Brand new headquarters for GWI

first_imgFollowing the dismantling of a fence behind a property in Bel Air Park, Georgetown, the Guyana Water Inc (GWI) has expressed that a section of the land facing Sheriff Street is the most probable sight for the State company’s headquarters. This was related by GWI’s Managing Director, Dr Richard Van West-Charles who noted on Wednesday that he intends to have the central offices of the entity in one building. “We have plans to have one large headquarters and we are in discussions to see how Government can provide us,” he told the media.Declaring that there “is no space outside of renting buildings”, he noted that GWI has the transport to a property that was handed over to the Health Ministry under the previous Administration. He pointed out that the current building in which heDemolition for clearing canal or brand new office? Workmen dismantling a fence in Bel Air Park on Mondayoperates on Vlissengen Road includes Human Resources, Welfare Officer Occupational Health and Safety, Strategic Planning, Evaluation and Monitoring Unit.“There’s nothing luxurious about the premises which we’re at; they [staff] have to function in some place, if you were take a tour, it’s cramped,” he stated.He observed that the current set-up does not lend itself fully to confidentiality, especially where personnel matters are concerned. However, the GWI’s plan to erect a brand new building in the area behind homes in Bel Air will not be executed without opposition as at least one home-owner is preparing legal papers to challenge GWI dismantling his fence later Monday afternoon.On that day, 10 workmen attached to the GWI carried out the demolition works which the State body contended were justified on claims that the fences are illegal encroachments along the Lama Canal. Nevertheless, Van West-Charles reiterated on Wednesday that GWI will follow through with the works even as several homeowners voiced their concerns over the move.“We are due to have a meeting but where they have encroached beyond reasonable boundaries, we shall remove those fences. People have called to find out what is happening and we are going to meet with them,” he stated.However, homeowner Peter Ramsaroop, who said he will file court proceedings against GWI, maintains that the company acted wrongly since according to him, he has complied with its directives.“We are going to file court action against GWI for damaging the property and for giving no prior notice. They are creating security risks for people in that area and yards would be compromised,” he highlighted.“He can do whatever he wants to do,” was Van West-Charles’ response when questioned about the impending legal action on Wednesday.GWI Regional Manager, Georgetown, Curtis Niles, who was on site at Monday’s exercise, had told this publication that the fences which the Bel Air residents erected were affecting GWI from clearing the canal, which provides water for the capital city. <<<>>> reported that long before the structures were erected, the Bel Air residents had complained to the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) about their fears of being robbed. According to information received, operatives within City Hall reportedly gave the residents permission to take care of and to weed the lands to curtail the bushes. However, over time, home owners started to plant permanent trees and erect gazebos.last_img read more

Paleoanthropologist Exposes Shoddiness of “Early Man” Research

first_imgMany paleoanthropologists are bent on self-promotion, and the field lacks ability to regulate itself, a veteran researcher complains.Tim White of UC Berkeley took the occasion of the Leakey team’s promotion of a new juvenile hominid jaw to point out troubles in the field.  Writing in Current Biology with palpable sarcasm, he made comments that should cause concern among those trusting proclamations about human evolution made by researchers and their press agents.  Here are some samples:Human bones are common in cemeteries, but remains of our more ancient ancestors and relatives are fewer, further between and notoriously difficult to recover. This is particularly true for fossils that are millions of years old. Biomolecules are geologically short-lived and thus unavailable for parsing truly ancient species lineages.Disagreements are common, and the configuration of the hominid twig on the tree of life remains a matter of particular contention….Kenyan fossils announced in Nature have historically figured prominently in paleoanthropology. In their latest paper of this genre, Leakey et al. introduce the fossilized partial maxilla of an ancient juvenile….  This new paper’s conclusions are said to confirm the authors’ earlier published conclusions….The authors take an unusual approach to constructing, in 3-D digital space, what they think the dental arcade of the new fossil maxilla should have looked like. They accomplish this feat by filling the fossil’s empty and broken tooth sockets with digital models of modern human teeth. Why modern human teeth were better suited than available contemporary fossil teeth is left unexplained.The unilineal depiction of human evolution popularized by the familiar iconography of an evolutionary ‘march to modern man’ has been proven wrong for more than 60 years. However, the cartoon continues to provide a popular straw man for scientists, writers and editors alike. Do most of these species labels reflect real, biologically distinct lineages? Or have the alleged species proliferated merely as a result of taxonomic exuberance misapplied to within-species variation (idiosyncratic, geographic, sexual, and/or ontogenetic)? The sequence of prominent paleoanthropological publications across the last decades reveals a pattern of diversity promotion.Paleoanthropology’s ecosystem of publishing, access, fundraising, career advancement, media promotion and celebrity seems squarely aligned against the field’s ability to self regulate, a condition exacerbated by the limited fossil resources available. There is ample and obvious motivation for authors to generate ‘new’ species names in this environment. Readers should, therefore, beware of attendant species diversity claims. Illegitimate names have become part and parcel of the symbiosis itself. Furthermore, ‘chronospecies’ are merely artificial segments of evolving species lineages, rather than truly separate species. Such assertions of biological species diversity via taxonomic hyperbole are questionable representations of the real paleobiology of our ancestors and their few close, now extinct biological relatives. Despite the branch waving, our family tree still resembles a saguaro cactus more than a creosote bush.So is there a credible story growing out of research into human origins in spite of the personality conflicts and pet theories?  White ended by complaining that funding agencies are strangling long-term field research in favor of expensive lab equipment.  “More fossils will be needed” to resolve the current conflicts, he complained.  “Until a better balance is achieved — and better biological understanding applied — the origins of our genus will remain shrouded by a paucity of paleobiological data.”It’s so nice when one of their own writes the commentary for us.  We especially enjoyed #5 and #8.  Thank you, Tim White.  Now get a real job dealing with something you can know. (Visited 37 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Tshepo10K: inspiring South African youth with skills

first_img11 November 2015The City of Tshwane, along with a number of stakeholders and partners including Absa, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the University of Pretoria, wants to continue to train, up skill and inspire more of the city’s young people to be willing and able enough to start up their own businesses in order to combat a sluggish local economy.The city’s Tshepo10K, launched in 2013 and aimed at providing skills training and employment opportunities to 10 000 of the city’s youth, has begun to bear fruit.Sam Makhura, @CityTshwane Supply Chain Performance Specialist shares his experiences working with #Tshepo10k pic.twitter.com/gymv9EggyI— City News Tshwane (@TshwaneHerald) November 6, 2015At a presentation on 6 November 2015, the first top performing Tshepo10K beneficiaries and their stories were highlighted to media, invited guests and the public.In his keynote address, Tshwane Executive Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa thanked the stakeholders involved in the project and congratulated the young people on their achievements. He assured them the city would support them as they went forward.Thanks to the following stakeholders for supporting #Tshepo10K initiative; @Tukkies, @Absa, @NYDARSA and GEP— City of Tshwane (@CityTshwane) November 6, 2015Today @MayorOfTshwane acknowledges, recognizes & pays special tribute #Tshepo10k, an initiative he launched in 2013 pic.twitter.com/KukKhG0XrG— Tinyiko L Mokgobi (@lolomokgobi) November 6, 2015Tembeka Mhlekwa, Tshwane’s head of economic development, who also spoke at the event, said she was happy with the progress of the project so far, and hoped that it would be a prime example for other municipalities on how to tackle youth unemployment.Head of Economic Development #TembekaMhlekwa thanks @lolomokgobi for supporting #Tshepo10k and developing its logo pic.twitter.com/ShlUs3XPjr— Subesh Pillay (@SubeshPillay) November 6, 2015The multimillion-rand project includes a collaboration with the University of Pretoria to train unemployed young people with a number of rigorous and intensive business management courses.These offer them the chance to learn practical and necessary skills and expertise to start businesses that grow and succeed. The training includes learning how to use that business to successfully tender for government procurement contracts.After training, the candidates then form business co-operatives and are placed in internships in the city’s various utility departments, such as electricity and energy, water and sanitation, roads and transport, housing and human settlements, and environmental management. More than 190 co-operatives have already been established through the project. These businesses operate across the Tshwane municipality and bring much-needed services to residents.Jointed five Co-operative from Hammanskraal at #Tshepo10K Top Achievers Event pic.twitter.com/c2GkT2ZW4d— City of Tshwane (@CityTshwane) November 6, 2015Lesedi T Ten K Co-operativeLebogang Maanga, one of the first through the programme, is the chairperson of the Lesedi T Ten K Co-operative, owned together with four partners.Maanga received a grant to set up the co-operative from the NYDA and used it to fund the office equipment for the business. “We named our co-operative Lesedi because we saw light at the end of the tunnel. The project has provided us with administrative skills such as how to quote for our services,” she said.The key milestones for their co-operative, Maanga explained at the event, included sending out letters of demand on behalf of the city, providing cleaning services at Rosslyn electricity depot, repairing street lights in Soshanguve, and erecting soccer pitches around the city.The journey wasn’t easy but each step was worth it – Tembeka Mhlekwa #Tshepo10K top 100 achievers ceremony pic.twitter.com/gBVEkArl37— Tinyiko L Mokgobi (@lolomokgobi) November 6, 2015“(The co-operative has) created 64 jobs,” said Maanga, but she acknowledged that the journey had not been easy. “At times we faced financial challenges but through hard work, determination, sleepless nights and continuous support from the city, we were able to get here.”The Lesedi team is now able to live fruitful and productive lives, while using their business acumen to improve the lives of others in their community.Speaking about Lesedi’s future and the success of Tshepo10K, Maanga said they were “determined to work harder, and not only focus on quantity but also ensure that the service and goods we provide is of high quality”. They plan to grow the business and involve more unemployed youth.Eco Factory Co-operativeEco Factory, in the Ga-Rankuwa industrial park, produces low-cost school desks, helping the Department of Basic Education to address the needs of schools and supply quality school desks to poor schools across the country.The desks are made in South Africa from the wood of invasive alien trees cleared by previously unemployed workers. Eco Factory’s David Makobe said Tshepo10K had helped him understand business and procurement processes, a skill he never had before.Hlabollo Primary Co-operativeAnother beneficiary, Lucky Malatji of Hlabollo Primary Co-operative, works in the housing sector. He said that thanks to skills learned with Tshepo10K, the co- operative was awarded a project for ready-mix concrete valued at R200 000 as well as a storm water maintenance project valued at R400 000. The group employed 30 previously unemployed youths.Funding, though, is one of main challenges to the survival of the co-operatives, and Tshepo10K urges more interaction with the private sector to help make these small initiatives work better.“There has been resistance from buyers to utilise Tshepo co-operatives. But recently they have started warming up to us,” said one co-operative member.MMC @SubeshPillay explains how Tshwane’s #Tshepo10k work. pic.twitter.com/ZMAbP8c3wk— Tendai Joe (@Tendaijoe) November 6, 2015Youth were a key element in Tshwane Vision 2055, said the member of the Tshwane mayoral committee for economic development, Subesh Pillay. “The city believes its young residents will be the flag bearers and reap the benefits of the city in the future.”Proceedings ended with a song for the Tshepo10K project, written and performed by one of its beneficiaries who hoped to inspire the next group of young people to take hold of their future.#Tshepo10k theme song. Beautiful pic.twitter.com/zlT1JvOd1D— City News Tshwane (@TshwaneHerald) November 6, 2015Source: South African Government News Websitelast_img read more

Filter Geeks Try to Solve Info Overload at the Real-Time Web Summit

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Real-Time Web#web jolie odell How do you create filters for the real-time web? From spam filtration to relevant discovery, the “filter geeks” at the Real-Time Web Summit today are all about creating simple, rich user experiences.Hashtags for Twitter are a great start, but how are the startups moving and shaking the real-time web planning on giving users filters to control their streams in ways that make the ever-increasing volumes of information more usable? From Thing Labs and Twingly to PostRank and SocialText, read on for the problems these companies and their users have encountered and how they plan to solve information overload through clever curation and cooperation.The session was led by Twingly CEO Martin Kallstrom, who opened with a discussion about hashtags. But one of the best things about both the unconference format and the intellectual cachet of Silicon Valley is illustrated by what happened next.Thing Labs‘ CEO, Jason Shellen, interrupted to insist that we broaden the discussion to include the entire real-time web and all possible examples of filtration systems, not just Twitter and not just hashtags. From there, the conversation exploded into an executive-level goulash of how to make the real-time web useful.The overall poverty of the user experience was generally deplored. “We hear from our users about what they want,” said Shellen. “People say, ‘Just show me the important stuff.’” The current state of real-time UXes allows for a lot of opportunity – the opportunity to make this iteration of the Internet simple for new users as well as appropriately complex for powerusers, unlike what we’ve all seen with RSS, which remains an underused geekcore feature.The spectrum of data and metadata was brought up several times, as well. Keywords (e.g., hashtags) are a good start, but richer metadata would allow for filtration by sentiment or location. For example, a user might want to see blog posts about Obama’s winning the Nobel Peace prize from right-leaning sources only. Or I might want to see pictures posted by people within 100 feet of me while I’m at the Real-Time Web Summit. Overall, having the author, location, time, sentiment, and keywords automatically applied to user-generated data could lead to much richer streams with built-in filtering opportunities, both filtering content out as well as discovering new content and sources.Another major point of emphasis for this session was the fact that a critical mass of users generally leads to the best filtering: Large datasets create very specifically defined problems and finely tuned filtration. Unfortunately, the startups involved in the real-time web often have smaller user bases than would be desired; there is simply not enough data generated by the users of the individual services. But what if all that user data was combined somehow?“Right now,” said Kallstrom, “people doing startups trying to combat information overload are mostly focused on finding high-quality signals. It’s a very hard problem. The highest quality for the end user is achieved by moving from competing on gathering the signals to creating a great user experience through more open data.”One participant suggested publishing user activity to open-source the problem of how to filter real-time data. Many other participants agreed that the problem requires collaboration, data portability, and open standards between all the companies in the room and beyond. Such collaboration would make all real-time products better and lead to better experiences for users.Then again, better filtration could be a real-time holy grail, a solution worth selling. And when the question of money comes up, will these startups be willing to sacrifice a theoretical goldmine to collaborate on a user-friendly solution? A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

BlackBerry Issues First Software Update To BlackBerry 10

first_imgdan rowinski The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Related Posts Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img BlackBerry is issuing the first software update to its BlackBerry 10 operating system this morning to address usability issues concerning apps, camera, calendar, contacts, browser and, perhaps most importantly, battery life.Apps Optimization & Camera UpgradeThe biggest complaints that initial users of the BlackBerry Z10 have voiced have revolved around app performance. Many apps (especially those ported from Android) are buggy on BlackBerry 10 and tend to lag and crash with moderate use. BlackBerry is addressing this problem in the update, saying it has “improved performance for 3rd party applications.” BlackBerry was not specific on exactly how 3rd party apps will be optimized going forward.BlackBerry also told users to keep an eye out for big new app launches coming in March, such as messaging platform WhatsApp. The company will feature new apps going forward by highlighting new entries to BlackBerry World every week with an announcement on Wednesdays. The first “App Wednesday” this week featured apps like “Where’s My Water” from Disney and the Slacker Internet Radio app. Another issue that BlackBerry is addressing is the camera app, which was performing poorly in low-light scenarios. The camera on the Z10 is serviceable but not without flaws (not many smartphone manufacturers can claim a camera without flaws) and it is astute of BlackBerry to address many of these features before the Z10 launches in the United States.Browser, Battery ImprovementsThe browser has been tweaked to improve how BlackBerry 10 handles video playback. BlackBerry has also issued improvements to the phone, calendar and contacts apps as well as features fixes for Gmail calendars and user interface improvements for call logging in BlackBerry Hub, the operating system’s central messaging system. BlackBerry has also made it easier to import contacts from online sources, a glaring hole in the initial release. As far as battery life goes, most users have complained that their new Z10 handsets were only getting seven to nine hours of performance, or enough for a basic workday. That is basically in line with what BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Heins said about the BlackBerry Z10 battery at the keynote launch of the device, but the actual experience has been inadequate for many. BlackBerry says it has made 60 different battery-saving improvements to BlackBerry 10 and that heavy users should see longer average usage per charge cycle. The update will be delivered over-the-air and be about 150 MB in size. The timing of the update will vary by what carrier BlackBerry 10 owners use.Have you received the BlackBerry 10 update? Does it address the issues you have had with the operating system to date? Let us know in the comments.  Tags:#BlackBerry#BlackBerry 10 Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more

GOP Ponders Length of FY17 Continuing Resolution

first_imgRepublican leaders to date have not made any decision as to how long a fiscal 2017 continuing resolution (CR) would extend, but House conservatives are making clear their preference for a stopgap spending measure that lasts until March 2017.A CR almost certainly will be needed for most, if not all, spending bills to avoid a government shutdown when the new fiscal year begins in October, as the regular appropriations process appears to be coming to an end. Conservatives are pushing for a CR that lasts about six months to avoid the last-minute negotiations on an omnibus spending measure that typically take place behind closed doors as the December holidays approach.“The last thing we want to see is some kind of a shutdown scenario in December, and then basically giving the president everything that he asks for,” Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) told CQ.Other Republicans, especially appropriators, favor a shorter stopgap, including Harold Rogers (R-Ky.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.“I would, yeah,” Rogers told reporters. But he added, “It’s just beginning to be talked about.”Discussion of a six-month stopgap has largely taken place only in the House, with at least one Senate appropriator leaning toward finishing work on FY 2017 appropriations before the end of the congressional session.“The problem with pushing these things out too far [is] you’ve got the old year to consider and you’ve got the new year to consider, and you really get into a time crunch,” Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) told CQ.Democrats similarly favor finishing the process in 2016. Placing spending on autopilot for the first half of the fiscal year cheats agencies out of the opportunity to start new programs, said Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), the chamber’s Democratic whip and a senior appropriator.“Try to run the Department of Defense on a CR. You know the bottom line or top dollar number, but to put into each one of your agencies, sub-agencies, the same amount of money as last year, is not a good way to govern and it’s certainly not a good way to respect the taxpayers’ dollars,” Durbin said. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more

House Committee Votes to Raise Spending Caps Bill Unlikely to Move Further

first_img ADC AUTHOR The House Budget Committee advanced legislation Wednesday that would raise statutory spending caps for fiscal years 2020 and 2021. It would allow for $733 billion in defense spending for next year and $749 billion the following year.Three Democrats joined all Republicans opposing the measure, showing the progressive-moderate split in the Democratic caucus that makes the legislation’s fate uncertain on the House floor, where it may not even come up for a vote.The Senate is also unlikely to consider it.House and Senate leaders have talked about finding a bipartisan deal to raise the spending caps, but the White House has so far resisted a deal, instead moving some of its $750 billion defense spending request to the overseas war account, which is not subject to spending caps.The Republican-led Senate Budget Committee passed a budget resolution along party lines that would cut defense spending to $643 billion for fiscal year 2020.last_img read more

Rain brings fears of landslides again

first_imgRain brings fears of landslides againThe inhabitants of Rangamati are in fear of fresh landslides as it rained again on Thursday evening. Drizzling started from the night and has continued till Friday morning, when this report was being written.The people in the hill areas were taking refuge in the shelters. The local administration used megaphones to caution the people and helped them reach the shelters. A total of 12 shelters were opened with a capacity of housing around 2000 people.Shabana Khatun, one of the inhabitants of the hilly area who took shelter at the shelter house said she feared landslides would resume any moment.Rabi Mohan Chakma, the councilor of Bhedbhedi ward no 6, said people are in fear after rain resumed.Meanwhile, members of the fire service have resumed rescue operations in the BhedBhedi area where three people are reportedly still missing.last_img read more