May 29, 2021
  • 12:41 pm Government gets F grade for child poverty
  • 12:38 pm Pat The Cope concerned over future of IFI funding
  • 12:37 pm Raytheon 14 to argue their actions were justified
  • 12:33 pm 42% of urology patients waiting a year for Day Surgery at LUH
  • 12:32 pm Three Towns in Donegal to become Gaeltacht Service Areas

first_imgAn inter – high school’s sport tournament, involving 13 senior high schools kicked off in Nimba County commercial city of Ganta.Michel Nagba, a representative of Liberia Football Association subcommittee in Ganta said the game is intended to bring the schools together as part of rebuilding the social aspect of students which was affected due to the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease.He said the schools are encountering one another in both football and kickball.This is the first tournament in Ganta since the Ebola outbreak, over one year ago.The beginning of every school year is marked by sporting activities organized by the LFA Sub – Association in Ganta as a means of reawakening students’ social spirit.This year’s tournament is in high gear with all the participating schools eager to take the championship.At the opening on the 13th April, the boys of St. Lawrence Catholic crushed the YMCA boys 2-0; the second game gave United Methodist boys 4 – 1 over Harriet Parkinson High school.On April 16 the Ganta’s J. W. Pearson went down to Faith Academy High school 2- 1 while the girls of Pearson defeated Faith Academic in kickball.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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first_imgThe mood at a NASA Astrobiology Institute conference is very upbeat, according to Leonard David at Space.com, reporting from the meetings in Boulder, Colorado.  The participants have set their goals high:Consider it nothing short of the cosmic quest for all time: Understanding the origin, evolution, distribution, and fate of life on Earth and in the Universe.    That’s a tall order . . . but within the sights of experts gathering here this week to take part in the 2005 Biennial Meeting of the NASA Astrobiology Institute.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)Much of the excitement comes from a flood of data about Mars, Titan and extrasolar planets.  But these objects provide only information about solid, liquid and gas – no biology yet.  That’s enough, though, to get Jill Tarter of the SETI Institute promoting astrobiology like a high-energy TV commercial:What a fabulous opportunity to think about the boundaries of what that life might be like,” Tarter said.  “The planets are there.  We can’t deny that anymore.  It’s really setting the backdrop and driving forward everybody’s thinking.  So it just gets more exciting to think about how nature might have generalized biology and geology,” she said.Much of the excitement also stems from prospects for discovery in the future, from the Kepler, Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and Space Interferometry Mission (SIM) projects, and NASA’s “Moon, Mars and Beyond” initiative.    One participant seemed like a wet blanket in the party.  Nick Woolf (U of Arizona) echoed the feelings of Fritz Benedict earlier this month (see 04/04/2005 entry): “I started off expecting Earth-like planets to be very common . . . and have become steadily more cautious.  That does not mean that my change of opinion is correct.  I believe that the attitude we should adopt at the present is agnostic.”Astrobiology is like futureware on back order.  None of the actual data returned by MER or Cassini, and none of the exoplanets so far detected, provide any hint that life exists, or has existed, or is even possible at any of these places.  Remember the realistic lab tests of amino acid survival in a Martian environment? (See 01/28/2005 entry.)  The poor molecules were destroyed within hours.  We have seen nothing but rocks, ice and gas so far, but these scientific charlatans are already claiming to be experts about the origin, evolution, distribution and fate of the universe.    Learn the lesson of Greenwater, a ghost town in Death Valley.  In 1904, this desert hideout mushroomed into a boom town with nearly two thousand people, a bank, post office, saloon (but no church), a lively newspaper (the Death Valley Chuck-Walla), and exuberant enthusiasm – all fueled by rumors that there wuz oodles o’ copper in them thar hills.  Famous investment advisors like Charles Schwab promoted the site as one of the richest digs on the globe, and speculators jumped on the bandwagon, spending fortunes on stock with nothing behind it except promises.  The boom began to go bust when miners actually began digging in the hills and came back with only pitiful amounts of low-grade ore.  Most townspeople had left by 1908; the last mine gave up hope in 1911.  Today, literally nothing remains of the town: only the rocks, sand, lizards and desert bushes that endured the harsh environment before a lot of foolish people arrived with dollar signs in their eyes, eyes that soon got blasted with the hot winds of reality.  Must have been quite a counseling job for the last barkeep.    There’s nothing wrong with looking.  It’s good to have prospectors out there with their burros and pickaxes.  Maybe one will find that rare rich vein of ore.  In the meantime, though, better watch where you invest your philosophical assets when the salespeople come to town selling stock in eternal wisdom with nothing in hand but irrelevant details and empty promises.  Isn’t it ironic that creationists tend to be the agnostics, and the emotional evangelists are the scientists – or, more precisely, the evolutionists wearing science costumes.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Matt ReeseToday Governor John Kasich signed an executive order to take action on water quality in Lake Erie with Ohio’s agriculture in the crosshairs. The measures will impact roughly 7,000 farmers and over 2 million acres in northwest Ohio.“This is just requiring farmers to figure out a way to manage their land in a more effective and more environmentally friendly way. I believe the farmers want to do that. Sometimes some of them do not know exactly what that means. To put a plan in place where we can fund them on whatever it takes to do that makes a lot of sense,” Kasich said. “[But] if the agricultural community says we are going to do nothing, that is not acceptable.”The executive order signed by Kasich targets eight watersheds in the western basin of Lake Erie that will be considered for designation under state law as “Watersheds in Distress,” based on their high nutrient levels, especially phosphorous.  These include:Platter CreekLittle Flat Rock CreekLittle Auglaize RiverEagle CreekAuglaize RiverBlanchard RiverSt. Marys RiverOttawa River.The Ohio Department of Agriculture is directed by this order to consider these watersheds for the official designation “Watersheds in Distress” and to seek consent of the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Commission, as required by law. Watersheds receiving this designation will require the farmers within them to develop and implement nutrient management plans.“It will be our responsibility to work with the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Health, and Department of Natural Resources, look at the data they provide us, and make recommendations to the Soil and Water Commission about whether or not a watershed should be declared distressed. If that happens then we will submit rules…that will deal with what will be required for those watersheds in distress, very similar to what has happened with Grand Lake St. Marys,” said David Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture. “The nutrient management plans require regular soil testing and every operator farming over 50 acres will be required to have one of those for their farming operation sometime before the 2020 crop season. Hopefully everyone recognizes that a lot of people already have nutrient management plans and they are probably already compliant with the law. They will have to report to us that they have them and then we go through a process to make sure they are being followed.”These plans include rules for the use, storage, handling and control of nutrients and the development of management plans for all agricultural land and operations within each designated watershed.  If implemented, a “Watershed in Distress” designation can only be removed after the director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture has confirmed the sustained recovery, restoration and mitigation of factors leading to the original designation.Leaders in Ohio’s agriculture watched a press conference held by Governor John Kasich with great concern. Agriculture groups were not consulted on the plans for the executive order and not asked to participate in the announcement.“We are pretty disappointed that agriculture got shut out of this process. The governor came into office on the promise of transparent and open government and we did not see that in this process. If there had been more open conversation things might have turned out differently, but they didn’t,” said Joe Cornely, with the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation. “Now we are looking through the executive order and trying to figure out what it means. We are going to file a public records request so we can get more information because this two-page executive order doesn’t really tell us what farmers are facing.“On the assumption that this does go into effect or parts of it actually go into effect, our biggest concerns are about resources and time. With 7,000 farms and 2 million acres, that is a significant amount of farmers and land. How do you implement this if it actually becomes law and the changes that this executive order is mandating? How do you get the farmers trained? How do you pay for all of this? As this develops, those are questions we are going to be raising. If we have to comply, we have to comply, but how? That is the biggest thing.”In addition to the use of executive action on this issue, the order will likely increase the bureaucratic red tape and it is not clear that science was being used to determine the watersheds being targeted.“Today, Governor Kasich and administration officials made it seem that if farmers do a nutrient management plan for their farm, Lake Erie will never see an algal bloom again. That is wrong,” said Tadd Nicholson, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association executive director. “What is true is that farmers have adopted best management practices including nutrient management plans, have invested millions of dollars in research and education, and even supported reasonable regulations to address water quality.”In addition to the measures outlined in the executive order, Kasich also signed bipartisan legislation known as Clean Lake 2020. The bill will invest significant new resources to protect water quality throughout the state, providing up to $20 million in a targeted phosphorus reduction fund, $3.5 million to support soil testing and the development of nutrient management plans, among other provisions. Clean Lake 2020 enjoyed broad support from Ohio agriculture.“We were big supporters of Clean Lake 2020. We were very encouraged when it passed unanimously in both the Senate and the House. We encouraged lawmakers to vote in favor of that. What we like about that is that it recognizes the complex solutions we are going to need to find on farms and it recognizes it will take time and money to make that happen,” Cornely said. “Clean Lake 2020 puts resources on the ground, but I don’t think the money in Clean Lake 2020 is sufficient to cover the massive number of farmers and ground this [executive order] could apply to.”The Kasich administration unsuccessfully lobbied to include the regulatory measures in Clean Lake 2020, but after being turned down by the legislature, Kasich pursued an executive order for the other regulations issued today.“Although Governor Kasich has worked productively with our farmers in the past, the administration is now acting without our input,” said Kirk Merritt, Ohio Soybean Association executive director. “Farmers are willing to do what needs to be done to solve this problem, but now we’re not even being invited to the table.”In recent years, Ohio farmers have implemented new best management practices on their fields to protect water quality while also funding research and education initiatives such as the 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program, edge-of-field testing and an update of the tri-state fertility guide. For more information about what Ohio farmers are doing, please visit formyfarm.com.Now, instead of proactive efforts, Ohio agriculture is being forced into a reactive position based on Kasich’s executive order today.“We can’t even react to the specific regulations he’s proposing; we haven’t seen them,” said Adam Sharp, executive vice president of Ohio Farm Bureau. “We’re also curious why the order deals with only agriculture and not other pieces of the water puzzle, especially since the administration has prioritized other water quality initiatives instead of farm conservation programs.”The Kasich administration said it has invested more than $3 billion to improve Lake Erie water quality. But an examination of the expenditures, reported by Cleveland Public Broadcasting station WCPN, found that only 1% of that money was used to address agriculture’s portion of the water quality challenge.“If we weren’t a priority for state resources, why are we a priority for state regulation?” Sharp said.View Tuesday’s press conference in its entirety.last_img read more

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first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Says McClure, “There is a role for freemium, but unless you missed the TPS report the FREE part is only a loss-leader for the MEE-YUM part — it’s a test-drive before you buy something. If your users are just kicking the tires then you need to kick them to the curb eventually.” McClure is right. It’s been a long time since eyeballs have automatically equated to dollars. If you’ve got a product that even a small number of users will pay for on a regular basis, establish that paid user base as soon as you possibly can. Related Posts Tags:#start#StartUp 101#startups Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market dana oshiro As an entrepreneur, blogger and the investor in charge of the Founders Fund seed investment program, Dave McClure knows the importance of a proven revenue model. In a recent blog post he makes the assertion that “subscription models are the new black,” despite the fact that startup monetization has focussed heavily on cost-per-click advertising. He writes, “This Don’t-Be-Evil-AdWords-Click-Happiness..It’s made us a bunch of lazy, ad-happy, Web-Tards with crappy ROI…We have largely WASTED an entire web decade of time, energy & venture capital on extremely inefficient revenue models.” While we might not have chosen this exact phrasing, we cannot agree with McClure more. Nowhere is freemium model failure more obvious than in the streaming music space. Even with millions of users and licensing deals with major labels, Imeem was acquired by MySpace last year and quickly dismantled. The cost of licensing content to unpaying users was enough to put the company into serious debt. The company’s subscription service just wasn’t enough to offset the cost of the freemium business. Meanwhile, myriad music sites have come and gone, but Rhapsody’s subscription-only service has managed to survive. Having learned from its predecessors, it’s rumored that Spotify will only launch in the US with a subscription model, despite its free European offerings. last_img read more

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first_imgHow IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi… Scotland’s seven major cities are teaming up to develop a number of smart city projects, backed by a $31 million war chest.According to Scottish Construction Now, the seven cities will springboard off the funding to collaboratively develop themselves into future-capable digital hubs.See also: Outdated thinking on wireless could doom UK smart citiesThe smart cities program is under the mantle of the Scottish Cities Alliance, which includes Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, Perth and Stirling along with the Scottish government.European Regional Development Funding will contribute $13 million to smart cities initiatives, with another $18 million chipped in by the seven cities.“By working together Scotland’s cities are utilizing economies of scale to learn individually and share that knowledge collectively, to be at the cutting edge of Smart City technology and the benefits that brings,” said Andrew Burns, Chair of the Scottish Cities Alliance. “Our inter-city approach to developing Smart City solutions has been praised publicly by the European Commission and we have attracted the attention of other nations who are looking to emulate our collaborative model.”A variety of smart city programs have already been given the green light to begin development in Scotland.Intelligent Street Lighting projects are being piloted in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Perth and Stirling. The lighting technology will incorporate LED bulbs and connected sensors, and is expected to provide energy savings and improved safety for the public and drivers.Now the bins are smart, tooSmart waste management services will be developed in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Stirling and Perth. The waste projects will incorporate smart bin technology that improve efficiency by alerting workers to empty the garbage cans only when full.Besides these infrastructure-related projects, Scottish cities will see the development open data initiatives under the smart city programme. The cities will build data publication platforms that incorporate data analytics capabilities.The cities expect to the open data projects sparking better decision-making on urban issues which will improve services and efficiencies.The Scottish initiatives come amidst a global rush to develop smart city programs. However, experts suggest that early stage smart cities often struggle to develop clearly defined entry points. Related Posts Tags:#IoT#open data#Scotland#Smart Cities#smart city#smart lighting#smart waste center_img Surveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Donal Power For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: The British Council Summer School has come back to the city once again. The school has a lot to offer to children aged between 7-14 years, enhancing communication, creativity and confidence.After coaching 650 students in Kolkata in 2017 through engaging methodologies, the Summer School aims to make learning a fun process for children this year as well.Children aged between 7-14 years can spend their summer holidays discovering their inner creativity in fun and engaging ways, through a mixture of games, projects, drama and communicative activities at the British Council Summer School. The programme also encourages students to interact in pairs, small groups and whole class situations, improving their English fluency and confidence. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThis year will see British Council run two themes during the Summer School: Explorers (through a virtual trip around the world, children will travel to one country each day, learn about different cultures, develop language skills and build confidence) and Media Magic (children will explore communication channels such as the radio, television and the internet. They will learn how to write blogs, create an advertisement and newspaper report).Debanjan Chakrabarti, Director, East and Northeast, British Council, said, “Our English language teaching centre in Kolkata is an exciting hub of activity all summer. The year 2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the British Council’s presence in India.”last_img read more

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first_imgKolkata: The much awaited marine drive connecting Udaypur in the Bengal-Odisha border with Sankarpur may be thrown open for the public soon, as the construction work for the same is on the verge of completion.People can currently take a stroll along the sea shore between old Digha and New Digha, as marine drive exists only between these two places. The completion of construction work will now help people move between Udaypur and Sankarpur with the sea in the backdrop. There is also a plan to ply small battery operated vehicles to ferry tourists along the marine drive. It will connect many important sea beaches. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe newly built marine drive will start from Udaypur and then pass through New Digha, Old Digha and Digha Mohana before touching Sankarpur. The laying of roads has already been completed in these stretches and the marine drive is expected to be inaugurated before Puja this year. The marine drive will further be extended up to Mandarmani. Beautification drives have also been taken up. There will be restaurants along the way where the tourists can have their food. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe Mamata Banerjee government has given a facelift to the beach towns in the East Midnapore district. Beautification drive has been given paramount importance by the local administration. After being prodded by the Chief Minister, the East Midnapore district administration had taken initiatives to begin the construction of three marine bridges, which Banerjee had proposed. Following Banerjee’s instructions, a sketch was chalked out to set up a marine drive in the area. The whole idea of marine drive was conceptualised by the Chief Minister herself. After coming to power, her government had taken up various development works along the sea beach in Digha, as a result of which the tourist footfall has gone up considerably. The district administration officials believe that once the marine drive, which will come up within Puja, gets completed, it will attract a large number of tourists not only from the state but also from other districts. The Irrigation department has already spent crores for development projects along the sea coast — from Old Digha to Udaypur. The entire coast line has been concretised to prevent soil erosion. Sewer lines have been revamped and further beautification works have been taken up. Lighthouses have been set up as well.last_img read more

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first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. June 14, 2018 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently granted Amazon two patents directed to remote control of human hands. The Amazon patents are able to obtain and record users’ location and the detailed movements of their hands. Therefore, highly private information such as when an employee takes a bathroom break or pauses to scratch may be obtained and recorded by the patented system. That, in turn has led to concerns that the patents could violate protected privacy rights of employees under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Fourth Amendment applies to government actions, and would be implicated in a legal challenge to the Amazon patents, since patents are issued and enforced by the government. In addition, Amazon patents can run afoul of state statutes and common law privacy protections, which have adopted similar Fourth Amendment privacy standards.Related: Here Are 6 Weird Ways You’re Being Tracked in the Real WorldArticle I Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution, also known as the Patent and Copyright Clause authorizes Congress to grant inventors and authors exclusive rights to their respective inventions and works of authorship for limited periods of time. Under current law, patents enjoy a 20-year monopoly period, backed by the power of Federal Government.The U.S. Constitution contains no express right to privacy. However, the Supreme Court, in numerous decisions since the 1920s, has relied on the Bill of Rights to carve out certain rights based on privacy considerations. These carved out rights include privacy of a person’s freedom from unreasonable search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment.The pulse on Amazon’s tracking mechanismThe Amazon patents describe a system and mechanism for tracking and guiding workers’ hands relative to the position of inventory storage bins. The stated aim of the patents is to improve the efficiency of inventory management system by making it faster and easier for workers to accurately locate the bins in which items are stored and retrieve ordered items from them. The Amazon patents criticize existing processes for keeping track of inventory bin locations as uneconomical and inefficient, and find proposed improvements in the form of a computer vision apparatus to track location of inventory bins inadequate as cumbersome and costly.Instead, the patents propose a system that uses ultrasonic communication to track employee hand movements by sending ultrasonic pulses at predetermined intervals to the worker’s wristband in order to keep track of the relative positions of the worker’s hands and the target inventory storage bins. The patented system directs the worker’s hands toward the correct bin by sending a pulse to alert the worker when the worker’s hands are in close proximity to a target bin.Related: 12 Privacy Mistakes that Can Cost You Your Job in 2018Amazon has dismissed potential privacy concerns raised by the implementation of its patents as “speculation” and “misguided.” In a released statement, Amazon analogized its proposed wristband system to handheld scanners, which are in widespread use for checking inventory and for fulfilling customer orders. According to the company, the wristbands and their accompanying mechanism improve efficiency by freeing up employees’ “hands from scanners and their eyes from computer screens.”The debate regarding the trade-off between privacy and efficiency at workplace is not new. Common worker monitoring techniques, including cameras, employer monitoring and access to employee emails and internet browsing, have been around since the 1990s. However, such concerns have come into renewed focus with the Amazon patents as they potentially cross the currently prevalent arena of surveillance and monitoring of employees into the uncharted territory of directing and even physical control of employees.The question regarding the Amazon patents is whether they will pass muster in the face of likely challenges to their constitutionality. Challenges to patents duly issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are not new. Back in 2013, the Supreme Court found genes to be not eligible for patent protection. The legal precedentsAs noted above, because implementation of the Amazon patents in the workplace would involve obtaining potentially private information from employees, they would likely raise concerns about violation of workers’ constitutionally protected privacy rights. Amazon, in turn, has downplayed such concerns and has instead tried to focus the debate on the enhanced efficiency resulting from the introduction of its patented technology.The U.S. Supreme Court has identified certain factors that courts must consider in determining whether employer monitoring of employees and obtaining information from them passes legal muster. In City of Ontario v. Quon, the Supreme Court affirmed that workers do enjoy Fourth Amendment rights in their workplace to guarantee their “privacy, dignity and security of persons against certain arbitrary and invasive acts” by the government as an employer. Factors, identified in City of Ontario, which courts are to consider in determining the permissible scope of employer intrusion on its employee’s Fourth Amendment rights include: 1. whether the employee has a reasonable expectation of privacy in the information obtained; 2. whether the employer has a legitimate work-related rationale for the intrusion; 3. whether the intrusion is reasonable in scope; 4. availability of less intrusive means to achieve the same purpose; and 5. public acceptance of the conduct.Related: 10 Ways You’re Being Tracked Without You Knowing ItIn City of Ontario, the city had provided its employees with pagers which were used to send and receive text messages to allow employees to be contacted in the event of an emergency. The city’s employee policy manual made clear that the city had the right to access and monitor communications to and from the city issued pagers and that employers should not have any expectation of privacy or confidentiality in using the pagers. When Jeff Quon, a city employee with a city-issued pager, repeatedly exceeded the monthly character limit for use of his pager, the city ordered an audit of his communications to determine if the usage was work related. In conducting the review, the city discovered that most of the messages sent by Quon were not work related but were personal and many were of sexually explicit nature, and proceeded to implement disciplinary measures against Quon. Quon responded by filing suit against the city for violating his Fourth Amendment rights.Discussing the particular facts and circumstances of the case, the Supreme Court allowed for a certain extent of privacy in communications on the pagers provided by the city but concluded that expecting complete privacy would not be reasonable since Quon had been informed of the potential auditing of his messages and that his position as a law enforcement officer indicated his likely awareness of scrutiny of his actions and that such scrutiny may involve examination of his communications during the work hours. Next, the Supreme Court concluded that the search of Quon’s messages was motivated by a proper purpose, that it was tailored to the problem at hand and had been reasonable in scope. The Court did not give much weight to the availability of less intrusive methods by the city to achieve the same goal.Efficiency or privacy?With respect to the Amazon patents, the question before the courts will be whether the additional intrusive step of controlling and directing an employee is justified by the expected incremental improvement in efficiency and productivity resulting from the patents. In the long run, the answer may lie in the public’s acceptance of the trade-off between efficiency and privacy in response to new technology. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global 7 min read Register Now »last_img read more

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