Half-time: Brentford 3 Fulham 0

first_imgScott Hogan scored twice as Brentford embarrassed Fulham in the first half of the west London derby at Griffin Park. The Bees raced into a 2-0 lead inside seven minutes, with former Fulham youth player Sam Saunders chipping keeper Marcus Bettinelli on the breakaway for the opener.Striker Hogan, making his first start for Brentford, ruthlessly fired home the second having been put through by Konstantin Kerschbaumer.And Hogan bagged his fifth goal since returning from long-term knee injury just before the break when he smashed in Saunders’ corner on the volley.Fulham struggled to create chances, with 19-year-old left-back Tom Field impressive on his Brentford debut, but the Whites hit the post through Ross McCormack on 42 minutes.McCormack had earlier missed the target with a free-kick and put Jazz Richards through on goal only for the full-back to misdirect a close-range header.Brentford: Button; Colin, Dean, Barbet, Field; Yennaris, Woods; Saunders, Kerschbaumer, Canos; Hogan.Subs: Bonham, Clarke, O’Connell, Cole, Swift, Gogia, Hofmann.Fulham: Bettinelli, Richards, Stearman, Amorebieta, Ream; Parker, Ince; Cairney, Christensen, Tunnicliffe; McCormack.Subs: Lonergan, Fredericks, Burn, O’Hara, Hyndman, Dembele, Smith.last_img read more

Exploring bicycle culture in South Africa

first_imgJohannes van Wyk and his children Chris, Danisha and Sarie not only cycle, but arealso capable bicycle mechanics. Twin sisters Louisa and Johanna Mokoaqoencourage each other’s love of cycling.Marina le Grange prefers to cycle short distances, rather than getting into a car. (Images: Day One Publications) MEDIA CONTACTS • Stan EngelbrechtDay One Publications+27 82 928 6586 RELATED ARTICLES • SA’s first hydrogen bike rolled out • Improving lives with bicycles • Bikes for Africa – from bamboo • School campaign helps change lives• Going green for 2010Wilma den HartighTwo South African friends who share an enthusiasm for bicycles and cycling have started a project that explores South African bicycle culture and commuting on the saddle.The project, called Bicycle Portraits, is the idea of Stan Engelbrecht, a photographer and publisher, and Nic Grobler, a motion graphics designer.The focus of the project is to provide insight into the lives of people who use bicycles for daily commuting, instead of just leisure or exercise. With global warming a concern across the planet, the efforts of these energetic people have the potential to make a big difference.Since early 2010, Engelbrecht and Grobler have travelled across the country, on their own bicycles, to take photographs of saddle commuters and their bikes.“It has been an incredible journey to meet South Africans who rely on two wheels for transport, and also to meet their bicycles,” Grobler says.They have been everywhere, from South Africa’s major cities to the West Coast, from country towns in the Free State to Orania in the Northern Cape.“So many times, when we look at the bicycle and the owner, they just fit together. I don’t know how it works, it is just a weird connection,” Grobler says.South Africa’s diversity of peopleEngelbrecht and Grobler have photographed South Africans of all ages, and from all walks of life. Some of the cyclists they meet along the way use bicycles because they cannot afford cars or public transport. Others just love cycling.Marinda le Grange, from Orania in the Northern Cape, had this to say about her bicycle: “The most enjoyable thing for me on the bicycle is when I become daring enough to ride with no hands, just to pedal and not hold on – then I feel young.”David Mamabolo, from Muckleneuk in Pretoria, said many people want him to sell his bicycle to them. “But I always say no because I really like it. You see, it’s an old one like me.”Chrystl Küstner, from Pretoria in Gauteng, works as a physiotherapist and uses her bicycle to visit patients. “I like cycling with a purpose, not just for the sake of it. I go to the shops and I do my shopping, carrying a backpack and using my carrier. I do all my shopping with the bicycle, or with my feet – I don’t like driving with a car,” she says.Awie Harmse bought a bicycle because he can’t afford a car. Salmon Mojaki says that his bicycle may have an old frame, but it is one of the strongest frames you can get, and his bicycle has been the best transport he’s ever had.Many benefitsEngelbrecht and Grobler are raising funds to publish a full-colour hardcover photographic book early next year of their travels, the people they have met and their stories.The co-founders hope the project and the book will encourage more South Africans to get on to their bicycles and start peddling.Strangely, besides all the benefits one could enjoy from owning a bicycle, commuter cyclists still seem to be a rare breed,” Engelbrecht says. As they spent more time on the road, they realised just how few South Africans use bicycles to commute.They also want to change perceptions about cycling. Given all the benefits, such as independence, health, fitness, cost-effectiveness, and kindness to the environment, more South Africans from all social classes should be encouraged to use bicycles.Many of the cyclists they interviewed told them that cycling was easier on the pocket. Cycling helps them to save money every month by avoiding public transport. However, Engelbrecht says that he’s not exactly sure why so few people don’t own bicycles or cycle.Some of the reasons they have identified include cultural intolerance, stigma of poverty, physical danger and lack of infrastructure. “We’ve noticed that as our major centres develop there still seems to be a trend to make cities more friendly for cars, not people,” he says.If roads were more cycle-friendly and the correct infrastructure was established, owning a bicycle could change the lives of many people. South Africa’s socio-economic climate makes it the ideal location for cycle commuting, Grobler says.For more people to take up cycling, there is a great need for good quality, yet affordable and comfortable bicycles in South Africa.Cheap imported bicycles are another challenge, he says. They have too many gears, smart paint jobs and are poorly made. “Second-hand bicycles can be cheap but simple, robust and easy to maintain. That is what we need,” he says.Inspiring South Africans to cycleThrough the project, Engelbrecht and Grobler also want to empower underprivileged South Africans. Some of their ideas include teaching bicycle maintenance skills and providing cyclists with important cycling gear such as helmets, tyres, tubes and locks.One of their long-term goals is to create a support structure such as a trust funded through a percentage of book sales, or a charity, for people who appear in the book.Grobler says that they have relied on social networking sites such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness of the Bicycle Portraits project.This has been very successful and has created an entire community of local and international followers who are interested in the project. Some fans are cycling fanatics, but others are not familiar with bicycles at all.The Kickstarter initiativeEngelbrecht and Grobler decided to raise funds through the Kickstarter social-network pledge-for-a-reward fundraising page.Anyone with a creative idea can pitch it on the Kickstarter website. The way it works is simple: every project must have a funding goal (an amount in dollars) and a time limit between one and 90 days, determined by the creator of the project.Once the deadline is reached, funding will either be successful if it reached the goal, or terminated. If it meets the goal, all pledge amounts are collected at once and the money is handed over to the project creator. In return, the project must be completed as promised.If the project does not meet the funding goal all pledges are cancelled. To encourage people to pledge, each project has to offer a reward as part of the pledge deal. Engelbrecht and Grobler have undertaken that each person who donates US$50 (about R348) or more will receive a copy of the book.Their goal is to raise $35,000 (R243 862) to complete the production of the book. Fundraising has been divided into three pledge drives. The third and final fundraising leg will start in December.In the first phase, they raised more than $15,000 (R104 512) to cover travelling, shooting, writing and preparation of the content for the second phase of the project.In the second pledge phase, $9,000 (R62 707) was collected for design, layout and pre-printing preparations. They hope that the third fundraising phase will raise $12,500 (R87 093) for printing and binding of 3000 copies of the book.Revealing the spirit of South AfricansIn comparison with the rest of Africa, and a country like the Netherlands, South Africa has quite a bit of catching up to do when it comes to cycle commuting. But besides motivating more South Africans to cycle, Engelbrecht says the project has also revealed the character and friendliness of South Africa’s people. Wherever they went, people were big-hearted, eager to share their stories, and truly inspirational, he says.last_img read more

Jordy Smith captures Billabong Pro Rio

first_img20 May 2013 “This whole week was so tricky and it was one where you had your heart in your mouth whole time. I think I went out there and over-thought it. I got way too excited watching Jordy, Filipe, Adriano and Medina and tried airs and embarrassed myself. “The waves I had at the start didn’t really allow turns so I thought I’d go for airs and find waves that allowed turns at the end and it didn’t work out. Congrats to Jordy. He’s been surfing great this whole event.” “I knew I could win a World Tour event, but I had to prove to myself that I could do it away from South Africa. Semi-finalsMick Fanning matched his Billabong Rio Pro result from 2012 with a semi-finals finish. He looked deadly in his quarterfinals victory over ASP WCT rookie Sebastian Zietz, but was unable to find a rhythm against Smith in their semi-finals clash. ASP WCT TOP 5 SURFERS (Following Billabong Rio Pro)Adriano de Souza (Bra) 18 500 ptsJordy Smith (RSA) 18 250 ptsMick Fanning (Aus) 18 200 ptsKelly Slater (USA) 16 950 ptsTaj Burrow (Aus) 15 700 pts “This win feels unbelievable,” Smith said afterwards. “It’s another dream come true. The next stop on the 2013 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) will be the Volcom Fiji Pro from 2 to 14 June. De Souza’s win at Bells Beach combined with his runner-up effort in Rio vaulted the hard-working Brazilian to the number one position over former rankings’ leader Kelly Slater, highlighting his chances of becoming the first-ever Brazilian ASP world champion. Final Gabriel Medina was in top form on the final day of competition, earning a perfect 10-point ride for a lengthy barrel-to-air combination in the quarterfinals. The high-flying Brazilian was equally dangerous in his semi-finals showdown with his fellow countryman De Souza, scoring a stout 17.50 out of 20 heat total, but it was not quite enough to see him through to the final and he had to settle for a share of third. Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material Smith now sits at number two on the ASP WCT Rankings. Highlights from the Billabong Rio Pro are available at http://wctbrasil.com/rio13 SAinfo reporter De Souza, the 2011 Billabong Rio Pro winner, went on a rampage to advance to his second career Billabong Rio Pro Final, eliminating 11-time ASP world champion Kelly Slater (USA) and goofy-footer Gabriel Medina (Brazil), but was unable to top Smith’s devastating form in the final. South Africa’s Jordy Smith captured the Billabong Rio Pro on Sunday, edging out home favourite Adriano De Souza in the final by a score of 17.80 to 16.34 in clean two-to-four foot (one-metre) waves at Barra Da Tijuca. 1 – Jordy Smith (RSA) 17.802 – Adriano de Souza (Bra) 16.34 “It would have been good to go one better, but the semis is good,” Fanning said. “Thanks to the crowd and Adriano. He’s been ripping the whole event. Thanks to all of my friends and family for all of the amazing support.” Amazing runSmith’s run to the final was nothing short of amazing as the South African powerhouse defeated dangerous rookie Filipe Toledo (Brazil) and two-time ASP world champion Mick Fanning (Australia) en route to the final. Adriano de Souza 15.33 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 12.30Gabriel Medina 16.43 def. Adrian Buchan (Aus) 14.93Mick Fanning 12.50 def. Sebastian Zietz (Haw) 12.37Jordy Smith 17.76 def. Filipe Toledo (Bra) 14.07 ‘I got a couple of scores’“When the swell dropped against Adriano and he took to the sky, I knew I was going to have to do the same, but luckily I got a couple of scores.” RESULTS Smith attributed his success to his ability to adapt to both his competitors and the ever-changing conditions of Barra Da Tijuca. Quarter-finals Semi-finals Smith showed an incredible variety of technical airs and turns in the final, launching a massive straight frontside air for a 9.33 and a stalefish air-reverse for an 8.50 to top De Souza for the win. Adriano de Souza 17.64 def. Gabriel Medina (Bra) 17.50Jordy Smith 14.83 def. Mick Fanning (Aus) 8.26 ‘Congrats to Jordy’“I did my best out there and thanks to the crowd for being behind me 100 percent,” De Souza said. “Congrats to Jordy. He beat me in the final from start to finish. I’m so happy to be here representing Brazil. Jordy was the best out there today and congrats to him.” The third of 10 stops on the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT), the Billabong Rio Pro used the entire event waiting period, culminating in a high-performance showdown from the ASP’s top 34 amidst a bevy of barrels and ramps. Third ASP WCT winThe Billabong Rio Pro victory marks the third career ASP WCT event win for the 25-year-old and his first away from South Africa. “I knew it was going to be tough,” he said. “I was really nervous in the first heat against Filipe. Luckily I got through that one and when I came up against Mick I waited for better waves. last_img read more

Understanding the benefits of health reimbursement arrangements

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest It’s no secret that a spotlight has been on our country’s healthcare system for some time now — and a bright one at that. Health insurance options and expenditures are a real concern for agribusiness owners and it’s hard to know what options will best fit the needs of your operation. Rest assured there are options; some that can even put money back your pocket.Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) are based upon Section 105 of the Internal Revenue Code. These particular arraignments allow farmers who qualify to deduct 100% of family medical cost against the farm income. In turn, the taxpayer saves federal, state and FICA taxes for family medical costs (typically a 35% savings).This is done by declaring medical expenses as business expenses, not as Schedule A itemized personal deductions, which are often limited or lost. What’s the catch here you ask? Whether they file as sole proprietor or an LLC, farmers must have a spouse who is employed by their business, at least on a part-time basis. More and more farmers are putting their spouse on the payroll in order to take advantage of HRAs.A Section 4 105 Plan allows a qualified farmer to benefit by deducting 100% of:Health Insurance and dental insurance premiums for eligible employee(s) and family. This also includes qualified long-term care insurance.Uninsured (out of pocket) medical, dental and vision care expenses for eligible employee(s) and family.Chiropractic, medical supplies, contact lenses, hearing aids, Medicare Part A, Medicare Supplemental, optical/vision, and cancer insurance premiums for eligible employee(s).Let’s take a look at scenario that would qualify: Joe owns and runs a farm. His wife, Jane, helps in the fields and takes care of some financial records and administrative functions for the farming business. Because Jane is already a service to the farm operation, Joe makes her a true employee and begins providing her with compensation. They are now eligible for HRAs.Joe compensates Jane a total of $14,000 per year in the following way:1. Reimbursement for family health premiums:  $7,0002. Reimbursements for uninsured medical expenses:  $5,0003. W-2 Cash Wages:  $2,000TOTAL$14,000 By allowing for a 100% federal, state and FICA tax deduction of the $12,000 of reimbursed expenses, Joe would receive $4,200 in actual tax dollar savings by taking advantage of a Section 105 Plan. (Note: the tax savings is assuming rates of 15% federal, 5% state and 15% FICA taxes=35% savings).It’s important to note that farmers who file as C corporations don’t need to abide by the spouse/employee method. The corporation is viewed as the employer in this case and the owner is an employee as long as the employee is receiving scheduled pay. Also note farm entities and sole proprietors with two or more employees may not be eligible for this special deduction because at the two or more employee threshold the new Affordable Health Care Act rules require certain “essential health benefits” (group insurance) and the Section 105 HRA rules may not apply. If you have two or more employees, we advise you consult your accountant for other potential health care solutions.AgriPlanNOW and BizPlanNOW is a couple of the HRAs you may have heard about. HRAs like these aren’t too confused with actual insurance plans. These are reimbursement programs that you must enroll in and there are annual fees, but the savings they provide far outweigh the upfront costs. Once enrolled, you will work with your insurance provider and tax professional to lower your out-of-pocket costs. Because you’re medical costs are now classified as business expenses you will see your deductions increase and tax savings will be the result. Savings will of course vary, but the average is around $5,000 per year.Once you submit an application for an HRA and you are enrolled, then it becomes vital to keep receipts and all records of medical expenses and health insurance premiums as well as payroll transactions. All this information will need to be reviewed and submitted at year-end by your tax professional. A CPA with experience in working with agribusiness professionals can assist you with proper record keeping and of course the tax reporting piece of the puzzle. Brian E. Ravencraft, CPA, CGMA is a Principal with Holbrook & Manter, CPAs. Brian has been with Holbrook & Manter since 1995, primarily focusing on the areas of Tax Consulting and Management Advisory Services within several firm service areas, focusing on agri-business and closely held businesses and their owners.  Holbrook & Manter is a professional services firm founded in 1919 and we are unique in that we offer the resources of a large firm without compromising the focused and responsive personal attention that each client deserves.last_img read more

Vapor Diffusion Ports

first_img Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. This article is only available to GBA Prime Memberscenter_img Cathedral ceiling assemblies and unvented conditioned attics often suffer from problems with damp roof sheathing. For years, building scientists have been proposing a variety of solutions to these damp sheathing problems. One possible solution (at least in hot climates) is to abandon the practice of installing ventilation baffles under roof sheathing, and instead to promote a new kind of ridge vent called a vapor diffusion port.A vapor diffusion port — also known as a vapor diffusion vent, a diffusion vent, or a vapor vent — is located at the ridge of a gable roof or at the hips of a hipped roof. In some ways, a vapor diffusion port resembles a ridge vent. Like a ridge vent, a vapor diffusion port requires the roof sheathing to be cut back for several inches on both sides of the ridge. Unlike a ridge vent, however, a vapor diffusion port is airtight.After creating open slots near the ridge — by either stopping the roof sheathing short of the ridge, or by cutting back the roof sheathing where necessary — workers cover the open slots with a vapor-permeable material like vapor-permeable roofing underlayment or gypsum-based sheathing. This vapor-permeable material is taped to the OSB sheathing on all sides, ensuring an airtight installation. Finally, the vapor diffusion port is protected by conventional ridge vent flashing.Attics and cathedral ceiling assemblies with vapor diffusion ports don’t need soffit vents. In fact, if you are retrofitting vapor diffusion ports into an older house, you have to seal the soffit vents carefully. The aim is to create a relatively airtight attic.Here’s the theory behind vapor diffusion ports: moisture in attics or cathedral ceiling rafter bays tends to concentrate near the ridge. Whenever the outdoor air is less damp than the air at the top of the attic, a… last_img read more

What are the key drivers to successful enterprise IoT development?

first_imgFollow the Puck Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Tags:#Big Data#Internet of Things#IoT#Nokia As IoT moves beyond pure data collection how do companies stay on top of this market and pull the most value from it?We sat down recently with three IoT authorities from Nokia: Khamis Abulgubein, IoT market development for automotive and transportation; Lee L’Esperance, IoT business modeling and Jacques Vermeulen, Nokia global Smart City business development. They outlined ten key considerations when looking to extract the maximum value from Enterprise IoT.RW:  We have discussed why companies aren’t getting value out of the IoT yet because we are in “the connecting things” phase. What are the additional drivers for unleashing the value of the IoT ? Lee L’Esperance:  Industrial IoT is really where things started first and we still seem to be in that phase of connecting siloed things and collecting data from them. However, we’re starting to see companies linking the silos horizontally, creating a horizontal ecosystem approach that brings partners, ideas, and new business opportunities together.Combining information sets in this way will provide additional value.  Next, we should start seeing companies and government entities expand toward what we call Enterprise IoT.  In this phase, you will start to see new business models emerge through this horizontal approach to analyzing the data. Also, enterprises will look more towards collaboration to solve unique problems. Let’s take a city as an example. In order for IoT to take off in a city, a whole ecosystem is needed to help solve unique problems and explore new business models. At Nokia we’ve seen — through our ng Connect IoT community —  some unique business models take off, such as connected bus shelters and 4K video streaming applications that would have never been uncovered without an ecosystem approach that includes multiple partners from various industries and disciplines.  I haven’t observed other companies who have implemented such a broad ecosystem program of this nature. Jacques Vermeulen: From a practical viewpoint, Nokia has seen success through a horizontal, secure, open, real-time and scalable solution for Smart Cities. You need to maximize value and functionality with a horizontal network approach. These solutions are combined with vertical insertion points addressing specific use cases to support cities. For example, governments worldwide are starting to understand the need for horizontal approaches and are transitioning their approach from brownfield siloed Smart City deployments to horizontal network infrastructures and starting from scratch – more of a greenfield approach. To elaborate, every major city has a large shopping mall.  These malls are loaded with features such as:  security and access control, building management systems to optimize heating, ventilation and air conditioning resources and location based services for the visitors to provide them with coupons and incentives based on their profiles from previous experiences in the mall.  And that is just a starting point.  Looking at the needs more broadly, you can discover very interesting use cases combining these elements.  Think about an emergency situation at a mall where there may be a need to deal with things like the people traffic within and coming to the mall.   This would require warning solutions for people commuting, both by private and public means of transport.  These systems should then be interconnected with traffic control to prioritize the situation for the emergency coordinators coming to the site. They also could leverage security systems for real-time video and photographs of the situation at hand, and be proactively alerted to what is going on. A value added solution like this only comes to fruition if you look at a city in a holistic way and match the right IoT infrastructure to that. From my perspective, in an emergency situation, I would go even further.  I’d like for them to have the data to know my exact location and a portion of my medical records accessible in case I needed special care.  Once we get into the territory of e-health, this supports the argument for a horizontal approach even more because now we have a more meaningful solution combining data from different verticals versus taking a silo approach. Khamis Abulgubein: IoT suppliers need to work within a cohesive system as Lee has described. The only way you will be successful is if you collaborate and build an ecosystem, you have to build for the whole customer experience. This approach lends itself more towards Enterprise IoT where you will see business models offering a whole new customer experience and new services that would not have been possible in the past. This is the notion of “servitization” in which manufacturers provide a holistic experience to the customer and by selling usage based services rather than just engaging in a single transaction through a sale of a physical product.  An example would be a washing machine that is sold bundled with usage monitoring and proactive maintenance.     Another example is the Connected Rental Car experience which is an interesting business model we developed with Hertz, SAP and other partners. On the surface, we are providing a premium service for business travelers. Along with that, we are also using the rental car as a passive payment platform for use cases such as parking garages, fuel pumps, and quick service restaurants. This approach provides transaction fee revenue share into the service which helps which helps pay for the upgraded rental car personalization and connectivity service and platform. RW: We are collecting a lot more data these days, but is that all that is needed for enterprises to become smarter?LL: It’s not the data it’s the analytics. Simply collecting data doesn’t make you smart.  You can be collecting a lot of data, but if you don’t do the right things with it, there is no value to it. The data needs to become actionable information. Analytics is the key to this, especially over time as analytics become better and artificial intelligence gets its entry into enterprises. For example, let’s look at an application where you are using sensors to collect data and measure weather conditions; having the weather data is only one part of the picture. Now, if you combine the weather data with other measured data and analytics, you can begin to predict things.  That is how we get smarter. When you take that weather data even further and mix it with data from traffic sensors to predict how the weather will impact traffic for example, the value of the information that may be obtainable will you get closer to that 36 x the value of the internet today as quoted by Bell Labs in the article Enterprise IoT – the best is yet to come.  This number becomes theoretically possible when you collect, analyze and look across all of the data to unlock the value.KA: I also went through this in my lab. It is all about getting smarter and thinking about different ways to use the data. But you need to read between the data lines for new opportunity. We installed temperature sensors in my data center to see if there were temperature fluctuations in my lab. After a week we didn’t really pay attention to it anymore — that is, until we had an air conditioner issue. The next thing I knew I was getting proper alerts and further the system got smarter and sensed that there was going to be an air conditioner failure soon – in about an hour. I was able to call the technician prior to the failure actually happening and saved my servers from being impacted. Another example could be car tracking. Step 1 – you can see where your car is. Step 2 towards a smart solution – I’m alerted when it isn’t at my house when it should be.  Despite the endless possibilities, the challenge is with the fragmentation on getting devices connected to a network.JV: In fact, Nokia is tackling this. Our IoT can help make sense out of different verticals and the fragmentation. In a smart city complex, there are not always engineers sitting at the buttons to make sense of the data on their dashboard. We are making complex data, data queries and analytics algorithms as simple as possible, so that people do not have to have special knowledge in order to do something logical and useful with their data. The sum of the parts is more than the whole.More and more native language patterns are understood to translate in more complex technical queries and automate the process of making sense and identifying opportunities from the analytics.RW: It sounds like this “servitization” would wring a lot of efficiency out of current product-customer relationships, and thus could be seen as a threat to manufacturers. How would you recommend they embrace this trend?KA: I think there are a number of things contributing to that. As the price of components comes down, more is being put into products.  There are shorter product lifecycles and software is controlling a lot of things which requires continual updating.  Also, enterprises are looking for more flexibility.  It’s better when we share; one major trend I’ve seen is that of not owning but sharing instead, or paying for use. An example of this is car sharing which is happening in many cities today — look at ZipCar, Turo, Enterprise Car Share, Hertz. Customers who only need a car from time to time can sign up for the service and pay for use on a daily/hourly basis – combine this with self-driving technology and this may significantly change the auto manufacturing and auto buying markets. LL: You need to think OpEx-ish. Enterprises seem to be heading towards OpEx versus CapEx models in many industries. Servitization enables that trend by providing end to end solutions and new business models like pay per use, goods sharing, or even risk sharing. This can represent an opportunity for manufacturers to expand into new services and develop consistent revenue streams. RW: When considering data collection and analysis, AI integrations, bots, machine learning capabilities, are companies running into the challenge of whether their own end customers are ready for this?  If you are an enterprise, how do you best prepare clients for this? KA:  Use data to delight and not deluge — surprise them and delight them at the same time.  For example, with cold temperature logistics – like transporting milk, today the person delivering food might tell the grocery store that the milk made it on time and wasn’t spoiled.  But if they can give more detailed information such as Tuesday the temperature was a steady 40 degrees, and on Wednesday it stayed very close to the requested temperature range – ensuring shelf life of the product, then that would be impressive.    Another example is from the connected rental car experience that I mentioned previously. Passive payment platforms that can communicate with gas pumps, parking garages, quick service restaurants etc. provides more convenience to customers, and rental car operators can actually attract loyal customers and bring in more revenue from these services over time. LL: You need to simplify and secure. Enterprises can show customers the value of their IoT services by keeping the process of using these services and the interaction with them simple and secure. Choosing the right platform that will allow a seamless experience for the end user is absolutely the key to this. This article as produced in partnership with Nokia. It is part of a series of articles where the team from Nokia will be providing expert advice and delve further into data analytics, security and IoT platforms.  center_img ReadWrite Sponsors Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Related Posts last_img read more

Probe committee formed

first_imgMaharashtra Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil on Monday said that a five-member committee is probing the wall collapse incident in Pune in which 15 people were killed on Saturday.Replying to a discussion on the issue in the Assembly, Mr. Patil said that the probe panel will comprise the additional district collector, officials of the labour commissionerate, Pune Police, Pune Municipal Corporation and the deputy director of town planning.“A total of 11 people have been booked for culpable homicide and two have been arrested so far. The construction work was going on in a very narrow lane. There was no space for ambulances to arrive at the site of the accident. I wonder how permissions are given for construction of residential premises,” Mr. Patil said.The minister informed that the licenses of the structural engineer and the building’s architect have been suspended and they have been blacklisted, adding that the registration of the RCC (structural design) consultant has been stayed.Earlier, Nationalist Congress Party MLA Ajit Pawar demanded that the accused be booked for culpable homicide. “The poor should get justice. Developers should be punished,” he said.Congress MLA Amit Deshmukh asked if labourers from other States were registered with local authorities. “Accountability needs to be fixed and stricter laws are necessary,” he said.Leader of Opposition (LoP) Vijay Wadettiwar said residents of the building adjacent to the compound wall had complained to local authorities about defects in the wall four months ago.Fifteen people, including four children, were killed and two others injured on Saturday when a portion of a 22-feet high compound wall of a housing society in Kondhwa area of Pune collapsed on adjoining slums of construction workers following incessant rains. All the deceased labourers belonged to Katiharin Bihar.last_img read more

How militants fighting Pakistan’s covert war with India are trained for battle, martyrdom

first_imgTARGET INDIA: A model of a Ghauri missile in Muzaffarabad, 182 km from SrinagarFour bearded militants warm themselves at a gas heater in an Islamabad safe house. A wireless set suddenly crackles. “Our boys have entered Srinagar Airport,” a grave, distant-sounding voice announces.The voice, speaking in Urdu and broadcasting from,TARGET INDIA: A model of a Ghauri missile in Muzaffarabad, 182 km from SrinagarFour bearded militants warm themselves at a gas heater in an Islamabad safe house. A wireless set suddenly crackles. “Our boys have entered Srinagar Airport,” a grave, distant-sounding voice announces.The voice, speaking in Urdu and broadcasting from deep within India’s part of Kashmir, is detailing the progress of a suicide mission by Lashkar-e-Toiba, a ruthless, Pakistan-based militant group waging war to wrest Kashmir from India. Other militant groups in Pakistan can tune in to the same radio frequency.So can the Pakistani military. A phone in the house rings, and one of the men, all members of Lashkar-e-Toiba, answers. He is asked what’s happening. His reply: “Why don’t you find out from your side?” After hanging up, he explains the caller was a Pakistani army colonel.That scene occurred in early January. Five Lashkar operatives disguised as police officers attempted to attack the Srinagar airport that day. But Indian Army guards turned them away, and the operation was aborted. However, a second attempt a few days later succeeded, leaving six Lashkar-e-Toiba men and four policemen dead. Two civilians were killed and 12 injured.Since Kashmir erupted in 1989, India has pointed a blunt and unwavering finger at Pakistan, accusing it of fomenting the entire problem.It’s a large and cynical exaggeration: anti-Indian sentiment runs high within Kashmir, and in the first half of the 1990s, Kashmiris themselves provided the steam in the anti-Indian militant movement.They were disorganised and willing to murder, but passionate and anxious to plead their nationalist cause with the outside world.Today, however, India’s charge rings a lot truer. Despite a decade of denials – Islamabad insists it provides only moral and political support, not training or tangible aid – Pakistan is fuelling militant activity in Kashmir.advertisementOf the five main militant groups operating in Kashmir, four are based in Pakistan, where open recruiting and fundraising are commonplace. Training of militants is also done on Pakistani soil. The Pakistani military is deeply involved, especially in the smuggling of anti-Indian militants across the Line of Control.Militant groups have roots all over Pakistan, from well-equipped training centres in Muzaffarabad – the capital of Pakistan’s slice of Kashmir-and the North West Frontier Province to Lahore and Islamabad. Here is an inside look at how Pakistan runs its covert war in Kashmir:Recruiting and trainingThere are thousands of young, motivated Pakistani men anxious to join the militancy in Kashmir, which they consider a holy war. They come from all walks of life: not merely from the religious schools known as madarsas, or the far-flung, poverty-mired towns and villages, but also from Pakistan’s educated and westernised middle and upper classes.And for these highly religious volunteers, many of whom are still in their teens, there is nothing more sacred in life than achieving the status of a martyr. These are the grunts in the war. The leaders are Pakistani veterans of the Afghan war.LONG MARCH : Foreign militants on an uphill walk in south Kashmir. The fittest volunteers from the training camps cross over into India from forward posts of the Pakistani ArmyThe largest training camp in Pakistan is run by the Lashkar-e-Toiba, a wing of an Afghan mujahideen group known as Markaz Al Dawa Wal Irshad. It is set on a vast mountain clearing overlooking Muzaffarabad. Armed men guard the facility round-the-clock. There are only two structures, one an armoury, the other a kitchen. Trainees live and sleep in the open. The field is dotted with installations used to teach the fervent young – some no older than 14 – how to cross a river, climb a mountain or ambush a military convoy.The day of a trainee begins at four in the morning. After offering prayers, the militants go for exercises. A breakfast of tea and bread is at eight, followed by a full day of rigorous drills, which are interrupted only for prayers and a simple lunch, usually rice and lentils.Coursework covers how to use sidearms, sniper rifles, grenades, rocket launchers and wireless radio sets, as well as the art of constructing bombs. The teachers are Lashkar veterans of action in Kashmir and Afghanistan. Sports, music and television are forbidden.Trainees are only allowed to read prescreened newspaper articles. Training is divided into two stages. The first three-week session gives religious education and basic knowledge of how to handle firearms.Once a volunteer has passed that course, which costs the organisation about $330 (about Rs 15, 500) per trainee, he is sent to a designated city or town, often near his birthplace, to work at the group’s offices and become more involved with the organisation.When a volunteer proves himself capable, motivated and loyal, he is enrolled in a special three-month commando boot camp, which costs the group $1,700 (roughly Rs 80, 000) per student. (The money is raised from overseas groups and the Pakistani public.)advertisementIn the final weeks, recruits use live ammunition, construct actual explosives and perfect ambush techniques. The final exam lasts three days. A group of trainees, sometimes as large as 100 individuals, hikes and climbs through high-altitude, wooded terrain for three days without food or sleep.They are not allowed to slow their pace except for a few naps. At the end the hungry and thirsty survivors are given a goat, a knife and a matchbox. That’s their reward, and they have to cook and eat it in warlike conditions.Going inOnly the fittest from each graduating group are given a chance at martyrdom across the border in Kashmir. The local commander makes his choice, and the fortunate few are despatched to safe houses along the Line of Control known as “launching pads”. At this point, the Pakistani Army plays a crucial role in helping to arrange the infiltration of the militants across the Line of Control.Militants officially deny Pakistani Army involvement, but those who fought in Kashmir tell Time that the wait at the launching pad is dictated by their leaders, who are in touch with the army. “Until an unmarked vehicle turns up at your safe house,” says a veteran of Al-Badr, the first Pakistan-based militant organisation to get members across the line, “you don’t know when your number will come.”When it does, this is what happens: “The vehicle, covered from all sides, will pick up two, three or four militants according to the plan and dump them at one of the forward posts of the Pakistani Army,” the Al-Badr veteran says. “People in civvies give us arms, ammunition, food and money [Indian currency].We are asked to check our weapons. After a day or two they give us the signal to go ahead.” The next step is the most hazardous: from the Pakistani Army post, the group embarks on a three-to-seven night journey into Indian-controlled Kashmir, travelling by night, hiding during the day.The group leader wears night-vision goggles. The rest follow blindly across the mountains. There are numerous obstacles: Indian mines, tracer flares, Indian border patrols anxious to shoot at them. “But whenever such a situation arises,” says a Lashkar militant, “the Pakistani guns come to our rescue to provide cover.”Militants making the return trip go through a reverse route, ending up at a Pakistani Army base. In the 1990s, the Pakistani militants hired local guides – ethnic Kashmiris – to help them get across the mountains and into India.”On a number of occasions,” says Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, 42, the supreme commander of the Lashkar-e-Toiba militants, “they took the money and tipped off the Indians. So we trained our own manpower.”advertisementIn other words, the Pakistani militants don’t always trust the Kashmiris on whose behalf they are waging this war. The Pakistani militancy, which had its roots in the Afghan war, is now an institution unto itself.last_img read more

10 months agoKeane slams Man Utd after Liverpool thumping: These players not good enough

first_imgKeane slams Man Utd after Liverpool thumping: These players not good enoughby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United legend Roy Keane slammed the standard of the players after defeat at Liverpool.Mourinho’s team looked lost throughout the encounter and speaking after the game United legend Keane questioned the quality within his former team.“I certainly believe a lot of the players playing for Man United today aren’t good enough for Man United,” Keane told Sky Sports. “I really believe that. They are good players, but not for Man United.”Again you look over the last year or two, the league campaign, to be so far behind the likes of Liverpool, Man City, Tottenham and Chelsea at this moment of time.”We’re on about creativity, but I really think their biggest problem is defensively. You have to try and get some kind of foundation to go forward and were on about scoring a goal, you’ve got to try keep some clean sheets. They are all over the place.“I think if Liverpool were really at it today, towards the last 10 and 15 minutes, they could have scored four or five.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Senator Drilling plan carveout for Florida may be illegal

first_imgWASHINGTON – The Trump administration may have violated federal law by exempting Florida from a national plan to expand offshore drilling, a Democratic senator charged Thursday.Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington state said Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s decision to give Florida a last-minute exemption while ignoring at least 10 other states that made similar requests may violate requirements of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which governs drilling in U.S. coastal waters.Zinke’s action is especially outrageous because Florida — unlike California, Washington and other states — did not expressly oppose the drilling proposal in written comments submitted to the Interior Department, Cantwell said.While Florida Gov. Rick Scott voiced opposition soon after the plan’s Jan. 4 release, a letter submitted by the state Department of Environmental Protection last year did not oppose the drilling plan or ask for Florida to be exempted. Instead, the letter warned about the effects of oil and gas activities on the environment and urged that “long-term protection of Florida’s sensitive coastal and marine resources should be of paramount concern” in developing a drilling plan.By contrast, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington told Interior they “strongly oppose any new leasing” off their coasts and asked to be removed from the plan.By exempting Florida but not other states, Zinke showed he is “more concerned with politics than proper process when it comes to making key decisions that affect our coastal communities,” said Cantwell, the top Democrat on the Senate Energy Committee.Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, called Zinke’s action troubling. Singling out one state for exemption “may well violate federal law” that requires formal notice and comment period before taking regulatory action, he said.An Interior spokeswoman declined to comment Thursday. But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders denied the administration gave special treatment to Scott, a Republican and ally of President Donald Trump who is considered a likely Senate candidate later this year.“I’m not aware of any political favour that that (Florida exemption) would have been part of, so, no,” Sanders said.In announcing the exemption for Florida on Tuesday, Zinke called Scott “a straightforward leader that can be trusted.”Zinke added that he supports Scott’s position that “Florida is unique and its coasts are heavily reliant on tourism as an economic driver. As a result of discussion with Governor Scott and his leadership, I am removing Florida from consideration for any new oil and gas platforms.”Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., said Zinke’s action “violates the legal standard of arbitrary and capricious agency action.”Like Florida, California and other coastal states “rely on our beautiful coasts for tourism and our economy,” Lieu said, adding that he believes courts will strike down the drilling plan.The American Petroleum Institute, the top oil and gas lobbying group, also questioned Zinke’s action — but from the other direction. The group called the Florida withdrawal “premature” and said restricting access to the Eastern Gulf of Mexico in particular “puts hundreds of thousands of jobs at risk across the country and along the Gulf Coast.”API spokesman Reid Porter said the Trump administration “should follow the established process” for developing an offshore drilling program, including public comment. “It is important that Interior complies with all the legal procedures and requirements for putting together” a drilling program on the Outer Continental Shelf, Porter said.Questions about the legality of the Zinke’s decision came as bipartisan opposition to the drilling plan mounted. Several governors, including leaders of Washington state, Delaware, Rhode Island and Maryland, asked for their states to be withdrawn from the plan and requested meetings with Zinke.A spokeswoman for Zinke said he spoke with South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Thursday and expects to speak Friday with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and California Gov. Jerry Brown.Democrats from coastal states accuse Zinke and Trump of punishing states with Democratic leaders while rewarding Republicans.Zinke announced plans last week to greatly expand offshore oil drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic and Pacific oceans, including more than a dozen states where drilling is now blocked. The five-year plan would open 90 per cent of the nation’s offshore reserves to development by private companies.Industry groups praised the announcement, while environmental groups denounced the plan, saying it would harm America’s oceans, coastal economies, public health and marine life.last_img read more