Draymond Green video prompts ethics complaint; BART to pay $7,500 fine for Measure RR campaign violations

first_imgSACRAMENTO — BART will have to pay a $7,500 fine for illegally using taxpayers’ money on YouTube videos and social media posts to promote its $3.5 billion bond, Measure RR, state regulators said Monday in a preliminary ruling.State law prohibits public agencies from using public funds to campaign for any candidate or ballot measure, though they can provide factual information. Using public resources to express advocacy or opposition, however, qualifies as “an independent expenditure,” which …last_img read more

ABB wins $43m Eskom order

first_img30 November 2010The South African subsidiary of multinational power and automation group ABB has won an order worth US$43-million (about R307-million) from state power utility Eskom to supply equipment for the Kusile power station being built in Mpumalanga.ABB will supply medium-voltage switchgear as well as protection and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) equipment for the thermal power plant, which comprises six supercritical combustion units with a total generating capacity of 4 800 megawatts.State-of-the-art productsThe company will design, engineer, supply, install and commission the equipment, including indoor switchgear for primary distribution, the latest range of control products and the REA range of protection relays. ABB will also supply a Micro-SCADA automation solution to optimise control and ensure reliable operation.“These state-of-the-art products offer maximum control and protection, enabling an efficient and reliable supply of electricity,” ABB Power Products division head Bernhard Jucker said in a statement this week.“We support Eskom in its efforts to improve power supplies and meet the growing need for electricity in the country.”Enhancing safetyAccording to ABB, the REA range is an extremely fast and reliable arc protection system that combines a unique sensor technique with instantaneous and reliable fault detection, reducing the risk of network damage, enhancing safety and enabling the smooth restoration of power in the event of a disruption.“With ABB’s tailor-made solutions, we are well positioned to contribute cutting-edge technology to South Africa’s major energy challenges,” said ABB South Africa CEO Carlos Pone.“The Kusile project will generate cost effective electricity into the South African grid and will to help meet the growing demand for electricity in South Africa.”In September this year, ABB also won a US$23-million (about R163-million) order from Eskom to provide a plant solution for the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme, currently under construction on the border of the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Oceans Day puts the focus on South Africa’s fish stocks

first_img9 June 2015The oceans around South Africa have the potential to unlock economic development opportunities in the country, according to Deputy Environmental Affairs Minister Barbara Thomson.“We thus need to develop a proactive approach to understand our oceans’ capacity and role to ensure socio-economic emancipation while protecting this vast and fragile environment,” she said yesterday at celebrations of World Oceans Day in Port Elizabeth.World Oceans Day is an annual event on 8 June, recognised by the United Nations and run by its Environment Programme (UNEP). It was declared to remind people of the major role the oceans play, as well as to educate people of the impact humans have on the oceans. “They are the lungs of our planet, providing most of the oxygen we breathe,” says the UN.Thomson said the use of various marine resources in South Africa had increased, but the Department of Environmental Affairs would continue efforts to protect and maintain the country’s marine biodiversity. “We aspire to create partnerships while strengthening existing ones to develop means and ways to share the wealth of the ocean for the benefit of all South Africans.”Sassi StoriesTo mark the day, as well as World Environment Day on 5 June, WWF South Africa’s Southern African Sustainable Seafood Initiative (Sassi) is running its #SASSIStories campaign. It is about telling the inspiring stories of fishers, retailers, chefs, and ordinary people who are driving positive change in the seafood sector.WWF-Sassi points out that the oceans are the cornerstone of life on Earth. They cover more than two thirds of the planet’s surface, produce 70% of its oxygen and are responsible for driving weather systems.“Oceans are also a critical source of food, culture and history. Every year they feed over a billion people and almost 1 in 10 people around the world rely on fishing and fishing-related activities for their livelihoods. Yet both locally and globally we are not doing enough to look after this incredibly value asset,” the organisation says.Humanity’s impact can be seen in reports of climate change, overfishing and the increasing user conflicts.It was an issue Thomson also raised. “Aspects of climate change, ocean acidification, pollution, unsustainable coastal area development and unwanted impacts from resource extraction need to be addressed for human well-being, environmental prosperity and integrity,” she said.Blue economyWorld Oceans Day this year is celebrated under the UNEP’s theme “Healthy oceans, healthy planet”. The department expanded this to “Healthy oceans, healthy planet: enabling sustainable ocean economy development”, to highlight the government’s commitment to sustainable ocean economy through Operation Phakisa.Operation Phakisa promotes economic growth and job creation in line with the goals outlined in the National Development Plan. Its oceans economy laboratory is estimated to have the potential to contribute up to R177-billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product and create just over one million jobs by 2033.The oceans economy lab has four priority areas: marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture, and marine protection services and ocean governance. –Senzeni Zokwana, the minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said almost all humans on Earth depend on the seas’ natural resources. “The sustainable use and management of the oceans, even its resources, is critical to us today and for future generations.”OverfishingThe question, he said, was how to forge an economically viable, environmentally sound and socially responsible vision for the use of the oceans’ natural resources without compromising future generations.“Fish supply the greatest percentage of the world’s protein consumed by humans, making the oceans critical to food security. [but] According to the [Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN], most of the world’s major fisheries are being fished at levels above their maximum sustainable level with a number of fish stocks completely depleted.”In addition in South Africa, many coastal communities had been marginalised for many years and denied access to fish resources, which resulted in compromised fishing livelihoods and economic viabilities.Its Small-scale Fisheries Policy sought to redress this and ensure equitable sharing of the oceans’ resources.“One of the biggest challenges that we face in South Africa today is striking a balance between meeting the food security needs of our people while at same time ensuring that the resources they depend on are managed sustainably,” Zokwana said.“We also have to increase our efforts to fight illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing which are serious crimes because they also cause a huge threat to the collapse of our resources.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Manure management strategies

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Reducing manure volumes produced throughout the year is certainly worth considering when building a manure management plan. For example, what goes into your manure pit other than manure, urine and wash water? Additionally, it is important to note waste water can be from several sources, including:1. Leaking drinkers and water lines,2. Pigs wasting water when they drink; and,3. Rain water entering the pit.Leaking drinkers and water lines: One way to determine how many gallons go into the pit on a daily basis is to take a water meter reading when there are no pigs in the barn or no washing activities planned. Check the reading after a 24-hours. According to Adam Hocker’s 2014 Pork Congress presentation, Brenneman Pork in Iowa had records from 22 finishing barns that were leaking on average 4,000 gallons of water per week. That would be over 200,000 gallons of wasted water in a 2,400 head barn per year. Kevin Elder with the Ohio Department of Agriculture said, “Additional research has shown the diluted manure moves easier to subsurface tile. If manure has at least 4% solids and even better 8% solids it moves much less to drainage tile.” Pigs wasting water when they drinkResearch has shown there are differences in the amount of water wasted from drinkers of varying styles. As such, it is recommended to check the flow rate of your existing drinkers. Pigs only consume water at a given rate, dependent upon the size of pig, and higher flow rates lead to more wasted water. Research shows that water flow for a nursery should not exceed 45 seconds to fill a 16-ounce container. Comparatively, the flow rate for a grow finish should not exceed 30 seconds to fill a 16-ounce container. Water line pressure should be 20 psi; however, it is important to make sure you have adequate flow rates throughout the barn. If drinker height is adjustable be sure to adjust as pigs get bigger. In general, nipple height should be at pig shoulder level, or slightly above. Rain water entering the pitEvaluate outside landscaping (settling ground), especially around pump out ports to determine if surface water is entering the pit. There are barns that have pump-out ports that have separated, or cracked, from the pit walls and have allowed roof water to enter the pits. Be sure rainwater is diverted away from the building, and make any necessary repairs to pump-out ports. There should be no ponding water around the building after rainfall events. Developing an emergency planDevelop an emergency plan in the event field conditions do not allow for manure application when the pit is almost full. While options vary on location, below are several conditions to consider that might allow for you to partially pump down your pit:1. A neighbor with a dairy lagoon that is not full and would accept hog manure.2. A custom manure applicator with frac tanks or tankers for emergency storage.3. An older swine facility that is currently empty.4. A municipality sewage treatment plant that would take manure.5. Contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District Office to discuss local options: http://www.agri.ohio.gov/divs/SWC/SearchLocalSWCD.aspx6. Constructing emergency storage as a last resort (This has been done before and is cheaper than paying fines and having bad publicity), contact local SWCD or ODA-Division of Livestock Environmental Permitting.For additional information on best manure strategies, please visit https://ohleap.org/last_img read more

Dear Fintech Companies, Debit Cards Won’t Solve All Your Problems

first_imgThe world of financial technology is not just hot right now — it is fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. Investment dollars are flowing in at an alarming rate. It is a land grab in which the hottest competition is for the space in Americans’ wallets.Fintech companies are competing to have their debit cards be consumers’ No. 1 choice, even if it sometimes doesn’t make sense for the company to provide this service. In order to lock-up that interchange rate (the charge that covers the handling and risk of card transactions), fintechs are targeting younger consumers. 73% of customers 18-34 said they would be willing to try a card from a tech firm they already use.This information from customers fits the business model, and legitimately adds value to the customer. Offering a debit card is a valid strategy. The revenue associated with interchange (every time a card is swiped, that fintech earns a portion) can be significant for a fintech startup.But with the recent influx of cards — it’s essential to do something unique. “Just another card” is not going to penetrate the zeitgeist.There’s Gold Out ThereTake a look at Acorns, a six-year-old investing and savings company. For every purchase with the Acorns card, the partner retailer will deposit a reward into the consumer’s account. With recent backing from Comcast Ventures, NBCUniversal, and Bain Capital Ventures, Acorns’ valuation skyrocketed to $860 million.But that also highlights the scary thing that’s being whispered around Sand Hill Road. There is irrational exuberance from venture capitalists pushing their fintech startups toward debit cards and that oh-so-beautiful interchange rate. These debit cards — dare I say “fads” — are not based in real use cases. Funding for fintech startups hit $11.89 billion in 2018, the highest in five years. The monetary flood is inflating valuations way too soon in startups’ growth cycles.It’s founders’ responsibility to push back and do the right thing for their businesses, but having venture capitalists pushing that “hot strategy” on their investments is a scary proposition.Positioning for SuccessAgain, if fintech startups wish to embrace the debit card strategy, they need to put some more profound thought behind the offering.Instead of just chasing the latest fad, companies need to truly create the most value for their customers.Here’s how:1. Don’t reinvent the wheel.Charge for the product. Digit, the popular money-saving app, took a lot of heat in 2017 when the company announced it would implement a $2.99 monthly fee. Added features did little to salve angry customers, many of whom said they’d pull their funds. A year later, CEO Ethan Bloch said Digit had helped clients set aside more than $1 billion. Digit made a decision that dramatically shifted the economics and significantly increased sustainability. If a product indeed provides value, consumers will pay for it.2. Provide value through recommendations.If the fintech startup has built significant trust with its user base, recommendations and third-party offers can be a scalable monetization strategy. Credit Karma is a great example of this. Users trust Credit Karma to provide an up-to-date, accurate credit score. This relationship is a perfect platform to suggest credit cards, loans, etc., that all flow from the quality of the user’s credit score. Every card and loan is monetized. Value for the user. Revenue for Credit Karma. Mutual alignment.3. Partner for profit.Find a partner that adds value to your platform, integrate it, and charge for it. Accounting apps are an excellent example of this. Often dependent on free software to run their books, freelancers and solopreneurs generally don’t withhold enough on their taxes. Integrating with a company such as Track could provide a path to additional revenue. Track, one of the first cohorts of nbkc bank’s partner accelerator Fountain City Fintech, uses machine learning to analyze freelancer earnings, differentiate between W-2 income, and withhold taxes. Integrating Track’s application programming interface and charging an additional fee for tax withholding and remittance could be a lucrative strategy.4. Don’t rule out tipping.The “pay what’s fair” model has picked up steam as Aspiration, and many others have brought the standard to the world of fintech. Aspiration’s product is free, and consumers can decide how much they’d like to tip. The information is not public, but according to folks close to Aspiration, the numbers are favorable compared to what similar companies make per customer.There are a lot of dynamics at play that determines which card consumers choose to use for purchases. On average, Americans have 2.6 credit cards. And credit cards generally come with much more significant rewards than debit cards. Consumers are incentivized to use the card that benefits them the most. The likelihood that a fintech startup’s card will have staying power is low.Consumers are fickle, and businesses are hard to build for the long term. The need for fintech startups to develop business models with diverse revenue streams is paramount. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … China and America want the AI Prize Title: Who … Zach Pettet Zach Pettet is VP of fintech strategy at nbkc bank, a community bank in Kansas City, Missouri, and managing director of nbkc’s accelerator, Fountain City Fintech. AI: How it’s Impacting Surveillance Data Storage A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#debit cards#Fintech Related Posts last_img read more

Exporting Video from Photoshop

first_imgIn this helpful tutorial, Richard Harrington explains how to properly export and share footage from Photoshop.While Photoshop is definitely not ideal for video editing it does offer a simple video editing interface for those who don’t need to learn a more powerful editing software. In this tutorial offered by PhotoFocus, Richard Harrington covers the following topics:Real time playback in PhotoshopLocating the render boxThe difference between using an image sequence vs. encoded mediaWhat codecs work best for the webIf  you desire to use Photoshop for high-end color grading or quick edits this tutorial will tell you everything you need to know about exporting. Many thanks to PhotoFocus for sharing this video.Interested in understanding how to edit footage in Photoshop? Head on over to Adobe where they explain the simple process.last_img read more

The Power of the Tableau Shot

first_imgPainterly staging and framing of a tableau shot can give your movie a striking visual quality. Let’s look at some examples. Top Image: Fantastic Mr. Fox via Twentieth Century FoxA tableau can be simply defined as a picture, but more specifically, and for the purposes of this article, tableau will be used to refer to the arrangement of people and objects within the confines of your cinematic frame. Now you might be thinking… doesn’t that just refer to any shot? Sure. If every frame is a painting, then every shot is a form of tableau.But the kinds of tableau shots I’ll be talking about in this article require a mastery of composition and staging that point back to a time in history before our current inundation with moving pictures, when theater and paintings were reigned. A well-done tableau shot is the type of artful image that you wouldn’t mind framing and hanging on your living room wall.The Grand Budapest Hotel via Fox SearchlightWes AndersonMuch has been written of Wes Anderson’s symmetrical perfectionism and center-point framing in which characters often face the camera head on. These elements of composition, along with an obsession for every possible visual detail, are important for developing a striking tableau style.The origins of Wes Anderson’s framing inclinations owe a debt to the theatrical tradition of tableau vivant, a form of staging in which an assortment of actors would stand frozen in a picturesque pose in front of an audience. The overall effect of any given tableau vivant would end up looking like a three-dimensional painting. In fact, tableau vivants would often be used to recreate classical paintings.Nightwatching via ContentFilm internationalPeter GreenawayPeter Greenaway is an important, modern practitioner of the tableau vivant and makes clear use of the technique in Nightwatching, a film in which Greenaway staged an analysis of Rembrandt’s famous painting, The Night Watch, in an effort to uncover a murderer.This interesting film isn’t Greenaway’s first foray into the tableau shot. He has used tableau shots throughout his career in striking films such as A Zed & Two Noughts and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover.The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover via AllartsIn watching the films of Peter Greenaway and Wes Anderson, one will immediately find an aesthetic affinity between the two filmmakers. While it is likely that Greenaway influenced Anderson, it is perhaps safer to say that both filmmakers undeniably share a mutual respect for the painterly, theatrical origins of the tableau vivant and have sought to express their own cinematic variations that sometimes employ a moving camera.A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence via Roy Andersson Filmproduktion ABRoy AnderssonTableau shots with camera movement are great to watch, but it is even more impressive when a filmmaker manages to create feature films comprised almost entirely of static tableau shots, as the Swedish director Roy Andersson has done with last three films. These meticulously crafted films include Songs From the Second Floor, You, the Living, and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence.With these films, Andersson has created filmic paintings with a remarkable attention to practical craft, a technique which can often get overlooked in a media world filled with digital effects. Andersson has an awareness of blocking, depth, color, and stillness that is truly astounding. Andersson does almost all of his effects in camera and treats each of his characters and sets as if it were an element of an elaborately composed painting.From Anderson, Greenaway, and Andersson we can get a sense of the tableau shot as it has been put to powerful use over the last thirty years. However, these filmmakers are not alone in their mastery of the tableau shot.The tradition of the masterful tableau shot goes back through cinematic history with important voices ranging from Chantal Akerman to Sergei Parajanov. The tableau shot can even be tracked to the earliest days of cinema itself with the Lumiere brothers and their one shot, one-minute long, actuality films.Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay 1080 Brussels via The Criterion CollectionSetting up Your Own Tableau ShotLet’s break down some considerations when you are setting up your own tableau shot.1. LocationSelect a location that will enable a complex and interesting arrangement of your characters. When it comes to the tableau shot, the set is your stage and will play heavily upon the impressiveness of your tableau shot.The Color of Pomegranates via Kino Video2. Avoid HandheldThis does not mean that a tableau shot cannot be achieved through the use of handheld camera work, but a masterful tableau shot requires precision. The filmmakers mentioned above have an obsession with symmetry and precise composition as achieved through the use of a supportive camera apparatus (tripod, dolly, jib).Rembrandt’s J’Accuse via ContentFilm International3. ArrangePosition your characters in the frame while keeping foreground and background elements in mind. Remember that you are working in the X, Y, and Z-axes. If you are stumped or need inspiration on how to block your characters, look at old paintings.The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting via Institut National de l’Audiovisuel (INA)4. ComposeSet up a shot that includes as much visual information as possible without overloading your viewer. There is a fine line between a “busy” or “over-crowded” frame and a truly masterful tableau shot. Consider the amount of time it takes to “read” the visual information in your image.A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence via Roy Andersson Filmproduktion AB5. MovementWhen the information within your frame overfloweth, it may be time to move your camera to accommodate. Depending on your stylistic inclinations, use a tracking, dolly, tilt, or panning shot to convey the visual information of your tableau shot to your viewers.Wes Anderson on the set of Fantastic Mr. Fox  via TheTrackingBoardTo conclude, make sure that a tableau shot fits within the overall stylistic approach of your movie. In this article, I’ve focused on ways that the tableau shot can visually dazzle the viewer, but it is important to note that if used carelessly or inconsistently, the tableau shot can actually distract and distance the viewer from the emotion of your story.Keep this in mind as you plan out your movie. May the power of the tableau shot be with you.What are your favorite examples of the tableau shot? Share in the comments below!last_img read more

Provision of Electricity Opens Opportunities for Communities –Energy Minister

first_img Addressing a National Energy Solutions Limited (NESol) ceremony to officially commission electricity service to the Park Lee and Ridge Pen communities in Mountainside, South West St. Elizabeth, on August 18, Dr. Wheatley said getting electricity to the community should also be viewed as mission accomplished, following a commitment he made to the residents early last year. “By bringing electricity here we are opening the doors and providing opportunities for the people,” the Minister said. He told the residents that following representation from Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, Hon. Floyd Green, a community access point (CAP) will soon be opened in the area. Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the provision of electricity in communities which were previously without the service forms part of the Government’s push to create economic opportunities for everyone. Story Highlights Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Dr. the Hon. Andrew Wheatley, says the provision of electricity in communities which were previously without the service forms part of the Government’s push to create economic opportunities for everyone.Addressing a National Energy Solutions Limited (NESol) ceremony to officially commission electricity service to the Park Lee and Ridge Pen communities in Mountainside, South West St. Elizabeth, on August 18, Dr. Wheatley said getting electricity to the community should also be viewed as mission accomplished, following a commitment he made to the residents early last year.“By bringing electricity here we are opening the doors and providing opportunities for the people,” the Minister said.He encouraged the residents who will benefit from the electricity to remember the responsibilities which come with the service.“It is not free…it comes with responsibility, so I encourage you to be responsible and to practise energy conservation,” he said.He told the residents that following representation from Member of Parliament for South West St. Elizabeth, Hon. Floyd Green, a community access point (CAP) will soon be opened in the area.This, the Minister said, is part of the Ministry’s push to get Jamaica on the information super highway as the country works to attain its Vision 2030 developmental goals.“The community access point is to ensure that we build out a knowledge based society – a truly digital society – so that Jamaica can embrace the opportunities that are presented as the economy grows. We do not want South West St. Elizabeth to be left behind,” he said.“We want to create opportunities for young people, such as skills in animation and app development. Even in the farming communities you will be able to use technology,” the Minister added.Meanwhile, the Member of Parliament said the installation of electricity in the communities form part of efforts to restore hope for the residents.“This is part of the reason why I went into politics…to make the lives of people better. There is a lot more work to be done and we are going to ensure that we go community by community and look at the critical issues and treat with them. In this modern day Jamaica, you must have road, water and light that you can turn on. It is now a necessity,” Mr. Green said.Also addressing the ceremony was Mayor of Black River and Councillor for the Mountainside Division of the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, Derrick Sangster, who said residents of the communities are really happy that the service is being made available to them.Some 150 households in the Park Lee and Ridge Pen communities will benefit from the electricity service.last_img read more

Muhammad Ali The Mission

In 2013, our old friends at Grantland released a 30-for-30 documentary on a little-remembered moment in the life of Muhammad Ali, who died on Friday at age 74. The film, made by Amani Martin and narrated by John Legend, recounts the story of Ali’s 1990 trip to Iraq before the Gulf War, during which he negotiated with Saddam Hussein for the release of American citizens taken hostage after the invasion of Kuwait. Ali risked his reputation, health and safety for the freedom of prisoners held by Hussein as “human shields” to deter U.S. military strikes. Only six weeks after Ali brought 15 hostages back home to their relieved families, Operation Desert Storm bombarded Iraq. read more

Pollachi sexual assault Actress Sindhu calls for legalising prostitution in Tamil Nadu

first_imgAngadi Theru Sindhu.PR HandoutActress Sindhu of Angadi Theru fame has made a controversial statement after she urged for “legalising” prostitution in Tamil Nadu in wake of the Pollachi sexual assault of several women.In a video doing rounds on the internet, Sindhu has vented her anguish on the culprits and wants them to be brutally killed for their acts. “These inhumane dogs should be hanged. I can use filthy language against them, but I don’t want to damage my own reputation,” she said.”Do they deserve to live? If it had happened abroad, the culprits, by now, would have been cut into pieces. Why such severe punishment is not being brought in India to safeguard our girls,” she adds.Sindhu further demanded that prostitution should be legalised in Tamil Nadu. “Like in Hyderabad and Mumbai, it has been legalised. And very rarely we hear about rape incidents in those places. If prostitution is legalised, our girls can be considered safe to some extent, from such sexual predators,” the actress adds.However, prostitution is not legal in India under the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956.The Pollachi sex assault-cum-blackmail issue of over 60 women has come as shock to Tamil Nadu. Four persons – Senthil, Babu, Mani alias Manivannan and Vasanthakumar – have been arrested following a complaint filed by one of the victim’s family members.The FIR has been filed under sections 354A (sexual harassment), 354B (assault or use of criminal force against woman with intent to disrobe), and 392 (robbery) of the IPC; section 66E of the IT Act (violation of privacy); and section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Sexual Harassment of Women Act (sexual harassment). Now, the case has been handed over to the CBI.Coming back to Sindhu, she also puts some amount of blame on the girls for such incidents. “Don’t their parents aware of their responsibilities and know when to get their girls married? Why do they fall prey to such men? This incident should be a lesson to all of them,” Sindhu claims.last_img read more