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U.S.-backed Saudi war on Yemen continues

first_imgThe Al-Massirah television station in Yemen, which supports the Ansurallah Movement (Houthis), broadcast a news report May 11 showing civilians standing by a downed F16 bomber used by Morocco, part of the alliance currently waging war on this Middle Eastern state.The U.S.-made fighter plane is the same aircraft used by other members of the Saudi Arabian and Gulf Cooperation Council waging an aerial war against Yemen, the most underdeveloped state in the region.Morocco, one of only three remaining monarchies still reigning on the African continent, joined the alliance “to restore legitimacy in Yemen” at the war’s inception in late March. The decision to join the war against Yemen was made by King Mohammed VI absent any consultation with parliament. (The Australian, May 11)Reports indicate that Morocco has provided six aircraft to the Saudi-GCC operational command, although there is virtually no information about the North African country’s involvement. These F16 jets appear to be the same type used in the Pentagon-led strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.U.S.-backed war kills manySince March 26, the Saudi-GCC coalition has dropped an undetermined number of ordnance on Yemen in a failed attempt to destroy the Shiite-based Ansurallah forces, which have formed an alliance with other political interests to oppose Washington’s attempt to control this nation through Riyadh. This imperialist-backed coalition, which receives logistical and intelligence support from Washington, has intensified its bombing campaign against Yemen in an attempt to reinstall the fugitive President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who now lives in exile in Saudi Arabia.According to Press TV on May 11: “Saudi aerial attacks on the impoverished Arab nation continue to claim lives. In the latest raids, Saudi warplanes targeted the northwestern city of Ta’izz injuring 11 people. Earlier, Saudi jets attacked targets in Sa’ada and Hajjah provinces, killing at least five people. They also pounded a district in Bayda Province, leaving two people dead.” Also on May 11, it was estimated that 11 people were killed and more than 160 injured as Saudi jets struck an arms installation in the capital city of Sana’a.Press TV reports that the raids set off numerous explosions, scattering pieces of artillery, with one crashing into the roof of a residential structure. After the attacks, clouds of smoke filled the sky and additional materials were scattered across other neighborhoods.Just days before, on May 7, the Saudi foreign ministry announced a five-day pause in the bombing to allow relief to be delivered to the people impacted by the bombing and the fighting on the ground. The Saudi-GCC alliance gave the Houthis an ultimatum that they must stop their resistance against the bombings or face more aggressive military attacks.This announcement was made by Riyadh during the May 6-7 visit by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said that Washington supported the war against Yemen and made threats against Iran, which is politically supporting the Ansurallah Movement. Kerry also called for a ceasefire and said the U.S. would supply $68 million in humanitarian assistance to Yemen.Of U.S. foreign policy about the war, Kerry stated, “We have urged all sides … to comply with humanitarian law and to take every precaution to keep civilians out of … harm’s way, as well as to provide the opportunity for humanitarian assistance … to be delivered.” (VOA, May 11) Nonetheless, the Saudi-GCC alliance, bolstered and coordinated by Washington, has consistently bombed residential areas, internally displaced persons camps, airports and telecommunications infrastructure, creating enormous dislocation and outmigration.After visiting Saudi Arabia, Kerry then went to the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti, which houses the largest Pentagon military base on the continent at Camp Lemonnier. The government of Djibouti has done more than the U.S. itself in evacuating distressed people fleeing the war in neighboring Yemen.Aid shipments face Saudi-GCC blockadeAlthough the U.S. has reached a “deal” with Tehran over its nuclear technology capabilities, the hostility toward the country continues. Many observers believe that the war against Yemen is designed to weaken the burgeoning influence of Iran throughout the Gulf region.Several attempts by Iranian vessels and planes to provide assistance to the civilian population in Yemen have been rebuffed by Saudi vessels, backed up by U.S. warships.Tehran, however, has reiterated its commitment to address the situation in Yemen. As Press TV reported, “Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Islamic Republic is prepared to provide Yemen with any humanitarian aid and help the impoverished state work out a political solution to the ongoing crisis there.”At a combined press conference in Tehran with South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Zarif said, “Since the beginning of the crisis in Yemen and the start of the illegal attacks on the country, the Islamic Republic of Iran has explicitly announced that the Yemeni [crisis] cannot be settled militarily and that these attacks will have no outcome but the killing of defenseless people.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Frye honors volunteer firefighters with 50-years service

first_imgState Rep. Randy Frye (R-Greensburg) recognizes Indiana volunteer firefighters for 50-plus years of service on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, at the Statehouse. Frye presented over 60 firefighters with a resolution in front of the House of Representatives.Indianapolis, In. — Republican state representative from Greensburg Randy Frye honored Indiana volunteer firefighters who have served their communities for 50 years or more.Frye recognized over 60 volunteer firefighters with a House resolution during Monday’s legislative session.“As a retired firefighter, I understand the sacrifices made by those who are devoted to the safety of others,” Frye said. “Volunteer firefighters put themselves in harm’s way to ensure our communities are safe. We owe them our gratitude.”According to Frye, Hoosiers are served by 837 volunteer fire and rescue departments across Indiana. These volunteer firefighters usually maintain full-time jobs, while serving the fire department on a part-time basis after completing required training.last_img read more

Men’s volleyball falls to UCSB in straight sets

first_imgNo. 3 USC men’s volleyball (9-3, 8-3 MPSF) dropped their second straight match to No. 8 UC Santa Barbara (9-5, 5-5 MPSF) 19-25, 17-25, 22-25.While USC lost the first two sets, there wasn’t much of a worry as the Trojans have dropped the first two sets in their last two matches against BYU, who they split the two-game series with.USC took an early lead in the first set, but then the Gauchos tied it up at 9. From that point on, UCSB built up a lead and ran away with the set. In the first set, senior middle blocker Robert Feathers had a .500 hitting percentage with three kills.From the start of the second set, UCSB built and maintained their lead over USC, but the Trojans tried to fight back.Senior opposite Cristian Rivera, red shirt sophomore outside hitter Christopher Orenic and Feathers put together some impressive kills, but they just were not enough to catch the Gauchos. Orenic tallied up an ace to get the momentum going for the Trojans, but UCSB shut the Trojan attack down and took the second set.The third set started off with back-and-forth scoring and was tied at 2. A huge roof by senior setter Micah Christenson and Feathers kept the Trojans going with a 5-3 lead.With the set tied up at 9, the Trojans pushed forward to take the lead with a kill on an overpass by Feathers. UCSB took the lead back, but a setter dump from Christenson tied the set up at 14. Orenic followed with a tool to put the Trojans ahead by one.Christenson put up a big kill to increase the Trojans’ lead to three at 18-15, and the pressure forced UCSB to call a timeout. USC kept pushing forward and fought off UCSB’s attempt to come back. The Trojans were within reach of winning the set at 22-20, but UCSB surpassed them and won the set and match 25-22 with a block.Head coach Bill Ferguson pointed out that one major weakness for the Trojans in this match — and the series against BYU — has been their mentality. They started off the season with great mental toughness, but recently they’ve been “internalizing too much.”“I’d like to see veteran guys continue to step up and lead,” Ferguson said.Ferguson would also like to see his team improve when it comes responding to a set back — something they were so good at during the beginning of the season.This is the first losing sweep that USC has had all season. Their previous two losses were in five and four sets, Hawai’i and BYU respectively.“We were not coming out crisp enough,” Ferguson mentioned. “We took too long to play with a rhythm.”Ferguson has no doubt that his team can recover and regain their winning streak and all-around dominance.“We need to just let go mentally and move on,” Ferguson said.The Trojans will have a chance to regroup at home before they head over to the Pauley Pavilion to face No. 11 UCLA at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 22.last_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

Indigenous Games Festival promotes unity in South Africa

first_imgYoung and old alike got the opportunity to learn and play historical indigenous games for the national 10th annual Indigenous Games Festival, held this week. This festival promotes social cohesion and preserves heritage. Participants also have fun the old school way.Heritage Day, an annual national public holiday, is observed on 24 September. South Africa expands activities throughout the month of September, which has become known as Heritage Month. (Image: Department of Sports and Recreation)Melissa JavanThe 10th annual Indigenous Games Festival, hosted by the national Department of Sport and Recreation, was held to celebrate Heritage Month. The festival ran from 20 to 24 September, in Polokwane, Limpopo.Heritage Day, an annual national public holiday, is observed on 24 September. South Africa expands activities throughout the month of September, which has become known as Heritage Month.The festival was hosted in partnership with the City of Polokwane and the Limpopo department of sport, arts and culture, as well as the national Department of Traditional Affairs.The theme of the occasion was translated as “Our indigenous sport, our heritage: towards the identification, promotion and preservation of South African’s very own sporting codes and heritage”. The mantra “My games, My roots, My future” became the hashtag on social media for the festival, which featured nine sporting codes.Festival aimsAccording to Sports and Recreation, the initiative was a platform for the country’s diverse citizens to reflect on the games’ rich history and their influence on shaping the daily and future interactions of culture. “This is a rich, measurable offering responsive to driving the National Development Plan’s vision of 2030 of driving social cohesion and nation-building through sporting platforms which drive active citizenry participation in sporting codes whose origins are rooted in South African’s rich history, heritage and culture,” said Minister Fikile Mbalula.Watch Mbalula talk about the importance of indigenous games:A gala dinner was held on 20 September and the games were opened on 21 September.The colourful opening was tweeted:#IndigenousGames2015 RT @MbalulaFikile: The streets of Seshego are colorful today #MyGamesMyRootsMyFuture pic.twitter.com/3d7yUB8I1I— Moreku Aphane IG: (@Iam_matome) September 20, 2015Today, in Limpopo we Open the Indigenous Games – pic.twitter.com/ghAejndM0h— RSA Min of Sport (@MbalulaFikile) September 20, 2015Exec. Mayor of Plk: Indigenous Games should promote our own heritage, culture and history. #MyGamesMyRootsMyfuture pic.twitter.com/MI5mq6Fa2e— Dep. Sport & Rec (@SPORTandREC_RSA) September 19, 2015Exec. Mayor: Freedom was fought, not to destroy us but to bring us together & these games embody that spirit. #MyGamesMyRootsMyfuture— Dep. Sport & Rec (@SPORTandREC_RSA) September 19, 2015The nine sporting codes at the festival were:DikebeDikebe is a kick-and-run ball game pitting two teams of 12 players each against each other. Each team must have an equal representation of male and female players. Also required is a scorekeeper from each team to count team and individual player runs during the game.The teams take turns to attack and defend. A player from the defending team is deployed in a central role as a roller of the ball and players from the attacking team take turns as kickers as and when they are called out by the roller to do so.Kho-KhoTwo teams of nine players each compete in this running game. The two teams take turns to be runners or chasers. When the game starts, a player from the running team is nominated as the runner and one from the chasing team is selected to chase.MorabarabaMorabaraba is a board game played with two players, each with 12 tokens, also known as “cows”. To distinguish between the opposing players, the tokens must be of different shape or colour.Three squares are drawn on the board inside each other, such that there is an outer square, a middle square and an inner, smallest square. The squares are subdivided into 24 equidistant junctions with straight lines.IintongaTwo sticks are used in this stick-fighting game. A longer stick is used for attacking and a short stick is used for defending. Children can start playing this game from the age of five, upwards.NcuvaNcuva is a board game played by teams of one to six players a side per game. Four rows of four holes each are dug on flat ground or sculpted on to the board to make a total of 16 holes. A line divides the board into two rows of eight holes each.To play, each player uses 32 “cows”, or tokens, made of marula fruit kernels or small stones. The stones are placed in sets of four in the holes for the game to start. Ncuva is one of the nine sporting codes played at the 10th annual Indigenous Games Festival, running from 20 to 24 September 2015. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)JukskeiThis is a target game played by two teams of four each; each team has a leader. The players use skeets made of rubber, wood or other material of between 300mm and 460mm in length, weighing no more than 1.8kg for seniors and 1.1kg for juniors.The aim of the game is to score points by using the skeets to hit targets placed on the field.DiketoDiketo tests one’s hand-eye co-ordination. The game is played with 10 small stones or marbles placed in a round hole, about 5cm deep, and one hand-held ghoen or bigger stone. The game can be played by both girls and boys of any age. Only two players can compete at a time.Drie StokkiesA running and jumping game, drie stokkies pits two teams of five players each against each other. Three sticks are placed on the ground approximately 1m apart. Competing players line up to run and jump over the sticks, stepping only once between the sticks. Participants have to test their running pace and long jump abilities when they take part in drie stokkies. (Image: Screengrab via YouTube)KgatiKgati is a skipping rope game wherein several girls can skip the rope simultaneously or one at a time. The skipping rope should not be longer than 5m. Two players swing the rope while the other players take turns to skip.Other activities at the festival included kraal school debates, traditional council court, and cultural exhibitions.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

Providing Outdoor Combustion Air for a Wood Stove

first_imgHow to Provide Makeup Air for a Wood StoveShould Green Homes Burn Wood?All About Wood StovesWood Stoves: Safety FirstHeating With Wood Safely and Efficiently Are Masonry Heaters a Good Match for Superinsulated Houses?Vermont House Uses Only Half a Cord of Firewood When it comes to thermal efficiency, chimneys have lots of problems. They are huge thermal bridges (especially if they are on the outside of the house like mine is); they are hard to air seal; and most wood stoves are atmospherically vented. This means that the air that the wood stove uses for combustion comes from the room it is sitting in. A tight home’s wood stove needs to breathe from somewhereWe then need to figure out where to get this fresh air from. A friend of mine suggested that there are plenty of people who run the fresh air duct up the chimney and pull the air supply down from the top of the chimney. I could use this approach, because my chimney has two flues, one of which I’m not using for heating. I could just break through to the other flue and pull air from there.The only problem with this scenario is the stack effect. Hot air rises. The warming of the chimney shaft next to the fresh air channel could cause an updraft that could make the “draw” of the fresh air difficult, which could decrease the efficiency of the wood fire.My next idea was to just cut a hole in the back of the chimney and run a pipe through the chimney directly out to the outside. (I planned to install the wood stove as a fireplace insert.) This approach would give us a short horizontal duct with access to fresh air. A short run decreases the resistance caused by the inside surface of the pipe and the horizontal run would eliminate possible problems from the stack effect.As I said before, one problem with outside chimneys are that they are horrible thermal bridges. To help cut down on these losses, I had 6 inches of rigid rock wool board put on the outside of the chimney. To learn exactly how I did this, you’ll need to check out my blog. The rock wool gives me about an R-24 and means that I had an additional 6 inches plus to get through after I was through the bricks of the chimney.To ensure that all of the work would be covered by my homeowner’s insurance, I hired a professional chimney company named Brickliners to do the installation.They came and made a hole in the back of the chimney, and drilled a small hole through the Roxul. I widened this hole to allow for the 3-inch stainless-steel duct to come through. Getting the duct to come through the hole was no problem once the hole was big enough. We hit our airtightness targetAfter the siding was installed and the new stove was in place, we performed a blower-door test and found that we had hit the 2.0 ach50 target. We also found that the chimney workers had failed to seal two important seams in the chimney baffle plate. We invited them to come back and they fixed the problem. I still have to do another blower-door test to see what kind of change that made.I’ve used the stove a few times — more to try it out than because I needed to for heating the house. It worked fine. It will be putting out way too many Btu/h for the house. I’ll be using less energy over all.For more information about my retrofit please visit my blog. RELATED ARTICLES In November 2012, I started on a deep energy retrofit of my 1976 raised ranch in northwestern Vermont, in the shadow of Mount Mansfield. As a Passive House consultant, I wanted to make my leaky (8.25 ach50) house with fiberglass-filled 2×4 walls and a tuck-under garage much more energy-efficient.My hopes to make the renovation hit the EnerPHit standard (a standard for Passivhaus retrofits) were dashed because of some of the basic realities of my house. The orientation was all wrong, and I had already replaced my home’s old single-pane windows with what I was told by my contractor were the best windows on the U.S. market — namely Andersen super-low-e double-hung sash windows, not the Passivhaus windows I would have chosen had I known better at the time. Ugh!The inability of the house to hit the EnerPHit numbers didn’t deter me from superinsulating the house and getting as close to Passivhaus goals as I could. In the end I decided to remove the existing vinyl siding and wrap the whole house in 6 inches of repurposed (used) rigid polyisocyanurate insulation above grade. Below grade, I installed 6 inches of EPS on the outside and 2 inches of EPS on the inside.There were lots of little improvements I made in addition to these changes; I’ve written about how I managed these improvements in a blog I have been keeping on the retrofit. Today I’d like to share details about the decisions I made concerning my wood stove.center_img A chimney is a thermal bridgeWood is a very common heating fuel in Vermont. More than 50% of Vermonters use wood as part of their heating fuel mix. Wood is plentiful and cheap. It’s even free if you have land to get it from, and most of us in my neck of the woods do. So we will be keeping the chimney and the wood stove. Air sealing detailsChimneys are difficult to air seal. If you are installing the type of wood stove that is designed to fit in an existing fireplace, you have a big hole just above the insert area up into the flue. At my house there was now also a hole at the back of the chimney to bring in fresh air. Both of these holes needed to be air sealed.To air seal the bottom of the fireplace flue I made a baffle, which is just a piece of sheet metal cut to the shape of the chimney flue just above where the wood stove sits. This needed to be screwed into place and caulked. Again, I left this job to the professionals. I could have done the work, but I would rather that their liability insurance cover the work, not mine.The fresh-air duct going out the back of the chimney was a bit different. I first needed to fill the space between the duct and the walls of the hole. I filled this with leftover Roxul insulation that I had lying around.The black membrane you see in many of the accompanying photos is Mento 1000. This is a special European membrane that has a variable vapor-permeance rating. When the relative humidity is low, it has a perm rating of 4. When the relative humidity is high, which might happen if moisture gets into the wall, it has a perm rating of 34.This variable permeance allows any moisture in the wall to migrate out of the wall while still preventing vapor and bulk water from entering the wall. Compared to Tyvek or Typar, Mento 1000 is expensive. But unlike Tyvek or Typar, it is a “smart” vapor retarder.Since I had worked so hard to get the airtightness of the house down from 8.25 ach50 (that was the air leakage rate shown by the blower door test that was performed before the renovation began) to 2.0 ach50, I needed to make sure that any penetration through the air barrier was properly sealed.Fortunately, there are some great products available for this purpose. I used Tescon tape, which has an acrylic-based adhesive. This acrylic actually penetrates the top molecules of the substrate it is being applied to and cures there to become one with the substrate material. This means that the adhesive doesn’t dry out like other tapes. The bond actually becomes stronger over time. These tapes have a 60-year guarantee!I used this tape in conjunction with a silicone gasket which I got from 475 High Performance Building Supply in Brooklyn, New York. They also supplied the membrane and the tapes I used for this project. The photos below show how I sealed the gaps around the outdoor air duct.Once the duct was properly sealed, I needed to add a piece of 3/4-inch plywood to make the plane of the PVC plate flush with the plane of the siding. The plywood has the same thickness as the strapping. To burn or not to burn wood?Wood stoves are great. OK, maybe they aren’t great. The efficiency sucks (usually less than 75% for older models), but the fuel is cheap, readily available, and renewable. I’m not saying that burning wood doesn’t produce CO2 and CO and NOx and SO2, but it is a way to heat your house that is very popular here in Vermont.The cheap part is also part of fuel independence. I can go out into the woods around my house and cut down enough wood to keep my house warm for a whole season. Just saw, split, stack, and use.For a Passivhaus, a wood stove is in most instances a deal-breaker. For starters, a wood stove usually has a rated output that is way more than any Passivhaus can use. A 55,000 Btu/h stove in a house with a 7,000 Btu/h load is just overkill.Secondly, most wood stove installations introduce air-sealing problems that make it hard to get a home’s airtightness down to 0.6 ach50.My old Pendelton Avalon wood stove dates back to the 1990s. I bought it from the fellow I bought the house from. It is a good little stove with lots of years of use still in it. My wife and kids love the fire and it gives off 55,000 Btu/h when it is running hot. It is also an atmospheric combustion stove.An atmospherically vented stove (one which gets its combustion air from the room where the stove is located) is fine if your house is leaky, but becomes a problem when your house is tight. If your house is tight, you need to bring in outdoor air for the combustion process.I thought that my wood stove had the ability to be outfitted with a duct to bring outside air into the house, but upon further investigation I found this wasn’t so. I ended up buying a new Hearthstone wood stove with a larger firebox (and with a ten-hour burn time instead of six hours) and the ability to add the sealed combustion fresh air duct I needed.If you are going to do this type of retrofit on your wood stove and chimney, make sure that your wood stove can be outfitted with the outdoor air supply first! Chris West has a background in mechanical engineering and lived in the Netherlands for ten years during the 2000s. There he learned about advances in building science; he brought this knowledge back with him when he moved back to the U.S. in 2010. He is a Certified Passive House Consultant and is currently president of the Passive House Alliance of Vermont, husband and father of two wonderful children who love living in the wilds of Vermont.last_img read more

Apartment Owner Makes Unusually Big Push for Solar

first_imgAt Home Apartments is betting that the timing is right for a major investment in photovoltaic (PV) systems for buildings it owns in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. A 148-kilowatt PV array was recently installed at one of those buildings, the CityVue Apartments in Eagan.The solar panels, installed by Innovative Power Systems, cover the roof of a parking lot next to the 11-story, 113-unit building, Midwestern Energy News reports. They PV panels part of an expansive renewable energy plan calling for the investment of $1.6 million for 526 kW of solar electric capacity this year alone.“We thought we could make a meaningful contribution so that when we add (solar) to our marketing platform it’s not just paying lip service to being green,” said Alan Spaulding, a partner in At Home Apartments. “Additionally, in my view, there’s a perfect storm. The cost per kilowatt has come down. There are good public subsidies for it.”In fact, Spaulding adds, there’s really no downside to adding solar. Interest rates are low (in the mid-3% range), and the solar arrays increase the value of the properties while lowering operating costs.Eric Pasi of Innovative Power Systems said that his firm has installed solar panels for a handful of other apartment owners, but the practice isn’t common.“You don’t see a ton of multifamily buildings doing solar,” he said. “They [At Home Apartments] are doing more than what we’re seeing from other apartment complex owners.”Apartment building roofs aren’t big enough to accommodate arrays much larger than 40 kW, Spaulding said. Garage roofs, with an absence of obstructions such as plumbing stacks and AC equipment, can handle much larger installations.last_img read more

BlackBerry Balance: A New BlackBerry 10 Feature For Perpetually Connected Consumers

first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Tags:#Pause sarah rotman epps What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Guest author Sarah Rotman Epps is a Senior Analyst at Forrester Research.One of the most delightful product features I saw at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month came from an unexpected source: the new BlackBerry 10 operating system from Research In Motion (RIM).While RIM is battling from behind with BB10, there’s a lot to like about this product, from the super-smart contextual prediction keyboard to the super-efficient BlackBerry Hub. The feature of BB10 that I like best is called “BlackBerry Balance,” which allows users to selectively turn off work-related email and apps for specified periods of time. BlackBerry Balance is significant for three reasons:1. It’s designed for consumers (workers), not IT administrators. This is a big, big deal for RIM, a company known for making products that were favorites of IT shops. In the past, IT administrators had all the power over corporate BlackBerrys -they could not only kill a user’s device remotely but also could limit access to features like the app store.With BB10, it’s IT admins who are in a box – they can give users access to corporate email and applications, but those are siloed on the device, and BlackBerry Balance lets workers decide when to turn work off while still using their devices for fun stuff.2. It puts workers in control of their work-life balance. The BlackBerry Hub, which unifies communications and alerts from text messages, calls, email and social networks, makes communicating very efficient (for example, you can reply to tweets and Facebook messages directly from the Hub without opening separate applications), but it could easily be overwhelming too. With BlackBerry Balance, consumers don’t have to fear they’ll be bombarded with work-related messages when they use the Hub on personal time.3. It’s a model for other mobile OSes to follow. Other than Apple’s “Do Not Disturb” feature on iOS, there are very few features I’ve seen on mobile operating systems that do anything to assuage the pains of the perpetually connected consumer. It’s great to see RIM leading here, and I hope to see other companies follow with their own innovative features.Smartphones enable perpetual connectivity, but they should also empower consumers to set their own demands for how and when they want to be connected.Image from BlackBerry YouTube video.center_img Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementlast_img read more

4 Unexpected Situations For Creating Content

first_img Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website? Download the free webinar to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack There are many opportunities you may be missing to create content in your day to day lives. I remember reading an article by Chris Brogan about how he “does it all”. Chris is a speaker, author, consultant, and father… And on top of that, he regularly blogs multiple times per day. How does he do it? He makes the most of every moment. He’s always thinking or doing something (even if that something is playing with his kids).So when do you find time to create content? Here are a few underused opportunities.Waiting for a Delayed FlightIn fact, this article was written while waiting for a delayed flight! With this unexpected free time, I pulled out my iPhone and started typing with my thumbs. I managed to finish 2 articles before boarding the plane.In the Car or Grocery StoreWhile this takes some setup time so as to stay safe, you can setup a video camera to film you while you drive to your next appointment. Or maybe you get an audio recording device, stick it in your shirt pocket while you go grocery shopping. Just start talking and answer a common customer question as if you were talking to your customer there in the grocery store. For many folks, this is a much faster way to create great content.Live Blogging While at an EventThis means taking out your computer and taking advantage of the ever pervasive wireless Internet at many conferences and sharing the learnings from the event itself . By the end of the event, you’re done! You would have spent that time there anyway, so why not create a blog post or two in during the process.Outsource Content by EmailOk this was a trick answer I suppose but still results in great content with limited time. Think about the top 3 questions in your industry and send them out to experts you know in the field. Send them by email, get their answers by email, and combine them into a blog post. This curated type of content actually works great becasue it draws the credibility of each person that contributes.Other ideas of great times to leverage for content creation? Please share in the comments below! Photo Credit: Dr Stephen Dann Free Download: Blogging for Business Originally published Nov 10, 2010 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017center_img Topics: Content Creationlast_img read more