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Former Cathaoirleach speaks out on LIS controversy

first_imgThe former Cathaoirleach of Donegal County Council Seamus O’Domhnaill has alleged that there was an “orchestrated” and “pointed” campaign mounted against him regarding the LIS (Local Improvement Scheme) controversy.Speaking at the count centre for the Glenties Electoral Area tonight, he said:“There was without a doubt an orchestrated campaign, both political and personal in the last ten days or two weeks and the media allowed themselves to be used and exploited. But all that said, and I didn’t get a fair hearing… I accept the decision.” He was first elected as a councillor in 2009, before taking the reins from former Cathaoirleach Gerry McMonagle (SF) last June.Five years ago during the last Local Election, he topped the poll.He arrived at the count centre at around 9pm, after losing his seat at 1,222 votes on the seventh count of this year’s election.He tells Donegal Daily that it has been a difficult few weeks. “Look when I was in there for ten years… I did everything I could. I think that I served the electorate… as well as I could. I had the great honour of being chairman of the council for the last year… I done that as well as I could.”When asked if he would run again in the next election he said it is “too early to say”, but would consider running “down the line.”His priority now, is enjoying spending time with his wife and two children.When asked about how he was supported throughout his political campaign he said that “people are nice and people are genuine and people are sorry for me on a very personal level.”“I can’t put into words the level of anguish and hurt that I feel for not me personally, because I will get over it, but for supporters of mine and family members of mine… they shouldn’t have been put through that.” “Not all the facts of certain stories were always out in the media… it’s difficult for me to comprehend the attacks that were made in a personal capacity on members of my team, my supporters and particularly my family. And if that’s what politics is about…”“I didn’t make personal attacks ever in my ten years in politics on any individual”, he said, adding that he doesn’t believe that this is what politics in Donegal should be about.He described the alleged campaign against him as being “pointed”.“It was a very pointed campaign I suppose, the LIS story, which has gone on since 2017. Some media outlets were happy to run it three and four times, from 2017, [running] the same story but always insinuating that I had done a wrong-doing somewhere.” He said that people can make up their own minds as to whether the story had a political motivation behind it, but added that “I am not going to cast aspersions upon anyone, that is not who I am.”If there is an investigation, he says he is certain that it will show that everything was “above board” and that “I had no hand, act, or part in it.”“I had wanted an opportunity to be able to represent the people of this area because I believe it is the best area in the whole world.“The people have spoken and I accept what they have said and I will take stock of where I will go from now on,” he concluded.He wishes those who were elected the best of luck.Former Cathaoirleach speaks out on LIS controversy was last modified: May 28th, 2019 by Elaine McCalligShare 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 County CouncilSeamus O’Domhnailllast_img read more

Electoral system stays for 2004

first_img12 March 2003The Cabinet has decided to retain the current 400-member National Assembly as well as the present proportional representation electoral system for the 2004 elections.The decision, taken last week, follows the recommendations made by the task team instituted by President Thabo Mbeki in 2002 to formulate parameters for a new electoral system in the country.Releasing its final report in Cape Town this week, the team, headed by Frederick van Zyl Slabbert, recommended that South Africa be divided into 69 constituencies, each with three to seven MPs, for future parliamentary polls.However, it said it realised there was no way this could be implemented in time for the 2004 general elections.According to the task team’s recommendations, the boundaries of the 69 constituencies would be drawn along existing provincial, municipal and metropolitan boundaries.Political parties would then draw up lists of constituency candidates similar to the provincial and national lists used in the current system. The constituency representatives would account for 300 members of the National Assembly, the remaining 100 being drawn from a closed national list.The new system, which is likely to be used for the first time in the 2009 polls, will replace the proportional representation system used in the 1994 and 1999 general elections.Briefing the media following the release of the report, Van Zyl Slabbert said consensus was reached that changes to the current electoral system should be evaluated in terms of the values of fairness, inclusiveness, simplicity and accountability.Referring to the question of floor-crossing legislation that is currently being debated in Parliament, Van Zyl Slabbert said the majority view was that the current system was opportunistic and inappropriate and did an injustice to the principle of proportionality.“If the accessibility and distance between the voter and representative is taken as the guiding principle, then floor-crossing can be considered. There is nothing inherently undemocratic about it, it depends very much on the kind of electoral system”, Van Zyl Slabbert said.Also addressing journalists, Home Affairs Minister Mangosuthu Buthelezi said the electoral task team report brings a new and better electoral system that will further promote democracy in the country.“From the outset, my view was that by establishing a task team, the debate and drafting on new legislation would be moved away from political tensions and truly reflect the needs of our democracy and the views of civil society”, the minister said.According to last week’s Cabinet statement, the new government elected in 2004 will review the report in preparation for the 2009 elections.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Durban in Lonely Planet top 10

first_img4 August 2009Durban has been listed as one of the top 10 family beach holiday cities in the world by travel publishing heavyweight Lonely Planet.The South African east coast city shares the prestigious list with the likes of Kauai in Hawaii, Cottlesloe in Australia, Karon Beach in Thailand, Portugal’s Tavira, Mexico’s Sayulita and Bali’s Sanur in the latest edition of Lonely Planet’s “Travel with Children”. The new book, which hit US bookstores last week, is the fifth in the popular series first published in 1985.“Durban resembles a gigantic resort holiday paradise, raised for the sole purpose of entertaining families,” the Lonely Planet publication says of the city in its section on South Africa. “Lined with safe beaches watched over by lifeguards, the Golden Mile is great for swimming, snorkelling and water sports.”Durban Tourism’s Perry Moodley was delighted with the news. “After our multimillion-rand beachfront upgrade is completed next year, and after the 2010 Fifa World Cup, Durban will have cemented its place as one of the top beach and sports destinations in the world.South African Tourism marketing boss Roshene Singh said the country, in particular the city of Durban and province of KwaZulu-Natal, was still a relatively undiscovered year-round beach holiday destination in world terms, “and being featured in this prestigious travel publication will help get the message out there.“South Africans have already long discovered Durban as a wonderful and safe family beach holiday destination,” Singh said. “Being featured amongst one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 list will now help international tourists to discover our country’s domestic holiday hotspot.”Tourism KwaZulu-Natal CEO Ndabo Khoza said Lonely Planet’s listing “speaks volumes for what a great year-round beach paradise we have along KwaZulu-Natal’s coast, that we sometimes take for granted.“The World Cup is around the corner,” Khoza said, “and this is valuable free marketing of the city for international people to discover our great balmy winter weather.“We will be the hottest place during the 2010 World Cup.”This article was first published in The Mercury. Republished here with kind permission.last_img read more

How universities are defining the future of VR

first_imgAndrew Woodberry Tags:#AR#featured#InstaVR#Internet of Things#IoT#top#virtual reality#VR Related Posts Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… How Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua…center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Higher education has always been fertile ground for the creation of new, boundary-pushing technology. While VR software and hardware innovation have been, to date, largely the domain of startups and large tech companies, it’s colleges and universities that are using the technology in some of the most interesting ways.Professors and students alike are exploring the various disciplines where immersive imagery and audio can be impactful, and the adoption rate is only accelerating.See also: VR standards – too early or long overdue?University settings encourage big thinking — What if a search engine could utilize a more perfect algorithm to give more relevant results? What if a social network could redefine how humans interact? What if we could map out the human genetic code? Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality haven’t quite approached these levels of disruption.But with VR expected to be a $75 billion industry by 2021, according to Greenlight Insights, there’s no doubt that virtual reality will have a big impact. So it’s not surprising that professors and students are delving into all facets of the technology to understand how it will impact us, and hopefully make our lives better.Almost no university-level subject matter is immune to VR’s impact. Take Architecture and Urban Design Program at German University in Cairo, for example. They used our InstaVR platform for creating immersive tours of historical buildings in a project called “Historical Cairo Goes VR.” Some of the oldest and most interesting buildings in Cairo were made virtually walkable from thousands of miles away using cutting edge technology.The students overlaid the 360 tours with image and video hotspots, to provide relevant contextual information. The result was an incredibly immersive and memorable VR and classroom experience, all of which was made possible at a reasonable price point give the preponderance of 360 cameras and low-cost VR headsets on the market.Images Courtesy of the Hyper Reality Course at German University in CairoStudying the impact of VR on societyBesides using VR for teaching or learning, a number of academics are studying the impact VR will have on society as a whole. Earlier this year, the UC Institute for Prediction Technology used our InstaVR app creation tool to create smoking cessation VR applications. Rather than just gather user feedback post-VR experience, they were able to gather actual information on where people were focusing their attention while using a Google Cardboard headset. Overlaid on the VR experience, a heat map shows a visual representation of time spent looking at different areas of the 360 landscape. Since memory is notoriously subject to unconscious biases, VR heat maps can provide academics with actual actionable information.In this particular case, researchers could see among the VR smoking cessation experiences, where were users focusing most of their attention, suggesting an area successful at capturing focus. And overall, the study could inform whether VR actually helps change behavior in the real world.Other VR experiences built by InstaVR college/university clients in the past 12 months have included: an app to determine the efficacy of VR for eliciting empathy, an app for acclimating therapists for working with patients, apps to take Australian college students on virtual field trips, and embeddable 360 images to augment news articles by student journalists.The core throughline of VR in higher education is utilizing the technology to expand and improve what is already taught, as well as to make things more participatory. Traditional psychology experiments give test subjects hypothetical scenarios, and ask — “What would you do if this happened to you?” In the case of determining empathy, the mind has to take a big leap to put itself in other people’s shoes. Virtual reality allows users to bridge that gap, and truly feel what the proposed scenario would be like, as least as close to reality as possible. Thus, you can ask them questions within the experience (using Hotspots/Navigation as response vehicles) or look at a heat map afterward, giving you more accurate data than you would in traditional experiments.Making things more participatoryIn terms of VR making things more participatory, that’s a win-win for both college students and professors. While lecturing can certainly still be valuable, the multimedia associated with say a virtual field trip to Roman ruins (an actual VR app made on our platform) is more memorable and can lead to more engagement. VR allows for a true “Choose Your Own Adventure”, with students empowered to explore and delve deeper with multimedia hotspots into areas they want to explore further. Certainly, with the students from German University in Cairo, the resulting experiences they built themselves were more memorable than say putting together a PowerPoint presentation.VR allows for a true “Choose Your Own Adventure”, with students empowered to explore and delve deeper with multimedia hotspots into areas they want to explore further. Certainly, with the students from German University in Cairo, the resulting experiences they built themselves were more memorable than say putting together a PowerPoint presentation.Ultimately, adoption at the higher ed level largely depends on tech-forward professors, or students taking greater initiative. 360 cameras have fallen in price as they’ve become more ubiquitous, and web-based authoring software like InstaVR has made distributing apps simple. So don’t be surprised if you look into a classroom next time you’re at your alma mater, and you see the whole class dawning Gear VR or Google Daydream headsets.The author is Head of Sales & Marketing at InstaVR. Based in San Francisco, InstaVR is a virtual reality focused technology company, providing tools and services to enable professionals to author and publish interactive VR experiences. InstaVR is completely web-based and requires no specialized engineering knowledge. Since launching in early 2016, over 10,000 companies have created thousands of immersive 360-degree apps for iOS, Android, Web, Gear VR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Google Daydream. For more information and to access the InstaVR platform, visit https://www.instavr.co.This article is part of our Virtual Reality series. You can download a high-resolution version of the landscape featuring 431 companies here. Follow the Pucklast_img read more

Anthony Davis stellar double-double as Pelicans crush Cavaliers

first_imgPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIES View comments Energized Marc Gasol helps Grizzlies end slump, defeat Spurs Cavaliers: Cleveland visits Houston on Friday.Pelicans: New Orleans visits Minnesota on Saturday.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next “I thought we did some good things in spurts, but we didn’t sustain,” Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said. “We just have to buckle down and try to put four solid quarters together, which we haven’t been able to do.”Cleveland’s bench outscored the starters. Jordan Clarkson led the reserves with 21 points, Matthew Dellavedova had 17, Cameron Payne had 16 and Ante Zizic had 10 as the group totaled 75 points. Alec Burks led the starters with 17 points, and Collin Sexton added 13.“The problem tonight was not the offense,” Drew said. “It was the defense.”TIP-INSCavaliers: F Larry Nance Jr. did not play because of an injury to his right knee that he suffered a night earlier in a game against Indiana. … The Cavaliers allowed a season-high in points five days after the Pelicans handed them their most lopsided loss of the season, 133-98 in Cleveland.Pelicans: F Nikola Mirotic returned after a 12-game absence due to an ankle injury. …The Pelicans’ 41 points in the third quarter tied a season high for points in a period. … Davis made 12 of 13 free throws in the third quarter, setting a franchise record for both attempts and makes in a quarter.ROOKIE COMING ONJackson had a season high in points for the second consecutive game. He had 17 in a 114-95 victory against Memphis on Monday night.“He has a gift,” Holiday said. “He’s so athletic and so fast in getting to the basket. He’s aggressive, and he’s a mutant with the way he can jump.”UP NEXT LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis (23) slam dunks over Cleveland Cavaliers forward Cedi Osman (16) in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Pelicans weren’t concerned when the Cavaliers went 8 for 8 from beyond the arc to build a 13-point first-quarter lead.“It’s like the stock market,” Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said. “At some point, there has to be an adjustment.”ADVERTISEMENT The Cavaliers lost their 11th in a row. They built a 16-point second-quarter lead before cooling off and letting the Pelicans finish the second quarter on a 12-2 run.“We made a push before halftime,” guard Jrue Holiday said, “and we broke it open after that.”Four other Pelicans scored in double figures as Frank Jackson scored 19, Holiday added 18 and Nikola Mirotic and Julius Randle had 17 each.The Pelicans won their third straight game for the first time since Nov. 16-19.All 10 Pelicans who played scored, and the team shot well throughout.ADVERTISEMENT Is Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion New Orleans pounced when the Cavaliers cooled. Anthony Davis had 38 points and 13 rebounds, and the Pelicans came alive in the second half to beat Cleveland 140-126 on Wednesday night.The Cavs hit just 8 of 22 3-pointers in the final three quarters, while New Orleans scored 41 points in the third quarter and 40 in the fourth for a runaway victory. Davis had 18 points in the third quarter alone.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“Obviously if you have back to back 40-point quarters, your offense is working pretty well,” Gentry said.In the second half, the Pelicans shot 67.6 percent (25 of 37) from the floor, 38.5 percent (5 of 13) on 3-pointers and 96.3 percent (26 OF 27) on free throws.last_img read more

Advanstar Moves Auto Title to DigitalOnly

first_imgThe print edition of Aftermarket Business carried a monthly circulation of 20,000. The digital version will be e-mailed to more than 140,000 “decision makers and influencers” in the auto distribution market, the company said.Advanstar partnered with digital vendor Nxtbook Media to develop the magazine’s digital format. “Print magazines don’t inherently translate well to a comp screen,” Savas said. “So, instead of having a 150-page magazine replicated for the Web, we’ll produce a 15-, 16-page e-magazine in rectangular format that’s easy to read on a computer screen.”While he declined offer a specific amount, Savas said transitioning to digital will also save a significant amount of money in printing and distribution costs. “Like every other magazine, our revenue was declining in print,” he said. “While it didn’t get to the point where the magazine was losing money overall, we decided that a new strategy was in order.” Trade publisher Advanstar Communications has decided to fold the print edition of auto title Aftermarket Business. The December issue will be its last.Starting in January, Advanstar instead will publish a monthly digital version of the 73-year-old magazine as well as twice-weekly e-newsletters. Going all-digital is a “more efficient and timely method of reaching buyers and sellers in distribution,” Advanstar vice president and Automotive Group general manager Jim Savas told FOLIO:. “Our audience is less reliant today on old media in a monthly print format. They’re reacting to news much quicker. This is another evolution in the way we want to help our advertisers communicate to the distribution audience.”last_img read more

Tapatalk wants to help your Google communities live on

first_img1:15 Now playing: Watch this: Comment Google+ communities can migrate to Tapatalk for free. Tapatalk Tapatalk’s forum app is offering a new home for soon to be platform-less Google+ communities. The company announced Wednesday that moderators and owners of communities can migrate their data to Tapatalk for free.Moderators or owners of Google+ communities can fill out a form to request a migration to Tapatalk, the company said in a release Wednesday. Users will see a preview of what their community will look like in Tapatalk Groups. Tapatalk can move all the content after being given moderator access and doesn’t need any of your backup files. After the migration, community members can log in to Tapatalk with Google Sign In. “We believe in the value of online communities and are committed to ensuring members of Google+ communities can continue to engage on the topics they are passionate about,” Winter Wong, CEO of Tapatalk, said in the press release. “We’re proud to enable this transition and support these communities with end-to-end migration services and a host of new added benefits that are proven to help online forums thrive.”Google announced the decision to shutter its social network Google+ last October after a massive data breach. Google said that between 2015 and March 2018, up to 500,000 users’ personal data was exposed. The company planned to sunset the network in August 2019.Two months later the company moved up the shutdown date to April 2019 after a bug affected more than 50 million users.  Here’s how to use Google’s Password Checkup tool 1 Tags Software Share your voicelast_img read more

Pyroelectric nanogenerator charges Liion battery with harvested energy

first_img(Left) A photograph of the PENG, (center) the PENG powers an LCD for more than 60 seconds, and (right) a green LED is powered by a Li-ion battery that was charged by the PENG. Image credit: Yang, et al. ©2012 American Chemical Society Explore further The scientists, Ya Yang and Sihong Wang from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Yan Zhang from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and Zhong Lin Wang from both institutions, have published a paper on a pyroelectric nanogenerator in a recent issue of Nano Letters.The scientists call the device a pyroelectric nanogenerator (PENG) because it’s based on the pyroelectric effect, in which an anisotropic material’s polarization changes in response to temperature fluctuations, which can be used to harvest thermal energy. Unlike the Seebeck effect, which is used to harvest thermal energy based on the temperature difference between two ends of a device, the pyroelectric effect occurs in environments where the temperature is spatially uniform but changes over time.”Wasted heat is a rich source of energy that can be harvested,” Zhong Lin Wang told Phys.org. “In 2010, for example, more than 50 percent of the energy generated from all sources in the US was lost mainly in the form of wasted heat, which presents us with a great opportunity to harvest this type of energy using nanotechnology. Harvesting thermoelectric energy mainly relies on the Seebeck effect, which utilizes a temperature difference between two ends of the device for driving the diffusion of charge carriers. The presence of a temperature gradient is a must for the conventional thermoelectric cell. However, in an environment where the temperature is spatially uniform without a gradient, such as the outdoors in our daily life, the Seebeck effect is hardly useful for harvesting thermal energy arising from a time-dependent temperature fluctuation. In this case, the pyroelectric effect is the choice, which is about the spontaneous polarization in certain anisotropic solids as a result of temperature fluctuation, but there are few studies about using the pyroelectric effect for harvesting thermal energy.” More information: Ya Yang, et al. “Pyroelectric Nanogenerators for Driving Wireless Sensors.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/nl303755m (Phys.org)—The idea of harvesting ambient energy from the environment that would otherwise not be purposefully used is, in theory, a great way to produce green, renewable energy. But the biggest problem in this fairly new area of research is that scientists have yet to find a method that can harvest very large amounts of energy. However, the technology is steadily improving, as demonstrated by the development of a nanogenerator that can partially charge a Li-ion battery by harvesting energy from temperature fluctuations in the environment. Ancient effect harnessed to produce electricity from waste heat Journal information: Nano Letters To date, PENGs have had output voltages below 0.1 V and current below 1 nA, which are too low to drive any commercial electronics. Here, the researchers demonstrated that a PENG made of a lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin film has an output voltage of up to 22 V, a current peak of 430 nA, and a current density of 171 nA/cm2 when exposed to a temperature change of 45 K at a rate of 0.2 K/second. The PZT thin film is 21 mm long, 12 mm wide, and 175 μm thick – about half the size of a postage stamp.With these improvements in voltage and current, a single output pulse of the PENG could continuously power an LCD for longer than 60 seconds; in comparison, a piezoelectric nanogenerator, which harvests mechanical energy from the environment, can power an LCD for about 2 seconds. To expand the potential applications of the PENG, the researchers wanted to store the electric energy it generated from temperature fluctuations. So they hooked it up to a Li-ion coin battery, and demonstrated that the PENG could charge the battery from 650 to 810 mV in about 3 hours. They then showed that this stored electric capacity could be used to power a green LED for a few seconds.Another potential application of PENGs is wireless sensors. The researchers explained that wireless sensors can be powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery with a voltage of 2.8 V. However, the PENG fabricated here has too small of a current to do this, since the current cannot completely overtake the battery’s inherent self-discharge. The researchers predict that doubling the area of the PZT film would double the current, and increasing the thickness of the PZT film could also increase the current. These improvements could make the pyroelectric nanogenerators attractive for driving wireless sensors, LCDs, and other small electronic devices, just by harvesting the temperature changes in the environment.”In our living environment, temperature change can come from an air-flow-induced drop in room temperature, the cycled heat generation near an engine, sunlight illumination with a moving shadow, on and off hot water/air flow in a pipe, etc.” Zhong Lin Wang said.Currently, the researchers are continuing to improve the PENG’s output power and are also integrating the technology with some existing products to demonstrate its practical applications. Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Pyroelectric nanogenerator charges Li-ion battery with harvested energy (2012, November 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-pyroelectric-nanogenerator-li-ion-battery-harvested.html 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.last_img read more