first_imgIn order to curtail the spread of the deadly Ebola Virus in Nimba and other parts of Liberia, the Nimba County Ebola Response Task Force has erected a checkpoint at the St. John River before entering Nimba from Bong County.Nimba Superintendent Fong Zuagele told the Daily Observer that the newly erected checkpoint will strictly be for testing going in and out of Nimba County.“Anyone entering Nimba or leaving Nimba will be tested at this checkpoint to ascertain their temperature before leaving and if the temperature is higher then that person will be taken to the holding center at the United Methodist Center for an Ebola test,” he said.“We have a drum of water for hands washing; so we ask   everybody to comply with security so we can make Liberia free of Ebola”, he asserted.At present, the County Task Force has three ambulances; one will be transporting those who are showing signs to the holder while the others will be taking positive cases to the center in Monrovia.Thirteen security officers, including six police officers, five BIN officers, two port health officers and a DEA agent have been trained to carefully man the checkpoint and ensure that all travelers go through temperature testing before passing through the checkpoint.Even though the outbreak of Ebola in Nimba is not as high as compared to other places in Liberia, yet it is reported that at least five persons have died from Ebola since the outbreak,  with 13 persons in Nimba  showing signs and symptoms.Supt. Zuagele urged the security at the checkpoint to be fair and honest in the discharge of their duties so as to avoid the further spread of Ebola.“Let’s help stop the spread this deadly Ebola virus by doing exactly what you were trained to do,” he admonished the joint security personnel at checkpoint.“This checkpoint is not created to check driver’s licenses, drugs or to extort money from anyone.  It is strictly here for the Ebola,” he warned.Prior to the erecting of the Ebola Checkpoint, the assigned officers went under a mini workshop where they were ttaught about the various signs and symptoms of Ebola.They were told to consider all signs and symptoms while testing the temperature of a person.Dr. Lorene Cooper of Sanniquellie, the facilitator of the workshop, warned the officers not give in to any pressure under the pretext that someone is seriously sick and so they were rushing that person to the hospital.“The car should be stopped, and the person’s condition  checked and if the person was bleeding, vomiting and toileting, s/he should be detained and the MOH team contacted at once so as to take him/her to the holding center,” she said.“Be polite with those whom you are interacting with.  Do   not rush on any unexplained dead body.  Contact Ministry of Health immediately. The Nimba Task Force received a special thermometer called “thermoflah” from the iron ore mining giant, Arcelor Mittal. It can be used without it touching the body. It is in form of pistol and uses a high quality dry cell finger size  battery.The security will be checking for anyone whose temperature is over 37.5c and if anyone’s  temperature drops, he or she  should be allowed to go; but if it is above the given degree,  the person shouldn’t be allow to leave.“Put your country first and do not take any money from anyone at this checkpoint because the person wants to go or you know the person,” Dr. Lorene Cooper said.“Work as a team and be very straight and do not touch anyone,” she emphasized.The Nimba Police commander has promised that his men will not be involved in anything else besides what they were told to do to stop the spread of Ebola. The officers will make sure that no vehicle carry two persons in the front or four persons in back seat, in case of a taxi.“In exercise of our duty to  combat Ebola, we’ll make sure that no taxi carries more than four and no motorcycle carry more one person at the back,” he said.Meanwhile, Supt. Zuagele has informed this newspaper that similar checkpoint was slated to be erected at the boundary with Grand Gedeh on Tuesday 12th August 2014.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgIt has been confirmed that the much-awaited Ramelton Christmas lights will not go ahead this year.The decision has come as a major financial blow to the business community where the Christmas Lights Show over a five-week period increased footfall substantially and added greatly to the profile of the town.The Tirconail Tribune ollowing a meeting of the lights committee earlier this week, they reluctantly decided not to go ahead with the lights due to circumstances that developed during the Lennon Festival and which remain unresolved. According to Anthony McCahill who has played a pivotal role in many voluntary projects in the town over the years he said this was a committee decision that was forced on them as a result of unsubstantiated allegations.He has challenged anyone who made allegations that portrayed the Lennon Committee or himself in a negative light, either on social media or otherwise to substantiate those claims.Mr. McCahill said that all video footage of alleged ‘incidents’ about damage to property during the festival is there for all to view and he has challenged those involved in promoting this agenda to stand up and be counted… to apologise and clear the good name of the Festival committee and their characters.News of the decision not to have the Christmas Lights display in Ramelton has come as a huge disappointment where thousands of people flocked to view the county’s most exciting and original lights display that stretched for over a kilometre. Mr. McCahill has stressed that the lights are the property of the community.“The lights belong to everyone that contributed to their purchase and rumours that they have been sold are completely untrue. If any group wishes to put up the lights then they are welcome to them and I wish them well,” he added.The Ramelton Lights project began in 2011 and orginally local personalities were given the honour of switching them on.But in more recent times the big band names, Jimmy Buckley, Robert Mizzell and Cliona Hagan thrilled the hordes that to came to Gamble’s Square for the opening nights.Community and business sources in the town have expressed serious dismay at this latest development with fears that other voluntary projects including the Lennon Festival may also be at risk. Anthony McCahill has paid a sincere thanks to everyone that has contributed to the expenditure on the lights. The workers and all other voluntary projects in which he’s been associated with over many years.He said he sincerely regrets that this decision has been forced on the Christmas Lights Committee.Disappointment as plug is pulled on Ramelton’s Christmas lights was last modified: November 17th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:cancelledCHristmasLIGHTSRameltonlast_img read more

first_imgChandra Wickramasinghe and colleagues at Cardiff University have raised the bar on tale-telling ability.  They believe that comets splatting on earth can carry away germs of life that gradually spread farther and farther out, eventually escaping the sun’s pull.  Over time, they might spread life to other worlds.  They estimate that since the origin of the Milky Way galaxy, over 10 billion worlds could have been seeded with life by this process.  Story in EurekAlert.Wickramasinghe, former colleague of the late Fred Hoyle (see 08/22/01), is a useful idiot-genius who has helped demolish arguments for a chance origin of life, but replaced it by a tall tale even more incredible.  Since storytelling has become part and parcel of science, anything goes if you have a PhD, the whoppier the better, and the science news outlets will publish it with nary a guffaw.  (Unless you are a creationist.)(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

first_imgA industria automovel na África do Sul e um motor global a turbo para o fabrico e exportaçao de veiculos e componentes. O sector exporta cerca de 10% do que fabrica, fazendo dela uma parte crucial da economia da África do Sul.Com uma produçao anual de 535.000 veiculos em 2007, que se estima chegue aos 630.000 em 2008, a África do Sul pode ser considerada como um contribuinte menor para o fabrico de automoveis no mundo, que chegou aos 73 milhoes de unidades em 2007.Mas localmente o sector automovel e um gigante, contribuindo com 7,5% do PIB (Produto Interno Bruto) e empregando 36.000 pessoas.O governo classificou a industria automovel como um sector chave em crescimento, com perspectivas de aumentar o fabrico de automoveis para 1,2 milhoes de unidades ate 2020, ao mesmo tempo que se cre ira aumentar tambem a participaçao local.CrescimentoInvestimentoFord, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, VW …Programa de desenvolvimento para a industria automovelVantagens competitivasFabricantes de peças e componentes autoMimados por tanta escolhaCrescimentoA África do Sul tem sido um dos mercados mais bem sucedidos no mundo nos ultimos anos. Os valores de vendas de novos veiculos subiram para recordes absolutos em tres anos consecutivos, entre 2004 e 2006. Em 2006 as vendas subiram 14,4% para um pouco menos de 650.000 unidades, gerando receitas na ordem dos 118,4 bilioes.As vendas baixaram 5,4% em 2007 e espera-se que continuem a descer em 2008 devido ao aumento das taxas de juro e dos preços em geral.Apesar disso, as previsoes de exportaçao devem continuar a manter a industria local com sinal positivo. As exportaçoes de veiculos rondaram as 170.000 unidades em 2007 e a NAAMSA – National Automobile Association of South Africa (Associaçao Automovel Nacional da África do Sul) estima que este valor suba para as 285.000 unidades em 2008. Um extraordinario crescimento, sobretudo se comparado com 1997, quando foram exportadas menos de 20.000 unidades.A África do Sul exporta actualmente veiculos para mais de 70 paises, especial o Japao (cerca de 29% do valor total de exportaçoes), Australia (20%), Reino Unido (12%) e EUA (11%). Entre os restantes destinos de exportaçao contam-se a Argelia, o Zimbabue e a Nigeria.InvestimentoTodos os principais fabricantes de automoveis estao representados na África do Sul, assim como oito dos dez principais fabricantes principais mundiais de peças e componentes e tres ou quatro dos maiores fabricantes de pneus. Muitas das principais empresas multinacionais usam os componentes sul africanos e montam os seus veiculos quer para o mercado local quer estrangeiro.Entre 2000 e 2006, o investimento industrial em termos de produçao e exportaçao quadruplicou, de 1,5 biliao para 6,2 bilioes de rands, antes de abrandar para 3 bilioes em 2007. Conta-se que o investimento em 2008 ronde os 4 bilioes de rands.A maior parte foi investimento externo, com as empresas mae dos fabricantes de automoveis locais a expandirem a sua operaçao e a aumentarem a sua capacidade de produçao, exportaçoes e infra-estruturas de apoio.Todos os grandes fabricantes no pais lançaram programas de exportaçao nos ultimos anos – o ultimo (em Janeiro de 2008) foi a Ford Motor Company da África do Sul.Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, VW …FordEm Janeiro de 2008, a Ford Motor Company da África do Sul anunciou planos de investimento de mais de 1,5 bilioes para expandir as suas operaçoes no pais, com vista a produçao do camiao pickup compacto da nova geraçao Ford com motor Puma a diesel.O braço local do gigante americano afirmou que este novo investimento teria inicio em 2009 e seria dividido entre a unidade de montagem de Silverton, Pretoria, e a unidade de motores em Struandale, Port Elizabeth, sendo a maioria dos carros fabricados para exportaçao.General MotorsA General Motors South Africa, com sede em Port Elizabeth, no Cabo Oriental, detem as marcas Chevrolet, Opel, Isuzu, Saab, Cadillac e Hummer. Em 2005 a empresa foi agraciada com um contrato a seis anos para montagem e exportaçao do Hummer H3, traduzindo-se num investimento de 100 milhoes de Dolares na sua unidade de Struandale.A GM South Africa esta a construir em 2008 um novo centro de conversao de distribuiçao, que vai custar varios milhoes de rands e vai investir mais 481 milhoes de rand, aumentando, equipando e melhorando as suas instalaçoes.Mercedes-BenzA Mercedes-Benz South Africa fabrica os veiculos Mercedes-Benz e Mitsubishi na sua unidade fabril de East London, no Cabo Oriental. A sede da empresa fica na provincia de Gauteng, de onde os Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Maybach, Mistisubishi Motors, Freightliner, Western Star e FUSO sao comercializados e financiados.A Mercedes-Benz SA despendeu recentemente 2 bilioes de rands a melhorar as suas instalaçoes fabris, produzindo actualmente veiculos com volante a direita e a esquerda para o seu ultimo modelo Classe-C, tanto para o mercado interno como externo.ToyotaA Toyota South Africa completou ultimamente um programa de cinco anos de modernizaçao e revitalizaçao que custou a volta de 2,4 bilioes de rands. A sua fabrica em Prospecton, a sul de Durban, e agora uma fabricas da Toyota tecnologicamente mais avançadas do mundo fora do Japao, com capacidade de produçao de 220.000 unidades por ano.Como fabrica de produçao global, a Toyota South África transformou-se de um simples fornecedor meramente local para uma base solida de exportaçao, fornecendo veiculos para a Europa e a África. A empresa, que exporta para mais de 40 paises, espera alcançar as 140.000 unidades para exportaçao em 2008, ou quase 60% do total das exportaçoes automoveis da África do Sul.VolkswagenA Volkswagen South Africa situa-se em Uitenhage, junto de Port Elizabeth, no Cabo Oriental. Em 2007 a empresa celebrou o seu 56º aniversario neste pais e 2,5 milhoes de veiculos saidos das suas linhas de montagem. É lider no mercado de veiculos de passageiros, responsavel por uma fatia de 21% das vendas de veiculos novos.Entre 2000 e 2008, a Volkswagen South Africa investiu perto de 6 bilioes de rands em novos modelos, uma nova unidade de pintura e uma nova fabrica de montagem de camioes e autocarros.Programa de desenvolvimento para a industria automovelO elemento catalisador para este crescimento fenomenal tem sido o Programa de Desenvolvimento para a Industria Automovel (MIDP – Motor Industry Development Programme) do governo. Introduzido em 1995, preve-se que continue, com desfasamento progressivo, ate 2012.O MIDP lançou as exportaçoes, permitindo aos fabricantes de automoveis nacionais incluirem os valores totais de exportaçoes nos seus montantes locais, podendo assim importar mercadorias do mesmo valor sem impostos. Isto fez com que os fabricantes de automoveis se concentrassem no fabrico de determinados veiculos ou componentes para exportaçao, importando embora outros modelos.O programa concede ainda um subsidio de produçao aos fabricantes de automoveis que investem em novas fabricas e equipamentos, devolvendo-lhes 20% do seu capital, na forma de creditos sobre direitos de importaçao, por um periodo de cinco anos.O governo preve introduzir um plano sucessor do MIDP, destinado a melhorar a cadeia de valor nacional. O novo programa, que perdurara ate 2020, focar-se-a em valor acrescentado sendo consistente com as obrigaçoes multilaterais da África do Sul. É provavel que tome a forma de um subsidio de produçao.O Ministerio do Comercio e da Industria afirmou que este novo programa de apoio se traduzira em mais emprego e numa sustentabilidade a longo prazo para a industria. O plano apoiara a produçao e o investimento que “pretendam atingir um volume minimo de saida para cada uma das plataformas de 50.000 unidades por ano ao longo de um periodo de tempo razoavel.”Vantagens competitivasA industria automovel da África do Sul oferece uma serie de vantagens competitivas ao investimento estrangeiro. Incluida esta a possibilidade de um custo imbativel a nivel mundial em volume curtos ou baixos, custos de ferramentas competitivos e um elevado nivel de flexibilizaçao no fabrico.A industria local tem ainda bons acessos ao hemisferio sul e aos restantes mercados africanos.A industria sul Africana detem algumas tecnologias unicas, como por exemplo os fechos de porta centralizados para veiculos fora de estrada ou recreativos, soldadura de aluminio para radiadores e a capacidade de criar componentes tais como filtros de ar e limpadores de sistemas de ar condicionado e ar compativeis com as mais altas temperaturas e niveis de po de África.Estas unidades de produçao de primeira categoria tem tambem acesso a varias materias primas e a electricidade barata, bem como a redes de transportes estaveis e boas telecomunicaçoes.O Centro para o Desenvolvimento da Industria Automovel e o centro de testes GEROTEC, perto de Pretoria, sao excelentes instalaçoes para investigaçao, design, testes e formaçao.Novas oportunidades de investimento estao a ser criadas para esta industria, com a introduçao de acordos comerciais de comercio livre com a Uniao Europeia e a SADC – Comunidade de Desenvolvimento Sul Africana e a Lei Norte-Americana para Oportunidades e Crescimento Africano.Fabricantes de peças e componentes autoExistem mais de 200 fabricantes de peças e componentes auto em toda a África do Sul e cerca de 150 outros que fornecem esta industria numa base de nao exclusividade. A industria de peças e componentes tem um volume de vendas de 50 bilioes de rands, ou seja cerca de 2% do PIB nacional, e procura crescer bastante mais se o potencial de exportaçoes continuar a aumentar.A África do Sul exportou 30,3 bilioes de rands de peças e componentes auto em 2006, um aumento de 32% relativamente a 2005. Os catalisadores continuaram a ser a peça auto mais exportada, representando quase metade de todas as exportaçoes de peças e componentes.Outros tipos de exportaçoes no sector sao, por exemplo, motores, silenciadores e sistemas de escape, radiadores, rodas e pneus, cobertura de assentos em couro, radios auto e aparelhagens de som, e eixos, sobretudo para camioes pesados.A Alemanha, Espanha, Reino Unido, França e África Subsaariana sao os principais destinos das exportaçoes de peças e componentes sul africanas.Mimados por tanta escolhaEstao a disposiçao umas surpreendentes 1.390 variantes de automoveis, veiculos de recreio e comerciais ligeiros nos expositores de automoveis sul africanos, segundo um relatorio do site Fin24.com.A escolha mais do que duplicou nos ultimos 10 anos. Em 1997, pouco depois da reentrada da Alfa Romeo, Renault e Chevrolet na África do Sul – e quando os sul africanos começaram a gostar do Mahindra, Ssang Yong, Dacia, Kia, Hyundai, Daewoo, Saab e Subaru – havia 37 fabricantes com uma oferta de 595 modelos diferentes.Desde entao, a Bentley, Cadillac, Citroen, Maybach, Mini, Proton, TVR, GWM, Lexus e Tata marcaram a sua liderança no Mercado sul africano, quer de modo independente quer unindo forças com os distribuidores ja existentes e empresas relacionadas com os grupos.No entanto e apesar destas novas entradas, a maioria dos compradores sul africanos tendem a optar por marcas mais conhecidas e estabelecidas no pais ha mais tempo, como e o caso da Toyota, Volkswagen, Fordm, Mazda ou BWM. Estas marcas juntas representam ainda mais de 80% da fatia de mercado dos novos veiculos no pais.Este artigo foi actualizado em: Agosto de 2008Reporter infoSA. Fontes (websites em lingua inglesa):National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of SANational Association of Automobile Component and Allied ManufacturersDepartment of Trade and IndustryGeneral MotorsMercedes Benz South AfricaNissan South AfricaToyota South AfricaBusiness DayEngineering NewsFin24last_img read more

first_imgBusinessman Sean Shipalana of GoldRand Harley-Davidson participates inhis second ride.The big-hearted bikers set off for a weekof community service and upliftment.(Images: Emily van Rijswijck)Graça Machel was on hand to see thegroup off on their 2 200km journey.(Image: Mandela Foundation)The group will tackle a clean-up ofthe Mandela Capture Monument inHowick, where they’ll also plant a garden.(Image: Ossewa, Flickr)MEDIA CONTACTS • Sello HatangNMF communications manager+27 11 547 5600• Sam ManclarkSpeaker’s Corner+27 11 327 1540Emily van RijswijckAn excited bunch of 25 motorcyclists, among them actors, singers, DJs and businesspeople, set off from Montecasino in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs on 11 July, as part of their contribution to the Nelson Mandela Foundation’s (NMF) Mandela Day activities for 2011.Collectively driving under the name Bikers for Mandela Day, the group will donate 67 minutes of their time at each of seven rural community projects across the country. The number 67 equals the years of the former statesman’s life spent in public service – including five years as South Africa’s first democratically elected president.The slogan for this year’s event is Take Action. Inspire Change. Make Every Day a Mandela Day. The main sponsors of Bikers for Mandela Day are Spar and Vodacom.The drive will take in more than 2 200 kilometres through some of South Africa’s more remote areas, and will keep the riders on the road for a week.This year’s route covers the provinces of Gauteng, Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga, as well as a drive-through section of neighbouring Swaziland.The bikers return to Pretoria on Mandela’s birthday, 18 July.Second year This is the second year that celebrities and citizens alike participate in an initiative of this nature.In 2010 about 30 riders, among them American actor Morgan Freeman, set off from Johannesburg to Cape Town, engaging in various community projects along the way.Among the participants for this year are Afrikaans singer Bok van Blerk who is riding for the second time; Hykie Berg, Survivor SA: Maldives winner and actor in local television show Binnelanders; radio station 5FM’s DJ Fresh and Angie Khumalo; Darren Kelfkens of popular local soapies 7de Laan and Isidingo; and businessmen Brendon Neuper, Constant Visser and Motheo Sekgaphane, among others.Before setting off, Van Blerk said last year’s venture was “life-changing” to him and he hopes to make this year an even better experience. “What is important is to take the 67 minutes and make it go further.”Straight-talking DJ Fresh reminded everyone that life is not just about you and that nobody is simply entitled to anything. His aim during this drive is to see how he can amplify the 67 minutes.“I am a strong believer in random acts of kindness,” said Fresh. “Smile at your fellow motorists. Make a homeless person a sandwich. Do Mandela Day every day.”On hand to see the bikers off was Mrs Mandela, Graça Machel. Her usual sprightly and cheerful self, she wished the participants all the best on the cold winter’s morning.“Mandela Day gives us the chance to understand the deep goodness in all of us. Remember this makes us much better human beings,” said Machel, the former Mozambican first lady and now Mandela’s third wife.According to Sello Hatang, spokesperson for the NMF, the activities for the 2011 Bikers for Mandela Day were selected for their long-term impact on and direct benefit for the communities involved.Animal welfareThis year’s drive will also have a strong animal focus with the participation of veterinarian Dr Kobus van der Merwe, who will be educating pet owners and treating animals at the community stop-offs along the way.In addition, the Industrial Development Corporation will be using the ride to enhance its Nguni Cattle Project, which aims to reintroduce the indigenous and hardy Nguni species into rural communities.Nguni cattle have traditionally been part of Zulu and Xhosa culture for centuries. The magnificent beasts are considered a sign of wealth and importance.“The need for care and awareness of animals was something we noticed in 2010,” confirmed Zelda la Grange of the NMF and organiser of the event, who is also participating in the ride.First stop Free StateThe first stop was the town of Harrismith in the Free State province, where the group restored playground equipment and repainted a jungle gym at a children’s home.On 12 July the group continues to Howick in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, where they will clean the Mandela Monument and create a garden at the site where the former president was captured in 1962. The landscaping effort includes the planting of a Mandela’s Gold, a rare yellow form of the indigenous crane flower, Strelitzia reginae.On July 13 the bikers head for a school and orphanage in the market town of Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal, where they will install shelves in the school’s food storeroom, help staff in preparing food for the youngsters, and give the vegetable garden a makeover.The next day, the bikers will be in Jozini in the heart of the province’s Zulu kingdom. Here they’ll team up with various community organisations to work in a soup kitchen, and will also tackle the house of a child-headed household, making much-needed repairs and improvements.The group then makes their way through Swaziland to Mbombela, also known as Nelspruit, in Mpumalanga. While in the region they will lay a symbolic wreath at the late Mozambican president Samora Machel’s memorial site in the village of Mbuzini, on 15 July. This is where Machel and 34 other passengers, including other politicians, died in a plane crash in October 1986.The bikers remain another day in Mpumalanga, first working with the Nelspruit Community Forum to restore a care facility for orphans. Later they’ll hand out school uniforms and clothing at a house for homeless children, before continuing to a disability centre in the farming community of Hazyview, just 80km from the Kruger National Park, to revamp a playground.Final stretch to Pretoria On 17 July the group will visit an orphanage in scenic Graskop, Mpumalanga, to create a vegetable garden from bare soil.Before leaving the province the bikers will stop at a children’s home in the historic town of Belfast, now known as eMakhazeni. The home is desperately in need of upgrades to bedrooms and bathrooms, and this is the last project on the list.Reflecting on the activities for 2011, Sello Hatang of the NMF said: “We hope people along the route and those following the ride will take inspiration from this example and live the Mandela Day ethos before and beyond 18 July, thereby helping to make every day a Mandela Day.”Local municipalities, metro police and the South African Police Service will provide additional support at all stops along the route. The riders will be assisted by a support group of 15 staff members from the foundation.Supporters are invited to gather at Pretoria’s Royal Elephant Hotel on 18 July for lunch, where they can celebrate the arrival of the group. The nearby Fezorati Coffee Emporium will offer meals, braais and snacks as an alternative should the main lunch be fully booked. International eventIn 2009 the UN declared 18 July as Nelson Mandela International Day in recognition of the former South African president’s unwavering commitment to human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation.Since 2010, the occasion has been observed around the world as a day of taking action and giving back a small amount of time, doing a good deed for the sake of fellow human beings, the community or the environment.Charity concerts have been on the international calendar since 2008 when the first birthday concert was held in London in Mandela’s honour, with subsequent events taking place in New York in 2009 and in Madrid in 2010. No international concert is planned for this year.On the local front, various programmes and initiatives will be underway throughout the week. National carrier South African Airways is re-branding its entire fleet with the Mandela Day logo and will fly 93 underprivileged children from all nine provinces to the NMF, giving them their first experience on an airplane. The children will also receive special gifts and essential school items, including uniforms.The South African Parliament is initiating a week-long programme, and in New York, a week-long exhibition at the UN’s headquarters is underway. Make every day Mandela Day in 2011last_img read more

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest No major changes this morning. Dry weather will take control for the next 2 days over the state. Cooler air pushes in over the state, but we are staving off the bitter cold push still until this weekend. We should see a good mix of clouds and sun today, and winds should subside over the gusty set up we saw yesterday. We start to dry down tonight and see dry weather for tomorrow and Thursday too. Rain is back for overnight tomorrow night through Friday. Moisture totals remain mostly unimpressive and we are bumping our forecast at .1″ to .7” over 70% of the state, but most of the rain totals above .4″ will be down near the river. Temps go near to below freezing overnight tomorrow night and do not recover Friday morning through much of the day. This may allow for some wet snow to mix in with our precipitation, even though it is light. The map at right shows liquid equivalent moisture totals through the end of the day Friday. Dry and significantly colder air returns for the weekend. Temps will be well below normal, and there no change in our thoughts about the potential for Saturday to see daytime highs stay below freezing over parts of the state.  Sunday can be sub-40 for highs over a large part of the region. We stay dry Monday through Wednesday of next week. We likely see clouds from time to time, but no new precipitation. Thursday, we see Clouds build and then have a chance of scattered showers north of US 30 in the morning. The rain threat extends to statewide by mid to late afternoon and goes through the overnight. We can see from .05”-.25” with 70% coverage. For the extended period, we are dry for next Friday and Saturday. But, then we move into another wet, active period for Sunday the 18th through Wednesday the 21st. We see at least 2 waves of moisture moving over the eastern corn belt in that time, perhaps more. Combined rain totals will be from .25”-.75” with the heaviest rain chances in the southern half of the state.last_img read more

first_imgMatt Asay Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Tags:#Big Data#data#Does IT Matter#Nicholas Carr#Tim O’Reilly 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts center_img Tim O’Reilly once presciently described data as “the new Intel Inside,” the primary source of competitive differentiation in a world where technology has largely been commoditized. While he referenced Google and other web giants, today mainstream enterprises have embraced Big Data as they seek to stand out. But a danger lurks.The more companies embrace data to differentiate, the less it does so. O’Reilly thought data might be humbled by free data movements, much as proprietary software was hit by open-source software, but the culprit may actually be something more overtly benign: data-friendly applications.Intel’s Branding CoupThere was a time when consumers didn’t care what chips ran their computers, a fact painfully reflected in Intel’s stock price. But in 1991, Intel launched its famous “Intel Inside” branding campaign, and its stock took off. What had been considered commodity in 1990 suddenly became premium in 1991: the Girbaud jeans of their time. (Editor’s note: Yes, we have pictures of Matt wearing Girbaud. No, they’re not pretty.)But O’Reilly wasn’t arguing that data is simply a marketing slogan that can trick people into paying a premium for an otherwise commodity product. Instead, he reasoned that the few who manage to harness specialized databases are best positioned to charge for access to their data: “In the internet era, one can already see a number of cases where control over the database has led to market control and outsized financial returns.” In turn, this control has enabled such firms to amass computing resources that, in turn, generate even more data (with subsequent lock-in).But what happens when data goes mainstream?Big Data InsideThis, after all, is what is happening within the enterprise. While we’re still years away from Big Data becoming omnipresent, companies like Cloudera and EMC believe in a future when every enterprise mines vast treasure troves of data to glean insight and competitive advantage. For now, however, tools like Hadoop remain complex for most enterprises, and the science of data analysis has many enterprises scrambling for data scientist panaceas.Big Data, however, promises to become easier, as Workday co-founder and Cloudera board member Aneel Bhusri reports:Bhusri is likely right. But if so – if Big Data becomes democratized (read: commoditized) through applications – how does it continue to set a data-driven company apart from its data-driven competitors? A Nicholas Carr HauntingThis line of questioning will sound familiar to those who have read Nicholas Carr’s seminal “Does IT Matter?” As he wrote in 2007:Behind the change in thinking lies a simple assumption: that as IT’s potency and ubiquity have increased, so too has its strategic value. It’s a reasonable assumption, even an intuitive one. But it’s mistaken. What makes a resource truly strategic – what gives it the capacity to be the basis for a sustained competitive advantage – is not ubiquity but scarcity. You only gain an edge over rivals by having or doing something that they can’t have or do. By now, the core functions of IT – data storage, data processing, and data transport – have become available and affordable to all. Their very power and presence have begun to transform them from potentially strategic resources into commodity factors of production. They are becoming costs of doing business that must be paid by all but provide distinction to none.While a gaggle of enterprise IT vendors rushed to insist that IT does, in fact, matter, Carr’s primary point – that the more the benefits of IT are distributed the less differentiating they become for any particular firm – seems to be confirmed by the effect of SaaS, among other things. IT has been simplified through SaaS and other trends, but it hasn’t become more differentiating. If anything, it has become less so.Is data any different?“Big” Data Gets It WrongThe answer is a qualified “maybe.” Any particular technology trend loses its competitive bite when the mainstream adopts it, but this doesn’t mean that there isn’t value in harnessing that technology. Data is no different.As Redmonk analyst James Governor postulates, “The advantage is in how you use the tech, not the tech itself.” Just as owning Salesforce.com or the latest HP server won’t differentiate your business, neither will owning massive quantities of data. New survey data from Infochimps confirms this: the top-two reasons for failure in Big Data analytics projects are lack of expertise to connect the dots between data and lack of business context for one’s data.The world has become fixated on the “big” in Big Data, but volume of data is not very interesting. In the (near) future, everyone will have data, and plenty of it. But asking the right questions at the right time, not merely asking “bigger” questions, will continue to drive serious competitive differentiation.Big Data, in other words, is just the ante to get in the game. Going forward, real differentiation will inure to those businesses that know which data to use and how and when to query it.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

first_imgSpeedster Brett Lee and all-rounder David Hussey are seen as near certainties in Australia’s campaign to defend the coveted World Cup after the two were selected for the series opener against England.Brett LeeChairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch after announcing the team for the fist game against the visitors to be held at MCG on Sunday mentioned that the WC squad “will probably be very much reflected in the team we have just announced.”Hilditch however said that there are still some spots to be filled before the final team is announced. “We are still looking at two or three people ahead of that final 15 selection,” the chairman said.”I don’t want to be specific, obviously we know the areas we need to be looking at ahead of the final selection,” he added.The 34-year-old fast bowler had yesterday hinted that he might hang his boots if not picked for the mega event in the sub-continent.The experienced duo will be making a comeback to the national squad after a gap of more than 15 months. While Lee battled injury woes after his last appearance for the Aussies in October 2009 the Victorian batsman hasn’t played a one-day game for Australia since August 2009.Pinning hope on Hussey’s return Hilditch said, “We think he’ll be well suited for the subcontinent conditions.”Hussey was picked by the Punjab IPL team for the fourth edition of IPL which is scheduled to be held immediately after the World Cup is over.Hilditch was also hopeful that a fit Lee will be a potential weapon in the Kangaroo’s armoury. “Brett has had a longer lead in from injury and obviously we’re looking at him to make sure that he’s back to his best,” he said.advertisementCricket Australia is supposed to announce the final World Cup squad on January 19 with injured captain Ricky Ponting seeming to be definite inclusion.- With PTI inputsAustralian squad for first ODI v England: Michael Clarke (capt), Cameron White (vice-capt), Doug Bollinger, Xavier Doherty, Brad Haddin, Nathan Hauritz, David Hussey, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee, Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, Shaun Tait, Shane Watson.last_img read more