click links in text for more info
SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Windows Media Audio

Windows Media Audio is a series of audio codecs and their corresponding audio coding formats developed by Microsoft. It is a proprietary technology. WMA consists of four distinct codecs; the original WMA codec, known as WMA, was conceived as a competitor to the popular MP3 and RealAudio codecs. WMA Pro, a newer and more advanced codec, supports high resolution audio. A lossless codec, WMA Lossless, compresses audio data without loss of audio fidelity. WMA Voice, targeted at voice content, applies compression using a range of low bit rates. Microsoft has developed a digital container format called Advanced Systems Format to store audio encoded by WMA; the first WMA codec was based on earlier work by Henrique Malvar and his team, transferred to the Windows Media team at Microsoft. Malvar was a senior researcher and manager of the Signal Processing Group at Microsoft Research, whose team worked on the MSAudio project; the first finalized codec was referred to as MSAudio 4.0. It was officially released as Windows Media Audio, as part of Windows Media Technologies 4.0.

Microsoft claimed that WMA could produce files that were half the size of equivalent-quality MP3 files. The former claim however was rejected by some audiophiles. RealNetworks challenged Microsoft's claims regarding WMA's superior audio quality compared to RealAudio. Newer versions of WMA became available: Windows Media Audio 2 in 1999, Windows Media Audio 7 in 2000, Windows Media Audio 8 in 2001, Windows Media Audio 9 in 2003. Microsoft first announced its plans to license WMA technology to third parties in 1999. Although earlier versions of Windows Media Player played WMA files, support for WMA file creation was not added until the seventh version. In 2003, Microsoft released new audio codecs; these codecs were Windows Media Audio 9 Professional, Windows Media Audio 9 Lossless, Windows Media Audio 9 Voice. All versions of WMA released since version 9.0 - namely 9.1, 9.2 and 10 - have been backwards compatible with the original v9 decoder and are therefore not considered separate codecs. The sole exception to this is the WMA 10 Professional codec whose Low Bit Rate mode is only backwards compatible with the older WMA Professional decoders at half sampling rate.

Full fidelity decoding of WMA 10 Professional LBR bitstreams requires a WMA version 10 or newer decoder. A WMA file is in most circumstances contained in the Advanced Systems Format, a proprietary Microsoft container format for digital audio or digital video; the ASF container format specifies how metadata about the file is to be encoded, similar to the ID3 tags used by MP3 files. Metadata may include song name, track number, artist name, audio normalization values; this container can optionally support digital rights management using a combination of elliptic curve cryptography key exchange, DES block cipher, a custom block cipher, RC4 stream cipher and the SHA-1 hashing function. See Windows Media DRM for further information. Since 2008 Microsoft has been using WMA Professional in its Protected Interoperable File Format based on the ISO Base Media File Format and most used for Smooth Streaming, a form of adaptive bit rate streaming over HTTP. Related industry standards such as DECE UltraViolet and MPEG-DASH have not standardized WMA as a supported audio codec, deciding in favor of the more industry-prevalent MPEG and Dolby audio codecs.

Each WMA file features a single audio track in one of the four sub-formats: WMA, WMA Pro, WMA Lossless, or WMA Voice. These formats are implemented differently from one another, such that they are technically distinct and mutually incompatible; each codec is further explained below. Windows Media Audio is the most common codec of the four WMA codecs. Colloquial usage of the term WMA in marketing materials and device specifications refers to this codec only; the first version of the codec released in 1999 is regarded as WMA 1. In the same year, the bit stream syntax, or compression algorithm, was altered in minor ways and became WMA 2. Since newer versions of the codec have been released, but the decoding process remained the same, ensuring compatibility between codec versions. WMA is a lossy audio codec based on the study of psychoacoustics. Audio signals that are deemed to be imperceptible to the human ear are encoded with reduced resolution during the compression process. WMA can encode audio signals sampled at up to 48 kHz with up to two discrete channels.

WMA 9 introduced variable bit rate and average bit rate coding techniques into the MS encoder although both were technically supported by the original format. WMA 9.1 added support for low-delay audio, which reduces latency for encoding and decoding. Fundamentally, WMA is a transform coder based on modified discrete cosine transform, somewhat similar to AAC, Cook and Vorbis; the bit stream of WMA is composed of each containing 1 or more frames of 2048 samples. If the bit reservoir is not used, a frame is equal to a superframe; each frame contains a number of blocks, which are 128, 256, 512, 1024, or 2048 samples long after being transformed into the frequency domain via the MDCT. In the frequency domain, masking for the transformed samples is determined, used to requantize the samples; the floating point samples are decomposed into coefficient and exponent parts and in

East Norfolk (UK Parliament constituency)

East Norfolk was a constituency in the county of Norfolk that returned two Members of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom until 1868. A namesake was created in 1885 with representation of one member; that seat was abolished in 1950. The constituency was first created by the Great Reform Act for the 1832 general election, abolished for the 1868 general election. In that period the Parliamentary County of Norfolk was split into two divisions – Eastern Norfolk and Western Norfolk, each returning two members. Further to the Reform Act of 1867, Norfolk was reorganised into the North and West divisions, with each of the three divisions again returning two members; the Eastern division was replaced by the bulk of the South Divisions. Under the Redistribution of Seats Act 1885, the three two-member county divisions were replaced with six single-member divisions; the second version of this constituency was one of the single-member seats. It was abolished under the Representation of the People Act 1948, which came into effect for the 1950 general election.

1832–1868: The Hundreds of Blofield, Depwade, Earsham, North Erpingham, South Erpingham, East Flegg, West Flegg, Happing, Humbleyard, Taversham and Walsham.1885–1918: The Sessional Divisions of Blofield and Walsham and West Flegg and Tunstead, Happing, the part of the Borough of Great Yarmouth in the county of Norfolk, part of the Sessional Division of South Erpingham. As Great Yarmouth formed a separate Parliamentary Borough, only non-resident freeholders of the Borough were entitled to vote in this constituency. 1918–1950: The Urban District of North Walsham, the Rural Districts of Blofield and West Flegg and Clavering, St Faith's, Smallburgh. The division was expanded to the south, with the addition of eastern parts of the Southern Division of Norfolk. Gained small area to the west from the Northern Division. On its abolition, the contents of the seat were distributed as follows: North Walsham and the Rural District of Smallburgh to North Norfolk. Wodehouse resigned via accepting the office of Steward of the Manor of Hempholme, causing a by-election.

Buxton's death caused a by-election. General Election 1914/15: Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915; the political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by July 1914, the following candidates had been selected. The political parties made preparations for an election to take place, by the autumn of 1939, the following candidates had been selected. W. S. Craig

Filipinos in Germany

The tens of thousands of Filipinos in Germany consist of people from various walks of life, including migrant workers in the medical sector and marine-based industries, as well as a number of women married to German men they met through international marriage agencies. The history of Filipinos in Germany goes back to the 19th century. Mass migration from the Philippines to Germany began in the late 1960s, with large numbers of Filipina nurses taking up employment in German hospitals. Immigration through marriage began in the 1980s, with 1,000 women a year applying at the Philippine Embassy for a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage up until 1990. Reliable estimates on the number of Filipinos in Germany are difficult to obtain; the German embassy to the Philippines estimated that 35,000 Philippine citizens worked in Germany as of 2008, that another 30,000 had naturalised as German citizens. 1,300 Filipinos acquire German citizenship each year. Official figures of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany showed 23,171 Filipinos residing in the country as of 2003.

A 2007 study by scholars of the Philippine Migration Research Network suggested that the number of illegal residents might be as high as 40,000. However, the Philippine consulate-general claims that the number of Filipinos illegally residing in Germany is small; as a result of the early female-dominated migration of nurses and international marriage agencies in West Germany, the Filipino community is gender-imbalanced, with nearly 3.5 women for every man, according to the Federal Statistical Office of Germany. Only in Hamburg is this ratio reversed. Filipinos in Germany have established more than one hundred civic organisations. Karaoke contests are a popular form of social gathering. Church-based volunteer work is widespread and has been successful in encouraging social engagement by female migrants, aimed at assisting the local Filipino community as well as raising money for charity projects in the Philippines. Filipinos are well-integrated into German society, viewed by their neighbours as hardworking and peaceful.

According to a 1997 survey by the Netherlands' Universiteit van Tilburg, 75% feel they have no problems with cultural or linguistic adjustment. German settlement in the Philippines Germany–Philippines relations

Culex nigripalpus

Culex nigripalpus is a species of medium-sized, blood-feeding mosquito of the family Culicidae. Culex nigripalpus has been found to occur in the following countries: Anguilla, Barbados, Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Honduras, Martinique, Montserrat, Panama, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Tobago, United States, Virgin Islands. In the United States, it is found from Texas to North Carolina in warm, humid coastal habitats and in the Mississippi River basin as far north as Kentucky. Culex nigripalpus larvae live in fresh water in semi-permanent or permanent marshes, retention ponds, grassy pools, females prefer to lay eggs in freshly flooded ditches. Culex nigripalpus is a principle disease vector in Florida – the primary enzootic vector to wild birds and the primary epidemic vector to humans of the Saint Louis encephalitis virus, it has been experimentally demonstrated to be capable of transmitting West Nile virus.

Its habit of feeding on both birds and humans gives it significant potential for transmission of zoonotic infections from birds to humans. It is a vector of transmission of Eastern equine encephalitis, dog heartworm, Avian malaria

France National Renewable Energy Action Plan

The France National Renewable Energy Action Plan is the National Renewable Energy Action Plan for France. The plan was commissioned by the Directive 2009/28/EC which required Member States of the European Union to notify the European Commission with a road map; the report describes how France planned to achieve its binding target of a 23% share of energy from renewable sources in gross final consumption of energy by 2020. The expected total energy consumption in 2020 is 155,268 ktoe and hence the amount of energy from renewable sources in 2020 should be 35,711 ktoe; the National Renewable Energy Action Plan sets a target of the share of renewable energies to be 27% in electricity sector, 33% in heating/cooling sector and 10,5% in transport sector by 2020. Grenelle de l’Environnement 1 and 2 are the basis for the action plan. France focuses on comprehensive improvement of energy efficiency and the use of all renewable energies will be increased; each administrative division of the country has to compile a plan, SRACE, with both qualitative and quantitative targets for the use of renewable energies.

In addition, PPI is a plan to reach the targets set. One target in France is to simplify the administrative processes and increase the amount of bidding processes related to renewable energies. Wind energy: Each SRCAE include regional wind energy plan with potential locations for onshore and offshore production. Overall target for wind energy in France by 2020 is 25 000 MW. National energy company EDF or other energy company is obliged to buy the produced wind power from the specific locations for wind power. Feed-in tariffs in France for wind power are following: onshore 0,082 €/kWh, offshore 0,13 €/kWh onshore 0,028 – 0,082 €/kWh, offshore 0,03 – 0,13 €/kWh. Solar energy: Target for solar energy is 5% of renewable energies by 2020 Solar energy tariffs are based on markets and the size of the system Unique feature in France is to prefer integrated solar energy systems with higher tariffs Fond Chaleur: fund for supporting heat production of renewable energies Bioenergy: According to Grenelle 2, 50% of renewable energy targets will be achieved by biomass Bidding processes Feed-in tariffs for bioenergy: 0,045 €/kWh for electricity, 0,08-0,13 €/kWh bonus according to efficiency and resource use of the plant.

No tariff for produced heat Fond Chaleur: fund for supporting heat production of renewable energies The French Renewable Energies Association The French Solar Energy Association Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Housing French Environment and Energy Management Agency Regulatory Commission of Energy French Wind Energy Association Windustry France

Brick Mansions

Brick Mansions is a 2014 action film starring Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA starring Goûchy Boy, Catalina Denis and Carlo Rota. The film was directed by Camille Delamarre and written by Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen and Bibi Naceri, it is a remake of the 2004 French film District 13, in which Belle had starred. Brick Mansions was released on April 25, 2014, five months after Walker's death on November 30, 2013 and has a dedication to him at the start of the credits; this was Walker's penultimate film, followed by his final film appearance in Furious 7. In 2018, in a dystopian Detroit, abandoned brick mansions from better times house dangerous criminals. Unable to control the crime, city officials built a colossal containment wall, 40 feet tall and has been constructed around this area known as the projects, or the "no go zone" to protect the rest of the city. Police monitor all movement in and out of Brick Mansions in which schools and hospitals in this dangerous area are shut down. For undercover cop Damien Collier, every day is a battle against corruption after the death of his father.

For French-Caribbean ex-convict Lino, every day is a fight to live an honest life. Lino is hunted by drug kingpin Tremaine Alexander for stealing a massive amount of heroin and emptying it down a bathtub. Lino evades capture and so Tremaine has his men capture Lino's girlfriend. Lino attempts to free her and together they manage to escape and capture Tremaine in the Projects, turning him in to police at the border wall. Lino was deceived by trusted police officials as he was under the assumption that Tremaine was wanted for being a dangerous criminal. Lino was not aware that Tremaine had been making payments to the police station as police officials were corrupt. Trusted police officials allow Tremaine to leave with Lino's girlfriend and lock Lino up in a prison cell. Lino kills a police official in attempt to save his girlfriend. Lino is put in the back of a police van where he meets Damien, an under cover cop playing the role of another prisoner. Damien uncuffs his handcuffs, throws the police out of the car, helps Lino to escape.

At first and Lino fight both verbally and physically, but they learn how to work together for the greater good as Damien reluctantly accepts Lino's help and together they struggle to save Lino's girlfriend and stop a sinister plot that involves a stolen bomb set to destroy the entire city. Moreover, there is some girl fighting action between Lino's Spanish waitress girlfriend and Tremaine's assistant that portrays herself to be bisexual. To overcome Tremaine is not an easy task as he is an powerful leader with an army of armed individuals ready to protect him at any cost. With the help of Lino and Tremaine, Damien realizes at the end of the film that his father was killed by his fellow officers that he trusted and that the mayor of Detroit was behind the plot. Damien and Tremaine confront the mayor and manage to prove his true intentions and have him publicly humiliated on the news after compromising plotting an attack on Brick Mansions precedence and he is arrested. Brick Mansions is welcomed back with Damien and Lino continuing their friendship.

Tremaine runs for Mayor of Detroit, promoting the idea of freedom. Principal photography began on April 30, 2013, the film was released in 2014 by EuropaCorp. Relativity Media distributed the film. Following Walker's death, the North American release was scheduled for February and French release for April 23. On February 6, 2014, Relativity and EuropaCorp announced a move to April 25, 2014 as a release date for the film, along with paying the cost of the film's world premiere and distribution; the first official trailer was released on February 13, 2014, featuring the DJ Snake and Lil Jon song "Turn Down for What". The second full trailer was released on March 20, 2014. Rotten Tomatoes gives a 26% rating based on 88 reviews; the site's consensus states, "Choppily edited and bereft of plot, Brick Mansions wastes a likable cast on a pointless remake of the far more entertaining District 13." On Metacritic the film has a score of 40 out of 100 rating, based on reviews from 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".

Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B+ on scale of A to F. One critic considered the film a "watered-down American version, similar in many forms...a huge disappointment". Andrew Pulver wrote in The Guardian, "to be honest, Brick Mansions is not a great film — it kind of skimps on the parkour, the main reason why anyone went to see District 13." Other critics were more positive. Isaac Feldberg of We Got This Covered called the film "a entertaining action thriller", he gushed, "If Brick Mansions is to serve as his final work, it's relieving, at least, to know that it's his best, an appropriately sensational capstone to a career built on pulse-pounding, jaw-dropping action spectaculars." Variety's Justin Chang added that the film was "propulsively entertaining." Mick Lasalle of The San Francisco Chronicle wrote, "The movie itself makes that impossible to forget. There are cars all over the movie - car chases, car crashes, crazy driving, a scene of Walker hanging from a speeding car, a scene of Walker and another guy going 80 miles an hour when the brakes and the steering give out.

Apart from that, there's just the awkwardness of looking at someone on screen and knowing more about him than he knows about himself." Lasalle concluded, "Things start off silly and end up laughable and ridiculous." A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote, "this movie, a remake of the 2004 French franchise-starter District B13, can be enjoyably crazy in its hectic, cartoonish way" but that it is