Misery-filled life that sugar workers, their families now face

first_imgDear Editor,On October 15, in a section of the media, the attention of the GAWU was drawn to a report which stated that Vice President, Minister of Public Security, and Alliance for Change (AFC) Chairman, Khemraj Ramjattan, in his address to a meeting in New Amsterdam on October 13, among other things, spoke to the sugar industry.Based on the report, the public meeting, described as the launching of the AFC’s LGE 2018 campaign, attracted some 30 persons, and we gathered that the Vice President told those in attendance “…good governments, when confronted with hard decisions, make them while considering the betterment of the entire country, not just one sector…”.We ask what betterment has the so-called “hard decisions” brought about? It is putting people out from paying jobs on to the breadline? Is it denying persons adequate and healthy meals? Is it preventing people from being able to pay their bills? Is it to curtail the education of children? Is it increased anti-social behaviour? Is it family breakups and separation?We are at a loss to find this “betterment” the AFC Chairman refers to. It seems more like increased impoverishment to us. We recall that the Minister has several foot-in-the-mouth episodes to his credit, and this seems to add to an ever-expanding list of such occurrences.The Vice President, referring to the Treasury’s assistance to the sugar industry, told his audience “…wah you go take all the money from the Treasury now and just give one section”? We wish to remind the Minister that in the life of the APNU/AFC Government, allocations to sugar represented 3.98 per cent of the $968 billion that have been approved for spending across the four (4) budgets of the Coalition Government. Certainly, when one looks at the tens of thousands of Guyanese who depend on the sugar industry; or the services the industry provided to the nation, which the Finance Minister lamented in his letter to the media last week that the State must now foot; or the economic activity generated by the industry; or the foreign exchange the industry garnered; the loss of thousands of workers’ contributions to the NIS and the GRA, apart from the other social factors, the Treasury’s investment was more than worthwhile.So, while Minister Ramjattan wants to pat himself on the back for a job well done, and offer quicksand-like defences for the Government’s callous approach to the sugar industry, there has been, as far as we see, no credible reason or any justification for the misery-filled life that the workers and their families now face.Yours faithfully,Seepaul NarineGeneral SecretaryGAWUlast_img read more

Leicester v Chelsea: Drogba & Cech play

first_imgDiego Costa is left out of the Chelsea squad because of his ongoing hamstring injury, so Didier Drogba starts up front, while Petr Cech is in goal. Oscar, who took a knock to the head in Sunday’s draw at Arsenal, is on the bench.Relegation-threatened Leicester City start with striker Jamie Vardy, who had to have a pain-killing injection in his foot to face Burnley on Saturday. Leicester: Schmeichel, Wasilewski, Huth, Morgan (c), Albrighton, King, Cambiasso, Drinkwater, Konchesky, Vardy, Ulloa. Subs: Schwarzer, De Laet, Hammond, James, Mahrez, Wood, Kramarić. Chelsea: Cech; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry (c), Azpilicueta; Ramires, Matic; Willian, Fabregas, Hazard; Drogba. Subs: Courtois, Filipe Luis, Zouma, Ake, Mikel, Oscar, Cuadrado. Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Brand South Africa and UNISA host the South African Competitiveness Forum and the Pan-African University Dialogue

first_imgBrand South Africa and UNISA host the South African Competitiveness Forum and the Pan-African University DialogueJohannesburg, Wednesday 05th September 2018 – Brand South Africa and the University of South Africa (UNISA) have partnered to host the South African Competitiveness Forum (SACF) and the Pan-African University Dialogue in a two-day programme from 11th -12th September 2018.The conference will bring together academics, and industry representatives from South Africa and African markets such as Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Nigeria to provide expert input on key issues that impact positively and negatively on the competitiveness and reputation of the Pan-African brand, and Africa’s Nation Brands.Further to that, the unpacking of the identified theme – Interrogating the Pan-African Nation Brand: re- and de-constructing state capacity & the stories we tell to market the African brand reality, will form a golden thread for the dialogues.Speaking on the theme, Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus De Kock said; “Brand South Africa understands that the reputation of the nation, nation brand, or in this case, the African continent, is shaped by a multitude of factors.  Due to divergent perceptions and public discourses on the condition of the African continent, the 2018 Pan-African Nation Brand Dialogue aims to interrogate two inter-related dimensions of the Africa’s Nation Brands through the subthemes – ‘State’ of the African Nation Brand that focuses on how governance capability impacts on reputation, as well as Telling and taking African Stories to Market that focuses on marketing in the African environment.”  Brand South Africa’s main objective as an award-winning organisation in research, aims to identify opportunities and lessons from contributions made by delegates which will be followed through in various project collaborations.“Brand South Africa will showcase its social segmentation model research that won the annual Southern African Market Research Association’s Best Research award, as well as research on the Development of the BRICS brand.  It has been a fruitful journey for the organisation since its first SACF in 2013 where Brand South Africa developed several interventions to address some of the issues outlined. In 2017 the Nation Brand University Dialogue was entitled – From Ubuntu Foreign Policy to a Democracy of Jazz – lessons from the Nation Brand University Dialogue and this year we eagerly envision collaborating with the continent,” adds Dr De Kock.The two-day programme will wrap up with a panel discussion and brainstorming with panellists, Prof K.M Makhitha, Mr Oyewole Simon Oginni, Dr Rasheed Akinyemi, Dr David Okello, Dr Joash Ntenga Moitui, Dr Timothy Esemu, Dr Kobby Mensah and Dr A. Adesoga in finding a way forward in the Pan-African Marketing & Nation Brand research in the era of the Continental Free Trade Area. For interviews and RSVP kindly see below;Dates: 11-12 September 2018Venue: UNISA, Kgorong Function hall, Kgorong BuildingContact Details: Ntombi Ntanzi; ntombin@brandsouthafrica.com or Cell: 081 704 1488Time: 09h00 – 17h00last_img read more

My wandering thoughts on facial recognition software for dairy cows

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Recently I read the headline: “Cargill, Cainthus partner to bring facial recognition technology to dairy farms” (Feedstuffs, Jan. 31, 2018). Wow! Reading a cow’s face? I can think of nothing more stoic or poker-faced than a cow. That must be some software.Then I read further and learned that this new software — machine vision software — recognizes each cow’s hide pattern and facial shape. Cainthus, the Dublin, Ireland-based developer of the software, has developed algorithms to track cows’ key data traits such as ruminations, water and feed intake, time spent lying, standing or walking, and body temperature to flag exactly how each cow in a herd is doing.The software also predicts when a cow is in heat, even if she has no visible signs. Combine this information with milk production data and voila! Everything a dairyman needs to know about his herd is available on his smartphone or computer.And if software that identifies the face of one cow from another isn’t enough to blow your mind, Cainthus plans to extend this technology to poultry and fish farms.Doesn’t that sound far out? Recognizing one chicken from another! Or better yet, telling fish apart. I hope they made the machine waterproof.Then I let my imagination run wild. Hard to believe, right? What if this face recognition technology could be adapted to monitor spouses? I’ll have to admit, I’m often clueless about picking up on my wife Kris’s state from one moment to the next. This could save my hide, despite myself.Think how much easier it would be to have at your fingertips on your smartphone, technology that could give you a high degree of confidence in knowing your spouse’s degree of approachability — in real time — on any number of subjects.For instance:First thing in the morning, I could get an instant read on Kris’s mood, to get off on the right foot, and keep it out of my mouth.Check a bar graph on my cell phone to determine the best time to tell Kris about the pickup I bought.Sync with Kris’s Fit-Bit to see if she slept well the night before, not that I can’t figure that out the old-fashioned way.See if the time is right to ask her if it’s OK to go fishing or hunting, to a ballgame or check out a farm sale.Know when the timing is right for … well, you know….Advanced warning when it’s better to be out of sight as in “out of sight and out of mind”.As I read the Feedstuffs article I also thought that the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) should use this software at airports. I would no longer need a passport. This could be problematic for Kris, though, depending on whether she had put her “face” on or was going au natural.On further reflection, and before I cause myself further harm, I think it would be wise to leave well enough alone. No trying to read Kris’s mind…. I should just do what I’m told. Life’s more peaceful that way.last_img read more

YouTube Redesign Keeps You Watching

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… YouTube is continuing with what it’s calling “one of the biggest redesigns in YouTube history” and today it wants to point out some of its new, shiny features. The streaming video site first offered its users a sneak peek last month and it says it’s been listening to feedback and it now has three new features it wants to show off.First, YouTube has introduced a new playlist design, which shows all of your queued videos above the video your watching, with decently sized thumbnails to preview the content. It also has an AutoPlay feature that it says it will set to on when it has “a robust set of videos for you to watch next”. Next, our favorite new feature is the queuing from search capability, which allows you to add videos to your queue when you search from the video page. We know that when we go on a bender of Kids In The Hall clips, we don’t want to wait too long between our head crushing and our “girl drink drunk“. You can even search without stopping the video you’re watching and if you don’t know what to watch next, YouTube may just queue up some classics for you automatically.Last comes an addition to a section of YouTube not exactly known for its intelligence – the comments. The comments section will now list both text and video, so that video updates become a bigger and more integrated part of the discussion. This seems like a natural and necessary progression, but if the videos are anything like the text, we can only imagine where this will end up.For now, the new features are opt-in only and if you don’t like what you find, you can just as easily opt out, although we’d suggest giving it a shot. Tags:#news#web#YouTube mike melanson A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Microsoft Office 365 Is Not A Good Deal For Singles

first_imgMicrosoft’s new subscription-based model for its Office productivity suite has a price tag that initially seems appealing for home and small business users… but is the bottom line cost really a savings for everyone?It’s no secret that over the years, the real cash cow for Microsoft hasn’t been its venerable Windows operating system, but rather the bountiful profit margins it enjoys every time it sells a box full of Microsoft Office.Running The NumbersOne reason is the steep retail prices for the package. Indeed, even with Office 2013, the retail price for the top-level edition, Office Professional, goes for a hefty $399.99. Office Professional gets you Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher and the yes-it’s-still-alive database known as Access.At $400 a pop, that’s a chunk of serious change for small businesses that might not be big enough to qualify for multi-seat license discounts. The next-highest offering, Office Home and Business, which drops Publisher and Access, runs for $219.99, a bit more reasonable.Drop Outlook and the pricing gets even friendlier: $139.99 for Office Home and Student. Frankly, if I were going to buy Office for my home, this would be the one I would get, because my mail and calendaring is handled by Google and there are better desktop publishing tools and databases out there than Publisher and Access, respectively.The Subscription AlternativeInto this pricing mix comes Office 365 Home Premium, which will set you back for $99.99/year. For a low, low $8.25 a month, you can get online access to the all of the tools in the jam-packed Office Professional, plus a 20GB SkyDrive cloud-storage account and 60 minutes of Skype calling a month. Oh, and that’s for up to five PCs/Macs.That seems like too good a deal to be true. What’s the catch?Well, let’s remember the reason Microsoft is getting in the subscription business in the first place: its prized Office revenue has been drying up lately as fewer users are upgrading to new versions of Office, or are turning to alternatives like LibreOffice or Google Documents. Switching to a subscription model helps keep the revenue stream steadier in times of declining Office purchases.With that in mind, it seems like there is going to be a catch. But analyzing the costs alone, there seems to be a real deal going on here. Breaking out a hypothetical situation for five PCs using each flavor of the Office releases for three years, the costs break down to:Office 365 Home Premium: $299.97 Office Home and Student: $699.95 Office Home and Business: $1,099.95 Office Professional: $1,999.95One Is The Most Expensive NumberSo, if you’re working with multiple PCs, the subscription plan is definitely a better deal. Care should be taken, though, for users with only one PC. Over the same hypothetical three years, those costs break down this way:Office 365 Home Premium: $299.97 Office Home and Student: $139.99 Office Home and Business: $219.99 Office Professional: $399.99Unless single-PC users truly covet the desktop publisher, database and other gimcracks tossed into Office 365, then Home and Student or Home and Business are better deals over three years. Heck, even over just two years, Office 365 is still more expensive than the offering most Office users really need, Office Home and Student.The Inevitable CaveatsThere is, as one might expect, quite a bit of comparing apples and oranges here. Office 365 will update as time goes on, while the boxed sets will stay the same for as long as you own them (allowing for service pack releases, of course).That might be balanced by the fact that the Skype account just offers an hour of calls per month – bust that limit, and suddenly your monthly bill is not static anymore. And Mac users are out of luck if they want to use OneNote, Publisher or Access on Office 365.Plus, there are still lots of questions on how closely Microsoft will be monitoring the usage of the Office 365 subscriptions. As ReadWrite’s Mark Hachman revealed last week, the answers are still not clear.Based on price alone and assuming the most vanilla interpretation of Microsoft’s pricing model, if you are really set on using Microsoft Office and have multiple PCs in your home or business, it makes sense to try the Office 365 option, as long as you can manage Skype calls and assure your Internet connection is rock-solid.But if you’re a single PC/Mac user, you could stay with the old-fashioned install-the-application options and save yourself quite a bit of money over time.Image courtesy of Microsoft. Serverless Backups: Viable Data Protection for … Related Posts brian proffitt Tags:#Microsoft Office center_img How Intelligent Data Addresses the Chasm in Cloud Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Cloud Hosting for WordPress: Why Everyone is Mo…last_img read more

All You Have Is Time

first_img“I don’t have time.”You’ve said those words. So have I. You think that you don’t have enough time quite often too, don’t you? But the one thing you do have is time. And you have enough time, too. You may be missing something else.What you may be lacking is enough time to do all the things to which you have committed yourself and your time. You may have said “yes” to too many small things that are now crowding out what’s really important. We always find time for what believe is most important—even when most of the time what we perceive to be important now isn’t important long-term. Enough time is a question of your values and your priorities.You may also not enough courage to say “no” when people make requests of you. It’s tough to tell people “no,” especially when you have the ability to help them. It takes a certain level of confidence and comfort in one’s own skin to say “no.” Lacking this courage is one reason you may feel you don’t have enough time.A lack of energy can make you feel as if you have a lack of time. You might feel that you can’t get up and exercise or write or read or pray because you don’t have the energy. You might feel as if you need the sleep. But getting up and doing any of these things can change your life and positive ways that are hard to imagine. And more than a few of them will multiply your energy.You have enough time now to do all kinds of things. Looking at a short time, you can feel the stress of not having enough of it. To straighten out your perception of not having enough time, you have to look at longer periods. You aren’t going to have enough time to do all of the things you want to do, contribute all you want to contribute, and spend time with the ones you love. At some point in the future, you are going to wish you had more time.To avoid wishing for more time later, you need to make better decisions about what you do with your time now. All you have is time. What will you do with it? Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Nowlast_img read more

If You Believed Google Duplex Was the Salesperson, You Weren’t Paying Attention

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Many of those who prognosticate about sales very literally missed the main takeaway. To those who saw salespeople being disintermediated, they were correct in the assessment, but they were focused on the wrong party. If you were paying attention, Duplex did fine, but the person whose job is put in jeopardy is the person who worked for the salon. In a business that is very personal and preference matters a great deal, the call was nothing more than a transaction.The call should have sounded like this:Duplex: Hi, I’m calling to book a women’s haircut for a client. Um.  I’m looking for something on May 3rd.Salesperson: Sure give me one second. Hi, this is Anthony. I can take care of this for you. What’s your name? And what’s your client’s name?(When you answer the phone, you should provide your name, so the other person knows your name. You should also ask them their name, because they are a human being, and that being true, they have a name. Once you know their name, you can address them by name. If the person calling is calling for the client, you should also ask for the client’s name, so you can speak with them about that person using their name, too.)Salesperson: What day and time works best for Lisa?Mm-hmm. (This is allegedly what makes this human, but it isn’t.)Sure. What time are you looking for around?Duplex: At 12PM.Salesperson: We do not have a 12PM available. The closest we have to that is a 1:15. I’m so sorry. Noon time is super popular today. I have a 1:15 PM available, will that work or is that too late for Lisa?(When someone asks for a time and it is unavailable, it is polite to apologize. You are trying to serve that person. You might also offer an explanation that provides more context, so your client knows why you can’t give them what they want. Because you know the person’s name and the time they wanted, you can easily make your communication more personal, more caring. You are collaborating with the person scheduling and you are acknowledging a likely constraint.)Duplex: Do you have anything between 10 am and 12 pm?Depending on what service she would like. What service is she looking for?  Can you share with my what kind of services Lisa is looking for so I can find her the best stylists for her?(Again, using Lisa’s name. Also inquiring about what she wants so that you can tailor the decision as to what stylist works best based on what is best going to provide her the outcome she needs. By doing so, you are also building up the stylist and your business.)Duplex: Just a woman’s haircut for now.Salesperson: Tell me about what Lisa likes? Is this a regular maintenance cut or is she looking for something new?(I am not an expert on women, but I live with three of them, one who has a stylist that she uses exclusively, and two whose high school jobs have them working in a salon. I am not certain any women wants “just a woman’s haircut,” but I beg your pardon, if I am wrong. That said, you create greater value when you ask what Lisa likes. Maybe she wants a regular cut, or maybe she wants to book at your salon because she wants to change things up. Eliciting her preferences shows caring).Salesperson: Okay, we have a 10 o’clock. If Lisa could do 10:00 AM, I can put her with one of our top stylists, Shelley. Shelley is amazing!(Now, the person booking the appointment for her client can report back that her appointment is with Shelley, one of the best stylists at the salon. By the way, they say Shelley is amazing.).Duplex: 10 AM is fine.Salesperson: Okay, what’s her first name? (Way to late to ask. Too many opportunities lost)The first name is Lisa. Can you tell me a little about Lisa? What does she look like and what does she like to drink?(If I know what Lisa looks like, I can keep an eye out for her and greet her by name. That’s not all that difficult, because she’ll be showing up a few minutes before 10AM on Wednesday. If I know she likes Diet Peach Tea Snapple, having one waiting there for her will do a fair bit towards her becoming a client for life.)Salesperson Okay, perfect. So Shelley will see Lisa at 10 o’clock on May 3rd. I’ll make sure we’re looking for her, and we’ll have her Diet Peach Tea Snapple. Is there anything else we can do for you or Lisa while she’s here?(The person scheduling the call is also now your client. Because you worked to make a transaction something about value, trust, and caring, you have improved the experience. You are now differentiated. And you can now say, “Thanks so much. If you have any other clients you need help taking care of, please let me know. We’ll take excellent care of them.”For a little effort, a great attitude, and the cost a Diet Peach Tea Snapple, you have made yourself much more difficult to be disintermediated, and you have probably gained a client and fan for life.For those of you who believed Duplex was the salesperson, you weren’t really paying attention, were you?last_img read more