Hundreds of thousands of disabled people are living in destitution, the first piece of research to look at extreme poverty in the UK suggests.The study, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, found that in 2015 there were 1.25 million people in the UK who were defined at some point as destitute because they could not afford the basic essentials they needed to eat, keep clean and stay warm and dry.The ground-breaking study by researchers at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh did not calculate how many disabled people were living in destitution, but did conclude that one of the four most common causes of destitution was the extra costs of ill-health and disability.And more than a quarter (29 per cent) of destitute people surveyed by the researchers said they had serious health problems.The definition of destitution used by the researchers was that in a single month, two or more of the following had applied to a person: they had slept rough; they had had one or no meals a day for two or more days; they had been unable to heat or to light their home for five or more days; they had gone without weather-appropriate clothes; or they had gone without basic toiletries.Two-fifths of destitute people said they had experienced delays with their benefits and 30 per cent said they had had their benefits sanctioned, while the study says that many of the most serious delays were associated with claiming or attempting to claim out-of-work disability benefits.The study, Destitution in the UK, says that the causes of destitution relating to people’s income were “largely benefit-related”, but there were also “key triggers” around spending, including “the difficulties many encounter in meeting health-related additional expenses from extremely modest incomes”.The report says: “Some research participants found themselves having to spend money on specific items related to their ill-health that pushed them into a destitute situation and thus they came to lack other necessities.“Examples included people with special (and expensive) diets, and those who had to pay for taxis to hospital appointments (as their only viable transport option).”Many of those who became destitute “faced some combination of unsustainable debts and/or unmanageable arrears repayment schedules (typically imposed by public rather than private creditors), unaffordable housing costs, other high living costs (especially energy costs), and expenditure on health and disability-related needs.“These expenditure issues were often pivotal in pushing them from a position of severe poverty, where nonetheless they were just about managing, into a state of destitution, where they could no longer get the bare essentials.”The study says that those who were interviewed in depth by the researchers were “quite explicit about how demeaning they found it to have to seek help with essentials like food, clothes and toiletries from charitable organisations”.Julia Unwin, chief executive of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, said: “There are a shocking number of people in the UK living in destitution.“It is simply unacceptable to see such levels of severe poverty in our country in the 21st century.“Governments of all stripes have failed to protect people at the bottom of the income scale from the effects of severe poverty, leaving many unable to feed, clothe or house themselves and their families.“Many people affected are living on a very low income before they are no longer able to make their incomes stretch, or a financial shock like a benefit delay or family breakdown pushes them over the edge into destitution.“We have to tackle these root causes. Government, businesses and communities need to work together to provide better emergency support, make basic essentials more affordable and create better jobs if we are to end destitution in the UK.”The researchers surveyed people who came to voluntary sector crisis services, like foodbanks and debt advice charities, in nine areas over one week in 2015.They used these figures, together with national statistics, to calculate the number of destitute people in the UK across the year.But the researchers say that the true figure of people in destitution is likely to be “significantly higher” because their research did not include those people who only received help from their local council or government programmes, or those who did not seek help at all.
Some 48 hours earlier, Maria Cristina Gutierrez, the 66-year-old preschool director who organized the strike, had said she was trying anything to “soften the hearts” of officials. Here was a weakened Lindo, barely mustering the strength to coddle a tiny feline, the softest possible picture.So far city officials have said little about the strike. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee recommended the activists send him an email or letter. Suhr did not return a call for comment.The concern growing among supporters was palpable. Friends and loved ones hovered around Lindo, offering support, embraces, juice.“Sometimes you joke about things ‘cause it takes the edge off, but it got real,” said rapper Ilyich “Equipto” Sato, Gutierrez’ son, also fasting. He, too, looked worn out and cold, but could still speak above a murmur. “Our health is a precious thing and Ed Lindo is out here putting it on the line.”“I guess it was inevitable that something like this would happen, but this just goes to show our dedication…this is just gonna keep on happening ,” said Nick DeRenzi, a member of the Justice for Mario Woods coalition. “It’s unfortunate that it’s gotten to this point, but…like [Gutierrez] said, it’s time to go and take it to the next step and this is the next step.”Still, Lindo was not in the hospital yet. He was lucid and protesting.“I may have to end it if I feel as though it’s getting close to what I felt before,” he said. “But I think I’ll be alright…In some ways it’s healing, and understanding what people are going through.”While advocates responded with an outpouring of support, other reactions were mixed. “Silence is complicity!” the owner of the kitten, Natalia Garcia, called out to a gaggle of passing girls. “Why would you say that? We do care!” one of them retorted, offended. “Cause we’re white?” another demanded as they walked away.“No, ‘cause you’re whack!” Equipto shouted after them. That kind of reaction is not uncommon. “Mostly people don’t know about SFPD brutality and they’re kind of oblivious to what we’re talking about, but when we start to explain everything that’s happened and we tie it to the death of Luis Gongora right here a couple weeks ago, then they start to…they have heard about it,” said Karen Fleshman, a race educator. “Some people just walk by…It makes people uncomfortable I think, a little bit. They don’t want to make eye contact,” said Natalia Garcia, who also goes by her artist name, La Favi. “And that’s the situation that we have in general…We’re kind of having to, you know, scream. Because if you don’t wanna listen then maybe I have to scream.” When Edwin Lindo, candidate for District 9 Supervisor, got up to speak at a rally against police shootings on Friday night, he felt woozy and collapsed. An ambulance was called, Lindo went in, and EMTs told him he had low blood sugar and was cold. He told them he couldn’t go to the hospital. Along with four others, he was on hunger strike to unseat Police Chief Greg Suhr. The EMTs weren’t happy about Lindo’s insistence on staying. “They said, why would you do this to yourself? You know, there’s people in this world who don’t have a choice to die and you’re going to put yourself through this willingly?” he said. “I’m like, that’s kind of the point of a hunger strike.”Lindo recounted what happened while swathed in blankets and a hat, seated under the yellow glow of the lights outside Mission Police Station late Friday night. He looked grey, bleary-eyed and tired. At one point, a supporter handed him a kitten she had just adopted. His eyes widened in surprise – but slowly. 0% Tags: Mission Police Station • protests • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%
Bri De Libertis has been working as a veterinary assistant at the VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists on 18th and Alabama for seven years. But every time she and her co-workers asked management for a raise and better benefits, she says, the answer was the same: Sorry, the veterinary hospital is in the middle of a “raise freeze.” De Libertis added that staff was kept “skeleton” thin and the hospital had trouble retaining staff because of the low pay and few promotion opportunities. “It was very apparent we needed to do something,” De Libertis said. So, in April, she and around 100 of her co-workers at the Mission District hospital formed a union for veterinary technicians, customer service workers and facilities staff under the aegis of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The West Coast Pet Care Workers is purportedly the first union formed by vet techs in some two decades. It also has the potential to galvanize more organizing efforts within VCA Animal Hospitals, a chain of around 800 hospitals and 60 diagnostic laboratories in the United States and Canada. It employs around 23,000 people and, in 2015, had revenue of $2.1 billion. In January 2017, the Mars Corporation — yes, the candy bar company — bought VCA for $9.1 billion. It is the largest private veterinary hospital chain in North America. “For a billion-dollar corporation, they could do a lot better,” said Laura Territo, who has worked at San Francisco’s VCA as a veterinary technician for four years. Most support workers, Territo said, start at minimum wage and can only go as high as the “high 20s” per hour. Territo added that her health plan requires her to pay a $70 co-pay per visit. The workers are now asking for better wages, more staffing, and a better benefits package. VCA leadership did not answer questions about unionization efforts in San Francisco. It only offered via a statement that it was “sad” to learn a portion of its employees wanted to form a union, and that “we believe it is best to maintain the direct relationship with our employees to address concerns they have.”“We are working to better understand the concerns of our employees and remain committed to the industry, our employees and to quality care for our patients,” the statement continues. Nevertheless, the newly formed union’s battle is far from over. The West Coast Pet Workers are currently in the middle of contract negotiations, and De Libertis and Territo said VCA’s management — and its legal team — are stalling negotiations and attempting to quash similar efforts at their other hospitals on the West Coast. But for Territo, the low wages and thin staff were problems long before the Mars takeover. In October 2017, staff began to collect signatures. “The support from our co-workers was considerable,” De Libertis said. Once organizers had gathered enough signatures, they in March 2018 presented the hospital’s manager, Judith Goodman, with a letter stating their intention to organize. The hospital had two days to respond, Territo and De Libertis said, and management failed to do so. “Which meant they were not recognizing our union,” Territo said. In the following days, Territo and De Libertis said, Judith Goodman, then hospital’s manager, began taking aside employees five at a time for “sit-downs” to dissuade them from supporting organizing efforts — explaining “why our industry doesn’t work well with unions,” De Libertis said. VCA’s national president, Doug Drew — along with the hospital’s head of HR and the head of the veterinary technicians — subsequently visited the hospital “to talk to us about why unions are bad” and ask how they could address the employees’ workplace concerns without accommodating a union, De Libertis said. At the meeting, the employees made their concerns clear: that they were not being paid enough, they were too short-staffed, and much of the staff is not properly trained. In response, “Corporate said they had no idea they were inaccessible,” De Libertis recalled. Within days, employees received an email from Drew announcing Goodman’s resignation as manager — stating that “she was no longer a good fit,” according to Territo. She was to be replaced by Terry Jones, the assistant manager, who had a good rapport with the workers, according to Territo. Goodman declined to comment. Regardless, in early April, the 100-odd employees voted in favor of ratifying their union, with 74 percent in favor. And now, as negotiations continue, they say management is actively resisting their efforts by stalling. “VCA is spending a lot of money on a legal team,” De Libertis said. The hospital hired two legal teams notorious for “union busting” — Littler and Mendelson and Jackson Lewis — to handle contract negotiations. Only two bargaining sessions have taken place in the past four months. Both De Libertis and Territo note that management is incentivized to slow the process: “If we don’t get a contract in a year, then we have to revote,” on whether to maintain the union, Territo said. The International Longshore and Warehouse Union is aware of the vet techs’ ongoing efforts. “The company, Mars/VCA, has made it clear that they intend to punish workers who want to get together and solve problems that are common throughout the system,” said Craig Merrilees, a spokesperson for the ILWU. “Until the company gets rid of their anti-union consultants and their anti-union operations, workers have decided they’re gonna take this one step at a time.”If the union and company agree on a contract, it will pay a portion of its dues to the ILWU.The potential for the company’s other locations to unionize is unclear, and whatever comes to pass could require quite some time, according to Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of Labor Education Research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.According to Bronfenbrenner’s research, attempts to negotiate a first-time contract succeed around 80 percent of the time. A good first contract, she said, will make unionizing at other locations more successful — although nailing down “a first contract, based on my research, the average time is two years,” she said. Recognizing the nascent union in San Francisco could be cost-beneficial for VCA, added Bronfenbrenner. But, she notes, the specter of 800 hospitals pushing to unionize could lead the conglomerate to dig in its heels. “If this employer is as big as you say,” she said. “They’re gonna fight them all the way.”Photo credit: Siena Animal Hospital. Subscribe to Mission Local’s daily newsletter Email Address
ST HELENS-based GPW Recruitment have announced the launch of GPW Legal Services in association with Hattons Solicitors.GPW is firmly established in the North West as one of the premier recruitment firms in the region, dedicated to serving its clients to the highest standard, with an emphasis on quality and professionalism.They have joined forces with legal specialists Hattons Solicitors, to put together a service that provides bespoke, cost effective legal advice and solutions.GPW Legal Services will be offered exclusively to GPW’s corporate and private clients, not only giving them the speedy and consistent service they normally find, but also adding value by being in a position to provide a mix of innovative pricing arrangements and legal services tailored specifically to a client’s individual needs and demands for assistance.To find out more about this partnership click here.
SAINTS have announced their squad for their First Utility Super League match with London Broncos.Kyle Amor, Jordan Turner, Willie Manu and Anthony Laffranchi miss out through injury but there are call-ups for Mark Flanagan, Anthony Walker, Carl Forster and Andre Savelio.Nathan Brown will choose from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 4. Josh Jones, 5. Adam Swift (pictured), 6. Lance Hohaia, 7. Luke Walsh, 8. Mose Masoe, 9. James Roby, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 11. Sia Soliola, 12. Jon Wilkin, 15. Mark Flanagan, 18. Alex Walmsley, 22. Mark Percival, 23. Joe Greenwood, 25. Anthony Walker, 28. Luke Thompson, 30. Carl Forster, 33. Andre Savelio.Tony Rea will choose his side from:3. Jordan Atkins, 4. Thomas Minns, 6. Ben Farrar, 7. Joshua Drinkwater, 8. Atelea Vea, 10. Olsi Krasniqi, 11. Mike McMeeken, 12. Matt Cook, 13. Alex Foster, 14. Mike Bishay, 15. James Greenwood, 16. Nick Slyney, 20. James Cunningham, 21. Joel Wicks, 22. James Woodburn-Hall, 23. Denny Solomona, 24. Mason Caton-Brown, 25. Iliess Macani, 30. Jon Wallace.The game kicks off at 8pm and the referee will be Matthew Thomason.Tickets for the match remain on sale from the Ticket Office at Langtree Park, by calling 01744 455 052 or by logging on here.
Supporters who vote for their favourite half-time activity from shortlist will be in with a chance to win a brand new double divan bed set including a headboard and an exclusive mattress signed by Betfred Super League stars; all for simply casting your vote.Whether you are a Saints fan or a Hull FC supporter, you will have the chance to vote on what half-time activity will take place at either St James’ Park.Half-time activity 1 – Sleeping bag race We have all seen, and probably been involved, in a sack race and now you have the chance to race around the St James’ pitch in a sleeping bag!Half-time activity 2 – A bedtime dress-up race Getting dressed and making the bed is something we do every day, but how easy is it to beat an opposing fan when you have got to get dressed into a huge pair of pyjamas and then run to make the bed up!Half-time activity 3 – Giant pillow fight Two opposing fans, two giant pillows, one fight until the end; what could be more fun!If you have decided which activity you will vote for, then head over to http://www.bedzrus.co.uk/halftime and enter your details to cast your vote and have the chance to win a money-can’t-buy rugby league prize.The voting will close at MIDNIGHT ON FRIDAY MAY 5!
The side is unchanged from last week’s game with Catalans.Kyle Amor is expected to be fit after missing that match with a hamstring problem.Justin Holbrook will choose his 17 from:1. Jonny Lomax, 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Ryan Morgan, 4. Mark Percival, 6. Theo Fages, 8. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 10. Kyle Amor, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 14. Luke Douglas, 16. Luke Thompson, 17. Tommy Lee, 18. Dominique Peyroux, 20. Morgan Knowles, 24. Danny Richardson, 28. Regan Grace, 32. Matty Lees, 36. Zeb Taia.Chris Chester will choose his Wakefield side from:1. Scott Grix, 3. Bill Tupou, 4. Reece Lyne, 5. Ben Jones-Bishop, 7. Liam Finn, 9. Kyle Wood, 11. Matty Ashurst, 12. Danny Kirmond, 14. Sam Williams, 16. Tinirau Arona, 17. Craig Huby, 18. Joe Arundel, 20. David Fifita, 23. Keegan Hirst, 24. Mason Caton-Brown, 26. Chris Annakin, 32. Dean Hadley, 33. Adam Walker, 3. James Hasson.The game kicks off at 3pm and the referee is James Child.
Johnathan Brooks Faulkner has been taken into custody in Henderson. (Photo: VineLink) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office says the Southport bank robbery suspect has been arrested nearly 200 miles away from where the crime happened.Deputies say Johnathan Brooks Faulkner has been taken into custody in Henderson.- Advertisement – BCSO said the robbery happened at approximately 4:50 p.m. on February 14 at the Bank of America at 5070 Southport-Supply Road SE in Southport.Faulkner was wanted for robbery with a dangerous weapon.This story will be updated.
A couple of moms in Brunswick County are a force, taking steps to eliminate bullying.“We are a collective group of women who have come together to discuss bullying to bring awareness to the community that it exists and to address some of the officials who are in charge on procedures, policies, communication, standards that haven’t been addressed,” Shannon Gordon said.They created a Facebook group called “Enough is Enough! Help with putting a stop to bullying in our kids school!” The group of parents meet up to find out how they can tackle the issue and bring attention to bullying.Related Article: Twitter permanently bans Alex Jones, Infowars citing abuse“We all have different stories but the one thing that binds us is that we all want to see better for our children and that we all want to feel better when we drop them off at school,” Gordon said.“We have to be doing things and that’s what we’re doing right now. Even so much as sitting at a dining room table and talking about our experiences and how we can help our children,” Boyd said.They say this group is helping parents find a common ground to stand up for their kids, just like it had for these women.“One of the hallmarks about bullying is taking away a certain level of power. Doing things in secrecy. And when you can discuss it outward and open, when you have a sounding board, when you can hear other people’s experiences, you become empowered and that empowerment can lead to change,” Boyd said.It’s in an effort to bring attention to bullying.They’ve also created t-shirts to deliver their message.A Brunswick County schools spokesman tells us the process for reporting bullying is for the parent to immediately contact school administration. It is then investigated. But soon, Brunswick County schools will roll out a new tool to combat bullying by reporting it online with an incident form. Every school’s website will have a feature for it. Once submitted, it will immediately alert school administration personnel, including the principal, who will have a designated time frame to make contact and begin an investigation. BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Bullying impacts not just a child, but the whole family. In Brunswick County, some parents decided to do something about it.“We’re shining a big old flashlight on this issue right now, in Brunswick County,” Katie Boyd said.- Advertisement –
BURGAW, NC (WWAY) — Westbound traffic on Interstate 40 near Burgaw will be shifted into a single lane during daylight hours, starting Tuesday, April 3.One lane will be closed between Mile Markers 399 and 400 in Pender County so an N.C. Department of Transportation contractor can safely repair steel bridge beams under the Stag Park Road overpass, which was damaged in a recent crash.- Advertisement – The lane closure will be in place each day from 8 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. through April 10. Transportation officials urge motorists to expect delays and to drive carefully through the work zone.
Heavy traffic on NC41 heading toward 421 at Duplin / Sampson County line on Sept 19, 2018. (Photo: JB Kilpatrick/Twitter) NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has released information on a new route into Wilmington due to congestion on a route using 421.Officials say drivers using the 421 route can expect to be in traffic for hours. If you are safe and can stay where you are, officials ask that you continue to stay in place. If returning to Wilmington, they are asking people to use the updated route.- Advertisement – The updated route is all four lane highways.The route is:1-40 East to Exit 373Related Article: Join WWAY for annual One-Day Blitz to help restock Salvation Army’s food pantryTake a Left Turn onto NC 24 EastTravel on NC 24 East to JacksonvilleIn Jacksonville, get on US 17 South to WilmingtonRoutes are subject to change.New Hanover County Emergency Management continues to operate the Emergency Operations Center and Joint Information Center in response to Hurricane Florence. Anyone with questions can call the public information hotline telephone number at (910) 798-6800.
The Cape Fear Farm Heritage Association is holding its 11th Southern Farm Days event this weekend. (Photo: Kylie Jones/WWAY) LAKE WACCAMAW, NC (WWAY) — Farm days are back at Lake Waccamaw. The Cape Fear Farm Heritage Association is putting on Southern Farm Days this weekend.Robert Mills is the president of the association. He says this is the 11th year of Southern Farm Days.- Advertisement – Mills says they will have tractor pulls, horse plows and an antique tractor show. Mills says something new they have this year are brand new animal attractions for the kids.“The trick horse, That’s new,” Mills said. “We didn’t have that last year. We have a camel up there too this year. We have a petting zoo up there for the kids. We have a lot of goats and small animals for them.”The event is open to people of all ages. The event kicked off Friday and runs through Sunday.
Advertisement Orange has signed a strategic partnership – on an exclusive basis – with Baidu, the Chinese internet company, to develop a co-branded internet browser for smartphone customers in Africa, the Middle East and Asia (AMEA).The partnership marks the first time Baidu has signed such an agreement with a global operator, and supports Orange and Baidu’s aim to make the mobile web available for all in emerging markets.Mobile internet usage in Africa is increasing rapidly as Orange continues to deploy 3G networks and make more low-cost smartphones available, customers have been steadily moving from basic feature phones towards more low-cost Android smartphones. – Advertisement – Orange, which has a mobile customer base in AMEA of nearly 80 million customers, has continued to see its smartphone user base in AMEA increasing, for example the demand for Android devices in Egypt has doubled in H2 2012.The new Orange and Baidu browser offers a highly customisable but simple interface for customers in AMEA, enabling them to access web-based apps and internet services unique to Baidu and Orange, as well as services like Wikipedia, Facebook or Twitter, amongst others. Customers benefit from a new, feature rich user interface that provides one-click access to all of their preferred local and global services but also benefit from a browser that is much faster and more data efficient compared to other browsers, reducing the amount of data consumed by 30-90% depending on the types of services and files accessed.Orange and Baidu have already developed an Arabic and English browser is launching for Mobinil customers Monday, and both companies are now working to launch French versions of the browser for countries across Orange’s African & Middle East footprint.“The appetite for mobile internet services is very strong in Africa, for example demand for Android devices in Egypt has doubled in the second half of this year,” commented Marc Rennard, senior executive vice president for Orange activities across Africa and the Middle East.“Price and access have been a barrier to entry, but partnering with innovative companies like Baidu provide unique solutions that give our customers affordable access to all the services they desire without compromising on features or ease-of-use,” he added.Hu Yong, general manager of Baidu’s International Business Unit, said: “Baidu’s success has been built on developing technologies, products and services appropriate for China, the world’s largest emerging market. We’re now bringing that experience to bear in other markets now enjoying rapid growth. Working with Orange in the Middle East and Africa, Baidu hopes to contribute meaningfully to the region’s growth by making the mobile internet easier than ever to use.”
Advertisement If you do not know the reason why some Mobile Phones come with lights/torches, think again, because it may end up being the only way a life is saved.Egyptian doctors had to use the light generated by their mobile phones to perform surgery after a sudden power cut at a hospital, local media report.The patient was about to have a minor gall-bladder operation when the lights went out in the southern city of Qina. – Advertisement – An urgent inquiry was ordered by the provincial governor, saying there was no excuse that the hospital’s back-up generator did not work.Blackouts have recently become part of daily life for many Egyptians. The doctors in Qina were lucky because their mobile phones were fully charged.Egypt, which has a population of about 80 million, is not believed to have the funds to purchase the fuel needed to keep its power stations running.The government blames the power cuts on increasing public consumption, which forces the authorities to cut off electricity for as long as two hours, twice a day.But Egyptians, especially in poorer towns and villages, complain that the power cuts last much longer.The opposition accuses the government of President Mohammed Morsi of mismanaging the economy and being incompetent.Credit: BBC
Project Link website screenshot Advertisement Project Link website screenshotGoogle last week announced the launch of Project Link to enable suppliers access high speed and reliable internet without investing a lot of money for upgrading base stations.This means internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mobile phone operators will pay lower overhead expenses for doing business.Speaking at a media round table in Kampala over the weekend, the Access field development director Google, Mr Kai Wulff said the initiative will enable local Internet service providers to concentrate on coming up with more innovative products and connect more people to a faster and reliable Internet, which will in turn boost internet connectivity in the country. – Advertisement – “Computer and mobile phone technology advances daily but there is still one link which is hard to upgrade and that is the link to the base stations or transmitters. Upgrading transmitters means adequate capacity coming into the country but the link that brings it to base stations to offer high speeds is still a challenge,” Mr Wulff is quoted by the Daily Monitor.The high capacity fibre network will provide a link between existing local networks to the undersea cables that pipe internet between continents, in a sustainable manner.According to Google, Project Link will connect the ISPs long-distance fiber lines, equipping them with near-unlimited capacity to build and expand services to Ugandans, and they will be charged a fee to hook into Google’s infrastructure. He added that the firm has also built quality infrastructure between Africa’s undersea cables to its Project Link for greater speed and capacity for the latest and greatest of the web.Although he declined to divulge into the total project cost, Mr Wulff said, the average cost of laying a fibre network cable is estimated at between Shs15,000 and Shs20,000 per kilometre.“I can’t give a total figure because I don’t know how many kilometers we will lay at the end of the entire project” he said. A number of firms including Orange have signed up to tap into the Project Link network, which has been laid since May this year in and around Kampala.Mr Godfrey Kisekka, the chief technology officer Orange Uganda, said: “The partnership with Google will enable us to provide users with the best network coverage and high-quality services.”Source: Daily Monitor
Advertisement Google believes that their driverless vehicles will be on the streets by 2017.At the moment, Google has one major setback which is the new California DMV regulations that mandate a driver’s seat and steering wheel so that humans can assume command should something go wrong in a driving circumstance.California’s hesitancy isn’t solely the state’s, seeing that there are a number of other states that are mandating the same thing (should they even want Google’s driverless cars to become a part of normal, everyday traffic). – Advertisement – Another major problem with driverless cars, apart from DMV regulations, concerns technical glitches.One technical glitch pertains to traffic lights. It’s no secret that traffic lights, highways, and destinations change over time: new traffic lights are installed for driver safety reasons, new highways are created that lead to new businesses or expand highways due to traffic overflow, and so on. In these cases, however, driverless cars haven’t yet been trained to recognize new highways and stop lights.Google’s driverless cars operate by way of Google maps navigation; so, when Google Maps are working properly on driverless cars, the cars themselves operate accordingly (they know where to go, what stop lights they’ll encounter along the way, etc.). With new offices, highways, and stop lights, however, Google Maps hasn’t yet integrated them – so Maps functionality is disappointing in such a case.With that said, Google’s autonomous vehicles may have some sense of direction, but they’re not yet at the level of human understanding. Thus, driverless cars will disappoint in situations where they have no highway or traffic light on their Map (but one exists in reality). Getting driverless cars to drop off users may prove difficult.Next, parking is an issue. Driverless cars are excellent at parking in basic parking lots that have one level only and are right outside of buildings, but what can they do in instances where there are multiple parking decks, say, at hospitals or baseball or basketball stadiums, for example? In such an instance, a driverless car user would be out of luck and forced to rely on his or her own understanding of the surroundings (and, if you’re going to a stadium for the first time, Google’s driverless cars couldn’t help you navigate a packed parking lot all that well).Then there are weather conditions. Google’s driverless cars have recorded over 700,000 miles of navigation, but these have all been performed during excellent weather. Google’s driverless cars haven’t yet navigated rain, snow, sleet, or hail in order to know whether or not they’re ready for the consumer market. If you’ve lived in Minnesota or Alaska, or driven in hard rain and snowstorms, you’ll know that current vehicles don’t do the trick (for many of us). What can Google’s driverless cars contribute in such instances? Technologically-advanced vehicles that put us no closer to safety than current ones won’t win over the majority of average consumers.Source: inferse
HE Museveni made the first call on MTN Uganda 17 years ago. Image credit: MTN (Facebook) Advertisement It’s been 17 years since H.E. made the first phone call on MTN Uganda’s network to the legend Nelson Mandela and the telecom giant is inviting customers to join in the celebration with some special offers.From humble beginnings in 1994 back in South Africa, the company is now a leading mobile network operator in the Uganda offering a bouquet of services including mobile, data and fixed line communications plus a catalogue of mobile financial services.“This important anniversary gives us an opportunity to reflect on the extraordinary achievements over the years, as well as energize us for the road ahead. The industry has changed dramatically – customers know value and are demanding for it. MTN is committed to making our customers’ live a whole lot brighter through continued investment, innovations and development of solutions that deliver tangible value for customers,” said MTN’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mapula Bodibe. – Advertisement – “While voice remains the dominant service, Ugandans are increasingly embracing the Internet. As way of promoting data usage, we are also offering free data bundles on several smart phones that we are selling.” she added.And since 2009, MTN Uganda has made tremendous strides to improve financial inclusion and access to financial services for customers across Uganda. Through MTN Mobile Money, MTN Uganda has become the leading Mobile Financial Services provider serving over 4.5 million registered users.“We are delighted to continue being part of Uganda’s amazing story of growth and resilience to succeed, and look forward to being there as we step into the future,” Ms. Mapula concluded.The company has slashed prices of several smart phones by up to 30 percent in a promo that will run for an appropriately selected 17 days. The Samsung Galaxy Tab which previously cost Ush 1,455,000 can now be purchased at 1,040,000 while the Samsung Galaxy A3 is slashed down to 630,000/- from 900,000/-. The offer is valid until 22nd October 2015 while stock lasts.Details about the MTN 17th Anniversary phone discount promotion are available at www.mtn.co.ug/shop
Encryption-Email Providers, Protonmail on Thursay, 17th March 2016 released mobile apps for iOS and Android. Image Credit: ExtremeTech Advertisement ProtonMail, the world’s largest encrypted email provider, late last week launched free iOS and Android mobile apps globally, in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, respectively.For the past two years, ProtonMail has been invite-only and today has over 1 million users participating in its closed beta, including businesses, journalists, activists, and private individuals.The Company’s innovative email service features end-to-end encryption which was founded in May 2014, created by former CERN and MIT scientists, makes it practically impossible for governments, or even ProtonMail itself, to gain access to user’s messages, ensuring the highest level of security and privacy. – Advertisement – The Company has been frequently thrust into the public debate over encryption and terrorism for the past two years, and like Apple, has on occasion needed to fight governments to protect user privacy.“Strong encryption and privacy are a social and economic necessity, not only does this technology protect activists and dissidents, it is also key to securing the world’s digital infrastructure,” says ProtonMail Co-Founder and CEO, Dr. Andy Yen.In light of recent challenges against encryption and privacy, ProtonMail decided to open the service for public registration so anyone that wants an encrypted email account can obtain one immediately.Dr. Yen says, “The best way to ensure that encryption and privacy rights are not encroached upon is to get the tools into the hands of the public as soon as possible and widely distributing them,” and that’s why they’re putting the choice in the hands of the consumer, and not government regulators.The company concludes saying, “Unlike tech-companies like Google and Facebook who abuse user privacy to sell ads, ProtonMail is entirely dependent on users upgrading to paid accounts to cover expenses.”
Google Chrome now the most popular web browser beating their life time rival Internet Explorer. Image Credit: innov8tiv Advertisement Software giants, Microsoft Corp. has fired at Google arguing that the company’s Chrome browser is a major drain on the batteries built into Windows-based PCs. In fact, the company recently performed a test on popular other browsers including; Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and its own Microsoft Edge, and found that Chrome users will be charging up their devices far more often than Edge users.“What happens when three identical devices run on different browsers?” Microsoft asked in a description to a YouTube video it posted on Monday. “The Microsoft Edge team wanted to find out. This experiment showed that battery life on a PC running Microsoft Edge lasts 70% longer than Chrome, 43% longer than Firefox, and 17% longer than Opera (with Battery Saver enabled).”It took Chrome nearly 4 hours and 20 minutes while Mozilla’s Firefox came in second place with more than 5 hours of battery life as Opera 6 hours and finally Microsoft’s Edge, took the lead with 7 hours and 22 minutes of battery life.[related-posts] – Advertisement – “As you have probably seen, we’ve made significant improvements to power consumption in the past few releases, and it’s an area of continued focus and investment,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve made a 33% improvement in video playback GPU/CPU power consumption on Windows 10. And by Chrome 53, we feel confident that we’ll be at parity with other browsers in terms of power consumption for the majority of video playback on the Internet.”
Jaguza Founder and Chief Executive, Ronald Katamba (red t-shirt) pictured holding a drone before test flying it | Courtesy Photo/Jaguza. Advertisement Jaguzza App CEO, Ronald Katamba has been invited to attend the World Agric-Tech Innovation Summit in San Francisco from March 19th-20th. The summit is an international conference for agribusinesses — with a goal to accelerate the commercialization of advanced agricultural technologies.Advancing agricultural technologies, Ronald Katamba and his team have developed a solution—to help farmers manage their livestock from their places of convenience. Their Jaguza-Tech includes; a Jaguza Livestock mobile application, and a Jaguza drone. Katamba will share and pitch his tech/idea to possible investors at the event.The Jaguza Livestock App, is a remote app that is used to monitor the animal health including; the heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure and its whereabouts. The application is connected to chip that is embedded to an RFID tag that is attached to the cattle. The data extracted from the chip is sent to a farmers device that can either be a PC, a smartphone or feature phone. Upon receiving a notification, the farmer takes action as soon as possible. – Advertisement – On the other hand, the Jaguza drone, which is still under implementation, is one of Jaguza’s latest tech. Katamba told this reporter that the drone will be so helpful to especially farmers with large herds of cattle. The drone has a chip that directly communicates with the microchip on the RFID tag of the cattle.Jaguza Founder and Chief Executive, Ronald Katamba demonstrating flying a drone monitor a herd of cattle at one of the farmer’s farm in Entebbe who uses the Jaguza-Tech | Courtesy Photo/Jaguza.RFID is similar to barcodes — in that it’s an automatic identification system used to track and capture information. Jaguza using this same technology, the RFID tags on the cattle continuously pushes data to an active RFID reader which is later sent to a connected device which can be a PC or Phone.Unlike the application, with the drone, farmers are able to get visual data in form of pictures and videos. With the drone—when the temperature of a certain cattle rises beyond normal, the drone automatically takes a photo of the affected cow and sends the image to the farmer. On the other hand, it takes random photos for the farmer to assess what’s going on within the farm. This helps in a way if there’s danger for instance a predator around to fest on the cattle.Thanks to artificial intelligence software, the drones can perceive their surroundings, which enables them to map areas, track cattle and provide analytical feedback to the farmer in real-time.Because their technology uses artificial intelligence (AI), Katamba says they want to now embed machine learning (ML) as well.The Jaguza drones haven’t been put into supply as the company awaits approve from the government. According to Katamba, the drones are available however, he was stopped from bringing them into country till he gets approval.“Our drone tracking technology is also expected to gain ground in the whole of Uganda and other countries where livestock is bred once the FAA establishes a clearer ground set of rules on unmanned aerial vehicles,” writes in a tweet.