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ParentPay website unavailable for school meal payments


ParentPay website unavailable for school meal payments

Image copyright Getty Images

The website of payment firm ParentPay has gone down, leaving some parents unable to transfer funds for school meals and trips.

The company normally serves more than 5,500 schools in 200 local authorities, helping about 1.5 million families.

The company said it was affected "by a national internet connectivity issue – impacting some users. This is out of our control and we'll update you."

Some parents said their children were unable to buy food due to the glitch.

ParentPay said payments had been suspended until the issue was resolved.

Some parents reported being able to make transactions on Tuesday evening, but the company told the BBC the issue was not yet fixed and there was no timescale for when it would be.


One parent, Victoria Lew, said on Twitter she had been trying to access her account for two hours.

"What do [the] kids do for lunch?" she asked, adding that she had been unable to get through to the company on the phone.

Charlotte Banks said on Facebook that neither of her sons had been able to buy food.

"This is getting ridiculous now. Seems to be every few days there are issues with this site," she said.

People also expressed scepticism about the company's explanation for the outage.

Heidi Burrows said: "The only company who appears to have national internet connectivity are ParentPay, so I think you may want to adjust your wording as many of us work in big firms relying on internet and no one else is having this issue!"

What is ParentPay?

  • An online payment system for schools, allowing parents to pay for meals, trips and activities, uniforms, music lessons and fees
  • Parents top up their ParentPay account by debit or credit card, or in cash through PayPoint stores
  • The system can send alerts when a child's catering balance is running low
  • Schools can also use it to send emails, texts and newsletters to parents

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14 Horrifying Stories From People Who Came Back From the Dead


Health is the most important thing which many of us take for granted until something big happens. As Josh Billings said: ”Health is exactly like money, you never have an idea about its exact value until its lost.” Your body and your health is your biggest possession. Take care of it as much as possible. If you will be healthy, you will be able to attain anything in life but if you are not feeling well nothing seems all right to you. Learn to take care of your body as when sudden disease attacks, at that time you realize what you were ignoring throughout your life. The ones who did not take care of their health and faced issues like heart attack know the worth of taking care of their health. Read their horrifying stories and get alarmed now:

14. Story Of Rob:

Image Credits: Story Of Hope

Rob, a healthy man of 54 years age, faced a severe heart attack on one fine day after coming from work. He was perfectly all right before, had no such symptoms or did not have a history of heart attack. And when it happened, he was shaken to the core. Now his heart works only 20% and has got an Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator. While explaining the whole experience he says no one in his family has suffered heart attack ever. The one he got was very severe and he has got three stents because of that. Because of it, so much damage happened to his left ventricle which has resulted in making his heart not working well. But all of this incident made him appreciate his life and his family more.

13. Lorraine’s Tale:

Image Credits: Story Of Hope

A woman, 48 years old named as Lorraine suffered a cardiac arrest in 2005. And because of it, she is living with a failed heart. He says this whole experience was very hard. She was separated from her husband, had very young children by that time. They grew up so quickly by mind after this incident and have become so caring towards me. Lorraine still does not feel completely fine but does not want to lose this battle because of her children. Her children know there is no proper cure for heart attack but they know their mother is a very strong lady, she will make it.

12. Bronnach:

Image Credits: Story Of Hope

Bronnach Pemberton, a woman of 35 years age, was a very fit mother before she suffered a very severe heart attack. It was so bad that even after so many days, she could not even lift her newly born baby. She was forced to leave the job of a teacher as she felt extremely exhausted all the time and used to sleep almost throughout the day. That one incident changed her life upside down. Now she wonders whether she will be able to live long enough to see her children grow up.

11. Clare’s Story:

Image Credits: Story Of Hope

Clare being a nurse herself had seen many patients going through the pain of heart attack. But she never in her wildest dreams thought she would be facing the same situation too. She says one of the worst feelings is when you are not able to breathe or do anything on your own. But after coming out of that phase she became more passionate about her job as she also had experienced the same pain her patients used to go through.

10. Narrated By Carol:

Image Credits: Womenheart

One fine day during a meeting with her clients, Carol suddenly felt a lot of pain in her chest. One of her clients who happened to be a doctor told her that she had no symptoms of a heart attack rather it was some gallbladder issue. When she went to the doctor she was not able to feel her breath. She says it was the most horrifying experience of her life. The surgeons did their work and after long hours of cardiac catheterization, her arteries were made clear. This incident made her appreciate her capabilities more and made her aware of what we all can possess but don’t really praise about.

Don’t Marry A Woman If She Does These 4 Things

9. Story Of Janice:

Image Credits: Womenheart

Janice explained her experience by stating that one day, early in the morning she felt pain in her chest and started sweating. She felt as if her body was not working. On reaching hospital she came to know that she was having a heart attack. She was immediately rushed to the surgery room and got a stent placed. During the recovery session, she got another heart attack and got two more stents placed. But post that experience she learned to take care of her body more and live every day to the fullest.

8. Cindy Steger Story:

Image Credits: Womenheart
Cindy told her story by stating that her family did have a history of a heart attack which she did not know earlier. But since her younger days, she used to go to the gym. She made a resolution of doing race walk. One day after her race session she suffered a very severe heart attack because of the blockage of the right artery of her heart. She didn’t take that very seriously until the doctor told her that she had a heart attack. After that, she regularly went to the doctor and finished her treatment and then came back to normal life to pursue her passion of race. She even won a 5 km long race soon after the cardiac attack. Now she wants to continue this passion, to show the world that even after a disease like heart attack, life goes on and it can be normal.

7. Story Of Sue Chlebek:

Image Credits: Wall Of Street Journal

Sue Chlebek while describing her story of the cardiac arrest said that she used to think only breast cancer was the most dangerous disease until she encountered a severe heart attack. On 31st March 2010, she went to walk with her friend like she always did. Suddenly she felt problem while breathing. By the time she reached her home she started having a pain in her chest and when she saw the symptoms on her mobile, it turned out that she was having a heart attack. It came as a shock to her as she was a very fit person. It was a very severe attack and she got a stent in her artery. Post that incident, she started an awareness campaign around her surroundings. And by narrating her story she hopes that she will encourage people to live a happy and healthy life.

6. Laura Needham’s Story:

Image Credits: Womenheart
Laura, a nurse of almost 33 years old, during a fine evening in December while on her way back home suddenly felt that something was wrong with her left shoulder and by the time she reached her house she had a severe pain in her chest. Along with that, she started vomiting. After few hours when she got up, she came to know that she had just encountered a heart attack. She could not believe it, being a nurse she never felt the symptoms of heart attack in herself. The heart attack which she suffered was of a different kind as the layers forming the coronary artery tore away and blood was collecting in between the layers. Two of her coronary arteries suffered this issue. One got a stent and the other got a balloon inside to clear the blood storage. But now she is completely fine. Post that scenario she feels very guilty at times because of ignoring the symptoms which were so obvious. But it did teach her a lesson and now she is living a life in which she is very concerned about her health.

5. Melanie Mully’s Stroy:

Image Credits: Womenheart

Melanie Mully just 5 days away from her marriage, while doing some shopping suddenly started feeling sick and she felt severe pain in her arms. When she came home and was having a conversation with her friend she just fainted and when she got her senses she came to know that she had a cardiac arrest, and she stayed in a coma for five days. Her senses were lost because she could not believe it as she was a perfectly fine person. But after the recovery session of almost 6 months, she realized anything can happen to anyone at any time. So, we all should take care of our health always.

4. Story Of Sally Bee:

Image Credits: Womenheart

During a hot summer day, Chef Sally Bee suddenly encountered a heart attack. She had no other health problem before. But still, she had two more attacks in the same week. Being a chef she was always concerned about her health but this attack came from nowhere and shook her existence. The cardiac attacks taught her that one should be aware of what to eat and what not to eat.

3. Story Of Bradley Smith:

Image Credits: Cardiosmart

Bradley Smith says that during June 2008, he started having pain in his both elbows. Heart disease was present in his both families, paternal and maternal. But he still did not care much about his health until one day he got a very severe heart attack. He had to stay in the hospital for sixty days to become completely healthy. After that, he has become very much concerned about his health. He does workout 6-7 times in a week and eats healthy as much as possible. This incident made him realize the importance of going for a regular checkup at least 2 times a year.

2. Christian Jacobs:

Image Credits: Cardiosmart

Christian’s heart disease diagnose journey started when he was informed about a disease called as Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia. He was living a normal healthy life until one day when he got a stress attack and was informed that his heart was blocked 75%. It was a very painful time for him and his family but then with time, he started feeling better as he got stunts placed. By letting people know his story he wants people to know there is no age to get a cardiac arrest. So, eat good food and do exercise properly to stay healthy.

1. David Wang:

Image Credits: Cardiosmart
As a 40-year-old man who goes to the gym regularly and takes karate classes, David never imagined of having a heart attack. But it did hit him after he was diagnosed of having a heart attack. Initially, he could not digest it but then he was informed that one of his coronary arteries was 100% blocked but due to the advanced modern medicine his life was saved from the mouth of death. This incident made him realize the importance of family and friends more because earlier he used to be busy all the time but now he does know their worth.

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Trump wives


The war of words between former and current Mrs Trumps

Image copyright Getty Images

Donald Trump's first wife, Ivana, has started a war of words by saying she, not Melania, is the real First Lady and by revealing that she has a direct line to the White House but uses it less than she could to avoid jealousy.

Melania is Mr Trump's third wife, and although this is the first time she and Ivana have crossed swords in public, the first wife has certainly had harsh words for her successor, Marla, before.

All three of them were at Mr Trump's inauguration as president in January.

Here are the stories of the three women and their marriages to Donald Trump.

Wife One

Ivana Trump (maiden name: Zelnícková)

Married to Donald 1977-1992

Image copyright Getty Images

Born in 1949 in Czechoslovakia, Ivana met Donald at a bar in New York and the pair were married for 15 years. She is the mother of three of his children: Donald Jr, Ivanka, and Eric.

The couple divorced after rumours surfaced that he was having an affair and he refused to tell Playboy magazine in an interview whether his marriage was monogamous.

During a divorce deposition, Ivana accused Mr Trump of raping her, but she later withdrew the comment, saying her words should not be "interpreted in a literal or criminal sense" and she meant instead that she had felt a lack of tenderness. He has said the episode was completely falsified.

The divorce is thought to have cost Mr Trump tens of millions of dollars. Ivana's attempts to receive more money than had been laid out in a pre-nuptial agreement were extensively reported in the New York press at the time.

She even had a cameo in the 1996 film First Wives Club where she repeated the line: "Don't get mad, get everything!"

She has married twice since, and has remained close enough to Mr Trump to be photographed next to him at functions (as above).

He went on to marry the mistress, Marla Maples.

  • Melania Trump hits back at Ivana's 'first lady' jibe

On becoming president, Mr Trump reportedly offered Ivana the chance to be the US ambassador to the Czech Republic but she declined, preferring to be able to summer in St Tropez.

"I'm known by the name Ivana. I really did not need the name Trump," she told the New York Post.

The first Mrs Trump is promoting her book Raising Trump, to be released on Tuesday. In the course of it, she quipped that she is the real first lady.

Melania responded with a statement including the lines: "There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex. Unfortunately only attention seeking and self-serving noise."

Wife Two

Marla Maples (never changed her name)

Married to Donald 1993-1999

Image copyright Getty Images

Marla Maples was born into a Baptist family in Georgia in the US in 1963, making her 14 years younger than Ivana. The couple had one daughter, Tiffany.

Their relationship began in secret, as an affair that lasted for years. Before it, she had been a beauty queen who took a bit part in a Stephen King film (Maximum Overdrive) and posed for a Delta Air Lines ad.

Vanity Fair reported that Marla lived on Mr Trump's mega yacht, Trump Princess and avoided the press. But she would soon come to the world's attention, when she and the Trumps holidayed in the same town.

"I'm Marla and I love your husband. Do you?" are the words she reportedly said to Ivana when confronting her in Aspen in 1990.

"Stay away from him! Stay away from us!" Ivana reportedly replied.

Looking back on their divorce, Ms Maples has said she wanted to change Mr Trump but realised after some years that they were not bringing out the best in each other.

In 1990, Marla said: "I'm, like, of the soil, of the country, of a solid, firm belief in God. I would be happier living out on a farm away from everyone." After the divorce she moved to California.

Instagram post by itsmarlamaples Image Copyright itsmarlamaples itsmarlamaples Report

Last year when Marla competed in Dancing with the Stars she was eliminated quickly, and Ivana said she was "never happier in her life".

Ivana took another swipe at her during book promotion interviews this week, by telling CBS Sunday Morning that Ms Maples was "a showgirl" who had never achieved anything – but she has not responded.

Wife Three

Melania Trump (nee Knavs)

Married to Donald 2005 – present

Image copyright Getty Images

Born as Melanija Knavs in Slovenia in 1970, Melania is seven years younger than Marla, 21 years younger than Ivana and 24 years younger than her husband, Donald.

She later changed the spelling of her first name to Melania, and moved to the US in the 1990s.

  • Unusual and traditional at once: Melania Trump, First Lady

She married Mr Trump in 2005 after meeting him when she was working as a model. He was reportedly intrigued when she refused to give him her number, asking for his instead.

She is the mother of Barron, 11, and delayed their move to the White House so as not to interrupt his school year.

She is an unusual First Lady in another way: she is the first to have posed nude for a magazine.

When she found herself attacked in public by the first Mrs Trump, her scathing statement managed to take some moral high ground: "Mrs Trump has made the White House a home for [their son] Barron and The President.

"She loves living in Washington, DC and is honoured by her role as First Lady of the United States.

"She plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books."

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EE apologises for voice call fault


EE apologises for voice call fault

Image copyright Getty Images

Mobile phone provider EE confirmed that some customers were experiencing problems making voice calls.

The firm has now tweeted that the issue is resolved. Data and messaging services were not affected.

The fault appeared to largely affect calls to non-EE phone numbers.

Nearly 3,000 people left comments on the website Down Detector from around the UK, saying they were unable to make or receive calls, on some occasions for several hours.

"Some of our customers are reporting problems when trying to make calls to some numbers this morning," the firm said in a statement.

"All data and messaging services are working as normal. We're working to fix this as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience caused."

EE also said on Twitter that emergency services numbers were still accessible.

Customers took to social networks and forums to complain.

"Can only call other mobiles in Nottingham, even local numbers aren't working, sort this out EE, ironically I received a text from EE promoting BT Sports app during this downtime!" wrote Pat on Down Detector.

At the end of September the firm apologised again after a fault affected customers using its UK home broadband service.

Source –


Game of Thrones: Traffic banned from Dark Hedges road


Game of Thrones: Traffic banned from Dark Hedges road

Image copyright Northern Ireland Tourist Board
Image caption The famous tunnel of beech trees was used by the Game of Thrones crew to represent 'the Kingsroad'

Traffic is to be banned from part of a County Antrim road – made famous by the TV fantasy drama Game of Thrones – to protect trees known as the Dark Hedges.

The tunnel of beech trees on the Bregagh Road, near Armoy, has become a major international tourist attraction.

The scene was used by the Game of Thrones crew to represent "the Kingsroad" in the HBO drama series.

Stormont's Department for Infrastructure is introducing a ban on cars using the road from 30 October.

  • Dark Hedges suffer Easter crowds and cars
  • Game of Thrones road closure proposed

The order will also prohibit buses and coaches from using the designated stretch of the Bregagh Road.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionTourists at the beech-lined avenue have welcomed the move

Any motorist who flouts the ban could face a fine of up to £1,000.

Some vehicles – including agricultural and emergency vehicles – will be exempt from the ban "in certain circumstances".

'National treasure'

The Dark Hedges were planted more than 200 years ago by the Stuart family, who created a tree-lined avenue along the entrance to their Gracehill House mansion.

About 150 were planted by James Stuart, but time has taken its toll over the centuries and now fewer than two thirds remain standing.

Image copyright Kevin McAuley
Image caption A large branch of one of the trees fell onto the Bregagh Road in July 2016

In January 2016, during Storm Gertrude, high winds ripped up two trees, causing them to collapse.

Later that year, a large, rotten branch broke off one of the trees and fell across the road.

The Dark Hedges became a huge draw for tourists and TV fans after they appeared, albeit very briefly, in the closing scene of one episode of Game of Thrones.

Image caption A sign at the Dark Hedges marks the site's contribution to the TV show

Arya Stark, one of the show's main characters, was filmed travelling on a cart along the road, disguised as a boy.

Conservationists have expressed alarm about the increasing traffic levels in the area and the possible damage to the trees' roots.

During the Easter holidays this year, pictures of traffic jams were shared on social media, some criticising the number of vehicles lining the road..

The cycling blog NI Greenways described the Dark Hedges as a "national treasure" and claimed it was being slowly killed.

Image copyright @nigreenways

The Department for Infrastructure published the banning order on 5 October.

It had proposed the ban last year, after "discussions with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and other interested parties".

It launched a consultation and said "four written objections were received and duly considered and no other representations were received".

The ban is will be enforced along Bregagh Road, from its junction with Ballinlea Road to its junction with Ballykenver Road.

The department said new traffic signs, advising the public of the ban, would be erected in the area "in due course".

Source –


Students skate 352 miles during Chinese holiday week


Students skate 352 miles during Chinese holiday week

Image copyright SINA WEIBO
Image caption Two students travelled 352 miles (567 kilometres), the same distance from London to Sheffield and back

A couple of Chinese students opted to avoid traffic jams during the Golden Week holiday by travelling 352 miles (567 kilometres) to their destination by roller skate, it's reported.

According to Beijing Youth Daily the two university students set off from Jining College in eastern Shandong province on 1 October and spent five days travelling by roller skate along the motorway to Beijing, where they had plans to spend their autumn break.

The Golden Week holiday sees millions of Chinese travel to their hometowns and villages to spend time with their relatives, but they usually choose conventional road, rail and air journeys.

The pair carried some clothes and basic food and water in backpacks, and chose to eat and sleep at places they came across at the roadside. English language newspaper China Daily says that they collectively wore out 12 bearings on their shoes during their journey, which is the same distance as travelling from central London to Sheffield and back.

Copycats discouraged

"Our families were concerned about our safety," one of the students told Beijing Youth Daily. "But before we set out, we sought the advice of professionals on where not to go, and how to stay safe."

Jining College confirmed the students' safe arrival by posting pictures of them on their official Sina Weibo microblog.

But state media have discouraged other students from copying their method of travel. Beijing Traffic Police told China Daily that the students violated traffic rules, and that others looking to carry out similar journeys could face fines.

Nevertheless, the students insist that they have no regrets about carrying out this journey. "This trip was interesting and meaningful. We just took advantage of this holiday and were able to realise a dream."

Reporting by Kerry Allen

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These 8 Skin Issues Can Ruin Your Body


Skin is a very important organ of any human being. We all want our skin to be as fresh and beautiful as it can be. But during the course of our busy life routine we are usually not able to take care of our skin properly. And when we take our skin for granted, at times its effects start popping up on our body. Sometimes these issues can be so severe that they result in ruining your body. Here some issues are mentioned which can your body in a very bad way. Have a look and start taking care of your skin now:

8. Freckles:

Image Credits: iStock

Freckles are usually the brown colored small spots which occur mostly on face and then on other parts of body. They are usually caused because of skin’s exposure to the excessive sun rays. Laura Schlessinger, a very famous host, writer and social commentator says, freckles come on your skin to cover it up from the damage of the direct sun rays.

Image Credits: Camphalfbloodroleplay

Freckles can also be a symptom of skin cancer. Cancer is a very dangerous disease itself. So, take care of your skin and if you find some freckles emerging on your face, go t your dermatologist as soon as possible. As this issue can ruin your health and your body.

7. Super Dark Patches:

Image Credits: Womenhealthmag

The dark patches of skin which occur on the neck, beneath the arms is a disease known as acanthosis nigricans. Because of this issue the affected area skin becomes thicker, darker and weird to touch. This can also mean that your body has become insulin resistant. Which would mean that you are having symptoms of sugar (diabetes). So, if you find out any such patch on your skin go to some doctor quickly before its too late.

6. Breakouts:

Image Credits: Shutterstock

Due to high stress level, dead tight work routine, breakups acne flares up on your skin. Shainhouse said: Hormones do play a very important role in causing acne, which often involves the area of face and neck.

Image Credits: Unilab

And because of acne breakouts are a must to have. Try to find the cure of this issue as soon as possible otherwise it will destroy your body majorly.

5. Psoriasis:

Image Credits: iStock

Psoriasis are also called as red patches. It is a disorder in which the skin cells are signaled by the immune system to grow very quickly. It means your body can not take away or shed the skin cells very fast. Rather the skin cells compile at one place which results in red patches.

Image Credits: iStock

If you see any such thing on your body consult a doctor in the next hour because it can also lead to heart attack, Type 2 diabetes and very high blood pressure. So, instead of considering this issue very light go to the near Dermatologist so that your body will be saved from being ruined.

17 Famous Logos With Hidden Messages That We Bet You Didn’t Know

4. Severe Itchiness:

Image Credits: iStock

There are so many reasons present out there about itching. But out of all of them, the most common reason is some allergic reaction to anything that you ate, sudden change in your atmosphere or a severe reaction to some medicine that you took.

Image Credits: iStock

Itching at times occur for a very small time but if it does not stop for a longer period of time go to a good doctor as it can also be a cause of some diseases like celiac, diabetes and even anemia. Generally you do not take itching seriously but if not taken seriously it can be very bad for the body. So, never take itching as an easy thing.

3. Paleness:

Image Credits: iStock

You all must be aware of the word Pale. It is the condition in which the whole skin specially the face starts looking yellow. It is because of the deficiency of blood in the body. When there is not enough iron the body then in result the body starts looking pale. And with that a lot of weakness also comes. You are not able to move much because you feel lack of energy all the time.

Image Credits: abcZdrowie

Pale skin also causes anemia when it is combined with lack of inner energy and lost breath. But this is not an incurable disease. It can be treated with the help of iron supplements and by adding the food in your diet which are more iron filled. Such kind of food includes dark green vegetables, sea food and a lot of chicken and meat. But you should not take paleness light as it can also cause issues like leukemia or even bleeding.

2. Dry Patches:

Image Credits: Healtreatcure

Dry patches usually occur during the cooler months. They occur because your skin is free to all sort of dirt. And all sort of barriers come down and because of that all the hydration also finishes. The University of Maryland conducted a research and they concluded that dry skin can also be caused because of deficiency of fatty acid omega 3. In that case you want to eat food which are more rich in omega, such as walnuts and grass-fed beef.

Image Credits: Reddit

If you experience some symptoms such as fatigue, constipation and gain in weight in the scaly skin then it might mean that you are having hypothyroidism. Consultant your nearby doctor as soon as possible.

1. Perma Blushing:

Image Credits: Getty

If you feel as if you are looking embarrassed through out the day and all the week. That might be because of Rosacea. Its causes are still unknown. It might be because of cold weather, spicy foods and also stress.

Image Credits: Hubpages

The Pulse Light treatment which usually deliver light through the surface of the skin are used to improve the appearances. And it also helps in the treatment of Perma Blushing.

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Nokia kills off Ozo high-end virtual reality cameras


Nokia kills off Ozo high-end virtual reality cameras

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Ozo can livestream footage at 4K resolution to each eye at up to 60 frames per second

Nokia is winding down its high-end virtual reality camera division.

The Ozo and its follow-up the Ozo+ had been marketed to professionals as being able to capture the "highest quality" 360-degree footage possible, and had been used by Disney among others.

But despite a recent price cut, the Finnish firm indicated that sales had been weaker than expected.

One expert said it reflected the fact that public appetite for VR content was still very limited.

In a statement, Nokia said it now planned to dedicate its efforts to developing smart health products instead, and would leave it to others to build on its work in VR.

"The slower-than-expected development of the VR market means that Nokia Technologies plans to reduce investments and focus more on technology licensing opportunities," it said.

"The unit aims to halt development of further versions of the Ozo camera and hardware, while maintaining commitments to existing customers."

Image copyright Nokia
Image caption The camera's price restricted its audience almost solely to professionals

It added that 310 jobs were being cut as a consequence, affecting posts in Finland, the UK and US.

Helicopter shots

The original Ozo was first unveiled in July 2015. The handheld device featured eight cameras and the same number of microphones in order to capture both spherical video and spatial sound.

It initially had a $60,000 (£45,500) price tag, bringing it in line with the kind of other cameras commonly used for Hollywood movies and TV commercials.

Disney was one of the early adopters, using the equipment to create interactive behind-the-scenes footage for its Jungle Book film.

It was also used by London-based production house Alchemy VR for a forthcoming natural history documentary about the Galapagos Islands. The company's head of production welcomed the possibilities that its relatively small size opened up.

Image copyright Nokia
Image caption Nokia brought out a second-generation product earlier this year at a lower price than the original

"The Ozo is probably the simplest camera in the world to use," Ian Syder told the TVTechGlobal news site.

"It's really changed the way we do VR. Suddenly, the riskier shots are possible – you can put it on a motorised dolly [cart], or strap it to a helicopter."

However, others were more critical.

The UK-based production house SpeedVR warned clients that the file sizes which the camera created were huge, and that it struggled with scenes featuring shadows or highlights.

"For around a tenth of the price you can get higher quality elsewhere," it blogged last year.

In April, Nokia announced a follow-up system – the Ozo+ – promising better dynamic range and sharper, cleaner images to address clients' criticisms.

Image copyright Nokia
Image caption The amount of storage required and processing time involved add to the costs of using Ozo

It went on sale for $45,000 but was discounted to $25,000 five months later.

"The Ozo has clearly been a much smaller niche product than Nokia anticipated," commented Ben Wood from the CCS Insight tech consultancy.

"The challenge was that this was extremely early stage technology and users often found it took a long time to process the content.

"And unfortunately, 360-degree content and virtual reality more broadly have not taken off as quickly as many in the industry had hoped – despite the support of platforms including Facebook and YouTube."

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The Best Birth Control Natural Remedies You’ve Never Heard Of


Although many consider children to be a blessing, some people have their own reasons for not wanting to be parents. Some people just do not like the responsibility and think it is better to just have pets while others are concerned about the resources, the choice is not that easy. In any case, birth control has become exceedingly popular. Other than abstinence, people use all kinds of birth control methods, including male and female condoms, morning-after pills and other contraceptives. These methods are quite popular but have their pros and cons too. Nevertheless, nature has provided us with all kinds of herbs which can be used for a variety of purposes. Here are a few natural remedies you should know for birth control.

Image Source: iStock

1. Neem:

Image Credits: iStock

Neem is one of the most famous herbs. It is used all over the world for a number of reasons. Neem is used in all its forms, from neem leaves to neem oil and extract. Using neem as a contraceptive is a rather popular practice, by men as well as women, all over the world.

Image Credits: iStock

Neem is a very strong contraceptive given that a minute amount of the herb, in form of oil, when injected to the uterine horns, can make a woman infertile for a year, without messing with the ovaries, menstrual or hormonal cycle. Neem not only works as a contraceptive for women but men can also use it.

Image Credits: iStock

For a man, neem can adversely affect the motility of the sperm cells, which makes them unable to reach the female egg and fertilize it. It takes neem oil less than 30 seconds to kill a sperm cell within a vagina. It can also cause infertility in men. It may be used within a capsule, on a daily basis, to use as a birth control pill. The good news is that your sperm productions or libido do not get affected by the intake of neem, in any form.

2. Queen Anne’s Lace:

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Also known as the wild carrot, Queen Anne’s Lace is yet another herb used for birth control. The seeds of the herb disrupts the implantation by blocking the steroid hormone, progesterone synthesis and the fertilized egg finds implantation very hard. The seeds of the herb are collected and work as the contraceptive.

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Various studies have been carried out on using this herb as a contraceptive and it has been gaining popularity. This herb is best used as an emergency contraceptive. However, using Queen Anne’s Lace has some mild side effects too. Women who are breastfeeding should not use this herb.

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Using this herb is not a good idea for people who have had issues regarding gallstones or kidney. Some may also experience constipation for a few weeks. The herb has an uncanny resemblance to toxic plants like water hemlock and poison hemlock. One should make sure that they do not confuse Queen Anne’s Lace with these plants. Here’s how you can use the herb: 8 hours after, take a tablespoon of Queen Anne’s Lace and chew the seeds. To get the maximum effect, do this for 7 days.

12 Shocking Reasons Why Men Die Sooner Than Women 3. Blue Cohosh:

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Another popular remedy is to drink Blue Cohosh tea after. Blue Coshosh is also known as squaw root and blue or yellow ginseng. The root of this herb can affect implantation due to the two uterine-contracting substances it has. This herb has been used to induce uterine contractions. Using this herb is ideal for when you forget to use a contraceptive.

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Like all other herbs, it has some side effects too and it is excellent to use it after consulting a specialist, to avoid any problems in the future. To one-quarter of boiling water, add a teaspoon of the herb and for five minutes, let it steep.

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Keep drinking this tea until you get your period. Make sure to not drink more than 400mg a day.

4. Pennyroyal:

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This herb was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a contraceptive. The herb works as a contraceptive on the principle that it maximizes menstrual flow, acting as anemmenagogue. This herb can be combined with other herbs to make it work like contraceptive and maximize the effect. It can also cause severe results which not only include maximum menstrual flow but also abortions. Pennyroyal has leaves which may be used dried or fresh.

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Although Pennyroyal is a very effective contraceptive, it should be used cautiously. It can not only damage the nervous system but also cause liver and kidney issues. It may even disturb your hormonal cycle. One should make sure not to drink more than 300mg of Pennyroyal in the timespan of 6 days. In case you do not get your period or you get more than 10 days late, you should stop Pennyroyal intake immediately. The herb should be used immediately after for full effect.

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Here is how you can use the herb: You may take 8 ounces of water, which may be distilled or spring and add one teaspoon of dried leaves of Pennyroyal after you have taken it off the stove. Let it stand for 15 to 15 minutes and then strain it. You may also add in a small amount of honey.


Article by Born Realist

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