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Durban’s A1 Grand Prix thriller

first_img30 January 2006About 100 000 fans lined the 3.2-kilometre A1 Grand Prix Durban street circuit on Sunday to witness a riveting sprint and grand prix race, with ex-Formula One driver Jos Verstappen of the Netherlands turning in a fine performance to take the honours in the feature event.The former Formula One star snatched the lead on the final lap, overtaking Switzerland’s Neel Jani, who was having brake problems, with a bold pass.Earlier, Verstappen had crashed out of the sprint race on the last lap, as he tried for the victory. That mistake saw him relegated to 16th place on the grid for the 40-lap main event.Portugal’s Alvaro Parente claimed third place ahead of New Zealand’s Matt Halliday, who drove superbly and with considerable guts to snap up fourth spot.Error-free run for SimpsonSouth Africa’s Stephen Simpson finished fifth, equaling the best finish thus far by a driver in his home grand prix, following an error-free run.Simpson started the race in 10th place on the grid after he struggled with electrical problems in the sprint race, which resulted in a lowly 20th place finish. His crew played a vital role in helping him move up the standings, executing a slick pit stop which enabled Simpson to move ahead of a number of his rivals.The local crowd showed their appreciation for his efforts by giving him a standing ovation after the race, and Simpson responded by throwing his gloves to the fans.Following Simpson across the finishing line was Italy’s Massimo Busnelli, Alexandre Premat of France – who won the sprint race – Austria’s Mathias Lauda, Brazil’s Nelson Piquet junior, and Sean McIntosh of Canada.Home supportSpeaking after the race, Simpson said he was delighted to have been able to pay the South African supporters back with a good drive, especially in light of the disappointing result in the sprint race. “It was hard work and very tiring, but I am relieved and very proud to have finished in the top five,” he said.“The technical team in the pits has been great and a lot of hard work went into this achievement. This is a great afternoon to be a South African.”Team South Africa CEO Dana Cooper said the event was a huge success. She said the sell-out crowd was a fantastic reward for all the hard work that went into preparing for the A1 Grand Prix on the Durban beachfront.Among the guests in attendance were South African President Thabo Mbeki, Kwazulu-Natal Premier Sbu Ndebele, and Durban Mayor Obed Mlaba.ResultsSprint race 1. France (Alexandre Premat)2. Britain (Robbie Kerr)3. Switzerland (Neel Jani)4. Ireland (Ralph Firman)5. Czech Republic (Tomas Enge)6. New Zealand (Matt Halliday)7. Germany (Timo Scheider)8. Portugal (Alvaro Parente)9. Australia (Will Davison)10. Mexico (David Martinez)11. Pakistan (Enrico Toccacelo)12. Canada (Sean McIntosh)13. United States (Philip Giebler)14. India (Armaan Ebrahim)15. Austria (Mathias Lauda)Did not finish16. Netherlands (Jos Verstappen)17. Lebanon (Basil Shaaban)18. China (Tengyi Jiang)19. Brazil (Nelson Piquet Jr.)20. South Africa (Stephen Simpson)21. Indonesia (Ananda Mikola)22. Italy (Massimiliano Busnelli)23. Malaysia (Alex Yoong) Grand Prix  1. Netherlands, (Jos Verstappen)2. Switzerland (Neel Jani)3. Portugal (Alvaro Parente)4. Zealand (Matt Halliday)5. South Africa (Stephen Simpson)6. Italy (Massimiliano Busnelli)7. France (Alexandre Premat)8. Austria (Mathias Lauda)9. Brazil (Nelson Piquet Jr.)Did not finish10. Canada (Sean McIntosh)11. Germany (Timo Scheider)12. China (Tengyi Jiang)13. Pakistan (Enrico Toccacelo)14. Mexico (David Martinez)15. Lebanon (Basil Shaaban)16. Malaysia (Alex Yoong)17. Ireland (Ralph Firman)18. India (Armaan Ebrahim)19. Indonesia (Ananda Mikola)20. Britain (Robbie Kerr)21. Czech Republic (Tomas Enge)22. Australia (Will Davison)23. United States (Philip Giebler) Overall standings 1. France, 120 points.2. Switzerland, 92.3. Brazil, 63.4. Britain, 58.5. New Zealand, 54.6. Portugal, 50.7. Ireland, 44.8. Netherlands, 44.9. Malaysia, 33.10. Canada, 32.11. Czech Republic, 30.12. Australia, 29.13. Italy, 26.14. Mexico, 20.15. South Africa, 20.  Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

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Cheesekids help the less fortunate

first_imgShaka Sisulu is turning heads as he injects fun into charity through his non-profit organisation, Cheesekids for Humanity. (Image: Cheesekids)• Brand South Africa+27 11 483 [email protected] NaidooShaka Sisulu, grandson of the late African National Congress stalwarts Walter and Albertina Sisulu, will appear on the next episode of the Play Your Part television series on 6 July, at 9pm. The series is broadcast on SABC2.Sisulu is turning heads as he injects fun into charity by helping underprivileged mothers and children through his non-profit organisation, Cheesekids for Humanity. Cheesekids is a broad-based volunteer movement. It’s a youth-orientated community service platform with the main purpose to encourage privileged South African youth to contribute regularly to the upliftment and empowerment of less fortunate communities.“Cheesekids organises events and activities where young people like you volunteer their time, labour, and creativity towards various needs identified in local townships and informal settlements,” it says. “So if kids are hungry at school, we try to figure out a smart way and sustainable way of fixing the problem without throwing money at it.”Sisulu remembers his awakening: “The year 2007. One cool autumn day. A couple of friends invited me on a ‘build’. It was a building of a house in Ivory Park [a Joburg township] sponsored by Habitat for Humanity. Some of my friends had done it before and raved about it and I was only too happy to get out of my own private Idaho of soap opera living for an afternoon.“It was possibly one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life. I had never seen so many ‘cheesekids’ get stuck into such manual labour with such aplomb,” he says. “The feeling of being able with my bare hands to help ones less fortunate than me with the bare necessities was inexplicable. The bond amongst friends coming together to help out for a common cause was surreal.An eye-opener“Understanding the deprivation and degradation so many of our countrymen live with day-to-day was also an eye-opener for me. And so I got the bug. It became a monthly occurrence. And one such day the term ‘Cheesekids’ was born. A tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that we were all coming from and going back to completely different lives. The phrase comes from an old township [and sometimes derogatory] slang for kids of affluent or well-off families – the kids who have cheese in the fridge.”Once all the homes in the quota were built, Sisulu noted a strong need to continue building. “Friends brought in their friends. It seems that for so many people the yearning to give back had found an outlet of sorts.”Over the past few years, he says, he has been very privileged to be part of an incredible movement of young people answering the question of “what can we do” brick by brick, brush by brush and shovel by barrow.The organisation has to date hosted over 30 000 Cheesekids volunteers who have helped build, plaster and paint houses; clean up schools; wash orphans’ clothes; tutor and mentor; pick up litter; feed and clothe the homeless, indigent and abused; plant vegetable gardens and de-weed lawns; read to, play with and bring smiles to children in Soweto, Tembisa, Alexandra, Diepsloot, Mamelodi, inner city Johannesburg, Orange Farm, Khayelitsha and many other places of desolation and desperation across South Africa.last_img read more

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USDA announces establishment of U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Dave Russell, Ohio Ag NetThe interim final rule formalizing the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program was published in the Federal Register in late October, allowing hemp to be grown under federally-approved plans. Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Marketing and Regulatory Programs, Greg Ibach said the interim rule includes a number of provisions for USDA to approve plans developed by states.“This includes provisions for tracking the land where hemp is grown, procedures for testing the concentration levels of TCH, procedures for disposing of non-compliant plants, compliance provisions on how to handle violations as a result of inspections on farms, and procedures to share information with law enforcement,” Ibach said. “We are also going to make sure that states that have programs have resources available to manage those plants.”The new hemp rule enables the Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency to determine which USDA programs hemp growers are eligible, including loans and crop insurance.“FSA is developing loan programs for hemp producers, which will be available on a limited basis. We are talking about establishing operating ownership, beginning farmer and on-farm storage loans for this next year. Many hemp producers will also be able to buy non-insured crop disaster assistance, which is offered through FSA,” said Bill Northey USDA Under Secretary. “This will essentially give them insurance coverage in the event of adverse weather. That will be established this next year and will be available where crop insurance is not available. To take advantage of these programs, hemp producers will have to file an acreage report with FSA. That is typically done after spring plantings are complete, likely late spring or next summer.”These programs will be available beginning with the 2020 crop year. This rule is effective Oct. 31, 2019 through Nov. 1, 2021. Public comments on the rule received by December 30, 2019 will be considered prior to issuance of a final rule.last_img read more

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Trails map type now in Geocaching® app

first_imgSome of the best geocaches are found off the beaten path. Like this one…On the path to Table Mountain (GCN5VD). Photo by Love.…and this one….In the Valley of Fire State Park (GC3AQRC). Photo by Love.…and definitely this one.Summiting Mt. Rainier (GCPZBX). Photo by Love.With our latest Geocaching® app update, we added the Trails map type to help you find these hard-to-reach geocaches and to find the caches hidden right in your neighborhood park. This feature uses open-source maps to show trails in cities, parks, and wild spaces. Here’s a peek inside the app:Select your preferred map type.Navigate to a geocache using Trails. Get the app. Do you have tips for finding geocaches in rugged terrain? Tell us in the comments below!Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedNew tools for your next trip into the great outdoors!January 17, 2017In “News”Six geocache outing planning mistakes you don’t know you are makingApril 30, 2019In “News”A geocacher’s secrets to making New Year’s resolutions stickDecember 22, 2016In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”last_img read more

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The Tech Industry’s Massive Marketing Problem

first_imgThe US has a skilled developer shortage, and it’s one of its own making. While Silicon Valley wrings its hands over H1B visa caps on skilled foreign workers, the bigger issue remains the U.S.’ inability to educate its own citizens. Actually, it may be worse than this: while we may educate a surplus of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) students for traditional STEM roles, we seem to fail to entice enough of them to get into technology.Which is bizarre, if we stop to think about this for even a nanosecond.(Don’t) Show Me The Money?After all, while people may not purely be driven by money, it’s reasonable to assume that people would gravitate to those fields that pay the best. Or pay at all. Given the global economy’s persistent weakness – Friday’s tepid jobs report confirmed that there’s no end in sight – students should be pouring into STEM-related disciplines, and then into STEM jobs.But they’re not. At least, not into technology.Since 1980, the number of STEM graduates has increased by 60%. Unfortunately, the rate of growth for technology jobs has outpaced this, and the U.S. educational system hasn’t kept pace:Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Science Foundation, College Board (compiled by Code.org)Nor does it get better with postsecondary educdation. In fact, 60% of those enrolled in U.S. Computer Science PhD programs are non-resident aliens. Among other things, this suggests that we have difficulty keeping our students engaged.Which, in turn, leaves us scrambling for more skilled foreign workers, as Matthew Prince points out: A Question of Incentives?The issue isn’t so much that we need to train more Computer Science graduates. As Sam Ramji, Apigee’s VP of Strategy, told me, “In my experience, STM produce better developers than CS/CSE. For fundamental research and hardware, you need CS. For most software, no.” He goes on to argue that the “best developers come from Physics, Philosophy, Math [and] Cognitive Science” as “CSE is too focused on machines.”Assuming this is true, and I heard much the same thing from others, the issue is that we need to encourage more students to make a career in tech. And stay there.As a report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce notes, Even when the numbers indicate that we are producing enough STEM graduates for STEM occupations, we do face STEM scarcity in some occupations because STEM-capable workers divert from STEM into non-STEM occupations, particularly Managerial and Professional and Healthcare Professional occupations.In other words, STEM skills are in high demand, and we’re not doing enough to keep them engaged in tech, given how much such skills are valued in other professions. We may have a marketing problem.Connecting The DotsThis marketing problem is compounded by the overall shortage in talent. While training more Computer Science graduates may not be a panacea, it surely must be part of the solution. At present, CS classes don’t even count toward math or science credit in 41 of 50 states, as Code.org highlights, and 90% of our high schools don’t teach programming at all. Getting programming classes into core curricula seems like a relatively easy fix.Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, National Science Foundation (compiled by Code.org)But it’s not the ultimate solution.More than formal training, it seems we need to focus on inculcating a love of technology, and a passion for the progress it can bring. Perhaps we’re missing out on tech workers because we’ve never motivated our youth to want to program in the first place; we’ve not done a good enough job explaining why code matters.The next step is learning to code. In our world awash in open source and fantastic programs like Codecademy, it’s easier (and cheaper) than ever to learn how to program. But if we don’t know why code matters, students will never bother with the “how.”It’s not about making a billion dollars. It’s about teaching our youth that the future is being written today in code, and if they want to influence that future they’re going to need to code. Or, in the case of English majors like me, to blog about it.Image courtesy of Shutterstock. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affaircenter_img Matt Asay Tags:#Computer Science#education#employment#H1B visa Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

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Why The Facebook-Parse Deal Makes Parse’s Rivals Very, Very Happy

first_imgYesterday, Facebook bought Parse, a San Francisco startup with a service designed to greatly simplify the process of creating mobile and Web apps. Today, Parse’s rivals are doubtless celebrating because the (reportedly) $85 million acquisition effectively puts a big seal of approval on their techniques for automating some aspects of app development.(See also: What Happens When Almost Anybody Can Build A Mobile Business App?)In tech jargon, outfits like Parse are often called “backend as a service” (or, worse, BaaS) companies. But they could be better described as mobile cloud-service companies. They offer services designed to easily tie mobile apps into the cloud, providing a host of automatic “backend” functions such as data storage and connections to social networks. That allows developers to focus on the core elements that make their apps sing instead of doing a lot of complicated integration with cloud systems.One of the companies paying closest attention to Facebook’s move is Boston-based Kinvey, one of Parse’s biggest rivals and a startup eager to see this cloud-service market really hit the big time.What This “Validation” MeansOver the space of a few months in 2011, three startups effectively created this app-service automation market. Parse, StackMob and Kinvey promised easy cloud integration to mobile developers, but lookalikes quickly surfaced. Cocoafish (acquired by Appcelerator, Tiggzi (now Appery.io), FeedHenry, Applicasa from the startup end, new services from the likes of Sencha (Sencha.io) andeven Apple (iCloud) joined the fray. IBM and SAP now also offer similar cloud solutions.(See also: Parse Offers “Backend as a Service” to Mobile Developers)Some critics wondered if the industry segment had become too crowded and if all the outside entrants would doom the three original backend-service providers. They were small, their business models were unproven and their stories (i.e., “we provide backends so you don’t have to”) were quickly in danger of being drowned out by competition claiming the same thing. There was a time in 2012, before it raised its first venture funding, when Kinvey had serious doubts if it would make it.A map of the BaaS ecosystem from Kinvey from February 2012Then these companies, which initially had started as developer tools, started turning into actual businesses. StackMob and Kinvey found that big companies were really interested in their services. Parse started attracting brands like the NFL’s Green Bay Packers, Hipmunk, Armani and the Food Network.(See also: Bringing Enterprise Data To Your Mobile Workers)It’s no coincidence that Facebook named Parse, StackMob and Kinvey (along with the likes of PhoneGap and Sencha) as preferred technology partners last week. These are companies with useful skill sets. All three have done extensive work with Facebook in the past. Many in the tech community associate “validation” of a new technological or business approach with startup venture funding or outright acquisition. But the likes of Parse arguably found validation much earlier, with the arrival of big, high-profile customers. “Lots of people are saying [the Parse acquisition] ‘validates’ the space,” said Sravish Sridhar, CEO and co-founder of Kinvey. “I disagree. The space was validated when brands like J&J, Aetna GSN and Cadillac began trusting their data and apps to BaaS.”Sridhar has a point. But until Parse sold out, none of these startups had entered the “big money” realm of tens of millions in funding, revenue or acquisition. In that sense, the Facebook-Parse deal has definitely lifted the prospects of StackMob, Kinvey and the rest of their competitors.Where Do These Startups Go From Here?Parse reportedly had a long line of suitors. Facebook won the bidding, but Dropbox, Google and Yahoo also all apparently had interest, according to Wall Street Journal reporter Evelyn Rusli. A variety of other companies have also shown interest in the backend-service startups, including Salesforce (customer relationship management), Intel (chip manufacturing and developer tools) and classic enterprise service providers like IBM and SAP, which have acquired mobile enterprise application platforms (MEAPs) in the past. When parsing what the Parse acquisition means to companies like Kinvey and StackMob last night, Kinvey’s head of marketing Joe Chernov turned to Sridhar and said, “Do you know of any other tech space that has so many different kinds of big companies wanting to acquire its vendors?”It’s a good question and one that should have the likes of Kinvey and StackMob hi-fiving, jumping in their seats and making plans for happy hour. Twitter will be the next company to watch. It recently bought Boston-based Crashlytics and Bluefin for a total a little less than $200 million. Twitter is beefing up on its own application ecosystem (see: Vine and Twitter Cards) and could very easily find a place for backend services in its app efforts. Tags:#app development#Cloud Providers#Facebook Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement dan rowinski What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech …center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology Related Posts last_img read more

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Congress urges Supreme Court to take over Unnao probe

first_imgThe Congress on Monday appealed to the Supreme Court to take notice of the suspicious accident involving the Unnao rape survivor, and urged it to take over investigations into the rape case.Protests from the Opposition members over the issue led to a brief adjournment in the Rajya Sabha. Six Congress members in the Lok Sabha moved an adjournment motion to discuss the issue of law and order in Uttar Pradesh. The motion was disallowed by Speaker Om Birla.BJP MLA Kuldeep Sengar is the main accused in the Unnao rape case, and is charged with assaulting a 17-year-old girl two years ago. On Sunday, the rape survivor was seriously injured after a truck hit the vehicle in which she, along with her lawyer and her two aunts, were travelling to Rae Bareli. The two older women were killed in the accident. The personal security officer assigned to the survivor was not accompanying her.The number plate of the truck was smeared with black paint, making identification difficult.Tacit support“All this indicates that without the support and encouragement of the Uttar Pradesh government, nobody will dare to do this… We want the Supreme Court to take suo motu notice and take over the investigations,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said.Raising the matter during the Zero Hour in the Rajya Sabha, Samajwadi Party member Ram Gopal Yadav alleged that an attempt was made to “kill” the rape victim.As soon as Mr. Yadav raised the issue, almost the entire Opposition, including those of the SP, the BSP, the Congress and the AAP, were on their feet.Rajya Sabha Chairman M. Venkaiah Naidu said he had asked the Union Home Minister to take note of the matter but after protesting members did not yield, Mr Naidu adjourned the House till noon. “This has caused a national outrage and raises fundamental question about the rule of law in U.P. What has happened is extremely cruel and unacceptable,” Congress Deputy Leader in the Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma told The Hindu.Congress leader Rahul Gandhi took a dig at the Modi government’s “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” scheme.“Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao. A new special education bulletin for Indian women. Don’t ask questions if a BJP MLA is accused of having raped you,” Mr. Gandhi tweeted and tagged a media report on the accident.Congress general secretary for eastern U.P. Priyanka Gandhi Vadra asked why the BJP had not yet expelled the accused lawmaker. “What is the BJP waiting for? Why has this man not been expelled from their party even when his name is in the latest FIR in the Unnao rape case,” she asked in a tweet.The Congress also raised the issue of a former Indian Army captain being beaten to death in Amethi.last_img read more

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Trace women missing from Nithyananda Ashram: HC

first_imgThe Gujarat High Court on Tuesday directed the State police to trace two women who went missing from the Nithyananda Ashram in Ahmedabad. The court was acting on a habeas corpus petition filed by the women’s father Janardhan Sharma. A Division Bench of Justices S.R. Brahmbhatt and A.P. Thaker directed the police to consult Interpol and the Ministry of External Affairs, as well as other agencies, to find the two women, ensure their protection from any threat, and assure them that their independent will and choice would be respected by the judiciary. The court has posted the matter for hearing on December 10.Escaped abroad?Meanwhile, during the hearing on Tuesday, the police told the court that they had suspected that Lopamudra Sharma (21) and Nandhitha Sharma (18), daughters of Mr. Sharma who filed the habeas corpus, might have escaped abroad. In his petition, Mr. Sharma contended that his daughters were being ‘illegally confined’ by inmates of the Nithyananda Ashram.Video claimThe sisters have occasionally, through a video messaging service using a proxy network, claimed that they were fine and did not want to meet their parents and even accused the parents of trying to intimidate them. The court said these videos shared by the duo could not be relied upon at this point of time. It cannot be said the statements were not being made under pressure. No documents or videos directly sent by them would be considered at this point of time, it said, and ordered the police to produce the sisters before the court. Mr. Sharma in his petition alleged that the authorities of a branch of Nithyananda Dhyanpeetham, named ‘Yogini Sarvagyapeetham’, situated on the premises of Delhi Public School in Ahmedabad, did not let them meet their four daughters enrolled there.While the police managed to rescue two of their minor daughters from Yogini Sarvagyapeetham, Lopamudra and Nandhitha had gone missing.last_img read more

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10 months agoLiverpool captain Henderson reveals he’s still in Gerrard contact

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Liverpool captain Henderson reveals he’s still in Gerrard contactby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool captain Jordan Henderson says he remains in contact with Rangers boss Steven Gerrard.Henderson took over the captaincy from Gerrard four years ago.”It was a big responsibility when I first got the role but I always looked forward to it. Otherwise I wouldn’t have done it,” reflects Henderson. “I spoke to Stevie in a lot of detail before he left and still speak to him now and again. As time has gone on, it has got a lot easier. I’ve learned a lot.”With Liverpool unbeaten this season he says: “I feel we’re ready. We definitely have the potential to win trophies.”I have every confidence, with the people and talent we’ve got in the dressing-room, that we can produce trophies in the very near future.” last_img read more

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