HTC tries to convince us that a 4-megapixel camera is enough in its HTC One, Nokia is re-igniting the battle with a typically ferocious assault. High-end smartphones, like Sony’s Xperia Z are maxing out at 13-megapixels. Even Samsung’s camera focused S4 variant, the Zoom, only has a 16-megapixel sensor (although the optical zoom is its key feature). The Nokia Lumia 1020 has a 41-megapixel camera in it. This is how it compares to the iPhone 5 (the photo on the left is mislabeled as iPhone 4).
Whether we actually need the cameras in our phones to be too much better than they are now is debatable, but you could say that about a lot of tech. The Chicago Sun-Times publicly sacked photographers and expects iPhone-toting reporters to take their own photos. That may not be the wisest decision, but the fuss it generated was more focused on the skills of the photographer than the equipment. It’s not unusual for a professional photographer to use an iPhone, and it’s far from the most powerful camera phone on the market.
The future for camera phones
The Lumia 1020 looks set to be the best camera phone on the market for some time to come. It’s worth mentioning that Nokia’s first 41-megapixel camera phone was the PureView 808 in early 2012, but because it was stuck on Nokia’s old Symbian smartphone OS (the same one as the N95), sales were nothing special. Windows Phone is a lot better, but it remains to be seen how many people will be tempted in. In any case, you can be certain that the camera phone war is far from over. Things are just heating up, in fact. Samsung’s Galaxy S4 Zoom is coming and the Sony i1 could be a contender later this year.
The star doctors joining ‘On Call’ are experts in general practice, skin, cosmetics, the menopause, and nutrition, and between them all will have all of Sun readers’ health concerns covered. Dr Ranj, A&E specialist and Strictly&hellip
The Sun has launched a single use mask recycling campaign, Mask Force, encouraging Sun readers to start recycling their single use masks to help stop the astonishing impact they are having on our planet. From today,&hellip
Meet the unstoppables, our Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2020 National Award winners
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Each year, we celebrate the Entrepreneur Of The Year regional award winners at the Strategic Growth Forum, where national award winners are announced.
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July 4, 2013 Day 166 of the Fifth Year - History
Dad says he’ll solve the makeshift washer drain pipe issue next weekend. And you should be happy you got confirmation that roots are not getting in…that is very good news!
He’ll also show you how to snake a drain. Do you want a drain snake for your birthday present this year…now that’s definitely something to commemorate your 35th birthday.
Tarts and Liars
Backstory: I have just come out of a long term relationship and was making the most of being single. This was sent around 8 a.m.
Mum: Are you at home?
Mum: I know your not, I drove past your house and your car wasn’t there.
Me: Then why ask?
Mum: I was checking to see if you were going to try and lie to me.
Me: Why would I do that?
Too Young for Nail Polish
Backstory: I recently attended a work party with my husband where we were told we looked too young to have three kids.
you think you are too young looking to have 3 kids. I got some nail polish remover today and was asked for ID. had to be over 18 to buy it. you have nothing on your mother.
New Year’s Cleaning
Mom: was going to get in the shower, put pjs in the wash.. decided to vacuum the house… in socks and Birkenstocks. (you are welcome for that picture!)
Mom: Have added a scarf to my cleaning ensemble
Me: Nips get chilly?
Mom: yes, and hit one on the door… ouch! hahaha
Skin Care Secrets
Mum: Hi, I’ve got 3 white spots on my face. Bummer.
Me: No picking! I will inspect on Saturday.
Mum: I know. You will have to help.
Me: Help you what? Please don’t make me squeeze them.
Mum: I had a little pick. I have never had them before. I will look them up on the internet.
Me: Eeuw! They might be milia. I get them all the time and they’re like little waxy beads under the skin. Nice.
Mum: I don’t care what they’re called I want to get rid of the little buggers.
Backstory: I asked my mom via email not to open any packages I’ve sent to her house until we arrive for Christmas. This was her response. She’s worse than my kid.
You know i like to peek, but i will not leave any traces. this is the best i can do.
Grandma’s on the Prowl
I keep looking for a boyfriend but they’re so old looking. Besides I’m enjoying my independence. I would give it all up if I could have your grandpa back but since that’s not going to happen I’ll only hitch up with some rich old guy who has NO FAMILY , HAS LOTS OF MONEY ,AND ONE FOOT IN THE GRAVE AND ONE ON A BANANA PEEL!
Happy Thanksgiving, From Dr. Seuss and The Traffic Gods
Backstory: I was stuck in traffic on the way home for Thanksgiving, and decided to vent my frustrations to my mother via text message. I appreciate that she responds to my vulgarities with smiley faces.
Me: Traffic is balls!
Mom: no sweetie, its just cars and trucks :)
Me: well then it also sucks cars and trucks
Mom: ok dr seuss
MUST TEXT EVERY DAY
Backstory: My sister and I are in our mid-twenties and I only live 30 minutes from home. I think my mom watches too much dateline…
I think we have to a make a rule for the family. No one needs to remind each other. We all have to do this.
We can do the things mentioned below, as much as we can.
1) When any one goes out of town:
TEXT when going and coming back:
- when you reach airport in Chicago,
- the phone no of the friend’s house you are going
- if taking taxi from airport – let us know which cab
- when you reach friends house
Then every day
- just 1 text at night when you are back – saying how your day was and that u are in the house.
When in town:
Every one when they go late night out should text when they are back home.
WE SHOULD MAKE AN ATTEMPT TO COMMUNICATE WITH EACH OTHER EVERY DAY
Morning Run, Sans Bra
There’s just nothing like running around the neighborhood, in the wind, in your stained robe, with your braless boobs bouncing down to your waist looking for your husband and a runaway dog. Yes, Whimsy pulled herself off the leash and had an early morning run. She is now back home, looking very proud of herself, with all of us starving for some breakfast and a good stiff drink.
About the Show
NBC's 45th annual "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" tops off Independence Day with its world-renowned fireworks display and a cracking lineup of musical mega-stars. Chart-toppers Black Pumas, Coldplay, OneRepublic, Reba McEntire and more will light up the stage in advance of Macy's iconic fireworks display on the canvas of New York City's summer skyline. Additional performers and hosts will be announced at a later date.
The signature can't-miss event of the summer will broadcast live on Sunday, July 4 at 8/7c on NBC with an hourlong encore presentation at 10 p.m.
This year's Macy's fireworks show will launch more than 65,000 shells and effects from five barges positioned on the East River centered in midtown, delighting New York City spectators and a nationwide television audience. The 25-minute display will feature dozens of colors and shapes, creating dramatic effects a mile across the river and from 1,000 feet in the air to the water's edge. The musical score is the basis for the fireworks choreography and this year it salutes the hero within -- the spirit of optimism and bravery of the American people. Classics such as "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "America the Beautiful," featuring guest performances from The United States Army Field Band & Soldiers' Chorus, mix with original instrumentals and a soaring rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" by Broadway Inspirational Voices, creating a moving musical showcase for the pyro in the sky. The score for Macy's fireworks will also feature music superstar Tori Kelly singing a powerful rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein's classic "You'll Never Walk Alone" from the musical "Carousel."
The "Macy's 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular" telecast is a production of Universal Television in association with Macy's. It is produced by Brad Lachman Productions with Lachman serving as executive producer. Bill Bracken is co-executive producer.
Lachman's credits include a variety of NBC specials, including the "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade," "Christmas in Rockefeller Center" and "NBC's 90th Anniversary Special," in addition to "Michael Bublé's Christmas Special" for five holiday seasons.
Salary Standardization Rates for Philippine Government Employees (Joint Resolution No. 4 by the Philippine Congress)
The year 2012 has already ended and the schedules for the last salary standardization rate should have been increased, subject to certain laws, by the year end. Joint Resolution No. 4, enacted by both houses of Congress states the rates for standardized salaries of Philippine government employees. This was a consolidation of both House Joint Resolution No. 36 and Senate Joint Resolution No. 26 on June 1, 2009 and June 2, 2009, respectively, and was approved by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on June 17, 2009.
The following table of rates, in Philippine Pesos, are as follows, as stated in Item 4 (b) of said resolution:
Step 1 = 9,000 Step 2 = 9,090 Step 3 = 9,181 Step 4 = 9,274
Step 5 = 9,365 Step 6 = 9,459 Step 7 = 9,554 Step 8 = 9,649
Step 1 = 9,675 Step 2 = 9,772 Step 3 = 9,869 Step 4 = 9,968
Step 5 = 10,068 Step 6 = 10,168 Step 7 = 10,270 Step 8 = 10,373
Step 1 = 10,401 Step 2 = 10,505 Step 3 = 10,610 Step 4 = 10,716
Step 5 = 10,823 Step 6 = 10,931 Step 7 = 11,040 Step 8 = 11,151
Step 1 = 11,181 Step 2 = 11,292 Step 3 = 11,405 Step 4 = 11,519
Step 5 = 11,635 Step 6 = 11,751 Step 7 = 11,869 Step 8 = 11,987
Salary Grade – 5 : Step 1 = 12,019 Step 2 = 12,139 Step 3 = 12,261 Step 4 = 12,383
Step 5 = 12,507 Step 6 = 12,632 Step 7 = 12,759 Step 8 = 12,886
Step 1 = 12,921 Step 2 = 13,050 Step 3 = 13,180 Step 4 = 13,312
Step 5 = 13,445 Step 6 = 13,580 Step 7 = 13,716 Step 8 = 13,853
Step 1 = 13,890 Step 2 = 14,029 Step 3 = 14,169 Step 4 = 14,311
Step 5 = 14,454 Step 6 = 14,598 Step 7 = 14,744 Step 8 = 14,892
Step 1 = 14,931 Step 2 = 15,081 Step 3 = 15,232 Step 4 = 14,384
Step 5 = 15,538 Step 6 = 15,693 Step 7 = 15,850 Step 8 = 16,009
Step 1 = 16,051 Step 2 = 16,212 Step 3 = 16,374 Step 4 = 16,538
Step 5 = 16,703 Step 6 = 16,870 Step 7 = 17,039 Step 8 = 17,209
Step 1 =17,255 Step 2 = 17,428 Step 3 = 17,602 Step 4 = 17,778
Step 5 =17,956 Step 6 = 18,135 Step 7 = 18,317 Step 8 = 18,500
Step 1 = 18,549 Step 2 = 18,735 Step 3 = 18,922 Step 4 = 19,111
Step 5 = 19,302 Step 6 = 19,495 Step 7 = 19,690 Step 8 = 19,887
Step 1 = 19,940 Step 2 = 20,140 Step 3 = 20,341 Step 4 = 20,545
Step 5 = 20,750 Step 6 = 20,958 Step 7 = 21,167 Step 8 = 21,379
Step 1 = 21,436 Step 2 = 21,650 Step 3 = 21,867 Step 4 = 22,086
Step 5 = 22,306 Step 6 = 22,529 Step 7 = 22,755 Step 8 = 22,982
Step 1 = 23,044 Step 2 = 23,274 Step 3 = 23,507 Step 4 = 23,742
Step 5 = 23,979 Step 6 = 24,219 Step 7 = 24,461 Step 8 = 24,706
Step 1 = 24,887 Step 2 = 25,161 Step 3 = 25,438 Step 4 = 25,718
Step 5 = 26,286 Step 6 = 26,576 Step 7 = 26,868
Step 1 = 26,878 Step 2 = 27,174 Step 3 = 27,473 Step 4 = 27,775
Step 5 = 28,080 Step 6 = 28,389 Step 7 = 28,702 Step 8 = 29,017
Step 1 = 29,028 Step 2 = 29,348 Step 3 = 29,671 Step 4 = 29,997
Step 5 = 30,327 Step 6 = 30,661 Step 7 = 30,998 Step 8 = 31,339
Step 1 = 31,351 Step 2 = 31,696 Step 3 = 32,044 Step 4 = 32,397
Step 5 = 32,753 Step 6 = 33,113 Step 7 = 33,478 Step 8 = 33,846
Step 1 = 33,859 Step 2 = 34,231 Step 3 = 34,608 Step 4 = 34,988
Step 5 = 35,373 Step 6 = 35,762 Step 7 = 36,156 Step 8 = 13,554
Step 1 = 36,567 Step 2 = 36,970 Step 3 = 37,376 Step 4 = 37,788
Step 5 = 38,203 Step 6 = 38,623 Step 7 = 39,048 Step 8 = 36,478
Step 1 = 39,493 Step 2 = 39,927 Step 3 = 40,367 Step 4 = 40,811
Step 5 = 41,259 Step 6 = 41,713 Step 7 = 42,172 Step 8 = 42,636
Step 1 = 42,652 Step 2 = 43,121 Step 3 =43,596 Step 4 = 44,075
Step 5 = 44,560 Step 6 = 45,050 Step 7 = 45,546 Step 8 = 6,047
Step 1 = 46,064 Step 2 = 46,571 Step 3 = 47,083 Step 4 = 47,601
Step 5 = 48,125 Step 6 = 48,645 Step 7 = 49,190 Step 8 =49,731
Step 1 = 49,750 Step 2 = 50,297 Step 3 = 50,850 Step 4 = 51,410
Step 5 = 51,975 Step 6 = 52,547 Step 7 = 53,125 Step 8 = 53,709
Step 1 = 53,730 Step 2 = 54,321 Step 3 = 54,918 Step 4 = 55,522
Step 5 = 56,133 Step 6 = 56,750 Step 7 = 57,375 Step 8 = 58,006
Step1 = 58,028 Step 2 = 58,666 Step 3 = 59,312 Step 4 = 59,964
Step 5 = 60,624 Step 6 = 61,291 Step 7 = 61,965 Step 8 = 62,646
Step 1 = 62,670 Step 2 = 63,360 Step 3 = 64,057 Step 4 = 64,761
Step 5 = 65,474 Step 6 = 66,194 Step 7 = 66,922 Step 8 = 67,658
Step 1 = 67,684 Step 2 = 68,428 Step 3 = 69,181 Step 4 = 69,942
Step 5 = 70,711 Step 6 = 71,489 Step 7 = 72,276 Step 8 = 73,071
Step 1 = 73,099 Step 2 = 73,903 Step 3 = 74,716 Step 4 = 75,537
Step 5 = 76,368 Step 6 = 77,208 Step 7 = 78,058 Step 8 = 78,916
Step 1 = 78,946 Step 2 = 79,815 Step 3 = 80,693 Step 4 = 81,580
Step 5 = 82,478 Step 6 = 83,385 Step 7 = 84,302 Step 8 = 85,230
Step 1 = 90,000 Step 2 = 90,990 Step 3 = 91,991 Step 4 = 93,003
Step 5 = 94,026 Step 6 = 95,060 Step 7 = 96,106 Step 8 = 97,163
Step 1 = 103,000 Step 2 = 104,133 Step 3 = 105,278 Step 4 = 106,437
Step 5 = 107,607 Step 6 = 108,791 Step 7 = 109,988 Step 8 = 111,198
Item 7 (a) states that salary/wage adjustments, if warranted by the finances of the Local Government Units (LGUs), shall be determined on the basis of the income class and financial capability of each LGU, but shall not exceed the following percentages of the rates in the Salary Schedule under Item 4 of this resolution. They are to wit:
Item 8 states the monthly salary tables for the military and uniformed personnel in Philippine Pesos:
I. Department of National Defense (DND):
Technical Sergeant = 20,159
Senior Master Sergeant = 23,513
Chief Master Sergeant = 25,394
First Chief Master Sergeant = 27,425
Probationary Second Lieutenant = 27,425
Lieutenant Colonel = 40,298
Lieutenant General = 59,210
II. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG):
A. Bureau of Jail Management & Penology (BJMP)/Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)
Fire/Jail Officer I = 14,834
Fire/Jail Officer II = 16,934
Fire/Jail Officer I = 18,665
Senior Fire/Jail Officer I = 21,771
Senior Fire/Jail Officer II = 23,513
Senior Fire/Jail Officer III = 25,394
Senior Fire/Jail Officer IV = 27,425
Senior Superintendent =43,521
Chief Superintendent = 47,002
B. Philippine National Police (PNP)/ Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC):
Police Officer III = 18,665
Senior Police Officer I = 21,771
Senior Police Officer II = 23,513
Senior Police Officer III = 25,394
Senior Police Officer IV = 27,425
Senior Superintendent = 43,521
Chief Superintendent = 47,002
Deputy Director General = 59,210
III. Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and National Mapping
Resources Authority (NAMRIA)
Apprentice Seaman/Seaman Third >
Chief Petty Officer = 21,771
Senior Chief Petty Officer = 23,513
Master Chief Petty Officer = 25,394
First Master Chief Petty Officer = 27,425
Lieutenant Junior Grade = 32,341
Lieutenant Senior Grade = 35,312
Lieutenant Commander = 37,313
Item 12 states the funding source. For national governments, it shall be charged against appropriations set aside in the General Appropriations Acts for 2009 and the years thereafter, including savings generated by the government units. For Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), funding comes from their respective generated funds.
As per Item 13 of said resolution, the implementation shall be at least four (4) years for GOCCs/GFIs/LGUs, depending on its financial capability. The implementation of the salary standardization shall take effect July 1, 2009, for GOCCs/GFIs, and for LGUs the resolution takes effect January 1, 2010.
A Race to Save the Orange by Altering Its DNA
CLEWISTON, Fla. — The call Ricke Kress and every other citrus grower in Florida dreaded came while he was driving.
“It’s here” was all his grove manager needed to say to force him over to the side of the road.
The disease that sours oranges and leaves them half green, already ravaging citrus crops across the world, had reached the state’s storied groves. Mr. Kress, the president of Southern Gardens Citrus, in charge of two and a half million orange trees and a factory that squeezes juice for Tropicana and Florida’s Natural, sat in silence for several long moments.
“O.K.,” he said finally on that fall day in 2005, “let’s make a plan.”
In the years that followed, he and the 8,000 other Florida growers who supply most of the nation’s orange juice poured everything they had into fighting the disease they call citrus greening.
To slow the spread of the bacterium that causes the scourge, they chopped down hundreds of thousands of infected trees and sprayed an expanding array of pesticides on the winged insect that carries it. But the contagion could not be contained.
They scoured Central Florida’s half-million acres of emerald groves and sent search parties around the world to find a naturally immune tree that could serve as a new progenitor for a crop that has thrived in the state since its arrival, it is said, with Ponce de León. But such a tree did not exist.
“In all of cultivated citrus, there is no evidence of immunity,” the plant pathologist heading a National Research Council task force on the disease said.
In all of citrus, but perhaps not in all of nature. With a precipitous decline in Florida’s harvest predicted within the decade, the only chance left to save it, Mr. Kress believed, was one that his industry and others had long avoided for fear of consumer rejection. They would have to alter the orange’s DNA — with a gene from a different species.
Oranges are not the only crop that might benefit from genetically engineered resistance to diseases for which standard treatments have proven elusive. And advocates of the technology say it could also help provide food for a fast-growing population on a warming planet by endowing crops with more nutrients, or the ability to thrive in drought, or to resist pests. Leading scientific organizations have concluded that shuttling DNA between species carries no intrinsic risk to human health or the environment, and that such alterations can be reliably tested.
But the idea of eating plants and animals whose DNA has been manipulated in a laboratory — called genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.’s — still spooks many people. Critics worry that such crops carry risks not yet detected, and distrust the big agrochemical companies that have produced the few in wide use. And hostility toward the technology, long ingrained in Europe, has deepened recently among Americans as organic food advocates, environmentalists and others have made opposition to it a pillar of a growing movement for healthier and ethical food choices.
Mr. Kress’s boss worried about damaging the image of juice long promoted as “100 percent natural.”
“Do we really want to do this?” he demanded in a 2008 meeting at the company’s headquarters on the northern rim of the Everglades.
Mr. Kress, now 61, had no particular predilection for biotechnology. Known for working long hours, he rose through the ranks at fruit and juice companies like Welch’s and Seneca Foods. On moving here for the Southern Gardens job, just a few weeks before citrus greening was detected, he had assumed his biggest headache would be competition from flavored waters, or persuading his wife to tolerate Florida’s humidity.
But the dwindling harvest that could mean the idling of his juice processing plant would also have consequences beyond any one company’s bottom line. Florida is the second-largest producer of orange juice in the world, behind Brazil. Its $9 billion citrus industry contributes 76,000 jobs to the state that hosts the Orange Bowl. Southern Gardens, a subsidiary of U.S. Sugar, was one of the few companies in the industry with the wherewithal to finance the development of a “transgenic” tree, which could take a decade and cost as much as $20 million.
An emerging scientific consensus held that genetic engineering would be required to defeat citrus greening. “People are either going to drink transgenic orange juice or they’re going to drink apple juice,” one University of Florida scientist told Mr. Kress.
And if the presence of a new gene in citrus trees prevented juice from becoming scarcer and more expensive, Mr. Kress believed, the American public would embrace it. “The consumer will support us if it’s the only way,” Mr. Kress assured his boss.
His quest to save the orange offers a close look at the daunting process of genetically modifying one well-loved organism — on a deadline. In the past several years, out of public view, he has considered DNA donors from all over the tree of life, including two vegetables, a virus and, briefly, a pig. A synthetic gene, manufactured in the laboratory, also emerged as a contender.
Trial trees that withstood the disease in his greenhouse later succumbed in the field. Concerns about public perception and potential delays in regulatory scrutiny put a damper on some promising leads. But intent on his mission, Mr. Kress shrugged off signs that national campaigns against genetically modified food were gaining traction.
Only in recent months has he begun to face the full magnitude of the gap between what science can achieve and what society might accept.
Millenniums of Intervention
Even in the heyday of frozen concentrate, the popularity of orange juice rested largely on its image as the ultimate natural beverage, fresh-squeezed from a primordial fruit. But the reality is that human intervention has modified the orange for millenniums, as it has almost everything people eat.
Before humans were involved, corn was a wild grass, tomatoes were tiny, carrots were only rarely orange and dairy cows produced little milk. The orange, for its part, might never have existed had human migration not brought together the grapefruit-size pomelo from the tropics and the diminutive mandarin from a temperate zone thousands of years ago in China. And it would not have become the most widely planted fruit tree had human traders not carried it across the globe.
The varieties that have survived, among the many that have since arisen through natural mutation, are the product of human selection, with nearly all of Florida’s juice a blend of just two: the Hamlin, whose unremarkable taste and pale color are offset by its prolific yield in the early season, and the dark, flavorful, late-season Valencia.
Because oranges themselves are hybrids and most seeds are clones of the mother, new varieties cannot easily be produced by crossbreeding — unlike, say, apples, which breeders have remixed into favorites like Fuji and Gala. But the vast majority of oranges in commercial groves are the product of a type of genetic merging that predates the Romans, in which a slender shoot of a favored fruit variety is grafted onto the sturdier roots of other species: lemon, for instance, or sour orange. And a seedless midseason orange recently adopted by Florida growers emerged after breeders bombarded a seedy variety with radiation to disrupt its DNA, a technique for accelerating evolution that has yielded new varieties in dozens of crops, including barley and rice.
Its proponents argue that genetic engineering is one in a continuum of ways humans shape food crops, each of which carries risks: even conventional crossbreeding has occasionally produced toxic varieties of some vegetables. Because making a G.M.O. typically involves adding one or a few genes, each containing instructions for a protein whose function is known, they argue, it is more predictable than traditional methods that involve randomly mixing or mutating many genes of unknown function.
But because it also usually involves taking DNA from the species where it evolved and putting it in another to which it may be only distantly related — or turning off genes already present — critics of the technology say it represents a new and potentially more hazardous degree of tinkering whose risks are not yet fully understood.
If he had had more time, Mr. Kress could have waited for the orange to naturally evolve resistance to the bacteria known as C. liberibacter asiaticus. That could happen tomorrow. Or it could take years, or many decades. Or the orange in Florida could disappear first.
Early discussions among other citrus growers about what kind of disease research they should collectively support did little to reassure Mr. Kress about his own genetic engineering project.
“The public will never drink G.M.O. orange juice,” one grower said at a contentious 2008 meeting. “It’s a waste of our money.”
“The public is already eating tons of G.M.O.’s,” countered Peter McClure, a big grower.
“This isn’t like a bag of Doritos,” snapped another. “We’re talking about a raw product, the essence of orange.”