PREMIUMAnalysis: Recovery of CPO demand

first_imgForgot Password ? LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Linkedin analysis bank-mandiri CPO export demand Facebook Topics : The COVID-19 pandemic has hit global demand for most products, including crude palm oil (CPO). The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in its oilseed report predicts that global consumption of CPO will decline by 2.3 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the September 2019 to October 2020 period. The USDA also predicts that CPO consumption will recover in the next period by 4.2 percent yoy. In a more detailed view, CPO demand actually began to normalize since June 2020.One of the indicators that show improved demand is export volume from major producing countries, such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Indonesia’s CPO export volume in June and July 2020 were 2.1 and 2.4 million tons respectively, the same volume as Indonesia’s CPO exports in June and July 2019.Similarly, Malaysia’s CPO export volume in June and July were recorded at 1.7 and 1.8 million tons, respectiv… Log in with your social account Googlelast_img read more

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Strong results for golf in participation report

first_img The latest report from Sport England shows that golf participation is continuing to hold strongly, despite bad winter weather and flooding. The Active People Survey for the 12 months to March 2016 says that 738,200 people aged over 16 are currently playing golf at least once a week. This highlights a period of stability which has now extended over the last three sets of results. The latest survey results are published just two days after Sports Minister David Evennett supported the work of the England Golf Partnership to grow the game. He spoke of the Government’s commitment to increasing participation at a reception at the Palace of Westminster, hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Golf Group. “It is clear to me and to the Government that the benefits of golf are very far reaching,” he said, referencing golf’s huge popularity as the country’s fifth most-played sport, its wide reach across all backgrounds and abilities, its contribution to the economy and its part in supporting the Government’s sports strategy to tackle inactivity. The reception drew attention to initiatives to increase participation. These include the Get into golf campaign, supported by Sky Sports, which offers great value coaching courses with PGA professionals; and Golf Express, which has just been launched nationally to promote the nine-hole game to busy people. Clubs across the country are invited to join the campaign and promote 9-hole green fees and offers to players on the GolfExpress9.org website. EGP Chairman Nic Coward said: “It was great for all involved in English golf to hear the Sports Minister’s support for the game at every level and for the huge work put in by so many people, which is reflected in strong participation figures. It is a real boost that Government wants to see even more from golf and supports our work to encourage more people to play and, ultimately, to play more often.” The EGP brings together the amateur governing body, England Golf, and the Professional Golfers’ Association to grow the game, with the support of the Golf Foundation, other industry partners and Sport England funding. It co-ordinates the development of golf in schools, local communities, clubs, counties and in talent pathways to national teams. Click here to read more about the Active People Survey Image © Leaderboard Photography 9 Jun 2016 Strong results for golf in participation report last_img read more

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Working the Dream, Immigrant Business Owners Tell Their Stories

first_imgHe arrived speaking “a little, not much,” English, working at Woodlake Country Club, Lakewood, and then later Navesink Country Club, Middletown, where he worked as a chef, before becoming an entrepreneur.“I came to the United States for the opportunities,” he offered. Long days still, he acknowledged – “Every day, every day I come,” to the businesses – but he also conceded he’s slowed down a little since the early days.The United States, “For me it’s great,” he offered. “The best country. The best country for opportunities.” Life here hasn’t always been easy, especially when he first came, acknowledging it’s a difficult transition to another culture and language. But he believes life is better now than if he stayed in Mexico, which he visits every year to see family. “There’s more freedom here more secure, safety. It’s better,” he said. “No complaints. I’m very happy, happy with my family.”Torres, who became a citizen 12 years ago, has seven children from three marriages and for them “I want them to get an education, college.”“There is no way you could make it with no college,” he advised. And he offered another lesson to his children and everyone: “To get where you want to be you have to work hard.”“This nation is changing,” Menna observed, moving from what had been a majority white population to a more diverse, multi-racial and -ethnic country. “And I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” he added, with diversity bringing with it a vitality, he said.And that change is continuing, as areas of New Jersey that had been predominately African American, or Polish or Jewish, had become Puerto Rican and then populated by other Hispanic nationalities as Mexican and Central American. And it’s still changing, “10 years from now it’ll be a different group,” probably taking on a Middle Eastern flavor as new immigrants relocate from part of the globe, Menna noted. Immigration benefits the community and country, he believes. “They bring different ideas,” on how to get ahead. “Like me,” he explained, “they can use their ideas to have better life.” By John BurtonRED BANK – The stories of immigrants are our stories whose families had arrived generations ago. Their dreams are our dreams; their hopes for their families are the same as all of ours. They are America.While on the national political arena, whether in the halls of Congress or on the campaign trail, the rhetoric gets fiery, with talk of building walls, rounding up undocumented immigrants, denying admittance to this country because of religious beliefs, there are many immigrants living in our area leading lives of quiet productivity, many operating small businesses. Their hope is, like many of us, to provide for their families, build a future and hope for better futures for their children. And in the process these small business owners are contributing to the local economy, offering services and goods, as well as creating jobs.“I think it’s a great thing,” what these small business owners are doing, said Red Bank Mayor Pasquale Menna, a Democrat serving his third term.Menna’s own background speaks of the immigrant experience. He came to the U.S. as a young child with his family from his native Italy. He recalled as a 10-year-old having to translate into Italian for his parents and while others “are looking at you telling you to speak English.”Of the businesses owned and operated by immigrants, Menna said, “It empowers people of various minorities…By that empowerment they also have roots and have an invested stake in the success of that community.”It can provide a protective barrier for their ethnic community. “And I think it’s a progressive tool,” Menna continued. “And I think it creates a level playing field where there were and still are abuses,” aimed at members of an immigrant community.Here are are some of their stories:El Salvador-born Hugo Paredes, with help of his daughters Thania and Stephanie, now operate Paredes’ latest business venture, Carlos O’Connor’s Mexican restaurant in Red Bank. Paredes owns and operates other local businesses Photo: John BurtonHUGO PAREDESHugo Paredes is a 44-year-old native of El Salvador. He traveled to the U.S. alone 22 years ago, knowing only a cousin who lived in this country.“We came from a really poor country,” he remembered. Growing up “I got tired of seeing my mom working at the sewing machine day and night,” to support the family.Along with being a poor country, El Salvador, in Central America, is a particularly violent one, Paredes pointed out, with gangs running rampant and a bloody civil war that had raged for years as he was growing up. His father became a victim of violent crime; attacked by a gang, shot four times and now is confined to a wheelchair.Paredes’ journey to the U.S. was in part because, “I wanted to give them a better life,” for his family, which included five siblings, he said.When he first arrived, he didn’t speak any English, stayed with his cousin in Union City, then moving to Lynbrook, Long Island, working a variety of jobs – construction, produce clerk in a supermarket, dishwashing. He eventually made his way to Red Bank – where he met his future wife, Elizabeth – and found work with a Rumson landscaping company.When the married couple who owned the landscaping business was divorcing and closing the business, they helped Paredes start his own landscaping company, providing him with equipment and about eight of their clients.Paredes worked long hours and built up the business. He was able to put away enough money to open Rincon Latino, a grocery and deli, 218 Shrewsbury Ave., that markets to the Latino community. The work didn’t get any easier in the beginning, he said. Paredes would get up at 2 a.m. to travel to New York City or Philadelphia to purchase produce, get back, get the kitchen going in Rincon Latino for his wife to take over for the day, so he could start landscaping by 7 a.m. He would work until 7 p.m. or later. Marco Machado, who owns and operates Fernando’s Shoe Repair in Red Bank, came to the U.S. 32 years ago in search of a better life.MARCO MACHADOMarco Machado, who is now 50, came to the United States 32 years ago, and continued in the shoe repair trade that his father and grandfather had done to support their families in Machado’s native Brazil.Machado, who lives in Perth Amboy, owns and operates Fernando’s Shoe Repair, 74 Monmouth St. where he is the sole employee. He has owned it for 15 years.Machado decided to come to America “Like everybody: for a better life.”“When I come here things were tough in Brazil,” with a declining economy, he recalled, precipitating his decision to leave. He had begun by working in construction, first living in Newark.He is married with two daughters and said of his business, “I can’t complain. I make a living, pay my bills.”But he had no reservations about what he thought of his adopted country. “I love America,” he said, noting he became an American citizen about 20 years ago. “Everything is good here. There is opportunity and security; you feel more secure here.“There’s everything you need in the U.S.A.,” he added.Juan Torres, with his 19-year-old daughter, Leah Torres, owns a number of successful area businesses, including Juanito’s Mexican restaurant in Red Bank. Photo: John BurtonJUAN TORRESJuan Torres came to the U.S. from his home in Mexico in 1982 and can be described as a success by any standard.Torres, who is 55, and lives in Tinton Falls, has owned and operated Juanito’s Mexican restaurant, 159 Monmouth St., for nearly 25 years. He recently sold the second location, in Howell, which is still operating under the name Juanito’s II. He opened and runs a neighborhood grocery catering to the Hispanic community on Shrewsbury Avenue about four years ago; and has been operating a Latino bakery on the western end of Monmouth Street for about 12 years. Over the last four years he’s renovated four homes on the West Side and is renting them out.His next endeavor is to build a laundromat with apartments on the upper floor in a vacant Shrewsbury Avenue building.At one point, with the two restaurants and other interests he had about 60 employees, with that number now about 28.Growing up in Mexico, Torres explained “Life was comfortable.” “But,” he added, “we wanted more.” The continuing hard work has paid off, as Paredes has expanded his business interests and recently acquired Carlos O’Connor’s Mexican restaurant, 31 Monmouth St. Paredes operates the restaurant with the help of some valued employees and his eldest daughter, Thania, 18, a Monmouth University student.Paredes also purchased an approximately 30-acre dairy farm, with about 70 cows, in his native country that family members operate.For his businesses in this country, Paredes has about 20 employees working for him. And even though, “I had nothing” when he started, he said “life is good,” now for Paredes, his wife and two daughters and maybe in a few more years he’ll be able to slow down a bit.He admits he has faced discrimination. “They don’t have to say it,” he said, but he could sense it in the way people looked at him. “They just start making faces.”Paredes has become an American citizen and he takes exception to some of the comments from politicians. “We come to work; we don’t come to do bad things. We come to help the country, to help ourselves.”He said coming to the U.S. is the “best thing to happen in my life.“If you have ideas and you want something and are willing to work you can have it,” he believes that is what this country offers. “But you have to want to work.”Lauro Morales-Franco immigrated to Red Bank from his native Mexico and has started his own masonry/construction business.Photo: John BurtonLAURO MORALES-FRANCOLauro Morales-Franco came to Red Bank from Mexico in 1999 because his brother and sister had already immigrated here. And when he arrived Morales-Franco took his brother’s advice: “He told me the first thing to do was to go to school to learn English.” So he took advantage of free ESL classes offered at Brookdale Community College’s satellite facility in Long Branch.Before coming to the U.S., he considered staying in Mexico, having served in the Mexican Army. But attempts at business, such as a restaurant, were unsuccessful, in part because of the governmental bureaucracy he said he struggled against. “The life and conditions we had in Mexico, it was impossible to make anything,” to get ahead, he said.Coming here, he began by working for a roofing company – starting his second day in the U.S. He went on to work in a number of area restaurants, including an Applebee’s, the Salt Creek Grille, Rumson, and the Americana Diner, Shrewsbury, and eventually found his way into construction work.And that led him back into masonry work. Morales-Franco had begun working with concrete at 14 in Mexico, having left school to help his family. His family had eight children; “That’s a lot of mouths to feed,” he said.A field manager on a construction site suggested Morales-Franco go into business for himself, given his ability in working with concrete. That led him to start Dylas Construction in 2005.“In the beginning of business I couldn’t afford a truck; I had to use my car,” to lug equipment and material to the job sites. And now, 11 years later of owning a business, “Right now for me it’s the beginning of business,” as it continues to grow. “There’s no relaxing. I don’t see that right now.”But coming here was the right thing, he believes. “I know if I stayed in my country it wouldn’t be the same. This country has more opportunity for everybody.”Morales-Franco and his wife, Alejandra, have four children, ranging in ages from 14-years-old to 18 months, and have recently bought a home on Catherine Street.He is studying to become a citizen and said the U.S. has been “wonderful,” allowing his family to live a life they wouldn’t have had in Mexico and helped him help his parents improve the quality of their lives.“My wife says I dream too much,” he said, but the dreams he has now are for his children’s future. “I want them to get education, to go to college.”Mohamed Elbery, who owns and operates Café 28 in Red Bank, is originally from Egypt and has traveled and worked around the world, and now calls the United States and Monmouth County home.Photo: John BurtonMOHAMED ELBERYMohamed Elbery has owned and operated Cafe 28 every day for the last 51⁄2 years. Every day. “Since I open I don’t have a day off,” as the lone employee of his small eatery.But that’s OK, he maintains. “Yes, it’s paid off. It’s for yourself. It’s hard work, but it’s for yourself.“You have to work hard in any business you’re in,” he added.Elbery, 56, is an Egyptian who has had a varied career before settling in the U.S. He has a law degree, having worked as a lawyer in his native Egypt and served as an officer, as a criminal investigator, for the Egyptian Air Force. He always had a touch of the wanderlust and traveled through Europe, living in England, France, Switzerland, as well in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. He owned and operated a jewelry store and worked for restaurants and hotels in his travels. “When I see the people traveling, I see the airplanes,” he explained, “it’s very attractive to me.”In his 23 years of living in this country, the whole time living in Monmouth County, Elbery, who lives in Tinton Falls, has worked in restaurants and has sold cars before opening his eatery on Monmouth Street, which features Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fare as well as traditional western selections.Business could be better – “It’s been slow, to be honest”– but “It’s been good,” in this country, he added. “I work for myself,” and for his wife and two children, a 23-year-old daughter and a 19-year-old son.“It’s been hard work but it’s for yourself,” he said.Life in America, he said, is “nice and quiet and steady and normal,” offering stability and security and a reassuring continuity. “Every day you know what it will be.”He bristles at some of the comments he hears on the news. “They talk about what they want to talk about,” he said. “To be honest, when they push too much, yes,” it’s worrisome.“This country is built from that,” the work of immigrants, he said.“That’s everyone in America.”When Nelson Beltranena (pictured with his employee Rocio Sanchez) left his native El Salvador and came to the U.S. he took what he learned working in area restaurants to open his own, North of the Border, in Red Bank. Photo: John BurtonNELSON BELTRANENANelson Beltranena, a 46-year-old native of El Salvador (and Paredes’ cousin), came to the U.S. in 2003, because of the crime and lack of opportunity he found in his homeland. “It’s the guns,” he said in stilted English, referring to the rampant violence, he witnessed. “Everyone is crazy.” He also felt, “The country wouldn’t let me work,” with its deplorable economy, he added.Coming here, Beltranena worked for a time in restaurant kitchens and “I took what I learned” and opened North of the Border, a small, modest restaurant and take-out, 176 Monmouth St., in November 2009.“Here, I can work and have my business,” he said.Given the large and seemingly growing Mexican population, Beltranena felt that a restaurant specializing in Mexican cuisine was a solid business choice. And it has been, attracting a regular crowd of Latino customers. Now, though, “We want the Americans,” to come to his location.He is planning to open his second location, with a North of the Border in Asbury Park with a planned opening next May. In his Red Bank restaurant, he currently employs ten.Beltranena, who is a resident alien, and his longtime girlfriend have four children, ranging in age from 9-years-old to two weeks. For them “America is good. We can work. Everything is good.”last_img read more

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Kootenay hosts Vancouver NE in weekend Major Midget action in Trail

first_imgThe Kootenay Ice takes a 1-8-1 record into a pair of weekend games at the Cominco Arena in Trail against the Vancouver Northwest Chiefs.Despite sitting at the bottom of league standings, the Ice continues to take a positive approach to the season.“This week is a challenge but last time I checked their players had two arms and two legs just ours do,” said Ice head coach Mario DiBella, putting his own positive spin on the weekend.Truman Gonzales and Adam Rockwood lead the Chiefs in scoring. Both players lead the Chiefs in scoring with 17 points.In contrast, Jake Lucchini is the top offensive threat for the Ice with 12 points, including seven goals.Brandon Sookro of Nelson has four goals.Vancouver is tied for fourth in league standings with a 6-4 record.Puck drops Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Cominco Arena. Sunday the game time is 9:45 a.m. in Trail.DiBella will not be behind the bench for the weekend games, deferring to assistant coach Sean Dooley.DiBella is currently in Saguenay, Que. watching his daughter Aimee play in the 2011 National Women’s Under-18 Championships.last_img read more

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FINN HARPS GOALIE GALLAGHER RECOVERING WELL AFTER BEING RUSHED TO HOSPITAL

first_imgUPDATED: Finn Harps goalkeeper Ciaran Gallagher was rushed to hospital after an incident during a game this afternoon.Gallagher is believed to have been knocked unconscious for more than ten minutes after a clash during his club’s game against Waterford Utd today.There were serious fears for Gallagher’s safety as the referee took both teams off the pitch as medical personnel rushed to Gallagher’s assistance. The game was stopped for 21 minutes before Gallagher was taken by ambulance to Waterford Regional Hospital where he is now being treated.However it’s understood Gallagher regained consciousness and was able to talk to ambulance and medical staff.A Finn Harps supporter said people were very concerned about Gallagher’s wellbeing.“He was just flat out and there was no movement from him. It was hard to see exactly what happened. “When he didn’t get up for a couple of minutes we knew there was something wrong. It must have been a bang to the head,” he said.Meanwhile sixteen year old Sean Patton, who had, replaced Gallagher in goals – and saved a penalty on his debut.As Harps led 2-0, young Sean got down to save the penalty from Dempsey.A video his penalty save is here (warning: bad language on commentary from Waterford fan) http://www.twitvid.com/L7XSECiaran is understood to be recovering well and should be released from hospital later. FINN HARPS GOALIE GALLAGHER RECOVERING WELL AFTER BEING RUSHED TO HOSPITAL was last modified: March 31st, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Kurtenbach: How about these reasonable free agent targets for the Giants

first_imgNow that the Gabe Kapler drama has died down a bit, Farhan Zaidi and the Giants can get on with the business of actually building their baseball team.The only question: What on Earth is their plan this offseason?Related Articles Kurtenbach: Madison Bumgarner needed San … How Madison Bumgarner took control of his free agency and left the Giants for the D’backs center_img Giants disrespected Bumgarner with contract offer, says ex-teammate last_img

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Khi Solar One: renewable energy for the ages

first_imgKhi Solar One forms part of the Department of Energy’s bid to bring 1 400 MW of wind and solar-based energy online by 2016, for which it has invested R33.8-billion. It is part of the South African government’s larger strategy to generate 17 800 MW from renewable energies by 2030.Khi Solar One, being built just outside Upington in the Northern Cape, is Africa’s first concentrated solar power project. Construction costs are estimated around R14-billion. The origin of the technology pictured above belongs to Abengoa. (Image: Shamin Chibba)Shamin ChibbaDrive west of the town of Upington, along the N14 in the Northern Cape and all you’ll see is desert. But a few kilometres later a tower looms on the horizon, growing inconceivably larger as you approach.To get to it you make your way along a bumpy dirt road for five kilometres. And there you are, facing a 200-metre cylinder stretching to the sky, surrounded by more than 4 000 massive, wall-like solar mirrors. You’d think you’d stumbled on the set of a science fiction film. But this is Khi Solar One, Africa’s first concentrated solar power project.Infographic: Khi Solar OneThe 140-hectare plant is the brainchild of Spanish company Abengoa Solar. It will produce 50 megawatts (MW) of energy and reduce South Africa’s carbon dioxide emissions by about 138 000 metric tons a year.Abengoa is the project’s major investor with a 51% stake, its partner, while South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) owns 49% of the project. Both organisations remain mum about the amount they have invested in Khi Solar One. But Abengoa has given some indication of the huge cost of the project: it said both Khi Solar One and the upcoming KaXu Solar One, also in the Northern Cape, are worth €1-billion (R14.9-billion) combined.Khi Solar One forms part of the Department of Energy’s bid to bring 1 400 MW of wind and solar-based energy online by 2016, for which it has invested R33.8-billion. It is part of the South African government’s larger strategy to generate 17 800 MW from renewable energies by 2030.According to Kurt Drewes, Khi Solar One’s general manager, the plant is likely to go online within a year. “The plan is to get it up and running by the end of 2014, but it will most likely start in early 2015.”The energy produced will be sold to Eskom to channel it to the national grid. Drewes said it would serve South Africans in the evenings, when energy use is at its peak.More than 4 000 solar mirrors will reflect the sun ray’s onto a single point on the tower and boil the water inside, which creates steam and turns the turbine. The origin of the technology pictured above belongs to Abengoa. (Image: Khi Solar One) From sun’s rays to superheated steamAt the heart of the plant is the hollowed-out superheated steam solar tower. Stretching at 205 metres – taller than Ponte City in Johannesburg – the tower is surrounded by 4 200 concave solar mirror panels. These are tilted at an angle that reflects the sun’s rays onto the top of the tower. According to Drewes, each panel has an autonomous computerised control system with a GPS signal that tells it the exact time of day. “It determines which angle the sun is at and which angle it should be in for light to be reflected to the top of the tower.”The tower is filled with boiling tubes, painted black to absorb heat from the reflection. These contain high-pressure water pumped from the Orange River. When the sun’s rays are reflected onto the tubes, the water heats to boiling point and becomes steam. The steam is heated further, to 500º C, to create enough pressure to turn the turbine and produce electricity.The tower has a dry-cooling system, a new innovation in concentrated solar power, or CSP. The walls, Drewes said, have openings to allow in air, making it both a heating and cooling tower when required.According to Drewes, CSP is the only renewable energy technology that can effectively store power. Khi Solar One has the longest steam storage capacity – two hours – in the world. Although this may seem short, the advantage of CSP is that supply can be adjusted to meet the demand. If capacity needs to be increased, they do not have to make the tower bigger. They would simply increase the surface of the mirrors, which Drewes said is easy to do. Province’s renewable energies sector growingMehmood Ahmed, the IDC’s regional manager in the Northern Cape, said Khi Solar One is a large part of the province’s growing renewable energy industry. The sector currently makes up the bulk of the IDC Northern Cape’s investments with 12 projects approved for funding. “The renewable energies sector in the province has been growing rapidly in the last few years.”Ahmed said that by October 2013, the sector already made up R5.5-billion of the Northern Cape IDC’s estimated R14-billion exposure, second only to mining at R7-billion. In terms of exposure, Ahmed said the investments have made his regional office the second-highest funder within the IDC, behind Gauteng.However, Ahmed said his office has a problem in getting foreign companies like Abengoa to use local labour and hire local service providers. “The issue is there are no secondary industries in the province, like manufacturing, so how does one make the case for localisation?”Drewes said Abengoa have set up their own fabrication facility at Khi Solar One where they manufacture the tubes and other material for the CSP. Specialised staff have also been flown in from Spain to see to the manufacturing and constructions processes.The IDC, according to Ahmed, invests in solar projects and then buys a portion of shares to distribute to surrounding communities. This offsets the fact that most solar power plants do not employ a lot of people once they are complete and in operation. He said once the projects generate dividends, the IDC will allocate 20% of its stake to the Khi Community Trust, which dispenses funds to the community. “We need to be more hands-on with these green projects, to keep tabs on them and make sure they do what they had promised to do.”Drewes said the community trust is a positive move. “It is important to have forces in your system that balance out wealth.”Khi Solar One forms part of the Department of Energy’s bid to bring 1 400 MW of wind and solar-based energy online by 2016, for which it has invested R33.8-billion. (Image: Khi Solar One) Abengoa and IDC’s other solar projectThe IDC has partnered with Abengoa on another solar project called KaXu Solar One, a parabolic trough plant located near Pofadder, which is still under construction and is set to come online this year.Covering an area of 1 100 hectares, it will have an output of 100 MW and a storage capacity of three hours. It will also reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 315 000 metric tons. Abengoa said it would create 800 jobs during construction phase and 35 permanent plant operations jobs.KaXu may deliver more energy, have a better storage capacity and reduce 177 000 tons more carbon dioxide than Khi Solar One, but Drewes said the technology does not capture the imagination as much as the CSP tower. “Parabolic troughs have been around for a long time but towers are what get people excited.” Spain the leaders in CSPsAccording to the renewable energy policy network, REN21, the Spanish are the leaders in CSP technology. Its Global Status Report for 2013 said three-quarters of the world’s CSP capacity is in Spain. The Iberian nation now has 46 CSPs with an accumulated output of 1 950 MW, way ahead of the US, which is in second place with 507 MW in operation. The report also considered South Africa as one of the most active markets of 2012 thanks to the construction of Khi Solar One and KaXu Solar One.The Spanish have been constructing CSPs since 2004, the first being in the Andalusian city of Seville, which Abengoa built. But Drewes said since the 2008 financial crisis devastated the Spanish economy, solar companies have ventured outside of Spain for business. Future generations will benefitDrewes said the Spanish construct CSP plants with one idea in mind: to create energy sources able to serve humanity for generations to come. It is an ideal South Africa should apply to all of its renewable energy projects, he said. “South Africans can learn a lot from the Spanish, who have been constructing CSP plants that would serve for hundreds of years.”Drewes referred to the Aqueduct of Segovia in Spain, which was built by the Romans 2 000 years ago, as an example of forward-thinking construction. Today, it is still in use and provides water to the old part of Segovia. “Our engineers should learn from that. We must build something for forever. The term ‘renewable energies’ means it renews itself. It is immortal. The generations that will follow will say, ‘Thanks, chaps, for giving this to us.’”He added that although Spain has been one of the economies hardest hit by the economic downturn, it still invests heavily in renewable energies for the benefit of future generations. “They know there will come a time when this financial crisis is over and the next generation will have a greater industrial capacity because of lower energy costs.” Click image to enlarge Click image to enlargeWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

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Oh FriendFeed, What You Really Need is Accountability

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#Features#Trends#web sarah perez Last month, we posed the question “are trolls ruining social media?” – a topic that seems to have reared its ugly head once again over the weekend, this time with a specific focus on FriendFeed and the supposed angry mobs that form there. But let’s get real for a minute. Although it’s shocking that some FriendFeed users post terrible, hurtful things while using their real names, posting angry and mean comments is nothing new to the internet. Other social communities, including Digg and YouTube, also deal with this issue – heck, they’re even known for it!But instead of continually pointing out the problem, maybe it’s time for the innovators in our community to start thinking up solutions. Here’s one we just thought up…let us know what you think.Being Hateful, But Not Anonymously?The pseudo-anonymity of the internet – or at the very least, the ability to write something cruel without having to face the person eye-to-eye – often leads people to express themselves in ways that are far from how they would behave in real life. In the past, this typically led people to hide behind pseudonyms and screen names so they could post whatever they wanted without fear of repercussions.That’s why I recently proposed that some communities put an end to online anonymity, thinking that if you removed the masks from people’s identities, they would start behaving properly. Of course, this led to a lot of debate in the comments. Obviously, I never meant that anonymity needed to be banned from the internet entirely – the world isn’t ready for that! – but there are some places where it doesn’t serve much of a purpose. (Tech blogs, for instance.)People still hated the idea. As a blogger who writes every day using my real name, it’s hard to sympathize with the need to post tech blog comments anonymously. Everything a blogger writes, we’re held accountable for. Why shouldn’t other community contributors be treated the same? But as it turns out, there was a huge flaw in my reasoning in that post. I focused on whether or not someone should use their real name when posting, but that’s not the issue at all. It’s not really anonymity that’s to blame for the troll-like behavior we’re seeing in online communities, it’s the lack of accountability.That’s why (some) people seem comfortable posting mean-spirited comments on sites like FriendFeed using their real name and their real identities to do so. You see, when you post on FriendFeed, your comment quickly disappears into the site’s “real-time flow” of information. Someone watching the stream sees it only momentarily, before it’s replaced with others. Even within the “angry mob” threads themselves, a single comment easily gets lost among hundreds of others. So although the comment is attached to a real name, it’s a single needle in a haystack of opinion. There’s no way to see, at-a-glance, what that person’s commenting history was like. Were they usually nice and this angry post was an exception? Or did they make a habit of trolling? There’s simply no way to know.What’s the Solution?We don’t have any answers yet, just ideas. But maybe it’s time that we started focusing on solutions instead of pointing the finger at the web services…as if somehow FriendFeed itself (or Digg or YouTube for that matter) are to blame for this shameful aspect of human behavior.Jason Kaneshiro of Webomatica proposes that FriendFeed implement threaded comments with the ability to rate comments up or down. While I agree that would be a good first step in helping the community moderate the vitriol, it certainly doesn’t stop hateful comments from occurring in the first place (just look at Digg!). Perhaps what we need is a rating system for the personalities of community participants. Think of it like eBay’s “star” ratings, but instead of grading a seller on how quickly an order was shipped, etc., you’d rate each others’ contributions to a community. Imagine how this could work on FriendFeed, for example. People could rate others’ comments and the aggregation of the communities’ ratings would give overall insight to that person’s personality. Was the comment insightful? Kind? Spammy? Mean? Were you helping a newbie feel included? Were you answering a question or participating in a poll? Do you tend to leave positive comments about X company while being negative about Y? The list could go on and on. The system should also show not just how a single comment was rated, but what that person’s overall rating is along with a history of their contributions.If participants knew that their every action, whether “anonymous” or not, was adding up to paint an overall picture of who they really were, would this be enough of an equivalent to the kind of accountability we have in real life? The sort of accountability where people are judged on their behavior over time, and not for a single uttered statement? Rating systems are hardly a new idea – many online communities use badges and other methods for rewarding helpful participation. But rating systems that extend beyond simply rewarding good behavior to publicizing the bad, too, don’t really exist today…at least when it comes to comments and communities. It’s hard to imagine exactly what a system like this would look like, but that’s where UI designers would need to flex their muscles and create something that didn’t take away from the overall experience while also encouraging people to rate comments both positive and negative, not just the ones they hated. Is this a terrible idea? If so, we know you’ll set us straight. That is, after all, what the comments are for. But if you think it’s awful, at least be so kind as to suggest a better alternative.Image credit: flickr user takingthemoneycenter_img Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts last_img read more

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For Startups, Sometimes Good News is No News

first_imgThere’s an old saying that “any press is good press,” which for a company means it is ultimately beneficial to be mentioned in the media regardless of whether said mention is positive or negative. But there’s also a time when good press, while positive in nature, is not necessarily meaningful to the company overall. Don Rainey, investor at Grotech Ventures and author of the blog VC in DC, recently wrote about “5 Pieces of good news you should ignore,” referring to positive things that he believes are really meaningless when it comes to the success of your company.“When you’re running a company, one quickly becomes acquainted with the thought that everything matters … and in that, one is mostly but not completely right.” writes Rainey. “The surprise is that most of the stuff that turns out not to matter is good news. That is to say, positive events that don’t translate into anything additive to the company’s growth.”Three of Rainey’s five examples of when good news is fruitless include media coverage. Being written up in a local paper, placed atop a list by a trade publication or even interviewed on national television isn’t anything to get terribly excited about, he says. “Just consider it a break from the daily routine,” he adds. “You still have to concentrate on communicating your value proposition to probable suspects.”Without naming names, Rainey also advises companies to not take too much pride in trade show awards. He says we should be “profoundly suspect” of these awards which he believes go to the company that buys the biggest booth. Finally he says that companies should not be flattered by calls from what he calls “powerless” bigwigs at large corporations. “Many a small company will find itself turned on its head chasing a huge opportunity that is only [the] product of [a] bureaucrat’s search for meaning,” Rainey writes.Sure these are all positive things to have happen to a young company; being written about in a respected publication, or featured on national television is indeed an accomplishment, but Rainey warns to not become overzealous and flaunt these happenings. A pitch ultimately shouldn’t hinge on press coverage, awards and fancy endorsements when providing evidence of traction. Instead of touting your various accolades, place your trophies aside and focus on the task at hand – convincing the VCs that your product has inherent value. Tags:#start#startups 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostingcenter_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… chris cameronlast_img read more

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CWG: Delhi CM blames rains but hopeful

first_imgUnfazed by a whale of a criticism from all corners, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit still insists that the Commonwealth Games will be held successfully. In an interview with Headlines Today Political Editor Javed Ansari, the besieged chief minister said none of the problems was insurmountable. She said the prime minister himself was concerned about the criticism and that is why every effort was being made to set the house in order before the athletes arrive. Excerpts: The prime minister has put you in-charge of Games Village almost at the eleventh hour to set it right. Can you tell us whether Delhi will be ready to host the Games? We just have two days left before the athletes arrive.Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.CM: That’s true. I don’t know how much the prime minister has put on me but it is my duty because I happen to be the chief minister of the state and we have been working the past two months, ever since the rains particularly started and we knew that there will be some overlapping.But we have been continuously monitoring. We have been going around street-wise to see whether the lights are alright, greenery is alright and the flyovers are made on time. One thing that I have not touched upon at all is the Games Village because it is the duty of the DDA and they assured us all the time that the things will be perfectly alright. Obviously they botched up and you have been made the in-charge. What measures are you taking to set it right?CM: I am not so sure whether they botched up because these very people who were saying bad now, about 10 days earlier had said that this is the best Games Village we have seen. So I don’t know at what point they saw and what has happened in between. But we look at it, 40 of our Delhi government officers have been placed in-charge of various buildings and blocks that are there. And I hope that they will do the coordination. What is being.. a little lacking in this Games is coordination. And that I think we will do.advertisementThe GoM headed by Jaipal Reddyji has been meeting continuously and every time everybody said things were alright. I have this feeling that things will be alright and now that you have given us a wake up call again.. there was a wake up call about 10 days ago and again the wake up call has come. Everybody is committed and we will do it well. It’s too close to call. Today the athletes are almost at our doorstep and would you admit that maybe not enough attention was paid to detail or on monitoring?CM: Maybe.. not be there large number of flats there, lot of buildings.. maybe something was there.. Rains have not been helpful, I can show you that. The collection of water has been a real dampener. I found out that they were pumping out the water but it didn’t seem to be enough. When they pumped out, it again came back. So there have been problems with unusual weather, but I still maintain that it will not be shoddy, it will not be bad, it will be good.There could be some mistakes, minor ones, which I don’t think they should get the kind of attention that is being given to them. I wish some of you would also go around with your cameras and see what is happening because it’s your very cameras who showed all those rooms looking very neat, very nice.. the bed looking nice, the toilets and basins looking absolutely sparkling.Should the Commonwealth Games be called off?To vote from your mobile, SMS for Yes or for No to 52424. CGF CEO Hooper says that the buildings and flats they were shown were of course of the very high order. But these are other flats which have been left unattended, their sockets were not working dog’s poo all over the place, dogs soiling beds and things like that.. and it has been described as “unliveable”. How are you going to assure the athletes who are going to come here and get everything turned around in the shortest possible time you have?CM: You know India, India’s hospitality. Nobody will leave anything unliveable for anybody. We have got two days, three days.. 24 hours, 48 hours to do it all up and everybody is at the job now. The prime minister himself is really worried and I go with confidence that it will be alright. Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit with CWG OC chief Suresh Kalmadi during the flag off ceremony of ‘Go India Go for Gold-Walk for Victory March’ to support Indian participants of the mega sporting event in New Delhi on Sunday. Photo: PTIEverything that could have possibly gone wrong is going wrong. The latest we had this foot overbridge falling down.CM: Yes, the foot overbridge was something really that was not required. It was made there because the engineers decided to make it. But it will not stop people from coming there. The route has already been worked out. Right below the bridge, rather than going up and down this will be done. It has been very unfortunate happening. We have already set up an enquiry to see what went wrong. All kinds of people are coming with all kinds of theories. But I will not go by them. We have to find out what exactly went wrong and correct it.advertisementWe have blacklisted the first contractor for having been not too careful because I had been there to see it about three days ago. I go there practically every night and three days ago they had started everything. At that time it looked perfectly alright because at that time it was at the staircase level. I haven’t seen it since then. In any way, if I would have seen it, I am not a technical person, so would not be able to know. This is being a very bad setback for us. But I’m sure we will be able to make up. There was a security breach. An Australian journalist and my own channel managed to walk in with ammonium nitrate undetected. This must instil fear among people.CM: Absolutely right. People should not fear this. The Jama Masjid incident also took place. This is the second one that has happened. And these tensions are going to rise. But the home secretary took a meeting yesterday. Everybody has been warned again so things will become even more strict now because we can’t take chance with security at all. And they will not. The big question everybody is asking is will the games be called off or will we be able to stage the Games? As the chief minister of Delhi, as the host, are you in a position to tell us whether we will be able to conduct the Games and whether all those visiting us will go home safely?CM: Of course, we go with this hope, this confidence and god-willing, everything will be alright. I can tell you one thing that these Games which we have been saying that it will be one of the best ever conducted.. Now it is not our habit, Indian habit, to criticise others. So we are keeping quiet. Let them say what they have to. The Games, when they happen, and after that, when you take a review, that is the time it will be the real review.advertisementShould the Commonwealth Games be called off?To vote from your mobile, SMS for Yes or for No to 52424.last_img read more

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