6 September 2007The Digital Doorway project, which explores “minimally invasive education” as an alternative means of promoting wide-scale computer literacy, launched a kiosk in the village of eNtshongweni to the west of Durban this week, bringing to more than 150 the number of terminals installed since the programme began.The first Digital Doorway – a free-standing multimedia computer terminal with a keyboard and a touchpad embedded in a robust kiosk, accessible to the public 24 hours a day – was launched in Cwili village near Kei Mouth in the Eastern Cape’s Libode district in 2002.The project is a joint initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research and state-owned power utility Eskom.It seeks to verify results, in the South African context, of research conducted in India, through an initiative called Hole-in-the-Wall, indicating that children can acquire functional computer skills without any formal training – through their own intuition and exploration.The idea is to provide people in rural and disadvantaged areas with computer equipment, and allow them to experiment and learn with minimal external input.Speaking in eNtshongweni this week, Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena said the fact that only around 20% of SA’s approximately 30 000 schools had at least one computer was appalling, which was why his department had set aside R48-million to deploy 170 Digital Doorway kiosks countrywide by the end of 2007.Digital Doorway terminals have been opened in four schools and in the municipality offices in eNtshongweni, which has a population of approximately 8 500 people with about 1 800 households.“This roll out of the project will give communities in rural and peri-urban areas the opportunity to become computer literate and access information,” Mangena said.Doorway to informationThe Digital Doorway computer terminals house regular word-processing software for typing of letters or messages, and carry mathematics, science, music and language applications, an HIV/Aids presentation, Internet and e-mail access, and entry-level versions of Microsoft Word and Excel.They are configured to simulate actual computer usage conditions, and include multimedia capabilities to ensure an enriching learning experience for users.Observations show that the Cwili Digital Doorway is used from as early as 5am until approximately 9.30pm, with groups of six to 10 children, both boys and girls, aged between nine and 15, regularly using the computer.Within a month of installation, about 60% of the village’s children had already taught each other basic computer functions, including the ability to drag icons, re-arrange windows and open applications.A number of young adults, mainly males, also use the Cwili kiosk, though they prefer using it in the evenings “after work”, when there are fewer people around and “the kids have finished playing”.The most popular programmes for the Cwili children have been the educational programmes as well as the music programme, while the older groups prefer the Internet and Word, as well as the music.CSIR business unit icomtek, which is responsible for the pilot implementation and evaluation of the project, has redesigned the Digital Doorway unit using Open Source software. The server PC runs on FreeBSD, providing a stable operating system, while the user PC uses DEBIAN Linux – for easy upgrading of applications and enhanced security – and KDE, a graphical manager which support indigenous languages.icomtek specialises in information and communication technology projects which are geared to development and societal needs. These include human language technologies, using Open Source as a platform for creative expression, and easy learning in a multilingual environment.In addition, the terminals are equipped with satellite receivers and general packet radio service (GPRS) cellular data technology for updating content and to monitor user feedback.SouthAfrica.info reporter and BuaNews Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
2 August 2012As the London Olympic Games continue to mesmerize the world, new research from consultancy Grant Thornton shows that businesses in South Africa and other emerging markets recognise the ability of big sporting events to attract investment to their economies.According to Grant Thornton’s International Business Report, 78% of South African business leaders believe that big sporting events are key to attracting investment.This is even higher than the positive sentiment following South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, when 73% of local businesses felt that the event’s overall economic impact was a positive one.South Africans, Brazilians bullish“These new figures really indicate how important a major sporting event can be for an economy,” Gillian Saunders, head of advisory services at Grant Thornton South Africa, said in a statement ahead of last week’s Olympic opening ceremony. “For South African businesses to still recognise this economic knock-on from 2010 is testament to this fact.”In Latin America, according to the report, almost three-quarters (74%) of business leaders believe major sporting events are important in attracting investment to their economy, with 83% of Brazilian businesses expecting a positive impact on their economy from the 2014 Fifa World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games.Across the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – taken together, over half (54%) of business leaders hold this view, according to Grant Thornton.By contrast, far fewer businesses in the European Union (42%) and North America (44%) believe in the ability of big sporting events to attract investment, dropping to just over one in three (36%) in the G7 countries (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US).‘Global shop window’ for emerging countries“Holding a major sporting event gives an emerging country – often a less well known market with perceived challenges – a global shop window, allowing it to market what it has to offer to a massive worldwide audience,” Saunders said.“For more established economies, international sporting competitions are still a great opportunity, but are just one element of a much bigger ongoing offensive to attract investment.“The message is clear: if international sporting bodies want to make a positive impact on host countries’ economies, they should choose developing nations as hosts more often.”It’s also more often the case that developed economies will have the venues, transport and technology infrastructure already in place for any major event, Saunders argued. Capital investment to build new infrastructure was therefore much more limited in these economies, compared with the level of investment required in emerging markets, as was seen in South Africa in the build-up to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.London in the spotlightWith London currently in the spotlight, two-thirds (61%) of UK business leaders believe that big sporting events will have a positive impact on the economy. In a similar vein, the UK government anticipates that the London Olympics will bring £13-billion of economic benefits over the next four years – £6-billion in the form of foreign direct investment.“A big part of winning the race to host big international sporting events is convincing the public and businesses that the benefits will outweigh the obvious costs,” Saunders said. “Our research suggests that developed economies have to work a lot harder than emerging economies to make a convincing case.”The research also indicates that business leaders in those economies that have recently held, or are soon to hold, major sporting events are more bullish about the investment they bring.The exception to this is China, where the legacy of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing remains unclear, probably because it occurred during a massive economic boom in a large economy, so that its impact was less in relative terms.SAinfo reporter
A first look at the GoPro Karma, the new Hero5 action camera, and a handheld stabilizer.Top image via Konrad Iturbe GoPro recently teased a September 19th announcement of their very secretive Karma drone. Take a look at the teaser here.Up until this point, we haven’t had any idea about the look or size of the drone. GoPro even went through the lengths of digitally removing the Karma drone from a previous teaser video. Now that we have entered the era of commercialized drone footage, GoPro was quick to bring their anticipated Karma drone back into the headlines.The Verge reported that “GoPro might have accidentally given us our first look at its Karma drone” with an early update to the company’s Italian website. Konrad Iturbe snagged the following photo and posted it to Twitter.Image via Konrad IturbeAs far as specs for the Karma drone, little is still known. More will be revealed come September 19th.This isn’t the first leak for GoPro, as the company also accidentally released a manual and tutorial video for the Hero5 back in August. Coincidentally, a quick video that was uploaded to Vimeo also came from Konrad Iturbe.The Hero5 ditches the front power and menu button for a touchscreen rear display. It is reportedly waterproof right out of the box, not requiring any additional housing. The Hero5 will also supposedly have voice control, GPS, and updated image stabilization for all resolutions under 60fps — except 4K.In addition to these specs, GoPro will also announce their new cloud service — GoPro Plus. The service would allow users to upload footage automatically from virtually anywhere.Finally, the above mentioned leaked image gives a glance at GoPro’s own handheld stabilizer. One that will compete with hundreds of third-party stabilizers designed for action cameras. DJI has done the same with the Osmo, recently adding a mobile phone adapter. GoPro’s stabilizer doesn’t seem to be anything revolutionary from the photo, but it’s a smart move for GoPro to enter this market — though they should have done so years before.
The Congress-led Madhya Pradesh government has approved a proposal to amend the cow protection law and award jail terms ranging from six months to five years to those who indulge in violence in the name of cow vigilantism.The proposal to amend the MP Cow Progeny Slaughter Prevention Act, 2004, was cleared at a cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Kamal Nath on Wednesday, a source said.State Animal Husbandry Minister Lakhan Singh Yadav also confirmed that the proposal to amend the cow slaughter prevention law has been cleared.The State government is likely to introduce the proposed Bill before the Assembly during its monsoon session beginning July 8.If the amendment is cleared by the Assembly, those who indulge in violence in the name of cow vigilantism would face a jail term of six months to three years and attract a fine of ₹25,000 to ₹50,000 or both, the source said. The punishment will be extended to a minimum of one-year and maximum five years in case a mob is involved in such violence.Besides, the proposed amendment also seeks to double the punishment for repeat offenders, the source said.It also seeks to punish those who abet such violence with an imprisonment of one year to three years. People who damage property will also be punished.The development to tweak the 2004 law has come following the thrashing of a Muslim man and a woman on suspicion of carrying beef in Madhya Pradesh’s Seoni district last month.
London: Singer Ellie Goulding has tied the knot with fiance Caspar Jopling in a lavish wedding ceremony. Goulding, 32, and Jopling, 27, got married at the gothic York Minster Cathedral in Yorkshire, England, reported BBC. Among the guests who attended the ceremony were celebrities like Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom, James Blunt, Sienna Miller, Jo Wicks, and comedian Jimmy Carr. Goulding wore a white custom Chloe gown. She pulled up in a flower-adorned blue Volkswagen minivan to cheers with her long veil over her face. The singer started dating Jopling, the New York-based art dealer, in April, 2017.
APTN National NewsJane Gray, with the First Nations Regional Health Survey, joined APTN National News anchor Michael Hutchinson from Ottawa to discuss the results of a multi-decade survey on ‘on-reserve’ suicide statistics.
Register Now » 3 min read This story originally appeared on Reuters President Barack Obama’s executive action on immigration is expected to include some modest changes to make it easier for technology companies to retain high-skilled workers frustrated by long and unpredictable waits for green cards.But the major overhaul that the tech sector is seeking of the visa and green card system would require action by Congress. For now at least, the prospects for legislation appear to be slim.Obama has pledged take executive action on immigration by year-end and could act as early as next Friday. Lobbyists for tech companies said they have not seen details about the fixes. But based on the options the tech sector pitched to the administration, they are expecting only incremental changes.”We’d be grateful for anything, really, because the situation is that severe,” said Emily Lam, a vice president with the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a trade group that represents more than 375 employers.”The true fix really has to be legislative, anything within their power is really going to be tweaking on the sides. It doesn’t solve the fundamental issues,” she said.One big reform that requires legislation: lifting the annual cap for H1B visas for specialized technology workers that last for up to six years.The United States loses about 500,000 jobs per year because of those limits, according to estimates from Compete America, a coalition representing tech giants including Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft.Most changes within Obama’s powers are aimed at easing the transition for workers moving from H1B visas to greencards.For example, lobbyists think the administration could finalize a regulation announced in May that would give work permits to spouses of some skilled immigrants with temporary visas.The most ambitious proposal for tech would speed up long wait lists for green cards for employees on temporary H1B visas by changing the way their spouses and children are counted under an annual cap of 140,000.But several lobbyists told Reuters they were not optimistic that the proposal would be accepted due to fears by some lawyers it could be challenged in court.”I think some of it will be band-aids,” said one industry lobbyist. “While they’re little fixes, it creates a bigger political problem,” the lobbyist said.The fear is that bigger legislative fixes for business could get caught up in an explosive political war between Republicans and Obama over relief for undocumented immigrants, prolonging the needed changes.(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bernard Orr) Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. November 17, 2014