HOTT FM Donates Modern Latrine to Kpallah Community

first_imgThe management of HOTT FM 107.9 radio station has over the years tried to identify with its fans across Liberia. On several occasions, the station has single-handily donated food, school supplies, hygienic supplies and other necessities to the needy.Lately, HOTT FM’s CEO Bernard Benson (a.k.a. DJ Blue) and staff have again over the week helped those in need by listening to their cry. “We have played a major role in making sure we sanitize people about the dangers of Ebola. And we were also responsible for the ‘Ebola is real’ song that made the whole world realize that Ebola is real,” stated DJ Blue.Members of the Kpallah community, Brewerville, outside of Monrovia, appealed to HOTT FM ’s management that a toilet was urgently needed.In response to the request, HOTT FM dedicated a modern four-stall latrine.“We see it necessary to help, especially when a person is in need,” Blue said. “The dedication also shows what a community that is together can achieve collectively. As a small Liberian business, this gesture signifies our strength and also the passion we have for communities.”DJ Blue called the gesture “amazing”, not because the project cost the station $7,500.00 USD, but because “this is the first time in history that a small business (radio station) owned by young Liberians has embarked on a sustainable project with such magnitude”, he added.“HOTT FM has reached out to numerous orphanages and communities, and we have legal documents to prove all. Long before the Ebola outbreak, we identified with WestPoint by feeding them and giving them packages of goodies for a whole day,” DJ Blue added.Meanwhile, the Kpallah community was engaged when DJ Blue was fortunate to meet its community leader Alahaji Seator. He says he was astonished at the fact that community dwellers didn’t have a proper place to ease themselves.“Grandmothers, mothers, children, women and the whole community are using the bushes to ease themselves,” DJ Blue recalls.  “And being a well meaning citizen with heart and love for his/her community, especially with the position to help, such a thing can’t be ignored.”HOTT FM is also known for throwing big bashes, concerts and entertaining events. According to DJ Blue, HOTT FM held a series of events to raise money for the latrine project.“The project cost $7,500.00. No one heeded their call, so we decided to take the bull by the horns. We are proud to say this modern latrine was one hundred percent funded by HOTT FM 107.9. I hope other institutions will imitate what HOTT FM is doing and has done,” DJ Blue urged.For the meantime, the community leader Alahaji Seator extolled HOTT FM for dedicating the modern latrine to his community and its people.“People who carry on initiatives in communities are normally politicians. But to see a private business institution erecting a modern latrine in my community brings me joy. I urge the community to use the latrine properly so that it will last longer for the good of the community and its people,” said Seator.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Herstelling residents call on elected officials to address woes

first_imgIn the height of the 2018 Local Government Election, residents of Herstelling, on the East Bank of Demerara, are calling for better roads since the current situation has become unbearable.Speaking with Guyana Times on Monday, aggravated residents of Rum Shop Street, which is intersected by First, Second, Third and Fourth Streets, vented their frustration over the condition of the roadways.Presently, there are large potholes which extend several metres and are sometimes impassable during the rainy season. The residents are hoping that the newly elected executives will be able to fill these gaps at the very least.Residents would have approached the Neighbourhood Democratic Council on a few occasions but they were told that funding to repair these roads was notThe roads that need rehabilitative worksavailable.“Well we went to them like a couple times and every time they saying that the money is not enough to do the road so we really would like for it to be fixed. Is years now and people getting fed up,” Kumar who lives on Third Street said.Meanwhile, his neighbour told Guyana Times, “Is just to get the holes fill up. Like with brick or stone but they use sand and that wash away like couple of weeks and then they say that they can’t do anything. So what we must do?”Another section of Herstelling has faced the same dilemma and when visited by this publication some time ago, the residents related that many persons had to cordon off the front of their properties because vehicles drove on their parapet whenever it rains to avoid driving in the potholes.Additionally, a business owner had indicated that she was left with no choice but to place garbage bins alongside her fence to avoid damage to her property.“The vehicles are driving up here. We got to put out the garbage barrel just to save the entrance here and then when the rain fall, it’s worse because the water keep coming in your yards.”Whoever is elected to office, the residents are calling for the roads to be fixed.last_img read more

City may sue pot-farm house owners

first_imgThe marijuana cultivators rigged an electrical system that allowed them to bypass the meter system for the house while tapping into Southern California Edison’s power grid. This allowed them to save thousands of dollars in electrical bills and, more importantly, elude the suspicion that growers typically draw by using the high amounts of energy required for such elaborate cultivation, deputies said. james.skeen@dailynews (661) 267-5743 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The Health and Safety Code allows a city to abate nuisances, including the cultivation of narcotics,” said Noel Doran, deputy city attorney. “Under the Health and Safety Code, one of the remedies a judge can order is to have a location shut down for one year to any use.” Councilman Steve Hofbauer said litigation is another tool in the law enforcement toolbox. “If you don’t hit these guys in the pocketbook, what’s your recourse? You play, you pay,” Hofbauer said. In the Carolyn Drive case, deputies noted the absence of beds or living-room furniture and said the house appeared to be used solely for a marijuana farm. The house is in a new subdivision that overlooks Highland High School. PALMDALE – City officials are looking at using civil litigation as a tool to combat drugs, including pursuing actions against owners of two homes that were recently the scenes of marijuana farm busts. Palmdale officials are considering lawsuits that would take control of the houses from the owners – at least temporarily. Potential targets include a house in the 2400 block of Carolyn Drive, where deputies seized 1,000 marijuana plants, and one in the 39000 block of Evening Star Street, where deputies seized 200 pot plants. Both of those raids occurred in February. Also being looked at for possible legal action are homes in the 37000 block of Justin Court, the 4000 block of Avenue R-13, the 37000 block of San Ysidro Way, the 38000 block of 16th Street East and the 6000 blocks of Catania and Barletta courts. The issue will be discussed by the Palmdale City Council in a closed session tonight. City officials declined to discuss the specifics of those cases, citing the closed session, but did speak about the general concept of using litigation as a tool in the fight drug-related crimes. last_img read more

NO WHITE CHRISTMAS – ‘SNOW ON WAY’, BUT 10C BY CHRISTMAS DAY

first_imgUPDATED: RTE’S Met Eireann forecast has ruled out a white Christmas – but there will be snow and ice this weekend, making road conditions dangerous again.And while the weekend will be bitterly cold with overnight frosts and some snow, much milder weather is on the way from next Tuesday.“We are predicting temperatures of around 10C for Christmas Day,” said a Met Eireann spokeswoman. Let’s hope she’s right!The news will come as a huge relief to businesses and people organising Christmas events and concerts as well as to ordinary workers.Last year was a disaster for many retailers and hotels as mass cancellations of events like Christmas parties took place.We still have to get through the next few days however. Temperatures drop to -5C in many inland areas at night with ice on many roads around County Donegal by dawn.Today will be “very cold and frosty with sunny spells and scattered wintry showers of hail, sleet and snow but the showers will turn to rain or hail in the afternoon and become more confined to western and northwestern counties.”Further wintry showers are forecast for Friday night, Saturday and Sunday.© 2011 donegaldaily.com, all Rights ReservedThe copying, republication or redistribution of donegaldaily.com Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited by law. Follow us on www.twitter.com/donegaldailyFollow us on www.facebook.com/donegaldailySell anything on www.donegaldailyclassifieds.comNO WHITE CHRISTMAS – ‘SNOW ON WAY’, BUT 10C BY CHRISTMAS DAY was last modified: December 16th, 2011 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:donegal weatherice warningsnowwhite Christmaslast_img read more

DDTV VIDEO: HOW DONEGAL’S SENIOR LADIES BONDED ON MOUNT ERRIGAL!

first_imgDDTV: IT’S all part of the modern game – for the ladies and the men – team-building and bonding.Some teams do extreme things in the pursuit of greatness.The Donegal Senior Ladies GAA team decided they’d climb our highest peak, Mount  Errigal.And they came with a particularly unusual way of coming back down. Let’s just say it all gets rather slippy….and very muddy.Click play to watch: DDTV VIDEO: HOW DONEGAL’S SENIOR LADIES BONDED ON MOUNT ERRIGAL! was last modified: April 15th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:DDTV VIDEO: HOW DONEGAL’S SENIOR LADIES BONDED ON MOUNT ERRIGAL!last_img read more

Here’s what you say about President Bush

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week – Keith Richard Radford Jr. President Bush has suffered a great deal of damage inflicted upon him by the radical fanatics of the left, especially the Democratic ideologues such as Sens. Kennedy, Schumer, Durbin, Reid and Kerry, as well as Rep. Pelosi and others in the House of Representatives. Their daily outbursts of distortion, omission and outright lies regarding the Iraq war are only giving aid and comfort to the terrorists we are fighting. – Tony Pasano We Americans are enjoying the most freedom and best living conditions in human history. We should not ignore the people, especially the women and children, suffering under cruel dictatorship in Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries. They need help. As for the democratic movement going on in all the countries, I think we are doing the right thing. President Bush will be known as one of the best presidential fighters for freedom – after Lincoln and Reagan. – Charles King We asked readers on Saturday what you had to say in response to President George W. Bush and his administration as they come under fire from war-policy opponents. Here are excerpts from your comments. It’s about time President Bush answered the distortions that his political opponents have been making. Bush made a decision to go to war based on the information presented to him and to others in government. Looking at that intelligence with the assumption that it was correct – as well as looking at Saddam’s history and his violations of several U.N. resolutions – and living in a post 9-11 world, I can see how the decision to go to war could have been made. A person can honestly disagree with Bush’s decision to go to war, but to say he lied to do so just doesn’t hold up to the facts. – John Mlynar The Bush administration has successfully taken America over in a new millennium and transported Americans back in time. Using every bait-and-switch tactic available, Bush and the ideology of his administration are a shell game with long-term consequences for our children’s future. We as a country do not have to go on ruining the earth with oil. The alternatives are available, just not in this country. The Bush administration is under fire because the people in it have consistently tried to avoid any investigation into any misdealing, no matter how much the American people cry out for it. They avoided the 9-11 Commission until they were embarrassed into having it. They avoided investigation into the faulty intelligence that led to the war in Iraq. They avoided investigations into the Downing Street memos. They are doing the same for the failings in New Orleans, and they are trying to make the outing of Valerie Plame seem like it’s no big deal. I think the American people are smarter than that. – Ross Miller When supposed friends lie to your face not just once or twice or three times, you get rid of them. They ultimately have nothing to offer the relationship and are just manipulating you for personal gain. What is one good thing this born-again neo-con has done to improve your or my lives? If you said zero, you’d be right. – Erik Eskelin It is a sad day when a country’s leader shows such fear that truth might be found. We often read that countries suppress dissent and equate dissent with treason. Those countries were once called such things as Axis of Evil and were always somewhere else. Now we have our own collection of nine pro-torture senators and an administration demanding that we stop asking questions. Our country is changing – into what? – David Robbins I think it was high time that the president spoke out in defense of his administration and I also wish that he would throw the gauntlet down to Senators Kennedy and Kerry to produce evidence that he or his administration lied or slanted the intelligence then available to Congress in order to precipitate the invasion of Iraq. Every day we are seeing more evidence of the fact that these radical Islamists are diabolical in their quest to wipe out freedom wherever it exists and we and the free world must band together to prevent them from reaching their goal. – Bruce DeHaas Every time negative comments are heard about the Bush administration’s handling of various issues, either the subject is changed or the old familiar rant about unpatriotic citizens begins anew. Perhaps if President Bush began to recognize his responsibility in these areas, fewer negative comments would be heard. Am I the only one who’s noticed that Vice President Cheney disappears off the radar whenever disaster strikes – where was he, for example, during the devastating hurricanes? And that our president goes into total denial when one of his inner circle is accused of questionable behavior? The current majority in Washington needs to demand the same high standards of conduct for itself that it has always demanded of the opposition. This would be true regardless of who’s in office at any given time. – Ellie Doud Since lying to go to war is an impeachable offense – meaning it is unconstitutional – we demand that impeachment proceedings begin immediately. And also, the immediate resignations of Cheney, Rove and Rumsfeld. Get the actors and musicians off the front page and start reporting the important news like real journalists. – Bob and Joyce Yovannone I say that our president made a huge mistake when he sent our troops to Iraq. The only reason he sent our troops to war was to get the oil from that country and to show his father no one can say no to them. He and his father do not care about anyone except themselves and their family. Just think how many of personal family members Bush and his administration have in Iraq – none. They think they can play God with other people’s lives. Just how much more are we supposed to accept from the devil and his father? I personally think, if he cared about our country, he would resign and bring our troops home. They are dying for his stupidity. How many more need to die before this country does something to save itself? – Jolie James I am so tired of all the criticism of President Bush and his administration that I feel I must respond. I trust our president because I am convinced that he is a man of honesty and integrity. He is not God and cannot know all circumstances with absolute certainty; many Democrats as well as Republicans believed the information about WMDs. Our president is a finite human being but he does what he believes is the best thing for our country and I believe that for the most part, his administration has done a good job. Yes, George Bush has my vote of confidence and I sincerely believe that all the negative trash on the media is harmful to our wonderful country. – Lois Schroeder I definately think Bush should be under fire, but not because of the Iraq war. He seems to have forgotten, or doesn’t care, about all the problems that desperately need attention right here in the U.S.A.: illegal immigration, crime, taxes, kids without food and the list goes on and on. He seems to be so obsessed with the war in Iraq everything else has fallen into the “round to it” catagory. I actually think he is trying to make some kind of a legacy. In my opinion his legacy will be that of “big disappointment.” By the way, I voted for him. – Billy Cruce I believe Bush started this war for personal reasons, with no logic or provocation. If there is a reason, it would be oil. Proof for hard-headed disciples can be found in a book by David R. Griffin, “The New Pearl Harbor.” People need to remember that blind obedience to a bad leader is not patriotism. – Jerry Hall Bush (that’s “President” Bush) fires back, and it’s about time! By the way, my poll shows that 87 percent think that the Daily News has taken a left turn into socialistic pandering to the political left, which includes Hollywood (front-page news!), and your very special darling, “Little Tony” Villaraigosa. As we say here in the Valley, gag me with a spoon. – P. Dodd160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Women entrepreneurs network and learn at Lionesses of Africa event

first_imgFour female entrepreneurs shared their journeys at the Lionesses of Africa’s monthly event on Thursday 25 May 2017. As business owners, they shared lessons they learned.Fatuma Abdullah is the founder of the black doll, Akiki. Abdullah also self-published children’s books, Akiki’s Stories, where the main character is modelled after her daughter. (Images: Melissa Javan)Melissa JavanThere are mentors you do not have to pay, advised Suzana Moreira, founder of moWoza, to attendees at a Lionesses of Africa event on Thursday 25 May 2017.The Lionesses of Africa Lean In Breakfast was held at the Standard Bank Incubator in Rosebank, Johannesburg, at which Moreira was a speaker.Moreira said she got mentors through networks she associates herself with. “For example there are tons of virtual networks out there. [I also got mentors through] academics and accelerator meet-ups.“Entering competitions to pitch your business is important. Sometimes, someone might call you and be interested in your business. If they don’t give you money, you can ask for mentorship.”She said the ladies she met through accelerator programmes are mentors too. “We hold each other accountable.”Suzana Moreira says her role model as a child was her aunt, a businesswoman. “She and her husband, who is blind, had a successful business in Europe.“I learned your circumstances don’t set what you want to become.”MoWoza, based in Maputo in Mozambique, provides informal cross-border traders in Southern Africa with a mobile information service on pricing and access to goods.Originally from South Africa, Moreira moved to Mozambique three years ago to launch a mobile commerce platform, moWoza.Other lessons Moreira learned in her entrepreneurship journey includes:• Entrepreneurship happens in practice.• When you’re getting a developer, know what you’re getting yourself into. Have a contract in place, she advises. Her first developer told everyone about what they were planning to do. Another developer disappeared.• An investor in Europe is different to one in America. “We got overvalued,” said Moreira.• You need the right mindset. You’re not going to have a nine to five job.• You need to be super brave to be an entrepreneur.Lionesses building new generation of businesswomenMelanie Hawken, founder of Lionesses of Africa, said on its YouTube Channel the initiative is about sharing, connecting and inspiring. “It’s about creating a community of like-minded women entrepreneurs from across the African continent who can get together, share ideas, share inspiration, and ultimately build a powerful new generation of women entrepreneurs in Africa.”Melanie Hawken:“Make a conscious decision and support another women entrepreneur” #LionessLeanIn pic.twitter.com/FsUkDqudsy— Community Centre JHB (@ComCentreJHB) May 25, 2017She added that the aim is to create a new economic future for the continent.Once a month, Lionesses of Africa hosts a Lean In Breakfast event for women entrepreneurs to come together. It’s an opportunity for them to share entrepreneurial stories and network.On Thursday, 26 women entrepreneurs, who took part in the first Lionesses of Africa accelerator programme, were introduced to the audience. They graduated in April 2017.The accelerator programme, in partnership with Liberty and Standard Bank, focuses on business development and access to resources.Congratulations to the first graduates of @lionessesA #SBIncubator business acceleration programme ?? pic.twitter.com/b9y5o3D5up— Clare Appleyard (@KatannutaGems) May 25, 2017‘Being an entrepreneur allows me to make a difference’Edith Venter of Edith Unlimited says that as an entrepreneur she learned you have to let your employees go, because some of them might want to expand or grow elsewhere. “Remember, you helped to make them a better person.”Edith Venter of Edith Unlimited told the audience that she had been in corporate for a very long time – before she started her own events management business. She described her entrepreneurial journey as amazing.The mother of two boys said when she started her own business because she wanted to do something for herself. “I wanted to do something that will make a difference.”The lessons Venter learned in business are:• Networking and trading business cards is very important.• Never say you cannot do anything. “You say yes and you go figure it out. You can also find someone to help you,” she said.• As someone in the events management business, you have to realise that you are holding a client’s dignity in your hands.• Have your contract checked out.• Be mindful when going into partnerships. “There are promises made but not all with the right heart. In business look deeper than that,” she advised.• Don’t over promise, but over deliver. “I always try to keep things simple because it works.”• Don’t be greedy.Conscious parentingAbdullah shared how she started making dolls and writing children’s books. She said her daughter was two years old when she started looking for a doll for her. Abdullah wanted to find something that looked like her daughter.“I kept saying ‘I can’t find a doll for my daughter’. Then my colleague said ‘Why don’t you create one?’ But at the time I don’t think I was in the right frame of mind [to do that].”Three years later, when her contract at a former job ended, she started working on creating the Akiki doll. “I didn’t want her to have a size 0 doll. I created a doll with a childlike figure.”Her daughter was surprised when she got the doll and said: “She looks like us”.#LIONESSLEANIN Our 3rd speaker is Fatuma Abdullah, founder of Akiki Dolls – building positive self-image in our children #SBIncubator pic.twitter.com/cGq2U6TikH— Lionesses of Africa (@lionessesA) May 25, 2017Later, because of conscious parenting, Abdullah decided that she will create books for her two children that have characters who look like them. Even though she had never written children’s books, she went for it. Abdullah said most of the books are about values and things they can relate to.“I can’t write about a Gogo fetching [water] at the river. I know the question on my children’s mind would be ‘why doesn’t she just open a tap?’”One of the stories of Akiki is when she got lost in a mall. “I always tell my children to look for a person in a uniform if they ever get lost in a mall. You must know mommy’s name, not just as ‘Mommy’ but my full names and my number.”The lessons Abdullah learned is:• Do your research if you walk into an industry you know nothing about.• Use social media as an entrepreneur. “I was not a social media person. Someone said we need to know you exist,” she explained.• When you are trying to find a route and it doesn’t work, find another route.• You have to keep moving.• Never take anything personal in business and don’t make assumptions.Watch an episode of the Lionesses of Africa’s television magazine show:The audience shared what Anna Shilina, author of the ‘The Business Tango’ book, said in her talk:Anna Shilina, author of the Business Tango stresses relentless resilience, asking difficult questions and being courageous. #LionessLeanIn pic.twitter.com/fb9tqR5Bhw— gemboreeshop (@gemboreeshop) May 25, 2017“Don’t for inspiration. I followed my frustration ?” – @annashilina @lionessesA #lionessleanin #SBINCUBATOR— Clare Appleyard (@KatannutaGems) May 25, 2017“Entreneurship is a lot about moving from one level of incompetence to the next, always learning” – @annashilina #Lionessleanin— Clare Appleyard (@KatannutaGems) May 25, 2017A good character of entrepreneurs is that they are relentlessly resourceful #lionessleanin @annashilina— LDR Consulting (@ldrconsultingsa) May 25, 2017Sources: Lionesses of Africa, Radio 702, Standard Bank and Lionesses of Africa, YouTube Channel.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa materiallast_img read more

What’s In A College Degree? Maybe Not As Much As You Think

first_imgThis post is part of Hire Education, an ongoing series in which ReadWrite examines technological innovation in education and how it’s reshaping universities that are preparing students for a transformed workforce.One of Matt Damon’s best lines in Good Will Hunting came when he chastised a booksmart Harvard scholar, “You just spent 150 grand on an education you could have gotten for $1.50 in late fees at the public library.”Will Hunting needed real dedication to wrangle an education out of library textbooks, but he’d find it a lot easier these days. The blue collar genius would likely boggle at the number of people piecing together college-like educations using today’s free online tools. Thanks to modern technology, self-motivated learning has become easier and more prevalent than ever. With total student loan debt now at more than $1.1 trillion in the U.S., it’s no wonder people are seeking out cheaper options. According to Going the Distance: Online Education in the United States 2011, the most comprehensive study on online learning to date, more than 6.1 million people have turned to online tools to further their own personal and professional development—often enough, to improve their own job prospects. That number is undoubtedly even higher, given a profusion of new online options.See also: The Traditional College Lecture Is DeadWhat you can’t typically get from online study—yet—is the resume-burnishing effects of a degree from a reputable and accredited university. Which means that today’s online students are placing their bets on other benefits of online study, such as the following.Study Anything You WantWhen you enroll at a college or university, the institution you’ve chosen determines your field of study, at least to an extent. There’s a vast difference in the types of classes offered by a liberal arts university and a technical institution. If you’re an aspiring computer scientist with an itch to learn more about the ancient Greeks, you could be out of luck. Same for a business major who wants to know something about biology, or an architect who wants a better grounding in civil engineering.Online, however, anything goes. At Coursera, one of the Web’s largest providers of online courses, the offerings run from accounting to “moralities of everyday life” to “Web intelligence and Big Data”—and everything in between. The company currently boasts 448 free courses spanning a breadth of subjects you’d be hard pressed to find taught at any given academic institution.That almost ridiculous level of diversity is often the strongest selling point for many online learning tools. That’s the case with StudyBlue, a free online flashcard tool. According to CEO Becky Splitt, user make flashcards for everything from English class to yoga poses. “The majority of our users come to us initially while they’re in a traditional class session. Like they’ll start for a science class, and then they’ll make a set of flashcards that’s the entire IHOP menu [for a waitstaffing job],” she said. “They don’t stop learning when they walk off a campus or out of a classroom. We have decks on how to tie a parachute for troops, to yoga poses, to wine sommeliers.”The Classroom Is Open—All The TimeThe Web’s 24-7 mentality is a given for online education tools. Online-course provider Udacity, for example, doesn’t offer live lectures that students have to follow as they’re happening, but rather videos users can watch whenever they have a spare moment. Then, if and when it’s time to interact with the professor, students can comment in the class forum and expect a response within hours. But it’s not just student-professor relationships that can benefit from an always-open classroom. It also helps students find study buddies, even if they’re on the other side of the world. As Splitt notes about StudyBlue users:We’re breaking down the barriers of social inhibition, even language inhibition. Anyone around the world could be studying what the economy was like in Egypt during the Arab Spring, and be commenting on other students’ notes and cards. They don’t have to have a scheduled time or find the other person who they’re interested in sharing information with.Learners can find courses, professors, and one another even if they’re not physically near one another, and even if their schedules aren’t close to compatible. That makes online education a snug fit in anyone’s busy schedule. Better ProfessorsAnother fortunate side effect of a classroom with no commute: There’s one less barrier for course teachers around the world. If an expert professor is in one country and you’re in another, you can still virtually attend her online course. This is the primary selling point of creativeLive, a company that offers free, live lectures about photography, filmmaking, Web design, and other creative fields. CEO Mika Salmi said it’s the instructors that set the startup apart. “These are not community college instructors,” he said. “They’re reknown experts at the top of their fields. Some are best-selling authors.”In a previous era, students would have been limited by geography. Living nearby an expert was the only way to get lucky. And that’s only if the expert was interesting in taking on a protege. But with creativeLive, hundreds of thousands of students can freely partake in an expert’s knowledge at a time, making it worth the expert’s while.“Even if you can’t get to MIT or Stanford, you can still get incredible professors,” said Salmi. “It’s changing what’s available for people when they consider their career path and even their life path.”Get Skills, Not CertificatesTraditional education still has one big advantage over online resources when it comes to future employment prospects: a diploma. Most online tools offer an unofficial certificate or nothing at all. However, just how long is that piece of paper going maintain its relevance? The Gates Foundation, a huge player in educational reform, blogged in August that the future lies in skill based hiring:It is increasingly seen as a more reliable alternative to traditional hiring practices that focus on a candidate’s degree, resume and experience to predict his or her potential to succeed on the job.Google has already moved on to skills based hiring, according to a New York Times interview with Laszlo Bock, senior vice president of people operations. Bock told the NYT: “One of the things we’ve seen from all our data crunching is that G.P.A.’s are worthless as a criteria for hiring, and test scores are worthless.” This is probably why so many online education resources focus on making sure learners exit the program with skills instead of a certificate. At University of the People, the Web’s most notable free college, graduates don’t receive a diploma. At online programming school Treehouse, CEO Ryan Carson said student success is by how long Treehouse users get hired stay employed after completing particular courses. See also:Why Citizen Developers Are The Future Of ProgrammingSalmi, who serves on the board of a graduate school, said he hopes traditional programs will move in the same direction.“You don’t know if students do well because of a piece of paper,” he said. “The most important thing is making sure graduates have real skills, so that should be our top priority.” A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… lauren orsini Tags:#Hire Education#online education Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

We have a data problem, and it’s delaying the future

first_imgThe promise of continued innovation hangs on our ability to make data freely accessible to the people and teams who are driving towards the future. Companies everywhere are disrupting their own industries with mobile, agile, DevOps, and of course the cloud. But this is the Information Age and the Digital Economy and those same people, processes, and technologies are bumping into a new problem: access to data.See also: How AI will transform devops and operationsWhether it be new advancements in machine learning or the ever increasing pressure for faster software innovation, the demand from data consumers (ex: developers, quality assurance teams, and B/I analysts) for fresh, production data has never been higher. At the same time data operators (the people tasked with the supply side of data, like DBAs and security professionals) are facing industry trends like mobile and IoT that are pushing exponentially more data into enterprises. On top of that, new industry and geographic regulations demand increased consumer protections, because though having data everywhere can be great, it can also result in enormous vulnerabilities.These competing pressures result in a new, painful problem: data friction.One on hand, it’s no secret that data is growing in size and complexity: IDC predicts that, by 2025, global data will grow to be ten times that of today. Enterprise data is expected to grow even faster, increasing nearly 25 fold in ten years to represent the lion’s share of all data created worldwide. Because of the physical limits of bandwidth, this kind of growth presents daily challenges. But even more sinister is the sneaking complexity of data that quietly crept intoBut even more sinister is the sneaking complexity of data that quietly crept into enterprise architecture. The confluence of open source, cloud, and the disrupt-or-die market reality, has led enterprises to empower developers to use the best databases for each purpose. As a result, data is stored in a variety of formats across many data centers and clouds, making it exceedingly difficult to get a full picture of your customers and your business.On the other hand, we are in a post-Snowden era. Consumers are aware of the need to secure their data: data breaches have become a way of life and we’re seeing an alarming uptick in the amount of personal customer data that is compromised every day. Industries and governments are responding by putting in place a range of protections and regulations, such as GDPR in the EU. Enterprises that fail to secure their data will see their customers lose confidence in them.This challenge is left to Chief Information Security Officers and InfoSec professionals to solve, and too often the solution is to simply deny access to data. It’s no wonder there is great opposition to unchecked, free access to enterprise data.This dynamic causes data friction, slowing innovation to a halt, when businesses have never needed to move faster. Data friction costs time, and therefore also can cost businesses their competitive edge, delaying innovations of the future from becoming reality.The future? DataOps.But fear not. Just as DevOps introduced people, processes, and technologies to rise to the challenge of increasing operational demands, I believe a new movement is emerging: DataOps. The first step is recognizing that the reactive, ticket-based IT model of the past simply won’t scale to meet the demands of data consumers. Instead, data operators must flip the model on its head and build a proactive enterprise data platform that gives data consumers self-service access to exactly the data they need and are approved for.Doing so will require commitment by everyone involved to fundamentally rethink their existing processes and workflows. It will also require some amount of technologies as well: How will data be continuously pulled down from production? How will sensitive data get reliably secured before distribution? What happens to the underlying infrastructure if dozens or hundreds of people want their own personal copies of the data to develop against or run experiments on? Those that can tackle the people, process, and technology problems will be the ones that break through today’s innovation barriers.Data is the most valuable asset for an organization today. I joined Delphix because as a product manager I’ve felt the pain of data friction and I’ve see the what can happen when data flows freely, letting me make data-driven decisions. Delphix is a founding member of this new DataOps movement and works with some of the most important brands in the world to help them define the future.From autonomous cars and smart cities to AI breakthroughs in cancer research, new technologies will require access to massive amounts of data. Data that needs to be securely and continuously delivered. These visions of the future are incredibly exciting, but without the enterprises behind them making smart, data-driven decisions, the future won’t come fast enough. Patrick Lightbody Tags:#autonomous cars#DataOps#Delphix#Devops#featured#Internet of Things#IoT#Smart Cities#smart city#top Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Follow the Puck Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Related Posts last_img read more

Get a Smarter Tax Refund

first_imgWritten by Joan Reid with Molly Herndon“It’s not how much you earn that counts, but how much you keep.”PFMs, it goes without saying that most of us hate filing our income tax returns, but we love getting money back from the government. While you don’t want to owe income tax, too big of a refund doesn’t work to your best advantage, either. So, how can you prepare your clients to best put their tax return to work for them? This post focuses on strategies you can share with clients that will help put their tax returns to work.Make Your Refund Work for YouThe much anticipated tax refund is not a windfall, but a return of earned income, which the government has been using all year. While many families regard this refund as forced savings, it may serve you better if you were to have access to that money throughout the year. Consider reviewing your annual withholding amount. If you decide to change your with¬holding rate, submit a new Form W-4 Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate to your em¬ployer. Be sure to discuss changing the withholding rate with your spouse if you are married. Coordinate your withholding rates so you do not accidentally under-pay your taxes, which would cause your household to owe money the following year.To make your money work for you, develop a plan for that extra money that will be in each of your paychecks. If you don’t have a savings account, open one and move a set amount into it each month. Or have automatic transfers set up from your checking account into your savings account. This is a good way to develop an emergency fund if you don’t have one.You can get started on saving with this year’s refund. When you prepare your tax return, simply use IRS Form 8888 to divide your refund into two or more accounts or financial institutions and/or to purchase U.S. Series I Savings Bonds.Avoid Refund Anticipation Loans Refund Anticipation Loans (RAL) provide early access to part of the refund amount you are expecting. The com¬pany offering the RAL will charge a fee for lending you part of your tax refund until the actual refund is received. You can keep more money in your pocket by avoiding rapid refund offers and choosing to electronically file (e-file) your taxes. A tax refund can be received in 10 days or less with electronic filing. This is true whether you e-file through a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance, or VITA site, a paid tax preparer, or on your own through the IRS website.Many folks sign up for a RAL because they either are desperate for the cash or don’t want to delay a desired purchase. You can prepare yourself to not be in that position next year by decreasing your withholding, as discussed above, and saving that amount. Then, you can keep your whole refund and earn at least a bit of interest throughout the year. If you have enough in emergency savings, you may want to put some of those savings into an IRA or other retirement account.H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard®When you have your taxes completed at a participating H&R Block tax office, you can choose to have your tax refund or refund anticipation check funds proceeds loaded onto the H&R Block Emerald Card.The card can be used for everyday purchases, such as bill payments and ATM withdrawals, anywhere debit MasterCard cards are accepted. You can also add money to your card any time through payroll direct deposit or at participating retail reloading locations through the Green Dot®, MoneyGram® and Western Union® networks.Emerald Card FeesAlthough there is no fee to set up the card, there are some usage fees of which to be aware. ATMs in the Allpoint network are surcharge-free. If you use a non-Allpoint ATM for any transaction, including a balance inquiry, the ATM operator may charge you a fee even if you do not complete a withdrawal, this is in addition to the fees listed below:$2.50 – ATM Cash Withdrawal Fee (each/per occurrence)$1.00 – ATM Balance Inquiry/ATM Denial Fee (each/per occurrence)$25.00 – Over the Counter Withdrawal Fee (each/per occurrence)$2.50/month – Monthly Inactivity FeeVisit the website for a complete listing of fees.Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)The VITA program offers free income tax preparation for individuals and families with incomes up to about $42,000. Look in your community to find a free VITA tax preparation site or call 1-800-829-1040.What tax refund advice do you typically share with interested clients?References:Bird, Carolyn L. Getting the Most from Your Tax Refund (FCS-528-01). Raleigh: North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service, NC State University. Bird, Carolyn L. Smart Uses for Your Tax Refund. (FCS-528-02). Raleigh: North Carolina Cooperative Extension, NC State University. H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard. Author: Molly C. Herndon (+Molly Herndon)last_img read more