first_img…50 low-income houses available at ProspectBy Rupa SewnarineThe establishment of many developing housing schemes along the stretch of coastland has not eliminated the low occupancy rate, as many of the allocated plots remain uninhabited. This was the position shared by the Junior Communities Minister with responsibilities for Housing, Valerie Adams-Yearwood, who mentioned that the occupancy rate of many housing schemes remains below what is expected.“It is no secret that while a number of schemes were developed in the past, the occupancy rate remains low, something that cannot be sustained… All those lots that were sold and most of those owners would have received their certificate of titles which gives them ownership,” said Yearwood-Adams.She made these remarks on Friday during an Open Day initiate, where the public was given an opportunity to view 50 houses that were constructed for low-income earners.Because of the low numbers, the Minister stated that they are moving to repurchase these lands and allocate it to those who are searching for land.“If you know people who have a house lot and they’re not occupying it all these years, tell them come into [the Department of] Housing and sell it back to us. We’re going to pay the price we sold them for,” she mentioned.Through a collaborative effort by a number of contracting agencies, the Department of Housing unveiled the structures, which were built at Prospect on the East Bank Demerara.last_img read more

first_img7 June 2006May to October are the driest months of the year for the northern parts of South Africa. Now a fire map broadcast nightly on the SABC’s weather reports will be able to show active fires throughout the country, as detected by satellites over the preceding 12 hours.The maps are just one result of a partnership between the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and power utility Eskom.The Advanced Fire Information System (AFIS) is a satellite-based system, able to provide information on developing wildfires in near real-time, as the data is updated every 15 minutes.The first fire map was broadcast on Tuesday 6 June, and showed fire activity across the country for the preceding twelve hours.“This is a prime example of a private-public sector partnership, using the power of science and technology outcomes, to the benefit of the public,” said CSIR president Dr Sibusiso Sibisi.“Through the CSIR’s research expertise, and its application for Eskom, people will get a better understanding of the extent and threat of fires in South Africa.”Fire damageAccording to the CSIR sub-Saharan Africa has the highest frequency of fires in the world. While wildfire is a natural phenomenon, people are responsible for most fires, sometimes with devastating consequences for humans, animals (wild and livestock), vegetation and infrastructure. In 2002, wild fires cost South Africa more than R300-million in damage to infrastructure, loss and grazing land and livestock.With seed funding from the Department of Agriculture, the Satellite Applications Centre at Hartebeesthoek, north-west of Johannesburg, was able to upgrade its facilities to receive and process Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS) imagery.Eskom maintains high-tension power lines that cross many of the areas most at risk of runaway wildfires.Eskom first implemented AFIS in June 2004, scanning a buffer of five kilometres along all transmission lines, searching for any fire hot-spots at 15 minute time intervals. The system has since grown to provide countrywide data.The system was developed in collaboration with the University of Maryland and Nasa’s Earth Observation Systems.Satellite imagingTwo sets of satellites provide fire data for AFIS: the geostationary Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) that scans every 15 minutes; and Nasa’s Aqua and Terra satellites, which together provide an additional four high resolution MODIS scans each day.“Whenever the satellite takes an image, it will look for specific brightnesses … and look for anomalies,” Frederic Claudel, a CSIR researcher told Tectonic magazine.Basically, the satellites sense anomalies in brightness and temperature caused by large fires. The MSG satellite will detect fires once they have reached a size of approximately 500m2, while the Nasa satellites can, in ideal conditions, detect fires as small as 50m2.It won’t pick up a barbecue in your garden, said Claudel, but it will flag the more serious fires in your region.As soon as a fire is detected, SMS’s and e-mails are sent out to the relevant agencies, often the first warning that is received.All of the fire data is available on a publicly accessible website, including historical fire data, a useful resource for many researchers.“As AFIS is a new system, we are still experimenting and improving the system,” said Eskom’s Hein Vosloo.Visit the Advanced Fire Information Service website to view the latest fire data countrywideSouthAfrica.info reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

first_imgTags:#Location#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting marshall kirkpatrick If you haven’t tried the food photo social network app Foodspotting, you’re missing out. The company announced today that it has raised $3 million in venture capital to fund further international expansion and to build what it calls “Pandora for food.”I just started using Foodspotting a few weeks ago and have fallen in love with it. From discovering places to eat to seeing what a menu looks like on a plate before I order to reading it like a hyper-local foodie newspaper, there are lots of different ways to use the app. The six-person company will celebrate its one-year anniversary this weekend and has a compelling vision for the future.The company has monetized its free service to date by paid partnerships with services like Travel Channel, Zagat and others who seek place-based, community-vetted food photography for their websites and mobile apps. Company founder Alexa Andrzejewski told ReadWriteWeb this morning that its long-term plan is for the service to offer a platform for “location targetted food advertising.” Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… See also: The Evolution of Foodspotting & its Plans to Expand Beyond FoodFoodspotting was inspired by the co-founders efforts to explore new foods while traveling internationally and the company has already begun to find success outside the US. There have already been more than 10,000 dishes spotted in South East Asia, for example. “We really want it to be a celebration of local food,” Andrzejewski says, “a food lense or food vision about wherever you go. It really shows something about the local culture in any area.”Pandora for food plus Google Ads for food plus Foursquare for food. Sounds great to me. Related Posts last_img read more

first_imgTags:#Facebook#web Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Related Posts What It MeansIf Triggit’s numbers hold up for other brands, it could dramatically alter how Facebook is seen by advertisers. Until now, brands have primarily used Facebook to build awareness, not direct conversions. Those conversions, which FBX might provide, are where the real online advertising dollars lie. dave copeland The much-anticipated Facebook Exchange, intended to help advertisers target ads at customers who have visited their site, finally launched Thursday and the early indications are it could be a game-changer.That’s according to Triggit, a real-time media management company that is one of a handful of partners Facebook has worked with in the beta phase of FBX, as the exchange is called. Triggit’s analysis of campaigns by Shutterfly and one other client found that FBX:Offered advertisers click-through rates up to four times higher with re-targeted ads and previous online ad exchangesConversion rates of to 2.2 times higher than previous exchangesCost-per-click rates that were 6.5 times less, on average, than re-targeted ads and other online ad exchangesConversion rates 18 percent to 30 percent higher than those of a control groupcenter_img Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos How It WorksPeople can expect to see more ads on Facebook for company’s whose sites they have visited. When they visit the site of a brand participating in FBX, a cookie will follow them, marking them for better-targeted ads on Facebook.Behind the scenes, Facebook’s systems pings the advertisers for a real-time bid. If the bid is high enough, the ad is displayed to a cookied person in Facebook’s right sidebar. Being in real time, this feature will enable advertisers to deliver time-sensitive ads, which should help with conversions.And unlike some other ads on Facebook, people can’t opt out, according to a June TechCrunch article.last_img read more

first_imgBy Carolyn Bird with Molly HerndonAt the end of last year, a freelance reporter contacted me with a request to provide “steps that disorganized, messy, resolution-proof people can take to shore up and improve their financial situations.” In the reporter’s language, the information “is for people who are unlikely to make — much less keep a real budget.”Here are some effective strategies to help your clients manage and improve their financial situation in the New Year. By investing a little time to put some systems in place, a person can save time and money throughout the year.First, check to see how much money is coming in and how often. A good place to start is with “take home” pay. This is the amount that your client or her employer deposits into the client’s bank account.Second, sort the bills into those that have the same amount due every month and those for which the amounts vary. The payments that do not change are called “fixed expenses” and include bills such as rent or mortgage. Some utilities may fall into this category as well, such as; cable television, Internet provider service, cell phone contract amount (if you stay within your plan). Even the electric and other utilities can be a fixed dollar amount each month if the provider offers a “budget plan” that averages annual usage over 12 months. Suggest that your clients check with their gas and/or electric service provider to see if a budget plan is available.Third, if your client is paid more than once per month, decide which bills will be paid during each income period. Clients may need to allocate half of the amount from two pay periods during the month to pay the larger bills such as rent or mortgage.Fourth, encourage clients to use the electronic bill pay service offered at their financial institution. Using the information on the company’s invoice or bill, clients can set up payment for each of the fixed payment bills. The key is to be sure to select a payment date so the payment will arrive on time. One final check after setting up accounts for payment is to remember to verify that each bill is accounted for in its income period. This will help avoid overspending for an income period.Fifth, clients can use a calendar and mark “online dates” for paying bills. These dates will likely be close to the client’s payday. For example, if your client will be paid on February 1st, then February 1st or 2nd might be good days for an online date. On the selected date, your client can log into his account and approve the bills for payment. It is possible to set payments for automatic processing on a certain date but I suggest that those new to budgeting use the manual processing procedure. Manual processing provides one more opportunity to double-check the numbers, and if there is an error, to avoid over-spending. Using this method will reduce the time needed to manage monthly finances and it will help the client avoid fees from late payments or bounced checks. For example, if your client carries a credit card balance setting up an automatic payment for at least the minimum amount due will avoid late fees. Additional payments can always be made in the same or a different pay period.If the due dates are too close to pay dates to allow the payments to arrive on-time, your client can contact each company and ask for a later due date. Be aware that it may take one or two billing cycles for the due date change to take place. Another technique to avoid account overdraft is to establish an account dedicated to bill payments. This is particularly useful for clients who don’t keep a running balance for the checking or transaction account. A separate bill-payment account can reduce bill-paying stress. Each pay period, the necessary amount of money to cover the bills or the amount of money to be allocated against a bill (like rent or mortgage) is transferred to the bill-payment account. This way, a forgotten ATM transaction will not jeopardize the ability to pay bills. A dedicated bill-payment account can be an effective way for dual income couples to contribute to and manage household bill payments.Now that your client has identified how much income is devoted to fixed payments, the balance can be allocated across variable expenses.Other tips for managing money on the go:Set up an alert for notification when a deposit is made to an account.Set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings; start with what you can afford and increase it overtime. This can be $5 or $10.Set up an alert for when the account balance falls to a certain amount, it might $100, $50 or whatever number is meaningful for your client. What the alert means will be individual to your client. But in any case, it is a signal to seriously consider each financial transaction. How your client responds will vary from curtailing eating out, skipping an outing with friends, or resisting a clothing purchase. The important thing is for your client to decide what will help him to live within his income and to tailor the alert accordingly.Lastly, these strategies are great steps toward establishing a budget. The budget is a tool that helps identify where the money goes each month. It offers an opportunity to decide if your money is really being spent the way you would like. The budget works for your client to help him meet financial goals. It may be useful to provide your client with an online spending tracking tool.A budget can also remind us that while a cost is fixed in the short run, it is variable in the long run. This means that if a utility expense (such as cell phone, cable, Internet, etc.) is too high, it may not be possible to reduce the rate right now but your client can shop for a better rate when the contract nears renewal. Or your client may decide to do away with a service for a while. Similarly, your client can look for a more reasonable place to live or one that is closer to work to reduce the cost of housing or transportation. By highlighting spending choices that may not be working so well, a budget can be used as a comparative tool when considering spending alternatives.This blog focuses on the national core competency of “spending.” The competency behaviors discussed included: tracking spending and living within your means.Are your clients or program participants using automatic banking features to help them better manage their finances? What tips and techniques are they using?last_img read more

first_imgSonia Chanu (left) with the silver medal, Sandhya Rani (right) with the bronze and Augustina Nwaokolo with the gold in the women’s 48kg weighlifting event on Monday.Hosts India opened their medal account in Commonwealth Games weightlifting competition when Soniya Chanu bagged a silver medal and Sandhya Rani Devi clinched a bronze in the women’s 48 kg class at the Jawaharlal Nehru sports complex today.Later in the evening, in the men’s 56kg competition, Sukhen Dey clinched the silver while the bronze was bagged by Srinivas Rao. The gold medal was won by Malaysia.Dey’s total lift was 252 kg while Rao’s was 248. It took India’s tally of medals to four on the first day. The host nation is aiming to finish second behind Australia, who’ve already claimed four gold and two silver medals today.Chanu cleared 167 kg to stand second in the event behind Nigerian woman Augustina Nwaokolo who hoised 175 kg to win the contest. She also created a new Games record. Sandya Rani took the bronze with a total clearance of 165 kg.Chanu and Nwaokolo were tied with the same clearance of 94 kg in the snatch competition but the latter, who weighed marginally less than the Indian woman, settled the issue in the clean and jerk category by clearing 8 kgs more.India’s Srinivasa Rao clinches the bronze for the 56kg weighlifting category on Monday. Chanu, coach dissatisfied with performance Chanu said she was disappointed about not winning the gold medal.”I am sad I could not win the gold medal,” said Chanu, who had to settle for a silver medal. She said pressure had nothing to do with her below-expectation performance.advertisementCoach Harnam Singh wasn’t too pleased.”I am not at all happy as we were sure to win a gold medal. I want to say sorry to all Indians for our performance,” Singh said.The coach blamed the slip-ups of his weightlifters on “coordination issues” but said the country could still hope for two gold medals.”We expect 10-12 weightlifting medals of which two should be gold,” Singh said.Tennis makes debut, India off to a good startIndia put up a dominant show on the debut day of tennis at the Commonwealth Games as all three singles players recorded easy wins and star pair of Leander Paes and Sania Mirza also began their quest for gold by storming into the quarterfinals of the mixed doubles.Leander Paes and Sania Mirza accept cheers after beating St Lucia in the first round mixed doubles game. Top seeds Leander and Sania rounded of the day for India in splendid fashion as they trampled the poor St Lucia combination of Stacey Nykita Roheman and Alberton Richelieu 6-1 6-0 in just 39 minutes.Before that Rohan Bopanna, Rushmi Chakravarthi and Poojashree Venkatesh scored dominant victories in the singles against their weak opponents.The only blot on India’s otherwise perfect day was 3-6 6-3 3-6 defeat of Bopanna and Nirupama Sanjeev against the top seeded Australian pair of Paul Hanley and Anastasia Rodionova in the mixed doubles first round.Bopanna had opened India’s account with an effortless 6-1, 6-4 win over Uganda’s Rober Buyinza in the first round of the men’s singles while Chakravarthi demolished Lesotho’s Pinki Agnes Montlha 6-0, 6-1 in the women’singles.Young Poojashree Venkatesh booked a second round berth with a 6-0 6-0 annihilation of Lesotho’s Nthabiseng Eunicia Nqosa in just 40 minutes.Badminton: India trounce Kenya 5-0 Saina Nehwal beat Kenya’s Joseph Mercy Mwethya 21-11 21-4. Ace shuttlers Chetan Anand and Saina Nehwal led from the front as India took less than an hour to inflict a humiliating 5-0 defeat on Kenya in a lopsided match of the preliminary stage of Group D in the badminton mixed team event of the Commonwealth Games at Siri Fort here today.Chetan started the proceedings for India, streamrolling Victor Odera Munga 21-7 21-13 in 14 minutes in men’s singles, while Saina then swelled the lead to 2-0 with a thumping win over Joseph Mercy Mwethya 21-11 21-4 in the women’s singles in just 11 minutes.Indian men’s doubles pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas then zoomed past Victor Munga and Patrik Kibet 21-5 21-5 to hand the home team an easy win over the African outfit in 12 minutes.Women’s hockey: India held to a draw by ScotlandReigning silver medalist India had to split points after being held to a 1-1 draw by a lowly Scotland in their opening Pool A match of the women’s hockey event at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium here today.advertisementThe Indians fought back from a 0-1 deficit through Jasjeet Kaur Handa (45th minute) after Scotland took the lead in the third minute from a Holly Gram field goal.Jasjeet Kaur Handa scores in the 45th minute. The Indian eves had a mixed day in office, displaying contrasting hockey in both halves. While the home team looked out of sorts in the opening period, they dominated proceedings after the breather.India looked clueless in the first half, sparkling only in patches, while the Scots were by far the better side on display as they combined well to put pressure on the opponent’s defence on numerous occasions.In front of a sparse crowd that gathered at the stadium here, India conceded a goal early in the opening half, and from there on, played the catch-up game in the rest of the half.Archery: India dominate Day 1The wind changed its course at the Yamuna Sports Complex in the eastern fringes of the capital, but that did not break India’s rhythm as the recurve archers adjusted to the condition to dominate the ranking round on the opening day of their event.However, the ride wasn’t so smooth for the compound archers as they had to fight it out against some of the best.Rahul Banerjee and Jayanta Talukdar occupied the top two positions after returning scores of 679 points and 676 after two rounds of 36 arrows over a distance of 70m.Cadet world champion Deepika Kumari pipped two-time Olympian and 2007 World Finals champion Dola Banerjee for the top spot in the women’s recurve.”Today, the wind direction was opposite (than in previous days). From the last few days, it was from left to right but today, it was from right to left. But we did well to adjust, I am really happy with the show,” Indian chief coach Limba Ram told PTI.Teen sensation Deepika, fresh from her World Cup final stint in Edinburgh, was in her elements as she scored 662 points. Veteran Dola shot 658, while Naomi Anne Folkard of England was third with 642.”I am feeling really good, its only the ranking round hopefully we will do well in the championship round as well,” Deepika told reporters.Indian archers pose before Monday’s competition.Indian swimmers’ best ever effort not good enoughIndian swimmers made a maiden entry into a final in the Commonwealth Games before ending up sixth on a day when the formidable Australia clinched three of the five gold medals on offer today.Double Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington of England had to settle for a bronze as the Aussies made merry with three gold and two silver medals at the Dr Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Aquatics Complex.South Africa clinched a gold bronze apiece while Canada bagged one gold and two silver as three new Games records were set. England picked up two silver and one bronze while Wales scopped up and Scotland got a bronzeEarlier, riding on a fine effort by India’s biggest hope Virdhawal Khade, the Indian 4x100m freestyle relay team advanced to the final.advertisementThe Indian quartet of Khade, Anshul Kothari, Arjun Jayaprakash and Aaron D’Souza clocked 3:28.06s in the heats to qualify for the final with a sixth place finish.In the final, Khade swam a brilliant 49.87 in the final lap to help India clock 3:27.14 and better their qualifying timing.But poor support from the other three members, Arjun Jayaprakash (52.99), Anshul Kothari (52.64) and Aaron D’Souza (51.64), forced India to settle for an identical sixth place in the final.The strong Australian quartet of Kyle Richardson, Eaamon Sullivan, Tommaso D’Orsogna and James Magnussen bagged the gold with a meet record of 3:13.92. England (3:15.05) got the silver and South Africa (3:15.21) the bronze.Injuries hit Indian gymnastic squadInjured Indian gymnast Rohit Jaiswal being taken away on a stretcher after a mishap during the Artistic Gymnastics event of the Commonwealth Games at IG Stadium on Monday. Plagued by injury to two of their players, India finished sixth, even as Australia swelled their medal tally with a gold in the men’s artistic gymnastics at Indira Gandhi Stadium here today.Australia won the gold with 259.050 points in the men’s artistic team subdivision two competition on the Vault, while England, who led into the final rotation, finished with the silver medal with 256.750 points.Canada bagged the bronze with 248.500 points.Australia became the third country to win the men’s team event in gymnastics artistic.Canada (four times) and England (twice) were the only two CGAs to win this event in the history of the Games.The Australia men’s team that won the artistic gymnastics event on Monday. All 21 medals in this event have been now divided between Australia, Canada and England.Indian coach Vladimir Chertkov however appeared optimistic despite their sixth place finish.”This is not the end — we look forward. I have seen tremendous improvement in the performance of the team. We have (already) qualified for the (2010) World Championships. The main challenge for our team is landing. So we focus a lot on that.”last_img read more