Ayr United boss hopes to be in dugout despite eye op

first_imgAyr United manager Ian McCall hopes to be in the dugout when his side play Rangers in the Scottish Cup this weekend, despite undergoing an eye operation.McCall spent time in hospital this week, and has missed training with the players but is aiming to be in place when United look to pull off an upset at Somerset Park.United assistant manager Neil Scally has made sure that the League One promotion hopefuls are well prepared to face the Premiership side but the club are hopeful that McCall can be in place for the televised cup match.Striker Michael Moffat says McCall’s absence hasn’t affected preparations. “There’s enough experience in the squad and obviously the assistant manager just took over,” he said. “He takes the training most of the time anyway. “Things have just been normal but without him shouting at us. “The side have beaten Banks O’Dee and Arbroath to reach this stage of the competition.last_img read more

Greening South Africa’s office spaces

first_imgMany people spend the bulk of theirtime at the office, so it is logical toadapt work behaviour to reflect amore sustainable approach.(Image: Architects Modern) MEDIA CONTACTS • Ana-Maria Valente  Director, Dictum Publishers   +27 11 616-7401 RELATED ARTICLES • Maropeng sets green standard • SA’s children learn to be green • Green buildings now the law in SA • SA firms turn to green pest controlShamin ChibbaMaterialism and consumerism are two traits that have led to the degradation of the ecosystem and they must be replaced with thoughtful purchasing, say the organisers of South Africa’s Green Office Week (Gow), an annual initiative that promotes responsibility towards the environment.Now in its third year, Gow will be marked from 16 to 20 April with the theme You can make a difference.The initiative is celebrated in the same week as Earth Day, on 22 April.Gow’s organisers believe that whether an organisation is large or small, green behaviour must be a part of the work habits of everyone employed there.Gow spokesperson Ana-Maria Valente says the aim of the campaign is to encourage employees to consider ways of reducing waste and reusing more material in their offices.“We know that time is limited for most working people so the obvious thing to do is to make green office behaviours as easy as possible by providing samples of action plans that cover the key areas where everybody – from the tea lady to the executives – can start going green,” she says.Some of the tips that can be found on the Gow website include using greyscale printing for in-house documents and taking out all unnecessary goods from car boots in order to save fuel.Green thinking equals financial stabilityThe idea of holding a green office week in South Africa was spawned when Valente came across the British version of Gow. She contacted the organisation and obtained permission to adapt the principles for use in this country.The sustainability of businesses, nations and the earth are all connected, says Valente. As a result, the global economy is adopting principles of environmental maintenance that may offer solutions to climate change and the global financial crisis.“We tend to think that everything from water to food is infinite,” she says. “We are urging people to start thinking green because it is tied to financial sustainability.”Encouraging corporate cooperationThe general perception is that corporations care more for their bottom line and pay the planet scant attention. Although there are numerous big companies, such as Nedbank, who are conscious of their carbon footprint and have implemented many strategies to offset it, Valente says there are three ways to coax more of these companies into being considerate towards the environment.The first is legislation that would punish them for misdemeanours against the ecosystem.Another method is to show them that they can actually measure the amount they save if they stop wastage of electricity, paper, fuel and the like.The final way is to implement a reward system. Gow is using this last technique as a way to get employees to start thinking green.For this year’s initiative Gow has introduced the Green Heart Award, which is given to individuals who have made considerable eco-friendly changes within the office environment.“We want to go into firms and find the eco-champions. The minute you start finding eco-champions you grow more of them,” says Valente.The reward is an attractive cash prize for both the winner and the person who sent in the nomination. There is also a host of other sponsored prizes.Gow is creating a marketing strategy that will see celebrities promoting the campaign as well as the use of media to spread the organisation’s message.“We want to use every possible psychological tool,” says Valente.Employees need to know about GowSome employees, however, know nothing about Green Office Week. Keveshen Chetty, an ICT practitioner at Asgisa Eastern Cape, said that he was not aware of the initiative.Chetty acknowledged that more needs to be done to make offices more eco-friendly.“A formal awareness strategy should be developed and staff made aware of it,” he said.Jaen-Pierre Klaassen, CEO of web development company MyGuru, has also not heard of Gow. However, he said his organisation has a number of green habits.MyGuru’s billing system is fully digital; the company has only one laser jet printer and it rarely buys paper. The servers are driven by wind farms and power supplies are switched off at the end of each day.“It is just a way of thinking. We are a generation that has these habits ingrained in us,” said Klaassen.MyGuru also offers an email service called Clickmail, which encourages clients to send e-newsletters and conduct campaigns online. For every client that signs up, MyGuru donates money to an organisation that will plant a tree.last_img read more

Technology: OS Rules Java Application Servers

first_imgOpen Source Java Application Servers are dominating the market for Java Application Servers. While proprietary vendors like IBM, Oracle and BEA have wide acceptance, Open Source projects like Apache Tomcat, JBoss, Sun Java Enterprise System and Glassfish make up a significant chunk of the usage. Those are the findings of BZ Research, a division of BZ Media from a survey of Java developers.Eclipse has a commanding lead among the IDEs that are used at 62.7%, followed by NetBeans with 24.4%, Oracle’s JDeveloper with 20.4% and IBM Rational Application Developer at 19.4%. Here again, Eclipse and Netbeans, the leaders are both Open Source, and Oracle’s JDeveloper is a free download.The survey found that 74.1% of the developers were using Java to build server-side components, 51.8% said that they were using Java on client-side desktops and notebooks, 17.8% were bulding Java mobile applications, and 10.1% were using for embedded apps.last_img read more

Amazon Echo Getting Kudos Among Its Competitors

first_imgWhat it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Smart Home market competing ecosystems is frustrating customers, according to a new report from Argus Insights. The report looks at the top current options for home connectivity and finds consumers less than delighted with an old tech theme – a lack of desire of competing technologies to work together.In particular, Google and Apple’s refusal to “play nice together” irks users who are happier with the broad and relatively easier-to-integrate Amazon Echo.According to data compiled from over 576,000 Smart Home device and application consumer reviews from January 2015 to present, the Amazon Echo and Apple’s Homekit are top-of-mind for consumers specifically discussing ecosystems.The Amazon Echo has gained strong consumer interest since the product was broadly promoted at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Interestingly, the Works with Nest environment is the least discussed ecosystem of those researched.Apple’s Homekit rates favourablyJohn Feland, CEO of report authors Argus Insights, explains:“Consumers enter the Smart Home journey under the premise of creating an intelligent home that anticipates and serves their needs in a delightful, low maintenance manner. Along this journey, after users overcome the hurdles of installation and continued use through often broken app experiences, they are confronted with a mess of protocols as they approach expansion.”  “Consumers are dismissing Google’s Nest ecosystem play, and we are seeing a real battle between Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa for the voice of the Smart Home. While Apple forces users to rely on iOS devices, Alexa will chat up anyone willing to integrate into the Echo API.” It’s worth noting that using reviews as a measurement tool of satisfaction may result in skewed data – people tend to be more inclined to take the time to review a negatively received product than a positive one. Further, a customer’s needs at the early stages of the home IoT experience may differ greatly than when they want to try more complex integrations and connections.Currently, Google only works with Nest, HomeKit only works with iOS devices, and Alexa works with everyone.  Interconnectivity and the ability to function in multi-user environments will become more important as people introduce more smart devices into their home. Companies unwilling to facilitate this may soon find themselves passed over, however strong the consumer brand recognition. Cate Lawrence Related Posts How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua…center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Tags:#Alexa#Amazon Echo#Connected Devices#Connected Homes#connectivity#Home Automation#HomeKit#IoT last_img read more

Yu Yureka to go on open sale on May 6 and 7

first_imgIt has almost been six months since Micromax subsidiary, YU launched its first smartphone Yureka. Since then the phone has been available through flash sales, which is quite effcirnt for companies but leaves a bitter taste for a lot many who are unable to acquire the phone. Yu is acknowledging that frustration by providing its only smartphone in a 2-day window without any need to register beforehand.The device will be available from May 6 and the sale will go on till the next 48 hours. The company took to social networking site, Twitter, to announce the flash-less sale. The tweet did not mention the amount of units available so we can’t be sure of the duration after all. No registrations, no time limits. Yureka open sale on 6th and 7th May. Are you ready to Play God? pic.twitter.com/kYWCQK6pkV YU (@YUplaygod) May 2, 2015The device gained such popularity due to the low budget-high performance ratio and also because the phone runs the most popular Android custom ROM Cyanogen OS. It sports a 5.5 inch screen screen with a resolution of 1280×720 and is powered by a 64-bit Snapdragon 615 chipset. On the camera front the device sports a decent 13 Megapixel snapper paired with a 5Megapixel front snapper.The Micromax subsidiary will also launch Yu Yureka’s successor which will be called Yuphoria. The name was chosen through crowd sourcing and even the interface of the phone has been crowdsourced through a competition.last_img read more

Facebook signs deal with music label Universal Music

first_imgNEW YORK, N.Y. – Facebook and record label Universal Music Group have signed a multiyear deal that will let Facebook users share videos that have the label’s music in them.Right now, if Facebook’s regular users upload videos that contain Universal’s music, the videos will get taken down. Universal, a unit of French media conglomerate Vivendi SA, has rights to music from artists including Jay-Z, Rihanna, Bruce Springsteen and Justin Bieber.The companies did not say when users would be able to share music in videos on platforms owned by Facebook. They hinted that more music features could be coming.Facebook declined to comment about its music strategy beyond the press release. Universal also declined to comment.Facebook is trying to get people to watch and share more videos.YouTube, the world’s largest destination for online video, sells music-streaming subscriptions, but Spotify and Apple Music are thought to be more popular.last_img read more

UKs May to meet EU chief Juncker as Brexit deadline looms

first_imgLONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May is flying to Brussels to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in a bid to finalize a Brexit agreement between the U.K. and the European Union.The two sides agreed last week on a document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure, but are still working to nail down agreement on future relations.EU leaders are due to meet Sunday to rubber-stamp the deal, but sticking points remain. Spain has said it will vote against if Gibraltar’s future isn’t considered a bilateral issue between Madrid and London.May is under intense pressure from pro-Brexit and pro-EU British lawmakers opposing the divorce deal.Before leaving for Brussels, she will face opponents of the agreement Wednesday during the prime minister’s weekly question-and-answer session in the House of Commons.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Markets Right Now Stocks open sharply lower on Wall Street

first_imgNEW YORK — The latest on developments in financial markets (all times local):9:35 a.m.Stocks are opening sharply lower as the arrest of a senior Chinese technology executive threatened to worsen trade tensions between China and the U.S.The price of oil also fell sharply early Thursday as OPEC leaders gathered to discuss possible cuts in production.The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped as much as 500 points before erasing some of its losses.Boeing and Caterpillar, which would stand to lose much in an extended trade battle, fell the most in the Dow.Traders continued to shovel money into bonds, a signal that they see weakness in the economy ahead.The Dow fell 390 points, or 1.6 per cent, to 24,640.The S&P 500 lost 36 points, or 1.3 per cent, to 2,664. The Nasdaq gave up 99 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 7,062.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Fort Nelson considering banning plastic bags

first_img“Reasons come from a sustainability perspective and the fact that when you look at landfills and the amount of bags that blow around at times and the challenges associated with plastic bags from an environmental perspective,” said Barry.Barry added that Council is only in the preliminary phase and much discussion is still needed before any decision can be made. FORT NELSON, B.C. – Fort Nelson is considering banning plastic shopping bags.In a council meeting on July 9th, a resolution was passed which gave Council a 90-day window to decide if they would ban plastic bags.According to the Fort Nelson’s Chief Administrative Officer Scott Barry, the reason behind the potential ban is the challenge plastic bags create from an environmental aspect.last_img read more

Japan lifts evacuation in parts of Fukushima plant hometown

first_imgTokyo: Japan partially lifted an evacuation order in one of the two hometowns of the tsunami-wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant on Wednesday for the first time since the 2011 disaster. Decontamination efforts have lowered radiation levels significantly in the area about 7 kilometers (4 miles) southwest of the plant where three reactors had meltdowns due to the damage caused by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The action allows people to return to about 40 percent of Okuma. The other hometown, Futaba, remains off-limits, as are several other towns nearby. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USMany former residents are reluctant to return as the complicated process to safely decommission the plant continues. Opponents of lifting the evacuation orders in long-abandoned communities say the government is promoting residents’ return to showcase safety ahead of the Tokyo Olympics next summer. The government has pushed for an aggressive decontamination program by removing topsoil, chopping trees and washing down houses and roads in contaminated areas, though experts say the effort only caused the contamination to move from one place to another, creating massive amounts of radioactive waste and the need for its long-term storage. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential pollsThe meltdowns at three of Fukushima Dai-ichi’s six reactors caused massive radiation leaks that contaminated the plant’s surroundings, forcing at its peak some 160,000 people to evacuate their homes for areas elsewhere in Fukushima or outside the prefecture. Evacuation orders in most of the initial no-go zones have been lifted, but restrictions are still in place in several towns closest to the plant and to its northwest, which were contaminated by radioactive plumes from the plant soon after its meltdowns. More than 40,000 people were still unable to return home as of March, including Okuma’s population of 10,000. Town officials say the lifting of the evacuation order in the two districts would encourage the area’s recovery. “We are finally standing on a starting line of reconstruction,” Okuma mayor Toshitsuna Watanabe told reporters.last_img read more