first_imgNORWICH CITY VS SOUTHAMPTONNorwich have won two of their last three, as many games as they did in their previous 14 combined. Southampton, who were fourth at this stage of last season, have won just twice away from home so far this season, scoring only nine goals. But Norwich have only 11 goals at home.SUNDERLAND VS ASTON VILLAAston Villa have kept just one clean sheet in their last 18 league games, and since their only win, at Bournemouth, they have taken two points in nine games on the road. Sunderland are 19th and just four points ahead of bottom-placed Villa after losing, on Wednesday, against Liverpool, their fifth loss in a row.WEST BROM VSSTOKE CITYStoke have conceded 19 goals this season – only four sides have leaked fewer. And the Potters are four points better off than at the halfway stage last season. In August Stoke had midfielders Ibrahim Afellay and Charlie Adam sent off as West Brom secured a first league win this season.WEST HAM VSLIVERPOOLWest Ham are unbeaten in six games in the Barclays Premier League, though five of those have been drawn. Liverpool won 1-0 at Sunderland on Wednesday to move above the Hammers, into seventh place. West Ham’s Andy Carroll, the match winner against Southampton on Monday, could start against his former club.CRYSTAL PALACE VS CHELSEAAt this stage last season Chelsea led the Premier League comfortably, with 14 wins from 19 games and just one loss, helping the Blues to 46 points. Now, at the halfway stage the Blues have won just five games and accrued 20 points. In addition they have 23 goals compared to 41 last term.last_img read more

Pavelski, Burns fuel Sharks comeback win over Red Wings

first_imgDETROIT — With Erik Karlsson back on the shelf with a groin injury, Brent Burns bolstered his Norris Trophy resumé and Joe Pavelski recorded his fifth career hat trick.Burns picked up two more points on Sunday, negating Karlsson’s absence on the blue line as the Sharks came from behind to earn a 5-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings.The Sharks defenseman helped the Sharks claw back from a two-goal deficit, scoring his 13th of the season with a seeing-eye shot at 13:50 of the second to make it a …last_img read more

South Africa, Vietnam look to do business

first_img6 May 2011 South Africa and Vietnam have agreed to beef up cooperation between the two countries following a meeting in Pretoria between Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe and Vietnamese Vice-President Nguyen Thi Doan. During their meeting on Thursday, the two deputy presidents agreed to seek measures to boost cooperation, saying there was vast potential to expand trade and investment between the two countries. They also committed to increasing trade volumes, targeting US$1-billion over the next few years. Although no details were given, Motlanthe told a joint media briefing that details of achieving this goal would be mapped out by the South Africa Vietnam Partnership Forum, which is scheduled to meet later this year. The two deputy presidents did, however, stress the importance of creating awareness among South African and Vietnamese business communities regarding the business opportunities that exist in both countries. “Both South Africa and Vietnam offer excellent opportunities to investors, and we should encourage our business communities to link up and explore all possible avenues for cooperation,” Motlanthe said. Vietnam is a developing market economy, and the country continues to achieve rapid growth in agriculture and industrial production, construction and housing. Motlanthe said there where were countless opportunities in areas such as tourism, agriculture, clothing and textile production. Speaking through an interpreter, Nguyen congratulated South Africa on its re-election as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for 2011/12, and for its joining of the BRICS grouping, saying this was a “good sign that South Africa deserves to be the motto of development on the continent.” Describing the talks as fruitful, Nguyen said he hoped the outcome would manifest in deepened co-operation for the prosperity and development of both countries.Illegal rhino horn trade The two deputy presidents also discussed the issue of illegal trading in rhino horns. The two countries first engaged in ways to save the rhino last year when they looked at collaborative law enforcement and co-operation to prevent animal trafficking. Vietnam has been increasingly implicated as a main driver of the illegal rhino horn trade in Asia, and a major trade route has emerged, connecting illegally killed rhinos in South Africa with consumers in Vietnam. Motlanthe said the relevant ministries in both countries would develop a working plan to combat the illegal trade. This is a second such meeting between Motlanthe and Nguyen, with the first having been held in Vietnam last year. Motlanthe described the relationship between the two countries as one that has “grown, deepened and matured over the years.” Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

State of the Nation 2015: Opening the doors of learning

first_imgSouth Africa has made enormous strides in increasing student numbers in schools, universities and colleges over the past two decades, Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande said during the State of the Nation debate. But with these higher numbers have come a massive need for expanded educational infrastructure. South Africa effectively achieved universal primary education in 2013 when 99.3% of eligible children were enrolled. (Image: Brand South Africa) Minister of Higher Education Blade NzimandeAs we were reminded in this year’s State of the Nation Address, 2015 marks 60 years since the adoption of the Freedom Charter. As a government we have come a long way in translating the vision of the charter into reality.The Freedom Charter demands that “the doors of learning and culture shall be opened”. That is precisely what we have been doing. Since 1994, education has been a priority as we have rebuilt our country into a nation. Our intensive efforts, undertaken all levels, are starting to bear fruit.• A major achievement has been tripling the Grade R enrolment from 272 000 in 2002 to 813 044 in 2014.• South Africa effectively achieved universal primary education in 2013 when 99.3% of eligible children were enrolled.• Technical and vocational education and training college enrolment has increased by 94% in just the last five years – from 345 566 in 2010 to almost 1-million this year.• Student enrolment at universities doubled between 1994 and today, to some 1-million students.To expand education, we have had to expand our infrastructure. We were victims of our own success: the rapid growth in learner numbers resulted in a backlog of educational infrastructure. We now have programmes in place to deal with this bottleneck. We are moving forward, as the president emphasised in his State of the Nation Address.Highlights of these infrastructure developments include:• In 2011 the Accelerated School Infrastructure Delivery Initiative was established to replace schools built from substandard material. Important progress has been made in building new schools. Water, electricity and sanitation has been provided to many more.• Plans have been developed for building 12 new technical and vocational college campuses and the refurbishment of two existing campuses. Construction has already begun at three sites.• Three new universities – Sol Plaatjie University in the Northern Cape, University of Mpumalanga and the Sefako Makgatho Allied and Health Sciences University in Gauteng – have been established. Major new infrastructure programmes will be rolled out at SPU and UMP over the next 10 years.The government has invested over R13-billion in university infrastructure over the past decade. In the last three-year cycle (2012/13 to 2014/15), R6-billion was invested in all categories of infrastructure. The largest tranche of funding, more than R2.5-billion, has been allocated to historically disadvantaged institutions (HDIs). One of the most urgent needs is for student housing, especially at the HDIs. Of the R1.6-billion allocated to student housing at all universities, R1.4-billion has been allocated to HDIs.A priority focus of new tertiary education infrastructure is universally accessible facilities, to ensure disabled students, staff and visitors are able to use all campus spaces and buildings.As our President said in his State of the Nation Address: “Siyaqhuba. Siyasebenza. We are a nation at work.”Helping poor and working-class householdsOur educational programmes assist poor and working-class households. The number of no-fee schools have been greatly increased and the school nutrition programme extended. In 2009 46% of learners attended no-fee schools. By 2014, 87% of all schools were no-fee schools, accommodating around 79% of all learners – an increase in excess of 4-million learners over 5 years. By the end of March 2014 the school nutrition programme was providing meals to 9.1-million learners, an increase of more than 2-million over the last five years.The National Student Financial Aid Scheme has enabled more than 1.5-million students from disadvantaged families to further their education after high school. For many families this is the first generation afforded the opportunity to attend college or university. In 1999 NSFAS disbursed R441-million in financial aid to students; this has now increased to over R9.5 billion. For 2015, NSFAS has earmarked R69.3-million to provide financial aid to disabled students.We have expanded financial aid programmes, but problems remain, issues that have led to campus disruptions. In part this can be ascribed to the inevitable administrative problems resulting from the massive expansion of the system.We have also received allegations of corruption and fraud involving both students and people working in the administration of funds. A forensic investigation into financial aid provided through NSFAS to determine the levels of corruption and fraud will be conducted in 2015.Innovation and research capacityThe National Development Plan recognises the importance of research and innovation for the development of our country. For this reason, research support is among the top priorities of this government.The research output subsidy mechanism has been instrumental in stimulating the South Africa’s research productivity. Over a five-year period, 2008 to 2012, the sector’s journal publication output increased by 44.5%.To address distortions in the system, research development grants have been largely allocated to historically disadvantaged institutions or those that are less research-intensive to enhance their research capacity and capabilities, primarily through staff development programmes.Government support has improved the quality of research infrastructure through the allocation of grants for different specialist requirements, including but not limited to new laboratories, equipment and research support facilities.The Department of Science and Technology, through the National Research Foundation, provides advanced research equipment to ensure universities are fully equipped to support research and innovation in various scientific fields.A highlight of the past five years has been the expansion of broadband connectivity to all the major campuses of tertiary education institutions through the continued implementation of the SANReN programme. A total of 173 research and educational sites have been connected with high-speed networks, ranging from a minimum of 1 to a maximum of 10 gigabits per second. Close to 1-million researchers and students now have access to broadband connectivity for collaboration between national and international institutions.The government’s wireless mesh network technology project has connected 190 schools in the Nkangala (Mpumalanga) and Sekhukhune (Limpopo) districts to increase internet access penetration in rural areas, and to support teaching and learning programmes. This project has since been expanded to a further 55 rural schools by launching the Northern Cape phase of the wireless mesh network technology initiative.The announcement on 25 May 2012 that South Africa had won the bid to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope project was of massive scientific significance to South Africa, Africa and the southern hemisphere. This is significant as it includes the recognition of the MeerKat telescope, a South African product, as a critical component of the SKA project, which will also see the training of a large number of students in radio astronomy and attract high-level researchers to our country.Protecting the gains of the past 21 yearsThe destruction and vandalising of public property, including critical infrastructure, deprives communities of much-needed services and creates the additional burden of resources being diverted to restore and repair these damages.The Freedom Charter principle that “The people shall govern” is embedded in our Constitution, which forms the legal basis for the expression of the people’s will. The right to protest and express oneself freely is an important element of our democracy, which every South African has enjoyed since 1994. Kodwa sithi kubantu bakithi masingalimazi impahla yomphakathi nezindlu zokufundela. Ukuphatha izwe kusho ukuthi Maqubela yithi miphakathi esivikela impahla eyakhiwe nguhulumeni ngoba ingeyethu.The destruction of government infrastructure when expressing dissatisfaction infringes on the rights of others, impacting negatively on the country’s development by hampering all efforts to create a better life for all, undermining our hard won democracy.Masingavimbeli izingane zethu ukuba ziye esikoleni uma kukhona okungasiphethe kahle. Loku kubulala hayi nje kuphela ikusasa lezingane, Kepha elesizwe imbala.The life of most South Africans has improved since 1994, and continues to get better.• This is an edited transcript of a speech delivered to the National Assembly by Minister of Higher Education Blade Nzimande during the State of the Nation debate in parliament on 18 February 2015.last_img read more

Many Huffington Post Readers Hate Site’s New Facebook-Powered Recommendation Engine

first_imgThe giant online publisher and aggregator Huffington Post began experimenting with a new content recommendation engine today, powered by Facebook and built by AdaptiveSemantics, the startup the company acquired last June. The feature uses the “Liked” Pages and shared articles of logged-in Facebook users who visit the Post to recommend recent content from across its wide swath of articles. It looks like a good and relatively simple feature. Surprisingly, HuffPo readers responding in comments on the announcement absolutely hate it!The feature sounds simple, but is a great example of the power of Facebook: the social network is not just a tool for publishers to push content onto, to increase distribution and pageviews, Facebook Connect is also a form of data portability that allows 3rd party websites to offer personalized content to their visitors. Many sites have exposed content that a Facebook user’s friends have shared, but this leveraging of the structured individual interest data is far less common.Could objections to using this data be rooted in the ongoing lack of clarity around Facebook’s privacy settings? Or did the company just shoot itself in the foot so badly 12 months ago when it made drastic privacy policy changes that people still distrust it today?The Down Side Reader comments range from confusion about the feature to distrust of anything associated with Facebook (“I don’t have one of those,” several people have said) to distrust of recommendations to concern about self-reenforcing political perspectives. “Great,” one frustrated comment read, “put your readers to work for you, is it not enough that we have to deal with your advertisements.” Unbelievable!Another: “If it involves Facebook, you can count me out. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… marshall kirkpatrick Tags:#Recommendation Engines#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

How to Crowdsource Without Being a Jerk – Or an Idiot

first_imgIn the six years since Jeff Howe coined the term ‘crowdsourcing’ in Wired Magazine, the phenomenon has grown into several distinct, maturing industries that give businesses and workers almost limitless flexibility. But crowdsourcing also significantly changes the relationships betweeen employers and workers – and not necessarily for the better.The 3 Types of CrowdsourcingHowe’s definition of crowdsourcing (taken from a trailer for his book) is pretty straightforward, if a little broad:Crowdsourcing is when a company takes a job that was once performed by employees and outsources it in the form of an open call to a large, undefined group of people, generally using the Internet.Depending on how you interpret “job,” that definition could include crowd-based funding, like Kickstarter, crowd-based voting, and other community-driven decisions, but most commonly the term applies to marketplaces for soliciting work products.Typically, businesses offer up a request for a block of work, like a logo, software coding, marketing copy, a website or a list of voicemail transcriptions – and the crowd answers the call. Those are the basics. Every crowdsourcing marketplace has its own rules and specialty, but generally, they break down into three categories:1. Contests 2. Open Markets 3. MicroworkEach type of crowdsourcing requires a different approach to get the most value for the money and effort you put in – and to avoid the very real opportunity to anger your existing workers and contractors while exploiting crowdsourced contributors (assuming you care about that): IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Related Posts Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Tags:#crowdsourcing#enterprise cormac foster Crowdsourcing task work is a delicate decision, since it pulls hours from an in-house team, needs to integrate with in-house workflows, requires a very well-definied data specification and requires a certain amount of trust in data quality.When it works, crowdsourcing microwork can be brilliant. When it doesn’t, it’s a train wreck. Before entering into a contract for microwork, it’s criticial to nail down the specs, do your homework (and check lots of references), and give as much power as possible to the project leads so they can make the process work as efficiently as possible. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 2. Open Markets: Marketplaces like oDesk, eLance, Guru, and Mechanical Turk allow employers to post nearly any job at any price, leading to a wide range of offers, from 20-minute typing assignments to complex, multi-week software development projects.Open markets are generally free of stigma, but managing the projects can become a full-time job. Job posters often need to sift through a number of low-quality providers (or high-quality providers with the wrong domain expertise) before finding the right match. A poorly-defined job description will compound this problem, attracting too broad a range of applicants, and discouraging the real pros who don’t want to waste their time.If you aren’t completely sure what you need, you may do better hiring a local to work through the process on-site. If you really do know what you want, be as specific as possible in your posting, and create a quick qualification process on which everyone in your office agrees.3. Microwork: Microwork marketplaces break up large, repetitive projects into very small, discrete chunks that are managed by a highly-automated software. In most cases, the need for microwork will be driven by specific projects.Microwork marketplaces typically focus on a specific type of work. For example, Microtask focuses on very large projects involving text and data recognition – specifically, handwritten, damaged or stylized text that computers can’t read. It has built its entire user interface and back end around increasing worker productivity for this very specific job, and the majority of its tasks take only a few seconds to complete. 1. Contests: Contest marketplaces solicit responses as an open call and generally choose just one as a winner. The client purchases the winner’s work product with the award, and the losing entrants retain the rights to their work product. Contest specialties range in scope from small graphic design projects (Crowdspring) to substantial scientific quandries with awards in the tens of thousands of dollars (Innocentive).Very few people have a problem with the top end of the contest crowdwourcing market, which tends to add unique value with sites like IdeaConnection and Xprize . Innocentive, for example, rewards creative thinking, requires domain expertise and helps identify talent that might otherwise remain buried. Plus, Innocentive participants are trying to solve important problems, not just grind out grunt work to pleases the corporate overlords. If you want to offer a million dollars to the first person who can cure acne, have at it. Everyone wins. Low-end contest sites like Mycroburst are a different animal. In these situations, the majority of participants end up performing hours of work with zero compensation. A logo design project, for example, might start with 100 participants, then work through several rounds of revisions and cuts before settling on a winner, who might earn as little as $200,For the winner, if there is one, the reward might barely justify the expense. For everyone else, it’s a total bust.To mitigate this situation, some contest sites have created secondary marketplaces (like the 99 designs Logo Store) to help artists recoup at least some money from non-winning work. Still, contests conjure the specter of ‘spec work’, and many artists have attempted to organize boycotts of them as abusive exploitation.So what’s the right approach? At the very least, companies need to be honest about what they can spend and what they need when they create a crowdsource contest. And they need to be realistic about what they’re likely to get – a competent if not brilliant solution to an immediate problem. If that’s all you need, a crowdsourced contest could be all you need.In most cases, though, if you can afford to actually hire a designer or a coder, you’ll get better work, more consistency, with far less ongoing management effort. 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Nowlast_img read more