June 30 2006 Individual tiles in several sizes a

first_imgJune 30, 2006 Individual tiles in several sizes, as well as light-switch covers, are hand-crafted in the Ceramics studio at Arcosanti. Each tile goes through many stages. The clay is rolled out, cut, impressed with individual designs and glazed before firing. Individual tiles in several sizes, as well as light-switch covers, are hand-crafted in the Ceramics studio at Arcosanti. Each tile goes through many stages. The clay is rolled out, cut, impressed with individual designs and glazed before firing. [Photo & text: sa] Tile artist Linda Fournier has been part of the Arcosanti Urban Laboratory for over 16 years. She carefully paints glaze on parts of a tile. [Photo & text: sa] Many of the bathrooms and kitchens at Arcosanti are accented with Arcosanti tiles. Tiles and switch plates are available at the Arcosanti Gallery and Visitors Center and at the gallery at Cosanti. [Photo & text: sa]last_img read more

The Internet has connected the worlds people com

first_imgThe Internet has connected the world’s people, companies, and governments like never before. Is it any wonder then that it’s also a major focus for politicians?In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Obama once again predictably called for a new package of cybersecurity legislation.We talked last week about some of the problems with new cybersecurity legislation and suggested the issue should be left to the market. While we stand by that position, it’s clear that many of the security products currently out there don’t do their jobs as well as they should. A survey of IT professionals published last week found that the average large organization wastes an enormous amount of time and money sifting through the nearly 17,000 malware alerts each week to find the 19% that are considered reliable.On top of cybersecurity rules, the president promised to push for net neutrality rules, as the White House has been doing for the last few weeks. Unlike so many of the programs listed in last night’s speech, this one could actually happen. The insistence on using ancient Title II regulations to do it is a message to Congress: the FCC has the power to make this into law all by itself, and if a Republican congress wants to stop it, it’ll have to either sue or pass a law, attempting to hand over more power to the telcos—something that probably won’t sit well come next election cycle. No wonder Obama waited six years to touch his campaign promise on net neutrality—it’s a powerful populist weapon.Last, Obama also promised more transparency in the government’s surveillance program. Considering the federal government’s record on transparency, I’d be skeptical about that one.As television viewership of the State of the Union has fallen steadily for years, the White House tried a new tactic to reach the American people on Tuesday: it broke its own media embargo by posting the entire text of the speech online before the president even began.Maybe one day they’ll realize we’re all tuning out specifically because we already know what they’re going to say.Windows 10—Free, with Lots of Bells and WhistlesMicrosoft is beginning to create a big buzz for the forthcoming Windows 10. It helps that the company will be giving it away for free to those with Windows 7 or 8 already… but only if they act fast and adopt it within the first year after release.Bribes to upgrade aside, the company is touting some pretty cool new features for the operating system, which will run on everything from cellphones to full-fledged PCs.First, it’s bringing its own personal assistant, Cortana, to the desktop. You can bet Apple will rush out a Siri app for OS X sometime before that happens. But with the possibilities available to Microsoft with Kinect’s array microphones and cameras, the company could finally get back ahead of its shiny Silicon Valley nemesis for some time again.The company is also doing away with the dated Internet Explorer, rebuilding and rebranding it as Spartan. Whether it can slow down the enormous growth of Google’s Chrome, which has soared to the top browser spot, remains to be seen. But with Firefox now defaulting to Yahoo search and Spartan most-likely doing the same for Bing, your browser choice may soon be more dictated by your search engine choice than its own features.The desktop isn’t the only place getting some love: Windows Phone is also getting its own version of Office, as well as deep Skype integration.The company also revealed the Surface Hub, a massive 84-inch, 4k resolution touchscreen for enterprise meetings. It uses Kinect-style sensors and its massive touchscreen to try and replace the whiteboard, the conference phone, and every other meeting gadget in one shot… when it will be released and for how much are still a mystery.And last but not least, it dipped even further into the research vaults to show off its own augmented reality headset and development platform: Windows Holographic and the HoloLens.The new OS won’t hit retail availability until late this year—much longer for the aforementioned gadgets, we’d guess. However, it already seems that—unlike the timid Windows 8 release cycle—this time the company is playing for keeps.Market-Moving FinancialsEarnings season is kicking back into gear once again, with the Q4 numbers starting to trickle in. On January 20, Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) reported weak quarterly results. The chipmaker’s PC segment turned in a poor performance, despite stabilization in the PC market. AMD hopes to turn things around with its new line of Carrizo chips.In Q4, AMD’s sales totaled $1.24 billion, down from $1.59 billion in the year-ago quarter and roughly in line with the consensus. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.00, compared to $0.06 in the year-ago quarter and a penny less than the consensus. Revenue for the Computing and Graphics segment, which deals in laptop and desktop chips, was $662 million, declining from $888 million in the year-ago quarter.AMD’s turnaround plans include shoring up its position in PCs, the company’s core market. To that end, AMD is rolling out its Carrizo line of chips, which will ship in the second quarter. With Carrizo, AMD hopes to improve the battery life and performance on laptops. It’s also focusing on squeezing more graphics performance from the low-power chips—useful when playing games and watching high-resolution video.Following the report, AMD climbed over 5%.On January 15, Intel (INTC) reported a solid quarter, thanks to stabilization in the PC market and torrid growth in the data center segment. Mobile, on the other hand, was a drag on results.For Q4, Intel posted sales of $14.72 billion, up 6% from $13.8 billion in the year-ago quarter. Consensus called for sales of $14.70 billion. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.74, up 45% from $0.51 in the year-ago quarter and well ahead of the consensus of $0.66. For the full year, sales totaled $55.8 billion, compared to $52.7 billion in 2013, nearly a 6% increase. It was the first full year of revenue growth since 2011.In Q4, the company’s PC segment posted sales of $8.9 billion, up 3% from the year-ago quarter. This segment is benefiting from stabilization in the PC market, which stems from several factors, including Microsoft’s discontinuance of technical support of its Windows XP operating system, which encouraged users to upgrade to newer devices. Also, the rising popularity of hybrid tablet-laptop computers was a factor.The company’s data center segment was the main bright spot, at least in terms of growth. For Q4, revenues were $4.1 billion, up a whopping 25% from the year-ago quarter.Intel is desperately trying to make inroads into the mobile market. But revenues are heading in the wrong direction. For the quarter, mobile revenues actually totaled negative $6 million. That’s because Intel is paying subsidies to customers to take its mobile chips.On January 20, Netflix (NFLX) smashed earnings estimates and posted stellar growth, thanks to strong subscriber growth, especially overseas.In Q4, the company’s sales totaled $1.48 billion, up 26% from $1.17 billion in the year-ago quarter. Sales were roughly in line with consensus estimates. Adjusted EPS was $0.72, down 9% from $0.79 in the year-ago quarter, but well ahead of the consensus estimate of $0.44.Netflix continues to reel in loads of subscribers. For the quarter, the company added 4.33 million subscribers globally, ahead of the 4 million the company had previously forecast. International subscriber growth was especially robust, with the company adding about 2.43 million subscribers, a 40% increase from the 1.74 million added during the year-ago period. The company currently has 57.4 million subscribers globally.Netflix is making a strong push into original content, which provides a better ROI than licensed content. This year, the company will launch roughly one original series a month.On the heels of the report, Netflix soared 17%.On January 20, IBM (IBM) released financial results. In Q4, the company reported sales of $24.1 billion, slightly below the consensus estimate of 24.9 billion. Adjusted earnings per share came in at $5.81, well ahead of the consensus estimate of $5.41.For 2014, IBM’s sales were $92.9 billion, falling 7% from 99.8 billion in 2013. Adjusted earnings per share were $16.53, a 3% decrease from $16.99 in the prior year.Though the company blew away earnings estimates, share price slid over 5% in early trading. That’s because in addition to weaker than expected sales, the company issued a disappointing outlook for 2015, with midpoint guidance for earning per share at $16.13 versus consensus expectations of $16.51.Q4 marked the 11th straight sequential quarter that IBM’s sales have declined as the company fights to transition away from its traditional hardware, software, and tech services businesses to higher-margin and growth areas like cloud, security, analytics, and mobile. “We are making significant progress in our transformation, continuing to shift IBM’s business to higher value, and investing and positioning ourselves for the longer term,” says CEO Virginia Rometty.Analysts are worried, however, as they contemplate whether those new businesses can grow fast enough to keep up with deterioration of the old one. IBM’s destiny is beginning to look like a race against time.On January 20, Super Micro Computer (SMCI) posted top- and bottom-line results that smashed the Street’s estimates, thanks to strong demand for the company’s servers. For Q2 2015, Super Micro booked sales of $503 million, up a scorching 41% from $356 million in the year-ago quarter and miles ahead of the consensus estimate of $467 million. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.65, up 85% from $0.35 in the year-ago quarter and well ahead of the consensus estimate of $0.47.Super Micro makes servers, server boards, and power supplies. The company has a tight relationship with Intel, which allows it to be among the first to market products utilizing Intel’s latest chips. The close collaboration is paying off in spades, much to the dismay of server rivals such as Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo, and Dell, all of which move much slower and charge much larger margins.Despite the strong quarterlies, Super Micro shares shed 5%.Bits & BytesIf you miss the satisfaction of snapping your phone shut like the good old days, you may be in luck. Rumors indicate that LG may be working on an Android flip phone.Meanwhile, Samsung is going on its own, dropping Qualcomm chips in favor of house-built ones.Amazon’s going greener. The company recently announced that it’s working with Pattern Energy Group to construct a 150MW wind farm in Indiana to help power its data centers.In other Amazon news, the company has also recently announced plans to make movies for theaters and Prime streaming. Amazon plans to produce up to 12 movies each year as part of the new initiative; the films will become available to US Prime subscribers just four to eight weeks after they hit theaters.For how much we talk about cyberwar, cybercrime, and cybersecurity in these pages, you regular readers may be shocked to read the list of the 25 most popular passwords of 2014. Spoiler alert: “123456” and “password” topped the list once again.Not quite as intimidating as The Terminator, this military cyborg biker that was presented to Russian President Vladimir Putin makes me think that our judgment day at the hands of killer robots is still a ways off.Apple has acquired the British startup Semetric, the company behind the music analytics service Musicmetric. The acquisition could be part of Apple’s plans to rebrand and relaunch the Beats Music streaming service it shuttered in September of last year.It turns out HealthCare.gov is more than just a crappy website. According to the Associated Press, it’s also quietly sending personal health information on millions of Americans to a number of third-party websites.SpaceX just raised $1 billion in new funding in a round that was four times larger than all its other rounds combined and included Google and Fidelity. The two new investors will now own just less than 10% of the company.Of course car-hailing service company Uber is in the news again this week… this time with its announcement that the four-year old company is already 3.5 times the size of the whole taxi market in its most mature market of San Francisco.Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that VCs pumped $48.3 billion into US startups during 2014, up 61% from 2013 and the most since the $105 billion invested in 2000.The Sony hack is back in the news again. New reports suggest that the only reason US officials were confident that North Korea was behind the attack is because the NSA has been spying on North Korea for years.Speaking of the Sony hack, Netflix will begin streaming the movie that was at the center of the controversy, The Interview, this weekend. If you’re a Netflix customer, you’ll be able to watch it for free starting Sunday.Overstock has announced plans to launch its own video streaming service to directly challenge Amazon Prime Video. The company plans to have about 30,000 titles available for on-demand service by mid-2015 and then start a streaming service with both acquired and original content by year end.Google Glass is dead, at least for now. The company said it will stop selling the current version of Glass. But Google insists this isn’t the end. The Glass team will move out of its Google X labs and into its own independent division. And according to the company “we’re continuing to build for the future, and you’ll start to see future versions of Glass when they’re ready.”Last week we reported that CNN was going to begin to use drones in its newsgathering and reporting efforts. Now the New York Times, Washington Post, and NBC are getting into the drone game as well, through a partnership with Virginia Tech to test drones for news gathering.If you’re worried that our skies will be littered with drones in no time and that privacy even on one’s own property will be a thing of the past, take solace in the fact that a team of commercial drone developers are creating a drone whose sole purpose is to seek, intercept, and destroy other drones that get too close.Facebook is trying to juice its app numbers by blocking third party apps from using the WhatsApp service it purchased last year. Maybe those ad growth numbers are slowing?Last, in a sign that despite the rapidly changing times, high-school students are still mostly the same—picking on each other, sharing dirty pictures, and rebelling from the traditions of their parents’ generation (like Facebook and Twitter)—Apple has had to ban for the second time in a matter of weeks the pseudo-anonymous chat app “After School.” The service has also proven, thankfully, less than fully anonymous: it provided data to Detroit police after a third student used it to threaten to bring guns to school, which resulted in an arrest.last_img read more

One of the biggest miners unions in South Africa

first_imgOne of the biggest miners’ unions in South Africa is demanding doubled wages. The threat is for a massive strike like the one that had a big impact on platinum supply last year. Some gold bugs are hopeful this would boost the price of gold. Maybe even just the threat could give us a nice tailwind. Not so fast. Remember that while South Africa is the world’s top platinum producer, it lost that status for gold years ago. More important is that platinum is consumed as an industrial metal. Most of the gold ever mined is still within easy reach and in purified form, as bullion or jewelry. The potential supply of “recycled” gold is practically infinite, compared to the market. This makes mine supply a less important factor in the price of gold than it is for any other metal. For gold, it’s all about demand. That’s why we call it a “fear barometer.” As long as fear and chaos abound in global markets, demand will keep gold in high demand—and prices up. Place your bets accordingly.last_img read more

Justin So the ingredients for a holy war have al

first_img Justin: So, the ingredients for a holy war have always been there? Doug: Yes. Up to about 100 years ago, Christians felt a moral obligation to convert everyone, including other misguided Christians. Now it’s mostly just the Muslims who feel that way. It’s entirely possible, even likely, we’re going to have an outright war of religion. Although, in the highly Politically Correct West, it will have to be called something else. The ongoing invasion of Europe by Muslims is one aspect of it—although that’s not so much a religious thing per se. That’s partly because the Muslims are migrating mostly for economic reasons. And because religion is a dead duck in Europe today. Europe is a post-Christian society. Very few people go to church or take Christianity seriously in Europe, it’s a very secular society. Which is a bit of a problem, because they’ve taken the State for their new god. But the State doesn’t promise anybody an afterlife. So, in my opinion, Europeans are actually ripe for conversion to Islam. It’s a serious problem, because Islam is incompatible with, and antithetical to Western Civilization. Justin: Why should the average American care about this?  Doug: It’s part of the gradual destruction of Western culture. Lots of termites—including socialism, cultural Marxism, gender warfare—have been eating away at the foundations of Western Civilization for decades. Islam, in itself, isn’t a real threat. The Koran, which PC types love to treat with respect, is just poorly written medieval sci-fi. It’s living proof that humans are capable of believing absolutely anything. That said, Islam is a threat to the West because tens of millions of migrants are being invited to come and live at the expense of the current residents. Europe will collapse from within, as did Rome. The average European believes in nothing—except that his civilization not only isn’t worthy, but is actually evil. No wonder the migrants treat them with contempt. The Mohammedans—although I’ll note it’s now very un-PC to call them that—are technologically and economically backward. As long as they put the Koran at the center of their lives—and they have to, because it is the direct, incontrovertible word of Allah—they’ll remain backward. If, through an accident of geology, there wasn’t a lot of low cost oil in places they live, the West would have no reason to care what they think, say, or do. They’d be no more than an interesting tourist attraction. The good news is that, over the next 100 years, most Muslims will fall away from their primitive beliefs. But that’s another story… And a lot is going to happen in the meantime. Recommended Link These insiders are all quietly backing what The Economist calls “one of the world’s hottest investments.” Already, some of these plays have climbed an extraordinary 1,442% in 5 months… 503% in 30 days… 1,696% in 10 days. If you feel like you’ve missed out on this bull market, then watch this video. Recommended Link Justin: Doug, I know you think the European Union (EU) has been destined to fail from the start. Could religious tensions spark this inevitable crisis? Or will an economic or financial crisis be the final nail in the EU’s coffin? Doug: Religion is definitely playing into the crisis. Because you have to remember that, in continental Europe, Kosovo, Albania, and Turkey, are already Muslim, as are parts of Bulgaria. 10% of Western Europe is already Muslim. There are about 20 million Muslims in southern Russia, and that’s going to be a big problem for Moscow. There’s always blowback from running an empire, something the French and British have found as well. And Americans are discovering. Enemy sympathizers are already within the gates. London is turning into Karachi, Paris into Kinshasa, and Rome into Lagos. I wouldn’t doubt that there’s going to be a war against Islam. Even though, as I said, very few Europeans take Christianity seriously anymore. Islam, however, is much more virulent than Christianity—it’s like Christianity in the Middle Ages. Even if the average Muslim is basically “get along go along” with his religion in daily life, when push comes to shove, yeah, he takes his religion quite seriously—the way Christians did hundreds of years ago. So this is very serious. It’s a cultural war, much more than an economic or military one. And I’m afraid the West has already about lost it. It’s really tragic, because almost everything good in the world has come out of the West—in particular freedom, capitalism, individualism, science, technology, literature. Future generations will miss them. It’s sad. Justin: Doug, thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. Doug: Sure, anytime. Editor’s note: Every month, Doug shares his unique insights in The Casey Report, our flagship publication. If you sign up today, you’ll get complete access to all of our archived content, including recent essays by Doug on the Greater Depression, the migrant crisis, and technology. You’ll also receive specific, actionable advice to help you protect and grow your personal financial empire. You can sign up for a risk-free trial of The Casey Report right here. Justin’s note: Today, we have another brand-new Conversations with Casey to share with you. In the interview below, Doug Casey and I discuss holy wars in Europe. I’m not talking about the Crusades, either. I’m talking about a modern-day holy war. Some folks will think I’m crazy for even entertaining this idea. But a few weeks ago, Turkey’s foreign minister said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. That’s a major warning. You have to take it seriously. So, I recently sat down with Doug to discuss this matter. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did. Justin: Doug, Turkey’s foreign minister recently said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. Do you think this could actually happen? Doug: Well, human nature hasn’t changed in many thousands of years. And religion is important to the human animal. Perhaps it’s always been something that people were prone to fight about, but the historical record shows that religious wars only started with the invention of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Of course, these religions—which have always been at war with each other, and all other religions—are similar in that they believe in one god. Pagan religions were and are accepting of other people’s gods and beliefs. The question is, which god is the right one? Should you believe in Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah? Because it appears to me that they’re all very different, based upon what they say and what they have their followers believe. Islam and Christianity have been duking it out since the 7th century, and that’s unlikely to change. They both claim to have the one and only true god, but they’re very different gods—not at all the same one. So it’s an irreconcilable difference. —center_img PayPal Billionaire Peter Thiel Netscape founder (and Facebook board member) Marc Andreesen MIT White House Budget Chief Mark Mulvaney Patrick Byrne, CEO of Overstock — The White House Budget Chief is backing this investment (did Trump tell him something?) Take a look at this list: Jamie McIntyre, CEO of 21st Century Education Nassim Taleb, creator of Black Swan theory John McAfee, founder of McAfee Inc. Chamath Palihapitiya, former Facebook VP The “Deep State” HATES this stuff You see this mysterious red fluid? To Trump-haters in Congress, the media and big cities… And to the “Deep State” that’s trying to take control of America from the darkest corners of Washington… This incredible new substance is the sum of all fears. That’s because starting in 2017, it could literally destroy all opposition to President Trump… And cement his legacy as the undisputed “greatest president in history” — even among his worst enemies. You can find out why right here.last_img read more

From Hollywood and Bollywood to the media NGO and

first_imgFrom Hollywood and Bollywood to the media, NGO and corporate worlds, stories about harassment and discrimination against women in the workplace have captured global attention for months. And rightly so.But what about the millions of rural women facing these injustices, who almost never make the headlines?Development agencies have struggled to find ways to help rural women overcome obstacles in male-dominated societies and to gain an education, to own land, to take out loans, to earn a living and to gain equal rights in all arenas.But what we’ve seen while conducting research in Western Nepal is that sometimes the best projects don’t lead to the best results – that a woman’s right to make decisions doesn’t always follow from the conventional measures of success like education or income.We also saw that some women gain power through unexpected pathways.The surprising stories of 3 womenWith respect to education, 26-year-old Sarita Chaudry, whom we interviewed a few weeks ago, would get high marks. She finished 12th grade and is now a first-grade teacher in Kuti village. The more advanced math skills she learned at school also enable her to handle the accounting for a women’s savings group on a volunteer basis. She is married and is a mom.But Chaudry does not lead a fully independent life. Despite earning more than her husband, she told us she can only shop for food and household goods in his company – and needs his permission to buy them. Furthermore, she does not challenge these norms but accepts them as “natural” because this is how things were for her mother.By contrast, 39-year-old Ujeli BK would seem to lack the resources that Chaudry has. She is not educated and owns only a small plot of land. She uses two initials as her last name instead of its spelled out form, which denotes her low social status as a dalit or “untouchable.” Ujeli’s husband works in India as many Nepali men do, especially in the south, because higher wages can be earned across the border. He only visits once or twice a year during the festival season.Life is tough for Ujeli, who lives in a small mud hut and has four children. She grows lentils, cauliflower, eggplant and rice, depending on the season, but has difficulty finding help to plow her land as labor is scarce. Women are not able to take on this activity as they are not taught to handle the equipment, and it is believed a woman plowing land can invoke disaster. Unable to afford her own irrigation equipment, she has to rent a pump to water her fields, but its owner lets her use it only at night.A male neighbor threatened violence against her when he wrongly suspected that she had been stealing vegetables from his land. While recounting the story, Ujeli remained calm and added that if her husband was present, her neighbor would likely not have felt emboldened to make threats against her.Despite these circumstances, Ujeli told us she has succeeded in cultivating the confidence to take on “male” responsibilities and make her own decisions. She said that even if she had no husband at all, she now feels like she could take care of herself. She developed this confidence, she remarked, because she had no alternative. She knew she had to coordinate the irrigation of her fields and perform other traditionally “male” roles or else she would not be able to provide for her family. Each new step, from beginning to drive her husband’s motorcycle to managing the irrigation equipment, gave Ujeli confidence to take on even more.Krishna Devi Chaudhary’s husband passed away years ago, while her two sons were toddlers. She entered uncharted territory, as she began managing the household and vegetable fields on her own. Like Ujeli, she struggles to gain access to the tools she needs. With limited funds, she has to bargain with her neighbors over the rental price of irrigation pumps. She carries the cauliflower and eggplant she grows on her back to local markets as she does not feel able to ride a motorcycle, which is usually a culturally taboo for women.Yet Chaudhary, now 41, told us she has found a hard-won sense of independence and authority. Knowing that the future success of her children was in her hands alone, she found courage to act outside the norms for women in her village, such as seeking out men to bargain for equipment. As further proof of this empowerment, she will attend the upcoming wedding of one of her sons, to which 500 guests have been invited. According to local tradition, the woman waits at home for the married couple to arrive, but as her husband is no longer with them, she feels she can attend in his stead.Rethinking the way to break down barriersThe experiences of these women, reflecting our survey results from 150 rural households, tell us it is time to rethink the way we assess and promote women’s empowerment. In rural areas, practical steps alone, like providing the means to bring goods to a market or to obtain equipment, cannot create lasting change as long as women remain largely unable to make decisions independently of their husbands and male family members.The first step toward empowerment is helping marginalized men and women recognize the injustices they face and realize that they have rights and choices.We and our partners in Nepal are working to improve upon the “Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture Index” – a method used widely by the Feed the Future initiative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to measure progress toward gender equality in rural households. We believe that rural women’s inward determination to challenge oppressive gender norms — what we have termed their critical consciousness — is an important missing step in bringing about their empowerment.We believe that engaging men and women in the community through workshops and discussions on gender issues is a way to break down the barriers holding rural women back. We have used role playing successfully in communities to help both sexes become more aware that prevailing gender norms can be changed.”Women can work as well as men,” one male participant, Kamal Bishawkarma, told us. “That is what the training has taught me.”As the headlines teach us every day, apparent signs of progress toward gender equality are masking what can be oppressive and abusive realities for women. This is just as true in the remote farm households of Western Nepal as in the gleaming corporate offices of the industrialized world.”I make decisions. My sons listen, and they follow,” Krishna Devi Chaudhary, the 41-year-old single mom, told us. These words of authority and conviction should be the words by which women’s empowerment is measured, in any village and in any society.Floriane Clement is a social scientist with the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), which leads the CGIAR Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems (WLE). Corey O’Hara is a doctoral candidate at Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, USA. The journal World Development recently published their findings from Western Nepal on the measurement of women’s empowerment. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Workplace Violence How to Prepare for the Unimaginable

first_imgworkplace violence April 5, 2018 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Next Article Heather R. Huhman The entire country is on edge. The shootings at YouTube headquarters happened just this week.Related: YouTube Shooting Suspect Had Been Angry Over Filtering and DemonetizationPlaces that used to feel safe — from schools and churches to concert venues and workplaces — now feel anything but. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 500 workplace homicides in the United States in 2016, making violence the second-most-common cause of death in the workplace.Because April is Workplace Violence Awareness Month, there’s no better time than now for leaders to revisit how to handle and prevent dangerous situations. While no one can predict when a violent incident will occur at work, having the right precautions in place can help keep employees safe.Vet potential employees.The first step to avoiding workplace violence is keeping offenders out of your company. Perform thorough background checks to see if candidates have committed crimes in the past. If there are red flags or signs of violent tendencies, these people shouldn’t be hired.If a person has had (or has, while working for you) an isolated incident, leaders must make a judgment call. For example, you could require the individual to undergo anger management therapy so he or she can be a productive, rather than potentially violent, employee.Related: 12 Ways to Spot a Potentially Violent Person in the WorkplaceAlso, use the job interview as a way to assess a job candidate’s personality. Ask questions about previous terminations or gaps in employment and see how the person reacts. If innocuous questions make a person uncomfortable, he or she probably isn’t the best hiring choice.Have a clear plan, and consequences.“Even the best safety plans are only effective if they are put into practice,” Bob Folster, director of loss control services at small-business insurance company Employers in Sacramento, told me in an email.  To feel safe, employees need to know what policies are in place to protect them. This means conducting drills, no matter how unlikely an event might seem. Have employees practice where they’d go or how they would react to scenarios like a robbery or shooting. After each drill, leave time for questions so employees can discuss any concerns they might have.Also, make it clear what consequences employees face if they act violently. While most companies have zero-tolerance policies about workplace violence, gray areas still exist.For example, if an enraged employee throws a stapler, but doesn’t hit anyone, is that a fireable offense? No matter how unlikely a situation may seem, make sure everyone knows what will happen as a result. That way, employees will see there are no loopholes that excuse violent behavior.Know (and share) the warning signs.After a violent incident, people often say, “I should have seen the warning signs.” While leaders aren’t expected to be violence experts, they do need to know what behaviors signal an employee who’s struggling with anger.Some warning signs, like suddenly being late for work on multiple occasions, may seem harmless. But a change like this can show an employee is struggling. Taking the time to speak with this individual can potentially keep the situation from progressing to violence.Asa Sherwood, president of Chicago-based property management company FirstService Residential Illinois, said he likes to take an “it takes a village” approach. “We encourage colleagues to keep an eye out for each other and not be afraid to say something if they see something, so that, as employers, we can address concerns before they reach a tipping point,” Sherwood said via email. Educate employees about possible warning signs so they can help keep the workplace safe. In her book, Risky Business: Managing Employee Violence in the Workplace, Lynne McClure lists the following changes as precursors to violent behavior:Not taking responsibility for one’s mistakesDistancing oneself sociallyActing out of characterLying or partaking in risky behaviorRefusing to try new thingsHelp employees speak up.Leaders can’t be everywhere all the time. This is why employees need to feel safe coming forward if they feel threatened. They need to know there’s a way they can report incidents without fear of retribution.Jay Starkman, CEO of Hollywood, Fla.-based HR solutions company Engage PEO, said he believes this should be a part of employee training. In short: Everyone needs to know what the procedure will be after a violent workplace incident. “Violent behavior is common and must be dealt with promptly, uniformly and in such a way that employees feel comfortable in their ability to work, without the threat of violence or bullying,” Starkman said in an email.Related: Managing Conflict Is Essential to SuccessIf your employees are worried about coming forward, create a company email address where employees can anonymously report incidents that have made them feel uncomfortable. Knowing about these situations can allow you as a leader to address issues before the violence escalates. 5 min read Image credit: Justin Sullivan | Getty Images Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. YouTube is only the latest workplace to experience violence. What are you doing to protect your workers? –shares Enroll Now for $5 Workplace Violence: How to Prepare for the Unimaginable Contributor Add to Queuelast_img read more

Why the imported washing machine you want is getting more expensive

Citation: Why the imported washing machine you want is getting more expensive (2018, January 26) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-imported-machine-expensive.html Consumers considering solar panels are going to feel a similar sticker shock.Responding to complaints from U.S. manufacturers who said imported goods were costing them sales, Trump slapped on tariffs—20 percent for the first 1.2 million imported washers and then 50 percent for any other washers imported in year one. The tariff on washers will be in effect for three years, though the tariff percentage will decline in subsequent years.The move could mean that consumers pay $50 to $90 more for machines made by South Korean manufacturers such Samsung and LG, although other foreign washer manufacturers such as Electrolux and Miele will not escape the tariff.Solar cells, largely imported from China, are also being slapped with a tariff—30 percent in the first year.The Trump administration said the move is meant to return manufacturing jobs to the U.S.Benton Harbor, Mich.,-based Whirlpool Corp., whose 2011 petition to the Commerce Department prompted Trump’s action, said it added 200 full-time jobs at an Ohio plant in anticipation of the tariffs.Whirlpool called the tariffs “a win for American manufacturing jobs” and said it expects the industry to add new manufacturing jobs in Ohio, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee.For its part, the solar-installing industry warns that up to 23,000 jobs could be lost.The decision, will “create a crisis in a part of our economy that has been thriving, which will ultimately cost tens of thousands of hard-working blue-collar Americans their jobs,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and chief executive officer of the Solar Energy Industries Association, in a statement. Hopper expects the impact on solar investments to be billions of dollars.In 2016, there were 3,718 solar workers in Illinois and 260,077 in the U.S., according to the Washington, D.C.-based Solar Foundation. Solar industry employment has nearly tripled since the first National Solar Jobs Census was released in 2010.The impact on consumers buying washing machines could be short-term, and buyers may just get used to it.”It’s like any other product, if they want an LG machine, they’ll pay for it,” said Jon Abt, co-president of Abt Electronics, who said he expects consumers will see prices increase by about $50.Once Samsung’s $380 million manufacturing facility in Newberry, S.C., and LG’s $250 million plant in Clarksville, Tenn., are up and running, the impact will be lessened, Abt said. Samsung has said it has already hired 600 workers to staff the new facility.Chris Rogers, an analyst at New York-based research firm Panjiva agreed. Rogers’ analysis shows that Samsung, LG and other foreign producers have been aggressively importing washers in the past year, so it might be a while before consumers see prices go up because of stock on hand. “LG and Samsung have a cushion on the cheaper washing machines they can sell for the next few months,” he said.There’s no certainty that many jobs will be added if manufacturers turn to the U.S. to produce washing machines and solar cells, Panjiva’s Rogers said.After all, it’s not clear how foreign makers such as Samsung and LG will operate their U.S. plants, he said. They could make the parts in another country and then have them assembled here in the U.S. “If they mostly use oversees parts and assemble them using robots instead of people, the employment impact could be minimal,” he said. Explore further Solar industry on edge as Trump weighs tariffs on panels This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ©2018 Chicago Tribune Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. At $1,899, one of the priciest washing machines for sale at Abt Electronics in Glenview, Ill., is Samsung’s two-washers-in-one-machine Steel FlexWash. As a result of new tariffs approved by President Donald Trump on Tuesday, that price tag is about to get steeper. read more

Six takeaways from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerbergs Senate testimony on data breaches

One Silicon Valley star witness, 44 media-hungry senators, and five hours of mostly tough questions and often ambiguous answers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg officially ran the congressional gauntlet on Tuesday during a joint committee hearing in which nearly half the Senate grilled the social media executive about his platform’s ability to protect Americans’ personal data and ferret out foreign meddling in U.S. elections.Here are six takeaways from Tuesday’s bruising session:—Zuckerberg would not commit to a proposal that would require the social media giant to automatically let users “opt out” of having their data collected or shared. Right now, users must manually choose privacy settings that block such data sharing.”I think that’s the right principle,” Zuckerberg said in response to a question about opt-out legislation from Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., a fierce privacy advocate. “The details matter.”That was Zuckerberg’s answer to many questions about what kind of regulation of legislation Facebook would support to beef up Americans’ privacy in their use of social media platforms.”This deserves a lot of discussion,” he said about a privacy bill of rights for children.”Everyone in the world deserves good privacy protection,” Zuckerberg said when asked if the U.S. should adopt the kind of stringent protections embraced by the European Union.”I’m committed to getting this right,” he said when asked why lawmakers and the American public should trust Facebook to police itself.—Zuckerberg said Facebook officials are working with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. But he hedged on the details of that cooperation.Zuckerberg answered “yes” when asked if Facebook had been served any subpoenas from Mueller. And he said “yes” again when asked if anyone at Facebook had been interviewed—though Zuckerberg said he personally had not talked to Mueller’s team.But then, Zuckerberg added a few caveats: “I want to be careful here, because that—our work with the special counsel is confidential,” he said. “I actually am not aware of a subpoena. I believe that there may be, but I know we’re working with them.” Citation: Six takeaways from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Senate testimony on data breaches (2018, April 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-takeaways-facebook-ceo-zuckerberg-senate.html Zuckerberg prepares another apology—this time to Congress —Zuckerberg said he wasn’t comfortable sharing some of his own personal information in the setting of a televised Senate hearing.”Would you be comfortable sharing with us the name of the hotel you stayed in last night?” asked Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.”Um, no,” he responded.Zuckerberg was similarly squeamish when Durbin asked if he would share the names of everyone he messaged week. “I would probably not choose to do that,” he said.Political score at the end of that round: Durbin 2, Zuckerberg 0.—Zuckerberg was also unable to answer several questions about how the company would stop foreign meddling in U.S. elections and the extent to which the Russians used Facebook to sway the 2016 elections.Facebook has promised it will now verify the identity of political groups that place campaign ads on the social media platform. For example, Zuckerberg testified Tuesday that Facebook would check a group’s location so a Russian company can’t pretend to be based in the U.S.But when Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., asked how they would investigate a shell corporation or nonprofit, Zuckerberg did not have a firm answer.He was also unable to say what connection Facebook had found, if any, between the Russian-linked company that purchased ads in the 2016 election and Cambridge Analytica, the data mining firm that improperly accessed up to 87 million Facebook users’ private information.”We’re investigating that now,” Zuckerberg said. “We believe it is entirely possible that there will be a connection there.”—The best questioner during Tuesday’s session: Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., who seemed to catch Zuckerberg flatfooted when he asked about the terms of service that Facebook agreed to when it allowed Alexander Kogan to download Facebook users’ data with an app he developed.Kogan and that app were at the center of the data breach, with Kogan later selling that Facebook users’ data to Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm used by the Trump campaign in the 2016 election. Facebook officials have said the selling of that data was unauthorized, but Blumenthal showed a blow-up poster of Kogan’s terms of service, which said the data could be used for commercial purposes.Zuckerberg said he had not seen the terms of service, and his app team would have been responsible for reviewing it. Has anyone in that division been fired, Blumenthal asked.”Not because of this,” Zuckerberg answered.—Best Facebook defender: Several lawmakers lobbed softballs at Zuckerberg, but Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, seemed the most primed to help the Facebook CEO make his case.Hatch seemed to poke his congressional colleagues for saying they were “shocked, shocked” that companies like Facebook use Americans’ data to sell ads.”Nothing in life is free,” Hatch said. “And these great websites that don’t charge for access—they extract value in some other way. And there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as they’re up-front about what they’re doing.” Explore further ©2018 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Credit: CC0 Public Domain This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

Hitachi skill development centres in AP

first_imgSHARE COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL skill development To train youth in air conditioning repair and maintenance two model skill development centres (MSDCs) have been set up in Vijayawada and Kakinada of Andhra Pradesh.The Industrial Training Centre of APSSDC and Johnson Controls-Hitachi Air Conditioning India Limited (JCH-IN) have come together. Courses have been launched at both Centres.The courses in AC Repair and Maintenance for four batches of 20-30 candidates in a year will be offered. The duration of the courses will be 3 months. While the syllabus will be provided by Hitachi, the certification will be done jointly by Hitachi and APSSDC.They will focus on skill training of youths and make them employable.This is an outcome of a meeting held in June in Vijaywada between Chief Minister of AP, N Chandrababu Naidu and Gurmeet Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, JCH-IN, according to a press release.In the next phase centres will be started in Nellore, Anantpur and Vishakhapatnam by end of next year. K Sambasiva Rao, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, APSSDC and Gurmeet Singh visited the Vijaywada Center and addressed the students.JCH-IN, is a joint venture between Johnson Controls, US and Hitachi Appliances, Japan. Hitachi will bear the entire cost of running the MSDCs. October 12, 2018 COMMENT Andhra Pradesh Published onlast_img read more

CongNCP to win all Mumbai seats Milind DeoraCongNCP to win all Mumbai

first_img COMMENT SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL Mumbai Congress chief Milind Deora has said his party along with partner NCP will win all the six Lok Sabha seats in the metropolis as anti-incumbency was a major factor in the polls and people will not be fooled by the BJP-Shiv Sena’s “opportunistic alliance”.Deora, who was last month appointed Mumbai Regional Congress Committee chief replacing Sanjay Nirupam, also said the Congress’ Mumbai unit was “united and fighting for one cause”.In an interview to PTI, he said 2014 general elections was an exceptional year and those political situations do not prevail any more after five years. The Congress had drawn a blank in the six Lok Sabha seats in Mumbai in those elections after having cornered a lion’s share of five seats in the 2009 elections. Three seats were won by the BJP, while three went to Sena in 2014.Deora, who is again fighting from Mumbai South seat, said the Congress-NCP alliance has fielded best candidates amongst all parties on all six seats. The list of candidates includes those who had lost had lost in the “Modi wave” of 2014, but their people’s connect is “remarkable” and they are getting a great response, he said. “Anti-incumbency against sitting MPs and the government is a big issue here. We will win all seats in Mumbai,” he said.‘Alliance of opportunism’Asked if the Sena-BJP tie-up just ahead of polls had made it tough for the Congress, the former Union Minister said it will be rather tough for the combine as they have “abused” the mandate they got in 2014. “For the last five years, Sena has been abusing Modi and the BJP has been insulting Sena. On the eve of elections they have made up, but voters are not fools. They know this is an alliance of opportunism,” Deora said.Asked what was the thought process behind fielding actor Urmila Matondkar from the Mumbai North Lok Sabha constituency, Deora said: “Why belittle a citizen who seeks to bring change through politics? Urmila is an established actor, a thinking person, a socially conscious and morally upright woman.”Also read: Congress fields Urmila Matondkar from Mumbai North LS seatHe said Matondkar’s power to swing votes comes from the social and political conviction she has in her. “She will go a long way in public life,” the 42-year-old leader said.On how the Congress is planning to counter the Modi blitz, Deora said the Modi campaign effect was a bit exaggerated. “Campaigns need to resonate on ground. Blitz does not mean you are affecting or influencing voters. You can’t have a campaign only by abusing your opponents and then use emotive issues to dodge real answers. I have seen it in my campaign in 2004. Indian voters are smart they don’t follow the pied piper blindly,” he said.Deora, who had won in the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha polls but lost in 2014, is taking on Shiv Sena’s Arvind Sawant in the Mumbai South constituency. He was named MRCC chief on March 25 replacing Nirupam who had been at loggerheads with some senior party leaders in the state. The move was seen as a bid to quell the intense infighting within the Mumbai Congress unit.Deora, son of former Union Minister Murli Deora, is also considered close to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi. Besides Deora and Matondkar, the Congress has fielded Priya Dutt from the Mumbai-North-Central seat, Eknath Gaikwad from Mumbai South-Central, and Sanjay Nirupam for Mumbai North West. From the Mumbai North East seat, Congress ally NCP’s Sanjay Dina Patil is contesting. Polling will take place in the fourth phase on all the six constituencies in Mumbai on April 29. COMMENTS Mumbai Lok Sabha Published on April 14, 2019 Milind Deora (File photo)   –  Emmanual Yogini Elections 2019last_img read more

PM takes stock of Assam flood situation speaks to CMPM takes stock

first_imgCOMMENTS Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday spoke to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and took stock of the flood situation in the State, where the deluge has claimed 11 lives and affected lakhs, officials said. During the telephonic conversation, the Chief Minister briefed the Prime Minister about the situation and informed him that 31 of the State’s 33 districts were hit by the current spell of floods. Modi assured Sonowal of all assistance from the Centre in dealing with the situation, an official said. On Saturday, the Chief Minister briefed Home Minister Amit Shah about the flood situation in Assam. Shah directed the National Disaster Response Force and other agencies to provide all help to the flood affected people. The flood situation in Assam worsened on Sunday with the death toll rising to 11 and nearly 26.5 lakh people affected.Barpeta is the worst-hit district with 7.35 lakh people facing the flood fury, followed by Morigaon where 3.50 lakh people are affected. In Dhubri district, 3.38 lakh people are affected, the Assam State Disaster Management Authority said. About 70 per cent of the Kaziranga National Park, the habitat of the Great Indian Rhino and a world heritage site, has been affected too. SHARE Published on July 15, 2019 0 Assamlast_img read more