Critical Infrastructure In North West Clarendon To Get Attention

first_imgFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Some critical infrastructure, such as roads, water supply systems, and community facilities in North West Clarendon, are to be worked on with money from the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).This was noted by Minister of State in the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce and Member of Parliament (MP) for North West Clarendon, Hon. Michael Stern, at a CDF forum, held at the Edwin Allen High School, in Frankfield, Clarendon, on June 16.He also said that other projects, such as housing assistance and welfare matters would receive help through the CDF.“Some projects such as housing assistance are automatic, since all MPs request it. Welfare matters are also permanent. No project that requires on-going sustainable payments will be supported. The CDF will help get sustainable projects up and going, but it will not help with sustainable bills,” the State Minister said.Mr. Stern pointed out that not all areas identified would be addressed, since the CDF allotment to each MP is only $20 million.“There is no way $20 million can do all the projects. In the end, we all have to select priorities,” he said.The MP explained that for some projects, a viable community-based organisation should be identified to assist with the commencement of such projects.He mentioned one particular project, the rehabilitation of the Flowers Corner Road in Spaldings, that receives funding from the CDF and overseas.“The Flowers Corner road started with CDF funds. We cut and marled the road and under the Chinese road rehabilitation programme, we are seeking to have the funding in place to do the water channels, the drainage and to asphalt the road,” the State Minister added.Meanwhile, Mr. Stern lauded the residents of the various communities who came out on Labour Day to help work on the projects, especially those which focussed on the upgrading of critical community infrastructure, such as roads and post offices.The constituency of North West Clarendon consists of the divisions of Frankfield, Thompson Town, Ritchies and Spaldings. RelatedCritical Infrastructure In North West Clarendon To Get Attention RelatedCritical Infrastructure In North West Clarendon To Get Attention RelatedCritical Infrastructure In North West Clarendon To Get Attentioncenter_img Advertisements Critical Infrastructure In North West Clarendon To Get Attention CommerceJune 21, 2010last_img read more

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Tropical wave affecting Dominica

first_img Share 14 Views   one comment Tweet Share Sharecenter_img LocalNews Tropical wave affecting Dominica by: – June 3, 2013 Sharing is caring! Photo compliments: The National Hurricane CentreA westward moving tropical wave is expected to generate cloudiness, showers and possible thunderstorm activity across the area during the next 24 hours, the Dominica Meteorological Service has advised.Persons in areas prone to flooding, landslides and falling rocks are advised to exercise caution.Moderate sea conditions are expected during the next 24 hours with swells peaking near 8.0 feet. Small craft operators and sea bathers should exercise caution.The forecast for today and tonight is generally cloudy to overcast at times and breezy with showers, periods of rain and possible isolated thunderstorms.An above average 2013 Hurricane season has been predicted and citizens are advised to ensure that their hurricane supplies and disaster plan are in place.The Hurricane season officially commenced on 1st June and will continue through 30th November. The tropical cyclone names are: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dorian, Erin, Fernand, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Nestor, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastien, Tanya, Van and Wendy. Dominica Vibes Newslast_img read more

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Local School Negotiations Remain at Stand Still

first_imgArness: “We have stayed with what we proposed and they determined that they weren’t interested in that and they submitted a proposal to us and we determined that we weren’t interested in that and that we were probably at an impasse and that’s the moment when you call the mediation service.” The District’s one year contract offer to the unions in the FY16 budget included: Annual movement on the salary schedule for all eligible employees Certified employees (teachers) receive 1.78% – 4.82%. Average increase is 2.67% Classified employees (support staff) receive 3.44% – 12.35%. Average increase (after initial step in year one) is 4.12% A $500 signing bonus outside the salary schedule for all fulltime employees; a pro-rated signing bonus for part-time employees The addition of a high-deductible healthcare plan option added to the current traditional healthcare plan David Brighton is the President of the teachers’ union (KPEA). He said educators continue to improve every year and their salaries should follow suit, despite the District’s current budget crunch… Brighton: “Well I think that everyone’s hoping and a lot of experts would agree that oil prices will be coming back up in a year or two. So I think that it’s reasonable for government entities to do deficit spending to maintain a high level of service.”center_img FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The national mediator service was called in weeks ago but negotiations between the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District and Kenai Peninsula Education Association remain on pause. School Board President Joe Arness said that is in part to KPEA and Kenai Peninsula Education Support Association members being less available during the summer months.last_img read more

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Grounds for a grumble

first_imgEDWIN Flack Reserve was dumped as a semi-final venue at the last minute last week with all Casey Cardinia League…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

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Chiefs sweep Kootenay Ice in weekend BCMMHL action

first_imgHome ice didn’t pay off this weekend for the Kootenay Ice in BC Major Midget League action in the West Kootenay.The Vancouver Northeast Chiefs skated away with a pair of one-side wins Saturday in Nelson and Sunday morning in Trail.The Chiefs, third overall in BCMMHL standings with a 15-7-2 record, out scored the Ice 16-4 in the two-game series.Vancouver dumped Kootenay 9-1 Saturday at the NDCC Arena in Nelson before rallying from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Ice 7-3 Sunday at the Cominco Arena in Trail.Kyle Johnson scored three times for the Chiefs in the opener while Parker Colley had four assists. Blake Sidoni of Trail scored the lone goal for the Ice, which trailed at the period breaks 3-0 and 7-0.Sunday, Kootenay led 1-0 after one period on a goal by Aigne McGready-Bruce of Nelson.Kootenay then scored twice early in the second period.Sidoni, with his second in two games, and Matthew Alderson of Trail put Kootenay up by three goals five minutes into the middle frame.But the Chiefs rallied to score four times in the final 11 minutes of the period before putting the game away with three goals in the third period.Devon Stafford scored three times to lead the Chiefs.Solomon Burk of Castlegar and Jason Mailhiot of Trail tended goal for the Ice.Kootenay, dropping to 3-18-3 on the season, hosts cellar–dwelling Thompson Blazers Saturday (5:45 p.m.) and Sunday (9:45 a.m.) at the NDCC Arena.The Blazers enter the game with one win in 22 games.last_img read more

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South Africa ‘ready to host SKA’

first_img‘An African science hub’ Pandor said 19 countries and 55 scientific institutions have joined the project and several other countries are more likely to join. It is currently expected that 80% of the cost for hosting the SKA will be carried by nine countries. Source: BuaNews “The Southern African Development Community has declared their support for the African Square Kilometre Array bid,” she said. “Most importantly, the excitement and challenges of astronomy and space science are already attracting some of our best students into studying science and engineering.” SKA funding partners Pandor also said she was confident that hosting SKA would assist in retaining scientists in the country, as it would make Africa the world centre of physics, astronomy and high-tech engineering, dramatically increasing Africa’s capacity to innovate in harmony with industries and universities. “South Africa is going to be chosen to host the SKA, and we will be ready to host it,” Pandor said, adding that the telescope would be one of the greatest scientific projects of the 21st century. South Africa and Australia are competing to host the SKA, construction of which is expected to cost about €1.5-billion. The international science funding agencies and governments involved in the international SKA consortium are expected to announce the winning bidder in 2012. Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor believes South Africa has a strong chance of winning its bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a multi-billion rand international radio telescope that will be between 50 and 100 times more sensitive than any such instrument ever built. Pandor was at the SKA site outside Carnavon in the Northern Cape this week to witness the completion of the seven-dish Karoo Array Telescope (KAT-7), which serves as a percursor to the MeerKAT, an operational demonstrator telescope that forms a core component of South Africa’s SKA bid. The SKA headquarters will be at Jodrell Bank outside Manchester in the UK, where there is an observatory and a radio telescope that has been listening to deep space for more than 50 years. 1 April 2010 The US will provide 40% of the total cost, while eight European countries – France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the UK – will together provide another 40%. In a boost for the local bid, South Africa’s Parliament passed the Astronomy Geographic Advantage Act of 2007, which declares the Northern Cape Province as an astronomy advantage area, thus protecting it from unwanted radio interference. The KAT-7 will serve both as an engineering test-bed and as an operational radio telescope in its own right. The MeerKAT will be one of the largest scientific research facilities in the world, and will consolidate Africa as a major global hub for astronomy in the world.last_img read more

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Japan hails South African space tech successes

first_imgThe infrared survey facility (IRSF) became operational in November 2000, and since then has played a key role in the advancement of our space knowledge.(Image: Tetsuya Nagata, Nagoya University) The Large Magellanic Cloud is a nearby irregular dwarf galaxy that was the subject of the IRSF’s first research mission.(Image: Wikipedia) An aerial view of the site, with the Southern African Large Telescope (Salt) on the left and the IRSF on the far right.(Image: Tetsuya Nagata, Nagoya University) The Salt is the largest such instrument in the entire southern hemisphere.(Image: Flickr)  MEDIA CONTACTS • Anacletta Koloko  Science communication unit, South  African Agency for Science and  Technology Advancement  +27 12 392 9338 RELATED ARTICLES • Eye in the sky benefits society • Space science thriving in SA • SA’s space capabilities set to grow • SKA: who gets whatJanine Erasmus Scientists from Japan, South Africa and other African countries came together in early October at the Space Science Colloquium to share the latest developments in the fields of astronomy, space science and satellite applications. The event was co-hosted by the national Department of Science and Technology, with the Japanese Embassy in South Africa. Dr Takahiro Nagayama of Nagoya University filled attendees in on the infrared survey facility (IRSF), a joint Japan-South Africa project located in Sutherland, Northern Cape province, at an altitude of 1 761 metres. Nagayama is the manager of the facility and has been involved with it since its inception in 1998. The IRSF is situated on the same site as the Southern African Large Telescope (Salt) – the largest optical telescope in the southern hemisphere – and a number of other instruments including the Alan Cousins telescope, the Elizabeth telescope, and the Korean Yonsei telescope. This makes the site one of the best places in the world to conduct advanced astronomy, according to Nagayama. The IRSF is a 1.4m telescope with an infrared (IR) camera. It was developed by scientists at Nagoya, with the help of the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) and the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan. It’s Japan’s first southern hemisphere IR telescope. The country decided on South Africa as a host for several reasons. “We knew we had to build a telescope in the southern hemisphere, because there are many important celestial objects that are only visible in the southern sky,” explained Nagayama. South Africa was chosen from an initial group of three candidates, with Chile and Australia. It was selected as the best of the three because it had excellent weather as well as an extremely competent astronomical community, and there was no language barrier, as there was in South America. “The South African people are also very friendly and good to work with. South Africa was the best site for us at that time, and I believe it still is now.” Japan entered into the agreement with the SAAO in 1998 and soon afterwards, the project received a grant from the Japanese ministry of science and technology, to the tune of some US$7-million. “The SAAO has provided the infrastructure, including power, water, internet, and the site itself,” said Nagayama. “The local astronomical community built the dome and building.” Nagoya provided the telescope and near-IR camera known as Sirius, which was developed by graduate students. “You won’t find any big names – Sony, Nikon – in this project,” said Nagayama.Surveying our skies Initially, the main function of IRSF was to conduct a thorough study of the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds – small irregular galaxies that lie close to the Milky Way – using a tri-wavelength observation technique.The Magellanic Cloud survey was completed in 2007 and then the Indian Department of Space used the telescope to survey the central region of the Milky Way. There are other research projects ongoing. The presence of the IRSF in South Africa has brought the world’s best astronomers to the country and helped to develop its scientific talent. In the 12 years since the telescope came into operation, 142 observers, of whom 81 were Japanese and 61 foreign, have visited from 31 institutes – 13 from Japan, six from South Africa and 12 from other countries including Korea, the UK and US. Also, studies have resulted in 87 refereed papers, 11 of them with South Africans as the first author. Finally, 19 PhDs have been awarded for research carried out at IRSF, to 16 Japanese scholars and three from the University of Cape Town. “We hope the collaboration will continue,” said Nagayama. “The IRSF is so far the most successful science collaboration between South Africa and Japan.”Uncovering the secrets of the universe Nagayama explained the reasons for choosing to work in infrared instead of visible light. “Astronomers are interested in concepts such as the possibility of a second earth beyond our solar system, dark energy, black holes, and the dawn and end of the universe,” he said. “Traditionally we have observed these things with visible light, but today we can use the whole electromagnetic spectrum, from gamma rays to radio.” Probably the most well-known example of this technology, he said, is the Hubble telescope, which has a 2.4m primary mirror and captures images in the near-ultraviolet to near-infrared bands. The Hubble is in a low earth orbit and because it is not subjected to atmospheric turbulence, said Nagayama, its images are sharp. However, when taking images of objects that are very far away, visible light does not produce the best pictures. Interstellar dust results in a phenomenon known as scattering of visible light, and the picture that is finally received is degraded, but this doesn’t affect IR as much. “Also, visible light can’t penetrate the interstellar dust to see into and behind the Milky Way, but IR can,” said Nagayama. “The centre of our galaxy is hidden to visible light, but we can see it clearly in IR because the dust is invisible at these wavelengths.” Sirius can take simultaneous images in three different bands – wavelengths of 1.2µ (micron), 1.6µ and 2.1µ respectively – because of its special mirrors. The optics are cooled by a closed-cycle refrigerator to about 100 kelvin, or -173 degrees Celsius. “We can also create a false-colour composite image by colouring the three bands blue, green and red respectively.”Complementing each other Nagayama described another major Japanese astronomical project, the Subaru telescope, which is an 8.4m single mirror telescope built on the summit of the volcanic Mount Mauna Kea in Hawaii. “Although Subaru has a bigger mirror than Hubble and takes good pictures, Hubble is better because it is in space,” said Nagayama. Other Japanese large projects include the Akari (IR), Suzaku (x-ray) and the Alma radio telescope, while South Africa has the Salt, whose aperture is larger than Subaru, and the KAT-7, MeerKAT and Square Kilometre Array, all of which are projects involving radio telescopes. Altogether, said Nagayama, this means that the Japanese and South African projects have an observation range from gamma or y-ray, through x-ray, UV, visible light, IR, and radio. “These projects complement each other,” he said, “meaning that the coverage between Japan and South Africa is effective across the full spectrum of electromagnetic waves.”last_img read more

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The Numbers Are In, Live Video Online Is Blowing Up

first_imgmarshall kirkpatrick Tags:#Analysis#Features#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Live video broadcasting service Ustream.tv will announce tomorrow that live feeds on the company’s website and distributed video players got a combined 10 million unique viewers last month. If those numbers are solid, it’s a major validation of live streaming video on the web. When YouTube Live launches later this year, this medium is only going to get bigger.Churches, rock stars and politicians have been taking UStream out of the tech blogger niche, there’s now an impressive line-up of live and recorded content on the site. Each of the videos below, for example, has been viewed more than 25,000 times. The live video of Obama’s victory speech only has 75,000 views – so there’s a lot more going on than just that! Ten million monthly uniques is surprisingly high, but appears to be a credible claim.The company says that these 10 million uniques come from the whole UStream network, which presumably includes embedded players. Third party traffic analysts Quantcast says that UStream participates in its traffic monitoring program (using embed codes) and reports that the UStream global network gets just under 8 million uniques as far as it’s concerned. UStream says Quantcast is new to them and will take some time to catch up in its reporting. That may be a viable explanation, but the numbers are close enough. UStream also reports that their number equals 10 million people actually playing a live video stream – not people who have loaded pages that happen to have an unplayed UStream player embedded in them. It also doesn’t include views of recorded videos. That’s impressive.Competitor Mogulus also uses Quantcast, and Quantcast says they have a global network that sees 4.5 million uniques.Those are serious numbers. We’ve argued for some time that live video was going to be big, but the pace of growth is a little bit surprising. Note also that UStream was established just over a year ago, in March of 2007. When we reported this week that social news site Mixx hasn’t been able to surpass 1 million unique visitors per month in their first year despite links from every story on CNN.com, USAToday, Weather.com and a list of other major media sites – we said there was an integration or audience targeting problem. UStream’s 10 million and Mogulus’s 4.5 million monthly uniques are what new media technologies look like when they really start to catch on. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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Samasource’s Leila Janah: Bringing The Third World Into The Tech Economy

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Tags:#Africa#Builders#Google#Leila Janah#Microsoft#Nonprofit#samasource#SamaUSA#Social good#startups ReadWriteBuilders is a series of interviews with developers, designers and other architects of the programmable future.Companies like Google and Facebook are putting lots of time into figuring out how to solve the world’s problems through technology. Their efforts, though—like bringing the Internet to everyone—are both grandiose and a tad self-serving. And they’ll take years to bear fruit.In the meantime, an interesting Silicon Valley nonprofit is tackling a similar problem—namely, how to encourage the growth of tech skills in developing nations—in a completely different way. Samasource, founded in 2008, works with companies like Google, Microsoft and Getty Images to provide jobs for people in the Third World. Such jobs, sometimes dubbed “microwork,” include data entry and processing, photo tagging and machine learning.The workers receive training on software and programs created by Samasource. Once they’re familiar with technical tasks, they can begin earning money by doing online work for companies halfway around the globe. Samasource provides income and educational opportunities for marginalized workers in slums, refugee camps, and impoverished communities across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. I talked with Samasource founder Leila Janah about the challenges of building tech-centered businesses in countries without reliable electricity, how Samasource works and the role technology can play in development. What follows is a lightly edited transcript of our conversation.Rural Africa, Meet The InternetRW: What are some of the challenges you faced implementing technology in third-world countries?LJ: The challenges are more nuanced than anything. We have a very first-world, or insular view of technology, especially where we are in Silicon Valley. I’ve been to parts of America like Mississippi where it’s as difficult to access high speed Internet as it is in Africa. And I think very few people who are here and whose cell phones work beautifully and who can always go online are aware of the very real challenges of just accessing the basic layers of technology in less wealthy locations.From the Still Life Documentary about a Worker in KenyaThat said, there’s also a stereotype about Africa—I heard this a lot from our funders—that people in sub-Saharan Africa need to focus on food and water, and tech is the last thing on their minds. Why are we bothering with cell phones when what they really need is rice?See Also: Hey Facebook! Connecting The World To The Web Isn’t EnoughI think that’s ridiculous. Humans everywhere have the same desire to connect and to contribute, and what I’ve seen is that young kids in refugee camps in Kenya are as likely to be proficient and heavy users of Facebook Zero when it was out, or SMS, as their peers in the U.S. The only thing that they don’t have maybe is a lot of data so they can’t send pictures back and forth.You’d be surprised—there are young people in all kinds of developing markets who are more proficient and tech savvy than people here. There are two sides to that coin. The biggest challenge we see is often infrastructure. The price of getting online has gone down 90% in some regions in the last few years because it’s now fiber and it used to be all satellite.So there is hope. But you have to realize that, in the case of Sierra Leone, the entire national budget of the country is under half a billion dollars, for six million people. That’s probably less than Facebook’s marketing budget, or Google’s marketing budget.When you’re trying to run an entire nation of people for less than a Silicon Valley company spends on marketing, that gives you an idea about the real infrastructure challenges. Sierra Leone, like a lot of these countries, is not electrified. So if you want to get a computer running in rural Sierra Leone, you have to have a generator, and if you have a generator, you have to have diesel. And to get diesel to a place like that, you need to airlift it in, because there aren’t even good roads.There are very real infrastructure challenges in some of these countries, especially when there isn’t tech space to support building that infrastructure. One of the things we need to do in that case is be very realistic about how much money its going to cost like spread the Internet everywhere. The first thing is we need to get electricity everywhere—still over a billion people lack electricity, right? So how are we going to get Internet to everyone when they don’t have power to read? I think that those things need to be thought through and I think a lot of that is going to require more capital than we’re willing to put up for those initiatives.What Big Companies Get Out Of SamasourceRW: Does would a tech company like Google or Microsoft use Samasource? Does each company have its own API? LJ: We have an API, and each company typically has their own way of integrating with our data, and there’s an engineering point of contact who is working with our engineering team, who is looking to plug their system into ours. What Google and Microsoft do, and I can’t really tell you many specifics, but I can say in the general area of machine learning, we’re seeing a lot of demand for our services. Machine learning is one category where the quality of the data that you get is really important, and typically the machine learning teams are using images from videos to train machines to recognize certain things in videos. One example is with car manufacturers. They’re putting video cameras and sensors in the bumpers of next generation cars. One of the things we want to train cars to do is recognize a pedestrian in front of the car so that it stops, and there are fewer auto fatalities. Leila Janah talking to attendees at the Give Work Gala 2012 That process of teaching a sensor or a camera how to recognize a human involves a lot of manual data processing. You basically have to feed the algorithm tens of thousands of images of people in different cases. When it’s dark, when it’s light, at this time, what their foot and hand [look like]. To be able to help a machine grasp what is a person. And that process involves Samasource workers tagging lots of images from those sensors, and providing the company with that data. It also means identifying parts of a body, certain part of the body in the image that is being captured by the camera. And that is really difficult to do on a platform like Mechanical Turk, because if you even get 10% of the data wrong, then your entire algorithm can fail. And when its something as important as a car that is going prevent auto fatalities, it’s important to get the data right. Companies like Google and Microsoft that are building the technology that allows for intelligent systems are very concerned with these tags about locations. That’s where we see a lot of growth. For search companies, one of the things that we do is support indexing with human judgment. So machines will sometimes index web pages. Google has algorithms to do that, but they need to check that it’s working—and this is a generic comment on all search companies—they’ll need some subset of their records manually reviewed. And it’s usually a very small percentage, but that helps them to tweak their algorithms and make sure they’re surfacing the right stuff. What Samasource workers do for search companies is support those indexing needs. We can also do things like, if you’re running ads against Web pages, you have to make sure the ads are relevant. If somebody’s Googling for a toy car, they’re not getting an ad for an actual car. We help those companies ensure that ads that are being displayed are relevant. Scaling Across The Third WorldReadWrite: Can you describe your software?Leila Janah: I’m not an engineer. So my initial goal was not to build anything, and just to focus on the labor sourcing side of our model, which I felt I had expertise in.Initially we actually used Mechanical Turk, Amazon’s [job-outsourcing] platform, and we used [freelancer marketplace] oDesk. I tried putting people directly on those platforms, and then worked with those companies to set up special arrangements for paying people in geographies that they weren’t in yet.For managing a workforce, that was pretty unusual. That model worked a tiny bit initially, and then we started seeing all of these challenges. We started seeing that these platforms were not built for impact sourcing, which is what we do.I used Basecamp for the first year of our operations; it worked for me until we hit about $500,000 in revenue. I literally had 120 of our projects on Basecamp and we would unitize the work manually. For example, we would get a giant file from the client, with PDF documents, and then we would have spreadsheets that we would load into Basecamp.Samasource in UgandaThis was in the era before Etherpad was acquired by GoogleDocs, so it was very nascent. We were using Basecamp and Excel spreadsheets. I would write: “Ok, Center A, you need to do pages one through 800. And Center B, you have pages 801 to 1200.” We were managing things in that way, very grassroots. It worked and it was cheap.Then when we hit about $500K in revenue, things started getting lost. If Google gave us a contract, we would divide that manually and set up four different projects in Basecamp, each one of them in a different group of workers. In that group, some might speak Hindi as their first language, and some might speak Swahili. It was a total mess.By that point we had identified all of the pain points, and we figured out what we needed to build. I could hire my first engineer around something that really solved a problem, rather than a hypothetical.The first thing our technology did was provide basic project management tools, but customized for the kind of work we do. The second was quality assurance, so we added gating processes, which means we can determine at the outset whether a worker is qualified to do a task.For example, in our e-commerce work with Walmart.com, we have training materials that we developed. We load them into our system and workers can read and digest those training materials on their own schedule, then they take a test to qualify into that project.What’s unique is that we have specific tests that design around that project. And then we can see a worker’s entire employment history, so when they start we can see the results on their English test. And as they progress, we can see how they do with tasks, type A and B. And we’ve done 25 million tasks on our system, some of which are very large tasks, they’re not equivalent to what you’d see on Mechanical Turk—a lot of them take up to 30 minutes or more to complete.It’s a very flexible platform that allows us to manage the entire process once we’ve secured the contract, loading the work into the system, giving it out to multiple workers, training them on specific types of tasks, and then monitoring them on an ongoing basis.RW: Do you keep in touch with workers after they’re done working for Samasource?LJ: We use our technology to measure impact. So we actually administer worker surveys at the beginning and throughout the worker’s history with Samasource. We test their skills, check on their income, communicate directly with them, and we are the first global NGO to use Facebook to do longitudinal surveys of our workers.Internet cable in UgandaWhen they sign up on the SamaHub, they have to get a Facebook account. A lot of them already have an account if they have a mobile phone, but a lot of workers don’t have a phone. What we’ve found is that’s the most effective way to keep in touch with them over time, and find out what they’re doing years later. It is really important for our donors to understand the full impact of their dollar.Bottom-Up vs. Top-DownRW: Do you think plans from companies like Google or Facebook—their initiatives to bring Internet to all—could have legs?LJ: Their efforts have been criticized in many ways, and I think it’s unfair. I’m an optimist; I think humans want the same things everywhere. I think people are fundamentally good and have good motivations. I think the people behind these initiatives at Google and Facebook, especially given that I know all of Facebook’s founders, and all of them I would say are, for their age and their level of wealth, exceptionally philanthropic. It’s really impressive. You don’t see people in finance in New York doing similarly bold things with philanthropy, and I think each of them personally are committed to making the world a better place. I think that sometimes we get taken over by the hubris of the technology culture in Silicon Valley, and we think that tech is going to solve all the world’s problems. Even with the best intentions and even with amazing tech, Google and Facebook have built things that change the world for people on the ground in refugee camps that can connect with relatives they haven’t seen in 15 years, which makes a real difference in their lives. The Internet isn’t going to solve all problems, even if it could, most of the people who need it don’t have it.I do hope that these companies, as they search for ways to do more to save the world, that they understand more of these dynamics. When you have a plan where 1.5 billion humans live on less than $1.25 a day, they’re not going to have access to the Internet, even if you make your systems open and free. You need to do more than make it free, you have to proactively fund getting it to them. Or use the philanthropic side of those companies—and I wish Facebook had a philanthropic arm. It’s a little disappointing that it doesn’t. But if Facebook had a foundation that was committed to using some portion of profits to fund access for people in developing countries, that would be a great step.Or even here at home. Funding electricity so people could get online. Images courtesy of Samasource A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img selena larson Related Posts Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…last_img read more

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Australian Jersey Presentation Sets The Scene

first_imgIt was a special night for the Australian contingent, with 16 players receiving their first Australian jersey at an Open level, while for those who have been there before, it meant just as memorable. The night saw some of the greats of the sport recognised, with the Australian Flag Bearers, Kylie Hilder (Mixed Open), Steve Roberts (Men’s Open) and Gary Rose (Men’s Open manager) receiving their Ron Hanson Medals, the honour bestowed upon the Australian Flag Bearers of the series. The Australian captains were also officially named, with Hilder and Rohit Prasad to co-captain the Mixed Open team, while Roberts was named the Men’s Open captain with Anthony Ziade as vice captain. Louise Winchester returns as the Australian Women’s Open captain, with 19-year-old Emilee Cherry as vice captain. The Women’s Open team has made the decision to honour Kristy Judd, who is in her 17th year of representing Australia at the Women’s Open level, with Judd to lead the side in tomorrow’s first test against New Zealand. Australian player mentor, Jamie Stowe, who most recently was a member of the Australian Men’s Open team that won the 2011 World Cup title against New Zealand, finished off the night with an inspirational speech to the teams about representing Australia and what he’s learnt along the way. What They SaidGary Rose on being named one of the 2012 Trans Tasman Ron Hanson Medallists “You don’t come into the sport to get these awards, I appreciate them, it’s lovely. I do it because I love it. Thank you very much for this honour, it means the world to me.”Kylie Hilder on being named one of the 2012 Trans Tasman Ron Hanson Medallists“It’s an absolute honour and privilege to receive this award, it was actually 10 years ago that I played on Australian soil in the Mixed in Coffs Harbour so it was going to be a special week this week anyway, being able to play at home in Australia for the first time in 10 years and have my family here so to receive this medal has made it extra special. Thank you, it’s an absolute honour.”Steve Roberts on being named one of the 2012 Trans Tasman Ron Hanson Medallists and being named captain of the Australian Men’s Open team. “To Tony Trad, thank you for the honour to captain the country. I thought it was going to be a special week anyway but to get this is a bonus. I’d like to wish everyone the best of luck over the next few days, enjoy the moment, enjoy the fact that you get to wear the crest, not everyone gets to do it, live it up and just remember that we are all one Aussie contingent and we will all stand next to each other when times are tough, so all the best, thank you very much and good luck.”Peter Bell on recognising Australian Women’s Open stalwart, Kristy Judd. “Louise (Winchester) and I discussed this afternoon a tribute that we wanted to pay, this person was with me in my first World Cup in 1995, she’s actually rooming with our youngest member who was born in 1995. Kristy Judd, five World Cups and countless Trans Tasman’s and National Touch League’s and National Championships, we would like to pay tribute to Kristy and we would like to welcome her to lead our team onto the field as our captain in our first test tomorrow night.”Touch Football Australia would like to wish the Australian contingent the best of luck for the 2012 Trans Tasman Series which starts on Thursday. There are plenty of ways to keep in touch with the 2012 Trans Tasman Series, which will be held at Mudgee’s Glen Willow Regional Sporting Complex from Thursday, 26 April to Saturday, 28 April 2012, including in the following ways:Websites:www.austouch.com.auwww.transtasman.mytouchfooty.com Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustraliaTwitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #transtasman2012 in your tweets)YouTube – www.youtube.com/touchfootballauslast_img read more

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