Crystal Palace hire Hodgson

first_imgLONDON (AP) : Roy Hodgson returned to football management for the first time since leaving his job as England coach last year, taking over at Premier League strugglers Crystal Palace yesterday as a replacement for the fired Frank de Boer. The 70-year-old Hodgson signed a two-year contract with his boyhood club. Palace lost their first four league games of the season without scoring, with their players failing to adapt to a more expansive style of play under De Boer, following his arrival in the off season. The Dutchman was fired on Monday after just 77 days at the club. Hodgson’s four-year spell with England ended in humiliating fashion at the European Championship in 2016 when his team was beaten by Iceland in the round of 16. Within minutes of the final whistle, he announced he’d be stepping down – even though his contract was due to expire anyway. “I am very excited to be back in club football,” Hodgson said, “and it is a long while since I have enjoyed the day-to-day sessions of training.”last_img read more

Fighting domestic abuse, crime

first_imgTwo weeks ago, residents of the Kilcoy/Chesney area were sent into shock and dismay as the news of the gruesome murder of Rohini ‘Sabrina’ Lakhan, 29, a housewife, circulated. They also learnt that her killer husband, Ramesh Ramdeen, 42, had taken his life soon after committing the dastardly act.The couple shared three children, aged 14, eight and six. The woman had earlier decided to take action to save her life, and moved to the courts for protection, after reporting a spate of violence inflicted at the hands of her husband.As a result, both parties attended the Albion Magistrate’s Court, which saw a protection order being secured against Ramesh Ramdeen, who was also ordered to pay child support at $5,000 for each child. Shortly after the case concluded, Sergeant Vanessa Williams and patrol vehicle driver Constable Anys accompanied the couple back to the house to uplift Lakhan’s clothing, since she has made a decision to separate from her husband.Ramdeen’s sister was also present at the home with the Police. However, the Police and Ramdeen’s sister subsequently left. The man acted swiftly when this development took place, and now there are all sorts of reports and eyewitness accounts to explain the absence of the Police, despite the order of the court.This woman is not the first woman to die at the hands of her husband, or to suffer a similar fate after her spouse ensured that if he didn’t have her, no one else could. In fact, back in April 2016, the swollen and partially decomposed body of Simone Hackett was fished out of a canal in the Cummings Lodge area after she had gone missing.She was allegedly murdered at the behest of orders given by her ex-boyfriend. Her family turned up at the scene, and immediately hysteria broke out. There were screams filled with agony and despair from her relatives after learning about the manner in which she died.Also, last week saw the media reporting on several robberies, petty crimes, serious assaults, and murders in various parts of the country. The truth is, far too many of our women, men and youths are dying as a result of the recent spike in crime and criminality in our country.Far too many families are being terrorised at the dirty and merciless hands and weaponry of bandits, thugs and criminals in general.It would appear that these criminal elements have become emboldened, strategic and well resourced. Some of them even appear to have serious connections with prominent figures in our society, which see them outmanoeuvring the security forces on one hand, and avoiding successful prosecution at the level of the judiciary on the other.Also from media reports, reconsiderations and information provided by the Guyana Police Force, one ethnic group has become a major and lucrative target for these wanton and dastardly acts.But what is even more disturbing is the fact that Government still has not managed to get the crime situation under control, despite all the resources at its disposal.Additionally, the new Government’s crime fighting posture and policy initiative appear more reactive, as opposed to proactive. The overall thrust of their actions to date could be described as ad hoc and lacking coordination. Simply put, the David Granger Government, even with all of its security experts and credentials, is lazy and continually failing the populace.The roundtable weekly security meetings involving the security heads and Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, which is chaired by the President, does not seem to be having any significant impact as far as causing a noticeable reduction in crime is concerned.More needs to be done to bring those responsible for these killings and reign of terror to justice. Far more needs to be done to prevent crime in the first place, because the morals and values in our modernised Guyana appear to be losing its dynamism and effectiveness in this respect.Workshops and talk shops will not work. A multisector and cross-ministerial approach is needed that will result in community level activism to prevent and fight crime.The detailed security sector reforms piloted by the PPP Government need to be implemented immediately, and all of the disciplined services recommendations.The Government needs to launch its national crime prevention and crime fighting master-plan, which must have extensive proposals for the rehabilitation of convicted and remanded prisoners as well as deported citizens.Guyanese will have to take a stand, as death, terror and pain appear to be stalking this land. We will have to end these tales of pain, anguish and tears sooner rather than later, if Guyana is to become safe again.How many more lives must be lost before Government and security forces respond to the outcry from the populace? Or is it that they are awaiting another episode like those at Lusignan or Bartica before they understand the gravity of the situation?Regardless of politics, everyone’s life must matter.last_img read more

Expectations and swamps?

first_imgPeople generally have expectations of those who aspire to public office, especially of those seeking the nation’s highest. That noted, Donald Trump, not seen as the conventional candidate, may have had to work a bit harder than others. With little or no political background and experience, he made a commitment during the 2016 USA presidential campaign to “drain the swamp”.Seeing things from a business perspective, he used that metaphorical phrase to tout his plans of fixing problems within the federal Government. That mantra probably created expectations of things being done differently from what’s expected of seasoned politicians.Given that Mr Trump won, one can posit that a good reason for his success could be that many Americans wanted things to be done differently from what seemed routine. His perceived decisiveness— though an expected business approach along with the belief that the “swamp” would be “drained”— of bureaucracy as well, may have resonated with millions.Within a short period, his presidency became plagued with controversy. That could have contributed to him been unable to “drain the swamp” to the expectation of his supporters. That suggests, some Americans, who believed, are disappointed over their expectations not fulfilled. Their circumstance epitomises that of millions of others across the world who are disillusioned by failed campaign promises. Guyana is not excluded.There can be no dispute that the APNU/AFC coalition was very convincing in their campaign promises during the 2015 general elections. Foremost was the promise to do things differently and to wipe out corruption. In an effort to try and prove that corruption was rife under the PPP/C, the APNU/AFC Government spent millions of taxpayers’ money on forensic audits of State agencies.While that progressed, the APNU/AFC Government, almost immediately, became embroiled in controversies as it was accused of wanton corruption. Without public tendering, the audits were farmed out to its friends and cronies.The construction of Jubilee Park, the Sussex Street Drug Bond, the feasibility study for the new Demerara Harbour Bridge and the many questionable transactions for the supply for medical drugs are just a few alleged corrupt dealings of the APNU/AFC Government within the early part of its tenure.Allegations of corruption, including the siphoning of State lands to cronies, have grown drastically over the past four years despite the promise of doing things differently. On entering office with a seeming high level of goodwill, there was an expectation of it delivering on its promises. There was also the expectation of a visionary approach to sustain the unprecedented economic expansion and growth that were envisaged and prudently managed by the PPP/C.Having moved Guyana from a bankrupt nation to one of prosperity under its tenure from 1992-2015, the PPP/C would have positively transformed and modernised Guyana through the implementation of visionary economic policies. Those policies led a vast improvement in the lives of ordinary Guyanese who were empowered by their own economic advancement.Enabling environments were created across the country as vital services were decentralised to allow for modernisation beyond the capital. The unparalleled development of the country’s social and physical infrastructure reminds of Guyana’s transformation under the PPP/C.Having therefore inherited a developing country with tangible local and international assets, and with an oil-based economy on the horizon, there was an expectation for the APNU/AFC Government to sustain Guyana’s development. Today’s reality under the coalition is unflattering as economic woes have been inflicted, development stymied and visionary leadership noticeably absent.The production of plantain chips seemingly became President David Granger’s vision to improve livelihoods and grow the economy. He went as far as championing the sale of cook-up rice as another impetus. While those, to an extent, can in a small way assist individuals, it cannot be a macro-transformative project to drive what was once a thriving and rapidly growing economy under the PPP/C.Some four years after, having seemingly been short on ideas, he is now advocating that Guyanese stop selling plantain chips and get into manufacturing. From that, it appears it took him that length of time to see things from a larger perspective. However, despite that late push, he has yet to envisaged and implement a macro-transformative project of any form. The economy continues to slide under his watch as many Guyanese are saddled with economic burdens.Therefore, by its own record, the APNU/AFC Government has removed any expectations Guyanese may have harboured for the improvement of their lives and the development of the country.Some hold fast to the belief that a “swamp” may have been created as of May 2015; one that is overly saturated with failed promises, innumerable allegations of corruption, a dearth of visionary approach to governance and one in which doing things differently means giving itself a massive pay hike at the expense of suffering Guyanese. Mr Trump’s mantra on swamps may be echoing.last_img read more


first_imgNext Match: Royal Military College of Canada 11/4/2018 | 2:00 p.m. Matchup History Full Schedule Roster Preview Buy Tickets Sophomore libero Daniel Tudor amassed a career-high 25 digs in the victory, while veteran setter Jordan Figueira tallied a career-high 55 assists and added 14 digs in the win.HOW IT HAPPENED: The first set started out as a back-and-forth matchup. Queen’s would get ahead and went into the technical timeout up 16-10. The Blues battled back, going on four separate three-point runs, but the Gaels took the first set 25-21. MVB: Toronto leading @queensgaels 16-15 at the second set technical timeout. Queen’s with a 1-0 match lead.WATCH this nice dig from Daniel Tudor and kill from Nick Trewern!— U of T Varsity Blues (@Varsity_Blues) November 3, 2018 Third-year outside hitter Alex Barnes amassed 16.5 points from 15 kills and 1.5 blocks, adding 11 digs. Rookie outside hitter Evan Falardeau wracked up 14 points and kills, half of which came in the fourth set. Veteran middle Austin Valjas also led the Blues in the fourth set with five points, en route to 11.5 in the match. The University of Toronto Varsity Blues men’s volleyball team notched their first victory over the Queen’s Gaels since 2013, overcoming a two-set deficit to win 3-2 (21-25, 27-29, 25-20, 25-23, 15-13) on Saturday afternoon (Nov.3) at the Athletic Centre Sports Gym.TORONTO STATS: Fourth-year outside hitter Chris Towe led Toronto offensively, finishing with a team-high 18 points and kills, including five in the fifth set. The third set followed suit and the Blues held a narrow 16-13 lead at the technical timeout. Toronto wouldn’t look back, holding the lead to take the set 25-20. Toronto continued their come back efforts in the fourth set, leading 16-14 at the technical timeout and forcing a fifth set with a 25-23 win. MVB: Another close one here! Toronto leading @queensgaels 16-14 at the fourth set tech timeout. Queen’s with a 2-1 match lead. Evan Falardeau is pretty pumped! 👀— U of T Varsity Blues (@Varsity_Blues) November 3, 2018 Toronto came out energized in the second set and it proved to be a tight battle all the way through. U of T led the Gaels 16-15 at the technical timeout, but Queen’s came back to take a 2-0 advantage, 29-27. MVB: Toronto takes the third set, 25-20, over the @queensgaels. Queen’s with a 2-1 match lead.WATCH this Evan Falardeau kill!— U of T Varsity Blues (@Varsity_Blues) November 3, 2018 MVB: @queensgaels take a 2-0 match lead with a narrow 29-27 second set win.WATCH this Ian Burns block! Third set coming up on!— U of T Varsity Blues (@Varsity_Blues) November 3, 2018 U of T got out to a 4-1 lead in the fifth, but the Gaels went on a six point run, eventually leading 8-6 at the switch. The Blues kept their composure and battled back to secure the 15-13 victory.MVB: The Blues battle back but the @queensgaels take the first set 25-21 over Toronto.WATCH this Alex Barnes/Austin Valjas block!— U of T Varsity Blues (@Varsity_Blues) November 3, 2018 UP NEXT: The Blues are back on the court tomorrow (Nov. 4) as they host the RMC Paladins. Opening serve is set for 2:00 p.m., at the Athletic Centre Sports Gym.For more information, scores and highlights on your favourite U of T athletes and teams, please visit Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook for the latest and greatest in Varsity Blues intercollegiate athletics. Print Friendly Version MVB: Toronto leading @queensgaels 16-13 at the third set tech timeout. Queen’s has a 2-0 match lead.WATCH this Chris Towe kill!— U of T Varsity Blues (@Varsity_Blues) November 3, 2018last_img read more

Local Fire Department and RCMP respond to evening field fire

first_imgAccording to authorities, the fire was set using scrap construction materials, such as plywood and wooden beams, and it is still unknown how the fire was started, or who it was started by.However, Fort St. John RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says authorities believe the fire was lit purposely and the material was gathered into a pile prior to being lit on fire.Fort St. John Fire Chief Fred Burrows says the incident is concerning because of the location of the fire, which was behind a new development within the city, as well as the fire ban within the area, which has been extremely dry over the summer making it easy for fires to spread.- Advertisement -Luckily, no injuries have been reported as a result of the field fire and no property was damaged.RCMP say they have no witnesses, and anyone who saw anything is encouraged to contact the Fort St. John RCMP detachment at 250-787-8100.last_img read more

‘Nobody understands how sad I am!’ – Man City fans dismayed by striker’s imminent departure

first_img Edin Dzeko //[View the story “Man City fans dismayed by Edin Dzeko’s imminent departure” on Storify] 1center_img He may be a divisive character, but Edin Dzeko’s imminent departure from Manchester City is upsetting some Citizens fans.Reports emerged earlier on Tuesday that Roma agreed a £14m fee with City for the Bosnian striker, with the 29-year-old set to end his four-year stay in Manchester.Dzeko won two Premier League titles during his stint at the Etihad and was an integral member of the 2013/2014 triumphant class.But, despite only four players outscoring him in the last four Premier League seasons, he became a bit-part player under Manuel Pellegrini last season.City supporters appear concerned by not only the departure itself, but the relatively small size of the fee agreed.Dzeko’s impending exit also leaves Pellegrini with just two senior strikers, Sergio Aguero and Wilfried Bony, to choose from ahead of the start of the Premier League season this weekend.Below are some of the best reactions from City fans, who left tributes to the player and weren’t afraid to voice their concerns at the deal.last_img read more

Valley councilman addresses national issue on local level

first_imgAs the politics of immigration play out on the streets of Los Angeles this week with boisterous rallies, West San Fernando Valley Councilman Dennis Zine has provided a quiet link to the national debate in Washington. Zine has helped shape immigration policy for the National League of Cities since December, when he was appointed to lead the influential local government group’s task force on the hot-button issue. “While the bureaucrats in Washington have their issues, their agendas, we’re looking at what’s gonna work for the cities,” Zine said. Conservative by Los Angeles standards, Zine has opposed the appointment of an American Civil Liberties Union leader to a homelessness panel and voted against a raise for a Department of Water and Power union, but backed job protections for grocery workers and pressed for affordable housing requirements in Warner Center. “I think any skeptics out there, he’s certainly proved them wrong because he brought together a very diverse group of individuals,” Hunt said. Community leaders feel strongly about immigration policy because they feel they have been put in a difficult position, Hunt said. “Local law enforcement, local social services and local infrastructure are stretched every day that we move forward with very little support funding-wise from the federal government,” he said. There is widespread opposition within the league to the immigration bill passed by the House of Representatives, which makes illegal immigration a felony and criminalizes activity that assists migrants. The progeny of Lebanese immigrants, Zine said working on the issue has been particularly gratifying. While Southern California has seen some strong anti-immigration sentiment, Zine said he has received mostly positive feedback. “There are those that are going to say, ‘Just deport them,’ there are those that are going to say, ‘Fortify the border and don’t give them hospitalization or education,’ ” he said. “But they forget about the Irish and the Chinese and all the other immigrants who helped build this country.” Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl event On national issues, Zine voted against council resolutions opposing the Iraq war and the Patriot Act, but supported another endorsing gay marriage. Under Zine’s leadership, the immigration task force has taken a similarly moderate approach, recommending a package of reforms similar to what the Senate Judiciary Committee approved this week but opposing a stricter House bill. The task force wants stepped-up border enforcement as well as a path to citizenship for undocumented migrants. The panel’s 22 members from across the country oppose having local cops enforce immigration laws but want employers to verify workers’ citizenship status. The League of Cities will decide in the coming weeks whether to endorse the recommendations, but in the meantime league President Jim Hunt said Zine has created consensus around a notoriously polarizing issue. Hunt, a councilman in Clarksburg, W.Va., said he tapped Zine because of his compassion and his law enforcement background, which at first had some league members concerned. last_img read more

Sign initiative reworded on ballot

first_imgLOS ANGELES – The argument against an Arcadia ballot initiative that would restrict commercial signs will undergo changes in wording after a judge found it misrepresented its impact Monday. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Robert O’Brien ordered changes to a statement signed by Mayor Roger Chandler and members of the City Council after two residents, with the backing of the initiative’s corporate sponsor, filed suit over factual inaccuracies. “The petitioners felt the City Council had overreached in their political rhetoric, and that the ballot pamphlet, which is published by the government, needed to be accurate,” said Colleen McAndrews of Bells, McAndrews & Hiltachk. Under O’Brien’s instructions, lawyers on both sides agreed to compromise language one day before today’s deadline to finalize the statement to appear alongside Measure N on the November ballot. “If our ballot argument was worth 100 before, it’s worth 99 now,” he said. “This was just a case of Westfield flexing its financial muscle to harass the members of the City Council for daring to go against their initiative.” Measure N, along with Measure P, was sponsored by Westfield, owners of the Santa Anita mall, in response to plans by developer Rick Caruso to turn the adjacent space in front of the race track into The Shops at Santa Anita. Measure P, which imposes restrictions on parking fees at commercial developments, was not challenged under the suit. McAndrews said the decision was a victory for Arcadia residents who supported the initiative. The argument’s original statements “impugned the 7,000 voters that signed the initiative,” she said. McAndrews and other lawyers representing plaintiffs and Arcadia residents Jerry Durgerian and Elizabeth Jebbia were represented in court by Westfield-hired lawyers. Making a guest appearance, former Arcadia Mayor James Helms made the case for the defendants. One of the two plaintiffs, Durgerian, was in court Monday, and said he was delighted by the outcome. Durgerian, who serves on the executive committee of Arcadia First!, a Westfield-sponsored group opposed to Caruso’s plan, said he didn’t want the City Council to give Caruso special exemptions to build large, billboard-type signs. Unlike The Grove, a Caruso development adjacent to the Farmer’s Market in Los Angeles, the development plan for Arcadia does not include any billboard signs, said Caruso Affiliated spokeswoman Julie Wong on Monday. Caruso’s plan is currently undergoing a second, expensive environmental review on Caruso’s dime after he withdrew the original proposal to remove housing units in response to community feedback. Chandler and other city officials have described Westfield’s initiatives as an “end-around” their authority as elected officials to make planning decisions for the city. Caruso originally responded to Westfield’s initiatives with his own, which would have prevented the mall from bringing in big-box retailers such as Target, but said he abandoned the drive at City Hall’s request. (626) 578-6300, Ext. 4444160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsAmong relatively minor rewording, the argument will contend the initiative would “modify” existing sign law instead of “delete” it. Most substantively, a claim that Westfield, as “this foreign corporation,” was “circumventing the normal political process” to run the city was deleted. That removal is somewhat mitigated by the preceding sentence, which rhetorically asks voters: “Do I want this Australian Corporation to run the City of Arcadia or do I want the City Council I elected to run my city?” Arcadia Councilman Bob Harbicht said the changes were minor and had “little impact on the total argument that we made.” last_img read more

A boost for engineering skills

first_imgMusa M Mkalipi 15 engineering students from TUT have been awarded hefty bursaries from Huawei Technologies. The bursaries will enable students to improve their skills in the ICT sector.(Images: Musa Mkalipi)MEDIA CONTACTS• Portia Nqobile MvubuHuawei PR assistant manager+27 11 517 9800Engineering students at Tshwane University of Technology have received a helping hand to complete their studies through a bursary scheme set up by the Chinese multinational telecommunications company, Huawei, which has set aside R480 000 (US$48 400) for 15 bursaries.The recipients are all studying at Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in the department of engineering. Through the Huawei bursaries, it is expected that the students will be able to improve their skills in the information and communications technology sector. They will allow the students to focus all their attention on completing their studies, as they will not have to worry about financial constraints. The bursaries will include money for tuition and accommodation.Sipho Themba, a lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at TUT, said that the majority of the students majored in electrical engineering “because locally they are not exposed to opportunities in the [telecoms] sector”.Many students did not choose telecommunications as a major and David Wang, Huawei’s eastern and southern Africa region public and communications affairs director, explained: “After several attempts to recruit students from the institution for internships, we realised that there were very few pupils who chose telecoms as a major and we saw this as an opportunity to intervene.”Presenting the bursary cheque to the university, Wang added: “to bridge this gap, we are today signing an agreement between our company at the Tshwane University of Technology to provide the students with a platform to acquire financial assistance to encourage students in the department of electrical engineering to consider the rapidly growing industry of telecommunications.”Norman Saul Baloyi, a second year electrical engineering student, responded: “I am very happy and thankful to have the bursary opportunity that Huawei has given us as some of us really need this.”The bursaries fall under Huawei’s Global Telecom Seed for the Future Program, which is aimed at growing expertise in the telecommunications industry, as well as at improving innovation. The programme has come to South Africa amid efforts to promote local talent and to enhance creativity. It has been implemented in 14 countries and has set up 16 training centres around the world. It has given bursaries to students from 50 universities.A partnership between the university and Huawei has existed for 13 years. “One of the challenges we have in our country is developing the next generation of academics and people who are entrepreneurial. That is why I am very glad that today we are meeting for the students as they are the heart of everything we do,” said Professor Nthabiseng Ogude, the university’s vice-chancellor.She pointed out that 48 percent of students at TUT depended on financial aid. “If we do not get into these types of partnerships for education we cannot achieve very much.”Tertiary drop outsAccording to South African higher education facts and figures, a paper published by the International Education Association of South Africa (Ieasa), public funding of higher education has increased in recent years. Money has been invested in refurbishing buildings and constructing new facilities. Ieasa is a non-profit organisation, established as a result of the need for universities and universities of technology in South Africa to respond to international educational trends.There are 11 traditional universities in South Africa that offer degrees. These universities are research based. There are also six universities of technology that offer diplomas.Students’ drop-out rate, however, is 40%, according to the Human Sciences Research Council, which published a paper on the issue. It posited that the high drop-out rate was a threat to the nation’s future. Only 15 percent of tertiary students continue to study and achieve their qualifications. Financial difficulties are among the reasons for students failing to complete their studies.To bridge this gap, various bursary schemes and learnership programmes have been set up. The Department of Basic Education, for example, runs its Funza Lushaka Bursary Programme, offering full-cost bursaries to teaching students. The purpose is to promote teaching at public schools. Launched in 2007, it is a multi-year fund available to enable eligible students to complete a full teaching qualification in an area of national priority.Recipients are required to teach at a public school for the same number of years that they received a bursary. There are approximately 3 500 new bursaries available for 2014.The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) also provides financial assistance to academically deserving and financially needy students to study at a tertiary institution. It provides both bursaries and loans, funded by the Department of Higher Education and Training, as well as other government departments. NSFAS also administers funds for some universities, as well as for Nedbank.The repayment of student loans by past beneficiaries is a crucial element of the scheme’s funding model. NSFAS also manages and processes bursaries for companies or organisations that hold funds to assist students financially.Improving higher education and trainingSouth Africa invests roughly 20% of its total state expenditure on education, making it the highest proportion of the budget used on education in the world. This year, in his budget speech in parliament on 27 February, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced that R200-billion ($20.2-billion) would be set aside for education.However the World Economic Forum Global Competiveness report indicates that the education system in South Africa is inadequate compared to the rest of the Africa. The report weighs the competitiveness of 144 countries and gives insight on their success and efficiency. In its Global Competitiveness Report 2012-13 report, the country’s ranks 84th in higher education and training, and a lowly 132nd in primary education. In its Country Profile Highlights for the period, it states: “Efforts must also be made to increase the university enrollment rate in order to better develop [South Africa’s] innovation potential.”Improving higher education and trainingExperts in the field of skills training and human resources have distilled ways in which education has been improved in the modern world, and how it can be further enhanced, to better the future of academics.● Mobile technology: with cellphones and tablets, students are able to get information freely and easily.● Improved access to internet: internet prices have gone down and an immense amount of information is now available to students. This has also made it possible for students to afford distance learning online.● Free educational software and resources: to prolong and improve performance and learning, appropriate technologies should be available to students. By offering students resources such as computers they can become technologically skilled and can access information easily.● Business, banking and financial skills: these are needed to support the expansion of the economy. To promote financial literacy, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange holds an annual National Youth Financial Literacy Day aimed at giving young people more insight into how to handle their finances to improve their financial stability.● Lifelong learning and comprehensive universities: through non-stop updating of skills, individuals will remain competitive once they have entered the job market.last_img read more

Too Many Choices, Too Much Content

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img Sometimes it’s just hard to keep up. In this technology-focused niche we all live in there are new applications, new initiatives, and new platforms that spring up every day, not to mention constantly breaking news that fills our RSS readers. Take a day off and you’re behind. Take an hour off and you just missed 300 more blog posts. In addition to the everyday struggles of information overload the average computer user deals with – like the overflowing inbox, for example – those in the internet/new media/technology space aren’t just overwhelmed with new content, but also with new applications and choices to manage that content. What’s a web-app loving person to do?Drowning in AwesomenessThe double-edged sword that comes with keeping abreast of all the latest developments in technology means that we’re always aware of the latest and greatest applications and services to try…but it also means that we’ve tried all of them. Unlike the average user, who doesn’t even bother creating a Facebook profile until several of their friends cajole them into doing so, technology early adopters are the first to sign up and create profiles on every service that launches. Sometimes these services have value; if so, they trickle down to the rest of the world over time. For example, social networks like MySpace and Facebook changed the way people interacted online. Flickr made photo sharing fun, easy, and social. YouTube let everyone be a star. However, sometimes they’re not so great after all, and they end up fading away into nothingness in that area we’ve affectionately dubbed the “deadpool.”These failures don’t seem to dampen our enthusiasm for trying the “next big thing,” though. Every day, the web is filled with posts about this new app or that great service. When you think about it, it’s really rather impressive that there are that many of them out there – enough to be written about in a seemingly nonstop fashion.For technology enthusiasts, it’s not enough to just “try” the new apps and services though. If they’re the next big thing (or so everyone says), we’re supposed to jump on board and use them, use them, use them. Scoble even recently threatened to expose some of the so-called “A-Listers” for not being active enough, saying:“I thought about embarrassing most of the A listers on FriendFeed, because very few of them actually read that many blogs (I can tell, they rarely comment on, or link to, or FriendFeed with other people’s blogs)”Right….because if they’re not on FriendFeed, they’re phonies, huh? So, no. Commentary is not enough. We’re supposed to live, breathe, eat, sleep, and dream this stuff. The problem is, while we’re busy experimenting with this new thing and that new thing, we might miss out on actually enjoying the services that are already there for us, working just fine, thank you very much. Too Many ChoicesHowever, there are certain areas we’ve noticed that seem to be the biggest sources of conflict as of late. In these areas, several companies are clamoring to be the winner of the space, releasing duplicate or similar products, constantly adding new features, and generally trying to one-up their competitors in an effort to come out on top. When there are several companies doing the same thing, it gets confusing for the average user and time-consuming for the early adopters who play with everything. In the end, the hope is that one great service would come out on top, but that’s hardly ever the case. We’re already on MySpace, Bebo, Facebook, and LinkedIn because there’s no one winner for social networks…are we going to have to use all these newcomers battling it out, too?The Battle to Be Open We never thought we would see the day that the big companies were actually fighting to see who can be the most open of the bunch, but that seems to be exactly what’s taking place now in the battle of the social graph APIs. You’ve got Google’s Friend Connect service vs. Facebook’s Connect service vs. MySpace’s Data Availability, each announced within days of each other. Instead of making it easy for users to understand what it means to be maximizing a social graph, the companies have just flooded the feeds with their separate announcements. As Marshall reported on Monday, the reason, at least according to Google is that “the beauty of open standards is that companies don’t have to talk. They can just meet up around interoperable technologies.” We would like to think that this battle for openness will lead to easier-to-use social networks as our friend graphs will get to follow us around, but something about the timing of these separate announcements smells like a battle brewing. The Battle of the Lifestreams There’s MyBlogLog’s lifestream, FriendFeed, and even Facebook’s attempt at lifestreaming, which involves integrating a handful of services into users’ Mini-Feeds and News Feeds. Too much? You betcha. Although FriendFeed is getting buzz, even it doesn’t offer a way to really filter the info it displays. Sure, the “filter by service” Greasemonkey script can help narrow down content and the Friends & Groups script can help sort your friends into groups of your own choosing, but we shouldn’t have to rely on a Firefox add-on to make our apps work for us. And while FriendFeed may be one service (besides Twitter, of course) that internet addicts can’t live without, it still has a way to go to cross over to the mainstream user, especially if Facebook starts offering similar integration. The Battle to Tweet on AIR It seemed that every time our favorite Twitter AIR app Twhirl was updated, Alert Thingy followed suit and vice versa. Both struggled to integrate FriendFeed into their stream while still providing the best Twitter-on-the-desktop experience, and neither really accomplished that. Alert Thingy integrated FriendFeed updates into its stream in one window while Twhirl went with a second window just for FriendFeed. Neither was a perfect solution. Alert Thingy lacks the Twitter-specific features of Twhirl and Twhirl’s two windows isn’t ideal for users concerned with desktop real estate, like laptop users. What’s worse is that in addition to Twhirl/Alert Thingy battle, we also had to contend with other also-rans which included both Twitter, FriendFeed, and combo apps like Snitter, Spaz, Feedalizr, bTT, and MySocial’s browser sidebarand AIR app.The Battle to Filter Your RSS It’s not just RSSmeme vs. ReadBurner – although that’s an obvious pairing. Both of those sites feature top shared items from Google Reader. RSSmeme recently launched an API, which means it now offers filtering, albeit the geeky sort involving the creation of custom URLs. ReadBurner, not to be outdone, announced NetVibes support shortly thereafter. However, Google saw that other services were springing up around their RSS reader, so in an effort to keep people in “Googleland” they added friends to your reader to allow for a more personalized filtering experience. Those friends can also now share items with notes, so you don’t even need to go elsewhere to comment on the items in the feeds. Unfortunately, the downside to the friends feature means that in addition to those feeds that you now subscribe to, you’re also reading suggestions from friends. Not that they’re not great and everything, but is it really so hard for Google Reader to go ahead and mark it as read in your feed list if your friend’s shared item is from a blog whose feed you already subscribe to? Apparently it is. Which means if it’s really good news, we’ll read it twice. Or even three times if someone else shares it later on. There might be a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to filtering Google Reader via AideRSS, but ranking by popularity is really only one way to find the best content. There’s something to be said for the hidden gems that get overlooked, too. But the battle of RSS filtering doesn’t end with Google Reader either. Perhaps not as apparent, but both Twitter and FriendFeed are slowly becoming people’s preferred method of getting news. Why read through hundreds of unread, unranked items just to stay on top of the news? If it’s any good, you’ll hear it on Twitter or see it shared on FriendFeed. Some users are even positioning themselves as “human information filters,” on these services, something our newest ReadWriteWeb contributor, Corvida, discussed not to long ago on her personal site. These highly active users (yes Scoble and Louis come to mind) are good friends to have on the service since they’ll constantly be posting and filtering the best stuff for you. Then there are the other memetrackers that exist to highlight the top stories of the day, too: Techmeme is at the top of the list, of course, but there are also newcomers/up-and-commers like LinkRiver, Techsted, SocialMedian, and community builder BlogRize. I’m just scratching the surface here and that’s already ten different ways to filter the news. The Battle of the Mobile Social Networks This one will really surprise those not following the mobile networking space closely. When researching mobile network up-and-comer Brightkite, I stumbled upon a slew of mobile networks already competing in the space. There’s MocoSpace, Friendstribe, Hobnobster, Dodgeball, Zyb, mig33, Mobiluck, MeetMoi, JuiceCaster, Loopnote, Rabble, Wadja, Treemo, groovr, flagr, Lime Juice, Loopt, and Next2Friends, to name just a few. There are, in fact, many, many more. Some focus on texting, some on sharing images, others on geo-tagging, and others on traditional social networking. They’re all acting like the mobile web is the wild west and if they can just get there first they might have a shot at winning.However, who wants to bet that the mobile networks everyone ends up using are the ones who aren’t pretending that the mobile web is some different web altogether? Even more likely winners are the mobile versions of MySpace and Facebook, where all your friends already exist.The Battle of the Social News Sites Of course there’s Digg. But Digg is opening up the space for competition once again now that they’re focused on going mainstream and featuring less technology news. Mixx seems to be doing well as a small, friendly tech social news site, but they’re not the only one looking to catch the Digg overflow. There’s also Yahoo Buzz, Propeller, Reddit, Digg-for-girls Kirtsy (formerly Sk*rt), Sphinn, roll-your-own Digg tool Pligg, please-don’t-link to us Hacker News, and “if-we-ran-Digg” clone Sift’d. While all these sites are great for getting a post noticed by a wider audience, they’re also multiplying the numbers of places you can read the exact same story you read hours ago in Google Reader, saw tweeted on Twitter, shared in FriendFeed, promoted on Techmeme, etc. What Can We Do?It’s hard to say. Early adopters are not going to stop playing with every new service, but it’s clear that we’re getting to a point where tools that centralize, aggregate, but most importantly filter our content are going to be the ones that win out. There are only so many hours in the day, and, as it stands right now, every single one of them could be filled just consuming and interacting with content, social media, and web services. There’s also this little thing called “going outside” that we would like to take part in, too. Hopefully we’ll see the killer web app to filter the noise someday soon to help us do so, but it’s definitely not here yet. sarah perez Tags:#Features#Trends#web last_img read more