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Secret cash paid to ex-Unaoil agent in Iraq was ‘fully legitimate’, jury told

first_imgRetainer arrangement was ‘fully legitimate’ and authorised by SOC officialsBut Akle, 45, argues that although the arrangement between Unaoil and Al-Quoraishi was kept hidden, it was one that was authorised by SOC’s director general Kiffar Numan, and the payments were legitimate costs for security measures associated with working in Iraq at that time.He said: “It was agreed at the director general level [of SOC] with my colleague Basil Al Jarah that in order to assist his project manager Al-Quoraishi to do the best job possible in Iraq, he would need support to go the extra mile.“There were multiple precautions he had to take. It was a risk premium to make sure he did his best the whole time – because in his position it would have been easy to do the least possible.“This was an unusual arrangement, and a unique situation. But as far as I was concerned, it was fully legitimate.”Akle explained that, in the years after the US-led invasion, Iraqis seen to be doing business with Western companies faced significant threats of violence, kidnap and even murder – making it necessary for the “mission” between Al-Quoraishi and Unaoil to help SOC secure foreign involvement in ICOEEP to be kept secret.“It put him in the line of fire – literally and figuratively,” he added. “There were risks to his life and his family’s life.”According to internal Unaoil emails read out in court, $1,000 of Al-Quoraishi’s monthly retainer was earmarked for “presents to people within”.Akle denied this meant people within SOC, saying he understood it to be for “ad-hoc” costs associated with navigating the country, such as moving through police checkpoints within southern Iraq. Cash payments were ‘standard procedure’ in post-war IraqMr Brompton pressed the defendant on the finer details of the arrangement – like why the payments were made in cash, why there was no written agreement between Unaoil and Al-Quoraishi, and why he would be so at risk for being affiliated with Unaoil given the scope of his day job was to routinely deal with foreign companies on behalf of SOC.Cash payments, Akle suggested, were “standard procedure” in Iraq at that time, with bank accounts exposing people to the threat of kidnap or violence.“Paying money into a bank account was like painting a red target on your back,” he said today (28 February).If that was the case, asked the prosecutor, why not just pay the money directly to SOC, Al-Quoraishi’s employer in Iraq which Akle claims had authorised the arrangement with Unaoil.The reason, suggested Mr Brompton, was that “the director general did not in fact know about it. This was an entirely corrupt arrangement between Unaoil and Al-Quoraishi personally”. Al Basra oil terminal in Iraq (Credit: Wikimedia Commons/US Navy/Samuel W Shavers) Money paid by Unaoil to a former agent in Iraq was a “risk premium” for nurturing a confidential relationship with state-owned South Oil Company (SOC), and not funds for making bribes, jurors were told in a corruption trial.Oday Al-Quoraishi – an SOC project manager overseeing a major crude oil expansion scheme – needed money to minimise his profile in an environment of “fear and paranoia” that gripped the country following Saddam Hussein’s overthrow.Operating on behalf of Western companies in a region where “enemies abounded” exposed him to “security risks”, which senior officials within SOC agreed would require a cash retainer to “go the extra mile” in carrying out the project.That was the version of events put forward this week by Ziad Akle, Unaoil’s former territory manager for Iraq who faces criminal charges along with two other former associates of the Monaco-based energy consultancy for conspiracy to make corrupt payments between 2005 and 2011.Speaking from the witness stand at London’s Southwark Crown Court, Akle said: “In an environment where there were many enemies – who I understood were very prominent people in the [oil] ministry – [Al-Quoraishi] was at risk and would need support.”In cross-examination by Michael Brompton QC – who is prosecuting the case on behalf the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) – the defendant repeatedly dismissed accusations that these “retainer” payments were in fact intended for bribing SOC officials to help Unaoil win manufacturing contacts for its clients. A former Unaoil executive facing corruption charges in London claims payments to a middleman in Iraq were authorised at a senior level of the state-owned South Oil Company to ensure his safetycenter_img Unaoil payments to ‘Ivan’ central to SFO corruption trialThe prize on offer, Mr Brompton said, was a slice of $4.5bn made available for the Iraq Crude Oil Export Expansion Project (ICOEEP) – a government-backed scheme to more than double the country’s crude export capacity from 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to 4.5 million bpd through infrastructure upgrades in the south of the country.He alleges Unaoil and its associates exploited Al-Quoriashi’s position as project manager for the ICOEEP, paying him a $6,000 per month commission to exert influence within SOC in favour of Unaoil’s clients – namely Netherlands-based SBM Offshore and Singapore-based Leighton Offshore – in a tender process for new oil and gas infrastructure.Al-Quoraishi – who became known by the codename “Ivan”, perhaps due to his “appreciation of Russian culture”, according to Akle – is a key figure in the SFO’s case, in which it is argued that Unaoil’s “man in Basra” had been “bought up” to bribe SOC officials to manipulate the tender.In all, “Ivan” was paid $608,000 by Unaoil for his “services” in Iraq – including two initial $5,000 payments and a one-off lump sum of $400,000 paid in February 2011. Three men facing charges in SFO corruption caseAkle is facing criminal charges for conspiracy to make corrupt payment alongside two other men – Steven Whiteley, 65, who was Unaoil’s general territories manager for Iraq, and formerly a vice-president of SBM Offshore; and Paul Bond, 68, who was a senior sales manager for SBM Offshore.All three men deny the charges brought against them.The trial continues.last_img read more

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The way we live now

first_img University offers coronavirus resources and help guides The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Not just a humanities cat Information aims to give students, professors, and staff a hand with moving, remote learning, meetings, travel, financial aid, and other issues Meet Remy, Harvard’s rambling resident feline, and his family Harvard details coronavirus outbreak plans Campus Services VP Meredith Weenick on Harvard’s work to prevent the spread of disease and help students move out on a tight timeline Executive Vice President Katie Lapp discusses preparations to ensure safety, health, and productivity of community Barbara Oedayrajsingh Varma’s room in Eliot House looks a lot like it did three weeks ago, with textbooks on the bookshelf and photographs of friends and family covering the wall above her desk. But since the COVID-19 threat prompted the evacuation of campus and a shift to online-only classes, everything outside her door is unrecognizable.Oedayrajsingh Varma, a junior from the Netherlands studying psychology, is one of several hundred students who remain on campus, owing to special circumstances. Instead of walking to and from classes, hanging out with friends in the House courtyard, and singing with Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum and the Radcliffe Pitches, she attends her four classes online and checks in with friends over Zoom, text, and outside (from a safe distance). The familiar has become strange, a problem that many share, even those who returned home.“I was really scared that I was going to be constantly reminded what life would have been like if the pandemic hadn’t happened,” said Oedayrajsingh Varma. She noted that her three roommates left campus and that she eats take-out meals from the dining hall in her room or outside, a big contrast to the usual dining with friends.Deciding to stay was not easy.“There was a huge spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands, so staying [at Harvard] was not great, but going home was also not great,” she said. “It was very difficult to make the choice, and having to consider factors like [the U.S. ban on travel from Europe] was a very, very strange experience.”Like other international students, Oedayrajsingh Varma faced uncertainty around maintaining her visa status, eligibility for work authorization, and the ability to return if she left the U.S. To help deal with these issues, she sought guidance from the Harvard International Office.,And now she is puzzling out how to make it work. “I tried very hard to build myself some sort of semblance of a routine, despite all the chaos,” she said,That routine includes more mindfulness and yoga practice, as well as long walks around parts of Cambridge she had not gotten around to exploring. Oedayrajsingh Varma also plans to continue building community as co-president of the Harvard Woodbridge International Society, despite the dispersal of students around the world.“Time zones make things more complicated,” she said. “We’re trying to figure out how to have fun events online and more practical panels about adjusting to life off campus.”Oedayrajsingh Varma worries about her family at home and being unable to travel to see them. The uncertainty of summer plans also looms. But she is optimistic about what will happen next.“I hope that having this experience right now will make me enjoy [life] even more when we eventually return and are able to be together with our friends and be in a physical community again,” she said.******Three thousand miles away in Pico Rivera, Calif., Andrew Pérez returned home from Harvard to finish his senior year. He quickly adapted his schedule to Pacific Daylight Time and an active household that includes seven other people, two of whom are his school-aged nephews.Being in his hometown southeast of Los Angeles has given Pérez time and distance to reflect on being a first-generation student coming to, and then abruptly leaving, Harvard.“There are a lot of emotions attached to leaving a place that has been home to me,” said Pérez, a sociology concentrator. “It felt like I had been [at Harvard] forever, but I’d also just gotten there. That made me realize how large of an impact the institution has had on me, and that I’m deeply saddened to be away. I feel as if I don’t have the closure of ending such an incredible experience.”,The move-out period before spring break was sudden and harried. In addition to packing and wrapping up assignments, he worked extensively with Primus, a student-run organization serving first-generation students, to disseminate information about travel expenses, storage, shipping belongings, and other resources.“When I heard the [evacuation] news on March 10, I was in shock. I was trying to figure out what this meant for low-income students, and about where my sources of income were going to come from,” said Pérez, a Mather House resident who had on-campus jobs at the Harvard Kennedy School Library and as a course assistant in sociology.At the same time Pérez was helping other students deal with the uncertainties of the pandemic, he said goodbye to his roommates, House, and mentors during the Mather senior send-off and squeezed in late nights with friends.“Seeing everyone come together, whether it was faculty members who wanted to help, or alumni from across the globe, or fellow students who had more privilege and access to resources, was powerful,” he said, pointing to fundraising by the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Foundation at Adams House and the First-Generation Harvard Alumni and a crowdfunding campaign that together raised thousands of dollars for students. Pérez is now working with FGHA to help distribute $65,000 in grants to first-generation, low-income students.  “[It] reminded me of how special a place this is and how much we all look out for one another and want to see each other succeed,” he said.Pérez had planned to bring his family to campus for Commencement, which would have been the first time everyone in his household would have seen where he lived, worked, and studied. Instead, he brought Harvard home in a way he never expected.“Whenever I’ve been home in the past, it’s always been on vacation, so they’ve never seen me do schoolwork. So now they are going to be able to see what my education actually looks like,” said Andrew Pérez.“In a way, I’m able to bring my educational experience to the rest of my family,” said Pérez. “As a first-gen student, my parents have always been confused about what I study and what I do. Whenever I’ve been home in the past, it’s always been on vacation, so they’ve never seen me do schoolwork. So now they are going to be able to see what my education actually looks like.”During the first weeks back in classes, Pérez’s life at home included early morning Zoom meetings of “Leading the Profession: Teacher Empowerment and Activism,” a course at the Graduate School of Education, setting up his art supplies for the Gen Ed course “Painting’s Doubt,” catching up with friends over the House Party app, and going running with his 11-year-old nephew, whom he promised to take to Yosemite National Park if they run together until Pérez’s “virtual graduation.”“I think the people who can get the most out of this experience [while I’m home] are my nephews, seeing my work and asking me questions. We can begin to have those conversations,” he said. “Being at Harvard reminded me that the world is a lot bigger than just me and my community in L.A., and there are a lot of privileges that come when you go to a place like this, but it’s my obligation to give back to those people who didn’t have access to Harvard. There are so many other kids who are just as special and talented but didn’t have the resources or access to get [here]. [That pushes] me to be a better person and a better citizen of the world.” Managing the coronavirus exodus from campus Relatedlast_img read more

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4 ways to foster a championship team

first_img 7SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joshua W. Poole Joshua W. Poole began his credit union career as a part-time teller, shortly after graduating from high school in 1999.  He has a passion for leadership and change management, and … Web: https://www.brecofcu.com Details Let’s face it…we all love to win.  The thrill of planning, practicing, and executing to achieve greatness can be downright addicting.  It’s a wonderful feeling to witness all of your hard work and dedication come to fruition and personify the difference you were hoping for.  But that championship moment, and what’s even more desired…that championship reign, doesn’t come without difficulty. After all, we’re all imperfect people striving for perfection and it’s sometimes a hard pill to swallow to realize that the perfect boss, the perfect employee, or the perfect team just simply doesn’t exist.  But there are core ideals that every leader should adopt to inspire greatness and plant the desire in each individual to strive for the seemingly unimaginable.  Here are four ideals to help you redefine perfection and create reigning champions.It takes more than one star to light the skyIf you’ve ever peered into the night, you’ve probably noticed that it’s impossible to dispel the darkness with just one star.  Likewise in your teams, you can never hope to become champions if success is not shared by all, rather than just the few or the one.  Basketball legend Michael Jordan once said, “Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.” If you have to be the star of your team, you might win a few games, but if you don’t build confidence in others you’ll never witness glory.  Championships are therefore achieved only after consistently celebrating the successes of others and routinely acknowledging their contributions.  Each team member must feel valued and be given opportunities to lead and to be heard. To build trust and comradery, individual talents must be cultivated and developed through a collective team effort.  It takes more than one star to win a championship. Personal space is your friend    We’ve all heard that famous quote, “If you want something done right, you just have to do it yourself.”  But invading your team members’ personal space by micromanaging their every move will quickly destroy trust, creativity, and innovation. Here’s a more effective mantra, “A leader’s job is to set the stage, not perform on it.”  As a leader, you must effectively communicate the vision. But once that vision is set, you should step out of the way and let your team determine how to implement it.  Allow your team the personal space and freedom to accomplish organizational goals in their own manner. Yes, you may have to step in from time to time if they’re straying too far, but they must be trusted to act on their own instincts.  Then when the heat of the game is upon them, you can trust they’ll make an explosive play. Failure is a part of the gameLet’s be honest, no one soars among the clouds at all times.  There will be days you’ll score that illusive touchdown, and others in which you’ll have to settle for the field goal.  And there will yet be other days in which you’ll never cross the 50-yard line. Until you learn to fail with grace, you’ll never learn to win.  One of the greatest mistakes you can make as a leader is to instill the fear of failure into your team.  You must certainly set expectations and hold your team accountable, but they’ll expect true leadership from you when the going gets tough.  And that means you immediately envelop them with support, expressing your unrelenting confidence in their ability to win. When team members feel your faith in them, a positive, trusting environment is created in which they feel comfortable taking risks.  Genuine appreciation yields authentic happiness Never fail to recognize that no amount of success is achieved alone.  A genuine appreciation for the contributions of each individual on your team reflects your personal commitment to individual happiness.  We’re all unique, and the most effective leaders will hone the ability to recognize each individual’s unique skill set and empower them to be their best.  Create an environment in which everyone has the chance to thrive and you’ll be well on your way to emulating genuine appreciation.  Always be flexible to the needs of your team and lead to the individual. Building a championship team may not always be easy, but redefine perfection and your team will reign.    last_img read more

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Alerted in a flash

first_imgpassengers can be warned of the imminent closure of automatic coach doors on Zürich’s S-Bahn thanks to warning flashers developed by Bron Elektronik AG. A flash energy of 8 J at 1 Hz was found to achieve the desired effect of getting passengers to keep clear of the doors, whilst not being unpleasant.Warning flashers are mounted both outside the vehicle, indicating through an amber lens, and inside on the boarding platform. Should a door jam while closing, the outside indicator continues to flash to alert staff to the problem.Service life of the flasher has been matched to the coach overhaul interval, requiring maintenance-free operation for a six-year period. If a failure does occur, the unit can be exchanged easily by undoing quick-release fasteners and plug connectors. Bron Elektronik AGAllschwil, SwitzerlandReader Enquiry Number 143last_img read more

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Cardinals to ride big hogs, speedy backs in 2017

first_imgCorning >> With four returning starters back on the offensive line and a couple explosive ballcarriers chomping at the bit to get their hands on the ball, the Corning Cardinals football team looks to have the pieces in place early to begin the 2017 prep football season. The Cardinals are coming off an 8-3 season, but also a first-round 14-13 loss at home against Anderson in the Northern Section Division III playoffs a year ago.Head coach John Studer said he is confident his team can erase …last_img read more

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Science Evolves

first_imgScience has a historical and cultural character that cannot be extricated from its current consensus.The history of science (meaning, the influence of history and culture on scientific conclusions) is a relatively recent branch of philosophy of science. In courses such as Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It from the Teaching Company, professor Steven Goldman emphasizes the historical character of science with many examples, showing that scientific “truths” evolve over time. As such, they can never be trusted as “true with a capital T”—as genuine cases of knowledge about reality (with a capital R). Let’s see how this works out in two recent articles from the science news.Evolving SETICalla Cofield, writing for Space.com, reported on a recent conference in Salt Lake City about SETI. Looking past the flashy infographics and usual arguments why aliens should exist, we find ways that SETI thinking itself has evolved. Speaking of the famous Drake Equation that launched whole books to calculate the probability of finding alien intelligence, she says:When Drake wrote his equation in the 1960s, the value for L was thought of as the time between when a civilization discovered atomic energy and when that society managed to destroy itself through nuclear annihilation, Stanley said.“That’s a totally reasonable way to think about the length of time of a civilization at the height of the Cold War,” he said. “But there’s been recent work … arguing that we shouldn’t think about ‘L’ in terms of nuclear war. We should think about it in terms of environmental destruction. … That is, it’s the time between the discovery of a steam engine and catastrophic climate change.“Another term in the equation has also evolved:The equation also includes the variable fc, which represents the fraction of alien civilizations that “develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence” (such as radio communications or television broadcast signals sprayed out into space), the SETI Institute said.Today, however, many of Earth’s communications no longer leak out into space, but are instead passed neatly between ground sources and satellites. There are still projects searching for leaky alien communications, and some scientists have proposed that humans should look for focused, laser-based systems used by alien civilizations to communicate between multiple planets or even multiple star systems. But Stanley’s larger point is that to some extent, humanity can only look for alien civilizations that bear some resemblance to our own.But since our civilization has changed in these fundamental ways, the concept of an alien civilization has also evolved. SETI enthusiasts in the 1960s knew about TV and radio broadcasts; they could not have foreseen internet radio and video streaming. What forthcoming changes to culture and technology will require potentially major changes to the Drake Equation – not only the estimates for each term, but wholesale removal of terms or addition of terms? There’s no way to know. Matthew Stanley, a historian of science from New York University, embraced these changes as good things:It may be impossible for humans to be purely objective in their speculation about life the universe, Stanley said. He added that he thinks personal bias and human experiences will always infuse science, but that those things can also help lead to successes in science. Having different perspectives helps people look at things in new ways, which can lead to breakthroughs, he said. That’s why, he said, it’s actually a good idea for scientists to “talk to people outside your field … listen to marginal people. Get a diversity of people, people from different backgrounds, different genders [and] different kinds of cultures.“I think it’s actually helpful to embrace the fact that this is always how science is done,” he said. “And to accept that everybody’s different, everybody has weird ideas, and that’s actually a source of strength rather than weakness.”Would Stanley welcome input from PhD scientists in the intelligent design camp? According to what he just said, he should. Taken to the extreme, he would have to embrace weird ideas of witch doctors or psychopaths, and incorporate their beliefs into science to make it stronger! Science already embraces weird ideas, like quantum mechanics. Some think SETI is weird. Could there be a weirder concept than the multiverse, which some cosmologists already embrace? The take-home point is in the first sentence: it is impossible to be objective, because personal bias and human experiences will always infuse science. Science evolves.Evolving ChemistryOn The Conversation, Vanessa Seifert introduces listeners to the “Philosophy of Chemistry.” The phrase seems odd to students raised on triumphal scientism (the march of progress); chemistry is hard science. How can you philosophize about reality?Philosophy asks some fundamental and probing questions of itself. What is it? Why do we do it? What can it achieve? As a starting point, the word “philosophy” comes from the Greek words meaning a love of wisdom. And anyone who does it is trying to make sense of the world around them. In that way, philosophers are a bit like scientists.But science is a big enough subject in itself, so warrants its very own branch of philosophy [i.e., the philosophy of science]. And if we can break scientific inquiry down into various subjects, why not do the same with its philosophy? This is what has happened with the development of the Philosophy of Chemistry, a relatively young and niche field of philosophical investigation. It poses unique and interesting questions concerning both the kind of knowledge acquired in science, and the understanding of nature itself.This raises an interesting question; did the Philosophy of Chemistry exist before its “development”? The answer is yes; but it was just assumed, not explored with “fundamental and probing questions.” It’s like the assertion that everyone does philosophy, but not all do it well. Everyone has assumptions about the nature of reality. That applies to even a hard science like chemistry.The philosophy of science is a broad, controversial field of erudite scholarship, investigating questions about “explanation, laws of nature, and realism” among other things (for a superb introduction, take Dr. Jeffrey Kasser’s Philosophy of Science course at the Teaching Company). Seifert indicates that students cannot take for granted they know what is meant by a chemical bond or a molecule. Consider also that quantum mechanics changed our understanding of chemistry in fundamental ways less than a century ago. How is chemistry distinct from physics? How did its nomenclature develop over time? What is the meaning of the Periodic Table? Do the methods of chemists produce a different “kind” of knowledge than those of other sciences? Can chemistry be “reduced” to physics? These are big questions. The field is in a state of ferment:Just as individuals that are composed of millions of cells exhibit unique features and properties as a whole, molecules and chemical bonds are real entities that deserve a separate investigation from the electrons and nuclei of which they are composed. These are issues that create heated debates among philosophers of chemistry and which have important implications for our view of the significance of the sciences, and on our view of nature.Seifert then brings in the historical development of chemistry to support our theme that science evolves:The historical investigation of how such classifications changed over time and what kind of discoveries contributed to these changes, plays an important part in these discussions.In fact, it would be wrong to ignore the importance of the history of chemistry to the current philosophical investigations within the field. The perception of chemical concepts, such as the atom, has significantly changed since antiquity with the progress both in chemical experimentation and in physics.“Progress” is a philosophical word deserving its own “fundamental and probing questions.” At the level of discovery, scientists have clearly made monumental progress because of technological advances: we have seen the landforms on Pluto and Mercury, we know that atoms are not hard balls but composed of numerous subatomic particles, and we know the spectra of quasars. Scientific explanation and understanding, though, evolve over time – as can be seen by historical examples even in the hard sciences. Scarcely any scientific concept trusted as fact in Victorian Europe has survived unscathed to the present day, whether in geology, chemistry, astronomy, physics, biology, or genetics. It’s a different world, a different universe now.Given the record of history, we cannot boast that “now we know” or have confidence that scientific revolutions to come will leave our dearly-held concepts unmodified, perhaps drastically. Seifert, Stanley and the profs at the Teaching Company remind us that historical and cultural movements can make our most cherished beliefs “subject to change without notice.”We pointed out yesterday (5/13/16) that the theory of evolution is evolving. New ideas are nearly 180 degrees out of phase with neo-Darwinism (which evolved from old Darwinism). Logically, this means that the theory of evolution itself could go on the chopping block at any time (indeed, many believe that it already has). Despite the screaming from its devotees, evolution is not a fact (unless one defines it as “change over time,” the Stuff Happens Law, which is meaningless). Science can only offer tentative ideas. One may call them the best theories we have, but according to the Best-in-Field Fallacy, they could be the best of the worst. Like the only lame horse able to waddle forward at the gate, it’s not the best in any objective sense. We can never know any of our contenders will reach the finish line.The only things that must not evolve are our concepts of truth and morality. If those evolve, science becomes impossible. If truth today evolves into tomorrow’s lie, it was never true to begin with. If honesty today is tomorrow’s evil, it was never honest. Yet Darwinism would predict those things evolve, too. Unchanging pole stars are needed for truth and morality. This puts them outside the realm of the physical. Those who love science, therefore, are supernaturalists (trusting in realities “beyond natural”) in spite of any claims otherwise. Think about it.By thinking about it, you just assumed the existence of a conceptual realm outside of nature that cannot evolve, whether or not your finite mind can apprehend it. Since the constancy of truth and morality must be assumed to have science, embrace them. Then seek a worldview that can justify those two assumptions. You’ll be happier if they are not a leap in the dark, but come from a Cause necessary and sufficient to account for them. (Visited 54 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Brand South Africa & CNBC Africa Special on the Thought Leadership Breakfast at WEF Davos

first_imgOn the morning of 20 January 2016, Brand South Africa together with CNBC Africa hosted an exclusive Thought Leadership Breakfast in Davos – Switzerland, under the theme “Will the 4th Industrial Revolution Benefit South Africa and Africa?”This discussion aimed to contextualise how industrialisation plays a crucial role in achieving the economic growth and social development visualised in South Africa’s National Development Plan and the continent’s Agenda 2063. This gathering saw international government leaders as well as global CEOs deliberate on the role that industrialisation can play in growing South Africa and Africa, in a CNBC Africa hosted panel.That being said – kindly be advised that the Brand South Africa and CNBC Africa Special on the Thought Leadership Breakfast at WEF Davos will air this afternoon (Thursday 28 January 2016) at 13h00 on CNBC Africa Channel 410.The key note address was delivered by the Minister of Trade and Industry – Dr Rob Davies, and panellists included Nicky Newton-King – the Johannesburg Stock Exchanges’  (JSE) CEO; Vasi Naidoo – the Chairman of the  Nedbank Group; Ben Kruger – the Joint-Chief Executive of the Standard Bank Group; as well as Geoffrey Qhena – the CEO of the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC).Team South Africa concluded a successful programme in Davos assuring investors of policy certainty and economic stability:Team South Africa led by President Jacob Zuma – leveraged the presence of international business, analysts and politicians in Davos to assure the global community of the country’s commitment to maintaining policy certainty, fiscal discipline, macro-economic stability and the promotion of inclusive growth and development.  South Africa reiterated that the National Development Plan, the 9 point plan for economic recovery and Operation Phakisa were being implemented with a view to ensuring economic and social growth and development.ABOUT WEF:For over four decades, the World Economic Forum’s mission – improving the state of the world – has driven the design and development of the Annual Meeting programme. The theme of the Meeting this year was ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’The Annual Meeting in Davos-Klosters remains the foremost creative force for engaging the world’s top leaders in collaborative activities focused on shaping the global, regional and industry agendas. Over 2,500 leaders from business, government, international organisations, civil society, academia, media and the arts participated in the 46th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland from 20 to 23 January 2016.last_img read more

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Discover New Music Blogs With Extension.FM’s New Recommender

first_img4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Tags:#music#Product Reviews#Recommendation Engines#web 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutcenter_img Nothing beats a good recommendation for a new band to listen to, but a recommendation for a new music blog to read can be a gift that keeps on giving. Extension.fm, a New York startup that provides a browser plug-in that captures all the MP3 files you come across and turns them into a playlist, has just announced the creation of a new experimental Labs department.First entry into Extension’s Labs is something the company calls The Super Awesome Music Blog Finder Thingy ™. Enter your Last.fm username and it will recommend new music blogs that have posted music from artists you’ve listened to the most over the last 30 days. It’s not great, yet, but it could make a pretty great feature once more fully baked.If you haven’t scrobbled (ouch) anything with your Last.fm account in the last 30 days, this won’t do much for you. I’ve been fortunate enough to be testing Spotify for the past few months, and just started using the Spotibot recommendation service, so few other music services have moved me. But three cheers for innovation in music recommendation! In this case, Extension is using the EchoNest API, which is hot.Unfortunately, the recommendations include too many low-quality spammy blogs, blogs that link to torrents (a little less easy to listen to) and generally need some refinement. Extension.fm was founded by Dan Kantor, the creator of AOL-acquired Streampad and the feature in Yahoo’s Delicious that renders links to MP3 files playable, and invested in this Spring by Spark Capital, Betaworks, Founder Collective (Caterina Fake, Chris Dixon and others) and Dave Morgan (founder of Tacoda and Real Media). In other words, chances are good that something interesting is going to happen over there. If that includes recommendations based on data acquired from services all around the web and stored in a central repository, that’s cool. marshall kirkpatrick Related Posts last_img read more

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Google Glass Unboxing Photo Gallery: Meet The Future Of Mobile

first_imgAfter a nearly year-long wait, Google Glass #961 made it into my early-adopter open arms on Friday morning. I live in Portland, and while I could have flown down to the Bay Area for the full Glass indoctrination, I instead opted to go it alone and see what strange and serendipitous experiences might result for a lone technophile-turned-cyborg in the Pacific Northwest.Here, that story begins — with an unboxing of course. Tags:#Future Tech#Google#Google Glass#wearable The 5-megapixel, 720p camera sits on an adjustable arm. “XE” Explorer Edition logo, for pre-orders from last year’s Google I/O Glass came with sparse instructions, but at least there were a few arrows. taylor hatmaker What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Google Glass is surprisingly lightweight, even more so than I’d expected. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The front of the device, and what you’ll be looking through.  The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology The black and white micro-USB and microfiber pouch (with a hard case bottom) were nice luxury touches.  Glass packs 12 gigabytes of memory for all the photos and videos you’ll be taking. Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Google Glass uses bone conduction technology so that what the wearer hears is amplified considerably. When it arrived, the black outer packaging was about to fall off… a bit disconcerting considering Glass is a $1500 device.  Related Posts Glass comes with a sunglasses attachment and a clear lens attachment. Spoiler alert: They aren’t very stylish.The clear and sunglasses attachments, sitting atop their respective microfiber protective pouches.According to Google, the display is equivalent to a 25-inch HD screen from eight feet away. The device charges via a micro-USB, included in the box. Looking through Glass really does feel like glancing up at a tiny TV screen. The image is reflected from the outside. Much more is on the way for our Google Glass coverage. After I finally got the thing on my face, I wore Glass for 48 hours straight (excepting a few moments and sleep of course — no Scoble-style showering here).Let’s just say that it’s been a really interesting weekend. Google’s evolution of the smartphone has surprised me more times than I can count, so stay tuned. I ordered the “Cotton” color of Glass. At the time of ordering the bright blue and tangerine colors were sold out, but white was my first choice anyway. last_img read more