first_imgCLICK HERE if you are having a problem viewing the photos on a mobile deviceAround 8 p.m. Thursday Erik Harris went to print his new Raiders contract, but his printer had no ink.A friend nearby printed Harris’ two-year deal and ran it over instead. After Harris and his wife corralled their four children for a picture, everyone wearing Raiders gear posing with Harris holding pen to paper, he went to scan the contract and send it to the Raiders.The scanner wouldn’t connect to the computer. …last_img read more


first_imgNigel Williams tried to explain in Current Biology1 why “size matters” among marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands: the vectors of natural and sexual selection don’t always line up.  Females appear to like the big males when times are good, but when drought comes, the smaller dudes do better.    There’s a difficulty with such investigations.  Even though this habitat was a “rich source of information for Charles Darwin when developing his theory of evolution,” the article admits that “Factors influencing the evolution of complex traits such as body size are notoriously difficult to study but a new review of work on marine iguanas in the Galapagos islands suggests an answer may lie in the interplay of natural and sexual selection” (emphasis added).1Nigel Williams, “Size matters,” Current Biology, Volume 15, Issue 18, 20 September 2005, Page R742.Why should Darwin be mentioned in this article, except as a historical embarrassment?  There is no evolution here.  Heap big iguana is still iguana as much as peewee.  Size is not a “complex trait” in the sense of evolving wings or some new organs; it is just a modification of parts already present.  There is no long-term evolutionary trend here, but rather only oscillations around a mean that reflect climate conditions – otherwise we should see iguanas the size of Godzilla by now.  If natural and sexual selection work against each other, then stasis rules, not evolution.  Charlie won’t get anywhere with slippage on the treadmill (see 03/17/2003 entry).(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more


first_img16 October 2015Vuma Glenton Mashinini has been appointed the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of South Africa.The position has been vacant since the resignation of Pansy Tlakula in 2014, filled by Terry Tselane in an acting capacity in the interim. The Presidency made the announcement of Mashinini’s appointment on 14 October.Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Tlakula “guilty of gross maladministration” for the lease agreement of the IEC’s headquarters in Centurion.Mashinini was appointed as a commissioner of the IEC in April.He has previously served as a special projects adviser to President Jacob Zuma, as well as deputy chief electoral officer of the IEC from 1998 to 2001. In the latter post he was responsible for the establishment and administration of the national head office, all nine provincial electoral offices and approximately 350 municipal electoral offices.About MashininiMashinini was born on 22 January 1961 in Joburg. His family emigrated to Australia in 1980, where he studied business and commerce at Curtin University.Mashinini’s political life includes the position of race relations officer at the Curtin University Students Union, according to the SABC. “His work saw him joining the African National Congress (ANC) in Western Australia, where he co-ordinated anti-apartheid campaigns. He also worked for the Campaign Against Racial Exploitation, an Australian anti-apartheid movement.”Zuma wished Mashinini all the best in his new responsibility.The IECThe IEC is a permanent body established by the Constitution to promote and safeguard democracy in South Africa. It is a publicly funded body and while it is accountable to Parliament, it is independent of government.It was established in 1993, has five full-time commissioners, appointed by the president, whose brief is to deliver regular, free and fair elections at all levels of government – national, provincial and local.In terms of the Electoral Commission Act of 1996, the IEC has to compile and maintain the voters’ roll and it is responsible for counting, verifying and declaring the results of an election, which must be done within seven days of the close of the election.The IEC is also responsible for:Compiling and maintaining a register of parties;Undertaking and promoting research into electoral matters;Developing and promoting the development of electoral expertise and technology in all spheres of government;Continuously reviewing electoral laws and proposed electoral laws, and making recommendations; and,Promoting voter education.SouthAfrica.info reporterlast_img read more


first_imgJohannesburg, Tuesday 21 January 2014 – Brand South Africa will bring an opportunity to discuss education with specialists in the field, to the community in Soweto when it hosts the second Play Your Part/Sowetan dialogue in Soweto, Orlando West, Uncle Toms Hall on 22 January 2013.The dialogue will focus on the topic, “Why many learners and students start but don’t finish?” and is in line with the awareness that learners must stay in school to receive quality education.The discussion will be guided by:Adam Habib – Vice Chancellor at Wits UniversityVuyo Jack – CEO and founder of EmpowerdexPanyaza Lesufi – National Department of Basic EducationRosie Chirongoma – (PfP) Fundraising and Stakeholder Engagement at SymphoniaDr Jeffrey Mabelebele – Higher Education South AfricaBrand South Africa CEO Miller Matola said, “Education plays a significant role in growing a country and in its competitiveness. We therefore need to ensure our school system can deliver quality education to enrich our learners and provide them with the tools they need to be successful.”“I invite all those interested in ensuring our education system is able to deliver the kind of education that supports the intellectual growth and development of our young people to play their part and attend the dialogue,”  concluded Mr Matola.Sowetan Dialogues are public conversations held in local communities across the country. They provide a platform for discussions on issues that affect societies and what we can collectively do to improve these conditions.Media are invited to attend as follows:Date   :        Wednesday, 22 January 2013Venue :        Soweto, Orlando West, Uncle Toms Hall(See map and location documents attached or visit https://maps.google.co.za/maps?q=where+is+Soweto,+Orlando+West,+Uncle+Toms+Hall&ie=UTF-8&ei=TtPXUq7MEqbQ7Abmo4CgCA&ved=0CAgQ_AUoAgTime  :         18h00 for 18:30RSVP   :        Fikile MakhobaEmail: FikileM@brandsouthafrica.comMobile: 082 404 4856The entrance to the dialogue is free although places must be booked. To book please SMS keyword DIALOGUES, name and surname to 41936. SMSes are charged at R1.50/SMS. Free minutes do not apply. Booking line closes on 21st January 2014 at 12h00 noon. Confirmation will be sent via SMS or RSVP to obosel@sowetan.co.zaNote to editorsProfiles of the panelistsProfessor Adam HabibProfessor Adam Habib is the Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of the Witwatersrand, and has served in this position as from the 1st of June 2013. He is an academic, an activist, an administrator, and a renowned political media commentator and columnist. A Professor of Political Science, Habib has more than 30 years of academic, research, institutional and administration expertise. His experience spans five universities and multiple local and international institutions, boards and task teams. His professional involvement in institutions has always been defined by three distinct engagements: the contest of ideas; their translation into actionable initiatives; and the building of institutions.Mr Panyaza LesufiMr Panyaza Lesufi is a spokesman for the Department of Basic Education. He was born in Tembisa where he led a number of youth and student structures before getting arrested under the 1988 Apartheid Emergency Regulation for belonging to then banned organizations (ANC, MK and COSAS). Mr Lesufi matriculated at Vital Link Student Cooperation and went on to study Business Administration at the University of Natal in Durban where he was voted President of the SRC. He served in the Senate, Council and EXCO of the University and was awarded the Best SRC President ever by the University Natal as well as the Albert Luthuli Inter-Personal Relations Award. He served as Deputy Regional Secretary of the ANC at Ekurhuleni for 10 years before being elected to the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) of the ANC Gauteng Province. Mr Lesufi also served as a board member of the Ellis Park Disaster Fund and Chairperson of the Matthew Goniwe School of Leadership.Ms Rosie ChirongomaMs Rosie Chirongoma deals with Fundraising and Stakeholder Engagement at Symphonia. Ms Chirongoma’s interests include current affairs, creating awareness about the issues that affect African children and working with children in disadvantaged communities. Armed with a National Diploma in Architectural Technology, she lists strong leadership, good communication skills, being passionate and driven as well as willingness to take risks as her strengths. Ms Chirongoma has been actively involved in affecting change at a grassroots level in South Africa since 2007. Her list of community projects include: Big Brother Big Sister; the Paballo Ya Batho project which helps provide food, medical care and companionship to 500 destitute and homeless people living in the inner city of Johannesburg. In 2010, Ms Chirongoma spent her weekends looking after abandoned children at the TLC Children’s Home. She was recognised as a Nedbank Local Hero, in 2007, for providing 450 learners at New Generation School with learning resources and an environment conducive for learning in an informal settlement.Mr Vuyo JackVuyo Jack grew up in Dube, Soweto where he entertained the idea of becoming a film director, before a family friend in merchant banking changed his mind. He then decided to study accounting which he sees as a critical basis for informed economic decision-making, and as a central measure of business performance. Since co-founding Empowerdex, Vuyo was appointed as a member of the dti’s BEE Task Team in 2003 and has advised both government departments and various corporates on matters of BEE. Vuyo has a weekly column in Sunday’s Business Report on issues surrounding BEE. In addition to his role as Executive Chairman of Empowerdex, Vuyo lectures Financial Accounting at Wits on a part-time basis.Dr Jeffrey MabelebeleDr Jeffrey Mabelebele joined Higher Education South Africa (HESA) in 2009 as a Director, Operations and Sector Support.  Prior to this, he worked for the Human Sciences Research Council as a Researcher, Government Communication and Information System as a Director in the Project Office and the National Treasury’s Technical Assistance Unit as Director, Knowledge Management. His research interests include social values, identity and memory. Dr Mabelebele studied at the universities of Limpopo and UNISA. His work is published widely in accredited and peer reviewed journals.About Brand South AfricaBrand South Africa is the official marketing agency of South Africa, with a mandate to build the country’s brand reputation, in order to improve its global competitiveness abroad. Its aim is also to build pride and patriotism among South Africans, in order to contribute to social cohesion and nation brand ambassadorship.Further resources from Brand South AfricaMedia are invited to visit http://www.southafrica.info/ for further resources which can be reproduced without any copyright infringement.  Kindly attribute to Brand South Africa.Follow Brand South Africa@Brand_SA(https://twitter.com/Brand_SA)Tell us how you Play Your Parthttp://www.playyourpart.co.za/tellus-someone@PlayyourpartSAFor more information or to set up interviews, please contact:Fikile MakhobaEmail: FikileM@brandsouthafrica.comMobile: 071 155 9192Email: Fikilem@brandsouthafrica.comEndslast_img read more


first_imgMatt Asay, former Novell executive, VP of Open Source vendor Alfresco, and champion of the Open Source movement has a summary of a research article by Jyh-An Lee called “Production: Policy Implications of Open Source Software”.The crux of the article is that governments worldwide are warming to the idea of Open Source Software (OSS). As of September 2006, 99 governments in 44 countries had enacted some form of administrative or legislative support for OSS, especially in Europe, Asia and Latin America.In the article, Lee says, “While governments considering supporting OSS are primarily concerned with significant switching costs and incompatibility problems. OSS is actually superior to proprietary software because it increases compatibility and consequently decreases switching costs in the long term.”Governments are increasingly considering OSS during the procurement cycle. Some governments, like France, have decided or at least seriously considered moving from Microsoft Windows to Open Source Linux systems. Germany and China are also examples of governments that are adopting OSS within various government agencies.Lee argues that “…the government should take into account the long-term interests of society and not merely its own interests as a consumer. OSS is better than proprietary software when it comes to increasing compatibility and network effects… Governments can also legitimately provide a critical mass in order to promote the availability of OSS products and subsequent competition in the software market.”last_img read more


first_imgHow Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Related Posts Google has gotten to be pretty good at introducing cross-platform services that bring productivity and efficiency into our daily lives. But increasingly one has to wonder: why the hell should we care about services that, like every other in the cloud, could disappear at any given moment?This week alone, rumors were out about Google Babble, a new effort to combine the different communication services (like Talk, Hangout and Chat) into one client/platform.Then there were the confirmed efforts to hook third-party apps into using Google Drive, which would enable Google to act as the repository for application generated data.Finally, just yesterday, the new Google Keep app for Android debuted, a service that, if it gets more features and maturity, could give Evernote a run for its money. But I have to ask myself, why in the world would I want to use a service like this from Google when they could, with two magic words, arbitrarily decide to drop the service if it doesn’t work out for them?Those words? “Spring Cleaning.” (Or, “Fall Cleaning,” depending on the date.)Now, in full disclosure, I am very unlikely to use Google Keep anyway, since I still – still! – can’t seem to integrate Evernote into my life.But even if I were inclined to use Keep, “spring cleaning” comes back to remind me that putting my trust in Google services is becoming a bad idea.It’s Always About The MoneyLet me be blunt: spring (or fall) cleaning for Google is really a breezy little marketing term for “we can’t figure out how to monetize this, so it’s gone.” Looking at the most recent spring cleaning blog from Google, which lists the closures of APIs and services that Google will no longer support, that certainly seems to be the case. That, or they’re changing things up in order to get increased revenue from existing services.Google Reader, of course, was the service that got the most attention in this latest round of spring cleaning, with good reason: a service that’s been around since 2005, has tens if not hundreds of thousands of users, and Google just up and decides to ax it. It is particularly irksome for me, since I use Reader as the main service provider for my Reeder app on iOS and OS X. I’ll do the manual extract and import using Google Takeout, so in the long run, I’m only out an hour of work time.But here’s the thing: what other services does Google have that could get spring cleaning treatment someday?I notice, for instance, Google News doesn’t have ads, nor will it in the near future, because the only thing that keeps most publishers from suing Google is that Google doesn’t generate direct revenue from Google News. (And even that doesn’t stop some publishers.) At what point does Google look at the amount of effort they put into News and see they’re not getting the expected returns?Google Voice, which provides voice-over-IP, voice mail and transcription services users, does have a Skype-like freemium model, where the voicemail and Google-provided phone number is free, but making outbound international calls from the U.S. costs something. With a little revenue coming in – and, possibly, integration into Babble on the horizon – maybe Voice won’t be on the chopping block.More Ways To RevenueThere are other ways to get revenue than ads, of course. Google + doesn’t have ads (now), but Google has been pushing +1 functionality on ads in their Display Network for quite some time, so there’s revenue being generated in there.My fixation on ads is unfortunate, since an ad-free world would be nice. But nothing in life is free, and without some way to generate money for a given service, eventually that service will have to be shuttered or changed into something that can pull in the revenue – something I might not like.Google has gotten to the point where, try as they might, they can no longer afford to keep services sans revenue going indefinitely. As a publicly traded company, they can’t. Google has to demonstrate to shareholders at the end of the day that they are doing everything possible to generate more revenue.Am I saying that it is never okay to trust Google? That’s going to depend on your level of trust. As a consumer, my personal comfort zone is becoming seriously encroached. I look around at all of the Google-based services I use (Gmail, Calendar, Maps, Voice, News) for work and personal use and wonder if this road I have traveled with good intentions isn’t leading me to a very troublesome spot.Beyond GoogleThe fault lies not with Google alone, either. This is a whole cloud services concern. I won’t use Keep, but I am trying to use Evernote and I do use Omnifocus. Comixology stores the comics that won’t fit on my iPad. Trello manages my workflow. Amazon holds movies and TV shows that my family have purchased.So what happens when one of these companies goes belly up? Or their servers go down? Or there’s a payment mix up and they decide to kill my account? These are problems that would range from pain in the ass to outright catastrophes, depending on the circumstances.There is a mythos in the U.S. psyche that we must own things. Own a car, not lease it. Buy a house, not rent. But cloud services increasingly put us in the position of renting, or putting up with unwanted features (ads) to get something for free.And, even if we do “own” something on the cloud, it’s far more ephemeral than storing it in the physical world. I can own a movie on a DVD, and, sure, it can get lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed here in my house. Nothing in life is permanent. But in the cloud, things we buy are even more out of our direct control, and subject to the technical, legal and financial whims of the vendor holding our stuff.If anything, Google’s spring cleaning is a great reminder of those whims, and a wake-up call to anyone thinking about any cloud service. Go ahead and use what you want, but always make sure you have an exit strategy in place for when you want to leave, or the cloud vendor decides to close the store.Image courtesy of Google. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Google center_img Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … brian proffitt Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more