GDP growth beats expectations

first_img24 February 2010South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2009, exceeding market expectations. Together with economic growth of 0.9% in the third quarter, it signals that the country is out of its first recession in 17 years.Contributing to the GDP figure, released by Statistics South Africa this week, was growth in the manufacturing sector (contributing 1.5 percentage points), general government services (1 percentage point) and construction.Sectors that contributed negatively included wholesale, retail, motor trade, accommodation and agriculture.Market expectations were that the economy would grow by 2.5% quarter-on-quarter.Beating market expectationsNedbank economist Carmen Altenkirch said: “It beat market expectations with manufacturing rising by 10.1 percent quarter on quarter. In contrast, domestic retail trade is lagging in the recovery because households are remaining cautious.”Altenkirch added that the economy would gain momentum, with GDP accelerating in the first, second and third quarter of 2010.Standard Bank economist Danelee van Dyk described the data as “encouraging”, but warned that this would not translate into massive job creation. “One should not be too optimistic that the figures will infuse new life into the labour market, the recovery is still tentative,” she said, though adding that there would be employment growth in some sectors.“It is not all doom and gloom, but it is not an absolute booster of employment,” Van Dyk told BuaNews. She said 2010 would be the foundation year for the consolidation of the economy, adding that income growth would gain momentum in 2011.Economy ‘remains vulnerable’The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) welcomed the improvement in figures, saying it had been its opinion that the recovery would be led by the manufacturing sector.“This also reinforces the Department of Trade and Industry’s focus on manufacturing in its Industrial Policy Action Plan that was recently released for comment. However, the economy still remains vulnerable,” the chamber said.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Bright future for FNB Stadium

first_imgThe calabash-designed venue was a hub of activity during the World Cup.(Image: Bongani Nkosi)The FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, a hub of activity during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, is the most profitable facility that was built or renovated in South African for tournament matches – and its success as a venue looks set to continue.The stadium, also referred to as Soccer City, is now back to hosting big sport games like the Soweto Derby between Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, other premier league football matches, as well as international football and rugby matches.World-famous entertainers are also billed to perform at the 94 000-capacity venue in the coming months, said Jacques Grobbelaar, director of Stadium Management South Africa which manages the FNB facility, Soweto’s Orlando and Dobsonville stadiums and Rand Stadium in southern Johannesburg.“Big stars are coming to the stadium,” said Grobbelaar at a media briefing at the stadium on 22 September.It’s been confirmed that US pop sensation Neil Diamond will perform there later this year.Although there are concerns that the 10 World Cup stadiums won’t be used to their full potential, this is not the case with the multi-purpose FNB facility, said the management group which has been given full responsibility to run the venue owned by the City of Johannesburg.Tickets snapped up for FNB matchesThe government renovated the FNB Stadium at a cost of R3.3-billion (US$46.6-million) ahead of the global football spectacle.Since hosting the momentous World Cup matches, including the opening and final, FNB went on to stage four high-attendance football and rugby matches, two of which were sold-out events.The sold-out Telkom Charity Cup, which provided all-day football activities in August, was held there, followed later in the month by a historic Tri-Nations match between South Africa’s national rugby side the Springboks and the All Blacks of New Zealand. Some 92 000 tickets were snapped up for this face-off.Bafana Bafana beat Ghana at the stadium in a well-attended match on 10 August.It was also a playground for the first round of the MTN Top 8 semifinal between Soweto giants Chiefs and Pirates, which attracted more than 50 000 spectators. The second round will also be at the stadium on 25 September.“Pirates and Chiefs will play their big matches here,” Grobbelaar said.Stadium Management South Africa has secured further agreements with Chiefs and Pirates, the biggest premier league clubs in Johannesburg, to use Rand Stadium and Orlando Stadium for their home matches.Chiefs played its home matches outside Johannesburg during the previous season, although it’s traditionally a Soweto-based team. Another Soweto premier league outfit, Moroka Swallows, plays its home matches at Dobsonville Stadium.It’s taken more than luck to strike these agreements with such big teams, Grobbelaar said. It took the company 14 months to get Chiefs to agree to play at Rand Stadium, and negotiations with Pirates dragged on for nine months.It took 18 months to bring the Tri-Nations match to FNB, according to Grobbelaar. “We were quite chuffed with finalising those agreements,” he said.“It’s not the fact that we’re lucky, all stadiums are competing [for these games].”Negotiations are under way with the Golden Lions rugby team to be moved to FNB.Stadium financially sustainableThe stadium requires about R2.5-million ($35 000) for maintenance each month – but this is no problem for management because “we’ve put proper content by attracting Chiefs and Pirates”, said Grobbelaar.Management is “doing well” in “meeting the financial demands”.“We don’t have any concerns about sustainability. We know that the stadium will be utilised,” said Grobbelaar.The FNB Stadium receives no funding from the City of Johannesburg for maintenance. “We accepted full financial responsibility of the stadium.”Grobbelaar said 40% of the management group’s profit is ploughed into community development projects around Johannesburg.last_img read more

Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – April 20, 2011

first_imgShare with your Friends:More Keep Geocaching Spoiler-Free It is hard to say exactly what makes geocaching so addictive. Is it the fresh air? The exercise? The amazing places this activity has taken you? It’s most likely all of the above and more. We’re willing to bet that one of the many reasons you love geocaching is that each geocache you find feels like a small victory; you had to meet and overcome a challenge in order to find that cache.The challenge for you might be in solving a puzzle to determine the coordinates for a Mystery/Puzzle Cache, surviving the journey to the cache location, discovering the cache, and/or figuring out how to retrieve the logbook from a tricky cache container. Cache owners spend a lot of time and energy designing these experiences. You can help preserve them for others by keeping information that might spoil such moments private. This could include videos of a cache find or the answers to Question and Answer stages of a Multi-Cache.If you would like to contact a cache owner to request permission to post spoilers publicly, you can email them through Geocaching.com. Thank you for helping to ensure that the experience at each cache you’ve found remains just as it was for you!center_img SharePrint RelatedGeocaching Etiquette 201: Finding and LoggingJune 14, 2019In “Community”From flying planes to finding caches — Interview with cache owner CliptwingsJuly 12, 2019In “Interview”Top Tips for Puzzle CachesAugust 12, 2014In “Learn”last_img read more

4-month ordeal ends for Odisha elephant

first_imgAn elephant was on Monday relieved of four-month pain after a scooter tyre got stuck to its leg. Forest personnel tranquillised the tusker and removed the tyre. A team, comprising veterinarians from the Odisha University of Agriculture Technology and forest personnel, took one hour to cut the tyre. The pachyderm was cordoned off when it came near a water body inside the Subasini Reserve Forest, under the Athagarh Forest Division, in the afternoon and tranquillised.Earlier several attempts to remove the tyre proved futile as the jumbo used to react violently, said Arun Kumar Swain, Divisional Forest Officer of Athagarh.“Fortunately, the wound had not deteriorated. After administration of antibiotics, the elephant was set free,” he said.The elephant had been wandering in the Chandaka and Athagarh forest divisions for the past four months. The freak incident caught the attention of wildlife lovers, who launched a campaign seeking to relieve its pain.last_img read more

Tea association counters Oxfam report on labour rights violation in Assam

first_imgThe Indian Tea Association (ITA) has countered an Oxfam report on plantation labour rights violation, saying it left out the share of the price paid to a producer providing employment to the workers as well as the non-cash component of their wages.Oxfam, a confederation of 20 NGOs focussing on the alleviation of global poverty, a week ago published a report on “Addressing the human cost of Assam Tea – an agenda for change to respect, protect and fulfil human rights on Assam tea plantations”.The study by Oxfam India and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, based on interviews with 510 plantation labourers in 50 tea estates across Assam, said that the workers earned ₹137-167 despite working for over 13 hours a day.The study also said supermarkets and tea brands in India “typically capture over two-thirds of the price paid by consumers for Assam tea in India – with just 7.2% remaining for workers on tea estates”.In a letter to Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar on Wednesday, ITA secretary general Arijit Raha said Oxfam’s study came to conclusions on issues based on findings in some tea gardens that did not reflect the true picture of the industry.“The study has drawn reference through an illustration on how much of the price consumers pay for tea is received by the worker. The analysis, regrettably, has left out the share of the price being paid to the producer organisations providing employment to the workers,” Mr. Raha said.The Oxfam report, the ITA added, ought to have addressed critical concerns of the tea producers such as institutionalising the norm for sustainable sourcing for teas above the cost of production.Mr. Raha said the ITA gardens adhered to the recommendations of the International Labour Organisation and that of the Ministry of Labour’s Inter-Ministerial Committee (2003) for bearing 50% of the social and infrastructural cost under the Plantation Labour Act.The ITA pointed out several errors in the study. “Your researcher has erred in mentioning (that the management provides) 5kg (of food grains to the workers) per family. It is actually 5 kg per person per family per month,” the letter said, adding that this was in addition to what the government provided under the National Food Security Act.The ITA said Oxfam exaggerated the working hours of plantation workers by saying they slogged for 13 hours or more. None in plucking worked more than seven hours a day, it said.The tea body also countered the Oxfam report on the health and education fronts. Most tea garden managements have hospitals offering free medicines and ambulance services to workers within an estate while tea garden primary schools cover 83% of the children.“Generalising based on such facts harms the reputation of the industry and its workers and also tarnishes the image of Indian tea, which has a pride of place in the world,” Mr. Raha said.last_img read more

Tales From Google and Glam The New Rules of Engagement

first_img“Advercasting” means that anyone can now broadcast his or her own content across multiple digital channels, that means an opportunity for advertisers to create content that tell compelling brand stories, which can then be shared and broadcasted. In other words, engagement is doing the heavy lifting for advertisers. The key is creating the right content and making sure the right audience sees it.Still, digital advertising has a host of challenges, and Alegre says one problem is a preconceived notion that it requires a “leap of faith.”However, the reality is that video ad revenue is growing. And Alegre credits user engagement as the catalyst. Because of that, Google has been testing engagement-based sales and is finding it to be successful.Another big strategy for Google is creating programmatic customized experiences. Programmatic advertising has grown 30X since 2010, and Alegre is a firm believer that it is a big piece of the puzzle for the future of digital advertising. Alegre says the value proposition for programmatic is multi-fold—it makes ad content relevant to a specific consumer; it extends the reach of advertising; and it can be leveraged to capitalize on unique and fleeting moments in real time. Glam Media: Focusing on Quality and CurationGlam Media was launched during New York’s Fashion Week in the fall of 2005. It quickly became the number-one online source for fashion and beauty.In the intervening years it has sold more than 79 billion ads to 90 of the top 100 advertisers in the world. It reaches more than 400 million users globally and is number 7 on the list of the world’s busiest websites.There are reasons for that success, said Glam Media CEO Samir Arora in the day’s second keynote presentation at MediaNext Tuesday afternoon.To start with, it was one of the first to try to supply information on beauty. Arora pointed out Facebook did not yet exist when Glam went into business. “In Internet years, that was a long time ago,” Arora said.Second, Glam itself produces no content on its own, using what he described as a “TV network” model, making arrangements with others to produce the content that it then distributes.“We’ve become partners of anyone who creates content,” he said.In recent years, Glam has also become what Arora describes as a multi-vertical operation, branching out into sites that provide information and content on health, food, families and travel.And, he said, there will be more. “It’s getting easier for us to launch verticals,” Arora said.Glam also focuses on premium brands, both in terms of content and advertising partners, by making sure every piece of content is thoughtfully curated.Although, he pointed out, Glam does not create any of its own content, “We have editors, editors-in-chief, curators, curators-in-chief and TV programmers.”Likewise with advertising. While, Arora says, the average website page has six or seven ads, Glam’s average is 1.3 ads per page.“We are ‘social,’” he says, “but we require quality and curation.” New York—Google is radically changing its approach to advertising and publishers should be paying attention. That was one of Daniel Alegre’s important takeaways at his morning keynote address at FOLIO:’s MediaNext conference today. The bottom line is this: Your audience is consuming media with multiple screens, so there are more ways to reach people then ever before. And with 90 percent of all media interactions being screen based, and the average person spending around 12.5 hours a day with media, the concept of being offline is no longer accurate, Alegre suggests. “Everybody’s ‘advercasting,’” he says. “We’re always on and always interacting.” last_img read more

Digital photography begins its next chapter with radical changes

first_img Walmart Share your voice Why we need 16 cameras on a smartphone $849 Apple $589 30 See All $812 Stuart Palley, a professional wildfire photographer here standing in the Angeles National Forest, believes mirrorless cameras will replace conventional SLRs. Stuart Palley Digital photography has changed a lot over the past two decades, with clunky DSLRs giving way to sleek smartphones. Over the next 10 years, expect a similar evolution as the science behind the art changes. Much of the technology in use today represents the breakthroughs of the first generation of digital cameras. Film was stripped away and digital image sensors took its place, but much of the rest of the camera — things like lenses, shutters, autofocus systems — often stayed largely the same. Manufacturers centered camera designs on the single, fleeting snap of the shutter. Now two big trends are reshaping our expectations of digital photography. Computational photography, which uses computing technology to improve photos, vaults over the limits of smartphone camera hardware to produce impressive shots. And the “mirrorless” movement, which drops hardware once necessary for film and elevates the image sensor’s importance, overhauls the mechanics of traditional cameras. Old assumptions about optics are being reconsidered — or discarded — as computer processing takes over. “Cameras will change more in the next 10 years than in the past 10,” said Lau Nørgaard, vice president of research and development at Phase One, a Danish company that makes ultra-premium 151-megapixel medium-format cameras costing $52,000 apiece. See It Sep 1 • iPhone 11, Apple Watch 5 and more: The final rumors Best Buy The changes will matter to all of us, not simply professional photographers on fashion shoots. New technology will mean better everyday snapshots and new creative possibilities for enthusiasts. Everything — selfies, landscapes and family portraits — will simply look better. Computational photography For much of camera history, bigger meant better. A larger frame of film could capture more image detail, but that meant a bigger camera body. Bigger lenses offered more detail, but that meant more weight. Computational photography, which runs on powerful processors, will change that paradigm. And that’s good news because most of us rely on our phones for taking pictures. Perhaps some of the most advanced computational photography available now is in Google’s Pixel 3 phone, which arrived in October. Here’s some of what it can do: Combine up to nine frames into a single shot with a technology called HDR+ that captures details in both dark shadows and bright highlights. Monitor how much your hands shake the photo so it can snap shots during fleeting moments of stillness. Compare multiple shots of photos to find the ones where people aren’t blinking or suffering from awkward facial expressions. Brighten the parts of the image where it detects humans and slightly smooths skin to make subjects look better. Zoom in better by capturing more data about the scene from multiple shots and and using artificial intelligence technology that predicts how best to expand an image. Photograph in dim conditions by merging multiple shots through a technology called Night Sight. Isaac Reynolds, Google’s Pixel camera product manager, says his company’s product underscores a fundamental change in what we think cameras are. Much of the Pixel 3’s performance and features come not from the lens and sensor but from software running on the phone’s chip that processes and combines multiple frames into one photo. With a computational photography feature called Night Sight, Google's $900 Pixel 3 smartphone can take a photo that challenges a shot from a $4,000 Canon 5D Mark IV SLR.Enlarge ImageWith a computational photography feature called Night Sight, Google’s $900 Pixel 3 smartphone can take a photo that challenges a shot from a $4,000 Canon 5D Mark IV SLR, below. The Canon’s larger sensor outperforms the phone’s, but the phone combines several shots to reduce noise and improve color. Stephen Shankland/CNET “You’re seeing a redefinition of what a camera is,” Reynolds said. “The Pixel 3 is one of the most software-based cameras in the world.” Seeing in 3D It’s all pretty radical compared with a shutter flipping open for a moment so photons can change the chemistry of film. And it’s only the beginning. Two years ago, the iPhone 7 started using two cameras side by side, which lets the phone judge just how far away each element of the scene is. The phone’s computing hardware then constructs a 3D-infused layer of information called a “depth map” in which each pixel of a photo holds both color and spatial information. Initially, Apple used the technology to re-create a style used in portrait photography that requires expensive camera lenses. Those lenses could shoot a shallow depth of field that focused on the subject but left the background an undistracting blur. Apple used software to do the blurring. The depth map has more to offer. With Lightroom, Adobe’s widely used photo editing and cataloging software, you now can adjust an iPhone photo based on that 3D information. For example, you can selectively brighten shadowed subjects in the foreground while leaving a bright background unchanged. That’s a manual process photo enthusiasts will appreciate, but it should help smartphones take photos automatically, said Google distinguished engineer Marc Levoy, who coined the term “computational photography” in 2004 when he was at Stanford University. A camera that could generate reliable depth maps means a camera app could fix problems with brightness and color balance so photos look more natural. “We have just begun to scratch the surface with what computational photography and AI have done to improve the basic single-press picture taking,” Levoy said. This photo, shot with Adobe Lightroom on an iPhone XS Max, contains "depth map" information about how far away elements of the scene are. That lets you easily select foreground areas for brightening.This photo, shot with Adobe Lightroom on an iPhone XS Max, contains “depth map” information about how far away elements of the scene are. That lets you easily select foreground areas for brightening. Stephen Shankland/CNET Goodbye, SLRs Generations of photographers grew up using SLRs — short for single lens reflex. It’s named after its reflex mirror that bounces light from the lens into a viewfinder so you can compose a shot. When you take the photo, the mirror flips out of the way and the shutter opens to let light reach the film. The first serious digital cameras — DSLRs — replaced the film with an image sensor and memory card. But they left almost everything else the same — the mirror and viewfinder, the autofocus system, the mount for interchangeable lenses. Now mirrorless cameras are changing that setup, dumping the mirror and optical viewfinder. You compose your shots using a screen. It might be the screen on the back of the camera or a smaller electronic viewfinder you use like a film-era photographer. With mirrorless cameras, the sensor is recording nonstop. It’s essentially taking a video but throwing away most of the data, except when you push a button and pluck out a single frame. Indeed, this video-centric design makes mirrorless cameras adept at video. What’s so great about mirrorless designs? They offer smaller, lighter camera bodies that can shoot photos silently; use autofocus across the frame, not just in the central portion; make it easier to compose shots at night; shoot fast bursts of photos; and preview shots more accurately through an electronic viewfinder so you can do better dialing in exposure, focus and aperture. “There’s none of this dropping the camera down, looking at the image and seeing if it’s too bright or dark,” said wildlife photographer David Shaw, who sold his Canon gear to move to Panasonic’s Lumix G9 camera, which is smaller and a quarter the weight. “I can see it all as I’m shooting.” Canon and Nikon embrace mirrorless Mirrorless cameras have been gaining traction for years, but here’s what changed in 2018: Canon and Nikon. The two DSLR heavy hitters, still the top dogs of the traditional photography market, started selling high-end mirrorless models. Nikon’s Z7 and Z6 and Canon’s EOS R. Following Sony’s lead, they come with large “full-frame” sensors that are best at capturing color and light data. Nikon and Canon aren’t phasing out their traditional SLRs, but their mirrorless models will be peers. Meanwhile, mirrorless pioneer Panasonic joined in with plans for two full-frame models debuting in 2019. Nikon's $3,400 Z7 looks similar to traditional DSLR cameras but dumps the internal mirror in a move to a more purely digital design.Nikon’s $3,400 Z7 looks similar to traditional DSLR cameras but dumps the internal mirror in a move to a more purely digital design. Nikon Mirrorless is the future, says Stuart Palley, a Newport Beach, California, professional photographer whose specialty in wildfire photography appears in his new book Terra Flamma. “DSLRs are going the way of medium formats and Speed Graphics,” Palley said, referring to film-era camera designs that now are mostly footnotes in history. He’s begun shooting with a Nikon Z7 and likes how it’s lighter than his Nikon D850 DSLR. “It’s so liberating carrying around less,” Palley said. The Z7, like the Sony and Panasonic full-frame mirrorless models, also can move its image sensor to compensate for shaky hands — something utterly impossible with film. “I can shoot a handheld image of the Milky Way now. It’s crazy,” Palley said. Outpaced by phone innovation? The traditional camera makers are adapting. But will they adapt fast enough? There’s nothing in principle that stops them from using the same computational photography techniques that smartphone makers do, but so far that’s been a secondary priority. “The camera guys have to look at what’s going on with handsets and computational photography and see what’s’ adaptable to traditional cameras,” said Ed Lee, a Keypoint Intelligence analyst. He expects the pace of change in photography technology to increase. The phone makers are moving fast, but Phase One’s Nørgaard doesn’t see any problem embracing their technology. Indeed, the company has begun embedding its Capture One editing software directly into the camera body. “The cellphones make really good images from a small camera,” Nørgaard said. “We can do the same on the other end, where we start with an absolutely fantastic image. The software approach will push that even further.” But smartphones have gobbled up the point-and-shoot camera market and each year pick up more high-end camera abilities. Phones that sell by the tens of millions offer a huge incentive for chipmakers like Qualcomm to push photography technology. The company’s next-gen mobile chip, the Snapdragon 855, adds all kinds of photo smarts, like the ability to detect, identify and track objects in a scene, to create depth maps and to counteract shaky hands. And that’s just next year’s chip, said P.J. Jacobowitz, Qualcomm’s senior marketing manager for camera and computer vision. “In this book, there are about 50 chapters,” he said of digital photography tech. “We are in chapter two.” CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide: The place to find the best tech gifts for 2018. Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook’s data mining scandal. Aug 31 • Best places to sell your used electronics in 2019 See It Review • Pixel 3 review: The best Android phone of 2018 Sep 1 • 7 phones with the best battery life: iPhone XR, Note 10 Plus and more Mentioned Above Google Pixel 3 (64GB, not pink)center_img Now playing: Watch this: 2:02 News • Unlocked Google Pixel 3: Just $499.99 with this exclusive code Preview • Pixel 3 and 3 XL: Google’s nicest Pixel might lack that killer feature $799 Tags See it CNET may get a commission from retail offers. Aug 31 • iPhone XR vs. iPhone 8 Plus: Which iPhone should you buy? Mobile Photography Cameras Sprint See It Comments • reading • Digital photography begins its next chapter with radical changes Google Pixel 3 Qualcomm Canon Google Nikon Panasonic Sony Applelast_img read more

Excouple Arbaaz Khan Malaika Arora free from bitterness and resentment

first_imgMalaika Arora, Arhaan and Arbaaz KhanYoutube ScreengrabArbaaz Khan and Malaika Arora have been separated for more than two years now. The estranged couple have moved on and found love again in their respective lives. While Arbaaz is dating Giorgia Andriani, Malaika recently made her relationship official with Arjun Kapoor. And even after their divorce, both Arbaaz and Malaika are free from any sort of bitterness and resentment.”We have been together for so many years, and shared so many memories. Most importantly we have kids together, so there’s a respect for each other. There was something that did not work between us so we got separated. However, this doesn’t mean that we will hate each other. We are matured individuals; we are dealing with it with respect and dignity,” Arbaaz Khan was quoted as saying by The Asian Age in an interview.He further said that he has a good rapport with Malaika’s side of the family and their son Arhaan Khan has kept them bonded. “When he grows up everything will be better,” Arbaaz added.Talking about how his son Arhaan has handled his parents’ separation, Arbaaz said, “He is a very good son, I love the way he has handled all this. Many times at this sensitive age, children are victims of bad influence, but he’s a very positive kid. He has excelled in studies, sports, and music. He has good habits and good friends, and that makes me feel more proud of him.”last_img read more

Houston Map Shows Harvey Damage By Poverty Level

first_imgResponse Share Debris RemovalMaps by City of Houston. center_img Houston Moto/YouTubeFlooding in Katy, Texas from Tropical Storm Harvey as seen from the sky.You may have heard Hurricane Harvey being called the “equal opportunity hurricane” because it didn’t discriminate based on geography or income level.Now the city of Houston’s disaster web page, houstonrecovers.org, lets users toggle between a map showing how severely different areas of Harris County were affected by the storm and one showing poverty levels.Only in some instances do the dark red spots indicating high numbers of affected homes correspond with the darker blue spots, which indicate high proportions of households under the poverty line.In fact, a lot of the damage happened in middle to higher income areas like Kingwood or Meyerland.Some of the low-income areas that were hit hard include northeast Houston, including the Fifth Ward.Maps by City of Houston. Damagelast_img read more