10 Quick Fixes to make Better Video

first_imgIf you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking I’m so sick of seeing boring, badly-made videos, aren’t you? And not just on YouTube! We live in the age of fast consumption where video is everywhere from LinkedIn lives (yes they’re a thing now), to facebook cover videos. This should be great news for me because I love video! I love being engrossed in great stories and I love the way film and video gives me glimpse into how other people see the world. What I don’t love is watching a boring video in the hope that the point is coming.., soon.So here are my Top Ten Tips on how to make your video one that people will enjoy watching: 1. Don’t be a BORING Talking HeadPerhaps you want to tell the viewer about yourself or your product or service. Some people will simply turn to the camera and give a fully exhaustive description of their offering and their ‘Why’ (which often involves a long and detailed story). The resulting video shows a face talking at the viewer for many minutes – what we call a “talking head”. While the face might be beautiful, friendly or animated, nobody wants to stare at a face for that long – it’s BORING!!A2. This depends on my day I think. I understand no one wants a boring talking head for minutes & minutes #chatsnap pic.twitter.com/pO4yqiRvMd— ???? ?????? (@breepalm) June 8, 2016Obviously, being brief will help (see tip number ten) but another fix is to mix it up a little. Staring at someone’s face can be uncomfortably intense and humans are hard-wired to pay attention to anything that’s moving – a survival instinct we’ve retained from prehistoric times. To hold people’s attention you must show them something new every 15 seconds or so. That can be a cutaway shot, a change of angle, or simply pulling back from the camera to show it something other than your face (e.g., some props).For edited pieces, film some cutaway shots which can be inserted strategically (aka B-Roll). This may include footage that explains or illustrates a point, details from the room that you’re filming in (e.g., a close-up of that interesting painting behind the person speaking) or details of the speaker such as a close up of their ear as they brush a strand of hair behind it, their hands clasped on the table before them, crossed feet where maybe one foot is wagging or tapping, a wrist as someone adjusts their watch, etc. Think about how when you’re talking with someone, you’ll often look away from their face perhaps noticing their jewellery, or glancing out the window and try to replicate these momentary distractions in film. 2. Bin the Script and Get RealWhen doing a piece to camera, it’s great to have a plan and a good idea of what you’re going to talk about, with a quick route to the point you want to make. However, if you know the exact words you’re going to say, then you’ll just sound wooden and over-rehearsed. Most of us aren’t actors and we can’t read a script while still coming across as authentic and natural – that’s why Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks are on the big money, their talent is rare.Another mistake is placing written notes nearby in case you “get stuck”. This is a bad idea because when you glance at your notes, that eye-movement is exaggerated by the camera and portrays you as being insincere. Conversely, if you did become stuck, then you’d actually come across as being more authentic in the viewers’ eyes for your stumble. Tripping up on camera is actually better than trying to be perfect.3. Check the BackgroundIn film-making we say mise-en-scène which literally means to set the stage. When you present a video to your audience, every little thing in your scene becomes a part of the message you’re conveying. So, imagine a video about healthy living where an empty pizza box is clearly visible behind the speaker – that would undermine their message and credibility. Or heaven forbid, a well-known TV show set in a fantasy medieval world might leave a disposable coffee cup in shot…-name?-Queen Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Lady of the Seven King–When your coffee’s ready they’ll just call Queen pic.twitter.com/EdqjsK6R2L— I Am Devloper (@iamdevloper) May 10, 2019I’m often asked to film people in their office, thus portraying them as professional and businesslike – but 9 times out of 10 the office is cluttered with cardboard boxes, piles of files and other bits that look anything but professional. Always ensure your space is camera ready before filming. Perhaps leave some interesting items about if they’re appropriate to the subject of the video.Un-ironed backdrops are a new issue. While backdrops are a really good idea to hide poor backgrounds, they’re prone to creasing so fix this with ironing, steaming or tension frames to get a smooth background with no mess.4. Sounds Good?Speaking of ‘background’ let’s talk background noise. Whatever recording device you use, it will pick up the noises that your brain has tuned out, e.g., the hum of a refrigerator, a fan, air conditioning or traffic. And remember that your eye is far more forgiving than you ear – we’ll tolerate poor colour, framing or focus, but add some annoying background noise and viewers will switch off.Quick Audio Fixes:Find a quiet space and pay attention to mechanical hums and noises.Close windows and doors to block out external noise.If your recording space contains smooth surfaces that sound will bounce off (e.g. a bathroom) placing a towel under the recording device will help absorb some of that bounce.Consider using a second sound recording device as back-up (e.g. a phone or iPad or a decent recorder if you have one – I’ve been known to hide zoom recorders in flower arrangements at weddings, just in case).Finally, and this is the important one, you need a good signal:noise ratio (SNR). The signal is the sound that you are trying to record (e.g., your voice) and this must be significantly louder than any background noise. For better SNR, move the mic closer to the signal and away from the noise – so if recording a voice, the mic should be as close to the face as possible and then you can turn down your levels so only the voice is audible.5. Light it Up!Lighting is important, but doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Good lighting can be as simple as opening the curtains and facing the window. Let the light shine on the face being filmed from in front or slightly to one side. When the lighting is really good, you’ll get catchlights which are the little squares of white light that appear in people’s eyes and bring your video to life.If you’re using studio lights, don’t put them too close to your face or you’ll look washed out. Diffused lights give a softer and more flattering appearance, smoothing out your skin. Watch out for ring-lights however, as if they’re too close or directly in front, they’ll cast a very unnatural catchlight.”stare into my backdrop ring-light eyes” pic.twitter.com/0nFXYuJqtz— Daniel (@Daniel_T_1985) August 25, 20186. Get a nice angleHow often have you watched a video shot from below and realised that you’re basically looking up somebody’s nostril? Nobody wants to see up your nose. Try to move the camera up to at least eye-level (or higher if you’d like to hide a soft jawline).7. Avoid illegible graphicsIf you’re filming a screen capture with voiceover be aware of the size of the text on screen. If you’re using powerpoint slides, for instance, remember that powerpoint was designed to be projected onto a large wall, whereas your video audience are probably watching on a phone. So avoid cramped areas of heavy text, space out written words, use them sparingly and ensure all fonts are both clear and HUGE!When you’re trying to make out tiny blurry writing on a screen… pic.twitter.com/1sSi37fxfg— Barbara Franzoni (@BarbaraFranzon1) July 7, 20198. Invite people in with Establishing ShotsLet your audience know where you are by starting off with a shot of your surroundings, or the front door of the building you’re in. This helps your audience to feel like they’re joining you there.9. Welcome Everyone, don’t ExcludeI’m talking here about accessibility and being careful to include people with disabilities as valuable members of your audience and customer base.Used closed or open caption for people with hearing impairments (and also for those scrolling through video with sound switched off). Captions can either be typed into your editor manually, or you can try rev.com who offer a captioning service allowing you to download an SRT file that can be uploaded to your video in YouTube – do make sure you check the file for spelling errors or misheard words before uploading.Also be aware of your vision-impaired audience, who will not be able to read all your graphics so include voice-over. For artistic pieces, you might consider adding audio description which the viewer can turn on or off (similar to closed captions). 10. Be Creative (and if you can’t be creative be brief)The best video tool you have is your creativity. Be different, be original, and use that creativity – you don’t have to be the same as anyone else. Most of all, appreciate your viewers; they have given you their time and that’s amazing! Your viewers are important people whose time is valuable so please don’t waste it by making them sit though a boring video. Think up ways to delight them with your creativity. And if you can’t be creative then please, at the very least, be BRIEF! Leave a little bit for the follow-up video.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.10 Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Homelast_img read more

Techies4TempleStreet surpasses goal of raising over €1M on fifth year

first_imgTechies 4 Temple Street, the hugely popular charity treasure trail took place last Friday, 5 July. The event was a major success and drew the largest crowd to date. The main goal for this year was to surpass €1 million raised for Temple Street Children’s Hospital over the five years, which was reached as €250,000 was raised from this year. Funds raised will help benefit over 150,000 patients who walk through the doors of CHI at Temple Street yearly.AIB returned as the lead sponsor as 165 teams competed for the title ‘Smartest Techies 2019’. The event started and ended at the RDS Arena, and culminated with a win from Zen Mob, who represented Zendesk.Sarp Solakoglu, Senior Engineer from the winning Zendesk team said, “We still cannot believe that we have won this year’s Techies4TempleStreet. There were so many amazing people who came together to have fun and raise money for a great cause. The inspiring children in Temple Street and the diversity in our team gave us the drive to win this year’s challenge. We had great fun and will be back next year to defend our crown as Zendesk.”Techies4TempleStreet is a unique team building event which is fun as well as challenging as teams from the tech and business community battle it out to answer questions and clues located all around Dublin city. Denise Fitzgerald, Chief Executive of Temple Street Foundation spoke of the hugely positive impact that Techies continues to have on Temple Street and its patients, “Techies 4 Temple Street has had – and continues to have – a truly transformative impact on our hospital with vital funds raised to support sick children and their families.This year’s funds will be put to work where they are needed most; to ensure that Temple Street patients continue to have access to the world-class equipment and facilities. Every hour of the day and night, more children and their worried families are arriving through the doors of the hospital in need of urgent, world-class care and we are immensely grateful to our Techies family of participants, sponsors and committee for bringing positive change that is felt every single day in Temple Street.”She said, “Since Techies 4 Temple Street first hit the streets of Dublin back in 2015, we’ve seen its popularity soar, with more and more people taking part every year! It is now a firm favourite in the calendar and the number of business and tech companies taking part in the event is truly amazing.“We hope to continue building on the success of Techies into the future so that sick children can continue to benefit from funds raised. This year, we set a goal of hitting the milestone of €1 million raised for Temple Street, and I can proudly say that we surpassed that amount. It’s great to see everyone come out and have a good time on the day, participating in the event, and giving back to such a worthwhile cause.”last_img read more

Mike Manchip and Adam Tarshis from Anadue appear on this episode of

first_imgI talk to Mike Manchip the CEO and founder of Anadue and Adam Tarshis the Director Of Business Development at Anadue. Mike and Adam talk about their backgrounds, why they think Bike and Scooter sharing is growing, what Anadue does, and they also talk about their Smart City product.Mike Manchip and Adam Tarshis from Anadue on the Irish Tech News Podcastlast_img

Blockchain looks to slash costs in the 100 trillion asset management sector

first_imgTokenisation of an existing fund enables it to be more relevant and suitable for younger fund buyers i.e. generation X and millennials, who are increasingly looking to buy and sell funds digitally on mobile devices without the need for face-to-face financial advice. Tokenisation can create more transparency, and it is possible to build-in stronger compliance monitoring due to automation-increased efficiency and lower transactions costs. This makes tokenisation of a fund a powerful incentive for asset managers to adopt.Potentially the additional compliance controls – using Smart Contracts – which carry out preauthorisation checks before a fund manager trades or before a client buys a fund, coupled with greater transparency and traceability to improve KYC and AML checks, make the use of Blockchain technology highly compelling.Ironically, it was concerns over the “dark web” and anonymity of Bitcoin – that uses Blockchain technology – that made regulators suspicious, and initially cautious, of this new Asset Class and the Blockchain technology. However, now we could well see Blockchain technology being actively encouraged to be implemented by these very same sceptics. “Tokenisation allows the creation of a new financial system- one that is more democratic, more efficient and more vast than anything we have seen” FundAdminChain(FAC) is looking to massively reduce the cost of administration in the asset management sector, thus making funds better value for their customers which ought to improve fund performance at the same time. FAC is using the open source Blockchain platform, R3’s Corda, with which FAC would appear to have very close links. The new CEO of FAC, Brian McNulty, was a former managing director at R3. One of the advisors for FAC is the founder of R3, David Rutter, formerly CEO of the electronic broking division of ICAP– the world’s biggest inter-dealer broker.FAC, which will be based in London, claims the asset management industry is over $100 trillionIt is building a Blockchain-powered platform giving access to IFAs/distributors, transfer agents, custodians and other intermediaries, who buy and sell units in a fund, to one common database which has military grade security. FAC claims that that for a fund manager who has £100 billion under management, its platform will save the fund manager over £30 million a year. The cost of registry, depositary and transactions will be 0.5 basis, points as opposed to the current standard 5 basis points, and FAC’s McNulty has confirmed that FAC is in discussion with 25 asset management firms ready to use its platform.There are other companies also using Blockchain technology to reduce the costs for asset managers such, as AMUN, Calstone and Funds DLT. The potential savings of using Blockchain technology are massive, at $3.4 billion a year, according to Calstone which processes over $170 billion transactions a month.FundsDLT was developed by Fundsquare, a subsidiary of the Luxemburg Stock Exchange,carried out its first test in 2017, and now boasts a number of fund managers using its platform including Credit Suisse, Banco Best(in Portugal) and AcomeA SGR(in Italy).Lowering administration costs is very much a focus for fund managers as they continue to be pressurised by regulators to ensure that customers are “being treated fairly”, and because we are seeing new types of fund pricing being introduced:zero-fee Exchange Traded Funds (ETF)low cost funds with performance fees. In 2019 in a report from Deloitte on the asset management sector, State Street Global Advisors’ and Investment Company Institute’s data estimated that, globally, ETFs could grow to $25 trillion by the end of 2025, up from $4.8 trillion in 2018! This growth is partly being driven by the advent of “zero-fee” ETFs, which means that asset managers have a massive incentive to crush costs as they are, in effect, subsidising some funds in order to attract additional assets under management.Deloitte, in its report, also highlighted Allianz Global Investors has been one of the early adopters of a performance-based fee model in the United Kingdom. Investors are charged a base fee of 20 basis points and an incentive fee of 20% of any performance over the fund’s stated benchmark.Another way that Blockchain technology is being used in the asset management sector is the tokenisation of funds, which Deloitte summarised as:center_img As The FT stated“ Could a progressive regulator mandate a wholesale move to blockchain?”For more DigitalBytes like this email:Jonny.Fry@TeamBlockchain.netMore information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

How To Integrate AI in Mobile App Development

first_imgBy Pratik KanadaArtificial intelligence is a trending tech that has brought some miraculous changes in every other tech we use these days. Whether it is about maintaining business relations or it is about growth and expectation, AI has received the highest attention and love from the tech geeks and users as well. AI is something no one can just set it aside specifically those on the path of making an impact on your business through technology, AI is probably what you are looking for.It is surprisingly interesting how AI is booming this fast and growing to be one of the next big things people have ever known. This is why the majority of the mobile app development companies are looking for integrating AI into their apps and handing this amazing technology into users hands.By integrating AI into mobile apps, phones will start to perform advanced technology functions like face recognition, barcode scanning, landmark recognition, text recognition, and image labeling. Here are some of the ways to incorporate AI into apps.Integrating AI in Mobile App Development ProcessSearch Process OptimizationWith integration AI into the search engine, the searching process would be more engaging, less troublesome, and quite easy. The spelling corrections, perform suggestions, and voice search are added with AI to the search process. This feature has more or less became a priority for the developers as the majority of apps have this and yours need one too for staying still in the competition.Learn Behavior PatternsOne of the most popular and common ways of integrating artificial intelligence into the mobile application is inserting algorithms that can analyze user behavior and patterns. The feature will not only study the user behavior but also provide suggestions as per the search and likes for ultimate user satisfaction. The customer experience with the app will be enriched by offering them personalized services and products. It would be of extreme importance for the sales and hence eCommerce apps and websites would prefer to use it.Intelligent Digital AssistantPlenty of users these days don’t feel like typing long sentences or let’s put it this way, they just hate typing. With AI and digital assistant, users can just speak and get their things done with their mobile device. Also, the customers in need of customer service no longer like to make calls or wait on hold or wait for hours to get their query resolved.The entire customer service process is transferred online with the help of AI. With AI, the customers can get access to the information they are looking for at any point of time without having any actual person to answer. Digital assistant like chatbots are implemented at every top company and the user is definitely in the support of it.App SecurityThe rate of cybercrimes is hyping with each passing day. The safety and security of the apps are placed at the highest priority and AI can be a very effective solution to this. AI provides an authentication process which is fast and highly secure. AI can also be conjoined with several recognition types to clear user identification and authentication. So, if you are a mobile app development agency looking to develop an eCommerce app or any app with sensitive user data, or apps involving payments.Utilize DataArtificial intelligence as technology would require a bulk of data to function everywhere it is integrated. The efficiency of this feature highly depends on its ability to analyze and process the data, current and future trends, user behavior, market pattern, app efficiency, clients condition, and several such things. This is why AI is considered to be of utmost importance in the finance sector.Why Should You Implement AI in the Apps :Undoubtedly AI is one of the most trending technologies ruling the app industry. Companies these days are targeting to incorporate it into their products to customize it as per user needs and wants without having to access any sort of permanent control. AI will provide your company or your service a better chance to attract visitors and convert them into loyal users.Even the old users will be stunned to see an addition to AI into an existing app and will stick to your app for a longer period.Author Bio : Pratik Kanada, CEO of 360 Degree Technosoft, a Android App Development Company in India. Writes about Leadership, Start-up Quests, Social Media, Latest Tech Trends and Mobile Applications.More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Home How To Integrate AI in Mobile App Development If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCockinglast_img read more

4 Considerations For Businesses Implementing Remote Working

first_img4 Considerations For Businesses Implementing Remote Working If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking By Shauna MoranThe working office environment is evolving.  Our dependence on a physical office to effectively do desk-based jobs and manage a team of people is rapidly decreasing. Remote working is increasingly being adopted by businesses across the globe and individuals desire to work in a more flexible way is rising.  Businesses are forced to rethink ‘office-based’ practises as they transition into a more digitised and diverse economy. But what does that mean for organisations that choose to adopt a new virtual collaboration strategy?Many leading multi-national organisations and SMB businesses have successfully implemented remote working over recent years. One of the major benefits of hiring remotely is the ability to hire the best candidate without location hindering the decision making process. Hiring remotely can also decrease the cost of infrastructures, such as costly office spaces or salary costs that bigger cities often demand.Research suggests that remote workers are in fact more productive and happier in comparison to their office-based counterpoints. With teams based in various locations, it’s much easier for businesses to expand internationally and reach a wider target audience by taking advantage of location-specific growth opportunities that might not have been available to them if they have one central location.Change is inevitable, especially in business, and developing new work-based practices around a distributed team brings a unique set of challenges and considerations. If remote structures fail to accommodate and support individuals and leaders effectively , it can negatively impact every aspect of the business and seriously harm the bottom line.As an expert in helping businesses scale their remote operations I’ve identified 4 primary considerations for any business modifying their office-based working policy in favour of a more flexible or fully remote-working structure.4 Considerations For Businesses Implementing Remote WorkingManaging Remote TeamsRemote working requires clear structures and processes tailored and catered to each department. It’s the responsibility of the leadership team to work with employees to define and implement structures around virtual management, technologies and methodological skills.The leadership team must strike a balance between their roles and responsibilities, effective leadership styles, and emotional intelligence according to the situation, individual and desired outcome. I’d recommend business to start by analysing how they have effectively managed teams in office-based environments, and explore ways to effectively translate that into a remote environment.A great tip I suggest is to set the correct expectations amongst teams and departments. For example, what do you expect from each member of your team on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Leadership teams should clearly define and communicate the added responsibilities for each employee in a distributed team.I recommend that leadership explore the ways in which they can inspire, create visions, foster enthusiasm and take care of team energy levels on the remote team as well as the most effective ways to manage by principle instead of policy, helping team members focus on important issues and deliver expected results.Communication & Virtual CollaborationWhen it comes to team communication you need to challenge any assumptions you have about what information is ‘nice to know’ versus ‘need to know’.Before deciding if you need to communicate certain information with your team, put yourself in the position of your team – what is their level of understanding about the project, the team, or the organisation and does this information affect them?Communication is fundamental to remote working success. Failing to communicate and engage effectively can hinder projects, reduce employee engagement and lead to miscommunication. There are numerous communication and collaboration tools specifically designed for remote teams. The trick  is finding the right technology for the right purpose, and ensuring communication guidelines are clearly articulated and understood by each team member.Email, for example, is often useful for communicating facts, but not for delivering some of the meaning associated with those facts, in which case a video call might be more appropriate. Ensuring that individual ‘time-zones’ are taken into consideration as a critical success factor in successful collaboration and exploring the best methods and processes which allow teams to communicate synchronously (real-time) & asynchronously (delayed-time).I’d recommend businesses start by looking at what, when and how information needs to be shared both on a team and individual level. Recording & sharing important video meetings for team members based outside of the standard time-zones and having a place where all relevant project updates can be seen by all are all effective ways in building effective workflows.Employee Engagement & CultureBusinesses must implement employee engagement and culture strategies specifically tailored to individuals who don’t come into an office every day. businesses need systems in place that help them review how they manage and increase engagement for both existing and new employee.They shouldn’t rule-out opportunities for remote teams to meet in person frequently and should consider the benefits of in-person interactions and team-building activities.Social time or ‘water-cooler’ moments that would naturally happen in an office environment can be easily tailored to suit remote teams, but it requires a proactive approach and a team that is willing to engage in a new way of building more purposeful working relationships. Some of the most culture rich teams I’ve worked with have setup social time on a Friday afternoon on video calls, which replaces the traditional ‘after-work get together’.I recommend businesses look at the important ways in which they build culture in an office and translate that as best they can in a remote team. It’s about redefining our new social norms and adapting the ways in which we build relationships and trust.TechnologyTechnology is at the core of effective remote operations, as this provides the main way of communicating with the team. There are many aspects to technology when considering remote working, such as a virtual private network (VPN) and mobile device management, as well as the security and connectivity for each worker.Technology is also responsible for enhancing a teams ability to complete the project. This makes it increasingly important for businesses to provide a high-quality and highly functioning technology stack  designed to meet the needs of the team.Remote specific technology has improved considerably in recent years; video conferencing technology has evolved support virtual meetings, which means there’s a much more unobstructed view of the recipients face, chest and arms, and is often a preferred  alternative to in-person or face-to-face meetings. In terms of selecting the right technology, I recommend that businesses focus on the requirements of each department and select and trial a handful of technologies as opposed to adding too manage options, which leads to misunderstandings and too much noise.Regardless of what tools are used, businesses should consider how they control the use of technology, takes care of necessary tools and infrastructure needed to perform daily operations and focus on sharing data and enabling fluent communication.There’s no doubt that remote working presents significant growth opportunities for individuals, businesses and the economy. However, in order to have the greatest chance at success, it’s crucial that right processes and structure are implemented to reduce key challenges associated with distributed teams and get the best ROI from a virtual workforce.The most successful remote businesses I’ve worked with have invested time and resources into developing a remote strategy that’s unique to their values, teams and growth strategy and understand that in doing so, they are investing in their most valuable stakeholders, their employees.[Shauna’s Bio]Shauna is the founder of Operate Remote and is a qualified business and executive coach & consultant that specialises in remote working. Shauna works with a range of entrepreneurs, organisations, individuals, and more — to help them to uncover the habits and routines that make these people and organisations successful at remote working.With years of experience working for a variety of organisations, start-ups and multinational companies, Shauna’s vast experience in scaling business growth, leading and managing departments, business development, partnerships and marketing in a range of disciplines and markets ensures she delivers long-lasting impact to each client.In her coaching and consultancy practise, Operate Remote, she combines her natural abilities, a wealth of knowledge, and experience of growing many successful remote businesses so as to achieve extraordinary results for her clients.www.operateremote.cominfo@operateremote.comTwitter: @operateremoteTwitter: @shaunammoranAre you following me on @OperateRemote? Every day I answer questions on distributed working in a 10 second-video. It’s quite the challenge- but who has time for long videos anymore? 🙂If you have questions, I’d love to hear from you #remoteworking #culture https://t.co/mvNvbhFZ1I— Shauna Moran (@ShaunaMMoran) July 31, 2019More information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => We now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Homelast_img read more

From Telegraph to Bitcoin and Libra A Brief History of Electronic Payment

first_imgFrom Telegraph to Bitcoin and Libra: A Brief History of Electronic Payment Technologies If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at Simon@IrishTechNews.ie or on Twitter: @SimonCocking By Tatyana MaksimenkoThe means of exchange is one of the three key functions of money. Since the ancient times of trade relations developments, people has been searching ways to speed up and simplify the process of money exchange. With the development of technology, especially with the spread of the Internet, more and more solutions are emerging to facilitate transactions.Western UnionInitially, first money transfers started three hundred years ago due to the banking system development, money lenders and guarantors, as well as postal services, yet it was the appearance of telegraph in the 1800s that brought the money transfer industry to a new level. In 1858, the Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company (NYMVPTC, founded in 1851) was rebranded and renamed Western Union.The company’s founders, Hyrum Sibley, former sheriff of Monroe County, New York, and Judge Samuel Selden, had no idea at the time that the future company would refuse to simply send telegrams and focus on money transfers alone. The first Western Union money transfer via telegraph was executed in 1871. The service turned out to be on demand. By 1876, the company carried out 37,190 money transfers.In general, the workflow was the same as with the postal transfers, which have been used for more than a century. It worked as follows: a sender would come to the post office, give a post-office employee the amount he wanted to send, and the latter had just to register the amount in a special record book. The form was then sent to the post-office, where the addressee received money. It was possible to speed up the process using the telegraph. It was no longer necessary to send coupons and discounting forms by mail. Information about the receiver and the amount of payment was transmitted by telegraph.From telegraph to first credit cardsThe development of cash-free payment systems in 1900s went faster. Western Union was the first company to issue a kind of payment card, a forerunner of a bank card. In 1921, loyal clients of Western Union could issue a prepaid card. So much the idea was approved that it was picked up by many large retailers in the United States, from petrol station chains to fast food restaurants and grocery stores.The first credit card was the one from Diner’s Club, issued in 1950. With its help, it was possible to pay in a chain of restaurants in New York. 1958 saw credit cards issued by Bank of America (BankAmericard) and American Express (Carte Blanche). With their appearance in the US, the consumer lending boom began. American Express used a simple workflow: they issued credit cards, collecting annual fees from their owners. They paid with cards, and American Express billed invoices on a monthly basis. The following decades gave the world Visa and Mastercard payment systems.World Wide Web and PizzaThe speed and volume of transactions increased, and the users’ appetites grew with them, too. They wanted much faster, much easier and cheaper. By the early 1990s, the Internet, which originated as the development of the ARPANET defense industry in  1960s, began covering the world and a wide range of users. This process is often considered to start as early as in 1989. In March 1989, a British development engineer, Tim Berners-Lee, who later received the title of Sir and became known as TimBL in the network, developed the concept of a network of web pages that would be linked together by hyperlinks.The concept was called the World Wide Web. In November, he performed the first successful connection between a client and server using Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) via Internet.The development of the Internet allowed the use of new communications for money transfers. In 1994, Stanford Federal Credit Union was the first to offer online banking services to its clients. Though since the interface of these early systems cannot be called friendly, the transactions were effected not by the users themselves, but by Transactions Officers who had special knowledge in computer technology.In August 1994, the world’s first online purchase was completed. This was a pizza from Pizza Hut – a big Pepperoni with mushrooms and an extra portion of cheese. But some people argue that the first purchase was  “Ten Summoner’s Tales” by the British singer, Sting.It was paid online at the Net Market Company store in New Hampshire a week before the online pizza purchase. One thing is true that since then, online payments and money transfers has begun to develop rapidly. In 1995, services of electronic micropayments Millicent and ECash (trademark of DigiCash, founded back in 1980s by the legend of cryptography David Chaum from Berkeley University) appeared. Both offered an option to cash and a quick way to the value transfer.PaypalIn 1998, a programmer Max Levchin, a financier Peter Thiel, with Luke Nosek and Ken Howery, founded Confinity, which in 1999 launched a money transfer service called PayPal, a name that is well-known worldwide. At the same time, a businessman Elon Musk was trying to develop his fast online payment banking service X.com. In 2000, X.com and PayPal joined their efforts, and in 2002, PayPal successfully held an IPO and was sold to eBay for $ 1.5 billion. PayPal owes its popularity mainly to eBay users. In 2002, more than 70% of all eBay auctions were paid using PayPal.Not only PayPal developed the popularity of online payments, it also actively participated in the technological development of the industry. Particular attention was paid to security, the development of appropriate software, VeriSign, PayPal Secure Card and other solutions.China and a Chinese wayPayment technologies were developing all over the world, but China as one of the largest markets, has been developing separately for a long time due to a number of geopolitical factors. Along with PayPal, an online e-commerce Alibaba company appeared in China. In 2004, Alibaba launched the Alipay payment system, which initially acted as an intermediary between sellers and buyers at the Taobao C2C-trading site.In fact, it was a kind of Chinese equivalent of eBay with its PayPal. The main advantage of payments through Alipay was that the seller would not receive money from the buyer until he confirmed the receipt of the ordered products.Over time, Alipay was so liked by sellers and buyers that other enterprises began to use it. In 2009, the number of registered users of AliPay exceeded 200 million. In 2013, Alipay overran PayPal as the world’s largest mobile payment platform. Now Alipay’s payment services are used not only by the affiliate giants Taobao, Tmall, but also by more than 460,000 online and offline Chinese companies. Alipay is especially popular with small and medium businesses, for which acquiring services from banks are not as affordable as the cheaper Alipay service.In China, via Alipay you can pay for goods in stores, both large and small, top-up your balance of mobile phone, order food, pay for tickets in a bus or a train, or travel in a taxi, pay for going to cinemas and utility bills. Alipay has long reached the international level since then, but outside China it has not gained such a widespread distribution, although it has occupied a certain level, supporting transactions in 18 foreign currencies.In China, its main competitor was the WeChat social media payment service, which emerged in 2013. In August of that year, the micro-message service WeChat released the Wallet application. This made it possible to operate with any payment cards issued in China. Now users of WeChat Pay can link bank accounts with Chinese banks to their wallets, as well as Visa and MasterCard issued by foreign banks.In 2018, Charlie Munger, the legendary American investor, Vice Chairman of Investment Berkshire Hathaway and a collaborator of Warren Buffett, mentioned WeChat as a potential competitor to credit card companies such as American Express.“…and there is one tiny cloud on the horizon of the payments processors and that is the system of WeChat in China”,  Mr Munger said at the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in 2018.In 2017, Tencent company, which owns WeChat, reported that they managed to overrun Alipay in the number of active users of mobile payments – 600 million against 450 million with Alipay. However, if you compare the market share by the volume of transactions, Alipay still remains its leader with 54% against 37% for WeChat in 2017.The world financial crisisIn 2007, the US mortgage loan bubble burst, leading to a banking crisis. On September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers, an investment bank, one of the largest in the US, declared its bankruptcy. The world was in panic. The distrust to the financial system became the catalyst for the emergence of a completely new tool, which was called Bitcoin. On October 31, 2008, an anonymous developer or a group of developers under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto sent out to a limited society of cryptographers and developers a description of the world’s first cryptocurrency:“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”Although the idea of ??creating private electronic money using cryptographic security tools has yet been circulated in the narrow environment of developers since 1980s, it was Bitcoin in which it turned possible to combine all the existing developments of the time.The Bitcoin network was launched in January 2009. On January 3, the first block in the Bitcoin network was extracted. The Genesis block of Bitcoin contains a symbolic message from Satoshi Nakamoto: a title from The Times – Chancellor on Brink of Second Bailout for Banks. Thus, the creator of cryptocurrency hinted that the Bitcoin is a response to the financial instability, a decline of confidence to banks and government institutions.In 2010, the first deal was made with the Bitcoin: for the first time ever, goods from the real world were paid for with the cryptocurrency. As in the case of the first online payment, this product has become … a pizza. More precisely, it was two pizzas from Papa John’s. On May 22, 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz, a programmer from Jacksonville, Florida, transferred 10,000 BTC to his friend Jeremy Sturdivant, who ordered 2 pizzas from Papa John’s to Laszlo at the cost of $ 25 using his credit card.In 2019, Bitcoin is an asset worth $ 200 billion with a user base of more than 633 thousand active addresses.“It is difficult for people of the 21st century to sell banking services of the 14th century. We get information faster, move faster between cities, we communicate with people from the other end of the planet. The monetary system also adapts to this, – Sergey Esipov, co-founder of Bitlish crypto-exchange, registered in the UK, says. “Bitcoin is a tool that gives the user not only the possibility of a quick and cheap transfer of value, but also what banks did not give – full control over their assets.”Apple Pay and Google PayIn the mid of 2010s, solutions for transfers and online payments using mobile phones started to emerge on the foreground. In September 2014, Apple showed new models, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, as well as Apple Watch, which were equipped with an NFC chip to pay via payment terminal. Thus, Apple has launched the Apple Pay payment system. It was enough for users to enter card data into the system.You take a smartphone or a watch to the payment terminal and the payment gets confirmed via the Touch ID fingerprint scanner. During the presentation on September 9, 2014, Apple CEO Tim Cook suggested that after a while, the new service would replace plastic cards.In parallel with Apple, the system of electronic payments from mobile devices was developed by Google, which completed the creation of the Android operating system, the main competitor of iOS. In 2015, Google launched Android Pay on the basis of the existing Google Wallet system, that was created in 2011. In 2018, both payment solutions were combined under the same Google Pay brand.In the 2018-2019 fiscal year, some 10 billion payments will be made through Apple Pay. “This is awesome!” – said Tim Cook, announcing such a forecast in March 2019 at Apple’s Keynote conference.According to analysts at Morgan Stanley, the volume of transactions through Apple Pay will reach $ 190 billion by 2022, and $ 304 billion by 2027. To compare, according to the forecast of the analysts at Morgan Stanley, the volume of transactions through PayPal will be $ 431 billion by 2022, and $ 579 billion by 2027.Apple intends to compete not only with PayPal, but also with the credit card market, releasing its first credit Apple Card in the fall of 2019. Thus, it will try to get a part of the market, which is dominated by Visa and its closest competitor Mastercard. However, Visa has an indisputable advantage so far, as in 2018, 124.3 billion transactions were effected via Visa system, and in 2019 their volume will reach 140 billion.Facebook and TelegramApple, Google and the Chinese Alibaba and WeChat have shown that now the main key to success in the market of electronic payments is in the presence of an extensive base of active and loyal users.In early 2018, the media got information about the plans of the Telegram messenger to create a blockchain platform, TON (Telegram Open Network), and build its own crypto-economics around. There will be tokens as well for internal user payments, GRAM. To finance the project, Telegram founder Pavel Durov chose the initial coin offering (ICO), which was popular at the time in the cryptocurrency market. Telegram has managed to raise $ 1.7 billion in two closed rounds of financing, it was said in documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).In April 2019, Telegram launched a test version of TON and gave access to it to a limited number of professional blockchain teams around the world. It is expected that TON will be launched before the end of 2019, but the exact date is still unknown.At the same time, Facebook is thinking about the creation of its own cryptocurrency. It is curious that the blockchain division of Facebook is headed by none other than David Markus, the former president of PayPal. In June 2019, Facebook officially announced plans to launch its own digital currency, and its rate will be pegged to the US dollar and other national currencies for stability. Facebook calls Libra’s main mission to create a simple global financial infrastructure that will be accessible to billions of people around the world.“This is especially important for people who don’t have access to traditional banks or financial services. Right now, there are around a billion people who don’t have a bank account but do have a mobile phone”, Zuckerberg wrote.Libra Association, which already comprises 28 companies, including Visa, MasterCard, Uber and many others, will develop the stablecoin, which was called Libra. The launch of Libra is expected in 2020.Looking to the futureNowadays, the global electronic payments industry is developing faster than ever. It took the mankind thousands of years to move from metal coins to paper, a century to go from bank accounts to electronic wallets, but the Internet gave an incredible power impulse. Almost every year launches new providers, platforms and payment instruments. And this is despite the fact that the level of Internet penetration in the world has not yet reached the limit value.According to the developer of the platform for managing social networks HootSuite, at the beginning of 2018 over 4 billion people worldwide had access to the Internet. This means that the industry will continue to move upwards due to the influx of new users.“Now the main focus is the synthesis of all payment solutions in one. Users don’t want to choose between PayPal and Bitcoin, they want to be able to use everything and, preferably, from one interface,” Sergey Esipov, co-founder of Bitlish, notes. “We are moving in that direction ourselves. For operations with crypto-assets, Bitlish customers can use transfers from a variety of payment systems, bank transfers, cryptocurrency, special vouchers, through which users can transfer to each other cryptocurrency without a fee. We are trying to offer all possible ways to exchange assets, because we see that this is what users are waiting for. ”Recent years have shown that the financial market is no longer the prerogative of larger banking organizations, and larger players from other industries may appear on it in the coming future.Author bio Tatyana MaksimenkoEditor-in-chief of CoinFox MediaBlockchain & FinTech enthusiastEntrepreneurMore information about Irish Tech News and the Business ShowcaseFYI the ROI for you is => Irish Tech News now get over 1.5 million monthly views, and up to 900k monthly unique visitors, from over 160 countries. We have over 860,000 relevant followers on Twitter on our various accounts & were recently described as Ireland’s leading online tech news site and Ireland’s answer to TechCrunch, so we can offer you a good audience!Since introducing desktop notifications a short time ago, which notify readers directly in their browser of new articles being published, over 16000 people have now signed up to receive them ensuring they are instantly kept up to date on all our latest content. Desktop notifications offer a unique method of serving content directly to verified readers and bypass the issue of content getting lost in people’s crowded news feeds.Drop us a line if you want to be featured, guest post, suggest a possible interview, or just let us know what you would like to see more of in our future articles. We’re always open to new and interesting suggestions for informative and different articles. Contact us, by email, twitter or whatever social media works for you.Homelast_img read more

Nominations Open for the Heads of Tech Leading 30000 people in ICT

first_imgWho is leading the 30,000+ people working in the South West’s thriving ICT sector? This is the question posed by representative body it@cork, who today launched the 2019 Leaders Awards and invited nominations from throughout the industry, to shine a light on those people who are leading the charge for the region’s tech community and paving the way for the continued success of tech in Cork and the surrounding areas.it@cork, the body representing over 220 companies working within the ICT sector in the South West region, says nominations will remain open until September 13th for the prestigious Leaders Awards, which are now in their 13th year. The esteemed accolades recognise and celebrate achievement, innovation and commitment to the tech sector in the region. Winners will be decided by a judging panel over the course of 4 weeks and will be announced at a Gala dinner to take place at the Rochestown Park Hotel on October 18th.it@cork says the time has come once again for anyone and everyone with an interest in the tech industry to step forward and make their voice known.Speaking at the launch Anthony O’Callaghan, Chairperson of it@cork,“We are calling on the general public, the tech community and any other interested parties to nominate the people who they believe are worthy of recognition.13 years in and the annual it@cork Leaders Awards grows every year in terms of the volume and calibre of applicants. The awards have traced and tracked the relentless progression of the sector in Cork and the surrounding region, and the pace at which is it growing and improving picks up with every passing year. Each year brings with it a raft of new talent and a suite of new leaders and new names – all of whom have been selected by their peers as having a marked and lasting impact on the industry.From start-ups to global multinationals, as well as our innovative education sector, the Leader Awards recognise all those who have gone further than most in the use of technology in their respective organisations and businesses in order to excel growth. It is a great opportunity for us to celebrate collectively the achievements of the region”.it@cork have chosen the theme for this year’s Leaders Awards to be ‘Towards 2020’, which they say is a celebration of all the previous winners who have contributed immensely to the tech industry in the region, and a nod to the present and future leaders who will bring the Irish tech industry into the next decade.An exciting addition to this year’s initiative is the opening of the new it@cork Tech Leaders Hall of Fame, into which all previous winners of the prestigious Tech Leader of the Year award will be inducted.With Cork set to become the fastest-growing region under the Project 2040 plan, it@Cork say Cork is a place where opportunity meets talent, particularly in ICT.Eoghan O’ Mahony, Senior Cluster Manager at it@cork noted,“Cork & the greater South West region now employs over 30,000 people in ICT and support services businesses. It is an integral part of our local economy and has consistently grown over the past 5 years to become the region’s largest employer.From it@cork’s perspective, as a representative body for these companies we see our role widening year on year, and the demand for our training courses, networking events and forums growing exponentially. We take our role in the industry very seriously and we are committed to delivering in whatever way we can for every member of this vibrant community – from start-ups to SMEs and MNCs”.Nominations for it@cork leaders awards are now open on www.itcork.ie and it@cork are encouraging the general public and the tech community to get involved in this year’s event.The it@cork Leaders Awards categories are split into 8 different categories:– Tech Person of the Year (Winner 2018: Linda & Dan Kiely)– The One to Watch (Winner 2018: Smarttech247)– MNC of the Year (Winner 2018: McKesson)– Excellence in Education (Winner 2018: Gaelcholaiste Mhuire (A.G))– Tech Start-Up of the Year (Joint Winners 2018: Altada & GetVisibility)– Smart Technology Innovation Award (Winner 2018: GridBeyond)– Corporate Social Responsibility Award (Winner 2018: VMware International (Cork))– Technical Training Programme of the Year (Winner 2018: Xanadu)– Back for its 5th consecutive year, is the Tech Person of the Year Award. This is the only category that is nominated by the Board of it@cork and the ultimate winner is selected by a panel of 4 judges.As a previous winner of Tech Person of the Year Award, Jerry Sweeney, Founder and MD of Cloud CIX commented:“Having been on that stage & accepted the award, I can only tell people what an honour and a privilege it was not only to have been selected amongst such a stellar group of nominees but to even have been nominated by my colleagues and peers to begin with. We have a thriving tech industry here in Cork – the city itself makes Cork an attractive proposition for any IT business looking to set up or expand.But there is nothing greater than the power of people when it comes to this industry – its people are its backbone and they are the cause of and the reason for any and all the success that the sector has and continues to achieve. So, to lead these people in our common goal of making the Cork one of the most creative, most focused, and most ingenious tech hubs, not just in Ireland, but in Europe, is an absolute privilege.”last_img read more

Arrests ammunition and firearms recovered

first_imgBoth suspects were detained at Msinga police station and were charged for possession of unlicensed firearms. They appeared in the Msinga Magistrate’s Court on today. All the recovered firearms will be sent for ballistic examinations to establish if they were used in the commission of any crimes.KZN Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant Mmamonnye Ngobeni said, “We will continue with operations of this nature under the banner of Operation Fiyela so we can address the proliferation of firearms and make this province a safer place for our citizens. We will also ensure that those arrested are profiled to see if they can be linked to other cases of serious crime we are investigating.” WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite An intelligence-driven operation in the Msinga area in the early hours of yesterday morning (Tuesday) led to the arrest of two suspects and the recovery of six firearms, as well as 483 live rounds of ammunition.This was a joint operation between Pietermaritzburg Public Order Police, Msinga Visible Policing and Greytown Crime Intelligence.A 41-year-old female was arrested in the Phakwe area after she was found with two .303 rifles at her residence.Police then went to the Mkhuphula area, where an AK-47 rifle with two live rounds of ammunition was found and a 20-year-old male was arrested. In the KwaNdaye area, a revolver, .303 rifle, .308 rifle and 483 live rounds of ammunition were found abandoned.last_img read more

1 injured in Harrismith Road crash

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Harrismith Road was the scene of yet another accident yesterday evening (Thursday) when a Fiat Uno and an Isuzu bakkie collided at the Francis Road intersection.It is alleged that the bakkie was turning into Francis Road and the Uno was travelling down Harrismith Road when the two vehicles collided.One person was injured and transported to hospital by paramedics.Public Safety officers had to control traffic flow, as the intersection was blocked by the vehicles involved in the accident.EMRS and ER24 paramedics responded to the scene.last_img read more

Deadly snake caught in Lupin Avenue

first_imgA Mozambique Spitting Cobra was captured in Lupin Avenue on Tuesday night. Streets residents Mr and Mrs Singh saw the snake during the day outside their yard and then it was spotted again at night. Mr Singh kept a close eye on the serpent to make sure he knew where it was at all times.The Singhs contacted the Ladysmith snake removal team, with snake expert Eugene Jonck responding.At the time, Mr and Mrs Singh did not know what kind of snake was right on their doorstep. Snake expert Eugene quickly identified the species as a Mozambique Spitting Cobra, which is highly venomous. This Cobra can be distinguished by the black bands under the neck.Eugene put on his snake mask to avoid being spat in the eyes, as a Mozambique Spitting Cobra is able to spit accurately into a person’s eyes from up to three metres away. WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The Cobra was skilfully caught and put safely into a bucket, where it could not harm anyone. The Singhs could then breathe easy in the knowledge that the snake was no longer in close proximity, knowing how dangerous the reptile was and what could have happened if it had bitten someone.‘We were worried about the children living in our area, who could have been harmed,” said Mr Singh.The snake was safely relocated away from town so as not to come in contact with people.Being this time of year, with winter approaching, people should be careful of snakes as they are on the move for food so they can fatten up before brumating (hibernating) during the winter months, according to snake expert Fanie Cilliers.last_img read more

NKR band has New Kind of Rhythm

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite A new three-man band called ‘N.K.R’ is determined to take Ladysmith by storm with their raunchy reggae and rock music.When a Gazette journalist asked band members Yashdeer Singh, Vikshay Ramdaas and Vishekh Ramdaas why they decided to call the band ‘N.K.R’, this is what they had to say…“N.K.R for two reasons: firstly, because it’s the town reference for Ladysmith and all three of us are from here; and secondly, the letters could also stand for New Kind of Rhythm, which lets everyone know what we want our music to be”.The band aims to provide original music ranging from reggae right up to rock, and everything in-between. Starting from humble beginnings, they hope to soon be playing some of the biggest venues in the country, as well as internationally. At the moment, the band are in the process of recording their debut EP (Extended Play album), which will be released to coincide with a matinee tour in the upcoming months.The band have already released two singles, namely ‘Fly Away’ and ‘Last Days’. The former started out as a reggae song, but slowly transformed itself into a pop song; while the latter is more of a “rocky” song, as well as being their favourite. These singles can be found on their Facebook page.“We are determined to make Ladysmith proud and to entertain people. Any comment or suggestion would be helpful and appreciated,” says Yasheer.Their CD will be released at the end of this month (March).We are sure that these are their “last days” of obscurity and that their “new kind of rhythm” will “fly away” into the realms of success!last_img read more

Observation Hill left without water

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite The Observation Hill area is currently without water due to a burst pipe in Impala Street.uThukela workers are at the scene, fixing the pipe.Water is estimated to come back on in about 2½ t0 3 hours’ time.last_img

Dont fall for municipal jobs for money scam

first_imgWebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite WebsiteWebsiteWebsite Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality wishes to point out that no vacancies or jobs are offered to the community at a fee. No jobs are for sale and if any member of the community comes across a situation of this nature, please inform the SAPS as soon as possible.This after a Pietermaritzburg woman recently fell victim to a scam in which a man calling himself Mr Ntuli claimed he worked for Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality.‘Ntuli’ apparently promised her and her nephew positions as drivers, and that they would have to pay R3500 each.The victim says she came all the way from Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday, February 24, with her nephew after her husband had spoken to ‘NtuIi’, who offered his assistance. Her husband luckily did a background check on the con-man and found out that there was no such person and no such driver vacancies at the municipality. The scam artist is believed to drive a Toyota bakkie with GP registration. Anyone who comes across ‘Ntuli’ or any other person offering jobs at the municipality at a fee should contact the police.Emnambithi/Ladysmith Municipality advertises vacancies, and proper recruitment processes are followed. No municipal employee is eligible to receive money in the form of a bribe in return for offering a vacancy / job.last_img read more

Cuban presidents daughter gets US visa

first_imgAssociated PressHAVANA (AP) – Cuban first daughter Mariela Castro has been granted a U.S. visa to attend events in San Francisco and New York, sparking a firestorm of criticism from Cuban-American politicians who called her an enemy of democracy and a shill for the Communist government her family has led for decades.The trip, which kicks off next week when Castro is due to chair a panel on sexual diversity at a conference organized by the Latin American Studies Association, is among several to the United States by prominent Cubans, some with close links to the government. Cuban academics, scientists and economists now frequently attend seminars in the United States, and Cuban artists and entertainers are also finding it easier to visit the U.S. due to an easing of travel restrictions by President Barack Obama’s administration. Sponsored Stories The LASA International Congress, which includes hundreds of sessions on academic topics, takes place May 23-26 in San Francisco, a city closely associated with the history of the gay rights movement. Cuba’s state-run press said Castro will be among 40 Cuban experts in attendance.According to the website of the New York Public Library, Castro is also to take part in a May 29 talk with Rea Carey, director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, about international gay rights, as well as sexual identity and orientation in Cuba.The trip was confirmed by an official at her institute and a State Department official, both of whom spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. The State Department official said several other Cubans who wanted to attend the LASA conference were denied visas.State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland declined to comment, citing rules that prohibit discussion of individual visa applications. But she said that if Castro shows up in San Francisco it would be a “fair assumption” that she had entered the country legally.LASA president Maria Herminia Tavares de Almeida, a University of Sao Paulo professor of international relations and political science, said Castro was selected for her expertise on gender issues, not for her famous family. Patients with chronic pain give advice How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation New high school in Mesa lets students pick career paths Top Stories “She’s coming as any other researcher or participant that has attended a call for papers and had their paper accepted,” Almeida told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “It’s an academic issue, not a political issue.”Almeida added that in recent years LASA had stopped holding its congresses in the United States because it was too difficult for Cuban academics to get U.S. visas, especially during the Bush administration. This time, the association felt that relations seemed to be improving so they brought the event to San Francisco, Almeida said, though some Cuban academics’ visa requests were denied.Other prominent Cubans who have received U.S. visas recently include Eusebio Leal, a historian who has spearheaded the renovation of Old Havana and sits on the powerful Communist Party Central Committee. He is currently on a visit to New York and Washington.Mariela Castro, despite being the president’s daughter and niece of retired revolutionary leader Fidel Castro, has no official link to the government, though her organization presumably receives state funding. It is not known whether she is a Communist Party member.Cuban-American Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, slammed the visa decision on Wednesday, even before the visit was announced. ____Associated Press writers Paul Haven and Peter Orsi in Havana and Matthew Lee in Washington contributed to this report.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)center_img Four benefits of having a wireless security system More Valley freeways to be closed this weekend for improvements Menendez called Mariela Castro “a vociferous advocate of the regime and opponent of democracy.” On Thursday, four other Cuban-American lawmakers added their voices to the outcry, noting that State Department guidelines prohibit visas to officers of the Communist Party or government of Cuba.“The administration’s appalling decision to allow regime agents into the U.S. directly contradicts Congressional intent and longstanding U.S. foreign policy,” wrote Representatives Mario Diaz-Balart, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and David Rivera of Florida, along with Albio Sires of New Jersey in a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.“While the Cuban people struggle for freedom against increasing brutality at the hands of Castro’s thugs, the Obama administration is greeting high-level agents of that murderous dictatorship with open arms,” they wrote. “It is shameful that the Obama Administration would waive the common sense restrictions in place to appease the Castro dictatorship once again.”Others said the hardliners were stirring up controversy over something that has happened many times before.“It’s a very positive thing they give her the visa,” said Wayne Smith, America’s former top diplomat in Cuba and a critic of the U.S. embargo on the island. “You have to consider the source, where the criticism is coming from. They don’t want dialogue.” Meghan McCain to release audiobook on conservatism, family 0 Comments   Share   Think Tank analyzes the second round of Democratic debates Castro, 50, is a noted advocate of gay rights and head of Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education. She has pushed for the island to legalize gay marriage for years, so far without success. She recently praised Obama’s stance in support of same sex marriage, and said her father, President Raul Castro, also favors such a measure, though he has not said so publically.It will not be Mariela Castro’s first visit to the United States. She was granted a visa to attend an event in Los Angeles in 2002, during Republican President George W. Bush’s administration, and also made stops in Virginia and Washington.Prominent Americans have also been frequent visitors to Cuba. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter came last March, and a bi-partisan delegation led by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, was here in February, meeting with President Castro as well as an imprisoned American subcontractor.Carmelo Mesa-Lago, the dean of Cuba economy-watchers and an expert at the University of Pittsburgh, said Cuba has long had a large presence at the LASA conference, without sparking much protest.“Academic exchanges like these are not new, but what’s different in this case is who she is,” he said.last_img read more

Madagascar 67 alleged cattle rustlers killed

first_img How men can have a healthy 2019 Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Razafindrakoto said Monday that he has opened an investigation.(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daycenter_img 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) – Madagascar’s police chief says villagers attacked by cattle rustlers turned on the alleged thieves and killed 67 of them.Gen. Bruno Razafindrakoto told The Associated Press that about 100 cattle thieves on Friday attacked three villages near Fort-Dapuhin, more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Antananarivo, the capital of this Indian Ocean island.He said villagers armed with axes, spears and machetes “defended their belongings” and killed at least 67 of the attackers.last_img read more

Rights group condemns killing of Dominican student

first_imgSANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) – Amnesty International called on Friday for comprehensive reforms within the Dominican Republic’s police department following the fatal shooting of a medical student during a protest.The human rights group accused the department of a high number of police abuses, including torture and extrajudicial killings. The group also accused police of throwing tear gas while people tried to help the victim, 22-year-old Willy Florian, after he was shot Thursday. “Florian’s tragic death should lead to urgent measures to prevent more unlawful killings in the future,” said Javier Zuniga, special adviser to Amnesty International.Florian was shot as dozens of students protesting a sales tax increase clashed with police, but he was not one of the demonstrators. A police officer and a bus ticket collector who also was not participating in the protest were injured.Authorities said they had a video of one protester firing a weapon at police.The department has appointed a commission to investigate the shooting.Police chief Jose Armando Polanco on Friday blamed the police commander in charge at the protest. He “did not do what was needed to ensure that these police officers store their weapons and not use them,” the chief said.At least 19 officers were detained after the shooting at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, the Caribbean country’s largest university.Dominican President Danilo Medina has called for an investigation and condemned the use of violence.Medina presented the disputed tax legislation as a way to help close the $4.6 billion deficit in the government’s budget. The measure was approved and will increase the general sales tax to 18 percent from 16 percent. It also will raise the price of gasoline 5 cents a gallon and impose taxes on basic food products, including a 10 percent tax on coffee and cooking oil, a levy that is increase to 18 percent by 2016. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement Mary Coyle ice cream to reopen in central Phoenix (Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) Construction begins on Chandler hospital expansion project Sponsored Stories Comments   Share   Early signs of cataracts in your parents and how to help Top ways to honor our heroes on Veterans Day 5 ways to recognize low testosterone Top Stories Bottoms up! Enjoy a cold one for International Beer Daylast_img read more

Prosecutors seek arrest warrant for Red Bull heir

first_img Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility 5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Sponsored Stories How do cataracts affect your vision? Top Stories Comments   Share   BANGKOK (AP) – Thai authorities are seeking an arrest warrant for an heir to the Red Bull energy drink fortune after he failed to appear for his indictment in the hit-and-run death of a policeman, a prosecutor said Monday.A lawyer for Vorayuth Yoovidhya said the 30-year-old heir was on a business trip in Singapore and was unable to return to Thailand for the indictment because he fell ill.His absence means a speeding charge will be dropped because the statute of limitations expires Tuesday. He still faces charges of causing death by reckless driving and not stopping to help, which carry a maximum sentence of 10 years. New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Dr. Neo Wee Suan, who issued the medical certificate, told The Associated Press by telephone that he could not confirm whether he treated Vorayuth because of patient confidentiality.Vorayuth is the grandson of Red Bull creator Chaleo Yoovidhya, who died in March last year. The family was ranked fourth richest in Thailand this year by Forbes magazine with a net worth of $7.8 billion.The family also co-owns the sole authorized importer of Ferrari cars in Thailand.The family paid 3 million baht ($93,100) to the dead policeman’s siblings in a deal aimed at avoiding a civil lawsuit.(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.) How Arizona is preparing the leader of the next generation Prosecutor Ruecha Krairiksh said Vorayuth showed an intention to flee by not appearing for the indictment.“Prosecutors have discussed and decided that the defendant appeared to be fleeing and we will oppose his bail request during the trial process,” Ruecha said.It is the sixth time Vorayuth’s indictment has been postponed since he allegedly slammed his Ferrari into a police officer at high speed and dragged his body down a Bangkok street last September. Police traced oil streaks to his family’s estate in a nearby wealthy neighborhood, but a local police superintendent initially attempted to cover up the heir’s involvement by arresting a bogus suspect.The case created an uproar among Thais because of the widespread perception that the rich and well-connected enjoy impunity from punishment for wrongdoing.Defense lawyer Thanit Buakeaw said Vorayuth left Thailand on Thursday and came down with influenza in Singapore. He showed reporters a medical certificate issued by a Singapore clinic on Sunday that said Vorayuth was “unwell” and was advised to rest for one or two days.“(He) has no intention or cause to flee but he really can’t be here today because he became suddenly ill,” the defense lawyer said. Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvementlast_img read more

Prosecutors call new witnesses in Mladic genocide case

first_imgMladic, whose trial started in 2012, was in court for Monday’s hearing but did not speak.He is charged with genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for his alleged role orchestrating atrocities by Bosnian Serb forces. If convicted, the 73-year-old faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.Mladic insists he is innocent and claims his wartime actions were to protect Serbs in Bosnia.It was not immediately clear what evidence prosecutors were presenting to the three-judge panel. The first witness called by prosecutors testified mostly in closed session. The witness’s identity also was withheld from the public.It is unusual for the tribunal to re-open a case. Prosecutors finished presenting their evidence in February 2014 and Mladic began laying out his defense three months later.Judges allowed prosecutors to re-open their case because evidence from the Tomasica grave had not been fully analyzed at the time they closed their case.The hundreds of people buried in Tomasica were Bosnian Muslims and Croats killed in 1992 in the Prijedor region of northwest Bosnia as Serb forces attempted to carve out an ethnically pure state that was to include parts of Bosnia and Croatia. Some 10,000 Bosnians who went missing during the war still have not been found. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Comments   Share   Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies 4 must play golf courses in Arizona Sponsored Stories Mladic’s trial is one of the last still underway at the UN court. Judges are considering their verdicts against his former political master, Radovan Karadzic, who also faces genocide and other charges for allegedly masterminding Serb crimes.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Arizona families, Arizona farms: providing the local community with responsibly produced dairy THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Prosecutors reopened their case Monday against former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic at the Yugoslav war crimes tribunal to present new evidence gleaned from a mass grave discovered in Bosnia in 2013.More than 400 bodies have been recovered from the grave in Tomasica. Prosecutors say evidence gathered there demonstrates the involvement of Bosnian Serb forces under Mladic’s command in the murder and burial of non-Serbs in the Prijedor region early in the country’s 1992-95 war.last_img read more

Conservationists say China holds key to saving elephants

first_img New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Sponsored Stories JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Conservationists say it’s a possible game-changer in the struggle to curb the slaughter of elephants: a pledge by a Chinese official to stop the ivory trade in a country whose vast consumer market drives elephant poaching across Africa.Now, conservation groups are waiting in suspense for China to outline how and when it would ban a sophisticated industry that criminal syndicates use as cover for their illicit business in tusks. Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Zhou Fei, head of the China office of TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring organization, predicts that an ivory trade ban could happen in 2017 when a legal stockpile of ivory in China is possibly depleted.The May 29 comment about an end to China’s ivory trade came from Zhao Shucong, head of China’s State Forestry Administration.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.center_img Comments   Share   Men’s health affects baby’s health too How do cataracts affect your vision? Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall How men can have a healthy 2019last_img read more