Pope’s Albania Visit Prompts Long-awaited Facelift For Tirana Square – Yahoo News

AnandTech | Microsoft Details Direct3D 11.3 & 12 New Rendering Features

The facades and columns of the Italian-designed University Building, the Institute of Archaeology and the Arts Academy blackened by exhaust fumes and dirt have been sprayed clean and hundreds of broken tiles have been replaced. “Luckily his visit has given Tirana a facelift; its shine is back,” said Dorina Tocaj, a young mother pushing her baby in a pram as workers hurried to complete the final touches. POLITICAL BICKERING Raqi, a telephone technician working nearby, told Reuters: “I’ve been crossing it all my life, so I find it a bit strange and amazing to see that it was actually so much better 70 years ago.” The square, originally designed in 1940 by an Italian architect when Albania was under the occupation of Mussolinis Italy, takes its present name from Mother Teresa of Calcutta, the ethnic Albanian Nobel Peace Prize winner who is one step from sainthood within the Catholic Church. Albanians — Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Muslims alike — are expected to pack the square on Sunday to hear the pope speak during his day-trip across the Adriatic from Italy. Francis is expected to celebrate the revival of religion in Albania, banned under a Stalinist regime in power for four decades following World War Two, and the peaceful co-existence of faiths in the predominantly Muslim but largely secular Balkan country. Large pictures of Albanian Catholic clerics who were executed or died in labor camps under dictator Enver Hoxha have been hung along the main boulevard running from the square. Albania’s progress towards the European mainstream over the past two decades has been rocky, plagued by weak governance and political parties often at each other’s throats. In 2006, when Socialist Prime Minister Edi Rama was mayor of Tirana, the government under then Democrat premier Sali Berisha bulldozed a half-built flyover started by Rama. The current government is now resisting the extension of the main boulevard by the Democrat mayor. Rama won plaudits as mayor for giving parts of the capital a new lick of bright paint, though much is still to be done.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://news.yahoo.com/popes-albania-visit-prompts-long-awaited-facelift-tirana-114750132.html

In particular, low level access would improve performance both by reducing the overhead high level APIs incur, and by allowing developers to better utilize multi-threading by making it far easier to have multiple threads submitting work. At the time Microsoft offered brief hints that there would be more to Direct3D 12 than just the low level API, but the low level API was certainly the focus for the day. Now as part of NVIDIAs launch of the second generation Maxwell based GeForce GTX 980, Microsoft has opened up to the press and public a bit more on what their plans are for Direct3D. Direct3D 12 will indeed introduce new features, but there will be more in development than just Direct3D 12. Direct3D 11.3 First and foremost then, Microsoft has announced that there will be a new version of Direct3D 11 coinciding with Direct3D 12. Dubbed Direct3D 11.3, this new version of Direct3D is a continuation of the development and evolution of the Direct3D 11 API and like the previous point updates will be adding API support for features found in upcoming hardware. At first glance the announcement of Direct3D 11.3 would appear to be at odds with Microsofts development work on Direct3D 12, but in reality there is a lot of sense in this announcement. Direct3D 12 is a low level API powerful, but difficult to master and very dangerous in the hands of inexperienced programmers. The development model envisioned for Direct3D 12 is that a limited number of code gurus will be the ones writing the engines and renderers that target the new API, while everyone else will build on top of these engines. This works well for the many organizations that are licensing engines such as UE4, or for the smaller number of organizations that can justify having such experienced programmers on staff.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.anandtech.com/show/8544/microsoft-details-direct3d-113-12-new-features

To read more from the author please visit http://Wearerap.com

Solidoodle Announces Premium Content Partnership With Children’s Book Writer

AnandTech | Microsoft Details Direct3D 11.3 & 12 New Rendering Features

Solidoodle’s printers and downloadable characters provide children and their parents the opportunity to build from the ground up, educational alphabet themed learning toys based off the Alphabelly Animals, says author KiKi Han. We hope they pique an exploratory interest in the design process when they are printing their very own learning tools. Sam Cervantes, CEO of Solidodole, added This generation is going to do things that we never would have believed to be possible, so we are excited to be able to start that journey by bringing one of their favorite books to life in a way that is both fun and educational. All models are available for free on Solidoodles , a design community dedicated to making awesome 3D content available to users. Go to Solidoodle.com/Alphabellies to learn more and download the characters. About Solidoodle Solidoodle, founded in 2011 by aerospace engineer and 3D printing industry-veteran Sam Cervantes, builds accessible desktop 3D printers for the consumer market. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Solidoodle has shipped over 10,000 3D printers to customers around the world. For more information about Solidoodle, please visit Solidoodle.com. About the author: KiKi Han (a.k.a. GeekyKiKi) loves to develop cute and colorful characters that promote learning in kids. Her likes include stargazing at playgrounds, dreaming about flying and tweeting fun science facts.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12185601.htm

By grace, a bigger Grace Place – TwinCities.com

Guardian architecture guy Oliver Wainwright unveils “the truth about property developers,” namely that they are ” ruining our cities ” by reneging affordable housing requirements for dazzling developers from abroad: Bullied and undermined, planning authorities have been left castrated and toothless, stripped of the skills and power they need to regulate, and sapped of the spatial imagination to actually plan places. As one house-builder puts it simply, “The system is ripe for sharp developers to drive a bulldozer right through.” And they will continue to do so with supercharged glee, squeezing the life out of our cities and reaping rewards from the ruins, until there is something in the way to stop them. A retirement community for the young, architecture’s gender dynamics, and more. >> 2. A 51-year-old Boston businessman is renovating a neglected Massachusetts landmarks, the Graves Island Light Station. His plans for the 113-foot light house, which he bought for $933,000, are three-fold: to restore the historic property, to once again make the structure inhabitable (that is, with a functioning bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping area), and to open it up to the public: Inside the structure, floors and windows have been restored or replaced, mildewed tiles and rusted fixtures sandblasted clean, and fresh coats of paint applied to winding metal stairways. Outside, rocks from a crumbling breakwater have been moved back into place and an old, rotting dock shored up and rebuilt. 3. Writing for CityLab, economist Joe Cortright debunks the New York Times’ claim that Portland has become a place where overeducated kombucha-drinking young people move to essentially retire: The “Portland as retirement community for the young” stereotype was around before Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen lampooned it on cable. But this well-worn claim has been repeatedly debunked. As Portland State University researchers Greg Schrock and Jason Jurjevich have shown, far from retiring, young and talented people coming to Portland are decidedly entrepreneurial.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://curbed.com/archives/2014/09/19/weekend-reads-lighthouse-reno-the-truth-about-developers-1.php

Homeowners, businesses clean up from heavy rains | News – Home

More than $200,000 in renovations have gone into the building, which sat vacant for a couple of years before its owners, Roseville-based Presbyterian Homes & Services, gifted the building to the Salvation Army. “This whole deal is driven by the community,” Bremer said. One of the most valuable contributions to the new shelter has been time. Bremer said more than 7,000 volunteer hours have gone into the project, which is the local Salvation Army’s largest to date. Members of New Richmond’s American Legion Post 80 were on hand to help out Wednesday. Post member Chuck Mehls, chairman of the project, said his group had donated more than 260 hours of volunteer time. “It’s a great project,” he said as fellow members stood nearby on ladders, installing ceiling tiles in the shelter’s dining room. The American Legion is sponsoring two rooms in the shelter, and those rooms will be primarily used by military veterans. Mehls said he’s known of veterans in the New Richmond area who have found themselves without a place to live. “These guys don’t deserve that,” he said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_26569559/by-grace-bigger-grace-place?source=rss

Weekend Reads: Lighthouse Reno, the Truth About Developers – Recommended Reading – Curbed National

maeda_GravesMakeover_g2.jpg

The ROV implementation however could accomplish the same task much more quickly by getting the order correct from the start, as opposed to having to sort results after the fact. Along these lines, since OIT is just a specialized case of a pixel blending operation, ROVs will also be usable for other tasks that require controlled pixel blending, including certain cases of anti-aliasing. Typed UAV Load The second feature coming to Direct3D is Typed UAV Load. Unordered Access Views (UAVs) are a special type of buffer that allows multiple GPU threads to access the same buffer simultaneously without generating memory conflicts. Because of this disorganized nature of UAVs, certain restrictions are in place that Typed UAV Load will address. As implied by the name, Typed UAV Load deals with cases where UAVs are data typed, and how to better handle their use. Volume Tiled Resources The third feature coming to Direct3D is Volume Tiled Resources. VTR builds off of the work Microsoft and partners have already done for tiled resources (AKA sparse allocation, AKA hardware megatexture) by extending it into the 3rd dimension. VTRs are primarily meant to be used with volumetric pixels (voxels), with the idea being that with sparse allocation, volume tiles that do not contain any useful information can avoid being allocated, avoiding tying up memory in tiles that will never be used or accessed.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.anandtech.com/show/8544/microsoft-details-direct3d-113-12-new-features

Many houses and businesses around El Paso tackled the leftover mess left Friday. The rain can be more than just a hassle for drivers. If it hits heavily enough, it can wipe out your landscaping, which can be expensive to replace. Landscapers could charge around $1.50 a square foot to replace loose rock in a front yard, costing hundreds of dollars to re-do one washed out by water. And if walls are damaged, that could cost hundreds more. The hardest hit areas can even see damage done to parts of your home. “Whenever it rains really hard,” central El Paso resident Rick Macias said. “Coming down Elm Street and down Wheeling cause it’s all down hill, there’s always rocks, big rocks and dirt and a flood of water that comes down here.” The heavy rains that some parts of town saw over the past few days can really do some damage to your front yard. Even in some extreme cases, taking out the sidewalk in front of your house, like one home in central El Paso. That’s an unusual level of damage, but even if you’ve just seen some rocks washed out of your front yard, it’s the damage inside your home that could really cost you. “Yeah, I’ve had a bunch of jobs where people were trying to take care of it themselves, residential and commercial,” Sal Fresquez, owner of Desert Steam Carpet Cleaning and Extraction. “I’ve had commercial properties where they didn’t know there was water damage in there.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.kvia.com/news/homeowners-businesses-clean-up-from-heavy-rains/28159812

To read more from the author please visit http://Newsblog.info

Solidoodle Announces Premium Content Partnership With Children’s Book Writer

AnandTech | Microsoft Details Direct3D 11.3 & 12 New Rendering Features

Solidoodle’s printers and downloadable characters provide children and their parents the opportunity to build from the ground up, educational alphabet themed learning toys based off the Alphabelly Animals, says author KiKi Han. We hope they pique an exploratory interest in the design process when they are printing their very own learning tools. Sam Cervantes, CEO of Solidodole, added This generation is going to do things that we never would have believed to be possible, so we are excited to be able to start that journey by bringing one of their favorite books to life in a way that is both fun and educational. All models are available for free on Solidoodles , a design community dedicated to making awesome 3D content available to users. Go to Solidoodle.com/Alphabellies to learn more and download the characters. About Solidoodle Solidoodle, founded in 2011 by aerospace engineer and 3D printing industry-veteran Sam Cervantes, builds accessible desktop 3D printers for the consumer market. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Solidoodle has shipped over 10,000 3D printers to customers around the world. For more information about Solidoodle, please visit Solidoodle.com. About the author: KiKi Han (a.k.a. GeekyKiKi) loves to develop cute and colorful characters that promote learning in kids. Her likes include stargazing at playgrounds, dreaming about flying and tweeting fun science facts.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12185601.htm

By grace, a bigger Grace Place – TwinCities.com

Guardian architecture guy Oliver Wainwright unveils “the truth about property developers,” namely that they are ” ruining our cities ” by reneging affordable housing requirements for dazzling developers from abroad: Bullied and undermined, planning authorities have been left castrated and toothless, stripped of the skills and power they need to regulate, and sapped of the spatial imagination to actually plan places. As one house-builder puts it simply, “The system is ripe for sharp developers to drive a bulldozer right through.” And they will continue to do so with supercharged glee, squeezing the life out of our cities and reaping rewards from the ruins, until there is something in the way to stop them. A retirement community for the young, architecture’s gender dynamics, and more. >> 2. A 51-year-old Boston businessman is renovating a neglected Massachusetts landmarks, the Graves Island Light Station. His plans for the 113-foot light house, which he bought for $933,000, are three-fold: to restore the historic property, to once again make the structure inhabitable (that is, with a functioning bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping area), and to open it up to the public: Inside the structure, floors and windows have been restored or replaced, mildewed tiles and rusted fixtures sandblasted clean, and fresh coats of paint applied to winding metal stairways. Outside, rocks from a crumbling breakwater have been moved back into place and an old, rotting dock shored up and rebuilt. 3. Writing for CityLab, economist Joe Cortright debunks the New York Times’ claim that Portland has become a place where overeducated kombucha-drinking young people move to essentially retire: The “Portland as retirement community for the young” stereotype was around before Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen lampooned it on cable. But this well-worn claim has been repeatedly debunked. As Portland State University researchers Greg Schrock and Jason Jurjevich have shown, far from retiring, young and talented people coming to Portland are decidedly entrepreneurial.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://curbed.com/archives/2014/09/19/weekend-reads-lighthouse-reno-the-truth-about-developers-1.php

Homeowners, businesses clean up from heavy rains | News – Home

More than $200,000 in renovations have gone into the building, which sat vacant for a couple of years before its owners, Roseville-based Presbyterian Homes & Services, gifted the building to the Salvation Army. “This whole deal is driven by the community,” Bremer said. One of the most valuable contributions to the new shelter has been time. Bremer said more than 7,000 volunteer hours have gone into the project, which is the local Salvation Army’s largest to date. Members of New Richmond’s American Legion Post 80 were on hand to help out Wednesday. Post member Chuck Mehls, chairman of the project, said his group had donated more than 260 hours of volunteer time. “It’s a great project,” he said as fellow members stood nearby on ladders, installing ceiling tiles in the shelter’s dining room. The American Legion is sponsoring two rooms in the shelter, and those rooms will be primarily used by military veterans. Mehls said he’s known of veterans in the New Richmond area who have found themselves without a place to live. “These guys don’t deserve that,” he said.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.twincities.com/localnews/ci_26569559/by-grace-bigger-grace-place?source=rss

Weekend Reads: Lighthouse Reno, the Truth About Developers – Recommended Reading – Curbed National

maeda_GravesMakeover_g2.jpg

The ROV implementation however could accomplish the same task much more quickly by getting the order correct from the start, as opposed to having to sort results after the fact. Along these lines, since OIT is just a specialized case of a pixel blending operation, ROVs will also be usable for other tasks that require controlled pixel blending, including certain cases of anti-aliasing. Typed UAV Load The second feature coming to Direct3D is Typed UAV Load. Unordered Access Views (UAVs) are a special type of buffer that allows multiple GPU threads to access the same buffer simultaneously without generating memory conflicts. Because of this disorganized nature of UAVs, certain restrictions are in place that Typed UAV Load will address. As implied by the name, Typed UAV Load deals with cases where UAVs are data typed, and how to better handle their use. Volume Tiled Resources The third feature coming to Direct3D is Volume Tiled Resources. VTR builds off of the work Microsoft and partners have already done for tiled resources (AKA sparse allocation, AKA hardware megatexture) by extending it into the 3rd dimension. VTRs are primarily meant to be used with volumetric pixels (voxels), with the idea being that with sparse allocation, volume tiles that do not contain any useful information can avoid being allocated, avoiding tying up memory in tiles that will never be used or accessed.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.anandtech.com/show/8544/microsoft-details-direct3d-113-12-new-features

Many houses and businesses around El Paso tackled the leftover mess left Friday. The rain can be more than just a hassle for drivers. If it hits heavily enough, it can wipe out your landscaping, which can be expensive to replace. Landscapers could charge around $1.50 a square foot to replace loose rock in a front yard, costing hundreds of dollars to re-do one washed out by water. And if walls are damaged, that could cost hundreds more. The hardest hit areas can even see damage done to parts of your home. “Whenever it rains really hard,” central El Paso resident Rick Macias said. “Coming down Elm Street and down Wheeling cause it’s all down hill, there’s always rocks, big rocks and dirt and a flood of water that comes down here.” The heavy rains that some parts of town saw over the past few days can really do some damage to your front yard. Even in some extreme cases, taking out the sidewalk in front of your house, like one home in central El Paso. That’s an unusual level of damage, but even if you’ve just seen some rocks washed out of your front yard, it’s the damage inside your home that could really cost you. “Yeah, I’ve had a bunch of jobs where people were trying to take care of it themselves, residential and commercial,” Sal Fresquez, owner of Desert Steam Carpet Cleaning and Extraction. “I’ve had commercial properties where they didn’t know there was water damage in there.
For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.kvia.com/news/homeowners-businesses-clean-up-from-heavy-rains/28159812

To read more from the author please visit http://Newsblog.info

Shedding Light on Tile Terminology

The tile industry has different terminologies that can easily confuse consumers, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association. In order to choose the proper tiles for their applications, users need to know how to differentiate between the terms used in the industry, in order to help them obtain the best materials to meet their needs in specific applications.

Producers generally classify tiles into two main groups: porcelain tiles and non-porcelain tiles. Non-porcelain tiles are the same as ceramic tiles, and to understand the difference between ceramic and porcelain tiles, users need to understand the basics of making them. Non-porcelain, or ceramic, tiles are a product of kilned red or white clay; they are often cheaper in cost than porcelain products.
Ceramic products are also easier to cut, compared to their porcelain counterparts. Such tiles have a PEI rating between 0 and 3. Used in a wide array of applications, they are suitable for spaces with low or moderate traffic, and since they have a higher water absorption rating, they do not effectively resist frost, and are more prone to wear and tear compared to porcelain tiles.

Porcelain Tile

Porcelain tiles are a product of compressed porcelain with a better quality than ceramic products. They have a higher density, and are non-permeable and fine-grained. They also have a smooth, sharply formed surface. Since they are impervious, they can resist frost effectively, although they are not fully frost proof.

To enhance their quality, porcelain tiles undergo a glazing process that makes their surfaces stronger and more resistant to wear and tear. Due to their stronger quality, compared to their ceramic counterparts, porcelain products are suitable for both residential and commercial applications. Glazing also makes them stain resistant, and ensures that their surfaces remain smooth and easy to clean. The process of glazing involves coating the tiles with a special glass layer mounted on the surface for additional strength.

In addition to preventing staining, the glazing process allows for the free use of colours on all parts of the tile, instead being used on the top surface only. Since the colour covers all parts of the tile, the ultimate product is harder and more suitable for commercial applications.

Aside from the ceramic and porcelain tile products, there are also natural stone products that many homeowners use for flooring purposes. Such stones include marble, travertine, and slate, among others. Each stone has unique properties that make it different from the others, and buyers should select stones according to areas of application, in addition to individual taste and preference.

By knowing these terminologies, buyers are in a better position to navigate through the tiling market and select what best meets their needs.

Inspired Floor Tiles Design for Different Rooms in Your Home

Flooring is one of the most important elements of your home, as it can enhance the look and feel of the entire space. Many homeowners choose patterned floors, as stylish patterns can improve the appearance of the interior. You’ll find numerous creative design combinations that can give your rooms unique flooring.

When choosing floor tiles, consider where the tile will be installed. Examine your options carefully, and go for a tile material that works best for the type of surface where you plan to install the tile. For example, you should consider factors like ease of cleaning, durability, and resistance to stains when selecting floor tiles for the kitchen and bathroom. Keep in mind that the kitchen is one of the busiest areas in a home, so the floor tiles need to be comfortable for walking and standing. If you want cost-effective options, bamboo and linoleum floor tiles are excellent choices. You’ll also find a large selection of textures, designs, and styles for linoleum tiles, while bamboo flooring is a durable and eco-friendly choice that gives a room a stylish appearance. If you prefer artistic decorations, then you can choose beautifully painted ceramic tiles, although these tiles are usually cold to step on barefoot, and are also hard on the legs.

Floor Tiles

For the bathroom, the most important feature to consider when selecting floor tiles is resistance to stain and water. Go for creative design ideas to give your bathroom a modern and fashionable look. You can choose floral patterns, decorative tiles, and ceramic tiles with solid colors that compliment your bathroom fixtures and furnishings. Add a splash of color by choosing colorful patterns and designs, such as tile borders with different colors, or bright-colored tiles. Some tiles have graphics that can transform your bathroom into a contemporary space. If you prefer a romantic atmosphere, soft colors are good choices. For a Mediterranean look, hand-painted and Terra cotta tiles are recommended options.

Your bedroom serves as a tranquil haven for quiet and peaceful rest after a tiring day. Choose natural stone tile designs to make it a cozy and comfortable space, or give it a unique appearance by mixing and matching different tiles. Another great choice for your bedroom are carpet tiles, which are available in a variety of patterns and colors. Install bright-colored tiles for your child’s room to make the space more cheerful and vibrant; for the living room, it’s important to choose floor tiles that reflect your taste and personality. Consider laying ceramic floor tiles, carpet tiles, or wood flooring. Whichever type of flooring you choose, be sure that the tiles have muted colors and do not appear too glossy.