Sharks coach discusses Haley’s role: “we’re going to play him”

first_imgPITTSBURGH — Micheal Haley’s “vacation” is over. On Thursday, he’ll get back at work, rejoining the Sharks lineup after a two-year sabbatical with the Florida Panthers.In a span of just 72 hours, Haley went from being the castaway of a non-playoff team to landing a spot in the lineup of a squad that’s a top contender for the Stanley Cup.  After getting waived by the Panthers on Tuesday, Haley got picked up by his former-team on Wednesday, getting inserted into the lineup immediately for …last_img read more

South Africa gives assistance to Malawi

first_img30 April 2012 South Africa has agreed to extend a loan of US$35-million to the government of Malawi to help with the availability of fuel in that country, following a meeting between President Jacob Zuma and new Malawian President Joyce Banda. The loan will be made in three installments, with the first, of $10-million, having been paid on 24 April. South African has also committed to giving Malawi logistical assistance when it hosts the next African Union summit in July. Banda met Zuma in Pretoria on Friday during her first official visit to South Africa following her inauguration earlier this month. Zuma commended Banda and the people of Malawi for the peaceful transfer of power following the passing of Banda’s predecessor, President Bingu wa Mutharika, on April 5 Banda used the opportunity to brief Zuma about the socio-economic challenges facing Malawi, especially in the form of fuel and forex reserve shortages. “Both Zuma and Banda reiterated their commitment to … enhancing cooperation between the business communities of the two countries, as well as increasing trade and investment,” the Department of International Relations and Co-operation said in a statement on the weekend. “In the same vein, both countries agreed to encourage people-to-people contacts through cultural, scientific and educational exchange programmes and tourism.” The two presidents expressed satisfaction with the current state of bilateral cooperation between the two countries, which is conducted within the framework of a joint permanent commission for cooperation. The next session of the commission will be held in South Africa in June, the department said. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

U2U makes data more accessible to farmers

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Researchers at nine universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture are celebrating the completion of a six-year, $5 million program that reinvented the way climate scientists connect with farmers.The Useful to Usable (U2U) project aimed to mold existing climate data into relevant products for the agricultural community. Project participants first learned about the type of climate data that farmers employ when making growing decisions on their farms and how they employ that data. The team used those insights to develop products that would help farmers determine what, when and where to plant, as well as how to manage crops to maximize yields with eyes on limiting negative effects on the environment.Purdue University’s Linda Prokopy, a professor of natural resource social science and U2U lead project director, and Melissa Widhalm, U2U project manager, led a team of nearly four dozen faculty, staff and students from partnering universities. Many of the team’s findings were published early online in a special issue of the journal Climate Risk Management slated for March release.Researchers started by building relationships with farmers and those they work with to understand how they go about making strategic business decisions. The team found that the best way to reach those farmers was through people who already have their ear — and their respect — such as crop advisors.“It’s really important to listen,” Prokopy said. “We started at the other end and asked what people want and how to deliver that with scientific credibility. We were able to develop tools that were actually useful to them and usable by them.”Those tools cover a wide range of climate issues with which farmers deal. Examples include AgClimate ViewDST, which offers users access to historical climate and crop yield data for the Corn Belt, including monthly temperature and precipitation, and plots corn and soybean yield trends; Corn GDDDST, which gives growers current and historical measurements of heat accumulation that help predict plant development rates and maturity dates; the Corn Split NDST tool, which helps farmers and advisors manage application of in-field nitrogen to maximize crop yields with the least environmental damage; the Irrigation InvestmentDST, which uses historical weather and crop model data along with farm-specific economic data to explore the profitability of installing irrigation equipment across the Corn Belt; and Climate Patterns ViewerDST, which helps growers make more informed farm management decisions during different phases of the El Niño Southern Oscillation and Arctic Oscillation.The team was able to take the tools on the road, showcasing them at more than 150 Extension and other events across the Corn Belt, to present them to potential users and listen to feedback to improve those and future tools.“We wanted to make sure we weren’t creating tools that were just ignored,” Widhalm said. “Just because the information is out there doesn’t mean people are using it.”Many papers were published in a wide range of scientific journals over the course of the project in fields from biophysical and climate sciences to social sciences and economics, but the special issue of Climate Risk Management will give the team an opportunity pull together some of the key elements of U2U.“This was our chance to really put a lot of the findings from all of the different disciplines in one space so we could show the breadth of the accomplishments of the U2U project,” Prokopy said.The USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture funded the U2U project. Team members came from: Purdue University, Iowa State University, Michigan State University, South Dakota State University, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, University of Wisconsin, the High Plains Regional Climate Center, the Midwestern Regional Climate Center and the National Drought Mitigation Center.This project was supported by the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grant no. 2011-68002-30220 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.last_img read more

Fun: FirstFollower Identifies Any Twitter User’s First Follower

first_imgWho was the first person to follow you on Twitter? According to the app FirstFollower.com, mine was someone I never followed back until today! Chances are you’re already following your first follower, but you probably don’t remember who they are and it’s interesting to find out.Built by Russian developer Victor Babichev, FirstFollower appears to perform a function that’s relatively simple but in a much faster way than you can do manually. You could scroll back page by oddly numbered page through a person’s Followers list, but now this handy little app will do it for you. It’s also a very interesting way to find people who are close friends in real-life of Twitter users you admire.It’s hard to know for sure how accurate the service is, particularly since Twitter changed the way it displays followers earlier this year, but Twitter founder @ev is said to have been followed first by @dom, one of the handful of people credited with creating Twitter in the first place.The first person to follow @barackobama? Cori Schlegel, a contract web developer who’s worked on several projects for tech journalist Steve Gillmor and probably a good guy to know.See also: The Inner Circles of 10 Geek Heroes on Twitter Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification marshall kirkpatrick A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Related Posts The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Did you know that Mary Hodder was the first follower of both chronic innovator Chris Messina’s new Twitter account and our own Alex Williams? That’s enough to make you think that anyone Mary follows in the future deserves a close look.Fun and useful! What more could you ask for from a lightweight little Twitter app? This is just a small example of the kind of social graph analysis that’s made possible by Twitter’s relatively open user data.Don’t forget to come make friends with us at ReadWriteWeb on Twitter! Tags:#Product Reviews#social networks#web last_img read more

Instagram Comes Of Age: Thank Hurricane Sandy & The Election

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit For its Instagramming the Election feature The New York Times is using the Storify interface to display hand-curated, user-generated images tagged with #NYTelection. That the nation’s 161-year-old newspaper of record is utilizing a 2-year-old social network to solicit reader-submitted photography is a testament not just to Instagram’s explosive growth, but to its rapid rise to legitimacy. When the app first landed in the App Store, it was something many professional photographers frowned upon. That began to change only within the last year or so. At the Online News Association (ONA) conference in September, educator and popular Instagrammer Richard Koci Hernandez led a panel about how media organizations can use Instagram, trying his best to explode the myth that doing so was somehow “cheating.” His audience was mostly receptive, but not everybody at ONA was sold on Instagram as a tool for news publishers.Across the industry, it’s still something media outlets are figuring out what to do with, and the payoff is not immediately clear. Still, with more than 100 million users and its prominence in two recent historic events, Instagram is now officially impossible to ignore.   It wasn’t just the sheer volume of Sandy photos that made this significant. For the first time, the mobile photo-sharing service was being used and talked about during a major news event – the same way Twitter has been for years. Twitter and Facebook remained every bit as chatty as they’ve tended to be during events like this. But the uniquely visual nature of Instagram lent itself perfectly to a news event that was all about images – from flooded city streets and ransacked store shelves to the eerily dark Manhattan skyline. For the most part, these image were authentic, even if some were mis-tagged and off-topic. Perhaps because it’s so closely tied to the functionality of actual cameras, Instagram was less of a breeding ground for deceitfully Photoshopped images than social networks that exist on the desktop first. It was still entirely possible to get fake photos onto Instagram, but not as effortlessly as they could be posted to Twitter or Facebook.Instagramming The ElectionElection day was another watershed moment for Instagram. As Americans headed to the polls to get their free “I Voted” stickers, many were whipping out their smartphones and documenting everything from long lines to their own ballot (which may or may not be legal). The last time we had a presidential election in the United States, the iPhone was a year old, Android was brand new and there was no such thing as an iPad. Instagram was still two years away from being launched. How things have changed in four years.  The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos john paul titlowcenter_img Tags:#2012 election#hurricane sandy#Instagram#mobile photography#social media Instagram is all grown up. Not just because it now has a big, publicly-traded parent company. Nor am I referring to its unprecedentedly rapid user growth or new Web-based user profiles. In just the last few weeks, something significant has happened. Instagram became a mainstream social network, checked by everyday users during major news events and embraced by media outlets who previously weren’t sure what to make of it. If there was a watershed moment in Instagram’s rise to mainstream legitimacy, it was the arrival of Hurricane Sandy last week. As the superstorm wreaked havoc upon New York and New Jersey, Instagram saw a record-breaking ten photos posted every second. Before long, more than 800,000 images were tagged #sandy, leading to what CEO Kevin Systrom called “the single largest event taking place that was captured on Instagram.” Instagram’s Twitter Moment Related Posts Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verificationlast_img read more

Waymo tests self-driving minivans in Death Valley

first_imgSelf-driving cars are going to be fitted with a whole lot of sensors, chips, and other electronics, so it makes sense to check that all of this works in extreme environments.That’s why Waymo sent its self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans to California’s Death Valley this summer, which has the highest recorded temperature in the world, at 134F.See Also: Google narrows case against Uber as court date nearsWaymo had already conducted “extensive tests” in an aerothermal wind tunnel prior to the trip, which is able to mimic extreme heat and cold. After almost a year of controlled environment tests, it gave the green light to the heat-seeking journey.The minivan took a road trip from Davis Dam to Las Vegas to Death Valley, testing the car at each step of the way. Davis Dam has steep desert roads, Las Vegas has long waits in traffic, and Death Valley is the ultimate extreme heat test.From Tahoe to the desertAutomakers have conducted extreme weather tests for decades, but the self-driving car provides more worries, as most of the electronics produce their own heat. Waymo did not say if it has added any other features to the car to reduce the heat or better ventilate the car.Waymo carried out similar tests at low temperatures in Lake Tahoe earlier this year.Even though the self-driving cars are not for sale, Waymo is letting people test the cars in Phoenix, Arizona. Before too long, that may turn into a ride-sharing or shuttle platform, available in many U.S. cities. It may be looking to have everything covered before riders start paying for their rides. Tags:#Alphabet#Autonomous#California#Death Valley#driverless#Google#Internet of Things#IoT#Self-Driving#Waymo David Curry Related Posts IT Trends of the Future That Are Worth Paying A…center_img For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In… Break the Mold with Real-World Logistics AI and… 5 Ways IoT can Help to Reduce Automatic Vehicle…last_img read more

‘Baba’ held for rape of minor

first_imgA baba, or faith healer, arrested in Guwahati on Thursday for allegedly raping and impregnating a 15-year-old last year has turned out to be the equivalent of an MLA in an autonomous council.The police on Friday produced Ghanashyam Das, referred to as babaji by his followers, before a local court, which ordered his judicial custody for 14 days. The man had been on the run after the minor girl, who he was to cure, delivered a girl on April 8 at a private hospital. The hospital reported the case to 181 Women Helpline.“We found out that he is an MCLA (Member Council Legislative Assembly) after arresting him on Thursday from the Noonmati area,” Pallav Tamuli, Assistant Commissioner of Police, told The Hindu.Das, in his mid-fifties, is one of 40 MCLAs in the Bodoland Territorial Council that administers four districts of north-central and western Assam. He represents the Dihira constituency in Baksa district for the Ana-Bodo Suraksha Samity, a front of non-Bodo (tribal) communities.“We have sought DNA profiling of the accused,” Mr. Tamuli said.Police said the victim, from Assam’s Sonitpur, was working as a domestic help at the house of a bank officer. She told counsellors that her employer had taken her to the babaji as she was unwell, where she was raped.Miguel Das Queah, a government-appointed support person for cases related to Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012, said the victim’s employers admitted her to a private hospital in an advanced stage of pregnancy on April 7. The hospital discharged her on April 17. The girl and the baby have since then been staying at a State Home for Women.last_img read more

Crucial CWG file goes missing from OC office

first_imgAfter accusing organising committee (OC) chief Suresh Kalmadi and his aide Lalit Bhanot of creating hindrances in the probe, the investigating agencies now claim that some crucial documents which could throw light on the deals related to Commonwealth Games (CWG) have gone missing.Sources told Headlines Today that the contractual obligations and authorisation files related to the Queen’s Baton Relay are not available. They said that Gen Raj Kadiyan was bypassed on arrangements for the relay.The probe agencies fear that the absent documents could have either been destroyed or hidden.The revelation came during a series of searches carried out by a team of 20-30 sleuths at the OC office and its secretary general Lalit Bhanot’s residence in November. In order to get a grip on the investigation process, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would approach sports ministry for the removal of Kalmadi and Bhanot.CBI Director A.P. Singh had earlier this month written to Union Cabinet Secretary K.M. Chandrashekar urging the immediate removal of Kalmadi and Bhanot from their posts in the OC.It was earlier reported in September that a crucial file containing information on Mahendroo’s record of service and details of his trips to the UK for the baton relay had gone missing from the OC office.A number of agencies — Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI — are on the look out to nail the perpetrators who indulged in irregularities during the mega sporting event held in October 2010.advertisementThe CBI has so far filed three FIRs in connection with the alleged irregularities in CWG and searched the residences of OC director general V.K. Verma and Bhanot on November 30.While one case is related to a Rs 107-crore deal struck with a Swiss score keeping firm, the agency had registered two other FIRs for the contracting of AM Films for the Baton Relay ceremonies by the OC in London.The CBI had arrested OC’s joint director general T.S. Darbari and deputy director general Sanjay Mohindroo for their alleged complicity in these deals.last_img read more

It’s all in the economy

first_imgThe French politician who formally congratulated the mayor of Paris for losing the 2012 Olympics bid to London made perfect sense. The straitjacket of security, he explained, would drive summer tourists away from London towards grateful France. Paris would get the holiday business while London paid the 9 billion-pound bill,The French politician who formally congratulated the mayor of Paris for losing the 2012 Olympics bid to London made perfect sense. The straitjacket of security, he explained, would drive summer tourists away from London towards grateful France. Paris would get the holiday business while London paid the 9 billion-pound bill for the effete glory of a forgettable media event. Win-win for the Eiffel Tower.Boris Johnson, mayor of London, who has delivered all Olympics facilities within budget and a year ahead without being accused of anything more corrupt than an occasional ogle, must have sneered and chortled in response. But there is a major philosophical lesson to be learnt about fate. The lucky, win. The truly lucky know when to lose.A very powerful Congress leader, his demeanour touched by a faraway wistful look, whispered a fantasy to me the other day: that the Congress had chosen to sit in Opposition after winning 206 seats in the summer of 2009. Some crumbly structure would perforce have made a grab for power, doubtless with former Congress allies like DMK queuing up for the telecom ministry as their price for support to a BJP prime minister. Within weeks the whole lot would have been compromised at bargain rates, since they would be trading in used goods. Suresh Kalmadi would have welcomed the return of this version of NDA, since he could have bought out their bigwigs with nothing more expensive than the occasional first class ticket to a sports jamboree. This government would have either sought to sabotage investigations into both the Commonwealth Games and 2G spectrum, or defended them on some silly technical ground, leaving the quiet but well-fed Congress on a high moral plateau. The rackety NDA government would have collapsed in derisive confusion; Congress would win a clear majority in the winter 2011 general elections and Rahul Gandhi would be sworn in as the undisputed prime minister.advertisementThe BJP should be feeling extraordinarily pleased that it lost the last general elections.In 2004 the BJP was unprepared for defeat; but then no ruling party is ever ready for bad news. In 2009 the BJP was unprepared for victory, which is less forgivable. The fault lay not in any individual, but in a more basic flaw: it had not still fully absorbed the extent to which the Indian voter had shifted from an emotional agenda to an economic ambition. In 2009 some of the more media-magnetic BJP campaigners were still behaving as if they were on the sets of a 1950s Bollywood historical melodrama. That age had, paradoxically, exhausted itself with the culmination of the Ram temple movement; once the mosque at Ayodhya was destroyed, it took its emotions along with it. The BJP lost the Assembly elections of 1993 in the very heartland that had sustained its most powerful emotional appeal; Digvijaya Singh became chief minister of Madhya Pradesh that year.Two general election defeats have created a double benefit for the BJP. The voter is ready to empathise again, feeling that enough punishment has been meted out. And the party understands that serious correctives are essential if the show is to go on. The first is happening. There is a visible rise in the BJP vote across the north. The party could shock its enemies and surprise its friends in the next Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections. It has stemmed the bleed in Madhya Pradesh and returned to form in Rajasthan, while remaining steadily ahead in Gujarat. The correctives are still a work in progress. Nitin Gadkari’s principal task over the next year will be to put together a viable economic policy for the party which the voter can assess, measure and then identify with.Why has the Congress slipped? Corruption is the easy answer, but not a complete one. The voter is angry about the theft of public money, of course. But he is truly livid at the fact that corruption has derailed economic growth. The first is sufficient cause for the visible and escalating concern that we see around us; the second can lay the seeds for insurrection. The Indian industrialist is talking through his bank account, investing abroad rather than at home. The worker is seeing the gains for which he abandoned the culture of strikes, being frittered away. There is confusion in villages as the landowner demands a share in that fixed lottery called land prices.Protest is a legitimate part of any Opposition’s duty, but that alone cannot convert the BJP into a ruling party. It has to rise above protest and become an alternative; from a trade union into the management structure that the shareholders of democracy can hire when the present management is voted out.advertisementIt tells us something when the language of business becomes perfectly applicable to the business of contemporary politics.last_img read more

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas twinning in white is just what summers are all about

first_imgPriyanka Chopra has grabbed the attention of one and all, not just because of her frequent appearances with boyfriend Nick Jonas but also because of her classy fashion choices.The actress has been giving us some summer-dressing goals of late – from the chequered skirt and top she wore on her dinner date to the chic red shirt dress she stepped out wearing, in New York.This time, PeeCee showed us how white is just the ideal colour of the season.Priyanka and Nick were recently spotted twinning in white. While Nick wore a sleeveless white T-shirt, the actress teamed the same with a pair of denim shorts. Picture courtesy: Instagram/ttalkiesSporting a top knot, the actress looked sassy with a dark lip shade and a pair of shades elevating her look further. She teamed her ensemble with a pair of white shoes.Priyanka’s love for white was proved, once again, when she arrived in India recently in a loose white shirt and white ripped jeans. Priyanka Chopra arrives in India in an all-white ensemble.The fashionista’s ensemble exuded a perfect combination of comfort and style, while the pair of beige pumps saved the all-white look from being monotonous.The actress left her hair loose, and strutted out sporting a pair of shades and dark lip colour.Also See: All the times Priyanka Chopra aced the date-night look with Nick Jonas Also Watch: Let Priyanka Chopra teach you how to dress easy this summerlast_img read more