Over the past ten years we have experienced several technologies and innovations that have changed the way we live in Liberia. These technologies have presented both opportunities and challenges for us, but for the most part, they have brought seismic economic and social transformations that have benefitted our society. In the subsequent paragraphs, I delineate and discuss briefly, a few of those technologies. I am convinced that there are other technologies that have impacted our culture and society, but due to space limitations, I have selected to discuss only a few in this article. These technologies include: Mobile phones, Computers, Satellite Communications, The Internet, Social Media, Open Source Software, the ACE Submarine Optical Fiber Cable, and Cloud Computing.Mobile PhonesMobile phones have become an essential part of our everyday life. A little over a decade ago we had to go to Liberia Telecommunication Corporation or what is now LIBTELCO, to make phone calls, today we can make phone calls using mobile phones from almost any, if not all parts of the country. They are being used to perform several tasks including: calculations, entertainment, as a flashlight, accessing the Internet, etc. The mobile phone is also fast becoming the PC of Liberia. It is safe to say that the number of users accessing the internet via mobile phones surpasses the number of desktop internet users in Liberia. Mobile phones have transformed the way we do things in many areas. In the area of banking, the use of mobile money transfer service launched by Lonestar Cell MTN continues to gain momentum. When it comes to Activism, mobile phones play a significant role in its enhancement, as well as helping bring unprecedented levels of openness and transparency in the country; just listen to talk shows where callers call in to express the views. Mobile phones have played a significant role in ALL areas but there are still more areas that we may need to be more innovative in using mobile phones. One of them is Agriculture. In the area of Agriculture, mobile phones have the potential to make a huge difference in the lives of farmers in the Liberian agriculture sector, which is very crucial but declining. They could be used as platforms for sharing weather information, market prices, and micro-financing, to allow farmers to make better decisions, translating into higher-earning potentials.ComputersComputers have changed Liberia tremendously. They have helped us step forward into the future. Computers have impacted our lives in many ways and they continue to make life a lot easier. In Liberia, computers have brought about employment, job opportunities, new careers, the need for retraining, new business transactions, business automation, the replacement of people through automation, and so on. Computers have also impacted our way of learning, the way we communicate (email, telephony, etc), information processing, storage and retrieval and many other ways. Schools, businesses, government, and other areas continue to benefit and utilize computers on a daily basis.Satellite CommunicationsOver the years Liberia has benefited from Satellite communications in many ways. Satellite communications allow TV, radio, data and telephone transmissions to be sent anywhere in the world. Satellites are in orbit around the world, either moving or geo-stationary relative to the earth. Once a satellite becomes geosynchronous and rotates with the earth orbit, it is ready to work. It then beams messages to a ground station. The ground station receives these messages by using a device called a transponder which interrupts the message and then distributes it. By doing this satellite stations can then transport telephone service, data, or television transmissions to almost anywhere. These communication satellites are used for things like an overseas phone call or beaming 150 channels into your living room.The InternetIn Liberia, the internet has presented several opportunities that have enabled the country to reap some of its (internet’s) potential for social and economic gains. It has presented all kinds of innovative businesses, ideas, connections and opportunities. It is being used for education, business, politics, healthcare, and the delivery and presentation of information. But, in order to continue to benefit from the internet, we must continue to invest in infrastructure and the broader ecosystem for innovation.Two key pillars provide the basis for a well-functioning Internet economy: core infrastructure and conditions for usage. Core infrastructure includes aspects of the enabling environment – both physical infrastructure and characteristics of the business environment, such as mobile and Internet coverage, electricity, availability of skills, and education levels. Conditions for usage include those that influence access, awareness, availability and attractiveness. They include a range of drivers, from the cost of devices and price of packages to factors affecting citizen awareness, such as education levels, usage and relevance of services.Social MediaThere is no doubt that the social media has changed the way we interact in Liberia. In fact, the social media has become a source of news, communication (real-time), a place where relationships start or end, a place where advertisements are placed and mostly a place where individuals use to allow the world to know what’s going on in their lives via photos, videos, or text/posts. Most importantly in Liberia, the social media has become a place that encourages political discourse thus stimulating democracy. The press uses it vehemently to bring the news to the people, activists use it to enhance their causes, and politicians use it to enhance their chances of remaining in office by sending messages instantly to millions of Liberians locally and internationally. The social media has given voice to the voiceless in an uncensored way. And through it, a lot has happened not only in Liberia, but across the world.Open Source SoftwareOpen Source Software as we know, has powered the internet since its (internet) advent. It continues to do so today. The Apache Web Server, the Linux operating system, Mozilla Firefox, etc., are all open source software that have and continue to transform the internet and our lives. In Recent years, Web Development experienced a major paradigm shift with websites becoming not only dynamic, but interactive, collaborative, and highly functional. For example, the open source Content Management Systems (CMS) Drupal ( also Joomla and WordPress), is being used to create state-of –the-art websites. Let’s take the www.Legislature.Gov.Lr website which provides up-to-date information on activities of the Liberian Legislature as well as websites of many Liberian online newspapers. Also, almost 80% of the users in Liberia use the Mozilla Firefox web browser which is open source.ACE Submarine Optical Fiber Cable/Broadband ConnectivityThe Africa Coast to Europe (ACE) optical fiber cable arrived in Liberia in 2012 and subsequently went live to provide low cost broadband connectivity to Liberians. While the impact is not “nationally” felt, it promises to have a phenomenal impact on the lives of Liberians.Cloud ComputingCloud Computing is still not popular in Liberia but it continues to impact our lives. It allows companies and individuals to divorce themselves from traditional data centers opting for data centers in the “Cloud.” This approach has saved companies and individuals a lot of money in that it eliminates capital spending. For many of us who are in programming and systems development, cloud computing provides the ideal and low cost testing environment. Finally, these are just a few of the technologies that have impacted the lives of Liberians. In next five years, we will see newer technologies or the advancement of existing technologies that will continue to better our lives socially and economically. To benefit from them, we must continue working towards building our capacityShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
13 June 2013Team MTN-Qhubeka won the stage five team time trial of the Tour de Korea on Wednesday, giving the team its second victory of the race after sprinter Kristian Sbaragli claimed a win on the opening stage.The stage was contested over 25.5 kilometres and the South African team blazed through the course in a time of 35 minutes and 19 seconds.Africa’s first Professional Continental team was fourth fastest at the intermediate time check, a considerable 46 seconds down after navigating through the first hilly part of the course.The deficit, though, was turned around during the second half and the men in yellow and black crossed the line just one second ahead of second placed Champion System. Rapha Condor JLT placed third.Strategy“Our strategy from the start was to keep it nice and steady to the first climb, get over that intact and drive hard between the climbs,” Sports Director Kevin Campbell said. “Then we wanted to keep a nice steady tempo on the second climb and at the top give full-gas until the finish.“The whole team was riding very well on the climbs. I thought it would be Dennis van Niekerk and Louis Meintjes that set the tempo, but they rode it very much as a group.“After the climb everybody gave it their all. Martin (Wesemann) was driving it really well, Johann (van Zyl) was driving it really well, and Louis was also going superbly on the flat stretches.‘Every rider contributed’“Every rider contributed, even Kristian (Sbaragli). He’s no TT specialist, but he was driving as hard as the rest. I was very pleased with that,” he added.Sbaragli retains the blue jersey as the leader of the points’ classification and remains in the top 10 of the general classification (GC).Campbell said the sprinter has surprised with his form in the Tour. “When we came into the Tour we did nominate Dennis and Louis as our GC guys because we can’t come into a race in Asia with one GC contender; the racing is just too unpredictable. We chose them as equal GC contenders and the way it’s worked out, Dennis has been the right man, in the right moves at the right time.”Good form“We’re now thinking Kristian… can also be in with a chance. We were worried that he wouldn’t get over the climb on the third stage, but then he went over it and finished in the front group. Now we definitely see how well he is riding.”The victory in the team time trial was Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung’s seventh in its debut season as a Professional Continental team.The MTN-Qhubeka team for the Tour of Korea is made up of Louis Meintjes (RSA), Johann Van Zyl (RSA), Bradley Potgieter (RSA), Martin Wesemann (RSA), Dennis Van Niekerk (RSA), Songezo Jim (RSA) and Kristian Sbaragli (Ita).SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material
Bentley Mulsanne SpeedBritish luxury car maker Bentley appears to have redefined the world’s the fastest ultra-luxury driving experience by launching a new pinnacle flagship, Mulsanne Speed. The retuned engine of the Mulsanne Speed propels it from 0 to 100 kmph in a blisteringly quick 4.9 seconds and it achieves a top speed of 305 kmph.Engine and transmissionThe reengineered powertrain of the Mulsanne Speed features Bentley’s mighty 6-litre twin-turbo V8. This engine churns out a mammoth 530 bhp of power and 1,100 Nm of peak torque. A selectable sports suspension and steering on demand are also available. The engine of this rear wheel drive, ultra luxurious saloon is paired with a recalibrated gearbox, designed to enhance the overall driving experience. Gears are optimised for the new, higher wave of torque, and has been calibrated for instant torque delivery on throttle application. In addition, a new “S” mode gives the driver greater control and helps maintain engine speed above 2,000 rpm so that the turbochargers are always ready.Extensive recalibration of the engine management system has yielded benefits more than just increased torque and power. The cylinder deactivation system that runs the engine as a V4 during light load has been calibrated for smoother transitions between V8 and V4 for highest levels of refinement. In modern Bentley tradition, the extra performance is also matched by improved efficiency, which is a significant 13 per cent gain over the standard Mulsanne. ExteriorsIt is difficult to really describe the level to which buyers have been pampered by exterior and interior styling of the new Mulsanne Speed. Craftwork on the outside is of the best and most refined British luxury material. advertisementInteriorsOn-board technology and connectivity are integrated with the finest materials, created with unrivalled craftsmanship and exquisite handcraft.Expressing his delight at the new Mulsanne Speed, Wolfgang Drheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive, Bentley Motors, said, “The new Mulsanne Speed is the car that defines Bentley, as a flagship for driving luxury performance. Our customers don’t compromise, and we’ve adopted the same approach in the design, engineering and crafting of our new flagship. The Mulsanne Speed is distinguished, calm and relaxing, but always with a connection to the road and relentless dynamic performance on demand. In this car, every journey becomes a drive.”The Mulsanne Speed will be showcased at the Paris Motor Show on October 2, 2014
Norwich boss Farke on Man City upset: Courage, amazing spiritby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveNorwich City boss Daniel Farke hailed his stand-ins for their shock victory over Manchester City.City’s long injury list meant Farke was forced into several changes, but his players did him proud.“It was a debut in the starting line-up for Sam Byram, a debut in the starting line-up for Ibrahim Amadou in a position that isn’t his natural one, and a first game for Alex Tettey,” said Farke. “It was difficult but we had to deliver against perhaps the best team in the world, and we did it in our style. We totally believe we are capable of reaching something extraordinary today, and we showed amazing spirit.“We have a lot of long-term injuries so it will be difficult. So we need this spirit and attitude because there will be setbacks and difficult moments and that’s when we will need our togetherness, and to remember moments like today.“Each and every game will be different, with teams with different styles and quality, but we have to take out of this game that if you stick together you always have a chance. Even if no one bets on you, with bravery and commitment and togetherness you can go far.”The boss also had a word for the City fans, who created an incredible atmosphere for the entire 90 minutes.“Carrow Road was an explosion and we needed this,” he said. “Without our fans, and their help to bring us over the line, we wouldn’t have had a chance to win today. We needed this unity from the fans, and big compliments to our supporters – they were crucial for our win.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Calling on Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to keep the promise he made last autumn to “tackle childhood obesity”, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver created this short video in the lead up to his visit to Canada, where he says 20 percent of Canadian children between the ages of 5 and 17 are overweight or obese.Video: Jamie’s message to Justin TrudeauAfter Trudeau’s October 2015 election, Oliver was pleased to see the following March a National Campaign to Combat Obesity by Canada’s Senate Committee on Social Affairs. The Committee’s report put forth 21 recommendations, including “a complete revision of Canada’s food guide to better reflect scientific evidence, a ban on advertising food and drink to children, a possible tax on sugar-sweetened beverages, a review of nutrition food labeling to make it easier to understand, and a plan for making healthy food more affordable.”The Senate’s recommendations are not incongruous from the six main goals stated on Oliver’s website: Sugary Drinks Tax, Sugar Reformulation, Fair Marketing, Clearer Labels, School Food and Education.Buoyed by such like-minded messaging, Oliver went to Canada last week to promote his Food Revolution campaign among politicians, supermarkets and influencers to try to ensure that the positive words are followed by real action.“It’s crazy that we live in a world where millions of children get too much of the wrong food, while millions more get too little good food,” says Oliver. “There are 41 million children under the age of five that are overweight or obese, while 159 million under-fives are stunted. Let’s put an end to obesity and undernourishment the world over.”Copyright ©2016Look to the Stars
Jorge Barrera APTN National NewsOnion Lake Cree Nation Chief Wallace Fox is facing multiple charges stemming from a domestic incident which occurred in the Cree community on May 18, the Saskatchewan RCMP said in a statement Monday.Fox is facing two counts of assault, one count of possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose related to the use of a knife and one count of uttering threats to damage property, the RCMP statement said.The RCMP statement said Fox was arrested without incident on Monday and released on condition he appear before provincial court in Onion Lake, Sask., on Dec. 16.Fox could not be immediately reached for comment.Fox was arrested mere days after Onion Lake won a Federal Court case against Ottawa over the First Nations Transparency Act which required bands to post financial statements online, including the pay of chief and councillors.Fox rose to national prominence during the height of the Idle No More movement. He was one of the chiefs who marched into Centre Block on Parliament Hill in the fall of 2012 demanding an audience with the prime minister.Fox was also one of the leaders who openly challenged former Assembly of First Nations national chief Shawn Atleo not to meet with former prime minister Stephen Harper on Jan. 11, 2013.Onion Lake was also one of the sponsors of a national conference in Edmonton on missing and murdered Indigenous women held in September.Fox has been a long-time chief of Onion Lake since the 1980s. He was first elected to council at age 21 in 1983. Three years later, he was elected chief of oil-rich community.Onion Lake has about 5,000 band members and sits about 50 kilometres north of Lloydminster, Alta., on the Saskatchewan-Alberta firstname.lastname@example.org@JorgeBarrera
TORONTO – Ontario’s Liberal government released a fall economic update Tuesday that included a tax cut for small businesses as an offset for a minimum wage that will rise to $14 an hour on Jan. 1, and $15 an hour the following year. Here are some highlights:— The corporate income tax rate for small businesses will be lowered from 4.5 per cent to 3.5 per cent on Jan. 1.— Small businesses with fewer than 100 employees that hire young workers (aged 15 to 29) will get incentives of $1,000 and another $1,000 for retaining that worker for six months.— Producers of locally grown fruits and vegetables will get $60 million in supports.— An apprenticeship training tax credit will be turned into a grant, giving employers $2,500 upon an apprentice’s completion of both level one and level two, $3,500 for completion of levels three and four, and $4,700 when the apprentice gets certification.— The apprenticeship grant would be available to all trades eligible for the current tax credit, as well as in five additional trades: hairstylist, cook, horticultural/landscape technician, baker and appliance service technician.— The legislation takes a preliminary step toward allowing Ontario’s nine Indigenous institutes to award degrees or diplomas on their own.— The government will put $85 million toward mercury remediation in the English-Wabigoon River system, which has affected the Grassy Narrows community for decades, through a trust that will be set up in collaboration with First Nation communities.— Real GDP growth is forecasted to be 2.8 per cent this year, up from the 2.3 per cent projected in the spring budget.— Net-debt-to-GDP ratio is projected to fall to 37.3 per cent this fiscal year— Interest on debt, which is currently about $312 billion, is projected to grow from about $12 billion now to $13.3 billion in 2019-20.— A moderating housing market has left the government with about $300 million less in land transfer tax revenues since projections in the spring budget.
NEW YORK — Samsung expects its quarterly operating profit will be nearly 29 per cent lower than last year, potentially unsettling a tech sector already skittish about slowing global economic growth.The announcement from the South Korean computer chip and smartphone giant comes less than a week after Apple Inc. jolted markets with its weak expectations for revenue to end the year, citing flagging sales in China.Samsung said late Monday that it anticipates a quarterly operating profit of about 10.8 trillion won ($9.6 billion).Fourth-quarter sales are expected to be approximately 59 trillion won ($52.4 billion), down 10.6 per cent from the prior-year period.Samsung says there’s weak global demand for chips amid a worldwide economic slowdown, while its smartphones are facing stronger competition.The Associated Press
“We are pleased to announce these contract awards, solidifying our position as the partner of choice for workforce accommodation solutions in Canada,” said Bradley J. Dodson, Civeo’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “The strength of our First Nation relationships was critical to these awards, and we look forward to collaborating with our partners to provide best-in-class accommodations along the Coastal GasLink pipeline project. Along with our recent acquisition of Noralta Lodge, this contract is a testament to our continued growing presence across Canada.”Civeo said it expects to deploy approximately $10 million in capital across all four facilities, the locations of which haven’t been announced. HOUSTON, T.X. – Houston-based Civeo Corporation announced today that it has been awarded contracts to supply accommodations for four locations along the Coastal GasLink pipeline project.The project will see a roughly 670-kilometre pipeline built from the Dawson Creek area to the proposed LNG Canada facility near Kitimat. The contracts are subject to a positive final investment decision from the LNG Canada joint venture, which is expected later this year.Civeo said that the accommodation facilities are collectively expected to reach total peak room count of over 2,000, with revenue over the term of the contract expected to be approximately $100 million. The company says that it will partner with a First Nation for each facility.